Misc. Questions

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Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:48 pm

I have tons of questions so I decided to compile them all into a single thread for convenience sake.

1) How would I go about building a power with the ability to summon guns? The concept is that the character has an endless stash of guns on their person (more than should be possible) and if one breaks, is lost, or runs out of bullets it's swapped for another easily.

2) Pre/postcognitive knowledge given via cell phone conversation or texts. The character is a time traveler who can go back in time a few hours to form a stable time loop. Regular precog powers don't seem to fit what I want for it.

3) Building a character of the concept of Gwendolyn from Odin Sphere. One of the spells she learns, her signature spell, is Shadow Ally, which summons a duplicate that follows her movements exactly and in the game giving a second attack. I know such a thing is highly reviled in M&M for it screws up the action economy so I'm looking for a way to capture the spirit of it. At first I thought Multi attack and a host of other modifiers to melee but it didn't really fit. My second idea is simply summoning a "shadow version" of the character with helper-like advantages. What I need to know is how would I handle the fact that it can't leave 5 feet from the character.

4) I have a character that plans to move around by Swinging from grappling hooks off high buildings and such. I was thinking of building the power as Flight: Limited to Swinging.

5) Let's say I have a very strong character and I have successfully grabbed some dude, what happens if I decide to use him as an improvised club to swat away another guy? Do I damage both guys, just one, neither?

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Arthur Eld » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:05 pm

1) This is just the Blast power. Depending on the nature of the guns, it could be an array of different Blasts, or even the Variable power.

2) I'm not sure I understand how this would work story wise, but in-game it would probably just be Precognition and Postcognition with the Limited Flaw, limited to information the subject can give themselves, I guess.

3) I built Gyendolyn years ago in 2E, and I decided to ignore most of her magic as being non-integral to the character. But if I had to do it, I would basically do it as Multiattack. In essence, all Shadow Ally does is let her do more damage. Multiattack does this. Or you could just give her enhanced Damage, but this could potentially break PL caps, depending.

4) There's been some debate about this and how it would work, but your idea seems as good as any. Another option I've seen people do is give a character a Speed effect, Limited to while Swinging.

5) Depending on how you do it, this could just be a matter of descriptors. For example if a character has Takedown and is punching his way through mooks, there's nothing to say you can't describe his successful efforts as picking up one guy and hitting another guy with him.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby JDRook » Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:26 pm

To expand on Arthur Eld's suggestions:

1) Having unlimited guns is mechanically identical to having a gun that never runs out of bullets and/or a gun built into your arm that can't be broken or disarmed. The simplest way to do this is buying it as a Blast (or Ranged Damage) effect with the descriptor of "unlimited guns". A regular Ranged Damage 5 gun (contextually a rifle or a very powerful handgun) bought as equipment would cost 10 equipment points, or equal to 2p, and would have all the limitations of equipment. Buying the gun as Blast 5 with absolutely no Flaws would cost 10p, but would never run out of ammo and could not be broken or disarmed (although it could be Nullified). For flavour and point saving, you could put a -1p Activation on it, so you need to take a Move action to pull a "fresh" gun whenever you need to, or you can just assume your PC is a quickdraw master, or the gun magically appears in his hand, or whatever. Always remember, the fewer Flaws on your power, the more latitude you have to do amazing things with it.

2) Short-term time-manipulation can be a royal pain to work with unless it's very specialized. Limited Pre/Postcog would probably cover some of it. A few uses of the Edit Scene option of Hero Points could be appropriate, too. Give a little more information on what you expect the power to do and I could make some better suggestions.

3) Multiattack, purchased with enough ranks to equal your highest rank attack, plus Variable Descriptor 2 to allow you to apply it to any "team" attack you could do with your Shadow Ally. (Pro tip - Multiattack bonuses are mechanically identical to team attack bonuses.) I'm not familiar with the character or power, so I couldn't comment further.

4) I am personally a huge fan of Swinging-as-Flight, but my preference is to make it a Complication, allowing for maneuverability and speed as good as any flyer as long as there's something to hook to. (Remember: less Flaws = more Awesome!) If you wanted to Limit it, you could make the Limit similar to Wings (which causes a loss of Flight if the wings {or in this case, grapple lines} are entangled) or Platform (knocked off the grapple line). Read the descriptions of those Flaws under Flight and decide if you like those or want to make a hybrid for a Swinging Flaw that is comparably limiting.

5) Pure descriptor of Takedown is the simplest route. Against a group of mooks, you roll your dice and take down several, then the description is your strong guy grabbing one by the ankles and swinging him around, knocking his buddies down like ninepins, or whatever your mind's eye conjures up. Doing this with non-minions isn't really common, but there is a section in the Strength Power Profile that gives details, specifically about throwing but that could easily be applied to close combat. Basically, if you want to wield one opponent as a club to be used effectively on other opponents, Grabbing the "club" is a Standard Action and (if successfully Grabbed) using him to hit someone else is another Standard Action (either next round or using Extra Effort), with Strength rank damage applied to both. The attack bonus would be an interesting question: I would expect it would be at least Fighting + Close Attack, but unless you bought Close Combat: Fistfuls of Foe, I don't know if I'd allow any more bonus than that. Another GM might allow Improvised Weapon to let you use your Unarmed bonus as well, but I already think that Advantage is unbalancing; it might depend on the situation and the tone of your game setting.
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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:14 pm

1) The character is based off of Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She pretty much has more fire power than most nations stashed away on her person at any given time. Variable seems the best fit.

2) As I said the character is a time traveler who can go back in time a few hours, as a frame of reference, think of it like having a time turner and a cell phone. She doesn't see the future but rather her future self occasionally calls her with vague warnings as to what's to come and occasionally helpful insight. It should also be noted again that the time travel makes a stable time loop, meaning that the future/past can't be changed without the PC getting eaten by Langoliers or something.

3) Multi-attack just doesn't have the same feel to it as double teaming the villain, also there's a lot of PP to be used to build it, as I was making it an AE off another power (~30PP). Said other power already had high multi-attack (Since I based it off of Oswald's Shadow Form). Mostly I'm just concerned the power is just a minion as a descriptor. What I went with:
Shadow Ally: Enhance Close Combat 5; Multi-Attack 10 Strength based Damage, Enhanced Reach 2, Improved crit. 2, Homing 1, Indirect 1, Enhance Advantage: Cunning Fighter, Enhanced Dodge & Parry 5(32pp)
Vs:
Shadow Ally: Heroic Controlled Summon 10, Unreliable (lasts 5 turns), Tiring, Mental Link, Sacrifice (32pp)

4) Builds that build swinging as just a 2 point movement power with speed limited to swinging and just didn't like it. I always figured it was for traveling thick under growth like the rain forest perhaps in factories. Basically moving around like a monkey rather than the free range of motion that is actual flight. I was using limited to swinging because it seemed to be just as limited if not moreso than Winged Flight as not only can the line be cut but also the fact that you need high rises (trees, sky-scrapers) which is going to be limited in the setting (Attack on Titan style verse).

5) Yeah that sounds good.

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6) Is it possible to be immune to death? Basically the character is cursed to live forever and regenerates. Immortality doesn't really work out since it only activates on death and then heals everything all at once when the timer sounds, and dying of bullet to the face or getting goomba stomped by giants will take the same amount of time. AE Effects won't work because if your dead you don't get free actions to switch. What I had in mind was power that essentially turns death into plain old incapacitation that is healed by the regeneration power, meaning it possible for him to get back up during the battle albeit while severely injured.

7) I had an idea of a character who could avoid death by the fact she can make perfect clones of herself. She of course needs to make the clone beforehand (Permanent Heroic Duplicate) so if there are no more clones then she just dies. The clone doesn't actually become the original, ie last memories and such don't transfer, the immortality is game-play only, just transferring the PC status from the dead character to her clone.

8) If a uses a lasso and can pull ticks with it how would I design the ability to grab and move objects with it? Functionally it would be identical to Tether feat for Create. Would I buy up all of his/her strength ranks in Move Object or would it be possible to make a strength based move object?

9) Can I add multi-attack to an affliciton? Like say rapid firing poison senbon? Would it even be useful under any circumstance? On a similar note, is it bad form to add multi attack to an effect that already hits PL caps?

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:23 pm

For (1), you might also consider a Power Loss Complication to handle having to have hands free (not a very common thing to have happen, but it could definitely impact them if they're carrying an unconscious teammate up a ladder or they're handcuffed.

For (2), there's the occasional build with a 1 PP Feature that specifically notes that use of a Hero Point gets them some helpful advice from the GM. Sometimes, the GM will also simply have your phone ring with advice, plot hooks, and complications, so it all balances out.

(6) Diehard lets you automatically stabilize when near death. You're still staggered/unconscious/etc, but not dying.

(7) I'd probably say Immortality with a +0 Flaw to model that you recover elsewhere without the last memories and such.

(8) A form of Elongation with limits can work for that too, turning it into a grappling attack.

(9) Yes. It would let you increase the effect if you passed the margin. And I've never had an issue with Multi-attack to bypass the cap.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby JDRook » Sat Nov 30, 2013 5:57 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:1) The character is based off of Homura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She pretty much has more fire power than most nations stashed away on her person at any given time. Variable seems the best fit.

Ah, so you didn't want an unlimited number of one type of gun, you wanted an unlimited number of every type of gun. Variable may be the simplest way to do it, but it would also be the most expensive.

Default Variable costs 7p/rank, and that requires a Standard Action to rearrange points, meaning one Standard Action to "make" the gun and a second Standard Action to attack with it. For +1 Full Extra, that can be a Move Action, so effectively the gun is "made" as a drawing maneuver and still allows an attack in the same round, but more often than not most people making this kind of Variable want it as a Free Action so they don't even have to think about it and can run and gun to their heart's content. That comes to 9p/rank with each rank giving 5 points to distribute. Now just think of the biggest, most expensive build gun you would expect your PC to have in her arsenal, and increase that cost by 80%; that's your Variable.

If you have the points and it fits your concept, that's all good. The Variable (All The Guns) could allow you to create any kind of Ranged Damage effect with any logical Extras you like (explosive areas, armor piercing, rapid fire, flamethrowers, etc), not to mention Affliction variants (tranquilizers, poison darts, netguns), and maybe even Weaken effects. There are just two issues that come up when using Variable for something like this:

Unlimited Options - considering the possibilities of what weapon you could pull out, and being able to change your mind every single turn can potentially overwhelm a player, which can slow down the game. Of course, familiarity with the system and a little preplanning can alleviate that issue, but leads inevitably to the other one
Not-Really-That-Many Options - once you work out a few configurations, you're bound to discover that there are relatively few that you keep going back to just because it's simpler than making a gun for every occasion. I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the time you would never need more than 3-5 different configs, which means instead of paying almost double the cost of your biggest gun, you could get almost the same functionality for the cost of the Big Gun plus a handful of AEs. And of course the 10% of special cases can be handled by a power stunt.
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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:09 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:(6) Diehard lets you automatically stabilize when near death. You're still staggered/unconscious/etc, but not dying.

(7) I'd probably say Immortality with a +0 Flaw to model that you recover elsewhere without the last memories and such.

6) But it only works once and only stablizes you on your next turn IIRC so just attacking his dying form again kills him. Could I perhaps buy off 2 ranks of it and just say it always works?

7) But her super power actually is making clones of herself. The idea was amoral assassin who seems to be everywhere, but is actually just a bunch of clones. I based it off of Kortik III of a manga called Alyosha, a child assassin who happened to have several (slightly inferior) clones whom she used as throw away assassins against the main character. It's not immortality mechanically, it's just transferring the PC status to one of her clones if the character just so happens to bite it while the power is active. I was thinking of handling it as a 1 point feature.
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10) I'm trying to make some builds based on characters from the Web Novel Worm. Unfortunately the powers don't really translate well to M&M, mostly because the way powers work in the 'verse seems to be like everyone bought the Auto success modifier.
10a) Clockblocker, can stop anyone or anything in time (random about from 10 seconds to 10 min.) at a touch. They become inviolable objects while Clockblocked.
10b) Flechette/Foil can turn any object into an unstoppable object, as in literally unstoppable since it exists on multiple dimensions. More importantly though; It also completely ignores powers, not nullifies but rather just acts as if the power didn't exist, she's used it to snipe two immortal characters (killing them) and cut through a literally unbreakable object (The skeleton of an Endbringer which is as dense as a black hole and Siberian who is inviolable to outside forces).
10c) Imp: Little girl who turns 100% unnoticeable to all 5 senses as well as causing everyone to be unable to recall her existence while her power is active.

11) I'm confused about insubstantial, namely what does and does not work while insubstantial. I know you have absent strength but what about if you have a weapon? What if you grab a weapon after turning insubstantial (requiring the Precise feat)? What about blast attacks, like a fire balls, throwing stars, or a gun?

12) Is there any reason to get ranks in Defensive roll rather than just buying sustained protection and giving it "Skill" as a descriptor?

13) Can advantages break through the PL cap? There was quite a bit of vagueness on a couple that could. Lets say we have a PC that meets PL in attack &defense with both All out Attack and Defensive Attack, using either would break PL by up to 2.5 levels for a pretty small charge of 1pp.

14) How is Knocking someone out of the way handled? Lets say that the PC "Basaka", who has 10~15 strength, wants to get some space from another character but for some reason can't just run away (let's say he's protecting someone). Basaka decides to grab a nearby I-beam and use it as an impromptu bat to smack the other guy away, the purpose being less to cause damage and more to just send him as far away as possible, how exactly does this work?

15) Can I limit movement powers to just in or outside of combat? For example The Speedster has non-flawed speed and can use them fully no mater the time or place, using his full 5 ranks of speed to go 900ft in 6 seconds or about 60 miles in an hour. The character Superball however can't use it to really sustain travel with his power but can give a short burst super speed repeatedly for combat encounters. Chariot happens to be the opposite, with his speed enhancing boots he can travel long distances fast but can't really use it in zoom quickly around during a fight.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:36 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:7) But her super power actually is making clones of herself. The idea was amoral assassin who seems to be everywhere, but is actually just a bunch of clones. I based it off of Kortik III of a manga called Alyosha, a child assassin who happened to have several (slightly inferior) clones whom she used as throw away assassins against the main character. It's not immortality mechanically, it's just transferring the PC status to one of her clones if the character just so happens to bite it while the power is active. I was thinking of handling it as a 1 point feature.

If the clones are outside of combat, what difference does it make in the end? Either way, you have someone who dies and then comes back. If your character summons clones within combat and wants to be able to transfer her consciousness to one of them upon death, 1E and 2E Duplication had an Extra called Survival that let you do that explicitly as well as a Power Feat, Sacrifice which let you spend an HP and retroactively decide that a clone had been hit by the shot (3E retains Sacrifice as a Flat Extra under Summon). Personally, I'd go for the Immortality route with the +0 for "shows up in another location, not necessarily a convenient one", with it being +1 if you do have more control over it. Seriously, it works better mechanically within the system. You're coming back to life a short time afterwards, undamaged. The showing up somewhere else is basically flavor.

-------------------------------
Squirrelly-sama wrote:10) I'm trying to make some builds based on characters from the Web Novel Worm. Unfortunately the powers don't really translate well to M&M, mostly because the way powers work in the 'verse seems to be like everyone bought the Auto success modifier.
10a) Clockblocker, can stop anyone or anything in time (random about from 10 seconds to 10 min.) at a touch. They become inviolable objects while Clockblocked.
10b) Flechette/Foil can turn any object into an unstoppable object, as in literally unstoppable since it exists on multiple dimensions. More importantly though; It also completely ignores powers, not nullifies but rather just acts as if the power didn't exist, she's used it to snipe two immortal characters (killing them) and cut through a literally unbreakable object (The skeleton of an Endbringer which is as dense as a black hole and Siberian who is inviolable to outside forces).
10c) Imp: Little girl who turns 100% unnoticeable to all 5 senses as well as causing everyone to be unable to recall her existence while her power is active.

Heh, reading through it myself. Yes, a number of the more dramatic usages just don't cut it in a game, particularly for some of the more universe-breaking powers. The last is essentially Concealment combined with some sort of constant compulsion for people to forget her, which is unsurprisingly expensive within the game since it essentially works as a "you can't target me" power. It could be done as an Affliction, but figuring out how to trigger it is tricky.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:11) I'm confused about insubstantial, namely what does and does not work while insubstantial. I know you have absent strength but what about if you have a weapon? What if you grab a weapon after turning insubstantial (requiring the Precise feat)? What about blast attacks, like a fire balls, throwing stars, or a gun?

When Insubstantial, only attacks with Affects Corporeal work (or possibly attacks against other Insubstantial people depending on the descriptor). So if you pick up a gun, it becomes just as out-of-phase as you and can't hurt anyone.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:12) Is there any reason to get ranks in Defensive roll rather than just buying sustained protection and giving it "Skill" as a descriptor?

Other than flavor, not really. Defensive Stance might increase Defensive Roll as well (there were some debates on it in the board based on phrasing). 2E let you use Defensive Roll in your Reflex (Dodge in 3E) saves at the cost of losing its usage for Toughness until your next turn, but with the nerfing of Evasion in 3E, that's seldom useful.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:13) Can advantages break through the PL cap? There was quite a bit of vagueness on a couple that could. Lets say we have a PC that meets PL in attack &defense with both All out Attack and Defensive Attack, using either would break PL by up to 2.5 levels for a pretty small charge of 1pp.

The answer to that is a bit mixed. There are a few advantages that let you break the caps by a small amount in certain circumstances such as Favored Environment or Favored Foe. Feats such as AoA and DA just shift your caps. For instance, using AoA at +4/-4 raises your PL by 2 offensively, but reduces your defensive PL by 2.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:14) How is Knocking someone out of the way handled? Lets say that the PC "Basaka", who has 10~15 strength, wants to get some space from another character but for some reason can't just run away (let's say he's protecting someone). Basaka decides to grab a nearby I-beam and use it as an impromptu bat to smack the other guy away, the purpose being less to cause damage and more to just send him as far away as possible, how exactly does this work?

By the book? You have to Power-Stunt it as Move Object. Most GMs will let you figure something else out using your environment, though. There are also some decent house-rules for trying to intentionally knock someone back, but that's house-rules.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:15) Can I limit movement powers to just in or outside of combat? For example The Speedster has non-flawed speed and can use them fully no mater the time or place, using his full 5 ranks of speed to go 900ft in 6 seconds or about 60 miles in an hour. The character Superball however can't use it to really sustain travel with his power but can give a short burst super speed repeatedly for combat encounters. Chariot happens to be the opposite, with his speed enhancing boots he can travel long distances fast but can't really use it in zoom quickly around during a fight.

*shrug* Seems reasonable to me. In cases where it generally doesn't matter about timing outside of combat, you might consider simply using Super-Movement to model the idea that they get to locations slightly faster than the speed of plot, kind of like how Space Travel is handled.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:22 pm

11) So if Mr.Inferno turns into a fire monster he still has to pay for fireballs to still affect things? Or if Dr.Robo can turn himself into a swarm of nanobots he still has to pay extra for his taser field to still be able to taze people?

12) It's just that Defensive roll offers nothing that isn't better handled as a sustained protection, it even lowers when vulnerable!

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Monolith » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:27 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:11) So if Mr.Inferno turns into a fire monster he still has to pay for fireballs to still affect things? Or if Dr.Robo can turn himself into a swarm of nanobots he still has to pay extra for his taser field to still be able to taze people?

Yes. In m&m you get what you buy/pay for. If you don't pay for it the only way to get it is via power stunting.

12) It's just that Defensive roll offers nothing that isn't better handled as a sustained protection, it even lowers when vulnerable!

Accept that defensive roll is invisible and sustained protection is quite visible.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:49 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:11) So if Mr.Inferno turns into a fire monster he still has to pay for fireballs to still affect things? Or if Dr.Robo can turn himself into a swarm of nanobots he still has to pay extra for his taser field to still be able to taze people?

Ah. I should clarify. Insubstantial 4 requires Affects Corporeal. 3 and below does not. Since you have no effective strength, you can't "wield" guns and the like, even if you picked them up before transforming. That latter may be up to GM call as to what happens.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:12) It's just that Defensive roll offers nothing that isn't better handled as a sustained protection, it even lowers when vulnerable!

Yeah. That's partly an artifact of them removing the other effect of Defensive Roll and partly that Defensive Roll has always been slightly inferior other than that it's considered Innate like all Advantages that aren't associated with powers. Technically speaking, unless you have Innate, someone with Nullify Protection Effects will get your guy with the Sustained Protection, even if he does claim it comes from skill and training, not a power source.

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:56 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Squirrelly-sama wrote:11) So if Mr.Inferno turns into a fire monster he still has to pay for fireballs to still affect things? Or if Dr.Robo can turn himself into a swarm of nanobots he still has to pay extra for his taser field to still be able to taze people?

Ah. I should clarify. Insubstantial 4 requires Affects Corporeal. 3 and below does not. Since you have no effective strength, you can't "wield" guns and the like, even if you picked them up before transforming. That latter may be up to GM call as to what happens.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:12) It's just that Defensive roll offers nothing that isn't better handled as a sustained protection, it even lowers when vulnerable!

Yeah. That's partly an artifact of them removing the other effect of Defensive Roll and partly that Defensive Roll has always been slightly inferior other than that it's considered Innate like all Advantages that aren't associated with powers. Technically speaking, unless you have Innate, someone with Nullify Protection Effects will get your guy with the Sustained Protection, even if he does claim it comes from skill and training, not a power source.

11) What about the Precise modifier? Will it allow guns to work normally?

12) So it's 1 extra point to make it not nulifiable (like a nulify protection power is all that common) and perhaps another to make it not noticeable?

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:42 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:11) What about the Precise modifier? Will it allow guns to work normally?

Ee... That's something that could be debated, I suppose. I think that if you did use Precise, you would be leaving a hand or limb not Insubstantial, which means that you could probably still be targeted, albeit possibly as a penalty. At the least, you'd lose your Immunity when it comes to things like Area Attacks.

I suppose my question would be, what are you specifically looking to do here? If you want the ability to occasionally pick up a weapon and make use of it, many GMs will allow the purchase of a "naked" extra to allow you to pre-pay for using equipment. An in-game case were some of the 2E Feats like Ricochet that let you add a version of Indirect to any weapon you picked up. So you could probably buy something that let you use equipment up to a certain bonus, but it's not strictly in the rules.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:12) So it's 1 extra point to make it not nulifiable (like a nulify protection power is all that common) and perhaps another to make it not noticeable?

Yes, you could probably go that route. Personally, I think the rules should be modified to make Defensive Roll more relevant (2E had a similar problem with the "Shield" power in Ultimate Power which was demonstrably worse than buying a Dodge Focus Feat).

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby Squirrelly-sama » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:14 pm

16) I'm having trouble understanding Subtle and noticeable. For example a character with sustained protection in the form of an enchanted bodysuit with Subtle, does this mean that no one notices he's wearing a body suit? Does it mean that they don't know that the suit gives a protection bonus? Does it mean that if the character got hit and didn't get hurt like they thought they won't think it's the bodysuit? Does it mean that they think he took more damage than he really did?

17) Innate Innateness. What I'm wondering is how to handle the following type of situation: Fixer is a normal man in a setting with a bunch of mutants and demons, he improves his chances with a modified (kevlar and steel) Heavy Jacket with super toughness that limits his mobility, one day he runs across another badass normal, Father Calvaros, who fights rogue demons and can use his church magic to nullify they protection, left vague since there are many ways the supernatural entities use their powers to protect themselves. Due to a misunderstanding they start a fight, Calvaros uses his church magic on Fixer to try and make him less tough, but Fixer's toughness comes from a normal equipment like device, am I supposed to think that Calvaros suddenly makes his jacket disappear? And if so does that mean Fixer automatically switchs to his alt: affect of higher Dodge/Parry and speed?

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Re: Misc. Questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:17 pm

Squirrelly-sama wrote:16) I'm having trouble understanding Subtle and noticeable. For example a character with sustained protection in the form of an enchanted bodysuit with Subtle, does this mean that no one notices he's wearing a body suit? Does it mean that they don't know that the suit gives a protection bonus? Does it mean that if the character got hit and didn't get hurt like they thought they won't think it's the bodysuit? Does it mean that they think he took more damage than he really did?

Frankly, part of the issue here is that Subtle (and Precise, for that matter) get used for a lot of different things for different situations and powers (Progression, too, but generally gets more clarification as to what's being enhanced). Sustained Protection is openly noticeable when on as something. It might be a glowing field. It might be armor plating. It might be a blur around them. Devices and Equipment, by themselves, are typically non-subtle in that you can see that the person is wearing a bodysuit, etc. It's assumed to be bulky enough to be spotted without something obviously concealing (i.e., you could probably hide a chain-mail suit or a bullet-proof vest under a trenchcoat, but you will have less luck when wearing a business suit). The effect itself is generally considered to be subtle past the device itself, at least if it's Permanent in nature (so you can spot that the guy is wearing plate armor, but its Protection effect doesn't glow. Subtle can be applied to powers, to hide their visible nature. Subtle can be applied to Devices to make them a bit more hideable (it's used for everything from vests slim enough to fit under tight clothing to palmable handguns to rifles that snap together from pieces of a crutch, again, kind of over-extending a single word).

In the case of a Device (or Equipment is such things are common in your universe), there are technically two levels of noticing going on if the effect is Sustained. The suit might be subtle (able to be hidden under clothing, for example), but the effect might still be manifesting itself, a golden glow over the skin or an audible humming sound perhaps. A Permanent effect would not have this (unless you bought the Noticeable drawback). In general, the results of a power vary greatly and it's really up to descriptor. Let's say that you see a guy with a golden halo around him and shoot him, hitting him, but he doesn't keel over. Is the golden field protecting him (Sustained effect)? Is he naturally tough (High Constitution or other Protection effect)? Did he turn slightly to let the bullet pass through a corner of his cape (Defensive Roll)? Did the bullet misfire and hit him with less than penetrating force or get stopped by the whiskey flask in his pocket (lucky 20 on the Toughness save)? All of them produce the same result, and the person describing the action may or may not give you clues as to what actually kept him from getting hurt. He might even have a Feature or an Illusion going on that lets him look undamaged even though he's actually bleeding to death from the gunshot wound.

On a side note, there are two different ways to interpret Subtle 1 (higher Notice check or specialized sense) as well as there being Subtle 2 (both conditions), and there's some disagreement on the boards whether Permanent effects have Subtle 1 or Subtle 2.

Squirrelly-sama wrote:17) Innate Innateness. What I'm wondering is how to handle the following type of situation: Fixer is a normal man in a setting with a bunch of mutants and demons, he improves his chances with a modified (kevlar and steel) Heavy Jacket with super toughness that limits his mobility, one day he runs across another badass normal, Father Calvaros, who fights rogue demons and can use his church magic to nullify they protection, left vague since there are many ways the supernatural entities use their powers to protect themselves. Due to a misunderstanding they start a fight, Calvaros uses his church magic on Fixer to try and make him less tough, but Fixer's toughness comes from a normal equipment like device, am I supposed to think that Calvaros suddenly makes his jacket disappear? And if so does that mean Fixer automatically switchs to his alt: affect of higher Dodge/Parry and speed?

Ah. This is the intersection of a few different discussions. First, whether most weapons are "innate" enough to be Nullified (Steve Kenson's ORQ answers have indicated that they can, and Equipment doesn't snap back into usage without a Repair check to replace blown-out/jammed components). Secondly, how broad to let Nullify work (many GMs around here suggest only allowing for narrower Nullifies so an effect only works on magic, only on mutants, etc). Lastly, depending on how the effect is built, that may change things. If the vest is built as an Array, or an Alternate power, the canonical answer is that nullifying one slot nullifies them all. That said, there's some disagreement when it comes to equipment. If nothing else, a straight reading of that rule applied to utility belts means that if you shoot Batman's batarang out of his hand, the rest of his utility belt gets disarmed as well. Containers can have individual effects Nullified (or have the Container power structure itself Nullified), so a vest which has a Protection effect, something else, and a drawback that his speed is capped while wearing it, then he'd lose the Protection, but not the extra weight that's holding him down, or the other effect.

Let's say that Father Calvaros can simply Nullify Protection of any sort. Yes, he can nullify the vest. The plates might go soft, or vanish. If Equipment, they'd have to have the Repair check. If it's a Device, it comes back after Father Calvaros stops Nullifying it. General consensus is that it is Noticeable that the effect goes away, so his vest might go limp as the inserts disappear, or sag as they become a liquid pooling at the bottom of their pouches. A Subtle protection, no one may notice that it went away. Just to cover an additional base, if Father Calvaros has Insidious on his Nullify, no one except Father Calvaros would know whether the power worked. It might make the plates suddenly insubstantial, or shifted to another dimension, such that they feel and look like they're still present, but bullets just punch right through.

Frankly, when it comes to Nullifying equipment, I think descriptors start becoming really important for deciding whether it works or not, and what the visible effects are, and the GM will have to exercise common sense in his rulings.


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