Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:22 am

JDRook wrote:That sounds like some bad GMing.


I'd like to be able to blame it on poor GMing, but that came from early official modules... There was another one that stuck out in my mind from early Living Realms 4E. It was bad enough that whoever designed this module essentially came up with a list of first level MMO fetch quests of the "get 20 wolf hound pelts" style of fetch quests. One of the fetch quests was to get into a dock yard sotrage area & recover some stolen goods.

Guess how they used Skil Checks for that one?

You'll never guess.

Its just to dumb.

THE ENTIRE ENCOUNTER!

Because apparently the idea of actually allowing players to choose there approach & attempt to execute it just sounded to challenging. Apparently having an encounter to break in, locate the goods & extricate them through trickery, stealth, combat, magic or roleplaying just wasn't as exciting as some random dice rolling... An what was worse, it was possible to complete the skill challenge by doing things only that had absolutely nothing to do with breaking in, finding the goods or extricating them.

An that came directly from an official adventure.
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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:29 am

I'm not sure why having the entire encounter be performed with Skill Checks is inherently dumb. I'll agree that it not being necessary for the Skills used to be related to the task being performed seems...misguided, but if the adventure provided good reason why the players might want to avoid combat or magic -- fear of attracting the city guard, or being noticed by a powerful wizard -- than why not have the encounter played out with Skill Checks?

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:56 am

Kyle wrote:I'm not sure why having the entire encounter be performed with Skill Checks is inherently dumb.


For exactly the same reason L.A Nor is a bad computer game... Because no matter how pretty something is, any system that smacks my hands away from the controls & says "okay, enough of you having fun, let me do the mechanical had lifting now while you watch" is a bad game mechanic.

Kyle wrote:if the adventure provided good reason why the players might want to avoid combat or magic -- fear of attracting the city guard, or being noticed by a powerful wizard -- than why not have the encounter played out with Skill Checks?


If players want to try a life without risk of city guards, or powerful wizards then that adventuring thing might not be for them... Maybe consider picking up some NPC classess levels, because risk is exactly what adventuring is about: If there was no risk there would be no need for adventurers.

That was one of the things 4E's designers did not get, the idea that if one cannot fail then suddenly there is no challenge & if there is no challenge there is no fun, no reason to play: The point of table top RPG's is to pit your mind & wit against those of your enemy.

An i'm sorry to be so crass about it, but thats been my experience with skill challenges: They are mindless dice rolling mechanics mostly invented for the short attention span crowd who loses interest if they aren't rolling dice once ever 30 seconds & being told "good job." Its the "participation award" of the RPG scene, in that it cheapens actual success by rolling for silly things.

The point of playing is playing.... Because one example gives us:

"hey guys you remember when we broke in to that place & stole those crates & you didn't realisethere were attack dogs & that one ripped your pants off... An then the city gaurd showed up & you were running around Waterdeep without any pants on, being chased by the city guard."

The other one gives us:

"Hey you remember that time we rolled # success before # failures... No me either."

EDIT: I wish i could say something nicer about Skill Challenges, but i can't. I find them to be a tool that has been over used mostly by lazy GM's & worse yet; lazy writers.
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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:22 am

That's fair, your experiance is going to colour your perceptions, but it's not universal. I quite fondly remember a chase through busy city streets that was conducted as a Skill Challenge, and one of my fellow d20 Radio hosts frequently brings up the Skill Challenge dance competition a GM ran for their group.

You're not going to recall every single encounter, but I see no reason why a skill challenge can't be as fun and memorable as any other aspect of the game.

Also 'L.A. Noir' was a bad game because it didn't teach you its mechanics.

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:30 pm

New episode is up! We talk about the Biotech and Alien Tech Gadget Guides, and are then joined by Jon Leitheusser to discuss the forthcoming Emerald City Slipcase.

Jon also let's us know what other M&M projects the Green Ronin team is working on, several of which have me very excited.

It's up now at punchingforjustice.com, and should be appearing on iTunes shortly.

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby JonL » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:34 pm

Thanks for having me on, guys!
Best regards,

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:43 pm

Thank you, Sir, for being on!

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby rickjthree » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:10 pm

Catching up. Awesome podcasts and I am obsessively hitting refresh waiting for Emerald City to go live.

Anyway, here's how I'd do The Madder Hulk Gets, the Stronger Hulk Gets without breaking PL limits.

Rage Strength 5 pts (All Out Attack, Power Attack, Power-Lifting 5. Limited: Power-Lifting, All-Out Attack and Power Attack must be used simultaneously at the same levels. Additionally, once he uses Rage Strength at a level, he can't use it at a lower level until he changes back to Banner.) Additionally, he's probably got some kind of "Temper" Complication on top of that.

So Hulk's usually rolling around with whatever his normal Strength and Defenses are. His player decides he's a little crabby, so he says "I'm using Rage Strength 1." Damage and Lifting Strength go up by one, and his defenses drop by one. The modifications to his attack rolls from PA and AAA cancel each other out. The fight goes on, and maybe the player bumps it up, maybe he doesn't. But he can't go back down until Hulk calms down and becomes Banner again.

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:03 pm

Thanks, Rick, I'm glad you're enjoying the podcast.

There are certainly ways to handle power boosts within the system. My contention is that the methods for doing so are a bit more unwieldy than in previous iterations of M&M, and that the official material for the system doesn't offer the best suggestions.

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby nosdaddy » Sat Oct 19, 2013 6:33 am

Kyle do you know if or when the Emerald City Knights playthrough will continue? I've been enjoying that series and would like to hear more from Sword Emperor, Flying Dragon, Henry Mayfield, and Nature Boy.
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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:27 pm

There will be another Emerald City Knights episode up hopefully within a week or so.

The problem is finding time to edit those episodes. I try to be a bit more loose with the actual play sessions than I am with the regular episodes, which means that for every hour you hear, I've spent only about two and a half hours editing. Considering how long the game sessions are, it's not an insignificant chunk of time, which I don't always have.

Not that I'm complaining. I would have bailed on the podcast a while ago if I didn't enjoy doing it.

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:18 am

Hey everyone, episode 019 is now up at punchingforjustice.com, and should soon be available on iTunes.

We go over the Installations and SpyTech Gadget Guides, then talk about campaign building basics. For the post show, we start off talking about 'Thor: The Dark World' and spill into expectations for the larger Marvel cinematic universe.

Cheers!

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Foreshadow » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:43 pm

rickjthree wrote:Catching up. Awesome podcasts and I am obsessively hitting refresh waiting for Emerald City to go live.

Anyway, here's how I'd do The Madder Hulk Gets, the Stronger Hulk Gets without breaking PL limits.

Rage Strength 5 pts (All Out Attack, Power Attack, Power-Lifting 5. Limited: Power-Lifting, All-Out Attack and Power Attack must be used simultaneously at the same levels. Additionally, once he uses Rage Strength at a level, he can't use it at a lower level until he changes back to Banner.) Additionally, he's probably got some kind of "Temper" Complication on top of that.

So Hulk's usually rolling around with whatever his normal Strength and Defenses are. His player decides he's a little crabby, so he says "I'm using Rage Strength 1." Damage and Lifting Strength go up by one, and his defenses drop by one. The modifications to his attack rolls from PA and AAA cancel each other out. The fight goes on, and maybe the player bumps it up, maybe he doesn't. But he can't go back down until Hulk calms down and becomes Banner again.


There is something like a Fades in 3e but not the reverse Build Up, which there should be yet if Fades is a flaw -1 pp/rank, then perhaps Build Up is a Quirk and thus ranked potentially. If you had Hulk built like that you could give him Quirk 5, Build Up so that for each rank you add it requires 1 round to build up to the maximum level and since you stated the Limited where he can't go back to a previous level. You essentially have a scalable flaw, its worth -5 to the power since it takes time to build up and you set it to 5 rounds. Since most combats won't go more than 15 rounds, it will have a real impact at the start of a fight and thus will be worth the points, y

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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby saint_matthew » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:05 am

rickjthree wrote:Catching up. Awesome podcasts and I am obsessively hitting refresh waiting for Emerald City to go live.

Anyway, here's how I'd do The Madder Hulk Gets, the Stronger Hulk Gets without breaking PL limits.

Rage Strength 5 pts (All Out Attack, Power Attack, Power-Lifting 5. Limited: Power-Lifting, All-Out Attack and Power Attack must be used simultaneously at the same levels. Additionally, once he uses Rage Strength at a level, he can't use it at a lower level until he changes back to Banner.) Additionally, he's probably got some kind of "Temper" Complication on top of that.

So Hulk's usually rolling around with whatever his normal Strength and Defenses are. His player decides he's a little crabby, so he says "I'm using Rage Strength 1." Damage and Lifting Strength go up by one, and his defenses drop by one. The modifications to his attack rolls from PA and AAA cancel each other out. The fight goes on, and maybe the player bumps it up, maybe he doesn't. But he can't go back down until Hulk calms down and becomes Banner again.


Thats a good way, but you could always just use a Dynamic Array.

You take Enhanced Strength & make a Dynamic Array to Enhanced to hit. So Enhanced Strength +10 on top of his normal strength score (costing 20 points), with the dynamic array power of Enhanced Close Attack 10 (costing 2 points). At any given time the shift is such that its Normal Strength 10, Enhanced Strength 0, close attack 10, but as the player determines that the Hulk gets madder, you shift up a gear in strength & you lose ranks in close attack as he just breaks everything in reach, but isn't being to discriminating about what he breaks.

An just give the character the temper & "don't know my own strength" story complication. That way its not so much mechanical as a feature of story narrative.

Thats a rough idea of how i would do it.
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Re: Punching For Justice - A Mutants & Masterminds Podcast

Postby Kyle » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:43 am

A little bit later than promised, the latest instalment of our Emerald City Knights campaign is now available for your listening enjoyment.

punchingforjustice.com and iTunes.


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