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How do you Personally Define Overpowered?

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57 minutes ago, Fierach said:

If you're in a futuristic setting, everybody has a mech, force fields, and power armor with force fields on top of your force fields, and you bring a modern 21st century firearm, that's underpowered.

Link <-- Is that a challenge?

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7 minutes ago, Rabbit said:

Link <-- Is that a challenge?

... not sure what you're challenging. He fired it for 8 days. 

Either it was so underpowered the neighbors were like MARTHAAA, the neighbors shooting at us with the museum piece again on the 8th day and finally phoned it to the police in because the noise was more devastating then any actual damage it caused... or well..

 That's it pretty much. Thanks for proving my point >_>

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Agreed with those who say OP is relative. I tend to loosely define my character’s skills (elemental magic, illusion magic), and scale it according to the context that I am writing in. Though sometimes my characters could be deliberately under or over powered when I want to achieve a particular outcome or build a specific character (e.g. damsel in distress-type, or a character I wish to grow from scratch). But I’m always open to editing if my writing partners don’t agree with it.

Also agreed with Vansin that Mild Powers is a place to start, it’s like after you have a familiarity of the community vibe of Val, or if you are writing with people you know, that’s when you can start pushing the boundaries a little. As long as everyone is having fun!

Edited by jaistlyn

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In the simplest explanation possible, so long as a character is "balanced" it can't be OP.

Favoring semi-realism in my fantasy warrants that some characters are stronger or weaker than others.

I also have somewhat of a history for taking underpowered, though still powered, characters to face and defeat over powered ones just to show that less can always be more.

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@jaistlyn

I think power scaling on the fly is, boring or lame? I think is also a little "cheap" in terms of experience and development. 

You're not the first I've met in the community that does this, and likely won't be the last, though I find that well defining the limits of a character's capabilities keeps all players involved honest, while again providing balance to the character. 

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1 hour ago, Twitterpated said:

In the simplest explanation possible, so long as a character is "balanced" it can't be OP.

I know you were trying to be very basic with this but what you just said is essentially "If a character is not OP, it can't be OP" 

"Balanced" is the very term we're trying to dissect here. What is balanced? Don't answer, because whatever you do answer will be subjective and therefore not a good working definition everyone can use. At least, that was my previous point. 

I have to also seriously disagree with this: 

1 hour ago, Twitterpated said:

 

I think power scaling on the fly is, boring or lame? I think is also a little "cheap" in terms of experience and development. 

You're not the first I've met in the community that does this, and likely won't be the last, though I find that well defining the limits of a character's capabilities keeps all players involved honest, while again providing balance to the character. 

I think power scaling on the fly is actually THE solution, albeit perhaps not in the way you think of "power scaling" 

For most, power scaling means "sure kid, I may be a godlike force of nature but I'll limit myself to just sword techniques so I don't kill ya." 

Which, agreed, is lame as fuck.

However a real RP artist can power scale with style by manipulating a situation around a character instead of having that character manipulate itself. 

"My godlike force of nature relies on the phases of the moon, and as it turns out our battle is taking place during a new moon, during which time he's barely more than a regular human in ability."

This method is neither demeaning to your opponent nor a flex on the part of your character. The godlike character can be written to experience a lot of fear during those times, heightening the dramatic tension. The other, less powerful character might be extremely motivated to win this fight because he knows as soon as the moon reappears the comeuppance will be severe. All in all this method of adjusting situations instead of characters to create game balance is at the heart of what makes a great roleplayer. I think power scaling rocks, and should be used more often. 

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@Vansin yes! You hit my nail on the head.

@Twitterpated But my scaling is not limited to environmental factors (though that can be one). I also mean scaling within reasonable ranges depending on the powers of the others present. Like if I'm in a school RP, my boy mage's elemental magic can be limited to a room-wide destruction, while if he is adventuring with more experienced people, it can be raised to house-wide destruction so that he's at least on some par with them and not be completely useless. There are limits though, like at no point is he going to go up against god-like characters (you know.. unless he acquires some sort of one-time use artifact after some roleplay effort, which is also a kind of power scaling technique in my book)

I feel like it depends on approaches to RP. It’s not like I want to win and be the most powerful at all times so I scale to be the best. Sometimes I want to explore losing too. In that sense I think I’m less of a roleplayer in that I don’t take one character and always see through that character’s point of view, I’m more of a storyteller in that I actively control the environment and non-player characters and situations, in addition to my character. Power scaling makes sense with this approach.

Edited by jaistlyn

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16 minutes ago, jaistlyn said:

In that sense I think I’m less of a roleplayer in that I don’t take one character and always see through that character’s point of view, I’m more of a storyteller in that I actively control the environment and non-player characters and situations, in addition to my character. Power scaling makes sense with this approach.

This is like my RP religion in a single paragraph. 

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Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking anyone for preferring otherwise.

By the given example of the mage student, I'd just rather be the weaker version until the character grows stronger. Like if he needs to be stronger to assist on a quest, then he either doesn't go, or he goes as a growth experience.

Perhaps his prowess matures during said quest/mission.

@Vansin I'll agree with you easily on the scaling down example, that is easier to digest. A godlike character making himself weaker. But if your character is more like Captain America, you shouldn't just be like "well, for now he's hulk strong" cause it fits. Only to continue as Captain America the rest of the time until you need to scale him up again. 

Competitive rp or not, it's okay to have a weaker or stronger character without feeling like either side needs to compensate so that things are "fair". 

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This might sound cheap but I try to make it a point in my writing life to not choose ‘definitions’ so to speak. Like I don’t really set out to select genres or archetypes or power levels or skill/ability points and what have you. I tend to let those things choose me as I start writing and just go with the flow, and before I know it my story has gone from romance to thriller and my character’s deliberately unexplored pyromancy has gone from candle flames to infernos. Not to say I don’t plan things, I just don’t really concern myself with the more systematic details, making me much more of a storyteller and much less of a RPG roleplayer something something.

I have a whole gallery of PCs and I tend to write from my character’s limited point of view more often than not. On the other hand, I’m fond of jumping into a NPC’s shoes when the occasion calls for it, maybe a one-off character, lore- and world-building, and setting and controlling the environment just as much. I don’t know what this makes me: builder, roleplayer, both, or just plain writer. But I reckon that anyone who roleplays is a roleplayer and “roleplay” is the umbrella term for this thing of ours.

When it comes to OP and powers in general I don’t really dabble too much in powers to begin with. This is purely subjective, because for me all that nonsense detracts from my storytelling and character development. If my PC comes across a river and can’t cross it because he can’t swim and there’s no bridge then I have written myself a point of challenge. I don’t want to ruin that by having my character use magic to just summon a bridge in two seconds. Magic just makes everything so very convenient and it’s not my cup of tea. Again, though, totally subjective, both for me and the power type and the context.

If my PCs do have powers I try to limit their quantity and the potency. Finely defining their powers and limitations and environmental impacts is just not fun for me and I’ll only do that if it’s really pressing for the IC or is PVP. Then again, I try to only T1-RM. Preps can go kills themselves. But, if I haven’t already, I now digress.

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I thought further about it, when I say “I scale with limit”, that implies that there IS an OP ceiling. To add on to that then, OP to me is when a character’s actions deliberately and disruptively causes everyone else to not be able to achieve their storytelling goals (be it finishing a boss too fast so that there is no challenge, or presenting an insurmountable obstacle and insisting it cannot be overcome no matter what other people do).

This means that OP is essentially a feeling to me (annoyance lol) >.>

Also also I like how this discussion got people to talk about their RP philosophies, and I can actually see it in your writing on hindsight. That is very interesting to me!

Edited by jaistlyn

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19 minutes ago, Die Shize said:

When it comes to OP and powers in general I don’t really dabble too much in powers to begin with. This is purely subjective, because for me all that nonsense detracts from my storytelling and character development. If my PC comes across a river and can’t cross it because he can’t swim and there’s no bridge then I have written myself a point of challenge. I don’t want to ruin that by having my character use magic to just summon a bridge in two seconds. Magic just makes everything so very convenient and it’s not my cup of tea. Again, though, totally subjective, both for me and the power type and the context.

The interesting point for me - under a variety of definitions and sliding scales thrown around here, that bit of magic would be OP in that it provides an immediate dismissal of dramatic tension. If your character just walks upstream for 5 minutes and comes to a conveniently shallow part of the river or there are now stepping stones he can use to get across, you get the same sort of dismissal with no magic involved. The fact of being able to use magic and that of always having a convenient answer to every possible point of tension are two different things and the line dividing them is a lot of what's been going on here

Edited by supernal

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10 minutes ago, supernal said:

The interesting point for me - under a variety of definitions and sliding scales thrown around here, that bit of magic would be OP in that it provides an immediate dismissal of dramatic tension. If your character just walks upstream for 10 minutes and comes to a conveniently shallow part of the river or there are now stepping stones he can use to get across, you get the same sort of dismissal with no magic involved. The fact of being able to use magic and that of always having a convenient answer to every possible point of tension are two different things and the line dividing them is a lot of what's been going on here

Good catch. My post can actually come off as saying magic is cheap but definitely not the move I was making. Magic is rife in so much of Valucre and so much of it works in so much of everything. 

Let’s instead agree that magic can be used in the same way random stepping stones can be, and short of the stepping stones being conveniently there they can be conveniently summoned by magic. The result is the same based on how it is used.

Context and subject and all that, but if I personalize it then magic for me makes things too easy to use the wrong way, because potentially I’d abuse it as I don’t regard magic as much as others do who put more thought and design into it, and there are some good examples of the latter on this site.

Edited by Die Shize

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25 minutes ago, Die Shize said:

Good catch. My post can actually come off as saying magic is cheap but definitely not the move I was making. Magic is rife in so much of Valucre and so much of it works in so much of everything. 

Let’s instead agree that magic can be used in the same way random stepping stones can be, and short of the stepping stones being conveniently there they can be conveniently summoned by magic. The result is the same based on how it is used.

Context and subject and all that, but if I personalize it then magic for me makes things too easy to use the wrong way, because potentially I’d abuse it as I don’t regard magic as much as others do who put more thought and design into it, and there are some good examples of the latter on this site.

You're not wrong that magic is a very convenient and pervasive plot device which is blanket-like in its ability to be the answer for a problem. That said the thing about it is that it's precisely that, a plot device. It actually costs me no more as a player to have a magical spell that can make stepping stones than to just have them appear, or for there to already be a bridge when he arrives and not even make the swim a challenge. If I just happened to make it waist deep and capable of fording it, or just happened to be able to buy a floatie in the town I just came from or have one with me because I know I can't swim, it's all very convenient regardless of magic being involved. It's the "very convenient" part that's the thing

Since Valucre is a fantasy site magic gets used as the handy plot device but on a sci-fi site it would be sci-fi nonsense, and on a "realistic site" it would be mundane nonsense like the above. I'm not trying to make you swing on using magic because (as I know you know from our super long convos about it in general chat) preferences are preferences and as long as you and your partners are having fun telling the story you're telling that's the whole point. I'm just saying

Anything you use to always have the answer to any obstacle and to deflate the tension is the real problem, and it is a problem when people use magic in this way and magic is the readiest example because of the fantasy setting, but removing magic doesn't preclude that same exact ability to be OP. Kind of like "action hero" syndrome

/thisiswhatnon-argumentconversationlookslikeitfeelsgood

Edited by supernal

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