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As for Linked, lets examine the effects

 

Linked allows two powers to go off at the same time, using the same attack roll, but one of these powers can only be used with the other one.

  • Advantage: you can use two powers at once with one attack roll (a combined attack)
  • Disadvantage: you can't use them separately.

So that looks like a push.  They cancel each other out. Which leaves you with this one final part

  • Disadvantage: you can only use the secondary power with the primary, never on its own

Now, that's not a very significant problem, but it is one.  So that's worth a limitation.

 

90% of the examples of linked powers in the published materials are to simulate something like a scorpion's sting: ouch and poison.  The ouch is the delivery system for the poison.  Its even possible to argue that perhaps most linked powers, you wouldn't want to use solo anyway, so its hardly much of a limitation.

 

In other words, linked is a limitation... just not much of one, so it probably should not have been grandfathered in as -½ but -¼ instead as a base.

 

See, my problem with combined attack as stated is two fold.

 

Either it should carry some manner of penalty

Or the two weapon attacks etc should be abandoned as having penalties and dropped from the rules.


Because they don't make sense together at all.  Its one or the other, you can't have both in the rules at the same time.  Trying to find an excuse like "oh uh, its um, that's real weapon limitation!" doesn't fit the rules as written and is just trying to justify something that just doens't make sense.

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26 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I'll address linked later, in a different response, because its going to be a bit longer as well.

 

 

Christopher, I know that we do not know each other _at all_, which would make appealing to you as a friend the hollowest of hollows, but as a person who appreciates your participation and contributions enough to hunt them down and read every one of them, I would ask the following favor:

 

Please don't. 

 

At least not _publically_.   As I said above, I missed the Great Linked War, but there was fallout from it for a couple of _years_. That, I am afraid, I did not miss. :(

 

Even the Comeliness argument can, at this point, be alluded to in jest and be the subject of serious discussion, so long as it's both brief and specific. 

 

The Linked War, though:  that got damned ugly by all accounts, and it kind of _stayed_ there.   Rules clarification questions seem to tolerated on that subject, but to date discussion of the concept in general turns into a large-scale brawl that the participants do not soon get over.  Now does that suggest that there are some issues with Linked? 

 

Yes; it certainly does.  But settling them, it seems, is best left to house rules over group discussion.  :(

 

For what it's worth, for all the times I have both discussed things and even outright  sparred with Hugh, he has never turned a blind eye to his PM box. 

 

Not once. 

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54 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

So it seems like that's a statement that you can fire two weapons at once in the same attack roll at a target... with no penalties.  How am I reading this wrong, exactly? 

It doesn't say "weapons," it says "powers."  You are subconsciously replacing the word power with the word weapon as if they were synonyms.

 

55 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

It literally says the opposite: this bot has two weapons and uses them both against a single target.  And they're both ranged attacks.

Except it doesn't say that.  It says the robot "has a pulson blaster (Blast 8d6) built into its right hand and a laser (RKA 2d6, Armor Piercing) built into its left."   It never says that these are weapons.  Obviously they are "weapons" in the general sense, but in HERO System those are Powers.  More importantly, they aren't Foci.  They are "built into" its hands.  Like I said in my original comment, it's a terrible example because we naturally tend to think of things like "a pulson blaster built into its right hand" as a "weapon," but technically they are powers.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

In no part of the book does it say "if you have weapons then you can't do a Combined Attack with them or it take penalties."

That's true, but the point I'm making here is that it does not say you can do a Combined Attack with two weapons, which is relevant to your claims that it literally says exactly that. Now there is no doubt that the Combined Attack rules are poorly worded (which is odd, Steve is usually so good about wording), but it seems clear to me that Combined Attacks involved two powers with the same source.  A much better example that would be far more clear would be a light-manipulating hero who can generate a photon blast (8D6 Blast) and a photon spray (3d6 Sight Flash) from his hands.  He could combine these powers into a Combined Attack with a single Strike action without penalty.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

No, that has nothing to do with it.  Not only does the concept of foci never show up in this, but foci isn't distinct from a power, its just a limitation on a power.

Yes, but you have to consider the nature of the limitation.  Focus shifts the focal point of the power from the character to an object.   If I have two swords, then that is two different powers from two different sources.  They can't be combined because they don't share the same source.  I know it doesn't actually say that, but its implicit in the nature of the limitation.

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Except this rule is not "only for Champions."  Its not only for superpowers.   Its not even an optional rule.  Its for any setting, in any genre, as a basic rule that all games have, like the rules for making a perception roll.  Nothing in the description at any point even remotely hints or implies that its for natural powers, but not for foci or things purchased with money or points.  Its just "you can do this if you want."  Then there's rules for how to do this, but with a heavy penalty. 

 

The whole section it's in (Multiple Attack, 6e2 p. 73) has a yellow warning sign by it.  So it's at the very least up to the GM whether to allow or not.

 

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Reading the 6th edition rules with prior experience only from 2nd through 4th editions, the Multiple Attack rules were one of the major bogglement moments for me too.  The key distinction between "Combined Attacks" and "Multiple Attacks" - as far as I understand it, which might be mistaken - is that a Combined Attack requires the following:

  • Character has multiple powers which are not otherwise precluded from being used simultaneously (e.g., Linked limitation, separate slots in a Multipower where the reserve isn't large enough to "fire" them at the same time, a single power requires multiple hands [so two guns/swords/whatever couldn't be used together], etc.)
  • Combined attack is made once in the attacker's phase against a single target
9 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

where's the logic behind the Two Weapon Attack and other rules allowing people to use two weapons in combat with penalties?  Why on earth would anyone pay any points, let alone 10 to do so, when you can do so for free, without any penalties??

 

The Two Weapon Fighting skill applies to Multiple Attacks, eliminating the first -2 OCV penalty, not Combined Attacks.  So for the book example of the robot with a blaster in one hand and a laser in the other, Two Weapon Fighting is inapplicable if the robot makes a Combined Attack with both weapons against a single target.  If the robot decides to attack multiple surrounding foes (to choose just one possible example), then it becomes subject to the Multiple Attack modifiers and could then benefit from having Two Weapon Fighting (assuming, for the sake of this example, the GM ruled that it was applicable [1]).

 

Two Weapon Fighting allows a character to be more successful at Multiple Attacks, and so is useful when doing things (as I believe Chris Goodwin mentioned above) like old-edition Sweep and Double-Fire maneuvers.  Again, AFAIK it has no bearing on or use with Combined Attacks.

 

9 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

[Combined Attack] has no OCV penalty, doesn’t halve the attacker’s DCV, and doesn’t take a Full Phase to perform.

 

To me, this is specifically referring to the modifiers/requirements for performing Multiple Attacks.  It doesn't preclude characters being penalized with an off-hand penalty, for example, if the game is using that rule.  In such a game, if a character with a sword in one hand and a dagger in the other attacks a single opponent with both, the single Combined Attack attack roll would (in my opinion) suffer from any off-hand penalty incurred by the weapon wielded in the attacker's off hand.  In this specific case, the increased chance of missing with both sword & dagger (the Combined Attack) would have to be weighed by the attacker against the potential benefit of both attacks being inflicted upon the target in a single attack action.

 

As far as characters with Ambidexterity, either that resolves any perceived "problem" with dual-wielding characters making constant Combined Attacks (because they've paid points to offset the off-hand penalty, and should therefore be able to enjoy some benefit from that), or the GM can - if they really want to discourage it - set a campaign rule that characters still need something like Two Weapon Fighting in order to make a dual-wielding Combined Attack.

 

 

[1] Two Weapon Fighting does state that "Unless the GM permits it, characters cannot use Two-Weapon Fighting with unarmed HTH Combat attacks, innate powers like Blast, and so on. As the Skill’s name indicates, it’s generally intended for use with weapons, not personal powers or abilities." (6e1 93) - weapons built into its hands could be seen as "personal powers" for such a robot.

Edited by rravenwood
minor clarifications

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Okay, let me take a stab at this.

 

These are my assumptions of what is written.

 

First to define Combined attack we should look at what it won't let you do.

  • It won't let you Combine powers in a Multipower or VPP over the Pool cost
    • You can only use up to the Total Pool points in any give Phase
    • You could use two Variable slots up to the total pool points if you chose
    • This is important since many characters tend to buy all of there offensive attacks in a Multipower.
  • It won't let you make two HTH attacks using Strength for both (that would be a Multiple Attack)
    • You could combine a Punch with a Hand Attack but if you had two weapons you couldn't use each of them as a combined attack since you would be using Strength twice and that would be a Multiple Attack
    • You could do a Punch and fire an Energy Blast at the same time though, paying END for each
  • It won't let you fire the same attack twice (as evidenced with Strength above)
  • It won't let you fire at multiple targets
    • However, it will let you shoot two AoE attacks at the same hex
    • Firing at multiple targets requires Multiple Attack
  • You can't combine Combat Maneuvers (this would also be Multiple Attack)
    • You couldn't do a HTH Grab and a Strike as a Combined attack (this would be using Strength twice)

So then what is a Combined attack for?

  • If your character had two powers that he paid for independently he could use both of them at the same time
    • For example, Flare has an Energy Blast and a Flash attack which were bought independently she could use them both in the same phase at the same target
    • If Neutron had a Telekinetic attack and an Energy Blast (bought separately) he could both Grab the target and shoot at him in the same Phase
      • It should be noted that the target will not suffer the DCV penalties against the EB since he actually hasn't been grabbed yet (until the successful to hit roll)
  • If your character wanted to Combine a Multipower attack with a power that wasn't in the Multipower he could do that as a Combined attack
    • Flare has several Energy blasts (bought as fixed slots) in a Multipower and a Flash attack bought independently
      • She could fire attacks up to the total of the Multipower pool and the Flash as a combined attack

Some notes on using Combined Attack

  • As I mentioned previously the effects of one attack do not take place before the other
    • This means that if your character has a PD drain and you use it as a Combined attack with a punch it doesn't drain the PD before the damage of the punch
      • The effects take place at the same time so one does not get the benefit of the other

So what is the difference with the Linked Limitation?

  • With Linked you Have to use the other attack
    • You cannot use the Linked power independently (that is the Limitation)
      • For example in the case above with Flare
        • If her Flash attack was linked to an Energy Blast she couldn't fire the Flash by itself, she must fire the Energy Blast as well

Cinematically, this represents a character using two attacks at the same time.  It might be two different Energy Blasts or Flash and an Energy Blast or Telekinesis or whatever.  It is done all the time in movies and TV Shows.  Think of an Energy Blaster using both hands to attack a target.  That could be two different attacks (if it is the same attack twice then that is Multiple Attack).

 

I hope this clears things up a bit.  Again, I am no authority on the game but this is how I view the rule.

 

Deadman

 

 

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You are subconsciously replacing the word power with the word weapon as if they were synonyms.

 

That's a distinction without a difference.  You're presuming that a weapon somehow is not included in the rules and there's zero support for that other than "so it makes other rules make sense"


However, as rravenwood points out, Two Weapon Fighting is about Multiple Attacks:
 

Quote

Two-Weapon Fighting is the ability to use the Combat Maneuver Multiple Attack (6E2 73) with greater skill and accuracy than normal when using two weapons (one in each hand). It allows a character to ignore the first -2 OCV modifier when making two or more attacks with Multiple Attack. 

 

So that answers my first concern, and thank you.  

 

The second though... I get the thing with linked and all but being able to just cut loose with multiple attacks in one phase without penalty or drawback does not sound or feel right at all to me.  Them's how the rules are written, so they go into Western Hero as stated but it just feels all wrong based on THE ENTIRETY OF THE HERO SYSTEM OTHER THAN THIS RULE.  Being able to do more than the ordinary carries with it a cost, in every other instance.

 

Oh, and END Cost is not a penalty.  You always pay END, that's just part of the system.  Its fuel, not a penalty.

 

It also begs the question why exactly the penalties for doing so on other targets takes such heavy penalties.  Should they be so heavy?  Multiple power attacks on a single target take the same penalties

 

For example, I have a character with a blast and a killing attack.

 

If I use my blast and killing attack at the same time on a target, its a Combined Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.

 

If I use my blast twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Attack it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.

 

Umm.....

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1 hour ago, Deadman said:

If Neutron had a Telekinetic attack and an Energy Blast (bought separately) he could both Grab the target and shoot at him in the same Phase

since the Combined Attack is a strike, I don';t think you can use it to grab. However, you can strike someone with a TK attack so you might be able to use it that way

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14 minutes ago, dmjalund said:

since the Combined Attack is a strike, I don';t think you can use it to grab. However, you can strike someone with a TK attack so you might be able to use it that way

 

I see your point, in that example you are doing two combat maneuvers, a grab and a strike.  I hadn't thought of it that way honestly.  I suppose you're right, that was a bad example.

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My suggested solution would be for combined and linked attacks to take a full phase, and for combined attacks in a heroic game to optionally (and suggested) suffer the off hand penalty to OCV when applicable.  That would smooth over the differences and make things more consistent.  Oh, and linked to be base -¼ instead of -½

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

That's a distinction without a difference.

 

No, it's not.  Because weapons are Foci, but powers are not necessarily Foci.  And by ignoring the distinction, you are sailing right past the Focus issue.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I get the thing with linked and all but being able to just cut loose with multiple attacks in one phase without penalty or drawback does not sound or feel right at all to me.

 

But you aren't making multiple attacks.  You're making one attack with multiple powers.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

It also begs the question why exactly the penalties for doing so on other targets takes such heavy penalties.  Should they be so heavy?  Multiple power attacks on a single target take the same penalties

For example, I have a character with a blast and a killing attack.

If I use my blast and killing attack at the same time on a target, its a Combined Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.

If I use my blast twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Attack it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.

 

Okay, imagine a character has a Flaming Sword. The Flaming Sword has the following abilities:

  • Sword (1d6+1 HTH Physical Killing Attack; OAF, STR Minimum 10, Real Weapon)
  • Fiery Aura (5d6 Energy Blast, OAF, No Range)  plus Naked Advantage (Constant for 25 points of Blast only vs immobile targets)

Because the fiery aura can be turned on or off, and can be used to burn things without hacking at them, the sword can be used to make a physical killing attack, an energy blast, or both at the same time.  If the wielder powers up the fiery aura and attacks with the sword, that's a Combined Attack.  It's not two different attacks -- it's one single blow of the sword, which is also on fire. So...

  • If I use my blast on a target, its an Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.
  • If I use my killing attack on a target, its an Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.
  • If I use my blast and killing attack at the same time on the same target, its a Combined Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.
  • If I use my blast twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Attack and it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.
  • If I use my killing attack twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Attack and it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.
  • If I use my blast and killing attack twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Combined Attack and it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.

Doesn't that make sense?  One swing of the flaming sword delivers both the physical killing attack and a energy blast, which is one attack with one attack roll, taking no more time than a swing of a non-flaming sword.  But two swings of the sword is two separate attacks.

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5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

No, that has nothing to do with it.  Not only does the concept of foci never show up in this, but foci isn't distinct from a power, its just a limitation on a power.

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I have not been asserting focus changed the rule, but that weapon you did not pay character points for changed the rule.  You must buy Weapon Familiarity to use a weapon not paid for with CP without an OCV penalty.  If you pay CP for the weapon, WF is not required. 

 

I have never seen a character who has clawed hands, or makes a left-handed uppercut, or fires his MegaBlast, told to apply a penalty because he is using his off hand.  And I do not think many western brawls, to get back to the genre you are looking at, feature entirely right-handed punches.  A Captain Kirk two-handed punch has never, in any game I have played, been assessed a penalty for using both hands, instead of only the favoured hand.

 

5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I've never played a campaign where the GM let people have 210 active points in any single power, ever.  Have you??

 

Probably.  It was doubtless a very limited power, not a 42d6 Blast, but I have seen some abilities require immense point costs, but due to their nature (including limitations) not be overbalancing.  But this reflects the GM imposing limitations on the use of the rules.  It is GM oversight, not the rules themselves, which prohibit a 42 DC attack, or three 14 DC attacks which can be fired off as Combined Attacks, or even 6 Linked 7 DC attacks which are really just one big power and are always used simultaneously.

 

As such, I do not see the fact that a GM would not allow a specific power, or combination of powers, indicating a hole in the rules.  It is clear that, if I spend 210 points on attack powers with no limitations, I get to use as much, or as little, of those powers as a single attack, on a single target, with a single attack roll, as I see fit.  This is so, whether I spent all 210 points on a single 42 DC attack, or spent smaller amounts on each of several lower DC attacks.

 

And, in my view, this is appropriate.  The same points were spent, and the abilities purchased are, quite appropriately, usable with the same rules.

 

If, in my game, the maximum attack is 14 DC, then I would reject both the 42d6 Blast (tone it down to 14d6, the campaign max) and the three 14 DC attacks (make them slots in a Multipower - Variable if you want to  mix them or fixed if you only want to use one at a time - or tone them down so their use as a combined attack will be less problematic).  But that is me, as the GM, imposing limits based on the power level of the campaign.  And I would not see the 14d6 Blast as being any more problematic than a 10d6 Blast,, a 2d6 Sight Flash and a 1d6 OCV Drain

 

5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I didn't ignore anything.  I was simply trying to figure out what on earth you're talking about, since you're making my argument for me.  When you say that firing three 60 active point powers at once with a single die roll is the same as firing a 180 point power, I'm nodding and saying "yes, that's the point, Hugh".  This allows you to effectively have that 210 point power.  Every phase.  With every character.  The only possible reason people wouldn't do this is... because they weren't aware it was an option.

 

I think they are all aware that a 210 point, 42d6 Blast is an option under the rules.  Why does every character not have that 210 point Blast, usable every phase?  Because we impose limits, either ourselves or in conjunction with the GM, as to which abilities are acceptable in the game, and which are not.

 

If those three attack powers cannot be used together, but must be used separately, then the character is paying 210 points for a 91 point Multipower.  That extra 119 point cost should carry an extra 119 points of utility.  That huge utility is the ability to use all three powers at once, not just one at a time.  Just like a 210 point Blast can all be used at once.

 

5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

This isn't abuse of anything.  Its not a rule that you can twist to take advantage of.  Its literally just a combat option always available to everyone with more than one attack they can conceivably use at once.  Using Combined Attack is no more penalizing than using Martial Throw or a Haymaker.  The only reason anyone would think it might be an exploit is because it carries no penalties whatsoever.

 

As has been pointed out above, if the game uses off-hand penalties (some do not), then buying Ambidexterity eliminates them.  If my game uses off-hand penalties, and a character wants to use two abilities which requires one be used with the off hand, then applying off-hand penalties makes perfect sense.  To me, that should be limited to "paid for with money" abilities, but YMMV.

 

As has been noted above, two weapon fighting is for firing at different opponents, or effectively using the same power twice.  It also notes it is exclusively for weapons.  Not focuses, weapons.  Like the ones I need Weapon Familiarity for.  Seems more and more  like Weapons are attacks we do not pay CP for.

 

At the same time, I do not think the game would break if the Two Gun Kid uses his two pistols to fire a single shot against a single opponent using the Combined Attack rules, or uses his two pistols to fire one shot against each of two opponents, using the Multiple Attack rules (or fires one as a Ranged Disarm and the second as a normal attack).  I would not allow him to use three pistols at the same time - that defies common sense, and we use common and dramatic sense, as well as balance, in Hero.

 

He needs no special skills to reduce penalties for the combined attack, because there are no penalties for using a combined attack.

 

5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Linked allows two powers to go off at the same time, using the same attack roll, but one of these powers can only be used with the other one.

  • Advantage: you can use two powers at once with one attack roll (a combined attack)
  • Disadvantage: you can't use them separately.

 

Like Duke, I missed the Great Linked War and, also like Duke, that does not make me unhappy.  The question there was whether it has always been possible to use multiple attack powers in a single Combined Attack, or whether it was not, and Linked was the sole way to overcome that restriction.  The rules are now clear - Combined Attacks are always available.  Linked is only a Limitation, and it only restricts the ability to use a power separately from another power.

 

If the limitation is "you cannot use either one separately", why is only one of the two powers limited?  The sole limitation is that one power cannot be used independently.

 

5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Either it should carry some manner of penalty

Or the two weapon attacks etc should be abandoned as having penalties and dropped from the rules.

 

Or we can acknowledge that two weapons can be used as a Combined Attack (no penalties) or a Multiple Attack (with abilities that reduce or eliminate the penalties for using a Multiple Attack).  That seems perfectly reasonable to me.

 

I am unable to fathom why you find being able to use three separate powers which total X AP or Y DC as somehow more powerful, and therefore more deserving of restrictions on in-game use, than a single power of the same total X AP or Y DC.

 

3 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

The second though... I get the thing with linked and all but being able to just cut loose with multiple attacks in one phase without penalty or drawback does not sound or feel right at all to me.  Them's how the rules are written, so they go into Western Hero as stated but it just feels all wrong based on THE ENTIRETY OF THE HERO SYSTEM OTHER THAN THIS RULE.  Being able to do more than the ordinary carries with it a cost, in every other instance.

 

Please cite other Hero System rules where a character who has paid the points to have multiple abilities is not permitted to use those multiple abilities simultaneously.  In my view, prohibiting the use of two or more attack powers, all fully paid for with no cost breaks for their inability to be used simultaneously, from actually being used simultaneously is the violation of THE ENTIRETY OF THE HERO SYSTEM.  The points paid sacrificed the ability to buy other abilities - a LOT of other abilities when compared to a Multipower. 

Your approach robs those extra points of any value at all.  In Hero, I expect to get what I pay for, as well as pay for what I get.  So, if I cannot use those individual powers in a Combined Attack, what did I get for those 119 points I spent?  You keep not answering that question.

 

1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

My suggested solution would be for combined and linked attacks to take a full phase, and for combined attacks in a heroic game to optionally (and suggested) suffer the off hand penalty to OCV when applicable.  That would smooth over the differences and make things more consistent.  Oh, and linked to be base -¼ instead of -½

 

So Linked should impose a lesser penalty than Extra Time - Full Phase, and be more limiting?  This is how you would make the game more fair and balanced?

 

No thanks, I will just put more points in my main attack power and have a bigger single attack which I can use every phase, and only require a half phase action.  If I want more options, I will use a fixed slot Multipower.  It defies my imagination that you can suggest that a 14d6 Blast is less powerful than a 10d6 Blast + 2d6 Flash + 1d6 Drain, much less that it is so much less powerful as to merit that significant a penalty for using the combination of the three smaller powers rather than the much larger single power to make a single attack.

 

A rattlesnake that can bite faster if it does not try to poison its target also strikes me as a ludicrous result of this approach.

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At the same time, I do not think the game would break if the Two Gun Kid uses his two pistols to fire a single shot against a single opponent using the Combined Attack rules, or uses his two pistols to fire one shot against each of two opponents, using the Multiple Attack rules (or fires one as a Ranged Disarm and the second as a normal attack).  

 

This would be known as "the rules as they are written"

 

Quote

I am unable to fathom why you find being able to use three separate powers which total X AP or Y DC as somehow more powerful, and therefore more deserving of restrictions on in-game use, than a single power of the same total X AP or Y DC.

 

I have no idea what kind of games you've been playing in but no game I've ever read about, heard, played in, run, or seen anything written for has allowed unrestricted powers of any power level whatsoever.  None.  Even the alleged 210 point power you postulated you stated clearly "It was doubtless a very limited power, not a 42d6 Blast".  The restriction on powers is that GMs put active point costs on powers.  No sane GM allows someone to spend an unlimited amount of points on one power.  I'm confident you know this very well and are arguing not out of any sense of disagreement but because, well, you just like to argue.

 

Quote

 In my view, prohibiting the use of two or more attack powers, all fully paid for with no cost breaks for their inability to be used simultaneously, from actually being used simultaneously

 

Could you please stick to what I actually am writing here?  I never said I wanted it banned.  I am sure you know the difference between "this seems overpowered" and "this should be banned" right?  How can we have any kind of discussion if you're just going to invent what I'm writing instead of what I actually did?

 

However I want to put something down right now as clearly and inescapably as I can.

 

Quote

So Linked should impose a lesser penalty than Extra Time - Full Phase, and be more limiting?  This is how you would make the game more fair and balanced?

 

This would make using two powers at once a consistent rule.  So they both behave the same.  Linked would simply be a Combined Attack with a limitation.  Does that make sense to you?  

 

See, it wouldn't be a limitation on Linked.  It would just make the Combined Attack effect consistent no matter how it was used.  This would indeed make the game more fair and balanced overall by making the two abilities consistent, the cost of limitation more in line with what it actually does, and making Combined Attacks not the plain and obvious choice for every single attack every time.  It makes players have to make a choice: will I use one power and move, or use multiple powers and use my whole phase?

 

Can you see what I'm saying here?

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36 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I have no idea what kind of games you've been playing in but no game I've ever read about, heard, played in, run, or seen anything written for has allowed unrestricted powers of any power level whatsoever.  None.  Even the alleged 210 point power you postulated you stated clearly "It was doubtless a very limited power, not a 42d6 Blast".  The restriction on powers is that GMs put active point costs on powers.  No sane GM allows someone to spend an unlimited amount of points on one power.  I'm confident you know this very well and are arguing not out of any sense of disagreement but because, well, you just like to argue.

 

 

In many games, AP is not the limiter.  I see DCs used to limit attacks, OCV and DCV limits, defense and rDEF limits and SPD limits much more often than AP limits. 

 

I am arguing because I do not believe any sane GM is any more likely to allow a character who can throw around three 14 DC attacks as a standard maneuver than he is to allow a character who can throw a single 420 AP power around.  In a 14DC game, a 10d6 Blast + 2d6 Sight Flash + 1d6 Drain seems no more overpowered than a 14d6 Blast.  A 14d6 Blast + 14d6 Sight Flash + 7d6 Drain would be very much overpowered, but no more so than a 42d6 Blast.  In suggesting that, because I allow a 14d6 Blast, I must allow three 14 DC

 attacks which can readily be combined, I consider you to be comparing apples to oranges in a manner which is largely bananas.  I would  no more allow three 14 DC attack powers usable consistently together than I would allow a 42 DC attack power.

 

At the same time, I believe that, if the player pays for multiple attack powers separately, then he should get the benefit of those points spent.  The character tossing around a 10d6 Blast + 2d6 Sight Flash + 1d6 Drain (for which he paid 70 points) should not face any more restrictions than the player who is throwing out a 14d6 Blast on each of his phases.

47 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

This would make using two powers at once a consistent rule.  So they both behave the same. 

Not even remotely.  You seem to confuse the concepts of an Attack, a Power (game mechanic) and a power (such as a DazzleBurst).

 

Using two or more Powers at once is embedded in the game.  I can already use my Force Field and my Damage Reduction together.  If desired, I can use them while I use my Flight and my Blast.  The default is that you can use every ability you paid points for at the same time.  The inability to do so is a limitation on the Power.

 

I can also use my HKA at the same time as my Damage Shield (oh look - two attack powers being used at the same time).  I can use my Hand Attack at the same time as my Strength, too.  Usagi provided the great example of a flaming sword.  A scorpion's sting and a rattlesnake's bite are two additional examples.

 

To me, it would be inconsistent to rule that 70 points spent on Blast can be all used at the same time,  but 50 points spent on Blast + 10 points spent on Sight Flash + 10 points spent on Drain cannot be similarly used at the same time, under the same rules.  I can choose to use only 50, or 60, points of my 70 spent on Blast, and I should be able to choose to use just my 10d6 Blast, my Blast + Flash, or all three, exactly the same way.  And, RAW, I can.  In my opinion, this is an item RAW got right.

 

I can make a single Attack if I do not wish to end my phase.  That Attack can include any number of Attack Powers, and any number of Attack powers, provided I fire them once, at a single target, as a single attack.  This makes perfect sense to me.  It is balanced.  It may be a Combined Attack maneuver.

 

If I want to make more than one Attack - I want to hit the same person more than once with the same attack, or I want to hit multiple targets, one at a time - that requires the Multiple Attack maneuver.  It carries much more significant penalties.    And it should - I am now accessing the ability to use the points I spent on those attack Powers more than once in the same phase. 

 

I could combine the two, and fire off two Combined Attacks (perhaps a one-two punch type of maneuver) to use my Combined Attack twice against the same target - that is a two shot Multiple Attack.  Or I could fire a Combined Attack from each hand to hit two different opponents - a Multiple Attack of two Combined Attacks.

 

And I would be fine with Two Gun Kid using a Multiple Attack to fire off two shots from each gun - at the same target, or at two different targets - by making a 2 attack Multiple Attack, each a Combined Attack firing his two pistols simultaneously.

 

Using two or more powers at the same time, once each, does not bother me in the least.  Using them more than once at the same time?  That is a more potent ability, and should be more difficult - so more penalties.

 

47 minutes ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 Linked would simply be a Combined Attack with a limitation.  Does that make sense to you?  

 

See, it wouldn't be a limitation on Linked.  It would just make the Combined Attack effect consistent no matter how it was used.  This would indeed make the game more fair and balanced overall by making the two abilities consistent, the cost of limitation more in line with what it actually does, and making Combined Attacks not the plain and obvious choice for every single attack every time.  It makes players have to make a choice: will I use one power and move, or use multiple powers and use my whole phase?

 

Can you see what I'm saying here?

 

Two Linked attacks is already a Combined Attack, using one or more powers which have a limitation.  Just like a Force Field linked to Flight, or an attack linked to Running, reflect the use of two powers at the same time, one of which is limited to require the use of the other power in order to function.

 

The default (no limitation) rule is that any Powers which are not limited may be used, all at the same time, mix and match as you see fit.  That includes using two or more Attack Powers at the same time to make a single Combined Attack.  That, in my view, is the appropriate default.

 

If one or more powers is restricted in its usage, this merits a limitation.  For attack powers especially, that "limitation" is often reflected by placing them in a multipower.  However, for one power which can only be used when a second power is in use, the first power is less flexible, less versatile and should therefore have a lesser cost, which is provided by a limitation.

 

The choice the player must make - and in my view it is the right one - is "will I use all my powers only once this phase, permitting me to move, or will I use some powers more than once, and lose the ability to move".

 

The concept that a rattlesnake loses its ability to move because it injects poison with its bite is ridiculous to me.  It paid for a KA Bite, and it paid for the Poison.  It saved some points by requiring the Bite be used to deliver the Poison.  Otherwise, neither ability is Limited, and both should be usable as a half move, just as an alligator can use its much larger, but non-poisonous, bite as a half move.  There is no reason more of the same Power should be any easier, or more difficult, to use than two smaller powers.

 

What you are saying, IMO, is "because this is two separate game mechanics instead of one, the same points spent should generate  markedly different utility".  I disagree. Do you see that it is possible for someone to understand what you are saying, yet still disagree with you?

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On 11/29/2019 at 2:36 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

If I use my blast and killing attack at the same time on a target, its a Combined Attack and takes no penalties PLUS only one roll and I can make another half move.

 

If I use my blast twice on the target, that makes it a Multiple Attack it takes -2 OCV, halves my DCV, and takes the whole phase.

 

Given the usual offense to defense ratio in Fantasy HERO I just flat out disallowed Combined Attack and limited Multiple Attack to weapons based on weapon type.

* Two-Handers can sweep (hit two adjacent opponents).

* One-Handers can hit the same target (2 hits for dual wielders / Bash and Stab if using a shield and Grab and Stab if your off-hand is empty).

 

In my current campaign all spells are bought outside of power frameworks and here's a scenario I wouldn't allow - ever.

 

Wizard:  DM - I'm going to cast all of my spells on the Orc King.

DM:  Which spell?

Wizard:  ALL of them.

 

And then the Orc King is magic missile'd, fire balled, lightning bolted, scorching ray'd, etc. ??

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On 11/28/2019 at 12:10 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

As part of building the Western Hero book for 6th I'm putting in the rules for combat etc so its a self-contained book.  I've been playing Hero since around 1982, through all 6 editions, and run hundreds of games.

 

Allow me to congratulate you on being around, and staying around, so long. Nice to hear this. I hope the Western Hero 6th ed works out wonderfully.

 

I'd throw my 2 cents in but we never allow Combined Attacks or Multiple Attacks, short of autofire in the campaign I'm in.

 

 

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Quote

What you are saying, IMO, is "because this is two separate game mechanics instead of one, the same points spent should generate  markedly different utility".  I disagree.

 

No, that's not what I'm saying.  This may take a bit of definition and description to get across properly.

 

1) A combined attack is a version of strike.  It only works as a strike (ranged or melee).  No other maneuver is allowed, and it only works with powers which are strike-based.  So you can use it with a blast, but not a mind control.  You can with GM permission use it with a strike-like power such as flash I suppose, but not darkness.  

2) It is presumed (probably accurately) that Combined Attack was defined because a linked attack let you do that, but was called a limitation.  What makes using two powers at once a limitation if you cannot ordinarily?

3) Linked strikes are simply a Combined Attack with a drawback: at least one of the linked powers can only be used in combination with the other, and never solo.

 

With this information in mind, let's think this through carefully and rationally.

 

I propose a possible approach would be to state that a Combined Attack should have some sort of drawback to make the advantage of using more than one power to attack at once.  My proposal is that this disadvantage would be to make a Combined Attack take a full phase (like Multiple Attacks do).

 

For the sake of argument, let's talk about how this would work out instead of throwing rocks at me for daring to bring up this idea.

 

If this was done then we have a dilemma: linked attacks don't take a full phase, give you the ability to use two powers at once with one attack roll, but have a limitation!  We're back to the problem with linked noted in #2 above.

 

Hence, the solution proposed is to make any linked attack which is a strike-based attack take a full phase as well  Why?  Because the linked attacks are a form of Combined Attack and would, necessarily, use the rules for Combined Attack.

 

Linked powers which are not strike-based would not be Combined Attacks and hence would not use the rules for Combined Attacks.  So if Bob has a linked Telepathy/Change Environment (makes it rain) power, then it is not a Combined Attack and would not take a full phase.

 

This creates a symmetry and fair, balanced structure in the game.

 

incidentally if you've ever watched a rattlesnake strike... they're clearly doing a full-phase action.  Not that this somehow should define things or be the reason to use this suggestion, just saying.

 

Quote

I am arguing because I do not believe any sane GM is any more likely to allow a character who can throw around three 14 DC attacks as a standard maneuver than he is to allow a character who can throw a single 420 AP power around. 

 

Would this GM allow Multiple Attacks with a 14 DC attack?

 

See again you seem to be making my case still, that the present structure of Combined Attack is unbalanced or improperly structured.  That its utility is dangerous and troubling.  The fact that you think only someone insane would let a character use Combined Attack shows that you have a problem with it just like I do.  So how do we approach this, what can be done to make this less of a concern?

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On 11/29/2019 at 6:45 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

If the limitation is "you cannot use either one separately", why is only one of the two powers limited?  The sole limitation is that one power cannot be used independently.

 

Actually, that isn't the way I read the Linked Limitation:

 

Quote

6E1p383 - Linked only affects the lesser power. A character can use the greater power without using the lesser power if he wants; Linked doesn’t restrict the greater power in any way. However, he can only use the lesser power when he uses the greater power.

 

So, only the "lesser" power is limited. I think this is probably due to trying to prevent abuse, such as taking a very expensive power, linking it to something like a 2-3 AP power and get a (possibly huge) discount on the very expensive power.

 

That's my take on it anyway.

 

Lee

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On 11/29/2019 at 5:11 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

It would just make the Combined Attack effect consistent no matter how it was used.  This would indeed make the game more fair and balanced overall by making the two abilities consistent, the cost of limitation more in line with what it actually does, and making Combined Attacks not the plain and obvious choice for every single attack every time.  It makes players have to make a choice: will I use one power and move, or use multiple powers and use my whole phase?

The problem here is that you've crippled people's ability to make a lot of pretty normal, routine attacks.  Hugh gave the example of the rattlesnake, but the examples are effectively endless.  Flaming swords are now slower than non-flaming swords, poisoned daggers slower than unpoisoned daggers, etc.

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22 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

 

Given the usual offense to defense ratio in Fantasy HERO I just flat out disallowed Combined Attack and limited Multiple Attack to weapons based on weapon type.

* Two-Handers can sweep (hit two adjacent opponents).

* One-Handers can hit the same target (2 hits for dual wielders / Bash and Stab if using a shield and Grab and Stab if your off-hand is empty).

 

In my current campaign all spells are bought outside of power frameworks and here's a scenario I wouldn't allow - ever.

 

Wizard:  DM - I'm going to cast all of my spells on the Orc King.

DM:  Which spell?

Wizard:  ALL of them.

 

And then the Orc King is magic missile'd, fire balled, lightning bolted, scorching ray'd, etc. ??

 

I think this is a reasonable limitation for the game and the genre, at least potentially.  I would consider the following:

 

 - the character wielding rapier and dagger has given up the advantage of a higher base attack two-handed weapon.  Assuming the character is not splitting his attacks between two targets, it seems reasonable that he can swing the two weapons (including a weapon and shield bash) as a combined attack.  Grab & Stab combines two different combat maneuvers, and is therefore a multiple attack.  Punch and stab?  Kick and stab?  Sure.  But it still seems reasonable to limit the one-handed warrior to one extra attack (you don't get to kick twice, punch once, stab with your sword and head butt at no penalty).

 

At least one edition of Fantasy Hero suggested a -1/2 "spell" limitation, which included their exclusion from some maneuvers, like Multiple Attack and Combined attack.  As well, Gestures and Incantations logically impose limits on how many spells can be cast at once.  Can the spell caster cast three defensive spells, a movementy spell or two and an attack spell as a single phase action? This suffers from the same "not consistent with the genre" issue.

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Reprinted for context

On 11/29/2019 at 7:24 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

What you are saying, IMO, is "because this is two separate game mechanics instead of one, the same points spent should generate  markedly different utility".  I disagree. Do you see that it is possible for someone to understand what you are saying, yet still disagree with you?

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

No, that's not what I'm saying.  This may take a bit of definition and description to get across properly.

 

It may not be how you interpret what you are saying.  To me, after reading your post, it remains exactly what you are saying.  I will try to elaborate below, as you have.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

1) A combined attack is a version of strike.  It only works as a strike (ranged or melee).  No other maneuver is allowed, and it only works with powers which are strike-based.  So you can use it with a blast, but not a mind control.  You can with GM permission use it with a strike-like power such as flash I suppose, but not darkness.  

2) It is presumed (probably accurately) that Combined Attack was defined because a linked attack let you do that, but was called a limitation.  What makes using two powers at once a limitation if you cannot ordinarily?

3) Linked strikes are simply a Combined Attack with a drawback: at least one of the linked powers can only be used in combination with the other, and never solo.

 

While I largely agree, your restriction on a Flash is not accurate.  It is usable with combat maneuvers, as are killing attacks, normal attacks and adjustment powers.  As well, Darkness is simply an AoE attack.  In my view, a Combined Attack can combine as many attack powers as desired, however they must use the same mechanic to hit (OCV or mOCV).  It is clear that a Combined Attack cannot mix mental and non-mental attacks.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

With this information in mind, let's think this through carefully and rationally.

 

I think we have been both careful and rational to date (both you, me and other posters).  Please note that it is fully possible we understand your position but do not agree with it.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I propose a possible approach would be to state that a Combined Attack should have some sort of drawback to make the advantage of using more than one power to attack at once. 

 

Therein lies our fundamental disagreement.  I do not see it as an "advantage" to combine two or more attack powers any more than I perceive an "advantage" to your PD, chain shirt armor, damage reduction, damage negation and force field all being combined to defend you from attacks.  The character with (your extreme) three 70 AP attack powers usable as a combined attack has paid the full freight for all three powers.  He has not benefited, for example, from the huge cost benefits of placing these in a Multipower.  He has paid to have full access to those powers in the same phase.

 

Similarly, a character who has paid 70 points for a 10d6 Blast, 2d6 Sight Flash and 1d6 OCV Drain has paid exactly the same 70 points as a character who purchased a 14d6 Blast.  He is entitled to exactly the same utility - no more, but no less.  That means that both should be able to combine those 70 points in a single attack action, against a single target.  To me, the Combined Attack is not an advantage - it simply allows the points spent to have comparable utility.

 

I do not believe I can state that case any more clearly.  Allowing both of the above characters to use their points spent in the same manner is not "an advantage" to either character.  Restricting the combined attack imposes a disadvantage on the character who purchased multiple powers usable at the same time, without providing any reduction in point costs.  Whatever drawback you choose to impose unbalances, rather than balancing, the two characters, in favour of the one with a single large attack.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 My proposal is that this disadvantage would be to make a Combined Attack take a full phase (like Multiple Attacks do).

 

You are approaching this from the view that combined and multiple attacks are the same thing.  In my view, they are not.  The fundamental difference is that a Multiple Attack allows either targetting more than one opponent at the same time, or using the same power more than once.  That is, spending the 70 points for a single attack (whether a single power like a 14d6 Blast or a combination of attack powers), but using those 70 points more than once in a single attack action.

 

That mandates disadvantages on a Multiple Attack which are not similarly mandated for a Combined Attack.  The Combined Attack allows points spent to be used in the same manner as a single larger attack power (or a single cheaper attack power).  Multiple Attack allows the same points to be leveraged into use more than once in the same phase.

 

From here, I believe I can abbreviate your post to address salient points if we were to adopt your model:

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

 linked attacks are a form of Combined Attack and would, necessarily, use the rules for Combined Attack.

 

No question that the same rules should apply - Linked attacks are more limited, only in the requirement that they be used with a second power.  The same rules apply whether or not we change the rules for a Combined Attack.

 

Note, however, that your proposal effectively adds "full phase" to every attack power limited by Linked - "Full Phase" is already a -1/2 limitation, so this adds a drawback to Linked without adding any point savings.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Linked powers which are not strike-based would not be Combined Attacks and hence would not use the rules for Combined Attacks.  So if Bob has a linked Telepathy/Change Environment (makes it rain) power, then it is not a Combined Attack and would not take a full phase.

 

No, it would be a Multiple Attack requiring a full phase under the current rules.  Change Environment is an attack power.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

This creates a symmetry and fair, balanced structure in the game.

 

In your opinion.  For the reasons stated above, I find your proposal for greater symmetry between combined attack and multiple attack is unfair and unbalanced.  The present model is, in my view, both more fair and more balanced.

 

21 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

Would this GM allow Multiple Attacks with a 14 DC attack?

 

See again you seem to be making my case still, that the present structure of Combined Attack is unbalanced or improperly structured.  That its utility is dangerous and troubling.  The fact that you think only someone insane would let a character use Combined Attack shows that you have a problem with it just like I do.  So how do we approach this, what can be done to make this less of a concern?

 

You reach that conclusion only by misreading my statement.  My statement is that a GM who allows a character with a 42d6 Blast should be equally prepared to allow a character with a 14d6 Blast, 14d6 Flash and 14D6 STUN Drain, used as a combined attack.  In fact, the first will be more effective, as any game where a 42d6 Blast is not horrifically overpowered will feature defenses rendering a 14d6 Blast useless.

 

Similarly, in a game where 14d6 Blasts are the norm, a 10d6 Blast, 2d6 Sight Flash, 1d6 OCV Drain is of comparable power and identical power.  The second requires no special restrictions to balance it against the first.  For this reason, I consider your proposal (and even your fundamental objection to Combined Attacks working differently from Multiple Attacks) unbalanced and unfair.

 

To expand, both the 14d6 Blast and the Combined Attack should be usable with the Multiple Attack rules as well, each treated as a "single attack" for each use.  Thus, if either character wants to attack one target twice and a second once, using their full 70 points/14DCs of attacks, they would each take the same penalties for doing so.

 

I feel I fully understand your proposal, and I continue to disagree, 100%, with your fundamental premise that a Combined Attack is equivalent to a Multiple Attack.

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I'll try my stab at the difference

 

Combined Attack 

  • was included due to several factors:  Making linked a limitation rather than an advantage and the fact that combined attack was used in the robot warriors supplement
  • The idea of combine attack is to let all hell break loose against one target.  You can see this in various comic books, anime (particularly mecha anime), and in some movies (the scene of "Fire everything you got at it").
  • Combined attack only lets you use each attack power only once and only on a single target. This includes strength.

Multiple Attack

  • was mostly designed so a high CV martial artist can fight like most of the kung fu fighters in the movies.  It was later adapted as sweep, rapid fire, and multiple movebys.
  • The idea of multiple attack was to fight multiple targets (or the same target multiple times) at the same time.
  • Multiple attack allows you to use the same attack power multiple times.  This allows you to use your strength against multiple opponents or the same opponent.

Off hand attack

  • is generally only used in heroic games to simulate fighting with two weapons.
  • Sort of like a merger of Combined attack and Multiple attack.

Differences

  • Multiple attack has severe limitations such as OCV penalties, missing a shot makes all further shots miss (but you still pay the end for them), halves your DCV, and takes a full phase.  Combined attack doesn't.

 

Personal opinion

  • I didn't like at first how move bys were lumped into multiple attack, but I'd accepted it.
  • I think multiple attack should suffer a cumulative -2 DCV penalty instead of a 1/2 DCV penalty similar in effect to the OCV penalty.  The half DCV penalty penalizes high DCV characters more than low DCV characters who don't seem to use it as often (or get hit as often using it).

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54 minutes ago, dsatow said:

was mostly designed so a high CV martial artist can fight like most of the kung fu fighters in the movies.  It was later adapted as sweep, rapid fire, and multiple movebys.

 

Cart before the horse, but yes.  Multiple move-by, sweep, rapid fire, mecha gangfire, then 4th edition.  

 

Edit:  Dang it, I keep seeing this thread pop up and thinking it's for me.  ;) 

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