The Griffin's Crier

Combat Test, Round 1: Results
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Author:  NukeHavoc [ Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:53 am ]
Post subject:  Combat Test, Round 1: Results

Last night Nate, Bob and I gave the Mutants & Masterminds combat rules a good run through, and learned a few things.

1) The rules are as cool as they seem, and once you get the base mechanic down. We had a little confusion understanding how the Protection (Invulnerability) power worked, but eventually figured out it was soaking a certain amount of the damage bonus each round, and how to defeat (or at least, weaken) characters with such powers by making power attacks (which increase the damage bonus by sacrificing the attack bonus).

2) We learned that having four characters with varying degrees of Protection (Invulnerability) makes for a very long combat, because while it's easy to hit someone, actually hurting them is considerably harder with that Protection power.

3) We figured out the speed issues, or at least, what we want to do with them. When you've got characters who can move 250 mph, a conventional square grid loses some of its usefulness. So we ended up using our HeroClix maps coupled with some abstraction; e.g. for normal ranged and melee combat we were on the map, but when Nate's Paragon flew straight up at 250 mph (2500 feet, or something like that) in anticipationg of a flying slam attack, we didn't try and map it, and when the final climatic chase had them all flying out to sea at 250 mph, we abstracted it. Truth be told, you can fly 1 million mph, but if you don't close with your enemy, nothing gets resolved, so the combat map still plays a role.

4) Tactics in Mutants & Masterminds is all about powers. In D&D, it's about special abilities that let you get an edge on the tactical, miniature-based battle field. In M&M, you're figuring out how to use your powers to undermine the other guys defenses. As a result, it's a good idea to make sure any character you create either has alternate powers OR secondary powers that he can fall back on. You also need to know when to use Extra Effort (which allows you to add bonuses to your attacks or to temporarily add a power feat to your character, but which causes him to become fatigued) or a Hero Point (which can do the same, but without the fatigue risk) to deal with an enemies powers. Character awareness and a diversity of team powers will be the key to running a successful game.

Author:  NukeHavoc [ Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:29 am ]
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One last thing -- we determined we'll need more playtests. Everyone needs to have a try and combat before we go into the actual campaign. The mechanics here, particularly the power strategies and the hitpoints-less damage, is something that you really need to experience.

Author:  Hardcorhobbs [ Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:16 pm ]
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Damn cold. I'm bummed I missed it.

Author:  EvilGenius [ Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:49 pm ]
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I very much enjoyed the combat. IMO, it successfully transformed the feel of d&d combat into the more stylized superhero combat.

It was a lot of fun, and very quickly we had to attempt to do something other than standard damage in order to get the job done.

It really is very very cool.

Author:  NukeHavoc [ Wed Sep 06, 2006 4:12 pm ]
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I agree. There was a real sense of superheroic struggle as you tried to figure out how to actually hurt an opponent. A lot of times in D&D, you sit there and go "damn, I really wish I could do [insert really cool move here]". With M&M, you can do those sorts of things, and in fact, probably will have to do them in order to win the fight.

Author:  NukeHavoc [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:13 pm ]
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