Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun With Normals Part 1: M&M Third Edition

I was a fan of Joe Genero in Shadis magazine back in the 90's. In the spirit of Joe, and since I'm trying out a new game system, here are some observations on the mechanics of M&M 3 ...

In M&M 3, what happens when an average man punches an average man?

(Fighting 0 + d20) vs. (Parry 0 + 10) = 55% chance of a hit

If he does connect we have (Strength 0 + 15) for a Resistance check DC of 15 vs. (Toughness 0 + d20)  =

  • 30% chance of no effect (That's a roll of 15 or better on the d20)
  • 25% chance of chance of a -1 penalty to further checks (14-10)
  • 25% chance of a -1 and Dazed for a turn (9-5)
  • 20% chance of a -1 + a persistent Staggered. (4-1)
Additionally there's a 5% chance of a crit on the to-hit roll which boosts things up one result. A crit and a 1-4 resistance check = instant KO. So there's a 1% chance of that.

Each -1 stuck to Average Bob drops the no effect chance by 5%. The first one bumps Staggered up to 25% and then #2 adds a 5% chance of an instant KO, increasing by 5% with each additional -1.

That's not going to be a long fight. If it goes 10 rounds, he would hit on 5-6 of them, averaging at least 1 staggered result in there and enough -1's to shift the results up one more level. I can't see the fight lasting more than another 10 rounds (at most) before a KO is landed. That's at most a 2-minute fight between two normal men before one of them drops. That's pretty movie-esque and sounds about right to me for this game.

Average math: Assuming an average roll of 11 the first hit is a -1, then next 5 stick another -5  and daze Bob each time, then hit #7 Staggers him and hit #8 is a KO. 

Say Mr. Normal picks up a sword (Dam 3, Crit 19-20). he has the same chance to hit but if he lands a strike it's now (3 + 15) vs. (Toughness 0 + d20) = 

  • 15% = no effect,  (18 or better on the d20)
  • 25% = -1 (17-13)
  • 25% = -1 & Dazed (12-8)
  • 25% = -1 & persistent Staggered (7-3)
  • 10% = Incapacitated (2-1)
Plus with the to-hit roll there's an additional 10% chance of a crit, meaning an extra 3.5% chance of an instant kill.

This is an even shorter fight. It shouldn't go more than right around 10 rounds before one of the Joes is down.

Average math: Assuming an average roll of 11 the first four hits are -1 & Dazed, #5 is a -1 & Staggered, then #6 is a KO.

Shooting him with a pistol (Damage 3) works out the same, which is a little less great - only a 13.5% chance for a one-shot takedown? Average of 6 hits to knock someone out?  A cop has to empty his .38 to take down a punk? Well, we want don't want handguns to be a huge threat in a Supers game anyway, and with these numbers they are not.

Hit by a rocket launcher, Joe is in trouble: it's Damage 10 so we're at a Toughness DC of 25. If he rolls a 20 then he's only at a -1 and thanking his incredible luck. He has a 45% chance of an Incap right off, 25% to Stagger, and 25% to Daze. That's fairly easy on Joe considering the weapon being used, but I can live with it. Add in the crit chance on the to-hit roll and it's close to a 50-50 chance of an instant out - let's give those hostages a chance OK?

Average math: Assuming an average roll of 11 the first hit is a -1/Staggered, then the second hit is a KO. 

Finally, what if Superman punches Joe?  That's Strength 19 + 15 = Toughness DC of 34. On a d20+0 the best a normal can hope for is a 19-20 which means he is Staggered and at a -1 for the next punch. On an 18 or less he is incapacitated in one shot. That seems a little low to me even at 90%, but I can live with it. Better hope he doesn't power attack.

Anyway that's enough for now. I'm going to take a look at Champions and ICONS in the same way soon and see how they compare.

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