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Thread: Modifier Stacking?

  1. #1
    UN Basic Recipient
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    Modifier Stacking?

    If an attack has "Entangling" (-2 to Escape Grabs, from Gadget Guides) and "Improved Hold" (-5 to Escape Grabs) when his target attempts to escape from his grab, what is their total penalty?

    On the surface, it appears to be -7. However, if you read the Bonuses section of the book, it only ever mentions a Minor bonus or a Major Bonus -- it says nothing about bonuses stacking. So, an argument could be made for the penalty to only be -5.

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Celondon; 04-13-2018 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Modifier Stacking?

    The rules are a bit murky here, yet I'd decide that these two specific modifiers do NOT stack.
    My reasoning: Entangling is just a weaker version of Improved Hold, so they just overlap (similar to the Impaired & Disabled conditions, or total & partial cover).
    But when the target is grabbed by someone with Improved Hold and also suffers from the Impaired condition (-2 penalty to all checks), then the breakout check penalty would indeed be -7 (these 2 penalties are independent of each other, so they stack).

  3. #3
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    Re: Modifier Stacking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bothrops View Post
    The rules are a bit murky here, yet I'd decide that these two specific modifiers do NOT stack.
    My reasoning: Entangling is just a weaker version of Improved Hold, so they just overlap (similar to the Impaired & Disabled conditions, or total & partial cover).
    But when the target is grabbed by someone with Improved Hold and also suffers from the Impaired condition (-2 penalty to all checks), then the breakout check penalty would indeed be -7 (these 2 penalties are independent of each other, so they stack).
    Of all the answers I've seen, this is the most logical and thought out. Thank you.

  4. #4
    OPA Belta
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    Re: Modifier Stacking?

    Crystal Frasier, the line developer and editor for M&M, recently posted a blog entry on Ronin Roundtable, https://greenronin.com/blog/2018/04/...terful-stunts/, which explores importing the Stunt rules from Green Ronin's AGE system to Mutants and Masterminds games. The reason this is relevant to your question is in the paragraph covering the "Tweaks" approach, where she states a Stunt offering a +2 Circumstance bonus could also be applied to bump up an existing +2 check bonus to +5 instead (Minor to Major bonus, in other words).

    So, yes, the correct ruling seems to be bonuses of the same "type" do not stack, as the Improved Hold already gives a Major bonus to the attack; bonuses and penalties from different sources should of course stack, as Bothrops made the case for above.

    All my best.

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