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Revised Vulnerable and Defenseless conditions

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  • Revised Vulnerable and Defenseless conditions

    Just thought I'd share an idea I had on the M&M subreddit:

    I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better to make Vulnerable mean "-2 to your Dodge and Parry" and Defenseless mean "-5 to your Dodge and Parry".

    This would have three benefits:
    1. It would sync up better with the existing rules for advantage. +2 for a minor advantage, and +5 for a major one. It would also sync better with the trade-off maneuvers/advantages like Power Attack. Unified mechanics are better for the game system, since there are fewer rules to remember at the table.
    2. It would work equally well at any power level. Right now, the lower your PL the less these condition affect you, and the higher your PL the MORE they affect you. By changing these to flat penalties it works equally well in a PL6 game and a PL15 game.
    3. It wouldn't cripple defense-shifted characters so badly. Defense-shifted characters already suffer from attacks that don't require a to-hit roll, and these two conditions render them completely boned. A toughness-shifted character laughs at being "vulnerable" since he loses LESS defense than the defense-shifted character.

      Tanky McAbrahms: Toughness 14, Dodge/Parry 6. He gets rendered "vulnerable" and loses 3 points to his Dodge/Parry.

      Zippy Doodah: Toughness 6, Dodge/Parry 14. When he gets hit by the same condition, he loses 7 points... twice as much as the Toughness-shifted character.

      This house rule would affect them both equally.

  • #2
    Have you played it in a campaign? That's the only way to figure out if it works better.

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    • #3
      I'd make Vulnerable a -5 to active defenses (the same as what occurs to the average PL 10 PC) and Defenceless the worse of what it is now or Vulnerable: in either case, auto-crits should be a possibility.

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      • #4
        The initial version (vulnerable as -2, defenseless as -5) would help to make defense-shifted characters better. I'm a bit worried that the vulnerable/defenseless conditions might reduced to worse versions of impaired/disabled, though. So this could result in players simply building afflictions with impaired/disabled with the limited flaw instead of vulnerable/defenseless to save points.

        Still, that's just an initial concern. If the change makes your campaign more fun, then I endorse it enthusiastically.

        The revised version (vulnerable as -5, defenseless as 1/2 or -5) could be a really good mod that I just might steal.
        Last edited by CoolTieGuy; 13th July 2019, 04:14 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Madwand View Post
          I'd make Vulnerable a -5 to active defenses (the same as what occurs to the average PL 10 PC) and Defenceless the worse of what it is now or Vulnerable: in either case, auto-crits should be a possibility.
          The problem with defenseless is that it doesn't affect all characters equally. In a PL6 game defenseless isn't as big a deal as it is in a PL14 game. The rules should be agnostic regarding what PL you're playing at.

          Also there's the issue that, as it currently stands, Vulnerable and Defenseless are too good (or too bad, depending on your point of view.) You can get advantage for a +2 or +5 bonus, which is why I used those numbers for Vulnerable and Defenseless.

          I agree that being Defenseless should still allow for auto-crits. Changing Defenseless to -5 parry/dodge wouldn't change any other rules... you can still "take 10" to hit, or roll and get an auto-crit if you hit.

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          • #6
            [deleted duplicate post]
            Last edited by Tipop; 16th July 2019, 02:57 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CoolTieGuy View Post
              I'm a bit worried that the vulnerable/defenseless conditions might reduced to worse versions of impaired/disabled, though.
              Impaired/Disabled gives the target a -2 or -5 to checks. It doesn't affect their defenses.

              This is another example of why Vulnerable/Defenseless should be -2 and -5... it exactly matches OTHER conditions of the same degree. Impaired gives the target a -2 to hit you, while vulnerable gives you a +2 to hit them. Both are tier-1 conditions.

              Originally posted by CoolTieGuy View Post
              So this could result in players simply building afflictions with impaired/disabled with the limited flaw instead of vulnerable/defenseless to save points
              That wouldn't work at all, since Impaired and Disabled don't affect your defenses.

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