[RPG] Explanation on Area Attacks


I am new to M&M 3e, coming from a dnd3.5 career and I am trying to get the rules right before our first session.

My problem is with the Area attacks. While I get it that you get a dodge save VS DC=10+effect's rank. I have two questions:

  • After the save, will the defending character also do a Toughness check to reduce the damage further?
  • In premade characters, when the effect is listed, how can I see the DC for the ability? Example:
    Hero's Hanbook Deluxe Edition, pg. 302. "The Bola" has an attack named Exploding Bolas (Ranged Burst Area Damage 8). What the dodge DC would be for this ability and how is the final DC produced?

Best Answer

The Area modifier

Area attacks just remove the attack check and replace it with a dodge resistance check (emphasis mine):

No attack check is needed; the effect simply fills the designated area, based on the type of modifier. Potential targets in the area are permitted a Dodge resistance check (DC 10 + effect rank) to avoid some of the effect.

However, passing this Dodge check simply reduces the rank of the effect by half. Regardless, you still need to do a resistance check against the effect as normal.

Your example: Exploding Bolas (Ranged Burst Area Damage 8).

First, the target does a Dodge check (DC 10+rank = 18)

  • If the target passes this Dodge check, the Damage rank is reduced from 8 to 4, meaning the target now has to do a Toughness check (DC 15 + dmg = 19)
  • If the target fails this Dodge check, the Damage is not reduced and the target now has to do a Toughness check against the full damage (DC 15 + dmg = 23)

In either case the target suffers the normal consequences of this Damage Resistance check (which is done with Toughness, thus a Toughness check)

Damage and Toughness

You saying "a Toughness check to reduce the damage further" makes me think that you might be misunderstanding how damage works, which is understandable since it is very different from damage in dnd.

Damage is simply a Power Effect that has consequences on a failed save as many other types of powers do. If you check the entry on Damage (Attack) in the Powers section, you can see the effects of failing the Toughness check (called Damage Resistance check). That is all Damage effects do and nothing more.