[generic] RPG a day lockdown #71 - most broken game mechanic?

#2
Example One
I once saw a magnificent combo in Smallville, which, rules as written, worked. I may be paraphrasing the actual names of some of the abilities.

1. Take the Trustworthy ability, which gives you a plot point every time you ask someone to trust you. Yes, in the spirit of the game this is a scene by scene thing, but RAW it is every time you do it. So you start as many sentences as you can get away with, without the table smashing your face, with something like "Look, TRUST ME on his one .... we should do it like this..." and hold out your hand for that sweet plot pointage.
2. Amass a nice set of plot points and wait for something you dislike to happen.

[SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS - YOU DECIDE YOU DISLIKE IT AND DON'T WANT IT TO HAPPEN]

3. Take Mastermind, so you can always pay a plot point to have pre-emptively thought your way around a situation. Trigger Mastermind. Now your actions are retroactive.
4. Take Time Travel, pay your plot points and travel back in time. Find the person doing the bad thing to you.
5. Take Mind Control, and plant a suggestion in their mind.
6. Flashback to the present and smile, triggering the suggestion and stopping the bad thing.

Rules as written, utterly correct.

Example Two
This isnt a broken mechanic, but an attempt at a broken implementation. Playing Dresden Files RPG (the full fat Fate one) and the PCs are in the middle of a masked ball rammed with NPC intrigue. One PC refuses to do anything. Literally sits in the corner, eats and does nothing. Will not interact. Will not do a thing.

Eventually I ask what the problem is. He replies there is no problem, this is just Fate. He knows that this is set up for him to do things, but he doesn't HAVE to do anything. If I want him to do something (you know, to move the story along) I'm going to have to compel him and give him a Fate point. Then he will do something, but nothing else, until he is compelled again. Thus he gets all of the Fate points.

I just left him in the corner, eating meat.

Example Three.
Symbaroum. Master Level Maltransformation.
Novice: Active - with a successful roll against Resolute, the Mystic can turn a target into a harmless beast (mammal or reptile). The target stays in that form until the Mystic breaks concentration or fails a [Resolute-Resolute] test. This test is made each turn on the Mystic's initiative. The harmless creature keeps the target's original attributes but none of its abilities or powers and can neither attack or use objects.
Adept: Active - The Mystic no longer has to concentrate to keep the Maltransformation active; it is ongoing until the Mystic fails a [Resolute-Resolute] test.
Master: Active - The Mystic can trigger a Chain of Maltransformation. if the Mystic succeeds in transforming one target, he or she may then attempt to transform another one, and so on until a transformation attempt fails. yadda yadda

Add in some Elemental Essence, which allows a re-roll on the first roll of the spell, and a competently built Mystic with a reasonable Resolute (15+) and its an absolute nightmare. For 1 Corruption, ANYTHING is turned onto a mouse. Anything. There is nothing in the rules that has anyway of stopping this. No exemption for spirits, demons, Gods, anything. And if it fails? You cast it again. No diminishing returns.

Untested Bullshit of the highest order.
 
#3
Paying a Fate Point to refuse a compel in Fate. is not technically broken because it does exactly what is intended, but totally reject it and everything it stands for. In what universe do I need a bit of stick to get players to play their own characters? How is that even my business? Is it not more likely that if a Compel is refused it wasn't a very good Compel in the first place?
 

Ezio

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Paying a Fate Point to refuse a compel in Fate. is not technically broken because it does exactly what is intended, but totally reject it and everything it stands for. In what universe do I need a bit of stick to get players to play their own characters? How is that even my business? Is it not more likely that if a Compel is refused it wasn't a very good Compel in the first place?
Used correctly, I think compels are good. I think it's useful sometimes to remind people who their character is, particularly in a con game where they've only just been handed a pre-gen. It's also a way to get someone to consider their character or aspect in a new light, or suggest a new direction for the scenario. But I never make someone pay a Fate point to decline it, they just say no and we move on.

I believe it's Diaspora where the mechanic is particularly dreadful because it allows the GM to double-down on the compel, and you can end up paying TWO Fate points to decline it, which is just wrong on so many levels.
 
#7
As a Holmes D&D fan I speak of the thing with a smile, but the Light Weapons Rule was so broken that surely no-one but pre-teens ever used it as written. Essentially, heavy weapons strike every second round, normal weapons once a round, and light weapons twice a round. Makes sense, you say, but then you notice that all weapons in Holmes Basic do 1d6 ... cue plate-armoured fighters scuttling through the Underworld with a dagger in each hand!

Actually quite fun, if you run with it.
 

Guvnor

The Guvnor
Staff member
#8
GURPS does that "slow two handers" "fast one hander" thing.. but they allocated a lot of damage to two handed weapons.
Elric! or SB5 didn't do it quite the same, but initiative meant that long weapons went first.
Flashing Blades had two fencing actions per turn but onley one lunge with a polearm or by a grunt with a sword.
I am trying to remember how Mythras did it, don't think they did.
How did Holmes fans fix it? d4/d6/d8 progression by weapon type? d6-1/d6/d6+1?
 
#10
Is Sharpshooter in 5e D&D broken @pedr ?
Possibly - I sometimes feel a little munchkiny using it! My Tuesday group has two rangers with sharpshooter. They can really eat through the monsters’ hit points quickly (and now they’re level 11 I’m glad they’re not fighters with 3 attacks a round!)

I wonder if it was designed before really thinking about the low ACs in the game - it’d be less useful if players didn’t have a reasonable guess that the monster’s AC is somewhere between 14 and 17.
 
#11
Aside - in the little D&D Feats product I made, I did a version of Sharpshooter for thrown weapons, as it seemed like an obvious omission.

Basically there's a small group of weapon specialisation feats that let you do impressive stuff, including Great Weapon Master.
 
#12
How did Holmes fans fix it? d4/d6/d8 progression by weapon type? d6-1/d6/d6+1?
Either by using the Greyhawk (for OD&D) or Moldvay (for Basic D&D) optional variable weapon damage rules, or just ignoring the rule and having all weapons hit once per round for 1d6 damage, like the 3LBB OD&D rules, or implementing house rules like the d6-1/d6/d6+1 you mention.
 
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