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Aberrant RPG - Reducing Quantum Cost


Ammonites
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I was wondering if you could reduce the quantum cost of a power by reducing its effect in other ways other than the damage potential.

There is a reference to "pulling your punches" in the Aberrant book p.241 in where you could cut your damage pool in half or less and therefore only pay half the quantum cost.

Is it possible to do this with other powers that are non damaging, like Empathic Manipulation?

For example, lets say I only want to enrage a target for 2 turns instead of the Quantum+Power raiting turns.

Or perhaps I have Empathic Manipulation with the Area extra. Could I minimize the area effect to only hit the two people right in front of me and thereby lower the quantum cost of it?

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The Aberrant Player's Guide talks about weaknesses and other techniques that you can use to reduce the cost of a power.

In case you don't have the APG, Weaknesses include:

Die Pool-roll one less die or subtract a success from powers without rolls

Range subtract 1 from power rating when figuring range.

Area same as range

Duration shorten the duration by one category, or subtract 1 from power's rating.

Damage Roll on die less or one less level of damage for non rolled damages.

Multiple Actions if it can be use as a MA, it can't now.

All of these Weaknesses give you one point.

There are other things which give you points to lower a power's cost: Target Restrictions and Linking one Power to another Power.

5 levels of weakness are needed to lower the cost of a power by one level. From 3 to 2, or 2 to 1.

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My book isn't with me and this is a fine point of law... but...

As far as I remember, reducing q cost by "pulling your punch" involves ONLY reducing dice rolled. The other weaknesses are for power purchase only.

Otherwise we quickly get abusive. Example: You have Empathic Manip + Area. Everyone from you team in range is Male. You slap on the weakness "Only affects Females" for that one use and get RQC.

Reducing the number of dice you use is not using your power at it's full potential and justify less "umph" or quantum use.

Slapping weaknesses on it (reducing the range when you don't need range, selecting the effect to only the people you want to affect, etc) are almost advantages and are certainly not limiting to you.

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You can't limit the Area of an area attack - your power works exactly as stated every single time. This also applies to the duration of that Empathic Manipulation and to any other set function of a power.

Pulling your punch allows you to reduce your dice pool in order to minimize how much effect you have. This usually only is useful with damaging powers, when you're trying not to hurt someone.

Pulling your punch does not reduce quantum cost.

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Pulling your punch does not reduce quantum cost.

See page 241. It does.

Pulling your punch allows you to reduce your dice pool in order to minimize how much effect you have. This usually only is useful with damaging powers, when you're trying not to hurt someone.

True.

You can't limit the Area of an area attack - your power works exactly as stated every single time. This also applies to the duration of that Empathic Manipulation and to any other set function of a power.

I've seen a lot of STs, even by the book STs, take the line that it is possible to reduce area and the like. The line of reasoning appears to be that, although you still have to pay for Area, like damage the effect can be pulled. For example the duration of Burning is related to the number of dots thrown, so if you are pulling the damage dots then that might/could reduce the amount of burning.

I'm not especially in favor of this line of reasoning, but it does make novas more versitile.

Duration is more iffy, I think Empathic Manipulation has a duration of concentration, after which it lasts as long as decribed. However most other concentration and/or maintenance effects can presumably be ended at will.

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I don't like the idea that each use of a power is a shotgun - in the that you get absolutely no say in how much power you put into it. It eliminates any subtlety and control to quantum powers - essentially you use it at full blast or you don't use it at all.

I've always thought of it as the damage pools are the maximum that can be done, and that if someone is deliberately trying to restrain themselves, there's no reason full damage should apply. I still have them shoot for a target number of what they're attempting to do, I never let them get an exact number because some variable is good (unless ALL they want to do is the base damage such as the quantum auto-damage in a q-bolt).

Maybe it's just me, but turning a damaging power into a shotgun, in that you pull the trigger but it's going to do whatever damage it CAN do, seems silly for a biological organism.

If you can pull a punch, there's no reason you can't pull the damage on a power. It's all deliberate effort anyway.

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You would only pay half the cost when pulling your punches if the damage you would do is half what it would normally be. If I would normally do 20 die of bashing damage with a Q-Bolt, but instead decide to 'pull my punch' on the attack so that it can only do 10 die of damage, then the Q-Bolt would only cost 1 NP instead of the normal 2.

I suppose it could be used with any effect in which die can be rolled for effect. As for changing the area of an attack, I would not allow it. My reasoning is that because area attacks affect all targets within its radius equally, the use of such a power comes at a cost. That cost is being unable to change the area, so as to not effect one group, but affect another. It is an indiscriminate extra. Take the Explosive extra if you don't want to do as much to those further away as those up close.

You could 'pull your punch' however so that you don't do as many die of 'damage' to people within that area.

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Quote:
Ashnod:I've always thought of it as the damage pools are the maximum that can be done, and that if someone is deliberately trying to restrain themselves, there's no reason full damage should apply....

If you can pull a punch, there's no reason you can't pull the damage on a power. It's all deliberate effort anyway.
Exactly. The specific example on 241 is Q-Bolt.
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"The line of reasoning appears to be that, although you still have to pay for Area, like damage the effect can be pulled."

I'm inclined to agree, as a house rule, but the book wouldn't - otherwise you could 'pull' the area down to zero and violated the rule that you must always use your Extras. Perhaps you could buy an Area Extra for a smaller radius, though.

I fully agree that you could limit whatever dice pool you're dealing with (also that you could terminate the duration of a maintenance/concentration power), but there is no provision in the rules for altering any fixed-quantity parameters on a case-by-case basis.

And certainly it would not reduce the q-cost if you opted to terminate the effects of a maintenance/concentration power early.

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