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PamelaIsley

Building an All or Nothing Killing Curse

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43 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

This is just an entirely wrong interpretation of how the power works in my opinion (I consider Voldemort, Dumbledore, Barty Crouch, James & Lily Potter, et al to be important targets), but we went over all that earlier.  I don't see a compromise resolution.  :)

 

I think there are a few issues here.

 

The first is how one interprets the source material.  Taking the characters you have listed:

 - Voldemort died not when someone cast the Killing Curse on him, but when it backfired due to the Elder Wand.

 - Dumbledore died when the person he explicitly asked to kill him did so - why would he maintain any defenses he may have otherwise had?

 - Barty dies as part of the backstory to the adventure plot, not "onscreen" in a combat which would have been played out in-game, and was under the effect of the Imperious Curse from the caster of the death curse.  I would not call him an "important target" within the context of the source material - Barty was a bit player, more background scenery NPC than PC or important (to the PCs) NPC.

 - James and Lily died as part of campaign backstory, again not onscreen and not a combat which would have been played out.  They were neither PCs nor notable NPCs. They weren't even background scenery.  They were backstory.

 

In the source material, the power worked only when it was targeting people off-screen, or targeting minor, rather than major, characters on screen.

 

To some extent, the question comes down to who we think the PCs and important NPCs were.  Maybe some players were super-lucky, and others played a steady stream of less fortunate characters who all died early on to the Killing Curse.  But I doubt the dice would replicate that for very long.  Sooner or later, Ron, or Harry, or Hermione are going to be hit and killed by the Killing Curse, especially over the course of a campaign equivalent to 7 novels or 8 movies.

 

So, do we interpret the Killing Curse as it is described by characters in the source material, or do we reason from the effects it had in the course material just how it worked?  BTW, most of the characters in the source material were afraid to say "Voldemort", and a very few characters dismissed that superstition outright.  The characters did not have a complete understanding of how the mechanics around them worked.

 

The second is the type of game desired.  One possibility is a game which matches the source material, wherein lethality for "named characters" is low (as it was in the books) and the Killing Curse always "just happens" to fail when targeting a target significant to the game, rather than a mook or a character whose death would be a plot point.  The NCC suggestion from Lucius covers that one pretty nicely - it works only if the GM wants it to work.  Such an ability should be pretty low-cost, as its in-game impact will be pretty limited.

Another possibility is a game that assumes the significant characters in the source material made fantastically lucky die rolls, and avoided the odds against them whenever the Killing Curse was directed against them.  NO special dispensation for PCs - if they die, that's fine.  This would be a high-lethality game which plays very differently from the source material, at least when the Killing Curse is being fired around.  Maximize your DCV, Abort to Dodge or Dive for Cover, and even so, expect to lose characters with some frequency, because it will hit sometimes.  In that case, make it an RKA (with or without Standard Effect), All or Nothing, Does no STUN, AVAD/NND (even that requires some fairly common defense, or a non-NND that pays a premium price to have an extremely rare defense) big enough that a hit will kill a high BOD character in a single shot most or all of the time. 

 

You could even apply the "Absolute Effect" rule.  The highest BOD we expect in-game is, say, 30.  21d6, standard effect, does 63 BOD.  Absolute Effect - anyone hit is dead.  That will be a massively expensive power,  but maybe in our game, magic will be skill-based, so if you (in-game) can access someone who can teach you the Curse, you can buy the skill to cast it.  Maybe spells are Perks - you find a teacher, or some other way to learn the spell in-game, and you pay a nominal charge for knowing the spell.  It seems like it was pretty easy to learn in the source material, so either it did not cost a few hundred points, or the game was one where all wizards had hundreds of points to throw around.

 

Practically, I do not believe you will find a mechanic which results in game play similar to the source material.  Depending on which approach you take, you can likely simulate some aspects of the source material, whether "a deadly curse fatal to nearly all who are targeted by it" (instant death attack power) or "a curse that kills all targeted by it unless they are important in the narrative, in-game being PCs and some NPCs".  You could combine the two.  Maybe the Curse is an NND whose sole defense is Power Defense, and only PCs and notable NPCs are permitted to have any Power Defense - 5 points is then purchased by all PCs and any appropriate NPCs.  That would probably come closest to simulating the source material, but we're still not there because the PCs would know that they, and certain NPCs, are absolutely immune to the dreaded Killing Curse.  They would have to agree to role play like they did not know they are immune to the Curse.

 

Ultimately, this is an example of the maxim that books and movies are books and movies, and games are games.  They cannot perfectly cross over.

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Exactly.  I'm not that familiar with Harry Potter.  I only ever saw the first movie, and that was a long time ago and I didn't really care for it.  I am much more familiar with DC comics.  The Killing Curse sounds a lot like Darkseid's Omega Beams.  It's an overwhelming attack that destroys anything it hits, and it never misses -- until it targets a big name character.  Then they somehow miraculously survive.  It turns out that Batman can dodge them, and Superman can grit his teeth and tough it out.  So how do you represent this in the game?  Well there are lots of ways to do it, some of them more elegant than others.

 

Option 1 -- Main character defense.  All main characters buy an extra power to represent resistance to something like this.  Batman takes "Desperate Dodge", +15 DCV, only vs attacks that will instant kill (-2), requires dodge action (-1), 1 charge recoverable (-1 1/2).  If it's something that will definitely kill him (as in you rolled the damage and it dropped him to negative full Body), then as long as he dodged, suddenly he gets an extra +15 DCV retroactively added.  His DCV goes from (say) 15 up to 30.  Did you hit at his now higher DCV?  No?  Then he just barely dodged out of the way.  Superman buys +30 Body, only vs instant kill attacks (-2 or higher).  Main character defense is relatively cheap, as it only works versus a tiny handful of powers.  It will usually not come up, and it exists only to separate the hero from NPCs.

 

Option 2 -- A weakened "all-powerful" attack.  The power itself is supposed to be able to destroy anything.  But realistically, we don't want it killing the main people.  So we scale it down, and instances in the background of somebody dying to it are really just the result of a good roll.  The attack isn't powerful enough to blow everyone to negative full Body immediately.  It can still be powerful, but on average it won't live up to its reputation.  6D6 RKA, and the GM rules that since the average damage will kill an average person, it's "instant death" for anybody who is a background character.  No need to roll damage when targeting mooks, goons, or bystanders.  When targeting characters who have actual defenses, 

 

Option 3 -- Lucky PCs.  You just play the game straight, with an all-powerful attack that really will kill the heroes whenever it's used.  When they survive, it's because they got extremely lucky rolls.  Just remember, most of the time, they won't.

 

Option 4 -- NPC vulnerability.  NPCs have disadvantages that players don't.  For one, they're vulnerable to NPC killing attacks.  x2 Body from Killing Curses, Omega Beams, and other things that wipe out characters.  This basically ensures that people who aren't that important to the story can get killed off by suitably dangerous powers without the game having a super high PC kill count.

 

Option 5 -- GM discretion, i..e., fate, i.e., the stars are right.  +3D6 RKA, No Conscious Control (or other suitable limitation).  The power can potentially be much mightier than it normally is, but only when the fates are in agreement or something.  The power is at low ebb when the GM doesn't want it to work.  Other times it's quite powerful.  You can give control to the GM, or make it random.  Perhaps you make an activation roll, and how low you roll determines how many extra D6 the attack gets.

 

 

Do whatever you want to do with your game.  But you can't be surprised when other people choose a different option than you.  I'd probably go with some combination of all of them, myself.  I want PCs to sweat the big mega attack -- it could potentially be extremely lethal.  But I don't want them rolling up new characters every day.

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Let's suppose that the Killing Curse is going to be a major plot element in your game.  We want the players to be afraid of it, but we don't want it so lethal that the game ends.  If it gets used on them, we want the PCs to survive, but just barely.  We definitely want the players to sweat it.

 

So let's say that the average player character in the Kid Wizard Academy game has 13 Body and 10 resistant ED.  So let's make our Killing Curse start out as a 10D6 RKA, all or nothing.  On average, this won't affect one of the PCs.  The average roll is 35 Body, which will be just short of the 36 necessary to instant kill them.  Of course, it's easy to roll slightly higher than average.  This will still kill about half the characters you target with it.  So let's tweak it a bit.  Let's apply some of the options in my post above.

 

Main character defense + weakened all powerful attack.  Let's slap a limitation on it that mystic shields apply.  "Target applies both rED and Power Defense (-1/2)."  And we'll say that important characters can buy Power Defense.  Most people don't have it, even most wizards.  And we'll say that the average PC will have like 8 points of Power Defense.  So now the attack needs to roll 44 Body to kill them.  A roll that high won't be that uncommon, so they're still in danger, but they should be relatively safe.  It's not a great combat option against them (it will usually fail).

 

But now we try it out, and pretty quickly the PCs realize that it won't affect them most of the time.  We don't want them feeling like they're immune.  So let's add in some NPC vulnerability, The stars are right, and Lucky PC aspects to the mix.  We're going to make it so the PC's aren't automatically immune, so they'll feel some real danger and tension.  We'll also add some extra limitations to bring the costs down.

 

 

Killing Curse -- 8D6 RKA, all or nothing (-2), target applies both rED and Power Defense (-1/2), can be used 1 time per opponent per combat (-1), gestures and incantations (-1/2)

  plus

6D6 RKA, with same limitations as above (-4), and requires opposed KS: Magic skill check, gets 1 D6 per point of success  (-1)

210 Active Points, 39 Real Cost

 

Non-plot essential NPCs have a x2 Vulnerability to the Killing Curse.  Even important characters may have this Vulnerability after they've fulfilled their role in the story (they're no longer protected by the fates and so are subject to its full power).  The opposed KS: Magic roll means that the caster will roll off with the target.  The evil Lord Vrakdemarr has KS: Magic at 20-.  Wizard Kid has KS: Magic at 17-.  Lord Vrakdemarr rolls a 12, making his roll by 8.  Wizard Kid rolls an 11, making his roll by 6.  Lord Vrakdemarr won the roll off by 2 points, so he gets 2 additional D6 of RKA for this use of the power.  It's now a 10D6 RKA.  Had Vrakdemarr rolled better, it could go all the way up to a 14D6 RKA, which would probably have instant-killed young Wizard Kid.

 

What you've got here is a power that is potentially extremely lethal.  But through a variety of little tweaks to the power, we've kept PCs from being subjected to the full blast.  They'll probably survive, but if somebody really craps out on their KS: Magic roll, or the bad guy rolls awesome on damage, they could still get killed really fast.  We've added on an additional layer of complexity with the KS: Magic roll off, to throw players off and make it feel like they're in more danger than they actually are.  We're connecting it to something that isn't normally a combat stat (I'm presuming this game doesn't require a skill roll when you cast spells), so it's something they haven't pumped up as much as they could -- it's not a traditional defense.  There's also a great deal of variability in the potential dice damage, which means that an unlucky PC can eat it real fast.  So the PC's don't just have pure plot immunity.

 

Even at the 8D6 level, most NPCs will get slaughtered.  It's effectively instant death unless the GM rules otherwise.  If you are a PC or other important character, the spell user is going to have to beat you in a magic roll to see how many extra D6 he gets.  The GM can allow the Luck power (or other factors) to boost the target's roll.  This means it's theoretically ultra-lethal except when the GM needs the player to survive.

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34 minutes ago, massey said:

Killing Curse -- 8D6 RKA, all or nothing (-2), target applies both rED and Power Defense (-1/2), can be used 1 time per opponent per combat (-1), gestures and incantations (-1/2)

  plus

6D6 RKA, with same limitations as above (-4), and requires opposed KS: Magic skill check, gets 1 D6 per point of success  (-1)

210 Active Points, 39 Real Cost

 

This is a very intelligent power build, but it's not really the Harry Potter Killing Curse.  The killing curse does not do damage.  It either kills you or it doesn't. 

 

I don't believe in using different mechanics for NPCs, offscreen NPCs, PCs, important PCs, or whatever.  Same mechanics all the time for everyone.  Otherwise, why use a rule set at all?

 

But as I've said, this is a huge, fundamental disagreement on how the Killing Curse nominally functions (which is weird, because the books are explicit about it over and over again), how it actually functions, and how it should be used in a game.

 

The idea that since the Killing Curse doesn't kill Harry (Ron and Hermione never really face it, at least not as cast by Voldemort), it doesn't really work at all is just beyond bizarre.  But I don't mean to keep debating it.  We just aren't approaching the power from the same point of view at all.

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16 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

This is a very intelligent power build, but it's not really the Harry Potter Killing Curse.  The killing curse does not do damage.  It either kills you or it doesn't.

Well sure, but this is HERO.  Death in HERO results from BODY damage. 

If you don't want the killing curse to involve damage, how do you think it should determine lethality? 

 

12 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

We just aren't approaching the power from the same point of view at all.

Do you think you'd be able to provide a few "black box" examples of use in play?  Without considering how the power is built, show how it'd be used, what rolls are involved, what happens when it works, what happens when it fails? 

It's a lot easier to build something when you know what inputs cause what outputs. 

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

Well sure, but this is HERO.  Death in HERO results from BODY damage. 

If you don't want the killing curse to involve damage, how do you think it should determine lethality? 

 

Do you think you'd be able to provide a few "black box" examples of use in play?  Without considering how the power is built, show how it'd be used, what rolls are involved, what happens when it works, what happens when it fails? 

It's a lot easier to build something when you know what inputs cause what outputs. 

My original idea was a Ranged Killing attack that did a ton of body damage, but if it wasn't enough body damage to kill the target, then it did nothing (hence, the all or nothing in the thread title).  I wouldn't want a situation where someone just kept shooting Killing Curses at someone and gradually killed them.  So you'd either have to dodge it, or have some other defense that kept it from killing you.  I was going to use Standard Effect as well, so you didn't roll the damage, but would have a pretty good idea of who it would kill outright and who it wouldn't.  There was a lot of discussion about what All or Nothing is worth as a limitation and, more importantly to me at least, a lot of discussion saying that the Killing Curse doesn't work at all because it didn't kill Harry.

 

As far as superhero games go, I think the power is a dud.  I can't make it work because of the high BODY scores of some heroes, in addition to things like high and resistant PDs and EDs.  So I went with something else for the character I had in mind.  If I were building a Harry Potter setting, then I probably would go back to my original idea and play around with it.  But if the PCs are silly enough to challenge Voldemort and their name isn't Harry Potter, then they would almost certainly die.

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18 hours ago, Hugh Neilson said:

An AVLD/NND Does BOD with a defense that every major character has would simulate the source material quite nicely - instant death to anyone who is not a major character.  Do you have an alternative mechanism which would reflect the fact that only minor characters, offscreen characters or someone who wanted to be killed are ever killed by the "infallible" killing curse? 

IIRC combat Luck stops working if you drop it (what Dumbledore did) or if you intentionally take a bullet via the Interpose rule (as Harry did).

 

So NND(Working combat luck) could be a good Advantage to simulate this with.

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31 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

But if the PCs are silly enough to challenge Voldemort and their name isn't Harry Potter, then they would almost certainly die.

Why? By your reasoning Voldemort should be just as likely to take a random Killing Curse as Ron or Hermione during the big battle. 

And what does Ron and Hermione not facing Voldemort have to do with anything? They both face Death Eaters trying to kill them repeatedly and fight in the big end battle.

If the Killing Curse works the same for everyone else, who did or did not face Voldemort is entirely immaterial. 

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18 minutes ago, bigbywolfe said:

Why? By your reasoning Voldemort should be just as likely to take a random Killing Curse as Ron or Hermione during the big battle. 

And what does Ron and Hermione not facing Voldemort have to do with anything? They both face Death Eaters trying to kill them repeatedly and fight in the big end battle.

If the Killing Curse works the same for everyone else, who did or did not face Voldemort is entirely immaterial. 

As Order of the Phoenix explains, it is actually quite difficult to cast an Unforgivable Curse.  When Harry tries to use one on Bellatrix, it is a complete fizzle.  So it's not clear how many people can really cast the Killing Curse.  In the movies, people are shooting them left and right (even good guys; watch Molly Weasley fight Bellatrix).  In the books, the spell is more rarely employed.  I sincerely doubt Ron, Harry, or even Hermione can cast it even in Book 7, although we don't know that for sure.  We only know that Harry couldn't use Cruciatus (a lesser spell, as laid out by fake Moody in Book 4) in Book 5.

 

Anyway, this is precisely the type of debate I wished to avoid.  I think the books are very clear on how Killing Curse nominally works and that should influence how it would work mechanically.  Others disagree.

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4 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

 

This is a very intelligent power build, but it's not really the Harry Potter Killing Curse.  The killing curse does not do damage.  It either kills you or it doesn't. 

 

 

That's why there's an "all or nothing" limitation listed in there.  But thanks. :)

 

Quote

I don't believe in using different mechanics for NPCs, offscreen NPCs, PCs, important PCs, or whatever.  Same mechanics all the time for everyone.  Otherwise, why use a rule set at all?

 

But as I've said, this is a huge, fundamental disagreement on how the Killing Curse nominally functions (which is weird, because the books are explicit about it over and over again), how it actually functions, and how it should be used in a game.

 

The idea that since the Killing Curse doesn't kill Harry (Ron and Hermione never really face it, at least not as cast by Voldemort), it doesn't really work at all is just beyond bizarre.  But I don't mean to keep debating it.  We just aren't approaching the power from the same point of view at all.

 

We can distinguish between PCs and NPCs because we know the different roles they have.  PCs can do some things that NPCs can't do.  NPCs can do some things that PCs can't do.

 

Some magic isn't really appropriate for PCs.  Old Wizard Greybeard sits in his tower, casting divining magic.  He chants his spells for days on end, before finally receiving a flash of insight into the Great Prophecy.  His magic is something you wouldn't want the PCs to use, because you don't want them using every minute of their downtime to try and screw up all your plans.  Old Wizard Greybeard has awesome noncombat magic, but giving PCs the ability to see into the future (or travel through time, or whatever) could break the game.

 

On the other hand, PCs may need to be more combat effective than Old Wizard Greybeard.  Regardless, they need to be balanced for the adventure, because they're the ones who are going to be taking part in it.  The GM controls Old Wizard Greybeard, and if the GM feels like it he can just wander off anytime.

 

As far as different points of view, I thought that's exactly what this thread is about.  Of course we're approaching it from different points of view.  You asked for our help.  How would we build it?  That's going to bring in all sorts of people with different points of view.  As far as killing the main characters, the GM has a decision to make.  There are only a few choices.

 

1)  Make the Killing Curse so it slaughters absolutely anything you shoot it at.  If that happens to be a PC, then screw him.  Roll up a new character, Steve!

2)  Make the Killing Curse more likely to fail against PCs, for whatever reason.  Give them a chance to survive.

3)  Don't use the Killing Curse at all.

 

Pick whichever one you want.

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21 minutes ago, massey said:

 

That's why there's an "all or nothing" limitation listed in there.  But thanks. :)

I misunderstood that the All or Nothing was still applying to the extra dice.  Sorry.

 

But I still would never build a power that functioned differently depending on whether a character is a PC or an NPC.  I can't even really grasp why I would want to, and I certainly don't agree that is how the source material is using the power.  And I think that's a massive divergence in viewpoint that has derailed the thread somewhat.

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2 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

I misunderstood that the All or Nothing was still applying to the extra dice.  Sorry.

 

But I still would never build a power that functioned differently depending on whether a character is a PC or an NPC.  I can't even really grasp why I would want to, and I certainly don't agree that is how the source material is using the power.  And I think that's a massive divergence in viewpoint that has derailed the thread somewhat.

 

Yeah but we aren't characters in the universe.  We aren't writing Harry Potter fanfics.  We're people playing a game, and discussing how something within the universe can be represented in game rules.

 

I can't say anything about the source material, except I think it's probably like a lot of other stories.  The completely and utterly undefeatable XYZ, that promptly gets defeated by the hero is a pretty common storytelling element.  I'd even suggest that the entire purpose of having something be unbeatable is so you can have somebody beat it.  At least in heroic fiction anyway.

 

Harry Potter is a hero.  He exists in a genre where the hero is going to win in the end.

The bad guy has a magic spell that kills anyone it hits.  And it never misses, presumably.

In a story, Harry can defeat the bad guy when the never-misses auto-kill spell somehow suffers a never-gonna-happen-again, once-in-a-lifetime mishap.

 

Can you count on that happening in a game?  Probably not.  And if you do, it's gonna be pretty apparent that you just cheated to let the hero survive.  So we come up with some sort of game mechanic to keep the feeling of dread alive.  Because otherwise as soon as the players realize you're not gonna kill their characters with it, the Killing Curse becomes an empty threat.

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9 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

But as I've said, this is a huge, fundamental disagreement on how the Killing Curse nominally functions (which is weird, because the books are explicit about it over and over again), how it actually functions, and how it should be used in a game.

 

The idea that since the Killing Curse doesn't kill Harry (Ron and Hermione never really face it, at least not as cast by Voldemort), it doesn't really work at all is just beyond bizarre.  But I don't mean to keep debating it.  We just aren't approaching the power from the same point of view at all.

 

I'm taking my list from https://harrypotter.fandom.com/wiki/Killing_Curse.

 

Voldemort's successes are mostly off-screen.

 

Barty manages to kill a spider.

 

Peter Pettigrew (not exactly the greatest of wizards) kills Cedric Diggory, on Voldy's orders.

 

Voldy tries to kill Dumbledore but OOPS he misses and kills Fawkes the Phoenix who is promptly reborn.

 

Bellatrix kills a fox.

 

Thorfinn Rowle kills Gibbon accidentally - missed Lupin.

 

Snape kills Dumbledore, as planned by both.

 

Charity Burbage is killed by Voldy while a prisoner.

 

Voldemort murders Alastor Moody - accidentally, given he thought he was targeting Harry Potter.

 

Oops - a nameless Death Eater tries to kill Harry but kills Hedwig the Owl by mistake.

 

Voldy kills a bunch more NPCs, largely offscreen.  Then he kills himself trying to kill Harry.

 

Major targets?  Crabbe and Dolohov both failed to kill Hermione and Crabbe missed Ron as well.  Bellatrix managed to kill Sirius Black and Tonks, but missed Ginny.

 

Maybe the Death Curse suffers from a major OCV penalty, as it seems to have a really tough time hitting anyone who's not restrained or helpless.

 

Ultimately, however, it fails against the main characters because Rowlings wants it to fail, and succeeds against other characters because Rowlings wants it to succeed.  Massey's summary of options are the only real options for a game.

 

The books do not, to my knowledge, explicitly describe how the spell works.  They describe how some characters believe the spell works.  It then does what it does when one reads the books, and one thing it does not do is reliably kill characters central to the story.

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12 minutes ago, PamelaIsley said:

So the only way to prove the spell works as it is repeatedly described is for it to kill Harry, Ron, or Hermione?

 

Ugh.  Just ugh.  I need to preserve my remaining wits.

 

Are they the PCs or not?

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5 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

So the only way to prove the spell works as it is repeatedly described is for it to kill Harry, Ron, or Hermione?

 

Ugh.  Just ugh.  I need to preserve my remaining wits.

 

I think what folk are saying is that you have a decision where you implement the curse as described by the characters in the book (and understand that this will be a high lethality game) or you implement it as a reader of the books sees it, where it is not infallible (at least for the main protagonists which would be PCs in a game). A key problem is getting players to act in ways that characters in the books do.

 

Personally, I think Massey's solution is a good one as it leaves open the real potential of death for PCs while retaining the appearance of infallibilty for everyone else.

 

Doc

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I, and I think many others on this thread, approach the build first by asking “what should it do?”.  That has two elements. 

 

The first is “what effect does it have?”, here being “in the books, what is its impact?”.  The question of whether it does what the characters believe (instant, infallible death) or does what we see in the book (kills characters offscreen, as plot points; often misses, in which case it frequently kills someone or something else; does not kill major players in the game, only bit players).

 

The second is “how do we want it to work in-game”.  Here, there are a lot of misgivings about instant, infallible death, especially of PCs.

 

I think we have established that, however many of us may answer those questions, PamelaIsley’s vision is “instant, infallible death”.  That’s a Hero challenge as it violates two core assumptions, “no absolutes” and “every offense has a defense”.  It’s also a very powerful – unbalancing, many of us would likely say – effect.  It will, as a result, be expensive.

 

So, ignoring game balance and cost, what can we build?  I suggest:

 

30d6 Drain, BOD – this will average 105 character points, or 90 Standard Effect, halved for BOD is 52.5 average or 45 standard BOD.  That will reduce anyone of 26 BOD (22 as a standard effect) to negative BOD, killing them instantly.  To make this absolute, it is standard effect, and we agree that no one in the Potterverse can ever have more than 22 BOD.

 

As a Drain acts against Power Defense, we simply establish that no one is allowed to have Power Defense in the Potterverse.  Perhaps a major campaign arc can be discovering a spell that bestows Power Defense, and is thus a defense against the Killing Curse.

 

It either kills the target, or they recover instantly.  We’ll call that -2, but as noted elsewhere in the thread, some GMs may place the limitation lower in this context.  It also requires a Wand (OAF, -1), an Incantation (-1/4), it seems Inaccurate (half OCV, -1/4) and it’s a Beam (-1/4), for total limitations of -3 ¾.

 

That’s 300 AP, 63 real points.  Season to taste – remove some limitations if you are really good at it, or add some if you are not.  Add Reduced END if you don’t spend 30 END for each usage (the Potterverse spells seem effortless, so maybe they are all 0 END, or perhaps they draw on Wizardly END reserves).

 

The RKA AVAD Does BOD is even more expensive, so we’ll avoid that.

 

In game, the power is "dodge or die), so I do not believe we will get a game that plays like Harry Potter reads, given how common Death Eaters who can cast the curse are in the books.  Perhaps the reduced OCV will dissuade overuse, and the END cost may limit its use, but it seemed to fly around pretty freely in the source material, once its users were less afraid of life imprisonment.  But you wanted instant, infallible death.  Invoke the Absolutes rule, if desired, so there''s not even a comparison to BOD required.

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10 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

So the only way to prove the spell works as it is repeatedly described is for it to kill Harry, Ron, or Hermione?

 

Ugh.  Just ugh.  I need to preserve my remaining wits.

 

Still waiting for a single example of an onscreen death by the Curse of a major character who was not willing and eager to die.  An instant, infallible death spell available to most of the opposition seems like it would cause a lot of deaths, yet we saw very few among major characters, and even fewer caused by this spell. 

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On 3/12/2019 at 10:47 PM, Lucius said:

 

Minion: (Total: 35 Active Cost, -22 Real Cost)

Takes No STUN (60 Active Points); Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (BOD score halved; -2), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Attacks that succeed by 4 pts ignore defenses; -2), Always On (-1/2) (Real Cost: 11)

plus

No Hit Locations (10 Active Points); Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (BOD score halved; -2), Side Effects, Side Effect occurs automatically whenever Power is used (Attacks that succeed by 4 pts ignore defenses; -2) (Real Cost: 2)

plus

Susceptibility: Any attack succeeding by 3 or more 3d6 damage Instant, An attack succceeding by 2 does 2d6, 1 does 1d6, Standard Effect: 1 BOD per die (-25 Active Points) (Real Cost: -25)

plus

Accidental Change: Hors de combat: incapacitating attack rolled at -8 (-10 Active Points) (Real Cost: -10)

 

Applying this power to a character means:

 

Immunities: Character takes no STUN damage, cannot be stunned or knocked out, nor impaired or disabled, nor is the Hit Location chart used to modify damage.

 

Defense: Cut to 1/3

 

BOD: Cut to 1/2, also considered dead at 0 BOD

 

When attacked: Any to hit roll that succeeds by

1 pt: does 1 extra BOD damage (even if did not penetrate defenses)

2 pt: does 2 BOD damage over and above the damage done by the attack if any

3 pt: does 3 "bonus" BOD damage as above

> 3 pt: as above but ignore defenses

 

If someone actually wants to take a minion alive: an attack with a -8 penalty and appropriate description (targetting the head for a knockout, the legs to immobilize, etc) will leave a minion out of the fight but still alive.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is nosing around for the mini-onions it keeps hearing about

 

Did you post this to share it here only, or did you want me to include it on the linked to page of my website along with the other options discussed?

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38 minutes ago, Killer Shrike said:

 

Did you post this to share it here only, or did you want me to include it on the linked to page of my website along with the other options discussed?

 

I wasn't expecting you to want to host it on your website; if you wish to I have no objection, although credit might be nice.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The disappointed palindromedary finds no mini-onions

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21 hours ago, PamelaIsley said:

So the only way to prove the spell works as it is repeatedly described is for it to kill Harry, Ron, or Hermione?

 

Ugh.  Just ugh.  I need to preserve my remaining wits.

 

Well, if the spell DID work as it is repeatedly described as working, one or more of those characters would in fact have been killed by it.

 

The fact that they were not in fact killed by it proves that the spell does NOT in fact work as it is described as working.

 

It really is that simple.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

If I repeatedly describe palindromedaries as having three heads and you only ever see palindromedaries that have only two heads, then no matter how many times I repeatedly describe them as having three, it remains the case that a palindromedary in fact has two heads.

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On March 13, 2019 at 2:19 PM, PamelaIsley said:

 In the books, the spell is more rarely employed. 

 

 

If you are still entertaining questions, may I ask-- seriously; I'm not really "up" on Harry Potter-- why you think that is?  To clarify: I would like to know what reasons you think might lead to the spell not being used as a routine, go-to option of the bad guys.

 

Knowing that might help get a build that more closely does what you want it to do or one that feels more like what you're trying for.

 

 

 

Duke

 

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