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PL questions

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PL questions

Postby Darcand » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:34 am

My group and I are brand new to M&M and we only have the DC Adventures books (Hero's + H&V 1&2) I will be GMing. The setting is Gotham, which seems to consist mostly of PL 8-12 characters and the starting PL is 10, is that too high for this setting? What makes a solid encounter? I am really afraid that the characters' first encounter with a classic villian will end with them walking through his spray of bullets and knocking him out in one punch (actually, no, they would love that, I am afraid of it happening every time.) How do I balance?

Also, how do you keep powers in line with tech? I.E. a 10 point motorcycle doesn't seem nearly as good as Flight 5.

For that matter, do grenades cost points per grenade, or does it provide a limitless amount? I have an idea for Harley Quinn using confetti grenades.
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Re: PL questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:51 am

Darcand wrote:My group and I are brand new to M&M and we only have the DC Adventures books (Hero's + H&V 1&2) I will be GMing. The setting is Gotham, which seems to consist mostly of PL 8-12 characters and the starting PL is 10, is that too high for this setting? What makes a solid encounter? I am really afraid that the characters' first encounter with a classic villian will end with them walking through his spray of bullets and knocking him out in one punch (actually, no, they would love that, I am afraid of it happening every time.) How do I balance?

Honestly, it's more art than science, but a basic system can be found at http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=24919&p=604377#p604377 for roughing out encounters based on PL. Past that, as a GM, cheat. GM Fiat is handy both for making an encounter easier or for making it harder by choosing the outcome of a few rolls or deciding that a particular environmental hazard takes out several of the minions. Two bits of advice: a) don't swing things too far when the heroes seem down and out -- d20 is very swingy so they might come out on top in the next round plus you can always have them be defeated, give them a hero point, and then play it out from them escaping captivity, and b) if the fiat works against them, give a hero point to everyone involved.

Darcand wrote:Also, how do you keep powers in line with tech? I.E. a 10 point motorcycle doesn't seem nearly as good as Flight 5.

A 10 EP motorcycle costs 2 pp for two ranks of equipment. Flight 5 costs 10 pp. There's a little of the balance. Also, Flight can't be lent to an escaping bystander and flying people attract attention (as Schlock Mercenary put it, one name for untrained mercenaries in flying suits is "skeet").

Darcand wrote:For that matter, do grenades cost points per grenade, or does it provide a limitless amount? I have an idea for Harley Quinn using confetti grenades.

It's an unlimited amount until you run out. If it's equipment, they just run out. If it's a Device or Power, that's Fiat and the user should get a Hero Point. Otherwise, you always have as much as you need.
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Re: PL questions

Postby Darcand » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:10 am

Oh! I see it now, this book seems clumsily written, but it might just be that I've never played with someone who has. I didn't notice that equiptment gives you x5 points for buying. That makes it much more even.
As for the link, Thank You! This will take some digging, but it is better then the nothing that they include in the Hero's Handbook. And on the GM fiat, I've been GMing D20 for as long as it's been D20, so I know all about that, I'm just not confident enough with this system to be able to fake it. All in all, thank you though! Very helpful.
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Re: PL questions

Postby FuzzyBoots » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:59 am

Side notes:
* For creating a "grim and gritty" world involving normal humans struggling to survive within a uper-powered world, I've found that one way is to enforce an Attack/Defense tradeoff. When I ran my 2E Magical Girl Hunters campaign, characters were PL 4, but could take conditional feats (things like Sneak Attack, Favored Opponent, and Favored Environment) for up to a +4 bonus. That meant that they were effectively PL 6 on Offense in their chosen circumstances, but had to work harder to establish superiority on the battlefield by ensuring that their bonuses came into play, and were comparatively squishy to their opponents. Also, consider looking at what the maximum damage of their chosen opponents is versus their Toughness. If you want to make sure that a thug with a gun has a chance of taking out one of the heroes, ensure that their Toughness bonus isn't high enough that rolling a 1 still won't have them staggered (take the highest toughness bonus you allow, subtract 4, and you have the target damage. Alternately, take the damage of said gun, add 4, and you have the maximum Toughness save you allow).
* Flight is something that's been debated since the first edition. Frankly, it's ubiquitous in comics, so it has to be cheap enough to be accessible, but adding Flight, as many D&D GMs and videogame designers have noted, bypasses many obstacles. For example, if you want a guy who can climb walls, fall from any distance, or bypass difficult terrain, you could buy several ranks of Super-Movement. Or you could buy one rank of Flight for much less and go even faster. I don't have a solution, although I'm thinking of adding the Maneuverability rules from 2E Ultimate Power.

^_^ Oh, and welcome to boards!
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Re: PL questions

Postby Greyman » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:42 pm

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Darcand wrote:For that matter, do grenades cost points per grenade, or does it provide a limitless amount? I have an idea for Harley Quinn using confetti grenades.
It's an unlimited amount until you run out. If it's equipment, they just run out. If it's a Device or Power, that's Fiat and the user should get a Hero Point. Otherwise, you always have as much as you need.
Think Rambo. A Rambo never runs out of ammunition until the plot demands.

It's also like those old westerns when six shooters were only limited to six bullets when the opponent was actually counting shots.
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Re: PL questions

Postby JonL » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:21 am

My recommendation as a GM new to the system and players who I assume are also new to the system, is to start at PL8 for a Gotham series.

The characters will be powerful, but they'll still feel threatened (at least a little) by a large group of thugs or, say, the Riddler backed up by a bunch of henchmen.

Plus, since the players may be expecting a hint of "realism" to the game, if they're playing martial artists (like Batman and co.) they can start with 4 Damage and +12 to hit, which is still pretty impressive when compared to a normal person.

Good luck with the game!

Oh, and yes, the grenades run out when you say they run out -- and it's silly for anyone to have an infinite number of grenades.
Best regards,

Jon Leitheusser
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Re: PL questions

Postby PhishStyx » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:52 am

I'd say, you can have as many grenades as you want. . . at home. On your person, you have up to 5. In your car, you could potentially have a box of about 20 (god forbid your car gets hit with an explosive.) And that's that.
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Re: PL questions

Postby Ghost Matter » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:23 pm

[url=Herolab]http://www.wolflair.com/index.php?context=hero_lab[/url] can be a real boon when you're starting out. Just to make you don't make the same errors as me, calculate and search for each power/advantage manually in the book so you get more familiar with the system. You can just also just do the character in an unregistered HeroLab install and copy it on a sheet of paper.

Don't forget to check the errata too!
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