A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Looking through the core rulebook of M&M 2e for virtually the first time, I noticed that, naturally, it has rules for making magicians, wizards, sorcerers, whatever you want to call it.

    However, having zero experience, I'm in need of someone to help me understand the system properly.

    Basically, I want help creating a 10th PL sorcerer type, with the only distinction I require is that he can teleport somehow.

    So, anyone around adept at M&M 2e, and willing to help a poor soul through the step-to-steps of creating a powerful magician?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    What do you want to do? The Magic power is easy to break, since you can alternate anything off it, and the best way to make a caster is to buy powers that represent your spells and give them the Magic descriptor.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Step 1: Pick a power that you know you'll need.
    Step 2: Invest a lot of points in it.
    Step 3: Find a bunch of buffs or constant-use powers.
    Step 4: Make those Dynamic Alternate Powers.
    Step 5: Find a bunch of attack powers you would like.
    Step 6: Make those Alternate Powers.
    Step 7: ?
    Step 8: Profit.
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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by UglyPanda View Post
    Step 1: Pick a power that you know you'll need.
    Step 2: Invest a lot of points in it.
    Step 3: Find a bunch of buffs or constant-use powers.
    Step 4: Make those Dynamic Alternate Powers.
    Step 5: Find a bunch of attack powers you would like.
    Step 6: Make those Alternate Powers.
    Step 7: ?
    Step 8: Profit.
    Wow, wow, wow!

    Slow down.

    I need to know what the hell I am even investing points in, and what it does. I also need help with Defense, Attack, saves, abilities, everything.

    What do you want to do? The Magic power is easy to break, since you can alternate anything off it, and the best way to make a caster is to buy powers that represent your spells and give them the Magic descriptor.
    Well, any viable magician will do, without breaking the game. Only specific is teleportation, and maybe flying if it can be squeezed in.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    In general it's bad taste to make all your powers alternates of each other - it's generally a very obvious attempt to save points. If you do that, expect any more experienced DM to throw a lot of Drain and Nullify (+ Duration extra) at you. It's better to alternate powers when it makes sense, like Blast off Control Fire, and for damage-dealing powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    Well, any viable magician will do, without breaking the game. Only specific is teleportation, and maybe flying if it can be squeezed in.
    Teleportation and flight are easy, you won't spend many points on that. You need to think about the rest - you must know what you want your character to do, at least roughly. "Magician" is a concept so broad it barely means anything, because all powers in M&M can be considered spells.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2009-11-28 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    In general it's bad taste to make all your powers alternates of each other - it's generally a very obvious attempt to save points. If you do that, expect any more experienced DM to throw a lot of Drain and Nullify (+ Duration extra) at you. It's better to alternate powers when it makes sense, like Blast off Control Fire, and for damage-dealing powers.
    Awesome advice, except I don't understand the meaning of the words.

    Believe me when I say, I am at a total loss when it comes to M&M 2e.

    Preferably, I would like it dumbed down as much as possible, and explained in enough detail that I'll get it.

    Edit:

    Teleportation and flight are easy, you won't spend many points on that. You need to think about the rest - you must know what you want your character to do, at least roughly. "Magician" is a concept so broad it barely means anything, because all powers in M&M can be considered spells.
    Mh, well, let's just say, if you were to make a mage with teleportation and flight, what other sort of "spells" would you pick?
    Last edited by Edwin; 2009-11-28 at 03:18 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    Mh, well, let's just say, if you were to make a mage with teleportation and flight, what other sort of "spells" would you pick?
    I'd choose Blast for attacking, of course, and improve my attack, defense, damage and toughness to hit the cap, but beyond that it all depends on the type of mage I want to play. A summoner, a blaster, a master of illusions, a transmuter? With enough effort it's easy to make any non-broken special ability in M&M (and a few of the broken ones, too), but you need to know what abilities you want to have beforehand.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    I'd choose Blast for attacking, of course, and improve my attack, defense, damage and toughness to hit the cap, but beyond that it all depends on the type of mage I want to play. A summoner, a blaster, a master of illusions, a transmuter? With enough effort it's easy to make any non-broken special ability in M&M (and a few of the broken ones, too), but you need to know what abilities you want to have beforehand.
    I know very little of what is actually doable in the system, so it's hard to be specific.

    But I like the idea of a transmuter. How would I go about that? What spells, powers, feats, whatever?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    I know very little of what is actually doable in the system, so it's hard to be specific.
    Almost everything is doable in M&M. This is not an exaggeration.

    Anyway, the most important power for a transmuter is probably Create Object. A useful combat power might be Snare, and it can be alternated off Create Object. For buffs you want Boost, for debuffs Drain - just remember that you can't Boost anything over the cap, so it's not as useful as buffs in DND. As for feats, Ritualist is good for casters, and there are many feats that are good for everyone, like Evasion, Power Attack + All-Out Attack, Uncanny Dodge, Precise Shot, Withstand Damage if you have access to Mecha & Manga... Most of these feats are combat-oriented.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Almost everything is doable in M&M. This is not an exaggeration.

    Anyway, the most important power for a transmuter is probably Create Object. A useful combat power might be Snare, and it can be alternated off Create Object. For buffs you want Boost, for debuffs Drain - just remember that you can't Boost anything over the cap, so it's not as useful as buffs in DND. As for feats, Ritualist is good for casters, and there are many feats that are good for everyone, like Evasion, Power Attack + All-Out Attack, Uncanny Dodge, Precise Shot, Withstand Damage if you have access to Mecha & Manga... Most of these feats are combat-oriented.
    Awesome thanks.

    Now, for the Magic power itself.

    You are a sorcerer, witch, or wizard, able to cast a variety of magical
    spells. Choose one of the power feats below or any other power with a
    total cost of (power rank 2) points. You can acquire others as Alternate
    Power feats. All powers obtained using Magic have the magic descriptor
    applied to them. So a magical flame blast is both fire and magical
    in nature.
    What, exactly, does that mean I can do? I get to pick ranks in other powers equal to power ranks times two?
    Last edited by Edwin; 2009-11-28 at 03:46 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Ignore this power. It's broken. Use other powers with specific effects you want instead.

    What exactly it means, though, is that you can choose any power with total cost no higher than rank of Magic *2. So, if you have 10 ranks in Magic, it means you can take a power that costs up to 20 total points, like Blast 10.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2009-11-28 at 03:51 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Ignore this power. It's broken. Use other powers with specific effects you want instead.

    What exactly it means, though, is that you can choose any power with total cost no higher than rank of Magic *2. So, if you have 10 ranks in Magic, it means you can take a power that costs up to 20 total points, like Blast 10.
    How is that more broken than simply taking 10 ranks of Blast?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    How is that more broken than simply taking 10 ranks of Blast?
    Unlike Blast, Magic allows you to alternate basically every other power off itself.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Because of alternate powers. Magic lets you alternate basically anything off itself, because you can describe any power as a spell, and if it's a spell then it can be alternated off Magic.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Because of alternate powers. Magic lets you alternate basically anything off itself, because you can describe any power as a spell, and if it's a spell then it can be alternated off Magic.
    And alternating one power off another or itself means what, exactly?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Buy another power with the same cost, but paying only the cost of the Alternate Power feat, basically. Read more about it in the actual book.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Buy another power with the same cost, but paying only the cost of the Alternate Power feat, basically. Read more about it in the actual book.
    I'm seeing a bunch of references to power feats, and as far as I can tell, it means you apply a specific effect to a power you already have. Correct?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Yeah, and you buy power feats for your powers, not for yourself. So if you buy Homing and Improved Critical for Blast 10, it will cost 22 points total. If you buy Alternate Power for it, you can buy an alternate power with total cost 22 points for it, just for the cost of the Alternate Power power feat.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Yeah, and you buy power feats for your powers, not for yourself. So if you buy Homing and Improved Critical for Blast 10, it will cost 22 points total. If you buy Alternate Power for it, you can buy an alternate power with total cost 22 points for it, just for the cost of the Alternate Power power feat.
    So in reality, I would be getting 44 points for the cost 23?

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    I'm seeing a bunch of references to power feats, and as far as I can tell, it means you apply a specific effect to a power you already have. Correct?
    Yes. In the case of Alternate Power, that effect is "turn this power into another equally-expensive power." The point of this is to let you do thematically-appropriate things without paying an arm and a leg for them. The problem with using it alongside Magic is that everything is potentially thematically appropriate for Magic, so you can potentially Alternate Power in every single power in the book at a severely discounted cost.

    The usual downside is that you can only use one of the powers in the array at a time; if you used Alternate Power to pick up a Flight spell and an Energy Blast spell, for example, you can't be both flying and shooting people. It's not a very big downside when you can do whatever the heck you want, tho.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Edwin, have you read the core book, or the power chapter? Your questions seem general enough it's like you're asking to be taught the entire system from scratch.

    If you've read the rules but just don't understand some things, probably the best approach is to draw up a draft build, however sketchy or incomplete, and ask us to correct any misconceptions that show up.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    Yes. In the case of Alternate Power, that effect is "turn this power into another equally-expensive power." The point of this is to let you do thematically-appropriate things without paying an arm and a leg for them. The problem with using it alongside Magic is that everything is potentially thematically appropriate for Magic, so you can potentially Alternate Power in every single power in the book at a severely discounted cost.

    The usual downside is that you can only use one of the powers in the array at a time; if you used Alternate Power to pick up a Flight spell and an Energy Blast spell, for example, you can't be both flying and shooting people. It's not a very big downside when you can do whatever the heck you want, tho.
    But I guess I could just pick up flight on the side, no?

    Also, considering you seem to be advocating the ban of Magic, do you simply refluff other powers to be magic in nature if a players wants to be a sorcerer? As in, a fireball would be magic, not fire.

    Edit:

    Edwin, have you read the core book, or the power chapter? Your questions seem general enough it's like you're asking to be taught the entire system from scratch.

    If you've read the rules but just don't understand some things, probably the best approach is to draw up a draft build, however sketchy or incomplete, and ask us to correct any misconceptions that show up.
    Partly true, that first question.

    I'm reading the book all the while posting questions and clarification needs here. So you could say you're the friendly mentor looking over my shoulder as I learn the system, yes.
    Last edited by Edwin; 2009-11-28 at 04:23 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    So in reality, I would be getting 44 points for the cost 23?
    Pretty much. Note that you are expected to use Alternate Powers, because that's the only way to have a character with various abilities without them being completely weak and useless. Just don't abuse them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    Also, considering you seem to be advocating the ban of Magic, do you simply refluff other powers to be magic in nature if a players wants to be a sorcerer? As in, a fireball would be magic, not fire.
    What is called refluffing in other games is an integral part of the game in M&M - you basically must create the fluff for your powers from scratch. A Blast with the Magic and Fire descriptors can be a fireball, for example.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2009-11-28 at 04:23 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    And as a transmuter, keep this in mind too:
    Transform is reeeally broken. It's insanely powerful, and you should avoid using it.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Offensive Transform is what's broken. There are plenty of uses for it that aren't quite that.
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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin View Post
    I'm reading the book all the while posting questions and clarification needs here. So you could say you're the friendly mentor looking over my shoulder as I learn the system, yes.
    I'd go nuts trying to teach someone like that, unless you're asking for explanations for lines that you literally can't parse. You're better off reading the whole thing, even if you don't understand it, and then you'll ask more useful questions and the explanations will be more productive.

    The basic issue is as Tengu says: M&M gives you a toolkit and you describe what you assemble however you like, so long as the mechanical restrictions make sense for what you've built. It also assumes that you're working closely with the GM to make sure everything is in line with the power level and tone of the game. Alternate Power is a great way to make your build more point-efficient, but the tradeoff is that it has to be regulated by only having justifiable alternates in an array. Magic, because it's infinitely justifiable, is too easily broken to be particularly useful.

    You can do virtually anything with the system, so the important thing is the character concept, and the GM's feedback.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    The point of the Magic power is that it represents magic in the form of spells. There are ways to negate certain powers, and if someone negates your Magic power you lose the ability to cast all the spells you bought as alternate powers. That doesn't happen if the powers were bought individually (I recommend buying Flight separately for obvious reasons ).
    Last edited by Prime32; 2009-11-28 at 06:12 PM.

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    Default Re: M&M 2e magicians, help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    The point of the Magic power is that it represents magic in the form of spells. There are ways to negate certain powers, and if someone negates your Magic power you lose the ability to cast all the spells you bought as alternate powers. That doesn't happen if the powers were bought individually (I recommend buying Flight separately for obvious reasons ).
    I was planning to.

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