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zornwil

Taming Absolutes

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I frankly can't see where +/- 2 points is worth getting worked up over. It still looks to me like most players purchase KAs primarily because they want that big Stun Multiple. Be honest - how many players would buy KAs if there was no Stun Multiple?

 

Mine. In the Supers genre, I have had players regularly buy killing attacks, which they apply only to damaging unliving targets. The Stun Lotto never became a big issue in my games for that reason.

 

If you want to solve KA, make it roll 1 die per 5 points and set the following rules:

 

(a) Applies against rDEF

(B) 1d6 more removed from knockback

© 1 - 5 adds 1 BOD; 6 adds 2 BOD

(d) STUN is total on dice - # of dice

 

Now it does more BOD on average than an EB (same as a current KA, but same max as an EB), and less STUN, and the wide variances are gone.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Does that have an advantage over simply fixing the Stun Multiplier at 3?

 

I know the average is 2.666~, but even on a 6d6 KA (90 AP, 18DC), making the multiplier 3 only results in 7 more Stun than the average roll, while entirely eliminating the lotto.

 

I ask because I am curious.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Does that have an advantage over simply fixing the Stun Multiplier at 3?

 

I know the average is 2.666~, but even on a 6d6 KA (90 AP, 18DC), making the multiplier 3 only results in 7 more Stun than the average roll, while entirely eliminating the lotto.

 

I ask because I am curious.

 

If you set the stun multiple at 3, a KA gets the same average stun as an equal DC normal attack, more BOD, application only against rDEF and wider Stun variance than an equivalent normal attack (as fewer dice are rolled). The only drawback is reduced knockback.

 

If a change is to be made, it should make killing attacks more effective at inflicting BOD, and less effective at inflicting STUN. My approach, above,does both, and modifies the averages as little as possible.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Let's compare numbers again:

 

4d6 Killing Attack (12 DC) does 14 BODY on average roll (We'll ignore Stun since we're discussing blowing holes in walls, robots, etc.) Max BODY is 24.

 

8d8 EB AP (12 DC) does 8 BODY on average roll; but is applied against halved DEF for the target. Max BODY is 16 but applied against half DEF.

 

Assuming the target has a DEF of 14, the average AP attack will do 2 more damage. Assuming the target has a DEF of 8, the average AP attack will do 2 less damage.

 

I frankly can't see where +/- 2 points is worth getting worked up over. It still looks to me like most players purchase KAs primarily because they want that big Stun Multiple. Be honest - how many players would buy KAs if there was no Stun Multiple?

That's really a great point. Honestly hadn't thought about it; I think most people learn to use KAs for destroying stuff; I certainly did.

 

However, it's a bit slanted - you use 14 and 8 DEF as split points but that's hardly the common ones. If you look at the Objects Table, an armored wall is at 13, but the others are all 3-6, with reinforced concrete and a spaceship at 8. So common objects are pretty much topping out at 6. Using 6, an AP 8d6 EB is going to get 5 BOD through most often while the 4d6 KA is going to get through 11 BOD most often (going strictly by averages). That's a significant difference, and a more realisic one that'll be encountered. The less DEF the more dramatic.

 

One thing to consider is the The average within one standard deviation on the KA is 11-17. The average within one standard deviation on the AP is 7-9. So even with a DEF 14, in the most common range of results, the 4d6 KA will do 0-3 and the AP will do 1-2. But at DEF 8, the range goes to 3-9 for the KA and is at 3-5 for the AP EB. The real opportunity, without the wider swing, is 4 BOD damage. And again that gets more dramatic with less DEF, which is the realistic battlefield.

 

As to why buy KA or non-KA with characters, it definitely matters if you're going against resDEF or not - and NPCs and PCs come in many varieties, some with lots of resistant defense and some not.

 

So while the averages aren't far off, it seems still the system encourages KA specifically for this purpose.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

One of my objections to the current mechanic is the effect that extra BODY damage has on other powers: notably entangle and force wall. Killing attacks substantially reduce their worth, without adding equivalent value to the system.

 

I don't see why we need a power (costed, it is worth remembering,identically to equivalent DCs of normal damage) that:

 

1. Does more body on average then normal attacks

2. Does at least as much stun through defences on average, and for high defences a lot more

3. Has a far better chance of stunning, and

4. Is stopped by a more limited (and expensive) class of defence

 

The only reason I can think of is that it has always been there.

I'll take my response to OddHat's thread.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

However' date=' it's a bit slanted - you use 14 and 8 DEF as split points but that's hardly the common ones. If you look at the Objects Table, an armored wall is at 13, but the others are all 3-6, with reinforced concrete and a spaceship at 8. So common objects are pretty much topping out at 6. Using 6, an AP 8d6 EB is going to get 5 BOD through most often while the 4d6 KA is going to get through 11 BOD most often (going strictly by averages). That's a significant difference, and a more realisic one that'll be encountered. The less DEF the more dramatic.[/quote']My numbers were selected deliberately, but not without reason.

 

14 DEF would be an incredibly tough automaton or robot; with defenses 2 DEF higher than the DC of a fairly typical 60 AP Champions game; i.e., it's high even enough to counter Pushed attacks. By the rule of thumb of "Automaton DEF is effectively three times higher then the same number is normally" that's equivalent to major brick defenses of 42. The 8d6 AP EB still does some BODY damage. (Note that I don't expect anyone fighting a robot with defenses that high relative to the game to be able to one-shot said robot. It's simply not genre.) OTOH a 4d6 RKA against 14 DEF on average will bounce.

 

8 DEF was selected to be equal to the attack dice available after it's been made Armor Piercing. Against a typical 4 - 6 DEF the AP attack will (obviously) do even more damage than against 8. Yes, by comparison a 4d6 RKA will do more damage, but how many automatons in a Champions game are going to have only 6 DEF? The higher the DEF, the more relatively effective the AP attack becomes. So the "I buy KA only to break machines and walls" doesn't really hold up under scrutiny IMO. In most typical situations an AP attack will be more effective at blowing holes in inanimate objects, including robots and Entangles. Of course, AP obviously attacks lacks the Stun Lotto, but nobody buys KA for that, right? :sneaky:

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

My numbers were selected deliberately, but not without reason.

 

14 DEF would be an incredibly tough automaton or robot; with defenses 2 DEF higher than the DC of a fairly typical 60 AP Champions game; i.e., it's high even enough to counter Pushed attacks. By the rule of thumb of "Automaton DEF is effectively three times higher then the same number is normally, that's equivalent to major brick defenses of 42. The 8d6 AP EB still does some BODY damage. (Note that I don't expect anyone fighting a robot with defenses that high relative to the game to be able to one-shot said robot. It's simply not genre.) OTOH a 4d6 RKA against 14 DEF on average will bounce.

 

8 DEF was selected to be equal to the attack dice available after it's been made Armor Piercing. Against a typical 4 - 6 DEF the AP attack will (obviously) do even more damage than against 8. Yes, by comparison a 4d6 RKA will do more damage, but how many automatons in a Champions game are going to have only 6 DEF? The higher the DEF, the more relatively effective the AP attack becomes. So the "I buy KA only to break machines and walls" doesn't really hold up under scrutiny IMO. In most typical situations an AP attack will be more effective at blowing holes in inanimate objects, including robots and Entangles. Of course, AP obviously attacks lacks the Stun Lotto, but nobody buys KA for that, right? :sneaky:

I understand you have selected it for a purpose but I was bringing it up in regard to breaking stuff, not character damage. I didn't bring up breaking Automotons, which are characters for all intents and purposes. A "machine" is regular stuff and typically not going to have a lot of DEF like an automoton, though of course that would vary. IMO, the breaking machines and walls stands up pretty well if you consider the threshold for most stuff is much lower than 14 (I do note an armored car is thereabouts, of course). Also applies to breaking many a weapon.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Very cool method, well done, thanks for posting that!

 

Oh, and btw, I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but seems nobody really uses the idea, you could also do Invulnerability as simple extension of the "Personal Immunity" SFX if bought on all your powers that are of that theme/type, and I think it's always reasonable to assume that this extends to others' attacks IF (and only if) identical SFX.

 

I'm sorry, but I think that's quite a stretch. And some people have accused ME of stretching Personal Immunity to the breaking point.

 

The book says, for example, that if two mutant twins with identical powers had Personal Immunity, the immunity might extend to the twin's powers - but not to any "mutant power."

 

If two wizards with the same spell have Personal Immunity, neither can use that spell on the other - but if one knows a spell the other doesn't, watch out!

 

If you're going to extend the concept this far, I would say, make it a bigger advantage for one - and even then, if your Fire Blast is, say, 10d6, I wouldn't let the immunity work against 12d6.

 

Absolutely - that was deliberate. The tone of this discussion has been (as I understood it) that absolute invulnerabilty to everything was not desireable and there should always be some way you can be affected: this costing ensures there is. You could probably get round the stricture with adjustment powers' date=' but that would contravene the STOP sign...[/quote']

 

Have I told you lately that I like the way you think?

 

One feature of this idea that goes way beyond simple damage immunity can be illustrated with examples of (100%) immunity to physical damage and immunity to TK.

 

Witht he former you would not be hurt by a TK punch but you could be picked up and thrown. With the latter, TK just would not affect you: you could not be hurt by a TK punch, or picked up - it has no effective strength against you.

 

OTOH if the TK was used to pick up a rock and hurl it at you then the former would still protect you but the latter would offer no protection at all.

 

The important thing is it is EFFECT reduction, and so a more generally useful power for building concept characters than a simple damage defence mechanism.

 

I'm starting to really like the idea.

 

Mine. In the Supers genre, I have had players regularly buy killing attacks, which they apply only to damaging unliving targets. The Stun Lotto never became a big issue in my games for that reason.

 

If you want to solve KA, make it roll 1 die per 5 points and set the following rules:

 

(a) Applies against rDEF

(B) 1d6 more removed from knockback

© 1 - 5 adds 1 BOD; 6 adds 2 BOD

(d) STUN is total on dice - # of dice

 

Now it does more BOD on average than an EB (same as a current KA, but same max as an EB), and less STUN, and the wide variances are gone.

 

I think I like this one too. Has it been copied to the Killing Attack discussion yet?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary notes that Lucius is suffering from insomnia again....

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I understand you have selected it for a purpose but I was bringing it up in regard to breaking stuff' date=' not character damage. I didn't bring up breaking Automotons, which are characters for all intents and purposes. A "machine" is regular stuff and typically not going to have a lot of DEF like an automoton, though of course that would vary. IMO, the breaking machines and walls stands up pretty well if you consider the threshold for most stuff is much lower than 14 (I do note an armored car is thereabouts, of course). Also applies to breaking many a weapon.[/quote']I don't believe I even mentioned characters or character damage, Zorn, only machines and automatons. After all, we're proceeding with this discussion on the assumption that nobody actually buys Killing Attacks only for the exaggerated Stun effects, right? :winkgrin:

 

All kidding aside, AP attacks will do as good or better a job of poking holes in most walls, machines and automatons as the equivalent DC Killing Attack. An average 4d6 RKA will bounce off a 14 DEF armored car whereas an 8d6 AP attack will blow a man-sized hole in the same armored car. Of course, there's no reason characters can't have AP KA's as well except those will as a necessary consequence have a lower Stun result.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'm sorry, but I think that's quite a stretch. And some people have accused ME of stretching Personal Immunity to the breaking point.

 

The book says, for example, that if two mutant twins with identical powers had Personal Immunity, the immunity might extend to the twin's powers - but not to any "mutant power."

 

And I totally agree with that. I don't think it should stretch that far. "Mutant power" is silly and meaningless, anyway, and I can't see granting an invulnerability on that basis. I think the issue is why the personal immunity occurs. If it's simply control over where one's power occurs and does not (similar in concept to Hole in the Middle) then it doesn't really apply to anyone else, and probably not even the twin at that point. But if one is personally immune to one's fire because, for example, one's cells literally burt at the same rate as one's Damage Shield, then you probably have invulnerability to conventional fire at a specific threshold, much as you write below. I would say in that case, though, the character concept better be clearly eludicated and other points paid (appropriate LSes and the like).

 

If two wizards with the same spell have Personal Immunity, neither can use that spell on the other - but if one knows a spell the other doesn't, watch out!

 

Agreed.

 

If you're going to extend the concept this far, I would say, make it a bigger advantage for one - and even then, if your Fire Blast is, say, 10d6, I wouldn't let the immunity work against 12d6.

 

I'd probably fudge more than that, but that's fair and, in point of fact, I certainly agree it's the "right" way to do it. I might say the additional 2d6 is only applied, but in point of fact that's a worthless attack, so I might more likely just say the attack goes off as normal but half the damage applies. Or something like that.

 

However, I'm only suggesting this as a house rule, it should be noted, and as such I think one could be a lot more liberal than anything I described above, including stretching it well beyond a HERO-orthodox utility value.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I don't believe I even mentioned characters or character damage, Zorn, only machines and automatons. After all, we're proceeding with this discussion on the assumption that nobody actually buys Killing Attacks only for the exaggerated Stun effects, right? :winkgrin:

 

All kidding aside, AP attacks will do as good or better a job of poking holes in most walls, machines and automatons as the equivalent DC Killing Attack. An average 4d6 RKA will bounce off a 14 DEF armored car whereas an 8d6 AP attack will blow a man-sized hole in the same armored car. Of course, there's no reason characters can't have AP KA's as well except those will as a necessary consequence have a lower Stun result.

But my point is that automotons ARE characters. Consider how they're created. There is no difference, aside from a small number of abilities only granted to automotons.

 

And while I DO agree with you and applaud the point you bring up, I think you are stretching too much, way too much, as you say "most walls, machines..." (as stated, automotons to me simply do not apply to these arguments). In point of fact, most walls and machines are significantly lower than 8 DEF, they will be more quickly and easily blasted with KAs, and I'm not sure how one can say any more than that. It doesn't invalidate your point regarding higher-rated systems, but for blowing through standard environmental stuff they perform as the book suggests.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Well, that clinches it, then. Automatons are too unbalanced and thus broken.:D

 

But seriously, folks, the automaton rules do create a sort of interesting challenge for fisticuffs and force beam heavy genres if the defenses are not somehow balanced to allow the PCs some possibility of winning.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

And while I DO agree with you and applaud the point you bring up' date=' I think you are stretching too much, way too much, as you say "most walls, machines..." (as stated, automotons to me simply do not apply to these arguments). In point of fact, most walls and machines are significantly lower than 8 DEF, they will be more quickly and easily blasted with KAs, and I'm not sure how one can say any more than that. It doesn't invalidate your point regarding higher-rated systems, but for blowing through standard environmental stuff they perform as the book suggests.[/quote']I was operating under the assumption that if the attack, be it Killing or normal, blows a hole in the wall/barrier/vehicle, it's pretty much worked as intended. Unless you're trying to allow the occupants of a stadium egree through that hole all at once, any hole is good enough. A larger hole in most cases is superfluous. :)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I was operating under the assumption that if the attack' date=' be it Killing or normal, blows a hole in the wall/barrier/vehicle, it's pretty much worked as intended. Unless you're trying to allow the occupants of a stadium egree through that hole all at once, any hole is good enough. A larger hole in most cases is superfluous. :)[/quote']

True point, but if you want to make sure you can knock down walls and so on, it's handy to use a low-level KA. And of course the common use to break foci is there, too.

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Guest NGD Illuminati

Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I haven't found a fix that satisfied me: a set multiple of 2 makes killing attacks all but useless, a set multiple of 3 makes them average the same stun damage as normal attacks but still leaves a lot of swing (and higher BODY averages) - the stun lotto is two part - the stun multiplier AND the wilder body totals obtained with fewer dice, and overall a substantially better bet than normal attacks.

 

That's why I prefer to replace the mechanic altogether.

More BODY than a normal attack would seem in line with the concept of killing attacks. The objections from those who dislike KA seem to center around the way Stun is executed (We love that word!). No single method will be acceptable to everybody. Persuasive arguments have been made on both sides. Perhaps rather than disputing the rationale for KA and since Hero Games has indicated no intent to change the Killing Attack rules, it would be more profitable for posters to focus on coming up with a couple of reasonable House Rules to address those issues?

 

Fnord.

 

Hammerlock shows his corset with rotary.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

More BODY than a normal attack would seem in line with the concept of killing attacks. The objections from those who dislike KA seem to center around the way Stun is executed (We love that word!). No single method will be acceptable to everybody. Persuasive arguments have been made on both sides. Perhaps rather than disputing the rationale for KA and since Hero Games has indicated no intent to change the Killing Attack rules, it would be more profitable for posters to focus on coming up with a couple of reasonable House Rules to address those issues?

 

Fnord.

 

Hammerlock shows his corset with rotary.

Is this your first serious post?

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Guest NGD Illuminati

Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Is this your first serious post?
"Reply hazy. Ask again later."

 

Fnord.

 

Amythest railguns bring posies and melancholy.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

The problems is, which I think I've said three times now, just because Sean doesn't like Invulnerability DOES NOT mean that it doesn't have a place in the system. If he doesn't like it he can just NOT ALLOW it in his game. It isn't his cup of tea, not the way he likes to run a game, fine, but I fail to see how adding it would take away in any shape or form from his role playing experience such that it has absolutely no place in anyone's campaign.

 

TB

 

So, let me get this straight--there is not only a place for a power that allows a character to ignore ALL Physical, Energy, Adjustment, Mental, NND, AVLD, Flash attacks, Find Weakness as well as every Useable As an Attack power imaginable, but it should also be something that a PC can afford?

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

I'd actually prefer Invisibility and Darkness to be built as penalties to the senses than as they now are. It would allow for much better gradiation; making "Invisibility" subsume everything from low contrast clothing (-2) to camouflage (-4) to high-tech chameleon suits (-8) to full "Invisible Woman"-type (-10) invisibility and beyond. Likewise for Darkness; it just applies to an area rather than just a person. And it still means even a mook might spot you with a "3" PER roll.

 

Repped. :)

 

I, too somewhat like this idea, but to my mind, there are two separate mechanics involved. In the case of Invisibility and Darkness, the existing rule completely eliminates a perception roll. You can have a PER roll of 30- and still be unable to perceive the target. On the other extreme, the GM need only require a perception roll when he decides that things are not obvious. When the GM decides that something is obvious, the character perceives it, even if his adjusted perception roll requires a '3'.

 

To redefine Invisibility and Darkness as minuses to perception, their "obviousness" must be defined, lest the character find the minuses to perception given by his "invisibility" arbitrarily ignored by the GM. I'd choose for Invisibility or Darkness, if built as minuses to perceptions, to always require a perception roll, unless the character has limitations on the power.

 

Alternatively, you can introduce a limitation that changes the absolute of invisibility into an adjustment to perception, such as Limited to -10 to PER (-1/4); Limited to -6 to PER (-1/2); Limited to -4 to PER (-1); Limited to -2 to PER (-1 1/2), with the understanding that the character is never "obvious" to the affected senses. It may not be quite as satisfying or as economical, but it is within the rules, assuming the GM accepts the levels of "Limited Power" given here.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

More BODY than a normal attack would seem in line with the concept of killing attacks. The objections from those who dislike KA seem to center around the way Stun is executed (We love that word!). No single method will be acceptable to everybody. Persuasive arguments have been made on both sides. Perhaps rather than disputing the rationale for KA and since Hero Games has indicated no intent to change the Killing Attack rules, it would be more profitable for posters to focus on coming up with a couple of reasonable House Rules to address those issues?

 

Fnord.

 

Hammerlock shows his corset with rotary.

 

I have long accepted that KAs are here to stay, and any suggestions I come up with are no mre than house rules. I do think that a discussion of the merits and problems of approaches (including 'standard' mechanics) has merit though both because it leads to a wider understanding of the issues you need to account for in house rules and because it keeps me occupied and out of trouble. :)

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

... and because it keeps me occupied and out of trouble. :)

 

Didn't work. I just got a call from the London "bobbies" asking me about you in conjunction with a stolen box of plastic wrap, unaccounted for case of Wesson oil and three missing llama's from the estate of Lord Bently, Earl of Nottingham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't tell 'em anything... I swear!

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

So' date=' let me get this straight--there is not only a place for a power that allows a character to ignore ALL Physical, Energy, Adjustment, Mental, NND, AVLD, Flash attacks, Find Weakness as well as every Useable As an Attack power imaginable, but it should also be something that a PC can afford?[/quote']An Invulnerability which encompassed all of those would be in essence countering an infinite number of attacks, and hence should have an infinite cost. However, to the best of my recollection no one in this thread was advocating a version of Invulnerability that did all that. Most have been far more limited; and the focus of most has been to negate BODY damage from physical/energy attacks.

 

Even the classic "invulnerable" character, Superman, was regularly affected by Drains, Trasformas, and the like.

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

An Invulnerability which encompassed all of those would be in essence countering an infinite number of attacks, and hence should have an infinite cost. However, to the best of my recollection no one in this thread was advocating a version of Invulnerability that did all that. Most have been far more limited; and the focus of most has been to negate BODY damage from physical/energy attacks.

 

Even the classic "invulnerable" character, Superman, was regularly affected by Drains, Trasformas, and the like.

Also, the most that I advocated was an SFX Absolute Invulnerability. In general though, I like the Soveriegn Defense (-1 DC) concept that this thread brought out, split between the 5 classes of defense, though I would make Flash Soveriegn Defense generic it'd be too expensive to require people to by SD for each and every class of Flash to be invulnerable (especially considering how rare some of the weirder Flashes are)

 

TB

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

Didn't work. I just got a call from the London "bobbies" asking me about you in conjunction with a stolen box of plastic wrap, unaccounted for case of Wesson oil and three missing llama's from the estate of Lord Bently, Earl of Nottingham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't tell 'em anything... I swear!

 

 

It's art, honest! :)

 

 

 

Have you ever seen a shaved llama?

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Re: Taming Absolutes

 

It's tough to model an effect if you don't know what the effect is. I'd classify Invulnerability as never taking any ill effects from the attack type(s) to which one is invulnerable.

 

Invulnerability is an absolute - if a character is "invulnerable", that means he cannot be hurt (at least by those attack types to which he is invulnerable).By this definition, Invulnerability effectively equates to infinite defenses against the type of attack (or damage, or effect) in question. It could also be viewed as 100% Damage reduction.

 

I just had a nasty thought.:sneaky: Invulnerability as the combination of two Automaton powers: Takes no STUN (60 AP) and Takes no BODY (??? AP).

 

Of course, one of these powers does not exist, but if it did, it would make a constructing an "invulnerable" character quite simple.

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