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BASH! vs. M&M?

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kevperrine
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BASH! vs. M&M?

Post by kevperrine »

BASH! vs. M&M?
I fell in love with Mutants & Masterminds 1st Edition. 2nd Edition was less *fun* as (to me) it felt more like "math" whereas M&M1e felt more like "art" - in character creation, etc...

I sorta feel that BASH! hits that "art" phase for me - and is likely close to the explanation on why I like it very well.


My curious questions.
What do you think the differences between M&M's D20 system vs. BASH! multiplication system? What are the various details of either game that make you enjoy character building and game-play of one over the other?

Why do you like M&M or BASH! more than the other?...
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Nestor
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Post by Nestor »

A dangerous and risk-fraught topic to engage in. Hopefully we can keep it civil. :)

I found M&M's system to be less complex than, say, Champions, but it can still require a hefty amount of book-shuffling to figure out how Power X achieves Effect Y. Also, I have an aversion for flat-percentage dice rolling, in that I'm one of those people who can consistently roll below 10 on a single roll for a whole game session. ;)

I do like the use of Health states instead of hit points to track damage, but I've seen it cause some weird results in actual use. Then again, see my previous comment about my propensity for statistical anomalies when rolling dice.

BASH certainly provides a more simplified system for character creation, although at times it does feel a bit too simple. A personal peeve is the feeling that a x1 multiplier feels more like a handicap than a baseline for stats.

For me, the bottom line is how successfully does the system model and support the genre it portrays. And that's as much a function of the GM and players implementing the system as the rules mechanics themselves.
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Post by flyingcircus »

I'm kinda a Super Heroes game fanatic, I pretty much collect all of them, even bad ones at times (those end up sold off, yes I'm talking about you Chimera RPG, eeeeerrr).

But I have played Champions 4th & 6th, MnM1E, 2E & 3E, I like them all and I like BASH as well, I also have (dare I say it, ICONS, although I have only tried it out once).
I don't really ever hate a supers game unless it's just wayyyyy to complex or so horribly put together it makes no sense and BASH is not one of those, thank God.
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capmarvel
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Post by capmarvel »

Nestor, can you elaborate on "A personal peeve is the feeling that a x1 multiplier feels more like a handicap than a baseline for stats"?

thanks!
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Post by urbwar »

While I haven't played M&M other than 1 game of 3rd edition (and the gm didn't run it the way it's supposed to be run, so I don't feel I really played it), I see no real reason to compare them. It's like Apples and Oranges: Both taste great, but have different flavors. M&M has it's appeal, regardless of how complex it may or may not be. I see no need to compare it to BASH, because they look at the genre from different angles.

I mean, I play in a V&V game, and love it. It's not BASH, and I don't really care. All that matters is that you have fun playing it. That's mho
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Post by Nestor »

capmarvel wrote:Nestor, can you elaborate on "A personal peeve is the feeling that a x1 multiplier feels more like a handicap than a baseline for stats"?

thanks!
Sure.

In most cases, (e.g., skill rolls, resistance rolls), the target number to roll against is at least 10. That means that with a x1 multiplier, you have less than 10% chance of success (yes, I know I'm not counting rolling doubles, but the point stands). Compare that to Hero Games/Champions, where the default roll is 8 or less (~25% of success).

If the target is 20, you're SOL, even if you somehow manage to roll boxcars.

So for instance, a character with a Mind of 1 is essentially knocked out of combat with a single Daze attack. Sure, there are ways to get out of it besides rolling, but they involve either getting an assist (someone striking the character) or burning a precious resource (i.e. a Hero Die).

I understand if others disagree, but I see that as a handicap.
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Post by BASHMAN »

Well most super heroes don't have 1s in stats. I suppose if you want a quick fix, you can add a difficulty of "5" to the system, and move every difficulty down a step.
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Post by capmarvel »

I guess I'd "argue' that being normal in a world of supers should be a handicap. :)
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Post by Nestor »

BASHMAN wrote:Well most super heroes don't have 1s in stats. I suppose if you want a quick fix, you can add a difficulty of "5" to the system, and move every difficulty down a step.
Actually, what I was toying around with was taking it one step beyond and not basing the Difficulty on a 5 multiplier, (e.g. 10, 20) but 7. Makes the math a bit more work (I suspect I was not the only one who found the 7s table the hardest when learning multiplication ;)), but makes it closer to the averages that come out of the rolls.

I haven't had the chance to try that out, but maybe someone more capable and with willing vic... er, I mean, players can experiment. :)
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Post by Nestor »

capmarvel wrote:I guess I'd "argue' that being normal in a world of supers should be a handicap. :)
That's certainly true in some superhero sub-genres, but it's not really indicative of the genre as a whole.

Like I said, this is not a damning criticism of the game by any means, merely a mechanic idiosyncrasy that came to my attention during play.

Not unlike the sick realization during your first attempt at playing Champions when you discover that resistant Defense is a requirement for your character, regardless of his origin and concept. Those who've played the game know exactly what I mean. ;)
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Post by Dragonfly »

The 1 as handicap has always been a mild issue for me as well - especially with the lack of granularity at the lower end of the spectrum.

Heightened helps. A character with an Agility 1 + Heightened will make an easy skill check on an Average roll.

Similar to what BASHMAN suggested, I've always assumed that the difficulties represent a range of target numbers, rather than flat target numbers.

I don't make people roll for routine checks. If a check is easy, I tend to make the difficulty between 5-10.

It works out pretty well. I'm not as shy as others about making characters with Abilities in the one range, and they've usually kicked butt (in combat). There are plenty of ways to make up for the "handicap."

Cheers!

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Post by urbwar »

Nestor wrote: Not unlike the sick realization during your first attempt at playing Champions when you discover that resistant Defense is a requirement for your character, regardless of his origin and concept. Those who've played the game know exactly what I mean. ;)
As someone who played/ran the game through the first four editions, I didn't find that to be the case. In some cases it was warranted, but a necessity? Never in any game I ran or played in.
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Post by Dragonfly »

urbwar wrote:
Nestor wrote: Not unlike the sick realization during your first attempt at playing Champions when you discover that resistant Defense is a requirement for your character, regardless of his origin and concept. Those who've played the game know exactly what I mean. ;)
As someone who played/ran the game through the first four editions, I didn't find that to be the case. In some cases it was warranted, but a necessity? Never in any game I ran or played in.
This was my experience as well. I guess it really depends on the GM and how characters are scaled. If every other attack is a Killing Attack, and OCVs are really high, it might be necessary. My martial artists always got away with no resistant defenses, but good not-get-hit ability.

Cheers!

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Post by Nestor »

Well, this is hardly the forum to discuss another company's game, so I won't get into it here, except to say that no matter how good your DCV is, an AOE will always hit, and all you need is one RKA to ruin your day. ;-)

P.S. Oh, and, yeah, you can count me too among those who have played Champions/Hero from 1st through sixth, if that matters any. :-)
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Post by urbwar »

Nestor wrote:Well, this is hardly the forum to discuss another company's game, so I won't get into it here, except to say that no matter how good your DCV is, an AOE will always hit, and all you need is one RKA to ruin your day. ;-)
Actually, it's kind of relevant, since Area Affect attacks are in both BASH/M&M too. In fact, HERO & BASH detail their area attacks fairly similar, so this would be a good discussion (maybe in the rules forum) on the use of area on attack powers...

As Dragonfly said, if you're encountering a lot of these, then you have/had a GM who isn't enforcing the genre well. Area affect attacks should not be the norm for ranged attacks; it isn't in the source material (comics, cartoons, etc), so if it is in a game, that GM isn't doing his job very well (imho, unless he's a Rob Liefeld fanatic :P ). Same with a killing attack. Even most villain attacks in the genre don't do much in the way of killing damage to other supers, even when being blasted by someone like the Silver Surfer.
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