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45 minutes ago, pawsplay said:

And PD protects against damage, but poisons are built differently. Why would a fear power target Power Defense and not Mental Defense?

 

Fear is all in your mind anyway. ;)

 

 

Seriously, though:

 

Here's the thing with HERO:

 

There is no rule for fear.  None.  Absolutely _none_.  Even Presence Attacks are about cowing others with-- well, the force of your presence, your personality, your sure and certain confidence.  Over the years, a F*k ton of people have decided to interpret that as fear and being scary, especially since the charts are relatable to fear and being scary.  They are also relatable to being inspirational, but we didn't move that way, in spite of this being a game ostensibly modeling _heroes_.

 

There are also some rules for fear.  That is to say, there are rules for using PRE as part of your fear mechanism from the old 4e Horror HERO supplement, as well as rules (more of them there than anywhere else) for "Custom characteristics," custom mechanics, etc, and rules that say any rule you come up with is a completely valid rule.

 

There is also the relatively poor definition of a couple of different characteristics, but the one I like to focus on is EGO (unless I'm using a custom characteristic for a particular game).  I like this because while it is poorly-defined with regard to the other characteristics, most people agree that EGO represents your will power and strength / presence of mind.

 

Frankly, I think that's the best definition for fear and being scared / cowed through fear:  you can be scared, yet have enough will power, enough presence of mind, to keep going, to set it aside.  Right up until the scanners come and the heads start bursting.  Or whatever.

 

Look at it this way:  you can use a Presence Attack and declare that it's based entirely on your ability to inspire a desire to be better, a desire to tackle a challenge, a desire to act with discipline...   Absolute same game-effects, but _no one_ you are using it on is being swayed by fear.  No one.  You're Captain Mother America Theresa or something, but are in no way terrifying anyone.   (Remember the idea that mechanics and special effects are _separate_, and the way your Presence Attacks are made- the source of their influence-- that's a SPECIAL EFFECT.  You get to pick those.  Somewhere along the way, the vocal majority decided it meant "scariness," but let's be completely honest here:  you can't defend from someone else's scariness with your own scariness.  You just end up scaring each other, realistically.  Yes, you can pick it as your special effect because the rules let you, but realistically, scariness is the _least_ logical definition of the Presence Characteristic.

 

 

So consider fear as being a special _type_ of Presence attack, but target EGO instead.  Target the thing that actually _does_ decide if you can muster the courage and fortitude to continue on.  Perhaps model a continuing barrage of horrific elements as a Drain versus EGO, sapping your resistance, making it so much more likely that you'll succumb to your fears.  Use an EGO roll to muster courage and continue.

 

The Commander has a Presence Attack based on his air of command and his forceful personality and his iron-will and his strict attention to fairness and discipline and his ability to inspire those same things in other people.  He's _not_ terrifying you into rallying and making that final charge.  That doesn't make sense.  In fact, using the Versus EGO model, he can _still_ inspire you in that very same way, make you rally, take up arms, and that terrifying thing from the shadows of oblivion strikes enough fear into your heart that in spite of your inspired courage, you drop your weapon and scream, because there is something so horrifying, so _primal_ and disturbing in that onerous palpable evil that your own force of personality is not just insufficient, but utterly useless against it.

 

At any rate, it's how I prefer to model fear-based attacks against the psyche.  There's no reason you can't model it with a straight-up EGO attack, really.  None what-so-ever.  Find something that works for you from all angles, or tweak something that's close, or create something new whole-cloth.

 

 

Just have fun with it.

 

 

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Almost forgot:

 

If you think a fear-based attack should be defended against by Mental Defense instead of Power Defense, then EGO Attack might be the model you're looking for.  Or Drain EGO, and decide that EGO Drains with fear-driven and fear-inducing special effects are defended by Mental Defense.  There is no reason you can't do that.  None.

 

Run with it.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

It's due to a quirk of the system; draining a character to 0 PRE causes them to run away from danger on a forced 9- roll made each phase they are in a threatening situation. Drains work against Power Defense by default, so there you have it.

 

A character with PRE 0 must
succeed with a PRE Roll each Phase
to act offensively or remain in the
face of anything even remotely
threatening. If he fails the roll, he
flees.

 

 

By default. But Drain PRE as "fear" is not a typical construction and it should have reasonable constraints. If it's a "soul drain" that reduces your ability to resist fear, I guess that's valid. In which case the Thrall construction may need some. But that seems so exotic. At the last Power Drain, Only versus fear, should be worth -1 or -1 1/2 as a limitation because that's maybe one power in the campaign. But honestly if the Thrall has the fear-based defense, and the Darkness of Soul Draining spell is described as inducing fear, I might rule based on the special effects the Thrall's Mental Defense applies against it. Or hopefully, the Thrall's massive PRE buffer is enough.

I think most of the time, Presence attacks are based either on an emotional appeal or a test of will, rather than will. But fear-based Pre Attacks are not exactly rare. If a Thrall is affected by a roaring lion man, he or she isn't "afraid," the Thrall hesitates because the opponent's spirit causes them to hesitate and recalculate their tactics. But if a wight pops out and says "boo!" the Thrall just throws alchemical fire on it and then cleaves it with their greatsword.

It could also be noted as a 0-pointer that Thralls innately, psychologically resist fear, so Pre-based attacks based primarily on fear always go against their EGO. I think that's a valid choice, and could be noted in the text of the Thrall Fearlessness talent which they all have.

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23 hours ago, pawsplay said:

By default. But Drain PRE as "fear" is not a typical construction...

 

As it happens it is a "typical construction" as presented in Fantasy Hero supplements, as is the corresponding Fearless Talent someone called out upstream which uses Power Defense from which the question "why Power Defense" emerged.

 

--------------

Fantasy Hero 5e p359

 

FEAR AND AWE
In Fantasy settings, some areas are so Evil or
disturbing that they inflict fear on characters in
them; similarly, many Evil creatures can inspire fear
in people. On the other hand, some beings of power
and might inspire awe instead. While awe is a standard
Presence Attack in most situations, some special
considerations apply to fear. In HERO System
terms, there are three primary ways to create a fear
effect.

 

The first, and by far the most common, is
Drain PRE.
Since PRE represents a character’s bravery,
confidence, bearing, and resistance to shock
and intimidation, reducing it inspires fear in him
and/or makes him more susceptible to feelings of
fright. If appropriate, you should assume that the
Drain PRE power automatically includes a Presence
Attack saying “run away in fear!” or the like.
The Presence Attack occurs after the Drain applies,
and is resolved in the usual fashion against the
character’s diminished PRE (generally you should
not use EGO in this situation).


If a character or monster can inspire fear in
anyone near him, you can buy this as a Drain PRE
Damage Shield, Area Of Effect — anyone who
enters the area suffers the effect, and the longer they
remain within it, the more terrified they become.
For a fear that virtually any character will feel, apply
the No Normal Defense Advantage to the Drain
PRE (the defense is the Fearless Talent, page 106).


Second, you could build a fear attack as Mind
Control with the Limitation Set Effect (create fear;
-1).

 

Third, you could use Change Environment to
create an effect that removes points of PRE, creating
an effect similar to a small Drain PRE over a
large area.

--------------

 

It is worth noting that I was only providing an answer to the "why model Fear as Drain PRE / why model fearlessness as Power Defense?" question, rather than advocating for such an approach.

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46 minutes ago, pawsplay said:

One of those constructions is Mind Control, and another is literally a NND defense, so I think it's still a fair question.

 

It is and as usual the rules gives a couple of options to use. So if you think Mind Control suits better that’s fine then the Fearless Talent should reflect that.  Personally to have the Talent cover both approaches is a little excessive but if you don’t have a generous GM then you would want to cover your bases.

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4 hours ago, pawsplay said:

One of those constructions is Mind Control, and another is literally a NND defense, so I think it's still a fair question.

 

 

Which is probably why the Fearless talent that sparked the discussion also includes Mental Defense, and the NND defense listed is that same talent. 🤨

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4 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

KS, I didn’t know that the Drain PRE automatically caused a PRE attack. It makes sense though. And good to know!

 

So, technically a PRE Attack is an "Action that take no time", so you can combine one with any other Action if you like. The Fantasy Hero suggestion to do so in conjunction w/ Drain vs PRE to simulate a "fear" SFX just piggybacks that core rule.

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3 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

So, technically a PRE Attack is an "Action that take no time", so you can combine one with any other Action if you like. The Fantasy Hero suggestion to do so in conjunction w/ Drain vs PRE to simulate a "fear" SFX just piggybacks that core rule.

This here is another YMMV. I don’t recall our group using PRE attacks a lot. So I assumed (and we know what trouble that can cause lol) that the PRE attack would happen after the Drain the next Phase. 

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On 6/13/2020 at 3:36 PM, Duke Bushido said:

 

Fear is all in your mind anyway. ;)

 

 

Seriously, though:

 

Here's the thing with HERO:

 

There is no rule for fear.  None.  Absolutely _none_.  Even Presence Attacks are about cowing others with-- well, the force of your presence, your personality, your sure and certain confidence.  Over the years, a F*k ton of people have decided to interpret that as fear and being scary, especially since the charts are relatable to fear and being scary.  They are also relatable to being inspirational, but we didn't move that way, in spite of this being a game ostensibly modeling _heroes_.

 

There are also some rules for fear.  That is to say, there are rules for using PRE as part of your fear mechanism from the old 4e Horror HERO supplement, as well as rules (more of them there than anywhere else) for "Custom characteristics," custom mechanics, etc, and rules that say any rule you come up with is a completely valid rule.

 

There is also the relatively poor definition of a couple of different characteristics, but the one I like to focus on is EGO (unless I'm using a custom characteristic for a particular game).  I like this because while it is poorly-defined with regard to the other characteristics, most people agree that EGO represents your will power and strength / presence of mind.

 

Frankly, I think that's the best definition for fear and being scared / cowed through fear:  you can be scared, yet have enough will power, enough presence of mind, to keep going, to set it aside.  Right up until the scanners come and the heads start bursting.  Or whatever.

 

Look at it this way:  you can use a Presence Attack and declare that it's based entirely on your ability to inspire a desire to be better, a desire to tackle a challenge, a desire to act with discipline...   Absolute same game-effects, but _no one_ you are using it on is being swayed by fear.  No one.  You're Captain Mother America Theresa or something, but are in no way terrifying anyone.   (Remember the idea that mechanics and special effects are _separate_, and the way your Presence Attacks are made- the source of their influence-- that's a SPECIAL EFFECT.  You get to pick those.  Somewhere along the way, the vocal majority decided it meant "scariness," but let's be completely honest here:  you can't defend from someone else's scariness with your own scariness.  You just end up scaring each other, realistically.  Yes, you can pick it as your special effect because the rules let you, but realistically, scariness is the _least_ logical definition of the Presence Characteristic.

 

 

So consider fear as being a special _type_ of Presence attack, but target EGO instead.  Target the thing that actually _does_ decide if you can muster the courage and fortitude to continue on.  Perhaps model a continuing barrage of horrific elements as a Drain versus EGO, sapping your resistance, making it so much more likely that you'll succumb to your fears.  Use an EGO roll to muster courage and continue.

 

The Commander has a Presence Attack based on his air of command and his forceful personality and his iron-will and his strict attention to fairness and discipline and his ability to inspire those same things in other people.  He's _not_ terrifying you into rallying and making that final charge.  That doesn't make sense.  In fact, using the Versus EGO model, he can _still_ inspire you in that very same way, make you rally, take up arms, and that terrifying thing from the shadows of oblivion strikes enough fear into your heart that in spite of your inspired courage, you drop your weapon and scream, because there is something so horrifying, so _primal_ and disturbing in that onerous palpable evil that your own force of personality is not just insufficient, but utterly useless against it.

 

At any rate, it's how I prefer to model fear-based attacks against the psyche.  There's no reason you can't model it with a straight-up EGO attack, really.  None what-so-ever.  Find something that works for you from all angles, or tweak something that's close, or create something new whole-cloth.

 

 

Just have fun with it.

 

 

 

👍

 

That's pretty much all i got.

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On 6/13/2020 at 11:38 PM, Duke Bushido said:

Almost forgot:

 

If you think a fear-based attack should be defended against by Mental Defense instead of Power Defense, then EGO Attack might be the model you're looking for.  Or Drain EGO, and decide that EGO Drains with fear-driven and fear-inducing special effects are defended by Mental Defense.  There is no reason you can't do that.  None.

 

Run with it.

 

 

Fear is a special effect rather than a game mechanic, as Duke points out in a later post. 

 

The system has only one effect based defence, which is Damage Negation.  You can buy this to target the effect of any attack with a fear based SFX.  That helps defend against a special effect that is often modelled with a wide variety of mechanics.

 

Doc

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  • 5 weeks later...

One thing that no one has mentioned is that a psychological complication can reduce the affects of both mind control and PRE attacks. Any character who is supposed to be immune to fear should have a total psychological complication in addition to any powers to simulate his bravery.   For PRE based fear attacks it is going to reduce the PRE attack by 3d6, for Mind Control based fear attacks it will set the difficulty at EGO +30, or gain an additional +10 depending on circumstances.  This should be added to any method for purchasing immunity to fear.  

 

The way I would create this would be to purchase +20 PRE, & +20 EGO with the Inherent advantage, only vs Fear.  This ups the cost of what is found in Fantasy Hero 6th edition to 16 points instead of 14, but means the PRE or EGO cannot be drained or dispelled.  Add that to the total psychological complication and it is unlikely that any fear based attack will work.  Even if the characters normal stats are drained to 0 they still have 20 when it comes to fear based effects.   

 

While inherent is a stop sign advantage in this case it makes since especially if It is the GM trying to create a talent.  At this point all the GM has to do is to declare this power to be absolute and the character is immune to fear. 
 

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Immune to XYZ is always tricky in Hero, because you can define any power as being XYZ-based.

 

Being Really Really Scary -- 10D6 RKA (so frightening that it causes you to have a heart attack)

 

And you want to be immune to that for 5 or 10 points?  Of course, you aren't likely to run into anybody who actually defined their RKA as fear-based.  But what if you did?  Part of the job of the GM is to determine how the world works.  How are fear-based attacks going to work in your game?  Because that's really all that matters.  Being immune to fear is a common trope in fantasy gaming.  So what you do is figure out the limits of what you'll allow a fear attack to do in the game.  Then devise an appropriate defense against it.  Then you're done.

 

In a fantasy game, where fear is relatively common but not an overwhelming attack, I'd probably make Immune to Fear cost 10 points or something.  And now you're immune to fear, period.  But I might also require a Psych Lim -- Fearless.  The character is going to be more susceptible to certain Mind Controls ("Attack that dragon?  No problem!") because he doesn't have the fear that would normally give him a bonus to resist.  While exploring a creepy dungeon, everybody else gets a cold chill when you start to open the crypt that contains the wight.  But not our fearless character, he doesn't get that warning at all.

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On 6/15/2020 at 12:00 AM, Killer Shrike said:

 

Which is probably why the Fearless talent that sparked the discussion also includes Mental Defense, and the NND defense listed is that same talent. 🤨

 

So you buy the talent that includes Power Defense so you are immune to the power which isn't affected by Power Defense.

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1 hour ago, pawsplay said:

 

So you buy the talent that includes Power Defense so you are immune to the power which isn't affected by Power Defense.

 

So, I'm going to assume that you are legitimately just not understanding the mechanics rather than intentionally trolling, and therefore will try to explain it one more time.

 

In Fantasy Hero (specifically), the rules recommend three dominant ways to model fear and a variant using NND; I copied and pasted the rules text above and I suggest reading them again.

 

It indicates that it considers the most common (by far it goes on to add) approach is as a Drain vs Presence. In this game, the standard defense vs Drain is Power Defense (PowD).

 

It further indicates that a particularly strong form of fear causing ability can be made by applying NND to a Drain vs PRE; such abilities would not be resisted by PowD. All NND abilities must define some kind of alternative defense which makes characters that have it immune to the ability. In this case the rules indicate the appropriate alternative defense is the Fearless Talent described in the same genre book. 

 

The other way the rules recommend handling it is as Mind Control. In this game, the standard defense vs Mind Control is Mental Defense (MD). 

 

Now, Fantasy Hero doesn't explicitly call this out, but one could also apply NND to such a Mind Control. It would work exactly the same as the Drain scenario however.

 

Finally, Fantasy Hero also says one could use Change Environment to apply negative points of PRE to everyone in an area. This is actually pretty sketchy because to the best of my knowledge while Change Environment in the rules as written does allow negative modifiers to be applied to characteristic rolls it doesn't actually allow applying penalties to characteristics directly. Either Steve forgot that or he intended this as a special case. How such an ability would be resisted is, I suppose, left to GM's discretion; normally environmental effects are resisted using Life Support which doesn't seem to make a lot of sense in this case (to me). If I were running Fantasy Hero using the rules as written in the genre book, I would probably treat this as being resisted by PowD. More likely, I wouldn't allow it at all as it seems inconsistent to me and sets a bad precedent by allowing CE to work like a unresisted Drain despite the main rulebook clearly saying that specific CE effects should not be as good as or better where they overlap with the mechanics of another Power.

 

The unusual CE digression aside...

--------------------------------------------------

TL;DR:

 

You are perhaps imagining that the genre book is suggesting "the GM should pick one of these styles and then use that one style for all fear based effects". But it isn't; rather it is saying "in a fantasy setting run using the guidelines described in this genre book characters might have fear based abilities using any of these recommended mechanics".  That means a player character adventuring in a campaign run using the genre book's recommendations could run into opponents with "fear" SFX abilities built using either Drain or Mind Control and potentially an NND version of at least one of them defined as working vs a specific Talent (Fearless). A player running a character in such a campaign could try to make their character resistant to fear in a variety of ways including buying more base PRE and EGO or PowD or MD...or they can simply buy the provided Fearless Talent which will afford them a modicum of protection against all opponents using fear causing abilities defined using the genre books recommendations. 

 

--------------------------------------------------

If we imagine the player character Fnord the Fighter and posit that Fnord's player Fred has taken the Fearless Talent when designing the character, and further imagine that Fred is piloting Fnord through an adventure run by a GM using Fantasy Hero and related supplements as written and observing the indicating modalities including how to model "fear and awe"...in the course of that adventure Fnord might encounter opponents using Mind Control based fear, Drain PRE based fear, and NND variants of Drain based fear. Fnord should prove to be less affected by such abilities than fellow party members who did not take the Fearless Talent. In fact, if the GM is honoring the indication within the Fearless Talent write up to treat it as an Absolute Effect offering outright immunity to fear then Fnord is not just less affected by such abilities, he is entirely unaffected by them.

 

In the same thought experiment, lets imagine a different player character named Churl the Cleric played by Charlie. Churl does not have the Fearless Talent, but does have a custom ability called "Divine Aura" defined as 5 Mental Defense and 5 Power Defense. When Fnord and Churl are in the encounters with opponents using either Drain vs PRE or Mind Control based fear abilities, Churl does enjoy some protection against those abilities thanks to his MD and PowD. However versus those dastardly opponents using an NND variant Churl is out of luck as his Power Defense does not apply. But take heart! All is not tribulations for Churl...vs an opponent with a Drain vs DEX ability his Divine Aura offers him some protection while poor Fnord, fearless though he may be, is not so lucky.

 

And so on; hopefully there is no need to grind through permutations here.

--------------------------------------------------

 

Now, having said all of that in the vein of "if you are using the Fantasy Hero genre book", this is of course the Hero System and you don't have to use the genre books in part or whole if you don't want to. Personally, when I ran Fantasy Hero I tended to favor Limited bonus PRE and piggyback Presence Attacks for most "fear" type effects and reserved drains vs PRE and / or EGO for longer term and more serious "terror" type effects, Transforms to apply Psychological Limitations for mind bending / phobia inducing type of effects, and sometimes Mind Control to force a specific response / behavior in those affected (such as "run away and don't come back" or "drop the frightening object").

 

You of course are free to handle such abilities however you like in your own campaigns if you are the GM.

 

If you are not the GM, ask your GM and they will let you know how they handle such abilities and what you might do to either make such an ability for your own character or make your character resistant to such abilities. It may so happen that your GM says "I do what it says in the Fantasy Hero genre book" in which case discussion of the Fearless Talent etc is relevant to you; otherwise it probably isn't.

 

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15 hours ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

So, I'm going to assume that you are legitimately just not understanding the mechanics rather than intentionally trolling, and therefore will try to explain it one more time.

 

 

 

 

I don't misunderstand, nor am I intentionally trolling. I suggest you not try to explain it one more time unless you have something further to add.

I think the assumption fear-based Drain uses the standard defense is not justified.

As far as I can tell, the only fear-based Drain examples use NND.

This would be like arguing immunity to poison should be Power Defense, even though poisons are generally NND. The only difference is that poisons have a defined Life Support option, whereas a resistance or immunity to fear is up to us to define.

Since the other construction for "fear" is Mind Control, and since a fear-based Drain would appear to affect the mind, and the example fear powers are NND anyway...

it seems pretty clear to me that Mental Defense should cover all fear. If anything else is defined as a fear attack, it should be modified to be affected by Mental Defense.

 

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1 hour ago, pawsplay said:

I don't misunderstand, nor am I intentionally trolling. I suggest you not try to explain it one more time unless you have something further to add.

 

Duly noted. I'll take you up on that, and add you to my ignore list to save us both further similar misunderstandings. 

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