Mechanics vs Descriptors

A place to discuss game rules, homebrew systems and the like.
Post Reply
Zero Prime
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:40 pm

Mechanics vs Descriptors

Post by Zero Prime » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:38 am

Hey there folks, a question on people's take of mechanical effects vs descriptors. Weaken & Nullify are kind of odd ducks at times because they *can* focus on mechanical effects in a game built around descriptors. We've all seen it, and while I am not a fan, it is a perfectly viable way to build an attack; Damage linked to Weaken Toughness with a descriptor of, lets say, adamantium claws.

Fair enough; however, there are examples of Protection purchased with descriptors of dumb luck, regeneration, or untouchable. In dumb luck's & untouchable's case, even though you are 'hit' mechanically, a successful toughness save represents the fact that the attack missed you, based on your descriptor. So because Weaken works vs a mechanical effect and not descriptors, it works vs every type of Protection, regardless of descriptor?

So in the case of Sharp Claw Guy & Dumb Luck Guy, lets assume DLG has zero Stamina, being an everyday joe, and all his Toughness derives from his dumb luck Protection, would it be fair to SCG to discount his Weaken Toughness due to the descriptors involved?

User avatar
catsi563
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:29 pm
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
Contact:

Re: Mechanics vs Descriptors

Post by catsi563 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:50 pm

Not really since a linked effect is at least as I recall an all or nothing. Since you make both saves pretty much simultaneously

So in the provided example SCG hits DLG with claws

DLG makes his toughness save and his fort save then the descriptior remains as stated. The guy swiped at him with his claws and DLG just leans over to pick up an --estremely-- lucky penny at the right moment.

The descriptor is that SCG just plain missed. the effect is that both saves were made.

if DLG had failed one of the saves say the fort save the descriptor remains the same SCG missed entirely HOWEVER the effect kicks in and DLG can feel he might be pushing his luck because his toughness is now lessened *phew that was close don't want those to touch me or I'm a goner*

and if he fails both saves then well Ouch bad luck chum
Dr. Silverback has wryly observed that this is like trying to teach lolcats about Shakespeare

Showdown at the Litterbox

Catsi stories

User avatar
Davies
Posts: 1183
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:37 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: Mechanics vs Descriptors

Post by Davies » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:56 pm

I think that if your descriptor of Weaken Toughness in this case is "damages armor", then you might be within your rights to apply a Limitation to the effect, Only Versus Physical Armor. Since non-physical armor (including stuff like force fields and the like) is fairly common in most superheroic settings, this seems like a fairly reasonable -1 point limitation.

In this instance, then, SCG would only provoke the Toughness save from DLG, rather than the Fortitude save, because he can't Weaken the Toughness of the target's plot armor.

Post Reply