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How to not ruin the game?

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  • How to not ruin the game?

    I have a player set on a concept that allows him to summon devices, which isn't too bad except that in his concept he doesn't control what is summoned only that it is "the most effective weapon" against whatever foe he is facing. Which ok is easy for say Superman Kryptonite ray gun w/e, but beyond it not always having an obvious answer the thought that most/many/nearly all of the groups fights would be ended in a round by "the most effective weapon" guy seems I don't know boring as all get out for everyone but him, and heck I would think eventually even him.

    How do I find the happy middle ground with something like this?
    Is there a way to make this character concept work (he's called The Solution) without compromising the potential for everyone to have a fun game?

  • #2
    Re: How to not ruin the game?

    Well, it's not going to necessarily be a one-shot kill (even Superman occasionally weathers kryptonite and more often, it's going to be something just a tinge more powerful, say +2 to the damage, which lets him go one over PL in that situation) and he may not always know where to employ it for massive damage (c.f. the situation occasionally seen in Vampire media where they fail to hit the heart with the stake). Also, how well is his power going to work when there's more than one opponent? Lastly, the "best weapon for the situation" may have its drawbacks or side effects. Perhaps the best way to take out the villain involves an area effect (to bypass a high defense) but it winds up taking out some of his nearby teammates. Or the "best" weapon might be a syringe with a counter-drug where he's going to have to get up-close-and-personal and score a critical hit (or a shot on a Helpless opponent held down by his teammates) to deliver it in a place with a vein.
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    • #3
      Re: How to not ruin the game?

      "Most effective" doesn't mean accurate either or long ranged.
      Classic car restoring, gun owning, martial arts practicing, military, gamer geek, kinky lesbian IT chick (has your brain exploded yet?)
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      • #4
        Re: How to not ruin the game?

        yep... here is your vile of poison that is guaranteed to kill the giant beast now all you have to do is get them to drink it. these bonds will block the speedsters power you just have to catch him to put them on. this helmet will prevent the mind controller from making everyone do his bidding you just have to get close enough to him to put it on and make sure he doesn't get a chance to take it off.

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        • #5
          Re: How to not ruin the game?

          Originally posted by rlwr View Post
          yep... here is your vile of poison that is guaranteed to kill the giant beast now all you have to do is get them to drink it. etc.
          Or more likely - your power has now materialised a test tube of green liquid / straps / helmet etc. What do you do with it? Do they throw the contents of the vial at them, drink it themselves or try and get the baddie to drink it? Only one will actually work and they only get one chance per villain (which make rematches so much more difficult if they don't retain for next time...)

          Or if you really want to make it difficult - you've got a formula entered your mind, you need to find the ingredients and make the fluid and then you need to figure out what the heck you do with it - pity you never took science as a skill isn't it?

          Personally I feel this is too broad and powerful and if allowed needs to be ground in teamwork to be effective.
          Last edited by SignalGK; 09-27-2014, 12:25 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: How to not ruin the game?

            Personally, I'd come up with a large number of different weapons that could be summoned. Then from those, he could pick the weapon to use.

            Possibly also including things like Favored Foe or Favored Environment that could be switched out as it happens.


            Ezra Scarlett from Fairy Tail had similar magic, but her swords/armor came from a collection of them.
            Triskavanski's Graveyard of Characters

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            • #7
              Re: How to not ruin the game?

              I was just actually thinking about fairy tale too great character I think her changable armor and weapon loadouts would be fun.

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              • #8
                Re: How to not ruin the game?

                Originally posted by Triskavanski View Post
                Personally, I'd come up with a large number of different weapons that could be summoned. Then from those, he could pick the weapon to use.

                Possibly also including things like Favored Foe or Favored Environment that could be switched out as it happens.


                Ezra Scarlett from Fairy Tail had similar magic, but her swords/armor came from a collection of them.
                That's kinda how it got played through the first year of the book, but it didn't fulfill the notion of having "The Solution", I like the earlier suggestions, its just more work for me, and will force me to think more broadly than Dam/Effect/Combat, and realize that sometimes the solution is Johny Storm with the Ultimate Nulifier, not Cable's bigger gun.

                Further notions on fun ways to work with this "Uncontrollable" power welcome. I'm sure I'll need all the help I can get.

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                • #9
                  Re: How to not ruin the game?

                  Honestly, this sort of power raises all sorts of alarm bells in my head in that it can readily be a "I want an Instant Win Button" situation. The other way to look at it is that it's simply a descriptor. He gets a weapon. It gets him up to PL. It has a descriptor appropriate to that specific opponent which may or may not cause more damage. That's it.
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                  • #10
                    Re: How to not ruin the game?

                    Really a questionable power to have without having to at least scan or analyze the enemy.

                    Though such a power could backfire: What if the "most efficient weapon" against a particularly strong bad guy turns out to be a sheet of paper that says "run"?

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                    • #11
                      Re: How to not ruin the game?

                      I straight up wouldn't allow this in my game. It is not in the spirit of the game, nor in the spirit of the genre... Even comic book characters who have the pull weapons out of nowhere style powers, such as the villain Scourge in The Thunderbolts, or that one Superman villain who could pull guns out of nothing couldn't just bring out the ultimate weapon to take down a character.

                      If someone were to pitch this character to me they would be told no without preamble nor equivocation, because that's your classic D&D player move where a player fixates on trying to be the ultimate killing machine, rather than being a comic book character. Even the times I have utilised variable effect as either a GM or in those rare times I've used it as a player it was always to do a very specific thing, or there were real limitations.... Even characters where I could technically build the best weapon for every situation that was never my intention: An I think that's what is important here, the intention of the power & the intention seems to be the ultimate killer.

                      There are many more interesting things a PC can build.

                      So to answer the question of:

                      How do I find the happy middle ground with something like this?
                      Is there a way to make this character concept work (he's called The Solution) without compromising the potential for everyone to have a fun game?
                      I don't think you can. That seems to be a major part of the guys character concept, but its the concept that is causing you trouble. The only solution to the "The Solution" would be to depower it, but you can't depower it because its the ultimate weapon. See its a catch-22: Because its not the mechanics that you are having a problem with, its the actual concept itself & the only way to "fix" this concept is to tell the player no, since you can't take the concept out of the concept.
                      “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

                      -Doctor Who

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                      • #12
                        Re: How to not ruin the game?

                        Eh, I wouldn't say this is necessarily any worse than the Nemesis power.
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                        • #13
                          Re: How to not ruin the game?

                          Originally posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
                          Eh, I wouldn't say this is necessarily any worse than the Nemesis power.
                          which is why they removed that in 3E too.
                          “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

                          -Doctor Who

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                          • #14
                            Re: How to not ruin the game?

                            Originally posted by saint_matthew View Post
                            which is why they removed that in 3E too.
                            And brought it back in the Power Profiles...
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                            • #15
                              Re: How to not ruin the game?

                              Originally posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
                              And brought it back in the Power Profiles...
                              Which just goes to show that just because you CAN build a thing in 3E, doesn't mean you SHOULD build a thing in 3E.
                              “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views...which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

                              -Doctor Who

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