Volencio vs. Sigurd

For setting up duels and other Arena discussion.

Postby Mac » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:03 am

Cover: Even if "cover" isn't a thing, simple distance does the same job. Tap steel to make sure you end up outside of his range and you don't have to worry about cover, he simply cannot attack you.

Stunts, Nudges, etc. Given the context of succeeding sentences, and the very fact of the Stunts existence, it seems like you're only supposed to apply the stunts to gunslinging. As Kurk mentioned, if you can just apply Nudges and charges directly, there are entire stunts that are entirely pointless. Since RAW is confusing, I think we can look at RAI and assume they didn't mean to make a stunt less useful than the basic use of the power.
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Postby Kurkistan » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:42 pm

I'd generally tend to agree, but then we are reminded of the existence of those stunts in the base MAG that are also inarguably useless... :?

For now, at the least, I'd be fine restricting fSteel's utility on the attack; this is a "practice" fight, so no need to get too invested in the mechanics as we try and work it all out.
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Postby Mac » Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:10 pm

Quick question: To which useless base-MAG stunts do you refer?

So we seem to be mostly on the same page now. You guys have Atium and Electrum sorted, it seems. Feruchemical steel cannot be directly applied to the action of attacking someone via gun, either to increase the dice pool or to add Nudges for damage, or to increase the Outcome, though all other uses are still fair game. As I've said, in melee, your first two bought Nudges can be applied to damage for free. From that point on, every two Nudges purchased cause one point of damage back to you.

Was there anything else? I plan to mostly spectate and leave you guys to handle things. I'll jump in if there's a dispute or if my counsel is specifically asked for.
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Postby Kurkistan » Sun Jul 26, 2015 12:43 pm

Re: Stunts

There's two broad categories of "useless" stunts: those that no one should really ever take in comparison to other stunts available and those that no one should ever really take. This all in mechanical terms, since I'm sure if someone was hard-core roleplaying you could justify taking strictly or nearly-strictly suboptimal stunts. I don't recall all of the stunts off the top of my head, but I'll skim through the book to see if I can recall my previous thoughts and give a brief overview:

You really shouldn't take over another stunt:
  • Many of the "Slow burning" stunts, particularly for the already slow-burning metals. If you're going to be needing to burn stuff for hours in-game, then you'll just Resource up "Bag of X shavings" and call it that.
    • A particular call out to Slow-Burning Electrum, as it is made almost entirely useless by the Instinctive Burning stunt listed right above it: unless you'll be literally in pitched combat for half an hour, a vial of Electrum will do you just fine if you only ever have to burn it when you're actually being actively attacked. Non-combat-oriented uses also probably won't benefit much from doubling the 10 minutes of burning a charge already gets you.
  • I personally see little reason to take Unconscious Burning for Pewter, given its limited range of application and the other options for Pewter that actually help you not get into a shape where you need Unconscious Burning.
  • I can't say I'm that enamored with any of the aCopper stunts, though none are quite worthless. Besides slow burning, which is unless the Narrator hates you.

You really shouldn't take it at all:
  • Prodigious Strength (Pewter) - Gives an extra die (or two, if you take it twice) for Physique rolls requiring extreme strength. You too for 4 AP can get the far-weaker version of what you get from just paying 6 AP for an increased Pewter rating.
    • Note that I may be biased here by the fact that, as we play the MAG, Long Breathers are in short supply, so the AP savings are outweighed by the wasted Breather.
    • This also falls under "stinks in comparison" because of how many other good things you can do with Pewter stunts. Extreme Speed, Denser Tissues x2, Slow Burning that might actually be useful. Heck, even Inhuman Endurance isn't entirely terrible because it buys you a free trait along with the (probably not-going-to-be-used) partial immunity to Pewter drag.
  • Focused Sense (Tin) - As with Prodigious Strength, it literally gives you one extra die for one sense for the cost of 4 AP versus for all of them if you use 6 AP for the Rating.
  • Focused Emotion (Zinc/Brass) - See above.
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Postby Mac » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:06 pm

Okay but... those are entirely different categories than the "useless" steel feruchemy gunplay stunts. These might be sub-optimal or without genuine benefit, but you brought them up in relation to stunts in the expansion which are literally entirely redundant if charges of steel can simply be applied directly to gunplay, explaining the position that the existence of those stunts indicates that the creators of the game didn't expect steel to be applicable directly to gunplay.

I apologize, I thought you were still talking about the subject we were discussing. I hadn't realized you were simply talking about stunts that provide minimal benefit at best. Those I am well aware of.
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Postby Kurkistan » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:37 pm

My apologies as well: I was just kind of branching off into an aside (which I seem to have done a bit too much in this thread). It was tangentially related in that I think the existence of those other stunts kind of weakens the surety of "well Crafty made X an option, so they must have had a good reason"-type beliefs, but in this particular case that weak of a doubt doesn't really override the chance that Crafty knew what they were doing with Steelrunner Draw.

I'll note that, though I won't be trying to contest such in the foreseeable future, Steelrunner Draw isn't strictly useless in a world where fSteel is used in combat: the clause where you can spend 5 charges to win a tied pistol duel sees to that. It's the difference between paying 2 charges to get dice and then 10 (before you know your opponent's roll) to increase the Outcome and paying 10 to get 2 dice with the option of paying an additional 5 to win a tie later. So if your character was in the habit winning fights outright as well as of being cautious without being wasteful, then paying that 10 upfront with a weak chance of having to pay 5 more is cheaper than paying 12 every time.
-Yeah, not really that useful even then, I know. Still technically a gameplay choice a player could make without being strictly and totally wrong to do so.

-Alternatively, it could be so simple as Crafty for some reason expecting fSteel to be used in "normal" combat but not used in Quick Draws. Which would actually play into a reading of fSteel as positional...
--But yeah, probably not that.
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Postby Herowannabe » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:53 pm

Anyway, I think we're ready to go, right?
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Postby Kurkistan » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:57 pm

Yup, whenever is fine. You want to do the honors and post the OP?
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Postby Claincy » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:50 am

Kurkistan wrote:Note that I may be biased here by the fact that, as we play the MAG, Long Breathers are in short supply, so the AP savings are outweighed by the wasted Breather.

I figure you're talking about PBP games in general, not just PoS. But it's probably more the case in PoS than the other campaigns. It was aaages before I gave you guys your first long breather. I really enjoyed the opening parts of Path of Steel but it's also true that for all the massive numbers of posts we weren't making particularly rapid progress :P Lot's of awesome roleplaying and characterisation though. All the same, things are going to move faster now ;)
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