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jameson (ST)

Mutants & Masterminds - [Review] Power Profiles #36: Death Powers

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Power Profiles #36: Death Powers

Vitals: Published By Green Ronin • 6 pages • $0.99 • full color PDF

The grave is no bar to my call ...

Descriptors, Countering & Features

Four descriptors, countering, three features, and a discussion on death and dying as conditions. The discussion of the descriptors and countering as very well laid out, and longer than we have seen in some of the more recent profiles. These do the profile credit. The discussion of death and dying as conditions leads to the use of Dying as a third degree failure condition for afflictions which colors this profile and really plays against my personal tastes with regards to game balance. It feels like the notion that death is seldom permanent is being used as an excuse to make death easy to accomplish, especially by allowing it as a third tier condition. In games were GMs allow Dying to replace Incapacitated as a result of damage checks this may feel a little more fitting however.

Offensive Powers

Eight powers with Afflictions making up six of them, and three of those six having Dying as the third degree condition. The powers fit the theme well, with a mixture of effects that disable and potentially kill. The Soulfire power is priced incorrectly I believe. The effect uses the Alternate Resistance extra at a cost of +0 per rank, but a similar effect build in the Mental Powers Profile priced the extra at the +1 point per rank. Reading the extra's rules didn't help as they are rather open to interpretation. Hopefully this will be fixed if it is an error (as I believe it to be).

Defensive Powers

Four powers here, ranging from Immortality to Blood Healing. While none of the builds are particularly original, the powers do hew closely to the theme and avoid repetition. The mention of potentially tying Blood Healing to an offensive power as a source is a nice one, and I wish an extra effect build had been shown as an example since these kinds of interrelated powers are sometimes more tricky than one might expect. Do you limit the effect once to if the offensive effect has a result or not, and them limit it again to a number of degrees equal to its effect? Does linking healing to an offensive effect automatically require that the offensive power successfully damage the target for healing to work? I think these kinds of questions are not always obvious, especially to people new to the system.

(For the record I would say, that if your intent is to have the healing work only if you damage the target would be a limit on the healing effect in addition to being linked to the offensive effect.)

Movement Powers

Two effects. Valkyrie's Ride posits an interesting alternate version to the Accurate extra for Teleport. I like the implication behind it (as well as the stated built in limit that you must know the target), but I am not sure how many other uses I could find for this take on the effect.

Utility Powers

Six powers. Necromancy in its traditional form makes an appearance here, with an impressive per rank cost to summon a high number of low powered minions. Some will potentially overlook the usefulness of such creatures but never underestimate the power of hordes of minions using teamwork to boost their individual combat capability; the end result can be an impressive ability to take down foes much more powerful than they are through sheer numbers. Ghost Form is also an interesting power as it presents a sort of alternate form where the character is effectively "dead" (via a lack of Stamina) while in use.

Complications

Nine complications. Prejudice and Weakness get the most space devoted to them. As one would expect there is much discussion on the side-effects of death based powers and how they interact with the living world around the character and with the death adverse citizens of the world.

Closing Thoughts

Death Powers is well queued off of the primary theme, with powers that cover the multitude of death related aspects. Some minor rules discussion and alternatives are provided, but are also weigh against a possible inconsistency between effect builds in prior power profiles. The strength of the material carries it well however, making the product a good bet for most players.

Rating: 85% - Strong on theme, with some good discussion, this profile is weighed down with a few rules issues that will hopefully be corrected.

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