Sunday, December 5, 2010

The ability to soak damage is an integral part of the system, and there are several ways to solve it… I originally wanted armor and warding as applications, but the linking of these kept ending up wonky.

One of the key problems is that the supers system benefits most by having a single ability that absorbs all damage- the Hulk can withstand punches, bullets, sledge hammers, radioactive isotopes, bursts of flame and bursts of arcane power with comparable ease. The fantasy system benefits more from having different ways to soak damage; the knight absorbs physical damage well, but fire, cold and darkness magic slip right past his plate mail; the wizard can soak up these elemental/arcane attacks, but doesn’t have much ability to turn back a war hammer attack. Originally I wanted these as applications (armor linked to stamina for instance), but I’m thinking there are three abilities, all purchased as rated abilities:

• Armor allows you to purchase physical protection in the form of armored suits (fantasy system only). You are allowed to wear armor rated at your ability rating +1; with armor +0, you still get to wear a suit of padded armor +1 or wizard’s robes +1.
• Warding allows you to purchase elemental/magical protection in the form of amulets or other totems (fantasy system only). With warding +5, you can purchase and wear and amulet of warding +6.
• Invulnerability soaks all damage (except mental damage). It’s a combination of both armor and warding. (monsters in the fantasy system and all characters in the supers system).

Invulnerability is inherently slightly cooler than armor or warding… For 12 CPs, you can purchase armor +4 and warding +4, giving you +5 to soak both physical and magical damage; this same 12 CPs gives you invulnerability +6. It’s not a huge discrepancy, but enough that invulnerability in an inherently stronger ability. At the top end it’s a wider gap; you need to spend 50 CPs to be able to soak all physical and magical attacks at +10 (+9 rating in both armor and warding), while invulnerability gives you this same protection for 30 CPs. I can live with this, although it’s still not ideal. The other option is to make invulnerability cost twice as much as other abilities, and this just scales all wrong- no ability is worth 60 CPs to get to +10.