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    fortesama's Avatar

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    Default [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    GM gift time again. This time, he promised to give me 2 free points for a list of powers and other things that may be problematic. It's going to be our first game on this system so we're not too sure what to expect. Power level 10, core only. I've heard that point-build systems are a bit more prone to being broken by accident too. No, no one is out to break the game in our group, but our GM wants to be prepared in case someone got something which they don't really know has high game breaking potential.

    On my first reading, i've got:

    Shapeshift
    Summon (minion)
    Magic (if used to collect the potentially broken powers)

    Anything else i've misinterpreted or missed?
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    Arbane's Avatar

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Don't know M&M that well, but, depending on what sort of plot he's got in mind, powers like clairvoyance, teleportation, precognition, and mindreading can ALWAYS be trouble due to the sheer amount of stuff they let you bypass.
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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    So if we tell you what powers are broken, you get 2 free points...

    The question that springs to my mind is what do WE get in return for our troubles?

    Fortunately someone already went through the trouble of compiling most of the broken powers into one handy essay.
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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Anything with perception range. That should always always always be a warning sign.


    But really character creation step 1 is everyone agreeing on the type of game they want. The last step is GM approval. If broken, unfun, or unfitting characters end up in the game, someone screwed up.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Players who don't follow the social contract.

    Basically it's an incredibly breakable game, it was never meant to be a balanced air-tight game. It's intended as a way to simulate the superhero genre. (It just so happens that with a bit of work it's good for everything else too)

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by JeminiZero View Post
    Fortunately someone already went through the trouble of compiling most of the broken powers into one handy essay.
    That essay may not be quite accurate anymore, as I notice several terms being used that aren't the same in 3ed. I'm not saying it's wrong, because I've just started to look at the system myself, but I clicked the link and started reading and had some moments of 'what are they talking about?' because the terminology at least has changed a bit. Those powers might still be out of whack, of course, but there is a chance they've fixed a few thing between editions.
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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Are we talking about 2e or 3e?

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    The feats that let you adjust the PL trade offs such as Power Attack. Some other feats can also get out of hand such as Master Plan, Improved Critical and especially Hide in Plain Sight.

    For powers Duplicate combined with Teleport can become overwhelming. Others I've seen that could be overly advantageous are Immunity, Growth and Protection (Impervious). Depending on Situations Super Sense and Super Movement can get out of hand. I've heard other complain about Concealment but IMO Hide in Plain Site is much worst because of cost.

    But IMO none of these are really game breakers, something can always counter them or reduce their overall effectiveness. Though 25 duplicates all with teleport seems like a challenge.

    There is a subpar gotcha that I've noticed first time players stumble upon. M&M uses the traditional D20 movement rates but most combats are much bigger than the basic 50x50 dungeon floor, oh and M&M combat is 3 dimensional. IMO every character needs some kind of movement power even if just a couple of points, otherwise they get stuck in one or two spots and become easy targets. Even with blast powers a character just doesn't seem to be as effective without something.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delwugor View Post
    IMO every character needs some kind of movement power even if just a couple of points, otherwise they get stuck in one or two spots and become easy targets. Even with blast powers a character just doesn't seem to be as effective without something.

    Plus, without a movement power, how are you going to get to where the action is?
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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delwugor View Post
    There is a subpar gotcha that I've noticed first time players stumble upon. M&M uses the traditional D20 movement rates but most combats are much bigger than the basic 50x50 dungeon floor, oh and M&M combat is 3 dimensional. IMO every character needs some kind of movement power even if just a couple of points, otherwise they get stuck in one or two spots and become easy targets. Even with blast powers a character just doesn't seem to be as effective without something.
    If you're using miniatures, the Mastermind's Manual suggests that each rank in a movement power adds 1 to how far you can move on the grid.

    So the Costumed Adventurer with Swinging 3 can move 9 squares when he's on a line, the flying girl with Flight 6 can move 12 squares when she's flying. And the speedster with Super Speed 12 can move 18 squares.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Assuming 2E:

    The Alternate Power feat is a cheap way to cram extra powers onto a character. It's meant to simulate a variable power that can be used for multiple things at once, and has plenty of valid use, but it's one to watch.

    (This is why magic looks broken - because it's basically a 'holder' for a lot of Alternate Powers.)

    From Ultimate Power, variable power pools are incredibly potent in the amount of flexibility they give a character. Keep a close eye on them as well.

    Boost also pops up in a lot of borderline builds, since a hefty boost with a long duration can be cheaper than buying the stats 'fairly'.

    On the other end of the scale, Absorbtion is underpowered unless you use the Ultimate Power version.
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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Dice View Post
    If you're using miniatures, the Mastermind's Manual suggests that each rank in a movement power adds 1 to how far you can move on the grid.

    So the Costumed Adventurer with Swinging 3 can move 9 squares when he's on a line, the flying girl with Flight 6 can move 12 squares when she's flying. And the speedster with Super Speed 12 can move 18 squares.
    I see that as adding to the problem. IMO M&M should have gone with an area approach instead of a movement and character speed, it worked very well with MSH. I have played M&M in a more hand waving manner which worked pretty well also.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbane View Post
    Plus, without a movement power, how are you going to get to where the action is?
    Funny story time! When playing MSH in an 80s setting, only two of us had movement powers, the other 4 drove around in an Astro Minivan.
    But that almost took me out once when the other guy wasn't playing one night. We got word of the bad guys tearing up part of the town and we left our headquarters, I flew the rest drove. Of course I got there first and faced the bad guys alone for a while, took a heck of a beating that night. But being the super hero I was I still ended saving a boy from a collapsed house.

    Quote Originally Posted by potatocubed View Post
    The Alternate Power feat is a cheap way to cram extra powers onto a character. It's meant to simulate a variable power that can be used for multiple things at once, and has plenty of valid use, but it's one to watch.
    Yep, my character is doing that now as I wanted a broad range of weaker abilities. It worked out to well especially as the other characters are very specialized, so my character does shine a bit more.
    Last edited by Delwugor; 2011-03-22 at 12:58 PM.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delwugor View Post
    I see that as adding to the problem. IMO M&M should have gone with an area approach instead of a movement and character speed, it worked very well with MSH. I have played M&M in a more hand waving manner which worked pretty well also.
    I tend to play in a more hand waving mode when it comes to M&M. It's more fun that way. But the Areas thing in MSH was truly dreadful. Even worse than the chart thing. Especially as on some maps, a city block was an Area, but on others the swings and the roundabouts in the park were an Area also.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Dice View Post
    I tend to play in a more hand waving mode when it comes to M&M. It's more fun that way. But the Areas thing in MSH was truly dreadful. Even worse than the chart thing. Especially as on some maps, a city block was an Area, but on others the swings and the roundabouts in the park were an Area also.
    You had problems with the chart? You must have been looking for 76. Yeah I didn't like the chart at all, rolling dice to lookup a color just to get qualitative result with the possibility of another mapping for criticality, blahh.

    The trick with areas is not to think of them as a measure of distance but a measure of the concentration of activity and layout which leads to reduced movement. So in your example activity around a swing would have a tendency to stay there while on a block there is less of a concentration so more movement.

    Like you the time I played M&M with hand waving distance was much more fun. There is a slight nerfing of movement powers in combat but IMO the removal of layout considerations made it much quicker and exciting. And I was one with a nerfed movement.

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    Default Re: [M&M] 1st game ever. Stuff to watch out for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Delwugor View Post
    Like you the time I played M&M with hand waving distance was much more fun. There is a slight nerfing of movement powers in combat but IMO the removal of layout considerations made it much quicker and exciting. And I was one with a nerfed movement.
    People with big move powers can move silly distances. Like the Speedster who can go half a mile and still get an attack. But, people can always Ready an action. BUt then, I tend to run most games as fairly abstract and free form when it comes to combat. Make it fast, make it frantic and move on with things is how I like to do it.

    Of course, some players like to get bogged down in the details, but somewhere between the two lies a happy medium.

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