Repost - Power Stunt ? re: 2ndary effect and cost (Steve?)

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Repost - Power Stunt ? re: 2ndary effect and cost (Steve?)

Postby Aleph » Sat Mar 08, 2003 8:41 am

I posed a version of this in the errata post as a question for the next FAQ. That thread has become a rules discussion thread, and Valdier gave a good shot at answering my question, but I don't know that the answer I am looking for exists yet. I would now appreciate both forum feedback (including more from Valdier) and Steve's response. Be clear - we have been playing without an official answer, and can continue to do so. The question is more one of tightening the nuts on the system and getting clear as to how the back-end mechanics and front-end descriptions relate to each other.

Definitions used here: Batch powers are powers like Sorcery, Cosmic power, Elemental Control, and Energy Control - powers that have no real innate abilities and are readily separable collections of other powers. Composite powers are powers whose effects are not readily separable but still have multiple different effects (Super-Speed). Base powers are core powers whose effects cannot be broken down - these would be similar to HERO powers.

Two questions -

I. Exclusivity Question:
How does exclusivity work within power stunts of batch powers? Are power stunts listed in the text automatically assumed to fall under the secondary effect rule, or is that only for custom powers?

Complications:
A) If they are exclusive as per secondary effect, what does this imply for composite powers? For example - Super Speed has Spinning as a power stunt. Spinning is basically a defensive effect, and Super-Speed has defensive components to it. Since you can't separate out the defensive parts of Super-Speed from the rest of it batch-style, are Spinning and Super-Speed exclusive?

B) If they are exclusive as per rules on secondary effect, how do we deal with powers that are given as stunts but don't share effects with their base power. Ex. Spinning and Tunnelling.

C) Sorcery's spell categories do not quite match up with effect categories. Which is used for determining exclusivity?

II. Cost of Power Stunts:
The basic question is, given the basic formula for determining the rank of power stunts with extras and flaws, "[Original Cost] / [Second Powers Cost] = New Rank (rounded down)", how do you determine the "original cost" for batch powers? Is it i) the cost of the base power (7, for Sorcery) or ii) the cost of the power containing the effect which the stunt is based off of (whatever spell effect is chosen as your initial pick for that spell category)? The FAQ says:
Do extras and power stunts that duplicate other powers work at the same rank as the base power?
Yes, unless stated otherwise, extras and power stunts that duplicate
another power work at the rank of the base power.

But Steve clarifies this by saying that variations on the formula above (such as adding extras) counts as "stated otherwise".

Complications
A) If the answer is i) then sorcerors will be able to load 5 extras on to every 2 point power they pick up as a power stunt. This is a balance problem. It is also indicated by the way the Alternate Form power stunts work, although there are exclusivity questions raised there as well.

B) If the answer is ii) then sorcerors will be encouraged to pick the more expensive base powers for each category (Possession, Mental Blast, and Healing). This is a minor problem, however, compared to the implications that this system has for determining the rank of power stunts off of composite powers. Which effects would count as defensive, say, in Super Speed to determine the effective rank of Spinning? It would also make impossible the use of power stunts which do not share effects with their base power (again, Spinning and Tunnelling), since the Original Cost would be 0.

Questions? Thoughts? Comments?
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Postby Aleph » Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:33 am

Halloo? I mean, BUMP...
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Postby Aleph » Tue Mar 25, 2003 2:11 pm

Still dont understand these rules...
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Postby Aleph » Tue Mar 25, 2003 2:11 pm

Still dont understand these rules...
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Postby Strand0 » Wed Mar 26, 2003 1:42 am

I can't understand what you are asking.
:oops: But, I felt someone say something.
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Postby MagusRogue » Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:34 am

yup. have to agree with strand0. totally lost.

:yar: YAR!
Aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnd...... this rant has finished.
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Postby Blackhawk » Wed Mar 26, 2003 6:45 am

I think I figured out that Tunneling should be an Extra of Spinning instead of a Power Stunt, but I don't think that was the point. I'm thinking if that was errataed... erratated... clarified, it might clear up some of his problems.
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Postby Steve Kenson » Wed Mar 26, 2003 7:05 am

Power Stunts and Secondary Effects

* The power must already have a primary effect of the same type in order to add a secondary effect of that type.

* Secondary effects can’t be used or sustained at the same time as the primary effect. If the secondary effect needs to work in conjunction with the primary effect, it can't be a secondary effect. For example, if a character makes Immovability a secondary effect of Amazing Save (Damage), the character can benefit from either Amazing Save (Damage) or Immovability, but not both at once. To have the powers working at the same time, the character must add the new effect as an extra and increase the power's cost per rank.

* The secondary effect cannot have a power point cost greater than the primary effect. If the GM allows, the secondary effect may have a lower rank than the primary effect, in order to accommodate extras that increase its cost. For example, a primary effect at rank 10 costs 2 pp/rank, a total of 20 pp. A secondary effect with an extra costs 3 pp/rank, a total of 30 pp for 10 ranks, too much for a secondary effect for that primary effect. However, if the rank of the secondary effect is lowered to 6, that makes its total 18 pp, less than the primary effect, and therefore suitable. If the secondary effect had two extras, and a cost of 4 pp/rank, its rank would need to be lowered to 5, for a total cost of 20 pp.

You can generally assume that power stunts listed for the "batch" powers, as you call them, are considered secondary effects.

How does this apply to various powers?

Cosmic Power: All of the listed power stunts are secondary effects.

Element Control: All of the listed power stunts are secondary effects.

Energy Control: All of the listed powers stunts are secondary effects.

Sorcery: Each spell group is considered the base effect when determining the value of power stunts, not the entire cost of the Sorcery power. So if you want to add a spell (power stunt) to the Defensive Group, for example, it must have a cost of 2 or less per rank, just like the other powers in that group, or a reduced rank. In cases where spell group and effect category don't match up exactly, use spell group. It's up to the GM to decide which spell group a new power fits into.

You can create an extra, call it "Expanded Spells" that allows you to apply one extra to each of the spells in that Spell Group, expanding the group's cost to 3 pp.

Healing, Mental Blast, and Possession are somewhat special cases, since they are 3 pp powers (their cost was raised in the final draft and the changes weren't reflected in Sorcery). You have two options here, either consider them 2 pp powers for the purposes of Sorcery (because they are fairly common powers for sorcerers) or require them to have a lower rank than the Sorcery power, as given above.

Super-Speed: The Spinning power stunt substitutes for the initiative and dodge bonus provided by Super-Speed, granting a bonus to save against damage and snare attacks instead. The Tunneling stunt for Spinning isn't exactly a secondary effect, but it was considered a minor enough benefit to be a stunt rather than an extra.

Hope that helps clear up any confusion.
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Postby Valdier » Wed Mar 26, 2003 9:46 am

Steve, does it sound reasonable to define "same time" as the same round for purposes of secondary effects of power stunts?
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Postby Steve Kenson » Wed Mar 26, 2003 10:40 am

Valdier wrote:Steve, does it sound reasonable to define "same time" as the same round for purposes of secondary effects of power stunts?

Yes, I would say so.
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