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Old 11-24-2021, 09:46 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, 09:58 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, 10:43 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, 10:54 AM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
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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, 11:37 AM   #5
David Johnston2
 
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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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Old 11-24-2021, 11:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Also there's no way that "Only skills you don't have" is worth -20%.
Good point. Though if "don't have" were extended all the way to "has no default to" I might be more inclined to allow it, and it would mesh better with that original Witch World Natural Spellcaster implementation, what with spells not usually having defaults.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:36 PM   #7
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Oi, laddie, don't be getting your Alternative Ability in your Modular Ability. Those are things that don't mix.
I suppose GMs might disallow it, but I'm not aware of a rule against it.

Quote:
Also there's no way that "Only skills you don't have" is worth -20%.
In Powers, by RAW, 'skills only' is worth -10%. Only being a able to add points to abilities you already have is listed as -20%. I think -20% for only skills you don't have is a good estimate.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:40 PM   #8
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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 11-24-2021, 12:45 PM   #9
ericthered
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Oi, laddie, don't be getting your Alternative Ability in your Modular Ability. Those are things that don't mix.
I'm not aware of a rule against it... in fact, the sorcery system is built around Alternative Abilities to Modular abilities, so it works at least one way.



On the other hand, I generally say no to limitations on modular abilities that replicate/bypass the system for custom modular abilities. 9 times out of 10, when I see modular abilities broken, that's the mechanism used.
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Old 11-24-2021, 01:19 PM   #10
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Is Wild Talent a bad deal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Oi, laddie, don't be getting your Alternative Ability in your Modular Ability. Those are things that don't mix.
Hm. I just re-read that quote. Maybe you meant something different that what I am talking about. I would agree that you can't have an Alternative Ability structure within a Modular Abilities pool. But that's not what I've done with this build. This build uses two separate Modular Ability pools in an alternative structure.
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