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Thread: Activation and Skill Thread

  1. #11
    OPA Belta
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    Re: Activation and Skill Thread

    I don't like the Check Required flaw, and I try not to use it on my PCs unless I actually *want* the power to fail somewhat often. In most cases, I will disallow the power on PCs when I GM unless the player is likely to fail somewhat often. The reason is as already described in this thread: a flaw that doesn't limit a power is not a flaw. In most cases, players won't take this flaw unless their skill is so high they will never fail, and so the flaw is just a way to save points. It's lame.
    Last edited by Madwand; 06-05-2018 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #12
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: Activation and Skill Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Madwand View Post
    I don't like the Activation flaw, and I try not to use it on my PCs unless I actually *want* the power to fail somewhat often. In most cases, I will disallow the power on PCs when I GM unless the player is likely to fail somewhat often. The reason is as already described in this thread: a flaw that doesn't limit a power is not a flaw. In most cases, players won't take this flaw unless their skill is so high they will never fail, and so the flaw is just a way to save points. It's lame.
    ^_^ Do you mean the "Check Required" Flaw?

  3. #13
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    Re: Activation and Skill Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    ^_^ Do you mean the "Check Required" Flaw?
    Yes. Edited.

  4. #14
    OPA Belta JDRook's Avatar
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    Re: Activation and Skill Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by TerranceFarrel View Post
    IDoes the skillcheck itself intrinsically involve time?
    Strictly speaking, I don't think the skillcheck should intrinsically involve time since all of the skills have different actions associated with them. However, I might suggest using those actions as a guideline for a proper Activation action to pair. Power with Sleight of Hand or Technology checks might require a Standard Action; A Stealth or Athletics Check might be paired with a Move Action; An Insight or Perception check might stick with the default Free Action to activate.

    It's not necessary that the Flaws be paired that way or at all, but it might make more sense if the players describe what the Check/Action entails in narrative terms. If a PC has a Tech Check on Ranged Damage that has the descriptor of a Cyborg Arm Blaster, the Check might be configuring and firing the blaster, which could be any Action (Free, Move, Standard) depending on how complex the player wants to make it. This could justify other interesting flaws, like an additional Quirk that the Blaster has to be reactivated and rechecked if the PC wants to use a tradeoff, representing a reconfiguration of the blaster.



    Quote Originally Posted by TerranceFarrel View Post
    I can't be the first running into this. It begs the question, in what way IS this flaw actually any manner of flaw?
    For Activation alone, it's a small inconvenience, but it can be tricky in mid-combat. It's common for players to at least attempt to activate everything before imminent combat, but if they are surprised they'd have to use the Activation action first. Also, if the power becomes deactivated for any reason (Nullified, Countered, Stunned, etc), that action is needed to reactivate. -1p for Move, -2p for Standard, so not huge but noticeable.

    Skill Check requires that you beat the DC and can use one rank for each pip over the DC you exceeded it. That means that if the DC is 15 and your final total from the die roll is 16, you get one rank of the power available to use; roll a 15 and you get zero ranks, so you technically succeed the roll but may not get any functionality out of the power.

    How would it make a force field inferior to an equal forcefield lacking the flaw?
    Having a force field deactivated in combat is a big deal. An unFlawed default forcefield (Sustained Protection) could reactivate as a Free Action on the PC's turn. The Activation Flaw would use up actions the PC could otherwise use for moving or attacking. The Skill Check might mean the field doesn't go up or only goes up at partial power.

    How would it effect flight? Or remote sensing?
    Flight would be similar to the force field above, although deactivated Flight should mean the PC is falling, and arguably zero ranks of Flight might allow the PC to stop falling and hover.

    Remote Sensing is not commonly used in combat, so Activation may not be a big deal. RS ranks are what give it range, so a successful but poor skill check wouldn't see as far. In theory even a zero rank RS should still have a 30' range.


    Quote Originally Posted by TerranceFarrel View Post
    I am curious how far you'd go in arguing a skill check (let's say Tech) needs be made. Would you argue that a character cannot make such a check while tied? would you let them carry a tool kit into the field? Would you make them run back to the workshop?
    This goes back to the descriptor of the flaw for the power. Using the Arm Blaster again, if the PC needs to use his other hand to fiddle with controls to activate, then tying his hands would stop him; if he can mentally move the controls, it wouldn't. The player should be able to define the flaw as well as the power with descriptors, so put the onus on them to do so instead of them thinking they can just pile on math for free points.

    As others have mentioned, Check Required is easy to abuse with a high-rank skill. You could either change the value of the discount to better reflect the likelyhood of failure or suboptimal performance, or just not allow it. You could go to the trouble of figuring out the success rate with the current DC and skill rank, compare it to the approximately 50% fail rate on a -1 Flaw like Unreliable and calculate an appropriate point discount, or just say that if the PC can't fail outright on a die roll of 5 or less it's just not a strong enough Flaw to allow a point discount at all.
    Last edited by JDRook; 06-06-2018 at 12:28 AM.
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  5. #15
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    Re: Activation and Skill Thread

    I think the OP might want to ban Skill Check Required for their campaign. The rules make it very easy to amass a high skill modifier, and it's easy to justify a high skill score. (A generic mad scientist in one of the sourcebooks, a PL 9 character, has a Technology skill of +19. So level +10. The Inventor advantage is pretty useless without a maxed score.)

    I thought of setting a "floor" of DC 10 + PL, with perhaps every additional point squeezed out increasing the DC by 5. So a PL 10 mad scientist with Technology +20 needs to roll a 1 to succeed. Yeah, still too cheap. I say ditch it.

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