Beginner's Guide

Okay, I know many of you are curious about how to play the Mutants and Masterminds (hence forth M&M) system. I’m working on getting a guide online but until then I’ll detail as much as I can.

The core of the system is based on the Open Game License d20 material. Most of the time this will simplify the roles considerably. M&M takes this into a point buy system to build everything about your character. This includes your powers, feats and skills of course and the abilities of Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence, Strength, Charisma and Dexterity. It also includes your Attack, Defense and your Saves! Our game will be a Power Level 8 set up. This will give each of you 120 Power Points (or PP) to play with but also limits certain things. The maximum modifier to Attack, Defense, and Toughness is 8. Fortitude, Reflex, Will Saves and your Skills max out at 13. Strength and Constitution cannot exceed 26 while the other four abilities can go as high as 36.

Abilities will all start at ten. They cost one point per level increased. They can be lowered, earning you extra PP, but this of course makes it harder for you. You get a +1 modifier for every two ranks above ten your ability is. (Or -1 for every two ranks below)

Attack and Defense cost 2 points per rank, while Toughness and Saving Throws (Fortitude, Reflex and Will) cost 1 point per rank. With Gamemaster permission, it is possible to raise the limit of these, but only at a one to one cost of another. (Attack vs. Damage and Toughness vs. Saving Throws) For example, Batman isn’t particularly tough or damaging, but his ability to hit or avoid attacks is considerably higher.

Skills cover the knowledge and training that you’ve gotten in your life that an average person could get. Medicine, Driving, Search and Escape Artist are all examples of Skills. As teens, certain things may not be feasible to know well or at all. Skills cost one PP for four skill ranks, and you don’t have to put all four in the same skill

Feats are talents and knowledge that only powered or trained people would have access to. This covers everything from Blind Fighting and Eidetic Memory to Environmental Adaptation and Luck. Feats cost one PP per feat or rank in the feat.

Powers vary in cost and can further be modified with extras, feats, and flaws. Power feats behave similar to regular feats and cost one PP per feat. This covers things like turning your Telekinesis into a Blast or choosing who’s affected by your Illusion. There are also some generic Power Feats that can be applied to most Powers like Homing or Affects Insubstantial. Extras are a stronger modification or your Power and add PPs to the cost of the Power. For example, having Normal Strength applied to your Shrinking Power increases the cost from one PP per rank to 2 PP per rank. Flaws are the opposite of Extras as they reduce your power’s effectiveness. Examples would be having Feedback from your Duplication Power or only being able to Teleport Short-Range.

Complications and Drawbacks. Complications are minor issues your hero has to cope with as you role play, and working these in earns you Hero Points, which we’ll get to later. Complications are things like making sure your parents don’t know your secret identity or managing to not flunk history. Drawbacks are things that have defined effects. Things like a being blind and not Daredevil or your power loss to Kryptonite are weaknesses. Drawbacks earn you PP to use in your character creation, and may be eliminated by paying back the cost.

As you play you will have chances to earn Hero Points and Power Points. Generally, PP will only be awarded for completing each adventure. You start each adventure with one Hero Point and can earn more by dealing with complications, great role playing, being defeated early on (the hero never wins the first fight), heroism, or stunts. These points can be spent to help your hero be really heroic by improving rolls, instantly countering, canceling fatigue, using a heroic feat you don’t have, dodging, recovering, gaining inspiration and even escaping death. Keep in mind that unused points won’t carry on to the next adventure, although you will start with one again.

Combat will also be different since there are no hit points! I mean come on, you’re heroes! Regular damage will add counts of bruised to you, lowering your ability to not get hit, and you can become staggered and knocked unconscious. While heroes generally avoid lethal damage, villains don’t always. Lethal damage adds counts of injured as well as disabled and eventually dying. The good news is that recovering is just a matter of time and that being bruised doesn’t affect taking lethal damage, nor does being injured affect avoiding regular damage.

Beginner’s Guide Official PDF

Beginner's Guide

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