I am starting a new campaign shortly with In The Hat presiding as GM. This will be a fantastic opportunity for me to see the game in a whole new light from the other side of the GM screen. Tonight I started out making a character and quickly figured out some changes that needed to be made. I began by staring at the Voidbringer and Channeler classes and trying to map out my choices for Powers based on a few different builds. The thing that kept coming up was that no matter my build, no matter my other picks, I always took Spiralling Shards for the Channeler and Slip Through The Shadows as a Voidbringer. This is not a good sign. If my theory about Power costing is right I should be all over the map so when I continually come back to one Power and conclude that every sensible player takes it something is wrong, wrong, wrong.
There were two fundamental problems. First off both of those Powers were the only AOE choices for the classes in question. This is a big problem because effective AOE is a really important niche to have covered. At some point we are going to get swarmed by legions of zombies and I need to be able to mow them down like grass! Having a single choice for such a critical combat function is not appropriate so I modified some things to make sure there were two choices. The second fundamental problem was that even when I added another option I kept coming back to Slip Through The Shadows and concluding that I had to take it - it is just that good. It is an odd ability that works in really interesting ways and clearly my optimization brain was seeing something that my designer brain was missing. I ended up bumping its rank up to 11 from 10 and calling it a day.
When I build Powers I often develop favourites. Sometimes those favourites are just neat and aren't actually very good but sometimes I end up loving things simply because they are effective. It is only when it comes down to designing a character that I really find these things out because my characters always seem to end up taking the good stuff. Funny, that. The fact that I tend to work hard at building a strong character is sometimes irritating I am sure but it does come in handy now and again.
Shards of power swirl all around, glinting with murderous potential, slicing deeply into every enemy you can see.
Target: All enemies within 2 squares of you.
Slip Through the Shadows
You blink in and out, rushing from one shadow to another in a terrifying display, striking every enemy to come within arm’s reach.
Effect: Take a Move.
Target: All enemies adjacent to you at any point during your Move.