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Martial Attack Why is it so cheap?


liveevil2000
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It seems Martial Attack offers so much more than the 10 point cost would suggest. 

For 10 points you get ...

Martial Punch - +3d6 strength damage only at 0end. and +1 Dexterity defense only (20pts value)

And

Martial Kick - +6d6 strength damage only at 0end and +1 Dexterity defense only \-2 Dexterity offense only (35pts value)

 

With that's much value for only 10 points, it seems EVERY character should buy in. Unless I am missing something in the rational of the cost. Does anyone have insight on this?

 

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Yes, it's an obvious loophole.

 

I usually stack it on top of my Bricks' Strength. You lose a bit of lifting strength, but gain a nice/nasty bonus to your attacks.

 

If you are desperate for END, you can drop the amount of Strength you use right down, and Martial Kick.

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11 hours ago, assault said:

Yes, it's an obvious loophole.

 

I usually stack it on top of my Bricks' Strength. You lose a bit of lifting strength, but gain a nice/nasty bonus to your attacks.

 

If you are desperate for END, you can drop the amount of Strength you use right down, and Martial Kick.

Assault, 

thank you for the reply. 
 

This is the concern. 
I would love to know what the thinking was behind making it so cheap.  You said you usually stack it. At that cost you should “always” stack it. 
 

There is no reason why every build of character wouldn’t have Martial Attack. 
 

Brick with 4d6 str. Special effect “heavy handed” . Get martial attack now suddenly 7d6 punch / 10d6 kick

 

Fire Projector with 4d6 blast special effect “fiery fists”. Get strike w/Martial kick advantage 10d6 special effect “fiery fists” ... at least that cost extra with the strike advantage. 

 

My point is at the cost of 10points, every single build should buy it. It’s a complete no brainer. Champions now goes from superheroes to Kung-Fu theater. 

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For quite a while I have thought martial arts needs a restructure.  As much as I respect and like Aaron Allston as a game writer, his concept for martial arts just feels arbitrary and broken.  As I have brought up here over the years, I think what would be better is a new power framework which can be used to create martial arts, as well as things like "Talent trees" and other related concepts.  How that would work I don't know.

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If the damage for each attack were brought down. At what point would it be a good deal for a Martial Artist and not such a good deal for any other build?

if it were at 1d6 punch and 3d6 kick. Would that be appealing for a martial artist to spend 10 points and unappealing for a brick?

what if it were 2d6 punch and 4d6 kick?

 

thoughts?

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To be honest, I'm inclined to leave it alone.

 

I'm not particularly bothered by "everyone buys it". A lot of characters, especially Golden Age ones, are mechanically pretty cookie cutter.

 

The alternatives that come to mind don't fix the issue, IMHO.

 

1d6/3d6 is probably the most "correct" in terms of pricing, but doesn't give a martial artist much of an attack unless they buy up their strength or use some other Endurance using ability. It tends to squeeze them out of viability.

 

2d6/4d6 is better in that respect, but is still attractive for bricks, in that it allows them to change some of their damage causing ability so that it doesn't cost END and gives them other bonuses as well.

 

To complicate matters, in CNow a "brick" can easily have as much DEX and SPD as a "martial artist". These labels aren't character classes.

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38 minutes ago, assault said:

.1d6/3d6 is probably the most "correct" in terms of pricing, but doesn't give a martial artist much of an attack unless they buy up their strength or use some other Endurance using ability. It tends to squeeze them out of viability.

 

2d6/4d6 is better in that respect, but is still attractive for bricks, in that it allows them to change some of their damage causing ability so that it doesn't cost END and gives them other bonuses as well.

 

To complicate matters, in CNow a "brick" can easily have as much DEX and SPD as a "martial artist". These labels aren't character classes.

I agree with you 1d6/3d6 do put a squeeze on Martial Arts “Bruce Lee” concepts. 

 

2d6/4d6 might be attractive to everyone, but at least it doesn’t seem so grossly underpriced. 

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Having thought about it some more, I would just leave it alone.

 

It's a problem in the abstract, but in reality every character has access to it if they want it.

 

It's not actually mandatory - there are plenty of perfectly adequate builds that don't need it. There is no optimal build in CNow - for every possible character there are multiple other possible characters that can take them out. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm guessing the answer is a mixture of "legacy reasons" and "to subsidize non-powered, more or less human melee characters." It's a nice discount, but it's still a lot of points if you tried to throw it on top of some serious Strength.

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  • 3 months later...

I agree. Martial arts needs to GO!

 

Martial arts are really just a special effect.  If a player wants a toon to do a (½ Phase; -2 OCV; +1 DCV; STR +4d6 Strike) and call it a Lizard spinning back kick then buy using the rules that exist outside of MA section.  Then No big problem.  However,  making a whole section in the rules giving a big discount to one group of "skills"  defined around special combat special effects, quickly becomes a problem waiting to be exploited.   

 

Also, if MA is used in a hero level game,  defined the MA maneuver as skill with Strength maneuvers or skill with Dexterity or some subset of existing HTH maneuvers.  The amount of damage should not be increased.  In a Hero Level game, only the OCV and DCV are changed.  Thus the greater damage comes from the ability to hit more often while not being hit.  Here again, defining MA as special effect with combat skill increase already exists wonderfully in the rules outside of the whole troublesome MA framework.   

 

As I think it over, I'm not going to allow Martial Arts as defined in the Complete.  Still considering.   Rather, we can use the perfectly available options outside of the MA frameworks.  For example,  we can buy a multipower with each attack or defensive move defined in the unifying  special effect Hand to Hand Combat Monster.   In my hero level game, they can use the points that would normally go into MA to pick up OCV, DCV combat values around HTH or a group of HTH moves. HTH moves which already available to everyone at zero cost but with balance.     

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Martial Arts was made cheap because, by and large, it's the modus operandi for the classic, relatively low-power 30's and 40's style comics which Ron is trying to mimic.  How else are ya gonna do it?  Power-based punches like Iron Fist are later on.  Pure STR?  Those guys are only mildly superhumanly strong...if at all.  In standard Hero, 20-25 would be typical;  maybe even more like 15-23.  If you want decent damage from 30s Batman or 40s Wildcat, you need an admittedly high martial arts, or pretty insane STR.

 

Also note that if you want those +6d6, you gotta take -2 OCV, and the equivalent of CSLs is NOT cheap.

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Yes. There is a -2 that comes with the added 6d6. It also comes with a +1 on DCV. 
Now let’s put that in terms of points. 
if I wanted to build that “maneuver”/ power, it would cost 50points. 
(6d6 at 0end -2ocv /+1dcv)
 

getting 50points worth of power for 10points is a no brainer. 
 

what I am seeing is a power/skill that is a must for any melee character. 
 

it’s no longer a choice. It’s a must have. 

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I started this thread to see if there was an informed explanation to the reasoning behind the power level to cost. 
 

I was hoping for something more than “what’s the problem” and essentially a “because it is” reply. 
 

if you feel this is not an issue for your game. Then that’s great. I’m not here to tell you how to run a game or force a change in the rules. 
 

just wanted to know the thought process behind the design decision

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1.  Ron wants HTH to be the predominant mode.

2.  What ELSE are you gonna add to STR?  I like the Strike advantage but it's insanely expensive.

3.  To get good damage, how much STR would be needed?

 

All of which I stated.  Champions Now is not really a general-purpose system, suited for, for example, even Silver Age comics.  It's targeted at the 30's and 40's style, and at the near-pulps like Batman of that era, rather than Superman...but even he was relatively limited.  That's why END is at such an enormous premium, damage is relatively low, and builds are set to low levels.  If that's not the campaign you want, then you have to consider tweaking the system;  a different END pricing would be a good start.

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33 minutes ago, unclevlad said:

All of which I stated.  Champions Now is not really a general-purpose system, suited for, for example, even Silver Age comics.  It's targeted at the 30's and 40's style, and at the near-pulps like Batman of that era, rather than Superman...but even he was relatively limited.

 

That's an interesting interpretation, since 60s Marvel and comparable books like the Doom Patrol were clearly on Ron's mind when he was designing it.

 

It would be interesting to see your characters. Unfortunately I've been distracted by other things for the last few months, so I don't have any recent ones of my own to show.

 

A couple of possibilities: perhaps you are overloading characters with skills, or else you are applying standards to character abilities carried over from 5e/6e Champions.

 

I realize that Ron doesn't approve of character modelling, but it might be worthwhile putting together some Marvel-style character examples to explore what can be done with the system.

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