Edited Numerous times for clarity... still isn't clear
Valdier - I wasn't actually looking for a forum response, but for inclusion in the next FAQ. That said, if we're going to deal with it here let's deal with it in all its ugly glory -
The precise reason to look at Sorcery and Cosmic here is that they are batch powers, not a bunch of powers bought as extras to a base power. While you can argue that in fact the power stunts are being bought on particular powers/effects in the mix, this is not confirmed in the power descriptions. While you can trace the "back-end" mechanics of the power stunts to secondary effect, as it stands the stunts are on sorcery itself, not powers within Sorcery. Whatever you choose, you have dramatic implications for the game system.
1) Exclusivity - All your base powers under a batch power can clearly be up at one time, since they aren't stunts. What else can we say with surety? Exclusive within category of effect is a clear extrapolation from p 95, but what do we make of power stunts which are not based on an effect in the power? (Spinning + Tunnelling) For Sorcery, categories of effect are not the same as Sorcery Spell Groups, as is reified in the Lady Hex "homebrew Sorcery" example on 95. Yet are spells exclusive within spell group or within category of effect? Or something else?
2) If your Steve confirmed power stunt cost system (henceforth, SCPSC or reasonable facsimile thereof) is true (and I'm not saying it isn't, only that it isn't yet officially in the errata and thus subject to change - though a version exists under the Gadgets rewrite), we also have a "batch power" problem on Sorcery.
Q: What is the cost of the base power for determining the maximum points allocated to a power stunt?
a) 7, for the base cost of sorcery. Implication: That gets me telepathy with 5 extras for 2 points. Yay! Bring on the sorcerous munchkins. This theory makes the most sense off the SCPSC system, and is affirmed by the Alternate Form power stunts.
b) Equal to the base cost of my core ability within that spell group. Implication: Everyone should clearly take as their base Possession, Mental Blast or Suffocate, and Healing, to have base 3 powers and be able take power stunts with a single free extra in each of these groups. On the other hand, maintains best the coherence of the "based on powers within the power" system and makes sense with the most logical rule about exclusivity on 95.
c) Power Stunts listed in power descriptions are automatically available for 2 points at level = the power level, regardless of point differential in effect.
d) Considered to be 2 apiece, regardless of base cost of primary spell (i.e. effect) in each spell group. Implication: Again, buy Possession, Mental Blast, and Healing first, or else you have to buy them at lower levels later.
While a) clearly has balance problems out the wazoo, if you pick the logical choice of b) you've just committed to basing power stunts off of the base cost of effects within powers rather than the core powers itself. You then have a logistical nightmare for complex but "non-batch" powers which aren't based off of conglamorations of individual powers - Spinning (primarily defensive at base) is a power stunt off of Super-speed, so which effects of super-speed is spinning the stunt of? If it's the Amazing Save: Reflex (the only official defensive power in there), then you're getting a 2 point/level power based off a 1 point/level effect. There is the additional +1 to dodge per level of Super-Speed, but there aren't any rules in the SCPSC for adding together the net effect of a particular category of power (defense, for example) to determine the total cost available to fuel power stunts (and if there were, that would create an equal problem with powers containing as multiple powers of the same effect group as extras). Lest the exclusivity question be forgot, is Spinning exclusive with Super-Speed? I'm not sure... what effects are involved?
And what about Spinning itself? No movement effect even in there, yet it has tunneling as a power stunt. Tunneling would therefore be at 0, because there is no base movement effect in Spinning (0 base cost for movement effect x whatever = 0). Hmmm... and Tunneling is specifically noted as "while spinning", which should be impossible if included powers bought as power stunts are automatically exclusive. But if exclusivity is only within effect, as stated on 95, you could do both at once because Spinning is a defense power and tunneling is a movement power - but since this also requires that a different power bought as a stunt be the same kind, we need to ask how Tunneling is a power stunt of Spinning in the first place.
For another difficult example - although Energy Control is a control power, its effects often fall outside the control category. For example, Cold essentially creates Slick. If you are arguing for a power stunt from effect, is your Energy Control: Cold a control power, or an attack power?
c) and d) are neat fixes, but they both contradict the SCPSC to a greater or lesser extent and don't help us when we have to figure out the cost of extras on power stunts.
Whoo! I confused myself at points within that, but tried to make it as clear as possible before posting. Hope it worked.
Last edited by Aleph
on Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.