Up until this point, I have been pitting the heroes of my group against villians of my own creation...and of course a ton of mooks. Now that I've been able to take a look at some of the great villians in Freedom City and Crooks, I want to use some of them too.
Here's my concern. I use the typical +15 damage save where the damage save is 15 + rank + STR (if melee). But, I was considering switching to +10 instead. Like I said, I've made up all the villians so far (and the heroes the PC's are using too for that matter). So, I have balanced out exactly how powerful an attack and the damage saves against them are. I know what to expect. But, if I start using villians from the books, I wonder whether they will be able to stand up very long against powerful attacks or if the heroes will be able to last long against the villians attacks.
I've tried to keep a balance of (1)pluses to hit, (2)Defense, (3)max damage dealt, (4)Protection and damage saves, (5)nondamaging attacks or effects, and (5)'pumps' like Power Attack and AllOut Attack.
Back to my question...Do you find that combats with the +15 are too quick or the +10 too slow? Any stories you'd like to share? I'd appreciate it!
Anyone use +10 damage DCs instead of +15?

 Hireling
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 Sidekick
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The +15 is set up so that if the attack power and the save bonuses are equal, 25% of the time there will be no effect, 25% of the time there will be a 'hit', 25% of the time there will be a stun, and 25% of the time there will be a knockout.
If you shift that to +10, then you're shifting the odds by a whopping 25%  50% chance of no effect, 25% chance of hit, 25% chance of stun, and 0% chance of knockout. That's a pretty big change, and it looks like it would roughly double the length of your combats, simply because twice as many hits would have no effect.
After having played in a few sessions at PL10 and PL 7, I think the system works fine the way it is, given the ability to spend hero points to recover from stun or even unconsciousness.
J
If you shift that to +10, then you're shifting the odds by a whopping 25%  50% chance of no effect, 25% chance of hit, 25% chance of stun, and 0% chance of knockout. That's a pretty big change, and it looks like it would roughly double the length of your combats, simply because twice as many hits would have no effect.
After having played in a few sessions at PL10 and PL 7, I think the system works fine the way it is, given the ability to spend hero points to recover from stun or even unconsciousness.
J

 Hireling
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 Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:20 am
 Location: Pennsylvania
Dr. Nuncheon wrote:The +15 is set up so that if the attack power and the save bonuses are equal, 25% of the time there will be no effect, 25% of the time there will be a 'hit', 25% of the time there will be a stun, and 25% of the time there will be a knockout.
Yes, I've considered those equations also, but that's assuming the ratio between the heroes stats and the villians stats are equal. If a villian with a +5 energy blast hits a hero with a +5 damage save, it'll be the 25% as above. But if either of those numbers (damage or save) is +10, the equation is much different.
I guess I'm answering my own question here...the decision to use +10 or +15 depends on how similarly matched the combatants are. Or how liberally the creator of those characters went with damage saves or power ranks on attacks. I haven't done the math yet, but it seems that there are villians of PL 10 who could mop the floor with our team of five PL 8 heroes. Likewise, there are villians of PL 12 or higher who wouldn't last long again them.
True, there are hero points (and villian points) to spend, but I don't like leaning on them. For example, my team of heroes (five PL 8 heroes) has a combined 20 hero points among them. A couple PL 10 villians and a bunch of mooks (as in the Heist adventure) only have a combined 10 villian points. Rant and Rave soon run out of points, maybe too quickly.
Has anyone had difficulty with this? Or has anyone found that the difficulty that villians from the books pose vary from what their power levels suggest? Would lowering the DC to +10 even make a difference?

 Sidekick
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 Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2003 4:10 am
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Rubber Band Man wrote:Yes, I've considered those equations also, but that's assuming the ratio between the heroes stats and the villians stats are equal.
Well, yeah. I kind of said that.
I guess I'm answering my own question here...the decision to use +10 or +15 depends on how similarly matched the combatants are.
Or you could adjust the writeup. The important thing is that once you know how they balance at equal levels, it's pretty easy to see how shifting one way or the other handles things. Each +1 of attack over defense moves it 5% towards the knockout.
Or how liberally the creator of those characters went with damage saves or power ranks on attacks. I haven't done the math yet, but it seems that there are villians of PL 10 who could mop the floor with our team of five PL 8 heroes. Likewise, there are villians of PL 12 or higher who wouldn't last long again them.
Right. PL certainly isn't the beall, endall indicator (nor was it meant to be.) You need to compare the villains abilities and their probable tactics. A PL6 mind controller could give an entire PL10 team a tough time, if he winds up in control of the team brick.
True, there are hero points (and villian points) to spend, but I don't like leaning on them. For example, my team of heroes (five PL 8 heroes) has a combined 20 hero points among them. A couple PL 10 villians and a bunch of mooks (as in the Heist adventure) only have a combined 10 villian points.
Nitpick: If they're facing five PL8 heros, they ought to have 12 villain points, not 10. The formula is the highest hero PL, plus half of all the other hero PLs, that sum divided by 2.
And don't underestimate the fact that the villains draw from a central pool. Sure, the heros have combined 20 hero points, but they can't give them to each other, so each one only has 4. The master villain can have 12 all for himself if he (er, the GM) wants.
Would lowering the DC to +10 even make a difference?
It would definitely increase the length of the combat. I think that would tend to favor the more powerful characters, the ones with the higher attacks and defenses.
In fact, with the addition of Hero/Villain points I feel it would strongly favor the higher PL side. If the villain has a +12 damage save vs a DC of 18 (assuming a PL12 baddie vs. PL8 heros), then a villain point means an automatic success on the damage save, since spending a VP to reroll gives a minimum result of 10.
J