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Why purchase a Skill Level with All Attacks?

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 1:24 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

The only basis I can see for CV being costed at 5 CP is that, pre-6e, the closest thing we had was +1 Skill Level, DCV only, for 5 points. 

That's logical. So effectively, the Advantage that a Skill level can "add 1/2 DC" (+1/4?) is balanced by the Limitation: "Extra Time: 0 Phase" (-1/4?)

 

If that's the case the 5E Skill Costs do seem to work better.

 

 

 

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On 10/23/2019 at 9:02 PM, Greywind said:

That presupposes that such balance is actually attainable.

 

If we do not believe balance, at least in a rough sense, can be attained, why bother with a point-based system?  If the points are not about balance, what is their purpose?  An environment where those with greater systems mastery can identify the bargain prices, and the best synergies, to design the most (over) powerful characters?

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30 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

If we do not believe balance, at least in a rough sense, can be attained, why bother with a point-based system?  If the points are not about balance, what is their purpose?  An environment where those with greater systems mastery can identify the bargain prices, and the best synergies, to design the most (over) powerful characters?

Wow! Way to blow Greywind’s comment outta  proportion. No one is suggesting that we shouldn’t try to have a balanced system however as 6 editions show though, a perfectly balanced system is a fools errand. It’s counter productive. I feel that it’s costing the game new players. Isn’t trying to get to perfect balance got us to 2 volume 6th edition? Seriously with Gnome Body’s “because it punishes some concepts”, really punishes? How about enjoy the game and don’t worry about some getting a point or two more than you.

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Wow! Way to blow Greywind’s comment outta  proportion.

 

Hm just seemed like a reasonable response, pointing out that you have to work toward the best levels of balance and mathematical value you can.  You'll never get perfect balance, but just throwing up your hands and saying "its not possible!" is silly as well.

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Luke said "it's not possible" and threw up his hand.

 

Is 1 pt in STR equal to 1 pt in DEX? Seems the numbers would say they would, but then why does DEX cost more?

 

All the arguments of "this stat does more/less than that stat, so it should cost more/less" seem to point out that a lot of the stat valuation is based solely on experience and usage. So, since most players/GMs got nothing out of COM, it went away and we got the Striking Appearance in its place.

 

And we have dry areas in stats where they do nothing except get us a little closer to the next skill break point.

 

Two different 450 pt characters are equal. Not necessarily balanced against each other, but equal. Equal in value. It takes a GM to sit and go over the characters to find the balance between them, based on his experience, expected usage, and opinion. And opinion is nothing to base a balance on.

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On 10/26/2019 at 6:42 AM, Ninja-Bear said:

Wow! Way to blow Greywind’s comment outta  proportion. No one is suggesting that we shouldn’t try to have a balanced system however as 6 editions show though, a perfectly balanced system is a fools errand. It’s counter productive. I feel that it’s costing the game new players. Isn’t trying to get to perfect balance got us to 2 volume 6th edition? Seriously with Gnome Body’s “because it punishes some concepts”, really punishes? How about enjoy the game and don’t worry about some getting a point or two more than you.

 

As an example of a "punished concept", try building a "highly trained normal" in 5e under the constraint that he is Normal, not Legendary - no stat permitted to exceed NCM, including DEX, SPD and CON.  He should be able to compete with a character having a 33 DEX and 6 SPD, in a 12 DC/25 defenses standard campaign.  How many more points will the "legendary/superhuman" concept have to spend on other abilities?

 

Perfect balance is definitely impossible, as a perfect comparison of disparate abilities cannot be done objectively.  However, we can see in play that certain abilities are exceptionally valuable for their cost, and others seem like they do not deliver value for their points.  As well, when we build the exact same things in two or more reasonable ways, and the cost is markedly different, that is an objective imbalance.

 

On 10/26/2019 at 11:06 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

 

Hm just seemed like a reasonable response, pointing out that you have to work toward the best levels of balance and mathematical value you can.  You'll never get perfect balance, but just throwing up your hands and saying "its not possible!" is silly as well.

 

Exactly

 

On 10/26/2019 at 12:36 PM, Greywind said:

Luke said "it's not possible" and threw up his hand.

 

Is 1 pt in STR equal to 1 pt in DEX? Seems the numbers would say they would, but then why does DEX cost more?

 

All the arguments of "this stat does more/less than that stat, so it should cost more/less" seem to point out that a lot of the stat valuation is based solely on experience and usage. So, since most players/GMs got nothing out of COM, it went away and we got the Striking Appearance in its place.

 

And we have dry areas in stats where they do nothing except get us a little closer to the next skill break point.

 

Two different 450 pt characters are equal. Not necessarily balanced against each other, but equal. Equal in value. It takes a GM to sit and go over the characters to find the balance between them, based on his experience, expected usage, and opinion. And opinion is nothing to base a balance on.

 

Stats are challenging.  When 6e was initially released, I considered DEX overpriced compared to INT and PRE.  All three provide bonuses to several skills, and "something else" (initiative; PER; PRE attacks and defense).  Over time, I have moved to the belief that INT and PRE are underpriced.  +1 to all rolls (other than PER for INT) should cost 5 points.  Skill levels are still overpriced under this model as they do not enhance all rolls at once.  The other ability should cost 5 points (+5 initiative; +1 to all PER rolls; +1d6 PRE attack - and PRE defense should move to EGO exclusively).

 

STR has to be evaluated against other options to do damage.  I do not think doubling its cost would work, as it would then be too costly.  I do think a review of the various ways of increasing STR damage and effects is needed (Hand Attack is not as valuable as a MA DC, for example) and their pricing based on STR with limitations and advantages (that includes MA DCs being 0 END).

 

As I understand Steve's logic, COM went away because COM was not a characteristic.  It had no mechanical effects.  More importantly, any effect it would be given, based on five editions of house rules and online suggestions, modified PRE, another characteristic.  So it was changed into a talent built with limited PRE.  Maybe Martial Arts DCs and Hand Attack should be talents like Deadly Blow.   They do the same thing.

 

Requiring an advanced understanding reaching a near-intuitive level of how various abilities balance, despite their point costs, markedly reduces the number of people who can effectively GM a Hero game, constraining its market.  That's not good for the business model.

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On 10/28/2019 at 7:39 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Requiring an advanced understanding reaching a near-intuitive level of how various abilities balance, despite their point costs, markedly reduces the number of people who can effectively GM a Hero game, constraining its market. 

 

I've received matching feedback from several of my Fantasy HERO players.

 

They enjoy the game system, but they'd never even consider being a GM for it.  Too complicated and too much haggle room.

 

Systems with hard rails - like D&D 5e - do take a good chunk of workload off the DM.  There's little haggling as what does or doesn't constitute a legal/fair/balanced character is set in stone.

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There's little haggling as what does or doesn't constitute a legal/fair/balanced character is set in stone.

 

I'd say its sort of the opposite, since there's no objective standards or basis for balance.  Its all arbitrarily declared.  yes, its based on decades of play, but still: its just what they assert: this is a 3rd level spell.  That is a 14th level ability.  No, what D&D does is not make balance easier, it makes flexibility more guesswork: you can make a new class/spell/item/feat, etc but you're simply guessing based on on what has gone before.  The "splat" books are a perfect example of how well that works out.

 

At this point D&D is every bit as complex as Hero, its just familiar so people know it well and are comfortable with its complexities.

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2 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I'd say its sort of the opposite, since there's no objective standards or basis for balance.  Its all arbitrarily declared.  yes, its based on decades of play, but still: its just what they assert: this is a 3rd level spell.  That is a 14th level ability.  No, what D&D does is not make balance easier, it makes flexibility more guesswork: you can make a new class/spell/item/feat, etc but you're simply guessing based on on what has gone before.  The "splat" books are a perfect example of how well that works out.

 

At this point D&D is every bit as complex as Hero, its just familiar so people know it well and are comfortable with its complexities.

D&D is actually worse.  Every bloody spell is its own unique snowflake that every bloody caster will have to look up every time they cast it.  Every bloody class feature has to be learned all over the instant anyone changes class.  Every bloody monster ability has to be looked up by the GM for each new monster.  Every bloody feat etc etc you get it by now. 

D&D's design is "Let's build everything out of exceptions!" and means that learning D&D is im-expletiveing-possible.  People just get used to "Caster = look stuff up" or ignore their abilities. 

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6 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Systems with hard rails - like D&D 5e - do take a good chunk of workload off the DM.  There's little haggling as what does or doesn't constitute a legal/fair/balanced character is set in stone.

 

That's the nail on the head for me. Hero's subjectivity.

 

If I buy a 5-6 level adventure for D&D I know that it will pretty much work for characters of those levels.

 

If I buy a Standard Superheroic 6E HERO adventure then I'm probably going to have to do a lot of work to tailor it to my game. The writer's idea of what is right for that sort of level is probably very different from mine.

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Well what's missing in the adventures (not that there are any 6th edition Champions adventures for sale...) is that they don't have "this is the ideal power level" usually.  My Fantasy Hero scenarios do, but most don't.  So its not so much "hero is too subjective and takes too much work" its that D&D puts the power range you can reasonably play this scenario in, and Hero doesn't...

 

...yet ;)

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Being able to shift between offense, defense, and damage is more efficient than the numbers would suggest, due to the adaptability, but it is high cost point sink. They might be overcosted but probably not by much. 

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Ya know, maybe in my champions game I should make a villain have a characteristic drain of OCV and DCV. That definitely would make players think that skill levels have more value.

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8 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Why would that make them value skill levels over higher OCV/DCV and/or Power Defense? 

 

Probably because without a GM fiat, you can't drain or aid skills (6e1p135).  Even if the GM allows the draining of skills, you'd still need to target each skill, just like draining points from a blast power if you have more than 1 blast power.

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Just now, dsatow said:

Probably because without a GM fiat, you can't drain or aid skills (6e1p135).  Even if the GM allows the draining of skills, you'd still need to target each skill, just like draining points from a blast power if you have more than 1 blast power.

But having CSLs doesn't stop the enemy from draining your base CV.  The only way to be immune to a CV drain is to have 0 CV and rely entirely on CSLs.  Which is a bizarre concept and a silly idea when you could just buy CV and PowD to get more for cheaper. 

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

But having CSLs doesn't stop the enemy from draining your base CV.  The only way to be immune to a CV drain is to have 0 CV and rely entirely on CSLs.  Which is a bizarre concept and a silly idea when you could just buy CV and PowD to get more for cheaper. 

 

Not really, I have a player which is playing a brick somewhat like this.  It works out like this (though my player doesn't go to this extreme) in an 8 CV game:

 

Buy down DCV to 0.  Buy DCV levels to 8.  Difference in cost from buying an 8 DCV is 24 points.

Buy down OCV to 0.  Buy 8 OCV levels for punch, haymaker, and grab.  Difference in cost is a savings of 16 points. 

 

Net increase in cost = 8 points about the cost you would want in power defense.

 

I should note that the brick is slow and ponderous and has stretching.  Doesn't do much more than punches and grabs.  When the villain is stunned, he adds a die or two in damage at the sacrifice of CV.  When a target is out, he switches the OCV levels to damage to GM the villain.

 

I'm not saying that this is how all characters should be, but its is a very playable concept.

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On 2/11/2020 at 4:33 PM, dsatow said:

 

Not really, I have a player which is playing a brick somewhat like this.  It works out like this (though my player doesn't go to this extreme) in an 8 CV game:

 

Buy down DCV to 0.  Buy DCV levels to 8.  Difference in cost from buying an 8 DCV is 24 points.

Buy down OCV to 0.  Buy 8 OCV levels for punch, haymaker, and grab.  Difference in cost is a savings of 16 points. 

 

Net increase in cost = 8 points about the cost you would want in power defense.

 

I should note that the brick is slow and ponderous and has stretching.  Doesn't do much more than punches and grabs.  When the villain is stunned, he adds a die or two in damage at the sacrifice of CV.  When a target is out, he switches the OCV levels to damage to GM the villain.

 

I'm not saying that this is how all characters should be, but its is a very playable concept.

 

Of course, as he has 0 DCV, he is pretty vulnerable when he has not assigned his levels.  He can't shove someone, or trip them.  Tough luck if he wants to Block.  I wonder why that is.  Should he want to Grab one target and punch another, he splits that OCV between both actions.  No smacking a target with a girder, or a live wire, for you.  And no tossing a car at the bad guy either.

 

Gosh, if only you could aim the Freeze Gun Maguffin at the HydroBeast, huh?

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Of course, as he has 0 DCV, he is pretty vulnerable when he has not assigned his levels.  He can't shove someone, or trip them.  Tough luck if he wants to Block.  I wonder why that is.  Should he want to Grab one target and punch another, he splits that OCV between both actions.  No smacking a target with a girder, or a live wire, for you.  And no tossing a car at the bad guy either.

 

Gosh, if only you could aim the Freeze Gun Maguffin at the HydroBeast, huh?

 

The thing is, he defaults to his levels always assigned to DCV.  So DCV is not an issue.  Why they would do that is another matter.

 

I mentioned block to the player, but it doesn't matter to the player.  As a brick, he would state that its his job to get hit and soak the attack.  He doesn't do two different targets so grabbing one and punching another at the same time doesn't come up.  He doesn't use clubs or impromptu clubs.  He has occasionally used cars to smash high DCV targets, but an average car being 2.5"x1.25" (5mx2.5m) makes it an area effect attack which he then uses to smash an effective adjacent hex (0 DCV).  For the most part, he ignores having to do improvised range attacks because of stretching (6e1p285, all stretching attacks are considered HTH, not ranged).

 

I'm not saying the build isn't a bit limiting and I did mention in the post that he doesn't go to this extreme.  But the design is playable and effective.  Just a little limiting.

 

 

 

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As a side note, this may have been a reaction to the constantly improving martial artist design villain I made.  Whenever he hit someone, he drained 2d6 of DCV.  This drain only benefited him for a -1/2 limitation.  Similarly, when he was hit, he would absorb 10 points into his own DCV.  The absorption wouldn't provide defense, but would make him harder and harder to hit.

 

To stop him, they dropped a mack truck on him.

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On 2/12/2020 at 11:37 PM, dsatow said:

 

The thing is, he defaults to his levels always assigned to DCV.  So DCV is not an issue.  Why they would do that is another matter.

 

 

As I recall, levels are not "assigned by default".  At the start of combat, they are not assigned.  On recovery from being KOd, they are not assigned. 

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On 2/14/2020 at 10:16 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

 

As I recall, levels are not "assigned by default".  At the start of combat, they are not assigned.  On recovery from being KOd, they are not assigned. 

 

Its a zero phase action to assign levels.  So yes, if surprised or KO'd your DCV is zero instead of halved.  But in most games, a difference between 1/2 and 0 is not incredible.  For example, if you had an 8 CV against a person with an 8 CV, you would normally have a 11- to be hit.  At half, you go to 14-.  At 0,  you go to 17-.  The difference between 14- and 17- is ~9%.

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On 2/14/2020 at 10:46 PM, pawsplay said:

You need Defensive Maneuver IV for your levels to be persistent. 

Never knew that, but I seldom use defense maneuver for villains beyond the multiple attacker immunity.  Will keep it in mind.

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