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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on January 31

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About Hugh Neilson

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  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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  1. My fear for a "various power tiers" character would be similar to the "situational limitation" character, like one with a lot of powers that only work at night. The character alternates between a low-powered tag-along and the uber-character who eclipses the rest of the team. Much like Luck, it requires a lot of GM effort and oversight to make it work in the game. If Luck is used as a major component, then the GM and player need to find a common expectation of how effective Luck will be in-game. The mechanic was never really intended as a major focus power (remembering it was limited to 3d6 for much of the game's history). If the character is going to make a significant investment (i.e. AP at campaign standard attack level), and/or it will consume significant resources (costs END; requires actions), then the power has to be run in a manner that it carries a value commensurate with that cost. To me, that means "less effective than the same AP in an attack in combat", as it has non-combat benefits as well, but still pretty effective in both contexts. Turning over some of the control to the player is probably essential - the GM has a lot to do already, without setting the effects of Luck every time the PC's phase comes around. Having a list of generic possibilities for various levels of Luck success and letting the player suggest what happens after the roll could alleviate some of the pressure, as well as allowing the player a better feeling he controls the character (Luck included) and is more a participant in the game than a bystander. Ultimately a challenging concept to integrate satisfactorily in the game, whatever approach is taken, and a great example of the principal of "let's see how it works for a few sessions, then decide whether something has to be changed".
  2. Characters like this are generally problematic in games. Her powers work on probability manipulation, so some days she can divert a meteor to strike the opponent, and other days she struggles to loosen bolts in a girder. Many writers (and the MCU) have tried to move her to a more conventional Blaster-type to avoid these troublesome issues. Good writers ensure that activation rolls succeed and fail as dramatically appropriate. The dice are not good writers, so the dice tend not to deliver dramatically appropriate results. I think the "luck/blast/VPP", all with activation rolls, models the character well. The problem is that it's not a character that fits a game well. An homage might have a VPP with a luck-based special effect and a Requires a Skill Roll "probability manipulation" limitation. Actually, defining some effects as "common" (-1/20 AP), others as "familiar" (-1/10 AP) and requiring novel choices to be limited at the -1/5 AP level could work well - many effects have a decent chance at success, and the character can occasionally, but not reliably, really pull a rabbit out of a hat.
  3. That would smooth the edges a bit, but still leaves those x4 and x5 multiples as a lottery win in a Supers game. 14 x 4 = 56, which is tough to get on 12d6 normal - try rolling 70! The KA will plink off quite a bit, but also stands a much better chance of punching enough damage through to stun the target, even using hit location probabilities.
  4. I think Lonewolf is assessing the possibility of using the Normal Damage multiples for all attacks, including Killing Attacks with a 1d3 multiple. So a head shot would always double the STUN and BOD rolled, whether the attack was normal or killing, but the KA could roll a 1, 2 or 3 Stun Multiple to begin with. A Head Shot with a KA would do either 2x, 4x or 6x (depending on the 1d3) and a Hand shot would do 1x, 2x or 3x, under that model. 2d6 HKA head shot on the current hit location shot averages 14 BOD and 35 STUN. 6d6 Normal attack averages 12 BOD and 42 STUN. However, because normal STUN is multiplied after defenses, defenses are effectively also multiplied by the N Stun Multiple (so defenses help less against STUN from a Foot hit than a Head hit). A Standard Heroic character with 8 DEF, 4 rDEF will take [7 - 4 = 3 x 2 =] 6 BOD and [7 x 5 = 35 - 8 =] 27 STUN from that killing head shot, or [6-8 = 0 x 2 =] 0 BOD and [21 - 8 = 13 x 2 =] 26 STUN from the normal attack. A Shoulder hit will do [7 - 4 = 3 x 1 =] 3 BOD and [7 x 3 = 21 - 8 =] 13 STUN from a KA, or [6-8 = 0 x 1 =] 0 BOD and [21 - 8 = 13 x 1 =] 13 STUN from the normal attack. A Foot shot will do [7 - 4 = 3 x 1/2 =] 1 BOD and [7 x 1 = 7 - 8 =] 0 STUN from a KA, or [6-8 = 0 x 1/2 =] 0 BOD and [21 - 8 = 13 x 1/2 =] 6 STUN from the normal attack. The KA is definitely better at doing BOD damage, but the Normal attack has an edge on STUN damage under the current hit location chart. Drop KAs to a 1 - 3 range, and they will do much less STUN than normal attacks.
  5. My memory could be wrong as well, but as I recall, each stat hitting negative imposed some pretty serious restrictions you needed a CHAR roll to overcome (which, at 0, was 9-, and at -30 meant a 3 was required). My recollecton is that the condition for a required roll was pretty much the same as 6e provides, but in 6e the roll will never be worse than 9-. Some of the stats that became less expensive in 6e also became defensive. I don't think CON was defensive in 5e, for example. That was done specifically to balance out the impact of recosting on adjustment powers. One of us must be misrecalling, so that at least explains why we see this differently. Maybe someone still using 5e can weigh in on the severity of a 0 or negative characteristic. I think we risk crossing into debate here. The "no more than doubling" rule was eliminated, in my view, to simplify the "adding damage" rules, where some abilities enhanced base damage and others were adders that were capped at double base damage. Why does a +1d6 Billy Club boost 90 STR from 18d6 to 19d6? A character can "switch" a 12d6 Blast to a 4d6 RKA at a cost of 12 points (make it a 2 fixed slot multipower), which is a lot more versatile than STR and HKA. The bigger question is probably why STR enhances an HKA at all - we have to pay for everything else, so if one wants a 1d6+1 HKA Sword that does 2 1/2d6 with 20 STR applied, that could be 4 DCs of unlimited HKA + 4 DCs of Limited HKA. For a character with a 20 STR, that limitation should be pretty low, perhaps even -0 unless Adjustment Powers are common, or perhaps -1/2 for Lockout of STR. We "expect" STR to enhance those KA's, but players new to Hero also often "expect" logical results of other powers, like LS adding to defenses. The 1d6+1 HKA, +4DC that lock out STR is a kludgy build, but would most often be "behind the scenes" in a game where normal weapons cost money instead of CP. By RAW, I don't believe anything prevents using an HKA and a STR Strike as a Combined Attack, so an alternative approach would have been allowing that 90 STR character with a 1/2d6 Knife to devote STR to either enhance the KA or do normal damage. So that 90 STR could be an 18d6 Punch + 1/2d6 HKA from the knife, or a 1d6+1 HKA plus 16d6 normal damage. I do believe it becomes unbalanced if we allow that to be a 6 1/2d6 HKA + 18d6 Strike. As to Deadly Blow, Weapon Master, et al I think the removal of doubling better simulates the "just that skilled" element of 3e d20 Sneak Attacks (or even 1e/2e backstabs that went to 4x or 5x weapon damage), or the comic book Bullseye who is is accurate a thrown playing card becomes a lethal weapon. Unquestionably a YMMV change. Where did I get that? Edited above. 90 points will buy 15 fixed slots. Cosmic means the VPP can change like a Multipower, at will, and effectively makes all slots Variable. The old VPP did not work for some concepts. Consider, for example, the Archer - he has an arrow for every occasion, up to 60 AP, OAF Bow and Arrows. A Multipower allowed him to halve the cost of the pool, as well as all slots. A VPP meant at 60 point pool + 45 point control cost. But since each power in the VPP was OAF, really every arrow should combine two attacks. Now, he can pay 30 for the pool, + 45 for a Cosmic 60 AP control cost, all powers OAF. That better balances his VPP versus Multipower choice with CosmicMan, whose powers are natural and require no Focus. With his 60 point pool, CosmicMan could still have 2 60 AP powers with -1 limitations under the 5e rules. The cost for the flexibility of a VPP has not really changed, so I don't see this as a differentiator between 5e and 6e. Regardless of edition, I am not a huge fan of DoAnything Man, as opposed to a VPP crafted with limits on what it can do. VPPs are good for very flexible concepts played by highly experienced players, or players with unlimited pre-fab "slots" for the pool, but they are a Stop Sign mechanic (versus the Caution sign for a Multipower) for a reason.
  6. I was more looking for clarification of a couple of your comments - most were dead on, IMO. To the overall question of "what was 6e designed to fix", I don't believe there were broad, sweeping changes to fix any perceived fatal flaw. The focus, at least to me, was to better realize the "get what you pay for. and pay for what you get" aspect of Hero, remove redundancies (for example, removal of Force Field as a power separate from other resistant defenses) and maybe address some elements which had been hard to do in prior editions. Some changes I've noted: - the loss of Figureds is an obvious and long-discussed one which rationalized some costs; the accompanying re-costing of REC, STUN and END better balances buying these with buying reduced END or more defenses, in my view. - replacement of COM with Striking Appearance provided a mechanic for appearance, and removed a characteristic that, at best, provided limited modifications to another characteristic (PRE). - not sure I agree with the "why" suggested for ECs, but the reality is that they moved from a free point savings for some characters (who had similar AP powers and could persuade the GM their "common theme" was OK) with no mechanical down side for several editions, then that "drain one, drain all" limitation which is now recognized as just a minor limitation. - Barrier provided the ability to create walls, something which was a pain in past editions; - The change to a 1d3 multiple for killing attacks removed them from the power of choice to get STUN damage past high defenses, and made them about killing. The lack of change to hit locations largely allowed the high multiples to continue in genres where the issue had not been as problematic. - Reducing the cost of Armor Piercing made it useful - 8d6 AP vs 12d6 Normal didn't tend to work well when many characters, especially high DEF characters, hardened their defenses. - the spinout of Impenetrable from Hardened made it expensive to be resistant to all attack advantages. - the change to VPP control costs to focus on maximum AP, not just move in lockstep with the size of the pool, made some other uses available, especially "one power at a time" VPPs with standard limitations. - one that never seems to be mentioned, several combat maneuvers were added so things previously requiring martial maneuvers can be done without Martial Arts (Trip, Choke). - Combined and Multiple Attacks are better addressed in 6e. - Adjustment Powers were fine-tuned. Making Aid cost END by default, and making Drain ranged, were both welcome, IMO, especially when comparing a STUN Drain to an attack against Power Defense. - Recognition that the first step of "delayed return" has substantially more value than further delays, and making it more costly to Adjust large numbers of abilities both balance adjustment powers better, IMO. - Similarly, the first "big step" of Megascale being costed up, and adding in the ability to scale, was a good change IMO. - Attack vs Alternate CV makes options that did not exist before available (such as targeting mental DCV with normal OCV - "my HypnoDisk will sap your will, hero!" There are a ton of little changes which probably get overlooked. Like Grailknight, I think 6e is an incremental improvement over 5e. I'd give it more than "a whisker", but it was fine tuning, not wholesale change. It certainly would not attract many, if any, gamers who did not find prior editions to their liking. One advantage of that, as Lord Liaden alludes to above, is that it's pretty easy to transport elements between editions, if desired.
  7. I don't understand your "adjustments too powerful" statement. Under 5e, a characteristic at 0 basically meant "roll a 9- to be able to act", so adjusting someone down to 0 was already very powerful, but maybe I am missing something. I don't see a ton of adjustment powers in play. I've never understood how someone who had enough added damage to sink a battleship with a pocket knife would need the pocket knife to sink a battleship. The STR that adds the damage can sink the battleship almost as quickly anyway. While I agree enough slots suggests the VPP become a Multipower, the MP having "cosmic" by default makes the cost comparison more challenging. 60 point MP with 5 fixed slots costs 90 points. 60 point VPP that can change automatically as a 0 phase action costs 210 points, but it has way more than 5 slots. EDIT 150 points - 60 pool + (30 x 3 = 90 control cost! Also agree that removal of Figured is the biggest change, and a significant improvement in removing the "buy these stats high or be either inefficiently costed or flat out ineffective" result in prior editions.
  8. To add to Scott's point, this is a "mainstream acceptance" of TTRPGs. Yes' it's being used to advertise, not for the purest motive of Great Gaming. Guess what? Game producers are in that business to make money too.
  9. Most of the issues identified with the STUN Lotto were identified in Supers games where hit locations were rarely used. Hit locations also modify normal attacks, so that may have been one aspect that lead to those games having less issues. As well, the higher the "defense to DC ratio", if you will, the more valuable the KA stun lotto becomes, for punching a lot of STUN past defenses and thus being the better choice to KO the opponent. To the qualitative assessment, are kills rather than KOs more realistic? I don't think that is what happens in real life, but perhaps someone with medical training/experience wants to weight in there.
  10. From his comments, I suggest Dini was more concerned with capturing the character than the costume. MCU takes some liberties with the costumes as well. A Hulk without purple pants? Thor's hair isn't long enough. Tony Stark never wore facial hair beyond a moustache. That's not Hawkeye's costume.
  11. Actually, I think wWhere we disagree is on what the PER roll means. To me, if you are standing around paying attention to something else when someone walks into the room, you either make your PER roll and notice them, or fail your PER roll and do not. If you were, instead, sitting in a chair facing the door waiting for someone to come in, you would have a much better PER roll. In fact,, I would probably allow auto-success for that, just like I would not make you roll a Climb check to ascend a ladder. Someone with a better PER roll is less likely to be distracted enough to miss something. That might be a result of especially acute senses, or it could be the result of more actively paying attention to all sensory inputs at all times, or it could just be that your passive "attention" is better than that of other people. But if you could hear something, you get a PER roll, and if you could see something, a PER roll determines whether you do. You are not required to turn your ears on, nor are you assumed to stand around with your eyes closed unless you state that you are looking around you. tl; dr - A PER Roll does not require you be actively focused on sensory input. It determines whether your passive perception picks up on the input. Active searching would provide bonuses. I am back to "you do not need conscious effort to make a PER roll". A base, unmodified PER roll determines whether you see that gang member creeping away with a big sack of money from the bank while you are engaged in combat with his Supervillain leader and three more gang members, or whether you hear that squeaky floorbooard in the kitchen while you are watching TV in the dining room. If you had to exert conscious effort to make a PER roll, you could never wake up from perceiving a noise while you were asleep. Something moving in your direct arc of vision should be very easy to see - a PER roll is not required to see Ogre rushing up towards you, or hear the THUMPS of his feet as he runs forward. Someone creeping up behind you, or passing through the bushes behind Ogre? Not so easy to see, make a PER roll. Not "no, you have no chance to perceive that - you are looking at Ogre", but if your PER roll fails, it may be a consequence of having been too focused on Ogre. Going back to this. How many people have searched their house looking for something - your glasses, your phone, your car keys - only to give up, then later walk past a room you remember thoroughly searching and OH - THERE THEY ARE IN PLAIN SIGHT. So no, you do not always find it with active effort, nor do you always miss it if you are not focused on it.
  12. Quite simply, I am saying we are dealing with what someone perceives. We have a mechanic specifically for perception, the PER roll (complete with enhanced perception and other enhanced senses). It is derived, initially, from another mechanic, INT, which is broader, and which is not the sole determinant of perceptiveness. So when we are adjudicating whether something is perceived, I believe we most appropriately use the mechanic specific to perception, not dig further back into a stat that influences it. Since 6e eliminated Figured's, my other examples of using "what it was derived from" instead of the more specific mechanic, only apply pre-6e. OR Thief does not, on a casual glance, notice the flaws in the image. However, on careful examination (bonus to PER roll) and taking extra time (further bonus to PER roll), he is able to perceive the subtle inconsistencies. Exact same results with mechanics focused on perceptiveness rather than INT. Like Thief, Swordsman did not notice the flaws in the image on a casual glance. Now, maybe he is kicking a loose rock down the hall, and it vanishes into that wall section instead of bouncing off (a PER roll of 3 - lucky him). But not in our example. Sorceror is not looking any more carefully than anyone else, and his eyesight is not great thanks to years of reading crabbed script by candlelight, but miraculously, he can detect subtle flaws that the Thief, constantly aware of his surroundings and looking for traps, has to search intensely for? That seems like a poor mechanic to me. Here we align. To me, that is no more supported by using INT than by using PER rolls. Some are better, some are worse, and anyone can be distracted (poor PER roll) or more attentive (bonuses). Since only INT counts, our Sorceror is effectively never distracted in your model. But he could roll a 6 with his base 13- PER roll (18 INT) while our Thief, with 10 INT and +4 Enhanced PER, could fail his roll when the dice come up 16, despite having better odds than Sorceror. They are likely to spot a crappy image (no PER roll modifiers) 2/3 of the time. How likely is it that a 2d6 punch will KO a target, or a 2d6 Mind Control will dominate his will? For 15 points, that Image affects sight and sound (not that a wall needed sound). Let's tack on Smell for 20 in total. Invest another 15 (35 AP, not an unreasonable low to moderate power spell in a Fantasy game) and we tack on -5 to the PER roll. Now, I could certainly be persuaded that the Images power should grant a penalty to the PER roll out of the gate. Maybe solid, simple images like that wall should be a base -4, and multiple interacting images should be a base +2 (instead of the RAW 0 and +6). I would also suggest that this is the modifier when the character interacts with the Image in some way (closely examining the wall; preparing to fight, or flee from, the illusory lion), so noticing the flaws in that wall as we just walk by should be a -3 penalty. An 8- skill is good enough to earn a living, so needing an 8- PER roll to spot the image on a casual glance is not unreasonable. But then, for that same 35 points, at 1d6 per 5 points, and assuming we paid 25 points for 5d6, +5 for Hearing and +5 for Smell, we average 17 on the roll. Should that fool pretty much everyone? 7d6 of Mind Control will get a +10 result against characters of 14 or lower EGO. How does that compare? Now we are discussing the base power level and the cost of making it better, not the manner in which success or failure should be adjudicated. We could make the Images work against BOD and have the same mathematical results, but I don't think either of us would consider that appropriate. We'd certainly be questioning the SFX that make basing the ability on those characteristics appropriate. Just like I am asserting that being perceptive enough to avoid being fooled by an image should be resolved based on the game's mechanic for perceptiveness, based on the SFX of false images. FALSE - no matter what the dice roll is, when we compare it to SmartAlec's 40 INT and Tracker's 10 INT, it will succeed by 30 more points against SmartAlec than against Tracker. Assuming every extra 5 points is -1 to the PER roll (just as excess points on a mental power penalizes the EGO roll), Tracker always faces a -6 greater penalty than SmartAlec assuming both are affected. Your mechanic guarantees this 100%. So, it is your mechanic that causes EVERY illusion Mysterio projects to get +30 points of effect more against Tracker than against SmartAlec. That also means that, if his images were good enough to momentarily fool SmartAlec, Tracker gets -6 on your PER rolls, so he is down to 15- and SmartAlec remains at 17-. Tracker's much more focused investment in PER alone is less useful in a challenge based solely on what one perceives than Smart Alec's much more broadly useful investment of the same CP. Mysterio in the comics and MCU has been portrayed two ways. First, Spidey realizing the threat is not real because his SpideySense is quiet. Second, IIRC, Mysterio eventually figured out how to dampen the SpideySense (I may be wrong - I'm not a big time Spidey reader). An image can fool you - momentarily - because you fail the initial PER roll. Or it may fool those who are less perceptive, but not you, Mr. Super-Senses, because you are so much more perceptive. Either works for me. SmartAlec is less affected by false images than Tracker is? No, that does not work for me. Tracker's schtick is perceptiveness, so his perceptions should be superior when faced with perceiving that an image is false.
  13. From another angle: SmartAlec pays 30 points to have a 40 INT. His PER roll is 17- and he gets the same roll for all INT-based abilities. Tracker buys +10 to his PER rolls for 30 points. His PER roll is 21- and his other int-based rolls are 11-. Then we encounter Mysterio who projects realistic images. FInally - thinks Tracker - I benefit from my points. No, says Duke, in fact EVERY illusion Mysterio projects gets +30 points of effect more against you than against SmartAlec. That also means that, if his images were good enough to momentarily fool SmartAlec, means you get -6 on your PER rolls, so you are down to 15- and he has 17-. This is also a question of relative pricing, but I think Tracker's player would not be unreasonable to question the fairness of this result.
  14. Duke. you're a pre-6e guy. How about we change STUN damage from Mental Illusions to KO the target if it exceeds his BOD? After all, Stun is derived, at least in part, from BOD, right? And let's use DEX to hit with AoE attacks - after all, OCV is derived from DEX. We have a specific mechanic used to determine whether characters accurately perceive things. So why would accurately perceiving that they are seeing an artificial image, rather than the real thing, not be based on that mechanic? If Bloodhound Man can succeed on his PER roll 99.54% of the time, this indicates one of two things, or both in combination. Either Bloodhound Man has invested a lot of points in having a great PER roll, so he should be good at detecting false images. If The Glob has massive rPD, we would not feel bad that a gun or a punch have little effect on him. Or those images are pretty poor. You can buy penalties to the PER roll. Those images at their base level are spotted as false 62.5% of the time by an average person. If Bobby Normal slugs The Glob, certainly don't expect his 2d6 from STR to have any effect.
  15. Pattern recognition is a big part of what we classify as "intelligence". Note that I said "smart", not "high Hero INT". A character with 50 INT should be no easier to fool than one with 10 INT and +8 Enhanced Perception. But he is also no harder to fool. And if he also took a complication like "imperceptive - minus 8 to PER rolls", he would be just as easily fooled by that image as a 10 INT person. There is also more to your PER roll than how keen your senses are - that is why it is, by default, enhanced by INT. All of those aspects which would affect being fooled by an illusion also affect spotting a concealed person, hearing an out of place sound - making a PER roll. Having great hearing makes it easier to make a hearing PER roll, but so does paying attention to what you hear, and more rapidly and better interpreting it. The fellow with +8 PER rolls still does not pay full attention 100% of the time - but he pays greater attention more of the time so that he succeeds in his PER roll a lot more often. I would also note that you are equating INT with not being surprised or startled. It seems like PRE attacks often surprise or startle, and they are not resisted by INT - your arguments might more logically imply resistance should be the same as resisting a PRE attack, which is typically PRE, but also often ruled to be EGO. Being quick to react, cool under fire and fast at adapting to surprises has never been the province of INT in Hero.
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