power reserve vs boost or variable power

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power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby poodle » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:04 am

as per the title. I don't really understand how power reserve works. It just seems like a generic version of magic except you get two dynamic powers out of it as a freebee. It seems a lot cheaper than variable (but less flexible) and equal to boost but lasts longer.
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Re: power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby kenseido » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:58 am

Power Reserve is an Dynamic Array, plain and simple.
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Re: power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby FuzzyBoots » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:41 am

kenseido wrote:Power Reserve is an Dynamic Array, plain and simple.

Well, slightly less simple. Built into it is that it's slightly cheaper for the first two powers at the cost of that you must have some ranks already present in the powers being "boosted". Example:

Dynamic Speedy Array 5 [10 pp + 5 pp for 3 dynamic slots]
* DBP: Speed 10
* DAP: Quickness 10
* DAP: Leaping 10

This array lets you get up to Speed 10, up to Quickness 10, up to Leaping 10, or some mix in between.

With the Power Reserve:
Speed 2 [2 pp]
Quickness 2 [2 pp]
Leaping 2 [2 pp]

Speed Power Reserve 4 [8 pp + 1 pp for additional power].
-- Applies to Speed, Quickness, and Leaping.

Paying the same amount, it looks like the power reserve clearly comes out on top, being able to reach the same upper values for the powers while also having 2 ranks of each. However, since the Power Reserve is Sustained, this means greater difficulties if any of the powers are something that you'd want to maintain if you get Stunned. Also, if the Power Reserve involves a different descriptor, that may mean additional avenues for powers to get nullified or countered (this is, of course, discussed in the sidebar in Ultimate Power).

*shrug* Power Reserve is one of those things where the GM has to keep his eyes out for cases where the player builds it to get "free" benefits.

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Re: power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby XLS » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:41 am

But at two powers, Power Reserve isn't so great. Consider:

Battle Suit Array 10 (All Dynamic)
Blast 10 (Base)
Flight 10

This a basic arrangement and costs 23 pp (20 for the base, 1 for the AP, and 2 to make them dynamic). Here, you can fly at 10, or blast at 10, or do some combination thereof.

With Power Reserve, you might have:

Blast 5
Flight 5
Power Reserve 5 (Blast and Flight)

This costs more, actually-- 10 for Blast, 10 for Flight, and then 10 for the reserve. As with the Dynamic array above, you can use Blast and Flight, but at no less than 5 ranks for either. You can use the 5 ranks put in your reserve to dedicate to any combination of one or the other-- sort of like your Dynamic Array.

I guess as Fuzzy has shown, when you got to three powers, you can start to get some benefit. However, not always:

Battle Suit Array 10 (All Dynamic)
Blast 10 (Base)
Flight 10
Super-Strength 10

This costs 25 (20+2 Aps+3 Dynamic).

In our Reserve arrangement, we have:

Blast 5
Flight 5
Super Strength 5
Power Reserve 5 (Blast, Flight and Super-Strength)

This costs 41.

I guess the lesson here is that Power Reserve is really only useful in certain cases-- on a cost basis, one advantage would be when there is an advantage to having low ranks in a power. Having 2 ranks of Blast is largely worthless. (Hell, depending on PL, having 5 ranks is pretty worthless.) But having 2 ranks of something like Leaping or Super-Strength can be of value. Putting those together in a Power Reserve arrangement can be cost effective. (Again, Fuzzy's example proves that.)

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Re: power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:56 am

It's worth noting that the Flight and Blast example, at the maximum allocation, they have 15 ranks of powers running (5 of Flight and 5 of Blast), which is more than the Dynamic array allows (To get equivalent power, you'd have to spend 33 pp). So it still costs less, just with less flexibility.

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Re: power reserve vs boost or variable power

Postby XLS » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:04 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:It's worth noting that the Flight and Blast example, at the maximum allocation, they have 15 ranks of powers running (5 of Flight and 5 of Blast), which is more than the Dynamic array allows (To get equivalent power, you'd have to spend 33 pp). So it still costs less, just with less flexibility.
Oh right-- good point. I knew there had to be something I was missing! I'd just built a PC using Power Reserve, and was starting to think that I'd short-changed myself.

My PC's example had a reserve set aside for Flight and Super-Strength. They were low-- I think 3 each, and then a Power Reserve of 6. That is 6+6+12=24 pp spent, but he can still have his 3 ranks of Super-Strength and Fly at 9 ranks of speed if he wanted.

To do that with Dynamic, he'd have to have 12 ranks, which would cost 24+1+2=27, so a little bit more (with the benefit being that he could max out to flying or lifting at 12, whereas in the arrangement I have, he's limited to 9.


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