I have a whole bunch of rules questions

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I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Okk » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:17 am

A friend of mine is starting a M&M game soon, and I have an unyielding stream of character concepts flowing from my imagination. Unfortunately, whenever I sit down to stat one of them out, it seems I run into a snag or two. Any help ironing out any of these rules concerns would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1. Donald Ng is a half-space alien vampire who can drain a target's life essence and use it to restore his own vitality. This particular character does it via Prehensile Hair, but a similar ability could work for any manner of vampiric character. By Search, I found this thread asking how to build such a power, and the verdict seemed to be with Transfer.
Transfer appears to be Drain linked to Boost, right? But the cost for the Boost effect in Transfer is unmodified. Shouldn't transfer, by default, thus allow me to touch two targets at the same time, Draining one and Boosting the other? If I modify the Boost effect so that it is Personal, am I no longer able to Link the two? To apply Requires Grapple, do I modify both effects separately? What if I want to apply the Slow Fade feat to only one effect?

2. I have another question that came up when designing Donald Ng. Boost (as well as Drain) has a duration of Instant, but a lingering effect (but not Lasting, as it doesn't allow further saves in subsequent rounds.) I was considering a life draining Transfer power that only allowed a Boost effect to last a moment: A Healing power requiring only a Reaction, that is usable only the moment Transfer is used. If there's a simple way to do this, let me know, of course. But the question occurred to me, if default traits can be "sold back" in exchange for more Power Points, then could an inverted Power Feat be applied as a Power Drawback? For example: A "Fast Fade" Drawback, which causes the effect to Fade twice per round (each action, perhaps?) If so, how would further progression be handled?

3. Convalescence is some kind of floaty goddess figure dressed in white. She has an aura of perpetual healing. She may not be suitable as a Player Character, but creating her power is still an intellectual concern. I want her aura of perpetual healing to be permanent, thus remaining in effect even when she is unconscious and making her incapable of turning it off. I believe that Permanent cannot be applied to the Healing effect, as its duration can't be modified from Instant. Building the power from Regeneration with Affects Others is a messy matter, though. As Regeneration as a non-action but Affects Others requires a Standard action, can I modify the action of the Affects Others property? Since Aura requires a sustained duration, does that mean I can't apply it to a permanent power? If I went with Area as a substitute for Aura, is it possibly to modify the action for Affects Others so that it takes place every round, even if Convalescence is unconscious? But combining Affects Others and Permanent, I believe, would permanently grant the power to the target; I only want the effect to take place while the target is within close proximity of the character (and for that I think a Healing effect would have been better.) For that matter, how does Regeneration with Affects Others even work?

4. It's completely implausible to make a sense that doesn't actually sense anything, isn't it? Such a function would be a contradiction in terms. If a power isn't on the Extended Range table, though, there don't seem to be modifiers to put it there. It can, however, be modified to Perception range, and ESP can be used to throw my senses anywhere within Extended Range to use such a power. But suppose my character doesn't actually know any information that this non-sense perceives: He doesn't necessarily know what his target is doing at the time, where his target is located, or perhaps even if his power was successful at all. A non-sense could cover that. Of course, then I'd essentially be paying extra for what amounts to a flaw....

5. Here's a question that only a jerk would ask: If I apply No Saving Throw to a power, then can I take ranks in excess of the Power Level Limit?

6. In a similar vein as the previous question: In the case of some powers, it appears that the only effect of additional ranks is to increase the DC of the saving throw. If I applied the No Saving Throw modifier, or in some cases something like Limited: Willing targets only, then could I take only a single rank and receive a huge discount?

7. Savarna is more or less immune to damage. Kind of like Juggernaut. Again, a concept that may not be suitable for a Player Character. This MDSnowman file I picked up somewhere represents such a quality with 80 ranks in Immunity: Lethal physical damage, nonlethal physical damage, lethal energy damage and nonlethal energy damage. With these powers, would she still be vulnerable to Mental Blast? Are there other forms of direct damage that aren't covered?

8. Ragnarok wields four swords simultaneously in combat. Rather than mess with the rules for multi-wielding, I'd like to represent all of his swords as a single use of Strike, but still have each one purchased as a separate Device. Can bonuses to Damage, and perhaps Attack and other traits, stack if they are from different sources? If so, would I need to take the Mighty power feat four separate times?

9. Pazuzu is a demon prince who looks like an anthropomorphic bird. He has the power to grant people wishes, which I was considering representing as a Variable structure with certain limitations (I'm open to other suggestions.) If he reconfigures his variable structure, he loses access to the powers in the previous configuration, of course. But what about powers that have continuous effects outside of his own person? Looking around the boards, I discovered that the results of Create Object stay in effect, but what about others? Transform is at the front of my mind, but there are other powers that could apply as well.

10. Supposedly, Pazuzu can also be summoned by anybody who says his name three times in succession. I'm considering omitting this quirk, but I'm still curious about how to use it. Should I take Teleport with Uncontrolled? Or would such a quality be represented as a character drawback or maybe even a complication? It is, of course, worth note that clever allies of Pazuzu could potentially use this to an advantage.

11. I noticed at least one instance in one of the books where the rules reference applying a Power Feat to the character's unarmed strike. Is the power feat simply taken as though it were a normal feat, or is this some kind of special case? Is it possible to apply other kinds of power modifiers to unarmed strike?

12. One of my character ideas is just the simple Ghost example of the Alternate Form power. When using such a Container structure, do I actually buy ranks in Container, and thus any unused Power Points are wasted? Or is the container's rank calculated based on its Power Point value and likely rounded up? The latter case could result in some unusual math, depending on the modifiers applied to the structure (take Device, for example.)

13. What if I have the Weakness drawback, but it applies to many things with roughly the same descriptor? For example, a weakness to holy water, crucifixes and the audible sound of The Lord's Prayer. How much of these weaknesses would overlap with each other? Or suppose that each weakness has a different frequency or severity? Would a vulnerability to holy weapons be considered entirely separately? Also, the description for Weakness mentions applying an Attack effect to a weakness, but how do you determine the point value for its severity?

I know that several of these concerns are a bit on the Munchkin side, but I feel that it's important to understand the nuances of the rules as written, even before giving a proper GM the chance to veto any concept.
Thanks in advance for any help.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby cochramd » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:56 am

I'm no rules lawyer, but I'll see what I can figure out.
Okk wrote:4. If a power isn't on the Extended Range table, though, there don't seem to be modifiers to put it there.

And there is a reason for that.

5. Here's a question that only a jerk would ask: If I apply No Saving Throw to a power, then can I take ranks in excess of the Power Level Limit?

If there's an attack roll involved.

6. In a similar vein as the previous question: In the case of some powers, it appears that the only effect of additional ranks is to increase the DC of the saving throw. If I applied the No Saving Throw modifier, or in some cases something like Limited: Willing targets only, then could I take only a single rank and receive a huge discount?

In the former, you're usually missing out. I remember most of those powers have some additional benefit if you fail by 5 or more, and the No Saving Throw Modifier removes that. As for the latter....technically, but I also remember those powers are the sort where the target isn't usually willing.

7. Savarna is more or less immune to damage. Kind of like Juggernaut. Again, a concept that may not be suitable for a Player Character.

You'd be surprised. I'm playing a PL9 Juggernaut expy (started at PL8) who is technically one toughness over 100% toughness shifted for PL (I get away with it because being large sized reduces my defense) and it's all Impervious. My GM, who possesses the grace not to resort to 'nuke falls, everyone dies' tactics, has not been able to force a toughness save on me.
This MDSnowman file I picked up somewhere represents such a quality with 80 ranks in Immunity: Lethal physical damage, nonlethal physical damage, lethal energy damage and nonlethal energy damage. With these powers, would she still be vulnerable to Mental Blast? Are there other forms of direct damage that aren't covered?

I'll put it bluntly: Those 80 points of immunity mean that he'll never, NEVER, NEVER have to make a toughness save. But he is still vulnerable to mental blast, which is why he wears the helmet.

8. Ragnarok wields four swords simultaneously in combat. Rather than mess with the rules for multi-wielding, I'd like to represent all of his swords as a single use of Strike, but still have each one purchased as a separate Device. Can bonuses to Damage, and perhaps Attack and other traits, stack if they are from different sources? If so, would I need to take the Mighty power feat four separate times?

There is a Thor expy in Hero High with 2 magical hammers. Study him and your question will be answered.

9. Pazuzu has the power to grant people wishes
10. Supposedly, Pazuzu can also be summoned by anybody who says his name three times in succession.

GM controlled character.

11. I noticed at least one instance in one of the books where the rules reference applying a Power Feat to the character's unarmed strike. Is the power feat simply taken as though it were a normal feat, or is this some kind of special case? Is it possible to apply other kinds of power modifiers to unarmed strike?

Think of it as applying modifiers to the characters STR.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby kenseido » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:51 am

Okk wrote:1. Donald Ng is a half-space alien vampire who can drain a target's life essence and use it to restore his own vitality. This particular character does it via Prehensile Hair, but a similar ability could work for any manner of vampiric character. By Search, I found this thread asking how to build such a power, and the verdict seemed to be with Transfer.
Transfer appears to be Drain linked to Boost, right? But the cost for the Boost effect in Transfer is unmodified. Shouldn't transfer, by default, thus allow me to touch two targets at the same time, Draining one and Boosting the other? If I modify the Boost effect so that it is Personal, am I no longer able to Link the two? To apply Requires Grapple, do I modify both effects separately? What if I want to apply the Slow Fade feat to only one effect?


Yeah, I think the Transfer power in UP is mostly a guideline for building the two effects together. One tricky thing about it, and I learned this in another thread, is Linked isn't really designed to work on powers with two different targets. So it looks like they are handwaving the Reaction time on Boost and making it Personal with a limitation of 2x power ranks in points transferred. Requires Grapple is only relevant to the Drain portion, so it only applies to that effect. Slow Fade should be bought for both effects.

Okk wrote:2. I have another question that came up when designing Donald Ng. Boost (as well as Drain) has a duration of Instant, but a lingering effect (but not Lasting, as it doesn't allow further saves in subsequent rounds.) I was considering a life draining Transfer power that only allowed a Boost effect to last a moment: A Healing power requiring only a Reaction, that is usable only the moment Transfer is used. If there's a simple way to do this, let me know, of course. But the question occurred to me, if default traits can be "sold back" in exchange for more Power Points, then could an inverted Power Feat be applied as a Power Drawback? For example: A "Fast Fade" Drawback, which causes the effect to Fade twice per round (each action, perhaps?) If so, how would further progression be handled?


I don't see why not, but if it pops back to fast, then your just looking at descriptor on a Personal Healing effect.

Okk wrote:3. Convalescence is some kind of floaty goddess figure dressed in white. She has an aura of perpetual healing. She may not be suitable as a Player Character, but creating her power is still an intellectual concern. I want her aura of perpetual healing to be permanent, thus remaining in effect even when she is unconscious and making her incapable of turning it off. I believe that Permanent cannot be applied to the Healing effect, as its duration can't be modified from Instant. Building the power from Regeneration with Affects Others is a messy matter, though. As Regeneration as a non-action but Affects Others requires a Standard action, can I modify the action of the Affects Others property? Since Aura requires a sustained duration, does that mean I can't apply it to a permanent power? If I went with Area as a substitute for Aura, is it possibly to modify the action for Affects Others so that it takes place every round, even if Convalescence is unconscious? But combining Affects Others and Permanent, I believe, would permanently grant the power to the target; I only want the effect to take place while the target is within close proximity of the character (and for that I think a Healing effect would have been better.) For that matter, how does Regeneration with Affects Others even work?


Yeah, if this isn't going for a player, just hand wave the effect. And I would never let a player have this.
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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:12 am

Okk wrote:Transfer appears to be Drain linked to Boost, right? But the cost for the Boost effect in Transfer is unmodified. Shouldn't transfer, by default, thus allow me to touch two targets at the same time, Draining one and Boosting the other? If I modify the Boost effect so that it is Personal, am I no longer able to Link the two? To apply Requires Grapple, do I modify both effects separately? What if I want to apply the Slow Fade feat to only one effect?

Transfer is a slightly jury-rigged effect. As you'll notice, Linked only allows linking two powers of the same range. Essentially, it's Drain and a Free Action Boost with a couple of flaws attached (can only be done after successfully Draining, Limited to yourself, Limited to Ranks Drained, etc). I'd say that allowing you to link a second person you're touching would be a +1 Extra. As regards adding Flaws and Extras, I say follow the rules of Linked powers. If it applies to one, apply it to one. If it applies to both, apply it to both. Only one power is an attack one here, so you'd only have one application of Requires Grapple. If you only want to Slow Fade one of them, you apply it to one of them.


Okk wrote:2. could an inverted Power Feat be applied as a Power Drawback? For example: A "Fast Fade" Drawback, which causes the effect to Fade twice per round (each action, perhaps?) If so, how would further progression be handled?

Mecha and Manga has this as a possible Drawback:
Fast Fade
A power with the Fades flaw can be made to lose effectiveness even faster. For every one point of value in this drawback, move the number of power points lost with each “use” one step up the Time and Value Progression Table. This progression cannot exceed the cost of the power, but it can be high enough that the power can be used only once or for a single round until you recharge.


Okk wrote:3.I want her aura of perpetual healing to be permanent, thus remaining in effect even when she is unconscious and making her incapable of turning it off. .... Since Aura requires a sustained duration, does that mean I can't apply it to a permanent power? If I went with Area as a substitute for Aura, is it possibly to modify the action for Affects Others so that it takes place every round, even if Convalescence is unconscious? .... For that matter, how does Regeneration with Affects Others even work?

The combination of Area and Aura might serve you well. A couple of people on the board use that as a method for "Everything that steps into this area undergoes the effect." And Aura can be made Permanent for a +0 modifier as per its description.
Hapless Healing - Healing 10 (Duration 2 (Sustained), Aura (Permanent, +0 modifier), Burst Area) - 50 pp.
Targets would still have to take a full action to take advantage of it unless you bought additional levels of Action.

Okk wrote:4. It's completely implausible to make a sense that doesn't actually sense anything, isn't it? Such a function would be a contradiction in terms. If a power isn't on the Extended Range table, though, there don't seem to be modifiers to put it there. It can, however, be modified to Perception range, and ESP can be used to throw my senses anywhere within Extended Range to use such a power. But suppose my character doesn't actually know any information that this non-sense perceives: He doesn't necessarily know what his target is doing at the time, where his target is located, or perhaps even if his power was successful at all. A non-sense could cover that. Of course, then I'd essentially be paying extra for what amounts to a flaw....

Actually, a sense without Acute and Accurate would let you know the presence and general direction of something, but not enough to distinguish it from others or to aim a ranged or melee attack.

Okk wrote:5. Here's a question that only a jerk would ask: If I apply No Saving Throw to a power, then can I take ranks in excess of the Power Level Limit?

No. You can apply trade-offs, but it still needs to follow PL.

Okk wrote:6. In a similar vein as the previous question: In the case of some powers, it appears that the only effect of additional ranks is to increase the DC of the saving throw. If I applied the No Saving Throw modifier, or in some cases something like Limited: Willing targets only, then could I take only a single rank and receive a huge discount?

No Saving Throw only guarantees that they'll take the minimum possible result (if they roll badly, they could get worse than the minimum, but with No Save, making the save gets the minimum). As a GM, I look askance on No Save in all but a few limited cases, and something like your Limit is mildly nonsensical given willing people can choose to fail a save at any time. I'm suspecting you're referring to Mind Control, as that's the only non-staged power I can think of to inflict on others at the moment.

Okk wrote:7. Savarna is more or less immune to damage. Kind of like Juggernaut. Again, a concept that may not be suitable for a Player Character. This MDSnowman file I picked up somewhere represents such a quality with 80 ranks in Immunity: Lethal physical damage, nonlethal physical damage, lethal energy damage and nonlethal energy damage. With these powers, would she still be vulnerable to Mental Blast? Are there other forms of direct damage that aren't covered?

It doesn't cover anything that doesn't require a Toughness save. Covering the other three saves is another 60 pp.

Okk wrote:8. Ragnarok wields four swords simultaneously in combat. Rather than mess with the rules for multi-wielding, I'd like to represent all of his swords as a single use of Strike, but still have each one purchased as a separate Device. Can bonuses to Damage, and perhaps Attack and other traits, stack if they are from different sources? If so, would I need to take the Mighty power feat four separate times?

I suppose the general question here is, what's your intent with building them separately? As a GM, I'd probably allow you to build the power as a single multiple easy-to-lose device and stack them, but require a 1 pp Feature for every weapon past the first one to model that disarming individual swords will only reduce the power by a fraction, that of the sword disarmed (which would need to be defined separately).

Okk wrote:9. Pazuzu is a demon prince who looks like an anthropomorphic bird. He has the power to grant people wishes, which I was considering representing as a Variable structure with certain limitations (I'm open to other suggestions.) If he reconfigures his variable structure, he loses access to the powers in the previous configuration, of course. But what about powers that have continuous effects outside of his own person? Looking around the boards, I discovered that the results of Create Object stay in effect, but what about others? Transform is at the front of my mind, but there are other powers that could apply as well.

When you switch configurations, or array slots, everything acts as if you stopped maintaining it (except Create). Transform, as a Sustained power, would continue to act until the target made the requisite save as per the description of duration in the book (short answers, for a Continuous power, they'd start getting saves for every interval on the time and progression chart).

Okk wrote:10. Supposedly, Pazuzu can also be summoned by anybody who says his name three times in succession. I'm considering omitting this quirk, but I'm still curious about how to use it. Should I take Teleport with Uncontrolled? Or would such a quality be represented as a character drawback or maybe even a complication? It is, of course, worth note that clever allies of Pazuzu could potentially use this to an advantage.

I'd say Uncontrolled Teleport due to the potential usefullness of it.

Okk wrote:11. I noticed at least one instance in one of the books where the rules reference applying a Power Feat to the character's unarmed strike. Is the power feat simply taken as though it were a normal feat, or is this some kind of special case? Is it possible to apply other kinds of power modifiers to unarmed strike?

There's two ways of looking at it. First, you could apply it to your unarmed damage, as per the description of applying modifiers to strength in the book. Secondly, the various canon Freedom City builds have frequently allowed a power feat to apply to a subsection of equipment with the idea that the character in question is just that good, that he can, say, apply Indirect to any bow and arrow shot (Bowman's Bankshot feat).

Okk wrote:12. One of my character ideas is just the simple Ghost example of the Alternate Form power. When using such a Container structure, do I actually buy ranks in Container, and thus any unused Power Points are wasted? Or is the container's rank calculated based on its Power Point value and likely rounded up? The latter case could result in some unusual math, depending on the modifiers applied to the structure (take Device, for example.)

Canonically, in 2E, it's in 5 pp increments even if that includes "waste". 3E changed it so that the discount, if any, is prorated (For example, for a hard-to-lose Device, you get back 1 pp for every 5 pp invested and 1 pp if the remaining section has 4-5 points in it. Easy-to-lose regains 1 pp for 2-3 and 2 pp for 4-5). I'm personally starting to lean toward the latter, but that's a house rule.

Okk wrote:13. What if I have the Weakness drawback, but it applies to many things with roughly the same descriptor? For example, a weakness to holy water, crucifixes and the audible sound of The Lord's Prayer. How much of these weaknesses would overlap with each other? Or suppose that each weakness has a different frequency or severity? Would a vulnerability to holy weapons be considered entirely separately? Also, the description for Weakness mentions applying an Attack effect to a weakness, but how do you determine the point value for its severity?

In the specific case you list, I'd look at it as one weakness and consider the rarity based on the possibility of any of the items in the list coming about. If they had different severities, I'd consider it on an overall basis, only granting power points if I feel there isn't too much overlap. And yes, Vulnerability is considered separate from Weakness. As for severity of the attack effect, I'd consider it against the idea of the default Weakness being a Drain and go from there.

Okk wrote:I know that several of these concerns are a bit on the Munchkin side, but I feel that it's important to understand the nuances of the rules as written, even before giving a proper GM the chance to veto any concept.
Thanks in advance for any help.

It's good to ask questions. :) Bit of advice, the system doesn't try to prevent people from breaking it. The assumption is that anyone trying to build a munchkin will be smiled down by the GM and shamed into playing something that's fun for everyone. So if you ever feel like something's broken, talk to the GM and consider changing it to make it not broken. After all, the GM can build the exact same thing as you did and what fun is that?

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Okk » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:28 pm

Thanks for all the help, everyone. I should be able to work out most of my concepts I think.

cochramd wrote:And there is a reason for that.


That's a good point. I'm really fascinated though by the idea that the Mutants and Masterminds character creation rules can describe virtually any kind of character. The only explicit limitation that I've found is the rule prohibiting a character from gaining additional actions per round, and even that rule has a few loopholes here and there.

It sounds like the way Transfer is actually built isn't as obvious as it seems. If the Boost effect of it is really Personal, yet Link is applied anyway, maybe I'd be better off with a similarly handwaved application of Healing.

When asking my sixth question, regarding using No Saving Throw to take 1 Rank powers at a discount, what I actually had in mind was Transform, as a possible common configuration for Pazuzu's Wish-granting Variable Structure. Working the rules to break the game wasn't exactly what I had in mind at the time, but the concern came up.

Question five, on the other hand, was definitely about breaking the game. Drain Constitution was what I specifically had in mind.

As for Ragnarok, I haven't been able to look at that Hero High character, but what I had in mind is something like this: His Device points are divided up among four swords, each one granting a +1 to his melee attack damage, for a total of +4 when all four are in use. They may also improve his Attack bonus, and perhaps Defense to represent an ability to parry attacks. A successful disarm would remove one sword, dropping his bonuses from +4 to +3. I believe the core book mentions under Device the option of splitting Device points among multiple devices in a manner like this (though it would require GM's permission.) Is this more or less what they had in mind?

I do have just one more question (hopefully,) this time about Mecha and Manga. The Battle Form power, by default, seems pretty straightforward, but when you apply the Second Stage extra, how does the use of that actually pan out on a turn-by-turn basis? If I don't have Slow Fade, then Second Stage runs out at the same time when First Stage hits the end of its duration, right? Thus, ten ranks would give me ten turns in Battle Form, regardless of which stage I'm using? But what if I do have Slow Fade? The description says Second Stage ends when the first stage would expire without Slow Fade. Does that mean that if I transform into my second stage after seven turns in my first stage, I only stay in the second stage for three turns? What if I've already been in my first stage for as many turns as I have ranks?

Thanks again for all the help. If any more questions come up in the near future, I'll ask here, but I think that's everything for now.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Okk » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:56 pm

My apologies for the double post, but I've run into another hang up.

The nuance of the Triggered power feat is a little vague. Maybe they wrote it as such intentionally, but I'd like to get some input on its finer details. The text says that the circumstances must be detectable by the player's senses. Does that mean that the effect won't trigger unless the character is capable of directly perceiving the triggering conditions? If this is the case than, by default, it would be impossible to set a trap (on a doorway, a treasure chest, et cetera) and then wander out of perception range and expect the trap to function. Additional powers, such as ESP perhaps, would be required for this. Is that the case?

Furthermore, could I apply a flaw of Limited: Triggered Only to a power, meaning that it can't be used except by the Triggered feat? When Limited is applied to an add-on, it usually works counter to an Extra of the same value; would such a use of Limited work as a full Flaw, or a Drawback?

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:36 pm

Not sure of an official answer to your question on Battle Form, but I would go for the total duration being limited by your number of ranks of the power whether or not you shift to your second stage. It seems in keeping with the source material.

As regards Triggered, my interpretation of that line is that you can't establish your trigger condition as something that you could not perceive in that scenario. For example, you could set up a tripwire (you by default have touch-range Tactile) or a bomb set off by interruption of the beam of an electric eye (regular visual senses), but you couldn't decide to have your Trigger be "when a ghost goes by" unless you can perceive ghosts.

As for only allowing the power to be used for Triggered... I'd put that as a -1 Power Loss Drawback at best simply because Triggered already gives you benefits in terms of being able to set up attacks in advance and most chosen trigger conditions could go off immediately if the user so chose.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby TheSummerEvening » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:33 am

Okk wrote:When asking my sixth question, regarding using No Saving Throw to take 1 Rank powers at a discount, what I actually had in mind was Transform, as a possible common configuration for Pazuzu's Wish-granting Variable Structure. Working the rules to break the game wasn't exactly what I had in mind at the time, but the concern came up.


Ranks in Transform affect the amount of material you can transform at once.

Question five, on the other hand, was definitely about breaking the game. Drain Constitution was what I specifically had in mind.


I think that with Drain, the difference between the DC and the save is what they lose, to a cap of the power rank.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:34 am

TheSummerEvening wrote:Ranks in Transform affect the amount of material you can transform at once.

Good point. And since all material must be contiguous, lower ranks do limit you. Of course, Mental Transform...

TheSummerEvening wrote:I think that with Drain, the difference between the DC and the save is what they lose, to a cap of the power rank.

That's the UP method of handling it. In Core, it was simply losing rank points in the affected ability. I personally prefer the UP method as it produces less of a "save or die" situation with high ranks.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Okk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:53 am

Thanks again for the help, guys. I did forget about the weight limit on Transform. I guess nine or ten ranks would be needed after all. Mind Control would still qualify though.

After considering Battle Form, my interpretation would be that Second Stage has its own duration limit based on the power's rank, but it can be ended prematurely if the First Stage reaches its own duration limit. The book's description seems a little haphazard, but that would make the most sense to me.

Another question: Can I take trade-offs on a per-attack basis? Additionally, if my powers allow it, can I adjust my trade-offs on the fly? For example, if I had Deflect and Protection as dynamic alternate powers, or if I had Damage effects at varying ranks with different values of the Accurate feat as alternate powers.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby kenseido » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:36 pm

Okk wrote:Another question: Can I take trade-offs on a per-attack basis? Additionally, if my powers allow it, can I adjust my trade-offs on the fly? For example, if I had Deflect and Protection as dynamic alternate powers, or if I had Damage effects at varying ranks with different values of the Accurate feat as alternate powers.


That is usually a GM decision. Some allow it and some do not.
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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:41 pm

Yes, tradeoffs can be done on individual attacks. And technically speaking, powers can adjust your abilities around caps, although many GMs are cautious of allowing too large of an extreme of tradeoffs to avoid people shopping for the best combination in combat.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Optimator » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:25 pm

Nice, I was about to make a thread asking that exact question.

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby Okk » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:09 pm

Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it. A couple more questions have come up. Maybe I should try to make some less complicated characters.

If I want to link the same effect to several powers, do I have to pay for each instance of it? For example, I'm working on a monkey-tailed space alien martial arts warrior named Brussels. Each of his attacks will have a linked Obscure effect, representing a big cloud of dust. If he has, say, three attacks (and let's assume that they aren't APs,) would I have to purchase Obscure three separate times?

UP states that powers with the Uncontrolled flaw are considered Passive. It also states that Passive effects require either a non-action or a reaction and a duration of continuous or permanent. Am I supposed to modify Action and Duration on a power before applying the Uncontrolled flaw, or is that covered implicitly by the flaw?

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Re: I have a whole bunch of rules questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm

Okk wrote:If I want to link the same effect to several powers, do I have to pay for each instance of it? For example, I'm working on a monkey-tailed space alien martial arts warrior named Brussels. Each of his attacks will have a linked Obscure effect, representing a big cloud of dust. If he has, say, three attacks (and let's assume that they aren't APs,) would I have to purchase Obscure three separate times?

Yes. However, if they're powers in an array, it's just the 1 pp for the AP as usual.

Okk wrote:UP states that powers with the Uncontrolled flaw are considered Passive. It also states that Passive effects require either a non-action or a reaction and a duration of continuous or permanent. Am I supposed to modify Action and Duration on a power before applying the Uncontrolled flaw, or is that covered implicitly by the flaw?

It's covered implicitly.


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