Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

vaminion
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Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby vaminion » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:14 pm

So removing a special ability for the rest of the combat is one of the options for a Player's Call on an interaction attack. That's cool, I like that. It gives the less fighty types a way to contribute to the encounter by way of shutting down a villain's super regeneration, Gloater, or whatever else is making the player's lives difficult.

However, the Player's Call option can still be used on PCs. So if, hypothetically, a GM wanted to lock out a Storm Knight's abilities what's fair? I know the answer is GM's Call in most cases but I'm curious what the devs would consider reasonable. Locking out a perk? Individual spells? All spells? Pulp Powers like Flight or Super Attribute? Saying a weapon temporarily loses a quality like Short Burst or Stun?

Zackzenobi
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby Zackzenobi » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:55 pm

I think it's fine to take out the SKs primary Perk if the still have a path to victory. Say the Wizard is so intimidated that he forgets all his spells and then in his desperation he spots the rope holding the chandelier above the Ogre's head. He then uses his dagger to knock the Ogre into next week.

vaminion
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby vaminion » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:14 pm

Zackzenobi wrote:I think it's fine to take out the SKs primary Perk if the still have a path to victory. Say the Wizard is so intimidated that he forgets all his spells and then in his desperation he spots the rope holding the chandelier above the Ogre's head. He then uses his dagger to knock the Ogre into next week.


That's cool once in a while or if the plot of the scene really demands it. But I'd get annoyed if the GM was doing that every time there was a boss fight because he thinks the wizard makes things too easy. That's why I'm curious what the general intent of the lock out is.

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Greymarch2000
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby Greymarch2000 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:56 pm

That would require the players to be constantly suffering from Outstanding successes on Interaction Attacks though, it's not really something the GM can just decide to do to them on a whim.

vaminion
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby vaminion » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:47 pm

Greymarch2000 wrote:That would require the players to be constantly suffering from Outstanding successes on Interaction Attacks though, it's not really something the GM can just decide to do to them on a whim.


Not constantly. Just 1/fight. But whether it's ok or not gets into GMing philosophy vs. rules and what i'm interested in is the intent behind this use of Player's Call. If it's intended that a single interaction attack can completely remove a Storm Knight's cyberware, alchemist potions, or psychic powers from an encounter that's worth knowing.

utsukushi
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby utsukushi » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:32 pm

Where is that set out? I'm not finding it, and it sounds like an interesting bit to take note of!

vaminion
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby vaminion » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:26 am

utsukushi wrote:Where is that set out? I'm not finding it, and it sounds like an interesting bit to take note of!


Here.

Q: What other options are there for a Player’s Call other than make an important target lose their turn?

A: The ‘lose an action’ is intended to be a fallback result in case nothing else comes to mind, not as the ‘usual’ result. We highly recommend that it be something more flavorful and varied. Some other possible options are:

  • Automatic disarming of a weapon.
  • Target loses the use of a special ability for the rest of the combat.
  • Target becomes Stymied or Vulnerable for the rest of the combat.
  • Storm Knight’s side gets some sort of boon (e.g. reinforcements, elimination of another character, or recovery of Shock).


And the core book says that NPC attackers get access to Player's Call when they score an Outstanding success.

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pkitty
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby pkitty » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:07 pm

I think it's fair, but the main concern is keeping things fun. Since you have control over this as a GM (not the dice, but whether you use the player's call to lock out an ability), I would limit that to less than once per fight, and make darned sure you don't do it to the same PC on the regular. The last thing anyone wants to feel is that you're making it impossible for them to play their character the way they want.

(And obviously you need to know your group. I've had players who saw any external interference in their abilities as "well the GM is just going to screw over this character concept so guess I'll get him killed off and make a difference PC" thanks to bad experiences in the past. Make sure you have your players' trust before pulling this.)
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TorgHacker
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby TorgHacker » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:26 pm

The two key words are "flavorful and varied". :-)

I certainly don't advocate neutering the player's main ability all the time.

Well, maybe a bit more often if they've made Charisma 5 a dump stat. Then Taunt their ass. ;)
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Kuildeous
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Re: Player's Call: Locking out abilities on PCs

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:54 pm

With great power comes great responsibility and all that jazz.

The GM can throw enemies at you to lock your character out in perpetuity. They can throw overpowered enemies to defeat the PCs. They can always use foes that are immune to fire or whatever flavor of damage the group prefers.

But they shouldn't. They should keep things tense but varied. The GM should absolutely play on the weaknesses of the PCs, but they shouldn't make the player regret making that choice. If a Nile hero has a power that only works during the day, but the GM purposefully sets all the adventures at night, then the GM is doing a disservice to the player, even though it's technically legal.

Likewise, when a player chooses a 5 Charisma, they're establishing that while their character is quite good at slicing or faithing or lifting, they're not going to be good with social constructs. While it's not a Nile-level weakness, it's still an inherent agreement that the low-Charisma character doesn't do so well socially. And maybe they get taunted. Maybe it happens a bunch of times or none at all. The gospog fights will never see that weakness exploited since gospogs don't taunt. That fight with the Insidious Wu Han is going to see it a bunch because it's the Insidious Wu Han, of course.

It can be a fine line to walk. In my current PbP game, I threw two beta-level foes at a starting group of Storm Knights due to a Mistaken Identity card. It's a very dangerous move, but I used them in a situation where they were more like an environmental hazard. The group escaped, even though the two threats did 7 wounds of damage in one round. That's not something I would recommend to just anybody. It's possible that an inexperienced GM could've added those threats and wonder how on earth they got a TPK. The GM can pull just about anything from their bag of tricks, but they must keep it reasonable and not suck the fun out of the group. Be a pain but not agony.
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