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Tywyll

A Fragile World

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I'm toying around with a campaign loosely based on the Worm webnovel with a dash of Aberrant. One of the elements of those settings is that metas are far more powerful than both mortals and most of their surroundings. I want supers to be able to vaporize cars and tanks without too much thought, yet still have a traditional punch 'em up with regular supers.

 

One of the ways to do that would be to just up CP values, but then it would be hard to use the wealth of precreated villains and supers already in print.

 

So I was considering that as a campaign ground rule, non-metas take double effect/damage from meta based attacks. Meta attacks are armor piercing versus normal materials and body armor. Weapons and non-meta mundane attacks will have reduced penetration. Natural elements will not be impacted by this rule, so a fire will burn a meta as much as a mundane person. Some super tech will not be subject to these restrictions and any tech based character will by default be considered a 'tinker' whose meta trait allows the creation of unique super-tech.

 

Yes, this prevents mundane concepts from being viable, but the campaign would be about metas and their powers and their impact on the world, so I don't really care about that.

 

What other problems might these ground rules create?

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I think you might find it hard for someone to be quite so much the good guys, even if they want to be. An 8d6 Area effect, under current mode, will cause damage, but nothing major. That same blast, AP or double effect, will make craters and send people to intensive care. Backstop checks and shying away from shots that might go wild will probably be the order of the day for ethical heroes. And the unethical ones will rack up body counts.

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I've did something like this around the time 6th was launched but with a few slight differences. Lord Liaden has something similar also which we both came up with without knowing each other.

 

Firstly the vast majority of NPCs are Normals and fall under Normal Characteristic Maxima even if they get no points for it. As such they take 1.5x from all Powers except theMental Group which they take 2x from.

 

Exceptional NPCs (such as combat competent DNPCs  and most Martial Arts and Tech  based types) fall under the category of Real Person. They take normal damage from Powers but  still 2x from Mental Powers.

 

The PC's and the Villains use some special rules also

 

They have 3 levels of Damage Negation against all Real Weapons unless they take the Real Person Complication (10 points) listed above in which case they get 1 level of Damage Negation and only 1.5x vs Mental Powers.

 

Powers and Supertech do 1.5x BODY damage against normal items. Attacks bought .with AP or Penetrating ignored the applicable defense of normal items also.

 

It worked as I wanted which was to keep the power levels and points low while making Supers clearly superior.

 

A gang of delinquents with  30 point attacks, 10-15 defenses can terrorize normals and regular police but were no real threat to the 50 point, 20-25  defense Heroes (or Villains) and could be handled by ESWAT or agents.

 

Where it may not work for you is this. Supers still did not brush aside heavy military equipment. Heavy weapons are still a threat, tanks and similarly armored vehicles or bunkers take some effort to destroy and a lucky shot from one or a missile will still do some damage. This too will not be a problem if your highest echelon of power is in the 75 point and up range, mine capped with the global threats at 15 dice.

 

I started with 2x damage but that was overkill on everything except the Mental Powers. If you want large scale destruction on lower points then 2x is fine.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Honestly, I'd suggest just massively cutting the BODY and DEF of normal people and materials. 

One hundred percent agreed. 

 

Rather than straight 10s on characteristics, give normals straight 5s, and a 1 or a zero PD /ED. 

 

This also has the added effect of normals being able to kill each other with baseball bat's in just a blow or two, as in the real world. 

 

Look at (I have no idea what 6 suggests) normals as presented in 5e and back, and you get 2 PD, 10 Body, and 20 Stun. 

 

Cut it down to 0PD, 5 Body, and 10 Stun, and suddenly an STR 15 punch of 3D6 is instantly overwhelming.  Not only are you likely to be out of half your Body, but an average of 10.5 Stun is going to drop you, period.  (and it's double your CON of 5, so you can be unconscious _and_ stunned!  Ha! ) 

 

Seriously: sometimes that's just the best way to go. 

 

Alternatively, slash the costs on everything in half, so that characters effectively get dou le what they pay for.  Just keep in mind that this still creates a larger gap between supers and normals, but not quite so dramtically:

 

Spend 5 points on STR and get an STR 20 (instead of 15).  Punch a normal with his 2 PD, 10 CON, 10 Body, and 20 Stun. 

 A 4d6 PD attack yields approx 4 Body.  Deduct 2 PD, and you've done 2 Body.  Your normal can soak 5 of those before being in danger of dying.  Further, the Stun damage (avg 14 - PD2=12) may just barely CON Stun him, but it won't be consistent, and of course, he will still be standing. 

 

Want to _really_ make Supers more like Aberrant?   Do _both_:

 

14 Stun minus 0 (or even 1) PD sends the 5 STUN normal into bad territory (and is guaranteed to CON Stun him on all but the worst of rolls) , and the 4 Body from the only 5 that he started with is ugly.  And if you roll only 1 six and no 1, he's down for hospital time. 

 

Go to a 25 STR (for a mere 7 points), and you will have an extremely good chance at leaving a trail of mortal corpses on your wake. 

 

 

Just suggestions, and if you use only one, I'd go with GB(I) 's and actually make the world out of paper. 

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

Honestly, I'd suggest just massively cutting the BODY and DEF of normal people and materials. 

 

How would that be any different? 

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Difference is in where the time is spent. Duke's method is good if you do all the work in the writeups. My method does all the work in play. but only comes up sometimes. It doesn't affect straight  Hero to Villain combat at all.Whichever works best for you is the order of the day as they both work at accomplishing the goal.

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

Less math flying around to slow things down, less risk of the modifier not being added or being added twice, fewer obstacles to quick and immediate "Oh, this is how deadly this is". 

 

Whether I divide their defences by 2 or multiply the damage players roll by 2, the results ought to be the same. That's what I was getting at. I see no functional difference between what you were suggesting and what I was suggesting. 

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1 hour ago, Tywyll said:

 

Whether I divide their defences by 2 or multiply the damage players roll by 2, the results ought to be the same. That's what I was getting at. I see no functional difference between what you were suggesting and what I was suggesting. 

 

Hopefully Hugh will be along to explain this better than I can: I can understand the concept and I can give examples,  but I lack the math vocabulary to explain it simply. 

 

What it boils down to is the ratios: dividing the smaller numbers results in more dramatic differences than does doubling the larger numbers, particularly when those smaller numbers are "the limit of damage you can endure" and "the defenses you can apply." 

 

I apologize that I can't explain it better, though I did the best I could.   :(  However, if this thread runs long enough, it will attack the attention of those better-educated in the field. 

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3 hours ago, Tywyll said:

 

Whether I divide their defences by 2 or multiply the damage players roll by 2, the results ought to be the same. That's what I was getting at. I see no functional difference between what you were suggesting and what I was suggesting. 

 

It makes quite a bit of difference in how the world functions. Whether or not it comes up enough is a GM matter though.

 

If you multiply the damage of Supers you make the world fragile to Supers. Supers and Super combat are disasters waiting to happen compared to mundane everyday life.

 

If you halve the Characteristics of Normals then the world plays much more like our real one than the cinematic design Hero is designed to emulate. Things like falling and getting hit by cars(which are admittedly too non life threatening in game) suddeny become the tragedies they are in real life.

 

Just using all the optional damage rules and requiring an actual successful First Aid roll with modifiers (not the automatic stabilization of the game by any attempt) will ramp up your death toll considerably. You have to remember the time scale of Hero is so much faster than most other games. Taking five or six turns to bleed out is a long time in play but translated to real time is about a minute which is beyond the expected scope of most first responders. Body damage has a chance to cause bleeding even if the initial wounds don't drop the Character into negative BODY so all BODY damage is serious in such games.

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The easiest way I've found to do this is to use existing Hero Games write-ups, but just interpret the mechanics a little differently, as part of the ground rules for your campaign.

 

For example, all real-world weapons written up in Hero terms have the Limitation, Real Weapon; while personal armor gets the Real Armor Lim. What I say for my games is that Real Weapons do reduced damage against Defenses that aren't built with Real Armor, while Real Armor is less effective against attacks that aren't Real Weapon (like all published "super" ones).

 

It's built into the system that "normal" humans don't have the same capabilities as the "heroes." They start with lower Characteristics, and have NCM as their default; they can't Push their Strength or other abilities. So, if you want more lethality against normals but don't want to use Hit Locations, you can say that in supers-genre games, all such characters have a default Vulnerability to "super" attacks. Conversely, you can decree that HTH attacks by characters defined that way are less damaging against "super" defenses. Super Attacks and Defenses are those by "heroes" as distinguished from "normals" above, and not having either of the Real Limitations.

 

The Champions genre book suggests several optional rules to give supers more environmental damage capacity; but again, the simplest one is to say that objects, vehicles, barriers etc. that aren't "super," e.g. not made from campaign-accepted wonder materials, or created through ultra-technology or magic, have a default Vulnerability to super attacks.

 

The degree to which people and things are more Vulnerable, or damage is reduced, can be set at the level you prefer. Using these adjustments as campaign ground-rules means you don't have to change the published write-ups, just keep in mind which category applies. "Normal" things, and "super" things, still interact with each other as they always have -- they're only different in relation to the other category.

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16 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

The easiest way I've found to do this is to use existing Hero Games write-ups, but just interpret the mechanics a little differently, as part of the ground rules for your campaign.

 

For example, all real-world weapons written up in Hero terms have the Limitation, Real Weapon; while personal armor gets the Real Armor Lim. What I say for my games is that Real Weapons do reduced damage against Defenses that aren't built with Real Armor, while Real Armor is less effective against attacks that aren't Real Weapon (like all published "super" ones).

 

That was my suggestion.

 

16 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

It's built into the system that "normal" humans don't have the same capabilities as the "heroes." They start with lower Characteristics, and have NCM as their default; they can't Push their Strength or other abilities. So, if you want more lethality against normals but don't want to use Hit Locations, you can say that in supers-genre games, all such characters have a default Vulnerability to "super" attacks. Conversely, you can decree that HTH attacks by characters defined that way are less damaging against "super" defenses. Super Attacks and Defenses are those by "heroes" as distinguished from "normals" above, and not having either of the Real Limitations.

 

That is also what I was suggesting. 

 

16 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

 

The Champions genre book suggests several optional rules to give supers more environmental damage capacity; but again, the simplest one is to say that objects, vehicles, barriers etc. that aren't "super," e.g. not made from campaign-accepted wonder materials, or created through ultra-technology or magic, have a default Vulnerability to super attacks.

 

The degree to which people and things are more Vulnerable, or damage is reduced, can be set at the level you prefer. Using these adjustments as campaign ground-rules means you don't have to change the published write-ups, just keep in mind which category applies. "Normal" things, and "super" things, still interact with each other as they always have -- they're only different in relation to the other category.

 

That's what I was thinking. 

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On 2/10/2020 at 9:34 AM, Lord Liaden said:

The easiest way I've found to do this is to use existing Hero Games write-ups, but just interpret the mechanics a little differently, as part of the ground rules for your campaign.

 

For example, all real-world weapons written up in Hero terms have the Limitation, Real Weapon; while personal armor gets the Real Armor Lim. What I say for my games is that Real Weapons do reduced damage against Defenses that aren't built with Real Armor, while Real Armor is less effective against attacks that aren't Real Weapon (like all published "super" ones).

 

It's built into the system that "normal" humans don't have the same capabilities as the "heroes." They start with lower Characteristics, and have NCM as their default; they can't Push their Strength or other abilities. So, if you want more lethality against normals but don't want to use Hit Locations, you can say that in supers-genre games, all such characters have a default Vulnerability to "super" attacks. Conversely, you can decree that HTH attacks by characters defined that way are less damaging against "super" defenses. Super Attacks and Defenses are those by "heroes" as distinguished from "normals" above, and not having either of the Real Limitations.

 

The Champions genre book suggests several optional rules to give supers more environmental damage capacity; but again, the simplest one is to say that objects, vehicles, barriers etc. that aren't "super," e.g. not made from campaign-accepted wonder materials, or created through ultra-technology or magic, have a default Vulnerability to super attacks.

 

The degree to which people and things are more Vulnerable, or damage is reduced, can be set at the level you prefer. Using these adjustments as campaign ground-rules means you don't have to change the published write-ups, just keep in mind which category applies. "Normal" things, and "super" things, still interact with each other as they always have -- they're only different in relation to the other category.

 

 

My next campaign I am doing this!

 

 

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My suggestion is to simply use hit locations (and multipliers prior to defenses), impairment/disabling, criticals, wounding, and bleeding on normals (non-heroic or incompetent).  I'd also toss in x2 vuln to mental effects.

 

While a heroic NPC (4pd) might with a bulletproof vest (6rPD) will take 1 Body and 4 Stun with a 2d6 RKA on average (7/14), the normal with the same defenses will take about 1 Body and 11 Stun if hit in the Chest.  If hit in the vitals(13), even if the "vest" covers it, the normal will take 8 Body and 18 Stun (x2 Body, x4 Stun).  A unprotected hit to the head (no resistant) might be a threat to a heroic NPC at 7 Body 14 Stun but to the normal that's 14 Body and 35 Stun.  The heroic and plain normal both have 10 Body, then the heroic is still fine while the normal is impaired and possibly disabled or dead at the 14 Body level.  Also, my group stacks the impairment and disabling effects though the rules only state to stack impairment effects(i.e. your GM may vary).  Having taken the Body damage, they need to make a EGO roll to do anything other than act defensively at -1 per 2 Body.  Finally, every turn, the normal will be suffering 1-3d6 of bleeding at post-12.  If the amount of body and stun lost (assumed to be NND but generalized damage) is high enough, they will again need to check for impairment and wounding.   Note that wounding penalties are cumulative, so Body lost due to bleeding will have an equal or greater penalty than the initial wound.

 

Again, this is my suggestion.  I also like Grailknight's suggestion of vulnerabilities mainly because it doesn't complicate play as much as what I'm suggesting and still make normals more fragile.

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2 hours ago, dsatow said:

My suggestion is to simply use hit locations (and multipliers prior to defenses), impairment/disabling, criticals, wounding, and bleeding on normals (non-heroic or incompetent).  I'd also toss in x2 vuln to mental effects.

 

 

That's not a bad idea, however:

 

1) it adds more work to each combat resolution

 

2) it falls apart when you want to punch a brick wall in the kidneys.   :(

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

That's not a bad idea, however:

 

1) it adds more work to each combat resolution

True, which is why I put in Grailknight's suggestion.  Personally, I have most of it memorized since playing in a Fist of the Northstar HERO campaign and several brutal Fantasy Hero campaigns.

 

27 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

2) it falls apart when you want to punch a brick wall in the kidneys.   :(

For brick walls, I think the set defenses and body by thickness seem ok, but thinner objects can be less def and body per the rules in need be.  Personally, I never consult the book on how much defense an object has unless the player makes it a condition.  If I think a brick should pound through a wall like the Kool-Aid Man, I have him roll and as long as he doesn't do really badly, he breaks through the wall.  If he fails badly, then he gets a coyote style indent in the brick wall. :) 

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

It is.  But that changes very little, considering that's a breakpoint and not a big step away. 

Well first I was just letting Duke know.  Second so it’s a break point, have you rolled normal dice against these numbers? A decent roll can really hurt them. I mean a normal taking 6 Bod can REALLY hurt.  Third (I I still grinding against this) if we accept 8’s as joe normal then thugs should be around 10’s and then go from there. If you build characters with an eye to take on thugs/agents that are lower in Stats then you don’t feel that you need even higher stats to compete.  Speed 4 hero against several speed 2 agents can is not much of a contest.  If I get time I’ll upload a 225 pt 6e stretching character. I had him do multiattack against agents who had 4 CV and 9 PD w/armor and a 9D6 Blaster. The hero had speed 4 and a modest 7 OCV plus 2 CSL , 8 DCV and a 9D6 punch. Combat didn’t last a full turn.

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:50 AM, Duke Bushido said:

 

 

That's not a bad idea, however:

 

1) it adds more work to each combat resolution

 

2) it falls apart when you want to punch a brick wall in the kidneys.   :(

 

 

 

Exactly. I don't want something that adds to combat length. I also want buildings and vehicles to get ripped apart with the regularity that they do in comics and films, but can't often happen in a normal game with 50-60 AP ceiling.

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23 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

 

Exactly. I don't want something that adds to combat length. I also want buildings and vehicles to get ripped apart with the regularity that they do in comics and films, but can't often happen in a normal game with 50-60 AP ceiling.

One thing you can do, especially for bricks is give them a killing attack.

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I would probably just user more points and higher AP caps. As far as using ready-made characters, I think you could just systematically amp them. Increase offense by 50% to 100%, the same for durable defenses, and double PD and ED for most "super" characters. I was thinking about AP, but I would say in such a campaign you would actually discourage it. AP is good against other high powered opponents, whereas more DCs will simply overwhelm the defenses of ordinary characters and things.

A beginning Aberrant character would probably qualify as High Powered, in my estimation, with 100 more points to spend on offense and defense. Since there are no "super normals" in such a setting, the characters will tear up. Also, with less pressure to conform to four-color standards, characters don't need high Characteristics they don't use much, probably have a smaller, more realistic spread of skills, and can be built with powers that don't conform to "good" Champions design. Like, you build a character who was basically a school teacher, but then developed steel-like skin, the ability to project armor-piercing acid, and somewhat improved physical characteristics. Rather than general competence, supers could be set apart by routinely having a little Mental Defense, Power Defense, maybe some Resistant on their PD and ED. Aberrant in particularly had a whole slew of characteristics all novas in the setting had, that would ramp up quickly if you took enhanced stamina and other common super-traits.

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