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Hugh Neilson

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Hugh Neilson last won the day on November 11

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About Hugh Neilson

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    SETAC Gadfly
  • Birthday 01/15/1966

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  1. You are assessing the situation in a vacuum. Sure, hitting with two 14 DC attacks is better than hitting once with a 14 DC attack. The character had to pay full points for a second 14 DC attack. It should be better. Similarly, a character who pays for a 28 DC attack has spent a lot more CP than one who has paid for a 14 DC attack. Should there be a requirement to use a full phase and take OCV penalties if you spent more points, and bought a single attack with more DCs than the other character has? This is why we keep saying "show me what the fellow who does NOT have two 70 AP attacks to fire off together spent the extra points on. The fellow who did has a significant offensive advantage. But what did the other fellow spend his 70 points on? If he spent it on Desolid and +3 SPD, I think the advantage shifts back to him. This is another example of paying extra points to get an extra attack. It is a very good comparable to your proposal, actually. Let's compare: For 140 points, Character A can buy two more 14 DC attacks, and use all three together as a Combined Attack. For 17 points (a +1/4 advantage on a 70 AP attack), Character B can buy 3-shot autofire for his 14 DC attack. Character B can target different targets with each shot (within pretty tight limits, but Character A can't do that at all). That leaves him another 123 points he can spend, compared to Character A. Let's spend 4 points for +4 OCV with that one autofire attack. Now, Character A and B still need the same roll to hit with three shots, but Character B will sometimes hit with one or two shots when character A misses entirely. Character B still has 119 points left over, to spend as he sees fit. He could spend 87 points to buy a second 70 AP attack with 3 shot Autofire, and another 4 for +4 OCV with that one. He gets two 70 AP attacks that both hit 3 times compared to Character A landing hits with three 70 AP powers. And he still has 18 points left over, which he can invest in some extra END, as he will go through END faster than Character A. Or he could spend his 119 extra points on, say, +3 SPD, +5 DCV, +20 PD, +20 ED, and 24 points worth of END. I do not see that Combined Attack making Character A markedly more powerful. Do you? The character using Multiple Attack to fire his 70 AP attack off three times saved 140 points compared to our Combined Attacker. He did not pay points to get that ability, unlike the Combined Attacker or the Autofirer. Instead, he takes combat penalties. Let's use 10 of those points to buy Rapid Attack (Multiple Power attacks now take only a half phase), and 20 more to buy +10 OCV with that attack power. Oh, look - he can use his attack three times with a much better chance to hit, and he has 110 points more than our combined attacker left over. Let's spend a bunch on +12 DCV. I bet his DCV when using Multiple Attack (halved DCV) is better than the Combined Attacker. And he has another 50 points left over (more if we limited his extra DCV to only apply when Multiple Attacking, and made his extra OCV into Penalty Skill Levels instead of 2 point skill levels). Yet it is the Combined Attacker that you consider overpowered and want to penalize. Maybe we should be asking whether you are joking! I suggest the above demonstrates that your perception of a blatantly obvious advantage is rebutted by actually doing the math instead of just repeating how you must be right and anyone who does not see that must be joking or an idiot may be less than correct. I find I can add little to the above. Perhaps if you had done the same elementary math I just did above, after being asked several times and dismissing the requests as just ignoring your clearly correct perceptions, we could have avoided some frustrations and annoyance for everyone involved. Or am I missing something blatantly obvious here? Let's move on. It is absurd not to use it if you dropped the points required to use it. Just as many find it absurd to fire off an 8d6 Blast, rather than a 14d6 Blast every phase when they paid for a 14d6 Blast. Assuming a spare 140 points lying around doing nothing, it seems absurd to leave the Blast at 14d6 and not just buy it up to 42d6, doesn't it? We rely on player restraint and GM oversight to curb the tendency to make overpowered characters, at least when the limited resource of character points is not enough, on its own, to curb the excess. Linked is a red herring. If three 14DC powers fired off at once is a problem or at a minimum is something it would be stupid not to do every phase, Linking them does not solve the problem, and is not really limiting since you would always fire off all three at once even if they were not linked. To me, before we ask "how can we find a way to make this rule better constructed?", we should first assess whether the present construction is, in fact, flawed. In my view, and I believe in Gnome's, it is not poorly constructed. We expressed that view, set out our reasoning (at least in part) and asked you for examples that support your contention that the rule is deeply flawed. You provided none, because it is "clearly obvious" that you must be right, so only a fool would request evidence. So please enlighten me with the blatantly obvious flaws in my analysis above, which suggests that what you find "blatantly obvious" is, in fact, fallacious when reviewed objectively.
  2. Nope, still not overly sympathetic. I've been there too. Mine was Killing Attacks. Never saw the issue. They weren't really a problem in Supers. They were not a problem in our games, because our players "rarely to never" used them against living targets. Helpful to break out of Entangles, take down automatons, etc. but the living villains were targeted with normal attacks. So in my mind, they simply were not a problem. Except they were. It took someone on these Boards, quite a few years back, who made me look at the math. Sure, the average STUN was a bit lower than a normal attack, but that was before defenses. There was a breakpoint of defenses where the KA passed more STUN along than a normal attack - and it had a far better chance to stun the target. And then I had to think about all the mooks I armed with KAs because a few will get some STUN damage past those Super defenses when an equivalent Normal attack never would. So I was abusing it, I just never realized it (and, of course, as GM it was not my goal to overpower the PCs anyway). I'm grateful to the poster who made me look at the math, and see past my own experience to the reality. If we want to engage in meaningful discussions, we have to be prepared to have our views questioned. And even question our own views. Still not a "downvote" fan - but I can see why other people may use them. Maybe someone will sell me on those someday as well...but I doubt it.
  3. While I am not a fan of downvotes, I am also tired of CT asking that we give careful consideration to his views, and his proposals for change, while dismissing ours with comments such as " ...are you joking? ", rather than making the same investment in working to understand where we are coming from. When it is suggested that a character with three 70 AP attacks might instead have bought, and used, a 210 AP attack, this is dismissed with "that's stupid - no sane GM would allow that". Well, if that GM restricted the second character to a single 70 AP attack, then he has 140 points to spend that our character with three 70 AP attacks does not. What does he spend those on, to allow us to compare the two builds directly? I don't see any sane GM allowing a character in a 70 AP/14DC game allowing a character with three 70 AP attacks which can be constantly used together as a combined attack either. How is it that the same GM who would have the common sense to restrict a single huge attack would be too stupid to exercise any oversight on a character with three campaign maximum attacks? What benefits does the character who spent 210 points on three 70 AP/14 DC attacks get, when compared to one who spent 91 points on a Multipower of those same three attacks (fixed slots - no point making them flexible when CT will heavily penalize the combination of two or more attack powers to make a single attack anyway) that is worth the extra 119 points spent? It feels like I have asked these questions many times without the courtesy of a considered response from CT. It looks like Gnome sees this pretty similarly. So how about it, Christopher? Show us the two or three comparable builds which any reasonable GM would allow, and which demonstrate the huge imbalance created by combined attacks in a campaign run by a "sane GM". Or show us a character with a campaign max attack (full writeup), then rebuild him to have three campaign standard attacks usable as a Combined Attack routinely, so we can see how little he had to sacrifice to free up those extra points.
  4. I'd call example 1 a Multiple Attack - you are firing the same gun multiple times. It could also be a character ability, like a Naked Autofire advantage. Finally, we could consider this to simply be possible use of weapons prepared in this way. As you are using the same gun more than once, that is not a combined attack. Firing two guns, one in each hand, once each, at the same target? Combined attack. I know I am looking for an example of a combined attack with a build you would allow, which is abusive compared to a campaign maximum DC attack (which I also expect you to set), and an idea of what the single attack user does with his extra points saved by only buying one attack. From his post above, Gnome and I are on the same page here.
  5. OK, "heavily modified weapon" sounds like one of: (a) The character must have the skill to modify the pistol; (b) The character must pay cash for a customized weapon, after finding someone with the skill to customize it; or (c) The character must pay CP for specialized gear. And the character needs a special skill to fan the hammer, probably a naked Autofire advantage, limited to require the heavily modified weapon and the extra hand (Gestures). Alternatively, it could simply be the SFX for a Multiple Attack. It won't be common enough to balance out anything that can be done for no CP expenditure, unless we assume this is something known to pretty much all PCs, and within their capability, but not to the general population.
  6. Thank you, Duke - fanning the hammer was the type of maneuver I had in my head that would not be possible with a pistol in each hand, because you needed the other hand to make that maneuver work. Sounds like it may not be that common, though.
  7. Yes - I got confused somewhere. [Although two 30 AP powers are DEFINITELY not more problematic than a single 120 AP power, that was not the comparison I was going for. Thanks for the catch.
  8. What kind of combined attacks would we expect to see in a Western Hero game? I would not expect a lot of characters with, say, a tomahawk in one hand and a knife in the other, but I suppose that is possible. The most likely seems like a pistol in each hand (the Two Gun Kid), so two bullets instead of one against a single target. How would that compare to a two-handed option, such as a rifle or a shotgun? What benefits would exist in having a free hand? Not as many as a Fantasy warrior, who gives up a shield to wield two weapons. Obviously, he can't reload with a pistol in each hand (or clear a jammed weapon, but that would be a change from the standard for a more realistic game, I expect). Using cover and firing a pistol with each hand also seems less likely (you can't just peek out from a corner with both hands sticking out). It would seem reasonable, especially in grittier games, to impose the off hand penalty (note that waiving this penalty for combined attacks is an option, not automatic under RAW). I'm not big on Westerns, or versed in the tech of the day. Are there other issues specific to Western games which would create issues with a combined attack?
  9. I second this request for a real example where each character has spent the same number of total points. If you want to compare a single 60 AP attack to two 60 AP attacks, show me where the first character spent the 60 points that the second spent on his second attack.
  10. Your "supporting of the idea" is not, in my view, supporting the idea. Being able to use all of the points you spent on attacks at the same time is not, in my view, a clear and obvious advantage. The problem is that what you consider is " not the argument" is only "not your argument". The rules themselves are independent of GM oversight. Two 60 AP attack powers, used together, are no more problematic than a single 120 AP power used on its own. Two 30 AP attack powers, used together, are no more problematic than a single 60 AP power used on its own. That is the relevant comparison, contrary to your repeatedly stated disbelief. Comparing a character with a single 14 DC attack power to one who has three 14 DC attack powers is not a relevant comparison. What did the first character spend his extra 140 points on? If he spent them on +4 SPD (40 points), +8 DCV (40 points), +20 rPD and +20rED (60 points), I submit that the fellow with the three attacks will find himself outclassed, not the other way around. Prima facie, the combined attack is not advantageous. You are assuming that the GM will permit characters to be built with an unlimited number of campaign maximum attack powers, all of which can be used at once, but will exercise judgment over all other aspects of character creation, such that the choice of having a single, much higher DC attack, a massive CV advantage, much greater defenses and/or a much higher Speed does not exist. If you allow unbalanced characters with multiple campaign maximum attacks which can be combined, that is the same as allowing any other unbalanced character into the game. The game is not only, primarily, or even significantly about AP caps. Yes, a character who spends 210 points on attack powers WILL pack a much higher offensive punch than a character who spent 70 points on attack powers. To suggest otherwise would be nonsensical. But it is just as nonsensical to suggest that the solution to the reality that spending three times as many points on some aspect of a character should not result in that character being massively more powerful in that one regard. We don't allow a character to exceed the campaign maximum DCs by requiring a full phase to attack. Nor should we. We instead exercise governance over character construction, and do not allow characters to have unbalancingly high levels of attacks, defenses or anything else. That properly extends to abilities with which a combined attack can be made. You have steadfastly refused to answer the question of what, under your model, the character who purchased three 70 AP attacks at full cost enjoys for the extra 119 points he spent in comparison to the fellow with the same three attacks in a Multipower. Please provide a direct answer to that question.
  11. "deeply stunned" is the description applied to 0 to -9 STUN (IIRC), and I believe it notes that, even then, the character does not necessarily fall down. I prefer the interpretation that, absent Knockdown or Knockback, a Stunned character, or KOd to -9 STUN character, does not lose their footing.
  12. Actually, I think the genre as a whole could benefit from a bit more "arc creativity". Run a half season Big Bad. Have a few "done in one" episodes, and some shorter (2 - 6 episode) arcs. When we know every storyline runs the entire season, it just makes it predictable that "the heroes have not won yet".
  13. Because they are described in the "Multiple Attack" section of the rules, Combined Attacks are a form of Multiple Attack, you say? Look it up, you say? OK, let's look it up. Let's look at the words that follow immediately under the heading "Combined Attack" on Page 74 of 6eV2, which, as you note, is in the middle of the discussion of Multiple Attacks. Let me also add some bolding for emphasis, which may assist in directing your reading: So the very section of the rules you tell me to "look it up" so that I can see that "Combined Attacks are a form of Multiple Attack", thus supporting your arguments, opens by specifically contradicting your basic premise - that is, it says the exact opposite of what you are arguing. That's called "reading the words on the page", and removes any real need for supporting evidence of any sort. You asked I answered that: Which you rebut with without reading the rest of my statement that: I am challenged to understand what it is that I "keep arguing it would be crazy to let someone do". Let me provide a list of things I think would be crazy (in all cases using the RAW for combined attacks): (a) To allow a 42d6 Blast in a typical game built around 14 DCs. (b) To allow three 14 DC attack powers as a Combined Attack in a typical game built around 14 DCs. (c) To disallow three 14 DC attack powers as a Combined Attack in a game built around 42 DCs where that 42d6 Blast would be acceptable. (d) To disallow three attack powers totaling 14 DC as a Combined Attack in a game built around 14 DCs where a 14d6 Blast would be acceptable. (e) To make the use of multiple attack powers in a single attack against a single target ANY DIFFERENT from using a single attack power in a single attack against a single target. If my game had a Maximum DC, I would be quite all right with a Combined Attack totaling that maximum DC. For the reasons well articulated by Gnome, above, I would even consider Combined Attacks that exceed that maximum DC, due to the need to overcome multiple defenses. In a game where someone decided to impose huge penalties on combined attacks, I would say "screw it" and buy one bigger attack (or a group of them in the Multipower) since the GM is clearly hell-bent on ensuring combined attacks will not be effective in his game, without making any rational, objective analysis of the actual impact of the Combined Attack rules, apparently because he is not happy with the page of the rule book Steve Long chose to put the rules for Combined Attacks on. I do agree that Combined Attack and Multiple Attack should have been described separately, as completely different combat maneuvers. That they were not presented in this manner is unfortunate, but in no way changes the reality that they are two completely different combat maneuvers. If they were presented as a single maneuver, and it was 100% clear that RAW imposed the same penalties on a Combined Attack as it does on a Multiple Attack, I would consider that inappropriate, and would argue the same case here. BTW, I was the one who suggested to Steve that, if two or more powers in a framework could legally be used at the same time, it should be possible to use the two as a Combined Attack, a suggestion I am pleased to note was incorporated into the rules.
  14. Reprinted for context It may not be how you interpret what you are saying. To me, after reading your post, it remains exactly what you are saying. I will try to elaborate below, as you have. While I largely agree, your restriction on a Flash is not accurate. It is usable with combat maneuvers, as are killing attacks, normal attacks and adjustment powers. As well, Darkness is simply an AoE attack. In my view, a Combined Attack can combine as many attack powers as desired, however they must use the same mechanic to hit (OCV or mOCV). It is clear that a Combined Attack cannot mix mental and non-mental attacks. I think we have been both careful and rational to date (both you, me and other posters). Please note that it is fully possible we understand your position but do not agree with it. Therein lies our fundamental disagreement. I do not see it as an "advantage" to combine two or more attack powers any more than I perceive an "advantage" to your PD, chain shirt armor, damage reduction, damage negation and force field all being combined to defend you from attacks. The character with (your extreme) three 70 AP attack powers usable as a combined attack has paid the full freight for all three powers. He has not benefited, for example, from the huge cost benefits of placing these in a Multipower. He has paid to have full access to those powers in the same phase. Similarly, a character who has paid 70 points for a 10d6 Blast, 2d6 Sight Flash and 1d6 OCV Drain has paid exactly the same 70 points as a character who purchased a 14d6 Blast. He is entitled to exactly the same utility - no more, but no less. That means that both should be able to combine those 70 points in a single attack action, against a single target. To me, the Combined Attack is not an advantage - it simply allows the points spent to have comparable utility. I do not believe I can state that case any more clearly. Allowing both of the above characters to use their points spent in the same manner is not "an advantage" to either character. Restricting the combined attack imposes a disadvantage on the character who purchased multiple powers usable at the same time, without providing any reduction in point costs. Whatever drawback you choose to impose unbalances, rather than balancing, the two characters, in favour of the one with a single large attack. You are approaching this from the view that combined and multiple attacks are the same thing. In my view, they are not. The fundamental difference is that a Multiple Attack allows either targetting more than one opponent at the same time, or using the same power more than once. That is, spending the 70 points for a single attack (whether a single power like a 14d6 Blast or a combination of attack powers), but using those 70 points more than once in a single attack action. That mandates disadvantages on a Multiple Attack which are not similarly mandated for a Combined Attack. The Combined Attack allows points spent to be used in the same manner as a single larger attack power (or a single cheaper attack power). Multiple Attack allows the same points to be leveraged into use more than once in the same phase. From here, I believe I can abbreviate your post to address salient points if we were to adopt your model: No question that the same rules should apply - Linked attacks are more limited, only in the requirement that they be used with a second power. The same rules apply whether or not we change the rules for a Combined Attack. Note, however, that your proposal effectively adds "full phase" to every attack power limited by Linked - "Full Phase" is already a -1/2 limitation, so this adds a drawback to Linked without adding any point savings. No, it would be a Multiple Attack requiring a full phase under the current rules. Change Environment is an attack power. In your opinion. For the reasons stated above, I find your proposal for greater symmetry between combined attack and multiple attack is unfair and unbalanced. The present model is, in my view, both more fair and more balanced. You reach that conclusion only by misreading my statement. My statement is that a GM who allows a character with a 42d6 Blast should be equally prepared to allow a character with a 14d6 Blast, 14d6 Flash and 14D6 STUN Drain, used as a combined attack. In fact, the first will be more effective, as any game where a 42d6 Blast is not horrifically overpowered will feature defenses rendering a 14d6 Blast useless. Similarly, in a game where 14d6 Blasts are the norm, a 10d6 Blast, 2d6 Sight Flash, 1d6 OCV Drain is of comparable power and identical power. The second requires no special restrictions to balance it against the first. For this reason, I consider your proposal (and even your fundamental objection to Combined Attacks working differently from Multiple Attacks) unbalanced and unfair. To expand, both the 14d6 Blast and the Combined Attack should be usable with the Multiple Attack rules as well, each treated as a "single attack" for each use. Thus, if either character wants to attack one target twice and a second once, using their full 70 points/14DCs of attacks, they would each take the same penalties for doing so. I feel I fully understand your proposal, and I continue to disagree, 100%, with your fundamental premise that a Combined Attack is equivalent to a Multiple Attack.
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