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Another spin-off from the 6th edition is best thread.  There seems to be a lot of talk about the value/effectiveness of multipowers.  We got rid of elemental controls because the were simply a way to get free points.  Shrike said that most people that want an MP actually want a VPP.  Others are concerned that people throw things into an MP because it would be stupid not to.

 

I guess that it throws up two questions. 

(1) As far as the toolkit goes, what is the multipower supposed to provide in game effect terms?

(2) is it too cost effective?

 

Doc

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1) That's unclear, to me. "Supposed to provide" seems loaded. Particularly in a tookit system where, "it can be whatever you want, man!!!!".

 

I think I see it used most in a way to add extra aspects of a particular power.

In a way it's an effect of the Champions style construction. In a different game you might just have "Flame Powers" and sometimes you can use them to kill or to blast or to create balls of fire or fly or make walls of fire, all one power. In Hero you'll need an extra power for every sub-power your power has. Even if they are the same power.

I think it's supposed to provided a cost break for concepts that are compatible with it as a concept.

But not TOO much of a cost break, but also still a cost break.

 

Basically I think it's there to provide a cost break to encourage Superhero stuff like having more than just one "power blast" that you blast over and over when blastin' evil.

 

 

 

2) Also unclear. "Too" cost effective for....?

 

I agree with Toxxus that NOT using one is usually a sign of a poorly optimized build in most cases.

But "too" cost effective seems like another of those Heroisms.

It's up to the GM to ride herd on his cats\PCs to continually keep things mostly balanced for most of the PCs he's running in his (or her!) game.

Unlike other systems either nothing or everything occurs in a vacuum in Hero.

In D&D or something we can say, "Oh X class gets twice as many spells\abilities\thingies as the other class, that's too effective".

But in Hero maybe that's fine. Maybe that's what we wanted in the first place and why we stopped playing D&D or whatever.

 

If it causes issues in your\my\some games then maybe it's too cost effective. Or maybe the GM is weak. Or maybe the group is "doing it wrong".

 

But if it enables cool character concepts and promotes good and enjoyable games then...even if it's "too" cost effective, it's still good.

 

Right?

 

 

 

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I guess to me the question from the other thread is: Can you build effective satisfying (and effective) characters WITHOUT an MP, in 6e, and not feel effectively second fiddle to characters that used MP (or VPP, really, both are just frameworks to save points in the end)?

 

Maybe KS or somebody would be up for some examples there.

 

If two folks both make 250pt Fantasy dudes or 400pt Superhero chicks, one with, and one without, MP, can the non-MP characters still be AS effective (surely they can BE effective) and as interesting to play while also sticking to the concept?

Edited by TranquiloUno
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56 minutes ago, TranquiloUno said:

poorly optimized build

 

In answer to your question, NB: right there.  When we started judging the relative worth of a character by how well the designer of the character could min-max.  That's when MP became nigh-mandatory

 

56 minutes ago, TranquiloUno said:

even if it's "too" cost effective, it's still good.

 

Right?

 

Remember Elemental Control? 

 

It was banished for being "too good.". Which is wierd, because if you were so inclined, you could min-max the snot out of a character with that. 

 

I never wanted to,  but I certainly know _how_, and easily could. 

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1 hour ago, TranquiloUno said:

I think I see it used most in a way to add extra aspects of a particular power.

 

I wasn’t asking about how it was used.  A tool can be misapplied but that does not mean it is doing the job it was intended for.

 

Now, I am not sure that anyone really sat down and thought about multipowers in the way they would if HERO was being designed from scratch.

 

I can see the multipower designed to help replicate heroes like UltraBoy from Legion of Superheroes.  Indeed, fixed slots used to be called ultra slots.

 

That was not a gun with multiple special effects but a range of powers that might be used one at a time.  That quickly goes out the window when it hits the enemy (the players).  I am wondering if it should be limited such that it can only take one of any class of power, so one attack power, one body affecting power, one defence power etc.  

 

This retains the the ability to switch between diverse powers, one or two at a time.

 

It begs the question of how you do the archer type, and whether that type is indeed too cheap for its utility.

 

Shrike has already pointed out several ways to achieve a similar end that is not too much more expensive...

 

Doc

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On 2/15/2019 at 2:11 PM, Doc Democracy said:

Another spin-off from the 6th edition is best thread.  There seems to be a lot of talk about the value/effectiveness of multipowers.  We got rid of elemental controls because the were simply a way to get free points. 

 

We replaced EC's with a Limitation that serves the same basic function but in a less mathematically bonkers way. It's not a perfect solution, but it seems to work a lot better than EC in my experience and be less open to flagrant abuse.

 

Quote

Shrike said that most people that want an MP actually want a VPP. 

 

What I actually said was...

 

I found over the years that my players who desired flexibility more frequently wanted a VPP than an MP. In some cases I allowed it, in other cases I talked them down to an MP or EC or combination (the classic MP active powers, EC passive powers) and occasionally some alternative way to get what they wanted. Because I'm comfortable with VPP's at the table, assuming the player is able to not become a bottleneck during play, it's possible that it causes a meta displacement in my personal experience. 

 

It might also be true of some others elsewhere, but I'm not attempting to make a general statement...I'm only speaking to my own experience.

 

Quote

Others are concerned that people throw things into an MP because it would be stupid not to.

 

And I think we've all basically agreed that if concept is not enforced, and particularly if campaign caps are in affect, then it is generally true that MP's become a no-brainer for most characters.

 

I contend that this is due to campaign caps being unhealthy rather than a problem with MP itself. 

 

Other people seem to be of the mind that campaign caps are de rigueur and argue from a position of assuming that they must be used and are always used, and thus any ill effect that has on other mechanics is the fault of the other mechanics rather than a flaw of using caps.

 

Quote

I guess that it throws up two questions. 

(1) As far as the toolkit goes, what is the multipower supposed to provide in game effect terms?

 

"An array of powers, only some of which can be active simultaneously".

 

And from a mechanical point of view, it excellently and elegantly models that idea.

 

Quote

(2) is it too cost effective?

 

In a vacuum, using the rules as written, no.

 

If other options that should and could be viable / competitive are handicapped or restricted by imposed limits, then MP becomes extremely effective by comparison and the deep cost discount of fixed slots is extremely point efficient if milked.

 

If you can't go up but can go sideways, MP's with overlapping finely grained slots become an obvious outlet for character growth...particularly since the low cost of fixed slots is very friendly to the XP trickle style of advancement used by the Hero System by default. If you're getting 3-5 XP per session, depending on the reserve size and limitations applied a new fixed slot for a MP tends to fall within the ball park of attainability every 1 to 3 sessions. That fits together like Nutella and dipping sticks for some people.

 

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14 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Remember Elemental Control? 

 

It was banished for being "too good.". Which is wierd, because if you were so inclined, you could min-max the snot out of a character with that. 

 

I never wanted to,  but I certainly know _how_, and easily could. 

 

In my view, it was removed for failing the "you get what you pay for" test.  All characters should have a concept.  Rewarding those who have a lot of powers with the same/similar point cost over those that do not was a problem.  And the "concepts" for ECs seemed to broaden out fast.  Fire Powers, Electric Powers, Spider Powers, Alien Blob Powers, Kryptonian Powers - "Invulnerability Powers", anyone?  PD, ED, Damage Reduction, Flash Defense, Power Defense, Mental Defense, Invisible Force Field, maybe Hand Attack reflecting my steel-hard skin?  "But it's my amazingly tight concept"!

 

To the "we use it because it would be stupid not to" issue, we could say the same of a lot of things in the game.  We buy CON because it would be stupid not to.  Ever see a character based on HKA who did not spend equal AP on HKA and STR (at least after 1e and before 6e, neither of which had a doubling rule).  OK, I saw a lot when the Enemies books were updated to 2e, but only because every high STR character written for 1e had a 1d6 KA (it would be stupid not to), and no one increased them when the did the 2e translation.

 

Pre-6e, we bought STR and CON, not Figureds.  It would be stupid not to.  And we bought high DEX, not combat skill levels.  The pricing made it stupid not to.

 

A lot of those issues got fixed.  So the question is which ones merit being fixed.

 

I will keep buying Mental Blast instead of a Blast, IPE, Range: LOS, ACACV, AVAD - it would be stupid not to.

 

The versatility of the Multipower carries a cost higher than a single attack of the same power level, and less than being able to use all of the powers at once.  That seems appropriate.  The only question is whether the balance is right. 

 

As KS points out above, part of the issue is on how the toolkit is used.  It seems like we apply hard and fast DC limits - 12 DC is the absolute maximum, for example -  but we do not apply any limits or balancers for greater versatility.    In the past, I would allow characters with only one attack a few more DCs than those with many attacks in a MP.  I would also allow higher PD/ED for a character lacking exotic defenses,.  "You can be really good at one thing, pretty good at a few things, or somewhat good in a lot of things" seems like reasonable character build guidance.

 

KS, you are 100% right that the low cost of a new slot is a real draw when xp trickles in under the Hero model.

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So this has come up ALOT with me.  In basic terms, yes I feel most established characters should have a MP.  The mechanic of the MP is I have these abilities I cannot use simultaneously for some reason.  it might be "My bow can only shoot one arrow at a time" or "I need to have my hands free to operate it" or "It's one power so I can only focus it one way at a time".  The F/X is second to the mechanic (which I feel all of them are).  So you start with the F/X then find the mechanic. 

 

As for the VPP v. MP...It is a cost point thing for me, at a certain point you switch to a VPP based on the number of uses you have.  This is a matter of diminishing returns, at some point a lot of options is really not that much more valuable than fewer, 

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I am beginning to seriously consider having a single 10D6 blast power (and a second 8D6 blast power if I want primary and secondary attacks) and then a bunch of naked advantages that I can apply to one or the other blast power.  The blast power might be in an MP along with flight and defence.  I need to check if I might have a slew of naked advantages in the multipower...would that break my only one type of power per multipower idea?  Probably, need to think harder about it.

 

Doc

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

In my view, it was removed for failing the "you get what you pay for" test.  All characters should have a concept.  Rewarding those who have a lot of powers with the same/similar point cost over those that do not was a problem.  And the "concepts" for ECs seemed to broaden out fast.

 

Not a mechanical problem.  "Concept" and "permissiveness" are always going to require interpretation and judgement.  Mechanics can't do that for you.

 

Even at that, it all boils down to faulty logic:

 

EC= bad while "Pool" = totally valid.    While there was a great discount for powers in an EC, you still had to, even at a discount, buy the things, and individually.  The discount makes it wrong.  Fine.  I'll just buy _one_ big power, and turn it into any stinkin' power I want.

 

Okay.  That's acceptable.

 

 

There's a flaw here, Sir.  A big one.

 

That flaw is "hey!  This has a specific mechanic, so it's A-okay by default.  Plus, they don't have to have the same SFX:  it can be flight via rocket boots, and energy blast by manipulation of his bio-electic field, and armor via the skin of a werewolf.  But it's okay, because there's a mechanic that specifically says it is.  Since it completely cuts the GM and his feeble mind out of the process, it's more perfecter.

 

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

To the "we use it because it would be stupid not to" issue, we could say the same of a lot of things in the game.  We buy CON because it would be stupid not to.  Ever see a character based on HKA who did not spend equal AP on HKA and STR

 

I used to care, because I'm not about making stirring a pot for no reason, but I don't care anymore if anyone grasps this, but YES!

 

Not only _have_ I seen it, I see it _a lot_.  Partly because I haven't seen (in a supers game) a Killing Attack in _years_!  I just recently concluded one game (I mentioned looking forward to it closing, as I really wanted more time for my scanning project), but I'm still involved in two others, and I flat do not _care_ if anyone else understands it or accepts it anymore, but point-blank:

 

These take-advantage-the-rules pinch-penny loophole-raping buy-in-perfect-multiples-and-multipliers-to-skin-a-point players are creatures of *)_&**^&%%^ FICTION for my own experience the last couple of decades.  I have run into _one_ serious rules-rapist, over thirty years ago, and it was such a phenomenal departure from the norm that I still remember him and call him by name even on this board (just in case you lurk here, Davien!).   My groups aren't isolated.  I've moved several times and pick up new groups.  I travel considerable distances to play in other groups (I believe I've talked about that, too).   Without any sort of exaggeration, I can easily say that since I really picked up the hobby I have been fortunate enough to play with over two hundred different people, at one time or another.

 

I have met _ONE_ player who actually is the guy everyone is so damned terrified of that the rules have to be changed to eliminated the millions and millions of him that are so clearly crawling all through this hobby.

 

 

Yet every week, someone on this board posts yet another reason the rules need further tweaking and further breaking down and further departure-- it's all become micro-micro-micro-micromanagement, and the only people I see posing an actual threat to breaking the game under any rules sets _are_ the people advocating for this stuff.  Why?  because apparently they are the only ones who are interested enough in or have the free time to study just how it can be done.  Everyone else wants to build a character and have an adventure- -explore some jungle ruins, defend a frontier town, broker peace with another galaxy, end the vampire menace, or swoop in from the skies, bouncing bullets from their chests to save the helpless citizens from some sinister plot of Doctor Twisted.

 

Granted, I totally understand that there is a group of people who get just as much fun by not actually playing the game, and just docking around with the rules (damn you, autocorrect!) looking for the Snipe of "perfect balance."

 

The only place I find those people, though, is _here_.  Online.  (not like: Here, on this board-- though I'm sure there are probably one or two here, too.  I mean "here" as in "when I go looking for people interested in the game as a hobby, I find those people online more than I _ever_ have in real life.  Sorry for the long clarification: I want it to be clear that I'm not calling out anyone nor am I interested in picking a fight.  I seriously don't care enough anymore.)

 

 

I have to wonder what would have happened to the rules if Steve had decided to compose his sounding board group of people who actually played the game and were interested _only_ in how to make the final experience: actually _playing the game_...  more rewarding.

 

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

 

 

(at least after 1e and before 6e, neither of which had a doubling rule).  OK, I saw a lot when the Enemies books were updated to 2e, but only because every high STR character written for 1e had a 1d6 KA (it would be stupid not to),

 

Thank you.

 

Thank you for supporting my point from some weeks ago:

 

There are those people who are simply unable to make a character without putting point maximizing as the priority.

 

For Supers, I have _never_ had a Killing Attack.  Not under _any_ edition, ever.   My favorite archetype, in the early years, was the brick (not being a comic-book savvy young man, I found the brick to be the easiest to get behind.  Fortunately, my play groups over the years would add to my comics knowledge and appreciation, but that would be years to come.  Even then, I _still_ don't do Killing Attacks for Supers of _any_ type.  I don't disallow them, mind you, but I don't do them myself for player characters.)

 

And you have also supported-- not proven, mind you: you are only one person, and I'm not unscientific enough to accept that as a reasonable sample-- but you have supported my developing hypothesis that, even though I value conversations with you personally, Hugh, and many, many others on this board, it is simply _not possible_ to reconcile the extremes at which we play the game.  I have to assume-- as it makes perfect sense: you've been playing a long time, after all-- that in your experience, the Welfare Man rules-rapist players are, if not _normal_, certainly very common.

 

Within my experience, all but one single individual (the one who tried to hand me a character with "the Elemental Control of being hard to hurt"), has been concept-first from day one.   We (not you and me, but "the types of players you are familiar with" and "they types of players I am familiar with" get very different rewards from the game, and thus have very different needs from the rules.  Unfortunately for the people on my end of the spectrum, every step of the rules that takes it further and further from "do what you want" to "do it this way" makes it of less and less use, and therefore appeal, to this of us on this end.

 

At this point, I don't truly believe that we can really hit a well-rounded middle ground simply because that's where we _started_, many editions ago, back when we had enough in common to understand each other.

 

As it is, in the interest of _not_ wanting to start yet another conversation on the same topic ("points effectiveness, perfectness of rules, need for more mechanics"), and in the interest of preserving the civility of things thus far, and in large part out of my respect for you and others who feel as you do, I will take my "stupid," non-KA-using self out of this conversation.  It's not like I've got a lot of interest invested in the last two editions where so many things were "fixed" anyway.

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

and no one increased them when the did the 2e translation.

 

Pre-6e, we bought STR and CON, not Figureds.  It would be stupid not to.  And we bought high DEX, not combat skill levels.  The pricing made it stupid not to.

 

A lot of those issues got fixed.  So the question is which ones merit being fixed.

 

I will keep buying Mental Blast instead of a Blast, IPE, Range: LOS, ACACV, AVAD - it would be stupid not to.

 

Fine.  I get it.  I'm stupid.  The people I have played with since adopting Champions / HERO are all stupid.  Damn us for fools, we thought building the character we want would give us a sense of investment in the game and we built to make the concept in spite of the clearly inferior flaw of leaving points on the table or pouring them down a drain.  We were stupid.

 

Stupid or not, the point is that we _did_ it.  And as many groups as I've drifted in and out of, I have seen many, many other people do it, too.  Majority?  Doubt it.   One tiny, statistically-irrelevant fractional percentage of all the people who ever played?  Doubt that, too, but it's possible.  The only players in all of human history to do it?  Oh man, do I doubt that!   Enough to suggest that maybe people who really wanted to build to concept did it, without tweaks and twirps and a complete remodeling of the rules?  Yes, I think so.  But keep in mind that may not matter, because the math guys have formulaically proven our intellectual inferiority for being willing to do this, when it so clearly marks us as stupid.

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

As KS points out above, part of the issue is on how the toolkit is used. 

 

Clearly.  Either the correct, split and shave every point way, or the stupid way.  We've established that.

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

In the past, I would allow characters with only one attack a few more DCs than those with many attacks in a MP.  I would also allow higher PD/ED for a character lacking exotic defenses,.  "You can be really good at one thing, pretty good at a few things, or somewhat good in a lot of things" seems like reasonable character build guidance.

 

I still do this.  I think a lot of us do, really: it's a great balance between the inherent inequality of concepts.  While we strive to give every player equal screen time, en masse, it's difficult to manage things so that every single character is just as important or just as vital to every part of the scene.  So we include bits here and there.  When the flying energy projectors are protecting the doomsday machine's power generators until it's fully charged, and there aren't enough of them on your side to keep them engaged, perhaps the Martial Artist can block and deflect attacks away from the telekineticist long enough for her to push her TK Smash high enough to damage the machine......

 

Beyond that, it tends to work well for players.  In the early days, I thought everyone would want to be "_the_" something; I thought it might be vital to ensure a more solid team.  I was wrong.  There are those players who _don't_ want to be a specialist.  They want to dabble in everything.  Well when Greased Lightning has been incapacitated, sometimes it's nice to have a "pretty fast" guy to help take up the slack, and perhaps he can get creative with his other abilities to temporarily make up for what he lacks in speed next to ol' GL.

 

 

That being said, I think it's more than reasonably character building, I think it's important for the group of players as a whole.

 

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

KS, you are 100% right that the low cost of a new slot is a real draw when xp trickles in under the Hero model.

 

There are two ways I allow Multipowers.  I hit on both of them above, detailing one a bit; the other I don't think needs it.

 

Anything beyond those two justifications is just the EC points-grab, all over again, only this time it's okay because there's a better mechanic.

 

I am sure there is some sort of math that proves me wrong, completely and totally, but being stupid, I'm used to it.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

That flaw is "hey!  This has a specific mechanic, so it's A-okay by default.  Plus, they don't have to have the same SFX:  it can be flight via rocket boots, and energy blast by manipulation of his bio-electic field, and armor via the skin of a werewolf.  But it's okay, because there's a mechanic that specifically says it is.  Since it completely cuts the GM and his feeble mind out of the process, it's more perfecter.

 

To me, the flaw was that there was no mechanical drawback - none whatsoever - to placing powers in an EC rather than purchasing them independently.  The "drain one, drain all" mechanic came along later, and eventually morphed into the current -1/4 limitation we see in 6e.  Multipowers always came with the limit that the powers could not be used at the same time.  Whether the magnitude of the discount is appropriate or excessive is a separate question.  But when there is a discount with no drawback at all, I consider that a bad mechanic.

 

3 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Not only _have_ I seen it, I see it _a lot_.  Partly because I haven't seen (in a supers game) a Killing Attack in _years_!  I just recently concluded one game (I mentioned looking forward to it closing, as I really wanted more time for my scanning project), but I'm still involved in two others, and I flat do not _care_ if anyone else understands it or accepts it anymore, but point-blank:

 

I had seen killing attacks used so infrequently (PCs had them, but tended not to use them against living targets) that I had to be dragged to the math which demonstrated they were more effective at getting STUN through, and Stunning opponents.  The math did not lie.  And only then did I recall how often mooks had KAs, because with small attacks and big numbers, a few would get a decent BOD roll and high Stun Multiple, and do some damage to the Supers.

 

3 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Within my experience, all but one single individual (the one who tried to hand me a character with "the Elemental Control of being hard to hurt"), has been concept-first from day one.

 

Why is a concept of invulnerability unacceptable?  I have seen very few "highly trained normal", at least pre-6e, stick to  normal (not even legendary) human characteristics and use combat skill levels instead.  Why?  Because the concept simply was not viable when realized in that mechanical way.  It was too expensive to replace a 32 DEX with a 20 DEX and skill levels.  No 4 SPD highly trained normals either.  Because, like everyone else, they wanted to play a  fun game, and being far weaker and less effective than one's teammates is not many people's idea of a fun game.

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I haven't really had to opportunity to play as much Hero System as I would have liked over the years (played way too many other games) but I have played it a decent bit.  The Multipower Framework in itself isn't really that much of a problem but I do think that it requires gm oversight.  Yes, I know everything does but I have seen some people really stretch a "concept" to justify putting something into a Multipower because adding slots is pretty cheap.  I have had wanna be munchkins over the years but no really competent ones.  I am actually pretty good at picking up things that will be a problem and I have absolutely no problem with saying "no."  I don't really find the Multipower Framework to be too cost effective but then again I can be a rather strict gm.  If you can't explain your concept in detail well enough to justify something, you don't get it.  As I said, I have no problem saying "no" and my gaming group knows it.  Variable Power Pools are a different animal and I do find those too cheap and I have addressed that in my games but I will not really go into that: I don't want to deviate too much from the original poster's intent.  That is my answer as far as the second question.  As for the first question, regarding what game effect the Multipower is supposed to provide, I don't have any answer for that beyond what is in the rulebook and the various examples in the various supplements. 

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Because the concept simply was not viable when realized in that mechanical way. 

 

Hugh:

 

With all sincerity and all respect, you know I _love_ discussing just about anything with you. 

 

But we are not going to be able too discuss this.  Our experiences with the game have been too different.  You can't accept, for whatever reason; presumably your own experience with the game, that there are a shocking number of us who play this game and don't give a rat's runny crap about "what the math says" in terms of X better than Y because two steps from now, and when you factor in-- and on and on.  If I got my joy from that--  well, I got my first RPG (Traveller) at a book store.  They had calculus text books, too.  I didn't leave with one of those, though. 

 

I am not math ignorant.  I don't even find math particularly difficult.  But fun?  As far as fun, I'd put it somewhere around having a colonoscopy done with a golf umbrella that had to be opened before extraction.  I spend, like a lot of other people, the best part of my working day juggling numbers, running math, etc.  And the reason I get _paid_ to do it is because it is not fun, which makes it hard to find volunteers. 

 

When I have a bit of time to relax, you can damned well bet "doing math" isn't on my list of things I might do. 

 

And I'm not alone in that.  I'm not even a minority in that.  According to stories you stumble across now and again on the news and on the net, I live in a country _dominated_ by a general dislike of recreational math (why do you think the most common complaint against HERO is "it's so....  Mathy..."?) 

 

Do I ignore the math?  No.  It has to be tracked so you can get your totals or what-have-you.  It has to be figured so when a proposed Limitation or Advantage pops up you can get a good idea just how much discount or additional charge is being suggested; all that "let's get our concepts down on paper and start the game" stuff. 

 

Am I going to diddle around with it so I can see which power has the best chance of inflicting an extra pip of BODY every four uses?  Frack no; I ain't. 

 

 

And there are those of you to whom that is part of the fun, or in some sense of "more fair" becomes important, and is broached with introductions that suggest your lack of understanding of how a large number of us play concept-first: things like "but you'll be hobbled against the other players" or "voluntarily being the least powerful at the table" or "outclassed by your teammates..." 

 

You don't seem to really appreciate that this is not happening because _none_ of us are interested in points effectiveness, splitting and round overs, squeezing out another pip every seventh shot, making sure we spend every single character point we are allotted, spiking up dead to the campaign limits, or any of that other "but the math is the best part!" stuff.  None of us.  Not one single player. 

 

You can't get your heads around that any more than we can understand why the hell you _would_ waste all your play time trying to figure it all out. 

 

In short: it's not you.  It's not us, either.  It's the simple fact that we are so far away from each other (semi-formal plural, of course, meaning the two "camps" of play style) that we can't understand each other enough to discuss what the rules "need" or the "proper use" of a mechanic or the "perfection" of a system or even the validity of a character construct in any meaningful way. 

 

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Duke:

 

I agree with just about everything you said in the two posts above. The minor exceptions are that I have met more than one of the min-maxers in my 30+ years of Hero play (maybe 4?) and I have met more than one person who actually enjoys the math (sometimes, that's even me). I don't waste play time figuring stuff out, though, I just am not always able to play or even have a campaign to design for, so I do numbers exercises. Usually not KA versus blast kind of stuff, though, more "how many doublings of range would it take me to hit the moon" or "just exactly how fast is a SR-71 Blackbird in Hero terms" or "let me solve whatever math dilemma has been posted on the boards". 😃

 

- E

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Thank you, E.

 

Though in all fairness, I do a lot of that myself: it's nice to know just how fast HyperLad can run, flat out.  It's fun to know just how much telescopic vision does RobotiKong need to see the baseball that Hercules just knocked out of the park....

 

And of course, those things actually come up in play (in a manner of speaking).  Players want to know just what that means in terms they are more instinctively familiar with.  The rest of it, though-- the micro-minutiae of "cost effectiveness" and "ideal construction"-- they really don't give a rip about.

 

And I have to level with you, I didn't really think I was completely typical with my experience with only one min-maxing terror---

 

Quick Aside:

 

Hugh, I forgot to answer your question above.

 

First, your question was caused only be an error of omission on my part: I posted that same story years ago on a thread about nightmare character submissions, and for some reason, just felt like it was so recent that everyone would remember it.  Senility: the downside of getting old. :lol:  But hey, I get to make new friends every day! :)

 

Your question is completely fair, as I did not go into enough detail to explain the min-max horror that was being presented:

 

There was an EC for "being hard to hurt," and EC of "death dealing" and a third one I don't even remember.  In each one, he had managed to munchkinize so creatively that he more than doubled every campaign cap in effect for new characters, (fresh campaign; they were all "newbies on the scene"), and only needed _two_ Disadvantages to go with his hundred-point "gimmies."  And that was his Reputation as "crap your pants crazy" and his Reputation as "scarier than God with PMS."

 

No skills.  No knowledges.   No nothing.   Just three ECs of questionable validity (since he couldn't begin to give me a common special effect that fit in with his proposed conception at the outset), and of course  THREE ECs!!!.   

 

Yes: the next step is "certainly there is a valid concept that justifies this" (we've been down this road before), and this time I will concede with "I am sure there is."  But I'm going to follow it up with there is a reason there must be a GM, and that reason is that decisions counter to the RAW must be made to ensure that everyone gets equal pleasure from the game.  Remember that the goal of compromise is everyone is perfectly happy, and the reality is everyone is equally pissed.  Then we build from there.  And of course, it doesn't matter if there is a valid concept for that or not, as the GM, I can say the single most likely character in any universe: A guy with a gun, is unacceptable for the game at hand, and that's final.

 

I am sorry i failed to answer your question earlier.

 

 

Back to you, E:

 

I didn't figure I was the norm, simply going by the standard assumption on this board that "everyone is going to do X because it's "smarter" or "normal" or whatever.  So having met only one guy who played that way, I figured maybe I was just a freak with a talent for finding other freaks.   :lol:    But I also didn't expect to find out that it's not unusual.  You've only found four in thirty years yourself.

 

I think it might be time to step back from the endless re-evaluation of "what needs to be reworked" and take a harder look at the validity of the arguments supporting _why_ it needs to be reworked.

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I think there is a lot of ground between "mathing out every last point" and game experience showing that KAs are effective at passing STUN through.  IIRC, the first Deathstroke adventure even noted that the villains would rarely use KAs, unless they needed to get some STUN through to a high defense character, so it was noted by some pretty early on.

 

Are you saying you have seen 18 DEX, 4 SPD "Trained Normals" with piles of CSLs?  I have not, because it was immediately obvious how ineffective that was to get the high CV the system expected of such trained normals.  And, of course, we had no published examples - the published characters in that vein all had DEX 30+.

 

Do you see players with a 45 STR and 1d6 HKA, or a 15 STR with a 3d6 HKA?  I don't recall seeing those builds.

 

Do you see players buy up REC, END and STUN instead of more CON?  A lot of STR, CON, INT or PRE scores ending in 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 or 9?  Again, I did not see that from 1e to 5e. 

 

That's not to say I played with a wide variety of different players, but I would have expected some published examples of these kinds of build, especially if they was common in the player base.  Rather, I think players took their cues from the published characters, which were typically fairly point-efficient.

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2 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

I think there is a lot of ground between "mathing out every last point" and game experience showing that KAs are effective at passing STUN through.  IIRC, the first Deathstroke adventure even noted that the villains would rarely use KAs, unless they needed to get some STUN through to a high defense character, so it was noted by some pretty early on.

 

 

 

Quote

 

Are you saying you have seen 18 DEX, 4 SPD "Trained Normals" with piles of CSLs?  I have not, because it was immediately obvious how ineffective that was to get the high CV the system expected of such trained normals.  And, of course, we had no published examples - the published characters in that vein all had DEX 30+.

 

 

Yes.  That is precisely what I am saying.

 

in regards to published characters:

 

Outside of the Champions rule book (2e), I had _no_ published anything for many years.  I had access to 1e, as it's what my first Champions GM used, and what I first learned to play.

 

I have posted this repeatedly, but will, for the sake of this discussion, re-post it here:

 

I never cared for pre-printed adventures.  There is a laundry list of reasons, but let's go with the single biggest one:  they are tied to the main published setting, which poses two almost-immediate problems: either they are static forever, without regard for what your PCs have done to effect change in the universe or 2) they change in ways that make absolutely no sense in regard to the direction your game went.

 

Considering also at the time that most of us were in or just finishing college, money wasn't  the sort of thing we were intimately familiar with, so any excuse not to have to hunt up some was valid.  Thus, no: we had _no_ published material.

 

Shortly before BBB hit the stands, I picked up a discounted copy of Champs II and a used copy of Champs III.

 

I read into them just enough to discover that there were _not_ actually newer versions of the game, so I immediately logged them as "supplemental stuff tied to a game universe I don't need or care about,"relegated them to a bookshelf, where they would remain for well over a decade.   They would not get read cover-to-cover until the internet became a thing and, when I finally got curious enough to pop in one of those AOL disks (after buying a modem) that paved the streets at that time.

 

BBB came out.  I bought it and the brown paper cover "HERO System," assuming it to be something different from Champions.  Read it.  Saw some of the character samples and thought "these people are smoking crack!", particularly in light of the section in there discussing the "types of players" and how obviously these were being designed by whatever it was they were calling the munchkin (I don't remember anymore).  As you well know, as I only very recently posted it, I rather liked 4e.  The campaign stuff was useless to me, but the rest of it I rather liked.  Never moved into it because my players at the time weren't interested, realistically we had a few house rules in play here and there that already did what most of the stuff I was interested in did.  Players weren't interested in learning anything new, so we cribbed a few things here and there and my wonderful 4e, to my dismay, became a coloring book for player's children, and a few players.  I gave the brown soft cover away up realizing that it was the same as BBB, but will less stuff.  Most importantly, it didn't say Champions.

 

 

So at that point, I had Champions 2e, Champs 2 and 3, still unfinished, and BBB, ready twice, popped my eyes at how radically different the characters were from what we had been playing.

 

I had the owner of my favorite game shop tell me that there was going to be a Western "game" using Champions rules.  I got really pumped.  I had let the other genre books slide (not really understanding that they were more than just "theme" books: there were some interesting rules ideas, adventure ideas, etc---  but I didn't know all that.  I just thought "eh" and let them pass.

 

By that point, I owned Star HERO (the original), Champions 2e (though I was on like my second replacement for that), Champs II and III, still never finished, and the original Fantasy HERO, which I had read once to convince myself I wouldn't like it.  I didn't manage to convince myself of that, and was a bit surprised.  I waffled over picking up a new game, since Champions had been my de-facto running gear for every genre for many, many years at that point.  It just didn't seem necessary.  I waffled over it for a couple of months, but on launch day, I picked it up: to this day, it remains the _only_ "reference book" I have ever bought new, and I kicked my butt all up and down the street at the "waste" of money that could have been better-spent on groceries.

 

But I _loved_ that book.  That book became soft, fat, ratty, and filthy with use.  It became our new backbone for non-supers games.  Yes; it was just Champions, which we were doing anyway, but there was so much "normal guy" stuff in there that it just about _lived_ on the table.

 

But I digress, which I really was trying to make a point of not doing.

 

 

One day it hit me that the internet might have one of those "chat room things" where other gamers hung out.  I might be able to meet other hero gamers (they had gotten thin in my area at that time, and I had been getting my fix at a D&D table rented at the game store.  All the other tables were filled with Magic: the Marketing games.  I learned that I don't care for CCGs by trying to learn a little bit.  The game store owner, of course, loved them: they were paying his rent.

 

At any rate, I had heard all the dangers or the internet, and how many freaks and weirdoes were out there.  Well surely that included _my_ kind of freaks and weirdoes, and against my budget, my "good judgement" based on popular opinion of the day, and the protestations of my wife about how we would catch a computer virus that burn the house down, I popped in one of those AOL disks and started looking for other players.

 

Two weeks later I found contact information for four of them.  The only thing eventful to come from that was that I "met" Derrick Hiemforth (apologies for any misspellings there) right after hatching a plan to collect favorite house rules from other players, bundle them, and exchange them.  You see, I _really_ had no idea how the internet worked.  I thought that was something that would be useful!  :lol:    Derrick, ascertaining that I was completely out of touch with the internet, mentioned to me there was no reason for this project to continue, as there were a million sites where people put up and shared their house rules already, and he pointed me to the Circle of Heroes and the old Red October board. 

 

And all this time, every published book I had owned could be counted on one hand, and two of them I had never finished reading.

 

There began to circulate news that a guy who had written stuff for HERO "way back when" had bought the copyright and was looking to put forth a new edition.  That news led me to this board-- well, a much older version of it, but this board, nonetheless.

 

I discovered eBay while looking around for book finders, which were still a thing then, but well on their way out.  I had learned of all kinds of books like Western HERO from the internet, and I wanted to read them all!  (unfortunately, i had started with the best one, so it was a bit of a disappointment when I finally did manage to secure Cyber HERO and Horror HERO.  (I ended up getting them from a book finder service; i got burned the very first time I tried eBay, which did little to change my mind about the horrors of the internet.  I trusted no one without a physical address and a phone number.  Still have problems with that, but I'm getting better).

 

In the meanwhile, I had located more HERO players, and lost interest in the internet: I had done what I needed to do with it, after all.  They were playing Fantasy, using this gorgeous book called "Fantasy HERO," but it looked _nothing_ like mine.  They had that one, too, mind you, but they also a book very much like Western HERO, only for Fantasy.  They also had Fantasy HERO Companion II, which I _did_ read, simply because Western HERO had been great, and Fantasy HERO had a lot of interesting "new" stuff in it.  FHC II was, in my opinion at the time, useless.  No more than the GM looked at it, I don't think he had a great opinion of it, either.  I don't know what to call the first Fantasy HERO-- I am told it was 3e rules, but that was the only rules book they had on the table.  I didn't care, because it was pretty much the system I loved.

 

After playing with them for about a year, I ended up back in the GM seat and ran fantasy for a bit before tempting them with other genres.  This was where my Western occult game went down.  It started out as Western, but it was clear that the players were missing the magic and mystery they got from fantasy, so I worked it in, with a few angles and twists not common to Fantasy.  It was almost Voodoo.  They loved it, and that game went on for nearly four years.  This was the point at which I decided I really wanted to pen a supplement to Western HERO, and bought a couple of sourcebooks from the clearance rack at the game store to use as guides for how to format, how to layout, and most importantly for me: how to _edit_ so that the extraneous did not fill the body of the work. :lol:  One of the books in the bin was "Old West," and I took that as a shoe-in, since it would likely have a reference list to get me started on my own research.  I read Old West (GURPS 3e) and decided I couldn't do better than that if I _prayed_ for talent.  I kept that book.  Still have it.  Recently picked up a second copy for PDF-ing purposes.

 

During that time, some interesting things happened:

 

Near the end of that game, 5e came out.  At the mid-point of that game, the father of my first Champions GM had died.  Between these two events, his mother had a fatal stroke.  He came back to Georgia to settle family affairs, and I helped him clean out the house and donate what was worthy of donation and to discard what wasn't.   There were two bedrooms _filled_ with his old comic book collection.  He took it to the local comic store and simply gave it to them.  He took his gaming stuff (which was _far_ more substantial a collection than I had remembered) to the game store a few towns away (our favorite one) and simply gave them all of that.  He gave me his HERO-related stuff.  I protested that he should keep it, and he simply said "Duke, I haven't looked at it in twenty years.  My kids are into video games and dont care about gaming and my brother thinks he outgrew it.  And mostly, I don't want a damned thing from out of that house.  I just couldn't look at it."

 

There was....   well, I hate to say it, but there was pretty much _everything_ from first edition all the way through third, except for the first edition box set of rules, which he had taken to Nevada with him when he finally found a post-college job.  I looked through it.  I kept the two versions of 3e, because they were Champions.  There was the glue bound book and there were the contents of the boxed set (no box, no dice, but yet another map).  I never read them, either.  Partly because I didn't like the covers (nothing against the art itself: I make no secret that I really enjoy William's particular style), but there was something in the composition of that picture that was off-putting.  That freaky add on the back cover just made it worse.  I thumbed through them, saw the layout, and for some reason thought "Oh; it's a re-packaged Champions III.  I don't need that."  (the bound "campaign book" struck me as evidence that I had been right, and Champions II and II were simply more published adventures and the rules on how to make cars, which we didn't need, either).

 

I mean never read them.  As in to this moment: 2:41 AM eastern, February 17, 2019, I have never read them.  Closest I've been to reading them is thumbing through them.  I have laid the map out with the three other maps from my various 2e sets bought over the years to create a large map, but that's not really reading the books, is it?

 

I bought 5e and Sidekick (liked Sidekick better) and based on the recommendations of many people on the internet had my 5e bullet-stopper spiral bound.  I have regretted very few things more than I regretted that.  I've promised myself not to do that to anything, ever again.  I would _like_ to replace it with another bound copy, but it's a really low priority.

 

As I was saying, I was going through Jim's old books and noticed that everything that wasn't the 3e rules books were either Villains books or published adventures.  I had no want of any of them, and never bothered reading them.  I spent the next few months giving them away to players or trading them for other 4e genre books.

 

I bought Tuala Morn because I liked the lettering on the cover.  Fortunately, I enjoyed the contents.  That was the first 5e book I bought outside the rule book.

 

I began to wonder if it was possible for me to scan my 2e book, which was succumbing to abuse the way the first two had.  I didn't want to pull it apart in case the project failed, so I offered up Champs III for the experiment.  Besides, it could stand some repair: years and years of being slid off the shelf by the gaming table to be used as a coaster were taking their toll on the cover.

 

I won't say that the project was a staggering success, but it was successful enough for me to keep going.  I also have three "brand new" Champions III books with wrongly-repair cover art and spots of noise here and there (there are three because of some confusion on the part of the printer).  They are also printed on the wrong paper: they're on glossy magazine-type paper. :lol:

 

I began a serious campaign to collect up the 4e books.  I _like_ 4e.  My old GM set the precedent for me, and I didn't even realize it: he never used those books he had, but he collected them for some personal reason anyway.  I don't know why, exactly, unless it was the same issue I had been expecting: after a few games, your setting and the published setting don't mesh anymore.  And why use someone else's villains when making them was so much fun?

 

Recently-- very recently, in fact: mid-July of last year, I found myself with a slightly expanded budget (at the cost of considerably less free time).  That is when I sat down in earnest to collect (and in the case of what my GM had given me, "re-collect") the books I don't have.  Even then, it's not so i can read them.  It's simply so I can make sure that they are somehow preserved for everyone, for any future HERO fans who might just want "catch 'em all."

 

Did I have to tell you _all_ this?  

 

No.  But I tell it to you and to anyone else who might still be paying attention so that you will know where I have been coming from on all those occasions I stated clearly that i never picked up published material, always viewing it as "too little, too late" or "out of touch with my own games."  And mostly, so will know where I am coming from when I state, yet again, and with complete honesty:

 

NO!  

 

No, I did _NOT_ see those examples of bizarrely-inflated characteristics.

_NO_; I did not have access to published material in any useful form.

_YES_, it is entirely possible to play, enjoy, and downright _love_ the game without having to buy every single scrap of paper related to it.

_NO_, those published characters clearly aren't necessary.

_NO_, you don't even need "examples" of how to build a character to get a game going, just rules on how to do it.

_NO_, there is absolutely no need to use the work of a complete stranger as some kind of benchmark for your builds.

_YES_, even officially-liscenced, written-by-brand-name-guy-X, published-by-the-guys-who-made-the-rules supplemental material _is_  _supplemental_, and totally unnecessary in every way, shape and form to the playing of them game--

 

 

and I don't even know what else.  Those are the high spots:

 

No; never saw that crap.

No; never needed that crap.

No; never wanted that crap, until very recently, and even then only as a source for creating a digital archive of those things for which there are not already available PDFs.  The only things I want are 4 and 5e genre books (because, while I didn't like Dark Champions, I _do_ like Steve's setting books.  The man has wicked crazy research skills) and any stand-alone games from 5 and 6.  I think I have all three from 6 (there are only 3, right?) and Basic, which I got because-- hey, one thin book.  Last week I got my revised Sidekick- because, again: one thin book with all the rules you need. And it looks nice next to my Sidekick.

 

 

Quote

 

Do you see players with a 45 STR and 1d6 HKA, or a 15 STR with a 3d6 HKA?  I don't recall seeing those builds.

 

1) _YES_, every time I sit down to play.  

2) You have my sympathy.

 

Quote

 

Do you see players buy up REC, END and STUN instead of more CON?  A lot of STR, CON, INT or PRE scores ending in 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 or 9?  Again, I did not see that from 1e to 5e. 

 

Again, YES!  Buying up figureds because it was appropriate to what was in the player's mind when he made the character, or my mind when I made the NPC.  

 

Did you even read any of the conversations I thought we'd had in the past on this and similar subjects?  Or have I just been having extensive non-versations with myself while answering your questions?  We have had this _exact_ bit of information exchanged between us, and on more than one occasion.

 

 

 

 

 

You know what's funny?

 

You do things like your teachers.  I was taught "get an idea, then make the sheet match that idea!"  It was fresh and it was _so_ exciting, particularly coming from my previous gaming experience, _all_ of which was "roll these dice and that's your guy."  Worse, Traveller (which I still love, for the record):  Uhm....  my guy died.  I haven't even played him yet.  Why can he die before he gets played?!  "Well, that's to add a gamble to keep you from going to crazy trying to gain another couple of skills or mustering out bennies.  Makes you not want to be as old when you start adventuring, too!  It's a _great_ idea!"  But he's dead!  I've been working on him for twenty minutes, and now I have to start over because the rules include spontaneous abortion?!  What the Hell, Man?!

 

So I played the game the way I was taught.  And when I taught other people how to play, guess how I taught them?  The way I was taught.  Guess how they play?

 

And it's not a unique thing: I've joined into groups as a player that play very much the same way: concept-first.

 

 

 

Quote

 

That's not to say I played with a wide variety of different players, but I would have expected some published examples of these kinds of build, especially if they was common in the player base.  Rather, I think players took their cues from the published characters, which were typically fairly point-efficient.

 

 

And conversations like this lead me to wonder just how much their creativity or desired conceptions were hampered by the extra money they could afford to spend.

 

As to the points-efficiency of published characters: I don't doubt it.  Of late, I have seen it, now that, at 58, I can _finally_ afford to pick up some of that stuff from the past.  Partly due to a slight rise in budget, and mostly due to  a considerable drop in cover price. :lol:

 

But it's just like this board:

 

The people that are that deeply involved in a hobby are going to exchange lots of information, and eventually get really damned judgmental about what's the "right" way to have fun.  There are people that will simply kowtow and start doing things your way.  But there are a few people who will tell you that I've got plenty of milk, and don't need you pissing in my corn flakes; thanks all the same.

 

 

 

Edited by Duke Bushido
glaring typos. Expect I missed a few, but those were awful

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I’ll say this in all seriousness. I’ve built characters to concept with say 17 STR. I’ve built them so underwhelming that during the game the GM granted some boosted characteristics in game. And I’m glad he did! There’s concept and then there’s builds so horrible compared to the rest of the party that you feel that you’re just taking up space. Side note (I think it was DC) I had a guy named Shotgun and for some reason his gun was weak couldn’t hurt the muntant monsters BUT the x2 KB came in handy and saved our butts. I’m not a Power gamer where I have to dominate everthing. A memeroable scene was my Ninja had to make a deal with Brick (yes that one) cause I couldn’t hurt him at all.  However I agree with Hugh that players want to be effective to be enjoyable-for the most part. I know some one on this board will say “ I like playing useless man cause it’s in concept”.

 

i should post some of my builds cause they are typically suboptimal and yes I chose other odd number characteristics value precisely because I saw too many 3’s and 8’s in published material.

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Thanks, Shrike.

 

And thank you, too, NB.

 

The whole thing here----

 

AhrghhH!   I don't have a word for it.

 

Let's call it "Scale," big 'S', for the purpose of this one post.  If someone has a better word, we'll use that.  in this case, Scale shall mean that difference between the extremes of two different groups: the difference between two highest points of points-effectiveness and the difference between the two lowest points of points-effectiveness.

 

You mention you're ineffective character, Shotgun.  He was built to the concept you held, but was powerless against the enemies and other PCs, who were more points-effective.  (I am making the assumption that you were all built on more-or-less the same totals).

 

The typical suggestions for such situations is "you should make your character more points-effective."

 

We have had discussions in the past of players classified as Munchkins: players who manage to twist and wring points-effectiveness into shocking levels (or at least, who _try_ to do this) and create characters who look like seizure-prone amputee berserker gods next do more traditional points-effective characters (owing, of course, to the combination of their AP and their massive Disadvantage / Complication totals).

 

The typical suggestions in this case are either "veto the character" or "banish the player" or "work with the player more closely and help him see how the rest of the group plays the game and builds their characters.  If he still wants to play, let him try again."

 

 

None of these things, in either situation, are bad advice.  (Well, I'm not keen on "banish the player," but there are cases where one guy just isn't going to work out. :(  )

 

 

In the two situations, though, the advice is opposite.

 

The difference seems to be triggered by the Scale involved: not as points-effective as a perceived "right way" to build a character?  Become more so.

Points-effective beyond a perceived "right-way" to build a character?  Crank him back a bit.

 

In the examples I gave, there is of course another rationale for the advice: each example is different from the rest of the group.  "Get in line" is equally-valid justification for this same advice, perhaps moreso, given that the rest of the group has a definite range or style of play and one player has hit an extreme.

 

 

The stories of "I played with this one group, and they were all power-gaming monsters!" that garner clucks of sympathy and support and shared memories of similar situations---

 

These are the exact same stories, from the other guy's point of view, yet they collect entirely opposite reactions!   Very strange.

 

The (much more rare) stories of "I guess we were supposed to make Care Bears or something" and "they didn't even spend half the points we were allowed" have similar results. Also very strange.

 

Why is the advice not "get in line?"  It is often "find a different group," but generally following that is "because these people are [ some form of 'wrong.']" 

 

These things bug me.  It seems the advice given in every situation depends entirely on who the stranger is.   If we know the guy with the extreme character, then the group is wrong.  If we know a guy from the group, then the extremist is wrong.  Unless, of course, the extreme is on the bottom end because it's not points-effective, in which case he is _always_ wrong.

 

 

So (forgive the stream-of-unconsciousness; I've been awake since Thursday morning, and I am going to post this and then attempt to rectify that situation) we have advice in the rules on Scale for "normal", "Heroic," Superheroic" levels of powers, but they are given only as ranges: 

 

These are the number of Gimmie Points and the number of Disadvantage Points upon which a character at this level will be built.

This is the Characteristic Range for characters at this level.

 

That's it.  That's all there is.  There is nothing as far as a right way to use them, or advice for how "points-effective" a character can, should, or _must_ be, and certainly nothing on how "un-those things" he should be.  "Published characters!" is the usual solution, and that's kind of where it all goes to Hell.  The economy is different for everyone.   Not everyone can buy all that extraneous stuff.  Further, not everyone wants it.

 

Most importantly, though: I _know_ there are people on this board who remember the massive outcry against the Harbinger when he was published.  I am willing to be there are people on this board who were _part_ of that "what kind of screaming psycho would torture the rules in this way?!" outcry as well.

 

 

But when the majority of the characters published after that all have similar build schemes---   

suddenly, I am to do that same thing.  That is normal.  That is right.

 

Well I had games in progress.  I'm sure most of you did, too.  We finished those games.  When we started new ones, we had two sets of memories: how much fun we had been having for years doing it the way we always have, and how absolutely disgusted we were when we first saw that atrocity (which nowadays you can't criticize, because someone will chime in with "oh, he wasn't that bad.  I mean, he's in keeping with [some much more recently-published example] or [same church; different pew]."

 

So this once game-breaking character is okay because we broke all the other characters the same way?  Did we change the game so that characters like him can't break it?  Did we break the game so that this sort of character is semi-mandatory?  They are certainly easier to build than ever before, and I am wronger than ever for not caring to play that way.

 

 

The answer is "I don't know."  At least, my answer is.  And it follows up with "there are some changes I like, but there are damned few of them" and some other things that are more esoteric and can't really be put into words.

 

 

So if I were to request a change that I felt would make a seventh edition "perfect," it would be a heck of a lot more discussion of the validity of differing Scale within Power Levels.  Not so much advice, necessarily, but a flat-out statement (because apparently nowadays we need that) that _not_ wanting to violate concept to take advantage of math is _not_ wrong.  Maybe if it gets made a printed rule, it will be given the same high-regard that the much-treasured and never-actually-printed "only points-effective characters are well-built characters" receives.

 

 

 

I'm going to bed.

 

 

This was probably cathartic, but I won't know until I re-read it much, much later. ;)

 

 

 

Duke

 

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Duke what I remeber of that game with Shotgun, the Enemies weren’t necessarily point effiecent, but I was totally inefficient in the sense that I didn’t even pay the tax (as some have coined it) to be  in the league so to speak. I’ve often remarked that point totals are only so useful in assessing how powerful/useful a character is.  The trick is in my mind is not abandoning campaign guidelines. (Hats off to KS since he is able to make it work) but to use them as guidance not a straight jacket. 

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6 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

in regards to published characters:

 

Outside of the Champions rule book (2e), I had _no_ published anything for many years.  I had access to 1e, as it's what my first Champions GM used, and what I first learned to play.

 

 

The few sample characters in the back of Champions 1e set the tone.  DEX was used for CV.  Pretty high DEX out of the gate, with 23 looking like a typical Super. Slow Super = SPD 4, 5 looks typical and 6 was in the realm of possibility.  CON ended in 3 or 8, or occasionally 5 or 10.  Were there CONs ending in other numbers, even in those halcyon days?  1e did not last that long,  but the same published characters were in the 2e you began with, I believe.  We knew Mechanon was not intended as a typical starting character.  We knew Starburst and Crusader were.  What's in between?

 

What we did not have, in 1e, was a "normal human" measure.  We had the base/average NPC, and we had the "trained goon" in the VIPER agent.  When 20 became the breakpoint for "not legendary", that was a change.  But if you read no published materials for many years, I'm not sure why you would be using that benchmark.

 

6 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Again, YES!  Buying up figureds because it was appropriate to what was in the player's mind when he made the character, or my mind when I made the NPC. 

 

I did not ask about buying up some Figured.  I asked specifically about buying up two or all three of REC, END and STUN (beyond simple rounding - we all had to find a use for those last 2 or 3 CP when the character was largely complete - I know I tended to round to COM, but others rounded to END or STUN).

 

2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I’ll say this in all seriousness. I’ve built characters to concept with say 17 STR. I’ve built them so underwhelming that during the game the GM granted some boosted characteristics in game. And I’m glad he did! There’s concept and then there’s builds so horrible compared to the rest of the party that you feel that you’re just taking up space. Side note (I think it was DC) I had a guy named Shotgun and for some reason his gun was weak couldn’t hurt the muntant monsters BUT the x2 KB came in handy and saved our butts. I’m not a Power gamer where I have to dominate everthing. A memeroable scene was my Ninja had to make a deal with Brick (yes that one) cause I couldn’t hurt him at all.  However I agree with Hugh that players want to be effective to be enjoyable-for the most part. I know some one on this board will say “ I like playing useless man cause it’s in concept”.

 

57 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

And I think a very important point is that playing by concept is not edition dependent.  It really comes down to group dynamics more than anything else.

 

I pull two key elements from Ninja-Bear's comments.

 

The first is that "efficient character" is a very relative term.  An efficient character in one gaming group may be a wimp not worthy of carrying the PCs' torch in another, and a munchkin nightmare in a third.  This is especially so in Hero, where there can be so much variance in so many different areas.

 

The second, which seems to be overlooked a lot, is that "Concept" and "Efficiency" are not mutually exclusive.  "Trained Normals" took to high DEX because that was the efficient way to build such a character.  It was there from the very beginning.  Crusader and the 1e Martial Artist both showed that this was the way the authors and game designers would construct a "Trained Normal" with no inkling of superhuman abilities.  When Hero promises you can "build any character you can imagine", I consider that a commitment that you can build any concept and it will be playable - not limp along being ineffectual while the other PCs do all the heavy lifting.

 

"Being effective" is also somewhat relative.  I can think of more than a few characters I have run who would never win combat one on one.  They can't do damage, or at least not much.  But they do set the other characters up to do better damage, more efficiently and more safely.  I enjoy that support role.  Others most certainly do not. 

 

Where I find "playing to concept" goes off the rails is when "I have to have some of each defense to be a valid character" - to take a V&V example, Tiger-Man buying a flamethrower instead of augmenting his Tiger-powers.  Pulling one from online Pathfinder discussion - EVERY Barbarian needs one level of Oracle with the Lame curse so he can be immune to fatigue.  Really?  They all line up for "Oracle Training" to get their legs broken?

 

But I sometimes wonder how many of us would have pointed to young Stan Lee, bringing in his character whose "Spider-Powers" include Danger Sense, and who had to shave some points off his character's Entangle by putting them in a Focus.  Of course, we would not have criticized such a build in Champions 1e, because Stan's point whoring munchkin character had a decade or two of publication history behind him by then.

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