Using the specific example of Attack Bonus v Effect Ranks, the rules state that when added together your attack bonus and the effect ranks of your attack cannot exceed twice the series power level. And for the sake of this question lets assume the power level is 10 for easier math, so the attack bonus+effect ranks = 20.

Now, let's consider a character who has an 11 Strength AND 11 Fighting, who goes to punch an enemy. The attack bonus's base would be 11 (close combat skill is based on fighting) and the damage from a punch is also 11 as it's strength based damage. However, the effect+attack bonus is 22, and this isn't even considering everything else that could raise either number.

How then do you calculate the numbers for the actual attack as you cannot have a +11 to the attack roll and have a rank 11 damage effect? Do you choose which stat isn't used to its full potential and would it be a choice for the player to make, or the DM? Or is there a sentence I am forgetting in the rules that state what to do in this case? Nothing prevents you from having 11 STR and 11 FGT in a PL10 game, yet you cannot make a Damage 11 attack with an attack bonus of +11. So which stat isn't utilized fully?

As a related question: would an attack with 10 ranks of damage and 10 ranks of affliction be considered a 10 or 20 effect rank power? I'm assuming it's 20, and therefore in a PL10 game would not be able to have an attack bonus (or effectively a +0 to the d20 roll).

I would prefer an answer based on RAW, with citations. Failing RAW, I'd like the community's take on Rules As Intended - as an educated guess as to what the creators of the game intend you to infer from any vaguely worded passages. An explanation of why/how you came to your conclusions would be appreciated as well.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman is that edit good? If it's still ambiguous for what i want about RAI, I can take it out completely. RAW is 1000% more important to me than RAI but for some reason I find the entirety of MM3/DCA to be vague and hard to understand. But I am determined to figure it out because I like the DC universe and I like the build your own power idea. but I digress, if my explaination of RAI is still ambiguous I'll remove it altogether. \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Jun 18 '15 at 5:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MCHambone The ambiguity Miniman was getting at was just that "RAI" stands for two completely different things, Rules As Intended and Rules As Interpreted. You needed only expand your acronym to the full words, I believe. The current version is helpful nevertheless. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jun 18 '15 at 5:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Actually, Rules As Intended still takes in a broad spectrum of answers from "What it seems like they meant" to "Developer statements of specific intent", but yeah, the edit looks good. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jun 18 '15 at 5:21

In general you should build your character to fit the power level of the game. In other words, if you have an attack with a damage of 11, it's bonus to hit should be 9. If you want some versatility, there are options that allow you to take penalties to hit to get extra damage, or visa versa. They only cost 1 point each.

TL;DR: You shouldn't have a Fighting of 11 and a Strength of 11, because that's a Power Level 11 character.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you add the relevant page numbers that explicitly state that having a trait like strength higher than 10 is not allowed for a PL10 game? I can't find rules that specify a hard limit on the attributes in regards to PL. There is that hard cap of 20, but that is a general cap for all PLs. \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Jun 19 '15 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ You mis-read my reply. I didn't say you can't have a strength higher than 10 in a PL10 game. I said you couldn't have a strength of 11 and a fighting of 11, because the total would be 22. See page 24 of the DC Adventures Hero's Handbook in the description of Power Level. For example, if you're playing a PL8 game, you could have a laser gun with a total attack bonus of +8 and a damage rating of +8, then have an alternate setting on the gun that's only +4 to hit but +12 damage, and a third that's +12 to hit but only +4 damage. Any combination, as long as the two together total 16 or less. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Williams Jun 20 '15 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ I added a little to the question to clarify my point, but the idea is you CAN have both STR 11 and FGT 11, but you cant fully utilize both (so while it doesnt make sense to purchase those skills at that level in a PL 10 game the fact is, you can) so the question is which Ability isn't used to its full potential, does the player or GM get to choose or is there an actual rule about this? \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Jun 20 '15 at 6:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sigh. The game is designed so that no, you don't buy both at 11 in a PL10 game. What would happen in that case is you would simply decide which one is 11 and which one is 9 (or if both are 10) from one attack to the next. However, there are already rules in the game (such as Power Attack) to grant you that sort of versatility, so what you're describing is not how to do it. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Williams Jun 21 '15 at 8:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another five hours or so and you'll get your bounty. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Duggan Oct 7 '16 at 14:19

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