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Building a Radio Jammer Power

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  • Building a Radio Jammer Power

    I'm doing some work leading up to running a game of M&M 3E. I gave my players the option to learn the game themselves or have me build the characters as per their specifications, and the split was about 50/50. I know the system okay (but have to revisit the PH a LOT), but one power my player wanted has been troubling me.

    The player wants an espionage robot with an inbuilt Radio Jammer. I don't really know how to build that power.

    A Burst Area Nullify? Theoretically a radio's ability to broadcast is Innate, and wouldn't the Nullify be easy to overcome by just turning the radio on and off again?
    A Burst Area Concealment? You're not trying to hide yourself from radio sensors, you're trying to hide the radio communication itself.
    An Environment? Creating a wide area where radio signals don't work is the point, but that doesn't really seem like an intended use for the template.

    If anyone has any suggestions it'd help me out a lot. The more granular the better.

  • #2
    I've always through radio-jamming would be a good Alternate Effect for any Communication (Radio) Effect, and possibly the only halfway-justifiable reason to make the Comm Effect so expensive.

    The Nullify route is one way to go. I don't know why you think radios are Innate, but ideally you would want the power to be a Sustained Close Area Effect. Making it Sustained and Close gets it to 2p/rank and then +1 for every rank of Area, which makes the jamming area around you. If you know roughly where the radio source is, you could keep it at default Ranged and throw the Area Attack at the source. Technically, the Nullify would make an opposed check versus the transmitter every round, but if it's not currently manned it's reasonable to just have it check against DC10+radio rank; equipment level radios should be considered rank 1. Manned radio broadcast vs jammer could definitely be a Challenge sequence using power ranks and/or Tech skill checks.

    Burst Area Concealment as an Attack works, since that's how a smoke screen is made, and radio jamming is conceptually just a smoke screen for radio. By the same smokescreen logic, the signal is blocked and can't go through or around the area, no checks needed.

    Environment might make sense for an inexpensive but wide array effect that isn't as absolute as the others. Using Visibility as a base, 1 rank would be -2 to pick up radio transmission and 2 ranks would be -5. Penalties would apply to Perception for inherent senses, or Technology or Expertise (Radio) for equipment.
    My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
    My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
    [/URL]
    I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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    • #3
      Thanks very much. I went with Nullify, and will establish that any non-advanced and non-manned radio will more or less allow the power to succeed automatically.

      If you're willing to entertain one more question: the game makes it pretty clear how I to handle multiple limbs, but how about NO limbs? He wants a surveillance drone as part of his package. I'm buying it as a minion that he can "hack into" using Remote Senses, but I don't know how to buy/subtract points for a character/minion that has no arms.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by OverlordByron View Post
        the game makes it pretty clear how I to handle multiple limbs, but how about NO limbs? He wants a surveillance drone as part of his package. I'm buying it as a minion that he can "hack into" using Remote Senses, but I don't know how to buy/subtract points for a character/minion that has no arms.
        My view of the rules is antrhocentric, in that a baseline 0p character is essentially an average but unskilled humanoid. Any trait that improves that is bought with points; anything that is less than that is a Complication. Having no hands or an inability to communicate are common Complications for animals, for instance.

        For example, for a surveillance drone I would assume a normal set of human senses and a Complication if it didn't have some: no touch, smell or taste would make sense, and wouldn't be a huge deal in most cases, but a drone wouldn't feel heat or smell smoke if a fire was nearby. If the drone has senses beyond normal humans, like Extended Sight or Infravision or Radar, those would be bought normally.

        And most important, if a power can compensate for a missing trait, even partially, it should also be a Complication. A drone with no arms can probably fly, but may not be able to open a door or window even if it's unlocked. However, if it has some kind of comparable manipulative power, like a small tractor beam, that lets it move things around without needing arms, then the Complication would not come up very often.

        In your specific case, if all the drones can do is act as Remote Senses, I wouldn't even bother buying them as Minions; just make them the Descriptor of the power: assume the drones fly at Remote Senses rank, can be spotted with a DC10+rank Perception check instead of Insight, and can be Countered with Damage attacks as an opposed check against an ongoing effect.
        My old [URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]Atomic Think Tank[/URL] thread
        My current character thread: [URL="https://roninarmy.com/threads/6194-The-Sound-of-My-Eyebeams-JDRook-s-builds-and-blather?p=233536&viewfull=1#post233536"]The Sound of my Eyebeams[/URL][URL="http://www.atomicthinktank.com/viewtopic.php?p=743877#p743877"]
        [/URL]
        I will build characters in HeroLab for you! Send me [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/transcribe-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?funnel=6e71f15f-207e-49f4-bf35-9ceb23b979a7"]your finished design[/URL] or even [URL="https://www.fiverr.com/jdrook/create-a-mutants-and-masterminds-pc-in-herolab?context=advanced_search&context_type=rating&funnel=2014103117123522519608360"]your original concept[/URL]!

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        • #5
          I have a character over on echoes with "Environment: Other: Obscure machine/electronic communications 2" with the description "Like -5 Visibility/Silence but for cameras, listening devices, etc."

          Kind of a lesser effect than the OP. Just thought I'd share.

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