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Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

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  • Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

    When wielding an improvised close combat weapon—anything from a chair to a telephone pole or entire car—you use your Close Combat: Unarmed skill bonus for attack checks with the “weapon” rather than relying on your general Close Combat skill bonus. Additional ranks in this advantage give you a +1 bonus to Damage with improvised weapons per rank. Your maximum Damage bonus is still limited by power level, as usual.
    Seems fairly cut and dry, but the summary states "Use Unarmed Combat skill with improvised weapons, +1 damage bonus." How are people ruling it in their games?

    On a side note, is there anywhere that they discuss how much damage improvised weapons do? Is it just Strength bonus? Toughness of the material? Mass?
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  • #2
    Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

    If I interpret it strictly based on what's listed, I would say that the first rank only provides the ability to use an Unarmed skill bonus, and only additional ranks provide a +1 bonus. I don't think it would be unfair to give the damage bonus too, however. If it's confusing or hard to remember, I would just offer it.

    As far as improvised weapons go, I think you just go by the standard rules on melee weapons (here on the d20 Hero SRD):
    Melee weapons are hand-held close combat weapons. They typically have a Strength-based Damage effect (see Damage effect in Powers), adding the wielder’s Strength rank to the weapon’s damage rank. Ordinary melee weapons are limited by their Toughness in terms of the amount of Strength they can add. If a wielder exerts Strength greater than the weapon’s Toughness (4 for wooden weapons, 7 or 8 for metal weapons), the weapon breaks when it is used.
    It goes on to say that a standard club is Damage 2 (bludgeoning) and a knife is Damage 1 (piercing). So, most improvised weapons would be Damage 1-2 at best, with descriptor based on the shape or function of the object (e.g., chair leg = bludgeoning, broken bottle = piercing). Most of the weapons would also have low Toughness (in the 3-5 range).
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    • #3
      Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

      Originally posted by rwknoll View Post
      If I interpret it strictly based on what's listed, I would say that the first rank only provides the ability to use an Unarmed skill bonus, and only additional ranks provide a +1 bonus. I don't think it would be unfair to give the damage bonus too, however. If it's confusing or hard to remember, I would just offer it.

      As far as improvised weapons go, I think you just go by the standard rules on melee weapons (here on the d20 Hero SRD):

      It goes on to say that a standard club is Damage 2 (bludgeoning) and a knife is Damage 1 (piercing). So, most improvised weapons would be Damage 1-2 at best, with descriptor based on the shape or function of the object (e.g., chair leg = bludgeoning, broken bottle = piercing). Most of the weapons would also have low Toughness (in the 3-5 range).
      That's along the lines of something I was looking for in the rules... what kind of damage does a car do? Two good examples - your character throws a car, or Hulks out and splits a car and uses it as boxing gloves. In both cases, chances are that the character is capped for strength damage and attack bonus, but... (The latter is a good descriptor for Power Attack...)

      For improvised weapon I'd personally say the first rank gives you a +1. My reasoning is... My character could have a Damage Effect, that is Strength Based and a flaw of "requires bludgeoning object"
      (Strength Based Damage, Limited to using blunt object; 1 pt per 2 ranks) So the Advantage is technically overpriced IMO.
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      • #4
        Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

        My take on it is a little different: the first rank is a Feature that allows you to bring in "improvised weapons" under the "Unarmed Attack" umbrella of Close Combat. Normally you'd only be allowed to use your base STR damage with Unarmed Attack--it doesn't include Grabbing or the use of any weapons. For that, you'd have to use Close Attack. Note: the Advantage says your base Close Combat skill, but I think for clarity sake it should say your "Close Attack" which is the same as your base FGT. (3e just over-complicates this!)

        Rank 1: Use Close Combat
        Rank 2: As above, with a +1 damage bonus

        It's not as useful as you might think, since A) it's capped by PL, and B) you can create the same thing with a Damage effect (Quirk: limited to "weapons" at hand) along the same lines as Kinetic Bullets: Blast (Quirk: limited to ammo at hand).

        I believe that back in the 2e ORQ Steve said that you just do STR damage with small extras like Area or Reach when you use weapons in your environment, e.g. pulling a light pole from the ground (Reach), or throwing a car (small area effect). Clearly the idea is to not give too many freebies, but still reward you for doing comic book-y things.
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        • #5
          Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

          Originally posted by badpenny View Post
          It's not as useful as you might think, since A) it's capped by PL, and B) you can create the same thing with a Damage effect (Quirk: limited to "weapons" at hand) along the same lines as Kinetic Bullets: Blast (Quirk: limited to ammo at hand).
          In fact, the Weapons Master archetype seems to do just that.
          Improvised Weapons: Damage 2, Strength-based, Ranged 5, Easily Removable ([–2 points])
          That one seems even better since it also adds in range on all of your damage. It could be a bit more expensive, of course, depending on the proportion of strength bonus to total damage. And the use of Easily Removable seems a bit odd. I suppose the assumption is that you have one improvised weapon, say a folding chair which can be hurled and caught, or used to bat projectiles into people, and that one weapon can be disarmed. Still very odd.
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          • #6
            Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

            That feels like a stretch of the Removable Flaw and too much of a discount. Easily Removable, as applied to a particular device, makes sense. But when you can just go and pick up any ol' thing, that's not worth a -2 Flaw!
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            • #7
              Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

              I agree with Penny. That is too versatile for a -2 Flaw. A -1 Flaw at best, more likely a Quirk.

              Edit: Which I guess is the same thing, pointwise, on this particular power. Frankly, I prefer 1pp Flaws being converted into Complications.
              Last edited by kenseido; 10-10-2014, 12:52 PM.
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              • #8
                Re: Does the first rank of the Improvised Weapons provide a +1 damage bonus?

                Originally posted by kenseido View Post
                Edit: Which I guess is the same thing, pointwise, on this particular power. Frankly, I prefer 1pp Flaws being converted into Complications.
                That's only coincidental with a low ranked effect; add more ranks and the rebate can become significant.
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