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Re: [deedsnotwordsd20] Public posting of an email I sent earlier today WRT Mystics, with a few extra words, as always.

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  • Palmer of the Turks
    ... Yeah... lower-to-matched level Mystics need a meat shield for max effectiveness. Unmatched fire support for sure. Higher level mystics just kinda...
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 2, 2002
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      On 2 Dec 2002, at 21:29, John Lorenzsonn wrote:

      > Were I going for pure power, I'd probably build a
      > super-powered Martial Artist or Vigilante - far more
      > durable and versatile. The Mystic is very good at
      > dealing out shitloads of damage, but he's not very
      > good at surviving, even with high levels of Force
      > Field, what with grapplers, Mindlock, and PP stealing
      > floating around.

      Yeah... lower-to-matched level Mystics need a meat shield for max
      effectiveness. Unmatched fire support for sure.

      Higher level mystics just kinda... obliterate everyone and
      everything. In rather messy and spectacular ways.

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    • cryptosnark
      Hey, whaddaya know... John groks the very same argument that I had with mys= elf when I laid out the mystic for the first time about six months ago. Simply
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 3, 2002
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        Hey, whaddaya know... John groks the very same argument that I had with mys=
        elf when I laid out the mystic for the first time about six months ago.
        Simply put, mystics look really nasty when they start to gain levels, and o=
        n a PP-for-damage basis, they compare very favorably with things like
        "Energy Attack," but I didn't nerf them *precisely* because of the "strong =
        guy" argument. A super-strong character can dish out heaps of hurt all
        night long, without spending any PP at all. Furthermore, he can do so at 1s=
        t level, while the Mystic doesn't get his first real "Big damage" spells
        until he's 5th level, at a bare minimum.

        Wizards and sorcerers are the ultimate in delayed d20 gratification... they=
        can be a major drag on an adventuring party until the mid-levels ("Blown
        your wad again, eh? Well, get behind us and get out your sling. Hope you br=
        ought a lot of stones..."), and then once they hit the high levels... their =

        power makes the Baby Jesus cry.

        I'm pondering the mystic as we speak... John sent me a lot of food for thou=
        ght, and I've spent much of the last week examining the DNW classes on
        paper. My intention with the set PP prices for spells was to make them easy=
        to remember... "spell cost = spell level" is pretty straightforward. I will=

        think on that particular subject, but please keep in mind that when I consi=
        der the issue of "balance," raw damage dealt is actually one of my lesser
        worries.

        A 6th level mystic can cast a fireball dealing 6d6 area damage for 3 PP, tr=
        ue, while a vigilante with a ranged, balanced energy attack can fire a
        single shot at 3d6 for the same price. In balance terms strictly dealing wi=
        th damage, the mystic is getting away with something, but there are other
        factors to consider. Foremost, the vigilante has a highly precise and surgi=
        cal attack– he can hit an extremely small target, or use his power at point-=

        blank range, without endangering anyone but his intended target. He can sho=
        ot a sniper crouched behind a barrel of gasoline without setting off the
        gasoline. He can zap a terrorist right between the eyes even if the terrori=
        st has a knife to a hostage's throat. The mystic, on the other hand, has the=

        offensive equivalent of a daisy cutter– powerful, yes, but utterly imprecis=
        e and unsubtle. Using it indoors will destroy the room it explodes in, and
        probably start fires. Using it in a hostage situation is all but out of the=
        question. Using it at very close range– well, if you use it on someone twen=
        ty
        feet away or closer, congratulations– you're in the blast radius.

        Here we enter into the realm of GM responsibility. I, as a GM, believe that=
        I have a responsibility to present situations that are not only
        combatively challenging (number of opponents, armament of opponents, etc.),=
        but *environmentally* challenging. If all combats take place in a
        wide, empty open space like a meadow, then the guy with the fireball is ver=
        y unconstrained and can cut loose against enemies in the open and at a
        distance. But what GM would stage every single battle in a supers campaign =
        in a meadow? Supers fight in city streets, alleys, sewers, hallways,
        hospitals, etc... places where there are innocent bystanders and items of p=
        roperty waiting to be slagged if Johnny Mystic cuts loose with an ill-
        advised fireball.

        That's the central rejoinder to the "mystic spells are imbalanced" line of =
        thought... not that I'm saying that I'm not going to nip and tuck the spell-=

        flingers for 1.1, but a fundamental nerfing is not really the answer.

        Cheers!

        SL
      • Palmer of the Turks
        ... Lv 3 Spell - Awful Coincidence. {Level}d4 damage (max 10d4), affects ONLY the single target, no to hit roll needed. A distance E-attack has the advantage
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 3, 2002
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          On 3 Dec 2002, at 8:26, cryptosnark wrote:

          > A 6th level mystic can cast a fireball dealing 6d6 area damage for 3 PP, tr= ue,
          > while a vigilante with a ranged, balanced energy attack can fire a single shot
          > at 3d6 for the same price. In balance terms strictly dealing with damage, the
          > mystic is getting away with something, but there are other factors to consider.
          > Foremost, the vigilante has a highly precise and surgical attack– he can hit
          > an extremely small target, or use his power at point- blank range, without
          > endangering anyone but his intended target. He can shoot
          > a sniper crouched behind a barrel of gasoline without setting off the gasoline.
          > He can zap a terrorist right between the eyes even if the terrorist has a
          > knife to a hostage's throat. The mystic, on the other hand, has the
          > offensive equivalent of a daisy cutter– powerful, yes, but utterly imprecise
          > and unsubtle. Using it indoors will destroy the room it explodes in, and
          > probably start fires. Using it in a hostage situation is all but out of the
          > question. Using it at very close range– well, if you use it on someone twenty
          > feet away or closer, congratulations– you're in the blast radius.

          Lv 3 Spell - Awful Coincidence.
          {Level}d4 damage (max 10d4), affects ONLY the single target, no
          to hit roll needed.

          A distance E-attack has the advantage of range... mostly. It has an
          increment of 100, while the spell has a range of 100+10/lv
          But the attack still has a to hit roll needed. And damage at that
          min level (6d4) is still on par with a more expensive power (4PP
          4d6 e-attack). The only other advantage the e-attack has is not
          allowing a save, but it still needs a to hit roll.

          But if you really want to compare Fireball with powers, you have to
          compare it to Energy Detonation, in which case there's no fair
          comparison at all.

          The widest area Detonation is 15 rad vs Fireball's 20.
          For 3PP, Detonation does 1d8+1d6 (5 foot), 1d10 (10 ft) or 1d8 (15
          ft). Range is a flat 50 feet, compared to Fireball's 400+10/lv.

          DC for save vs a Detonation is 13. Fireball can't be less than a 14
          (since you need 13 Int to cast Lv 3 spells, that's a +1 int mod.
          10+spell lv of 3 + int mod of 1 = 14... and you know the int will be
          higher)

          So in such a case, the mystic's firepower quite stronger, when
          comparing spells with similar purpose and effect powers (fireball vs
          Detonation)

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        • cryptosnark
          ... Ah, an astute comparison. Poor little Energy Detonation has already been scheduled for a performance upgrade in 1.1. In an ideal game (may 1.1. be that
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 3, 2002
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            --- In deedsnotwordsd20@y..., "Palmer of the Turks" <palmeroftheturks@c...> wrote:

            > But if you really want to compare Fireball with powers, you have to
            > compare it to Energy Detonation, in which case there's no fair
            > comparison at all.

            Ah, an astute comparison. Poor little Energy Detonation has already been scheduled for a performance upgrade in 1.1. In an ideal game (may 1.1. be
            that game!) there won't be any powers that make players go, "Ugh, that's a festering pile of suck any which way you slice it."

            Powers, in general, will be much, much more customizable in 1.1.

            Cheers,

            SL
          • Palmer of the Turks
            ... Oh... so you re doing something to compensate for the fact that no matter how hard you try, one level of Enhanced kicks serious ass over
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 3, 2002
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              On 3 Dec 2002, at 8:55, cryptosnark wrote:

              > --- In deedsnotwordsd20@y..., "Palmer of the Turks" <palmeroftheturks@c...>
              > wrote:
              >
              > > But if you really want to compare Fireball with powers, you have to
              > > compare it to Energy Detonation, in which case there's no fair
              > > comparison at all.
              >
              > Ah, an astute comparison. Poor little Energy Detonation has already been
              > scheduled for a performance upgrade in 1.1. In an ideal game (may 1.1. be that
              > game!) there won't be any powers that make players go, "Ugh, that's a festering
              > pile of suck any which way you slice it."

              Oh... so you're doing something to compensate for the fact that no
              matter how hard you try, one level of Enhanced <stat of choice>
              kicks serious ass over something like Needs not Sleep or Super
              Hearing?

              Or, uh... the almighty Fur?

              And what about Super Sight? It sucks compared to Cyber Eyes,
              which give 4 vision perks, and they're all better.
              Cyber eyes binocular vision lets you see 4x as far. Super Sight is
              only 2x. Cyber lets you take Darkvision (normally a whole seperate
              power) as one of the 4 perks. Let alone targetting scope.

              *looks for more stinkers*

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            • cryptosnark
              ... wrote: Oh... so you re doing something to compensate for the fact that no matter how hard you try, one level of Enhanced kicks
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 3, 2002
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                --- In deedsnotwordsd20@y..., "Palmer of the Turks" <palmeroftheturks@c...>=
                wrote:
                > Oh... so you're doing something to compensate for the fact that no
                > matter how hard you try, one level of Enhanced <stat of choice>
                > kicks serious ass over something like Needs not Sleep or Super
                > Hearing?

                Well, on a basic level, *nothing* is going to compare with Enhanced Ability=
                in terms of overall efficiency, *nothing.* It's the gift that keeps on
                giving, awarding a bonus not only to basics like HP, PP, Initiative, AC, et=
                c. but to all skills related to that ability. Buying Enhanced Dexterity II f=
                or
                a rogue will net you more than two dozen free skill ranks in a bevy of Dex-=
                related skills, not just a +4 to AC and a +4 to Initiative. I don't think th=
                is
                can be avoided, or needs to be. Enhanced Ability is, perhaps, the most basi=
                c of all super-powers and the trickle-down effect it has throughout the
                system really can't be avoided without, IMHO, constraining player freedom i=
                n an arbitrary and aggravating fashion.

                There will, however, be more complications in rev 1.1 (like Lummox) that cu=
                rtail certain trickle-down effects.

                > Or, uh... the almighty Fur?

                Fur on its own ain't much. Fur taken in a package deal with other powers ca=
                n be just what the doctor ordered. ;) Fur, like everything else, will
                experience a rebalancing for 1.1 that will greatly increase its customizabi=
                lity.

                > And what about Super Sight? It sucks compared to Cyber Eyes,
                > which give 4 vision perks, and they're all better.
                > Cyber eyes binocular vision lets you see 4x as far. Super Sight is
                > only 2x. Cyber lets you take Darkvision (normally a whole seperate
                > power) as one of the 4 perks. Let alone targetting scope.

                The trouble With Cyber-Eye options is that their range is less than that of=
                the equivalent full super-power. Super-sight also grants +4 to two skills, =

                though you are correct... it could stand to offer a wee bit more kick for t=
                he price. Soon to be a moot point, I confidently declare. Or hope. ;)

                Thanks– I really appreciate all the discussion. It helps a great deal.

                Cheers!

                SL
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