Breaking the Unbreakable

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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:28 pm

Awesome!
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:29 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Awesome!

Well hopefully, if it works.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:05 pm

Might I request trying to build the most insane attack booster combat talent skillset for a level 1 without any items?
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:13 pm

One hell of a request...
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:16 pm

Karilyn might have some ideas. Inky Quills loved messing with the combat system. She's a self-described 90% Spike... And also one of the most story-focused of all the players in the AOH campaign. =)
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:34 pm

Here's something I threw together for you Xel:
Draw Blood
Midnight's Blade
Meditate
Where it Hurts
Drain Blood

Turn 1: Draw Blood
Turn 2: Midnight's Blade, Drain Blood for 0.
Turn 3: DB, Drain Blood for 0
Turn 4: Meditate, Drain Blood for 0
Turn 5: DB, Drain Blood for 0, WiH
Turn 6: DB, Drain Blood for 0, WiH
Loop turns 4-6

This is only possible due to Drain Blood not stating you must spend a minimum of 1 pip.
It isn't that great, but it does throw out 6 damage a turn for free as a minor action starting turn 2, and on turns 5 & 6 it gets to do 2d12 + 6 damage for 2 pips.
Hell, with the Fleshrender it also scales up the Ongoing Damage like crazy, or with the Ritual Blade it gets to start at turn 2, or the spell blade to get extra out of Meditate (Though if you use the spellblade you should use Wild Abandon instead of Midnight's Blade.)


Last edited by thematthew on Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:39 pm

... What's the point of using Drain Blood for zero exactly?
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:40 pm

No pips to spare, but you still get the bonus damage from Midnight's Blade et al.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:41 pm

thematthew wrote:No pips to spare, but you still get the bonus damage from Midnight's Blade et al.

... I did not notice that.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:43 pm

Yeah, that's what the statement at the bottom is for. My madness needs explanation.

6 damage a turn because I happened to have a minor action is a pretty good trick though.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Appkes on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:52 pm

*goes to first page*

*reads, goes to second*

*sees argument breakout*

*skips 10 pages immediately*


In future, could you two spoiler your arguments to avoid cluttering threads? I liked the idea when you tried it before, and it would help prevent thread derailment.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Xel Unknown on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:54 pm

Now I wonder what craziness you'd get by use of the Crazy Concoction talent.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Ramsus on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:35 am

Appkes wrote:*goes to first page*

*reads, goes to second*

*sees argument breakout*

*skips 10 pages immediately*


In future, could you two spoiler your arguments to avoid cluttering threads? I liked the idea when you tried it before, and it would help prevent thread derailment.
That shouldn't be a problem. Somewhere in there you missed something that caused me to decide I'd no longer be participating in mechanics discussions for this system. (Matthew also reached that same conclusion, though for different reasons btw. I think he's only posting in this thread to humor Xel at this point.)
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:03 am

The thing is Xel, Caraft Crazy Contraption isn't really 'breakable' in the same sense. It's just open ended, and the GM would probably need to listen to what I'm saying when I'm making one.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:02 am

So, I know I said I wasn't going to argue with Dan on these things, but I really did notice this glaring moment of WTF:

Spoiler:

Here's an analysis of Blood Weapon vs. a character designed to mimic blood weapon
[0] Blood Weapon - Minor Utility [Inspired by Chris Pauly]
Pay 10 hp. If you do, you conjure a Blood Weapon in your hands. You can dismiss the Blood Weapon as a free action. While you are wielding a Blood Weapon, you cannot use your other combat talents. Instead you may use the combat talents below.

[+2] Crow Claw - Standard Attack
Deal 1d10 damage to target creature.

Comparible Power:

[+1] Stab - Standard Attack
Deal 1d10 damage to target creature.

Pros: Gain an extra pip
Cons: None

Result: Point to Blood Weapon

[+1] Douse in Blood - Minor Utility
You lose 5 hp.

Comparible Power:

[+3] Supercharge - Standard Attack
Deal 1d8 damage to yourself and flip a coin. If you win the flip, deal 1d10 damage to target enemy.

Pros: Minor Action, so can be used with Crow Claw to gain same # of pips
Cons: Assured loss of 5 hp, costs both actions to be a tiny bit better

Result: Tie

[-1] Sanguine Cyclone - Standard Utility
Deal 1d12 to target creature and all creatures adjacent to it.

Comparible Power:

[+1] Fireball - Standard Attack
Deal 1d8 damage to target creature and each creature adjacent to the target.

Pros: Higher Damage Die
Cons: Costs a pip instead of giving one

Result: Tie

[-5] Eviscerate - Standard Attack
Deal 3d8 damage to target creature. If you are bloodied, deal 5d8 damage to that creature instead.

Comparible Power:

[-3] Furious Rage - Standard Attack
Deal 2d10 damage to target creature. If you are bloodied, you 3d12 damage instead.

Pros: More damage dice, higer min/max/ave damage (+1/+4/+2.5 not bloodied, +2/+4/+4.5 bloodied), weapon effectively makes you bloodied on turn 2
Cons: Smaller damage dice, costs 2 more pips

Result: Point to character. The weapon makes you bloodied almost pushed it to tie if it wasn't for the fact that the damage FR does is really only barely behind Evis, but FR gets better specials.

Overall: The Blood Weapon power is not actually a good power, since I could just grab powers to redo every single effect it has almost as well, or better. Also, I only have 4 talents, so I can have another thing I can do on top of that.

As a quick for instance:

Supercharge
Stab
Fireball
Blood Weapon (lol)
Furious Rage

Turn 1: BW and Crow's Claw, since Crow's Claw is the only attack that is hands down better than the counterpart.
Turn 2: DiB, drop BW. FR
Turn 3: FR
Turn 4: Supercharge
Turn 5: FR

Result: 15+1d8 damage to me, 1(maybe 2)d10 + 9d12 damage to enemies.
Ave: 64(69.5 on heads) damage. Potential of any specials

Comparible attack strategy:

Turn 1: BW, CC
Turn 2: DiB, Evis
Turn 3: CC, DiB
Turn 4: Evis, DiB
Turn 5: CC
Turn 6: Evis

Result: 25 damage to me, 3d10 + 15d8 damage to enemies, took an extra turn.
Without turn 6 we can drop this to 20 self, 3d10 + 10d8 enemies
Ave: 61.5 damage, no chance of d12 specials unless using derpy's or be prepared.

The gist of this whole rant is that the character who wants to use Blood Weapon would be better served with a talent like this:

[+4] Reason to Never Have Blood Weapon Standard Utility
Lose hp equal to half your starting hp.

Seriously, that fits with the balance standard as has been explained to me (+4 pips at a significant drawback of 15 hp and a standard action), and makes this guy feel better about himself since he didn't waste time using blood weapon. He can now have his turn be: RtNHBW, FR, FR, Stab, FR, Stab and he ends up in the same situation as he was otherwise, except he assuredly does 2d10 damage, and only took 15 from himself.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:16 am

Very good analysis. Nice to see the formula applied in the argument.

However, it seems to miss a core thing (unless I missed it when reading, in which case - my bad).

The player that takes Blood Weapon is gaining access to a wide variety of various combat talents for the space of one combat talent slot. Naturally, this large amount of added versatility needs to come with a severe drawback - which the health loss and the lower impact powers of the blood weapon provides.

Now, it might be too steep a drawback of course - we could definitely have overcompensated - but it's difficult to price versatility. We prefer to err on the side of the underpowered in difficult situations like this rather than risk breaking something (especially since HP is so easy to regain). It might well be time to revisit Blood Weapon and give it a boost. Feel free to PM Kindulas about this, he loves working on conjured weapons and did the core design of Blood Weapon too. Actually, he worked on the core design of all the weapons in the system. =)

Edit - Erring on the side of the underpowered also lets players feel awesome when they manage to figure out a great way to take advantage of the potential in a power that seems weak in 99% of the other builds out there. I know I love finding uses for seemingly weak powers when I build.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:26 am

The problem lies in that the blood weapon itself doesn't really add any good versatility. It gives you a +1 minor that you can use 3 times, it gives you 2 basic attacks (one better than its alternative and one worse), and it gives you a pretty meh AoE which just feels tacked on.

While it does give you added versatility, the versatility is in that you can sacrifice 10 hp to suddenly have a pretty vanilla set of attacks. None of the other weapons feel nearly this underwhelming even after reading them a few times, and as much as the blood weapon costs 0 pips, it costs a third of your health instead, which is appx. equivalent to 5 or so pips.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:35 am

thematthew wrote:The problem lies in that the blood weapon itself doesn't really add any good versatility.

This, I think, is a great point. The Blood Weapon gives you more talents, but they're very vanilla in essence. Sure, you can take unusual combat talents for your normal slots - but then you're relying on Blood Weapon for your basic combat, which isn't what you want when you're playing with a set of average alternate talents.

Basically, Blood Weapon might work a lot better if it was more like the Enchanting utility power - narrow versatility that you could pull out when you needed it. As is, it's versatility in name only - which dramatically undermines the power's usefullness.

Great point. Blood Weapon definitely needs to be redesigned.

thematthew wrote:it costs a third of your health instead, which is appx. equivalent to 5 or so pips.

If you think that 10 hp (a third of your health) equals aproximately 5 pips, then I'm a bit confused why you were so worried about the Ritual Knife letting you pay 6hp for 3 pips. If 2 hp equals 1 pip, that's a very fair trade (and it still costs you 2500 gold, which is a very significant price - as it represents 2.5 standard actions).

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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:46 am

Oh no, I'm saying it's a 2 to 1 ratio because of the ritual knife, no other reason.

Looking over the other weapons, every single one of them except the Scythe and the Wind Blade have 1 move with no real analog in the system. The scythe has 3 which do things that aren't repeated anywhere that I can find (not sure why soul claimer isn't really mimicked elsewhere, but whatever) and the Wind Blade is really just it's own thing for the most part.

In the end, I think that should be what weapons do: a few attacks you could get otherwise, and something cool and unique that it is really the only thing that does like Thunder Hammers AoE stun, or the Flametounge's Single target to AoE trick.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:51 am

thematthew wrote:Oh no, I'm saying it's a 2 to 1 ration because of the ritual knife, no other reason.

Gotcha. Just to be clear, you really do need to factor in the gold price for that. Trying to balance item effects without their gold price is like trying to balance combat talents without their pip cost. Otherwise, it wouldn't matter if the Ritual Knife cost 0 or 9999 gold, which it clearly does for balance reasons.

thematthew wrote:Looking over the other weapons, every single one of them except the Scythe and the Wind Blade have 1 move with no real analog in the system. The scythe has 3 which do things that aren't repeated anywhere that I can find (not sure why soul claimer isn't really mimicked elsewhere, but whatever) and the Wind Blade is really just it's own thing for the most part.

In the end, I think that should be what weapons do: a few attacks you could get otherwise, and something cool and unique that it is really the only thing that does like Thunder Hammers AoE stun, or the Flametounge's Single target to AoE trick.

Agreed. Blood Weapon was a black sheep concept for sure, not really part of the family - but it definitely should be. You should PM Kindulas about this, he's the weapon guy and this is great feedback.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  thematthew on Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:49 am

Here's another 2 man team, designed around save ends.

To begin with, we need some good save ends effects to use.

My thoughts are:

[+2] Crazy Concoction - Standard Utility
You suffer vulnerability 2, a -5 penalty to saving throws and gain a +2 bonus to damage (save ends all).

[+4] Psychic Surge - Standard Utility
After you use your next talent, you are stunned (save ends).

and

[-4] Death Stalks You – Standard Attack
Target Creature is subjected to your “Mark of the Reaper” (save ends). While the target is subjected to your “Mark of the Reaper,” it suffers vulnerability equal to the amount of ongoing damage its taking, and whenever the creature takes damage, you gain that much life. When this effect ends, the Necro Scythe vanishes.

Now we need some good ways to use these, so we need

[-4] Benediction of Maladies - Standard Utility
Transfer all (save-ends) status effects on target ally to target enemy.

Finally we need some extra stuff like

Talisman of Illness - 2000 Gold
Trinket
Enemies suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against (save ends) effects that you bestow on them.

and

Shadow Wraith - 10 HP
Trait - Midnight Haunting
All enemies take a -1 penalty to saving throws.

or

Talisman of Incurable Illness - 4000 gold
Trinket
Enemies suffer a -4 penalty to saving throws against (save ends) effects that you bestow on them.

So let's wrap this together into a 2 man team and flesh it out a little:

Level 1 builds

Guy 1
[+4] Psychic Surge - Standard Utility (After you use your next talent, you are stunned (save ends).)
[+3] Critfisher – Standard Utility
[+2] Crazy Concoction - Standard Utility (You suffer vulnerability 2, a -5 penalty to saving throws and gain a +2 bonus to damage (save ends all).)
[0] Channel Mind - Standard Utility (Target ally can use one of their (-) talents as a free action. They spend your pips instead of theirs to pay the talent’s pip cost.)
[-7] Death’s Scythe – Minor Utility

Guy 2
[+4] Trance - Standard Utility (You suffer vulnerability 4 until the end of your next turn.)
[+3] Critfisher – Standard Utility
[-2] On My Mark! - Standard Utility (Target ally may take a Standard Action.)
[-3] Conjure Wraith - Standard Utility
[-4] Benediction of Maladies - Standard Utility (Transfer all (save-ends) status effects on target ally to target enemy.)

Both have Talisman of Illness - 2000 Gold Trinket (Enemies suffer a -2 penalty to saving throws against (save ends) effects that you bestow on them.)

Basic plan: (If guy 1 goes first)
Turn 1) 1->PS, 2->Critfisher or Trance
Turn 2) 1->CC, 2->BoM
Turn 3) 1->NS, 2->CW

(If guy 2 goes first)
Turn 1) 2->OMM (1->CC), 1->PS
Turn 2) 2->Critfisher or Trance, 1->CM (2->BoM)
Turn 3) 2->CW, 1->Critfisher
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:42 pm

Cool two man team... And I gotta ask, what type of combat build would you build around Wild Abandon? I wanta see if there's anything better for me to try out with that cool talent.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:45 pm

Better build it while you can. We're planning on rebalancing the talent to work as a 1/round boost with lower penalties to the player going forward. But that might not happen for a while. Cool
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Xel Unknown on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:15 pm

But, but, but... Over half of my builds got that talent! Don't ruin me Dan please don't!!!
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:23 pm

Ouch. Well, hopefully when we rework it - it will still be a good deal... Just not broken-tastic with things like crescendo and heavy multi-attack builds. The drawbacks shouldn't be as steep (it might even end up costing less pips).

But that's why we don't impulse-fix things. We want to wait until we're sure we've fixed it *right* so people don't have to deal with more and more re-eratta of the same power.
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Re: Breaking the Unbreakable

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