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massey

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  1. You need to know how tough your players' characters are. Generally in Champions (completely dependent on the campaign, but generally), PCs will have attacks around 12 damage classes (like a 12D6 Energy Blast). Their OCVs/DCVs will be around 8-9, and their Speeds will be 5-6. Characters traditionally have defenses between 2 to 3 times their number of damage classes. So a PC on the lower end of defense might have 25 Def or so, while someone on the upper end might have about 35. They'll also normally have a Con score that is high enough so that whatever damage gets through their Defense (on an average roll) won't Con-Stun them. They normally have enough Endurance for a full Turn of combat, and enough Stun that they can stay awake through 3-4 average hits. So a normal PC might look something like this: Bob the Brick Str 60 Dex 18 Con 25 Speed 5 PD 35 (25 resistant) ED 25 (25 resistant) Endurance 50 Stun 50 OCV 8 DCV 6 That's a pretty tough starting PC, probably too tough for some people's games, and too weak for others. He'd need skills and other abilities, of course, but this is a good example for our purposes. So let's say there are 3 basic types of opponents that Bob the Brick might have to face: agents, other supers, and master villains. Agents have to team up to defeat a PC. One on one, player characters should cream them, often with a single hit. An agent might have a special weapon or something that can harm the super (Bob the Brick doesn't have any Flash Defense, so agents with flashbang grenades might be able to temporarily blind him), but it's work to do so. Agents usually need the element of surprise, and they have to coordinate their tactics, and maybe even with all that they have to get lucky as well, to be a threat to the PCs. Agents generally have lower Speed scores, way less Defense, less OCV and DCV, way less Stun, and they don't hit as hard as PCs. Some GMs like to take agents and power them up, making two agents (or even one) a threat to a PC, but I think this is a huge mistake. Sample Agent Man Str 10, Dex 14, Con 13 PD 10 (5 res), ED 10 (5 res), Stun 25 OCV 5, DCV 4, Speed 3 Blaster rifle -- 9D6 Energy Blast, 32 charges OAF Flashbang grenade -- 6D6 Flash vs Sight & Hearing, AE Hex, 1 charge OAF Bob the Brick can take on 4 or 5 of these guys without too much worry. Theoretically they could drop flashbangs on him as soon as his eyes clear from the previous one, and you can drag this fight out over the course of a few turns. You can whittle down Bob's Stun total by blinding him, then having everyone coordinate their attacks and blast him. Just remember that agents are there to make heroes look good, and they shouldn't operate as a perfectly coordinated team -- they aren't the main characters. If Bob picks up a delivery van and hurls it at a group of agents, even if they dive for cover out of the way, they're as likely to drop their guns and run away as they are to stay and fight. Other supers can be built on roughly equal points to your PCs. Remember that villains usually aren't as fleshed out as PCs. Villains normally don't spend points on wealth, or a lot of skills, or other roleplaying elements. So make sure that a 400 point PC isn't totally outclassed by a 400 point villain who only bought combat abilities. Ask yourself -- how often will he hit the PCs? Can he Con-Stun the PC in one shot? Does he have attacks that they don't have defenses for? How long will it take the PC to chew through this guy's Stun total? Other supers can be brought to heel by some critical weakness. Let's say you have The Titanium Terror, some cyborg super-robot thing that is a carbon copy of Bob the Brick's stats. Well that's going to be a real rough fight for Bob. He's 50% likely to lose. But remember, we don't want Bob to lose, because he's the hero. There is a player who created Bob and that's his character, and if Bob loses then the player has nothing to do and now he wants to go home. You're the GM, and if Titanium Terror loses, you've got a lot more villains where he came from. He's not your only character. So maybe you give your cyborg robot-thing a Vulnerability: x2 Stun from electrical attacks. Now Bob doesn't have electrical attacks (he's just big and strong), but when you set up the battle you make sure to set it near a substation or a power plant or something. At least put some high tension lines nearby. And then you can drop a hint in your description that when Bob punches the robot, sparks come out or something, and maybe that makes a light-bulb go on in the player's head. Master villains are designed to fight the whole team. I'd recommend getting copies of your players' character sheets, taking them home, and running a few mock combats against your master villain ideas. If the villain cleans their clocks really easily, then he's too tough. If he loses within 2 or 3 phases, then he's probably too weak. I'd actually recommend cheating a little bit. Give him +50 Stun, "only during the first turn" or something like that. That way if they players do really well and KO your guy in the first phase, he stays up anyway. You clearly underestimated them. On the other hand, you might want to put him in a big explosive lab as well. If he is taking your heroes to school, blowing them apart with no problems, maybe you give a hint to one of your last heroes standing that Professor Executioner is standing right in front of that big glowing reactor... Master villains will usually have a few more points of Defense than the average hero, 2 or 3 more damage classes, 2 or 3 higher OCV, and maybe 2 extra Speed. Give them 50% more Stun since they're fighting a group of heroes, and that should be about right. Professor Executioner Str 60, Dex 25, Con 30 PD 35 (35 res), ED 35 (35 res), Stun 75 OCV 10, DCV 8, Speed 7 Executioner Beam -- 14D6 Energy Blast Energy Field -- 7D6 Entangle Rocket Boots -- 30 meters Flight
  2. Which of course, wouldn't stop Zeus.
  3. What about personal stealth fields? Maybe there's an enemy who you can't see until they get within about 50 feet. Whether it's some chameleon-like natural camouflage, or a technological thing, you can't see them at normal ranged combat distances. Maybe that race doesn't use ranged weapons as much because 1) it might screw with their stealth tech, 2) if it's biological maybe they just never developed good ranged weapons (culturally it's something they never explored), or 3) maybe their distance vision sucks. So you've got this dangerous enemy who attacks at close range, so you need to start carrying swords and other hand to hand weapons to defend yourself.
  4. I don't know the new D&D system. The last version I played was 3.5, so that's what I'll go with here. For a low level wizard, it's probably easiest to go with a Multipower and put a Charges limitation on the Multipower itself. Any spell that is an enduring effect (lasts a long time while you're using other spells), you would need to buy outside of the Multipower. I'd allow an additional limitation that it runs off the same pool of charges. 40 point Multipower (Magic spells) -- 6 charges (-3/4), incantations and gestures (-1/2), must pre-select which slot will use how many charges (-1/2) -- real cost 15 points --Magic Missile, 1D6+1 RKA, Autofire x3, +5 OCV --Color Spray, 4D6 Flash vs Sight, AE: Cone --Knock, 10D6 Dispel vs any locks (+1/4 variable effect) And so on. Then you'd have an Armor spell or something bought outside the Multipower. Give it an extra -3/4 or something for sharing its charges with the Multipower. For higher level characters, you'd probably just want to go to a Variable Power Pool. That, or use a combination of things. 9th level spells would be incredibly powerful, and expensive. You might want to give the character a small VPP for 1st through 3rd level spells, a larger Multipower for 4th - 6th, and then have each spell purchased individually for 7th level plus. At that level, Active Points are going to be extremely high, and won't always match up to your spell level (a 6th level spell might be more expensive than certain 9th levels). So just buying them separately might be better than trying to shoehorn them into a Power Framework.
  5. I have not tried the Fantasy Hero mass combat rules. I'm not really familiar with them. What I have done instead is to write up a block of troops as a single character, and just do the fight that way instead. For instance, you could do something like: Large Gang of Orcs Str 35, Dex 12, Con 30, Body 30, Spd 6, PD 10 (6r), ED 10 (6r), Stun 100 2D6+1 HKA, (swords and stuff), OCV 7, DCV 3 10" Knockback resistance Disad: x2 Body and Stun from Area Effect and Explosions Disad: Drops to Str 25 and Spd 4 when at 1/2 Stun or Body Note: Takes up 5 hexes by 3 hexes of space There you go. Now you've got a nice easy stat block for a group of enemies. Just be kinda vague on exactly how many there are, and describe your heroes hacking through orcs one after the other. "Oh you killed another one, Bob." When the enemy unit is reduced to zero Stun or Body, it breaks and 1D6 basic orcs throw down their weapons and run away.
  6. I don't think anyone in our group has ever used the cover maneuver even once. I do like it though, at least thematically. My own house-rule, if anyone ever bothered to use it, would be that covering someone would negate their Combat Luck. When the bad guy holds James Bond at gunpoint, Bond doesn't just run around shooting like he did before. Suddenly he's in actual danger.
  7. I built a martial artist once who had human stats, and the rest of his points went into skill levels and damage classes.
  8. I believe that the higher skill levels are significantly overpriced in 6th edition. You wouldn't want to buy them. Skill levels only make sense cost-wise if you have tons of combat options and want to be able to enhance all of them. If your character has a 60 Str, an Energy Blast, a Flash, Mind Control, Mental Illusions, and an NND, then yeah, some levels in All Combat might be pretty darn useful. Need to boost your OMCV? All Combat levels will do that. Need to add some extra D6 to that punch? All Combat will do that. In that and virtually only that situation, All Combat can be cost effective. I don't know if it's still the case in 6th, but at least at some point in 5th edition (during one of the rounds of FAQs), skill levels increased the dice on Advantaged attacks without pro-rating them. So your 4D6 Energy Blast, NND, Area Effect, would become a 5D6 AE NND if you dumped two skill levels into damage. Theoretically you could take small attacks that were heavily Advantaged and bump them up higher by using skill levels and save points overall. It could be cheaper than just buying a larger attack to begin with. But I don't really mess with 6th edition or follow the latest rulings.
  9. Let's say that Father O'Reilly is a very pious man. He has a power called "True Faith". It's a 4D6 RKA, OAF Crucifix, only versus demons and vampires. When he uses the power, the crucifix glows with a holy light and vampires explode. However, let's say some bastard kid comes by and eggs Father O'Reilly's house on Halloween. The kid is dressed up as a vampire, and if Father O'Reilly (who is getting pretty nearsighted in his old age) tries to use the power, it won't work. The kid isn't a vampire, and isn't going to explode when confronted with a crucifix. Nobody has to have a Detect. The power isn't making a decision on who to blast. Little Timmy isn't in any danger, because the power isn't going to make a Perception roll to see if it can affect him or not. It just doesn't affect him because he's not a vampire.
  10. Right. Superman doesn't need to buy Detect: Lead, just because his X-Ray vision doesn't penetrate it. That's even if it would be useful to occasionally detect lead. That's just a casual side effect of having N-Ray vision and its natural limitations. Likewise, if I have Flight: only to hover 6 inches off the ground, I don't need to buy a Detect: Altitude. If you have an EMP blast that only hurts robots, yeah you can blast people and maybe figure out if they're secretly a robot. So what? You can do the same thing with a basic RKA if you don't mind getting a little messy. Every power is going to give you information about the world around you, based on how that world interacts with your powers. That's perfectly fine, and you don't have to pay for it. As far as this specific power goes, in this instance it's the ability to change things on the fly to whatever you want that makes this not actually a limitation. In fact it pretty much makes the power better, letting you exclude people from the effect any time you want. It doesn't take a lot to see how this could be abused. For instance, let's say that Captain Wizard is facing a group of enemies. There are 3 orcs, a troll, and an evil sorcerer. Captain Wizard knows that sorcerers are generally smart, and will probably have a good Perception roll. This would allow the sorcerer to defeat his illusion easily, and he would probably warn the orcs and troll that what they were seeing wasn't real. So he slaps the limitation "not versus sorcerers" on his Images power, and the sorcerer doesn't even know it's happening. He doesn't know to shout a warning because he didn't successfully overcome the power, he never even knew it was there. So the orcs and the troll see an army of the dead rising from the ground in front of them, and they turn tail and run. The sorcerer then wonders where the hell they are going, when they so clearly outnumbered poor Captain Wizard. When you can pick and choose who isn't affected, and it can be anything you want, your power is much better than it used to be. Need to affect everybody in the room? Just declare that it doesn't work against time travelers from 1985 and you're probably good. Need to have someone specific not be affected? Just say it doesn't work against Bob. Need to have only one person affected? Just say it doesn't work against anyone else. The power is virtually always more useful with this "limitation".
  11. If it can be redefined to any group, at will, then potentially that's a pretty good Advantage. After all, from what we're given in the original post, there's nothing preventing him from defining it as "only visible to humans" or "only visible to my enemies" or some other all-encompassing (or nearly all-encompassing) group. An illusion that only affects some rare sense (only vs IR vision) might deserve a pretty solid limitation. After all, how many people are operating only on IR vision? If I see a giant flame monster with my IR sight, and nothing at all with my normal sight, that may be a good clue that nothing is there. Similarly, if only orcs can see it, then the spell is useless against trolls or dragons or just regular humans. The problem is that when you can customize it on the fly, it becomes beneficial. Since he can define it however he wants, it turns into "only visible to those I want to affect". That's an Advantage.
  12. Basically what you need is a justification why modern guns aren't used anymore. For whatever reason, this justification does not apply to science fiction swords. Suppose you get body armor that can stop a 21st century rifle. That white plastic Storm Trooper crap just bounces a bullet no problem. Alternatively, maybe there's an alien race that's too tough to put down with modern guns, at least the convenient ones. Most people can't run around holding a .50 cal. So anyway, as a result you go to plasma rifles, or some other futuristic tech. But... plasma rifles have drawbacks that modern guns don't. Maybe they take a couple of seconds to charge up. Pull the trigger and it makes a "woop woop woop" charging sound before it fires. Or the blast moves slow enough you can see it (like on TV). As a result, specialized energy swords become useful if you're fast enough. A really skilled person is more lethal with his energy sword than with a plasma rifle. He doesn't have to wait for it to charge up, he can swat blaster bolts out of the air, or whatever. There you go, that's enough of a reason.
  13. I picked 1955 and the space race in the last question, so I chose Hollywood for this one. Not because of Hollywood, but more generally the southwest. A lot of Air Force bases in California, Nevada, Arizona. I figure you'd get an increase in supers as various military experiments went wrong (or went right). Imagine the movie The Right Stuff, where some of the experimental airplanes crashed, and then the pilots walked out of the wreckage with powers. Weird metals, strange radiations, secret experiments to communicate with beings in space. Los Angeles is the nearest major city to a lot of these places, so the people with powers migrate there.
  14. If you wanted to be weird, how about lots of Growth, 0 End Persistent, Invisible, with like a -5 custom limitation "provides no benefits at all" and another -2 "only to be bigger when electrical powers are used". Buy enough so that you fill up multiple hexes. So if somebody shoots a lightning bolt that travels near your hex, they end up hitting you accidentally because you're just in the way.
  15. My head-canon for Klingons using swords in Star Trek TNG is that they breed fast, grow up fast, and live a long time, so they've developed kind of a suicidal culture based on an all or nothing brutal attack. Let's say you're Joe Average Klingon Warrior. You're maybe 15 years old (on DS9 they replaced the actor who played Worf's kid, and even though he should have only been about 12 years old, they had a much older actor playing him and he was serving on a Klingon starship). You don't come from an important House. Your family doesn't have a lot of money. Klingons can live to about 200 years old, and those are the guys who are still in charge. The only way for you to get noticed is psychotic levels of bravery. This creates the Klingon preference for hand to hand fighting. You're gonna use a sword, and charge right in. Maybe the armor you're wearing makes you tough enough to withstand a wide-angle phaser beam (the kind that fills a hallway), so they've got to individually target and shoot you to kill you. Most starship corridors don't have extremely long straight passages (they curve), so if you can beam onto their ship, you can probably close distance in 4 or 5 seconds. With a frightening scream and a mighty swing from your two-handed sword-axe thing, you can chop down an enemy soldier really quickly. Yeah, a lot of Klingons are going to die. But for the Empire, that's not a bug, it's a feature. There's really limited opportunity for most of these guys to advance, so you gotta thin the herd from time to time.
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