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Old 11-15-2018, 09:44 AM   #1
Gnome
 
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Default [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

I'm running a high point (700+ and rising fast) DF-ish game. The game started a few years back at 130 points, so I did not necessarily anticipate everything that could happen at this level in my initial house rules.

One of the many things I failed to anticipate was that the Rule of 16 would become rather burdensome once everyone's resistance rolls started to reach 16 or higher. This is especially salient when you factor in Luck. Every character has either Extraordinary or Ridiculous Luck at this point (at this level RL is generally worth the 60 pts to be virtually immune to bad dice). So it feels like enemy mages have almost no chance of affecting a PC with a resisted spell. PCs, meanwhile, aren't going to waste energy on a spell like Entombment, which costs a lot of energy (making it a waste against the fodder) and has a strong chance of failure (against a worthy foe).

I'm searching for solutions that won't make my PCs feel that I've pulled the rug out from under them. After all, they built and advanced their characters with the assumption that Rule of 16 would be in place. So they haven't focused on those resisted spells, they've usually stopped raising Will past 16 unless there was some other compelling reason to do so, etc.

Some possibilities:
  • announce that it will become Rule of 17 soon (once they reach x points for example), then Rule of 18 at some later point, and so on
  • invent some new "power-ups," available to PCs and NPCs, that allow one to ignore or extend the rule, similar perhaps to the Rule of 17 perk but more general and leveled
  • change the nature of resistance in some more radical ways (eg. allowing "deceptive spellcasting," where the caster takes a -2 for every -1 they wish to impose on the defender's resistance)
  • make no change and deal with the fact that resisted spells just suck now--partly this bothers me because all of the other kinds of spells just seem to get better (the PCs can cast faster, spending less energy, and maintain more spells for free while still able to soak spells-on penalties--it's fairly common for the party of five+Allies to walk around with 15-20 freely maintained buffs "on": Partial Shapeshifting (Spider Arms), Flight, Missile Shield, Shield, See Secrets, Dark Vision, Mage Sight, etc.)
  • other ideas? I'm hoping some of you creative types will have some good ideas I haven't thought of, or perhaps you've dealt with the same problem in high-powered games...?
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:08 PM   #2
Plane
 
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

I think there is an "ignore rule of 16" or "rule of 17" or something like that in GURPS Power-Ups: Perks which could be what you're looking for. May as well make them pay for it.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

Use the rules for "Extreme Scores" under Regular Contests on B349. Reduce the lower score to 10 and subtract the same amount from the higher score.

The PU2 Perk is a possibly leveled Perk that basically adds 1 to the cap per level. So, it changes the rule for that Perk possessor to Rule of 17, Rule of 18, etc. So it's good for boosting resistance when the enemy has skills far outstripping yours. But it doesn't work the other way around, knocking down high resistances.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 11-15-2018 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
The PU2 Perk is a possibly leveled Perk that basically adds 1 to the cap per level. So, it changes the rule for that Perk possessor to Rule of 17, Rule of 18, etc. So it's good for boosting resistance when the enemy has skills far outstripping yours. But it doesn't work the other way around, knocking down high resistances.
The Perk is:

The Rule of[*] (Skill). It's both leveled and specialized.




* Technically it's the Rule of 17 (Skill). Which is followed by The Rule of 18 (Skill), and the Rule of 19 (Skill), etc. The cap is up to the GM's whims of balance.
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Old 11-15-2018, 05:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Use the rules for "Extreme Scores" under Regular Contests on B349. Reduce the lower score to 10 and subtract the same amount from the higher score.
That would be an...ahem...extreme rule-change, not ideal for a mid-campaign switch. Also I'm afraid it would tip the scales too strongly to the advantage of someone with higher skill.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
The Perk is:

The Rule of[*] (Skill). It's both leveled and specialized.

* Technically it's the Rule of 17 (Skill). Which is followed by The Rule of 18 (Skill), and the Rule of 19 (Skill), etc. The cap is up to the GM's whims of balance.
Any thoughts on a fair per-level cost for buying a "universal" Rule of 17+ advantage that covers all spells?
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Any thoughts on a fair per-level cost for buying a "universal" Rule of 17+ advantage that covers all spells?
I would never allow that.

Even 20 points per level 'feels' too low*. But you're likely to only have maybe, 5 or so spells the Wizard really needs to see at max value.

Maybe look at it from that angle, how many spells is the Wizard going to need† and double the "All Spells Price".



* Mostly because of the sheer number of spells that could cover for the 'properly' built 700+ point DF Wizard.

† Because 'need' and 'want' are two separate things, you price gouge on the 'want'. If they really want it, they will spend the points.

And by 'need', I don't mean I don't mean "how many spells do they have on their sheets that this will apply to", I mean "how many do they very often feel the sting of not being able to cast above 16". So if they have 50 spells (exaggeration for effect) that are effectively capped at 16 but only really ever use 4 of them, charge 10 points per level (after adjusting for GURPS pentaphilia).
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Old 11-16-2018, 07:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
I would never allow that.

Even 20 points per level 'feels' too low*. But you're likely to only have maybe, 5 or so spells the Wizard really needs to see at max value.

Maybe look at it from that angle, how many spells is the Wizard going to need and double the "All Spells Price".



* Mostly because of the sheer number of spells that could cover for the 'properly' built 700+ point DF Wizard.

Because 'need' and 'want' are two separate things, you price gouge on the 'want'. If they really want it, they will spend the points.

And by 'need', I don't mean I don't mean "how many spells do they have on their sheets that this will apply to", I mean "how many do they very often feel the sting of not being able to cast above 16". So if they have 50 spells (exaggeration for effect) that are effectively capped at 16 but only really ever use 4 of them, charge 10 points per level (after adjusting for GURPS pentaphilia).
I'm somewhat confused by your answer. 20/level seems low, but for a typical wizard 10/level might be right?

Counting the caster's current spells has some issues: the game features fast advancement, and anyone who gains this powerup will quickly want to learn a bunch of spells to use it with; the party has more than one caster with different spell lists, but I still want to introduce the new power-up with one "price;" and like all GURPS traits, there should be one "fair" price that doesn't depend on some particular build. We don't price ST based on weapon skill, for example, even though we know high-skill characters will benefit much more from that ST. We just assume people will optimize their characters and price based on that, right?

So with that (usual) assumption, what's a fair price for this ability? If the advantage Rule of 17 (all) existed in a published DF book, what would do you think it would/should be priced at per level?
Maybe 20/level is right, but it feels a bit expensive. The perk already allows you to do this with your "best" spell, so how much added utility is there from covering your second best, third best, fourth best, etc.?
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
Any thoughts on a fair per-level cost for buying a "universal" Rule of 17+ advantage that covers all spells?
Sorry evileeyore, but in Power-Ups 4, on pg 7, there is a Cosmic Modifier for "No Rule of 16."

So, there's a canonical way to simply do away with the Rule of 16 (which happens a lot in my supers games).
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
Sorry evileeyore, but in Power-Ups 4, on pg 7, there is a Cosmic Modifier for "No Rule of 16."

So, there's a canonical way to simply do away with the Rule of 16 (which happens a lot in my supers games).
Remember, I'm talking specifically about Rule of 16 for spells, using the standard Magic system (as is canonical for DF). So that modifier from PU4 doesn't really give me the fair cost for a special advantage that essentially grants that modifier to all spells (or grants it partially by raising Rule of 16 to 17, 18, etc.).
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] extending Rule of 16 for high-point games

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Originally Posted by Mark Skarr View Post
Sorry evileeyore, but in Power-Ups 4, on pg 7, there is a Cosmic Modifier for "No Rule of 16."

So, there's a canonical way to simply do away with the Rule of 16 (which happens a lot in my supers games).
I'm glad things like this exist because one of the benefits of recognizing their power is reminding us that the rule of 16 exists :)
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