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Hugh Neilson

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Everything posted by Hugh Neilson

  1. As my intro economics prof many years back was fond of pointing out, in economics the real world is often a special case. Economic theory assumes no power imbalance. For example, so many employers, all small, that each individual has full bargaining power, and no barriers to entry like huge capital investment requirements. No regulations? So, no protection for unions, then. Management can send in the strikebreakers, right? You want to work, you work for the wages offered, not some government-mandated minimum wage. You don't like that all employers in the region got together to set the wage they'll pay? Tough. Market forces will prevail - someone else will start a business that pays more and wipe out the current employers, right? And we can employ 8-year olds in the textiles plant, of course. "St. Peter, don't you call me 'cause I can't go. I owe my soul to the company store." No government funding for those who can't, won't or don't work. Market forces dictate we let the excess labour force starve. That's what puts economic power back in check. When the Black Plague killed off a huge portion of the European labour force, employers had to offer better deals to attract the remaining workers. Supply and demand above all! The big grocery store chain can keep its eye on any competitors opening, and drop their prices at locations in that area. Their price-gouging locations outside that shopping area can fund them long enough to squeeze out that upstart competitor, and then they can raise prices back up to where they were. Oh, and you can't regulate product either. Stop squelching those young entrepreneurs marketing their cannabis, cocaine and heroin! The market will dictate what does, and does not, sell.
  2. Let's consider how limited the character actually is. All he has to do, to avoid this limitation ever being limiting in play, is spend one less END than he has in his reserve. Really, will you spend that last END to launch a 1d6 Blast, Fly 8 meters or keep a 5/5 Force Field up for one phase, when any of the three equals loss of the entire suite of minor powers? Tell you what, my character will buy a 1d6 Blast and a 4 point END Reserve with 1 REC per hour, only when plugged into a wall outlet. What limitation will you give him on all of his other abilities for "not if END reserve is reduced to zero"?
  3. Well, yes and no. Adding more advantages or imitations changes the math. In any case, I was more addressing the crowd that wanted a mechanical build than those favouring "it has so little impact that it's fine as just SFX". The fact that the two cancel out if we push for a real mechanical build does, however, suggest that no limitation is warranted.
  4. Let's make it more complicated. Each of those small powers gets 1 - 24 hour charge. That's 8 steps down the charges table, so a +1/4 advantage. Now, we also apply "Costs END to Activate" (-1/4), with the shutdown condition being the END reserve hitting zero. Models the fiddly bits without the bookkeeping overheads.
  5. Another licensure issue to consider is IP ownership. Clearly, Marvel owns the characters. If they pull the license, or the game publisher lets it lapse, who owns the game mechanics? What happens to the stock printed and sitting in the warehouse? Can we reprint existing publications if they sell out? FASERIP and the new Marvel game appear designed around the IP. You won't be using abilities in an acronym that sells Marvel if the license is pulled, so all the cost and effort that went into the actual game design is tied to that license. It's a lot like a franchise business - who owns the real intangible value?
  6. Seems like we're really focused on that Winter Soldier Cyber-arm, but the OP provided plenty of examples where Focus would be out of place.
  7. Looking at both Cap and Batman in the examples provided, they are fighting low-DCV, low-OCV, low-defense, low-SPD opponents. They can easily use Multiple Attack with the same Skill Levels they would commonly apply to DCV against more credible opponents, and using lower DC, higher CV martial maneuvers (which I expect both Bats and Cap have). As I recall M&M, without an area effect type attack, there is no mechanic to make multiple attacks in a single action, and everyone gets one action per combat round, so Takedown is necessary to allow the source material results shown above. For that Cap page? Phase 12: Cap takes down a HYDRA agent (first panel). SHIELD and Hydra agents are background noise fighting. More HYDRA agents run on screen. Phase 2: Cap charges the agents and does a Multiple Attack on three of them. Might be a Move By or Move Through, or just an Acrobatic half move with a surprise attack bonus. Phase 4: Cap has the higher DEX, and acts again, using another Multiple Attack, whether on the same three agents or a different trio. Assuming he can STUN them, six in two phases removes all six from taking actions in Phase 4. A 6 SPD Cap with all skill levels in OCV can easily duplicate that without needing specialized penalty offsetters for a Multiple Attack. Now, when Mr. Hyde walks on, Cap will need to use higher DC attacks, he's not going to be halving his DCV to get multiple attacks and he'll want to minimize any chance of being hit by Hyde's massive STR (or worse, being Grabbed), so at least some skill levels will be going to DCV. Similar for Bats and Harley. Their combat skills are so far and away superior that they can afford to use Multiple Attacks to mow through mooks. Bats, Cap and Harley don't need an AoE. But they do need opponents in close proximity, consistent with Hero's "can't move after an attack" restriction. Cap isn't moving between attacks on each target group. They could multiple attack at range (the shield or batarangs), but those examples don't require it.
  8. To the last, first. If ViperNinja wants to keep up the deception, he has to be hit as easily as any other VIPER agent. He can always choose to lower his 10 DCV to 5, and match the VIPER agent. He has to lower it to negative five to be as easy a target as the VIPER agent in that Multiple Attack. How does he do that? What causes Captain Mookbasher to have so much more difficulty hitting ViperNinja as part of a multiple attack, only as part of a multiple attack, and does not make it any harder for anyone else to target ViperNinja? Back to the first, the question to me is the accuracy of the emulation. Those HYDRA agents have a low DCV, so Cap can use his high OCV to confidently launch an MPA. They have poor OCVs compared to Cap's high base DCV, so he can plow all of his skill levels into OCV to target a larger number with an MPA and still be confident he can avoid most of their attacks. They have low DCs, so if a lucky shot or two gets through, Cap's superior defenses and STUN/BOD can protect him. Their defenses are poor, and their STUN (BOD for the robots) is pretty low, so base damage, not augmented by skill levels (or the lower damage of an AoE attack) can, if not KO them, STUN them. Combine that with Cap's Speed advantage, and he mows through those mooks. But when he comes up against a more worthy opponent: - he needs to put levels back into DCV, so he can't pump his OCV to the same levels he can against the mooks; - his opponent has a higher DCV, so he can't suck up a bunch of -2 penalties without seriously compromising his chances of hitting with even the first attack; - his opponent does much higher damage, so a hit is much mores significant, and Cap has to direct some of those skill levels to DCV (and cannot afford to take the 1/2 DCV penalty of a Multiple Attack either) - his opponent has much higher defenses and STUN/BOD, so he can't use lower-DC options as effectively as he could before; and - he no longer has the advantage of a significantly higher SPD. The Supers can plow through mooks easily provided mooks are built to be mooks and Supers are constructed as Supers. There are lots of ways to hit multiple weaker targets. Multiple Attack is one. Spreading the attack (lower DCs in exchange for hitting multiple targets) is another. Area Effect builds are a good construct if you want a MookBuster attack (fits great in a Multipower). Abilities that "only work against mooks" (however we define "mooks") aren't needed. And, once we have them, what limitation will you give me for abilities that are "not vs mooks"? OverconfidenceMan slacks off against mooks. He only brings his full power to bear against truly worthy foes. So when his MultiBlast hits four mooks and the disguised ViperNinja, it does 8d6 damage against the mooks and 15d6 to ViperNinja. That's equally acceptable, right? Heroes like Spider-Man go toe to toe with the Hulk in one issue, then struggle against the Kingpin in the next.
  9. He gets his full (or reduced) DCV either way. Either Cap's OCV is penalized by 10 or it is not. What, about ViperNinja's non-minion status, makes it more difficult for Cap to target him as part of a multiple attack? Do his PSLs fail at the outset? They are not effective for all targets. If he somehow manages to hit ViperNinja, are they restored? How does ViperNinja know he has to not only drop his DCV to that of a typical VIPER agent, but drop it 10 points further (what's that, a DCV of negative 5 or 6? How does he drop his well below that of the broad side of a barn?)
  10. As Winston Churchill once said: The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing once all other possibilities have been exhausted. Guess we're not there yet. Mind you, here in the province of Alberta, Canada, we have a wide variance in vaccination rates between urban and rural locations. When we all open up at once, some areas will be hit harder than others, I suspect. And it all opens up July 1...
  11. You can either work at the one local industry (or the local family that owns all the businesses), or you can starve. You have a choice, so you are not a slave, right? A lot depends on how we define the terms. "Wage-slave" is a common phrase in our modern capitalist society.
  12. Dungeon and Dragon One has force wall englobing powers and the other shapechanges to a reptilian form that flies and breathes fire. If one is gone, as OP suggested, the other can carry on. The golden age Captain Triumph was based on twins, one deceased. The ghost and the living reporter could operate separately, or become more powerful if they merged. Havoc and the Living Monolith approach - if Havoc's powers are blocked (he can't absorb cosmic radiation), the Living Pharaoh becomes the more powerful Living Monolith. The von Strucker twins, Fenris, were more powerful in contact. When one died, the survivor used her skin to make a leather covering for his sword hilt, maintaining contact (eww). Aurora and Northstar had independent flight and speed powers, and a Flash power they had to use together. Brains and Brawn? Pretty obvious power suites there.
  13. I'm not sure what the SFX are for "only works when it doesn't matter much". We are battling 50 VIPER agents (or so we think) when Captain Mookbasher tosses his mighty shield, applying his +10 PSLs to reduce multiple attack penalties so he can hit 6 agents without penalty. Unknown to Cap, however, there are five VIPER supervilains in this group, working undercover to trick the heroes, and his third target is one of them. Do his first two attacks take penalties? They are against minions (at least I assume VIPER agents are minions, and a VIPER Super is not, as we have not defined that term - do villains become minions when they work for a master villain, and lose minion status when they go back to working on their own?). But the third attack clearly does not get the PSLs. Cap rolls a 4, but misses. So much for ViperNinja's 27- Disguise skill and his roll of 5, since it's now pretty clear he's not an ordinary VIPER agent. What SFX make Cap less accurate when the target is not a mook? The Super has a better DCV, but he already gets his DCV - Cap is 10 OCV less accurate for no reason I can see. From the M&M description, "If you render a minion incapacitated with an attack," - this construct allows attacking minions at no penalty without any need to incapacitate each one in the series, so the ability isn't really duplicated anyway.
  14. Even that depends on how the model is constructed. "I fight for my community and my neighbours. Their crops failed and their cattle died. So I am here, at your community, to take your cattle and harvest so my village can survive. If you refuse me, you will die. If you acquiesce, you will starve. But my community will thrive."
  15. Summon or Duplication will both result in separate characters, with separate BOD. Those may have their own challenges, but I suppose the Duplicate could simply have defenses, STUN and BOD, and never recombine, with any abilities of the limb being purchased by the main character, "not if limb KOd or dead". A cybernetic arm could simply be a Focus, although that approach is less useful for the other effects.
  16. My concern on those two point levels is simple. I can buy 5 such levels, and i can now hit 5 minions with my PulseBlast, once each, with no OCV penalty (assuming I make each relevant to-hit roll). I can also fire five PulseBlast shots at the Big Bad. Assume my OCV matches his DCV, so I hit on an 11-. I have a 9.54% chance to hit five times. I'll get at least three hits 24.41% of the time. I have a 62.5% chance to hit at least once. If I can afford the END to attempt to take down five minions, I can afford the END to take a quintuple shot on the Big Bad. Or maybe I just stick to three shots, where my odds of all three connecting are still pretty decent. There's no big down side - if I miss them all, or only hit once, that's the result I would have achieved anyway, with a single attack. Oh, and you still don't get the second-tier result of moving between attacks - which, I assume, is not an issue if the Takedown is used with a ranged attack (or does M&M allow the ability to be used in ranged combat? M&M is more restrictive than Hero in the use of maneuvers/feats).
  17. Selective AoE, with the AoE further limited with "first miss ends the sequence of attacks". Or simply accepting that different games have different mechanics, as there is no concept of "minion" and many more combat options in Hero.
  18. I had a GM run the Pac Man map with one gold piece on the floor every ten feet...
  19. Oh, I thought this was a reference to the GM shackled to game preparations, completely unappreciated by players who consider it appropriate to enslave the GM in this manner. Carry on!
  20. If so, it renders the rulebooks moot in their entirety as anything can be overridden by the GM. DINGDINGDINGDING A Naked AoE Radius, Selective lets you make a full OCV attack against many targets. It also does not let you make half a dozen full DC attacks against a major opponent.
  21. Or we could try reading 6e v2 p 77 [quote]Unless the GM rules otherwise, characters cannot buy Combat Skill Levels specifically with Multiple Attack. They have to buy CSLs with the attacks they use to make a Multiple Attack, which they may apply when making the Multiple Attack with those attacks. However, if a Multiple Attack involves two or more different attacks (whether against a single target or multiple targets), a character may only use CSLs that could apply to any of the individual attacks involved.[/quote] and 6e v1 p84 [quote]Nor can he buy OPSLs to counteract the standard OCV penalty imposed by a Combat Maneuver (such as the -3 OCV for a Grab By), or to counteract the Unfamiliar Weapon penalty (6E2 51).[/quote]
  22. So quote the RAW. 6e v1 p320 says [quote]Accurate: For an additional +¼ Advantage, Accurate, a character can define an Area Of Effect (Radius) as automatically targeting only a single person, regardless of how many there are in the Radius. (Typically Accurate is only taken for 1m Radius powers.) This makes the attack work against DCV 3 without having the potential to affect multiple targets. The Range Modifier applies to Accurate attacks normally. Characters cannot Dodge or Block Accurate attacks, but can Dive For Cover to avoid them.[/quote] This pretty clearly says Accurate can cover more than one meter radius to strike one target. Nothing in the discussion of Megascale indicates that this is not an option. A homing missile with a 100 km range could easily be an attack with Megascale AoE 100 km Radius, Accurate, No Range (the 100 km is always centered on point of firing), Focus, perhaps Charges, maybe Physical Manifestation (if you're quick, you can shoot the missile down). Anything in the rules suggests it is legal, and I see nothing in the construct that is inherently abusive. Only hitting one target within a 100 km radius seems, if anything, a lot less potent than hitting every target in that same area.
  23. Scott Adams once noted that pretty much every issue could be explained by one, or a combination, of (IIRC): Humans are greedy Humans are horny Humans are stupid
  24. Some years back, I built a Dr. Mid-nite homage (martial arts, blackout grenades with Darkness, Personal Immunity, continuing charges that covered all sight and maybe a few other senses (IIRC, perhaps radar and maybe sonar as a sound baffle). Another player had built a Cat Person with targeting smell. The blackout grenades did not confuse the sense of smell... The characters were designed independently, and it took a few scenarios before we realized the accidental synergy.
  25. "I throw my hand grenade at the bad guy training his machine gun on the hostages, but I switch off the explosion advantage as I don't want to hurt the hostages." "I cast my Fireball, but it only hits the Ogre and not the four soldiers surrounding and fighting it." A power with an advantage is a different power than one without the advantage. You don't get to turn the advantage off because it's problematic in the specific situation, or even just because it's not helpful and you want to save some END. I think the answer is that we started with AoE, then got 1 hex AoE, then added "accurate" so one hex could be one target instead, and then we got the ability to make Accurate bigger so you could even miss DCV 3 and still hit the target. 1 hex Accurate, Megascale, anyone? If we were designing from the ground up, I think we would likely decouple AoE from Accurate.
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