New GM, asking for advice

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.
User avatar
Arthur Eld
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 15591
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:45 am
Contact:

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby Arthur Eld » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:52 pm

It ultimately depends on how you use minions. If they're meant to be more than a speed-bump to the heroes, they shouldn't be minions in the first place.

But there are ways around that anyways-for a speedster with takedown, use flying mooks. Or just make some mooks with really high Toughness but a low exotic save so not every PC can deal with them.

One thing that I've done once, and there are some optional rules for it out there, is treating large groups of weak baddies as one, non-minion character.

Besides, for the most part, mooks are supposed to go down in a few rounds. Batman takes a gang of thugs apart while the Joker is one step closer to setting off a bomb or something.

You can also make mooks offensively dangerous while still being defensively fragile, so they might inflict an injury or two on the heroes before they go down.

User avatar
JDRook
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1957
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:44 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:05 pm

That's certainly possible. Keep in mind that while attacks can be routine checks, resistance checks are not, so a minion could get lucky, roll a 20 and break the rhythm. There are a few other ways to deal with unlimited hits, though:

- don't allow Takedown 2. You could allow Takedown 1 and then a player can burn a Hero Point to get TD 2, so they'll only do it if it's really worth it to them.

- houserule a target limit per round. It could be an arbitrary number, like the setting PL, or you could make it equal to a particular trait. I favour tying it to an Ability: Fighting for Close attacks, Dexterity for Ranged, maybe Awareness if it's a mental attack, etc. I wouldn't recommend tying it to a trait that costs less than 1p/rank, but that's just my bias. Also, some GMs just use a cumulative penalty for each additional target, so eventually you're bound to miss.

- get better minions. Attack checks against minions can be routine, so effectively like automatically rolling a 10, and usually a PC with any combat efficacy is going to be able to hit a pretty high defense, but if it's feasible you might bump them up a bit so that hitting them isn't routine (ie requires at least 11 on the die roll). Environmental effects that give circumstance penalties can help this (rain, darkness, terrain, moving ground, etc).

- enforce unique descriptors. Make it a requirement that the player has to describe each minion's Takedown before he moves to the next one (or at least the next group). If he balks or repeats, no more attacks. This actually fits genre, since fight scenes usually mix up the action to keep from being repetitive. This will depend heavily on how cool your players are, and you might want to limit it to big boss fights.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

My original characters thread (2e)
My League of Legends conversion thread (3e)
My Rules Musings in 3e

Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby Monolith » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:40 pm

TheSander wrote:Well I do have already one doubt: isn't the Takedown advantage really overpowered? To me it reads that for just two power poins pc's can make minions basically irrelevant in a fight, because they can take them out by the dozens in a single round, literally if they are a speedster.

While I can understand the concern, within the realm of the comics minions aren't a threat to the supers.

Take a look at the Winter Soldier trailer: Cap and 9 minions on an elevator. Next cut, they're all unconscious and he's kicking up his shield onto his arm. Thor can take down dozens of Hydra agents with the swing of his hammer, and Cap and Hawkeye took on scores of them in the Avengers animated series.

If you want some minions that are tougher for your players then don't make them minions. Just make them lower pl foes. But it's important for players to feel super at times; and that's really what the minion rules are for. M&M isn't D&D where the zombie horde is the main concern. The evil wizard is the main concern. The zombies are just there to make the heroes look good. :mrgreen:

TheSander
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:25 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:30 am

So it's there in the rules to simulate a sort of genre conceit. Thats fine then.

I'm having trouble understanding the wording of the Concealment effect: the heading says it's 2 points per rank for a sense, and later says visual sense cost double, but then lists their cost as 2 pp per rank for a visual sense.
What am I missing here?

Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby Monolith » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:04 am

Concealment is 2 points per rank. 1 rank gives you concealment for a single sense. 2 ranks gives you concealment for a sense group. So having invisibility to normal hearing is 1 rank, 2 pts. Having invisibility to every sense in the hearing group costs 2 ranks, 4 pts. So someone with hearing group invisibility would work against normal hearing, and ultra-hearing, and sonar; basically every possible hearing sense.

Visual group works the same way, only it costs double. Being invisible to normal sight costs 2 ranks, 4 pts. Being invisible to every possible sight group sense (darkvision, infrared, x-ray, and so on) costs 4 ranks, 8 pts.

User avatar
digitalangel
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:45 am

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby digitalangel » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:35 am

Monolith wrote:
TheSander wrote:Well I do have already one doubt: isn't the Takedown advantage really overpowered? To me it reads that for just two power poins pc's can make minions basically irrelevant in a fight, because they can take them out by the dozens in a single round, literally if they are a speedster.

While I can understand the concern, within the realm of the comics minions aren't a threat to the supers.

Take a look at the Winter Soldier trailer: Cap and 9 minions on an elevator. Next cut, they're all unconscious and he's kicking up his shield onto his arm. Thor can take down dozens of Hydra agents with the swing of his hammer, and Cap and Hawkeye took on scores of them in the Avengers animated series.

If you want some minions that are tougher for your players then don't make them minions. Just make them lower pl foes. But it's important for players to feel super at times; and that's really what the minion rules are for. M&M isn't D&D where the zombie horde is the main concern. The evil wizard is the main concern. The zombies are just there to make the heroes look good. :mrgreen:


M&M also makes the distinction between minions and sidekicks. So if you want an opponent that isn't a minion, but isn't the boss either, it could be the boss's sidekick. Don't forget the "heroic" option from 2E Ultimate power on summon minion either, that most of the normal minion rules don't apply to the summoned minions either.

The pets from Mecha and Manga 2E ar3e basically minions, but give some extra options to the GM as well.
Image

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:42 am

JDRook wrote:- get better minions. Attack checks against minions can be routine, so effectively like automatically rolling a 10, and usually a PC with any combat efficacy is going to be able to hit a pretty high defense, but if it's feasible you might bump them up a bit so that hitting them isn't routine (ie requires at least 11 on the die roll). Environmental effects that give circumstance penalties can help this (rain, darkness, terrain, moving ground, etc).


A good start but there are other ways we have a tendency to over look, some that can actually be really simple, including

Tricks, Dazes & Fascinate: All you need to do to break it is distract the person whose chaining together takedowns & they'll at the very least get a single round to minion before being dispatched with a plumb.

Readied Actions: A readied action can break a takedown if one minion does something like hip & shoulder another minion out of the way.... Which leads into

Esoteric Powers: There are many powers that can break a takedown 2 chain, including going intangible, illusions of minions, force fields & my favourite the air cannon. I've done this one before & it was a devil for one player who loved the takedown 2 chain. The air blast function on the Colony Rifle (think team fortress 2 pyro) could be used to knock people out of the way. Once I realised that I really did bedevil the poor player.... He'd jump a group of colony soldier minions & I'd have that one guy with the improved aim & a readied action.

Monolith wrote:Take a look at the Winter Soldier trailer: Cap and 9 minions on an elevator. Next cut, they're all unconscious and he's kicking up his shield onto his arm. Thor can take down dozens of Hydra agents with the swing of his hammer, and Cap and Hawkeye took on scores of them in the Avengers animated series.


A perfect example of Hawkeye never EVER being allowed to do anything cool in the movies... Oh its a pretty good demonstration of the minion thing too. :lol:
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

TheSander
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:25 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:05 am

Still reading through the Powers section, and just for curiousity, what kind of descriptor would you apply to Remote Sensing? Because beyond magical scrying I'm coming up with a blank.

Monolith
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 2087
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 9:07 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby Monolith » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:05 pm

TheSander wrote:Still reading through the Powers section, and just for curiousity, what kind of descriptor would you apply to Remote Sensing? Because beyond magical scrying I'm coming up with a blank.

Just off the top of my head.

One of the most common builds for remote sensing is astral form. That can by psych, Professor X, or magic, Dr. Strange.

I believe the marvel comics Falcon used to be able to see through his hawk, Redwing's eyes. That was a mutant power.

I have a cosmic guy on my game that uses the ambient cosmic energy to see and hear things at a distance: the sounds are vibrated through the cosmic rays.

It could be a descriptor for a speedster: he zooms in and out without anyone knowing he was there to see and hear everything in an area. You might throw a rank of subtle on it.

Water guy might have remote hearing representing sounds coming him to via water.

Shadow guy, similar to water guy, might use shadow areas to spy on people.

User avatar
digitalangel
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:45 am

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby digitalangel » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:19 pm

TheSander wrote:Still reading through the Powers section, and just for curiousity, what kind of descriptor would you apply to Remote Sensing? Because beyond magical scrying I'm coming up with a blank.


As Monolith stated, pychic or magic means is the most common, but not the only way, your remote sensing could just be signals sent back from a satelite or a swarm of nanobots.

Familiars work great, again semi pychic magic oriented, but could also be mechanical, robotic familiar versus animal. If your character is based on power armor, robot, cyberpunk themed then this makes a lot of sense. You could even justify it as an easy to lose device in that the signals come back to a tablet device that the character uses to view/control to mechanical beasty with.

If you don't mind (or want for theme or point cost reasons) the remote sensing to be limited to urban areas, it could be a remote connection into a city's camera network, especially if your setting is a larger metro area.
Image

TheSander
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:25 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Thanks for the tips, those examples go a long way to help me visualize the powers.

Also, Alternate Effect. Uhm.
Tell me if I got them right: so a character has a sword with multiple magical powers, or modes. It can create fire, ice, snare opponents and give superspeed and other fun stuff, but it can't do all this things at once. So this should be a standard array, where all effects have the same source but are mutually exclusive.

Another character has the power to absorb and generate electricity, and can use all that energy to tons of things: fly, be super strong, fast and resilient, throw lighting bolts and whatnot. She can do all this things even simultaneously, but she has to divide her power between this effects. so if she were to try and fly and shoot lightning at the same time, both powers would come out weaker than if she had just used one of them by itself.

Is that all right?

Also, is it possible for an Array to be only partly Dynamic? Or would it just be better to have the standard alt effects as separate powers?

User avatar
digitalangel
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:45 am

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby digitalangel » Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:28 pm

Sounds like you have a good grasp on standard arrays.

At least in 2E rules (see Ultimate Power and Mastermind's Manual for further detail), yes, an array can be partially dynamic. Dynamic was an extra that cost 1PP on alternate effect in the array that was dynamic. it did not have to be added to all of the AEs in an array.

example:

Array:
<main power> 19 PPS + 1 PP because I want it to be dynamic = 20PP
AE1: not dynamic, so up to 20PPs to spend on the AE and still be legal since <main power> cost 20PP
AE2: dynamic power = 1PP, so 19 PPs left to spend on AE2 to stay within the PP limits based on <Main power>
AE3: same as AE2 <=19 PP power + 1 PP for dynamic <= 20PP

Total array cost = 23 (20 for <main power> + 3 AEs)

So the character could have AE1 active, but none of the others since AE1 is not dynamic.

or

could have 19 PPs worth of ranks in <main power>, AE1, and AE3 active at the same time since 19 PPs is what was actually spent on <main power> not counting the cost for dynamic.

Did that help?

User avatar
saint_matthew
Overlord
Overlord
Posts: 4381
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Perth, AUSTRALIA

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby saint_matthew » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:32 pm

TheSander wrote:Still reading through the Powers section, and just for curiousity, what kind of descriptor would you apply to Remote Sensing? Because beyond magical scrying I'm coming up with a blank.


- Telepathic powers where you look through the eyes of another person
- Hacking/accessing video feeds from different cameras
- A limited form of Astral Projection
- Looking through Mirrors like DC's Mirror Master does.

Does that help any?

Monolith wrote:I believe the marvel comics Falcon used to be able to see through his hawk, Redwing's eyes. That was a mutant power.


Yes he could but it wasn't a mutant power, it was the result of being effected by the cosmic cube.
“Anti-Intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’.”
-Isaac Asimov

TheSander
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:25 pm

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:42 pm

digitalangel wrote:Array:
<main power> 19 PPS + 1 PP because I want it to be dynamic = 20PP
AE1: not dynamic, so up to 20PPs to spend on the AE and still be legal since <main power> cost 20PP
AE2: dynamic power = 1PP, so 19 PPs left to spend on AE2 to stay within the PP limits based on <Main power>
AE3: same as AE2 <=19 PP power + 1 PP for dynamic <= 20PP

Total array cost = 23 (20 for <main power> + 3 AEs)

So the character could have AE1 active, but none of the others since AE1 is not dynamic.


I'm not sure I understand the pricing. So the final price for an array is (main power cost)+AE? And the alternate effects themselves are not counted in it?

User avatar
FuzzyBoots
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 9719
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:15 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Contact:

Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby FuzzyBoots » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:24 am

TheSander wrote:
digitalangel wrote:Array:
<main power> 19 PPS + 1 PP because I want it to be dynamic = 20PP
AE1: not dynamic, so up to 20PPs to spend on the AE and still be legal since <main power> cost 20PP
AE2: dynamic power = 1PP, so 19 PPs left to spend on AE2 to stay within the PP limits based on <Main power>
AE3: same as AE2 <=19 PP power + 1 PP for dynamic <= 20PP

Total array cost = 23 (20 for <main power> + 3 AEs)

So the character could have AE1 active, but none of the others since AE1 is not dynamic.


I'm not sure I understand the pricing. So the final price for an array is (main power cost)+AE? And the alternate effects themselves are not counted in it?

Mainly correct. Digital Angel is wrong that the non-dynamic power would have 20 PP to play with, though. So the cost is the base power (here 19) plus the points spent on making alternate powers or making powers dynamic. It costs 1 PP to create an Alternate Effect. It costs 1 PP to make an Alternate Effect or the base effect Dynamic. So this one would be 19 + 3 (3 Alternate Effects) + 3 (base effect and 2 AEs are Dynamic). Once per turn, you can either choose to allocate all points to your non-Dynamic AE or choose to split the points among your Dynamic AEs. Note that Extras, Flaws, and Quirks always apply to any Dynamic power which has any ranks active, so a flat Extra on the power will impose a minimum number of PP spent.

While it dates back to 2E, and includes a few concepts that were not ported to 3E, I still recommend Delemental's summary of how Arrays and Alternate Powers work.


Return to “DC Adventures”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest