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TranquiloUno

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  1. Thanks for posting! The last one got sidetracked but I didn't want to complain too much that builds != tactics. I mostly agree with Christopher R Taylor that tactics depend on specifics and so making generalized tactics, particularly for a system as flexible as Hero, is hard to do. I think there might be meta-game considerations as well. Like in-game focusing fire on one enemy at a time seems questionable. Wouldn't you fight the guy you square up with like in every superhero fight in the comics? But meta-game focus fire one one enemy at a time seems quite legit and useful. Do PCs in-game know about Teamwork attacks and if they are totally plinking off the guys armor? Or is that meta-game awareness? Do PCs in-game know about the Speed Chart and how saving phases works? Even to the extent of, "He's faster than us, we'll have to wait and strike at the same time...."? Definitely combo attacks to reduce DCV followed by Haymaker\Extra Time\whatever the thing is are valid particularly in combo with saved phases. Guy1 = entangle, Guy2 = haymaker the 1/2DCV guy before his breakout. I also agree with Christopher R Taylor that a lot of the tactical complexity is probably going to come from the scenario itself. If there are no civilians to rescue or falling Heli-carrier rotors to fix then...no need for tactics to address that. Just smash the enemy. If there's nothing on the battlefield to interact with, or no reason to interact with it, same kinda thing, no need for tactics besides ganging up and picking the right attack\defense. And then of course figuring out the abilities of your enemies in combat (because their abilities will influence your tactics to counter them, right) is a potentially valid tactic, but only if you gain actionable intel from it. If you scan them with your scanners but they don't have any Vulnerabilities or Susceptibilities or anything like that...not much to evolve a tactic to counter. And then the last thing I think is that...tactics might be too successful in some cases and create a GM need\want to nerf them. The Entangle Guy and the Drain vs Strength Guy or whatever. In the last thread this is why I had been asking for specific examples from specific players in specific games rather than generalized Hero tactics. What have players and GMs actually done that is "tactical" exactly? I played in a game where the bad guys often had teleport-back-to-base belts\items. So then countering that by disabling them, breaking them, grabbing them of their belt was a valid tactic. But it wouldn't be universal. Those are some example from play though: Targeting enemies escape route\devices. Focus fire on one target at a time. Getting somebody to half DCV (throw, Flash, Entangle) so the others can hit them with bigger attacks more easily. Particularly if you've got a cheap 1 Hex AoE to go against Speedsters\Martial Artists.
  2. These don't really seem like "tactics" to me. They are code words for certain generalized moves. Which could be used tactically. But most of them can just be called what they are. Like, "They are using a gas attack!", or, conversely, "I'm going to use my gas attack now, you guys!". Might be useful (and I think Allston did this) if your GM is very cagey about in-game dialog or something. Like if I'm saying, "Hey, Speedster! Ripoff! RIPOFF!!!", and pointing madly at an enemy with a focus...can't I just say, "Hey, Speedster, get that gadget!"? Is the target likely to be surprised by the first one, "Sure, they were pointing at me and saying "Ripoff!" but how was I to know he meant grab the thingie and runwith it"??? I'd say, "Having a speedster\teleporter grab a focus and then run\port away with it so they can't get it back during the battle", is a valid tactic. But having a bunch of code words is not, to me, "tactics".
  3. I was noticing this too. It *seems* to me like Aid would be the way do it. But only because doing it as Char UBO is so cheap!
  4. Mental Defense seems pretty straight forward but I usually have trouble even rationalizing wtf "Power Defense" is doing in a broad and general sense such that I can justify a character having it or not. I agree with Gnome BODY (important!) that it's highly GM\game dependent. I can't really estimate commonality in a universal sense but I would guess Flash > Mental > Power with the Life Supports more relegated to character concept than being defensive abilities. But that's a guess. Flash Def is pretty easy to rationalize and some concepts even kinda encourage it (if you've got special goggles...maybe throw some Flash Def on it?) and Mental attacks are common enough in Supers games and easy enough to rationalize ("My guy has great strength of will!\Is half-alien\Can focus his chi\really almost anything") that it'll pop up. Drain\Transfer\Transform effects seem least common, generally, so the defense are less common as well. That's my speculation!
  5. +4 OCV (only when opponent is dodging) ;D There's a Dodge roll?
  6. Ugh. Terrible. This is why (among other reasons) Punisher should live in Marvel MAX and everybody else should...not. Sure and I can totally understand that but also as even a casual comic reader you gotta know that's never gonna happen. Worf Effect, different writers, etc, etc. Not sure why Batroc got to give Captain America such a hard time in Winter Soldier. He's just a normal. And yet....it was a nice little fight. And I'm pretty sure it goes about the same in the comics. I figure, again, No-Prize style, that if a GM, er, I mean a writer, is going to throw a threat at a PC, or other fictional character, that the threat will be...you know, a threat. I don't think there's a strong need to preface that with a lot of exposition about how\why it's possible. But, all that said, I totally understand your complaints both regarding martial arts giving you superpowers (I wish!) and also inconsistency between writers, eras, and so on.
  7. I certainly agree with you from a realism perspective. But I also suspect this perspective is based on and biased by actually knowing some martial arts. Something like the gunkata from Equilibrium seems...kinda dumb given what I know of shooting. Same for martial arts. Comic book martial arts aren't really supposed to be IRL martial arts IMO. They're just another Special Effect. Just like I don't think there is a real martial art that'll let me turn my hands "like unto a thing of iron" but it's ok that Iron Fist can do that. To me at least. If an Aikido Granny gets to manhandle The Hulk with aikido well...yes that sounds dumb, and if it was a RPG I'd give the GM some serious stinkeye for this railroady bullshit, but since it's a comic book...totally fine.
  8. Meh. A hero who can't be threatened would be dull AF. A hero that can only be threatened by "realistic" threats (in a comic book?!) would be dull AF too. Shifting *comic book* hero abilities and capabilities are extremely par for the course IMO. I mean...Captain American can probably beat up Spidey and he doesn't even have a brown belt in Judo. ;D And Spidey can't dodge a heavy spinning disc?! Unrealistic! Spidey should just auto-win because one time somebody said he was fast enough to see bullets coming! Part of the point of comic book martial arts is...the comic book thing. Ways to give folks extraordinary abilities that might not "make sense" here in reality but work just fine as a "Special Effect Based" rules system. The special effect is just the "It's JUDO!" parts. Same as "proportional strength and speed of a spider" = Dex 36\Str 40 or where ever you like to set it. Not that I thought you were being Super Serious Business or anything, but...c'mon. Karate Kid, Shang-Chi, Iron Fist, Judomaster, Batman, Deathstroke (dude can hit The Flash), Captain America, and so on. Plenty of examples of just "normal" martial artists throwing down with supers in the source material. Even if it's not "realistic". You know what I find unrealistic though is all those armored supers like Iron Man that never get splattered all over the insides of their fancy suits during high-speed impacts. I know, I know, "initial dampeners". Unrealistic! Armor suit guys should all be forced to take Susceptibility to Sudden Stops and such! I'm more in the Marvel No-Prize camp: Spidey (particularly in The Enforcers days) wasn't a very experienced combatant and definitely wasn't trained. I think he gets bonus points for "The White Belt" effect (where the white belt does something so...weird that black belts get caught by it) because he's effectively untrained but using his speed and strength and flexibility to do stuff that shouldn't work at all. That said I've seen smaller martial arts guys beat larger, stronger, faster, younger folks by virtue of being better than them. I think that's partly what we're wanting to model here. Judo and such can work quite well against larger\stronger untrained folks because of all that usual stuff (leverage, timing, the other person not knowing wtf is happening). So Fancy Dan can indeed fight Spidey (back in the 250pt days) by using his superior training against a talented but untrained and inexperienced teenager. Particularly when you factor in the multi-attacker\team-up bonuses and potential entangles from the lasso and all of that with his friends around. Of course it's more likely that comics written in the 60s weren't exactly making any attempt at all in anyway to model a "reality" that would be self-consistent and remain consistent for 20-30+ years in to the future, eh? Anyway, like I said, I don't think you were super serious but...within the fictional world of comic books this all makes perfect sense to me from both a dramatic sense and a play-balance sense. And more so than the comics being able to portray this consistently (nothing is consistent in comics) I'd think our beloved Hero system is the thing that is burdened with having to be consistent. And I feel certain any of us can build a 200pt Very, Very Skilled Normal that can at least challenge a 250-300pt Spidey. Particularly if he's got his other 200pt Very, Very Skilled Normals along for the ride. Bunch of Speed 3s can still mess up a Speed 6s day. Viper Agents. Agents in general. Fancy Dan and Ox and Montana.
  9. It's my opinion that rulebook\sourcebook art is the secret sauce\silver bullet of RPGs. To the point I think they might matter more than the rules.
  10. How many dizzying effects are there going to be in the game? I'd think the cost would be proportional to the value in game. Unless there are going to be specific dizzy-creating effects in the game I'd think it would be cheap. But if the Keystone Kops all use Dizzy Blasters and are going to show often then it might be more. I'd use Detect: Balance - Sense (5pts) or Environmental Movement (Absolute Balance is 4pts) or even just +X (Only to counter dizziness penalties) which would probably be...4-6pts, eh? Or Safe Environment - Dizzyness for 4-6pts. Using Damage Negation seems problematic because to become immune to dizziness you'd need to apply the Absolute Effect Rule (right?) and then decide how much Damage Negation would be needed to counter any and all dizziness causing powers. Just seems more complicated. But surely it would depend on expected occurrence of dizziness in the game.
  11. This seems like the biggest dichotomy between "new" and "old" gamers. We like crunch and wanted to learn it. System mastery and rules exploits were more like points of pride. And the sheer joy of not being tied to a class\level or a clan or an OCC or whatever the heck else they liked to call them was huge. New folks seem to be more of a, "rules get in the way", sort of bent, in addition to the narrative focus. I feel more like Scott Ruggels, I think, the rules exist to give the various tactical (and other) scenarios structure and you're engaging (as players and as characters) with the scenario. It's not that fighting\combat was the point of the game but more so that it wasn't looked at as a distraction from the "real" game (ie, the story). That's my probably my bias talking though. Back on topic: Pregens are the main thing for teaching. I think. Just a nice clean and balanced example for folks to look at and start to decipher. With the hope being that once they realize you can adjust, like, ALLLLLL of those bits on your sheet they'll get the Hero bug and want to dive right in. It certainly seems fine to me. Every game needs a core mechanic (probably) and 3d roll low is one, so...good enough. Yes, mostly I feel the unlimited flexibility\build your own stuff gets presented up front as being good and valuable. And...it is. But I think it's a distraction from learning the game part of the game and until you learn the game part of the game the character building stuff kinda exists in a vacuum. What's Power Defense? Do I want it? Do I need it? Should I have it for this game? Is this attack "good"? Is it "too powerful"? All of that stuff is, I think, hard to grok for new folks because it's...well, Hero. Good\bad\powerful are all relative. But you can't really teach folks by saying, "it could be" and "it depends on the game\setting\scenario" over and over. Pregens that are working balanced examples get around most of that. Which is why I suspect essentially every single thread I've seen about introducing folks to Hero suggests that, eh? Mostly I just mean I think players have a certain limited amount of attention span to give stuff and if most of that attention span is taken up by looking at an insanely overwhelming character creation\powers section until they give up then it'll be hard to get them to reenage on the system aspects. Of course this is all generally speaking and IMO and all of that. Gamers are still gamers and do still like learning games and rules and playing them. It's just funny to me that chargen (the point-build system mechanics) is the heart of Hero but when teaching folks the system I think it should be strongly deemphasized to prevent brainlock. Pregens. 3d roll under. Many default tactical options that aren't just the player trying to connive the GM in to giving them a situational bonus Probably Stun\Bod and Normal\Killing. I'd say I'm in the Speed Chart = Hero camp as well. Those all seem core Hero to me and are the elements that can be well separated from the chargen stuff. And I think ghost-angel's point about Special Effects and Mechanics being separate is also true but I don't think it's....particularly playable as an aspect of the system. Like it's very central to Hero but also not really something you can teach as part of the system without getting a bit lost. Maybe he's got examples and I'm missing something there tho.
  12. I would say it's about the same (obviously it'll depend on the system and the group and the game) and that they come up fairly frequently. As happens in other games as well. This is mostly due (IMO of course) to the "action" skills being mostly Dex based. Since PCs tend to spend a fair amount of time: Sneaking, Hiding, Acrobatically leaping about, avoiding falling in to pits, fast drawing, picking locks, and so on those skills tend to have an outsized effect in the game because they come up more and because they usually involve PC danger\death. Again, obviously this varies from game to game, player to player, system to system, and blah blah blah. But that's my general observation of RPGs over time. Sneaking is common and almost always "Dex"-based (whatever they call the stat) and usually\often hitting is Dex based as well. Certainly in GURPS, WW, Palladium (not point buy, but...), D&D some others it's a powerful stat. Hard to say generally but it's about the only remaining usage for Dex in 6th that isn't Dex rolls. Generally going first (or at least having the option to) is good in most games though. Depending on what kind of Hero you are playing it could matter more or less. If you're playing a higher lethality\lower armor type game (WW2, 'Nam, etc) then going first and hitting first, to provoke Stuns, can be very valuable. In a mixed archetype classical Superhero game it might matter less.
  13. I mean...Character Creation (without Powers) is about 60 pages (5th revised). Skills as a part of that are about 7. Powers and Advantages\Limitation\Frameworks is 200ish. And Combat is just under 100 pages. Not saying the skill system isn't well plotted, or that social interaction mechanics suck, or any of that stuff but...that's a LOT of pages spent on combat versus everything except powers.
  14. Detect: Balance - Sense, 5pts! Probably more like 3 though since Perfect Pitch, Absolute Time Sense, Bump of Direction, and so on are 3pts.
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