member, 497 posts
Sun 3 Jan 2016
at 16:23
M&M 3E - Do you have to use a power at its full rank?
Some examples of what I mean:

Say you have Growth 12. Can you use "Growth 4" if Growth 12 wouldn't fit where you are?

Or you have Damage 10, but you don't want to kill someone, just show that you can hurt them. Can you use it as Damage 5, for example?

I couldn't find anything by RAW. I can think of three possible answers to this:

1) You can do this as part of a dynamic array, by moving PP elsewhere, but you can't do it otherwise.

2) You can make a single effect dynamic without adding any other alternate effects to it. This is a flat 1 point cost, so pretty acceptable, I'm just not sure whether it's fine rule-wise. (Incidentally, Hero Lab allows this. However, Hero Lab also allows an empty array with no effects, which gives -1 PP. So...grain of salt.)

3) The GM can just houserule that you can adjust all your effects.(Which may not make sense for some effects I guess.)

I'm leaning towards 2, but I wonder if there's anything RAW that I missed that could provide a more definite answer.
The Stray
 member, 92 posts
 When the Cat's a Stray
 the Mice will Pray
Sun 3 Jan 2016
at 19:43
M&M 3E - Do you have to use a power at its full rank?
There's nothing stopping you from using fewer ranks of your power than you have. Heck, anyone can Accurate Attack for a two-point swing between Attack Bonus and Effect Rank. If you're reducing it even further for no real mechanical benefit, then I don't see why you couldn't just do it. The only limitation would be that all the Extras and Flaws applied to the power are still in force.

Also, it's really hard to actually kill someone in M&M, since you can choose between Lethal and Nonlethal attacks at will and most powers default to Nonlethal. Insubstantial is the only power that specifically forbids using lower ranks, and it might not make sense for certain other powers. But consider this: You don't HAVE to fly 100 miles on your move action if you have Flight that high.

If it's a game-balance concern, I figure that just adding a 1-point Flat Extra called "Variable Rank" to the game will solve the issue. But I've rarely had PCs in my game leaping to use fewer ranks in their powers than normal.
 member, 498 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2016
at 17:56
M&M 3E - Do you have to use a power at its full rank?
Yeah, frankly it only came up with Growth, I was just trying to come up with other examples but didn't have much luck with that.