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So, I was looking at combat levels and I learned something new.  Levels with ranged attacks do not add to your DCV against HtH attacks and vice versa:

 

Characters can use one CSL costing 3 or more Character Points as a +1 DCV against the same types of attacks (HTH or Ranged) for which the CSL could increase OCV. For example, a CSL with swordfighting could increase DCV in HTH Combat (against any type of HTH attack), but not in Ranged Combat.

 

I say I learned something new, I have no idea when that rule came in or if I have always been doing it wrong (it was certainly in FRED, but I don’t know about before that), but, basically, the way we play, a level on DCV increases your DCV, not just against some attacks.  It is perfectly possible that I did read it before and ignored it.

 

Let’s go with this though, and see where it takes us.

 

So I have a level with HtH combat, an 8 point level, and I decide to Dodge.  Dodge is effective against all attacks, but does my skill level improve my Dodge against Ranged attacks?  It would seem that it would not, because it only applies to DCV against HtH attacks.

 

I have a Multipower which contains (amongst other things) a HKA and a RKA.  I have a level with the multipower for 5 points.  Now according to the rules that level could increase my OCV with a HtH or Ranged attack, so can it increase my DCV with a HtH or Ranged attack?  That would seem to give added utility depending on how you define what your skill level applies to and I am not in favour of that sort of thing, and make a 5 point level potentially more useful than an 8 point level. 

 

Moreover, if I do allocate the level to DCV does it then work against both HtH and Ranged (because I could increase the OCV of either) or just one, depending, presumably, on which slot I allocate the Level to.  Would it make any difference if the HKA and RKA were not in a framework or if I were Multiattacking (with GM permission) using both the RKA and HKA?

 

The other effect this rule has is that it makes bookkeeping in combat a little more complex because you can have different DCVs against different attacks.  This feels like a win for ranged attacks simply because a lot of melee characters will want to pile on the DCV to avoid being hit while closing with their target, and this makes it rather more expensive to do so.

 

Thoughts?

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7 minutes ago, Sean Waters said:

Would it make any difference if the HKA and RKA were not in a framework or if I were Multiattacking (with GM permission) using both the RKA and HKA?
 

 

Yes, it would make a difference. Because if they're not in a framework, it's harder to explain how you have a 5 pt level that applies to both.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

On the level with a palindromedary

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Only getting at this game with 6E, I always asumed CSL are based on the cost of OCV and DCV. They are basically limited CV in a small power framework.

 

From that point of view it never made sense for a 3 point thing (3-point CSL) to give you the same benefit as a 5 point thing (1 point of DCV). There has to be some tradeoff of the reduced price. That is one of the core rules of Hero.

And depending how you look at it, a 10 point CSL (wich all others might be priced from) is already more pwoerfull as buying 2 CV.

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I love skill levels.  It's one of the big differentiators between D&D and Fantasy Hero.

 

At 20th level the D&D fighter is just as easy to hit as he was at level 1.  He'll shrug off a dozen sword hits like they're nothing, but he'll get hit - a lot.

 

A very high end Fantasy Hero character could have 6+ levels and much higher base OCV/DCV.  Unless he's caught unawares he'll pick off every attack of the junior fighter.  This works for me.

 

I've dabbled extensively in martial arts over the years (even ended up in the August 1997 Black belt Magazine - Which I found out about in 2017 - thanks Google!) and this is what it feels like when you're fighting someone who's very, very good.  They don't have god-like damage resistance.  It's just that they can hit you whenever they want and you can't hit them back - at all.

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4 hours ago, Sean Waters said:

So, I was looking at combat levels and I learned something new.  Levels with ranged attacks do not add to your DCV against HtH attacks and vice versa:

 

Characters can use one CSL costing 3 or more Character Points as a +1 DCV against the same types of attacks (HTH or Ranged) for which the CSL could increase OCV. For example, a CSL with swordfighting could increase DCV in HTH Combat (against any type of HTH attack), but not in Ranged Combat.

 

I say I learned something new, I have no idea when that rule came in or if I have always been doing it wrong (it was certainly in FRED, but I don’t know about before that), but, basically, the way we play, a level on DCV increases your DCV, not just against some attacks.  It is perfectly possible that I did read it before and ignored it.

 

Let’s go with this though, and see where it takes us.

 

So I have a level with HtH combat, an 8 point level, and I decide to Dodge.  Dodge is effective against all attacks, but does my skill level improve my Dodge against Ranged attacks?  It would seem that it would not, because it only applies to DCV against HtH attacks.

 

I have a Multipower which contains (amongst other things) a HKA and a RKA.  I have a level with the multipower for 5 points.  Now according to the rules that level could increase my OCV with a HtH or Ranged attack, so can it increase my DCV with a HtH or Ranged attack?  That would seem to give added utility depending on how you define what your skill level applies to and I am not in favour of that sort of thing, and make a 5 point level potentially more useful than an 8 point level. 

 

Moreover, if I do allocate the level to DCV does it then work against both HtH and Ranged (because I could increase the OCV of either) or just one, depending, presumably, on which slot I allocate the Level to.  Would it make any difference if the HKA and RKA were not in a framework or if I were Multiattacking (with GM permission) using both the RKA and HKA?

 

The other effect this rule has is that it makes bookkeeping in combat a little more complex because you can have different DCVs against different attacks.  This feels like a win for ranged attacks simply because a lot of melee characters will want to pile on the DCV to avoid being hit while closing with their target, and this makes it rather more expensive to do so.

 

Thoughts?

 

We had this issue come up in our current modern, action adventure game. One PC was a master swordsman, and it never felt right that his levels with "Sword" suddenly made him harder to hit with a gun. i.e. He had Martial Arts (including Dodge) with Weapon Element "Swords" and basically, his Dodge maneuver when he had his sword out went from +5 DCV to +10 DCV... and that made no sense with ranged attacks. Vs. Hand to Hand you could very easily understand that dodging with a sword whirling about you woul dmake it harder to hit with a punch or other hand to hand attack... but not make it harder to hit if it was someone 20 feet away trying to shoot you. We ended up reinforcing the rule that Levels with HtH don't apply to Ranged combat... but we still allowed Dodge to affect your full DCV... but any levels with Dodge did not apply.


To be honest, if we were being more sticklers, just like you have to buy separate instances of Martial Arts to apply it vs. range and HtH... I think it is more logical that you'd have to buy Dodge twice... Dodge in my HtH martial arts is vs. HtH attacks... Dodge in my Ranged martial arts is vs. ranged attacks. We haven't gone there, but I've considered it.

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19 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

RDUNeil, would that mean Martial Dodge provides +5 DCV, only HTH, or provides +3 DCV against everything, and an extra +2 only in HTH?

 

Most games I have seen do not restrict the DCV gained from skill levels to ranged or HTH.

 

Like I said, I haven't actually done this... we resolved to allow Dodge as a maneuver (normal or martial maneuver) to affect both HtH and Ranged. For game simplicity sake. Based on your question, if forced, I'd say that Basic Dodge would be two maneuvers as well... Dodge (as is, an no cost) is dodging vs. HtH... and Avoid (or whatever), also free but separate and vs. Ranged attacks. As a simulation of combat, the actions you take to make yourself hard to hit by someone close up and swinging at you are VERY VERY DIFFERENT than the actions you take to avoid being hit by projectiles being sent at range. In fact, actions you do to avoid a punch or sword likely make it EASIER to be hit from range and vice versa. 

 

And again, I'm not proposing this, even though it appeals to a certain sense of mine. 

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4 hours ago, Christopher said:

Only getting at this game with 6E, I always asumed CSL are based on the cost of OCV and DCV. They are basically limited CV in a small power framework.

 

From that point of view it never made sense for a 3 point thing (3-point CSL) to give you the same benefit as a 5 point thing (1 point of DCV). There has to be some tradeoff of the reduced price. That is one of the core rules of Hero.

And depending how you look at it, a 10 point CSL (wich all others might be priced from) is already more pwoerfull as buying 2 CV.

 

 

I was going to hold off on a costs discussion until later, but...

 

10 Fighting Multipower, 10-point reserve

2v 1) +2 OCV (10 APs)

2v 2) +2 DCV (10 APs)

1f 3) Blast +1d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½) (7 APs)

1f 4) Hand-To-Hand Attack +1d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½) (7 APs); Hand-To-Hand Attack (-¼)

 

16 Points total

 

That is significantly better than 2 x 8 point levels in almost all cases because the DCV will apply to all attacks and is persistent. 

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6 minutes ago, Sean Waters said:

  

 

I was going to hold off on a costs discussion until later, but...

 

10 Fighting Multipower, 10-point reserve

2v 1) +2 OCV (10 APs)

2v 2) +2 DCV (10 APs)

1f 3) Blast +1d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½) (7 APs)

1f 4) Hand-To-Hand Attack +1d6, Reduced Endurance (0 END; +½) (7 APs); Hand-To-Hand Attack (-¼)

 

16 Points total

 

That is significantly better than 2 x 8 point levels in almost all cases because the DCV will apply to all attacks and is persistent. 

That is pretty much teh writeup I ended up with too. Except it those 2 damage slots were something called "Generic Damage Classes".

Unless you invent a new abstracted construct for it, you need at least 4 different attack power slots.

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49 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

RDUNeil, would that mean Martial Dodge provides +5 DCV, only HTH, or provides +3 DCV against everything, and an extra +2 only in HTH?

 

Most games I have seen do not restrict the DCV gained from skill levels to ranged or HTH.

 

As I said, that is how we have always played it.

 

This picks up on the 'logic' for the restrictions the rules put on levels, or lack thereof.  I quite like the idea of having different DCV against different types of attack, but I'd probably do it differently: if you want to build a laser make it 3d6RKA with 5x2 point levels to up the OCV.  The rules read like a study in failing to avoid SFX thinking: bullets and arrows are fast so Ranged Attacks should be harder to avoid especially if you incorporate the optional rule:

 

As an optional rule, the GM can distinguish between a character’s DCV against HTH attacks and his DCV against Ranged attacks. In this case, a character cannot use a CSL to provide a DCV bonus against Ranged attacks unless the CSL applies to All Combat (a 10-point Level). More over, a character with a CSL that applies specifically to a Ranged attack or class of Ranged attacks can never use the Level to improve his DCV. This optional rule reflects the fact that it’s difficult to dodge a bullet or arrow, regardless of your expertise at shooting bullets or arrows. The GM should always use it when characters buy CSLs with Limitations (an accurate gun doesn’t make its user harder to hit, for instance).

 

Is a thrown rock as hard to dodge as a bullet?  Probably not, but they are both ranged attacks.

 

From a game point of view increasing the hit rate in combat will likely speed things up but also penalises some builds more than others as it drags them to the top of the bell curve: it doesn't matter too much if you are getting hit 85% or the time or 90% of the time but it makes a big difference if you are getting hit 40% of the time or 60% of the time.

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Making levels too restrictive will just send the players scrambling for higher base OCV/DCV.

 

10pt All Combat levels are fairly gross as you're paying double the cost of a permanent CV for the flexibility to move it around.

Do you want a +1 OCV or +1 DCV or would you rather have a permanent +1 to both?

 

The cost structure doesn't work unless your campaign has capped OCV/DCV.

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33 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

Making levels too restrictive will just send the players scrambling for higher base OCV/DCV.

 

I infer that's the expectation in 6e.

 

Quote

10pt All Combat levels are fairly gross as you're paying double the cost of a permanent CV for the flexibility to move it around.

 

And damage boost.

 

Quote

Do you want a +1 OCV or +1 DCV or would you rather have a permanent +1 to both?

 

Yep. 

 

Quote

The cost structure doesn't work unless your campaign has capped OCV/DCV.

 

NCM (6e)

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Reading this thread consolidates why I do not like them.  They have never felt as if they are integrated with the rest of the system.  I think that now OCV and DCV are purchasable elements, the need for skill levels (especially combat skill levels) is almost nil.  They work and feel like an add-on to the system and a source of complexity that I do not think are needed.  I had not appreciated it so much until I saw Sean's multipower but I now think that I will be eliminating them from my games and instead will be using limited CV.

 

Doc

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22 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Reading this thread consolidates why I do not like them.  They have never felt as if they are integrated with the rest of the system.  I think that now OCV and DCV are purchasable elements, the need for skill levels (especially combat skill levels) is almost nil.  They work and feel like an add-on to the system and a source of complexity that I do not think are needed.  I had not appreciated it so much until I saw Sean's multipower but I now think that I will be eliminating them from my games and instead will be using limited CV.

 

Doc

 

Unless I missed something, nothing anyone has said in this thread pertains to anything except Combat Skill Levels. OCV and DCV being purchasable Characteristics may be a reason to rethink the costing or even the necessity for Combat Skill Levels, but I don't see where it impacts other Skill Levels at all.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

+1 to Animal Handling and Riding, Limited: only with palindromedaries

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32 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

Are the new 12 point levels applicable to all combat and all skills?

 

Yes, Overall Levels are applicable to skill and characteristic rolls and are usable as CSL's. 

 

12 +1 Overall (see text) (i.e., +1 with any Skill Roll
or Characteristic Roll). Characters can also use
Overall Levels as Combat Skill Levels.

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3 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Most games I have seen do not restrict the DCV gained from skill levels to ranged or HTH.

This has been my experience, as well.  Most players and GMs agree that it's just too cumbersome.

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48 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Yeah, even the other skill levels are probably simply either buying up the skill, or buying up the relevant characteristic (and limiting that if necessary)...

 

Doc

 

There isn't always a single relevant skill.

 

And then there are cases like this

3 4) +3 with Concealment (6 Active Points); Limited Power Only to hide knives (-1)

 

If I want to have a Skill, and then a bonus that applies only under conditions or is otherwise limited, I don't see an elegant way around using Skill Levels.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary points out that Riding is DEX based and Animal Handler is PRE based and a Skill Level with both seems reasonable......

 

 

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7 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

I hate levels.  ?

 

 

Yeah, me too.  Sort of.

 

I mean, I know most of the 6e fans are delighted about doing away with Figureds-- and I _do_ agree there were costing issues if you opted to raise this or that rather than the associated primary.

 

I just would have preferred adjusting the cost of both the figureds and the Primaries that they draw upon, and re-costing Levels so that they were a better option for raising CVs, groups of Skills, etc.

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On the cost of skill levels in combat, I think we may have it backwards.  If we assume that OCV and DCV are equal in utility and that they are costed at 5 points apiece i.e. that we have it right as Characteristics, then we can use that as a base for calculation for what skill levels should cost.

 

There are substantial differences between OCV and DCV.  For a start, OCV does not care if it is not persistent because, if you are in a position to use a power that can benefit from added OCV, you can always turn it on.  DCV, on the other hand has some issues if it is not persistent – in the same way that other ‘defences’ have issues, so you can get away with the -1/4 limitation for non-persistent on DCV, not so much on OCV.

 

If you buy OCV limited to a few connected attacks, say Punch, Kick, Throw, well, you are probably doing that because you mainly use those attacks: the effect is that the limitation does not actually limit you much in practice.  Even if the OCV is only applicable to a single attack, if that is your main way of dishing damage, the limitation is relatively insignificant – you are still going to be using it the majority of the time.

 

DCV is very different: if DCV only applies to HtH attacks, then you don’t get to use it half the time (in most games).  If it only applies to Punch, Kick, Throw, then it is even more limited.

 

I would suggest that, starting with 5 points for OCV, limiting it to a small group of attacks is, at best, a -1/4 limitation (making the cost 4 points) and even limiting to a single attack is probably worth no more than ½ (making it cost 3 (and a 1/3)) points.

 

DCV, on the other hand is going to get -1/4 for non-persistent and -3/4 (at least) for limiting it to HtH or Ranged attacks: we are starting off at 2 (and a ½) points for a DCV level against HtH (or against Ranged), maybe less.

 

You would struggle to get below 3 (and 1/3) points for OCV.  DCV will almost certainly be a lot less if similarly limited.

 

Skill levels as they stand can switch from OCV to DCV and can be used to boost damage.  Let us use the idea of the MultiPower framework to build this.  Active Point Caps on MP slots will probably artificially boost the cost, so let us consider Real Point Caps instead, to see how that works.

 

The minimum cost of an OCV only CSL for a single attack would be, giving it the benefit of rounding, 3 points.

 

The minimum cost for of a DCV only CSL for a single attack would be 2 points (5/(1+0.25+2), giving the penalty of rounding

 

The minimum cost of a Combat Skill Level would have to be more than the ‘minimum’ cost of a level of OCV.  The next round number up from there is 4, so let us start with that as a base: for 4 points you get a skill level that can be OCV or DCV against a single attack (although you could make them different attacks for the OCV and DCV).

 

In addition, CSLs can add damage.  Let us say that is worth another point (the cost of a slot in a small MP).  That gives us a minimum spend of 5 points for a CSL that can add to OCV or DCV against single attacks and add damage to a single attack.

 

The maximum, using the same sort of system, for unrestricted OCV and DCV plus damage options should start at 5 (unrestricted OCV/DCV), plus two (the equivalent of putting them in a MP), plus one to indicate adding a damage slot.  That gives a maximum CSL cost of 8.

 

So if we use basic, limited OCV and DCV as a base, add a couple of points to swap between them and another point to use 2 levels to add +1DC damage, we get this (DCV is always non-persistent)

 

Limited Group

2          DCV

3          OCV

5          OCV or DCV

6          DCV or OCV or Damage

 

Broad Group

3          DCV

4          OCV

6          OCV or DCV

7          OCV or DCV or Damage

 

All Attacks

4          DCV

5          OCV

7          OCV or DCV

8          OCV or DCV or Damage

 

For Comparison:

7.5       +1DC of 0 END damage (Based on Blast or 5 points based on HtH Attack)

9          +1 OCV and +1 DCV (non-persistent)

 

Even costing it this way, 16 points will get you 2 ‘All Attack’ levels, which can be any two from OCV and DCV OR +1DC damage, whereas just buying them straight, you get +1 OCV and +1 DCV and +1 DC.  The added utility of being able to have an extra point of OCV or DCV is pretty moot – put it in OCV and you hit more often, but you are hit more often yourself and the opponent is hitting harder.

 

Anyway, I’ve talked for quite long enough.

 

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10 hours ago, Lucius said:

 

There isn't always a single relevant skill.

 

And then there are cases like this

3 4) +3 with Concealment (6 Active Points); Limited Power Only to hide knives (-1)

 

If I want to have a Skill, and then a bonus that applies only under conditions or is otherwise limited, I don't see an elegant way around using Skill Levels.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary points out that Riding is DEX based and Animal Handler is PRE based and a Skill Level with both seems reasonable......

 

 

 

This is probably more of an argument for decoupling skills from characteristics than it is an argument for skill levels per se, even if that is what you would effectively end up with if you followed that route.

 

We have decoupled combat prowess from DEX.  There is no particularly good reason we should still use it as a base level of competence for both Acrobatics and Lockpicking.  There is also no reason why being good with animals should automatically mean you are also good with people or vice versa. 

 

OK, you don't have to buy high PRE to be good at people skills, but it is far and away the most efficient way to do it.  It creates a systemic bias.

 

Hmm.  Maybe the skill system needs a complete overhaul.  I need to walk the dogs....

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We're going at this backwards.

 

We should abolish some Characteristics and replace them with Skill Levels.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary reverses direction without turning around

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