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DEF vs. Thickness of Object

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2 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 Most Tanks would be at the 40-50 Hardened rPD at least.

 

Just curious where you get that from.  I could see 20-30 (it should be able to ignore heavy machine guns and the like), but 40-50 would mean it could safely ignore even anti-tank missiles. 

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4 minutes ago, BoloOfEarth said:

 

Just curious where you get that from.  I could see 20-30 (it should be able to ignore heavy machine guns and the like), but 40-50 would mean it could safely ignore even anti-tank missiles. 

 

I may be mis-remembering, but I recall an anti-tank missile being something like a 6d6 double AP attack (with combined AE explosive RKA following... missile punches through, blast takes out the inside of the tank). You'd need  40-50 hardened rPD to have a chance of resisting that.

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52 minutes ago, RDU Neil said:

 

I may be mis-remembering, but I recall an anti-tank missile being something like a 6d6 double AP attack (with combined AE explosive RKA following... missile punches through, blast takes out the inside of the tank). You'd need  40-50 hardened rPD to have a chance of resisting that.

 

There's a difference between resisting and completely ignoring.  And these are anti-tank missiles, after all.  They should have at least a fair chance of doing some damage to a tank.  I mean, it's in the name, right?  :winkgrin:

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4 hours ago, Toxxus said:

I'd say if your disintegration ray is intended to convert targets to fine ash then it should be built as a severe transform.

 

This is where we'd disagree. It is a killing attack... I'm killing the target, and the SFX is disintegration ray. That is classic Champs/HERO. To start over-engineering it to say, "Ok, that has to be this other more cumbersome build" is an example of exactly the issue I have with pushing HERO too far into complex simulation. Eventually everything is a Transform... Transform Character into Dead Character with a bullet in the heart... etc. The question is whether you want things simple " Cool... you have  3d6RKA Disintegration Pistol!" and let the story dictate the SFX interpretation, "Sure, you can zap a hole in the wall!" 

 

... or... you begin down the road of, "Well... for all the things a Disintegration Pistol can do, you at least need a Multipower with RKA and Transform and... blah, blah blah"... which, to me, is where things can quickly go from "fun and clever build" to "over-engineered nightmare of a points kludge"   The taste for that varies. I tend to the KISS side of things. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, RDU Neil said:

 

This is where we'd disagree. It is a killing attack... I'm killing the target, and the SFX is disintegration ray. That is classic Champs/HERO. To start over-engineering it to say, "Ok, that has to be this other more cumbersome build" is an example of exactly the issue I have with pushing HERO too far into complex simulation. Eventually everything is a Transform... Transform Character into Dead Character with a bullet in the heart... etc. The question is whether you want things simple " Cool... you have  3d6RKA Disintegration Pistol!" and let the story dictate the SFX interpretation, "Sure, you can zap a hole in the wall!" 

 

... or... you begin down the road of, "Well... for all the things a Disintegration Pistol can do, you at least need a Multipower with RKA and Transform and... blah, blah blah"... which, to me, is where things can quickly go from "fun and clever build" to "over-engineered nightmare of a points kludge"   The taste for that varies. I tend to the KISS side of things. 

 

 

 

If you're keeping it simple and working off the special effects angle it's perfectly reasonable to do a lethal amount of damage without converting the target to ashes in the same way a character using the same level of killing attack based on fire could.

 

Taking enough fire damage to die doesn't mean you're ashes.  Taking enough cold damage to die doesn't mean you shatter into a thousand un-rezzable meat cubes.

 

Probably easiest way is to GM hand-wave it based on how far negative BODY they went and the targets importance to the story.

 

That and the Reciprocity Dictum:  Would you want this to happen to your character in this situation?

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3 minutes ago, Toxxus said:

If you're keeping it simple and working off the special effects angle it's perfectly reasonable to do a lethal amount of damage without converting the target to ashes in the same way a character using the same level of killing attack based on fire could.

 

Taking enough fire damage to die doesn't mean you're ashes.  Taking enough cold damage to die doesn't mean you shatter into a thousand un-rezzable meat cubes.

 

Probably easiest way is to GM hand-wave it based on how far negative BODY they went and the targets importance to the story.

 

That and the Reciprocity Dictum:  Would you want this to happen to your character in this situation?

 

I agree with all of this... but now we are talking "guidelines for GM and play group SFX judgment" and not mechanics. I'm totally fine with that, but we are far from being able to mechanically define exactly how much BODY loss represents how much physical destruction vs. system disruption, etc. 

 

Again, I'm actually ok with that... dialing things back to core HERO... Mechanically deal X Body and X STun vs. their defenses. Consider the SFX of the attack vs. SFX of the target... make a story telling call that makes sense for that scenario.  NOW we are playing a game... not writing simulation code. Again... my preference. 

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Personally, I think a vehicle is inoperable once it gets to 0 BODY and unrepairable when it gets to -BODY.  Probably to destroy the entire body would be 2x -BODY.  But as noted this is all GM subjective.

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On May 9, 2019 at 12:05 PM, RDU Neil said:

 

Oh, don't get me started on those rules... where shooting a wall with a .45 somehow causes a man sized gap in an interior drywall type wall.

 

 

I think-- we'll never know, because Steve doesn't answer those sorts of questions--that this is the sort of thing that "real weapon" and "beam weapon" was meant to address. 

 

I never used (and rarely allow) either of those limitations, simply because there are both advantages and disadvantages to any special effect, and I have always felt that making those calls is specifically what the GM is for in the first place. 

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27 minutes ago, dsatow said:

Personally, I think a vehicle is inoperable once it gets to 0 BODY and unrepairable when it gets to -BODY.  Probably to destroy the entire body would be 2x -BODY.  But as noted this is all GM subjective.

 

If that's the case, the car in the video has taken somewhere around 2x BODY.  People tend to confuse "how it looks" with how it _is_. 

 

The entire front clip and a-pillars are destroyed, as well as every part of that vehicle intended to dissipate kinetic energy (this is why body shops replace bits of the car that _appear_ undamaged, if you were curious). 

 

There is no frame on the car, and the unibody is tweaked to a point where attempting to straighten it will make it too weak to be safe in another impact.  The transaxle will be damaged beyond Salvage, and anything mounted to the engine has been torn and damaged, possibly ripping mounting bosses from the block itself, meaning the engine is now nothing more than a toxic boat anchor. 

 

 

The suspension will be unsalvageable, and the subframe assemblies carrying the engine/transaxle unit is scap. 

 

Radiator, a/c condenser, etc: all toast.  Likely the dash is shot (air bags, crumple zones, and passenger impacts) as is the steering wheel, if not the entire column.  And for good measure, at least one of those front wheels is bent.  And this is just scratching the surface. 

 

Seriosly:  this car could be made "operable,"  (I don't know if you are familiar with a Salvage title,  but they exist for just this reason: your car is now legally classified as rolling garbage), but it will never be properly repaired.  Don't let a relatively minor amount of smooth  sheet metal fool you: the car has salvageable parts, but it's beyond reasonable repair. 

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11 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

That BODY is abstracted to represent both the structural integrity, mass and systemic functioning of a person or object... it lends itself to a lot of head scratching moments. SFX generally applies in a "whatever" moment... but if my SFX is "Disintigrator Ray!" and yours is "Shotgun!" but both of us have 3d6RKA... then things start to get dicey at times. One wipes out the entire body of the target, the other leaves a bleeding corpse, which all have game implications. One makes sense to create a hole in a concrete wall to walk through, the other doesn't at all.

 

9 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Oh, don't get me started on those rules... where shooting a wall with a .45 somehow causes a man sized gap in an interior drywall type wall.

 

It's my understanding that a "proper" modeling of firearms would include the Real Weapon and Beam (can't find that in 6E, though) limitations, which would account for those differences.  

 

I don't know how to rule on corpses being destroyed, though. HERO has some blind spots, and that's one of them. There's also nothing in the rules (that I'm aware of) about "blowthrough"--by RAW, if a human gets hit by a main battle tank APDS round, they'll die but they'll also stop the dart. That . . . doesn't seem right to me.

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4 hours ago, Zeropoint said:

I don't know how to rule on corpses being destroyed, though. HERO has some blind spots, and that's one of them. There's also nothing in the rules (that I'm aware of) about "blowthrough"--by RAW, if a human gets hit by a main battle tank APDS round, they'll die but they'll also stop the dart. That . . . doesn't seem right to me.

 

Agreed... and so I have a house rule for it that I use in my "more realistic" heroic level/guns and martial arts game.

 

Blowthrough: It is possible for large and/or armor piercing attacks to pass through defenses and barriers without being reduced in damage applied to the target on the other side. To determine blowthrough, the house rule is 

  • Body rolled on attack doubles the non-hardened defense (of barrier or armor) 
  • AND Body rolled also is more than Body of barrier or target 
  • Hardened def stops any chance for blowthrough... would need double AP to have a chance to blow through hardened 
  • Blowthrough can only happen once for an attack (can't blow through multiple targets) 

Example: Target is wearing a Level II vest under their shirt, and is hit with a 5.56x45mm rifle round (2d6, Light AP vs. this non-hardened armor) Damage rolled is 11... 6 rPD is reduced by 11/2=6, so 0 rPD vs. 11 damage. Body of target is 10... so armor is exceeded and Body of target is exceeded, bullet blows through. target takes full damage and so does whatever is behind him.  

 

Now clearly an APDS would keep going through several people and only stop once it hit something sufficiently thick and dense, or eventually fell to earth. Such an attack scenario would be rare and likely get all kinds of GM handwavy stuff... but I did try to account for the much more common scenario of gun fights within buildings and where multiple targets may be near each other. It never requires this calculation every time, simply when the situation makes the question "Huh... is there possible blowthrough happening?" dramaticly applicable. 

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18 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

I agree with all of this... but now we are talking "guidelines for GM and play group SFX judgment" and not mechanics. I'm totally fine with that, but we are far from being able to mechanically define exactly how much BODY loss represents how much physical destruction vs. system disruption, etc. 

 

Again, I'm actually ok with that... dialing things back to core HERO... Mechanically deal X Body and X STun vs. their defenses. Consider the SFX of the attack vs. SFX of the target... make a story telling call that makes sense for that scenario.  NOW we are playing a game... not writing simulation code. Again... my preference. 

I always figured that this sort of situation is why the 6e mantra exists in the rules: “consider common sense, game balance, special effects, etc. etc.” Those provisos are an acknowledgement that the GM still has to handwave a bunch of stuff, despite the particular rules. 

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23 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Which always made me question... "How much Body do you have to do to disintegrate a character? If -10 BODY means the corpse can be "structurally whole, but had a myocardial infarction and just died"... what represents "no body, it was separated into constituent atoms?" or simply "blown to bits"?

This reminds me of when I tried to figure out, according to the rules, if it was possible to throw a coffee mug with enough momentum to both disintegrate but also blow a hole through a wall. I quickly got lost in the rules, and gave up.

 

I really hope one of my players doesn’t throw a coffee cup at a wall. 

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21 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

This reminds me of when I tried to figure out, according to the rules, if it was possible to throw a coffee mug with enough momentum to both disintegrate but also blow a hole through a wall. I quickly got lost in the rules, and gave up.

 

I really hope one of my players doesn’t throw a coffee cup at a wall. 

 

Sounds like a job for the Myth Busters!

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1 hour ago, Brian Stanfield said:

I always figured that this sort of situation is why the 6e mantra exists in the rules: “consider common sense, game balance, special effects, etc. etc.” Those provisos are an acknowledgement that the GM still has to handwave a bunch of stuff, despite the particular rules. 

 

My desire is more focus on this than on all the mechanical and rules. The way it is stated is that this is just basic GM advice... rather than the crucial play paradigm to make everything work. This is the difference in design that I see with modern RPGs vs. old school models like HERO is the new ones focus mostly on what HERO calls "handwaving" which can seem dismissive.

 

More "play rules" about making these judgments, engaging the players as part of the decision, etc., these things need more focus, rather than the micro-simulationist text book aspects... again, IMO.

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6 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

This is the difference in design that I see with modern RPGs vs. old school models like HERO is the new ones focus mostly on what HERO calls "handwaving" which can seem dismissive.

 

I'm actually on board with this trend. In my earlier gaming days, I loved simulationism. Today, I realize that there is no bottom to the simulationist rabbit hole, and also that 1) most people are going to be using their intuition and judgement to determine whether a simulationist approach is "realistic" or not, so 2) the simulationist approaches tend to spit your seat-of-the-pants judgements back to you but with more work, so 3) why not just go straight to the seat of the pants and save some work and play time?

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2 hours ago, Zeropoint said:

 

I'm actually on board with this trend. In my earlier gaming days, I loved simulationism. Today, I realize that there is no bottom to the simulationist rabbit hole, and also that 1) most people are going to be using their intuition and judgement to determine whether a simulationist approach is "realistic" or not, so 2) the simulationist approaches tend to spit your seat-of-the-pants judgements back to you but with more work, so 3) why not just go straight to the seat of the pants and save some work and play time?

 

100% agreed

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22 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

My desire is more focus on this than on all the mechanical and rules. The way it is stated is that this is just basic GM advice... rather than the crucial play paradigm to make everything work. This is the difference in design that I see with modern RPGs vs. old school models like HERO is the new ones focus mostly on what HERO calls "handwaving" which can seem dismissive.

 

More "play rules" about making these judgments, engaging the players as part of the decision, etc., these things need more focus, rather than the micro-simulationist text book aspects... again, IMO.

I didn’t mean to come across as dismissive. I used “handwaving” based on someone else’s post, but may mean something different by it. I agree with you that the best parts of the game are when the players interact and spontaneously build the game, and I consider the rules to be guidelines to help resolve and balance that creativity. I don’t consider that to be an afterthought to the mechanics; I actually see it more as the opposite. 

 

How ‘bout I replace “handwave a bunch of stuff” with “make judgments on many important elements that are not rules related”? I always read the 6e rules, despite many complaints to the contrary, as guidelines for play since they are constantly reminding the reader that it is only a game, and the rules are there to facilitate play, not constrain it. Hence the provisos about common sense and game balance, etc. I think Aaron Allston understood this in the early ‘80s when the rules were still pretty much wide open. All his “old school” advice pretty much still holds up. The players and play are more important than the rules. 

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20 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

I didn’t mean to come across as dismissive. I used “handwaving” based on someone else’s post, but may mean something different by it. I agree with you that the best parts of the game are when the players interact and spontaneously build the game, and I consider the rules to be guidelines to help resolve and balance that creativity. I don’t consider that to be an afterthought to the mechanics; I actually see it more as the opposite. 

 

How ‘bout I replace “handwave a bunch of stuff” with “make judgments on many important elements that are not rules related”? I always read the 6e rules, despite many complaints to the contrary, as guidelines for play since they are constantly reminding the reader that it is only a game, and the rules are there to facilitate play, not constrain it. Hence the provisos about common sense and game balance, etc. I think Aaron Allston understood this in the early ‘80s when the rules were still pretty much wide open. All his “old school” advice pretty much still holds up. The players and play are more important than the rules. 

 

Sorry... wasn't directing my comment at you at all... just that "handwaving" was kind of the old school short hand for dismissing what has come to be seen as the important stuff... how to actually make good judgments and decisions. I agree it shouldn't be an afterthought, but when you look at the page count and content comparison between "crunchy rules" and "a few mentions of facilitating play" a reader is driven to think one is way more important than the other... it just happens to be true in the other direction.

I actually think there is room in an evolved HERO (very different direction than it has gone) to create some Nar rules, particularly around SFX, that could layer on the crunch. In fact, a lot of crunch is trying to quantify SFX in some areas (think Growth and Density Increase rules, etc.) that in other situations, are left unaddressed (energy blast doesn't deal with side effects of setting things on fire or whatever, so why does Growth or DI try to deal with being too big and heavy that you break things... all that is SFX so be consistent). 

 

If there were more rules around SFX in terms of "judging interactions and using SFX to storytell around power uses" that would be huge... but very much a new interpretation... not old school HERO at all.

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2 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

If there were more rules around SFX in terms of "judging interactions and using SFX to storytell around power uses" that would be huge... but very much a new interpretation... not old school HERO at all.

I suspect this is what Ron Edwards is working on with Champions Now. I may not use his rule set, but I will read his book cover to cover. I like what I’ve read so far, and love his ideas. Because of him I will run all my campaigns, supers and heroes alike, at 5 Active Points = 1 Endurance. It requires the players to deal with the game mechanics narratively as they get too tired to continue fighting. Just this idea alone changed the way I look at the way the mechanics can interact and inspire role playing. 

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1 hour ago, Brian Stanfield said:

I suspect this is what Ron Edwards is working on with Champions Now. I may not use his rule set, but I will read his book cover to cover. I like what I’ve read so far, and love his ideas. Because of him I will run all my campaigns, supers and heroes alike, at 5 Active Points = 1 Endurance. It requires the players to deal with the game mechanics narratively as they get too tired to continue fighting. Just this idea alone changed the way I look at the way the mechanics can interact and inspire role playing. 

 

I was big into what he was doing, but the play test crashed and burned with my group. Funny that you should bring up END, but that is one area I completely disagree... I feel that mechanic does the exact opposite of engaging with story, and completely disengages as it forces this micromanaging bookkeeping that drives me nuts. "I look at my fork."  "Mark off your END." "Ok, I move to pick up my fork." "Ok... big move, mark off that END." "I actually pick up my fork." "Are you sure you have enough END for that?"

 

I mean, seriously... how much of the source material has supers constantly worrying about every little move nickel and diming away their energy? And this is in Supers... let alone you never see in even typical level action adventure. END as written actually works well for gritty level stuff, where swinging a sword for a little bit DOES exhaust you and fist fights often results in two people sagging and staggering into each other. That is NOT supers, though. 

 

Also, END cost usually simply became a default "First buy all your powers to O END" built into the cost over everything, or other gaming of the system as a work around... far from inspiring narrative play, it caused gamist power builds to be foremost at issue. 

 

Now... dramatic use of limited resources... THIS I really like. The moments when a character goes "all in" on an attack and risks being weak and vulnerable afterwards... rules that encourage this type of decision making and dramatic play I like. We through out END as written decades ago, and instead moved to a END as a governor of active point use, and a pool for "pushing"... which has worked pretty well. (There is another thread on it somewhere on here.) 

 

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2 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

Now... dramatic use of limited resources... THIS I really like. The moments when a character goes "all in" on an attack and risks being weak and vulnerable afterwards... rules that encourage this type of decision making and dramatic play I like. We through out END as written decades ago, and instead moved to a END as a governor of active point use, and a pool for "pushing"... which has worked pretty well. (There is another thread on it somewhere on here.) 

This is good to know. I'm curious how your house-ruled END, if you could tell me more. Or at least lead me to the right forum where you do discuss it.

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22 hours ago, Brian Stanfield said:

This is good to know. I'm curious how your house-ruled END, if you could tell me more. Or at least lead me to the right forum where you do discuss it.

 

Here is the thread where my alternative END rules were discussed.
 

 

Would be interested in your thoughts.

 

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