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So I was thinking about limitations that technically make a power not work on a whole class of things -- limiting! -- but in practice are always to the player's benefit.  For example:

 

Discount Blade of Zz'ria - 2d6 HKA, OAF (-1), Only affects evil (-1)

 

Putting aside the numeric value of the limitation (which obviously depends on the morality the campaign), you can see how this limitation isn't very limiting.  Captain Goode was never going to use it on a good person, but now she doesn't actually have to be careful: "Ah, Growing Red wasn't affected by my blade; he must not be a bad guy after all!"  If the blade is stolen by her nemesis Hauptmann Schlecht, she can't be cut by it. If she's mind controlled, she doesn't have to worry about using it against her allies. And so on.

 

I'm curious how you folks would model this (and these sorts of "limitations" in general). Do you just make the limitation worth 0?  Put on advantages to reflect the uses above (and if so, how do you decide much are those advantages worth)? Maybe use a simple naked advantage and limit that appropriately?

 

 

Doug

(You can see the inspiring weapon about halfway down https://uncannyxmen.net/characters/kylun; the new guy tries to decapitate poor Nightcrawler, but the sword passes harmlessly through his neck.)

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I see a few common threads emerging which I concur with, and steriaca touches on most of them here.   By default, the attack works on anyone the character targets and hits.  He can already c

It is a limitation, NOT AN ADVANTAGE. Just because there are 'advantages' doesn't make it an advantage rules wise. I say the way you explain it, -1/4 limitation. But I personally would value it at -1

I'm certain of what the OP asked. It is not my fault that he didn't ask it correctly.   It is a limitation because it limits the targets which can be affected by the power. It doesn't matter

depends on the definition of evil. Can one be truly evil if one is nice to ones mother? how about if they treat hostages with respect?

 

some would say only demons and devils are truly evil.

 

also monsters - especially non-intelligent monsters) are merely following instincts. Does this make them evil?

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Too many times I have seen situations where the character has tested another with such a weapon. Instead of making the weapon do the testing, the testing character will use the weapon on the opponent then it will actually be the attacker's view of the opponent's "evilness" that is being determined, not if that opponent is actually "evil". As a result, if they believe that a good person is evil, then this sword of evil-slaying will do full damage and on the reverse no damage would occur to that perceived good opponent (who might or not actually be evil).

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     It sounded like you asked about the type of situation and everyone started number crunching the example.  The situation has to be handled differently depending on the player. 
    If someone comes up with what they honestly believe is a limitation then a GM has to kindly take them aside and work out something that can satisfy their need to tell the story of their character. OTOH, when you get somebody who’s just trying to see what nonsense you’ll let them get away with if they steamroll you hard enough...Then you have to get hard. Some players will push and push until you draw the line and make them believe that if they don’t play fair then then they can take their ball and go home.

    I know this sounds a little harsh and this may be a “yeah, no kidding.” type of answer, but since you have very few posts I’m going to assume that you’re a newish GM.  If I’m wrong I apologize and won’t try to tell grandpa how to suck eggs.

   If however, you are new to all this then I’m just trying to give you a little backup on what you already know but may be unsure of how to implement.   Supervillains are much easier to deal with than real life players anyway.

      Best of luck either way.   

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I have to say these things.

 

1) Non-sentiant and semi-sentiant animals are not exactly on the good/evil axis. They do things for the survival of the self and their species. A lion who attacks the character is not doing it out of evil, but out of hunger, fear, or that it is in their territory and do not know their intentions. 

 

2) Sentiant beings also can attack not out of good or evil, but out of fear or misunderstanding. Just because the sword will not harm the opponent does not mean the opponent will stop fighting. Also, people who are mind control are not at that moment on the good/evil axis. The controller is evil and they must obey, but that doesn't mean they can be harmed by the weapon.

 

3) Created things like golems and non-intelagent undead can't choose to be good or evil and can be exempted from the sword. Objects like bombs can't be affected. You can't chop a door to escape a shrinking room cause the door cares not your morale outlook, nor does it have one of it's own. An evil villain tries pore sweet Polly to the train tracks. Forget slashing Polly free with that sword. The rope is not evil, just doing it's job as a rope.

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Well, its obviously a limitation; it restricts the number of targets it works on, and you might really want it to work on that robot or that animated statue.  But since it is not a very great limitation (he wasn't likely to use it on anything except evil anyway) then its not a very great limitation.  I would reduce the value, but still keep some.  Depending on how likely they are to want to use it on something else or are inclined to, its a -¼ to -½ in my mind.

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As mentioned, good people can attack you and still be "good."  Frankly, if I had a player with such a build, id make sure that happened now and again: someone convinces a village of good people that youve been placed under the control of a nefarious wizard and have come to slaughter the children, etc, etc.

 

But to answer your actual question:

 

I "handle" that sort of thing suring character or item creation.  I do so by making it clear to the player that there is no such thing as a disadvantage or limitation that can possibly provide more that a very minor boon (lengthy discussion) and only under the most extreme of circumstances.

 

I readily disallow certain limitations, depending on how the pkayer sees them operating, but will help him determine a new method of operation for that limitation ("its a sword, Mike.  Its going to hit people and its going to hurt, good or evil.  Consider adding a die of damage that only works versus evil."  Or "okay, but its only going to affect people that you believe to be evil.  That means sometines evil folks won't be affected because you think their are good, and vice-versa.")

 

Other folks may offer other suggestions, but that's how I handle it.

 

 

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It seems I phrased my question poorly. How would you implement an advantageous limitation like "Only affects Evil"?

  • One intended to have no effect if used against its good owner or good teammates.
  • One intended to have no effect on normals (who aren't capital-E Evil).
  • One intended to have no effect on non-sapient things (like animals or objects).

Or if you're hung up on the Evil part, how about a different limitation: "Only affects individuals wearing black clothing"?

 

 

Doug

Conveniently, everyone on Team Awesome wears all-white uniforms!

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Ah; thats helpful; thank you.

 

I would make it an advantage: affects no one but intended target.

 

If you dont have pricing ideas for it, or don't feel that it falls in line with the rules, I would suggest looking at "skip over sprayfire" to see that the idea of  "I only hit who I want to" is indeed part of the modern rules, is considered advantageous, and to perhaps get a feeling of its value in your campaign.

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Like a lot of HERO game build questions, it's a matter of session 0. What are the GM/players working out for the campaign?

 

I'd work something out  with the player. What counts as Evil (capital "E")for the character AND the campaign? How common are Evil opponents?

 

That is modified by the value of the limitation. If someone takes a -1 Limitation, well that halves the cost of the attack. That means, half(ish) the time that attack isn't going to be of use.  I'd base it on potential combats that might happen. That way the player can have more agency about who they get into fights with and when the limitation comes into play.

 

Let's say Dwarfie McDwarfface buys an Axe of the Ancestors. 2d6HKA, only vs Evil (-1). Well, what's Evil in this campaign? Are all Orcs Evil? Are all Dragons? Is it the gamut of classic Dwarven ancestral enemies? Whatever answer you come up with it's going to account for about half the (potential) combats that character is going to be in. If it turns out that the player really wants it to be orcs and dragons and campaign world doesn't have dragons and that orcs are just people then the value of the limitation is going to go down. That or the GM includes more dragons and "classic" orcs.

 

As an adjunct, one area I can potentially see  "Only vs. Evil" being royally abused is for area of effect attacks.

 

e.g.: Fireball, only vs Evil! No need to worry about hitting your friends.

 

In this case I'd insist on the the write-up including the Selective advantage. Only vs. Evil then becomes a limitation and can be added to the mix.

 

 

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6 hours ago, dougmacd said:

It seems I phrased my question poorly. How would you implement an advantageous limitation like "Only affects Evil"?

  • One intended to have no effect if used against its good owner or good teammates.
  • One intended to have no effect on normals (who aren't capital-E Evil).
  • One intended to have no effect on non-sapient things (like animals or objects).

Or if you're hung up on the Evil part, how about a different limitation: "Only affects individuals wearing black clothing"?

 

 

Doug

Conveniently, everyone on Team Awesome wears all-white uniforms!

 

Easy.  I do not believe that an attack that only affects a very limited class of enemies is "advantageous".

 

If it's intended to not affect normals, or mind-controlled good people, or animals, or animated objects... then great!  That means the player has a good solid idea of how his attack is supposed to work.  He's not gonna be mad when he can't slice through a door with his magic sword, and we're all on the same page.

 

Do you think the player is just going to walk around stabbing people to see if they're evil?  "Hey, it's cool everybody.  It's cool.  That baby was totally evil.  My sword wouldn't have hurt it otherwise.  Honest."  Just because someone is evil doesn't mean they're deserving of death.  You might have an evil old man who hoards his money and hates other people, but that doesn't mean he's committed a crime or anything.  You just can't slice his head off because he's a hateful old grouch.  There would be roleplaying penalties to randomly stabbing people.

 

What's he really getting out of it, anyway?  Detect evil, requires successful attack roll, OAF, linked to HKA?  That's what, like a single character point?  It's not a big deal.

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Generally speaking there are a lot of things which are not evil which would be helpful if the character could cut them but would have no effect on. Some things to keep in mind.

 

1) Does he have other means to hurt things and people who wish him harm but are not evil? Beyond just STR of course. Does he have a normal sword also? He is limiting his character enough by only using his evil bashing sword on Dark Palidan, Black Harlequin, and/or Blowtorch and not on Foxbat, Lady Blue, and Ladybug. So it's a limitation. 

 

2) With certain limitations, it is up to the game master to exactly state what the limitation's value is. We don't know exactly how much of something you wish to put into your game. Or what you consider 'evil' enough to trigger the limitation. It is best to think of that limitation as "Not VS Good Aligned Beings, Neutral Aligned Beings, And Non-Sentiant Things". This excudes lots of things which someone with such a weapon would want to cut if he could (A wooden door, or the rope around a pore damsel's body, or some brush which is blocking your way). In my opinion, that is worth a -1 limitation regardless of if the player attempts to use it as a normal sword or not.

 

3) Even if the sword doesn't harm the victim doesn't mean there won't be consequences for swinging it around. Sure it passes harmlessly through Donald Trump (stupid is not equal to evil after all). But try telling that to the Secret Service who just riddled you player's character with Brickbuster Bullets.

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11 hours ago, dougmacd said:

It seems I phrased my question poorly. How would you implement an advantageous limitation like "Only affects Evil"?

  • One intended to have no effect if used against its good owner or good teammates.
  • One intended to have no effect on normals (who aren't capital-E Evil).
  • One intended to have no effect on non-sapient things (like animals or objects).

Or if you're hung up on the Evil part, how about a different limitation: "Only affects individuals wearing black clothing"?

 

 

Doug

Conveniently, everyone on Team Awesome wears all-white uniforms!

 

Is the weapon in question being modeled after any particular book or movie. In the latest Dresden books, Butters' holy sword works this way except it does affect objects normally. That sword is an intelligent being(an actual archangel in sword form). A great deal of how we would make the power depends on the reasons, methods and judgements that "evil" is detected with.

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On 10/22/2020 at 11:48 PM, massey said:

 

Easy.  I do not believe that an attack that only affects a very limited class of enemies is "advantageous".

 

 

The ability to not harm what you do not wish specifically to harm is advantageous.  I gave the example from the rules of Skip over Sprayfire to illustrate that.

 

A build that only affects a given class of people means the character can have a sword fight in a crowded elevator with no risk of collateral damage [caused by him, anyway].

 

Do I like the idea?

 

No.  I think its every bit as stupid as I think skip over spray fire is.  However, the idea is similar: being able to hose a crowd without fear of hitting the wrong person.

 

Not being able to hack out of an entangle?  Now that's a disadvantage.

 

So we have both here.  Apply both: Advantages first; Limitations after.

 

This one might also take an RSR on detect evil as well.  (I say might because I am not the GM; the GM might just as easily decide it doesn't need RSR.)  A failed detect might cause the reverse of the intended to happen: stabbing nuns and ignoring imps and devils.

 

(Personally, I think letting it work from the character's intuition would be much more interesting: it attacks those you _believe_ to be evil, and bit those you believe to be good.)

 

However, if you are going to use RSR, then you have to have that skill /ability as well.  So it it using the character's detect evil?  Or does it have one of its own?  If it had one of its own, then remember that the advantages and limitations should not apply to that part of the AP cost that purchases that detect, otherwise you will have to buy a second detect to make the roll to activate this detect to make the roll to see if it attacks.  It gets loopy.  HA!

 

Would I allow this build in my game?  Eh....  Maybe.  I always get a bit twitchy with any sort of detect.  I would, however, allow it in on a playtest, with the caveat that after seeing how it affects the game, we may pull it (points refunded) to build something slighty more useful or less plot disruptive.

 

 

 

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On 10/21/2020 at 6:05 PM, dougmacd said:

 

Discount Blade of Zz'ria - 2d6 HKA, OAF (-1), Only affects evil (-1)

 

 

If the player uses the weapon to detect if someone is evil or not and just slashes through everything in sight, he needs to buy a Detect evil sensory power as part of the blade.

 

If he's only fighting things which the blade thinks is evil, the limitation is worth nothing.

 

People think naughty thoughts. Does that make everyone evil?

 

Is stealing to keep your family from starving "evil"?

 

Is a merc for hire "evil"? What is he only kills evil people?

 

I really don't like the idea of "affects only evil" because that seems to me that I'm going to have headaches every play session with controversy over whether the blade is going to affect something or not. I'm either going to have to plan around it or mess with the player all the freaking time.

 

Having said that...

 

====

 

In a standard four-color superhero campaign when the player doesn't use it as a free "detect evil" power, I'd give it (-1/2). If the player uses it at any point as a detect evil, make him pay the points for that power as well (let the player know that in advance and if he voices any objection to that idea, make him pay for the detect immediately).

 

It doesn't affect non-sentient plants, animals, machines, or objects at all (if the player starts to use it to detect sentience, make him pay for that detect power as well). It doesn't affect non-powered people who don't think of themselves as being on the side of evil (such as the Punisher or your least favorite politician). It doesn't affect people who are the more light-hearted supervillains whether CLOWN or the ones who are in it for the cash, thrills, fame, or publicity.

 

It does affect people who are voluntarily members of evil/criminal organizations like DEMON, VIPER, or violent gangs. It affects demons. It does affect anyone with complications like Murderous or Casual Killer. It does affect humans who have attempted mass murder or world conquest for their personal gain.

 

It does not affect those who are mentally ill unless that illness makes the person murderous, a sadistic torturer, etc. In general, the default should be that you have to be mentally competent enough to understand good vs evil before you can be evil.

 

It might or might not affect aliens who attempt world conquest depending on their motives, whether they consider humans to be sentient creatures, and whether they understand the concepts of good and evil.

 

With buying the detects, the player isn't going to save enough points to make it worthwhile unless he just wants to have the effect regardless of the points (or wants to detect evil or sentience by randomly attacking things).

 

I think you'd still have problems allowing a blade with that limitation into your game. But that's an outline of how I'd try to handle it.

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On 10/22/2020 at 4:38 AM, Duke Bushido said:

As mentioned, good people can attack you and still be "good."  Frankly, if I had a player with such a build, id make sure that happened now and again: someone convinces a village of good people that youve been placed under the control of a nefarious wizard and have come to slaughter the children, etc, etc.

 

But to answer your actual question:

 

I "handle" that sort of thing suring character or item creation.  I do so by making it clear to the player that there is no such thing as a disadvantage or limitation that can possibly provide more that a very minor boon (lengthy discussion) and only under the most extreme of circumstances.

 

I readily disallow certain limitations, depending on how the player sees them operating, but will help him determine a new method of operation for that limitation ("its a sword, Mike.  Its going to hit people and its going to hurt, good or evil.  Consider adding a die of damage that only works versus evil."  Or "okay, but its only going to affect people that you believe to be evil.  That means sometines evil folks won't be affected because you think their are good, and vice-versa.")

 

Other folks may offer other suggestions, but that's how I handle it.

 

 

 

Emphasis added - we need to precisely define how this works.  Is there an objective standard of "Evil" to be applied here?  What is it?  Is it subjective?  Relative to whom?  That which my character considers Evil?  Does the target consider himself Evil.  Human sacrifice to placate the Volcano God is not evil according to the High Priest of the Volcano God - it's just necessary, perhaps even virtuous.

 

15 hours ago, dougmacd said:

It seems I phrased my question poorly. How would you implement an advantageous limitation like "Only affects Evil"?

  • One intended to have no effect if used against its good owner or good teammates.
  • One intended to have no effect on normals (who aren't capital-E Evil).
  • One intended to have no effect on non-sapient things (like animals or objects).

Or if you're hung up on the Evil part, how about a different limitation: "Only affects individuals wearing black clothing"?

 

 

Doug

Conveniently, everyone on Team Awesome wears all-white uniforms!

 

OK, so now we are into some definitions.  We know this will have no impact on normal people, probably including a lot of agents, non-sapient thinks or objects.  That is limiting.  It's not useful against most members of that OtherNation Super-Team, even if their objectives are not aligned with ours, and it's not useful against those world-conquering aliens who are only trying to provide resources for their starving people who have nowhere to live.  Or is it?  We need to DEFINE that capital-E Evil.

 

Having defined it, what proportion of those I would like to be able to attack are, in fact, capital-E Evil?  If such individuals are truly the worst of the worst, and we are in a morally ambivalent game with many shades of grey, where there is some bad in the best of us and some good in the worst of us, it may be hugely limiting (-2).  If it's a mix - lots of EEEEEvil villains, but also a lot of selfish or mislead goons, robot servants and animals/monsters just trying to get by with a yummy human meal, maybe it-s a -1.  if it's a SuperFriends game, it may as well be "does not damage objects or automatons", and maybe -1/2 or -1/4.

 

Why don't we ask the player "how limiting do you expect it to be in-game?  Do you expect the sword will be useless in most combats, generally useful but requires careful selection of opponents to target, or only rarely ineffective?"  Phrasing the limitation question in those terms often forces the player to consider the ramifications of those point savings, not just the other kewl stuff he can afford with the points shaved off here.  At least, when it rarely works, you can gently remind the frustrated player that YOU TOLD ME you expected that it would rarely work when we set that high limitation.

 

9 hours ago, massey said:

 

Easy.  I do not believe that an attack that only affects a very limited class of enemies is "advantageous".

 

If it's intended to not affect normals, or mind-controlled good people, or animals, or animated objects... then great!  That means the player has a good solid idea of how his attack is supposed to work.  He's not gonna be mad when he can't slice through a door with his magic sword, and we're all on the same page.

 

Do you think the player is just going to walk around stabbing people to see if they're evil?  "Hey, it's cool everybody.  It's cool.  That baby was totally evil.  My sword wouldn't have hurt it otherwise.  Honest."  Just because someone is evil doesn't mean they're deserving of death.  You might have an evil old man who hoards his money and hates other people, but that doesn't mean he's committed a crime or anything.  You just can't slice his head off because he's a hateful old grouch.  There would be roleplaying penalties to randomly stabbing people.

 

What's he really getting out of it, anyway?  Detect evil, requires successful attack roll, OAF, linked to HKA?  That's what, like a single character point?  It's not a big deal.

 

Excellent comment.  Too often, it seems we always assume the player is out to get something for nothing, rather than trying to bring his vision of the character, with advantages and drawbacks, to life through the game rules.

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One thing to keep in mind: what does the being who made the sword and who the sword was made for considered big E Evil?

 

If it was created by a zealot Christian then it would affect more people than, say, made by a psionic blacksmith. The zealot would consider anyone who is not Christian to be big E. Also anyone who disobeys the Ten Commandments might be fair game. On the other hand, it won't affect pedophilia priests. It WILL affect all types of undead as that is considered demons possessing the bodies of the dead.

 

The psionic version of that sword only affects those with evil thoughts. It depends on what thoughts the psionic blacksmith considers big E evil. The thing is, it only affects beings which have that thought at the exact time it stabs them.

 

As for babies, there thoughts are usually of "I'm sleepy", "I'm hungry/thirsty", "I'm uncomfortable" (someone needs a diaper change), or "I'm comfortable". There is no big E in there thoughts. So even if the baby is the antichrist, the type two sword would not harm him.

 

It is questionable if the type one sword would harm the antichrist baby because the antichrist singles the end of evil and the beginning of Heaven On Earth (we just have to endure Hell On Earth first). One can argue that since the antichrist is part of God's Plan that the antichrist is excused from the sword's power.

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5 hours ago, steriaca said:

One thing to keep in mind: what does the being who made the sword and who the sword was made for considered big E Evil?

 

If it was created by a zealot Christian then it would affect more people than, say, made by a psionic blacksmith. The zealot would consider anyone who is not Christian to be big E. Also anyone who disobeys the Ten Commandments might be fair game. On the other hand, it won't affect pedophilia priests. It WILL affect all types of undead as that is considered demons possessing the bodies of the dead.

 

The psionic version of that sword only affects those with evil thoughts. It depends on what thoughts the psionic blacksmith considers big E evil. The thing is, it only affects beings which have that thought at the exact time it stabs them.

 

As for babies, there thoughts are usually of "I'm sleepy", "I'm hungry/thirsty", "I'm uncomfortable" (someone needs a diaper change), or "I'm comfortable". There is no big E in there thoughts. So even if the baby is the antichrist, the type two sword would not harm him.

 

It is questionable if the type one sword would harm the antichrist baby because the antichrist singles the end of evil and the beginning of Heaven On Earth (we just have to endure Hell On Earth first). One can argue that since the antichrist is part of God's Plan that the antichrist is excused from the sword's power.

So much wrong theology it hurts reading.

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Thank for the responses. I'm going to follow up on a few of them....

 

On 10/22/2020 at 12:05 AM, Christopher R Taylor said:

Well, its obviously a limitation; it restricts the number of targets it works on, and you might really want it to work on that robot or that animated statue.  But since it is not a very great limitation (he wasn't likely to use it on anything except evil anyway) then its not a very great limitation.  I would reduce the value, but still keep some.  Depending on how likely they are to want to use it on something else or are inclined to, its a -¼ to -½ in my mind.

 

Yeah, the simplest approach is undoubtedly adjusting the limitation to reflect its "real" value. Say 1 in 100 targets are Evil, but Captain Goode would never knowingly use the power except on Evil targets. Is the limitation (-2) or greater becuase there are so few targets she can use it on, or is the limitation worth very little because it does not actually limit Goode's use of the power in any way?

 

I feel like the latter approach makes more sense. (Effectively, the character gets points "back" not from the Limitation, but from a Psychological Complication.)

 

21 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

I would suggest looking at "skip over sprayfire" to see that the idea of  "I only hit who I want to" is indeed part of the modern rules, and to perhaps get a feeling of its value in your campaign.

 

 So an advantage priced like Autofire (1 shot)?

 

21 hours ago, drunkonduty said:

In this case I'd insist on the the write-up including the Selective advantage. Only vs. Evil then becomes a limitation and can be added to the mix.

 

My first thought was indeed using a Selective advantage at +¼  that works just like the Selective option to Area of Effect. The blade then becomes something like 2d6 HKA, Selective (+¼), Only affects selected targets that are Evil (-#), OAF (-1).

 

I wasn't sure if the pricing was right -- this almost works like a Personal Immunity Usable On Others -- but at +¼, it's the same cost as the Autofire (1 shot) idea. Concordance?

 

9 hours ago, archer said:

If the player uses the weapon to detect if someone is evil or not and just slashes through everything in sight, he needs to buy a Detect evil sensory power as part of the blade.

 

Agreed.

 

16 hours ago, massey said:

What's he really getting out of it, anyway?  Detect evil, requires successful attack roll, OAF, linked to HKA?  That's what, like a single character point?  It's not a big deal.

 

That's... actually kind of brilliant.  You've captured the mechanics perfectly.

 

But what prevents the HKA from doing damage if no evil is detected? Do you just hand wave it as part of the Linked limitation?

 

 

Doug

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22 hours ago, dougmacd said:

Yeah, the simplest approach is undoubtedly adjusting the limitation to reflect its "real" value.

 

That's pretty much what's being said here, over and over; yes.

 

Quote

 Is the limitation (-2) or greater becuase there are so few targets she can use it on, or is the limitation worth very little because it does not actually limit Goode's use of the power in any way?

 

That's where you have to get with your group and go over a few things:  how do they see it working?  How does that apply in your world?  Are there a billion evil people / monsters skulking about?  Are evil souls particularly rare?

 

And of course, the above-mentioned "does the GM see this as something the weapon (sword from here on in, because I am typing with my thumbs) determines or is it bas3d on the character's perception?  This actually makes a difference: if the sword can truly determine the difference, its damned handy to know you cannot possibly hurt an "innocent" person no matter how much swinging and flailing you do or just how many human shields the villain is wrapped in. The sword becomes an infalliable detector and failsafe.  This is not a disadvantage.  That is, not _much_ of one, because youre not likely to want to run the local widow and her orphan charges through the chitlins anyway.  The only disadvantage at that point is that the weapon doesnt work on anything without a soul /an alignment.

 

Oh!  Or good people who have died and been raised in the control of a necromancer.  ;)

 

Bottom line is this: the higher a value you allow for a disadvantage, the more work you are agreeing to put forth  to ensure that the disadvantage is worth the value you agreed to.

 

For what its worth, ans a general guideline, I allow -2 on stuff like "only works for ten minutes at midnight during a full moon" and go up from there.  Thats not a rule, mind you, but offered as a guideline.  Looked at another way: if it cuts the cost in half, the limitation should come up about half the time.  Again: mileage, vary, etc.

 

If it's down to what the player believes, _then_, at least in my own opinion, you have a genuine disadvantage.  The player may come to rely on his inability to hurt the good, because what he sees reinforces his belief:  I _knew_ he was wicked!  That sword slash _proves it_!  (You know: if you die when I drive this stake through your heart, that proves youre a vampire!)

 

In this way, the character has a disadvantage, even if it takes a few wrongful deaths for him to be aware of it.  Still, the "no souls" thing is a disadvantage either way.

 

 

 

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So an advantage priced like Autofire (1 shot)?

 

Yes, but no.  I mean, there is no reason you cant do that, but I was offering that example for two reasons:

 

1) comparing the pricing between using that advanatge and using some other advantage might give you an idea of where you would like to start thinking about the pricing.

 

2) I was absolutely certain that someone would offer up the idea that not being able to hit people you arent inclined to hit is in no way an advantage (and I was not disappointed); I wanted to have something directly from the rules stating that not only is it an advantage, but a rather pricey one.

 

Keep in mind I dont think your suggested build is as valuable, simply because skipover sprayfire can still be aimed at doors, entangled, and things without a moral alignment, but it seemed like a good place to start looking.

 

 

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My first thought was indeed using a Selective advantage at +¼  that works just like the Selective option to Area of Effect. The blade then becomes something like 2d6 HKA, Selective (+¼), Only affects selected targets that are Evil (-#), OAF (-1).

 

This will work find, but remember, before accepting it, make sure that you and your player are on the same page about both what is evil and just hiw the sword makes the determination: is it unfailingly correct?  Does it have to make a detect roll?  Does it simply piggyback on character intuition?  Not being clear up front will cause problems later.

 

 

 

 

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I wasn't sure if the pricing was right -- this almost works like a Personal Immunity Usable On Others -- but at +¼, it's the same cost as the Autofire (1 shot) idea. Concordance?

 

Couldn't tell you.  I am not up to speed on ..... One-shot autofire.....   :?

 

 

 

 

 

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But what prevents the HKA from doing damage if no evil is detected? Do you just hand wave it as part of the Linked limitation?

 

I had suggested RSR, using a Detect roll as the "skill."  No successful detect, no successful attack.  But you have to go with what works for you.

 

Frankly-  and keep in mind that this is just _me_, and as one of the least-popular posters here (mostly, I think, because I am not terribly familiar with the newer editions.  It could be because I'm a jerk, but I think its because i am not up to speed with the newer editions.  ;)    ), my opinion probably doesnt mean much to you, us being complete strangers and all.  :D.   , but for what its worth, I dont like it.

 

I dont like the idea not because it has no dramatic merit, but because this is not a book.  It is a player-driven game, and players- no matter how good or bad they are, will very quickly get very good at abusing their toolbox, and I just cant see a campaign where this doesnt become a handy "I keep into the closet full of hostages and start hacking away until the villain is dead, totally confident that I can get away without harming a single hair of any of the innocents" tool.  Think "fireball: ranged HKA, Area of Effect. Only versus people I want to hit with a fireball."

 

Not much "limitation" there.  Some (you still cant hit what aint people), but not much.

 

I knoww I meentioned it before, but I would have a much easier time allowing a normal sword that does swordly things like swordly collateral damage ans swordly inflicting of harms onto whoever it hits with an additional bit of damage (or perhaps a small advantage like Penetrating or Armor Piercing) against things that are evil (see above comments for how that can be determined).  I just find that this is going to be a lot harder to wreck a scenario with.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Greywind said:

What's that mantra? "A limitation that isn't limiting isn't worth any points"?


   I still don’t understand what the limitation would be.  You have a weapon that works only on bad guys, can’t accidentally hurt your friends or innocent bystanders and is still useable against neutral objects like doors, ropes and robots. 
  If a player came to me as GM with this I’d tell them to go make a list of ten times this limitation screwed them over.  If they couldn’t come up with one....

   I know I keep coming at this from a different angle as everyone else but if your looking for someone to show you how to build this there are masters enough here.  I’m the guy asking if this is the right thing to do. Which is one of the jobs of a GM.

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1 hour ago, Tjack said:


   I still don’t understand what the limitation would be.  You have a weapon that works only on bad guys, can’t accidentally hurt your friends or innocent bystanders and is still useable against neutral objects like doors, ropes and robots. 

 

Well that's the thing:

 

"Only works on evil" means it only works on evil doors, evil ropes, and evil robots.

 

I haven't read everything ever, but I have seen precious few of any of those things.

 

So there _is_ a Limitation there.  There is _also_ an Advantage there.

 

 

I'm finding it hard to accept that no one else has considered assigning something from each side of the aisle.  So far as I know, that's still both book-legal and normal.

 

However, we haven't heard how the DM feels about this proposed modifier.  _Will_ it affect "things" in spite of their general lack of evil?  Will it not affect them because they aren't evil?

 

 

 

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Yah, this could be a limitation but there are too many positive aspects.  

 

Way back in the day, there was an old D&D argument about whether "can only be used by elves" was worth a price break in weapon construction.  The overwhelming consensus was No because these were being built BY elves, FOR elves, where the intent was the goblins and orcs couldn't grab them from the fallen around them and use them against the elves.

 

Another point has been mentioned.  What is "evil"?  OK, if you're heavily connecting to the classic D&D notions...there are Protection from Evil and Detect Evil and the like as spells and whatnot, maybe this becomes a philosophical point.  But I'd MUCH rather tie it to something definable...critter type like demon, dragon, or undead, some core aspect like cold-based (special effects are cold-based, immune to cold, has a vulnerability to fire...not entirely defined but a lot cleaner than "is evil), that sort of thing.

 

Also, mechanically, if this is considered like a weapon enchantment, then generally it doesn't belong on the whole weapon.  HKA, 1d6+1 OAF;  +1/2 d6, 0 END, only versus undead (-1 IMO), OAF.  So, yes, you still have to be careful swinging it in a crowded room, but you're not trying to squeeze points on the *whole* cost...just some of it.  Especially if you recognize that the extra damage is coming from the blade itself, so it's got to be 0 END insofar as the wielder is concerned.  Note, too, that squeezing by trying to raise the limitation isn't gonna much matter, it's at -2 for the additional damage *anyway*.  1/2 d6 killing, 0 END, 15 points...-2 knocks it to 5.  -3 shaves 1 point.  Plus "only versus undead" is still reasonably broad.

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