Drain and Neutralize.

The place to discuss using and abusing the first edition Mutants & Masterminds rules. Rules questions, rules interpretations, house rules, and more rules.
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Death Octopus
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Drain and Neutralize.

Postby Death Octopus » Sat Jul 03, 2004 1:47 pm

Does Drain and Neutralize work on Devices or Battlesuits?

That is, if a person is using a Battlesuit, and he has Protection from it, can that Protection be Drained? If he has a Force Field from the Battlesuit, could that be Neutralized?

Thank you.

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Postby PsychoBlonde » Sat Jul 03, 2004 2:41 pm

Drain and Neutralize work on devices unless they've been flawed not to, I believe. However, I think you have to target the Drain at the device, not the person using it, although this may depend on the GM.
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Postby InnocentBystander » Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:25 pm

I think this is one of the cases in M&M where special effects should ovrerride rules.
This would mean that the GM should looks at the concepts of the powers and see how or even if they interact.
Because rules or no rules I can't see how is possible to neutralize a sword,

(and I don't mean a magic sword but a common sword, a flat piece of metal sharped on the edges. I can't see how it is possible neutralize or drain it)

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Postby PsychoBlonde » Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:28 pm

I think you're right . . . I was pretty iffy on this one myself, but I couldn't find anything in the rules for Drain that stated you COULDN'T. And this is a super-hero game . . . you could almost certainly come up with some method of neutralizing a sword, although I agree that draining it would probably defy reason even in a superhero game.
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Postby Circeus » Sun Jul 04, 2004 7:44 am

In my games, powers that affect powers are automatically limited to one power source. Other power sources are stunts.

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Postby Rivalsan » Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:20 am

I go by special effect..

If your ability is to sap mutant energy.. Then heck no. That guy's protection is based on 'Me wear big slab metal'. :)

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Postby Dr. Nuncheon » Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:29 pm

I'd go by either special effect or power source, based on player concept.

I could see someone who had the ability to neutralize any mutant power, regardless of special effect, but I can also see a mutant fire controller able to neutralize any fire power, regardless of whether it's mutant pyrokinesis, a mage's fireball spell, or a guy with a flamethrower.

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Postby mgg » Sun Jul 04, 2004 12:42 pm

Dr. Nuncheon wrote:I'd go by either special effect or power source, based on player concept.

I could see someone who had the ability to neutralize any mutant power, regardless of special effect, but I can also see a mutant fire controller able to neutralize any fire power, regardless of whether it's mutant pyrokinesis, a mage's fireball spell, or a guy with a flamethrower.

J


Both of these would be reasonable flaws on neutralization.

The problem is that neutralize, drain etc. don't default to concept/special effects. Instead they are designed around game mechanics. Concept limitations are typically added as flaws. It is a quirk of MnM. However if the concept limitation were small enough I could see applying it even if it isn't listed as a flaw.

Re: neutralizing swords:

What if neutralize were the power of someone who can manipulate reality? Neutralizing swords makes perfect sense as they turn to rubber chickens.

What if neutralize were defined as an 'energy' damper? Damping the energy of the swing would neutralize the sword strike just fine.

Drain on a sword could be a time effect which slowly reverses: Turn the sword into a rusted out hilt, and the sword slowly reverses to a rusted blunt bit of metal to a pitted blunted sword to a sword.

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Postby TerraFan » Sun Jul 04, 2004 1:54 pm

In the revsion of the rulebook is a new extra that can be applied to powers that is called "innate". A power with the innate extra cannot be drained or nullified. That'd be something that would be good to apply to the armor of a battle suit.

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Postby Twilight Jack » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:14 pm

Also, in the chapter on devices the book states that devices with a rank less than +10 (esp. Weapons) don't need a power source. One could easily rule that devices without power sources can't be affected by powers that affect powers since a .9mm isn't a power (although a super-science ray gun that does +11L is).
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Postby Circeus » Sat Jul 10, 2004 3:49 pm

I separate power-alterating powers into four from power sources:

Magical: This covers all powers with the Mystical source, including devices.

Science: This should includes all other devices and most power with the "Super-Science" source

Power: "Mutation", "Psionics" & "Alien" powers go there by default.

Skill: For simplicity's sake, powers with the "Training" source are treated as skills when in relation with powers such as Mimic, Drain or Neutralize. (Note: limitation on mimicking extras are still in effect!)

Super-Abilities are treated as "outside the system", for obvious reasons.

Simply put, powers are assumed to work only on other powers of the same type, an extra being required for them to affect another category. A power from a source that only affect a power of another source (Draining gun) still cost the same. Voilà!
Last edited by Circeus on Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Dannyalcatraz » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:11 pm

So if I understand this correctly, "innate" would be an extra applied to a power that makes it:

1) a natural ability for the PC (ex: chitinous armor plates on a mutant insect PC or the color changing ability of a mutant chameleon),

2) and thus immune to drains and neutralizes unless specifically targeted (ex: a neurotoxin dart that prevents the mutant chameleon from changing colors or a solvent that softens chitin)?

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Postby Dannyalcatraz » Mon Jul 12, 2004 2:16 am

Something else about "innate" abilities:


When you are modeling the natural powers of an alien, mutant, or some other species where the power in question is natural for that being-

1) If you take a power and make it innate, do you need to make it permanent?

2) If you make a power permanent, do you always need to make it innate?

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Postby PsychoBlonde » Mon Jul 12, 2004 6:15 pm

Oh, and don't forget, you can't Neutralize Permanent powers anyway.

I wouldn't force your players to pick a type of power for drain . . . that's a flaw under the power. However . . . Devices are in a different section of the book from powers . . . you could just say that Devices and Powers aren't the same thing, and you can't drain devices. (You can Neutralize them . . . unless they're permanent? How do you counter devices then?)
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