The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

FatPob
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby FatPob » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:32 am

I agree, make all pulp powers have a "limitation, gadget: This power is tied to a specific gadget, jetpack, wrist blaster, belt, goggles, boxing gloves, boots, sword, gun, helmet etc. The gadget has the lower axiom for the purposes of use within the Nile Empire only."

So Super Skill Melee - may be down to the "Khopesh of Seppathuten", Mind Control due to the "Crown of Midas", a spell power due to the "Staff of Moses" Super Dex due to the "The Belt of the Monkey Tail" Each one an associated Axiom based on what it is, perhaps higher than Nile, perhaps not.

This would allow some cool abilities plus the ability to disarm players/enemies would take on a new meaning.

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Spatula
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby Spatula » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:48 am

pkitty wrote:For example, I totally get the idea of a jetpack or "gravity belt" but I'm not sure I understand what's particularly "pulp" about someone with unmodified Fly -- that's just straight-up superhero stuff. Same with just about any of the abilities.

I may just house rule that all Pulp Powers come with the "requires gadget" limitation automatically. That would go a long way toward preserving the pulp feel while also keeping the Nile from feeling so OP.

A lot of well-known pulp characters that have abilities (and their precursors) are super human without gadgets: Tarzan, Doc Savage, The Shadow...

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Greymarch2000
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby Greymarch2000 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:12 am

I think a lot of it also comes down to enhancements and limitations. Enhancements make a perk "better" than a normal perk and while in theory the limitation, um, limit them. Experienced groups that have been crunching out characters in point-buy super hero games can usually plan around said limitations very well.

The Kestrel in in my group had a ridiculously high Maneuver due to Super Skill along with Flight and even after an audit to cut down on his cheesy limitation choices the ability to more or less apply Very Vulnerable to whoever he wanted every turn and stay out of range of any melee was very potent. Only the fact that he generally rolled a natural 1 at the beginning of every combat held him back. :)

"Luckily" he switched to an Ayslish dwarf Dragon Warrior now so it's not an issue, but I also haven't been able to keep tabs on the power level of a Nile Character.

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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby fougerec » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:25 am

Spatula wrote:A lot of well-known pulp characters that have abilities (and their precursors) are super human without gadgets: Tarzan, Doc Savage, The Shadow...


Neither Tarzan or Doc are superhuman (well they're not meant to be but I think sometimes writers outside Burroughs or Dent forget). Doc also has a wide assortment of gadgets available to him.

I don't think the limitation would need to be "must be a gadget" but limiting the power (maybe with an option to buy off the limitation as a separate perk) makes sense.

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Arcesilaus
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby Arcesilaus » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:28 am

Spatula wrote:
pkitty wrote:For example, I totally get the idea of a jetpack or "gravity belt" but I'm not sure I understand what's particularly "pulp" about someone with unmodified Fly -- that's just straight-up superhero stuff. Same with just about any of the abilities.

I may just house rule that all Pulp Powers come with the "requires gadget" limitation automatically. That would go a long way toward preserving the pulp feel while also keeping the Nile from feeling so OP.

A lot of well-known pulp characters that have abilities (and their precursors) are super human without gadgets: Tarzan, Doc Savage, The Shadow...

Yes, I don't think the Limitation should always be "gadget," but I do think there needs to be a Limitation. Tarzan, for example, can pretty clearly only call on the animals of jungle during Dramatic scenes, otherwise he'd never walk anywhere.
Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. - The Dread Pirate Roberts

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TorgHacker
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:54 am

Greymarch2000 wrote:I think a lot of it also comes down to enhancements and limitations. Enhancements make a perk "better" than a normal perk and while in theory the limitation, um, limit them. Experienced groups that have been crunching out characters in point-buy super hero games can usually plan around said limitations very well.

The Kestrel in in my group had a ridiculously high Maneuver due to Super Skill along with Flight and even after an audit to cut down on his cheesy limitation choices the ability to more or less apply Very Vulnerable to whoever he wanted every turn and stay out of range of any melee was very potent. Only the fact that he generally rolled a natural 1 at the beginning of every combat held him back. :)

"Luckily" he switched to an Ayslish dwarf Dragon Warrior now so it's not an issue, but I also haven't been able to keep tabs on the power level of a Nile Character.


I actually directly address the 'games' people play with Limitations in the Nile Empire book:

"Pulp powers are fairly unique from other Perks
and abilities in the fact that Enhancements can
be selected which increase the power level or
utility of the power by choosing Limitations
rather than spending XP on an additional Perk.
However, clever players can ‘game’ the system by
selecting Limitations that aren’t very limiting and
substantially increasing the power level of their
hero.

The Game Master gets the final call over approving
Limitations for a power. The whole point of
Limitations is that they must be actually limiting
and they will be used. Frequently. By selecting a
Limitation the player is advertising to the GM to
put the spotlight on this flaw. Tagging a Limitation
is not the Game Master being nasty, but the player
accepting these restrictions in order to have greater
power.

If the player will be upset he’s losing a power or
his life becoming complicated due to a Limitation,
the player shouldn’t choose a Limitation and accept
the lower (but still useful) power level. The cost of
having really great pulp powers is occasionally
(and often at the most inopportune times) they just
don’t work, or something bad happens."

I probably should bold that bolded section in the book. :-)
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

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Greymarch2000
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby Greymarch2000 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:41 am

Well people tend to remember the highs and not the lows so that could be one issue with the perception that Nile powers are better than everyone elses.

mystic101
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby mystic101 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:13 pm

Greymarch2000 wrote:I think a lot of it also comes down to enhancements and limitations. Enhancements make a perk "better" than a normal perk and while in theory the limitation, um, limit them. Experienced groups that have been crunching out characters in point-buy super hero games can usually plan around said limitations very well.


I was going to bring up limitation problems as one reason that the Nile is better than other cosms, but not because players are gaming the system with them. There are other problems with limitations that are just as, if not more, serious.

The benefits of an enhanced pulp power are straightforward, right there on the page in black and white. Whereas the drawbacks are more nebulous. They're not as crunchy. They're off-panel, and they require extra storyteller effort to invoke. That's an issue.

For example, in one of our group's adventures, we were guarding a location from an impending attack. We didn't know when the attack would happen, day or night. I straight up told the storyteller that I thought he should stage the attack at night, because I don't get dinged for having a Gear limitation as often as I could/should. One of my pulp powers is tied to my armor, and I figured that if I wouldn't be wearing the armor while I'm asleep, while off guard duty, it'd be the perfect time to put that into play. However, for plot reasons that I wasn't privy to at the time, the attack happened during the day. Missed opportunity, but it wasn't the storyteller's fault. Sometimes it's hard for a storyteller to shoehorn in a particular limitation trigger . . . juggling whether something happens in the day vs the night, or a foe is female vs male. It may not always be so easy.

And that got me thinking . . . why should the storyteller have to do so much extra work to accommodate a choice that I made? That's not fair. It's my power. The burden of implementing it should be on me, not him. Plus, I think it contributes to an "us vs. them" mentality, at least subconsciously, if not outright. I see it in the comments about limitations on this very thread. They seem to be coming from a perspective of the storyteller "putting the Nile player in their place", or something.

So my balance suggestion is to overhaul the nature of the official limitations. I'd much rather see limitations like "Can't attack or do interactions in the first round of every combat", or "Take a -4 to your power's action total if used more than once per scene". Those things aren't nebulous, like a lot of the current limitations are. They're pretty cut-and-dried, no matter what else the storyteller is or isn't doing. They're as black-and-white as the advantages are. And secondly, they don't require any extra work or finagling by the storyteller. Heck, the player can keep track of those things him/herself, with no extra ST input required. That puts the burden of administering the power back onto me, not him, where I think it really belongs.

Just my two cents.

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Wotan
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby Wotan » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:43 pm

mystic101 wrote:So my balance suggestion is to overhaul the nature of the official limitations. I'd much rather see limitations like "Can't attack or do interactions in the first round of every combat", or "Take a -4 to your power's action total if used more than once per scene". Those things aren't nebulous, like a lot of the current limitations are. They're pretty cut-and-dried, no matter what else the storyteller is or isn't doing. They're as black-and-white as the advantages are. And secondly, they don't require any extra work or finagling by the storyteller. Heck, the player can keep track of those things him/herself, with no extra ST input required. That puts the burden of administering the power back onto me, not him, where I think it really belongs.

Just my two cents.

FWIW, I think that's a really good suggestion! :)
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TorgHacker
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Re: The Nile Empire is Better at Everything

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:48 pm

mystic101 wrote:
For example, in one of our group's adventures, we were guarding a location from an impending attack. We didn't know when the attack would happen, day or night. I straight up told the storyteller that I thought he should stage the attack at night, because I don't get dinged for having a Gear limitation as often as I could/should. One of my pulp powers is tied to my armor, and I figured that if I wouldn't be wearing the armor while I'm asleep, while off guard duty, it'd be the perfect time to put that into play. However, for plot reasons that I wasn't privy to at the time, the attack happened during the day. Missed opportunity, but it wasn't the storyteller's fault. Sometimes it's hard for a storyteller to shoehorn in a particular limitation trigger . . . juggling whether something happens in the day vs the night, or a foe is female vs male. It may not always be so easy.

And that got me thinking . . . why should the storyteller have to do so much extra work to accommodate a choice that I made? That's not fair. It's my power. The burden of implementing it should be on me, not him. Plus, I think it contributes to an "us vs. them" mentality, at least subconsciously, if not outright. I see it in the comments about limitations on this very thread. They seem to be coming from a perspective of the storyteller "putting the Nile player in their place", or something.

So my balance suggestion is to overhaul the nature of the official limitations. I'd much rather see limitations like "Can't attack or do interactions in the first round of every combat", or "Take a -4 to your power's action total if used more than once per scene". Those things aren't nebulous, like a lot of the current limitations are. They're pretty cut-and-dried, no matter what else the storyteller is or isn't doing. They're as black-and-white as the advantages are. And secondly, they don't require any extra work or finagling by the storyteller. Heck, the player can keep track of those things him/herself, with no extra ST input required. That puts the burden of administering the power back onto me, not him, where I think it really belongs.

Just my two cents.


Just to be clear...the Limitations aren't...limited. They're just examples (it actually says so). There are no 'official limitations' that need overhauling, because the two that you created there are just as valid as any of the ones printed in the book.

And there are cut and dried Limitations even in the Core Book. I mean...MOST of them are cut and dried.

• Doesn’t work if you’re Stymied or Vulnerable.
• Doesn’t work in Dramatic Scenes.
• Doesn’t work in Standard Scenes.
• Doesn’t work if Wounded.

• Doesn’t work while another Pulp Power is
active.
• If a Mishap occurs when using the power, it
ceases to function for the remainder of the
scene. The power must require a skill test
to use or activate to take this Limitation. It
doesn’t work on Force Field, for example,
since that requires no skill test.
• The item can’t be used in melee.
• The power requires both hands (they cannot
hold other items, weapons, shields, etc.).
• Must be Wounded.
• The power comes from a gadget that could
be taken away (a ray gun or amulet) or might
be occasionally inaccessible (a costume or
armored suit).
• The power cannot be activated if a hero was
KO’ed until after the current encounter.


There are additional examples in the Nile Empire sourcebook (and they're all mechanics based), but one of the key things about Limitations in that sidebar that I mentioned is the GM gets a say. If you don't want to be fiddling with that stuff, then don't allow that as a Limitation.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America


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