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20 Questions for the Professor

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20 Questions for the Professor

Postby RasmusM » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:10 am

Hello Everyone.

I have several questions regarding M&M 3rd edition rules. And i hope some of you may be able to answer them.

I certainly dont expect you to answer all of them, but rather than posting several threads with different questions i gather them at one place. I hope you dont get spooked away by that.

1) Do Objects have fort? Or are they naturally Fort immune? What happens when an object is hit by Weaken Toughness resisted by fortitude affects objects?

2) When someone is Visually Unaware are they blind (and therefore vulnerable)? If someone is caught in a smoke grenade is he considered blind? What happens when you are attacked by invisible opponent, are you vulnerable (as in blind)?

3) How does Defensive Roll, Defensive Attack and Toughness interact? If you are Sta4 Def roll6, and do a defensive attak -4 att +4 active defense. Is you Toughness 14 for that round?

4) How does Defensive Roll2 and Vulnerable interact? Do you lose all your bonus when vulnerable or only half?

5) Is Skill Mastery (Unarmed or Firearms) possible for routine attack checks in combat?

6) Does the power "Flurry" from Talent Power Profil work on linked powers?

7) Im a bit unsure how attacking a Defenseless target with a range power is handled. On p.17 you auto crit if you decide to roll your attack, on p. 193. you just hit routinely, but no crit if you choose to roll, and on p. 197 you crit as on page 17, but only with attacks at close range. Can you choose to roll to hit vs DC10 and autocrit with a ranged attack?

8) How does Elongation and Extra Limbs work in grapples? Do they modify to hit roll? The DC for the opponents resistance check? The DC for the opponents Escape check?

9) How do you handle a snare affliction resisted purely by dodge. Lets say you hit. Opponent resists your DC with his +10 dodge modifier. He fails with 1 degree and becomes vulnerable. At the end of his round he tries to escape and rolls another resistance check. This time he is vulnerable and uses a +5 modifier(10/2)? What happens when he is defenseless and therefore dodge 0. +0 to his resistance check?

I would like to thank anyone in advance, who answers some of these questions. I know its a handful.

Best regards
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Brianide » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:20 am

I'll take a couple of these.

3: Defensive Roll adds to your Toughness, provided you are aware of the attack. Defensive Attack subtracts from your attack and adds to your active defenses (Dodge and Parry). With Stamina 4 and Defensive Roll 6, you effectively have 10 Toughness. If you do a Defensive Attack with a tradeoff of 4, then your attack rolls are at a -4, and your Dodge and Parry get +4 for that round. It doesn't affect your Toughness.

4: Vulnerable affects your active defenses (Dodge and Parry). I don't think it messes with Defensive Roll. However, a Defenseless character probably couldn't use Defensive Roll.

5: That's a good question. By the strict rules, I would say yes, but that's effectively what a Perception Ranged Attack is, and that costs an extra point per rank, which is a lot more than just 1 point like this Advantage.

7: I'm not sure what the official ruling is, but I would allow it.

8: I don't think either of those modify the hit roll. I know Elongation increases the DC for opponents to escape.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Murkglow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:48 am

RasmusM wrote:1) Do Objects have fort? Or are they naturally Fort immune? What happens when an object is hit by Weaken Toughness resisted by fortitude affects objects?


Inanimate objects (like a rock) would naturally not have a Fort save and would be immune to fort effects, yes. If it was hit by a Weaken Toughness, Resisted by Fort but with the Affects Objects extra then it would loss Toughness equal to the rank of the Weaken effect (perhaps weakening, damaging, or destroying it). A living object (like a tree) however probably does have a Fort resistance and would thus resist normally.

RasmusM wrote:2) When someone is Visually Unaware are they blind (and therefore vulnerable)? If someone is caught in a smoke grenade is he considered blind? What happens when you are attacked by invisible opponent, are you vulnerable (as in blind)?


Being Visually Unaware does make your vision "poor/blind" (though not the Blind Condition, these are not the same things) however that does not necessarily make you Vulnerable. To be Vulnerable you must be "Surprised" (or have an effect/condition that straight out makes you vulnerable). Being Visually Unaware would mean that everything has Total Concealment from you (assuming you lack another accurate sense). Smoke grenades work depending on how you build them but generally they also cause things to have total concealment. Finally, no again you must be "surprised" to be vulnerable to an invisible enemy. If you are aware that they are there (you just can't see them) I don't believe that counts as "surprised" normally.

RasmusM wrote:3) How does Defensive Roll, Defensive Attack and Toughness interact? If you are Sta4 Def roll6, and do a defensive attak -4 att +4 active defense. Is you Toughness 14 for that round?


I don't believe so. Defensive Attack clearly calls out Dodge/Parry in its effect and Defensive Roll only works "similarly" to Active Defenses, that doesn't make it one.

RasmusM wrote:4) How does Defensive Roll2 and Vulnerable interact? Do you lose all your bonus when vulnerable or only half?


All. Though personally I feel Vulnerable should only do half.

RasmusM wrote:5) Is Skill Mastery (Unarmed or Firearms) possible for routine attack checks in combat?


No. This was confirmed back when the book came out. Skill Mastery (Attack skills) would let you make them as routine checks for various actions (say Green Arrow shooting a button on the other side of the room with his bow or taking part in an archery competition) but it would not let him routinely attack enemies.

RasmusM wrote:6) Does the power "Flurry" from Talent Power Profil work on linked powers?


I assume "Flurry" is Multiattack, in which case you would need to buy Multiattack on each side of a Linked power if you were to Multiattack with both.

RasmusM wrote:7) Im a bit unsure how attacking a Defenseless target with a range power is handled. On p.17 you auto crit if you decide to roll your attack, on p. 193. you just hit routinely, but no crit if you choose to roll, and on p. 197 you crit as on page 17, but only with attacks at close range. Can you choose to roll to hit vs DC10 and autocrit with a ranged attack?


You have the choice between getting to attack routinely or rolling vs 10 and getting a crit. Strictly speaking it must be at close range but you can use a ranged attack in close and get the crit.

RasmusM wrote:8) How does Elongation and Extra Limbs work in grapples? Do they modify to hit roll? The DC for the opponents resistance check? The DC for the opponents Escape check?


Elongation gives a bonus to the Grab DC (same as Strength for example) limited by PL, it does not effect your accuracy however. Extra Limbs is the same but the bonus (if you apply all your limbs to the target) is not limited by PL (up to a +5). And yes this would also effect their ability to escape.

RasmusM wrote:9) How do you handle a snare affliction resisted purely by dodge. Lets say you hit. Opponent resists your DC with his +10 dodge modifier. He fails with 1 degree and becomes vulnerable. At the end of his round he tries to escape and rolls another resistance check. This time he is vulnerable and uses a +5 modifier(10/2)? What happens when he is defenseless and therefore dodge 0. +0 to his resistance check?


Yes, most likely. That's probably why the resistance checks for Snare aren't all base off Dodge, after the first one they are usually based off Damage.

Anyway, those are just my takes on the questions. As with alot of things with this game, your GM is really the final say on what works and doesn't work (and how) in thier games.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby RasmusM » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:24 am

Hello Brianide and Murkglow.

Thank you both for taking the time to answer these questions.

As bonus info i can explain that i am preparing to GM M&M 3rd edition for some friends, and i know that a couple of them can easily fall into min/maxing and various rule-queries. So i preparing for these situations with good reasonable arguments. Which usually makes for a good gaming atmosphere.
In the end i might resort to a flat GM decision, but i would rather avoid it.

I have a couple of follow up questions:
1) If an inanimate object is hit and has to make a fortitude check. Does it have a -5 Fort check then? Or does it just fail fully automatically. (I think that is what your telling me.)
If its immune to fort effects? Is it still affected by a fortitude targeting weaken effect affecting objects?

2) Im a bit confused. Blind confers vulnerable, full concealment etc. (Condition listed at p. 19 Heroes Handbook) If visually Unaware does not make you blind, then what does?
And it would make good sense for 3rd degree affliction "visually unaware" to also make the target vulnerable apart from the -5 to checks requiring sight, that the 2nd degree visually disabled allready give.
However if one of my players throw down a smoke grenade it seems very over the top to make enemies inside "blind". Is it just a GM call, or am i missing something?

3) Defensive Roll (p 83 Heroes Handbook) states:
"You receive a bonus to your Toughness equal to your advantage rank, but it is considered an active defense similar to Dodge and Parry (see Active Defenses in the Abilities chapter), so you lose this bonus whenever you are vulnerable or defenseless."

Both Defensive Attack and All-Out Attack mention:
"and add the same number (up to +2) to your active defenses (Dodge and Parry)."

It seems to me that DA and AA would add to or subract from Defensive roll as well as dodge and parry?

6)
From Talent Power Profile:
"Flurry: Multiattack, Variable Descriptor 2 (any attack effect you wield, only up to the attack’s rank) • 2 points +1 point per rank."
Description: "You can launch a virtual whirlwind of attacks against your foes, applying the Multiattack modifier to your attack, up to the rank of the modifier or the attack, whichever is lower. Therefore with 3 ranks in flurry, you can Multiattack with a light pistol (Damage 3) even though it is normally not capable of Multiattack fire. If you only flurry with a subset of attacks—such as guns or melee weapons— reduce the Variable Descriptor modifier to 1 rank."

From Linked p 142 Heroes handbook
"This modifier applies to two or more effects, linking them together so they only work in conjunction as one."

Im sure some of my players will argue that due to linking "they .. work .. as one" Therefore considered an attack (with one attack roll), therefore subject to "Flurry".

However this would mean that they "save" PP for 1 purchase of Multiattack that they would normally buy otherwise.
What am i missing here?
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Monolith » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:20 pm

RasmusM wrote:1) If an inanimate object is hit and has to make a fortitude check. Does it have a -5 Fort check then? Or does it just fail fully automatically. (I think that is what your telling me.)
If its immune to fort effects? Is it still affected by a fortitude targeting weaken effect affecting objects?

Inanimate objects are fort immune unless the attack has the affects objects extra. If the attack has affects objects then the inanimate object automatically fails to the maximum amount. If you have weaken 10, affects objects, and attack a rock the rock automatically loses 10 points.

2) Im a bit confused. Blind confers vulnerable, full concealment etc. (Condition listed at p. 19 Heroes Handbook) If visually Unaware does not make you blind, then what does?
And it would make good sense for 3rd degree affliction "visually unaware" to also make the target vulnerable apart from the -5 to checks requiring sight, that the 2nd degree visually disabled allready give.
However if one of my players throw down a smoke grenade it seems very over the top to make enemies inside "blind". Is it just a GM call, or am i missing something?

I have a feeling that unaware is supposed to represent blind, but it's not stated in the book. I think that's just one of many issues with the 3e rules. The only other way to simulate blind would be to have an affliction with multiple conditions: unaware, vulnerable, and so on.

3) Defensive Roll (p 83 Heroes Handbook) states:
"You receive a bonus to your Toughness equal to your advantage rank, but it is considered an active defense similar to Dodge and Parry (see Active Defenses in the Abilities chapter), so you lose this bonus whenever you are vulnerable or defenseless."

Both Defensive Attack and All-Out Attack mention:
"and add the same number (up to +2) to your active defenses (Dodge and Parry)."

It seems to me that DA and AA would add to or subract from Defensive roll as well as dodge and parry?

They should be able to work as long as they're active defenses. If you're in a condition where you lose access to your active defenses then you couldn't include defensive roll in the tradeoff. Otherwise you should be fine.

6)
From Talent Power Profile:
"Flurry: Multiattack, Variable Descriptor 2 (any attack effect you wield, only up to the attack’s rank) • 2 points +1 point per rank."
Description: "You can launch a virtual whirlwind of attacks against your foes, applying the Multiattack modifier to your attack, up to the rank of the modifier or the attack, whichever is lower. Therefore with 3 ranks in flurry, you can Multiattack with a light pistol (Damage 3) even though it is normally not capable of Multiattack fire. If you only flurry with a subset of attacks—such as guns or melee weapons— reduce the Variable Descriptor modifier to 1 rank."

From Linked p 142 Heroes handbook
"This modifier applies to two or more effects, linking them together so they only work in conjunction as one."

Im sure some of my players will argue that due to linking "they .. work .. as one" Therefore considered an attack (with one attack roll), therefore subject to "Flurry".

However this would mean that they "save" PP for 1 purchase of Multiattack that they would normally buy otherwise.
What am i missing here?

This part is complicated because m&m is built around the lines of not getting powers for free. In 2e Steve Kenson was very clear on the idea that any extras needed to be added to every effect linked if you wanted those affects to have the extra. If you had damage 10, area linked to affliction 10 you needed to pay the points for the area extra on affliction too because it's just 2 parts of 1 power. Otherwise the damage was area and the affliction was single target. No matter how you looked at linked, it's still many different effects making 1 power, and all of the bonuses for those affects need to be paid for. You don't get free points in m&m.

The flurry ability wasn't designed to work for someone who had a power made from 3 different linked effects. It's just a special effect to show that someone can do something really cool with a relatively normal item. The guy can pick up a gun and do multiattack; or he can pick up a sword and do multiattack. If someone wants to use his stunning lazer/taser/net stick and throw flurry on top if it the gm should require the player to pay all the points for lazer, tazer, and net stick to have multiattack.

The most important rule in a point based game is that cool things cost points; and the more cool things you want to be extra cool means the more points you need to pay for it.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Murkglow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:40 pm

RasmusM wrote:1) If an inanimate object is hit and has to make a fortitude check. Does it have a -5 Fort check then? Or does it just fail fully automatically. (I think that is what your telling me.)
If its immune to fort effects? Is it still affected by a fortitude targeting weaken effect affecting objects?


As Monolith says, if it's immune (which most inanimate objects would be by default) then it automatically passes any fort check it needs to make. If you have Affects Object on the power however then that overrides the immunity and makes them fail the check by the maximum amount.

RasmusM wrote:2) Im a bit confused. Blind confers vulnerable, full concealment etc. (Condition listed at p. 19 Heroes Handbook) If visually Unaware does not make you blind, then what does?


Indeed, Unaware does not make you Blind (these are two separate conditions, in fact Blind actually lists Unaware in its subgrouping) by the rulebook. The actual "Blind" Condition can only be gotten via GM fiat, Complications, or the like. If you want to add it to the pool of 3rd degree affliction options though I don't think it would be a problem.

RasmusM wrote:And it would make good sense for 3rd degree affliction "visually unaware" to also make the target vulnerable apart from the -5 to checks requiring sight, that the 2nd degree visually disabled allready give.


Third degree Unaware doesn't just make them visually unaware, it makes them unaware with every sense. This has more effect then simply a -5 Disabled does. On top of a -5 to hit it also means they can't target the enemy without guessing which square they are in. They can't hear anything (which can have a number of uses) and heck they can't even feel anything (what effect exactly that has is hard to pin down but it seems like it could have some, making some effects count as Insidious perhaps?). Oh and if they have an exotic sense (Mental/Radio/Magic) it blocks that too. Also a 3rd Degree effect lasts a minute between resistance checks instead of 2nd Degree's every turn.

RasmusM wrote:However if one of my players throw down a smoke grenade it seems very over the top to make enemies inside "blind". Is it just a GM call, or am i missing something?


It is a GM's call but just to have an aside here, the way a standard smoke grenade is built in the book (Area Attack Concealment) wouldn't blind anyone, it would make them invisible. To "blind" someone (again not the Blind Condition, in this case I mean Visually Unaware) you would need Affliction. Just one way in which the basic build for smoke grenades doesn't actually work mechanically.

RasmusM wrote:3) Defensive Roll (p 83 Heroes Handbook) states:
"You receive a bonus to your Toughness equal to your advantage rank, but it is considered an active defense similar to Dodge and Parry (see Active Defenses in the Abilities chapter), so you lose this bonus whenever you are vulnerable or defenseless."

Both Defensive Attack and All-Out Attack mention:
"and add the same number (up to +2) to your active defenses (Dodge and Parry)."

It seems to me that DA and AA would add to or subract from Defensive roll as well as dodge and parry?


Again, it says similar to dodge/parry and Defensive attack calls out dodge/parry specifically as what it boosts. To me that means, while Defensive roll is "similar" to dodge/parry, it is not the same and does not gain this benefit. Of course that's just how I see it. You're free to do as you like.

RasmusM wrote:6)From Linked p 142 Heroes handbook
"This modifier applies to two or more effects, linking them together so they only work in conjunction as one."

Im sure some of my players will argue that due to linking "they .. work .. as one" Therefore considered an attack (with one attack roll), therefore subject to "Flurry".

However this would mean that they "save" PP for 1 purchase of Multiattack that they would normally buy otherwise.


Linked Attacks need to have both extras on both powers for them to both work the same way (both need to buy ranged for example), "Flurry" does not change this (as a side note I'm not a fan of Power Profiles and strongly caution you not to look to them for rules help or as an example of how the rules work, they have too many questionable or outright incorrect builds for me to make that recommendation. I would instead say to look at them as inspiration for ideas on how powers might be built).

RasmusM wrote:What am i missing here?


Not much really. There are many things in M&M that are simply unclear or left up to the GM (intentionally or not). More then any other rpg I've played the GM needs to have their own firm grasp on the idea that they have the final say in any situation (even the book talks about this). You should do what makes you feel comfortable, no matter what the book might or might not say.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby JDRook » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:56 pm

Murkglow wrote:
RasmusM wrote:2) Im a bit confused. Blind confers vulnerable, full concealment etc. (Condition listed at p. 19 Heroes Handbook) If visually Unaware does not make you blind, then what does?
Indeed, Unaware does not make you Blind (these are two separate conditions, in fact Blind actually lists Unaware in its subgrouping) by the rulebook. The actual "Blind" Condition can only be gotten via GM fiat, Complications, or the like. If you want to add it to the pool of 3rd degree affliction options though I don't think it would be a problem.

Murkglow is correct in that while you can have an Affliction that targets Visual senses and leaves them Impaired/Disabled/Unaware, there is no RAW way to inflict the Blind condition as described on p19 (Visually Unaware, Vulnerable and Hindered). There are a few ways to work with this:

- Use Blind as a 3rd Degree condition from an Affliction. While not a guaranteed fight-ender, it would be very effective in most cases and could arguably be described as Transformed (Blind).

- Stick with just Visually Unaware, but realize that a VU target is very easy to sneak up on in most cases, so anyone attacking with any intent toward stealth can easily catch a VU target offguard and therefore get a Surprised condition on them. Of course, Uncanny Dodge, Danger Sense, and/or other Accurate Senses would counter that.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby RasmusM » Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:34 pm

Thank you for all the feedback Everyone.

To do a summary of answers so far:
1) If Objects are hit by weaken tough affecting objects effect. They automatically fail their roll with the maximum possible.

2) Visually Unaware is just that visually unaware, nothing more. There seems no obvious way to inflict the "blind" condition in the rulebook. However it would be reasonable to add it as a 3rd degree affliction (visually impaired, visually disabled, blind) as a houserule.

3) The arguments in the Heroes Handbook seems confusing and unclear. However it seems most play Defensive Roll as not part of active defenses (In the sense that it is included when doing AA or Def Att or the Defend action etc.)
The rules does seem a lot "cleaner" if you just make it clear that defensive roll is not affected by active defense altering maneuvers or advantages, except for vulnerable and defenseless of course.
If Defensive Roll was affected, the game would turn more defensive in nature, as AA would be much worse as it would decrease both dodge/parry & Toughness for a VERY vulnerable character, but also make defensive attack much better increasing both dodge/parry and Toughness for a very defensive build.
All in all its probably not inteded for defensive roll to be altered that much.

4) You lose all Defensive Roll bonuses when vulnerable and or Defenseless.
It might be a good idea to add "your defensive roll is halved (rounded up), when vulnerable" as a houserule.

5) Skill Mastery (Combat Skill) does not give you the option to make routine attack rolls in combat.

6) "Flurry" does not work on linked powers. If you want multi-attack (or whatever) on your linked powers, you need to buy the Extra for all linked powers.

7) It seems the consensus is that when attacking with a ranged attack at range, you do a routine hit, but no crit. And at close range (with either ranged or close range attack), you can decide to roll instead of the routine hit and if you hit you automatically critically hit.
In effect p. 193 and p.197 in the Heroes Handbook are the core rules.

8 ) Elongation adds to the STR of the wielder (limited by PL), extra limbs add circumstance bonus to the wielders STR (therefore possibly exceeding PL)

9) Snare-type afflictions (or any affliction resisted by dodge initially) should always be resisted by another resistance check than dodge. See Snare (initially dodge, then damage) or cosmic grasp (initially dodge, then strength) which is found in the new cosmic power profile.
Any (initially dodge, then dodge) affliction should not be allowed as their are obviously broken, and not supported by the rules and examples.





A new clarifying question:
1) Weaken Toughness affecting objects. Would this mean that a Rank 1 Weaken Toughness affecting objects "cutting torch" with penetration1, can slowly but surely "cut" through an object loosing 1 toughness per round until breached? Or would the weaken affect only reduce the Toughness by 1 on the first round, and then do nothing?
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Murkglow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:00 am

RasmusM wrote:Any (initially dodge, then dodge) affliction should not be allowed as their are obviously broken, and not supported by the rules and examples.


I don't know about "obviously" broken, especially if the Affliction doesn't have Vulnerable/Defenseless in it then it's not really much of an issue at all. Still I probably wouldn't use Dodge/Dodge instead of Dodge/"something" very often, if only because it's hard to explain why their resistance after being afflicted is based of dodge.

RasmusM wrote:A new clarifying question:
1) Weaken Toughness affecting objects. Would this mean that a Rank 1 Weaken Toughness affecting objects "cutting torch" with penetration1, can slowly but surely "cut" through an object loosing 1 toughness per round until breached? Or would the weaken affect only reduce the Toughness by 1 on the first round, and then do nothing?


One then nothing. The Cutting Torch sample build in the book doesn't actually work very well.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Monolith » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:18 am

In regard to blind, the reason I think it's ambiguous with unaware is because of the various descriptions given in the books. An example of this is the dazzle power description, where it states under the cumulative section that 3rd degree "leaves the target blind." The blind reference is also used for things like flash-bangs in the equipment description.

I really don't think the line between visually unaware and blind is as thick as many want to believe. It's just another example of how the books are underwritten and confusing and telling us different things in different areas.
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Re: 20 Questions for the Professor

Postby Monolith » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:29 am

RasmusM wrote:3) The arguments in the Heroes Handbook seems confusing and unclear. However it seems most play Defensive Roll as not part of active defenses (In the sense that it is included when doing AA or Def Att or the Defend action etc.)
The rules does seem a lot "cleaner" if you just make it clear that defensive roll is not affected by active defense altering maneuvers or advantages, except for vulnerable and defenseless of course.
If Defensive Roll was affected, the game would turn more defensive in nature, as AA would be much worse as it would decrease both dodge/parry & Toughness for a VERY vulnerable character, but also make defensive attack much better increasing both dodge/parry and Toughness for a very defensive build.
All in all its probably not inteded for defensive roll to be altered that much.

I'm not real sure what the issue is here? Defensive roll adds a bonus to toughness, but only if you have access to active defenses. If you lose your active defenses you lose your toughness; and since no maneuver trades against toughness I'm not sure how you think AA or DA factor into it?

Defensive roll should probably be built as a power rather then an advantage: defensive roll: +x toughness, only when have active defenses, 1 point for 2 ranks. That would be a lot more consistent with the rules.
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