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Pariah

How Do You Build _____ In Champions Now?

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This Thread isn't about character builds. We've already got a threat for that. This is a place to discuss building specific Powers, devices, and effects.

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Okay, so here's the first one. I was looking at my favorite group of IMHO underutilized villains, the Geodesics. And I started with Ultraviolet.* One of the powers that she has is invisibility, but only to ultraviolet vision. How would one go about building that?

 

*Probably a mistake, since she's the most complex character in the group. I should've started with Dart.

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11 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Okay, so here's the first one. I was looking at my favorite group of IMHO underutilized villains, the Geodesics. And I started with Ultraviolet.* One of the powers that she has is invisibility, but only to ultraviolet vision. How would one go about building that?

 

*Probably a mistake, since she's the most complex character in the group. I should've started with Dart.

 

Tough to do, in that there's nothing that's just UV.  Awareness is far broader.  You could maybe say it's 5 points, Invisible to the Darksight aspect of Awareness ONLY, I suppose.  But Champs Now is NOT intended finely nuanced builds, as a rule.  The intent isn't to have supers be a little better here, a little better there;  they're painted with a broad, 4-color brush.  Some other notions are just CRAZY expensive.  My Extra Limbs guy...6 extra limbs, 4 of which have Stretching 8 meters...highly acrobatic HTH type.  But in Champs Now...those limbs become OBSCENELY expensive.  Effective teleporters are VERY tough to pull off...not that teleport is that bad, it's the memorized locations at 5 points per, and no way to bundle (6E, buy 2x the number of locations for 5 points each...that's not available here.)  And the powers options aren't as extensive;  there's no Aid or Absorption, for example.

 

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9 hours ago, Pariah said:

One of the powers that she has is invisibility, but only to ultraviolet vision. How would one go about building that?

 

By asking the GM to consider it one of the character's special effects.  

 

8 hours ago, unclevlad said:

Effective teleporters are VERY tough to pull off...not that teleport is that bad, it's the memorized locations at 5 points per, and no way to bundle (6E, buy 2x the number of locations for 5 points each...that's not available here.)  

 

Did you catch the rules for re-assigning memorized locations?

 

 

8 hours ago, unclevlad said:

And the powers options aren't as extensive;  there's no Aid

 

But there is Usable by Others. That does a lot of what Aid could do.

 

 

8 hours ago, unclevlad said:

or Absorption, for example.

 

But there are Conditional and Constrained. Whether ‘up to amount of damage (before Defenses) character got hit with in the last few minutes’ counts as Conditional or Constrained depends on how much control s/he has over this.

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9 hours ago, Pariah said:

Okay, so here's the first one. I was looking at my favorite group of IMHO underutilized villains, the Geodesics. And I started with Ultraviolet.* One of the powers that she has is invisibility, but only to ultraviolet vision. How would one go about building that?

 

*Probably a mistake, since she's the most complex character in the group. I should've started with Dart.

 

So what is the power, really? Where does it come from, what does it do? Can she ignore ultraviolet lasers?

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Reassignable is 6E's floating locations.  They're 5 points per, BUT can be bundled...buy 2x for +5 points.  Do that 3 times, and for 20 points you've got 8 simultaneous fixed locations, all reassignable.  There's also no fixed locations, which are only a point apiece, and can be bundled...so buy 5, then start doubling.  For 20 points you've got 40 fixed, non-changeable locations.

 

Also as written, these are adding to the core power, so the price is subject to advantages and limitations, which seems questionable.  Expanded Scope, at least Regional, feels like it'd be fairly common.  Well, to use Regional Teleport, it *has* to be to a fixed location, unless the GM seriously relaxes the perception rule.  

 

Teleporters can actually get surprisingly expensive in 6E...not just because things like the mass multiplier and Megascale, but those known locations add up, and by 6E rules, there's almost no way to reduce their cost.  I'd be pretty hard-ass about any limitations someone wants to put on these, myself.  

 

EDIT:  on the Aid/Absorption...what are you applying the Conditional/Constrained to, how do you mechanically execute the "points go to", and how do you express fade rate?

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7 minutes ago, pawsplay said:

So what is the power, really? Where does it come from, what does it do? Can she ignore ultraviolet lasers?

 

That's an interesting question. My first thought is that she'd need extra Defense (probably at least some of which was Resistant) for that. 

 

And that brings up another question: How would one go about building Ultraviolet Vision in the first place? The closest thing I coukd find was Awareness, which starts at 20 points and includes a lot of stuff not really suited to the concept. I suppose there are limitations that could be applied...but that jacks up your Ratio.

 

Maybe it's just a special effect in this system....?

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The next big question I have: HKAs.

 

I was looking at The Monster from Enemies II. He has a 60 STR and a 2d6 HKA (4d6 HKA with STR). 

 

The Piercing Advantage makes the attack work against Resistant Defense. That's well and good. But in the description, it says specifically that it applies to Blast. I suppose I could buy dice of blast with the Piercing advantage and the Strike advantage at the 1/4 level, and state that it requires a hand-to-hand attack but doesn't actually do Strength damage. In The Monster's case, I'd need to buy four dice of blast with the Piercing Advantage at +1/2 and the Strike advantage at +1/4. Total points: 35. Endurance cost: 4. Right? (Or, since he'd be doing a normal strike maneuver as part of the attack, would I have to pay the Endurance for his Strength (+12) as well?) Average Knockout damage is 14, against which all defenses would apply; average Body damage is 4, all.of which gets through if the target has no Resistant Defense.

 

For the sake of comparison: In old Hero terms, it's effectively a +2 Advantage to make a normal attack do Killing damage (15 points/die vs. 5). 

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4 minutes ago, Pariah said:

 

That's an interesting question. My first thought is that she'd need extra Defense (probably at least some of which was Resistant) for that. 

 

And that brings up another question: How would one go about building Ultraviolet Vision in the first place? The closest thing I coukd find was Awareness, which starts at 20 points and includes a lot of stuff not really suited to the concept. I suppose there are limitations that could be applied...but that jacks up your Ratio.

 

Maybe it's just a special effect in this system....?

 

On the one hand, I think the minor sensory powers can be taken free.  Supers Are Better is an explicitly stated principle.  Things like +2 Enhanced Perception...+4 Telescopic to Sight Group...well of couse.  Supers Are Better.  So yes, if all you want is UV, then it's "does this fit with the concept?  Sure!  Done."  On the other, tho, if you want to say it's UV as in 6E so you can see at night outside as well as you can during the day...that's probably Awareness with Conditional.  And yeah...that affects your ratio.  Guess what...Champs Now DOES NOT WANT you to be taking limitations all over the place.  That's gonna be the single largest adaptation I think many people coming from extensive prior Hero System experience have to make.

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9 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

 That's gonna be the single largest adaptation I think many people coming from extensive prior Hero System experience have to make.

 

This is true...and it's a bit annoying, in a nanny-state kind of way. It's like we're being told, "Here, use these rules to build whatever character you want. But don't use all of the rules to do that." It's akin to Dad giving you the keys to a Maserati that has a governor on the engine that limits it to 100 kph, because he doesn't trust you to drive it the way that it's built to be driven. I feel a little hamstrung, honestly.

 

I'm sure I'll get over it with time and experience. But that doesn't mean I won't grouse about it along the way.

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13 minutes ago, Pariah said:

The next big question I have: HKAs.

 

I was looking at The Monster from Enemies II. He has a 60 STR and a 2d6 HKA (4d6 HKA with STR). 

 

The Piercing Advantage makes the attack work against Resistant Defense. That's well and good. But in the description, it says specifically that it applies to Blast. I suppose I could buy dice of blast with the Piercing advantage and the Strike advantage at the 1/4 level, and state that it requires a hand-to-hand attack but doesn't actually do Strength damage. In The Monster's case, I'd need to buy four dice of blast with the Piercing Advantage at +1/2 and the Strike advantage at +1/4. Total points: 35. Endurance cost: 4. Right? Or, since he'd be doing a normal strike maneuver as part of the attack, would I have to pay the Endurance for his Strength (+12) as well?

 

For the sake of comparison: In old Hero terms, it's effectively a +2 Advantage to make a normal attack do Killing damage (15 points/die vs. 5). 

 

HA and HKA are generally Strikes.  When they're plain, it's a pointless way to proceed, but as you note, here, there's gonna be other advantages.  A 2d HKA would be 4 dice with Piercing...and if you want to add the STR, which will NOT be Piercing, it's Strike at +3/4.  If you want 4D killing, it's easiest to buy it as 8d6 Blast, Piercing, No Range.  40 points, 8 END.  

 

In something like this, my take for the +1/4 Strike is to describe a touch-based alternate attack...for example, I like giving healer-types the anti-heal...in 6E, perhaps an AVAD vs. Power Def.  If you make it the +1/4 Strike, then you can gain the benefits of martial maneuvers and levels with, say, Martial Punch.

 

EDIT:  1D6 Normal isn't equivalent to 1D6 killing.  It's not right to think of them converting at a +2 advantage.  From a pure damage output, 1d killing is close to 3 dice normal.  BODY damage:  3 1/2 vs. 3.  Average STUN:  9 1/3 for the killing, 10 1/2 for the normal.  About as close as you can get.

The problem with Hero's killing attacks is their *massive* variability.  Most of the time they're likely to be completely ineffective...but sometimes they're *devastatingly* effective...and quite often it's based on the roll of one single die, the stun mult.  The intent was to keep an attack that can *hurt*...but is far less likely to one-shot kill, or knock someone out for a month.  

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16 minutes ago, Pariah said:

 

This is true...and it's a bit annoying, in a nanny-state kind of way. It's like we're being told, "Here, use these rules to build whatever character you want. But don't use all of the rules to do that." I feel a little hamstrung, honestly.

 

I'm sure I'll get over it with time and experience. But that doesn't mean I won't grouse about it along the way.

 

I think it's better to consider Champs Now as a system unto itself, not as a simplified Hero System.  

You're not gonna be alone in feeling hamstrung.  There's a lot I very much like, but there's things I think are overdone...like the extreme focus on END, and the necessity to take actions to Recover.  The interaction between combat and non-combat movement is awkward, altho probably manageable.  The speeds, tho, are HUGE...regional travel takes a turn?  Regional covers LA to San Fran, for sure...considering the step up is planetary.  350 or so miles by air...in, let's say, 12 seconds.  (Obviously it's worse if we say 6 seconds.)  that's 1750 miles a minute, or over 10K mph.  Or if you prefer...Mach 13+.  

 

So recognize:  Hero System is pretty much a fine-grained supers simulator.  Champs Now is NOT.  Deliberately.

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10 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 I'd be pretty hard-ass about any limitations someone wants to put on these, myself.  

Why?

10 hours ago, unclevlad said:

Absorption...what are you applying the Conditional/Constrained to, 

To whatever improves as you get hit. So if the hero gets stronger as she gets hit, buy additional Strength and apply the limitation to that.

10 hours ago, unclevlad said:

how do you mechanically execute the "points go to",

The ability that the limitation is applied to is the ability that improves as the hero gets hit.

10 hours ago, unclevlad said:

and how do you express fade rate?

Well, a few minutes’” is about how long a fight lasts. So let the hero keep the goodies for the rest of the fight, give her time for a few more actions, then it goes away. I put some thought into that time period.

10 hours ago, unclevlad said:

HA and HKA are generally Strikes.  

HA can also be Strength with Constrained. Which is what you do when making a Blast into a Strike is pointless.

9 hours ago, unclevlad said:

So recognize:  Hero System is pretty much a fine-grained supers simulator.  Champs Now is NOT.  Deliberately.

Your choice of wording is worth noting: “Hero System is” rather than “Champions was”.

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Perhaps.  What I'm getting is a sense of trying to force-fit things.  But there's one big aspect here...all those limitations start impacting your ratio.

 

Using a Blast w/Strike...yes, it's even explicitly noted, this isn't particularly sensible in the simple cases.  The lesser "replaces damage" is likely the more useful...in a multipower, for example.  And we'll need to consider how it's gonna combine...with martial arts, with skill levels.  BTW, I also suspect that, for Blast, Strike's overpriced.  Perhaps for everything...a Flash attached to a punch is nice but Flash is expensive as heck to begin with, much less before applying such a big advantage.

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14 hours ago, unclevlad said:

 

On the one hand, I think the minor sensory powers can be taken free.  Supers Are Better is an explicitly stated principle.  Things like +2 Enhanced Perception...+4 Telescopic to Sight Group...well of couse.  Supers Are Better.  So yes, if all you want is UV, then it's "does this fit with the concept?  Sure!  Done."  On the other, tho, if you want to say it's UV as in 6E so you can see at night outside as well as you can during the day...that's probably Awareness with Conditional.  And yeah...that affects your ratio.  Guess what...Champs Now DOES NOT WANT you to be taking limitations all over the place.  That's gonna be the single largest adaptation I think many people coming from extensive prior Hero System experience have to make.

 

One of the biggest obstacles in a superhero game is often creating the various small powers under a budget. Simply laying out stats for a published or pre-existing character doesn't have this worry. So in thinking about Champions Now, if you're working with the system rather than against it, I guess the question is, what capabilities does the character have that this one little "power" is a part of?

Is Ultravision maybe relatable to skills? I don't know.

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15 hours ago, Pariah said:

The next big question I have: HKAs.

 

I was looking at The Monster from Enemies II. He has a 60 STR and a 2d6 HKA (4d6 HKA with STR). 

 

The Piercing Advantage makes the attack work against Resistant Defense. That's well and good. But in the description, it says specifically that it applies to Blast. I suppose I could buy dice of blast with the Piercing advantage and the Strike advantage at the 1/4 level, and state that it requires a hand-to-hand attack but doesn't actually do Strength damage. In The Monster's case, I'd need to buy four dice of blast with the Piercing Advantage at +1/2 and the Strike advantage at +1/4. Total points: 35. Endurance cost: 4. Right? (Or, since he'd be doing a normal strike maneuver as part of the attack, would I have to pay the Endurance for his Strength (+12) as well?) Average Knockout damage is 14, against which all defenses would apply; average Body damage is 4, all.of which gets through if the target has no Resistant Defense.

 

For the sake of comparison: In old Hero terms, it's effectively a +2 Advantage to make a normal attack do Killing damage (15 points/die vs. 5). 

 

Well, that's not wrong. 1D6 K is equivalent to 3D6 normal.  So essentially to make your STR into a killing attack you would figure out what the equivalent was, maybe with a little boost, and give it that value.

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Upon further consideration and reading, I'm thinking that 1d6 KA in mainstream Hero is ~2d6 Blast with the Piercing Advantage in Champions Now. Buy it straight for RKA; buy it with the No Range Limitation (and take the Ratio hit) for HKA.

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12 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Upon further consideration and reading, I'm thinking that 1d6 KA in mainstream Hero is ~2d6 Blast with the Piercing Advantage in Champions Now. Buy it straight for RKA; buy it with the No Range Limitation (and take the Ratio hit) for HKA.

 

 

That ratio is about right, yes.  But an HKA adds STR, so it's not Blast, No Range...it's a Strike.

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Champions Now is not intended to support direct conversion from other manifestations of Champions. Intentional decisions were made to encourage certain flavors of play.

 

I helped Ron with the numeric analysis of the cost and effect of "killing" attacks and resistant defense. I recall two considerations that influenced design: 1. he wanted to avoid the arms race between killing attacks and resistant defense that was a major point of controversy and discussion through many years among players of Champions. 2. he wanted to reflect how such attacks showed up in the comics of the 60s and 70s. 

 

Keep in mind that the first edition of Champions was 1980 or so. It was inspired by the comics of the 60s and 70s and Ron uses that era as a touchstone. I highly recommend anyone playing Champions Now get an online subscription to DC and/or Marvel and check out the comics of that time period.

 

Here's one way to build Wolverine's claws in CN:

 

10d6 Blast. Piercing +1/2. AC: 75, No Range -1/2. Cost 50, End:10

 

This is a serious commitment to a nasty attack. It could well cut down any character without resistant defense in one hit and do significant hurt even to those with rDef. The significant knockout  will probably also stun even a well defended hero.  

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It seems that emulating "killing attacks" is not really being encouraged in Champions Now . . . perhaps this is a good thing.  But what do you think about buying a hand-to-hand weapon as a Blast power with the Piercing Advantage and the Strike Advantage as well?  Would there be any advantage in linking this attack to the Punch (or Martial Punch) maneuver for +1/4?

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One weird thing about Killing Attacks is that in the comics, the opponents most likely to use straight-up Killing Attacks are bad guys with guns, and maybe killer robots... which are some of the least likely opponents to actually kill a superhero.

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43 minutes ago, PeterLind said:

It seems that emulating "killing attacks" is not really being encouraged in Champions Now . . . perhaps this is a good thing.  But what do you think about buying a hand-to-hand weapon as a Blast power with the Piercing Advantage and the Strike Advantage as well?  Would there be any advantage in linking this attack to the Punch (or Martial Punch) maneuver for +1/4?

 

Lethal force isn't heroic, altho it can be anti-heroic a la Punisher.  For the PCs, the point is that you don't have to buy an inordinate amount of resistant Def.

 

You can tie it like that to allow levels you buy apply.  The +1/4 may be useful in a framework, especially an EC, where you can get the price break.  It might give you HTH versatility.

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