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Creation Power Questions.

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Creation Power Questions.

Postby Duke Awesome » Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:00 pm

Hello Forum, after the excellent advice from my last inquiry I was wondering if I could get some help with the creation power.

My first is how high of a rank can you get this effect at power level 10? The rules on page 25 doesn’t seem to cap all powers, just one that work for attacks. So it seems to me unless it is otherwise stated in the power (like summon) that you can take as many ranks as you want (like Immortality). At first I assumed Create was like the latter, however on closer examination under the dropping rules it states it can be used as an area attack. So the question is, is create capped at the series power level because it is an area attack or is Create not caped at power level but attacks done with it treated like a Partial Modifier to damage equal to the series power level?

Another question is how would one use create to lack of a better term “grow” additions to pre-existing buildings? For example creating ledges or hand olds by “growing” the bricks and mortar or even just adding onto an object you created in the last round. I am perplexed that you can tether you creations to yourself but not to pre-existing features.

Also can you create actual real world matter with create or is it limited to the fantastical. Could I use create to make marble statues or steel engine parts or are you limited to the materially undefined Create matter.
Finally it doesn’t seem to be handled in the book but what’s the best way of handling things like caltrops and razor wire. Things that do damage to you based on the force you exert on them. If I fill up a hall with razor wire barriers and caltrops what happens?
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Greyman » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:59 am

Create, Teleport, Transform, and Move Object, are not restricted by power level, but all can be used to do things which should be.

However, it seems left up to the GM to decide whether to limit the effect ranks themselves, or just those circumstantial applications.
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Murkglow » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:07 am

Duke Awesome wrote:So the question is, is create capped at the series power level because it is an area attack or is Create not caped at power level but attacks done with it treated like a Partial Modifier to damage equal to the series power level?


Personally I would buy Create and if it reached its caps (it's not just capped by Area Damage by the way, the ability to "entrap" an enemy in your create is also an attack and limited the same as other attacks, ie your Attack bonus + Effect Rank<=PLx2) then ranks above this (if you really needed more) can be bought with the limit "Does not enhance attacks" similar to Strength limited to weight lifting. Still at that point you need to ask yourself do you really need more? Or perhaps it's more an issue for your GM, should he really allow that much more?

Duke Awesome wrote:I am perplexed that you can tether you creations to yourself but not to pre-existing features.


You could use the Stationary extra to hold it in place. It wouldn't really be stuck to the building so much as stuck in the air next to the building but in alot of ways it would be close to the same thing. Another way to interpret this is that create can be shaped to fit how you want so you could shape it to fit into the cracks, windows, or whatever there might be in that building. Finally the last option that comes to mind is that "growing out from" or "making use of" the surrounding sounds more like Transform (which alters the things that are already there) instead of Create (which makes something out of nothing).

Duke Awesome wrote:Also can you create actual real world matter with create or is it limited to the fantastical. Could I use create to make marble statues or steel engine parts or are you limited to the materially undefined Create matter.


What your Create is made out of is based on your descriptor, you can definatly "create" Marble or Steel (or other materials like water or "energy"). The problem here is the level of detail you're talking about. Precise can add detail to created objects (perhaps enough to do a good statue) but even with precise I don't believe you could make a working engine with Create. It's more for simple shapes and such, not detailed/mechanical parts. Perhaps Create + Expertise [Mechanics] and a forge/workshop (or the Transform power) being used over a period of time could make a working engine.

Duke Awesome wrote:Finally it doesn’t seem to be handled in the book but what’s the best way of handling things like caltrops and razor wire. Things that do damage to you based on the force you exert on them. If I fill up a hall with razor wire barriers and caltrops what happens?


Depends on how you build the power. You're doing this in the wrong direction. With M&M you first find out what the effect you want is (ie what you want the end result to be) then build that into the power you want. Caltrops/Razor Wire in comics vary from comic to comic in how threatening they are and as such you're free to decide just how painful they are in your setting yourself (or ask your GM what he/she thinks).

As for Damage that's limited based on the force exerted, maybe make that a quirk? Damage X, Quirk [Damage rank may be reduced in certain circumstances].
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Monolith » Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:55 am

Duke Awesome wrote:My first is how high of a rank can you get this effect at power level 10? The rules on page 25 doesn’t seem to cap all powers, just one that work for attacks. So it seems to me unless it is otherwise stated in the power (like summon) that you can take as many ranks as you want (like Immortality). At first I assumed Create was like the latter, however on closer examination under the dropping rules it states it can be used as an area attack. So the question is, is create capped at the series power level because it is an area attack or is Create not caped at power level but attacks done with it treated like a Partial Modifier to damage equal to the series power level?

Create is limited to pl and is subject to tradeoff with attack values. There are numerous published examples of this: such as the various Green Lantern builds. If you do an area attack with create it's limited to pl, even if you have more ranks then pl.

Another question is how would one use create to lack of a better term “grow” additions to pre-existing buildings? For example creating ledges or hand olds by “growing” the bricks and mortar or even just adding onto an object you created in the last round. I am perplexed that you can tether you creations to yourself but not to pre-existing features.

Creating a ledge is no more difficult then simply making an x toughness surface.

Tether only works for you because it is limited to the strength of the person pulling the created item. A wall doesn't have any strength to hold a create so you can't use tether for it. Keep in mind if you only have a 1 strength you can't pull a 2,000 created item even though it's tethered to you.

Also can you create actual real world matter with create or is it limited to the fantastical. Could I use create to make marble statues or steel engine parts or are you limited to the materially undefined Create matter.

Create is bound by descriptors. If the descriptor of your create is "green energy" then you can't make a marble statue. You can only make a green energy statue. If the descriptor of your create is steel then, again, you can't make a marble statue, but you could probably make a steel engine; assuming you had the precise extra to be able to make something which has more then just simple shapes.

Finally it doesn’t seem to be handled in the book but what’s the best way of handling things like caltrops and razor wire. Things that do damage to you based on the force you exert on them. If I fill up a hall with razor wire barriers and caltrops what happens?

A lot of the time what you see with create is alternate effects. Making razor wire or caltrops could simple be damage with the trigger advantage built as an alternate effect. Someone who uses create to form a gun generally just has a ranged damage attack and an alternate effect, and it just visually appears as though it was formed by the create. Using the create to throw caltrops all over the floor could even just have been a power stunt rather then a permanent alternate effect. So a create power build might look like this:

Steel Fabrication Array, 26 point array
Make Steel: create 12, tether, precise, 26 points
AE: Damaging items: area burst ranged damage 6, sustained, variable descriptor (various steel items), 1 point
AE: Steelbolt Cannon: ranged damage 12, 1 point
AE: Steel Bindings: ranged affliction 12, built as snare, 1 point

The creator with the above array can make anything out of steel they create themselves out of thin air. They can throw down an area of caltrops or razowire that someone needs to move though to get to them. They can instantly fabricate a cannon that shoots steel ballista bolts. They can create steel to wrap around someone and snare them. All of that's done with the descriptor of steel based around the idea of things being made with create. And you can power stunt a limitless stream of other things.
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby JDRook » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:57 am

Duke Awesome wrote:Hello Forum, after the excellent advice from my last inquiry I was wondering if I could get some help with the creation power.

As others have mentioned above, Create is an Effect, not a Power. The difference is that Effects are just the mechanical game effects of a Power; think of them as the skeleton or wireframe underneath a Power, while a Power is fully fleshed out with one or more Effects and a Descriptor that describes what it looks like, how it behaves and how it interacts with other Powers. You should figure out what you want your Power to do before you start picking out Effects.

Create at its most basic is simply a defined volume (default is simple geometric shapes) with Toughness and mass. The volume, toughness and mass are all defined by the rank of the Create effect. Everything else about it is defined by Modifiers and Descriptor; energy will behave differently from earth will be have differently from ectoplasm, etc. The four subheadings under Create (Cover, Trapping, Dropping and Support) are just logical uses for a Created object and all could just as easily apply to found "real" objects in the game setting.

Beyond these, Create has no inherent effect on the game environment, but the Power you build that includes Create could do more if you add more effects.

For instance, your "growing additions". It sounds like the goal of that aspect of the Power -- the Effect you want -- is to be able to climb buildings easily. You could just make this with Movement (Wall-Crawling) with the descriptor that the wall forms handholds and ledges for you. That normally costs 2p, so you could by that separately, or you could make it an Alternate effect of the Create Effect for 1p.* Murkglow's suggestion of Transform also works if you wanted to do more than make climbing easier, but it might not be something you would use often, so it could just be a power stunt.

Making "real" stuff like marble statues and steel engine parts would involve your Descriptor and a few Modifiers. If you can conjure up fully-formed real objects, then the Create Effect should be continuous and Innate, and Precise if it's more complicated than a basic shape, and a strict GM may require a rank or 2 of Variable Descriptor if the objects can be any material. If you don't create it out of nothing but make it from existing materials (like a sufficiently large chunk of marble for the statue), you could simply have an Alternate Effect of Transform, since changing things into other things is the Transform Effect.

Razorwire and Caltrops are essentially Damage Effects (Sustained or Continuous, probably Area, maybe Linked to Afflictions that Hinder or Immobilize), and would be another Alternate Effect or power stunt. Filling a hallway full of it would cause anyone passing through it to have to resist those Effects just like if the were attacked with them. Depending to the Descriptor, someone with Flight or Wall-Crawling on the ceiling may be able to avoid it unless it goes all the way up.



*One of the advantages of putting small Effects in Arrays is that you don't have to worry too much about modifiers and points. For instance, if you have Create 10, that's 20p, and any alternate effect can have up to 20p to work with. Now Wall-Crawling is relatively cheap, but to make it work the way you want you might argue that the handholds are useable by Others, and Continous, and maybe an Area Effect and Reversible, but limited to Walls and blah blah blah. You and your GM could just look at it and say "Whatever! This alternate lets you turn any building into a climbing wall, you have enough points, it doesn't break the game, and done!" Don't let the details bog you down.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Duke Awesome » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:39 pm

Ah ok, I am just used to more rigid game systems so I guess I am a bit overwhelmed by how to frame my ideas both mechanically and through descriptions.

The idea I am going for is stretching, multiplying and sculpting pre-existing solid material in the environment. So I could for example cause the street bend and stretch into walls, or cause the roof of a building to expand over to another creating a bridge. It is important aesthetically that the new additions on the existing elements are one, and not two parts glued together. That I am not creating a new structure but expanding an old one. I guess this would be Transform + Create?

Monolith wrote:Steel Fabrication Array, 26 point array
Make Steel: create 12, tether, precise, 26 points
AE: Damaging items: area burst ranged damage 6, sustained, variable descriptor (various steel items), 1 point
AE: Steelbolt Cannon: ranged damage 12, 1 point
AE: Steel Bindings: ranged affliction 12, built as snare, 1 point


JDRook wrote:Razorwire and Caltrops are essentially Damage Effects (Sustained or Continuous, probably Area, maybe Linked to Afflictions that Hinder or Immobilize), and would be another Alternate Effect or power stunt. Filling a hallway full of it would cause anyone passing through it to have to resist those Effects just like if the were attacked with them. Depending to the Descriptor, someone with Flight or Wall-Crawling on the ceiling may be able to avoid it unless it goes all the way up.


Actually this is the topic of my last question so I might as well bring it up again. According to the rules as written you cannot have a sustained, continuous, or permanent damage power. The largest duration seems to be concentration. Unless it has been changed in an errata then I it seems this is impossible in the rules as written in the “mutants and masterminds 3rd edition book” which is the rule book our group is using. We actually don’t have the DC adventures one, this just seems like the best place to ask questions about 3rd edition.

Which is something I can accept, that while it seems like a pretty big gap is maybe a limitation on the system to keep things balanced. I was kinda hoping to cheat the system though with those example though as physical objects that could maybe be seen as equipment that a person uses to harm themselves rather than a damage effect. Guess not!
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Monolith » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:02 am

Duke Awesome wrote:The idea I am going for is stretching, multiplying and sculpting pre-existing solid material in the environment. So I could for example cause the street bend and stretch into walls, or cause the roof of a building to expand over to another creating a bridge. It is important aesthetically that the new additions on the existing elements are one, and not two parts glued together. That I am not creating a new structure but expanding an old one. I guess this would be Transform + Create?

If you are wanting something that emulates the above then create, probably with a variable descriptor 1 (city substances) would work. You would probably also want an alternate effect of transform too: for the things you permanently alter.

Actually this is the topic of my last question so I might as well bring it up again. According to the rules as written you cannot have a sustained, continuous, or permanent damage power.

As I pointed out in the other thread you had about this, there are published characters in the DC books who have damage attacks beyond concentration duration. Atrocitus and Captain Boomerang are just 2 example characters in the books who have sustained duration damage attacks. There's no limit on damage only being concentration duration. It's just poorly worded in the basic book. The 3e HH even accidentally left out sustained under increased duration for any effect. Ambiguous wording has always been a problem in m&m rule books; which is probably why there are over 1,700 questions about the rules in the 2e ORQ forum.
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Duke Awesome » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:36 am

As I pointed out in the other thread you had about this, there are published characters in the DC books who have damage attacks beyond concentration duration. Atrocitus and Captain Boomerang are just 2 example characters in the books who have sustained duration damage attacks. There's no limit on damage only being concentration duration. It's just poorly worded in the basic book. The 3e HH even accidentally left out sustained under increased duration for any effect. Ambiguous wording has always been a problem in m&m rule books; which is probably why there are over 1,700 questions about the rules in the 2e ORQ forum.

Very well then. Is it more clearly worded in the DC version of the book or expanded on in a latter book? Our whole group is new to this system so our GM is clinging very tightly to the rules until we all get a better handle on everything. We have all actually already had to re-make our characters once after a critical misreading on the rules. So I am just trying to be careful here.
So is it Concentration +1, Sustained +2, Continuous +3 power points per rank?
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Monolith » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:44 am

Duke Awesome wrote:Very well then. Is it more clearly worded in the DC version of the book or expanded on in a latter book?

No. I think Steve Kenson just believed people would understand you can take more then 1 level of increased duration. The 3e wording's basically the same as the 2e wording, yet no one had issues understanding you could have sustained damage in 2e. I'm not sure why it's such an issue in 3e. It might be due to the fact that there's so few example powers in 3e compared to 2e.

Our whole group is new to this system so our GM is clinging very tightly to the rules until we all get a better handle on everything. We have all actually already had to re-make our characters once after a critical misreading on the rules. So I am just trying to be careful here.

I understand. M&M has a character building learning curve, but once you get past that it's a simple game. We all had to go through that learning curve.

I'd also suggest that your group play a few sessions with the free example characters (the Sentinels) before getting to involved in trying to make characters. Playing with the sample characters might give you some insights that will help you all better understand the rules and making your own characters.

So is it Concentration +1, Sustained +2, Continuous +3 power points per rank?

Yes.
Last edited by Monolith on Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby JDRook » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:58 am

Monolith wrote:
Duke Awesome wrote:Actually this is the topic of my last question so I might as well bring it up again. According to the rules as written you cannot have a sustained, continuous, or permanent damage power.


As I pointed out in the other thread you had about this, there are published characters in the DC books who have damage attacks beyond concentration duration. Atrocitus and Captain Boomerang are just 2 example characters in the books who have sustained duration damage attacks. There's no limit on damage only being concentration duration. It's just poorly worded in the basic book. The 3e HH even accidentally left out sustained under increased duration for any effect. Ambiguous wording has always been a problem in m&m rule books; which is probably why there are over 1,700 questions about the rules in the 2e ORQ forum.

I won't pretend to know the minds of the devs on this issue, but as I see it there's also the action economy to consider. Generally there's a one-attack per round per PC structure in place in order to balance out effect and spotlight time between several players in combat. Sustained and Continuous Damage can break this structure completely: a PC could attack and damage one target in the first round, then attack another in the second round while maintaining the damage effect on the first target with practically no loss in functionaliity, and so on. And if the attacker chose to focus on one target each round (which would be the most common tactic), "logically" that effect would start stacking on the target, potentially requiring the target to resist against one attacker several times in a round. In this case Sustained on a Damage effect would be either grossly overpowered or forbidden, making it no more functional than Concentration. There's nothing in the HH that states this explicitly, but I think this would be a viable reason why Damage is not encouraged above Concentration Duration.

As to the use of Sustained in Monolith's and my builds, there's a bit of a conceptual workaround there. The damage in both cases is tied to an Area effect, meaning there is a simple defense of getting out of or never entering the affected Area, so it's somewhat voluntary for the target to be affected or not. I'm assuming that razorwire and caltrops is not so much an attack as a deterrent.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Monolith » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:13 am

JDRook wrote:Generally there's a one-attack per round per PC structure in place in order to balance out effect and spotlight time between several players in combat. Sustained and Continuous Damage can break this structure completely: a PC could attack and damage one target in the first round, then attack another in the second round while maintaining the damage effect on the first target with practically no loss in functionaliity, and so on.

I think that's why Steve Kenson suggested there should be some way of a target turning off such a power. Even the Atrocitus example lists "extinguished by a cessation of rage or the Blue Light of Hope" as a way to stop the affect.

And if the attacker chose to focus on one target each round (which would be the most common tactic), "logically" that effect would start stacking on the target, potentially requiring the target to resist against one attacker several times in a round. In this case Sustained on a Damage effect would be either grossly overpowered or forbidden, making it no more functional than Concentration. There's nothing in the HH that states this explicitly, but I think this would be a viable reason why Damage is not encouraged above Concentration Duration.

I don't deny that a sustained attack isn't powerful, but you are paying a huge premium to get it. It's a hard balance point in the rules. The easiest way to bypass the problem is just to say that you can't have more then 1 sustained attack per target: no stacking. There are already places in the rules that handwave things like that: like secondary effect not stacking. Saying sustained doesn't stack wouldn't seem any more unreasonable.

But it's really up to the individual gm. M&M's always been about giving players unlimited options and then letting the gms decide which options are too powerful for their games. What works for me might be terrible for you.
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Duke Awesome » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:16 am

But doesn’t the summon power, minion advantage, and sidekick advantage already break this action economy in half already?
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Re: Creation Power Questions.

Postby Monolith » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:21 am

Duke Awesome wrote:But doesn’t the summon power, minion advantage, and sidekick advantage already break this action economy in half already?

Yes, but also no because summoned things, minions, and sidekicks can all be defeated. I can knockout your sidekick with 1 attack but if I can't turn off your stacked sustained fire on me it can be trouble.

All the above can be problems in some situations and non-problems in others. It's really up to the gm to decide if something breaks the spirit of his game. M&M's probably the biggest 'gm saying no' game you will ever find, because the rules are so open ended.
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