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Unread 19th of November, 2005, 10:45
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Nightcrawler [GM]

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Character Generation 2e

Create a PL 8 character with 128pp (this includes earned and awarded PPs plus an extra one just now for the inconvenience ).

House Rules
Many of these are from Mastermind's Manual or Ultimate Power, while others are personal taste and campaign-specific guidelines. If you have any comments, questions or critique, please let me know. I also welcome suggestions of new or variant material from the Mastermind's Manual (MaMa), Ultimate Power (UP), other M&M books, the Atomic Think Tank or your own house rules you'd like to see used.

PL / Basic Mechanics:
  • 2d10 instead of d20. In combat, critical hits occur on a roll of 18-20, auto misses on a 2-4; this makes the odds of a critical 6%, roughly the same as the normal method. This method decreases the randomness of the system, and makes a character's power level and competence more central. (MaMa pp8)
  • Grapple bonus total is capped at PL x 3. (MaMa pp17)
  • You may purchase a Base Toughness Save Bonus (1pp / rank), in the same way as Fort, Ref and Will. Your Toughness save is still capped at PL, not counting trade-offs. This rule simply increases the consistency of the system.
  • I may ask some of you to tweak some of your four 'core combat stats' - total Attack, Damage, Defence and Toughness save – on an individual basis. Any changes I request will probably only be in the range of one or two points. This is in order to keep the characters diverse and non-homogenised in their relative specialities; I don't entirely like the way M&M 2e encourages all characters to have combat stats equal to their PL times four. Players that have experienced my GMing style before will note that this means I've done away with the benchmarks-by-archetype I had before.

  • Short Hand Abilities are in use. Instead of noting the character's ability score, simply note the bonus or penalty, and assume that the ability score is even-numbered, if necessary (for carrying capacities, etc.) The 'peak human' ability is therefore +7. This means Enhanced Abilities cost 2/rank, but grant +1 to the ability bonus, rather than the score, and powers like Boost and Drain are affected in the predictable way. (MaMa pp20)

  • Maximum skill ranks are capped at 15 + Intelligence modifier, regardless of PL.
  • You can utilise skill challenges. These allow characters to accept voluntary raises to the DC or penalties to the rolls in skill checks in exchange for tweaks to the way they work or additional bonuses; for example, completing a task faster or increasing the bonuses it grants or reducing penalties associated with its use. (MaMa pp12)
  • The Masterful Tactics option is in use: this means that characters may make a Knowledge (Tactics) check instead of an Intelligence check for the Master Plan feat. (MaMa pp35)
  • While I heartily approve of (and frequently reward) taking background Knowledge and hobby skills of all sorts, I'm trying to phase out Profession skills. Only take ranks in them if there's no Knowledge, Craft or other skills that fits better. For example, anyone with Profession: Soldier should take something like Knowledge: Tactics, Warfare, or Military instead.

  • Highly specific, situational bonuses are able to break caps, to a degree. Bonuses like those from Favoured Enemy, Favoured Environment or Sneak Attack count as half their actual value, rounded down, when checking them against PL limits - in other words, half the bonus may exceed the caps.
  • The following feats are generally unavailable: Hide In Plain Sight, Instant Up (use the Acrobatics skill for this), Minions, Sidekick (except when used for 'reverse sidekick' characters).
  • Assessment: Change the name of the default version of this to Assessment (Combat). You can take variations of this as well or instead, like Assessment (Interaction) or (Intelligence).
  • Luck: I'll be a little strict about who qualifies for this feat – generally 'normal' characters (non-powered, possibly including martial artists, gadgeteers and the like) will have easier access to it than powered superhumans. It also suits unusually young / nave types, on whom fate smiles, rather than grizzled veterans. If you want more HP, that's what complications are for
  • Improved Critical raises the odds of a critical from 6% to 10% (17+ on 2d10), the same as taking it once would do in the normal, d20-based system. 2 ranks of the feat raises the chance to 15% (16+); 3 ranks to 21% (15+); 5 ranks to 28% (14+); 6 ranks to 36% (13+); 8 ranks to 45% (12+); 10 ranks to 55% (11+).
  • Inspire: When you buy ranks in this feat, you can increase the bonus it grants by +1, add an extra round of duration, or reduce the action required by one step (to a minimum of free). For example, you might buy ten ranks and choose to put three into power, five into duration, and two into action, meaning that when you Inspire your allies it requires a move action (full > standard > move), lasts six rounds, and grants a +4 bonus. List the ranks in the feat as action/power/duration (in the case of the example, 2/3/5).
  • Leadership: You can buy up to three ranks in this feat. One rank means it requires a standard action, as usual; two ranks a move action; three ranks a free action.

  • Countering Contests: This option simulates the struggle of powers that can occur between battling supers. The defending character begins to counter normally. However, if the effect used to counter is one that could potentially affect the attacker (e.g., Blast, Fatigue, etc.), then the attacker also gets an opportunity to counter if she wishes. If it fails, the attacker is hit by the defender’s countering effect, which works normally. If the attacker’s counter succeeds, then in the next round the effect goes back to the defender, who may counter again, and so forth. Each full exchange of countering attempts (one on each side) takes a round, and the contestants can only take free actions and reactions while so engaged. The first contestant to fail two countering attempts in a row loses. The rank of the successful effect is increased by +1 for every full round the contest continues; as both characters pump more force into their powers. (UP pp19)
  • Variable Power / Gadgets: While these are available (pending GM approval on an individual basis), they have the following limitation. You may only create a new configuration of your variable power or gadgets once per adventure per rank in the power. For example, if you had Gadgets 3, you would be able to use up to three separate gadgets over the course of an adventure - but you could use each gadget as often as you wished. Additional reconfigurations may be made by spending a hero point, or by purchasing a new power feat: Extra Variability / Extra Gadgets. This grants a number of extra uses equal to the number of ranks of the power feat you have on the Value Progression Table. (Variable Power is found on MaMa pp35 and UP pp113)
  • Space Flight: This may be taken as an AP of Flight or vica versa, despite what UP says. (UP pp 77)
  • Probability Control: Rather than this power, use Luck, from 1st Edition M&M, costing 5/rank.

  • Superheroic Effort: Once per adventure, a character may make an Extraordinary Effort (spend multiple HP and/or up to three fatigue levels on a multiple extra effort) or a Last-Ditch Effort (as above, but also spending up to five health levels).

Changes to the table on page 34 of the M&M 2e book as follows:
Awesome: Atk/Def modifier -5
Colossal: Atk/Def modifier -4
Gargantuan: Atk/Def modifier -3
Huge: Atk/Def modifier -2
Large: Atk/Def modifier -1
Medium: Atk/Def modifier +0
Small: Atk/Def modifier +1
Tiny: Atk/Def modifier +2
Diminutive: Atk/Def modifier +3
Fine: Atk/Def modifier +4
Miniscule: Atk/Def modifier +5
The Intimidation modifier becomes circumstantial: it depends on the character being in a situation that allows her to use her size effectively.

Last edited by Dirigible; 10th of November, 2006 at 09:43.
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