Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

This is the catch-all forum, for Mutants & Masterminds threads that you're not quite sure where to put.
User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:26 pm

You're absolutely right. Behind the scenes stuff: this episode was particularly difficult to edit as I was falling down on my rules lawyer duties, and I had to listen to myself being a bit more of a dick than was necessary, even for playing Travis. 

One of the things that ended up on the editing room floor -- in addition to some rules errors I was able to smooth over -- is a moment where I had fallen asleep; my schedule can be fairly erratic, and I was functioning on not nearly enough rest to be playing games.

Still, I'm glad you found the episode enjoyable, despite the problems.

User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:47 am

After an unforeseen delay, I'm happy to finally have been able to put up Episode 017 of Punching For Justice.

We talk about the Cybertech and Biotech Gadget Guides, go over the By Design short essays from the collected Power Profiles book, and then follow-up our previous episode with two gameplay examples of Skill Challenges in a new Danger Room segment.

Up now at punchingforjustice.com and soon on iTunes.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:15 am

@Kyle: Kyle is it safe to assume you really liked the new Mighty Avengers?
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:29 am

Yeah, it was pretty great. Greg Land's art isn't doing the book any favours, but the writing was solid.

However, I'd find a Mysterious Stranger™ in a pink and green knock-off Spider-Man costume with "Spider Hero" written across the the chest beating up aliens with nunchucks hilarious regardless of the rest of the book.

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:03 am

Kyle wrote:Yeah, it was pretty great. Greg Land's art isn't doing the book any favours, but the writing was solid.

However, I'd find a Mysterious Stranger™ in a pink and green knock-off Spider-Man costume with "Spider Hero" written across the the chest beating up aliens with nunchucks hilarious regardless of the rest of the book.


There we a couple of small things that annoyed me about it like the fact that its another needless Avengers book (becuase thats what the over saturated markets needs), the Greg Land artwork is to space hungry & i HATED how the infinity stuff got in the way of the getting all the characters into the book.

However i LOVED spectrums new look and code name & if they want to make the book about her i will not complain about that. We'll have to see how long it goes before Marvel cancels it, but i hope they don't... At least until it shows us what kind of book its going to try to be.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

User avatar
Sketchpad
Zealot
Zealot
Posts: 1361
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:17 am
Location: The Tundra known as Upstate NY
Contact:

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Sketchpad » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:56 am

I don't know why they didn't name the book Heroes for Hire, because it has that vibe. Or even Avengers: Heroes for Hire. ;)

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

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby JDRook » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:40 am

Kyle wrote:We talk about the Cybertech and Biotech Gadget Guides

Actually you talk about the Cybertech and Nanotech Guides. I'm hoping you made this mistake because you've already recorded the session when you talk about Biotech and it was high in your mind when you wrote the description. :)
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

User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:45 pm

saint_matthew wrote:There we a couple of small things that annoyed me about it like the fact that its another needless Avengers book (becuase thats what the over saturated markets needs), the Greg Land artwork is to space hungry & i HATED how the infinity stuff got in the way of the getting all the characters into the book.

If the book needs Avengers in the title to sell copies, I'm not going to begrudge Marvel that. It deserves the distinction more than AVENGERS ARENA or SECRET AVENGERS.

Also, the last line of the issue where Luke Cage stands up to the alien conqueror lady and says that if the only thing that would stop her invasion is the Avengers, than she's looking at them is pretty badass.

I just wish they hadn't made the Mighty bit look like graffiti in the logo. That's kinda embarrassing.

saint_matthew wrote:However i LOVED spectrums new look and code name & if they want to make the book about her i will not complain about that.

I think the change to Spectrum's hair is probably due to Land being unable to find enough photo reference for dreads, but I do like her new costume a lot.

saint_matthew wrote:We'll have to see how long it goes before Marvel cancels it, but i hope they don't... At least until it shows us what kind of book its going to try to be.

The anecdotal evidence I've heard from shop owners and workers says the book's doing pretty well. Hopefully that's across the board as opposed to limited to a few exceptions.

I still don't have high hopes for the title going past the first year, but if this issue is any indication of the level of quality, I'm on board until they shut the lights off.

User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:47 pm

JDRook wrote:
Kyle wrote:We talk about the Cybertech and Biotech Gadget Guides

Actually you talk about the Cybertech and Nanotech Guides. I'm hoping you made this mistake because you've already recorded the session when you talk about Biotech and it was high in your mind when you wrote the description. :)

Whoops! I was making notes about the Biotech Guide, but we haven't yet recorded that episode. This is what happens when I take weeks to edit a single episode and I upload really late [for me].

Thanks for pointing out the mistake.

User avatar
thaumonuclear
Comrade
Comrade
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:03 am
Location: The Vicinity of Earth
Contact:

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby thaumonuclear » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:07 am

I still don't quite get skill challenges.

Your Danger Room segment was a good example of skill use and non-combat action, but throwing the whole 5 successes before 3 failures on top seems arbitrary. Would Water Lilly have won if she made her 6 successes before she actually got to the Macguffin? Does it make sense to just skip over the escape from the base with your prize section?

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

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby JDRook » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:18 am

thaumonuclear wrote:Does it make sense to just skip over the escape from the base with your prize section?


It kind of fits in a narrative sense, like you would see in a comic book or maybe a montage in an action film or TV show. Water Lily leaps through the fan, crawls through the air ducts, distracts the guards, dodges the lasers and finally grabs the MacGuffin; jump-cut to next scene (or page), celebratory drinks or seething villain or something. It assumes that nothing else of consequence happens for her to get away, which while not strictly realistic does keep the game and story moving forward. The arbitrary limit of successes and failures makes it so the challenge has a set limit of "spotlight time" and also means the PCs need to be selective about what they do.

I've been in RPG situations where the GM is waiting to see if the PCs succeed or fail on a particular plot point and it can get to the point where the players start to meander, trying everything they can think of including going off on strange tangents and/or getting frustrated. Using a defined challenge sequence like that would certainly cut down on those moments, and seems in keeping with the faster paced style that M&M3e seems built to favour.
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

User avatar
thaumonuclear
Comrade
Comrade
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:03 am
Location: The Vicinity of Earth
Contact:

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby thaumonuclear » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:20 am

JDRook wrote:I've been in RPG situations where the GM is waiting to see if the PCs succeed or fail on a particular plot point and it can get to the point where the players start to meander, trying everything they can think of including going off on strange tangents and/or getting frustrated.


I don't know, I just see the going off on tangents thing could result in the PCs winning their 5 successes just investigating the security systems, plying employees for information at bars and never actually get to the point where they actually do the break in. (Though in that case I guess it could just be a quick montage as all their preparations work for a flawless cakewalk...)

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:25 pm

thaumonuclear wrote:
JDRook wrote:I've been in RPG situations where the GM is waiting to see if the PCs succeed or fail on a particular plot point and it can get to the point where the players start to meander, trying everything they can think of including going off on strange tangents and/or getting frustrated.


I don't know, I just see the going off on tangents thing could result in the PCs winning their 5 successes just investigating the security systems, plying employees for information at bars and never actually get to the point where they actually do the break in.


You used to see this in D&D 4E when it first came out. Skill challenges in which everyone took the easiest skill to use & in the end you'd have disarmed a trap by having a bard tell you about the accoustical qualities of a room, the barbarian would smash two chairs together & the sorcerer gave a stirring lecture on energy transference in a magical vaccum... An you'd just leave the rogue sitting there wondering why no one would just let him disarm the damn trap already, when suddenly the trap would be disarmed.

It was kind of silly.

But i'd say the instance in which it was used in one of the Emerald City Knights adventures was worse: No consequence for failure, no consequence for success, no reason to do it except for the GM shaming you for not doing it, even though it could be done better with a couple of seconds of actual legitimate face to face roleplaying rather than tedious dice rolling mechanics with no result.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

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

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby JDRook » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:07 pm

saint_matthew wrote:You used to see this in D&D 4E when it first came out. Skill challenges in which everyone took the easiest skill to use & in the end you'd have disarmed a trap by having a bard tell you about the accoustical qualities of a room, the barbarian would smash two chairs together & the sorcerer gave a stirring lecture on energy transference in a magical vaccum... An you'd just leave the rogue sitting there wondering why no one would just let him disarm the damn trap already, when suddenly the trap would be disarmed.

It was kind of silly.


That sounds like some bad GMing. If the GM sets up a challenge that's involved enough to require several successes, they should be able to limit skill checks to those that at least go in the right direction, narratively speaking, and not be essentially random acts. You've called the M&M ruleset a toolkit many times in the past, and I agree with that assessment, and I don't think the tools are to blame in the situation you describe.

I agree there should be some kind of consequences for success and failure, both of which can potentially move the story forward. I figure challenges can be used as "plot forks" that are resolved by skill and luck as opposed to player selection, avoiding the trap of players exploring every side path and trying every skill in their list in the hopes of triggering some plot. It's arguably a little railroad-y, and it's possible to do just as well with standard freeform roleplaying, but it seems like it would be a good tool to use occasionally if wielded properly.
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

User avatar
Kyle
Sidekick
Sidekick
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:38 pm
Location: Canada, eh?

Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:08 pm

thaumonuclear wrote:I still don't quite get skill challenges.

Your Danger Room segment was a good example of skill use and non-combat action, but throwing the whole 5 successes before 3 failures on top seems arbitrary. Would Water Lilly have won if she made her 6 successes before she actually got to the Macguffin? Does it make sense to just skip over the escape from the base with your prize section?

Now I'm concerned we're doing a really poor job of explaining skill challenges. Maybe it would have helped of we'd had our examples in the same episode as the discussion?

Part of running a skill challenge is determining what actions are appropriate to the challenge and which are not, and then advancing the encounter due to those actions.

So if Captain Stupendous were to sit around using his Expertise: French Cuisine skill to whip up a plate of crêpes, it's not going to progress his disarming a bomb, regardless of how tasty they might be. Similarly, when the players are engaging in actions in line with the skill challenge, the GM should be considering how to narratively get from the start to the finish, and providing results for successes that should move the characters towards their goal.

With the specific example of Water Lilly retrieving the stolen technology, obviously I can't speak for Dan -- and I have no idea if he thought past the skill challenge -- but what happens afterwards could be influenced by how successful she was. Perhaps she escapes back the way she entered with no problems. Maybe there's a fight at the end, but it's less difficult than it would have been if Water Lilly had triggered an alarm.

Skill challenges aren't meant to replace role-playing or regular skill usage, but are just an additional option for running structured non-combat encounters.


Return to “General M&M”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest