Section IV, Techniques
Subsection E, Forbidden Concepts

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Techniques are likely the single most definitive source of originality, creativity, and flexibility in this room. In many cases, we leave it entirely up to you as far as what your character can do, so long as you earn it. However, there are some things we will not allow. Unfortunately, because the human imagination is endless and immeasureable, the concepts that we can't allow are also endless and immeasureable. That isn't to say that we refuse a lot of things, but that no one list can detail every single concept that we will ever possibly deny. We can list here the most common taboos when it comes to tech design, and describe the reasoning why, and perhaps this will help you, as a player, understand why we deny what we deny, and therefore not have to discover the hard way something new we don't allow. Don't worry -- unless you're downright obvious, ignorant, and/or obnoxious about it, you won't get in trouble for applying for a tech that gets denied down the line.

Without further adieu, here is a basic list of things we generally don't like and won't allow:

  • Undodgeable effects.

Though an attack can be built up to be so fast that it's unlikely that an opponent will be able to dodge it, you may not dictate through any means that a tech is undodgeable to anyone. It violates the "victims call damage" rule. Similarly, making techs designed to make attacks obnoxiously near impossible to dodge are frowned upon as powergaming. The exception, of course, is the ability to make any tech undodgeable by the user of that tech. Generally speaking, a tech may contact others through one of four ways: It can take the form of a projectile, stream, or wave that strikes the victim(s) from a distance. It can be a specific physical touch on the victim(s), such as pressing a finger to each of a victim's temples. It can be an effect imbued upon the user automatically -- victims of the tech would end up being those who the character touches or attacks afterward, so the effect upon the user should be clearly visible and/or detectable. Or, it can be an area of effect that is either centered on the user or targeted with a projectile. Area of effect strikes must always give some forecast that they are going to strike, throughout the area where they are going to strike. Thus, the area might ripple a little before exploding, or the arrows that fall from the sky over an area might take a moment to arrive. An explosion based on the user still has a speed attached as it expands outward from the user. These are all acceptable forms of making a tech dodgeable. Healing techs and defensive "buff" techs are NOT exceptions to this rule.

  • Dictating exact character response, and mind control.

Even if an attack does strike a character, while you are allowed to say what will happen to that character for the most part, you cannot force a character to act a certain way to it. This is the other half of the "victims call damage" rule. So, while you can say that a character will be set on fire if they are hit by your attack, you can't say the victim will run around screaming and thus be unable to take effective action for a time. One of the most notably banned effects is the controlling of another character through psionic mind control. Even if you strictly lay down how a victim can be affected, most mind control techs will be denied, because they often cause other players to protest... AltDBZ chatters, in particular, are very sensitive to being able to control the actions of their own characters. Emotions are another hot spot which is generally discouraged.

  • Techs that steal or delete others' techs, especially permanently.

Since techniques are so integral to how characters succeed in the room, and since players become very attached to the work they've put into their characters, instantaneous stealing of other people's techniques is strongly looked down upon, no matter how it's carried out. Beyond offending players, there are all kinds of complications to adopting somebody else's technique, such as any required credentials, and any prerequisites like a specific race. Especially denied are techs of one power type that try to steal techs from another power type, and that chance only increases when the user of the stealing tech doesn't have the other power type in the first place. When these techs are approved, they are often extremely expensive -- disproportionately so for how expensive the techs they are allowed to steal are. Techs that actually permanently remove a tech from another character's memory are almost always denied, no matter what.

  • Techs that permanently steal or reduce others' power.

This is similar to the guideline about tech-stealing techs, but is a little more relaxed. You are allowed to temporarily drain some of a character's power into yourself (though usually not of a different power type than the tech is) or to nobody. You must specify how long it will take to restore that power. However, permanent PL reductions or robbings are much more strongly looked down upon. They are usually denied, unless the foreseeable potential of the tech is very small (that is, if we can't see you permanently draining or removing more than a few percent of a character's power over the course of a fight, then it's more likely to be approved).

  • Techniques where the main function is not dependent upon the user's power level(s).

That's a mouthful, I know. This isn't so much a thing that will get your technique denied so much as it is something that will make your technique much, MUCH more expensive than it would ordinarily be. What it means is, as an elementary example, if you fire a ki blast at somebody, it should be based off of your own power, not the power of the person you hit. If you do base it on the other person's power, then it will be vastly more expensive, and it will also be strongly scrutinized to make sure you have a reason for it and adequate credentials for it. This basic concept can be applied to most other situations where this would apply. It doesn't have to depend on somebody else's PL in order to be marked up, either -- if you have a projectile that simply stuns a person, regardless of their power, for a while, then this will get marked up high as well. It should be noted that just because the speed of an attack is based on your PL doesn't necessarily mean that the tech is then based on your power, because in most cases, speed is not the main function of the technique. If it is, then it's acceptable. Similarly, don't try to get around this rule by saying that the vast majority of the damage is due to the other person's power but a small portion of it is your own -- this is just dirty practice. We see right through it, and it's considered metagaming.

  • Balancing where the pro is in a different field than the con.

This is the trademark of a powergamer. The best way to explain this phenomenon is through example. If you have a character who is a powerful mage, and you try to make a technique that greatly speeds your spell casting ability, then it's not going to make it much cheaper for you if you try to counter the cost by saying that in exchange, you lose almost all of your physical strength. Why? Because mages almost never use physical strength ... it's taking something valuable for something worthless, though to another character it might be valuable. This kind of error is most commonly seen in the design of races.

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Modified: 27 Jan 2005