Powers: Trickle Down & Triggers

These questions about M&M's first edition were posed to Steve Kenson--and then he answered them! Steve's now providing official answers to second edition questions, but we've archived this forum for you to search.
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:45 am

Powers: Trickle Down & Triggers

Post by Seehawk » Thu Jul 08, 2004 7:20 am

Let me mock up a quick power that I can use as an example for my questions...I'll call "Heat Blast".

Heat Blast directs a column of super-heated air at a single target. There are three possible effects of this blast.
1) causes direct damage to the target due to heat (Energy Blast)
2) stuns the target through shear force of the blast (Stun)
3) saps the target's strength because of the heat (Fatigue)

One way to model this would be with powers as extras. I'd end up with something like this:

Energy Blast (heat) +10 [extras: Stun, Fatigue] Cost: 4pp, Total: 40pp

Okay, the first question is about how this would all trigger. MY interpretation was that the character could make a single ranged attack vs a target. If the attack was successful the target would have to make a damage save vs the energy blast AND make a Fort save vs the stun AND make a Fort save vs the fatigue.

Others on these boards have said that in order for the power to work this way you'd have to buy the "Triggered" extra for Stun & Fatigue and say "trigged by use of Energy Blast". Without buying the Triggered extra, some argued, you couldn't get three attack effects with a single attack roll.

As I understood it that sort of "this power OR that power" setup was modeled through power stunts. For instance:

Energy Blast (heat) +10 (power stunts: Stun, Fatigue) Cost: 2pp, Total: 24pp

Would mean that with a single successful ranged attack roll the character could damage the target OR Stun the target OR Fatigue the target (of course declaring beforehand what effect he was going for).

So is my interpretation of the power correct or would I need to buy trigger extras to make it work that way?

The second part of my question is with the "trickle down" theory of extras. Jumping back to the orginal power

Energy Blast (heat) +10 [extras: Stun, Fatigue] Cost: 4pp, Total: 40pp

If I wanted this to be an Area attack would I make a single purchase of the Area extra or would I have to Area extra all 3 effects?

Would it be:
Energy Blast (heat) +10 [extras: Area, Stun, Fatigue] Cost: 5pp, Total: 50pp

Energy Blast (heat) +10 [extras: Area, Stun [extra: Area], Fatigue [extra: Area] Cost 7pp, Total 70pp

I think that if I got an "official ruling" on these two things it would go a long way to helping me understand power creation (or confirm that I already understand it :D )

Thanks in advance,
The Seehawk

Steve Kenson
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:20 am
Location: Freedom City, USA

Post by Steve Kenson » Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:00 pm

You do need the Triggered extra, but it doesn't actually change your cost or structure much.

This structure:

Energy Blast (heat) +10 [extras: Stun, Fatigue] Cost: 4pp, Total: 40pp

Works just fine if you MUST use all three effects together. Essentially, the extras are "Triggered by Energy Blast (+1), Only Usable With Energy Blast (-1)." If you're capable of using the effects individually OR together, as you wish, then you lose that flaw and need to pay extra.

For your second question, yes, you need to apply Area to each of the extra attacks as well.
Steve Kenson - steve@greenronin.com
Green Ronin Publishing