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steph

Combat maneuvers

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Hello dear hero friends

2 questions for gm 

 

1 is there a combat maneuver you don’t accept in your fantasy session ? 
 

2 did you accept the use of Haymaker for spells and ranged attack ?

 

steph

sorry for the bad english. Not my first language. 

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I kind of don't like how easy Club Weapon is. It seems like using a weapon this way ought to be less effective.

 

I haven't thought about Haymaker that much, but it seems legitimate. For ranged attacks, it's an alternative to Brace and Set. For spells, it's a bit weird since I'm not sure how haymaker normally interacts with Full Phase, which a lot of spells are.

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Hmmm.

 

Haven't thought about this specifically til now.

 

1. I can't think of any combat manoeuvres I wouldn't allow in general. But there are manoeuvres I wouldn't allow in specific cases. For example:

 

2. I wouldn't allow haymaker for bow attacks, although I would probably allow it for thrown ranged attacks. As for haymaker-ing* spells... it feels wrong. But I allow Pushing for spells so why not haymaker for spells?

 

 

* the word haymaker-ing also feels wrong. So, so wrong.

 

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On February 27, 2020 at 3:49 PM, steph said:

Hello dear hero friends

2 questions for gm 

 

1 is there a combat maneuver you don’t accept in your fantasy session ? 

 

Not really.  I mean there are certain maneuver / weapon / character combos that won't fly, but by and large, I don't have a problem with the maneuvers themselves, assuming an appropriate character and weapon (when applicable).

 

 

 

On February 27, 2020 at 3:49 PM, steph said:

2 did you accept the use of Haymaker for spells and ranged attack ?

 

 

No.  Not at all.

 

I was fascinated by it when I first found the old Red October board and saw people discussing it like it made some sort of sense, and I appreciate the reasoning behind it being something along the lines of "but it's more fairer that way!" or something like that.

 

 

But no.  A Haymaker _is_ kind of punch: a downtown; a barnyard roundhouse; a from-below-the-knees knuckle-scraping uppercut.  Steve's pumped out tons of extra rules and maneuvers over the years; he's welcome to pump out something that works just the same for kicks and energy blasts, etc.  But I don't do "I'm going to Haymaker my electric shock!"  No.

 

 

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I was using Haymakers with Orc Archers last night. Really screwed up my players. 

 

Doesn't the Spell limitation preclude using Haymakers? Anyway, due to spells being full phase in my game I don't know how that would work exactly?

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2 hours ago, drunkonduty said:

How do you @Tywyll. How do you describe a haymaker with a bow? I mean, how does it look in the game?

 

Long, focused aiming at the exclusion of all other activity (hence the DCV penalty).

 

Hero is an effects based game. Getting caught up in the names of the maneuver doesn't serve much purpose I don't think. 

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16 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

 

Long, focused aiming at the exclusion of all other activity (hence the DCV penalty).

 

Hero is an effects based game. Getting caught up in the names of the maneuver doesn't serve much purpose I don't think. 

 

You could always rename the maneuver for non-melee attacks:  Deadly Aim for archers, Heightened Spell for casters, etc.

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As to combat maneuvers, in my game most maneuvers were open to players, most but not all. Culturally inappropriate maneuvers were usually not available, so no King Fu monks in Western Europe, sort of thing. But I did allow custom martial arts packages with some consultation.  

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On March 5, 2020 at 8:51 AM, Tywyll said:

 

Long, focused aiming at the exclusion of all other activity (hence the DCV penalty).

 

Hero is an effects based game. Getting caught up in the names of the maneuver doesn't serve much purpose I don't think. 

 

 

I was cool with everything in this conversation-- even though, as stated, _I_ don't do it, I accept that for whatever reason, other people do-- I would, after that, like to point out that it's not a matter of getting caught up in the name of the maneuver.

 

There is a huge matter of "when you joined the game."

 

A lot of us who don't do this joined with the early editions, with rules stating things like this:

 

Champions 1e, p 32:

 

"Haymaker: This is basically an all out punch, and takes an extra segment for its execution"

 

Further, there was the build of the maneuver and the damage of the maneuver.  From the same edition:

 

Combat Maneuver................. OCV..........DCV...................Damage

Punch.......................................+0..............+0....................x1

Haymaker.................................+0..............-5.....................x1.5

Kick...........................................-2...............-2.....................x1.5

 

(both Haymaker and Kick take an extra segment to perform)"

 

 

The 2e rules are identical, with the following addition placed nowhere near where it should have been, but findable enough on p 47

 

"Other maneuvers can have flexible effects also. A haymaker can be a double handed smash, a kick, or a full uppercut. "

 

This was the first point I ever questioned Haymaker, really-- I mean, I think we all came to the game already knowing what a "haymaker" was, as it's not an uncommon term, at least not in the US, and often applies to brawls, boxing, and other fights.  Or I could be old enough to be out of touch and that there really are very few people today familiar with the terminology used for actually going out and beating the crap out of each other.  Seriously:  it's possible.  I mean, I'm sure a lot of folks here grew up in an age where it wasn't even legal to return a blow to your attacker, or actually doing it to make the bullying stop.  No; I'm not being sarcastic here: I'll be sixty in a few days, and I openly admit that I could be so out of touch as to not realize the extent to which modern urbanites have become unfamiliar with the terms of daily that were once pretty common.

 

But at this point, I questioned Haymaker (the maneuver) because it said it could be a kick.   After studying it, I found nothing had changed, really.  I mean, I never minded that it did x1.5 STR because that was already something that was open to characters _anyway_ via the Kick maneuver, and it sort of played by Kick rules: took an extra Phase and CV penalties.  The lack of an OCV penalty, I always felt, was offset by the significant increase in DCV penalties.  Further, that big dent in DCV reinforces the image of the barnyard swing quite nicely, that long moment when you're wide open as you reach back behind your other elbow to bring everything from your knees up into that one wild blow....

 

At any rate: Haymaker really didn't do anything that you couldn't do without it.

 

 

 

Then 3e happened, and it had _this_ to say about Haymaker:

 

"This is basically an all out punch, and takes an extra Segment to execute. If a hero states on Segment 6 that he wants to do a Haymaker, the blow won't land until the end of Segment 7, after all heroes in Segment 7 have taken their action. "

 

So....  pretty much the same thing that the two previous editions had to say about it, and still nothing that wasn't available to a character already (via Kick).  Heck, even Kick in 3e tied itself to Haymaker in the description noting that "This Maneuver takes one extra Segment to execute, like Haymaker. "

 

 

4e added some clarity by noting that damage bought as Hand-to-Hand attack did not increase with Haymaker, but that the Strength-derived dice _did_, and the HTH dice would (unmultiplied) add to that (Champions 4e, p73).

 

You have to go all the way to p 154 to get the 4e definition of Haymaker:

 

"HAYMAKER

This is basically an all-out punch, and takes an extra Segment to execute. If a character states onSegment 6 that he wants to do a Haymaker, the blow won't land until the very end of Segment 7, after all characters in Segment 7 have taken their action. "

 

_Straight_ out of 3e, almost verbatim ("character" replaced "hero," presumably because 4e Champions was just a bit tacked onto the end of the Hero System Rulebook, and they were trying really hard to avoid anything that might suggest a style of play).

 

p 159 explains, clearly, that if a character is both Pushing and performing a Haymaker that the Haymaker dice ((STRx1.5)/5) are figured _before_ adding the dice from the Push; the Push cannot be...  ahem.... 'Haymakered.'

 

p 199 tells us that weapon damage cannot be increased by Haymaker, though it's unclear (as the only discussion of this was a brief mention in an attack example) to use the Maneuver to get an amount of STR dice sufficient enough to max out the damage of the weapon ("normal" damage class for the weapon x2).  Again, it _mentions_ it, but it doesn't really say (or demonstrate) yes or no.

 

It's worth noting that 4e is when "Kick" disappeared from the character sheet-listed maneuvers; it's possible that "Haymaker" replaces it completely, or that this may have been the intention.   Haymakers are mentioned several times throughout the book (and the Champions Sourcebook section, each time in specific relation to Brick-type characters using it on their STR.  Not once is it mentioned as being used with anything other than a hand-to-hand attack.

 

For what it's worth, I'm almost betting that it took a Steve Long book to make that happen  (NO!  I am _not_ bagging on Steve!  I hate that I have to keep defending that fact that I largely disagree with most his rules tweaks by stating that they are _not_ intended personally.  I don't even _know_ the man!  I never have, and likely never will, met the man.  Everything I've heard from people who actually _have_ met him says he's a super-great guy and that he's just an all-around good human being.  As I respect most of the people who have told me that, I have absolutely _zero_ doubt that it's true!  However, that doesn't mean that I don't have the right disagree with most of the things he has changed.  Not all of them, but a considerable chunk.   No please-- let's not get into that conversation yet again.  Thank you), as he's known for some pretty unusual build ideas.   I don't know if there was a 4e sourcebook that was in, as even to this day, I haven't had the stomach to finish 4e Dark Champions, and in spite of Scott's amazing artwork, I have never read any of the Dark Champions supplements in spite of actually owning them.  DC just isn't my bag; at least not the 4e "emphasis on dark-gritty-edgelordism" Dark Champions.

 

Side-stepping to Kick for a moment, just to see if Haymaker was used to replace it all together.

 

And it was not.  Or maybe it was!

 

"Kick" has been relegated to a buyable Martial Arts maneuver in 4e.  Remember that there was a Martial Arts book by Allston that was insanely poplar, and was based on his home-brewed stuff from 3e.  The 4e HERO /Champions was nearly concurrent (1989) with Allston's Ninja HERO (1990), and Ninja HERO had a distinct 3e-feel to it (yes; this is entirely subjective, but the book was, even for a HERO Games product, a bit below then-current production values (which were better under Iron Crown than at any time previously).  It's not only possible, but highly-likely that this move (creating Kick and a Martial Strike) was based on knowledge of Allston's ideas and possibly even knowledge of his upcoming book.   All conjecture at best, but not unreasonable.

 

At any rate, at no point in the first _four_ editions of this game / System was it possible or even hinted at that Haymaker applied to anything other than a particularly sloppy-yet-powerful application of physical STR.

 

 

The first time I had ever even _heard_ of such an idea was the old Red October board.  At the time I found the board, it was being hotly debated.  I had absolutely no interest in wading into it because I knew damned little about the internet, and because Derek "Rhinobunny" H had pointed me to the board, and I didn't want to do anything to embarrass him and have him regret the invite.

 

I was floored by the idea.  I mean, I _understood_ why people would take it as do-able:  "it seems only fair;"  "Bricks get to do it;" etc.

 

My problems were many, but summed up as these three thoughts:   

 

1) Bricks don't have spreadable, bounce-able ranged attacks, either.  "Seems fair" has broader applications: the argument then goes more from "seems fair" to "But Johnny gets to do it!"   Tell you what:  When my brick can spread and / or bounce his fist at multiple opponents across the room using on the STR he bought and paid for, the way you are only using the electro-blast you bought and paid for, then I will let you "Haymaker" that blast.

 

2) The Brick gains _nothing_ but SFX using Haymaker.  He gets a slightly better OCV and a _wrecked_ DCV in exchange for doing something that he could already do via Kick (at least up to 4e, but that's another, weirder discussion.

 

3) There wasn't even a _hint_ of anything in the rulebook establishing this as _remotely_ legal.

 

 

Now we can play a game with this:  We can play "but it was in module # / world book # / genre book # / Magazine article #..." all we want.

 

First, however, we have to set some rules:

 

All those who have _ever_ laid claim that the various Ultimate books and Handbooks of 5e are _not_ "part of the official main rules" are ineligible to play.

 

All of those who have _ever_ laid claim that the various blue-backed books from 6e _other_ than HS Vol 1 & Vol 2 are "not really official rules" are ineligible to play.

 

Why?  Because they have staunchly defended the idea that supplemental material-- no matter how holy it has become or how often is referenced as if it were the "official" ruling on a problem are, in fact, not official rules; supporting the idea that an official rule from a supplemental work _is_ an official rule can only make liars of them in one place or the other, and I like these people too much to let them do that to themselves.  :)

 

 

That being that case, we have 4 books-- "official rules" for two decades, in which "Haymaker" is an application of Strength, generally considered to be a "special kind of punch" or sometimes a Kick.

 

Going into 5e.....

 

Well, I'm going to skip to 5e revised, as my 5e is at a friend's place right now, and I don't have the PDF on this computer.  Besides, as fast as re-5 came out, I have always assumed that Steven himself was extremely unhappy with 5 and doing his best to bury it as fast as he possibly could.  (Not sure why, because I like 5 more than I do re-5.  In fairness, there isn't a _lot_ of difference, but the lower page count is a huge bonus for me ).

 

There is a hint on p 148 where the text says "...doesn't let him use Ranged Maneuvers, like Rapid Fire or Haymaker, " to which I went Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!  Only louder, with shorter, more familiar and contemptuous words.  Haymaker is a ranged maneuver?!

 

There is another hint of p 271:  

 

"Characters may not Haymaker Triggered Powers."  To which my first reaction was "well of course he can't, because Triggered Powers are not STR!"

 

Foolish me.

 

 

The chart on p 384 shows us that Haymaker is no longer STR x 1.5, but is now "+4 DC."   It doesn't say "STR +4 DC."   However, I see no reason to assume that a character _can't_ use his STR with "a certain kind of punch," so the first thing I have to note is that Bricks just got massively F*c*ed.  No longer can an STR 60 Brick Haymaker his way to an extra 6 DCs; he must instead take an extra 4.

 

The typical schmoe on the street can _also_ get a +4 DC now, even if he has only a 6 STR.  He goes from 1d6 to 5d6, just like that!  Insane!  The brick is less than 1.5 times as powerful, yet the gimp on the corner is suddenly FIVE TIMES as effective as he was!

 

 

Yeah.....

 

Dude, that's just crap, period.

 

 

So Haymaker defined:  p 189:

 

"A Haymaker is basically an all-out attack-- the character takes extra time to "wind up" a punch, put extra force into his Energy Blast, aim carefully to hit a vital spot, or otherwise attack the target powerfully." 

 

 

 

Here's what's wrong with that:

 

For the first time _ever_, characters are now being given something.  You see, prior to this, Bricks weren't being "given" anything other than a new special effect in exchange for dropping their defense a bit.  That STR x 1.5?  They could get that _anyway_; they just had to say "kick" instead of "Haymaker."  

 

So what Steve did (and notice that it actually _did_ take a Steve Long book to do this) was to both rob _the signature schtick_ of Bricks throughout cinematic and fiction history by making it something no longer unique to them, but start passing it out like candy to give access to to something that other "types" had _no_ access to before:  "Free damage boost."  Even capping it at 4DC wasn't much of a balancer, at it gave _even more_ of a bonus to those who's "typical" DC was 7 or less, broke even at 8, and started slowly robbing characters (particularly Bricks, as it was once their "moment in the sun") at 9 or 10 DCs.   It was a nuthouse bonus to normals or supers who didn't have "super strength" wanting to just use their normal STR.  Oversight, master of PER, with his 10 STR, could "Haymaker" for 6d6!  You'd have to have a 30 STR to do that same level without penalty.  Quite effective, that.

 

But Energy Blasters?  Hell, they could do it too!  Best part?  Unlike the Bricks, it wasn't something that they could already pretty much do anyway:  it was literally just mana from Heaven.  It wasn't like they were otherwise-accessing their Freeze Kick or their Pyro Kick or anything like that.  It was straight up freebies for them (yes; CV penalties, but then, Bricks had those too, even for the Kicks that they no longer have _except_ by calling the Haymaker a kick or buying into that ridiculous Martial Arts system that won't die:  "I can to twelve dice of damage with a punch, but if I buy a Martial Kick, I can add a die!  Or maybe 2!   Screw that.  I'll call a Haymaker a kick, and add 4 without the points cost.")

 

 

 

 

At any rate, why don't I allow Haymakering anything that isn't STR?

 

 

It's been the rule for a Hell of a lot longer than it hasn't, and I find it considerably more fair, at least until there's a maneuver that gives Bricks all the options that ranged attackers have, so as to balance out the mess that "Haymakering" your sonic stunner has knocked out of kilter.

 

As for all the justifications for that?  "Long, focused aiming," etc?  There are already bonuses and maneuvers for those.  Only now, thanks to this redefinition of Haymaker, you can effectively double them!  Neat!  Unless you're a brick, of course.  Set and brace and haymaker!  "attacking an enemy in a particularly vulnerable spot?"  Oh, you mean Hit Location?   Well now you can Hit Location and Haymaker!  Double-up some more!

 

There doesn't seem to be _any_ rule against that, so I can say "My haymaker is bracing and taking a long, steady aim-- Oh, and hey:  since I'm setting and bracing as my Haymaker, I should get those bonuses as well, right?  Seems fair."

 

Except it doesn't. 

 

That's all I'm going to discuss this, and I've been up later than I intended flipping through books (I was sort of hoping it would help me get to sleep "early" because time change, etc-- ).   

 

Quote or poke all y'all want to, so long as you don't expect a reply, because I'm pretty sure my general dislike of the majority of Steve's rules even back in 4e supplemental stuff has peed in a lot of bowls, so I'd rather not pursue that any further, with anyone, for any reason.  Insult it or tear it down all you want; it makes no difference to me:  I am not discussing it further, as I don't want to actually get into arguments about things that make _no_ difference, one of us to the other:  What you do _really_ care how I play my games, any of you?  What does it do to me if you don't play your games the way I do?  _nothing_.  _none_.   I have no interest in losing friends or respect by arguing over something that I have no interest in changing my mind on.  Seriously:  do you _really_ believe I haven't thought this out?  It's only been _how_ many years?  :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good night all.  :

 

 

:D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

The typical schmoe on the street can _also_ get a +4 DC now, even if he has only a 6 STR.  He goes from 1d6 to 5d6, just like that!  Insane!  The brick is less than 1.5 times as powerful, yet the gimp on the corner is suddenly FIVE TIMES as effective as he was!

 

 

Yeah.....

 

Dude, that's just crap, period.

 

I don't care for the flat amount either.  It is a little simpler to just doll out a flat amount (I use 3d6 for Heroic), but it mechanically falls apart outside of the sweet spot.  Weak attackers get a massive bonus and very powerful attackers get a bonus that is relatively small.

 

In my Fantasy HERO campaign I do allow Haymaker for spells (but not spreading, bouncing, etc.), but the extra 1 segment on top of the usually 3s (or longer) cast time at -5 DCV makes the caster so vulnerable that the maneuver is rarely used.  None of the casters want multiple arrows in their chest or to end up getting their spell off 1s after their enemy caster blasts them.  It's further compounded by Concentration checks (Ego check at -1 per 5 stun taken or spell is lost).

 

Loved your post.  The idea of a scrappy teenage kid hitting harder than a world strongman champion by using a Haymaker cracks me up.

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