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Ximenez

Growth vs Multiform

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Player wants to build a character who can take three sizes:

1) The default form, a key-chain sized, tiny dinosaur who's carried around by a 10-year-old boy.

2) The second form, roughly human sized.

3) Third form, full-size T-Rex.

 

So 0 END Growth to Huge is 135 AP, which is way over the campaign max but I'm willing to allow to facilitate a truly unique character concept. Or we could do Multiform, which would be considerably cheaper, although the character doesn't go through any mental changes and keeps the same skill set. My main concern is with campaign balance--creativity counts for something but I don't want to give the player too much of an advantage. Thoughts?

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This seems like a clear case for Multiform -- but it sounds like you're trying to avoid it.

 

There's another option, which is to start at roughly human-sized … and use Shrinking to get to key-chain sized … and use Growth to get to Huge.  Make the Shrinking @0END … and make the Growth cost END (for the very same balance reasons you mentioned) … and provide enough END to run it (END is cheap!).

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Practically, if his "Huge Form" fits within the campaign limits, and he simply drops points off to move to the other two forms, I see no issue with MultiForm specifically.  This issue highlights the problem with hard AP limits.  For Growth or Multiform, I would be more inclined to restrict the component parts - i.e.STR is capped, defenses are capped, etc.  If a Brick with the same stats, at normal size, would be OK, then the Huge Dinosaur should also be OK.

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Caps and costs and such are your decision, of course,  but the biggest decider (for me) would be if the character wants to be able to stop "in between" these points.   If he sees himself stopping at 3 feet tall of twelve feet tall every now and again, the multiform is right out. 

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2 hours ago, Ximenez said:

Player wants to build a character who can take three sizes:

1) The default form, a key-chain sized, tiny dinosaur who's carried around by a 10-year-old boy.

2) The second form, roughly human sized.

3) Third form, full-size T-Rex.

 

So 0 END Growth to Huge is 135 AP, which is way over the campaign max but I'm willing to allow to facilitate a truly unique character concept. Or we could do Multiform, which would be considerably cheaper, although the character doesn't go through any mental changes and keeps the same skill set. My main concern is with campaign balance--creativity counts for something but I don't want to give the player too much of an advantage. Thoughts?

 

Multiform is a Standard Power and can be put into a Multipower.  That's the way Hank Pym does it when he goes from Yellowjacket, Ant-Man, and Goliath.

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1. Active Points and point costs don't tell the whole story.  They're a good starting point for balance for direct, straightforward things like attacks vs defenses, but when you get into the less direct aspects of character building, you can't just go by the numbers.  It's entirely possible to have a cheap game-breaking power, or an expensive power than doesn't accomplish all that much.

2. Remember that you can always say 'that was a mistake, it's unbalancing the game, we need to do something about that'.  GMs make mistakes, and aren't omniscient ... it's impossible to foresee every possible situation a PC might end up in or how they might (ab)use a power.

 

On a more 'which power to use' front, assuming all the forms are bipedal/raptor-bodied dinosaurs, this doesn't sound like Multiform to me, just maybe a Multipower with a Growth slot and a Shrinking slot, since the skills and overall powers remain the same.

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2 hours ago, Cassandra said:

 

Multiform is a Standard Power and can be put into a Multipower.  That's the way Hank Pym does it when he goes from Yellowjacket, Ant-Man, and Goliath.

 

I dunno, I'd interpret that just as a Multipower with Growth and Shrinking, along with a Gadget Pool.  I do freely admit that, the last time I paid much attention to the main Marvel comics, Pym actually couldn't change size without endangering his health, but could enlarge and shrink other objects and people by touch (and carried around a small arsenal of shrunken weapons and gadgets in his jumpsuit), and didn't use a superheroic identity.

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On 6/10/2019 at 1:10 PM, Cassandra said:

 

Multiform is a Standard Power and can be put into a Multipower.  That's the way Hank Pym does it when he goes from Yellowjacket, Ant-Man, and Goliath.

I never understood this. Multiform also gives you double the number of forms for a five point adder, so why would you need to put it in a multipower?

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On 6/11/2019 at 10:31 PM, clnicholsusa said:

I never understood this. Multiform also gives you double the number of forms for a five point adder, so why would you need to put it in a multipower?

 

Multipower (60 Points)

u) Mulitform: 4x 250 Points

u) EB 12d6

 

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On 6/11/2019 at 10:31 PM, clnicholsusa said:

I never understood this. Multiform also gives you double the number of forms for a five point adder, so why would you need to put it in a multipower?

 

I mean "need" seems like a strong term but the general reason is: Cost efficiency (in some cases).

Like Cassandra's example.

 

I have a player in my game with a MF in a MP currently for exactly those reasons.

He has other powers besides MF and can't use them while he's using MF so....MF in an MP.

 

 

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On a tangential topic - I've been wondering about Shrinking recently. I was re-watching some Antman, and Wasp fight scenes on youtube. In the movies the guys shrink but don't seem to lose much mass or physical strength. Well, except when the story wants them too. That's an inconsistency for the movie makers to deal with.

 

What it did was get me thinking about is how I'd like to model Shrinking while staying consistent. Should it come with limitations to reduce Strength and movement in proportion? Extra Knockback is built into the Shrinking  power, but if I'm not insisting that STR be proportional  then why should mass be proportional? Multiform was mentioned above and obviously that allows one to model the power in a different way than buying Shrinking with side effects (or conversely putting limitations on STR and move powers.) So many choices...

 

So how do you guys model shrinking?

 

This is just a theoretical for discussion purposes. In an actual game situation I'd let the player model it however they want and come up with whatever BS they want to justify it.

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By the book, Growth adds mass; Shrinking reduces it.  This makes sense, and is consistent.

 

By the book, Growth adds STR; Shrinking does not reduce it.

 

If you're opinion shopping, I have long-suspected that this is a concession to players more than to the source material.  (I may be completely wrong: please keep in mind that I was never a "comic book guy," even when I was a kid.  Even when I did read one, it was usually a western or a Creepy).  The only source material I have is book and movies where the hero(es) is shrunk, and almost invariably, they become weaker.  Plot weaker, anyway-- sometimes they are still strong enough to knock over a phone and push the dial around, but let's not digress too far here).

 

I say that I believe it's a concession to players because I would think that "and if you pay _this_ many points, your STR can drop into the negatives!  How cool would _that_ be?!"

 

Yeah.  Unless you and your players are really, really into the cerebral (and I'm not knocking that: I'm the first guy to endorse story and conception over rules or "effectiveness", it's not going to be cool at all.  It's going to be heinous with a capital "anus."

 

And I have a suspicion that, regardless of "rightness" or "consistency," it's going to still be that way when our grandkids write HERO SYSTEM Eighth Edition, and for very much the same reason.

 

 

Just my two cents worth, and you're probably getting ripped off. ;)

 

 

 

Duke

 

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@DukeBushido: Thanks for the response.

 

Yeah, you're quite right, most players aren't going to want their character's STR to decrease with their size. Plus, the extra work involved in tracking this sort of thing is another player turn off.

 

I am definitely over-thinking it. I can't help myself sometimes. :stupid:

 

 

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Crazy thing that gets overlooked with the shrinking = stronger effect that Ant Man and Wasp go through is that their now very, very tiny fists and feet would pierce thugs flesh and bones like needles.

 

You're much stronger and the surface area of your strike has been reduced by 128x?  Um, you punch through the guy like a bullet....

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15 hours ago, drunkonduty said:

On a tangential topic - I've been wondering about Shrinking recently. I was re-watching some Antman, and Wasp fight scenes on youtube. In the movies the guys shrink but don't seem to lose much mass or physical strength. Well, except when the story wants them too. That's an inconsistency for the movie makers to deal with.

 

What it did was get me thinking about is how I'd like to model Shrinking while staying consistent. Should it come with limitations to reduce Strength and movement in proportion? Extra Knockback is built into the Shrinking  power, but if I'm not insisting that STR be proportional  then why should mass be proportional? Multiform was mentioned above and obviously that allows one to model the power in a different way than buying Shrinking with side effects (or conversely putting limitations on STR and move powers.) So many choices...

 

So how do you guys model shrinking?

 

This is just a theoretical for discussion purposes. In an actual game situation I'd let the player model it however they want and come up with whatever BS they want to justify it.

 

Mass, as has been pointed out, decreases as levels of Shrinking increase.  As to strength and movement decreasing:

 

6E1-283 under the Shrinking Power:

Reduced By Shrinking (-¼): If a character wants
to lose some abilities — such as STR, or the full
power of his Blast, or the like — he can use this
Limitation, which is described above.

 

5eR says approximately the same thing on page 219 under Using Shrinking

 

So add "reduced by shrinking" to the character's STR and Movement powers?

 

Toxxus' "decreased striking surface area means more damage/penetration"  could be done with a linked HA or HKA, I'd think.

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Toxxus. Good point on the increased force to area ratio. Armour Piercing might be a way to go.

 

Neverway. Thanks. I've not actually read 6th ed (except Fantasy Complete.) So I didn't know about the Reduced By Shrinking limitation. 

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So, +50 STR, reduced by shrinking - 40 points and +38 meters Running (+38) and all running Reduced by Shrinking (-10), plus 10 levels of Shrinking (60 points) = 128 points  [Steve suggests loss of 5 AP per level of shrinking]

 

OR

 

+50 STR for 50 points, +38 meters running for 38 and 10 levels of Shrinking, Extreme Major Side Effects (lose 5 STR and 5m running/level of shrinking), occurs automatically (-2 limitation) so 20 CP for a total of 108 points [Steve suggests this side effect as an alternative]

 

OR

 

90  Multipower Pool

18 m +50 STR and +38 meters running 88 AP

18 m 10 levels shrinking, 0 END

 

for 126 points, and now my shrinking costs no END.

 

Perhaps that -1/4 limitation is a bit light (but not as light as I initially thought)?

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9 hours ago, Toxxus said:

Crazy thing that gets overlooked with the shrinking = stronger effect that Ant Man and Wasp go through is that their now very, very tiny fists and feet would pierce thugs flesh and bones like needles.

 

You're much stronger and the surface area of your strike has been reduced by 128x?  Um, you punch through the guy like a bullet....

 

 

Take some Leaping, and a couple Advantages like "Armor Piercing" and "Penetrating" on an RKA: Range limited to Leaping and have a very literal Move-Through....  No Knockback, of course. ;)

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

  [Steve suggests loss of 5 AP per level of shrinking]

 

Good catch!

 

I don't know if that would really model scaled Shrinking though.  If at some point you added another Advantage-- let's say you put Reduced End: Zero END on your STR, suddenly you're losing less actual strength with each level of Shrinking you activate.   It gets more hinky with powers that typical have more advantages: you go from losing a whole die of Ranged Attack / Energy Blast / Blast / I-hit-someone-across-the-room-without-having-to-go-over-there when it has no Advantages to losing very little when it has Red End, Area of Effect, Indirect attached.

 

Not something I can't live with, but it would disproportionately "proportion" the losses of different characters.  Were I to use this rule, I'd think maybe tweaking it to "5AP of the base power" or whatever particular wording implies losing, if you'll pardon the expression, "a level per level" of Shrinking that's activated.

 

 

38 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

60  Multipower Pool

18 m +50 STR and +38 meters running 88 AP

18 m 10 levels shrinking, 0 END

 

 

 

I don't want to derail the topic, but I want to say "Dude, Hugh!  I _love_ that multipower option!"

 

Seriously; I do!  It rather elegantly scales STR and Movement up and down depending on how much Shrinking is in play.  That's beautiful.  I love it not for the points-effectiveness, but for the sheer simplicity of it, especially compared to some of the published builds of late-- you know, the ones with so many Advantages, Adders, and Limitations that you have sit down and study it for half-an-hour to know what it actually _does_.

 

Well done, Sir!  It's beautiful.

 

 

(wish I'd thought of that _years_ ago.... :lol:  )

 

 

Duke

 

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Years ago, I recall a gaming magazine questioning how to build the Wasp, whose blasts gain power as she loses size.  Linked to Shrinking is the obvious answer, but his less obvious, and more elegant, solution was Shrinking, Always On and a Multipower of Blast and "buy off the Always on".  If she devotes more points to being full-sized, they come out of the Blast.

 

Multipower for tradeoffs feels like something vastly underused.

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It's wierd:

 

I've used them for years to represent having X amount of a. Power reserve of some sort to split amongst powers ( think power pool with a very finite number of expressions); I've even mentioned it once or twice in other discussions.  But using it to model this particular effect: losing abilities as a body-affecting power is increased--has just never occurred to me. 

 

I really, really like it. 

 

Thanks! 

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8 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

60  Multipower Pool

18 m +50 STR and +38 meters running 88 AP

18 m 10 levels shrinking, 0 END

 

What are you doing here Hugh, I know Duke cheered the simplicity of this but I am a bit lost.  Is this a multipower?  If so you are missing the limitation on the reserve that gets the cost down from 90 to 60.

 

Am I missing something obvious?

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