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Old 12-01-2022, 06:02 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Power Dodge and Alternativee Abilities

Power Dodge can be used for certain shapeshifting advantages as a way of dodging attacks. P167 lists Morph (B84) as one such example, so long as it can be done instantaneously, which requires reducing the 10-second baseline of Shapeshifting (B83) to a free action via multiple levels of Reduced Time (B108) which is I think +100% for five levels of the enhancement (10>5>3>2>1>0)

This is all well and good if Morph is currently your slotted ability, but it raises an interesting question of what to do if Morph is an alternate ability.

Say for example, you have DR 10 (flexible -20%; forcefield +20%; switchable +10%; torso-only -10%;) [50] only cost [10] because of the 1/5 cost reduction of it being an Alternate Ability to Morph. You lose your protective forcefield whenever actively morphing, but once you've decided on a form will tend to throw up your forcefield to protect yourself.

Damage Resistance and Morph are not attack advantages so you can't switch between them as Alternative Abilities using a free action, it requires a Ready maneuver.

This would mean, if you presently have your DR on, that you would need to spend at least one ready maneuver to get rid of the DR (possibly TWO if you need to switch it off first?) and have Morph be available, and then freely activate Morph as a power dodge.

If we wanted to bypass this requirement of a ready maneuver (free-action swapping between Alternative Abilities) I figured maybe you could take some more "Reduced Time" enhancement but the issue here is where to apply it.

One idea (make it a free action in either direction) would be to treat the sum cost of the Alternative Abiliteis as a single advantage you then apply a +20% cost to. This is different from applying this enhancement to the base abilities since it can't be offset by limitations specific only to those abilities ... only perhaps a "collective limitation" that similar influences both, which seems to be approaching the confusing realm of Multiplicative Modifiers.

Another idea (like if you wanted to make it cheaper to go DR>Morph but not Morph>DR) would be to just apply it to one ability. But that makes me unsure which one you would apply it to in each direction.

If I'm shifting my DR into Morph, is that a use of my DR or a use of my Morph? I'm pretty sure you'd take Reduced Time on the DR itself to make it intanstaneously switchable (quicker to turn off) but when you're switching DR>Morph it's like you're switching off DR and switching on Morph at the same time.

Do a pair of Alternative Abilities almost work similar to a Link+10% (must be activated together, a single ready activates both abilities) in that a ready expended serves two simultaneous roles (unslotting the present ability, slotting-in the alternate) ?

If that's the case then it sounds like you'd need Reduced Time on both abilities to make that collectively a free action?

Free-action switching between non-attack abilities (if allowed) I would figure would still be limited to once per second, just not costing a maneuver. Doing it more than once a second could get unbalanced, seems like maybe that should be something you broach with a Rapid Fire enhancement like how Warp uses it for multiple free-action teleports being done.
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Old 12-01-2022, 07:54 PM   #2
naloth
 
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Default Re: Power Dodge and Alternativee Abilities

I wouldn't call this can application for Reduced Time. I might agree with Reflexive, since it's "triggering" in addition to defending.

Honestly, it sounds like it shouldn't be an AA at all since you're eliminating most of the "choosing" requirement of it being an alternative ability while still trying to claim the discount for those inherent drawbacks.
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Old 12-03-2022, 04:49 PM   #3
Plane
 
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Default Re: Power Dodge and Alternativee Abilities

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Originally Posted by naloth View Post
I wouldn't call this can application for Reduced Time. I might agree with Reflexive, since it's "triggering" in addition to defending.
Reflexive is basically just like going 1>0 with Reduced Time except it works against surprise attacks AFAIK.

If that allows something like being able to power-dodge a surprise attack then I guess you should also need it to switch to an alternate ability in the event of a surprise attack.

I hadn't quite thought that far ahead though, in this scenario I'm only thinking of an attack the person sees coming in a situation where they can launch an active defense (ie didn't just do an all-out attack) where I don't think Reflexive would matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by naloth View Post
Honestly, it sounds like it shouldn't be an AA at all since you're eliminating most of the "choosing" requirement of it being an alternative ability while still trying to claim the discount for those inherent drawbacks.
Well here's the way I'm thinking...
1) free actions can only be done once per maneuver, so you can't switch between alternate abilities in the course of a second the way you could with a pair of standalone advantages

2) activating a free-action ability outside your turn in response to an attack hitting that second requires succeeding at an active defense roll, or else the effects of your free action do not manifest prior to the attack
These drawbacks sound like they could account for the reduced cost.

The more I think of using Morph as a power dodge though - I guess that makes sense if you're an elephant turning into a mouse to dodge an attack, but I can't actually see anything except GM wisdom preventing a mouse power-dodging an attack by morphing into an elephant.

I'm wondering if maybe some different approach to morph-based power-dodging could make sense, like rolling to see if you go to a lower SM if you can apply that penalty to the strike roll.
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Old 12-04-2022, 09:34 AM   #4
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Power Dodge and Alternativee Abilities

I play it that if you reduce each of the AAs in a set to 0 time switching is a free action.
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Old 12-04-2022, 12:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power Dodge and Alternativee Abilities

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I play it that if you reduce each of the AAs in a set to 0 time switching is a free action.
I guess maybe if you have at least one level of reduced time and that applies to all uses of the power then swapping it in or swapping it out might be considered uses of that power?
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