Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Are Mystic Powers too good now?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Are Mystic Powers too good now?

    With 1.2, two important changes were made to Mystic Powers. They now start with 10 power points instead of 5 *and* they’re allowed to take the Power Points edge, if they so choose.

    This seems too good to me. While Mystic Powers certainly have their limitations, the fact that they succeed automatically with no roll needed and you can buy your raises can’t be ignored. The way the action economy works, Mystic Power users now have enough Power Points available to them that they could activate 3 powers at once on their turn, all activating with raises and no rolls necessary. That’s *crazy* good.

    Now, I’m actually in favor of letting Mystic Power users take the Power Points edge, because that’s an investment on their end and takes up an advance. But *starting* with 10 *and* allowing them to take the Power Points edge seems like it’s putting Mystic Power wielders over the top.

    ETA: I missed that they made activating Mystic Powers a limited free action, which is almost a buff, since now they don’t incur a MAP.

    ETA 2: Mystic Power users are also getting the benefit of the full 5 PP regained for a Benny (which I agree with), but definitely makes them even more versatile overall.
    Last edited by ellipses; 04-25-2021, 04:11 PM.

  • #2
    Activating Mystic Powers is now a limited free action, so only one allowed per turn.

    Comment


    • #3
      One thing is that they’re a limited free action, so they are restricted to one a turn. So, it will take them a few rounds to really start to snowball, and outside of huge fights, I rarely see combats last long enough for it to be an issue. Plus, as they mentioned in the latest Design Corner, five points was only enough to do one thing, if you wanted to save points for a heal.

      Comment


      • #4
        I actually missed that activating them was a limited free action, but that almost makes it worse, since now activating a power doesn’t even incur a multi action penalty.

        Comment


        • ellipses
          ellipses commented
          Editing a comment
          Lol, I’m sure it did feel better in playtests because it’s strong AF. Starting with 10 power points *and* automatic success (which also means you have no fear of backlash) *and* being able to take more power points is nutty.

        • Donald Schepis
          Donald Schepis commented
          Editing a comment
          Believe it or not, the entire design team is quite sane!

        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          Donald Schepis A crazy person WOULD say that.

      • #5
        Ok, lets go down the list of benefits:

        1) always successful, not needing to roll for activation
        2) limited free action cast, no MAP
        3) still get 10 PP and can buy more, just like a full caster

        IMHO, that is all too much to give to what are called "half-casters". They should have SOME magical powers/abilities, but not be as good, or better than, a full casting class! They have plenty of non-spellcasting options that they can rely upon, and the powers should only be a bit of icing on the top.

        I think I would give them 5 power points to start with. I'd let them buy +5 power points once with an edge (finally taking them up to 10 PP by Veteran rank) (note: once only for Mystic Powers, not once per rank like a full caster).

        I'd require them to actually roll for success, using a Spirit attribute check, and maybe give a +2 bonus to the roll if they spend 1 more power point.

        With those changes, I feel the limited free action casting would be fair, and they would still feel like actual half-casters.

        Comment


        • enmel
          enmel commented
          Editing a comment
          Give It a try, what they did seems fun

        • Samurai007
          Samurai007 commented
          Editing a comment
          It may be fun, but it's too much for a half-caster.

          Automatic success + no action needed + 10 PP to start and the ability to buy more (same as a Wizard , Cleric, or Druid) + start with 4 powers (instead of 3, like caster classes get)! Many of them also get better defenses than a typical Wizard, or don't have Vows they must follow like a Cleric or Druid. Add all of that up, and it puts the Full casting classes to shame.

        • Donald Schepis
          Donald Schepis commented
          Editing a comment
          Samurai007 That's not our experience in playtesting. Don't forget, in practice, you're not comparing a Novice-rank caster with just the AB to someone with Mystic Powers; you're comparing a Seasoned+ rank caster to someone with Mystic Powers.

          So far, the extra Power Points make it so that the characters use the ability every round without as much stress over the Power Points used. Since that's also true for the regular casters with the other changes we made, the net effect is positive across all play. And while you don't incur a MAP for the limited free action, it also means you can't Super Sayan in the first round and steamroll the rest of combat.

          And as someone who played the full caster in our most recent playtest, at no point did I feel overshadowed by the Mystic Powers folks.

      • #6
        I thought about starting a new thread, but this is related to Mystic Powers. All the other classes that get Mystic Powers get 4 of them, so is there a reason that the Shadow Dancer 111 edge provides 5 powers +10 pp, or is that a mistake? If you get rid of 1, I'd suggest either one of the Bolt or Blast attack options, or maybe Summon Alley.
        Last edited by Samurai007; 04-26-2021, 05:44 AM.

        Comment


        • Donald Schepis
          Donald Schepis commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't recall exactly, but it's probably got the extra power because it's a higher rank Edge gated behind two others.

      • #7
        Originally posted by Samurai007 View Post
        I thought about starting a new thread, but this is related to Mystic Powers. All the other classes that get Mystic Powers get 4 of them, so is there a reason that the Shadow Dancer 111 edge provides 5 powers +10 pp, or is that a mistake? If you get rid of 1, I'd suggest either one of the Bolt or Blast attack options, or maybe Summon Alley.
        But they need Summon Alley to have a nice, dark place to hide in

        Comment


        • #8
          Let's compare Mystic Powers to what a seasoned caster can do.

          Mystic Power users get automatic successes on their (admittedly) limited power list. This means they don't have a skill tax, since they don't have to invest in Spellcasting/Faith/etc. and they also don't have to worry about critical failures. They also activate their powers as a limited free action, so they don't incur any MAP and can still take up to 3 actions in their turn, if they so desire.

          Compare this to Favored Powers, a Seasoned edge for our Sorcerers and Wizards and a Veteran(!) edge for Clerics. All Favored casting allows the caster to do is ignore 2 points of penalties when casting that spell. It's still an action towards their 3 action max, it still incurs MAP, and it still requires a roll. Maybe Favored Powers should make casting the Power a limited free action? Or Favored Powers don't incur a MAP a la Two Weapon Fighting?

          Now, I actually like the automatic success mechanic of Mystic Powers, for the powers that are widely available to our Mystic Power users, since they're (mostly) self buffs or status effects and don't involve any opposed rolls (on that note, I would strongly urge the devs to take Bolt off the Shadowdancer III spell list. The ability to automatically hit any target, no matter what types of defenses the target may have available [Cover, Dodge, Combat Acrobat, Deflection, etc.], is so, so strong. Just automatically hitting for 4d6 [+2 damage mod, +1 cast with raise] damage is a big yikes).

          I've already said that I'm in favor of giving Mystic Power users access to the Power Points edge, since that represents an investment for the player to make in their character. But as things stand, it just feels like Mystic Power users had their power tuned up to 11 in 1.2 for an ability that mostly felt fine as is, at least to me. Even turning power activation into "once per turn as an action" a la basic Frenzy instead of "limited free action" would bring them back somewhat in line, in my opinion.

          I don't pretend to be a game designer, but Mystic Powers felt "fine" to me in 1.0 and 1.1 (I've been quite vocal as a member of the "Monks are fine, actually" camp), so seeing them get what looks like a massive power spike in 1.2 is jarring, to say the least.

          Comment


          • Donald Schepis
            Donald Schepis commented
            Editing a comment
            On the bolt issue for Shadowdancer, we talked about that and had a solution but I don't remember what our resolution for that was. Maybe that was back when it wasn't a Mystic Power before we changed that?

            It sounds like you want to activate a Mystic Power to take an Action but still be limited to one action a turn?

          • ellipses
            ellipses commented
            Editing a comment
            Donald Schepis My 1.0 and 1.1 understanding of using Mystic Powers was using them is an action (this of course opened them up to going super Sayan and activating up to 3 powers in one turn, which I remember posting about at one point).

            Making them a limited free action seems really strong to me, at least compared to Favored Powers. So, my suggestion would be to either make Mystic Power activation a once-per-turn action, which would be my preference, *or* to change Favored Powers to make activating a Favored Power a limited free action, bringing it to roughly the same level as a Mystic Power. And I understand that negating penalties for Favored Powers can have more uses than only negating multi action penalties, but it still seems off to me in a comparison between the two.

            And to circle back to Shadowdancers, Bolt, and Burst, for that matter, I really hesitate to give any character an "automatically succeed and do damage" ability. I can't think of any other ability in the game, or any other SWADE product I'm familiar with, that allows that.
            Last edited by ellipses; 04-26-2021, 07:46 PM. Reason: forgot to tag

        • #9
          I would have been ok with 5 points, but I have to admit 10 looks like a better call to me. Five points would be enough for at most two powers. Which means, in an area with closely spaced encounters, they’ve blown their shot in one fight. There’s nothing worse (I think) than giving a player a cool ability and having it be on cool down forever.

          I have enough faith in the team right now that if they say it hasn’t been overpowered in testing, I’m willing to accept that.

          Comment


          • Samurai007
            Samurai007 commented
            Editing a comment
            Reef, I don't know how much Pathfinder you've played, but typically, if you are a half-caster, it's common that you would only use 0-2 spells/powers per encounter (lets say 5 rounds), depending upon how tough it is. Compare that to a full caster that use at least 1 spell each round of a combat (plus maybe 1 to buff before the combat begins, if you are ambushing some foes.)

            Full casters need those10+ power points, and will still be running short at beginning levels if they are not careful. Monks, Paladins, and Rangers, on the other hand, will often simply attack with melee or ranged weapons, and maybe use a power once or twice a combat at most as a self-buff. They don't need a "spell every round" just to contribute.

            Also, if a caster really wants to use their powers more often, they could also spend a Benny to recover 5 power points. Full casters, IMO, will do so fairly often, until they increase their total PP, but a half-caster can do it too if they want.
            Last edited by Samurai007; 04-26-2021, 08:16 PM.

        • #10
          I'm wary of Mystic Powers as per 1.2 as well.

          I'll be running a one-shot soon, and I intend to reduce PP to 7 (unelegant, I know) - and i'd probably make "More Power Points" Edge work as if they're "legendary", granting them only 2 points per Edge.

          Still, "free casting with no chance of Backlash and no need of a Skill tax" seems a whopping advantage to what should be "half-casters", in my opinion.

          Even though their list is extremely limited, compared to a "full caster" using one of those powers, those "half-casters" can use those powers with overall more efficiency. At the very least, that is "thematically strange" :P

          Comment


          • #11
            Originally posted by Vinicius_Zoio View Post
            I'm wary of Mystic Powers as per 1.2 as well.

            I'll be running a one-shot soon, and I intend to reduce PP to 7 (unelegant, I know) - and i'd probably make "More Power Points" Edge work as if they're "legendary", granting them only 2 points per Edge.

            Still, "free casting with no chance of Backlash and no need of a Skill tax" seems a whopping advantage to what should be "half-casters", in my opinion.

            Even though their list is extremely limited, compared to a "full caster" using one of those powers, those "half-casters" can use those powers with overall more efficiency. At the very least, that is "thematically strange" :P
            Out of curiosity, if it’s a one shot, why not test it as written? There’s no long term risk if it does turn out to be overpowered, and at least you’d have concrete evidence. Obviously, your game, do as you will. But it seems like a good chance to put it to the test with a real world group.

            Comment


            • #12
              Originally posted by Reef View Post

              Out of curiosity, if it’s a one shot, why not test it as written? There’s no long term risk if it does turn out to be overpowered, and at least you’d have concrete evidence. Obviously, your game, do as you will. But it seems like a good chance to put it to the test with a real world group.
              Mostly, because I'm already seeing the unintended side effects of that ruling. All my players thought the mechanic overpowered, and I don't want a group made entirely of "mystics" or someone feeling their enjoyment of the game was lessened because they "didn't pick the right option".

              Whether they're right or not, nerfing it out right out the bat makes the statement that their opinion has been heard and is being taken into consideration (always something good!). If, during play, they feel the nerf has been too much, that also helps us understand the rules as written.

              So, in essence, I prefer to test a "nerfed" version and decrease the probability of disruption for that one-shot/short adventure!

              Comment


              • #13
                Full casters need those10+ power points, and will still be running short at beginning levels if they are not careful. Monks, Paladins, and Rangers, on the other hand, will often simply attack with melee or ranged weapons, and maybe use a power once or twice a combat at most as a self-buff. They don't need a "spell every round" just to contribute.
                I think this is where you're getting this incorrect. Mystic Powers are not, nor are they meant to be, a Novice level thing. The Mystic Powers to Novice level ABs comparison is neither accurate nor useful.

                The only issue I have with MPs is that they do not have to roll and thus have no risk. I realize that most of them will not have an arcane trait to roll but they could simply roll Spirit or Smarts to activate (whichever makes more sense for the class). They wouldn't be able to chose a guaranteed raise and there would be the same failure/backlash risk that ABs have. The Limited Free Action actually makes perfect sense, from a narrative stance. I could even see an argument for only being able to have a single MP active at a time to prevent the "snowball" effect and make the MP usage a bit more strategic.

                Comment


                • #14
                  Not a play test but we play currently, close to the end, an evernight campaign. The group is a paladin like character (all paladin spell but relief) , a priest and à mage.

                  If i imagine the change in the game, mystic power would have been more fun to play for the paladin character. The limited free action would have allowed her to cast more spell since many time she have had to focus on fighting and didn’t want suffer map. Healing has been the spell the most often used with fighting.
                  Power point were often depleted. Spell limited to self like protection would have been a trouble in some case. One spell by round not so much. But overall, i feel that it would have been more fun and closer to the character concept. P-e harps one pp for a raise is to low but it doesn’t seems overpowered (for paladin at least, it can be different with other class, particulary with offensive spells).

                  It will not overshine the priest or the mage. Actualy the priest with the blast power overshine the group and inspire bard song. The two players will never take mystic power: they want be able to cast multiple spell in a round. Also they have more différent power and more group utility. Spellcasting is high fast since it’s their more useful skill. The mage gets dispel and deflection . A couple of time the spell was not cast because of the map.



                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X