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Uncle Shecky

HERO Member
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About Uncle Shecky

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    Powerful Hero

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  • Biography
    playing Champions/HERO since 1982
  • Occupation
    technical writer
  1. The PDFs available on DriveThru RPG (and presumably also in HERO's online store) for 1st and 2nd edition Champions currently have the wrong front and back covers. Back in late February, the PDFs on DriveThru were correct but misnamed (and so assigned to the wrong product in the store): "1st edition" had a complete and correct PDF of 2nd edition, and "2nd edition" was the complete PDF of 1st edition. I contacted DriveThru to let them know about that misnaming problem, and the PDFs were updated on March 7. I assumed then that the problem was fixed, but now that I've re-downloaded the PDFs, I see that it was mostly fixed but with the cover problem introduced. Champions 1st edition should have a full-color cover, front and back. The back is the continuation of the front illustration: it has Gargoyle and 2 other characters on it. The text inside should have a 1981 copyright on page 1, and it should end on page 56, with a brief afterword and a Vic Dal Chele illustration of a costumed man (with ice or stalactites above him). Champions 2nd edition should have the speed chart and combat modifier table on the back cover. The front cover illustration should be the greyscale version. There were color versions of the 2nd edition cover as well (I believe they came first but were replaced by the greyscale version later), but the scanned version that's available is the greyscale one. The text inside should have two copyrights on page 1 (1981, and revised edition 1982), and it should end on page 80, with the character write-ups for Pulsar and Shrinker. I hate to be a pest about this: I know having the correct text for each edition is the most important thing. But there has been a lot of confusion about these editions over the years, even among dedicated HERO players, and this mix-up doesn't help. I had access to physical copies of 3 versions of the rules (1st in color, 2nd in color (which I still own), and 2nd in greyscale) in the early '80s, and I'm certain my information is correct. In brief: the PDFs have the correct text for each edition now. Just swap the front and back covers between the editions, and they'll be complete. Thanks.
  2. Yeah, I always thought they were sort of a "What if Dr. Doom had created the Fantastic Four?" team. In 1st/2nd edition, this was my favorite Champions villain team. I never saw Muerte as "Dr. Destroyer-lite" because there was no Dr. D in our games. In 1st/2nd edition, Dr. D only appeared in a couple of modules, not the Enemies books. We didn't have those modules, so our armored, uber-villain was Muerte. Once I finally saw Dr. D (in the more powerful BBB version) it was clear why Muerte wasn't that impressive to most people. But the Prof still had lots of potential if used properly. And while it's been annouced that Muerte won't be officially returning in any HERO products, Steve Long left enough room in the story of his death to allow for Muerte's return. There are a few threads around here devoted to that subject.
  3. The PC game "Freedom Force" does a good job of finding the middle ground between the unified source of super powers and the existence of other super-powered beings. Almost all of the heroes get their power from exposure to "Energy X," so there is a unified origin. At first all of the villains are also the result of energy x too. Later, you learn that energy x was introduced to earth by an alien species, so they get thrown into the mix. The super heroes existence begins to draw out other heroes and villains from non-related sources: the future (Time Master), the past (the deity Pan), and present/near-future technology (Mr. Mechanical). Basically, all these energy x empowered beings make their world more interesting to other forces. So the unified origin is the source of power for the characters and the catalyst for the appearance of other supers (so it's sort of a source by proxy), but not the only source of power for supers.
  4. Power Destruction was in Champions III. It was a lot like Drain and Suppress (which was called "Neutralize" in Champions III), but the duration of the effect is different. I'll give you the highlights from the description. "Power Destruction: This power allows the character to attack a specific Characteristic or Power. The attack 'damages' the Power or Characteristic (like a Killing Attack damages BODY points). Power Defense acts against a Power Destruction Attack. "Power Destruction has no range and costs 20 points per 1D6 x the cost multiple of any Characteristic being attacked. Roll the dice; the target subtracts his Power Defense .... The remainder is the number of points of the Power or Characteristic lost. "The target gets the Power Points back at the same rate he gets back BODY pips; either the character's REC/10 in points, or points equal to the character's Regeneration. ..." I liked the fact that the character's REC or Regeneration determined the recovery rate, instead of the power having a defined return rate (like Drain and Suppress). This was an extremely expensive power, although really dangerous even in small doses (it was really effective against END, since each die was only 10 points). When Champions III came out, everyone in our gaming group started buying lots of Power Defense: it became almost as necessary as resistant defenses.
  5. BLASPHEMY! Kill the Infidel! I follow every rule, no matter how stupid or damaging to the enjoyment of the game. I even blindly followed the jumping distance rules in 2nd edition D&D's Dungeoneers Survival Guide: distance was based on class and level, not any of those silly, meaningless characteristics! "You think a strong, fast 1st level fighter can out jump a 20th level Cleric with an 8 strength? Are you crazy?!?" And I never speed either.
  6. Re: Gestalt character assistance? [smiles] Yes, you would need to take the +1 advantage for duplication, since the "duplicates" are completely different. This new advantage makes Duplication a lot more expensive, and maybe too expensive (I've almost never used this power, so I can't really say). If your game group agrees that the +1 advantage is too much, you could reduce it (maybe +1/2?) or just throw it out. Depends on how much your group tweaks the rules. The character you describe is a cool concept, but I think you might have a few more cost problems with it. The gestalt form will probably be the most expensive (since it will have the powers of 3 other people), so it will be a really expensive multiform. It would be cheaper to make it the base form, and have the 3 other characters be the multiform and 2 duplicates, but this doesn't really fit what you are trying to create: with that structure, if one of the duplicates was killed, you'd still be able to revert back to the gestalt form (which should be impossible). I think you've got the mechanics of it figured out correctly, but it'll be a really costly character. It sounds like you're just making this as an experiment though, so maybe cost isn't a concern.
  7. That's right, it was introduced in Champions II, and it was not part of Missile Deflection (although it was modeled on it). The description in Champions II is interesting so I'm reproducing some of it here: "...The character has a base chance of 18 or less for a cost of 30 pts., +1 per 3 pts. The character's chance to reflect is -1 for every 5 active pts. in the incoming attack. Each Reflection roll after the first is made with a cumulative -2 penalty .... The character's DCV is 0 while he is reflecting an attack. ..." It's cool that it was the active points in the attack that made reflection difficult, not the attacker's OCV. And I like the drop to 0 DCV: you have to let yourself be hit to be able to reflect it back. I prefer the deflection-based power as it is now, but that's an interesting take on it. The Champions II description doesn't specifically mention whether Reflection is passive (like Damage Shield) or whether you can abort to it like a block, but the example implies that you need to use a held action: "HONEYBEE had reserved her action, and attempts to reflect FLARE'S attack back." So 5th edition has restored that "can't abort to" aspect, and maybe it was meant to be that way all along.
  8. I'm not sure if this is what tiger meant, but FREd has a change in the rules for missile reflection: you can't abort to it, even though you can abort to missile deflection. The BBB doesn't say you can't abort to missile reflection (as far as I can tell), it simply treats it as a special case of deflection. Since you can abort to deflection, I always assumed you could abort to reflection too. I'm not sure why this was changed, or even if it really is a change: maybe it's just a clarification, and most people have always played it that way. I don't have a problem with it, as long as a character with missile reflection can at least abort to missile deflection. But FREd seems to treat missile deflection and reflection as more distinct powers than the BBB did, so I'm not sure if that's legal.
  9. Yeah it was really a pain. Plus, when trying to figure out the cost for reduced END, you only counted those advantages that affected the END cost of the power. In 2nd edition, some advantages added to the power's END cost and some didn't. This made sense in most cases (e.g. an 8D6 expolsive EB would cost more than a standard 8D6 EB, while and 8D6 BOECV EB had the same END cost as an 8D6 EB), but for some advantages the reasoning wasn't very clear. Even worse, END costs were double back then: it was 1 END per 5 active points, so that 8D6 EB cost 8 END! And the characters were built on 200 points. You'd either knock yourself out using it or in trying to figure out how much the reduced END advantage cost you. We just ignored END for years, but the game is so much better with it. I'm not sure when they made the change to 1 END/10 active points, but it's the best HERO system change ever.
  10. I have seen this work in games where the players were allowed to play multiple characters. I GM'd a brief West Coast Avengers campaign many years ago for 2 players. 1 guy got Iron Man and Hawkeye, the other used Iron Man, Tigra, and Mockingbird. I don't remember the point levels, but Wondy and Shellhead were several hundred points more than Mockingbird. It worked because both players had heavy-hitter characters and support characters, and because they usually fought single villains with a wide variety of attacks (like Graviton and Super Adaptoid). Also, we all tried to stay true to the spirit of the comics. When they fought the Masters of Evil, I didn't send the Wrecker after Mockingbird, and Wonder Man didn't try to take out the Beetle. They paired up like they would in the comics. Just because a hero or villain has a 5d6 AP RKA, doesn't mean he must use it on every opponent, especially if it doesn't suit the genre you're trying to play. Good players and GMs will know that.
  11. I love these characters, and I think you nailed the spirit of the Tick universe. I really like "Spanking of zee Monkee," the "Orangu-Hang Silver Foil Glider," and "Distinctive Features: Bad French Accent, Swashbuckler Outfit, Gorilla Mask." Every entertainment medium can be improved by the addition of a couple of monkeys.
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