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JackFlash

How do you read a character sheet?

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So, I'm a newer player. I made a character once, but never got to play more than one session and didn't own any books until recently getting them from a family member who was trying to cut down on their collection. (It's mostly Champions 5E stuff with some 6E books mixed in?) So, I'm flipping through a lot of this stuff, trying to deconstruct existing character sheets and reading up on the story and it's really hitting me, like.

 

I have no clue what any of this means. I don't know how to translate Running: 6"/12" into normal people speeds, I don't really get why things from the powers sections aren't added to the characteristics sections (Like, this guy runs at 6"/12" but he also has a running skill that adds +3" for a total of 9" but that just means that they run, like, sixty feet in twelve seconds, right? That's not very fast! And why isn't it on his characteristics portion?), or what things like rPD values stand for (8 rPD is like. Almost bulletproof?), and it's all just kind of confusing.


I mean, I've found the strength chart and seen the charts that compare characteristic values to normal people, but things like rPD, how Body/Stun translates into how tough you are, and running/swimming speeds and the like just. I can't seem to translate them into 'normal' terms and I'm hoping that someone can either explain it like I'm an idiot or point me somewhere that has it in plain terms.

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On page 28 (of my 5e copy at least) is a CHARACTER ABILITIES GUIDELINE TABLE showing a range of primary stats that you'd expect various kinds of characters to have.

 

So it shows a standard normal person would have a STR score of between 5-10. That's make the person's PD a 2. There'd be no reason for the typical normal person to have a higher PD than that but if the person had taken some martial arts classes, was a physical fitness nut, or something similar, you could give her another point or two.

 

With a 10 STR, that standard normal person (who is at the top of the STR scale for that type of character) could throw a punch doing 2d6 damage.

 

On that same chart, you'll see that a low-powered superhero would have a STR score between 10 (for someone who isn't a very physical hero) to 40. So a punch from such a character would do somewhere from 2d6 to 8d6 of damage, though obviously a superhero who has only 10 STR hopefully has something better to do on her turn than to punch somone for such a tiny amount of damage.

 

As for movement rates, you have to not only look at the Running: 6" but also how often someone gets to do it.

 

Page 33 gives a MOVEMENT TABLE showing base movement Running 6", Swimming 2", Leaping 2". That holds true for every character whether super or not.

 

A standard normal person has a maximum SPD score of 2 (from that first chart on page 28) which means that every 12 seconds, that person could choose to move up to two times (6" x 2 SPD = 12" maximum).  But a low-powered superhero has a SPD score of somewhere between 3 and 8. So even without that hero buying any additional Running and with the minimum SPD which you'd expect a superhero to have, her rate of movement will be 6" x 3 SPD= 18" minimum if she wishes to move the most she possibly could each time during those same twelve seconds. If she instead had the maximum (for a low-powered hero) SPD of 8, her movement during that same twelve seconds would have maxed out at 6" x 8 SPD = 48".

 

So when a hero buys even a small amount of additional movement, the effect of that compared to the rate of a non-super person is greatly magnified: the hero just gets to do it so much more often than a normal person.

 

The best way for you to learn the system at this point is to either play or read. You aren't going to be able to figure out much from looking at character sheets without getting some background to understand the rules. I'm probably not the best teacher and I'm highly pressed for time to be able to type out answers to questions. And there's probably people here would can easily give you links to Quickstart guides or How to Play in 10 Easy Steps or whatever. ;)

 

 

 

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I saw those, at least. Like I said, I know the basics, but not how they translate into normal people stuff. I don't mean any offense, but I think you're misunderstanding my confusion. (Though you did clear up the  "how many actions" thing, I'd been reading the rules on that and was thinking of it like "Okay, if this character is running all out at 18", that takes up the entire round" not "He can run at 18" per turn he has in that round". Thanks for that, I don't know why it wasn't clicking in my head earlier.)

 

What I mean is, like. Say I have a concept for a low level speedster who tops out at 40 mph. How many hexes would I need to hit that? Exactly how fast is 9"?

 

Another character has 30 PD, 8 rPD, 18 Body, is his Resistant Defense enough to make him effectively bulletproof to small arms?

 

Things like that.

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On 9/18/2019 at 4:06 AM, JackFlash said:

Like, this guy runs at 6"/12" but he also has a running skill that adds +3" for a total of 9" but that just means that they run, like, sixty feet in twelve seconds, right?

 

Like Archer says, it means he runs 9" in every action phase (one phase for each point of Speed characteristic).  I think for superheroes that SPD 4 is often the low end of the range, so 36" in 12s.  In HERO, up until 6E, inches were used instead of metres for table top gaming purpose.  Each inch is 2 metres, so the character can run 72m in 12s while retaining all his combat effectiveness.  If he sprints and drops any thoughts of defending against attacks then he can double that to 144m in 12s which blows away every Olympic sprinter.

 

Agreed, it is not hugely superheroic but it did not use very many points to get there.  It is pretty cheap to get to huge speeds.

 

As for where things sit on the character sheet, there are plenty of different views and styles of character sheet out there.  As with many things on the boards, opinions differ. 😁

 

Doc

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12 hours ago, JackFlash said:

What I mean is, like. Say I have a concept for a low level speedster who tops out at 40 mph. How many hexes would I need to hit that? Exactly how fast is 9"?

 

Another character has 30 PD, 8 rPD, 18 Body, is his Resistant Defense enough to make him effectively bulletproof to small arms?

 

Things like that.

For the 40mph bit, since it's a speedster I'm assuming you're referring to combat Running (6") … as opposed to 0 DCV non-combat Running (12").  What you need to do is use the character's Speed (i.e. number of action Segments (aka Phases) per Turn, where a Segment is 1 second and a Turn consists of 12 Segments) and the character's combat Running (i.e. distance the character can move in a Segment -- which is 6"), where 1" equals 2m … to do the math to compute how many mph the character can run.  (I'm not going to do the math for you, but I think you get the idea -- you need to do math -- and I just gave you enough info to actually do it).

 

As for the 30 PD, 8 rPD, 18 Body and your question about his Resistant Defense being enough to make him effectively bulletproof to small arms -- it depends on the small arms in your game and on what version of the game you're playing … since 5e and 6e handle STUN multipliers differently for Killing Attacks. Again, you'll need to look at the small arms you're thinking of (are you talking 1d6+1 KA 9mm pistol rounds or 3d6 KA .50BMG rifle rounds? -- both of which are technically 'small arms'!), do the math on how much damage the small arms in question are capable of (on average and also compute at max for two views into it, I suppose) … and compare to how well the character will hold up given his/her PD, rPD, and BODY.  You should also look at how it compares to the CON stat, since taking more STUN in a single hit than a character has CON … will STUN the character, allowing him/her to do nothing but take a Recovery on his/her next Phase.

 

The game has a lot of math. Fortunately it's simple math -- i.e. you won't be calculating limits or doing derivatives.

 

 

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14 hours ago, JackFlash said:

What I mean is, like. Say I have a concept for a low level speedster who tops out at 40 mph. How many hexes would I need to hit that? Exactly how fast is 9"?

 

Inches/turn * 0.3728 = miles/hour

 

So 40 mph = ~107 inches per turn. If you want their combat move to be 9" their speed would need to be 12.

 

14 hours ago, JackFlash said:

Another character has 30 PD, 8 rPD, 18 Body, is his Resistant Defense enough to make him effectively bulletproof to small arms?

 

Things like that.

Depending on your definition of "small arms" and if you are using Hit Locations or other optional rules.

 

So lets assume no Hit Locations, no optional rules. Fifty caliber Desert Eagle, 2d6+1 +1StunX. Max Damage: 13 Body, 52 stun. Nope, not immune.

 

If you are talking about things like a typical police weapon: Glock 17L, 1d6+2. Max Damage: 8 Body, 24 Stun. Yes, immune.

 

These are calculating maximums. On averages you will fair MUCH better.

 

- E

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15 hours ago, JackFlash said:

What I mean is, like. Say I have a concept for a low level speedster who tops out at 40 mph. How many hexes would I need to hit that? Exactly how fast is 9"?

 

Low level indeed.  Lets give him SPD 5.  40mph is roughly equal to 60kph, or 1000m per minute, or about 200m every 12s.  You know that flat out running is twice normal movement, so you need to buy enough movement to move 100m every 12s.  At SPD 5 that works out to 20m a phase, or 10". 

 

So 40mph is what a SPD 5 character can attain with 10" running at non-combat velocity. 

 

Doc

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JackFlash, which core rulebooks do you have?  That will help us in providing page references and such.  

 

Toward the back of pretty much all of the core rulebooks is a chapter called "The Environment" with a section called "Breaking Things".  In 5th Edition Revised it's page 447; in 5th Edition (original) it's on page 392 if I remember correctly.  That will give you rough ideas for how much DEF and BODY to give items based on their composition and weight.  Roughly speaking, 2x mass is +1 BODY.  

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I sat down with a couple of the books and worked out a chart for real world speeds.  If you wanted to have a 40mph speed with a 9" movement you would need a 12 speed.  For 27" movement, you would need a speed of 4.  I think the information I used was from the Ultimate Vehicle sourcebook. I don't know how to upload my chart.  Good luck.

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On 9/17/2019 at 11:06 PM, JackFlash said:

So, I'm a newer player. I made a character once, but never got to play more than one session and didn't own any books until recently getting them from a family member who was trying to cut down on their collection. (It's mostly Champions 5E stuff with some 6E books mixed in?) So, I'm flipping through a lot of this stuff, trying to deconstruct existing character sheets and reading up on the story and it's really hitting me, like.

 

I have no clue what any of this means. I don't know how to translate Running: 6"/12" into normal people speeds, I don't really get why things from the powers sections aren't added to the characteristics sections (Like, this guy runs at 6"/12" but he also has a running skill that adds +3" for a total of 9" but that just means that they run, like, sixty feet in twelve seconds, right? That's not very fast! And why isn't it on his characteristics portion?), or what things like rPD values stand for (8 rPD is like. Almost bulletproof?), and it's all just kind of confusing.


I mean, I've found the strength chart and seen the charts that compare characteristic values to normal people, but things like rPD, how Body/Stun translates into how tough you are, and running/swimming speeds and the like just. I can't seem to translate them into 'normal' terms and I'm hoping that someone can either explain it like I'm an idiot or point me somewhere that has it in plain terms.

 

Running: 6"/12" if it's in Fifth Edition, probably doesn't need to be translated into normal people speeds; if it's on someone with a SPD of 2 that IS normal people speeds.

 

If someone has 6+3 for 9" Running in Fifth Edition, they are moving 18 meters every time they move. If they have a SPD of 2 they move twice in 12 seconds. That works out to 3 meters every second, or 600 feet per minute if they can keep it up for one minute. This is what Hero assumes an ordinary normal Human can do.

 

Bear in mind this is "combat movement." They can move that fast and still have decent chance of evading being hit. Running "flat out" as fast as possible is "noncombat movement" which is usually twice combat movement.

 

Also bear in mind that if you want to know how fast someone can move, you need two numbers - the actual Movement rate, and the SPD. SPD tells how many actions you can take in a 12 second Turn; a full move is an action.

 

An important point about the two editions: In Fifth, movement, ranges, and all distances, were measured in "hexes" which were assumed to be 2 meters. In Sixth, they just use meters. So a Running 6" in 5th is equivalent to Running 12m in 6th.

 

As for why Running appears under Powers - Running is not a Characteristic. Running is a Power.

 

"what things like rPD values stand for" - rPD means Resistant Physical Defense. Every character has both Physical Defense and Energy Defense. When you take damage, you reduce the damage by these numbers before marking off STUN or BODy. But if something is a KILLING attack, you only reduce the BODy damage by the amount of defense you have that is "Resistant."

 

So whether 8 rPD is "bulletproof" depends on two things: First, the bullet. If the gun only does 1d6 Killing (and you aren't using rules like Hit Locations that can change how much damage it does) then you won't take any BODy damage (no serious or lasting injury.) BUT you still may take STUN damage if you don't have some more non-resistant defense.

 

If you want to be bulletproof, the best bet is to use Damage Negation (it's in 6th edition.)
 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is not in either edition.

 

 

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On 9/19/2019 at 1:13 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

JackFlash, which core rulebooks do you have?  That will help us in providing page references and such. 

 

I've got 5E revised, Champions, Champions: New Millennium, Dark Champions, Teen Champions, some of the enemy/ally books like VIPER and VIPER: Coils of the Serpent (haven't looked through either, I guess Coils of the Serpent is an adventure module?), two or three gear books, and a few more things that look like adventure modules. It's a lot to go through, but I've been thumbing through them.

 

As for the rest, thanks for the replies. You've clarified some things and made it clear that I've seriously misread others.

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