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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Powerblocking?  (Read 19884 times)
Ben Lehman
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« on: August 31, 2005, 11:34:21 AM »

Just an odd rules question.

Say that a player is using the Robot powerset, and making heavy use of the "Massive Property Damage" Style.  Could I set out a "Goal: Massive Property Damage" and effectively prevent the Robot from using that Style until that conflict resolves?

yrs--
--Ben
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2005, 11:50:34 AM »

Um... you know, I just finished reading the rules and I don't remember anything keeping you from doing it.  In fact, if a character has the Power, "Razor Sharp Claws" I could see you plopping down a Conflict that said "Goal: Wolverine uses his razor sharp claws" and keep him from narrating anything with his claws until it was resolved.

Weird...
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2005, 12:47:51 PM »

Yeah, but you could easily counter with:

"Robot-man attempts to cause Massive Property Damage, but stumbles into a scyscraper instead of laying waste to the city as planned. The building is rocked from the impact, and shudders ominously."

or:

"Wolverine's Razor Sharp Claws fail to deploy as he attacks, causing him to lash out even stronger than he intended, due to an atavistic reaction to the shock of it."

...I think.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2005, 02:36:06 PM »

Andrew M. has the right of it... most practical goals block off some specific uses, but leave a panoply of more creative ways to narrate the power.  While you can theoretically write "Goal:  Massive Property Damage as an idea, memory, concept or action has any bearing, relevance or influence, direct or indirect over the course of events," (and thereby, I think, kill off most any sort of narration by the Not Yet rule) most people don't.
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 04:59:36 PM »

Yeah, the only time I can conceive of actually doing something like you describe is if someone is being a total dick in free narration.  Then I would block 1 power, I'd go for blocking the whole damn character.
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Jack Aidley
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2005, 07:15:59 AM »

Goal: Captain Spandex uses any of his powers in any way ?
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TonyLB
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2005, 07:23:05 AM »

Is this something that actually happened, Jack?  Or are you worried and borrowing trouble?  Or, alternately, are you stepping up to provide the folks on the forum with a fun challenge to work out, so that everyone can applaud and marvel at the grace and artistry with which they handle it?

I'm sort of hoping for that third one, I have to admit.  But mainly I think the discussion will be more fun if we're all on the same page.
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Jack Aidley
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2005, 07:33:18 AM »

More of the third. It struck me as the logical extension of what the first poster was talking about.
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TonyLB
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2005, 08:23:42 AM »

Coooool!  Challenge time, everyone.  Jack has posted a beautiful broad-spectrum Preventative Goal (and I agree it's the logical extension of the first poster's comments).  Let's see some entertaining notions for how you would narrate the game-mechanical use of a Power anyway.
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jburneko
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2005, 08:46:45 AM »

Hell, I did this VOLUNTARILY in the game that's going right now.  I had one of my villains Reverend Eden summon Lucifer through a portal and one of the other player's slapped down, Goal: Send Lucifer Back Through The Portal.  It succeeded and massively hosed Lucifer in the process.  He ended up with 11 debt on his undifferenciated drive stack.

So, I decided he was totally stripped of his powers by the process.  So no when I use "Invulnerable" I describe him arrogantly taking a blow from an enemy and then acting totally shocked when he starts to bleed.

Jesse
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Eric Provost
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2005, 08:48:47 AM »

Quote
Goal: Captain Spandex uses any of his powers in any way ?

Seems pretty synonymous with:

Goal:  You get to narrate anything interesting at all.

And if anyone was silly enough to write down either of those on an index card I'd probably respond by handing that player their hat.

I think that Andrew gave a good response to Ben's initial rules dilemma.  Being that blocking the implied effect of a power does not block the narrative ability of the player to use the power.  I don't see the logical extension that Jack and Tony see.  What I do see is the question "What if I'm playing with a total dick?  Will Capes solve that problem?"

But maybe that's just me.

-Eric
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Andrew Cooper
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2005, 09:02:49 AM »

I'm with Eric on this one.  There's not any way to block someone from using the Power to get to roll the dice.  You can always narrate the character TRYING to use the Power but being unsuccessful and still roll the die.  My initial read on the problem was what Eric describes.  What if I somehow get stuck playing with a total dick?  Can Capes provide ways to curtail the lone idiot at the table?  I think using Powerblocking is an excellent example of how to do so.  It doesn't rob the player from the ability to play but it makes him have to come up with something interesting in order to do so.  Of course, if he's still a dick after that, just quit playing with him.
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Andrew Morris
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2005, 09:21:29 AM »

What Andrew (Gaerik) just said. Use your powers in ways that are meaningless, but let you narrate why you end up rolling the die anyway. "Captain Spandex winds up to use his Thunder Punch, but realizes that violence is not the answer, and convinces the bank robbers to turn themselves over to the police."
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Jack Aidley
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2005, 05:18:00 AM »

Would you actually accept that as a use of a power? I don't have the rules at hand but it seems to me that Captain Spendex thinking about it and doing something else wouldn't reasonably count as using the power.
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Sydney Freedberg
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2005, 08:06:09 AM »

In one recent session with Tony -- who, y'know, is presumably the world's leading authority on the interpretation of Capes rules -- I realized I had a character with nothing but combat powers who was in the middle of a debate scene where violence was totally inappropriate. (For the moment). I boggled for a moment and then realized: Use the powers metaphorically.

In my case, I had the character, who had the "Shootist" powerset from the click-and-locks, speak in gawdawful inarticulate gunfire metaphors, e.g. I use "Ricochet" and the character says something like, "y'know, sometimes we all make mistakes, where we aim for one goal but everything we throw at it bounces off and does terrible damage somewhere else...." Etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseam.

This was a silly example, but you could do it seriously. I had a villainness whose level 5 power was "Cause pain" against whom Tony laid down a preventative goal "Hurt my character in any away." So I simply had my villain cause emotional pain to herself, because she's so damn full of misery and self-loathing, and let that power her towards victory anyway.
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