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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. While I also consider the more pricy skill levels pretty expensive for what they do, it bears noting that a DC that costs 0 END, which is what the use of 2 skill levels produces, costs more than 5 points.
  2. First off, I am not big on "all HTH/Range" or "all combat" skill levels to begin with, as I think the cost is excessive. However, where are you seeing that you cannot use skill levels for added damage in a Champions game? It's not in my 6e RAW, or if it is I am missing it. The pricing of skill levels at one time was based on Multipowers - with a 10 point pool, you could have a slot for "+2 OCV", "+2 DCV" or "+1 DC", the last being a phony cost as you can't buy "+1 DC with any attack, 0 END" directly. That would be 10 + 2 + 2 = 16/2 = 8 points. That works, at least sort of, if you add in mOCV and mDCV, but those have been removed. I suspect the reasoning was +1 DC with Normal attacks and Killing Attacks and Other Attacks being separated as three MP slots, but I don't buy that approach. In my view, the cost of skill levels (combat and others) needs to be revisited across the board. I'm good with the 2 and 3 point levels, even 5 point levels, but "all HTH" or "all Range" probably should be 6, and "all combat" 8. Maybe leave a 10 point option that also includes mental combat.
  3. Pre-6e, KAs in Supers games were far too effective at passing STUN through past defenses. Most Supers had rDEF such that BOD was not an issue. Supers players saw a serious issue with the Stun Lotto. Heroic games did not seem to see a similar issue. But, in a Heroic game, using hit locations, those head shots also received a Stun Multiple if you were using a normal attack. That left the heroic games more balances, at least comparing normal attacks to killing attacks. I believe that is why the 6e fix addressed non-hit location games by reducing the Stun Multiple with no alteration to the hit location charts. My first thought if I wanted to adjust would be to look at reducing the multiple for each location by 1 (leaving 1s unchanged). How close would that be?
  4. I am sticking with "it depends". The team can lose, with the game still being fun. This is especially so in most Supers games, where "we lost the battle" tends not to mean "we lost the war" or "the characters are dead - make new ones". If losing is never fun, then the Talisman games we used to play, 8-10 of us, back in the day, must have been 80% to 90% no fun, as there could only be one winner. Yet everyone (even the guys who just never won a game) wanted to play again next time. In RPG's, it can be pretty tough to define "losing", as the game goes on regardless. First, I will note that this did not happen in a storytelling game. It happened in a "zap, you're dead" variety of a typical Gaming-focused RPG. "Oops, you did not make perfect tactical decisions so you are dead. Make a new character and try to play smarter next time." Worse is the "random chance RPG", a great example being those early-edition D&D artifacts where you roll randomly and either gain great power or have your character crippled or killed. In a storytelling game, the term "fail forward" comes up a lot. Yes, you failed (lost), but that should advance, not end, the story. In a storytelling game, I would not expect a character to be vaporized out of the gate. One could also assert that your approach was weaseling out of the effect of the Mind Control. You were told to dance, and you were affected by the mechanic of Mental Paralysis, which prevents attacking. Yet you argued your way into not actually being affected by the Mental Paralysis mechanic. Hard-core tactical gamers would scream bloody murder if such an interpretation were used against them when, really, by the rules, they had earned their victory. Again, I am coming back to "it depends". My understanding (I play tactical, not storytelling games - I am too lazy to make up creative narratives after every die roll, so I often rely on the mechanics to adjudicate the degree of success and failure) is that storytelling games are broadly flexible. So, in a storytelling game, I could certainly see a chain of events as follows: Thumper: Dragon Master attacks Toe Tapper with the intent of defeating him to turn him over to the authorities. GM: Ok - roll to Have a Fight Thumper: Ugh! a complete failure. GM: OK, as your character closes in, Toe Tapper flashes out with his cane, and DragonMaster is consumed with an all-encompassing urge to dance, to the exclusion of all else. Toe Tapper chuckles at your dance moves. Thumper: Wait, Dragon Master is a master of all martial arts - including Capoeira, a Brazillian martial art developed by slaves who had to hide their practice as dance moves. He will try to "dance fight" and whup Toe Tapper's butt while shaking his own. Hey, what a great storytelling moment. Either DragonMaster should get an appropriate roll to pull that off, or it should just succeed automatically since it both flows with the direction in which the story is being told and is just plain cool. Kind of like a Hero game where my character rolls a successful Investigation skill roll. Does it mean the whole mystery is laid out and explained for us, or does it move us one step closer, advancing the story? MOVING OFF-TOPIC - We've talked in the past about different game focuses, and how Hero could be modified to accommodate them. Hero RAW focuses on combat as the main problem resolution mechanic. As a result, it has a super-detailed, crunchy, granular set of combat rules. But what if we wanted to play a game of court intrigue, where most problems will be resolved through social, not physical, combat? Well, we really need a similarly granular set of rules for social interaction/conflict to build the same level of drama and interest. At the same time, we don't want 2 hour combats, so we could relegate physical combat to the Skills System (make opposed Dueling/Brawling skill rolls; make an Assassination skill roll at -6 due to the Duke's castle defenses). Storytelling games, to me, really reduce all task resolution to simple, non-granular systems. Not nearly as much room for tactics, and very little granularity. But also no grindy, endless combats - the story keeps moving. Can we envision bad storytelling games/GMs/players? Hell, yeah. Can we honestly say we have never seen a bad Hero game/GM/player? I certainly can't. Are there some people who just can't stand the storytelling approach and want those more detailed mechanics? Absolutely. Will some other people hate the lengthy, granular Hero combat system no matter how well it is used? Sure. Hell, we have a thread going on right now where someone just suggested 4e was the perfect level of rules, and subsequent editions have too many rules, so the optimal level of "crunch", even within a game system which, at its core, has not changed a lot through the editions, is not the same for every gamer, by any stretch. Seems like I am back to "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks".
  5. To play the Devil's Advocate, isn't placing a Limitation on a power which you expect to come up in play and disadvantage your character, or taking complications you expect to raise challenges and hinder your character in play, building an element to contribute to your character losing? I also don't find running rampant over under-powered opponents any more "rewarding" in a game than being crushed like a bug by overpowered opposition. And I have met many gamers who have found value and reward in a character's meaningful death - the ultimate "loss" which can really be suffered in an RPG.
  6. It's important to remember that Flash lasted for phases, not segments, at that time. It would be reasonable to price piercing the same for all unusual defenses now. If I were reviewing the price, I would compare it to the cost of Suppressing an equal amount of defenses. IIRC, it also expanded the Gadget Pool from Champions II to the Variable Power Pool and introduced the Damage Shield. Definitely a huge expansion to the game. There is an NGD thread on unpopular opinions where I could likely cross-post this, but I agree with removal of Transfer. If we had started with Drain and Aid, there would likely never have been a Transfer power to begin with. We complain a lot about rules bloat, then we complain when a "power" that's just two other powers mashed together gets removed. Should we have a "Bright Blast" power that combines a Flash and a Blast too? The 4e and 5e rulings on how advantages applied to Transfer, as well as the ruling that the Drain stopped working if the Aid aspect was capped out, made Transfer ridiculous. Now, we simply apply the advantage(s) to the component of the compound power to which it affects. The costing works properly as well. The sample power sets out how it works just fine. It works out to 12.5 points per 1d6 of Transfer, so it's easy enough to use that as shorthand for a plain vanilla transfer. But now: - you don't have to apply reduced fade rate, variable effect, etc. twice to get both the aid and drain to fade slower; - the END cost lines up (making Aid cost END by default helped there - why was I paying END on the Aid portion when Aid did not cost END in 4e/5e?); - the Drain and Aid can be, but are not required to be, identical; - the Drain does not stop working if the Aid caps out (for no limitation, I will add); - which also makes AoE work a lot better - it was stupid to buy AoE Transfer; - modifiers that only affect the Drain component also only affect the cost of the drain component (e.g. AoE, Damage Shield, Armor Piercing, Penetrating); - making a Transfer that heals instead of aiding can be done by the same model. I hope it's now all in one place in D&D, instead of making people flip over to conditions like "grappled", tells you how you can Squeeze, Slam or Throw the target and includes all of the feats, skills, etc. that change the rules for the D&D maneuver now. I suspect Hero covers a lot more ground (using one arm; grabbing multiple targets; escaping by changing size, etc.) - whether that is a pro or a con depends on how much you want to leave to house rules/GM discretion. Considering most of the added discussion in 5e, then 6e came from gamers asking for the rules when 'x' happens, I suggest the perfect balance varies between gamers. But I liked the 4e presentation a lot. Someone wanting to play Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Modern Hero? Not so much.
  7. Yes. Because normal people like crunch-heavy, mechanically detailed systems. Anyone who prefers the collaborative creation of a narrative, especially to the exclusion of combats that take hours to resolve and fine-tuned builds with at least half a dozen power modifiers on each one, is clearly mentally damaged in some way, right? Still a great description of the preferences of the story gamer versus more tactical and/or crunch mechanics gamers, but I will suggest that they are no more "wrong" for enjoying the type of game they enjoy than we are for enjoying the type of game we enjoy, or people who would rather watch TV, read comic books, play sports, play card games (CCGs or bridge), knit, post on internet discussion boards or social media, build model train dioramas or any of thousands of different options are for enjoying their hobbies of choice. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.
  8. I'd say the key is "how much gold for 1 xp", which can only be answered by comparing the value of the extra gear to the abilities which could otherwise have been purchased with that xp. For this reason, I would start by having no random roll. You get that much cash, period. A Battle Axe costs 16 real points. It's OAF (-1), Real Weapon (-1/4), 13 STR (-1/2), Hand and a half (-1/4). I don't consider a -1/4 real weapon limitation to be enough to say "those points can be lost forever" or even an extended period of time - if the axe is lost, he can get a new one pretty easily, but likely must limp along without one until they can get back to town and re-equip. A light crossbow has a real point cost of 6, so it should be a lot cheaper than a Battle Axe if we are equating money and xp. A large shield costs 5 real points, so it should be even cheaper. A suit of chain mail is 6 PD and ED rDEF (18 AP), OIF (-1/2), real armor (-1/4), Act 15- (-1/4; armor coverage), normal mass (-1), so 6 real points - way cheaper than a battle axe, equal to a light crossbow. Those money costs make no sense to me - a suit of chain mail should be more expensive, by my gut feel. That would set me off equating money to xp.
  9. The adjacent hex is indeed DCV 0. And, as noted above, RAW would not permit the mine to miss its own hex (or, at worst, would only permit it to miss by one, and only on a 15+ roll assuming OCV 3 vs DCV 0 - a 6+ OCV character would set a mine that misses by 1 hex only on a roll of 18,. a "critical miss" (a concept loathed by some groups and beloved by others). That seems much more in keeping with how a land mine should operate in-game - the issue is not in the RAW, but the depth of reading required to locate all of the pertinent rules.
  10. Because Trigger is used for a huge variety of different effects, it becomes complex in practice. Mechanically, your ruling has exactly the same mechanical result as applying a 14- activation roll to the power, with the special effect of an attack roll. Special effects do not change mechanical costs. The character could perceive someone stepping on him, so the only question is the range. Trigger can be purchased two ways. Under the first, the power is triggered by the character, who then gets to make all relevant decisions about the power's use. Under the second, it is triggered by someone else's actions. Practically, the ability to have a land mine go off later, far away from the character, is nowhere near as valuable, in my opinion, than the ability to trigger an attack in the midst of combat in which the character is involved, at a time when the character can choose his target. That drawback more than offsets any benefit of any "clairsentience" or "no range modifier" effect of the trigger. It would be pretty silly. It also would not happen under RAW. From 6e v2, p 40 (emphasis added): The target is in the same space as the land mine. Half of zero is zero. One could, I suppose, rule that a miss means that the scatter rules shift the center one "space" away (i.e. the character poorly placed the mine, such that its blast is directed adjacent, not straight up), consistent woth the fact tyhat a character can attack adjacent spaced HTH, so "no range" is really 1 hex/2 meters range. For an explosion, the triggering character would take one DC less. This is also why a no range AoE attack cannot "scatter" several meters away on a bad attack roll against a high DCV target. Since the silly result cannot happen by RAW, no fix like "fails to go off" is needed. I'm not sure the book comment is intended to be a full build. It notes a landmine would need to be buried and activated, and it would obviously be a focus (or at least have a Physical Manifestation buried under the ground), most likely with charges. While taking that Extra Time to activate it, the character is likely at reduced DCV (concentration), and he needs his hands free (two handed gestures or the like) to dig up the ground. It's also pretty useless if he can't bury it (like in a concrete floor). Dropping the character's OCV is a limitation compared to Trigger by RAW, so this should reduce the cost (not that this matters if it's equipment purchased with money, nor does OCV matter much based on the above). If it has Real Weapon, the character would typically need WF to use it properly. I am thinking, rather, that it would require a Demolitions skill roll to set it properly (which could be modified by taking more or less than the base activation time).
  11. I don't recall the exact cost but it was a flat cost to reduce defenses by 1.
  12. This means the Trigger has a 14- activation roll, typically a -1/2 limitation. As an AoE, the technical rule would be that it rolls and, if it misses, uses the miss rules for AoEs. Also by RAW, it uses the OCV of the character who set it, at the time it is set, which is unlikely to be a 3 or lower.
  13. Quite right, and it s/b 1 meter in 6e.
  14. "Naked Advantage: AoE 1 meter, Accurate"
  15. If you set the OCV cap low enough, players will take mental attacks, accurate attacks, etc. to find other ways to hit. I agree with Christopher that misses, especially consecutive misses, make players feel ineffective.
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