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lensman

HERO Lmitations and Value

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HERO is a game of Limitations.

 

I have a MU who wants to put a limitation on Images, which last for a time based on END Reserve.

The Limitation is: Viewable only by X. Where X is re-definable. 

The possibilities Being: Only Seen by Ultraviolet vision, Only by those who are color Blind, Only by Orcs, Only by Party members, Only by descendants of X.

Images are not bought with Invisible Power Effect (IPE) Advantage with the limit, Not IPE v X. And trigger only speaks to the Power activating, not who can see the Images.

 

The argument is that since Images are visible to all, all the time, this is a limitation. Feels like an Advantage to me.

A way t have IPE without paying for it. So it is IPE with a Limit on IPE so that IPE does not apply to a Class, or is it an Advantage on IPE so there is a Class that is excluded?

 

Second, A Limitation on DEF, that only works v One opponent per Phase.  Realizing that is scales depending on campaign and the Commonality of circumstance of its use. Assume it is a Duelist in a Heroic Fantasy HERO campaign.

 

 

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This feels to me that it should be built with Mental Illusions rather then Images. You can added Area of Effect and Selective to it and get the results the Player wants with in the "rules" of the game. 

 

If it has to be Images, then I think they would need to take both a limitation and an Advantage. First, the Limitation might usable vs One floating group at a time for maybe a -1/2 limitation but then they would need to take Variable Advantage at +1 1/2 (so a +3 advantage) the math being the base IPE (Obvious to Fully Invisible, No change to Target, other characters Invisible) which is a +1 1/2 Advantage, but then that would only effect one set type of character (orcs, Ultraviolet, etc...) so to be able to change it any time the PC wants it would need to be a Variable Advantage. Which makes the power very useful, but very expensive. 

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RE Images:  That's clearly an Advantage, and a huge one at that.  I'd ballpark it at +3/4 (Selective on Image's innate AoE and AoE 1" Accurate to trim off the to-hit roll), but it really depends on what he does with it.  The classic "your buddies now all look like my buddies", "thick sight-blocking mist", or "there's totally no door here" tricks are a lot meaner when selective than "sudden dragon!" or "yeah, this place is on fire".  I'd also require extra senses to do things like "Only descendants of X" unless it keyed off his knowledge or lack thereof regarding somebody's ancestry. 

As a side note, what's the SFX used to justify Images that only appear to specific groups?  It seems to me that he might want AoE Selective Mental Images. 

 

RE DEF: Impossible to ballpark without knowing you and your campaign.  How often will this character be fighting outnumbered?  How often will you have enemies pick on his Limitation by ganging up on him?  I could see it being anywhere from -1/4 to -1 1/2. 

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RE DEF: What also figures into it is does the player control who the DEF is going to work against in combat? For example, he start off dueling a Halfling that is using a pocket knife. The PC goes first, and after his attack and the halfling is about to attack him back, and then a giant Orc also jumps at him wielding a great axe. Can the PC pick which attack the DEF is going to work against? Or since he started out fighting the Halfling the DEF is only going to work against the hafling's attacks? Does the PC declare which enemy the DEF is going to work against at the top of the Phase (before anyone acts) or does he do it on his own Phase, so if things change before he gets to act, he can't change it until his Phase? But then if he wants to change it after his Phase does he need to Abort to do that? Can he even Abort to change or is it fixed until his next Phase? 

 

All those variables will probably help determine how much of a Limitation it is.  

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Hmm.  My question with things like the images, is how the images "know" who should get to see them.  I like the mental illusions solution, it provides for the targeting, I am also good with the limited invisible power effects giving the "detect kind of person" for free. 

 

The real benefit in the free detect is enhanced as the detect is redefinable.  If you are looking for pod people you create an image of a rock that only pod people can see.  Anyone who ducks when it is thrown is a pod person.

 

There would be a real need to define how specific the images can be.

 

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I don't have an issue with it as a Limitation; there may be those times when it would be most helpful to have someone else see it, but there's no way they will.  But maybe that's me.

 

However, it wont be IPE unless he buys it: there should be some percievable thing going on, even if everyone else is seeing only a will-o-wisp or a murky gray cloud or something. 

 

Though I have to wonder (and I'm no where I can check) does the current rule set (or at least the one your using) state that by default images are visible to all aspects of sight?  They give off heat and all that good stuff? 

 

Because if it does _not_ say that, I would assume that they were only visible to normal sight for the species that was casting it. 

 

If it mentions adders or what-have-you for making it visible to "other" sights, then right then we know it's neither and advantage or a limitation: you've just chosen a different "frequency," for lack of a better word. 

 

So yeah: I can see it being a limitation, so long as you let him know upfront that it is _not_ IPE, but I don't see it as a really big one if it's just different wavelengths.  When it comes to things like "only those of Clan M'Bufu or" only clerics of Thor"-  I might go as far as - 1/2.  Different wavelengths?  Unless something on the rules specifies that the default wavelength is limited in some way, not more than - 1/4.   However, something that clearly reduces the utility (I can use it indiscriminately one anyone), I just can't justify charging more for that. 

 

I guess it boils down to a "letter of the law VS spirit of the law" kind of thing for me. 

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36 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Though I have to wonder (and I'm no where I can check) does the current rule set (or at least the one your using) state that by default images are visible to all aspects of sight?  They give off heat and all that good stuff?

Depends on how you buy it.  Sight Sense Group images cover the entire sense group, but if the base Sense Group affected isn't Sight, the power could have some single sense in the Sight Sense Group also purchased to be affected. 

That said, SFX are important.  An illusion spell might "fill in the gaps" to make an infravision illusion look real even if the caster's never had infravision, but Doctor Disco's full-spectrum illusoprojector should likely have Not Believable if Seen With Infra/Ultravision (-1/4) until he spends some time toying around with some infragoggles. 

 

Additionally, FRED has a section explicitly stating that Images is IPE to all senses it doesn't effect but still obviously (to those sense(s)) emanating from the user.  I don't see that verbage in 6E1 though. 

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If it can be redefined to any group, at will, then potentially that's a pretty good Advantage.  After all, from what we're given in the original post, there's nothing preventing him from defining it as "only visible to humans" or "only visible to my enemies" or some other all-encompassing (or nearly all-encompassing) group.

 

An illusion that only affects some rare sense (only vs IR vision) might deserve a pretty solid limitation.  After all, how many people are operating only on IR vision?  If I see a giant flame monster with my IR sight, and nothing at all with my normal sight, that may be a good clue that nothing is there.  Similarly, if only orcs can see it, then the spell is useless against trolls or dragons or just regular humans.  The problem is that when you can customize it on the fly, it becomes beneficial.  Since he can define it however he wants, it turns into "only visible to those I want to affect".  That's an Advantage.

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5 hours ago, massey said:

The problem is that when you can customize it on the fly, it becomes beneficial.  Since he can define it however he wants, it turns into "only visible to those I want to affect".  That's an Advantage.

 

On August 25, 2019 at 5:06 PM, lensman said:

Where X is re-definable. 

 

 

 

Missed that phrase right there on the first read-- as noted, I really wasn't "free" to do much.

 

Going from there, again, presuming the 5e material quoted above applies-- that part where not being visible to all aspects of sight-- it's a -0 / +0, whichever you want to call it, at least to my way of thinking.

 

The reason I believe this is because it is _not_ IPE.  I think we all agree that it can't be IPE unless the character _buys_ IPE.  So it's not a "no one knows there's an image going on" sort of thing: there's still SFX of some kind giving it away.  I would suggest that if the player is not willing to define those SFX that the GM do so for him.

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My, many heads are better than one.  Great contributions by all. This is for 6e.

 

I am now going to take a deep dive into 6e rules on many points raised here and come back with both what I find and with my first pass at a build.

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For a new player, when you intend to use the books as a manual, I think 6th Edition is a great resource.  There really is a lot of background and explanation of how powers are supposed to work.

 

It is for grognards such as us that so much of the text feels superfluous.

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10 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

For a new player, when you intend to use the books as a manual, I think 6th Edition is a great resource.  There really is a lot of background and explanation of how powers are supposed to work.

 

It is for grognards such as us that so much of the text feels superfluous.

 

This is a good point.  The 6e books are great as a reference tool - like an encyclopedia set.

 

They are terrible for learning how to play.  750+ pages is just too much material to expect players to read through, much less learn.

 

D&D 5e made a decision to streamline their product and there are now more players than ever - by a lot.

 

I recently skimmed my champions 4e book and it reminded me just how well it balanced crunch vs. readability.

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I would call 4e the transition point.  Older editions were much shorter, and were games powered by Hero System, rather than Hero System - build a game with it (moderated a bit by the rules being released with Champions guidance).  The BBB was also the only time I think we had both genre information and character benchmarking guidance in the same product.

 

But 4e was a weighty tome, not a "read in an afternoon" booklet.  1e and 2e were 64 and 80 pages, respectively.  Did we want more?  Sure - and it came in Champions II and III, similar sized volumes of new rules we could add if we desired.  4e was the start of the "everything you need in one (now two) volumes" model.

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I just wish we could have threads about a topic without it becoming "X version of Hero is best" and "Obvs, D&D is the model we need to follow". 

 

To the original topic:

 

On 8/25/2019 at 5:06 PM, lensman said:

I have a MU who wants to put a limitation on Images, which last for a time based on END Reserve.

The Limitation is: Viewable only by X. Where X is re-definable. 

The possibilities Being: Only Seen by Ultraviolet vision, Only by those who are color Blind, Only by Orcs, Only by Party members, Only by descendants of X.

Images are not bought with Invisible Power Effect (IPE) Advantage with the limit, Not IPE v X. And trigger only speaks to the Power activating, not who can see the Images.

 

X being "redefinable" could be Variable Limitation, Variable Advantage, a MP or VPP. Standard limitations are not redefinable unless the GM decides they should be for some reason.

 

Only vs UV: I would probably buy this as some version of Variable Effect. If it is just variable spectrum maybe +1/4.

Only versus color blind: So how does he detect color blind people? And I don't think images can even do this, you are into mental illusions at this point. Maybe MP or VPP?

Only vs Orcs : I think this is Mental Illusions again, with selective area of effect. And maybe a detect, if the user does not want to simply use their vision to figure out who is an Orc.

Only vs Party members seems like mental illusions with selective.

Only vs Orcs : I think this is Mental Illusions again, with selective area of effect. And maybe a detect, if the user does not want to simply use their vision to figure out who is a descendant of X.

 

If they don't want others to even know the illusion or mental illusion is happening, then that is IPE for sure.

 

- E

 

EDIT: This is my 1,234th post. I am giving myself another XP for that. Yay, 3 XP! 😃

Edited by eepjr24
1,234th post.

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A power that acts as another Power, is that other Power.

 

The spell proposed only wants to do one thing. Display information, albeit to a specified target or targets.

 

This is Images. It does not do damage, it affects more than one target, has nothing to do with willpower.

 

Images can select for Senses or Sense Groups. Trigger has the only mechanic that links a Detect specifically to it for X variable.  I do not see the argument for MI.

 

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3 hours ago, eepjr24 said:

X being "redefinable" could be Variable Limitation, Variable Advantage, a MP or VPP. Standard limitations are not redefinable unless the GM decides they should be for some reason.

 

Only vs UV: I would probably buy this as some version of Variable Effect. If it is just variable spectrum maybe +1/4.

Only versus color blind: So how does he detect color blind people? And I don't think images can even do this, you are into mental illusions at this point. Maybe MP or VPP?

Only vs Orcs : I think this is Mental Illusions again, with selective area of effect. And maybe a detect, if the user does not want to simply use their vision to figure out who is an Orc.

Only vs Party members seems like mental illusions with selective.

Only vs Orcs : I think this is Mental Illusions again, with selective area of effect. And maybe a detect, if the user does not want to simply use their vision to figure out who is a descendant of X.

 

If they don't want others to even know the illusion or mental illusion is happening, then that is IPE for sure.

 

1 hour ago, lensman said:

A power that acts as another Power, is that other Power.

 

The spell proposed only wants to do one thing. Display information, albeit to a specified target or targets.

 

This is Images. It does not do damage, it affects more than one target, has nothing to do with willpower.

 

Images can select for Senses or Sense Groups. Trigger has the only mechanic that links a Detect specifically to it for X variable.  I do not see the argument for MI.

 

WELL DUH!  [kicks self]

 

Thanks to eepjr24 and lensman for putting us us back on track.

 

As Lensman says, it is clearly Images.  "Only vs." is either Selective (he knows who will and won't perceive the images and chooses who will be affected) or Limited Power (he does not know who will be affected and/or it is not beneficial to him that some are not affected) or even a choice of affected senses (e.g. it can only be perceived with UV vision). That's not one Images power - it's the ability to select from a near-infinite variety of Selective and Limited Images powers.

 

Which is a Cosmic VPP that can only hold the Images power.  Since he can swap into and out of limitations, they aren't very limiting, so he won't save any points on the individual powers, and since he can vary them at will, the VPP itself is also not limited.  If those who can't perceive the images can't perceive anything is going on, that's IPE.

 

He doesn't buy a Detect any more than a Blast, only affects women needs a Detect to do no damage to a drag queen.

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

He doesn't buy a Detect any more than a Blast, only affects women needs a Detect to do no damage to a drag queen.

I'd generally agree with this one, as long as the player confines his limits to things he could detect with his senses. I don't see how a power with no other modifiers knows who is color blind or whose great great grandmother had an affair with a lesser noble. But it is a valid question, I'll raise it in the rules forum.

 

- E

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1 hour ago, eepjr24 said:

I'd generally agree with this one, as long as the player confines his limits to things he could detect with his senses. I don't see how a power with no other modifiers knows who is color blind or whose great great grandmother had an affair with a lesser noble. But it is a valid question, I'll raise it in the rules forum.

In idealistic theory I'd like to say it depends on the SFX. 

A Delayed Effect RKA designer virus that kills by targeting the Y chromosome obviously doesn't work on women, a Flash that short-circuits the eye with a swirl of carefully-chosen colors obviously doesn't work on the color-blind, etc.  Things like that don't feel like they should need a Detect to (not) function.  At the same time, something like a rocket that disarms the warhead if it's about to hit a cop-bot feels like it should. 

 

But in practice, I feel it should depend on if the power can be used as a Detect (and if that's valuable).  If the campaign prominently features vampires disguising themselves as humans, then a sun-laser that only hurts vampires is super useful since you can administer vampire tests with it.  So you should pay for that utility, though maybe with a Linked or Obvious Limitation. 

 

And conditional Images is most certainly usable as a Detect. 

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1 hour ago, eepjr24 said:

I'd generally agree with this one, as long as the player confines his limits to things he could detect with his senses. I don't see how a power with no other modifiers knows who is color blind or whose great great grandmother had an affair with a lesser noble. But it is a valid question, I'll raise it in the rules forum.

 

- E

 

 

The power doesn't have to detect it, I don't think.  The power itself has something in it's nature that makes it only effective against a particular target or target group.  In the images v colorblind example mentioned above-- the images may include lots of random obscuring activity in the image itself that, owing to the color makeup, simple is not perceived by people who are colorblind, meaning that they see the image as normal without all the conflicting chatter.

 

Or, to use a real-world example:  camouflage is useless against colorblind people.  Seriously.  Way back before there was a legit Air Force-- when there was only an Army Air Corps, color-blind pilots were sought out simply because camo trickery did not work on them, making hidden military targets much easier to spot.

 

And if my cellular disruptor ray is completely negated by the Y chromosome, well all I have to do is pull the trigger: it's only going to work against females.

 

 

At the risk the freely-given down votes, I think a lot of this is brought out by the most "no-filled" edition of the game to date, and built upon with examples and even conversational exchanges that encourage the idea that if an additional expense _can_ be applied, then it _must_ be applied: mechanics over SFX.  Looked at another way, what is the point of taking a minor Limitation -- doesn't work against sweaty opponents-- if I then have to build a complex sensory detection system that's going to cost more than any potential savings?  

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Problem seems to be Variable Limitation; also SFX.

 

You are suggesting a narrowing of SFX and what is and is not possible by SFX, not Power, Limitation or Advantage and by extension Compound powers.

 

In a Fantasy genre, Magic is the SFX I am dealing with. Specifically Turakian Age which has 12 main branches of Magic. Generally my starting point was anything is possible. I do not subscribe to Tech being superior to Magic in SFX.

 

The answer to these questions concerning my op, raise questions about how any sufficiently creative player can justify anything by SFX. I just need to have a firm grasp of when to step in with mechanics.

 

Ie. for Images to only work on a descendant of a Family line or any lineage.  That just seems to beg for a Detect with Discriminatory.  Though that leads to Naked Advantage and Powers that could link, as Link could be   Variable Limitation.

 

EDIT: Though with Magic, Research of Spells is a thing, so research for a particular Limit would lead to amount of time and sufficient knowledge to include such a limitation.

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

At the risk the freely-given down votes, I think a lot of this is brought out by the most "no-filled" edition of the game to date, and built upon with examples and even conversational exchanges that encourage the idea that if an additional expense _can_ be applied, then it _must_ be applied: mechanics over SFX.

 

We are in search of proper game balance and that reaches, so far, into mechanics, SFX and metaphysics; ie Whether to incur additional expense simply because it could clarify beyond a simple mechanical construct of the system.

 

We, at least I am,  are looking for the simplest answer. And that may be outside of Powers in the system and include skills, see my EDIT in my last post.

 

 

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7 hours ago, lensman said:

We are in search of proper game balance and that reaches, so far, into mechanics, SFX and metaphysics; ie Whether to incur additional expense simply because it could clarify beyond a simple mechanical construct of the system.

 

We, at least I am,  are looking for the simplest answer. And that may be outside of Powers in the system and include skills, see my EDIT in my last post.

I agree that balance is the major concern. I just try to go back to basics and move forward from there when I have questions about how to balance.

 

A Limitation that doesn’t limit the character isn’t worth any bonus (6e1, 364). I don't see how this limits the player in any way, in fact quite the opposite. It is an advantage to be able to narrow your targets at will, avoid hitting friendlies, identify the descendants of the ancient cursed bloodline, etc. compared with the fellow who has a equally powered blast that just jets fire.

 

So for me, it makes sense to pay more. Simple ways to do that: VPP. High flexibility at a higher cost. Power Skill with appropriate difficulty modifiers to "tune" the spell. Spell skills for each spell modification.

 

I am sure there are other ways to solve the problem, you just have to decide which ones work best for your and suit your sense of balance.

 

- E

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