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  • Scale Problems

    After reading Origin, I am very unclear on how, exactly, Scale is supposed to work. The general principle is fine, but I'm not sure how to apply it.

    First, page 66 says that a Scale difference of more than three means automatic success/failure, while the combat section says that a Scale difference of more than two means that you cannot inflict damage. I'm not sure whether that's a contradiction, or a specific rule.

    Second, the Scale Enhancements are obviously an exception to the rule that Enhancements cap out at +5, but does that apply if there are other Enhancements in the mix? If a Scale 2 character with a +3 Enhancement sword attacks a Scale 0 character, do they have +5 Enhancement, or a +7 Enhancement? If a Scale 3 character attacks a Scale 0 character, do any other Enhancements count at all?

    Third, if a Scale 6 character is opposing a Scale 4 character, do they have a +8 Enhancement (the difference between the Scale 6 and Scale 4 Enhancements), or a +4 Enhancement (treating it as 0 to 2)? In the example on page 65, the two calculation methods give the same result. I suspect the second, but I'm not sure.

    Next, consider a Scale 5 character with Athletics 0, Might 1. Can she pick up and throw the Statue of Liberty (Scale 4)? Does she need to roll? What about a blue whale (Scale 3)? A bus (Scale 1) should be trivial, with a Scale difference of 4.

    In the Intro fiction, Donnie obviously has positive Scale Appearance. (I don't think you can make intro-Donnie as a pre-Visitation Scion with the rules as written (the most appropriate Lover Knack is I am a Fire, which gets a +1 Enhancement, nothing like the described effect), but the atmosphere is so cool I don't care. I think you can basically do Eileen, though.) But what Scale is it? Is Scale 1 enough to make absolutely everyone fall madly in lust? Probably not. Scale 2? Scale 3?

    Thinking about Eileen, suppose I have a really good library. It gives a +4 Enhancement to any research rolls conducted within it. Now suppose I have a library with Scale 2 holdings. Is there any difference between these two libraries, or are they just different ways to describe the same thing?

  • #2
    Yeah, I think Scale still needs a number of explanations. Actually, I thought I understood it until I read the example on page 122. Sigrun and Hogzilla are compared, with them having somewhat similar stats aside from a scale bonus for Hogzilla given it's superior scale rating. Fair enough, so far, based on my understanding of Scale - one has an inherent form bonus that means that even though they're similar statistically, one is better at the issue at hand - in this case combat. (I'd argue that that form advantages could very easily be represented by differences in Skills, Approaches, or Enhancements, without needing to add another less well defined layer to the rules, but that's for another discussion.)

    Then it says that when Sigrun fights "Boyd, a fellow Scion," Sigrun suddenly has a scale advantage. So... why? If they're both Scions, both roughly human, why does Sigrun have Scale suddenly? It's easy enough to understand why Hogzilla might have a scale advantage - it's so big that a human sized opponent just has a hard time getting at it's vitals, piercing it's skin, etc. I don't necessarily like it, but I do understand it. But now the implication is that because Sigrun is really good at combat, so she has Scale I guess? But shouldn't that just be reflected by her better combat stats?

    The antagonists given in the book could also use some default Scale suggestions. Does a Troll get Scale in combat? I mean, they're a giant, with a 10 dice pool for throwing rocks... so, Scale 2, based on the chart earlier? That seems to make them super powerful, way beyond what Origin level characters could handle... is that the intention, or me misunderstanding the system?

    I also sort of hate how Scale seems like it will give a big advantage to titanspawn more often than not, leaving Scions feeling small in comparison, but that's not exactly the same topic.
    Last edited by HighPriest; 07-16-2018, 03:23 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by HighPriest View Post
      Then it says that when Sigrun fights "Boyd, a fellow Scion," Sigrun suddenly has a scale advantage. So... why? If they're both Scions, both roughly human, why does Sigrun have Scale suddenly? It's easy enough to understand why Hogzilla might have a scale advantage - it's so big that a human sized opponent just has a hard time getting at it's vitals, piercing it's skin, etc. I don't necessarily like it, but I do understand it. But now the implication is that because Sigrun is really good at combat, so she has Scale I guess? But shouldn't that just be reflected by her better combat stats?
      This could probably be made a bit clearer, but Scions can activate things called Feats of Scale when acting in accordance with their divine nature to give themselves Scale. But you are right in that Sigrun shouldn't automatically have passive Scale over Boyd, not without some kind of Boon use.

      The antagonists given in the book could also use some default Scale suggestions. Does a Troll get Scale in combat? I mean, they're a giant, with a 10 dice pool for throwing rocks... so, Scale 2, based on the chart earlier? That seems to make them super powerful, way beyond what Origin level characters could handle... is that the intention, or me misunderstanding the system?
      That is not how Scale is assigned. It's admittedly kind of an art rather than a science, but based on the Size examples on the table, I'd give a Troll Scale 1 for strength things, due to its size.

      And for a bit of advice... Potential Storyguides? If you're running an Origin game, I would heavily advise against throwing something with more than Scale 1 against your players. Scale 1 can be dangerous for Origin characters. Hell, it's tough for a group of Scions who are still Legend 1.

      I also sort of hate how Scale seems like it will give a big advantage to titanspawn more often than not, leaving Scions feeling small in comparison, but that's not exactly the same topic.
      Welcome to "Fighting Large Creatures", champ. Don't worry, Heroes have ways around it. The thing to note with the Origins book is that it's about Origin-tier characters, such as Pre-visitation Scions. MOSTLY human, if admittedly Action Movie Star Humans, so unreasonably durable by real life human standards. But if Jack Heroman is fighting a wolf the size of a bus, he'll need SOME kind of clever trick. I recommend explosives, or a speeding car.

      Or a speeding truck filled *with* explosives. Explosives are a great equalizer.

      Originally posted by dchart View Post
      First, page 66 says that a Scale difference of more than three means automatic success/failure, while the combat section says that a Scale difference of more than two means that you cannot inflict damage. I'm not sure whether that's a contradiction, or a specific rule.
      My takeaway is that it depends on the direction. If something has more than 3 Scale over their target, don't bother rolling.

      If you're trying to attack something with more than 2 Scale more than you, your damage is negated because it be mighty.

      Second, the Scale Enhancements are obviously an exception to the rule that Enhancements cap out at +5, but does that apply if there are other Enhancements in the mix? If a Scale 2 character with a +3 Enhancement sword attacks a Scale 0 character, do they have +5 Enhancement, or a +7 Enhancement? If a Scale 3 character attacks a Scale 0 character, do any other Enhancements count at all?
      I'd rule that yes, Scale stacks with other sources in excess of +5. Scale is dangerous.

      Third, if a Scale 6 character is opposing a Scale 4 character, do they have a +8 Enhancement (the difference between the Scale 6 and Scale 4 Enhancements), or a +4 Enhancement (treating it as 0 to 2)? In the example on page 65, the two calculation methods give the same result. I suspect the second, but I'm not sure.
      My takeaway is that you calculate the difference in Scale before calculating the Enhancement, so the second one.

      Edit: Actually, on your math... Scale 6 gives +12 Enhancement, Scale 4 gives +8, and the difference between 8 and 12 is 4, not 8.

      Next, consider a Scale 5 character with Athletics 0, Might 1. Can she pick up and throw the Statue of Liberty (Scale 4)? Does she need to roll? What about a blue whale (Scale 3)? A bus (Scale 1) should be trivial, with a Scale difference of 4.
      They can try with the statue of liberty, but keep in mind that most Enhancement, and Scale doesn't seem to be an exception, does not apply if you don't roll any successes on the initial roll. So if you're only throwing one die to try and heft a landmark, you can't depend on your Scale.

      In the Intro fiction, Donnie obviously has positive Scale Appearance. (I don't think you can make intro-Donnie as a pre-Visitation Scion with the rules as written (the most appropriate Lover Knack is I am a Fire, which gets a +1 Enhancement, nothing like the described effect), but the atmosphere is so cool I don't care. I think you can basically do Eileen, though.) But what Scale is it? Is Scale 1 enough to make absolutely everyone fall madly in lust? Probably not. Scale 2? Scale 3?
      You're making a lot of assumptions there. Donnie's ridiculously good looking, yes, but I don't believe he's divinely so prior to his Visitation. Like, gorgeous people can leave other people's hearts a-flutter without using magic.

      I mean, pick an actor or actress. I'm sure you've seen some people whom if they winked at you YOU'D bend over backwards for them. Again, without magic. And you're SERIOUSLY downplaying how big even one point of Scale would be.

      Thinking about Eileen, suppose I have a really good library. It gives a +4 Enhancement to any research rolls conducted within it. Now suppose I have a library with Scale 2 holdings. Is there any difference between these two libraries, or are they just different ways to describe the same thing?
      I... Don't think one would apply Scale to a library unless they were trying to lift and throw it. Enhancement for "Magical library with spirits who help you find the magic tomes you're looking for" is more apt, but not from Scale, just from being a Good Library.
      Last edited by Kyman201; 07-16-2018, 06:17 AM.


      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
        My takeaway is that it depends on the direction. If something has more than 3 Scale over their target, don't bother rolling.

        If you're trying to attack something with more than 2 Scale more than you, your damage is negated because it be mighty.
        To tack on to the awesomeness above:

        This leaves an area for situations where you can't hurt something, but you can still fight it. Not every fight is about doing damage until the other side falls down. The band can throw non-damage stunts at the enemy until some timed goal is met (a friendly NPC gets away) or the enemy just gives up out of frustration, etc.

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        • #5
          Man that Saint Supernatural path is looking better and better...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

            To tack on to the awesomeness above:

            This leaves an area for situations where you can't hurt something, but you can still fight it. Not every fight is about doing damage until the other side falls down. The band can throw non-damage stunts at the enemy until some timed goal is met (a friendly NPC gets away) or the enemy just gives up out of frustration, etc.
            Yeah. That's a good way to shake up combat. Get your players thinking of not how to drop the enemy, but how to win despite that.


            Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              Edit: Actually, on your math... Scale 6 gives +12 Enhancement, Scale 4 gives +8, and the difference between 8 and 12 is 4, not 8.
              In my copy of the Origin PDF, Scale 6 gives +16 Enhancement, and xLots in narrative cases.

              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              They can try with the statue of liberty, but keep in mind that most Enhancement, and Scale doesn't seem to be an exception, does not apply if you don't roll any successes on the initial roll. So if you're only throwing one die to try and heft a landmark, you can't depend on your Scale.
              Need to try three times, on average. Third time lucky for throwing the Statue of Liberty is still pretty good.

              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              You're making a lot of assumptions there. Donnie's ridiculously good looking, yes, but I don't believe he's divinely so prior to his Visitation. Like, gorgeous people can leave other people's hearts a-flutter without using magic.

              I mean, pick an actor or actress. I'm sure you've seen some people whom if they winked at you YOU'D bend over backwards for them. Again, without magic. And you're SERIOUSLY downplaying how big even one point of Scale would be.
              Yes, there are people I would bend over backwards for. And yet I know other people who say "meh, nothing special" about those same people. Donnie does it to everyone of both genders, and I cannot think of any man who would do it to me.

              This may be a problem with the background assumptions. Are we supposed to assume that Donnie is filtering the way people react to him and over-emphasising his own attractiveness, or are we supposed to assume that what he is saying is literally true? In a game about literal gods and their literal children, "literally true" is not obviously a daft assumption. If it's literally true, then maybe it needs Scale. But Scale 1 is just a +2 Enhancement, which you can get by studying someone a bit and working out what they like. You don't get Donnie reactions from that.

              Originally posted by Kyman201 View Post
              I... Don't think one would apply Scale to a library unless they were trying to lift and throw it. Enhancement for "Magical library with spirits who help you find the magic tomes you're looking for" is more apt, but not from Scale, just from being a Good Library.
              You can have Scale for Leadership, for your Really Big Gun, and for your armour. I can't see anything in the rules that suggests that the Dagda's Library cannot have Scale for being a Library. The write-up in Origin suggests to me that anything can have Scale, typically in a particular aspect, but that the aspect can be anything.

              Originally posted by Origin
              Just like all Enhancements, different kinds of Scale only affect the challenges to which they’re relevant. An astra weapon’s destructive Scale is useful for sundering a bank’s vault, but not for impersonating its guard.
              That suggests to me that something could have Scale for impersonating the guard, and thus a Library could have Library Scale. If that is not the intent, then we really need a complete list of the available types of Scale.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dchart View Post

                In my copy of the Origin PDF, Scale 6 gives +16 Enhancement, and xLots in narrative cases.
                *Checks*

                Huh. They changed the numbers since the rough draft. In the pre-layout the Scale successes were just "Scale x 2 Enhancement"

                So yes I'd rule as "Read the difference in Scale, calculate Enhancement from there"


                Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

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                • #9
                  I think you're... kinda reading the wrong assumptions into Scale a bit there.

                  Scale isn't about measuring how good something is. If a library is just better than another library, that's what normal Enhancements are for. Scale is about access to different "levels" of interactions.

                  I can see something like Information Scale, but it would have to be pretty contrived to match how Scale is constructed. For example, I'd give a Scale difference between an American small town public library from the 60s to a modern day major university's library. It's not just that one's better than the other, but you're talking about two radically different levels of information access: research teams, archivists, multiple formats, access to the Internet, university faculty subject experts to consult, connections to other institutions, etc. It's not just, "how we have more books, so we have Scale," but there's a marked increase in access to information that grows to the point of non-competitiveness in comparison.

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                  • #10
                    I think I'm going to do it like a troll or giant only has scale in reference to certain actions. Like, they may get a scale bonus to throw a car at you, but once they run out of cars, no more scale. Then you could argue that their big powerful fists are also slow, so normal attacks don't get scale. So, I don't think it's about assigning scale to a whole monster and that's it. Kinda like an Origins character could invoke scale for an attack because they picked up a rocket launcher. But you only get 1 shot.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dracheau View Post
                      I think I'm going to do it like a troll or giant only has scale in reference to certain actions. Like, they may get a scale bonus to throw a car at you, but once they run out of cars, no more scale. Then you could argue that their big powerful fists are also slow, so normal attacks don't get scale. So, I don't think it's about assigning scale to a whole monster and that's it. Kinda like an Origins character could invoke scale for an attack because they picked up a rocket launcher. But you only get 1 shot.
                      Well for one yes Scale is meant to apply to logical avenues. Being large and bulky in Scale isn't going to get you Enhancement in a speed contest.

                      But I'd say that being Big and Strong like a troll or a giant is exactly why they get Scale for smashing little people. Their fists come down like avalanche stones. You can see then coming but you just can't get out of the way.

                      Edit: Though to note, in Hero the Epic Strength Purview's innate power is "Gain +1 Scale for the purpose of lifting and throwing things" so that kind of power does exist.
                      Last edited by Kyman201; 07-18-2018, 01:09 PM.


                      Disclaimer: I'll huff, grump, and defend my position, but if you're having fun I'll never say you're doing it wrong.

                      Comment

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