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Ronin8879

Curious of Other Opins

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I have a player who has purchased an Enhanced Sense defined as "Detect Physical Objects, Danger and Opponent's Abilities 15-." It has Discriminatory, Analyze, Range, Sense and Targeting. Virtually, the player wants his character to be able to almost immediately know what his opponents can do and their weaknesses and never be "blinded" by conventional means. My question is would this type of power even be "legal" and how would one go about giving the information the sense perceives?

 

Posted the above in the "Ask Steve" section already. I'd also like to know what you guys out there think. I've got some ideas as to how to handle it, but I'm always open to opinions. Also, for those who'll say "I'd never allow it" and drop it at that... well, what if you would. For the moment, also assume I'm allowing it as is.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

No, that's not entirely a legal construct. He's attempting to use one skill to represent several different things [like Find Weakness]. Discriminatory and analyze will tell the character his opponent is human or alien, male or female, race, etc, but it will not show him any weakness the target might have.

 

As far as the not being "blinded" yes, that would work, but remember the detect is against physical objects so some energy beings will not be visible to that sense. It also won't work against people behind barriers such as force wall.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Well, the Detect alone would cost at least twenty points, and then the adders on that . . .

 

If you really want the player pay for this ability, make it three separate Detects, and apply the adders separately to each. That oughta hurt, but it would almost certainly be worth it . . .

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

"Detect Physical Objects, Danger and Opponent's Abilities 15-." It has Discriminatory, Analyze, Range, Sense and Targeting.

 

I have to agree with MitchellS on this, this isn't legal. If this player wants those abilities they should buy each one seperately.

 

Detect Physical Objects: well ok, I would think Blind Fighting PSL's would cover this, but if he/she wants to buy a Detect for this, OK.

Danger: just buy Danger Sense, why re-invent the wheel.

Opponent's Abilities: Find Weakness or a Detect of some sort should cover this.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Technically, Danger Sense is a Detect: Danger.

 

So, buying it otherwise isn't completely illegal, just makes no sense.

 

Sounds like he's trying to lump a series of abilities into one ability in some perverse attempt to Munchkin the system. Smack him.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

I'd beat him with my rulebook.

 

Sunday

 

No seriously, an unusual sense (which this is, obviously ) cannot cover multiple targets unless these is a cohesive theme (detect traps) I would never allow him to have detect objects, danger, abilities. There's no theme there, it would have to be done with 3 senses. (the choice he made however, is a different story)

 

Don't use unusual detects to detect danger, use danger sense.

 

His 3rd choice you just veto on principle. Discriminatory sense abilities? That's when you smack him with the rulebook.

 

An just so he learns that the GM's will is law and cannot be thwarted, after he buys his battery of unusual detects to never be blinded, you hit him with a flash vs unusual detects and THEN you thump him with the rulebook.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Sunday

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

"Detect ...Abilities 15-."

First, I wouldn't allow the entire power. But for this part, I don't see this as "Find Weakness," I see this as "That guy can do gymnastics, fly, and is a speed reader, this guy over here, he can punch and walk and chew gum at the same time."

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

First off this is a legal construct if you pay enough points for it. The rules specifically allow you to add extra categories to a detect for +5 points. The whole power should be costing 47 points which is quite chunky.

 

Mind you....detect physical objects. Fine. Plenty of precedence for this. Technically this is how you build N-Ray vision though, so be careful - as is the player can see through walls!

 

Detect danger...well, there is already a talent of this name, not a power, so it doesn't offend to build the detect this way BUT has anyone even noticed that the talent in the book cheats? It does not include range, although it does have increased arc of perception: it purports to get around this by detecting range to target, which really is gorgonzolic*. All these years we have been playing danger sense wrong. Note though in the instant construct that it could do with increased acr of perception (another 5 points), and I would make the player buy additional abilities as per the danger sense talent if I were you, like 'any danger +5' and 'immediate vicinity +5' - he shouldn't be getting it cheaper than the danger sense power, IMO.

 

Detect abilities....well, this is a very broad category. I wouldn't mind 'detect susceptibilities and vulnerabilities', but what is basically being asked for here is that the character sheet be handed over. I would not necessarily say 'no' but I would make it cost more: divide it into detect characteristics/skills/powers/disadvantages, maybe even divide the disadvantages into physical/social/mental, and then it would cost +25 points to look at the character sheet. This is NOT the equivalent of Find Weakness, except for certain specific builds. Point is the power now costs 72 points which is a lot, and I wouldn't be too bothered that it is too useful: he could have bought a 14 dice energy blast.

 

Point of discussion: this 'extra category +5 points' may be rules consistent but does make buying a lot of senses relatively cheap, albeit witht he limit that if one is knocked out they all are.

 

Also the character can not guarantee NEVER being blinded. No such thing as never. A drain v. senses would do it, as would variable sfx flash and darkness.

 

Personally I'd let the player have the sense. Something I ALWAYS do with unusual sense groups is blocked by, and I'd make the player define how the sense works: is it just cunning observation, molecular sensing, cosmic oneness? This should help to adjudicate disputes. Finally I'd say to that player that I reserve the right to make him change the power if it becomes too much of a final solution, and spoils the enjoyment of the other players and, indeed, me as GM.

 

 

*cheesy :)

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

I would make sure the SFX is well-defined first. It would have to be a really good SFX justification for me to allow such disparate detects as part of the same power. Just 'magic' wouldn't cut it.

 

If such a justification is provided, there is nothing inherently illegal about the power, so if I didn't think it would unbalance the game I'd allow it. It would be much easier to justify with many SFX (e.g. supertech, magic, etc.) if broken up into separate senses.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

I have a player who has purchased an Enhanced Sense defined as "Detect Physical Objects' date=' Danger and Opponent's Abilities 15-." It has Discriminatory, Analyze, Range, Sense and Targeting. Virtually, the player wants his character to be able to almost immediately know what his opponents can do and their weaknesses and never be "blinded" by conventional means. My question is would this type of power even be "legal" and how would one go about giving the information the sense perceives?[/quote']

 

Like others, I would require this be purchased as three separate Detects (or two Detects and Danger Sense). I would also require "abilities" be more strictly defined, although a bit different from Sean. I would focus on what, specifically, this detects, coming from the power's SFX. Does it detect Superpowers, for example? This would evaluate powers, characteristics , etc. and related disadvantages and limitations. It would not evaluate skills, skill levels and training.

 

This assumes I would allow the powers at all, since these each carry certain implications for the game. High danger sense means "never surprised". The Physical Objects detect, as you note, makes him difficult to blind (not impossible - someone should be able to have Darkness and/or Flash to the sfx of this sense - eg. "Mystic senses"). The Abilities means this character will know the powers and weaknesses of anyone he comes across, which makes tactical selection a breeze. While I would definitely describe this in-game (eg. "He can project varying magnitudes of flame", not "here's his Multipower stats"), it's a very powerful ability.

 

[Want a really dangerous Minuteman/Sentinel? Combine Detect Mutant Powers and Weaknesses with a VSE attack power - now the blasted thing senses your vulnerabilities and susceptibilities and uses that SFX against you.]

 

These aren't powers I would necessarily forbid in every game, but they certainly are powers I would closely consider depending on how I want the game to run. In many cases, I'd likely have to say "Nope. That concept isn't fitting with the game."

 

If you want moral support, take it to the group. "Should this power structure be permitted, or not, for PC's and NPC's alike?" Oh, and you can be guaranteed there will be at least one power mimic encountered eventually who can detect all the other PC's weaknesses if this character can have that power.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

I think we collectively, and I am as or more guilty than most, tend to stamp on unusual constructs. This power is going to cost 50 to 75 points, and, as it is a sense, is not going to get savings for sitting in a framework.

 

Except in very high powered games that is a significant investment of points that could be spend to (for instance) massively increase defences, allow travel through time and to other dimensions, or transform enemies into lap-dog slaves.

 

I would be inclined to let the player run it for a while. You might find that the potential abuses are not realised. make it clear the character is subject to radiation accidents if things seem to be getting out of hand, but note there are an awful lot of potential villains it will be more or less useless against.

 

Fighting Megalith in daylight, you know where he is, that you are in danger, he has a motherlode of strength and defence and, unfortunately no disadvantage points in susceptibilities or vulnerabilities, and (apart from the last one -which didn't help anyway) you knew it all through your normal senses. Bet you wish you'd bought 3/4 damage reduction now!

 

In the situations where it is useful, well, you paid a lot of points, you are entitled to proportional benefit.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

First off, thanks for all the opins. For the moment, I'm just gonna ask him to focus the abilities to weaknesses, powers, skills, etc. Though, honestly, the way he wants the character to run wouldn't work right now, since technically "Detect Abilities" won't let him figure out weaknesses since technically a weakness is not an ability... it's a disability. Semantics are your friend. :)

 

Oh and he has a large gun (90 pt. Multipower... yeah, there's no AP limit due to my beleif that players should be mature enough to know a game breaker when they see it... so far, this ain't it) that can do exactly what he wants the character to do... VSE. So, he exploits the weaknesses of his opponents. Personally, no problem here with that. Plus the fact that he was basically out of the last fight for a Turn due to a simple 6d6 Entangle. He's got basic human stats, high-middle Armor and a glass jaw... the 30 Stun/low DCV doesn't last long in my game when they fight "real" villians... but that's next week. ;)

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Danger Sense is based on a build that looks just like the Enhanced Senses he is buying. Fine. Allow it. Detect Abilities, on the other hand, infringes upon the Analyze Skill in my opinion, even if it did not provide the benefits of Find Weakness (which it definitely should not). If the detection of abilities and weakness was meant as something that could tell the character some or all of the following about a target:

  • Values of Characteristics, Skills, Talents, and Powers.
  • Character Disadvantages.
  • Limitations and restrictions of powers (e.g. what attacks will still affect a Desolidified target).

Then I think it should be bought as several Analyze Skills, such as:

  • Analyze: offensive capabilities (OCV, Attack Powers and the like)
  • Analyze: defensive capabilities (DCV, Defense Powers and the like)
  • Analyze: physical prowess (general level of Str, Dex and Agility Skills, Body-Affecting Powers, etc.)
  • Analyze: psyche (general level of Int and Intellect Skills, Mental Powers, Psychological Limitations, Enraged/Berserk, etc.)
  • Analyze: physical defects (Physical Limitations, Dependencies, Vulnerabilities, Susceptabilities; possibly same, overlapping, and/or Complimentary to Analyze: physical prowess, above)
  • Analyze: social status (general level of Pre and Com, Interaction Skills, Social Limitations, maybe even rough idea of Followers, Contacts, Fringe Benefits, Reputations, etc.)

Note that the character's Detect Physical Objects and Danger could very well provide the input medium by which to use these Analyze Skills (especially since it has Discriminatory and Analyze).

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

First off, thanks for all the opins. For the moment, I'm just gonna ask him to focus the abilities to weaknesses, powers, skills, etc. Though, honestly, the way he wants the character to run wouldn't work right now, since technically "Detect Abilities" won't let him figure out weaknesses since technically a weakness is not an ability... it's a disability. Semantics are your friend. :)

 

Oh and he has a large gun (90 pt. Multipower... yeah, there's no AP limit due to my beleif that players should be mature enough to know a game breaker when they see it... so far, this ain't it) that can do exactly what he wants the character to do... VSE. So, he exploits the weaknesses of his opponents. Personally, no problem here with that. Plus the fact that he was basically out of the last fight for a Turn due to a simple 6d6 Entangle. He's got basic human stats, high-middle Armor and a glass jaw... the 30 Stun/low DCV doesn't last long in my game when they fight "real" villians... but that's next week. ;)

 

heh heh... all the ofensive capabilities in the world don't mean squat if you go second and get plastered with the first hit.

 

"I want you to hit me as hard as you can."

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

abilities is pretty general, so the information it gets should be pretty vauge. Like a fire elemental "well it probably has some fire abilities, and won't be harmed by fire or physical damage"

 

maybe it's super obvious sense?

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

abilities is pretty general, so the information it gets should be pretty vauge. Like a fire elemental "well it probably has some fire abilities, and won't be harmed by fire or physical damage"

 

maybe it's super obvious sense?

 

Unless one purchases Discrimenatory and Analyze, then with time you work from general to specific.

 

Detect- Object, discrimenatory, analyze:

 

It's an object. It's a blue object, it's a blue object shaped like a policeman, it's a blue object shaped like a policeman with an angry scowl on it's face.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

First, I'd definitely have the senses split up. The "never be blinded by conventional means" is easy enough--flash defense, N-Ray vision, radar and the like (in whatever combination you feel appropriate) should take care of all "conventional" attacks, but there will always be something unconventional that could blind him (a mental attack that disrupts the perception of objects, a neurological attack that attacks the optic nerves, etc).

 

As to the "know a person's abilities and weaknesses", that originally screamed 'analyse [whatever]' to me, but then I thought of something else. It might not apply, and might not be practical, but I'm gonna throw it out there anyway.

 

Telepathy, only to discover person's abilities and weaknesses (-1?)

 

I thought about that in terms of "well, that only helps if the person knows all their powers and weaknesses", but in a sense that's what you're going for. The PC wants to be able to sense what a person can do and what can hurt him, but if that person doesn't know then can it be sensed? The fact that the power has a skill roll and not some sort of attack/defend application implies that there's perception needed on the part of the PC. Thus, he's trying to get a read on his target.

 

I'd like to know the origin of the ability/power, too. The in-game justification for it, that is. It might help narrow the focus.

 

For the record, depending on the SFX of the power/ability in question, I might allow mental defense or power defense to lower/block the skill.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Guys, come on, give the mook a break. Of course a GM can get round any power, including the 18d6 EB (well, Energo has an ED of 65!).

 

The point is not 'how do we cripple this power', the point is 'is ths power going to spoil the game'?

 

First off, it is a sense, so it has a PER roll, and that PER roll can have negative modifiers especially in combat: it is not a sovereign cure for all that ails ya.

 

Second, it is basically an analysis of opponents and situations. There are many times that will be very useful but - and I keep coming back to this - the points have been paid: IT SHOULD BE VERY USEFUL. Substantial opportunities for other powers have been given up for that information. Information may be power, but only if intelligently applied.

 

Third this MAY upset some of the cunning GM plans, BUT, frankly, we are dealing with superheroes. They should be damn good.

 

Fourth, then I'll stop, I'd only be really concerned about this character if he also had an impenetrable darkenss field. The variable sfx attack is of limited concern. If villains have vulnerabilities then they should expect them to be exploited, same as characters. They are disadvantages, after all.

 

I don't think this is a game breaker, and if it isn't, there's no problem.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

(valid points deleted for brevity) ...

I don't think this is a game breaker, and if it isn't, there's no problem.

 

You are certainly correct with that last quoted clause. I have serious doubts about the first one, though.

 

Looking at the ability, thinking about what it means for most of the scenarios I've played before ... it does feel like something where unless the GM specifically plans around it, this power would distort every encounter. If it's that way, then the GM has two options: squash the player like a bug (which I take as equivalent to tailoring everything the GM does to circumvent the abusive power), or let the player pin down his campaign like a bug on a corkboard, and let it twist around painfully and futilely.

 

I'm in a campaign where I strongly suspect the GMs feel obliged to plan around the signature power of one of the PCs. (It's worth pointing out here that the player described what she wanted in words, and let one of the GMs design the character and her powers, so it's impossible to give sole .. or perhaps even primary ... blame to the player in this case.) IIRC, that signature power has been used in exactly one scene in the campaign. Subsequent to that, when it comes to fight time, as soon as that PC is on the scene, she gets squashed. They say it's not on purpose, that there's die-rolls for the NPC actions, and so on. Sure doesn't feel like it; I suspect those rolls are made with a one-sided die.

 

We haven't left that campaign yet, but I've thought about it more than once.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Guys, come on, give the mook a break. Of course a GM can get round any power, including the 18d6 EB (well, Energo has an ED of 65!).

 

The point is not 'how do we cripple this power', the point is 'is ths power going to spoil the game'?

 

First off, it is a sense, so it has a PER roll, and that PER roll can have negative modifiers especially in combat: it is not a sovereign cure for all that ails ya.

 

Second, it is basically an analysis of opponents and situations. There are many times that will be very useful but - and I keep coming back to this - the points have been paid: IT SHOULD BE VERY USEFUL. Substantial opportunities for other powers have been given up for that information. Information may be power, but only if intelligently applied.

 

Third this MAY upset some of the cunning GM plans, BUT, frankly, we are dealing with superheroes. They should be damn good.

 

Fourth, then I'll stop, I'd only be really concerned about this character if he also had an impenetrable darkenss field. The variable sfx attack is of limited concern. If villains have vulnerabilities then they should expect them to be exploited, same as characters. They are disadvantages, after all.

 

I don't think this is a game breaker, and if it isn't, there's no problem.

If I were to buy the same abilities using the mechanics that are meant for this sort of thing, I would have several Analyze Skills and probably Find Weakness. At about 3 points each, that adds up. What's more, I am going to have to buy some serious Skill Levels or pay 2 points per +1 for one of those rolls, whereas adding +1 to one Sense costs 1 character point. It is a cost issue, but more than that it breaks metarules pretty directly IMO. Use the Sense, but buy the Skills and Powers to use through that Sense as it is meant to be.

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Re: Curious of Other Opins

 

Everyone above me has made far better cases than I could have, both for and against the construct. And as mentioned, it's ultimately up to you to allow it.

 

Personally, I'd go with the suggestions to break it up into multiple powers, justified simply by the rule that says you can't use power A to simulate power B; that's what power B is for.

 

Of course, I also have to wiegh in heavily in favor of the 'smack him with the rule book' suggestion as well. Not because the construct itself is horrifying (though I'd prefer it done with existing abilities where such are relevant) but because of what I think the intentions are (cheesiness rarely seen outside of pressurized cans).

 

Or you could teach him an object lesson about trying to munchkin around your rules:

 

"Okay, I try to Detect Abilities."

-Roll Perception-

"Okay, I made it by five."

-Yes, he has abilities.-

"Wha--? Oh, yeah. Discriminatory"

-okay, he has several abilities-

"Hunh? Fine. Analyze."

-He has several _good_ abilities-

 

and on in that vien.

 

But wait till he spends the points. The lesson sticks better that way .

 

Seriously, if you think he's trying to short-shift he way to a cheesy construct, nip it now. It's harder to bring them back to sway once they know you can be convinced to cave in.

 

 

This message has the official Evil GM seal of approval.

 

 

Duke

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