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Old 10-14-2022, 11:56 AM   #11
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Depends on the GM.
Definitely that. At my table, it's likely to be NO. Including for some "official" versions.

The original point of Alternative Abilities (as Alternative Attacks p.B61) was to give you a price break for having two abilities that did basically the same thing - not that didn't work together (that's most things, you only get to do one thing at a time most of the time, it's an incidental effect, not the source of the cost break), not that had the same source or countermeasures (that's what power modifiers do, and it's not a big price break either) but geniunely did basically the same thing, making the second one not worth much because it didn't add any new abilities. This is the form carried on in other versions of the rule as "Duplicate Advantages", and getting a big price break for those is quite reasonable. Having two ways to do the same thing is genuinely much less than twice as useful as having one.

The later builds to allow gigantic price breaks for lots of quite dissimilar abilities have always struck me as both violating the original intent of the rule, and as seriously unfair to players who did buy their powers at normal costs.

Take a look at the point difference between your AA build and somebody who took all those powers at full cost, and tell me how he outclasses you. After all somebody with dozens (or hundreds!) of extra points in your area of expertise ought to be able to crush you in a fair contest, right? Can he do that? No? That's a hint your price break isn't fair to him. They're sometimes marginally acceptable, because they are competing more or less directly with the rules for spell systems which are [also] unfair relative to normal powers pricing in much the same way, and that's arguably the case here too, but you'd need to convince me.
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Old 10-14-2022, 12:07 PM   #12
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

Quote:
Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Definitely that. At my table, it's likely to be NO. Including for some "official" versions.

The original point of Alternative Abilities (as Alternative Attacks p.B61) was to give you a price break for having two abilities that did basically the same thing - not that didn't work together (that's most things, you only get to do one thing at a time most of the time, it's an incidental effect, not the source of the cost break), not that had the same source or countermeasures (that's what power modifiers do, and it's not a big price break either) but geniunely did basically the same thing, making the second one not worth much because it didn't add any new abilities. This is the form carried on in other versions of the rule as "Duplicate Advantages", and getting a big price break for those is quite reasonable. Having two ways to do the same thing is genuinely much less than twice as useful as having one.

The later builds to allow gigantic price breaks for lots of quite dissimilar abilities have always struck me as both violating the original intent of the rule, and as seriously unfair to players who did buy their powers at normal costs.

Take a look at the point difference between your AA build and somebody who took all those powers at full cost, and tell me how he outclasses you. After all somebody with dozens (or hundreds!) of extra points in your area of expertise ought to be able to crush you in a fair contest, right? Can he do that? No? That's a hint your price break isn't fair to him. They're sometimes marginally acceptable, because they are competing more or less directly with the rules for spell systems which are [also] unfair relative to normal powers pricing in much the same way, and that's arguably the case here too, but you'd need to convince me.
The character with Altered Time Rate 1 [100] and Extra Attack 3 [90] is going to totally kick the ass of the guy with Altered Time Rate 1 [100] and Extra Attack 3 (AA ATR1) [18]. I think it's generally going to fall out that way with most AA builds.

But if someone is deciding to pay full price for every ability in a world with Sorcerous Empowerment, then I wonder why he's doing that in the first place....

EDIT: I meant Extra Attack 3 (Multi-Strike +20%) [90].

Last edited by JulianLW; 10-14-2022 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 10-14-2022, 12:53 PM   #13
nudj
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by JulianLW View Post
I'm pretty sure the essential thing is that you can't use two alternative abilities at the same time. Here's what it says on page 11 of Powers:



"Find each abilityís final cost after all enhancements and limitations (including the power modifier, if any), apply the divisor, and round up."
Keep reading. Page 11 farther down says what I said. Iím not saying there has to be a power mod. Iím saying the abilities have to be connected in some way that justifies them all being neutralized together.
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Old 10-14-2022, 01:29 PM   #14
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by JulianLW View Post
The character with Altered Time Rate 1 [100] and Extra Attack 3 [90] is going to totally kick the ass of the guy with Altered Time Rate 1 [100] and Extra Attack 3 (AA ATR1) [18]. I think it's generally going to fall out that way with most AA builds.
Not if you allow anything. This one is actually approaching that fair case - ATR and Extra Attack actually [do] overlap in function, in that they both permit you to do extra things in your turn. Now try it with a different 100 point advantage, say Jumper, and Extra Attack 3 and tell me how you're 72 points worse off for the combination.
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Old 10-14-2022, 01:32 PM   #15
JulianLW
 
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Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by nudj View Post
Keep reading. Page 11 farther down says what I said. I’m not saying there has to be a power mod. I’m saying the abilities have to be connected in some way that justifies them all being neutralized together.
Sure, and that reason is usually a power modifier. Sorcery spells are all over the place and all are basically alternative abilities, from fireballs to healing spells. If something neutralizes a power, the Sorcerous empowerment is neutralized.

But some alternative abilities are just different features of the same kind of trait - like ATR and Extra Attack. Extra Attack 3 could be an alternative use of just being really fast, like a racial ability, for example. But if something happened that crippled one of these abilities - like a use of Extra Effort, for example - both would be crippled - without a Power Modifier being involved.
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Old 10-14-2022, 01:38 PM   #16
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Not if you allow anything. This one is actually approaching that fair case - ATR and Extra Attack actually [do] overlap in function, in that they both permit you to do extra things in your turn. Now try it with a different 100 point advantage, say Jumper, and Extra Attack 3 and tell me how you're 72 points worse off for the combination.
I'm not proposing using Jumper and Extra Attack 3 as Alternatives. However, if they share the same power modifier - like Sorcery -15%, for example - then obviously the guy who is using Sorcery is going to (maybe) be more powerful than the guy who pays full price for both traits. You could also put all those points into Accounting skill, though. There is such a thing as building a better character - and I do think that's part of the game.

However, the guy who pays full points for Jumper and Extra Attack 3? He can make 4 attacks in one turn and then Jump at -10 (similar to the Blink function of Warp) as a defense. So, yeah. Even in this case, the guy who pays full price for both powers arguably has a really huge advantage over the guy who takes them as alternative abilities.

EDIT: Imagine two supers. One has Warp and Extra Attack 3 at full price. The other has Warp and Extra Attack 3 as alternative abilities. The first super easily moves to the center of a group of 4 goons, smacks each one in turn, then Warps away before they can attack him. The second super is going to have to defend against 4 goons or not fight them.

Last edited by JulianLW; 10-14-2022 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 10-14-2022, 01:52 PM   #17
Refplace
 
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Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
In Monster Hunter, all Psychic powers have the Psionic power modifier, all Bioenhancement powers have the Bioenhancement power modifier and all the Mysticism powers have the Mysticism power modifier.
I am aware of that. But different GMs will run it differently, hence my broader answer.

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Not only there is magic in the setting but that magic is RPM, which is extremely versatile. And Monster Hunter is also compatible with Chinese Elemental Powers, which is used by a specific template, the Xia [400 points] from Pyramid Magazine #3/70, which seems to be compatible with Alternative Abilities, even for powers from different elements.
Chinese Elemental Powers did not use or if I recall correctly even mention alternative abilities. I feel each element should have had it as an option and if I had been in that playtest I would have suggested to the author to give each ability to prices the full one and one if used as an alternative ability and made a paragraph explaining using them as alternative abilities.
I saw that lack as a major weakness of the book, every ability at full price makes them pretty expensive.
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Old 10-14-2022, 02:04 PM   #18
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
I am aware of that. But different GMs will run it differently, hence my broader answer.



Chinese Elemental Powers did not use or if I recall correctly even mention alternative abilities. I feel each element should have had it as an option and if I had been in that playtest I would have suggested to the author to give each ability to prices the full one and one if used as an alternative ability and made a paragraph explaining using them as alternative abilities.
I saw that lack as a major weakness of the book, every ability at full price makes them pretty expensive.
Chinese Elemental Powers also included a Chinese Elemental Talent for 10 points/level that functioned as a talent for any of the elements. I agree that in a game with Magery and/or Sorcery, Chi abilities, or other power modifiers, that a source talent for all psionic powers, Psionic -10%, is totally legitimate - maybe with an Unusual Background - and I'd put the talent at 10/level. Anything higher, and you'd probably be better off buying up IQ. I'm pretty sure this has been discussed on the Forum before.
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Old 10-14-2022, 02:11 PM   #19
Refplace
 
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Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Not if you allow anything. This one is actually approaching that fair case - ATR and Extra Attack actually [do] overlap in function, in that they both permit you to do extra things in your turn. Now try it with a different 100 point advantage, say Jumper, and Extra Attack 3 and tell me how you're 72 points worse off for the combination.
Yes, that is a far better example. I see your point and in some campaigns I might not allow alternative abilities, or narrow the scope. But like you also said in a setting with magic it helps keep powers competitive, hence how Sorcery and Divine Favor were built the way they are.

However it also helps make powers competitive with technology where the player just pays cash for abilities.
I have used alternative abilities a lot and the point break allows a lot more versatility on a given budget but those drawbacks do tend to come up. Also it lets powers builds have the versatility on a lower budget where a higher budget to allow that versatility can cause other problems such as high attributes and skill levels.
So definitely a matter of taste and campaign goals.
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Old 10-14-2022, 02:23 PM   #20
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: [MH] Using Alternative Abilities for Powers

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
Not if you allow anything. This one is actually approaching that fair case - ATR and Extra Attack actually [do] overlap in function, in that they both permit you to do extra things in your turn. Now try it with a different 100 point advantage, say Jumper, and Extra Attack 3 and tell me how you're 72 points worse off for the combination.
I get what you're saying, and I don't think anybody here is proposing making Fireball and Healing alternative abilities ... though that is the way Sorcery works - though with the addition of FP costs and a huge buy-in Modular Ability for balance. Powers defines Alternative Abilities as "distinct, mutually exclusive 'settings' of a single, adaptable trait."

Using Alternative Abilities doesn't negate Rule Zero.
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