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Thread: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

  1. #51
    OPA Belta Squirrelly-sama's Avatar
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nintendogeek01 View Post
    Okay: Accurate in an array where the same power (telekinesis, fire, energy, etc.) is applied in different ways (blasts, afflictions, etc.).

    Not Okay: Accurate in an array where a guy has super-strength and punches people, but in the same array has wind blast or whatever other form of blast that also has accurate tagged on it.

    There. Two examples. Are there gray areas? Sure. But I CAN'T define them, because where the line is drawn in gray areas varies from GM to GM.

    Now please stop asking me where I draw my line. Where I, personally, draw my line doesn't affect other GMs who might make use of these topics. If we go back to my first post you'll note that I actually don't have any changes in mind for accurate. I only put it up there as a word of advice, that's all it is. Advice, not a mandate, not a hard and fast rule. Advice.
    The thing is that he shouldn't really even have enhanced strength in an array with wind control unless the two where from some sort of descriptor that would make that make sense. Like calling wind faries down to his fists to either help him lift or blasts things. There, I gave you a perfectly valid reason why someone would have those two in an array and why both would probably be accurate.

  2. #52
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by SilvercatMoonpaw View Post
    M&M is not a good RPG for modeling what happens in stories when you deprive the character of important aspects like their powers.

    Except that mechanically the summon being the main character and the summoner being a low-powered sidekick results in the same effect without abusing the Summon/Sidekick rules.
    And what? Force them to pay points for what's essentially a complication, they now have to buy a summon, they have to probably have to get a bunch of effects on top of that to mimic the downsides of it such as teleporting where this useless summon or side kick is, they gotta disappear the moment someone decides to nullify this summon or knock him out which is crippling for a complication.

    You're basically trying to impose a rule that bans a very popular type of user of summons because you just don't like that the main character is the weaker one of the pair. this fixes nothing and just makes characters pay more for a freaking weakness, and mechanics to make it worse. /Side kicks are already limited to that because they stick around, there's no reason a temporary, only really called upon to fight, character needs that. It also does nothing to fix the issues that would come from general or broad powerful summons, again like in those examples of very common summoning archetypes.

  3. #53
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
    The thing is that he shouldn't really even have enhanced strength in an array with wind control unless the two where from some sort of descriptor that would make that make sense. Like calling wind faries down to his fists to either help him lift or blasts things. There, I gave you a perfectly valid reason why someone would have those two in an array and why both would probably be accurate.
    If that's where you draw your line that's fine. You do you.

    But my line is while there's a few valid reasons for the strength and wind blast to be in the array, I would veto accuracy on appearing on both in the same array as twisting the flavor to justify the mechanics, and for me twisting it until it breaks.

  4. #54
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nintendogeek01 View Post
    If that's where you draw your line that's fine. You do you.

    But my line is while there's a few valid reasons for the strength and wind blast to be in the array, I would veto accuracy on appearing on both in the same array as twisting the flavor to justify the mechanics, and for me twisting it until it breaks.
    How does it break? In either case you have a damaging power with the same descriptors and in a single array that will have them all disappear the moment it's nullified. It doesn't really have any mechanical effect difference other than targeting parry for the defense save, which is mostly meaningless since nearly everyone buys it up to the same ranks as dodge and now means you won't be able to use that version to attack at range. What you're imposing is the very definition of a concept tax by rule instead of GM decision.

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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Nintendogeek01 View Post
    Hypothetically if someone's build has enough stuff to do without their powers a good GM might be able to throw in a story, but for a whole sweeping story it'd be very difficult.
    More like there isn't support in M&M (aside from some optional rules in Mecha & Manga) for contributing to a fight beyond the GM being generous: if the effect doesn't add a level to the "tracks" of Affliction or Damage it can't really take out an opponent by RAW. I feel it's necessary to take this into consideration when thinking about depriving characters of certain parts of their builds.

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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Quote Originally Posted by Squirrelly-sama View Post
    How does it break? In either case you have a damaging power with the same descriptors and in a single array that will have them all disappear the moment it's nullified. It doesn't really have any mechanical effect difference other than targeting parry for the defense save, which is mostly meaningless since nearly everyone buys it up to the same ranks as dodge and now means you won't be able to use that version to attack at range. What you're imposing is the very definition of a concept tax by rule instead of GM decision.
    I'm kinda seeing both sides of this. With the example of wind faeries as the descriptor, it just makes sense that Accurate could apply to both the Enhanced Strength and Blast. But with some arrays (say, using Chi simply to temporarily strengthen one's muscle fibers, alongside an outright Chi blast,) I can see how that could be more questionable.

    Thing is, I would have no problem adjudicating these independently, purely due to concept and descriptors. "Yes, you can apply Accurate to powers in your Wind Faerie array. No, the way you told me your Chi powers work, the "life-seeking" accuracy of your Chi Blast can't be shared with your Chi-Boosted Muscle Growth (Enhanced Strength)... attack skill with that should be separate."

    And to my mind, it would be the Chi array that would be the weird one in that it requires an exception. Of course, I can only imagine such an array would be exceedingly rare, and if one did crop up, then if the player wanted to tweak the concept so it made sense for the Accurate to be shared, that would be fine.

    I just don't see the need for a line that would require both characters to have the same ruling on it either way. *shrug*
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Looking back at where the accurate discussion has steered lately I've noticed something. No mechanical changes have come up; the discussion on accurate has come down to our preferences for its application. At this point I'd like to agree to disagree, drop it, and focus back on stuff that could be mechanically changed.

    Healing

    So earlier I'd noticed that there were a number of suggestions for how healing should work differently from its current form. Sadly still busy so I'm just going to post some of the proposals I remember off the top of my head and do a quick pro/con for them. If you guys could do the same for the proposals I don't grab, or for different proposals entirely, it'd help out a lot.
    • Healing as a retroactive counter
      • Pros: Would make the DC represent the intensity of the last attack received.
      • Cons: Potentially a lot more book-keeping from the GM or Player; the potential to heal more than one condition at once becomes significantly lessened.
    • Scaling DC
      • Pros: Would represent the difficulty of healing cumulative injuries.
      • Cons: Will need to figure out by how much a condition increases the difficulty by and determine if it's still a reasonable difficulty.
    • 1-minute time-out on success at reduced cost
      • Pros: Prevents it from being spammed; same price as the base healing power with a limit.
      • Cons: Not a lot of appeal for a power that can't be used more than once-per-minute-per-target. DC may still be too easy.

  8. #58
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    starting with power effects
    Affliction: This one works alright but needs more balancing to be a reliable alternative to damage. Affliction's DC is very low, and while some see that balanced out by only needing 3 degrees of success to reach maximum effect it effect the higher start up cost to it means that it's very difficult for it to stick, both initially and afterwards. With a DC of 10+ranks that means on average a character has about a 50% chance of succeeding a check to overcome it, which would both prevent an affliction and completely undo the status it inflicts. Because it doesn't scale with dodge/parry it generally gets worse since you can reliably estimate Fort and Will being close to the PL level on most builds even on highly toughness/dodge shifted characters. What makes affliction even worse as an alternative to simply damaging a foe is that damage comes with a built in affliction of Dazed (good) to Staggered (meh) to Incapacitated (great), while this only starts out on the second degree of success on damage the thing is that MATCHES THE DCs of affliction already, heck it even acts cumulatively. Lets not forget you can sacrifice actions in a turn to get EXTRA resistance rolls.

    I propose that Affliction be made a DC 15+ranks check, but have 4 tiers of status. Of course the existing status' would need to be moved around, such as hindered and prone becoming first tier. Some new ones would need to be introduced, but with more tiers there could be some more clear distinction between terrible ones and amazing ones. Some ones to introduce could be Debilitated which causes a check to automatically fail similar to having debilitated abilities, and more sensory status. The increased tiers would also help give more time for cumulative and progressive afflictions to reach full effect but make them harder to shake off once they get going.

    Some additional modifiers I would like to see on affliction would be a +1 extra for Irrecoverable, where resisting an affliction after it's been inflicted doesn't remove it but only stops further progress if it's cumulative or progressive and the status needs to be cured or nullified. Similarly a +1 extra to make an affliction's every status stack rather than replace the lower tiered ones. The Variable condition modifier seems to cost too much for what it does, since once could easily just buy quite a few AEs of different afflictions and even Variable limited to Afflictions would be cheaper than 3 ranks of Variable Condition on the affliction effect, just one rank of it should be enough to swap through types of status.

    Burrowing: This power, like other movement powers, should just have been moved into the Movement power section. At the very least it isn't a type of movement that is available naturally to players unlike swimming/leaping/running/climbing. However it's basically a worse version of permeate and the two should be wrapped up into a single thing, just ranked tiers. It should also start at Ground Speed.

    Communication: Ludicrously expensive for what little it does. The name is also a misnomer since you're just broadcasting and not getting input back normally. The price definitely needs to be brought down, and Area needs to be something that's added by default. The maximum I can see it costing is 2 points per rank. the scaling also seems weird, the first tier on that shouldn't even be in there it seems so pointless. In fact it may be better to make it cheaper and change the rankings to the Size and measure system to be clearly heard, then it can be resistible or serve as a resistance to attempts to hack or interfere with communication, and give a reasonable distance it can be used to transfer perception area affects. It would also match up it's scaling with Remote Sensing. Standard actions could be used to boost ranks by +2 or so.

    A few extras it could have would be Channeling, something similar to the Extended modifier but through a medium of some kind such as water or technology. Other modifiers could be Full Spectrum which would allow other sense types to be added for communication such as visual. Mental would be a +1 extra, possibly just a type of channeling, to communicate directly through the mind. Selective would not only allow one to single out others in area broadcasts but also prevent the unintended from overhearing on private communications like an encrypted signal and may even contain false information.

    Comprehend: Another fairly expensive effect, what it grants also has a lot issues with point sinking such as requiring multiple ranks to reach many things that should probably be included lest the power be worthless. This should either mimic or, better yet, just be absorbed into the Senses power. Mostly the Language advantage needs to be tweeked to allow pointless languages to know being free while languages that are uncommon or likely to come in useful being worth points. Something like Omni-glott - 1 rank speak a handful of languages and 2 points speak all common languages would probably be the best way to handle it. The power should just function as a sort of 1-2 point Sense option to allow back and forth communication between you and a thing of your choosing.

    Concealment: It works pretty well and doesn't need any adjustments as it is though some may consider it a bit to cheap for what it does and fairly overpowered. If it had to be reworked then I could see it as a sort of impervious stealth, basically anyone with with too low perception being unable to see you. Higher ranks, or just once noticed (similar to illusion), would have make perception checks vs the user's stealth plus ranks in concealment to overcome it, if the user isn't sneaking then it's just vs ranks of concealment. In this case I would charge it at 2 points per rank for visual, 1 point for any other sense (INCLUDING tactile), 2 points per rank for all senses but visual, and 4 points per rank for all senses. It should also cost a standard action to activate.

    Blending, in either version, should be changed since -1 normal ground speed is rarely a penalty so it should universally default to -1 ground speed, with no adjustment for your normal speed, meaning it only works if you move less then 15 feet per round and fails even if you're moved by something not your own power such as knock back or falling. Passive should be split into 2 different kinds of passive, the normal one and one that causes the effect to end when you fail a resistance check, meaning you can get punched out of concealment.

    Create: Works pretty well, but I would like to say it can create equipment of the appropriate descriptor. As it is it basically just functions as creating a wall, dropping something, and occasionally a very bad snare. The other issues raised are also good, some small rule to prevent a character from simply constantly refreshing a wall to hide behind.

    Damage: Works as intended.

    Deflect: An odd power that could use more attention. As your own defense it's kinda pointless and as for using it to defend others the PL limits also render it kinda terrible unless it ignores Vulnerable/defenseless. It also has the odd effect of being able to deflect massively powerful but inaccurate attacks but not very accurate but weak attacks. I feel like it should work more like a modifier on defenses/resistances.

    Elongation: This power basically invalidates the Reach extra and gives a ludicrous benefit for what it does, +1 to both attack and effect checks on grabs as well as drastically increases the user's range. For one, the bonus to grab should just be a modifier and apply to either grab or attack checks for grabs. The ability to go around corners should be nixed, simply purchase the Indirect modifier instead. So the attack will always be fairly straight on. Lastly the range should start at -2 distance, so 6 feet. The Reach Modifier should be altered to match this, and scale the same instead of just +5 feet every rank.

    The Projection modifier for extra limbs should also be added as a modifier for Elongation.

    Environment: A power so useless I don't think I've ever seen it played, and only see it in a build to give Favored Environment bonuses or because it was something official. Most of what it does is... kinda worthless. So much of what it does is utterly outclassed by other effects just given area modifiers even if those effects are usually rather expensive. Some better environments would be good. Something like the ability to make damaging, afflicting, or weakening environments would be awesome. But as it is, it's one of the most terrible effects in the game.

    Extra Limbs: A strange power, it's rather straight forward but... it really just seems a little to specific like it should be an advantage or part of some other power. It should probably give some sort of additional bonus of some kind, like to dexterity or athletics or something,

    Flight: Oh god flight, this is a very powerful movement power that renders most, if not all, others worthless. It should be moved into the movement power section, or a modifier on speed, and one that costs a lot more points to get up to full sustained flight. Something like +2 allowing some sort of limited flight like platform/winged/gliding/swinging etc. 3 ranks giving full flight making it cost a total of 4 points per rank.

    Growth: I gave my opinion before, basically remove stat bonuses and simply have it increase size/mass per rank and then have circumstance bonuses that affect how different sizes interact like a bonus to effect but equal penalty to attack checks vs smaller targets and vice versa.

    Healing: Again, I gave my thoughts on this game breaking power before. I still stand by having a scaling DC to remove damage would be best, it makes failure more likely on heavily damaged characters while at the same time making it even more unlikely to completely undo all the damage done to a character in one turn. The only issue that was given was determining values but I gave those before. +1 for every bruise, +2 for dazed, +3 for staggered (on top of the +2 for dazed), and +5 for Incapacitated (on top of the +5 for staggered and dazed) and dying probably also being another +5.

    Illusion: an extremely vague and ill defined power, it encroaches on a few other powers, and does what morph does but better. one of the biggest issues I have is the size of the illusion being very small and the scaling to make it larger being extremely expensive . A flat +1 should increase the volume of the illusion, especially since the illusion is effectively perception area.

    A modifier should be introduced for "Real" illusions that can't be perceived through, they can still be determined to be illusions but the image/sounds/sensations they project can't simply be ignored so they still offer the power to obscure things leading to penalties to perception checks and can visually still act like cover until you go through through.

    Something should be stated for other sense, such as mental sense, illusions. illusions that induce feelings like being watched or triggering danger senses and such.

    Immortality: Again, mentioned this before. Too expensive, the increasing fidelity at the higher end is worthless as well. Give it 5 ranks, rank one you revive at some point, 2 your revive before the end of the session, rank 3 before the end of the scene, rank 4 before the end of the conflict, rank 5 before the end of the turn. Restoring yourself, retaining HPs, maintaining awareness, and other misc. stuff resurrection would normally achieve is handled by extras. The default price should be 1 per rank as well, you rarely die in the game and with how normal immortality is set up you get penalized for the GM bending the rules to allow you to use this power.


    Immunity: Works... okay I guess. I don't think there's a better way to handle no selling at least. The only thing I can say is get rid of Immunity to Fort/will/toughness, those should just be represented by regular descriptor immunities because as they are it leads to too many silly situations where you are immune to things you shouldn't be and affected by things you should be immune to. It also leads to other characters unnecessarily being forced to by Affects Objects for certain affects just because it targets one of those defenses.

    Insubstantial: This power grants soooo much stuff, it's about as bad as Growth. I feel the Immunities need to be nixed, basically making this power the new permeate. A price drop after that would be for the better.

    Leaping: Covered under Movement.

    Luck Control: This power should really be more usable, the fact it has to be fed with HPs and Luck ranks is absurd. It automatically comes with an inbuilt limit that caps how much you can use it to a rather low amount. It options are also sparse, being only use an HP on someone else, give them an HP, negate an HP usage, and force a reroll that doesn't even have a penalty applied to it like subtracting -10 from any rolls over 10. Using an HP to force a Reroll should just be a thing HPs do anyway. Frankly I feel this should be something that should have been made much better than it was.

    First- remove the luck/hp requirement. That is a must. Instead it should be a Roll verse a GM decided DC of how unlikely the circumstances to use it are to happen to determine if you succeed. If you succeed you basically get a sort of HP usage out of it. If you use luck negatively on another character they can resist it with their Presence score luck ranks and/or Luck Control ranks, adding that to the GM decided DC as a circumstance bonus. The price would remain 2 per rank but it would change to a standard action.

    Mind Reading
    : works fairly well, the only issues are with the modifiers. Limited to Emotion is so limiting that it should be a -2, and honestly can be handled better by Analytical Detect Emotions. The effect should not be subtle by default but noticeable like any instant or sustained effects.

    Morph: This power is effectively made worthless by illusion and is utterly pointless at the lower ranks. Even the charge doesn't really add up since it's basically a double or even triple limit applied to a deception check. At full ranks it costs 20 points for what is mechanically a +20 to disguise yourself, a mark up of 4x the cost. At one rank you get a single disguise that is rendered useless the moment anyone figures out that it's really you. The additional benefits for this power are near non-existant on it's own compaired to alternatives. As stated before it's surpassed by Illusion since that already gives unlimited options. Morph even has further stipulations tacked on due to being unable to shift outside of your mass ranks so it requires being paired with growth or shrinking in those cases, it also doesn't grant physical benefits for imitating things like extra limbs or such. It needs a complete redesign.

    Change the cost to 2 per rank and the swapping time to a standard action. It no longer is limited in forms you can take, but rather functions like illusion in that once someone notices something may be amiss they can make a perception/insight check vs your ranks of morph plus deception to determine if they realize you're not what you appear to be. Metamorph would be a ranked extra, probably +2 or +3 per rank with one giving free shifting of pp and the other giving static alternate character sheets.

    Move Object: Pretty much works as intended, I can't think of much to alter about it.

    Movement: So many pointless things in here. Enviromental Adaption is worthless, Slithering is worthless, Sure Footed is Worthless, and several of the others are invalidated by flight. This power should be rolled into speed, with flat and ranked modifiers for the various movement effects.

    Safe Fall would be changed to 1 point, Wall crawling too but still ranked. Permeate would be taken over by insubstantial but this would instead be the Burrowing effect. Swimming would be a 1 point flat extra with an extra rank to allow water walking and another rank for full water walking. Leaping would be a 1 point flat extra. Flight was covered earlier as a ranked extra. Teleportation would also be a ranked extra costing 2 points per rank and doesn't stack with other movement effects without a +1 modifier. The various modifiers would all apply here such as portal, platform, and extended. Movement could also be used as a resistance stat to completely avoid AoE effects, being moved, and trip/prone status using ranks of movement that haven't been used that turn.

    There should also be a sort of limited location teleport feature. 1 point for a single location, 2 points for a slightly broader list, and 3 for a fairly broad list, but the locations can't change. Something like a teleport back to spawn or between towns.

    Nullify: I already talked about this indepth. So many things are absolutely terrible about this power. The bare minimum that needs to be done would be to default the power to Broad so it functions at least on equal terms to a Counter action.

    Protection: works good, no real need to alter it.

    Quickness: An okay effect, though many issues stem from pairing it up with other things like inventor and Artificer but there's not much that can be done about that.

    Regeneration: Also works pretty well, though the math involved can be a headache. Even moderate ranks, of about 5 points worth, can be problematic. The biggest issues seem to come from pairing it with high toughness so perhaps a change that scales inversely to toughness. Perhaps, every turn you add your regeneration ranks together, once it is equal to your toughness ranks you remove one penalty and reset the counter minus any leftover points of regeneration and start over, making it increadibly expensive to recover multiple damage penalties the more toughness the character has.

    Remote Sensing: Nothing much to say here.

    Senses: It works rather well but many things need to be clarified in this section. As said before comprehend should be moved here. There needs to be a flat extra to allow Sense powers to affect other types of senses. Awareness and Detect need to be made more distict from each other, Mental needs to be a +1 extra on senses it affects. It also needs a perception modifier extra in there.

    Shrinking: WAY too expensive for what it does. It's another one of those terrible powers. Mathmatically you get about half the value back that you put into the power, most of what it gives are detriments, the defense bonus isn't even something that sticks since it will also drop when vulnerable or defenseless. It should be treated like the inverse of growth that I altered above, though it might be better to make it cheaper on top of that.

    Speed: Already covered.

    Summon: Works pretty much as intended. I would say Multiple minions needs to be reduced to a +1 extra with each additional rank of it giving only one more minion instead of scaling amounts. There's a modifier for it call responsive that makes commanding a free action but that should just be a flat extra. The limits on it not having a higher PL than it's ranks needs to be removed.

    Teleport: Already covered/

    Variable: a very powerful effect but it works as intended, not much needs to change with it.

    Weaken: Another utterly garbage power. The only worth it has is to soften up a chosen resistance stat before striking. The way it works is horrible, not only reducing points not ranks but that it CAPS at it's ranks makes it just... ugh! It's so narrow that it also becomes a stupidly expensive and even more worthless version of nullify if used for anything other than softening a resistance. Because it only reduces points and caps out the Simultanious modifier actuallybecomes a hinderance because the weaken is spread so thin. It doesn't even affect both characters and objects, you have to pay EXTRA for that.

    1 Weaken MUST be resistable by what it weakens similar to nullify, with other resistance checks being circumstantial or through an alternate resistance modifier (a +0 extra). 2 Weaken must reduce RANKS! and lastly 3 Weaken needs to be uncapped.

  9. #59
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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    I have not played in a long time but I am planning to run again. I am thinking about doubling the base cost of Movement powers. Also, long ago when I frequented the original Atomic Think Tank, a recommended mod was to have Flight be -2 levels to make it more in-line with the other Movement powers. That might be a good suggestion. Regarding my doubling comment, I just created this thread https://roninarmy.com/threads/7797-M...897#post267897

    I frequented the boards quite a bit for several years. If my campaign goes well that will probably continue. The interest of a gaming group has a strong factor on what game system I devote my time to.

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    Re: Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Revised: Week 5 - Powers

    Weaken: Another utterly garbage power. The only worth it has is to soften up a chosen resistance stat before striking. The way it works is horrible, not only reducing points not ranks but that it CAPS at it's ranks makes it just... ugh! It's so narrow that it also becomes a stupidly expensive and even more worthless version of nullify if used for anything other than softening a resistance. Because it only reduces points and caps out the Simultanious modifier actuallybecomes a hinderance because the weaken is spread so thin. It doesn't even affect both characters and objects, you have to pay EXTRA for that.

    1 Weaken MUST be resistable by what it weakens similar to nullify, with other resistance checks being circumstantial or through an alternate resistance modifier (a +0 extra). 2 Weaken must reduce RANKS! and lastly 3 Weaken needs to be uncapped.
    You know what's really funny? Just take a look at what it says for a Cutting Torch from Gadget Guides in the second paragraph:

    Given the descriptors of this gadget, the Precise extra,
    and the fact that it only works on objects (which do not
    recover traints lost to Weaken), it ignores the normal limit
    on Weaken effects and can continue to weaken the target’s
    Toughness even past the first rank of effect.
    Love this system, but there are many little but very nettlesome consistency and viability issues like this that make me go "MnM 3.5 when?" Thankfully there are things like Power Profile's alternate Impervious rules as a example that do help in that regard. I just wish there was a book that had stuff like that bundled together.
    Last edited by ArmoredAnathema; 08-26-2018 at 10:20 PM.

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