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Would Reluctance count as a Complication for Mutants & Masterminds 3E, reluctance to use her powers or do heroics because of either confidence, doubt, or other psychological hangups?

A player in the group is playing a wallflower, nerd, weeb/otaku with average looks as her origins, until her power manifested and now she looks akin to DC's Power Girl but has She-Hulk's super strength and toughness. Now in order to do good and help, she has to expose herself to the public and as such be subjected to public scrutiny and must make decision whether to act or not. I suggested a Will DC be set that she should try to over come to act or not and have a consequence if she did not act.

So can "Reluctance" itself be used this way?

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Sure, but there are few ways to translate "reluctant to be in public" to the listed complications.

  • Accident: While normally for physical actions, the Accident complication can be a gold mine for social complications. Any character prone to metaphorically putting her foot in her mouth could easily take "Accident (Social)" as a complication.
  • Phobia: A phobia of public speaking, public interaction, or public attention would be one way to model such reluctance.
  • Quirk: The go to Complication for personality issues. While SHY isn't a listed Quirk, it fits within that framework.

While what your GM says is correct, and "Reluctant to draw attention" can be a valid complication, the existing complications give you a way to show the underlying source of the reluctance. Which seems like a better hook for more interesting stories.

Regardless, good luck!

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Yes, if your GM agrees to it. Complications are entirely between you and your GM, and your GM decides when it applies (generally only when it creates an issue). You can suggest that a Complication comes into play, but the GM decides whether you get a Hero Point. For having to roll a Will save to use a power, I'd probably only reward a Hero Point if the player fails that save and failing that save has an impact, or perhaps if they expend some other resource or take on a difficulty to be able to make that save (for example, making use of a one-shot item to boost her self-confidence, and thus her will save). Alternately, good role-playing of that reluctance might be worth an HP by itself.

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Short answer:

Yes.

Outside of game terms, if the character is expected to be able to do something (step up and be a hero in this situation), and they don't because there was a complication (her Reluctance), then the character gets a hero point. The complication system is primarily there as a way to reward players who play characters that aren't Mary Sues. They have real issues and need to deal with them, and when those issues affect them, they get a hero point.

If this ends up just being a roleplaying point, but the character steps up anyway, then it's not a complication any more than being a quipster would be. If it literally prevents the character from doing something helpful, or even from doing the thing that would be most helpful at the moment, then it absolutely qualifies as a complication and the character should be awarded a hero point.

I will add to this that eventually the character needs to grow and change, so if the player constantly uses this as an excuse for their character to not do anything, you need to stop awarding hero points and have a talk with that player. But, if the character is totally fine working outside the public eye (warehouse battle anyone?) or starts wearing a disguise so they can at least not have their real self judged, then it works just fine.

I'd even say skip the Will save. That takes authority away from your player to decide whether the character's starting to get over it or not, because they need to keep rolling Will. It also gives the player an option to decide that the character thinks that the situation is important enough to step up and face public exposure, empowering the player while rewarding them for playing to their character's weakness.

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