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How do you calculate a +SPD power in the middle of a fight?

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6th Edition:

 

How do you calculate a +SPD power in the middle of a fight?

 

Say Mr Badguy drinks a super serum on Phase 6 that makes him go from Speed 4 to speed 6. How do you calculate what his new phases are? Just switch him over to speed 6?

 

What about SPD Drains? Same?

 

Thanks!

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Massey has given you the correct official interpretation.  I do it differently.

 

In that circumstance the next action phase on SPD6 would activate on segment 8, on SPD4 would activate on segment 9.  Segment 9 would therefore be active for both SPDs and so I would allow actions on 9 and 12.

 

Doc

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You act on the next shared phase.  Champions Complete, page 137.

 

 Changing Spd is a pain in the butt.

Then the best time to change SPD is on phase 12... Although bumping up or down the SPD of your enemies and a little meta knowledge and you could lower them to 2 phases per turn every turn...

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We generally just play it that you can switch on a shared phase.  So if you are on segment 6, you can go from Spd 4 to Spd 6, and your next action would be on 8 (with 6 counting as the shared phase).  

 

You just have to be careful to keep people from switching back and forth and getting more actions than normal.  Without some sort of restrictions, a Speed 7 character could hop up and down the Speed chart and end up acting on every segment except 1.  ("Segment 2, I'm Spd 7 so I act.  I punch this guy and then I reduce my Speed to 5.  Okay, Segment 3, I'm Speed 5 now so I punch this guy again and then I raise my Speed back to 7...")  So the idea of the shared phase prevents abuse.  But it does make Speed changes such a big pain in the butt that most people avoid them like the plague.

 

Speed Drains are also devastatingly effective, as you can effectively immobilize somebody just by draining 1 Spd at a time and forcing them through involuntary Speed changes.  Years and years ago, in a 4th edition campaign, the villain Timemaster absolutely bitch-slapped a very powerful PC by draining him over and over again.  On segment 2, the hero went from Spd 7 down to Spd 5 (next shared phase is segment 12!)  Then he just beat on him for a while, until eventually draining him all the way to Spd 0.

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The rules (CC p137) says after changing speed the character "cannot act until after both speeds would have had a phase", and then becomes the new speed and acts on the phases for that speed.

 

It's NOT "the next shared phase" although a lot of people seem to run that as a house rule.

 

In your example, speed 6 gets a phase on segment 8, speed 4 gets a phase on segment 9, at which point the character is switched to speed 6 and will be able to act on segment 10.

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Just realised the OP is not talking about voluntary speed changes, which are all the rules on CC p.137 are referring to. If a character's speed is changed as the result of an adjustment power, that takes effect immediately.

 

So in the example, the character's speed goes to 6 right away and they would be able to act on segment 8.

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I try to avoid the issue by asking players to increase it only on segment 12.  Most are understanding.  I'll drop speed whenever it occurs.

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Thinking about this, one way would be to skip one phase (on the faster SPD) unless the change is on a shared phase or the next phase is a shared phase.

 

SPD3: 4 8 12

SPD4: 3 6 9 12

 

Under those rules with phase 4 you'd skip phase 6, but go on phase 9 & 12. Technically you didn't gain any speed but you did change over. You'd be no worse off than your old slower speed at least.

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Honestly I usually just swag it. As long as the character gains/loses the right *number* of Phases (amortized across an entire Turn) I don't worry too much about exactly *which* Phases they act on. I know it's not By The Book, but it keeps things moving.

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Lots of rule choices up there. I like a mechanism that ensures total phases no more than the higher SPD and no less than the lower one.

 

For a PC who can switch SPD, I'd suggest building a chart - if it is Segment X, and he is SPD Y, and switches to SPD Z, he will next move on Phase A.

 

You can then skim over that for any issues, and tweak it if issues arise in play. Often, the best answer for things that slow the game down in play is to get them papered up out of play.

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I'm curious to hear the Collective's opinions on how that should work for a speedster with a 6 SPD normally and a +6 SPD in a framework slot. No books or PDF available at the moment.

 

Here's the character in question:

https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?795840-HERO6E-My-rookie-JLA-builds&p=20707008#post20707008

 

HM

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I'm curious to hear the Collective's opinions on how that should work for a speedster with a 6 SPD normally and a +6 SPD in a framework slot. No books or PDF available at the moment.

 

 

I'd probably run it the same as an adjustment power and have the +SPD add to current speed, because it's power use. This is a more general question that that one build (and it appears to have a +4 SPD add power anyway). So flicking on +4SPD at the end of phase 4 will put them to SPD10 and allow them to act in segment 5.

 

Adjusting a multipower is a 0 phase action that can only be done once per phase, so there is potential for min-maxing in some builds that might need attention. If it's clearly going to result in a character getting more phases than they paid for, the GM should disallow it. Yo-yoing between certain speeds has more potential for abuse than others - in particular SPD 3/4 and 5/7 - while some, like 6/10, 3/6 and anything/12 won't cause a problem because all of the lower speed's phases fall on phases of the higher speed anyway.

 

I do like some features of the build, HM, though it's far too fiddly for my tastes.

 

Edit:

 

Changed my my mind, on reflection. It would be far too easy to build +2 SPD and yo-yo a cheap multipower between SPD5 and SPD7 to effectively give 11 phases a turn. Doing it with Drain or Aid requires an attack and far more points and shouldn't unbalance things. So put me down for this being a voluntary speed change and requiring both speeds to have a phase before allowing the character to take another action. For SPD6 going to SPD 12 they would skip the next segment and become SPD 12 on the following one. Either the standard rule or "next common phase" variant agree in this case.

 

Also, the speed 3/4 and 5/7 transitions are probably the reason the standard speed change rule uses "when both have had a phase", because otherwise a character would not act until segment 12 (their only common phase). Which makes no sense.

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Changed my my mind, on reflection. It would be far too easy to build +2 SPD and yo-yo a cheap multipower between SPD5 and SPD7 to effectively give 11 phases a turn. Doing it with Drain or Aid requires an attack and far more points and shouldn't unbalance things.

A simple houserule you could only (willingly) change your speed once per turn. That way you can't abuse the system too much, and you're better going up in SPD rather than down.

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I'd probably run it the same as an adjustment power and have the +SPD add to current speed, because it's power use. This is a more general question that that one build (and it appears to have a +4 SPD add power anyway). So flicking on +4SPD at the end of phase 4 will put them to SPD10 and allow them to act in segment 5.

 

Adjusting a multipower is a 0 phase action that can only be done once per phase, so there is potential for min-maxing in some builds that might need attention. If it's clearly going to result in a character getting more phases than they paid for, the GM should disallow it. Yo-yoing between certain speeds has more potential for abuse than others - in particular SPD 3/4 and 5/7 - while some, like 6/10, 3/6 and anything/12 won't cause a problem because all of the lower speed's phases fall on phases of the higher speed anyway.

 

I do like some features of the build, HM, though it's far too fiddly for my tastes.

 

Edit:

 

Changed my my mind, on reflection. It would be far too easy to build +2 SPD and yo-yo a cheap multipower between SPD5 and SPD7 to effectively give 11 phases a turn. Doing it with Drain or Aid requires an attack and far more points and shouldn't unbalance things. So put me down for this being a voluntary speed change and requiring both speeds to have a phase before allowing the character to take another action. For SPD6 going to SPD 12 they would skip the next segment and become SPD 12 on the following one. Either the standard rule or "next common phase" variant agree in this case.

 

Also, the speed 3/4 and 5/7 transitions are probably the reason the standard speed change rule uses "when both have had a phase", because otherwise a character would not act until segment 12 (their only common phase). Which makes no sense.

 

I'm not sure where you got 4 + 6 = 10. I was referring to the flash build, not superman. Note that the bonus SPD costs END to activate as well. The question I haven't dug into yet is how long it would take to access 'odd # Phases'.

 

I only have smart phone access at the moment.

 

HM

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I'm not sure where you got 4 + 6 = 10. I was referring to the flash build, not superman. Note that the bonus SPD costs END to activate as well. The question I haven't dug into yet is how long it would take to access 'odd # Phases'.

 

 

This is from the link you gave. I've emphasised the base speed 6 and +4 SPD power. Apologies if I missed another effect that adds a further 2 SPD:

 

Barry Allen

The FLASH, The Scarlet Speedster, The Fastest Man Alive

 

VAL CHA Cost Roll Notes

20 STR 5 13- HTH Damage 4d6 END [2]

18/27 DEX 8 13- / 14-

20 CON 5 13-

18 INT 3 13- PER Roll 14-

15 EGO 5 12-

15 PRE 5 12- PRE Attack: 3d6

8 OCV 5

8 DCV 5

3 OMCV 0

3 DMCV 0

6 SPD 0 Phases: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

7/19 PD 2 7/19 PD (3/11 rPD)

7/19 ED 2 7/19 ED (3/11 rED)

10 REC 0

50 END 0

10 BODY 0

30 STUN 0

 

Movement Cost Meters Notes

RUNNING 0 30m/70m,/60m/140m END [1/3]

SWIMMING 0 4m/8m END [1]

LEAPING 0 4m 4m forward, 2m upward

TELEPORTATION 23m/92m

 

Characteristics Total: 45

 

Cost Powers

6 Combat Luck: Resistant Protection (3 PD/3 ED), Hardened (+1/4), Impenetrable (+1/4) (13 Active Points); Luck-Based (encompasses all the restrictions described in the text; -3/4), Nonpersistent (-1/4)

 

Speed Force Powers, all slots Unified Power (-1/4)

4 1) +5 STR (5 Active Points) - END=1

6 2) +4 DEX (8 Active Points)

8 3) +9 DEX (18 Active Points); Limited Power Only to Act First with All Actions (-1)

4 4) +5 CON (5 Active Points)

4 5) +5 INT (5 Active Points)

16 6) +4 OCV (20 Active Points)

16 7) +4 DCV (20 Active Points)

32 8) +4 SPD (40 Active Points)

3 9) +4 PD (4 Active Points)

3 10) +4 ED (4 Active Points)

5 11) +6 REC (6 Active Points)

5 12) +30 END (6 Active Points)

4 13) +10 STUN (5 Active Points)

...

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Barry is a normal person with a 2 speed. His connection to the Speedforce (Unified) gives +4 speed for a total 6 speed under normal circumstances. He has a vpp that allows 2 60 active point abilities to be used simultaneously. One such slot is + 6 speed that costs end to activate (Providing a 12 total speed).

 

HM

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I have been trying to think of a form of words that is not too long but covers the potential for switching to minmax the speed chart.

 

The best .I have so far is..

 

"When you change speed mid-turn, look at the next phase for both current and new speeds. Your next action will take place on whichever of those phases is later in the turn, you will then use your new speed's action phases exclusively. Like an attack, changing speed ends your current phase".

 

That will be my house rule on speed changing.

 

Doc

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I have been trying to think of a form of words that is not too long but covers the potential for switching to minmax the speed chart.

Hmmm another idea coming to mind would be if someone wanted to switch between 5&7 to game the system; let them. However keep track of how many phases he's done in this turn. When he hits the max for a particular SPD he gets burned out (stunned) and can't recover from being stunned until phase 12 (which takes the phase to recover).

 

Call it the Sugar High rule... You get really hyper, and then you crash...

 

Since there's likely only one person to do this you'll only need say a single d10 dice to keep track of his shenanigans. And once they experience the crash they are less likely to game the system. But unless you're specially trying to game the system to break it this would never would come up...

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I'm not sure where you got 4 + 6 = 10. I was referring to the flash build, not superman. Note that the bonus SPD costs END to activate as well. The question I haven't dug into yet is how long it would take to access 'odd # Phases'.

Because one first sees the 6 SPD characteristic, then the "+4 SPD" unified power and assumes that is the framework slot, not reading to the +6 SPD VPP slot further below.

 

I assume that slot can add any amount of SPD from +1 to +6, so SPD could be highly variable. I'm also guessing it has never seen play or you would tell us how you have handled it rather than asking how we would.

 

If it were a "toggle switch" - i.e. he either has SPD 6 or SPD 12, I'd be tempted to say the current phase remains SPD 6, or SPD 12, after which he next moves on the next phase of his new SPD. That is, the next segment if he went up to SPD 12, or the next even numbered segment if he dropped down to SPD 6. As long as there is no advantage to flicking the switch repeatedly, I see no big issue.

 

However, the tougher assessment is what if he goes up to SPD 12, then needs the VPP for something else, so he drops to SPD 9, then pumps it back up to SPD 11, etc.

 

Regardless of the method chosen, this would also be one of those powers that comes with the standard "if it slows the game down, it will have to be changed or removed" caveat. Tracking phases in a turn (Era Scarecrow's note) is a good check on any rule adopted. If switching speeds gains more phases in a turn than the higher of the two, or results in less than the lower of the two, that's clearly an inappropriate result so the approach needs to change.

 

My gut feel is that Doc D's approach - move on the later of the original and new SPD's next phases - would work reasonably well. Applied to the toggle switch, that would mean a shift up to SPD 12 from 6 means you act next on the next even numbered phase, so one phase is lost before the benefits kick in. That's probably OK balance-wise (and I am also not unhappy it will discourage frequent switching). I could also see allowing the shift up to 12 mean you get an action in the next phase, but switching back to 6, if done on a segment in which SPD 6 does not act, is the only action you may take on that segment.

 

hmmm...that's another possibility - if you change SPD on a segment both old and new SPD would act on, you move on the phases of the new SPD after that phase. If you change SPD on a segment the new SPD gets no action in, your next action occurs on the next segment your new SPD would act on, or the next segment your old SPD would act on, whichever is later. After that, the new SPD applies.

 

So if Flash goes from SPD 6 to SPD 12, since he had a phase to switch, and SPD 12 acts on all segments, he now acts on all segments. If he ups his SPD from 6 to 8, we look at the chart. If he changes on Segment 2, both SPD 6 and 8 had an action - he can move next on 3 (switching up to SPD 8). If he changes on Segment 4, SPD 8 would have had no action, so he has effectively already taken his Ph 5 action for SPD 8. He will move next on Segment 6, when both SPD 6 and 8 would have their subsequent phase.

 

If, on phase 9, he drops back down to 6 SPD, then he has already taken his Ph 10 action for SPD 6, and moves next on Segment 12.

 

This seems reasonable, but maybe it leaves some way to game the chart - anyone?

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