[SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

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tigerguy786
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[SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#1 Postby tigerguy786 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:33 am

Hi all! I am of the opinion that there are no truly broken powers in the Superpowers companion, so to prove my point I want to make some pre-gen characters using those powers deemed OP, then run them through an adventure that still challenges them in order to demonstrate that sometimes you just have to be creative in the challenges presented.

I mean, there are 50+ years of Justice League comics, and there are lots of times THEY have problems right?

All of that to say: What are in your opinion the most over powered and broken powers in the book?
In my observation, Heavy Armor can be frustrating for the GM.
Mind Control has many examples on this board of being dumb
Super Speed seems problematic
Super Sorcery is kind of ridiculous sometimes.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#2 Postby Deskepticon » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:04 am

The one that always stuck in my craw was "Near Light Speed" for Flight or Speed.

Compare it to Teleport: for 6 PP a 'Porter can travel anywhere on the planet by concentrating for 3 full rounds. Assuming that "Near light speed" was just 80 percent the speed of light, a speedster can run completely around the world 8 times in just one second for 18 PP. Kinda ridiculous that the penalty to hit them is only -10.

And that doesnt even get into the scaling factor. Each tier on the Speed progression table is either double or triple the one before it. But even 30% light speed is a massive bump up from Mach 2. Heck, it's a massive bump above Mach 10. It's Mach 262209. At 99% light speed it's Mach 865290.

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#3 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:55 am

I've had a lot of players assume that Intangible made them invincible.
Ironically, Heavy Armor isn't much of a problem as long as you include some Heavy Weapon attack options for foes (grenades, swap ammo, selector switch on energy weapons, crew served weapons, rocket launchers, etc.).
Regeneration 5 can seem unstoppable, so that's one for your list.
... probably some others, like Invent with On the Fly, but I don't have much play experience with those; they require too much work for my players to have tried breaking games with them.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#4 Postby Myrmicus » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:30 am

Super Sorcery with some added Super Skills Spellcasting on the side...

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#5 Postby Ndreare » Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:16 am

Funny, I was going to say Super Sorcery us to week because of the rule that a 1 backfires.

We have had two Super Sorcerers and both performed underwhelming. The reduced points available combined with power burnout it summoning demons killed it for them.

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#6 Postby Damian Magecraft » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:44 pm

Mechanically speaking Toughness seems under costed for its effects.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#7 Postby DoctorBoson » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:38 pm

Deskepticon wrote:The one that always stuck in my craw was "Near Light Speed" for Flight or Speed.

Compare it to Teleport: for 6 PP a 'Porter can travel anywhere on the planet by concentrating for 3 full rounds. Assuming that "Near light speed" was just 80 percent the speed of light, a speedster can run completely around the world 8 times in just one second for 18 PP. Kinda ridiculous that the penalty to hit them is only -10.

And that doesnt even get into the scaling factor. Each tier on the Speed progression table is either double or triple the one before it. But even 30% light speed is a massive bump up from Mach 2. Heck, it's a massive bump above Mach 10. It's Mach 262209. At 99% light speed it's Mach 865290.

I actually felt the same way as you; there's several examples of characters being notably faster than Mach 2 without being anywhere near "near light speed," especially with regards to flight. My easy workaround is introducing a new tier: 18 points in speed (or 20 in flight) gives you Mach 10+ and a –10 to hit, while 20 points in speed (22 in flight) puts you at near light speed and a –12 to hit.

Makes moving at nearly the speed of light a little bit better, but you're not getting there unless you're either Cosmic or take Best There Is as a Heavy Hitter in flight, and with speed you can get there as a Heavy Hitter, but you won't be able to get any modifiers for it (like Blinding Reflexes, which seems like a given for moving at a percentage of the speed of light).
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#8 Postby Ndreare » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:41 pm

Shape Change, I don't think it is completely broken, but definitely not balanced.
For very few points you can become a dragon and be a better tank than the fool who is a dedicated tank. Then become a dozen other things that have powers you need such as fish, cats, or other stuff.

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#9 Postby DoctorBoson » Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:50 pm

Ndreare wrote:Shape Change, I don't think it is completely broken, but definitely not balanced.
For very few points you can become a dragon and be a better tank than the fool who is a dedicated tank. Then become a dozen other things that have powers you need such as fish, cats, or other stuff.

That's 12 PP to become a dragon (without its breath weapons) with a Toughness of 20 (4), and almost everything has a +4 to hit you due to your Size, which means higher likelihood of raises or called shots to the head. Conversely, 12 points in Toughness and Armor (and presumably a d8 Vigor from character creation) gives you a Toughness of 17 (2) with Heavy Armor; your base Toughness is just one point below a dragon's and no one has any bonuses to hit you at all. All things being equal, the dragon's +4 Armor is effectively negated by characters going for the dragon's head.

(An alternative tank could have Level 5 Regeneration, a d10 Vigor, and Fast Healer from character creation. I can confirm from experience that this build is an extremely effective tank.)

Shape Change is a flexible and very useful power, but if your dedicated tank has a Toughness of less than 16 in some form or another, he's not a good tank.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#10 Postby Deskepticon » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:41 pm

DoctorBoson wrote:I actually felt the same way as you; there's several examples of characters being notably faster than Mach 2 without being anywhere near "near light speed," especially with regards to flight. My easy workaround is introducing a new tier: 18 points in speed (or 20 in flight) gives you Mach 10+ and a –10 to hit, while 20 points in speed (22 in flight) puts you at near light speed and a –12 to hit.


I haven't actually had anyone take "Near LS" in a campaign yet, but I was prepared for if they tried. Rather than set up a new tier, I would offer Near LS as a 5pp modifier requiring the max tier to be bought first (this mean a 4-Color character would need at least TBTI to buy it). It would function like Teleport/Traverse but as a standard Run action.

The table itself would be better defined. Using the Speed Table:
RAW, fom Tier 1 to Tier 4 the speeds are all double the previous one (assuming Pace 6). At Tier 5 it triples, from 240mph to Mach1 (760mph).
My change would come into effect at this point, defining Tier 6 as Mach3 and Tier 7 as Mach10.*
(Note - for Flight, just bump the tier # up by one.)


edit - just wanted to add that this doesn't actually change anything about the power (other than narrative elements surrounding light speed travel) but it does add a new ability to the power(s).

* sidenote: Mach 10 is the distance from New York City to L.A. in 20 minutes. And yes, that is the scientific definition. :P

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#11 Postby Myrmicus » Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:46 am

Ndreare wrote:Funny, I was going to say Super Sorcery us to week because of the rule that a 1 backfires.

We have had two Super Sorcerers and both performed underwhelming. The reduced points available combined with power burnout it summoning demons killed it for them.


The most "irritating" (the best I met actually) PC I had to manage was a Super Sorceror...
With 25 PP (Necessary evil, this makes 1 level per 3PP) :
- Super Sorcery level 6 => 18PP
The Magus Armor (a Device) :
- Armor +6 heavy Armor (enchanted metal) => 4 PP
- Super skills, +8 Spellcasting steps, require activation (integrated magical gemstones) => 2PP
- Awarness, require activation (Divination Helmet) => 1PP

His super spellcasting was added to his already d10 natural skill... which makes d12+7
Let's say he hadn't any problem to gives himself 12 power points. This was really hard to counter, as a GM.


In the same "combined powers" vein...
My main toon is an inventor mind controller. With 20PP :
- Mind Control + more minds (5PP)
- Super Smarts +4 (which makes a total of d12+4)
- Gifted
- Invent level 5
Even without the invent possibilities, I could mind control almost anyone... Which makes it really hard for the GM to come up with solution (he introduced mental blocker machines in his campaign because of me, just to avoid having his own hard hitters mop the floor with his other PNJs)

In the end, I don't feel each power is particularly broken per se, but combinations are fearsome :
- Duplication + Illusion (Musrhoom Man)
- Intangibility/phaser + super fighting and improvisational fighter => phasing an object inside someone's head
- Ensnare + decay
- Telekinesis + extra actions
- Extra limb with reach + extra repeat action + sweep
- Invisibility + intengibility
- Water Control + aquatic
- Water control + storm/downpoor
- flight + deflection
- Shrink/density + decay
- Energy/matter form with replenish + same energy/matter control
- Device animal control with unique and powers... or how to get a 41PP lion with only 20PP to spend
and so on...

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#12 Postby tigerguy786 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:48 pm

Myrmicus wrote:In the end, I don't feel each power is particularly broken per se, but combinations are fearsome :
- Duplication + Illusion (Musrhoom Man)
- Intangibility/phaser + super fighting and improvisational fighter => phasing an object inside someone's head
- Ensnare + decay
- Telekinesis + extra actions
- Extra limb with reach + extra repeat action + sweep
- Invisibility + intengibility
- Water Control + aquatic
- Water control + storm/downpoor
- flight + deflection
- Shrink/density + decay
- Energy/matter form with replenish + same energy/matter control
- Device animal control with unique and powers... or how to get a 41PP lion with only 20PP to spend
and so on...


Some of those are nasty, but I feel I should point out that Flight and Deflection don't stack, you only get the best attack penalty. Shrink seems like an ability that is really bad in the right hands.

How did the Animal Control thing work? that seems...like something was wrong there.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#13 Postby Ndreare » Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:04 pm

Myrmicus wrote:
Ndreare wrote:Funny, I was going to say Super Sorcery us to week because of the rule that a 1 backfires.

We have had two Super Sorcerers and both performed underwhelming. The reduced points available combined with power burnout it summoning demons killed it for them.


The most "irritating" (the best I met actually) PC I had to manage was a Super Sorceror...
With 25 PP (Necessary evil, this makes 1 level per 3PP) :
...


Just curious, I thought the maximum power points in NE for Starting character was 20?
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#14 Postby Myrmicus » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:38 pm

Yup, 20 PP for a Novice, but he was seasoned.
characters starts seasoned on my table, because I feel the 5PP is lacking when building a good concept... and I insist on the word CONCEPT.

tigerguy786 wrote:Some of those are nasty, but I feel I should point out that Flight and Deflection don't stack, you only get the best attack penalty. Shrink seems like an ability that is really bad in the right hands.

How did the Animal Control thing work? that seems...like something was wrong there.

Simple point management :
Let's say your villain has built a robot lion and control it thanks to some sort of cyber-goggles... It is a device, so it costs -1PP per 5PP
A lion isn't a Large or Huge creature, so it's a 3PP base cost
Add to that the telepathic link (1PP) because the goggles makes you control, hear and see through your robot-lion sensors
Add a 5PP summon modifier (the robot is encased into some sort of box, while inactive)
gives your robot lion some powers (at the normal power cost)
Here, you already have a 9 PP base for your lion (3+5+1)
Add in powers and go up to a total of 42PP (which gives you 42-9=33PP)
Your robot lion is unique, so the total cost of your Animal Control power is half the total ===> 21
The Device modifiers kicks in... it's a -5 PP
Here, you have a 42PP Animal control power and it only costs you 16 PP

Oh and in NE, the Shapeshifting ability is a modifier for the Animal Control powers, at the reasonnable cost of 5PP.. which replace the "summon" modifier for the same PP madness ^^

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#15 Postby Clint » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:24 am

Myrmicus wrote:
tigerguy786 wrote:How did the Animal Control thing work? that seems...like something was wrong there.

Simple point management :
Let's say your villain has built a robot lion and control it thanks to some sort of cyber-goggles... It is a device, so it costs -1PP per 5PP
A lion isn't a Large or Huge creature, so it's a 3PP base cost
Add to that the telepathic link (1PP) because the goggles makes you control, hear and see through your robot-lion sensors
Add a 5PP summon modifier (the robot is encased into some sort of box, while inactive)
gives your robot lion some powers (at the normal power cost)
Here, you already have a 9 PP base for your lion (3+5+1)
Add in powers and go up to a total of 42PP (which gives you 42-9=33PP)
Your robot lion is unique, so the total cost of your Animal Control power is half the total ===> 21
The Device modifiers kicks in... it's a -5 PP
Here, you have a 42PP Animal control power and it only costs you 16 PP


Honestly, I'd tell a player that's an extremely weak build. It ties up a huge chunk of Power Points in a power which can be stolen (Device), broken (Device), or killed (Unique), and the character loses all those PPs until the device is recovered/rebuilt or the Companion is replaced (which would take multiple sessions by definition, requiring adventures, trials, etc).

I'd just want the player to understand that reducing the cost of the power by over 60%, in a way means it will only be fully effective less than 40% of the time. In a campaign, that Device will be stolen and/or damaged, and that super-ultra-mega robot lion (which is still only an Extra) can be destroyed with a single lucky shot.

Myrmicus wrote:Oh and in NE, the Shapeshifting ability is a modifier for the Animal Control powers, at the reasonnable cost of 5PP.. which replace the "summon" modifier for the same PP madness ^^


Actually, that same effect is not possible. Per Shapechanger, "This modifier cannot be combined with the other animal control modifiers except Unique; in which case, the character can only transform into one specific animal form."

So all of the other Modifiers have to be dropped, meaning it could just be 3 PPs for a lion, +5 for Shapechanger (total of 8), and halved for Unique to a total of 4 PPs then back to the original cost of 3 PPs if dependent on a Device.

The primary effect of course is losing all those points put in Superpowers then halved for Unique. That reduction is fine for a separate animal Extra, but for a Shapechanger, they still pay the normal cost for powers of their own.

[Just to doubly clarify for anyone reading that might miss it, this is all based on the old NE superpowers rules, and neither possible nor applicable to the new SPC2 rules.]
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#16 Postby Myrmicus » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:21 am

With the use of some necromancy, I cast some resurrection on this thread.
One of my PC made me do so...

'cause he uses a sidekick (5pts) with Strong Decay, Duplication and the "team player" edge.
3 decay attack with an average d12+6 fighting (+4 from gang up, +2 from touch attack)
Even the team heavy hitter (Str d12+6, attack melee str+d6, Multiple Attack, Stackable, Heavy weapon, usually using 1 to 4 tons clubs) doesn't destroys opponents that easily. This decay madness can only be handled by characters with huge Vigor, and destroys any vehicle in one round.

And since I'm at it :
Worst combination ?
Duplication + any power that require some kind of roll to resist (mind control, decay, etc.) is really hard to handle as a GM.

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#17 Postby Matchstickman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 6:30 am

Myrmicus wrote:With the use of some necromancy, I cast some resurrection on this thread.
One of my PC made me do so...

'cause he uses a sidekick (5pts) with Strong Decay, Duplication and the "team player" edge.
3 decay attack with an average d12+6 fighting (+4 from gang up, +2 from touch attack)
Even the team heavy hitter (Str d12+6, attack melee str+d6, Multiple Attack, Stackable, Heavy weapon, usually using 1 to 4 tons clubs) doesn't destroys opponents that easily. This decay madness can only be handled by characters with huge Vigor, and destroys any vehicle in one round.

I don't understand how this is broken, a Level 3 Decay can only destroy 30 pounds of material, the average weight (real world) of a compact car is just shy of 3000lbs, you'd need 100 sidekicks to destroy it in 1 round!
Also, the roll to resist decay is not an opposed roll, you just need a 4 or better on your Vigor roll to resist it, that's a 62.5% (EDIT: 32% with the Strong decay) chance for a d4 wildcard! And if you're a d4 Vigor then you have chosen to deal with those the problems from your character build.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#18 Postby Ndreare » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:54 am

The point he was making is the opponent gets hit with three of these attacks every round because of duplicates. So eventually he will roll poorly.

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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#19 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:59 am

What's the trapping on Decay? Is it acid, poison, entropy, trasmutation, or something else?
Or did the player not specify?
Because all kinds of things can make you immune to a particular trapping. Immune to poison and you're also immune to all poison trapping powers. Ageless makes you immune to all effects that rely upon rapid aging (like an entropy trapping decay).
If the player didn't specify a trapping then every time a character has any kind of immunity, look the player in the eye and say "immune".

Oh, and since 90% of the problem is the dupes, just have something VORP the primary. If the primary is Incap, all the dupes vanish. 5d10 Heavy Weapon attack, ranged will Incapacitate most duplicators and is 13 PP.

Finally, Improved First Strike is going to wipe out his dupe squad.
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Re: [SPC] "Worst" and most "Broken"

#20 Postby Myrmicus » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:40 am

The trapping for this specific case is "plants growing inside of matter, destroying and consuming it".
It is derived from the Matter Control power (even if it is another power altogether) and, as trapped, create matter for the character to control. This particular player is quite clever, as his main character uses Plant Control (up to 1 ton of matter) to effectively block and hinder ennemy movements, the sidekick then come and open holes in the plant barriers to inflict its decay power.

But yeah, I have used immunity and AoE attacks take care of things, but with other players (mainly a Super Strong fighter, a Sith wannabe and a darkness powered cyborg), they often come up with plan to defeat my compositions... which is a good thing, teamwork and deep thinking is better than brute force.

Either way, I'm not discussing the specific case here, but how dangerouse a character with Duplication and a power that require the victim to resist with a roll can be. More rolls means more chances to fail. In the same vein, I created Legion (Cosmic power level, but that's not the point), a super based around the idea that he is composed of thousands of minds and uses part of his collective being to create dupes and to control minds...
Duplication + mind control.
In this specific case with have 11 dupes and each can mind control 4 targets...
But even if lowered to a 4-color power level and without using The Best There Is, the guy can potentially have 5 clones, each able to control 5 people, making him capable incredible mass mind control (30 toons)


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