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SWADE entangling rules - two questions

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  • SWADE entangling rules - two questions

    I'd like a bit of clarification and then advice on the entangling/binding rules.

    1. An entangled or bound target is also Distracted (-2 to all rolls). Does this apply to the attempt(s) to break free? Are they actually rolling against Strength - 4 or Athletics - 2?

    2. I need to make a variant of the Entangle power that uses indestructible energy, so that Strength/Athletics is the only way to get out, not inflicting damage. What is a fair way to balance this? Should I improve the roll for them to break free? (I'd strongly prefer a solution that keeps the power point cost the same, but I can change it if that's the only fair way.)

  • #2
    1. Yep. Escaping from entangle is pretty hard, and "virtually impossible" with Strong.

    2. Indestructible energy? Just to be clear, a Strong entangle has Hardness 7, meaning it follows the Breaking Things rules (page 98), and is pretty tough against most attacks (no called shots, no Acing damage, no hitting with a Raise, need an appropriate damage type, etc.). That's a pretty good "indestructible energy" without having to house rule anything.
    If that's not good enough for some reason then try the Invulnerability monster ability. Give it an appropriate Weakness, and maybe make it Maintained so it can be Disrupted by attacking the caster.
    Possibly something else, but you'd need to explain who's using this version (PC, villain, item, etc.) and why it's indestructible.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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    • #3
      I honestly can't think of an "appropriate damage type" that would make sense. The trapping here is that the target is grabbed by the (PC) psi's telekinetic force and then held tightly. So there's really nothing to attack. If I'm overlooking a reasonable option, let me know -- I'm in no way dead-set against giving this power Toughness!

      Also, isn't Entangle already subject to Disruption? It would definitely count as an "active power" IMO; nothing about the Disruption rules say that "Instant" powers are immune to its effects.

      (EDIT: Before anyone suggests just using the Telekinesis power, that doesn't fit the concept of this ability, which is explicitly "fire and forget," requiring no active effort from the psi afterward.)
      Last edited by pkitty; 02-13-2019, 05:32 PM.

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      • SteelDraco
        SteelDraco commented
        Editing a comment
        Disruption only counts if the power has a duration; that's the difference with Instant powers. Once they've been used they're done. If that's your trapping, Telekinesis itself might make more sense, since that's what that Power is designed to do from the start. Entangling someone with TK would usually involve wrapping them up in something.

    • #4
      Originally posted by pkitty View Post
      I honestly can't think of an "appropriate damage type" that would make sense. The trapping here is that the target is grabbed by the (PC) psi's telekinetic force and then held tightly.
      So, anything that's also psychic force can "touch" it. That would include any "telekinetic" variant of bolt, burst, blast, or smite.
      Also, anything that interacts with the same wavelengths of energy as "telekinetic force" uses to interact with the world. Which might include numerous energy weapons in the setting.
      Telekinetic Force isn't nothing - it interacts with physical stuff, so it can be interacted with by other physical stuff. If it can hold my arm then my arm can struggle against it and push it back. Maybe cutting and stabbing won't work, because there's no one precise spot to stab or a central trunk to cut, but bashing might work since the distributed Force of the blow would disrupt the diffused Force that's holding the victim; just a thought.

      As a counter example: if the trapping was "mental paralysis" then there wouldn't be any thing for physical attacks to break, but Tests could probably put the victim in a different enough mindset to get free.

      Originally posted by pkitty View Post
      Also, isn't Entangle already subject to Disruption? It would definitely count as an "active power" IMO; nothing about the Disruption rules say that "Instant" powers are immune to its effects.
      It's Instant, so it isn't affected by beating the caster - it did the magical thing and now the victim has to deal with the consequences, just like the Wounds caused by bolt don't go away because the caster gets beaten up.
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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      • #5
        I understand what you're both saying about Disruption and Instant durations, but can you please let me know where it says that in the rules, or via an official designer's reply or FAQ? The rule for Disruption refers to "active" powers, which to me means any power that has an active ongoing effect. IMO, if your foe is currently wrapped in blue energy chains (or whatever), that's an active effect. (As opposed to Bolt, etc., which have done their damage and are no longer doing anything actively.) Right now I see two ways to interpret this, both equally sane and logical.

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        • #6
          I'm not finding a good clarification the term Instant from Clint or Shane, so if that's something you want, you'll probably need to wait until the Rules Questions forum opens up again - looks like that's still locked down.

          They changed a number of debuff powers in the new edition that were duration-based to Instant, and added a roll to remove the effects every round. The intention is clear to me, but from the trappings you're describing I can see why you'd want clarification. My understanding is that the point of the new version of Entangle is that it's not an ongoing magical effect that's continuing to try to actively restrain the target - it's a single spurt of webs, glue, bolas, or something like that, and once it's been fired, it's done being magical, and is just a thing the target has to escape. The binding is there until it's dealt with, either by being escaped or broken; you can't mess it up by attacking the spellcaster. That's what Instant means in this context. You said in your edit to an earlier post that your intention is that it's a fire-and-forget power, and that's how Entangle works when it has an Instant duration. But if your trappings are a temporary magical construct of chains or something, I can see why you'd want those to have a duration.

          You could also change Entangle to be duration-based again, though it would mostly be a negative. Not being able to physically break the restraints might balance out opening up the possibility of disruption, so instead of one of the entangle target's allies walking up to them and cutting them free, they just walk up to the caster and smack him around until the chains go away.
          Last edited by SteelDraco; 02-14-2019, 12:54 AM.

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          • #7
            That might be the fairest tradeoff -- remove the ability to remove it by inflicting damage (advantage) but give it a duration of 5 (disadvantage). Still "fire and forget," but now an inarguably ongoing effect (vulnerable to Disruption) with a built-in duration in case the person can't break free. Frankly, I don't think the latter is really an issue in a combat situation; all it really does is prevent the psi from wrapping someone up for hours as they explore the area.

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