[RPG] Is the Blitz edge action too strong


Blitz (Spend) lets you

Roll the max dice (5) for a single combat turn

Personally, I have banned this edge action in my games. It just seems way too good. It seems to conflict with Seize the Initiative (Spend) in terms of use as well:

Move to the top of the Initiative Order for the duration of the combat turn

I understand the difference between "I am sure to go first" and "I am going to go many times", but my question is how does this edge action play out in practice?

I banned it due to seeing some scary thoughts of combat mages rolling on par [or even higher] than street samurai, blowing apart teams with Initiative scores of 30+ while the other characters who didn't edge sit on scores in the 10s. It seems like a scary ability that can allow one character to dominate anyone else who didn't edge.

Is it really that good or can it actually be a fun ability to play with? Does it actually work out badly or well in play? Is 1 point of edge worth 30 Initiative score or is 30 Initiative score with blitz even common?

Best Answer

Edge is valuable, powerful, and limited. It's also impossible to regain without the GM's discretion. The GM is supposed to give it back when the player does something cool or impressive. As a long-time SR GM, I advise you to only restore Edge when that cool or impressive action didn't require Edge to begin with.

Blitz is powerful, but Edge is supposed to be. It's actually less useful for Combat Mages than it may seem, because any combat mage worth the name should have Increase Reflexes (SR5, p. 288) on a Spell Sustaining Focus (SR5, p. 320).

A Sammy is likely to have Reaction Enhancers and Wired Reflexes (SR5, p. 455). In addition to extra Initiative Dice, these systems increase Reaction directly, providing a static bonus to the Initiative Attribute (SR5, p. 159).

Blitz only provides dice, and it doesn't stack with anything (it just pushes it straight to the cap). You ask if a point of Edge is "worth" 30 Initiative Score, but rolling 30 on 5d6 is unlikely. A roll of 16-19 represents 39% of the possible rolls. The chance of a 30 is significantly less than a full percentage point. (The direct bonuses don't have any effect on the probability of the dice, just the final result.)

Seeing as a character with cybernetic or magically enhanced Initiative is also going to have a higher Initiative Attribute before the dice are rolled, the effect of Blitz is somewhat less dramatic than you believe. Blitz is most effective on people who probably shouldn't be anywhere near combat anyway, like wage slaves.

Besides, it'll be nice every now and then, but unless the GM is excessively generous with Edge refresh, the players should always be thinking: "Is spending Edge on this really that important, or do I want to keep it to save my bacon later?"