[Harrowed] Question About Unholy Reflexes

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[Harrowed] Question About Unholy Reflexes

#1 Postby RedFox » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:12 am

This power seems a might screwed-up. I found a comment by Goff on the old mailing list, but it seemed even more wrong. The power is found on pages 57-58 of the Book of the Dead.

If I'm reading this correctly, it seems that each level of the power gives you that number of extra action cards when the power is invoked. The scale also includes how many times you can call upon the power in a round. The power itself takes one action card. So this is the regular chart:

Code: Select all

Level / Extra Action Cards    Uses per Round
        1                           1
        2                           1
        3                           2
        4                           2
        5                           3


This also means that the net gain in cards per round (if you used the maximum number of uses of the power per round) would be thus:

Level 1: 0
Level 2: 1
Level 3: 4
Level 4: 6
Level 5: 12

Which means that the first level of the power is completely useless while levels 3 through 5 are unholy obscene.


Goff's comment seemed to indicate this wasn't the intention, and that at level 3 you would sacrifice one card to gain 2, which doesn't seem to make any sense from my reading of the power.

Does anyone have a clarification for this?
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#2 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:01 am

What's even more confusing: If the Harrowed invokes his Unholy Reflexes (at level 3, for example) on the 9 of Clubs, and his new cards are 6 of Spades, 8 of Hearts, 10 of Hearts and Queen of Diamonds, what happens to the 10 and the Queen? Both have already been called this round! Are they to be used immediately (on the 9 of Clubs), are they discarded or does one (or more) of them become a cheat card up your sleeve? If it becomes a sleeve card, what if you already have one?


And let's face the following situation: If the Harrowed with Unholy Reflexes 5 gets 5 cards in a round plus 1 sleeve card, and his cards for the round include the Red Joker and the Ace of Spades, then he can invoke Unholy Reflexes for his maximum of three times before anyone has a decent chance of doing something, gaining himself a total of 18(!) actions for the round!

Is this correct?
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#3 Postby RedFox » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:21 am

Noshrok Grimskull wrote:What's even more confusing: If the Harrowed invokes his Unholy Reflexes (at level 3, for example) on the 9 of Clubs, and his new cards are 6 of Spades, 8 of Hearts, 10 of Hearts and Queen of Diamonds, what happens to the 10 and the Queen? Both have already been called this round! Are they to be used immediately (on the 9 of Clubs), are they discarded or does one (or more) of them become a cheat card up your sleeve? If it becomes a sleeve card, what if you already have one?


The usual way this is handled (such as by the extra action card Hexes) is that if you don't have a sleeve card, you can sleeve one of the "already called" cards. Any others are lost.

That seems a bit unsatisfying if you're using a power like this though. I'd probably allow them all to be used simultaneously. Though that is also scary.

EDIT 2: Actually now that I think about it, the most elegant fix for this would be to simply add the word "next" to the power. As in, you get the extra action cards in your NEXT round. That neatly ties up any ordering problems, though it means the benefits of the power are less immediate. You have to use action cards in your first round for extra actions in the next.

And let's face the following situation: If the Harrowed with Unholy Reflexes 5 gets 5 cards in a round plus 1 sleeve card, and his cards for the round include the Red Joker and the Ace of Spades, then he can invoke Unholy Reflexes for his maximum of three times before anyone has a decent chance of doing something, gaining himself a total of 18(!) actions for the round!

Is this correct?


That's a bit of an extreme example, but yes. That's the way I read it.

Beware of Stone, who has 3 or 5 levels of this and supernatural levels of Quickness.

EDIT: The reason I'm asking is because I wanted to make a "normal" (meaning no magical abilities) character for Hell On Earth. However, when I drew for him, I ended up with the double-joker draw: Harrowed (luckily, red joker on the second pull).

So I decided to go whole hog and pull out Book of the Dead to take the 5 points of Hindrances and give him the 10 points of Harrowed powers. Of course, wanting to make a "normal" character, I didn't want any fancy magical crap. So I poured everything into Supernatural Trait.

This, however, coupled with the Veteran o' the Weird West Edge (+25 bounty at chargen and MORE Harrowed Power points) meant that I ended up with a character who has 3d12+10 Deftness and 4d12+4 Quickness.

I thought that 4d12+6 Quickness would be a bit overboard, so that's when I looked at Unholy Reflexes and realized that if I took the one level I could afford with my two remaining Harrowed Powers points, I'd get... well, nothing.
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#4 Postby Kain A. Ashburner » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:43 am

RedFox wrote:I thought that 4d12+6 Quickness would be a bit overboard, so that's when I looked at Unholy Reflexes and realized that if I took the one level I could afford with my two remaining Harrowed Powers points, I'd get... well, nothing.


You could take Arcane Protection instead of Unholy Reflexes... and as a reasoning, perhaps your character is so set in their ways of avoiding the supernatural, it's manifested itself as an actual barrier that causes magic and such to fizzile out... And the Character doesn't even realize it :twisted:
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#5 Postby Sitting Duck » Sun Feb 13, 2005 8:10 am

I'm a bit confused here. It's been a while since I've looked through Book of the Dead, but here's what my understanding of the power was. You make your Quickness roll and, assuming you don't go bust, you draw your cards. At levels one and two, you get to draw one additional card, two at three and four, and three at five. Certainly I can't see how having this power at level one can be considered completely useless.
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#6 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:20 am

Sitting Duck wrote:I'm a bit confused here. It's been a while since I've looked through Book of the Dead, but here's what my understanding of the power was. You make your Quickness roll and, assuming you don't go bust, you draw your cards. At levels one and two, you get to draw one additional card, two at three and four, and three at five. Certainly I can't see how having this power at level one can be considered completely useless.


Not quite right, Duck. The power itself has a Speed of 1, so you need an action to activate it (therefore, you can't use it until after you have your cards). At Level 1 & 2, you get to use the power once per round. At Level 3 & 4, twice per round. And at Level 5, three times per round. Every use gives you a number of Action Cards equal to your Level in the power.
Therefore, with only 1 level in Unholy Reflexes, you spend 1 Action Card to gain 1 Action Card. Not very efficient.
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#7 Postby The One » Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:09 am

I'd personally look at handling this power another way entirely, probably adding +2 per level to your Quickness rolls (stackable with Supernatural Trait: Quickness btw) and allow you to exceed the limit of 5 cards by one for every level you have in this power.

Obviously it'd become an always on power.
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#8 Postby Jakob Ambrose » Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:40 am

There was no implied limit to how many action cards were allowed to be drawn in the first edition
To avoid confusion, I would rewrite the power to make it something like this:

Always on.
Provided you don't go bust, draw additional action cards equal to your power level (refer to chart below), in addition to the number of cards from your roll. This power increases your maximum amount of cards to 5 plus power level.
power level number of cards
1 1
2 1
3 2
4 2
5 3

Or maybe even make it a 1-to-1 conversion (power level 1 allows one additional card, power level 2 means 2 etc). It would give a Harrowed an advantage over normal heroes, but not an overwhelming one.
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#9 Postby Elijah Pact » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:04 pm

Goff errata-ed it so that its always on, and never costs an action I'll see if I can dig up the relevant post on the listserv archive, but I just read it last week.

At levels 1 and 2, you get 1 extra card every round, at levels 3 and 4 you get two extra cards per round, and at level 5 you get 3 extra cards. If you want them.

The speed 1 thing was a mistake. Still, I prefer supernatural quickness, this is more of just icing on the undead cake.

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#10 Postby RedFox » Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:22 pm

Elijah Pact wrote:Goff errata-ed it so that its always on, and never costs an action I'll see if I can dig up the relevant post on the listserv archive, but I just read it last week.

At levels 1 and 2, you get 1 extra card every round, at levels 3 and 4 you get two extra cards per round, and at level 5 you get 3 extra cards. If you want them.

The speed 1 thing was a mistake. Still, I prefer supernatural quickness, this is more of just icing on the undead cake.


Oh so do I. However even with the errata'd version I'm not quite satisfied. I hate speedbumps.

After all, if you buy Level 2 or Level 4 of the power, you're getting absolutely nothing. :p
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#11 Postby BaconIsTasty » Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:40 pm

RedFox wrote:
Elijah Pact wrote:Goff errata-ed it so that its always on, and never costs an action I'll see if I can dig up the relevant post on the listserv archive, but I just read it last week.

At levels 1 and 2, you get 1 extra card every round, at levels 3 and 4 you get two extra cards per round, and at level 5 you get 3 extra cards. If you want them.

The speed 1 thing was a mistake. Still, I prefer supernatural quickness, this is more of just icing on the undead cake.


Oh so do I. However even with the errata'd version I'm not quite satisfied. I hate speedbumps.

After all, if you buy Level 2 or Level 4 of the power, you're getting absolutely nothing. :p


I saw a house rule once that gave you half a card at levels 2 and 4, so that every other turn you'd get an extra card, rather then those levels being placeholders.

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#12 Postby King Snarf » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:35 pm

That's actually not a bad idea. Levels 2 & 4 always struck me as kinda off.

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#13 Postby Elijah Pact » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:41 pm

Neat! Problem solved.

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#14 Postby RedFox » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:45 pm

Indeed!

And since this isn't in the Accumulated Rulings, is there a chance this can be put in the archive forum?
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#15 Postby Clint » Sun Feb 13, 2005 9:12 pm

Done!
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