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Thread: Power effect combo creation question

  1. #1
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    Power effect combo creation question

    Hello there community, this is my first post and I'm brand new to Mutants and Masterminds. I actually just registered to ask questions about a power I was trying to make.

    I'm creating a hero that as his main attack power, creates spiritual weapons to fight with. My first question would be then, if he creates them in the form of a sword, would "Close combat: Swords" apply? If so would advantages that relate to swords carry over to the power?

    My next questionis: If I want these weapons to persist from round to round, would I add the activation and permanent flaws? I've added the "Check Required" flaw as well for dramatic flavor. My thinking was, hero needs to spend an action to activate power, which requires a close combat check, then once he makes the check, the power doesn't go away until dismissed/nullified/ character is incapacitated etc.

    Last question would be, if I want to dual wield this power, do I use the power twice? Would it be able to create two at once? Or would I need to link another power to it?

    I'm thinking this might have been a bit too ambitious for learning a new system. The other powers I've made are much more clear cut to me. I feel this would have been a lot easier if I made it a device, but I wanted it to be something he's learned to do through years of training, and he's a spiritual/magically inclined character.

  2. #2
    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    At first: Welcome to the forum!
    1. Yes, Close Combat: swords would apply to your spiritual weapons if created in the form of a sword (& mundane swords, too). But it's useless if you form a hammer instead. Same counts for weapon-specific advantages like, say, Improved Critical. Therefore, I'd recommend picking Close Combat: spiritual weapons & Improved Critical (spiritual weapons) instead, as these apply (exclusively) to all your summoned weapons, regardless of form. As an alternative, you can add the Accurate extra & the Dangerous feature directly to your effect (same result).
    2. Your summoned weapons are just a Damage effect (as are unarmed strikes, claws & fangs, burning fists, built-in buzzsaws; they're all mechanically the same). And Damage is normally Instantious duration: You hit your target & inflict damage, that's it (a "Permanent" Damage effect simply makes no sense in regard to the game system). Keep it simple. The Activation flaw would just mean (in the context of your described power) that it requires more than a free action to summon your weapons (comes to bear if you'd previously dismissed or somehow "lost" them).
    3. "Dual Wielding" is just a descriptor, there's NO mechanical difference between a single strong blow and a flurry of quick attacks. Normally, you cannot attack multiple times per turn - the exceptions to this rule are the Split- & Multiattack extras and the Takedown advantage. Split 1 in particular can simulate "dual-wielding" (allows making 2 weaker attacks instead of a single strong one).

    I'd do your proposed power this way:
    Spiritual Weapons (6p)
    Strength-based Damage 3 (Activation 1, Dangerous 2, Split 1, Variable Descriptor 1 [physical damage])

    By the way, THIS video should nicely show what you want (at 1.00). And HERE's the corresponding build. Have fun

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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    My next questionis: If I want these weapons to persist from round to round, would I add the activation and permanent flaws? I've added the "Check Required" flaw as well for dramatic flavor. My thinking was, hero needs to spend an action to activate power, which requires a close combat check, then once he makes the check, the power doesn't go away until dismissed/nullified/ character is incapacitated etc.
    Damage is Permanent by default, but your power isn't Permanent. IMO it should be Sustained, which is a +0 modifier. This means it could be Nullified (someone could dispel your magic sword) but you could spend a hero point to make it more powerful.

    You can add Activation if you like. It gives 1 or 2 points and it makes the action take a move or standard action. Presumably you won't be carrying around magic swords all the time.

    As for Check Required, that's controversial, as it's easy to make it so you never fail. Certainly a magical swashbuckler will already have a high Close Combat skill check. IMO that would be acceptable if the Check Required is Expertise: Magic instead, but every GM is different.

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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    Thanks for all the advice! I think I'll build it a little differently, but that cleared things up for me. Comforting to know I was right about the descriptors at least.

    That thread looks really useful too. Thanks for the link and the dose of Sinbad. I loved those movies and they still influence the sort of characters and adventures I make today.

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    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kimera757 View Post
    Damage is Permanent by default, but your power isn't Permanent. IMO it should be Sustained, which is a +0 modifier.
    Careful. Do not confuse Damage (as an EFFECT), its RESULT (which lasts), and its descriptor (the summoned weapon in this case) with one another.
    The Damage effect is Instant by default (but with lasting results). Concentration Damage "sticks" to a target once you hit, automatically inflicting damage every turn as long as you concentrate (standard action) or the effect isn't countered. Sustained, Continuous or Permanent Damage are not allowed by the rules - justified, because of massive gamebreaker.
    Now it gets confusing: Damage's descriptor could be indeed labeled "permanent" (a real sword) or "sustained" (Ravrohan's summoned weapons), and in this context does the Activation flaw work (since you don't run around with your swords drawn all the time, as you've pointed out correctly).


    As for Check Required, that's controversial, as it's easy to make it so you never fail. Certainly a magical swashbuckler will already have a high Close Combat skill check. IMO that would be acceptable if the Check Required is Expertise: Magic instead, but every GM is different.
    I'd also abstain from using Check Required in this case ("keep it simple"). That said, I've got zero problems with it as a GM, and I frequently use it in my own builds (example: Leaping + Check Required: acrobatics). I just NEVER EVER allow taking 10 with this check (not even with Skill Mastery), and it always fails on a "1".


    Quote Originally Posted by Ravrohan
    I think I'll build it a little differently
    Mind posting a sample?

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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    Be gentle with my first power

    Anima Sword
    Damage 5 Str based damage
    Affects Insubstantial 2, Multi-attack, Sustained
    Activation: Move Action, Check required, Noticeable

    I just added in sustained after reading this, but now I'm not clear if that's legit or not? I have some pp's left over, so I was considering adding penetration or something. To add another descriptor (Soul in this case) I would need variable, since str based is it's base descriptor and not just a function?

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    OPA Belta Bothrops's Avatar
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    Re: Power effect combo creation question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravrohan View Post
    Be gentle with my first power

    Anima Sword
    Damage 5 Str based damage
    Affects Insubstantial 2, Multi-attack, Sustained
    Activation: Move Action, Check required, Noticeable

    I just added in sustained after reading this, but now I'm not clear if that's legit or not? I have some pp's left over, so I was considering adding penetration or something. To add another descriptor (Soul in this case) I would need variable, since str based is it's base descriptor and not just a function?
    Alright...
    - Affects Insubtantial does make perfect sense for a "spiritual weapon".
    - Dunno if you already calculated that, but Multiattack must be added to ALL effective Damage ranks. That includes your STR-ranks (since the effect is STR-based). So with a base STR of 3, the cost for MA is 8p.
    - As I wrote before, Sustained Damage is not legit, as it would allow you to auto-inflict damage to a target as a free action every turn, after you've hit once. Damage is Instant by default, and rarely Concentration duration, period.
    - Again, Activation is fine, making you use a move action every time you "draw" your weapons.
    - For Check Required, you have to add a rank (as its a ranked flat flaw) and the matching skill. In this case, you'll have to roll every time you use it (= every attack). Honestly, I wouldn't bother with that.
    - Damage is Noticeable by default. For this flaw to be legit here, your effect has to be really REALLY attention-drawing (more than a gunshot).
    Don't get confused about descriptors. The Variable Descriptor extra allows you to alter your DIRECT effect-descriptor. 1 rank means within a limited category (for example "physical damage": slashing, piercing, bludgeoning). I'd recommend precisely this for your power, allowing you to create swords, hammers etc. Whereas 2 ranks means all possible damage-descriptors (including fire, frost, acid and so on). On the other hand, "fluff-descriptors" describing your power's "source" (such as "spiritual", "mutant" or "technology") are for free. They're not pure fluff, though, as they might interact with certain countering/nullifying effects.
    Last edited by Bothrops; 10-01-2018 at 12:26 AM.

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