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The Cost of Affecting Multiple Game Elements with Adjustment Powers


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There was something that I was curious about and I was hoping that those among you with greater system mastery than I have could enlighten me.  The Advantage, Expanded Effect, allows an Adjustment Power to affect more than one game element at a time as a +1/2 Advantage.  This is often paired with the Advantage, Variable Effect, also a +1/2 Advantage, used to vary which game element was adjusted.  In 5th Edition, the Advantage, Variable Effect, roughly did the same thing as both 6th Edition Advantages: for +1/4, any one game element (Characteristics or Powers) of a designated special affect could be adjusted; for +1/2, any two game elements of a designated special effect could be adjusted; for +1 any four game elements of a designated special effect could be adjusted; and for +2, all game elements of a designated special effect could be adjusted.

 

My curiosity is regarding the significant Advantage cost of increasing the number of game elements simultaneously affected by an Adjustment Power.  5th edition only costed (roughly) +1/4 Advantage to adjust an additional game element; whereas, 6th Edition, the cost is increased to a +1/2 Advantage to adjust an additional element.  Why the price hike?  Was there a significant balance issue that needed to be addressed?  Just curious.  Thank you.  

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  • Zephrosyne changed the title to The Cost of Affecting Multiple Game Elements with Adjustment Powers

The cost of many Characteristics was lowered in 6th and the rules for Negative Characteristics were changed drastically so that the target was rendered helpless with much less power.

 

Adjustment powers weren't changed directly to compensate for this but many of the advantages associated with them were. So you got increases to Delayed Return Rate, Variable to Expanded Effect and Variable Advantage and the elimination of Increased Maximum(though it was added in CC).

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I thought it was appropriately costed in 5th (mostly), but the incompleteness of it bothered me.  There are two separate options that are being conflated somewhat:  the flexibility of the effect, and the number of effects.  For the base effect of an Adjustment Power, you can buy say 60 points to affect one specific power or characteristic.  Say 6d6 STR Drain (assuming the cost hasn't changed in 6th).  If we want to put advantages on this power to make it affect other things, we need to ask a few questions:

 

a) How much of an advantage is it to affect any One of STR, CON, DEX, BODY?

b) How much of an advantage is it to affect STR and CON simultaneously?

c) How much of an advantage is it to affect any Two of STR, CON, DEX, BODY?

d) How much of an advantage is it to affect STR, CON, and DEX simultaneously?

e) How much of an advantage is it to affect any Three of STR, CON, DEX, BODY?

f) How much of an advantage is it to affect STR, CON, DEX, and  BODY simultaneously?

 

IMO, (a) is worth about +1/4, and if this has gone up to +1/2 in 6th for a good reason, then I'm OK with that.

(b) should be worth at least +1/2.  And if (a) is already +1/2, then it could be that (b) should be more.

(c) should obviously cost more than either (a) or (b).  And (d) should cost even more, and (e) more still, and (f) even more than that.

 

(g) How much of an advantage is it to affect any One of STR, CON, DEX, BODY, SPD, PD, ED, REC, END, STUN?

Clearly, this should cost more than (a).

 

(h) How much of an advantage is it to affect any One of the Characteristics?

Clearly, this is worth even more than (g).

 

(i) How much of an advantage is it to affect any Two of STR, CON, DEX, BODY, SPD, PD, ED, REC, END, STUN?

Clearly, this should cost more than (c) and more than (g).

 

etc.

 

I kept it to characteristics to keep it simple (!), but when you start adding such advantages to Adjustment powers vs power, it gets even more complicated.  "Any One power of a particular SFX"  Fine.  How about "Any One power of either of two SFX"?  How about "Any One power of ANY SFX"?

 

And then there's the issue of a STR Drain - purchased "normally" with no SFX-based advantages - having an equal effect on BigStrongMan's muscles and SteelMan's power armor.

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Thank you for the responses.  One thing, PhilFleishmann, thought there isn't an option for "Any One power of ANY SFX," there is an Advantage in the Advanced Player's Guide (pg. 55) to let you affect multiple special effects with Adjustment Powers.  You can affect up to 2 special effects for +1/4 Advantage.  For a greater Advantage, more special effects can be adjusted.  Steve accidentally named the new Advantage, Variable Special Effects; upon realizing that there was already an Advantage with the same name in the Character Creation book, he changed the name of the Advantage to Varying Special Effects (or something like that).  Incidentally, there is also an Advantage, Multiple Special Effects, in 5th Edition Revised (pg. 112) that also does this.  Thanks again. 

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If I buy 8d6 Drain, half to STR and half to CON, that costs 80 points.  That's bad design, as I can buy 4d6 Drain STR and CON at the same time for 60.

 

What if, instead, I buy 4d6 STR Drain, 1/2 END (50 AP) + 4d6 CON Drain so I get the same result at the same END cost (for 80 AP instead of 60)?

 

If we apply Jointly Linked as -1/2 to the larger power (33 points) and -1/4 to the smaller (32 points), we get a 65 point cost for 4d6 STR Drain linked to 4d6 CON drain, at the same END cost.   That seems to suggest that we should at least allow "Jointly Linked" as -1/2 to the greater power and -1/4 to the lesser power as a default, or that the price of affecting two game elements at the same time is much too low.  If we allowed both powers "Jointly Linked" at -1/2, we would end up with 33 + 27 = 60 points.  Maybe that is the answer (with GM judgement to be applied when one of the Linked powers is substantially lower cost than the other).  That would suggest +1/2 is reasonable to affect two game elements at the same time (or to combine any two roughly equal attacks into one).

 

By contrast, choosing between a 4d6 CON drain and a 4d6 STR drain could be done in a Multipower for 48 points, and costs 4 END.  Let's make it x 1 1/2 END so the END cost is 6.  Now it costs 32 (ignoring rounding issues)    +1/2 to select any characteristic means 60 points, for the same 6 END.   For 60 points, I can have 12.5 slots in that Multipower (40 + 12.5x4 = 50 for a total of 90/1.5 = 60).  Paying for 12.5 slots seems like a reasonable compromise for "unlimited slots".

 

If we made it a VPP, we would need a 27 point pool, a 20 point control cost, Cosmic (+2).  Every power must be x 1 1/2 END, so that drops the control cost to 40 - even -1/2 for "only drains" (the book sets drains and aids at -1) would drop the control cost below 33, so the VPP model would be cheaper.  Make that -1 1/2 and we get a 20 point control cost, so 47 points in total.  A +1/4 for "choose one ability with the same SFX" or "choose one characteristic" would be 50 points and 5 END versus 47 points and 6 END.  That seems to put +1/4 in the ballpark, at least.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/4/2020 at 8:28 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

By contrast, choosing between a 4d6 CON drain and a 4d6 STR drain could be done in a Multipower for 48 points, and costs 4 END.  Let's make it x 1 1/2 END so the END cost is 60.

 

Hugh, I think you mean the END cost is 6.

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On 2/4/2020 at 8:28 AM, Hugh Neilson said:

If I buy 8d6 Drain, half to STR and half to CON, that costs 80 points.  That's bad design, as I can buy 4d6 Drain STR and CON at the same time for 60.

 

What if, instead, I buy 4d6 STR Drain, 1/2 END (50 AP) + 4d6 CON Drain so I get the same result at the same END cost (for 80 AP instead of 60)?

 

If we apply Jointly Linked as -1/2 to the larger power (33 points) and -1/4 to the smaller (32 points), we get a 65 point cost for 4d6 STR Drain linked to 4d6 CON drain, at the same END cost.   That seems to suggest that we should at least allow "Jointly Linked" as -1/2 to the greater power and -1/4 to the lesser power as a default, or that the price of affecting two game elements at the same time is much too low.  If we allowed both powers "Jointly Linked" at -1/2, we would end up with 33 + 27 = 60 points.  Maybe that is the answer (with GM judgement to be applied when one of the Linked powers is substantially lower cost than the other).  That would suggest +1/2 is reasonable to affect two game elements at the same time (or to combine any two roughly equal attacks into one).

 

By contrast, choosing between a 4d6 CON drain and a 4d6 STR drain could be done in a Multipower for 48 points, and costs 4 END.  Let's make it x 1 1/2 END so the END cost is 6.  Now it costs 32 (ignoring rounding issues)    +1/2 to select any characteristic means 60 points, for the same 6 END.   For 60 points, I can have 12.5 slots in that Multipower (40 + 12.5x4 = 50 for a total of 90/1.5 = 60).  Paying for 12.5 slots seems like a reasonable compromise for "unlimited slots".

 

If we made it a VPP, we would need a 27 point pool, a 20 point control cost, Cosmic (+2).  Every power must be x 1 1/2 END, so that drops the control cost to 40 - even -1/2 for "only drains" (the book sets drains and aids at -1) would drop the control cost below 33, so the VPP model would be cheaper.  Make that -1 1/2 and we get a 20 point control cost, so 47 points in total.  A +1/4 for "choose one ability with the same SFX" or "choose one characteristic" would be 50 points and 5 END versus 47 points and 6 END.  That seems to put +1/4 in the ballpark, at least.

 

 

 

 And if your target has 5 or 10 or even 15 or more points of Power Defense then that 8d6 Drain gets better and better utility by comparison. You  should take into account the possible defenses of your target. Pretty spot on analysis otherwise.

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On 2/3/2020 at 10:23 AM, Grailknight said:

Adjustment powers weren't changed directly to compensate for this but many of the advantages associated with them were. So you got increases to Delayed Return Rate,

 

The change to delayed return rate had nothing to do with changes to characteristic costs.  [I don't believe they had anything to do with other changes to adjustment powers either, other than adding some characteristics to the "costs double to adjust" pool, but I am certain on delayed return rate.]

 

Delayed Return Rate from a per turn recovery to per minute basically means "for the rest of the combat", so that was costed higher to reflect its greater utility over longer timeframes.

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