Super Power Scaling Problem?

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PencilBoy99
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Super Power Scaling Problem?

#1 Postby PencilBoy99 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:31 pm

I came across http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?598 ... t-fix-quot, which argues that SuperPowers in SW is broken. Has anyone experienced what the author did? How did you fix it? Is it an actual problem?

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#2 Postby Boldfist » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:28 pm

I have played Savage Worlds extensively with Supers and I don't find his post to be valid. If you read the post two below his (Pariah) you will immediately see that he is ignoring a lot of the other vital parts of the rules (like Soaking, Setting Rules, other Super Powers, type of game/campaign being run).

Bottom line is that Supers in Savage Worlds works VERY well for me and my games. But I guess it will all depend on a lot of factors that you would have to decide on rather than a blanket statement that Super Powers in SW is (or is not) broken.

Just my .02!
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#3 Postby PencilBoy99 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:55 pm

One of the kind posters provided the following information as this thread was initially in the wrong forum.

In reply to your question tho, no I haven't because my supers games had much more going on than physical damage. The problem with these arguments, which I have heard before is that the poster almost always discounts several factors and focuses solely on the math.

For instance, everything he said seems correct except he forgets all about soaking wounds, which scales up as well and mitigates the damage he's talking about.

He also forgets about tricks, losing bennies representing characters taking damage, and all sorts of things that can cause "damage" to a character.

IMO it seems like more of a problem with the idea of 3 hit points than with the system. The feeling of being dead or alive is something the GM can mitigate with colorful descriptions and using mechanics like using a benny to soak a wound as a chance to describe the character taking one on the chin.
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#4 Postby PencilBoy99 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:58 pm

1. my experience with the SuperPower's rules for SW, which is admittedly limited, is just what I thought it would be. i.e., people can do lots more damage, but they're much harder to hit and hurt, which makes sense.

2. I'm not sure about the randomness thing. I think that's a taste issue. It's got randomness, but it's not absurd. In general, if you're a Wild Card and you're good at something, you can do it. The nice thing is if you aren't, you can still occasionally do the cool thing (cinematic).

3. Again, it's a matter of taste. I prefer the fewer points, harder to hit/hurt, more serious consequences of Fate, SavageWorlds, and the Warhammer games, as opposed to the "whittle down" HP systems. BTW, that wasn't to the best of my knowledge a deeply thought, intentional decision by Gygax and Arneson. When they adapted D&D from wargames, "hit points" came from the nubmer of individuals in a combat unit. I'm not sure what they would have said if you asked them 20 years later.

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#5 Postby Lord Inar » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:28 pm

I don't see it much either, especially when you consider armor/heavy armor as well.

I've often thought that the one thing that might be used to mimic 4 color supers better is to allow either Agility or Vigor to be used for Soaking (representing either taking it or dodging it). It wouldn't nerf Vigor or necessarily make Agility that much more desirable due to high Toughness being very valuable in a supers game and the superskill power sidestepping the Agility requirement for high Agility.

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#6 Postby Pariah74 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:50 pm

Lord Inar wrote:I don't see it much either, especially when you consider armor/heavy armor as well.

I've often thought that the one thing that might be used to mimic 4 color supers better is to allow either Agility or Vigor to be used for Soaking (representing either taking it or dodging it). It wouldn't nerf Vigor or necessarily make Agility that much more desirable due to high Toughness being very valuable in a supers game and the superskill power sidestepping the Agility requirement for high Agility.


Make it an edge, and give it some requirements. That way a player taking it would need to invest in it, rather than just ignore Vigor.

Off the top of my head, you could say it required Dodge, or Combat Reflexes. Then allow them to use either Agility or Spirit to soak wounds.

You could also make it a power.
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#7 Postby PencilBoy99 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:08 pm

What would this look like as an edge? It makes sense, since it's more like a skill then something eldrich - it's someone who can avoid damage by "not being there", bobbing and weaving, versus being able to take a punch.

If this edge wouldn't unbalance things, why isn't it in the core rules?

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#8 Postby Lord Inar » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:34 pm

furashgf wrote:What would this look like as an edge? It makes sense, since it's more like a skill then something eldrich - it's someone who can avoid damage by "not being there", bobbing and weaving, versus being able to take a punch.

If this edge wouldn't unbalance things, why isn't it in the core rules?


Ah, but I do think it would be unbalancing in a non-supers game for the reasons I mentioned, particularly the decoupling of skills from attributes in a supers game. Since in core SW, so many skills are tied to Agility, many would consider it a must-have edge I would think.

- Marc

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#9 Postby Pariah74 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:47 pm

Lord Inar wrote:
furashgf wrote:What would this look like as an edge? It makes sense, since it's more like a skill then something eldrich - it's someone who can avoid damage by "not being there", bobbing and weaving, versus being able to take a punch.

If this edge wouldn't unbalance things, why isn't it in the core rules?


Ah, but I do think it would be unbalancing in a non-supers game for the reasons I mentioned, particularly the decoupling of skills from attributes in a supers game. Since in core SW, so many skills are tied to Agility, many would consider it a must-have edge I would think.

- Marc


You don't think that making the requirements be something like Seasoned, d8 Agility, and d8 Spirit would be enough? What if you also required Combat Reflexes?

Possibly in both core rules and SPC it would work better as a power? A seasoned power, at that.
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#10 Postby PencilBoy99 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:32 pm

That makes sense. Would we want to add that your toughness defaults back to vigor in any of the following cases:
1. you are completely unaware;
2. you are immobilized;
3. you are fatigued
I would think that would make you less "dodgy".

I don't have an issue with using this edge against ranged weapons - you're not evading the weapon, you're evading the guy with the weapon who can't get a bead on you.

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#11 Postby Lord Inar » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:05 pm

Pariah74 wrote:You don't think that making the requirements be something like Seasoned, d8 Agility, and d8 Spirit would be enough? What if you also required Combat Reflexes?

Possibly in both core rules and SPC it would work better as a power? A seasoned power, at that.


It could work, although I also like the idea of it requiring Dodge/Block/Combat Reflexes or some such combination as the prereqs on those edges cover most of the attribute requirements. The more I think about it, the more I like the Spirit aspect (encompassed in Combat Reflexes)

furashgf, sorry for hijacking your thread!

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#12 Postby Pariah74 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:28 pm

furashgf wrote:That makes sense. Would we want to add that your toughness defaults back to vigor in any of the following cases:
1. you are completely unaware;
2. you are immobilized;
3. you are fatigued
I would think that would make you less "dodgy".

I don't have an issue with using this edge against ranged weapons - you're not evading the weapon, you're evading the guy with the weapon who can't get a bead on you.


I think if you only used Agility or Spirit for soaking, your toughness would still be based on Vigor. That's one reason why I don't think an Edge that just allowed it for soaking purposes would be unbalanced, if it was restricted by requirements. You'd still have a low Toughness, and be vulnerable to radiation, poison, hunger, etc etc.
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#13 Postby Zadmar » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:21 am

furashgf wrote:1. my experience with the SuperPower's rules for SW, which is admittedly limited, is just what I thought it would be. i.e., people can do lots more damage, but they're much harder to hit and hurt, which makes sense.

That was generally my experience as well. However I ran into some problems as the number of damage dice increased, because each individual die can ace, and damage vs toughness is therefore no longer a linear comparison. In particular, the two Attack powers (Ranged and Melee) resulted in an alarming number of "lucky" one-shot kills, even against bricks who were fairly balanced against the average damage.

If I were to run a supers campaign again, I think I would probably place a limit on the number of damage dice that can ace. Perhaps only allow a maximum of two dice to be rerolled.

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#14 Postby Pariah74 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:25 am

Zadmar wrote:If I were to run a supers campaign again, I think I would probably place a limit on the number of damage dice that can ace. Perhaps only allow a maximum of two dice to be rerolled.


Ah! Yep! I do remember now, I do have a house rule for the SPC. For weapons that are not built as device powers I use the old static bonus method. A player with Attack Melee who does 4d6 with his fists, who picks up a sword does +2 or +3, not d6 or d8.

It didn't really come up last time I played so I forgot.
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#15 Postby PencilBoy99 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:23 am

Pariah, can you explain that more? It sounds right, but I'm not sure how you derive/use the number

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#16 Postby Pariah74 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:01 am

It's from the older edition of Savage Worlds...and maybe Necessary Evil (not sure I only had EE)

I would have to look it up to remember for sure, but it was something like weapons that do Str+d4 do +1, Str+d6 would be +2, Str+d8 would be +3 and so on.
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#17 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:04 am

furashgf wrote:Pariah, can you explain that more? It sounds right, but I'm not sure how you derive/use the number

He uses the "old" melee weapon damage rules - the ones from the first couple printings of Savage Worlds (back around 2003 to 2006).
Essentially, each weapon die type becomes a +1 on a Strength roll. Strength + d4 = Strength+1, strength + d8 = strength+3, etc. From my reading, he only does this for characters with the Attack, Melee power.
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#18 Postby Pariah74 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:18 am

ValhallaGH wrote:
furashgf wrote:Pariah, can you explain that more? It sounds right, but I'm not sure how you derive/use the number

He uses the "old" melee weapon damage rules - the ones from the first couple printings of Savage Worlds (back around 2003 to 2006).
Essentially, each weapon die type becomes a +1 on a Strength roll. Strength + d4 = Strength+1, strength + d8 = strength+3, etc. From my reading, he only does this for characters with the Attack, Melee power.


Yes, but I use it across the board. I should have been more clear, sorry.
In my supers games melee weapons use the old system for everyone.

For powers that means if a character who had a 4d6 super punch, also picked up some brass knuckles he would do 4d6+1, not 4d6+d4. But if somebody built a magic long sword with Attack: Melee it would do the damage that the power lists and would not receive a +3 bonus.

I am also conflicted about characters using weapons to increase damage but whose Attack: Melee power wouldn't seem to benefit from weapon use.
For example, a character has a 4d6 Attack Melee with the trappings that it's bone spikes on his knuckles. I rule in my games that he can either do the weapon damage or the power damage, not both. It doesn't make sense any other way, and I am not a GM who is a slave to the rules.
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#19 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Oct 28, 2011 2:17 pm

Pariah74 wrote:I am also conflicted about characters using weapons to increase damage but whose Attack: Melee power wouldn't seem to benefit from weapon use.
For example, a character has a 4d6 Attack Melee with the trappings that it's bone spikes on his knuckles. I rule in my games that he can either do the weapon damage or the power damage, not both. It doesn't make sense any other way, and I am not a GM who is a slave to the rules.

Actually, you run that one exactly by the rules.

Trappings dictate what can and cannot stack. The bone spikes on your hands don't make that chainsaw any meaner, so they don't stack. The fire aura that surrounds you and everything you touch does make that chainsaw meaner.
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#20 Postby Pariah74 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:31 pm

Yeah, I know...it's just that I don't think the SPC expressly says that. It does say that weapons stack, but doesn't give conditions. That's what I meant by 'slave to the rules.' I know some GMs and players that are, and they can have issues with trappings and stuff like that.
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