Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby digitalangel » Fri May 02, 2014 8:20 am

Monolith wrote:
HappyDaze wrote:I want to like 3e, but since I've owned it, I've played it exactly once and it wasn't really any improvement over 2e. OTOH, I had several dozen sessions of 2e that were quite enjoyable. I think my main issue with 3e is that I just didn't feel that the changes were a real improvement, and just breaking even isn't enough in my eyes for a new edition.

Well, as I said above, I like 3e because it's quicker and less complex then 2e. In 3e you have X rank strength so you can pick up something Y weight rank and throw it Z distance rank. Or if you fly X ranks of speed you can cover Y distance ranks in Z ranks of time. Things like that make it just quicker as long as you're not looking for hard-number accuracy. If you're someone who actually cares about tactical map combat and exact distances, weights, and so on then 2e is probably the better game for you.

I just find it odd that a game they worked so hard to streamline ended up going from 1 dex to 2 dex types, from 1 defense to 2 defense types, and so on. It seems like most of the game was streamlined for quicker play but then they decided to get all crunchy on how dex and defense work.


I agree with most of the points you make here Monolith. M&M in general is more streamlined than many systems I've played, and 3E did stream line the system even more in many ways. The streamlined approach is one of the reasons I like M&M in that it was an easy system to learn and to teach new players. There are still times I purposefully pull out much bulkier systems for games because the streamlining also loses some granularity.

The change in 3E to put everything in 1 chart makes life on both players and GMs much easier. They could have done the same thing and still done more granularity. As long as the multiplier from rank R to rank R+1 was the same for every value in the table the (X = Y - Z) still works. They apparently chose 2 as the multiplier for each rank for simplicity, and probably because it roughly lined up to what the 2E time and value table was at x5/ 2 ranks.

I think some of the people (myself included) think that the ranges are too broad and would have been happier with a smaller multiplier between ranks, but it is really easy to plug rank 0 across the board into an Excel sheet and then multiply or divide by whatever multiplier you want between ranks to produce a new chart as a house rule. Yes I've done it and played around with a few different values. No matter what in 2E or 3E you start dealing with some pretty wide ranges in the numbers at high ranks, there is just no availing that without completely rewriting that part of the mechanic into something much clunkier.

The splitting of defense into Dodge and Parry was already partially there in 2E since half of your defense (plus any dodge focus) was considered to be dodge and was lost when flat footed. Splitting these into seperate values for dodge and parry I think makes the difference easier to understand. Although it adds an additional value to the character, I think the seperation makes the difference easier to keep track of and easier to explain to players I have intorduced to the system. It also adds more flexibility in characters that can be good in close combat or ranged without necessarily wanting to put points into both depending on the concept.

Splitting up 2E DEX gives the same type of additional flexability to characters. A tinkerer needs high DEX to dealing with tools, but why do they need the AGL. An acrobat character needs the AGL, but unless there is something else in the concept may not care about DEX. The martial artist needs FGT and AGL but may not or may not care about DEX depending on the style you are modeling.

On an earlier topic in the thread, who cares if FGT values come from training or being a mutant predator animal from the point of mechanics? The same as 5 ranks in a skill could come from a natural gift in that area, or from schooling. The mechanic doesn't differentiate, that is what character background is for.

Does splitting up 2E's DEX into multiple stats lose some streamlining? That is probably a fair observation, but if you focus only on one aspect of the game you end up with D&D4 where they were so focused on class balance that they killed other parts of the mechanic to achieve it.

Even as a player (and most of my group) that enjoys tactical combat, there are still a lot of things in 3E that I recognise as improvements. If my group chooses to house rule some of the tactical combat rules or lost 2E feats like masterplan from 2E (or Pathfinder or wherever) then we have that choice. Who knows, GreenRonin may release optional tactical rules for 3E the way they did for 2E in the Mastermind's Manual. Honestly I was a little disappointed the the 3E MM didn't put them back.

Without using houserules, is 2E better for tactical players? I'd say yes, but not every group of players or characters is meant for tactical combat. For example, tactical combat is almost impossible to play with in a play by post, or even over Skype. For a campaign and characters not doing a lot of tactial combat (or for play by post) the only part of 3E that i do not think is an overall improvement is the bundling of the skills and nerfing Impervious a little too much (although I do agree that it needed some), and I admit that both of those are only personal preference.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Doresh » Fri May 02, 2014 9:05 am

Not to mention that tactical combat is kind of thrown out of the window if you have characters who can effectively be wherever they want or just blow through any obstacle. There are a lot of extreme variables in a superhero game.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Fri May 02, 2014 6:23 pm

Doresh wrote:Not to mention that tactical combat is kind of thrown out of the window if you have characters who can effectively be wherever they want or just blow through any obstacle. There are a lot of extreme variables in a superhero game.


That one is not exactly true Doresh.... The more I play & run games, the more I realise that the combat is actually more tactical in spite of the movement modes. An it boils down to the villain controlling the movement by using simple battlefield control & that means the GM needs to think like a villain. :twisted:

1. Even if you can be anywhere on the planet, there's only one place on the planet where the villain is at this time.
2. Control the entry points: If your villain is robbing a science lab for a mc guffin, wire the doors to explode, or better yet, wire hostages to explode if anyone comes through the doors.
3. Prepare a resistance against the specific heroes who are likely to attack.
4. Always have an escape route.
5. An if the villains goal is to get away with a magical mc guffin & he has the mc guffin in his hands, why would he stand around & slug it out with the heroes.

Battlefield control: Because once you stop having every villain encounter devolve into fisticuffs, the game gets a whole lot more tactical. :D
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Doresh » Sat May 03, 2014 1:08 am

That's not about tactical combat, that's the obstacles for trying to get into said combat.

If the actual combat starts (with maps and miniatures and all that stuff), I would argue that Supes and the Flash are a bit harder to stop than Batman.

(Which is fine by me because I don't think superheroe games would benefit much from attacks of opportunities and the other D&D stuff)

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby saint_matthew » Sat May 03, 2014 1:29 am

Doresh wrote:If the actual combat starts (with maps and miniatures and all that stuff), I would argue that Supes and the Flash are a bit harder to stop than Batman


Which would actually be wrong: If you are committing a crime in Metropolis you invest in magic defences & doo-hickies, or pull the same trick Batman did in his John Byrne version of Batman meeting Superman for the first time. If tis the flash, you invest heavily in dazzle trap effects. Tactical play occurs when villains don't act moronically & when you as the GM put in the effort to make a scenario legitimately challenging as well as fun. You can't really blame the system for not being tactical, if the failure to be tactical was caused by the GM: 3E is as tactical as you as the GM want to make it or choose not to make it if that's your preference. :D
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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Doresh » Sat May 03, 2014 1:51 am

But is this really tactical, or "just" genre emulation :mrgreen: ?

You know, I kinda miss GM advices like "Imagine you were a producer/editor/whatever of this show/comic and do exciting stuff that would increases ratings/sales!" as seen in Mekton Zeta.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Stigger » Sat May 03, 2014 7:36 am

Monolith wrote:
Stigger wrote:I'd know I'd be more surprised if they weren't paying at least some attention to what was being said on their forums, and reacting accordingly when they felt it had some merit. As others have said, I'd think that a lot of companies who bothered to maintain forums would make use of the resource they're making available.

I'm not saying they don't pay attention to the forum. I'm saying there are have been big topics of discussion on the forum over the years and there are non-issues of discussion. Impervious was an issue that generated hundreds of posts and house rules over the years so I can understand them changing it. But many of these other changes were not things which had hundreds of posts of discussion. The forum was not full of thread after thread of "obscure sucks as an effect and should be removed from the game" posts, and things like that. A lot of the changes were really random and about things that weren't hot topic issues on the forum.


The thing with big hot topics of discussion is that there is rarely any real consensus among a given community, simply polarized opinions that get more entrenched as page count goes up. So, were I a developer/designer, I'd avoid 'picking sides' as it were, barring a clear majority of opinion, and coming up with some alternative method of dealing with it that sidesteps what the various sides came up with. Having said that, I've noted a few random bits over on the D&D/FR boards that were seemingly throwaway comments and questions that later got incorporated into the game in some fashion. Were it not for my thinking that I was going to incorporate that rule interpretation or fluffy bit then I doubt I would have recalled that it had ever happened, so I'm pretty sure I've missed quite a few things I hadn't paid much attention to. Even if some discussion doesn't directly get into the game, a lot of them probably inspire ideas that aren't easily traced back to their origins without explanation.

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Re: Why is 3rd Edition so much better then 2nd Edition

Postby Dragonblade » Sun May 04, 2014 10:38 pm

FWIW, I LOVE 3e and actively dislike 2e. I felt 2e was an overcomplicated mess that lost a lot of the simplicity of 1e somewhere in translation. I still bought the books, because hey, I love M&M and Green Ronin, but I lost my enthusiasm for playing. 3e was like a breath of fresh air to me. It felt more like a true spiritual successor to 1e, but with the added benefit of the lessons learned from 2e.

I won't go into specifics, but generally I love 3e for the same reasons that others who like 3e do, and the things the 2e fans don't like about it, are things I do like about it. :wink: :mrgreen:


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