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UOO vs Focus

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4 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Looking at the rules (a good idea, as I have already shown...:)), if the grantee is stunned or KOd, he loses the granted power.  I would extend this to sleeping, so Shirley cannot keep that power forever.

 

Grantee: Makes logical sense to me. But only if you have time and know where, might you point me to that rule? It can take forever looking through the many books available. Again, only if reasonable for you to do so. And, I am assuming this is speaking of a UBO, not a Universal Focus.

 

4 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Now, if the character had a Focus Shirley took, we need to assess what happens based on special effects.  Does the PC Enchant a ring of flying?  Maybe it needs maintenance, so after a couple of days, he enchants a new one and the old one runs out of enchantment.  Maybe it is an artifact, one of a kind.  Then the player needs to get an opportunity to retrieve his focus - those CP should not be lost.  Worst case, we might agree he has lost the ring permanently, and let the player re-spend those points on something else (a radiation accident, essentially).  Maybe some day, he finds Shirley and gets his ring back - now he has to pay points if he wants to keep it.

 

These all make sense. But what if that Ring of Flying is a Universal Focus instead of UBO. Does the loss of consciousness (or sleeping) of Either of them cause the power to end?
Thanks again!

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27 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

A focus is not a UoO power - it is a focus.  As long as Shirley keeps that Universal Focus, she can fly.

 

To reiterate what Hugh said before, as long as Shirley keeps that Universal Focus and is conscious or the power is 0 END Persistent (or on a Continuing Charge), she can remain flying.

 

The UoO is the same (assuming the UoO is bought with Recipient Controls the Power) - Flight continues as long as the recipient is conscious, or if the power is 0 END Persistent or on a Continuing Charge.

 

If a UoO power is bought as Granter Controls the Power, then Shirley's Flight continues as long as the granter (e.g. Wally Wizard) is conscious and spending END on it, or if the power is 0 END Persistent or on a Continuing Charge.

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Thank you Hugh for answering my questions. The thread kind of devolved a bit into separate parts (LOS vs Consciousness vs UBO vs Focus, etc., which made it hard for this dork to keep up. But all your answers make sense. And thank you Bolo for summarizing all of the loss of consciousness parts so this addled brain of mine could put the whole picture together.

And thank you everyone else for the parts you answered as well.

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12 hours ago, iamlibertarian said:


I am assuming that if this were built as, say, a magic item for example (focus) which then could be given to another, then at least in a Supers game, that receiving character would have to pay CP to keep it?

 

It Depends.  :)  For the most part, yes.  Although (a) if he intends to keep it, and (b) not necessarily limited to Focus; in fact, there could be a character whose concept is that they can grant powers to others (UBO, without a Focus), and sometimes those powers are permanent, though no one can really figure out why (at the meta level, it's because they spend points to keep them).  

 

12 hours ago, iamlibertarian said:


And, I am assuming that once cast/given away (with just UBO, not built as Simultaneous), it could not be re-created for a second character. Or can it be 'recast' a second time for another character?

 

As I'm rereading the description (FH 6e p. 320) it doesn't actually use the UBO With Differing Modifiers rules; it specifies that the item creation spell is Instant, so presumably it's like every other Instant Power with a lingering effect (Entangle, Drain, etc.).  So, it could be recast, yes, assuming the other conditions of creating the item are met (Extra Time, expensive Expendable Foci, etc.)  

 

If you were using UBO, you'd have to follow all of the UBO rules, so, no, it couldn't be re-created.  Although as with my example above, what happens if the receiving character spends XP to "keep" the Power?  (My answer: they gain their own "copy" of the Power, that's not tied to the original grantor, and the grantor's UBO instance ends.)

 

 

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Honestlt, I never seen a superhero or supervillain writeup use Independent in 4ed. While the idea of a super whoes powers are stealable somehow, and can't be replaced easily is tempting, the drawback is too much. Better off with Focus, or gm plotting.

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1 hour ago, steriaca said:

Honestlt, I never seen a superhero or supervillain writeup use Independent in 4ed. While the idea of a super whoes powers are stealable somehow, and can't be replaced easily is tempting, the drawback is too much. Better off with Focus, or gm plotting.

 

Yeah, Independent originated in Fantasy Hero 1e, was really only ever meant for Fantasy Hero, and ... people already know my thoughts on Independent.  ;) 

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12 hours ago, iamlibertarian said:

Grantee: Makes logical sense to me. But only if you have time and know where, might you point me to that rule? It can take forever looking through the many books available. Again, only if reasonable for you to do so.

12 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

This is on 6e v2, p 355 (could differ for other editions).

 

A focus is not a UoO power - it is a focus.  As long as Shirley keeps that Universal Focus, she can fly.

 

To confirm, neither one allows Shirley to fly while she is KOd -  that requires a Persistent power.  She loses the UoO power when stunned, etc.  It is gone and cannot be reactivated by her.  But when she wakes up with the ring, she can fly away.

 

 

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23 hours ago, iamlibertarian said:


I am assuming that if this were built as, say, a magic item for example (focus) which then could be given to another, then at least in a Supers game, that receiving character would have to pay CP to keep it?

 

I know I'm not helping much here, but my take (probably from lots of exposure to the original Fantasy HERO) that _someone_ has to pay points for it.

 

As noted in other places on this board, I'm not as turned off as most to the idea of "lost forever" points-- CP, EP, XP, whatever you want to call them.  I'm perfectly happy to let you use your points to create  wing suit (focus) for the power of Flight, then give it away.  They're your points; you can let whoever you want use the item you made with them.  I feel similarly about having said item stolen.  Oddly, _that's_ when my fellow GMs disagree with me the most.  :lol:

 

If you and the other player want to work out some kind of deal:  he pays as he earns EP; you get a rebate as he pays the points-- fine.  But if he keeps it for five years and doesn't pay a single point, then it's still on _your_ sheet. ;)

 

Now as to focus or UOO (or whatever alpha bits you want to use):

 

As others have pointed out, a Focus is a _thing_.  (more in a moment).  A big deciding factor for you might be this:

 

How do I get the power back / deprive them of the power?  If there is a way to do it, and that way is under your control, well then Focus is probably not the best model for that, since (barring Mind Control) it's not really up to you when the focus is returned.

 

Now here's where focus gets wiggy:

 

"You see, Tony?  The power was inside _you_ the whole time!"

 

Look at a lucky rabbit's foot, a mystic talisman, a meditation ball, or-- one of my favorites-- a "focus of opportunity".  Sometimes the "focus" does not contain the power at all.  It is nothing more than a _control_ for the power, or a psychological crutch allowing the character to-- if you will pardon the use of the word-- "focus" his powers.  A Wizard's wand might have _no_ magic in it, but without it, he is unable to perform any spells.  This is, technically, a Focus, as being deprived of it will, even if only for psychological reasons, deprive him of the use of the power until the want is returned / recovered / back in his possession.  Yeah.  Weird.

 

Worse still is that -- was it 5e?-- that actually (though perhaps accidentally) gave us the best possible Focus "system" for modeling that kind of "no actual powers in it" focus with the Limitation "Independent."  No; independent did not actually model the "crutch"-type focus.  The _lack_ of it did, though.  Independent itself modeled beautifully the focus that could be taken away and used by someone else whether you wanted them to use it or not.  If a Focus was not Independent, you could still break / loose / be somehow deprived of, and you would lose your power, but _no one else would have it_.

 

Today (and in pre-5 editions), your GM might still be okay with a "Focus" that does not actually contain the power (I usually am, but judge each case individually, with little regard to precedent), or they might require you to take a Disadvantage:  loses Power X if deprived of pointed stick.   Honestly, the whole reason I'm cool with just using "focus that doesn't have powers in it"  is because-- well, because I use a kind of Independent anyway, and because I don't like the Disadvantage method: it doesn't seem appropriate.

 

But your mileage may vary.

 

so....

 

If you have to give away a physical "thing" to grant the power, and in so doing you no longer have the power (unless you have multiple things), and you have to receive back the physical thing in order for you to have the power again-- That's a Focus.

 

if you have _infinite things-- or at least enough to always just happen to have a spare...  That's UOO.  If you don't have to transfer possession of a thing at all, well that's UOO as well.

 

 

I am almost certain that this didn't help, but I really, _really_ hope it did.

 

 

Duke

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18 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I know I'm not helping much here, but my take (probably from lots of exposure to the original Fantasy HERO) that _someone_ has to pay points for it.

 

But... see... I tried to find a meme from The Matrix to fit...

 

Anyway, for any iteration of UOO, the only character who has to pay points is the grantor.  And they don't pay points for the granted Power; just the ability to grant it.  

 

No one pays points for the granted Power!

 

What if... hear me out... 

 

Someone creates a Focus... and no one pays points for it?  

 

It would last for a scene or two, maybe to the end of the session...?

 

Okay, let's say a brick picks up an I-beam, and smacks a villain with it.  GM thinks a sec, and says it's +2d6 and an Area Effect Line, and then the villain gets smacked, and then everyone forgets about it... Who paid the points for that?

 

I mean, I know I'm saying pretty much the exact opposite of what I was saying on that Fantasy Hero thread, but... do you see what I'm saying?  :)

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2 minutes ago, Greywind said:

The steel mill paid for the i-beam. Or the people that bought the i-beam to have the building constructed paid for it.

 

They likely didn't pay points for it as a giant club.  In fact, it probably doesn't appear anywhere, except as an implied thing that was sitting there in a construction site.  

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Of course; I understand what you are saying. 

 

But I was going beyond this scene, thus adventure, and possibly this campaign.   If I give Groundstuck Man my flying belt, he doesn't _have_ to give it back.  Beyond morality and ethics, that is.   And suppose he doesn't?  Suppose he keeps it for the balance of the campaign or beyond?  Perhaps he becomes my long-running nemesis, NeenerNeener Can't catch me Man, who torments me for years? 

 

There is nothing about a Focus that makes it stop working just because I want the other guy to give it up (obviously "personal" is off the table or I wouldn't have given it to him in the first place.) 

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Regarding the "focus doesn't really have the power".  That's a personal focus.  The easiest example is Dumbo's feather.  Dumbo needs the feather to fly, because he thinks he needs it.  But if you or I grab that feather, it doesn't do anything for us.  You can keep Dumbo from flying by taking away the feather, but you don't gain anything by keeping it.

 

Regarding someone taking your focus and running away with it, that's fine.  It doesn't matter.  It's on your character sheet, you don't lose it.  Your character's point total isn't like a bank account where someone can steal from it.  Your point total is a measure of your character's power.  Steve just yoinked that dude's rocket pack?  Why can't he keep it?  Because Steve is a 350 point character, and if he had a rocket pack too, he'd be 375 points.  But this isn't a 375 game yet.  It's the same way that a guy with 15 points of wealth can't buy a bunch of cool vehicles and weapons automatically.  There's nothing really preventing him from purchasing them, but once he does that his character is a lot more powerful, and this story is about people who are less powerful than that.

 

Anyway the guy who loses his focus will get it back, or will get something equivalent back.  Captain America paid points for his shield.  It's his shield.  His character costs however many points because he's got that shield.  He can lose it temporarily during an adventure (some jerk with a robot arm grabbed it), but he'll get it back by the end of the scene because that's how it works.  Iron Man has replacement suits waiting for him, Hawkeye can always get another bow, Spider-Man knows how to make another set of webshooters, and Thor can hold out his hand and his hammer comes back.  Cap always gets his shield back because that's how the story works.  If somebody were to steal it, he'll be able to find it again, by the next adventure at the latest.  Either that, or he gets another shield (or some other weapon) to bring him back up to full points.  Remember those triangular looking forearm shields from Infinity War?

 

Sometimes a character goes through a story arc where they don't have their focus.  Thor's bitchy sister shows up and shatters his hammer.  He's down a bunch of points at the beginning of the adventure until he discovers his Super Thunder God Powers.  You see, Thor's player was getting kind of bored and he wanted to change something about the character.  "Okay," says the GM, "we'll swap out the hammer for some souped up lightning bolt powers.  Cool?"  Thor thinks cool.  By the end of the adventure, Thor has shuffled around his points and spent some saved XP.  Now he's got super lightning.  Of course by the next adventure, Thor's decided he wants this big axe thing, so the GM lets him change his points around yet again.

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Of course; I understand what you are saying. 

 

But I was going beyond this scene, thus adventure, and possibly this campaign.   If I give Groundstuck Man my flying belt, he doesn't _have_ to give it back.  Beyond morality and ethics, that is.   And suppose he doesn't?  Suppose he keeps it for the balance of the campaign or beyond?  Perhaps he becomes my long-running nemesis, NeenerNeener Can't catch me Man, who torments me for years? 

 

There is nothing about a Focus that makes it stop working just because I want the other guy to give it up (obviously "personal" is off the table or I wouldn't have given it to him in the first place.) 

 

There's a character who fairly regularly hands out huge power enhancements to people.  He's called Galactus.  He's got a big huge amount of Usable By Other powers that he can grant to his "heralds".  They keep those powers until Galactus decides he doesn't like them anymore, then he takes them away.  He's had a lot of heralds over the years, many of them quite temporary (often only showing up once).  But occasionally, a herald uses that as his excuse for an origin story.  Silver Surfer kept his powers permanently because somebody decided to build their Galactic Champions character on that concept.

 

Groundstuck Man can certainly decide to keep your flying belt, but that makes him a more expensive character.  If he's just some dude, well now he's had his origin story.  You just gave him his character concept (see the awesome DC character Booster Gold for an example of a hero who got his powers by stealing a bunch of gear from a superhero museum in the future).  But your character is now out a flying belt, so you'll have to get another one.  Perhaps the flying belt radiation caused you to mutate, and now you can fly naturally.  Or maybe you find another one.  Or perhaps you have to train extra hard to make up for the lack of flying belt, and during your offscreen time you become proficient in super-parkour, with like 15" of Running, Leaping, and Swinging in a Multipower to represent you bouncing off of walls and doing backflips in the air from building to building.  Regardless, you're very quickly back at full points.

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1 hour ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

They likely didn't pay points for it as a giant club.  In fact, it probably doesn't appear anywhere, except as an implied thing that was sitting there in a construction site.  

 

Being non-super they get it under "equipment".

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4 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

...If you have to give away a physical "thing" to grant the power, and in so doing you no longer have the power (unless you have multiple things), and you have to receive back the physical thing in order for you to have the power again-- That's a Focus.

 

if you have _infinite things-- or at least enough to always just happen to have a spare...  That's UOO.  If you don't have to transfer possession of a thing at all, well that's UOO as well.

 

 

I am almost certain that this didn't help, but I really, _really_ hope it did.

 


Actually it did help. It may not help me create a power that I can then, if I ever find a group, lol, just drop on an average GM and have expectations of automatic acceptance. But it does help me understand the Concept of Focus vs UOO better. :)

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4 hours ago, massey said:

Regarding the "focus doesn't really have the power".  That's a personal focus.  The easiest example is Dumbo's feather.  Dumbo needs the feather to fly, because he thinks he needs it.  But if you or I grab that feather, it doesn't do anything for us.  You can keep Dumbo from flying by taking away the feather, but you don't gain anything by keeping it.

 

I like it. Personal focus has no power, it just is (as mentioned somewhere above) a crutch, helping the owner have the ability to use a power. But then a Universal Focus actually holds the power. For example, a pistol can be either. If it has in its grip a DNA Detector limiting use to the owner (yes, DNA can be copied - anything can happen for the sake of the story - but would either be a rare occurrence  or a plot line). Whereas a store-bought off the rack pistol would be a Universal Focus.

 

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Regarding someone taking your focus and running away with it, that's fine.  It doesn't matter.  It's on your character sheet, you don't lose it.  Your character's point total isn't like a bank account where someone can steal from it.  Your point total is a measure of your character's power.  Steve just yoinked that dude's rocket pack?  Why can't he keep it?  Because Steve is a 350 point character, and if he had a rocket pack too, he'd be 375 points.  But this isn't a 375 game yet.  It's the same way that a guy with 15 points of wealth can't buy a bunch of cool vehicles and weapons automatically.  There's nothing really preventing him from purchasing them, but once he does that his character is a lot more powerful, and this story is about people who are less powerful than that. Anyway the guy who loses his focus will get it back, or will get something equivalent back.  Captain America paid points for his shield.  It's his shield.  His character costs however many points because he's got that shield.  He can lose it temporarily during an adventure (some jerk with a robot arm grabbed it), but he'll get it back by the end of the scene because that's how it works.  Iron Man has replacement suits waiting for him, Hawkeye can always get another bow, Spider-Man knows how to make another set of webshooters, and Thor can hold out his hand and his hammer comes back.  Cap always gets his shield back because that's how the story works.  If somebody were to steal it, he'll be able to find it again, by the next adventure at the latest.  Either that, or he gets another shield (or some other weapon) to bring him back up to full points.  Remember those triangular looking forearm shields from Infinity War? 

Sometimes a character goes through a story arc where they don't have their focus.  Thor's bitchy sister shows up and shatters his hammer.  He's down a bunch of points at the beginning of the adventure until he discovers his Super Thunder God Powers.  You see, Thor's player was getting kind of bored and he wanted to change something about the character.  "Okay," says the GM, "we'll swap out the hammer for some souped up lightning bolt powers.  Cool?"  Thor thinks cool.  By the end of the adventure, Thor has shuffled around his points and spent some saved XP.  Now he's got super lightning.  Of course by the next adventure, Thor's decided he wants this big axe thing, so the GM lets him change his points around yet again.


Great examples! Not only are we looking to keep game balance, but also, at least in Champions, we are looking to create stories that actually fit Comic Book paradigm.

And to fit the paradigm, it would be great of the GM to create some epic story arc involving the return of the item (Thor being able to call his hammer after breaking through some mystical barrier), or replacement thereof (getting materials so S.H.I.E.L.D. can build another shield (pun intended) for Cap, or the changing of powers (Thor creating an axe instead of getting the hammer back).

 

Quote

 


Thanks!

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8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

But I was going beyond this scene, thus adventure, and possibly this campaign.   If I give Groundstuck Man my flying belt, he doesn't _have_ to give it back.  Beyond morality and ethics, that is.   And suppose he doesn't?  Suppose he keeps it for the balance of the campaign or beyond?  Perhaps he becomes my long-running nemesis, NeenerNeener Can't catch me Man, who torments me for years? 

 

There is nothing about a Focus that makes it stop working just because I want the other guy to give it up (obviously "personal" is off the table or I wouldn't have given it to him in the first place.) 

 

Common sense, dramatic sense, special effects...

 

Why do you have a Flying Belt?  Did you just find it in a dumpster one afternoon?  Is it a high-tech item that your character built and maintains?  Sounds like you can make another.  Meanwhile, Groundstuck Man does not know how to maintain it, so it eventually wears out and he can't fly any more.

 

That's just one example, of course.  Plenty of others could be considered.  Cap's shield is a great example of a focus for which there is no logical in-universe reason WHY he always gets it back - he just always gets it back, because it is his focus.

 

9 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

It made it not cripplingly expensive points-wise to create and distribute magic items?

:D

 

That depends  on how the GM runs Independent.  If the items last just long enough for you to earn the xp to make another one, then your character really doesn't earn xp any more - he just keeps replacing the points he loses every few sessions.  If it does not get taken away - permanently - at some point, then the limitation is not really limiting.  You already got the point savings for the Focus, which is limiting because the power might be taken away temporarily.

 

What happens to those Independent items when a character is killed?  Marty Mage made a Magic Sword for Slashing Steve.  He spent 25 points on that Independent item.  Marty gets eaten by a Dragon.  Steve still has his sword.  Marty's player brings in Wally Wizard, who spends 25 points on an Independent Magic Shield for Slashing Steve.  Then Wally gets killed, and Steve's sword and shield get melted, by  huge Fire Elemental.

 

So Marty's player brings in Arnie Artificer, who spends 30 points on a new sword for Steve, 30 points for a new Shield, 30 points for a Magic Bow for Steve, 30 points for Steve's new Magic Armor and another 30 for a Magic Belt.  Arnie doesn't live long afterwards.  His "devoted to the success of Steve the Chosen One" has been satisfied, so his "places no value on his own life" causes him to enter combat despite having no actual abilities of his own, so he quickly dies.  Luckily the Cult of Steve has lots of artificers from which he can draw his next character, who will arrive with more tribute for Steve.

 

Sure, a ridiculous example that takes the Independent limitation to its extreme, but it does highlight the issue.  Of course, maybe the GM simply makes an extra effort to remove these Independent items once their creator disappears from the game - but isn't that linking the points back to the  character who paid them, when Independent was specifically there to remove that link?

 

The "PowerPlayer" builds a character with 75% of his character points invested in Independent items.  He has way more power, at the outset, then the other PCs, who did not make Independent items.  Eventually, his items disappear forever.  Now he is vastly underpowered.  No problem - time for a new character.  One who has a whole pile of new Independent items, so we're back to an overpowered character.  And if we recover the prior character's items?  Now everyone gets a power-up.

 

D&D 3e required a small xp payment for creation of magic items.  Few players used the item creation feats.  Until they figured out that, if they fell a level behind, the RAW xp rules meant they gained xp faster than their peers - so they would catch up, and possibly pass, the other PCs (not "several levels ahead", but "closer to the next level").  Pathfinder just ditched the "pay xp to craft items" rule.  The process became simpler, and people used it.

 

SUMMARY:  To me, at least, Independent mechanically does one of two things (leaving aside the Cult of Steve):

 

 - it makes creating items (e.g. magic items) a character-weakener by sucking away their character points.

 - it makes characters who fluctuate in power over time, starting out overpowered and eventually becoming underpowered.

 

I find neither desirable in game.  YMMV.

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On 10/28/2019 at 5:38 PM, iamlibertarian said:

Now all I have to do is find a group, lol. Until then, character creation is still a blast :)

 

DM for group using the game they're playing (both of my groups were from D&D 5e).

 

Then offer to show them HERO.

 

Finding HERO players in the wild is VERY hard.

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You should probably regard Independent as similar to real world equipment.  Even if somebody makes a bunch of free equipment for Slashy Steve, it's still not something he gets to keep forever.  He just gets to keep it until it breaks, or he loses it, or somebody takes it from him.  It's just like a D&D character when your +2 longsword fails its save against acid and it melts away.  You should be careful about letting a player collect so many of these items that he's unstoppable, but one tipped over canoe later and Steve is swimming in the river and his swords are washing downstream.  It ain't that hard to take away magic items, particularly ones that aren't identifiably part of the hero's character.

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13 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

 

Common sense, dramatic sense, special effects...

 

Why do you have a Flying Belt?  Did you just find it in a dumpster one afternoon?

 

Because I decided to spend fifteen points on a rocket belt.  That's all the justification I need: my character's flight is acceptable to the GM, and I decided that he flies via a belt with those neat-o little retro rockets on it: the kind with the wooba-wooba-wooba-woooba disks on one end.

 

 

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Is it a high-tech item that your character built and maintains?

 

He doesn't have to maintain it, because by all the popular wisdom, he paid points for it, so he can't be deprived of it for any meaningful period of time.  Sometimes, when he gets bored, he sets it on fire just to watch it reassemble itself.  Other times, he throws it under monster trucks then runs home to see if he can get there before his new belt spontaneously generates.  

 

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Sounds like you can make another.

 

I just double-checked, then decided on a copy paste, to make sure I'm exactly quoting myself:

 

" If I give Groundstuck Man my flying belt,"

 

What part of that sounds like I can make another?  Or that I could make the first one?   Perhaps I am the Second Greatest American Hero, and some alien flew by and tossed it out a window, then flew off into the cosmos never to be seen again.  The only thing that seems to matter to anyone is "he paid points for it so he can't be denied use of it for more than a suitable flavor-length of time.  You know: let's turn Focus into some kind of standard-effects rule Activation or Jam where 8- translates to a full turn; 11- translates to an hour, and 14- translates to a day and call it good.  Okay, that last was hyperbolic, but is not the whole point of Focus being a disadvantage the fact that it can be lost, broken, stolen-- taken away from you?  Totally out of your control, being used (or collecting dust wherever you dropped it) by someone else, with you having no actual control over when or even if it will show back up?  Didn't we go even further with focus, adding things like "fragile" and "unique"---

 

which just burns me up.  If we're going to up the bonus because it's easy to break, or up the bonus because there's no way in Hell I can ever get another one---  but then make absolutely certain that these things are nowhere near as limiting as the name implies--- then we're lying to ourselves or we're doing it wrong.  If we're not willing to risk breaking our irreplaceable focus, then ditch unique.   Same with fragile.  Same with Focus, really, because the only difference we're willing to accept between Focus and UBO or UOO or EIEIO that we are willing to accept is that "It can be stolen," but even then, it can't stay stolen.

 

And we keep going-- and odd, only when Focus is up for discussion-- to "the source material is superhero comics."  Now I _admit_, routinely, that I know bug-squat about superhero comics.  I accept that this is a trope, but maintain that it's a damned stupid one.  When we get to Heroic "Oh, well, Hell-- no big deal there.  He only paid money (game money; fake money) for that.  Let it fall into the toilet and get flushed out to sea, through a dimensional vortex and a thousand years forward in time.  No biggie."

 

Points make the difference is a crock of crap unless Focus is re-tooled to work on a double-standard.  Something like "Focus?  No; not for supers.  Your gun a special effect; your belt is a special effect, whatever.  Sure, make it restrainable, put some standard effects on Activation to build a time block for which you can be deprived of it-- even put a unique Limited Power:  Roll X- to see if you remembered to bring it with you / if it's been stolen for X Phases; whatever, but you can't use Focus with points.  That's off limits."

 

Hell, I might actually have to house rule that, now that it popped out.

 

But no; I won't have to house rule that, because we've had enough years together that we're all on pretty much the same page with regards to points being lost.  Still, it might be nice to have something ready to test if I ever find the time for a new group.

 

Anyway, we keep using Supers as the key reason Foci can't be gone forever and very rarely during this conversation do we acknowledge "but there's the pretense that supers is only one of ten different genres this system -- this totally universal system-- works with.  Of course, it's so universal that we have to make this one special case....  Which works as well as the rather grating "the exception that proves the rule!"   ugh.  >:/

 

 

 

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Meanwhile, Groundstuck Man does not know how to maintain it,

 

I didn't either.  It was intergalactic space garbage tossed out by a pandimensional litterbug, and I happened to be Johnny on the Spot when it happened.  But I don't have to maintain it. I can bury it at the beach, wait for the tide to cycle, go back and dig it up and it works _fine_-- you know: because I paid points for it, so I can't be deprived of it longer than it took me to bury, wait, and dig it back up-- or maybe that was too long, so it dug itself back up and flew across town to land on my waist.  And of course, I don't have Activation, Burnout, Jam, or any other mechanical issues that imply the need for maintenance, so...

 

 

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so it eventually wears out and he can't fly any more.

 

Which doesn't happen to me, ever, if I don't give it away because why?

 

Because _points!_, that's why.   I maintain the points are still paid: they are paid by a guy who doesn't actually _own_ the belt anymore, but they are paid.  Now as I have also noted, here and elsewhere-- though I'm not sure why, as it gets completely glossed over / ignored every damned time in the big hurry to come up with all the reasons why I _can't_ give away (or steal) a Focus forever:  The points are paid.  If Groundstuck Man likes the belt so much he wants to keep it, and I'm cool with letting him keep it (since I have just discovered my crippling fear flying outside of every airplane in existence or whatever), why not?  Why can't we work out a deal?  You take an EP from every session and apply it toward the belt.  Then I'll get one rebated back  (or, more famously:  you send your EP to Foxbat and he'll use them to pay off the belt).

 

Don't bother with "but this opens doors to everyone chipping in to buy one guy a massive power--" 

 

or a vehicle. 

 

Or a base.

 

Because it _doesn't_.  Am I an expert on the entire human race?  No.  Have I been working with the idea that points can be lost / items can be traded since about '82 or so?  Yes; that one I can answer positively.   I can also say that to date, _no one_ has ever said "Damn, guys; Tim's character sucks!  Everyone chip in ten EP to Tim so that he can add twenty dice to that attack, double his forcefield, and buy some _real_ movement...."

 

Never.

 

Not once.

 

_Can_ this kind of thinking lead to that?

 

Also no.   Well, yes; assuming the group is allowed entirely to their own devices, which brings me back to my single biggest sticking point with what remains of HERO fandom:

 

That's what the GM is for!  It's his job to make sure things are fair(ish), fun (hella), and don't go all kinds of five-dimensional pear-shaped.  I _totally understand_ that the bulk of the remaining HERO fans see the entire system as some kind of self-regulating computer program and that the ultimate goal of this system is to find some sort of mathematical perfection that will one day be able to math the GM out of existence, and Hell- one day, that may actually be possible  (for the record, that day was like ten or fifteen years ago, and it was called Champions Online, then City of something or other, which eventually died for a while then _kind of_ came back?  Meanwhile, the GM-regulated pen-and-paper kind of Champions kept being played, here and there).

 

But even then, we can't reconcile "points have to be paid!" with "Points were paid!" because they were paid by the guy I took it from.  The math works:  15 pts of Rocket Belt = 15 pts of Rocket Belt.

 

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Cap's shield is a great example of a focus for which there is no logical in-universe reason WHY he always gets it back - he just always gets it back, because it is his focus.

 

That may be the problem there: this pervasive concept that there is a "right" way to play Supers, or a "right" universe to be in.  Now to be fair, I _don't_ know much about comic books, save the few (way outdated by now, I'm sure) ones I've read, what a few of my players talk about during breaks (not a lot of my players read comics, either, but we _do_ talk to one another :lol:  ), so -- while I hate to use this example, it's one I feel comfortable using:

 

There are more than (were more?) two comic book companies, but let's look at one particular one:

 

Marvel.  In marvel, mutants are horrible, hated, persecuted people that even parts of the government are out to get.  

 

Now let's look at Superman's universe:  He's a mutant.  Oh, cool!  What powers does he have?  I wish _I_ could have mutant powers.  That would be awesome.....

 

In fact, _only_ Marvel does that, and super-wierdly, it doesn't really seem that all of marvel does it.  It doesn't even seem like a _majority_ of Marvel does it.

 

These are pretty opposite mindsets / campaign settings.

 

Which is the "right" one?  Which is "the comics-correct way to play?"

 

"I want to give Bob my ruby-red ring of righteousness!"

 

Why?

 

"Because I've decided I'm going to build myself some power armor with these Eps I've been hoarding, and the ring doesn't fit over the metal glove.  Besides, he's the Scarlet Serpent; it'll work well with his costume and his theme, I think."

 

"okay, cool.  You understand that it won't work if take the points out of it?"

 

"Yeah; I know.  We talked about it, and we've got a deal worked out: I'm going to keep it powered (paid for) until he saves up enough to cover it."

 

or

 

"NO, DAMN IT!  What kind of fast crap are you going to pull here?  You made it!  It's yours!  You have total control over it!  You CANNOT give that way!"

 

Comics or not, that doesn't even make sense.  I mean, you can actually _smell_ the clover the bull was eating before he dropped that one.....

 

But opinions on sensible or practical universes, I find it hard to say "must be like "the comics universe (which have already seen is inconsistent _at best_), because there is just no room to do any other thing in a universal system.  In fact, trying to anything else is wrong, because this system is so damned _universal_."  Hunh.  There's that clover again......

 

 

 

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That depends  on how the GM runs Independent.  If the items last just long enough for you to earn the xp to make another one, then your character really doesn't earn xp any more - he just keeps replacing the points he loses every few sessions.  If it does not get taken away - permanently - at some point, then the limitation is not really limiting.  You already got the point savings for the Focus, which is limiting because the power might be taken away temporarily.

 

Right.  No; let me rephrase that, as, if I were to level with you, I don't personally believe that there _is_ a "right way to use the rules" or a completely "wrong way to use the rules."  Further, I think trying to find and / or enforce one is not just pointless, but counter to everyone actually _enjoying_ the rules.  So to rephrase:

 

That's pretty much how I see it.  And no; I don't surprise anyone with it, either.  When new players go through Character Generation, everything that the express curiosity about or interest in is painstakingly explained to them.  This happens over and over, every character, until they get it all by themselves.  No one who has ever taken a Focus has been surprised to have it unavailable now and again; no one (like two?  Three people since the first FH introduced Independent?  Long damned time) who has ever permanently lost a Focus has been surprised by that, either.  Everyone on the same page, well ahead of the event (in this particular case, nearly ten years ahead of it) seems absolutely fair to me and mine.

 

You keep telling your kids "be careful, or this will happen."  You tell them; you discipline them; they keep doing it.  Is it horribly, horribly wrong-- is it some personal failing in you-- when what you've warned them about finally does happen?

 

 

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What happens to those Independent items when a character is killed?

 

What's the difference between "paid for" and "currently financing?"

 

What happens to all my crap when I die, other than my poor wife will have to dump the whole lot onto eBay, because by then there will be like maybe eight HERO players in the whole universe....

 

My daughter will likely get my motorcycles; my son will likely get my truck.  My daughter will then likely sell one of the motorcycles to put a new engine in the truck, if my son opts to keep it.  But still --someone will have to take possession of it, even if only long enough to dispose of it because shit doesn't just magically disappear when the last owner dies.  Unless it's still being financed, of course.  Then it's a self-solving problem in sixty to ninety days, though the dead guy's credit will just be all kinds of ruined. ;)  It occurs to me that the previous owner of my wood chipper and my rototiller is dead, and has been for a number of years.  I've still got them.

 

Paid for.  Unless we're instituting XP taxes of some sort, paid for stuff is here to stay.

 

And just to head off the "but you used money" angle (as if that makes _any_ difference, because paid for is paid for):

 

I earned that money with XP.  I beat my head against many, many barriers throughout my life, working through, over, or around them.  I took the XP I gained to increase my knowledge skills and my professional skills to the point that my skills allowed me to make enough money to by lots of exotic crap, like my Collectable Text Book Game (not my gag, but I love it!  I would credit it, but for the life of me, I can't remember who it was.  Anyway, thank you, fellow forumite!)  So I bought it with money; I bought it with XP.  Either way, when I die, it won't vanish on its own.

 

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Marty Mage made a Magic Sword for Slashing Steve.  He spent 25 points on that Independent item.  Marty gets eaten by a Dragon.  Steve still has his sword.  Marty's player brings in Wally Wizard, who spends 25 points on an Independent Magic Shield for Slashing Steve.  Then Wally gets killed, and Steve's sword and shield get melted, by  huge Fire Elemental.

 

So Marty's player brings in Arnie Artificer, who spends 30 points on a new sword for Steve, 30 points for a new Shield, 30 points for a Magic Bow for Steve, 30 points for Steve's new Magic Armor and another 30 for a Magic Belt.  Arnie doesn't live long afterwards.  His "devoted to the success of Steve the Chosen One" has been satisfied, so his "places no value on his own life" causes him to enter combat despite having no actual abilities of his own, so he quickly dies.  Luckily the Cult of Steve has lots of artificers from which he can draw his next character, who will arrive with more tribute for Steve.

 

Sure, a ridiculous example that takes the Independent limitation to its extreme, but it does highlight the issue. 

 

Why is it that when "Focus points have to be paid / refunded / balanced we talk about supers, but when points are "the problem," we talk about anything else?  I don't really want to get into it, but I suspect it's because none of us want to actually see the glaring double-standard.

 

At any rate:

 

What issue?

 

I have no issue here.  Steve was given some stuff; Steve lost some stuff.  Steve was given some more stuff.  He still has it.  For now, at least.

 

Now had a deal been brokered-- something like "this is a hundred gold, Steve!"  well, no one has a problem with that.

 

"This is a powerful whatever-the-hell-it-was, Steve, and I will not take less than a hundred gold for it!  And I will not craft this for anyone who is not worthy of having it!"  well, no one has a problem with that, either.  Now if "proving your worth" is in any way trading XP-- Give up 10 now, and then your next five, then half of what you earn until you pay off the last ten"-- then everyone loses their frakin' minds, _even though_ "points be balanced" and "points be paid."  

 

Double-standard.

 

Even though it _removes_ that link to the other guy's character sheet, it's _wrong_.  Points be paid; points be balanced.  But ooh-- evil bad juju.

 

Is it spring?  So much clover......

 

 

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The "PowerPlayer" builds a character with 75% of his character points invested in Independent items.  He has way more power, at the outset, then the other PCs, who did not make Independent items.  Eventually, his items disappear forever.  Now he is vastly underpowered.  No problem - time for a new character.  One who has a whole pile of new Independent items, so we're back to an overpowered character.  And if we recover the prior character's items?  Now everyone gets a power-up.

 

All of these are that most horrible of things:

 

GM territory.    Forgive the short, undetailed example, but I've been on the board like an hour more than I wanted to be, so I'm going to wrap up.  I had wanted to respond to Chris and a couple others as well tonight, but I'm just out of time.

 

 

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(leaving aside the Cult of Steve):

 

Don't leave out the Cult of Steve.  That was hilarious.  :lol:

 

 

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- it makes creating items (e.g. magic items) a character-weakener by sucking away their character points.

 

Yes and no  (I know; I know-- the worst of all possible examples).  It _controls_ the creation of magic items, yes.  But then, I prefer low fantasy to high  (fewer people tying to talk me into making it Tolkien), so such control is fine with me.  And of course, I don't need to re-hash moving it from one sheet to another, which means that creating an item weakens a character only briefly, and means he doesn't have to re-earn every EP he used (though, depending on the deal, he may have to wait for someone else to earn them.  I recommend a repossession clause).

 

 

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 - it makes characters who fluctuate in power over time, starting out overpowered and eventually becoming underpowered.

 

As a thought experiment, I cede that there is at least one path by which that is possible.  As something that I've had in practice for a few decades, I can tell you that thus far, it hasn't.

 

 

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I find neither desirable in game. 

 

Neither do I.  That's why I let things move from one sheet to another via EP expenditure.  I can't say it's perfect, but I can say it works remarkably well.

 

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YMMV.

 

 

In this case, it does.  Significantly, it seems.

 

 

 

Now Hugh, I tell you this next bit for several reasons, the first of which is that typically, I _love_ discussing things with you, and I have a deep appreciation and respect for your willingness to carry on as long any conversational partner is willing (and civil) to do the same.  I've got a lot of love for you, Dude!  :)

 

But to potentially save you time, let me get this in up-front:  I won't discourage you from picking all this apart into whatever tiny little pieces you want, or using anything from it as good / bad examples for anyone else carrying on in this thread, but please don't do so expecting me to respond.  No; that's not me being ugly:  I've just shot my entire wad in this post; there is nothing sizable that I can add to this, I'm afraid, but if possible, I will be glad to clarify anything that isn't clear to you.  As far as a conversation, though-- I'm out of stuff.  :lol:  I've got nothing new beyond what I put here (as far as I know).

 

I do intend to revisit later to at least answer Chris, if anything here didn't clarify things for him.

 

Oh-- I do have one thing to add, but it isn't much:

 

Most of this grew out of the very _need_ to answer the question you yourself posed:  your on a quest!  You're to retrieve the Five Colored Rings of the Holy Lantern Brigade!  The Lanterns died of ridicule directed at their emotion powers some thousand years ago, but your patron has a map!  It's a good one, too!

 

You find the rings, and low-and-behold, they work!

 

Why?

 

The people who used them died a thousand years ago.  The guy who made them died a thousand years before that.  Why do they still work?  Points be paid.  Stuff doesn't disappear if points be paid.  That's one of the tent stakes:  if they don't pay for it, it's a one-time trick, and that's okay.  If they want to do it a lot, forever going forward, they have to pay for it!

 

Also remember my non-supers stuff-- well, we were doing "non supers" before there were _rules_ for non-supers.  We had both Fantasy games and Sci-Fi games before there was even an Espionage  (remember any one of my comments that we needed car rules before there were car rules?).  So yes: it's heavily points-biased.  Even when we finally did get out hands on the "real" FH (the stand-alone first edition game), we couldn't shake completely that Champions bias.

 

 

Okay.

 

Now I'm done.

 

 

have a good evening, folks!   :)

 

 

 

Duke

 

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