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PamelaIsley

Building an All or Nothing Killing Curse

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I'm back with yet another power construction question.

 

Is there a way to build the Avada Kedavra Killing Curse from Harry Potter using a ranged killing attack (presumably with beam, no knockback limitations), but also having it be all or nothing?  As in, it either kills you or does nothing to you?

 

I see the all or nothing can be used for Transform powers, but (at least in Hero Designer), it is not available for a killing attack.

 

What do people think?

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4 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

I'm back with yet another power construction question.

 

Is there a way to build the Avada Kedavra Killing Curse from Harry Potter using a ranged killing attack (presumably with beam, no knockback limitations), but also having it be all or nothing?  As in, it either kills you or does nothing to you?

 

I see the all or nothing can be used for Transform powers, but (at least in Hero Designer), it is not available for a killing attack.

 

What do people think?

 

HERO doesn't do absolutes very well.

 

That said, you could make it a high damage KA with a limitation that it must do 2x the BODY of the victim or it does nothing.

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28 minutes ago, sentry0 said:

 

HERO doesn't do absolutes very well.

 

That said, you could make it a high damage KA with a limitation that it must do 2x the BODY of the victim or it does nothing.

 

That's how I'd recommend doing it. Maybe also give Harry Potter a personal immunity to it.

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1 hour ago, archer said:

 

That's how I'd recommend doing it. Maybe also give Harry Potter a personal immunity to it.

 

Awesome suggestion.

 

It would have to be very powerful to work in a supermage / superhero universe to do about 30-40 body to kill superhumans.

 

This might be something that doesn't work very well in practice.

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Why do you want this in your game?  I don't believe this sort of power has any business being in a TTRPG. 

If used against a PC, it's "Zap!  Ron is dead.  Make a new character.".  Worse yet, it can very easily be a situation where the player had zero input from the time the enemy revealed their death-spell to the time of PC death.  That just comes off as "Haha!  Killed your dude!  Sucker!". 

If used by a PC it's likely to be of utterly binary power, either completely dominating (A la D&D3-PFs no-save-just-lose spells) or useless ("Zap!  He's unaffected.  Zap!  He's unaffected.  Screw it, firebolt!").  Both cause issues. 

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16 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

 

Awesome suggestion.

 

It would have to be very powerful to work in a supermage / superhero universe to do about 30-40 body to kill superhumans.

 

This might be something that doesn't work very well in practice.

 

If you want to kill a superhuman you would need a huge KA on average.  However, the average normal person has 8 BODY or so...that's roughly a 5d KA for 75 AP.  On an average roll against a typical human without any rDEF that would outright kill them.

 

It could be very effective against normal humans and make a villain seem pretty fearsome.  But overall a regular 5d KA would be much more effective vs a super.

 

I would say it could be a great "flavor" power but not terribly effective against your average super unless the KA was pumped up to some ungodly level.

 

Edit: could make a cool MP out of it for death magic where you have the outright kill spell and a regular RKA.  Maybe other fun stuff too ?

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18 minutes ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Why do you want this in your game?  I don't believe this sort of power has any business being in a TTRPG. 

 

Depends on your philosophy of world building I guess.  I like games that can simulate things that exist in genres and am not that concerned about balance (if you want a balanced combat game, play a miniatures game, in my opinion anyway).  It would be hard to have a Harry Potter-themed Hero Game if Killing Curse was modeled like a blast power that you kept taking damage from until you passed out, and later died.  It simply doesn't work that way.

 

But the idea of this, while fitting with what I originally had in mind, doesn't seem to fit with a supermage concept as well as it would in a Harry Potter game.

 

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7 minutes ago, sentry0 said:

 

If you want to kill a superhuman you would need a huge KA on average.  However, the average normal person has 8 BODY or so...that's roughly a 5d KA for 75 AP.  On an average roll against a typical human without any rDEF that would outright kill them.

 

It could be very effective against normal humans and make a villain seem pretty fearsome.  But overall a regular 5d KA would be much more effective vs a super.

 

I would say it could be a great "flavor" power but not terribly effective against your average super unless the KA was pumped up to some ungodly level.

 

Edit: could make a cool MP out of it for death magic where you have the outright kill spell and a regular RKA.  Maybe other fun stuff too ?

If you want something that'll scare but not instagib PCs while still being certain death for Johnny Bystander, I've come to love KA 1d6+1, Continuous, Penetrating. 

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1 minute ago, PamelaIsley said:

Depends on your philosophy of world building I guess.  I like games that can simulate things that exist in genres and am not that concerned about balance (if you want a balanced combat game, play a miniatures game, in my opinion anyway).  It would be hard to have a Harry Potter-themed Hero Game if Killing Curse was modeled like a blast power that you kept taking damage from until you passed out, and later died.  It simply doesn't work that way.

I don't feel that "Boop, character's over" has any place in a TTRPG.  Including sudden death will just discourage players from becoming attached to their characters and NPCs.  Genre shmenre, if I heard a GM talking about "you just die" effects I'd walk.  No way am I investing effort into something that ends at the whim of 3d6. 

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1 minute ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

I don't feel that "Boop, character's over" has any place in a TTRPG.  Including sudden death will just discourage players from becoming attached to their characters and NPCs.  Genre shmenre, if I heard a GM talking about "you just die" effects I'd walk.  No way am I investing effort into something that ends at the whim of 3d6. 

 

Well, Harry Potter might not be the best universe for your (or most people's) conception for a PnP RPG.  :) 

 

There's simply no other way to model it and be true to an important part of the source material.

 

But I wasn't interested in the power for a HP campaign.  I was mostly trying to build a Voldemort clone as a supermage.  I don't think a Killing Curse of this kind is necessary and on reflection, it just doesn't seem to work.

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57 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

I like games that can simulate things that exist in genres and am not that concerned about balance (if you want a balanced combat game, play a miniatures game, in my opinion anyway).

That is a funny thing to say, considering RPG's in part started from the Tabletop/Minature game scene.

So balance in RPG has been a thing, since before the RPG concept was a thing.

 

47 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

There's simply no other way to model it and be true to an important part of the source material.

Is it? Translating between Mediums often has issues. It starts with you not properly getting the intetnion of why the Book writer made it work like this. Without that intention, you can not really transalte it to a P&P RPG.

 

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11 hours ago, Greywind said:

EDM to a place where that character died.

 

Transform to a dead character.

 

Transform is explicitly prohibited from this.

 

EDM, Usable As Attack (Target moves to afterlife dimension) would simulate the power quite well. However, it is also completely unbalanced. 

 

EDIT:

I thought of this build after going to bed. The auto-kill portion won't work on anyone with Combat Luck unless they are deliberately taking the shot. However, the KA will still severely injure, or possibly kill them if they are hit.

 

Killing Curse:  (Total: 110 Active Cost, 74 Real Cost) Extra-Dimensional Movement (Single Dimension (afterlife, does not work on targets with dimensional movement or applicable luck-based defenses)), Ranged (+1/2), Usable As Attack (+1 1/4) (55 Active Points); Linked (Lethal Damage; -1/2) (Real Cost: 37) plus Killing Attack - Ranged 3 1/2d6 (55 Active Points); Linked (Transport target to afterlife; -1/2) (Real Cost: 37)

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14 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

Depends on your philosophy of world building I guess.  I like games that can simulate things that exist in genres and am not that concerned about balance (if you want a balanced combat game, play a miniatures game, in my opinion anyway).  It would be hard to have a Harry Potter-themed Hero Game if Killing Curse was modeled like a blast power that you kept taking damage from until you passed out, and later died.  It simply doesn't work that way.

 

A KA that Does No Stun and has IPE to Target Effects (+1 - neither the target nor anyone else can perceive the damage done) would weaken characters with multiple uses, but no one could see that the target is down BOD.  Now that's a curse!

 

Maybe it's AVAD/NND, Does BOD as well?

 

14 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

 

Well, Harry Potter might not be the best universe for your (or most people's) conception for a PnP RPG.  :) 

 

There's simply no other way to model it and be true to an important part of the source material.

 

 

Recalling the source material, I am trying to remember a significant character who was killed by the Killing Curse.  I think that's how Snape went, caught entirely unaware.  Probably Dumbledore as well - killed by the specific person he had requested kill him.  Seems like this should be pretty unlikely to work against anyone of PC/major NPC status.  That is, if we want to model it in a manner which is consistent with the source material...

 

Harry, but he survived - so much for "all or nothing" - perhaps he had the NND defense, but he still took damage.

 

EDIT: Most of the victims down at the bottom of https://harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Killing_Curse were either offscreen, minor characters or accidental victims when the caster missed.

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The appropriateness of insta-death is largely dependent on the setting you're playing in and to a lesser degree the availability of ways to recover from death.

 

Can you be resurrected by way of powerful and rare magics?

 

Can Scotty restore you from a recent backup in the transporter buffer?

 

Did you have clones 2-7 on standby and a neural transmitter keeping them current?

 

Also, in some campaigns a high lethality level adds to the suspense.  Fights are scary and things to be avoided when possible.  I recall Danger International being reasonably terrifying because a single bullet to the head could be the end of you.

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42 minutes ago, Hugh Neilson said:

Recalling the source material, I am trying to remember a significant character who was killed by the Killing Curse.  I think that's how Snape went, caught entirely unaware.  Probably Dumbledore as well - killed by the specific person he had requested kill him.  Seems like this should be pretty unlikely to work against anyone of PC/major NPC status.  That is, if we want to model it in a manner which is consistent with the source material...

 

Harry, but he survived - so much for "all or nothing" - perhaps he had the NND defense, but he still took damage.

 

EDIT: Most of the victims down at the bottom of https://harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Killing_Curse were either offscreen, minor characters or accidental victims when the caster missed.

 

Snape was killed by Nagini.  

 

James Potter was killed by the Killing Curse and was one of the most powerful wizards of his day.

 

We could debate Harry Potter forever (I wrote an enormous post here and deleted it).  :)  

 

The source material is pretty clear.  You can't block it and if it's cast correctly (Order of the Phoenix talks about this), it will kill you on contact.  Harry's survival is an enormous plot point in the books.  No one else would survive one based on the HP material presented so far.

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I don't know anything about Harry Potter.  Somebody made me see the first movie and that's all I ever saw.  But... just because a power is described as working a certain way, that doesn't mean the game mechanics have to match that description.  If a power mostly kills bystanders and offscreen NPCs, but it never hits a major character, you could represent it as a much lower powered attack.

 

 

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7 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

The source material is pretty clear.  You can't block it and if it's cast correctly (Order of the Phoenix talks about this), it will kill you on contact.  Harry's survival is an enormous plot point in the books.  No one else would survive one based on the HP material presented so far. 

If harry potter survived it, then it is not really a absolute!

 

Edit:

Okay, I read up on it. It appears to be mostly instant, unless there is a Sacrificial Charm on the target. In that case the spell rebounds (as well as other Effects like being unable to touch the beneficiary).

 

Killing Curse: High Amount of RKA, NND (Sacrifcial Charm), Does Body, Side Effect (If blocked hits the caster instead).

 

Sacrificial Charm: Damage Shield, only vs specific target, 0 END and Persistent.. This spell is "plot device" level.

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On 3/1/2019 at 9:25 AM, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

If used against a PC, it's "Zap!  Ron is dead.  Make a new character."

 

I wouldn't miss Ron. Or most of the Weasley clan for that matter. Except Mrs. Weasley, she's awesome. Probably helped that she's played by Julie Walters.

 

10 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

James Potter was killed by the Killing Curse and was one of the most powerful wizards of his day.

 

For serious? I thought he was more a dumb jock. Is there much evidence to support this? I suppose there's the marauder's map but how much of that was his work as opposed to the other 3 marauders? Now Lily I always got the impression was a pretty effective wizard. Maybe she helped make the map. (I know, absolutely no canon support fr that last bit.)

 

Sorry, what is this thread actually about again? Oh yeah Avada Kedavra.

 

How about a big ass NND Killing Attack with Side Effects + Limited Power: must really want to kill the target (also Beam & No KB, gestures, incantations, OAF Wand. Voldy has bought off some of these additional limitations.) The defense is someone who is unhesitatingly willing to die for you casting a protective spell on you; they die instead. The side effect is if you hit the target but the curse fails (to kill it's intended target) you set up a mystic resonance (read the books for the details) with the target & the target is now forever immune to your Avada Kedavra.

 

That's about what, 45 cp per die (Active cost.) The Side Effect is severe, but oh so rare, maybe -1/4. Limited Power ditto. So that's -1/2. And, erm, is it -2/12 for the rest of the limitations? Cool if it is, that'd be a neat -3 limitation giving us 15 cp/die, actual cost. 12d6K should kill pretty much anyone. 180 points. Ouch.

 

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I have done something similar to this with an NND KA that does body.  The defense was surviving the attack.  This is very expensive or it is completely useless, but it does work.  Probably need at least 6d6 which puts it at 270 active cost minimum.  This is probably not something a PC is going to be able to afford, but works for a major villain.

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11 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

 

Snape was killed by Nagini.  

 

James Potter was killed by the Killing Curse and was one of the most powerful wizards of his day.

 

We could debate Harry Potter forever (I wrote an enormous post here and deleted it).  :)  

 

The source material is pretty clear.  You can't block it and if it's cast correctly (Order of the Phoenix talks about this), it will kill you on contact.  Harry's survival is an enormous plot point in the books.  No one else would survive one based on the HP material presented so far.

 

Again, what significant character was killed "on screen" by Avada Kedavra?  James Potter was killed offscreen, which is really just Harry's background.  Dumbledore, but he went voluntarily.  Many attempts on more major characters, all of which failed (missed - or we interpret "anyone who does not die due to their defenses was missed").

 

To be true to the source material, it must be pretty easy to dodge or otherwise avoid the Curse, at least if you are an important character.

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22 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

Transform is explicitly prohibited from this.

 

EDM, Usable As Attack (Target moves to afterlife dimension) would simulate the power quite well. However, it is also completely unbalanced. 

 

EDIT:

I thought of this build after going to bed. The auto-kill portion won't work on anyone with Combat Luck unless they are deliberately taking the shot. However, the KA will still severely injure, or possibly kill them if they are hit.

 

Killing Curse:  (Total: 110 Active Cost, 74 Real Cost) Extra-Dimensional Movement (Single Dimension (afterlife, does not work on targets with dimensional movement or applicable luck-based defenses)), Ranged (+1/2), Usable As Attack (+1 1/4) (55 Active Points); Linked (Lethal Damage; -1/2) (Real Cost: 37) plus Killing Attack - Ranged 3 1/2d6 (55 Active Points); Linked (Transport target to afterlife; -1/2) (Real Cost: 37)

 

I don't see what purpose the ExtraDimensional Move serves?

 

20 hours ago, dmjalund said:

transform to person with 2 body + sufficient HKA to ensure the death of that person

 

Uh huh. To do that Transform you have to overcome the BODy anyway. Might as well have Killing Attack with Alternate Defense: Power Defense.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Expectum Palindromedarius!

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