View Full Version : Why is the M&M "Deflect" power so flippin expensive?!

2008-01-22, 05:19 AM
So we sat down tonight to make characters for an upcoming Mutants and Masterminds game - Teen Heroes setting, PL 8. I really wanted to make this character I had in mind, I was going to call him "8-Ball" (no, not like the magic 8-ball guy from the Tick). The whole concept was that he has amazing control over kinetic energy and can ricochet stuff around with dramatic effects (which he honed hustling people at pool). Naturally, I was really interested in "Deflect" as my main power, since that's pretty much what it does, and it has nice offensive and defensive abilities. Then I started making the character and realized that to make the Deflect power at all viable as your main attack, you have to stack at least 3 extras on it (Reflection and Redirection, slow and fast projectiles). Then if you want to be able to do it more than once a round you have to reduce the action needed, which is another point per rank, for a grand total of 5 points per rank. So, my character was instantly nerfed since almost half of my PP were needed to buy a fairly situational power. Granted, I could stack all kinds of kickass alternate powers on it without spending much more, but the initial investment left me next to nothing to buy Combat, Saves, Feats and Skills, plus the requisite Force Field power to boost my toughness.
I was ok with this until I noticed my friend's character sheet, who, with a completely legal build, has maxed ranks of Create Object & Cosmic Blast (APs), Immunity 9, Insubstantial 4, better attack, defense, & saves, higher abilities, more skills and feats, and he was still wondering how to spend his last few points!
I initially loved this system for its superb balance, but now I'm starting to wonder. Why is it cheaper to build a nigh-invulnerable face melter than it is to build a guy who deflects ONE type of attack back?
Anyways, maybe I read something wrong, or maybe I'm underestimating Deflect, but it seems way overpriced, since the extras drive the point cost up pretty quick, and it still doesn't seem as useful as just buying a blast power and then impervious toughness. Can anyone help me out? I'm also open to suggestions on how to build a good PL 8 character that matches my original concept, so, discuss.

2008-01-22, 11:50 AM
While I don't recall Deflect very clearly to be able to help you in a theoretical sense, in a practical sense, I could suggest you take an applicable power flaw to reduce the cost of the power.

Also, you can squeeze some points out with feats. If you know you're only going to be using one form of attack, you can take Combat Focus (or whatever it's called) for that ability and get +1 to hit for one point.

Mind also that your stats apply towards your non-damage (don't remember about toughness) saves - a high Dex/Con/Will can go a long way.

2008-01-22, 12:37 PM
The reason it is so expensive is that deflect is functioning as both an offensive and defensive power. Someone shoots a bullet at you. If it hits, you use deflect to instead send it back at them, not taking any damage in the process. Also, you are trying to use it more than once a round. M&M is designed to not let someone have an attack more than once a round.

So I have a few suggestions for you.

Add the limited flaw: only when holding a pool cue

Or make it a device instead, so you have a specific pool cue that lets you do this. Make it easy to take away and you've got a LOT more points to work with.

Finally, you might want to look into the telekinesis power instead. That frees you up a whole lot more, and maybe have some form of deflect as an alternate power. You can use TK for flinging pool balls or what have you at somebody or switch to deflect for when someone is attacking you.

I guess the real point is figure out how you want the flavor to work. Do you want him to only be able to use his powers when a projectile is coming at him? That's what deflect does. If you want to be able to do something that does not require getting attacked by somebody, TK would be more useful.

Blue Paladin
2008-01-22, 01:39 PM
It's been a long time since I played MM, but as I recall, Deflect works on both melee and ranged right out of the box. It also includes things it honestly has no business working on, like mental attacks or lightning bolts. It's the basis for the "can't touch me" style of defense.

"Requisite Force Field"? No such thing as a requisite power in MM. The fact that you have Deflect should steer you away from redundant defensive powers. Your goal is not to be tough enough to withstand a barrage of plasma blasts; it's to be untouchable in the middle of that barrage of plasma blasts. You're a pool shark, not the Hulk. If you take a hit, you'll go down. Happens in comic books all the time. But good luck to your enemies getting that hit in the first place.

You're spending points to make a fundamentally defensive power into an offensive one by your own choice (a choice I heartily endorse, because it's cool). That's what should drive your game, not overt power level. Take Gambit; do you think he has less fun than Storm? Sure, she summons tornados and tsunamis on a whim; he kisses all the girls and leaves them swooning. Just have fun with the choices you made. There's no need to answer to anyone but yourself (and your GM).

2008-01-22, 02:34 PM
What you're not considering is that with Reflect and Redirect, you get as many attacks per round as there are people shooting at you. There's nothing that can hit you save for Mental attacks (which are another extra) unless you fail your parry rolls, and every attack that doesn't hit you is getting thrown back into some schmuck's face.

Force Field + Blast is 4pp/rank (I think, I'm AFB. Might be three). That's without any neat extras like autofire or Impervious. He gets one attack and unlimited toughness saves per round.

Your Deflect power is 5pp/rank, gives you an arbitrary number of attacks and parry rolls, which are actually more likely to succeed against an even-PL attack than his Toughness saves (because of the enemy's damage being 15+Rank and their attacks being d20+Rank.) The bold part is very powerful in M&M.

Not sure why the base power is so expensive, but when you invest in the offensive extras, it's a worthy power.

2008-01-23, 12:45 AM
I actually realized my problem - I was so dead set on buying all the extras at once that I forgot how to use Alternate powers.
So now what I'm doing is buying it this way 2 pts. for base power (fast & slow projectiles + 2 pts. for reduced action (free) +1 pt. for Automatic - this is the "on all the time" version of the power - total 5 points per rank, or 40 at rank 8.
Then the offensive version is an AP - 2 pts +1 for Reflection and +1 for Redirect +1 for Ranged - lets me wing back anything that may come towards me or my friends, except I have to take a standard action and be aware.
Plus I add another AP version - same as the original but replace Automatic with Reflection, for when the fight starts and I'm aware
Throw on the Ricochet power feat for added coolness, and another AP of Paralyze (ranged, Kinetic Slow ability) and 8-Ball is ready to go :smallcool: Only 44 points spent on the main power (as opposed to the 56 I was spending before). Gave me enough to grab some Super-movement and feats that I needed.
Thanks to everyone for their help.

2008-01-23, 12:50 AM
Always glad to be of service, citizen.

*flies off to rescue a kitten from a tree*