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TranquiloUno

How would you stat a world-class concert pianist an an Olympic gymnast that is a terrible fighter?

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I see these two examples come up a fair bit so I was curious....

 

How would you, as either a player or a GM, stat up a world-class (but not "The World's Best!") concert pianist?

Let's say this is a "Competent Normal" for whatever reason.

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said concert pianist playing a world-class concert (on piano)? What if it was a skill-vs-skill piano-off with another (Rivalry?) world-class pianist?

 

 

Next question: How would you stat up an "Olympic" (competitor from a poor nation? multi-time champ? who knows!?!) gymnast with the caveat that this olympic level gymnast sucks at fighting?

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said Olympic gymnast getting in to a gymnastics fight with another Olympic gymnast? Like if they are both doing competing floor routines how would you game that out?

 

 

And last bonus question: What would your reasoning for all those things be?

 

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I'll go:

 

 

For a world-class concert pianist I'd give them a Dex of 12-15 and a PS: World-Class Concert Pianist 18-. And if really, really, really needed that extra granularity to highly specifically define just how good a world-class concert pianist this character is I might buy them some Skill Levels: Only for world-class concert pianism or something.

No more than 25-30pts probably.

 

Bonus question: They'd make a World-Class Concert Pianist skill roll. Dex and specifically manual dexterity wouldn't really factor in to how I'd handle that in-game. It's a skill, they make a skill roll. For a opposed dueling pianos type situation I'd....have them both make skill rolls and compare the degree of success.

 

For an Olympic Gymnast I'd give them a Dex of 15-18 and an Acrobatics skill of 18-. And if I really, really, really wanted that extra granularity to highly specifically define just how bad he sucks at fighting I'd take a Disad\Limitation: Sucks at Fighting for a -2CV.

 

Bonus question: They'd make an Acrobatics skill roll. Dex wouldn't really factor in to it. For competing floor routines I'd have them both make a skill roll and compare degrees of success. They might even get to make a complimentary PS: Olympic gymnast skill rolls to read the judges and pick a better routine.

 

Last bonus question: To me Hero is what they call "effect based" which means that the mechanics are just a way to represent in-game effects in the out-of-game mechanics. So, to me, a world-class anything (skill based) just need an appropriate "world-class" level skill.

Similarly I'm not trying to reconstruct reality in my games, just the cinematic\dramatic\narrative effects that I'm after for purposes of this fun game I like to play, so I don't need to exhaustively quantify what makes an Olympic gymnast "Olympic" exactly.

 

Either I'm making a player character and "Olympic gymnast" is part of the concept, in which case I need only hit those minimums and I'll likely, as a player, have more points than needed to hit a certain "Olympic gymnast" level of stats.

Or I'm making an NPC and I'm probably very point limited AND don't really care about the outcome (ie, the world-class\Olympic-ness of the NPC isn't going to carry any\much game effect (and since Hero is "effect based" then I don't have to model the effect, since it won't come up)) so I just need a quick way to shorthand, "Yo! Dude is agile, ya'll!".

 

Final note on gymnasts and concert pianists seems to me to be: How good are they really? Most Olympic gymnasts lose (only 3 folks get to medal out of tens\hundreds of competitors) and most folks performing at a high level are also attempting high level feats which carry increased risk (skill roll penalties) and result in failure fairly often (consider how many Olympic gymnasts fall, fail, flub, or otherwise botch their routines).

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, TranquiloUno said:

I see these two examples come up a fair bit so I was curious....

 

How would you, as either a player or a GM, stat up a world-class (but not "The World's Best!") concert pianist?

Let's say this is a "Competent Normal" for whatever reason.

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said concert pianist playing a world-class concert (on piano)? What if it was a skill-vs-skill piano-off with another (Rivalry?) world-class pianist?

 

 

Next question: How would you stat up an "Olympic" (competitor from a poor nation? multi-time champ? who knows!?!) gymnast with the caveat that this olympic level gymnast sucks at fighting?

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said Olympic gymnast getting in to a gymnastics fight with another Olympic gymnast? Like if they are both doing competing floor routines how would you game that out?

 

 

And last bonus question: What would your reasoning for all those things be?

 

Like Greywind said, I'd model a top-level non-super NPC professional as PS: Whatever at a high but not superhuman level.  14- sounds about right.  Unless they're story-centric that would be their entire sheet, too. 

 

If they're intended to compete with another NPC I made, I'll just predetermine (via fiat) the result as "X beats Y by a margin of Z".  If the PCs decide to intervene, then their actions will be converted to modifiers.  Get enough modifiers, change the outcome. 

If they're intended to compete with a player made character, then I have to decide if they're story-centric competition, transient competition, or just a speedbump.  A speedbump boils down to "roll skill at -x".  Transient competition boils down to some time for PCs to scrounge for modifiers by researching the judges/competition, preparing for the details of the competition, sabotaging the opposition, preventing opposing sabotage, tuning their instruments, etc, and then an opposed roll.  Story-centric competition means a series of opposed rolls over the course of a session, with plenty of time for modifier-scrounging and unfair play. 

 

The skill system in HERO isn't interesting enough to be fun in a white-box environment.  It needs more avenues for PC interaction.  That's what modifiers are for, so the more important a skill-based challenge is the more focus should be placed on modifiers.  The actual roll at the end is the narrative climax, not the entire story. 

Edited by Gnome BODY (important!)

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14 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Like Greywind said, I'd model a top-level non-super NPC professional as PS: Whatever at a high but not superhuman level.  14- sounds about right.  Unless they're story-centric that would be their entire sheet, too. 

 

If they're intended to compete with another NPC I made, I'll just predetermine (via fiat) the result as "X beats Y by a margin of Z".  If the PCs decide to intervene, then their actions will be converted to modifiers.  Get enough modifiers, change the outcome. 

If they're intended to compete with a player made character, then I have to decide if they're story-centric competition, transient competition, or just a speedbump.  A speedbump boils down to "roll skill at -x".  Transient competition boils down to some time for PCs to scrounge for modifiers by researching the judges/competition, preparing for the details of the competition, sabotaging the opposition, preventing opposing sabotage, tuning their instruments, etc, and then an opposed roll.  Story-centric competition means a series of opposed rolls over the course of a session, with plenty of time for modifier-scrounging and unfair play. 

 

The skill system in HERO isn't interesting enough to be fun in a white-box environment.  It needs more avenues for PC interaction.  That's what modifiers are for, so the more important a skill-based challenge is the more focus should be placed on modifiers.  The actual roll at the end is the narrative climax, not the entire story. 

 

And how about a Olympic gymnast (who sucks at fighting\non-gymnastic Dex feats)? Same thing?

 

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6 minutes ago, TranquiloUno said:

And how about a Olympic gymnast (who sucks at fighting\non-gymnastic Dex feats)? Same thing?

That's right. 

 

Putting some more thought into it, I think a NPC not intended for combat can be elegantly reduced to jobs and rolls for those jobs.  So an Olympic gymnast might be written up as Gymnast 13-, Celebrity 11-, Everyman 8-. 

These inform his capability out of combat without requiring a full writeup.  If he needs to leap a fence to get away from Doctor Defenestration, that's a gymnast thing so he's got 13-.  If he needs to talk a bystander into giving him a ride, that sounds like a Celebrity thing so he's got a 11-.  If he needs to remember the conversion rate between ounces and kilograms, that's something anybody could know from school so he's got his Everyman 8-.  If he needs to fix a car engine, he's calling a mechanic. 

And if he's unlucky enough to be present when the eye-beams start flying, then he's just another generic bystander statblock. 

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I think it comes down to how you expect this gymnast/pianist to participate in the adventure.

 

I would expect the gymnast to climb a rope better than the pianist and the pianist to notice a change in the pitch of the force field better than the gymnast.

 

However, I reckon all of that could easily be folded into the professional skills. I already take a broad view of professional and knowledge skills.

 

More detail is only necessary the more interaction these cyphers have with the story.

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I think another element of this issue, related to Doc's how we expect them to participate, is what the game will focus on.  Hero, like most RPGs, has a very detailed, robust system for resolving combat, and some skills in there to resolve non-combat challenges.  This works well in a typical action-adventure game. 

 

If we want to add courtroom drama, social intrigue, medical research or Battles of the Bands, then I think we need a more robust conflict resolution system for those elements of the game.  It may be that, in such a game, we resolve physical conflict with a single skill roll based on your Brawling, or Gunfighting, or what have you skills (no more STUN, BOD, REC, END, etc.),  but we have a ton of stats and maneuvers for use in a musical performance, or a court battle, or social conflict.

 

As to statting them out, I would look to the skills they need, and the stats that enhance those skills.  A world class gymnast likely has above average DEX.  But that's easier in 6e when that enhanced DEX does not come bundled with OCV and DCV making them a better barroom brawler as well, which is the debate I expect sparked this thread.

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    If you can have Dexterity only vs. going first, or only with mental abilities or so on, than you can create the limitation for only usable with manual dexterity for musicians or card sharps, stage magicians or whatever.

Conversely (does that mean only useable on sneakers?)  the gymnast’s limitation would be “not useable in combat”  so he might also be a fine dancer or whatnot.

   Don’t make things more difficult or expensive than they need to be for the sake of an elegant write-up

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PS: Concert Pianist, INT+3 roll

KS: Classical Music, INT+3(alternatively, Jazz)

KS: Music Theory, INT roll

Group/Culture Knowledge: Professional Musicians(classical music), INT roll

Plus an INT of at least 15, DEX of 13-15+, and likely decent EGO(concentration is a key requirement) and some stage PRE too.  Maybe 25 points worth of skills and 25 worth of stats too. 

 

I'd generally put a 15 or 16- as "world class".  Keep in mind, 11- is "competent", 12- would be "highly competent", 14- is "expert"(read here as "virtuoso" base level).  18- is "best living concert pianist in the world", 19-20 or less is "best pianist who ever lived".  So 15 or 16 or less seems fairly "world class".  

 

Olympic Gymnasts have Acrobatics and Breakfall, plus PS: Olympic Gymnast, 12+(12 is the minimum roll for a qualified gymnast, I'd say real contenders start at 14, gold medalist types around 16, and all-time greats in the 17+ range).  Maybe some Climbing, +1m or leaping, decent STR, CON and END.  Culture knowledge: Olympic athletes/world of gymnastics.  Very good DEX, maybe some heightened PER for knowing where one is on the event at all times.  

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2 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

I'd generally put a 15 or 16- as "world class".  Keep in mind, 11- is "competent", 12- would be "highly competent", 14- is "expert"(read here as "virtuoso" base level).  18- is "best living concert pianist in the world", 19-20 or less is "best pianist who ever lived".  So 15 or 16 or less seems fairly "world class". 

 

By the book, 16- is "The character is one of the very best people in the world with that Skill."

 

14- is "The character is a master with the Skill. Easy tasks are a breeze, and he can perform more difficult or unusual tasks without too much trouble."

 

18- is "The character is one of the greatest masters of the Skill in history."

 

Odd numbers get no descriptions, but it seems like we should have only a few people with a 16-, and we'd be lucky to have even one with an 18- practicing the skill at any given time.

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22 hours ago, TranquiloUno said:

I see these two examples come up a fair bit so I was curious....

 

How would you, as either a player or a GM, stat up a world-class (but not "The World's Best!") concert pianist?

Let's say this is a "Competent Normal" for whatever reason.

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said concert pianist playing a world-class concert (on piano)? What if it was a skill-vs-skill piano-off with another (Rivalry?) world-class pianist?

 

 

Next question: How would you stat up an "Olympic" (competitor from a poor nation? multi-time champ? who knows!?!) gymnast with the caveat that this olympic level gymnast sucks at fighting?

 

Bonus question: How would you handle said Olympic gymnast getting in to a gymnastics fight with another Olympic gymnast? Like if they are both doing competing floor routines how would you game that out?

 

 

And last bonus question: What would your reasoning for all those things be?

 

 

 

Does Shelley Long have a write up because she would be perfect in that role?

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If you want to be realistic about expertise in the modern world, it's better to give someone several overlapping skills that can be used as complementary skills in one area. An expert is going to have a lot of general knowledge about specific areas, and then be able to put it all together. So you might have:

 

PS: Pianist (13-)

KS: Classical music (13-)

KS: Romantic era (13-)

 

This person can sit down and play jazz or Elton John very. But if they sit down and play classical music that complementary skill pushes them to another level. And when they're play music from the Romantic period, their real specialty, it's going to be the best ever. This also reflects that any expert has to get a lot of background knowledge...someone who interprets music from a specific period is going to know a lot about the era they study that has nothing to do with music.

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On 4/22/2019 at 3:59 PM, TranquiloUno said:

 

So you're saying they wouldn't have a Dex of 15+ because they are so incredibly dexterous with their hands? ;)

 

The manual dexterity required to play piano at that level is subsumed in the skill itself. Damage to the hands whether from injury or old age would reduce the skill roll itself and render the person anywhere between "not as good" and "piano teacher" levels.

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23 hours ago, Tjack said:

    If you can have Dexterity only vs. going first, or only with mental abilities or so on, than you can create the limitation for only usable with manual dexterity for musicians or card sharps, stage magicians or whatever.

Conversely (does that mean only useable on sneakers?)  the gymnast’s limitation would be “not useable in combat”  so he might also be a fine dancer or whatnot.

   Don’t make things more difficult or expensive than they need to be for the sake of an elegant write-up

 

Everything is not best expressed as a Power. The Skill system is designed for this purpose and works pretty well at it. Look closely at Megaplayboy"s post just after yours. While you may disagree on the total skill numbers, it works  at any level of the system(Heroic, Fantasy or Supers). Your way is functional but the values of the limitations would vary from campaign to campaign and you'd still need to increase or decrease the numbers to make levels of mastery.

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4 hours ago, Grailknight said:

 

Everything is not best expressed as a Power. The Skill system is designed for this purpose and works pretty well at it. Look closely at Megaplayboy"s post just after yours. While you may disagree on the total skill numbers, it works  at any level of the system(Heroic, Fantasy or Supers). Your way is functional but the values of the limitations would vary from campaign to campaign and you'd still need to increase or decrease the numbers to make levels of mastery.

     

         I have always admitted to being a lousy number cruncher as far as the rules go, and yes the rough way I described would have to be approved by any GM it was run for...but so what?    Sixty seconds of talking to your GM before the game to let them know what your going for and it’s done.

         With no disrespect, I’ll always be a proponent of simple, easy to run write ups and of table solutions that don’t turn a night of game play into everyone digging out a stack of manuals to work out simple hand wave questions.  “I only have a six-shooter and no extra ammo, but I didn’t take the limitation for charges”  can kill about two hours unless the GM steps in.

     

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Grace Paxton

 

Val Char Cost Roll Notes

13 STR 3 12- Lift 151.6kg; 2 ½d6 [1]

18 DEX 16 13- OCV: 2/DCV: 2/4

15 CON 5 12-

13 INT 3 12- PER Roll 12-

13 EGO 3 12- ECV: 3 - 3

15 PRE 5 12- PRE Attack: 3d6

 

2 OCV -5

2+2 DCV -5

3 OMCV 0

3 DMCV 0

3 SPD 10 Phases: 4, 8, 12

 

4 PD 2 Total: 4 PD (0 rPD)

4 ED 2 Total: 4 ED (0 rED)

5 REC 1

25 END 1

11 BODY 1

20 STUN 0 Total Characteristic Cost: 40

 

Movement: Running: 9m/18m

Leaping: 5m/10m

Swimming: 4m/8m

 

Cost Powers END

6 +2 DCV (10 Active Points); Extra Time (1 Turn (Post-Segment 12), Only to Activate, Takes that long for her to accept the danger is real; -¾)

Notes: Her agility does help, once she understands someone is really trying to hurt her.

Agile and Evasive

Maneuver OCV DCV Notes

5 Flying Dodge -- +4 Dodge All Attacks, Abort; FMove

4 Martial Dodge -- +5 Dodge, Affects All Attacks, Abort

4 Martial Escape +0 +0 28 STR vs. Grabs

 

Perks

4 Positive Reputation: World class pianist and olympic gymnast! (A large group) 11-, +2/+2d6

 

Talents

4 Double Jointed

3 Perfect Pitch

1 Ambidexterity (-2 Off Hand penalty)

 

Skills

0 World Class Concert Pianist

1 1) : Musical Notation (; literate)

0 Olympic Gymnast

9 1) Acrobatics 16-

5 2) Breakfall 14-

3 3) Contortionist 13-

3 Jack of All Trades

1 1) PS: Dancer (2 Active Points) 11-

2 2) PS: Olympic Gymnast (3 Active Points) 13-

5 3) PS: Play Piano (6 Active Points) 16-

 

Total Powers & Skill Cost: 61

Total Cost: 100

 

100+ Matching Complications

70 Base Points

10 Psychological Complication: Aversion to Violence (Uncommon; Strong)

10 Social Complication: World Famous Pianist AND Gymnast! Frequently, Minor

10 Susceptibility: If subject to, or forced to commit, an act of violence 2d6 damage Instant (Uncommon)

 

Total Complications Points: 100

 

Background/History: From earliest childhood, Grace Paxton loved two things: music and gymnastics. Often told she must choose one discipline to excel, she has proven despite such advice to be able to rise to the top in both fields.

 

Personality/Motivation: If it doesn't have a bearing on one or the other of her overriding obsessions, she neither knows nor cares much about it. Grace Paxton wants to bring beauty and harmony into the world, and is profoundly averse to destruction or violence.

 

Quote: Please, no shoving! Everyone will get an autograph if you are just a little patient and civilized!

 

Powers/Tactics: Can be surprisingly evasive once convinced that someone truly means her harm, but has no offensive capabilities at all.

 

Campaign Use: Try to keep her out of the line of fire - she's pretty fragile.

 

Appearance: Petite and slender, Grace Paxton looks like the helpless waif she is.

 

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Copyright Palindromedary Enterprises

 

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3 hours ago, Lucius said:

Grace Paxton

 

Val Char Cost Roll Notes

13 STR 3 12- Lift 151.6kg; 2 ½d6 [1]

...

15 CON 5 12-

...

 

15 PRE 5 12- PRE Attack: 3d6

...

4 PD 2 Total: 4 PD (0 rPD)

4 ED 2 Total: 4 ED (0 rED)

...

11 BODY 1

...

Appearance: Petite and slender, Grace Paxton looks like the helpless waif she is.

 

A helpless waif with 13 Str and 15 Pre. 😀

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13 minutes ago, assault said:

 

A helpless waif with 13 Str and 15 Pre. 😀

 

Who takes an extra 2d6 STUN every time you hit her, against which she has no defense.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

She would probably faint if a palindromedary tried to bite her.

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A lot of it is genre dependent.  After all, Dick Grayson was a world class acrobat, and that's the excuse for why it was so easy for Batman to train him up.  It's not uncommon in the comics for people with high levels of athletic skill to suddenly bust out the kung fu moves, training or no.

 

A real world Olympic gymnast would probably have like a 13 Dex, Acrobatics and Breakfall of maybe 13-, then PS: Gymnast at 11- (so you know what kind of routines the judges like, etc).  Your coach makes a bunch of supporting rolls with PS: Gymnastics Coach, to try and give you bonuses.  You take extra time on your PS: Gymnast skill roll (practicing your routine ahead of time to try and get it flawless).  Maybe you have a 1 point perk (really like a limited bonus) for a particular type of event.  You'd hear the announcers say "she's very good at the uneven bars, her coach says this is her strongest event".

 

Then you take your whole team of like 8 different people, and you roll the dice and hope you roll low.  Whoever makes their roll by the most gets the gold, second most gets silver, third gets bronze.  But you could just as easily have somebody go out and roll a 16 and fall down on their face, as they could roll a 5 and get a bunch of 9.8 scores and take home the gold.  Sometimes the announcers will be like "oh she did much better two months ago in Greece, she looked really unstoppable then, but you can see today her concentration is just not there."

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