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Powers [Speed Tricks] Question

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

But the brick already paid for the STR needed to rend concrete like it was mud!  But the speedster already paid for the SPD, DEX, and movement needed to perform mundane tasks at extreme speed! 

Not being able to apply powers in simple and logical ways means you're not getting what you paid for.  And on top of that, just daring to try destroyed that pier! 

But then what stops a player saying I paid all these points to be super fast so I should be able to run up walls or across water for no extra points. Or the Brick saying I should be able to punch down a door-automatically-no dice damage because I already paid points for being strong? Of course reasonable players wouldn’t ask this but this is a logical extension to your point  of what should be free and what should be paid for. And again I think the “You get what you paid for” was taken far too extreme. (And this was way before Steve Long).

 

Among other things in this game, what is free and what should be paid for is more of an Art than Science and varies which each group.

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9 minutes ago, Ninja-Bear said:

But then what stops a player saying I paid all these points to be super fast so I should be able to run up walls or across water for no extra points. Or the Brick saying I should be able to punch down a door-automatically-no dice damage because I already paid points for being strong? Of course reasonable players wouldn’t ask this but this is a logical extension to your point  of what should be free and what should be paid for.

That's not a logical extension of my point. 

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2 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

But then what stops a player saying I paid all these points to be super fast so I should be able to run up walls or across water for no extra points. Or the Brick saying I should be able to punch down a door-automatically-no dice damage because I already paid points for being strong? Of course reasonable players wouldn’t ask this but this is a logical extension to your point  of what should be free and what should be paid for. And again I think the “You get what you paid for” was taken far too extreme. (And this was way before Steve Long).

 

Among other things in this game, what is free and what should be paid for is more of an Art than Science and varies which each group.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

That's not a logical extension of my point. 

Oh yes it is. You stated that a character had paid X points in a power and therefore should have so much other stuff for free.  Therefore a player can therefore logically ask why if my Speedster is so fast, why can’t I therefore run across water for free?  What’s your answer going to be? A better Hero system quirk is that a  character can buy life support versus Intense  Heat yet (barring anything else) can get hurt by a 1D6 Blast-fire. So the guy can walk into a volcano no problem but a torch still hurts him? (Yes this is a more extreme example).  So should a character that spends X points on a defense should have Life Support for free? Why not?

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2 hours ago, Greywind said:

Because the rules don't allow it.

 

I think it's a fair question although somewhat hyperbolically stated.  There has to be a cutoff point between what makes sense (which is highly open to interpretation) and what doesn't and what costs points.  The Power skill seems like a good fit as designed for one-off power stunts with the caveat that if a character continues to use the same stunt over and over they should really buy the power.

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1 minute ago, sentry0 said:

 

I think it's a fair question although somewhat hyperbolically stated.  There has to be a cutoff point between what makes sense (which is highly open to interpretation) and what doesn't and what costs points.  The Power skill seems like a good fit as designed for one-off power stunts with the caveat that if a character continues to use the same stunt over and over they should really buy the power.

Thanks,  that’s the point I was going for.

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2 hours ago, Greywind said:

Because the rules don't allow it.

True and by the rules “you get what you paid for” doesn’t necessarily allow you with super strength to just carve your name in granite either. (GM discretion of course)  

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8 hours ago, sentry0 said:

 

I think it's a fair question although somewhat hyperbolically stated.  There has to be a cutoff point between what makes sense (which is highly open to interpretation) and what doesn't and what costs points.  The Power skill seems like a good fit as designed for one-off power stunts with the caveat that if a character continues to use the same stunt over and over they should really buy the power.

 

High heat is an environmental effect. Life Support generally covers environmental effects. The torch is usually bought as a function of a RKA, which Life Support does not protect against. And honestly, aspects of Ninja-Bear's volcano should also be defined as a KA, which Life Support would also not protect against.

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5 hours ago, Greywind said:

 

High heat is an environmental effect. Life Support generally covers environmental effects. The torch is usually bought as a function of a RKA, which Life Support does not protect against. And honestly, aspects of Ninja-Bear's volcano should also be defined as a KA, which Life Support would also not protect against.

Life Support in general is terrible.  It protects you from things that say Life Support protects you from, which means that the person who buys Life Support has no clue how much it will protect them from.  Great argument starter! 

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20 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

But then what stops a player saying I paid all these points to be super fast so I should be able to run up walls or across water for no extra points.

 

I don't know where I first heard it, or if it's even science, but for decades now, if you can break 30m/s, I give you running on water.

 

 

20 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Or the Brick saying I should be able to punch down a door-automatically-no dice damage because I already paid points for being strong?

 

I do this, too, if it's just a regular door.  This is one of those instances where-- though I don't generally use it-- the Standard Effects rule is a good guideline for what you can "just do."  For your bricks, keep a mental note of both "full STR" and "casual STR" BODY damage values under standard effects.  The players just like being able to state "I blow though the door and...." For what it's worth, I tend to round it down just a tiny bit to ensure it doesn't become overpowered.  Let's face it, since "Haymaker" moved from "a certain kind of punch" to "multiply your damage with any kind of attack," Bricks kind of got their schtick watered down.  Oh yeah, they can do this and that and the other, but still: it really doesn't hurt much to let them casually run through the front door of a trap house without rolling for damage.

 

 

 

20 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Of course reasonable players wouldn’t ask this but this is a logical extension to your point  of what should be free and what should be paid for.

 

I agree.  However, I also put forward the idea that this is _not_ something there needs to be rules for, as it's going to vary not just in validity or usefulness from group to group, as you note with your "more Art than Science" comment: it's not going to appeal as much to some as others, and pinning it down and making it a rule isn't going help anyone, I don't think, because there are _always_ those "but what if" or "what about when" cases.  In fact, it is the entire nature of these sorts of conversations from group to group (until recently, I was in three different groups, and each played things differently) and then arguing about what is a Power Skill and what is a Power, and why Power Skill when Power Pool provides the same thing with finite limits, etc, etc--

 

For those reasons, and others, I have never adopted Power Skill at any of my tables: the thing it's best at is being power mixer in a toilet at a chili cook off: it _really_ stirs up some _stuff_, and I don't get together with friends to argue for four to six hours: the GM adjudicates on a case by case basis if you can or if you can't, and I haven't really had any complaints about that I can recall.

 

 

20 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

And again I think the “You get what you paid for” was taken far too extreme.

 

Amen, Brother.

 

 

 

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The other side of the coin is "you don't get it if you didn't pay for it."

 

There needs to be discussion about expectations on both sides of the screen about what some will cover and what it won't. If it comes up that something doesn't fit the base criteria of those expectations than the default falls to what the GM wants in his game.

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I'm of the mind it's the GM you should be asking.  Some GMs will brush it off as a parlour trick of little consequence and let you do it.  Actually, I think most experienced GMs will let you do it (including me).  The big problem would only be if you abuse this story telling kindness or play with a GM who has be burned by this before. 

 

As an example, say the GM lets a speedster clean up his place before guests come in.  No big deal right?  But then the player abuses this to clean up a crime scene so they can get away with a crime. At that point, the player is majorly affecting the game and should pay points for it but will complain comparing it to cleaning their apartment.

 

So my advice, is ask the GM and if they allow it, don't abuse it.

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3 minutes ago, dsatow said:

I'm of the mind it's the GM you should be asking.  Some GMs will brush it off as a parlour trick of little consequence and let you do it.  Actually, I think most experienced GMs will let you do it (including me).  The big problem would only be if you abuse this story telling kindness or play with a GM who has be burned by this before. 

 

As an example, say the GM lets a speedster clean up his place before guests come in.  No big deal right?  But then the player abuses this to clean up a crime scene so they can get away with a crime. At that point, the player is majorly affecting the game and should pay points for it but will complain comparing it to cleaning their apartment.

 

So my advice, is ask the GM and if they allow it, don't abuse it.

Why is a superhuman level of SPD, DEX, and movement not sufficient to clean at superhuman speed?  If that's not sufficient, how does one clean at superhuman speed and what does that say about cleaning at normal speed?  Does a housekeeper have to buy a Transform with Extra Time? 

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First, let me say I wouldn't try to tell a particular game group what is allowable or not in their game. If GM and players are all on the same page, whatever makes the game more fun for them is what they should do.

 

Speaking more generally, however, a housekeeper doesn't buy Transform with Extra Time, because he/she isn't doing something unusual at other than normal speed. Supers have extraordinary abilities which allow them to do extraordinary things that aren't possible in real life. That's why they pay for them with Character Points.

 

When you buy a superhuman level of SPD and DEX, what you're actually buying is game-mechanic Characteristics. They don't necessarily cover everything you might like to group under "speed" and "dexterity." They have certain abilities associated with them automatically as a package, while other abilities aren't. They don't and shouldn't mean the character can automatically do every possible coordination-dependent task. The Flash is the definition of speedy reflexes. Does that mean he should naturally be able to do quadruple back flips off a wall like Spider-Man? Bounce a big metal disc off five sequential objects like Captain America? Thread a needle with a shot arrow like Green Arrow?

 

I remember a similar discussion on these forums quite a few years ago, regarding what you should be able to automatically do with high STR. One participant who played football linebacker position in college observed that he was 'way stronger than his quarterback, but the quarterback could throw a football vastly farther than him, and with greater accuracy. A lot more goes into performing exceptional tasks than one defined scale can measure.

 

But to reiterate, if your group wants to more broadly define what any of these Characteristics can do for free, it's your game. It probably won't break if you do that. ;)

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9 hours ago, dsatow said:

As an example, say the GM lets a speedster clean up his place before guests come in.  No big deal right?  But then the player abuses this to clean up a crime scene so they can get away with a crime. At that point, the player is majorly affecting the game and should pay points for it but will complain comparing it to cleaning their apartment.

 

I think the relevant difference (at least with this example) is the consequences for failure. The guests may not notice (or care) if there is dust under the couch or smudges on the coffee table, but the cops will be looking everywhere for evidence and dusting for prints.

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12 hours ago, Gnome BODY (important!) said:

Why is a superhuman level of SPD, DEX, and movement not sufficient to clean at superhuman speed?  If that's not sufficient, how does one clean at superhuman speed and what does that say about cleaning at normal speed?  Does a housekeeper have to buy a Transform with Extra Time? 

 

The main problem is a martial artist with the same SPD and Dex and with half the movement, say a boxer, should they be allowed to clean an apartment at superhuman speed?

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9 minutes ago, dsatow said:

 

The main problem is a martial artist with the same SPD and Dex and with half the movement, say a boxer, should they be allowed to clean an apartment at superhuman speed?

a very small one? 😛

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3 hours ago, dsatow said:

The main problem is a martial artist with the same SPD and Dex and with half the movement, say a boxer, should they be allowed to clean an apartment at superhuman speed?

Yes, of course.  Though the speedster would win a cleaning race. 

I feel I need to clarify right now that you might be thinking "This martial artist is a mundane human, how does he do anything at superhuman speed?" and I'm thinking "This martial artist has a speedster's SPD, DEX and half their movement?  He's just a less-fast speedster who knows Kung-Fu." 

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6 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

I think the relevant difference (at least with this example) is the consequences for failure. The guests may not notice (or care) if there is dust under the couch or smudges on the coffee table, but the cops will be looking everywhere for evidence and dusting for prints.

To me it's more the skillset required. 

Anyone can clean a room decently, and unless they're sloppy about it nobody but a perfectionist is going to complain. 

Anybody can try to destroy evidence, but the cops are a heck of a lot better at finding evidence than John Q Notamastercriminal is at getting rid of it.  A fast mundane cleaning is still as likely to leave evidence as a mundane-speed mundane cleaning. 

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