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  1. #1

    A few observations and suggestions about the Ruleset

    First of all if this is the wrong section for this kind of stuff could an admin move it to the appropriate place!

    Ok, thanks to the FGII Con (great idea would love to see more of that kind of stuff) I got the opportunity to test the M&M Ruleset in action. For the most part the Ruleset functions great but I had a few observations and suggestions I would like to make. I would like to point out that I am new to this tool as well, this was my first FGII session, so if any of this is just my lack of understanding of the tool please let me know.

    Documentation
    One of the bigger issues I have found while attempting to use the Ruleset is a general lack of documentation on the features involved in utilizing the ruleset. I'm not talking about general FG II items like rolling the dice or such but items specific about the M&M Ruleset such as:

    Entering NPC sheet data.
    • When you are entering data into the NPC sheet it would be nice to have documentation showing how to make the entries correctly to have the rolling automation work.
    • Documentation on if the system automatically adds in the "base save/resistance" to the DC or if we need to manually. What I mean here is that, in M&M 3e, a damage effect, usually calling for a toughness save, DC is calculated at 15+Rank+Modifiers; whereas a resistance check, generally against a save other than toughness, goes against a DC of 10+Rank+Modifiers. Is that base number (15 or 10) automatically added for us? Through experimentation we know it isn't, but some documentation would have help here.
    • Use of keywords. A list of parsable keywords would help. It is only through experimentation in entering NPC that we see some of the keywords such as Ranged and Close have an effect and what that effect is. Also, the correct placement of these keywords is important.

      If I enter a power as "Force Beams Ranged Damage +7 (+22)", everything works great but if I enter it as "Force Beams Damage +7 (Ranged +22)" it doesn't work. If I don't add the '+' sign then it also breaks. A nice description of the format would help; something like:

      <fluff text> [Ranged/Close]<Damage> [+/-]Rank</Min-Max Range> <vs [fortitude/will/dodge/parry/toughness]> ([+/-]DC <vs [fortitude/will/dodge/parry/toughness]>);
      Range/Close - indicated the Defense used for the attach Dodge or Parry respectively
      Rank - The total attack bonus for the power (your to-hit roll modifier)
      DC - The total save DC for the attack. You must include the base value (10 or 15) in this number
      Default crit range is 20 to change this follow the DC witlh a / and the range Ex; /19-20
      vs - By default the save goes against thoughness, if a different save is required you need to list it here.

      So if I was making a melee attack that required a reflex save it would be "Sweeping Stun Close Damage +12 (+27 vs ref)".
    • Consistency in entries. When entering information into the various sections in an NPC sheet the item separators is inconsistent. In Offense we need to use a ';' to separate entries, but in skills we use a ','. This can cause confusion, especially for people unfamiliar with the tool.

    Character Sheet
    Although the character sheet is more straight forward when entering character information there is still need for documentation here.
    • Combat Sheet. Primarily, the attacks section could use some directions. Most of the properties of the attacks is straight forward, but once again we don't know if the base DC for the save/resistance check is added for us or needs to be accounted for. Through experimentation we see that once again it needs to be manually entered. This is fine, but some documentation explaining this would help.
    • Skills Sheet. Consistently throughout the character sheetd numeric entry fields for PP costs and Ranks look the same, an oval imput field, except for skill ranks on the skills page.


    FunctionalityAs I said, for the most part the sheet works great but I would like to suggest some functionality improvements.

    Powers
    The heart of any supers game is the powers that define them. With that in mind I think that we can drastically improve the ruleset with some added powers functionality.
    • When entering powers into a character sheet, we are forced to create a group first, then add powers to that group. In M&M, this is not always the case, poweres are not always part of a power group.
    • Speaking of grouping powers, this needs to be expanded. M&M relies heavily on power frameworks when building characters. The two framewords are Arrays and Multiple Effect frameworks.

      Arrays are basically a powere with a list of alternate powers. FGII somewhat supports this with the "Alternate Power" flag. I say somewhat because their is no real grouping going on. You never state what power it is an alternate of so no real link is evident. Also, some array powers can be dynamic, allowing multiple powers in the array to be active but at less than maximum effect.

      Multiple effect groupings allow you to have a list of related powers grouped together. This comes with some benefits and also disadvantges. The current Ruleset allows this but it could be improved (see below).

      The big problem here is that FGII does not allow groups within groups. In M&M 3e, it is a VERY common to have this occure. For example; a battlesuit character will have his powered armor which is a group of different effects; he might have a sensor array (a group of sense powers), Enhanced Strenght, and an arsenal of attacks (represented as an array of attack powers). In M&M 3e, multiple effects and arrays can be part of other arrays and/or multiple effects, sometimes several levels deep. This becomes important when detrerminig active vs inactive powers due to constraints in the Frameworks.
    • This leads me to the next item, method of indicating which powers are active. Unlike many games which have fire and forget abilities, supers games usually have many power durations. Some are always on, some are maintained as a free action each round, Some require more attention and must be maintained via a standard action each round, as well as some fire and forget abilities. This comes to the forefront when powers in an array require some form of maintenance each round. Generally to use a different array power you have to stop maintaining any current one. A method for the Player and GM to track which ones are active at any given time would be helpfull.
    • Affliction. Depending on who you talk to, Affliction, and powers like it that have varrying effects based on the degree of save failure, should have a way to denote what effects happen at what degree of failure. Idealy this would allow the appropriate conditions to be automatically applied when the save is made and the level of success/failure is determined.

    • Multi-Save Effects. The M&M Ruleset is designed on the premise of Attack roll->Save vs. effect->Result. For most of the system this is adequate, but there are other type of attacks flows possible. For exanple; area attacks are Save(dodge check to reduce DC)->Save vs. effect->Result. The difference here is the instead of the attacker doing an attack roll they just target an area and everyone in it makes a Dodge check to avoid part of the effect reducing the second Save DC by half if the dodge check is successfull. A way to indicate alternate flows to automated checks. I do realize this all could be handled manually, but part of the products allure is automating things, right?

    Automation
    For me, at least, a huge allure to a Virtual TableTop is automation of the mundane elements of a system that really slow down the action and fun. With this in mind I'd like to suggest:
    • Conditions. Fist off, it would be nice if the conditions in the book were all integrated into the ruleset as pregenerated conditions with the appropriate modifiers.

      Following this, I would REALLY love to see the ruleset manage the application/removal of conditions. I did notice that damage conditions from failed toughness saves were being applied, but no other conditions. The GM should be able to do apply/remove conditions manually as well, but automating this would be nice.

      The Ruleset could also use more options when defining conditions. It really needs the ability to define a condition as persists until save. Some conditions react differently based on the method of effect that applied it. Example; Dazed condition, if the result of a failed toughness save from damage it only lasts to the end of the targets next round (currently doable), but if applied as the result of a failed affliction save it persists until the target successfully saves against it (done at end of their turn). I've seen this in other rulesets such as 4E.
    • Regeneration and Healing. This is one of the most frequently addressed question on the M&M forums. First of all, every 10 rounds the characters get a free recovery. If a character has regeneration then they get free recoveries more frequently than every 10 rounds. It woiuld be nice if the ruleset mamaged these automatic free recoveries, including regeneration.

      Healing can remove damage and conditions when applied. It the Ruleset could have a way to indicate that one character is healing another and apply the benefit properly that would be great.


    Wow, this has grown into a evry long post, sorry. It may look like I have nothing but complaints, but rest assured the good outweighed the bad or I just wouldn't have bothered in the first place. Everyone at the game seemed impressed by the template and the developer should be proud. I'm just doing my part to try and help.
    Last edited by DrakosDJ; April 28th, 2019 at 06:48. Reason: Update NPC Power Format.

  2. #2

    One more thing

    Oh almost forgot......

    As for added features, I know this has been suggested befor but adding the ability to import characters from Hero Lab would be great. I have noticed that similar functionality is avaliable for D&D 3.5e and 4e.

    Some of my earlier suggestions above might help in inplementing a import feature, such as the powers frameworks (arrays and multi-effect).

  3. #3

    Guess I went to far

    I hope I didn't sacre people off with the wall o' test. It really does have a low will save to get past.

  4. #4
    I appreciated the time you took to write out the npc coding structure - while you had explained it during the game, it was difficult to process it while running everything else. In fact, I plan on running the convention scenario again to try and apply everything we learned from that first session. If anyone is interested, I will post a link in the guild hall. After I'm comfortable with that, I will be running a civil war campaign set in the Marvel and DC universe - but that wont start for a few weeks yet - I'm undecided on day/time/frequency for that one.

    I'll bulletpoint some on my observations from the fist game which mirror many of yours.

    • For a 1st time- MM3 and FG2 played very well together and kept the pace moving.
    • When coded properly, record keeping and running combat was easy.
    • I will post the PC characters I coded, but Id love to see more examples of NPC's coded and provided as templates in the forums for learning purposes. The stock "supporting characters" in the net are invaluable for this now that I know what I'm looking for.
    • The combat tracker seems to have a bug where the pc's could not always see health conditions for their teammates. I'm unable to recreate at present.
    • Conditions have a toggle to expire in minutes, rounds and days, but is there anyway to add a save ends condition?


    I'm sure there are items I have forgotten, but I'll add them as I remember. I'll also repeat the chorus for Herolab support. But agin - great system and ruleset that I think fills a reall need in the community. While I think we missed an opportunity to add players quickly by not having when the system launched (I understand it was unavoidable), I think we can build the community up as we get used to the system and offer more games.
    Last edited by Talen; July 28th, 2012 at 19:07.

    Play Adventurers League games on Fantasy Grounds Here!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DrakosDJ

    ...

    Also, the correct placement of these keywords is important.

    If I enter a power as "Force Beams Ranged Damage +7 (+22)", everything works great but if I enter it as "Force Beams Damage +7 (Ranged +22)" it doesn't work. If I don't add the '+' sign then it also breaks. A nice description of the format would help; something like:.
    ...

    <fluff text> [Ranged/Close]<Damage> [+/-]Rank ([+/-]DC <vs. [fort/ref/will/dodge]>
    Just to reemphasize the point as I continue to test after DrkosDJ's invaluable help -"vs" cannot be "vs.". FG vets may take this as a given, but I struggled to find what the heck I was doing wrong until I stumbled on that one.

    EDIT.
    It appears the saves must be spelled out and not appreviated to have the defenses added to your d20 check. For example, a fortitude save is "fortitude" and not "fort". See the coding for the Powerhouse's Groundstrike in the Supporting Characters section. Here is what I did for something similar on Deathstrokes afflication power from his Powerstaff: "Powerstaff Blast Ranged Afflication +16 (+20 vs fortitude) (Afflication: Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)"
    Last edited by Talen; July 28th, 2012 at 20:23.

    Play Adventurers League games on Fantasy Grounds Here!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Talen
    Just to reemphasize the point as I continue to test after DrkosDJ's invaluable help -"vs" cannot be "vs.". FG vets may take this as a given, but I struggled to find what the heck I was doing wrong until I stumbled on that one.

    EDIT.
    It appears the saves must be spelled out and not appreviated to have the defenses added to your d20 check. For example, a fortitude save is "fortitude" and not "fort". See the coding for the Powerhouse's Groundstrike in the Supporting Characters section. Here is what I did for something similar on Deathstrokes afflication power from his Powerstaff: "Powerstaff Blast Ranged Afflication +16 (+20 vs fortitude) (Afflication: Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)"
    Nice catch with needing to spell out the defense fully. Oddly when you use the abbreviation the line printed to the chat log correctly states that it is a resistance roll and the defense, but the roll itself does not add in the defense. This is likely a bug, as both parsers should work the same and preferably allow either the full or abbreviated name.

    Also it didn't seen to work if you capatalize the defense in question; "+7 vs dodge" seems to work but "+7 vs Dodge" does not.

    I did know about the "vs." versus "vs" however sorry about the inaccurate info above. I also found that you can change the default to-hit stat as well by listing the to-hit defense after the power rank with th 'vs' clause. Example; "Close +7 (+22)" will make a close attack vs the targets parry value as normal, but "Close +7 vs will (+22) uses their will score as the target defense value. So below is a revision of my layout above:

    <fluff text> [Ranged/Close]<Damage> [+/-]Rank <vs [fortitude/will/dodge/parry/toughness]> ([+/-]DC <vs [fortitude/will/dodge/parry/toughness]>);
    Range/Close - indicated the Defense used for the attach Dodge or Parry respectively
    Rank - The total attack bonus for the power (your to-hit roll modifier)
    DC - The total save DC for the attack. You must include the base value (10 or 15) in this number
    vs - By default the save goes against thoughness, if a different save is required you need to list it here.
    Last edited by DrakosDJ; July 29th, 2012 at 05:32.

  7. #7

    Burst Area Attacks-how to handle?

    So, the next question for me then is how to handle Burst Area Attacks. It looks like the NPC format needs to be the same so that there doesn't appear to be a way to automate the dodge save and apply the fortitude save at full for a missed save and at half for a made save (for instance, a burst are flash greande rank 4 would give the hero a 14 DC dodge save. If the save is made, the resultant DC for the fortitide check to avoid the Dazzle effect would be 12. If the dodge save failed, the fortitude check wuld be 14.)

    I see you mentioned this in your earlier post Drakos, but have you (or the developers) found a way to handle this part? The crime fighter in the supporting chracters section has sleep gas pellets with a similar mechanic, but the attack is not coded....which leads me to believe this must currently be handled manually.

    Play Adventurers League games on Fantasy Grounds Here!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Talen
    I see you mentioned this in your earlier post Drakos, but have you (or the developers) found a way to handle this part? The crime fighter in the supporting chracters section has sleep gas pellets with a similar mechanic, but the attack is not coded....which leads me to believe this must currently be handled manually.
    No, I heven't found a way to properly apply the "Area" type of attack. It would be nice to have a way of coding area attacks and also opposed checks such as power checks and such.

    I did find out how to code a crit threat range other the the base 20 however. In the DC section of the poser you can add a "/" clause followed by the range such as 19-20. For Example; Unarmed Attack Close Damage +10 (+25/19-20). This will report a critical threat message on a 19 or 20.

  9. #9
    It is a great ruleset.

    One more thing I noticed. the "Defenseless" condition is erroneously treating Toughness defense as 0. In the book it says only the 'active' defenses: Dodge and Parry should be treated as 0 when Defenseless. Will and Toughness aren't affected.
    It makes a big difference if someone puts an Affliction that causes Defenseless on an enemy and all of the sudden they have 0 Toughness!

  10. #10
    Hi James,

    thank you, I'm glad you like it.

    I'm a little busy right now, let me check it out and I'll fix it as soon as possible.

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