Mutants & Masterminds
HQ    ABOUT M&M    SUPER-VISION    GIMMICK'S GADGETS    M&M SUPERLINK    ATOMIC THINK TANK    M&M SHOP
Saving the world, one d20 roll at a time

Affliction... is afflicted.

Join the never-ending battle for truth and justice in the world's greatest super-hero universe, using the world's greatest super-hero roleplaying game! This forum is for discussion of DC ADVENTURES.

Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Lord Fell » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:28 pm

My first thought about Affliction was that it was a boon... there are a pile of 2e abilities which are really, really similar to each other. A power like Affliction lets us dump them all into one easily customizable stat.

Another thing I really like about 3e, is that the Saves have defined caps, which (I feel) allows for better balanced characters. This is related to my first point.

After playing in 3e games, and also gaining some experience as a GM, I'm starting to see that Affliction needs a conceptual overhaul.

First... I'm kind of missing some of the 2e powers. I would like it if Dazzle, Obscure and Snare had separate entries and were defined as powers by themselves. I think the way Affliction is designed feels clumsy when using it to model those abilities. Dazzle for example, is an Affliction aimed at a sense or senses compare that against the cost of Afflicting the entirety of a person, it should either be much more effective or much cheaper, but it isn't, really. So, I guess I feel that 3e went too far combining all of the similar 2e powers together.

The really big problem with Affliction is... it doesn't work. Really. Check the math: Dr. Harm has a PL10 Affliction. Mr. Hero has balanced saves, +10 across the board. The DC of Dr. Harm's affliction is 20, so on a 10 or better (55% of the time) Mr. Hero is unaffected. On a roll of 5-9 (25%) he suffers a First Degree of affliction. On a roll of 1-4 (20% probability) he will suffer a 2nd Degree of affliction. It is always impossible for him to suffer a 3rd degree of Affliction.

The fact is, only 3rd degrees of Affliction allow the power to actually Defeat a target. Assuming balanced characters, it is impossible to achieve this, and even difficult when a character is weak against a specific flavour of affliction.

Possible Solutions
The first, and easiest thing that comes to mind, is increase the base DC of Saves vs. Affliction to 15, as it is for Damage effects.
The second idea, would be to start "damaging" saves on failures. Which is to say, whenever a target fails a save against an Affliction, the affected Save value is decreased by -1 temporarily (until resting, for example).

The idea of damaging (or reducing) saves with failures seems realistic to me. Consider trying to keep awake. A typical person is going to become sleepy after 16 hours. The later a person forces themselves to stay up, the harder it is to stay awake, and the more symptoms of sleep deprivation they display.
User avatar
Lord Fell
Overlord
Overlord
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:38 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Murkglow » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:13 am

Lord Fell wrote:Dazzle for example, is an Affliction aimed at a sense or senses compare that against the cost of Afflicting the entirety of a person, it should either be much more effective or much cheaper, but it isn't, really.


Considering Visual Impair would be at least -1 off normal impair (with lesser senses probably worth even more), what do you mean it's not much cheaper? Until you start adding alot of extras a -1 is usually good for double the ranks...

Lord Fell wrote:The fact is, only 3rd degrees of Affliction allow the power to actually Defeat a target.


I would disagree. Vulnerable/Compelled/Stunned/Defensless/Disabled/ect... Can all be effectively fight ending conditions in the right situation and besides that you're ignoring all the ways Affliction "build" on each other. From the obvious Cumulative, to the controversial Impaired/Disabled working on resistance rolls, to the simple fact that hitting a guy with a Vulnerable can easily allow your teammate(s) (and, if they fail to resist, later you) to land a full Power Attack right after for greater effect.

Saying it should be more like Damage ignores all the ways Damage is worse then Afflictions. For example, most of the time you're simply adding a -1 to the target, which is fine for eventually ending the fight, but until they actually go down it's doing little to help drop them and nothing to stop them from dropping you (both of which affliction can do). And lets face it. you're no more likely to get a KO with damage then you are with Affliction, at least not initially. Meanwhile First and Second Degree Afflictions are often a big deal. First, Second, even Third Degree Damage? Not really.

Oh and all the other ways Damage is further reduced (Toughness Shifting, Regen, Healing, Immunities focusing on Damage) all of which Affliction either doesn't need to deal with (you can't heal/regen afflictions) or is far less likely to face (Toughness shifting is more of an issue then will/fort shifting especially since you can't shift both at once plus toughness shifting make targeting Fort/Will easier due to lower defenses). Of course Immunity to Fort is common on constructs (though if you don't mind being cheap Affects Objects fixes that in hilariously broken style) but it's still not on par with what damage goes through.

Frankly I personally consider Damage worse then Afflictions, tilting the balance even farther into Affliction's favor seems strange to me. Of course this is just my opinion.
User avatar
Murkglow
Paragon
Paragon
 
Posts: 3090
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Monolith » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:57 am

Affliction limited to a single sense is a -1 flaw. That does make it cheaper. You also have descriptor limits and you have the ability to add quirks to make something even more limited. I also think the instant recovery flaw is greatly underused in the game.

2nd degree conditions like stunned and defenseless are huge. Defenseless lets you use the finishing attack, giving you a critical hit bonus against them with every attack. Stunned keeps the target from doing anything at all. Those are big deals when you realize they come about simply by missing a roll by 6. This is especially true when you take into account that defenses are usually toughness-shifted and afflictions work against non-toughness.

I think affliction needs more category choices for each degree to better fill some of the gaps, and I think one of the producers need to give us a better understanding of how certain conditions were intended to work, but overall I think affliction is much better then all the sub-powers from 2e.
Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
 
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby naturax » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:52 pm

I treat all Afflictions like Damage in my games, as the OP suggested. Base save for all Afflictions is 15, and the first degree of effect is an "Injury" (bruise), which gives -1 to all defenses. This means that the whole party can use their powers on the same big bad and contribute to taking them down, rather than having it as per the RAW where only the Damage penalties to Toughness stack over the course of a fight.

In essence, Damage is just another affliction, except that the daze only lasts one round and getting a second Staggered condition puts you at Incapacitated, as per the RAW.
naturax
Cohort
Cohort
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:33 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Ryan M. Danks » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:56 pm

I agree with Lord Fell, to a point. In our games we always end up abandoning Affliction after the first three successful defense rolls, Affliction rarely works for us for some reason, and start using Damage almost exclusively. Unfortunately, that devolves into the old D&D routine, "My turn? I swing at the target...again..."

Personally, I'd like to see Damage rolled into Affliction as an effect (the conditions are already there anyway), use the same base DC and have all failures to any degree "damage" the resistance trait that defended against it. I think this would be a much more streamlined method of dealing with damage and status effects and would help to make things less confusing.
User avatar
Ryan M. Danks
Firebrand
Firebrand
 
Posts: 848
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:33 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby ZamuelNow » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:33 pm

What I wonder is...how are the enemies built? In the weekly sessions I've been going to, I play as the team's psychic. It fluctuates between how well my mind reading and mind control work based on enemy. Some ignore it and plow on while others get wrecked. Mixing in enemies with various strengths and weaknesses, especially when it's multiple enemies in an area. While enemies, especially bosses, need to be a challenge, I wonder if sometimes they are being over built.
User avatar
ZamuelNow
Sidekick
Sidekick
 
Posts: 357
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 8:56 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Lord Fell » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:06 pm

@Murkglow & Monolith
I think I'm going to stand by my statement, and my numbers. I mean, I understand what you're saying and you're not exactly wrong... but all of your arguments are how it is useful situationally.

Let's take a slightly absurd scenario. Two senile, wheelchair bound adversaries face off... their powers are just about shot, but they've been beating the crap out of each other since the 40s, so once more into the fray in the nursing home. One of them has nothing left but a Ranged Affliction, the other has nothing left but a Ranged Damage. There's some sticky jello on the floor, so they're not moving. Assuming their other stats (deteriorated as they may be) are roughly the same, and on PL with their respective powers... the guy with Damage wins, RAW. The two powers have equal cost, they should be equally effective, but the Damage wins, guaranteed, no rolls needed.

I think that constitutes a problem.

Recently, I had a character with an array constituting a Create, a Will based Affliction, and a Fortitude based Affliction. I determined that my enemies weakest stat was Will, and that Fort and Toughness were just too high to bother attacking for afflicting... and I was just not getting anywhere. In another game, my PL6 players are being Afflicted by a PL10 Boss Villain's Do0msday Device... and they're shrugging it off. I found the first scenario boring, and the second may be problematic. So, I have found, empirically that Affliction isn't "right" and my hypothetical numbers are telling me why.
User avatar
Lord Fell
Overlord
Overlord
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:38 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Murkglow » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:19 pm

Lord Fell wrote:Assuming their other stats (deteriorated as they may be) are roughly the same, and on PL with their respective powers... the guy with Damage wins, RAW. The two powers have equal cost, they should be equally effective, but the Damage wins, guaranteed, no rolls needed.


Sorry but you're wrong here, period (and the fact that you say the win is "guaranteed, no rolls needed" shows you aren't looking at this in any depth. Heck just the existence of Crits and the free basic Power Attack ensure that rolls do matter). Depending on what conditions the Affliction has it's more then entirely possible for the affliction player to win. Something like Impaired/Disabled/Incapacitated for example can certainly defeat the Damage character by removing his enemy's ability to attack effectively/resist the afflictions (since you mention "RAW" Resistance checks are effected by Impaired/Disabled in the RAW).

And this is Affliction in its worst match up (bare bones 1v1), it's hardly some "fair middle ground" example. Make it a 2v2 (or higher) and the Affliction team will dominate the other team no questions asked (well the more people you have the more it really just comes down to initiative but that goes for both of them...). And really isn't Team vs Team more natural in a tabletop rpg then 1v1? This isn't a one player game generally. Turn these into real characters with actual power builds/advantages/ect... (heck just give them both the Power Attack Advantage) and again the advantage goes to Affliction (Affliction can abuse Power Attack far better then Damage can and grows more powerful with extras then Damage does).
User avatar
Murkglow
Paragon
Paragon
 
Posts: 3090
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Monolith » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:39 am

Lord Fell wrote:Recently, I had a character with an array constituting a Create, a Will based Affliction, and a Fortitude based Affliction. I determined that my enemies weakest stat was Will, and that Fort and Toughness were just too high to bother attacking for afflicting... and I was just not getting anywhere. In another game, my PL6 players are being Afflicted by a PL10 Boss Villain's Do0msday Device... and they're shrugging it off. I found the first scenario boring, and the second may be problematic. So, I have found, empirically that Affliction isn't "right" and my hypothetical numbers are telling me why.

The thing to keep in mind is that the lower pl you play the less room you have for stat differentiation. There's a lot more room at pl 10-12 to have real stat differences and tradeoff values then there is at pl 6 such as:

Powerhouse: 14 fort, 6 will
Speedster: 15 dodge/parry, 5 toughness
Mystic: 13 will, 6 fort

So yeah, when you're playing swat-team commandos at pl 6 the +15 bonus from damage is going to be far more effective than affliction's +10 because there's so little tradeoff room. That +5 free effect at pl 6 represents nearly a +90% bonus against 6 resistances. At that low a pl the +15 damage is going to win-out every single time over the +10 affliction. If you're going to play that low I'd recommend you increase affliction to +15 as well; or decrease damage to +10.
Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
 
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Lord Fell » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:08 am

@Murkglow
I'm still not in agreement. To my mind, you're comparing Affliction in it's "best case" scenario. Not all Affliction Effects are going to reduce or remove a targets ability to Save. You need to qualify the usefulness of the Power by assuming that the Superbeing in question isn't operating alone. As an aside, my brother and I ran solo campaigns for each other for years. I don't think it's fair or reasonable to assert that Affliction is for people who are in JLA/Avengers, but not for heroes like Dare Devil or Batman.

My ridiculous Octogenarian Opponent scenario wasn't so much an exercise in absurdism, as it was an exercise in looking at the power in a bubble. Bringing in factors such as Crits, Power Attacks and Extras also muddies the scenario. To my way of thinking, this almost proves my point. What it mostly demonstrates is that Affliction needs these Extras, or to rely on good rolls and chance. Comparatively, Damage has a respectable probability of doing what it's supposed to unmodified.

@Monolith
I'm entirely familiar with tradeoffs. You're missing a critical point in the example though. The players are PL6, so the maximum tradeoff they can get to is a +9. The Boss Villain is PL10, and the Affliction they're getting hit by is PL10. So, my point is that even taking Tradeoffs into account, the players are shrugging off a more powerful Affliction.
User avatar
Lord Fell
Overlord
Overlord
 
Posts: 4358
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:38 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Monolith » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:16 am

Lord Fell wrote:@Monolith
I'm entirely familiar with tradeoffs. You're missing a critical point in the example though. The players are PL6, so the maximum tradeoff they can get to is a +9. The Boss Villain is PL10, and the Affliction they're getting hit by is PL10. So, my point is that even taking Tradeoffs into account, the players are shrugging off a more powerful Affliction.

I think you missed my point. When you are looking at resistances in the 6 range the +15 from damage is huge in comparison to the +10 from afflictions. Against a 6 resistance the +5 more is huge. DC 21 versus dc 16 makes a big difference when everyone's resistance is going to be around 6. There's no huge tradeoffs at that pl level to counterbalance the afflictions. You're not going to see a powerhouse with a 14/6. On average at best you're going to see a 8/4. DC 16 against 4 isn't much different then dc 16 against 6; it's not like dc 25 against 14 compared to dc 20 against 6 that you'd see with the powerhouse.

Afflictions are weaker at lower pls because tradeoffs are much smaller, and so there's little room to let the affliction exploit any weakness. It doesn't matter what pl the foes are because the tradeoff limits the exploit whether the foes is pl 6 or pl 10.
Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
 
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Murkglow » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:33 am

Lord Fell wrote:Not all Affliction Effects are going to reduce or remove a targets ability to Save.


Sure not all Afflictions are equal in every situation. Heck you can make an affliction that can't actually defeat a person even at 3rd degree (Unaware, or a Transform that isn't fatal, ect...) but that's because Affliction is such a broad power that has many uses including "utility." I hardly think that's a weakness of Affliction. While you can make one that can't win 1v1 that doesn't mean it's a underpowered option, it just means that particular setup is not made for 1v1 fighting (much like how a Healing character isn't at his best without teammates does not mean that the healer is underpowered).

Lord Fell wrote:As an aside, my brother and I ran solo campaigns for each other for years.


That's fine but that doesn't make it the "norm" for a tabletop rpg group does it? Nor does it mean an option is bad because it's better in the hands of a group then in the hands on a solo person (note I said "better" not "only useable in").

Lord Fell wrote:I don't think it's fair or reasonable to assert that Affliction is for people who are in JLA/Avengers, but not for heroes like Dare Devil or Batman.


I didn't say anything of the sort. Affliction is entirely useable solo (especially when solo there are plenty of times when straight damage isn't the answer but affliction's many abilities/descriptors are the answer). I mearly said your bare bones 1v1 isn't necessarily a good example to show if a power is in need of "fixing".

Lord Fell wrote:Bringing in factors such as Crits, Power Attacks and Extras also muddies the scenario. To my way of thinking, this almost proves my point. What it mostly demonstrates is that Affliction needs these Extras, or to rely on good rolls and chance. Comparatively, Damage has a respectable probability of doing what it's supposed to unmodified.


I have to disagree. Showing that something works in a scenario you created which doesn't exist in reality (no crits, no power attack, no extras) shows nothing of value because it's not how the game actually works. Crits, Power Attacks, Extras, ect... All do exist in the game and they do have an effect which should be taken into consideration. Trying to "prove" your argument by ignoring how the game works is frankly mind-boggling to me. As for Affliction "needing" these, I would say that they benefit Affliction more (I've already pointed out how Affliction doesn't need them).
User avatar
Murkglow
Paragon
Paragon
 
Posts: 3090
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Cinder » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:36 pm

Monolith wrote:
Affliction limited to a single sense is a -1 flaw.



Is this RAW?

If a "5 sense" Affliction is the default wouldn't Limited: two senses (half of 5 rounded down) be a -1 flaw and Limited: one sense (half again) be a -2 flaw?

Is limited still "about half as useful" in DCA/3e ?
User avatar
Cinder
Hero
Hero
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Monolith » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:45 pm

Cinder wrote:
Monolith wrote:
Affliction limited to a single sense is a -1 flaw.



Is this RAW?

If a "5 sense" Affliction is the default wouldn't Limited: two senses (half of 5 rounded down) be a -1 flaw and Limited: one sense (half again) be a -2 flaw?

Is limited still "about half as useful" in DCA/3e ?

The one sense limit is listed in the book under the dazzle power: Ranged, Cumulative Affliction, Limited to One Sense • 2 points per rank.

As all the senses are a non-flaw there's not much room to delineate 2 through 4 to fit between -0 and -1. You might throw a quirk into it to get a little more bonus past the -1.
Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
 
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: Affliction... is afflicted.

Postby Cinder » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:59 pm

Yeah. I seem to have known that at one time. I was looking at a search and found that I created the 2e version of Affliction (Dazzle) with limited [one sense] for -1 pp. Ha ha. Could have sworn I gave a -2 for that.

Monolith wrote:
As all the senses are a non-flaw there's not much room to delineate 2 through 4 to fit between -0 and -1. You might throw a quirk into it to get a little more bonus past the -1.


That was kind of my point. I thought that the general rule for limited was: "Does it make the power about half as useful? Then it is a flaw."

With Affliction, I realize that the half as useful thing is debatable. Some senses are more important to a human than others. However, it seems like a wide disparity between Blind, Deaf, Dumb, Numb, and Anosmic (had to look that last one up) and merely dumb or merely blind.

Not sure the -2 flaw is better honestly. Might be too far in the other direction.
User avatar
Cinder
Hero
Hero
 
Posts: 1713
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:12 am

Next

Return to DC Adventures



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests