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  • Reverse-Engineering Rulebook samples

    Maybe you can help me out here, guys. I've noted that the rulebook can definitely be sloppy, but I got myself invested in this inconsistency, and by golly I'm seeking that second opinion. My question falls under Vehicles.

    For Vehicle construction, it's pretty clear that you basically build a bunch of powers, apply the size, adjust the stats, and then you can divide the final point cost by 5 since it's equipment.

    Not a single vehicle seems to be priced appropriately. The lower-end vehicles seem only a few points off. But, how the heck do they get away with pricing the weapon-mounted vehicle samples so low?

    Taking a look at the Military Copter, it's listed this way:
    Huge size - Strength 8 - Speed 8 - Defense 6 - Toughness 11 - 45 points. {That means you could field one for just 9 power points! Sweet!}
    It's also equipped with machine guns (Ranged Multiattack Damage 6) and rockets (Ranged Damage 9, Burst Area 6). {Holy God}

    To get that stat line from the baseline I'm seeing:
    2 points (Huge) + 8 points (Defense 6) + 2 points (Toughness 11)........12 points
    Speed is purchased for normal pricing, so for Flight 8...................................16 points
    Which leaves the 2 super-powered weapon systems....................................17 points?

    To build the machine gun, you'd need:

    Damage rank 6 (@1/rank) + Ranged (+1/rank) + Multiattack (+1/rank); = [3/rank]@6 ranks = 18 points
    Add the missile as an Alternate Effect for one point and we're close, but that's 19 points and: 19 =/= 17

    But that doesn't even work. To build the missile, you'd need:

    Damage rank 9 (@1/rank) + Ranged (+1/rank) + Burst Area 6 (+6/rank); = [8/rank]@9 ranks = 72 points!

    Hardly in the neighborhood for an Alternate Effect. The only way it comes close if you somehow allow the Vehicle to take the weapons as equipment for 20% price on something that's already running 20% price.

    The Fighter Jet is stronger, a lot faster and has better weapons, but it's only a little more expensive. The Bomber is worse than the Fighter in a few statistical ways (which we can see are minor), but it adds an insanely powerful weapon on top, and it's cheaper.

    Does anybody have any idea how this math could possibly work out? I suspect I do not correctly interpret the pricing of Defense, but that doesn't solve my weapons conundrum. I'm dismayed that this section could be as impressively poorly executed as it appears. Tell me it's me!

  • #2
    For Defence on vehicles it starts at a base of 10 for a medium sized vehicle (similarly to how you'd need a 10 or above on a dice roll to hit a Parry 0 character). Being huge size gives a -4 to defence giving a value of 6. One of the annoying things is that Green Ronin has not consistently applied this across all the books in the line.

    So basically the cost is 2 points for Huge, and 2 points to increase Toughness to 11. Total of 4 points for the base stats.

    Add Speed at 8 for 16 points.

    Now, then book isn't all that clear again but you're reading the missiles wrong. It's not 6 area ranks, but rather that the Burst Area is a partial modifier affecting 6 of the 9 ranks. So the cost is 9 for Damage + 9 for Increased Range + 6 for Burst on 6 ranks of Damage. That's 24 points.

    The Machine Guns are an alternate effect of the missiles. That's another 1 point.

    4 for Stats + 16 for Speed + 25 for Powers = 45 total.

    Hope that helps.

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    • #3
      I knew the fault must have lay with me.

      Defenses seemed wrong, so I'm not surprised here. Though I never thought to square the Vehicle size chart with the general one, and find that -4 discrepancy vs the listed -2. Neat.

      And I definitely never thought of applying modifiers to only some of a Power's available ranks! It's opening a whole new dimension of customization...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Antic View Post
        And I definitely never thought of applying modifiers to only some of a Power's available ranks! It's opening a whole new dimension of customization...
        It's covered in the section on Power Modifiers. From the online SRD:
        PARTIAL MODIFIERS

        You can apply a modifier to only some of an effect’s ranks and not others to fine-tune the effect. A modifier must apply to at least one rank, and may apply to as many ranks as the effect has. The change in cost and effect applies only to the ranks with the modifier; the unmodified ranks have their normal cost and effect.

        Example: Marksman’s micro-rockets are a Damage 7 effect. They also explode on impact, for a Burst Area Damage effect, but the Area Damage is only rank 4. So the first 4 ranks of the Marksman’s Damage effect have the Burst Area modifier, costing 1 point more (or 3 per rank). The remaining 3 ranks have their usual cost (2 per rank). Marksman makes a normal ranged attack check against the main target for his micro-rocket launcher; if he hits, the target has to resist Damage 7, and everyone within the area around the target resists Damage 4 (the Area Damage). Even if he misses, the main target has to resist the Area Damage 4, since the micro-rocket explodes close by! In Marksman’s business, it pays to cover your bases…
        There isn't a great deal of documentation on exactly how to handle them. Area is kind of a weird one in that they gave it sort of a double effect so that even if you miss, you might hit. For the rest of them, my general rule of thumb is that it usually only comes into effect if you're not using your full power, something seldom done with attack powers, which are generally always at caps since there's little reason not to, but Utility Powers (only making the last three ranks of your Speed have a Side Effect, or making only the first two ranks of your Teleport Accurate) and things like Growth are more likely to come up.
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        • #5
          Greetings! I can totally understand your confusion with the listed costs for Vehicles. As you have already figured out, some of the costs and modifiers changed during the development of 3e, but the tables missed getting updated. The numbers were eventually updated in the M&M Hero’s Handbook (version 1.1 if you are using the PDF). So, if you have the most recent printing, you should have the updated numbers. Unfortunately, if you have the original printing, you would have the incorrect numbers (which affect some, but not all vehicle costs). I believe the DCA Hero’s Handbook also has the incorrect numbers. And, just to complicate things, when the M&M Deluxe Hero’s Handbook was released, the original numbers somehow made it back in.

          So... long story short... the numbers in the M&M Hero’s Handbook v1.1 are the updated and corrected ones. If you like, I can probably find the errata I did which included those fixes, and I can cut and paste them here for folks that still have any of the older versions. Is that something anyone would find useful?
          Last edited by hermes; 06-01-2019, 02:20 PM.
          Hermes/Glenn Hall
          GR Cape-Wearing Freelancer

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