Ookla the Foxed

Power Level Reform

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In the Chat thread there has been talk about the amount of power creep currently happening in the rp, and it was agreed upon that the general power level will need to be reduced when going into era 3. This thread is meant to discuss what the new general power level will be, as well as creating rules and regulations to prevent power creep in the future.

This thread is meant for specifically discussing the amount of power available to characters. For discussing the amount of power guilds have access to you should go the the Guild Reform thread.

(This post will be updated with both proposals from the chat thread as well as proposals made here, as well as the final conclusions we decide upon for easy access.)

Chat thread proposals (spoilered for length):

Spoiler

On 11/25/2018 at 7:43 PM, Ookla the Ring said:

I think that power creep is a lot of people coming into things with a skewed idea of what RP is about. Games like D&D, Pathfinder, and other RPGs are all about making the most powerful character you can, in order to be able to do as many things as you can. That's what those games are designed for and the intention behind them, and that mindset is very easy to carry over. I think that not making a powerful character is something that takes an intentional effort to see through. It can be hard to care more about having a meaningful story than about being the most awesome you can be. I don't know what could be done to enforce this strictly, as there are obviously numerous very powerful characters already in existence, so forcing people to create under-powered characters that would reasonably have the floor wiped with them by someone like Hellbent or loc or Voidus Prime isn't necessarily going to work. Of course too is the fact that just because a character is powerful doesn't mean they use it all the time. Voidus Prime is a great example, he is trapped by the Worldspike currently and could have escaped at any moment should @Voidus want it to happen, but he isn't doing that because it is making some great story right now. I personally feel as though I have done a decent job at making my characters real, and keeping them within reasonable limitations. I think this is something that might need to simply be talked about more frequently, so that the issue stays more present in the minds of people who are making characters, whether they be new members or old ones. If it isn't something that gets talked about then people will likely ignore it more often than not in exchange for being able to do whatever they want to. So I think a good course of action as far as power creep is simply keeping the discussion open, and keeping it current, so people can be aware of it when coming up with their character concepts. It's probably just something people will need to hold themselves accountable for, and we might just need to trust them to stick to it. Of course, the character creation thread is around to try and steer people in the right direction when it comes to making overpowered characters, but again it can be hard to enforce that without seeming like you're spoiling someone's fun.

On 11/27/2018 at 0:20 AM, Ookla the Ring said:

On the discussion of OP characters, we could limit people to one form of Investiture. I mean, in canon Hoid is the only person we know of(I think) that has access to more than one type of Investiture. At least I don't think we see Vasher surgebind or anything at all. So most people only have access to one. Obviously Hemalurgy can get around this but again, not everyone knows what Hemalurgy is/has access to it/is willing to murder people for power. So if people only have access to one thing it helps reduce power. Also sticking firmly with Era 2 Mistborn for Allomancers and Feruchemists would help too. Keeping Surgebinders to 1st or 2nd ideal at character creation would reduce power level while also allowing for character growth through RP. If you continue to follow your ideals and act in accordance with your spren you will continue to grow. The point system sounds interesting but may or may not be necessary. What would be worth how many points? How many points would you get? 

On 11/27/2018 at 1:50 AM, Ookla the [REDACTED] said:

I think the key is less in terms of what investiture people have per say, and how people RP the characters.

Even a tin misting can be over powered if you RP it a certain way.

I think that there are a few things that could easily be fixed though, the different types of investiture and use of hemalurgy among them.

Honestly I have very hard time seeing how anyone with a nahel bond can get along with Hemalurgists and Ghostbloods. Like these are people who are essentially paid to break the first oath, Life before Death.

Also, the amount of people with hemalurgy don't act like they were hemalurgists, willing to kill people for power.

I think that it should be possible to have multiple powers, but that if you do have them you really need to take it to heart and understand what it would take for those multiple powers to happen. And your characters should reflect that. 

Of course, Ookla the Lurker does have a point, and that that not all investiture systems were created equal, but I think that that shouldn't be an issue if we successfully move it away from PvP.

Finally, I think that we should sort through all the items on the list before making the next transition, not just changing this.

Proposals made in this thread (spoilered for length):

Spoiler

Points system for character creation:

Spoiler

9 hours ago, Ookla the Ring said:

So I know the idea was tossed around at some point during the discussion of a point buy system. This is just off the top of my head for examples and costs might be unbalanced but here could be some examples. I feel like something like this would be good as far as strict, to the point, restrictions. Keep in mind all of these costs are entirely theoretical. The actual costs would need to be agreed upon based off how powerful we want a starting character to be, as well as how people feel powers compare strength-wise.

Starting Points 50

 

Weaknesses: A character can gain points from a maximum of 2 weaknesses, but can have as many weaknesses as desired.
 

 

Abilities: 

Items: 

Shardblade: This only applies to someone who isn't a KR owning a Shardblade. -10 Points.

Sharplate: This only applies to non KR. -10 Points.

Soulcaster or other powerful Fabrial. -5 Points.

Soulstamp: A Soulstamp that a Forger made. Varying uses. -5 Points.

Endless supply of Allomantic metal: This could be something people don't want to exist, either because people shouldn't have an unlimited supply, or because all Allomancer's should already have it so it shouldn't cost. -10 Points.

Any other item more powerful than a mundane item: Possibly things like Aluminum equipment or anything else people decide on.

 

Skills: 

Survivor: Your character has the skills and knowledge to survive on your own. You know how to forage and live in the wild without difficulty. -5 Points.

Knowledge: Your character is knowledgeable about something, more so than a normal person would be. This should only apply to something important, not like knowing more about baking bread than anyone else does. -5 Points.

Combat Trained: Your character has seen conflict. You know how to handle it reasonably well, and a battle won't shock you, unless it's extremely gruesome or harsh. -5 Points.

Unique strength: This can vary from case to case, but applies to something like being really good at using your abilities for some reason. Think of it like a specialty almost, like Joel from the Rithmatist being really good at Math and Drawing lines, which would allow a Rithmatist to make stronger and more resilient Lines of Warding and such things.

Other relevant skill: Lots of other things could fit in here. Not everything should be classified under here, just things that are going to be useful in a broad spectrum of areas. Something like being really good at drawing isn't necessarily going to count here, unless you're a Rithmatist.

-------------

This is all just examples. Not sure if any of this sounds appealing to people or not. We might not want it to be something this strict. And coming up with the right costs to balance things out could be tricky.

 

 

Edited by Ookla the Foxed
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I think a character like Mace is pushing the boundaries (as to how powerful a character should be) but a character like Hellbent is just straight-up insane. Literally and figuratively. 

Mace is a Fullborn, and has a powerful Amberite Bond. Granted, Archer never really uses most of Mace's powers, but still. 

Hellbent can just do whatever he wants at this point, can't he? He's a Voidbringer, a Lightweaver, something something etc. etc. Seriously, @Ookla the Dragon Reborn, why? 

Other thoughts:

My Era 3 character is a gold Ferring. Yup, that's it. The nice thing about the Metallic Arts is that you can build off them; if I wanted to give Seom abilities as a Radiant, I could. She could be an Awakener or an Amberite Bond. I could get her one of those fancy magical birds, too.

Edited by Ookla the Meme-Thief
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Examples about why their characters are too strong would be helpful. Also keep in mind that the power levels will be adjusted after the end of the current era, so this won't be an issue. Instead, try focus on what you feel would be the limit for the power level of a character, and ways for regulating this.

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I think that characters should start off less powerful. If you want a more powerful character, RP them gaining the powers.

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General suggestions:
1. No Gold Twinborn, Steel twinborn or full KR.
Unlimited healing or speed are two of the most frequently used and most broken powers, they also provide little in terms of RP or story. It usually just amounts to being able to dodge/heal from any attack.
2. No leaders of armies (Unless wide-spread approval)
Having a few NPCs to do PCs bidding is good and can help with setting a scene and heightens the RP. People leading a giant army of nameless mooks is not so useful, it devalues life, leads to power creep of PCs who have to fight these armies, etc.

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That's a good point, but currently, there are less opportunities at building a characters power.  When I first started playing RP here, I felt like I was throwing a child into a whitespine's den and expecting it to succeed.  The first character I ever challenged was Hellbent, because I had no idea the level of power that most characters had.  Going into era three, the more powerful characters should definitely be the ones who are developed that way.  

Also, I find that gold and steel twinborn could be balanced, it just means keeping them from metal to compound or getting a chromium misting close.  In fact, it seems a good idea to keep a leecher around for just such circumstances.

Edited by Ookla the spearman
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I agree with Voidus’ opinion on Compounders, it’s just (steel especially) there are so many when the actual Compounding is supposed to be rare.

I agree with the fact that if you want to make characters powerful you should RP them becoming powerful. For that reason my next character is going to be an Unsnapped Allomancer, so I can get a chance to RP their Snap.

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9 minutes ago, Ookla the spearman said:

That's a good point, but currently, there are less opportunities at building a characters power.  When I first started playing RP here, I felt like I was throwing a child into a whitespine's den and expecting it to succeed.  The first character I ever challenged was Hellbent, because I had no idea the level of power that most characters had.  Going into era three, the more powerful characters should definitely be the ones who are developed that way.  

Also, I find that gold and steel twinborn could be balanced, it just means keeping them from metal to compound or getting a chromium misting close.  In fact, it seems a good idea to keep a leecher around for just such circumstances.

They're not an insurmountable foe for pvp purposes, but they're almost always the powers of choice when people create characters. I also feel personally that they don't lead to particularly interesting characters. Everyone with steel compounding plays in more or less the same way. 'I tap steel, dodge everything that other people do and kill them before they can even notice'
Now regardless of whether or not a PC can actually defend against that, it's a little boring to have so many characters who operate in a nigh identical fashion. But in addition, yeah it's really hard to stop a Steel compounder, because they can just dodge a leecher if you have one, or shoot them in the head before they know they're there, etc.
It's not impossible to kill one of them, but it is far more difficult than it is to kill most other Invested characters, which does mean they're of a higher and potentially unfair power level.

Personally I'd be far more interested with a character who is a twinborn of two different metals, and seeing what interesting interactions their powers might have.

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So what's the stance on channelers? I feel like most of them should be noncombative, or be fairly weak, like in real WOT.

My new era three character is probably goning to be a blademaster, possibly a Tiwnborn with a really weird combo.

Edited by Ookla the Benefactor
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1 hour ago, Ookla the Meme-Thief said:

Hellbent can just do whatever he wants at this point, can't he? He's a Voidbringer, a Lightweaver, something something etc. etc. Seriously, @Ookla the Dragon Reborn, why? 

Not a Voidbringer. The problem is he was already one of the more powerful Era 1 characters, then got a ton of spikes. A rioter could beat him easy. I do plan on having him out of the action by the end of the era.

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39 minutes ago, Ookla the Benefactor said:

So what's the stance on channelers? I feel like most of them should be noncombative, or be fairly weak, like in real WOT.

This is a really good point. All the channelers I've come across are very strong. A weaker channeler might not even be able to beat a normal person with some sort of training.

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3 hours ago, Ookla the Meme-Thief said:

Mace is pushing the boundaries

The problem with characters like Mace is it's ambiguous has much power they can access. I could give him unlimited amounts of stored attributes in his metalminds. He did spend 16 years storing up for his return, I could argue. As an RPer, I choose not to do that, but if I wanted too, he could cause serious problems. It's easier just to avoid situation where people could so easily act OP. 

2 hours ago, Ookla the Phoenix said:

I think that characters should start off less powerful. If you want a more powerful character, RP them gaining the powers.

Agreed. 

The nature of the RP allows for characters with unlikely powers to come together. But we do need some sort of general consensus on how improbable is reasonable. For example, combining powers from multiple books is highly unlikely (eg. I became a rithmatist on top of the Mistborn abilities I was born with). Twinborns are uncommon, but Mistborns more so. Epics are more common than mistborn, but Epics with Prime Invincibility are about as common as them. This should be considered along with how OP they can be (see Voidus' comment of Steel twinborns). 

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Epics with PIs are about as common as skaa Mistborn

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So I know the idea was tossed around at some point during the discussion of a point buy system. This is just off the top of my head for examples and costs might be unbalanced but here could be some examples. I feel like something like this would be good as far as strict, to the point, restrictions. Keep in mind all of these costs are entirely theoretical. The actual costs would need to be agreed upon based off how powerful we want a starting character to be, as well as how people feel powers compare strength-wise.

Starting Points 50

 

Weaknesses: A character can gain points from a maximum of 2 weaknesses, but can have as many weaknesses as desired.
 

Quote

 

Disability; Something that affects the character in a negative way. Needs to actually be something big enough to affect them, not something like "Has a missing or extra toe"

Missing Limb: Character is missing an entire limb, this restricts their movement and/or coordination. +5 Points.

Heart Problems: The character has a bad heart. Any sort of physical exertion will cause them to wear out quickly. They cannot stay active for long periods of time. Has high risk for heart attack or other issues. +5 Points.

Mental Instability: The character is mentally unstable. This could be any number of actual effects, from general madness, to schizophrenia, to PTSD. Things like this make the character weaker to emotional Allomancy. +5 Points.

Other options: These are what I came up with for examples there are obviously more things that could apply here.

 

Quote

Lack of Strength of Skill in Abilities; For some reason the character is weak or unskilled in their respective abilities.

Lack of training: The character has new abilities. Great! But how do they use them. Interpret this as needed, anything from a KR that just spoke their first oath, to a Rithmatist that doesn't know the correct lines and such. This is something that over time can be overcome, by RPing training for the character. +5 Points.

Lack of ability: The character is weak in their specific ability. Examples include someone with an improperly harvested Hemalurgic spike, which lost some of the power during transfer. An extremely weak Channeler. This only applies to someone weaker than the average person with their ability, it does not apply by comparing an ability like Atium Ferring to Steel Ferring. +10 Points.

Pacifist: This is less of a weakness and more of a restriction. Your character cannot fight, even for self preservation, for some reason, whether it's a code of conduct or something literally preventing you. +5 Points.

Other: Probably other things I just can't specifically think of.

 

Abilities: 

Quote

Scadrial;

Mistborn: Access to all Allomantic metals. -40 Points.

Ferring: Access to one Allomantic metal. -10 Points.

Fullborn Feruchemist: Access to all Feruchemical metals. Cost is based off of stored traits at creation. 1 Month -20. 1 Year -30. 10 Years -40. Lifetime -50.

Ferring: Access to one Feruchemical metal: -10 Points.

Twinborn: Access to one Allomantic and one Feruchemical metal. Use this cost in place of Ferring costs. Same metal -30. Different metal -20.

Quote

Roshar;

The Nightwatcher: Your character has some ability granted by the Nightwatcher that doesn't fit somewhere else. This cost may need to be determined by the group at time of creation, as the right Bane can reduce the cost of a good Boon. Something like -10 Points base but costing more or less depending on strength of power and weakness.

Knight Radiant: Your character is a Knight Radiant, of any order. (Could have different costs per order if people feel one is too strong. Maybe restrict access to Bondsmith?) 1st Ideal -20 Points. 2nd Ideal -35 Points. 3rd Ideal -50 Points.

Singer: Your character is a Parsh with access to forms of power. You can only change form in a storm. -20 Points.

Quote

Sel;

Forger: Your character has access to the Investiture of Forgery. -15 Points.

Elantrian: Your character is an Elantrian with access to the Dor. -20 Points.

Other: There are lots of other forms of Investiture on Sel from Dakhor monks to Bloodsealers, etc. Not going to put them all since this is an example.

Quote

Epic; your character is an Epic from the Reckonerverse

Low Epic: Your character would be classified as a low Epic based off the strength of their abilites. -20 Points.

High Epic: Your character is considered a High Epic. Usually comes with a Prime Invincibility. -40 Points.

Weakness: All Epics have them so this does not qualify for extra points like those listed in the Weakness section. Keep it relevant and not something like, a plate of spaghetti on a white plate.

Quote

Non-Investiture abilites;

Alethi Blademaster: Your character is very skilled in the use of a blade. You know your forms, and are a highly trained individual. -5 Points.

Position of Power: Your character has a position of power in some organization or group. Not sure how this specifically would apply but it seemed like something good to put down for now. -5 Points.

Worldhopper: This might be the wrong section for this, but wasn't sure where to put it. Your character is an experienced Worldhopper, and thus is Cosmere aware. You gain knowledge of all Investiture, planets, and their Shards. Not taking this will restrict you to knowing only about your specific Investiture system and planet. This is required if you are going to have more than one form of Investiture. -15 Points.

Other: More stuff I can't think of right now.

Items: 

Shardblade: This only applies to someone who isn't a KR owning a Shardblade. -10 Points.

Sharplate: This only applies to non KR. -10 Points.

Soulcaster or other powerful Fabrial. -5 Points.

Soulstamp: A Soulstamp that a Forger made. Varying uses. -5 Points.

Endless supply of Allomantic metal: This could be something people don't want to exist, either because people shouldn't have an unlimited supply, or because all Allomancer's should already have it so it shouldn't cost. -10 Points.

Any other item more powerful than a mundane item: Possibly things like Aluminum equipment or anything else people decide on.

 

Skills: 

Survivor: Your character has the skills and knowledge to survive on your own. You know how to forage and live in the wild without difficulty. -5 Points.

Knowledge: Your character is knowledgeable about something, more so than a normal person would be. This should only apply to something important, not like knowing more about baking bread than anyone else does. -5 Points.

Combat Trained: Your character has seen conflict. You know how to handle it reasonably well, and a battle won't shock you, unless it's extremely gruesome or harsh. -5 Points.

Unique strength: This can vary from case to case, but applies to something like being really good at using your abilities for some reason. Think of it like a specialty almost, like Joel from the Rithmatist being really good at Math and Drawing lines, which would allow a Rithmatist to make stronger and more resilient Lines of Warding and such things.

Other relevant skill: Lots of other things could fit in here. Not everything should be classified under here, just things that are going to be useful in a broad spectrum of areas. Something like being really good at drawing isn't necessarily going to count here, unless you're a Rithmatist.

-------------

This is all just examples. Not sure if any of this sounds appealing to people or not. We might not want it to be something this strict. And coming up with the right costs to balance things out could be tricky.

Edited by Ookla the Ring
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1 hour ago, Ookla the Ring said:

So I know the idea was tossed around at some point during the discussion of a point buy system. This is just off the top of my head for examples and costs might be unbalanced but here could be some examples. I feel like something like this would be good as far as strict, to the point, restrictions. Keep in mind all of these costs are entirely theoretical. The actual costs would need to be agreed upon based off how powerful we want a starting character to be, as well as how people feel powers compare strength-wise.

Starting Points 50

 

Weaknesses: A character can gain points from a maximum of 2 weaknesses, but can have as many weaknesses as desired.
 

 

Abilities: 

Items: 

Shardblade: This only applies to someone who isn't a KR owning a Shardblade. -10 Points.

Sharplate: This only applies to non KR. -10 Points.

Soulcaster or other powerful Fabrial. -5 Points.

Soulstamp: A Soulstamp that a Forger made. Varying uses. -5 Points.

Endless supply of Allomantic metal: This could be something people don't want to exist, either because people shouldn't have an unlimited supply, or because all Allomancer's should already have it so it shouldn't cost. -10 Points.

Any other item more powerful than a mundane item: Possibly things like Aluminum equipment or anything else people decide on.

 

Skills: 

Survivor: Your character has the skills and knowledge to survive on your own. You know how to forage and live in the wild without difficulty. -5 Points.

Knowledge: Your character is knowledgeable about something, more so than a normal person would be. This should only apply to something important, not like knowing more about baking bread than anyone else does. -5 Points.

Combat Trained: Your character has seen conflict. You know how to handle it reasonably well, and a battle won't shock you, unless it's extremely gruesome or harsh. -5 Points.

Unique strength: This can vary from case to case, but applies to something like being really good at using your abilities for some reason. Think of it like a specialty almost, like Joel from the Rithmatist being really good at Math and Drawing lines, which would allow a Rithmatist to make stronger and more resilient Lines of Warding and such things.

Other relevant skill: Lots of other things could fit in here. Not everything should be classified under here, just things that are going to be useful in a broad spectrum of areas. Something like being really good at drawing isn't necessarily going to count here, unless you're a Rithmatist.

-------------

This is all just examples. Not sure if any of this sounds appealing to people or not. We might not want it to be something this strict. And coming up with the right costs to balance things out could be tricky.

I think this is going to form. The point of FFRP is to be different from Tabletop. I really don't  like the idea of the Alleyverse becoming like that.

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Personally I find the character creation of a more rigid RPG to be quite useful, even with a FFRP. It helps flesh out parts of your character that you may not have thought of, applies some rules to them so that others can understand and anticipate the character a bit more.
Even then, this is simply assigning a numerical weighting to different abilities so we can unambiguously say whether or not a character is too OP or should be allowed.

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*Looks up from making tables of Talents with point vaues* what?

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I'm fine with a more rpg like approach and without it. I think we should try it, and see how it works for us.

For my next character: depends a lot on the timeline and what happens to mine. I'd like to keep Lena though. Althea, too but that is likely to be difficult.

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So as one of the worst offenders to this, I should explain how I try (and fail) to balance my character, I’m not adverse to characters getting stronger over time,  Provided it’s plausible.

An example of how much power a character can gain over time, I suggest the upper limits to power gain be something around what Devaan has been able to improve by. He started out as a Feruchemist with a deck of unsealed metalminds, calling in favours for invested people to fill the cards. He’s been around for a while story-wise (turning 345 years old), and evolved from a Feruchemist fighter to someone who is currently going toe-to-toe with Hellbent. But he’s so powerful now that I try to use him as a teacher for other characters or one of the people who fights people like hellbent and mace.

my other character, Silph is pretty strong, but not conventionally so. He has no classic investiture and so uses his unique talents to get a leg up. I agree that era 3 and onwards we should have a more rigid character creation process.

8 hours ago, Ookla the Phoenix said:

I think that characters should start off less powerful. If you want a more powerful character, RP them gaining the powers.

I agree with pretty much everything Said, but this point in particular should be noted, characters need to be able to develop

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I'm personally not too sure about using a points system. While it does work as something of a guideline it is still too easy to develop characters that are way too strong, even if your points total is good. To fix this we'd need a lot of special rules and exceptions for specific combinations, and even then someone could probably manage to create a game breaker combination. There's also the fact that we'd probably need to update the list whenever a new book comes out, especially since we don't have a lot of concrete information on the possibilities of a lot of magic systems.

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The list itself is great as it helps flesh out character traits, abilities, etc etc. and built a character sheet. But I voice Foxed on the rest or all :P

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Yes, I have no problem with having it as a reference point, but it shouldn't be a strict guideline, as people can find non-OP things that don't fit, or OP things that fit.

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I’m not completely back from my hiatus, but here are a few things that I think should be noted. 

Try to keep to canon or roughly canon based abilities. Things get weird when you create new abilities that no one knows about. They definitely have the potential to be unbalanced, really the only limit on those abilities is what the other players are willing to tolerate. From what I’ve seen, other players don’t really like to tell someone no, even if they are being OP. 

Make sure that you understand the abilities that your character has and how they accessed those abilities. Characters with hemalurgy have to be OK with having a little piece of a soul of someone else inside of them. Characters with different investiture systems should understand that you would need connection to 2 different shards for that to happen. That doesn’t come easily. 

An example of this from the reckoners RP was that there were loads of epics with teleportation powers. Then someone found a wob that said teleportation was not really that common. Suddenly they had a bunch of characters that while they didn’t break canon, they shouldn’t have existed. When they paid attention to how common their characters powers were, it changed a lot of how they should RP their characters. 

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On 12/6/2018 at 7:38 PM, Ookla the Benefactor said:

So what's the stance on channelers? I feel like most of them should be noncombative, or be fairly weak, like in real WOT.

My new era three character is probably goning to be a blademaster, possibly a Tiwnborn with a really weird combo.

The only reason a channeler can be plausible is the fact that he has an extremely obvious weakness that's pretty easy to exploit.  The mere fact that they can just wrap up anyone who challenges them with air and keep them immobile pretty much perpetually is OP.  And it doesn't matter how weak you are, any strength level channeler can pull this off.  For instance, Galvris's weakness is that any strength rioter could take control, due to the amount of spikes he has.

As for a point guidelines, I'm opposed to this.  While it would be great to be able to judge character's strength, it takes away any semblance of creative writing, and turns this into a roll of the dice.  Plus, weaker characters wouldn't challenge characters just a few points above them, and the alleyverse would grow lethargic.  Beyond that, it wouldn't eliminate the possibility for broken OP characters.  While I can understand why this would be useful, I think it would harm more than help.  

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