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Dr Archeville

[House Rule Change] Descriptors, and 2 Feats

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As part of an ongoing effort to clear up and clarify the House Rules, the ref team will be making a few changes, as explained below:

Descriptor Frequency

Some descriptors will be moving to more or less common based on what we've observed in actual play while others are being split up in more specific components. For example, we're adding the 'living' descriptor for use with Detect Living and Life Awareness as a Very Common descriptor, while 'life energy' for use as an attack descriptor and with Immunity will be Uncommon.

The biggest adjustment won't actually change the way anything works but it should help to dispel some confusion! We are renaming the 'mental' descriptor 'psionic', meaning that characters with Immunity to Mental Effects, such as constructs, will now have Immunity to Psionic Effects. This helps to separate attacks with the psionic descriptor, such as telepathy, from effects with the Mental Extra from Ultimate Power which may have entirely different descriptors and from the mental sense type.

Keep in mind, this won't actually change what the power could already do, it will just make it easier to tell when it does or doesn't apply. For example, a robot character with Immunity to Psionic Effects would be immune to a telepath's Mind Reading power, which is a Mental Effect with the psionic descriptor. However, a technopath capable of remotely hacking into computer systems might have Mind Reading with the technopathy descriptor, to which the robot would be susceptible. The technopath's Mind Reading is still a Mental Effect, with the Mental Extra built in, but it isn't a psionic effect, with the psionic descriptor.

Changes and clarifications include:

psionic replaces mental at common

living added as very common, life energy added at uncommon

animal added at common

training added at common

air and earth added at common (joining fire and water)

chemical upgraded to common

emotion upgraded to common

wood demoted to uncommon

Immunity to one sense-dependent effect targeting one sense: 2PP

    Example: Immunity to Auditory Dazzle

Immunity to any sense-dependent effect targeting one sense: 5PP
    Example: Immunity to Auditory Effects

Immunity to one sense-dependent effect targeting any sense: 5PP

    Example: Immunity to Dazzle

Immunity to all sense-dependent effects: 10PP

Immunity to one non-Damage effect: 5PP
    Example: Immunity to Drain, Immunity to Nauseate

Immunity to one non-Damage effect targeting one Trait: 2PP

    Example: Immunity to Drain Toughness

Take this opportunity to review the updated Descriptor Frequency list and make sure you're paying the correct amount for any Super-Senses or Immunity powers on your characters. We'll be editing sheets to rename the mental descriptor psionic as needed, but if you have concerns about whether that's still appropriate for your character, send the ref team a PM and we'll adjudicate accordingly.


Feats

Favoured Environment: This feat is no longer ranked. While in your favoured environment, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth and Survival rolls and a +2 circumstance bonus to either Attack or Defence. The attack/defence bonus is chosen at the beginning of your turn, and you can change it on your next turn. Note that circumstance bonuses do not count against PL caps.

Suitable environments must be sufficiently specific, such as forests, underwater or arctic. Urban is explicitly not allowed.

You may take this feat multiple times within reason, applying to a different environment each time. Excessive use attempting to 'cover all your bases' will be frowned upon.

Favoured Enemy: This feat is no longer ranked. When dealing with your favoured enemy type, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Intimidate, Gather Information, Investigate, Knowledge, Notice, Search and Sense Motive rolls involving this enemy. Note that circumstance bonuses do not count against PL caps.

As per the core rules, this feat is a prerequisite for Critical Strike pertaining to the same enemy type. Critical Strike allows critical hits on enemies otherwise immune to critical hits.

Suitable enemy types must be sufficiently specific, such as undead, demons, robots or mafia. Broad descriptors such as 'supervillains' or 'criminals' will not be allowed.

You may take this feat multiple times within reason, applying to a different enemy type each time. Excessive use attempting to 'cover all your bases' will be frowned upon.

Steve Kenson says, and we agree, that you can take the Critical Strike feat without taking the Favored Enemy feat, and use Hero Points to temporarily gain the Favored Enemy feat in order to trigger the Critical Strike feat.

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