Author Topic: Speed & Superspeed  (Read 1846 times)

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Offline Celedor

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Speed & Superspeed
« on: February 08, 2009, 04:43:54 PM »
There was a reference made to how "Heroes Unlimited" does a better job of handling speed/superspeed than HERO/Champions.

Could someone explain?
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Offline Sorloc

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 06:47:55 PM »
Well I, for one, know that any time one character gets extra actions as opposed to another, I call that a system flaw.  I hate it.

HERO system's SPEED score is all about that - some heroes could get as many as 11 extra attacks above a normal.  Not a lot of fun for the normal.
And-  it doesn't make sense.  The Round is 12 seconds long (12 Segments).  I'm a normal, and I could pull off more than 1-3 attacks in a 12-second time frame; this must mean I've got better than a 20 DEX, or I've bought my SPEED score up.

DC Heroes uses Superspeed in a noncombat role for the most part - tasks that take a long time are dramatically shortened - traveling, reading, picking a lock, disarming a bomb...

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Offline Celedor

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 06:59:18 PM »
I dunno, max normal is 4 Speed. . .before you even get into Supers, consider that your "average" normal of 2 speed tries to restrain his 6 speed house cat so the vet can give him a shot. . .the spinning furball with 50 sets of claws seems to rip the crap out of your arms faster than you can possibly react.

And it comes down to 4 declarations, not necissarily 4 actions.

There are instances where this makes perfect sense. . .to offer a very over the top example, the scene starting with the metal detector and ending with the elevator in "The Matrix" is an example of where it's rough to run up against 9+ speeds when you're at 3- speeds.

I don't necissarily see where number of actions is any more game breaking than scale of damage or capacity to take damage or "Other" abilities vs "normal" abilities (i.e. magic, psi). It's the whole character, more than any aspect that determines if they tip the game or not.

Ignore the MA rules in HERO, and instead force people to buy everything as powers:

As a normal you could build a martial arts attack, say:

4d6 HTH x3 autofire

To simulate a fast hands style.

Or chain link a series of powers, like say entagle, NND, TK and call it "Grapple, Nerve Pinch, Throw".

You can even build 1 phase delays in via "Extra Time", so though you declare the chain in Phase 3, you get the nerve pinch and throw in phases 4 and 5.

I think there are purely choice decisions in choosing to make a system "1 action per round" vs "Actions based on speed per round" (most systems use one or the other) and that there are flaws or problems on both sides.

To name a few on the "One per round" side:

Most 1 per round systems bias toward "casters", as few systems are willing to say "It takes 5 rounds to use an effect" while your melee type could perhaps be making 5 attacks per possible cast effect. RM is one of the rare systems to even attempt this (and the rule was effectively gutted in the RMSS revision) and I don't see much variation between "Multiple attacks per round" vs "Some actions take multiple rounds". ***

Most "1 per round" systems break at multiple attacks. . . .I've yet to meet a Two-weapon-combat, Haste, Speed, Claw/Claw/Bite or multi/extra attack mechanism in a "1 per round" system that wasn't effectively broken. (Most 1 per round systems will have a history of revisions of those rules over and over and over, giving a sign that even if they won't admit it, the developers, GMs and Players all know the logic breaks there.)

*** PS: I will modify that. . .Call of Cthulhu is the BEST game in terms of dealing with this. . .I can't tell you how many times some variation of "What do you mean I have to hold these mummies off for an hour while you perform the ritual to close the book of the dead and banish their animating spirits back to the afterworld?"

All that said, can anyone explain the "Heroes Unlimited" reference?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 09:40:09 PM by Celedor »
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Offline cobalt-blue

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2009, 11:32:06 AM »
Hmmm, it's a matter of how the powers work in the two different systems. 

In HU, Speed only refers to running speed.  In Hero it refers to combat speed.  In HU, superspeed can give you extra attacks- add to that the extra attacks you get for martial arts, and being upper level characters and you can end up with 8 or ten attacks in a four second period. 

Speed in Hero however is based on a 12 second combat turn with higher speeds representing better combat training in those 12 seconds.  To me, the speed system in Hero makes keeping up with who goes when in combat much easier.  Who goes when in HU is based on an initiative roll, whereas in Hero, it's based on the actual speed of the character.

Finally, if you want to reflect extra speed in an attack, simply buy rapid fire on the attack, and that can represent being able to hit many times in a round.

To be honest, both systems have their merits.  There is a particular power in HU that only shows up in THAT system (although they've watered it down so badly that it's not really what it used to be) and in GURPS supers, that I like.  However, neither of those systems handles the raw lifting power of super strength as well as Champions does without unbalancing the game.  Actually, HU handles it pretty poorly.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 11:34:26 AM by cobalt-blue »

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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2009, 03:45:09 AM »
Someone must be a real Palladium Fantatic to think that.  I have played both and Palladium's system for superspeed is awfully broken in comparison to other powers. 

To be honest, super speed and your speed score are two seperate things. 

One of the best super speedster write ups I have played with (after 15 years of once a week gaming with severa groups), had an obscene amount of every momement, lots of Flash Tricks, a great DEX, and was only 6 speed.  Now before people cry out, that is no super speed, think about it.   (Note: The highest speed I have ever let in my game (or have seen in any campaign that has survived more than 3 games) is 8. )  The main reason he could buy all those things was because he didn't spend the 60 additional points to be SPD 12.  See that would of limited him to moving distances that normal people could do (and it is not right for someone to outsprint your speedster on a given round.) 

Super Speed is about the movement and all the cool speed related tricks.

Just because the character can move at hundreds of miles of hours does not mean he can initiate 100 times.  REspond yes, do no.

You need to think of speed as screen time in a turn.  Heroes get the speed 5 (on average in a supers game) so they can mow down speed 2 and maybe speed 3 agents like they do in the comics.  The Power of Speed is not a reality based GURPS esk detail of reality.  It is how truly effective you are in a pinch.   Fantasy Hero Characters are usually speed 3 and 4 going up against speed two targets.  That extra turn givens them a hance to be heroic.

Now you can give the speedster "special effect" iin many cases to deal with  superspeed disarming a bomb.  To be truthful, the system in DC heroes does do a better job for the non combat.  Pity you are stuck with the rest of the rules (which have some merits, but get icky in character creation).   

And use the Martial Arts rules.  Whiile Celedor has a point about buying MA with powers, as long as you keep the speed things under control.  The whole autofire on your strength thing gets really ugly.  Hand Attack with the autofire simulates it.  Howeverremember, if the Speedy Guy actually hit someone that fast, his hands would pulp.   Most of the time, super speedsters would be being careful about decelerating without killing themselves, avoidin road debrie (which would rip through them like a ram jet, and so on). 




 
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Offline Noir

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2009, 05:54:17 AM »
Speed in the HERO system is a game killer if the GM lets things get out of hand.

It can be annoying to people just wanting to make cool characters, but a GM really needs to have a firm hand in a HERO game.

I like the way DC Heroes handles Superspeed. Wait, no, I love it. But it is another system where the GM can get "overmatched" by design geeks if care is not taken.

I prefer DC Heroes because of stuff like this and the way it handles damage classes ( like adding magical ).

Still, I think players/GM are way more important than system. I'd kinda like to play a game where you picked some cool things and just played, or where you picked a character from a pool and there was a description and apprearance - that's it - no stats and numbers, just your own play.

(short) Example:
Hammerman is six feet tall, with a square jaw, blue eyes and curly brown hair. He can fly and has immense strength as well as tremendous resistance to physical damage. Hammerman's arch-nemesis, The Floating Brain, often exploits his weakness to butterscotch cookies in the various duels of wits he delights in inflicting on our hero.
Hammerman's secret identity is Charles Charlington, a simple handyman by day.

(short) Example:
Thiefy McTakerurstuff is a skilled panda-burglar in the highest traditions of the art. No mere panda has ever excelled in such daring deeds of burglary and such acrobatic exploits that are the stuff of the legends that Thiefy has made. Thiefy can be found in one of many of his cover identities, from a humble noodle seller to a fairly famous performer at the circus. Thiefy is notorious for his love of brownies, going to great lengths to obtain the rarest and most precious ones, as well as for his hatred of the dreaded ninja-cats of itwasntme.

Errrr...ya!
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Offline Celedor

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2009, 12:15:25 PM »
I fully agree with the detail of what you said MH, but I find the issue that pops up is usually on 2 sides.

Comparing the Speedster to the Martial Artist: Who often have high Dex and a 5 speed. . .and do 2-3x as much damage per melee attack. . .which means that on the speedsters "Axis" they're 20% faster, but on the Martial Artist's Axis they're 200-300% more melee combative. . .I certainly agree that this gets fixed by giving the Speedster 200-300% more inches of move.

but

The breaker usually ends up being the flying Energy Blaster . . . . another character that often has High Dex, and a 5 speed. . .and a crippity-crapload of flight inches. . . .you start to feel a bit less like the speedster when the EB is only 20% slower to act, and can traver further, faster while they energy blast people at even greater range.

It's like chess peices, but movement and attacks each compared to a peice. . .a 6 speed speedster with many inches moves like a queen and attacks like a king, compared to a high move 5 speed flying EB which moves like a queen and attacks like a queen. . .they not only dominate the field with movment, they also menace the whole field regardless of where they stand with ranged attacks.

I do tend to agree that 7-8 speed is generally where speedsters tend to land in games that work long term. As a house rule, if I recall the progression right, there were pre-requisites for speeds over 8 with us (assuming said speed allowed physical actions, not just mental ones):

9 Non solid (like your character is a boneless shapechanger or a liquid form) ala stretching or the like.

10 Gaseous ala a limited form of de-solid

11 Energy ala a limited form of de-solid

12 Non material ala de-solid but with either phased or mental form special effect.

Imposing those kinds of limits tended to curve the limits back onto themselves. . .so in a super-super game, your 10-12 speed speedster is desolid, so you'd need "Affects normal while de-solid" with any attack you could use while operating at those speeds, which steppped down the damage thresholds.


All that said. . .I have no problem playing a speedster at 6. . . .if all non speedster characters, PC and NPC are limited to a 4 speed. . .that's definitely enough of an up step to allow the speedster to shine on speed. . .just don't allow 5 speed martial artists and EBs.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 12:23:18 PM by Celedor »
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2009, 05:42:18 PM »
Those are all coming down to game balance issues that we have GMs for. The system is not broken just because it allows efficient elemental control characters.  

We see those differences when the Fantastic Four rolls over lots of Villians who give other less powerful heroes a lot of pause.  There was an issue where Spiderman was fighting some incarnation of the Sinister Six.  The Human Torch showed up because he just had a question for Spiderman.  He trounced the entire six in short order, and asked Spiderman about his new car.  Spiderman just kind of blinked and stammered out an answer.  Torch said thank you and flew away.  

Villians that are a multi issue arc for some groups are a half page filler for others.  We see this when villians from one group guest villian in another.  (Again the FF trounce Doom about half the time, various Avengers teams get smeared by him (while others tear him apart).  If Doom didn't get the hots for Ororo, the X-men would of been mangled by Doom.

You build a street crime campaign and then when someone builds a world saving character, it does tend to peel the game apart (of course, someone has to hold the hand of the world saver, so they can find the bad guy and his next crime or his lair).  Again, if you let it in your campaign, you get what you deserve.

It is all about the kind of campaign you want to run.  If you want running blaster duels, just veto characters with more that 12" of flight and give hand to hand fighters a tough time.  You will get a bunch of people with force fields and energy blasts, and just a little flight; and get the campaign you want.  


Do the same with any powers that don't have to do with martial arts, and you get a martial arts campaign.  

As for the martial artists, if the GM lets them have the advantage over the speedster, that is their campaign, not the system.  

Let me illuminate:  Why are you doing autofire punch when all you need to do is Moveby.  You know, the attack option that lets the speedster hit several targets once along the movement action?  Add a little hand attack for that and your martial arts issues go away.  In fact, you can run around a character and every 6" or so, hit the guy again (valid in 4th, I still think you can do it in 5th).  Add some levels of DCV vs grab and your martial artist and brick become ineffectual.  (Again, balance for your campaign).   And a Speedster with a little limited defense of Vs Move through, which may or may not need some extra dice of hand attack with it, will lay out your average uber guy when he can reach him.

Okay, you have a flying character vs non flying character issue, especially without a ranged attack. However you are playing what you want to play.  And this happens in the comics all the time.  The character has to "be smart" to deal with these issues, why not the character.  After all, those guys have to get to the ground or near the ground sometime. (And if there is a ramp or something to leap up on near by... Can you say Evel Knievel jump and an unprepared flier?  I knew you could).  

Disallow reduced endurance on any flight or blast power and the endurance rules will correct any advantage that a flying blaster might have.

The game is balanced for character creation within limits.  The freedom you have in character creation is great, but with it comes greater responsibilities for the GM and the PCs.


Let us also repeat the mantra:  Just because it is a legal character does not mean it fits The Campaign. Please make one that fits the campaign in both mechanics and background. Repeat until the player gets it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 05:45:07 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Celedor

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2009, 05:53:38 PM »
I agree. . .I was coming at this from the perspective of saying that in HERO speed is NOT broken. . .I also find that there are a multitude of minor elements that combine to make balance. . .like a 10 SPD character with a max 5d6 normal attack is less power breaking than a 5 spd character with a 10d6 normal attack. . .despite the fact that both can plow out 50d6 of damage in a round. due to the way defenses work, 5x10d6 is a lot nastier than 10x5d6. . .those are the kind of factors I watch for in a speedster.

That said, if playing a 40 active point game, where 6 SPD is the limit, as GM I'd not allow over a 4 SPD for anyone but the speedster. . .speeds over 4 are powers, and with that tight a margin in SPD, the speedster needs that lead to maintain their concept focus. . .5 speed bricks, martial artists or EBs are stepping on the 6 SPD speedster's tail too much.

If I were running a higher limit game, where the speedster goes to an 8 SPD, then I'd be more amiable, as GM, to allow 5-6 SPD "quick" versions of the other archetypes.

(Conversely, if entering a game playing a 5-6 speed martial artist or EB, I'd expect to run into speedsters at 7-8 SPD)

I happen to like most of the mechaics in HERO, it's usually the combos, stacking or limitation/advantage tweaking that leads to bad things.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 06:21:35 PM »
Gah, I am getting old. I remember a good example for this. 

Long, long ago, I prepped and ran a game with Speed 8 as the average (7-9), and normal characteristic max.  No more than 10 points in any power, and 75 pts base with 75 pts of disads max.  Skills were going to play a big part in this one.

A drug with special properties escapes the lab. It finds its way into the street mix as a stimulant. It can be snorted, shot up, or ingested. In a select few.....   side effects occur. 

Did we mention a bunch of it doped the soda at a social event (or that a truck with it blew up... dispersing it all round the neighborhood?) 

This was a great game because guns, regular machine guns, and thugs were a credible threat ( a lesser one).    It was a very tailored street level campaign, with lots of zipping, dodging, and hit and runs.

Outside of their little world, these characters would of been mangled, with defenses around 8 and attacks around 4 dice, and CVs around 7 (due to levels).  Nobody ever would of built this character for a regular game, but for this one.. it worked.

Game disolved due to player attendence.

The combos were some of the reasons why 5th edition is so technical and dry.  They were trying to make solid rulings so GM's wouldn't be able to screw up their balance so easily.  Yet, most GMs made the right decisions.  Yet again...

If the GM lets it in his campaign, he gets what he deserves. It is easier to just say no, than maybe have your campaign mangled.


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Offline Celedor

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 06:46:39 PM »
Amusingly, while I totally agree that the GM is responsible, HERO is one of the few games in which peer pressure is often a major limiter. . .Players often will not want to even attempt to pull something, knowing the other PCs will verbally lynch them.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2009, 07:20:23 PM »
Why would anyone think that?  In Blue Book (4th) there are about 12 pages on special effect and moving beyond the mechanics using the effect for a good game.  In Fred (5th edition)  there is almost three times that (about how to run genres, how to go with special effect, and how to do things)?  If your GM or a player is being stupid about such things, all you need to do is pull out the book and point to the sections they have about it.

People complain about the amount of Campaign Fluff in Hero books, yet this is the kind of thing that "fluff" addresses directly.  If they haven't seen it, they have actually bothered to check out all the rules applicable to the game at hand.

You can then wonk back and forth such things as appropriate  for your game.

Every game has wonk. People who point to the rulebooks, people who point to suppliments, some who appeal to common sense, and some who just beg invoking the Rule of Cool.

Remember the magic rule, for a super hero game,  If it seems like something you can do in a comic, you can probably do it in a game (with appropriate characters, powers, situation).  

No specific mechanics for it?  No problem, that is why we have GM to arbitrate things.    As long as people are having fun (and this is where peer pressure and the GM paying attention to their players comes into play), go with it.  

Remember, with more gaming freedom usually comes more gaming responsibilities. (And a great deal of give and take)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 07:22:20 PM by MoonHunter »
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Offline Celedor

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Re: Speed & Superspeed
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 07:24:14 PM »
We seem to strike a rather similar mental wavelength, I've said this elsewhere on this board:

"I don't play good systems, I play good GMs."
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