Knockback houserule

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Paragon
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Knockback houserule

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:32 am

This is what I'm using in my Freedom Force based mini-campaign, and I thought I'd go ahead and post it for people's consumption. You could actually use it as an alternate to the 2e knockback rule if you didn't like that one too.

Note: This is set up so that when knockback is actually checked for, it will probably occur; that's almost certain if some of the optional extras are applied. That said, it'll rarely send someone so far back that they can't rejoin the fight.

The Basics:

Knockback is an optional effect of a critical hit. That does not mean that it uses up any of the other normal critical hit options (you still can add 5 damage or do any of the other normal critical results). I refer to it as optional since the attacker has the choice whether to do knockback or not (to avoid situations where this rule would otherwise mean a crit is actually detrimental to the person rolling it, a low mobility melee attacker for example). Knockback is only possible with attacks targeted at Toughness (which, in 3e, appears to be only damage).

To determine knockback, take the damage of the attack (including critical damage), and add 15 to determine the DC. The target makes a resistance check using Strength, Dodge or Flight ranks at his choice.

Ranks of Growth will directly add to Strength or Flight value for this purpose; half the rank of Impervious Toughness (i.e. the part that in 3e is actually Impervious) add to it too. Ranks of Defensive Roll will add to Dodge for purposes of this roll. Ranks of Shrinking come off any resistance.

A single degree of failure causes the target to be knocked down; each additional degree will cause the target to be knocked back one step on the distance chart, starting at distance 0 (that is to say, 30 feet). Targets do not take additional damage for hitting other objects during knockback, thought the objects will (equal to the rank of the distance); its possible under some circumstances such objects could include a person (usually they'll get a Dodge roll against the rank of the knockback to avoid this).

Other Related Rules

Instead of a normal attack, a person can attempt a Push: a Push takes a -2 on the attack roll, and uses the attacker's Strength to attempt knockback as indicated above with no need for a critical hit. An Advantage called Improved Push will eliminate the -2 hit penalty.
Unlike the case with normal knockback, a push can do damage to the target if he hits an obstacle.

Extras and other modifiers

Three relevant modifiers and powers effect knockback.

Improved Knockback: This flat extra adds 2 to chances of a crit only for purposes of checking for knockback per rank; this stacks with normal ranks of Improved Critical, but a 1 will still fail in any case, and attack that misses will not cause knockback no matter what the knockback check is.

Increased Knockback: This flat extra adds 1 point to the damage for purposes of the knockback check; it is not PL capped per se, but the maximum rank of it that can be purchased is 10.

Density: This is a Feature, and means the character is heavier and more dense. Per each rank of it, the character adds 1 to his Strength or Flight resistance checks against knockback; it also approximately doubles his weight, which may make it harder to pick up and throw him (of course it also can have some malign effects on his interaction with surfaces unless he flies all the time).
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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby Shadowchaser » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:36 am

Sounds well-thought-out, Paragon. I'm interested to hear how this plays out in your game!
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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby rstehwien » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:33 pm

Looks very good, I'll give it a try myself.

I'd probably have the density feature add 2 to resisting knockback so it is on par with the extra to increase knockback and so it feels more worth it for the flaw.... maybe a knockback resistance that could be flawed to represent density (and the inherent disadvantages).

Very cool. I've been wanting knockback to happen more often than it did in 2E without throwing around hero points all the time. Watching some DC Universe shows they get knocked back all the time.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:58 pm

Well, in the first game I've run, it only came up once, and since that was an up PL attack with Multifire, the result was halfway dramatic. Its too soon to judge the overall effect.

Oh, and Rstelwien? I think you've confused the two extras; the one that adds to the total for resistance is only 1/rank just like the Density; the one that adds 2 is the one that's basically a flawed Improve Critical and simply increases the likelyhood of needing to check.
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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby rstehwien » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:57 pm

Paragon wrote:Oh, and Rstelwien? I think you've confused the two extras; the one that adds to the total for resistance is only 1/rank just like the Density; the one that adds 2 is the one that's basically a flawed Improve Critical and simply increases the likelyhood of needing to check.

I did at that; teaches me to read and comment quickly during lunch. Still think density is a little expensive for some resistance to an optional part of a critical especially considering how cheap it is to be immune to crits. Now I'm thinking on disallowing crit immunity or making it only count against improved critical... mainly because crits add some fun and unpredictability to the game.

My next game isn't for 2 weeks but I'll try this out then.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby XeviatJAG » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:21 pm

rstehwien wrote: Still think density is a little expensive for some resistance to an optional part of a critical especially considering how cheap it is to be immune to crits.


It also makes you more resistant to throws and move object effects. It has some complications to it, but I'd still give HP for those.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby Paragon » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:28 pm

rstehwien wrote:
Paragon wrote: lunch. Still think density is a little expensive for some resistance to an optional part of a critical especially considering how cheap it is to be immune to crits. Now I'm thinking on disallowing crit immunity or making it


Well, keep in mind my view is that immunity to crits wouldn't make you immune to the knockback; the knockback is just an additional mechanic tied to the crit roll, not really part of the crit per se.
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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby _Virtual_Adept_ » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:52 pm

It's really good, Paragon. Could I translate it to portuguese and publish on my blog? I'll give you the credits.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby rstehwien » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:18 am

XeviatJAG wrote:
rstehwien wrote: Still think density is a little expensive for some resistance to an optional part of a critical especially considering how cheap it is to be immune to crits.


It also makes you more resistant to throws and move object effects. It has some complications to it, but I'd still give HP for those.

I also compared it to Growth which for 2pp/rank gives you strength, stamina, and with the KB rules above mass for resisting KB. Where for 1pp/rank density gives you KB resistance... probably says more to Growth giving too much (even without the KB rules) but they must feel that the drawback to Growth is an inability to get in small places (like most buildings at some point). You rarely see a Growth based character useful inside anything; they always fight outside. Growth needs adjustment IMHO (just buy a full size adjustment rather than intermediate and price accordingly).

Density at 1pp/rank just feels too expensive to me. KB Resistance in 2E felt too expensive considering how rarely it happened in my game (most players rerolled when they failed badly enough to be knocked back and when they finally did fail it was usually a KO... like Paragon's rules much better for this).

I'd award HP for problems from Density and Growth.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby Paragon » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:00 am

_Virtual_Adept_ wrote:It's really good, Paragon. Could I translate it to portuguese and publish on my blog? I'll give you the credits.


Sure. I don't even much care about the credit. As people who've known me a long time will tell you, I'm not particularly proprietary about ideas.
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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby Paragon » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:08 am

rstehwien wrote:I also compared it to Growth which for 2pp/rank gives you strength, stamina, and with the KB rules above mass for resisting KB. Where for 1pp/rank density gives you KB resistance... probably says more to Growth giving too much (even without the KB rules) but they must feel that the drawback to Growth is an inability to get in small places (like most buildings at some point). You rarely see a Growth based character useful inside anything; they always fight outside. Growth needs adjustment IMHO (just buy a full size adjustment rather than intermediate and price accordingly).


That's why I don't view the Density Feature as having that much drawback; you do run into some issues with ground pressure occasionally, but as long as you don't go crazy with it in a suddenly-I'm-Mr. Realistic-in-a-superhero-game way, its less self-evidently limiting than growth. Its mostly a note that if you run out on the wooden pier at the size of a human but weighing 100 tons, this may not go well for you. The growth can be a problem in all kinds of places.

Density at 1pp/rank just feels too expensive to me. KB Resistance in 2E felt too expensive considering how rarely it happened in my game (most players rerolled when they failed badly enough to be knocked back and when they finally did fail it was usually a KO... like Paragon's rules much better for this).


Well, I had a couple of criteria here.

1. I didn't want knockback to be a constant additional roll. Its a feature of the genre, but not enough of a one to justify that kind of overhead.

2. I didn't want it to be directly dependent on taking damage, the way the 2e rule was.

That meant it had to be incorporated into another mechanical element that had some randomness, but didn't, per se, tell you anything about how much the target could take it. The crit seemed the obvious place.

The problem with making Density yield too much from my point of view is that players get--tics--about things, and making some thing too cheap sometimes encourages them to start coming up with excuses to put them on characters that don't really justify them. I saw some signs of this occuring in 2e with both Immunity to Crits and some of the Counters senses (though the latter not in my own games since I think frequently they just make no sense, so I managed them very tightly).
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Take shame in being broken;

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby _Virtual_Adept_ » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:22 am

Paragon wrote:
_Virtual_Adept_ wrote:It's really good, Paragon. Could I translate it to portuguese and publish on my blog? I'll give you the credits.


Sure. I don't even much care about the credit. As people who've known me a long time will tell you, I'm not particularly proprietary about ideas.

Thank you very much! :D

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby XeviatJAG » Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:17 pm

Paragon wrote:That meant it had to be incorporated into another mechanical element that had some randomness, but didn't, per se, tell you anything about how much the target could take it. The crit seemed the obvious place.


Paragon, if you didn't intend this, there is a great secondary feature to this. When you make an attack roll against a defenseless or inanimate object, a hit is always a crit. This would make it so hitting balls and such would provoke knockback. I'd need to check how things workout for situations like that, but it is nice that one of the goals I was searching for is completed by your houserule.

Consider it used. I'll let you and everyone know how it turns out.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby rstehwien » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:42 pm

I used the knockback rule in my game last saturday. Only one toughness based crit came up (there were a couple of will save based crits) and the knockback roll was failed by 2 degrees so there was 30 feet of KB. Overall it seemed to work out ok. I'll continue trying the rules out.

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Re: Knockback houserule

Postby GothicSilencer » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:55 pm

Yeah, this seems to be the most comprehensive approach to house-ruling Knockback into 3e that MAKES SENSE that I've seen so far. I'll be using it. Thanks, Paragon!
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