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.