How do you gain an attack bonus ?

The place to discuss using and abusing the first edition Mutants & Masterminds rules. Rules questions, rules interpretations, house rules, and more rules.
User avatar
Marshal Law
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:45 pm

Postby Marshal Law » Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:13 am

farik wrote:
Kwikdraw wrote:In other words, can a PL 10 character buy their BAB up to +10, buy their Accuracy up to +10, and buy their attributes up to 20 giving them a base +25 to hit with a specific attack?



Yes, but that would be like buying maxed Protection, regeneration, and a maxed saving throw attribute.


Or like buying maxed DV, maxed Dex, and maxed super-speed?

*****

In answer to you repeated question, of course those of us who see no need for it have any experience with using accuracy in our games.

But I'll wager all of them are willing to state that their games never suffered from a lack of it.

***************

One thing I might do as a result of this thread is introduce a simple rule for relative speed - IE, if two people with super-speed get into a fight, the fastest ignores the slowest's speed defence bonus, and his own defence bonus is reduced by the slowests speed.

EG, SS 5 vs SS 8. SS5 gets no speed based defence. SS8 has his speed based defence vs attacks from SS5 reduced by 5, to 3.
HAWK-Girl: Init +9; Melee: +8/+8; Def: +8 (Ff +2); Saves T/F/R/W +8/+5/+5/+5

User avatar
farik
Mod Squad
Mod Squad
Posts: 5654
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: I'm lost in some distant part of Nebraska, on a ship -- a LIVING ship

Postby farik » Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:54 am

Marshal Law wrote:
farik wrote:
Kwikdraw wrote:In other words, can a PL 10 character buy their BAB up to +10, buy their Accuracy up to +10, and buy their attributes up to 20 giving them a base +25 to hit with a specific attack?



Yes, but that would be like buying maxed Protection, regeneration, and a maxed saving throw attribute.


Or like buying maxed DV, maxed Dex, and maxed super-speed?



yes it would. It's up to the GM to decide if that level of "dodging" is going to disrupt the game. A player who never gets hits can be just as disruptive as a player who never gets hurt or a player who always hits.
One man's hobo booze is another man's fiiiine sippin' wine.

Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

User avatar
d4
Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 4:41 am
Location: New Jersey

Postby d4 » Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:44 am

farik wrote:
Marshal Law wrote:Or like buying maxed DV, maxed Dex, and maxed super-speed?

yes it would. It's up to the GM to decide if that level of "dodging" is going to disrupt the game. A player who never gets hits can be just as disruptive as a player who never gets hurt or a player who always hits.

except the game already provides counters to the maxed-out dodging guy (there are multiple ways of negating someone's dodge bonuses) and the maxed-out protection guy (there are powers that go around Protection and damage save).

what's the counter to the maxed-out accuracy guy? assuming you allow full BAB and an Accuracy power to work together, and not be limited by PL. the other two "maxed-out" character types aren't disruptive because there are already ways of getting around their strengths. i don't see a way of avoiding getting hit by the Accuracy guy, which is why i think it's unbalanced and unnecessary.

User avatar
Marshal Law
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1990
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:45 pm

Postby Marshal Law » Fri Jul 16, 2004 11:01 am

I mentioned it simply because the first poster was concerned that there was a disparity between attack and defence.

The Accuracy power was stated as being eminently abusable.

The counter was "GM Control"

So why not simply apply GM control to the "Defence" problem?

****

In fairness, Farik was also looking for a way to model characters who are only accurate with one weapon or one style of combat. And the players in his group seldom, if ever, max both their BAB and their accuracy power. So in effect, all they have done is use the rulebooks "BAB as a power" option without realising it - the accuracy power being equivalent to BAB with the Flaw - Melee (or ranged) only.
HAWK-Girl: Init +9; Melee: +8/+8; Def: +8 (Ff +2); Saves T/F/R/W +8/+5/+5/+5

User avatar
Twilight Jack
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:50 pm

Postby Twilight Jack » Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:40 pm

Bullseye never misses.
Daredevil can dodge Bullseye's attacks.

Assuming they're both PL 10, what would Daredevil's Defense be? Well, he's a phenomenally skilled combatant, so let's give him a BDB of +9. Additionally, he's almost ridiculously dexterous, so let's say Dex 20 with a Super-Dex of +5. This puts his total Defense at 29, before applying feats. With Feats, he could manage a 36 vs. a single opponent.

Now then, Bullseye never misses. We give him a BAB of +10 and a Dex of 20. Now we add Attack Focus, Point Blank Shot, and All-Out Attack. Bullseye maxes out at +22 on an attack within 30 ft. He needs to roll a 14 to hit Daredevil. Not bad. Not easy, but doable. Assuming Daredevil does anything other than full Expertise on his round, Bullseye's chances just keep getting better. If Daredevil is in any way distracted for even a moment, Bullseye nails him effortlessly.

Even assuming a truly maxed out defender (Defense 35 before feats are applied), keep in mind that all of this is dependent on a Dodge bonus that can be taken away. Even with maxed Combat Sense, the highest a flat-footed PL10 character can manage is 30. There are ways for characters to score telling hits, even without an Accuracy power.

Please note that Bullseye never misses. At PL10, he can nail a 26 Defense any time he wants (if he rolls below 10, he just spends a Villain Point. He hits a 27 within 30'. With All-Out attack, he hits a 32). Anyone with higher defenses than that deserve a frigging chance, especially since a high defense is probably the only thing they've got going on. An Accuracy power bumps his effortless shot to 36 (37 within 30'). Oh, by the way, with All-Out Attack, he's swinging with 41/42. If he also flew, he could get that to 43. If under the instruction of a Leadership-wielding teammate, we're looking at 44 Defense hit effortlessly. Oh wait, we can always use extra effort on the power (it ain't permanent, is it?) to get up to 46. Are you scared yet? Even if this power only affects one type of attack, it completely dismantles the benefits of a high Defense. Oh, and anyone without a gigantic Defense is looking at a Power Attack every round, along with Rapid Shot (or Strike) and maybe Heroic Surge or Multi/Autofire.

"Okay, -5 from Power Attack and -8 from the combination of Rapid Shot and Autofire. The guy's Defense is 20, you're his Dodge buddy, and he's behind 9/10ths cover. His total Defense is 29."

"I roll an 8, a 7, a 10, and an 11. Let's see, +36 minus 13 is 23. I roll a 30 as my lowest attack. He can save vs. +16L four times. What? He's only stunned? I use a Heroic Surge with Surprise Strike to do it one more time. I roll a 4. Since he's stunned, that hits handily. He can save vs. 21L."

And this is every round almost every fight. No thought, no strategy, no need for tactics. Every villain this character ever fights needs either maxed out Defense (making them too hard for the rest of the party to hit) or so much Damage Save that they can survive 4 +16L hits every round (making them too tough for the rest of the party to hurt).

Shall I continue? Do you see the problem yet?

Of course, your mileage may vary, and all that.
It's not the side-effects of the cocaine
I'm thinking that it must be love . . .


Image

User avatar
grahf
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:55 pm

Postby grahf » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:40 pm

Twilight Jack wrote:Do you see the problem yet?


I see a problem with the fact that even if the GM doesn't invoke p. 148 it would still cost at least 80 points to fully implement, making him into somewhat of a one-trick pony.

Yeah being able to hit almost all the time can be overwhelming, but for the same point expenditure you can make characters who can deliver 400 attacks per round against an opponent, or who can force DC 50 Damage saves if they connect, or who are hard to find, incredibly hard to hit, and almost impossible to actually damage. Of course at that point the game devolves into "nuke fights" and "rock, paper, scissors" no matter what principle your superoptimized characters are based on, and that just plain isn't fun.

I think the problem is more with the overspecialization process than with the Accuracy power itself. In fact I'd go so far to say that it's an absolute necessity by PL 20 if anyone takes advantage of Super Speed or Dexterity. I do think it needs GM oversight to insure it's used in a responsible manner, but no more so that some of the official powers in the book.

User avatar
Kwikdraw
Compatriot
Compatriot
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Saitama, Japan
Contact:

Postby Kwikdraw » Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:16 pm

grahf wrote:I think the problem is more with the overspecialization process than with the Accuracy power itself. In fact I'd go so far to say that it's an absolute necessity by PL 20 if anyone takes advantage of Super Speed or Dexterity. I do think it needs GM oversight to insure it's used in a responsible manner, but no more so that some of the official powers in the book.


Actually, the thought of higher power levels made me dig up my printed copy of Above and Beyond. The author, Colin Fredericks, had a particularly good suggestion for handling the broadening gap between Attack and Defense at higher levels.

Allow an extra for Super-Strength or Super-Dexterity that provides an attack bonus to melee or ranged attacks, respectively. Perhaps one for Super-Wisdom that adds to mental attack bonuses as well. Let's call the extra Precision. It should provide an attack bonus equal to the number of ranks in the power minus ten. That still leaves a 20-point gap between ordinary heroes and speedsters, but that can be made up with feats without too much difficulty. This also leaves ordinary 10th-level heroes unchanged, and allows for big brutish villains who really can't hit anything in the same game as iconic superheroes whose blows never miss their targets. This is the method we recommend.


The difference between this and the proposed Accuracy power, as far as I can see, is that it makes up the difference in higher PLs without leaving the door open to overbalance the scales in favour of the attacker.

Another way to handle it would be to allow Accuracy into the game, with the caveat that one has to be higher than PL 10 to do so, and can only buy it to one's PL minus ten, which basically amounts to the same thing.

Worded another way, the set limit for total BAB + Accuracy allowed = Character's PL + (Character's PL - 10).

rakshasa
Bystander
Bystander
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:09 am

Postby rakshasa » Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:46 am

I think the subject has been covered extensively, and that last post provided a nice insight at a semi-official answer (that I find interesting and probably practical, but costly on the attacker's side).

I want to thank everyone involved in this thread, even those that called my opinions using not so nice (but sometimes accurate) terms. I feel I gained a much better understanding of the game's dynamics.

Rakshasa.

User avatar
Twilight Jack
Henchman
Henchman
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:50 pm

Postby Twilight Jack » Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:41 pm

grahf wrote:I see a problem with the fact that even if the GM doesn't invoke p. 148 it would still cost at least 80 points to fully implement, making him into somewhat of a one-trick pony.

Yeah being able to hit almost all the time can be overwhelming, but for the same point expenditure you can make characters who can deliver 400 attacks per round against an opponent, or who can force DC 50 Damage saves if they connect, or who are hard to find, incredibly hard to hit, and almost impossible to actually damage. Of course at that point the game devolves into "nuke fights" and "rock, paper, scissors" no matter what principle your superoptimized characters are based on, and that just plain isn't fun.

I think the problem is more with the overspecialization process than with the Accuracy power itself. In fact I'd go so far to say that it's an absolute necessity by PL 20 if anyone takes advantage of Super Speed or Dexterity. I do think it needs GM oversight to insure it's used in a responsible manner, but no more so that some of the official powers in the book.


For the most part, I'm looking at things from a PL 10 perspective. And I agree, over-optimization is the root problem, not any specific rule or power. However, Accuracy is the sort of power that invites a certain level of over-optimization from the outset. There are a number of ways to circumvent and deal with a high defense. Far fewer ways exist to deal with a character whose attacks never miss. Even a PL 20, maxed-out Dex monkey can be dealt with, so long as you don't try for the direct approach. Accuracy provides a direct approach to deal with a specific problem (maxed out defense) that proves absolutely murderous against any other character. I prefer the "hitting this guy is next to impossible, better try something else" solution. In the same way, you don't try to level a regenerating powerhouse like Juggernaut through direct damage. In comics, some characters just can't be beaten on their own terms. Speedsters definitely qualify.

But at higher PLs, I see where such a power may seem more necessary to prevent the Flash from being invincible. However, I still say a better solution to the "direct force isn't working" problem is something other than more direct force.

Kwikdraw wrote:
Actually, the thought of higher power levels made me dig up my printed copy of Above and Beyond. The author, Colin Fredericks, had a particularly good suggestion for handling the broadening gap between Attack and Defense at higher levels.

Allow an extra for Super-Strength or Super-Dexterity that provides an attack bonus to melee or ranged attacks, respectively. Perhaps one for Super-Wisdom that adds to mental attack bonuses as well. Let's call the extra Precision. It should provide an attack bonus equal to the number of ranks in the power minus ten. That still leaves a 20-point gap between ordinary heroes and speedsters, but that can be made up with feats without too much difficulty. This also leaves ordinary 10th-level heroes unchanged, and allows for big brutish villains who really can't hit anything in the same game as iconic superheroes whose blows never miss their targets. This is the method we recommend.


The difference between this and the proposed Accuracy power, as far as I can see, is that it makes up the difference in higher PLs without leaving the door open to overbalance the scales in favour of the attacker.

Another way to handle it would be to allow Accuracy into the game, with the caveat that one has to be higher than PL 10 to do so, and can only buy it to one's PL minus ten, which basically amounts to the same thing.

Worded another way, the set limit for total BAB + Accuracy allowed = Character's PL + (Character's PL - 10).


Now that is a solution with which I can live. I think it covers all the bases nicely.
It's not the side-effects of the cocaine

I'm thinking that it must be love . . .





Image

User avatar
grahf
Fanatic
Fanatic
Posts: 995
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 12:55 pm

Postby grahf » Sun Jul 18, 2004 2:49 pm

I agree, the PL -10 maintains the balance nicely at higher levels. It was one of the very few areas (along with Startle and Surprise Strike) where absolute levels mattered as well as relative ones. MnM's linearity is one reason I like it more than for example DnD, where combat at 20th level is largely a matter of which side's spellcasters win initiative.

That said, I do think there's a place for ultra-accurate characters provided they follow certain rules. For example I think a Bullseye clone who relied on Throwing Mastery or relatively weak (max +5L) shuriken or throwing knives would be allowed to take Power Attack, but not a Green Arrow clone with a Mighty bow. Naturally such characters should put their talents to good use by doing things like making shots from the last range increment and three- or four-bounce shots with Ricochet Attack, because that's cool, and after all doing cool things is half the point.

The 20 Str brick with maxed Super Str and a penchant for ramming would, of course, be smacked if he even so much as thought about taking Accuracy. IMO that crosses the line, just like a character taking Duplication and Possession or any other unholy combo.

And of course if players refuse to use restraint it can just be reserved for villains. After battles against robots, lumbering brutes, flying guys in spandex, and insane sorcerors I think it would be cool to pit them against a basically normal guy who only used a pistol or something but was just a very very good shot with it. Characters would have to be creative and use terrain, obscurement, shields, or just plain ambush tactics. Plus imagine how you'd FX a hit that managed to stun a Protection 10 character.

"He shot me in the what?! :shock:


Return to “Mutants & Masterminds Rules (1e)”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest