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Currently I am trying to make a character as a play on Sonic in a MM3e game. I am trying to make that "Homing" attack he has where he jumps up and then like dive attacks an enemy.

So far the power is Leaping 1, Damage 4, Ricochet 1, and Improved Range for a total of 11pp. His Close Combat ranks are 6 for fighting stat and another 4 in "unarmed" skill for a +10 attack bonus.

At a power level 11 character, is that Attack/Effect balance based on the ranks of the total Homing attack, ie the 11, just the power effects (so leaping and damage for 5 allowing more distance/damage), or just the damage effect specifically; again leading to room for more power?

here is the Text from the rules:

Attack & Effect: The total of your hero’s attack bonus and effect rank with that attack cannot exceed twice the series power level. If an effect allows a resistance check, but does not require an attack check, its effect rank cannot exceed the series power level.

As the GM, im inclined to think its likely the +11 and the attack bonus of 10 bringing me to 21 of the 22 cap... but I thought I'd ask... Funny thing is I asked a similar, but not exactly-the-same question 8 years ago that google directed me towards and the conclusion was basically "GM Decides."

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to quickly clarify... are you counting the 11 PP of the power as the "base effect rank"? If so, my answer is different. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 24, 2023 at 14:10

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After rereading your question, I think there may be a more basic answer to your question.

So far the power is Leaping 1, Damage 4, Ricochet 1, and Improved Range for a total of 11pp. His Close Combat ranks are 6 for fighting stat and another 4 in "unarmed" skill for a +10 attack bonus.

At a power level 11 character, is that Attack/Effect balance based on the ranks of the total Homing attack, ie the 11, just the power effects (so leaping and damage for 5 allowing more distance/damage), or just the damage effect specifically; again leading to room for more power?

It looks like you're treating the 11 PP spent as the "effect rank" for the PL check. That is the cost of the power, not the effect rank. Right now, in that power, your only effect rank is Damage 4, which (assuming it's not Strength-Based, and you have nothing else adding to it) is "effect rank" 4, which is then combined with your +10 attack bonus for a total of 14, which is a PL 7 attack.

As I noted in my other answer, you could be talking about a Slam Attack, where you could use Leaping (or your base speed) to add +1 to +2 Circumstance Bonus on a Charge (using either your movement rank or your Damage), with the drawback that you have to make a save against half of your damage on impact. For a Strength-based Damage attack, you could also be adding your Strength bonus to your effect rank. So, if your guy has Strength 4, and you're using this power, they could have an effective Damage 8 effect rank, which would then be summed with the attack bonus to determine if the attack is within PL.

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    \$\begingroup\$ this is exactly what I was doing... I was counting the cost as teh Effect ranks and not simply the Damage 4! \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Oct 25, 2023 at 3:01
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Damage is just one possible attack effect.

The combined total bonus of Effect and Attack Bonus cannot exceed double PL (in this case 22). For a PL 11 character, a +10 attack bonus and a rank 11 Effect (total 21) is unquestionably fine. For the same PL 11 character, a +4 attack for a rank 18 Effect (total 22) is also fine.

Good luck!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do the Extras and Flaws factor into that? After I posted this and did some more character building, i think its just the base effect ranks... so in this case I think i can add more distance or damage. Otherwise, if flaws and extras counted, you could cheese the balancing by adding flaws and increasing Damage or whatever else. So Leaping is a Power Effect and Damage as well. but the rest is Extras. \$\endgroup\$
    – MC_Hambone
    Oct 24, 2023 at 12:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MC_Hambone It sounds like you're conflating Power Points and Rank. They are not the same. A Rank 11 power might cost 5 PP, or 99 PP - what matters for PL limits is the final effect Rank, which is 11. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Oct 25, 2023 at 0:08
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I'm assuming, based on the reference to Leaping adding damage, that you're referring to a Slam Attack.

When you charge, you can charge right into your target, using your momentum to strengthen your attack, but potentially receiving some damage from the impact yourself. The damage rank for your attack equals your movement speed rank, or your normal damage rank, with a +1 circumstance bonus, whichever is higher. If you move your full speed before you charge, increase your damage by either means by an additional +1 circumstance bonus. The Gamemaster may limit your base slam attack damage (before applying circumstance modifiers) by the series power level.

As you can see from the quoted text, a slam attack involves a circumstance bonus, which will let you exceed PL by a bit. As you may notice, from that last line, there's potentially also an ability to simply exceed the series PL, by having a high enough speed. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that you risk taking damage with the attack. If you have Immunity to Slam damage, which I would not see as unlikely for a character based on Sonic, then most GMs are unlikely to let you get away with such shenanigans.

But otherwise, yes, outside of circumstance bonuses, your attack bonus and the attack effect cannot exceed twice PL. Extras and Flaws generally don't factor into it (Accurate and Inaccurate are obvious outliers, of course, and Area and Perception damage have their effects limited to PL, since there's no attack roll), merely changing the cost for the effects you have, and possibly adding some additional flexibility to the power.

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