Shrink really stinks?

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Cinder
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Shrink really stinks?

Postby Cinder » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:39 pm

I was bored so I tried to cost out the positive and negative traits you get for each rank in Shrinking. Has anyone else ever done this?

It seem like you are paying pp to get net negative traits. I know there is some intangible non-trait value to being small, but come on.

If you purchased the positive traits and credited the negative traits there is only one rank level were you come out positive. That rank is 20.

It works out this way:

Combat: +48
Strength: -10
Toughness:-10
Grapple: -10
Intimidate: -2.5
Stealth: +5
Reach: -1
Speed*: -5
Carrying**: -4
Immovable: -1.25
________________
Net 9.25 pp cost.

*Keeping the core movement, but changing everything else to UP.
**Common drawback, with ranks 4-7 considered minor in intensity, 8-11 considered moderate, and 12+ considered major.

But this costs 20 pp.

Some really terrible levels are 15:

Combat: +16
Strength: -6
Toughness: -6
Grapple: -6
Intimidate: -1.5
Stealth: +3
Reach: -1
Speed*: -3
Carrying: -4
Immovable: -.75
____________________
Net cost: -18.5

And 9:

Combat: +8
Strength: -4
Toughness: -4
Grapple: -4
Intimidate: -1
Stealth: +2
Reach: -1
Speed*: -2
Carrying: -3
Immovable: -.5
_________________
Net cost: -14.25

What does everyone think? I know that growth and shrink are much discussed and unpopular powers, but I had no idea it was this bad. Unless I am missing something which is always possible.

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby disasterdude13 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:01 am

Well first off you're taking negatives to a lot of things that there's not really any other mechanical way to take negatives to. If you're going to be using tactics a little more typical of a smaller character then the trade offs may actually still be saving on points to get the attributes you actually want.

For example, most tiny characters aren't going to be attempting many grapples, there's usually someone else in the party more suited to heavy lifting, and the same goes for intimidation, although I'd say you might get a bonus for a shrinking character who is aiding an intimidation check by climbing into the interregatee's pants with a salad fork in hand.

The penalties that would probably matter a little more can be easily negated by spending points back into what you want and to hell with the others. At rank 20 you'd need toughness to an extent, 8 ranks at PL 10 assuming you count shrinking bonuses toward PL caps. Grapples still matter defensively but immunity to entrapment makes a lot of sense at that size and it's half of what you lost for grapple according to your calculations. The speed power actually more than cancels out the size penalty at rank 3, although flight and other movement powers that cost more than 1pp per rank are slightly more expansive.

It's also worth mentioning that the defense modifier from shrinking cannot be reduced when surprised, flat-footed, etc. It's actually the only way to get such a solid defense that I know of, a nice solution to those combat feints that are usually such a weakness for defense shifted characters.
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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby Paragon » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:46 am

If anything, my opinion is that Shrinking is actually too damn good for its cost, and observation in the field has supported this. Most of the downsides either don't matter or are often easily worked around, while the upsides for most energy projector builds are profound.
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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby Cinder » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:03 pm

The reason I did this analysis, other than the aforementioned boredom, was that I had planned on making a version of growth and shrinking that was more like Taliesin's version (+2 str, +2 con, -1 attack, -1 defense).

So I wanted to see what the powers gave vs. what they cost. I decided then to make them both into one power called "size alteration."

I just wanted to see what everyone thought of the default powers. I had heard that for blasters shrinking got a little gross. That was part of the reason that I was surprised enough by the net point cost to post it. I already suspected what you both speak of. A one trick pony (shrink, blast, repeat) would be really powerful. That is why i think that the UP alternate/taliesin version is better.

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby Paragon » Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Even UP only helps so much, especially since the smart thing to do is to end-run the Toughness problem (you just buy more Toughness than you need rather than pay for it on the back-end as an Extra) and some of the other things don't matter at all (Strength, Reach), matter very little (Grapple, Intimidate and Movement) or can be finessed.

And of course, its not symmetrical; Going to Small or Tiny isn't too overwhelming, but Miniscule is an amazing value for its cost (+12 Attack and a somewhat flawed but still useful +12 Defense for 12 points? What's not to want?).
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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby Cinder » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:02 pm

Paragon wrote:Even UP only helps so much


Agreed, but I still think that is the way I am going.

So far this is what I think I am going with:

SIZE ALTERATION
Type: Alteration
Action: Free (active)
Range: Personal
Duration: Sustained
Saving Throw: None
Cost: 1 point per rank

You can alter your size. Choose Growth or Shrinking when you buy this effect.

If you choose Growth you can increase your size. Every rank of Size Alteration (Growth) activated increases your Strength and Constitution by +2. The additional Strength does not improve your Strength-based skills, however, since your mass also increases.

Every rank also increases your intimidate skill and your grapple checks by 2. Every rank decreases your combat, defense and reflex by 1. Every rank also decreases your Stealth and Escape Artist skill by 2. Every four ranks increase your size category by one full level. So a medium creature with 4 ranks is large, with 8 ranks is huge, with 12 ranks is gargantuan, with 16 ranks is colossal, and with 20 ranks is awesome-sized. Your base movement speed increases by 5 feet per size category you enlarge. Intermediate ranks also increase size, but not necessarily size category. See the Size Table below for a character’s approximate size at any given rank.

If you choose Shrinking, you can reduce your size. Every rank of Size Alteration (Shrinking) reduces your Strength and Constitution by 2 (to a minimum of 1). Every rank also reduces your intimidate skill and your grapple checks by 2. Every rank increases your combat, defense and reflex by 1. Every rank also increases your Stealth and Escape Artist skill by 2. Additionally, every four ranks reduce your size category. So a medium-sized creature is small at rank 4, tiny at rank 8, diminutive at rank 12, fine at rank 16, and minuscule at rank 20. For other effects of reduced size, refer to the Size Table. For instance you must multiply your movement rates by the carrying capacity multiplier shown on the Size Table.

NOTE: Bonuses gained by Size Alteration are not subject to PL limits unless they are permanent.

Example Level 20 Size Alteration (Growth):

SIZE: Awesome
COMBAT: -20
DEFENSE & REFLEX: -20
STRENGTH: +40
CONSTITUTION: +40
GRAPPLE & INTIMIDATE: +20
STEALTH & ESCAPE ARTIST: -20
HEIGHT: 128 ft +
WEIGHT: 2 m lbs
SPACE: 40 ft
REACH: 20 ft
CARRYING CAPACITY: +25
BASE SPEED: 55
RANKS: 20

Of course, comments are welcome.

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby optionqb » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:09 pm

In the previous post, it was mentioned that bonuses from size-alteration can break caps as long as they are not permanent. But the rulebook says under the Shrinking-Power that bonuses cannot break power-level limits. I'm confused. Also, I had another question. I want to create a hero with shriking powers. I'd like to purchase shrinking rank 20, but the PL is 9. Wont the bonuses I get break the caps? Even if they do? Can I still buy the power at rank 20 and simply take the maximum bonus allowed by the PL restrictions?

Note: I'm talking about the 3E rules for shrinking.

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby XLS » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:49 pm

optionqb wrote:In the previous post, it was mentioned that bonuses from size-alteration can break caps as long as they are not permanent. But the rulebook says under the Shrinking-Power that bonuses cannot break power-level limits. I'm confused. Also, I had another question. I want to create a hero with shriking powers. I'd like to purchase shrinking rank 20, but the PL is 9. Wont the bonuses I get break the caps? Even if they do? Can I still buy the power at rank 20 and simply take the maximum bonus allowed by the PL restrictions?

Note: I'm talking about the 3E rules for shrinking.
If you're talking 3e rules, then posting in a forum devoted to 2e rules isn't your best bet.

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby optionqb » Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:05 pm

XLS wrote:
optionqb wrote:In the previous post, it was mentioned that bonuses from size-alteration can break caps as long as they are not permanent. But the rulebook says under the Shrinking-Power that bonuses cannot break power-level limits. I'm confused. Also, I had another question. I want to create a hero with shriking powers. I'd like to purchase shrinking rank 20, but the PL is 9. Wont the bonuses I get break the caps? Even if they do? Can I still buy the power at rank 20 and simply take the maximum bonus allowed by the PL restrictions?

Note: I'm talking about the 3E rules for shrinking.
If you're talking 3e rules, then posting in a forum devoted to 2e rules isn't your best bet.


Where is the 3E rules forum?

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby cochramd » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:18 am

Funny. One time I started an excel file to calculate the cost-effectiveness of Density, Growth and Shrinking. I counted the +2 STR from Density and Growth that didn't apply to skills and jumping as being worth 1.5 points. I also fudged that the bonus to most maneuvers from Growth was worth 2.5 points per +4 (that's 1 rank of Immovable with Unstoppable, plus 1 quarter of the bonus of 4 ranks of Super-strength) I never got around to doing Shrinking, but I can say this:

1) Density is not cost-effective until the third rank.
2) Density achieves it's greatest cost-effectiveness (116.67%) at all ranks that are a multiple of 6
3) Growth is not cost-effective until the fourth rank.
4) Growth achieves it's greatest cost-effectiveness(150%) and continuously decreases from there, with the exception of positive spikes of cost-effectiveness at the eighth and twelfth ranks, such that at rank 20 a cost-effectiveness of 100% is achieved.

Of course, that's all if my estimations on the effective cost of the bonuses and penalties provided are correct. My data also didn't take into account things like the fact that a typical character build with Growth does not consider Stealth to be an important criterion, and thus it should perhaps not be included in the cost-effectiveness calculation (though that would only boost cost-effectiveness at all ranks above 3 slightly, and wouldn't change the overall shape of the pattern)

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Re: Shrink really stinks?

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:48 pm

optionqb wrote:Where is the 3E rules forum?

Either General M&M or DC Adventures. There really isn't a separate rules forum for 3E yet.


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