Sustained or Continuous damage?

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Duke Awesome
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Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Duke Awesome » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:49 am

Hello Gentle peoples of the Mutants & Masterminds forum! I have come forth as a new player of this fascinating game of the 3rd edition and/or DC adventures.

I hope you all don’t mind if I begin my time here with a question. Is it possible somehow to create a damage effect (or any other instant attack effect) on a sustained or continuous duration? The power I have in mind is to expel a flaming oil slick over an area dealing continuous damage to anybody that stays in that area. I may be blind and didn't see it but I could not find a method of creating a sustained or continuous damage effect, the duration appears to only be up-gradable to concentration. Which it doesn't make sense to me that I would have to continuously stare at burning oil for it to keep burning.

If it is not possible to create a continuous or sustained damage effect what would the best method of creating a power that is at least similar? I am just not seeing the best method of creating an area damage effect that last more than two rounds that does not require concentration.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Murkglow » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:07 am

Duke Awesome wrote:I hope you all don’t mind if I begin my time here with a question. Is it possible somehow to create a damage effect (or any other instant attack effect) on a sustained or continuous duration?


Possible? Not really but... (see below). Do I recommend it? Not really (at least not for normal usage). Sustained Damage just gets to being an issue when you allow it to "stack/build up" IMO (Attacks are meant to take a Standard Action to use. Getting them for a Free Action each turn or maybe multiple times a turn is just not a great idea to me). Still that's just me, if your GM is fine with it then go for it.

Duke Awesome wrote:I may be blind and didn't see it but I could not find a method of creating a sustained or continuous damage effect, the duration appears to only be up-gradable to concentration.


For whatever reason (perhaps to stop this very thing from happening) Sustained Duration was put under its own heading and worded so that it's only meant to be put on Permanent powers. So strictly speaking making Damage Sustained/Continuous isn't possible. That said many people still do it and just go with Increased Duration Concentration->Sustained->Continuous at +1 per rank for each step.

Duke Awesome wrote:If it is not possible to create a continuous or sustained damage effect what would the best method of creating a power that is at least similar?


Creating continuous/independent objects/effects are difficult in M&M. Even something as simple as a Smoke Grenade is a serious problem (without a GM just handwaving it and saying "Look it just works this way so don't worry about the game mechanics"). Strictly speaking I guess Create to make the oil followed by some kind of Reaction Damage triggered by touching the oil could work? It still has all kinds of issues though. Maybe someone else will think of a better way to do it.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Monolith » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:55 am

Murkglow wrote:
Duke Awesome wrote:I may be blind and didn't see it but I could not find a method of creating a sustained or continuous damage effect, the duration appears to only be up-gradable to concentration.


For whatever reason (perhaps to stop this very thing from happening) Sustained Duration was put under its own heading and worded so that it's only meant to be put on Permanent powers. So strictly speaking making Damage Sustained/Continuous isn't possible. That said many people still do it and just go with Increased Duration Concentration->Sustained->Continuous at +1 per rank for each step.

You increase the duration of damage simply by taking multiple ranks of the increased duration extra. +1 takes damage to concentration, +2 to sustained, and +3 to continuous. There are published characters with sustained damage, like Atrocitus and Captain Boomerang in HV1, to name but 2. It's not super-common in the genre but there's nothing limiting it in the game.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Greyman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:04 am

Build the oil slick as a construct and use summon?

Flaming Oil Slick PL8 • MR 4
Abilities: Str 0 Sta — Agl 0 Dex 0 Fgt 0 Int — Awe — Pre —
Powers: Flame Aura (Reaction Fire Damage 8, When Touched), Oil Form (Elongation 1 (15'); Insubstantial 1, Permanent, Innate; Protection 8), Unliving (Immunity 30: Fortitude Effects), Puddled (Quirk: Immobile Condition)
Skills: Close Combat: Flames 8 (+8)
Offense: Initiative +0, Flames +8 (Close, Fire Damage 8)
Defense: Dodge 0, Parry 0, Fortitude -- (Immune), Toughness 8, Will -- (Mindless)
Totals Abilities -30 + Powers 76 + Advantages 0 + Skills 4 + Defenses 0 = 50
Last edited by Greyman on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Greyman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:35 am

Monolith wrote:You increase the duration of damage simply by taking multiple ranks of the increased duration extra. +1 takes damage to concentration, +2 to sustained, and +3 to continuous. There are published characters with sustained damage, like Atrocitus and Captain Boomerang in HV1, to name but 2. It's not super-common in the genre but there's nothing limiting it in the game.
In second edition, Ultimate Powers also introduced the option to make a maintained area effect remain Stationary (like a patch of flames), or become Attached to the targets (like splatted napalm). It's something you could reintroduce.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Duke Awesome » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:39 pm

Well at least I am glad I am not missing the obvious!

Murkglow you make a good point about why mechanically why the designer’s probably arranged the powers like they did. However I do feel like it was a little short sighted as well because as you mention even making simple real world objects like smoke grenades.

Greyman I really like your suggestion to use a summon, that is a really interesting idea and I hadn’t thought of using summon for objects before. That’s a very interesting idea! That gives me a few interesting ideas for other powers. So for summons you can drop their stats below -5 then to make them objects? Does this also yield additional power points like normal?

However I think this has the most potential:

Murkglow wrote:Strictly speaking I guess Create to make the oil followed by some kind of Reaction Damage triggered by touching the oil could work? It still has all kinds of issues though. Maybe someone else will think of a better way to do it.


So if I understand you correctly you can take the Reaction modifier and link it to Create (and possibly other effects)? That actually opens up a large field of options. For example I could take Create [Permanent, Fading , Limited ( to oil), innate] linked to a Damage Reaction triggered anybody that touches the oil. So then I have a patch of oil that’s on fire (and real) that does damage and eventually burns away.

I suppose for a smoke grenade it could be Environment (visibility) linked to an Affliction Reaction triggered by breathing in the environmental effect?

Though tying it to the Environment and Create seems too easy abuse so it so the affliction so the Reaction effect should probably also have an Area modifier equal to the area of the linked Create/Environment effect. So Shapeable for Create and Burst for environment. I guess in the same way linked effects have the same range if feels like they should have the same area.

Both these ideas are interesting however; can you really apply Reaction to long lasting effects you create rather than just yourself? Which looking at the Reaction modifier and Triggered Modifier it really doesn’t talk about it as a possibility. I have heard there are articles being published called “power profiles” do any of them cover ideas like this or offer some more clarification? It seems like it should be simpler and easier to make things like Smoke Grenades and such considering they are real world objects that are reasonable for Heroes to use.

That said if Reaction cannot be used like that I guess Greyman’s idea to use the Summon power idea works just as well (and is probably cheaper on the Power Points). It just feels weird though to “summon” effects that feel like they should be Environmental or Create effects. But what works is what works. I am just intrigued by the idea of having Created objects and the Environment effects being able to do instant effects.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Greyman » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:25 pm

An oil fire could also simply be an environment effect (vis Environment # (Extreme Heat, Impede Movement)). A DC 10, +1 culmulative per minute, to avoid being Fatigued, Exhausted, Incapacitated, Dying. This may not be a significant challenge to most heroes, though that depends on circumstances (rescuing bystanders, for example).
Duke Awesome wrote:Greyman I really like your suggestion to use a summon, that is a really interesting idea and I hadn’t thought of using summon for objects before. That’s a very interesting idea! That gives me a few interesting ideas for other powers. So for summons you can drop their stats below -5 then to make them objects? Does this also yield additional power points like normal?
The basis is creating traps as minions that are mindless, immobile, constructs.
Duke Awesome wrote:So if I understand you correctly you can take the Reaction modifier and link it to Create (and possibly other effects)? That actually opens up a large field of options. For example I could take Create [Permanent, Fading , Limited ( to oil), innate] linked to a Damage Reaction triggered anybody that touches the oil. So then I have a patch of oil that’s on fire (and real) that does damage and eventually burns away.
It's permissible. The fault with it is that the oil fire needs to remain within range of the creator's damage power.
Duke Awesome wrote:I suppose for a smoke grenade it could be Environment (visibility) linked to an Affliction Reaction triggered by breathing in the environmental effect?
The default 3E build for Obscure is a maintained Area Attack Concealment with a few handwaves. (Such as disallowing resistance checks, et cetera.)
Duke Awesome wrote:Though tying it to the Environment and Create seems too easy abuse so it so the affliction so the Reaction effect should probably also have an Area modifier equal to the area of the linked Create/Environment effect. So Shapeable for Create and Burst for environment. I guess in the same way linked effects have the same range if feels like they should have the same area.
Check Shapeable's coverage again, volume rank 5 (30 cubic feet) is not as large as you might think.

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Re: Sustained or Continuous damage?

Postby Duke Awesome » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:22 am

Greyman wrote:
Duke Awesome wrote:So if I understand you correctly you can take the Reaction modifier and link it to Create (and possibly other effects)? That actually opens up a large field of options. For example I could take Create [Permanent, Fading , Limited ( to oil), innate] linked to a Damage Reaction triggered anybody that touches the oil. So then I have a patch of oil that’s on fire (and real) that does damage and eventually burns away.
It's permissible. The fault with it is that the oil fire needs to remain within range of the creator's damage power.


Ah, so you cannot really can't attach the Reaction to the oil as its own property but rather just redirect it from yourself. I guess using summon is the best option.

Greyman wrote:Check Shapeable's coverage again, volume rank 5 (30 cubic feet) is not as large as you might think.


When the height is about 1/2 a inch the area it can cover is pretty big :D


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