Author Topic: Question about Inhuman Strength  (Read 12058 times)

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • White Council
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12321
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2011, 01:32:58 AM »
Irrelevant, I think.

We agree that a character with Strength can emit more kinetic energy, right?

And that extra energy doesn't come from extra mass.

So I think my point still stands.

Though I freely admit I might not understand what you are saying.

Offline ways and means

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1783
  • What Lies in the Truth, what truth in the Lies.
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2011, 02:28:00 AM »
1) You cannot make a block against defense rolls. You may trick people into not making defense rolls but actually preventing them from doing so is not allowed. So even if you block her athletics, she still gets her normal defense - though she doesn't have to (see below)

I interpret the rule you cannot block a defense roll to mean just that you cannot block some roll to defend against an attack even when no active defense is possible (see ambushes), but using ambushes as a precedent it seems you can block a defense skills (just not a roll) which after a successful block results in a zero skill modifier.  In the case of the ring of fire spell this would mean you could still attempt to parry and  endure the after spells unimpeded but attempts to dodge it would be run at a skill level of mediocre (until the block was broken). I use this interpretation of the rule because it makes sense to me and because enemies that are grappled shouldn't have unencumbered defense skills  (being held in place and stopped from doing anything) but grapples can't block defense rolls.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 02:33:24 AM by ways and means »
Every night has its day.
Even forever must come to an end....
I think.

Offline Belial666

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2389
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2011, 08:43:04 AM »
OK, I'll bite. How does a ring of fire prevent someone from using athletics when they can fly straight up or move through the ground? Especially when not physically restraining the character at all? Now, if you are physically restraining her, I'd understand it. But it would also allow her to smash through with any physical action - including her immense strength.

Also, say the ring does work as you describe and prevents her from moving off or dodging the evocator's big attack without physical bonds she can break. It's obviously a setup for a big spell that will take her out. So she readies an action against his spellcasting as soon as she is trapped and waits for his attack - but he doesn't know that as she seems to be doing nothing. He goes ahead and attacks with his best magical blast... and she carves a circle in the pavement with her index finger, scraping a bit of skin (and thus blood) in the process. And his best magical blast dissipates against the hastily erected circle.
Someone with supernatural strengh could carve a circle in just about any material with their bare hands as the Skinwalker amply displayed in Changes in pretty much exactly the same situation. Harry had him entrapped in a spell that also was strangling him and he defeated the magical attack by carving a circle into the stone beneath him.



So if an evocator is going to use magic that circumvents her strength and defenses both (which I am still not sure you could do), she is going to use a defense that circumvents his magic. Turnabout is fair play. And after he wastes a couple of attacks on circles and no longer had enough energy left to kill her, it would be clobberin' time. It is another tactic I did not use in the example combat because it is unfair for the comparison. A spellcaster not expecting it is pretty much automatically defeated and a pyromancer lacks the ability to modify his spells in a way that can pierce circles. (yes, there is a way. I'm saving that particular trick for when a GM tries to pull the circle trick on my characters. )

Offline ways and means

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1783
  • What Lies in the Truth, what truth in the Lies.
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2011, 09:52:50 AM »
Simple circles only count as threshold 1 according to the book they would not be enough to stop that spell oribus is 4 power where as the other block would be 12-14 a whole different kettle of fish. The block I suggested didn't take into account flight or digging but was meant to reduce the movement of an opponent to a few square feet.
Every night has its day.
Even forever must come to an end....
I think.

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1041
  • Unemployed in Greenland
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2011, 01:20:25 PM »
Irrelevant, I think.

We agree that a character with Strength can emit more kinetic energy, right?

And that extra energy doesn't come from extra mass.

So I think my point still stands.

Though I freely admit I might not understand what you are saying.

Wasn't disagreeing, just making a minor correction.  Hence the pedantic bit.  It's likely to be mostly extra speed unless they've written their character differently.  But some of of it is also going to be in the ability to put more energy into the follow-through part of a swing.  And that would act more like added mass than speed even though it's neither.  Someone better than me would have to take over if you wanted to mathematically explain the physics of a punch correctly though.
Violence is like duct tape.  If it doesn't solve the problem, you didn't use enough.

My web based NPC formatter, output suitable for copy/paste to boards and wiki, can be found here.

Offline The Mighty Buzzard

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1041
  • Unemployed in Greenland
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2011, 01:40:38 PM »
Simple circles only count as threshold 1 according to the book they would not be enough to stop that spell oribus is 4 power where as the other block would be 12-14 a whole different kettle of fish. The block I suggested didn't take into account flight or digging but was meant to reduce the movement of an opponent to a few square feet.

They're also thaumaturgic though, so you could theoretically create a no-prep, threshold 5 circle if you had a Lore of 5.  Naturally you'd have to make a Discipline roll good enough to control all five shifts in one exchange too or you won't be done setting it before you get kersmacked.
Violence is like duct tape.  If it doesn't solve the problem, you didn't use enough.

My web based NPC formatter, output suitable for copy/paste to boards and wiki, can be found here.

Offline computerking

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 390
    • View Profile
    • Into the Dark
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2011, 02:40:49 PM »
Might I suggest moving this to the PbP boards, finding a mediator/GM, and actually playing out an Evocator vs Physical Adept fight, so we can all watch all the moves, countermoves, and attacks in a "real game" situation, to avoid all the what-ifs and Oh-if-that-is-the-case-I-would's, once and for all.
I'm the ComputerKing, I can Do Anything...
Into the Dark, A Podcast dedicated to Villainy
www.savethevillain.com

PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline Belial666

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2389
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2011, 03:05:30 PM »
1) Magic circles don't count as a threshold of 1 (where did you see this BTW?). They flat-out can't be crossed by magical energy. We've seen spells from casters of Dresden's power (power 8 or so) stopped cold by a hastily erected magic circle in the middle of combat.

2) We can play the duel, as suggested by computerking. I'm game, if you are. Alternatively, if you think a duel is not the best way to judge effectiveness in combat, we each choose 3 very hard combat challenges made out of creatures statted in Our World that we think our character can beat but the other guy cannot. We submit the combat challenges to the GM and then we run our character against all 6. Whoever can take out the most enemies with a rest for stress recovery between encounters is proven more effective.

Offline UmbraLux

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1685
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #53 on: September 24, 2011, 03:10:23 PM »
1) Magic circles don't count as a threshold of 1 (where did you see this BTW?). They flat-out can't be crossed by magical energy. We've seen spells from casters of Dresden's power (power 8 or so) stopped cold by a hastily erected magic circle in the middle of combat.
I run circles as a block.  As any block, they may be set for a variety of different things and have a rating. 
--
“As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.”  - Albert Einstein

"Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength."  - Eric Hoffer

Offline Belial666

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2389
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #54 on: September 24, 2011, 03:16:23 PM »
While probably this is more fair, it doesn't follow any rules given for circles (there aren't any) and it is not at all accurate according to the books

Offline UmbraLux

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1685
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2011, 03:28:05 PM »
...it is not at all accurate according to the books
The books are mixed on the subject.  The most detailed conversation I remember is in Fool Moon.  There Dresden discusses different possibilities and says some are harder than others...but he does seem to be describing blocks to me.
--
“As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.”  - Albert Einstein

"Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength."  - Eric Hoffer

Offline Sanctaphrax

  • White Council
  • Seriously?
  • ****
  • Posts: 12321
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #56 on: September 24, 2011, 07:57:24 PM »
I don't think that there are any actual rules for how magic circles work. GM fiat is the way to go. But we know from the novels what they apply to and what they don't, at least.

A single simulation will prove nothing, but it might be fun. I'd be willing to mediate/GM.

I'm beginning to believe that the root of this disagreement is that through a combination of houserules and favourable readings of the RAW ways and means has made wizards vastly more powerful than they normally are. Having done so, he worries that they are too powerful and looks for a way to balance other character types against them.

Belial, meanwhile, interprets the rules differently and as a result has no balance problems. So he tries to show ways and means that his balance problems don't exist.

PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline computerking

  • Conversationalist
  • **
  • Posts: 390
    • View Profile
    • Into the Dark
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #57 on: September 24, 2011, 08:12:58 PM »
PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.
I just had to quote this for my sig...
I'm the ComputerKing, I can Do Anything...
Into the Dark, A Podcast dedicated to Villainy
www.savethevillain.com

PS: %^#@ Orbius. This may or may not be relevant to the discussion, but whatever.

Offline ways and means

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1783
  • What Lies in the Truth, what truth in the Lies.
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #58 on: September 24, 2011, 08:13:12 PM »
Actually the house/rule slash interpretation of the raw that allows blocks to block certain rules was designed to make grapples (a mainly melee thing) as strong as I thought they should be (which in terms of defense mitigation is exactly as strong as ambushes which I consider in many ways to be based of blocks). As this interpretation effects all block it is not particularly beneficial to casters. 
Every night has its day.
Even forever must come to an end....
I think.

Offline UmbraLux

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 1685
    • View Profile
Re: Question about Inhuman Strength
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2011, 08:37:58 PM »
I'm beginning to believe that the root of this disagreement is that through a combination of houserules and favourable readings of the RAW ways and means has made wizards vastly more powerful than they normally are. Having done so, he worries that they are too powerful and looks for a way to balance other character types against them.
I don't have a "balance" issue in game...the wizard typically throws around three to four shift spells. 

I simply recognize that, mechanically, there are more ways to raise spell power than to raise weapon damage.

Targeting skills are roughly equivalent.  The wizard uses Discipline while a combat type will use one or more of Fists, Weapons, or Guns. The wizard may have a slight advantage in being able to use his single targeting skill at any range but it's probably balanced by the requirement for additional skills (Conviction and Lore). Depending on whether or not reactive blocks are allowed, the wizard may or may not need a defensive skill. Combat types do need either a defensive skill or a stunt allowing them to use their combat skill for defense.  Overall, a wash.

Weapon / spell Power is a different matter.  A combat type has two methods of increasing damage - use a weapon (which limits Fists' usefulness) or Strength powers (which don't help Guns).  On the other hand, a wizard has three methods: increase a skill (Conviction), Specialties, and Focus Items. Specialties cost refresh and may be compared to spending refresh on Strength powers. However Conviction and Focus Items stand out, Conviction because it doesn't cost refresh and Focus Items because they're a relatively refresh cheap method. 

To make matters worse, a Good (+3) Conviction pretty much matches the maximum civilian weapon rating.  Since most wizards will increase Discipline and Conviction whenever possible, they're probably starting out higher than most weapon wielding combat artists.  And, at the same time, he increases the number of spells he can cast.

Which brings us to a wizard's major weakness - the number of spells he can cast.  But most combats don't last all that long and this can be ameliorated with enchanted items.  In the end a wizard is capable of hitting harder than most combat types, he's got enough endurance to last most situations, and he's far more flexible.

When it comes to "game play balance" I really don't care.  We're playing a cooperative game not a competitive one.  It's simply a recognition of the mechanical possibilities.
--
“As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it.”  - Albert Einstein

"Rudeness is a weak imitation of strength."  - Eric Hoffer