Once A Round follow-up

Ask M&M 2e rules questions that your fellow gamers can't answer. Only Mutants & Masterminds Line Developer (and creator) Steve Kenson can post replies. He visits the boards in between projects and convention appearances so please be patient!
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Once A Round follow-up

Post by slaughterj » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:37 pm

The ability to switch powers in an array once a round came up here before: http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?t=11495

However, this appears to have the potential for abuse. E.g., a typical Energy Projector has Blast and Force Field bought separately (not in Array). For a mere 1pp, the Energy Projector can buy Deflection as an AP of the Blast. Every other turn, this character can Blast then activate Deflection (or a myriad other effects, e.g., Incorporeal, etc.), as follows:

Round 1: Blast, switch to Deflection
Round 2: Switch to Blast and use
Repeat Round 1 and 2

That does not seem in the spirit of Arrays, results in double use Array points every other turn (by what appears to be an artifact in the rules), and can slow down play.

Also, if a character wanted to use both Blast and Deflection simultaneously every round, that would typically cost 20pp for each (40pp total), but instead of 20pp for every round of use, a character can spend 1pp for use every other round (21 pp total), which is quite a cost savings for 50% use (which should be more in the range of a flaw, and only reduce the price to 10pp rather than 1pp).

Was the aforementioned use intended? Or should it be more like "once points in an array are used for an effect on a character's round, they cannot be reused" or somesuch, to avoid this abusive and game-delaying tactic?

Steve Kenson
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Re: Once A Round follow-up

Post by Steve Kenson » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:06 pm

slaughterj wrote:That does not seem in the spirit of Arrays...
And this, to me, is the key of the whole thing.

No game system as broad as M&M can cover every contingency, and some loopholes or potentially abusive special-case interpretations of broad rules are going to turn up. While the system tries to balance things, it really falls to the GM in cases like this to say "That doesn't seem to fit the spirit of how an array is supposed to work..." and simply disallow it, if it's going to cause a problem in the game.
Steve Kenson - steve@greenronin.com
Green Ronin Publishing