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Doc Democracy

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Posts posted by Doc Democracy


  1. On 12/16/2019 at 9:18 PM, PierSeb said:

    The headache, for me, is figuring out what to allow for a given campaign.

     

    Welcome to HERO! 🙂

     

    Any GM, doing the job will have a headache for every campaign until you are comfortable enough with saying no to ad hoc things the palyers come to you with because you did not expressly forbid them at the outset. 

     

    HERO is described as a toolkit, the GM should build the campaign game before the players build the characters.  In other games there are house rules but in HERO it is expected that the GM will put together a game using the toolkit.  It is obviously possible to skip this but you then open up every rule, whether or not it is appropriate for the game and campaign you are trying to run...

     

    And, used to other games you will get the argument "But it is in the rulebook!" to which an experienced HERO GM will say "No.  It is in the toolkit.  I am not using that rule in this game."!!

     

    😁

     

    Doc


  2. With heroes of this power you really need to begin challenges that are social and investigative.  The heroes need to know what they are fighting and why before they get to unleash.

     

    If you read Justice League, you are talking about unbeatable power head on, their stories are often about getting in a place where they can bring the firepower to bear.

     

    I find concentrating the power in one villain is a high risk strategy, I prefer dispersed foes, ones that mean the heroes have to be more discriminatory and surgical. 

     

    One of my friends that I was trying to persuade to run a game thought the group was too difficult to challenge (they were running at about 500 points under BBB rules).  Next scenario I had each hero begin by being called out by a robot.  They were built on 125 points but designed specifically to defeat each particular hero.  I made that part of the next adventure, the robots tattoo'ed their defeated opponents and left them in prominent public places in the campaign city. 

     

    It was supposed to demonstrate to my friend that the GM can beat the heroes any time he wants and it does not need a lot of points to do it.  Instead it decided him that he was never running a game in which I built my own character. 😬

     

    Principle is still a good one.  The challenge for the GM is not beating the players or competing on power, it is coming up with a credible threat and an entertaining game.

     

    Doc


  3. 47 minutes ago, Old Man said:


    Boris was caught discussing the sale of the NHS to American healthcare providers prior to the election. 

     

    Boris was caught discussing a future trade deal with the US where he did not rule out including access to NHS contracts, potentially preferential access for US big pharma, meaning we in the UK would pay as much for those medicines as you do in the US.  Obviously inflating drug costs would put additional pressure on the whole service and cause other things (like hospitals, doctors and nurses) get pared back.


  4. 8 minutes ago, GM Joe said:

    As far as the economic consequence of Brexit, companies have been fleeing since the referendum. So my expectation is that post-Brexit, the Conservatives will look at the tax roll and announce that austerity is needed, and use that to cut, cut, cut anything that helps average people, such as the NIH.

     

     

    You mean NHS??  😬

     

    It would be political suicide and probably end the Conservatives as a political force, possibly forever.


  5. 19 hours ago, Old Man said:

    California is a breakeven state with respect to federal tax dollars.  Secession would be economically devastating, however, even if it were permitted, since trade barriers would go up where none existed previously.  Conversely, the Scots now have an economic choice between the EU and Boris' Brexited Britain.  I'm not an economist but that seems like a no brainer in the long run.

     

    19 hours ago, Iuz the Evil said:

    Trade barriers is definitely a reason, I can buy that. Would be devastating to both the State and the Nation, given port access and so forth. I cannot see it being allowed. I just don't see federal tax revenue or disaster support as material. 

     

    Project Fear!!  People will be lining up to trade with the New Bear Republic and there are international rules about rivers and water. 

     

    Teasing obviously but when the public buy in, practicalities and details are not persuasive.  Not being allowed would be waving red flag to secessionists.  Trimble reckons Scotland wont be allowed, I don't think they can be stopped.


  6. 19 hours ago, megaplayboy said:

    Sort of curious what Wales does if Scotland and NI leave the union, and the UK economy goes down the drain due to Brexit.  Imagine being Elizabeth II and seeing your "kingdom" on the brink of collapse.  Well, I suppose she's seen that before about 80 years ago.  

     

    Well, Wales voted Brexit too and their economy is much more hard-wired than Scotland or NI's.  I think they are stuck there for at least a decade. 

     

    Wales does not have a history of independence like Scotland over the last 50 years or rebellion like Ireland over the last 500.  It would take time to build the necessary momentum to achieve escape velocity...

     

    As for the Queen, she remains monarch of Scotland just like the multitude of other Commonwealth countries.

     

    Doc

     


  7. 1 hour ago, Starlord said:

    There's no way, they'd never survive without assistance every fire season.

     

    The way it worked with Brexit and will work for Indyref2 is that people stop listening to concerns about cost and practicalities. 

     

    Several of my Labour voting, Union friendly friends would now vote yes as independence, whatever the costs and troubles, is less scary than Tory rule in Boris' Britain.


  8. NI has elected more nationalist politicians than unionist ones for the first time ever.

     

    The DUP has lost all its leverage over the Government and they are going to have to beg Johnson to support their position in their Assembly (if it ever gets re-established).

     

    I think both Scotland and Northern Ireland have a right good chance of having independence votes in the next Parliament, especially if Brexit is going badly.


  9. 4 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

    Nope,  not seeing that.  Or at least, I'm not seeing it as making any more or less sense than "I am much better at hitting targets that are far away, but it does not make me any better at hitting a target close up" or "it is no easier for me to hit an entire target than to hit a small portion of that target, like the head or the hands".


    To me, a lot of this is about balancing the game.  If you want a character who can shoot the legs off an ant at 100 paces you can have one without blowing through every campaign limit the GM may have applied.

     

    obviously, in superhero games, there are going to be more circumstances where it makes more sense.


  10. 9 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

    I suppose we can argue that Multiple Attack is multiple uses of one or more maneuvers, but that means this construct applies only if using a Strike, not if one wants to put a Grab, Disarm or Trip into that Multiple Attack.  That argument also weakens the case against PSLs, since the reason you can't use PSLs is that they cannot be applied to cancel out penalties from a maneuver, and we are layering Multiple Attack over the underlying maneuvers.

     

    It actually makes the rules as written make even more sense.  If you are good at grabs there is no reason why you should also be good at disarm, trip or strike.  If you want to be good at multiply attacking with strike then you do not purchase skill levels with multiple attack (prohibited explicitly in the rules), you buy levels with strike.  Otherwise being good at hitting lots also makes you good at all those other things.  🙂

     

    If you wanted to put strike and disarm into the same attack, I do not think I would class it as a Multiple Attack but instead class it as a Combined Attack.  There the rules are even more explicit in that you can apply levels bought on the individual manoeuvres but not apply generally to the Combined Attack.


  11. 6 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

     

    While I agree overall, the concept of a level with Sweep/Multiple Attack that only reduces the penalty for multiple attacks is not necesarilly always useful.  The first two levels are used with all Multiple Attacks.  But if you had six such levels, and make two attacks with your  Sweep, the levels in excess of the first two are not used.  You have to make four attacks to use all of the levels.

     

    I knew I was being clumsy with what I was saying.  Penalty Skill Levels are designed to make you normally competent at something you would otherwise be less competent at.  MartialArtsGuy has OCV 10 when punching someone, OCV 8 when punching twice (multiple attack) and OCV 6 when punching thrice.  With 4 levels in Strike, he becomes OCV 14, 12 and 10 respectively, with 4 penalty skill levels he would be be OCV 10 for them all.

     

    I can see reasons why the GM might not allow the 4 skill levels due to his campaign restrictions.  I think though that it makes the distinction between removing penalties for distance and environment etc from those imposed by manoeuvres more understandable.


  12. 48 minutes ago, Tywyll said:

     

    I guess from a gama balance perspective, I can see where they are coming from. But from a normal HERO system methodology, where you can build whatever you imagine, I find the limitation on geting better with specific maneuvers an unusual design choice. It seems like weird niche protection, when HERO is normally touted as 'build what you can imagine'. A guy really good at grabs or whatever seems like a valid thing to build, so buying off penalties seems like a straightforward way to accomplish it. 

     

    Why are you buying off the penalty rather than simply buying levels with grab?  To save points?  Seems to me that the cost of being good with grabs is what it would cost you to buy levels with grab...


  13. You can get better at them, you just cannot buy the cheaper penalty skill levels.  There is nothing saying that you cannot purchase skill levels for any manoeuvre other than Multiple Attack.  You can buy skill levels with move through, just not penalty skill levels. 

     

    Multiple Attack is unique in not allowing skill levels with the manoeuvre but you can apply any of the skills on the power used in the multiple attack.


  14. Penalty skill levels in 6th were much more tightly defined.  This would come into the Offensive Penalty Skill levels, which would apply to things that reduce OCV.  However, these were  grouped into Range skill levels (to offset range penalties), Targeting skill levels (to offset hit location penalties) and Throwing skill levels (to offset unbalanced object penalties).  It is quite explicit that Penalty Skill Levels should not be used to offset the penalties imposed for using manoeuvres.

     

    Costs are 1pt/level with any single attack, 2pts/level with three attacks(*) or a tight group, 3pts/level with all attacks.

     

     

    Doc

     

    * it says manoeuvres rather than attacks in my rulebook but I am presuming that is a typo given the explicit text in the book...


  15. Likewise.  What is the function of CON in the game, if it is not a general measure of robustness and mechanical number to avoid being stunned?  In most games, I would think that 90% of the time it is used in-game, it is about whether or not the character is stunned. 

     

    If CON plays a much bigger role in your game (lots of powers acting against CON etc) then that changes the calculation, possibly quite drastically.

     

    Doc


  16. I read this just yesterday.  What it says is that you cannot buy skill levels with Multiple Attack.  You can purchase skill levels with the powers that use in Multiple Attacks and can use them to offset penalties for those attacks when used as Multiple Attacks, you could probably also limit those skill levels to be useful only to offset Multiple Attack penalties with this power...

     

    It makes sense.  Skill levels with Multiple Attack itself would have a huge utility, this means that you multiple attack with the powers you are skilled in, not those you are not...

     

     

    Doc


  17. You have considered multiple attack?  That is simply a manoeuvre with penalties.  You could buy skill levels with the base attack only for use with TK in a Multiple Attack, and then simply utilise it.  Initial contact must be on targets with a particular range and then will last for as long as END is paid or the target breaks free...

     

    Multiple attack allows you to use the same power against multiple foes, you take a cumulative -2OCV for each attack after the first, so to affect 6 foes you would be at -10 OCV against them all.  If you bought OCV, only for TK when using Multiple attack, then that would effectively be the cost of the power.

     

    Personally, as a GM, I would allow you to buy the area effect power as is and the skill levels in a two slot multipower.  You would be able to switch between them freely, hitting the area effect as a starter and then, if the number of people did not exceed the skill level offset, switch to a multiple effect power.  If there were more people in the area than your skill levels would cover, I would make you roll to switch to the individual effects (each target to be hit again with the relevant OCV penalty).  That saves points but would be of less utility than having them separately.

     

     

    Doc


  18. Well,. you have a single attack that has three elements to it.  You have a killing attack, a grab that hinders movement and a continuing triggered attack that will damage until the harpoon is removed.

     

    I would buy a straight killing attack.  I would buy a telekinesis (only to pull toward you) with physical manifestation.  I would also buy an attack with a Killing attack NND (does BODY, only when harpoon removed) and a normal attack NND (optional does BODY, only when fighting against the harpoon).

     

    This is expensive but you could vary the cost with the extent of the damage done.

     

    Doc


  19. The only problem with death traps is both building tension and not getting to a place where the PLAYERS do not see the avenues for escape that the CHARACTERS would.

     

    For building tension you can run time.  I find a better solution is to have a dice pool that the players roll at set points (often decision points or significant actions).  When someone rolls the pool, any dice coming up six is removed, shrinking the pool.  When the pool is empty "something" happens.  If the players have not escaped then you can kill them (bad GM-ing IMO), rescue them (slightly better), have the trap go off and lead them through escaping with heroic actions and damage sustained/resources lost, use their apparently unsuccessful actions to show why the trap does not work as anticipated, or some other plot advancing result. Phew! 🙂

     

    People love reading about their heroes escaping from death traps, they often hate being in them unless you make the situation one of possibilities rather than impossibilities.  If the players do not immediately engage with the problem solving throw some vague hints, highlighting the key features of the trap.  As the pool shrinks you could offer more detailed clues, with or without the need for skill or characteristic rolls.

     

    I give you all this as evidence where my enthusiasm for death traps have led, in the past, to less than enjoyable gaming sessions!! 😬

     

    Doc

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