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Old 11-19-2010, 09:37 AM   #11
Kalzazz
 
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

My favorite and first Supers RPG character was pretty much a ranged guy, basic idea was like Curt Schilling++
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
High-end bricks cost less than high-end blasters, if you use the Super-Effort options. That was actually an emulation of the way things work in the comics.
Unfortunately, this is only coherently true in a very small power range:
  • In an I-scale game, hitting the damage cap (15d) costs 75p for a blaster with innate attack 15, 200p for a brick with super-ST 5 (push for +150 ST)
  • In a D-scale game, hitting the damage cap (150d) costs 750p for a blaster with innate attack 150, 440p for a brick with super-ST 11 (push for +1,500 ST)
  • In a C-scale game, hitting the damage cap (1,500d) costs 7,500p for a blaster with innate attack 1,500, 680p for a brick with super-ST 17 (push for +15,000 ST)
  • In an MC-scale game, hitting the damage cap (15,000d) costs 75,000p for a blaster with innate attack 15,000, 920p for a brick with super-ST 23 (push for +150,000 ST)
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Blasters, like artillery, tend to be vulnerable in close quarters fights; they need to be shielded by immobile defenses or by their less vulnerable brick teammates.
This is more of a genre convention than something enforced by the rules.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #13
roguebfl
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

High Defeace or Mobiliy powers are as much a part of the Arc types as the Mêlée part.

But toy Quote Ben Grimm "You can always tell where the X-Men have been, by the trial they leave behind"

or in otherwards, Blasters are Collateral Damage Generators, Both Property and Bystanders.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Most of the players I've run in Super's campaigns would MUCH rather run a character that lets them mimic the exploits of Wolverine, Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk than Cyclops, The Human Torch, or Green Arrow.
My last campaign, with 1,500-point supers, had a blaster, two bricks, a teleporting brick with a ranged attack, and a mentalist.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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This is more of a genre convention than something enforced by the rules.
I'd say it's a logical design feature. You can strike from range, so you don't need to fight at close quarters, so you don't go for the high-end defenses that it takes to withstand attacks at close quarters. There's more payoff to maximizing damage and boosting accuracy, so that you can hit harder and from further away.

Bill Stoddard
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:33 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by Bruno View Post

High ST is, much to the confusion of some players, a flexible, general utility power, not "just" a combat power.
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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post

A more distant analogy would be armed forces: you can have all the artillery you want, but sooner or later you have to send the tanks in to take the enemy's ground away from them.
These two points are the ones I've seen borne out in actual play.

Bruno's point is very important . . . unless your blaster also invests heavily in Control, Telekinesis, etc., makes sure to take an alt attack that has Overhead, and so on, he'll eventually run into something he can't just shoot to solve the problem. Lifting, bending, lobbing, and otherwise interacting with large chunks of the environment is a big deal. In my previous fantasy campaign, which verged on supers, the strong guy wasn't in fact mainly useful as a damage-dealer. His real role was lifting indestructible gates, carrying frail NPCs up cliffs on his back, humping the group's extra rations for a whole week, singlehandedly holding back phalanx presses, etc.

And Bill's point is almost as important. Objectives have to be taken. Killing everybody from afar is rarely possible . . . Some people will take cover behind things with too much DR and HP to blow away, while others will themselves have too much DR and HP to blast and need to be wrestled, pinned, and cuffed. Who's going to go in there and do that? And once you have that ground, who's going to have the DR and HP to become that obstacle for your side, forcing the enemy to come in and take it back if they want it? Also, if things get really military, who's going to stack shipping containers and bags of cement into a makeshift fortress, or dig 100' of trenches in record time?

I think that it's best to see bricks as heavy machinery: backhoes, bulldozers, tanks, and cranes. Regarding them as damage-dealers is tempting, but not quite accurate. Not that they're slouches in that department, but the point is that it isn't their main job.

Then there are non-brick melee fighters. These guys customarily put all the points they save by not buying ST, HP, DR, or ranged attacks into active defenses and mobility. This makes them useful scouts and skirmishers, which are also valuable roles not directly connected to doing damage. Bad guys can't just ignore some ninja type spying on them and pelting them with nickel-and-dime attacks; sooner or later, he'll see something that will mess up their plans or drop enough small change to punch their ticket. But if he's able to zip in, hit, and zip out faster than they can run, and capable of dodging bullets, then they'll have to commit an inordinate measure of resources to stopping him.

In actual play, the most annoying and arguably powerful heroes are this last type. They have stupidly high DX, Basic Speed, Basic Move, Dodge, Extra Attacks, and weapon skills, and spend most of their time not being hit whilst throwing unavoidable Deceptive Attacks many times a turn. If they have Luck and/or are allowed to spend points to convert nasty hits to flesh wounds, they basically just run up and win. Sure, the blaster may get a dozen shots in the interim, but these mostly get dodged or force the bad guys behind cover; even if you allow Deceptive Attack with ranged combat, range and cover penalties eat into it. Once the ninja or swashbuckler gets in the enemy's face, the fight is over, although there may be a delay while the brick lumbers up and does the actual clapping-in-irons part.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
This is more of a genre convention than something enforced by the rules.
This is also something generally enforced by the game itself. As a Supers GM, if someone brings me a damage-capped ranged blaster who's also at the DR cap and has an insane Flight Move, then I'm going to ask him politely to narrow his concept down in order to give other characters a chance to shine.

I've also experimented with the idea of varying caps based on the 'archetype' you're looking to fill. You're the brick? You're allowed more DR than the blaster; he simply can't reach your levels. On the flip side, you can't match his damage output, either...
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
And Bill's point is almost as important. Objectives have to be taken. Killing everybody from afar is rarely possible . . . Some people will take cover behind things with too much DR and HP to blow away, while others will themselves have too much DR and HP to blast and need to be wrestled, pinned, and cuffed.
This could be double-underlined. Even if opponents don't have lots of DR and HP, the ability to kill them isn't terribly useful if you're playing, as is traditional in superhero comics, crimefighters rather than military special forces. Damage-dealing is frequently useful, but ultimately you have to rely on non-lethal ways of dealing with opponents.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:46 AM   #19
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
Unfortunately, this is only coherently true in a very small power range:
  • In an I-scale game, hitting the damage cap (15d) costs 75p for a blaster with innate attack 15, 200p for a brick with super-ST 5 (push for +150 ST)
  • In a D-scale game, hitting the damage cap (150d) costs 750p for a blaster with innate attack 150, 440p for a brick with super-ST 11 (push for +1,500 ST)
  • In a C-scale game, hitting the damage cap (1,500d) costs 7,500p for a blaster with innate attack 1,500, 680p for a brick with super-ST 17 (push for +15,000 ST)
  • In an MC-scale game, hitting the damage cap (15,000d) costs 75,000p for a blaster with innate attack 15,000, 920p for a brick with super-ST 23 (push for +150,000 ST)
Maybe I'm missing something, as I haven't acquired Supers, but it seems as if your 'narrow range' is everything above somewhere in the middle of the D scale, and includes 3 of the 4 data points you're presenting.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:47 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
Then there are non-brick melee fighters. These guys customarily put all the points they save by not buying ST, HP, DR, or ranged attacks into active defenses and mobility. This makes them useful scouts and skirmishers, which are also valuable roles not directly connected to doing damage. Bad guys can't just ignore some ninja type spying on them and pelting them with nickel-and-dime attacks; sooner or later, he'll see something that will mess up their plans or drop enough small change to punch their ticket. But if he's able to zip in, hit, and zip out faster than they can run, and capable of dodging bullets, then they'll have to commit an inordinate measure of resources to stopping him.
When I was running a character in what became the playtest campaign for GURPS Supers, she was the team's combat monster—and almost entirley of this type. She had ST 9, and only light improvised body army, put together from motorcycle gear mostly. But with DX 19, Basic Speed 12, incredible running and jumping, and a Dodge that almost always exceeded 16, she was amazingly successful in a fight, not least because she could evade an enemy gunman or blaster's line of fire and get close enough to disarm or incapacitate them. You can do some pretty amazing stuff if you shamelessly push for high Basic Speed.

Bill Stoddard
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