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3e First Character Build Advice

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  • 3e First Character Build Advice

    Hi all,
    I'm in the process of building a character for my first ever game of M&M, and I have to admit I'm a little concerned about putting my power points in the wrong places and coming out with an unplayable character. I can easily imagine putting too many points into one stat and too few few into another and then discovering that my character can't survive a fight, and I'm not sure how many points a character is expected to have in a certain stat at a certain power level. Do y'all have any advice for a noob to avoid these types of pitfalls? The game will start out at PL 10. Thank you very much for the help!

  • #2
    Re: 3e First Character Build Advice

    First thing, if you're just starting out, I highly recommend that you start out with one of the Archetypes, or something from the QCG in the Deluxe manual or the GM screen. They start out pretty balanced, so they're not a bad place to start even if you plan to customize them.

    Well, the easiest way to be certain that you hit your caps is to buy them first. Decide what sort of a tradeoff you want and then buy sufficient ranks of Protection, defenses, attributes, and attack skills to hit those caps. Simple, right? Then, after that, start buying additional attributes and skills and powers.

    General rule of thumb I've used, buy your Parry and Dodge to mostly equal values. Most attributes don't need to go above 3-4, and it's fine to have 0 (attributes, in general, provide somewhat undersized benefits, so it pays to not invest too heavily). Fighting raises both Close Attack and Parry, so buying that up to the lower of what you want there is generally not a bad mechanical idea. Stamina raises Toughness and Fortitude, so again, it doesn't hurt to grab the lower. Everything else generally doesn't provide as much bang for your buck, so only invest in those attributes if they really fit your concept. Protection is the standard way to gain Toughness, at +1 per point. Everything else can be bought pretty directly. If you have a favorite attack, the Close Attack and Ranged Attack skills let you buy attack bonuses at half price, but limited to a narrow area like Swords, or Pistols, or My Fire Attack Array.

    What sort of a character are you trying to build?
    [url=]My Builds[/url]

    [b]Current games:[/b]
    [url=]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]


    • #3
      Re: 3e First Character Build Advice

      The only way to really mess up a M&M character is to undershoot your caps or have a massive tradeoff.
      Since you're PL 10, I'd recommend just making sure that all five of your defenses are in the 7-13 range and that your complementary pairs sum to at least 18. 20's ideal.
      Complementary pairs are the traits that pair off based on Power Level: Dodge and Toughness, Parry and Toughness, Fortitude and Will. Also to-hit bonus and effect rank, for whatever your main offense is.
      You can "trade off" more, such as a 15 Will and 5 Fortitude, but it can lead to you having a really bad time when something that targets your low stat rolls around. It's not necessarily a bad idea, but it means you'll have worse bad encounters and better good ones.

      Further recommendations would be to take a decent movement power if you're not taking a ranged attack (4-6 ranks of Flight, Jumping, or Speed should be good), make sure that whatever your "big power" is takes advantage of Alternate Effects, and not go too heavy on Abilities.

      The Archetypes generally work well, but the ones with no Powers have pretty serious issues.

      Like FuzzyBoots said, we can give more specific advice if we know what you're shooting for with the character, assuming you've got some concept in mind.


      • #4
        Re: 3e First Character Build Advice

        As they said... check the archetypes and see if there is something you like there. Other tha that. Cap your defenses and at least an attack mode and make sure you can use that attack. Mobility is great
        And tell us more about your idea for this character...


        • #5
          Re: 3e First Character Build Advice

          Thank you all very much for the advice! I'm looking to build a "party face" type character named Zamia that relies on speed and agility in combat rather than brute strength. For ranged combat she'd use a machine pistol/grenades and in close combat she'd use her damage power. She'd be sent to assist a superhero team in the campaign setting (a fictional US city) from a foreign country by her mother, that country's (mostly) benign dictator as a publicity stunt/political gambit to help gain American monetary aid in an ongoing war. Her powers would be focused around manipulation of biological matter, as statted out here:

          Absorb Flesh
          Zamia grabs a source of biological matter (such as an opponent or corpse) and absorbs mass from it to heal her own wounds.

          Healing Graft: Healing some rank (Biological; Restorative; Limited (Self); Limited (Must be touching biological materials); Linked (Absorbing Touch))
          Absorbing Touch: Damage some rank (Biological; Penetrating 2; Limited (Only works on biological materials), Grab-based; Linked (Healing Graft))

          Reconstruct Features
          Zamia reconstructs her physical features to assume the form of any humanoid.

          Rearrange Flesh: Morph 3 (Biological; Increased Action 2)

          Internal Sac
          Zamia forms a cavity inside her body to store a small item.

          Storage Sac: Feature 1 (Biological; Internal Compartment)

          She'd also have the advantages Attractive 2, Benefit (Cipher and Diplomatic Immunity), Equipment 7 (for guns, grenades and armor), Languages 2, Takedown 2, Grabbing Finesse, Improved Grab, and Improved Hold.

          I left out the ranks for the healing and attack powers because I'm not sure what would be considered the expected ranks for those powers at PL 10. Similarly, I'm not sure how many points to allocate to the interaction skills and how many to the combat skills/advantages.