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 Post subject: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 9:28 pm 
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Hi, I'm Julian, I'm new to this forum. I've bought OVA after having found the PDF and tested it. :D

I love OVA :) and even some of my most picking friends loved it. :shock:

But there are some problems with some powers and mechanics:

1) Attack limit: there isn't really a limit to the attack so an ennemy or player character can roll craptons of dice and go for the One-Hit-KO or One-Shot. Maybe I am wrong but I'd like something true to confirm or not if I have well understood. I don't know if Mr Gardner can answer but if he could, he would help me so much! :oops:

2) Mecha & Transformations: These powers are really well designed BUT in case of a vert fighting atmosphere they become a must have, putting PC without these far weaker. :|

3) Powers like Mimic or Drain: how to perfectly balance them? :?:

thanks for answering! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 2:51 am 
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Welcome to the forums.

1) I'm guessing you mean there isn't a limit to how high you can apply Accurate or Effective? I have a soft rule that they cap at +5, but the real limit is the Endurance costs or the various Flaws. If you have a super attack that costs 25 Endurance, a normal character with the base 40 Endurance could only do it once before they would start drawing into their Health pool. If you use a flaw like Open to Attack, well, you are left open afterwards.

But if you'd like a limit, I suggest Accurate and Effective cap at 5.

2) This sort of depends on the type of game you are setting up. Be clear if you think everyone should have some Abilities that would be best.

3) Drain would use the Vampiric attack perk, maybe coupled Will Attack to drain Endurance. For Mimic, I'd probably tweak Magic, Arcane with a Weakness requiring touching or being in presence of the copied Abilities. The Endurance cost of Magic would help restrict people from abusing or going too crazy with what they can Mimic.

Hope that helps you get started.

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 4:30 am 
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I think Mal should have answered a good chunk of your inquiries, but when I came across this:
Julian Manson wrote:
I don't know if Mr Gardner can answer but if he could, he would help me so much! :oops:

Allow me to redirect your question towards these links:
Clay's Own Words
Attack Levels Quantified

Also, welcome to the forums. Don't mind the insanity, it'll rub on you eventually :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:04 am 
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Malancthon wrote:
Welcome to the forums.

1) I'm guessing you mean there isn't a limit to how high you can apply Accurate or Effective? I have a soft rule that they cap at +5, but the real limit is the Endurance costs or the various Flaws. If you have a super attack that costs 25 Endurance, a normal character with the base 40 Endurance could only do it once before they would start drawing into their Health pool. If you use a flaw like Open to Attack, well, you are left open afterwards.

But if you'd like a limit, I suggest Accurate and Effective cap at 5.

2) This sort of depends on the type of game you are setting up. Be clear if you think everyone should have some Abilities that would be best.

3) Drain would use the Vampiric attack perk, maybe coupled Will Attack to drain Endurance. For Mimic, I'd probably tweak Magic, Arcane with a Weakness requiring touching or being in presence of the copied Abilities. The Endurance cost of Magic would help restrict people from abusing or going too crazy with what they can Mimic.

Hope that helps you get started.


Nope I mean in the Attack Vs Defense action, do they have a limit because there are craptons of abilities that can be used ( quick, combat expert ect ect) and the same for defense. So ONLY in these actions, players and ennemies can roll crapton of dices.

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:17 pm 
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Well, there really is only two Abilities for each combat stat: Attack and Strength for damage, Agile and Combat Expert for hitting, and Quick and Evasive for defense (Barrier, Incorperal Form, and Teleport replaces your normal Defense roll, so it'd be 2+that Ability's level for Defense, not stacked).

Anyway, My general rule is players can only have a Max of level 3 for an Ability, or a maximum combo of +4 for the combat stuff. For example, Agile +3 and Combat Expert +3 would not get approved, but Agile +2 and Combat Expert +2 is fine, or Agile +1 and Combat Expert +3. Something like Agile +2 and Combat Expert +1 is better.

Another way to make sure your players don't go crazy it to give them a specific number for Ability points. I generally stick with 15 points. This way all the players are on an even level and there is enough for a variety of +3, +2, and +1 Abilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 11:05 pm 
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Malancthon wrote:
Well, there really is only two Abilities for each combat stat: Attack and Strength for damage, Agile and Combat Expert for hitting, and Quick and Evasive for defense (Barrier, Incorperal Form, and Teleport replaces your normal Defense roll, so it'd be 2+that Ability's level for Defense, not stacked).

Anyway, My general rule is players can only have a Max of level 3 for an Ability, or a maximum combo of +4 for the combat stuff. For example, Agile +3 and Combat Expert +3 would not get approved, but Agile +2 and Combat Expert +2 is fine, or Agile +1 and Combat Expert +3. Something like Agile +2 and Combat Expert +1 is better.

Another way to make sure your players don't go crazy it to give them a specific number for Ability points. I generally stick with 15 points. This way all the players are on an even level and there is enough for a variety of +3, +2, and +1 Abilities.


i'm sorry but there's more for offensive and defensive. I don't see why "Quick" should not apply for attacking while "compat expert" shoud not in defense.

So it's easy to go up to 20+ dices for offensive and defensive.

Example: Kenshin (from the same anime name) perform some acrobatic attacks, we can easily consider:
+ 3 Agile ( Kenshin is slim and not tall)
+ 5 Combat expert ( best Hiten-Mitsurugi swordsman )
+ 5 Quick ( Kenshin act with anticipation)
+ 5 Accurate from his attack
+2 Base Dices

And I could add more!

that's 20! Without transformation or such behind!

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 12:42 am 
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Julian Manson wrote:
i'm sorry but there's more for offensive and defensive. I don't see why "Quick" should not apply for attacking while "compat expert" shoud not in defense.

So it's easy to go up to 20+ dices for offensive and defensive.

Example: Kenshin (from the same anime name) perform some acrobatic attacks, we can easily consider:
+ 3 Agile ( Kenshin is slim and not tall)
+ 5 Combat expert ( best Hiten-Mitsurugi swordsman )
+ 5 Quick ( Kenshin act with anticipation)
+ 5 Accurate from his attack
+2 Base Dices

And I could add more!

that's 20! Without transformation or such behind!

Except that, by the book, Combat Expert is specifically about "hitting them where it hurts", IE, Attack Rolls, and Quick is for things "that challenge your speed and ability to react", IE, Defense Rolls.

You could argue that Quick and Combat Expert should apply to both Attack and Defense rolls, but that is pedantic and not what the book says. Avoid the headache and don't.

As for your Kenshin example, that's suggesting a maximum ability for almost everything. For one, why should a player start with a maximum ability? Where is the room to grow? That is why I recommend having starting characters cap at level 3 for any abilities, although with good reasoning they might start one Ability at level 4. This is also why I recommend giving players only 15 Ability points to start with, so they have to be smart with how they spend points.

For a Kenshin-like character, what I would think would be appropriate Abilities would be Agile 1 and Combat Expert 4, or Agile 2 and Combat Expert 3 (personally, I would suggest the latter), although Agile 1 and Combat Expert 3 Is better. This allows you to keep dice rolls manageable but you should still have enough oomph to back up your role-playing. And with experience points, you can build up your Abilities to get those higher levels, to show your character growth.

As for the Accurate bit, a character is not going to have Accurate 5 all the time. Either the Endurance cost or the Flaws chosen to lower the Endurance cost will prohibit being able to spam that +5 Accurate attack. It might be good for that one hit KO, but then when the boss has a second or third form, or there is other enemies to fight, or the true boss appears, having spent that attack could be disastrous.

So, while it is capable to game the game to have a stupid amount of dice being thrown around, that is more about the GM's management of the game. You can easily do as much with lower abilities and description. Give most grunts only 2 or 3 dice for their rolls while players have 3 to 6 dice will still give players that sense of power and superiority. Or, if you are okay with characters having maximum Abilities, then the cost of that is having a bunch of dice to manage.

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 Post subject: Re: Balancing problems
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:14 pm 
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As stated by others, Agile is for attack and Quick is for defense. One should never apply one to the other. Same for Combat Expert and Evasive. In fact, if we're expanding our viewpoint a bit, there's actually a lot of defensive Abilities to bring to bear. Vigorous and Tough expand your ability to take damage, Armored literally reduces damage of all incoming attacks, and so on. It's really your attack options that are outnumbered here.

In any case, if you look at the character creation chapter, there's a paragraph labeled "Combined Effectiveness" that allows you to cap rolls at +5 for characters should tossing around tons of dice unnerve you. But even ignoring that, you really shouldn't toss around so many +5s, even for a swordsman as heroic as Kenshin. (To give you an idea, there's a single +5 in all of OVA's Sample Characters, and that's Natsuki's Wealthy. There's only 3 more if you include the Sample NPCs, which are built to take on multiple PCs.)


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