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  • Randomized Effects?

    Lets say I have a character who uses a deck of cards, dice, roulette wheels and other gambling things as his devices for his powers.

    For example a deck of cards, with a power called 4-Suits. The idea is of course he draws a card from the deck and depending on the suit, unleashes an elemental effect.

    Diamonds - Earth
    Hearts - Fire
    Clubs - Wind
    Spades - Water

    Each power would have some sort of rider on it too. Exactly how would I go about building this particular power? Would it have the uncontrollable flaw since while I can choose to use 4 suits, I can't chose which elemental it uses? And while the elemental itself isn't really that important (Unless fighting a Fireman, Earth man, waterman or windman or somesuch), the riders could be more so.
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  • #2
    Re: Randomized Effects?

    It really depends on how badly and how often the effects of the randomization affects the utility of the power. If it's just descriptors, that's more or less just a Complication, a sum of Variable Descriptor (Elements) and Quirk (Random element) with an HP every once in a while when a bad choice of element screws things up. If there's a chance of something bad happening, consider how closely it maps to Side Effect or Unreliable. Side Effect either imposes an effect about half of the time or always imposes a negative effect. Unreliable just makes the power work about half of the time. General rule for Flaws is that each level should remove about 50% of the remaining utility.
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    • #3
      Re: Randomized Effects?

      So the descriptor would result in different elemental there, What about different side effects? Like fire might have a secondary effect, water might have something that makes the ground wet and slippery, Wind might also grant concealment to the target and from the target (due to dust and stuff) and Earth makes it difficult terrain (if that is even a thing.)

      And yeah, I know I come up with some of the slightly more weirdest ideas as opposed to things like "Fire Man" or "Magnet man"
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      • #4
        Re: Randomized Effects?

        That's something difficult to do in any system I know of.

        If you want to build something like that then remember that M&M is an effects based game. I would suggest figuring out what happens with any card pulled (or die result or whatever method you are using) first. Firgure out what happens, both positive and negative on the character using it, then reverse engineer the cost from there.

        If a card is pulled that isn't the desired effect does it do what that card is for no matter what or does it do nothing?

        Uncontrolled and/or unreliable are almost a certainty in the final mix to determine cost on this. What the odds are that it hurts the character in some way or helps his opponents will also help determine Side Effect flaws (side effect 1 almost gauranteed, 2 possible).


        If the power (say Blast) works every time and the cards just chage what descriptor is used then it is simple and your variable descriptor/uncontrolled descriptor probably cancel each other out and end up at a cost of 0 or 1 PP. The card determines what power happens as well as descriptor that is a lot more complicated.
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        • #5
          Re: Randomized Effects?

          If a card is pulled that isn't the desired effect does it do what that card is for no matter what or does it do nothing?
          The action is already announced (Four Suits) so when the card is drawn thats it. The effect will go off. So if its a heart it will do a fire attack. Its possible Fire could be in a cone shape, Water in a cylinder, Earth in a blast and wind in a line as well. Thus increasing the difficulty of using the attacks, as you could be including your allies in the effects.

          Its kinda based in part off Dofus's Ecaflip powers and such.
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          • #6
            Re: Randomized Effects?

            OK so you are using the power as normal, it can be any of the elements, the player just has to rely on the cards to see which one. That one is easy.

            Power: blah, variable descriptor 1 (elements), quirk (element is chosen by deck of cards and not controlled by player)

            The variable descriptor and the quirk cancel each other out on cost.
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            • #7
              Re: Randomized Effects?

              I see. That does work for just changing the element of damage, with no riding effects happening to it.

              So what if we did a linked effect for the riders using an Array?


              Like

              Four Suits - Variable Descriptor (Elements), Ranged, Damage 4r - Quirk (element is chosen by deck of cards and not controlled by player)


              Effects Array
              Hearts flame - Linked (Four Suits) Uncontrolled (Only activates when Four Suits is a fire element) Stacks with (Four Suits) Damage 1r, Cone - Secondary Effect.
              Earth Diamond - Linked (Four Suits) Uncontrolled (Only activates when Four Suits is a earth element) Stacks with (Four Suits) Damage 1r, blast - affliction?.
              Club Water - Linked (Four Suits) Uncontrolled (Only activates when Four Suits is a water element) Stacks with (Four Suits) Damage 1r, Cylinder - sleep?
              Winds Spade - Linked (Four Suits) Uncontrolled (Only activates when Four Suits is a fire element) Stacks with (Four Suits) Damage 1r, Cloud - Concealment?


              Would something like that kinda work out?
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              • #8
                Re: Randomized Effects?

                That's not how Linked works, and Uncontrollable isn't exactly well suited for the power either. The character still gets to control when the power is used, it's just the result that's left up in the air.

                If I were to build a similar power, I would likely just make it an array with a Quirk that the exact power used is determined by the random result. As a GM I would probably allow the inclusion of a Complication for those circumstances when the random result of the power was really poorly suited for the situation at hand, but that's about it.
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                • #9
                  Re: Randomized Effects?

                  Its not how link works? Can you explain why?

                  And I can choose when to use the first part of the power, but the second part isn't under my control. And I dunno. Something just seems wrong with using quirk/complication. Like its too.. not gamblely. You can choose to draw from the deck of many things, but if it screws you over you get something good then too.

                  How would your version look anyways? With Herolab I can only put quirk in with the powers of the arrays.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Randomized Effects?

                    When you have two or more Effects with the Linked modifier, all those Effects are activated simultaneously. So Effects in an Array can't be Linked together, because those Effects can't be used at the same time. Does that make sense?

                    You can choose not to have a Complication if you don't feel it's appropriate for the flavour of the character. Quirk, however, doesn't get you much, and nets you less than Uncontrolled.

                    My approach would look something like:

                    Four Suits Deck: Array (30 points ), Quirk (Effect determined by draw of a card) (1 point)
                    Hearts: Blast 10, Area (Cone) 30 points
                    Diamonds: Create 10, Moveable, Permanent 1 point
                    Clubs: Perception Ranged Move Object 10, Damaging, Limited (can only affect water) 1 point
                    Spades: Ranged Cumaltive Affliction 10 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Impaired, Disabled, Unaware), Area (cylinder), Limited (only affects vision) 1 point
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                    • #11
                      Re: Randomized Effects?

                      Well you wouldn't be able to put the quirk onto the array itself, as quirk only affects an effect. I mean if you could, you could just simply use Linked then from the primary power (Four Suits) to the Array of (Four Suits effects)

                      And if the link must always go together, That means if you have psi-blast and psi-blast + affliction, you've gotta get three different powers right?
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                      • #12
                        Re: Randomized Effects?

                        There is really no problem in having a quirk attached to an array when, just like a feature, you could have it attached to nothing at all.

                        As for having Psi blast + affliction, assuming you also want to be able to do just blast and just affliction, yes, you need 3 powers. To avoid expending tons of points, you would of course have the two linked effects as one power, and each separate effect as an Alternate in an array. Example:

                        Overwhelm Mind array (40 points)
                        Ranged Damage 10, Alternate Resistance (Will), Linked 20 PP
                        Ranged Affliction 10 (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Dazed/Stunned/Incapacitated), Linked 20 PP
                        Psychic Blast: Ranged Damage 10, Alternate Resistance (Will) 1PP
                        Mental Shutdown:Ranged Affliction 10 (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Dazed/Stunned/Incapacitated) 1PP
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                        • #13
                          Re: Randomized Effects?

                          Would the "Alternate Resistance: Will" be an extra that costs +1/rank? If so, that damage effect in the first power would be 3 points/rank, not 2.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Randomized Effects?

                            No, Alternate Resistance costs +0 per rank.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Randomized Effects?

                              The Mental Blast power in the HH is built as Damage: perception range, Alternate resistance Will, for 4pp /rank,
                              That puts the Alternate resistance: Will as a +1pp/rank.

                              Since High Toughness targets also tend to have high fortitude (and thus lower will), this seems appropriate
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