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Re: [icons-rpg] Great Power: Question about the "Gestalt" power

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  • Icosahedrophilia
    For what it’s worth, here are some thoughts about Gestalt. 1. Like the original ICONS rulebook, Great Power is written with *random* character generation as
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 25, 2013
      For what it’s worth, here are some thoughts about Gestalt.

      1. Like the original ICONS rulebook, Great Power is written with *random* character generation as the default assumption. Most players will be rolling up one character (at a time) for use in a new adventure or campaign. If you were, for some reason, to *randomly* generate three or four characters in a row, the chance that all of them would have Gestalt is very low. This leads me to infer that the default process for randomly creating a gestalt character is:
      a. While randomly generating a character, you happen to roll Gestalt on the power table. Then you roll for power level, getting X. This character is the “combined” character.
      b. After consultation with the GM, you randomly generate the individual characters. For each of them, you drop one of the rolled powers and substitute Gestalt X instead (hence the phrases “the Gestalt level” and “their Gestalt level” in Great Power—they all have Gestalt at the same power level).

      2. If (1a) and (1b) are sound, then if you’re custom-building a character instead of randomly-generating one, it doesn’t really matter which one you build first, but they should all (individual and combined forms) have Gestalt at the same power level.

      3. As with Alter Ego, the individual components of a Gestalt character have powers of their own. I agree with Soulslayer that a character like Firestorm, where the individual components don’t have superpowers, is better handled with a challenge than with the Gestalt power. This is stated explicitly in the description of Alter Ego.

      4. As a result of (3), Gestalt characters throw a monkey wrench into a typical table. Either you have a single player running multiple characters (the individual components) part of the time (when they’re not combined), or you have multiple players running the same character (when they’re combined). Awkward either way. As a GM, I’d probably discourage the use of Gestalt.

      5. However, if your whole group wants to form a mecha squad, each with its own individual robot and they all combine into one big robot (for example), or something along those lines, then Gestalt is a great way to do it. See Improbable Tales #7: Tokyo Kaiju Kaos. A Gestalt villain could also be very flavorful.

      Okay, that’s pretty much all I have on Gestalt.

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



    • Bill Olander
      Part of the difficulty is that the write up of Gestalt is basically a lot of Figure this out with your GM . But much of the appeal with ICONS is that the
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013
        Part of the difficulty is that the write up of Gestalt is basically a lot of "Figure this out with your GM". But much of the appeal with ICONS is that the rules aren't entirely hard and fast.

        I'd be most inclined to look at the Gestalt power as the Duplication power with an inverted duration and room for more variety in your duplicates. After that (as the GM) I would think that specifics would depend on the story that the player came up with to describe the combination. Venom is going to be different from Firestorm who in turn is going to be different from Devastator.

        On Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 1:11 AM, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:
         

        For what it’s worth, here are some thoughts about Gestalt.

        1. Like the original ICONS rulebook, Great Power is written with *random* character generation as the default assumption. Most players will be rolling up one character (at a time) for use in a new adventure or campaign. If you were, for some reason, to *randomly* generate three or four characters in a row, the chance that all of them would have Gestalt is very low. This leads me to infer that the default process for randomly creating a gestalt character is:
        a. While randomly generating a character, you happen to roll Gestalt on the power table. Then you roll for power level, getting X. This character is the “combined” character.
        b. After consultation with the GM, you randomly generate the individual characters. For each of them, you drop one of the rolled powers and substitute Gestalt X instead (hence the phrases “the Gestalt level” and “their Gestalt level” in Great Power—they all have Gestalt at the same power level).

        2. If (1a) and (1b) are sound, then if you’re custom-building a character instead of randomly-generating one, it doesn’t really matter which one you build first, but they should all (individual and combined forms) have Gestalt at the same power level.

        3. As with Alter Ego, the individual components of a Gestalt character have powers of their own. I agree with Soulslayer that a character like Firestorm, where the individual components don’t have superpowers, is better handled with a challenge than with the Gestalt power. This is stated explicitly in the description of Alter Ego.

        4. As a result of (3), Gestalt characters throw a monkey wrench into a typical table. Either you have a single player running multiple characters (the individual components) part of the time (when they’re not combined), or you have multiple players running the same character (when they’re combined). Awkward either way. As a GM, I’d probably discourage the use of Gestalt.

        5. However, if your whole group wants to form a mecha squad, each with its own individual robot and they all combine into one big robot (for example), or something along those lines, then Gestalt is a great way to do it. See Improbable Tales #7: Tokyo Kaiju Kaos. A Gestalt villain could also be very flavorful.

        Okay, that’s pretty much all I have on Gestalt.

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




      • soulslayer
        I agree with you about ICONS being a less rigid set of rules, which is something that appeals to me (and as seen in the recent speed vs. thrown object
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013
          I agree with you about ICONS being a less rigid set of rules, which is something that appeals to me (and as seen in the recent speed vs. thrown object question, the rules philosophy is simple and consistent).

          To that end, I question the need for the Gestalt power at all, since my read (and I'm likely missing something) is that at the end of the day, you'll write down "Gestalt" and do the same things you have to do if you didn't write down "Gestalt".

          Not just to you, Bill, but to anyone, what am I missing? Clearly there was a perceived need for it or it wouldn't have been included, but for the life of me apart from needing to be on a random power table, why is it there?

          --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@...> wrote:
          >
          > Part of the difficulty is that the write up of Gestalt is basically a lot
          > of "Figure this out with your GM". But much of the appeal with ICONS is
          > that the rules aren't entirely hard and fast.
          >
          > I'd be most inclined to look at the Gestalt power as the Duplication power
          > with an inverted duration and room for more variety in your duplicates.
          > After that (as the GM) I would think that specifics would depend on the
          > story that the player came up with to describe the combination. Venom is
          > going to be different from Firestorm who in turn is going to be different
          > from Devastator.
          >
        • Cameron Mount
          Honestly? I don t know, but I m willing to bet that its absence would have been noticeable. Plus, it might give you an idea for a character that you might not
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013

            Honestly? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that its absence would have been noticeable. Plus, it might give you an idea for a character that you might not come up with on your own. For instance, my non-gaming, not-a-fan-of-comics wife would have no idea what gestalt meant and wouldn't come up with any examples on her own.

            On Jun 26, 2013 3:51 PM, "soulslayer" <jon_brock@...> wrote:
             

            I agree with you about ICONS being a less rigid set of rules, which is something that appeals to me (and as seen in the recent speed vs. thrown object question, the rules philosophy is simple and consistent).

            To that end, I question the need for the Gestalt power at all, since my read (and I'm likely missing something) is that at the end of the day, you'll write down "Gestalt" and do the same things you have to do if you didn't write down "Gestalt".

            Not just to you, Bill, but to anyone, what am I missing? Clearly there was a perceived need for it or it wouldn't have been included, but for the life of me apart from needing to be on a random power table, why is it there?

            --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Bill Olander <plusonesword@...> wrote:
            >
            > Part of the difficulty is that the write up of Gestalt is basically a lot
            > of "Figure this out with your GM". But much of the appeal with ICONS is
            > that the rules aren't entirely hard and fast.
            >
            > I'd be most inclined to look at the Gestalt power as the Duplication power
            > with an inverted duration and room for more variety in your duplicates.
            > After that (as the GM) I would think that specifics would depend on the
            > story that the player came up with to describe the combination. Venom is
            > going to be different from Firestorm who in turn is going to be different
            > from Devastator.
            >

          • soulslayer
            Personally, if that were the reason then it d be good enough for me. If someone rolled it up they d probably have a character they never would have created on
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013
              Personally, if that were the reason then it'd be good enough for me. If someone rolled it up they'd probably have a character they never would have created on their own.

              And that's a feature.

              On the other hand, the specific wording of Gestalt just bugs me for some reason, but I must confess that although it often seems like it, ICONS wasn't written with me in mind. :)

              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Cameron Mount <cameron.a.mount@...> wrote:
              >
              > Honestly? I don't know, but I'm willing to bet that its absence would have
              > been noticeable. Plus, it might give you an idea for a character that you
              > might not come up with on your own. For instance, my non-gaming,
              > not-a-fan-of-comics wife would have no idea what gestalt meant and wouldn't
              > come up with any examples on her own.
            • Icosahedrophilia
              My guess: to model characters like Voltron. And as long as the Gestalt level is higher than the levels of the individual components’ other powers, merging
              Message 6 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013
                My guess: to model characters like Voltron. And as long as the Gestalt level is higher than the levels of the individual components’ other powers, merging bumps up the power level, which can be helpful for overcoming high Resistance levels and such.

                Many groups probably won’t ever use it or want it. But its presence in the book doesn’t hurt anything, and it’s not as if its presence affects the price or the amount anyone voluntarily pledged on Kickstarter, so at worst it’s a few paragraphs you’ll want to skip while reading Great Power cover to cover (which I’m guessing most of us aren’t likely to do more than once).

                On Jun 26, 2013, at 12:50 PM, soulslayer <jon_brock@...> wrote:

                To that end, I question the need for the Gestalt power at all, since my read (and I'm likely missing something) is that at the end of the day, you'll write down "Gestalt" and do the same things you have to do if you didn't write down "Gestalt".

                Not just to you, Bill, but to anyone, what am I missing? Clearly there was a perceived need for it or it wouldn't have been included, but for the life of me apart from needing to be on a random power table, why is it there?

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



              • soulslayer
                ... I d say another possibility is just to have damage to the gestalt form carry over to the individual forms, for thematic reasons. I could see as possibly
                Message 7 of 13 , Jun 26, 2013
                  --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > My guess: to model characters like Voltron. And as long as the Gestalt level is higher than the levels of the individual components’ other powers, merging bumps up the power level, which can be helpful for overcoming high Resistance levels and such.
                  >

                  I'd say another possibility is just to have damage to the gestalt form carry over to the individual forms, for thematic reasons. I could see as possibly problematic - but even if that were true (and likely not universally), it would be easy to handle.

                  > Many groups probably won’t ever use it or want it. But its presence in the book doesn’t hurt anything, and it’s not as if its presence affects the price or the amount anyone voluntarily pledged on Kickstarter, so at worst it’s a few paragraphs you’ll want to skip while reading Great Power cover to cover (which I’m guessing most of us aren’t likely to do more than once).
                  >

                  Wasn't aware that anyone made those claims.
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