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Has anyone fooled with point buy for MSH? I did the hard math on the Advanced Players Guide and came up with 240-270 points, paying for all stats, all powers, and 10 points each for Talents and Contacts, and buying Resources also. I then compared that to some characters in the guides and found it a little weaker than Cyclops or Black Widow and much less than Crimson Dynamo (who I don't think of as high-powered really).
I was thinking of 250 + 1d100 (rounded to the nearest 5). Does anyone know of any pitfalls I might encounter with this?
If you're rounding to the nearest 5, you could roll 1d20 x 5, not 1d100.
More generally, Ex (20) protected senses is not as useful as Ex (20) telepathy; your third or fourth resistance isn't as valuable as the first; and having one big attack power (say Un (100)) is worth more than twice as much as the same power at half strength (say Am (50)).
That was a problem for, for example, the first edition of Mayfair's DC game-- in their very first edition, all powers cost the same per rank, whether it was "Control of all matter and energy" or "Can breathe underwater." Later versions fixed that.
Yeah, the cost of things in a point buy is everything. If one player can spend two points on the Climbing skill only to be outclassed by another player who spends two points on Wall-Crawling, who then are both outclassed by someone spending two points of Flight, you have limited character concept equality.
IME, the best approach for making MSH is to come up with a concept, and then assign stats. That's modeling, but it's modeling based on your character concept rather than modeling based on a character in the comic books, which are two very distinct things. The random method can help serve as inspiration. Roll up a character, or only parts of one, reroll as many times as you like until something clicks, stop whenever, ditch things that don't make sense, tweak the ranks, etc.
Point buy tends to focus on the trees and loses the forest. If you want characters in the same ballpark, a better approach might be to look at the combat numbers. What rank do they roll to hit with their primary attack, and how much damage do they do? Is it melee, ranged, and does it affect an area? Be careful of powers that can take someone out of combat instantly. On the defensive side, how much will typically be absorbed by their defenses (usually body armor), and how much damage will a typical opponent do? What's their health? If those are relatively balanced within the group, they all have something to contribute in the big fight scenes without having to worry about creative use of scenery, power stunts, or the like. Secondarily, look at mobility. Can they fly, do they have another enhanced way to move around, or are they stuck with a ground speed based on Endurance? That can have a big impact. The rest of the powers are mostly just utility and special effects, which do add up, but in less concrete ways. It's more important to ensure a range than try to balance them very tightly.
I’m actually running it at Con of the North this weekend here in the Twin Cities. “Feathers and Loathing in America”- Howard the Duck and some of his closest friends gomon a road trip to discover America. The characters involved will be: Howard the Duck, Beverly Switzler, Aunt May, The Swamp Thing, The Amazing Squirrel Girl, Jennifer Kale and Dakimh the Enchanted..
I ran three different MSH games last year at it too. It’s a simple system for people to,pick up so I think it makes a great con game. What I did last year was convert everything over to Icons and I ran one of them at Gen Con. The two systems convert easily enough.