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Old 12-31-2020, 07:30 AM   #1
N.H.Alicia
 
Join Date: May 2017
Default Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

I was wondering how to best use modular abilities to model the ability to switch out powers like attachable equipment (think FF7 materia). I have several ideas, but I'm not sure how to price the gear limitation on the cosmic MA. Powers cannot be improvised ex nihilo - a corresponding item must be equipped to grant access, like chip slots with the Physical enhancement. Should I just use chip slots instead?
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:37 AM   #2
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

Chip Slots seems the most appropriate. Of course, if the relevant items are roughly comparable in frequency of appearance as FF7's materia, and works similarly (being slotted into gear, rather than into the character, and usable by almost everyone), it may be more appropriate to just treat it as gear rather than as a Power.
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:46 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

You could also treat them as gadgets, with Alternative Ability rules if only one or two can be used at a time.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
N.H.Alicia
 
Join Date: May 2017
Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Chip Slots seems the most appropriate. Of course, if the relevant items are roughly comparable in frequency of appearance as FF7's materia, and works similarly (being slotted into gear, rather than into the character, and usable by almost everyone), it may be more appropriate to just treat it as gear rather than as a Power.
I was planning on a high frequency of appearance, and using the modular ability to limit the maximum power gadget the character can use, but that comes out too expensive. I was considering, as an alternative, several possible systems. Using a leveled advantage like Magery and dividing the materia into levels based on point value with each level of Magery giving access to a higher tier of materia, or just having skill, price and space being the only limits, like high TL equipment.

I might use Magery as an attribute, actually, with a default of 10 and a damage chart like ST.
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Old 12-31-2020, 01:19 PM   #5
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

Some variety of Modular Abilities seems pretty fitting, a bit like how FF7 Material might be available for any Materia-user, but probably not just anyone could summon Bahamut or Meteor. If it gets more expensive than you feel it is worth perhaps you could just add a suitably large limitation to compensate the relatively low flexibility of that particular Modular Ability advantage?
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:49 PM   #6
N.H.Alicia
 
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Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
Some variety of Modular Abilities seems pretty fitting, a bit like how FF7 Material might be available for any Materia-user, but probably not just anyone could summon Bahamut or Meteor. If it gets more expensive than you feel it is worth perhaps you could just add a suitably large limitation to compensate the relatively low flexibility of that particular Modular Ability advantage?
That was the original question- the appropriate value for that limitation. I'm not sure of the precise number, and I have little experience, but when considering how much utility is lost by requiring materia on-hand instead of improvising abilities, I imagine a very low negative number. I'm leaning towards just making a new advantage at this point - something like this:

Materia (X points per level)

You are trained in the use of materia. You can use materia with a level up to the level of this advantage. I.E. With 2 levels of this advantage, you can use materia of level 2 and below. Materia level is equal to CP value it provides (arbitrary number, probably 5).

On the other hand, I do actually want to know what everyone thinks the MA modifier would likely cost, even if I don't use it yet. It might be useful later, or for someone else.
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:55 PM   #7
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

Chip Slots are 5 Points + 3 points/level. +50% for only Physical Advantages (which Material probably all qualify for). That sounds fair, I think. It ends up cost 8 points + 5 points per level.

What can Materia be used for in the setting though? If the answer is conjuring monsters, creating barriers, healing wounds, and shrinking people and turning them into toads (FF7) then it isn't much of a limitation. If it is mostly attacks and maybe Damage Resistance then some level limitation might make sense. Same if you figure the player will have a very limited library of Materia to pass around.

You'd probably want to slap some limitations on it to get the price down slightly. F.ex., in FF7 equipping Materia is not done in the middle of a fight, so you could slap a limitation on it. Takes 10 seconds is probably worth 10% of a limitation, which would drop the cost to 7 points + 4 points per level.
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Last edited by RedMattis; 12-31-2020 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:07 PM   #8
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Modular Ability to represent equippable powers

MA modifiers that reflect the difficulty of changing the power in the slot only affect the slot cost. The way RAW goes, that's mostly a matter of eyeballing the slot costs and trying to work out a new slot cost. Modifiers on the pool itself also tend to be baked into the multiplier per pool point, rather than explicit Limitations and Enhancements. There aren't a lot of examples, nor a detailed slot-and-pool-point cost design system for MAs. But the existing examples weren't done by starting with the Cosmic unlimited pool and applying Limitations to whittle it down, so there's not much reason to try and make that happen afterward.

As a houserule, I'm happy to apply a set of Limitations to the pool itself which I take to just be a shorthand way to note that all abilities in this pool are required to have some list of Limitations, giving them some consistent flavor to reflect the concept of the pool. That is, much like a Power Modifier for pool abilities. But it's less arithmetic to do once up front than to shrink the size of the pool to some target cost, and then having to add modifiers to every power you ever build in order to maintain consistency and fit them into the smaller pool size.

I'd probably just go with AAs myself. Unless an ability is _really_ flexible (dozens of different powers), an AA group is going to be cheaper anyway.

The maximum power size an AA slot can handle is the base cost, the one full power cost. If you want to be kind, then let characters sell back slot powers for the CP when they give them up, most likely when they acquire a new ability they want more, and don't want to invest more CP into another choice for the slot. In Sorcery, that base power is Sorcerous Empowerment (which is an MA pool in disguise). In this case, you might just start the characters with one materia ability just so the initial purchase has some value.

If characters can have multiple slots, then just use the "N abilities active" rule - N slots at full power cost, with all the alternates at 1/5th.
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