Section IV, Techniques
Subsection D, Room Terminology
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Room Terminology refers to the
way techniques or effects are practically described in AltDBZ. When any
technique is approved for use in the room, it has been broken down into room
terms. Learning to understand the somewhat cryptic shorthand can help you make
techs so that they come back to you faster, reducing wait time on applications.
The most basic of room terms' use is
relatively easy to understand. It simply takes a concept and asks it a barrage
of technical questions, until almost every foreseeable situation has been
accurately described with measurable numbers. It deletes any "flavor
text" that some players might attach to descriptions of their techniques,
and leaves only exactly what the tech does. For instance, take the following
example of how the DBZ tech Solar Flare might be described by a player:
The mighty warrior forms his hands
in a focusing gesture about his head to channel the power of the sun to his
enemies eyes, shouting the words "SOLAR FLARE!", causing a burst of
light so powerful as to blind them for a considerable amount of time.
If this was meshed into room terms, it
might look like this:
User forms a gesture around own
head and shouts tech name. Short burst of light is created in front of user's
face, disabling visual senses of any characters with working eyes who were
looking at it for 5 posts. User is not affected. Sun must be present and
uncovered. Can only be used once per day.
This demonstrates a basic translation
into room terminology. The more precise questions asked about speed, strength,
and duration, the better. Generally speaking, duration is measured in posts or
rounds (considered the same thing, here), speed and detection is measured in
percent of somebody's particular power level, and power and durability is
measured the same way. Remember, though speed and strength use the same kinds of
numbers, they do not work together -- speed works with speed numbers and
strength works with strength numbers.
One of the most common errors made my
players when converting to room terms is describing where the percentages come
from. Percentages are used almost exclusively over fixed numbers (50% as opposed
to 1000 PL) because percentages scale up as a character grows stronger, and
thus, a character never grows out of a figure that a percentage indicates. When
you indicate percentages, make sure you indicate what it's a percentage of. 50%
should be 50% KiPL or 50% PsiPL or 50% TotalPL (all PL types combined), or even
just 50% of speed PL. We cannot directly work power level numbers and real
measurements (like mph, or psi) together, so use only power level numbers.
Additionally make sure you indicate whether the percent PL you indicate belongs
to the user of the technique, or a victim, or somebody else. It should be
exactly clear where your numbers are coming from.
The Blast Attack Kit
There is a collection of component
common techs known as the Blast Attack Kit, which describes the various
generic options one can expand upon with a basic projectile attack. When dealing
with techs that do little more than fire a blast or stream and cause damage,
occasionally, the staffers will use the BAK to describe it, which is usually
what confuses most people about room terminology. A full and exact description
of each modifier can be found in the ki section of the common techs area, but
we'll generally describe the process here.
When an attack is described with the
BAK, it is compared to a "standard" or gimme attack. A ki blast tech
is compared to a normal ki blast. Then, elements of it are improved in given
increments. A standard ki blast strikes for 30% user's KiPL (this is called the
"natural charge"), and travels at 50% user's KiPL in speed.
It can be charged by 10% user's KiPL for every full post beyond the
first, up to a ceiling (also known as the "charge cap") of 70%
user's KiPL (that's 5 charges total). It drains as much stamina as the
damage it deals.
From there, we add components of the
BAK to it. An autocharge adds the equivalent of one normal charge of
damage to the natural charge without actually charging, effectively increasing
how much damage it does when you simply point and shoot it. Giving a tech an increased
charge rate does just that -- it increases how much damage is given to an
attack each post it is charged. Adding a charge cap extension lets you
charge your attack the equivalent of two normal charges higher. One important
thing to note about the various "charge" modifications is that if you
change the charge, it doesn't change how much these modifications do -- they're
based on normal charges. The charge cap prevents any damage from going over it,
so if you give a tech autocharges without extending the charge cap, you're
effectively reducing how long you can charge it -- though the amount you can
charge it to does not change. Additionally, in an extreme example, you can't
raise the natural charge over the charge cap -- it must be extended to
cover the natural charge of the tech as well as the maximum amount of charge the
tech can hold.
Again, there are other terms in the
BAK, but these are the most common, and should give you some insight to how they
are used. They are used because when application handlers review these kinds of
techs, they use the BAK to decide how many tech days it will cost your character
-- another boon to understanding the BAK. It is important to note that the BAK
only affects direct damage and speed of the main projectile. If you add other
fancy effects, like splitting up the main projectile, or adding status ailments
like some kind of poison, the BAK does not regard these.
There are a spare few other terms to
look out for, outside of the BAK but still commonly used in tech descriptions.
One in particular to note is the difference between tracking, turning,
and steering. They describe the ability of a projectile to change its
direction mid-flight. Steering is the cheaper form, because it requires
the user's total concentration on the projectile (psi users usually just have to
concentrate one psi slot on it). Turning is one step above and one step
back at the same time -- the projectile turns mid-flight whether the user wants
it to or not, but the user does not have to concentrate for it to do so. Tracking
is the superior of both of the others -- it is given a target, and it follows
that target like a heat-seeking missile (and usually similarly dependent on some
kind of trackable power signature) without it's user's intervention. Each of
these things is measured in degrees, which indicates just how fast it can turn
in a single post. 90 degrees means it can make the equivalent of a regular car
turn at an intersection, while 180 degrees means it can make a U turn. Turning
variants are usually capped at 360 degrees, and at this point are given credit
to turn in just about any direction they want, whenever they want.
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