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Old 08-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default [Basic] Advantage of the Week (#7): Altered Time Rate

Last Week: Ally; Ally Group
Next Week: Alternate Identity; Temporary Identity; Zeroed

This week's subject is Altered Time Rate (p.B38-39, Powers p.41-42). It is a leveled Advantage, costing a hefty 100 points per. A character with Altered Time Rate experiences time more quickly, so that for every level of the Advantage you experience an additional subjective second. For example, with Altered Time Rate Lv4, from your characters perspective five seconds are passing for every one second those without this trait experience.

Mechanically this enables some very nice options. In combat, each level corresponds to an additional maneuver on your turn in combat. This includes Concentrate Maneuvers for tasks like Spells, run faster by taking multiple move maneuvers or of course make multiple attacks. It can allow for more extensive planning, besides your character experiencing additional time, according to the rules on p.B38 you may always attempt a Sense Roll or IQ-based Skill roll to make plans or recall information at no penalty to additional actions. When it comes to interacting with others, where their reactions matter, you have to deliberately slow yourself down; Feinting at high speed may look cool, but if your opponent doesn't have time to react to it, it won't do you any good in combat.

Powers includes a Enhancement that allows you to be even faster outside of combat as well as a Limitation that prevents Altered Time Rate from affecting how many maneuvers you get in combat (see Powers p.42 for details). If you really want a better reaction time, Combat Reflexes or even Enhanced Time Sense are your go to options, whether you have Altered Time Rate or not. If you really want to be able to move faster, buying up your Basic Speed, your Basic Move, and or Enhanced Move exist expressly for that, and can again be combined with Altered Time Rate.
  1. Have you used Altered Time Rate for any of your characters before?
  2. How well has it worked for you, or those you've gamed with whose characters have possessed Altered Time Rate?
  3. Are there any areas of confusion or uncertainty with regards to it?
  4. Is there anything you might like to change about it?

With regards to that last one, the previous [Basic] Advantage of the Week proved that an especially crunchy discussion is likely better suited to its own thread (though linking to it for reference seems like a sound idea). My own attempt last week to encourage others to help me find unifying rules for Allies, Contacts and Patrons went most poorly, and as I am the one that pushed for it I am of course to blame for potentially killing off more on topic discussion. >_<

I myself have some questions about Altered Time Rate, but I'll wait until we have some more general discussion out of the way. I actually have misunderstood this Advantage for many years, possibly dating back to 3e (since all the characters I have built with it never ended up seeing any play, I am not sure if I had it wrong the whole time, or it just sort of "happened").
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Last edited by Otaku; 10-28-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

I don't think I have seen a PC with ATR. I have used The Watcher at End of Time, and seen the Great Haste spell and that clock from DF8 used by PCs. Two of the characters in Phoenix Imperative have paid for the ability to use Bullet Time, as well.

Over all it seems pretty straight forward other than the restriction on Feint.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

I don't really like the way ATR gives 'back-to-back' maneuvers, leading to things like the oft-suggested 'AoAxN, then AoD' action sequence.

Relatedly, I want to once again point out that those back-to-back maneuvers can still be interrupted by others using Wait.


In some cases, it may be somewhat unclear how ATR interacts with equipment, and how much given durations depend on standard human speed versus performance versus hardware capabilities. Probably the easiest example is guns. For some guns, the RoF is 1 second of firing at the cyclic rate of the weapon, which means that logically it should be impossible for someone with ATR to fire more than that many rounds total in a second. For others, RoF is a function of how fast a normal person can operate the weapon, so the same limit clearly shouldn't apply...but it might still be physically dubious to unload an entire extended magazine from a handgun in under a second.

ATR as written in Characters does not actually result in the character experiencing extra time. They don't metabolize, age, etc. any faster.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

The big recurrent issue with ATR is that we keep getting people bringing up how it would be impossible for normal speed people to defend against it...even though these same normal speed people are making dodge rolls against guns.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
  1. Have you used Altered Time Rate for any of your characters before?
  2. How well has it worked for you, or those you've gamed with whose characters have possessed Altered Time Rate?
  3. Are there any areas of confusion or uncertainty with regards to it?
  4. Is there anything you might like to change about it?
1. Not on anyone who's actually seen play. It's just so damn expensive!
2. N/A
3a. How would I model "ages proportionately"? Add Temporary Disadvantage?
3b. What situations do you run into where an extra maneuver isn't helpful because you're limited by other factors? For example, what would ATR do for a race-car driver, and does GURPS have a good way of modelling it?
4. Let's get some modifiers. For every maneuver, I want to know how much a limited version of ATR would cost. Concentrate only? Move only? Also, this is a situation where it makes a lot of sense to put Costs FP on it and use on a round-by-round basis, but are there any rules for an Advantage that can be activated or deactivated as a free action?
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
but are there any rules for an Advantage that can be activated or deactivated as a free action?
Reflexive (P109) has a bit about that.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:04 PM   #7
Snaps
 
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

I tend to play and run high powered games, so this advantage has come up a few times.

Questions that came up were things like:

Do I get all of my actions at the same time? Meaning if I have a Basic Speed of 10, do I get all of my actions before the slow pokes? I generally ruled that they did.

Questions about how many times you could All-Out Attack, Rapid Strike, or use Extra Effort (for things like Heroic Charge, etc.) Came up. Again, I usually put not restrictions on this.

We had one speedster in a game who could attack well over 15 times in a round. This was in a 500 point I-SWAT game, and he dropped all of his point into ATR (4 or 5 levels, I forget exactly). He would do things like rapid strike, and all out attack, giving him 3 or 4 attacks per ATR, for 15 - 20 attacks. We often just treated these like rapid fire attacks, making his opponent dodge each attack on one roll.

My understanding was that by default, anything you carried was under your effect, so if you had ATR 4, and a ROF 3 gun, you could shoot a total of 15 times in 1 second (assuming your gun held that much ammo).

I had one player make a slightly odd character. He was a Hengeyokai with 5 tails. Each tail had the ability to cast spells. Also, hunters would hunt his kind for their tails, as you could cut them off and they would enhance your magic. (Allowing you to cast more than once per round). I think he ended up with ATR, for casting only, with each tail being considered a gadget that could be forcibly removed. (And they were, he had all of them cut off at one point by a shaman, who added them to his staff.)

Probably wouldn't fly with a lot of GM's, but it was a high powered game, and it worked for us. (I think he was still the least powerful character in the group).

Those are just a few of my experiences, I think we had more. (I seem to remember someone who had them as cyberware. And I know another character built something like Celerity for a half-demon with ATR. ATR that cost a lot of fatigue, etc.)
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

I gave an NPC gunslinger that altered time rate with extra attack, ambidextrous, and gunslinger I really liked how that worked out it gave him a matrix like effect where he could take on large groups of enemies by attacking 4 times a round. I was annoyed by how fast he could move at first so I gave his alternate time rate temporary disadvantage decreased move score to represent that hes actually reacting faster not moving faster. All in all it worked out very nicely.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

I have use and had my players use it in Supers games, great for Speedsters.
There is an option to let it make you metabolize faster as a feature which balances out extra food and quickly heling from poisions or damage but taking cyclic damage faster then others.
Also I think its in Gun Fu but somewhere it mentioned how ATR can afect what you carry or not, decided wehn bought.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Basic] Advantage of the Week: Altered Time Rate

Ive only used it with a speedster. It's pretty brutal. As referenced before, being able to take solid action then follow it up with All-Out Defence is sweet.
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