Author Topic: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?  (Read 2101 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« on: April 15, 2018, 10:33:01 PM »
I am running a Rifts game and the group is trying to defend a village from raiders
I had a player determined to play a super powered character even though I tried to recommend more normal characters

The character is a speedster however and just ran at Mach Two into a Carpet of Adhesion.
Going at Mach 2 and your legs just stop. I don't see any kind of armor would be much protection.

Any suggestions short of simply telling the player that their character is dead?
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Offline Henning

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 11:59:23 PM »
I don't know anything about the game, but how 'bout telling the player your character is now legless?
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 04:23:07 PM »
When a person can run at mach 2, you can be forgiven for temporarily ignoring the laws of inertia.
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Offline fred.slota

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 05:58:01 PM »
Legs stop.

Torso wants to keep moving.

Massive tension across the body, pain, damage, but let's assume the body does not separate.

Body rotates 90 degrees forward, legs dislocated at the ankles, pain damage
Mach 2 faceplant into ground, pain, damage.

Body is now stuck, face down, full contact adhesion.

Offline Louie

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 11:11:10 AM »
Wouldn't they basically be a leaky bag of mince?
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 11:57:12 AM »
Seems to me that the best possible outcome would be for their feet to rip off, followed by a long skidding deceleration. If they have armour they might survive that. OTOH, in the games I run there is no plot armour, and dead is dead, so I'm more in the 'start a new character' camp.
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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 05:38:41 AM »
We are waiting on a player in the game who is playing a dragon. Going to give that player a couple of more days.

Otherwise, the writeup of the superpower states that the being takes no damage from collisions or crashes. As such, allowing him to survive with no damage. Stated hpwever that his whole body, not just his leg, ends up stuck on the carpet.
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Offline mindme

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 08:21:09 AM »
I've got several of the books still from way back. Never actually ran a game, however. I actually played the Mechanoid Invasion precursor way back. That was a hoot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mechanoid_Invasion
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 10:52:29 PM »
We are waiting on a player in the game who is playing a dragon. Going to give that player a couple of more days.

Otherwise, the writeup of the superpower states that the being takes no damage from collisions or crashes. As such, allowing him to survive with no damage. Stated hpwever that his whole body, not just his leg, ends up stuck on the carpet.

Sounds like some sort of "I don't obey rules of inertia" power. If that's the rationale, he could just stop - no falling over or anything. There are a ton of problems with trying to make any of that rigorous, so you do what the heck you want. :) A good case of flypaper might learn'm.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 10:53:56 PM »
We are waiting on a player in the game who is playing a dragon. Going to give that player a couple of more days.

Otherwise, the writeup of the superpower states that the being takes no damage from collisions or crashes. As such, allowing him to survive with no damage. Stated hpwever that his whole body, not just his leg, ends up stuck on the carpet.

Sounds like some sort of "I don't obey rules of inertia" power. If that's the rationale, he could just stop - no falling over or anything. There are a ton of problems with trying to make any of that rigorous, so you do what the heck you want. :) A good case of flypaper might learn'm.
Any kind of speedster character has to ignore inertia. Otherwise they would have to take ages to get up to speed, or to slow down. If the character is a speedster, this means that inertia is already being ignored, which means that the OP is moot because there is no problem with him stopping instantly.
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Offline fred.slota

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 11:24:33 PM »
Two thoughts here.

1) I'm still thinking that there is 90 degree rotation issue here, now reinforced by the lack of inertia.  Not only does the inertia issue provide help with starts and stops, it also allows for aid in changes of directions, turns.  Once one foot becomes stuck, I think it even more likely that he will rotate face down.

2) Normally, starting, running, turning, stopping, the speedster has unfettered motion in his legs, like a high-speed piston engine.  Once both feet become stuck, it would be like an engine with two ceased pistons.  The body is going to continue trying to pump the legs, and if the legs don't move, either the body has to do some mad bobbing and weaving gyrations, or he's going to tear his legs off.

Offline brilligtove

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 01:12:46 PM »
We are waiting on a player in the game who is playing a dragon. Going to give that player a couple of more days.

Otherwise, the writeup of the superpower states that the being takes no damage from collisions or crashes. As such, allowing him to survive with no damage. Stated hpwever that his whole body, not just his leg, ends up stuck on the carpet.

Sounds like some sort of "I don't obey rules of inertia" power. If that's the rationale, he could just stop - no falling over or anything. There are a ton of problems with trying to make any of that rigorous, so you do what the heck you want. :) A good case of flypaper might learn'm.
Any kind of speedster character has to ignore inertia. Otherwise they would have to take ages to get up to speed, or to slow down. If the character is a speedster, this means that inertia is already being ignored, which means that the OP is moot because there is no problem with him stopping instantly.

In a world like Rifts where magical energy is everywhere, a speedster could use that to reinforce their body (think structural integrity field) so it could handle large accelerations without deformation/squishing. Magic can also give you "super friction" or some other way to connect your feet to the ground without tearing the ground apart. In those cases you'd still have normal inertia to deal with.
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Offline fred.slota

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2018, 05:30:21 PM »
Is the speedster functionally invulnerable when running?  Can he be punched, hit by a swung pipe, shot by a bullet?  What about if I threw a car at him?  Opened a door in his face? 

Offline arthwollipot

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2018, 01:59:30 AM »
A thought on your thought.
2) Normally, starting, running, turning, stopping, the speedster has unfettered motion in his legs, like a high-speed piston engine.  Once both feet become stuck, it would be like an engine with two ceased pistons.  The body is going to continue trying to pump the legs, and if the legs don't move, either the body has to do some mad bobbing and weaving gyrations, or he's going to tear his legs off.
In addition to being able to ignore inertia, in order to be logically consistent a speedster must also possess instantaneous perception and reflexes. If your speedster looks like a blur to others, then everything around them is a blur to the speedster's sight. They have to have some way of perceiving the world around them. Time, in essence, must slow down in the speedster's perception, otherwise they would not be able to know when to slow down or turn.

Therefore they would be able to choose to stop the moment they realised that they had been caught by the carpet.
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Offline fred.slota

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Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2018, 08:42:48 AM »
A thought on your thought.
2) Normally, starting, running, turning, stopping, the speedster has unfettered motion in his legs, like a high-speed piston engine.  Once both feet become stuck, it would be like an engine with two ceased pistons.  The body is going to continue trying to pump the legs, and if the legs don't move, either the body has to do some mad bobbing and weaving gyrations, or he's going to tear his legs off.
In addition to being able to ignore inertia, in order to be logically consistent a speedster must also possess instantaneous perception and reflexes. If your speedster looks like a blur to others, then everything around them is a blur to the speedster's sight. They have to have some way of perceiving the world around them. Time, in essence, must slow down in the speedster's perception, otherwise they would not be able to know when to slow down or turn.

Therefore they would be able to choose to stop the moment they realised that they had been caught by the carpet.
I would say a realistic (for a superpower in a game, that's shouldn't be an overpowered character immune to any injury) interpretation is that they are sped up to the equivalent speed such that the activity from their perspective looks like normal speed to them.  A normal person walking down the street, if not paying attention, can say, stub a toe or miss a change of grade at a sidewalk, and maybe they stumble, maybe they fall.  A normal person can be distracted, not looking where they are going, and walk into a lamp post.  I would suggest that the same thing could happen at to the speedster.  Superhuman reflexes when he's operating at normal speeds, normal reflexes when operating at superhuman speeds.  So, upon reflection, the better question is what would happen to a normal person walking when they step on a Carpet of Adhesion.  They wouldn't notice anything until they start to lift their first stuck foot.  I don't know the rules in game for the carpet, but I would think a realistic approach might have considered this and require a skill throw against dexterity or some such as to whether you stumble over or you recover and balance yourself.  A running person might have a skill throw with a negative modifier.

So, maybe he would have reaction time sufficient to not piston his legs off because of 20 leg cycles before reacting, but not to recover completely.

On the one hand, this is a game, and I guess the carpet was meant as an obstruction, not a weapon.  On the other hand, context matters, and used appropriately, I suppose even a feather can kill.