New GM, asking for advice

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TheSander
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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:40 am

Abilities
Strength 0, Stamina 4, Agility 3, Dexterity 2, Fighting 4, Intellect 0, Awareness 8, Presence 4
Powers
Teleportation:
Teleportation: Teleport 10 [Metahuman; Extended (+1); Change Direction (+1), Change Velocity (+1), Increased Mass (+1)]
Alt: Teleport Others' Attacks: Deflect 11 [Metahuman, Teleport; Reflect (+1), Redirect (+1)]
Alt: Teleport others: Teleport 7 [Metahuman; Perception (+2); Change Direction (+1), Change Velocity (+1), Attack (+0), Improved Mass (+1)]
Alt: Far-Senses (Visual and Audible) : Remote Sensing 10 [Metahuman; Simultaneous (+1); Feedback (-1); Subtle (+1)]
(36 points)
Senses [Direction Sense, Distance Sense, Extended Sight, low-Light Vision, Teleport Awareness]:
Direction Sense: Senses 1 [Metahuman; Innate (+1)], Distance Sense: Senses 1 [Metahuman; Innate (+1)], Extended Sight: Senses 1 [Metahuman; Innate (+1)], Low-Light Vision: Senses 1 [Metahuman; Innate (+1)], Teleport Awareness (Mental) : Senses 1 [Metahuman; Area (+1); Innate (+1)]
(11 points)
Equipment
Advantages
Agile Feint, Assessment, Seize Initiative, Evasion 2, Fascinate 1 [Persuasion]
Skills
Acrobatics 7 (+10), Athletics (+0), Deception (+4), Insight 4 (+12), Intimidation (+4), Perception 10 (+18 ), Persuasion 6 (+10), Ranged Combat: Deflection 10 (+12), Ranged Combat: Teleport Others 6 (+8 ), Stealth 5 (+8 )
Offense
Initiative +3
Deflect +12, Damage
Teleport Others +8, Damage
Defense
Dodge 10, Parry 4
Toughness 4 (Def Roll 0), Fortitude 4, Will 12
Power Points
Abilities 50 + Powers 47 + Advantages 6 + Skills 24 + Defenses 11 = Total 138

This is what my player made after I gave him suggestions based on your advices.
He's unsure on what to spend his remaining points. I suggested raising a bit Toughness and Parry and seeing if there were any other advantages he thought would serve his concept, but does anyone else think I should tell him anything else?

Edit: I apologise if I'm bothering people. I just want to make sure I can make my first M&M game a fun and balanced experience for my players (and myself).

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby Stigger » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:38 pm

Parry and Fortitude would be my suggestion, along with a bit of defensive roll, maybe split it to 4 points to each, unless he really wants to have a 'glass jaw' sort of thing going on.

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:43 pm

Abilities seem a little more sane. He's now in roughly the top 5% for the DCU instead of the top 2%. There are also 4 official character at PL10 with Awareness 8: Oracle, Dove, Dream Girl, and Harbinger. All women, for no particular reason, but an interesting coincidence.

I think I've already mentioned the potential unbalancing that the Reflection attack can have. A +12 hit should have no more than 8 damage in a PL10 setting, and if he wants to do more, he can drop his accuracy or burn HP.

In case I didn't mention it before, I find movement attacks problematic because they are often assumed to be all-or-nothing effects, which is unlike every other attack in the game. Damage is in degrees, as is Afflction, with greater consequences the worse the resistance check is. Weaken works similarly but based directly on the difference as opposed to degrees. Arguably, Nullify is an all-or-nothing effect, but that's actually stopping something from happening as opposed to inflicting Conditions. All this is to say that while I've helped you make a better Teleport Attack, I don't recommend using them in games without some kind of additional balance.

That said, making Teleport Others Perception Ranged is a good choice. That will keep it relatively simple since you don't need to roll for attack; just have the target roll for their resistance. (Incidentally, that also means he doesn't need to buy Ranged Combat ranks for it.) Has he picked out a resistance yet? It should depend on the descriptor of the power. If a portal opens up and sucks the target in, Dodge might be a good choice. If it's somehow bending spacetime with the mind in some weird Dune/tesseract type of deal, Will might be more appropriate. Maybe Fortitude . . . make up your own reason. The point is you need something that allows the target somehow resist. I would also recommend that the effect can be partially resisted, so that the target only goes as many ranks distant as they fail their check. For instance, if he attempted to 'port a Special Crimes Unit cop away from the scene of a battle for whatever reason, he'd just need to see the cop and take the Standard Action. The cop has a Dodge of 4 versus a DC17 for the attack, and if he rolled a 10, that would be a 14 check, failing by 3, so he gets 'ported 3 ranks away (up to 250'). This is roughly how using Move Object works for flinging or knocking people back. Of course minions always take the maximum effect, so if the cop was someone unimportant to your story, you could just say you 'port him the maximum distance (about a half-mile) or at least far enough away that he won't come back this scene.

Another trick to consider is 'porting the target straight up and letting them fall. Falling Damage is technically double falling distance rank + 4, and maxes out at 16 Damage (assume terminal velocity after falling rank 6 distance). So falling from rank 3 height is a Damage 10 effect, which I would personally make a top limit for balance purposes, since a Perception Ranged attack can't do more than PL rank damage. Any higher than that and the faller should get the opportunity to prepare themselves to land, using a Tumbling check (see Acrobatics).

All this of course is a very complex and somewhat pedantic way to look at it. You could simplify it a great deal by assuming that the Teleport always works and that the "resistance" is how fast the target can get back in range to engage, or how well the target can deal with a long fall. The balance might get a little tricky, but feel free to wing it rather than slowing down the fun of the game, because as much as this power has potential for abuse, it could also be a lot of fun. As long as the player doesn't constantly dominate, it should feel balanced.

The Subtle on the Far-Senses is going to make his sense-point almost impossible to detect, although it should come up occasionally, or else that Feedback isn't really a Flaw. You should decide whether Subtle can be seen by anyone with a really good Perception check (DC30 - probably allow nat 20s to work for everybody, or at least non-minions) or if it's only detectable to an exotic sense, like Teleport Awareness (DC20). In either case, I recommend developing some kind of nemesis that can spot it fairly regularly; maybe not in the first campaign, but it should happen. Sidenote: Area Attacks should always effect that point (Dodge check for half damage at a +2 due to cover), although technically he should get +5 for Evasion 2. Do something that ensures he gets "poked in the eye" sometimes (including potentially removing Subtle), or that Feedback flaw is just free points. Someone has to decide if that power is undetectable or potentially damaging; it can't really be both unless he drops Feedback and makes getting spotted and hit a Complication.

Agile Feint could use Acro or Teleport interchangeably since they're the same rank. Of course, he'd have to be using the right array slot to use Teleport. Get him to describe them in use.

Perception is still way high, but workable. Again, it's Oracle-level.

RC: TO I mentioned above. There's 3 more points freed up.

Defenses could use a touch-up. Get those lower one into the 5-8 range, maybe using Defensive Roll for Toughness.

As for the remaining points, there are lots of options:

- Buy a little STR or INT. Doesn't have to be huge, but 1 or 2 ranks just to get above average. STR 0 means it takes effort to lift anything heavier than 50lbs (although you can then throw that 50lbs 30ft. :P) Bump it up to 2 and you should be able to carry innocents out of the way. Of course, you can just 'port them to safety, so there's also

- Increase your Teleport mass. Base rank for 'port attack affects one creature of any size or 50lbs of matter (rank 0), so you current affect 100lbs. Bump it up to 5 or 6 ranks and you could 'port cars and trucks. (Making that array bigger could also allow the removal of Feedback to be easier.)

- Other 'port powers. There's a bunch in the Power Profiles that could be Alternate Effects or standalone powers. Teleport Immunity would only be 2p. For 5p you can get a Reaction Teleport that sends you 60ft away from imminent danger, as long as you can spot it coming at you.

- Advantages. I'm a big fan of Skill Masteries, but maybe some social or teamwork-related ones as well.

- Skills. You may never need a vehicle, but maybe a little first aid would be useful. Current events, Pop Culture, City Knowledge, even some bizarrely specific Expertises for particular hobbies. Maybe your character collects old transistor radios? If you've got points to spare, go for flavour!

Yet another block of text for you to gnaw on.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:15 pm

Here's another character for my game.
Abilities
Strength 9, Stamina 7, Agility 1, Dexterity 5, Fighting 3, Intellect 0, Awareness 2, Presence 2
Powers
Rider's Fortitude:
Regeneration 5 [Doesn't work against holy weapons or on hallowed grounds, except for graveyards; Quirk (-1)], Immortality 5 [Limited: Doesn't work against sanctified weapons or on hallowed grounds (Except for graveyards)], Immunity 4 [ Aging, Poison, Disease], Enhanced Stamina 5
(28 points)
Form of the Rider [Activation -2 (Standard Action), Quirk -2 (Can't transform without his hat)]:
Supernatural Strenght: Enhanced Strength 7, Flaming Skeleton: Immunity 10 [Fire damage, bullets], Hard to Hurt: Protection 3
(23 points)
Nightmare Enhanced Equipment 7 (7 points)
[Size Medium, Strenght 3, Speed 8, Defense 10, Toughness 11, (Removable -1)]
Movement : Movement 3 [Wall-crawling, Water Walking; Limited to While Moving], Immortality 4 [4 days], Features: Feature 2 [Comes when called, wreathed in flames], Supernatural Motorcycle (19 points)
Self Repairing: Regeneration 5 [Doesn't work against holy weapons or on hallowed grounds, except for graveyards; Quirk (-1)]
(35 points)
Harvester:
Golden Revolver form: Ranged Damage 5 [Concealable, Accurate(+2 attack check), Indestructible, Dangerous (19-20), Personal; Removable]
Alt: Shotgun form: Ranged Damage 6 [Fire projectiles; Indestructible, Personal, Impressive (+2 Intimidation while holding it); Removable]
(15 points)
Advantages
Fearless, Quick Draw, Equipment 7, Improved Initiative 1, Precise Attack 2 [Cover and Concealment for ranged attacks]
Skills
Athletics (+9), Close Combat: Unarmed (+3), Deception (+2), Insight 2 (+4), Intimidation 4 (+6), Perception 2 (+4), Persuasion (+2), Ranged Combat: Harvester: Revolver form 4 (+9), Ranged Combat: Harvester: Shotgun form 6 (+11), Stealth 2 (+3), Vehicles 4 (+9)
Offense
Initiative +5
Unarmed +3, Damage 9
Revolver Form +11, Damage 5
Shotgun Form +11, Damage 6
Defense
Dodge 9, Parry 10
Toughness 10 (Def Roll 0), Fortitude 10, Will 10
Power Points
Abilities 34 + Powers 73 + Advantages 5 + Skills 12 + Defenses 26 = Total 150
Complications
Power Loss: Ash's mysterious patron may at any point take this power away from him if they feel he is unworthy.
Call of Death: Sometimes, Ash's sometimes hears a voice that urges him to take lives. He has done so in the past, but in the modern day that may bring him trouble, especially from other heroes.
Fish out of Time: Over a hundred years have passed since the last time Ash has laid eyes on the world, and many things have changed, and he has problems adapting.

This one I actually made myself, mostly because the player didn't know how to make it and when he tried he was openly powergaming (TWO huge Variable effects, can you believe it)

Anyway, Ash is a Civil War era Gunslinger who awakened in the modern world, led by a mysterious voice in head.
Think I did alright. Thoughts?

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:17 pm

I'm at work so I won't go into too much detail right now, but does it have to be a flaming motorcycle? I have no problem with a Ghost Rider analogue, but if he's from the Civil War era I would think it would be more appropriate that he rides a flaming horse. This could be as easy as changing the descriptor so it's a horse with all the capabilities of the 'cycle. In fact, if you free up a point you could add Morph 1 to the cycle so it turns into a horse (or vice versa).

Actually, since you are treating the cycle as equipment, I'd take out the Immortality for it and just make that a plot limitation of replacing the cycle if it gets busted up or otherwise somehow lost. Use those points for the Morph.

Arguably the Harvester array describes a "tight group" of Ranged attacks, so you could allow them to both use a single Ranged Combat: Harvester bonus. Maybe make the revolver slightly less power and more accurate and/or the shotgun the opposite to get a good range. Or if you want to get really playful with descriptors, do this:

Shotgun: Enhanced Traits (Power Attack, Impressive)

Now the Revolver just becomes a Shotgun when you want to really bring the pain. Descriptor could be switching weapons blindingly fast (he already has QD) or the gun could literally grow in his hands when he needs it to.

I'll take a closer look at it when I get home.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:13 pm

Thanks, you're being incredibly helpful.
The horse thing makes sense, can't believe I didn't notice it.
As for the Harvester, apparently the gun itself changes form, rather than it being Ash's own skill with quick draw, I tried to portray that.

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:33 pm

TheSander wrote:The horse thing makes sense, can't believe I didn't notice it.

Just stick with your concept, but there are a lot of different ways to do it mechanically. If you make the horse a creature as opposed to just a vehicle, you could buy it as a Minion or Sidekick instead of a Vehicle. (Incidentally, you can't put Removable on equipment because it's already as removable as it gets, which is part of why it's already so cheap.) You could also buy it as a Summon so it just appears, and with a Mind Link to take commands telepathically, etc. Or you could go in the opposite direction and make the horse a descriptor for all of the movement traits it allows.

It really depends on how you want it to behave in play. If it's basically an extension of the PC, moving him around and maybe even vanishing on dismount (or just becoming narratively unimportant, which can happen in-genre), you can make it a descriptor for movement, so it can never actually be lost or killed (except possibly as a Complication). If it's a Minion or Summon, it can fight for itself, although it can also be killed or trapped or otherwise made unavailable. Again, Immortality in any case is largely unnecessary since equipment gets replaced between scenes as plot allows and Summons essentially heal while "off-camera."

With the Harvester I was doing roughly the same thing: instead of making the Shotgun a separate array slot with a slightly stronger bullet-thrower, I made it a descriptor of Power Attack making the attack stronger and less accurate. This is a little bit of showing off in terms of power design on my part; it's not necessarily a better build, but it does show other possibilities. For instance, built that way it can be one big power, which itself can be power stunted.

Rider's Fortitude I assume is active all the time and is not part of Form of the Rider. I guess Regen and Immo both have 1p Quirks, although it's hard to tell from the way it's written (I'm going by point total). Also, those Immunities are 1p each for 3p total and a grand total of 27.

Thing about Immo is that it doesn't do anything unless a PC dies, which means unless a PC is put into a situation where there's a good chance he'll be killed, those are wasted points, so make sure he gets challenged. Related to that, since you used Quirks instead of Full Flaws I assume they won't come up often. If that's the case and you can spare the points, consider making Holy Weapons and Hallowed Ground a Complication.

Almost everything else seems fine, although all of your attacks are below PL. After making choices and trimming in points, you should decide whether he's more accurate or more powerful with his guns. I'd be inclined to make the Revolver Damage 7 with +13 to hit, and use the Power Attack trick to turn it into a Shotgun that does 12 Damage and +8 to hit.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:30 am

This next one I have no idea how to do, any advice would be really appreciated:

So, this hero is density shifter. He has two "states": a superhard and dense one, in which he gains superhuman strenght and durability, and an insubstantial one, in which he can phase through stuff, but is vulnerable to extreme cold or heat, and when he phases through metal it it starts rusting immediately. If he concentrates he's able to focus his rusting ability into a corroding touch.
In his insubtantial state he can also do the "Air Walking" that Kitty Pride has.

As for skills, in he's civilian life he's a College science student, and for now that's all now about it.

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:18 am

TheSander wrote:So, this hero is density shifter.

DC's Martian Manhunter and Marvel's The Vision have a similar power set. If you have the DCA Handbook you can check MM, or you can look in the Role Call thread for Vision; legend has a PL10 version here.

TheSander wrote:a superhard and dense one, in which he gains superhuman strenght and durability

You can just buy up STR and then add STA or Protection with the Impervious Extra or some combination of the two for durability. There is a +0 Density Extra for Growth that is mentioned in the Size Power Profiles, but I personally think that Growth is unbalanced and Density even moreso, especially if your concept doesn't involve issues with being too heavy at least a third of the time.

TheSander wrote:and an insubstantial one, in which he can phase through stuff, but is vulnerable to extreme cold or heat,


Insubstantial 4 gives all that and allows physical and energy attacks to pass right through you. It also requires a common descriptor for something that does affect your insub form, and Extreme Heat/Cold is a good candidate.

TheSander wrote:when he phases through metal it it starts rusting immediately. If he concentrates he's able to focus his rusting ability into a corroding touch.


The Corrosive Power from the Element Power Profile is a variant on the Corrosion Power from 2e. Essentially it's a Weaken Toughness Linked to Damage, often made to Affect Objects (+1) or to Affect Objects only (+0), and occasionally using a Secondary Effect for an acid or burning descriptor. You could Limit it to Metals if you wanted to keep it just for rusting.

If it works on anything the PC passes through, I'd make that Corrosive with Reaction on both Weaken and Damage at a relatively low rank (it gets expensive). The Corroding Touch would be higher rank, but require an Activation to represent that concentration to focus the power.

TheSander wrote:In his insubtantial state he can also do the "Air Walking" that Kitty Pride has.


Flight 1. Done.

The trick would be organizing these. I would make it as 2 Alternate Forms, one dense, one insub, and put all the powers in each one. So the Dense would have STR and STA/Prot, while Insub would have the Corrosion Aura and Touch and Flight.

TheSander wrote:civilian life he's a College science student,


Expertise: Science. I expect he'd have at least INT 2 and you'd want to give him at least 4-6 ranks as a student, higher if he's particularly gifted in the field.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:24 am

Thanks for pointing out the power profiles, I had completely forgotten about those.
I'll probably go with the modified Growth to save him some points, because the Corrosive Touch is rather expensive.

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby JDRook » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:06 pm

TheSander wrote:I'll probably go with the modified Growth to save him some points, because the Corrosive Touch is rather expensive.

That only matters if you're using the Superdense powers at the same time as the Corrosive Touch. I was imagining something like this:

Density Control Array (buncha points)
- Superdense: STR X, STA Y, Protection Z with Impervious N
- Intangible: Insub 4, Flight 1, Corrosive Aura P, Corrosive Touch Q

Using an array, the PC can't be Superdense and use the Corrosive Touch at the same time. On the plus side, the point cost is less since the smaller form only costs 1p. To be able to use the Touch in both forms, it would have to be outside the array.

Actually, the Corrosive Powers would also have to have the Affects Corporeal Extra as well to make them work while Insub 4. You could get a very similar effect using just Insub 2, which would make the PC immune to Physical Damage but still vulnerable to Energy, and not require Affects Corporeal. If you still want to pass through solid objects, just add in a few ranks of Permeate with the points saved for the lower Insub.
Sorry, I can't hear your argument for realism over the sound of my eye beams. :P

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby TheSander » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:15 pm

How do you model someone dual-wielding guns? Or throws multiple knives?

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Re: New GM, asking for advice

Postby FuzzyBoots » Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:48 pm

TheSander wrote:How do you model someone dual-wielding guns? Or throws multiple knives?

Generally, you don't. You build it as a single power with the descriptor being that they're using multiple items, e.g:
Dual Swords (Strength-Based Strike 6) [Easy to Lose Device]
Knife Barrage (Ranged Damage 4) [Hard to Lose Device -- Disarming doesn't really make sense because he can pull out more knives, but his knife-holster could be smashed/cut away and he can be disarmed when Helpless]

Note that there are some extras that make sense when multiple weapons are being wielded such as Split Attack (hit two different opponents with different weapons) or Multiattack (succeeding with a higher value on your attack roll means you tagged them more than once, so you do more damage) and some GMs allows a 1 pp Feature for dual-wielders where the first Disarm or Sunder attempt only removes half of the value of the weapon.


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