Sunday, December 15, 2013

Power Interactions, Power Stunts, and Taunts!

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       Sometimes the GM’s common sense should be used to adjust attacks, taking into account things that make sense. After all, superheroes tend to be very imaginative with their use of powers.
     One of the most common such situations is when a power of a certain type is used to attack a substance that has a real world interaction, such as Flame Project hitting an ice wall or pool of water. Or a character with Lightning who attacks a target wearing metal armor doing more damage because the metal is an excellent conductor. 
        In such cases, where the attack should cause more or less damage, the GM should apply a -1 or -2 CS to the target’s RV to reflect greater damage and a +1 or +2 CS to the target’s RV to reflect lesser damage.

Another example of an unusual situation would be when the hero gets creative with his power, stretching what he can do with it. For example, using Snare as a Strike attack. It is not directly stated to be capable of such, but whips (and even wrapped towels) can be slapped across the skin as an attack. Other examples of this could include: using Force Field to create a bubble around the head of a target, constricting his air as an attack; using Lightning to recharge a battery; using Water Jet to travel faster in the water (imitating Swimming); using Superspeed to spin the character to burrow into the ground; etc.
In these cases, where a power is used in a fashion it isn’t really intended for or to imitate another power on a one shot basis, the player must make a special roll similar to a Push to determine how well he can pull this off. This is not intended to increase the APs of the existing power- that is a Push or the use of HPs- but rather, to trick one power into imitating another.
This is accomplished exactly like a Push attempt with the following exceptions (see pg. 89-90 of DC Heroes 3rd edition for the rules on Pushing abilities):
  •         A Stunt attempt consumes both Automatic Actions for the phase. This means that the Stunt attempt and the actual use of the power may be used in the same phase, to the exclusion of all other actions.
  •       RAPs resulting from the Stunt act as APs of power for the imitated power.
  •      Imitated Dice Actions, like attacks, last only a single dice action. Imitated Automatic Actions, like movements, last a number of phases equal to the RAPs of the Stunt. When the Stunt expires, the character may immediately attempt to Stunt again if desired, though the GM may increase the difficulty by +2 CS to OV reflecting the fatigue of pushing one’s self.
  •       If the player constantly stretches his powers’ functions, the GM may rule that he gains a Serious or Catastrophic Power Burnout on all of his regular power’s uses as a result of over-extending himself until such time as he buys a Power Linked power, bonus, or limitation to reflect the constant stunts.

A Taunt is an attempt to anger or goad the defender into hasty actions. Spider-Man is taunting when he insults Doctor Octopus’ intellect in order to get Doc Ock to follow him away from the crowded mall. So is the Flash when he laughs at Gorilla Grodd’s foolishness in order to get the psychic ape to spill the beans on his master plan.

Taunts work like the other three maneuvers already described (DC Heroes 3rd edition, pgs. 109-111) except that the INFLs of the involved characters are compared. Taunt may only be used in conjunction with all three types of character interaction and resisted by Savoir Faire.

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