[RPG] How do the Checks and Balances work in Mutants and Masterminds 3 and DC Adventures


Using the specific example of Attack Bonus v Effect Ranks, the rules state that when added together your attack bonus and the effect ranks of your attack cannot exceed twice the series power level. And for the sake of this question lets assume the power level is 10 for easier math, so the attack bonus+effect ranks = 20.

Now, let's consider a character who has an 11 Strength AND 11 Fighting, who goes to punch an enemy. The attack bonus's base would be 11 (close combat skill is based on fighting) and the damage from a punch is also 11 as it's strength based damage. However, the effect+attack bonus is 22, and this isn't even considering everything else that could raise either number.

How then do you calculate the numbers for the actual attack as you cannot have a +11 to the attack roll and have a rank 11 damage effect? Do you choose which stat isn't used to its full potential and would it be a choice for the player to make, or the DM? Or is there a sentence I am forgetting in the rules that state what to do in this case? Nothing prevents you from having 11 STR and 11 FGT in a PL10 game, yet you cannot make a Damage 11 attack with an attack bonus of +11. So which stat isn't utilized fully?

As a related question: would an attack with 10 ranks of damage and 10 ranks of affliction be considered a 10 or 20 effect rank power? I'm assuming it's 20, and therefore in a PL10 game would not be able to have an attack bonus (or effectively a +0 to the d20 roll).

I would prefer an answer based on RAW, with citations. Failing RAW, I'd like the community's take on Rules As Intended – as an educated guess as to what the creators of the game intend you to infer from any vaguely worded passages. An explanation of why/how you came to your conclusions would be appreciated as well.

Best Answer

In general you should build your character to fit the power level of the game. In other words, if you have an attack with a damage of 11, it's bonus to hit should be 9. If you want some versatility, there are options that allow you to take penalties to hit to get extra damage, or visa versa. They only cost 1 point each.

TL;DR: You shouldn't have a Fighting of 11 and a Strength of 11, because that's a Power Level 11 character.