PL Unlimited PP Limited game

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PL Unlimited PP Limited game

Postby Aerlock » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:48 pm

How viable would you say a game idea this is?

As a GM you give your players a certain number (fairly low, 90-ish) of PP and tell them to make a character that's not hyper focused and to ignore PL. Then you design your game around the characters?

What pitfalls would this introduce? Are there any supporting rules you would suggest?

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Re: PL Unlimited PP Limited game

Postby digitalangel » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:57 am

Really depends on the group you have. I've seen groups that would work because you have players that enjoy a variety of roles and aren't just min/max combat mooks, and I've played with groups that every single character would end up as the most min/maxed combat only character you can think of.

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Re: PL Unlimited PP Limited game

Postby Ysariel » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:15 am

What pitfalls would this introduce?

Will this cause me to spend too much time ironing out the kinks left by the removal of PL and not enough on telling a great story?

Will I spend too much time tailoring challenges to the player characters and not enough time making sure the challenges are interesting and meaningful in the first place.

'Not hyper focused' is vague and subjective (at least, vaguer and more subjective than normal). Will this lead to confusion during the character creation process? Will it lead to resentment when player A is told her build is hyper focused but B's is not and she cannot see why?

Why is PL unlimited but pp not? PL is much more useful to balance characters than pp. PL breaking effects are easy to spot and say no to, while pp values swing widely depending on how flaws and arrays are used.

Will this encourage all glass cannons? Offense is cheaper than defense. For example I can buy the following traits:

Enhanced Skill (Close Combat: Array 20)

BASE Damage 20
-- AE Affliction 20 (Alternate Resistance: Dodge +0)
-- AE Affliction 20 (Alternate Resistance: Fort +0)
-- AE Affliction 20 (Alternate Resistance: Will+0)

A PL 20 offense for 33pp.

On the other hand to mount a PL 20 defense against this I would need Dodge 20, Parry 20, Toughness 20, Will 20 and Fort 20 for 100pp.

Values are exaggerated to show how a high offensive PL is more affordable. Will this lead to reliance on things like Insubstantial, Concealment, long range + hit and run etc. over PL-appropriate defenses?

Other general problems with low pp games:
  • One-trick ponies are advantaged over jack-of-all-trades master of none types.
  • Traits that are considered acceptable to array will be favored over those that are not.

Are there any supporting rules you would suggest?

I would make sure all the player characters are of equal PL in combat. This keeps them on a relatively even footing. They can be of unlimited PL, but they all have to be of the same PL.

I would then limit tradeoffs to +5/-5 from their PL. This prevents e.g. the villain capable of resisting player A's damage 50 attack being impossible for player B to hurt with their damage 10 attack.

Alternately to the above two, I would go in the opposite direction and encourage players to specialize (so that player A only has attacks that target Toughness, and player B only has attacks that target Will, etc.) This allows tailoring of enemies to each character without having to worry about inter-character balance.

I wouldn't allow Variable because it gets around many of the limitations of a low pp game.

I would define "not hyper focused" clearly and objectively and provide many, many sample builds I consider acceptable.
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Re: PL Unlimited PP Limited game

Postby thaumonuclear » Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:24 am

One problem is the players are left with no idea how good is good enough.

If I want make a character who I think of as really strong. If I have PL as a guide, I can say I'll give him a 14/6 trade-off and be confident that my character is one of the strongest guys around. Same for toughness and attack bonus.

If all I have is 150 points and total freedom, I might still buy myself the same 14 strength. But the guy next to me figures really strong should be 20 strength, and the next guy 45 strength.

I could figuring buying my attack/defense up to +10 and assume I'm a competent fighter only to run in to the villains with +20 to hit and 20 effect. If I'd known I needed +20 to be a decent combatant I would have spent those points accordingly, instead I'm completely ineffective.

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Re: PL Unlimited PP Limited game

Postby Monolith » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:29 pm

If you severely limit points you tend to get into big number crunching. Everyone is going to buy 1 big ability and then array the crap out of it in order to save points, or throw in obscure flaws to save points. It's also going to make things like area and perception really popular because there's no pl limits to hold them back.

I'd suggest going the other way. Keep a firm pl but give unlimited points. Then you'll get broader characters who are still usable.

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