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Folkert

Masterplan feat questions

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Trying to build a tactical genius along the lines of Midnighter:

1. Is the option to use Knowledge (Tactics) instead of straight Int allowed? (Mastermind Manual, p. 35, "Masterful Tactics")

2. Could Quickness [Flaw] be used to simulate his ability to "predict how a battle will happen before it starts" ?

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1) I think we already said something about the Masterful Tactics issue. We'll allow it, but as a feat, not an option. Also, each part of it (Tactics instead of Stealth to set up surprise, and Tactics instead of Intelligence to make a Master Plan check) costs one point, making it two points total for the whole thing.

2) I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. What would it mean? Is it a kind of precognition? And it's pretty much impossible to do what you're talking about. Dice rolls, being inherently random, would make predicting the outcome of a battle impossible in any meaningful way.

EDIT: BTW, I love Midnighter, but you realize that if the man was translated into M&M, he'd be rolling at nearly PL 14 with better than 280 pp to his name. :D

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Thanks for answering, Veiled Malice!

EDIT: BTW, I love Midnighter, but you realize that if the man was translated into M&M, he'd be rolling at nearly PL 14 with better than 280 pp to his name. :D

And that's exactly why I'm "borrowing" only aspects, not the whole concept. 8-)

1) I think we already said something about the Masterful Tactics issue. We'll allow it, but as a feat, not an option. Also, each part of it (Tactics instead of Stealth to set up surprise, and Tactics instead of Intelligence to make a Master Plan check) costs one point, making it two points total for the whole thing.

Sorry, then. I searched the Character building board to no avail and asked about it when I first started with Lion but never heard anything back, so I assumed it was still up in deliberation. Thanks for clarifying. :)

2) I'm not exactly sure what you mean by this. What would it mean? Is it a kind of precognition? And it's pretty much impossible to do what you're talking about. Dice rolls, being inherently random, would make predicting the outcome of a battle impossible in any meaningful way.

You took that last part a bit too literal. :D I was simply looking to make the Tactics skill a bit more viable in combat itself by using a quicker-than-a full-minute Masterplan (as right the use of Tactics amounts to: Player "I take a full-round action and make a Knowledge (Tactics) roll. 42." GM "Congratulations, you just wasted a full-round action.").

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1) I think we already said something about the Masterful Tactics issue.

I thought we did too. I know we discussed it, but Folkert is right, we never posted the results . . . until now. :( Sorry about that.

You took that last part a bit too literal. :D I was simply looking to make the Tactics skill a bit more viable in combat itself by using a quicker-than-a full-minute Masterplan (as right the use of Tactics amounts to: Player "I take a full-round action and make a Knowledge (Tactics) roll. 42." GM "Congratulations, you just wasted a full-round action.").

I could go either way on this. It seems like a pretty natural use for Quickness (and a pretty balanced use), but I am hesitant for two reasons: 1) You can't take 20 on this check (because it isn't a skill check) and that is pretty much a deal breaker for Quickness. 2) This check result breaks PL, and I'm always hesitant to make that easier.

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I like the concept of adding Quickness to this as well - very cool. I guess we'll chat and make sure to actually get back to the peeps this time ;)

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We have decided to say "no" to quickness on Masterplan because you cannot legitimately Take 20 on the check. Masterplan carries a penalty for failure, and other feats that grant special checks on which you can Take 20 say so in the text of the feat.

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Already expected that decision, but I still can't help being disappointed as it makes the tactics skill mostly use- and meaningless (and kills the master tactician concept.)

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Already expected that decision, but I still can't help being disappointed as it makes the tactics skill mostly use- and meaningless (and kills the master tactician concept.)

No, it just nixes the "can make a master plan in mere seconds" aspect of that concept. You can still use Know (Tactics) to make the Master Plan check (if you get a feat allowing it), or for setting up/detecting ambushes (again if you get a feat for it).

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Which leaves me with a Tactics skill which has absolutely no use by itself and requires - if I put two feats into it - "at least a few minutes" to get any use out of it. That doesn't sound much like master tactician, much less like the Midnighter.

Not to mention that those "few minutes" are a lifetime on the battlefield, especially for infantry. Sorry, Dr Archeville, but if I had had pupils come to adequate tactical decisions in the field as slow as that, they would flunked rather badly.

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If you want to explain your combat prowess as the results of your "master tactics" why not just buy things like Enhanced Attack and Enhanced Defense with the "masterful tactics" descriptor? As long as you have some "superpoweredy" way to explain your super human abilities, that should work just fine.

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Which leaves me with a Tactics skill which has absolutely no use by itself and requires - if I put two feats into it - "at least a few minutes" to get any use out of it. That doesn't sound much like master tactician, much less like the Midnighter.

That's like saying Knowledge (Streetwise) has no use by itself. True, the use isn't as concrete as, say, Stealth, but it's always been up to the GM to determine how useful Knowledge skills are. It's entirely possible for Knowledge (Tactics) to be of use aside from the optional rules of using it to set Master Plans and set/detect ambushes. It could be used to identify someone's fighting style, for example, which can be used to identify the person and their instructors.

Not to mention that those "few minutes" are a lifetime on the battlefield, especially for infantry. Sorry, Dr Archeville, but if I had had pupils come to adequate tactical decisions in the field as slow as that, they would flunked rather badly.

Master Plan isn't for "adequate tactical decisions", though, it's for truly innovative and inspired ones that give a decided advantage, the kinds that take a lot of intel and scenario imagining to work out. (And are usually made well before a battle begins, or is anticipated to begin.)

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