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Aberrant - Downside to power suites

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  • Aberrant - Downside to power suites

    So, I'm gearing up to run an Aberrant game, and I want to make sure I have appropriately wrapped my head around how power suites work.

    The book repeatedly states that the downside of a power suite (other than it being one power for disruption purposes) is that to use all the powers in the suite at once you must take a mixed action. How is this different from using a two powers that are not in a suite? Wouldn't those also take a mixed action to use at the same time? Furthermore since you would be using two different dice pools you would be using the lower of the two when you roll. When they are in a technique the power would have the same rating and you could easier have a larger dice pool to roll.

    So, can somebody help clarify how power suites are supposed to work? I really don't see much of a reason not to put all your powers into a suite.


  • #2
    There are limits to suites:
    - The number of powers on a suite, 1+Quantum (as no tag can cost more than quantum).
    - You can’t convert Dots in tags (at least that’s my understanding), so a power that rely on tags and a power that rely on dots are almost excluding each other (they are not but you will have some unused dots in one or both).
    - Story Guide can limit the powers in a suite by a theme.
    - Mega Attributes can’t be part of suites.

    Basically that’s it, all the limits on Suites.

    Power suites are what makes Novas power level increase exponentially further the game goes, otherwise the cost of experience is horrible (one dot every 3 good sessions, while a Psion get a dot every other good session and have more versatile powers from the same number of dots, less powerful, but more versatile).

    We will have to wait a bit longer before having the new version of power suites, as the devs pointed the Technique tag as one of the things that would be changed, but so far that’s my view.

    House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
    Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
    Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


    • #3
      Here is the feedback that Danielle shared in the last few days of the KS in the comments-
      'About the Technique Tag: after reviewing it last night, we decided that we needed to change how you got Power Suites in general to prevent confusion on when you needed the Technique Tag, and also prevent an infinite loop exploit we found from it being a Tag. Now you purchase Power Techniques as a Mega-Edge for a certain power which clearly limits it to your Quantum rating per power, and removes the confusion of if you need to apply the Tag to the new power, etc. We'll be updating the manuscript with the change, but it doesn't change what the Power Suit is, so I'll do an example or two here:'
      'Ex 1. Okay so say you've got an Elemental Mastery over magnetism. Let's rate that at 3 (even though that rating here doesn't matter for Mastery, it does for other powers) with the starting power of Environmental Anima and give it the tags: Range 2. So we have 3 dots in the power and 2 tags. When we add a Power Technique, we choose another power and get it at the same dot rating and with the same number of tags as our Elemental Mastery, so we pick Quantum Attack which is a 3 dots, and get to pick 2 tags, let's go with Range 1 and Stun. Next we want to also fly, so we Technique Flight which is also at 3 dots, and we go ahead and give it the tags Bestow and Impose.'
      'Now, when we activate Elemental Mastery (Environmental Anima) to move stuff with magnetism, we can take a mixed action to toss that item as part of a Quantum Attack, and we can take to the air and fly around, and bring our friends in close range with us. Or maybe we pick up an enemy at close range and collide him with a steel beam as a mixed action.'
      'Ex. 2 You have a Quantum Attack which is a beam of yellow light. Let's rate it at 2 and it automatically gets the Close Tag, we get a free tag from the dot rating so Beam (since that's how we described it) and then we buy an additional Tag of Piercing. We want to add a Technique of Quantum Leech, so when we get it, it give us Quantum Leech at 2 dots and 1 Tag (based on what we purchased, not what the thing gave us originally) and get Vampiric to give us more bang for our buck on that hit. Now we can choose to beam attack you, or leech from you, or do both in conjunction as a mixed action which would trigger our Vampiric Tag.'
      'Okay, so the Technique is no longer a Tag, but a Mega-Edge (will be reflected in the manuscript) but otherwise, your breakdown is correct. BTW, I didn't mention tags given by dots in Elemental Mastery because that power does not give free tags for dot ratings.

      So in our example 1 you'd need Quantum 2 to get 2 dots of the Power Techniques Mega-Edge to get both the powers added to the suite (but 3 dots really to have Elemental Mastery rated at 3).

      And yes, you can always choose to have less dots or tags on a power you add with a Technique if you want. You just can't go over the dots you have on the original power.'
      The big reason to do it is the exponential XP savings. Using Power Suites and Transcendence seems like the best way to offset XP costs of powers, seemingly intentionally.

      Raksha are my fae-vorite.

      Reincarnation of magnificentmomo.


      • #4
        TL DR: it’s not breaking the game to use techniques, it’s IS the way it was intended from the beginning, and not using it is not exploring the Nova capacities.

        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


        • #5
          Ok, so just to make sure I understand the examples is this XP breakout correct?

          Ex 1
          Elemental Mastery 3 (36xp)
          2 Tags (24xp)
          Environmental Anima 3 (Free)
          Range 2 Tag (Free due to 2 tags on Elemental Mastery))
          Quantum Attack 3 Power Technique (12 XP)
          Range 1 (Free)
          Stun (Free)
          (This accounts for the 3 free tags from 3 ranks of quantum attack. Why does this power not get 3 free tags like flight did?)
          Flight 3 Power Technique (12 xp)
          Bestow (Free)
          Impose (Free)
          (Or is my misunderstanding here, and none of the tags are free, and these two need to be paid for, although the quoted text does seem to say they get free tags)
          Total: 84 xp

          Quantum Attack 2 (24 XP)
          Beam Tag (Free)
          Close Tag (Free)
          Pierce Tag (12 xp)
          Quantum Leech 2 Technique (12 xp)
          Vampiric Tag (Free)
          Total: 48 xp


          • #6
            You are assuming correct, each power have 3 dots and 2 tags to be used to build it. Quantum attack add a free tag for each dot, so Quantum Attack could have 5 tags for free (so it makes it a hard example, but you got the idea). In the example, the player chose not to use all the tags available.

            The way to think it easier for me is to think as a Array with space for 1 + Technique Mega Edge Powers, each one with X dots and Y tags, any power put into this array will be built with X dots and Y tags. To improve one power in the array beyond this limit, you need to improve the array, and that allows you to improve all the powers at once for the same XP.

            It’s much simples if you think it as a DB, at least for me...
            Last edited by Mateus Luz; 06-02-2020, 07:35 PM.

            House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
            Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
            Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


            • #7
              So how do you guys interpret the "mixed action" clause of power suites?
              Moreover, while a Power Suite may have multiple effects, using more than one of them at a time in a round counts as a mixed action (p. XX), even if that effect would normally be a reflexive action.
              Specifically combined with this paragraf about mixed actions with powers.
              For a mixed action involving a Power Suite, activating a reflexive action power or one with no dice pool requires spending a Quantum point.
              Do I only pay this cost if I activate say Quantum Bolt and Quantum Field in the same turn? Or must I still pay it if I have Quantum Field maintained from a previous turn and the activate Quantum Bolt? Assuming they are both in the same Power Suite?
              Last edited by Mordekain; 08-30-2020, 05:55 PM.


              • #8
                My understand of RAW is:
                1. Activate a single power, no issue (I guess)
                2. Two or more powers as a mixed action: you pay every power cost and split the success (as any set of actions would).
                2.1. Every power in a suit activated as a mixed action or as a reflexive action in the same round have a minimum cost of 1 QP as a “split attention cost”.
                3. Maintaining a power is not an action, not even reflexive.
                4. Reactivating a Continuum power that the duration ended requires spending a reflexive action and cost, so you may need to pay if the cost is 0.

                In your example:
                Activating both is a mixed action, so pay both costs and spend successes (as 2.)
                In the next round, if using quantum bolt again, Quantum field is ignored (as 3.) and only Quantum Bolt pays the cost (as 1.)

                I personally, would ignore the second quote, it goes against the general idea of powers are normal actions that may have a power cost.

                House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux


                • #9
                  If it helps, the power suites are almost exactly like the ones in Mutants and Masterminds (hardly a surprise, same person being involved in the design of both). The ability to have multiple powers fo the investment of one (plus a little overhead) is huge, and useful to cover the logical uses of a single notional ability, i.e., if you can shoot lightning, being able to scramble electronics as well makes sense. Or if you want to be a super-brick who can grow (but is super-strong even when human size), throwing Growth into a suite would be an idea. (Technically, I'm unsure if you can put Mega-attributes into a power suite, but Transformation is right there if you have no other way to do so.)


                  • #10
                    Its seem to me, that powersuite is way to good exp wise compare to those who are making novas that do not use it. Like focus on mega- stats and mega-edges. There are a few loopholes that makes it a problem, here i am looking at powers that are buff powers. As in they last x time, where x depend on the duration tag that you can buy up.

                    Take someone with quantum bolt 6 + tag 6 = 144exp. Now he takes 3x edge technique to buy 3 other powers = 36 exp. So he save 111 exp per power, or 333 exp totalt with his powersuite.
                    Those powers are boost, quantum shield, fly. Then he can use tags to make them pretty must permanent (buying duration tag). So he will never run into mixed action and he basically got 4 powers for 1 powers cost.

                    It seem to me powersuite should make a power do different things, but still pretend to be the same power. Like beam attack that are boths aoe and single target. But when you can combine them together in a way that abuse them, then it is just free exp that can be used on other stuff. Making balance bestrewn players bigger and bigger, the more exp they have.
                    There is no downside to powersuite when you combine it with buff power that last "forever" with the current ruling on mixed action.


                    • #11
                      My understanding is that Power Suites are the main thing that's been getting an overhaul since the original beta manuscript they had on the Kickstarter. So until we actually get the final PDF we don't really know how they work now.


                      • #12
                        The Idea of power suites is exactly reduce the cost of powers to make it possible to build Divis Mal with a plausible number of XP, while “forcing” the characters into having a theme, like most super heroes.

                        On the combining powers from the suite, it’s not different from combining other powers. Quantum powers are not THAT combinable, if you want to create some weird stuff you use Max Out or Power Stunt.

                        As we touch the subject, those two are the real tools here, they give you a flexibility you didn’t have in 1e and in most of the super hero RPGs.

                        House Rules - The Basics - House Rules for Trinity Continuum
                        Fists of Flux - Inspired and Powered Martial Arts for Talents
                        Tomes of Inspiration - Rituals and Dark Magic in Fists of Flux