CurrentlyResisting status is done with Resilience, which for 2 energy you can resist the attack in whole. This makes resilience not only a great power, but a must have power. Being hit with paralyze is an assured way to drop any target without resilience. There's a couple ways to become immune to status attacks such as form of war and form of vapor, and you can also pick up an additional resist with the merit Hardy. Even if you do have one of these, you probably still need resilience to avoid getting chumped.
ProblemsThe problem we found was both that Resilience was too good, and status attacks were too good. Not having Resilience was basically a death sentence. Having resilience basically made all status attacks useless. This led to people either ignoring status as an attack method all together or making a single status attack to see if their opponent had a defense and then being disappointed with the result. If it was resisted, status was ignored and people moved on. If it stuck, they probably won the fight.
Another problem was with the tiered nature of status attacks. For the most part it made no sense to use any other attack than paralyze if you had it because it basically equated a win in a fight. Other status attacks simply didn't measure up. This meant that they didn't have utility, they simply had superiority by getting the best power and ignoring the rest.
Trials and TribulationsI want to give some idea of the number of different things we tried for status resist to give a picture of the experience we went through. We tried lots of stuff.
1. Resist with health - We tried what it looked like if you resist status by paying 1 health.
The thought here was that we could differentiate it from damage and mentals by making the pool it drains from separate. Unfortunately, this didn't work. It did make people more likely to take low level mental attacks but it was still an auto resist for paralyze. Basically status attacks ended up just being throwing a packet for 1, which wasn't much fun for either side.
2. Break with Resilience - We tried to see what it would look like if you broke a status for 2 energy much like our current rules for breaking a mental.
The though was that people would at least take the effects initially then break out once it really mattered. In reality, every status got broken all the time. Status became less useful than it currently is because everyone could afford to break it and it really didn't feel right for status.
3. Free resist for people without resilience - The idea here was to make it so people could pay a lot (5 health) to resist a status attack without needing a power.
This was also pretty lame. It did succeed in giving people without resilience an out but it didn't feel good for either side. Both the attackers and defenders were nonplused by this scenario.
4. Free status attacks - We added some status attacks that didn't cost energy.
This worked surprisingly well. Having some weak, level one status attacks that didn't cost energy helped make the auto resist mantra die out. If someone can just pepper you repeatedly with a status attack, you're likely to stop and take it rather than fighting against it. It still makes Paralyze an auto resist but it does help the spread of powers where there's times you'd throw the freebie rather than spending the energy on big attacks.
5. Side effect on resist - We looked at having resilience ding you somehow.
The big question here was how. I creasing the cost was one way to add more ding, but that's not really helpful. We found -1 damage to actually be a decent counterbalance to resisting. It made aggressors weakened even if they were able to resist status attacks. It also made the new avoidance rules slightly more powerful as an attacker that was swinging 2 could be dropped to 1 with a status attack. That significantly decreases the damage they're capable of putting out.
Combined ApproachIn the end combining 4 and 5 seemed workable. Having variable cost powers means that people can push in with status attacks and still see some results even if their attack is resisted. What it ended up doing was making it so that if you have a status attack it is definitely worth throwing one at a target in combat. If they resisted you still got some bang for your buck. We basically made it so that if you use resilience you take a status effect that decreases your attack damage by one. We also made this a free status attack replacing wither.
The target's maximum damage with boffer attacks is reduced by one. Umbrabound creatures in the umbra may use this power across the Gauntlet by saying “Breach” before the sig call.
However, we still had the problem with some of the bigger status attacks. Paralyze was an auto resist but it left the downside, but we had just made tossing the first status attack into combat more worthwhile. If you didn't have resilience, you were more likely to be chumped. This meant we had to tone down some of the bigger status attacks so that they weren't an immediate win/lose power. Instead we wanted to make them powers to control the flow of the fight, not simply dominate it. The big powers that needed to be clarified were Paralyze, Body Wrack, and Venom Blood. We wanted these to impose significant restrictions, but not be an auto-win for a fight. Because even if your opponent resists the attack, you're still getting some effect.
Pay some special attention to how each of these powers works and think about when you'd use each one. There's some very subtle changes that makes each of these powers very unique.
BODY WRACK (Status)
Cost: 1 energy
Call: “Body wrack”
The target must take a knee while screaming out in pain. The target may not make status, mental, touch, counted touch, or packet damage attacks. Umbrabound creatures in the umbra may use this power across the Gauntlet by saying “Breach” before the sig call.
Cost: 1 Energy
The target is held in total paralysis unable to do anything other than regenerate. This power ends immediately if the target is attacked or damaged.
Cost: 1 energy
The target must roleplay being ill and may not make any attacks.
Cost: 2 energy
For the duration of this power the target may not expend energy for any reason.
Now for the teacher part in me. I'm curious to see how people are putting all of the rules we've shown so far together. You'll notice we increased the cost of disable to two energy. There's a very specific reason we did this based on previous posts. Can anyone tell me why?