Reworking M&M 3e skills system

A place to discuss game rules, homebrew systems and the like.
RainOnTheSun
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by RainOnTheSun » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:01 am

FuzzyBoots wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:46 pm
The chief problem is PL caps. If you have an athletic guy with the proposed merged skill, say at 12 ranks at PL 10, are his Strength and Agility limited to a maximum of 8, since both now possibly factor into the total?
I wouldn't limit strength or agility--I'd just limit the total bonus to the PL cap. If you have Acrobatics or Athletics at 12, and the active ability is at 10, your total bonus is +20.

I'd actually go further than just dual-stat skills, myself. Falling from a height and need to catch something to save yourself? Roll Acrobatics + Dexterity. Meet another athlete and try to get on their good side through your shared knowledge and appreciation of the sport? Athletics + Presence. Trying to recognize the name of a great circus performer? Acrobatics + Intellect. Need to catch somebody cheating? Athletics + Awareness.

There's another d20 game I'm a big fan of, called 13th Age, that drops the 3.x skill system entirely in favor of what it calls Backgrounds. Instead of a lawyer taking Expertise (Law) and Persuasion and Insight, for example, they'd take a background like "lawyer," and whenever they needed to do something they'd have experience with as a lawyer, they'd add that background to whatever ability check was relevant. I'm very, very tempted to steal the background system for the next time I run an M&M game. The increased versatility would probably make them more expensive than skills, though, and I'm not sure yet how much I'd charge for ranks in backgrounds.

User avatar
Woodclaw
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:05 pm
Location: Como, Italy

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:42 am

RainOnTheSun wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:01 am
FuzzyBoots wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:46 pm
The chief problem is PL caps. If you have an athletic guy with the proposed merged skill, say at 12 ranks at PL 10, are his Strength and Agility limited to a maximum of 8, since both now possibly factor into the total?
I wouldn't limit strength or agility--I'd just limit the total bonus to the PL cap. If you have Acrobatics or Athletics at 12, and the active ability is at 10, your total bonus is +20.

I'd actually go further than just dual-stat skills, myself. Falling from a height and need to catch something to save yourself? Roll Acrobatics + Dexterity. Meet another athlete and try to get on their good side through your shared knowledge and appreciation of the sport? Athletics + Presence. Trying to recognize the name of a great circus performer? Acrobatics + Intellect. Need to catch somebody cheating? Athletics + Awareness.

There's another d20 game I'm a big fan of, called 13th Age, that drops the 3.x skill system entirely in favor of what it calls Backgrounds. Instead of a lawyer taking Expertise (Law) and Persuasion and Insight, for example, they'd take a background like "lawyer," and whenever they needed to do something they'd have experience with as a lawyer, they'd add that background to whatever ability check was relevant. I'm very, very tempted to steal the background system for the next time I run an M&M game. The increased versatility would probably make them more expensive than skills, though, and I'm not sure yet how much I'd charge for ranks in backgrounds.
I've taken into consideration to incorporate something similar to 13th Age in the form of Feats/Advantages to replace Beginner's Luck and Jack of All Trades, which are both kind of useless right now.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

WareHouse W (main build thread for M&M)

RainOnTheSun
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by RainOnTheSun » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:37 am

L-Space wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am

Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Intimidate
I hate Intimidate, I understand it has a place in the triad of Interaction skills (alongside persuade or diplomacy, bluff or deception), but it's like the -- I can't believe I'm about to write this one down -- "special kid" of the bunch. I've lost count of how many systems have rules that sound like "this give a -x penalty to any social skill, except Intimidate". This is probably me, but compared to any other skill Intimidate looks terribly limited: it has just two uses and they are pretty much identical just inside and outside of combat, making it even less appealing to me.
Yea, Intimidation is kind of weird. It's just persuade, but you're acting mean about it.

I've thought about this a bit more. It's my opinion that the issue isn't that Intimidate is too weak, it's that Persuasion is way too strong.

Imagine that, instead of all the potentially infinite Expertise skills in M&M, there was one Intellect skill that took the place of all of them. Call it "Expertise: All." Everything from quantum physics to the ancient spells of the elder gods, everything from alien military history to the precedents set for telepathy in a court of law, everything from which Berlin cops can't be trusted to 16th-century Chinese art trivia: one skill for all of it. Sounds kind of strong, right?

That's what Persuasion is for Presence. It's 90% of an entire ability score in one skill. Intimidate is Persuasion, but heavily limited and only in a particular context, and that's what a Presence skill should be. It makes you better at some Presence checks, but only when doing a specific thing. Persuasion makes you better at almost every Presence check, and it's four times cheaper than Presence, and any skill is going to look weak next to that.

User avatar
Batgirl III
Posts: 674
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:17 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:57 am

Presence is the red-headed stepchild of the Ability Scores. This has been a “known issue” for a while.
BARON wrote:I'm talking batgirl with batgirl. I love you internet.

Chris Brady
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:59 am

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Chris Brady » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:20 am

Batgirl III wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:57 am
Presence is the red-headed stepchild of the Ability Scores. This has been a “known issue” for a while.
Honest question: Care to explain? I think I know what you mean, but I'd like clarification.

User avatar
Batgirl III
Posts: 674
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 6:17 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:32 am

In a nutshell, the Ability only has three Skills linked to it -- Deception, Intimidation, Persuasion -- and no other use outside of some very, very, very rare niche case builds. It costs 2 PP per +1 Presence, but those same 2 PP would get you four Skill Ranks, so you could raise one of the Skills to +2 and the others to +1 ea. Getting you a better return on investment... If you're building a character concept that doesn't need many (or any) ranks in one of these Skills, the return on investment gets even better.

Strength only has one Skill linked to it -- Athletics -- but is useful for melee damage, lifting capacity, all kinds of Resistance Checks, and so forth; Agility is only linked to two Skills -- Stealth and Acrobatics -- but those are very useful Skills, plus its linked to your Dodge Defense and Initiative; Dexterity is only linked to two Skills, but its also linked to Ranged Attacks... Fighting is only linked to one Skill, but, c'mon, its Fighting. It matters.
BARON wrote:I'm talking batgirl with batgirl. I love you internet.

RainOnTheSun
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 7:20 am

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by RainOnTheSun » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:47 am

It probably sounds extreme, but I'm toying with the idea of removing the Persuasion skill entirely the next time I run a game. Or just dividing it up into smaller skills more in line with Intimidation.

User avatar
Ken
Posts: 1326
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:40 pm
Location: DeKamore, IL, Earth-Two
Contact:

Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Ken » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:46 am

Batgirl III wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:32 am
Fighting is only linked to one Skill, but, c'mon, its Fighting. It matters.
It's also linked to Parry. In fact one rank of Fighting is exactly the same in cost and function as one rank of Close Attack and one rank of Parry.
I've learned to live every day like I was dying; every night I stick a catheter in me and scream for morphine.

Post Reply