Overcharging Alpha Mutations: Powers vs. Effects

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Overcharging Alpha powers seems straightforward, but I'm unclear on how overcharging Alpha Mutations that give only benefits works.  Alpha powers can only be overcharged once. But what about benefits? For example, Rubbery Skeleton can be overcharged "when you start your turn."  If you roll 10 or over, do you gain the overcharge bonus for the rest of the encounter, or only until the beginning of the next turn? If it's only until the beginning of your next turn, can you overcharge Rubbery Skeleton at the start of every one of your turns?

Also, if you roll a 9 or less and get a negative effect (Collapse in a boneless heap, save ends, for example) can you overcharge at the start of your next turn even though you're still suffering the previous overcharge's penalties? For example, you roll 9 or less overcharging Rubbery Skeleton, and are immobilized and can't attack while under the effect. Can you then overcharge at the start of your next turn, get a 10 or greater, and gain the benefit (gaining resistance of 10 instead of 5) while still suffering the negative effect? Or can only the positive OR negative outcome of overcharging be in effect at any one time?
This is how I understand it:

Overcharging can only happen once per encounter for a given mutation; in the case of constant traits, the effect of that overcharge lasts for the rest of the encounter (for benefits), or until the save is made (for penalties).

In your example, the player with Rubbery Skeleton could choose, at the beginning of any turn, to overcharge it. Once he does, he rolls a d20. If he gets a 10+, he gets resistance 10 instead of 5 for the rest of the encounter. If he rolls a 9 or less, his resistance remains 5 and he collapses in a boneless heap (save ends). Once he makes the save, he can go back into combat. But he can't roll to Overcharge boneless skeleton again. He's already done so once. 
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List
If there was some effect that allowed you to overcharge Rubbery Skeleton again (say you rolled a Natural 1 and you had a second Rubbery Skeleton come up with the Alpha Mutation Draw) you could roll for the overcharge of the new version of the Mutation.

The rules state that you can only overcharge a Mutation once (once per encounter, for the most part). However, if you read page 67, point 5: Alpha Flux under Using Alpha Mutation Decks In Play, you'll find that "you can use that new alpha power [the one you drew as a result of the alpha flux] even if you already used the power on the discarded card during the encounter."

So imagine this scenario: You roll a natural 1 for your overcharge attempt of Rubbery Skeleton. You finish your action and then discard Rubbery Skeleton to meet the flux requirement. Drawing your new Alpha Mutation, you draw your second copy of Rubbery Skeleton. At the start of your next turn, you attempt to overcharge the new version of RS and get a 15. You succeed and increase your resistance to 10 from 5. At the end of that turn, you make your save to end the detrimental effects of the previously failed overcharge attempt and have resist 10 physical from the second overcharge effect until the end of the encounter.

As far as I can see:
* you can attempt to overcharge any and all Alpha Mutations you have access to during any encounter.

* You can only overcharge a specific copy of a mutation once per encounter.

* If you happen to have a second copy of a mutation, you can attempt to overcharge that copy even if you've overcharged a previous copy.

* If your level is high enough and you can have more than one mutation readied, I see no rules against having two of the same mutation readied at the same time. I'd treat each mutation as separate which means that you'd have up to 2 (the limit on the number of copies of the same alpha mutation/omega tech allowed in a deck) overcharges of that power available to you (one from each copy).

Does that help clear things up a bit?
If he rolls a 9 or less, his resistance remains 5 and he collapses in a boneless heap (save ends). Once he makes the save, he can go back into combat. But he can't roll to Overcharge boneless skeleton again. He's already done so once. 




Once the save is made, would the base benefit kick back in, or do you think the entire mutation would be null and void?

(Thanks for the quick response, by the way!)
Page 67, in the gray box.

"You can overcharge a power only once."
So no, you cannot keep rolling until it works.

"Overcharging" is the act of rolling. If you roll a 2 and collapse in a heap?
THAT'S OVERCHARGING. You can't do it again. Period.
You cannot have both effects because that would involve overcharging TWICE.

Durations are listed. If there's no duration, use a little reading comprehension.

In the case of rubbery skeleton?
It says "You gain Resist 10 instead of 5".
Which means to consider the card to be saying Resist 10. It is then subject to the duration of the card, which is "While readied".

Stop and actually read what you posted. The first thing YOU say is that alpha powers can only be overcharged once. You then proceed to ask if you can overcharge it every turn.
You answered your own question before you even got here.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
Once the save is made, would the base benefit kick back in, or do you think the entire mutation would be null and void? (Thanks for the quick response, by the way!)



The base benefit NEVER GOES AWAY. Unless the overcharge entry says it does.

It's the same with overcharging alpha attacks. The attack works normally, PLUS the overcharge effect applies.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
NINJAED!

Also, to answer your second question. Unless the overcharge failure states otherwise, you retain the base power of the mutation in addition to the effects of the overcharge.

So, you'd still have your resist 5 physical, but you'd be immobilized and unable to attack. Remember, as long as you have a mutation readied, it provides its base effects unless the overcharge overrides it.

Even if you fail your overcharge roll, the mutation stays in play unless there is an effect that causes it to be discarded, such as an alpha flux or the overcharge effects force you to do so.

(EDIT: WOO, I was ninjaed in return...heh)
Thanks for the input, guys. Everything you've said has lined up with my reading of the rules, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious.

Stop and actually read what you posted. The first thing YOU say is that alpha powers can only be overcharged once. You then proceed to ask if you can overcharge it every turn.





Page 67 draws a distinction between an Alpha Mutation's benefits and powers. And it doesn't state that Alpha Mutations can be overcharged only once - It says a power may be overcharged only once. That's I asked about benefits specifically. As it's the only sentence I could find in the rules regarding overcharging limits, and it said nothing about benefits, I thought I'd check to make sure I hadn't missed anything. That's all

Thanks again, everybody!
Page 67 draws a distinction between an Alpha Mutation's benefits and powers. And it doesn't state that Alpha Mutations can be overcharged only once - It says a power may be overcharged only once. That's I asked about benefits specifically. As it's the only sentence I could find in the rules regarding overcharging limits, and it said nothing about benefits, I thought I'd check to make sure I hadn't missed anything. That's all Thanks again, everybody!


It says "powers" and not mutations?
Same page, 67, higher up. Step 2.
"The cards you draw ard your readied Alpha powers."
The bold? Is in the original.

The book defines a readied (drawn) Alpha Mutation card as an Alpha power.
You may only overcharge a power once. There is zero room for confusion.

Here's the thing. You made up the term "benefits". "Benefit" is not a game term, is not part of the rules in any way. You made it up out of thin air, and then tried to explain it. THAT is your problem.
You know what is defined? The term "effect". Keep reading.
"The Alpha mutation card indicates the effect that occurs as a result of the d20 roll. Usually, a 10 or higher is a successful overcharge (and an increased effect). If you attempt to overcharge  an attack power and fail, the power still works normally, and then you suffer the negative effect."

This doesn't get around the fact that you said "You can only overcharge once. So if I overcharge and get a negative effect, can I overcharge again the next round?" Your own words, you ask if you can overcharge multiple times, in the same paragraph that you say you can't do that. It's self-contradictory.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
Page 67 draws a distinction between an Alpha Mutation's benefits and powers. And it doesn't state that Alpha Mutations can be overcharged only once - It says a power may be overcharged only once. That's I asked about benefits specifically. As it's the only sentence I could find in the rules regarding overcharging limits, and it said nothing about benefits, I thought I'd check to make sure I hadn't missed anything. That's all Thanks again, everybody!


It says "powers" and not mutations?
Same page, 67, higher up. Step 2.
"The cards you draw ard your readied Alpha powers."
The bold? Is in the original.

The book defines a readied (drawn) Alpha Mutation card as an Alpha power.
You may only overcharge a power once. There is zero room for confusion.

Here's the thing. You made up the term "benefits". "Benefit" is not a game term, is not part of the rules in any way. You made it up out of thin air, and then tried to explain it. THAT is your problem.
You know what is defined? The term "effect". Keep reading.
"The Alpha mutation card indicates the effect that occurs as a result of the d20 roll. Usually, a 10 or higher is a successful overcharge (and an increased effect). If you attempt to overcharge  an attack power and fail, the power still works normally, and then you suffer the negative effect."

This doesn't get around the fact that you said "You can only overcharge once. So if I overcharge and get a negative effect, can I overcharge again the next round?" Your own words, you ask if you can overcharge multiple times, in the same paragraph that you say you can't do that. It's self-contradictory.

No need to be so hostile, dude. I mean, seriously, it's not like he peed in your coffee. Question was asked, question was answered, and the world keeps turning and the internet did not explode. Sometimes it takes someone else explaining something in a different way for that something to "click" in your head.
If he rolls a 9 or less, his resistance remains 5 and he collapses in a boneless heap (save ends). Once he makes the save, he can go back into combat. But he can't roll to Overcharge boneless skeleton again. He's already done so once. 




Once the save is made, would the base benefit kick back in, or do you think the entire mutation would be null and void?

(Thanks for the quick response, by the way!)

Yeah, the original resistance 5 stays in effect for the entire encounter.

Happy to help.
The Doctor Comics Blog: doctorcomics.blogspot.com On Twitter @doctorcomics GW Card List: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26023881/Card_List

The book defines a readied (drawn) Alpha Mutation card as an Alpha power.
You may only overcharge a power once. There is zero room for confusion.



I agree with your rules interpretations 100%.

Let me explain precisely why I asked the question in the first place, just in case a similar question pops up on the boards in the future.

The rules clearly state that the cards you draw are your "readied Alpha powers." Shortly after, we see this: "You gain any benefit described on each of your Alpha Mutation cards until that card is discarded. Many Alpha Mutation cards also have powers."

"Many Alpha Mutation cards also have powers." Many have powers, not all. (Again, I'm not saying this is the correct interpretation - just pointing out possible contradictions that might cause confusion)

So the rules say the Alpha Mutation cards you draw are "Alpha powers," but also say that not all Alpha Mutation cards HAVE powers. It can reasonably be read that there's a difference between Alpha powers and powers. That's why it might be confusing to some to read (in the gray box) that "You can overcharge a power only once."

Again, this isn't saying that this is the correct interpretation - in fact, I believe it's not - but it is a possible source of confusion. I only point it out in case anyone else drops by with similar questions.
I believe that this is another case of standard WotC editing. The text should read: "Many Alpha Mutation cards also have overchargable powers."

I just mentally edit junk like that and put in my own words...It could have been "Many Alpha Mutation cards also have monkey slap slap powers." But I guess we're in the worldline where neither of these phrases were invented...
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