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  • Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

    OK, so Mutants & Masterminds tried to do a good job of having pre-built characters ready for beginning players to just pick up and use. Simple ones, with only a couple small choices in some of them for the players to make to customize the builds.

    But the builds the book provides are full of mistakes, typos, and just plain dumb build choices. Sometimes they pay points for absolutely pointless things (no pun intended), sometimes they are missing things that the character clearly should have, and sometimes they left the customization options for players way too wide open for "simple" builds.

    But if I work on "fixing" these builds myself, I know myself, and I know I'll probably end up with characters that are very different from the originals, and much less simple for new players to play. So I'd like collaborators to tell me when I'm going too far, or to point out details that I miss in the builds.

    Builds:
    Battlesuit
    Crime Fighter
    Robot
    Last edited by CaptainKaulu; 09-08-2018, 05:03 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

    Battlesuit

    Problems That NEED Fixing

    OK, first the biggest problem with the Battlesuit is it just plain doesn't have the right number of points. It has 151 points. I think the writers forgot that it takes one point of Senses just to get a Radio sense in the first place, before adding Accurate and Extended to turn it into radar.

    Fortunately, there's a very easy fix for this error. The build's Protection power should probably have the Noticeable flaw, since there's not much that makes Protection more Noticeable than a full-body metal suit. This reduces the build by one point, leaving it at the target 150.

    Note that, unlike many of the Archetypes, the Impervious Toughness on this build is already an odd number, making it reasonable.

    Other Customization

    With that out of the way, are there changes that are worth making to the rest of the build? Here are a few things that stand out to me:
    • It always bugs me when battlesuit builds have the full Life Support version of immunity, as I don't see why a typical battlesuit should protect against poison, disease, or starvation/thirst. This could be a place to save a few points that can be used elsewhere.
    • Is this build supposed to be a generic battlesuit, or is it supposed to be a 150-pt version of Iron Man? Because there are a few touches that seem like they're only included in order to emulate Iron Man: 5 Intellect (rather than maybe 4), the option of Expertise [Business] ranks, and the Improvised Tools advantage. If we want this to be a generic "Battlesuit" build, these seem like things that could be tweaked.
    • If you're already paying for the relatively expensive Communications power, it seems like it might be worthwhile to at least make it Rank 3 instead of Rank 2, which makes it have a much better range.
    • Should there be more than two attack options? Maybe one that affects multiple targets (Area or Multiattack)?
    • If it makes sense for the build, I always like adding some Partial modifiers to Flight, like a single rank of Continuous so you don't die by falling out of the sky when you fall unconscious. But that's certainly me getting complicated. Is it worth it?

    Anyone else have things that stand out to them in the build as-is? Or comments on my quibbles here?
    Last edited by CaptainKaulu; 08-28-2017, 09:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

      Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
      The build's Protection power should probably have the Noticeable flaw, since there's not much that makes Protection more Noticeable than a full-body metal suit.
      I would think Noticeable is essentially folded into Removable for Devices. I probably wouldn't allow Noticeable on a Device-based power unless it was really noticeable, like a bright glow you could see around corners or a loud outboard motor.
      It always bugs me when battlesuit builds have the full Life Support version of immunity, as I don't see why a typical battlesuit should protect against poison, disease, or starvation/thirst. This could be a place to save a few points that can be used elsewhere.
      Agreed. Admittedly, Life Support as a 10p package is simple and comprehensive like a good insurance plan, but not every concept needs full coverage. 2e had a 9p package that didn't cover food, so that's one I often pluck out. There's some question as to whether a presumably airtight suit (full Suff-Immunity) can be affected by airborne disease or poison gas anyway, so it could be erring on the side of comprehensive. Cherry-picking Enviro-Immunities is also good for specializing the 'suit.

      Is this build supposed to be a generic battlesuit, or is it supposed to be a 150-pt version of Iron Man? Because there are a few touches that seem like they're only included in order to emulate Iron Man: 5 Intellect (rather than maybe 4), the option of Expertise [Business] ranks, and the Improvised Tools advantage. If we want this to be a generic "Battlesuit" build, these seem like things that could be tweaked.
      I'm leaning toward the latter. If you wanted to define archetypes similar to classes, Tony Stark is really a specific subset of Gadgeteer with the battlesuit as one big Gadget.

      The Quick Character Generator does allow for a wider range of possibilities. You don't have to be a genius or rich or even an inventor to have a battlesuit; the one I "rolled" for The 20 is actually a brilliant and charming business type but not rich or an inventor, so I kept most of his powers generic and figure he'd probably be more of a team face, similar but not quite Stark-like.

      If you're already paying for the relatively expensive Communications power, it seems like it might be worthwhile to at least make it Rank 3 instead of Rank 2, which makes it have a much better range.
      It's really going to depend on the range of the campaign, although defining a literal 1 mile range could be restrictive for even a street-level game. A useful "hack" is to add a Feature that lets the power use telco networks just like a cellphone, which gives it a greater communication capacity but should also be subject to all of the problems of cellphone networks (dropped calls, interference, potential tower triangulation, etc).

      Should there be more than two attack options? Maybe one that affects multiple targets (Area or Multiattack)?
      The QCG Battlesuit gives a Weapons Array with a total of 5 slots. Options include several Area types, Multiattack, Snare, Aura, and Close. Any of them could be used as Power Stunts as well, so taking only 2 or 3 and stunting others when necessary is a viable option. You can always add more as well; there's no option for a techy melee weapon, for instance, like an electric sword or a rocket hammer.


      If it makes sense for the build, I always like adding some Partial modifiers to Flight, like a single rank of Continuous so you don't die by falling out of the sky when you fall unconscious. But that's certainly me getting complicated. Is it worth it?
      Given that the default assumption of most M&M games is non-lethality, I think that any incidental damage after getting knocked out should be considered NBD for narrative purposes. So getting shot out of the sky should rarely kill a PC, no matter how high up they are.

      That said, I think Continuous Flight is an odd duck anyway; not every modifier necessarily makes sense with every descriptor of every effect. I know a lot of BSuits want a "Jarvis" in their suits that at least gets them home like a good horse in case they drop. The easiest way is to just make it a Feature, while the most complex is to make it a Summon. Actually making it a Triggered Summon (Trigger: loss of pilot control) would be slightly more complicated.

      The biggest concern I have with BSuits is breaking and repairing. AFAICT, there's nothing in the handbook that defines Device Toughness.
      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]!

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      • #4
        Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

        Originally posted by JDRook View Post
        I would think Noticeable is essentially folded into Removable for Devices. I probably wouldn't allow Noticeable on a Device-based power unless it was really noticeable, like a bright glow you could see around corners or a loud outboard motor.
        That's ... hmmm. I'm going to have to ponder that. I don't like it, because I like getting an extra point from Noticeable even on devices, haha. And I certainly have some builds whose Devices are a lot less obvious than a Battlesuit.

        There's some question as to whether a presumably airtight suit (full Suff-Immunity) can be affected by airborne disease or poison gas anyway, so it could be erring on the side of comprehensive. Cherry-picking Enviro-Immunities is also good for specializing the 'suit.
        So you're saying the poison and disease immunities should be left in? And I think "environmental conditions - all" is something we could keep in the effort of keeping the build generic and simple, even though you're right that more limited environmental immunities can be flavorful.

        If you wanted to define archetypes similar to classes, Tony Stark is really a specific subset of Gadgeteer with the battlesuit as one big Gadget.
        True.

        The Quick Character Generator does allow for a wider range of possibilities. You don't have to be a genius or rich or even an inventor to have a battlesuit; the one I "rolled" for The 20 is actually a brilliant and charming business type but not rich or an inventor, so I kept most of his powers generic and figure he'd probably be more of a team face, similar but not quite Stark-like.
        True, although it's easier to come up with a backstory if the character is rich or an inventor. Should we go with "rich" for the generic build here?

        It's really going to depend on the range of the campaign, although defining a literal 1 mile range could be restrictive for even a street-level game. A useful "hack" is to add a Feature that lets the power use telco networks just like a cellphone, which gives it a greater communication capacity but should also be subject to all of the problems of cellphone networks (dropped calls, interference, potential tower triangulation, etc).
        That is cheaper than the 3rd rank of Communications, so it could be an option if we're scrounging for points.

        The QCG Battlesuit gives a Weapons Array with a total of 5 slots. Options include several Area types, Multiattack, Snare, Aura, and Close. Any of them could be used as Power Stunts as well, so taking only 2 or 3 and stunting others when necessary is a viable option. You can always add more as well; there's no option for a techy melee weapon, for instance, like an electric sword or a rocket hammer.
        Yeah. Any votes on how complicated we get for a Beginner Character?

        That said, I think Continuous Flight is an odd duck anyway; not every modifier necessarily makes sense with every descriptor of every effect.
        Certainly not, but I think the Continuous Flight works with a battlesuit like the one pictured in the book, with no visible rockets but presumably some kind of antigrav.

        I know a lot of BSuits want a "Jarvis" in their suits that at least gets them home like a good horse in case they drop. The easiest way is to just make it a Feature, while the most complex is to make it a Summon. Actually making it a Triggered Summon (Trigger: loss of pilot control) would be slightly more complicated.
        Yeah, let's stay away from the Summon option for this. The Feature option could certainly be a possible addition though.

        The biggest concern I have with BSuits is breaking and repairing. AFAICT, there's nothing in the handbook that defines Device Toughness.
        Yeah, but I think fixing that hole is beyond the scope of this project.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

          Originally posted by JDRook View Post
          The biggest concern I have with BSuits is breaking and repairing. AFAICT, there's nothing in the handbook that defines Device Toughness.
          It's buried in Damage under Damaging Objects

          Devices have a base Toughness equal to the total points in the device divided by 5 (rounded down, minimum of 1).
          Ysariel, among others on the boards, has suggested capping said Toughness at campaign PL.
          [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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          • #6
            Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

            Oh, one other thing to discuss: is there any basic Equipment that's just plain stupid for the Battlesuit not to have? There might not be, unlike many other archetypes, since everything he needs might just be built into the suit (e.g. no need for a Commlink when he has the Radio Communication power). But I might not be thinking of something.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

              Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
              That's ... hmmm. I'm going to have to ponder that. I don't like it, because I like getting an extra point from Noticeable even on devices, haha. And I certainly have some builds whose Devices are a lot less obvious than a Battlesuit.
              I figure any Device that's not noticeable by default is Subtle or Concealable, like an undercover shirt or a sword-cane.


              So you're saying the poison and disease immunities should be left in?
              Yes, that's probably easiest. This also has a narratively fitting side effect that the suit pilot can't be poisoned or diseased in the suit without a Complication, like a breach or something planted in the suit.
              And I think "environmental conditions - all" is something we could keep in the effort of keeping the build generic and simple, even though you're right that more limited environmental immunities can be flavorful.
              Agreed. The same Complication use as above could apply. The suit could be protective against all environments up to a threshold that could be initially set (2500 degrees F, 1 mile depth, 1000 rads, etc) or arbitrarily broken as a Complication for narrative reasons.


              True, although it's easier to come up with a backstory if the character is rich or an inventor. Should we go with "rich" for the generic build here?
              Rich or at least resourceful. For a simple build, at least maintaining the suit should be relatively trivial. A suit that's found or stolen or otherwise possessed by a pilot without the resources to maintain can make for a constant subplot of finding ways of keeping the thing together, which could be interesting but should be a deliberate choice of the player.

              Any votes on how complicated we get for a Beginner Character?
              3-4 seems fine, putting it on par with the Energy Controller Archetype, which is mechanically similar with different descriptors. Personally, I think any Array with more than 5 slots should be very rare, especially for starting characters.

              Yeah, let's stay away from the Summon option for this. The Feature option could certainly be a possible addition though.
              Defining the Feature limits would be the detailed part. I think it would be reasonable that the Homing suit Feature would be able to move at full speed but only dodge attacks based on its own bonuses. For instance, the Archetype as written could fly at Flight 8 but only defend at Dodge 2 or Parry 4 if attacked, and can only go back to base or some other predesignated safe point.


              Originally posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
              It's buried in Damage under Damaging Objects
              Not buried enough, if I may be so bold. The "Device Toughness = 1/5 total points" makes for either Devices that are flimsier than similar equipment counterparts or suits that are practically indestructible. It's unclear whether total points is before or after applying the Removable modifier, and AFAIK there are no published examples of Device Toughness calculation to compare. Also, the layout makes it difficult to even see what that total points for most Devices would be, so it obviously wasn't designed with easy DevTuf calculation in mind. I feel like it's being treated like a half-baked idea that has no decent replacement.

              Yeah, but I think fixing that hole is beyond the scope of this project.
              Agreed. Rant off.

              Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
              Oh, one other thing to discuss: is there any basic Equipment that's just plain stupid for the Battlesuit not to have?
              Nothing springs to mind. I will note that the Sensor Suite for the Archetype is much more expensive than the QCG variants, so that may have been considered overspent. That radar package alone could actually pinpoint a human-sized radio opaque object 10 miles away on a routine check, although its weapons max out at 1200'.

              Beside the Senses, Comms, Life Support and gadgeteering Skills and Advantages, it's again very similar to the Energy Controller. EC is a good base build, but you could build a BSuit around the Paragon or Powerhouse just as easily, and maybe other archetypes.
              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]!

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              • #8
                Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post

                Note that, unlike many of the Archetypes, the Impervious Toughness on this build is already an odd number, making it reasonable.
                Why is this a big issue? If it's for a new player then a 'wasted' point isn't a big deal. Experienced players may have good reason to have that even number in there, like early advancement to the new threshold.

                Any system that halves a value for an effect will be buased to odd/even but I think that's small beans unless you're min-maxing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                  Originally posted by JDRook View Post
                  I figure any Device that's not noticeable by default is Subtle or Concealable, like an undercover shirt or a sword-cane.
                  Sure, I agree with that. But individual effects of that Device (if they're Continuous or Permanent) are still subtle unless Noticeable, I think.

                  I have lots of characters with Costumes that provide Protection, but aren't Noticeable because it should be hard for others to gauge how protective they are. (And it should be a bit surprising when they provide better Protection than an ordinary costume of clothing.) But a Battlesuit? I still think its armor plating could qualify for Noticeable.

                  Yes, that's probably easiest. This also has a narratively fitting side effect that the suit pilot can't be poisoned or diseased in the suit without a Complication, like a breach or something planted in the suit.
                  OK, I'll go with that. Although if I were the GM, I wouldn't grant a Hero Point for a breach if a poison-injecting power was Resistible by both Toughness (to get through the armor and cause the breach) and Fortitude (to actually resist the poison), for example.

                  Rich or at least resourceful. For a simple build, at least maintaining the suit should be relatively trivial. A suit that's found or stolen or otherwise possessed by a pilot without the resources to maintain can make for a constant subplot of finding ways of keeping the thing together, which could be interesting but should be a deliberate choice of the player.
                  Agreed. So we'll keep the build having a relatively good Technology skill.

                  3-4 seems fine, putting it on par with the Energy Controller Archetype, which is mechanically similar with different descriptors.
                  OK, the two that the book has, plus a simple Area (Burst) Damage effect seem obvious. Any votes for what a fourth attack mode would be, if there's enough points for one?

                  Personally, I think any Array with more than 5 slots should be very rare, especially for starting characters.
                  Hmmm, you probably hate most of my builds.

                  Defining the Feature limits would be the detailed part. I think it would be reasonable that the Homing suit Feature would be able to move at full speed but only dodge attacks based on its own bonuses. For instance, the Archetype as written could fly at Flight 8 but only defend at Dodge 2 or Parry 4 if attacked, and can only go back to base or some other predesignated safe point.
                  So a hypothetical suit without a Tactical Computer feature would have 0 defenses while autopiloting back to base? Harsh, but reasonable. The other option would be to base it somehow on the Autopilot Feature for Vehicles, which provides a +4 Vehicles bonus. Not sure how that would translate to Defenses, but if we could figure that out, it would provide an idea of how to scale the Jarvis-return feature depending on multiple Feature ranks.

                  If we're basing this on Jarvis, then first a Feature 1 (computer) should be required, before any autopilot Feature can be added on top.

                  I will note that the Sensor Suite for the Archetype is much more expensive than the QCG variants, so that may have been considered overspent. That radar package alone could actually pinpoint a human-sized radio opaque object 10 miles away on a routine check, although its weapons max out at 1200'.
                  Heh, thanks for doing the math on that. That does seem a bit ridiculous. Is Extended 1 radar good enough, or should it be Extended 2? What else does the QGC drop?

                  Originally posted by BtripleM View Post
                  Why is this a big issue? If it's for a new player then a 'wasted' point isn't a big deal. Experienced players may have good reason to have that even number in there, like early advancement to the new threshold.

                  Any system that halves a value for an effect will be buased to odd/even but I think that's small beans unless you're min-maxing
                  Call it a pet peeve, because I think the real reason they left even-numbered Impervious ranks in the archetypes is because they were too lazy to update from how Impervious worked in 2e.

                  You can also call me a min-maxer if you want. I value ever single point I can get on M&M builds, when each one could become a flavorful Feature or another option in a powerful Array.

                  But I guess the real question here is: Are we trying to shield new players away from the idea of buying Partial ranks in Modifiers in general? Because that, it seems to me, would be the main reason (besides the laziness I mentioned earlier) to avoid adjusting the amount of Imperviousness.

                  Whether newbies can handle Partial Modifiers is a good standard to set in general, as it will affect other things like the Partial Flight Modifiers I mentioned in an earlier post.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                    Other people have mostly made the same comments I would have, but I wanted to elaborate on one thing: for most players building in more than 3-5 array slots is wasted (because they'll too rarely use most of them to justify the cost) and for beginner designs you probably don't want to teach this as normative.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                      Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
                      OK, I'll go with that. Although if I were the GM, I wouldn't grant a Hero Point for a breach if a poison-injecting power was Resistible by both Toughness (to get through the armor and cause the breach) and Fortitude (to actually resist the poison), for example.
                      Respectfully disagree. If that same attack was used against a Powerhouse with identical but non-Removable defenses, they'd want to know how the poison is affecting them after they bought Poison Immunity as part of Life Support. Complication covers that IMO, although I'd probably still let the PC roll resistance checks and only award HP on first failure.


                      Agreed. So we'll keep the build having a relatively good Technology skill.
                      Alternatives to using own Tech Skill:
                      HQ with Workshop and Personnel
                      Wealth to pay someone else to do it
                      Other interaction traits (Connected, Persuasion, Intimidation, etc) to get others to do it
                      Work for others in exchange (Complication)

                      A PC could have any combination of these. Self-repair is the most direct and "heroic" option, while the other options start getting more interesting for getting involved with the game world.

                      OK, the two that the book has, plus a simple Area (Burst) Damage effect seem obvious. Any votes for what a fourth attack mode would be, if there's enough points for one?
                      There's a Multiattack and an Aura option in the QCG, but I figure there should be at least one non-Toughness resisted attack, if for no other reason than to have an example of one for a new player. (I also have a bit of a hate-on for Multiattack overuse, but that's my issue.) I favour a capture weapon using a Snare-style Affliction; other options in the QCG are stunners (Fort Affliction) and tractor beams (Move Object).


                      Hmmm, you probably hate most of my builds.
                      We probably just have different design preferences. Personally, I really like the stronger narrative style and opportunities for power improvisation that Stunts and HP can provide in 3e, so if it's a choice between saving a couple points with a custom 2e-style Drawback or using a Complication, I try more for the latter. Point efficiency can be fun and occasionally elegant, but IMO simplicity plus Complications enhances playability.

                      For big arrays, I think there's diminishing returns on playability. I figure a player is going to use 3-4 of those slots 90% of the time, and the rest will see use only occasionally, which makes them good candidates for power stunts. GM Generosity with HP will affect how open a player is to that, but I think there's often an assumption of either antagonism or scarcity that carries over from other RPGs.


                      So a hypothetical suit without a Tactical Computer feature would have 0 defenses while autopiloting back to base? Harsh, but reasonable.
                      For 1p, I think so.

                      The other option would be to base it somehow on the Autopilot Feature for Vehicles, which provides a +4 Vehicles bonus. Not sure how that would translate to Defenses, but if we could figure that out, it would provide an idea of how to scale the Jarvis-return feature depending on multiple Feature ranks.
                      There is an "evasive maneuvers" action introduced in the Vehicles Gadget Guide that is essentially a Defend action that uses the results of a Vehicle check to replace the defense for that round. That would work with a Vehicle bonus autopilot, and it could also be presumed that an emergency escape option would be using its Standard Actions to evade while using Move Action to retreat at full speed.

                      If we're basing this on Jarvis, then first a Feature 1 (computer) should be required, before any autopilot Feature can be added on top.
                      Most of the time, Jarvis basically feeds information that could just as easily be communicated by an advanced HUD, but it's more interesting in comics and movies to make it talk (not to mention give it a little snark). That 1p should cover Jarvis as personal assistant and occasional bits of info the GM might want to feed the player, similar to the Green Lantern Ring AI.


                      Heh, thanks for doing the math on that. That does seem a bit ridiculous. Is Extended 1 radar good enough, or should it be Extended 2? What else does the QGC drop?
                      Probably Ext2, actually. That would be a routine Perception check vs medium objects at about 5000' or 1 mile, which is outside firing range but is also equal to about 1 Move Action at Flight 8. I can't get a fix on what a "realistic" radar range is, but I figure 1 Move out should be a good minimum. What I'd like to say is that Accurate might be unnecessary and that Tracking Radar would be ideal for simulating radar that can show locations of targets without actually making them targetable. Maybe a short range combat radar and a long-range tracking radar in an array would be good, but that's a little complex. Plus I'm not sure if I've seen Tracking used in any published builds except for Scent and Sight.

                      EDIT - I might recommend a slightly higher Perception skill in the suit bought as Enhanced skill ranks in a Tactical Computer powerset. That slightly extends the routine Perception range and also gives a little more use at closer ranges. Plus, descriptor-wise it would be like the onboard computer identifying possible targets and highlighting them. Upgrade to Enhanced Awareness and Assessment and the AI can do combat analysis.

                      Call it a pet peeve, because I think the real reason they left even-numbered Impervious ranks in the archetypes is because they were too lazy to update from how Impervious worked in 2e.
                      I favour the alternate rule of -1 degree of failure for attacks equal or less than Impervious rank, but that's from the PowPros, not in the Handbook.


                      But I guess the real question here is: Are we trying to shield new players away from the idea of buying Partial ranks in Modifiers in general? Because that, it seems to me, would be the main reason (besides the laziness I mentioned earlier) to avoid adjusting the amount of Imperviousness.

                      Whether newbies can handle Partial Modifiers is a good standard to set in general, as it will affect other things like the Partial Flight Modifiers I mentioned in an earlier post.
                      Partial Mods can be useful, but not vital. For a new player, I'd rather showcase something like using an AE that's a different Effect, like the Snare weapon, than getting into the weeds of partials.
                      Last edited by JDRook; 08-30-2017, 08:32 AM.
                      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]!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                        Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
                        What else does the QGC drop?
                        QCG opens up the options, but still has strong Iron Man-ish tendencies:

                        Abilities have 3 types: Genius, Military or Accidental. The first one is obviously Intellect-based, with INT 8 and most of the rest at 1s and 2s. The other two are all in the 2-3 range, with Military tougher and Accidental more nimble and mental focused. Those are good options, but the random roll table makes Genius happen 60% of the time. Compared to the base Archetype, there's less focus on STR and FGT, even with boosts from the suit.

                        Advantages are two options chosen from 5 packages: Combatant, Inventor, Lucky, Scientist, and Wealthy. Stark is arguably at least 3 of those (Inventor/Scientist/Wealthy). The base Archetype is closest to Combatant/Inventor. Incidentally, Scientist also comes with a 3p HQ.

                        Skills are two options chosen from 3 packages, although it's possible to get the same one twice and stack ranks: People person, Sciences, and Student. All 3 have Perception 4, so it's effectively Perception 8 for everyone. Also, two have Expertise: Science, two have Persuasion, and two have Technology. Closest to Stark would be People Person/Sciences, and the base Archetype is probably closest to that as well, although obviously there's not a lot of range.

                        So ignoring powers so far, you've got a charming, perceptive Gadgeteer.

                        Powers have more options but only in some cases.

                        The Weapons Array has a default power of a Blast 10 with +10 to hit, balanced as opposed to Effect-shifted like the base Archetype's +8/12. There are 4 choices from 8 attack powers as AEs: Damage Aura, Ranged Stun, MA Damage, Snare, Burst Damage, Cone Damage, STR + CC, and Move Object. It's completely possible to make a BSuit that's all guns and no STR or close attacks, although for a new player it would be good to allow for both Close and Ranged Combat capacity, which the base Archetype has.

                        Movement technically has 4 options, although 2 are just Flight 7 with either Space or Water capability as an AE; together they come up 70% of the time. The other two are less common:
                        - Locomotion Systems - Running and Leaping with some choices from Movement for Safe Fall, Swinging or Wall Crawling (SpiderSuit!)
                        - Teleport Tech - nuff said.
                        Base Archetype is Flight 8. Potentially transonic, but otherwise very simple.

                        Defensive and Utility powers are fixed; no options are given for them which I found surprising given the rest of the QCG. You can't opt to make a really tough Tanksuit or a really nimble Dodgesuit, for example. There's an Ability Amplifier that adds 4 ranks to all the defenses except Toughness, which isn't something you see often in builds. The Armored Shell is ImpPro8, very simple, and of course Life Support. Comms are Rank 2 and Senses are just Infravision and Extended 1, which is much simpler than the base Archetype.

                        Overall the Base is pretty tanky, Toughness- and Effect-Shifted, with a small but powerful (and stuntable) attack array and a varied Sensor suite, again all worn by a charming Gadgeteer. The QCG is naturally variable, but tends more to a balanced build, not quite as powerful but with more options attack-wise, with a simpler Sensor Suite but better overall Perception.
                        Last edited by JDRook; 08-30-2017, 11:19 AM.
                        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]!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                          Oh, another issue we should discuss: the Battlesuit, like most (or all?) of the book's Archetypes, doesn't even come close to maxxing out its Fortitude + Will for PL10. But that's something I've seen a number of times as an elementary rule of character building. Should our "newbie" builds scrounge up points to put into Fortitude/Will?

                          Originally posted by JDRook View Post
                          There's a Multiattack and an Aura option in the QCG, but I figure there should be at least one non-Toughness resisted attack, if for no other reason than to have an example of one for a new player. (I also have a bit of a hate-on for Multiattack overuse, but that's my issue.) I favour a capture weapon using a Snare-style Affliction; other options in the QCG are stunners (Fort Affliction) and tractor beams (Move Object).
                          Snare sounds fine mechanically and as a way to introduce new players to non-Toughness defenses (which I agree is a good idea), but I'm having trouble picturing what sort of Snare weapon a Battlesuit is likely to use. Because something so high-tech throwing bolas is giving me cognitive dissonance. I guess some sort of Spidey-like webbing could work?

                          There is an "evasive maneuvers" action introduced in the Vehicles Gadget Guide that is essentially a Defend action that uses the results of a Vehicle check to replace the defense for that round. That would work with a Vehicle bonus autopilot, and it could also be presumed that an emergency escape option would be using its Standard Actions to evade while using Move Action to retreat at full speed.
                          Hey, I like that.

                          Most of the time, Jarvis basically feeds information that could just as easily be communicated by an advanced HUD, but it's more interesting in comics and movies to make it talk (not to mention give it a little snark). That 1p should cover Jarvis as personal assistant and occasional bits of info the GM might want to feed the player, similar to the Green Lantern Ring AI.
                          So 2 ppt total for the built-in computer and the emergency escape option? Seems like a pretty powerful option, now that I think about it, especially since it's providing most of the benefit of adding Continuous to the build's Flight power.

                          Probably Ext2, actually. That would be a routine Perception check vs medium objects at about 5000' or 1 mile, which is outside firing range but is also equal to about 1 Move Action at Flight 8. I can't get a fix on what a "realistic" radar range is, but I figure 1 Move out should be a good minimum. What I'd like to say is that Accurate might be unnecessary and that Tracking Radar would be ideal for simulating radar that can show locations of targets without actually making them targetable. Maybe a short range combat radar and a long-range tracking radar in an array would be good, but that's a little complex. Plus I'm not sure if I've seen Tracking used in any published builds except for Scent and Sight.
                          Hmmm, the array is a bit complex, but still appeals to me. Tracking-radar makes sense to me, too.

                          I favour the alternate rule of -1 degree of failure for attacks equal or less than Impervious rank, but that's from the PowPros, not in the Handbook.
                          Yeah I saw those alternate rules in the Power Profiles, but I'm not sure we can assume anything other than the default rules for builds that are intended for generic games. You like that rule, though? It's pretty much a situational +5 defense bonus, which I thought seemed a bit weak ...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                            Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
                            Snare sounds fine mechanically and as a way to introduce new players to non-Toughness defenses (which I agree is a good idea), but I'm having trouble picturing what sort of Snare weapon a Battlesuit is likely to use. Because something so high-tech throwing bolas is giving me cognitive dissonance. I guess some sort of Spidey-like webbing could work?
                            Think Cyrax from Mortal Kombat.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Beginner Characters (i.e. Fixing the book's Character Archetypes) - Community Effort?

                              Originally posted by CaptainKaulu View Post
                              Oh, another issue we should discuss: the Battlesuit, like most (or all?) of the book's Archetypes, doesn't even come close to maxxing out its Fortitude + Will for PL10. But that's something I've seen a number of times as an elementary rule of character building. Should our "newbie" builds scrounge up points to put into Fortitude/Will?
                              I think its generally a good idea to try and get close to it, but honestly, its sometimes just a luxury you can't afford out the gate. I'm as big a believer in try+ing to do that as they come, but at the end of the day i just had to go a little short in this area when it came time to build the character for the upcoming campaign my wife is running (amusingly enough, a battlesuit variation).


                              Snare sounds fine mechanically and as a way to introduce new players to non-Toughness defenses (which I agree is a good idea), but I'm having trouble picturing what sort of Snare weapon a Battlesuit is likely to use. Because something so high-tech throwing bolas is giving me cognitive dissonance. I guess some sort of Spidey-like webbing could work?
                              Well, first of all, a high tech bola launcher seems fine to me, but the one on my suit is a bunch of memory metal fibers that construct around things. Heck, you could have tangle grenades, force globes, polymer glue, any number of things.

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