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What is your experience been with Variable Power Pools

Do you have any house rules concerning VPPs? Do you allow them at all and if so what limits do you place on them?

Have you or anyone else in your game used a Cosmic Power Pool? What was the outcome?

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VPPs must have a tightly defined SFX.  No vaguely defined "cosmic power VPP (does anything)" or "magic VPP (does anything)". 

You, the player, cannot have the Extra Time Limitation.  When your Phase comes up, you either have the thing you want to VPP fully built or you're not VPPing that thing right now. 

 

These were in response to the guy who took a Cosmic  "magic" VPP as his character's only mode of combat and would take three minutes just to figure out that Fireball is RKA 2d6 AoE.  It was horrible

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You have a catch 22 situation.  Only experienced players should be allowed to play a Cosmic power pool.  A cosmic power pool in the hands of an experienced player is a terrible thing! 🙂

 

I often have multiple players with small (20 point) power pools.  Some are tightly defined others are not.

 

The rule of taking time at the table is a good one though, if the vpp player is not ready, they use a different power.  No getting time to think it through in detail.

 

You find those players will develop a list of powers they use all the time and use the flexibility mostly out of combat.

 

Doc

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I give a couple limitations to save points on them for things to reduce my headache.  Like a list of predetermined powers is worth a -1/4...

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Highly skilled players are murder machines with cosmic VPPs.  Yes, I've used one.  Yes, I could basically do anything I wanted with it. 

 

One of the nastiest parts is slapping limitations on the powers to bring the real cost down.  Suppose you had a 60 point Cosmic VPP.  You can have a 12D6 Energy Blast, or +30" of Flight, or a 30/30 Force Field.  Or why not all three at once?  Slap x5 Endurance (-2 limitation) on them and for a few phases, you can have all 3 powers going at the same time.  Yeah, you'll run out of End fast.  That's why you thought of that before the fight and Aided your Endurance, right?

 

On the other hand, inexperienced players get totally shut down when you hand them a VPP.  They can't wrap their head around it and they just freeze up.

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I've run a few recently.

 

Definitely don't give one to a newbie. What happens is the GM ends up figuring everything, at least in my most recent experience.

 

I really like the idea of a time limit at the table: set a stopwatch for one minute, and if nothing is said in that minute then nothing comes out of the VPP!

 

I think it's best for experienced players, and with a tight SFX restriction, as has already been mentioned. (e.g. "fire powers")

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On 6/18/2020 at 5:33 PM, Doc Democracy said:

I often have multiple players with small (20 point) power pools.  Some are tightly defined others are not.

 

The rule of taking time at the table is a good one though, if the vpp player is not ready, they use a different power.  No getting time to think it through in detail.

 

You find those players will develop a list of powers they use all the time and use the flexibility mostly out of combat.

 

Doc

I don't understand why people wouldn't do this prior to debuting a character with a VPP in the first place. Two of my characters have VPPs and I regard the list of pre-designed slots they favor to be as essential parts of their character sheets as the stat blocks.

 

On 6/29/2020 at 5:25 PM, pbemguy said:

I really like the idea of a time limit at the table: set a stopwatch for one minute, and if nothing is said in that minute then nothing comes out of the VPP!

I think this would work well with "whatever power you pick for your next phase can benefit from cost savings of the Extra Time Limitation, and must have it at at least the -3/4 level since it's going to take at least that long in game time to activate."

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