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 Post subject: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:57 pm 
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I'm planning a Pokemon-based campaign, where most of the characters will actually be Pokemon rather than humans. For the most part, building Pokemon characters is pretty straightforward, but one of the main characters will be a Ditto.

(For those unfamiliar with Pokemon, the Ditto's sole ability is that they can transform into a copy of whatever they're facing, including copying their opponent's powers).

I saw the suggestion (for a different type of character) of combining Transformation with Walking Arsenal in another thread, with the caveat that Transformation can only be used a couple of times per adventure.

Since transforming is literally their only ability and they shouldn't be quite that restricted on using it, I've been thinking of adding a Unique Perk: "Can Use At Will". I'm not sure what the cost should be, however - +5, +10, +15?


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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:05 pm 
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First, congrats on your first post! I think the idea of limited number of transformations could still work when you consider that Ditto can only transform 5 times (pp) before having to get a item that restores pp or going to a pokemon center. This effect could also be preserved by your idea of having it cost EP. I would give it +15 since its such a powerful move combination that could be prone to abuse.

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:56 pm 
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Transformation, as written, owes much to anime genres like magical girls and super robots...places where characters only reveal their full potential once per episode. While Ditto does transform, the intent behind the ability isn’t really the same. Ditto doesn’t transform into a more powerful version of itself, after all, but copy-cats others. This makes it more akin to Shape-Shifter than Transformation, if you want to look at it that way.

Of course, You could kit-bash Transformation into doing what you want, but what I would personally do is make a new “Duplicate” Ability and base it roughly on Walking Arsenal. That is, Ditto can copy whatever it wants, but is capped at its level in Duplicate. So Ditto can face off with Charizard and copy its Strong +4 Ability...but if its Duplicate is only Level 2, then that Strong becomes Strong +2. It’s a copy, but not an exact one.

If you feel this is too powerful, you could give it an inherent Endurance cost (similar to Magic), or make it require a full round of action to take effect. (Losing a complete turn is not a small price to pay in some battles!)


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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:51 am 
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Sorry for hijacking this topic, but this needs to be asked.

Another issue with Transformation that needs to be addressed: Transforming mecha such as the Valkyries of Macross fame are able to shift their frame at will to suit particular tactical needs in far more numerous times than once or twice in a single Adventure/Episode (title sequence not withstanding) to the point that they're a primary feature of the design if not the core feature.

So how best can OVA2e address this? With Unique Ability or a brand new custom one with perhaps similar construction rules to Gear to which the Ability Ratio is 1-to-1?

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:39 am 
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The main problem with including “Alternate Form” rules in the book was there’s not a good way to parse it into 5 levels, so I felt it was better left up to Unique Ability and personal interpretation.

If it were me, I would just make a single Unique Ability called “Alternate Form”, assign it, say, +2, and then just create an entirely alternate character sheet/stat block for the differed form. As long as the alternate form uses roughly the same points, it’ll be completely fair as far as the game goes.

Or you could skip on actually statting up this transformation at all. Just give them all the appropriate Abilities, and use description to account for the transformation. (For example, giving a mecha “Flight” which, in the story, requires the mecha to transform, but since it can be done instantly and as often as wanted, there’s no real reason to use game rules to cover it. The mecha just flies when it wants to as far as the game is concerned.)


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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Unique "Alternate Form" does give a certain elegance to the whole idea of transformation at will. It also gives incentive to place more useful abilities in the alternate form, based upon the nature of the transformation and whatnot, or even enhance what abilities the base form has.

Like the Valkyrie for example. Theoretically it's able to fly in all three modes, but the battleoid mode would have only +1 simply because it's as aerodynamic as a brick and would not go fast nor far. The Gerwalk mode can fly better than the batteroid mode due to its more aerodynamic shape and would probably have the flight ability at +3, while the Fighter mode can go the farthest and fastest at +5.

In the reverse, the Fighter Mode would not have Knowledge "Mecha Combat" due to the lack of limbs. Whereas both the Gerwalk and Batteroid do with a respective +1 and +3 each.

Still, good idea. Thanks Clay. I was half-tempted to use both Activation and Open to Attack on Transformation to show that not only does it take time to transform, but that it's quite vulnerable to enemy counter attacks. But Unique "Alternate Form" is more sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:27 pm 
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A completely different way to consider VK's is that each form is just a different attack suite, much like a martial artist does can do different things when changing stances. Just slap "Requirement: X Mode" and determine how long a mode shift takes and you're good to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:44 am 
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Joe_Mello wrote:
A completely different way to consider VK's is that each form is just a different attack suite, much like a martial artist does can do different things when changing stances. Just slap "Requirement: X Mode" and determine how long a mode shift takes and you're good to go.

Personally I would want to label each Alternate Form as a single Action, though unless a character has that Time Freeze Ability, it might as well be a Turn/Round.

As for a customized attack suite for each form, I had considered the idea but since it is largely a matter of accuracy, I wasn't sure it was necessary. For example the gunpods of the Valkyries, AFAIK, are able to fire in all four modes but the fire arc of the gunpod in Fighter Mode is limited to wherever the aircraft is pointing (wait, would that be considered a combat roll or a Piloting/Knowledge dice check?).

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:19 pm 
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Sabersonic wrote:
AFAIK, are able to fire in all four modes but the fire arc of the gunpod in Fighter Mode is limited to wherever the aircraft is pointing (wait, would that be considered a combat roll or a Piloting/Knowledge dice check?).

1) I get the impression that you're treating the weapon and the user as two distinctly separate objects, which is probably not a good idea.

2) If you're that concerned, I would give Fighter Mode the Elaborate Gestures Flaw. Otherwise, I would say that any character is able to properly orient their craft unless their either being forcefully restrained or the move itself is implausible in context.

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:55 pm 
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1) I'm just curious as to if it would be more situational appropriate to use the pilot's own Knowledge/Pilot Ability to line of the target or just stick with the regular combat checks found upon either the pilot or the mecha for that sort of thing. It's just one of those annoying brain farts.

2) You're talking about the pilot, right? Not the mecha/fighter itself?

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 9:38 pm 
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Sabersonic wrote:
1) I'm just curious as to if it would be more situational appropriate to use the pilot's own Knowledge/Pilot Ability to line of the target or just stick with the regular combat checks found upon either the pilot or the mecha for that sort of thing. It's just one of those annoying brain farts.

In general, I find that if the question is "Do I need to make this more complicated?" the answer should probably be no.

Sabersonic wrote:
2) You're talking about the pilot, right? Not the mecha/fighter itself?

While the RAW state it refers to the user, I'm mostly using it as a way to explain the vehicle's maneuver without drastically affecting in-game mechanics. That being said, I wouldn't use any in-game mechanic at all. If the target is within reason, the player can shoot at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:22 am 
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Well this inquiry hit me like a ton of bricks.

Anyway, we're all familiar with the idea that Transformation as presented in OVA2e is effectively that "once an episode" ability that usually leads to the conclusion of the overt threat as seen in magical girls, super sentai, super robots and certain real robot series now that I think about it.....

It is the super sentai portion of the above statement that I would like clarification. In particular successive transformation after the initial core or base transformation.

An example would be the Dinozords/Guardian Beasts of the respective Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. In it, the initial five transform into the Megazord/Daizyuzin, or to be exact the Megazord Tank Mode/Beast Tank Dino Tanker before the final transformation into the more humanoid form. I can only assume that a version of "Assisted" is attached to the initial Tank combination, but the transformation into Megazord Battle Mode/Daizyuzin I'm not exactly sure how to fit into the combined mechanical profile. Is it added as a separate Transformation to that particular form, or something else? And would the component machines require the same point value of that transformation or can the costs be shared amongst them?

And it get's worse with succeeding combination transformations such as the Mega Dragonzord/Zyutei Daizyuzin and the Ultrazord/Ultimate Daziyuzin. Would these transformations be added to the base transformation as well or something different?

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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:48 am 
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I’m pretty sure I’ve touched on “Combined Form” before, but the long and short of it is that it’s difficult to do in a way that satisfies everybody at the table. By definition, you’re taking away everyone’s ability to contribute to the battle and putting it solely into the hands of one entity. Who decides what the combined mecha does? Who gets to roll the dice?

When I discussed it before, I think the final idea I settled on is continuing to let everyone have a turn, and letting each part still have its focus. Maybe arm-guy’s turn is the only turn you can use the SUPER PUNCH attack. Maybe leg guy has higher Defense Rolls. And so on.

In this way, you pretty much still have 4-5 distinct characters, only now they share a common Health total.

As for how to handle this, it’s probably best to create a new Ability “Combined Form” that grants double the points of EVERYBODY’S Level in that Ability. So if arm guy has +3 combined form, head guy +4, and torso guy +2, you could spend 18 points on the super mecha. This also opens up the ability of weaker incomplete transformations, which seems to happen now and again in sentai shows.


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 Post subject: Re: Transformation issues
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:51 pm 
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Oh yeah, forgot about Combined Form....

Though the idea of sharing the Combined Form attribute based upon one's contribution to the final form, that's new to me. It's something to ponder, especially when certain combinations have different number of participants involved. And considering the layering aspect of Ability Levels, that should ("should" being a key word) help with the whole "multiple combination forms from base to ultimate" issue.

Thanks Clay.

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