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Power Stacking

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#1 Pseudonym



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Posted 11 June 2012 - 02:08 PM

Recently in the FPL there's been a bit of kerfuffle as to whether or not we can stack powers in combinations to augment one or the other or both kinda. Not specifically the augmentation powers, those are good.

But what about running Standard Electricity through a Standard Slashing Weapon to make a Superior Lightning Sword?

What do we get when we mix Superior with Standard?

Superior with Superior?

The way I've always understood it is that mixing any one level with itself will bump one level up. 1+1 = 2. 2+2 =3. 3+3=4. Am I doing this wrong? Have I goofed?

Cuz if I have Lady Watchfob's powerset really doesn't make much sense.

#2 Ivan


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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

The argument against this is that, by inference, eight guys with standard strength should be able to lift the same as one guy with Ultimate under this system. Problems multiply when you consider defenses- in this system a Supreme forcefield is able to take no more than two Superior level punches. While 1:2:4:8 is slightly better than 1:2:3:4, it still makes a laughing-stock of upper tier powers. Thematically, this approach also makes Supreme and Ultimate powers available to Street Level characters, which the system is specifically engineered to prevent.

I think Kiddo and Graves hashed out a rough equivalence at one point, using a logarithmic scale, but presumably that post has been lost to the ages. I tend to favor that kind of scale, myself, where each level is somewhere between 5 and 10 times its predecessor. 1:5:25:125 is right at the low end, and 1:10:100:1000 is somewhere right above the middle. (I'm personally a fan of something closer to 1:20:400:8000 but clearly that's just me.)

I also think there is something to be said for the breadth (rather than the depth) of power combinations like the one you're suggesting. In an RPG the lightning sword might do 2x generic damage, but the system might also calculate lighting and piercing damage separately, Additionally, the lightning might inflict a status effect, or provide a ranged advantage to the sword's normal attack ability (which doesn't have ranged as an option,) or be able to affect multiple opponents at once. The lightning might be more effective against enemies wearing metal armor, or those who fly, and the combination with the sword may allow it to be used defensively- a melee parry, formerly a purely defensive move, now comes with a nasty automatic counter-attack. The sword may glow from the lightning, providing a vision bonus in dark places, or it may contain no outward indication of being electrically charged, giving the element of surprise to the sword-holder on his first successful attack. In only one of these options does sword+lightning = double sword, and that is the least creative of the group!

#3 Nilan


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 05:45 AM

Are well written or interesting characters ever scrapped because the powers are slightly overstated? If not, I think writers should just focus on creating something compelling and not worry about whether they get the intricacies of the powers list right.

#4 treacherous


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Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:18 PM

There is an unwritten leniency to that issue when it comes to well written characters.

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