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[Aberrant] Avoiding Transcendence

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  • #31
    Mega-Composure doesn't add to any rolls, but does subtract Difficulty from Composure rolls to a minimum of 1...which is to say it counters the penalties Transcendence adds to Forming Bonds very directly (no cobbling necessary, that's just a straightforward rules implementation). It will almost never make you better than Baselines at doing so (since most such rolls are Difficulty 1 to start with), but it can easily compensate for being a Nova. So yes, it does help very directly.

    Mega-Edges actually also are Nova Traits per the Grounding rules, or so my rulebook says, anyway. And yes, using Nova Traits at full level makes Grounding impossible (though you can do some Grounding with your Nova traits at half level).

    But the thing is, in terms of using Bonds to Ground, you don't Ground by forming bonds, but by having and using them. So you can absolutely use Nova traits to form a Bond, then use that Bond for Grounding in a later scene. The scene of making the Bond won't be useful for Grounding, but the Bond formed still will be.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
      Mega-Composure doesn't add to any rolls, but does subtract Difficulty from Composure rolls to a minimum of 1...which is to say it counters the penalties Transcendence adds to Forming Bonds very directly (no cobbling necessary, that's just a straightforward rules implementation). It will almost never make you better than Baselines at doing so (since most such rolls are Difficulty 1 to start with), but it can easily compensate for being a Nova. So yes, it does help very directly.
      Mega-Composure reduces Complications due to emotional or social distractions. It also increased leadership Scale for resisting social influence, someone attempting to prevent thought, or shift their attitude. It does not give you a blanket Complication reduction.

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      • #33
        You're partially right. Mega-Composure only gets rid of Complications if they are emotional or social, it's true. However, it goes on to say that, once such Complications are gone, any remaining dots then reduce the Difficulty of Composure rolls, to a minimum of 1. It's basically the same wording as Mega-Dexterity (which also removes Complications before reducing difficulty), aside from only applying to some kinds of Complications (well, and Mega-Composure doing some other stuff).

        And the Transcendence penalty to Forming Bond is a Difficulty increase, not a Complication, which means that Mega-Composure should work perfectly well to reduce it.

        It might or might not work on the Transformation-based penalties, depending on whether they are Complications or a Difficulty increase (a choice that is at GM discretion).

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        • #34
          Reduce any Complications due to emotional or social distractions by their dots in Mega-Composure, such that Mega-Composure 4+ novas are virtually unflappable, regardless of the circumstances.
          Emphasis mine. It ONLY applies to emotional or social distractions.

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          • #35
            The next sentence is:
            Once Complications are reduced to 0, any remaining dots in Mega-Composure lower the difficulty of a Composure roll to as low as 1.
            Deadmanwalking is saying that this sentence doesn't have any "due to emotional or social distractions" clause.

            Though it could be argued that since it's presented as a follow-up to the part you quoted, it doesn't kick in at all unless at least one such Complication gets removed first. In effect, the "due to emotional or social distractions" clause implicitly carries over to the difficulty reduction portion.


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            • #36
              That's a LOOOOOOOOOOONG stretch. They're in the same paragraph. It's safe to say the second sentence relates to the first. The first sentence is saying HOW MUCH and WHEN you can reduce Complications, and the second says WHAT HAPPENS when you reduce Complications to 0.

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              • #37
                It would be really weird if it applied to all Difficulty but somehow required a Complication of a specific type before it kicked in. That would result in such complications actively making the Nova more effective a lot of the time, which is weird and doesn't make a lot of sense.

                And Difficulty is usually 'untyped', unlike Complications, so it would in many ways be even weirder if you suddenly needed to give it a type for this one ability.

                My interpretation is that, first, Mega-Composure removes specific types Complications then, second, once there are none of those, it reduces the Difficulty of Composure rolls (to a minimum of 1), which would inevitably also kick in when there are no such Complications (and indeed, this is exactly how Mega-Dexterity, the other difficulty reducer works). Note that the Complication removal applies to all rolls, but the Difficulty reduction applies only to Composure rolls, so the two are already explicitly asymmetric and don't work quite the same no matter what.

                Really I see no reason why the restriction of the first bit would carry over to the second, especially since (as I note above), difficulty is usually not given a 'type' (unlike Complications, which totally are).

                If you think this is a stretch of some sort I suppose I can't prove you definitively wrong or anything, but I think it's a pretty straightforward rules implementation that results in the rules doing what they say rather than doing things some people think they are implied to do (I legitimately never even thought of the interpretation you guys seem to have made until it was brought up here). It's also the more generous ruling to the players, which I've found is another good litmus test for which direction you should go on a ruling for something like this. And finally it helps solve the issue this thread has been created to deal with of how a Nova can deal with Transcendence with a minimal amount of added rules text (ie: none, it's just a different interpretation/ruling). Even if you do think it's a House Rule, perhaps it's a good one?
                Last edited by Deadmanwalking; 07-14-2021, 05:07 PM.

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                • #38
                  In order to reduce the teeth of Transcendence, yes I think it's a decent house rule.

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                  • #39
                    It's an interesting house rule; but in and of itself, it doesn't solve the problem at hand. For example, you would also have to house rule that Mega-Composure is an exception to the rule that you can't use Nova traits when Grounding. Without that house rule, any interaction that involves a bond with a baseline wouldn't count as a means of Grounding if you use Mega-Composure to negate the Transcendence- based penalty.

                    Mind you, I don't have a problem making that exception; but it would be an exception.

                    A bigger issue I have with it is that the whole thing feels like an awkward way to eliminate half of the effects of Transcendence without actually eliminating the Transcendence itself (with the other half of the effects being the mandatory Transformations at the higher levels of Transcendence). It feels like you're attempting to address a symptom while deliberately leaving the core problem intact.

                    Ultimately, the problem is that the rules as written mandate a minimum Transcendence as Quantum increases. Saying that the symptoms of that required Transcendence can be treated doesn't change the fact that it's still required.

                    Conversely: if there's a way to avoid getting the Transcendence in the first place, or to get rid of it after you've acquired it, then it doesn't matter whether or not you're able to mitigate its effects: there will be no effects to mitigate. You've fixed the problem at its source.
                    Last edited by Dataweaver; 07-14-2021, 06:05 PM.


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                    • #40
                      I agree with Dataweaver. We are trying to eliminate the little effects of transcendence without eliminating it just because reasons.

                      With the unlocking of transformations from transcendence, the fact flux have its own side effects (if you are using the Quantum instability rules) and with all that rules to mitigate the effects in daily life, Transcendence have no meaning at all, basically a legacy coming down to doom, but nothing more than that.


                      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

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                      • #41
                        Mind you, I'm not saying to get rid of Transcendence altogether; although something like your earlier suggestion along those lines has some interesting possibilities. But given how little Transcendence does as written, the idea is keeping it but mitigating its effects feels like a complicated way of getting rid of it without getting rid of it.


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                        • #42
                          You don't need to ignore all Nova Traits for some types of Grounding (specifically, you can Ground by spending a session on 'half traits'). For the 'spend Bond successes while hanging out with baselines' version you do...but Mega-Composure is necessary only to help with creating the Bond, not ongoing stuff thereafter, which is where you need to be using no Nova Traits and spending Successes from the bond on Transcendence reduction. So there are two scenes involved: Scene 1 uses Nova Traits to help create a Bond, Scene 2 you avoid Nova Traits and can then spend Bond Successes to get rid of Flux. It's a bit more effort intensive for a high Transcendence guy than one with low Transcendence, but very doable.

                          And, social penalties aside, almost all really powerful characters (like Superman), have weaknesses that are probably best approximated with Transformations, so I feel like solving the social penalty does solve the problem in most ways. YMMV, of course.

                          Again, I'm not really arguing against getting rid of it, or making it easier to get rid of, if that's the desired goal, I'm just saying that, with the rules as they stand (at least, as I read them), the social penalties can be worked around pretty readily, and thus aren't a compelling reason to do so. Other aspects of them may be, but the social penalties? Not so much.
                          Last edited by Deadmanwalking; 07-14-2021, 07:03 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            Mind you, I'm not saying to get rid of Transcendence altogether; although something like your earlier suggestion along those lines has some interesting possibilities. But given how little Transcendence does as written, the idea is keeping it but mitigating its effects feels like a complicated way of getting rid of it without getting rid of it.
                            I didn’t mean that was what you are saying, just that I agree with you and went to a further elaboration around it from a slightly different point of view. Sort for that.


                            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

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                            • #44
                              Superman specifically never gets too much Flux for 3 reasons:
                              He never max out, when he looks like maxing out, he is actually just letting go a bit more power than usual.
                              He is always operating in half of regular level, just because he is too powerful that it would be dangerous (he is controlling the collateral pool)
                              He is always grounding, he has a regular job, he pretend to have no powers, he has lots of meaningful relationships with baselines, things like that.

                              The only source of flux is all the weird things he does with his powers, basically power stunting every now and than, but not often enough to cause issues.


                              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

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
                                You don't need to ignore all Nova Traits for some types of Grounding (specifically, you can Ground by spending a session on 'half traits'). For the 'spend Bond successes while hanging out with baselines' version you do...but Mega-Composure is necessary only to help with creating the Bond, not ongoing stuff thereafter, which is where you need to be using no Nova Traits and spending Successes from the bond on Transcendence reduction. So there are two scenes involved: Scene 1 uses Nova Traits to help create a Bond, Scene 2 you avoid Nova Traits and can then spend Bond Successes to get rid of Flux. It's a bit more effort intensive for a high Transcendence guy than one with low Transcendence, but very doable.
                                Still very kludgey. If he can use Grounding to keep from having a high Transcendence in the first place, then he won't have to worry about the effects of high Transcendence on his bonding rolls. And if he does have a high Transcendence, I don't think I want him to be able to work around the one effect that's unique to high Transcendence. (There are other ways to get Transformations; there are not other ways to have trouble forming bonds with baselines.)

                                Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
                                And, social penalties aside, almost all really powerful characters (like Superman), have weaknesses that are probably best approximated with Transformations, so I feel like solving the social penalty does solve the problem in most ways. YMMV, of course.
                                Superman's few Transformations (basically, a vulnerability to Kryptonite and a power loss when exposed to red solar radiation) can easily be addressed in other ways, such as taking Nova traits at a discount; and they don't fit the pattern of Transformations gained through Transcendence (two low-level, then two mid-level, then two high-level). The Flash arguably has to be able to run at or near the speed of light (Scale 9, requiring either Quantum 9/Transcendence 6+ or Quantum 7 or 8 and extensive use of the Maxing Out rules); and the only thing close to a Transformation he has is that some versions of him are said to need to eat a lot of calories; and other versions of him don't even have that.

                                Originally posted by Deadmanwalking View Post
                                Again, I'm not really arguing against getting rid of it, or making it easier to get rid of, if that's the desired goal, I'm just saying that, with the rules as they stand (at least, as I read them), the social penalties can be worked around pretty readily, and thus aren't a compelling reason to do so. Other aspects of them maybe, but the social penalties? Not so much.
                                In that case, then, this probably isn't a hack that you're going to use; which is fine by me. I'm not proposing official errata for the game, or sending rules ninjas to your house to enforce compliance; I'm just proposing a house rule for those who think that working around the effects of high Transcendence is unnecessarily awkward when a simpler approach is to work around needing a high Transcendence in the first place.


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