Vulnerability and Protection

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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Postby hypervirtue » Mon Feb 28, 2005 12:26 pm

Magic doesn't pass through, he is not vulnerable *sighs*

According to DC's writers superman is effected by magic in the same manner as magic effects the world. IE a magical lightning bolt would hit him and superman would likely be fine, as its a magical effect that mimics lightning. If you have a power to turn him into a pig he'd turn into a pig. If thor hits him with his magic hammer Superman would be as damaged as if a normal hammer hit him which is not at all. If you have a sword that is magically enchanted to cut through anythng it will cut through him because thats what the enchantment does.

Superman has no vulnerability to magic, he just has no special defense against magical effects. A magically enchanted sword designed to do 10 times more damage than a normal sword wouldn't scratch supes at all.
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Postby Marshal Law » Mon Feb 28, 2005 1:18 pm

Ehhhh, read my post again except pretend that I typed Kryptonite, which is what I meant to type, not "magic".

:oops:

Treacherous fingers! Pull another stunt like that and it'll be time for Mr Lump-hammer!

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Vis the magic - its a confusion that arises more from semantics, than anything. The comics often describe superman as vulnerable to magic, but its vulnerable with a small "v", - not Vulnerable as the M&M rules define it, but vulnerable as the default of anybody who isn't invulnerable.

IE, I'm vulnerable to being shot, as bullets don't bounce off my chest, but I am not actually *more* vulnerable to bullets than anybody else is. Or more vulnerable to bullets than I am to an arrow through the chest, other than the difference in "power-level".
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Postby hypervirtue » Mon Feb 28, 2005 2:42 pm

Basically, people seem to think that if they put any enchantment on something it defeats his invulnerability, but thats been proven to be false. In Kingdom Come Superman is hit by Captain Marvel over 8 times with MAGICAL lightning and while Superman is hurt he's not so bad off that he couldn't win the fight and still go after the missile.
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Postby Dr Archeville » Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:20 pm

hypervirtue wrote:Superman has no vulnerability to magic, he just has no special defense against magical effects.


Wouldn't that mean that Supe's Protection (or Super-Constitution, or whatever) would be ineffective against magic? Those are his special defenses against mundane effects.

And, yeah, in KC, he was hit several times by CM's lightning and survived (barely, each hit was doing some damage to him)... but he also sliced himself on WW's Hephaestus-forged sword by just running his finger across the blade.

Has Supes ever been shown to be hit by normal, non-magical/non-magically-generated lightning (like, say, from Weather Wizard's Wand, or from Bolt or Black Lightning)? If so, how'd that affect him? Dis he shurg those off completely? Or did they appear to do as much to him as CM's lightning blasts did?
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Postby hypervirtue » Mon Feb 28, 2005 5:43 pm

They did the same roughly, electricity seems to hurt Supes a good bit actually. That sword is the one that will cut anything so it should cut Supes. No Superman's normal protection still works on Magical things, just not on magical effects...

Being turned into a Dog = Magical Effect
Hit by a magical ball of fire = He will soak it

Think about it, Supes was struck 8 times EIGHT TIMES if he had no protection at all how come he was still standing and fighting after EIGHT DIRECT hits?
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Postby Dr Archeville » Mon Feb 28, 2005 7:06 pm

Hero Points ;)

Seriously, though, I do fully agree on the "as resistant to non-damaging Magical Effects as Joe Mook" -- a spell that can turn folks into frogs would work on him just fine. But Vulnerability doesn't cover non-damaging effects (like Transformation or Paralysis or Snare), only damaging ones. Giving him Protection and making him Vulnerable to Magic would, as far as him being affected by magical effects, work 100% fine, since Protection does squat against Paralysis or Snare or Transformation or etc..

Now, if you give Supes Super-Constitution instead or Protection as his main form of defense against everything, you'd need to give him some form of Limited flaw. "Limited-Super-Con does not add to Fort saves against Magical effects," for example.

Given the way his powers seem to work, though, I'd go with just giving him Protection, since, as mentioned, that does squadoo aginst non-damaging effects anyway. A high resistance to physically damaging effects but no particular defenses against (in game terms) things that require a Fort or Will save (like Transformation) is practically by definition what the Protection power is all about.
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Postby Cardiac » Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:26 pm

hypervirtue wrote:They did the same roughly, electricity seems to hurt Supes a good bit actually. That sword is the one that will cut anything so it should cut Supes. No Superman's normal protection still works on Magical things, just not on magical effects...


Well, he IS still a living bio-electric organisim. That electricity can't feel too good coursing through his nervous system. It may or may not actually do damage, but it's at least firing the hell out of his pain receptors, motor control, etc.

Think about it, Supes was struck 8 times EIGHT TIMES if he had no protection at all how come he was still standing and fighting after EIGHT DIRECT hits?


In game terms - it ignored his Protection/DR but was soaked by his damage save/HP.

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Postby hypervirtue » Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:14 am

I disagree on that one...

Capt Marvel is like a lvl 20 character, lvl 20 lightning wouldn't be soakable without protection...

I don't see Supes having the Magical weakness at all.

He's got protection (no help vs being turned into stuff)

maximum non-powers can soak: (+7 total) so in theory, assuming a natural 19 the highest a person could soak would be a DC 26

DC 26 is a +9 attack
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Postby InnocentBystander » Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:56 am

Marshal Law wrote:
InnocentBystander wrote:
SilentTiger wrote:Could Superman use his breath to blow away the chunk of green kryptonite thrown towards him?


But that is not Vulnerability, that's Susceptibilty.

Vulnerabilty is MR. freeze/heat, Venom/sound, Superman/magic, etc.
I think the best compromise is to conisider the protection Ablative against the source of the weakness.


Actually, I'd say that supes is both Susceptable and Vulnerable to Kryptonite (Kryptonite! Not magic, as my traitorous fingers originally typed.), as not only does its mere presence cause him harm, but it also prevents his protection from working.

Shoot Supes with a bullet made of kryptonite, and he will suffer a bulletwound, as well as kyptonian poisoning. Mix kryptonite into a nerve gas and he will suffer the effects of the nervegas as well as the kryptonite.

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that is because in presence of kryptonite Supes tend to lose his powers. he could have the flaw Ineffective (in presence of kryptonite) to all of them) or an ulterior susceptibility weakness that don't kill him, but make him powerless.
I think it is fair to say that if you have a vulnerability your defensive powers would be automatically (no extra points) ineffective against that source,(and you can buy it off with an extra.

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Postby EL » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:27 am

I write supes up as
vulnerable and susceptable to kryptonite (10 pts each)
transformation red sun and some krytonite (5 pts each)
The transform being either powerless, evil, giant head,etc, whatever
protection flawed versus magic
which allows him to overcome with hero points

this write up I belive covers all bases and explains how he could survive 9 magic lightning bolts from the big red cheese because really who has more hero points then superman.

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Postby Paragon » Tue Mar 01, 2005 11:41 am

The real problem is that Superman (and other Kryptonians) exact weaknesses have varied enormously over the years. At one time he clearly did lose a good deal of his invulnerability against magic; magical bolts of energy would hurt him dispreportionately to how they harmed others who had normally much less tolerance for damage. Similar things occured with Kryptonite; in some versions a kryptonite bullet would penetrate his skin just as though he didn't have any invulnerability (even though green kryptonite routinely has taken a while to completely sap his powers) in other its only danger was there'd be a piece of kryptonite sitting near him after it bounced off him.

And that's even when the weaknesses are used consistently from one writer to the next, which is far from always the case.
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Postby Setothes » Tue Mar 01, 2005 1:50 pm

The real problem is that Superman (and other Kryptonians) exact weaknesses have varied enormously over the years.


Precisely. A vampire named 'Skeeter' managed to open a gash in his chest with her claws, and wrestled with him quite effectively, only to be staked by Batman. Her 'mystical' nature made her powerfully effective against him. In the John Byrne Man of Steel run, a sorceress nearly kicked his ass as well, and the demon Etrigan ended up having to save his butt.

In more current appearances, mystical attacks from individuals like Captain Marvel and Thor seem to not have any special effect on him. If the same rules were in force that caused 'Skeeter' to be able to wound him, Thor's enchanted hammer should have blasted a smoking hammer-shaped hole in his chest and left him very messily dead.

Ultimately, it is up to the person converting him to *choose* what sort of vulnerability they want him to have, since the 'canonical' sources are contradictory. Arguing historical precedent isn't terribly useful, since the facts don't agree from writer to writer. Just pick one version, mention at the end that this doesn't jibe with some write-ups, just like Charles Xavier doesn't have the telekinetic force blasts he was once shown as having, Wolverine no longer has detachable claws that come off with his gloves and super-speed as his sole power, and the Beast can no longer regenerate in seconds from otherwise fatal gunshot wounds, as he did in his first blue-furred Iron Man appearance. Pretty much any comic conversion is going to have to accept this, since most characters have gained or lost powers and weaknesses over time.

Pick a Superman. If other gamers want him more or less susceptible to red sun / magic / kryptonite / antimatter, or want him to have the full raft of powers he had in the golden age, such as Super-Hypnotism (that could affect a whole city!) or an advanced Kryptonian intellect *two orders of magnitude smarter than Batman,* they can tweak him to suit themselves. :)

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Re: Vulnerability and Protection

Postby Whiplash » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:52 pm

The official writeup of Superman with his vulnerability to magic is a little bogus.

Magic nullifies his Impervious Toughness of 18, which means he does not have to make a toughness roll on any damage of 9 or under. However, his Toughness is so high that only at damage 14 does it begin to have a real chance of doing any damage to him.

In other words, as far as magical damage is concerned, this "vulnerability" is essentially no vulnerability at all. Any damage threatening enough to hurt Superman would be higher than his Impervious Toughness could handle anyway.

Most other magical effects are not going to target Impervious Toughness anyway, so again, his vulnerability to magic, as it is written up, is essentially nothing. You could add or remove this vulnerability as written, and it makes little to no difference in the effectiveness of the character when facing magical foes.

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Re: Vulnerability and Protection

Postby FuzzyBoots » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:07 pm

:) Are you talked about the 3E/DCA build? Because this the 1E forum. I know there was an official 1E build of The Hulk, but I don't think they licensed Superman.

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Re: Vulnerability and Protection

Postby Paragon » Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:21 am

FuzzyBoots wrote::) Are you talked about the 3E/DCA build? Because this the 1E forum. I know there was an official 1E build of The Hulk, but I don't think they licensed Superman.


I suspect the poster was lost. :)
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