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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    I'm looking to make this a running thread based around my character that uses variable powers based through a rifle. My current pool is 20 variable points;

    earthquake shot: captain derp shoots a stony bullet into the ground creating a massive upheaval cracking the ground making it impassable (or at least hindering terrain)

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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    I'm... not sure exactly what your goal with this thread is, but... I'd caution you about the Variable rifle bullets thing-- this power looks like almost exactly what the book says not to use the effect for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hero's Handbook
    Keep in mind a Variable effect is not supposed to be “any effect I want.”


    And looking a little farther in the same sidebar,
    It's a cool idea, don't get me wrong. But you'll save yourself and your GM a lot of trouble by using an array instead of Variable.

    Magic Rifle-- Ranged Damage 10 (25 points)

    • Alternate Effect: Earthquake Shot-- Ranged Burst Area Affliction 10 (Dazed and Hindered, Stunned and Prone), Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude, Limited Degree, Extra Condition, Limited: Targets must be in contact with the ground.
    • Alternate Effect: Fireball Shot-- Ranged Burst Area Damage 10, Limited: no damage on a successful Dodge save
    • Alternate Effect: ???
    • Alternate Effect: ???
    • Alternate Effect: ???

    And, if you really feel the need, a second power like:
    Got the Answer Right up my Sleeve- Feature 3: free power stunt with Magic Rifle 3/session.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    So is there no way to design a hero that is effective in most situations? From what I've seen online comparing variable to arrays using an array is specifically to limit what your character can do. Is the ability to respond to a situation really that strong? (the limiters on my variable is that I cannot affect myself and if it doesn't make sense that any kind of gun could do this then I cannot)

    I've also bought into the reduced action to reaction speed (with my GM's approval to change attack types inbetween multi-attacks or takedown targets).

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    Yes, you can easily design a hero that is effective in most situations. However, being effective in most situations does not mean using Variable to literally do anything you want at the given time.

    Arrays are useful because they allow you to buy multiple powers relatively cheaply. They don't limit what you can do at all; they let you do more without having to buy all the powers at full price. You buy the first power at full price, and then each additional power in the Array only costs 1 point (but gets built at the full point total as the first power).

    So for example, you build an array. Power 1 costs 20 points. Power 2 costs 1 point, but can have up to 20 points of effects. Power 3 costs 1 point, but can have up to 20 points of effects. Thus, you get 60 points worth of abilities for only 22 points; the limiter is that you can only use one of those powers at a time.

    So in round 1 you could use Power 1, which for sake of example might be an area fire blast. However, maybe the enemy is immune to fire. In round 2 you can use Power 3, which might be an Affliction attack. You cannot use Power 1 and Power 3 at the same time (even if you have reduced action time) since they're in the same array, but you can switch them out each round so long as only 1 is active per round.

    Another good combo is to have 2 arrays, each themed for a particular effect. Array 1 might be "Magical Damaging Effects" while Array 2 might be "Magical Status Effects". If you pump the points into reducing their action time, like activating it as a move action instead of a standard action, you can use multiple arrays simultaneously. Thus, you could use an Area Fire Blast from Array 1 as a standard action, then use an Affliction from Array 2 if you build it to be used as a move action.

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Balance00 View Post
    So is there no way to design a hero that is effective in most situations? From what I've seen online comparing variable to arrays using an array is specifically to limit what your character can do. Is the ability to respond to a situation really that strong? (the limiters on my variable is that I cannot affect myself and if it doesn't make sense that any kind of gun could do this then I cannot)

    I've also bought into the reduced action to reaction speed (with my GM's approval to change attack types inbetween multi-attacks or takedown targets).
    Are you familiar with D&D? The most powerful classes in the game (wizard, cleric, druid, artificer, etc) are the most powerful specifically because of their ability to respond to any situation imaginable.

    M&M is not-- under normal circumstances-- a game that relies on having an exact counter for your opponent. You should be able to deal with a ranged attacker, or a flying foe. You should think about defense-shifted and toughness-shifted foes. You should think about having some out-of-combat utility (skills or powers which are useful for more than just hitting people-- create, transform, quickness, whatever). You need to have your PL caps maxed out. If you've got all that, you'll be fine.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    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
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    Mkay Matt, I think i see where your going and that makes good sense and then with power stunting I can use the random effects like quake or gating or to make someone else incorporeal?

    Is there a limit to the options I can put into an array?

    I'm running variable 4 - removable 1- distracting 1 - Action Reduced to Reaction costing me 32 pp (gives 20 points of flexibility)

    Array 1 Blast 5 = 10 points
    ~ Fireball (Area 1 blast 5= 15 points
    that alt power isn't legal with only blast 5.. is there a way to finagle it or?
    And with variable I could make that power.
    Also with variable i could change the dmg type (descriptor) at will. can i do that with an array?

    Also yes Grod I 4ed dnd.. and thats why im kinda at a loss for how to create a mutants and masterminds character.. its a far more complicated system because of all the options.. (i compare it to coding.. knowing all the base components and how to add them together to get what you want is harder than expected)

    And i don't know what you mean by defense and toughness shifted foes... i haven't ever played M&M before just getting this hero ready for my 1st session ever.

    And lastly I feel like my inexperience in this system is causing me to fall back on variable to cover my bases so I dont miss anything.. (none of the play group has ever played this system)

    So in overview i really just need someone to give me a solid tutorial on character building arrays and such ^_^ any takers? I have skype
    Last edited by Balance00; 2013-03-07 at 09:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    Ah, OK. I'm sorry about using jargon.

    The first thing to keep in mind about building an M&M character is concept first, powers later. In D&D you could say "I want to play a barbarian" and be halfway there. In M&M, you can't really say "I want to play a character with Create." Think of the kind of powers you want your character to have in non-game terms-- "I want full power over the electromagnetic spectrum!"

    Next up, I like to buy abilities. Keep in mind that a 3 or 4 are top-of-the-line for humans; anything over 5 is flat-out superhuman, whatever they say.

    Then, defenses. The five defenses (Dodge, Parry, Fortitude, Will, and Toughness) should all be raised so that the pairs (Dodge+Toughness, Parry+Toughness, and Fort+Will) add up to twice the power level-- the PL cap, as it's known. (PL = power level).

    The baseline for everything is power level. For a PL 10 character, that means you should be thinking about a Parry of 10, an attack roll of 10, a Damage effect of 10... if you move away from that baseline, having more of one paired trait than another-- say, Dodge and Parry 8 but Toughness 12-- you're shifted. (not sure if that's official terminology, but whatever). So yeah, that's what I was talking about.

    Then, powers. A power is made of one or more effects plus modifiers (extras and flaws). The coding analogy isn't bad here. Or maybe LEGO-- you're taking basic building blocks and making something with them. Luckily, the book tends to suggest extras that work well with effects, and explains how to use them.

    Now, arrays. Arrays are sets of Alternate Effects. An Alternate Effect costs one point, as Matticussama mentioned, but the power can use as many power points as the base power. So, for example, if we have:

    Magic Gun- Ranged Damage 10 (20 points)

    For a single point, I could purchase an Alternate Effect. That alternate effect can cost up to 20 power points if it was purchased on its own-- but, because it's an AE, it only costs one. The catch is that you can only use one alternate effect per round-- it's a free-action-once-per-round to switch. So, continuing the example, I might want a homing bullet.

    Homing Shot- Perception Ranged Damage 6

    Normally, that would cost 18 points. (Damage is 1/rank, Ranged makes it 2/rank, and Perception pushes it up to 3/rank). But, since 18<20, you can take it as an AE of the first power, and it'll only run you one point.

    Now.

    Mkay Matt, I think i see where your going and that makes good sense and then with power stunting I can use the random effects like quake or gating or to make someone else incorporeal?
    Absolutely!

    Is there a limit to the options I can put into an array?
    They must be related. A classic example is a set of trick bullets like you have here-- you can only fire one at a time, but they can do very different things. You might also have one power-- say, electrical generation-- that can be used in very different ways-- one lightning bolt, a shower of sparks, or a taser.

    Electric Fury- Ranged Damage 12 (24 points)
    • Ranged Damage 8, Multiattack (1 point)
    • Ranged Affliction 12 (Resisted and Overcome by Fort; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)


    Also, when planning an array, it's helpful to figure out the point costs of all the effects you want to put in it first, and then base it off the most expensive one.

    Is that helping?

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    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
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    That actually helps alot Grod! I think that'll i'm going to take some time and run some sample arrays to see if I can find a good one.. But now, some more questions!

    Can I come back later and increase the array of a power later?..
    As the game increases in PL can I re-scale an array? i.e. i get a power thats at pl 5... now were at pl10... is this array useless cause its still at pl5 standards or can i spend the extra points?

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Balance00 View Post
    Can I come back later and increase the array of a power later?..
    As the game increases in PL can I re-scale an array? i.e. i get a power thats at pl 5... now were at pl10... is this array useless cause its still at pl5 standards or can i spend the extra points?
    You can certainly spend more points on an existing power, buying extra ranks or adding modifiers or whatnot. That, in turn, lets you add to the alternate effects, yeah.

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
    A non-narrativeist, generic rules-light system, by me. Now officially released!

    Grod's Guide to Greatness
    A big book of player options for 5e, by me

    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
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Power translation in Mutants & Mastermins 3rd ed.

    I agree 100% with everything Grod_The_Giant said.

    Another good way to get a good mental image of an array is to think of Green Arrow (DC) or Hawkeye (Marvel). Their various trick arrows would all be under a single array; they have all sorts of different effects that their arrows can do, but they can only use 1 arrow at a time.

    So, for example, when dealing with energy blasts. You can build it Variable if you want, but IMO you're better off just building multiple energy blasts in a single Array. You can customize each to work in different situations.

    Example: Energy Blast Array:
    Power 1: Damage 5 + Area Burst. Good for dealing with large groups; you can of course add on other effects as you want.

    Power 2: Ranged Damage 4 + Multiattack + Penetrating. This would allow you to fire off multiple focused energy beams, so you don't have to worry about hitting allies if they're in melee. Penetrating allows you to ignore Impervious Resistance, so it is a good choice for enemies with heavy protection.

    By adding Variable onto the powers, you could give yourself some customization. For example, by adding Variable, you could alter Penetrating to Affects Insubstantial; that way, if you face ghosts, your powers can still work. However, Variable is best used in limited uses (like that) to change out the Modifiers of a power. Using it to completely change the power itself is generally frowned upon, depending upon the game.

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