Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

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eddieisbored
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Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby eddieisbored » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:29 am

I need outside opinions regarding the construction of the Grenade Launcher (M&M p140) and using it as an Alternate Power for another piece of equipment.

    NOTE: Before I begin I would like to remind everyone that constructing equipment is the same as constructing powers. A Heavy-Pistol is essentially Blast 4. All of the rules that apply to powers still apply when creating equipment.
The Grenade Launcher fires a variety of grenades, generally fragmentation. One can increase the cost by +1 for any additional grenade carried. The Grenade Launcher by default costs 15pp and its statistics are identical to the Fragmentation Grenade save for the range increment (80ft vs 50ft) and size (Large vs Tiny).

In essence both items are Blast 5 [+1 Explosion]. I believe that the Grenade Launcher has a few ranks of the Extended Reach power feat that is paid for by its large size penalty since you need two hands to wield it and have difficulty concealing it.

Now, if I wanted to add the other four grenades from the GRENADES AND EXPLOSIVES table on the same page then I would have add +4pp to the base cost. In essence I'm buying the four other grenades as four alternate powers.

Blast 5 "Grenade Launcher/Fragmentation Grenade" [+1 Explosion] {15pp (Base) + 4pp (Alternate Powers)}
AP: Obscure 1 (Visual) "Smoke Grenade"
AP: Dazzle 4 (Audio, Video) "Flash-bang Grenade" [+1 Burst]
AP: Sleep gas*
AP: Tear gas*

* - In this example I will not breakdown the Sleep gas and Tear gas grenades since either the equipment cost is incorrectly labeled or the developers used ways I haven't imagined to lowers their costs (ex. Tear Gas would cost 28ep).

Now, things are about to get a little more complex. I would like to combine the Assault Rifle (M&M p139) with the Grenade Launcher with all of its grenades. I will provide two methods of doing this. In each method the Assault Rifle is modified with Power Feats so that it costs 19ep.

Method A:

Blast 5 "Assault Rifle" [Power Feats 4, +1 Autofire] {19ep (Base) + 1ep (Alternate Power)}
AP: Grenade Launcher w/ All Grenades {19ep}

The Grenade Launcher with the other 4 grenades costs 19ep in total. In this example I'm buying off the 19ep of traits as an Alternate Power of the modified Assault Rifle.

If feel that this method is incorrect since an Alternate Power for 1ep is paying for an array of Alternate Powers.

Blast 5 "Assault Rifle" [Power Feats 4, +1 Autofire] {19ep (Base) + 1ep (Alternate Power)}
AP: Blast 5 "Grenade Launcher" [+1 Explosion] {15pp (Base) + 4pp (Alternate Powers)}
    AP: Obscure 1 (Visual) "Smoke Grenade"
    AP: Dazzle 4 (Audio, Video) "Flash-bang Grenade" [+1 Burst]
    AP: Sleep gas*
    AP: Tear gas*
This problem is easily seen when broken down in this way.


Method B:

Blast 5 "Assault Rifle" [Power Feats 4, +1 Autofire] {19ep (Base) + 5ep (Alternate Power)}
AP: Blast 5 "Grenade Launcher/ Fragmentation Grenade" [+1 Explosion]
AP: Obscure 1 (Visual) "Smoke Grenade"
AP: Dazzle 4 (Audio, Video) "Flash-bang Grenade" [+1 Burst]
AP: Sleep gas*
AP: Tear gas*

In this method I am paying 19ep for the modified Assault Rifle and increasing the cost by +1 for each additional effect as Alternate Powers. I feel that this method is correct since it mimics the philosophy of the description under the Grenade Launcher and follows the rules applied to powers when creating this piece of equipment.

Do you feel that I broke down the construction of the Grenade Launcher correctly? Which method (A or B) do you feel is correct?

Thank you for your time and answers.

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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby Rabbitman » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:25 am

I'd be going with Method B, but include the Grenade Launcher extended range for increased Size trade-off with each AP effect to be clear that they aren't the normal grenades and explosives and listed.

Using arrays to model Equipment like that is perfectly valid, go for it.
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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:31 pm

Nested APs are perfectly legal although if you use Hero Lab, they haven't been available for several versions the result of a combination of a misunderstanding and a change in data format.

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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby eddieisbored » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:06 pm

These nested Alternate Powers are not specifically prohibited yet they are not specifically encouraged either. In general, a nest of Alternate Powers stretches the spirit of this system thin which is the reason why Steve Kenson warns that the GM should monitor these closely and watch out for abuse.

I feel that that the intent behind the logic of Alternate Powers was that they were not meant to be placed within another Alternate Power and that doing so abuses the philosophy of this system. Just because you can put a screwdriver in a live electrical socket doesn't meant that you should.

Thanks for the responses Rabbitman and FuzzyBoots. :)

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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby XLS » Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:47 am

For me, I'd not allow nesting in this situation, and in general it's hard to imagine a situation where it makes sense and isn't just a way to shave off points here and there. Thus, for me, I'd say that a gun with some sort of little grenade launcher is going to be the cost of the gun plus a point for each grenade alternate.

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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby poodle » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:07 am

I don't see a problem with option a but can understand why people would.
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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby kenseido » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:51 am

I am not sure that "not specifically prohibited" and "perfectly legal" are the same thing. To me, nested arrays break the spirit of the array.
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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby FuzzyBoots » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:37 am

kenseido wrote:I am not sure that "not specifically prohibited" and "perfectly legal" are the same thing. To me, nested arrays break the spirit of the array.

*shrug* the nested items, by their nature, have fewer pp in them. It's a tradeoff. I don't think I'd allow it for someone who seemed to be using it for point shaving, but for something like a grenade launcher as an alternate, it makes sense.

BFG (Blast 10) [20 pp + 2 pp for APs = 22 pp]
AP: Grenade Launcher (Blast 6 [Burst area]) [18 pp + 2 pp for APs]
--AP: Smoke Grenade (Obscure 5 [All senses])
--AP: Rust Grenade (Disintegrate 4 [Burst Area, Affects Objects only, Metal only]
AP: Shock Prod (Stun 10)

This especially comes into play if you're using utility belt rules where some APs are considered separate objects and therefore separately disarmable. The grenade launcher is disarmed on its own, taking away all of its Alts, but not impeding the other two abilities.

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Re: Grenade Launcher as an Alternate Power

Postby Optimator » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:08 pm

My GM bans nested APs and I would too if I ever GMed. Method B is the way to go. It's still a steal, PP-wise, and something I will copy in the future for any badass normals I end up making.


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