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Cool_Manchu

Buying Down OMCV to Zero

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First: Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. I did several searches on the forum and in Google to no avail...

 

My question: If you are a non-mental character, is there a reason you wouldn't buy down your OMCV to 0 saving 9 points? If you can buy down other characteristics, why not OMCV?

 

Thanks in advance for your well thought-out responses!

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First, because the minimum is 1.  Second, to me, because saving 6 points means there should be some drawback which crops up over the course of the campaign*, and because you should be able to explain why your character is deficient in this regard compared to normal people.

 

* I am thinking of an "Enter the Astral Plane" power - where either OMCV and DMCV replace OCV and DCV entirely, or they add to their counterparts for non-mental attacks.  That seems like it could be cool.

 

Really, I think it would have been better to have both mCVs base at 0 as most people have no skill at mental combat.  Yes, this would be an issue for attacks that use mCVs, but it would eliminate this issue.

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10 minutes ago, Cool_Manchu said:

First: Apologies if this topic has already been discussed. I did several searches on the forum and in Google to no avail...

 

My question: If you are a non-mental character, is there a reason you wouldn't buy down your OMCV to 0 saving 9 points? If you can buy down other characteristics, why not OMCV?

 

Thanks in advance for your well thought-out responses!

 

I've been buying it down and allowing it to be bought down.  I think it is really a GM call in terms of if it's allowed.

 

When something is below average (3 in this case) it generally means the character is impaired in some way...most people are simply using it as a point grab not because of some character driven reason.

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I don't allow buying that attribute below it's base value because there is literally no down side to doing so.  Unlike say STR or DEX where you very frequently need those stats to do things in a Fantasy environment.

 

Always feels like a cheap character point grab.

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According to the Champions Complete book, pg 11, "Selling Back Game Elements," it states, "Characters can sell back Characteristics to a minimum of 1. Running/Leaping/Swimming can be sold back to 0m if the character lacks that movement ability entirely. If an Everyman Skill is sold back, the 1 CP gained must be “paid back” before that Skill can be purchased later.

 
This implies that you can in fact buy down OMCV to 1, saving six CPs. How the GM can make someone "pay" for this is to put them in an Astral Environment or the like, where the rule of the realm is that all powers are based on OMCV for your "to hit" rolls.
 
I too "feel like it is cheating." However, if you look at the suggestion from Hugh above regarding the Astral Plane (or any other that the GM chooses) where all offensive powers suddenly become dependent on OMCV. Given you can only accrue six CPs from this, it doesn't seem game breaking in any way to me as it can be effectively countered if so desired. Especially considering the total benefit gives a character 1.5% more points to work with, if you are in a 400pt campaign. 
 
I do feel that it is up to individual GMs to make the call, but I love the thoughts and input from the Hero community on these things. 

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As others have said I tend to not buy down unless the character's backstory or design would create a reason to.  OMCV is a really odd stat to include in a story as to why it is lower than normal, if I was GMing a game and a player came to me to ask this I would probably make them buy a mental power that would be affected by this buy down.  They would likely buy that power at bare min level, though that would also make sense since they will likely never use the power let alone hit with it if they do try to use it.

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I would say that if a character doesn't have any offensive Mental Powers, then they don't have any OMCV to sell back.  (Any character who attempts to scrabble around for a 1 real-point offensive Mental Power that they're never going to use, just so they can score back a net 5 points on sold-back OMCV, needs to go a couple of rounds with the Character Approver 9000.)

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1 hour ago, Toxxus said:

I don't allow buying that attribute below it's base value because there is literally no down side to doing so.  Unlike say STR or DEX where you very frequently need those stats to do things in a Fantasy environment.

 

Always feels like a cheap character point grab.

Sure there's a downside to doing it -- if you pick up some object that requires decent OMCV to properly target it, the character can make less effective use of that object than others.

Now if you don't put such objects in your game, that's your call, but a lack of objects doesn't equate to a lack of downside associated with a potential use of such objects, if obtained.  (i.e. There is still a downside -- you've just elected not to leverage it … and that's on you, not the characters, IMHO.)

Now, that issue aside -- I personally feel like OMCV and DMCV defaulting to 3 was a holdover from 5ER and earlier days … and that both really should have defaulted to 1. I also feel like defaulting both to 1 is a better/cleaner house rule when compared to 'No you can't do that because I just don't happen to like it and I'm too lazy a GM to make the buydown matter in my game.'

 

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To me OMCV and DMCV defaulting to 3 is a balance issue not really a carry over from older editions, and it is really focused on DMCV throwing off the balance.  Sure it would cost a bit more for a mentalist to get a higher OMCV but the power they would get for that since the average DMCV being 1 makes them way more powerful since it would be hard for them to miss.

 

Thinking on it a bit more and what traits would lead into MCVs I would say a a normal person that is a bit more scattered brain might have a lower OMCV (Harder to focus on a single task or attack), where someone that  is normally focus would have a higher OMCV.  DMCV wise would be more based on how quickly they can move from one thought to the next, sort of like mental agility.

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33 minutes ago, KX_Mushashi said:

To me OMCV and DMCV defaulting to 3 is a balance issue not really a carry over from older editions, and it is really focused on DMCV throwing off the balance.  Sure it would cost a bit more for a mentalist to get a higher OMCV but the power they would get for that since the average DMCV being 1 makes them way more powerful since it would be hard for them to miss.

 

Thinking on it a bit more and what traits would lead into MCVs I would say a a normal person that is a bit more scattered brain might have a lower OMCV (Harder to focus on a single task or attack), where someone that  is normally focus would have a higher OMCV.  DMCV wise would be more based on how quickly they can move from one thought to the next, sort of like mental agility.

If everyone's OMCV and DMCV default to 1, how is there a balance issue, exactly … especially if the GM is putting genre-appropriate caps in place for OCV, DCV, OMCV, and DMCV?

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If other rules are changing then there might not be an issue, I was assuming no other rules are changing in my statement, it also depends on how common raising DMCV is though as well.  If it isn't common in the setting to raise your DMCV above the min than you only need need to add 6 in either case to get to the "You only fail by rolling and 18" assuming no additional adders on either side, though I assume in that type of setting raising your non CV values is more common so the metal powers route would be a lot stronger compared to physical powers.  Though again that is something that could be offset by the GM and the setting making metal powers much rarer.

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1 hour ago, Surrealone said:

I personally feel like OMCV and DMCV defaulting to 3 was a holdover from 5ER and earlier days … and that both really should have defaulted to 1. 

 

I basically agree with this, except I go literally "1" further...OCV / DCV / OMCV / and DMCV should all have defaulted to 0 in 6e.

 

The 11- attack roll is balanced unto itself. If the O and D values are the same value by default, there is no mathematical difference between ((11 + x) -x)- and just 11-.

 

There was no intrinsic reason for the values to be pegged at 3 other than past practice.

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I allow OMCV to be sold back down to 0 (not 1). It's a useless stat for most characters, and there is no reason for them to have any value in it at all unless I as the GM employ some contrivance. 

 

I sell it back on NPC's as well. "Cheesy" or "not cheesy" is irrelevant within the same campaign setting where it is a ubiquitous practice.

 

I could just as easily craft a custom Hero Designer (HD) template and reduce it to 0 by default, but its not worth the extra step unto itself; if I were doing something else like adding MD as a default characteristic (which I think it should have been), or making DEX cost 1 (which I think it should) and add a new figured for "Initiative" to split out the go-first function of DEX, then I would bother with the custom HD template as there would be enough reasons to do so.

 

There was a thread on this subject years ago. One of the things I suggested at the time was adding some default mental combat maneuvers, which would include a Mental Block which any character could attempt, thus engaging in a OMCV vs OMCV roll off to "block" a mental attack and thus allowing a non-mentalist character to get some utility out of their OMCV stat. In a psi / mentalist heavy campaign setting I would likely go that route. But for typical campaigns OMCV is a vestigial element for the large majority of characters, and I see no harm in allowing the equivalent of an appendectomy.

 

In campaigns without Mental powers, I'd obviously just drop both O and D MCV entirely. 

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11 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

I basically agree with this, except I go literally "1" further...OCV / DCV / OMCV / and DMCV should all have defaulted to 0 in 6e.

 

The 11- attack roll is balanced unto itself. If the O and D values are the same value by default, there is no mathematical difference between ((11 + x) -x)- and just 11-.

 

There was no intrinsic reason for the values to be pegged at 3 other than past practice.

 

Under ordinary circumstances, there's no mathematical difference.  Except that we have conditions, maneuvers, Powers, and so on, that put a target at reduced (half or zero) OCV or DCV.  The point of starting the CV's at 3 was for sure to keep them in line with historical values, partly for ease in converting, partly because most of us have some kind of a feel for an OCV of 3 or a DCV of 7, and partly because starting them at 0 would have messed with the game mechanics that reduce them.  

 

Incidentally, I've long thought that CV's ought to have remained tied to their original parent stats; they weren't Figured Characteristics as much as they were equivalent to Characteristic Rolls.  Decoupling those has never really sat right with me.  

 

4 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

In campaigns without Mental powers, I'd obviously just drop both O and D MCV entirely. 

 

This I agree with, 100%.  

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38 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

I basically agree with this, except I go literally "1" further...OCV / DCV / OMCV / and DMCV should all have defaulted to 0 in 6e.

 

The 11- attack roll is balanced unto itself. If the O and D values are the same value by default, there is no mathematical difference between ((11 + x) -x)- and just 11-.

 

There was no intrinsic reason for the values to be pegged at 3 other than past practice.

I always have looked at it as the starting values are the average stats you see on most normal people in the world.  With everyman skills it is possible that the average Bob Smith/Jane West do cost close to 0 character points making it slightly quicker to tell how your character lines up compared to the average in the world.  That said I wouldn't mind if all attributes started a 1 or 0 and we just got a few more points to spend, though that would through off the nice round numbers we have for suggested starting character point values.

 

Addendum:  The way I have always handed not having OMCV and DMCV in anything I run is in Hero Designer I say the Min and the Max is 3, you can't sell back a stat that doesn't exist in the game world back for more points, and on hand written sheets (or some other non-Hero Designer electronic file) the stats just are not on the sheet to start with.

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I am in the "drop it to zero if you want" camp.  I will say that I totally understand those folks who disagree with doing this, whatever the reasons are. 

 

What I would like some enlightenment on (because I really don't understand it) is the opinion voiced above that the character should somehow be made to suffer for this.   How is a player selling off say 6 points of OMCV (so he now has a 1) more of a hindrance than if everyone but him bought another two levels and he stayed at 3?

 

Yes; it's much harder for him to hit with a mental power (which he likely doesn't have anyway), but is that not also true if he stayed at 3 while everyone else went to 5?

 

I suppose I am having a difficult time rationalizing that we don't add penalties to characters who sell off some STR, or CON, or STUN, or DEX or anything else, because there are default problems associated with these reductions. However, there are default problems with reducing OMCV as well.   The fact that they may never come up for a given character in a given campaign doesn't make it cheesy, at least not anymore that the guy with the strength 5 is cheesy because he didn't buy enough STR to lift a bus.  And just like reducing OMCV (or anything else, for that matter), the player doesn't expect to be put in a situation where he would _have_ to lift a bus, either.  Further, I expect that few GMs would alter the campaign in such a way as to make this character regret not being able to lift a bus.  That being the case, why does reducing OMCV somehow "require" such a penalty? 

 

I'm with a lot of other folks who really think that it should have defaulted a zero anyway.  Though I confess to being intrigued by Shrike's idea of mental combat maneuvers...... 

 

How do we determine STR for mental attacks?  EGO seems traditional.  Maybe we need a special set of Mental Damage characteristics, too: mental STUN, mental BODY..... 

 

 

Great.  Now I'm thinking again.  I've got things to do besides think, you know....  :lol:

 

 

 

 

Duke

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Under ordinary circumstances, there's no mathematical difference.  Except that we have conditions, maneuvers, Powers, and so on, that put a target at reduced (half or zero) OCV or DCV.  The point of starting the CV's at 3 was for sure to keep them in line with historical values, partly for ease in converting, partly because most of us have some kind of a feel for an OCV of 3 or a DCV of 7, and partly because starting them at 0 would have messed with the game mechanics that reduce them.  


Practically speaking the difference between 1 and 3 is minor in terms of maneuvers though.  half of 3 is 2, half of 1 is.. still 1.

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For that matter, we could start OCV (and OMCV) at 11 (or, 11 + whatever the base value is), treating that as our default attack roll.  "Reduce your OCV by your opponent's DCV, then roll that number or less on 3d6" reduces the math involved.  Edit to add:  Action! System (a "grandchild" of Hero via Fuzion) gives characters a Defensive Target Number stat, which (in a roll high system) is equal to 10 + their DEX.  Attackers have to roll that value or higher on 3d6, adding their offensive bonus (whatever stat provides that).

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1 hour ago, massey said:

Also recall that a hex at range has DCV 3.  Hence part of the reason why the base DCV for a normal person is not a 0.

 

True enough. 

 

But was that DCV assigned to a hex because 3 was considered default for a normal person? 

 

If we change base "normal person" to a 0, we can make that same change to a hex for targeting purposes. 

 

(mind you, I'm not saying a hex is 3 because a base character was a 3; I am asking if anyone knows of a specific reason) 

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