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Damage Reduction uses no END, hence has no visible special effects. What about a power where the DR is defined as energy shields popping into existence when an attack is aimed at the person? Those are obviously a special effect. Would it take a limitation of visible -1/4 or something else?

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It depends on the setting.  If you can't use your defenses without blowing your Secret ID or offending the lord of the castle or whatever, you might be able to argue for a -¼ limitation, because otherwise you could have it on all the time and keep yourself safe from unexpected attacks.  But only if that sort of thing is a real concern in the campaign, so again, setting dependent.

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Of course it would be a Limitation.  Let's just go down the list of things it does to aid the enemy. 

- The enemy knows it's there.  Foes likely to run into the DR are going to know it, as will foes with attacks likely to bypass it.  Anyone with a relevant Adjustment Power is going to know they've got a target. 

- The enemy knows the SFX.  For example, nobody's going to use a NND: Forcefield attack on somebody with DR defined as a visible forcefield.  It wouldn't do anything and they know it!  But they might have wasted a shot if the forcefield wasn't obvious. 

- The enemy knows your SFX.  If Electroweak Man's forcefield is bright and glowy, it shows the world (or at least the parts of it that can pass a SS roll) he has electroweak force based powers. 

- Everyone nearby knows if your combat powers are active.  Secret ID stuff, social stuff, disguise stuff, all sorts of fun implications. 

And more, this is just a minute's thoughts on obvious things. 

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The key here is that the player gets that the -1/4 limitation is not just point savings - it means that the limitation will reduce the effectiveness of the power.  It is, in some way, a drawback - by setting the limitation at -1/4, the player is saying "This is not just a special effect with trivial or no mechanical impact - I want to see this used against my character on occasion to create a greater challenge".

 

How much greater a challenge?  How often is "occasionally"?  Well, if one is higher, the other should be lower, and taken together they should have some impact, but not huge for a -1/4 limitation, on the game.

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If Secret ID or undercover situations aren't a big part of the campaign, I can't see how this is limiting..

 

What happens in this situation?  Character in non-hero id comes home, steps out of car and is promptly surprised and struck by a snowball/ water balloon by kids playing.

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6 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

The key here is that the player gets that the -1/4 limitation is not just point savings - it means that the limitation will reduce the effectiveness of the power.  It is, in some way, a drawback - by setting the limitation at -1/4, the player is saying "This is not just a special effect with trivial or no mechanical impact - I want to see this used against my character on occasion to create a greater challenge".

 

How much greater a challenge?  How often is "occasionally"?  Well, if one is higher, the other should be lower, and taken together they should have some impact, but not huge for a -1/4 limitation, on the game.

Maybe this is true in the case of your players, but it's not a universality.  Many players take Limitations for other reasons.  The two big reasons I see at my table are "This Limitation is necessary to simulate the effects the Power should have.  I can't not take it without changing the concept." and "I need points and am willing to deal with this Limitation.". 

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14 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

The key here is that the player gets that the -1/4 limitation is not just point savings - it means that the limitation will reduce the effectiveness of the power.  It is, in some way, a drawback - by setting the limitation at -1/4, the player is saying "This is not just a special effect with trivial or no mechanical impact - I want to see this used against my character on occasion to create a greater challenge".

 

How much greater a challenge?  How often is "occasionally"?  Well, if one is higher, the other should be lower, and taken together they should have some impact, but not huge for a -1/4 limitation, on the game.

 

That.

 

The entire system is based on a complete divorce of Special Effects from Mechanics.  Limitations are _Mechanics_.  If you or your player want the power to have an actual drawback or weakness of some kind, figure out what that Limitation is, how it is or potentially is problematic during game play, and apply it.  Take your discount and do as you will with it.

 

Just because it looks like energy shields does _not_ mean that it is inherently inferior to any other build.  Just because it's _visible_ doesn't mean it has an inherent flaw or drawback.  In my time, I have seen precious few Energy Blast builds that weren't visible.  No one expected any sort discount for it.  By the rules, _every_ power has be to detectable by default unless the player _pays extra_ for it not to be detectable.  So yours is detectable in a less-common fashion.  So what?  It had to be _something_, or it would cost extra.

 

 

12 hours ago, Greywind said:

I have never heard a player say that they want to see something used against them.

 

I have seen them take limitations just to shave points so they can buy MOAR! And then cry when their limitation came into play.

 

Those, too.   :rofl:

 

 

 

 

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

Maybe this is true in the case of your players, but it's not a universality.  Many players take Limitations for other reasons.  The two big reasons I see at my table are "This Limitation is necessary to simulate the effects the Power should have.  I can't not take it without changing the concept." and "I need points and am willing to deal with this Limitation.". 

 

 

 

The HERO System died --- yeah, I know: a lot of us still use it, but make a hard search at hobby shops and conventions.  It's dead.  We're all hardcore necromancers who love it too much to let it go.

 

 

The HERO System died, ultimately, because too many people could not buy the core concept that special effects and mechanics are two totally separate things.  Ultimately, the disagreements over the need or value of one related to the other even wedged up the fan base pretty badly.

 

Don't get me wrong:  I _totally_ get the idea of taking a Limitation because it's appropriate to the concept.  However, absolutely nothing in the core rules mandates that you have to take one, just because it fits your concept.  You can have a concept-- like light-up energy shields, or "lands at the very end of the Phase" or whatever-- and it works just like you say it does, even if you _don't_ take the Limitation.  I am willing to bet that most of us would take the Limitation because it _fits_ the concept.  However, they do not _define_ the conception:  the player does that.  Then he can opt to take appropriate Limitations that work with his conception.

 

 

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 The biggest disadvantage that comes from obvious Damage Reduction is that enemies will immediately know the person is tougher to take down, and will adjust their tactics accordingly.

 

Angry Smash Man runs over to engage Professor Plastic.  He rears back with a mighty blow, lands a hit of overwhelming force, and sends the Professor's head rocketing backwards off of his shoulders... only to see it bounce back with a comically elongated neck that quickly shrinks back into place.  The Professor's face has a giant fist-shaped depression in it, until he squeezes his nose and puffs his cheeks out and then it pops back into its proper shape.

 

It is immediately obvious that Professor Plastic has a great deal of Damage Reduction.  Angry Smash Man is going to have a hell of a time actually knocking Professor Plastic unconscious.  It's not just the fact that the Professor wasn't killed or didn't get immediately knocked unconscious -- enemies that can take a punch are fairly common.  No, this is a direct message that what he's doing now isn't going to work.  So on his next phase, Angry Smash Man grabs the Professor by the throat, rears back, and uses Megascale throwing to chuck him into New Jersey.

 

It's a real limitation because any character with combat options will immediately know to switch to a different attack or tactic.

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22 hours ago, Greywind said:

I have never heard a player say that they want to see something used against them.

 

I have seen them take limitations just to shave points so they can buy MOAR! And then cry when their limitation came into play.

 

Exactly the problem.  The purpose of limitations and complications/disadvantages is to drive a better story.  I like your description of the limitation "coming into play".  The corollary to the player who wants limitations but does not want to be limited is the GM who would say, instead, "when their limitation is used against them", the classic "player vs GM" mentality.

 

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

Maybe this is true in the case of your players, but it's not a universality.  Many players take Limitations for other reasons.  The two big reasons I see at my table are "This Limitation is necessary to simulate the effects the Power should have.  I can't not take it without changing the concept." and "I need points and am willing to deal with this Limitation.". 

 

The player chooses what powers the character will have, and therefore chooses the effect they should have.  Having chosen to play a character with those specific powers, limited in these specific manners, I would say the player has provided guidance to the GM that they want to see situations where these abilities are useful and relevant to the game, to the character's advantage, and situations where their limitations arise, causing greater challenges to the character.  As long as "I need the points" is accompanied by "this limitation makes some game sense" and "I am willing to deal with the drawbacks", well and good.  If it's accompanied by "so I will tack on a limitation that makes no sense" or "but I don't want any consequences to arise from the limitation", that's an issue.

 

6 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I’ve built many a Power based on an example and assuming that that is the way it should  be built rather than what limitation I want to “accept”.

 

Who chose that power?  If I don't want to play a slow character with no movement options in combat, then I build an agile flyer or a speedster,  not a lumbering Brick.

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3 hours ago, massey said:

 The biggest disadvantage that comes from obvious Damage Reduction is that enemies will immediately know the person is tougher to take down, and will adjust their tactics accordingly.

 

Angry Smash Man runs over to engage Professor Plastic.  He rears back with a mighty blow, lands a hit of overwhelming force, and sends the Professor's head rocketing backwards off of his shoulders... only to see it bounce back with a comically elongated neck that quickly shrinks back into place.  The Professor's face has a giant fist-shaped depression in it, until he squeezes his nose and puffs his cheeks out and then it pops back into its proper shape.

 

It is immediately obvious that Professor Plastic has a great deal of Damage Reduction.  Angry Smash Man is going to have a hell of a time actually knocking Professor Plastic unconscious.  It's not just the fact that the Professor wasn't killed or didn't get immediately knocked unconscious -- enemies that can take a punch are fairly common.  No, this is a direct message that what he's doing now isn't going to work.  So on his next phase, Angry Smash Man grabs the Professor by the throat, rears back, and uses Megascale throwing to chuck him into New Jersey.

 

It's a real limitation because any character with combat options will immediately know to switch to a different attack or tactic.

 

But nothing in your example says that Professor Plastic has Damage Reduction.

 

Your example is a detailed description of the SFX of the Professor's  defenses. He could have high PD, Damage Reduction, Damage Negation or just really high STUN or some combination. None of those powers are visible.  You can infer that PP has one or more from the results of your attack but it doesn't limit the defenses.

 

To qualify for Visible  -1/4,  Angry Smash Man would have to see and recognize the power before he attacks.

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Not only does nothing there say damage reduction, nothing there denies the possibility that "one more pip would have knocked him out cold." 

 

If his opponent chooses to make a decision based on the trope of the invincible rubber man, that's his own interpretation on what he sees that's guiding his decision. 

 

Moreover, if the special effect had been" he just stands there and grins, " the same lack of useful information is passed on.  If the effect is" glowing bits of shield," then again-- it gives away no more and no less information than the player decides it does when- and if- he chooses to model that info leak as a Limitation intrinsic to the nature of the power. 

 

One of my biggest pet peeves with players, GMs, and a few of the new rules is "you must" and "you can't." 

 

Either you _can_ play exactly the character you want, or you can't.  It's just plain old mealy-mouthed to claim both of these are true. 

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1 minute ago, Duke Bushido said:

Not only does nothing there say damage reduction, nothing there denies the possibility that "one more pip would have knocked him out cold." 

 

If his opponent chooses to make a decision based on the trope of the invincible rubber man, that's his own interpretation on what he sees that's guiding his decision. 

 

Moreover, if the special effect had been" he just stands there and grins, " the same lack of useful information is passed on.  If the effect is" glowing bits of shield," then again-- it gives away no more and no less information than the player decides it does when- and if- he chooses to model that info leak as a Limitation intrinsic to the nature of the power. 

 

One of my biggest pet peeves with plates, GMs, and a few of the new rules is "you must" and "you can't." 

 

Either you _can_ play exactly the character you want, or you can't.  It's just plain old mealy-mouthed to claim both of these are true. 

 

That's true of any power though.  If the Human Fireball starts glowing white-hot, and unleashes a searing burst of flame... there's nothing that indicates whether it's a 2D6 Energy Blast or a 10D6 RKA.  And yet, "visible" is still considered a real limitation.  It lets your enemies know that a power is in use, when they wouldn't know otherwise.

 

Grailknight is correct when he says that Angry Smash Man should know before he swings that a defensive power is in use.  But I think it still misses the point that any enemy who faces him can figure out what the power does fairly quickly, and will adjust their tactics accordingly.

 

Last I checked, a visible power had to be detectable by at least 3 senses (or did they change that to two?).  So Professor Plastic, with his visible Damage Reduction, might always have a somewhat stretchy appearance.  He might squeak when he moves, or make sproingy-sproingy sounds when he walks.  And he probably feels kinda like latex if you touch him.  This would make him more obviously superpowered (and give a hint as to what those powers are) than somebody like Superman.  It might make it harder for him to sneak around as well.

 

 

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I don't have a problem with Perceivable because, push comes to shove...it's largely the same as OIAID.  It clearly marks the individual *as* a super, so it's not there when the person is trying to blend in.

 

Now, if the campaign never deals with the heroes outside of costume, then there's more of an argument to bar OIAID, Perceivable, etc.  But really...this is one of the LESS abusive things you can do.  How about:

 

--Beam and/or Limited Range for blasts/flashes.  How often do you spread, or blast past 100 meters...with the nasty range mod to consider?

--Costs END to activate, on a persistent power that doesn't cost END (like DN, DR, or resistant defenses).  The big downside is they swap over to Constant in that case, so they go down if you're stunned or knocked out.  But even then...also include 1/2 DCV.  Get a nice 1/2 limit.  And you can go bigger...all tied to the activation only...easily.

 

A significant problem with Hero is the enormous array of limitations crammed in...largely, IMO, trying to accommodate fantasy tropes/keep costs sane when translating between genres, and due to the attempted completionist/simulationist nature of 5E and 6E.  The system implicitly lends itself to abuse.  That's my main argument for suggesting, basically, a no-limitations approach, unless it really matters.  Energy absorption that is limited to heat...that's a limitation worth points.  Rapid Attach, HTH only...they could just as easily have specified HTH RA as 5, and Ranged RA as 5.  (And probably should have, IMO.)  But...linked?  OIAID?  Perceivable?  Beam?  Limited Range?  Generally not worth getting back points.  And that applies fairly often.  Conversely...IMO, feel free to ignore restrictive rules.  For example, buying Teleport with Megascale requires ANY use of teleport to take an extra phase...which makes it almost impossible to use in combat.  Because an advantage on a power is always used, you don't have a choice.  That's fine in most cases but it's poor in others.  (A "solution" is to split the teleport into the combat teleport, and a naked advantage for the Megascale.  But that in itself shows that the system is flawed, IMO.)  

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One thing to remember here...

 

Defense powers are Inobvious normally...but generally become Obvious, per p. 126.  You get shot by a Desert Eagle and there's no wound?  Oh.  At that point it's obvious you ain't normal.  Whether it's Resistant Def or Damage Negation?  Can't say.  Probably shouldn't matter.  But, it gives you the conditions for Perceivable to be applicable.  Any one of these is probably sufficient:

 

--clearly evident in advance (so, yes, plate armor would count, IMO)

--makes the exact nature, or the counter, more apparent, and makes it clearer how to defeat it.  This should be a hard sell, tho, as SFX can tell you this.

 

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6 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Who chose that power?  If I don't want to play a slow character with no movement options in combat, then I build an agile flyer or a speedster,  not a lumbering Brick.

Oh I did. I built a shield as an OAF because Crusader has Missile Deflection as OAF. Don’t all shields have to be built as OAF? 😁 I learned about the Obvious in OAF later in a game. It was years later that I understood you take the limitation you want.  (Years later I bought a belt as OAF so my daughter could rip it off as in the cartoons.)

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7 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Oh I did. I built a shield as an OAF because Crusader has Missile Deflection as OAF. Don’t all shields have to be built as OAF? 😁 I learned about the Obvious in OAF later in a game. It was years later that I understood you take the limitation you want.  (Years later I bought a belt as OAF so my daughter could rip it off as in the cartoons.)

 

 

Thanks, N-B.  I appreciate you volunteering yourself and your experience as an example.

 

That's the problem with HERO since Day One:  if someone in the group doesn't "get it," then no one in the group ever gets it.  It's left as a confounding, confusing system that will always seem more complicated than it is.   Coming to places like this board doesn't really help, either: the answer they will get will always include "must" and "have to" and "can't."  And usually the same people saying that chanting the "exactly what you want" mantra.

 

The game is fiction.  The rules are real; they are for simulating fiction that you and your friends intend to create together.  You have complete control, and everything works the way that you say it does, period.  A case can be made for _anything_.  I mean _anything_-- remember Mind Control under the Stretching Powers SFX?   The case can be made.  At absolutely no point do you _ever_ have to accept that because the case can be made, then it _must be that way_.

 

There is nothing wrong with accepting that you want it to be that way, but there is _no_ mandate that you do anything other than what you want, period.

 

 

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