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iamlibertarian

Time Limit vs Delayed Effect vs Trigger

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I can read the mechanical differences.

 

But I am looking for some example of what would make You choose one over the other. Most alchemy schemes, or should I say lengthier discussions in the rule books about alchemy specifically, use Delayed Effect for potions, but many individual potion descriptions use Trigger.

Personally, I like Trigger with Time Limit?

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I can understand associating Delayed Effect with Trigger, but what does Time Limit have to do with either?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to build Roy Rogers on a Trigger

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Time Limit as an Advantage can act as a kind of Delayed Effect in that one of it's permutations allows you to place lots of procedural limitations on the initial activation of a power, but than use it subsequently without limitation for the duration of the Time Limit. In that regard Delayed Effect, Trigger, and Time Limit are all similar in that they present ways to 'front-load' your limitations.

 

Time Limit allows you to establish a fixed duration for the Delayed/Triggered effect, especially useful if the effect is Persistent (such as Resistant Protection) or a Lingering Instant effect (such as a Barrier or Entangle) because than it is a limitation.

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I can understand associating Delayed Effect with Trigger, but what does Time Limit have to do with either?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary wants to build Roy Rogers on a Trigger

 

As a disadvantage, Time Limit gives powers brought to 0 END a duration. As an advantage, it eliminates the need for LOS.

 

I make the potion, you take it from me and drink it, even though it is 0 END it only lasts 1 minute, but you run out of my line of sight and it keeps working until the time limit expires.

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Correction: Per CC 117, Time Limit only applies to "Instant Powers, and Powers that cost no END to maintain". and it is only a Limitation when applied to Persistent Powers (such as Resistant Protection). When applied to a Constant Power that does not Cost END, Time Limit is still an Advantage (because it allows you to break line of sight, and be Stunned or knocked out without affecting the activation of the power). 

 

So in order to make a "Potion of Growth" using Time Limit (as a limitation) you must first apply Zero END (+1/2) and Persistent (+1/4) to the base Power (Growth).

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Trigger is more intended for Powers that can be tripped by a condition that the user may or may not be able to control; that condition can be "when a person passes by this point", for instance. 

 

Delayed Effect is more intended for Powers that take some kind of activation procedure and then let you hold the Power until you're ready to let it go, maybe like a spell that takes time to prepare but you can activate instantly.  

 

In practice, Delayed Effect ends up being a subset of Trigger.  I believe Trigger used to specify that the Triggered Power acted against whatever entity triggered it, but I don't think that's the case any longer.

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Another use of trigger is to reduce the action cost of 'drinking the potion' (or whatever), if you set the trigger activation to 'zero phase action' or 'action takes no time' then you can set effects off without having to take one of your actions.

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Correction: Per CC 117, Time Limit only applies to "Instant Powers, and Powers that cost no END to maintain". and it is only a Limitation when applied to Persistent Powers (such as Resistant Protection). When applied to a Constant Power that does not Cost END, Time Limit is still an Advantage (because it allows you to break line of sight, and be Stunned or knocked out without affecting the activation of the power). 

 

So in order to make a "Potion of Growth" using Time Limit (as a limitation) you must first apply Zero END (+1/2) and Persistent (+1/4) to the base Power (Growth).

I am not sure why I would also need to buy Persistent? According to 6E1 346:

 

"Time Limit is also an Advantage for Constant Powers that cost 0 END or that only cost END to activate. As discussed below, it prevents the power from turning off during the defined Time Limit even if the character is Stunned, Knocked Out, or loses Line Of Sight to the power."

 

Time Limit already covers what Persistent does, and the next paragraph already makes that comparison.

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Trigger is more intended for Powers that can be tripped by a condition that the user may or may not be able to control; that condition can be "when a person passes by this point", for instance. 

 

Delayed Effect is more intended for Powers that take some kind of activation procedure and then let you hold the Power until you're ready to let it go, maybe like a spell that takes time to prepare but you can activate instantly.  

 

In practice, Delayed Effect ends up being a subset of Trigger.  I believe Trigger used to specify that the Triggered Power acted against whatever entity triggered it, but I don't think that's the case any longer.

 

Yet, throughout the books, examples are given where Trigger is the activator for Potions. If you compare it to a gadget, say, an explosive, said explosive with a Trigger could be either a landmine (the type of trigger you mention), or a character waiting for certain circumstance and then said character 'pushes the button' to set off the explosives on purpose. Between this and the Potion Examples with Trigger, at least the way I read it, both uses are appropriate?

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Yet, throughout the books, examples are given where Trigger is the activator for Potions. If you compare it to a gadget, say, an explosive, said explosive with a Trigger could be either a landmine (the type of trigger you mention), or a character waiting for certain circumstance and then said character 'pushes the button' to set off the explosives on purpose. Between this and the Potion Examples with Trigger, at least the way I read it, both uses are appropriate?

 

Trigger on a potion would affect the 'triggerer' (the person who drinks the potion).  

 

With Trigger, by default you set a condition that triggers it.  It can be "drinking the potion" or "stepping right here" or whatever, but that's what sets it off, and it defaults to affecting whatever triggers it.  By spending more, you can vary the conditions, reset it at will, trigger it at will, and on and on.  It's most often used for a self contained power, like a potion or a land mine, where the trigger is contained as part of the power.  The Trigger condition has to be something that could be detected with the user's senses, so if it's based on a sense the user doesn't have, or isn't expected to have, you'll want to buy that Enhanced Sense (which you can buy with a Limitation: Only To Detect Trigger Conditions).  Also, once a Trigger is set, it's no longer tied to the user; it's based entirely on someone else's actions (unless the Trigger is "whenever I want").  

 

Delayed Effect is most often used for a power that originates in the user, and the user can choose when to set it off.  Delayed Effect also requires the GM to set a value for how many Delayed Effect powers the character can have going; this is usually used in Fantasy Hero to represent spells that a character can prepare, and the number of powers the character can hold is usually something like INT/5, or EGO x 5 Active Points total, or something similar.  Trigger doesn't have this latter restriction, and in fact a character with a Power with Charges and Trigger can set up all of the Charges to be triggered (e.g. land mines built as an RKA Explosion with 8 Charges and Trigger; you can set up eight land mines).  Delayed Effect also takes the user a half-Phase action to set off.  

 

They are subtly different and originated in different contexts; Trigger started out in early Champions, and was pretty much used only to represent trip wire type things, while Delayed Effect started in early Fantasy Hero and was used to represent held spells.  When fourth edition came along, the rules were standardized, but Trigger and Delayed Effect weren't combined for whatever reason.  

 

You can more or less treat Delayed Effect as a special case of Trigger, if you're the GM.  In practice, a lot of things are built with Trigger that I would probably recommend Delayed Effect for instead.  

 

Edit to add:  I also allow Delayed Effect to use the "differing modifiers" rules as seen under Usable On Others.  You would build the Power as it is activated, with whatever Advantages and Limitations it would take; use that Power's Real Cost as the base cost for a "creation" Power, and that Power's Advantages and Limitations would apply to preparing the effect.  You might have a Power that takes an hour with a bulky spell book (OAF Bulky, -1 1/2) to "set", but once it is set all you need is a half-Phase, a sprig of holly, and a quick Gesture and Incantation, and it goes.  I tend to be a little less lenient with Trigger.

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I am not sure why I would also need to buy Persistent? According to 6E1 346:

 

"Time Limit is also an Advantage for Constant Powers that cost 0 END or that only cost END to activate. As discussed below, it prevents the power from turning off during the defined Time Limit even if the character is Stunned, Knocked Out, or loses Line Of Sight to the power."

 

Time Limit already covers what Persistent does, and the next paragraph already makes that comparison.

You misunderstand. If you place Time Limit (1 Minute) on a Constant, Zero END​ Blast it is a +1/2 Advantage. However, if you place Time Limit (1 Minute) on Persistent, Zero END Blast it is a -2 Limitation instead. The power doesn't need ​to be persistent, but Time Limit is an advantage in all other applicable power constructs. This is explicitly spelled out in 6e1 346 on the Time Limit Table (which can also be found in CC on page 117), and again in the bullet-pointed list describing the modifier.

Time Limit becomes a limitation on persistent powers (and ONLY persistent powers) because all it does to such powers is reduce their maximum duration (from Indefinite to 1 Minute for example); there are no benefits to speak of.

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I don't think? I misunderstand. I get the mechanics. As it is, I use Hero Builder software for everything, so I see when I get charged as an Advantage vs Limitation. I don't mind paying for the extra when it turns out to be an Advantage. I want to make it all consistent.

I just want to know what most people do. And like I said, I personally like the combo of:

 

1) Trigger (the Grenade described on 6E1 350 - doesn't even need Time Limit - as long as Continuing Charges is used for Effects lasting longer than 1 Phase - smoke grenade for example). This would mechanically and game balance-wise be the same as throwing an alchemically made potion that, when thrown, explodes to cause some sort of magickal (say, Fire) Blast in an Area. (But, requires the LOS of the *creator* according to Steve Long in a recent Rules question - so if the grenade is thrown out of the LOS of the *creator* would not work, so others cannot use in out of *creators* LOS)

And, 

 

2) Time Limit, which eliminates the LOS of *creator* portion, making a more realistic grenade (for example).  I don't at all mind paying the price for an Advantaged Trigger, as long as it is consistent grenade (or potion) creation (IMHO)

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Here is one example I can think of for the differences in Trigger and Delayed Effect:

 

Potion of Desolidification. Trigger is quaffing the potion. Simple.

 

Delayed Effect: Ready-to-go Desolidification. 

 

Not much mechanical difference to the game, other than 'poof' the Delayed Effect just goes off and doesn't need a focus (therefore the limit on the number of delayed effects ready and waiting).

 

But the real difference between them comes into play when you take into account: Delayed Effect Desolid with a Trigger of 'just about to be hit by an attack (some sense must be able to detect the impending attack) and poof, Desolid, at a greater cost, becomes a defensive casting.

 

Or: Delayed Effect Potion of Desolid. Only useable if there is a Delayed Effect slot available. Say, you have X delayed effect slots all full. You use up one of your Delayed Effect slots on some other endeavor. You now drink the Potion of Desolid Delayed Effect, Trigger Quaffing the Potion, and voila, you now have that Delayed Effect Desolid stored in your head again. Game balance preserved by paying the costs for both the Trigger and the Delayed Effect.

 

These are examples which truly show the differences between the two, imho.

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I don't think? I misunderstand. I get the mechanics. As it is, I use Hero Builder software for everything, so I see when I get charged as an Advantage vs Limitation. I don't mind paying for the extra when it turns out to be an Advantage. I want to make it all consistent.

 

I just want to know what most people do. And like I said, I personally like the combo of:

 

1) Trigger (the Grenade described on 6E1 350 - doesn't even need Time Limit - as long as Continuing Charges is used for Effects lasting longer than 1 Phase - smoke grenade for example). This would mechanically and game balance-wise be the same as throwing an alchemically made potion that, when thrown, explodes to cause some sort of magickal (say, Fire) Blast in an Area. (But, requires the LOS of the *creator* according to Steve Long in a recent Rules question - so if the grenade is thrown out of the LOS of the *creator* would not work, so others cannot use in out of *creators* LOS)

 

And, 

 

2) Time Limit, which eliminates the LOS of *creator* portion, making a more realistic grenade (for example).  I don't at all mind paying the price for an Advantaged Trigger, as long as it is consistent grenade (or potion) creation (IMHO)

 

...

 

Okay, yes. I actually went through about three different editions of the game, but current usage says that Constant Powers end if the creator leaves LOS. That's honestly something I wasn't aware of, wasn't the case when I started playing, and I've evidently glossed over for almost thirty years.  Ya learn something new every day.  

 

However, a couple of caveats: 

  1. Steve's answer does allow for common sense to dictate how we all know (e.g.) potions "should" work.  The same should apply to grenades, etc.  
  2. There are a number of Modifiers that allow a Power to continue working when the creater is out of LOS.  Continuing Charges and Time Limit, as you mention, but also Persistent and Uncontrolled, and there may be others.  

There are a number of different durations for Powers:

  1. Instant:  An Instant Power does something right now, and then stops.  This covers attacks like Blast and Killing Attack, but (maybe somewhat confusingly) Powers with continuing effects like Aid, Barrier, Entangle, Transform, and a few others.  Spend END once when using the Power, assuming you haven't bought it otherwise.  
  2. Constant:  For a Constant Power, spend END every Phase to keep it up, assuming you haven't bought it otherwise.  As Steve and the books back to 1989 point out, they keep working as long as you're paying END, and as long as you maintain LOS, and are not Stunned or Knocked Out.  
  3. Persistent:  A Constant Power can be bought Persistent; some Powers are already Persistent, like Flash Defense, Mental Defense, Power Defense, Resistant Protection.  If it doesn't cost END, then it continues working even if the character is Stunned, Knocked Out, or outside of LOS.  (I think this is properly the Modifier you'd use if you want to make a Persistent Power continue outside of LOS; at least, you can't get anything smaller than its cost of +1/4 without going into house rules...)
  4. Uncontrolled:  An Uncontrolled Power allows you to feed an amount of END into it when you start the Power, and it then continues working as long as it has END, even outside of LOS. 
  5. Continuing Charges:  A Constant or Persistent Power with Continuing Charges continues for however long it's bought to continue for, then ends.  This makes the Power effectively Uncontrolled as well, so it continues outside of LOS.  
  6. Time Limit:  This is a new one as of sixth edition, so some of us are still feeling our way around it.  When the Time Limit ends, so does the Power.  It's effectively like a Continuing Charge, except it isn't a Charge.  It is officially the Modifier you want to use if you want, for instance, the ability to throw an Instant Power, said ability lasting for a certain amount of time then coming to an end.  I think it also lets a Power continue outside of LOS.  Anything Steve Long says in Rules Questions definitely overrules anything I have to say.  :)  
  7. Usable On Others:  This doesn't strictly include a duration component, but it does allow you to choose (when you build the Power) whether the granted Power continues or not outside of LOS.  
  8. Always On:  The Power can never be turned off.  It has to already be 0 END Cost and Persistent.  These are almost always Powers that are built into the character; I can't think of anything that it would fit for that isn't.  

Did I miss anything?  

 

As I mentioned above, Usable On Others can be used with "Differing Modifiers", which has long been an option for creating magic items in fantasy games (it was the default option in the original edition of Fantasy Hero, for instance), and I explicitly allow the use of Uncontrolled with it so that it unties it from the character entirely.  This also dovetails with your other question on Universal Focus vs. UOO, which I think I'll go into a bit more on that thread.  

 

What most people do?  I think most of us handwave it and use common sense.  Potions (or grenades, etc.) don't stop working outside of LOS, because we all know that's not how they work.  If you want to make sure, buy it with Persistent or Uncontrolled.  

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Here is one example I can think of for the differences in Trigger and Delayed Effect:

 

Potion of Desolidification. Trigger is quaffing the potion. Simple.

 

Delayed Effect: Ready-to-go Desolidification. 

 

Not much mechanical difference to the game, other than 'poof' the Delayed Effect just goes off and doesn't need a focus (therefore the limit on the number of delayed effects ready and waiting).

 

But the real difference between them comes into play when you take into account: Delayed Effect Desolid with a Trigger of 'just about to be hit by an attack (some sense must be able to detect the impending attack) and poof, Desolid, at a greater cost, becomes a defensive casting.

Right, Danger Sense would be the sense you'd use, although you could probably get away with Clairsentience (Precognition).  Without Triggered, when your Danger Sense goes off, you could still Abort your next Phase to a defensive action, that being to use your Delayed Effect (but not Triggered) Desolidification.

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Right, Danger Sense would be the sense you'd use, although you could probably get away with Clairsentience (Precognition).  Without Triggered, when your Danger Sense goes off, you could still Abort your next Phase to a defensive action, that being to use your Delayed Effect (but not Triggered) Desolidification.

 

Or, even just normal senses, such as Sight Group. If you don't see it coming, you can't activate it. But by having it linked to sensing it somehow (Sight, Danger Sense, etc.) you don't have to abort your next Phase. It just pops on to defend you.

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