Disintegration/Save Question

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Disintegration/Save Question

Postby Shawn » Thu Aug 07, 2003 5:14 pm

First of all, thanks to everyone who helped out with my Snare post. You were so helpful, I thought I would consult you on another matter.

There is a character in my campaign who makes use of Disintegrate on a regular basis. I have quickly learned that armor-clad opponents and high-tech villains are not the wisest choice for the group, but that's a matter for another occasion. Another character in the game is a sorcerer who derives his abilities from a mystical sword. Having seen what devestation his teammate wreaks with Disintegrate, he is somewhat concerned that I might use a similarly powered villain to destroy his sword, and wants to figure out how to prevent such a thing. I have been allowing objects attacked with Disintegrate a saving throw according to the rules outlined under Attacking Objects in the Combat chapter, so they get a save. Player B wants to purchase Amazing Save for his blade to boost his chances.

I see nothing wrong with this course of action, but I wanted to mine the collective brains of you far more experienced players and GMs out there to make sure there's not some angle I've not considered before doing so.

Any comments?
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Postby mgg » Thu Aug 07, 2003 6:42 pm

The points he pays for amazing save would balance the points he gets back for device? I see no problem with that.
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Postby DrObvious » Thu Aug 07, 2003 6:43 pm

Shoot, I wish I had my book with me. I'm pritty sure you can purchase additional hardness for an item, but I don't remeber exactly how.

That would give him the extra protection he needs against disintigrate, plus have uses in a few other areas.
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Postby mgg » Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:02 pm

There are rules for increasing the hardness of vehicles: 1 point per point of hardness.
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Postby haferka » Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:14 pm

Important thing to look at:

Damaging a device.. p110
- Device hardness = highest power rank

Attacking an Object.. p138-139
- hardness increases 1 point per inch of thickness
- Table 8-11: substance hardness (typical hardness for materials)
- Hardness is equivilent to damage save.. ( I wish they had just called it damage save, but that might have confused some people..)

So, I would purchase forcefield and/or amazing save(damage) to make the item harder to loose.
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Postby Captain Claymore » Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:55 am

Is this how Disintegrate works? I have a player who has just purchased disintegrate as a triggered effect on his strike ability. He thinks it just automatically takes off hardness until the item is destroyed. He's taken the continuous extra so he can strike someones armor and then sit back while it goes away.

What's the official rule on the power?
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Postby mgg » Fri Aug 08, 2003 10:58 am

Disintegrate works just like you said, Captain Claymore. The damage rules are for dealing with ordinary damaging attacks. You can break things with an ordinary energy blast, for example. Disintegrate is just better at it.
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Postby Captain Claymore » Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:20 am

mgg wrote:Disintegrate works just like you said, Captain Claymore. The damage rules are for dealing with ordinary damaging attacks. You can break things with an ordinary energy blast, for example. Disintegrate is just better at it.


Does this seem too powerful to anyone else. I happen to agree with the idea that the object gets some sort of saving throw. I was just hoping it was an official rule.

It seems a bit silly to me that you could have 1 rank in disintegrate with the Continuous extra (flawed down to touch like my player has) and eventually get through any substance. Say my player goes up to a 1' thick steel wall and strikes it with his disintegrating fist. He then sits back and waits as the hardness slowly comes down (1 pt. per round while he concentrates.) Eventually the wall collapses from his 2pp power. Even a 10' thick wall would eventually crumble. There's no chance that his attack won't be effective.

"But you must concentrate and in combat that might be difficult" you say. Well he happens to have Alt. Form Shadow and Teleportation as well sooo he simply strikes Super armor guy once with his Disintegration fist turnabout strike and waits invisible in the shadows for the inevitable crumbling of armor. hmmm.

I could of course simply say no, but I'm looking for input here to back said "no".

One thought I have is to say that you must make a Disintegration Power check vs. the object/armor/whatever's Damage Save. If you win, then the power works like described. For the continuous extra you must make the check every round the power is in effect. This puts some chance back into the power and keeps it from being very front-loaded.

Thoughts?
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Postby haferka » Fri Aug 08, 2003 11:59 am

House Rule:

The book mentions that some attacks are innefective in some instances, specificly mentioned was a knife against a steel wall, (or somthing like that).

I would say, any item (or person) with a hardness (damage save) more than 15 higher than the attack form is immune to that attack form.

I say 15 becouse so that it become reletive to the massive damage rule.


If you simply want to make walls & such immune to the players tactics, you could give them regeneration. In the case of a continuous damage attack (such as disintigration). You could allow an opposed role to determine the winning power OR simply rule that they are each nullified for the duration of the encounter (nullified for that particular target that is..) He will quickly learn that pl 1 disintigrate is nice, but not unstopable.
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Postby mgg » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:08 pm

There are a lot of powers in the game that are too powerful at 1 rank. I don't think this is one of them.

How many of your villains are Armor Guys? Why? The device flaw is a flaw for a reason. Armor Guy deserves to lose the armor from time to time.

Even so, with 1 rank, that give Super Armor Guy 10 rounds to track down the attacker, using his armor's super senses and sense feats to his full advantage. Concentration means teleporting shadow man is a sitting duck.

On the converse, make sure this power fits shadow man's conception and isn't just a player exploiting the system. As a GM you can always say 'No. Stop exploiting the system, you power gaming weenie', or something more diplomatic.
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Postby Captain Claymore » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:17 pm

mgg wrote:There are a lot of powers in the game that are too powerful at 1 rank. I don't think this is one of them.

How many of your villains are Armor Guys? Why? The device flaw is a flaw for a reason. Armor Guy deserves to lose the armor from time to time.

Even so, with 1 rank, that give Super Armor Guy 10 rounds to track down the attacker, using his armor's super senses and sense feats to his full advantage. Concentration means teleporting shadow man is a sitting duck.

On the converse, make sure this power fits shadow man's conception and isn't just a player exploiting the system. As a GM you can always say 'No. Stop exploiting the system, you power gaming weenie', or something more diplomatic.


This doesn't answer the fact that with PL1 Dis. he could make his way through any wall no matter how thick. What do you propose for that.

And BTW, teleporting shadow man is probably immune to all of Super Armor Guy's attacks even if he does manage to find him. TS Man's completely invisible when hiding in existing shadows. No heat sig, no outline, no sound emission, no nothing. urrghh.
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Postby Anthony » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:17 pm

Armor guy is a plenty big flaw without disintegrate. Consider Cyclone

If you attack his armor with a PL 10 attack, his armor makes a damage save (DC 25) with a bonus of +10. If he fails by more than 5 (roll below 10), the armor is destroyed. Thus: 45% chance immediately destroyed; after the first hit, even spending a hero point doesn't guarantee his armor surviving.
If you attack him, the armor reduces the attack to PL 0, and he makes a damage save (DC 15) with a bonus of +2. If he fails by 6-10 (roll 3-7) he's stunned, if he fails by 11+ (roll 2-) he's knocked out. 10% chance he's taken out. If he spends a hero point, he can't take worse than a hit until he's been hit at least three times, and can't be knocked out until he's been hit 8 times.

This ignores the additional flaw for armor that it's obvious and won't tend to be worn continually (someone who always wears their armor doesn't get the device flaw, they get the disturbing weakness)
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Postby mshaslam » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:18 pm

Our group has house ruled that Armor applies protection to disintegration and corrosion as well as regular damage. I.e. you first remove your armor ranks from disintegration or damage before damaging the device. This also applies to powers that are extras of the Armor.

The game effect of this is that it is much harder to destroy Armor Guy's powers then Widget Guy's powers. I think this makes sense story wise as well. It is harder to damage Iron Man's suit then it is to damage some random piece of gear that Batman is using.

This has a nice side effect; it gives players a reason to create power armor rather then making all the powers a separate device. You can either protect your powers by create one tough object or by spreading them over many different objects. Both methods are used in comic books quite often.

Another approach is to enforce special effects on the disintegrate, so that the type of disintegration (acid, nuclear/radioactive, etc) can be countered with the appropriate immunity.

We have also decided that area sustained disintegrate with cellular disruption is very very broken. The sociopath Acid Rain makes a great party killing villain BTW >:)

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Postby mgg » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:26 pm

Captain Claymore wrote:
This doesn't answer the fact that with PL1 Dis. he could make his way through any wall no matter how thick. What do you propose for that.

I don't see why breaking through walls, no matter how thick, is a problem.
The slow aspect of it is kind of a neat special effect.

And BTW, teleporting shadow man is probably immune to all of Super Armor Guy's attacks even if he does manage to find him. TS Man's completely invisible when hiding in existing shadows. No heat sig, no outline, no sound emission, no nothing. urrghh.


Then your problem isn't with the disintegrate at all.
Next time make sure power man has kleig lights and 'detect life' sensors. Or next time use a different villain.
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Postby mgg » Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:30 pm

MnM barely limits your characters capacities. What are the special effects of this disintegration? Is there anything that prevents Power Armor Man from either using extra effort or spending a villain point and a clever plan to get rid of it?
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Postby slaughterj » Fri Aug 08, 2003 1:25 pm

Captain Claymore wrote:This doesn't answer the fact that with PL1 Dis. he could make his way through any wall no matter how thick. What do you propose for that.



Sure, it may be mildly annoying, but let's run the #s:

Assuming a 10' wall, made of 10 hardness (metal?), at PL1, it would have 1" eaten through after 10 rounds (due to 10 hardness), which takes 1 minute. A 10' wall has 120", meaning it would take 2 hours for this to happen! Not too many characters are that patient :)
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Re: Disintegration/Save Question

Postby gunsnammo » Fri Aug 08, 2003 9:25 pm

Shawn wrote:Having seen what devestation his teammate wreaks with Disintegrate, he is somewhat concerned that I might use a similarly powered villain to destroy his sword, and wants to figure out how to prevent such a thing.


Just making sure, you are requiring the person with the disintegrate to make a ranged attack roll on the object they are disintegrating aren't you? In the case of the sword it would be the character's normal defense +5 + the size modifier which in this case I'll assume about a 3 foot long sword which would put it in the small category for an additional +1 bonus to defense. Might make a bit of difference if you aren't using that. And in the case of power armor they still have to hit the character's normal defense as well.

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Re: Disintegration/Save Question

Postby Shawn » Mon Aug 11, 2003 6:47 am

gunsnammo wrote:Just making sure, you are requiring the person with the disintegrate to make a ranged attack roll on the object they are disintegrating aren't you? In the case of the sword it would be the character's normal defense +5 + the size modifier which in this case I'll assume about a 3 foot long sword which would put it in the small category for an additional +1 bonus to defense. Might make a bit of difference if you aren't using that. And in the case of power armor they still have to hit the character's normal defense as well.


I am requiring the ranged attack rolls, yes. Similar to my post on Snare, this player has also purchased Rapid Shot and tends to shoot twice with Disintegrate to try and blow away 20 levels of hardness in one round. So I've been having most objects make damage saves. I may go with the house rule someone mentioned earlier in the thread and just make certain types of things (ie powered armor) apply Protection versus the big D.

What can I say about my players? They're twinky... but I love 'em. :)

Thanks for all the responses, guys!
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