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6E Multiple Attack, No Skill Levels?


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I was reading my copy of FHC last night and reading the section on Multiple Attack (which replaces the old Sweep maneuver AFAICT). In the section there was a little sentence about how combat skill levels could not be bought with Mutliple Attack (or to offset the penalty, I can't remember the wording and don't have the book handy).

 

Is that true, is that a thing in 6e that you can't buy levels to offset the -2 penalty? You certainly could in 5e, and obviously Rapid Attack and Two Weapon Fighting get involved in reducing penalties. Or was I misunderstanding it?

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Why are you buying off the penalty rather than simply buying levels with grab?  To save points?  Seems to me that the cost of being good with grabs is what it would cost you to buy levels with grab...

FRED priced +1 with All Combat at 8 points, not 10.  10 was the cost of an Overall Level.    I have to disagree.  No generalization of OCV Limitation is possible.  It has to be done on a p

Up front, Doc Democracy is correct.   I find it convenient to think about PSL's in this way: they can be applied to external situational penalties, not intrinsic penalties. 6e says this on t

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Unless the GM rules otherwise, characters cannot buy Combat Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack. They have to buy CSLs with the attacks they use to make a Multiple Attack, which they may apply when making the Multiple Attack with those attacks. However, if a Multiple Attack involves two or more different attacks (whether against a single target or multiple targets), a character may only use CSLs that could apply to any of the individual attacks involved.

Emphasis mine. 

 

You cannot buy "+2 with Multiple Attack".  You can use "+2 with Swords" in a Multiple Attack that involves only swords.  If you Multiple Attack with a blaster gun and your eyebeams, you can't use "+1 with Eyebeams" because it wouldn't apply to the blaster gun. 

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I read this just yesterday.  What it says is that you cannot buy skill levels with Multiple Attack.  You can purchase skill levels with the powers that use in Multiple Attacks and can use them to offset penalties for those attacks when used as Multiple Attacks, you could probably also limit those skill levels to be useful only to offset Multiple Attack penalties with this power...

 

It makes sense.  Skill levels with Multiple Attack itself would have a huge utility, this means that you multiple attack with the powers you are skilled in, not those you are not...

 

 

Doc

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As a reminder, OCV and DCV are characteristics (as opposed to being figured from DEX in 4e and earlier).  Thus, while you cannot, per RAW, buy Skill Levels with Multiple Attack, nothing in RAW prevents/precludes you from buying +2 OCV and slapping an appropriate Limitation on it … such as "Only Usable When Multiple Attacking. [-1]".

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21 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

I read this just yesterday.  What it says is that you cannot buy skill levels with Multiple Attack.  You can purchase skill levels with the powers that use in Multiple Attacks and can use them to offset penalties for those attacks when used as Multiple Attacks, you could probably also limit those skill levels to be useful only to offset Multiple Attack penalties with this power...

 

It makes sense.  Skill levels with Multiple Attack itself would have a huge utility, this means that you multiple attack with the powers you are skilled in, not those you are not...

 

 

Doc

 

I'm not sure I agree that it makes sense. I mean, you can buy off penalties for all the other things with penalty skill levels, why is this one thing called out specifically? Like you could do it in 5e. 

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2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

Steve obviously considered it a balance thing.  It is buying off penalties for a whole range of powers and attacks whether or not they are  a tight group or similar, just anything.

 

I have not done any maths and am not inclined to. 🙂

 

Doc

 

Fair...but Steve also thinks ED, Only vs Fire should be -1/2 when clearly that's wrong (considering the number of things ED could protect from, even the most common is still less than half of its value)! So I'll take it with a pinch of salt... ;)

 

That said, if you wanted to allow Penalty Skill levels vs it, how much would they cost in 6e?

 

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Penalty skill levels in 6th were much more tightly defined.  This would come into the Offensive Penalty Skill levels, which would apply to things that reduce OCV.  However, these were  grouped into Range skill levels (to offset range penalties), Targeting skill levels (to offset hit location penalties) and Throwing skill levels (to offset unbalanced object penalties).  It is quite explicit that Penalty Skill Levels should not be used to offset the penalties imposed for using manoeuvres.

 

Costs are 1pt/level with any single attack, 2pts/level with three attacks(*) or a tight group, 3pts/level with all attacks.

 

 

Doc

 

* it says manoeuvres rather than attacks in my rulebook but I am presuming that is a typo given the explicit text in the book...

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25 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

Penalty skill levels in 6th were much more tightly defined.  This would come into the Offensive Penalty Skill levels, which would apply to things that reduce OCV.  However, these were  grouped into Range skill levels (to offset range penalties), Targeting skill levels (to offset hit location penalties) and Throwing skill levels (to offset unbalanced object penalties).  It is quite explicit that Penalty Skill Levels should not be used to offset the penalties imposed for using manoeuvres.

 

Costs are 1pt/level with any single attack, 2pts/level with three attacks(*) or a tight group, 3pts/level with all attacks.

 

 

Doc

 

* it says manoeuvres rather than attacks in my rulebook but I am presuming that is a typo given the explicit text in the book...

 

That's...weird. So you can't get better at Move By's or Move Through's or Haymakers or any other standard maneuver? That's so weird. 

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You can get better at them, you just cannot buy the cheaper penalty skill levels.  There is nothing saying that you cannot purchase skill levels for any manoeuvre other than Multiple Attack.  You can buy skill levels with move through, just not penalty skill levels. 

 

Multiple Attack is unique in not allowing skill levels with the manoeuvre but you can apply any of the skills on the power used in the multiple attack.

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Up front, Doc Democracy is correct.

 

I find it convenient to think about PSL's in this way: they can be applied to external situational penalties, not intrinsic penalties. 6e says this on the subject (v1 p84):

A character cannot use OPSLs to increase
OCV generally, to increase the damage an attack
does, or to increase DCV. He can only use them
to reduce or counteract a specific type of negative
OCV modifier. A character cannot buy “generic”
OPSLs that apply to more than one negative OCV
modifier; he must specify which penalty a OPSL
applies against when he buys it. Nor can he buy
OPSLs to counteract the standard OCV penalty
imposed by a Combat Maneuver (such as the -3
OCV for a Grab By), or to counteract the Unfamiliar
Weapon penalty (6E2 51).

And that checks out against the provided examples...range, hit loc, and throwing penalties are all ambient external modifiers that apply across the board to all characters and attacks by default. On the other hand the -3 OCV penalty for Grab By is intrinsic to the Maneuver, and the Unfamiliar Weapon penalty is intrinsic to the character themselves. 

 

Multiple Attack might initially seem weird because the Maneuver's OCV penalty is variable, dependent on the total number of attacks and thus it might seem more like a situational penalty than something intrinsic. However Multiple Attack is technically a Maneuver and while its OCV penalty is variable in the abstract, once it has been calculated for a specific usage it is no different than the -3 OCV for Grab By. For a similar case of a Maneuver with a variable penalty, see Move Thru.

 

---

 

The distinction between what PSL's can and cannot be applied to does seem arbitrary and unnecessary to me in principle, however from an accounting perspective it does make sense that it should never be possible to buy PSL's to offset a penalty for less cost than paying for an ability that would allow you to not take the penalty in the first place. 

 

The reality is, PSL's could be eliminated entirely from the system, and could be replaced as a limitation taken on Skill levels and Combat Skill Levels..."Only to Offset Penalties". The value of that lim is debatable, but I'll just swag a -1/2 as a placeholder. 

 

 

 

 

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I guess my big problem with that is character conversion. I've found an awesome Hero Designer Character Sheet that finally fulfills my dreams...printing out a relatively standard character sheet in what looks like a character sheet you'd normally use. That is making me consider switching to 6e. However, if I am going to sell it to the players, the fact is that one of them has PSls versus Sweep and if I tell him, oh no, in this edition you can't do that any more, it's going to be a hard sell...possibly impossible as he's not HERO's greatest fan as it is. 

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9 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

I guess my big problem with that is character conversion. I've found an awesome Hero Designer Character Sheet that finally fulfills my dreams...printing out a relatively standard character sheet in what looks like a character sheet you'd normally use. That is making me consider switching to 6e. However, if I am going to sell it to the players, the fact is that one of them has PSls versus Sweep and if I tell him, oh no, in this edition you can't do that any more, it's going to be a hard sell...possibly impossible as he's not HERO's greatest fan as it is. 

You're the GM, right?  Why not just houserule it?  Hero Designer will happily let you buy PSLs and call them PSLs against Multiple Attack penalties, and Steve Long isn't in the habit of coming to people's houses and telling them they're Having Fun Wrong. 

Heck, 6e has a bit in the front saying that some things used to be different in 5e and if they weren't problems then they won't be problems now so let it stay. 

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4 hours ago, Tywyll said:

...one of them has PSLs versus Sweep and if I tell him, oh no, in this edition you can't do that any more, it's going to be a hard sell...possibly impossible as he's not HERO's greatest fan as it is. 

 

{shrug} If you aren't concerned about the potential opportunity for game imbalance, let people buy PSL's vs Multiple Attack penalties. Worst case scenario, if the character ends up being too good at killing off multiple targets and is sucking the challenge out of encounters, just add more goons to soak up their attacks. 

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10 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

Up front, Doc Democracy is correct.

 

I find it convenient to think about PSL's in this way: they can be applied to external situational penalties, not intrinsic penalties. 6e says this on the subject (v1 p84):


A character cannot use OPSLs to increase
OCV generally, to increase the damage an attack
does, or to increase DCV. He can only use them
to reduce or counteract a specific type of negative
OCV modifier. A character cannot buy “generic”
OPSLs that apply to more than one negative OCV
modifier; he must specify which penalty a OPSL
applies against when he buys it. Nor can he buy
OPSLs to counteract the standard OCV penalty
imposed by a Combat Maneuver (such as the -3
OCV for a Grab By), or to counteract the Unfamiliar
Weapon penalty (6E2 51).

And that checks out against the provided examples...range, hit loc, and throwing penalties are all ambient external modifiers that apply across the board to all characters and attacks by default. On the other hand the -3 OCV penalty for Grab By is intrinsic to the Maneuver, and the Unfamiliar Weapon penalty is intrinsic to the character themselves. 

 

Multiple Attack might initially seem weird because the Maneuver's OCV penalty is variable, dependent on the total number of attacks and thus it might seem more like a situational penalty than something intrinsic. However Multiple Attack is technically a Maneuver and while its OCV penalty is variable in the abstract, once it has been calculated for a specific usage it is no different than the -3 OCV for Grab By. For a similar case of a Maneuver with a variable penalty, see Move Thru.

 

---

 

The distinction between what PSL's can and cannot be applied to does seem arbitrary and unnecessary to me in principle, however from an accounting perspective it does make sense that it should never be possible to buy PSL's to offset a penalty for less cost than paying for an ability that would allow you to not take the penalty in the first place. 

 

The reality is, PSL's could be eliminated entirely from the system, and could be replaced as a limitation taken on Skill levels and Combat Skill Levels..."Only to Offset Penalties". The value of that lim is debatable, but I'll just swag a -1/2 as a placeholder. 

 

 

 

 

I thought when PSLs came out, it was to replace all those Limited OCVs. However where I thought PSL fell short was that Steve already mentioned what could be considered valid for PSLs and what couldn’t be whereas I felt that that should’ve been a GM’s call.  But no biggie.

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14 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

Up front, Doc Democracy is correct.

 

I find it convenient to think about PSL's in this way: they can be applied to external situational penalties, not intrinsic penalties. 6e says this on the subject (v1 p84):


A character cannot use OPSLs to increase
OCV generally, to increase the damage an attack
does, or to increase DCV. He can only use them
to reduce or counteract a specific type of negative
OCV modifier. A character cannot buy “generic”
OPSLs that apply to more than one negative OCV
modifier; he must specify which penalty a OPSL
applies against when he buys it. Nor can he buy
OPSLs to counteract the standard OCV penalty
imposed by a Combat Maneuver (such as the -3
OCV for a Grab By), or to counteract the Unfamiliar
Weapon penalty (6E2 51).

And that checks out against the provided examples...range, hit loc, and throwing penalties are all ambient external modifiers that apply across the board to all characters and attacks by default. On the other hand the -3 OCV penalty for Grab By is intrinsic to the Maneuver, and the Unfamiliar Weapon penalty is intrinsic to the character themselves. 

 

Multiple Attack might initially seem weird because the Maneuver's OCV penalty is variable, dependent on the total number of attacks and thus it might seem more like a situational penalty than something intrinsic. However Multiple Attack is technically a Maneuver and while its OCV penalty is variable in the abstract, once it has been calculated for a specific usage it is no different than the -3 OCV for Grab By. For a similar case of a Maneuver with a variable penalty, see Move Thru.

 

---

 

The distinction between what PSL's can and cannot be applied to does seem arbitrary and unnecessary to me in principle, however from an accounting perspective it does make sense that it should never be possible to buy PSL's to offset a penalty for less cost than paying for an ability that would allow you to not take the penalty in the first place. 

 

The reality is, PSL's could be eliminated entirely from the system, and could be replaced as a limitation taken on Skill levels and Combat Skill Levels..."Only to Offset Penalties". The value of that lim is debatable, but I'll just swag a -1/2 as a placeholder. 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess from a gama balance perspective, I can see where they are coming from. But from a normal HERO system methodology, where you can build whatever you imagine, I find the limitation on geting better with specific maneuvers an unusual design choice. It seems like weird niche protection, when HERO is normally touted as 'build what you can imagine'. A guy really good at grabs or whatever seems like a valid thing to build, so buying off penalties seems like a straightforward way to accomplish it. 

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

You're the GM, right?  Why not just houserule it?  Hero Designer will happily let you buy PSLs and call them PSLs against Multiple Attack penalties, and Steve Long isn't in the habit of coming to people's houses and telling them they're Having Fun Wrong. 

Heck, 6e has a bit in the front saying that some things used to be different in 5e and if they weren't problems then they won't be problems now so let it stay. 

 

That's what I'll probably end up doing. I may increase the cost but otherwise, yeah...

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48 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

 

I guess from a gama balance perspective, I can see where they are coming from. But from a normal HERO system methodology, where you can build whatever you imagine, I find the limitation on geting better with specific maneuvers an unusual design choice. It seems like weird niche protection, when HERO is normally touted as 'build what you can imagine'. A guy really good at grabs or whatever seems like a valid thing to build, so buying off penalties seems like a straightforward way to accomplish it. 

 

Why are you buying off the penalty rather than simply buying levels with grab?  To save points?  Seems to me that the cost of being good with grabs is what it would cost you to buy levels with grab...

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6 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

Why are you buying off the penalty rather than simply buying levels with grab?  To save points?  Seems to me that the cost of being good with grabs is what it would cost you to buy levels with grab...

 

Wait...you are right. I'm looking at this wrong. I guess you could buy 2 point CSL with X maneuver (including Sweep) to counteract the penalty...you just don't say they are PSLs.

 

And when I read the quoted text, I added in a restriction on buying off DCV penalties, which isn't what it says. You could still buy PSLs to help offset DCV penalties from maneuvers. 

 

So actually yeah, you'd just buy +2 with Sweep (4 points) and accomplish the same thing, at the same cost. 

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The difference between a level and penalty skill level is that the skill level raises the ability by the same amount always.  The penalty skill level is something used to make you as good at using a power even when circumstances would normally dictate you would be worse at it.  the manoeuvre itself is not a circumstance...

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