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Thread: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

  1. #11
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    If he has several different healing powers, then he has more than four modes. The question is whether they should be a nested array or a normal one. I'm definitely of the opinion they should be a normal one. If anyone on the dev team has ever suggested nested arrays should exist, I think they are clearly wrong. Powers used simultaneously should be an array slot, ones used at different times should be separate slots. Allowing nested arrays is basically nearly infinite points. There is no level at which I would consider it sensible, fair, and not a crock.

  2. #12
    Keeper of Secrets Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    Quote Originally Posted by pawsplay View Post
    If anyone on the dev team has ever suggested nested arrays should exist, I think they are clearly wrong.
    A bold claim...

    Allowing nested arrays is basically nearly infinite points.
    So when something can be abused in theory, you'd categorically ban it? Or do you think when you (as GM) allow a neasted array in one specific case, you're "obligated" to allow them all, even nonsensical or abusive ones?

    There is no level at which I would consider it sensible, fair, and not a crock.
    Mind to elaborate?
    As an example, I made a snake/dragon themed hero named Dionin. He's got an array of alternate forms (snake, human & dragon), and in his default snake form he's got the following nested array (alongside various other snake traits):
    Sinous Body
    BE Slither: Movement 3 (Slithering, Permeate [Limited to small spaces], Wall-Crawling 1), Speed 1
    AE Agile Swimmer: Swimming 4, Movement 1 (Environmental Adaptation [aquatic])
    AE Constrict: Enhanced Advantages 2 (Chokehold, Improved Hold), Extra Limbs 4 (coils; Sustained, Limited to single grab)
    So if I got you right, you'd instead suggest three different snake-forms, each with mostly identical traits? Example:
    BE Snake Form 1: snake traits + Slither
    AE Snake Form 2: snake traits + Swimmer
    AE Snake Form 3: snake traits + Constrict
    AE Human Form: humanoid traits + Morph
    AE Dragon Form: dragon traits
    This hypothetical standard array would, if fully written up, nearly take up half a sheet alone, and would look really awkward & confusing. So I think using a nested array actually simplifies things in this case.

  3. #13
    Keeper of Secrets Ysariel's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    I worked it out for the case in question here, and only a few pp were saved. There is a way to save significant numbers of points with nested arrays that Fuzzy showed me once, but it only works for arrays with large numbers of slots (which are already problematic) and many recursively nested levels.

    The assumption at work here is probably "arrays save points, so arrays of arrays must save even more points". Luckily, arraying is not a mathematical hyper operator.

  4. #14
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    The usual method of abusing nested arrays is, indeed, when there are large number of powers involved, especially utility powers that don't necessarily require the full value of the base array to be effective. There can be cases where its a largely painless way to pay for the rest of an offensive set when one particular power is more expensive than everything else, too.

    Example of the latter: Someone wants a full PL Mental Blast. At PL 10 that's a 40 point power. The rest of the character's offensive powers are 30 points or less. So rather than buying them as primary slots off the main power, you only spend two points so that you have a two slot array; the main one being the Mental Blast, the second slot containing the 30 points of power and the 10 slots of alternates.

    Its an awful lot of versatility for 2 points.

  5. #15
    Hierophant FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    For me, the more dangerous array abuse involves dynamic slots with multiple powers and treating it like a free dynamic array. Fortunately, I've seen it in the wild only about as often as actual nested array abuse, namely that most people backpedal when you ask them why they built the array the way they did.

  6. #16
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    And of course you can have cases here where the reason for doing it that way is conceptually valid, but still a bad idea (same as some other constructs): I believe someone mentioned the Array of Alternate Forms where more than one form has an Array. On the surface of it, that doesn't seem conceptually invalid. Doesn't necessarily make it any less abusive, though.

  7. #17
    Hierophant FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    And of course you can have cases here where the reason for doing it that way is conceptually valid, but still a bad idea (same as some other constructs): I believe someone mentioned the Array of Alternate Forms where more than one form has an Array. On the surface of it, that doesn't seem conceptually invalid. Doesn't necessarily make it any less abusive, though.
    Eh, I'll disagree with you. The array of alternate forms can cause issues if it allows the person to occupy multiple roles (much as with Metamorph), but the "nested arrays" aspect is somewhat mollified by the fact that you need to take on all aspects of the alternate form, which limits it somewhat. When you're Fire Guy, you may have your variety of fire blasts, but you can't carry the hostage away because, well, you're made of fire. It's the same reason 2E UP said that it was OK to have Permanent powers in an Alternate Form.

  8. #18
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    Eh, I'll disagree with you. The array of alternate forms can cause issues if it allows the person to occupy multiple roles (much as with Metamorph), but the "nested arrays" aspect is somewhat mollified by the fact that you need to take on all aspects of the alternate form, which limits it somewhat. When you're Fire Guy, you may have your variety of fire blasts, but you can't carry the hostage away because, well, you're made of fire. It's the same reason 2E UP said that it was OK to have Permanent powers in an Alternate Form.
    Eh. I'd perhaps buy that if that wasn't usually done with Metamorph, more often than not. By the time you're Arraying essentially the whole character, saving even more points with an array inside of that seems like gilding the lily. Even when it isn't, there's no requirement to attach powers in Alternate forms that are inconvenient; its not like you're mandated to take Insubstantial or a Damage Field, after all.

  9. #19
    Keeper of Secrets Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkdreamer View Post
    And of course you can have cases here where the reason for doing it that way is conceptually valid, but still a bad idea (same as some other constructs): I believe someone mentioned the Array of Alternate Forms where more than one form has an Array. On the surface of it, that doesn't seem conceptually invalid. Doesn't necessarily make it any less abusive, though.
    If a nested array is a conceptually valid solution while a standard array is not, why choose the latter? Makes no sense to me. Just because a nested array might save 1-2 points (big deal!) you consider it "abusive"? Even when it's the more fitting/elegant solution?
    That said, if I (as a GM) would see a player's nested array that's just nonsensical (i.e. exists obviously only for shaving points), then I'd simply invoke RULE ZERO and just say "no". No need for a general ban against nested arrays, rather decide on a case-by-case basis.

  10. #20
    Hierophant kenseido's Avatar
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    Re: Honest question: Can you have an Array with an Array?

    I am not a fan of nested arrays but there are some legitimate cases.

    Such as an array of alternate forms, where one or more of the forms has an array.

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