Equipment question.

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Yamo
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Equipment question.

Postby Yamo » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:44 pm

I posted this in the Official Rules Question forum, but since Steve Kenson won't be back until the 18th, I thought I'd repost it here:

Are there any official guidelines for how to deal with character gear that can't really be represented by Superpowers? Weapons and armor obviously can be, but what about things characters carry like flashlights, lockpicks, backpacks, rope, etc.

M&M is normally all about making characters pay for anything they use on a regular basis. Is stuff like this an exception or...?

Thanks.

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My guidelines

Postby Rivalsan » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:00 pm

If its the sort of thing that ANYONE can get EASILY iRL at ANYTIME, and it won't have combat or stat effect? Cool.

If someone wants a 'Super Auto Lockpick Gun' then thats Power: Super-Skill, Flaw: Device. :)

Honestly, a little common sense is in order here. If a character tries to claim that their flashlight will cut their to hit penalties in darkness.. invite them to go into a pitch black room, and hold a flashlight steady as they throw a tennis ball into the air and try to swat it. :)

Ain't gonna happen.

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Postby Dr Archeville » Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:01 pm

iirc, Magpie (in the Freedom City book) has a set of masterwork thieve's tools that give him a +2 bonus to Disable Device & Open Locks. It's essentially the Talented (Disable Device & Open Locks) feat, with the Device flaw, making it cost 1pp.

Not sure if that really helps you or not....
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Postby Brimstone » Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:19 pm

It said in the Annual preview that

Author’s Note: In the entries below, none of the Allies have equipment listed or accounted for among their points. Assume they have access to whatever 1940’s era military hardware would be needed as per each mission. Even though unnoted, the following members always carried at least one handgun, if not radios, rifles, or grenades: Rogue Fox, Sarge Shrapnel, and Spitfire Jones.


so I guess that's kind of an offical answer.

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Postby InnocentBystander » Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:02 pm

From a old post of Steve on the subject.

Steve Kenson wrote:Ultimately, it's going to be up to the GM what to charge points for, but a good rule of thumb is whether or not the device or equipment has any significant game effect. For example, Spider-Man's webshooters are definitely a significant part of his abilities, and should therefore cost points. His spider tracers are also quite useful, so they cost points. His belt camera, on the other hand, isn't all that major, and the GM can waive any cost for it, along with his mini spotlight.


And of course it depend on the character's concept. Is it reasonable for that character to have a lockpick/rope/torchlight with him?

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Postby Old Sparky » Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:50 pm

So, if gear is standard stuff that anyone should be able to reasonably acquire, it shouldn't be part of the character's PP expenditure to have? A standard handgun or club, for example... does someone need to pay the cost to have such things at the ready?

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Postby d4 » Sun Jun 27, 2004 6:47 pm

my general rule of thumb is that if you can buy it at a Sears you can pay for it "in-game" with money instead of expending power points on it.

at least here in New Jersey, you cannot buy handguns in a department store (although i understand that may not be true in other parts of the country). ;)

i agree with Rivalsan -- if it's going to have a significant in-game (or especially combat) advantage, then paying points for it is probably the way to go. if it's just flash, the GM should feel free to waive it.

you could stat out a flashlight as Energy Control (light) +2, area effect cone, no range, with a linked Dazzle effect, but i think that's getting a little to nitpicky. :)

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Old Sparky
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Postby Old Sparky » Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:24 am

I think the way to go is to treat all acquired equipment as having the potential for malfunction, breaking, being used up, or just being unavailable for the duration of a session.

"Sorry, your flashlight's batteries are dead... and the bulb burned out... and the switch needs to be replaced. You can have it back in working order next time we play."

If its part of the character's standard --always on him-- equipment, then he has to pay for it in Power Points. This pretty much minimalizes breakage and malfunction chances, too unless appropriately flawed.

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Postby d4 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:30 am

Old Sparky wrote:I think the way to go is to treat all acquired equipment as having the potential for malfunction, breaking, being used up, or just being unavailable for the duration of a session.

that's pretty much the definition of the Device flaw as is. or were you thinking of something even more limiting that normal?

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Postby Marshal Law » Mon Jun 28, 2004 4:38 am

Some fantasy characetrs travel exceedingly light, but others carry backpacks full of useful items.

So you could always rename the gadgets power as "Mundane equipment", representing how much of a pack-rat the character is.
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Postby Dr. Nuncheon » Mon Jun 28, 2004 6:08 am

One of my players asked this about a car - he knew that he could basically use it in his secret ID, but not his hero ID. (The example I used was Batman - Bats paid points for the Batmobile, but Bruce Wayne got his garage full of cars for 'free'.)

He wanted to know could he drive to the crime scene, etc or did he have to park and take a bus. I told him "The car is for your secret ID - use it when it makes sense. If it starts to infringe on points territory - especially since another character is paying points for his motorcycle - you'll have the option of paying points or the car will get trashed."

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Postby farik » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:40 am

We were discussing the use of create object to create mundane tools and equipment that had no benefit in combat and the use of a feat was considered.

Feat
"Well Equipped"
The character has access to a seemingly limitless supply of utility items that provide no combat or skill bonuses.

It could also be used as a power stunt on Gadgets to represent all the gear a person has that isn't worth spending a Hero Point on.

my $0.02
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Postby DrObvious » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:50 am

My rule is: "Could you purchase it IRL on an average person's salary? Is it a non-combat item? If yes to both, then you have it. If not, you need to buy it."

I would let a hero have a car to get to a crime scene, but they wouldn't be able to use it for any tactical/combat useages. This is purely an OOC convention, enforced OOC.
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Old Sparky
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Postby Old Sparky » Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:02 am

DrObvious wrote:My rule is: "Could you purchase it IRL on an average person's salary? Is it a non-combat item? If yes to both, then you have it. If not, you need to buy it."

I would let a hero have a car to get to a crime scene, but they wouldn't be able to use it for any tactical/combat useages. This is purely an OOC convention, enforced OOC.


What about sporting equipment? An aluminum baseball bat is easily affordable on an average person's salary. Its not a combat item, but certainly can be used with decent combat effectiveness. So which side does that fall on?

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Postby DrObvious » Mon Jun 28, 2004 8:42 am

If he plans on using it in combat, then he has to purchase it with PP. If its a spur of the moment pick up in a battle at Dick's, its an impromptue weapon.

Its not a realism thing, its a play balance thing.
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