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Affliction underpowered?

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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Murkglow » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:51 am

Paragon wrote:I'm not speaking hypothetically; that's exactly the response I've seen on this board any number of times.


And we (those who don't find things the same as you do) are speaking hypothetically? If it's just down to "what we've seen" then obviously what I've seen does not mesh with what you've seen, here on these boards or in real life. Are there people who come to these boards convinced that afflictions are weak? Yes (though this is the first time I've ever heard anyone use your reasoning that it's GM Fiat's fault. Never before have I even heard this "problem" existed nor obviously have I ever seen it occur). At the same time I've had a number of people support/agree with me in threads I've responded to that argued the opposite (and obviously in my real life I have no problems with afflictions in my games). So what of any real meaning is being said here then?
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:03 am

Wait, I just thought of something regarding the "-1 to further saves" business:

Don't conditions stack?

Okay, the opponent could conceivably make their recovery save before you hit them with another one, but still it has to count for something.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby ronyon » Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:52 pm

I see most of this discussion framed as either or, but truthfully, I almost always use both at the same time.
A Fast Grab triggered Affliction is really cheap,flavorful, and devastating. The conditions imposed via the Grab do not generally stack with those created by the Affliction, but who cares? A Fatigued,Immobile and Vulnerable opponent is a good candidate for Power Attacks,either via Improved Grab, a teammate,a throw or perhaps using the opponent as an improvised weapon. A Defenseless, Immobile, Impaired and Exhausted opponent is really buggered.
Mind you, Fatigued and Exhausted are not very good,not even in combo, but they still are useful,and they fit the flavor of the character they were used with.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Paragon » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:57 pm

Murkglow wrote:
Paragon wrote:I'm not speaking hypothetically; that's exactly the response I've seen on this board any number of times.


And we (those who don't find things the same as you do) are speaking hypothetically? If it's just down to "what we've seen" then obviously what I've seen does not mesh with what you've seen, here on these boards or in real life.


You haven't seen people have this response to Afflictions and similar style attacks in 2e? Then bluntly, I think you haven't been paying attention.

If you're arguing it hasn't been the majority, I can believe that's what you've seen, but if you're arguing there haven't been plenty then I'll simply say I think you're quite wrong and leave it at that, since there's no functional way for either of us to prove our point.

Are there people who come to these boards convinced that afflictions are weak? Yes (though this is the first time I've ever heard anyone use your reasoning that it's GM Fiat's fault. Never before have I even heard this "problem" existed nor


Most people aren't going to bother to analyze why they've observed a problem; they're just going to note they've observed it. I don't think fiat and hero points are the only issue (and do remember its both; something being useless to NPCs isn't something everyone is going to ignore either), as there's nothing like the -1 cumulative element on Afflictions either, nor is there the benefit that there's extremely likely to be other cumulative damage coming in but not other afflictions that accumulate. But I'm not going to hesitate to suggest that fiat is a factor here, and if that offends you, so be it. It won't be the first time you've taken umbrage at something I've said, I doubt it'll be the last.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Paragon » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:59 pm

ronyon wrote:I see most of this discussion framed as either or, but truthfully, I almost always use both at the same time.


That, however, gets into the muddy question of linking, which is not likely the majority of cases when people are using Afflictions.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby ronyon » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:54 pm

Paragon wrote:
ronyon wrote:I see most of this discussion framed as either or, but truthfully, I almost always use both at the same time.


That, however, gets into the muddy question of linking, which is not likely the majority of cases when people are using Afflictions.



Well why not? Even if it just me softening up a villain for the team Powerhouse, using damage and afflictions together is a no brainer.
Maybe my crew just plays dirty or perhaps just to genre but be it the Fantastic Four playstyle or Spider Man by himself play style, Afflictions give combat options and are force multipliers. Plus if you limit what you are trying to do, they are dirt cheap add ons.
I suppose that they may be the target of Fiat, though that hasn't been my experience.
So is that why they are not used in conjunction with Damage? That they are already too damn good?
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:21 am

Paragon wrote:Edit: to elaborate on this, most players aren't going to care how well their Afflictions are going to work on weaker opponents; they're going to want them to work on their peers and the up-rev heavy hitters; and those are exactly the ones that, if this works early in the fight, the GM is going to want to keep around for a while.

The truth is, this is an area where most players and GMs are fundamentally at odds even when they don't think of it that way, because a GM is spending fiat to avoid anticlimax and to have a villain serve the purpose he's there to serve, where in the end, most players are perfectly happy to one-punch that villain out the gate. Even players who GM other times are often terrible about perspective on this. Given that they're going to perceive Afflictions (which are about doing specific things to the opponent) as useless because they often aren't going to do so, but people still think about damage largely in terms of building up for a fall.

As I said, its largely unavoidable; for Afflictions to do what they're supposed to do, they have to be strong enough that a GM who has a particular function a character is supposed to serve will want to prevent that fairly frequently, and every time that happens a player wonders why he took that power.

(This is another reason I long ago decided that for the most part open ended "fiats" was a bad design decision even though I understood why SK had made it.)

So then maybe the rule should be changed so that fiating only reduces the effect down one level rather than eliminating it. If you don't want the GM to be able to reduce a 1st degree away entirely that's when you can introduce -1s to Affliction.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby thaumonuclear » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:38 am

SilvercatMoonpaw wrote:So then maybe the rule should be changed so that fiating only reduces the effect down one level rather than eliminating it. If you don't want the GM to be able to reduce a 1st degree away entirely that's when you can introduce -1s to Affliction.


I don't think either of those need to be a rule, but good guidelines. But I can't imagine fiating away a Dazed result from damage so I don't see why anyone would fiat away a 1st degree Affliction result. If you manage to score a 3rd level Affliction on a major villain too early in a fight, you should be left with some effect (1st or 2nd degree)
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby SilvercatMoonpaw » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:59 am

Exactly my thinking.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:05 am

Dazed from damage and Dazed from an Affliction aren't quite the same thing; the former goes away after one round, while the latter doesn't (and since saves no longer degrade, depending on the save involved, this can last quite a while).
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:07 am

ronyon wrote:
Paragon wrote:
ronyon wrote:I see most of this discussion framed as either or, but truthfully, I almost always use both at the same time.


That, however, gets into the muddy question of linking, which is not likely the majority of cases when people are using Afflictions.



Well why not? Even if it just me softening up a villain for the team Powerhouse, using damage and afflictions together is a no brainer.


Because I don't really see much sign that linked attacks in general are the majority of cases, if for no other reason their cost. Beyond that, there are issues with the general balance of Linked attacks that muddy the discussion.
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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Quistar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:16 pm

James the True wrote:We've been playing Afflictions with a 15+ save and the only real problem we've encountered was if the Affliction had a Strength save to it - Super Bolos: Ranged Affliction 10 (Resisted by Dodge/Strength; Vulnerable, Defenceless), Cumulative, Limited Degree

It's almost impossible for a character without super strength to break out of it. You have to use a Hero Point on a bad Dodge save or you're screwed.

Otherwise it's been working out okay. Without the 15+ plus characters never seemed to get more than First Degrees, somewhat lessening their utility.

James the True


This is exactly my experience from running DCA the last two years. Affliction-based characters just couldn't do enough to warrant including them in fights. Of course, the PCs all relied heavily on Damage effects and had decent saves in short order. The 15+ save was my solution to the problem, and since it's applied to both PCs and NPCs it's at least a balanced approach. I just wish there was a way to get Herolab to use that as a programmed house rule.

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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Quistar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:23 pm

One thing I noticed is that the core Affliction effects, without modifiers, don't always work as effectively as I've seen the same effects do in the comic books themselves. The trick is to figure out how to simulate that without just using GM fiat.

DC Adventures Heroes & Villains Vol. 2 has a great example of this with the Psycho-Pirate and his Medusa Mask; you look at him and are his plaything emotionally. The game designers did this by giving him two Linked effects (summarized off the top of my head):

1) The Affliction for emotion control, Will resists, Cumulative of course, and:

2) A Weaken (Will) effect, limited to weakening Will only with regard to the Linked Affliction.

They both kick in simultaneously, so I wouldn't apply the Weaken result until after both effects resolve, but it means that if he doesn't get you in the first round, he'll almost certainly make it in the second round. And if he uses Extra Effort for an extra Standard Action, he's got you from the get-go. :twisted:

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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby James the True » Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:49 am

Quistar wrote:They both kick in simultaneously, so I wouldn't apply the Weaken result until after both effects resolve, but it means that if he doesn't get you in the first round, he'll almost certainly make it in the second round.


IIRC the effects resolve in whatever order you want so the Weaken would resolve before the Affliction if that's how you wanted to handle it.

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Re: Affliction underpowered?

Postby Monolith » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:38 am

Quistar wrote:They both kick in simultaneously, so I wouldn't apply the Weaken result until after both effects resolve, but it means that if he doesn't get you in the first round, he'll almost certainly make it in the second round. And if he uses Extra Effort for an extra Standard Action, he's got you from the get-go. :twisted:

Steve Kenson was very clear in the rules question forum that linked powers work in whatever order the buyer decides when creating them. That means you can stipulate that weaken happens before the damage roll even though they're linked. This was brought up due to how disintegration and corrosion were built in 2e: drain and damage. You get drain first, then make the damage check.
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