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RDU Neil

Free Equipment - Pros & Cons

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Lucius I understand that weapons will make you use STR hence END. However what I’m saying that since magic-users in the common campaign set up seem to getting short changed compared to warriors who are getting weapons for free, if this wouldn’t be a balanced so to speak. Consider if a warrior had a higher END cost because weapons also incurred a cost he would probably spend things on increased END and REC and or a custom Talent 0 END on weapons upto 30 ACT  Pts. Now I’m just throwing the idea out there. I have no idea if it’s good or a moot point. 

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Wizards can teleport.  

 

Wizards can have 15rDEF without suffering horrific DCV penalties and END usage due to encumbrance. 

 

Wizards can throw lightning bolts or fireballs or ice blasts. 

 

Wizards can fly.  

 

Wizards don't have to count ammunition.

 

Wizards can cause the plants and vines to come to life and grab their targets. 

 

This is why I'm never worried about free equipment.  

 

Wizards can also learn how to use swords and bows and so on, for that matter.

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2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Lucius I understand that weapons will make you use STR hence END. However what I’m saying that since magic-users in the common campaign set up seem to getting short changed compared to warriors who are getting weapons for free, if this wouldn’t be a balanced so to speak. Consider if a warrior had a higher END cost because weapons also incurred a cost he would probably spend things on increased END and REC and or a custom Talent 0 END on weapons upto 30 ACT  Pts. Now I’m just throwing the idea out there. I have no idea if it’s good or a moot point. 

 

Thanks; I was too dense to get where you were coming from.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary uses a Drain Density Increase on me now....

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I'm wondering if one could go the other way with this and what would be the ramifications.

 

Like building a version of Tony Stark, but his armor is treated as equipment instead of something costing character points on his sheet. He covers his ability to use the armor by means of buying additional equipment points to cover its real cost and picking up appropriate weapon and transport familiarities and a perk for higher active point equipment availability.

 

If a character in a fantasy campaign can use their equipment points for the magic items they found or acquired, it isn't much of a stretch to treat superhuman equipment as equipment.

 

I'm not really advocating this idea, but I'm wondering where the cutoff is for free equipment in a superhero world. Would acquiring a VIPER blaster be much harder than getting a regular handgun? You could buy it on the street with enough money or by having the right connections. How about a suit of body armor?

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46 minutes ago, Steve said:

I'm wondering if one could go the other way with this and what would be the ramifications.

 

Like building a version of Tony Stark, but his armor is treated as equipment instead of something costing character points on his sheet. He covers his ability to use the armor by means of buying additional equipment points to cover its real cost and picking up appropriate weapon and transport familiarities and a perk for higher active point equipment availability.

I would be intensely suspicious of this, mainly because resource points include loss-of-item in their cost savings.  I don't want a GM having to decide between enforcing Zinc Man's limitations or not taking Zinc Man totally out of the next couple sessions.  I'm really leery of focuses in general for that reason, though. 

 

49 minutes ago, Steve said:

I'm not really advocating this idea, but I'm wondering where the cutoff is for free equipment in a superhero world. Would acquiring a VIPER blaster be much harder than getting a regular handgun? You could buy it on the street with enough money or by having the right connections. How about a suit of body armor?

This does offer an interesting solution to the aforementioned problem, though.  If I were GMing, I'd be down with that idea as long as it were strictly "back-up" equipment.  I'd have no issue with Become-Metal-Man wearing a bulletproof vest so he didn't die horribly to surprise attacks as long as it didn't stack, or The Point carrying a 8d6 energy pistol just in case his 12d6 superbow was OAF'd away.  I'd be quick to veto anyone who tried to take +4 DCs of combat skill for that 8d6 popgun to shave down points, though. 

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I've already been allowing, actually requiring, this. If Ubermensch wants a cell phone he has to have equipment points. If The Raving Raja's alter ego (Dirk Gentlery) wants a car, buy the vehicle as equipment and let The Raving Raja figure out how to use it and maintain his secret identity. One of the supers wants to carry a .357 for those occasions when pounding someone with a city bus isn't the right method, then he buys it with equipment points. This equipment doesn't cost less than the powers it copies because the characters must STILL have weapon familiarities and relevant skills to use it.

In my head, equipment exists in a sort of 'tier' structure. The character pays one point per five points of equipment, then an adder that indicates what equipment is available. In tier one, the equipment has to exist on Walmart's shelves. For a five point adder (tier two), the equipment doesn't exist in a department store, but doesn't have restricted distribution. For an additional five points, the equipment isn't readily available and is restricted from the general public (military equipment is tier three). If I were to extend this to "tier four - equipment matching that used by other superheroes/supervillains" it would probably require an additional ten point cost.

This seems to work, for me, but I've not had anyone attempt to abuse it, yet. The possibility exists that eventually I'll need to limber up the old GM veto, because as soon as the equipment list has more than three or four items on it all balance is lost. When there's just one item on the list, it can cost more than the original. For example, you can stat out an M16 for eighteen points, but to buy it through my equipment system comes out as nineteen points.

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5 hours ago, clnicholsusa said:

This equipment doesn't cost less than the powers it copies because the characters must STILL have weapon familiarities and relevant skills to use it.

 

Pulled this to highlight - if we end up with the same costs, is there a significant benefit to a major rules change making this game less accessible to those familiar with the basic Hero rules?

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8 hours ago, Steve said:

I'm wondering if one could go the other way with this and what would be the ramifications.

 

Like building a version of Tony Stark, but his armor is treated as equipment instead of something costing character points on his sheet. He covers his ability to use the armor by means of buying additional equipment points to cover its real cost and picking up appropriate weapon and transport familiarities and a perk for higher active point equipment availability.

 

If a character in a fantasy campaign can use their equipment points for the magic items they found or acquired, it isn't much of a stretch to treat superhuman equipment as equipment.

 

I'm not really advocating this idea, but I'm wondering where the cutoff is for free equipment in a superhero world. Would acquiring a VIPER blaster be much harder than getting a regular handgun? You could buy it on the street with enough money or by having the right connections. How about a suit of body armor?

 

I think the cutoff point may vary from campaign to campaign,  more specifically, probably especially, from gm to gm.  Speaking for myself, I don't have a long list of equipment that you can and can't have any more than I have a list of powers/power builds that  you can and can't have.  Once you know yourself as a gm and the campaign that you have built, you just know.  For myself: yes, Tom, you can have that flashlight, cell phone, and Ferrari as equipment because you can afford it (can steal it or whatever); however, if you think you are going to have Iron Man's armor (or a facsimile of) without spending character points, you're out of your damn mind.  The cutoff point is kinda like the definition of obscenity: you may not be able to exactly define it, but you'll know it when you see it.  The important thing is being consistent with your judgement and making sure your players understand it.  If you know yourself as a gm and your campaign, it isn't that difficult.

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2 hours ago, Zephrosyne said:

 

I think the cutoff point may vary from campaign to campaign,  more specifically, probably especially, from gm to gm.  Speaking for myself, I don't have a long list of equipment that you can and can't have any more than I have a list of powers/power builds that  you can and can't have.  Once you know yourself as a gm and the campaign that you have built, you just know.  For myself: yes, Tom, you can have that flashlight, cell phone, and Ferrari as equipment because you can afford it (can steal it or whatever); however, if you think you are going to have Iron Man's armor (or a facsimile of) without spending character points, you're out of your damn mind.  The cutoff point is kinda like the definition of obscenity: you may not be able to exactly define it, but you'll know it when you see it.  The important thing is being consistent with your judgement and making sure your players understand it.  If you know yourself as a gm and your campaign, it isn't that difficult.

 

I want to like this a lot more than once.

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20 hours ago, Steve said:

I'm wondering if one could go the other way with this and what would be the ramifications.

 

Like building a version of Tony Stark, but his armor is treated as equipment instead of something costing character points on his sheet. He covers his ability to use the armor by means of buying additional equipment points to cover its real cost and picking up appropriate weapon and transport familiarities and a perk for higher active point equipment availability.

 

If a character in a fantasy campaign can use their equipment points for the magic items they found or acquired, it isn't much of a stretch to treat superhuman equipment as equipment.

 

I'm not really advocating this idea, but I'm wondering where the cutoff is for free equipment in a superhero world. Would acquiring a VIPER blaster be much harder than getting a regular handgun? You could buy it on the street with enough money or by having the right connections. How about a suit of body armor?

 

In one of the early editions of Champions, there was a company which sold Turtle Armor (Registered Trademark).

 

It was roughly on par with Guardsman power armor from the Marvel Comics universe. The company sold the armor to prisons for the guards, for use by bodyguards, as toys for the rich and famous, etc. It was pretty basic and not point efficient compared to the normal PC's point-bought power armor.

 

But if you were to buy a set of Turtle Armor for cash then put it on your Captain America clone, in game terms it would have vastly increased your character's power level.

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This thread reminded me of an adventure I ran once in my Champions campaign.  Through some method I don't recall, all of the PCs temporarily lost their superpowers.  At the same time, ARGENT kidnapped one of the PC's DNPCs and squirreled him off to Sealand.  (For those not familiar, it's a former WWII gun fort off the coast of England - outside the territorial limit at the time -- that got taken over and declared a sovereign nation I think back in the 1960s.   In my campaign, I decided it had been taken over by ARGENT in the 1990s and built up a bit more.)  So the PCs had to sneak in and rescue the DNPC, all without powers. 

 

I allowed them to bring any normal stuff they wanted, as long as they wrote it down beforehand and it wasn't too heavy/bulky.  I still remember when they were being chased up an enclosed circular stairway by ARGENT guards, and one of the players said, "I dump my bag of marbles down the stairs."  I laughed and said, "Yeah, sure would be nice to have a bunch of marbles right now."  And he pointed to the middle of his list.  I'll be damned if he didn't have "Bag of marbles" in the middle, right after "duct tape" and before "super glue (6 tubes)".  And yes, all of that super glue got used, too.

 

The free equipment use pretty much made that adventure awesome.

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On 2/12/2019 at 4:56 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

As to better spells, why do you think I buy 1m AoE accurate? ? And maybe no range  modifiers advantage?

 

Because you're just mean. :)

 

On 2/12/2019 at 4:58 PM, Ninja-Bear said:

I also thought (but haven’t used) Alternate Defense. So the spell is versus Power Defense!

 

REALLY mean. . . 

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On 2/18/2019 at 5:58 AM, Zephrosyne said:

 

I think the cutoff point may vary from campaign to campaign,  more specifically, probably especially, from gm to gm.  Speaking for myself, I don't have a long list of equipment that you can and can't have any more than I have a list of powers/power builds that  you can and can't have.  Once you know yourself as a gm and the campaign that you have built, you just know.  For myself: yes, Tom, you can have that flashlight, cell phone, and Ferrari as equipment because you can afford it (can steal it or whatever); however, if you think you are going to have Iron Man's armor (or a facsimile of) without spending character points, you're out of your damn mind.  The cutoff point is kinda like the definition of obscenity: you may not be able to exactly define it, but you'll know it when you see it.  The important thing is being consistent with your judgement and making sure your players understand it.  If you know yourself as a gm and your campaign, it isn't that difficult.

 

This is just awesome.  +1 "likes"

 

On 2/18/2019 at 8:54 AM, RDU Neil said:

 

I want to like this a lot more than once.

 

With you RDU but I ran out of "likes" at like midnight . . . not really sure why there's even a limit on that kind of stuff. . .  

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5 hours ago, Vanguard said:

 

Because you're just mean. :)

 

 

REALLY mean. . . 

That's +2 or more worth of advantages, he's looking at 1d6 per 45AP.  He'll basically always inflict his 2-4 points of BODY and anyone with Power Defense will ignore it. 

If this is a fantasy game where BODY is the go-to damage, I can't imagine that the fighting man won't match that. 

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3 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

That's +2 or more worth of advantages, he's looking at 1d6 per 45AP.  He'll basically always inflict his 2-4 points of BODY and anyone with Power Defense will ignore it. 

If this is a fantasy game where BODY is the go-to damage, I can't imagine that the fighting man won't match that. 

You’d think that Gnome. At least with the people I’ve played, I was really surprised that more people didn’t buy up Body. My Conan inspired character has 20 Body. I mean if you’re going to charge into battle and in s game where killing attacks are common, it’s almost mandatory! ?

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