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Magic and Science VPP

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So, I was thinking of a making a character who used both magic and technology, and was going to give them a VPP. The problem is, the disadvantage for just magic is (-1/4). That means, if I had science and magic, it would be even less of an advantage, which does not exist, meaning I may as well just give said character access to things like psychic powers, Mutant powers, etc. I could just have two VPP's, 1 with just magic, and another that has just tech, but that would end up being ludicrously expensive.

 

I suppose I am stuck, where I want to go with the character idea without having them be worthless due to point distribution, while not being so broken that they would be disallowed or no fun to play.

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2 minutes ago, Brian Stanfield said:

Have you considered doing a VPP for the magic, and then science skills with a gadget pool? It might get what you want without the high cost. 

That could work. My plan was to basically have them to have their goal to effectively become their worlds equivalent of a good Dr. Doom. Master Sorcerer and Scientist, so if I do, I would have to find a way to get them to be about the same level. Still that does sound like a good starting point.

 

Gadgets and the like was never a problem for me before, because one of the house rules used in one of the groups I'm in was basically what we called, "The equipment pool" which was something everyone had. I might make a second thread on it just to throw the idea out there for others to try if they are interested.

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33 minutes ago, Grailknight said:

I'd just define your pool as Techno-magic as an SFX with a -1/4 disadvantage for no psychic powers, For VPPs, its more important to define what you can't do than to blanket list everything you can.

Make sense, but it seems odd to have one VPP that is just magic cost the same as one that is magic and tech.

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To my mind, the scope is broad enough that it's no longer worth a limitation, or is a -0 one.

 

This is setting dependant, though. If non-magic, non-technological effects (as defined by the setting) are significant, then it's probably worth some appropriate value.

 

Likewise, that -¼ limitation for "magic only" might be worth more in a setting where magic is less useful.

 

But having two major effects to draw from will allow you to deal with most situations where one or the other is no good, so a -0 limitation is appropriate.

 

At the end of the day you have to work out "exactly how much does this limitation restrict me?". If the answer is "not very much at all" then it's -0.

 

There is also a possible argument that the VPP powers would be subject to the Variable Special Effect advantage, though going with "Techno-Magic" might cover that.

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12 minutes ago, mrinku said:

To my mind, the scope is broad enough that it's no longer worth a limitation, or is a -0 one.

 

This is setting dependant, though. If non-magic, non-technological effects (as defined by the setting) are significant, then it's probably worth some appropriate value.

 

Likewise, that -¼ limitation for "magic only" might be worth more in a setting where magic is less useful.

 

But having two major effects to draw from will allow you to deal with most situations where one or the other is no good, so a -0 limitation is appropriate.

 

At the end of the day you have to work out "exactly how much does this limitation restrict me?". If the answer is "not very much at all" then it's -0.

 

There is also a possible argument that the VPP would be subject to the Variable Special Effect advantage, though going with "Techno-Magic" might cover that.

That makes sense. Setting wise, there is basically 4 main powers. Magic, Psychic, Ki, and Technology. VPP with no limitation basically represents either having all of them, or some unknown, godlike, world altering powers. Generally, If you are highly resistant to magic, you can bet you enemy is hiring a psychic to hunt you down.

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Yeah, it depends on what you want to be able to do.

 

I have a Superman build somewhere, and he's got a VPP for "Kryptonian powers".  How much of a limitation is that worth?  If it's Animated Series Superman, it's probably worth a -1/2.  Everybody knows what he can do -- heat vision, superbreath, flight, etc.  But what if he's Pre-Crisis Superman?  Not only do I need a (much) bigger VPP, I don't think I get any limitation at all.  You've got powers like "fly around the world and turn back time", "erase memories with super-kiss", "take apart and reprogram robot at superspeed", "invent serum that takes away bad guy's powers", and other fun stuff.  When I thought about it, there was virtually nothing that I couldn't find a justification for Superman being able to do in his VPP.

 

Is there some power that you can't bullcrap your way into being able to do?  Telepathy?  What about a mind enhancing helmet?  Or a spell of mind reading?  If you can't think of anything, it's probably not worth a limitation.

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And as a point, ALL VPPs have to have a common special effect (even if it's "Cosmic Powers" or "Divine Intervention"), so you don't get a limitation for it just being "magic" or "technology" (or Mutant Powers or The Speed Force) but whether that condition restricts the pool in any significant way.

 

A classic gadget pool gets a bonus not because it uses technology as a special effect, but because it uses Foci, and you are allowed to apply a required limitation to the pool cost.

 

"Magic" is not a good limitation, though "Spells" may be if all spells require some of a list of requirements (i.e. incantations, guestures, skill roll etc). If these are always needed it's better to specify those limitations as VPP ones, but if you can choose between them a more general VPP limit may apply (maybe use Variable Limitation as a guide there and go with half the required value?).

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Ask yourself this game mechanic can you not do with either magic or technology?  Is there any power you cannot buy with magic?  Is there anything you could not build with technology?  Since your character is going to be able to both and even combine them chances are there is nothing that you cannot do.

 

Personally I would not allow either magic or technology to be any kind of limitation.  If you wanted to further restrict them maybe.  If you were only able to do elemental magic, or only able to do electronic gadgets those might be worth something.  Why would you not be able to do psychic or mutant abilities with access to both magic and technology? Genetics is a science, and not just a rubber science.  It is a real world science that we actually use today.  There is no reason why a geneticist could not genetically engineer a mutant.  Psychic abilities are often considered to be magic.  Dr. Strange can easily do anything a psychic could do without a second thought.

 

If you really are going for a Dr. Doom type he mixes them so thoroughly you cannot distinguish one form the other.  When he teamed up with Dr. Strange he actually used his armor’s computer to analyze other people’s magic and used it to boost his own magic.  Strange even noticed that Doom techniques were very precise, but seemed kind of mechanical, and strangely familiar. 

 

Just create one big VPP for both of them.  You actually should take the advantage can choose which of two rolls to make from use to use (+1/4)

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On 1/8/2018 at 8:43 PM, Hugh Neilson said:

The only basis I've ever been able to come up with for "magic" being -1/4 in a Supers game is that all the powers must have a magic sfx and, as such, the character can never circumvent abilities that Dispel or Suppress magic, Detect magic, etc.  What can't Magic do?

 

I don't see it as a Limitation on what powers the character can create. It's that all of those powers must use a specific SFX, and anything that is resistant to that SFX (or can shut it down) will give the character a very hard time.

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There are a very few powers, like Cyberkinesis, that are difficult to justify with a magic pool. But for the most part unless the GM has sweeping campaign-specific limitations to how magic works it's barely a hair less versatile than a Cosmic VPP.

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