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 Post subject: Impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:34 am 
I've been working the the M&M2 rulebook for a few days making a character and let me tell you, it's been a rough time.

The point buy system is deceptively easy looking. But for my particular concept, an IronMan-like character, it's a hellapain.

There are 2 main problems, and 1 minor problem.

The first problem is that any kind of super equipment falls under the Power of Device. This could be Cap's Shield, Spidey's webshooters, Batman's Batarangs, or IronMan's armor.

This is the way Device works. If it's difficult for a badguy to take your device away from you (can only do it when you're defenseless), then it costs 4 building points per rank. Each rank that you buy gives you 5 powerpoints to spend on the device's abilities. That seems fairly straightforward. Except you have to convert back to ranks and points about 2 more times.

When you buy the devices abilites, you're buying ranks again, with different point values/rank. So if you want Protection, it's 1 point/rank. If you want that Protection to be Invulnerable, it's 2 points/rank.

So you spend the 5 powerpoints to buy ranks of Powers. Ok. I buy 5 ranks of Protection(Invulnerable) which costs 10 powerpoints. So even though my Protection rank is 5, I bought TWO ranks of "Device", which in turn costs 8 building points.

After a few times of that, I bought all of the Powers first, like I was giving them to myself, then figured total cost and made sure it was divisible by 5 (cause 5 pp/purchased rank remember). Then I figured out how many building points it cost me. Essentially, I multiplied the total by 4/5.

So that's a real frickin pain to begin with. But then if you want to tweak it a little, to save or expand points, you've got some serious calculations to do.

For example, I came out over the 150 points (surprise)(though not by much). I look things over and say, "hmm, I want to save 7 building points." Well, that's not a whole # of purchased ranks (remember, 4 build points /device rank). So I'll have to take off 8 building points, which is 2 ranks, which is 10 power points. So if I go back to my various powers, all with their own point/rank ratio, I have to shave 10 points there to save 8. Then I have 1 extra point that I can spend in another category (abilites or saves or something), which has a 1/1 point/rank ratio.

Again, pretty much a pain.

So that's problem #1.


Problem #2 is with a Power Feat (feat that modifies a power) called "Alternate Power". Now the book points out in several locations that this is a "key" concept and ability. But when describing it, they leave a few things out of the description. Here's a brief example.

You have a sonic attack ala Banshee. Your primary power is Blast(Sonic). With the Alternate Power Feat, you can make your Blast(Sonic) do other things besides Blast people. You can mimic other SuperPowers. For example, Fly. And there are some rules, can't use them at the same time, second has to be equal or less power than the primary, etc. So far, so good.

The part they don't explain is whether the Alternate power costs the same as purchasing a second full power, or if it costs the same as adding any other power feat onto your primary power (which normally increases the cost/rank by 1. So a 1/1 becomes 2/1).

This is a somewhat important distinction to make in a point based character building system. And it ties into problem #3.

Problem #3 is that the example characters they give, for the Battlesuit archtype for example, don't seem to add up. Nor do they break down the math in building the example archtypes. So I can't use the archtypical Battlesuit to tell me if the Alt Power for Blast costs as a separate power (which could be 3/rank) or as +1/rank. I don't know if this is an editing problem or if I'm not spending enough time on the rules. But I read the rules pretty closely, I think. So it's pretty annoying.

Even so, I think I have a workable character. I hope everyone else's character creation goes more smoothly. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:20 pm 
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out of curiousity, did you try and use the M&M Excel spreadsheet, or were you doing it all by hand?

I seem to remember being confused by the alternate power thing too, but I thought I'd figured it out (not exactly sure what the answer was though). I need to try building out some tougher heroes once I get the book back. :)

Ken

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:23 pm 
I was doing it by hand. I'm offline at home, currently. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:24 pm 
I'll try and get the book back to you one morning or evening this week.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 7:20 am 
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My book came in last night and I began reading through it. The fact that you only use a D20 really intreeges me. Hopefully tonight I'll get to read some of the combat section. The system itself reminds me much of BESM's tri system... except that this is based on D20. This is good as BESM allowed for any type of character you could imagine. Its also bad because one could take DAYS rolling up a character (A power gamer's DREAM). That being said it does seem to have better balance than BESM did (such as a limit on the number of defects). I have to say, over all I'm really excited to play this one day. I'm even toying with the stonecutters trying it out.

Tonight I'll roll up my character from an old superhero game I played a few years back. He's an energy blaster who had a rock form. I'll let you know how it goes.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:18 pm 
Upon rereading, I figured out the Alternate Power Feat. Its cost is +1 to the overall point cost of the power.

So if you have a Blast Power at Rank 10, it costs 20 points. If you take the Alternate Power Feat, you can create a second "use" of the power to do something else. That something else can be any power with variations and feats and stuff that costs 20 points or less. That second use adds +1 to the Blast Power, so the Rank 10 Blast costs 21 points.

So that's pretty cool. I tweaked the character I had and gave him some alternate uses for his Blast that are pretty cool.

I am exicted to play this game. I'm going to wait a bit to get the book though. $40 for something that we may only play a few times seems steep. I'll keep looking on Overstock. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:50 pm 
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I got mine for $25 at amazon. Plus since your not in a rush you can get the free shipping (which means it will take almost two weeks to get there).


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:42 pm 
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Depends on where it is shipped from. I do free shipping all the time, and I usually get it in around a week, less if it ships from the Delaware warehouse. It also seems to depend on what day of the week you order on, since it appears they ship only on certain days (rather than daily with the other options)...

Damon.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Yep, only $25 on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1932442529

Nice! I've had a lot of good luck with free shipping; most of my stuff usually comes in 3-4 days, if not less.

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"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:03 pm 
Ken, I dropped the book off at your house this am. :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:06 pm 
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EvilGenius wrote:
Ken, I dropped the book off at your house this am. :)


I saw it -- thanks!

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"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me. I'll try and be a tad more quiet as I desperately struggle to break free -- and save all creation!" -- Doctor Strange


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:18 am 
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Mutant's and Masterminds will most likely take most of two weeks. I only say this because the one I ordered not only got delayed from shipping for a day, it also took all of 5 days in the 3-5 day shipping option. Don't know why that is, but I had to order some birthday presents so I just tacked on the book.
But generally I agree. Free shipping has arrived in my house in well under a week at times.

Back to my character, though I checked a lot of things out about my character, I did not actually roll him up. He seems like he'll be easy enough to do. And at a rough look he'll also be a lot more powerful than I was imagining just because of the points we'll get to spend. Back when I played him the first time he was only level 3 (in another system) so that would make him quite a bit more powerful in this game. I should pick up that book. It was a RIFTS superhero book. I like it becasue you were able to roll up random powers. Might be cool to have should I ever run a game.


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