Having Problems with Damage Saves

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SilentTiger
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Having Problems with Damage Saves

Post by SilentTiger » Thu May 19, 2005 10:00 am

So in the battle I am running, the heroes are helping 3 PL 3 NPCs to rescue their friends from body-snatching aliens, PL 7. But my PL7, though Damge pumped up at a whopping +7, are still getting a beating, not from the PL~7 or less heroes, but the PL3 NPCs. I was expecting the NPCs to be taken out right away, but no deal.

Anyone else have this problem? I feel that the Damage saves are problematic. Has anyone tried anything different, like relaxing stun conditions or multiple 'hits' with an attack mentioned in Annual?
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Post by Frozen Yakman » Thu May 19, 2005 10:45 am

Are the NPCs being treated as minions for the purposes of damage saves?

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Post by Comassion » Thu May 19, 2005 12:18 pm

We need more information. Specifically, are you complaining about damage saves being too effective for the PL 3's or too inneffective for the PL 7 aliens?

You seem to be leaning towards making damage saves more forgiving, so I'm going to assume the latter.

Did the aliens get any kind of defensive power, like force field, or protection, or armor, or amazing save: damage, or points spent in base defense bonus and dexterity? A PL 7 alien with a protection effect or a decent rank in amazing save: damage should be all but immune to any number of PL 3's.

If not, then their defenses are simply inadequate. A PL-7 isn't automatically a tough opponent for a PL 3 (in fact, a PL 20 isn't automatially a tough opponent for a PL 5 hero if he's built with no defenses).

To survive, the aliens either need some form of protection or evasion or toughness. Without any defenses, their power level is irrelevant, and they will fall like wet paper bags.

Finally, are the aliens considered minions? If so, they'll fall down fast in this system. Minions tend to fall down 90% of the time they're attacked.

Most importantly, if the aliens aren't minions, are you using villian points for their damage saves? VP and Hero Points are the great equalizer in the M&M combat system. You need to use them to stay up when you take hits and roll badly, and thankfully even if you have a +0 damage save it will prevent you from dropping in one hit due to an attack from a PL 3.

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Post by tesuji » Fri May 20, 2005 4:57 am

Ok it looks like the villains are getting wallopped by the 4 levcel lower NPCs.

First, IMX having your damage save = level is not "pumped up". A fairly typical design is for damages save = level+con for 2-3 pts higher than level.

Second, realize that levels aren't in and of themselves hugedifferences in power, so given your aliens are only 4 levels higher than your NPCs, they are "at risk" and if you wanted the aliens to be not worrying about the NPCs then you needed to raise the super-level. By keeping the supers and aliens at level 7, they will be hurt by these guys.

Thirdly, are you by chance allowing your NPCs to use the "normal guns" and thus get attacks in the +5 or better range or club/sword similarly? What are the numbers you are running.

Finaly, by the math... assume +3 attack vs +7 damage save the numbers run like this...

Die Roll..........effect
11-20.......... no effect
6-10.......... hit (-1 to damage saves)
1-5............ stun (stun for 1 round)

So, if this is a problem i suspect you are using higher than PL-3 damage attacks.

PS: remember to spend villain points to reroll bad damage saves.
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Post by SilentTiger » Sun May 22, 2005 9:45 am

Aliens:
Damage AS: +7
Deflection: +7
Defense: +5 (total 15)

Werewolves:

Strike +3
STR +2
Attack +3

Aliens have been trying to Snare the Werewolves for specimens. Snare Reflex 17 vs Werewolves +5 Reflex Save (AS +3, Dex +2). Even with 4 Aliens vs 1 Werewolf, they have only been able to Snare 1 Werewolf helpless.
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Post by farik » Sun May 22, 2005 11:42 am

SilentTiger wrote:Aliens:
Damage AS: +7
Deflection: +7
Defense: +5 (total 15)

Werewolves:

Strike +3
STR +2
Attack +3

Aliens have been trying to Snare the Werewolves for specimens. Snare Reflex 17 vs Werewolves +5 Reflex Save (AS +3, Dex +2). Even with 4 Aliens vs 1 Werewolf, they have only been able to Snare 1 Werewolf helpless.
Apparently you've been rolling very badly on your attack rolls or they've been rolling well on their saves.

A saving throw of +5 should fail roughly 70% of the time with a DC of 17.

Are the werewolves "dsipatching" the aliens before they attack? Because the werewolves look like they could hit the aliens 50% of the time according to what you just posted. But even then their deflection and or damage save should protect them from actual damage roughly 35% of the time (damage save DC 20 average damage save roll should be 17).
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Oh, and by the way, I don't use drawbacks in my game, just complications.

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Post by SilentTiger » Mon May 23, 2005 9:22 am

Not dispatching, but avoidiing the aliens Snares and then actually hitting them and stunning them. Maybe it IS just lucky rolls... As soon as the werewolves get Snared the first time, they break out of their bonds, because I cannot get more than one alien to hit at a time.
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Post by mgg » Mon May 23, 2005 2:10 pm

If you want your aliens to be more effective, give them rapid shot to launch two snares a turn. Also make sure the aliens don't attack within hand to hand combat range of the werewolves.

The way you've described things, damage save 7 isn't all that powerful against an attack strength of 5. I don't think that is a flaw of damage saves.

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Post by Iron Man » Tue May 24, 2005 6:54 am

Don't forget that the aliens can gang up and improve their attack roll against a single opponent. I believe that up to 4 others can essentially help, giving a total of +4 to hit to one alien.

Also, get the aliens into flanking positions. The +2 for each of them will make a big difference.

You can try grappling. Once someone is grappled, they lose their Dex (and therefore Dodge) bonuses to Defense. This will make it easier for the aliens to hit the grappled hero.

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Post by Comassion » Wed May 25, 2005 6:08 am

The aliens are kinda wussy, defense-wise, for PL 7's. It's not hard to see why a couple unlucky rolls would allow a werewolf to cause problems for you.

I'd like to see attack stats for the aliens and defense stats for the werewolves as well, so we can examine the snare issue.

One easy solution, if you want the aliens to win, is to change AS: Damage to Armor, Protection, or Force Field. The WW's won't be able to hurt the aliens without feats or extra effort, both of which come with penalties. Problem solved.

Alternatively, you can give the aliens a few points of constitution. Even at a +2, you'll see a dramatic difference in a +9 damage save vs. 5 damage compared to a +7 damage save vs. 5 damage. At a +9 damage save, stun results or worse will only come up on a roll of 6 or lower, and being KOed only happens on a 1 (with no prior damage).

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