Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

This is the catch-all forum, for Mutants & Masterminds threads that you're not quite sure where to put.
Locked
cochramd
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:20 am

Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by cochramd »

Many times have we had discussions about destroying planets, but have looked at the planets as characters?

Let's take the Earth. Its diameter is approximately rank 21 distance. Let's err on the generous side and assume that it's made entirely of Titanium for a base toughness of 15. Following the rules for damaging inanimate objects, the Earth gets a 28 bonus from its size. That gives us a total toughness of 43. With a minimum toughness roll of 44, the minimum rank of the damage effect required to bruise the Earth is 30. Factoring the possibility of Multiattack and finishing attack, the minimum would be rank 20. The Deathstar, on the other hand, would be able to obliterate the Earth in one go no matter what it rolled and must have a damage rank of at least 63 (53 if we factor in Multiattack and Finishing Blow)

Now let's look at Mogo, the standard for living planets. He's a character, so to explain his great size he must have many ranks in growth. Assuming the default mass rank for characters is 1, then my calculations say that Mogo must have a whopping 77 ranks of growth (assuming he has a mass similar to Earth). With a minimum toughness roll of 78, only a damage effect of at least rank 64 could possibly bruise Mogo. If you factor in the possibility of Multiattack (but not a critical hit, as he's probably immune to them) then the minimum damage required is still an astounding rank 59, 54 if you have the fortune of getting a finishing attack in. Alternatively, if we calculate his Growth ranks by diameter, then he has an even greater toughness at 92! And this is all before the toughness increase he gets from being made of rock and metal (he also has a forcefield from being a green lantern, but that's irrelevant the point I'm about to make).

cochramd
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:20 am

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by cochramd »

Conclusions?

For planets of similar size, living planets are many magnitudes of order harder to destroy than non-living ones. A weapon that ordinarily annihilates Earth-like planets in a single blast (or barrage or what have you) will be unable to damage a living planet of similar size and composition unless they are they are seriously overengineered and even then they'll have trouble inflicting even minor devastation upon the planet.

Applications?

Eh, I don't see it coming up in any games I'll be playing in soon. But I'm sure someone will be able to use this.

JDRook
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1957
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:44 pm

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by JDRook »

cochramd wrote:living planets are many magnitudes of order harder to destroy than non-living ones.
That just fits genre. For narrative purposes, objects are usually far easier to destroy than characters, especially if those characters have names and backstories. Animate non-living objects like robots can fall between the cracks of that interpretation, but have the advantage of being easier to rebuild.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

My original characters thread (2e)
My League of Legends conversion thread (3e)
My Rules Musings in 3e

Mr Mole
Firebrand
Firebrand
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 9:33 am
Location: Washington (the state, not the district)

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by Mr Mole »

For the basics, see the sidebar (titled "Planet-Busting") on page 5 of Gadget Guide: Heavy Weapons. Steve Kenson shares his thoughts on what it might take to "destroy" an Earthlike planet. I won't copy-n-paste the details here, but he comes up with Damage 35 as having a good shot at damaging or destroying the Earth.

As for the differences between destroying living beings versus inanimate objects, I agree with JDRook about it being genre appropriate.

cochramd
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:20 am

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by cochramd »

I suppose it could be a genre convention thing....at the time it seemed to me like one of those unintended quirks of the system, like how in D&D you could hide yourself in someone's rectum if you had a high enough Acrobatics or whatever the skill was.

mirilion
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 69
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:18 am

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by mirilion »

How much does it take to "only" cause the destruction of everything on the surface? "Bruising" a planet might still destroy everything on top due to all sorts of disaster.

Mr Mole
Firebrand
Firebrand
Posts: 837
Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 9:33 am
Location: Washington (the state, not the district)

Re: Destroying Planets: Living vs Non-Living

Post by Mr Mole »

mirilion wrote: How much does it take to "only" cause the destruction of everything on the surface? "Bruising" a planet might still destroy everything on top due to all sorts of disaster.
The sidebar I mentioned above touches on this as well.

Locked