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Re: [icons-rpg] Digest Number 347

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  • Jeff Johnston
    ... OK, apparently I didn t explain that well, because that s not what I meant at all. Here s the thing. Icons has a method of balancing how many powers you
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 21, 2011
      On Aug 21, 2011, at 11:41 PM, "Brandon Blackmoor" <bblackmoor@...> wrote:

      > The assumption *I* operate on is that if it's a superpower, even if it's
      > a Gimmick, it is superior to what joe schmoe can buy at Wal-Mart.
      > Dr. Nuncheon disagrees, and would impose the same restrictions and
      > frailties on equipment whether it was picked up at the drug store or
      > whether it was invented by Tony Stark.

      OK, apparently I didn't explain that well, because that's not what I meant at all.

      Here's the thing. Icons has a method of balancing how many powers you have: you get fewer Determination points. And it had a method of balancing when your stuff gets broken, stops working, or is taken away: you get Determination for it.

      Now you can see that this is a self-regulating system: if you've got top of the line precision gear then it might break or stop working only rarely, and you would not get Determination very often. If you have cheap dimestore crap, then you get Determination all the time, because your stuff is constantly breaking.

      So no, I'm not imposing the same restrictions and frailties on Tony Stark and the Dimestore Defender. What I *am* doing is making them both play by the same rules. They both pay Determination for their Blast power, and they both get Determination when it's not working—I simply hit Dimestore's challenge more often because he told me that's what he wanted when he made the character that way. This whole "getting powers for free" thing places it outside of that structure. There's no balancing act to you having or losing those powers. You're not paying Determination for the power, and you're not getting it when it is unavailable. That causes a couple of problems that I as a GM would not want to deal with.

      First, you keep arguing you should be allowed to have these free powers, so they are obviously very important to your conception of your character. So when I take away your gun, I'm damaging your character concept without giving you anything in return, which is a dick move as a GM. I don't want to be a dick, but you're forcing me into it because otherwise there's absolutely no drawback to getting the free stuff. Letting it slide would mean I was being a dick to the guy who rolled the power and put Determination into it. I don't like being put in a situation where I have to be a dick to one of my players.

      Second…you've argued so hard for getting free guns that now I have to wonder what it's going to be like when I *do* take them away. If I say "your gun misfires", am I going to be subjected to an argument about how your character keeps her equipment in top condition and the chances of a misfire are blah blah blah? If I say "your night vision goggles broke in that fall" will I get a lecture on the durability of ruggedized mil spec equipment? No thanks, doesn't sound like fun.

      Fortunately, there's a solution! If the guns or the goggles are a power, and you get Determination for losing them, you can also *spend* Determination to refuse the Challenge. I can compel whenever I feel like it based on realism or drama or whatever, and if I do it too often for your sense of reality, you can buy it off.

      If the guns are that important to you, cut a deal so you can put them on the sheet as a power. That's fair to everyone, because then everyone is playing by the same rules. If they're *not* important enough to do that, then why is this argument still going on? Accept that the character doesn't carry a gun for whatever reason and move on.
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