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Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

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  • Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

    I was wandering around Jab's Builds and tripped over a PL 11 version of Spider-Man and was shocked to see this:

    Defenses:
    • Dodge +10 (+12, +15 Spider-Sense, DC 25)
    • Parry +10 (+14 Spider-Sense, DC 24)
    • Toughness +7
    • Fortitude +9
    • Will +12

    And then this with a PL 12 version of the Flash:

    Defenses:
    • Dodge +14 (DC 24)
    • Parry +14 (DC 24)
    • Toughness +3 (+6 D.Roll)
    • Fortitude +6
    • Will +8

    Not looking to debate the efficacy/accuracy of these builds (having spent an hour in line for a movie listening to the two guys behind us passionately arguing whether Spiderman could take a Jedi, I see that such crucial questions can never been resolved), but seeing that two of the most elusive comic book characters are only cutting down their Toughness/Fortitude so far, it makes me wonder if there's a reason they could not go lower and still be viable.

    Questions
    1. Considering a PL 10 character with maximum defences, what is the lowest Toughness and Fortitude could be hacked down to and still be viable? 5? 3?
    2. I am guessing that putting it that low is avoided on one level because Stamina informs two defensive statistics, so it is a point sink to focus on agility and fighting prowess to parry.
    3. Do people generally house rule this so that Stamina stops being a king stat? (reminiscent of Dexterity in D&D/Pathfinder)
    4. Would a high rate of Regeneration mitigate how fragile the person is? If so, how high would it need to be?
    5. Is there another way to address this issue of a character that's hard to tag, but when you do get them it really...really hurts?


    p.s. Of course Spidey would win.
    Last edited by Loki; 25th May 2018, 06:46 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

    1. If you're keeping the Dodge, Parry, and Will capped and just trading off really hard, I could see it going to 5-6 below PL without major problems. You'd be very squishy in some circumstances but very durable against your strengths. If you're not capped though, you'll likely have issues.
    2. Yep. Each point of Toughness shift saves you a PP, each point of Dodge/Parry shift costs you a PP. Note that this all goes out the window if you buy Impervious for your Toughness.
    3. The disparity isn't too bad as long as the GM throws in a decent quantity of Fortitude/Will resisted effects.
    4. Absolutely. 3-5 ranks works pretty well, 10 is generally overkill.
    5. Having a brick with Interpose works wonders for party durability. There's some other ways too, like creative use of Cover/Concealment from the environment.

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    • #3
      Re: Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

      Thanks Nunya, that helps

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

        There was a lot of debate about this on the old boards, with a fellow named Elric doing quite a bit of number-crunching as well as running several hundred thousand simulations of a slugging fight (people just taking turns hitting each other) and his conclusion was that a moderate (3-4 ranks) of Toughness or Damage tradeoff was the optimal situation, with dipping into defense/attack being disadvantageous (You can basically add tradeoffs together to find that difference due to vagaries of how PL is additive).

        The reason why it works out that way basically comes down to that for a given set of tradeoffs, there's a percentage chance of hitting the other person and a percentage chance of actually doing damage, and while the overall percentage may seem to be better for attack tradeoffs (getting closer to a parity), you're also doing more damage on average. Add to that that defense bonus, at least, tends to cost more than Toughness, and there are more ways to take away defense (Feints, Surprise, Vulnerable, etc) and hitting by a larger margin only gives you a damage benefit with Multiattack, and the case for doing more damage gets a lot stronger.
        [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/996]My Builds[/url]

        [b]Current games:[/b]
        [url=http://www.echoesofthemultiverse.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=839]The J.V. Team (GM)[/URL]

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        • #5
          Re: Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

          In DnD, for example, ability scores matter a lot because everything (ability scores, classes, races, feats in most editions) are distinct. And your class (and sometimes other things) include other ways to use your ability scores that not everybody gets (spell save DCs).
          The ability scores sort of need to be balanced against each other, but not really because some classes get extra benefits out of otherwise weaker scores (physical abilities are useful for everybody, but then spellcasters prioritize a variety of mental scores while other characters... often don't).


          That's not true in MnM because of how all of your character's traits are built out of the same pool. Two characters can be equally powerful even if one has spent wildly more points on abilities than the other, because the second put all of their points into other things.

          Stamina is actually entirely neutral. It's not a "king stat"; there's actually no benefit to buying Stamina at all, other than a slightly neater character sheet. But there's no drawback to it, either. Each rank of Stamina costs two points, while a rank each of Protection and Fortitude also costs two points.
          Ability scores in MnM are only off-balance if they cost more or less than other ways of getting the same benefits.


          A +9 defense at PL 11 isn't low, anyway. That's a small tradeoff.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can a Very Low Stamina/Fortitude/Toughness Character Be Viable?

            Originally posted by Loki View Post
            I was wandering around Jab's Builds and tripped over a PL 11 version of Spider-Man and was shocked to see this:

            Defenses:
            • Dodge +10 (+12, +15 Spider-Sense, DC 25)
            • Parry +10 (+14 Spider-Sense, DC 24)
            • Toughness +7
            • Fortitude +9
            • Will +12

            These aren't PCs however; I believe Jab is building Spider-Man based on his comic appearances. Spider-Man there has max defense 15 so a Toughness of 7 isn't entirely unreasonable when following the PL tradeoff rules.


            Questions[*]Considering a PL 10 character with maximum defences, what is the lowest Toughness and Fortitude could be hacked down to and still be viable? 5? 3? [/quote]

            5 to not break the rules too much, but I usually try to stay within 2 or 3 of PL.

            [*]I am guessing that putting it that low is avoided on one level because Stamina informs two defensive statistics, so it is a point sink to focus on agility and fighting prowess to parry.
            I don't think points figured into it. These aren't starting PCs. Spider-Man could have a lot more than 165 points despite being PL 11. (I don't think his Fort is out of line at all.)

            [*]Do people generally house rule this so that Stamina stops being a king stat? (reminiscent of Dexterity in D&D/Pathfinder)[*]Would a high rate of Regeneration mitigate how fragile the person is? If so, how high would it need to be?
            I don't think it's necessary to do anything about Stamina. In any event, a lot depends on character concept. In Spider-Man's case, he faces opponents who could one-shot him but he is extremely agile, like Rhino. Honestly Toughness 7 is probably too much for him; I expect gunfire to hurt him (if he ever gets hit, that is). Fortunately his Toughness is not Impervious, so guns could still hurt him.

            [*]Is there another way to address this issue of a character that's hard to tag, but when you do get them it really...really hurts?
            Not really, no.

            I'm thinking of a few other characters like that. Doc Ock, for instance, seems to have a very high Parry score thanks to those arms, but he's a middle-aged scientist, so he's not great at taking a punch, especially from someone with superior strength like Spider-Man. Accelerator (from a Certain Magical Index) has a seriously overpowered Immunity plus "Redirect" (he automatically redirects attacks made against him, even ones he is unconscious of, and carries bottled oxygen because if he was hit by a nuke he would suffocate)... but he has low Toughness if you manage to bypass that "deflection" (for instance, by having a Nullifying Falcon Punch). Which makes sense. Accelerator hasn't been hit in years, why and how would he train Defensive Roll?

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