Defense too High?
 

Defense too High?  

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Majestic
(@majestic)
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17/07/2019 12:01 pm  

Sorry about that last post.  Hopefully this one will show what I write.

I have a new(ish) player who is really loving V&V.  He's played in some games run by myself and my son, and he's really loving the game.  He went out and got himself a rulebook, and says he's finding the game to be "like crack".

It didn't take him long to tweak an old character he's played a few times (in 2.1) to be pretty abusive, though.  He already had a Physical Defense of 5.  And he bought himself a Personal Gravity Well and put 30 points into it, which adds a whopping +12!  

So now, if I allowed this, he would legitimately have a Physical Defense of 17!!!  That with an already very strong character who can take just about anybody out with his powerful Gravity attacks (he makes them weigh x34) and quite a lot of Hit Points (not that he'll need them with a Defense like that).

After some brief discussions with Hireling, I'm wondering if I shouldn't institute a Cap of somewhere in the 8-10 range for the Defense score for characters.

V&V GM and player since 1982, my current campaign is 29 years old


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bkadams
(@bkadams)
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Posts: 55
17/07/2019 12:14 pm  

Have the bad guys run inside the gravity well. They get the +12 Physical Defense too!

A Defense cap isn't a bad idea. At one point I had written house rules with caps on everything, but they could be modified a la M&M, e.g. lower one to raise another.


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Hireling
(@hireling)
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17/07/2019 5:22 pm  

I'm looking at basing Defense and To Hit caps on maximum AG allowed according to the BC caps. This way it scales somewhat with a character's CP gains.

TL;DR

Defense Caps (both Mental and Physical) 

  • 150 to 154 CPs: 40 AG Cap, PDef Cap = 5 
  • 160-162 CPs: 42 AG Cap, PDef Cap = 6
  • 190-194 CPs: 48 AG cap, PDef Cap = 7
  • and so on

To Hit Caps (I based these values on the following equation: Max Possible 'To Hit' Based on AG Cap - 13* = 'To Hit' Cap *13- being the base 'To Hit' chance of a character with average AG (8 through 10)

  • 150 to 154 CPs: 40 AG Cap, To Hit Cap = 5
  • 160-162 CPS: 42 AG Cap, To Hit Cap = 6
  • 190-194 CPs: 48 AG Cap, To Hit Cap = 7
  • and so on

Following is the thought process that led me to these caps:

Using a level 1 D&D character as an example, because I think they have a good handle on difficulty, they have roughly a +4 to hit, and most easy enemies like Kobolds and Goblins have an Armor Class of 12 or 13, so that's a 50/55% chance to hit vs an enemy you're expected to encounter in large groups. Tougher enemies that have an AC of 17 or 18 give the player a 35/30% chance to hit. It's MUCH harder, but then again D&D has mechanics such as Advantage and the Help action. Now--in V&V you can easily pump your base To Hit chance well over 100%. If a character has a 21- To Hit they will hit the average target on anything but a 20.


Considering a player with average Agility, their Save/To Hit is 10-/13- respectively. These stats reflect a 50% chance to make an AG save and a 65% chance to hit a target with 0 Defense. This seems in line with the D&D model, which I think works well, as targeting an enemy with above average agility reduces your chances to hit from 65% to 60 or 55%. Still good, but harder. Let's look at BC caps. A 150 CP character can have a maximum of 40 Agility granting them a Physical Defense of 5. That gives the average attacker only a 40% chance to hit. To me this seems fair as this represents Spider-man levels of Agility vs an untrained fighter with 10 Agility. Now--with To Hit bonuses purchased from Heightened Expertise or Natural Weaponry you can overcome that Agility with an investment of 12.5 points (for a single attack type-punches, pistols, swords, etc). Player 1 invested 30 CPs into Agility (assuming they started with 10 AG), while Player 2 invested 12.5 into their To Hit ability of choice. At first this seems like a major disparity, but not when you consider that player 1 gained 30 Points of Power, 12 Hit Points, their AG save went from 10- to 15-, their To Hit went from 13- to 18-, and any Ability whose range keys off of AG just got a buff. So, I'm not going to worry about this, but I wanted to at least look at the cost/benefit. Player 2 is investing in something that makes them more effective in combat with a single attack type, while player 1 is gaining many advantages. When you spend 30 CP, I think you should get lots of perks.


The problem arises when you add in things like Heightened Defense which gives you +1 Physical and Mental Defense for every 5 CPs you spend. If you choose only Physical or Mental Defense it only costs 2.5 CPs per +1. So, you can get +4 with a 10 CP investment. So now Player 1 has a Physical Def of 9, and player 2 is back to square one, needing a 9- To Hit (40% chance). This reminds me of Starfleet Battles (a very old and convoluted table top strategy game--fun if you had 10 hours to play a game). If you allowed ECM (Electronic Counter Measures) to hinder your opponents targeting computer, they could buy ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measures, and so on, and so on). It was awful.


There are a couple of ways to come at this. We could figure out the maximum Defense someone could achieve at their current CP level--taking into consideration BC and Ability Caps--which I think is far too complicated as we would have to consider Heightened AG, Heightened Defense, Glare, Gravity Control C) Personal Gravity Well, Defensive and Full Defensive fighting, Invisibility, Darkness Control, etc etc. Or...we can use their maximum possible AG score for their CP level in an attempt to find an appropriate Physical Defense Cap. Same for Mental Defense. (which I did at the top of the post)

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this.

 

-Hireling


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Hireling
(@hireling)
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17/07/2019 5:36 pm  

Note: The 'To Hit' Cap value is how much of a bonus a character is allowed through Abilities. I think this will prevent abusive To Hit values. I'll be doing some testing to see if the cap should be total To Hit instead. This would nerf Abilities such as Heightened Expertise and Natural Weaponry, but prevents the ubiquity of such powers.


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Majestic
(@majestic)
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18/07/2019 4:19 pm  

The 'to hit' caps don't seem as necessary to me, but then I don't allow multiple attacks on a single target (in other words, if you want to shoot three different enemies, that's fine, but no making a ridiculously high to hit and then plugging one target 3 times).

I like what you've done here, Hireling.

V&V GM and player since 1982, my current campaign is 29 years old


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Hireling
(@hireling)
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18/07/2019 8:35 pm  

Thanks, Majestic. I think I’m going to use your Multiple Attack rule so I won’t have to implement a To Hit cap. Players and NPCs can still use Defensive Fighting Stance, and Full Defense if they want more Defense.


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Jeff Dee
(@jeff)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 26
21/07/2019 4:51 pm  

I moved this to the MP Homebrew Rules section.

-Jeff


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