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Touch-ranged mental attacks

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  • Icosahedrophilia
    Dear friends, Suppose that you wanted to model a psychic hero whose attacks required touch. I m thinking of an effect similar to Psylocke s psychic knives, for
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 4, 2012
      Dear friends,

      Suppose that you wanted to model a psychic hero whose attacks required touch. I'm thinking of an effect similar to Psylocke's psychic knives, for those of you familiar with X-Men. Does anything special (other than specifying a limit on the power) need to be done to model this? For example:

      a) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, it's a Mental Blast attack, Willpower vs. Willpower, but Psylocke must be at Personal range to make the attack.

      b) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, she rolls "to hit" like a physical attack, Prowess vs. Prowess, but the damage dealt is based on her Mental Blast power level.

      The second option is a better "simulation," but it also seems to pile a disadvantage (you have to use your Prowess to hit) on top of another disadvantage (you have to be at personal range to hit).

      Would it be fair to say that the first option is "more ICONS-y," and can be explained in comic-book logic by Psylocke being especially skilled at plunging her psychic knives into people, while she might be less adept with, say, a baseball bat? (I know this example doesn't quite work with the ninjafied Psylocke … please, never mind about that, and just help me with the rules modeling.)

      TIA.

      Chris Heard
      Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
      http://drchris.me/d20
      ><>
    • Cameron Mount
      I think I d just go with option a). You re right that it s not really all that simulationist (since she did a lot of ninjitsu stuff to get close enough to use
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 4, 2012
        I think I'd just go with option a). You're right that it's not really all that simulationist (since she did a lot of ninjitsu stuff to get close enough to use them), but at least in the history of the character, the psychic knife was really just an evolved form of her psycho-blast.

        On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 8:49 PM, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:
        Dear friends,

        Suppose that you wanted to model a psychic hero whose attacks required touch. I'm thinking of an effect similar to Psylocke's psychic knives, for those of you familiar with X-Men. Does anything special (other than specifying a limit on the power) need to be done to model this? For example:

        a) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, it's a Mental Blast attack, Willpower vs. Willpower, but Psylocke must be at Personal range to make the attack.

        b) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, she rolls "to hit" like a physical attack, Prowess vs. Prowess, but the damage dealt is based on her Mental Blast power level.

        The second option is a better "simulation," but it also seems to pile a disadvantage (you have to use your Prowess to hit) on top of another disadvantage (you have to be at personal range to hit).

        Would it be fair to say that the first option is "more ICONS-y," and can be explained in comic-book logic by Psylocke being especially skilled at plunging her psychic knives into people, while she might be less adept with, say, a baseball bat? (I know this example doesn't quite work with the ninjafied Psylocke … please, never mind about that, and just help me with the rules modeling.)

        TIA.

        Chris Heard
        Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
        http://drchris.me/d20
        ><>

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      • Fabrício César Franco
        Would it be too far-off to test Willpower vs. Prowess, in that case, specifically? You would have the both versions of the power depicted... (Maybe I didn t
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 4, 2012
          Would it be too far-off to test Willpower vs. Prowess, in that case, specifically? You would have the both versions of the power depicted...

          (Maybe I didn't think it correctly, pardon me if I'm all mistaken).

          Fabrício
        • Soylent Green
          I prefer method B, but this example does highlight one issue that the Icons rules do handle out of the box, how to limit, for thematic reasons, the overall
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 5, 2012
            I prefer method B, but this example does highlight one issue that the Icons rules do handle out of the box,  how to limit, for thematic reasons, the overall effectiveness of a standard power. 

            I played a randomly rolled character, the Night Badger, with fast attack, claws and illusions. The first two power obviously go well together but illusions felt out of place until it occurred to me that maybe his illusions could be more of supernatural manifestation of his badger totem. So I just limited his powers to badger related illusions and give the whole things shamanic sort of spin. 

            Concept-wise it worked, I had fun and many ways constraints, even if just self-imposed, help to stimulate our creativity. I have no complaints However from a pure rule-design point of view it you kind of feel their should be some benefit for limiting a power that much.

            I think the best way to handle this is informally offer the player an extra rank in the power or maybe an extra Specialty or two. In some instances the limitation can be represented by a Challenge but I don't that approach always works. The argument that "by the rules I could create the illusion of a security guard now to get us out us out of this pickle but I said I would only create badger related illusions so give me a DP" doesn't feel right.

            > Subject: [icons-rpg] Touch-ranged mental attacks
            >
            > Dear friends,
            >
            > Suppose that you wanted to model a psychic hero whose attacks required touch. I'm thinking of an effect similar to Psylocke's psychic knives, for those of you familiar with X-Men. Does anything special (other than specifying a limit on the power) need to be done to model this? For example:
            >
            > a) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, it's a Mental Blast attack, Willpower vs. Willpower, but Psylocke must be at Personal range to make the attack.
            >
            > b) When Psylocke attacks with her psychic knives, she rolls "to hit" like a physical attack, Prowess vs. Prowess, but the damage dealt is based on her Mental Blast power level.
            >
            > The second option is a better "simulation," but it also seems to pile a disadvantage (you have to use your Prowess to hit) on top of another disadvantage (you have to be at personal range to hit).
            >
            > Would it be fair to say that the first option is "more ICONS-y," and can be explained in comic-book logic by Psylocke being especially skilled at plunging her psychic knives into people, while she might be less adept with, say, a baseball bat? (I know this example doesn't quite work with the ninjafied Psylocke … please, never mind about that, and just help me with the rules modeling.)
            >
            > TIA.
            >
            > Chris Heard
            > Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
            > http://drchris.me/d20
            > ><>
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
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            >
          • John McMullen
            May I ask why not? I haven t thought deeply about this, but it seems in keeping with the concept that you get a DP when your challenges say you can t do the
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 5, 2012
              May I ask why not? I haven't thought deeply about this, but it seems in keeping with the concept that you get a DP when your challenges say you can't do the obvious thing.

              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Soylent Green <gsoylent@...> wrote:
              > I think the best way to handle this is informally offer the player an extra rank in the power or maybe an extra Specialty or two. In some instances the limitation can be represented by a Challenge but I don't that approach always works. The argument that "by the rules I could create the illusion of a security guard now to get us out us out of this pickle but I said I would only create badger related illusions so give me a DP" doesn't feel right.

              Now, I wouldn't be in favour of DP-Prostitution, where you choose 5 limitations as challenges and ride them as a source of DP. One (or sometimes two) limitations are usually enough, because you can usually encapsulate the limitation in a single phrase: it is "gun" instead of "ammo: 9 shots; device; subject to weld in vacuum; kickback and recoil".

              Informally, I'd probably houserule it to be an attack one rank higher or, if that wasn't possible, an extra Specialty or rank of Specialty somewhere.

              John
            • mama_mame
              Determination Prostituting -- I think Challenges are supposed to be tagged up by the GM for the most part. It s not like you can just tag up on those for free
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 5, 2012
                Determination Prostituting -- I think Challenges are supposed to be tagged up by the GM for the most part. It's not like you can just tag up on those for free Determination. It's not like doing that in the old Storyteller system for things that actually aren't drawbacks. :)

                Dan

                --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, "John McMullen" <jhmcmullen@...> wrote:
                >
                > May I ask why not? I haven't thought deeply about this, but it seems in keeping with the concept that you get a DP when your challenges say you can't do the obvious thing.
                >
                > --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Soylent Green <gsoylent@> wrote:
                > > I think the best way to handle this is informally offer the player an extra rank in the power or maybe an extra Specialty or two. In some instances the limitation can be represented by a Challenge but I don't that approach always works. The argument that "by the rules I could create the illusion of a security guard now to get us out us out of this pickle but I said I would only create badger related illusions so give me a DP" doesn't feel right.
                >
                > Now, I wouldn't be in favour of DP-Prostitution, where you choose 5 limitations as challenges and ride them as a source of DP. One (or sometimes two) limitations are usually enough, because you can usually encapsulate the limitation in a single phrase: it is "gun" instead of "ammo: 9 shots; device; subject to weld in vacuum; kickback and recoil".
                >
                > Informally, I'd probably houserule it to be an attack one rank higher or, if that wasn't possible, an extra Specialty or rank of Specialty somewhere.
                >
                > John
                >
              • Icosahedrophilia
                My biggest weakness is that I just care too much about the poor … ;-) ... Chris Heard Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast http://drchris.me/d20 My biggest
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 5, 2012
                  "My biggest weakness is that I just care too much about the poor …" ;-)

                  On Aug 5, 2012, at 5:33 PM, "mama_mame" <mama_mame@...> wrote:
                   

                  Determination Prostituting -- I think Challenges are supposed to be tagged up by the GM for the most part. It's not like you can just tag up on those for free Determination. It's not like doing that in the old Storyteller system for things that actually aren't drawbacks. :) 



                  Chris Heard
                  Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast

                • Soylent Green
                  I can try, though to be honest I always find things get kind of murky when I look at Challenges and Compels too closely and I can never tell whether that s
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 6, 2012
                    I can try, though to be honest I always find things get kind of murky when I look at Challenges and Compels too closely and I can never tell whether that's because my understanding of it is still lacking or because the concept itself is still evolving and not fully formed yet.

                    My key concern in this specific instance that once I've defined my power with a limitation, like "can only create badger related illusions" or "mental blast but close range only", there is no longer an element of choice involved. Legally, from a rules point of view the character might be capable of creating any kind of illusion but in terms of game narrative he simply does not have that ability.

                    As such, when the playing the character, the last thing I want to do is  exploring things my character can't do just to fish for DPs. It just seems like the wrong mindset. As such in this case the suggestion of raising the limited power's rank might just be cleaner, though without further analysis I sooner deal with this informally between player and GM.

                    Now if it were just were a psychological hang up, the character potentially can create other kinds of illusions but is deeply reluctant to do so due to a code, a phobia or some other limitation then Compelling that Challenge becomes interesting as it forces character to make meaningful choice.

                    And in the end while Challenges and Compels cover a whole lot of ground I guess mechanically they work best when examine a character personal flaws and force the character to make a choice between the logical, smart option or the more passionate and ill judged one. Many roleplayers have of course have long been aware that it's the passionate and ill judged choices that make the game fun, but having this acknowledged and rewarded mechanically helps bridge with culture gap with those roleplayers used to play more with their heads than their hearts.





                    To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                    From: jhmcmullen@...
                    Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 18:26:29 +0000
                    Subject: [icons-rpg] Re: Touch-ranged mental attacks

                     
                    May I ask why not? I haven't thought deeply about this, but it seems in keeping with the concept that you get a DP when your challenges say you can't do the obvious thing.

                    --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Soylent Green <gsoylent@...> wrote:
                    > I think the best way to handle this is informally offer the player an extra rank in the power or maybe an extra Specialty or two. In some instances the limitation can be represented by a Challenge but I don't that approach always works. The argument that "by the rules I could create the illusion of a security guard now to get us out us out of this pickle but I said I would only create badger related illusions so give me a DP" doesn't feel right.

                    Now, I wouldn't be in favour of DP-Prostitution, where you choose 5 limitations as challenges and ride them as a source of DP. One (or sometimes two) limitations are usually enough, because you can usually encapsulate the limitation in a single phrase: it is "gun" instead of "ammo: 9 shots; device; subject to weld in vacuum; kickback and recoil".

                    Informally, I'd probably houserule it to be an attack one rank higher or, if that wasn't possible, an extra Specialty or rank of Specialty somewhere.

                    John


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