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Doughnut

Vulcan Nerve Pinch?

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Hello community!

I am working on my Star Trek Genesys campaign and coming up with some species background talents. I am sort of stuck on the Vulcan Nerve Pinch. Here's what I have so far:

Vulcan Nerve Pinch

Tier: Background (Tier 1) or Tier 2

Activation: Action

Requirements: Vulcan, or Brawn 4

You have learned numerous techniques for the stimulation and control of nerve impulses collectively called neuropressure. Some applications of neuropresure can be used to swiftly and nonlethally incapacitate assailants. Once per round you may make a Brawl versus Resilience check against an engaged target to afflict the staggered condition (treat Vulcan Nerve Pinch as having the Concussive 3 quality) .

 

Is it too powerful? Not useful? I made it Tier 1 with the idea that this easily could be a talent that a Vulcan can start with during character creation.

I am also working with the idea of Background Talents: Talents that can be taken during character creation as a Tier 1 talent by spending starting XP, but if a character doesn't take it as a background talent during character creation, then it changes to a different Tier.

Also, I made the requirement Vulcan or Brawn 4 because we've seen other characters in Star Trek do a Vulcan Nerve Pinch who were not Vulcans (namely Data from TNG). So either a character who is Vulcan or sufficiently strong character can learn to perform a Vulcan Nerve  Pinch. This is the part I am least attached to. I wouldn't mind if it was a Vulcan only talent.

I'd love some feedback, thanks!

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The problem with Pressure Point is that it's only found in one place in the entire RPG line. Out of 3 core rulebooks (each of which has a medical specialization) and the 17 splatbooks so far, it remains a unique talent in the Doctor talent tree. So you might find it unbalancing to give the option for any character to just ignore soak. I like the idea of the strain cost idea that @Richardbuxton came up with...not sure how much that nerfs the talent, though.

And maybe instead of requiring a Story Point to be spent, give your Vulcan the Anatomy Lessons talent—spend a Story Point to add damage = Intellect to one hit of a successful combat check.

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18 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

The problem with Pressure Point is that it's only found in one place in the entire RPG line. Out of 3 core rulebooks (each of which has a medical specialization) and the 17 splatbooks so far, it remains a unique talent in the Doctor talent tree. So you might find it unbalancing to give the option for any character to just ignore soak. I like the idea of the strain cost idea that @Richardbuxton came up with...not sure how much that nerfs the talent, though.

And maybe instead of requiring a Story Point to be spent, give your Vulcan the Anatomy Lessons talent—spend a Story Point to add damage = Intellect to one hit of a successful combat check.

The variant for Pressure Point I use is as follows:

"Your unarmed combat checks gain the Stun quality with a rank equal to your ranks in Medicine."

You could use this as an individual talent, and then have Improved Pressure Point represent the nerve pinch:

"If you activate the Stun quality while making an unarmed combat check that deals strain damage, ignore the target's Soak."

That way, you need two talents and have to spend 2 Advantage to get the ignoring of soak.  Combine all that with Anatomy Lessons, and you've got yourself a pincher extraordinaire! 

Edited by Absol197

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Thank you for all the responses. All good notes, however the spirit of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch is not an attack that does stun damage. Spock grabs an adversary's shoulder and puts them down for a little bit. So the Pressure Point talent, while a good recommendation is not something I am going to use. I agree Concussive 3 is too much for 5xp. However I do want to point out that under my system of "Background talents", that 5xp must come from the character's starting XP, and it costs more later. I could see it being a Tier 3 talent later though.

How about changing it to Concussive 1, making the talent Once per Encounter, and it deals zero damage?

Vulcan Nerve Pinch

Tier: Background (Tier 1) or Tier 3

Activation: Action

Requirements: Vulcan, or Brawn 4

You have learned numerous techniques for the stimulation and control of nerve impulses collectively called neuropressure. Some applications of neuropresure can be used to swiftly and nonlethally incapacitate assailants. Once per encounter you may make a Brawl versus Resilience check against an engaged target to afflict the staggered condition (treat Vulcan Nerve Pinch as having the Concussive 1 quality) . This Brawl check is unable to inflict strain damage.

Edited by Doughnut

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See Spock is a hero in the setting, he should do things that line up with a highly advanced character. Exceeding Strain is exactly how you remove someone from an encounter.

I get your point though that Strain isn’t what you want to do. It seems like the kind of thing that you can get better at, and make last longer. So if you want to go the Concussive path then perhaps have it have an improved version at T3 that gets Concussive equal to half ranks in Medicine. At T5 the Supreme version could be done more often.

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I don't think the obssessive idea to avoid this to be op finds space here.

To be honest, it's something very specific. Being a Vulcan with an average level of Brawl is something very specific.

It's not a problem to be usefull againt the minions or rivals and maybe with some nemesis with lucky.

And this is not the same to kill the enemy. I assume that if the character wants to stun the enemy, it's cause they need the adversary alive for some reason. And I don't think a Vulcan with this level of power would appear every session. Or, if is a main character, he would abuse this and be something cruel.

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30 minutes ago, Doughnut said:

All good notes, however the spirit of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch is not an attack that does stun damage. Spock grabs an adversary's shoulder and puts them down for a little bit.

I think your view of strain damage is too narrow. The spirit of the Vulcan Nerve Pinch is exactly the same as a stun attack—the Vulcan grabs the target and  overloads the target's nervous system (Leonard Nimoy, the creator of the technique, envisioned this as a partly telepathic feat). And the effect of exceeding your strain threshold is unconsciousness.

Problems with your homebrew are  twofold—it's too strong and also doesn't get the feel right: 

1. A low-level action to Stagger a target is just too good. 

2. Staggered opponents aren't unconscious. They can still take maneuvers and incidentals.

 

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17 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

I think your view of strain damage is too narrow.

Nah, I just don't want Vulcan Nerve Pinch to be primarily a combat talent. It's more of a narrative story beat done outside of combat. Since in most Star Trek, combat is done with phasers or ships' phasers at range.

Making a talent where brawl does stun damage during combat is exactly what I don't want.

I don't want Vulcan Nerve Pinch to be a combat talent. That's why it's Brawl vs. Resilience check instead of a Brawl attack check. I know what stun damage is and what it does. The point is that this talent isn't meant for combat. A Vulcan rushing forward into a firefight trying to Nerve Pinch a dude who is shooting at them is idiotic. Most of the time we see a Vulcan Nerve Pinch in the Star Trek shows it's in some tense scene where the situation might explode into combat, and the Vulcan Nerve Pinches the adversary, then they drag the enemy to the brig. What's what I envision this talent to be used for, not used for combat.

I apologize that I didn't explain this earlier. The responses makes sense that because I didn't explain it well enough that you all didn't understand.

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24 minutes ago, Doughnut said:

Nah, I just don't want Vulcan Nerve Pinch to be primarily a combat talent.

I don't want Vulcan Nerve Pinch to be a combat talent.

What's what I envision this talent to be used for, not used for combat..

And do you think the talent as you have written it WON’T be used for combat? The ability to stagger an opponent is singularly the most powerful move a player can make in a combat situation. What would stop players from using it combat?

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If it's supposed to be a non-combat talent, then giving it the strongest "control" quality in the game is probably a bad move 

Again I'll say your view of strain damage is too narrow. You can suffer strain, and even exceed your strain threshold without ever entering combat. The rulebook even has a section on social encounters which use the strain mechanic! So it's not just a combat stat.

But if you want to make it specifically not a combat talent, just make it a Brawl vs Resilience to remove an adversary from the current scene, subject to GM approval, and specify that it doesn't work in a combat encounter. But it seems weird to pigeon-hole an ability like that.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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6 minutes ago, Simon Retold said:

And do you think the talent as you have written it WON’T be used for combat? The ability to stagger an opponent is singularly the most powerful move a player can make in a combat situation. What would stop players from using it combat?

Used in combat, and for combat are two very different things.

 

6 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

If it's supposed to be a non-combat talent, then giving it the strongest "control" quality in the game is probably a bad move 

Once per encounter, for 1 round.

 

6 minutes ago, awayputurwpn said:

But if you want to make it specifically not a combat talent, just make it a Brawl vs Resilience to remove an adversary from the current scene, subject to GM approval, and specify that it doesn't work in a combat encounter. But it seems weird to pigeon-hole an ability like that.

That's what I was trying to do without pigeonholing it.

 

Thanks everyone I've nailed down the talent I want to use!

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3 hours ago, Doughnut said:

Thanks everyone I've nailed down the talent I want to use!

It's fine, but remember that other players can use it as well...

If you have problems, come back :) 

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