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Attack bonus vs. Specialization

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Attack bonus vs. Specialization

Postby patty_olantern » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:27 am

I'm a new GM and I have a ton of questions, each time I read through the book more seem to pop up. Just found this board and I'm really grateful to have this kind of resource available.

Having looked at attack focus and specialization I started to wonder why a person might put 2pp into Attack bonus when they could (from what I could tell) just use less points and take attack specialization or focus and get more bang for their points spent. I imagine the level caps still take effect with these feats, correct? If I am level 10 and have a base attack of 10 I couldn't specialize an attack to make it more effective past that, right?

*Edit*

I am also puzzle about saving throws, why would one pump PP into Str, Dex ect... when one could just leave them at 10 and make a more effective use of PP by pumping it into saving throws? Especially in combat heavy campaigns.
Last edited by patty_olantern on Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Attack bonus vs. Specialization

Postby Doctor Devious » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:35 am

You are quite right: the PL limit applies to both cases.

The difference is that attack costs more. That's it.

If you spend power points on the more expensive attack, all your attacks are better (likely, at your PL). If you spend on a specialisation (on top of a lower attack score), then only that attack is up at your PL and all your other attacks are under PL.

What to choose depends both on what you can afford and what bests fits the idea of your character. A six-shooting ace may feel better if specialised with guns, rather than being at PL with his fists too. If that is the case, specialisation is the way to go. Cap america can do just about anything in combat - so he's likely gone for attack to the max.
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Re: Attack bonus vs. Specialization

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:40 am

The total attack bonus and damage of each attack must follow PL (they can have individual tradeoffs) no matter how they go about it. As for why to use the others, Attack Specialization only works on one attack (arguably also a narrow group such as "swords"). So if your guy gets +6 of his +4 to attack from Attack Specialization (Heat Ray Vision), he's going to be at a disadvantage when the foe needs to be slayed with The Mighty Spear since he's only going to be at a +4 to attack. Similarly, the guy who buys no ranged attack will be in trouble when he tries to throw something.

Most GMs will also require some degree of balance. As a general rule of thumb, I require players to have at least half of their attack bonus in their basic Attack score, and at least half of the remainder in Attack Focus (so someone with a +8 attack should be getting at least +4 of it from his base bonus and no more than +2 from specialization). But that's entirely a house rule.

Welcome to the boards. If you're playing 2E, I highly recommend Elric's thread. He codified years of official answers to nagging questions about the game and he's got some well-explained combat runthroughs.
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Re: Attack bonus vs. Specialization

Postby Cinder » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:30 pm

patty_olantern wrote:I am also puzzle about saving throws, why would one pump PP into Str, Dex ect... when one could just leave them at 10 and make a more effective use of PP by pumping it into saving throws? Especially in combat heavy campaigns.


Each ability has a different reason to drop points into it. Not all those reasons are worthwhile as you have surmised. There have been TONS of threads on this topic, with some people proposing house rules to make the stats more balanced. I have never seen any that were, IMO, worth adopting.

To answer briefly:

Strength applies to damage (unarmed and attacks with the mighty descriptor), carrying capacity and many skills.

Charisma (the red headed step child in every d20 based game) usually only applies only to skills. Additionally, as skills cost 1pp for four points, Cha is not even worth it for skill application.

For 2 pp you get a +1 to six skills (leaving out perform as it cannot be used untrained).
For 2 pp you get a +1 to all those skills with 2 ranks left over.

Intelligence only applies to skills, so it is in the same boat as CHA. (However a character with a wide range of knowledge skills or perform skills can benefit from CHA and INT).

Constitution applies to fort and toughness. Dexterity to skills and reflex. Wisdom to Will and skills.

You will become more adept at realizing when you should spend on abilities vs. when you should spend directly as you build more characters.
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Re: Attack bonus vs. Specialization

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:43 pm

patty_olantern wrote:I am also puzzle about saving throws, why would one pump PP into Str, Dex ect... when one could just leave them at 10 and make a more effective use of PP by pumping it into saving throws? Especially in combat heavy campaigns.

There've been a few comments on ability scores. I believe someone worked out mathematically that, for most players, the only ability score worth buying is Constitution, and that clearly so. For every two points you put into Constitution, you gain one point of Protection, one point of Fort save, and one point of recovery bonus, a 150% return. The only other advantage you get is boosting your skills when you're already at your maximum skill ranks.

Ultimately, most people buy ability scores for flavor and for "raw checks" which turn up every once in a while (DC 15 Intelligence save for example).
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