Engineered Humans Question

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Alright, so the only way you get to be an Engineered Human with the base rules (so no picking) is if your Second Origin Roll = First Origin Roll (pg 34), thus making your second origin as Engineered Human.

The only modifiers to using an overcharge power is based on your primary origin (pg 34) "You gain +2 bonus to overcharge rolls on Alpha powers that have the same power source as your primary origin"

So my questions is this:
Why do Engineered Humans get +2 to all overcharge, if the only way to become Engineered human is through your secondary origin? (pg 56)

I thought it over a bit and considered perhaps this would only apply in a Game where the GM allows the PCs to choose primary and secondary origins, but I wanted to make sure I did not miss a way for either Engineered Humans to be primary or that your secondary origin has some effect on your Overcharge rolls.

I think you've just caught a design flaw in the system.  In fact the engineered human is kinda strange in the fact that your crit bonus still says lvl 2 or 6 when it can only be a secondary and you couldn't take it at lvl 2.  I smell errata already.  Honestly tho,  you could rule to let your players roll 2 origins then choose a primary, a basic rule like that would at least give you a little choice in your character.  If you want to stay 100% random I would just say when you roll engineered human you get the +2 to all overcharge since you were cool enough to roll 2 of the same number, thats probably the RAI Imho. 
Actually at level 2 or 6 you can choose to take the ability from either of your two origins (pg 32 Benefits Paragraph) so that is fine.    But unless you can take Engineered Human as your primary there is no way to be able to get the +2 to all overcharges. 

Perhaps it is for those who want to use the optional rules to be allowed to pick origins (bottom of page 35), or as you suggested allow them to pick which one is primary.
Right now I'm leaning towards the Engineered Human reference on the Origins table being a typo (having should've read Primary.)

Why give such a good bonus as a universal +2 overchange solely to people that are building characters against the spirit of the game, or as the rules refer to them: Big Chickens ?

Also, the fluff section seems to indicate that when visualizing your character that you should use Engineered Human as if it was the primary origin. :/

I think I'd like some clarification.
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I think that Engineered Human should ALWAYS be considerd your primary origin.  They are perfect, after all.
Right now I'm leaning towards the Engineered Human reference on the Origins table being a typo (having should've read Primary.)
...
Also, the fluff section seems to indicate that when visualizing your character that you should use Engineered Human as if it was the primary origin.



This was my impression as well.  For example a player rolls character origin and rolls 20, 20.

RAW:
Origin 1: Yeti 
Origin 2:  Engineered Human

RAI (I think)
Origin 1: Engineered Human
Origin 2: Yeti
I agree with that.  I reviewed the rules a bit last night and decided the same thing (was actually about to come post it.). Engineered human should be your primary origin if you roll it and that would take care of all the problems, and would seem to fit the roleplaying fluff better as well.  Your a human and you slowly mutate into your second origin (as you gain levels and begin to get powers from your other origin).
It does make sense, but I would love TPTB say something, I mean it is a change of one word on page 34 - changing second to primary.
Yeah I don't think they meant just primary origin on page 34, since they went through the trouble of writing "+2 to xxxx overcharge" on all of the origin stat pages, where xxxx is the same as the power source but speaks nothing about primary/secondary.
I'm just letting people choose which one is primary. Solves all problems
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I think the +4 bonus to engineered human attacks rather than basing it off a stat is based on the assumption that engineered human is going to be the secondary origin. Otherwise, it would likely only be a +3 bonus unless the primary origin was also INT. That said, it makes sense to just use the engineered human overcharge bonus even if it's secondary as a feature of that origin.

Other than stats and the overcharge bonus, is there anything else affected by which origin is primary? 
I get the impression Engingeered Human was re-engineered several times.

The +2 to all overcharges speaks to the possibility of it being a primary origin.

The What is it to be Human? sidebar implies that it is an overriding origin (primary or not, it defines a character more than other origins).

The static +4 instead of a stat reference in the powers implies that, when the powers were written, it didn't have a fixed primary stat.

The /two/ +4 skill bonuses might even imply that it was original a sole origin, not meant to be combined with others.  (ie, you roll doubles: you /are/ an Engineered Human, period - you could still do that, but you'd need to come up with 3 more powers:  I'd recomend looking at Warlord powers as a starting place).

The random origin determination rule comes right out and says it's always a secondary origin.  Well, unless you use the 'chicken' system and pick an origin.

 

 

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The chicken system does make me wonder if they wrote the extra information into the engineered human just for people using that creation system. Wizards might have though that the chicken system would be more widely used amongst their target audiance (4e players) who are use to picking every aspect of the character they are playing.  Maybe they put it there so the variant creation system could still use them to the fullest effect?  Seems possible.  Dang now some wizards rep is gunna jump on this forum and say "Yeah we did that on purpose n00bs! You should have known that our game building skillz is just that 1337 yo!"  Probably in those words exactly.
Yeah I don't think they meant just primary origin on page 34, since they went through the trouble of writing "+2 to xxxx overcharge" on all of the origin stat pages, where xxxx is the same as the power source but speaks nothing about primary/secondary.



It's not just on page 34, it is also on page 67 about Overcharging.  Last sentence - "Your primary origin might give you a bonus to overcharging certain Alpha powers."

So it seems to indicate that only primary origins influence your overcharge rolls.  so the question is how does one become an Engineered Human as a primary using the RAW, or, is there a mistake and that when you double up on your origin roll Engineered Human becomes primary and what you roll first becomes secondary?

Yes, there are many ways to home-rule this, but for Game Day we should be true to the Rules in all aspects.

I am just surprised that no TPTB have weighed in, I 'll try asking on the 4e Rules Q&A thread.
Hmmm. I read it that despite EH being a secondary power, it gives a +2 to any overcharge attempt, which makes pushes your primary origin overcharges to a +4.

Barring that, I'll just make EH become an automatic primary.
You could always just rule that the overcharge bonus doesn't stack, that would mean that the Engineered Human's overcharge bonuses overwrite those of the character's primary.

I'm going with RAW for game day but for any ongoing campaign, if you have Engineered Human as an origin, I will let the player either roll to see if it is dominant, or allow the player to choose. I could just say: tough luck, your primary is engineered human...but that actually makes things better for the player in terms of the overcharge bonus.
I think too much is being read into the RAW.  Engineered Human is not available on the Primary d20 roll.  It can only come into play if the second roll is the same as the first roll.  Overcharge bonuses stack.  So for example, my first character roll was an 18, Speedster.  My second roll was 18, which made my second Origin Engineered Human.  My Overcharge bonus for Psi mutations is +4, 2 from Speedster & 2 from EH.  My Overcharge for Bio or Dark is +2.

Overcharge bonuses stack.


This statement isn't supported by the rules.

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so the question is how does one become an Engineered Human as a primary using the RAW

By using the 'choose your primary origin/roll your secondary' system in the "Rolling or Choosing Origins?" side-bar.

Hey, it's a rule, it's writen right there in the book.  Sure, it's one of several 'options' (but, hey, everything's at the GM's option), just like using standard array, point-buy, or random stat generation in D&D. 

 

 

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I think you're supposed to choose your primary origin off the table, then roll your secondary origin, and if you roll your secondary identical to your primary pick, you get Engineered Human. Which I think may actually increase your chances of getting EH.

As for the overcharge bonuses, I figured that since the specific overrides the general, Engineered Human is the only secondary origin that provides overcharge bonuses.

I think toning the EH down misses the point. You have something like a one in two hundred chance of rolling doubles on 2d20, so their extras are balanced out by their rarity.
I think you're supposed to choose your primary origin off the table, then roll your secondary origin, and if you roll your secondary identical to your primary pick, you get Engineered Human. Which I think may actually increase your chances of getting EH.

As for the overcharge bonuses, I figured that since the specific overrides the general, Engineered Human is the only secondary origin that provides overcharge bonuses.

I think toning the EH down misses the point. You have something like a one in two hundred chance of rolling doubles on 2d20, so their extras are balanced out by their rarity.



The rules say you roll both, and then provide alternatives, one of whitch is your suggestion. Getting an X EH is no rarer than any other combination of X Y.

As to the topic at hand: I'm inclined to follow the RAW, but if it's only on the one page maybe it is supposed to be primary. But I thought the overcharge was basically because you wouldn't get it primary so it didn't really matter what it was. (as long as it was made the "right" way)
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I think you're supposed to choose your primary origin off the table, then roll your secondary origin, and if you roll your secondary identical to your primary pick, you get Engineered Human. Which I think may actually increase your chances of getting EH.

As for the overcharge bonuses, I figured that since the specific overrides the general, Engineered Human is the only secondary origin that provides overcharge bonuses.

I think toning the EH down misses the point. You have something like a one in two hundred chance of rolling doubles on 2d20, so their extras are balanced out by their rarity.



1: Nowhere in the rules does it say or even imply that you choose a primary origin and then roll a secondary.

2: Specific overrides general, yes... but where does EH says "You get this overcharge bonus even as a secondary origin"? It does not, therefore there is nothing overriding.

3: You have a 1 in 20 chance of rolling EH, same as any other secondary origin.
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I thought when they were previewing GW in Ampersand or Dragon that they said if you rolled doubles, your origin was Engineered Human, period.  This doesn't really work with the current rules, since you wouldn't have power picks at certain levels, but I think I recall them saying this.

I think with my group, I'm going to count EH as a primary, with the first roll becoming the secondary, assuming my guys want to randomly roll. 
You're right on the odds of rolling EH as written -- I really should learn not to make definitive statements on probability at five in the morning. I was confusing the chances of rolling EH with the chances of rolling a specific origin/EH combo.

Pick primary/roll secondary is one of the options in the sidebar on page 35, as mentioned by Tony_Varga in the post right above mine. I should have said "if you use that option" to make it clearer that that's what I was referring to.

Assuming the EH writeup isn't in error, you get the bonus to overcharge because because the EH writeup says you get the bonus, and EH can only be a secondary origin in the rules-as-written. Page 34: "If your second roll is the same as the first, then your second origin is Engineered Human."

Now, yes, page 35 gives you the option to roll-then-choose, or choose-then-roll. But:
- if you roll-then-choose, rolling on the table for your primary and picking EH as your secondary, then, well, EH is your secondary.
- and if you choose-then-roll, you choose your primary from the table, and if you roll the same for your secondary, you get EH as your secondary.

If you weren't supposed to get the overcharge bonus, it would explicitly state "no bonus to overcharge" or just leave it off entirely, because secondary origins normally don't get an overcharge bonus, and EH can only be secondary.

I will grant that it's implicit rather than explicit that EH is secondary-only. But I'll grant you that it's also implicit rather than explicit in the presented option that, when choosing an origin, you can only choose from the table. So we're back where we started, which is why I fall back on "specific beats general." Page 11 of the D&D PH, or page 29 of the D&D Rules Compendium. "Every class, race, feat, power, and monster in the D&D game lets you break the rules in some way." This is how the EH breaks the rules. Specific beats general.

Your mileage, of course, may vary.
That's not how specific-beats-general works though in 4e-style rules. Otherwise all of the other secondary origins give the same bonus too and the general rule becomes obsoleted, which makes no sense.
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Specific beat general means when an ability condradicts the rules, the ability wins. No where is there an abilit for EH that says it grants the overcharge bonus even as secondary origin.  Therefore specific beats general doesn't apply. The specific rule break has to be stated, not infered.

It's likely that it was put there for when people choose origins, since there is no rule saying it can't be primary, only that it is secondary when you roll doubles on d20's. We can assume it is only for "Big Chicken" games. Or that it is supposed to be primary instead of secondary, and considering how it's talked about it does feel that way. After this discussion I think thats the stance I'm going to take (+4 instead of Int modifier puts it's chance to hit on par with being primary).
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Oraibi's right:  the kind of rules-by-implication that's being engaged in here isn't 'exception based,' it's the kind of silliness exception-based design is supposed to avoid.

Nowhere is there a rule that says EH is always secondary.  It's only /implied/ by the default random origin determination.  Nowhere is there a rule that says the EH overcharge bonus aplies even if it is a secondary origin.  That's only implied by the implication that EH can only be secondary.  There's no specific rule to beat the general /because there's no rule at all/, general or specific.

An EH can absolutely be a primary origin - you can pick it as your primary under two of the three alternatives given in the sidebar.  If there were no overcharge bonus, you guys might be whining that it's absence implies that you can't choose it as a primary!  

Seriously, there's no big mystery or contradiction here. 


I can also agree with jedi123.  The tone of much of the EH origin implies (there's that word again) that at least at some point in development, it was meant to be a sole or primary origin.  Making EH primary when you roll doubles would certainly be a reasonable variant that the EH write-up would smoothly support with no further house-ruling.

 

 

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I don't have my book handy right now, but there is a page that lists what you get at 1st level.  It says you get the traits for both origins.  So, if you have two Psi based origins, +2 to Psi overcharge becomes +4. 

Skills are the same way.  Look up the skills section, those bonuses also stack.  There is nothing to say that the Overcharge bonuses don't stack.

I really don't understand the confusion on the origins front.  You can't roll EH on the first origin.  If you duplicate  the first origin roll on your second origin roll, your second Origin is *instead* Engineered Human.  Pretty straight forward I'd say.


I don't have my book handy right now, but there is a page that lists what you get at 1st level.  It says you get the traits for both origins.  So, if you have two Psi based origins, +2 to Psi overcharge becomes +4. 

Skills are the same way.  Look up the skills section, those bonuses also stack.  There is nothing to say that the Overcharge bonuses don't stack.

I really don't understand the confusion on the origins front.  You can't roll EH on the first origin.  If you duplicate  the first origin roll on your second origin roll, your second Origin is *instead* Engineered Human.  Pretty straight forward I'd say.




Page 34: You gain a +2 bonus to overcharge rolls to Alpha powers that have the same power source as your primary origin.

So we have a reason to raise the question.

To further a past point: This is where specific beats general comes in, as the EH entry giving +2 to all overcharges (since it has no power source), if it is primary (by houserule, or variant provided in the book).
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To further the point of specific beats general; all includes Bio, Dark, & Psi, so could we conclude that the specificity of EH overcharge overrides page 34?

We need some official errata on this from WOTC. 
To further the point of specific beats general; all includes Bio, Dark, & Psi, so could we conclude that the specificity of EH overcharge overrides page 34?

We need some official errata on this from WOTC. 



Depends: It does trump the rule of matching power source (as EH has no power source), because it says it gives a bonus to multiple. It does not however beat the rule of only getting the overcharge bonus from your primary origin and only the primary origin; because it does not say anywhere in the book that EH's overcharge bonus applies weather or not it's secondary or primary. More powerful does not mean more specific.
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I just let EH characters get a +2 to all overcharge rolls and don't worry about RAW or a "right" or "wrong" way to do it.
I just let EH characters get a +2 to all overcharge rolls and don't worry about RAW or a "right" or "wrong" way to do it.



I suspect thats what most people will end up doing, but some people love to argue about RAW :P
I just let EH characters get a +2 to all overcharge rolls and don't worry about RAW or a "right" or "wrong" way to do it.



I suspect thats what most people will end up doing, but some people love to argue about RAW :P



To be fair the question was asked because of confusion from the RAW. When rules questions are asked you can only answer with RAW, as that is the base state (and there are to many GMs to cover every variant that will crop up). But we've covered what is RAW, so now is the time for house rule discussion. (Or for people to justify why their take of RAW is right and others are wrong)

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When rules questions are asked you can only answer with RAW, as that is the base state (and there are to many GMs to cover every variant that will crop up).



Oh I agree. For the most part. But people often talk about 'What is RAW' without often realizing or admitting that they are wrong. There are many, many cases in D&D where the rules are not clearly explained, and some people will argue until they are blue in the face that something is RAW, when it is in fact not RAW. And vice versa.

A good example is people who talk about how a given magical item must be equipped in a certain slot ;) There's no mention of it, and no rules saying why you couldn't, say, wear an amulet on your hands slot. Read the rules very carefully sometime, and you'll see what I mean. There are alot of rules that are 'assumed by implication' and people will talk about that til the cows come home.
For me, now that I remember that there is more than one way to get an origin (letting players pick their origins), then it makes sense to give EHs a overcharge benefit of some sort.

On that note, I plan to run with random creation and thus render the issue moot for my games. ... for now.
Hey, just to note:  The little blurb about overcharge rolls on pg 34 is worded quite specifically:  "You gain a +2 bonus to overcharge rolls on Alpha powers that have the same power source as your primary origin."

Enhanced Human explicitly have no power source at all, and specifically give a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  If it were just based on your power source as pg 34 explains, Enhanced Humans would have all power sources to be RAW in that example, and in turn giving +2 to all power source overcharge rolls would make sense.  With no power source, to follow the rule above on pg 34 an Enhanced Human would give a +2 bonus to no overcharge rolls.  "No power source" is precisely the opposite of "all power sources".

Therefore, this meshes perfectly with the rules as written.  As an Enhanced Human, you get a +2 bonus to your primary power source overcharge rolls, and a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  This makes for a total of +4 on your primary power source overcharge rolls.

It looks solid in terms of both RAW and RAI.


Hey, just to note:  The little blurb about overcharge rolls on pg 34 is worded quite specifically:  "You gain a +2 bonus to overcharge rolls on Alpha powers that have the same power source as your primary origin."

Enhanced Human explicitly have no power source at all, and specifically give a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  If it were just based on your power source as pg 34 explains, Enhanced Humans would have all power sources to be RAW in that example, and in turn giving +2 to all power source overcharge rolls would make sense.  With no power source, to follow the rule above on pg 34 an Enhanced Human would give a +2 bonus to no overcharge rolls.  "No power source" is precisely the opposite of "all power sources".

Therefore, this meshes perfectly with the rules as written.  As an Enhanced Human, you get a +2 bonus to your primary power source overcharge rolls, and a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  This makes for a total of +4 on your primary power source overcharge rolls.

It looks solid in terms of both RAW and RAI.







Going off the half statement before you bolded how do you arrive at +4? You are ignoring half the RAW statement your using to justify your point. Or do you think because each entry also says +2 to a power source (their own) that all characters get a +4? If this is the case, it's possible this is to allow origins down the road to give bonuses to power sources other than their own (dual power source origins if you will), but seems unlikely and unecesary break down. I think it's easier to interpret (and that is what we are doing here) this as an example as specific (EH's overcharge entry) trumping general (the blanket statement on page thirty four). This results in a primary origin EH (through a variant or houserule) to get +2 to all.
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Hey, just to note:  The little blurb about overcharge rolls on pg 34 is worded quite specifically:  "You gain a +2 bonus to overcharge rolls on Alpha powers that have the same power source as your primary origin."

Enhanced Human explicitly have no power source at all, and specifically give a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  If it were just based on your power source as pg 34 explains, Enhanced Humans would have all power sources to be RAW in that example, and in turn giving +2 to all power source overcharge rolls would make sense.  With no power source, to follow the rule above on pg 34 an Enhanced Human would give a +2 bonus to no overcharge rolls.  "No power source" is precisely the opposite of "all power sources".

Therefore, this meshes perfectly with the rules as written.  As an Enhanced Human, you get a +2 bonus to your primary power source overcharge rolls, and a +2 bonus to all overcharge rolls.  This makes for a total of +4 on your primary power source overcharge rolls.

It looks solid in terms of both RAW and RAI.







Going off the half statement before you bolded how do you arrive at +4? You are ignoring half the RAW statement your using to justify your point. Or do you think because each entry also says +2 to a power source (their own) that all characters get a +4? If this is the case, it's possible this is to allow origins down the road to give bonuses to power sources other than their own (dual power source origins if you will), but seems unlikely and unecesary break down. I think it's easier to interpret (and that is what we are doing here) this as an example as specific (EH's overcharge entry) trumping general (the blanket statement on page thirty four). This results in a primary origin EH (through a variant or houserule) to get +2 to all.



No, only Enhanced Humans.  Enhanced Humans are ALWAYS a secondary origin, explicitly.  Enhanced Humans have NO power source, explicitly.  The overcharge bonus clarified on pg 34 is ONLY applicable to your primary origin, and ALWAYS based off said primary origin's power source.  

Therefore, true to an actual exception-based design scheme, Enhanced Humans, being the exception to the rule that they can never be a primary origin explicitly per their own rules text, and the exception to the template of having a power source (they have none, explicitly), but having an explicit +2 to all overcharge rolls, are the exception to the rule.  They, and they alone, have a blanket +2 to all overcharge rolls that are above and beyond that mentioned on pg 34.  Explicitly.  Nothing in their text leaves an opening for them later being a primary origin, as there is only one way per the rules to become an Enhanced Human (rolling the same origin twice, EH becomes your secondary).

Nowhere did I say that any other type of character gets both overcharge bonuses.
Enhanced Humans are ALWAYS a secondary origin, explicitly.

Nope, not explicitly, it's only implied by the default random origin generation method.  If you choose Engineered Human as your first origin, it's your primary.  Two of the three alternatives to random origin generation discussed allow that.

Yes, the Engineered Human's +2 to all overcharges, /is/ a specific rule that beats the fragment of the general rule about the same power source. That's no reason to think it wouldn't still need to be primary to grant a bonus at all, though.

 

 

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Enhanced Humans are ALWAYS a secondary origin, explicitly.



We have shown where in the book it allows you, by the rules, to have EH as a primary origin.
Specifically, the "big chicken" sidebar that explicitly allows you to choose origins.

Please state, with page reference, where the rules EXPLICITLY state "Enhanced Human cannot be a primary origin."
If it doesn't actually say that anywhere, then your claim is FALSE, both on the grounds that they are not always secondary, and on it being explicit.

 Enhanced Humans have NO power source, explicitly.  The overcharge bonus clarified on pg 34 is ONLY applicable to your primary origin, and ALWAYS based off said primary origin's power source.  

They, and they alone, have a blanket +2 to all overcharge rolls that are above and beyond that mentioned on pg 34.  Explicitly.


Please consult a dictionary before using the word "explcitly" again. It does not mean what you think it means.

Nothing in their text leaves an opening for them later being a primary origin


There's nothing in the text for Android that leaves an opening for them later being a primary origin. What's your point?
My point is that nothing in the text says EH cannot be primary.
Again, quote me the section. Page number.

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