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Media => Games => Topic started by: Desert Fox on April 15, 2018, 10:33:01 PM

Title: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Desert Fox 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?
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Henning 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?
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Louie on April 18, 2018, 11:11:10 AM
Wouldn't they basically be a leaky bag of mince?
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: brilligtove 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Desert Fox 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: mindme 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
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: brilligtove 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: brilligtove 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota 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? 
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota 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.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on April 29, 2018, 05:33:44 PM
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.
I don't see how that's consistent with moving very fast from another person's perspective. If a person can run a mile in the time it takes another person to say "hey", then that "hey" cannot possibly be at normal speed for them.

I'm thinking Fry on his 100th coffee here.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on April 29, 2018, 07:57:52 PM
I was more going for the reaction time, not the perception of the outside world.

A normal person at normal speed has normal reaction times, allowing you to walk and dynamically balance on uneven footing, and to recognize when you have stepped in a wad of gum as you raise your leg, and maybe catch a cellphone when you brush it off a desktop.

A speedster nominally in the normal world can have super-speed reactions, allowing normal walking and gum reaction, but if they brush a double-handful of change off a desktop, they can individually pluck all the coins before the hit the ground, sorting them into stacks of similar coin, sorted in ascending mint date.

But, a speedster running at super speed has reaction time equivalent to the normal person at normal walking speed, allowing them to walk and dynamically balance on uneven footing, and to recognize as they are raising their leg at super speed that they stepped in a wad of gum at super speed.



Or put another way, a normal person walking down a street while looking at a store window can walk into notice a lamppost out of the corner of their eye, but not react fast enough and walk into the lamppost.

A speedster walking at normal speed while looking at a store window can react to the corner of the eye sighting of the lamppost and step around.

But, a speedster running at high speed while looking at a store window is back to having an unavoidable accident with the lamppost.




It's harder to deliberately hit a speedster running at high speed, as he would see it coming, but a speedster could be equally distracted at high speed as a normal person at low speed, and both could have equivalent reactions and consequences.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on May 01, 2018, 05:34:20 PM
A speedster moving at super speed with the reaction time of only a person walking at normal speed is going to slam themself into walls.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on May 01, 2018, 06:00:13 PM
I must be describing this wrong.

Maybe I'm describing this badly.  It's a relative thing.  Let me slap some numbers.

A person operates at 1x speed, with 1x reactions, which is sufficient to walk on uneven ground, but not always able to avoid obstacles if, say, they're staring at a pulchritudinous jogger
 for one second as she passes, not being able to avoid a lamppost detected in the corner of the eye at the final 0.01 second.

Say a speedster has 100x  speed capability.

When operating at normal speed, they can detect and react at 100x normal.  They can walk at normal speed, pay attention to the jogger for a second, but with 100x reaction can swerve to avoid the lamppost, realizing the danger in the last 0.01 second.

But, if a speedster is running at 100x normal, their 100x reaction is equivalent to a normal walker at normal speeds.  They can run on uneven ground, just like a normal can walk on uneven ground.  But, running at 100x speed, as he covers the same distance in 1/100 the time, if he is distracted by looking at the overendowed jogger for 0.01 second, he should slam into the lamppost as well.  They don't get to run 100x normal, and react 10,000x normal.

If he's paying attention, he can avoid obstacles at high speed like we can at normal speeds; if he's distracted at high speeds, he can make high-speed mistakes just like we can make normal-speed mistakes.





When running at 100x speed, they
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on May 03, 2018, 05:38:37 PM
Yes, and just like we can stop in a moment at normal speed when we realise we've just stepped into a puddle, the speedster can stop in a moment at speedy speed when they realise they've just stepped into a Carpet of Entrapification.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on May 03, 2018, 05:50:41 PM
Yes, and just like we can stop in a moment at normal speed when we realise we've just stepped into a puddle, the speedster can stop in a moment at speedy speed when they realise they've just stepped into a Carpet of Entrapification.

Ahhh, but is a speedster operating at speed walking or running?  Most speedsters are drawn in running stride at speed, not a mosey, not a stroll.  Unless they explicitly state they are doing a high speed walk, then they are running.

I would say a normal person running unexpectedly into a puddle would go a few steps before stopping, a normal person running unexpectedly into the carpet would stumble, and that a speedster would have the same reactions.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Desert Fox on May 04, 2018, 02:34:25 PM
I used Usain Bolt in the discussion a bit to argue with the player that if he was running and suddenly ended up a tar pit, he would end up with a similar issue.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on May 06, 2018, 06:00:40 PM
Yes, and just like we can stop in a moment at normal speed when we realise we've just stepped into a puddle, the speedster can stop in a moment at speedy speed when they realise they've just stepped into a Carpet of Entrapification.

Ahhh, but is a speedster operating at speed walking or running?  Most speedsters are drawn in running stride at speed, not a mosey, not a stroll.  Unless they explicitly state they are doing a high speed walk, then they are running.

I would say a normal person running unexpectedly into a puddle would go a few steps before stopping, a normal person running unexpectedly into the carpet would stumble, and that a speedster would have the same reactions.
We appear to have arrived at a consensus. They would certainly stumble, but they would certainly not be ripped in half or flattened on the ground.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Desert Fox on May 06, 2018, 07:36:23 PM
You don't trip on a carpet, you stop. You could be driving a 60 ton Abram's tank at maximum speed and you would stop effectively instantly. Imagine you are running with a set of permanent super magnets in the soles your shoes and somebody suddenly turns on a another super magnet under your feet.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on May 06, 2018, 08:59:44 PM
It's that "effectively" that, if you'll pardon the expression, trips you up.

Momentum and inertia, surprise and reaction time, regardless of if we're talking Carpet of Adhesion, super magnets, tree root or your best friend sticking out his foot.

If you are running and your foot (or feet) are, without warning, stuck in place, you will fall over.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on May 07, 2018, 05:51:31 PM
"Stumble" wasn't the right word. The carpet, as far as I can tell, adheres one's feet to the ground. One might fall over. But still, because of the speedster's reaction speed, one would not be ripped to bits.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on May 07, 2018, 06:44:16 PM
"Stumble" wasn't the right word. The carpet, as far as I can tell, adheres one's feet to the ground. One might fall over. But still, because of the speedster's reaction speed, one would not be ripped to bits.

We've chalked some level of bodily resilience up to the speedster's abilities, but I think most here have come around to my position that a speedster's high-speed running reaction time should be commensurate with a normal person's normal speed-running reaction time.  A speedster can have increased reactions when at normal speed, but when operating at increased speed, they don't get increased-increased reactions.  I would think that this would be a necessary narrative restriction on either a fictional or role-playing character to prevent them from becoming overpowered or invulnerable.



Now, a possibility we haven't discussed is the durability of the speedster's footwear, and if that offers an opportunity for an extra two steps of reaction time allowing an intentional stop...

I'm also unsure if, in Rifts, the Carpet of Adhesion is a technological or magical artifact, as it's possible that a magical carpet would include maintaining uprightness with its effects....
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: Desert Fox on May 07, 2018, 08:10:00 PM
Magic - If it was techogical, at some point there would be a breaking strength
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: arthwollipot on May 08, 2018, 05:39:45 PM
"Most here"? There's only the two of us discussing it.
Title: Re: Anybody familiar with Rifts - Potential Darwin Award?
Post by: fred.slota on May 08, 2018, 06:25:48 PM
I was counting the voices in my...

Wait, was I typing that out loud?