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How to Help Run: Transforming Foes


Sveta8
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Good Evening! I've a trio of very simple and annoying question! The first is easy. How would you handle a Player or Foe who's main method of attack was using Transform: Abilities? The other two require context.


 I was kicking around the idea of a character, player or foe, would be nifty in my eyes either way, who's main gimmick was Transform. Build them pretty average for a character, probably pulling from Metamorphic examples and have most of their Standard Abilities as small Multipowers. This would represent that they have  Transformed themselves in whatever appropriate way. They've grown Wings, or Flippers and Fins, or extra Legs for Running, or a Snake like body to slither on up something, ect. A small multipower for movement, one for appropriate Life Support, and one for average Defensive options. They adapt to the situation by changing themselves, but aren't as awesome as they would be if they were built for the situation.

That's the character, but their main attack or... well, Threatening thing, would be a Transform Attack. Specifically, I was seeing somewhere about...


Major Transform: 6d6 Underlying Power Change, Expanded Result Group (Any Power +1/4 or +1/2), Limited Target (Sapient Beings -1/4), Powered Glove OIF (-1/2), Restrainable (-1/2), Healing Method (3 Month Timer): AP: 75/90, RP: 33/40

 

This, if I've built it appropriately, provides the character with a Magic/Tech Glove that they can fire at a foe, and change the nature of an opponent's ability. It is hard to take away, but can be targeted, and if someone grabs that arm, can't be used.

While I could simply have that Major Transform simply remove whatever ability, that's not very fun and engaging. Providing the foe with different and, at the moment, unhelpful options though, seems way more... curious and provides nifty options. Transforming the points in Running into a Retrainable Flight or, if I'm feeling particularly cruel, a boatload of Swimming. Transforming an Electrical Absorption into an Electrical Power Aid. Transforming a Fire Blast into a Temperature Increasing Change Environment. Transforming a Brick's Damage Negation to Damage Reduction... of the other type of Force! There are some fun options provided by this. 

However, such a character, regardless on which side of the board they are on, is... challenging to run to say the least. 

The other two questions deal more in how Transform properly works. With Major Transform as described, could I:
A: Convert Strength as a Characteristic to another appropriate Characteristic? Or just modify Characteristics in general?
B: Target multiple powers at once to change? Converting both Blast and Change Environments into a Darkness for example. Or Running and Flight into Swimming.


SO! Long story short, 3 questions.
1: How would you handle a Character that Transform's others regularly?
2: Can Major Transform target Characteristics?
3: Can Major Transform target multiple powers at once?

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3 minutes ago, dmjalund said:

You're not supposed to use Transform to change yourself. use Shapeshift to do external changes, and a Multipower or a Variable Power Pool to change your abilities


And I'm not. It was even called out in the very first paragraph of explaining the idea that the character's own abilities would likely be bought via a Mulitpower set. And Shapeshift is a whole different hill to die on that I'm not touching right now.

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I don't have the books in front of me, so I can't speak to the appropriateness of some of the modifiers, but the base construct looks right.  Given every power must have a point of origin, Restrainable would mean, at least to me, any Grab,  Entangle or similar restraint renders the power unusable.  The combination is still achieving a -1 limitation, which should be just as limiting as an OAF.

 

I'd also want to work through the mechanics - I think there are rules for changing CP for the target, and if you can change any power to any other, it seems like you could also convert a relatively useless power to a relatively useful one in any given situation.  I'm not sure whether 6d6 would require multiple hits, whether in that context or against a relatively defenseless foe (i.e. one with 8-10 BOD and no Power Defense).  It will if the target has power defense and/or high BOD.

 

My bigger question is how this will work in play.  Transform is not a well-understood power, so that slows play down a bit.  Having the players (or GM) have to slow down and figure out how the mechanics of their new, unfamiliar power suite works could slow it down a lot more. 

 

With the right group, this could make for an interesting one-off opponent, as the GM can consider the revised power builds in advance, even planning on running the new powers largely as unknowns (the Fire blaster tries to fire a blast, and the entire area gets warmer instead - now what?), forming a lot of the scenario around the players figuring out how their new powers work.  Maybe they have to get the opponent to reverse the process, or take the Focus and rework it themselves to undo the effects.  Depending on the players, it could be a great session or a very frustrating one.

 

Just leaving them with a character very different from the one they designed for three months seems like a bad idea to me.

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On 9/27/2020 at 9:30 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

I don't have the books in front of me, so I can't speak to the appropriateness of some of the modifiers, but the base construct looks right.  Given every power must have a point of origin, Restrainable would mean, at least to me, any Grab,  Entangle or similar restraint renders the power unusable.  The combination is still achieving a -1 limitation, which should be just as limiting as an OAF.

Generally, the restrainable limitation and Foci are not used on the same power. A typical exception would be a wing harness, where you could interfere with the wings and take off the harness with two different methods. So either go Hugh's route and make it worth the -1 limitation or get rid of one.

 

I'd want you to get more specific about changing the "nature" of a power. You mention some examples, but they are not consistent. In one you change one defense to another. Another changes a constant adjustment to an instant adjustment. A third changes an instant attack to a constant attack. Are the AP staying the same? The RP? Major transformation says on the topic "changing the underlying nature of a power, but not its basic function (for example, converting a Blast into an RKA, Drain, or other form of Ranged attack, but not into Healing or a defense)", it looks to me like the change to a Change Environment would not have the same basic function of doing damage, but I could be wrong.

 

You are paying enough for this that I would certainly think you should be able to do some significant changes to an opponent. But I would also be hesitant as this power could be fairly unbalancing. Lastly, you would need some method of knowing what powers your opponent had (having seen them used or a detect perhaps?) before you could change them.

 

- E

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