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DNW Feats and DNW Powers

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  • Orion Ussner Kidder
    This message is in reference to the two posted documents, DNW Feats and DNW Powers. It explains why Palmer and I decided to alter certain powers certain
    Message 1 of 9 , May 12 8:57 PM
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      This message is in reference to the two posted documents, "DNW Feats"
      and "DNW Powers." It explains why Palmer and I decided to alter certain
      powers certain ways, and what repercussions we found from that.

      From a series of agreed upon premises (super-strength = bad, holistic
      EP integration = good) we made a few small but significant changes to
      the system.


      First, we removed all the ancillary powers from super strength (STR
      scores of 23+ got Super-Damage, a Jump Multiplier, increased Loads, and
      a few other bits and bobs). We reasoned that all of these things
      constituted Feat- or Power-level abilities in and of themselves, and it
      wasn’t fair to grant them effectively for ‘free’ when the other
      attributes didn’t have similar bonuses. We then made sure that all of
      the super strength abilities are available via various Feats and Powers.

      For super damage, PCs can take Energy Attack: Kinetic with no range and
      add as much damage as they wish to their character’s physical attacks.
      On the suggestion of someone whose name I am sorry to say I can’t
      recall, Palmer and I came up with a Feat that was 'super damage' but
      only for inanimate objects. This was meant to simulate the 'building
      destroying' fights we see in comics on a regular basis without creating
      the 'cranium destroying' fights that we’re both sorry to say we’ve seen
      in our own games. The feat is called 'Trash the Joint' in reference to a
      line from the Dragon Fist system which states 'sets were made for trashing.'

      For jumping, there is always Amazing Leap, a cheap and efficient power.
      There is both a Feat and a power for extra Loads (Power Lifting and
      Mighty Lifting, respectively). The other super-strength abilities are
      bonus dice for strength checks and bonuses for grappling, all of which
      can be duplicated in various ways.

      Second, we felt that the basic Enhanced Ability power was too cheap,
      given the kinds of bonuses it derives, so we altered the cost to a
      sliding scale. Every 10 EP above 10, the cost of an attribute point
      increases. Looking back, I may alter this slightly making the 19, 29,
      39, etc. the limit of one cost bracket, instead of the 20, 30, 40, etc..


      Now that we’d done this, Palmer pointed out that we needed to alter the
      cost of Damage Reduction to maintain parity with the cost of extra
      damage. Basically, by removing Super-Damage we made it that much harder
      to get through high DRs. This is why we altered both Force Fields and
      Natural DR, splitting them into different kinds of protection.

      We decided to give the two different DR powers two different sets of
      categorical division to differentiate them from each other, to make
      Subtle Natural DR genuinely different from Passive Force Field. A note:
      Palmer and I disagreed on whether 'magic' ought to constitute a
      different kind of damage-causing attack than 'energy,' in game terms. I
      wrote the Force Field power such that GMs can lift the 'magic' right out
      and be no worse for wear.

      Totally aside from all of that, we also decided to integrate EPs into
      the character-creation rules. Essentially, the 'points' players have to
      build their characters' stats are now EPs in a very real sense. PCs can
      retain spare EPs after they're done buying stats (if they want to, they
      can have a very low-stat character with a lot of powers), but they also
      have to pay the extra costs of ability enhancement. This is effectively
      the same system, just with a little more strategy in the process.

      Finally, I added a few bits and pieces that took advantage of the new
      rules. For example, since Force Fields can block 'fast' or 'slow'
      attacks, I added a sub-power to Super-Speed that made physical attacks
      so speedy that they count as 'fast attacks.'

      Looking back, this is a lot of stuff to change for some very basic parts
      of the system, and I, of course, want to play-test any of it before it
      goes into my 'official' house-rules. That in mind, what do you all
      think? Have you made any rulings similar to this? Did they work?

      --
      -Orion
    • Bluntaxe
      I like the direction you guys are going. Suggestions on the Trash the Joint feat. With the preq it precludes blasters like Cyclops (just as a quick example)
      Message 2 of 9 , May 13 7:00 AM
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        I like the direction you guys are going. Suggestions on
        the Trash the Joint feat. With the preq it precludes
        blasters like Cyclops (just as a quick example) from doing
        something similar with blasts. Instead of multiplying the
        STR damage, perhaps divide the Hardness of the object by 2
        or reduce it by 2 or 3 each time the feat is taken
        (removing the STR requirements). I would then limit it to
        apply to a single attack power, group of powers or Strength
        based attacks as one choice.


        Bluntaxe
        ------------------------

        Looking back, this is a lot of stuff to change for some
        very basic parts
        of the system, and I, of course, want to play-test any of
        it before it
        goes into my 'official' house-rules. That in mind, what do
        you all
        think? Have you made any rulings similar to this? Did they
        work?

        --
        -Orion


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      • Palmer of the Turks
        ... Part of the difference is that Energy Attack can do a LOT more damage than raw STR for the same EP. Lets say that the puncher and the blaster both have Str
        Message 3 of 9 , May 13 10:34 AM
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          On 13 May 2004, at 10:00, Bluntaxe wrote:

          > I like the direction you guys are going. Suggestions on
          > the Trash the Joint feat. With the preq it precludes
          > blasters like Cyclops (just as a quick example) from
          > doing something similar with blasts.

          Part of the difference is that Energy Attack can do a LOT more damage than raw STR
          for the same EP.

          Lets say that the puncher and the blaster both have Str 20, base.

          Now, for 22 EP (20 for go up to 30 STR, 2 for Trash), the puncher can do 1d3+10
          damage, 1d3+20 to scenery - avg 21.5. Give him a Greatsword, and that goes up to
          2d6+20 - average 27, max 32.

          For the same 22 EP, a Blaster can take a 5d8 Ranged Energy Attack (15 EP) and
          Efficient Power Feat/Enhancement 3 times (the max) for 21 EP. 5d8 does an average
          of 22.5 damage, and a max of 40.

          The blaster is doing 1 more damage on average to scenery than the Str 30 Punch
          Trasher, and 11 more to opponents, for the same EP. The fact he needs to spend a
          whole 2 PP per shot means almost nothing after about Lv 5, where the average (d8)
          character will have 26 + [5*Int/Wis mod] (say +3 for 15) = 41 PP - that's 20 shots. Or
          41 if he only shoots at 4d8 (average 18, max 32)

          I think they're already quite effective as it is. The damage imbalance that seems
          evident here is NOT as problematic as it seems... the Str 30 Puncher gets +10 to hit
          from his Str as well as his damage... but the Blaster has to spend even more EP to
          pump his Dex if he wants to get a high accuracy. Sure, once he jacks his Dex, he can
          also take Deadeye to do more damage, but that's even more EP (6, to be exact,
          because Deadeye has 2 other feat pre-reqs)

          I think it balances well.

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        • Bluntaxe
          Well really most physical fighters are going to take that level of martial artisit to do 1d6 unarmed damage which would make it 23.5 average damage 26 max
          Message 4 of 9 , May 13 11:15 AM
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            Well really most physical fighters are going to take that
            level of martial artisit to do 1d6 unarmed damage which
            would make it 23.5 average damage 26 max while your
            damage-range is reduced, you are on average doing 1 more
            point of damage (meaning while the blaster in your example
            can sometimes blow the crap out of something, it is also
            just as often not doing much damage to it, and on average a
            little less than the physical guy). I think your point
            that the physical and blaster balance out further enhances
            the idea that the feat would work both flavor-wise and
            mechanic-wise for both.

            Just my opinion



            On 13 May 2004, at 10:00, Bluntaxe wrote:

            > I like the direction you guys are going. Suggestions on
            > the Trash the Joint feat. With the preq it precludes
            > blasters like Cyclops (just as a quick example) from
            > doing something similar with blasts.

            Part of the difference is that Energy Attack can do a LOT
            more damage than raw STR
            for the same EP.

            Lets say that the puncher and the blaster both have Str 20,
            base.

            Now, for 22 EP (20 for go up to 30 STR, 2 for Trash), the
            puncher can do 1d3+10
            damage, 1d3+20 to scenery - avg 21.5. Give him a
            Greatsword, and that goes up to
            2d6+20 - average 27, max 32.

            For the same 22 EP, a Blaster can take a 5d8 Ranged Energy
            Attack (15 EP) and
            Efficient Power Feat/Enhancement 3 times (the max) for 21
            EP. 5d8 does an average
            of 22.5 damage, and a max of 40.

            The blaster is doing 1 more damage on average to scenery
            than the Str 30 Punch
            Trasher, and 11 more to opponents, for the same EP. The
            fact he needs to spend a
            whole 2 PP per shot means almost nothing after about Lv 5,
            where the average (d8)
            character will have 26 + [5*Int/Wis mod] (say +3 for 15) =
            41 PP - that's 20 shots. Or
            41 if he only shoots at 4d8 (average 18, max 32)

            I think they're already quite effective as it is. The
            damage imbalance that seems
            evident here is NOT as problematic as it seems... the Str
            30 Puncher gets +10 to hit
            from his Str as well as his damage... but the Blaster has
            to spend even more EP to
            pump his Dex if he wants to get a high accuracy. Sure, once
            he jacks his Dex, he can
            also take Deadeye to do more damage, but that's even more
            EP (6, to be exact,
            because Deadeye has 2 other feat pre-reqs)

            I think it balances well.

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          • Orion Ussner Kidder
            the general philosophy seems to be to make melee feats different from range feats, so that in mind, i think we could certainly come up with a feat called
            Message 5 of 9 , May 13 10:10 PM
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              the general philosophy seems to be to make melee feats different from
              range feats, so that in mind, i think we could certainly come up with a
              feat called "Blast the Scenery" that works in a similar manner to "Trash
              the Joint."

              thoughts?

              Bluntaxe wrote:

              > Well really most physical fighters are going to take that
              > level of martial artisit to do 1d6 unarmed damage which
              > would make it 23.5 average damage 26 max while your
              > damage-range is reduced, you are on average doing 1 more
              > point of damage (meaning while the blaster in your example
              > can sometimes blow the crap out of something, it is also
              > just as often not doing much damage to it, and on average a
              > little less than the physical guy). I think your point
              > that the physical and blaster balance out further enhances
              > the idea that the feat would work both flavor-wise and
              > mechanic-wise for both.
              >
              > Just my opinion
              >
              >
              >
              > On 13 May 2004, at 10:00, Bluntaxe wrote:
              >
              >
              >>I like the direction you guys are going. Suggestions on
              >>the Trash the Joint feat. With the preq it precludes
              >>blasters like Cyclops (just as a quick example) from
              >>doing something similar with blasts.
              >
              >
              > Part of the difference is that Energy Attack can do a LOT
              > more damage than raw STR
              > for the same EP.
              >
              > Lets say that the puncher and the blaster both have Str 20,
              > base.
              >
              > Now, for 22 EP (20 for go up to 30 STR, 2 for Trash), the
              > puncher can do 1d3+10
              > damage, 1d3+20 to scenery - avg 21.5. Give him a
              > Greatsword, and that goes up to
              > 2d6+20 - average 27, max 32.
              >
              > For the same 22 EP, a Blaster can take a 5d8 Ranged Energy
              > Attack (15 EP) and
              > Efficient Power Feat/Enhancement 3 times (the max) for 21
              > EP. 5d8 does an average
              > of 22.5 damage, and a max of 40.
              >
              > The blaster is doing 1 more damage on average to scenery
              > than the Str 30 Punch
              > Trasher, and 11 more to opponents, for the same EP. The
              > fact he needs to spend a
              > whole 2 PP per shot means almost nothing after about Lv 5,
              > where the average (d8)
              > character will have 26 + [5*Int/Wis mod] (say +3 for 15) =
              > 41 PP - that's 20 shots. Or
              > 41 if he only shoots at 4d8 (average 18, max 32)
              >
              > I think they're already quite effective as it is. The
              > damage imbalance that seems
              > evident here is NOT as problematic as it seems... the Str
              > 30 Puncher gets +10 to hit
              > from his Str as well as his damage... but the Blaster has
              > to spend even more EP to
              > pump his Dex if he wants to get a high accuracy. Sure, once
              > he jacks his Dex, he can
              > also take Deadeye to do more damage, but that's even more
              > EP (6, to be exact,
              > because Deadeye has 2 other feat pre-reqs)
              >
              > I think it balances well.


              --
              -Orion Ussner Kidder
              Graduate Teaching Assistant
              Department of English
              University of Alberta

              "I can call it 'magic,' with all the nice feelings
              of wonderment that word inspires; or I can waste
              your time with half an hour of technobabble that
              you could never possibly understand a word of anyway.
              Which would you prefer?"
              -Doctor Who, VIII
            • Palmer of the Turks
              ... *smacks head* DUH! I m not sure a similar feat would really be appropriate for ranged attacks anyways... The damage area of most ranged attacks is TINY
              Message 6 of 9 , May 13 11:04 PM
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                On 13 May 2004, at 23:10, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:

                > the general philosophy seems to be to make melee feats different from
                > range feats, so that in mind, i think we could certainly come up with a
                > feat called "Blast the Scenery" that works in a similar manner to "Trash
                > the Joint."
                >
                > thoughts?

                *smacks head* DUH!

                I'm not sure a similar feat would really be appropriate for ranged attacks anyways...

                The damage area of most ranged attacks is TINY compared to similar melee attacks
                (compare the cross-section of damage between a bullet and a punch)
                I can't remember which game it was in the rules for shooting through walls, but it said
                something like "Even if the bullet punches through, it does not reduce the Rating of the
                Wall/Barrier, because it produces a tiny hole"

                Even a longsword (with a razor edge) has a larger damage-area than a bullet or arrow,
                because it slashes.

                The majority of ranged attacks that are appropriate for scenery destroying are either
                powerful enough on their own (5d8+ Optic Blasts) or are explosive/area weapons to
                begin with (grenade launchers, flamethrowers)

                I mean... take a Solid Oak Generic Dungeon Door.
                Now think about how much damage a 30 HP sword strike would do to it, compared to
                a 30 HP laser beam.

                The majority of damage that ranged attacks do to the scenery is cosmetic or dramatic,
                not destructive.

                As an aside, I'll work on cleaning up my Incredible Item revisions, and post it for
                comment.

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              • Orion Ussner Kidder
                i suppose this all does depend on the nature of the ranged attack. an arrow or a bullet shouldn t really destroy scenery the same way, but the proto-typical
                Message 7 of 9 , May 13 11:17 PM
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                  i suppose this all does depend on the nature of the 'ranged attack.' an
                  arrow or a bullet shouldn't really destroy scenery the same way, but the
                  proto-typical cyclopean 'optic blast' would qualify. we could chicken
                  out and just say "GM's discretion" (?).

                  Palmer of the Turks wrote:

                  > On 13 May 2004, at 23:10, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >>the general philosophy seems to be to make melee feats different from
                  >>range feats, so that in mind, i think we could certainly come up with a
                  >>feat called "Blast the Scenery" that works in a similar manner to "Trash
                  >>the Joint."
                  >>
                  >>thoughts?
                  >
                  >
                  > *smacks head* DUH!
                  >
                  > I'm not sure a similar feat would really be appropriate for ranged attacks anyways...
                  >
                  > The damage area of most ranged attacks is TINY compared to similar melee attacks
                  > (compare the cross-section of damage between a bullet and a punch)
                  > I can't remember which game it was in the rules for shooting through walls, but it said
                  > something like "Even if the bullet punches through, it does not reduce the Rating of the
                  > Wall/Barrier, because it produces a tiny hole"
                  >
                  > Even a longsword (with a razor edge) has a larger damage-area than a bullet or arrow,
                  > because it slashes.
                  >
                  > The majority of ranged attacks that are appropriate for scenery destroying are either
                  > powerful enough on their own (5d8+ Optic Blasts) or are explosive/area weapons to
                  > begin with (grenade launchers, flamethrowers)
                  >
                  > I mean... take a Solid Oak Generic Dungeon Door.
                  > Now think about how much damage a 30 HP sword strike would do to it, compared to
                  > a 30 HP laser beam.
                  >
                  > The majority of damage that ranged attacks do to the scenery is cosmetic or dramatic,
                  > not destructive.
                  >
                  > As an aside, I'll work on cleaning up my Incredible Item revisions, and post it for
                  > comment.


                  --
                  -Orion
                • Palmer of the Turks
                  ... The question is... what would we be multiplying? Trash multiplies the pre-existing (and ALWAYS in effect) Strength mod. Ranged attacks have no such thing,
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 13 11:45 PM
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                    On 14 May 2004, at 0:17, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:

                    > i suppose this all does depend on the nature of the
                    > 'ranged attack.' an arrow or a bullet shouldn't really
                    > destroy scenery the same way, but the proto-typical
                    > cyclopean 'optic blast' would qualify. we could
                    > chicken out and just say "GM's discretion" (?).

                    The question is... what would we be multiplying?
                    Trash multiplies the pre-existing (and ALWAYS in effect) Strength mod.

                    Ranged attacks have no such thing, unless you take Deadeye. And, well, Deadeye
                    and Trashing seem kinda contrary. One is precision shooting. The other is anything
                    but precise.

                    And like I said, Cyclops Optic Blast is already plenty damaging to begin with.
                    The writeup Scott did of him (before 1.1 was finalized, but I don't think it changed
                    anything) had his Optic Blast set at 4d8+5 (minimum level, 1 PP) up to 8d8+5 (max
                    level, 5 PP). And damage can be +1 from Point Blank Shot as well.

                    The average/max on those is 23/37 for 4d8+5 and 41/69 for 8d8+5
                    Incidentally, it's Crit 19-20 x4 - absolute max damage on a crit is 276.

                    I really don't think Mr. Summers needs ANY help to trash a set with his optic blasts.

                    And the base cost to get 8d8 ranged is only 24 EP anyways. That's the same cost as
                    Str 26 + Trash (for +16 damage to sets, say 2d6 greatsword, makes average 23).

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                  • Orion Ussner Kidder
                    i see what you mean. the costs weigh in around the same. really, waht trash the joint does, is bring STR damage in line with Energy Attack damage, at least
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 14 12:24 AM
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                      i see what you mean. the costs weigh in around the same. really, waht
                      'trash the joint' does, is bring STR damage in line with Energy Attack
                      damage, at least against objects.

                      i'm convinced.

                      Palmer of the Turks wrote:

                      > On 14 May 2004, at 0:17, Orion Ussner Kidder wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >>i suppose this all does depend on the nature of the
                      >>'ranged attack.' an arrow or a bullet shouldn't really
                      >>destroy scenery the same way, but the proto-typical
                      >>cyclopean 'optic blast' would qualify. we could
                      >>chicken out and just say "GM's discretion" (?).
                      >
                      >
                      > The question is... what would we be multiplying?
                      > Trash multiplies the pre-existing (and ALWAYS in effect) Strength mod.
                      >
                      > Ranged attacks have no such thing, unless you take Deadeye. And, well, Deadeye
                      > and Trashing seem kinda contrary. One is precision shooting. The other is anything
                      > but precise.
                      >
                      > And like I said, Cyclops Optic Blast is already plenty damaging to begin with.
                      > The writeup Scott did of him (before 1.1 was finalized, but I don't think it changed
                      > anything) had his Optic Blast set at 4d8+5 (minimum level, 1 PP) up to 8d8+5 (max
                      > level, 5 PP). And damage can be +1 from Point Blank Shot as well.
                      >
                      > The average/max on those is 23/37 for 4d8+5 and 41/69 for 8d8+5
                      > Incidentally, it's Crit 19-20 x4 - absolute max damage on a crit is 276.
                      >
                      > I really don't think Mr. Summers needs ANY help to trash a set with his optic blasts.
                      >
                      > And the base cost to get 8d8 ranged is only 24 EP anyways. That's the same cost as
                      > Str 26 + Trash (for +16 damage to sets, say 2d6 greatsword, makes average 23).
                      >
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                      --
                      -Orion Ussner Kidder
                      Graduate Teaching Assistant
                      Department of English
                      University of Alberta

                      "I can call it 'magic,' with all the nice feelings
                      of wonderment that word inspires; or I can waste
                      your time with half an hour of technobabble that
                      you could never possibly understand a word of anyway.
                      Which would you prefer?"
                      -Doctor Who, VIII
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