Reworking M&M 3e skills system

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Woodclaw
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Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm

Well, as thos who have followed my Overwatch builds series know, I've been tinkering with the M&M skills since I returned. The point is that while I've kind of outgrown the old 2e system, 3e isn't quite right for me.
There are a number of kinks I want to hammer out and I really need some input.

Acrobatics vs Athletics
Okay, since we are opening a can of worm let's go big. While Athletics is a massive improvement over the old Climb+Swim+whatever we used, it has one major problem: in any game I've ever run there were player who argued to death over which skill was the most appropriate to use in any given moment. thing is that the two skills overlaps a lot even in comics (Nightwaing for example is considered a Dex-Monkey, but he should be extremely strong too). I would love to find a way to bypass this one completely, but I just can't find a way to do it.

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.

Investigation
This one is pretty easy, but I'd say that deserve a shout out: why is this a single skill and it's not wrap inside Expertise? Every other untrained skill in the 3e system is very generic and it's based on something most people can do or improvise except this one.


That's it for now.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Batgirl III
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm

Acrobatics and Athletics could probably be “folded into” one skill without too great a disruption. I’d default to Strength-based as Agility is otherwise a bit too useful a stat.

Intimidate is fine, as is, you just need to give players a chance to use it more. Let them “sweat a perp” every now and then. (Also, remove – or severely restrict – the Fearless Advantage!)

Expertise [Forensics] seems like a sensible substitute for Investigation. I suspect it is a unique skill solely due to the importance of criminal science and detective work in the superhero genre. I mean, one of the most famous superheroes does star in Detective Comics after all.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:50 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Acrobatics and Athletics could probably be “folded into” one skill without too great a disruption. I’d default to Strength-based as Agility is otherwise a bit too useful a stat.
That was my idea as well, maybe I can add an Acrobat feat to shift the skill to Dex.
Batgirl III wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Intimidate is fine, as is, you just need to give players a chance to use it more. Let them “sweat a perp” every now and then. (Also, remove – or severely restrict – the Fearless Advantage!)
I'm still not 100% on borad with this, but it's probably just me trying to overthinking things.
Batgirl III wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Expertise [Forensics] seems like a sensible substitute for Investigation. I suspect it is a unique skill solely due to the importance of criminal science and detective work in the superhero genre. I mean, one of the most famous superheroes does star in Detective Comics after all.
That's probably the case, although it's kind of funny how this seem to depend mostly on the publisher. I think you said it once: DC has a crapton of Detectives, Marvel a crapton of scientists.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:11 pm

BTW, Fearless was banned from my table almost a decade ago and replaced with Lionheart.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:12 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:11 pm
BTW, Fearless was banned from my table almost a decade ago and replaced with Lionheart.
That was my approach.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by MacynSnow » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:08 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Well, as thos who have followed my Overwatch builds series know, I've been tinkering with the M&M skills since I returned. The point is that while I've kind of outgrown the old 2e system, 3e isn't quite right for me.
There are a number of kinks I want to hammer out and I really need some input.

Acrobatics vs Athletics
Okay, since we are opening a can of worm let's go big. While Athletics is a massive improvement over the old Climb+Swim+whatever we used, it has one major problem: in any game I've ever run there were player who argued to death over which skill was the most appropriate to use in any given moment. thing is that the two skills overlaps a lot even in comics (Nightwaing for example is considered a Dex-Monkey, but he should be extremely strong too). I would love to find a way to bypass this one completely, but I just can't find a way to do it.

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.

Investigation
This one is pretty easy, but I'd say that deserve a shout out: why is this a single skill and it's not wrap inside Expertise? Every other untrained skill in the 3e system is very generic and it's based on something most people can do or improvise except this one.


That's it for now.
In my opinion,Acro(my shorthand for Acrobatics) should be,and is in my games unless stated otherwise,restricted to only those heroes/villians with Agility higher than 2.My reasoning for this is simple;no 2 people have the exact same skills irl,so neither should the folks in the game world.An example i always use to illustrate this is push-up&sit-ups:the more sit-up's you can do,the less push-up's you can do.

I always think a good Batman-typ dude should be able to use intimidate to replace the Persuasion & Investigation requirements for the Contact and Connected advantages,as there's nothing faster to get a mook talking than holding him over the edge of a 15+ story building and threatening to let go......

The reason i think Investigate isn't hooked into Expertise is probably due to how it's been portrayed in Movies,T.V. shows,books,etc. Forensics,to borrow a little from bgIII,could be lumped into Expertise due to the fact that it's more of the scientific approach rather than Investigation,which would be considered more of an Empathic&Sensory thing....

Anyhoot,just thought I'd drop my 2 nickles into this.Later! :D

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by L-Space » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am

Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Well, as thos who have followed my Overwatch builds series know, I've been tinkering with the M&M skills since I returned. The point is that while I've kind of outgrown the old 2e system, 3e isn't quite right for me.
There are a number of kinks I want to hammer out and I really need some input.

Acrobatics vs Athletics
Okay, since we are opening a can of worm let's go big. While Athletics is a massive improvement over the old Climb+Swim+whatever we used, it has one major problem: in any game I've ever run there were player who argued to death over which skill was the most appropriate to use in any given moment. thing is that the two skills overlaps a lot even in comics (Nightwaing for example is considered a Dex-Monkey, but he should be extremely strong too). I would love to find a way to bypass this one completely, but I just can't find a way to do it.
I could see them being wrapped together and then just Str or Dex be used depending on what they're trying to do. Need to book it and power jump over an alley? Str-based. Want to bounce down the same alley way to reach the ground? Dex/Agi.
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.
Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Investigation
This one is pretty easy, but I'd say that deserve a shout out: why is this a single skill and it's not wrap inside Expertise? Every other untrained skill in the 3e system is very generic and it's based on something most people can do or improvise except this one.
I'd say because Expertise is a catch all for what other skills don't cover and that investigations happen enough in comics that they wanted a more in-depth system for it.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:19 am

L-Space wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am
Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Well, as thos who have followed my Overwatch builds series know, I've been tinkering with the M&M skills since I returned. The point is that while I've kind of outgrown the old 2e system, 3e isn't quite right for me.
There are a number of kinks I want to hammer out and I really need some input.

Acrobatics vs Athletics
Okay, since we are opening a can of worm let's go big. While Athletics is a massive improvement over the old Climb+Swim+whatever we used, it has one major problem: in any game I've ever run there were player who argued to death over which skill was the most appropriate to use in any given moment. thing is that the two skills overlaps a lot even in comics (Nightwaing for example is considered a Dex-Monkey, but he should be extremely strong too). I would love to find a way to bypass this one completely, but I just can't find a way to do it.
I could see them being wrapped together and then just Str or Dex be used depending on what they're trying to do. Need to book it and power jump over an alley? Str-based. Want to bounce down the same alley way to reach the ground? Dex/Agi.
The problem is that M&M isn't really suited to handle dual-stats skills, but this might be a good model.
L-Space wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am
Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Investigation
This one is pretty easy, but I'd say that deserve a shout out: why is this a single skill and it's not wrap inside Expertise? Every other untrained skill in the 3e system is very generic and it's based on something most people can do or improvise except this one.
I'd say because Expertise is a catch all for what other skills don't cover and that investigations happen enough in comics that they wanted a more in-depth system for it.
I think that the reason I went down on Expertise is that I can think of at least 3 Expertise (Law Enforcement, Private Investigator and Forensinc) that cover the same niche and I can't really think of many characters that make use of it without some kind of training in the matter. Batman (arguably the most notorious comic book detective) has a specific training in it which smell more of Forensic to me, same with characters like Elongated Man or Angel & the Ape. The only two character I can think of that might fit the bill are Martian Manhunter and Mr.Terrific, who are both massive skillmonkeys.
A similar argument can be made about Medicine/Treatment, but I can think of a little more professionals that have a modicum of it without being professionally trained (soldiers, scoutmasters etc.)
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Shock » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:00 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:19 am
L-Space wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am
Woodclaw wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:23 pm
Well, as thos who have followed my Overwatch builds series know, I've been tinkering with the M&M skills since I returned. The point is that while I've kind of outgrown the old 2e system, 3e isn't quite right for me.
There are a number of kinks I want to hammer out and I really need some input.

Acrobatics vs Athletics
Okay, since we are opening a can of worm let's go big. While Athletics is a massive improvement over the old Climb+Swim+whatever we used, it has one major problem: in any game I've ever run there were player who argued to death over which skill was the most appropriate to use in any given moment. thing is that the two skills overlaps a lot even in comics (Nightwaing for example is considered a Dex-Monkey, but he should be extremely strong too). I would love to find a way to bypass this one completely, but I just can't find a way to do it.
I could see them being wrapped together and then just Str or Dex be used depending on what they're trying to do. Need to book it and power jump over an alley? Str-based. Want to bounce down the same alley way to reach the ground? Dex/Agi.
The problem is that M&M isn't really suited to handle dual-stats skills, but this might be a good model.
I like the idea of varying the ability used for skill checks based on what you're trying to do. The book hints at it a little in the description of the Expertise skill and I think you could expand the idea to other skills easily.

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:42 pm

Shock wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:00 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:19 am
L-Space wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:49 am

I could see them being wrapped together and then just Str or Dex be used depending on what they're trying to do. Need to book it and power jump over an alley? Str-based. Want to bounce down the same alley way to reach the ground? Dex/Agi.
The problem is that M&M isn't really suited to handle dual-stats skills, but this might be a good model.
I like the idea of varying the ability used for skill checks based on what you're trying to do. The book hints at it a little in the description of the Expertise skill and I think you could expand the idea to other skills easily.
The problem is that Expertise works on the principle of using a different stat depending on the skill in question, but always the same. I don't think that the system can easily handle a dynamic change all that well.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Shock » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:32 pm

Woodclaw wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:42 pm
Shock wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:00 pm
Woodclaw wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:19 am


The problem is that M&M isn't really suited to handle dual-stats skills, but this might be a good model.
I like the idea of varying the ability used for skill checks based on what you're trying to do. The book hints at it a little in the description of the Expertise skill and I think you could expand the idea to other skills easily.
The problem is that Expertise works on the principle of using a different stat depending on the skill in question, but always the same. I don't think that the system can easily handle a dynamic change all that well.
I don't see anything in the system that prevents it. The GM assigns an appropriate ability for each check and you add your skill bonus. It's just a little bit extra math rather than having the number directly on your character sheet.

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Sat Apr 14, 2018 5:28 pm

The problem is that Expertise works on the principle of using a different stat depending on the skill in question, but always the same. I don't think that the system can easily handle a dynamic change all that well.
I’ve been doing it since M&M1e... and before that I was doing it for years with D&D3e. It’s one of my few standing House Rules.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by FuzzyBoots » 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?

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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Batgirl III » Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:01 pm

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 base the PL caps on the standard Attribute/Skill combination, since the use of a non-Standard Attribute/Skill combo will only happen when the GM calls for it (or a player suggests it, but the GM still has to allow it) and such situations don’t come up nearly as often as standard.

If a PC’s concept does call for a specific non-Standard Attribute/Skill combo as part of their regular build – a Presence-based Expertise for a musician or an Awareness-based Treatment for a faith healer – then this can Ben handled as a 0 PP or 1 PP Feature.
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Re: Reworking M&M 3e skills system

Post by Woodclaw » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:31 pm

Batgirl III wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:01 pm
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 base the PL caps on the standard Attribute/Skill combination, since the use of a non-Standard Attribute/Skill combo will only happen when the GM calls for it (or a player suggests it, but the GM still has to allow it) and such situations don’t come up nearly as often as standard.

If a PC’s concept does call for a specific non-Standard Attribute/Skill combo as part of their regular build – a Presence-based Expertise for a musician or an Awareness-based Treatment for a faith healer – then this can Ben handled as a 0 PP or 1 PP Feature.
That was my logic as well with the idea of using a Feat/Advantage.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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