Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mutants, Masterminds, and Minmaxers

Alex's M&M game launches Saturday.  Mutants and Masterminds, for those unfamiliar, is a combination of True20's 'feats and conditions' core and a point-buy system, where you construct characters by spending points (and get extra points to spend for flaws, like Disturbing, Blind, Mute, Kryptonium Vulnerability, and so forth).  It's well-known that point-buy systems lend themselves well to min-maxing, and MnM is definitely not an exception (and perhaps the strongest example I've met yet).  As a result, our crew of Dirty Optimizers has been hard at work for the last two weeks or so experimenting with "builds".  Sad to say, even I have fallen prey to the charms of this way of thinking (slipping back into my old ways, if you will), and have achieved theoretical optimums in damage defense (MnM's HP equivalent) and melee damage bonus...  at the cost of being blind and unable to retreat.  I look forward to having this PC die in a hilarious way (pitting the durability of the build against sheer flaw-enforced rashness in play), whereupon I will be able to return to preparing to run more ACKS during the semester.

And what an ACKSing it will be!  I've got a whole pile of potential players (Tim, Tom, Drew, Jared, Alex, other Alex, Joe, Andrew, maybe Robert?), and should be able to form a wonderful cloud rather than strict group.  On the prep agenda (in rough order of priority):
  • Lairs near Opportunity; these are pretty trivial and mostly done already, honestly.
  • Plots of enemy forces (why yes, players, you have made a few enemies...  some of whom I'm sure you've forgotten by now...)
  • The Zaharan Vaults of Xea-Gle, pointed to by a treasure map found in the Bleak Chapel
  • Another, unknown dungeon, pointed to by a map found in the Crocodile Temple.
  • The Lost Dwarven City of Cogoruhn (or "Cog" for short; I like to have codenames for dungeons).  This may end up being a megadungeon, and it might require the party to temporarily rebase for easy access...  or I could have a second party running in that region.  Lots of complications here.
  • The City of Freeport - I picked up Vornheim recently because it was on sale, and I could definitely see the PCs ending up in these parts in the nearish future.  Also looking forward to applying Vornheim's methods to Dardantus...  oh, and stealing the Fortune rules.  They're really pretty similar to a rule we had back when we ordered Chinese while gaming regarding 'burning fortunes', so I think they'll go over well (and will also be hilarious).
  • The towers of the fallen arcane cabal known as the Circle of Six.  Can never have too many dungeons lying in wait for hapless adventurers...
  • I should perhaps flesh out and finish the Monastery of Madness, but I don't really expect the PCs to return to there any time soon.
Oh, and homework.  But that goes without saying; mostly reading and a few papers this semester.

Finally, I'd like to make a plug for the Chronicles of the Grim Fist over on the Autarch forums.   Cam tells a pretty good story of a good game, and updates pretty regularly (unlike some of us...  sorry all).

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