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Power Stunt vs Maxing Out - New Powers

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  • Power Stunt vs Maxing Out - New Powers

    So something that came up in another thread regarding the use of power stunts to emulate powers a nova doesn't have on their character sheet and it got me to thinking about the fact that clashes with maxing out to get dots in a power and how, given the way power stunts work, why a player would almost always choose to power stunt instead.

    When one is is using a power stunt to emulate another power - the player will roll the dice pool for the power (very often Quantum + Power dots), only gets a point of Flux on a failure, and can apply successes as dots in the power desired. When one is maxing out, the player is only rolling their Quantum, they get a point of Flux regardless plus more on a failure, and can apply success as dots in the power desired.

    Mathematically speaking, outside pushing oneself just before gaining / levelling up a power with XP, there doesn't seem to be much incentive to max out (for this purpose). Power stunts are generally rolling more dice (therefore more successes to make dots of the Power) and have less cost in terms of Flux. The only benefit to maxing out seems to be that one can tradeoff a higher cost in Flux to get an Enhancement on the roll.

    Am I missing anything but Storyguide fiat that makes maxing out the better options for players outside the levelling up requirement?

  • #2
    You make a good point. I'd focused on Maxing Out to the extent that I didn't even notice how useful Power Stunts could be. I suppose one big benefit of Maxing Out is that it lets you manifest completely new powers, while Power Stunts are about using existing powers in novel ways.

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    • #3
      Maxing Out is how you can buy an extra dot of something. It allows you to manifest things that are new.Power Stunts are useful for a short term goal of "I need to be able to do this right here and now" and Maxing Out allows you to stretch your repertoire.

      For example, one of my players has Plasticity. He used it to also turn his hands into spiked gloves to give him some enhancements. He effectively used it to do Quantum Attack to gain tags for his attacks.

      I have another player who has Boost and had to Max out so that she can then buy Transformation. Thus turning her whole "As agile as a fox" to "I can now become a fox"

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Shepherdboi View Post
        I suppose one big benefit of Maxing Out is that it lets you manifest completely new powers, while Power Stunts are about using existing powers in novel ways.
        This is a good point. Whilst it would seem perfectly reasonable to allow a nova with Plasticity or Morph to manifest a melee Quantum Attack as a power stunt (e.g. using their shapeshifting abilities to grow bone spikes on their fists or similar), they couldn't use it as a power stunt to manifest an Elemental Anima power to control ice or fire. The power stunt needs to be an acceptable alternate use of an existing power.

        Which, strictly speaking, makes some powers more "abusable" than others when it comes to what you can power stunt them into.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by thedonnie View Post
          Maxing Out is how you can buy an extra dot of something.
          I know that but, as described in the rules, it's ALSO a way to manifest new powers you don't have. It isn't a requirement that you later add a dot to the power in question only that you can later give that power a new dot (including it's first dot) if you do so by maxing out first.

          My question is related to using ones power in other ways, represented by dots in a new power, without that need to "max out for level up". For example, let's say a character maxes out once to give themselves Quantum Attack based on their Elemental Anima power. Having done it the once, there is no need for them to use the max out option every other time they want to do the same thing before they have the points to buy their first dot in Quantum Attack (or extra Technique Mega-Edge dot). Using power stunt every other time is just mathematically better - more dice, so more dots for the power, and less risk of a Flux cost. You only need to max out the once to fulfil the level-up requirements.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Eternl Knight View Post
            I know that but, as described in the rules, it's ALSO a way to manifest new powers you don't have. It isn't a requirement that you later add a dot to the power in question only that you can later give that power a new dot (including it's first dot) if you do so by maxing out first.

            My question is related to using ones power in other ways, represented by dots in a new power, without that need to "max out for level up". For example, let's say a character maxes out once to give themselves Quantum Attack based on their Elemental Anima power. Having done it the once, there is no need for them to use the max out option every other time they want to do the same thing before they have the points to buy their first dot in Quantum Attack (or extra Technique Mega-Edge dot). Using power stunt every other time is just mathematically better - more dice, so more dots for the power, and less risk of a Flux cost. You only need to max out the once to fulfil the level-up requirements.
            Oh, I am aware. I was just stating why Maxing Out is important but, yes. You are right. It is better dice pool to Power Stunt than to Max Out. Just like everything else in this system, it is all about how you and the SG can justify it and not so much about trying to find a "better" or "more efficient" way of doing things.

            The system is less about "ADHERE TO THE MECHANICS" and is totally about "Thou Shalt Adhere To The Game Being Fun" and if fun is throwing down 17 dice with 46 Enhancement each time? By all means go for it. If fun is throwing down 3 dice with 1 Enhancement? Go for it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by thedonnie View Post
              The system is less about "ADHERE TO THE MECHANICS" and is totally about "Thou Shalt Adhere To The Game Being Fun"...
              Oh, I'm aware of that. This is not about me trying to "cheese" the system and squeeze out every min-maxed success I can from the rules. This is about me looking at the system as I mould it to a campaign I'm running, working out what the devs intended, and clearing up ambiguities.

              Whilst I know the devs like to say "just play the rules however you like", there are considerations in the rules to help players get the most fun out of the system by reminding them of options that help their character succeed. For example, they list Elemental Mastery as a power, but it's really just pushing the player towards use of the Technique Mega-Edge so they maximise XP at character creation (and later as Quantum is levelled up). It's not really a power in & of itself, but it points players to the right rules to get most bang for their chargen buck (so to speak).

              As I understand it now - I see this overlap of maxing out & power stunts to be perhaps be one of those rules that could use a little of that helpful prodding. We are somewhat invested players and at least two of us are just realising that we could/should have been using (or encouraging) the use of power stunt over maxing out for this case.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you're not looking to buy dots in a power, then power stunting is probably mechanically better. However, Maxing Out lets you do more than just emulate the dots in one power. So if you want to do more than use your force-based Quantum Attack as a force field, you'll need to Max Out. That includes doing things like super-charging your QAttack for more scale and/or tags or getting dots in Mega-Might and Mega-Dex all at once. So, I think they each have their place, but I also think people tend to forget about power stunts and just Max Out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Maxing out is also able to add a dot in Technique to get a new power at a pretty significant level for a short time. It is a different way of stretching yourself than just a dot or two in a power. Both are likely eventually necessary for leveling up the powers you want.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My approach on maxing out is that when you max out you are adding something to the power you are using, so you can max out a technique, or a tag or Rank to the power you are using, or to use a new power. That is a forceful use of quantum, and so give you flux. Think about a power lifter lifting heavier weights then usual.

                    Power stunt is different, it’s a finesse thing, you use your power to a different end, but with more difficulty. The result is weaker, because it’s not built over your power, but built from scratch. You can’t go above your regular limits, actually, you probably can’t even reach your regular limits with your power, because you are using your power in a different way. Think about a guy that use your gun to unlock a door, or a computer expert trying to adjust an electronic car engine, they can, but it’s not that simple and they will not be capable of doing the proper way.

                    When you try to use a power stunt to use your quantum attack to generate a field, you are spending your attention to shape it and make it solid, it’s conscious, so you get the successes and build an effect based in Quantum Field.
                    When you max out your mastery over whatever is your quantum attack and create a quantum field you are forcing your power to do that, but the result is more natural, it’s the power the way you want, not a trick with your power, even though you get “damaged” by it, so you are building Quantum Field as a technique of Quantum Attack.

                    Unnecessarily complicated as an explanation, the fact is Power Stunts creates a new power and Max Out builds a power on top of your other power.


                    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


                    • #11
                      Mateus Luz Maxing out also can create new powers, and in fact must occasionally create new powers/mega-edges/mega attributes if you ever want a nova to expand their power set.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by econclark View Post
                        Mateus Luz Maxing out also can create new powers, and in fact must occasionally create new powers/mega-edges/mega attributes if you ever want a nova to expand their power set.
                        Sure, but in that case you are not using your powers to simulate other powers (that is Power Stunts) you are using pure quantum in a different way. A bit harder than power stunting, but still the only way to learn new powers, as you said.


                        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


                        • #13
                          Having reviewed the rules, I've also been reminded of the fact that Maxing Out lets you bypass one dot worth of an increased trait's requirements, so you can manifest effects slightly beyond your Quantum or Attribute cap. Power Stunts don't actually let you do that, so when you really need to push yourself beyond your limits, you bit the bullet and go with the more expensive Power Stunt option.

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                          • #14
                            As a side note, I think Maxing out and Power Stunts are the best rules to simulate how superheroes work in comics.

                            Momentum is nice and all, but it really fits better action movies and the dynamic of Karma we see there (villain starts with an advantage, heroes have some hard time, and heroes flip the table).

                            Maxing out, the way we see in Aberrant, simulate many things, from the heroes that can resist that extra effort to defend their friends and end up with a bleeding nose and passing out, to characters lifting mountains even if never doing so in regular base.

                            Power Stunts are that special powers all characters gain once in a while in their comics just to never use it again, like blocking attacks with your attacks, or flying by shooting your quantum attack to the ground.

                            Both also gives a lot of flexibility to what characters can do, while keeping rules on their limits.


                            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


                            • #15
                              Yes. Maxing out is great for doing that extra stuff like when you are firing your energy blast at a wall and it is not going down so you "Pour on more juice" and then finally break free.A power stunt is to use the same energy blast to pin someone to a wall through the sheer concussive force of the blast.

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