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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default 3E M&M General Questions, First-Time M&M GM

    Hello, everyone! I might be GMing a 3e Mutants & Masterminds for some friends in the not-too-distant future, and while reading over the rules for the umpteenth time, I had some questions that I can't find answers for.

    1) I get how tradeoffs work in terms of attacks, with "To Hit +10, Damage 10" as kind of the desirable standard, but how far can one shift without effectively ruining an attack? Example: one of my players wants to play a nimble martial artist, and is okay for fluff purposes to shift one of his attack powers as being more accurate than powerful. Is To Hit +12, Damage 8 ok? Is To Hit +14, Damage 6 too much, and is vice versa too much for a big Hulk-type character? And on that note -- is it just me, or do some of the sample hero archetypes kinda suck, design-wise? Like the Martial Artist with Damage 4 attacks. It feels like these archetypes are meant to be learning tools, but some of their choices are just kind of bizarre. Am I crazy?

    2) So it seems like you can have as many reactions as you want -- why not just make a Reaction Damage power that counters with an attack every time someone hits you. Like let's take our martial artist again -- why wouldn't they add a Reaction Damage power that procs every time someone hits him with a melee attack? What's the reason not to do that, or is this one of those things where M&M is kinda easy to break sometimes, and that's not the end of the world?

    3) I noticed one of the sample archetypes in the Hero's Handbook (Energy Controller) took the Ranged Combat Skill "Energy Control" for what's effectively an entire array. So while I assume the idea of the skill is to pick like "Rifles" or "Bows/Crossbows" or something, by collapsing all of their attacks cleanly into an array, they're just saying "Ranged Combat: My Array." So why wouldn't everyone just do that, then. Like if you're playing a Samus Aran type, why not just say "Ranged Combat: Arm Cannon," and now you've got the benefits of that skill for all of your subweapons, effectively. And of course the knee-jerk counter to this is "Oh, if Samus gets separated from her arm cannon/suit at any point, she's going to be out of luck," but -- that's not gonna happen a ton.
    3) TLDR: Why doesn't EVERYONE collapse all their attacks into an array, then take the respective Skill for that array (so long as everything in that power is melee or ranged)? Is that common in your games?

    4) I feel like the combat system, while fun and flavorful, is NOT newcomer-friendly -- I'm tempted to do all the math for my players and not put the burden on them of remembering which degrees of success correspond to which status conditions. I might call them things like "Hit," "Decisive Hit," "Staggering Blow," and "Knockout" or something similar, and then just tell them which one they scored when they hit, along with the condition, and fluff accordingly. Have any of you done something similar in your games? Or did everyone just get the combat right away?

    5) What's the best way to build a sort of "flashy final form" ability for a player, who's fine with it only being available for short bursts of time, for dramatic effect? Alternate Form modified by Limit, or by Unreliable? Maybe both?

    That's all for now, but I'll edit this post if I think of more. Thanks for your help, in advance!

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    Default Re: 3E M&M General Questions, First-Time M&M GM

    1) I'm not actually sure, but I'd steer players towards the attack modifying talents for more flexibility. It really depends on that the Dodge/Parry:Toughness ratio of enemies is, your +10 to hit Damage 10 attack isn't going to be that useful against characters who have focused on one defence (like your stereotypical Brick or Speedster). That martial artist is very good against some kinds of enemies, although it honestly might be a little limited.

    2) that's exactly how the game recommends building 'fire auta' type powers. In theory it's broken, on practice I think trappings can be used to work around that. Your Counterattack power doesn't work on me, I attack via my Million Strong Robobee Swarm array.

    3) basically, GM discretion as to if this is balanced or thematic. This is explicitly called out in the skill description. But yes, IME that is the default way players build characters (although people might buy ranks of Close Attack or Ranged Attack if they can't do that).

    4) I can't really comment here. 90% is the same as D&D, and my uni group had it all down within a session.

    5) This isn't really something M&M models. I'd likely just do it via some kind of Power Loss complication, the Fades flaw, or the five shots version of Unreliable (which would give five rounds of use between recharges, so the form lasts half a minute). If you don't want the gradual weakening or half minute limit I'd honestly go with the Complication over Limited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: 3E M&M General Questions, First-Time M&M GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    1) I'm not actually sure, but I'd steer players towards the attack modifying talents for more flexibility. It really depends on that the Dodge/Parry:Toughness ratio of enemies is, your +10 to hit Damage 10 attack isn't going to be that useful against characters who have focused on one defence (like your stereotypical Brick or Speedster). That martial artist is very good against some kinds of enemies, although it honestly might be a little limited.

    2) that's exactly how the game recommends building 'fire auta' type powers. In theory it's broken, on practice I think trappings can be used to work around that. Your Counterattack power doesn't work on me, I attack via my Million Strong Robobee Swarm array.

    3) basically, GM discretion as to if this is balanced or thematic. This is explicitly called out in the skill description. But yes, IME that is the default way players build characters (although people might buy ranks of Close Attack or Ranged Attack if they can't do that).

    4) I can't really comment here. 90% is the same as D&D, and my uni group had it all down within a session.

    5) This isn't really something M&M models. I'd likely just do it via some kind of Power Loss complication, the Fades flaw, or the five shots version of Unreliable (which would give five rounds of use between recharges, so the form lasts half a minute). If you don't want the gradual weakening or half minute limit I'd honestly go with the Complication over Limited.
    1) That's a good point; by mixing up the defenses of the enemies, things stay interesting for players with varying attacks in terms of accuracy/damage.

    2) I gotcha. That seems to be the way around a lot of things, in this system -- the GM sometimes needs to come up with threats on the fly that get around certain defenses or counterattacks. (But of course, mix in lots of fights where the players get to use those abilities they paid for and feel strong.)

    3) I'm not averse to it, to be honest -- it just struck me as one of those things where it's billed as one way to do it, while in truth, it feels like it should be the only way to do it. But I guess that depends on individual hero concept, and whatnot.

    4) Good to know. I don't know it'll be so quick for my group, but I'll help them as best as I can.

    5) Yeah, I was leaning towards Unreliable, and maybe some Quirks to boot. I saw there's an ability in one of the supplements, an advantage called "Holding Back" that kind of does this, but I don't like how it necessitates that half the party is incapacitated, so now there's an odd insistence on keeping one player alive longer than everyone else because they have this cool ability that only procs in last-gasp situations.

    Thanks for your help! Did you GM this system before, or just play in it? Any advice for someone who's coming from a D&D-only background?

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    Default Re: 3E M&M General Questions, First-Time M&M GM

    Quote Originally Posted by Abracadangit View Post
    1) That's a good point; by mixing up the defenses of the enemies, things stay interesting for players with varying attacks in terms of accuracy/damage.
    Yeah, and occasional nook swarms for those with area attacks.

    2) I gotcha. That seems to be the way around a lot of things, in this system -- the GM sometimes needs to come up with threats on the fly that get around certain defenses or counterattacks. (But of course, mix in lots of fights where the players get to use those abilities they paid for and feel strong.)
    Honestly a lot of it comes down to 'use the narrative effects of your Descriptors'. Also don't be afraid to get creative, your evil wizard could have a spell that fires blasts of magical energy as suggested, but if you mix up the descriptors on that power they could very easily have a spell that teleports the #68 bus in for a brief moment to run over their targets. Note that each Reaction has to have a trigger, and as GM you can veto triggers too broad to work around.

    That said you can have fun with Reactions if you want. Want an orbital weapons platform that fires missiles anybody who attacks you with a firearm? Damage 10 [Increased Range 2, Area (burst) 2, Indirect 3, Reaction] is a mere 83CP. Although I'm not 100% sure that works, you could jury rig something with Triggered but I'm not certain if that's X uses per trigger set or X uses ever.

    Also include situations suited to noncombat powers. Thanks to comic book physics I once had a character able to ourun most teleporters in the setting, that was very satisfying when it actually came up.

    3) I'm not averse to it, to be honest -- it just struck me as one of those things where it's billed as one way to do it, while in truth, it feels like it should be the only way to do it. But I guess that depends on individual hero concept, and whatnot.
    Yeah, pretty much. If you apply the 'must be thematic' limit to arrays then there are situations when it's not ideal, but it's the default I've seen.

    [/QUOTE]4) Good to know. I don't know it'll be so quick for my group, but I'll help them as best as I can.[/QUOTE]

    To be honest, the biggest hurdles might be the general lack of voluntary reactions, the way damage works, and potentially not being prepared for just how quickly characters can move.

    Beware of the last one. High rank movement powers plus Move-by-Action can in theory beat anybody without a similar movement power or long ranged attack just by not being anywhere near their opponents except at the moment of attack.

    One character I had could run anywhere in Paris within a round. FTL speeds take less than 30 points, although teleporting to Alpha Centuri without using the Space Travel Movement power will take 100.*

    5) Yeah, I was leaning towards Unreliable, and maybe some Quirks to boot. I saw there's an ability in one of the supplements, an advantage called "Holding Back" that kind of does this, but I don't like how it necessitates that half the party is incapacitated, so now there's an odd insistence on keeping one player alive longer than everyone else because they have this cool ability that only procs in last-gasp situations.
    Sadly this just isn't the thing M&M is built to handle.

    [/QUOTE]Thanks for your help! Did you GM this system before, or just play in it? Any advice for someone who's coming from a D&D-only background?[/QUOTE]

    Only played. Got plans to maybe run supers games in the future, but likely with another system.

    Keep an eye on character builds and Arrays in particular. Read the sidebars to find out more about how this is intended to work. Ban Doctor Strange and require sorcerers to have a theme.

    Effects determine what something does, not it's aesthetics. Shirou Emiya does not have the Creation power, he has a Strength-based Damage power. Avoid recursive Minion or Sidekick loops.

    While Summons can't break the PL limit or have the Summon power, Angel Summoner can still get 16 PL 10 Angels to do his bidding, with the ability to summon specialised angels to fit any situation. Keep an eye on Summon even more than other Effects.2

    * 80 for a suit, 60 for a handheld teleporter.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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