Flux Fishing: Problem?

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
I haven't encountered this yet in a game, but I wanted to ask your opinion.

Whenever you roll a natural 1 on a d20 in an encounter, you experience Alpha Flux: you discard a readied Alpha Mutation and replace it with one from your DM's deck. The issue is that you can use that Alpha Mutation, even if you have used your previous mutation.

What would happen if someone starts making as many rolls as possible to use as many mutation powers as possible? Obsessive knowledge checks, jumping 5 ft., or throwing area bursts hoping to get maximum mutations?

How would you rule it? Only attack rolls trigger alpha flux? Stupid attempts to Flux Fish don't count? Flux fishers get to draw from the Anti-Life Leech deck (IE. gets stupid/useless mutations to discourage it)?

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

What would happen if someone starts making as many rolls as possible to use as many mutation powers as possible? Obsessive knowledge checks, jumping 5 ft.

I would give them their take 10 values so as not to slow down the game. I normally do the same in D&D even when no one is trying to cheese. I doubt any DM would put up with slowing down the game to accomodate cheese.

throwing area bursts

Well, trying to get the maximum possible enemies in your area burst just seems like good tactics anyways... but if they are including allies, I'd follow the RPGA rules that say they must have their fellow player's permission to do so. And (even with permission) if it was evident they were frequently doing this merely for cheese, I'd request that they don't that. I couldn't imagine the matter becoming a real issue among adults. It's a game.
I would skip irrelevant skill checks.  If a player wants to jump 5', just because, then I let them use thier move action with no check required.   Why would I require or let a player make such a frivilous check.  If a player asks to many request for knowledge check, I would skip the request.  Period.  The cheese factor would not be my concern, I got Elvis Jackson Presley as a Pc, but slowing the game down would be my concern. 
I'd allow it, since the more rolls means the more stuff going on, which means the wackier and active the game. If the players can come up with stuff to keep the die rolling, then more power to them.
If it obvious then just make their failures that much worse. They will stop making jump checks for no reason if they keep falling prone in the middle of combat.

Catching enemies in an AE is an obvious tactic, anyway, so I wouldn't worry about it.  Making extraneous skill checks for things that have no meaningful benefit if successfull and no consequences for failure, though, I'd just say 'oh, you don't need to roll that.'  If a player persisted in trying to cheese up skill checks I'd just make sure to charge him at least a minor action for each one - that'd keep the 'flux fishing' down to a reasonable level.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Honestly, if you have a player who is deliberately trying to do something like that, you need to have a talk with that player about not metagaming.

Deliberately changing rules to penalize a player for using a given strategy is bad DMing. Talking things over with a player who is deliberately abusing the rules for strategic benefit is good DMing.
I think the intent of the Alpha Flux rules are pretty darn clear. If you've got a player who wants to be Loopholes McRuleslawyer and insists that that he's simply playing with the rules as written, and a simple, "Come on, dude" doesn't deter his fishing, point out the first sentence under Using Skills on page 60: "Your Game Master tells you when it's appropriate to use a skill." Then you can rule that there's no need to use the skill. No skill roll = no chance of rolling a 1.

Really, though, this is a "social contract" issue more than a rules one. Your group are gathered to play the game using the rules as intended (I assume) and have a good time. If a player isn't willing to play by those rules, the problem lies with the player, not the rules.
I would just houserule alpha flux into a different form anyway, not because of cheese (though I can see that being a concern with an immature player) but because I want a more serious setting and don't like the backstory in this version.  I don't really want to houserule it out of existence entirely but it should work differently when you have characters with permanent stable mutations.

So. Once you roll up an alpha flux, you enter a flux state of heightened potential, similar to a stance in 4E. You can only be in one flux state at a time, no matter how many times you roll a 1. You can end your flux state as a non-action at the start of your turn for any ONE of the following effects:

* The next time you overcharge a mutation before the start of your next turn, you roll for the overcharge twice and take either result.
* End the ongoing negative effects of a failed overcharge roll. This happens early enough in your turn to pre-empt ongoing damage, and to allow you your full complement of actions if you were stunned, dazed, removed from play, etc by the failed overcharge.
* Roll to overcharge a mutation that is a constant Benefit and that you have already tried to overcharge this encounter, regardless of whether the prior attempt was a success.
* Eat damage equal to half of your bloodied value and recharge an expended encounter mutation power. You must still take the power's normal action to use it.

EDIT: I forgot to add that you can only enter a flux from rolls made in conjunction with power and omega tech use - not from rolls made for skill checks or basic weapon attacks. Saving throws are an exception and contribute to alpha flux, because of the cinematic rule of coming back from behind to kick ass. 
How would you rule it? Only attack rolls trigger alpha flux? Stupid attempts to Flux Fish don't count? Flux fishers get to draw from the Anti-Life Leech deck (IE. gets stupid/useless mutations to discourage it)?



Wheaton's Law is the first answer.
Keep killing their character is the second answer (this requires minimal effort, really)
And yeah, alpha flux comes from the GM deck. Nothing says your deck has to be nice or helpful.
Stock it with lame powers, and it will end itself.

Of course, this means everyone else is stuck with crap on flux. They will rigthtfully blame him, and that will also sort itself out.

But first, Wheaton's Law.
AlexandraErin: If last season was any indication, I think Encounters is pretty much the elemental opposite of "organized" play!
"The Game Master tells you when it is appropriate to use a skill."
-- Rulebook, p 60.

So doing silly skill rolls to try to get a 1 is a non issue.  The GM has to call for the skill roll.

Other than that, I don't think any intervention is required at all.  Let players hope for 1s if they find the consolation prize to be better than hitting.

If you don't allow superfluous skill rolls, this is really a non issue.  Players should be attempting to get as many targets as possible in a burst or blast and if it's an ally, if the target isn't immune or resistant, things are going to go down hill fast.

There doesn't need to be a special ruling.  Just tell the player that the GM decides on when skill rolls happen and leave it at that. 
Interesting, it hadn't even occurred to me to allow 1's on anything other than the use of powers to cause an alpha flux regardless of RAW which is a self limiting feature I would think.  

Honestly hoping you're completely ineffective on a target so you can get the use of a better power on the next turn also seems self limiting or at least not enough of a draw to do it assuming you aren't the player doomed with fish telepathy in which case it might be an attraction. ;)

Anyway, trying to listen hard or conspire with someone else isn't enough of a stress at my table to cause a flux.  The All-mighty Hadron requires a little more power output to attract its attention and subsequent shift in reality.  YMMV
Our group quickly decided to disallow any fluxing from skill checks. Any other roll goes (including death saves, interestingly). 
Sign In to post comments