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So... Limiting

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ComW
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« on: March 13, 2008, 05:56:26 pm »

Im guessing most of us have DM'ed at one point or another.

Im about to launch a new campaing and I'm basin it on a trilogy I KNOW none of my players have read. (mistborn, Brandon Sanderson)
It has 8 diffrent power sets which basic boil down to 2 of each tK(push and pull), mind control (rage and calm), detection/obfuscation and physical(Strong and perceptive).

Question time: what tricks/techniques work best (in character space rather than stat space) for limiting the dependance that certtain people have on powers, especially when they seems so strong?

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randalls
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 09:48:23 pm »

Question time: what tricks/techniques work best (in character space rather than stat space) for limiting the dependance that certtain people have on powers, especially when they seems so strong?

There aren't many good ways -- especially if the powers are strong in the source material and you are trying hard to recreate that material. However, it can be easy to teach players that they have to be careful using their powers without thinking things though. For example, plan an occasional situation where jumping right in with powers fully blazing looks like a great idea at first glance but actually makes the situation much worse and a non-powered (or very creative use of powers) is the best way to handle the situation. If you come up with situations once in a while where depending on powers isn't a very effective solution, you will (hopefully) find they become less dependent on them.
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DrBadLogic
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2008, 03:41:29 am »

Question time: what tricks/techniques work best (in character space rather than stat space) for limiting the dependance that certtain people have on powers, especially when they seems so strong?

It's tricky.  I find the easiest way to make people rely on their skills etc is to not include powers in the first place.  In settings where powers are included, often the powers are the point in some way.
That said, Unknown Armies is a great game where powers are available, but you might not want to have them anyway.  All supernatural power in that game comes with a price, and most of the people who have the stronger powers are kinda crazy.  It makes being good with a handgun or a silver tongue look like a genuine choice.

That might not work for your source material - I haven't read it either.
If you want to make them use the powers less, I'd suggest making them sound scary.  Are there any dark forces invoked in using the ability?  If you make it sound like something bad *could* happen, that might influence them to use it only in desperation.  Alternatively, if you play up on the horror of what the characters can do with that power ('Oh my god!  The sunday school teacher just knifed five people to death, and it's all my fault!'), that might work too.

Again, that will depend on whether that fits the material.


System wise, I find that powers mean you have less to spend on other abilities.  I love the exotic abilities, but why use TK when a handgun will kill as effectively, and probably has fewer limitations in some ways.  Why telepathy when you're so good at reading people's body language, and using the right words?
Also, my realisation over recent times is that contrary to what some gamers think, powers don't make your character bad-ass - what you *do* does.

In a vampire campaign I ran that recently ended, the characters accumulated a number of powers.  But what always got me thinking 'cool' was what they did, regardless of whether powers helped out or not.  Like the time they decided to investigate an assassin new to town by throwing a big party in his honour.
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008, 09:46:48 am »



It appeared I worried needlesly

campaign over, and while the powers were definatly there, the players never once reallised how flexible the were.

Which is a shame really, since there were lots of cool things they could have used to investigate people and places but nevr mind.

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