Out of Control Damage and Mutation Move

Out of Control Damage and Mutation Move

Out of Control Damage and Mutation Move

In the campaign I’m currently running, I have a couple of conundrums that I need some ideas for. The first is this: one of my players recently made a new character with Class Warfare, and his damage is just too damn high (d10 + 2d4) and only going up. While I like the excitement his big numbers bring, I need some way to temper the carnage, because he just tears through everything like tissue paper. I usually like having powerful heroes, because it means I can use powerful monsters, but I can’t make then powerful enough to deal with his damage without making them too strong for the rest of the party to handle. Any fictional or mechanical solutions would be appreciated, and for those who care his Class Wafare build Is Warrior with Slayer, Blade Dancer, and Wraithlander.

In addition to butchering monsters, the new character has kind of made the Fighter feel left out. Luckily, however, he recently drank from a pool of mutation – causing goop at the end of the last session, and I left him unconcious while I decided what to do about him. Currently, I have thought of this move to give him , somewhat based off of Shapechanger, and would appreciate feedback :


When you control the rapidly changing cells inside you and use them to grow a useful adaptation (wings, claws, night vision, etc.) roll +CON.

– On a 10+, hold 3

-on a 7-9, hold 2, but the adaptation is slow to grow, doesn’t last long, or causes unseen complications.

-On a miss, hold 1 anyway, but the mutation doesn’t go quite as planned…

Spend hold to use your adaptation. After spending all of your hold, the adaptation is re-absorbed into your body.

12 thoughts on “Out of Control Damage and Mutation Move”

  1. The mutation move is solid. Well done.

    If the damage is affecting the game just explain that it’s unbalanced and knock it down to something reasonable. Seriously, just like that.

  2. I agree with Tony Ferron​ talk to the player and make a compromise to balance the game. It works for me in the case of player characters coming from other games with op equipment or power moves.

  3. the mutation move is a …coff coff… reskin of the druid move, but I like it better, with its color and ease of use.

    As for the damage, you just CAN’T punish a clever use of moves. Sorry, I always put myself on the PCs part, and it doesn’t feel right.

    There IS a lot of GM moves you can do to balance it out, but even one “wrong” move is doing wrong to your friend.

    Keep in mind that the super killer PC wants to kill a lot of enemies, so throwing him a ton of them is right (and logic, because the enemy will see him as a real danger and chaaaarrge!).

    You cn make him chase down coward enemies (aaaaah! The superkiller PC!)

    You can trick him with magick or traps (OK, so  you are at 3 HP? Better end the fight soon, isnt’it?)

    But you just can’t power up enemies justo so, or nerf his PC IN GAME. The “talk about it out of game” is a valid option.

  4. I would usually agree that letting players use moves to make themselves really strong is just fine, except that he’s kind of making everyone else feel useless. Right now the best solution I have is to use more magical enemies, who can exploit his low stats and give other people with skills other than running in face first opportunities. I also tried to bring it under control by applying armor against each die he rolls instead of just once, but he has piercing so that doesn’t work very well.

  5. Change it up and show how violence is not the solution to all problems. Example

    No matter how powerful uber pc is, only the fighter has a shot at breaking open the iron door guarding the treasure.

    No matter how much damge pc can dish out it doesnt help sneak past a sleeping guard

    Show a down side to the class, all that damage on a mis can hit an important npc

    Make the other players shine by showing class things that do not involve dealing damge.

  6. That seems to be my best bet. He can only do big damage if he’s up close and not mind controlled, asleep, stunned, in another dimension, confused, in agonizing pain, etc. 

  7. Applying armor to every die is the sort of things you’d rather not do to a player.

    I’d try, at this point, to cut the player’s action every now and then, on stage. The GM CAN stop one guy and say “meanwhile, on the cleric’s side…”

    After this, say aloud the combo is just too powerful for everyone else to enjoy the game. It’s not wrong. Class warfare is not a sacred book, (I think it’s great, though) and the table may decide to stop the carnage.

  8. Mostly it’s just the fighter who feels useless, because his job got taken. Hopefully him getting the Mutation move will help fix that. But in the future I may not let people make Class Warfare classes with more than one source of damage outside of their base damage that they can use on every attack.

  9. Class Warfare isn’t the only source of damage cranking. A level 3 fighter can have a +2 damage from their weapon, +1d4 from Merciless, +1d4 from Multiclass Dabbler >> Viper’s Strike.  1d10+2d4+2.

    I had a fighter with a similar build in my game and it was fine. The fights became more about landing that massive hit than it did about whittling down big foes. Plenty of challenges remained: ghosts that were unharmed by his axe, big beasts with reach that he had to dodge past to get in a hit, fliers, lurkers, goblins (and mutant goblins) surrounding them in the woods and attacking from all directions, chokers hiding on the underside of a bridge, assassin vines that couldn’t be harmed by pruning the vines (you had to get at the root), etc.  

    Aside from the damage, consider how the fighter in your game is playing. Do they feel empowered to leap into the fray with the same level of aggression or confidence that this slayer has?  If not, it might be worth subtly (or directly) encouraging them to take risks, act boldly, etc. and reward them (fictionally) when they do. 

    Also, what does the fighter have that the slayer doesn’t?  Bend Bars/Lift Grates at least, right?  What else?  Introduce some stuff that plays to those strengths rather than just the damage die.

  10. Joseph Lopez  I like homebrewing monsters. He has to get in close to hit things. Crank up the difficulty and ask for more rolls to get in close: making it much more easy to fail. (ehehe: what I did with the aura of hopelessness on the boss I threw at you guys). Get enemies with reach, mirror image, or just not use enemies at all.

    In my opinion, obstacles and hazards are some of the most important and fun things in roleplaying games.  They require cleverness to overcome and add a lot of flavor to the world, especially if it adds to the plot and why people are there. Can make the difference between an easy face-roll through the dungeon, and a harrowingly difficult ordeal. 

    Think the player should shine when he can just clobber enemies: however, against a pit of slime with poison dart frog things spitting poison, this guy is gonna have to rely on fighter to break things, ranger to shoot things, and thief to get a grappling hook up to get to the other side. My Ideas.

  11. Additionally, I wouldn’t allow anything with that most likely. Or, you can go my horde route, or have them fighting dragons and fiends and crazy stuff. 

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