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Old 09-27-2012, 03:55 PM   #31
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I am strongly opposed to using UB for that purpose, unless those special abilities are also disproportionately powerful.
Well, TbaM/WM are essentially huge packages of Rules Exemptions, Extra Options and the like.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:00 PM   #32
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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Well, TbaM/WM are essentially huge packages of Rules Exemptions, Extra Options and the like.
WM generally pays for itself with the bonus to damage, extra attacks, and extra parries. TBaM is, IMO, overpriced, though some of the abilities it grants access to are in fact exceptionally powerful.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:04 PM   #33
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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WM generally pays for itself with the bonus to damage, extra attacks, and extra parries. TBaM is, IMO, overpriced, though some of the abilities it grants access to are in fact exceptionally powerful.
Agree on both points, neither of which is incompatible with my point. Which is that either trait is a bunch of UBs glued together, such as the one you mentioned, or the access to various cinematic rules/skills/techniques, or rule exemptions for various forms of harsh realism.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:12 PM   #34
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Agree on both points, neither of which is incompatible with my point. Which is that either trait is a bunch of UBs glued together
An ability that grants access to exceptionally potent abilities is not an unusual background, because its value has nothing to do with how 'unusual' those abilities are -- it has to do with how potent those abilities are.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:40 PM   #35
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

One idea:

Gawl Durn it People Like Me
Take any combination of 1-4 reaction mods you want totalling 10 points or less as a perk. Reaction bonuses beyond this core package cost double normal, penalties beyond this compensate at half. (Rxn issues that are secondary effects of traits like talents may be ignored.)

Blatant, blatant, game engineering here.

Goals:
1. Social rxn complexes given a ceiling on complexity for ease of GMing.
2. On average, PCs will be likeable, not outcasts.
3. Rewards social specialization - so each PC can have a group that *they* talk to.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:42 AM   #36
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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I am strongly opposed to using UB for that purpose, unless those special abilities are also disproportionately powerful.
That seems like a pretty self defeating statement. Aren't most super abilities disproportionately powerful? DR, Innate Attacks, Mind Reading, TK - all of those abilities can be potential campaign breakers and can put some characters way ahead of others.

Shouldn't something be done to help designs that are hampered by using a limited list of traits? A 500 point super that invests 100 points in a UB is still competitive with a 500 point "normal" that doesn't have access to any innate super abilities despite having 100 points less to play with. Real game experience has shown me that being having to limit yourself to only gadgets, certain racial abilities (that others also have), and "normal" traits is definitely worth altering the number of points a character has to play with. UB is just the obvious mechanism to levy that tax.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:55 AM   #37
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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That seems like a pretty self defeating statement. Aren't most super abilities disproportionately powerful?
No, most are disproportionately weak. In general the power of an ability should be coded into its cost, but a separate balance is needed for skills because of how the skill mechanics work. Simply getting rid of the cinematic skill and turning them into advantages would eliminate the need for separate advantages that grant access.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #38
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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An ability that grants access to exceptionally potent abilities is not an unusual background, because its value has nothing to do with how 'unusual' those abilities are -- it has to do with how potent those abilities are.
Unusually potent!

No, seriously. Suppose I decide to charge a UB for people who want Enthrallment abilities. That's charging for access to exceptionally potent abilities, but the act of charging a UB for them does mean that most of the public at large will be taken by surprise. They may or may not know that bard skills exist in theory, but they don't expect to actually encounter them and will not be on their guard if someone starts telling stories or singing a song. If I charge a UB for Innate Attacks in excess of 7 dice then that may mean I want to discourage powerful zaps but it should also mean that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition....to be able to shoot through armour plating. Mental stuns are called for when it happens.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:05 AM   #39
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Unusually potent!

No, seriously. Suppose I decide to charge a UB for people who want Enthrallment abilities. That's charging for access to exceptionally potent abilities, but the act of charging a UB for them does mean that most of the public at large will be taken by surprise. They may or may not know that bard skills exist in theory, but they don't expect to actually encounter them and will not be on their guard if someone starts telling stories or singing a song. If I charge a UB for Innate Attacks in excess of 7 dice then that may mean I want to discourage powerful zaps but it should also mean that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition....to be able to shoot through armour plating. Mental stuns are called for when it happens.
One thing UB does it that it allows for a greater degree of player choice. The alternative to charging an UB from players who want Innate Attacks sronger than 7d is to completely forbid players from buying IAs above that strength.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:04 PM   #40
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Default Re: Challenge: Deliberately Miscost a Trait

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Simply getting rid of the cinematic skill and turning them into advantages would eliminate the need for separate advantages that grant access.
Kromm's article From Skills to Advantages (Pyramid #3/44: Alternate GURPS II, p. 14) would be useful if that was the goal.
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