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Mental Entangle


Ximenez
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32 minutes ago, Tech said:

The permanent houserule in our campaign is Mental Defense automatically reduces body by 1 for every 10 pts of MD (6 pts of MD rounds up so it's 1 Body reduced).

 

A revision on any monsters DECV and mental spells needs to be reviewed in your campaign. If the Mental Entangle of 2d6 is vs anyone/anything, then enemies need to be prepared for it. However, even in D&D, Hold Person and Hold Monster automatically allow you to save to prevent it from holding. Perhaps the Mental Entangle requires an automatic Ego Roll: if the Ego Roll is made, power has no effect, but if the Ego Roll is failed, then it takes effect. Some D&D monsters are immune to paralyzing spells so maybe ridiculous bonus amounts of Ego (only vs Mental Hold powers) can be added to the monster.

For me the D&D saving throw only exists to fix issues in D&D. Hero does not have those issues.

Please do not try to reinvent the wheel. We already have a fully working car standing right here :)

 

The first counter to problematic powers is to remove them. And that is just game mastering HERO 101:
"You, and your players, need to be ready to make retroactive changes in characters if necessary. Sometimes an ability doesn’t seem unbalancing or overly effective at first blush, but the rigors of play reveal that it’s not something you want in your game. If so, tell the player (in a nonconfrontational way) that the ability simply isn’t working out and that he’ll have to change it.

Stress the need to keep the game as a whole fun for everyone — good, mature gamers will accept this explanation (or at least accede to your request gracefully). For the sake of fairness, make sure the players know in advance that you reserve the right to do this."

6E2 273

 

The second counter is to allow instant, casual STR/EGO to break out like you do agaisnt a grab. This helps generally with a Abusive "miniature" Entangles.

On 2/26/2019 at 1:55 PM, Christopher said:

I often consider Entangle to be a form to "detached Grab". They pretty simialr rules. There is however one diffference:
You get a instant, free Casual STR roll to defend against a Grab (same way you get your DCV). You do not get the same against entangle.

 

Wich is why the APG part mentions the option to allow said instant, casual STR/EGO rolls against entangles as well, should the players abuse it like that :)

 

 

Buffing the effective STR/EGO (by using EGO+Mental Defenses instead) can be added to this.

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2 hours ago, Christopher said:

The first counter to problematic powers is to remove them. And that is just game mastering HERO 101:

 

I feel like I owe them something more nuanced than that as I've been GM'ing Hero since the 80s.

 

I'll have something for a group test-drive by Wednesday night.  I'm thinking either MD adds to damage dice to break free combined with allowing a defensive abort to break out or some variation of a persistent damage shield power that attacks the paralysis as soon as contact is made.

 

My main goal is to leave the ability in play - it's a staple of the genre and fine in most encounters - but moderate (not eliminate) it's usefulness in the epic finale fights.

 

Even in the big fights if it is team vs. team then I can have a mage type working to free someone who is paralyzed.  It is only the iconic team vs. dragon (or other epic monster) fights where it is currently a huge problem.

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6 hours ago, Christopher said:

For me the D&D saving throw only exists to fix issues in D&D. Hero does not have those issues.

Please do not try to reinvent the wheel. We already have a fully working car standing right here :)

 

But you could get a great car like this!

image.png.c0e3fea188915225b8af8bfb188f6b01.png

 

Seriously though, if they want to add that kind of mechanic, why not.  Hero allows people to do their own thing.

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3 hours ago, dsatow said:

 

But you could get a great car like this!

image.png.c0e3fea188915225b8af8bfb188f6b01.png

 

Seriously though, if they want to add that kind of mechanic, why not.  Hero allows people to do their own thing.

There is a lot of room between reinventing the wheel and making a fully designed winged car. And more likely then not, the reinvented wheel will not be round or not roll properly.

 

7 hours ago, Toxxus said:

I feel like I owe them something more nuanced than that as I've been GM'ing Hero since the 80s.

If you do something long enough, sooner or later you will start repeating the mistakes of the first year learner.

 

7 hours ago, Toxxus said:

Even in the big fights if it is team vs. team then I can have a mage type working to free someone who is paralyzed.  It is only the iconic team vs. dragon (or other epic monster) fights where it is currently a huge problem. 

If it is really only the boosses, then re-designing them is a simple solution.

 

Team vsTeam fights are less vulnerable, simply because one entangle can not take out 100% of the opposition.

An entangle is a major interference in the action economy. Especially if there is only one guy able to act.

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19 hours ago, Toxxus said:

 

Great ideas!  Thanks.

 

I want to come up with a mechanic that works for the players as well as the monsters.  It's important to have the mechanics work consistently and fairly for both groups.

Entangled can take a susceptibility. This represents say ropes that can be cut quicker or ice bonds that melt quicker from fire. Also I think they have an example of rope entangles that can escaped (susceptible to Dex Roll/Contortionist). So I would just use that as a template for Mental Entangle “escapes” by EGO roll. 

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3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

A saving throw is kind of a neat concept for certain types of effects, so thowing it out entirely seems unnecessary.  Its a kind of AVAD approach: if they make this roll they take zero damage.

I was going to say, in a sense, using Block is a Saving Throw. 

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1 hour ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I was going to say, in a sense, using Block is a Saving Throw. 

Only in the sense that you make a roll. Any other thing I can think of is different.

Block is a Active Defense Maneuver (the closest D&D equivalent is the Full Defense action) that can be aborted too (D&D has no such concept).

With games like Warhammer Fantasy where you get 1 Block per turn, I could see some closer similarity.

 

But at it's core, the Saving Throw is simply a inverted attack roll.

With normal attacks you roll Attack Bonus + 1D20 vs AC.

With saving throws you roll Saving Throw Bonus + 1D20 vs Spell DC. You roll defense, rather then attack.

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How about redesigning Mental Entangle so it's a Mind Control power. Only one Command - "to be still."

 

This allows Mental Defense to be effective;

and gives Breakout rolls to the character.

 

This latter has the bonus of being active rather than passive, which is good for the player. They get to feel like they are doing something.

 

Downside is of course that the gap between breakout rolls gets longer and longer... This could be bad for the dragon in the OP.

 

Another downside just occurred to me: what state is the target in in-between being hit by the mental entangle and their first breakout roll? Specifically , what DCV does the target have?

 

Look at me, posting a solution and the reasons why it's a bad solution, all in the one post.

 

<Zoidberg voice> Hooray, I'm helping!

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Looks like you've already reversed the suggestion, but a Mind Control model would have the advantage of mental defense working.  AP would have to be pretty high, as I am pretty sure most beings would be violently opposed to just standing there and letting some human ram a sharp metal object through their eyeball.

 

The roll to break the entangle is active rather than passive, isn't it?

 

If the dragon fails the initial breakout roll when he is hit by the Mind Control, it would stand still until its next phase when it gets another roll.  That has the usual negative impact on its DCV.  If it missed the second roll and must wait for the end of the turn, that is bad news for the dragon, and if it misses that and has to wait another five turns...well, poor dragon.

 

I think Mental Paralysis was created because this effect was not well-modeled by Mind Control.  However, making the Mind Control cumulative would mean it doesn't have to paralyze the dragon immediately, which would meet the OP's idea of an effect that takes a few phases to pull off.  There's some merit there.

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On 3/25/2019 at 12:50 AM, drunkonduty said:

How about redesigning Mental Entangle so it's a Mind Control power. Only one Command - "to be still."

 

This allows Mental Defense to be effective;

and gives Breakout rolls to the character.

 

This latter has the bonus of being active rather than passive, which is good for the player. They get to feel like they are doing something.

 

Downside is of course that the gap between breakout rolls gets longer and longer... This could be bad for the dragon in the OP.

You forgot one upside:
The EGO+ result level you need to even get the target to "be still" varries up to Ego +30.

 

A D&D Dragon in defense of it's hoard might be "Violently Opposed" with letting the characters just take stuff. And everyone is "Violently Opposed" to being hurt by default.

And if the Opposition Level should only change upward at any time, I think you get a instant Breakout Roll with the new penalty right there.

That drastically negates the need for Breakout Rolls.

 

On 3/25/2019 at 12:50 AM, drunkonduty said:

Another downside just occurred to me: what state is the target in in-between being hit by the mental entangle and their first breakout roll? Specifically , what DCV does the target have? 

The rules do Cover this:

"In the rare instance when a mentalist issues a command the character would have to perform before his next Phase after being attacked, such as a Mind Control command to “Abort your Phase to Dodge!”, the victim gets his Breakout Roll as soon as the mentalist gives the order. [...]"

"For ease of play, some GMs prefer to let a target character make his Breakout Roll immediately — i.e., as soon as the attacking mentalist successfully uses his power. In that case, the target character
does
not get to make another Breakout Roll in his first available Phase after being attacked — his next Breakout Roll cannot be made until one Turn after his first available Phase after being attacked." 6E1 150

 

On 3/25/2019 at 12:50 AM, drunkonduty said:

Look at me, posting a solution and the reasons why it's a bad solution, all in the one post.

 

<Zoidberg voice> Hooray, I'm helping!

Everything in hero has it's up- and downsides. Especially with the stuff in the Book. :)

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  • 2 years later...

Replying years late, but...something I don't see mentioned in this conversation is that a significant number of player characters, even superheroes, don't have their strength bought up above 10.  Those characters (and the mentalist in question seems likelier than some to have low strength) are all but helpless against a regular entangle, which has even more defense and dice than a Mental Paralysis at the campaign's Active Point limit.  If the Entangle is built with extra PD defense, there's a significant chance many characters will have no ability whatsoever to break out of a normal Entangle under their own power.  Mental Paralysis may not be all that different from regular Entangles, at least against non-melee-oriented  characters.

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1 hour ago, Sailboat said:

a significant number of player characters, even superheroes, don't have their strength bought up above 10.  Those characters (and the mentalist in question seems likelier than some to have low strength) are all but helpless against a regular entangle, which has even more defense and dice than a Mental Paralysis at the campaign's Active Point limit.

 

Getting trapped in an entangle should be a threat.

On the other hand, most GMs allow characters to use their Blasts or Killing Attacks as well as Str to escape entangles, depending on the special effects of the power.  There are several Martial Arts maneuvers designed to help escape entangles.  There is a *much* narrower set of special effect that would allow a power to interact with a mental entangle.

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On 2/23/2019 at 1:40 AM, Ximenez said:

I missed that EGO can be used like STR to break out of a Mental Entangle. I couldn't resist doing the math...a person with 10 EGO, pushing to 20, has a 15.8% chance of escaping a 3d6 Mental Entangle on the first roll. It might be cheating to let someone push repeatedly, but it will get you there. And a 15 EGO pushing to 25 has a 37.8% chance. That doesn't seem quite so unreasonable.

 

I have always allowed PCs and villains to push repeatedly to overcome a Mental Entangle. As I recall, pushing costs 10 END, so as long as the character has END I allow him to push on each of his turns in their attempt to free themselves of the Mental Entangle. 

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The rules do not seem to mention using Haymaker versus Entangles.  It gives players a chance to escape an entangle provided they do not mind losing an extra segment.  Typically a Haymaker add 4D6 damage to a normal attack however the books include other uses of Haymaker 6e2 p 69.  Surprisingly, using it to get out of an entangle (mental or physical) is not mentioned.

 

As I see it, if you can haymaker a mental blast (to get +2D6 effect) then it seems consistent to allow a character to use haymaker to break out of paralysis bought as a BoECV Entangle.  A generous GM might also allow a character to push their Ego while doing a Haymaker.

 

I am curious to hear what others think about this as I wonder if it might unbalance the game.  

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In broader context I'm undecided on whether or not I'd allow Haymaker and Pushing in the same campaign rules. Currently leaning slightly against it and thinking one or the other, but not both. 

 

That being said, which ever option (haymaker or push) I went with I'd certainly allow characters to use it, repeatedly if need be, to boost their EGO and/or Mental attacks.

 

I agree with Jhamin that there are a limited set of special effects that'd interact with the average mental entangle. Pushing EGO would always be an option against BoECV entangles. But I'm not sure if an Ego Blast can disrupt a mental paralysis that's basically mind control to "stay still." Can a character use their own mind control to overcome the hostile mind control? 

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28 minutes ago, foolishvictor said:

The rules do not seem to mention using Haymaker versus Entangles.  It gives players a chance to escape an entangle provided they do not mind losing an extra segment.  Typically a Haymaker add 4D6 damage to a normal attack however the books include other uses of Haymaker 6e2 p 69.  Surprisingly, using it to get out of an entangle (mental or physical) is not mentioned.

 

As I see it, if you can haymaker a mental blast (to get +2D6 effect) then it seems consistent to allow a character to use haymaker to break out of paralysis bought as a BoECV Entangle.  A generous GM might also allow a character to push their Ego while doing a Haymaker.

 

I am curious to hear what others think about this as I wonder if it might unbalance the game.  

 

My answer as an opinion on the rules as written is that I think it's a GM call depending on the SFX involved.

 

If I were the GM, I would generally rule that you could not Haymaker an escape attempt, on the grounds that Haymaker is a maneuver of its own that you don't combine with another (except Strike; 6E2 pg. 69 or CC pg. 150). Although escaping from an Entangle is not specifically a maneuver per se, it feels similar enough that it seems odd to me to Haymaker an escape attempt.  However, you might be able to convince me with a good enough rationale!  :)

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18 hours ago, Derek Hiemforth said:

 

My answer as an opinion on the rules as written is that I think it's a GM call depending on the SFX involved.

 

If I were the GM, I would generally rule that you could not Haymaker an escape attempt, on the grounds that Haymaker is a maneuver of its own that you don't combine with another (except Strike; 6E2 pg. 69 or CC pg. 150). Although escaping from an Entangle is not specifically a maneuver per se, it feels similar enough that it seems odd to me to Haymaker an escape attempt.  However, you might be able to convince me with a good enough rationale!  :)

 

Thank you for your responses Derek and Drunkonduty,

 

I have to admit that this particular situation (trying to use a haymaker to escape an entangle) has never come up in a gaming session but the reason might be that it does not seem to be an obvious combination.  I feel it is context specific.  For example, I would not allow it to be used against hand cuffs but I might allow it to be used against (for example) a glue power after the player character legitimately tries (ie full strength) to escape the glue entangle.  Each haymaker attempt would have to follow a more conventional attempt.  Entangles (an Mental Powers generally) are very weak at low power but can be extremely powerful at higher power levels.

 

I am not fond of the combination of pushing and haymaker in this context simply because it would be so strong.  Again I would not allow something like that to be used against conventional restraints, like handcuffs but I could make an exception in some contexts.

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On 4/2/2021 at 6:44 PM, Derek Hiemforth said:

 

My answer as an opinion on the rules as written is that I think it's a GM call depending on the SFX involved.

 

If I were the GM, I would generally rule that you could not Haymaker an escape attempt, on the grounds that Haymaker is a maneuver of its own that you don't combine with another (except Strike; 6E2 pg. 69 or CC pg. 150). Although escaping from an Entangle is not specifically a maneuver per se, it feels similar enough that it seems odd to me to Haymaker an escape attempt.  However, you might be able to convince me with a good enough rationale!  :)

 

A valid position.  However, if one can gather all of one's mental energy in order to strike harder with a mental blast - or a mental entangle - using a Haymaker, why can't one gather all of one's mental energy in order to break free from a mental entangle, on the same basis one can gather all one's physical might to Haymaker an escape attempt from a physical entangle?  What is the mental escape, if not a mental Strike maneuver against the Entangle?

 

Now, under RAW, a Haymaker cannot be made when the drawbacks of extra time and reduced DCV are not relevant.  It could be argued that, when entangled with 0 DCV, reduced DCV is irrelevant.  But that would suggest Haymaker cannot be used to escape any entangle.  Whether the "situational Haymaker" rule is appropriate or not is a completely separate question, and I suggest one not germane to this discussion, other than "if you can Haymaker to escape a -physical Entangle, why not the same for escaping a mental Entangle?"

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1 hour ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

However, if one can gather all of one's mental energy in order to strike harder with a mental blast - or a mental entangle - using a Haymaker, why can't one gather all of one's mental energy in order to break free from a mental entangle, on the same basis one can gather all one's physical might to Haymaker an escape attempt from a physical entangle?  What is the mental escape, if not a mental Strike maneuver against the Entangle?

 

I wouldn't allow Haymaker against a physical Entangle either.  I don't think an escape attempt is a type of Strike maneuver; I think it's an application of STR (or EGO, in the case of a mental Entangle).  Again, the right SFX might sway me, but in general, in my brain, I think most reasons someone might say they should be able to Haymaker are actually just rationales for why it makes sense for them to Push their STR/EGO.

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22 hours ago, Derek Hiemforth said:

 

I wouldn't allow Haymaker against a physical Entangle either.  I don't think an escape attempt is a type of Strike maneuver; I think it's an application of STR (or EGO, in the case of a mental Entangle).  Again, the right SFX might sway me, but in general, in my brain, I think most reasons someone might say they should be able to Haymaker are actually just rationales for why it makes sense for them to Push their STR/EGO.

 

I disagree. Hero has mechanics for both escaping grabs, and damaging objects. Escaping an Entangle (usually) uses the rules for damaging objects. Therefore, it is an an attack (using the Strike maneuver) and can be Haymakered.

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Hello Derek, 

I don't want to beat this thread to death but I am interested in your take on this.

 

On 4/4/2021 at 10:53 AM, Derek Hiemforth said:

 

I wouldn't allow Haymaker against a physical Entangle either.  I don't think an escape attempt is a type of Strike maneuver; I think it's an application of STR (or EGO, in the case of a mental Entangle).  Again, the right SFX might sway me, but in general, in my brain, I think most reasons someone might say they should be able to Haymaker are actually just rationales for why it makes sense for them to Push their STR/EGO.

 

If Sapphire, (CC page 197) is caught in a 6 Body, 6 Def entangle then she should be able to use her "Power Bolt 1" 12D6 Blast to try to escape, correct?  She would not have to rely on strength (hopefully.)  Champions Complete does not go into detail regarding when a Haymaker can be used.  In contrast 6E2 p68 states that " Although Haymaker applies to any attack..."  which suggests that Sapphire could Haymaker her "Power Bolt 1" to 16D6.

 

That said, one could argue that a Haymaker requires the character setting themselves up to deliver a more effective attack.  To use the example of Sapphire again, if she tries to haymaker her Power Bolt 1 while entangled, the entangle would prevent her from doing so but it would not prevent a regular use of the Power Bolt 1 ability.  It would also not prevent her from pushing her Power Bolt 1 ability to escape the entangle.

 

I think the important aspect to all of this is that the entangle power needs to be effective but balanced.  Your response suggests that using Haymaker as a way of escaping Entangle weakens Entangle powers generally in a way that was not intended.  Is that correct?  

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1 hour ago, foolishvictor said:

If Sapphire, (CC page 197) is caught in a 6 Body, 6 Def entangle then she should be able to use her "Power Bolt 1" 12D6 Blast to try to escape, correct?  She would not have to rely on strength (hopefully.)  Champions Complete does not go into detail regarding when a Haymaker can be used.  In contrast 6E2 p68 states that " Although Haymaker applies to any attack..."  which suggests that Sapphire could Haymaker her "Power Bolt 1" to 16D6.

 

That said, one could argue that a Haymaker requires the character setting themselves up to deliver a more effective attack.  To use the example of Sapphire again, if she tries to haymaker her Power Bolt 1 while entangled, the entangle would prevent her from doing so but it would not prevent a regular use of the Power Bolt 1 ability.  It would also not prevent her from pushing her Power Bolt 1 ability to escape the entangle.

 

I think the important aspect to all of this is that the entangle power needs to be effective but balanced.  Your response suggests that using Haymaker as a way of escaping Entangle weakens Entangle powers generally in a way that was not intended.  Is that correct?  

 

I was less clear than I should have been when I said I wouldn't allow Haymaker against a physical entangle either.  Yes, Sapphire can use her Power Bolt 1, and yes, she can Haymaker it.

 

What I'm saying I wouldn't generally allow (as a GM; other GMs may see it differently) is Haymakering a normal escape attempt, where the entangled character applies their STR (or EGO, in the case of a mental entangle) to try and break the entangle from the inside. If the character's powers and SFX allow them another way to attack, and it seems reasonable to use that attack while entangled (such as your example with Sapphire and her Power Bolt I), then it may very well also be reasonable for them to Haymaker that attack.

 

I'm thinking more of a situation where Arrowhead (CC page 202) hits Green Dragon (CC page 205) with his Glue Arrow Entangle.  Green Dragon can't use his Martial Arts maneuvers to attack the entangle because they require him to move. He might be able to use the Escape maneuver against other SFX of entangles, but it doesn't make any sense for it to work against glue.  Pretty much all Green Dragon can do is use his 25 STR to break free. Against Arrowhead's 4DEF, 4d6 Entangle, he'll probably be able to get out eventually, but it may take a while.

 

This doesn't strike me (pun intended) as a situation where Green Dragon can "Haymaker" exerting his STR.  Any extra effort he might bear down and put into giving it everything he's got sounds more to me like a Push than a Haymaker.

 

Again, though... it's often about SFX.  Change the circumstances slightly, and give me a good rationale, and I might allow it.  :) 

 

 

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