New Year, New Character
Mutants & Masterminds
Mutants & Masterminds (M&M) is a superhero RPG, based on the then dominate "D20" system, though with a number of unique features and systems. Unlike other systems, it truly is a "D20" game, with every roll being based on a roll of a d20, creating a fairly streamlined system. It does away with such legacy systems as "hit points," instead using things like "toughness saves" to show how unstoppable and untouchable certain comic book characters are.
It's also probably the superhero game I've played the most. It's first edition came out when everyone was still incredibly excited with the D20 system, and it was easy to get my friends and other nearby gamers interested in trying out the game. The fact that it was a point based system and allowed for a wide variety of types while still keeping everyone more or less "balanced" also factored heavily in its popularity. I was never able to get an ongoing campaign going, unfortunately, and so my gameplay was limited to occasional one-shots over the years. It's currently up to the third edition, but unfortunately I don't own that particular version, not even as in PDF. So, I'll be creating this character with the now-dated 2nd Edition rules set.
The GM first determines the campaign's Power Level, which determines both how many points a given player has to create their character, as well as a hard limit on how high that characters various traits can be. For example, if the campaign has a Power Level of 10, the character would not be able to have any saving throw higher than 10, their Attack Bonus is limited to 10, and no Super Power can be higher than 10. There are some rules that allow you to trade one for another with you're GM's permission (for example, take a lower Defense and offset it with a Higher Toughness), but for this example I'll try and keep everything at base value.
As a derivative of D20/Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons, M&M keeps the classic Abilities of Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
Character creation is handled with a pool of points, determined by the Power Level. Much like GURPS, there is one large pool and these are used to purchase everything possible for a character. As such, I will naturally be "flipping" through the book quite a bit, and there will be some adjustments here and there to totals. Hopefully, it won't be too crazy.
Step 1: Concept
Like with other point base games, the concept takes on a significant, if not dominant role in creating a character in M&M. And, I'll be honest, I'm at a bit of a loss on how to proceed. I had been using The Universal NPC Emulator, but I'm not sure it will give me the kind of results I was looking for. I spent some time online looking up various websites with "Random Super Hero", but most of these just gave me a list of random Marvel or DC characters, or aggressively goofy and wacky character names.
So, let's give the UNE an option. First, I need to pick a gender from my hero. I don't have a particular one in mind, so I decide to roll a d10--1-4 male, 5-8 female, 9-10 transgendered. I get a 4, so he'll be male. Due to my hesitation with the UNE for this day's challenge, I decide to roll it three times and then pick the one that is most inspiring. Each character is defined be a Modifier and a Noun and have a Motivation with a Verb and a Noun. Each is determined by rolling a percentile. Rolling 3 sets, I get:
- Plebian Scrapper who wants to Distress Discrimination
- Dignified Soldier who wants to Suppress Gluttony
- Cunning Steward who wants to Maintain Justice
Next, I want to boost my damage. I decide to do this by increasing my Strength via Enhanced Ability which will let me use Extra Effort and the like. This costs 1 point per level. With a base of 16, my Damage is already +3, and I have a limit of +10. So, I buy 14 levels of this...or do I? I'm pretty sure I'm limited to 10 ranks in any power, but I don't know if this applies to Enhanced Ability. The sample characters have more than 10 Ranks in this, with the only limit being the end modifier. I decide to go with this, while acknowledging I might be wrong. I also decide to grab Super-Strength--it won't boost my combat ability, but increases how much he can lift and throw and all the crazy super power stuff we're used to. I decide on a whim to just give him 4 ranks in this, which costs me 8 points. He needs some for of "super movement" so I grab Leaping. Each rank doubles have far he can jump--I want him to leap across roof tops, but not leap across cities. I limit him to 4 Ranks in this, for 4 points. I also give him Speed of 4, which will allow him to run roughly 100 MPH.
My Toughness is already maxed out due to my Protection super-ability, so I don't spend any points there. Gracchi's initiative is solely based on his Dexterity score of 16, giving him a +3. At this point, I've spent 144 of my 150 points, leaving me with only 6. All I have left to buy are my skills.