Deflect power level limit

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:07 am

kenseido wrote:I'm glad it makes sense to other people, it still doesn't make sense to me.

Well, Deflect is really just you doing a Defend Maneuver for someone else within Range.
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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby kenseido » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:13 am

I totally understand what it is. I guess I will have to settle that its done in an attempt to maintain game balance.
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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Doresh » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:18 pm

Well, since you're defending for someone else, it only makes sense that the Effect requires quick reflexes - exactly the kind of reflexes one needs to dodge stuff himself.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Fists of Dorn » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:38 am

Greyman wrote:No, not quite.

It's explicitly limited to power level, not a multiple of such.

Generally, though, it's considered to be traded off against your Toughness bonus, like Dodge and Parry defenses.
So Deflect + Toughness <= 2x PL.



Is this a change to Deflect present in the M&M 3E Player's Guide? My updated DCA book reads as:

DCA Powers- Deflect p95 wrote:...
Deflect is limited by power level limits.
...


That would be explicitly limiting it to the limitations of Power Level, including trade-offs. I know there are significant differences between the two books, and each is supposed to be considered 'correct' for each line, but I don't have the 3E handbook to check.

If it is limited by power level limits, as in the DCA handbook, then it would seem simple enough that the rank of deflect usable on any target is limited by that target's toughness resistance value.
It would be reasonable to limit it to the target's power level limits unless that character's PL is below that of the Series PL (Defending a PL2 bystander with a PL10 character using a rank 12 Deflect in a PL10 series game for instance).



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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:05 am

The Deflect and target's PL has always been a bit of a sticking point. Everyone has a different interpretation on it. Sometimes I really miss not having a 3E ORQ. :(

For myself, I allow the target's Dodge/Parry to be replaced by the character who is using their Standard Action to Defend them. Giving someone a 1 Round Dodge/Parry bonus is not any more game-breaking then using an Aid Action to give someone a +2 or +5 on Dodge and Parry.

If a player is going to pay Power Points to have the ability, and is willing to sacrifice his Standard Action to try and save someone, then we should let him be heroic and not get too hung up whether someone gets a few points of circumstantial bonus for a Turn. M&M is a superhero game, not a math competition. :)
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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Stigger » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:16 am

Personally I just limit it to PL and ignore anyone's toughness or dodge/parry as far as Deflect is concerned. I tend to view it like a CIWS effect where the character is essentially intercepting an attack before it strikes, so it is essentially an attack against the attacker with the intent to neutralize the attack rather than to damage outright. I'm not sure why that would essentially negate the target's defenses though, since it is happening independently of them, unless they're otherwise immobile or relying on their defense being taken care of by someone else. I don't really see that as overpowered though, since the character using Deflect is essentially giving up their action, and it isn't like they can do it for more than one person unless they're defending against certain sorts of area attacks that actually could conceivably be deflected, anything relying on a physical projectile for example. Personally I think it's a power that should greatly definitely be limited by descriptors, and a bit more expensive depending on how broadly it could be used, much more so than other powers.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Fists of Dorn » Tue Apr 09, 2013 11:40 pm

Black Mamba wrote:If a player is going to pay Power Points to have the ability, and is willing to sacrifice his Standard Action to try and save someone, then we should let him be heroic and not get too hung up whether someone gets a few points of circumstantial bonus for a Turn. M&M is a superhero game, not a math competition.



The defended character's Dodge/Parry is replaced by the defending character's Deflect rank- up to that character's PL. That is how the power is written to work.
If you disagree with the effect because you feel it should work another way, fine, but don't confuse your house rule with what is written in the book when answering someone's question about the rules as written.


For example, I don't use Deflect as it is written, instead I use the house rule where the Deflect rank replaces the Dodge/Parry value of the defended character. That character's Toughness plus the Deflect rank cannot exceed that character's power level.
So far, that's by the rules.
Where my house rule comes in when defending any character whose PL is lower than that of the series PL. Then the defended character's Toughness plus the Deflect rank cannot exceed the series PL.

Example:

Series PL10

Deflecting Character PL10: Deflect 12; Toughness 8
-Within his own PL so he is within the rules as written as well as my house rule

Ally 1 PL9: Toughness 8
-Under the rules he could only benefit from 10 ranks of the Deflect power (Deflect 10 + Toughness 8 = PL9)
-Under my house rule he can instead benefit from 12 ranks because his limit is the series PL

Ally 2 PL12: Toughness 16
-Under the rules he could benefit from 8 ranks of the Deflect power
-Under my house rule nothing would change because this ally's PL exceeds that of the series which is set at 10

Bystander 1- Scientist- PL2: Toughness 0
-Under the rules he could only benefit from 4 ranks of the Deflect power
-Under my house rule he could instead benefit from the full 12 ranks of Deflect because of the series PL

Bystander 2- Tank- PL9: Toughness 12
-Under the rules the vehicle would benefit from only 6 ranks of the Deflect power
-Under my house rule it would benefit from 8 ranks



Black Mamba wrote:Giving someone a 1 Round Dodge/Parry bonus is not any more game-breaking then using an Aid Action to give someone a +2 or +5 on Dodge and Parry.



Game-breaking, likely not; rules-breaking, possibly. Circumstance bonuses do not exceed power level unless noted in the description of the effect/advantage/etc. providing it. The Aid Action specifically lacks this notation (As do many, many circumstance bonuses).

DCA The Basics- Circumstance Modifiers p.15 wrote:Some circumstances make checks easier or harder, resulting in a bonus or penalty to the check. Characters in a favorable situation are said to have a circumstance bonus for the check, while those in a disadvantageous situation are said to have a circumstance penalty.
As a general rule, apply a modifier of plus or minus 2 if the character is at a minor bonus or minor penalty, and a modifier of plus or minus 5 if the character is at a major bonus or major penalty for the check::


DCA Gamemastering- Running the Game p.181 wrote:Circumstance modifiers (see their description in The Basics chapter) are one of the GM’s best tools. Rather than having to memorize a lengthy list of special-case modifiers, just keep this guideline in mind: if the situation is in the character’s favor, that’s good for a +2 bonus on a check. If it’s against the character, that’s a –2 penalty. If things are particularly good or bad, up the circumstance modifier to +/–5.

It’s that simple. Note that, practically speaking, a major circumstance modifier effectively shifts a check up or down a degree of difficulty, as shown on the Difficulty Class Examples table. Likewise, a major modifier effectively changes the degree of a graded check by one (see Graded Checks in The Basics chapter).


Neither of the sections addressing Circumstance Modifiers states anything about them being able to exceed PL. Instead every example of a Circumstance Bonus in advantages, actions, etc. that can exceed power level limitations is expressly stated as having that benefit.




Stigger wrote:I tend to view it like a CIWS effect where the character is essentially intercepting an attack before it strikes, so it is essentially an attack against the attacker with the intent to neutralize the attack rather than to damage outright. I'm not sure why that would essentially negate the target's defenses though, since it is happening independently of them, unless they're otherwise immobile or relying on their defense being taken care of by someone else.


The reason that Deflect is used in place of the target's own defenses is because the Deflect power operates similarly to the "Defend" action as noted in the Deflect power here:

DCA Powers- Deflect p95 wrote:...
See the Defend action in the Action & Adventure chapter for details. You use your Deflect rank in place of an active defense.
...


Bear in mind that the character's Defense score is not limited to his ability to nimbly escape the impact of a projectile or hand weapon at the last second. It can represent Cyclops' optic blast shooting a projectile down before it gets near him or Batman luring a foe under an overhang where the foe's crowbar catches on the overhang- thereby preventing it from hitting him.
Beyond that it prevents doubling up layers of protection against attacks from slowing down a game, or becoming a hassle for the GM/Players.




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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Greyman » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:30 am

Fists of Dorn wrote:Neither of the sections addressing Circumstance Modifiers states anything about them being able to exceed PL. Instead every example of a Circumstance Bonus in advantages, actions, etc. that can exceed power level limitations is expressly stated as having that benefit.
Actually, whether a bonus is restricted or not by power level limits is only ever mentioned in Advantages and Extras. It's never mentioned for any Actions or Maneouvers.

The reason is self evident; Power Level limits only apply to character design and they don't apply to circumstances encountered during play.

It's just that some Advantages and Extras built into the character do provide circumstance bonuses in specified situations, and so always include an additional reminder that these Circumstance Bonuses are not affected by power level limits. (Notice also that reminders that bonuses are restricted by power level limits are always for unnamed bonuses.)

For example, neither Aid, Aim, nor Recover actions, nor the Team Attack maneouver, explicitly state their Circumstance Bonus allows the affected attack check, defense check, or resistance DC to exceed power level limits. But that is the implicit purpose of those actions. They'd be mostly pointless if they did not.
D C Adventures Heros Handbook page Page 175 wrote:AID STANDARD ACTION
If you are in position to attack an opponent, you can attempt to aid an ally engaged in melee with that opponent as a standard action. This is like a team check (see Team Checks in The Basics chapter): you make an attack check against DC 10. If you succeed, you don’t actually hit or affect the opponent, but success grants your ally a +2 circumstance bonus on an attack check against that opponent or a +2 circumstance bonus to Defense against that opponent (your choice) until the end of your ally’s next turn. Three or more degrees of success grant a +5 bonus.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:47 am

Fists of Dorn wrote:Neither of the sections addressing Circumstance Modifiers states anything about them being able to exceed PL. Instead every example of a Circumstance Bonus in advantages, actions, etc. that can exceed power level limitations is expressly stated as having that benefit.

We have had this discussion before, and if you check that earlier post I even provided a Link to a Batman combat example written by Green Ronin where it clearly shows using Aid allows Minions to exceed their PL limits to hit Batman.

When Green Ronin's own examples show it happening I do not see much reason to continue the debate. Either way you are free to believe whatever you wish and use it in your games however you wish. The examples just seem to be counter to your belief.
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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby ican » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:32 pm

I may be incorrect, but the way I thought Deflect worked is similar to Interpose. You would use Deflect (limited by your PL) to defend a character and if the attack succeeds the original target would roll toughness for damage. Your defending them, and usually the only reason to do so is because their active defenses are lower than what you can provide. Other wise your hero would be like... "I'm sorry citizen I could only block some of that fire ball because your too weak, if only you were as strong as me".

Plus, don't more characters than not, have a Parry/Dodge + Toughness that is already maxed out by PL, so limiting the power based of the defended character would limit this powers effectiveness. The description of the power is to "actively defend for characters"..."and may be able to more effectively defend yourself". If it was intended to be limited by the defended character then maybe they should have said "may be able to more effectively defend characters" instead.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:47 pm

ican wrote:I may be incorrect, but the way I thought Deflect worked is similar to Interpose. You would use Deflect (limited by your PL) to defend a character and if the attack succeeds the original target would roll toughness for damage. Your defending them, and usually the only reason to do so is because their active defenses are lower than what you can provide. Other wise your hero would be like... "I'm sorry citizen I could only block some of that fire ball because your too weak, if only you were as strong as me".

Plus, don't more characters than not, have a Parry/Dodge + Toughness that is already maxed out by PL, so limiting the power based of the defended character would limit this powers effectiveness. The description of the power is to "actively defend for characters"..."and may be able to more effectively defend yourself". If it was intended to be limited by the defended character then maybe they should have said "may be able to more effectively defend characters" instead.

I agree with you completely, but it is not clearly stated in the rules and so everyone interprets it differently. Unless Steve or Jon gives us a specific answer, either here on the forum or in a future product, everyone will continue to do it they way they want.

In general, though, it would seem stupid to only be able to Deflect for someone if they were Vulnerable or Defenseless - as that is the only way their defenses could be below their PL in 99% of the cases.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Fists of Dorn » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:49 am

Greyman wrote:Actually, whether a bonus is restricted or not by power level limits is only ever mentioned in Advantages and Extras. It's never mentioned for any Actions or Maneouvers.


You misread my statement. Instead of listing all of the sections where a circumstance bonus is mentioned, I stated that wherever a circumstance bonus is allowed to exceed PL limits, it is expressly stated to able to do so.



Greyman wrote:It's just that some Advantages and Extras built into the character do provide circumstance bonuses in specified situations, and so always include an additional reminder that these Circumstance Bonuses are not affected by power level limits. (Notice also that reminders that bonuses are restricted by power level limits are always for unnamed bonuses.)


No, those notes are there to inform the player that it is an exception to the rule.

Eidetic Memory provides a Circumstance bonus on checks (Unnamed) to recall something, avoid memory erasures, etc. This can apply to a Will Power check to avoid a memory erasure. On a PL10 character with a +8 Fortitude and a +12 Will, the character gets no benefit here because the character is maxed at PL and the advantage is not specified as being able to exceed PL.

Evasion provides either a +2 or +5 Circumstance bonus and is not noted to exceed PL. So don't give it to anyone meeting their Dodge/Toughness cap.

Great Endurance provides a +5 Circumstance bonus on checks to avoid Fatigue as noted under "Hazards & the Environment". These checks are Fortitude checks. Yet the advantage does not specify this bonus as being able to exceed PL.

Teamwork provides a +5 Circumstance bonus on any Team Check, yet it does not specifically exceed PL.

These bonuses are named as Circumstance bonuses, but they do not exceed PL limitations because that is how Circumstance bonuses are written to work. Those bonuses that can exceed PL limitations are the exception, not the rule, hence why they have notes stating that they get to break the rule.



Greyman wrote:The reason is self evident; Power Level limits only apply to character design and they don't apply to circumstances encountered during play.



According to the sections specifying how circumstantial modifiers operate in-game, as I have quoted, yes they do factor into PL unless specifically noted otherwise. Just because a character is maxed for his PL in one area does not mean that the rules somehow mean anything other than what they say in plain black and white.

Look, just because a character's primary attack and damage totals combined precludes him from making use of the Aim Action does not mean that the circumstance bonus was obviously meant to exceed PL. What about that very same character's other attack bonuses and damage values? Are none of them able to make use of the circumstance bonus provided by the Aim Action?
How many character's have their attack values maxed for every possible damage source? Do you see Superman or Captain Marvel maxed with "Ranged Combat: Firearms"? No? They don't have the +25 bonus in that skill to maximize the use of that particular +5 damage source? So then they can benefit from the Aim Action?
How about something that those characters are often depicted as using? Say "Ranged Combat: Throwing"?
No ranks in that either, meaning that either one of those heroes could benefit from the Aim Action when throwing a boulder at a giant robot.

Superman can always benefit from someone aiding his defense by +2, Dodge or Parry.


Just because a character cannot make use of a circumstance bonus provided by an action, or other source, does not somehow change the fact that the rules -as written- restrict circumstance bonuses to PL limits.



Greyman wrote:For example, neither Aid, Aim, nor Recover actions, nor the Team Attack maneouver, explicitly state their Circumstance Bonus allows the affected attack check, defense check, or resistance DC to exceed power level limits. But that is the implicit purpose of those actions. They'd be mostly pointless if they did not.



"Mostly pointless" is not a good argument for the purpose of those actions to "implicitly" be able to exceed PL. As I pointed out earlier, few are the characters unable to benefit somehow from the actions you list above.

Continuing with Superman, his Heat Vision is not maxed at PL. If he encounters some sort of foe who is immune to the bludgeoning effect of his punches, his only recourse may be to use his Heat Vision. If that is a viable tactic against the foe, then Superman's ally Captain Marvel- basically restricted to ineffective punches- can now help his friend to defeat this foe by using the Aid action to help Superman overcome the foe's defenses.



Black Mamba wrote:We have had this discussion before, and if you check that earlier post I even provided a Link to a Batman combat example written by Green Ronin where it clearly shows using Aid allows Minions to exceed their PL limits to hit Batman.



The link is to the Design Journal featuring Batman versus some of the Joker's Thugs by Steve Kenson- who has often admitted to making mistakes with his own rules set when answering questions in the 2nd edition official rules forum.
The journal does not discuss the issue at hand, which is "What the book states as the rule" and "What GMs/Players want the rule to be". The rule is written clearly in two sections of the book, each labeled Circumstance Modifiers (DCA p.15 & p.181), detailing how they work. Neither section states that they are able to exceed PL limitations as a rule. Rather, there are exceptions to this rule made as notations where applicable (like with many advantages and the Multi-Attack extra).



With all of that said, I will reiterate that I personally employ a house rule stating that all Circumstance Bonuses ignore PL limitations. It keeps things simple and I have yet to see an example where it is abusive. But I continue to distinguish the two because one is a rule and the other is a house rule. If someone asks a question about a rule on this forum they want to know the rule, not a house rule. Explain the rule as it is written, then explain your take on how it impacts game play at your table(s) and explain any actions (house rules) you have taken to correct it so that your game flows better.




Black Mamba wrote:In general, though, it would seem stupid to only be able to Deflect for someone if they were Vulnerable or Defenseless - as that is the only way their defenses could be below their PL in 99% of the cases.



Characters whose Defenses are under PL caps are not expected to be that rare.

-Energy Controller: Parry under by 4
-Mimic: Dodge and Parry under by 11 (Though of course some of this might be mitigated through his power usage)
-Mystic: Parry under by 2
-Shapeshifter: Dodge and Parry under by 7 (Again this might be mitigated by power use)
-Weapon Master: Dodge under by 2

-Aquaman: Under by 2
-Batman: Under by 2
-Black Canary: Dodge under by 2
-Captain Marvel: Parry under by 1
-Green Arrow: Parry under by 2
-Green Lantern: Dodge under by 2, Parry under by 4
-Martian Manhunter: Dodge under by 3 normally and 1 when using Density, Parry under by 2 normally
-Nightwing: Parry under by 2
-Superman: Dodge and Parry under by 2
-Zatanna: Dodge under by 8 and Parry under by 12. When Deflecting for herself Dodge and Parry are under by 6.


Then there are the villains, going at about the same ratio. Even in the Heroes & Villains volumes.

If the character is given ranks appropriate to the his/her abilities then it is unlikely that there are going to be an overwhelming number of characters that meet both the Dodge/Toughness and Parry/Toughness caps.
As has been mentioned in other threads, the players and GMs should all be aware of the sort of game being played; if the characters' defenses need to be maxed at PL to survive, so be it, otherwise there is nothing requiring it other than a player's personal expectation of his/her character's ability.

This perception goes in the same boat as the "The Aim Action is pointless because I am already at my PL cap" argument. Just because you deal with characters whose defenses are capped does not mean that Deflect works in any way other than how it is worded. If the way it works doesn't jive with how your group wants to play, house rule it to work in a way that does jive with your style.




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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:09 am

Fists of Dorn wrote:The link is to the Design Journal featuring Batman versus some of the Joker's Thugs by Steve Kenson- who has often admitted to making mistakes with his own rules set when answering questions in the 2nd edition official rules forum.

If your argument is that the person who wrote the game is wrong in his example, well, there is not much anyone can do to change your opinion about that. As I said, you are free to handle it however you wish.

As far as PL caps, we should look at example characters meant to be played rather than Archetypes or NPCs:

Dragoneye: Attack: 8/12, Defense: 6-8/12
Kid Robot: Attack: 10/10, Defense: 8/12
Mongrel: Attack: 15/5, Defense: 14/6
Princess: Attack: 8/12, Defense: 8/12
Rocky: Attack: 8/12, Defense: 6/14
Rook: Attack: 15/5, Defense: 14/6
Ultramarine: Attack: 10/10, Defense: 8/12
Victor: Attack: 15/5, Defense: 13/7
Vortex: Attack: 8/12, Defense: 14-11/6
Xeno: Attack: 10/10, Defense: 6/14

In every example the characters are capped in Offense and in only 2 examples does a character have a single Defense that is below PL.
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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Dragonblade » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:57 am

I was rereading the book last night and it seems clear to me that PL and caps only apply when building a PC. Circumstance bonuses are not subject to PL limits. In fact, I couldn't find one instance in the book that listed a bonus as a "circumstance" bonus and said it was limited to PL. There are examples where a "circumstance" bonus is said to ignore PL, but I take that as a clarification that a given bonus is a circumstance bonus and thus not subject to PL.

As far as Deflect goes, it also seems clear to me that Deflect being limited to PL is only for the character purchasing it. The PL limits of the character you are protecting with your Deflect is irrelevant. Otherwise, a superhero with Deflect would never be able to protect a PL 2 child, for example.

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Re: Deflect power level limit

Postby Black Mamba » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:56 pm

It took me some time to remember where it was located but, from the The Game System Top 10 post on the website:

9. Circumstance Modifiers

The vast majority of situational modifiers in the game have been consolidated into a simple scheme of +2 for an advantage (+5 for a major advantage) and -2 for a disadvantage (-5 for a major one). Various conditions, effects, maneuvers, and so forth reference these circumstance modifiers and they provide a quick guideline for applying modifiers to any situation. Circumstance modifiers (being situational) do not count towards power level; anyone can partake of them, depending on the circumstances.


Note the bolded and underlined portion of the quote.

Of course that does not clear up any Deflect issues mentioned in this thread, but I think it handles the Circumstance Bonus issue nicely. :)
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