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SR6: Inconsistency with Adept Power Points and Inferority to Mystic Adepts

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Kreistor

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« on: <05-23-20/0051:05> »
Issue 1: Gimped character creation

Page 66: Adepts have a pool of points equal to their magic (as listed in their Priority table, before any adjustments) that they use to purchase their powers.

Page 156: Whenever adept characters gain a point of Magic, they also gain a power point.

Page 81: Adept Archetype
Adept Powers: Combat Sense 2, Critical Strike 2, Improved Reflexes 2, Killing Hands
(2 x 0.5 + 2 x 1.0 + 2 x 1.0 + 0.5 = 5.5 Power Points, with 6 Magic)

If I begin play with an Adept Priority D, Magic 1, and use adjustment points to raise Magic, I get no power points for the increase, according to P66. There is, then, absolutely no point at all to raising the Magic above Priority Table. There are a few powers that include the Magic rating, but for the P81 build which is common enough, it has no usefulness at all.

And then we have that P81 build, where the design completely breaks the P66 rule. Whatever the Priority, he cannot have more than 4 Power Points to spend. The two adjustment points gave him none. But you have 5.5 spent anyway, which seems an oversight. Unlike Mystic Adepts, Adepts cannot use the 5 karma/PP rule to raise PP.

I can predict the Adept player's argument for full 6 PP, "P156 says I get a Power Point for raising Magic. Am I not raising Magic when I used adjustment points to increase it?" It's a valid perspective, and given that matches previous SR Adept philosophies, I have to go with that myself. It looks like the P81 build was done on the assumption PP = magic after adjustment, so I suspect this was a late editing change and oversight.

Issue 2: Adept versus Mystic Adept

I don't need to quote text here. The Mystic Adept can buy PP up to Magic Rating at 5 karma/PP. An Adept that instead chooses Mystic Adept, spends all magic on PP instead of spells per P66, and thus begins with the same number of PP as the Adept. So far, they are equal.

But the Mystic Adept can buy PP later. By raising Magic to 6 with adjustment points, the Mystic Adept can use 10 karma at creation to buy 2 more PP and get to the full 6. (And buy and cast spells, for that matter, which the Adept cannot do.)

If the Mystic Adept later takes an initiate level, he does need to spend 5 karma for a PP, but that takes 46 karma to raise magic to 7. The Adept, to get seven PP, must spend 101 karma to get to 7 PP from 4. Over the very long haul, the Adept does catch up around Initiate 7 or 8 (when including the 10 karma for 5 and 6). Not many campaigns will last long enough for that.

There were two SR5 balance points that kept the Adept attractive when compared to the Mystic Adept. First, the free PP for Magic increase, which really only affected character creation. That is gone. Second, no spell would raise attributes above racial maximums in SR5, but Adept powers could do so for physical attributes. The spell Increase Attribute in SR6 now does exactly that, but in a superior way to the SR6 Adept version: Improved Physical Attribute is limited to a cap of 1.5 x current stat (ie. a 6 attribute can be boosted to 9 with the power, while a 2 caps at 3); whereas, Increased Attribute will raise by up to 4, regardless of current stat. The enhanced stat advantage is gone, too.

What's left that the Adept does better?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <05-23-20/0053:27> »
Issue 1 was fixed in the Jan errata.  (adepts, but not mysads, do now gain PPs with increases in MAG during chargen)

Issue 2 was fixed in the Aug errata. (mysads may not purchase PPs with karma)

Both can be found here.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #2 on: <05-23-20/1216:01> »
So let me get this straight:
  • Adepts now get their Magic rating in Powers, no matter if the Magic was raised by Karma or by Priorities (and now matter if it happened at chargen or later)?
  • However, Mysads are limited to their Priority Magic and also have to choose between getting a PP or 2 free Spell during chargen.

This might be a valid fix for priority chargen (*spits out*), but it merely shifts problems to character advancement. Now, depending on how you interpret the RAW, Mystic Adepts after chargen either

  • Still get an additional Power Point for raising their Magic rating with Karma, just like regular Adepts. That would mean that there really isn´t a "split" between the Adept and the Magician side after chargen. Each additional point of Magic adds to Magic tests as well as more granting Power points. Depending on how much Spells (s)he took during chargen, the Mysad would only be 1-2 Power points short (or none at all? Do they even have to pick any spells?) in comparison to a Physical Adept.
  • Can´t get additional Power Points for raising their Magic rating. This would mean that the end of priority chargen also marks the end of the development of the "Adept side" of the character. After chargen, you can only raise Magic to enhance the "Mystic side."


RAW, the latter seems to be the case, as Mysads explicity only lose P.P. when lowering their Magic Attribute, but not the other way around.
« Last Edit: <05-23-20/1246:46> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #3 on: <05-23-20/1220:35> »
MysAds can get PP as Initiation benefit, instead of a metamagic.
How am I not part of the forum?? O_O I am both active and angry!

Finstersang

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« Reply #4 on: <05-23-20/1246:09> »
MysAds can get PP as Initiation benefit, instead of a metamagic.

Ah, Ok. I was under the impression that this was restricted to physical Adepts only  ???

Either way, there´s also a huge incentive to only get a few spells during chargen and put the rest into Power Points: Mysads could just learn most spells using Karma after chargen - and their ability to actually cast them is also unaffected by how many power points they took. If a Mysad players picks a Priority A for Magic 4 during chargen and only takes the minimal amount of Spells (Let´s say the GM insists that you have distribute at least 1 Point to the "Mystic side"), he starts the game with 3 Power Points and 2 Spells. You still have the dice pools of a regular mage, and just 30 Karma in, you already have the same amount of spells as well, but with 3 Points in Adept Powers on top.

Also, figure this:

  • All of this "Mysad need to chose between spells and Adepts powers"-logic only "works" only under the assumption that the Mysad wants to cast spells anyways. Summoners don´t need spells.
  • RAW, the Adept Power Improved Ability can be taken for Sorcery, Summoning and Enchanting as well. So technically, Mysads can be even better at Magic than regular Mages  ::)

It´s still kinda borked up, even with the current errata.
« Last Edit: <05-23-20/1301:56> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #5 on: <05-23-20/1306:37> »
Ok, so as it is now post-errata:

Physads:  Gain PPs every time their MAG increases.  A negative increase does come with a loss of PP as well.  A "gain" of -1 MAG (e.g. due to an essence hit) comes with a "gain" of -1PP.  They can also get more via the Power Point metamagic.

MysAds: Gain PPs only when they take the Power Point metamagic.  But they do lose a PP every time they lose a point of MAG.

(and of course both can make use of Qi Foci for "more" PPs, as well)

Also, figure this:

  • All of this "Mysad need to chose between spells and Adepts powers"-logic only "works" only under the assumption that the Mysad wants to cast spells anyways. Summoners don´t need spells.
  • RAW, the Adept Power Improved Ability can be taken for Sorcery, Summoning and Enchanting as well. So technically, Mysads can be even better at Magic than regular Mages  ::)

It´s still kinda borked up, even with the current errata.

Well, assuming you put priority A into Magic (and therefore you didn't put priority A into attributes...) you still can only get 4 PPs as a MysAd.  Yes you can do something PhysAds can't in that you can still summon spirits, but at least you can't have as many PPs as an Adept can have.  If you want to do a more apples to apples comparison where both presumably will be putting priority A to attributes, then the Adept can reach 6 PPs (via SAPs) but the MysAd can only ever hit 3 PPs during chargen.  Assuming they forgo spells entirely.
« Last Edit: <05-23-20/1312:13> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Finstersang

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« Reply #6 on: <05-23-20/1323:43> »
Well, assuming you put priority A into Magic (and therefore you didn't put priority A into attributes...) you still can only get 4 PPs as a MysAd.  Yes you can do something PhysAds can't in that you can still summon spirits, but at least you can't have as many PPs as an Adept can have.  If you want to do a more apples to apples comparison where both presumably will be putting priority A to attributes, then the Adept can reach 6 PPs (via SAPs) but the MysAd can only ever hit 3 PPs during chargen.  Assuming they forgo spells entirely.

The summoner Mysad could just stick with magic from chargen and get Powers (including Improved Ability: Summoning::)) from Foci and Initiation. Initiating for a Power Point is a very favorable option anyways (which is kind of a problem on its own...)

The whole thing would work better if the "split" between the Adept and the Magician aspect also affects dice pools, like in 4th Edition. Or if there was an extra tax for Mysad Powerpoints like in 5th Edition. No weird "only during priority chargen"-rules needed. 
« Last Edit: <05-23-20/1327:32> by Finstersang »
"Firing Line adds a ton of Perks that modify Attack and Defense ratings"

"Cool, does this mean that the whole AR/DR comparison has a bigger impact now?"

"Haha No :D"

Kreistor

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« Reply #7 on: <05-23-20/1429:08> »
Issue 1 was fixed in the Jan errata.  (adepts, but not mysads, do now gain PPs with increases in MAG during chargen)

Issue 2 was fixed in the Aug errata. (mysads may not purchase PPs with karma)

Both can be found here.

Well, I missed a lot when reading the Errata. Apologies to everyone.

Hobbes

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« Reply #8 on: <05-24-20/0939:14> »
Arguably with a +4 Skill cap Improved Ability is actually a mechanical trap for Summoning.  Qi Foci level 8 is 16 Karma and 24,000 Nuyen, and capped at half your skill level anyway.  Spirit Foci Level 4 is 8 Karma and 16,000 Nuyen.  For comparison the one Foci to rule them all Power Focus 4 is 24 Karma and 72,000 Nuyen.  To me it seems like those PP are better spent elsewhere and you can pick up a Spirit Foci after the first or second run.  YMMV.

Given how far behind the curve Mystic Adepts are starting (post Errata), you're looking at a fairly long campaign for them to catch up.  Also Mysads, with the lower Power Points and higher Magic Priority, just won't be doing any kind of Burn out.  Physical Adepts with 6 PP and a D Magic Priority can more easily work in that Used Muscle Toner and Bone Lacing (or whatever). 

Lormyr

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« Reply #9 on: <05-24-20/1005:53> »
The advantage or lack of for MysAds really depends on how the final ruling on that skill cap interpretation comes down.

If the rule is actually as written, that a skill can receive a direct augmentation of +4 (such as improved ability, which directly increases the skill's rating), then in a long running game MysAds will still be king in their chosen field because you can get a skill rating of 13 (or 14 with the quality) plus a dice pool augmentation (not a skill augmentation) from a foci vs. the standard mage being capped at 9 or 10 for the skill rating.

If the rule is actually as SSDR claims is intended, then the overall dice pool is only going to be able to benefit from a total of +4 from non-attribute sources, then MysAds are pretty much just bad for anything other than stacking adept combat sense with increase attribute spells to get an amazing defense dice pool.

In either case they start out significantly slower than either of their counterparts, and are unlikely to see the point where they catch up in most games that don't break several hundred karma gained.

I personally believe that mages and technos need an edit to be able to buy spells/forms at chargen, and MysAds need an edit to be able to benefit from increased magic attribute other than priority like adepts. Having 6 PP and no spells (adept), or say 10 spells but no PP (mage), or a variation in between like 5 PP with 2 spells, or 6 spells with 2 PP does not have a significant enough power difference to really be concerned about.

The better MysAd balance would have been you get power points, now choose one: spellcasting or summoning or enchanting.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #10 on: <05-24-20/1017:41> »
Respectfully Lormyr, I disagree.  MysAds are the jack of all (magic) trades.

Of course many people forget the flipside of being a jack of all trades:  You're a master of none.   In my opinion, it should not even be possible for a MysAd to be a jack of all trades AND a master of any of them.  Should a MysAd be able to out-summon an Aspected Summoner?   Never.

A universal cap of +4 on bonus dice helps work towards that "goal".
« Last Edit: <05-24-20/1021:34> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Lormyr

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« Reply #11 on: <05-24-20/1030:45> »
I actually agree with you about that. They shouldn't be able to beat straight mages in every category, which is currently possible, but only because of improved ability. I also agree that a cap of +4 is fine. The only place I disagree is on what the rules actually say at current (which is not an overall +4 cap, but a specific +4 cap to skill rating), and that I do believe they start in too much of a hole vs. their counterparts.

It all honestly just needs an overhaul with game balance in mind, but I know that won't happen at this stage.

Hobbes

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« Reply #12 on: <05-24-20/1041:31> »
In either case they start out significantly slower than either of their counterparts, and are unlikely to see the point where they catch up in most games that don't break several hundred karma gained.


This.  In an infinite Karma game Mysads still "win".  But it's such a far point in the future that the other Awakened PCs are minor deities as well.  Out of the gate a Mysad absolutely could put a D in Magic, build similar to an optimized Mage, and just buy PP with Qi Foci and Initiation.  Most players just lack that kind of patience  ;  )

IMO it's a moot balance point when the Mundane characters were all left behind so long ago anyway...YMMV though.

I'm with SSDR on the +4 cap on skills, I view it as overall a positive to balance and personally encourage that interpretation. 

Lormyr

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« Reply #13 on: <05-24-20/1049:40> »
Foci are in dire need of rebalancing. They are just entirely too good for cost vs. resources necessary to get them organically.

I am also with you on the minor power nuance being moot compared to the disparity between awakened and mundane. A amazing opportunity to correct a gross imbalance was completely missed in SR6.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #14 on: <05-24-20/1055:55> »
Foci have a lot of their power neutered under the paradigm of a cap of +4 bonus dice.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.