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Aberrant RPG - Rule question -- Body Modification (Extra Health Levels) and the 5-dot cap


Timeslip
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Simple question, but perhaps not a simple answer....

Each dot of Body Modification (Extra Health Levels) can be used either for an extra Bruised Health Level or two extra Maimed Health Levels. However, the rules are a bit unclear on how this is capped.

Does it cap at five dots for all purchases of Body Modification (Extra Health Levels), regardless of the kind of health levels purchased? (e.g., 3 extra Bruised and 4 extra Maimed, or 1 extra Bruised and 8 extra Maimed, or 5 extra Bruised alone, etc., would all be combinations at the upper limit)

Or, does it cap at five dots for each type of Body Modification (Extra Health Levels)? (e.g., 5 extra Bruised and 10 extra Maimed would be at the upper limit)

Or -- and this could get very ugly and broken very quickly -- is there no cap to Body Modification (Extra Health Levels) at all, due to the odd purchase structure of Body Modifications (resulting inevitably in someone putting together a 30-nova point character called "Palooka" with nothing but 60 extra Maimed health levels)?

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Heck, if someone wants to wait three months a health level to heal from 60 maimed levels then let them. Incidentally, I created the character "Captain bullet ridden" as a joke using just that power. His sidekick, "thats going to leave a mark boy" had one level of healing. Ah the silly things we come up with at four in the morning smile

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Option three, with "if someone wants to wait three months a health level to heal from 60 maimed levels then let them" being a really key feature.

Also note that dealing 60 levels of damage isn't really that difficult - this only becomes relevant in characters that also have solid soaks, which cuts into what they can buy in health levels. Seriously, just imagine what would happen if you put Palooka up against a pretty standard brick or blaster. Palooka isn't going to last very long.

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My personal opinion -- from a "spirit of the rules" standpoint -- would be Option Two (cap BM-EHL-Bruised and BM-EHL-Maimed independently at five dots each). But that's just the thing; that's my opinion, not something I can find in the blasted rulebook...as is Option One and Option Three.

What would be downright spiffy would be if we could get an actual answer out of the original developers. Unfortunately, that's about as likely as it is for my bathroom taps to start offering hot and cold running champagne. Heck, does anyone even know what Achilli and Bates and Baugh are doing these days?

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I don't think body mods are actually intended to fit into the 5 dot format - if nothing else, look to the fact that they cost set quantities of np or xp, rather than the multiplicative xp cost that everything else has (except enhancements, which also are outside the 5 dot format).

And yeah, actually - ever look at the credits on the new WOD rulebook? Bates and Achilli are in there. I know Baugh was developer on the Gamma World rerelease. Blackwelder was the developer of the Orpheus series.

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I agree with Zima - I actually don't think they have a cap, and more importantly, I don't think it's particularly broken not to have a cap. 30 Bruised Health levels is all well and good, but not particularly impressive on a Nova-Scale. Same thing with 60 Maimed Health levels - not all that useful unless you have Regeneration, and even then, it'll still take a few days to heal from all that, if you're really badly injured...

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Can anyone bring up anything that DOESN'T have a cap? Attributes? Backgrounds? Abilities? Everything has a cap of 5, except Willpower's cap of 10.

Body mods are powers. All powers have a cap of 5. Ergo bodymods have a cap of 5.

There is one bodymod for : "Extra Health Levels".

Yes, it gives you a choice, but your limit is still 5 dots, and I don't really view the various choices as being different enough to merit seperate listings, ergo your 5 dots of Bodymod: EHL just has a listing of your choices.

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Good point, Harold. Not only does Quantum Pool have no listed max, it is bought at the same cost per point (3xp each) just like health levels, without the same geometric progression as everything else. Also, I am not aware of a cap on Enhancements, which are 5xp each. I think this falls under "Storyteller Fiat" like many other discrepancies and typos.

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Quote:
Originally posted by The Ranger:
Heck, if someone wants to wait three months a health level to heal from 60 maimed levels then let them.
Novas heal the maimed health level from Lethal damage in 1 month, not three (90 minutes from Bashing), which would still take 5 years for 60 of them. Even with Mega-Stamina 4 it would take a year and 8 months (but he'd suffer no die pool penalties). Your point is definitely valid, though, that having a ton of health levels isn't as awesome as it sounds, and spending points on it may no be the best option (without Heal or Regeneration, which would still take a few days).
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...I don't think it's particularly broken not to have a cap. 30 Bruised Health levels is all well and good, but not particularly impressive on a Nova-Scale. Same thing with 60 Maimed Health levels - not all that useful unless you have Regeneration...

It looks pretty broken if we imagine Dr. Troll with it. Clones that only take 'ping' damage, except they don't really take that either. The fight basically goes on until the other guy loses.

...but he'd suffer no die pool penalties...

Die pool isn't everything. He'd still have big time movement problems. It sucks not being able to sprint.

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
Can anyone bring up anything that DOESN'T have a cap? Attributes? Backgrounds? Abilities?
Enhancements. Several multiply-purchasable Enhancements have no stated cap. Also, as stated, Q-Pool has no cap.

Quote:
It looks pretty broken if we imagine Dr. Troll with it. Clones that only take 'ping' damage, except they don't really take that either. The fight basically goes on until the other guy loses.
Of course, Dr. Troll's bodyset is not going to take large amounts of BM:HLs because he has other things going into his powerset. It takes a lot of very expensive powers (both in Q-Min and actual Price) to take advantage of BM:HL, and the more Nova Points/XP you spend on those, the fewer Health Levels you're going to be buying. I see this as a perfectly acceptable compromise.

Also, I note that the errata seems to indicate that Clones made with the Clone Ability are Extras, so I'm not sure whether BM:HL would actually apply here.
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I'm still of a mind that Option Two is the best path.

In a sense, the difference between Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Bruised) and Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Maimed) is much like the difference between two instances of the same quantum power with two different extras.

For example, take Shroud (Sensory Deprivations Field) and Shroud (Semisolid). The two versions of Shroud are considered to be separate powers, and each cap at five.

Likewise, Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Bruised) and Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Maimed) are different.

Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Bruised) seems to be, in effect, a sort of inner armor; perhaps redundant dermal layers and an improved/damage resistant surface capillary system. It keeps damage from getting through in a meaningful way, where it would start to impact one's performance. It is, like it says, just a heck of a lot of bruising.

Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Maimed), on the other hand, seems to be more in the way of redundant vital organs -- a bulletproof heart, an extra liver, a half-dozen kidneys, lungs with internally independent compartmentalization, etc. It's an emergency backup system. You're a mess, but you're a mess that isn't going to die anytime soon.

For the above reason, I would be inclined to consider Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Bruised) and Body Modification - Extra Health Levels (Maimed) as separate powers, each with a cap of five.

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Enhancements. Several multiply-purchasable Enhancements have no stated cap. Also, as stated, Q-Pool has no cap.

The vast majority of enhancements have a limit of one. The ones that have different rules specifically say they have other rules. (I think there are a total of 3, Res (max of 2), Enhanced Init (no limit), & Quick).

Unless something specifically states it doesn't have a limit, we should probably assume it does. This is especially true for powers (for which we have specific rules saying they all have the 5 dot limit). Body mods are powers (or at least that's where they are placed) so they have the 5 dot limit as well.

Also, I note that the errata seems to indicate that Clones made with the Clone Ability are Extras, so I'm not sure whether BM:HL would actually apply here.

Clones get all the powers of the original. BM is a power. For that matter, "extras" normally have 8 life levels (them having 4 is only an option).

and the more Nova Points/XP you spend on those, the fewer Health Levels you're going to be buying.

Yes and No. Troll is basically complete and has been for a while, and Health levels are very cheap. With 36 experience, should he buy that 4th dot in Clone and that 4th dot in Mega-Int, or should he buy 12 dots in Extra-Health levels?

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I think Body Mod's aren't "dotted" powers. I think they are one time pay and go powers. There's no level for increasing them X Current Rating like dotted powers. I think they are stand alone modifications and you can effectively have as many as you want. You buy each one individually and each has a different cost depending on the benefit it gives.

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No. You can buy many enhancements more than once, and there is at least one other body mod that can be bought multiple times.

What you're buying is one or two extra health levels. That is all. If you choose to do that again, you are simply buying another body mod - not another dot of this particular body mod.

Speaking of body mods as powers is kind of misplaced, since they aren't really. They have no power level or power rating, and they are not purchased in a way that is even vaguely similar to a power.

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Quote:
Originally posted by David 'Dr. Troll' Smith:
Sure, if they specifically say you can. And how many is "many"? I count 3 and one of those can only be purchased twice.
That does, however, mean that there are exceptions to the 5-dot rule, and that there are exceptions to the 5-dot rule that appear to be open ended (and as a note, there are actually 4 Enhancements that can be purchased multiple times (Flexibility, Resiliency, Quickness & Enhanced Initiative), of which only Resiliency has a limit on expenditure). If this is the case, then we can make the argument that if Quickness, Flexibility & Enhanced Initiative are able to be bought open-endedly, then Body Modifications may also be able to be bought in a similar manner.

After all, you can open-endedly increase your Quantum Pool (which hasserious advantages), why not your Health Levels? The "brokenness" of open-ended health levels is debatable - it's probably about worth the points spent on it, and it's unlikely that, say, a starting character is going to be able to abuse it in any major way. Besides, there are far better ways of abusing the system than extra wound levels...
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  • 4 weeks later...

I was browsing around and found this so I thought I would comment.

Bodymods (including HL), enhancements, and QP are much different then normal powers.

Enhancements have no limit to the amount that can be purchased, the reason that they *arent* purchased multiple times in most cases is becuase that would be redundant and give you no benefit. Lets look at Crush. Take it one time, you can pump QP into your damage and turn it lethal. Take it twice, you can pump QP into your damage and turn it lethal. It gives you no benefits at all (unless your ST wants to make a house rule to give you +2 damage as opposed to +1). There are some that you can take multiple times that do say they stack. Like Quickness and Enhanced Initiave. Both of thoes give strait up additions to your rolls.

Bodymods are much different then powers. They are perminent additions to a persons body (barring Dormancy IMO, but that is another discussion), and are purchased in a seperate manner then what powers are (they are even listed in a seperate category from level 1,2 and 3 powers in their own 'other' category). Like enhancements though, they wont offer extra benefits most times. Lets look at Gills for this one. You take gills, you can breathe underwater. You take it again, you can breathe underwater. You can make houserule if you want (you can breathe in mustard or some such), but barring that they would be redundant. This opposed to health levels, which gives you a strait +1 or +2 health levels.

In conclusion, they are not subject to the '5 dot rule' because they are purchased in increments. Whereas you take Clone (3) and can make so many clones based on that, you purchase Gills for a one time 1np and you have it, and it itself never can improve through its own means.

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Quote:
Originally posted by April Rice:
No. You can buy many enhancements more than once, and there is at least one other body mod that can be bought multiple times.

What you're buying is one or two extra health levels. That is all. If you choose to do that again, you are simply buying another body mod - not another dot of this particular body mod.

When you buy a dot of Armor you're buying 3 soak, but you have to buy another 3 soak as a second dot in the power. It's more expensive because it stacks.

Buying 2 ranks in "maimed" bought a second time will stack with the first 2 ranks. It should also be more expensive.
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On an almost completely unrelated tangental note, there is one tiny partial exception to the "rule of five":

Novas with Quantum ratings above 5 can purchase a number of dots in a Power equal to their Quantum rating (Players Guide, page 108).

I think this one kinda sneaks up on folks; at any rate, it sure as heck snuck up on me (though don't worry -- I'm not real keen on dumping the 45 experience needed to bring Timeslip's Masteried Temporal Manipulation up to 6 dots).

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