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proposed rule changes

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  • Orion Ussner Kidder
    i ve compiled all the stuff Palmer and i have discussed this week so that everyone can see and comment on it. please express any thoughts that come to mind. we
    Message 1 of 5 , May 1 7:01 PM
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      i've compiled all the stuff Palmer and i have discussed this week so
      that everyone can see and comment on it. please express any thoughts
      that come to mind.

      we started with two things: attribute enhacements are too cheap, and
      super-strength is too powerful. these two things lead us to eliminate
      all the super-strength rules (increased damage, lifting, etc.).

      while on the subject of attributes, we felt that an integrated, holistic
      point-buy system offered more strategic flexibility in character
      creation. so, instead of buying one's intial stats with APPs (p 6), you
      buy them with honest to bob EPs. that way, if you really want to, you
      can save a few for feats and/or powers later. past that, all the changes
      are in Feats and Powers.

      go to the bathroom and let the cat out now, 'cause this is long...


      FEATS
      -----

      -the 'sets were made for trashing' feats are an attempt to give some of
      the fun of super-damage (i.e., ripping up whole city blocks and
      basically demolishing large sections of city... while protecting it, of
      course!) without letting the HP damage skyrocket.

      TRASH THE JOINT [General] new!
      When your character goes to work, it's the scenery that suffers.
      Prerequisite: Str 20
      Benefit: When this character makes a melee attack against an inanimate
      object, he may apply double his strength modifier to his damage roll.
      This feat does not work against any object held or worn by another
      being, nor any object which is in motion relative to the character, such
      as an automobile driving past him, but it does work against
      fixed-position objects with limited motion, like an automated
      machine-gun turret. The feat can be applied to objects that are not in
      motion relative to the character, such as the body of a moving tank
      while he is standing on top of it.
      Special: This multiplier is applied to the Strength modifier, not the
      damage roll.
      Normal: When a character makes a melee attack against an inanimate
      object, he applies his normal Strength modifier to damage.

      DEMOLISH THE JOINT [General] new
      Your character is a one-man wrecking crew.
      Prerequisite: Str 24, Trash the Joint
      Benefit: This feat increases your character’s damage bonus against
      inanimte objects to triple. In all other ways, it functions just like
      Trash the Joint.



      -we also decided to alter power lifting to give characters who really
      want the option of carrying battleships in their bare hands or holding
      up mountains to be able to sink a few more EPs into it. again, we want
      to give PCs all the fantastic strength options that we know and love
      from comics while still keeping the damage in a reasonable range.

      POWER LIFTING [General] altered
      Your character has developed her muscles to a point where she can haul
      and lift much more than her strength actually allows.
      Prerequisite: Str 15+
      Benefit: This feat doubles your character’s lifting capacity. You may
      take it multiple times. Each time counts as another x2. (Rememer that
      multipliers are added. For example, taking this feat three times grants
      a x6 to one’s ability to lift tremendous weights.) Finally, when the
      character carries a Medium or Heavy load, her movement and dexterity
      penalties are as follows:
      use the penalties below rather than the usual ones:
      Load Max Dex Bonus Check Penalty
      Medium +5 -2
      Heavy +2 -4


      -if players really desperately need to do horrendous amounts of damage
      with their punches, my suggestion is that they take Energy Attack:
      Consussive with no range. the 'touch' attack becomes a punch, and
      instead of a flat +16 (or whatever) PCs have to pay for a number of
      additional damage dice.


      POWERS
      ------

      -given that strength, and to a lesser degree dexterity and constitution,
      are as influential to the game as they are, we decided to make the basic
      attribute enhancement power a little more expensive. the sliding scale
      is meant to give players lots of options in the 'human' range of
      attributes (up to 23) while simultaneously making it a little more
      difficult to get to the really fantastic scores.

      ENHANCED ABILITY [ Fiat ] altered
      Prerequisite: None
      Power List: General
      Range: Self
      Activation Cost: None
      Sustained Cost: None
      Time Taken: None
      Base Cost: Variable
      A character with this power may add a permanent bonus to any one of the
      six ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence,
      Wisdom, and Charisma) and, if his adjusted score is high enough, a bonus
      to all related skills, checks and rolls. You buy ability points on a
      sliding scale.
      Attribute: 1 – 20 EP Cost: 1EP per point
      Attribute: 21 – 30 EP Cost: 2EP per point
      Attribute: 31 – 40 EP Cost: 3EP per point
      Attribute: 41 + EP EP Cost: 4EP per point
      N.B.: This power is available to Baseline characters, but since scores
      of 24+ are considered ‘super-human,’ Baselines may not raise scores
      above 23.



      -damage reduction, in the form of Natural DR and Force Fields, is
      surprisingly cheap, and the reason for that is that with super-damage,
      you need it! the corollary is, of course, that you need super-damage to
      ever touch someone with a high DR. once you alter one, you really have
      to do the same to the other. so, we reduced the DR powers to reflect the
      lack of super-damage. our aim was to give players a few more strategic
      options in DR, and give them a good deal of protection for around the
      same price, but have that protection be limited. some of the Force Field
      power is exactly the same, much is different, read carefully.


      FORCE FIELD [ Fiat ] altered
      Prerequisite: None
      Powers List: General
      Range: Self
      Activation Cost: None/1 PP
      Sustained Cost: None/1 PP per round per person (see below)
      Time Taken: Free action (to activate)
      Base Cost: Variable
      The character is capable of generating an invisible protective field
      around his body. This field prevents physical contact with one of four1
      forms of physical harm: conventional, ballistic, energy-based, and magical.

      [note: palmer and i differed on our interpretation of how magic ought to
      function in-game. i maintain that it's something different that should
      have its own dynamic; palmer asserts that magic should be treated like
      any other energy attack. if you so desire, you can easily lift the magic
      out of this power. it's really up to the GM.]

      Conventional damage includes fists, rocks, baseball bats, or arrows.
      This type of field blocks ‘slow’ attack, those that are propelled by the
      human body or by a simple machine such as a harpoon gun rather than by
      firearms or explosives. It also blocks Energy Attack: Concussion (p143).
      Finally, Conventional Force Fields prevent contact with the body,
      thereby rendering touch attacks totally ineffectual.

      Ballistic includes bullets, rockets, or grenade fragments. This type of
      field blocks ‘fast’ attacks, those that are propelled by explosives and
      other forms of chemical combustion, including firearms.

      Energy-based includes things like electricity, fire, radiation or
      lazers. This includes all forms of the power Energy Attack except
      Concussive (p143). Energy force fields only partially block magical
      attacks (see below).

      Magical includes any form of attack that directs magic energies at a
      target. This can be ‘pure’ magical damage (eg, a Magic Missile), or
      ‘mixed’ (eg, a Fireball). This type of force field does not block any
      magical effect that is not damage-causing.

      Magical attacks that mimic a form of energy cause damage that is half
      magic energy and half mundane energy. A Fireball that does a total of
      40HP, for example, does 20HP of heat damage (blocked by Force Field:
      Energy), and 20HP of magical damage (blocked by Force Field: Magic). A
      ‘pure’ magical energy attack is only blocked by a Magical Force Field.
      N.B.: A Magical Force Field is almost always the result of a magical
      effect. Any technological explanation must be cleared with the GM.

      Atmospheric interchange continues normally across the barrier of all
      Force Fields, so it offers no protection against smoke or dangerous
      gases. A Force Field’s full Damage Reduction value is applied against
      every attack in a round. Activating a Force Field is a free action.

      Along with the four forms of DR, there are two sub-types of Force
      Fields: active and passive. An active field is less expensive than a
      passive field, but characters must consciously raise and maintain them
      at a steady PP drain. A passive field is always ‘active,’ and costs
      nothing, but is much weaker than an active field.

      For every 1 EP invested in a Passive Force Field of any kind, the field
      will grant the character a DR score of 1. For every 1 EP invested in an
      Active Force Field of any kind, the field will grant the character a DR
      score of 2.

      A character with a force field may choose to extend it to one other
      medium-sized creature close enough to touch (as a free action), but
      doing so cuts the field’s DR in half (round down in the case of odd
      numbers).

      For example: The Pittsburgh Protector has an Active Ballistic Force
      Field worth 10 EPs, granting him a DR score of 20. As machine-gun fire
      rakes a street, the Protector grabs an innocent bystander and extends
      his field around that bystander. Each of them is now protected by a DR
      rating of 10.

      -i added the following two enhancements because, hey, the text opened
      the door for them i thought they'd be fun. they're unrelated, really,
      but i thought i'd toss 'em in there.

      Enhancement: Improve Extended Field Strength new
      Cost: 2 EPs
      When a character extends his force field to another person, the field
      now retains its full DR rating, but the character must pay for each
      field (eg, if protecting himself and someone else, the cost is 2PP/round).

      Enhancement: Enlarge Extended Field new
      Cost: 2 EPs
      For every 2 EPs spent, this enhancement grants the ability to protect
      one additional, medium-sized creature by extending the character’s Force
      Field. Doing this reduces everyone’s protection fractionally. For
      example, if there are three people protected by a field, each gets 1/3
      of the DR rating (rounding down). If there are four, they all get a 1/4.
      This power is fully compatible with Improve Extended Field Strength.



      -we wanted to differentiate Force Fields from Natural DR, so we went
      with a whole different way of paying for a getting 'partial protection'
      for this one. i'm still not sure if we went a little too far, and i'm
      fairly certain i've done the math wrong for the costs. the idea was that
      'no vulnerability' was x4 as expensive as the 'common vulnerability',
      and the two steps in between are x2 and x3 respectively. however, once
      you have Natural DR that's costs 3EP/2DR, the math becomes very awkward
      (to my mind) i'd be happy to make them a little more or less cheap to
      alleviate this. palmer thinks the math is fine. thoughts would be
      appreciated.

      NATURAL DAMAGE REDUCTION [ Fiat ]
      Prerequisite: None
      Power List: General
      Range: Self
      Activation Cost: None
      Sustained Cost: None
      Time Taken: None
      Base Cost: Variable

      A character with Natural Damage Reduction has some sort of protective
      layer, shell, force, or carapace that protects him from incoming harm.
      This armour need not be an actual part of the character’s body, but it
      is permanent. A player must choose which form his character’s natural
      armor takes. This decision, once made, is irrevocable.

      Most Natural DR has a vulnerability to a particular form of attack. The
      rarer the vulnerability, the more expensive the protection. Each form of
      Natural has four costs listed by vulnerability.

      The least expensive is a ‘Common’ vulnerability. This includes any kind
      of attack that is easily available in the everyday world. It can be one
      of the basic attack types: conventional, ballistic, energy-based,
      magical (see Force Fields), it can be a common substance or material
      like wood, metal, or stone, and it can even be a little goofier, like
      anything that’s yellow, or stuff that’s smeared in garlic.

      The next most expensive is ‘Uncommon.’ This includes things that are not
      particularly difficult to find, but are unlikely to be just lying
      around. It could include a particular kind of energy attack (fire,
      electricity, etc.), a particular form of weapon (knives & swords,
      high-caliber bullets), or a specific kind of common item (rowan wood,
      iron, granite).

      ‘Rare’ vulnerabilities are items that have to be sought out and found
      quite deliberately. They are often so specific that they are fashioned
      for the purpose of bypassing a creature's protection. This category
      includes things like silvered weapons or unforged iron. It can also be
      fictional substances such as a particular kind of radioactive material
      that, say, glows green and can be found in the remains of a destroyed
      planet.

      The most expensive kind of DR has no vulnerabilities at all.

      The available varieties of Natural Damage Reduction (along with their
      respective DR ratings) are:
      • Subtle
      Subtle natural DR is derived from some quality of the character’s own
      flesh. Although it provides less protection than other kinds of natural
      armor, it has the benefit of being completely invisible. Common:
      1EP/1DR, Uncommon 2EP/1DR, Rare: 3EP/1DR, None: 4EP/1DR

      • Hide
      The character’s skin is tough and leathery (or furry), like that of an
      animal. Add 2d10 pounds to the character’s weight and subtract 1 from
      his Charisma score. Hide armor has no unusual strengths or weaknesses.
      Common 2EP/3DR, Uncommon: 4EP/3DR, Rare: 6EP/3DR, 8EP/3DR.

      • Smooth/Chitinous
      The character’s skin is hard and smooth, like the chitinous exoskeleton
      of an insect or the scales of a lizard. Add 3d10 pounds to the
      character’s weight and subtract 1 from his Charisma score. Chitinous
      armor has no unusual strengths or weaknesses. Common 2EP/3DR, Uncommon:
      4EP/3DR, Rare: 6EP/3DR, 8EP/3DR.

      • Stony
      The character’s skin is rock-hard, craggy, and impossible to mistake for
      normal flesh. Multiply the character’s weight by 2, add +1 to his
      unarmed melee damage, and subtract 2 from his Charisma score. The
      weakness of stony natural armor is that it offers only half protection
      (round down) against corrosive attacks. Common: 1EP/2DR, Uncommon:
      1EP/1DR, Rare: 3EP/2DR, 1EP/2DR.

      • Crystalline
      The character’s skin is smooth, pearlescent crystal. This tough surface
      is quite fascinating to look at, but again clearly marks the character
      as inhuman. Multiply the character’s weight by 1.5 and subtract 1 from
      his Charisma score. Crystalline armor offers double protection against
      light-based attacks, but only half protection against sonic/vibration
      attacks. Common 2EP/3DR, Uncommon: 4EP/3DR, Rare: 6EP/3DR, 8EP/3DR.

      • Metallic
      The character’s flesh is composed of (or gilded by) gleaming, flawless
      metal. This can lend his features a striking beauty, but only substance
      abusers will ever mistake him for an ordinary human. Multiply the
      character’s weight by 2, subtract 1 from his Charisma score, and add +1
      to his unarmed melee damage. Metallic armor offers double protection
      against ice/cold attacks and sonic/vibration attacks, but only half
      protection against electrical attacks and corrosive attacks. Common
      2EP/3DR, Uncommon: 4EP/3DR, Rare: 6EP/3DR, 8EP/3DR.

      • Artificial
      The character’s flesh has been covered in certain areas with a high-tech
      overlay of plastic, ballistic fiber, or light-weight alloy. This armor
      may be sleek and gleaming or somewhat low-key, as the character prefers.
      Add 3d8 pounds to the character’s weight and subtract 1 from his
      Charisma score. Artificial armor has no unusual strengths or weaknesses.
      Common 2EP/3DR, Uncommon: 4EP/3DR, Rare: 6EP/3DR, 8EP/3DR.



      -once the explanation for various kinds of force fields was that they
      block either 'slow' or 'fast' attacks (a la Dune and Stargate), i
      realised that a super-speedster's attack might present a logical
      inconsistency, so i added the following power to give players the option
      of smoothing over that inconsistency if they so desire.

      SUPER-SPEED [ Fiat ]
      Enhancement: Ballistic Punch
      Cost: 2EP
      The character can now choose to deliver melee attacks that are so fast
      that they qualify as ‘ballistic damage’ when applied to Force Fields.


      --
      -Orion
    • Palmer of the Turks
      ... I think we have a whoops here :) The thing I was talking about changing was the MIGHTY Lifting POWER, not the Power Lifting Feat. The feat is fine as it
      Message 2 of 5 , May 2 10:10 PM
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        On 1 May 2004, at 20:01, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:

        > -we also decided to alter power lifting to give characters who really
        > want the option of carrying battleships in their bare hands or holding
        > up mountains to be able to sink a few more EPs into it. again, we want
        > to give PCs all the fantastic strength options that we know and love
        > from comics while still keeping the damage in a reasonable range.

        I think we have a whoops here :)
        The thing I was talking about changing was the MIGHTY Lifting POWER, not the
        Power Lifting Feat.
        The feat is fine as it is... the change I proposed for Mighty Lifting was 1 EP = x2
        multiplier to carry capacities... ie 5 EP = x10 lift and carry.

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      • Orion Ussner Kidder
        ... i was wondering about that! my mistake. glad you caught it. but that seems very, *very* cheap for mighty lifting, a power that players can easily parlé
        Message 3 of 5 , May 3 1:54 AM
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          Palmer of the Turks wrote:

          >>-we also decided to alter power lifting to give characters who really
          >>want the option of carrying battleships in their bare hands or holding
          >>up mountains to be able to sink a few more EPs into it. again, we want
          >>to give PCs all the fantastic strength options that we know and love
          >>from comics while still keeping the damage in a reasonable range.
          >
          > I think we have a whoops here :)
          > The thing I was talking about changing was the MIGHTY Lifting POWER, not the
          > Power Lifting Feat.
          > The feat is fine as it is... the change I proposed for Mighty Lifting was 1 EP = x2
          > multiplier to carry capacities... ie 5 EP = x10 lift and carry.

          i was wondering about that! my mistake. glad you caught it. but that
          seems very, *very* cheap for mighty lifting, a power that players can
          easily parlé into a massive offensive capability. if you allow Power
          Lifting to quintuple the lifting capacity *and* you allow full lifting
          capacity while in flight (which we talked of earlier) players can lift
          horrendously heavy things up in to the air and then drop them on opponents.

          and that kinda puts us back where we started. high strength = massive
          damage with no saving throw.

          --
          -Orion
        • Palmer of the Turks
          ... #1: The proposed cost change for Mighty Lifting is not actually much cheaper than it already is #2: That kind of attack would have pretty poor accuracy...
          Message 4 of 5 , May 3 2:07 AM
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            On 3 May 2004, at 2:54, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:

            > i was wondering about that! my mistake. glad you caught it.
            > but that seems very, *very* cheap for mighty lifting, a power
            > that players can easily parlé into a massive offensive capability.
            > if you allow Power Lifting to quintuple the lifting capacity *and*
            > you allow full lifting capacity while in flight (which we talked of
            > earlier) players can lift horrendously heavy things up in to the
            > air and then drop them on opponents.
            >
            > and that kinda puts us back where we started. high strength =
            > massive damage with no saving throw.

            #1: The proposed cost change for Mighty Lifting is not actually much cheaper than it
            already is

            #2: That kind of attack would have pretty poor accuracy... and more importantly,
            WOULD allow a saving throw - Reflex to be exact - at least in my games. That is the
            save for avoiding large area effects.

            Making it more expensive, when combined with the limitations we've put on high stats,
            severely limits the number of characters capable of lifting even a single ton, let alone
            the 10-50 tons many characters are capable of.

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          • Orion Ussner Kidder
            well, that clears that up then. thanks! ... -- -Orion
            Message 5 of 5 , May 3 2:16 AM
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              well, that clears that up then. thanks!

              Palmer of the Turks wrote:
              >>and that kinda puts us back where we started. high strength =
              >>massive damage with no saving throw.
              >
              >
              > #1: The proposed cost change for Mighty Lifting is not actually much cheaper than it
              > already is
              >
              > #2: That kind of attack would have pretty poor accuracy... and more importantly,
              > WOULD allow a saving throw - Reflex to be exact - at least in my games. That is the
              > save for avoiding large area effects.
              >
              > Making it more expensive, when combined with the limitations we've put on high stats,
              > severely limits the number of characters capable of lifting even a single ton, let alone
              > the 10-50 tons many characters are capable of.

              --
              -Orion
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