Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

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Count Thalim
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Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Count Thalim » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:57 pm

One of my players acquired the Storm Caller perk a few sessions ago and has used it several times since. Generally to pretty impressive effect.

Do any of the other GMs/Designers out there have recommendations as to how to handle someone who has this perk along with a high Reality score. (16, so outstripping most enemies up until Host level).

The last few fights have ended with her losing a few possibilities but stripping the opponent of all theirs pretty fast and making the encounter less satisfying as they can't use their funky abilities (have to attack using Reality) and everyone else is reduced to heckling bystanders/mopping up the support.
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Wotan
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Wotan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:56 pm

Count Thalim wrote:One of my players acquired the Storm Caller perk a few sessions ago and has used it several times since. Generally to pretty impressive effect.

Do any of the other GMs/Designers out there have recommendations as to how to handle someone who has this perk along with a high Reality score. (16, so outstripping most enemies up until Host level).

The last few fights have ended with her losing a few possibilities but stripping the opponent of all theirs pretty fast and making the encounter less satisfying as they can't use their funky abilities (have to attack using Reality) and everyone else is reduced to heckling bystanders/mopping up the support.

A few thoughts off the top of my head:
1) Throw more than one Reality rated villain into fights, so that there's at least one for the other PCs to feel good about fighting.

2) Core Earth reality rated enemies (so they can't be targeted by Storm Caller.)

3) Give the occasional R-rated villain an even higher Reality skill, Favored Reality, or a helpful Eternity Shard. Once the Storming PC has lost a few (costing them a Reality add each time!) they might not view it as a go-to option.
3b) Ravagons! It would be totally fitting for them to have powers which either give bonuses in Reality Storm contests, nerf the Stormcaller, or just make them plain immune.

4) Have supporting villains (possibly R-rated) who can hit the Storm Caller's weak Interaction defenses, to (V) Stymie them while they're in the Storm. As a Reality contest is made on each participant's action, a single (V) Stymie is likely to affect more than one of the Stormcaller's contest rolls.

5) If there's any chance that the villains will have heard how dangerous the Stormcaller is they'll probably target them. Maybe even before the showdown fight. If the Stormcaller's low on Possibilities, going into the final fight, they might be less gung-ho with the storms.
5b) It's a powerful ability for the DC to be able to call upon, & better if enemies aren't anticipating it. Maybe the DC asks them to hold it back, as a "secret weapon", for when it's really needed.

6) Reality Storms are seriously destructive, & dangerous to bystanders. Have some hostages on the scene who'll likely get squibbed if they're caught in a Storm. Or set it at a site that would be bad to hit with a Storm. (A national monument (PR disaster!) a fragile hard point (PR disaster & setting back the war effort!) or a nuclear reactor (Boooom!))
6b) As with 5b above have the DC ask the PC to hold back. The game mechanics make the Perk fairly safe & predictable but ultimately, in-canon, Reality Storms are hugely dangerous forces of chaos. I'd imagine the DC would view the casual invokation of them about the same way it would feel about the casual use of tactical nukes. (i.e. Badly- it's an option for really, really desperate situations only.)

7) If the PCs are Beta, use the general "Bad guys" possibility pool to shore up villains who're in with a chance of winning anyway.

OTOH, the character has spent 4 Perks to get Stormcaller so, IMHO, it would be bad form to completely crap on it- they should feel good about having bought it sometimes. It is a tricky one though, in terms of making boss fights trivial &/or leaving other PCs feeling useless, (just as the ability to invoke Storms could be in OTorg.)
I think the key might be to get to a state where it's their choice not to use it all the time. Whether that's because they've lost a few (& lost permanent XP as a result,) or they caused collateral damage which they regret, or they start to become a target for the HLs.

If none of that's working & it's clearly spoiling other player's enjoyment sit down as a group & discuss it. Hopefully the Stormcaller's player will understand and hold back a bit out of consideration for the other players.
Hope some of those ideas are helpful. :)
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Gargoyle
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:04 pm

Sometimes it's fun to let the players run amok for a while too. They can feel good about winning and outsmarting the system. So I wouldn't shut them down too hard. But if it doesn't feel right, then yeah, it might be time to ratchet up the difficulty.

One thing I liked to do back in the days when everyone could invoke reality storms is have the Highlords notice. It makes sense that the Darkness Devices would sense such a thing in their realm, and they have some tools to deal with Storm Knights. Soulstain, followed by groups of reality rated foes and even ravagons can make a reality storm risky. I like this approach because it lets them have their fun, but it shows that the world isn't going to sit back and let them win. The High Lords counter punch.
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Sunrunner » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:39 pm

I have found that you really cant build 1 big bad guy fights in Torg. At least not unless we are talking High Lord level because the PCs can reach so far with possibilities and cards. Torg seems to be a PCs can do anything they want its just a question of how much will it cost them in terms or resources.

I have had more success with multiple smaller reality rated opponents. Or one fairly big in charge guy and a few lieutenants and mooks in the fight.

Honestly my most dangerous fights have been when I hit them with special forces teams made up of 4 or 6 fairly strong normal guys and 4 to 6 more of the fairly strong guys that are reality rated and carrying a possibility or two each.

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Kuildeous
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Kuildeous » Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:18 pm

Numbers is certainly a mitigating factor. While Torg's action economy is really good—in that you can do as many actions as your skill and resources will allow—an all-vs-one fight is still going to be pretty ugly for that one.

I experimented with one such fight. It was actually brutal for the Storm Knights because the creature they fought had a 25 Unarmed Combat. A bit worse Dodge, but the Toughness was pretty badass. Well, if I beat on a group of six Storm Knights with that, then that -10 brings it down to 15, which is still enough to hit many people. Throw in the Whirlwind perk to make it 17. So this foe put out a lot of hurt.

But I can't do that for each fight. That's just not narratively sustainable. So yeah, numbers. Mooks with an attack value of 10 probably won't do too much individually, but in groups, they can give the Storm Knights pause.

So, sure, let the PC lock up that major villain. Let him fill that niche just fine. Everyone else has to deal with other foes. If the Storm Caller is quick about it, he might be able to finish his storm and lock someone else before things get too ugly.
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby QuarrelBlue » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:53 am

Maybe a Dread Ord can be an answer to the Storm Caller, or, more practically, a worthy opponent for the rest of the team.
Having Dread means the monster is awesome enough to make the encounter Dramatic even without Reality-Rated villain, and being an Ord it won't ignite the Invoked Reality Storm.
If you want a no-storm battle it can be a main threat, or else you can put a Reality-Rated enemy for the Storm Caller and a Dread Ord for the rest of the team.

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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:10 am

The beauty of this ord is that if it's an elite with the right perk, it takes more than 1 Wound to drop it. If it's larger, then even better.

And if your group is beta, then the ord can spend Possibilities on its attacks even though it has no Possibilities of its own. It can't soak damage, so it'll still go down pretty quickly, but before it does, it can dish out some hurt of its own.

A reminder from oTorg is that powerful foes can still be ords. That still holds true in Eternity, though I feel like it was more obvious in oTorg. That may just be a matter of perception. After all, many elements that were new to me in oTorg I now take as a matter of course in Eternity. Of course, in oTorg, ords could take just as many wounds as Storm Knights, but with the elite package and the Hard to Kill(?) perk, an Eternity ord can still be pretty threatening even if it can't soak or enhance rolls (pre-Beta).

Most climactic scenes will feature a reality-rated foe, but that doesn't always have to be the case.
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TorgHacker
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby TorgHacker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 am

Also, remember that threats don't have to obey the rules as far as prereqs etc go. If you want an Ord to have 5 Wounds, they can have 5 Wounds...though you'd probably want to rationalize it in some fashion.
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Greymarch2000
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Greymarch2000 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:09 am

Sometimes all it takes is an ord with a sniper rifle 1km away.

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Count Thalim
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Re: Dealing with Storm Caller Perk

Postby Count Thalim » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:46 am

Thanks for the thoughts. Given me some good ideas to take away and chew.
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