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  • "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

    This isn't really a request for a rule clarification, but more to see where others stand on this...

    I'm putting the finishing touches on a character that uses runic magic to, among other things, stop time. Rather than trying to work out how to mechanically stop time in the rules, I'm just creating an array, and everything he commonly does while he stops time (move, setup damage, etc.) is an array effect.

    Here's the thing: it's magic, so when he stops time, it's literally stopped for everyone else. So without limitation, his Quickness effect in the array would be an infinite number of ranks. But there are two limitations:

    - After activating the power, he has to wait about 6 seconds minimum before activating it again. This allows him to use the ability once per round, so others still get a turn after he does what he wants.

    - From his perspective, the time-stop only lasts for a certain length of time max. It will seem instantaneous to everyone else though.
    Now, my question is:

    How long would you allow this character to be able to act freely, from his perspective, while time is stopped?

    Why this matters is it gives me a way to be somewhat accurate in statting out his powers. For example, if he moves freely for 96 seconds, then compared to the 6 seconds of a turn, he effectively can act at 16x normal speeds. I would set his Quickness array effect at 4 ranks, and I would set his Teleport array effect to a rank with a range of roughly 480 feet (the distance he could move in 96 seconds, given 30ft./rnd. normally.)

    I'm thinking between 6 to 12 minutes at a minimum. This should be plenty of time to setup a damaging effect, punch everyone in the face within 30/60ft. of him, disassemble easy items (cabinets, not cars), etc. It also seems to give a reasonable "Teleport" distance of 1800-3600 feet, and Quickness at rank 6 to 7. At first I had statted him so that he effectively had over several months of time to act--obviously way too much. But I'm still trying to avoid this all being too powerful, especially as he discovers new ways to use this ability.

    So... does 6-12 minutes sound like too much time to have free access to whatever he wants, or is it relatively reasonable? Would an hour seem like too much?
    My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Mr-Smooth)?p=68608&viewfull=1#post68608]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Edge)?p=256421&viewfull=1#post256421]The Cast[/url].
    Currently playing in: [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6868-Xenoforce-Earth-s-Strangest-Heroes-Recruiting-2-more-players][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].

  • #2
    Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

    Ah, timestop. One of my personal favourites. The standard timestop power is described in the Power Profiles: Speed (Subtle 2) + Linked Quickness (Subtle 2); Quirk 4 (unable to interact with the environment) - it costs 2 points per rank. It allows freezing (subjective) time for rank per round. So at rank 10 (20points), it's 2 hours. The user can move freely during this time, but cannot interact with the environment. That means it's great for escape, recon and getting into advantageous positions for an attack, but not for direct combat.
    https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

      I think high levels of quickness, speed, teleport etc. are fine. The only real concern for me is Invention and Ritualist. If you can't interact with the real world (like Bothrops' example) there would be no concern. If you can interact with the real world and thus gather the materials for and build inventions and rituals in seconds using Quickness, I would probably ask you to buy Variable outside of the array.

      Note that attacking non-minions isn't a routine check, so if you want to punch those in the face while time is stopped you need selective area damage arrayed.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

        Originally posted by Rush View Post
        Rather than trying to work out how to mechanically stop time in the rules, I'm just creating an array, and everything he commonly does while he stops time (move, setup damage, etc.) is an array effect.
        First off, this is the right way to build this power, at least from an Effects-based point of view. Focusing on desired outcomes and working backwards is IMO more effective than taking an Effect with an evocative name and trying to make it work like you imagine it should, which is the most common pitfall in building powers.


        Originally posted by Rush View Post
        How long would you allow this character to be able to act freely, from his perspective, while time is stopped?
        You seem to have a good idea of what you'd like him to be capable in the duration of a Stop, and since it is both subjective and "magic", I wouldn't worry too much about the exact amount of time. I get that you want it to be mathematically accurate based on how far he could potentially move or do things, but without some kind of interesting narrative reason or setting reason it's pretty arbitrary. If the time stop was say limited to 1 minute, it would allow him to do a few things or run a good distance, but maybe not be as effective as someone else in your team. I'd suggest thinking about making the Stop powers roughly equal in effect to a speedster of the same PL as your setting, since timestoppers are essentially a subset of speedsters, and then use those ranks to ballpark the duration of the subjective Stop. Keep in mind that since he is literally stopping the world to get his stuff done, in practice everyone in the real world playing the game has to wait at the table until you finish figuring out what you want to do, so I wouldn't recommend getting too complex.


        Originally posted by Rush View Post
        I'm thinking between 6 to 12 minutes at a minimum. This should be plenty of time to setup a damaging effect, punch everyone in the face within 30/60ft. of him, disassemble easy items (cabinets, not cars), etc. It also seems to give a reasonable "Teleport" distance of 1800-3600 feet, and Quickness at rank 6 to 7. At first I had statted him so that he effectively had over several months of time to act--obviously way too much. But I'm still trying to avoid this all being too powerful, especially as he discovers new ways to use this ability.

        So... does 6-12 minutes sound like too much time to have free access to whatever he wants, or is it relatively reasonable? Would an hour seem like too much?
        I'd be inclined to have your character start at 1 minute and maybe test out the power in a few scenarios. That gives the equivalent of 10 routine Standard Actions or 20 routine Move Actions every round, which to my mind seems plenty, but I'm still thinking about The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything. Five minutes gets you up to 50 Standards or 100 Moves, which seems well into speedster territory; an average human with Speed 0 and a good Athletics check could potentially run 6000 feet, or just over a mile in 5 minutes.

        There's also the consideration of what other traits the character has. If you're planning on making Timestop the central and only power, presumably he's an otherwise normal human, maybe reasonably athletic, and a lot of skills. Making him an Inventor is a big temptation, although I'd probably recommend using a Variable to build devices in under a minute.

        Here's a sample array I whipped up:

        Timestopper Array (16p pool + 3 AE)
        . . Disassemble: Transform 5 (Affects: Broad > 1 Thing - Object > Disassembled Object, Transforms: 25 lbs., DC 15; Subtle: subtle)
        . . Instant Gadgets: Variable 3 (Check Required 5: DC 14 - Technology Check)
        . . Rapid Motion
        . . . . Quickness 6 (Linked; Perform routine tasks in -6 time ranks; Subtle 2: undetectable)
        . . . . Speed 6 (Linked; Speed: 120 miles/hour, 1800 feet/round; Subtle 2: undetectable)
        . . Sock it to 'em!
        . . . . Shapeable Area Damage 4 (Linked; DC 19; Shapeable Area: 30 cft., DC 14)
        . . . . Teleport 3 (Linked; 250 feet in a move action, carrying 50 lbs.; Subtle 2: undetectable)

        With this, in one round he can:
        - take apart anything under 25lbs
        - create a 15p Device as long as he makes at least a 17 on his Tech check
        - move 1800+ft or take about 60 routine actions
        - punch a bunch of people in passing with the equivalent of STR 2 using a Power Attack.

        That array costs 19p. If you want more, it's pretty easy to scale up.
        My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
        My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
        [/URL]
        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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        • #5
          Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

          In my personal interpretation of Quickness is that the effect can only speed up tasks that are routine by default, so the Skill Mastery advantage wouldn't help in this regard. And I think that attacks are out of the picture, even against minions - that's what Takedown is made for. As a GM I'd also simply disallow (ab)using Quickness for designing & creating Inventions/Rituals during combat. This particular issue came up in an older thread, where I posted my own guidelines:
          Design
          The design phase can be fully shortened by Quickness, but still requires an undisturbed work-environment and ample access to certain recources. That means designing is impossible during action scenes! The inventor/ritualist may possess an unlimited number of finished designs (which can be reused), but needs access to use them (the design data also may be destroyed or lost). The Eidetic Memory advantage circumvents this need for access, such a person has all the designs in his or her head.
          Construction (Inventor & Artificer only)
          The construction phase can also be speeded up via Quickness, but consumes a minimum time of 1 hour. I requires the same conditions as the design phase, so again no construction during action scenes. The number of finished inventions that could be maintained at the same time should be strictly limited by the GM (if only 1 seems too harsh, then 5 is IMHO a good guideline). The GM may allow stretching this limit in certain cases, for example multiple identical devices (such as anti-telepathy-helmets for the entire party). But the GM should never allow an inventor to deck out every party member with an arsenal of useful toys!
          Rituals
          Rituals may never be shortened by Quickness, they always require their full time and (relatively) undisturbed conditions. Also, they don't create devices (which can be stored or carried around), they emulate powers HERE & NOW and can't be "maintained". For example, imagine a ritual that animates corpses into zombies. As soon as the ritual is complete, the corpses are animated, it does NOT grant the ability to animate zombies in a future fight. The duration of (non-instant) ritual effects (in fact the timespan between the ritual's completion and the action scene) should be IMHO set to one day in most cases. That means the zombies will guard your HQ for 1 day, or until the assault on said HQ (action scene) ends. Another example: A Mystic heroine prepares for a fight with Doctor Shock, so she uses Ritualist to grant herself immunity to electrical damage. This protection will last for a single fight with the villain, but if she fails to track him down within 24 hours, the ritual is wasted.
          Jury-Rigging
          Jury-Rigging allows no routine check, so Quickness won't help here. While Skill Mastery is indeed very useful here, I personally interpret the rules for Quickness that it can be used only for tasks that are routine by default. Should the inventor/artificer/ritualist try to jury-rig a device or ritual that he had also successfully designed in the past, I'll grant him a +2 circumstance bonus on his check. If he has access to the designs (or has Eidetic Memory), this bonus improves to +5.
          On the issue of the suggested Variable, "Technological Devices" is IMHO way too broad. Think of it, "technology" could be a descriptor for virtually ANY effect (same counts for "magic"). All Variables are inherently limited in their scope, they're not "anything I want".
          https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

            I created a time stopping character like this.

            Teleport, Affects Others, burst area, Selective, Limit: Only things/people he can move, Limit: Only places he can walk to.
            with AE: Deflect with Reflect, Redirect to show him stopping time and either moving aside bullets or rotating shooters to hit their buddies.
            and AE: Teleport, Attack

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

              Thanks for all the feedback!

              This character isn't going to be used for a while, so I went ahead with about a several-minute time freeze period for him, in which he can affect other things/people as well. Currently, alongside Quickness 7 as an alternate effect of his time-stop array, he also has the following effects (each with Subtle 2 added)

              - Teleport 7 (0.5 miles)
              - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Damage 8, with Variable Descriptor 2 (representing setting up punches, explosions, heavy dropped items, etc. for opponents)
              - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Teleport Attack 2, with Alternate Resistance: Strength (representing rearranging things during his time freeze)
              - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Affliction 8, with Variable Conditions from Power Profiles - Illusion Powers (representing flinging acid, poisons, etc.)

              IIRC, he can legally use the Quickness (and any tools) to assemble/disassemble items that would normally take several minutes to do so. Besides stopping time, he also has a few other magical tricks in the array. Unfortunately, he has to rely on his magically-enhanced reflexes and magically-toughened skin for defenses in-between offensive uses of magic.

              All in all, I think it's a workable, reasonable build.

              (BTW, thanks for the link to the movie, JDRook! An apt portrayal of what I was intending.)
              My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Mr-Smooth)?p=68608&viewfull=1#post68608]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Edge)?p=256421&viewfull=1#post256421]The Cast[/url].
              Currently playing in: [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6868-Xenoforce-Earth-s-Strangest-Heroes-Recruiting-2-more-players][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: "Time-Stop" Reasonable-ness

                Originally posted by Rush View Post
                - Teleport 7 (0.5 miles)
                - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Damage 8, with Variable Descriptor 2 (representing setting up punches, explosions, heavy dropped items, etc. for opponents)
                - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Teleport Attack 2, with Alternate Resistance: Strength (representing rearranging things during his time freeze)
                - Selective Close Range Burst-Area Affliction 8, with Variable Conditions from Power Profiles - Illusion Powers (representing flinging acid, poisons, etc.)
                That last power would be most expensive at 34p, including Subtle 2, while the others are 20p. EDIT: Also, Teleport could stand to have a few extras on it to fit the mobility of the concept. You could make the array Dynamic to allow for a combination of rearranging things and damaging setups in a single round, although that can get a little complex; it's fine if you know what you're doing and don't use up a lot of table time on it.

                (BTW, thanks for the link to the movie, JDRook! An apt portrayal of what I was intending.)
                Frankly, I was surprised that YouTube had the entire movie when I was just hoping for a good illustrative clip. I may have to check that out again myself, since I haven't seen it since I was a kid. Glad it was useful!
                Last edited by JDRook; 05-27-2016, 12:46 PM. Reason: Teleport note
                My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
                My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
                [/URL]
                I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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