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The -only- thing I don't like about the Hero System is how SPD affect END. I swear I can't think of a better way to do it though.

But it bugs me that Constant powers cost more END just because one Can take more actions. No biggie for some powers, like Potion of Giant Strength (+20 STR). Don't use it and you don't pay extra END just because you are faster.

But create an AE Smoke Screen (without continuing charges or Red. END or the like), and just because you Can take actions 6 times per Turn (an expensive purchase extra SPD is), you pay 3x the END of someone who  can only take actions 2 times per Turn, even though they are the exact same power, built the same way.

Anyone have any thoughts on how to get around that, and restore the balance, besides GM Fiat?

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The first solution to come to mind is to houserule that the END for Constant powers is paid upon activating the power and every post-12 thereafter instead of every Phase.  Add an END cost multiple if desired, you might not want to slash END/turn costs for the SPD 4 guys just because the SPD 8 guy is getting END-hammered. 

This would make it so both Fast Frank and Slow Sam get to pay the same END every Turn and do so at the same time. 

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I actually agree with this, and the first thing that pops into mind is to allow people a portion of their REC per phase.  So someone with a fast metabolism recovers more swiftly as well.  A complicated system would allow a percentage of recovery based on how much someone does that phase (doing nothing gives the full amount, doing a lot gives very little, or none).  Perhaps the easiest thing is just a free REC of END and STN per phase of 1/5th your standing REC, unless stunned or you use more END in the phase than you have in REC total.

 

Of course in theory someone with 9 speed could ditch one of those phases in the turn safely (when nobody else moves) to do a full recovery, but that still puts you at considerable risk.

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I comprehend the logical element to this and that the concept of an AE smoke screen costing someone more END per Turn because they have more phases that Turn seeming odd as they get the same cover (12 segments of smoke) regardless of SPD.

 

Using smoke screen as an example makes it seem a small thing though.  What about force field? That is a constant power.  I think that increased END usage is one of the things that helps keep the cost of SPD down to 10 points per point. 

 

I think that de-coupling constant powers from SPD might be something to think about in any future edition but some consideration should be given to what that means for costing (and not just for SPD).  I think, if constant powers were to cost END, by default, four times a Turn, then it is an advantage for most characters.  If I made my Energy Blast constant, does that mean it only damages four times every Turn, does it mean it damages every segment (with concomitant END costs).

 

What about damage shield? Does it only cost in a phase where someone gets damaged or does it cost every segment, or would it only cost four times a Turn?

 

I think that the benefit of the current system is a bureaucracy one.  Every phase you pay your END.  It is a simple rule.  It would be odd for a SPD 3 character using a constant power to have to spend personal END on segments 4, 8 and 12 while paying for the constant power on segments 3, 6, 9 and 12.... 🙂  We already have a game that carries a high bureaucratic burden, changing things that add to that burden with no compelling in-game advantages feels wrong...

 


Doc

 

 

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The only way having a set default SPD for constant abilities (and movement, for example) would work is to have it be the highest speed, rather than set for everyone.  In other words, you pay for END on you constant powers on SPD 4, unless you have a lower speed than that, and it only works/is paid for on your phases.

 

One thing that I've been doing for a while is to use a set speed for independent constant effects.  How often does a fire burn you?  On its own speed (which I use 4 for usually).  So if you stand in a fire, you're burned at a set rate, rather than based on how often you move.  That way the Flash doesn't burn to death faster than Joe average.  And you can vary the speed for particularly intense or mild fires: this one is speed 6.

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6 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

I think that de-coupling constant powers from SPD might be something to think about in any future edition but some consideration should be given to what that means for costing (and not just for SPD).  I think, if constant powers were to cost END, by default, four times a Turn, then it is an advantage for most characters.  If I made my Energy Blast constant, does that mean it only damages four times every Turn, does it mean it damages every segment (with concomitant END costs).

 

What about damage shield? Does it only cost in a phase where someone gets damaged or does it cost every segment, or would it only cost four times a Turn?


Good points all. Advantage is currently to slower characters. Or should i say Adantages. It affects not only END, but also Charges, etc. So slower characters get an advantage for using constant powers. Especially if they use constant powers which do not use END or Charges or the like every phase but rather only on their phases, like AE or Damage Shield. Or is it a Disad to the Speedy character? Or both? So it is advantageous for Speedy characters to stay away from these kind of powers.

So I see your point about, if we decouple Constant powers from costs per active phase, maybe the cost of SPD should go up. Hmmm...

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What about damage shield? Does it only cost in a phase where someone gets damaged or does it cost every segment, or would it only cost four times a Turn?

 

I've always run them as costs END Only when they go off, personally.  I dunno if that's a house rule or not.  But almost everyone buys damage shields down to 0 END anyway.

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It seems to me that it would be reasonable to shift the END cost of constant powers to Post-Segment 12, and to use a flat cost of (END)2 for all Constant powers.  That way a SPD 12 character with a Force Field is paying the same END cost for their Force Field that a SPD 2 character is paying, which seems fair since they are getting the exact same amount of protection.  I'm basing it off SPD 2 because, well, obviously, SPD 2 is the base speed of all things-with-speed.

 

For simplicity, I would also have the cost be (END)2 regardless of how many Phases the character actually uses the power.  For example, if a character turns on all their Constant defense powers on Segment 12 of Turn 0 (the segment on which all combats start), they'd pay the full cost of the power even though they didn't use the power for 2 Phases before Post-Segment 12.

 

I'd also make the order of events in Post-Segment 12:

  1. Pay END to Maintain Powers
  2. Apply any STUN damage caused by END overcharging
  3. Recover STUN and END unless Stunned

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14 hours ago, Usagi said:

It seems to me that it would be reasonable to shift the END cost of constant powers to Post-Segment 12, and to use a flat cost of (END)2 for all Constant powers.  That way a SPD 12 character with a Force Field is paying the same END cost for their Force Field that a SPD 2 character is paying, which seems fair since they are getting the exact same amount of protection.  I'm basing it off SPD 2 because, well, obviously, SPD 2 is the base speed of all things-with-speed.

 

For simplicity, I would also have the cost be (END)2 regardless of how many Phases the character actually uses the power.  For example, if a character turns on all their Constant defense powers on Segment 12 of Turn 0 (the segment on which all combats start), they'd pay the full cost of the power even though they didn't use the power for 2 Phases before Post-Segment 12.

 

I'd also make the order of events in Post-Segment 12:

  1. Pay END to Maintain Powers
  2. Apply any STUN damage caused by END overcharging
  3. Recover STUN and END unless Stunned

 

This carries its own issue. 

 

My SPD 8 character whose main attack is touching opponents to cause his Damage Shield to trigger is going to love this new rule.  Anyone with an Uncontrolled attack is getting a pretty significant benefit as well (as it is Constant first, 2x END will power it for a whole turn, instead of two damage iterations). 

 

Poor guys with Desolid, Shrinking, ShapeShift, Growth, Density Increase, etc. who might turn a Constant power on and off more than once in the turn (or do they only spend END once?  If so, does that also apply to my Constant attack if I change targets, or my Uncontrolled attack if I target a new opponent with each attack?)  Is STR used to Grab, Hold and Crush a Constant power, so my END cost is treated the same way?

 

Given how rapidly some Hero combat progresses, will we remember in PS 12 which Constant powers were used in Ph 2, and shut off in Ph 4?

 

We could dig through which Constant powers should cost END per turn, which per Phase and which per Use, but I don't think the system needs greater complexity to cause more confusion for the benefit this might deliver.  And I'm pretty OK with system complexities.

 

It is typically impossible to lose your PS 12 (outside of being well into knockout territory), so this adds a new variable.  Any KOd character who has Constant powers will never recover.  In PS12, they have no END, so they take a bunch of additional STUN.  Now, let's assume the character used 8 END for Constant powers (4/phase under the existing rules).  He's hit to -8 STUN in Ph 12, so he takes 4d6 STUN (14 average) and is now at -22 STUN.  Does he still get a PS-12 recovery (because he went in to PS 12 with -8 STUN) or not (since he is at -22 when he would recover)?

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

It is typically impossible to lose your PS 12 (outside of being well into knockout territory), so this adds a new variable.  Any KOd character who has Constant powers will never recover.  In PS12, they have no END, so they take a bunch of additional STUN.  Now, let's assume the character used 8 END for Constant powers (4/phase under the existing rules).  He's hit to -8 STUN in Ph 12, so he takes 4d6 STUN (14 average) and is now at -22 STUN.  Does he still get a PS-12 recovery (because he went in to PS 12 with -8 STUN) or not (since he is at -22 when he would recover)?

Constant powers turn off when Stunned or 'KO'ed, don't they?  Or did 6e change that? 

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This is not a problem; it is to balance a high SPD character.   Don’t forget that a character with a high SPD can also use more constant powers in a turn than a lower SPD character.  So if my SPD is double that of a slower character I can throw twice as many smoke screens as the slower character.  

 

Where the real problem is, is that most of the time players don’t take into account their END usage so high SPD characters end up running out of steam earlier than they should.  The best way to handle this is to build the character with this in mind.   As dsatow points out cost End only to activate is only a ¼ modifier.  Between this and taking half or 0 End on your powers should solve the problem.   Being able to cover more of the board in a smoke screen should cost more, this is just one way it does.

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4 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Constant powers turn off when Stunned or 'KO'ed, don't they?  Or did 6e change that? 

 

They do - but if we spend END at PS12 instead of when the powers are used, then the END is paid at the end, instead of when they are activated/used. 

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1 minute ago, Hugh Neilson said:

They do - but if we spend END at PS12 instead of when the powers are used, then the END is paid at the end, instead of when they are activated/used. 

I'm sorry, I'm not understanding. 

As I see it: If Battered Bob is at negative STUN when PS12 comes around, he has no Constant powers active since he can't have Constant powers active.  Therefore he has no END costs to pay at PS12.  Therefore he can't take any STUN during PS12.  Therefore he'll recover normally. 

But that's not what you're saying so I'm clearly missing something.  Where am I going astray in my logic? 

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13 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I'm sorry, I'm not understanding. 

As I see it: If Battered Bob is at negative STUN when PS12 comes around, he has no Constant powers active since he can't have Constant powers active.  Therefore he has no END costs to pay at PS12.  Therefore he can't take any STUN during PS12.  Therefore he'll recover normally. 

But that's not what you're saying so I'm clearly missing something.  Where am I going astray in my logic? 

 

Your description is RAW.  Usagi had suggested changing RAW to pay END for constant powers on a per turn basis, rather than per phase, and have the END cost paid in PS 12 for each constant power used in the preceding turn.  My discussion was focused on that proposed change,  not the present RAW of "pay END when the power is activated".

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On 10/30/2019 at 9:20 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

One thing that I've been doing for a while is to use a set speed for independent constant effects.  How often does a fire burn you?  On its own speed (which I use 4 for usually). 

 

It's been 30+ years since I did the math on this, but based on the HERO move through and max falling damage rules I had calculated that the universe is speed 4 in HERO.

 

It might make sense for non-damaging effects to be charged 4x END cost per turn rather than on SPD since there's no advantage to it.  For constant attack powers the cost would have to remain per phase as it is still doing damage per phase.

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The examples of Smoke Screens, Potions of Giant Strength that were given are charge-based examples.  Thus, they should really be bought as Continuing Charges to completely preclude END-related issues.  (In the case of a Potion of Giant Strength where you don't want the added strength to cost the user added END, simply make the potion a Compound Power that has the amount of conferred Strength bought @0 END for the user a la a Naked Power Advantage being part of the compound power.)

And Dsatow's citation of Costs end to activate (+1/4) ... is one that completely resolves the Force Field concerns raised above.

So what, exactly, is wrong/missing with judicious use of RAW, again???

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7 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Your description is RAW.  Usagi had suggested changing RAW to pay END for constant powers on a per turn basis, rather than per phase, and have the END cost paid in PS 12 for each constant power used in the preceding turn.  My discussion was focused on that proposed change,  not the present RAW of "pay END when the power is activated".

I'm sorry, you're right.  I was stuck thinking of how I'd implement it. 

That's easily enough fixed by moving the cost earlier.  Pay END when you turn it on, that pays for this entire Turn no matter how much you toggle it.  At PS12, if you want it on for the next Turn, pay your END and you can use it as much or as little as you want. 

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Aha!

 

Now I remember. 

 

In order to do a 30d6 Move Through using 0 strength the Earth must move 180m on its phase.

 

Since terminal falling velocity is 60m/s this means the phase of the Earth lasts 3 seconds.

 

Thus, the Earth is speed 4.

 

The glorious wasted mental energy of college.  :)

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I'm sorry, you're right.  I was stuck thinking of how I'd implement it. 

That's easily enough fixed by moving the cost earlier.  Pay END when you turn it on, that pays for this entire Turn no matter how much you toggle it.  At PS12, if you want it on for the next Turn, pay your END and you can use it as much or as little as you want. 

 

Paying on activation makes more sense to me.  It could last the rest of the turn (full turn if paid to maintain at PS12) or 1 turn from activation (more to keep track of). 

 

Of course, if we make END paid per turn for Constant powers, the next arguments will include the unfairness of paying for a full turn when I only use it for one segment, and why a single charge only lasts one phase instead of a whole turn.

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On 11/3/2019 at 5:59 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

This carries its own issue. 

 

My SPD 8 character whose main attack is touching opponents to cause his Damage Shield to trigger is going to love this new rule.  Anyone with an Uncontrolled attack is getting a pretty significant benefit as well (as it is Constant first, 2x END will power it for a whole turn, instead of two damage iterations). 

That's pretty easy to fix.  Constant Attack powers cost their END when used to make an attack or deal damage.  So the character with Growth, etc. can activate and deactivate the power as often as their SPD allows, and they just pay once for the whole turn, but if you're SPD 6 and have a Constant Attack power, you pay the END cost each time you attack or deal damage, etc. with the power.  The Damage Shield would cost END when you attack someone to trigger it, but would only cost (END)2 to activate and wouldn't cost any END when someone else hits you to trigger it.  Basically, if you make an attack roll, you pay END.  If you don't make an attack roll, you only pay the maintenance cost -- same as any other passive defense power.

 

On 11/3/2019 at 5:59 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Is STR used to Grab, Hold and Crush a Constant power, so my END cost is treated the same way?

STR is its own thing.  It's both Instant and Constant.  Personally I think you should pay END when you Grab someone, whenever you deal Crushing damage, and whenever whomever you are Holding attempts to break free (unless you're holding them with Casual STR).  Like if you're a SPD 6 character holding a struggling SPD 3 character for a whole turn, you should pay END 3 times, and if you're a SPD 3 character holding a SPD 6 character, you should pay END 6 times.

 

On 11/3/2019 at 5:59 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Any KOd character who has Constant powers will never recover.

Nah, if your powers are turned off before PS12 because you are unconscious or knocked out, then you spend no END. Your END flatlines automatically, and in our infinite mercy we'll just ignore any discrepancy between END lost to KO and END due to pay for powers. 

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10 hours ago, Usagi said:

That's pretty easy to fix.  Constant Attack powers cost their END when used to make an attack or deal damage.  So the character with Growth, etc. can activate and deactivate the power as often as their SPD allows, and they just pay once for the whole turn, but if you're SPD 6 and have a Constant Attack power, you pay the END cost each time you attack or deal damage, etc. with the power.  The Damage Shield would cost END when you attack someone to trigger it, but would only cost (END)2 to activate and wouldn't cost any END when someone else hits you to trigger it.  Basically, if you make an attack roll, you pay END.  If you don't make an attack roll, you only pay the maintenance cost -- same as any other passive defense power.

 

Seems like we are adding considerable complexity.  The Damage Shield becomes a bigger END sink.  As well, as indicated below, this seems inconsistent with your treatment of STR.

 

10 hours ago, Usagi said:

STR is its own thing.  It's both Instant and Constant.  Personally I think you should pay END when you Grab someone, whenever you deal Crushing damage, and whenever whomever you are Holding attempts to break free (unless you're holding them with Casual STR).  Like if you're a SPD 6 character holding a struggling SPD 3 character for a whole turn, you should pay END 3 times, and if you're a SPD 3 character holding a SPD 6 character, you should pay END 6 times.

 

This seems like a huge extra cost for that STR 3 character, and also seems very inconsistent with how you are treating Damage Shield.  That 3 SPD character pays END 6 times as the SPD 6 character tries to break out (plus pays each time he exerts his STR to, say, crush), but only pays END "twice" to put up the damage shield and do damage to the 6 SPD character 6 times (plus paying each time he actively uses the damage shield).

 

He would only pay END "twice" to use a Force Field for the entire turn, despite getting attacked six times (more if anyone else attacks him).  That does not seem consistent with paying END 6 times to maintain a grip on his opponent (more, I assume, if he is also bracing to avoid Knockback and gets hit - or is that a Constant use that requires another 2x END?).

 

Would he pay 2x END, 3x END or something else to lift a large object over his head for a turn?  He's exerting the same STR for the same time period as holding that 6 SPD target, yet not paying the same END, so we are back to the same inconsistency.

 

10 hours ago, Usagi said:

Nah, if your powers are turned off before PS12 because you are unconscious or knocked out, then you spend no END. Your END flatlines automatically, and in our infinite mercy we'll just ignore any discrepancy between END lost to KO and END due to pay for powers. 

 

So if my STUN is getting low, I may as well go all-out spending END on attack powers and activating any Constant powers that may help me end the battle before the end of the turn.  If I am getting KOd anyway, I won't actually spend the END for the Constant powers at all.  I think the END needs to be paid when the power is activated, not delayed until the turn ends.

 

A nice deal when I recover with 3 STUN as well.  I'm not likely to last a full Turn anyway, but I can activate all my Constant powers at no END cost now, and I'll likely be KOd before the end of the turn.  This begs another question - what if I am KOd to -7 STUN in Phase 10, recover in Phase 12 becoming conscious with 5 STUN and END?  Do I avoid the END cost since I was KOd after using the powers, or have to spend it now since I am not KOd in PS 12, so I just go right back to KOd?

 

And, of course, we will have the reverse "unfairness" that I turn my constant powers on in Segment 12, as combat starts, can only get one phase of benefit, but pay the same END as if I benefited for a whole turn. 

 

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On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Seems like we are adding considerable complexity.

Love it when an argument opens with weasel words.  Seems like you are just looking for things to nitpick at.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

The Damage Shield becomes a bigger END sink.  As well, as indicated below, this seems inconsistent with your treatment of STR.

I don't really care about that.  I think Damage Shields are cheese, and almost never allow them -- precisely because they're supposed to be a defensive power, but always get cheesed into a zero-END attack power.  If you want a Damage Shield that can be used to make END-free attacks, buy it Reduced END.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

This seems like a huge extra cost for that STR 3 character, and also seems very inconsistent with how you are treating Damage Shield.  That 3 SPD character pays END 6 times as the SPD 6 character tries to break out (plus pays each time he exerts his STR to, say, crush), but only pays END "twice" to put up the damage shield and do damage to the 6 SPD character 6 times (plus paying each time he actively uses the damage shield).

Man, I'm not sure what your point is, but you have completely convinced me that Damage Shields are super cheese and should cost a lot more points than they do.  Really, you shouldn't ever be allowed to attack with them.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

He would only pay END "twice" to use a Force Field for the entire turn, despite getting attacked six times (more if anyone else attacks him).  That does not seem consistent with paying END 6 times to maintain a grip on his opponent

A forcefield is passive, holding on to someone is active.  It's really not that hard to understand.  If you don't want to pay END to hold some, use your casual strength and passively hold them.  Using your full strength implies you are actively preventing them from breaking free.  Since there's no such thing as "casual forcefield," I'm just assuming its always passive, unless you're pushing your force field, which I would just treat as normal, paid for phase by phase.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

Would he pay 2x END, 3x END or something else to lift a large object over his head for a turn?  He's exerting the same STR for the same time period as holding that 6 SPD target, yet not paying the same END, so we are back to the same inconsistency.

You're confusion seems to all stem from treating STR as a Constant power, which its not.  STR is its own thing.   Lifting an object is not a Constant Power.  It's an application of STR.  Stop treating the two as equivalent and suddenly none of the issue you are pretending exist exist.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

So if my STUN is getting low, I may as well go all-out spending END on attack powers and activating any Constant powers that may help me end the battle before the end of the turn.

Sure.  Don't see how that's a problem.  One last desperate burst of power feels appropriate to almost all genres.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

If I am getting KOd anyway, I won't actually spend the END for the Constant powers at all.

...but you'll be KO'd and at 0 END.

 

On 11/5/2019 at 4:56 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

And, of course, we will have the reverse "unfairness" that I turn my constant powers on in Segment 12, as combat starts, can only get one phase of benefit, but pay the same END as if I benefited for a whole turn. 

There is no unfairness because the same is true for everyone else.  This is what's unfair (and completely nonsensical):

  • Glowbug is a Noteworthy Normal with a SPD 6 and a Force Field that costs 5 END.
  • Aegis is a Noteworthy Normal with a SPD 2 and a Force Field that costs 5 END.
  • Both activate their Force Field is Segment 12.
  • Assuming an average damage of 3.5 per 1d6, Glowbag is KO'd by exhaustion in Phase 2 of Turn 2, while Aegis is still burning END into Turn 3.
  • If each takes a Recovery every action, Glowbug still burns 2 END a turn to maintain his Force Field, while Aegis pays nothing.

That really makes no sense at all.  

 

 

 

 

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You are looking for ways to make higher SPD cost less END while ignoring the fact that higher SPD is definitely better than lower.

 

Glowbug doesn't have to last as long as Aegis because in one turn he accomplishes as much as Aegis does in three. 

 

Higher SPD is a choice and I've never before in a  thread seen it discussed a making a character weaker. In situations that require less END use, the higher SPD character can lower their SPD to conserve END. Not so, if the situation is reversed, the lower SPD is just left behind and SOL.

 

Perhaps some the higher SPD builds with these problems should change the way their powers are constructed rather than changing the rules of the game to help an edge case.

 

Sorry if this seems harsh, but it's very simple. Higher SPD is better than lower. That's why it costs more. The only drawback is END use so why would you take away the one thing that somewhat balances this?

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