How do you gain an attack bonus ?

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mgg
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Postby mgg » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:13 am

farik wrote:You can normally only perform 1 attack per round anyway. The exceptions being things like autofire.


These are fairly common exceptions! Rapid strike, Rapid shot, off handed weapon fighting, autofire and multifire, heroic surge to start with.

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Postby mgg » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:17 am

rakshasa wrote:Accurate attack : At PL 10, +5 to attack will not be enough to go against Super-speed +10, while -5 to damage will cripple your damage (even moderate Protection will stop that attack).

You will note that the damage of Strength-based attacks being much higher than any other form of attack (up to PL+5 rather than PL), many players will choose physical attacks as their main offensive option, making the problem that much more obvious.


Note that these two statements resolve each other nicely!

I have no objection to house rules that add accuracy in order to model characters like bullseye. The game balance argument however just doesn't hold up during play.

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Re: How do you gain an attack bonus ?

Postby The Trapster » Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:55 pm

rakshasa wrote:The worst flaw I found so far concerns the attack roll.

The Defense bonus uses the base defense bonus (up to PL), the normal dexterity bonus (up to +5), and can be modified by some powers (such as Super-Dexterity and Super-Speed, up to PL).

The Attack bonus uses the base attack bonus (up to PL), the normal strength bonus (up to +5), but no usual power can raise it further.

Ignoring the effects of various feats, and the base 10 in defense that counteracts the roll of a d20 for attack, that leaves a huge gap that can grows larger with power level.
Total AB 15
Total DB 25
(EDIT: D'ho! I forgot the +10 just for DC calculation)

Average d20 roll is 10.5 so at PL 10 the change of hitting is slightly infavor of the attacker.
(EDIT: D'ho! 9.5 in the defenders favor.)Thanks Marshal!

You know that most characters are not max'ed out. Makes me wonder if anyone has a game where all the characters are Maxed.
I've never heard of anyone talking of it really. Just theorical like this.

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Last edited by The Trapster on Thu Jul 15, 2004 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby efindel » Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:28 pm

And don't forget the possibility of using Extra Effort to gain the "Area Effect" extra when needed. Heck... one could even argue that such could be used by a machine-gun wielding villain doing a spray...

In addition to Accurate Attack, there's also the All-Out Attack feat, to let you transfer points from dodge bonus to attack bonus. The Ricochet feat can also be useful against high-Dodge opponents, in allowing you to sometimes do a Surprise Attack against them.

Lastly, a though/question... stacking limits prevent getting a bonus higher than PL -- but how about offsetting penalties? E.g., if you build a PL 10 character with Super-Strength +10 and Strike +5, and then have him do Accurate Attack, can he take the points he subtracts off Damage Bonus off the points he "can't use"? If he could, that could be an interesting option for some types of characters...

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Re: How do you gain an attack bonus ?

Postby Marshal Law » Tue Jul 13, 2004 11:54 pm

The Trapster wrote:Total AB 15
Total DB 25

Average d20 roll is 10.5 so at PL 10 the change of hitting is slightly infavor of the attacker.



Trapster, remember that Total DB can be 35 at PL 10. Base 10 + 10 DV +10 Super + 5 Dex.

I still agree with the rest of your post, that they should actually play before twiddling it, though, as it is plenty possible to stall that super and deny him his dex and dodge bonuses, dropping him all the way down to 15.

And a 20 always hits anyway.

There are some characters whose whole concept relies on not getting hit, and they will still get hit 5% of the time, no matter what. You just allowed the enemies to make this *50%* of the time. This will not be fun for the average speedster.

In fact, I'd say it is crippling.

"Hey flash, Bullseye is in town. You'd better stay home whilst the rest of us track him down, given how easy it is for him to shoot you."

****

By adding an accuracy power so that you cn get your PL 10 attacks up to a base 25, I'd also be worried that unless the opponent has almost maxed out his defences - which may not suit the concept at all - there are plenty of circumstances where this character can never miss.

Also that this now makes a blaster character with power-attack much more powerful. In effect, you have allowed a PL 10 blaster to do PL15 damage at the cost of a measly 12 points, by taking 5 points of accuracy and power attack - the Accuracy exactly counters his BAB penalty. .

I suppose thats OK - you've crippled speedsters, may as well cripple those pesky bricks, too.
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Re: How do you gain an attack bonus ?

Postby d4 » Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:35 am

Marshal Law wrote:There are some characters whose whole concept relies on not getting hit, and they will still get hit 5% of the time, no matter what. You just allowed the enemies to make this *50%* of the time. This will not be fun for the average speedster.

and imagine how much less fun it would be for the guy who didn't max out his BDB or buy Super-Dex...

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Postby rakshasa » Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:33 pm

I'm glad that problem can be safely ignored with proper GM guidance, and of course I will be suggesting guidelines about this during play.

However, I am still convinced that it is very easy to build a very frustrating level of Defense, without crippling the character in other departments. None of the proposed answers is easy or effective enough not to warrant simple interdiction of such a concept.

It is strange that so many people stood up for the current system, while the lack of symmetry is obviously a flaw with no possible excuse. I have been convinced by this thread that it can be safely ignored, but it would have been nice to hear that the next edition of the game should address the issue and change the rules, as I still believe it should.

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Postby TerraFan » Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:08 pm

rakshasa wrote:I'm glad that problem can be safely ignored with proper GM guidance, and of course I will be suggesting guidelines about this during play.

However, I am still convinced that it is very easy to build a very frustrating level of Defense, without crippling the character in other departments. None of the proposed answers is easy or effective enough not to warrant simple interdiction of such a concept.

It is strange that so many people stood up for the current system, while the lack of symmetry is obviously a flaw with no possible excuse. I have been convinced by this thread that it can be safely ignored, but it would have been nice to hear that the next edition of the game should address the issue and change the rules, as I still believe it should.

Rakshasa.


The reason that so many people have stood up for it is that we don't see it as "obviously a flaw with no possible excuse". There are TONS of ways to get around a high defense. Perhaps the best ones that comes to mind is best is Taunt (the other mind control), mental attacks, area attacks, and the like. If the game is just about getting into melee, and rolling dice until someone goes down, then yeah, you've got problems.

As it is, combats can be short in this game. The damage system means that people can, and often do, go down in one hit. This isn't D&D, where at higher levels AC is irrelavant and people fight and fight as their hit points are whittled down....this ain't that game. The current system makes the game more cinematic by making sucessful hits the exception rather than the rule.

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Postby Marshal Law » Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:00 am

Being damn near impossible to hit is a common superhero schtick. This is a superhero game.

Therefore, having characters that are damn near impossible to hit does not strike me as "a flaw with no possible excuse".

In fact, if you couldn't build a superhero that was damn near impossible to hit, I'd say that THAT was "a flaw with no possible excuse".

*****

I note you said nothing about Protection, which, for a low level mook makes a character damn near impossible to hurt, probably moreso than a high defence makes you hard to hit. So its OK for characters to be quite literally bullet proof, but its not ok for them to be able to dodge bullets instead?

(although I have already pointed out that a simple two point feat will allow somebody with the hypothetical "accuracy" power to counter both)
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Postby Kwikdraw » Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:35 am

I like Mutants & Masterminds because, unlike the old TSR Marvel Super Heroes, concepts like Spider-Man and the Flash who rely on superior agility instead of bulletproof skin to avoid taking damage actually work. However, with a bit of thought and the Taunt or Bluff skill, one can overcome those superior defenses fairly easily.

As a play example for you, Rakshasa, the Golden Age game I'm running had an Italian villainess (an archer, specifically) whose main defense was superior agility. The PCs who went after her had average Attack bonuses of +8, so they were having a hell of a time trying to nail her Defense of 26. Finally, one of the characters (a speedster with guns) successfully Taunted her, ("Hey, Diana. Italians should stick to fighting enemies they can handle. You know, like Ethiopia") making her flat-footed. This lowered the archer's Defense down to 15, leaving her wide open for the speedster's shot.

Once the archer was hit, she wasn't able to use her Evasion feat to make a +12 Reflex save vs. damage because, of course, one loses the benefits of Evasion when one is caught flat-footed. So she had to rely on her +3 Damage save, which meant she ended up getting Stunned by the hit, leaving her wide open to be hogtied by another good guy.

The same thing would happen with two characters who are maxed out. +15 Attack Bonus Boy has only a 5% chance to hit 35 Defense Girl, unless he successfully Taunts or Bluffs her. Then, all of a sudden, 35 Defense Girl becomes 20 Defense Girl (since 15 points of her Defense come from a dodge bonus, which is lost once one is flat-footed) which means +15 Attack Bonus Boy now has a 75% chance to hit her.

I like the fact that players have to think a little bit when fighting a foe (or at the very least, come up with a decent insult to set them off-balance) rather than just rely on superior combat abilities. It simulates the fights I enjoy reading in comics. :)

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Postby MLChance » Thu Jul 15, 2004 4:11 am

rakshasa wrote:It is strange that so many people stood up for the current system, while the lack of symmetry is obviously a flaw with no possible excuse.


As should be obvious by reading the experiences of people who played the game, the ratio between defense and attack bonuses isn't any kind of flaw at all, let alone an obvious one without excuse.
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Postby farik » Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:22 am

I understand people's concern about being able to lose their dex bonus from things like taunt but what about the defender who has the maxed BDB? That character still has a DC of 20 to hit without any dex modifiers that can't be stripped off.

Furthermore while you could give a character like Green Arrow taunt (and probably should) that doesn't really cover those times when he's making a really difficult shot againt a difficult inanimate target or even when he makes an incredible shot as a surprise action.

As far as whether the Flash should avoid super accurate characters of course they should. That's no different than saying bricks should avoid energy field characters. A character with accuracy power hits a high defense character by aiming for where they are going to try and get away to or where they are going to be.

I don't think everyone should take "Accuracy" but there are some concepts that it is well suited for. For me it works better than treating each type of attack as a seperate skill which is a houserule used by some people.
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Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Postby d4 » Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:04 am

farik wrote:I understand people's concern about being able to lose their dex bonus from things like taunt but what about the defender who has the maxed BDB? That character still has a DC of 20 to hit without any dex modifiers that can't be stripped off.

can we assume the attacker is maxed out too? so BAB +10, Str/Dex 20 (depending on melee/range), Attack Focus. that right there is a +16 attack bonus (so he only needs to roll a 4 or better to hit). if he can fly, take Aerial Combat for another +1. if he's got a ranged attack and he's within 30 ft, take Point Blank Shot for another +1. now he's potentially up to +18, and can use Accurate Attack to get up to +23 if he wants to lower his damage output.

farik wrote:Furthermore while you could give a character like Green Arrow taunt (and probably should) that doesn't really cover those times when he's making a really difficult shot againt a difficult inanimate target or even when he makes an incredible shot as a surprise action.

an inanimate object is not going to have a BDB, and will have a Dex of 0 (-5 to Defense). if GA attacks from surprise, the target is flat-footed and doesn't get his Dex or dodge bonuses to Defenses. if he pulls off a trickshot (say using the Ricochet Attack feat) the GM "may count [it] as a surprise attack, causing the defender to lose all dodge bonuses to Defense."

there's lots of ways off nullifying those pesky Super-Speed / Super-Dex dodge bonuses. like several others here, i don't see a need to inflate BAB with an "Accuracy" power in order to hit high Defenses or simulate extremely accurate characters.

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Postby farik » Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:32 am

d4 wrote:
farik wrote:I understand people's concern about being able to lose their dex bonus from things like taunt but what about the defender who has the maxed BDB? That character still has a DC of 20 to hit without any dex modifiers that can't be stripped off.

can we assume the attacker is maxed out too? so BAB +10, Str/Dex 20 (depending on melee/range), Attack Focus. that right there is a +16 attack bonus (so he only needs to roll a 4 or better to hit). if he can fly, take Aerial Combat for another +1. if he's got a ranged attack and he's within 30 ft, take Point Blank Shot for another +1. now he's potentially up to +18, and can use Accurate Attack to get up to +23 if he wants to lower his damage output.


What does that have to do with the price of tea in Bangkok? I'm not saying a person has to be maxed on defense I'm saying that if a person purchases BDB it doesn't get stripped off by being flat footed. I don't think most people buy up their BDB this high but they could. Now that character is really hard to hit unless someone buys BAB.

d4 wrote:
farik wrote:Furthermore while you could give a character like Green Arrow taunt (and probably should) that doesn't really cover those times when he's making a really difficult shot againt a difficult inanimate target or even when he makes an incredible shot as a surprise action.

an inanimate object is not going to have a BDB, and will have a Dex of 0 (-5 to Defense). if GA attacks from surprise, the target is flat-footed and doesn't get his Dex or dodge bonuses to Defenses. if he pulls off a trickshot (say using the Ricochet Attack feat) the GM "may count [it] as a surprise attack, causing the defender to lose all dodge bonuses to Defense."


But that character with the high BDB is still hard to hit even if Green Arrow bought up his BAB to an equal level. Isn't it safe to assume Green Arrow should almost always be able to hit an unsuspecting target (not just have an average chance)?

d4 wrote:there's lots of ways off nullifying those pesky Super-Speed / Super-Dex dodge bonuses. like several others here, i don't see a need to inflate BAB with an "Accuracy" power in order to hit high Defenses or simulate extremely accurate characters.


Fine don't use the "Accuracy" power then. All I can say is that we use it and we have not had any problems with defense inflation. For us it lets us make what we consider to be more refined characters instead of Green Arrow having amazing ability to strike with mental powers, hand to hand, and ranged attacks instead he can specialize in ranged, have a little help in the hand to hand dept. and leave his mental attacks accuracy untouched.

Maxed BAB just doesn't fit all concepts for the accurate character.
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Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Postby Marshal Law » Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:50 am

farik wrote:
But that character with the high BDB is still hard to hit even if Green Arrow bought up his BAB to an equal level. Isn't it safe to assume Green Arrow should almost always be able to hit an unsuspecting target (not just have an average chance)?


Against somebody whose defence is equal to your attack score, you think it unfair that you only hit them 50% of the time?

If somebody has spent as much time and effort getting hard to hit as GA has at being able to hit things, why should he "almost always" be able to hit them?
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