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Drain Powers, on non-living things?


NisseFrasse
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I have already got an answer from the admin about this, but the admin suggest that I would make a topic about it here, as it might make an interesting conversation.

So to the point, Drain powers on non-living things?

 

Question:
-"One of my players want to make a drain, but specifically for non-living things, such as buildings, weapons, armor and more. As long it ain't a well-.. living!
Since she want a sort of a "withered" effect on the stuff, but all thos things normaly doesn't have a recovery, nor any other sort of meaningful stats? (Beside PD/ED and Body)
Which would make that power really powerful? Unless i give all thos kind of things recovery and power defense(Which would be absurd in my own opinion unless
they are of magic or awesome alien tech?) Myself been thinking on damage over time power insteed.

So I am mostly wondering that if you want to make a power specifically to wither down non-living things(Such as Vehicals, Buildings, Weapons and Armor); What
sort of power should we make? Drain? Damage over Time or something different completely?"

Answer:

-"I don’t currently have access to all of my books and materials, which have been packed up as part of my home renovation project, so I reserve the right to edit or change this answer at a future time.  ;)

 
Yes, it’s possible for characters to use Drain (or other Adjustment Powers) on non-living or inanimate objects. Since the recovery rate for an Adjustment Power is set by how the power’s bought and doesn’t depend on the target’s REC, the lack of REC is no obstacle. If the object has Power Defense, that of course applies to protect the object. And the GM may establish other restrictions based on common sense, dramatic sense, and game balance."


Now with an answer. It is clear that it is possibal to make a drain effect on non-living things, as it would make it easier to break/destroy thos things as they "wither" away, geting lesser in PD/ED and body for example, and then they slooowly recover back.

But what do you guys think of all this? Should me and my player go on with making it as a drain then to make things wither away? Or something else? Or is it possibal to even make a drain on non-living things? Or is it the most logical choice to do here? What do you guys think~?

Sincerely
NisseFrasse
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Technically inanimate objects never recover, because they have no recovery score.

Ah yes! As the admin explained, they do not have REC, only thing that allows objects to become normal again from the drain is from the drain power itself.

If now advantages or disadvantages are applied. A power can make it taking yeeears to recover from(or not at all), or in matter of minutes.

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My personal opinion of powers like this is, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander."  In other words, if the PC wants to use a power like that, he should be prepared for a villain to use a similar power.

 

(It works the other direction as well.  If I use a power against the PCs, I can't really complain if they want something similar for one of their characters.)

 

So if HeroMan wants a 3d6 BODY Drain "withering attack," he'll eventually have to deal with Captain Rust attacking a cruise ship with a similar attack. 

 

All of that said:

  • Technically, any BODY Drained would recover at the rate specified by the Drain power, not the target's Recovery score.  So if he uses his Withering attack on a car, the damage would reverse itself at the rate of 5 points per Turn, unless the Drain has a Reduced Return Rate.
  • Remember that the effect of Adjustment powers (like Drain) is halved when used against defenses -- and BODY counts as a "defense" in this case (6E1:141).
  • I would NOT allow such an attack to be used against a Focus - this would be a very cheap way of stripping foes of powers.  "I use my 1d6 BODY Drain, AoE 16m Radius selective.  That should shut down all the VIPER agents' blasters, grenades, armor, radios, etc. for the next Turn or so."  Only allow it against something that has an actual BODY score.
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What do you guys think~?

 

Sincerely

NisseFrasse

I think, if you want to out and out permanently destroy things, you don't want Drain, you want some kind of damaging attack.

 

But if you want something to be "destroyed" temporarily, Drain is a good way to do it.

 

Two things to keep in mind about Drain (and other Adjustment Powers):

 

First, as already mentioned, effect is halved if used against a wide array of abilities classified as "Defensive." So if you roll 6 on a Drain attack against, say, Physical Defense, that only counts as 3.

 

Second, you Drain ACTIVE POINTS. So if the Physical Defense is Resistant - and the defense of inanimate objects usually is Resistant - that 3 pts equals only 2 PD reduced.

 

If there are Advantages - say you want to Drain a tank's armor and it's Hardened and Impenetrable - the Active points are even higher, and you have to get a 4 (that is, because of the halving effect, an 8 on the dice) to take away those same 2 PD.

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Drain Palindromedary

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Lucius is spot-on.  Drained items don't have REC and, so, never recover ... but the Drain still has a fade rate.  That fade rate could be very slow (due to Advantages) but a Drain still fades -- which means the 'damage' from a BODY Drain is always undone given enough time.  (Special rules apply when Draining defenses as well as focii, of course.)

 

 

If someone wants to do permanent damage to inanimate items with Power Defense as the key defense (as it is with Drain), Transform or some kind of KA that is AVAD Power Defense seem like the logical choices.  Blast bought AVAD Power Defense is also suitable, but far less efficient (and costly) than KA bought that way.  Dispel could also be used ... but only if the goal is to take apart the object or render it temporarily unusable without actually destroying it (a la Magneto making a pistol fly apart into a bunch of pieces that could be re-assembled).

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if that is the case why don't those w/ more Rec than normal , get more back per post 12 or longer interval
the power takes away and has a return rate ,it should not matter if it has a Rec or not

Base Rec for a pc/npc is 4
Drain has a return rate of 5
and to take a recovery has no effect vs a drain

 

No, its more than that.  Drained inanimate objects never recover, as I understand it.

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now you could destroy an object with Drain ,but you have to excede the body of the object x2

And as the Drain fades -- meaning BODY returns -- the 'destroyed' object should, in theory, phase back into existence or reform, somehow.  That's rather the point with the fade rate: even if you Drain to -2x the object's body, the Drained BODY still returns.

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I may be thinking of Dispel, since it has no recovery mechanic: dispel it and it never turns back on, because it cannot: its broken

 

That's not true.  Dispel doesn't work on focii but on powers.  This is a subtle difference.  Using dispel on a Viper Agent's jet pack will cause the jet pack to stop functioning but the Viper agent could always turn the pack back on assuming he has enough time.

 

As far as the power is concerned, I would probably suggest a all or nothing AVAD KA does Body with the defense being living or unsusceptible to weathering/oxidization.

Cost:22pt  RKA 1 1/2d6, Constant (+1/2), Does BODY (+1) (62 Active Points); Attack Versus Alternate Defense (Living or not witherable.; All Or Nothing; -1 1/2), No Knockback (-1/4) 

 

Another way is to use Tunneling.  I wither the wall (Tunneling through wall).

 

Finally, just off the top of my head is Transform.  Someone doing repairs (add new paint, patching holes, removing rust) would be the way to return the item back to normal.

67 Severe Transform 3d6, Partial Transform (+1/2) (67 Active Points)

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Using dispel on a Viper Agent's jet pack will cause the jet pack to stop functioning but the Viper agent could always turn the pack back on assuming he has enough time

 

 

Sure, but the object its self cannot.  Someone has to come up and turn it back on, and if noone does or can... it stays off forever.

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Dispel doesn't work on focii but on powers.  This is a subtle difference.  Using dispel on a Viper Agent's jet pack will cause the jet pack to stop functioning but the Viper agent could always turn the pack back on assuming he has enough time.

Per page 193 of 6e v1 RAW (w/ red emphasis added by me):

"Some examples of Dispel include spells designed to disrupt or "break" other spells, light-based powers that can Dispel Darkness fields, or the ability to destroy or ruin gadgets."

 

Per page 195 of 6e v1 RAW (w/ red emphasis added by me):

"If a character Dispels a power in a Breakable Focus, look at the special effects involved to determine what happens. For example, if the Dispel is defined as "breaking small objects," the Focus probably needs some repairs -- maybe just a quick field jury-rigging, maybe something more -- before it will work again. If the Dispel involves sucking all the battery power out of the Focus, the Focus needs recharging. Unbreakable Foci behave similarly but are considered Difficult to Dispel (x16) solely for the purposes of resisting Dispel. If a character Dispels only one power in a multiple-power Focus, that power ceases to function until "fixed", while the other powers remain unaffected."

 

 

My point:

Assuming enough active points were Dispelled, foci are broken (in part or in whole, depending on SFX) and need to be 'fixed' ... not just reactivated.  Why? Per RAW, more than just time and power reactivation is needed when it comes to foci that have been Dispelled, as every 6e v1 example described per RAW, above, involves a repair or other activity (jury rigging, recharging, etc.) beyond simply pushing a button or flipping a switch to turn a power with the Focus limitation ... back on.  i.e. There's likely a skill roll and/or parts needed ... or in the case of the Magneto example I provided earlier in the thread -- an appropriate WF plus time (in order to be able to reassemble a gun that Magneto pulled apart with his TK).

 

It's been my experience that most players and GMs, alike, think of Dispel only as something that 'turns off' a power ... which is patently incorrect; it can do much, much more than that.

 

Sure, but the object its self cannot.  Someone has to come up and turn it back on, and if noone does or can... it stays off forever.

As just noted -- more than mere reactivation (i.e. turning it back on) appears to be needed.  Per RAW as quoted above in this post, a Dispelled power on a focus "ceases to function until "fixed"".  Turning something back on (aka reactivating something) is clearly and obviously not the same as fixing it ... and fixing something tends to entail/imply more than the push of a button, flip of a switch, etc.  After all, you fix what is broken, not something that is merely 'off' or 'deactivated'.

 

 

The rules around Dispel regarding Foci are subtle but clear -- Dispel can be used to "destroy or ruin gadgets" aka foci.  Again, Magneto using his TK to completely disassemble guns in X-Men: First Class is a perfect example of this subtle but important use of Dispel: he tore the gun down into its constituent parts instantly ... effectively breaking/destroying a formerly-working gun by reducing it into parts.  Certainly that gun can be 'fixed' by reassembling it, but someone without a WF for that gun probably couldn't do it ... and someone with the needed WF would require time and possibly tools to do it.

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no you have destroyed it
same thing happens to a pc/npc if you drain away all their body x2

And as the Drain fades -- meaning BODY returns -- the 'destroyed' object should, in theory, phase back into existence or reform, somehow.  That's rather the point with the fade rate: even if you Drain to -2x the object's body, the Drained BODY still returns.

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that would be incorrect from what my 4th ed hero system book says
Drain has never been based on recovery of the target
it is based on a return rate of 5 pts per post 12 or longer

copied from my 4th ed pdf

 

DRAIN
A character with this Adjustment Power can temporarily
lower the value of an opponent’s Characteristic or Power.
1d6 of Drain costs 10 Character Points.
To use a Drain, the character must make a successful
Attack Roll. If successful, total the Drain dice and subtract
the target’s Power Defense (if any). The total remaining is
the number of Active Points lost from the affected Power or
Characteristic.
Drained Character Points return at the rate of 5 Active
Points per Turn. This return rate can be moved down on the
time chart for a +1/4 Advantage per level. By moving the
return rate far down the Time chart, it is possible to effectively
“destroy” an opponent’s Characteristic or Power. There is no
limit to the amount of Character Points that a character can
Drain from his victim.
Example: Sapper purchases 30 points that will Drain an
opponent’s Energy Blast. This lets her Drain 3d6 Active
Points of EB. The points drained will return to the victim
at the rate of 5 Active Points per Turn. Not satisfied with
this, Sapper moves the recovery rate down 6 levels on
the Time chart, for a +1 1/2 Advantage. The Drain is still
3d6, but now costs 30 x (1 + 1 1/2 )= 75 points and the
Drained EB will return at the rate of 5 Active Points per
month.
• Drain Cost: 10 Character Points for 1d6 of Drain; drained
points return 5 Active Points per Turn. Return rate can be
moved down the Time chart at a +1/4 Advantage per level.
Minimum Cost is 10 points

 

Drains used to recover based on your recovery, in pre-4th edition.  Maybe 4th too, I can't recall.  That led to a horrendous effect where you could drain someone's Recovery and they'd just slowly die.

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no you have destroyed it

same thing happens to a pc/npc if you drain away all their body x2

I just checked and in the case of an object, a GM can rule that it needs repairs instead of being destroyed ... when Drained to negative 2x BODY.  That aside, you do appear to be correct in that RAW states that a Drain to negative starting BODY destroys an object.

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Drains used to recover based on your recovery, in pre-4th edition.  Maybe 4th too, I can't recall.  That led to a horrendous effect where you could drain someone's Recovery and they'd just slowly die.

 

 

that would be incorrect from what my 4th ed hero system book says

Drain has never been based on recovery of the target

it is based on a return rate of 5 pts per post 12 or longer

 

copied from my 4th ed pdf

 

[cut]

The 1E Characteristic Drain used to last for 1 of the drainer's phases, but could be bought to last longer.

The 2E and 3E Power Drain returned at a rate of 1 point per segment, and could be bought to delay the start of the return.

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I believe the power that people used pre-4th to hit an opponent's Rec was not Drain.  I believe it was called "Destruction", and it went off your Recovery.  I didn't play back then, so I'm not positive.

 

But as far as using Drain against an inanimate object that nobody paid points for?  I would be fine with that.  Free stuff should be easy to break.  Nobody paid points for that warehouse, it's fine to use your Drain on it.  I wouldn't even bother with the points fading.

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