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Old 11-24-2021, 08:46 AM   #1
Donny Brook
 
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Default Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

I think Wild Talent is a bad deal compared to a similar build using Modular Abilities. Wild Talent costs [20] and gives you one skill use at Attribute+0 once per game session.

Compare this build which gives unlimited uses of a single skill (albeit at Attribute -1 for physical skills) for 30 minutes once per 90 minutes of in-game time:

Cosmic Modular Ability 2 (20) (Physical +50%, Reduced time -1 +20%, Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30 mins -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills you don't have -20%, Net -15%) [17]
ALTERNATIVE ABILITY:
Cosmic Modular Ability 4 (40) (Mental +0, Reduced time -1 +20% Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30m -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills I don't have -20%, Net -65%) [14]/5=[3]
TOTAL: [20]
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:58 AM   #2
ericthered
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

I agree and I pretty much always swap it out for modular abilities. I've never used the exact build you suggest, but it depends on context.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Cosmic Modular Ability 2 (20) (Physical +50%, Reduced time -1 +20%, Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30 mins -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills you don't have -20%, Net -15%) [17]
ALTERNATIVE ABILITY:
Cosmic Modular Ability 4 (40) (Mental +0, Reduced time -1 +20% Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30m -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills I don't have -20%, Net -65%) [14]/5=[3]
TOTAL: [20]
I'd instantly rule no for this build. Just the fact that there is an explicit enhancement for Mental and Physical rules out taking one as an alternate ability for the other. In fact Alternate Abilities are basically a subset of Modular Abilities, using both together is a red flag.

But yeah, there are apparently rules legal Modular Abilities builds that outperform quite a lot of flexible traits. Modular Abilities are just not all that well balanced. Probably because writing a rule that will balance a potential do or be anything ability against everything else without making perfectly reasonable applications of it prohibitively expensive is hard, and may well be impossible even if you had pages to work with. Witness all the problems around shapeshifting. These things require some GM vetting.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

In addition to what others have said Wild Talent first came into the system early in 3e as "Natural Spellcasting" and was later gneralized (still in 3e). The costs then were purely eyeballed.

It (like much of the rest of the Powers system) was brought into 4e with minimal re-skinning. The Advantages of the Powers system are full of peculiar and dubious costs and other characteristics.
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Modular Abilities are just not all that well balanced. Probably because writing a rule that will balance a potential do or be anything ability against everything else without making perfectly reasonable applications of it prohibitively expensive is hard.
A lot of the problem is that modular abilities are usable on skills at all, because one point in a skill is really useful. I suspect modular abilities would be better designed with a much higher slot cost and lower pool cost -- say, base cost 20 per slot (maybe even higher), +2 per point in abilities, and limitations only apply to the cost of slots.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
I'd instantly rule no for this build. Just the fact that there is an explicit enhancement for Mental and Physical rules out taking one as an alternate ability for the other.
I'm not even sure why it's being used, you don't need the physical enhancement on Modular Abilities to use skills that default to physical attributes, skills are grouped with mental advantages.

Using "I'm taking mental at 1/5 to avoid paying the extra +50%" is pretty sneaky though =/

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
In fact Alternate Abilities are basically a subset of Modular Abilities, using both together is a red flag.
Usually it wouldn't SEEM to be a problem since modular abilities tend to be slower and more expensive, except in this case of trying to avoid taking +100% by taking +50% and then 1/5 cost on +0%
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Using "I'm taking mental at 1/5 to avoid paying the extra +50%" is pretty sneaky though =/

Usually it wouldn't SEEM to be a problem since modular abilities tend to be slower and more expensive, except in this case of trying to avoid taking +100% by taking +50% and then 1/5 cost on +0%

So a while back I was building a suite of mind control powers for dreadstormers (I was trying to set expectations and streamline character building) and I ran into this with mind control: it was cheaper to take slow and steady permanent brainwashing and a suggestion version of mind control as alternate abilities of each other. This saved a lot of points, and made me a bit nervous for the reasons you list above.


So I made a thread. Its item #2.



I ended up allowing it. Alternative abilities reduces the cost of abilities overall, especially the cost of related abilities that do slightly different things. That's what its made for. Looking at the psionic powers book, taking those abilities as alternatives to each other regardless of their base is by far the simplest way to run things. In fact, different limitation sets on one advantage is perhaps the most appropriate way to use alternate advantages.



Yes, it makes things cheaper, but if you don't want your powers to be a bit cheaper, why are you allowing alternative abilities in the first place? its very much an optional rule, its just that powers tend to be a bit expensive, especially when you can't use them at the same time... and that's certainly true of modular abilities.
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Old 12-03-2021, 09:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Donny did you change the ability after the discussion?
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Old 12-04-2021, 03:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

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Donny did you change the ability after the discussion?
I considered Christopher Rice's suggestion, but since I don't need Physical to cover skills, I decided to just go with the straight up mental version I wrote up without having the Alternative to cover physical. So much cheaper! We'll see what the GM says.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
... Takes Recharge means an otherwise-continuous-use ability only lasts for 1 minute,...
I think you may be thinking of Limited Use. There's no text in Takes Recharge that mentions a 1 minute time-frame.
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
I think Wild Talent is a bad deal compared to a similar build using Modular Abilities. Wild Talent costs [20] and gives you one skill use at Attribute+0 once per game session.

Compare this build which gives unlimited uses of a single skill (albeit at Attribute -1 for physical skills) for 30 minutes once per 90 minutes of in-game time:

Cosmic Modular Ability 2 (20) (Physical +50%, Reduced time -1 +20%, Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30 mins -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills you don't have -20%, Net -15%) [17]
ALTERNATIVE ABILITY:
Cosmic Modular Ability 4 (40) (Mental +0, Reduced time -1 +20% Pool cannot be divided -10%, Max Duration 30m -25%, Takes Recharge 1hr -30%, Only skills I don't have -20%, Net -65%) [14]/5=[3]
TOTAL: [20]
Oi, laddie, don't be getting your Alternative Ability in your Modular Ability. Those are things that don't mix. Also there's no way that "Only skills you don't have" is worth -20%.
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