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Old 04-28-2017, 06:03 PM   #1
Raekai
 
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Default Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

Hey, guys.

I'm trying to build a power for one of my players and I wanted to price it fairly. Cumulative is a pretty strong enhancement for Affliction, so we agreed to make it take a cumulative -1 penalty for each successive use. Now, this greatly limits the potency of Cumulative, so what would that be worth? +300%? +200%? I know I could hand-wave it, but I don't like to do that if I don't have to.

Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:56 PM   #2
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

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Originally Posted by Raekai View Post
Hey, guys.

I'm trying to build a power for one of my players and I wanted to price it fairly. Cumulative is a pretty strong enhancement for Affliction, so we agreed to make it take a cumulative -1 penalty for each successive use. Now, this greatly limits the potency of Cumulative, so what would that be worth? +300%? +200%? I know I could hand-wave it, but I don't like to do that if I don't have to.

Thanks.
Since Hard to Use (GURPS Powers, p. 107) gives a -3 to rolls and is worth -5%, each -1 to rolls is worth -1.5%. A cumulative penalty is probably worth about the same as "Based on Margin" (GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 13). If we then limit the enhancement (p. B111) we get a value equal to +380% since that is the value of +400% x 0.95%.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:12 PM   #3
Raekai
 
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

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Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
Since Hard to Use (GURPS Powers, p. 107) gives a -3 to rolls and is worth -5%, each -1 to rolls is worth -1.5%. A cumulative penalty is probably worth about the same as "Based on Margin" (GURPS Psionic Powers, p. 13). If we then limit the enhancement (p. B111) we get a value equal to +380% since that is the value of +400% x 0.95%.
See, that's what I was thinking, but I feel like taking only 5% off of 400% is so insignificant for turning a previously possibly-infinite power into one with limits. I mean, RPM (which we're actually trying to model) has a cumulative -1 penalty per every 3 skill rolls, and that's still very limiting as you well know. You are one of the masters of RPM after all. At the very least, I would argue for taking 10% off of 400% to make it 360%, which still feels like too much. Sure, it's my game, and I can say 300% if I want to, but I hate to make calls like that by myself without checking in with you guys.

I feel like modeling it off of Hard to Use is unfair, but I might just be biased in this case. Hard to Use is so pitifully small because it gives a flat penalty per use. However, I feel like a cumulative penalty is far more restricting. It's not about how hard it is to make it work, but I feel like it's more about how many times it can work before it fails, which fits closer to something like Limited Use rather than Hard to Use. Again, I might just be biased, so, please, feel free to call me out, but I think there should be a separate limitation for something like that.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

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Originally Posted by Raekai View Post
See, that's what I was thinking, but I feel like taking only 5% off of 400% is so insignificant for turning a previously possibly-infinite power into one with limits. I mean, RPM (which we're actually trying to model) has a cumulative -1 penalty per every 3 skill rolls, and that's still very limiting as you well know. You are one of the masters of RPM after all. At the very least, I would argue for taking 10% off of 400% to make it 360%, which still feels like too much. Sure, it's my game, and I can say 300% if I want to, but I hate to make calls like that by myself without checking in with you guys.

I feel like modeling it off of Hard to Use is unfair, but I might just be biased in this case. Hard to Use is so pitifully small because it gives a flat penalty per use. However, I feel like a cumulative penalty is far more restricting. It's not about how hard it is to make it work, but I feel like it's more about how many times it can work before it fails, which fits closer to something like Limited Use rather than Hard to Use. Again, I might just be biased, so, please, feel free to call me out, but I think there should be a separate limitation for something like that.
Considering most of the time cumulative penalties are a feature (per Powers), this is probably more than fair. Like you said, you can reduce it further (and you should if you feel it's not enough), but I wouldn't.
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

I'd personally just use the Increased Immunity -10%/level (from GURPS Power-Ups 8) value and rules, with the tweak that the penalty applies for every successful use rather than every resisted/failed use. It gives you several variations and durations of the cumulative penalty. I've used this tweak for Healing (substituting the -2 with -3) for both Increased Immunity and Decreased Immunity in my games and it works fine.

Granted, this pricing doesn't change the fact that the limitation is minor compared to the price of the cumulative effect, but then again, I personally think cumulative effects are suppose to be powerful an expensive. I think it's fair.


As another design alternative, have you considered Limited By Margin limitation? Or I think there's a special "margin-based" limitation or enhancement when we're talking about Affliction? So instead of it being Cumulative, your bonus is based on a margin. You can try again and if you get a better result, it replaces the older one, but a worse result does nothing. Apply the Increased Immunity limitation to that, giving you the cumulative penalty when you succeed, making it more and more unlikely that future roles will get a better result. So there, you only get the -2 limitation without having to pay for Cumulative. Granted, this is NOT quite the same design concept; you're likely to get your best result on the first roll, but it does give a possibility for improvements with further rolls without needing the Cumulative enhancement, and thus at a lower price. Maybe throw in a generic "First use is at half effect, -20%" limitation so that the first roll is always lower, making it more likely for a second or subsequent roll to get a better effect. (The -20% is off the top of my head, based on an Accessibility value, and may not be the right value.)
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

The "possibly-infinite" is largely illusion, though. Certainly it's true, in that abstract combat-on-an-infinite-featureless-plain sense. But how often does it actually come up that you (a) need an infinite amount of stacking to achieve your goal; (b) have an infinite amount of turns to apply it; and (c) never get a crit fail while doing so?

For judging the cost, it helps to realize that the utility of each successive application has declining utility. The first stack is more valuable than the taking the stack from 9 to 10. And the likelihood of needing that much effect is similarly less. (The mooks will go down quickly regardless.)

I'd suggest that 10 applications is approximately "effective infinity" for a combat ability. If you sit in a corner for 10 turns chanting, the other PCs will probably finish off the enemy by the time you're done. 10s combats are rare, at least in my experience, and it's a rough boundary between durations in combat time and out-of-combat time. (Compare the limits on Takes Extra Time.) That number also dovetails with the -10 TDM often used to represent "impossible" (except for those amazing heroic PCs), such as fighting blind.

For another example of declining utility, consider the forum discussions on the pricing of Costs FP. Someone will usually make the point that the very first level, taking an ability from "free" to "limited", is much more significant than the 3 or 4th level. "Can use 5 times in combat" isn't that much more limiting than "Can use 10 times in combat" -- especially since once you have a lot of Costs FP abilities, that Energy Reserve starts looking good. Similarly, the first stack of your Cumulative Affliction is often going to be more significant than taking the stack from 5 to 6 levels. The marginal utility of stacks isn't a constant. So, the pricing shouldn't be thought of as linear.

(The assumption of linearity is one of the pitfalls in the Either-Or calculation, and one reason it often fails to satisfy people in practice. The math is perfectly sound -- but it does assume that the effects are independent and combined linearly, like regular real numbers. But that's not really true of perceived modifier values. We treat them that way so we can do the math using tools we already know, rather than futzing around with a lot of table lookups and charts for every modifier. And sometimes, that won't work out.)
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Old 04-29-2017, 09:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

When ever the subject of cost pricing comes up for my campaigns, it is readily apparent that character points are currency and anything purchased with points is subject to the laws of demand in their eyes. If the cost is too high in their opinion, they won't buy it for their characters.

Case in point: I once priced a turn undead power, similar to that in D&D, and when I was done, my wife considered it WAY too expensive for what it provided versus how often she expected to use the ability.

One of the biggest gripes I have with pricing of psionic powers in GURPS is that it becomes very difficult to have both Mages and Psionics and Mundanes in the same campaign due to the huge disparity in costs for magery and spells versus psionic abilities. When a player looks at the costs for buying magic or psionics and thinks "I can buy defences against magic and psionics and still be able to buy high stats or a boatload of mundane advantages". It becomes exceedingly difficult to have a "modern fantasy" style campaign similar to Eden Studio's ARMAGEDDON using GURPS. That it can be done within Eden Studio's system kind of makes me wonder why it can't be done with GURPS. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the two systems, because the weight given to various advantages with Eden Studios games (All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Witchcraft/Armageddon) are set in modern times. In addition, point buckets for attributes are divorced from advantages and skills. In GURPS, the 10 points used to raise ST from 10 to 11, has the same cost as 2 levels of Charisma.

My point here is this: play around with house rules - don't be shy about it. If something costs too much, lower it. If stat improvement should be doubled after start of play, go for it. Since the rules apply to everyone in the group, they can't really say "that's not fair!" In the end, rules are to give structure to the game, not act like a straight jacket.
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Old 04-29-2017, 12:22 PM   #8
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

My last DF game had a barbarian, swashbuckler, a knight, a cleric, a wizard, and a mentalist. Nobody felt like their points were wasted.
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Old 04-29-2017, 05:09 PM   #9
Christopher R. Rice
 
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kallatari View Post
I'd personally just use the Increased Immunity -10%/level (from GURPS Power-Ups 8) value and rules, with the tweak that the penalty applies for every successful use rather than every resisted/failed use. It gives you several variations and durations of the cumulative penalty. I've used this tweak for Healing (substituting the -2 with -3) for both Increased Immunity and Decreased Immunity in my games and it works fine.

Granted, this pricing doesn't change the fact that the limitation is minor compared to the price of the cumulative effect, but then again, I personally think cumulative effects are suppose to be powerful an expensive. I think it's fair.


As another design alternative, have you considered Limited By Margin limitation? Or I think there's a special "margin-based" limitation or enhancement when we're talking about Affliction? So instead of it being Cumulative, your bonus is based on a margin. You can try again and if you get a better result, it replaces the older one, but a worse result does nothing. Apply the Increased Immunity limitation to that, giving you the cumulative penalty when you succeed, making it more and more unlikely that future roles will get a better result. So there, you only get the -2 limitation without having to pay for Cumulative. Granted, this is NOT quite the same design concept; you're likely to get your best result on the first roll, but it does give a possibility for improvements with further rolls without needing the Cumulative enhancement, and thus at a lower price. Maybe throw in a generic "First use is at half effect, -20%" limitation so that the first roll is always lower, making it more likely for a second or subsequent roll to get a better effect. (The -20% is off the top of my head, based on an Accessibility value, and may not be the right value.)
You know what? I like this better. If I wasn't so sleep-addled I would have seen it. This is about perfect me thinks.
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Price of Cumulative (+400%) if each successive use takes a cumulative -1 penalty?

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My last DF game had a barbarian, swashbuckler, a knight, a cleric, a wizard, and a mentalist. Nobody felt like their points were wasted.
Using templates for a Fantasy game world correct? Now try building from scratch, the mentalist or mage or mundane FBI agent using say, 300 points - strictly without the use of Dungeon Fantasy, and see how/where the abuses begin to creep in.

<shrugs>

To each their own.
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