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  • Affliction DC house rule

    My experience with afflictions has shown me that typically, building for a powerful second degree condition (usually with cumulative), or group planning around taking advantage of a first degree condition, is the only* tactical use of afflictions. (Using powerful third degrees against objects or minions is also common, but both objects and minions have many many things that counter them.)

    Given this, Damage becomes inherently more important as the only 'reasonable' method to take out a strong opponent.

    Obviously this is not for all groups, and there is a wide selection of reactions to this, including that this is fine (which, in many ways, it is fine.)

    At the same time, generally afflictions are rarely used to great success against players, because they generally save against them, or at most fail by one degree.

    So, my curiosity leads me to ask: how would you feel, as a player, not as a gm, if the DC were set to 12 or 13+ rank for afflictions. (Cumulative might have some room for abuse, but I'm generally not worried. Progressive is so expensive that I have no problem with its interaction with this proposal.)
    Last edited by Nelphine; 06-09-2016, 04:33 AM.
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  • #2
    Re: Affliction DC house rule

    I generally agree. All non-Toughness effects are base DC 10, and many times I've been frustrated with the net effect of them even against minions when we're dealing the nature of the linear d20 mechanic. It probably wouldn't be an issue if we were using something bellcurve-y, e.g. 2d10.

    In general the higher DC for Toughness saves makes the game very Damage focused and IME, the exotic saves were lower in 2e than in 3e, so players tend to be able to make those Fort/Will saves more easily now, too.
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    • #3
      Re: Affliction DC house rule

      There's been a house rule floated around to make Affliction resemble Damage more closely. Give it the 15+ranks base DC, move up the conditions, and give it that same "bruise/injury" -1 in there.

      Although my concern would be that the 1st degree Affliction conditions last longer and are more powerful than the daze that comes from Damage. I would also appreciate a way to harmonize DCs. The 15 for Damage but 10 for everything else is a bit of a headache.

      My experience is pretty similar to the OP's. As a player, I typically put Cumulative on Afflictions I plan on using regularly. That's my way of dealing with this, although it's pretty expensive. And, I end up tending to use Afflictions against targets I think will be weak against them b/c it's hard to "wear them down."

      I think as a player I'd probably prefer a more nuanced house rule than the OP, though. A flat change by about 10% doesn't quite address the issue, and feels like a relatively small shift for not a ton of upside. I'd be particularly interested in something that gave them that wear them down quality rather than just a straight power up across the board.

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      • #4
        Re: Affliction DC house rule

        Except that the +5 DC for Damage is almost completely offset by the fact that its entire first degree of failure is just a bruise (the carryover term many of us use for the cumulative -1 to Damage saves).

        When you compare apples to apples, Affliction and Damage match up rather squarely. Consider the following two simple powers: Damage 10 (DC 25) and Affliction 10 (Dazed / Stunned / Incapacitated; DC 20). Here's what happens for a set of net saves:

        Save = 23
        Damage: Target bruised.
        Affliction: Nothing (save made).

        Save = 18
        Damage: Target bruised, and dazed (1st-degree effect) for one turn.
        Affliction: Target dazed (1st-degree effect) until he saves.

        Save = 13
        Damage: Target bruised, and staggered (two 1st-degree effects) indefinitely.
        Affliction: Target stunned (2nd-degree effect) until he saves.

        Save = 8
        Damage: Target incapacitated (3rd-degree effect).
        Affliction: Target incapacitated (3rd-degree effect).

        I'm not saying they're the same, but I think the different levels are very comparable. Yes, the "bruise" addition gives Damage a slight edge, but the converse is that most Afflictions can be built more tactically (e.g., the hero who takes one resisted by Fortitude and one resisted by Will in an array), have 1st-degree effects that can last more than a turn, and are far more flexible.

        I really don't feel that there's an imbalance here.
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        • #5
          Re: Affliction DC house rule

          Originally posted by Nelphine View Post
          My experience with afflictions has shown me that typically, building for a powerful second degree condition (usually with cumulative), or group planning around taking advantage of a first degree condition, is the only* tactical use of afflictions. (Using powerful third degrees against objects or minions is also common, but both objects and minions have many many things that counter them.)

          Given this, Damage becomes inherently more important as the only 'reasonable' method to take out a strong opponent.

          Obviously this is not for all groups, and there is a wide selection of reactions to this, including that this is fine (which, in many ways, it is fine.)

          At the same time, generally afflictions are rarely used to great success against players, because they generally save against them, or at most fail by one degree.

          So, my curiosity leads me to ask: how would you feel, as a player, not as a gm, if the DC were set to 12 or 13+ rank for afflictions. (Cumulative might have some room for abuse, but I'm generally not worried. Progressive is so expensive that I have no problem with its interaction with this proposal.)
          I suggest going with the Full DC15 + rank. that way Both Affliction based Hero's and Villains are far more Viable in open combat.

          When I make My heroes I have a Philosophy of

          2-3 Attacks
          1 Affliction
          1 Weaken

          By thinking of Creative ways of using their Powers, and When Using Afflictions I usually have to make use of other Combat Advantages such as.

          Trip>Hero Point> +5 Power Attack Affliction
          Or
          Improved Aim> Hero point> +5 Power Attack Affliction
          etc.

          I usually have to double up on my Standard action to make full use of my Affliction at a higher Rank so that way I have a far better chance at making it useful.

          One my Primary Character I have a Duo Affliction combo that I created.

          Incomplete Neo-Venom Toxin: Affliction 13
          1st Degree: Impaired & Dazed & Vulnerable
          2nd Degree: Disabled & Stunned & Defenseless
          * Extra Condition 2
          * Limited Degree
          * Accurate 2
          Resisted by Fortitude

          (Alt Effect)
          Final Ingredient: Affliction 16
          3rd Degree: Incapacitated
          *Limited to 3rd Degree
          *Accurate 2
          *Incurable
          *Improved Critical 4
          *Limited: Can ONLY be used when target is affected is affected with 2nd Degree of Incomplete Neo-Venom Toxin


          I use this combo as a Way to give me Full potential to actually get 3rd degree against High Level Meta's/ Paragon Type characters whom themselves have High Fortitude and such. (My Main is a Gadget using Gunslinger so I'm REALLY Human and Its REALLY hard to deal with those types of Neigh invulnerable characters with Damage in my experience)

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          • #6
            Re: Affliction DC house rule

            I kind of like the 12 or 13 myself. Afflictions have the added bonus of partial effect so going to a full 15 reduces the effectiveness of damage...
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            • #7
              Re: Affliction DC house rule

              Originally posted by Rev. Pee Kitty View Post
              Except that the +5 DC for Damage is almost completely offset by the fact that its entire first degree of failure is just a bruise (the carryover term many of us use for the cumulative -1 to Damage saves).
              This, exactly. The individual conditions suck a lot compared to Affliction, too: many Afflictions are game-ending even at the 2nd degree. Compelled (can't attack and controller can make you attack allies or yourself), Stunned (turns off Sustained Protection), Defenseless (auto-crit if you roll to hit them), etc. Immobilized is lame by most reckoning, but if you play your villains intelligently and have them flee than fight to the end for no reason, a timely Immobilize might be the difference between a crook in jail and one that returns to plague you next adventure.

              A lot of Damage vs Affliction comparisons are skewed. Take the common claim that Damage has built-in Cumulative for one. If Damage were Cumulative in the way Afflictions are, two -1 penalties would Daze you, and a Daze and a -1 would Stagger you. Instead, you need five -1 penalties to turn what would be a 1st degree toughness failure into a 2nd degree one. That's a long way away from Cumulative.

              Damage only looks better because the things that counter it never appear and people optimize it in ways they rarely do so for Affliction. If villains had a lot of Healing and Regeneration (or just used their 1/scene Recover action wisely to remove Staggered) and Multiattack, Improved Critical, PA/AOA Afflictions were common, you'd hear complaints about how Damage was underpowered instead.

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              • #8
                Re: Affliction DC house rule

                To be clear, the house rule I was alluding to involved both increasing the DC and introducing the equivalent of a "bruise" for Affliction. So, failing by 1 degree wouldn't inflict the 1st degree Affliction, but instead that -1. I feel like that got completely lost in the replies.

                Note that I haven't regularly used that house rule, but if I were inclined to mess with the DCs for Affliction, I'd try and do something to harmonize it with damage.

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