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Hellbound

Clarification -- Fearless

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Quick question on the Fearless feat -- does it work against attack based fear powers as well as naturally scary situations?

I ask because... well, it just seems that total immunity to even telepathically induced fear for one point is a little unblanaced. It's not even a power, it's a feat. That means it's naturally innate and can't be drained, cancelled out or transferred to a power sucking, vallainous parasite type character.

Even Batman has to struggle against the Scarecrow's fear toxins from time to time. Yet, that would be a fairly impotent bad guy in M&M if a single power point could render all of his best tricks useless.

When it was suggested that Hellbound take his own Fearless feat, I assumed it would apply itself against this game's version of 'Presence Attacks'. If some dark and ancient Lovecraftian nightmare god from beyond the stars showed up and layed his Aura of Empathically Induced Fear on people, I'd expect Hellbound to shite his pants at least a little.

Weird rules. I'm still trying to wrap my head around being able to purchase total immunities to any and all forms of attack so cheaply. Hopefully I'm overestimating the potency of a one-point feat.

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But there's a huge difference between laughing in the face of danger and ignoring the 4th level necromantic 'Fear' spell. One's magical, one's not. One's an artificially induced state layed on by ancient and eldricth compacts with the universe, while the other's just a scary tiger with sharp teeth and bad breath.

Yet, would this spell be recreated in M&M, it'd be rendered impotent by a game feature that even Jim The Parking Lot Attendent could pick up?

Like I said. Weird rules.

Oh -- and wouldn't that technically be an Innate Immunity, not just an Immunity? Actually, what, a 2 point power that's picked up as a 1 point feat?

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Innate means it's part of your physiology. That is, an elephant didn't teach itself to be large ;)

How did Jim the Parking Lot Attendent get fearless? Also, think of some fearless characters. There was this movie (I wanna say Men in Black) where one guy asks another calm, cool-headed character how he wasn't scared witless. the calm cool-headed character admits he was scared, but he didn't show it. Another example is another movie where someone admits they may be not scared of anything, but they're not stupid either. Like I said, it all depends on how you describe it.

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Jim The Parking Lot Attendent got fearless by spending a power point on it at character creation :P If that's not good enough, then "I 'seen it all go down in this lot. Muggings, alien invasions, they even held a Ratt concert here in the early '90s. You don't scare me, son."

But you're still not catching my drift. Calm and cool headed does not (or at least should not), grant automatic immunity to having fear magically grafted to your psyche, no matter how you describe it.

Arf' a mo... Feats can't be drained or in any way forcibly turned off (hence making them Innate for all intents and purposes), but can they be transformed away?

Suppose someone had a 'Fear' spell with an alternate power used to transform the target from 'A Person with the Fearless feat' into 'A Person WITHOUT the Fearless feat'?

Still think it's weird, though...

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Jim The Parking Lot Attendent got fearless by spending a power point on it at character creation :P If that's not good enough,

It's not, unless Jim is like Red Mage and thinks of himself as a character in a Roleplaying Game whose abilities are listed on a stat sheet. ;)

Fearless means you're immune to Emotion Control/Fear (Kenson says it's effective against Despair as well), and Frightening Presence. That's about it. Fearless would not prevent a "scare you to death" effect (Mental Blast described as "mind-bleeding terror").

Yes, Mind-Blasting Horrors from Beyond can have "Drain Fearless Feat" or Transform (Person with Fearless into Person without Fearless) so that they can actually make you a-feared. Innate would prevent the first from working, but not the second... but feats aren't Innate, they can be drained or boosted as easily as, say, your Strength. Unless you pay for them to be Innate.

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Ah, didn't realize that both skills and feats could be drained/boosted just like stats and powers. Presumably drawbacks and complications can be altered just as well?

Still say --> weird freakin' rules.

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Some Complications -- things like Phobias or Temper -- could be changed, yes, though those would require a Mental Transform. Things like Secret Identity can't really be changed by powers. Well, they could, say, by using Communication/Telepathy to tell everyone your Secret ID, or using Mental Transform to erase a Costumed Adventurer's mind of all memory of his non-costumed life, effectively turning him into his Costumed ID 24/7....

Drawbacks cannot be Drained or Boosted (because Drawback is not a Trait), but you could use Transform to alter them. Keep in mind that the end result of Transform must leave the person with the same or fewer points, never more, so Transform could not be used to simply remove a Drawback and not change anything else. Though Transform can be used an an in-game reason for someone using earned pps to buy off a Drawback.

Of course, all of the above are subject somewhat to a GM's "just because the rules say it can be done doesn't meant I'm going to allow it" Rule. Using Transform to remove Mr. Freeze's vulnerability to heat attacks & Weakness to temperatures above freezing (and his Immunities to aging and cold damage) probably isn't going to last for very long....

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Also keep in mind that not everyone who is "calm and cool-headed" would necessarily have the Fearless feat. Many of them would just have a high Will Save.

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Another thing to remember is that what constitutes "game balance" in M&M differs some from other games. Not everything is balanced in terms of raw or relative points cost. Some traits and abilities are "balanced" in the sense that they fall in line with the vision and priorities of the developers for the game as a whole.

A common reaction to Alternate Powers and arrays is "Just a single power point buys you this much flexibility? IS THIS BALANCED?!" Well, yes and no. An Alternate Power feat is, by itself, far more powerful than, say, Attractive, or Improved Trip. But given the core assumption of the system, that comic book superheroes enjoy a certain amount of flexibility, then yes, it works.

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Okay -- let's say that I don't actually want Hellbound to have a blanket immunity to all forms of fear based attacks, and yet I do still want him to be immune to mundane forms of freaking out.

What about taking on a Vulnerabiilty drawback to the Emotion Control (Fear) power? How does that apply to characters that don't normally make saves against the power that they're now vulnerable to? Would going from "No Saves" to "Must Now Make a Normal Save" be in the 100% DC Modifier category?

Would this be more along the lines of a Power Loss even though Fearless is not technically a power?

Or would this, for reasons that I'm not seeing, not be considered a Drawback even though it affects Hellbound's ability to handle certain forms of attack?

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The thing is, most "mundane fears" would be done via RPing. If you're actually making a save against something, that's most likely going to be a very unnatural thing. Or a semi-mundane thing that directly targets you, like seeing evidence of a close friend having been slowly and gruesomely tortured to death, along with signs that this was done in an inhabited neighborhood, so the neighbors were either apathetically oblivious or complicit partakers.

You could go another route. Instead of taking Fearless, give him some Enhanced Will with the Flaw Limited/Only vs. Fearsome Presence (which is so limiting I'd be inclined to allow it as a -2 Flaw, so 1pp would get you +3 to the Will save).

Or just a high Will save (good vs. Fearsome Presence, and Mind Control, Mind Reading, Mental Blast, and other Will stuff), but a Vulnerability to Emotion Control (despair & fear) effects (an uncommon thing).

Or both the Fearsome Presence-Only Enhanced Will and the Vulnerability, showing him to be very brave vs. Fearsome Presence, so-so at other Will stuff, but a pile of Jell-O when hit by an actual Emotion Control effect.

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Well, not that I really wanted him to be a pile of Jell-O in any circumstances. But since it's actually cheaper to purchase total immunity to fear rather than raise his save vs. it, I'll just stick with the Fearless as listed -- seems to me that would indicate the people who crafted him also bred any sort of fear response out of him, not just that his own overconfidence leads him to be very, very brave.

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Another option if you don't want to auto-save would be to purchase Immunity 1 (Fear, Flaws: Limited [1/2 Effect]), for the cost of 0.5PP. This would reduce the DC modifier of any Fear effect by 50%. So you would have to save against Fearsome Presence 10 as if it was Fearsome Presence 5.

Of course, since you can't really spend half a power point, you'd have to take some other trait with the same cost. Like another half-effect 1-point Immunity.

In general, I think you're looking for a level of granularity that M&M just doesn't get into.

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Except that it's not the autosave that I take objection to, it's the fact that the autosave applies itself equally to environmental fears and magical/psychic attacks.

But you're right. M&M doesn't easily make distinctions between combat and non-combat situations. So it's easier to purchase a cheap blanket immunity than try to describe what I'm going for.

Like I said, that's fine. It just further defines the super-soldier creation process that produced Hellbound.

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Fearless protects you against Intimidation, Fearsome Presence, and Emotion Control (Fear). That's it.

It wouldn't protect you from, say, a Paralyze, or Stun, or Mental Blast with "overwhelming fear" as the descriptor. If you wanted to be immune to any damaging power with "Fear" as a descriptor, that would cost 5PP. If you wanted to be immune to absolutely any power with the "Fear" descriptor whatsoever, that would cost 10PP.

So I think the Fearless feat suits your purposes just fine.

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Ah, well, yes that is different. By that definition it sounds like Emotion Control is just that. Control of an emotion. Any character who's missing that emotion can't have it controlled unless some other sort of attack first gives them the ability to feel the emotion.

I didn't realize that Fearless still allowed for vulnerabilities outside of Emotion Control. So, yeah, that's exactly what I'm looking for.

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Fearless protects you against Intimidation, Fearsome Presence, and Emotion Control (Fear). That's it.

I'm not so sure about Intimidate -- Kenson's said it's just good for Emotion Control/Fear (and maybe Despair) and Fearsome Presence. I.e., "only effects that impose fear conditions".

On the other tentacle, the "fear conditions" of both Emotion Control/Fear and Fearsome Presence are either shaken, frightened, or panicked, and using Intimidate to Demoralize in Combat makes a target shaken, so I can see Fearless protecting against that.

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