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Old 11-19-2010, 11:56 AM   #21
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

Ignoring the whole business about ST, let's look at balance for innate attack (melee) vs innate attack (ranged), and that we want to be able to hit on 16-, with a DX of 10, and that we're using crushing attacks. Here's what we need to be able to do so every turn:
  • 10-yard ranged attacker [36]: skill 20 [36]; net +0 on IA
  • 10-yard melee attacker[160]: skill 16 [20], basic move 13[40], flight [40], enhanced move 2 (x4; cosmic, no acceleration) [60]; net -20% on IA.
  • Breakeven point: ranged is 5/die, melee is 4/die, breakeven 124d
  • 100-yard ranged attacker [60]: skill 26 [60]; enhanced 1/2d x3; net +15% on IA
  • 100-yard melee attacker[255]: skill 16 [20], basic move 11[30], flight [40], enhanced move 5.5 (x48; cosmic, no acceleration) [165]; net -20% on IA.
  • Breakeven point: ranged is 5.75/die, melee is 4/die, breakeven 111d
  • 1000-yard ranged attacker [84]: skill 32 [84]; enhanced 1/2d x3; enhanced range x3; net +45% on IA
  • 1000-yard melee attacker[355]: skill 16 [20], basic move 10[25], flight [40], enhanced move 9 (x512; cosmic, no acceleration) [270]; net -20% on IA.
  • Breakeven point: ranged is 7.25/die, melee is 4/die, breakeven 83d
Huh. So somewhere in the range of 500 base points, melee just beats out ranged because it's cheaper to fly up and punch than to boost your skill and range. Of course, this ignores any other utility of super-high skill or super-fast flight. It also ignores the fact that you can rapid attack with melee -- it takes +6 skill (24 points) to reliably rapid attack, while it takes +2 skill (8 points) and a 40% advantage (200 points on our 500p attack) to hit twice with rapid fire; counting things like that, I'd say that melee on IA is reasonably valued for attacks in the 20-40d range.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

"Not getting hit/hurt" is the bit people keep leaving out. Bricks have lots of HP and DR. Swashbucklers have stupid-high Dodge scores. Both tend to assume give-and-take, and build accordingly. While a GURPS rules expert could dispassionately analyze things and decide that his blaster will have defense, or count on distance being armor, actual play doesn't bear this out at all. Most blasters are seriously poor at defense and soaking up damage, and in a modern-day setting, you really can't count on the foe not having a hidden sniper 1,000 yards away . . . Brick can just take the hit, while ninja guy will likely have Precognitive Parry or Enhanced Time Sense or the like. Blaster just dies.

After 31 years playing RPGs, it's my belief that surviving is more important to combat success than hurting. The PCs standing at the end of the fight are rarely the damage-dealers. Usually, they're the tough guys and the mobile guys. They might have lower body counts, but they're the ones smirking and scraping their pure-offense teammates off the floor.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #23
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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
The PCs standing at the end of the fight are rarely the damage-dealers. Usually, they're the tough guys and the mobile guys. They might have lower body counts, but they're the ones smirking and scraping their pure-offense teammates off the floor.
This. So very this. As the player with the overwhelmingly defensive mindset, I am always amused at how often I have to carry the Barbarians of the world off the battlefield with a broken leg.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #24
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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
After 31 years playing RPGs, it's my belief that surviving is more important to combat success than hurting.
Survivability just increases the amount of time you can use your offense. In terms of being useful to a team, you need enough offense that the opposition can't simply ignore you in favor of dealing with the legitimate threats, and once they've deal with the dangerous people they can pound on the hard targets at will.

In any case, the thread was melee vs range, not tough vs squishy.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:19 PM   #25
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Survivability just increases the amount of time you can use your offense.
Not really true in combined-arms setting . . . there, your side's offense and their side's offense have it out. Then the side with more survivors left when the shooting stops can walk in and take the ground. Also, survivability is crucial to supporting roles like healing, spotting targets, and even hacking computers in a fight. Pure survivor characters are surprisingly useful on their own. And yes, that's relevant to ranged vs. melee because of how actual gamers build real characters. While you might not do this, I feel quite confident when I say that most players of ranged PCs ignore their defense disturbingly, while most players of melee PCs do not. This is in part because entering melee means making a lot more defense rolls, both because you're facing melee attacks as well as ranged ones, and because the ranged ones come from closer up and hit more often.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:24 PM   #26
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Survivability just increases the amount of time you can use your offense.
This only applies to attrition warfare. If your goals are achievable with maneuver then it's different.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #27
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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Not really true in combined-arms setting . . . there, your side's offense and their side's offense have it out. Then the side with more survivors left when the shooting stops can walk in and take the ground.
And, well, if your side has, say, 3 offensive characters (and 2 non-offensive) and their side has 5, on average after the shooting stops your side has zero offensive (and 2 non-offensive), their side has 3 offensive.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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1) On a Supers budget, 30% of hundreds of points is a lot of points.
2) By default, Deceptive Attack is melee only (although in my opinion, a Supers game should go ahead and allow Deceptive ranged attacks).
3) Grappling provides a lot of options that a simple ranged blaster doesn't have, like immobilizing opponents without harming them, grabbing weapons/macguffins, and preventing villains from chasing down your squishy allies. (High levels of TK can do this too, but not cheaply.)
really its a genre convetnion. Besides the tactical advantages of a close in fighter (terrain, temamates/opponents as cover, extra versatility) you also have the fact that you appear more herioc if your at risk. A close in fighter appears more heroic then a far off blaster. I think the latter is the main reason you see more in most comics.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #29
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

First at all, Rapid Strike is HUGE. With Weapon Master or Trained by a Master, you get an extra attack per 3 points spent. Also, you can FEINT, giving you an extra way to lower the defenses of the target. Oh, and your offense doubles as a defense, since you get a parry of half your melee skill. So, for 24 points, you get: Two extra attacks, +6 to feints, and +3 to parry. You can also turn them into -3 to the target's defenses.

I concur with Kromm. Surviving is the most important thing. The GM has unlimited goons at his disposal, and it only takes one hit (Big enough to scratch the tank) to turn the glass cannon into glass shards. Now, DR is in my experience, a bad defense. Injury Tolerance: Damage Reduction, and Basic Speed are IMHO the best defenses, with some DR with absorption (healing) to recover from low damage/high RoF attacks.

Oh, and ST, with the proper force multipliers (Weapon Master, Power Blow, Imbuements, Super Strength) is actually a more cost effective way of dealing damage.

In my 1k marvel-inspired supers game, the most dangerous characters were the martial artist/imbuements guy with Crippling Blow at absurd levels (Inspired by Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. I allowed him to use Crippling Blow at -30 for instant Death/Heart Attack), ATR and extra attacks. Of course, he had a teleporter/dodge monster that left him portals to get into melee.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: [Supers] What's the point of making Mêlée-oriented characters?

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(although in my opinion, a Supers game should go ahead and allow Deceptive ranged attacks).
Not unless that blaster is pays a premium for guided shots. Which increases the price difference on the IA form Melee limitation and the Guided Enhancement.
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