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Doc Democracy

Buying back OMCV

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11 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

I bet you could come up with 100 different ways a character is going to notice and be disadvantaged with strength zero

You only really need two.  Permanently being at half DCV and always having to make a 9- roll to do anything involving moving your body.  Having 0 STR screws you over hard, unless you're a bathroom mentalist or other absurd TO construct. 

 

 

Tangent, but what about Presence Attacks require a mental attack roll? 

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4 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Tangent, but what about Presence Attacks require a mental attack roll? 

 

It is a tangent.  It is another thing we could (easily) add to the game to make selling back OMCV worth points.  It might also begin to bring PRE attacks into a more coherent framework.  I might consider this as a house rule to deal with PRE attacks, I would be disinclined to impose this on all the other characters so that one could get a few extra points by selling back OMCV.  🙂

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Now that I'm no longer half asleep and being inarticulate. 

 

There's really just three views and they're just different expressions of "you get what you pay for". 

View A says "Yes, he gets nothing from his OMCV so he shouldn't have to pay for it." 

View B says "No, he loses nothing from not having his OMCV so he shouldn't get points for losing it." 

View C says "Yes, but since he loses nothing from not having his OMCV I'll have to introduce circumstances where not having it inconveniences him." 

 

None of these are wrong.  There's no one right answer.  There's just different expressions of the same correct concept.  They just need to be applied consistently across other sellbacks.  That's that I was getting at when I mentioned the OCV sellback on a pure mentalist or AOEist. 

The only problems are when a player moves from a GM with a different philosophy or if a player assumes one view and the GM follows another.  But these are all issues easily solved by sitting down and talking during character creation. 

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What would I do?  I would play 5th edition where this problem doesn't come up.  :D

 

But really, we're talking about a very small number of points.  It's easy enough to save like 6 points by cutting costs in other areas.  This is one that seems to set off certain GMs, and if I had one of those GMs, I'd cut costs in a different place.  For instance, if you've got 50 meters of Flight, why do you need all 12 meters of Running?  You could sell it down to like 9 meters and save a few points since it's not your primary method of movement.  But I really don't see it as a big deal, particularly in a superheroic game.

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Late to the party but...

 

My rule for HERO is that if something is so advantageous that every character would do it, regardless of character concept, you shouldn't allow it...or if you think it's fair, just give every character a few extra points. So if MOCV is useless in your campaign and that every character should buy it down to 0, just add 9 to the number of points your characters are based on.

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2 hours ago, Ximenez said:

Late to the party but...

 

My rule for HERO is that if something is so advantageous that every character would do it, regardless of character concept, you shouldn't allow it...or if you think it's fair, just give every character a few extra points. So if MOCV is useless in your campaign and that every character should buy it down to 0, just add 9 to the number of points your characters are based on.

 

Or just ignore the fact that it even exists. No points added. No points lost. No implication on the GM's part that it will never come into play.

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6 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

So my big takeaway from all this is that OMCV has no actual value.

 

Therefore, I can raise it to 99 for zero cost, right?

 

 

 

As long as your character has no abilities that call for OMCV.

 

The moment you do, your OMCV will drop to 3.

 

While you're at it, would you like a free "Smash Goblins" Power for a game that features no Goblins whatsoever?  Note that the power vanishes if Goblins do actually appear in the world, so you'll never really get to smash a Goblin with it.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says you can pay for the 0 pt Smash Goblin power by taking a 0 pt "Hates Goblins" Complication. But that wold be pointless.

 

 

 

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Yes; yes--

 

well done and all that, 

 

but the crux of the entire conversation thus far has been trying to waffle out a middle ground between "make it be a disadvantage" and "I wouldn't let them sell off all of it / get too many points from it."

 

The only thing that reconciles all the contentions thus far is that OMCV is meaningless / valueless / not worth any points.

 

Working outward from there, I can have all I want, because it has no benefit.  If it had benefit, the penalties for not having would be obvious, and not have to be created to drive home a point.

 

Personally, I think it has value, and I will gladly let a player sell off as much as he wants (so long as it's a game world where it has value: I have one where it doesn't) simply because in my game worlds (except for the one, of course), the limitation _is_ obvious, and having higher than normal _does_ have obvious value.

 

But I'm beginning to think that having a game world where OMCV has intrinsic value is not as common as I would have believed.

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There is no value is selling it back. You cannot increase the value of it without paying points.

 

The simple reason is: at some point the GM may decide to introduce something wherein OMCV is required and won't have to backpedal all over the campaign setup because earlier on he said it was okay to take points for something that would never be used.

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25 minutes ago, Greywind said:

There is no value is selling it back. You cannot increase the value of it without paying points.

 

 

This is what people here are trying to reconcile:

 

Lower it for no rebate because there's no value, but increase it for cost because it has value.

 

They can't be reconciled: either it has value, or it doesn't.    ( Schrondinger's campaign, excepted, of course.)

 

Even in the "somewhere down the line" model, you're suggesting that it has value because it might have value later.  There are only two choices:  it has no value, and can be lowered or raised with impunity for zero points either way, or it does have value and therefore lowering it bestows a rebate equal to the cost of raising it the same number of increments.  The maybe-in-the-future angle doesn't change its value _right now_.  If a character lowers it and then next spring the GM finds utility for it, the character will get his rebate at that time, not before: it had no value before.  However, once it has value, I strongly suspect that that player will decline the rebate, opting to keep the now-valuable thing.  Even then, in the moment that it becomes valuable, it becomes valuable _right now_.  The fact that it gained value at moment X does not change the fact that it had no value at X minus anything.  

 

If it has no value and the player raises it to twenty (for an investment of zero points, because it had no value), then suddenly it _does_ have value, the player has the option to either lower it to default levels or pony up to keep it.  There is no _actual_ change to the history of the campaign either way: in a campaign where OMCV has no value, he's never actually had the chance to _use_ his twenty OMCV, or even discover it for himself.  You can spend the night drinking with the Queen, so long as the lights don't come on and prove you wrong.

 

 

I'll have to cut this short.  Ollie is quite intent on teaching me all kinds of keyboard shortcuts....   :/

 

 

 

 

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The way I see it -- and this is my GM opinion, everyone else's may differ -- is that if you don't have any offensive mental powers, and if you don't spend any points on OMCV, then you don't have an OMCV score.  If you don't have any offensive mental powers, but you really want to, you can spend points on it, and you'll buy it up from 3.  Why you would want to, I have no idea, but the option is there.

 

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Which is to say … you're in that camp that says it has no value so you can't recover points via a buy-back … while out the other side of your mouth you indicate that it has value  because it costs points to buy it up.

That particularly inconsistent attitude is the crux of the problem -- because if OMCV is value-less, then it should cost nothing to buy it up (just as you get nothing for lowering it). Either it has value or it doesn't.  Pick one and stick with it … and we won't need debates like this to hash out such inconsistencies!

If a limitation or buy-back that isn't limiting is worth no points … is to be applied consistently and taken as gospel ... then its inverse must also be true and consistent (i.e. an advantage or purchase that isn't advantageous costs no points).

 

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If you have no offensive mental powers, you don't have anything to sell back to recover points from.  If you insist on spending points, then you start from 3 like anyone else would.  

 

In a campaign where no mental powers exist, then neither OMCV nor DMCV would exist, and no one would be able to sell either of them back.

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4 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

There are only two choices:  it has no value, and can be lowered or raised with impunity for zero points either way, or it does have value and therefore lowering it bestows a rebate equal to the cost of raising it the same number of increments. 

 

I castigate my son for constantly seeking to create false dichotomies, seeking to place me on the horns of a dilemma.

 

I do not consider it to be true that there are only two choices.  If this were true the game would never have come up with the adage that “if a limitation does not limit the character then it is worth no points”.  There is an acceptance that book values are not always true for each and every character.  Buying back characteristics is a form of disadvantage/complication.  

 

As my player, you come to me with a straightforward brick.  Your powerset is completely physical, pretty much like Colossus in the X-Men.  You have bought back OMCV to 1.  I ask you to tell me how it limits the character, I do not, as GM, intend to provide maguffins that require OMCV to utilise.  Tell me how it is worth the same as selling back your INT to 4, or your EGO, or even your DMCV.

 

Doc

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Steve is fond of noting that this is a game, not a tax return.  The sellback of any stat should indicate some manner in which this character is inferior to an average person.  What defect of the character does selling back mOCV simulate?  IOW, what is the SFX of this sellback?

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4 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

the game would never have come up with the adage that “if a limitation does not limit the character then it is worth no points”

 

 

What are the further implications of this? 

 

There is an obvious corollary: if it does limit then it is worth points.  But what other states does "non-limiting 'Limitations' are worth zero points" (quotes denote paraphrasing; I am not in a place to double-check book quotes at the moment) imply? 

 

Personally, I have no issue with a player voluntarily limiting his character simply because it's in concept, but with the way discussions tend to go the last few years, -  and how often "you get exact value for what you pay for" gets thrown around,  I believe myself to be in a very small minority.  It seems a goodly portion of us diehard fans are more interested in chasing the mythical perfect balance and points-tweaking characters for cost/effectiveness ratio first, and making adjustments to concept to fit the expenditures. 

 

That is the way this conversation has been going:  'you can't lower it because it has no points value' or 'if you do it, you won't get points!' in the tone of a punishment. 

 

But getting back on course:  if there is no actual limitation to the character for lowering it, is there for that same character a benefit for raising it? 

 

If not, what would you charge him to do so?  How much should a character with zero ego-based powers pay to increase his OMCV? 

 

 

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Duke, what seems to be missing is that many are saying "if there is no use for mOCV, then it neither costs nor saves points, it simply does not exist for that character".  So, you can have a 450 mOCV if you never use it, but because you never use it, no one can tell you have a 450 mOCV, so it does not matter.  If mOCV becomes relevant, then you either drop back to 3 (since you paid 0) or you have to pay the points for a higher than average mOCV.

 

If mOCV becomes valuable in game, feel free to sell back your mOCV - you can have the 6 points back for dropping it to 1.  You buy an Ego attack?  Take the 6 point rebate for mOCV.  But until it is relevant, it costs and saves nothing because it does not exist.

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45 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

But getting back on course:  if there is no actual limitation to the character for lowering it, is there for that same character a benefit for raising it? 

 

If not, what would you charge him to do so?  How much should a character with zero ego-based powers pay to increase his OMCV? 

 

I query a lot of things on my players sheets, what they are spending, why they are spending it, what they hope to accomplish from that.

 

My question to the player would be why he was wanting to spend points raising a characteristic that gave him absolutely no utility in game.  From the answer to that I might suggest a number of things.  He could write whatever number he wanted on the character sheet with 0 points next to it on the understanding that he had not bought the ability to deliver accurate mental attacks, simply the right to write it on his sheet.  If it was a colour issue - he has the most potent venom known to man - just no way to deliver it (and it degrades the instant it leaves his body) then we can talk background colour, and reputation and possibly a number of other things.  If he really wanted to waste the points, despite my advice I would let him and I "might" put some effort into making it but, after the conversation I would be making no promises unless it sounded so much fun that I could not possibly ignore it.

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There's a lot of argument here over what is basically just 6 points.  I don't see it as a problem because particularly for a superheroic character, it's just over 1% of your total character points.  It's basically a rounding error.  Somebody could slap a "not in intense magnetic fields" on a 30 point power and get the same effect.  It's a minor inconvenience.  Go ahead and let them sell it off, I don't care.

 

Personally, I think the game could use a few mental combat maneuvers.  If somebody shoots them with an Ego attack, and they can somehow detect it coming in, let them abort to try to make an OMCV vs OMCV roll to block it.  "Dr Mindhammer is glaring at me, and his face is scrunching up...  I can feel him inside my head!  Got... to... resist!"  Roll as if you're making a hand to hand block.  The guy who bought down his OMCV just doesn't quite get it.  He's even worse than a normal person.  I'm reminded of the scene from the Starship Troopers movie, where Doogie Howser is testing the hero guy for psychic powers.  "You know, statistically, you should have gotten at least one of these right by now."  The guy with a 1 OMCV is super duper not psychic.

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47 minutes ago, massey said:

Personally, I think the game could use a few mental combat maneuvers. 

 

I allow several standard moves to be used in mental combat:  Block, (a use for OMCV!), dodge and haymaker.

 

Most of this came out of my desire to minimize the insane deadliness of Mental Paralysis.

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5 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

 It seems a goodly portion of us diehard fans are more interested in chasing the mythical perfect balance and points-tweaking characters for cost/effectiveness ratio first, and making adjustments to concept to fit the expenditures. 

...

How much should a character with zero ego-based powers pay to increase his OMCV? 

 

 

Regarding the first sentence of the quoted text, it's not that said diehards do that 'first' … they do it because it's part of the game, too -- per the tutelage of the Goodman School of Cost Effectiveness found in 2e.

i.e. Balancing and optimizing is just another challenge for some -- one that comes neither before nor after character concept … and, instead, is considered evenly with it.  After all, the more efficient the build, the closer one can come to concept (because it's more points spent toward the concept).

As for your question in the quoted text - my answer would be: 0 CP (assuming that the character would receive 0 CP for selling off OMCV or not be permitted to do so).  After all, if a sell-back is not limiting in the game, then a buy-up isn't advantageous -- meaning it's just fluff on a page and potentially interesting story … with no mechanical impact.
 

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I don't have Infrared Perception (let's assume Infrared Vision) of any kind... can I buy up my Infrared Perception roll?   

 

If I don't have any form of Infrared Perception, can I sell back my regular Vision (35 points, per 6e2 p. 9) and buy it back up with a "Not With Infrared" Limitation?   (No.  No, I cannot.)

 

What about the possibility that I might find some military-grade infrared goggles?  

 

I think that if you don't have Infrared Vision, you can't buy up your Infrared Perception.   

 

And you don't have an "Infrared Perception Roll" to sell back.  It doesn't exist.  

 

If you expect that you might, somehow, gain Infrared Perception of some kind during the campaign, and want to be prepared for it, and want to buy Enhanced Perception (Infrared Only), you can... I mean, you can spend the points, and write that on your sheet... but it's not going to help you until and unless you somehow acquire some form of Infrared Perception.  And this doesn't mean you get to suck points out of your regular Vision, on the off chance you'll somehow gain Infrared Vision.  

 

If you later decide to spend points on Infrared Perception, then you suddenly have an "Infrared Perception Roll", which starts at the same value as your regular Perception Roll.  

 

(Replace with OMCV and mental powers as appropriate.)

 

(Edit: Also let me note that I'm speaking for myself as a GM only, for my own games.)

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2 hours ago, massey said:

 

Personally, I think the game could use a few mental combat maneuvers

 

 

It's funny.  When Derek first pointed me to this board, I was shocked at seeing conversations that included the phrase "haymaker his energy blast." 

 

Shocked because, as I mentioned before, I scrapped quite a bit in my youth, as did easily half of my gaming group.  A haymaker was, to our way of thinking, a roundhouse punch, period.  If you wanted damage-and-a-half, you went with a kick.  It was right there in the rules.  It never occurred to us to allow "haymakering" (that's just never going to feel right as a verb) as a thing you do to any sort of attack.....   Considering that Pushing was a thing that already existed...   

 

Well it just never struck any of us as an option, so we never did. 

 

Skip ahead about a year and a half, and someone mentioned something along the lines of "if only there were maneuvers for mental attacks." 

 

In much the same way that haymaker-as-a-verb never occurred to us, mental-combat-is-not-combat-in-which-maneuvers-cant-be-used never occurred to us, either.  Certainly there was nothing in the rules spelling out" no; you can't do this!". In all fairness, there was a lot less" no" and "not unless" in the older rules, and we've been running with it since 1e, and the only effect it's had on our games have all been positive.

 

We even have Ego-derived martial arts.  Much like the old school net running, each character gets to decide for himself how he perceives the various strikes against and by him, and players groove on it pretty hard-- at least, those that are onto Psi characters.  They don't come around often. 

 

Now as I mentioned a post or so back, we do have one game world without Psi powers, period.  In that game, ECV has no value, period. 

 

And I have realized just how far afield I'm tracking, and feel the only recourse is to stop abruptly

 

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