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[Aberrant] Scale Mega-Thread

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  • [Aberrant] Scale Mega-Thread

    This is a thread to consolidate all the information we have about Scale. Many of the responses from various writers and developers are scattered throughout threads here and on the Kickstarter. If you know of Information concerning their responses to Scale and how it should be used in Aberrant, please post it here.

    Before you post, please read over what has already been posted to make sure we are not duplicating.

  • #2
    This is what I could gather off some of the threads.

    Originally posted by impernious View Post
    My thought on this (nothing official, just trying to conceptualize) is that you roll for Defense when attacked. You roll a resistance trait (Composure, Stamina, Resolve) and add it to your base Defense of 1 (assuming you are using it all to purchase the Dodge Stunt). At super speed (meaning you've bought the Mega-Speed Edge, not that you have Mega-Dexterity), you are literally attempting to dodge the attack. I could definitely see your SG giving your Speed Scale as an advantage to that roll to add Enhancement as long as you use that Enhancement for the Dodge Stunt. That would then really depend on what you're dodging. A swung sword is likely only Speed Scale 1, meaning you are going to start adding Enhancement at Speed Scale 2 and just dodge the shit out of it at Speed Scale 4 or higher. A speeding bullet is more likely Speed Scale 5 (based on a quick google search and comparing it to say a fighter jet), which means that to dodge that sucker, you're going to need to have at least Speed Scale 6 to even start adding Enhancement to your roll for being faster than the bullet.

    That said, another way to think about how speedsters just aren't there to be hit is in Range Bands. A speedster can move 2 Range Bands for every 1 someone without a Speed Scale bump can. So you can outdistance your opponent who is trying to punch you without even breaking a sweat.
    Originally posted by Steve Kenson at kickstarter comments replying to Mateus
    1) +2 increase in difficulty for the Athletics + Might roll.

    2) +2 increase in difficulty on the attack roll.

    3) +4 increase in difficulty on the attack roll. If, by "Durability," you're talking about armor, that has a specific effect of increasing the successes needed for an Inflict Damage stunt.
    In general, a 1-level difference in Scale equals either two successes on a roll or a +2 increase in the difficulty of a roll (which is the equivalent of –2 successes).


    Originally posted by Danielle Lauzon responding to the same subject at kickstarter comments: Also keep in mind that the +2 Difficulty is a thing for player rolls. Because Antagonists work differently than characters, if they are attacking your character with less Scale, your Defensive Scale applies as an Enhancement to the roll you are making to take a Defensive Action. This is *effectively exactly the same thing* but could make a difference in some edge cases so it's worth pointing out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Danielle Post this in Update #24

      WHAT IS SCALE?
      Scale is a narrative term that is used as a shorthand to describe large differences between two things. We often use Scale as a comparison between two things, such as the speed of a human on foot versus that of a person on a bike, and further, to that of a car or plane. Scale is a comparison mechanic to help us decide if something or someone is so outclassing someone else that a normal roll with standard successes just doesn’t express that difference well enough.

      For example, we don’t talk about Danielle’s Scale for running around unless it comes into contrast with something else. If Danielle got into a foot race with Eddy, there is no Scale difference between us. Even if Eddy spent his time off training for marathons, his comparative Scale is not that much higher than Danielle’s, though his Athletics and Stamina are probably much higher, so his roll in the foot race is likely to be better than Danielle’s. If Danielle had to outrun a car, she’s unlikely to be able to do so, as the car (unless something was seriously wrong with it) is inherently able to go faster than any human can at sustained speeds.

      Scale is also not a universal constant. If a car has a Scale against Danielle in a race, it certainly doesn’t have Scale against her in a game of chess. In fact, Danielle’s Scale in that instance is so much laughably higher than the car’s that it isn’t even worth rolling or talking about. The car just can’t play chess. And in the same vein, the Scale of the car’s durability versus Danielle if she tried to punch the thing to stop it is so high that she wouldn’t even get a roll to try.

      Now, if we do need to make a roll in an attempt to see if Danielle’s sword can cut through the hood of the car to stop it — ha, no bare-fisted car assault for me! — we’re going to still apply the difference between the car’s durability Scale and the sword’s power Scale to the action as Enhancement at a rate of 2 Enhancement to 1 difference in Scale. We’ll likely apply it as the car’s Defense since that’s how many successes she needs to hurt the car. So, if something has Scale in one arena, it doesn’t necessarily have Scale in another.


      DRAMATIC VS. NARRATIVE SCALE
      Another thing we should talk about is the difference between dramatic and narrative Scale. The examples above mostly use Dramatic Scale, which is useful when a roll result matters such as in a contest between two actors. But sometimes Scale comes up in situations where opposition isn’t dramatic, so the action is more narrative. Think of this as chewing up the scenery. The difference between when something is narrative and when it is dramatic is a bit subjective, just like figuring out when a character needs to roll to accomplish an action vs. being able to just do it because they are super cool.

      Narrative Scale comes into play when a fine-grain application of successes doesn’t matter and the action that would use that system isn’t dramatic. Examples include a speedster getting to the other side of the city, a cyborg solving a complicated quantum equation, or a superpowered human bringing down a building. What we want to know is how many successes can we pile on it, i.e. “how well did we win against it?” The giant fighting robot with a huge power Scale can probably punch through buildings. And its power Scale compared to a building’s durability Scale is probably a bit higher, but we want to pile on enough successes to knock the thing down, but that durability is likely to result in a high difficulty, just because, well, it’s a skyscraper. So we don’t just roll and add a few Enhancement, we roll and multiply successes by the difference in Scale. We could also not roll at all and get some successes based on the dice pool and multiplying.

      WHEN TO APPLY SCALE

      Okay, so that’s how Scale works in the big picture, but how do we figure out when to apply Scale to a situation? Well, this is going to be a bit of a judgment call by the Storyguide, and sometimes specific powers will tell us when to apply Scale to the situation. For instance, if something makes sense to just be bigger, stronger, faster, more durable, or have more computational power in a way that is dramatically different, you’ll want to apply Scale to that aspect vs. the characters. Determining how much Scale difference is somewhat subjective, but that’s why we’ve included some examples in the book to try to give you a perspective on what real-world things have Scale in certain areas. So, when you make a 15-story tall monster for the characters to fight, you might want to throw some size Scale on it, which might also give it some durability Scale.

      But that prompts the question: When do characters get Scale? And the answer is: when a piece of equipment or the character’s powers say they do. Characters in the Trinity Continuum get Scale through powers and sometimes equipment. Talents have Gifts, psions have Psi powers, and novas have Quantum Traits that all give them some access to Scale, which applies in certain arenas and on specific rolls, but not all rolls. Talents can spend Inspiration to increase their Scale for a single action, hopefully reducing the difference between themselves and something bigger than them, or making them so much better than the average human that it shows as Scale. Novas will have some ways to get inherent Scale bonuses to certain actions as described in the power.

      The underlying thing to remember is that Scale is both subjective (given by the Storyguide in places where it makes sense, because an item or creature deserves to narratively have Scale) and objective (given by the game book by a power or in a piece of equipment’s description). This means that sometimes your character will mostly get Scale through her powers or equipment via what the game book says and sometimes when the Storyguide says, and non-player characters will always get Scale because of both when the Storyguide decides it and because the book suggested it.
      More examples from Danielle



      I'm seeing a lot of questions about Scale, what it is, how it works, and what thing corresponds to what Scale. I'm not going to make a table here, but I'm going to try to give some context for Scale that *might* help.

      Scale is a comparison tool first and foremost. When a Mega-Attribute gives you a Scale increase, it is assumed that Scale increase is over a baseline. But imagine Mt. Everest (as people seem to be fixated on that big old mountain). The core rulebook mentions that Everest is at Scale 6, but doesn't say what kind of Scale that is. Scale 6 in the Size department. If you wanted my take on the mass of Mt. Everest, I'd say it's more like Scale 10, but we don't really have a mass Scale.

      To a baseline, Everest is huge. To a Nova with Growth that brings their Size Scale up to say 7 or 8, Everest is not so huge, in fact it's kind of puny. It's a comparison, the difference in Scale
      between that Nova and Everest is only 1 or 2, so dealing with Everest where Size matters (such as stepping over it) will give the Nova some Enhancement, but until they get to be 3 size Scale higher than Everest, they aren't just doing so without a roll.

      Let's use something with power and durability to really drive this point home. Let’s say a building in downtown Los Angeles, built to withstand earthquakes, has a Durability Scale of 4. Okay, so now say you have a Quantum rating 3 Nova with Mega-Might 2 and Mega-Crush could easily have Power Scale 5 vs inanimate objects. So when punching through our Durability Scale 4 building, the Nova has +1 Scale over the building which would give her 2 Enhancement to her rolls to smash through it. Depending on what’s going on, we might just want to know what kind of damage she does to the building as she goes through: narrative Scale. So we use that 2 as a multiplier on her successes for attacking the building, helping us describe the terrible damage she does. Or maybe we just abstract how many successes she’s going to have based on her dice pool and then multiply that because it maybe isn’t worth rolling.

      So just because a Nova has a Power Scale of 8 for lifting, doesn’t mean she can just yeet Everest into the ocean. Her difference in Scale here is only a 2 (or less depending on if you want to consider Everest a major land mass and maybe it is, and it wasn’t a very good example of a Scale 6 item). It means she can even attempt to lift something with a high Size Scale, but she’s still going to need to roll to do anything with that lift and all the Complications that might come with it, especially if she is only Size Scale 1.

      And don’t forget the Collateral Pool. There are good reasons to use that level of power Scale sparingly.

      Comment


      • #4
        Danielle clarifying how Narrative Scale is calculated (the multiplier is the difference in Scale PLUS ONE)

        “Okay, so Narrative Scale is for when you just want to know how badly you crush something because of your difference in Scale. It's described liberally as a multiplier to your successes on a simple roll to get a thing done, but what that really means is that a Scale 1 difference doubles the number of successes you have to do the thing, Scale 2 difference triples, Scale 3 quadruples, etc. Narrative Scale is there for the following kind of scenarios "Superman flies through a building, and we want to know how much damage that does to the building." We accept that he flies right through, so the roll isn't to see if he can, but instead to find out his damage to help figure out if the damned thing falls down. Sometimes the SG might just look at a Scale difference and decide narratively that we don't even need a roll, it just crumples.

        There are a few places in the text for the powers that mention Dramatic Scale multiplier that are typos and shouldn't be there. Specifically the Universal Translator Mega-Edge.”


        Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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