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Old 11-27-2017, 04:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default GURPS and Hero System: modifying powers

GURPS has a very simple system for applying modifiers: they're priced as percentages of the basic cost of an advantage.

Hero System has an ingenious set of arithmetic for making stacking lots of enhancements onto a power progressively more expensive. For a long time, I thought that this was a all-round better method, at least in theory.

Today it dawned on me that the Hero method is better, if the baseline versions of powers represent the desired style of play. If they don't, there will be a contradiction between desired style and cost-effectiveness. This may be part of the reason that Hero System is so centred in its original genre of four-colour superhero gaming, and why doing other genres with it always feels a bit artificial, at least to me.
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Old 11-27-2017, 10:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: GURPS and Hero System: modifying powers

The best method is actually to use each modifier as a separate multiplier, but this is a hassle in actual play unless doing everything with computers. Both the GURPS method and the Hero method run into weird corner cases.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: near London, UK
Default Re: GURPS and Hero System: modifying powers

Multiplicative modifiers make sense if the modifiers enhance each other. For attack powers, this is generally the case: Area Effect lets you attack multiple targets, Armor Divisor lets you attack tough targets, having both lets you attack multiple tough targets. I'm not sure it's necessarily the case with non-attack powers.

But of course costs are always very approximate, because campaigns vary, even in the same world. The first example that comes to mind is Mathematical Ability in a WWII game great if the game's set at Bletchley Park, not a whole lot of use if you're doing small-unit actions in France.
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