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Chris Goodwin

Shapeshift, Transform, and You

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3 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

If some answers are yes, then it needs a multiform or it needs these individual powers to be only accessible when others are also used (like Shapeshift and Growth).

 

It is exactly here that you diverge from Duke.  If you have the multipower switched to STR but are not using the STR that, in Duke's game (and probably mine sometimes), the SFX of that STR being "in play" is that the character has the size, shape and feel of an elephant.

 

The key question for me would be how often the player sought to use the elephantness (would not believe how long it took me to persuade autocorrect that was the word I wanted) and what other thing might people notice that told them this was not a 'real' elephant.

 

I am dancing on the head of a pin with a host of angels here but I think the point is worth rehearsing.¬† ūüôā

 

Doc

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5 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

It is exactly here that you diverge from Duke.  If you have the multipower switched to STR but are not using the STR that, in Duke's game (and probably mine sometimes), the SFX of that STR being "in play" is that the character has the size, shape and feel of an elephant.

 

The key question for me would be how often the player sought to use the elephantness (would not believe how long it took me to persuade autocorrect that was the word I wanted) and what other thing might people notice that told them this was not a 'real' elephant.

 

I am dancing on the head of a pin with a host of angels here but I think the point is worth rehearsing.¬† ūüôā

 

Doc

Well, you get what you pay for.  If what you've paid for doesn't include convincingly having the size of, having the shape of, and feeling like an elephant, you don't get that. 

And in my opinion, you shouldn't be allowed to have SFX that say "I have the size, shape, and feel of an elephant" if you're not going to actually have any of those things. 

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3 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

It is exactly here that you diverge from Duke.  If you have the multipower switched to STR but are not using the STR that, in Duke's game (and probably mine sometimes), the SFX of that STR being "in play" is that the character has the size, shape and feel of an elephant.

 

This is down to game style. I don't see any problem with this approach (nor does the rulebook). Now does that give any mechanical benefit/drawback beyond STR. Easier to hit (DCV)? Harder to lift or difficulty to fit into tight space (size)? All of that can be a wash and not really be worth any point in the mind of everyone and it's all fine.

 

3 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

The key question for me would be how often the player sought to use the elephantness (would not believe how long it took me to persuade autocorrect that was the word I wanted) and what other thing might people notice that told them this was not a 'real' elephant.

That's the crux of it. The rules are as flexible as they can be but they also provide a framework when side benefits become too important.

 

 

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

Well, you get what you pay for. 

 

That is at the heart of HERO but I think that if you go too extreme on the principle then you lose a lot of soil from the game.

 

I am often hoping the players will go beyond the numbers on the page and really play the powers.  That is a pipe dream if I place hard borders around every power.

 

Doc

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2 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

That is at the heart of HERO but I think that if you go too extreme on the principle then you lose a lot of soil from the game.

 

I am often hoping the players will go beyond the numbers on the page and really play the powers.  That is a pipe dream if I place hard borders around every power.

 

Doc

Highly subjective opinion post below. 

 

The way I see it is that every power can be described both in terms of its flavor text and its mechanical construction.  The flavor text is the narrative description of what the power does and how, the mechanical construction is the rules description of what the power does and how.  These aren't highly distinct ways of describing something, like a painting and a photograph taken from opposite sides of the subject.  They're supposed to be nearly identical views of the same thing, like what my left and right eyes see. 

The flavor text and mechanical construction need to line up.  They're descriptions of the same thing, so they shouldn't be describing different things.  If I look at something and my left and right eyes are getting wildly different pictures, something is wrong.  I'm seeing two different things where there should be one thing.  I shouldn't see differences unless I get up really close and try to find them. 

If the flavor text is allowed to become disconnected from the mechanical construction, the narrative and mechanics have been ripped apart and the role-playing game is falling apart.  I, personally, am categorically incapable of role-playing in a situation where the narrative isn't describing what the mechanics are, I can play the mechanics game or I can role-play the narrative but I can't do both unless the two agree on what's going on.  That's why I wouldn't permit flavor text of "I turn into an elephant." without some mechanical construction that validates turning into an elephant. 

 

This is also why I hate "Magic" with no further qualifiers as SFX.  "This magic spell causes the caster to teleport, vanishing from where they are and appearing where they want to be.".  Is that the flavor text or the mechanical construction?  I can't tell, and that's a red flag.  It suggests to me there isn't any flavor text. 

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Sorry I have been out of this for a bit.  Let me preface with this:

 

I'm still not really up to this (things have been really, _really_ rough at work: we're running a skeleton crew because of the shelter-thing, and we had a major setback, and it's going to take nothing shy of herculean effort to get back on track, and dammit, I'm _old_.  Crap like that-- I don't spring back like I used to.

 

That being said, even though I'd rather just collapse in the bed, I feel kind of guilty for dropping out.  So I'll try to at least get a show of participation in. 

 

Moving on--

 

 

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

Don't get me wrong, I prefer the "It's all just SFX and Identities." way of doing things massively over multiform and shapeshift and whatnot.

 

Thanks, but I don't think anyone other than Doc (and perhaps Hugh) is picking up on the fact that I am not saying "this is how you do shape shift."  I am saying "shape shift is a special effect.  You want it to be the special effect of multiform?  Go for it.  I think it usually _is_ the SFX of multiform, honestly, which makes me wonder why both exist anyway.  However, they both first appeared in Champions III at the same time, and have.....  waffled?  in and out ever since.  For what it's worth, I find Multiform to be unnecessary, but that's not the point of this discussion.

 

 

 

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

 

 

 

I'm just wondering what the point value of being able to fool others is. "Disguise" is a perfectly serviceable answer, but "You should be able to look like whatever you want whenever you want, it's all just SFX," is not.

 

Except when it is.  I have been sticking with Changeling-like examples because 1) the last time there was a "shape shift war," that style of character was the primary point of reference and 2) he is the best possible example of a shapeshifter who changes rapid-fire, but _not_ because he he's wanting stealth or to hide, but because he wants Flight, Speed, Strength, -- whatever-- that is to say, he is the cleanest example of "the form is secondary to the goal."  His shapeshifting is straight-up special effects: new goal?  New shape to use a shape-related ability to achieve that goal.

 

Multiform is a mechanic.  You chose the SFX.  I am willing to bet almost everyone chooses a whole new shape as the SFX.  I could be wrong; I really doubt it.

 

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

The reason somebody could always look closer at you and find out that you're really *not* a fly or a cyborg or whatever to me seems valid, because the idea is that you are only what you are. You aren't whatever you want whenever you want, you have to choose who you're playing as at the start. It can't cost nothing to be able to just... morph into something else such that nobody knows what you are anymore.

 

Again: you're assuming things that aren't there.  If you want to be a complete unknown, you have to buy a power to go with it: I'd recommend Disguise as a good start.  It doesn't cost nothing, so I assume we're good.

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

Like, you can't just say, "I'm a shapeshifter." and then just buy any powers and stuff that you want, because you can always contrive a form that makes the power make sense.

 

I can, and I do, and I let my players do it, too.  The Fun Police haven't found our secret hideout yet.   ;)

 

 

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

That's like... bypassing having a character concept. You're like, "Instead of having a character concept, I'm just gonna buy whatever mechanics I want, and then when I need to use them I will change my character into something that would have those mechanics,

 

I think I've mentioned this already, but Power Pool does that very thing.  No one bats an eye.  The vast majority of Long-edition write-ups for establish powerful comic book characters feature a massive one-- a couple of "signature builds," and a great big dump of 'whatever the heck I feel like" points.  Maybe it's STR; maybe it's FTL.  Whatever.  Again, no one bats an eye.

 

 

 

On April 12, 2020 at 10:33 PM, Shoug said:

 

 and nobody will know that I'm capable of anything else, because no matter how they look at me, I'll convincingly be whatever form I have chosen." 

 

 

If you don't have way to conceal your identity, you still don't have a way to conceal your identity.  I don't understand why this is so difficult to get a handle on.  Seriously-- I and others have corrected this notion, but it keeps coming up.

 

Like here:

 

On April 12, 2020 at 11:12 PM, Shoug said:

This is my point exactly. There has to be some sort of point cost for what is essentially "Superpowered disguise." It can't just be... free.

 

If you want it, buy it. Otherwise be like Changeling and be recognized instantly, all the time.

 

"Skills as Powers" has _always_ been a valid concept.  I recall a discussion on a much older board-- was it Red October?  Was it Sysabend?  I don't remember-- as to what the "threshold" was for a Skill to be unquestionably a Power.  I think one of the Long editions codifies it.  Me?  I put it straight down to SFX: if you're going it with accessories and tools, it's probably a Skill.  If you're doing it like Mystique, it's a power.   Done.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 12:31 AM, Scott Ruggels said:

I'd say it is, if they paid points for a power.

 

Thank you.  The other side of the coin, of course, if they didn't pay points for it, they don't have it.  GM may rule on individual issues as they come up.

 

On April 13, 2020 at 12:31 AM, Scott Ruggels said:

I much prefer "rewarding creativity" than issuing "Thou shalt nots" to my players.

 

Preach, Brother!  Preach!  :D

 

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 1:38 AM, Shoug said:

I don't think it's fair, if any noncombat abilities have costs at all, that one should just be free.

 

This has a cost!  It's a special effect.  You really have to buy a power upon which to place the special effect.  Those things cost points.  I can't figure out who to type this with the concern that I actually feel; it comes off with a tone of jackassery that I do _not_ intend, but I have to ask:  why is this hard to understand?  At absolutely _no_ point have I suggested getting this _for free_, and at _no point_ have I suggested getting solid in-game utility that you did not pay for.  Why do you keep reading both of those things into this?   It's a sincere question:  how can I, or anyone else, explain this so that you get a solid grasp on what I'm saying?

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 1:38 AM, Shoug said:

 Sure, you don't like the fact that noncombat abilities have costs.

 

And now you're reading stuff into _me_ (I think; complete apologies if I'm wrong) that I haven't even _hinted_ at saying.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 1:38 AM, Shoug said:

And shapeshifting is a powerful noncombat ability and shouldn't be free.

 

 

I agree with everything except "powerful."  Unless you mean the cost.  The cost is powerful; yes.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 1:38 AM, Shoug said:

 I wish that costs alone could balance combat characters against noncombat characters,

 

My friend, costs alone aren't going to balance combat characters against other combat characters.  That's a fantasy I wish everyone would get off their radar.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 1:38 AM, Shoug said:

such that if somebody in my group got a bug up their butt to utterly slay all evil and took only CV, Defenses, SPD, RKA, they wouldn't make all the psychics and climbers feel like dumb idiots all the time. The points should produce a result that makes everybody glad about their purchases, and giving away flexible noncombat abilites that easily emulate the effects of multiple existing powers to all the Martials is gonna make everybody who bought invisibility or clairsentience feel like a chump for spending all the points the did. "Wait, so your'e telling me I could have just chosen for my character concept to be a completely clear man? It's part of his SFX, his visual appearance is transparency!" /s

 

I have already confessed to being exceedingly tired, to the point of exhaustion, to the point that my eyes feel like they're cracking and sandy.  I am going to believe that this level of exhaustion is why I absolutely understood none of that except that, I think, you are saying someone will feel bad because he spent a lot of points on Shapeshift and someone else let him take it as a special effect.  If I mis-read that, ignore the following.  If I got it right enough, continue:

 

Dude, that's the GM's fault.  He either excepts that Shapeshift as its own power is valid, or he does not.  He either excepts it is the Light on the Path of the One True Way, or he doesn't.  If he lets one guy drop thirty points on it and give the same ability to another guy for nothing, that ain't got _crap_ to do with me, you, or any one player.  That's just bad GM skills, and no amount of discussing Shapeshift:  Is it a necessary thing? is going to fix that.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 7:02 PM, Shoug said:

In the only other game I play, TFT, being able to appear to be a bird is called Glamor and it's an expensive, high level spell.

 

I'll keep that in mind if I ever play TFT.  Though honestly, I would expect a different game to be different, so I'm not surprised.  Also: it's a different game. It's probably different.

 

 

On April 13, 2020 at 7:02 PM, Shoug said:

Shapeshifting has never been an everyman ability in any game I've ever played, I don't know why it would be one in Hero.

 

I am going to give up shortly.  Don't mis-read that.  I am not going to change my mind (too many decades of play testing have demonstrated that this works.  I don't care if there are forty more editions before I die, and I'm the only dumb bastard doing it this way:  I _am_ going to still be doing it this way so long as anyone tries to convince me to pay for a special effect.  I am going to give up on helping you to understand why I feel this works.  I am going to try I slightly different angle before I do, though:

 

I think this works.

I will _always_ think this works.

You will never convince me that this does not work.

 

 

I want you to keep those three things in mind when you read these next two:

 

I _don't care_ if you think it doesn't work.

I _don't care_ if you use it or not.

 

Now the last one.  As before, please keep all the preceding in mind as you read this:

 

I only want you to understand why this is my position.

 

 

 

 

I understand why your position is what it is.  I am only asking for you to make the same effort to understand mine.  Seriously:  I am not going to just show up at wherever-it-is-you-play-your-game with a cooler of Cokes and a bag of chips and a thermos of coffee and start yelling "you're enjoying it wrong!"  If you think piling an enormous point suck onto your shape-shifters is important, you go right ahead: it doesn't bother or even involve me in the least.  I promise: it doesn't.  You do you, and you enjoy it.  Seriously: I hope you and yours have as much fun as me and mine.

 

And now I have given up.

 

On April 14, 2020 at 5:08 AM, Doc Democracy said:

Let me tell you  why I might choose to buy shapeshift rather than disguise.

 

As I said, in my head, it is the super-power version of disguise.  What does that mean?

 

To me?  Disguise: 20- or better.  Sometimes 24-; depends on the points levels of the game.

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 5:08 AM, Doc Democracy said:

My disguise as an antelope will not allow me to have spindly legs. 

 

You know the best part of a game that doesn't do absolutes?

 

It doesn't do absolutes!   :lol:   

 

Seriously: just by the mechanics of disguise, you can buy it high enough to offset some absolutely ridiculous penalties.  Would I allow it in a fantasy game?  Oh, who knows?  In a supers game?  I already do.   If Armor = Luck; if DEF = missed me, then a disguise roll so high that you don't have your  blown even after modifiers for your fat ankles = you don't have fat ankles.  Granted: that's the supers / magic version, anyway.  Skills-as-Powers is still real: give it a Supers / magic SFX, like "my cankles vanished!"

 

Now I can't (and won't) stop you from putting absolutes on it.  But nothing in the rules say that you cannot have Disguise: 42-.

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 5:08 AM, Doc Democracy said:

Shapeshift? In seconds I can look, feel and smell like an antelope.  With no access to kit, cash or materials.  It just happens.

 

As does Skill-as-power: Disguise.

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 5:08 AM, Doc Democracy said:

 

Can I achieve the same effects using other powers, yes, but I would have limitations on them.  When Fariq changes into an elephant to access his superstrength then it will be only for the time he is using that strength.  I would not allow him to walk about using a tiny fraction of the strength just to look like an elephant.  I might be persuaded to do so if there wa some dramatic tension, if there were limits (like it is not a fraction of his strength, he is using the full END cost the whole time, or something else that added to the tension of the room). 

 

How about his Growth?  or his Growth and a touch of DI?  Certainly I can agree to not just walking around while saying "I'm flexing so I can keep looking like an elephant."

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 5:08 AM, Doc Democracy said:

 

There is a value in using shapeshift over disguise, just like there is a value in using invisibility over stealth.

 

Though I am now wondering whether shapeshift is a version of invisibility.  Both are normally used to go places unnoticed by others...  Hmmm...

 

There you go: the point of shape shift is not shifting shape, is it? 

 

For what it's worth, though: I made three characters once with a shared origin, and they all had invisibility.

 

Ultraviolent (yes; the "N" is intentional) was straight-up not see-able, and stuck that way.

 

Fade couldn't be remembered or described.

 

Camo was never noticed until he called attention to himself, at which point he was perfectly visible until the observer looked away.

 

I have mentioned two of them (Ultraviolent and Fade) before.

 

Now at various tables, these are well-recieved villains.  They were far less-well received on the boards, with numerous people telling me that I _had_ to give some sort of Mind Control to Fade to "force people to forget him."   I called bullsnuckles and got shouted down for it.  The fact of the matter, though, is that the end result I wanted was exactly what Invisibility does:  what did he look like?  I don't know.   Where did he go?  I don't know.  How long had he been here?  I don't know.  Is he here right now?  I don't know.

 

I don't care how you slice it, that's frelling Invisibility, period.  _Can_ you do it with Mind Control?  Yeah; sure.   Why didn't I use Mind Control?  Because he didn't have mental powers: he had invisibility. 

 

So..  Shape shift as inviso?  I'm totally down for it.  Shifting shapes would just be the -- dare I say it?!  Special Effect.  (yeah; we both knew I dared ;) ).  

 

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 1:23 PM, Doc Democracy said:

I lost track there.  Son came and asked me to implement his first home haircut....

 

Horribly nightmares to the time my wife decided she wanted to tame my beard...

 

And the bare face I had to endure the two weeks it took to get my beard back!

 

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 1:23 PM, Doc Democracy said:

 

.... anyway.  I was saying a game needs a way of determining what is real and what is super powered deception.  We accept perception rolls for invisibility because we don't want it to be absolute.

 

I think Duke's drive to be about focussing first on game effect is right.  If I want to pass investigation by an entymologist that I am a fly, then I use Shapeshift. 

 

For 25 points I can look, feel, sound like anything within my weight-class. Growth, NCC (only for appropriate shapes -1) and Shrinking (same limitation)  means for that extra 25 points, I can assume the shape of anything from  25cm to 4m and 25g to 800kg.

 

When I really got down to building the power, I reckon I could bring it all in at about 35 points. The same as 22 or less in Disguise and MUCH more useful. An incredible feat (optional rules for fantastical campaigns) is -10 to a roll, so that master of disguise would still have 12- on virtually impossible stuff, the power just does it.

 

Since 6e has defaulted Transform to cumulative and has placed no upper limit on the amount of "damage" you can do with it, one die of Severe Transform: Self Only (-0, possibly better than that, depending on the game), is fifteen points.  Want to go all out, give it improved results something-or-other for +1; 30 pts.  

 

Done.

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 1:23 PM, Doc Democracy said:

 

And just looking at the rules, it says

 

"Other characters cannot make PER rolls to 'percieve through' shape shift [which kind of undermines bits of my argument - why has noone looked at the rules!] or determine that a person is shapeshifters.  They have to detect that Shape Shift is being used in other ways".

 

Hmm. Ground has shifted, huh?

 

Doc

 

Not at all, because those same rules, right after saying the thing that keeps getting thrown at me:  "But a PER Roll doesn't work anymore!," is gives three examples of how a shape shift would be detected, with a SENSE, which, unless 6e isn't even HERO anymore, has a mechanic that includes a PER Roll.  

 

So the official rules are "undetectable by PER unless detected by PER."

 

Yeah....   I'm good, Dude.  Don't care for any more of that; thanks.

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 4:47 PM, Chris Goodwin said:

 

However, I'm still liking Transform, Self Only.  And Duke, I do see your point about sufficiently high Disguise skill, but it still doesn't -- quite -- work for me for the above reasons.  

 

I am _fine_ with T-form; really I am.  I am fine with Multiform.  Really, I am.  And frankly, I am _fine_ with the SFX of invisibility being "I became a credenza."

 

My entire point is that Shapeshift, which gets wiggy-er with each re-issuing, is ...  redundant?  Superflous?  A special effect applicable to several possible constructs except that unimaginative people decided you should pay for this one particular special effect because they couldn't find some other way to do it (in spite of it coming into being _RIGHT NEXT TO MULTIFORM?!!!?!).

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 11:56 PM, DreadDomain said:

That being said, I really do not care for the fact that you need to beat your own BODY to transform  yourself.

 

Eh.  Now that T-form seems to default to cumulative, you can do it with a single die if you're not in a hurry.  Characters can (unless they have disadvantages to the contrary) voluntarily lower their defenses; that helps a bit.  And if you just want to _look_ like something without actually _being_ something, you can go with whatever-it-is-they-are-calling-intro-to-T-form now.  Is it still "Cosmetic?"  I don't remember.  Anyway, a single 3-point die of that will do the job just to look like "a certain thing."  If you want to look like "pretty much any ol' thing," "Improved Results" doubles that to a six-point die.

 

Seriously:  _three points_ will get you the result you want, and we're on four pages of why I'm wrong for letting someone turn into a gorilla for the one Phase he's going to use his 30 STR to rip the doors off of the hostage's cage....

 

Screwy, ain't it?

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 11:56 PM, DreadDomain said:

It reminds me of Superworld where you needed to buy enough levels in flight to counteract your own size so you could take-off.

 

I almost made it without a single tangent, but I would like to say that I actually _liked_ that idea.  From a Physics perspective, it made perfect sense:  the heavier something is, the more energy it takes to lift it, to move it.  HERO does (off and on) a similar thing with leaping though:  Deduct the amount of STR it takes to lift _you_, then figure out how much STR is left, and use that STR to determine your leap distance.  Similar thing with throwing heavy objects.  Never really got why they didn't do something similar with Flight (or Swimming, but that could get cruel in a hurry!  :lol: )  

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 11:56 PM, DreadDomain said:

Also, once you select Severe Transform, what is the maximum value (real cost) you can transform yourself into? 

 

Currently, T-form is cumulative again, so if you're patient enough, I'd suspect it's really just GM discretion as to whether or not he will let you hit campaign caps with it or not.  I think the built-in limiter of T-form self is cost versus how fast you want to change and how powerful you want to be when you are changed.  Yeah:  you could do something similar with some Aid builds, too, but then you've still got those folks hung up on the "shape shift isn't a special effect!  Sometimes you just need to have a different shape for no reason involving any other power or ability" shooting that down.

 

Or multiform, but you have to buy each shape individually.  Though the ability to turn into a seagull or a bagel probably doesn't cost that much, to be fair.

 

 

 

On April 14, 2020 at 11:56 PM, DreadDomain said:

You allude to it in your post above but that point still needs to be clarified. My own conclusion is that Multiform already does what you are trying to recreate and does it better 


 

"Better" is subjective: some people don't want to be limited to the forms they can buy one at a time  (though has there been an official ruling that you can't put Multipower into a power pool?  because that would be awesome. :D

 

(yes; I know.  Thank you, though ;) )

 

Interestingly enough, when you read through all the stuff in 6e about shape shift, you run across mentions of Growth, Multiform, and other powers that allow you to change your shape....

 

Seriously:  In just those words:  other powers that allow you to change your shape.

 

So....    Shape shift is...  the special effect of those powers, but not a special effect?

 

Or just superfluous?  Is it the HERO System's supernumerary nipple?!  I think so, but hey-- that's just me.

 

 

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 1:15 AM, DreadDomain said:

You seem to misunderstand what is written in the 6E write-up.

 

Thank you, but no; there is a specific example, right after saying you can't be not-fooled by shape shift using a PER roll about using touch to feel skin, or cloth, etc-- anyway, right after saying "PER-proof," it launches into how your other senses might tip you off-- other senses which are subject to PER rolls.

 

So you tell me:  does it say I can't use my senses to determine if this is a shapeshifter, or can I?  The book is very clear that both are correct.

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 1:15 AM, DreadDomain said:

 

Rubber-Man can shape-shift to modify how he looks (as perceived by the sight group) but not how he feels (he always feels like rubber). If he shapeshift into an old lady, irrespective of how perceptive you are with your Sight group , you could not use it to "see through" the shapeshift because Rubber-man looks and have the shape of an old lady. A successful, even critical, perception roll using sight would reveal an old lady... because it is precisely how he looks.

 

However, if you shake "her" hand, you might be clued in by how rubbery she feels (using another sense). A perception roll would absolutely be legal and , depending on the special effect, the GM might let you know without even rolling.

 

Yeah.

 

That would be-- what's the word I want?-- using PER to determine something's not right here.

 

I haven't misunderstood what's written.  Dude, I have studied this at length:  I didn't like it when it showed up in the 80s, and with every new edition, the first thing I do is look to see if it's gotten any better.  (except for two very slight tweaks from 5 to 6, it's managed to get more cumbersome with every reiteration.

 

I think, personally, is that a lot of people are, what we call in the South, "putting words in my mouth."

 

We are on four pages (and thirty years) of my arguments against the validity of Shape Shift, and _at no point_ have I suggested that you can use Sight PER against "looks like x" or scent PER against "smells like X" or any of that nature.   

 

I have said "you can make a PER roll--- "

 

Which _is_ supported by the book---

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 1:30 AM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

6e1p279, emphasis mine. 

 

 

_Especially_ in the part he added emphasis to-----

 

is one-hundred percent correct.  People have put a lot of effort into deciding I said something I didn't, and I think we'd all be better-served if it stopped at some point.

 

On April 15, 2020 at 1:24 AM, DreadDomain said:

 

6E does not assume shrinking (or growth) automatically provides growth momentum. You need to buy it separately if it fits the special effect you are after. 

 

6e1 267:

 

Becoming large in small spaces
Sometimes characters using Growth, or who use Multiform or other powers to change shape into a larger form, have to use their powers in areas that are too
small to hold their new, larger, self. In this case, roll the character’s Normal Damage from STR. The walls/sides
of the enclosing area take the full damage rolled on all the dice. The character takes half damage if the walls break. If the damage doesn’t break through the enclosure, the character’s increase in size stops at the limits of the enclosure and he takes the full damage rolled on all dice (not just the growth momentum damage).

 

 

 

Not only does 6e assume there are other ways to change shape, it assumes growth momentum.

 

Seriously, I know it's hard to write a thousand-page book, and it has broken the HERO tradition of a typo-per-page, but it has traded that for a considerable amount of self-conflict.

 

 

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 6:31 AM, Doc Democracy said:

It is an issue if a GM requires a player to purchase Shape-shift when the shifting is really just SFX.  It is another place where there is a need for conversations. 

 

Thank you, Doc, for both that, and for being the better-than-good sport you so typically tend to be.   You, LL, and Hugh are all pretty good about this, actually.  A round of back pats for all!  (After the corona thing is over, I mean ;)  )

 

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 6:31 AM, Doc Democracy said:

If the player is going to want to exploit this extensively in game then it is probably appropriate to insist on the shape-shift power or some other method that costs points.  If it is all about how things look and might only rarely be exploited - like using your light blast to light up a room in an emergency - then it can be zero cost as part of the main power (or powers) that do have points bought for.

 

I agree.  Like any other special effect:  you have to have a power to pin it to.

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 6:31 AM, Doc Democracy said:

It adds some uncertainty to the application of the rules.  That is always something to be alert to.

 

The only real issues I see coming up are "because this SFX, then this power," which is exactly backwards, HERO-wise.  Yes; the power must be appropriate to the circumstance just as much as the SFX must be appropriate to the power.

 

 

On April 15, 2020 at 7:04 AM, DreadDomain said:

Ok, I get it but I am not sure Shapeshift is anymore problematic than any other powers. Not trying to argue, I understand your point but don't think SS is a special case.

 

I don't think it's a special case, either.  I think it's redundant an unnecessary.

 

 

21 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

That's a trick question right? Everyone knows there are no single, definitive answers on how to build a power in HERO :) 

 

More seriously, my knee-jerk reaction is that it is not Shapeshift (or at least not only Shapeshift). Shapeshift clearly stated (emphasis mine) "A character with Shape Shift can change his form as perceived by one or more Sense Groups without altering his powers or other abilities." But what else? When they change into a elephant or an eagle, are they changing size, weight, etc. Does DCV change because of size, do they become easier or more difficult to hit? When the power is not in used (flight, STR, HKA) can they still change (look, smell, feel like) an eagle, an elephant or a tiger? Can it prevent others to recognize them?

If the answer is no to all of these questions, it could be a three slot multipower that locks each other out. If some answers are yes, then it needs a multiform or it needs these individual powers to be only accessible when others are also used (like Shapeshift and Growth).

 

Did that support, that Shapeshift is somewhat more problematic that other powers? I believe not. A similar example could be given where the question is "so, is this a Blast, a RKA or a Drain?" 

 

I'm putting this down to grogginess: I can't make heads or tails of that.  Can you rephrase that, please?  No; I'm not being funny.  I'm being fuzzy-headed.

 

 

17 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

It is exactly here that you diverge from Duke.  If you have the multipower switched to STR but are not using the STR that, in Duke's game (and probably mine sometimes), the SFX of that STR being "in play" is that the character has the size, shape and feel of an elephant.

 

exactly.

 

 

17 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

The key question for me would be how often the player sought to use the elephantness (would not believe how long it took me to persuade autocorrect that was the word I wanted) and what other thing might people notice that told them this was not a 'real' elephant.

 

I know your pain: you've seen the made-up words I'm fond of.  :lol:

 

 

 

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

Well, you get what you pay for.  If what you've paid for doesn't include convincingly having the size of, having the shape of, and feeling like an elephant, you don't get that. 

And in my opinion, you shouldn't be allowed to have SFX that say "I have the size, shape, and feel of an elephant" if you're not going to actually have any of those things. 

 

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

Highly subjective opinion post below. 

 

Wouldn't expect anything less than your best shot, Amigo.   ;)

 

Join the party!  

 

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

 

The way I see it is that every power can be described both in terms of its flavor text and its mechanical construction.  The flavor text is the narrative description of what the power does and how, the mechanical construction is the rules description of what the power does and how.  These aren't highly distinct ways of describing something, like a painting and a photograph taken from opposite sides of the subject.  They're supposed to be nearly identical views of the same thing, like what my left and right eyes see. 

The flavor text and mechanical construction need to line up.  They're descriptions of the same thing, so they shouldn't be describing different things.  If I look at something and my left and right eyes are getting wildly different pictures, something is wrong.  I'm seeing two different things where there should be one thing.  I shouldn't see differences unless I get up really close and try to find them. 

If the flavor text is allowed to become disconnected from the mechanical construction, the narrative and mechanics have been ripped apart and the role-playing game is falling apart.  I, personally, am categorically incapable of role-playing in a situation where the narrative isn't describing what the mechanics are, I can play the mechanics game or I can role-play the narrative but I can't do both unless the two agree on what's going on.  That's why I wouldn't permit flavor text of "I turn into an elephant." without some mechanical construction that validates turning into an elephant. 

 

This is also why I hate "Magic" with no further qualifiers as SFX.  "This magic spell causes the caster to teleport, vanishing from where they are and appearing where they want to be.".  Is that the flavor text or the mechanical construction?  I can't tell, and that's a red flag.  It suggests to me there isn't any flavor text. 

 

 

You are absolutely _right_; Combat Luck _does_ suck!  I mean, the _mechanic_ says "Defense soaked it up," but the oratory / literary / narrative / SFX are "missed me completely."

 

Un-acceptably unrelated, and gives it the power to narratively completely un-do another player's successful hit, to boot!

 

 

 

 

 

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