Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Science Agents: 32 AP

I decided to make a batch of 32 AP Science-Agents and see how they performed in the simulator against 32 AP Herds. There were only a couple of 32 AP examples in the book--but we knew a bit about how this point-scale performed because Level 2 Fast Company is supposed to come in reliably at around 32 AP if the character rates "Low Damage" (meaning 1/8 or fewer of their AP are spent on attacks).

I created two new packages and modified them until they "balanced." Here's the table of the results:

Okay, it's small--but I think it's readable. I want to note a few things:

  • For both Beck and Kamman the final stats that were "balanced" turned out to be both better and way different from what I had originally. I haven't tried to 'cost-out' these packages yet, however.
  • The Damage listing is what Damage Level (Normal, Low, or Very-Low) they were tested at for purposes of simulation. All of these guys could carry a more heavily-hitting gun in the game I'm running (and, indeed, they are issued rail-gun side-arms. They just can't take 1 REA attacks with them if the gun is more than 8 A-Cost (LD) or 4 A-Cost (VLD). In fact, the gun is around 16 AP--so a Kamman Science Agent build in my game would use his normal REA to fire the gun but could still take 2 attacks each round for 1 REA if they were hand to hand (since his Overdrive is rated at VLD).
  • The listing of 16-Apr for Science Agent-2's armor is supposed to be 4 (Damage Reduction) / 10 (Pen Defense). Thank you excel. I think, however, I'm motivated to make a world book where a character can actually have April 10th as a defense. It'd be a very, very little bit like Nobilis, I suppose :)
What Have We Learned?
Well, for one thing: these guys are a bit "over-defended." The battles took 4 or 5 Rounds on average which isn't a big surprise since the "regen" effect should wake them up to keep fighting.

The second thing is that the number of DP you heal with a regen doesn't seem to be a linear value (this is learned from the testing and thinking about it--not from the chart above). Remember: when a regen charge goes off you ignore the wound result you just took. This is really the biggest impact. Then the # of DP means that's how much you heal back.

So here's the thing: any DP healed over (a) your max and (b) what you are likely to sustain before you suffer an Unconscious result are wasted. So where as we were pricing Regen at 1/3rd the value of the DP it healed (so a heal-charge for 24 DP would cost what 8 normal DP would cost) I think that's just plain wrong. It's a TAP cost for sure (the expected value of any healing is proportional to the expected DP of the character--which is directly proportional to the AP cost of the character--under 'standard build conditions').

Anything Else?
I think I'm going to do a 64 AP Science-Agent package group (there aren't any in the rules right now) and see if I can sort of "graph a line" for these eclectic groups of abilities. The idea here isn't so much to try to come up with a "cost for any level of Science Agent" but instead to see if these conglomerations of TAP abilities and extra attacks scales in some reliable way that we can learn something from.

I'd like to have a "build your own Science Agent" section and, in fact, that chart of TAP costs further back in the past of this blog comes pretty close (everything else they have is, more or less, costed: LD attacks seem to be worth about 8 AP reliably across 16 to 64 AP tests. VLD Attacks are worth maybe 4 AP each). However right now the math would be moderately far off (by a point or two on 16 AP--and I haven't done the math for 32 AP). 

So we'll see.


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