Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

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Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:57 pm

So, I made a new character recently. One of his main abilities is his ability to drain peoples' life force to heal himself. At first, it didn't seem too bad, but after playtesting him a little, I'm worried it may be too powerful...

Dark Hand: Drain Constitution 6 (Power Feat: Extended Reach 2 [15ft], Progression [1 minute])
~~~Linked: Heal 6 (Extra: Action - Standard [+1], Flaw: Limited - Only Self [-1], Limited - Ranks used scales with Con drained [-1]) 15pts

First thing's first, it's a drain con power with a 15 foot range. Drain Constitution is always rather mean, from what I've seen, granted that it can directly kill someone, and also sucks out their toughness and fortitude saves. In fact, it's a snowball effect as you drain more, thus sapping their fort save, and therefor making them fail more often. Perhaps drain con should be more expensive because of this? I don't know.

The linked healing is an added bonus. It only heals himself, and it only uses as many ranks equal to how much Con was drained. I thought that was a fitting use for the Limited flaw. If I was wrong, please let me know. In effect, it means that if he only drains 1 con, he only gets to heal at rank 1, and so on.

Perhaps I'm just reading too much into it, but after seeing it in play, I'm worried I may be treading into dangerous waters. These waters are called many names... Cheese, broken, cheap... Maybe I'm wrong, who knows. Just wondering.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:53 pm

Honestly, not that much. Drain 6 will impose a DC 16 Fortitude save, and you'll only get all 6 points of drain if they roll less than an 9 total, which is unlikely given how high Fortitude saves tend to be. Additionally, your build isn't entirely street-legal. Linked items need to have the same range and the same action. Drain is Touch and Standard. Heal is Personal and Full. You'd have the build it as Reaction healing (or Trigger healing if have to spend the action to set it up). There is a Vampiric extra in Ultimate Power, but it's for Damage powers only.

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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby kenseido » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:56 pm

What you really want is Healing with Reaction action, not Linked.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:43 pm

I see... I wasn't aware of that. That changes things... So it should look like this?

Dark Hand: Drain Constitution 6 (Power Feat: Extended Reach 2 [15ft], Progression [1 minute])
~~~~~~~: Heal 6 (Extra: Action - Reaction - When Dark Hand successfully drains Con [+4], Flaw: Limited - Only Self [-1], Limited - Ranks used scales with Con drained [-1]) 30pts

That doubles the point cost... Hmm...

I suppose that makes sense, but at the same time, it's a little worrisome. It means, at least the way I'm interpreting it, that limiting a healing power so that it only works when you suck someone else's life out... Is /more/ expensive... Than just plain healing always with no limits.

Is it just me or is that strange...?
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:46 pm

KarolineDianne wrote:I suppose that makes sense, but at the same time, it's a little worrisome. It means, at least the way I'm interpreting it, that limiting a healing power so that it only works when you suck someone else's life out... Is /more/ expensive... Than just plain healing always with no limits.

Is it just me or is that strange...?

Well, except that without the reaction power, you're spending a Standard to do the Drain and then a Full action to do the healing. :) To paraphrase a common phrase, "It's only cheaper if you consider your time to be free".

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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:01 pm

Does it even really need to be a reaction? Why not a move or free action, with the limitation 'only if Dark Hand hits'?

I just wanted something akin to a vampiric lifedrain, but absorption isn't what I wanted and the vampiric extra is kinda useless to me here.

Is there really no way to attach them? They're supposed to be a single power, not two separate ones with one going off as a reaction of the other. He's not supposed to be able to drain without healing, and he's not supposed to heal without draining.

Is this really a totally illegal power, or is it just something the strict rules bar that a reasonable GM would allow to pass?
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby kenseido » Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:30 am

Well it is one power, with two effects. Remember, you are buying effects, not powers. The Reaction "attaches" them.

Alternately, you could do it as a Damage effect with Vampiric extra. Or some GMs do allow Vampiric to be applied to Drains.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:30 am

Making it a damage effect is completely redundant, he already does damage in melee with his normal attacks.

The Vampiric extra seems so useless to me in this situation, though. It only heals the same condition you inflict. I'm trying to mimic one of the lifedrain powers that you see in D&D, like how wights and wraiths and stuff get healed for every time they drain a level or Constitution.

If I'm understanding this correctly, it's also impossible to link a force field power and a damaging aura power, since one's personal and one's touch. It's totally logical that they be part of the same power: An energy shield that also hurts people who touch it. But since they have different ranges, they can't be linked.

Considering that Linking powers doesn't give a point refund of any sort, and you must still pay for both powers in full, I'm not seeing why doing this would require a +4 action extra that skyrockets the cost into space.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby kenseido » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:47 am

Because you are trying to take two actions at the same time. Reaction works best when no action is required on your part, so maybe it is overkill here. I know two attack powers can be linked and only require a Standard action. Maybe you just need to drop the Healing to Standard action, or up the Drain to Full Round action.

As for the Force Field/Energy Aura link, well I don't have an answer for that. It does seem like pretty standard comic faire to be excluded without upping the Range of the Force Field.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:01 am

Well, I had already dropped healing to a standard action to match the drain. I know both effects have to be the same action, as linking a full-round power to a move-action power wouldn't really work. I already paid to make them the same there.

Just seems odd that the ranges have to be the same too. Granted, firing a blast that hurts and stuns at the same time would need to have both at the same range, since the blast is doing both to the target. In this case, though, I'm 'sucking' life energy out of the enemy and into myself.

I had even gotten the idea of a character who isn't at full strength until they absorb power from someone else. Draining their abilities and boosting their own. I'm beginning to doubt if that's even possible now.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby kenseido » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:18 am

Well Linked wasn't really designed for two powers with different targets, it really is designed for two powers that affect the same target at the same time. You are trying to affect two seperate targets at the same time. Much trickier. As a GM, I don't think I would allow the Linked to work in this case; but you aren't in my game.

As for characters that need to drain effect to reach their optimal level, no that doesn't tend to work as well in the game as it does in comics.
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby FuzzyBoots » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:27 am

kenseido wrote:As for characters that need to drain effect to reach their optimal level, no that doesn't tend to work as well in the game as it does in comics.

Although, it is available via the Transfer power in UP, which is one of the scattered explicit cases where they introduce what's essentially Linked powers that have different ranges. Transfer is an alright power except that, as with any sort of a Boost, you're limited by the PL of the campaign.

I think that the matching of ranges was in part to maintain the balance of Linked. Linked lets you essentially take two actions at once at the cost of always having to do both actions at once. You can't choose to only apply the Drain or only apply the Damage when you use Disintegrate, for example. However, with the Drain/Healing, you've got two different targets, and one effect is entirely beneficial, so one has lost the built-in limitation of Linked. *shrug* Or at least that's my best guess. Steve Kenson could probably tell us more about why it's designed like it is.

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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby Doctor Devious » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:54 am

[Edit: the following text from my initial post is rubbish!]

Healing also has the proviso that the weilder and target do naught else but heal while it is being used (I don't have the book to hand for the specific text). And you'd be draining at the same time...

[Edit: no, what it says is that you must maintain contact with the subject for the full action-time (which for self would be automatic) and that for a subject that isn't yourself - they take a full-recovery action, so that bit doesn't apply): so all-in-all, my initial post was entirely without foundation!]

[Edit: this last bit is still OK though!]

M&M tends to make the drain-to-up-my-abilities approach almost a limitation, as such a character starts a given combat somewhat below their caps while everyone else typically starts maxed-out already.

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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby KarolineDianne » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:44 pm

Dark Hand: Transfer 6: Drain Con, Boost Life Siphon (Power Feats: Extended Reach 2, Slow Fade: 1 minute) 15pts

*Life Siphon: Heal (Extra: Action - Standard [+1], Flaws: Limited - Self Only [-1], Fades [-1]) 1pt per rank
*Only gains ranks through Dark Hand. Starts at rank 0.

Would this be appropriate, then? He drains con as before, which then gets stored as points for his healing power... Which he can then use later, as a standard action. Each use eats up a point, and the points fade away over time, making it a relatively short-lived power.

This seems reasonable to me. Sure he's not healing himself right as he drains, but it gets the job done.

If I'm reading the UP book right, this is legal... But just to be sure, did I do this right?
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Re: Lifedrain power: Does this seem OP to you?

Postby chump » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:01 am

I think your power was fine as a linked power, where the drain has a range. You can punch it into Herolab with no flags, so it's legal.
As to the other question, as a GM I'd allow it. Drains takes Power Points away, not the actual Con attribute like in D&D. Sure, you drain 3 Con from the opponent but the points come back each round, an enemy can retreat a few rounds and be in fighting shape again if they take a few hits from the power. Lots of ways to control the power in game so it doesn't imbalance everything...the GM always has the option of increasing enemy Fort saves in situations where the power would be devastating or overpowered. As for the healing? Big deal, you could just as easily have taken Regeneration.


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