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IndianaJoe3

Arcane Combat Value

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In 6th edition it's fairly easy to either add an ACV stat or repurpose MCV.  In earlier editions, it's only slightly less easy; just pick which stat/3 you want to use.  

 

Toxxus, I like that idea.  A lot.

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Fantasy Hero mentions using OMCV as a combat value for casters, and for the most part it works (especially if you build in all the other mental combat stuff like line of sight).  It makes the double roll of magic skill and to hit less of a pain (you succeeded but missed!), because most people's DMCV is pretty low, and some even buy it down.  The big drawback is that a lot of targets like undead don't have a mind to hit, so they're effectively immune to the effect.  Also if you build everything that way, it gets expensive paying for ACV.

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22 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 The big drawback is that a lot of targets like undead don't have a mind to hit, so they're effectively immune to the effect.  Also if you build everything that way, it gets expensive paying for ACV.

 

And things like that are why I've done things like this:

 

On May 3, 2019 at 9:19 AM, IndianaJoe3 said:

Has anyone ever experimented with adding an Arcane Combat Value (aka, "spell hit") to their game?

 

 

Dabbled in it a _lot_, actually.  Never really found anything I was totally happy with, but I found two that came fairly close:

 

First "success"  (the air quotes are because, as I noted, I was never _really_ happy with any of the results, but these things came close) was when I decided that using magic was ECV-based.  That didn't work terribly well (peasants with 18 EGO?  Who knew?!).  I refined it further, declaring that things that were aimed-and-fired like fireballs, for example, were OECV vs. defenders DCV (the regular one).  That worked a bit better.  There was still the problem that Ego was cheaper than DEX-- minor, I thought, but it rankled the players. 

 

Second "success" came when I tried basing a magic CV of INT/3.  The drawback there (obviously) was the costing of INT.  Magicians were bad, _bad_ news.  (For the record, players don't like "spell casters pay more for INT, either.  Just so you know. ;)   )

 

Third success came as a base-0 custom Characteristic; a characteristic that I truly wish I had the artistic and creative flair to have named Arcana.  Well-done, Joe!  :)  (you know I'm stealing that, right?)  I just called it Magic, because the only other thing I could come up with was "Wisdom," and I sure as Hell wasn't going to open that can of worms.  :lol:  I priced it at 2 pts per (remember that it was a base-0; it was something not innate to people, and had to be learned, practiced, and developed).  It was used as the Base Characteristic for magic-based Skills (though I have to level with you: I can't remember any of them we used at the moment-- It's been a really, really, _really_ rough day.  I need water and sleep) as well as the Base Characteristic from which Magic CV was pulled.

 

Magic CV was a bit different from other CVs, in as much as you used your MOCV to launch an attack (bodily or ego-based), but it was defended by regular OCV for bodily attacks or DECV for EGO-based attacks.  when a magic wielder (or anyone who had an MDCV was attacked by magic, he had the option to defend either with the appropriate "normal" DCVs, _or_ his MDCV-- this type of defense being defined as defending himself via magic, either by being "proof" against the spell or overwhelming it with his own defensive spell of negating it by simply turning it off-- - you get the idea.  We used some of the maneuvers with Magic CV as well, particularly Block and Dodge (re-defined as a "deflecting" of incoming magic attacks) and rarely Haymaker (if your spell already took extra time, double that time to get the Haymaker effect).

 

I have to be honest: I feel like I was closest with the third attempt:  mentally and visually it modeled so much of what we could see in our heads.  It's just that in actual play, it proved a bit cumbersome.  Doesn't seem like it would be, but it was, particularly since players would want to stop and run all the defense possibilities and jot some numbers...  We all know (even those of us who are loathe to accept it) that HERO's combat system is _slow_, real-time, and having the either/or option turned certain players into chess masters, studying the board and running scenarios....  It was disheartening, given how close the idea was otherwise.

 

At any rate, Sir, even to this day I can't say I've found a perfect option, but those are the things I have tried.  Again, I liked the third try the best, though there was some grumbling from some players that having to buy a stat up from zero was "unfair," in spite of the fact that, given the nature of the spell options, they really were a bit over-powered once they started spending EP.....

 

I may get it licked  one day, or I may simply run with #3 again with an additional "Shot Clock" rule in effect for making up your defensive mind.  :lol:

 

 

I don't know if this is of any use to you, but I hope something in there helps at least a bit.

 

 

Duke

 

 

 

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I've fiddled around with repurposing MCV, and have been unsatisfied. It works OK, but it muddles magic and psionics. I do like the idea of a seperate characteristic (under 6e). Start it at 0 or 1 (so no selling back OACV for the sword-swingers), 3 points per.

 

Spells will, obviously, default to OACV vs DACV. Should this be an advantage?

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Here's one: have players buy a talent that ranks up their Arcana.  No futzing around with character sheet stat blocks and it simulates the fact that not everyone has the gift of magic well enough.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, sentry0 said:

Here's one: have players buy a talent that ranks up their Arcana.  No futzing around with character sheet stat blocks and it simulates the fact that not everyone has the gift of magic well enough.

 

That doesn't do what I want, which is to have combat skill with weapons and combat skill with magic completely separate.

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1 minute ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

That doesn't do what I want, which is to have combat skill with weapons and combat skill with magic completely separate.

 

Ohhhh, ok.  I missed that point :)

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One way is to just require arcane casters to buy combat levels for magic combat separately.

 

The thing is, especially for Fantasy Hero where the combat values are fairly low, there's basically no chance that an alternate CV will be worth an Advantage on the spell.  Even if it's just +1/4, it'll be too expensive compared to just buying +3 OCV with spell for 6 points.

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I'd like to first hear an explanation of what an "Arcane Combat Value" actually represents. For instance, OCV represents a person's physical dexterity in landing melee strikes or scoring ranged shots. ECV (or MCV) represents a mind's ability to accurately identify a target mind's "soft spots" so that the mental power effect can take hold. But what, exactly, does an ACV represent in the game? Having the answer to that might help in deciding the best way to implement it.

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In one magic system I've renamed MCV to "Mystical Combat Value".  It doesn't change anything about the mechanics or which powers use it to target, just the name and special effect.  It represents the caster's ability to target spells that aren't based on physical dexterity, but on their mystical abilities.  If I were to use it in a pre-6th edition game, I'd probably replace ECV with it, or base it on another stat (maybe OMCV is INT/3 and DMCV is EGO/3).  

 

Edit: I typed the above before rereading the previous posts on the thread.  Wheel, reinvented.  You could also do it as Combat Skill Levels with magic, that represent the caster's mystical offensive abilities, and add to their OCV or OMCV regardless of what the "M" represents.

 

Edit edit:  It looks like this thread was bumped by a spammer.  It was a pretty worthy thread to have bumped, though.

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10 minutes ago, Chris Goodwin said:

It represents the caster's ability to target spells that aren't based on physical dexterity, but on their mystical abilities.

 

But what is "mystical ability"? What is actually going on when a character utilizes it?

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37 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

But what is "mystical ability"? What is actually going on when a character utilizes it?

 

I'm not a wizard, so I don't know...

 

In 6th edition, we've divorced CV and MCV from their former parent Characteristics, so we can kind of use special effects to represent them.  For instance, we could translate D&D fighter types by giving them bonus OCV, Melee Only (-1), representing using their Strength to power through their target's defenses.  

 

Shouldn't a highly skilled and powerful wizard be reliant not on their frail, rickety, low-DEX body, but on their INT, EGO, and great knowledge of and connection to the mystical sphere?  That's what Arcane Combat Value represents.  

 

So, the answer to your question is "That's up to the player's SFX or the GM's magic system." 

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17 hours ago, Kennie said:

 

They notice magic as a complex system that is waiting to be controlled and decoded. They use tools to channel the temporary crafting, arcane power, and long-lasting magical objects. In this website you can get the spells stat fully. 

 

While running a Pathfinder - to - HERO converted module I wanted to incorporate the rock-paper-scissors that various spells have against various enemy types (mental spells vs. Fighters, Dex spells vs. Mages, CON spells vs. Rogues, etc.).

 

Eventually I came up with a simple formula for representing DCV vs. Spells.  Spells target an attribute (Usually DEX, EGO or CON) and the target gets a DCV  of STAT/3.  EGO 15 = DCV 5 vs. Mind Spells, CON 18 = DCV 6 vs. spells affecting health, etc.

 

It's worked out pretty well.

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5 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

Shouldn't a highly skilled and powerful wizard be reliant not on their frail, rickety, low-DEX body, but on their INT, EGO, and great knowledge of and connection to the mystical sphere?  That's what Arcane Combat Value represents.

 

Sure, but I fail to understand how having a strong connection to the mystical sphere helps hit a target with a spell. It's all too vague. Further explanation is needed in order to come up with good mechanics (or at least point cost structures) for it. It isn't enough to say the character understands how magic works; the GM has to also, otherwise you won't necessarily end up with mechanics and costs that make any sense. (Handwavium is not an effective design material here.)

 

For instance, if the world is one in which magic is the act of getting demonic forces from another dimension to do the work for you (e.g., it isn't the wizard that is aiming that fireball at the pesky rogue, but a demonic intelligence from some other plane of existence), then maybe the ACV should be based on the DEX of the demon in use.

 

Or maybe it makes more sense to say that casting a spell is a matter of visualizing it clearly enough inside one's mind, and then manifesting it with sheer will. In that case I could see how both INT and EGO could play a role here, and perhaps Base ACV should be equal to (INT/10)+(EGO/5) or something along those lines.

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I just want to make sure I have this straight:

 

You can understand that a person armed with a golf ball can use his OCV to wing it at someone's head.  Sadly, in the world we live in, we can probably find video of that actually happening.

 

You can understand how a person can, through willpower, force personality, or sheer hatred-- whatever your SFX is-- can use his ECV to deliver a crippling paralysis to an opponent across the room or telekinetically shove someone through a plate glass window, in spite of neither of these things being verifiably possible.

 

You can't understand how someone, through mastery of understanding how to influence or call upon the unseen forces holding the universe together, can use his ability to manipulate said forces to rip open a tiny hole in the universe that spews fire across a field filled with enemy soldiers.

 

No; I'm not being a smart ass.  I just re-read that before posting, and I realized that it could be construed that way.  I am asking for this clarification so that I, or anyone else inclined to try, might be able to offer a rephrasing of the concept that might help you to see where the notion is coming from.

 

That's all.

 

 

 

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I don't see any reason why a combat spell with a physical effect on a physical target should be targeted by anything other than OCV vs DCV.  And if it's a mental effect on a target's mind, then it can use MOCV vs MDCV.  Calling upon one's attunement to arcane forces allows you to create some phenomenon (say, a ball of fire) which can be used to attack an enemy.  Yes, but aiming that fireball in the right direction is the same skill as throwing a rock in the right direction.  And if for some reason it wasn't, then what exactly constitutes the target's "Arcane Defensive Combat Value"?  Especially if the target has no such arcane attunement.  You throw a magic fireball with the same accuracy as you throw a bottle of burning oil or shoot a flamethrower.  And how hard you are to hit with a magical fireball is no different than how hard you are to hit with a Molotov cocktail or a flamethrower.

 

Yes, of course you can run your games however you like, and if an ACV works for you, great!  And I would have no problem playing in such a game.  Though at some point, I would probably start to wonder how magical fire differs from non-magical fire, or how magical lightning differs from non-magical lightning, or how a magical hailstone differs from a normal hailstone, or how a magically summoned creature attacking differs from the attacks of the same creature if it hadn't been magically summoned.

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5 hours ago, PhilFleischmann said:

Yes, of course you can run your games however you like, and if an ACV works for you, great!  And I would have no problem playing in such a game.  Though at some point, I would probably start to wonder how magical fire differs from non-magical fire, or how magical lightning differs from non-magical lightning, or how a magical hailstone differs from a normal hailstone, or how a magically summoned creature attacking differs from the attacks of the same creature if it hadn't been magically summoned.

Because it’s magic? Not being a wiseacre but to me that’s all the justification I need. Do you poke at this the same way as Super Heroes? I have super strength. The GM says why? I say Gamma radiation? GM says ok...... ? Is there really a difference?

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15 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

You can't understand how someone, through mastery of understanding how to influence or call upon the unseen forces holding the universe together, can use his ability to manipulate said forces to rip open a tiny hole in the universe that spews fire across a field filled with enemy soldiers.

 

Sure I can. But if you're aiming your magic at a target, then as Phil says, OCV would still be involved. If the only answer to the question of what ACV represents is "it's magic," then it isn't needed; the existing CVs in the game will do just fine. In order to justify an entirely new CV you need a really good reason/rationale for why the existing ones don't properly cover what the new one is supposed to.

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5 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Because it’s magic? Not being a wiseacre but to me that’s all the justification I need. Do you poke at this the same way as Super Heroes? I have super strength. The GM says why? I say Gamma radiation? GM says ok...... ? Is there really a difference?

Or course there's a difference.  Super strength and normal strength are both targeted with OCV-vs-DCV.  There's not a separate SSOCV and SSDCV.  That's the whole issue of this thread.

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19 minutes ago, zslane said:

 

Sure I can. But if you're aiming your magic at a target, then as Phil says, OCV would still be involved. If the only answer to the question of what ACV represents is "it's magic," then it isn't needed; the existing CVs in the game will do just fine. In order to justify an entirely new CV you need a really good reason/rationale for why the existing ones don't properly cover what the new one is supposed to.

 

To whom do I need to justify it?  My players?  If I'm the GM and tell them that for this fantasy game I'm running, all spells use Mystical Combat Value, while all weapons, hand-to-hand, and special abilities use Combat Value... they'll say "Okay," and write their characters accordingly.  

 

I mean, all the justification I need is "I'm the GM and this is the game I want to run."  

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11 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

All right.  What if, instead of physically aiming a fireball, I use the Law of Contagion, using a hair from the victim's head to target it?  

 

+3 OCV with Fireball Spell, OAF Expendable (possibly difficult to obtain): a hair from the target's head (or presumably a similar bit of the target's body, in case he's bald, or is of a species that doesn't have hair)

 

Season to taste.

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I think the (well, a) reason for the dissent on the subject of having an Arcane CV is a gap in narrative understanding.  It's certainly why I'm so leery of the concept.  I don't have a mental picture of what an ACV rating says about a character. 

 

For example, (no hard feelings, you're just closest to the bottom of the page)

12 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

All right.  What if, instead of physically aiming a fireball, I use the Law of Contagion, using a hair from the victim's head to target it? 

What does a miss with this ACV-based fireball attack look like?  What did the defender do to make the fireball go somewhere else? 

What does a high AOCV attacker's attack look like?  What are they doing differently from a low AOCV attacker?  What sort of person would be really good at hitting with this fireball? 

What does a high ADCV target look and behave like?  A high DCV target is fast, evasive, nimble, etc.  But what adjectives apply to somebody with a high ADCV?  Who's hard to hit with this fireball, who's easy to hit? 

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