Element Control Question

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Element Control Question

Postby Cerebrolator » Mon Jul 18, 2005 8:40 pm

I don't think I understand the element control power. In the Freedom City book, the character Seven (which you can also find at http://64.17.155.164/files/FreedomCityPreview.pdf) has Air Control, Earth Control, Water Control and Fire Control.

First concern: I didn't know that Fire Control was a form of Element Control; I thought it was a form of Energy Control which is not listed in the Control Powers for Sorcery.

Second concern: In the stats summary for Seven, it shows that she has a +9L fire blast. Isn't an energy blast an extra for Element Control? So even if we're liberal and allow Fire Control to be a form of element control, how do we get the energy blast? In fact, a more generic question is, how are extra's applied to spells?

I apologize if these are obvious and if they've been covered elsewhere. Please help me out.

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Postby The General » Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:54 am

Cerebrolator wrote:First concern: I didn't know that Fire Control was a form of Element Control; I thought it was a form of Energy Control which is not listed in the Control Powers for Sorcery.


Powers that are not on the Sorcery spell list can be allowed if it fits a character concept (GM's discretion)

In Seven's case she can control the four elements.

Second concern: In the stats summary for Seven, it shows that she has a +9L fire blast. Isn't an energy blast an extra for Element Control? So even if we're liberal and allow Fire Control to be a form of element control, how do we get the energy blast?


Energy Blast is also an extra of Energy Control.

There could be a typo. Maybe they forgot to add the Energy Blast power (separately or as an Extra) to the list?

I don't own the Freedom City book (just the M&M rulebook) but I did read somewhere that there was supposed to be an errata for it.


In fact, a more generic question is, how are extra's applied to spells?


Adding extras and/or stunts to a new or existing Sorcery spell reduces that spells effective rank.
The spell's total cost must be less than or equal to your Sorcery rank x 2.

Example:
Doctor Arcane has Sorcery +10 (Energy Blast +10, Flight +10, etc.)
He wants to create a new attack spell that affects incorporeal beings (like ghosts, demons, etc.)
He chooses Energy Blast which costs 2pp/rank.
He then adds the Ghost Touch extra for 1pp.
The cost of the Energy Blast is now 3 pp/rank.
The spell's total cost must be less than or equal to his Sorcery rank x 2 (in this case 10 x 2 = 20pp)
To determine the number of Energy Blast ranks, he divides 20 by 3 (the cost per rank) = 6 (6.6 rounded down)

Doctor Arcane's power will now look like this:
Sorcery +10 (Energy Blast +10, Flight +10, etc.; Power Stunt: Energy Blast +6 [Extra: Ghost Touch])


As an alternative you can apply an Extra (like Ghost Touch) to the Sorcery power. This does not reduce any spell ranks, it just increases the cost of the Sorcery power and allows any spell (within reason) to utilize the extra.

Doctor Arcane's power will now look like this:
Sorcery +10 [Extra: Ghost Touch] (Energy Blast +10, Flight +10, etc.; Power Stunt: Snare +10)


In this case the Energy Blast and Snare spell can use the Ghost Touch extra but the Flight spell could not.

Hope this helps!

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Postby Cerebrolator » Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:19 pm

Thanks for the detailed explanation. It helps.

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Postby Batgirl III » Tue Jul 19, 2005 8:11 pm

Well, technically speaking Flight will work on incorporeal beings, if Doc Arcane had someway to affect others with it...

But, I digress. :roll:

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Postby Patriarch » Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:47 pm

An extra applied to a base power does not affect the extras of that base power, so I would definately not let a player apply Ghost Touch to sorcery and have it affect all of the spells. Sorcery is, at its core, just some base spell with extras for each of the other schools.
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Postby the_masochist » Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:35 pm

and don't forget that all the spells on the list for sorcerry can be purchesed as powerstunts.

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Postby The General » Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:44 am

Patriarch wrote:An extra applied to a base power does not affect the extras of that base power, so I would definately not let a player apply Ghost Touch to sorcery and have it affect all of the spells. Sorcery is, at its core, just some base spell with extras for each of the other schools.


This topic recently came up in the Official Rules Forum:

http://www.mutantsandmasterminds.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=10388

Here's another older post on the same topic (read #2):

http://www.mutantsandmasterminds.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7611

That's why mentioned it as an alternative.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with adding an extra to Sorcery (or any base power for that matter) and allowing it affect other extras. As long as it fits the "characters concept" and that the extra can only be used on one power at a time. It's still going to increase the cost of Sorcery.
I would probably allow two extras at the most but it would have to be a really good concept.

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Postby Patriarch » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:07 am

I can understand that, but your write up above didn't mention that the extra would only apply to one power at a time. And I still don't like it. I think it can easily be abused, like the fellow recently that wanted to make a ghost sorcerer who is incorporeal all the time and wanted to apply ghost touch to sorcery instead of each spell. And applying the Area extra to sorcery is rather abusive as well in my mind.
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Postby the_masochist » Wed Jul 20, 2005 10:43 am

I can understand that, but your write up above didn't mention that the extra would only apply to one power at a time. And I still don't like it. I think it can easily be abused, like the fellow recently that wanted to make a ghost sorcerer who is incorporeal all the time and wanted to apply ghost touch to sorcery instead of each spell. And applying the Area extra to sorcery is rather abusive as well in my mind.


as is contagios, as is autofire, as is innate, etc

most of the applicable extras you can apply to sorcery and not have to take for each power is definatly abuseable. hence the reasoning to have to take it for each power

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Postby The General » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:49 am

Patriarch wrote:I can understand that, but your write up above didn't mention that the extra would only apply to one power at a time.


You're right, I did forget to mention it. Thanks for pointing that out :oops:

And I still don't like it. I think it can easily be abused, like the fellow recently that wanted to make a ghost sorcerer who is incorporeal all the time and wanted to apply ghost touch to sorcery instead of each spell. And applying the Area extra to sorcery is rather abusive as well in my mind.


I understand what you mean, it could be a balance issue.
That's why I said: As long as it fits the "characters concept"

In the case of the ghost sorcerer. I wouldn't allow the Area extra on Sorcery since it doesn't really fit the concept of a ghost.
If they want the Area extra they have to buy it for a specific spell instead.

Ghost Touch is only going to apply to any offensive spells and spells that have the Affects Others extra.
I don't have a problem with that.

The Incorporeal power already allows you to use powers with the Mental extra and powers that have a Will save (but no physical attack roll) so some spells can still be used even without adding Ghost Touch.

the_masochist wrote:as is contagios, as is autofire, as is innate, etc

most of the applicable extras you can apply to sorcery and not have to take for each power is definatly abuseable. hence the reasoning to have to take it for each power


I agree that most extras wouldn't qualify for Sorcery.
I would consider Innate and Mental for Sorcery. But, it would depend on the character concept.

As a GM, I would have to look a power build closely to determine if it can be abused during a game.

These are some things I would look for:
Is the power build too cheap?
Are there too many stunts, extras or flaws?
Can this power be drained, neutralized or transferred?
If the power can't be drained, etc. Can I come up with some other way to stop the power? or stop the character from using it?


If I allow the power build, then I will exploit other weak spots in the character.
I won't do this all the time (so as not to discourage the player) but I will use it as part of the plot once in a while.
Besides, it serves to remind overly effective players that they aren't invincible.

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Very simple

Postby Rivalsan » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:55 am

His Sorcery has area effect. So what? Useless.

The spell he's casting is Energy Blast. For every rank of sorcery, he gets 2 pts to spend on an Energy Blast spell. If he wants Area effect on the Energy blast, its a 3 pp/rank power. That cuts a PL 15 character down to a PL 10 effect.. 1/3rd reduction in power.

Allowing area affect or ghost touch or ANYTHING ELSE as an extra on Sorcery that will then affect the spells as well, means that for a relatively small increase in price (Whats sorcery in pp/rank? 6?) the power increases enormously..

Now - Some extras, like.. say.. Inherant.. would be appropriate. The character's "Magical" abilities are inherant, and cannot be suppressed.

The incorporeal character sounds like a twinkie weiner dog sandwich though. No no no.
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Postby Tagnik » Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:05 am

I couldn't understand that last post :(

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Re: Very simple

Postby The General » Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:31 am

Rivalsan wrote:Allowing area affect or ghost touch or ANYTHING ELSE as an extra on Sorcery that will then affect the spells as well, means that for a relatively small increase in price (Whats sorcery in pp/rank? 6?) the power increases enormously..


I was stressing character concept, not how to abuse or milk the power.

The cost for Sorcery is 7pp/rank. If you add an extra, it would go up to 8pp/rank.

The spells may have the same Sorcery rank but you are still limited to using that extra on only one spell at a time
(IOW, one power per round).
Adding additional extras to the spells (not Sorcery) would lower the ranks.

As for the Innate extra:

Yes, I could imagine a character who was created or born as a supernatural being.

That could be a valid character concept.:)

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Postby tomorrow » Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:15 am

Yep...

Bewitched or Sabrina the Teenage Witch type witches for example... or heck.

You can be born with innate Sorcery. In some fantasy novels magic is only innate to... you're either born with it or you're not.


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