Maelstrom

vaminion
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby vaminion » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:27 am

All this does is change the turn trickery to make it happen.

Have Big PC Attacker #1 make their attack, using possibilities to get an Outstanding. The second the Outstanding is confirmed you drop Maelstrom. The GM has to declare whether or not they are soaking before you roll your BD*. If they say yes, proceed with the attack as normal but don't expend any more resources on it. Unless the GM is now allowed to retroactively declare they're soaking after Maelstrom is played and the dice are rolled, which opens up a whole can of worms about card timing vs. GM's declaring their actions.

PC Attacker #2 goes. They blow cards to get an Outstanding (Supporter, Adrenaline Rush, etc). Now you throw in Coup de Grace, Reckless, etc.

Same result just with a little more uncertainty.

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TorgHacker
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Nov 05, 2019 10:30 am

Greymarch2000 wrote:
Gargoyle wrote:I've been playing this wrong then. Knowing that there is only one of these cards in the deck, and that playing it is also sort of a free action, I interpreted it as "the I win" card, not really "an I win" card, so I was okay with it and we've had a couple of fun epic moments with it. I might keep playing it the way I've been using it, but maybe not. It's a good point that you still have to get a good roll and probably spend other cards too to still win against a tough villain. I'll have to think about this one.


Mind you it's such an "I win" card that it will almost always be hoarded by players for the final combat, or if used earlier be brought back by Master Plan potentially twice. It cancelling end fight villain soak is 90% of its use at my table, I think almost every Act has ended with its use.


And that is why I ruled the way I ruled.

But hey, it's your game, feel free to ignore me.
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graethynne
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby graethynne » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:46 pm

vaminion wrote:All this does is change the turn trickery to make it happen.

Have Big PC Attacker #1 make their attack, using possibilities to get an Outstanding. The second the Outstanding is confirmed you drop Maelstrom. The GM has to declare whether or not they are soaking before you roll your BD*. If they say yes, proceed with the attack as normal but don't expend any more resources on it. Unless the GM is now allowed to retroactively declare they're soaking after Maelstrom is played and the dice are rolled, which opens up a whole can of worms about card timing vs. GM's declaring their actions.

PC Attacker #2 goes. They blow cards to get an Outstanding (Supporter, Adrenaline Rush, etc). Now you throw in Coup de Grace, Reckless, etc.

Same result just with a little more uncertainty.


First - more uncertainty is better i.e. making the play more of a gamble and rather than a default is the point. But also, your comment is why the cleanest way to do this (I think) is that once you start rolling the attack you can't interfere with soaking by dropping maelstrom. At my table you *must* play maelstrom outside the attack window (before you start rolling the attack or after the decision to soak etc is made). I other words, you don't get to know how successful your attack was before deciding whether to play maelstrom. Otherwise it might was well say "Enemies can't play possibilities...." because the fact that it applies to players will rarely even matter. Risk/reward only works if both the risk and the reward are real.

Graethynne

utsukushi
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby utsukushi » Tue Nov 05, 2019 1:12 pm

But in almost all cases where this is a thing, we're talking about major opponents, right? So they're probably reasonably tough and can certainly take more than one Wound, and it's unlikely that you'll have 3+ Wounds guaranteed before your damage roll. Like, really super unlikely.

So that means either you've already been wearing them down a bit and have already inflicted some Wounds, or however many Bonus Dice you've lined up you still are taking a chance even with your Outstanding Attack. And either you've timed it so you're the last person to go so you didn't interfere with the rest of your team using their Possibilities, in which case you're at least risking the bad guy having a turn before you get to go again, or you're going early so that if they do survive you still have teammates to try to hit them, but now you're making it so they can't boost their attacks as well.

If you've already worn the BBEG down to the point where like, one Wound is going to finish them off, chances are their Possibilities are running low too and this just shaves a round off the battle. If you're still taking a risk, then the risk element is preserved. Either way, being able to play it after the attack but before damage seems OK to me. Just not being able to play it after the damage roll does that, and works with Deanna's ruling that a card can't be played faster than Soak can be declared within the rules as they stand, without having to worry about deciding Soak before damage is rolled or saying the decision to Soak is somehow like... weirdly retroactive.

And that's not even considering scenes in which there might be two Possibility Rated enemies, or a cluster of minions around that will still have to be dealt with and who weren't using Possibilities anyway.

If anything, it seems like this tactic opens up the possibility of using Coup de Grace earlier, since otherwise you usually need to save those until they're out, or at least down to their last one, so they won't almost just Soak whatever damage you do anyway. I often feel like against Possibility-rated bad guys, using Coup de Grace feels like a bad idea since without it I'm more likely to at least inflict a little Shock, and maybe just one Wound that might not be worth it to them to try to Soak, while if I push it up too soon they'll just zap it into what ifs, and then later when they are out of Possibilities it's harder to get the damage we need.

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Re: Maelstrom

Postby graethynne » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:02 pm

utsukushi wrote:But in almost all cases where this is a thing, we're talking about major opponents, right? So they're probably reasonably tough and can certainly take more than one Wound, and it's unlikely that you'll have 3+ Wounds guaranteed before your damage roll. Like, really super unlikely.



I think it is pretty tough to try to encapsulate "in almost all cases" for something like this. Someone above posted that almost all of their acts end with this trick. Even if it wasn't "too powerful" (whatever that might mean) or against Deanna's ruling (she has said repeatedly that GMs can run their own tables as they see fit) anything becoming the default way of tackling boss fights sounds bad to me.

But beyond that, as an example, the case where it happened at my table was at the end of Day 1 Tharkold where they literally one-shotted the techno-demon with a rocket launcher before it got to act. Even for my most aggressive players, it felt anti-climactic. They enjoyed the feeling of being clever in the moment, but agree that they wouldn't want it to work that way going forward. (as an aside I have a great group, they were similarly relieved to discover that Opponent Fails and Second Chance cannot be played for others, they don't want "I win/you lose" buttons)

Grae

utsukushi
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby utsukushi » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:55 pm

graethynne wrote:I think it is pretty tough to try to encapsulate "in almost all cases" for something like this.

I mean... I'd agree that "in almost all cases" is a bold statement in, well, almost all cases, but in this one... Maelstrom doesn't do anything against non-Possibility-Rated enemies, so we already know that. Let's say you have one of those crazy 21-base-damage dwarves running around - that'll make it a minimum of 23 with the two Bonus Dice for your Overwhelming Attack. To be guaranteed the 4 Wounds needed to kill a basic Possibility-Rated human without having worn them down at all first, said BBEG would need a Toughness of... 3. Since the minimum is 5, if I'm going to walk back any of this I think it would be the "almost", and change that to, "No, seriously, all cases."

Maelstrom isn't going to guarantee your win unless it could be played after damage rolls. You can mitigate that risk, but it's still there, and given that we're talking about a three card sequence that all has to have been available before your turn started, it's hardly a "before the enemy can move" option.

graethynne
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby graethynne » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:38 pm

utsukushi wrote:
graethynne wrote: You can mitigate that risk, but it's still there, and given that we're talking about a three card sequence that all has to have been available before your turn started, it's hardly a "before the enemy can move" option.


But it isn't a three card combo, Drama and Hero aren't required for this, just Maelstrom.

And, even if it were you could still pull off that three card combo turn one using leadership. So there's that.

In the end, if it doesn't bother your table that's totally fine, have fun your way. But if my table falls into any default patterns, I think it's part of my job to change things up to shake up those routines. So in the absence of the current ruling, I would have had to come up with my own solution to solve the repetitive nature of it.

Not only that but if the tables were reversed it would feel really bad to turn off a PC's soak this way, after landing an outstanding blow. This ruling also safeguards against that which is definitely better than the alternative.

Grae

ZorValachan
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby ZorValachan » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:15 pm

graethynne wrote:
utsukushi wrote:
graethynne wrote: You can mitigate that risk, but it's still there, and given that we're talking about a three card sequence that all has to have been available before your turn started, it's hardly a "before the enemy can move" option.


But it isn't a three card combo, Drama and Hero aren't required for this, just Maelstrom.

And, even if it were you could still pull off that three card combo turn one using leadership. So there's that.

In the end, if it doesn't bother your table that's totally fine, have fun your way. But if my table falls into any default patterns, I think it's part of my job to change things up to shake up those routines. So in the absence of the current ruling, I would have had to come up with my own solution to solve the repetitive nature of it.

Not only that but if the tables were reversed it would feel really bad to turn off a PC's soak this way, after landing an outstanding blow. This ruling also safeguards against that which is definitely better than the alternative.

Grae

Read the OP. It was definitely about the 3 card combination of Spending a possibility, playing a Hero, a Drama and then Maelstrom.
It was about the hero using 3 forms of possibility energy and then shutting down the threat's ability to use it to soak.
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graethynne
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby graethynne » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:33 pm

ZorValachan wrote:
graethynne wrote:
utsukushi wrote:


But it isn't a three card combo, Drama and Hero aren't required for this, just Maelstrom.

And, even if it were you could still pull off that three card combo turn one using leadership. So there's that.

In the end, if it doesn't bother your table that's totally fine, have fun your way. But if my table falls into any default patterns, I think it's part of my job to change things up to shake up those routines. So in the absence of the current ruling, I would have had to come up with my own solution to solve the repetitive nature of it.

Not only that but if the tables were reversed it would feel really bad to turn off a PC's soak this way, after landing an outstanding blow. This ruling also safeguards against that which is definitely better than the alternative.

Grae

Read the OP. It was definitely about the 3 card combination of Spending a possibility, playing a Hero, a Drama and then Maelstrom.
It was about the hero using 3 forms of possibility energy and then shutting down the threat's ability to use it to soak.


Hey Zor,

I don't think you meant that to come across as incredibly condescending, but since the forum is text only I wanted to share that telling me to read the OP (possibly implying that I hadn't read it start with) came off that way to me at first blush. Like I said, I don't think that's what you meant, no harm done :-)

The discussion seemed to have evolved beyond the confines of the original post, my apologies if I misunderstood. That said, my point was that the underlying problem (of playing Maelstrom after a tremendous hit is scored against a villain and before they can soak) doesn't require the three card combo to be problematic. And that to the extent that we are talking about that specific three card combo it can still be achieved in the first round via Leadership. Additionally, although I didn't mention it before, there is also "The Critical Moment" which potentially would also allow bypassing the three round set up time for the combo in question.

Grae

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Gargoyle
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Re: Maelstrom

Postby Gargoyle » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:28 pm

graethynne wrote: Additionally, although I didn't mention it before, there is also "The Critical Moment" which potentially would also allow bypassing the three round set up time for the combo in question.

Grae


Regarding this, I didn't bring it up, but this is always a concern when card combinations are too good. Experienced players could roll an attack on the first round, get a good roll, spend the possibility, and drop a bunch of cards including Maelstrom to stop a soak to kill the BBEG in one round. This is not how dramatic scenes were intended to end, and though it hasn't happened at my table, I think it could and don't find it fun at all, and Deanna's ruling has the positive intention of nipping that by making soaking unstoppable.

The logic to get there is where I disagree with her, by saying that it's a free action to soak, I don't think that alone should protect it because we get into timing issues and I don't want to go there. I don't believe I will enforce this ruling at my table for that reason, because there is only one Malestrom card in the deck, and because it doesn't always result in an "I win" situation.

I think I will consider reducing the number of them in my double Destiny deck to one, and also halving the Master Plan cards. I've already done the same with the Glory cards and like the result of that.

I may go back and nerf Maelstrom indirectly with a house rule that just says "Nothing can stop anyone from attempting to soak damage if they have a Possibility to spend" and leave it at that. But I don't know, I like the idea that any rule can be broken if you have the right card, and that only one card can do a particular thing. Second Chance for rerolls to avoid disconnection comes to mind.
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