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Author Topic: So. Who else thinks Feruchemy is the best thing EVAR?  (Read 4886 times)
RazorSmile
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« on: July 07, 2009, 04:00:30 PM »

Can't just be me, right?  Grin

Okay, more pertinently, I think there'd be a huge temptation to abuse Feruchemy in an RPG setting. How would one go about making sure this didn't happen? Leave it to the GM or just nerf it? The former would probably result in random encounters with Steel Inquisitors and the like. The latter wouldn't be fair. I say leave it as it is. The rest of the party can protect their Feruchemist while he lies macerated and catatonic on the ground until things are at their most desperate then BOOM! She's She-Hulk meets Quicksilver and and kills everything in sight.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 09:19:12 PM by RazorSmile » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 05:00:14 PM »

Welcome to the boards, RazorSmile! Always glad to have new blood.

Balancing Feruchemy is a concern we obviously have. I think the best weapon we have rest on 2 axes of the core "fuel" of the power - time and opportunity costs.  

First, time. The books make notations throughout (particularly before the Seige) that Sazed has taken months to charge some of his feruchemical bracers, only to have those charges burn out in a few minutes or hours. This is a pretty big deal, in game time, because the cost should be such that a Feruchemist *always* questions whether or not it's worth burning off a charge before doing so - otherwise, the charge time's not high enough.

The second cost is opportunity - as in, what is the Feruchemist giving up for having these bursts of power later? My thoughts should be - quite a bit. Rather than a 1:1 ratio (in d20, for example, losing 1 point of Strength now for a point of Strength later), you could make it a 2:1, 3:1, or even 5:1 cost (depending upon the scale and the utility of the power being charged). The end result is charges are slower to accumulate and there's always something lost in the exchange. This means that the Feruchemist won't spend his time min-maxing every stat or ability to get the biggest advantage this second (and perhaps lose sight of the main game being played by everyone else), and will need to consider the opportunity costs of his choices before making them.

The best indicator of game balance is when there's no obvious "best choice" to make. This is something that's always driven our philosophy, and will continue to do so in Mistborn as well Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 07:03:53 PM »

I'm thinking there's a balancing factor involved in metalmind size, as well. While the books don't come out and say it (so far as I can recall) there seems to be a strong correlation between the size of the metalmind and how much it can hold (and by extension how fast it burns out).

It follows that a Feruchemist who's sporting big fat metalminds (the better to store up power for ubermensch antics later) is also making himself a target. This is the Mistborn world, after all, where wearing lots of metal means you either don't know what Allomancy is, or feel like you're so badass that it doesn't matter. Either way, people are liable to notice. Thieves at the inn may drug him and rip him off in the night. And enemies who know what to look for will look to separate him from his metal as quickly as possible. Frankly, throughout book 3 I was waiting for somebody to make off with Sazed's bag at exactly the wrong moment. 
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 09:06:50 PM »

Thanks for the welcome, Alex Cheesy


Quote
I'm thinking there's a balancing factor involved in metalmind size, as well. While the books don't come out and say it (so far as I can recall) there seems to be a strong correlation between the size of the metalmind and how much it can hold (and by extension how fast it burns out).

I just so happen to have a quote about exactly that handy:

Quote from: The Well of Ascension
They were small, for metalminds, but storing up Feruchemical attributes took time. It would take weeks to fill even a ring's worth of metal

Quote
It follows that a Feruchemist who's sporting big fat metalminds (the better to store up power for ubermensch antics later) is also making himself a target. This is the Mistborn world, after all, where wearing lots of metal means you either don't know what Allomancy is, or feel like you're so badass that it doesn't matter.

 
That is absolutely right --- which is what nipple rings are for.

On the other hand, you don't have to blow it all at once. Assuming a 2:1 ratio as Crafty_Alex suggests, if you spend 10 hours at half strength (filling a pewter ring for instance), you'll get 2.5 hours at double strength. Two times the average person's strength is still a lot - especially if used in conjunction with double or triple speed.

Feruchemy might have to be nerfed even more than I thought.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 09:25:15 PM by RazorSmile » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 02:58:04 AM »

The problem with nipple rings is
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 06:10:27 AM »

The problem with nipple rings is
(click to show/hide)

(click to show/hide)
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2009, 11:18:57 AM »

Or at least have him whispering in your ear...
That's not my ear.  And my face is up here.   Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2009, 07:03:55 PM »

The problem with nipple rings is
(click to show/hide)

Murder by nipple-ring would be a serious logistical challenge, quite possibly more trouble than it's worth.
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2009, 09:17:36 PM »

This reply is spoilerriffic, and it's too integrated to the points at hand to be spoiler tagged--such tagging would just be silly. so you've been warned.


I just so happen to have a quote about exactly that handy:

Quote from: The Well of Ascension
They were small, for metalminds, but storing up Feruchemical attributes took time. It would take weeks to fill even a ring's worth of metal

On the other hand, you don't have to blow it all at once. Assuming a 2:1 ratio as Crafty_Alex suggests, if you spend 10 hours at half strength (filling a pewter ring for instance), you'll get 2.5 hours at double strength. Two times the average person's strength is still a lot - especially if used in conjunction with double or triple speed.

Feruchemy might have to be nerfed even more than I thought.

It may already be nerfed enough. We see (or are aware of) Sazed hulking out twice in the whole series, so far as I can recall. Once when he shreds a Steel Inquisitor sort of off camera, and once when he pulls his Gandalf impression at the Gate to Luthadel.

The quick burst is easy to conceive, but it was always my impression that Sazed had spent time in the neighborhood of decades storing up enough Hulk strength to last him an entire afternoon of rock-em sock-em Koloss-squishing. That's probably more time than a PC feruchemist warrior is willing to spend as a 98-pound weakling. Even the weeks required to fill such a metalmind as the rings already mentioned is likely more than a PC feruchemist is going to care to commit. Not when there's stuff to do.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 09:26:52 PM by Gentry » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2009, 10:42:22 PM »

Not when there's stuff to do.
That's why characters have "downtime."

And I think a great chunk of the weight he spent was built up over decades of hopping down the stairs light enough not to hurt himself.
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« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 11:25:04 AM »

One of the many many cool things about Feruchemy is that some metals are just as useful to save as they are when you actually tap. Iron for instance: reduce yourself to 1/5th or 1/10th weight and you don't need superstrength to do a superjump. Tin: save your sense of touch and you can ignore the most hideous pain.

Then consider brass: seems useless on the surface, don't it? Save heat and you can walk in the hottest desert and save all the heat above your normal temp into brassminds. Hell, you could probably walk through fire Shocked (although, that might fill your brassminds really quickly) Tap it and you can walk naked in the snow or fake a convincing fever (see also: gold)

Quote
The quick burst is easy to conceive, but it was always my impression that Sazed had spent time in the neighborhood of decades storing up enough Hulk strength to last him an entire afternoon of rock-em sock-em Koloss-squishing. That's probably more time than a PC feruchemist warrior is willing to spend as a 98-pound weakling.

Very true but consider this. Sazed was not a warrior, he was a scholar with hidden levels of badass. Staying hulked out throughout was hugely inefficient albeit cool. I'm thinking a Feruchemical warrior would vacillate between Hulk and beanpole, saving weight and tapping speed to make up the difference between the moments. She wouldn't be tapping strength constantly, she'd tap it in the middle of a punch and start saving again the instant after landing the blow.

That could be a way for feruchemist PCs to level up; high-end PCs can tap and store in fractions of a second at a time, switching back and forth between metalminds as needed while newbie PCs can only tap and store comparatively slowly.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 11:37:20 AM by RazorSmile » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2009, 11:32:09 AM »

That could be a way for feruchemist PCs to level up; high-end PCs can tap and store in fractions of a second at a time, switching back and forth between metalminds as needed while newbie PCs can only tap and store comparatively slowly.
Nice thought.  I like.  I like best as a feat tree that feruchemists get as they level.  (To make it a portable monk like discipline.)
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2009, 10:59:26 AM »

I'm lost as to how that would be represented in crunch. I can see it getting very math-heavy ("") Perhaps leveled-up Feruchemists describe the cool thing they're going to do instead of having to represent it with hard numbers. Roll the dice and if your score is high enough, you can stunt like a Dawn Caste.
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2009, 11:40:10 AM »

I can see iron working out easily, you just fiddle your weight for effect.  That would take a bit of GC/Player cooperation.  The skill check would be for how well you time the shifts.

Copper minds would be gear that give bonuses to knowledge checks.

What's the metal for speed?  Depending on downtime it could give you X extra actions over Y time.  I would see that scaling with level as the character learns to finesse their speed to use less to get the same effect, ditto for strength, less so for constitution.
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2009, 04:55:18 PM »

There's been noise that the Mistborn system isn't going to be OGL/SC2.0/d20 or anything like thereunto. In a quest to go more cinematic over more mathematic, I wouldn't be surprised if the Mistborn system just gave you a "Feruchemy 4 teh Win!" stat/skill/score, and you could describe your awesome thing you're doing simply for flavor.  But that's just me.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2009, 07:18:47 PM by Gentry » Logged

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