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Bullets Bouncing Off Of Elongated Man

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  • Bullets Bouncing Off Of Elongated Man

    I've had some musings on this concept, but have struggled to express it in game terms. This might be a bit of a ramble, but hopefully it will be coherent enough. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    In comics, people like Elongated Man, Plastic Man, Elastic Lad, Mr. Fantastic, etc... will often be seen bouncing physical projectiles back at enemies (usually bullets). I've thought of a few ways to try to do this, but none quite seem perfect.

    Possible Methods

    1. Immunity with reflect extra. First, pricing this would be tricky. In golden age-modern day setting, bullets would be by far the most common physical projectile, so doubling the default cost of bullet immunity seems about right. Still, this brings up questions. First, this could lead to some stupid-logic situations (it would be odd if Elongated Man was immune to and could reflect a thrown knife, but was affected completely normally when stabbed with the same knife in melee range). This could be partially fixed by getting immunity: piercing, reflect rather than immunity: physical projectiles, reflect, but would leave the hero unable to reflect a cannonball, thrown hammer, etc...

    Second, using the reflect with this could get interesting. If Plastic Man bought immunity: physical projectiles, limited to 1/2 effect, reflect, would the reflected attack be at 1/2 effect? I assume it would reflect at full power (since reflect costs the same for regular and 1/2 immunities), but I don't think the book ever actually discusses it.

    Pros: Can cover lots of ground, reliable

    Cons: Can be expensive and/or result in logical oddities

    2. Enhanced defense with reflect extra. On page 14 of the gadgets guide, some vague rules are given for attaching reflect to a defense (will in the example provided). Adding reflect, limited to physical projectiles to toughness could work (although an argument could be made for attaching it to dodge instead, particularly because I can see a someone like Plastic Man being built with shifts towards toughness or dodge/parry due to his nigh-invulnerability and shape-shifting making him hard to hit). This would help avoid some logical problems and would only let physical projectiles be reflected if the hero passed a toughness check (I feel like Mr. Fantastic could reflect Captain America's shield, but would just be hurt by Thor's hammer). This might open the doors for power-gamers wanting to toughness-shift with impervious and buying reflect on toughness (not limited to physical projectiles), but I suppose the GM could just say no to the idea.

    However, this would also mean that the hero would be as susceptible to physical projectiles as they would be to anything else. When the bullets are bouncing off of the stretch hero, it's a cool moment and rarely in the comics does the hero get injured by doing this (although in All-Star Squadron, Plastic Man would be tired after such a feat, which seems more like extra effort, but doing it that way would likely be a huge headache).

    Pros: More logical in some cases

    Cons: Reflect is limited to hero's toughness

    3. Deflect with reflect extra. Deflect, limited to physical projectiles, reflect, could be good, but I fundamentally don't understand how power level affects deflect. Being able to protect teammates from a hail of arrows, firing squad, etc.. would be a cool moment. Still, I would need to understand how it works. If Elongated Man was in a PL 10 game with toughness 11 and dodge/parry 9, would he be limited to deflect 9 on other targets? Could he buy a higher rank, but only use it to as high of a rank would work with the toughness of the teammate he was protecting? If deflect is using the defend action for others, would things such as the defend advantage, weapon bind/break, etc.. be usable with deflect? Perhaps this paragraph should have been a separate thread, but it does have considerable bearing on building this effect.

    Pros/Cons: On the surface, deflect looks like it could work, but my poor understanding of it prevents me from comparing it to the other options knowledgeably.



    So, those are the main things I've been thinking of to express this effect in game. Any thoughts and suggestions on possible methods I've listed or new methods I hadn't thought of would be very welcome, as I'm not sure how to build this.

  • #2
    Deflect with Reflect. Usually when they do this, the ready themselves for the attack. Like taking the Deflect required defense action.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Got to admit, I'm really lost. I thought deflect already had the defense action required. Would that be for a deflect power that's only for yourself (probably as a flaw or quirk)? Could interpose be used with such a power?

      When you mention the heroes readying themselves for the attack, do you mean taking a ready action? I thought someone could just use deflect for the whole turn against all relevant attacks that turn, but do you have to ready it and choose which attack you use it against?

      I'm really sorry if these are dumb questions, I have a very poor understanding of deflect as a whole.

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      • #4
        Read Deflect. To use it, you must take the Defend action. Read that too. If you are not in the middle of the Defend action, Deflect does not work. Buying Deflect, self only is probably only a quirk because the defense it provide you is still full strength.

        The Ready action would not be as useful since it only readies you to respond to a single event. Defend works against every attack against you (that has an attack roll), area and perception effects bypass defenses, including Deflect.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jmucchiello View Post
          Read Deflect. To use it, you must take the Defend action. Read that too. If you are not in the middle of the Defend action, Deflect does not work. Buying Deflect, self only is probably only a quirk because the defense it provide you is still full strength.
          Well, also it doesn't do anything for you without a Defend action, so you pretty much have to buy the relevant defense as well, so I'd say that the Flaw works in this case. Although, given it does give you two defenses for each pp, maybe it is already too cheap already.

          Originally posted by jmucchiello View Post
          The Ready action would not be as useful since it only readies you to respond to a single event. Defend works against every attack against you (that has an attack roll), area and perception effects bypass defenses, including Deflect.
          Ee... this actually came up in another game I was in, with one of the characters effectively sacrificing their action every turn to give everyone a defense of 24+ every turn. Based on the text of the power, I ruled that it allowed you to designate a single target each turn, or yourself. Otherwise, it just gets too game-breaking too quickly. Unfortunately, the rule text, as written, is pretty ambiguous as to what their intention was.
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          • #6
            Hmmm. That is ambiguous.

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            • #7
              I'd do it like this:

              "Absorb"
              Immunity: rank 80 - Toughness Effects (20 points)
              Flaws: Limited to physical attacks (-1/rank), Limited to Half Effect (-1/rank), Concentration Duration (-1/rank)

              ...plus this power, but NOT linked (so you can absorb damage WITHOUT reflecting it if you want):

              "Reflect"
              Damage rank 10 (31 points)
              Flaws: Damage limited to the rank of the incoming damage (-1/rank), Only works on a full success on the Toughness check (-1/rank)
              Extra: Reaction (+3/rank), Ranged (+1/rank), Variable Descriptor (+1 flat)

              So when he braces himself, he can (mostly) ignore physical attacks. If you get rid of the Half Effect flaw on Immunity, you'll also lose the Toughness Check Required flaw on the damage, so the total cost would go from 51 to 68!

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