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Author Topic: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
nlmacdonal-
d
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 89
Post Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 8, 2018, 14:06

I was looking at a variety of attack abilities and wanted to see how they compared and how the costing of the modifiers worked within. There are some situations where I could not figure out why there were difference in the costs. I was hoping the community could help out seeing something that I don't. I stared on the basis of working out the average damage at each CP cost. I also looked at factors that go into affecting the costs. All attack abilities have certain common factors that include: range, type, does knockback, and PR cost. To compare abilities, I stripped away these factors and built up the costing for the ability description. I choose to compare all abilities against Power Blast at a 10 CP cost. At 10 CPs Power Blast does 7 average damage. I assumed that these abilities were developed to be balanced so when Lightning Control cost 5 CPs to achieve 7 average damage, that there would be -5 CPs of modifiers that result in this cost. Here are findings:

Power Blast - Range BC" (10), Type Energy (0), KB Yes (5), PR 1 (-2.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 12.5.
This is the standard. At 10 CPs, power blast does 7 avg damage.

Chemical Blast - Range BC" (10), Type Bio (0), KB No (0), PR 2 (-5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 5.
At 0 CPs, chemical blast does 7 avg damage. There is a (5 - 12.5) -7.5 modifier difference. Moving 3 steps back to 2.5 CPs, we find chemical blast doing 8 avg damage. I would expect there should be another -2.5 negative modifier unless Biochemical is worse than Energy? Chemical blast appears a better purchase than power blast. Am I missing something?

Death Touch - Range touch" (0), Type Entropy (0), KB No (0), PR 12 (-17.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: -17.5.
At 25 CPs, death touch does 7 avg damage. There is a (-17.5 - 12.5) -30 modifier difference. Moving 10 steps back to -5 CPs, we find that that we are 3 steps below 2.5 CPs where death touch does 0.5 avg damage. Death touch does have some additional features. Entropy protection works against the damage, but you cannot roll with the damage. How much does Roll with Damage modifier cost? Does this modifier cost 30 CPs. You can accomplish the same effect with surprise. Am I missing something?

Disintegration - Range BC" (10), Type Other (10), KB No (0), PR 2 (-5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 15.
At 10 CPs, disintegration does 7 avg damage. There is a (15 - 12.5) 2.5 modifier difference. Moving 1 step forward to 12.5 CPs, we find that disintegration does 8 avg damage. Disintegration also allows destroys inanimate matter, which I would expect to be a positive modifier. I would expect this ability to have more at least -2.5 more in negative modifiers and possibly more if destroys inanimate matter has more than a 0 modifier. Disintegration seems better than power blast. Am I missing something?

Flame Blast - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Energy (0), KB Yes (5), PR 2 (-5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 12.5.
At 10 CPs, flame blast does 7 avg damage. Flame blast has no additional advantages do it seem equal to power blast.

Light Control - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Energy (0), KB No (0), PR 1 (-2.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 10.
At 10 CPs, light control does 7 avg damage. There is a (10 - 12.5) -2.5 modifier difference. Moving 1 step back to 7.5 CPs, we find light control doing 6 avg damage. Light control also does dazzle. This modifier seems to cost 2.5. This would make light control equal to power blast.

Lightning Control - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Energy (0), KB Yes (5), PR 4 (-10), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 7.5.
At 10 CPs, lightning control does 9 avg damage. There is a (7.5 - 12.5) -5 modifier difference. Moving 2 step back to 5 CPs, we find lightning control doing 7 avg damage. Lightning control seems equal to power blast.

Mental Blast - Range BC" (10), Type Psychic (5), KB No (0), PR 1 (-2.5), Attack Type IN (0); Total Mod: 12.5.
At 10 CPs, mental blast does 3.5 avg damage. There is a (12.5 - 12.5) 0 modifier difference. Mental blast also cannot affect targets without an IN score which seems like a negative modifier. This ability is less powerful than power blast. Am I missing something?

Natural Weapon Blunt - Range Touch" (0), Type Kinetic (0), KB Yes (5), PR 0 (0), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 5.
At 10 CPs, nat. weapon blunt does 4 avg damage. There is a (5 - 12.5) -7.5 modifier difference. Moving 3 steps back to 2.5 CPs, we find that nat. weapon blunt does 1 avg damage. Nat. weapon blunt is applied on top of HTH damage. This works like a carrier attack or contact attack but seems better as the damage is added to the HTH damage. Contact attack is a +15 modifier. Moving 6 steps forward from 2.5 CPs would results in 17.5 CPs for a 7 avg damage. This seems to balance against power blast.

Natural Weapon Sharp - Range Touch" (0), Type Kinetic (0), KB No (0), PR 0 (0), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 0.
At 10 CPs, nat. weapon sharp does 6 avg damage. There is a (0 - 12.5) -12.5 modifier difference. Moving 5 steps back to -2.5 CPs, we find that nat. weapon sharp does 1 avg damage. Nat. weapon sharp is applied on top of HTH damage. This works like a carrier attack or contact attack but seems better as the damage is added to the HTH damage. Contact attack is a +15 modifier. Moving 6 steps forward from -2.5 CPs would results in 12.5 CPs for a 7 avg damage. This seems to balance against power blast.

Repulsion Blast - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Kinetic (0), KB Yes (5), PR 1 (-2.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 15.
At 10 CPs, repulsion blast does 11 avg damage. There is a (15 - 12.5) 2.5 modifier difference. Moving 1 steps forward to 12.5 CPs, we find that repulsion blast does 12 avg damage. Repulsion blast also has the KB only modifier (-10). Moving back four steps to 2.5 CPs does 8 avg damage. This seems more powerful than power blast. Am I missing something?

Sonic Blast - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Kinetic (0), KB Yes (5), PR 1 (-2.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 15.
At 10 CPs, sonic blast does 5 avg damage. There is a (15 - 12.5) 2.5 modifier difference. Moving 1 step forward to 12.5 CPs, we find that sonic blast does 6 avg damage. Sonic blasts can also shatter targets. This seems like a positive modifier. If its cost were 2.5 CPs than this would balance with power blast.

Special Weapon A Blunt - Range Touch" (0), Type Kinetic (0), KB Yes (5), PR 0 (0), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 5.
At 10 CPs, sp. weapon blunt does 3.5 avg damage. There is a (5 - 12.5) -7.5 modifier difference. Moving 3 steps back to 2.5 CPs, we find that sp. weapon blunt does 1.5 avg damage. This is gear (-5). Nat. weapon blunt is applied on top of HTH damage. This works like a carrier attack or contact attack but seems better as the damage is added to the HTH damage. Contact attack is a +15 modifier. Moving 6 steps forward from 2.5 CPs would results in 17.5 CPs for a 6 avg damage. And back 2 steps for gear to 12.5 for 4 avg damage. It doesn't balance for power blast.

Special Weapon A Sharp - Range Touch" (0), Type Kinetic (0), KB No (0), PR 0 (0), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 0.
At 10 CPs, sp. weapon sharp does 5 avg damage. There is a (0 - 12.5) -12.5 modifier difference. Moving 5 steps back to -2.5 CPs, we find that sp. weapon sharp does 1.5 avg damage. This is gear (-5). Nat. weapon sharp is applied on top of HTH damage. This works like a carrier attack or contact attack but seems better as the damage is added to the HTH damage. Contact attack is a +15 modifier. Moving 6 steps forward from -2.5 CPs would results in 12.5 CPs for a 6 avg damage. And back 2 steps for gear to 7.5 for 4 avg damage. It doesn't balance for power blast.

Vibratory Blast - Range BCx2" (12.5), Type Kinetic (0), KB No (0), PR 5 (-12.5), Attack Type AG (0); Total Mod: 0.
At 10 CPs, vibratory blast does 11 avg damage. There is a (0 - 12.5) -12.5 modifier difference. Moving 5 steps back to -2.5 CPs, we find that vibratory blast does 6 avg damage. It can also be used to disable mechanical devices which seems like a positive modifier. This doesn't seem to balance with power blast.

GiantGoril-
la
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 70
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 8, 2018, 18:54

Regarding disintegration compared to power blast: disintegration does not cause knock back, can we assume knock back causes extra damage and or inconvenience for the victim having to stand up again?

I was into Charisma before it was Cool.

nlmacdonal-
d
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 89
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 8, 2018, 19:57

Hi GiantGorilla, I already accounted for knock back (KB). To be able to compare the abilities, I needed to backwards engineer the costing for the powers. All powers have Range, Damage Type, Knock Back, PR, and an Attack Type. I started by looking at the baseline for these characteristics Range (touch), Damage Type (Kinetic, Energy, Bio, or Entropy K.E.B.E. for short), Knock Back (No), PR (0), and an Attack Type (IN, AG, or CL).

I used BC", BCx2", etc for range to represent the Basic Characteristic rather than to spell out the actual BC.

Step 1:
~~ Disintegration ~~
Range: BC" four steps up from touch or +2.5 x 4 = +10.
Type: Other, Based on "Different Damage Type", K.E.B.E. to Other = +10.
KB: No, no cost = 0;
PR: 2 (-5), 2 steps down from PR 0 or -2.5 x 2 = -5.
Attack Type: AG, no cost = 0.
Total Mod: 10 + 10 + 0 -5 +0 = 15.

Power Blast - Range: BC" (+10), Type: Energy (0), KB: Yes (+5), PR: 1 (-2.5), Attack Type: AG (0); Total Mod: 12.5.

Step 2: Compare the total modifiers. Disintegration = +15, Power Blast = 12.5. Disintegration is +2.5 more than Power Blast or 1 step up.

Step 3. I used 10 CPs of the Ability to compare one vs another.
If you review the two abilities, both have similar progression of average damage

CPs Avg Damage
10 2d6 = 7
12.5 d6+d8 = 8
15 2d8 = 9
17.5 d8+d10 = 10

Since Disintegration has a +2.5 difference in modifiers vs Power Blast. You'd need to look at 12.5 CPs for Disintegration and 10 CPs Power Blast. They are already unbalanced. Then consider that Disintegration is also good at destroying inanimate objects. This seems like a positive advantage or modifier and would be worth 0 or more.

I hope this helps to clear up what I was doing to compare powers. I always used Power Blast for comparison due to the fact that it is fairly plain vanilla as far as additional capabilities.

celestiale-
ditor
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 93
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 8, 2018, 20:56

Duuuuuuude. That's serious fan love. I have no answers, only admiration.

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1246
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 9, 2018, 11:09

All damage-causing attacks can damage physical objects. Disintegration's only advantage in that regard, is that Structural Rating doesn't protect against 'Other' damage types. So no, it doesn't need to cost more for that.

-Jeff

Jeff
Administrator
Posts: 1246
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 9, 2018, 18:00

Regarding other seeming discrepancies: we built *most* of the abilities pretty much along the lines by which you've dissected them. But not all. In particular, abilities such as Death Touch which behave in fundamentally different ways than straightforward damaging attacks were priced according to their own needs, not just by stacking up modifiers.

It is *possible*, though I doubt it, that we adjusted some of the Modifiers again after having built abilities from them. That could account for some of the smaller, 2.5 CP differences you believe you've found. We'll go take another look when we get the chance (we're swamped at the moment, trying to get the rest of the add-ons and stretch goals done), but we're pretty confident of the current numbers and tentatively suggest that you may, indeed, have missed something. I know that Disintegration has come up before on the forums, and after analysis was found to add up. You might want to go hunt for that thread.

In the meanwhile I'd urge you not to make too much of point discrepancies as small as that. 2.5 CPs is about 1 session's worth of experience, and thus in the grand scheme of things, next to negligible.

Thanks for keeping us honest!
-Jeff

nlmacdonal-
d
High-Powered Superhero
Posts: 89
Post Re: Mechanics of Attack Abilities
on: February 9, 2018, 21:13

Hi Jeff, thanks for the feedback. I originally started looking at the ability mechanics because I was looking to determine the cost of the "doesn't roll with the damage" modifier on death touch. I want to gauge how much you guys felt it was worth because I had some ideas to make something that used something similar. Once I got started I started looking at the other powers just out of interest.

On a personal level, I really don't have any issues with some powers have more utility or being unbalanced. Ultimately, the group that I run with like a good story and "role" playing portion of the game. We've played many sessions without the "roll" portion of the game.

Let me applaud the efforts that you guys have placed into making the system. It looks like much blood, sweat, and tear went into making it.

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