Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

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Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  Admin on Wed Apr 17 2013, 05:51

I will freely admit I haven't read all of Blood of Heroes - there didn't seem to be any point when I've read/played DC Heroes 1st through 3rd editions (though 1st is quite different from 2nd and 3rd). That said, there are quite a few changes and not just in character creation, so post up rules discussions/queries/problems/suggestions in here! I will endeavour to pick through the BoH book (it's quite a meaty tome, and still available cheap on Amazon. Just no one... no one mention the art, ok? Let's just say 'they could've done better' and leave it at that... *shudder*)

Disclaimer: My main target is updating the game posts above all others! With that in mind don't expect instant input into this thread!

Also please try to keep discussions in bite size chunks - text walls are tricky to read on computer screens (unless, of course, that's just my old eyes playing up).

I've always been one for tinkering with games, and have a few house rules I'd like to try out some time, but for now we'll go with the rules as written and queries/questions/changes/suggestions... post in here!

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Wed Apr 17 2013, 20:18

I have one! I'd like to discuss Damage Absorption, out of the rules additon thing that you posted a link to Paul. I think it would nicely fix my defensive power shuffle I've been doing lately. I would want to give it a similar bonus that Invulnerability has. Namely so that it can apply to mental and mystical damage as well as physical. I'd suggest +1 FC for each. Thoughts?

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Wed Apr 17 2013, 23:15

Here are two quick comments.
On damage absorbtion, I just re-read the description, and am leery. I would counsel against using the power at all in the game, or at least not without modifiers. It seems broken on a few many levels. Essentially it is similar to power reserve, but at half the base cost and -2CS FC. That is fair enough, given how it is powered.

However, it also negates the damage absorbed, in some ways also making it act as a healing power, since you avoid the damage that would have been applied, and then only take the remainder, if there is any at all. That will in the end leave the character practically immune to stunning and damage, when LDD is considered.

The damage one normally suffers in the game is less than body. Most combats are built on attrition. You take 3 points here, 7 here. etc. Few involve a one shot victory. So, if someone takes this power and has it the same rank as their body, which is reasonable as that is the link level, they have essentially negated their worries in most combats. Take for example someone with a body of 9. She would resist most attacks with that to begin with. It is only after that that the remaining points could potentially affect someone, and RAPs will nearly always be lower than the body, since most opponents are not one attack victories. Given that the RAPs are lower than body, she now can almost always be assured of success on her roll and getting a column shift as wll, and depending on the RAPs, is in a good place to make the roll a critical attack roll as well. This will essentially mean that she is immune to anything of a similar level of power to herself, and with a few hero points, will not have to worry about damage from things of greater power either, especially since all they are doing is strengthening her as the fight goes on. The only real concern would be things completely overwhelming in power, and that does not seem to be a good thing to have to face every fight, especially when considering that, in a group setting, the other PCs would not have this capability.

And adding a bonus allowing it to work against mental and mystical at only +1FC each is far too low. +4 to +6FC each seems much more in line with what is being gained, which is near immunity from damage in that category, and an additioanl power reserve from those attacks as well, which is why the power should probably be modified or disallowed at it's present cost and write-up.



An alternate suggestion would be the Damage Capacity power that was mentioned to the Admin in a note.
Since he created this thread, this might be a better place for discussion of it.

Damage Capacity (3 different powers)
(Physical, Mental, or Mystical) Damage Capacity
Link: Body, Mind, or Spirit
Type: Auto
Range: Self
Base cost: 25
Factor cost: 6
Damage Capacity increases the amount of damage the user can sustain and still function, without increasing the user resistance to damage.
These Powers, purchased seperately for each type of damage, raise the user's Current Resistance (Body, Mind or Spirit) condition by the APs of the power.
This has no affect on the user's RV. This way, the character cannot use more than his BODY value in HP to bolster his RV.
They also add APs to the Resistance Attribute when determining the point of death.
The Character can spend Resistance Attribute + Damage Capacity HP in Last Ditch Defense.
The Character Resistance Attribute + Damage Capacity are also used to determine Stun results on the Character.
These Powers have the following special limitations:
- -No negative capacity(Power does not affect point of death) -1
- -Negative capacity only(Power only affects point of death) -3
- -No capacity to use more than BODY in Last Ditch defense. -1
E.g. Ikaris with 10 BODY and 10 DC can soak up to 20 RAPs before being knocked unconscious, dies at -21 BODY and can use up to 20 HP in Last Ditch Defense, is stunned if he takes 20+ RAPs in one attack [before Last Ditch Defense], but defends with a 10 BODY. He can only add 10 HP to his BODY to augment his RV.
A nuclear submarine could have 14 BODY and 10 DC instead of 24 BODY.


It is an `unofficial' power, but it does have the advantage of being considered standard by the owners of the MEGS game. It comes out of the MEGS compilation document.
And it essentially boils down to having more hit points and ability to LDD more damage, but does not affect RV at all, negate damage, nor does it increase someone's power while doing it, making it far more balanced.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Thu Apr 18 2013, 03:34

I was actually planning on something like this.

Damage Absorption
- applies to mystic and mental damage +2, Cannot negate all damage -1 (at least 1 RAP gets through), Attached to Invulnerability and Regeneration.

Even linked to body, I could only take 6 APs.

That said, the power to compare to is not Power Reserve, but rather Emotion Absorption and the Energy/Kinetic Absorption powers. Like Emotion Absorption it requires a Dice check to gain any of its power boosting effects, and only gives the RAPs from the chek back in bonuses to the attached powers. However it can only be activated under the specific condition of when the character takes damage. I belive that would account for a reduction in base cost and a cut on the factor cost of Emotion Absorption. Defensively it functions somewhat like Kinetic Absorption/Energy Absorption with a bonus that it does not fail if damage taken excedes the power. There would also be a limitation that moves the power from an Auto power to being a Dice power, with the reduced damage being only the RAPs on a check vs incoming damage.

I'm fairly sure that it ballances out to BC 75 and FC 10.. which is what I rember the power costing.. then again on checking back it has a FC of 8.. which is unusually cheap. In that case, I'd want to go with +2 for additional damage types, bringing the power back up to FC 12 like I was execting it to be.

I like your suggested soloution, however it doesn't suit how I picture Alex functioning. That power would result in a character with high damage threshold, but little resistance to damage. Alex is resistant to damagae but has a low threshold for it. Damage that can get through will knock him out without having to deal absurd amounts of damage. His advantage is in recovery. When highly damaged he recovers fast, I picture him getting knocked out and recovering before hitting the ground. I am aware this is mostly fluff.. however I like to make my mechanics match my fluff. The other thing is I dont want to just add reams of regeneration because when he ISNT beat down a large amount he doesn't heal faster then normal (for him, a point or two of regeneration is pretty on the dot for him though). Thus, damage absorption tied to his recovery powers is ideal. As he takes more damage his healing ability gets better and he recovers faster, then that wears away after a while and he goes back to normal.

However, before we go off on a back and forth debate.. lets hold off or move to PMs and let Paul get back on this? Smile

For the consideration of anyone else, heres a quick description of the power

Damage Absorption
Base Cost 75 Factor Cost 8
Action: Dice

When a character with this power takes damage, they may make a Dice action using the APs of the power as AV/EV vs OV/RV equal to the damage taken. RAPs (positive resultes) on the check reduce the damage taken by an equal amount. In addition the RAPs earned may be added to appropriate powers (as power reserve) for a length of time I dont rember currently, I think its equal to the APs of Damabe Absorption. You can pick 2 Attributes or Powers that may benefit from this power, and add additional powers for 5 Hero Points added to the base cost.

This power by default only applies to physical damage.

For anyone who wants to follow this discussion, the HP cost chart is on the first page of the welcome to the game thread, and the charts that describe how actions are resolved are on the last page of that thread.


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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Thu Apr 18 2013, 11:36

Even +4 FC to make it able to absork all mental and mystic damage is too inexpensive. It esssentially makes you capable of being immune to damage from all sources.

Power Reserve is not an unfair comparison; it is actually the best comparison. Damage absorption is essentially Power Reserve with both the kinetic absorption and the energy absorption powers fueling it, although it is much more expensive and much more limited.

Emotional Absorbtion is another reasonable comparison, and it also more expensive than this power in both base and factor cost. And emotional absorbtion limits the amount of increase by the AP's powers, and limits the amount one can absorb by the RV of who they are trying to absorb from.

Kinetic Absorption and Energy Absorption alone are not good comparisons at all, as both just absorb damage, but they do not add to statistics, like Damage Absorbtion does. Both Kinetic Absorbtion and Energy absorbtion also limit the physical damage that can be absorbed, while Damage Absorbtion does not. So, those two powers combined are BC: 60 FC: 11, and that only covers the damage absorbtion. And that does not include the power reserve aspect of it adding to your abilities, which with that added and the needed bonuses and limitations, it would be a BC: 160 and a FC: 23 for to have all three powers. Power resedamage Absorption is essentially doing ~all~ of that, and listing it as a BC: 75 and FC: 8 is just horribly broken and undervalued. This was just a badly designed power, and there is no wonder that it did not make it into the Deluxe version of the game, being passed over instead for the power reserve combination mentioned. It is unbalanced and underpriced.

On another note, if you are saying you are highly resistant to damage, but a low threshhold for it, then damage absorption is not a good fit. As mentioned, given that your body score gives your initial restistance to damage, and then damage absorbtion reduces what does get through, then you are in effect hard to damage and to knock out both. You would have to deal absurd amounts of damage to get through the body and then the damage absorbtion, and the fluff and mechanics do not match. If you want someone resistant to damage, but a low threshhold for it, then that is simply Skin Armor. It makes your RV much higher, but does absoluitely nothing for the threshhold of damage you can sustain. The fluff and mechanics match. And for the regeneration issue, that is easily solved by adding a -1FC Power Limitation that the power only works when you have sustained a certain amount of damage, and is not in use otherwise (Or perhaps only works at less than maximum APs).

I do not think taking it to PM would be a good idea, as that ends the ability of others to offer comment, should they wish to do so, although admittedly, many are not familiar with the system. Likewise, I think that perhaps it is helpful to point out the pros and cons of things before the admin weighs in or makes a decision, so he has as much relevant information as possible before making a decision, do you not think? Especially so since he stated that this thread will not receive prompt attention so the game thread can have priority.

And finally, I have to apologize for one thing. I am very much a wall of text person... ^_^;

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Thu Apr 18 2013, 21:39

I'm mostly wanting to avoid leaving Paul with to much reading, Via PM we can talk over things and then post our conclusions here.. it also leaves less of a headache for the less technically minded members. Though trying to follow the conversation might be a good way to get a handle on the mechanical nicknacks.

From a purely mechanical, balancing the game for production perspective, I generally agree with you.. Though a couple points you made seemed somewhat redundant to me. Until I realized that they were not technically dealt with in the power description. I considered it to be a matter of common sense that Damage Absorption couldn't provide more 'power reserve' effect then its own APs, and that it couldn't provide more APs of the same effect then the amount of damage it was comparing to. To me those are sufficiently obvious that they don't need to be stated.. but when writing out rules for a game source they should be stated because there are people who want to break the game in play (I enjoy doing that OUT of play, there's no fun playing a character that cannot be challenged after all).

I also don't agree with how you did your math.. you simply added everything together, without account for the limitations the power also applies to those basic powers. If I were to 'build' the same power out of multiple other powers at the 6 AP level I want it at, it wouldn't cost nearly as much as a FC 23 power would at 6 APs. If I was at home I would get into the math involved. Instead consider a few things.

Energy Absorption - would need a limitation that it makes a CHECK at it's APs vs the damage it would reduce, rather then flat out reducing that damage. (considerably limitating as the action just became a DICE action, and produces much less of a bonus per AP, this should include the bonus that it reduces damage even if it can't negate all of it.) This could be worth a -2 to -4 in my mind. Add the bonus to apply to Power Reserve.

Kinetic Absorption - See Energy Absorption

Power Reserve - Reduced to only being powered by Absorption powers (brings it down to 100 BC.. and isn't it a -1 FC as well?)

At 6 APs of all that.. and admitting that this is a large portion guess work as I lack access to my book at the moment.. the total comes to something like 264 points. Using the math you suggested comes to over 306 points.

The way I was looking at it however, is based on emotion absorption, functionally the closest power. (make a check, RAPs equal bonuses to attached abilities). BC 100; FC 10. Change the ability from being active to reactive (it can only be made in response to a triggering situation - taking damage) Entierly worth a -25 point adjustment to its BC, possibly worth a -2 adjustment to its FC as well. Having it 'drain' the triggering events RAPs for +3 makes sense to me.. and then I would personally stick a penalty on it that it can't negate all damage (1 RAP must get through) for a -1. Puts the whole thing at BC 75, FC 10 and prevents a character from being entirely impervious to damage. The addition of mental and mystical damage for +1 FC comes from Invulnerability and the fact that removing those types from Regeneration is a -1 FC adjustment. Those set the precedent.

Since we're not building this for an entire game system though.. we have the luxury of considering the context that the power will be used in.. Linked to a characters Body of 6, applying to all damage types, and with a limitation that it must allow 1 RAP through even if it would otherwise negate all damage. The game operates on a AV/EV range of 12-15 ideally, with challenges designed for the range the characters are in, Lionheart specifically can hit 15 RV for physical attacks. Alex/Stormbreaker has a RV of 11 vs physical (either Density Increase or Skin armor.. how this is ruled on will determine that based on points available). That means that an attack that's on par with Lionhearts RV will deal 5 RAPs on an attack with no column shifts and the damage absorption will negate 1 RAP of damage on a similar no column shift result. Hardly a situation where the character is impervious to damage. A simple 1 AP adjustment up, or single column shift would create a situation where no column shifts for the damage absorption power would result in ZERO reduction in damage, and the 8 RAPs would KO Alex in a single blow.

Context is important! Very Happy Especially since we don't have to balance the game for who knows how many people. We just have to make it balance for our game, and we know the rough range that the game's power level operates in.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Sat Apr 20 2013, 06:28

Hello Dunecat, that is a reasonable thought to go to PM, but I think it misses the opportunity for others to add discussion points. We are seeing that in the other game with David's character creation, I sent three suggestions to him by PM, but you were not able to add any input since you were not able to see them, nor could you use what had already been written to work into what you were creating. So, unless there is a need for PM, it is better to discuss things in the thread designed for such things itself.

You say it is a matter of common sense that Damage Absorbtion cannot go past its own APs. However, common sense is not as common as some might hope, and reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements. Through our various discussions, there are things you have said that seem to defy what I had commonly thought, and I am certain that there are things I have said that you think violate that as well. This would be one of them, but the game system itself seems to support my view. many powers can have abilities and effects that go past what it's AP levels are listed as. There is not a blanket rule that stops all powers from going past it's APs when dice are included. An energy blast might be rated as 10 APs but roll high enough and it can do 20 RAPs damage, despite the power not being listed that high. So, while you might believe that you cannot have more APs through your rolls, the power does not support that view, which again goes back to my view that it is unbalanced and badly written. Another example is that a power called regeneration would allow one to regrow lost limbs. But there is nothing in the book about it doing so, it only reduces the checks for recovery. Does common sense consider it added in the power or not?

However, let us presume that is true, and it does not let you go past your APs in power reserve duplication. That still does not make it balanced in any way, since it is, again, far cheaper than the listed alternatives and offers more benefits while doing so. You might disagree with my maths, but your disagreement is perhaps predicated on disagreement with my conclusios, because the math is sound. I had not simply added them all together as you state, I included the various power advantages and limitations that the power descriptions stated were required. Adding them together would have brought you a lower total. Having them work all in concert like Damage absorption does is ~more~ expensive, which agaiin speaks to the fact that the power is horrible unbalanced, underpriced, and not well thought out at all. And it encapsulates many of the objections you have brought up as well. If you still disagree with that, then I welcome you to demonstrate that it would cost somewhere near the damage absorption description, rather than the higher FC I stsated it would.

As for the particular points you mention, yes, energy absorbtion would need a check rather than flat out reducing damage. I do not consider this a limitation since that means with a dice action you could surpass the APs it absorbs. Instead of a flat amount, you have the option of going past that, which ios very possible since you have the option of using hero oints on your roll, or of using the Going for Broke and other options. However, if it is judged a limitation, then it should not be -2 to -4 like you are thinking. because it can also grant benefits, it would be more in the 0 to -2 range, and the -2, only if the dice action is the only dice action you can do in the round. Kinetic absorbtion, is the same response.

Power Reserve, I included the fact that it has a lower base and factor cost when it has to be powered in those manners. Had I not, it would have been BC: 210 and FC: 27. (You were correct on the BC price, but the FC was lowered by -4CS). If you look at the math, you will see these lower BC and FC were applied (100+35+25=160), and the same with the FC. It was not simply adding the three together.

So, it would cost 298 points for 6 APs of all that with the math the book suggests.
It would be 123 with damage absorbtion, which just indicates how underpriced and unbalanced it is, and likely why it was never added to the Deluxe game.

I disagree that emotion absorbtion is the closest match. The closest match is the one above, the combined one, since emotion absorbtion does not have the damage reduction capabilities. Emotion Absorbtion only provides the statistic boosting ability, so you are leaving out the rest of the equation. Nor do I think making it reactive is worth a -25 base and -2FC, since again, you are leaving out the fact that it is reactive because it is protecting you, just like a defensive power should. Nor would I think that requiring at least 1 RAP to get through is worth -1FC. If you do not roll enough to absorb all the damage, then that is not a limitation, it is a bad roll and/or APs, and has no bearing on if it was limited or not, as the result would be the same, hence it is not a limitation. If you roll well enough and can negate all the damage, but still have to allow 1 point to not be negated by the power, that is still not much of a limitation, since it means you only need to spend one hero point to negate it. That is also not worth -1FC. If you cannot negate it with LDD either and must take 1 point of damage (it is somewhat of a distraction to say at least one, since for most practical purposes it would only be 1) then that might be worth the -1FC limitation. However, given you have regeneration, that is not much of a limitation in practice, but it does at least fulfill the obligations.

While invulnerability does make it +1FC to affect mystic and mental, in addition to physical, Regeneration does not.
Regeneration affects all of them as per the base power. Losing the others reduces it by 1FC each, which is a subtle difference.
Invulnerability does, but it might be the only power that does. And it's siole piurpose it to keep the character alive, which might justify it as an exception.
Any other power does not offer the bonus to affect the other abilities; it requires you to purchase an entirely new power. You do not buy energy blast and then add bonuses to affect any statistic. You must buy a seperate mind and mystic blast and give them a binus to work together. You do not buy a force field and add a bonus, you must also buy a mental and mystic field as well. Not doing so for Damage Absorption, and considering it only a +1FC to gain immunity to attacks from the only three methods of damage in the game is almost nonsennsical, and it does get back to your earlier statement, that you want your character to be challenged. If he essentially cannot be hurt, and the little amount that seeps through is regenerated quickly, then how can he be challenged?

I would think that having something be balanced needs to be both in the game system and in the context of the game both. If it is not balanced in the game system, then it should not be used in the game at all, which is my contention. If it passes that, then it should be looked to see if it is balanced in the game contect. You pass the second check, but since the first fails, it should not be used. The other problem with your example is that, while you are buying it for 6 APs now, that does not take into effect either hero points or character growth, which you have already stated will be an effect in general. Add a single AP to your power, and you have negated any attack of 12 APs or less. Add enough APs to make it the same as your RV, and you have negated any attack of 15 or less, and anything up to an 18 is looking at only 2 APs. And you do not actually have to raise the power. You could simply spend a few hero points on your powers AV and EV roll for the same effect, or 2 points to RV to make the attack more manageable. It cannot be balanced for our game in the manner you suggest, because it is inherently unbalanced. If you want it balanced for the game, then it must be similar in cost to the 23 FC power, given it's power and utility.

So yes, contect is important. It is not going to be in a vacuum where you will be static. Allowing it allows a very broken power into the game, suggests balance is immaterial, does not account for hero point or growth, how it might actually be used in the game, the ramifications of gaining immunity to attack forms across all levels, and overall is a very bad idea, in my opinion. You clearly disagree, and that is fine. We simply have different ideas on balance and play, and that is fine. It is up to the Admin to make the final decision after all.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sat Apr 20 2013, 07:09

Shocked



You really like to go through each point one at a time don't you? Admittedly I would be quite happy to take the regular absorption powers if they had some bonus to not fail if damage excedes their APs. I would love to be able to do some damage soaking like that and still launch an attack on my following action. In fact, I'd go so far as to want to develop a mental absorption and mystic absorption. I have no idea why they don't have powers along those lines already..

So, maybe we should turn our creative efforts to making something balanced along those lines? The Mental and Mystic absorption powers would need to be a little more expensive, as they are standing in for the combination of two powers that cover the full range of absorption for physical attacks. After that, not failing if exceded by incoming damage.. maybe a +4FC?

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Tue Apr 23 2013, 16:43

Hello Admin,

As I noted, I disagree with you on your decision about the sorcery bonuses and limitations. Before I go any further, I will say if that is your decision, then I will respect it, and that is that, as you have the decision to run the game in any manner you wish, and so nothing further needs to be said.

However, if you might be persuaded otherwise, then here are my specific disagreements.

To begin with, the power description states that the first thing you do is describe the effect you want to achieve. It does not start off with the power duplication or the bonuses and limitations, it starts with the effect you want to achieve. The second step is to choose the power, bonuses, and limitations you need to achieve that effect. And so I would say that that is the guidelines on the integration of bonuses and limitations- quoted `The Player or the GM may ALSO determine what Bonuses and Limitations on the selected power are appropriate for the desired effect, such as casting Invisibility with the Useable on Others Bonus’. That is pretty clear, I had thought, that bonuses and limitations are simply added and subtracted as needed. It states that it is part of the power. It is not a case of adding or losing APs. The sorcerer chooses the effect, and that is what happens. That is the entire point of the power of sorcery. It is not a simply a power duplication power.

Your comparison of Force Manipulation is not the case. You say that FM is limited in comparison for what it can do, but that is not really the case when you compare the two. FM is not limited to simple gadgets. It can be used for any physical power you can justify. The only qualification is for mental powers. So, FM has a base cost of 75 and can use fully 1/3 of the powers freely and has access to much of the mental ones as well. Sorcery has a base cost of 750. If it was the same thing, then it should have ten times the powers available to it, which it does not, and it should not have the limitations of mystic bashing damage, which it does.

I also do not see the logic in stating that it is harder to create an effect just because it has a bonus applied, or easier because it has a limitation applied. Let us say Kyoko uses sorcery to duplicate comprehend languages for a written text. That is a FC: 2 power with a +1 FC bonus for written materials. According to your rule, it is harder for her to do that than it is to create an effect that is FC: 10, such as Time Control. Reading a book in Spanish is harder for her than it is to break the laws of time and physics? Or the reverse, it is easier for her to stop time if she mandates in the spell she cannot do so on Tuesdays (a -1CS power restriction). There should be no difference if she is adding bonuses or limitations. Sorcery has an effect of the APs put into it. No more, no less. You cannot push powers you make with sorcery, only the sorcery itself. Other than that, your effect is just the APs of sorcery.

I disagree with you that this is a free ride, and the context that the magic sourcebook used the term is not the same as the context you are using it in now. Far from being free, this is what the power was intended to do and why it costs so much. You state that if another character bought the power they would have to pay for it. Kyoko spent 850 of her 1000 points on the power. I do not think that is a free ride at all, and I think she has paid for it.

You state that magic is a vulnerability for many characters. It is your campaign, so that might be true. But looking through the DC books, I see only Kryptonians (Superman, Supergirl) with a vulnerability to magic, none of the others. And looking at the magic sourcebooks, I see many individuals with protections against magic. And as you have said that I will be encountering lots of sorcerers both good and evil, it suggests I will be at more of a detriment, not an advantage.

You say she could flatten every other character on the team if she had a better initiative. There are a few problems with that, and we will discount that I do not expect to get into battle with the rest of the team. Wink
To begin with, any of one them can flatten her with one shot as well, so that seems to be rather a draw. But as you note, she has a very poor initiative, and so they will all have the opportunity to flatten her first. That suggests she is less powerful, not more, than the rest of them. And looking at the rest of the team, I have doubts that she even could flatten some of them in one round. Her utility is in her versatility, not in sheer power. Your suggested change her is stripping her of that versatility, the reason the power cost so much.
And on that point, as you can see, Kyoko has extremely low statistics and initiative compared to the others, and she will have a much more difficult time increasing her powers than the others will. She has to be concerned with midrange thugs the others do not have to have concerns about. Those are other limits to the character brought upon by the high cost of sorcery, so she should retain that flexibility without hindrance.

You say this applies to the other variable powers as well. I would disagree. The other variable powers do not state one can have bonuses or limitations added to mimicked or duplicated powers. Hence, they would have to have that added to their macro-power as a miscellaneous bonus or limitation if they wanted to do so. Sorcery on the other hand does state it can have them, and they are added right then and there.
And those other powers do not cost as much as Sorcery does, do not damage you in using it, and sometimes have other bonuses. The Continuum Control, for instance, allows you to perform multiple dice actions as a single action.

Your example of Kyoko blowing up entire civilizations falls short for three reasons.
1. Area effect states that `With GM approval the area covered by a Power with an Area Effect can be expanded.’ That means you have every right to say that Kyoko cannot choose the universe as the affected area.
2. Sorcery states that `Powers invoked through Sorcery must be approved by the Gamemaster before they can be used.’ That means you have every right to say that Kyoko cannot cast a power so bent beyond recognition that it can destroy civilizations.
3. You’re the DM, and can say `No, you cannot do that as it will completely destroy game balance and spoil the game for everyone’ at any time to anyone, no matter what the rules say we can or cannot do. So, again, you can disallow such a maneuver.

That also explains why the 25 AP sorcerer did not already blow up the world either. The DM said no.
But that also leaves you the option of the DM saying `yes’, and everyone waking up one day to find the entire world ensorcelled or changed by magic, or some other situation, and thus in need of heroes and heroines to set things right.

You also dismiss the mystic bashing more than you should by stating a regeneration spell would solve it the following phase. I will point out that that is only true if the spell is 10APs or more, otherwise it will take longer, and that if she has to heal herself after every spell, then she is only able to act proactively every other round, meaning she has essentially lost half of her actions. That sounds like a very significant limitation to me.

And then there is your proposed fix. As pointed out in the other thread with the 28 APs of occult, that makes worse problems, it does not solve them. There is not a single power in the book that cannot be brought down to a FC: 1 with limitations, and moreover, you are encouraging this to be done, if only to negate the penalty you are adding for the bonuses, which at least in sorcery’s case is an inherent part of the power. It is far better to instead simply ask if it makes sense and if it is possible and deal with it that way.

Finally, I think you might be able to tell from my conversations with dunecat that I do consider game balance very heavily. Given the fact that the addition of bonuses and limitations to an effect is only part of the description of the sorcery power not any other power, that sorcery is one of the two most costly powers in the game, that it is limited by mystic bashing damage, and that things can be disapproved by the DM at will, I do not see this as unbalancing at all.

So, to sum up…
I believe the addition of bonuses and limitations is an inherent part of the Sorcery power.
The alteration of APs for bonuses and limitations instead unbalances the game far more than allowing the above.
To best keep balance, sorcery should retain its ability to add bonuses and limitations as necessary to the effect being made without adjustments.

But if you still disagree and wish to go another way or make a different ruling, it is your right as DM, and I will comply with that decision.

Warmly,
dee

PS to dunecat, about going through point by point, I think maybe it is a mild case of OCD. Laughing

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Tue Apr 23 2013, 19:57

I'm going to chime in with Dee here.. she's paid ten times what I did on Silas for Force Manipulation, in addition to taking a power that inflicts damage if she's not careful with it. I understand the particular rules in place with Force Manipulation. I even encourage them in some ways - though I can get a LOT of utility out of the power using them and some well applied power limitations. In this case, I'd argue that she's at LEAST paid enough points to modify a power up to FC 10 without limitations. As of BoH she has the single most expensive power in the game (Adaption was reduced to 250 HP, along with gaining some limitations in the process).

For the 750 points in the base cost of the power, she could easily have purchased Force manipulation at 20 APs with a limitation that no single power created by it could excede 3/4 her APs of Force Manipulation, rounded down for -1 and a bonus saying that creating an item is not required to emulate a power for +1. She'd hit the 15 AP limit, be able to emulate all physical powers and as mentioned many of the mental ones. In the same action she could simulate a 5 AP defensive power like Force Field, slap a handful of drawbacks on it to tailor it to JUST the situation she's in (Say; Self only -2, No protection against Gas Attacks -1, No protection against Radiation Attacks -1, No protection against heat Attacks -1.) And be able to get that defensive power up to 12 APs. This would also have saved her however many points she actually spent on APs of Sorcery.

Instead she's paid a huge price to get sorcery. Admittedly, she could take this ruling and apply many of the same kinds of thinking to it, producing multiple spells with a single action that while using less APs of Sorcery then would harm her, still produce much larger effects. It does create the unusual situation of having an easier time playing around with the time-stream then in reading spanish however.

On the flip side Dee, you can get a lot of use out of this. Magic Blasts that are fatiguing using 10 APs of Sorcery (thus dealing no damage against Spirit 11), would actually crack the 15 AP ceiling and function as a 16 AP attack. You'd have to make a fatiguing check.. unless you took more time then I did to come up with your -2 FC adjustment. You could produce a lot of power with less Sorcery APs in use, allowing for multiple active effects.

To be fair, you might want to take this as a warning Paul, her max APs of Sorcery is 16 if I remember correctly, that can produce an energy blast style attack of 27 APs following the system you're using. Enough to demolish just about anything in existence. In fact that relationship gets worse as we get into higher AP values.. Especially if you take a higher FC power and can strip it down to FC 1. Using Time Control to get at Cell Rot, or Spiritual Drain for instance. If you strip all the other uses of the power away at -1 FC each, then apply some additional limitations you can get down to FC 1.. from FC 10. The difference in points takes Kyoko's 16 Aps of Sorcery to 37 APs of power at FC 1.

I'm not saying I would expect her to do that, and the 15 AP ceiling would prevent that, but the potential is there. More likely, she could use the same process to use 5 APs of Sorcery to get 15 APs of spiritual drain, and then the other 5 APs to get a 12 AP forcefield/mindfield/magicfield as needed. It's a lot of power, especially as she gains the ability to use more then 10 APs of Sorcery at once. With another 5 APs she could be flying around at speed 9 or 10 possibly.

EDIT: Dee... you really didn't need to be QUITE so sarcastic in the main game thread.. that was a little bit overkill don't you think? Evil or Very Mad





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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Tue Apr 23 2013, 22:33

Dunecat, thank you for the comments on this issue.
I had not realized adaption had been reduced in cost, but I think that is a goood thing. I always throught it was overpriced for the game. Also, some of the issues of ultra high APs would not really exist. The effect might work to an equivalent of 28 or 32 APs, but since we are still limited to 15 APs that would be the most she could have or use. But that it only takes 5 APs of a FC: 10 power to have that 15 AP if you apply enough limitations, suggests that there are problems with the proposed solution.

And finally, I am sorry if I came off sarcastic in the main thread. I had meant to come off tongue in cheek. Sad

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Wed Apr 24 2013, 00:35

Ah, likely my own over inflated sense of sarcasm colouring what I read then. Smile Still.. maybe a little overboard? Just a smidge?

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  deeyin on Wed Apr 24 2013, 01:01

Well, I do not think I went overboard. An illustration in play is the most effective example as you can actually see it in effect, and it resonates more than just an example detailed elsewhere. And doing so in a less tense situation seemed like the best time for it. Doing so in a battle or other tense situation would have been going overboard, and grandstanding. I simply wanted to illustrate the point and it was the opportune time to do so, and I immediately said I was not being serious with it and provided an alternative. No sarcasm was intended. ^_^

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  Admin on Fri Apr 26 2013, 02:01

Another series of text walls. Great.

Ok, it's easy, simple, as you both know to break the game by piling on limitations to get down to FC1. Yeah? The 15AP limit is a ceiling for powers (and everything else). Sure there are one or two instances where that has been broken through (16APs or so) but for the most part I am asking people to respect the spirit of the game. Whenever you play in other DC games do you instantly go all out to min/max and pile every possible limitation on to buy 30APs magic blast, energy blast etc? Heck claws is cheap enough, you could make a 450hp character that could kill Superman in one blow if you wanted to, assuming that they can hit the Man of Steel. Here - let's just call it Energy Blast, 215 points, Serious Burnout, 30APs. For added potency make it magic blast, 220 points. If everyone else has characters with 15APs are you saying you'd be happy with the 30AP AV/EV character instead?

Now let's apply that to Sorcery. Dee wants unlimited/unrestricted access to bonuses and limitations for her sorcery. Never mind that sorcery can replicate just about any other power, instantly, and without limitation for the most part. Force Manipulation? Probability control? Regeneration, Time Travel.. you get all of those powers, and more, and you say you're not getting enough for your sorcery and you want to be able to add unlimited advantages as well? You don't want any limits placed on sorcery because you paid 750hp and that entitles you to every extra going, and then some, whilst other players who want an advantage have to pay for them?

I really think we're on different pages here. I want to spend my time updating the game and moving play on. Roleplaying. I want to introduce depths to your characters including private lives, secret ids, subplots and rogues galleries. I want to build a game world with the characters as stars of the show. Instead I'm having to grind through pages and pages of rules discussions and disagreements.

I'll leave it up to you. If you want to carry on with the page filling rules text walls then please leave the game.

If you want to play, and work with me (I'm fully aware I'm not a complete expert on the rules, and I hoped I wouldn't need to be. I'm in this to have fun, not debate and number crunch) then please accept my house rule with these variable powers. If you want to add bonuses or limitations, fine, but nothing comes free. That's it. Am I being unreasonable? When other players have to pay for those, you get to add them - but it reduces or changes the power somewhat.

It's nearly 2am, I've spent over an hour with this stuff and I wanted to get up to date with the posts, but I've fallen short, again. There's only so many hours in the day and I won't waste them by butting heads on rules, sorry. I'm gonna hit the sack and we'll see what the morning brings. Goodnight...
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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Fri Apr 26 2013, 03:56

I'll admit I'm a little hesitant about posting after that, however.. you're right in so far as what I've often seen referred to as 'The Gentlemans Agreement'. Otherwise known as not breaking things.

I also honestly didn't expect you to bother reading through the whole thing after a particular point. You're not here to referee the debate between Dee and myself. I should have stuck to my initial thought and contained that kind of thing to PMs. The most exposure that should happen on public about our debates is perhaps a summary on here and a request that you look into something to clarify it. You shouldn't have to slog through a bunch of technical posts about stuff you're not honestly interested in.

I love the writing and work you put into crafting your stories, Having SHIELD show up in the other game after the bank fight was great. And something I didn't expect at all. Captian CLaymore is a fantastically portrayed character, I like him a lot. Winding Kyoko and Stormbringer together into the same story was really well done. And the work you've done with Stormbringers background, even though I've been lax on writing up all the background bits to fill you in on what I see for him has been spectacular. You really pulled me in with the Professors death, it made things personal right from the get go. That's all why I'm here.

So, I guess in short. I'm sorry, I didn't mean for this to be a frustration for you.

Also, sorry to everyone else. I'm sure having a rules slugfest in the middle of a narrative experience was probably not a great thrill.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sat Apr 27 2013, 05:01

So, something more in line with what this should be used for! I was looking for the perception rules in the BoH book (i found them eventually) and found a section on movement. Turns out you can do some cool high speed maneuvers including being 'invisible' and leaving behind 'doubles' or after images of yourself. Also for those who are ground bound, running up walls is at 14 APs speed.. which is interestingly enough the same as escape velocity.. Very Happy

When I'm home next I'll get into the more specific stuff about all that, but I'd love to hear what other people think of that stuff. In a non crunchy way.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sat Apr 27 2013, 06:14

Now that I'm home, for those interested.

'Invisibility' can be accomplished via high speed movement. Any method of travel that used at greater then 8 APs (9 or higher in other words) renders the character invisible to the normal human eye. Some method of negating the sonic boom for breaking the sound barrier is required to avoid giving away your position however. APs of movement become the OV/RV for a perception check to locate a character using this ability.

More to come!

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sat Apr 27 2013, 20:20

After Images:

The writeup on theses is a little confusing, only because in one part of the description it says that only those with superspeed can use this ability, and then later it talkes about the number of after images that can be made are based off of 'superspeed (or movement)'. If Superspeed is required, then Lionheart at least will be able to make use of this!

After images are the effect created by a character moving so fast that they can appear to be in two places at once, usually be leaving a location, stopping for a second in another spot and then continuing to move, leaving a momentary sequence of 'doubles' in a trail behind them. Doing this takes up two automatic actions in a single round.

While performing this maneuver, a character leaves behind doubles that can only be told apart from the real thing with a perception check against an OV/RV equal to the characters APs of speed. Any applicable perception related abilities could be used to substitute for a regular perception check as normal. If the perception check fails then the opponent(s) will be unable to tell the after images apart from the real character, resulting in the character receiving a blindside bonus, or a similar appropriate modifier as appropriate. The number of after images that can be created is equal to the APs of movement divided by 4, rounded down. Speed must be reduced by 1 per after image created for the duration of the round they are used.

I referred to APs of 'speed' while typing that out because I'm not sure if that is dependant on having the superspeed power specifically or if any high level speed power would be able to. We'll need a ruling on that, or if this is even allowed.

If it is, there's some really cool applications to be had. Forcing an opponent to guess which image to attack, or take multi attack penalties to attack all of someones images, the potential blindside bonus in the actual writeup. Combined with the ability to be 'invisible' it could produce some excellent stealth/distraction potential.

These two ideas are taken from p 154 of the BoH book. As much as I dont want to.. we should wait on using them until Paul has a chance to let us know what he thinks.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sun Apr 28 2013, 02:12

Since David M was wondering about some more specifics about his fear attack, here's the power's text from BoH


This Power anows a Character to generate an aura which causes opponents to feel extreme fear. The aura extends to a distance (in APs) equal to the Character's APs of Power. Any Character within Range of Aura of Fear is attacked separate- ly with no Multi-Attack penalty. The Character who uses Aura of Fear may voluntarily exclude Characters from the Power's effects.
To use Aura of Fear, a Character must make an Action Check with AV/EVs equal to the APs of Power against OV/RVs equal to the opponent's Int/Mind. If RAPs scored are greater than or equal to an opponent's Mind, the opponent will simply stand in place and quiver with fear for the duration of the Power.
. Otherwise, if positive RAPs were scored, the opponent will flee the scene. In either case, the effect lasts for a length of time (in APs) equal to the RAPs earned.
A Character affected by Aura of Fear may attempt to overcome the fear. Each phase following the attack, the Character can make an Action Check with AV/EVs equal to his IntIWifi against OV/RVs equal to the RAPs of the successfu1 Aura of Fear attack. Positive RAPs from this Check indicate the Character is free of the Power's effects.

So, looks like I was wrong and there's no fall off of effect, meaning that Haunt can generate a 9 AP radius circle and attack every single person in it. 9 APs is a half mile. The average person has a 1 or 2 in each attribute, 5-7 is about typical for most heroic or exceptional normal personalities. This means the Haunt can effectively turn most opposition into gibbering babies without to much trouble, and can exclude whoever he doesn't want to be hit by it. Pretty handy really.

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  Admin on Sun Apr 28 2013, 14:37

It really is an underused, and very cheap power. For bog standard characters (450HP) it's one of the best 'bang for buck' (along with Energy, Mind and Magic Blast) that you can get. You could (quite easily) make a character to 'beat the world'. Simply purchase Aura of Fear at 24-25APs with catastrophic burnout and voila. Take the average (middle) roll of three rolls to represent the average attack on everyone in the world and have them literally frozen in fear for ages. Weeks, even. They'd all dehydrate and die. A world quite literally frightened to death. Only your heroic types would be left, and they'd be stuck looking for someone to punch, because your range is world-wide. There are other ways to 'break' the game of course, but Aura of Fear is very potent (area effect, mental attack, 1 RAP has an effect as opposed to needing full RV and all that)

Thanks for the pointers about Perception. I run the game mostly from memory and refer every now and again, but one of these days I will have to have a serious dig through the BoH book. It's just.. that art. Nnngh. I don't mind so much the characters, even if they do look just thrown together. Best thing to do is not compare with DC characters and take them for what they are, rather than feel they are cheap no-name knockoffs.
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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  DavidMcMahon on Sun Apr 28 2013, 14:52

Wow, here I thought Aura of Fear would wind up being the least used power when teamed up with someone else since I thought everyone would be affected. But since I can choose to exclude folks, it may become my most used attack instead. Thought I was going to have to buy an advantage like "Selective Fear Targets" but guess I do not now.

Let me just double check, even after I end my Aura of Fear attack, the person who failed their roll to defend is still standing in fear however many APs in time that went over their roll? So I could have someone in a fear state, if they fail their defense, for anywhere from 4 seconds to 30 minutes? Assuming they do not make a "fear check" roll to break it sooner?

Wonder if the butler upstairs is quivering in fear? flower
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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  Admin on Sun Apr 28 2013, 21:51

1 RAP or more means the target will run in fear for that length of time

RAPs equal to the targets Mind means the target will stand and quiver in fear (or, ah, wet their pants - ask Yeoman) for that length of time.

The target can resist the attack (after the initial hit) with Int/Will vs the RAPs. Lionheart would have overcome the 8RAPs with a roll of 9 or more, for instance. The others (Frostbite and so on) would have an easier time as the roll that nailed LH was killer. Twenty odd, if I recall. The dice went a bit mad (Invisible Castle). I don't link to save time, but I haven't/won't fudge any rolls. What comes up on Invis Castle or on my dice gets posted here, for better or worse!
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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Sun Apr 28 2013, 22:37

In the example you suggested Paul.. not even the heroic types would be left. Very few can take a 27 AP mental attack.. As mentioned, your average heroic character has 5-7ish APs of mental stuff.. some go up to 10. Only your Jean Grey/ Xavier/Martian Manhunter types would still be standing. (If I rember right 27 APs covers the diamater of the earth, thus its the minimum number needed to hit the entier planet. I looked it up back when I was trying to make Stormbreaker be summonable from any location)

Those were really nasty rolls you got against everyone there though. I'm starting to wish I'd gotten some kind of mental defence power now.. At least I can rely on my initiative to let me act first most of the time. I think Lionheart is the only one who can top me for that right now.. Very Happy

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Fri May 03 2013, 00:05

So, this thought trickled into my head while I was taking a quick power nap after work today. I was hoping to talk it out with you Paul. I'm not sure it has any impact here, though it could likely apply to Silas over on the DC vs Marvel game.

Associated Power

An associated power is tied to it's link attribute, though in a lesser way then an actual linked power. As such this is only a -1 FC adjustment. Associated powers must be taken to a level that remains within Column shift of their link attribute, in addition they suffer any damage dealt to their link attribute in addition to the damage done to the linke attribute. For Example if a character had the Force Manipulation power associated to it's link attribute of Will 7, his Force Manipulation power could be anywhere in the range of 5-10 APs. To improve their Force Manipulation past 10 APs would require having at least 9 APs of Will. Additionally, they could never improve Will past 12 Aps without first bringing Force Manipulation up to 11 APs. All of these limitations are due to the numbers at which column shifts are set.

A variation on this could be Thematically Associated powers. In that case a collection of powers is associated to a centeral power in the same way that a power would normally be associated to it's link attribute. For this example, let's use Frostbite. If he has Ice Production, Icing, Frostbite and an energy blase (cold) then all of these powers could be associated to his Ice production, being worth a -1 to each power (Ice Production is limited by the lowest power in the group, so it also gets a cost cut). If his Ice production power was at 12 APs, then his other powers could range anywhere from 9 APs, up to 15 (CS groups are 7-8|9-10|11-12|13-15|16-18). It ties all of his thematically based powers together but doesn't mandate that they all be at exactly the same level.

For an example of how damage would function, say that in our first example, the character takes 3 RAPs of damage to his will, this would impose 3 RAPs of damage on his Force Manipulation power as well. In addition, if his Force Manipulation was somehow still outside of 2 CS's from his lowered Will, it would be capped at the maximim his reduced will allowed (CS groups get larger as you go up the chart). In the case of someone with the ability to damage attributes and abilities who makes a multi attack that targets both the power and it's link attribute, the power receives the RAPs from BOTH. 3 RAPs damage to the same characters Will and Force Manipulation would result in 6 RAPs damage to Force Manipulation.

In the case of a thematically associated group of powers, Damage dealt to the central power would apply to all associated powers. Using Frostbite as an example, if he took 2 RAPs damage to his Ice Production, it would apply 2 RAPs damage to Icing, Frostbite, and Energy Blast (cold) as well. The same Multiattack situation would apply. Damage dealt to an associated power has no effect on what it is associated. Frostbite taking 2 RAPs damage to his Energy Blast would do nothing to his Ice Production.

That's my idea.. it's kind of like a less restrictive link. What do you think?

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Re: Rules Discussion/Clarification/Head Scratching...

Post  dunecat on Thu Jun 20 2013, 03:18

Hey Paul, if I'm not mistaken doesn't Fatiguing cause a full out attack rather then just damage resolution? If I'm not mistaken isn't it Aps of power used as AV/EV vs max Aps/appropriate resistance attribute as OV/RV?

For example if Lionheart used his Power Reserve at 9 APs wouldn't is cause an attack at 9/9 vs his total power reserve/mind as OV/RV?

I'm fairly sure the direct damage without check type fatiguing was specific to Sorcery.

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