GMS - How do you handle Knockback?

Jeff Wilder

First Post
Do you just handle it on an ad hoc basis?

What powers/descriptors can cause knockback?

When do they? When don't they?

(I'm not talking about comparing Damage to Toughness for the Knockback modifier, BTW. I'm talking more generally.)

I finally settled on "I decide if a power can cause knockback. If it can, and the power-user wants to do so, it's a -2 to hit."
 

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ValhallaGH

First Post
I only allow knockback with damaging powers and powers that apply the Knockback extra (see the Trip power).
Any Toughness save failed by 5+ results in knockback (distance rank = damage - knockback modifier). Any power with the knockback extra acts as damage equal to the rank of the extra.
Nothing else can cause knockback. Period.
The closest alternative is throwing a character (see Grappling rules). This is usually done via Super-Strength or Telekinesis.

Of course, now that I'm running M&M 3, Knockback is just a complication. "He hits you, sending you flying. Make a toughness save. ... Have a Hero Point for being knocked around the battlefield."
I like it, since random wolves don't get shot by a pistol, slide 50' across the hill side, wobble to their feet, and attack the party. Anymore.
 

Walking Dad

First Post
Yes, I like the M&M 3 approach. But I would not give a HP for every knock-back. If it is mostly a description with no real mechanic disadvantage to the player, he doesn't get a HP.

(Being thrown from a flying castle by knock-back -> HP
Same to smeone with a decent Flight power -> no HP)
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
Actually, I use it to get the hero away from the villain, letting him use his move action to manipulate the doomsday device.

Which is a complication always worthy of a Hero Point.
 



Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
When someone saves their toughness save badly and I think it's cool to throw them through a wall (or possibly a whole building), I describe the knockback. If it screws them somehow, I also give them a hero point to make up the lost move action to get back into the fight.

I'm a little more stringent when fighting on top of a skyscraper or on the edge of a volcano.
 

Jeff Wilder

First Post
Okay, so y'all use it pretty much as a Complication. (I do, too, but I do allow doing it deliberately -- with an appropriate, usually physical, power -- at -2 to the attack. I even allow deliberate Knockback chains, at additional -2 per target.)

In our session on Sunday, the Bay Area Freedom League (BAFL) met up with the Big Bad (so far) of my campaign, and a couple of them peeled off to attack on their own. The telekinetic-telepath got his Flight nullified by a second villain (but wasn't aware, as he was standing -- not flying -- on the roof of a 43-story building) and the Big Bad knocked him back 500 feet. The look on the TK/TP PC's player's face -- "I'm still conscious. I activate my Flight." "It doesn't seem to be working ... " -- was awesome.

500 feet, 43 floors. Through a decommissioned trolley. BOOM. (Don't worry, he survived, albeit out cold. Yay, force fields!)
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
In our session on Sunday, the Bay Area Freedom League (BAFL) met up with the Big Bad (so far) of my campaign, and a couple of them peeled off to attack on their own. The telekinetic-telepath got his Flight nullified by a second villain (but wasn't aware, as he was standing -- not flying -- on the roof of a 43-story building) and the Big Bad knocked him back 500 feet. The look on the TK/TP PC's player's face -- "I'm still conscious. I activate my Flight." "It doesn't seem to be working ... " -- was awesome.

500 feet, 43 floors. Through a decommissioned trolley. BOOM. (Don't worry, he survived, albeit out cold. Yay, force fields!)
And that, Jeff, RIGHT THERE, is why I play MnM!
 

Heathen72

Explorer
Look, if they say so nicely, I have no problem if someone doesn't wants\ to play in my game. I mean, my style of game isn't for everyone.

Admittedly, though, I think even the best, most self-secure GM would feel a little hurt at the rejection, but you have to remind yourself that a lot of people have played your game and enjoyed it.

My suggestion is that you get right back on the GMing horse and find another potential player. And think of what the first player is missing out on.
 

ValhallaGH

First Post
Look, if they say so nicely, I have no problem if someone doesn't wants to play in my game. I mean, my style of game isn't for everyone.

Admittedly, though, I think even the best, most self-secure GM would feel a little hurt at the rejection, but you have to remind yourself that a lot of people have played your game and enjoyed it.

My suggestion is that you get right back on the GMing horse and find another potential player. And think of what the first player is missing out on.
Looks like you put this in the wrong thread.
 



ValhallaGH

First Post
That should not be worth a HP. HPs are a mechanical benefit and the character had no mechanical disadvantage.

Just my 2 cents.
I run my games in the tone and style that I enjoy, including when and how frequently I award hero points. While I often mistakenly under-award, not once have my players accused me of over-awarding; when I give them hero points without events demanding their immediate expenditure, all of my players get very, very nervous.

Please don't dis my enjoyment. 'Tis rude.

Finally, the villain does not "push the button" while a hero is adjacent for reasons of genre conventions and suspension of disbelief (if a hero is right there then he should be able to stop the villain). When the hero goes flying across the room, leaving no other adjacent to the button, the villain can press it, cackle madly, and watch the fireworks begin.

There is always a mechancial disadvantage when a hero point is awarded. The drawback may not be obvious (yet), but it does exist.


Now, go have fun.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Please don't dis my enjoyment. 'Tis rude.
I don't think he meant to criticize your play style; sounds to me more like Walking Dad just plays a more tactical and less cinematic game.

I definitely tend towards the "what is coolest?" style. That means that villains often do suboptimal attacks or plans because it's freakin' awesome or because it adheres to superhero/comic book tradition. If you can't dangle a captured superhero upside down over a pit of acidic eels and then leave the room to carry out your nefarious plan, knowing that your inescapable death trap is so effective that you don't even need to watch the demise of your arch-enemy, you have no business being a super-villain!
 


Walking Dad

First Post
...

Please don't dis my enjoyment. 'Tis rude.

...

I don't think he meant to criticize your play style; sounds to me more like Walking Dad just plays a more tactical and less cinematic game.

...

I didn't want to criticize your play style. I awarded players for just stepping through a portal, because the guy on the over side had a much higher PL than them.

And I like my games cinematic and i don't use a tactical grid or anything for M&M.

... Finally, the villain does not "push the button" while a hero is adjacent for reasons of genre conventions and suspension of disbelief (if a hero is right there then he should be able to stop the villain). When the hero goes flying across the room, leaving no other adjacent to the button, the villain can press it, cackle madly, and watch the fireworks begin.

There is always a mechancial disadvantage when a hero point is awarded. The drawback may not be obvious (yet), but it does exist.

...

In your described case, I would have done the same, but not given the HP for the knockback, but for the added complication that the villain was able to activate his device. Same effect, different reasoning, fun for your and for mine group.
The mechanical disadvantage in my case was, that I didn't gave him the chance to stop the villain from hitting the button, not the knockback of the hero. So I stay with my answer to Jeff Wilder that knockback itself is not worth a HP, but it's consequences can be.
The knockback in your case was the in-game justification for the hero not being able to stop the villain from activating a device. And I agree that this is worth a HP.

...
Now, go have fun.

I will. I hope you understand my statements and that no harm was intended.
 

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