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Thread: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

  1. #1
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    How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    Is there supplements or home brew rules on making Bases more helpful? so far the rules just make the rooms more of an RP thing then to serve actual purpose to the game, while i normally don't have a problem with this, my players like to see more of a mechanic-benefit for things

  2. #2
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    I don't have the time to check, but I remember the third party "Better Mousetrap" had rules.

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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by Bustinfelipe View Post
    Is there supplements or home brew rules on making Bases more helpful? so far the rules just make the rooms more of an RP thing then to serve actual purpose to the game, while i normally don't have a problem with this, my players like to see more of a mechanic-benefit for things
    If you just want a house, bases don't cost much. A typical house is, I think, -1 points (you literally have to add a couple of features to make having one worthwhile).

    In d20 Modern, characters were assumed to rent unless you actually purchased a house. Now, I live in Canada. Home ownership is a religion here. People will own instead of rent, even in situations where it might not make sense (eg you're single and have no children, or it costs equipment points when renting does not).

    I ran into the same issue with Alternity, a fairly generic RPG that focused on space travel sci-fi at the start, before expanding. I tried to lend the PCs a ship from the military (a suggestion from the first adventure), but they wanted to buy their own ship. Predictably, they became very greedy, always trying to feed that ship mortgage. (As a direct result of that experience, I try to ensure PCs either own their ship free-and-clear, perhaps a stolen or otherwise "used" ship, or put them on a very large ship and they're an elite part of the crew.)

    I think M&M has fewer problems like that though. This is because it's not difficult making your home base part of your character (powers and personality). In d20 Modern your house is just a house. If you buy it, you can put a secret weapons lab in the basement, but otherwise it's just like a normal house. You're not going to coat it in heavy armor and put gun turrets on the roof. (Well, you probably aren't going to, unless you like encounters with SWAT Teams.)

    On the other hand, here are M&M characters who might like a house:

    Battlesuit: your home base is a lab. It also has a crash pad (for sleeping) and a crash pad (for testing the flight systems). You need a large space with a lot of specialized tools to build or repair a battlesuit (and keep your spares), and if you use either Inventor or Variable (Slow) you will want to place to "tinker".
    Construct: If you think vampires don't need a place to live, read "Vampire Bites Suck". Robots might need a staff to repair damage, plug in their power ports, maintain them (someone has to blow out the dust)... An AI especially needs a really complicated installation, but AIs (without a body) don't make good PCs.
    Crime Fighter: If your aren't public, you need a secret base. You can conduct Investigation checks with a sweet computer system. You need a place to train, arm up, keep prisoners (if you don't kill them), protect witnesses, and so on. If you are public, you need all these places anyway, but need an even better security system.
    Energy Controller: I think a lot of energy controllers don't need a base, especially if you can fly fast and practice at some distance from civilization. But I can still picture an earth controller feeling "close to nature" and wanting a mountain retreat (especially if their abilities have a magical source), a water controller with a sweet boat (or submarine!), etc.
    Gadgeteer: Pretty much identical to the Battlesuit.
    Martial Artist: You need less equipment than most other heroes, but you might have a dojo where you practice, or (if you're so badass you can't find a challenge) teach. You can even have Minions, martial artists in training who do menial tasks like buy you lunch.
    Mimic: You probably don't need a home base, but if you're a Slow Mimic and need to drink your target's blood like this guy here: http://www.doctorshrugs.com/foxhound/comic.php?id=13
    Mystic: You want an isolated spot. Perhaps a dual-dimensional spot, or even a completely isolated spot linked to reality (or what everyone else calls reality) by a dimension portal. You need a space to learn new spells, prepare rituals, make potions and other items, dissolve evil magic items, create magic circles and teleportation portals, summon monsters... and of course the place can be defended by magical traps, force walls, and conjured guardians, some of which would be powers "added" to the installation. While more expensive than features, you're paying 1/5th the cost. Perhaps you can cheese the time flowing system to perform rituals more quickly.
    Paragon: In the old live action show, Superman just used a house to keep up his secret identity (harder to do that if you rent) and keep his spare capes. In some continuities he has an entire base in Antarctica, staffed by surprisingly powerful and intelligent robots! Vegeta (another paragon) lives with a wife in a gigantic house/base with a heavy gravity chamber for training.
    Powerhouse: If you're clumsy, you might not be able to keep a house. (Or get a house made of Self-Healing Material.) If your character has Density (or Growth!) you need super-strong furniture, and lots of voice-activated equipment since you keep accidentally destroying the remote.
    Psychic: This varies more than the mystic. Many psychics might like an isolated space to train their minds. A seer might have a base that cancels their Uncontrolled Precognition, because sometimes you just need a break. A telepath might want an isolated space where their Detect Minds ability isn't hassling them all the time. (The main character in Kill Fee was just like this. He couldn't really turn off his mind-reading, and reading "bad stuff" gave him psychological damage. He tended to get drunk and used pills after every mission, or even trip outside, to deal with all that mental pain. He got himself an isolated island and really didn't like doing jobs, but needed the money.) An empath might live cheaply with a rageaholic because they, unlike any other potential roommate, can calm them down with a thought, or operate a soup kitchen, etc.
    Shapeshifter: Too variable. (No pun intended.)
    Speedster: Speedsters often have that social problem where any conversation takes too long and drives them to distraction. I could seriously picture a "slow time" room that makes time away from missions and so forth seem like hardly any time passes for the hero.
    Warrior/Weapon Master: Why are these different archetypes again? I figure a room full of armor and weapons would draw too much attention from the landlord (and then the police) if you rented such a place.

  4. #4
    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    I don't have the time to check, but I remember the third party "Better Mousetrap" had rules.
    According to Drive Thru RPG:
    A New Headquarters Design System. More details, more features, more possibilities! And introducing Headquarters Complications. (The Appendix also collects the original HQ features and presents them with the new features using the previous format if you prefer the default system for building headquarters.)

  5. #5
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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    If all you want is a house I don't even charge points for that. If a character wants a place to live and a civilian car, anything related to their civilian life they can just have that. I only charge if they want a lair or a super-mobile.

    Similarly I don't make them pool points for a team base either. I build that and provide it.

  6. #6
    OPA Belta
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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    I'd suggest having your player buy the desired effects directly using Equipment Points, and have "only usable at the HQ" balance out the relatively higher difficulty to lose them. The HQ has a crime lab that makes forensics easier? Buy some ranks of Investigation. The HQ has a medical bay? Buy some ranks of Treatment and/or Healing.

    Alternatively, use the HQ as a descriptor for a power. Having remote access to a massive library might be worth a few ranks of Enhanced Intellect. If your satellite base has cameras, buy some ranks of Senses.

    Lastly, ask your players what sort of scenes they want the HQ to star in and see if you can make it happen.

  7. #7
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    Re: How to make lairs and installations more helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    According to Drive Thru RPG:
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyBoots View Post
    I don't have the time to check, but I remember the third party "Better Mousetrap" had rules.
    just checked it out, it has exactly what i need thanks!

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