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  • My house rules/fix

    M&M is already a great system, but there are some acknowledged problems with the system's rules. I'm trying to set up my own set of house rules that fix the most egregious problems. It will be heavily based on NintendoGeek's series of discussion threads from last summer, with some additional influence from Quellian-Dyrae's work.

    I intend to ask the forums for advice on a number of issues that I'm still not sure how to fix, though.

    The first of these is: the Beginner's Luck Advantage. I LOVE the flavor of it, so I don't want to just discard it. But the +5 effective skill bonus you get from it is just weak, especially compared with the ability to pick up Enhanced Skills from a Power Stunt, even though Beginner's Luck lasts for a scene rather than just a round.

    How can I boost this advantage to be worthwhile? I'm thinking of things like not requiring a Hero Point at all, but limiting it to 1/scene or something?

  • #2
    Re: My house rules/fix

    Would it help to make it not an advantage at all but a function of Hero Points? Then maybe the advantage gives you a free use.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My house rules/fix

      Originally posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
      Would it help to make it not an advantage at all but a function of Hero Points? Then maybe the advantage gives you a free use.
      I kind of like that. The +5 is kinda weak, especially when you consider that a reroll is statistically equivalent to about a +5 bonus anyway, so why not just make it a Hero Point option?

      The other way to go could be just to bump the bonus. The standard minimum Variable Effect limited to Skills would allow +10 to any skill at 1 rank for a handful of power points, so how about making Beginner's Luck behave like a one-off of that effect and just double the bonus? It is beginner's luck, after all, so it should have a better than average chance of succeeding the first time.
      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]!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My house rules/fix

        Originally posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
        Would it help to make it not an advantage at all but a function of Hero Points? Then maybe the advantage gives you a free use.
        So essentially turn it into a specialized form of the Luck Advantage? But one that lasts for a scene instead of one use ... hmm. If I did this I'd feel obligated to put it under the same PL-based restriction that other Luck Advantages have. Which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but it's something to consider.

        Originally posted by JDRook View Post
        The other way to go could be just to bump the bonus. The standard minimum Variable Effect limited to Skills would allow +10 to any skill at 1 rank for a handful of power points, so how about making Beginner's Luck behave like a one-off of that effect and just double the bonus? It is beginner's luck, after all, so it should have a better than average chance of succeeding the first time.
        How about +5 bonus and a free reroll? Is that too strong?

        Should it still last a whole scene in this variation?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My house rules/fix

          I never noticed it lasted a whole scene. You could make the Hero Point version last for one check, and then make the advantage a ranked effect with each rank allowing extension of one Beginner's Luck Hero Point use to last 1 scene. (Or same effect, but you can only have one of them.)

          I wouldn't be against limiting Beginner's Luck by PL, as in my mind it's for becoming competent at something you don't have max-PL-ranks in anyway. Though you could also introduce the rules from 2e where you could take -5 penalties to do things like reduce time needed or complete two related activities at once, and then if someone's going to exceed the PL limit just have them trade the +5 for one of those effects instead.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My house rules/fix

            So this could actually be two adjustments to make the fix:

            1) a "Flash of Inspired Skill" option that gives +5 to any skill under 4 ranks for 1 round for a HP. The descriptor often being some lucky coincidence of recent information. ("Hey, I just saw them doing this on the Discovery channel!")

            2) Have Beginner's Luck Advantage extend the bonus for a whole scene with one (1) free reroll at some point during the scene. Descriptor-wise, this can be an aspect of the PC's background that's just never come up before. ("I spent a summer cropdusting on my uncle's farm; it wasn't with a 747 but how different can they be?")

            Of course the descriptors can be anything appropriate for the PC, like massive or fast intellect or psychic acquisition of knowledge or whatever.

            The PL limit doesn't involve bonuses, since the skill bonus is designed to never go over +9 and skill cap for PL1 would be +11. But for Luck-style HP options bought as Advantages, the limit would be half-PL ranks, so a PL10 PC could have up to 5 ranks of "Flash Skill" (or a better name).
            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]!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My house rules/fix

              Quellian-Dyrae on the GitP forums posted another alternative for this, which I like a lot on initial examination. With slight modifications/paraphrasing of my own:

              Instead of any Luck advantage, base Beginner's Luck on Ultimate Effort. Compared to Ultimate Effort, it lasts a whole scene and can be used on any skill with 4 or fewer ranks. However, it only gets you a TOTAL skill result of 20. No sky-high accomplishment of the near-impossible like you can get with the regular Ultimate Effort.

              Part of me wants to improve this one more step and say that you can spend your hero point and start using this advantage after you roll for a skill and dislike the result. But I think it might be pretty balanced even without that adjustment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My house rules/fix

                So, I've had an idea for my fix that I go back and forth between thinking is super-elegant, or super-inelegant, or somewhere in between. Taking a poll now on whether people think it's a good tool to include in the fix or not.

                The idea is "Synergy Advantages," which have some pretty specific prerequisites, but which you take in negative ranks. So your character sheet would just include "[synergy advantage] -2" in your list of Advantages, to represent getting two Power Points "back" to spend on other things.

                Effectively, this is a way of giving a discounted price to traits that go together thematically, but don't currently have any mechanical motivation to be taken together, by making those traits into prerequisites for Synergy Advantages.

                Example 1: I would probably get rid of Growth and Shrinking (which have some major cost issues) as separate effects, forcing players who want a big or small character to buy the effects of growth or shrinking normally; but then if I wanted to encourage taking the "whole package" for growth, I could make it marginally cheaper by making a Synergy Advantage called "Big":

                1 negative rank Prerequisites: Strength 4 ranks, Stamina 4 ranks, Feature 4 (mass rank increase), Intimidation 2 ranks, Extra: Reach 1: variable descriptor 1 (any Close attack).
                2 negative ranks Prerequisites: Strength 8 ranks, Stamina 8 ranks, Feature 8 (mass rank increase), Intimidation 4 ranks, Speed 1 rank, Extra: Reach 2: variable descriptor 1 (any Close attack).
                3 negative ranks Prerequisites: Strength 12 ranks, Stamina 12 ranks, Feature 12 (mass rank increase), Intimidation 6 ranks, Speed 1 rank, Extra: Reach 3: variable descriptor 1 (any Close attack).
                4 negative ranks Prerequisites: Strength 16 ranks, Stamina 16 ranks, Feature 16 (mass rank increase), Intimidation 8 ranks, Speed 2 ranks, Extra: Reach 4: variable descriptor 1 (any Close attack).
                etc.

                Example 2: If I get rid of Dexterity as an Ability, and make Sleight of Hand / Vehicles / Ranged Combat into skills that aren't based on any Ability (but must be bought independently), I could still give a slight incentive to characters to be Dexterity-themed by making a Synergy Advantage.

                It would have a list of things that are thematically appropriate to dexterous characters, other than Sleight of Hand skill, such as ranks in Ranged Combat, ranks in Vehicles, ranks in Treatment, ranks in Expertise: Video Games, and the Improved Hold advantage (taking the place of Grabbing Finesse, which would no longer exist).

                Then, its Prerequisites would look like this:
                1 negative rank Prerequisites: Sleight of Hand 5 ranks; at least 2 items from the list above.
                2 negative ranks Prerequisites: Sleight of Hand 8 ranks; at least 3 items from the list above.
                3 negative ranks Prerequisites: Sleight of Hand 11 ranks; at least 4 items from the list above.
                4 negative ranks Prerequisites: Sleight of Hand 14 ranks; at least 5 items from the list above.
                etc.

                What do people think about this whole system? I'm leaning towards "inelegant" at the moment, but I could be persuaded to change my mind.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My house rules/fix

                  Very inelegant. The synergies are arbitrary. Why take away growth/shrinking which are currently neat simple packages and then add them back as complicated conditional things you might have but don't know about. Also you would have to add "mass" and "height" as abilities so that someone could grow/shrink as just have a bunch of strenght stamina and stealth modifiers does not make you bigger.

                  Getting rid of Dexterity is a noble cause. I would "get rid of Fighting" instead. The "flaw" in 3e is that there are 4 combat related abilities: Dodge (ranged def), Parry (close def), Ranged Attack, and Close Attack and they are distributed among 3 ability scores. So the fix is to either ADD an ability or remove one. Make Dodge and Close Combat based on Agility and make Parry and Ranged Combat based on Dexterity. Then if you want to keep fighting, do the Presence trick and "for each rank of Fighting, you get a free combat advantage." AND eliminate the power attack, all-out attack, defensive attack, etc advantages and change those combat maneuvers to read: "You can subtract from your (whatever goes down) and add the same amount to your (what goes up) up to half your rank in Fighting". (Or all your ranks in Fighting, I go back and forth on this.)

                  On the adding side you might add an ability called Accuracy. Change Parry so it is based on Dexterity. Now you have Dodge (AGL), Parry (DEX), Close Attack (FGT), and Ranged Attack (ACC). Drop all three of them so they cost 1 PP per rank. Change Vehicles so it uses Accuracy (why not). Change the Assessment Advantage so it uses Fighting (which is should have in the first place).

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