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Author Topic: Lets talk about Feruchemists  (Read 5817 times)
Leviathan
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« on: December 18, 2011, 06:59:52 PM »

First of all, thankyou to Skywalker for the fun times had during the Demo game. My Terris Ninja was quite entertaining (didn't win a single social related roll, but blitzed the physical ones). Smiley

However, I'm wondering if Feruchemists are just, well, unbalanced in combat.
Tapping Pewter, while it's a one-action-wonder, can cause unbelievable attacks. I remember hitting a guard at the end after tapping 30 charges of Pewter (hey, it was the end of the module, what did I have to lose? Smiley ), which netted me 10 dice and 24 nudges. Nothing in the game can survive that (if it hits).

Yes it's a full short-break's worth of Pewter storing in a single punch, but is this sort of all-or-nothing "Terris Nova" effect intended? Sure if you fail to hit either you'll get pounded, or your enemy (presumably a Mistborn or Pewterarm if you're using this tactic) is going to brown their pants and bolt after seeing a Terrisman bulk up like the hulk, spilling your secret to the world, but chances are pretty high that person is going to be a dark smear on the carpet.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 08:13:23 PM »

I have been thinking on this. I am not sure it needs to be restricted given it was a one off, but if I felt it needed to be restricted, I would limit the number of charges that could be tapped to add up to 10 dice. I would then use the existing rules for tapping charges for Nudges (5 charges per +1 Nudge) and Outcome (10 charges per +1 Outcome) to allow for big taps.

That would mean a 30 charge tap of Pewter would be +10d, +2 Nudges and and +1 Outcome, not +10d and +20 Nudges. Its a big hit but one a Mistborn or Pewterarm could survive from barely.

I do note that due to the system, even lots of dice aren't guaranteed success. After all your 10 charge tap for Pewter was actually defending by a Guard with just 3 dice (rolling 5 5 5) Smiley
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:16:37 PM by Skywalker » Logged
Toloran
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 01:08:17 AM »

I've been assuming what Skywalker said was the case since it seems kinda contradictory to have the 5 charges = +1 nudge rule when you can add straight dice on a one for one basis (which then adds nudges after the 10th die).
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Skywalker
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 01:14:23 AM »

I did too, but on reading it carefully I am pretty sure it isn't. Still, makes it an easy fix if preferred.
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Dreamstreamer
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2011, 11:37:47 AM »

It seems to be more of a glass cannon effect to me. Dumping the entire store in one action had better be worth it, because any further actions that could benefit from the store will be denied. Would a Mistborn burning Pewter and Duralumin be any different? Aside from possible scale, of course. Duralumin bumps the result (which I take to be the really important number, anyways), but comes by sacrificing unused charges of the metals being burned.

If a feruchemist (or mistborn) in my campaign started abusing this strategy, well, I'd be inclined to stagger encounters and provide reinforcements at inopportune times.
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zthumser
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2011, 12:34:05 PM »

Also, depending on when you're playing, if you do something that leaves an awful lot of evidence of something that only a feruchemist could have done, the Lord Ruler would like a word with you, and he's assigned a few Steel Inquisitors to help him make the appointment.  A stunt like this can easily spawn an entire new mini-scheme to remove evidence, witnesses, etc and generally cover-up your blatant feruchemy.  This won't apply to every campaign/situation, obviously, but it's a thing to consider before showing off.
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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2011, 12:45:46 PM »

I'd be inclined to just do away with Nudges being used to increase damage and keep Nudges in the role of adding other secondary effects.  Nudges can't generally be used to directly increase the Result, and thus Outcome, of other rolls, so I would treat the conflict Nudges similarly.  It would then be a special case of the Feruchemist tapping 10 charges that would improve the Outcome, and damage, of a roll by 1 to a maximum of 6.

Also, there is a general rule in Nudges about all Nudges requiring Narrator approval.  If allowing a Feruchemist to add 20 to 30 damage from Nudges to any attack breaks the game, don't allow it.

As to the 5 charges per Nudge rule, I am not sure what was intended either when you can usually get Nudges for 1 charge apiece pretty easily by bumping the dice pools.
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2011, 02:14:58 PM »

It seems to be more of a glass cannon effect to me. Dumping the entire store in one action had better be worth it, because any further actions that could benefit from the store will be denied. Would a Mistborn burning Pewter and Duralumin be any different?

Actually yes. A better than starting Mistborn with Pewter and Duralumin would likely get +5d and a bonus of +1 to +5 to your Result or Nudges and be out of Pewter. That's a very very good effect but not out of the ball park in terms of stats.

A starting Feruchemist can tap Pewter and get +30d (or +10d and +20 Nudges) and still have the ability to do it twice more at the same level. The effect is a magnitude higher and the number of Nudges is the real issue IMO.

If a feruchemist (or mistborn) in my campaign started abusing this strategy, well, I'd be inclined to stagger encounters and provide reinforcements at inopportune times.

Though I agree that this may not be an issue in play, I am always cautious of requiring the GM to try and gank a PC to balance out a mechanic. It can lead to bad blood if not done correctly.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:23:54 PM by Skywalker » Logged
Skywalker
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 02:22:05 PM »

I'd be inclined to just do away with Nudges being used to increase damage and keep Nudges in the role of adding other secondary effects.  Nudges can't generally be used to directly increase the Result, and thus Outcome, of other rolls, so I would treat the conflict Nudges similarly.  It would then be a special case of the Feruchemist tapping 10 charges that would improve the Outcome, and damage, of a roll by 1 to a maximum of 6.

If you are talking about the rules more broadly, then this will create an issue in that with static armour, you can end up in a stalemate if you have static damage.

FWIW I like the Nudges for damage everywhere else. Its just a little overboard in the example of Feruchemists hulking out. As you say the 5 charges per Nudge rules seems odd and it may have been an attempt to address this. If it is its not clear from the text..
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Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 03:26:04 PM »

Sorry, I missed one important step in explaining my thinking.

Instead of damage being 1 + Nudges + equipment, it would be Outcome + Equipment with Nudges adding the benefits you would normally get from Nudges elsewhere in the system, like extra dice.  These could be added to either the next rounds actions (meaning a strong attack this round will carry over as momentum for the next round) or to the dice left in my current pool so they could be applied defensively for the remainder of this round.  With 3 or more Nudges, you could instead add a die to all of your allies' pools or catch a beat.

The base damage would range from 1 + equipment for a grazing hit up to 5 + equipment for a more solid hit.  Heroes and villains will be unlikely to die in one hit while extras could still be quickly dispatched.

A Feruchemist who "hulks out" could increase his Outcome, and thus his damage, up to a maximum of 6.  All of those extra nudges could be applied to his future dice pools, which would have the effect of massive feruchemical bursts rapidly tapering off the next action or two.

For an example let me use Damosi, the sample character:
        Damosi declares an attack and sets aside 4 dice into his Action Dice area. (He has no weapons, nor traits which would increase this).  It is likely that he will be going after his opponent with only 4 dice, so when he gets attacked, lets assume he rolls 2 and taps 8 points to roll 10 dice.  Its toss-up who will win, but the attack won't likely disable Damosi, even if it hits.  Then Damosi gets to counter attack.

    Using the Current system:
        Damosi rolls his remaining 2 dice and taps 30 more.  His attack pool is 32 dice which becomes 10 + 22 Nudges.  Unless his opponent somehow kept back 10 dice to defend it is more likely than not that Damosi will hit and if he hits will be doing at least 23 damage even if he did not generate a single other Nudge on his roll.

    Using the proposed modification:
        Damosi rolls his 2 remaining dice and taps 30 more.  He wants to ensure he hits and gain some initiative so he puts 20 towards his pool, the last 10 goes towards increasing his outcome.  His attack pool of 22 becomes 10 + 12 Nudges.  As before, unless his opponent somehow attacked and kept 10 Defense Dice, Damosi is likely going to his.  With the hit, you determine his Outcome (his result - his opponent's Result) and add 1 for tapping 10 points towards Outcome.  The 12 Nudges can then be used for what Nudges are normally used for, such as adding dice to his next action.
        Next round, he declares his attack and his Action Dice pool becomes 16 (4 from Physique + 12 Nudges from last action), which mean he will likely go first in that round.
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ALL HAIL THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER!   Ramen.
Skywalker
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 03:53:38 PM »

Ah cool. That makes more sense. That would make damage more variable and it provides a similar fix to Feruchemists as the one of making Nudges cost 5 charges. It owuld likely require more substantial reworking though.

Personally, I am still very happy with Nudges for damages as they are written, except for this one instance with Feruchemy.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 03:55:38 PM by Skywalker » Logged
Bill Whitmore
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 04:07:26 PM »

On to more brainstorming:

Another alternative would be to only allow Feruchemy to add dice up to 10.  Then it would be 5 to add a nudge and 10 to increase Outcome.

That may be a lot simpler fix and still allow them to dish out the pain (up to 6 nudges towards damage when tapping 30 points) without making the 1-hit kill a forgone conclusion.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 04:16:10 PM »

Another alternative would be to only allow Feruchemy to add dice up to 10.  Then it would be 5 to add a nudge and 10 to increase Outcome.

That was the first suggested fix above and I think the best one.

Thinking about your Outcome for damage suggestion, the problem with this is that a good hit will automatically do more damage as there is not account for the defender's ability. Tieing this together this way means that Mistborn fights will be instant kills or nothing as they will most often need a 5 Outcome to hit.

To balance this you would need to say that the defender's Outcome reduces damage and this adds in another level of complication into the system which I don't think is desireable.
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Dreamstreamer
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 04:35:42 PM »

Did everybody remember that there is a hard cap of 10 dice for a dice pool. This means (to me) that players can't roll more than 10 dice period. And, any nudges available (no matter how many) can only be used if the roll succeeds. (See pg. 142) If the roll fails, all of those nudges are wasted.

To me, this negates any crazy benefit a feruchemist tapping a pewter metalmind has over a mistborn burning pewter. At most, either party is limited to 10 dice to determine success.

To Skywalker: Outcome represents the level of success, not the difficulty. An outcome of zero for the player still hits or misses (barely), depending on if the player is attacking or defending. At least, that is my reading of the rules.
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Skywalker
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2011, 04:46:34 PM »

The cap is the issue. If you tap 30 charges, your dice pool is increased to 10d and all your extra dice become Nudges. This will often be in the region of 25 Nudges.

At 10d, the chance of success are very good against almost anyone and, if you hit, 25 Nudges is an instant kill. Personally, I would prefer to see an opponent throw 30d as the Result remains capped at 5, than 10d with 25 Nudges Smiley

So, yeah, the hard cap was remembered in the comments above and in a way the hard cap is the cause of the concern. 

When the hard cap is combined with the rule to tap 5 charges to get 1 Nudge, it seems like the idea might have been to allow tapping of charges to the hard cap and then require Nudges to be bought at a higher rate. I don't think that was intended but its an easy patch if you find this situation a problem that stays close to the rules as written.

To Skywalker: Outcome represents the level of success, not the difficulty. An outcome of zero for the player still hits or misses (barely), depending on if the player is attacking or defending. At least, that is my reading of the rules.

You are right. I still prefer the existing system for Nudges for damage, but feel free to house rule away that mechanic if it suits you better.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 04:58:36 PM by Skywalker » Logged
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