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Defense 1% vs 5% per level


pulpcitizen

Which do you feel is the better Defense benefit, and why?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you feel is the better Defense benefit, and why?

    • 1% per level
      4
    • 5% per level
      4
    • something else
      9


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The BRP book lists the Defense super power differntly in the main text and in the summary.

Now I know there has been occasional consideration about this (link), but I though it worthy of a little more discussion.

The errata answer appears to suggest that the 1% value per level is correct, but on further consideration I wonder if it should be the other version.

For example if the opposite of reducing attack capability is defense capability (ie dodge or parry), then that can be increased at a cost of 10% per 1 point effectively. Yes those defenses suffer for culmulative penalties, and so are not exactly analagous, but it is a factor inconsidering balance I feel.

Interestingly Agents of the Crown takes the 5% approach without making explicit clarification about which is felt to be the best value.

Thoughts and opinions anyone?

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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I was contrary and went for Something Else.

5% is way, way too much. Let's face it - it has no power point cost, it is always on and it is capped at your DEX+POW.

Let's assume you have rolled average DEX+POW and so that caps it at 22 levels.

That means that for 22 character points you can subtract 110% from every attack made against your character, whatever the circumstances. :eek:

That is, to put it mildly, absurd. For 22 character points and no other powers my character is virtually indestructible.

However, 1% seems a little too low. I mean, I'd choose it if I was going to go for either but at 1% why use the character points on it? Wearing good armour and putting the 22 points into Parry or Dodge is probably just as good in broad terms.

So I would, personally, make it 2%. That means for those 22 character points you get to subtract 44% from all attacks made against you - to me that is Super but it is not ridiculous.

Edited by Byron Alexander
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I voted 5%, but as Byron Alexander pointed out, the cap of INT+POW is way too high.

I'm using the 5% Defense Power in Dragon Lines. but with a much more limited number of times it can be taken. You can, at the maximum, take it 6 times, giving you a Defense of 30%. however, this will also mean having no other powers, at least initially.

This makes it useful without being game-breaking.

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The BRP book lists the Defense super power differntly in the main text and in the summary.

Now I know there has been occasional consideration about this (link), but I though it worthy of a little more discussion.

The errata answer appears to suggest that the 1% value per level is correct, but on further consideration I wonder if it should be the other version.

I voted for the 5% per level option. Superworld started with 1% per level,

but was errated to 5% per level. It was probably done to counter attack

skills over 100%. Attacks from behind are easy attacks now, with double

attack skill value. Also, some GMs declare a minimum chance to hit of 5%

even if modifiers reduce the attack chance to below 5%. Area attacks and

Sweep attacks will also be useful against high levels of Defense...

Michael Hoxie

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I have been pondering this quite a lot (probably more than is proportionate to the rule for a single power in a a book as big as BRP, but there you go...), and the issue gets more complex I feel when considered in tandem with other powers.

If using Super Skill to boost Dodge (one of the nearest comparisons), then say for 20 points a character gains +200% of Dodge (assuming skills over 100% etc) - ususally more than enough to dodge several attacks with maxiumum possibility of success when combined with normal skill point allocation.

Defense is better in that it works at full value, and Dodge (or Parry or whatever defenseive skill) is situation and circumstance-dependendent, so not as broadly useful. However Defense of 20% does not feel as useful as a Dodge of +200%, so one point/level seems too low. 100 points of Defense seems too high, so ultimately it seems to me that maybe neither is 'right', so I'd love to hear more about others 'something else' options.

Edited by leonmallett

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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Honestly, I think this should vary depending on the setting. In a supers campaign, 5% per level makes sense. If someone is using the superpowers in a fantasy campaign or a low power supers game (Green Arrow, Batman, et al.)as magic, etc., then it can be a little high.

SDLeary

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Honestly, I think this should vary depending on the setting. In a supers campaign, 5% per level makes sense. If someone is using the superpowers in a fantasy campaign or a low power supers game (Green Arrow, Batman, et al.)as magic, etc., then it can be a little high.

SDLeary

A calibrated approach is interesting. Hmmm.

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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Honestly, I think this should vary depending on the setting. In a supers campaign, 5% per level makes sense. If someone is using the superpowers in a fantasy campaign or a low power supers game (Green Arrow, Batman, et al.)as magic, etc., then it can be a little high.

SDLeary

What about a percentage according to power scale such as:

1% - normal power level

2% - heroic power level

3% - epic power level

4/5% - superhuman power level

Or something like that?

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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What about a percentage according to power scale such as:

1% - normal power level

2% - heroic power level

3% - epic power level

4/5% - superhuman power level

Or something like that?

YUCK! You are mixing how a power works and how you balance character power levels at character creation. What would happen if you ported characters to other campaigns?

Seriously, I think the power should be rated at 1% per level, period. The only difference tied to campaign level should be how many levels you can buy:

Normal - INT+POW

Heroic - double the above

Epic - triple the above

Superhuman - no limit

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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YUCK! You are mixing how a power works and how you balance character power levels at character creation. What would happen if you ported characters to other campaigns?

Seriously, I think the power should be rated at 1% per level, period. The only difference tied to campaign level should be how many levels you can buy:

Normal - INT+POW

Heroic - double the above

Epic - triple the above

Superhuman - no limit

Yours is a neater and more consistent representation - I only threw the idea out there to stimulate thought for alternatives.

Do you mind if I adopt your suggestion for Covenant of Justice?

In writing my mongraph there have been a few oddities thrown up like this. I don't feel any are down to Jason, quite the contrary as he wanted to take a rewritten approach to powers with greater integration of power systems as I understand it.

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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IIRC Jason stated that he liked the Defense skill from RQ2 but felt it was too overpowered. So he kept it as a superpower, and limited it a lot.

Honestly, I see this power as a must if you want to run Spiderman, but out of place in a Fantasy campaign where you should use Dodge instead.

Proud member of the Evil CompetitionTM

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IIRC Jason stated that he liked the Defense skill from RQ2 but felt it was too overpowered. So he kept it as a superpower, and limited it a lot.

Honestly, I see this power as a must if you want to run Spiderman, but out of place in a Fantasy campaign where you should use Dodge instead.

Would it be okay to follow your example in my monograph? But amended as follows:

Dodge/reflexes-based or luck based power

Normal - DEX x 2 for Dodge, POW x 2 for Luck

Heroic - DEX x 3 for Dodge, POW x 3 for Luck

Epic - DEX x 4 for Dodge, POW x 4 for Luck

Superhuman - DEX x 5 for Dodge, POW x 5 for Luck

Very slowly working towards completing my monograph.

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YUCK! You are mixing how a power works and how you balance character power levels at character creation. What would happen if you ported characters to other campaigns?

I honestly think that if you're thinking about porting characters into other campaigns you shouldn't deviate from the rules as written and should keep the 1% characteristic.

In all my years roleplaying, though - including a university career when many games were happening at once - I have never seen a character directly ported from one GM's campaign to another. Redesigned to fit, yes, but ported as-is? Never.

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