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Last thread I'm going to start about this, I promise. Having had some interesting discussions with Crusher Bob and others recently, I have decided to have a go at House Ruling the 'Trigger' power modifier. Critiques welcome (I just know I'm going to regret saying that...) Trigger Variable cost This power modifier allows a character to set a power to activate in pre-determined circumstances. It takes as long to Set a Power as it would to use the power normally, and all other strictures apply, so Setting an Attack power will normally end your phase, unless it is a Triggered Reaction (see below). If there are power modifiers that change how a power is activated they must always be observed; for example if the power requires Gestures, those Gestures must be made at the time the power is Set. The power is considered to be used when the trigger is set; that is you have to fulfil all the requirements for activating the power (including paying any END cost), even though the power's effects do not occur until a trigger condition is met. Once a power is set with a trigger it is referred to as a ‘Set Power’. If you put a Set Power on another character they are always aware of this, unless the power is bought with sufficient levels of Invisible Power such that they would not be aware of being attacked with the power. You must observe any strictures that apply to a Set Power that is activated so Attack powers require a roll to hit at the time of activation using the combat values of the character at the time it was set, although Area of Effect attacks are considered to go off where they are set and never scatter. Any activation roll is also checked at this time. A Set Mental Power is considered to start when activated for the purposes of breakout rolls. The trigger condition must be defined in advance, but there may be several conditions that need to be fulfilled or several alternatives, any of which need to be fulfilled. The trigger condition is determined when the power is bought unless you have paid to be able to change the trigger condition, in which case it is determined when the trigger is set. You may buy a defined triggered power that has several settings: for example you could buy a triggered power with a ‘time’ condition and set the time before it is activated. You may buy a triggered power with several pre-defined activation requirements and set which one or ones apply when the Power is Set. You should not have more than three pre-defined conditions that can be set. A variable trigger condition can be set to activate immediately (effectively allowing you to use the power in the same way as if it did not have a trigger). A deactivation condition can also be determined when the trigger is defined. Ranged powers can be Set at range, but you do not need a power to be ranged to use it with trigger: once the trigger is set, the distance between the Set Power and the character that Set it is largely irrelevant. If a Set Power is an attack, the target must be set when the power is set unless you Control a Set power. Powers can be triggered by any action that the setting character could detect or that the character would logically have access to. A bomb (a triggered RKA Explosion) could be set off with a pressure sensor as the setting character can detect pressure, or for some other common and easily understood method, for example a coded radio signal. Set Powers remain indefinitely until the trigger condition is fulfilled at which time the power is activated. Once a power is activated it goes off immediately, and this may interrupt (but not end) the action of whatever triggered it. A Set Power takes no time to activate. A Set Power remains where it was set unless Set on a moveable object or a character, in which case it moves with the object or character. If the power is visible in normal use then the Set power is visible until used, but not usually obvious: a triggered fireball does not necessarily glow like a fire while it is just sitting there. What a Set Power looks like should be determined when the power is bought as it is part of the SFX. A Set Power may be deactivated in a number of ways other than by triggering it. 1. If a deactivation condition has been set, this can be fulfilled. 2. If a character is aware of a Set Power, they can attempt to deactivate or move it; the method of deactivation should be defined when the power is bought or set will depend on the nature of the trigger but must be a reasonably common or straightforward method and is subject to GM approval. Generally a Set Power can not be reset by a third party, unless it has the +0 modifier when bought. This allows others to sabotage a Set Power, but also allows allies to change a Set Power or easily deactivate it or circumvent it. You may have an automatic reset. Generally it takes as long for a power to automatically reset as it did to set it, but this does not require any action on the part of the character. A Triggered power with automatic reset will reset a pre-determined number of times, or until deactivated. Triggered Reaction This differs from a normal Set Power in that you have started to activate it (and done all the preparation) but the power is not considered used until you actually use it, so you pay END (if you have to) when the power goes off. A character may control what happens when a Set power is activated if the trigger is defined that way when the power is bought. This is referred to as a Triggered Reaction. Taking a Triggered Reaction requires a zero phase action, so can only occur if the character has a zero phase action they can take. This allows you to, for example, control the target or power of a Set Attack Power when it is activated, or the direction and distance of a Set Movement Power. You may abort to control a Set Power, even if it is an attack power. You can not use a Triggered Reaction to move further than you normally could in a phase or attack more times than you normally could in a phase. Controlling a Set Attack power ends your phase. Generally a Triggered Reaction will be set on the character controlling it. If it is not then the character must have some way to communicate their intention to the Triggered Reaction. Notes Triggered Powers can be Set out of combat, but do be sensible: buying and setting 64 x 1d6 cumulative Mind Controls to make the first person to attack you your slave is possible but clearly an abuse. This is a Power Modifier and so you can not set it up to allow you to trigger a combat manoeuvre. If you set the trigger on an attack power that allows you to add Strength for your damage you should buy a Naked Advantage for your Strength if you want to add the damage with a triggered attack. It does not need to be built the same way as the Trigger modifier on the base power. Setting the trigger on your Strength is a zero phase non-attack action, when the purpose is to add to the damage of another power. This is also clearly open to abuse. A pre-defined trigger +1/4 A pre-defined trigger that can have several settings +1/2 A trigger that can be redefined at each use +1 Power can be reset by a third party +0 Set Power is not visible (but the power will be visible when it is activated if it is normally visible) +1/4. You can only have one Set Power operational at a time +0 You can have 2 Set Powers operational at a time +1/4 Each doubling +1/4 Note that if the triggered power also has the focus or charges modifier, you still need to pay to be able to Set more than one at a time. A triggered power which is also modified with ‘Autofire’ does not need to buy this modifier to cover the number of times that the power autofires. An automatically resetting trigger is still considered as just one use of the power and counts to the total you can have Set at one time. Automatic reset +1/2 Slow automatic reset (6 segments or more) +1/4 The character controls the Set Power when it is activated +0
I recently tried out a new house rule that I really like, so I thought I'd throw it out there for discussion. It was specifically developed for a Monster Hunter International game I ran at GenghisCon last month, but I think it could be applicable for any game with heavy Gun Fu. Something that's always bugged me a little about gunfights in Hero is how long it takes to run out of ammo. Even using Autofire, Rapid Fire, etc, a 30-round magazine will usually last several Turns. For my MHI game, I really wanted to simulate the "I empty the magazine, drop that weapon, and draw my backup" standard action that's so common in the books. The new Firearms Manuevers in the MHI RPG book are pretty good, but I felt they were a little too complicated for Hero Newbies in a 4-hour con game. And I really wanted one rule that worked the same whether the character was using single-shot, autofire, or whatever. So after playing around with several different options, I settled on: Hail Of Lead: For any firearm attack, doubling the number of rounds fired gives a +1 OCV or +1 Damage Class to that attack. (For Killing Attacks, such as most guns, +1 DC can be simplified as +1 Body.) So for single-shot attacks, firing 2 rounds grants a +1 OCV or +1 Damage; 4 rounds grants a +2; etc. Autofire attacks work exactly the same: if your Autofire burst is normally a 3-shot attack, firing 6 rounds gives you a +1; 12 rounds gives you a +2; etc. Hail of Lead is considered a variant on the Pushing rules, not a manuever; so at GM's discretion, it may be used in conjunction with other maneuvers such as Bracing, or even Rapid Fire. It wound up working out really well! It didn't slow down play noticably, but let the players give that extra little dramatic effort, whether they were hosing down a room full of chupacabras or trying to push past a demon's Damage Negation. More important it really felt cinematic, with expended brass flying all over the place Matrix-style, and made for some fun roleplaying choices: "Do I blow through the rest of the magazine this Phase and hope that finishes it off? If I'm wrong, it could get to me before I can reload..." (The two PCs with Fast Draw were the envy of the group!) Not appropriate for all campaigns, of course, and could be unbalancing in a game where players pay points for their equipment. (Part of the discount for Charges is because you can't Push.) But for Heroic games where you want a lot of shell casing on the ground at the end of the balltle, or Post-Apoc games where rationing ammo is important, I highly recommend it.