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There's always one


Ghost Face
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My group has a wide range of personalities in it. One guy is really sadistic, another is laid back, one guy is the know it all. But there is this one guy that just, I don't know...

 

He's always unbalancing the campaign. He just made a character that had relatively low powers but his characteristics made the guy almost impossible to hit. He also has a high strength, speed, ego and intelligence. Other than an area affect attack or a lucky roll, most villains will be unable to hit him physically, or mentally.

 

I know some of you have probably run into players like this. How have you found to be the most effective way of dealing with them without alienating him/her?

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Re: There's always one

 

I admit it, I use the guidelines for capping off maximum CVs, Active points and the like... not every GM does, and some players can get around that easily, but it still helps.

 

Since this guys character is already made and running, other methods might have to be taken. I've been blessed with some very understanding players myself

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Re: There's always one

 

Ok, I have *no* experience as a GM, so my response comes purely from the player's side and might be totally useless too you. That's fine, I'm just trying to help.

 

You said the player is impossible to hit, but has relatively low powers. Well, that sounds like most of my characters. However, for me it's as much how I play them as their actual character sheets. I tend to write characters with reasonable (not high, not low) speed, and low defenses, but high in perception or extras in other senses. I also tend to roll very lucky, nothing to do with the character, just dumb luck there.

 

Anyway, I don't charge out in front. I tend to let the bricks do that. I tend to be a range person, and I tend to roll and make my PER checks so I can abort to cover or a force field if I need to.

 

Bottom line, characters I play tend to be hard to hit but one decent/good hit and I'm down for the count.

 

So is it the character or the player that makes him so hard to hit?

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Re: There's always one

 

Ok, I have *no* experience as a GM, so my response comes purely from the player's side and might be totally useless too you. That's fine, I'm just trying to help.

 

You said the player is impossible to hit, but has relatively low powers. Well, that sounds like most of my characters. However, for me it's as much how I play them as their actual character sheets. I tend to write characters with reasonable (not high, not low) speed, and low defenses, but high in perception or extras in other senses. I also tend to roll very lucky, nothing to do with the character, just dumb luck there.

 

Anyway, I don't charge out in front. I tend to let the bricks do that. I tend to be a range person, and I tend to roll and make my PER checks so I can abort to cover or a force field if I need to.

 

Bottom line, characters I play tend to be hard to hit but one decent/good hit and I'm down for the count.

 

So is it the character or the player that makes him so hard to hit?

 

I'll give some more details as I didn't before.

 

This is a relatively low power campaign setting with 275 total character points. The character could be taken out with a good hit as his defenses are not very high. The problem comes with the character having no ranged attacks and is not really going to be played as a defensive character from what I've seen from his sheet. He has a pretty hefty HtH attack damage in regards to the campaign settings where most attacks are 8d6 with 10d6 being a powerful attack. His base HtH attack is 12d6 and with most characters averaging 2-3 DCV lower than this character's base OCV it's almost an automatic hit every time with average rolls. My concern comes where I try and make opponents to specifically have a chance against this one character, making it unfair to the other PCs.

 

 

 

I'll post the character when I get a chance.

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Re: There's always one

 

He's always unbalancing the campaign. He just made a character that had relatively low powers but his characteristics made the guy almost impossible to hit. He also has a high strength' date=' speed, ego and intelligence.[/quote']Reading between the lines on this, it sounds like his main concern (whether he's conscious of it or not) is being involved in the action as much as possible...

  • High DCV means he's unlikely to get clobbered and miss the rest of a battle.
  • High SPD means he's unlikely to have lengthy stretches of time without taking an action.
  • High EGO makes it unlikely he'll get Mind Controlled and turned effectively into an NPC, leaving the player with nothing to do.
  • High INT means high PER rolls, so he'll be likely to notice things and be able to act on them.
  • Low power level in other areas means (to at least an extent) that the ability to have something to do all the time is more important to him than how effective those actions are. (He'd rather stay in the fight even if he can't hurt the bad guy, etc.)

If this seems right to you, and if the player is mature enough in other ways to understand where you're coming from, it might be worth sitting down with him outside the game and say something like, "Looking at your character, it's clear to me how important it is to you to always be involved in the action. In order to have the characters be fair in comparison to each other, we're going to have to change a few elements in the write-up, but I promise we'll find ways to make sure you stay involved in the game."

 

If you think he could handle it appropriately, it might even be worth doing things like let him play one of the bad guys if his PC gets taken out of a fight, etc.

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Re: There's always one

 

Reading between the lines on this, it sounds like his main concern (whether he's conscious of it or not) is being involved in the action as much as possible...

  • High DCV means he's unlikely to get clobbered and miss the rest of a battle.
  • High SPD means he's unlikely to have lengthy stretches of time without taking an action.
  • High EGO makes it unlikely he'll get Mind Controlled and turned effectively into an NPC, leaving the player with nothing to do.
  • High INT means high PER rolls, so he'll be likely to notice things and be able to act on them.
  • Low power level in other areas means (to at least an extent) that the ability to have something to do all the time is more important to him than how effective those actions are. (He'd rather stay in the fight even if he can't hurt the bad guy, etc.)

If this seems right to you, and if the player is mature enough in other ways to understand where you're coming from, it might be worth sitting down with him outside the game and say something like, "Looking at your character, it's clear to me how important it is to you to always be involved in the action. In order to have the characters be fair in comparison to each other, we're going to have to change a few elements in the write-up, but I promise we'll find ways to make sure you stay involved in the game."

 

If you think he could handle it appropriately, it might even be worth doing things like let him play one of the bad guys if his PC gets taken out of a fight, etc.

I'm impressed. Quoted for great insight.

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Re: There's always one

 

I'll give some more details as I didn't before.

 

This is a relatively low power campaign setting with 275 total character points. The character could be taken out with a good hit as his defenses are not very high. The problem comes with the character having no ranged attacks and is not really going to be played as a defensive character from what I've seen from his sheet. He has a pretty hefty HtH attack damage in regards to the campaign settings where most attacks are 8d6 with 10d6 being a powerful attack. His base HtH attack is 12d6 and with most characters averaging 2-3 DCV lower than this character's base OCV it's almost an automatic hit every time with average rolls. My concern comes where I try and make opponents to specifically have a chance against this one character, making it unfair to the other PCs.

 

 

 

I'll post the character when I get a chance.

 

Props to Derek for great GMing and fantastic handling of the situation.

 

I would probably take the situation from another angle. The character sure does have some disadvantages. I'd approach him from that side. Attack his vulnerabilities, make sure his susceptibilities come into play, have the villains hijack his DNPCs and then blackmail him.

If he cannot join a fight, cause the villains threaten to kill his fiance (or the like), his comrades will be quite surprised (not knowing any of it, of course). That should bring balance back into the game.

 

Let the other players save him or his DNPC and they will not feel so outclassed anymore.:celebrate

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Re: There's always one

 

Real good advice on the GM side, so I'll just suggest suitable foes.....vs Mr. high attack/high CV/high speed (AKA "Action man") Damage sheild: every time he smacks a foe he smacks himself, DCV means little. Damage reduction: many small attacks are superior to one big one, so his teamates are as effective as he is.

 

Very accurate foes, with low attacks can tag anyone, but his low def brings ballence. So AE, AE:Accurate, and "Lots O'Levels dude!" are good choices, multiple attackers can be good also. Hunted by Viper? "Perfect!"

 

From the GM's box the character looks like a spotlight craving character, so I'd make sure that people can get plenty of spot light out of combat. That way dominating combat does not nessisarily hog all the limelight.....and I'd make sure that the player gets enough spotlight to be happy without hogging it all....make him "team spokeman/leader if you can....

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Re: There's always one

 

Yeah, I think your guy was in my group for awhile. He made a character that had every special defense, and not just a few points in each. The character was a martial brick. Very annoying.

 

You don't have to make a villian aimed at the character. There are already are plenty of villians and organizations that can handle him. A Viper team w/some flash gernades for one. You just have to watch out for him using XP to suddenly have new defenses. I agree with Derek. You are most likely going to have to talk to him, or this type of character will keep appearing. The Sadist is a different issue all together.

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Re: There's always one

 

On one occasion when we had a single player insistent on overpowering his character (he didn't buy anything above the range for the game - but everything was at the top), after discussing the issue briefly and realizing this would go nowhere, my solution was pretty simple. I told the player that, at the end of the day, I would make certain his character was no more effective than anyone else's character, regardless of construction.

 

Most villains simply received an ability that would be annoying to this character. On one team, the high OCV KA character already had all he needed - high OCV and a decent attack. The Brick got a Damage Shield that varied with the physical power striking him. The Transfer-based character got a Damage Aura, but it cost him extra END, so he would use it only if he had difficulty striking a HTH target. The EP had a Multipower of attacks with reduced END, and one full power AoE 1 hex attack that cost full END (so he only used it if he could not hit normally).

 

Most effective were the characters that had powers that could be effective against this guy, but they cost more END so were generally avoided when dealing with non-overpowered characters. An EP who chooses between a 12d6 EB, reduced END (for hitting targets with comparable CV's), an 8d6 or 9d6 1 hex reduced END attack (for hitting targets with high DCV's and modest defenses) and a 12d6 1 hex AoE attack (for hitting characters with high DCV and defenses , but costing too much END to be used unless essential) maintains a very nice balance, as he uses his own overpowered attack only when the defender is overly defended.

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Re: There's always one

 

Super-high DCV but low defenses?

 

When in doubt, grenade it out.

 

Using AOE attacks, your bad guys will be able to hit anyone on the team, including DCV Man! You just have to tailor the damage to where DCV Man is the only person that actually gets hurt by them, then start throwing grenades or airbursts or whatever around like popcorn.

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Re: There's always one

 

It seems to me that the problem you have is an unwillingness to use mixed forces. Dealing with this character is no different than dealing with any other martial artist in this power range.

 

Agents also have various weapons, including AOE Hex attacks. Try entangling him and then blasting him a couple times with low power weapons. 2d6 Takes No Damage, Hex OAF, 8 charges costs a whopping 16 points. Not unreasonable for an agent weapon, and his DCV is 0. Two more agents shoot him with 8d6 EBs and coordinate. Now he's in trouble. If other PC's dont' come over to help him out, he'll be fried.

 

One good encounter with an organization like VIPER, and he'll rethink that build in a heartbeat.

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Re: There's always one

 

What disadvantages does this guy have? More Powerful Hunteds/Monitors? They'd have no problem trashing him, his group and deathtrapping them all.

Then there's "HUMAN SHIELD" he causes normals to protect him against the PC. (A good use of Mind Control here especially if they are his DNPC's)

Does he have movement powers? "FLY GUY" can be high above, if the PC doesn't have a ranged attack the range modifiers will keep him from being effective.

Speaking of which, "SEA-HAG" can cause havoc if he doesn't have Life Support (water breathing). Or even "NIGHT PROWLER's" Darkness (all sight) attack will slow the PC down. What about the other direction; "Mister Whimpy"- if the PC attacks him he will do enough damage to KILL him in one shot (remember GILT TRIP?)

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Re: There's always one

 

And there's always circumstance modifiers.

 

1/2 DCV hurts the high DCV guy a lot more than it hurts the Brick, and Surprised in Combat does that pretty well.

 

Prone also drops DCV, and martial 'Target falls' maneuvers are plentiful and easy. Breakfall has to fail sometime. ;)

 

If combats are treated like chess, then characters with high combat stats will dominate.

 

If they're treated like comic-book encounters, with complications, challenges suited to the characters, surprises, unfavorable conditions, changing circumstances and 'unfair' situations (though not unfair GMing) most players will get more out of them.

 

The players create the concepts and the characters. The campaign and the challenges, those are the GM's to design to fit the characters.

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Re: There's always one

 

Lots of sound advice here, coming at it from different angles. The one complaint not addressed was the character's high attacks. I'm not a huge fan of caps, I like "suggested values" so that everyone knows the range in which things will operate. Someone wants to be the heavy hitter, its all good. Of course, our group is a bit spoiled in having very conscienciois players that always build characters with weaknesses and strengths and try to balance things.

 

Sounds like a chat would be your best solution, and a fall-back being the options above regarding combat.

 

And as others, the sadist might be a bigger issue depending on how that works. Remember that it isn't all combat, either. :D

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Re: There's always one

 

Given how many ways there are in this game to have DCV penalties and such. I can see many ways to handle this. My newest player is like this high DCV with tons of MA options which can send it higher. After my last game at least one player was going how can he do this or that and my calm manner helped resaure him this character was balanced and worked it only seems like he is teh uber. Later in the night the players learned how to take this guy down. But it means changing tactics not necessarily powers. Player envy of people who appear teh uber is not fun.

 

Think of it like dodge ball the super fast guy who always hits and is a great player. Normally you do not stand a chance against him. But if you watch for your oppornity you can catch them at a lower DCV level.

 

As far as the person having to much damage i don't know I use DC in my game as a loose guide and try to make sure everyone has about the same starting DC capacity. Normally i do not let people come in that much more powerful. I also let people know new characters have a play test period to make sure they work right and fit in with the group.

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Re: There's always one

 

First, a question: is this character really out of balance with the others? And do the other players feel overshadowed, or are things OK with them?

 

Depending on the answers to those questions, the first course of action is likely to be a cross-table discussion of characters and balance.

 

If the character is actually outshining the others, and play continues in that fashion, then enemies will notice. It becomes perfectly justifiable for enemies to plan to take out the point man. Teams of agents, or even teams of low-powered supers, are a fairly easy solution to this. Simply by concentrating efforts and weapon coordination, the fight can become almost self-balancing: most agents focus on taking down the big guy, while the rest take on the others. And this doesn't even require exploiting specific weaknesses - though it certainly remains an option, and becomes a more urgent and justifiable one when the enemy is a tactical thinker.

 

I'm not advocating punishing the guy per se, but if he's going to play the nigh-unbeatable man, then the bad guys are going to work harder to take him down. It's perfectly fair and logical. (for example, a villain taking on the Justice League has to make sure he accounts for Superman and Wonder Woman; but dealing with Green Arrow and Black Canary isn't so nearly as high a priority. It's one of the most common errors for supervillains - dismissing the "weaker" members of the team.)

 

On the other hand, if the guy plays it fairly mellow, and doesn't always push himself as the ultimate solution, then such measures may not be necessary at all.

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