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VPP -1/4 limitation; All powers must be predesigned?


Panpiper
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It occurs to me that being able to invent new powers for a VPP on the fly in game is a very nice feature, whereas requiring that all VPP powers be predefined, approved and on the character sheet before game is actually a limitation on the VPP. Would you agree that taking (or having it required to be taken) the titular limitation aught be worth a -1/4 limitation on the control costs of a VPP?

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You generally don't limit powers in Hero with out of game meta restrictions.  Killing Attack, not when Bob the player is being a jerk (-1/2) isn't a valid limit IMHO. 

By the same logic, "only if it's already written on a notecard (-1/4) is not a limit I'd allow.  The problem is that the limit rewards bookkeeping from the player and doesn't really limit someone willing to fill a notebook with powers.  In universe there isn't any real difference between a Dr Manhattan that wrote out all his powers and one that makes them up on the fly, it only affects how much time between phases the player is using.

 

If you wanted to be rules lawyery about it, a variable power pool, must make powers ahead of time -1/4 could be a hacky way to get a multipower with lots of slots cheaper by not having to pay for the slots individually.

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Maybe preapproved
when I have a VPP I generally do up at least 20 effects for the GM to see the gist of what my character does
it is also easier to have them before hand to mod or use and not have to figure out from scratch and waste time during a game

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9 minutes ago, Panpiper said:

I think maybe this needs to be rephrased. Cannot create spells/powers on the fly. New spells/powers may only be created between scenarios. Any way I look at it, that IS a restriction, and not an insignificant one.

It is a restriction. It's one that I apply for free and in the best interest of the flow of the game and fun of everyone involved.

 

I have had exactly 1 exception to this rule with VPP's, a gadgeteer in a teen champions game. The player had a 20 or 22 point VPP that he flipped through various small gadgets. But the person running it could stat out a new power (and have it be correct math wise) in about a minute and always made sure to not interrupt play. If he was still working on something, he character was generally hiding behind something tinkering and "building" whatever gadget he needed. If someone else showed themselves capable of that kind of role playing and design skills, I'd make the exception again.

 

- E

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14 minutes ago, Panpiper said:

I think maybe this needs to be rephrased. Cannot create spells/powers on the fly. New spells/powers may only be created between scenarios. Any way I look at it, that IS a restriction, and not an insignificant one.

 

That depends on concept of the VPP to begin with.

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12 minutes ago, Beast said:

the question is then How many spells can you have created and accessable during any 1 scenario

 

As many spells as the character's intelligence score can be ready to cast. You can trade them out, between scenarios.

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If I understand you correctly, that would already qualify.

 

Quote

-¼ Slightly Limited Class of powers available (for example, Only Magic, Only Attacks)

I would say having a predefined pool of powers (up to your INT score) would qualify as a Slightly Limited Class of powers.

 

- E

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Just now, Beast said:

what Int would be the high end?

 

I don't think I would care except as it applied to campaign limits. You want to spend 40 points on INT to have 30 powers available in a 100 point VPP that you are saving less than that on in limitations? Ok.

 

- E

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The purpose of the "you have to have the powers all written out" isn't to limit power pools, its to limit annoyance and time sink by people with power pools during play and to prevent cheating.

 

I have a little more flexible rule; you can invent a new power to use if it takes you no longer than when its time for your move on your phase.  So if you can rip out a new power while everyone else is moving, you can use it -- but you have to be able to trust players to allow them to build properly and not cheat (or at least know the game really well so you can get a sense if that's proper or within the Active Point limits).

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2 minutes ago, eepjr24 said:

I don't think I would care except as it applied to campaign limits. You want to spend 40 points on INT to have 30 powers available in a 100 point VPP that you are saving less than that on in limitations? Ok.

 

- E

spending 40pts would give a 50 spells/powers limit
which would be more than the limitation is worth
and if rolling for changing the VPP say 50 pts is almost automatic(14- = 93%)

 

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Guys, I think I see what he is trying to say; he just hasnt gotten the point across.   I am at work, and dont have time to detail it, but those of you with access, look at Champs III and Gadget Pools and the limitation "can only be changed between adventures" or "only changed in a lab" or whatever it was. 

 

I dont think this has anything to do with making it easier on the GM or any other meta reason.

 

 

Panpiper: denounce me for a fool if i am wrong here.

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50 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

Guys, I think I see what he is trying to say; he just hasnt gotten the point across.   I am at work, and sont have time to detail it, but those of you with access, look at Champs III and Gadget Pools and the limitation "van only be changed between adventures" or "only xhanged in a lab" or whatever it was. 

 

I dont think this has anything to do with making it easier on the GM or any other meta reason.

The mentioned limitations would be on the powers selected for current use within the pool itself, not the optional powers that could in theory be swapped out. 

My feeling it that not being able to invent of the cuff a mind reading power to mind read the aliens you've just met or craft a universal translator talk to them (as a forinstance), IS a limitation. Whether it is worth saving points is my question.

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6 hours ago, Panpiper said:

It occurs to me that being able to invent new powers for a VPP on the fly in game is a very nice feature, whereas requiring that all VPP powers be predefined, approved and on the character sheet before game is actually a limitation on the VPP. Would you agree that taking (or having it required to be taken) the titular limitation aught be worth a -1/4 limitation on the control costs of a VPP?

It is only a limitation if the VVP can be changed at no time. In theory, your forcing the player to go through the GM with all proposals of potential powers before the VVP can be of use.

 

I say allow between 8 to 12 powers to start, and add one every 3 adventures as "downtime research". Once you feel the character has a good number of choices to deal with most situations, stop allowing new powers unless you foresee a situation which the powers on paper will not help with (like flying in space outside a spaceship).

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2 hours ago, Beast said:

spending 40pts would give a 50 spells/powers limit
which would be more than the limitation is worth
and if rolling for changing the VPP say 50 pts is almost automatic(14- = 93%)

 

We'll use your example. 

 

50 point pool (25 AP Control, 50 AP Pool): 75 points base cost. Powers change as Full phase action, INT Roll required. 1/4 Limitation on control. Real Cost: 70 AP (5 point savings)

Spends 30 points on INT (40 INT total), 3 point power skill roll, gets a 19- INT roll. Changing powers is a 14- (90.74% success). Total spent: 103 Real Points

 

Other player decides he doesn't like the limitation.

 

50 point pool (25 AP Control, 50 AP Pool): 75 points base cost. Powers change as Full phase action, INT Roll required. Real Cost: 75 AP 

Spends 8 points on INT (18 INT total), 11 point power skill roll, gets a 19- INT roll. Changing powers is a 14- (90.74% success). Total spent: 94 Real Points

 

After doing the math, I'd probably actually give him -1/2 on the limitation value. I would make him have cards of all the powers written up or a list in HeroDesigner that just had the ones for the session, so I could keep track, but it seems like a reasonable amount given that he is encouraged to buy up INT (not a typically highly bought characteristic) and has a decent concept.

 

- E

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1 hour ago, Panpiper said:

The mentioned limitations would be on the powers selected for current use within the pool itself, not the optional powers that could in theory be swapped out. 

My feeling it that not being able to invent of the cuff a mind reading power to mind read the aliens you've just met or craft a universal translator talk to them (as a forinstance), IS a limitation. Whether it is worth saving points is my question.

 

 

I believe Steriaca and eepjr24 have covered it already, but still: I am just skimming (still at work).

 

I would allow this as a Limitation on the pool itself, as the _pool_ is what's limited.  I wouldn't allow it on the individual powers as this particular Limitation doesn't limit those powers in any way.  Certainly, you may end up with the complete wrong powers for the job, but that's really no different than the Human Torch showing answering a call only to find out they need someone who can put out a fire.  The fact that his powers are wrong for the job doesn't reduce their effectiveness overall: he can still fly and shoot fire and whatever else he does (seriously; I have no idea what else he can do) without restriction; it's just not at all helpful here.

 

The _pool_, however, _is_ being limited, as without the restriction, the character could always whip up a fire extinguisher or something.  With the restriction, if he left the house with a flamethrower, it's going to be a flamethrower until he goes home to change it to something else.  

 

Again, this is just how my GM eyes see it; others may have different thoughts (and I sort of hope they do), but the only utility being limited is the loss of the ability to change the pool; the powers created by the pool remain unhindered in doing whatever it is they are intended to do.

 

 

I know that may not be what you want to hear, but I hope it helps you get to something that works for you.

 

 

later this evening, I will try to post the particulars of the original Gadget Pool.

 

 

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"Only change between adventures" or "only change when has a few hours of downtime at his HQ" are both fine.

 

There's been a number of published characters over the years with similar limitations. You especially see that with gadget pools as a couple of others have mentioned.

 

 

I consider "you need all powers already written up for the GM's consideration" to be a +0 limitation which I'd require before allowing a PC to have a VPP. 

 

There's an absolute ton of GM's who don't mind PC's trying and failing to attempt to build powers on the fly. But I am not one of them.

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