Headlong's Bowl Over Attack

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Obsidian Lukahn
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Mar 04, 2019
Headlong's Bowl Over Attack

** warning: minor spoilers for the Stolen Legacy issue **

Last night I just started running my kids + neighbor kids through the Stolen Legacy issue. As we progressed through the first scene in the park, the heroes were being attacked by the web ghosts and skeletons, and Headlong gets into the yellow zone, where he began using Bowl Over. Not quite sure how I'm supposed to handle an ability that allowed him to attack multiple targets, I allowed him to attack *all* the minions, but after the fact that seemed a bit overpowered based on other actions which only allow one target, or multiple targets needing a minor twist. Especially since there isn't any downside to actually using the ability.

Maybe I missed something in the current rules as written, but the ability doesn't mention needing to take a minor twist so I'm assuming that isn't required the way it would be if it was a basic action targeting multiple targets. I'm also concerned about the power of this ability since other abilities that target multiple targets, such as Aeon Girl's Internal Cataclysm have some minor negative attached to them.

Since there isn't any guidance about what "multiple targets" means, is this just something that needs to be ruled on a case-by-case basis? If, for instance, the web ghosts were up in the air "in flight", I'd assume he wouldn't be able to bowl them over. The skeletons were slightly scattered because they were all attacking each hero, but it seemed like a pretty heroic bit of awesomeness to allow Headlong to fly past each one and hit them. But then Rockstar's single smash abilities didn't seem nearly as impressive after that.

Any thoughts on how mutliple targets should be handled? I haven't been able to find much discussion about it, particularly Headlong's ability.


Powerhound_2000's picture
Last seen: 4 min 42 sec ago
PlaytesterExceeded Expectations
Joined: Sep 14, 2013

Basically if it makes sense that they can be hit then Headlong could attack them with that ability.  

Crush your enemies, drive them before you, and laminate their women! - Guise, Prime Wardens #31

Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: May 30, 2015

One guideline I see often to this frequent question is the following.

The player's action should be limited to one frame of a comic book.

For me hitting a large group of targets would need a large panel. As a rule of thumb I can imagine nearly an infinite amount of minions being taken ito it isn't the last frame of the battle, but if the rest of the battle is still going on then perhaps reduce it to 3 or 4.

Of course each GM (editor) had their own esthetics.


Shadowstripe's picture
Last seen: 2 days 23 hours ago
Joined: Apr 10, 2019

As for why Headlong's "Bowl Over" ability seems more powerful than Aeon Girl's "Infernal Cataclysm" Abilitiy is because it isn't doing as many things, thus doesn't need any sort of drawback to balance it out.  Both abilities are using a specific power to attack multiple opponents.  However, Aeon Girl's ability is also hindering those damaged by the attack, thus requiring the drawback of hindering herself to use it.  From a purely game mechanic perspective, Aeon Girl's attack is technically more powerful as those hit by it will have a penalty applied to them... but the fact that she will also have a penalty as well brings the power back to par with Headlong's Ability that doesn't afflict aditional effects on those hit.

In short, the strength of Headlong's ability is purely one of perspective (and when seen from a game balance perspective, the two powers are of roughly equivalent strength).

As for how to handle the multiple opponent's aspect of the ability... I would probably limit the number of opponents hit by it to one of the dice used in the pool he is attacking with.  The most likely pool will be from Momentum (d10) since that Power must be used by the Ability, Acrobatics (d8) since that is the only Quality that would seem to apply to a physical attack and his Yellow Status die (d8) since you stated he was in his Yellow Zone when the player used this power.  Depending on how the player described the action, I would probably limit the number of opponents hit to the Min die to represent the difficulty of lining up an attack to bounce from one opponent into another and another (with the minimum number of targets hit being 2 since this attack is specifically intended to hit multiple opponents).  The better the roles, the more effective the attack (and the more targets hit).  Overall, I think this would be a fair ruling that can be applied consistently without too much difficulty or making it seem that Headlong is overpowered, but then this is just how I would likely rule.


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