An Array is a fighting style where two or more fighters have trained together so long and so well that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: when fighting together, the partners in the Array are much more formidable than when fighting alone or fighting alongside someone who is not their partner.
A character can buy an Array as a DEX Aid for himself with these Advantages, Limitations and restrictions:
(1) Array Aid powers should be limited to 6d6 Character Points of DEX Aid.
(2) The maximum number of Character Points that can be added to a characteristic cannot be increased; i.e., if you have 6d6 Character Points of Aid, you cannot add more than 36 Character Points to the affected characteristic (this translates into a limit of + 12 DEX).
(3) The following advantage is required: Invisible Power Effects (to three sense groups, +1) (often referred to as "Fully Invisible").
(4) The following Limitations are required: Only For Increasing OCV and DCV (-^), Self Only (-V); Usable Only When Within 5" Of Specific Other Person(s) (-1 V to -V). The "Specific Other Persons" Limitation is worth: -1 V if all members of a specific team must be present; -1 if only one specific other person (a permanent partner) must be present or -V if one or more members of a specific team (the team may have up to seven characters total) must be present. The "OCV/ DCV Only" Limitation means that the character doesn't change his place on the Combat Order Sheet; this helps to keep the power from irritating the GM.
(5) The Aid can be moved forward on the Time Chart, up to wearing off at a rate of 5 Character Points per minute (+/). It may not be taken for a slower rate than that.
If characters in an Array are separated in combat beyond the 5" range, the Aid bonus is not usable at that moment...but it does not wear off instantly. If the characters get back within range of one another before the Aid wears off, then the Aid bonus is instantly restored. Here's an example of how the Array Aid works.
Example: Mariko and Seichi are a brother-and-sister fighting Array. Each of them buys the following power: 6d6 DEX Aid, Fully Invisible (+1) (60 Active Points); Self Only (-%), Usable Only When Within 5" of Brother/Sister (-1), Only Increases OCVand DCV (-%). Total cost: 22 points. If they later became part of a larger fighting team, one with five members, they could either decide that the power worked only when all members were within 5", or worked when any one other member was within 5". Assuming they chose the latter, the power would become: Example: 6d6 DEX Aid, Fully Invisible (+1) (60 Active Points); Self Only (-Y), Usable Only When Within 5" of any member of five-man team (-V2), Only Increases OCV and DCV(-U). Total cost: 27 points.
Because martial arts characters often tap into their inner strength, or ch'i, it is permissible to allow them to buy Aid powers with numerous limitations on them and define them as "summoning one's ch'i." Here are guidelines for Ch'i Aid abilities:
(1) Ch'i Aid powers are limited to 2-4d6 Character Points of Aid (see below).
(2) The maximum number of Character Points that can be added to a characteristic cannot be increased; i.e., if you have 3d6 Aid, you cannot add more than 18 Character Points to the affected characteristic.
(3) The following Advantage is required: Invisible Power Effects (to three sense groups, +1).
(4) The following Limitation is required: Usable on Self Only (-1/2).
(5) The following Limitations are recommended or appropriate: Activation, Concentrate, Extra Time, Gestures, Incantation, Increased Endurance Cost. The character is not required to take any of these unless the GM says so.
(6) Aid can be bought for the following Characteristics: STR, CON, EGO, PRE, REC, END, STUN at a maximum of 4d6 Aid; or BODY, PD and ED at a maximum of 2d6 Aid. BODY Aid powers must be taken with the Limitation "Aid Can Only Raise Characteristics To Starting Values" (-/). See "Kiai Aid," below, for options for PRE Aid powers.
(7) Ch'i Aid cannot be bought for the following Characteristics: DEX, INT, COM, SPD.
(8) The Aid cannot be moved down on the Time Chart; this Aid must wear off at 5 Character Points per Turn (or sooner; the character could add a Limitation for it to wear off at 5 Character Points per Phase). Naturally, when the power is used to raise a temporarily-drained Characteristic up to its starting value and beyond, it won't wear off below its starting value.
(9) You can only put Aid powers into a Power Framework (such as a Multipower) with express GM permission; refer to the "Power Frameworks" section, below, for more information.
Here's an example of a power bought this way. This consists of the character summoning his energies to boost his STR for more effective blows:
Example: 3d6 STR Aid, Fully Invisible (+1) (30 Active Points); Self Only (-Y2), Activate 14- (-Y), 5x END (-2). Total cost: 7points.
At the GM's discretion, some of the restrictions described here may diminish or vanish in campaigns which are wilder, more superheroic or more oriented toward martial arts.
In superheroic campaigns, you can buy Aid to Heal someone else. There are two rationales for this: kiai (the ki-based shout of martial arts warriors, which is said to be able to heal as well as harm); and Chinese Medicine. Therefore, for a character to buy this power, he must take it one of these two ways:
This power must be taken with these Advantages and Limitations:
(1) The Aid is limited to 4d6 of effect. It may be bought either as the normal 4d6 Character Points to BODY, or as 4d6 Healing as per page 58 of the HERO System Rule Book.
(2) The following Advantage must be taken: Invisible to Sight (+y2), Usable At Range (+^).
(3) The following Limitation is required: Incantation (-V4)
(4) The following Limitation is not required but is appropriate: Extra END.
An example of the purchase of this power: Example: 4d6Healing Aid, Invisible to Sight (+A), Usable at Range (+ V2) (40 Active Points); Incantation (-%), Increased END 5x (-2). Total cost: 11 points.
Chinese Medicine Healing
On the other hand, Healing based on the application of Chinese Medicine must be bought this way:
(1) The Aid is limited to 8d6. It can be bought either as the traditional Aid to BODY, or the optional Healing (see the HERO System Rulesbook under "Aid" for more information about this). The GM may, if he wishes, also allow the character to buy up to 4d6 of Aid to other characteristics listed above under Ch'i Aid. (2) The following Advantage must be taken: Invisible Power Effects To Three Sense Groups (+1).
(3) The following Limitations must be taken: Requires A KS: Chinese Healing Roll (- ^); Does Not Work Versus Dim Mak Unless Skill vs. Skill Roll Is Successful (-*4); Extra Time (at least 1 Turn (-1); longer times are very acceptable); OIF (either herbs or acupuncture needles, character's choice, -1).
(4) The following Limitation is optional; the GM might permit a character to take a Healing power exceeding the recommended limit if it has this Limitation: Healing Wears Off Instantly When Acupuncture Needles Removed (-1). In other words, the acupuncturist is able to apply techniques to get a badly-wounded warrior back on his feet, but the recovery only lasts as long as the needles remain in the body; a Grab or Disarm removing a needle will make the Healing benefit go away instantly.
An example of purchase of this power:
Example: 8d6 BODY Aid (40 Active Points), Requires A KS: Chinese Healing Roll (-'A), Not Vs. Dim Mak Unless Skill vs. Skill Roll Succeeds (-%), Extra Time (5 Minutes, -2), OAF (Acupuncture Needles, -1). Total cost: 8 points; -4 to Chinese Healing Skill roll.
Kiai is the art of the war-shout, the mighty shout which surprises opponents, upsets their timing, sometimes even stuns them. This can most effectively be bought as an Aid power which increases Presence.
(1) PRE Aid bought as a Kiai shout should be limited to 8d6 Character Points of Aid.
(2) The maximum number of Character Points that can be added to Characteristic cannot be increased; i.e., ifyou have 4d6 PRE Aid, you cannot add more than 24 Character Points to Presence.
(3) The following advantage is required: Invisible Power Effects To Sight Group (+^).
(4) The following Limitations are required: Usable On Self Only (-^) and Incantation (-*4).
(5) The following Limitations are recommended or appropriate: Activation, Charges, Offensive PRE Only (worth Increased Endurance Cost. As before, the character is not required to take any of these unless the GM says so.
(6) The Aid cannot be moved forward on the Time Chart; this Aid must wear off at 5 Character Points per Turn (or sooner, as described under "Ch'i Aid," above).
(7) You can only put Aid powers into a Power Framework (such as a Multipower) with express GM permission; refer to the "Power Frameworks" section, below, for more information.
A sample of a Kiai Shout power might look like this:
Example: 6d6 PRE Aid, Invisible to Sight(+A) (45 Active Points). Self Only (-A), Incantation (-%), Offensive PRE Only (-A), Four Charges (-1), Costs END (-A), Increased Endurance 4x (-1 A). Total cost: 9 points.
A character might buy the power this way to begin with; but as he gained in experience, he'd doubtless buy off the "Charges" Limitation, buy down the Increased Endurance and perhaps buy up the dice of effect.
Sometimes characters who make a successful Skill Roll can gain combat advantages against their opponent; these bonuses can be reflected by Aiding certain Characteristics. Sense Ch'i and KS: Analyze Style are the most common Skills used for this ability, and DEX is almost always the Characteristic Aided. The examples given below assume that KS: Analyze Style is the Skill used and that DEX is Aided. Here are the Limitations on the power:
(1) Heroic-level characters may only buy up to 2d6 Character Points of DEX Aid (which results in a maximum of 12 Character Points of DEX, or 4 points of DEX). He may increase the amount of Character Points his Aid will hold, up to 48 Character Points of DEX (or 16 points of DEX). Superheroic characters may buy up to 4d6 of DEX Aid, and may increase the amount of Character Points this Aid will hold up to 63 Character Points (or 21 points of DEX).
(2) The following Limitations are required: Usable on Self Only (-V), Requires A KS: Analyze Style Roll (-V2), Extra Time (Full Phase, -V2), Must Watch Target Fighting Someone Else for One Full Phase Per Skill Roll (-V), Failed Skill Roll Or Interruption Prevents Further Skill Rolls At This Time (-V), Concentrate While Power Is Being Turned On (V DCV, -J4), Only For Increasing OCV and DCV (-^), Only Versus One Observed Foe (-1). Total Limitation: -4.
(3) The delay for loss of the Aid's benefits may be bought up to -5 Character Points per 5 Minutes (a +V advantage). It may not be bought up higher than that. A character does not have to buy it up that high if he does not wish to do so.
In play, what happens is this: A character with the power observes his enemy fighting. (Often, a character will ask one of his friends or order his student to confront the enemy so that the character can perform this observation.)
Each Phase the character can watch his target fighting, he may make his Analyze Style Skill roll; with each successful roll, he can activate his Aid power.
Each application of his Aid power increases his DEX, but only to improve his own OCV and DCV, and only against this one opponent. It doesn't improve his Speed, his placement on the Combat Order Sheet, his DEX-based Skill Rolls or anything of the sort. If the hero fights a character other than his target, he doesn't get the DEX bonus; however, if he finishes with the other character and returns to his target before his DEX Aid wears off, then he'll still benefit from the power.
If he fails a Skill Roll, or is interrupted from his concentration (i.e., if someone attacks him or distracts him), he can make no further Analyze Style Skill rolls against this opponent during this fight. (Exactly how long a "fight" is varies, but it's long enough for all hostilities to cease and for the character's Aid bonus to wear completely off. Until both of these conditions are met, consider the "fight" to still be in effect.)
This means that once he misses a roll, or is interrupted from his observation, or simply stops making his roll for any reason, he's now gotten all the benefit from his power that he can get; he should then set about attacking his target (or running away, if that is what's called for). He'll fight his enemy with his OCV and DCV substantially improved. Gradually, his Aid will wear off; this corresponds to his opponent figuring out how to compensate for the weak spots in his own fighting style.
Here's an example of how this power is built:
Example: 2d6 DEX Aid, can hold up to 48 Character Points of DEX (equaling +16 DEX), Wears Off At 5 CP/5 Minutes (+V) (42 Active Points); Usable on Self Only (-V), Requires A KS: Analyze Style Roll (-V), Extra Time (Full Phase, -V), Must Watch Target Fighting Someone Else/One Phase Per Skill Roll (-V), Failed Skill Roll/Interruption Prevents Further Rolls (-V), Concentrate(V DCV, -M), Only For OCV/DCV(-M), Only Versus One Observed Foe (-1). Total cost: 8points; -4 to Analyze Style roll.
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