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  • Summoning a Water Contruct

    I'm in the process of creating a summoned minion who is a water construct. It is not living and it is not sentient. It's a water shape that I control remotely.

    My summon power has the Active, Controlled, Heroic and Feedback modifiers. (Feedback is because I'm a sort of water elemental myself and it is my water that make up the minion)

    Now there is a few things I'm not sure of, and I'd like your ideas.

    - Since it is just an animated mass of water, he has Immunity to Fortitude Effects. Which other Immunity a construct "should" have? I've found an example where the construct has "Sensory Affliction Effects" and I don't understand why.

    - A Controlled summon has no free will. Does that make him immune to Will Effects? Is it implicit in the minion stats without a need to buy it?

    - I want the summoner to see and hear through his minion's senses. First I bought "Communication" on the minion but then I thought "Is this really what auditory and visual communication does?" He sends images and sounds to the summoner's, but Communication can be "overheard" by other people, right? The senses should go directly to the summoner's mind. Then there is Remote Sensing, but it costs a lot of PP to sense through a single minion, and needs quite a few extra to be effortless. Any recommendation?



    Here is my minion current statblock :

    Minion - PL 6

    Strength 5, Stamina -, Agility 4, Dexterity 3, Fighting 3, Intellect -, Awareness 0, Presence -

    Advantages
    Favored Environment: In water or Snow.

    Skills
    Close Combat: Water Punch: Strength-based Damage 2 2 (+5)

    Powers
    Fluid body: Insubstantial 1 (Fluid)
    Giant: Growth 2 (+1 Intimidate, -2 Stealth, -1 active defenses; Innate; Limited to Increasing Size Only, Permanent)
    Not Living: Immunity 48 (Aging, Critical Hits, Fatigue Effects, Fortitude Effects, Life Support)
    Shared Senses
    Shared Earing: Auditory Communication 2 (Linked; Sense Type: Shared Earing; Limited: Summoner)
    Shared Sight: Visual Communication 2 (Linked; Sense Type: Shared Sight; Limited: Summonere)
    Swimmer: Swimming 2 (Speed: 2 miles/hour, 30 feet/round)
    Toughness: Protection 8 (+8 Toughness)
    Water Mending: Regeneration 10 (water, Every 1 round; Limited: Burrowed in Water.)
    Water Punch: Strength-based Damage 2 (water, DC 22; Multiattack)
    Water Jet: Line Area Damage 4 (Alternate; DC 19; Line Area 2: 5 feet wide by 60 feet long, DC 14; Side Effect 2: always - Takes 2 turn to recharge, Unreliable (5 uses))

    Offense
    Initiative +4
    Grab, +3 (DC Spec 15)
    Throw, +3 (DC 20)
    Unarmed, +3 (DC 20)
    Water Jet: Line Area Damage 4 (DC 19)
    Water Punch: Strength-based Damage 2, +5 (DC 22)

    Complications
    Monstrous
    Weakness: Heat- Bypass Toughness

    Languages
    Native Language

    Defense
    Dodge 3, Parry 3, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 8, Will None

    Power Points
    Abilities 0 + Powers 87 + Advantages 1 + Skills 1 (2 ranks) + Defenses 1 = 90

  • #2
    Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

    Originally posted by EmperorClydeIV View Post
    - Since it is just an animated mass of water, he has Immunity to Fortitude Effects. Which other Immunity a construct "should" have? I've found an example where the construct has "Sensory Affliction Effects" and I don't understand why.
    Strictly speaking, none. It's even possible to build constructs without Immunity to Fortitude by taking something like Immunity [life support, effects that only work on living beings] 20pp.

    A construct with immunity to Sensory Affliction Effects (like a dazzling ray) may have protected or shielded senses.

    - A Controlled summon has no free will. Does that make him immune to Will Effects? Is it implicit in the minion stats without a need to buy it?
    My interpretation is no. Normally, summons do their best to obey you and take risks to help you (they start at Friendly attitude), but they aren't completely selfless and do react to bad treatment (like Minions and Sidekicks). Controlled lets you create Summons whom you can force to do whatever you like.

    That said, your Summon is absent Intellect, which already means they're immune to mental effects and interaction skills and have no Will defense. I would rule that they may still be affected by Will attacks with the Affects Objects modifier (such as a magical spell that controls elemental constructs).

    - I want the summoner to see and hear through his minion's senses. First I bought "Communication" on the minion but then I thought "Is this really what auditory and visual communication does?" He sends images and sounds to the summoner's, but Communication can be "overheard" by other people, right? The senses should go directly to the summoner's mind. Then there is Remote Sensing, but it costs a lot of PP to sense through a single minion, and needs quite a few extra to be effortless. Any recommendation?
    Remote Sensing, with the flaw Medium (minions) -1pp/rank.

    Strength 5, Stamina -, Agility 4, Dexterity 3, Fighting 3, Intellect -, Awareness 0, Presence -
    Note that with absent Intellect and Presence, such a Summon can only follow preprogrammed orders or basic instinct, and can't communicate (e.g. to warn you of danger or describe what it senses).

    Not Living: Immunity 48 (Aging, Critical Hits, Fatigue Effects, Fortitude Effects, Life Support)
    I consider Fatigue Effects, Aging and Life Support included in Fortitude Effects, as they are resisted by Fortitude, so this should be 32pp.

    Immunity: Fatigue Effects protects against Effects with the descriptor of 'fatigue', not the actual Fatigued condition nor Fatigue from Extra Effort. (Some people argue Constructs shouldn't be able to suffer the Fatigued condition at all. I disagree.)

    Skills
    Close Combat: Water Punch: Strength-based Damage 2 2 (+5)

    Powers
    Fluid body: Insubstantial 1 (Fluid)
    Giant: Growth 2 (+1 Intimidate, -2 Stealth, -1 active defenses; Innate; Limited to Increasing Size Only, Permanent)
    Not Living: Immunity 48 (Aging, Critical Hits, Fatigue Effects, Fortitude Effects, Life Support)
    Shared Senses
    Shared Earing: Auditory Communication 2 (Linked; Sense Type: Shared Earing; Limited: Summoner)
    Shared Sight: Visual Communication 2 (Linked; Sense Type: Shared Sight; Limited: Summonere)
    Swimmer: Swimming 2 (Speed: 2 miles/hour, 30 feet/round)
    Toughness: Protection 8 (+8 Toughness)
    Water Mending: Regeneration 10 (water, Every 1 round; Limited: Burrowed in Water.)
    Water Punch: Strength-based Damage 2 (water, DC 22; Multiattack)
    Water Jet: Line Area Damage 4 (Alternate; DC 19; Line Area 2: 5 feet wide by 60 feet long, DC 14; Side Effect 2: always - Takes 2 turn to recharge, Unreliable (5 uses))
    I wouldn't allow that Side Effect. Side Effect is supposed to be an actual power that harms you, and should be an attack with roughly the same point value as the original power. Additionally, the minion can still attack with its punch on the turns the line blast is recharging, so in practice taking 2 turns to recharge isn't a flaw and is therefore worth no discount. I would allow it if the entire array were unusable for 2 rounds or alternately suggest a Side Effect of Damage 4.

    I wouldn't allow Unreliable (5 uses) on an attack that's an Alternate Effect. Once you run out of charges you can just switch back to another power in the array and continue getting your points' worth. I would allow it if the entire array was disabled once the last charge was used up.

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    • #3
      Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

      Other possible immunites:
      • Immunity (Mind Control) or possibly even a full immunity to Mental, depending on how much of a mind it has.
      • Immunity (water) - an elemental is often immune to its own material.
      • Immunity (physical damage) - For a water construct, they might have full, or total, immunity to being hit by things. Arguably, water is unharmed by stabbing it, slashing it, or even bludgeoning it.
      • Immunity (Interaction skills or Emotion effects) - whether so alien, or so mindless, maybe it can't be scared, tricked, etc


      A controlled character can make no decisions on their own, but they can still be impaired by Will-based effects. A creature racked with mental pain (Affliction) will still be affected. Someone seizing direct control, or interfering with your control, could still impose effects. Heck, if the creature still has reasoning, a Bluff attempt might still work, essentially finding a way to confuse it so that it's trying to do your orders, but is going about them the wrong way. So really, the only thing Controlled does is prevent the GM from saying "Your minion claims that it wants bargaining rights and refuses to fight unless you promise to establish a union".

      A Sensory Link to see through your summoned creature's eyes is a +1 Extra, I think. Mental Link to instantly command them is a 1 PP extra.
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      • #4
        Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

        Originally posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
        A Sensory Link to see through your summoned creature's eyes is a +1 Extra, I think.
        Is there such an extra in the core book? Or is it in one of the power profiles? Because I thought there was, too, but couldn't find it when I went to check.

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        • #5
          Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

          the mental link extra is a flat 1 pp extra for summons

          so it makes sense for it to be similar as a scrying medium a simple 1pp flat advantage
          Dr. Silverback has wryly observed that this is like trying to teach lolcats about Shakespeare

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          • #6
            Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

            Originally posted by catsi563 View Post
            the mental link extra is a flat 1 pp extra for summons

            so it makes sense for it to be similar as a scrying medium a simple 1pp flat advantage
            They don't list any version of that option in the Summon Power Profile, so its really GM dependent on which way to go.
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            • #7
              Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

              Sensory Link is actually in the core book, as an extra listed under the Mind Reading effect, costing 1pt/rank and allows tapping into the senses of the target. I see no reason for not permitting this extra for effects like Summon or a Mind-Control Affliction.
              https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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              • #8
                Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

                Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
                Sensory Link is actually in the core book, as an extra listed under the Mind Reading effect, costing 1pt/rank and allows tapping into the senses of the target. I see no reason for not permitting this extra for effects like Summon or a Mind-Control Affliction.
                I like this idea! The Mind Link Extra for Summon always made me think this was a first step toward a Sensory Link Extra, but never came to be.
                The character really his one one my player's character. I think I may permit this custom extra for him. I'll start by comparing with the alternatives to see this is balanced enough with the rest of the system.

                Thanks everybody for the insights.

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                • #9
                  Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

                  Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
                  Sensory Link is actually in the core book, as an extra listed under the Mind Reading effect, costing 1pt/rank and allows tapping into the senses of the target.
                  So there it is! I kept looking under Summon and Senses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

                    Originally posted by Ysariel
                    My interpretation is no. Normally, summons do their best to obey you and take risks to help you (they start at Friendly attitude), but they aren't completely selfless and do react to bad treatment (like Minions and Sidekicks). Controlled lets you create Summons whom you can force to do whatever you like.

                    That said, your Summon is absent Intellect, which already means they're immune to mental effects and interaction skills and have no Will defense. I would rule that they may still be affected by Will attacks with the Affects Objects modifier (such as a magical spell that controls elemental constructs).
                    I personally rule that a Controlled subject may use the controller's will defense against a third party's mental effects. This makes trying to wrest control of an already controlled creature into a contest of willpower between the previous controller and the "ursurper" - very poetic. Also, it provides a good reason for buying the Controlled extra even for your mindless summons. For example, a mindless robot minion lacks free will and is thus unable to resist even abusive/suicidal commands anyways, but since it lacks will defense it's extremely vulnerable to hijacking by hackers or technopaths. Buying Controlled covers this weakness.


                    @EmperorClydeIV
                    I'd build the "Summon Water Construct" power this way:
                    Summon 6 (Controlled, Feedback, Heroic*, Mental Link, Sensory Link) cost: 31
                    *Heroic already contains Active
                    Can the construct be summoned out of thin air, or does the summoner need a sufficiently large volume of existing water? In the latter case, a Source flaw could be appropriate (reducing the cost to 25 pts).

                    Concerning the stat block:
                    - Immunity 32 (fortitude, critical hits) would be completely sufficient; fortitude immunity already covers life support, fatigue & aging (and the latter would also be unnecessary for a summoned creature, since it exists only for brief periods).
                    - Shared Senses would be also obsolete, because of the Sensory Link extra.
                    I'd probably invest the freed points into upgrading Insubstantial to rank 2 & buying the Affects Corporeal extra for the construct's Strength (this would cost a total 10 points). This renders the construct completely immune to physical blows (fists, swords, bullets etc), with the exception of area blasts - very fitting for an animated mass of water. And I'd also swap out the "Water Jet" power's Line Area 2 extra for Selective Cone Area: Costs the same, no drawbacks & MUCH more versatile.
                    Last edited by Bothrops; 05-23-2016, 07:49 AM.
                    https://roninarmy.com/forum/atomic-think-tank/roll-call/7149-bothrops-pit#post7149

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                    • #11
                      Re: Summoning a Water Contruct

                      Originally posted by Bothrops View Post
                      *Heroic already contains Active
                      Oh! I never noticed that. Thanks!

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