Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

SWADE AoE spells and Selective

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

  • SWADE AoE spells and Selective

    Anyone else finding that the Selective power option is popular with casters? I have a fantasy game and the caster is fond of using a Burst spell Cone template and firing it through the front ranks of his allies, but being Selective so no damage to allies. The plan is to continue the safe immolation once the caster gets the Blast power.

    It's sort of a reverse Phoenix effect. A blast of fire and everyone else is down but the caster is left standing in the middle of a burned out area.

    It is an extra point cost per spell, but it really frees up the casting of damage spells, no more "get out of the line of fire" arguments.

  • #2
    Yeah, Selective is really good.
    Almost TOO good for the cost. I had considered making it a tiered modifier: 1pp to ignore one target in the area (such as self), or 2pp to ignore multiple targets (i.e., all allies).

    Comment


    • #3
      I like any of three options.

      1) Disallow it.

      2) Make it cost 2 Power Points

      3) Make it cost 1 per target ignored.

      I think Deskepticon is wrong because he said "almost"
      Last edited by Ndreare; 04-27-2022, 02:59 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
        Anyone else finding that the Selective power option is popular with casters?
        Yep.

        That said, I have found the cost to be just right. Cheap enough to use when needed, but it adds up to the point that over five rounds I have had a caster swap to bolt to avoid being completely tapped out.

        Personally, I've found the trick to have the enemies act like they know that flamethrowers and grenades a) have a magical equivalent and b) may be used against them. The same tactical spacing and grouping issues apply, despite the fact that flamethrowers and grenades don't exist in the setting.
        Which means that groups are spaced out so that no more than 3 to 5 foes get caught in a single template. (And foes are alert for chances to Evade - an option for certain trappings, that does lower the Cost because it is a hefty limitation.)
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
          ... (And foes are alert for chances to Evade - an option for certain trappings, that does lower the Cost because it is a hefty limitation.)
          I've ruled that "telegraphing" AE powers is a Limitation, so even if one were to increase the cost of Selectable to 2pp, allowing Evasion would drop it back to 1pp. I guess what I'm saying is, you and I seem to generally agree on the utility and value of the mod, just from slightly different angles.

          Comment


          • #6
            Initially, I thought about having the cost be per (non)selected target. However, I only did it for one session and realized that it is not a big deal, and over time it adds up. Sure, most casters will do it, but that does not mean that all will do it. Many ways the damage spells are cast are dependent on their trapping. For example, a Weird Science flamethrower will not be able to have Selective and gets a -1 Non-Selective limitation. You can have magical items also be non-selective.

            Savage Worlds is a toolbox and you are expected to make changes based on your setting. In one campaign I made up a bunch of power lists for different arcane paths. Many of the spells are non-selective or self only for no PP benefit as it fit the style. I gave those paths other built in benefits to counter that negative. Grenades, missiles, etc. from powers will almost never be selective. Most fireballs would not be selective. I could see you learning the non-selective version of a spell before learning it again with the option to be selective if it fits the setting.

            Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by SeeleyOne View Post
            For example, a Weird Science flamethrower will not be able to have Selective and gets a -1 Non-Selective limitation. You can have magical items also be non-selective.
            As ValhallaGH noted, a caster doesn't get a cost reduction for not being able to use a power modifier. Powers are already priced at "no mod" costs. The decision to not use the option doesn't diminish the value of the base power. It would be like giving a mage character Hindrance Points for not taking Combat Edges.

            Second, unless the player has actively decided that a particular power mod doesn't fit the trapping (or some Setting Rule is in place), then every power, regardless of Background, can use power mods. There are several ways a Weird Science flamethrower can use Selectable: trick nozzles, fans, magnetic fields, de-ionization of specified areas, an "intelligent" flame... some are campy and quirky, others more grounded in real-world science... whatever best fits the setting, and in some settings, WS is still magic, so it may need little to no rationalization.

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              Weird Science is always magical. Even when people in the setting think it isn't.
              If it was not magical then it wouldn't be an Arcane Background.

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              ValhallaGH In 99% of the cases, yes. But I always like to leave a little room for creativity. Weird Science could just be an easy mechanical way to showcase some crazy tech. "Any sufficiently advanced technology" and all that.

          • #8
            I was just trying to give some ideas, in game, of when to ban the Selective modifier, but okay. And since Selective is so popular, not being able to use it is, in my opinion, well worth the -1 limitation. As the topic mentions, it is an obvious no-brainer to use. But if you can't, it limits your options. Or like last session, I said "sorry, I hope I roll bad on the damage on you..."
            Last edited by SeeleyOne; 04-13-2022, 02:38 AM.

            Comment


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              And don't set your allies on fire. That is always embarrassing, especially if the ongoing fire damage Incapacitates the ally.

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              Offering table solutions is fine. The issue was your post seemed to be presenting them as official rules. I know that wasn't your intention, but that's how it read.

            • SeeleyOne
              SeeleyOne commented
              Editing a comment
              Ah, I did not mean it to sound like an official rule. I should have been *very* clear. I do not want to confuse people of the RAW. There have been a couple sessions where I have hit allies in an area or an ally has hit me in an area. The last session, fortunately I rolled bad. When I did it before some of the damage aced and I gave them one of my bennies to soak. We had Common Bond in that campaign. A player gave me one of his in a similar situation. Oops. They were calculated risks and very good for the tactical situation. My character, in both cases, was Ruthless.

          • #9
            Selective is the only Power Modifier powerful enough that I've considered making access to it an Edge. It's quite powerful.

            Comment


            • SteelDraco
              SteelDraco commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah I don't think it's worth a Benny. Most of the time you're preventing damage to 2-3 PCs in my experience. Even if you make it 1pp per person it's rarely worth a Benny.

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              A Benny and an Edge are roughly equal value. If you're willing to Edge-gate the modifier, why aren't you willing to Benny-gate it instead?

            • SteelDraco
              SteelDraco commented
              Editing a comment
              Mostly a conceptual thing. I'd rather it was a product of training to be able to do it. That's an Edge, not a Benny ability.

          • #10
            You could do a SWADE 5.8 and tier the Power Modifiers. Take an Edge and you get cheaper modifiers, or access to a special list of the more powerful/useful modifiers. Selective may be worth an Edge if it normally cost 1 PP per person, and only 1 if you take the Edge. Something like that perhaps?

            Comment


            • #11
              Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
              You could do a SWADE 5.8 and tier the Power Modifiers. Take an Edge and you get cheaper modifiers, or access to a special list of the more powerful/useful modifiers. Selective may be worth an Edge if it normally cost 1 PP per person, and only 1 if you take the Edge. Something like that perhaps?
              ... If you think it is that overwhelmingly powerful then just disallow it.
              It's not a Mega Power that needs to be Edge gated, it's the 2nd level class feature of an Evocation Wizard. It's one of the options for a 3rd level Sorcerer's metamagic feature.
              If you think Selective is too disruptive for your style and tone of game then master your game and tell your players that Selective is not allowed.
              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.

              Comment


              • #12
                It is not THAT powerful. At least, not in my experience. Maybe it would be in Rifts. The most damage we have rolled is 4d6. The real question is how much damage you are likely to roll vs the Toughness of allies. Most of the time when we have not used selective, the damage roll was thankfully too low to need a Soak roll. Basically you are paying the point to say "hey, don't worry about soaking this and let us save some time by me not rolling damage on you". Most of the time, you are really paying the point for the tactical benefit, due to positioning of the caster and targets on the map. It is a convenience tax. +1 per person seems like a good idea until you do it for a session or two. It is too much.

                Maybe it is either +1 or half the number of allies to bypass (drop fractions)? That could be a good rule. I will consider using that one as it does not potentially double the cost.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post

                  ... If you think it is that overwhelmingly powerful then just disallow it..... master your game and tell your players that XYC is not allowed.
                  Rule 1 of any RPG.
                  Like what you have read in someone's post? Hit that like button and let everyone know.

                  I run Deadlands Reloaded. One of my players writes an incharacter blog here --> http://ballgownsandbattleskirts.blog...deadlands.html

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    I have the same problem, Blast + selective seems like a no-brainer tactic (especially in confined spaces). It makes the fights duller, as the caster and his allies can just use it to quickly dispose of a lot of opponents without a deeper thought :/

                    I was thinking of the same idea for a solution as mentioned here, to change it to require 1PP per excluded target, but I've found this answer:
                    https://www.pegforum.com/forum/savag...fier-questions
                    It seems that Selective is even more powerful RAW, as it doesn't require the caster to list the excluded targets up front, she can decide who is affected and who is not on a whim This makes no difference for a Blast, but can be interesting for powers with longer lasting effects. I can imagine interesting scenarios, like the caster allowing the foe to cross a Barrier and interrupt his action at the exact moment he crosses it, making him stuck inside

                    In the end I think I'm going to change Selective to:
                    1. require specifying excluded targets up-front
                    2.cost 1PP per such a target.
                    That seems to be a good compromise.

                    Comment


                    • ValhallaGH
                      ValhallaGH commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Your post reads like you don't intend to change any of your tactics, encounter design, or other elements that make blast "extremely powerful".
                      Which reads like you're ignoring half of the problem and thus half of the solutions.

                    • zgreg
                      zgreg commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I didn't write that blast is "extremely powerful", only that the (cheap) Selective + Blast combo makes it very easy to use and tends to make fights duller. Some interesting tactical decisions, need to plan and coordinate become simply unnecessary. Partially you are right - the changes I propose make it easier to handle "my part of the problem"

                      A a side note, having every encounter designed with this specific combo in mind, having every group of opponents ready for such a tactic seems artificial (and is troublesome in the Evernight campaign, which I run).
                  Working...
                  X