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Manic Typist

How would you build: Electro-rapier

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Playing around with a build for a PC.

 

She wields a normal rapier that has been upgraded with a steampunk features - it spits off crackling electricity.

 

I'm thinking a NND Blast (defense is insulation, grounding, and magic).

 

However, I'm not sure how to build the Charges/Battery, and how easily the Focus is disabled. The PC has a battery that is worn on the belt that feeds power into the sword - she uses a hand crank to recharge it.

 

So the battery represents a target, as well as the cord attaching it - the sword would still work, but one could disable the electrical aspects of it by attacking either one. So perhaps a Bulky Foci? Or perhaps it's just SFX of OAF.

 

I'm also not sure how to handle the on/off aspect of it. If you get hit with the sword, then the Blast should hit you automatically. However, you should be able to just shock someone without stabbing them- just hit them with the flat of the blade.

 

I'm also looking at an Endurance Reserve. Essentially I want to be able to achieve the effect that the PC might have to pause in combat to awkwardly turn the hand crank to charge up the sword again.

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You could build a regular blade to start with then add an NND Blast Damage Shield that covers the surface of the blade.  You can define the damage shield as 'offensive' for +1/4 to make it also work when you attack with the blade.  The damage shield would be powered by an OAF Endurance Reserve (possibly fragile to represent the easily damaged cord).

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Ninja-bear - I agree, I think I am overengineering the Focus aspect of the limitations (still need to do the charging aspect, of course).

 

Netzilla- Damage Shield, of course! I've never actually used that power but I think would fits perfectly for my needs.

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For one of my projects, I built a Stun Baton (a fairly similar weapon) as follows:

​Stun Baton

Game Elements:  HA (Physical) +3d6, Zero END (+1/2) (22 APs); Hand-To-Hand Attack (-1/4), STR Min (5; -1/4) plus Blast (Energy) 6d6, 30 Recoverable Charges (see text*; +1/2) (45 APs); Linked (HA; -1/4), No Range (-1/2); All Slots; OAF (-1), One-Handed (-0), Real Weapon (-1/4). Total Cost:  23 points.
Durability:  9 rPD/9 rED.

*The Relevant Text Was: "Recharging the stun baton's battery requires that its charging cable be plugged into an electrical outlet for 3 hours; the stun baton regains 1 charge every 6 minutes spent charging."
 

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So, I really like this image of the PC struggling to wind the lever plugged into the battery pack in the middle of combat to recharge the battery for a few more shocks.

 

However, when playing in HD with Blast as a Damage Shield, I can't seem to get the options that allow me to reduce the time for Charges to less than a day - I can't find Charges as an Advantage. Yet an Endurance Reserve seems way over the top since the ONLY thing being powered is the sword.

Thoughts on how to get this effect? I guess I could manually walk it through the Time Chart with a Custom Modifier priced accordingly. I think I'd put it at -1/4, as it would require the PC to basically be Concentrating to recharge during combat. Perhaps -0.

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The only currently legal method of reducing the recharge time for charges is make them "Recoverable"... which puts the pressure on the GM to define what is a reasonable recovery condition. For example, I defined the Stun Baton's recharge condition as 3 hours pluged into an outlet.

 

In terms of House Rules:

You can purchase multiple charges and apportion them. For example, 4 Charges Per Day could also represent 1 Charge Per 6 Hours. Then you simply increase the limitation value because the Character must do something to recharge.

You can also use the Delayed Re-Use modifier as a basis for the value of 1 Charge Which Recovers After [X​ Amount Of Time​]; 1 Charge (per Day) and Delayed Re-Use (1 Day) are normally both worth -2. This relationship suggests that each step up the time chart is worth -1/4 less Limitation (so 1 Charge Per 6 Hours would be worth -1 3/4). Because of their similarity in value, I increased the value of Delayed Re-Use in my projects at the 6 Hour and 1 Day marks; because unlike Charges, a Delayed Re-Use Power still costs END.

 

Finally if you go with an Endurance Reserve, you simply place Limitations on the Reserve's Recovery. Being so inexpensive to start with, this is likely going to feel more hindering than the points you are getting back for it. However it is entirely legal and requires no house rules to function exactly as expected.

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Hi Everyone.

 

I recomend taking a closer look at the Stunning add-on option to Change Environment introduced in one of the APG (6e) books i think.

 

The basic idea is that it forces the target to make a Con roll or be Stunned. However, no damage is actually rolled. The ability has its own unique set of rules for both negatively adjusting the Con roll and the actual duration of the effect. I think it is the perfect mechanic for simulating TASER-like effects which is basically what an electrical attack really is. If someone looks hard enough they should be able to find a power writup by me somewhere that might include a quote of the full power description. Since it doesn't even cause damage it actually solves a lot if the issues of 'combining' with the more traditional effects of damage from whatever weapon it is *attached* to. I would use the Combined Power feature to construct the final build. Since the ability already has its own duration options *baked-in*, assigning Recoverable Charges (example: winding a crank) should be very easy as well.

 

I would normally either link to one my prievious builds or just create a new one but right now i can't at the moment because don't have access to my laptop with Hero Designer right now and i am posting this using my iPhone combined with a Bluetooth keyboard. I am also a little 'high' from taking an Oxycoton recently.

 

:)

HM

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Practically, this sounds a lot more like an END reserve than charges, recoverable or not, so why not just bite the bullet and build it that way? To me, recoverable charges weren't really intended for charges that can be recovered in combat, and is intended to take considerable time and/or inconvenience. Not the usual "it takes 24 hours to get the charges back", but not "spend a half phase and you get charges back" either.

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Eh, while i agree this does sound more like END Reserve, I don't think spending a Full Phase turning a crank to recover a charge is any more out of place than running over and picking up the dagger you just threw.

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Yeah, I agree with what Netzilla said. Throwing Knives you can recover simply to moving to them and picking them up is literally the classic example of Recoverable Charges. By that metric any condition requiring an amount of time roughly equal to twice the amount of time required to expend the charge is a reasonable recovery condition.

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Except picking up the knife means getting to where it was thrown, not just spending a phase in place.

 

As well, nothing should prevent someone else picking up your knife and using it against you. Of course, it may also be wedged into that wooden floor, or the ground, making its recovery more problematic. I don't think "I spend a phase and get a charge back, no muss, no fuss" is the intent of the Recoverable Charges rule.

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Yes, and tactically speaking most players will simply wait until the end of combat to collect all their thrown knives. Because economy of action is a thing even in Hero. However, for an RBS weapon, it is unlikely that you threw it so far you can't get to it in a few phases. In addition, it isn't as though you're going to suffer an Attack of Opportunity for moving to pick up a knife. Isofar as "tactically poor" choices go, its about on par with an equal number of phases spent cranking a windlass.

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That brings the question of how many phases. The knife can be in an inopportune place, require movement to collect, etc. The character never needs to spend time locating (PER roll) the windlass, move to the windlass, or tug the windlass out of the wall, floor or ground it has been embedded in. He is not at risk of someone else picking it up, or kicking it over the edge of the cliff, or taking other actions that frustrate its recovery.

 

In short, the windlass is nowhere near as limiting as having to locate and collect a thrown knife. So how many phases should it take to recover a charge to be comparably limiting? An END battery provides the rules for how long recovery takes and how much it will cost. It allows recovery of a partial charge. To me, it's a far better realization of the concept.

 

But if you like the recoverable charge approach, how about letting my spellcaster buy all his spells "one recoverable charge' costs END"? He recovers the charge by gesturing and incanting to cast the spell again, instead of putting the Gestures and Incantations limitations on his spells.

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Well, the rules as written don't bring up anything about PER or STR rolls to recover a recoverable charge, so that's all in GM Fiat territory.  As difficult to recover as a thrown knife, while somewhat variable, isn't an unreasonable standard.  As with many things in the Hero System, it would be up to the individual GM to decide what is equivalent.  Best case scenario is that you can take a half-phase to move to the knife and another half-phase to pick it up.  Worst case is you lose it entirely by throwing it off a cliff.  Most GMs would likely pick somewhere in between.  One might also require a DEX or STR roll to turn the crank while dodging incoming fire or it might require concentration or extra time to get a full charge.  That would all be part of the character building negotiation process.

 

As stipulated earlier, the described effect does sound like an END Reserve to me, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to achieve the desired effect.

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Ordinarily, characters can only recover their Recoverable Charges once combat has ended, although this depends on the special effect of the power. In the GM’s discretion, a Charge might be broken or lost, in which case it must be recreated like normal Charges. Generally a character shouldn’t be allowed to use Recoverable Charges to simulate Charges that return to him on a quicker than once-per-day basis, but the GM can allow this if he thinks it’s appropriate.

"Crank for a half or full phase and get a charge back" sounds a lot more lenient to me. Paying for having, say, 4 0 END "charges" (being an END reserve with four uses worth of END) and REC that requires cranking the handle seems a much more cost-appropriate approach to me than a -1/2 limitation for the same effect.

 

Let's assume this is a 30 AP power. Absent other limitations (not the case here, I acknowledge), "4 recoverable charges" saves 10 points.

 

Or you spend the full 30, plus a 12 END Reserve (3 points) with 3 REC (only when cranking) for 1 point. That's 14 more points, and it takes a full turn of cranking to recover a charge. So "recoverable charges, just crank it for a phase" seems like a "GM's Girfriend" deal.

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Hugh, I'm not sure why you keep bringing up a half-phase recover when no one has argued for it.  The minimum that's been suggested is a full phase as that's the minimum that would be required to pick up a thrown knife.  I've even further qualified that with a list of additional requirements a GM might impose.  All the 'GM discretion' qualifiers in the section of the rules you quoted suggests a certain amount of flexibility in how recoverable charges are to be adjudicated.

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I was editing while you were posting. The "crank" has no chance of being lost or getting stuck, no possibility of requiring movement (perhaps somewhere the character does not want to go), no possibility the guy you tossed the knife at can kick it away, step on it or pick it up himself, etc. All the benefits, none of the drawbacks, and even the thrown knife being commonly retrieved in combat is a stretch compared to the RAW for recoverable charges.

 

So does your 1 phase criteria mean I just have to spend a phase gesturing and incanting to recover my spell and have it available to re-cast?

 

If the desire is "I crank for a phase and then attack", that sounds like a power that requires an extra phase to use, not charges or an END reserve. Being able to crank in advance, get a few uses before needing to crank, etc. makes the power more useful, so it should make it more expensive.

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Damage Shield is useful for representing a Power that coats an ally's weapon in flames, or for spells such as Heat Metal​ that don't damage the object targeted, but rather whomever is holding it or picks it up. Personally, I don't see the point in using Damage Shield to represent a specific weapon (such as a sword which is always coated in flames, or a baton that can deliver an electric shock on impact); considering that in many circumstances using Linked instead will produce the exact same result but cost far less.

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I don't really see that as a problem, but if you want to represent that sort of stun-baton/electro-rapier, than it is simply a pair of Attack Powers tied to the same focus which can be used as a Combined Attack (or not). You don't need any special modifiers to make a pair of Attacks qualify for Combined Attack, its a matter of common sense and special effect.

All you need for that power construct is two Attack Powers with Focus and either Zero END (for the physical portion) or Charges (for the electrical portion) (or an Endurance Reserve to power the electrical attack). For an Electro-Rapier, +1m of "Reach" is probably also appropriate. For a heroic campaign it also needs One-Handed, STR Min, and Real Weapon.

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