Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Ursus the Grim's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Massachussets
    Gender
    Male

    Default So I'm new to M&M. . . .

    My brother-in-law was interested in starting a small-group game with room for mecha. He's a fan of Gundam, Armored Core, Steel Battalion etc. He's also a fan of TTGL and Evangelion but I don't think he wants to kick it up to that level of super robot.

    I looked around (actually found an older thread on here) and the general consensus was that MnM's MnM supplement (I'm going to enjoy doing that) is pretty decent and that a lot of the other systems were extremely unwieldy.

    I figured that I should get a full grasp of Mutants and Masterminds (core, 3e) before I delve into that supplement and try to stitch together a game. I was hoping some bored master of the system would stumble across this, see if my line of thinking is on par, and guide me away from failure.

    I noticed that everything is about DC. I come from a D&D background, so the premise is pretty familiar, though I nearly choked on my coffee when I noticed only one die was required. 1d20 versus a DC set by the source, with varying degrees of failure (It seems every five units is another degree).

    I also noticed that you use point-buy for everything. That is a little weird to me. I'm used to point-buy for the chassis, the abilities, but giving the option to sacrifice your ability scores to get better powers or skills or advantages? That was a little confusing at first, but when I looked at how much of it interacts, it seems pretty balanced, at least from a non-Optimization view. Like any system, I'm sure it could be broken.

    Any general tips and suggestions? I'm currently operating off the OGC until I feel grounded in the system enough to purchase it.

    Otherwise, I'm going to attempt to create a character, which I will outline in the spoiler below. Because its a lot to ask to ask someone to proof your character, and I'd be more than happy with responses regarding the stuff above.
    Spoiler
    Show

    So, the general concept comes first, no? I'm thinking a general bestial-type close-combat brawler. Kind of like Wolverine I suppose. I want to try and keep things simple, so I'm going to start at PL 5.

    Is there a 'golden rule' for suggested overall point distribution among all the catagories? I feel like this is screaming for a 50% into abilities, 25% into skills' type suggestion.

    So at level 5, I have 75 character points to work with.

    Abilities
    I don't think I want to give a superhero subhuman abilities at this point, so I'm going to go with Str 8, Sta 8, Agi 1, Fig 3, Int 0, Awe 2, Pre 3. That sets me back 50 points. Sounds a little steep but its going to be a pretty straightforward character.

    Skills
    There's a cap of 15 on total modifier for this PL, so I'm going to work with that and move backwards. Appropriate skills for him would be Athletics, Close Combat, Intimidation, Perception and Treatment. Those skills have 'wiggle room' of 7, 12, 12, 13, and 15. If I wanted to optimize each one, I would buy 6, 12, 12, 12, and 14 ranks for a full total of 28 points. But for now I'm going to limit myself so I can invest in other things. Its looking like I went overboard with the abilities scores after all. Later on, I realized I went over budget, so I'm going to cut the fat here.

    Athletics 6 ranks
    Close Combat 9 ranks
    Intimidation 9 ranks

    Total of 24, right?

    Powers
    I already know where I'm going with this, I think. Now, I'm under the impression that you don't come with a particularly impressive *whack* attack, and they explicitly mention razor claws, so here we go.

    Totally not a ripoff of Wolverine's Claws
    Damage (attack)
    Standard Action, Close, Instant

    Now, if I'm understanding this correctly, my to-hit and the effect rank combined can't exceed 10 (double PL 5). I'm pretty sure my to-hit is 8, which means I can only put in 2 into effect rank. I'm noticing that effect rank isn't the same thing as overall damage rank, so I believe that if I make this a Str-based effect, the effective damage rank is 10. Meaning if it connects, they have to roll Toughness versus DC 25? And because I only put two ranks into the effect, I'm only down 2 points, right? I can see how most heroes have a ton of powers, as this seems pretty cheap. Then again, its literally just an attack.

    Advantages
    Wait. These are seriously just 1 point each?

    All-out attack (1)
    Animal Empathy (1)
    Assessment (1)
    Benefit (Ambidextrous) (1)
    Chokehold (1)
    Diehard (1)
    Fearless (1)
    Improved Grab (1)
    Improved Hold (1)
    Startle (1)
    Takedown (1)

    So. . . all of that sets me back 11 points, right? You can see that when he isn't slashing up minions, he's choking them senseless.

    All said and done. . . .
    I completely overlooked Defenses, which means he's going to be a bit of a glass cannon, but its not like I'm actually going to play him. His Defense Class is only 10, and I can't figure out what his 'saves' are. The srd mentions Fort and Will. I'm not concerned with his overall effectiveness though, just the legality. It looks good to me, and I think in a few weeks I might be able to grasp the rest of the system.
    Mah Hoembroos!
    Avatar by the megatalented Ceika.

    Due to personal/health issues, I must once again put all activity on the backburner for now. My deepest apologies.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So I'm new to M&M. . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursus the Grim View Post
    My brother-in-law was interested in starting a small-group game with room for mecha. He's a fan of Gundam, Armored Core, Steel Battalion etc. He's also a fan of TTGL and Evangelion but I don't think he wants to kick it up to that level of super robot.

    I looked around (actually found an older thread on here) and the general consensus was that MnM's MnM supplement (I'm going to enjoy doing that) is pretty decent and that a lot of the other systems were extremely unwieldy.

    I figured that I should get a full grasp of Mutants and Masterminds (core, 3e) before I delve into that supplement and try to stitch together a game. I was hoping some bored master of the system would stumble across this, see if my line of thinking is on par, and guide me away from failure.
    Sweet! I will point out that the splatbook you're talking about is 2e, and the current rule system is 3e, so you'll have to look at a conversion guide (I think there's a free one on their website), but it should work fine. Heck, pretty much all you need to do to go from superheros to giant mechas is to make all your powers Removable (a Flaw), and be sure everyone buys ranks of Growth (permanent).

    I noticed that everything is about DC. I come from a D&D background, so the premise is pretty familiar, though I nearly choked on my coffee when I noticed only one die was required. 1d20 versus a DC set by the source, with varying degrees of failure (It seems every five units is another degree).
    It's a bit weird at first, yeah. I've actually switched to this system of rolling damage, which seems a little more organic. The roll-Toughness-verses-damage thing works fine, it's just a little slow (unless you tell the player the exact damage value they're rolling against).

    I also noticed that you use point-buy for everything. That is a little weird to me. I'm used to point-buy for the chassis, the abilities, but giving the option to sacrifice your ability scores to get better powers or skills or advantages? That was a little confusing at first, but when I looked at how much of it interacts, it seems pretty balanced, at least from a non-Optimization view. Like any system, I'm sure it could be broken.
    Yeah. Most of the important things (damage, defenses, etc) are limited by power level. As you've no-doubt guessed, you can come up with broken power combination (Concealment 10 + Subtle attack powers/ Progressive Afflictions, Teleport Attacks, etc), but as long as the GM is on top of things, and players aren't trying to be troublesome, you'll be fine.

    Plus, the point buy lets you make some really interesting characters. One guy in my current group is playing a Multiple Man type, where the more clones he makes the weaker he (and they) get, physically and mentally. I once had a player run an uplifted velociraptor with a robot hand on the end of his tail, super-speed, and a flamethrower. If you can think of it, you can build it.

    Any general tips and suggestions? I'm currently operating off the OGC until I feel grounded in the system enough to purchase it.
    Play around with it. Try to build some characters from your own mind, and from fiction. First as NPCs (and thus, not worrying about point costs), then as PCs. Remember the section on power level limits. Make sure everyone is hitting their tradeoff caps for attack-effect and defenses. Pick up a few Power Profiles (a dollar each); a lot of them have really clever powers and discussion of effects. Otherwise, just remember (my) two golden rules:
    • Character first, build second. It's easy to get lost among options in a game like this, or, worse, look at effects first and start building an overoptomized character. Don't start a character until you've got a pretty good idea of what you want him/her to be like.
    • When in doubt, rule of cool. M&M is, in play, a surprisingly light system. Balance is not as dependent on intricate mechanics as in D&D (theoretically). And it's a superhero game! (Or giant robots, I suppose). Not a genre known for restraint. When in doubt, say yes. It makes a much more fun game when the hero rips off a piece of armor off the giant robot and crawls inside to blow up the engine then if he just runs around outside shooting power blasts.


    So, the general concept comes first, no? I'm thinking a general bestial-type close-combat brawler. Kind of like Wolverine I suppose. I want to try and keep things simple, so I'm going to start at PL 5.
    Characters build the same at all PLs. It might even be easier to start at the "default" 10, because you have more points.

    Is there a 'golden rule' for suggested overall point distribution among all the catagories? I feel like this is screaming for a 50% into abilities, 25% into skills' type suggestion.
    Nah. My experience is that characters usually have 50-60% of their points in either abilities or powers, but that's just observations.

    As for the specifics...
    • Strength 8 is pretty strong for PL 5, which is sort of "highly trained professional. (SWAT officers and generic soldiers are both statted out at PL 5). Not really a problem though, apart from the trade-off
    • The trade-off. A standard melee attack inflicts Strength damage. Your character has Strength 8, so a punch would inflict Damage 8. Meaning that your close attack modifier would be maxed out at (PL 5*2)-8 = +2. Probably more than you wanted. At this point, your to-hit with an unspecified type of close attack is +12 (skill 9 + Fighting 3), which is over the cap even without damage.
    • Yes, a target hit by your claws would have to roll a DC 25 Toughness check to avoid harm, which is ridiculously hard at PL 5. (Heck, it's not easy at PL 10). Part of that is the assumption that you'll probably get hurt if you get hit, but most of it is that you've shifted all the way towards damage. As in, your to-hit roll will be +0.
    • Overlooking defenses is bad. Your toughness is, again, pretty dang high for the PL (8, meaning that your Dodge and Parry can only be 2), but no defenses doesn't make you a glass cannon so much as it makes you a liability. The game's real paradigms are "Brick" (you can hit me, but I can take it) and "Dodger" (you can't hit me, because I can't take it). Or, you know, balanced.


    Basically... not a bad first attempt, but you should go back and read the bit on PL limits again. It's the cornerstone of the game's balance.

    Hope you enjoy the system, though. I know I do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Major Works:
    • STaRS: The Simple Tabletop Roleplaying System; my attempt at a generic rules-light system.
    • Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 revisions-- houserules, class fixes, ban lists and more.
    • Chopping Down the Christmas Tree: Rules for low- or no-magic item games of 3.5.
    • D&D in M&M-- Balancing 3.5 by porting it lock, stock, and barrel into a more balanced system.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tengu_temp's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So I'm new to M&M. . . .

    I'm not a fan of the "roll for damage vs static toughness" houserule. It has less intuitive numbers than the normal rules, and it punishes PCs by taking control out of their hands when they get hit - rerolling toughness is one of the main uses for hero points! The "spend a HP to lower the effect of the damage by 1 step" houserule is just too weak to be worth anything.

    While Mecha and Manga is a 2e supplement (with lots of broken stuff, I must add, though most of that is not in the mecha section), I'd like to point out you can easily run a mecha game with just the core rules - just treat mecha as devices with Permanent Growth and other powers as required. You'll probably want to use +damage/-attack and +toughness/-defense tradeoffs.

    The point buy system is pretty much standard design at this point, from big RPGs only DND ever uses dice during character creation anymore. It works fairly well, giving you good control over making precisely the character you want, and in M&M 3e most ability scores cost the same as the bonuses they provide bought separately anyway. However, the game can still be easily broken, so it's mandatory that the DM oversees character creation to make sure everyone is on more or less the same power level.

    As for your character: skills cost 1 pp for 2 ranks (4 ranks in 2e, because it has less generic and more specific skills). Total of damage+attack, after all modifiers, can't be above PL*2 (except for rare temporary effects that say they can exceed PL limits), and same with dodge and toughness. So if you have an attack bonus of +8 on PL 5, you can only have +2 damage with that attack total.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2012-09-18 at 11:40 AM.

    Siela Tempo by the talented Kasanip. Tengu by myself.
    Super Robot Wars Unification - large-scale mecha game, now running, always recruiting!
    Spoiler
    Show





  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: So I'm new to M&M. . . .

    Defences:

    Dodge is equal to your character's Agility
    Parry is equal to your character's Fighting
    Fortitude and Toughness equal your character's Stamina
    Will equals your character's Awareness

    Damage:
    Effect +15 or +10 if its an Affliction versus Toughness or the resistance specified in that power (so it could easily be Will or Dodge for that matter)

    Restrictions:
    Skill Modifier: Total modifier can't exceed the series power level +10
    Attack & Effect: Cannot exceed twice the series power level.
    If the attack allows a resistance check but does not require an attack check its effect rank cannot exceed the series power level.
    Dodge & Toughness: Total of these cannot exceed twice the series power level
    Parry & Toughness: Total of these cannot exceed twice the series power level
    Fortitude & Will: The total of these cannot exceed twice the series power level.

    So not Wolverine: PL5 (75pts)
    Spoiler
    Show
    Abilities:
    Str 8, Sta 8, Agl 1, Fgt 3, Int 0, Awe 2, Pre 3 = 50pts

    Powers:
    Claws: Strength based Damage 2 = 2pts

    Advantages:
    All-out attack, Animal Empathy, Assessment, Benefit (Ambidextrous), Chokehold, Diehard, Fearless, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Startle and Takedown = 11pts

    Skills:
    Athletics (6) +14, Close Combat/Unarmed (9) +12, Intimidation (9) +12 = 12pts

    Offence:
    Initiative +1
    Claws +12, Claw Damage 10
    Unarmed +12, Close Damage 8

    Defences:
    Dodge (0) +1, Parry (0) +3, Fortitude (0) +8, Toughness (0) +8, Will (0) +2 = 0pts

    Complications:
    ?

    So Abilities 50pts+ Powers 2pts+ Advantages 11pts+ Skills 12pts+ Defences 0pts for a total of 75pts

    Something like that?


    Out of curiosity whats the background for the campaign you're playing in?

    You could easily reduce Strength and stamina to add as points in Equipment or even add that as ranks in Penetrating and change your claws to Unarmed strikes ala Streetfighter.
    What kind of complications were you thinking of adding?
    Given you mentioned mecha would you be expected to have points in either piloting sorry Vehicles or repairs skills such as Technology and Expertise/ Science least of all theif skills such as Stealth?
    Last edited by Hopeless; 2012-09-22 at 02:06 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Yes, I have one.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: So I'm new to M&M. . . .

    Frankly, Mutants and Masterminds is a really easy system to break. As stated before, invisibility is one of the easy ways. Another of the easy ways is really high defense/toughness and attack/damage tradeoffs. I strongly recommend avoiding a tradeoff higher than +3/-3. Using +2/-2 is pretty reasonable, but high tradeoffs will result in enemies being able to hit or damage you or the like. Or you hit with every attack but enemies always resist your effects, which is frustrating.

    I only ever played in 2e, but I found that having a selection of different attacks and utility powers will make things a lot of fun. A rank of flight or teleportation, super hearing, something special. M&M is a system where it's really not necessary to spend all your points on combat effectiveness. Like Grod said, design the character first and the build second.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •