Matter Powers

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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Matter Powers

Postby Gamskee » Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:19 pm

I have been wondering if anyone else thinks the matter based powers, transmutation, disintegration, and shape matter respectively, overpowered.

1: Using Disintegration, transmute(to air), or shape matter at power rank ten, one can easily send non-flyers and jumpers on a very steep fall. Not to nasty, but it gives the advantage of snare, cover, etc. Also, the transmuter and matter shapers can bury them the next round. Disintegrator could make the hole deeper I suppose.

2: With Transmutation or shapematter, one can easily achieve a snare effect or blinding effect by messing with another character's costume. Device flaw not withstanding, most characters wear clothes, and lead pajamas or ones without openings are difficult to deal with.

3: Can pretty convincingly cause area attacks with the two matter shapers.

4: Shape matter can move things- easy excuse for adding to one's run score like an escalator, or swim score by creating current.

So, at what point does 'creative power use' become 'free extra'? Just wondering what others think.

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Re: Matter Powers

Postby Strict31 » Fri Jul 09, 2004 10:13 pm

Gamskee wrote:I have been wondering if anyone else thinks the matter based powers, transmutation, disintegration, and shape matter respectively, overpowered.

1: Using Disintegration, transmute(to air), or shape matter at power rank ten, one can easily send non-flyers and jumpers on a very steep fall. Not to nasty, but it gives the advantage of snare, cover, etc. Also, the transmuter and matter shapers can bury them the next round. Disintegrator could make the hole deeper I suppose.

2: With Transmutation or shapematter, one can easily achieve a snare effect or blinding effect by messing with another character's costume. Device flaw not withstanding, most characters wear clothes, and lead pajamas or ones without openings are difficult to deal with.

3: Can pretty convincingly cause area attacks with the two matter shapers.

4: Shape matter can move things- easy excuse for adding to one's run score like an escalator, or swim score by creating current.

So, at what point does 'creative power use' become 'free extra'? Just wondering what others think.


Right after it becomes "Extra Effort." You should bear in mind that this is a game where everything is defined by Effects. if you didn't buy it, but feel you should be able to do it, spend a hero point; Extra Effort it.

Nobody rides for free.


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Postby Gamskee » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:02 am

While I understand and appreciate that 'extra effort' allows the 'do it if it makes sense' mentality, I have a hard time wrapping my head around when that should be the case for the power.

For instance, Snare lets you make some physical object entangle a character to some degree. Reflex save to avoid, attack rool to hit.

Shape Matter would let you do the same thing, saves and all. So, if I judged this use of the power to be unfair, am I being too strict, Strictly, or am I making sure htye aren't taking undue advantage of the 2PP power? Same goes for attacks, area attacks, slicks, running, etc. that could be emulated?

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Postby Strict31 » Sat Jul 10, 2004 7:26 am

I understand what you mean. Sometimes, it's easy to judge and other times, it's a very fine line. Personally, I have a weakness for telekinesis builds when I'm a Player; I was influenced too damn much by the Great and Powerful Turtle in Wild Cards! If I take TK with Force Field and Force Shaping, which acts like Create Object, I've always imagined that if the situation arose, I could create a giant prow, place it in a body of water and propel it forward, building momentum, creating what amounts to a miniature but powerful tidal wave to crash down on a target in my path...Never had a chance to try it in a game, but I wouldn't be surprised if a GM said "no!!!" Once, I had occassion to use TK to grapple someone (which I had purchased) and spin them around in place rapidly. The idea was that spinning him fast enough would make the guy too dizzy to use his powers. I guess the closest thing that replicates is Stun, which I didn't have. But it makes sense, doesn't it? GM let me do it.

Sometimes it's an easy call to make and other times it's a very fine line, and we're not always correct in the judgements we make. As GM, you have to just rely on your judgement. That's generic advice, but the GM is the final judge.


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Re: Matter Powers

Postby mgg » Sat Jul 10, 2004 12:09 pm

Gamskee wrote:I have been wondering if anyone else thinks the matter based powers, transmutation, disintegration, and shape matter respectively, overpowered.


Always make sure you have an exact understanding of the power. Exceed the bounds and charge a hero point.
1: Using Disintegration, transmute(to air), or shape matter at power rank ten, one can easily send non-flyers and jumpers on a very steep fall. Not to nasty, but it gives the advantage of snare, cover, etc. Also, the transmuter and matter shapers can bury them the next round. Disintegrator could make the hole deeper I suppose.


How deep a pit can you disintegrate in hardness 8 concrete?
Answer four inches. How wide a pit can you disintegrate? Answer: Up to the GM.

Transmutation is limited to a cohesive object. For example the street is a cohesive object. A 5' by 5' by 50' pit is not a cohesive object unless the target happens to be standing on a strange buried column of rock.

Shape matter is limited to one substance. How deep does that blacktop run anyway? If the target happens to be on dirt, then your pit might work. I would give a reflex save, of course.

2: With Transmutation or shapematter, one can easily achieve a snare effect or blinding effect by messing with another character's costume. Device flaw not withstanding, most characters wear clothes, and lead pajamas or ones without openings are difficult to deal with.


Any strength 10 human can rip open lead pajamas.
If you want a snare effect, pay the hero point.

3: Can pretty convincingly cause area attacks with the two matter shapers.


For example?

4: Shape matter can move things- easy excuse for adding to one's run score like an escalator, or swim score by creating current.


An excellent excuse for spending a hero point to gain a movement power!

So, at what point does 'creative power use' become 'free extra'? Just wondering what others think.


Its up to the GM. If shape matter man wanted to rise 50' up in the air on top of column of water as a half action, I'd probably allow it.

As far as attack options go (for example collapsing the roof of a building) I always use an extra save rule.

So if a normal attack would require a save, a free attack gets two saves. Also a save versus an area attack is 100% effective.

Collapsing roof: Target makes a reflex save to dive clear (100% if made) and a damage save if the jump fails. The damage save may be lower than the pl of the power. For example I might make it a +5 damage save instead of +10.

In other words, if no hero point is spend, and I think the effect fits the power, then it works, but at a weaker more limited level.


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