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    So the generic negative modifiers in the SPC2 tend to have some... interesting interactions. I wanted to post a thread confirming my understanding of these interactions (and to get corrections on any interactions I didn't understand properly).

    Device (–1) and Contingent
    • Device (–1) modifier signifies that the power must be put on to be activated (the time this takes varies on Trappings, but at base could be assumed as an action to slap on the Device), and taken off to be deactivated.
    • The Contingent modifier can only be active if the power it is contingent on is also activated. This could be a power like growth (which inherently isn't always active), or a modifier like Requires Activation on powers like super attributes.
    • According to this thread, the Device modifier does make passive powers "non-permanent" (like armor); this means that a power could be Contingent on a Device power, signifying that the power is based on the same device. For example, Iron Guy can't fly without putting on his full suit, so the flight power could be contingent on the armor Device.
    • The Contingent and Device modifiers should not be used together unless the Contingent power is also a separate Device, as noted in this thread Example: a character has flight boots (flight Device), but these boots require the power source present in his power armor (contingent on armor)—if either the armor or the boots are gone, then flight does not function, but that means that the boots are able to be stolen separately from the primary armor, and it multiple actions/rounds to put on both devices.
    So these all seem pretty straightforward on their own: don't double up on modifiers unless there's a legitimate detriment to it (otherwise use whichever modifier is most appropriate). The tricky side of this comes in with the Device (–2) modifier:

    Device (–2) and Contingent
    • The Device (–2) modifier signifies that the power must be handheld (or otherwise in a very easily disarmed position) to be active or activated. Typically, they also take a hand to use, limiting the user to two Device (–2) powers at a time (with one typically suffering from an off-hand penalty for active powers), barring the extra limbs power. "Activating" the power also takes an action without the Quick Draw Edge.
    Extrapolating from the interactions between Contingent and Device (–1), I'm going to put forth some possible Device (–2) and Contingent modifier combinations.
    1. A power contingent (–1) on a Device (–2) is automatically activated if the Device is equipped (a –2 contingency requires the Device to be activated, like growth).
    2. Multiple Device (–2) powers are considered separate handheld devices, limiting how many can be active at a time.
    3. A Device (–2) that is contingent on a separate device being active (e.g. if a ranged attack super gun were powered by an energy control Device) may take both modifiers.
    So my final question: let's suppose a character has a single shield (Device –2) that grants both deflection and parry. Would the Device (–2) modifier be applied to both powers, even though the shield is a singular device? Or would that be considered double-dipping on modifiers, so a single Device modifier should be applied to one power, and the –1 Contingent be applied to the other (since they're part of the same Device)? The latter costs one additional point per power in the device, but the former negates point 2 from above.

    Or, as a third alternative, is the penalty of being able to be disarmed severe enough that you should simply take the modifier that discounts the most points (Device –2 on both powers, or Device –2 and Contingent –2 if appropriate)?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
    So the generic negative modifiers in the SPC2 tend to have some... interesting interactions. I wanted to post a thread confirming my understanding of these interactions (and to get corrections on any interactions I didn't understand properly).

    Device (–1) and Contingent
    • Device (–1) modifier signifies that the power must be put on to be activated (the time this takes varies on Trappings, but at base could be assumed as an action to slap on the Device), and taken off to be deactivated.
    • It takes one action to Ready an item (get it in hand) where Device -1 is for items which would be hard for a foe to remove. An action to put on infers an action to remove which is comparatively easy (in fact, little different from using Disarm for a Device -2 which is an action).

      In short, Device -1 is for items which would need to be removed out of combat, so putting them on should require a similar amount of time. Even a "mystic amulet" should have some kind of ritual to putting it on, taking a bit of time.

      Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
    • The Contingent modifier can only be active if the power it is contingent on is also activated. This could be a power like growth (which inherently isn't always active), or a modifier like Requires Activation on powers like super attributes.
    • According to this thread, the Device modifier does make passive powers "non-permanent" (like armor); this means that a power could be Contingent on a Device power, signifying that the power is based on the same device. For example, Iron Guy can't fly without putting on his full suit, so the flight power could be contingent on the armor Device.
    To be clear, according to that thread, Device makes powers "non-permanent in a way," so it says a GM could allow Contingent or Limitation to be used in the situation. Both of these threads veer into "GM's call" territory. In fact, the answer to the thread below specifically begins with <italics added>...

    "Contingent requires linking to a power which is activated normally or has Requires Activation, but the example is based on allowing Limitation to take that place, so "officially" it's already into GM territory since it's based on a GM ruling."

    Just want to be clear, we're sticking to "official" rules in this topic as closely as possible to cut down on some of the bloat we saw in the previous one. "What if" scenarios won't fall under that even if referencing a post from the archives. Answers below reflect that.

    Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
  • The Contingent and Device modifiers should not be used together unless the Contingent power is also a separate Device, as noted in this thread Example: a character has flight boots (flight Device), but these boots require the power source present in his power armor (contingent on armor)—if either the armor or the boots are gone, then flight does not function, but that means that the boots are able to be stolen separately from the primary armor, and it multiple actions/rounds to put on both devices.
Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
So these all seem pretty straightforward on their own: don't double up on modifiers unless there's a legitimate detriment to it (otherwise use whichever modifier is most appropriate). The tricky side of this comes in with the Device (–2) modifier:

Device (–2) and Contingent[LIST][*]The Device (–2) modifier signifies that the power must be handheld (or otherwise in a very easily disarmed position) to be active or activated. Typically, they also take a hand to use, limiting the user to two Device (–2) powers at a time (with one typically suffering from an off-hand penalty for active powers), barring the extra limbs power. "Activating" the power also takes an action without the Quick Draw Edge.
"Activating" a power is a different action from Readying an item which is what Quick Draw affects. The item must be readied, but activating it depends on the specific power. Shooting a gun takes an action, pressing a button to turn on a force field (Requires Activation on Armor or Toughness) is a free action.

Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
[*]A power contingent (–1) on a Device (–2) is automatically activated if the Device is equipped (a –2 contingency requires the Device to be activated, like growth).
As above, activation is a separate action from readying/equipping. A character might do both in the same turn, but they still aren't the same action.

Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
[*]Multiple Device (–2) powers are considered separate handheld devices, limiting how many can be active at a time.
The criteria for Device -2 is specifically, "If the item is hand-held," so yes, the character must have a hand per device.

Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
[*]A Device (–2) that is contingent on a separate device being active (e.g. if a ranged attack super gun were powered by an energy control Device) may take both modifiers.
Possibly, as long as the other device required some kind of activation, and the GM felt the drawback valid and worth the Modifier.

Originally posted by DoctorBoson View Post
So my final question: let's suppose a character has a single shield (Device –2) that grants both deflection and parry. Would the Device (–2) modifier be applied to both powers, even though the shield is a singular device? Or would that be considered double-dipping on modifiers, so a single Device modifier should be applied to one power, and the –1 Contingent be applied to the other (since they're part of the same Device)? The latter costs one additional point per power in the device, but the former negates point 2 from above.

Or, as a third alternative, is the penalty of being able to be disarmed severe enough that you should simply take the modifier that discounts the most points (Device –2 on both powers, or Device –2 and Contingent –2 if appropriate)?
Officially, if the character wants to use Contingent on a power with Device, the it needs to be activated in some way or have Requires Activation. Meaning the power stops working "if the character is Incapacitated, knocked unconscious, or otherwise cannot consciously maintain it."

So if a character has a shield they have to be conscious to use (seems obvious), then it would have Device and Requires Activation (otherwise, it's a "blur box" the character has that automatically makes it harder to hit them). If using the shield means the character is harder to hit in melee (Parry) and at range (Deflection), then one would be Contingent (-1) on the activation of the other. But the second power would not only be dependent on activation (or negation) of the first, but also the fact it is a Device, so really that modifier would apply to it as well.

Consider it like this. Each could be a separate power and item with Device –2 and Requires Activation –1, but replacing Requires Activation with Contingent means they are readied with the same action, activate with the same action, but are a single item for being removed too.

So effectively both would have a total –3 Modifier. Device –2 and Requires Activation –1 for one and Device –2 and Contingent –1 for the other.

Hope that helps.
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