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    Default Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    I have been given the opportunity to potentially join in a game of Mutants and Masterminds at Power Level 10. I fear my summoning elderly fellow will be shot down, and am constructing an additional character in preparation for that moment.

    However, I am rather new to the system. I read over the two sourcebooks allowed in the campaign (to wit: the Core Rulebook and Ultimate Power) last night, and the Device power definitely speaks to me. Who doesn't love Robert Downey Junior?

    But I have a few questions about it. Can you use the power points the device offers for things like saves and ability scores? What of skills? Feats? Is there a limit to how many power points you can actually sink into the Device power? And perhaps most importantly, which powers are worthwhile to have, in the Device or otherwise? The idea of a flying radiation-spewing suit of armor is definitely appealing.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    You can use points on a Device to boost feats, skills, attributes, attack, defense, saves... pretty much all the basic stuff you could be buying on your character. What it technically all falls under varies (mostly just the Enhanced X power), but the costs work out to the same.

    There is no cap on ranks in Device based on your PL. In theory, you could put every single point your character has in to it, so long as when buying powers on it you respect the relevant PL limits for those specific expenses.

    In practice, it's not so much a good idea as practically mandatory to consult closely with your GM (and ideally other players too) when making a M&M character. The system is easily broken unless everyone is keeping on the same page. It's a bad idea to just make your character in isolation and then bring it to the table already complete. ...Of course, I think that's true of most systems, but it's especially true of M&M.

    For PL 10 I'd suggest making sure you have 10 each of attack, defense, and saves, and a rank 10 damage power. Then decide which aspects you're happy to reduce (e.g. increasing defense and reducing Toughness, or vice versa), consider what things you can put on the Device (look at the benchmarks; perhaps your character should just have average of "above-average normal human" base abilities and the rest are all on the Device?), and perhaps (if you're not looking for someone who contributes primarily by dishing out and taking damage in combat) lowball some abilities entirely - a summoner or buffer may need neither attack nor damage, for example.

    Corrosion and Disintegrate are excellent damaging powers, though Disintegrate is super expensive - it can be a good idea to combine them with flaws such as Distracting (you have less defense when using them) or Action (a full-round action to attack) or even Limited (though this can be quite a cheap ploy, but it makes for a good "finishing move" as an alternate to a normal attack). Strike + Drain Any gives you a 3-per-rank attack that can consistently deal damage and also act as Corrosion, or as a bunch of other useful debuffs. There are a few powers which are effective even with minimal ranks - for example, Obscure creates concealment, no saves, ifs, or buts (but having, say, only one rank in it both limits its range and makes it easy to Nullify). Boost is a great power which you will feel like a filthy, filthy worm for using to even a fraction of its potential, and which your GM is very likely to want to limit in any case - and it's still useful.

    Don't neglect feats, either. Move-by Action is very handy for giving you more freedom on the battlefield, especially if you have a movement mode faster than normal walking. All-out Attack and Power Attack combo well if you're not in much danger of being hit. Takedown Attack is great for just doing away with minions.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    The heroes, by contrivance, are unknown to one another. For that reason, trying to work with the other players can be exceedingly difficult -- thus why I'm branching out into the forums proper. Thank you very much for your response!

    For my summoner, he has Emotional Control and a few ranks in Transmute, without any that can actually cause damage. Then again, he has a manservant around with a bunch of guns, so it should balance out in that respect.

    You believe that having a damaging power is of the utmost importance, though? Corrosion would probably work for the notion I'm playing with now, although radiation control is definitely what I'd prefer to use if at all possible.

    You've given me a great deal to consider. Thank you again! I hope others will contribute with additional insight.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    You believe that having a damaging power is of the utmost importance, though? Corrosion would probably work for the notion I'm playing with now, although radiation control is definitely what I'd prefer to use if at all possible.

    You've given me a great deal to consider. Thank you again! I hope others will contribute with additional insight.
    Its not absolutely critical, but you need to have at least one attack power at full PL. This could very well be a Snare or another non-damaging power. That said, most characters that use those tend to have other damaging effects as well. Most fights are going to be done using Damage and resisted by Toughness. Other effects that target Will or Fortitude are fine but keep in mind that failed saves still apply penalties to Toughness.

    Keep in mind that many of the X Control powers are just flavoured variations of Ranged Damage effects. If you read Ultimate Power use that one for sure to build you powers, it is far more comprehensive that the core rules are in that regard.

    Corrosion and Disintegration are basically the same power, although Disintegration is ranged. The work by linking Weaken Toughness and Damage effects. So for one attack you lower the targets Toughness and then you deal damage which is resisted by the lowered Toughness. It is positively brutal
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    My secondary character, linked here, has radiation control as the basis for her power. She's also adept at speaking to people, at least those who are physically attracted to her, so that should provide things to do while not in combat. And her ability to teleport into anywhere, consume whatever valuables there are, and then leave without a trace ought to provide some interesting journeys.

    I believe I've understood both Linked and the Alternate Power features. Additional Effects is something I'm not entirely sure about. Can Radiation Control on its own provide Immunity: Radiation? Or is it a flavorful suggestion of how to explain it? As for linked, I'm hoping the Spirit of Entropy can drain someone's constitution with each radiation blast, and that the damage from it will bypass most regenerations. Hopefully that's what's happened!

    If the Diplomat is selected instead, he will have to rely on the attacks of his minions, I think. But this corrosive function is interesting... should I apply corrosion as an alternate power to the Radiation Control, or perhaps Matter Eater? If I can get, what's it called, Penetrating as well, I should be able to lower even Impervious toughness, shouldn't I? Or have I misunderstood how that works?

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    The heroes, by contrivance, are unknown to one another. For that reason, trying to work with the other players can be exceedingly difficult -- thus why I'm branching out into the forums proper.
    It's still a good idea to check with one another, or at least all be checking with the GM. You don't need perfect niche protection where everyone magically happens to do something no one else does, but it's a good idea to ensure people agree on what being "the best" or "just average" at any given thing corresponds to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    For my summoner, he has Emotional Control and a few ranks in Transmute, without any that can actually cause damage. Then again, he has a manservant around with a bunch of guns, so it should balance out in that respect.
    I'm not really familiar with the pros or cons of any of those offhand, but they should be reasonably viable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    You believe that having a damaging power is of the utmost importance, though?
    It's not of utmost importance, but it's hard to go wrong with a straightforward damage power. You can go with other approaches, but they may be situational based on the enemies you face or be nerfed by the GM (as many useful non-damaging powers ought to be). It's probably a good idea to have some way to deal damage, directly or otherwise, as a fallback.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    Additional Effects is something I'm not entirely sure about. Can Radiation Control on its own provide Immunity: Radiation? Or is it a flavorful suggestion of how to explain it?
    Just flavour. It's saying "if you're taking this power, then this other one may fit your theme and/or be readily justified as an alternate off it".
    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    As for linked, I'm hoping the Spirit of Entropy can drain someone's constitution with each radiation blast, and that the damage from it will bypass most regenerations. Hopefully that's what's happened!
    Radiation Control is 2/per rank. +Selective +Explosion -Action -Distracting keeps that the same, plus two power feats, which comes to 22 points total. Then Drain Constitution is 1/per, +1 Ranged -Action -Distracting makes it 1/2/per, which means it should cost 5 points for 10 ranks, not 10 points. I think maybe you want Drain to have +Explosion, too?

    Radiation Control appears to just be a different name for Blast, so this is essentially a roundabout way to take Corrosion via two separate powers so that it ends up costing less because you're doubling up on flaws (and targeting Constitution rather than Toughness). So yes - the Drain would require a Fortitude save first, which if failed would lower Toughness against the damage from the Radiation Control (and Fortitude against subsequent Drains, too). Do note, though, that Drain removes power points, not ranks, so draining the same number of PP from an ability score will only reduce linked saves by half as much as draining those PP from the save directly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glarx View Post
    If I can get, what's it called, Penetrating as well, I should be able to lower even Impervious toughness, shouldn't I? Or have I misunderstood how that works?
    You'd better check with your GM as to whether Impervious and Penetrating will be in the game (in many I've played, they're simply left out) and, if so, how much of an issue they'll be.

    Looking at this character, my chief piece of advice would be "think about how well or not she'll play with others in a group, and how much of a pain she may be to GM for". So long as she doesn't require challenges to be tailored to her, and she can cooperate with others rather than only being useful when acting alone, you should be fine.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    I am regrettably away from the source material, but I believe drain is 2 per? I may be wrong. And the book suggested drain constitution for radiation control. No chicanery was intended!

    I also made a mistake in saying her eating ability came off drain, when it ought to be radiation control. Would drain need explosive as well? I understood linked requiring the same range, and thus taking explosive on one would work with the other. I'll be able to check for certain once the books are returned to me.

    Entropy as you see her is for a slightly different game involving hammy villains, so her powers are designed for such a thing. Her regeneration and immunities would be tones back for the original campaign, and I'd lower mental shield so it would block all level-appropriate will saves.

    On radiation control: I believe the total is 22+the alternate features, but for alternate features it goes by the cost of the ranks, doesn't it? Or have I botched my sheet as well?

    Going back and doing the math, I appear to have 7 power points left for my device (30 to attributes, 4 to skills, 22 to radiation control, 1 to mind shield, 1 to matter eater, 1 to teleport, 10 to drain, 8 to comprehend languages, 11 to immunities) and 2 left over from basic existence (1 from Full Power, +2 from -Strength, +4 from -Con, 3 to Int, 4 to Wis, 1 to Immunity, 63 to Regeneration, 76 to device, 3 to Benefits, 3 to Attractive, 1 to Skill Mastery, 1 to Connected). I'm not entirely sure I know how that's happened... you were correct though, I hadn't amended Radiation Control to reflect the +2 from the power feats. I've changed that [and accounted for it in the calculations above] but I still appear to have a few points left over...

    Drain X is a 1-5 pp/rank move, and I think I selected the 2 pp/rank one, thinking I needed it for constitution damage. Is that not the case? I could add area to it, as you've said, and bypass my confusion on whether that's necessary legally.

    From my notes, I've deciphered that originally I had a linked Nauseate in the mix as well, but destroyed it. That accounts for some of the discrepancy in the necklace, but I'm unsure where I've forgotten to subtract 2 from 150 to account for the spare 2 in normal PL10 Power Points.

    Wait, no. Comprehend Languages is distracting as well, so that frees up another 4 from the necklace. I've got 11 spare points there. How'd that happen! There's a power feat (Progression) for teleport, so that means there's 10 spare points for the necklace. I'll subtract two ranks from Device, putting it to 17, and use the 8 remaining power points to increase her base scores a bit. That'll give me something to do for all 10 of the power points she apparently had left. Excellent.
    Last edited by Glarx; 2013-01-21 at 07:35 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Not sure if this would be a good spot to put this but just making a character for a friends game and wanted to know if the power works.
    I planned to use flight as an attack so I can force enemies into the air and slam them into the ground at super speed. Trying to see if this is possible but unsure as they don't have rules for it specifically.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalen View Post
    Not sure if this would be a good spot to put this but just making a character for a friends game and wanted to know if the power works.
    I planned to use flight as an attack so I can force enemies into the air and slam them into the ground at super speed. Trying to see if this is possible but unsure as they don't have rules for it specifically.
    If you want to fling enemies, you're better off taking a Trip effect and stacking lots of Knockback onto it. If you want an effect to fling enemies around, you want Telekinesis/Move Object or Super Strength (which are the same thing, just one has a Range extra). Slap Damaging on it and you're good to go as far as slamming them on the ground.

    If you just want to force people to fly away from you, then giving Flight the Attack extra and the Uncontrolled flaw will fling them for one round, but you'd have to take Power Control with the action stepped down to probably a Reaction (and Limited to Flight) instead of Uncontrolled so you can dictate where they go when you slap them with your Falcon Knee. But that's a roundabout way to go about it.
    "Scary magical hoodoo and technology are the same thing; their difference is merely one of cultural context." - Arthur C. Clarke (paraphrased)

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    If this was 3e, I'd say to use Move Object. Might 2e's version of telekinesis serve as an effective base? Or heck, a damage power with a specific fluff might also work.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2013-05-09 at 05:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    I was going to say "Gravity Control without the area effect", but that power is kinda broken. Better use Telekinesis - no need for Damaging even, just lift people, drop them and observe falling damage.

    The problem with modifying Flight is that even if you make it usable on others, THEY control it and not you. So you can't really make it an effective attack.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    I should have mentioned that I was using 2nd edition First.
    Reason I thought of using flight is it seems to have no limitations as an attack. Using flight as an attack should be no different as using teleport as one which in the 2nd edition book uses an example. From the example is states how the target of the attack has no control of where he gets teleported even though as in the same way as flight the power is given to him through and attack.
    The book caps what damage can be done by falling damage because after 200 ft. of drop a person would hit terminal velocity but with a high enough Flight rank I would drop an enemy at the speed of light which is much higher.
    Last edited by Phalen; 2013-05-09 at 06:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalen View Post
    The book caps what damage can be done by falling damage because after 200 ft. of drop a person would hit terminal velocity but with a high enough Flight rank I would drop an enemy at the speed of light which is much higher.
    You still won't be able to break save DC caps with it. If your power is an attack, you can't actually break the PL with it. This isn't that much different than Transform (Living People into Dead People), and is probably particularly iffy - if you're looking for a way to mechanically break the damage cap by working around it, you simply just can't do it. That doesn't mean it's still not an encounter-ender, though. It totally is >_>

    It should also be mentioned that if you slap Attack on a power, -you- also have no control over it. Teleport with Attack will potentially end a fight just as much as Flight with Attack will, but you have no idea how quickly they'll return.
    Last edited by hiryuu; 2013-05-09 at 08:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Here's what Ultimate Power has to say about using Flight as an Attack:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimate Power, p. 52
    In order to send an unwilling target “flying,” see the Move Object effect in this chapter and the Telekinesis power in the next chapter. These should be used rather than a Flight Attack effect, which is an unbalanced means of achieving similar results, since a high rank Flight Attack could send some- one flying into a wall or the ground at thousands of miles per hour!
    This is one of the things you're not really supposed to do, like giving yourself a free-action attack and making an infinite number of attacks per round, or constructing Mind Control attacks with the No Save and Continuous modifiers, or using Perception-range powers and accurate super-senses to pinpoint and destroy enemies from the safety of your volcano fortress/moon base/comfortable suburban home. Yes, the rules technically allow it, but that doesn't make it a good idea. M&M is written with the understanding that players shouldn't break the game (and GMs shouldn't let them).

    Move Object is a much better way to handle this kind of power in 2e; if all you can do is throw things violently, that probably qualifies you for the Limited flaw, which will save you points. Alternatively, make use of the Knockback extra and/or the Knockback power feat (both found in Ultimate Power) to send enemies flying backwards.
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2013-05-09 at 08:03 PM.
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    I see well I chose flight to try and do this cause originally I wanted to simply send people straight in the air and send them speeding into the ground but telekinesis only makes them move as fast as I could throw them which wasen't going to be much and gravity works with limited range so I could never send someone high enough as I intended.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Mutants and Masterminds, Second Edition Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Phalen View Post
    I see well I chose flight to try and do this cause originally I wanted to simply send people straight in the air and send them speeding into the ground but telekinesis only makes them move as fast as I could throw them which wasen't going to be much and gravity works with limited range so I could never send someone high enough as I intended.
    If you slap "Damaging" onto Move Object, you can describe people being flung as fast as you want. M&M is an effects-based system: you figure out what the end result is, then build for that. The end result you are looking for is "throw people really far and then slam them on the ground, hurting them," so Move Object with Damaging and either a Knockback or Trip tacked onto it is really what you are after.
    "Scary magical hoodoo and technology are the same thing; their difference is merely one of cultural context." - Arthur C. Clarke (paraphrased)

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