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  • C20 Unleashing

    Hello everyone. New here.

    How do you handle Unleashing Arts? Specially possibly offensive arts like Primal and Autumn. Its the one thing about C20 that's giving me a headache.


    Example:
    A frightened fae unleashes Primal when surrounded by hunters. The magic overwhelms the fae and he looses control. The Primal art creates a spout of volcanic lava to slosh all over the area. How much damage would you say this causes?

    This is the part that gives me the headache. How to assign a numeric value to an action that doesn't have any system metric other than Fail, Control unleashing, and Out of control unleashing. I appreciate any input on this and thanks in advance. =)

  • #2
    I wouldn't have enough to kill the PCs if they were at full health, but NPCs (who aren't supernaturally resistant to lava or whatnot) and the surrounding area would be trashed. It is a volcano after all.

    That not killing the PCs is more of a "don't be a dick" than a strict interpretation of the rules though.

    As a general rule, don't think of the effect like how many dice of damage based on successes on the roll, rather think of it as if the ST had come up with an event (in this case a volcano), and worked out the system effects from that. This is especially true for when it gets out of control.
    Last edited by zenten; 07-14-2018, 09:34 AM.

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    • #3
      Well for one Volcanic spouts would be an environmental effect what difficulty 9 three or 4 damage? I let fantastic things happen, usually at least as much as needed to accomplish the goal of a simple utterance. So if Winter tells you to stop you may be frozen in a block of ice until freed or put to sleep.


      It is a time for great deeds!

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      • #4
        It would depend on the intention of the Unleashing. If Primal was Unleashed with the intent of ”Kill my enemies” then it would naturally kill them and most other npc’s around and while it might not directly damage the unleasher his friends might be burned though I would not kill other PC’s who were in the scene. If the intent was to ”Let me escape from my enemies” they might be burned some even killed but the lava would run in a manner that leaves the enemies on the other side of the rivers of lava allowing the PC to escape but causing huge amounts of collateral damage including civilian casualties.

        Unleashings generally dont inflict levels of damage they either fulfill their intent or not. If the intent is to kill they are absolutely lethal, some PC protection is needed generally to save them from hostile Unleashings even if it is the opportunity for them to Unleash something to save them. Otherwise for collateral damage either just narrate it or use the rules we have. Lava for example would generally be considered diff 10 to soak and inflicting anything from 1-3 aggravated levels of damage per turn depending on exposure and area of burn.

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        • #5
          Thanks on the reply. ^_^

          Now I do understand how killing the player characters in one hit is not a good move. Makes for a really short game.

          But if I use the premise that if the intended Unleash is to "kill my enemies", it does just that when used by a player. How does it work when used by the enemy fay?
          To my understanding, all changelings are capable of using Unleashing, not just the players. So how would you suggest balancing this?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Namecoder View Post
            Thanks on the reply. ^_^

            Now I do understand how killing the player characters in one hit is not a good move. Makes for a really short game.

            But if I use the premise that if the intended Unleash is to "kill my enemies", it does just that when used by a player. How does it work when used by the enemy fay?
            To my understanding, all changelings are capable of using Unleashing, not just the players. So how would you suggest balancing this?

            Don't have NPC Changelings that want to kill the PCs out of desperation.

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            • #7
              My feeling is that Unleashing is a last-ditch effort, and in most cases a Deus ex Machina, so it isn't something your PCs will come across too often. They will be used sparingly, except by the most rash and unstable of enemies. And the kinds of enemies willing to Unleash might be those most vulnerable in other ways (they're isolated, stripped of power, or injured).

              The most likely juncture to encounter an Unleashing enemy is at the climax. At the climax of a story, however, your antagonists are likely to have concerns other than killing the heroes. They may want to escape, create a distraction, or whisk away the Macguffin.

              Unleashings aren't balanced. They're a late addition to the game to fix the contradiction of overly static magic in dynamic beings. I also feel that an insta-kill effect would be inappropriate for most Unleashings. But creating a deadly environment would be fine.

              The aforementioned volcano situation is a good example. I'd give heroes/PCs a chance to get out of that. Mooks would probably just die. An arch-nemesis would probably be wounded but not killed.

              I'd be very wary of letting Unleashing resolve major plot points. They get you out of (immediate) danger, give you chance to regroup or escape, and turn the tide during increasingly dwindling odds, but they don't save the (metaphorical) princess for you, or replace good roleplaying. It doesn't do your dirty work, but it can give you a helping hand.

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