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How do you Personally Define Overpowered?

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3 minutes ago, supernal said:

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 you 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


Your last line gets the haha but its being amusing makes it no less true. These are the talks I enjoy!

Much of what I say about magic is from my own personal viewpoint that I definitely don’t force on others, and my struggles with magic aren’t necessarily other people’s struggles. Certainly I’ve seen magic be abused, but I’ve also seen the Force be abused and everyday writing in general, so word.

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5 hours 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. 

Imagine you are a theater audience. In every scene of the play, the playwrights stumble onto stage at random and hand the characters new props or redo the actors' costumes and makeup. Now imagine being the only actor on stage who isn't in on it, still playing their part, or at least trying to keep on going.

3 hours 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.

Magic is cheap. It costs nothing. It's literally cheaper than the Dollar Store, but everyone is rocking swag from Georgio Armani for free.

It's more off-putting than someone wading across the river or buying floaties. A character waving their hands to conjure a solution reads the same as a player hand-waving a problem.

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Might be a bit off-topic but I wanted to add my two cents about the use of magic for easy insta-problem resolution.

Personally I try to work with Brandon Sanderson's definitions of soft and hard magic systems - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_and_soft_magic_systems

Ideally, when playing as a character facing a obstacle, soft, vaguely-defined types of magic with no clear upper power limits shouldn't be used to solve major conflicts, since they can easily be OP.

Hard magic "allows the characters to use magic to solve problems while avoiding the cliche of magic mysteriously making everything better. Instead it is the characters' experience, intelligence and ingenuity that solves conflicts by learning how to use the magic in unique ways which still abide by the magic's rules. Hard magic needs predictability and consistency; when magic goes wrong, it's from the characters' lack of knowledge, misuse, or mistake when using magic, not because the magic is inherently unpredictable"

Hard magic prevents the handwave-y use of magic and lets it be used as a legit, interesting plot device.

Val doesn't have a universal magic system, and personal magic systems between two or more characters can conflict and sometimes be unbalanced, but there are ways to make use of magic realistic and not just an all-purpose solution for any problem.

Going back to being OP - having an internal, realistic system of rules and limitations for a character would prevent them from being overpowered. The universal laws of magic are a pretty good standard to strive for when making internal, character-specific magic/power systems.

As a note I'm talking about magic use and overpoweredness in the IC, canon context of Valucre. Like other people have mentioned, it depends on the context. COTH runs as a soft-magic setting. Iirc Gaianism has an earthbending level-up system. I've seen very comprehensive, character-specific magic systems that, while making characters seem capable of OP actions, do have legit costs and limitations.

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characters can be built meta through a large scope of powers with ambiguous application, and enhanced abilities to keep up with direct assault.  since you don't have to give anything up to make your character a magic/martial hybrid, those characters can more easily out preform characters who are just martial or magic mainly because of efficiency, this also applies for speedsters.  personally for Valucre, I'd classify overpowered as a character who is pushing it in the scope of what their character can do while maintaining a potency to keep up with more specialized characters.  beyond that it's mostly a disconnect of how well equipped different characters are for a particular situation or how challenging a player thinks a certain feat is. 

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