PbP Leadership

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StarGuard
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PbP Leadership

Post by StarGuard » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:33 pm

Recently had some discussion on the usfulness of Inspire given the nature of PbP. It's hard to get even good players to remember to use the advantage when there might be days between post.

Batgirl created the following in a Captain America write up. Hero Lab says it cost 4pts not 1, but I still like it. Even though the investment (KS: Tactics 8-10) It doesn't "waste" HP like Inspire.

Any thoughts ?



• Tactical Leadership Enhanced Advantage 1 (Favored Environment; E: Affects Others, Area [Perception], Selective, Variable Descriptor [any environment (2)];
F: Check Required [Expertise Tactics, DC15], Fades) [4 PP ]

Spectrum
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Spectrum » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:13 pm

I recently had a player try to run this past me and said no. The biggest problem with it is that it breaks PLs, jumping everyone effectively one PL higher.
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Batgirl III
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Batgirl III » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:58 pm

This power from my Captain America build has proven to be the most controversial thing I ever wrote! :lol:

Let's see if I can shed some light on it.
Batgirl III wrote:Tactical Leadership Enhanced Advantage 1 (Favored Environment; E: Affects Others, Area [Perception], Selective, Variable Descriptor [any environment (2)];
F: Check Required [Expertise Tactics, DC15], Fades) [ 1 PP ]
Enhanced Trait (DCA, p. 97) is the base power, although as is common practice I just wrote it as "Enhanced Advantage," for the same reason most of us in Roll Call would write "Enhanced Strength," "Enhanced Skill," or whatever. Enhanced Trait as a cost same per rank as acquiring a rank in the given trait. In this case 1 PP for the Advantage.

The Extras modifying the power are: Affects Others (DCA, p. 125) which costs 1 PP per Rank; Area: Shape (Perception) (p.126) which costs 1 PP per Rank; Selective (p. 132) which again costs 1 PP per Rank. Finally, we have Variable Desciptor (p. 133) which is a two-tiered "Flat" Extra, and in this case were taking its 2 PP version. Since the base power is one Rank, this adds up to a total of +5 PP in Extras.

That brings us to the Flaws modifying the base Power, of which there are only two: Check Required (p. 134) and Fades (p. 135). In the case of Fades it's a pretty simple –1 PP per Rank. The difference between my build and HeroLab probably has to do with a difference between the way Check Required works in DCA versus M&M3e. In DCA Check Required starts at a difficulty class of 10 + ranks in Check Required, in M&M3e the DC is 9 + ranks in Check Required. So to have a DC15 Check Required under my math, that's 5 Ranks of the Flaw. For a total of -6 PP in Flaws

1 PP Base +5 PP Extras - 6 PP Flaws = 0 PP... But we can't have anything less than 1 PP.

As for the "PL Breaking" nature of the Power. Well, with respect to my fellow GMs, this power doesn't break PL. At all. The base Favored Environment Advantage is a circumstance bonus and thus not subject to PL Cap (see p. 15 and 181). Adding the various Extras that I did does not change the nature of the Bonus. I should also point out that the Fades Flaw is in there for a reason: this circumstance bonus will only last one round and it is the GM who decides when and how a faded effect recovers.
The book specifies it should generally occur outside of combat and take a good long while at that!

Now, I'll be the last person to insist that my way of playing the game is the One True Path. Every GM must decide what works for them, their group, and their story. If "Tactical Leadership" is not right for you, so be it... But, I do encourage you to give it a try, as it's one of those things that looks really potent on paper, but works quite nicely in play.

(You can always change your mind and ask your player to re-write it after a few sessions if it is distuptive.)
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Shock
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Shock » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:37 pm

Yeah, Variable descriptor Favored Environment just completely skips the whole point of the advantage. Would you allow Favored Environment (wherever I am now)? I never would, not even for 5 points. It's a PL breaking power because it lets you go above PL.

I also wouldn't allow 5 points of savings for Check Required when you only need to roll a 3 for it to be successful.

However, 1 point of bonus for 1 round is hardly game-breaking so I wouldn't get to wound up about it. I would question putting all that complication into such an innocuous power though.

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Batgirl III
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:02 am

Obviously, I'd allow it seeing as how I came up with it! :lol:

An excellent substitution that achieves a similar end – Leader Guy is super tactical at leading his team – is an Affects Others'ized Improved Initiative or Improved Critical. Giving the team a jump on the bad guys or a turn of super-effective attacks.

As always, your mileage may vary.
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by badpenny » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:14 am

StarGuard wrote: • Tactical Leadership Enhanced Advantage 1 (Favored Environment; E: Affects Others, Area [Perception], Selective, Variable Descriptor [any environment (2)];
F: Check Required [Expertise Tactics, DC15], Fades) [4 PP ]
The Fades Flaw is iffy at best. While it would allow a one use instance, I'm not sure it fits based on descriptor. Also, Fades has a "recharge" component and the GM determines when the effect can be used again. That might mean it's only a one scene thing, but if the GM doesn't call for a recharge period, then there's nothing stopping the character with this effect to use it every round, which would make the Flaw moot.

Since there's already the Aid action where you can do the same thing but for one person, this feels way too powerful given just how many people it could potentially affect.

I'd also point to the end run it's doing to Inspire. That is specifically built to cost an HP and be ranked to provide a bonus to all your allies.

That being said, I do like seeing the Tactics skill put to use and wish it was better operationalized.

But I'd rule it unbalanced.
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Batgirl III
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:26 am

I just like tinkering with the system to come up with new ways to do things. Way back in 2e, I built "powers" for a bunch of iconic team rallying cries. I called it my Guide to Clobberin' Time! and itbwas a lot of fun.
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StarGuard
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by StarGuard » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:32 am

Inspire is a tad more flexible and a lot cheaper. You have to figure in the points the character has invested not only in the Enhanced Advantage but the points spent to bring the Tactical skill up enough that the Advantage is reliably useable. It's not exactly cheap and there's always the chance for failure. Like many abilities the GM would want to make sure it wasn't overly useful say with a skill level 14+ :(

I also think anyone considering this a more than one use per scene ability to be off their rocker. :D

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badpenny
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by badpenny » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:07 pm

I wouldn't allow a player to take this build with a Check Required Flaw and then also buy up their skill to make the Check Required Flaw moot. That's Rule 0.

Plus, I hate the way 3e handles this Flaw. It front loads it and potentially gives much more of a discount than a standard -1 Flaw would.
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StarGuard
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by StarGuard » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:30 pm

Take five boys. I think we'll let the 70 foot tall robot do the rest... Baby doll, cigarette me.
Just saw this in one of BGIII builds. Wow ... just wow (good times I'm betting ;))

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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Prof Weird » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:41 pm

badpenny wrote:
Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:07 pm
I wouldn't allow a player to take this build with a Check Required Flaw and then also buy up their skill to make the Check Required Flaw moot. That's Rule 0.

Plus, I hate the way 3e handles this Flaw. It front loads it and potentially gives much more of a discount than a standard -1 Flaw would.
IIRC, a rule in the book states that flat flaws cannot exceed the rank of the power it modifies.

So you can't get a Check Required worth 4 points for 1 Rank of power (in essence, it can never grant more than a standard -1/rank flaw).

Stops the formation of "Variable 1, Check Required 8" for 1 pp.

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badpenny
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by badpenny » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:44 pm

Prof Weird wrote:IIRC, a rule in the book states that flat flaws cannot exceed the rank of the power it modifies.
Great catch.
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by Flynnarrel » Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:02 pm

Inspire has the limitations of once per scene and costs a hero point. I'm pretty sure the game designers put them in there for balance reasons. This is a clever runaround for those limitations, mind you, but I'm not sure it's balanced anymore.

Favored Environment let's a character be effectively a PL higher in a certain situations. It's gives a certain character type (jungle commando, atlantean, etc.) an edge and opportunities to shine. By letting Favored Environment be for 'any environment you happen to be in' breaks that specialness.

IMO.

YMMV.
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StarGuard
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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by StarGuard » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:35 pm

Yes but stating the book says isn't necessarily a valid argument. After all favorite environment in the book says as an example air. So you're telling me the point a character with flying powers is equal to the point a See based character spends for ocean?

I'm not saying the counter arguments don't have weight. I am saying that inspire pretty much sucks want to play by post because other characters players never seem to use it when being activated by the character who is trying to help the team. There still should be some kind of leadership ability to simulate a character like Captain America. Inspire doesn't cut it and leadership and teamwork aren't quite enough

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Re: PbP Leadership

Post by badpenny » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:41 pm

Not every Flaw has equal impact. Not everything is balanced. I've seen GMs wholly ignore the Removable Flaw and let a battlesuit type get away with ~20 points over every one else.

It comes down to how much attention a GM is paying. You might choose to play an Atlantean but the GM might never write a story to get you into the water. So, yeah, your Favored Environment (Aquatic) never comes up. I've seen the opposite end of the spectrum, too: Favored Environement (Urban) and of course that's everywhere in a city so basically it's always in effect.

It's not perfect, so GMs have to try to do the balancing.

OTOH, if the effect is too good, like being able to buff everyone without consequence, every round, then you're not really playing PL 10, but 11. If it's balanced by having to use a fungible resource, then it's balanced since a given player can choose to spend an HP on their allies -or- on themselves. If you have players who never want to spend HP on their allies then look to who you're playing with rather than the mechanics.
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