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Ken Filewood

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  1. I lack experience with 6E and I'm having trouble making a dust cloud power for a supers game. Probably there is a standard solution that I am not seeing, so if someone could help me discover it, that would be great. What I want is a power to represent a billowing haze of electrostatic dust that obscures - without completely blotting out - vision, radio waves etc. for a turn or two before dispersing naturally. A bit like a less than 100% obscuring smoke bomb. The part I am having trouble is that the cloud is not completely opaque to the affected senses; although it affects people trying to see into or through the area, it doesn't completely block senses for anyone involved. Ideally the degree of obscuring would depend on how many metres of cloud you are trying to see through. So it's not Darkness, but something else? Then I was thinking it should be Change Environment area effect with a -X PER roll and -Y OCV/DCV for certain sense groups. But the dust should affect the ability of those OUTSIDE the area to see and/or shoot into or through it just as much as a person inside (without affecting their generally ability to defend themselves). The dust isn't getting in the vicims' eyes or making them sneeze or anything, it's clouding up the air and absorbing/ diffusing EMR. Am I right in thinking that Change Environment will only affect people inside the area? What should I be using to get the symmetrical obscuration effect? Ideally this power is not limited by charges, but the user pays a 1-off END cost to launch the power, which then hangs around for a turn or two before switching itself off. So I'm thinking this will involve a Time Limit condition, but I'm not sure. Finally, in the ideal scenario, the cloud can be dispersed before its time is up by a strong breeze. Is there a way I can do this without having to model an industrial fan as an ad hoc Dispel or Drain power? Or is that the easiest way to handle it?
  2. As someone who is returning to HERO system after decades away from it playing other games, I think that it is a hard system to learn. There are a lot of things about it I have always admired. One of the key strengths of the system is the flexibility in character builds. So the temptation is to start straight in with that. The trouble is that character building is complex. And it is made much harder to understand if you're not already pretty fluent with the basic mechanics. Returning after a long absence, I have had a lot of trouble working out how to build powers involving senses/ enhanced senses, because the language used to describe those things has developed so much since the early editions. So I think that even experienced gamers coming to HERO for the first time would benefit from playing a few sessions (or even just combats in isolation from a story) with pre-generated characters until they are fluent in the basic mechanics. The ones I am thinking about are characteristics, attack rolls, effect rolls, skill levels, phase chart, phases, targeting, basic combat manoeuvres, END, Stun, Normal (counting BODY) and Killing Damage, Resistant and non-resistant defences, CON-stunning, KO, recovery, Presence Attack and some of the common, easy to adjudicate powers; multi power. Less experienced gamers probably need this broken down quite a bit. If you can work in some stuff around disadvantages that affect characters in play, that's a bonus. You also need to cover the concept of 'special effect', from the point of view of 'It's mechanic called a Blast, but it represents a Repressor Ray'. This is a touchstone of HERO games that has not become universal in RPG design. By comparison the concept of a character disadvantage is now shared by many RP systems. Things like skill rolls, complementary skills, the time chart etc. are pretty similar to many other RPGs, so experienced players won't need much practice on them. But players new to role-play would. Pregenerated characters: - recognisable archetypes the players are going to find attractive - simple powers, with few advantages and limitations that show off the mechanics you want to teach - relatively short list of powers - powers that represent easily recognisable effects from fiction I know this might sound like a bit of a drag, but provided you have a reasonable adventure to run, the characters shouldn't need to be mechanically sophisticated for everyone to have a good time. You might consider replacing the usual experience system with an accelerated version where each character has a list of available improvements (minor powers, extra dice, skills or characteristic points). After each adventure the player gets to pick one or two improvements to add to their character for the next session. That opens up a discussion about any new game elements they introduce, or the mechanics of how they work etc. and introduces new material more quickly than would happen if the character grew organically. I think you're best going with simple archetypes rather than complex characters. Archetypes are good because it's easy for the player to understand what the mechanics are representing (they already have a fictional reference point), so it helps them build an understanding of how the mechanics relate to the fiction. Being familiar characters, they're easy to role-play, leaving more brain space for mechanics. Simple characters are good because they let the player focus on learning the underlying mechanics, rather than drowning in choices. If the play group as a whole covers a wider range of powers that's all to the good. People can learn by watching others apply mechanics almost as well as they can by using them for themselves. In early games it can increase the interest of other players' turns, because the new player wants (hopefully) to understand the other player's character too. This also showcases the breadth of the system, which is one of HERO's strongest points. You might consider inviting players to swap characters mid-session or between sessions during the learning phase, so they can try out the different mechanics, too. It would depend on the players whether this idea went down well, I guess.
  3. I agree with Lucius. -1 for 'Set Effect'. I would still allow the character to make 'minor changes' along the lines described in the example as a zero phase action.
  4. That sounds pretty sensible to me. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
  5. The bit about 'when they first enter the area' makes a lot of sense - thank you! Regarding the type of damage, it seems from theinfn8's response that there might be room for interpretation on that? But one interpretation seems much more 'valuable' than the other - and I wouldn't want to end up making Change Environment a more flexible kind of killing attack. I can see that for different special effects one might want to choose a different damage type? I am thinking about the difference between 'makes the air unbearably hot and humid' versus 'makes the air hot enough to melt steel, like in the heart of a furnace'. Maybe it would be easier to just create a linked attack with the same area of effect to represent whatever the damaging effect is. What do you think?
  6. Hi, I'm new here and just looking at HERO 6E (specifically Fantasy Hero Complete/ Champions Complete) for the first time, after decades away from HERO systems games. The learning curve is steep, and I need some help to understand how damage inflicted by Change Environment works. I am looking at page 63 of FHC, where one of the Combat Effects you can buy for change environment is "damage" at 1 point of damage for 5 CPs. How do I apply this damage? Do I interpret it as 1 point of STUN applied against PD/ED (my choice)? 1 point of NND STUN attack? 1 point of BODY? Or 1 active point worth of damage (i.e. 1/5 of a 1d6 normal attack, or 1/10 dice of NND)? I presume it applies every phase, since the power is constant. So if I hit somebody with change environment, they take the damage every phase until I switch off the power? If I buy area effect (as one surely would), then it affects everyone in the area, every phase? It seems that this effect might be appropriate for many natural and magical phenomena, but I'd like to know how the mechanics are meant to work, and I can't seem to find it described anywhere in either of the books I have. Any help you can offer very welcome.
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