Author Topic: Custom Power List  (Read 135163 times)

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Custom Power List
« Reply #915 on: November 05, 2016, 10:37:25 AM »
Sorry for the slow response, Fenix. Took me a while to process all this.

Would be a bit easier with a bit more formatting. Bolding and italics to break up the text makes for smoother reading.

Anyway, onto the Powers proper.

Anti-Magic Attack [-2]
Skills: Choose one of Fists, Weapons, Guns, or some other reasonable skill you can use for attacking. The attack only can be used with this chosen skill.
Effect: Your attack destroys magical spells that it touches, causing them to be partially or wholly released as either Backlash or Fallout (caster’s choice if the caster is present; default is Fallout). You must declare that your attack is an Anti-Magic Attack before rolling. When your attack strikes the spell, treat the spell as the defender with a Defense roll of Mediocre (+0). If the spell is on a character and the character attempts to dodge, the spell uses that defender’s defense instead. If it hits, determine damage inflicted to the spell, treating the spell’s active Shifts of Power as a stress track (no consequences are available)(The spell has Armor: 2 if it has reasonable cover in the GM’s estimation). When damage is fully calculated, release a number of Shifts of spell Power equal to half the damage done, which are immediately treated as Fallout or Backlash as discussed before. The caster determines which Shifts are released if present. Otherwise, the shifts are determined by the GM, using reason as a guideline. If the damage achieves a Taken Out result on the spell, ALL of the spell’s energies are released in one burst.

I don't think this is the best approach. If unattended spells defend at Mediocre and you can keep attacking, you can take apart any imaginable spell in pretty short order.

Normally, stress does nothing except reduce your resistance to further attacks. I think it would be a good idea to stick to that here, mostly for simplicity's sake. Then again, maybe partially-destroyed spells are a good thing to have. Consequences might work here, but on the other hand that's more complexity.

Actually, maybe departing from attack mechanics as a whole would work. Could just be a roll against a difficulty.

How fallout works here seems clear enough, but I'm not sure how to handle backlash.

Does your normal weapon rating apply here?

   Anti-Magic attacks which strike the spell and take the spell out entirely with leftover damage may travel on to strike other objects or characters. Treat this as a supplemental action attack with shifts equal to half the remaining damage, using standard attack rules for the attack type.

Not sure how this is meant to work. How do you decide who gets hit, if anyone does? And how are you supposed to apply the supplemental action penalty to an action that's done?

Usually this kind of thing is left to Compels. I think that might be a good idea here too.

   Versatile Spell Destroyer [-1]: Choose another Skill that you can unleash Anti-Magic Attacks with. This can be taken multiple times as long as applicable Skills remain to apply it to.

Wouldn't break anything to include this in the main Power.

   Immobile Spell Destruction [-1]: Your Anti-Magic Attacks have Weapon 2. This ability can be taken up to 4 times, each time gaining an additional Weapon: 2. This bonus does not apply if a spell is on a target which is dodging your attack (but it does work on a Sneak Attack or Sniping or some other situation with an Unaware Defender).

Feels a bit weak. Especially considering how easy spell-destruction is normally.

Effects: You may use your chosen skill to heal consequences of your chosen stress track. Healing requires the target character to be in the same zone as the source character for the duration of the attempt. Healing takes one full scene to complete by default. This means that if it is activated mid scene, it won’t complete until the middle of the next scene, or it will need a full scene of its own to take place (such as going home and resting on a couch for an hour or two). In order to heal a given consequence, you must exceed its shift value on a roll of your chosen skill. Healing a consequence increases the speed of its recovery by one step, or by two steps if your roll is four better than it needs to be, or by three steps if your roll is eight better than it needs to be. A given Consequence can only be affected by Healing once, although multiple attempts from different characters or sources of Healing are permissible. Only the best use of Healing applies. This power may or may not affect extreme consequences; GMs should handle such issues on a case by case basis. This cannot erase the Aspect-changing effect of an Extreme Consequence. My personal view is that Extreme Consequences always take at least one full Story to heal AFTER the recovery period begins, minimum, and getting it that good is a roll of Legendary+8 (16).

Looks pretty good to me. I assume that healing a mild one step faster, or a moderate two steps faster, etc, makes the consequence disappear?

Might be good to limit the number of consequences someone can have healed per session.

   Swift Healing [-1]. Your Healing does not take a full Scene to complete. With one application of this Upgrade, the time required becomes "until the end of this scene” (or about half a scene). With another, it becomes “immediately at the end of this exchange”.
   Effective Healing [-1]. Your Healing rolls count as 2 points higher for determining if a successful heal shortens the time to recover as discussed above. The roll must succeed in the first place before this bonus can be applied. This variable can be taken twice; the second time, the bonus becomes 4 points of effective increase.

This sort of thing is inherently worrying balance-wise but this seems like a solid attempt.

   Stressless Healing (Requires Swift Healing 2) [-2]: Normally, healing is a painful, teeth gritting, stomach churning experience full of physical and mental challenges. Except for when Stressless Healing is applied. Stressless Healing bypasses all that. Your Healing can cure marked off stress boxes as well as consequences. To heal a stress box requires a roll of the value of that stress box. So the third box of stress on a character's stress track is a Good (+3) skill roll to cure. Multiple stress boxes can be healed at once. Doing so requires a roll equal to the value of all the stress boxes being cured added together. Consequences can also be cured in combination with stress. For example, Johnny Appleseed is in a bad way, having marked off three boxes so far and taken a Mild Consequence of Bruised Ribs: XXOX. To heal all of his injuries at once, a roll of 1 + 2 + 3 for the stress + 2 for the consequence, or a result of Legendary (+8), would cure all his ills at once. A roll of Legendary+4 (+12) would even shorten the time for the consequence to recover to the end of the scene, and a roll of Legendary+8 (+16) would cause Johnny to be fully healed at the end of the turn! Alternately, the consequence could be healed all the way at the end of the turn and the stress left untouched with a roll of Legendary+2 (+10). Any combination of effects is allowed with the shifts to cover it.

This, I don't like as much.

Stress isn't really injury. It's kinda like plot armour. There's no real reason why stress-healing has to be possible, and I think excluding it from the game was a good decision on Evil Hat's part. So I'm naturally inclined to dislike this. But even if I wasn't, I think I would find this overpowered. It's quite feasible to heal someone faster than they can be hurt, and with no limit on the amount of healing someone can get per scene this might just make people nearly invincible. Sure, it costs 6 Refresh, but still...

   Versatile Healing [-1]. You may use your chosen skill to heal consequences from another stress track of your choice. This Upgrade may be chosen multiple times.

Can't really complain about this, given that I wrote it.

   Ranged Healing [-1]. You may heal any target within 1 Zone away from yourself. The target must remain within that distance for the duration of the power activation. This Upgrade can be taken again to increase the range of Healing to 3 Zones distance, and again to make it line of sight. Whatever the case, unwilling targets or targets which are obscured/on the move may require a roll to “hit” them with the power, depending on the circumstances.

Seems a bit weak. Healing mostly isn't a combat power, and even for a combat healer I'm not sure this is worthwhile.

   Unhindered Healing [-2]. Your Healing works even through objects. If the power is ranged, all penalties from intervening objects, anti-Healing barriers, Blocks, and other obstacles, are all reduced by up to 2. The power grants +2 to Diagnostic rolls to determine what ails a patient, and penalties for difficult surgery, trauma, or other obstacles appropriate to the situation (such as a mental Block when Healing mental trauma in a psychiatric patient) are likewise reduced by 2. To Heal through objects that completely hinder line of sight, some other means of accurately reaching or detecting the target is necessary.

I don't really see why this needs to exist. How often does one need to heal through a wall?

Also, the bonus seems underwhelming.

   Area Healing [-1]. Your Healing works on all targets in a Zone. This ability can be taken multiple times; each time the Healing affects an additional two Zones at once.

...I dunno about this. Seems either useless or terribly abusable.

   Selective Healing [-1]. Your Healing can be modified to not work against given targets; when your power would affect a target you do not wish to affect, you can declare it fails against that target. This Upgrade is most useful with Area Healing or misses of Ranged Healing.

Seems really niche. Not sure the possibility of accidentally healing the wrong person is worth keeping outside of Compels.

Offline Fenix Wulfheart

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Re: Custom Power List
« Reply #916 on: November 26, 2016, 02:59:51 AM »
@Sanctaphrax

On anti-magic as an attack: I thought that was the best way, but saw that it would make it far too strong unless I limited somehow. So I went with one released shift per 2 damage. And nah, I don't think normal weapon rating should apply for this. XD

Hmm...what about the spell power being 1 Armor per 2 shifts of spell energy, but ALL damage after this armor releases power? Would that balance better?

On the spell defending: Hm. But if I have it treat the unattended spell as having a defense of better than mediocre, I can only really see its actual power then determining the defense, which makes really strong spells - hell, most spells I could see wanting to punch out - pretty much indestructible. I can't think of a better way to work it. Besides, I do think an unattended spell should be easy to tear apart unless it was constructed in such a way as to be hard to take down. For example, a Ward would use its defensive rating to defend instead. So it isn't going to always be mediocre, which means I need to buckle down and actually work this bit out!

On the attack continuing on after the spell is torn apart: I was just going to treat the spin as an effective attack against the target. It reminds me of the of the Warden sword strikes; the attack tears through the spell and then just keep going. I couldn't think of a way to do it that works super well. How would that be done as a Compel? If it were a Compel I wouldn't have accuracy to affect damage rating, so just base weapon rating for the stress? That means a fist attack with Weapon: 0 does nothing, so that isn't desirable -_-

On backlash: it is released into the caster or current controller of the spell if present. If not, the GM can either use fallout or send it into someone else as a Compel, probably into the person physically punching it :P

For healing consequences: I was toying with the idea of having a consequence heal cost a Fate point from either the healer or the one healed, or cause a "Fate Debt" if it cannot be paid, sorta like sponsored magic. Or perhaps have it so each consequence slot a character possesses can only be cleared once per story by a healing effect as their bodies reserves are getting "used up".

Stressless healing: It would take a dang good healer to consistently heal all damage as it is received...and how would they then ever attack? O_o...reinforcements would show up sooner rather than later...Anyway. I do think that the buildup of stress represents the weariness and slipping that comes from a high concentration and high stress scenario, such as combat, and not from plot armour. So I shall respectfully disagree, while simultaneously saying that yea it could be overpowered if applied correctly. I'm not attached to the rules I wrote, but I do think stress healing should be possible.

Hm. Could just remove the ability to heal more than one box at once. One heal action=heal one stress, one attack action=cause one stress. Never get ahead that way.

On Unhindered and Ranged Healing: Oh, quite often do I need to heal through a wall. But then I have a group that came from D and D and grid-based tactics fighting. But seriously. I am tired of having to break the wall down to get to the downed ally and heal them. Never underestimate the power of being the healer two zones away healing from the sewer system a half block away, no one aware of your position. :P

On Selective Healing: Having someone heal the wrong person would be a hilarious Compel, but the Selective Healing isn't to prevent that. The GM can still Compel it through a bit more of a wiley approach, such as distractions, illusions, etc. Selective Healing is meant to be paired with Area Healing, because Area Healing automatically targets the whole zone and all inside it, even enemies. It is meant to show the difference between a burst of holy healing light washing over everything and pinpoint holy light-vines wrapping around the devout and gentling their wounds as they bask in the holy glow.

It reminds me of Luccio's pinpoint fire whip. It's the difference between blasts of power and pinpoint precision. Depending on the concept for your healer, that precision might be a necessary part of the character. :)

Thank you so much for all your feedback. It's given me a lot of things to think about.

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Custom Power List
« Reply #917 on: November 27, 2016, 04:38:32 AM »
On anti-magic as an attack: I thought that was the best way, but saw that it would make it far too strong unless I limited somehow. So I went with one released shift per 2 damage. And nah, I don't think normal weapon rating should apply for this. XD

Hmm...what about the spell power being 1 Armor per 2 shifts of spell energy, but ALL damage after this armor releases power? Would that balance better?

If you're gonna represent spell destruction as an attack, then I think attacks should do nothing until and unless they take out the target spell. That's how attacks work. Even consequences don't come into play unless the attack is capable of scoring a take-out. (Barring weird edge cases.)

Actually...thinking more about the attack model, I'm pretty sure I don't like it. It inherently adds complexity to spells, giving them stress tracks to pay attention to when previously they were dead simple. Rolling against a difficulty seems better.

On the spell defending: Hm. But if I have it treat the unattended spell as having a defense of better than mediocre, I can only really see its actual power then determining the defense, which makes really strong spells - hell, most spells I could see wanting to punch out - pretty much indestructible. I can't think of a better way to work it. Besides, I do think an unattended spell should be easy to tear apart unless it was constructed in such a way as to be hard to take down. For example, a Ward would use its defensive rating to defend instead. So it isn't going to always be mediocre, which means I need to buckle down and actually work this bit out!

I think the duration is probably more important than the power, when it comes to destroying a spell. Ending a spell that'll last for three more exchanges is a lot less impressive/useful than ending one that'll last for three more years. Even if the power is similar.

On the attack continuing on after the spell is torn apart: I was just going to treat the spin as an effective attack against the target. It reminds me of the of the Warden sword strikes; the attack tears through the spell and then just keep going. I couldn't think of a way to do it that works super well. How would that be done as a Compel? If it were a Compel I wouldn't have accuracy to affect damage rating, so just base weapon rating for the stress? That means a fist attack with Weapon: 0 does nothing, so that isn't desirable -_-

Compels can work however the GM wants. Just pick a  number, that's the accuracy.

I don't think it's a good idea to make a high roll a bad thing, and I don't like the extra complexity of having attacks pass through like that. I suggest dropping the whole idea.

On backlash: it is released into the caster or current controller of the spell if present. If not, the GM can either use fallout or send it into someone else as a Compel, probably into the person physically punching it :P

I think fallout is generally going to make more sense. Smashing a wall of fire ought to work more or less the same whether the creator is nearby or not, and intuitively it seems more reasonable for spells to burst chaotically rather than in a directed manner.

So if I were you I'd just not have backlash happen when spells are damaged/destroyed.

For healing consequences: I was toying with the idea of having a consequence heal cost a Fate point from either the healer or the one healed, or cause a "Fate Debt" if it cannot be paid, sorta like sponsored magic. Or perhaps have it so each consequence slot a character possesses can only be cleared once per story by a healing effect as their bodies reserves are getting "used up".

I think the second approach is probably a good one. Keeps the power useful, but puts limits on its effectiveness.

Stressless healing: It would take a dang good healer to consistently heal all damage as it is received...and how would they then ever attack? O_o...reinforcements would show up sooner rather than later...Anyway. I do think that the buildup of stress represents the weariness and slipping that comes from a high concentration and high stress scenario, such as combat, and not from plot armour. So I shall respectfully disagree, while simultaneously saying that yea it could be overpowered if applied correctly. I'm not attached to the rules I wrote, but I do think stress healing should be possible.

You've made healing pretty easy. If you can beat a stress box's value more reliably than the attacker can hit, you can heal forever and still make the occasional attack. And that's very feasible.

Reinforcements are just as likely to be on the healer's side.

And yes, stress is weariness and minor injuries. But it's also a plot shield - it's the right to say "that bullet didn't really hit me, at least not directly". Treating it entirely as a measure of exhaustion doesn't really work - your stress can be stripped away from you in a volley of gunfire without you moving a muscle, rendering you vulnerable to further shots. That's not how tiredness or injury works.

Why should stress healing be possible? It doesn't seem to add anything either narratively or mechanically.

Hm. Could just remove the ability to heal more than one box at once. One heal action=heal one stress, one attack action=cause one stress. Never get ahead that way.

No, you can still get ahead if your healing "hits" more reliably than the attacks do.

On Selective Healing: Having someone heal the wrong person would be a hilarious Compel, but the Selective Healing isn't to prevent that. The GM can still Compel it through a bit more of a wiley approach, such as distractions, illusions, etc. Selective Healing is meant to be paired with Area Healing, because Area Healing automatically targets the whole zone and all inside it, even enemies. It is meant to show the difference between a burst of holy healing light washing over everything and pinpoint holy light-vines wrapping around the devout and gentling their wounds as they bask in the holy glow.

It reminds me of Luccio's pinpoint fire whip. It's the difference between blasts of power and pinpoint precision. Depending on the concept for your healer, that precision might be a necessary part of the character. :)

I think the difference between healing light bursts and healing light vines is best represented through Aspects, rather than Powers. Bear in mind, a fire whip and a fire blast can be mechanically identical.

I can see some (narrow) uses for it with Area Healing, but I'm not sure Area Healing should even exist. Like I said, I think it'll generally be either useless or overpowered.

And the ability for Ranged Healing to hit the wrong person seems like unnecessary complexity.

Thank you so much for all your feedback. It's given me a lot of things to think about.

You're very welcome.

Offline Fenix Wulfheart

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Re: Custom Power List
« Reply #918 on: December 02, 2016, 05:41:57 AM »
If you're gonna represent spell destruction as an attack, then I think attacks should do nothing until and unless they take out the target spell. That's how attacks work. Even consequences don't come into play unless the attack is capable of scoring a take-out. (Barring weird edge cases.)

Actually...thinking more about the attack model, I'm pretty sure I don't like it. It inherently adds complexity to spells, giving them stress tracks to pay attention to when previously they were dead simple. Rolling against a difficulty seems better.

I think the duration is probably more important than the power, when it comes to destroying a spell. Ending a spell that'll last for three more exchanges is a lot less impressive/useful than ending one that'll last for three more years. Even if the power is similar.

Oh holy heck, that's a great idea. Have the power work by moving the spell down the duration table in some fashion. :D

Compels can work however the GM wants. Just pick a  number, that's the accuracy.

I don't think it's a good idea to make a high roll a bad thing, and I don't like the extra complexity of having attacks pass through like that. I suggest dropping the whole idea.

OK, I'll mull it over and decide how I will work that aspect - or drop it - later. :)

I think fallout is generally going to make more sense. Smashing a wall of fire ought to work more or less the same whether the creator is nearby or not, and intuitively it seems more reasonable for spells to burst chaotically rather than in a directed manner.

So if I were you I'd just not have backlash happen when spells are damaged/destroyed.

Hmm, I think I see where you are coming from. I think this is more a difference of goals of what we want the power to be able to do in the game world, really.

If the caster is present I would imagine them trying to bind up those energies and suck them away, use their will to prevent the energy from bursting loose in the same way as taking backlash is suffering extra stress to prevent energy from bursting loose. Or put another way, perhaps I should have it be the caster can take an action to perform a block to prevent the spell energy from being fallout, which entails a containing-spell which is the stress. Either way, the fallout should be preventable in some way if the caster is present, provided the caster has time to understand what just happened and react accordingly. This goes double if the caster already knows the enemy can tear spells apart, such as seeing their buddy's spell torn apart a moment before and having a second to brace.

I think the second approach is probably a good one. Keeps the power useful, but puts limits on its effectiveness.

Mmhm, I agree. :)

You've made healing pretty easy. If you can beat a stress box's value more reliably than the attacker can hit, you can heal forever and still make the occasional attack. And that's very feasible.

Reinforcements are just as likely to be on the healer's side.

And yes, stress is weariness and minor injuries. But it's also a plot shield - it's the right to say "that bullet didn't really hit me, at least not directly". Treating it entirely as a measure of exhaustion doesn't really work - your stress can be stripped away from you in a volley of gunfire without you moving a muscle, rendering you vulnerable to further shots. That's not how tiredness or injury works.

Why should stress healing be possible? It doesn't seem to add anything either narratively or mechanically.

I feel it does add something narratively. It washes away fatigue, reinforces the mind, etc. It represents preventing consequences by infusing the target with energy, or even luck in some cases. An infusion of luck from a minor luck-goddess could be represented as more "plot armour" as you describe stress here. The idea is that the mechanic, itself, can represent fluff and to me is thus valuable. I don't know how to actually make it workable and fair at this time, though.

I think the difference between healing light bursts and healing light vines is best represented through Aspects, rather than Powers. Bear in mind, a fire whip and a fire blast can be mechanically identical.

I can see some (narrow) uses for it with Area Healing, but I'm not sure Area Healing should even exist. Like I said, I think it'll generally be either useless or overpowered.

And the ability for Ranged Healing to hit the wrong person seems like unnecessary complexity.

I don't agree that an Aspect should be used to represent the difference between those two precisely because of the situation in which multiple potential targets are in one zone. That does happen rather frequently in my games, and could cause a lot of problems. That said, a person who wants whips of light to heal who doesn't buy selective would still get whips in my games; the difference is that the whips are hard to control, or too numerous, or otherwise fail to be selective. The selectivity itself is a Stunt in my games, which most powers with area effects can select if desired.

I could see Area Healing being overpowered, yeah. TBH I would most likely require a High Concept related to the Healing that properly represents it before allowing it in one of my own games. I trust each GM to decide how they want that sort of thing to work. *nods sagely*

Oh I represent hitting the wrong person with a scatter mechanic in pretty much all games, even games that don't have it. It's a group preference thing, really, so YMMV. XD

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Custom Power List
« Reply #919 on: December 02, 2016, 09:43:03 AM »
Oh holy heck, that's a great idea. Have the power work by moving the spell down the duration table in some fashion. :D

Glad you like it!

If the caster is present I would imagine them trying to bind up those energies and suck them away, use their will to prevent the energy from bursting loose in the same way as taking backlash is suffering extra stress to prevent energy from bursting loose. Or put another way, perhaps I should have it be the caster can take an action to perform a block to prevent the spell energy from being fallout, which entails a containing-spell which is the stress. Either way, the fallout should be preventable in some way if the caster is present, provided the caster has time to understand what just happened and react accordingly. This goes double if the caster already knows the enemy can tear spells apart, such as seeing their buddy's spell torn apart a moment before and having a second to brace.

Maybe just let the caster choose to take the fallout as backlash if they're present, and make it explicit that normal skill-based blocks with Conviction or Discipline can be used to protect your spells.

It's the simplest way to do it that I can think of, and I really think simplicity is valuable here.

I feel it does add something narratively. It washes away fatigue, reinforces the mind, etc. It represents preventing consequences by infusing the target with energy, or even luck in some cases. An infusion of luck from a minor luck-goddess could be represented as more "plot armour" as you describe stress here. The idea is that the mechanic, itself, can represent fluff and to me is thus valuable. I don't know how to actually make it workable and fair at this time, though.

But can't you do all that with maneuvers?

Anyway, if you really have your heart set on stress-healing, I think limiting the amount of healing per target per scene would do a lot to address the issues.