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Old 05-01-2017, 08:55 AM   #1
GreatWyrmGold
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Default Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

The Basic Set gives rules for advantages that have FP costs. Something like Flight can cost 1 FP per minute for -5%, and either 1 FP per second or 2 FP per minute for -10%. GURPS Powers has a rule for a Maximum Duration limitation; for instance, "up to 10 minutes" is -50%, while "less than 30 seconds" is -75%.

These...contrast. 1 FP/minute for ten minutes will drain most characters to below 1/3 of their FP, tiring them greatly, and then they need to rest for more than an hour and a half to get back to normal. On the other hand, the plain ol' Maximum Duration limitation lets you go for 10 minutes without any kind of tiredness, wait five minutes, and do it again.* Yet you get literally ten times the discount for a fraction of the inconvenience. Shorter durations are even worse; you don't get quite as much a difference in discount, but "exhausted in a quarter-minute, recover in a couple hours" versus "just wait a few minutes" is even more extreme. I'll grant that the graininess offered by FP over specific durations is a small advantage, but it's utterly meaningless in light of all the other extreme differences between the two modifiers.

These two limitations can't both make sense. Which is broken? Or are they both problematic in their own ways?

*Side note: The time you need to wait between uses of the ability is always five minutes, whether your maximum duration is 20 seconds or 12 hours. Isn't that kinda odd?
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Short answer: both, but with cost FP more so.

Basically the first level of cost FP is a big downgrade to an ability but subsequent less so for each. If you search you can find multiple discussions on it. It should definitely give way more than 5% discount.

On the other hand the maximum duration gives too much of a discount when compared to other things like maximum uses.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
These two limitations can't both make sense. Which is broken? Or are they both problematic in their own ways?

*Side note: The time you need to wait between uses of the ability is always five minutes, whether your maximum duration is 20 seconds or 12 hours. Isn't that kinda odd?
Not quite so short: the two limitations do different things. Maximum duration is only for advantages/abilities that are switchable (i.e. can be turned on or off) and can be left on indefinitely and that also have continuing effects while they are on. That limitation is priced on how limiting the maximum duration is compared to the much longer duration it could have had.

Costs Fatigue on the other hand, requires paying fatigue when it wouldn't otherwise have been charged. It's meant to represent a power or ability that takes so much effort that the user will soon drop from exhaustion if he insists on using it for a prolonged period of time.

Note that because they represent different things, they aren't mutually exclusive. Flight is something that could have both Costs Fatigue and Maximum Duration.

You can have Flight [40] Maximum Duration (Up to 10 minutes) [-50%] Costs Fatigue (2 FP) [-10%] for 16 points but, you have to pay 2 Fatigue for the first minute and 1 Fatigue per minute thereafter, and if you have the usual 10 FP, you "run out of gas" at the nine minute mark and have to wait at least five minutes before trying again but will probably want to wait until you've recovered all your fatigue.

Maybe you have Flight [40] Maximum Duration (up to 1 minute) [-65%] Costs Fatigue (1 FP) [-5%] for 12 points but it's tiring, so you can only fly for short hops of a minute and then you have to "rest" five minutes before making your next hop.

Both builds seem reasonably priced for what they represent.


As for your side note, five minutes is also the time you have to wait after a failed skill roll before you can attempt it again without penalty. If you can try again immediately, there isn't much point in having a Maximum Duration. Most combat is going to last under thirty seconds (turns) and even in rare instances, isn't likely to reach a minute, so Maximum Duration shouldn't be an issue in combat and five minutes is probably the minimum out of combat time for an effect (in this case, not being able to use your power) to actually feel inconvenient.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:16 PM   #4
GreatWyrmGold
 
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Quote:
Originally Posted by weby View Post
Short answer: both, but with cost FP more so.
Basically the first level of cost FP is a big downgrade to an ability but subsequent less so for each. If you search you can find multiple discussions on it. It should definitely give way more than 5% discount.
On the other hand the maximum duration gives too much of a discount when compared to other things like maximum uses.
I don't suppose you could point to a particularly useful discussion? The discussions I've found tended to come to conclusions like "Just make it -10% per point and it should be good".
I'd be interested to hear more in-depth comparisons of Maximum Duration and other things. Or to be pointed to such discussions. Or at least to have Googling terms suggested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Not quite so short...

Both builds seem reasonably priced for what they represent.
I'm not convinced. One lets you fly a minute at a time with some brief rests in the middle, the other lets you fly a bit longer at the cost of taking much longer to recover, even if you don't fly for that long. Maybe you can justify the latter costing more than the former, but this example breaks down if you apply basically any other combination. The most obvious would be to see what effect removing the Maximum Duration limitation has on the abilities; one is almost completely unaffected (unless you have stupidly high FP) but costs more than twice the maximum-duration version, while the other lets you chain together slightly longer individual flight times for triple the cost. On the other hand, removing the fatigue costs only adds a few points to the cost but greatly improves the flyers' long-term endurance. And it only gets weirder if you allow more extreme deviations from those two examples.

Quote:
As for your side note, five minutes is also the time you have to wait after a failed skill roll before you can attempt it again without penalty. If you can try again immediately, there isn't much point in having a Maximum Duration. Most combat is going to last under thirty seconds (turns) and even in rare instances, isn't likely to reach a minute, so Maximum Duration shouldn't be an issue in combat and five minutes is probably the minimum out of combat time for an effect (in this case, not being able to use your power) to actually feel inconvenient.
Um...I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say.
Limited Duration on combat-scale durations (say, 20 seconds of flight), a five-minute delay is a huge deal! It lasts for a fight, but if you get into another fight quickly enough after that one, you'll have to do without a major combat ability. And if you want to use it out of combat for some utility function, you'll have to deal with only being able to use the ability for a tiny fraction of the time.
But if you have a longer-scale duration (day, 12 hours of flight), a five-minute delay is nothing. You can use your ability basically all the time, with some basically inconsequential breaks in the middle. Even if your ability is something directly responsible for keeping you alive on a minute-to-minute basis (say, staying high above the clouds without turning into chunky salsa on the ground), you just have to make plans to be in a safe place every so often.
The sheer difference in the effect that limited duration has in these different scenarios is staggering. A combat-scale power has a "cooldown" on a scale which would potentially allow multiple combats to pass, if the tables turned in just the wrong way. A travel-day-scale power has the same "cooldown," turning the limited duration into little more than a footnote and a reason to take an occasional break. It's just weird, and something that could have been solved almost effortlessly by having the "cooldown" scale with the duration. (Say, twice the maximum duration, or maybe twice the amount of time the ability was used for. Or if you're feeling fancy, something like twice the maximum duration or three times the actual duration, whichever is shorter.)
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

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Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
Um...I don't think you understand what I'm trying to say.
Limited Duration on combat-scale durations (say, 20 seconds of flight), a five-minute delay is a huge deal! It lasts for a fight, but if you get into another fight quickly enough after that one, you'll have to do without a major combat ability. And if you want to use it out of combat for some utility function, you'll have to deal with only being able to use the ability for a tiny fraction of the time.
But if you have a longer-scale duration (day, 12 hours of flight), a five-minute delay is nothing. You can use your ability basically all the time, with some basically inconsequential breaks in the middle. Even if your ability is something directly responsible for keeping you alive on a minute-to-minute basis (say, staying high above the clouds without turning into chunky salsa on the ground), you just have to make plans to be in a safe place every so often.
The sheer difference in the effect that limited duration has in these different scenarios is staggering. A combat-scale power has a "cooldown" on a scale which would potentially allow multiple combats to pass, if the tables turned in just the wrong way. A travel-day-scale power has the same "cooldown," turning the limited duration into little more than a footnote and a reason to take an occasional break. It's just weird, and something that could have been solved almost effortlessly by having the "cooldown" scale with the duration. (Say, twice the maximum duration, or maybe twice the amount of time the ability was used for. Or if you're feeling fancy, something like twice the maximum duration or three times the actual duration, whichever is shorter.)
I think I understood you just fine. I don't happen to agree.

First, just in case there is such a Limitation and I missed it, we're talking about Maximum Duration, not Limited Duration.

Second, the reason for not altering the cool-down period is inherent in the pricing of the limitation. Anything over 12 hours Maximum Duration is worth nothing as a limitation, because a five minute cool-down is nothing at that scale. For anything with a Maximum Duration of more than an hour and no more than 12 hours, it's worth only -5% because, while it's not quite nothing, it's not a limitation that's terribly inconvenient. Between 30 minutes and an hour, it's worth -10% because there's some chance that the ability will be in cool-down when you need it. Between 10 minutes and 30 minutes, you get a -25% limitation because about one time in four you're in cool-down. Between one minute and 10 minutes, you get -50% because about half the time, your ability isn't going to be there. Between 30 seconds and 1 minute, there's still a chance you're going to be able to get out of your cool-down before things are over and if you're not in cool-down there's very little chance that your power is going to conk out before combat is over. You get the -75% for 30 seconds or less (which is almost the maximum -80%) because it is potentially debilitating to your power. (There is no separate 20 seconds or less, so if your Maximum Duration is 20 seconds you presumably have good role-playing reasons for doing so and the pricing is irrelevant.) If you're currently in cool-down, you're probably not going to be out of it in time to do anything useful and if you aren't in cool-down, there's a slight chance that your power will conk out before the combat is done.

But all those values for the Limitation are based on a constant value of five minutes for the cool-down period. If you change the cool-down period then you need to recalculate the value of the limitation according to how much it now limits your use of the power.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:21 PM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Another couple of points that you might want to consider when comparing Costs Fatigue and Maximum Duration.

First, for Maximum Duration, remember that all uses of it count against your duration. So if you have Flight with Maximum Duration (1 minute), and you fly 30 seconds and then wait an hour, you still only have 30 seconds left. You must run out your time and then wait those 5 minutes to "recharge", you can't restore your time limit before that.

Second, for Costs Fatigue, remember that there are usually ways to get FP back faster than the default. For any FP expenditure that count as "physical exertion", you should be able to use the Breath Control skill and the Fit advantage to restore them faster. Other power sources that cost FP have their own means of recovering energy faster - magic has the Recover Energy spell, for instance. So those 5 FP could be coming back a lot faster than you might think.
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:55 PM   #7
GreatWyrmGold
 
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
-snip-
I'm not convinced that your analysis is valid or even self-consistent, but whatever. Maximum Duration isn't too horribly priced.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Pedersen View Post
First, for Maximum Duration, remember that all uses of it count against your duration. So if you have Flight with Maximum Duration (1 minute), and you fly 30 seconds and then wait an hour, you still only have 30 seconds left. You must run out your time and then wait those 5 minutes to "recharge", you can't restore your time limit before that.
...I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. If it is, that's utterly moronic on every single effing level, from worldbuilding verisimilitude to consequences in play.

Quote:
Second, for Costs Fatigue, remember that there are usually ways to get FP back faster than the default. For any FP expenditure that count as "physical exertion", you should be able to use the Breath Control skill and the Fit advantage to restore them faster. Other power sources that cost FP have their own means of recovering energy faster - magic has the Recover Energy spell, for instance. So those 5 FP could be coming back a lot faster than you might think.
I guess, but not that much faster. Especially since Recover Energy doesn't apply to advantages, and I'm pretty sure the other methods don't stack.

Last edited by GreatWyrmGold; 05-04-2017 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 04:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

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Originally Posted by GreatWyrmGold View Post
<snip>

...I'm pretty sure that's not how it works. If it is, that's utterly moronic on every single effing level, from worldbuilding verisimilitude to consequences in play.

I guess, but not that much faster. Especially since Recover Energy doesn't apply to advantages, and I'm pretty sure the other methods don't stack.
I don't think it works that way either but I had to check the write-up in Powers to be sure, still I think it's possible to interpret it that way without too much effort. For what it's worth, my interpretation of the write-up is that if you end the effect early, you can't use it for the next five minutes but you get a fresh Maximum Duration when you make your next use of it.

Do you have a citation for Recover Energy not applying to advantages? All the write-up on B248 says is that it can't restore FP to others.

Breath Control doesn't work for FP used to power spells or power psi but otherwise it speeds Fatigue recovery by a factor of 5. Fit and Very Fit do stack with it, so you can recover FP at 10x the normal rate, i.e. 1 FP/minute vs. 1 FP/10 minutes. I'd call that quite a bit faster.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

Just to confuse things more, I'd always interpreted Maximum Duration as such:

I have Flight, Maximum Duration 30 seconds.

I activate my Flight. For the next 30 seconds, I may fly or not fly. After 30 seconds passes, my Flight is in cooldown imposed by Maximum Duration.

If I fly for two seconds, then land, walk around for 10 seconds, I have used 12 out of 30 seconds of duration, and have 18 seconds left on the clock.

I find the interpretation that your Flight duration all evaporates when you touch the ground more peculiar than the interpretation where it goes on hold until you take off again, but I don't really think either of those is right.


EDIT: This is also how I believe Costs FP to work - if I have costs FP 1/minute, and I spend 1 FP, I may fly or not fly for one minute, however I so choose within the other limitations on my advantage. If I spend one FP to fly for two seconds, land for ten seconds, I do not then have to spend a second FP to take off again because I am still within my 1 minute duration.

1/second FP costs still hose you.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:00 PM   #10
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: Limited Time: FP vs Maximum Duration

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Just to confuse things more, I'd always interpreted Maximum Duration as such:

I have Flight, Maximum Duration 30 seconds.

I activate my Flight. For the next 30 seconds, I may fly or not fly. After 30 seconds passes, my Flight is in cooldown imposed by Maximum Duration.

If I fly for two seconds, then land, walk around for 10 seconds, I have used 12 out of 30 seconds of duration, and have 18 seconds left on the clock.
Honestly, I like this interpretation better than the one I suggested above. It's definitely more consistent with how other timed effects work, for sure.

As an alternative, I could also see a variation on Maximum Duration, that allowed you to use it for some fraction of the time, and then, when you stopped using it, you had to wait out a proportional fraction of the "downtime". So if you had Maximum Duration (1 minute), used the advantage for 30 seconds (half the normal time), then stopped, you'd have to wait two and a half minutes before using it again.
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