[FS2] The Blast shtick damage.

Hello everyone! I've been playing Feng Shui a while now, and I really enjoy it, that said, one small thing popped out of nowhere and seems to rub me the wrong way, and that is the damage of the blast shtick. I understand that blast is usually meant to be used with its various subcategories to cause various effects, however when I was looking at the Gene Freak's push ability, which does 11 damage plus pushing the enemy under the right circumstances, despite the Gene Freak being more of a melee focused archetype, I was confused. After that whenever I looked at the various archetypes and damages, I realized that almost every other archetype could beat out 10 damage with their starting equipment, and only the Martial Artist and Exorcist Monk can't just get bigger guns and keep fighting, and later options open them up to even crazier damage, while the two blast users are left with very little they can do in the form of damage. This wouldn't be so much of an issue if this game wasn't so focused on combat, but due to that fact, I feel there should be an option for blast users to increase their damage.

So I thought to house rule it, and came to two ideas.

A: Blast just does 10 damage instead of 9. This idea is supported by the fact that eunuch sorcerer mooks have 10 damage chi blasts, and while I know they're NPCs, I think a PC sorcerer should at least do as much damage as the mooks.

B: Blast has another form called focus blast, which does either 11 or 12 damage (not sure which), but since they're using that blast, they're not using any other effects. Besides that, there is also the fact that the player will need to learn this later, which gives them something to upgrade to later and feel more powerful.

I wanted to ask what you all thought of this. Which do you like better of those options? Do you disagree with me? If so, please explain why (and if possible, still tell me which house rule you prefer).

In the original FS the sorcerer wasn't a "kill the named enemy" archetype, it was all about the great support abilities they have. Summon and control creatures, heal people mid-combat, gather information and cause NPCs to be friendly, etc... It appears to be the same in FS 2. So frankly I would say if you're trying to out-damage archetypes that focus on named enemy take-out, you're playing the archetype wrong. When it comes to their role in combat, they're probably better off focusing on mooks because damage quantity simply doesn't matter with them (hint: use Fire Blast), and letting some of the more specialist boss-killing archetypes take care of the named enemies. Or use Mind Control to commandeer the best fighter the enemy's got and have them take out their own mooks, or Harsh Switcheroo to do the same.

Having said that, a number of blasts will combo very well with other PC's abilities or help the party by hurting a named enemy in a non-damage way. Many may only be useful in narrow circumstances, but a combat-focused sorcerer should probably have several different blasts available. Consider:
Disintegration: makes gun-users spend extra shots to draw another weapon. Potentially ganks them entirely if there are no extra guns around.
Escher Blast: gives your Wing Chun-wielding martial artist friend +2A for the rest of the keyframe. In FS, that's a big bonus. In fact if I knew another player was thinking of playing a Sorcerer and I was playing a MA, I would seriously talk to them about awesoming up to the combo. (Ditto, btw, with Creature-players and Sorcerer-players; play to the combo.)
Flesh Melter: gives named opponent -1 A and -1D.
Flying Weapon, Ice Blast, Lightning Blast: causes opponent to lose shots.

I mildly disagree because I think the archetypes' lack of damage is more than made up for with its non-direct damage support abilities. But YMMV, and I don't think raising base damage to 10 is going to unbalance it either, so I'd say go for it if you want to. If I wanted to beef them up more than that, then rather than "focus blast" I would give them access to a "Signature blast" schtick. i.e., let them pick one specific blast used with or without magic expenditure, and give them +3 damage with that blast use. That would mirror a schtick available to both gun and martial arts-based characters, and it would allow each sorcerer's "big gun" to reflect their personality rather than all of them looking the same.

While I agree that the sorcerer isn't a "kill the named enemy" archetype, I notice that even healing or support based archetypes can do at least 10 (the Sifu for example). Combine this with the fact that mook sorcerers do 10 damage with chi blasts, and I think 10 is fair, without being overpowered.

I like your idea of having a signature blast shtick, so I might implement that, though I will probably just stick to the 10. I don't want sorcerers to be SUPER damagers, since that isn't the point of sorcerers, I just think they should do the average damage.

Probably the best way for the RAW sorcerer to put a serious beat-down on a boss is to have a 'boss killer' Archetype attack the lowest Defense enemy in the group and use harsh switcheroo to ladel the damage onto the boss. With a 4-PC group, a sorcerer can redirect every single hit from the other three attackers onto the boss. So to use the big last battle of the adventure in the back of the book as an example, having a sorcerer in the party would allow everyone to attack a Ruin Runner (Def 8.) but do the damage to Thrill Kill Mandrill (Def 14). That's enormous. Over the course of 3 shots you can contribute an extra 18 damage (6 for each of the other three PCs; this is the damage you are effectively contributing by allowing them to attack a Def 8 instead of a Def 14), which is much much better than performing a 14 attack with a damage value of 10 or even 12; for this example, that would've done 3 or 5 damage. 3 vs 18...I don't think the problem here is damage value of blast, I think its not tactically thinking about the other things the sorcerer can do.

You are a dangerous man and I'm glad you're on our side.

Hmm, never noticed the harsh switcheroo. That is a neat trick. While I don't think it would normally be THAT effective, it is still really amazing.

Yep. As I said (or at least implied), the archetypes like sorcerer that aren't boss-killers typically have other good ways to support and contribute even in combat. Not every PC needs to be the "I attack...[rolls]...I do X damage" sort to be effective. No need to try and make them all that.

If you really want a spell-slinger with a high base damage attack, be a Magic Cop and take signature weapon on your Chiappa Rhino. You might also look for inspiration in the [blatant self-plug warning] New Archetypes thread.