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Balancing an overpowered character


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#1 puenboy

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:28 AM

My player's Berzerker is simply overpowered, hitting at 2d10+27 pen 9 on every turn with his power fist, obliterating everything in one turn, and I find balancing to be difficult as making hard hitting enemies would cause a TPK, and making ungodly tough enemies would make it difficult for the rest of the party to kill things. He says he finds it boring too that he kills everything in one turn, but I'm not sure how to balance it out without unbalancing the group.

Any help?



#2 ShadowRay

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:15 AM


How does he get 2d10+27 dam? Are you counting that right? Power fist doubles user's SB but it's unmodified SB (no unnatural SB). Unclear description of how that works is there because it's copy/paste from Deathwatch, where unnatutals worked differently. If that's the case, his damage just went down by 1/3,



#3 Kiton

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:07 AM

max S and WS with maximal rolls or full point-allotment and Perfection[strength]+martial-prowess could be 80 each. Crushing Blow needs a 70+ to grant +4 damage, so we'll assume this too. Now throw in the +20 from power-armour, or +30 from a Terminator unit. If we're talking terminator, dodge is gone anyhow, so toss in high-grade muscle augmentations for a total unnatural strength of +8 [more still if mutations].

Already we're looking, for the full termie setup with implants, at turning that base best-quality powerfist from 2d10+1 Pen 8 to 2d10+1+22+12: 34 bonus damage.

Even higher pen and damage if that power fist becomes a legacy weapon [its certainly getting its owner's fame right now].

 

Now then. As with most marines, you should be pulling out the heavy weaponry. I doubt he's that much tougher than the rest of the party, and most things, despite his likely insane charging speeds, are going to outrange his melee capabilities significantly enough for at least a turn or two. And, I'm sorry but its OBVIOUS, painfully obvious to anyone, that HE needs to be taken down NOW before he gets to them. The rest of the party might use cover, blocking LoS, and so on and so forth, making heavy weapons less of the threat they really are.

Anyone bothering with anything with less output than Hellgun+mightyshot against even a starting legionaire deserves his fate almost as much as someone rushing into combat with what is so obviously an armoured dreadnought-violating monster who probably looks halfway to a bloodthirster already. People should be RUNNING if they can, or An-Heroically calling fire down on their position if he does get to them in a vain attempt to save the rest of their own squad.

When he charges, people shoot from cover. When he gets close, people run away. Psykers want nothing more than to turn this guy 'round on his allies, and Teks would gladly pin him where he stands with gravy-guns while drawing straws as to who gets to try to Servitor the guy. Alternatively Haywire weaponry can calm him the **** down, shutting off his power-fist [dropping 11 damage the 8 pen right there] and sealing him in his own armour at least momentarily.

 

But perhaps most importantly: If your party currently isn't dealing with world-changing matters when they've obviously got this much XP behind them, its… actually possible that your berserker's player is not actually the one at fault here [as I've shown his damage could be substantially higher], but rather the others who could have been half-assed about where they go or what they use their characters to do.

 

For example, a demagogue that ISN'T corrupting entire armies at this point because he'd rather fight in melee would be doing it so wrong that even Grandpa Nurgle gets *pissed off*.



#4 ShadowRay

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:19 AM

Kiton said:

If we're talking terminator, dodge is gone anyhow, so toss in high-grade muscle augmentations for a total unnatural strength of +8 [more still if mutations].



Something in this sentence doesn't wok for me, how do you synthmuscule an already agumented space marine muscules? For me it's like someone wanted to mono a lathe sword - you can go and hit it with a rock for a few hours. At least in our games everyone assumes that space marines cannot synthmuscule as it wouldn't get them any benefits, just handicaps. Rogue Trader Synthetic Muscule Grafts (which are basically the same thing) grand US (x2) which SM already have, so thats another for why it wouldn't work.



#5 Cryhavok

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

Dont just use individuals. The answer to any characters ability to one hit any one thing to to use magnitude 120+ hordes. And dont just use pathetic scum weilding sticks and rocks, make them a well disciplined and well armed unit. That is my two cents anyway.

#6 puenboy

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:08 PM

Perhaps I could remove the Power Fist and give him a hand of Khorne instead?



#7 Deimos

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

Traps, explosives, clever use of terrain features to cause landslides or remove bridges out from under him. Basically the best way to bring him down is to put the party against someone smarter then them. Someone who has the battle planned out three steps ahead and whom trying to just 'punch it till it goes away' would be a bad idea. Have an opponent start implanting expendable troops with multiple kilos of detcord or other explosives. They die and go boom, making melee suddenly a much more dangerous prospect without necessarily crippling he rest of the party.

Anyone with a jet/jump pack and a decent ranged weapon would make a mockery of this guy unless he has a way to close the gap. Hell, even an ambush from an elevated position would work. Hot shot long las rifles fired by hidden snipers spending full round aim actions also would do the trick as long as they are properly distanced from the target.

Unless he's fearless use that against him. Hell, if he is fearless use that against him as that means he will forced to test against engaging in one sided fights.

As stated above, psykers will make this guy weep unless he has some gear to help keep from being made a Sorcerors meat puppet.



#8 BrotharTearer

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 03:22 PM

ShadowRay said:

Kiton said:

 

If we're talking terminator, dodge is gone anyhow, so toss in high-grade muscle augmentations for a total unnatural strength of +8 [more still if mutations].

 



Something in this sentence doesn't wok for me, how do you synthmuscule an already agumented space marine muscules? For me it's like someone wanted to mono a lathe sword - you can go and hit it with a rock for a few hours. At least in our games everyone assumes that space marines cannot synthmuscule as it wouldn't get them any benefits, just handicaps. Rogue Trader Synthetic Muscule Grafts (which are basically the same thing) grand US (x2) which SM already have, so thats another for why it wouldn't work.

 

Space Marines are genemanipulated to be stronger than your run-of-the-mill humanoid. Synthmuscles adds cybernetics into the pot and stirs it around with even more SB.

 

As for how to handle the Power Fist wielding hard-hitter?

Hordes. You can't one-shot hordes no matter how high your SB is.



#9 Kiton

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:25 AM

ShadowRay said:

Kiton said:

 

If we're talking terminator, dodge is gone anyhow, so toss in high-grade muscle augmentations for a total unnatural strength of +8 [more still if mutations].

 

Something in this sentence doesn't wok for me, how do you synthmuscule an already agumented space marine muscules? For me it's like someone wanted to mono a lathe sword - you can go and hit it with a rock for a few hours. At least in our games everyone assumes that space marines cannot synthmuscule as it wouldn't get them any benefits, just handicaps. Rogue Trader Synthetic Muscule Grafts (which are basically the same thing) grand US (x2) which SM already have, so thats another for why it wouldn't work.

Unnatural stacked then, though. x2 and x2 gives x3. I don't disagree with your view on it, but there's nothing stopping anyone from grabbing synthmuscle in BC [its in the implants list of that very book after all]. What COULD stop it would be unnatural trait's own description stating that if you get it again it applies to a different characteristic, although following that exact wording could cause odd interpretations in a "well, you'll have to pick a different characteristic" aptitude-style way.

Personally I'd rather the marine take the +4 version and suffer that agility penalty; what we shoot at them is less hampered by "they can overkill us in melee twice over, plus an extra quarter times with this implant" than by "he dodges lascannon hits half the time".

Even without it though, you're still at least at +30, so the +27 guy is not outside the possibilities of the rules at least.



#10 Cifer

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

Considering that there are no synthetic muscles in Deathwatch while they were already introduced in Rogue Trader, I'd be inclined to say that they don't stack/are incompatible with Astartes implants.

 

@puenboy

Could you give us a more thorough description of the character, especially regarding the power fist damage?



#11 Kiton

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:24 AM

They're in Black Crusade though, where chaos marines were introduced as PC options and they have the opportunity as well.

While its certainly possible that a quick copypaste resulted once more in troubles with the rules, as things are there's nothing stopping you from upgrading your mutated geneseeded musclemass with even futher improved vat-meats or battlemech-grade myomers or whatever they wanna stick in you. The flesh is weak.

 

A quick look at the party's sheets could at least tell us where the player, or other players, or gm, are doing something wrong, if anything. At the very least, the rest of the party should also be capable of taking a guy like your 'zerker down in a single volley, if they can get a hit.

Even just a normal legion plasmagun can put a buffed-up TB10 terminator in the criticals or worse, dealing 4-20 damage per hit after calculating armour and toughness. Toss in mighty shot or legacy bonuses and boom



#12 HappyDaze

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

Unless I missed something, power fists swung by a space marine are supposed to one-shot most things. Use of force fields is one possible way to avoid destruction, but avoiding the blow is the real way to avoid destruction.


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#13 crisaron

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:58 AM

Put him up against a slanesh blade master/sorcerer.  Well tooled this guy should be able to parry anything.

A good sniper should be able to give him a good beating too…

If the guy is able to one shot anythign and is complaining then yeah maybe you need to ptu them against a TPK but if the Team follows the berzerker in CC they are dumb.



#14 Kiton

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:22 AM

Again, though, one-shotting things with a power-fist as a khornite space-marine is kind of normal. An average starting character's power fist would be dishing out 2d10+12E Pen 8. That's 6-24 damage after toughness and the negated 8AP against a TB8 starting space marine. Two average hits will kill one almost guaranteed.

It doesn't take much at all to turn that into single hits, which, given the unwieldy quality, is kind of the point of power-fists. At this point I'm more curious as to what they've been facing that makes things so 'easy', and just WHAT the rest of the party has/is-doing that's leaving them behind. Because even a demagogue should be pretty killy if he wishes, if not nearly as ded 'ard.



#15 Cryhavok

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:18 AM

I still say hordes are the way to go. Make them feel like they are tearing dozens of enemies apart every round, but the vast numbers are going to get to him. This give the player the feeling of power while still challenging him.

#16 BrotharTearer

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 10:42 AM

Cryhavok said:

I still say hordes are the way to go. Make them feel like they are tearing dozens of enemies apart every round, but the vast numbers are going to get to him. This give the player the feeling of power while still challenging him.

Well-armed 40+ magnitude hordes force even CSM to use cover as well. Many underestimate the +2d10 damage hordes get, then they lose 10 wounds or more in a single hit and regret not having taken cover.



#17 puenboy

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:54 PM

Things balanced out pretty well after we changed the Power Fist to a Hand of Khorne.

 

However, the Sorceror seems to have figured out a cheesy force storm tactic…



#18 Kiton

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:56 AM

Well, its PRx10m  range, PR hits and 1d10+PRx3 impact damage with no penetration. Since things aren't based on willpower like in DH save its 'accuracy', things aren't quite as bad. Force Storm is one of the few psychic attacks worth using in Black Crusade: Doombolts are just hellguns [eventually plasma] with a chance of headsploding yourself into a TPK. It takes nastier stuff like bolt of change to top it really.

At PR 10, 1d10+30, hitting up to that many times is a lot, but by the time you can do this without extreme partywide risk [or a cataclysmic explosion; there goes all your stuff] the rest of the party is just as bad.

Just as an example, a Legacy Reaper Autocannon with +3 mighty shot, Rage-pattern and Overkill at just Infamy 50 would still have six times the range before penalties, do up to 3d10+16 Pen 9 [average 32.5 pen 9 vs 35.5 pen 0] with each of its six hits, and is completely safe and reliable to use.

Chances are the psyker's force sword is a bigger threat, he just hasn't shown it yet.



#19 Cryhavok

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 11:00 AM

Hordes are still the answer. He can only take out a few magnitude with ANY psychic power, so hordes counter psykers just fine. They also challenge everything else not set up specifically to deal with them. Anyone set to win arena matches is likely to get mauled by a horde.

#20 BrotharTearer

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:33 AM

Cryhavok said:

Hordes are still the answer. He can only take out a few magnitude with ANY psychic power, so hordes counter psykers just fine. They also challenge everything else not set up specifically to deal with them. Anyone set to win arena matches is likely to get mauled by a horde.

Spray/flame psychic powers handle hordes just fine. Or just use a weapon fit for killing hordes on them.






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