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Author Topic: Dealing with my player's latest stunt...  (Read 2149 times)
JMobius
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« on: August 29, 2012, 12:06:46 PM »

Okay, I need help with this one. I can't think of any reason it shouldn't work, and it actually makes some sense, but I'm concerned about encounters being trivialized.

The campaign that I've been running is about the secret discovery of Cadmium, and soon thereafter its alloy companion by a House Bendott, during the events of The Final Empire. The PCs are in on this secret by now, and have access to a healthy stockpile of Cadmium, and also possess a few non-renewable impure Misting vials of "Bendott's Alloy".

They're expecting a big physical assault soon, and they've come up with a combat application of this Bendott's Alloy that seems extremely potent: they'll have the party Mistborn down some Bendalloy and set up a bubble that contains the quite skilled team Coinshot. Said Coinshot will then fire a massive number of coins at all visible targets, then drop the bubble and watch as they must defend themselves from a massive number of attacks.

He's got Steel 7, which won't be significantly hampered by the effective Bendalloy penalty of 2. Somewhat irritatingly to me, while 20x speed is probably still plenty enough for this feat, the impurity actually seems to work in their favor, used in this manner.

Are there any issues with this that anyone can see? (Please say yes... it seems like it would trivialize most encounters)
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Caped Crusader
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 12:23:31 PM »

Wow. Really let the genie out of the bottle, eh?

Allowing access to this metal and allowing the group to get their hands on a large supply of a relatively new and unknown metal was really asking for it.

That's the way an arms race works, just like the old Star Trek episode "A Private Little War". The only thing to do is arm the enemies with the same thing. When one side can run at 20x speed, the other side is basically screwed.

Possible solutions:

1) Have someone steal their supplies of Cadmium and Bendalloy, and kidnap the metalworkers who know how to process/alloy it. If they can't get the metal to power it, they can't use it. Limiting their access to the metal is one possibility.

2) Have the enemies get some, too. This is ugly, and will only get more nasty as the knowledge spreads. The reason this metal works in Alloy of Law is because there aren't any Mistborn any more, and the people that can do this are much more rare. Having this metal available when there are still Mistborn around who can do this and other things as well is way dangerous.

I'd suggest both.
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Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 12:40:58 PM »

They're expecting a big physical assault soon, and they've come up with a combat application of this Bendott's Alloy that seems extremely potent: they'll have the party Mistborn down some Bendalloy and set up a bubble that contains the quite skilled team Coinshot. Said Coinshot will then fire a massive number of coins at all visible targets, then drop the bubble and watch as they must defend themselves from a massive number of attacks.

Since you seem concerned about this, I'll point out 2 major problems with this plan:

1) Time-bubbles deflect/alter the flight path of all fast-moving projectiles crossing their borders. Thus, a coinshot cannot shoot attacks through a time bubble at characters outside of it (at least, not without major troubles)

2) Characters only get one action per Beat. If using Cadmium to slow down time inside the bubble, they'll still just get a single shot. The best that character can do IF the Mistborn could drop the bubble fast enough for the Coinshot (and I would say given the speed the coins travel it'd be nearly impossible at my table) the best the Coinshot could hope for is a single Multiple Targets shot.
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JMobius
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 12:48:22 PM »

On some level, I do regret handing out such dramatic new metals, but the politics surrounding them have been great fun. The players have come up with many creative applications that don't cause me headaches, too. Smiley

1) Time-bubbles deflect/alter the flight path of all fast-moving projectiles crossing their borders. Thus, a coinshot cannot shoot attacks through a time bubble at characters outside of it (at least, not without major troubles)

Isn't the penalty equal to the Cadmium/Bendalloy rating of the bubble's creator? Which, since the Bendalloy is impure, is a mere 2.

Quote
2) Characters only get one action per Beat. If using Cadmium to slow down time inside the bubble, they'll still just get a single shot. The best that character can do IF the Mistborn could drop the bubble fast enough for the Coinshot (and I would say given the speed the coins travel it'd be nearly impossible at my table) the best the Coinshot could hope for is a single Multiple Targets shot.

They're using Bendalloy, not Cadmium, for this purpose. Inverting the process by having the Cadmium-burner get close and suspend the target, then have Coinshots fire at him from outside.

My understanding was that we'd get a shift in Beat length, for the characters inside the bubble. For Bendalloy, they'd essentially have 20 Beats pass before we took another Beat for all other characters.
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JMobius
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 12:59:32 PM »

Whoops, went back and re-read the rules on Bendalloy. Your comment makes more sense now; they shouldn't get "more Beats", by the looks of it, though they'll get some extra dice to the attack. I don't know where I was getting the 'penalty' idea from, but it looks like defenders on the other side of the bubble get Cadmium/Bendalloy free Defense dice, and Bendalloy specifically grants +Bendalloy dice to the attacker as well.

I'm struggling to visualize a bit why they couldn't make more attacks when they're moving 20x as fast, but I like where this is going.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 01:02:28 PM by JMobius » Logged
Crafty_Alex
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 01:32:11 PM »

I'm struggling to visualize a bit why they couldn't make more attacks when they're moving 20x as fast, but I like where this is going.

Precisely because of this situation Smiley Characters who use Bendalloy in combat have to start/drop bubbles in order to close distances and attack, but they don't get to attack people outside with impunity. One strategy used by Wayne in Alloy of Law is to trap someone else in a bubble with him, giving him a chance to take them out before others get to react.
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SirJerric
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 01:38:13 PM »

In my view, the random deflection of shots, combined with the high density of coins as they enter the slower space beyond the bubble will cause a significant circumstance penalty. While I would let the player fire a larger quantity of coins, given his extra time, the coins will deflect and collide and deflect again.

It may also be worth noting that there and no canon references to Steelpush lines to any objects beyond a bubble surface. A intense Steelpush would feasibly negate the deflection, yet the only solutions considered by the story characters were far more outlandish. This leaves me with the conclusion that Steel and Iron lines are constrained to the bubble.

This means that the coins will rapidly spread as they exit, and even if the Coinshot were to begin pushing again, the spread and loss of launch-point control would drastically reduce the coins headed for any given target.

So the attack boils down to a single roll of Steel Rating - circumstance penalty with ignored nudges applied to Steel Rating # of targets (Multiple Targets rules) against individual defense rolls of Physique + Bendalloy Rating. I'd also cap the damage at 1 due to the spread minimizing hit counts.

If the Coinshot didn't have the Multiple Targets stunt, I'd use the Bendalloy as a reason to allow it by pushing all metal after the bubble is dropped. If the Coinshot has Multiple Targets, point out that it's the same effect but lacks the penalty dice if done without the Bendalloy's interference.

Expensive way to kill a few extras. Perhaps increasing the target limit by a few more people wouldn't be too bad, if its just extras.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 01:39:51 PM by SirJerric » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 08:19:28 PM »

I don't think is that broken. I mean sure it's machine gun fire.  Let it work once.  Then have the next dozen enemies ready to counter it and throw it right back at him.  Teach him not to give good ideas to an enemy when so much as one escapes-Because somebody will.  Word will get out and the world will change.  Have it up the price of Bendalloy.  Bring in inquisitors with steel ratings in the teens, bendalloy of their own, and Atium because this new threat must be wiped out.  I've always said, let the players do broken.  Then break them with it-Not terribly, but enough where they'll keep a lower profile about it next time.  I mean, if they brought in too many inquisitors they might have to fake their deaths and move on to another city.  I'd guess powerful Mistings have to do this pretty frequently anyway.
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Akerbos
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 03:57:49 AM »

One strategy used by Wayne in Alloy of Law is to trap someone else in a bubble with him, giving him a chance to take them out before others get to react.
That tactic is pretty much impossible if those inside the bubble don't get more Beats than those outside, isn't it?
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Aminar
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2012, 10:24:57 AM »

They do get more beats in a sense.  You'd resolve everything at the ratio given by the bubble.  The issue is that the way the rules are worded for Bendalloy shooting from an existing Bubble is end neautral.  You have the same chance at accuracy(and a better chance at extra nudges shooting from the bubble.  You really shouldn't.  Shots from bubbles should be utterly impossible without a certain number of nudges-Likely 3 or 4.  I've just houseruled it so that the best way to use Bendalloy is to drop the bubble after aiming every beat.  Shooting from a bendalloy bubble is impossible and attacking with a melee weapon from within one slows you down immediately-although still granting the bonus you lose a beat as if you stepped from the bubble.  It reflects what Wayne and Wax do much better.
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Caped Crusader
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 11:32:42 AM »

Makes me glad I'm running my game 100 years before the trilogy. No Bendalloy worries.
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Aminar
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 11:36:51 AM »

It isn't a worry, it's a really cool tool to use, just like anything else.  Sliders just tend to be better than most Mistings and that makes Mistborn even better.  On the other hand, a Slider's best uses is in team support.  +Bendalloy Dice to my diceppol for the turn. Yes Please.
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Akerbos
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« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2012, 04:53:57 AM »

You really shouldn't.  Shots from bubbles should be utterly impossible without a certain number of nudges-Likely 3 or 4.
Yes, and no. Yes, it should be harder than normal because of the change of trajectory (mentioned in Alloy of Law). But it's not impossible: the deflection is not random and a very skilled and experienced user may be able to account for the effect (similar to using a spear to catch fish). I would say that is only feasible if the Slider is also the Coinshot.

Also, the proposed use was essentially searching fire: you shoot a large number of coins roughly in the direction of your enemies. Every single one will have only a small chance to hit, but the overall chance to hit is high. That would work if shooting blindfolded, so it should also work using a Bendallow bubble.
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Aminar
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« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2012, 08:12:28 AM »

You really shouldn't.  Shots from bubbles should be utterly impossible without a certain number of nudges-Likely 3 or 4.
Yes, and no. Yes, it should be harder than normal because of the change of trajectory (mentioned in Alloy of Law). But it's not impossible: the deflection is not random and a very skilled and experienced user may be able to account for the effect (similar to using a spear to catch fish). I would say that is only feasible if the Slider is also the Coinshot.

Also, the proposed use was essentially searching fire: you shoot a large number of coins roughly in the direction of your enemies. Every single one will have only a small chance to hit, but the overall chance to hit is high. That would work if shooting blindfolded, so it should also work using a Bendallow bubble.

Hence the mention of nudges.  The speed bubble surface is curved and something about it (my hypothesis being the transition itself) flings every bullet away.  The ability to aim out of a bubble is more a wits roll really as its calculating angles up the wazoo.  Extra nudges work well enough and they are more likely anyway given you wind up rolling steel plus bendally anyway.  Those shots are described as the next best thing to impossible.  They should be.

And shotgunning when you have all the time in the world makes sense.  You'd get 6 or 7 shots off before they got to you.  Seems fair to me(more with the extra speed bubble.)
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Leviathan
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« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2012, 09:08:32 PM »

I did have another post written up, but I just thought of a slightly more 'out of the box' idea.

How about telling the PC that the attack will be made as per the rules but they only get one 'attack'. However, that attack works against both the defender's Physical and Mental defenses.
That way even if the defender is mostly unscathed by the (from their point of view) sudden machine gun of dozens of coins flying in every direction, their will may be broken because "By the Lord Ruler, HOW CAN THEY DO THAT???!!!"

That way the player gets a pretty cool bonus from the stunt he plans to pull, but we don't go near any "Autowin combat" type of situation.
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