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This is the repository for information, house rules, etc., about my Mutants and Masterminds (Third Edition) games. I'm somewhat new to the system (I know very little about First or Second Edition), but I've already become a big fan of it for four-color superhero gaming.
I have established a few house rules. Some are actual changes, but most are just clarifications and GM rulings.
1. Excellent attack rolls give you "boosts."
When you succeed on an attack ("to hit") roll by two or more degrees, every degree past the first gives you a boost against that opponent. A boost is an abstract combat edge relative to that foe; it may represent achieving a superior position, identifying his weak or blind spot, thinking of a surprising new tactic, etc.
You may spend these boosts after you roll the die to attack that particular foe or to defend against or resist his attacks -- or after he makes a similar roll regarding you and your attacks. For this purpose only, combat maneuvers like Demoralize and Trick count as "attacks."
Spending one boost retroactively adjusts the DC by ±2. Spending three boosts adjusts it by ±5. (You cannot spend two boosts, or more than three boosts, at once.) However, you cannot spend any boosts on a roll which was a natural 1 or 20.
When the combat ends, all boosts fade.
(This idea, brazenly stolen from Fate, adds a fun tactical feel to combat, while also making "high-skill, low-effect" a more viable combat option -- now they're fairly attractive even compared to perception-range attacks.)
2. Perception attacks vs. hard-to-see targets.
If there's a question of whether you can perceive a target, roll a Perception check. Apply appropriate modifiers for whichever accurate sense you choose to use (usually Vision); e.g., -1 per 10' of distance, penalties for cover and partial concealment, and so on. The DC depends on why the subject is hard to see:
- If he's moving quickly and/or evasively, the DC is his Dodge + Speed (minimum 5).
- If he's using Stealth, the DC is his Stealth check result. This only applies if you've been able to watch him throughout the fight! If you've lost track of him, successful use of Stealth means you cannot use your power on him at all.
- If neither of the above applies, use one of the standard DCs given for Perception skill.
If you fail, but the GM thinks it's still reasonable for you to target the subject, you can -- but the amount you failed by (not the number of degrees!) is added to his resistance roll.
(This is an objective way to determine whether an attacker can "perceive" his target. The optional scaled effect of failure means that it doesn't have to be "all or nothing"; if a defender is hard to see, it may just weaken the attack instead of making it impossible.)
3. Compelled versus Controlled.
These two conditions both involve the subject being subject to orders by an outside force. These orders can be very specific, including which actions to take.
Compelled: The subject is struggling for control, which limits him to free actions and one standard action (which may be traded for a move action) each turn. He can be given one order at a time to follow, and must do so completely, but is otherwise free to act. (For example, the controller could order "defend me," "attack your teammate," or "don't defend yourself," but not "attack your teammates while defending me instead of yourself.")
Controlled: The subject is completely dominated and has his normal actions. He may be given complex, specific, combined orders. If the controlling force is a PC, the GM may allow the player to temporarily run the subject as an additional character!
The GM may allow the subject an additional resistance roll at a bonus if given an order that goes against deeply held convictions. For example, +2 if ordered to harm a friend or risk the deaths of many or +5 if ordered to harm a loved one or take a potentially suicidal action. (Being ordered to literally commit suicide will break the condition immediately.)
(With Affliction, there's a huge difference between most second-level and third-level conditions, so it's important to emphasize the differences between these two, so that Compelled doesn't become too good.)
4. Punching Through Barriers.
If someone is behind a barrier (inside a vehicle, behind a Force Wall, etc.) but within range of your Damage attack, you may attempt to punch or shoot through it to hit him. The DC is the higher of that needed to hit the barrier or the foe (considering cover, concealment, etc.). If you hit, the foe makes one Toughness roll, using the higher of his personal Toughness or the barrier's Toughness, plus half of the lesser value (rounded down). For simplicity, use this check for effects on both the barrier and the foe.
Example: Zzap is fighting a foe in a helicopter. The helicopter is DC 6 and the foe is DC 14, so he rolls against DC 14 to hit. If successful, the helicopter has Toughness 9 and the foe has Toughness 7, so the effective Toughness is 9 plus half of 7, or 12.
(By a strict reading of the rules, a target behind a Toughness 1 barrier is immune to even a Damage 20 blast. This is a simple rule to get around that without requiring special extras. If you have Breakthrough, Multiattack, or Split, you can attack the barrier and then target separately instead of using this rule.)
5. Evading Area Attacks.
When targeted by any area attack, roll Dodge vs. 10+(effect rank). Add your Defensive Roll level (if any), and add the usual +2 or +5 if you have Evasion. Success means you take half effect; three degrees of success means you avoid the attack completely!
(This is just a slight expansion of the existing evasion rules, allowing an amazing Dodge roll to take no damage rather than half. It also makes Defensive Roll worth the points, since as written it's a horrible deal compared to Protection. The usual exceptions for Perception Area and Perception Range attacks apply, even though I didn't go into them here.)
6. Investigation Montages.
A montage is used when (1) multiple PCs are trying to beat a hard DC to gather information, (2) the team can justify bringing a wide variety of skills to bear, and (3) it's an important enough scene to justify extra attention and detail. (If everyone is just rolling against the same skill, use the simpler Teamwork rules.)
• First, the lead player narrates his action and rolls against the master skill. This will usually be Investigation, but different situations can justify a wide variety of skills. If he misses the minimum useful DC by more than 10, don't bother with the montage; the attempt fails. Otherwise, continue.
• Next, up to five of his teammates can assist, each bringing a different skill or power to bear. The GM can veto anything that he doesn't feel will help; otherwise they roll against DC 15 if it's particularly appropriate or DC 20 if the GM thinks it's a stretch. (For a power, roll against the effect rank or an appropriate attribute; GM's call.) Teamwork adds its usual +5. This is never a routine action unless Skill Mastery is used. The player should narrate how he's helping: using Stealth to sneak up and eavesdrop, using Technology to hack into systems, using Move Object to dangle a stoolie in the air until he talks, and so on.
• Each success, regardless of the degree, adds +2 to the original master skill result. Failure by one degree costs nothing, but worse failure subtracts (degree - 1) instead.
(An investigation montage allows everyone to be useful, not just the one character with Investigation +20. Despite the name, it can be extended to other checks; e.g., a Persuasion check to improve the team's reputation could benefit from various acts of do-gooding.)
7. Knockdown and Knockback
Knockdown: If a foe fails to resist your Damage by two degrees, you may choose for that foe to fall Prone instead of being Dazed for a round.
Knockback: When using Strength to attack, you may trade ranks of Damage up to half your Strength (round up, minimum 1) for ranks of Knockback. After resolving Damage, subtract the target's Mass rank (this is 2 for most humans) from your Knockback rank. If the difference is 0 or less, the target stumbles back about 6'. Otherwise, they are knocked back 15' for each point of difference.
The foe is knocked straight back; if you instead want to punch them into a specific obstacle or direction, your initial attack is at -2. If you knock the foe into a wall, etc., they take Damage equal to (Knockback rank - Mass rank), but may use tumbling (Acrobatics) to reduce this. Otherwise, they fly back the full distance and must roll Acrobatics (DC 15) to land on their feet instead of Prone; flyers instead roll against DC 10 to end up in a controlled hover.
See also the Extreme Knockback advantage and note under the Damage power, below.
You may brace as a move action; this must be the last action taken on your turn. Doing so lets you add half your Strength (round up, minimum +1) to your Mass rank for the purpose of knockback. Optionally, you may also become Vulnerable for +2 Toughness, but only if your effective Dodge and Parry are both 5+ (before Vulnerable). Both effects last until the beginning of your next turn.
You cannot brace if you are currently Defenseless or Vulnerable. Bracing cannot be combined with the Defend action (which usually represents high mobility).
9. Minimum Levels.
1. The difference between any two "PL-balanced" numbers should be within PL or less of each other. (For example, at PL10, if your Fortitude is 14, your Will should not be below 4.) With GM permission, this may be raised to a 1.5*PL difference at most.
2. As a side effect of the above rule, every defense should be no worse than 1/2 of the campaign PL (rounded down). Going lower requires GM permission; in no case will any defense ever be less than 2.
3. For Active Defenses less than 5, Vulnerable imposes -2 and Defenseless imposes -5. (Yes, Defenseless can push you into the negatives!)
(The first two rules just help avoid badly imbalanced heroes; I've never seen a "+20 to hit with Damage 0" or "Dodge/Parry 0 with Toughness 20" character last more than two sessions without the player realizing how ineffective this was and revising the character completely. The third makes Vulnerable/Defenseless matter for even clumsy heroes -- and yes, it's appropriate that an untrained fighter can end up even easier to hit than an inanimate object!)
9. (Optional) Lethal Damage.
In campaigns based on the Bronze Age or Iron Age of comics, I may declare that the following lethal damage rule is in effect. Because it's optional and long, I've hidden it -- click here to display or re-hide it.
Remember that any advantage can be added on the fly (at rank 1, if ranked) by spending a hero point, as long as any prerequisites are met!
General; Ranked (3)
Wealth is primarily a social advantage. Each level includes a commensurate degree of "social status," allowing you to secure invitations to exclusive parties, set up meetings with politicians, and so on. Any rank of Wealth means you don't need a "real" job; you are independently wealthy. This usually comes from holding shares in one or more businesses, which gives you a vote in their policies and an excuse to talk to (and trade favors with) company managers and VPs.
Wealth does not give you free equipment in any way. The home(s) provided by Wealth are not headquarters; in particular, they lack special features, have minimal statistics for their size, and automatically break if they fail a resistance roll (an application of the minion rules). You can use your money for bribery, charity, etc., however. If the GM agrees that a situation could be improved by throwing money at it, each rank of Wealth gives you a +2 circumstance bonus (from +2 for Wealthy to +6 for Billionaire).
Given the vague nature of wealth in this game, it only needs three ranks. To convert existing characters, halve their Wealth rank, rounding up. The levels are:
- Wealthy (Rank 1): You own a "mini-mansion" or a few nice homes, employ some servants, and are respected in local social circles. You may run a medium-sized business or hold shares in several major ones. You can easily secure meetings with mayors, councilmen, and local celebrities.
Millionaire (Rank 2): You have a beautiful mansion, several summer homes, and a fleet of servants. You are known among the social elite worldwide, and among almost everyone locally. You likely run one major business and have shares in several others. You can easily secure meetings with governors, congressmen, CEOs, and national celebrities.
Billionaire (Rank 3): You have an estate and mansions all around the world, with the equivalent of entire companies' worth of staff working for you, personally. You probably own or run many multinational companies and have shares in countless others. You are known and respected worldwide, and can easily secure meetings with presidents, kings, etc.
Almost every hero with Wealth also has some level of Equipment. You can change your Equipment loadout between adventures -- a good way to simulate having unlimited toys, but only being able to carry so many at once. If this isn't versatile enough, consider Variable Equipment, Slow (6 points per rank). Each rank gives you 25 equipment points that can be rearranged by visiting your nearest home, safe house, or appropriate merchant (where the in-game explanation is that you simply buy whatever new gear you need). As a special effect, this power is immune to Nullify and Weaken, but it's vulnerable to having your assets frozen by the government (or someone persuading the government to do so) or techno-criminals.
Combat; Ranked (2)
If you destroy an object granting cover to a target, you may immediately make a free attack against the formerly protected target. The target must be within range of your attack and you must use the same attack you used to the destroy the object. (In essence, your swing or blast "carries through" to strike the target.)
With two ranks of this advantage, you may take a free move before this free attack, as long as it is used to move directly toward the target.
Fortune, Ranked (1/2 PL)
Once per round, you may counter another power as a reaction without having to spend a hero point (Instant Countering, p. 96). You can do this a number of times per game session equal to your Counter Mastery rank, with a maximum rank of half the series' power level (rounded down). Your Counter Mastery ranks refresh when your hero points "reset" at the start of the next game session.
In addition to improving your Toughness, Defensive Roll helps you roll out of an area or behind cover. When targeted by an area attack, add your Defensive Roll bonus to the Dodge roll to evade the attack. This is cumulative with (and essentially a weaker version of) Evasion.
When inflicting Knockback (above), the distance you send the foe flying equals (Knockback rank - Mass rank) instead of being linear. At STR 3-8, this approximately quadruples knockback distance, with more extreme results as Strength rises. The foe does not take extra damage from hitting a wall; this just increases distance.
By default, Extreme Knockback applies to your Strength, but it may be bought (separately) for any Damage attack with Causes Knockback.
You are especially adept at using Intimidation to demoralize minions, whether singly or as a group, though this has no effect against other foes. Normally, it requires four degrees of success to leave minions disabled; you reduce this requirement by your levels of Fearsome Presence (max 2). In addition, success one degree past that threshold causes most minions (GM's call) to simply surrender.
No Fearsome Presence: Impaired at 1-3 degrees. Disabled at 4+ degrees.
Fearsome Presence 1: Impaired at 1-2 degrees. Disabled at 3 degrees. Possible surrender at 4+ degrees
Fearsome Presence 2: Impaired at 1 degree. Disabled at 2 degrees. Possible surrender at 3+ degrees
This advantage is gone. It has been replaced by the new Presence skill Inspiration.
Fortune, Ranked (1/2 PL)
You may use this advantage a number of times per game session equal to your Inspired Craft rank, with a maximum rank of half the series' power level (rounded down). Your Inspired Craft ranks refresh when your hero points "reset" at the start of the next game session. Each use gives you one of the following effects:
1. You may use the jury-rigging rules (p. 160) for Artificer, Inventor, or Ritualist without having to spend a hero point. This cannot be a routine check unless you also have an applicable Skill Mastery.
2. For Artificer or Inventor, you may get another one-scene use out of a previous invention without having to spend a hero point. (This benefit does not apply to a Ritualist, whose rituals may be recast normally anyway; use the option above to speed up this casting time.)
3. You can declare that you already invented a specific creation during downtime. You must roll (or make a routine check) to craft it, using the normal invention rules with no modifiers for time spent (since you're assumed to have taken your time making this earlier). If your invention roll fails, the Inspired Craft point is wasted, but you may try again. For Artificer or Inventor, success means the item is waiting for you at your home base ("right where I left it!"). For Ritualist, success skips the creation time and lets you get right to casting.
For Artificer or Inventor, neither #2 nor #3 allow you to declare that you retroactively brought it along with you! You must fetch it normally or spend an actual Hero Point to edit the scene so that it's available.
Helpful Note: When crafting as a routine check, the maximum number of PP equals your total Technology ranks, at -5 if jury-rigging.
Fortune, Ranked (1/2 PL)
Once per adventure (not session) per rank of this advantage, you may ask the GM for inspiration as if you'd spend a Hero Point.
With Jack-of-All-Trades, you effectively have every Expertise skill possible, but at Intellect - 5. For example, if you have INT 13, you have every Expertise skill at +8. This does not reduce any Expertise skills which you are actually trained in! (This change is necessary to avoid having legitimate experts outshone by a high-INT hero with this single inexpensive advantage.)
Each rank in this advantage lets you speak five additional languages. Don't take more than six levels; past that, take Innate Comprehend Languages 3 (Speaking and Reading) for 7 points, representing your massive linguistic capacity.
Choose one Expertise skill in which you are trained (not via Jack-of-All-Trades), and then choose a narrow niche within that skill. You get a +5 situational bonus on all rolls related to that specialty. For example, if you have Expertise (Science) at +20, and Specialist (Particle Physics), you would roll at +25 to answer questions about particle physics. In general, a specialty should be at least two "steps" narrower than the overall Expertise; in the example here, Science doesn't just narrow to Physics, but even further to Particle Physics.
If your skill is the maximum possible for the campaign Power Level, Specialist also identifies you as one of the world's foremost experts in your field. Though only those with the Expertise skill at +10 or higher are likely to recognize you for it, you have +2 on any Interaction skills used on them.
You may use your hero points or Luck on a foe's rolls, but only to make them reroll an attack or skill check made against you specifically. For example, you could force an opponent to reroll a Deception check used as a Feint against you, but not to reroll a Deception check made to see how effective his disguise is. Use the worse of the two results.
This advantage is primarily useful in combat to overcome your enemies' critical hits. Note that Luck Control with the "Force a Reroll" effect includes and supersedes this advantage; do not take both.
When you brace (see above), you may choose to instead become Defenseless for +5 Toughness, instead of just Vulnerable for +2. This option is only available if your effective Dodge and Parry are both 5+ (before Defenseless).
These powers are a mix of old and new. For the old powers, you'll find clarifications or complete revamps (whether minor or major). The new powers are worked examples, built using existing effects as a showcase of what the system can do; these include "Build" notes at the end so you can see how I did it.
One common Affliction is the "fatigue attack," which inflicts Fatigued/Exhausted/Incapacitated. However, unlike normal fatigue, the victim gets a normal save every turn to shake off the effects. To make a true fatigue attack, add both Cumulative and the custom extra Natural Fatigue (+1/Rank). The latter adds two benefits: The Affliction is cumulative with normal fatigue and lasts as long as normal fatigue (i.e., requires an hour of rest to remove). Note that you cannot add Natural Fatigue without also adding Cumulative.
Concealment Attacks are weird and warty. Use the Obscure power (from Power Profiles: Sensory Powers) instead.
Create Black Hole
Cost: 3 points per rank
You may place a pinpoint-sized black hole anywhere up to 100' away. Anything and anyone within 30' of the hole is immediately pulled toward it with effective Strength equal to your rank. Once pulled to the center, they take damage equal to your rank each turn. Anything destroyed or anyone killed is sucked into the pinpoint hole, never to be seen again. (In comic books, of course, this often means they end up an alternate dimension -- and maybe we just thought they were killed!)
Sentient, mobile subjects use the same rules, but can struggle against this in two ways. First, when the hole is first created, anyone in the area gets a single Dodge roll against your rank to dive toward the outside edge. If successful, they're still affected by the gravitational pull, but at only half the normal effect rank. (If they move toward the hole in any way, they lose this benefit.) As well, each turn active targets may resist the pull using the better of Strength or Dodge against your rank. Success means they can move freely this turn, but will have to resist again each subsequent turn unless they leave the area. Failure means they're effectively restrained (immobile and vulnerable) -- or bound (defenseless, immobile, and impaired) with two or more degrees -- and are immediately dragged toward the center (or damaged, if they're already at the center). See Grab (p. 196) for details.
You may only have one hole active at a time. The hole exists until you create a new one, choose to end the effect, or become stunned or incapacitated.
Build: Move Object with Area (30' Burst), Damaging, and Limited Direction (Only toward black hole). Subjects' evasion benefits are canceled if they move toward the hole but this is balanced by stricter-than-normal limits on the effect's ability to move things and damage them.
Impedes Movement*: Even if someone resists the hole's pull, their movement is hampered. Anyone in the area moving away from the hole in any way is at -2 Speed; otherwise, anyone moving in any direction except directly toward the hole is at -1 Speed. In addition, all movement-related Acrobatics and Athletics rolls made in the area are at -2. Flat +2 points.
* Built as Environment 1 (Impede Movement 2) with Linked (to Move Object), Quirk (Doesn't uniformly reduce Speed), and Ranged (to have it center on the hole, not the user).
"Causes Knockback" is a flat +1 Extra that allows your attack to use the Knockback rules above. You may always choose how many ranks of Damage to trade for Knockback, to as few as "none."
Increased Mass is a leveled feature; normal humans start at Mass rank 2. This may be taken as a negative (to a minimum of -5), but only as part of a Reduced Trait flaw.
Cost: 1 point per rank
You can create a barrier of raw force to protect yourself and others. Decide (when buying this power) whether the barrier is opaque (total concealment), partially opaque (partial concealment), or translucent (no concealment). Either way, the barrier has Toughness equal to rank; anyone trying to penetrate it must first break it, using Damage to Objects (p. 192) or Punching Through Barriers (above). You may take a standard action at any time to "shore it up," repairing any damage. It lasts until you stop sustaining it (voluntarily or not) or create another wall.
The concealment and Toughness work both ways! If your force wall is opaque, anyone behind it has total concealment from you as well, and you cannot attack through it without breaking it.
Strictly speaking, your wall's Toughness is not PL-limited, as it does not directly "stack" with other defenses. However, the GM may choose to limit your wall's Toughness to PL (or another limit of his choice, such as 1.5*PL) for balance purposes -- and in no case can you ever have a wall with Toughness greater than 2*PL.
Find the surface area of your wall on the table below. For example, with Force Wall 2 you can create a 48-sft. wall: 4' x 12', 6' x 8', or any appropriate combination you want. Your wall can be placed anywhere you wish, even in mid-air, where it will hang, motionless. A common use of Force Wall is to create a dome over people on the ground, or a sphere over those in the air. Find the radius of a dome or sphere on the table below. You may always choose to create a smaller wall.
1 24 sft. 2 feet 1.5 feet 11 24,000 sft. 60 feet 45 feet 2 48 sft. 3 feet 2 feet 12 48,000 sft. 90 feet 60 feet 3 96 sft. 4 feet 3 feet 13 96,000 sft. 125 feet 90 feet 4 180 sft. 6 feet 4 feet 14 180,000 sft. 175 feet 125 feet 5 375 sft. 8 feet 6 feet 15 375,000 sft. 250 feet 175 feet 6 750 sft. 11 feet 8 feet 16 750,000 sft. 350 feet 250 feet 7 1,500 sft. 15 feet 11 feet 17 1.5 million sft. 500 feet 350 feet 8 3,000 sft. 20 feet 15 feet 18 3 million sft.
(1/10 sq. mile)
700 feet 500 feet 9 6,000 sft. 30 feet 20 feet 19 6 million sft.
(1/5 sq. mile)
1,000 feet 700 feet 10 12,000 sft. 45 feet 30 feet 20 12 million sft.
(1/2 sq. mile)
1,400 feet 1,000 feet And so on. Each additional level doubles the area. Every two additional levels double the dome or sphere radius.
Build: Create with Limited (Only Barriers) and Stationary. Surface area values assume the wall is one inch thick, per standard object Toughness rules.
Additional Wall: For each level of this extra, you can sustain another wall; e.g., with Additional Wall 3, you could have four walls up at once! However, you must divide your surface area between them all. Thus, this extra becomes more useful at higher levels. Each wall requires a separate standard action to create. Flat +1 point per extra wall.
Impervious: You may apply this extra to some or all of your wall's Toughness.
Movable: You can move your wall around as though using Move Object equal to its rank. +1 cost per rank.
Opacity Control: You can change how opaque your wall is. If you also have Subtle 2, your wall can range from invisible to fully opaque. For +1 point, you can decide this every time you create a wall. For +2 points, you can also change the opacity of an existing wall, as a free action. Flat +1 or +2 points.
Selective: As a free action, you can make your wall block certain attacks but not others, or make it incorporeal to some people but not others, allowing you and your allies to attack from a position of safety. If you also have Opacity Control, you can make your wall "one-way transparent" as well. +1 cost per rank.
Subtle 2: Your wall is completely invisible. You cannot make it visible (or opaque) unless you also have Opacity Control. (Subtle 1 is not appropriate for Force Wall.) Flat +2 points.
Proportional: Your wall must split its effect ranks between surface area and Toughness. For example, with Force Wall 10, Proportional, you could put 4 ranks toward surface area (180 sft.) and 6 ranks toward Toughness (Toughness 6), or you might put 9 ranks toward surface area (6,000 sft.) and 1 rank toward Toughness (Toughness 1). Neither can go below 0 or above Force Wall rank. (If you only have one such configuration, take that as a Quirk in addition to this flaw.) -1 cost per rank.
Growth is not a separate power. Instead, it is simply a special case of Alternate Form (p. 98). Use Enhanced Trait (p. 106) to add Strength, Stamina, Speed, Intimidation, and Feature (Mass) (see above). Optionally, add the Reduced Trait flaw to lower any of Dodge* and/or Parry* (you're easier to hit), Close Attack* and/or Ranged Attack* (your foes become smaller from your perspective, and thus harder to hit), or Stealth. Finally, set your Size; there is no cost for this (its cost is reflected in your active defenses). See below for suggested benchmarks; campaign PL limits always apply.
Once you have the cost of Enhanced Trait figured, add either Activation (Move) for -1 PP or Activation (Standard) for -2 PP, depending on how much effort it takes you to grow or shrink.
This assumes that you can only switch between your normal size and maximum size. If you can assume any height between the two, add Variable Descriptor for +1 PP and work with the GM to interpolate your stats based on your size at the moment. (If you use the guidelines below, this will be easy!)
* For -1 PP per reduced rank.
Even though Growth is built as Alternate Form, it's often easiest to think of it as coming in ranks, where each rank gives you:
- +1 Mass (ordinary humans start at Mass 2)
- +1 Strength
- +1 Stamina, which also affects Fortitude and Toughness
And every three full ranks gives you:
- +1 Size, which also affects your Reach (ordinary humans start at Size/Reach -2)
- +1 Speed (ordinary humans start at Speed 0)
- -2 to Stealth skill
- +2 to Intimidation skill
- -1 to Dodge and Parry), as you become a bigger target
- -1 to Close Attack and Ranged Attack, as your foes become smaller (from your perspective)
When converting existing characters, use their Growth rank with the benchmarks above to figure their statistics.
One common variant on Growth is the hero who gets heavier without changing size. Use the same rules, except the only things that typically change are Mass, Strength, and Stamina. Impervious (added to the Toughness from Stamina) is very common. Speed usually remains the same or becomes lower. Size, skills, defenses, and attacks should be unaffected.
Player-controlled Time Travel is not available. If you want the equivalent of a plot device that will let you travel through time, you may simply note on your sheet that you have a (completely unreliable) innate power or time machine; this costs no PP. The GM will decide when this come into play and how well it works; if used as a Complication, you will receive a Hero Point as usual.
To avoid hurting the GM's brain, Regeneration can only be taken at one of the levels below; it provides the listed (simplified) recovery rate. If your Regeneration is boosted or weakened to a level not on the table, the GM will "round it down" to one of the listed levels.
Constructs, vehicles, etc. with Regeneration 1 get its full benefit, since there's no clearly defined way for inanimate objects to "rest."
Rate of Recovery 1 Any One condition per minute (10 rounds) 2 Any One condition per 5 rounds 3 4 One condition per 4 rounds 4 6 One condition per 3 rounds 5 8 One condition per 2 rounds 10 10 One condition per round 15 13 Alternate between one condition on odd
rounds and two conditions on even rounds
20 15 Two conditions per round 25 18 Alternate between two condition on odd
rounds and three conditions on even rounds
30 20 Three conditions per round
Quickness is limited to PL. For example, in a PL10 game, you cannot have more than Quickness 10. (You may use Extra Effort, etc., to raise this temporarily, of course.)
Quickness does not stack with other methods of reducing time. Also, it may be used only for actions that would be routine before factoring in Skill Mastery! In particular, it cannot reduce any action in combat.
Quickness cannot be combined with Artificer, Inventor, or Ritualist, because that combination has been proven to be broken. Use jury-rigging and the new Inspired Craft advantage above to speed these up.
Shrinking is not a separate power. Instead, it is simply a special case of Alternate Form (p. 98). Use Enhanced Trait (p. 106) to improve any of Dodge and/or Parry* (you're harder to hit), Close Attack* and/or Ranged Attack (your foes become bigger from your perspective), and Stealth. Use the Reduced Trait flaw to lower any of Strength, Speed, Intimidation, and Feature (Mass) (see above). Finally, set your Size; there is no cost for this (its cost is reflected in your active defenses). See below for suggested benchmarks; campaign PL limits always apply.
Once you have the cost of Enhanced Trait figured, add either Activation (Move) for -1 PP or Activation (Standard) for -2 PP, depending on how much effort it takes you to shrink or grow.
This assumes that you can only switch between your normal size and smallest size. If you can assume any height between the two, add Variable Descriptor for +1 PP and work with the GM to interpolate your stats based on your size at the moment. (If you use the guidelines below, this will be easy!)
* Or replace these both with increased Fighting.
Even though Shrinking is built as Alternate Form, it's often easiest to think of it as coming in ranks, where each rank gives you:
- -3 Mass (ordinary humans start at Mass 2)
- -1 Size, which also affects your Reach (ordinary humans start at Size/Reach -2)
- -1 Strength (though many shrinkers retain full Strength)
- +2 to Stealth skill
- -2 to Intimidation skill
- +1 to active defenses (Dodge and Parry), as you become a smaller target
- +1 to all of your attack rolls, as your foes become larger (from your perspective)
And every two full ranks gives you:
- -1 Speed (normal humans start at Speed 0)
When converting existing characters, divide their listed level of Shrinking by 4, round to the nearest whole number, then use these benchmarks to figure their statistics.
Atomic: This extra from p. 128 is really just an Alternate Effect for Dimension Travel (Atomic Universe). As such, it makes sense to restrict this to those who can shrink to Size -7 or smaller, though the only hard requirement is that you've spent at least 2 PP on Shrinking. Flat +1 point.
If the cost of Summon is 2 points per rank or greater, characters can buy fractional ranks, at 1 point each. Each fraction adds 15/(cost per rank) points to the power of the agent(s) summoned, rounded down. This adds complexity, but makes it possible to fine-tune the effect, particularly for duplicators.
Example: Pisces can summon a twin of herself, bought as Summon Duplicate with Heroic (4 points per rank). She's PL8 and built on 135 points, so she takes Summon Duplicate 7.25 for 29 points. This leaves her 106 points to build her character, which is good, because her Summon lets her call up to a 7.25 x 15 = 108-point agent. (The 2-point difference gives her some room to grow before she has to raise her Summon another quarter-level.)
Without using this rule, Pisces would have had to buy Summon Duplicate 8 for 32 points. She'd then have had 103 points left on which to build her super, which seems imbalanced considering she has enough Summon to call a 120-point agent!
Helpful Hint: To find the minimum level of Summon Duplicate needed for a single copy of yourself, start with the character's total points, subtract any flat-cost Summon extras (like Mental Link), then divide by 15+(cost per rank of Summon). Round up to the nearest appropriate fraction (or to the nearest whole number if not using the rule above). For example, with the build above, Pisces needs 135/(15+4)=7.11 ranks of Summon, rounded up to 7.25.
An Extended teleportation treats your power as eight ranks higher or twice normal, whichever is better.
General flaws applied to Variable affect the entire pool. For example, if you take Unreliable, you have to roll when configuring your pool and then also roll when using any of the abilities bought with the pool. If you want a flaw that only applies when you are configuring the pool, take that as a Quirk.
Variable cannot be an Alternate Effect, nor can it be used to buy an Alternate Effect. Variable is an alternative to an array, so it cannot interact with one.
Variable can raise your abilities but cannot be used to acquire skill ranks. This has simply proven too abusive. To represent someone great at everything, buy up your abilities and take the Jack-of-All-Trades advantage. (The same rule applies to Artificer, Inventor, and Ritualist -- their creations cannot grant skill ranks either.)
These Extras and Flaws can be added to a wide range of powers.
Impedes Teleport (Flat +1 point)
Add this to any Toughness that represents an enclosed barrier -- usually bases or vehicles, but it may also apply to personal armor if there's enough internal space for you to worry about teleporters popping in! Any teleporter trying to warp past it must succeed in a separate Teleport check against DC 10 + Toughness. Failure means he stays where he is; three or more degrees of failure mean he's also stunned until his next turn. He may try again, but at a cumulative -1 circumstance penalty (which is erased once he succeeds).
For more protection than this, use Immunity 2 (Teleport) -- or Immunity 5 (Bypass Powers), which also blocks Insubstantial, Remote Sensing, etc.
Note that devices are always obvious. Anyone watching you use a Removable power will realize (with no roll required) that your ability is being granted by the device . . . and that they may be able to steal it from you. If your power is Subtle, they may not notice the power being used; but once they realize what you can do, they'll also realize that the device is behind it.
In some cases, the "obviousness" is a given, as with armor that enhances your Strength and Protection. If not, the descriptor of the effect must make it so; for example, if you gain Enhanced Strength and Protection from an amulet, the amulet must be worn visibly and might glow every time you use your muscles or take a hit. If you can't think of a way for your foes to see your device and figure out what it does, then it doesn't qualify for the Removable flaw.
Indestructable devices are completely immune to Damage, but still vulnerable to Teleport Attack, Transform, etc.
Most pieces of modern gear (just about anything you can pick up at the store) are just 1-point features . . . or even free. No one should pay for things like pencils, a wristwatch, etc. But exotic gear, weapons, armor, vehicles, and headquarters are exceptions -- such things need detail.
Equipment can be bought as an array; see Alternate Equipment (p. 161) for details. There are two types of possible equipment arrays, each with their own unique drawback. Make sure it's clear which type you have:
Single-Piece ("Utility Belt") Array: Your array is actually one incredibly versatile piece of gear. You may use any of its modes easily, switching between them as a free action, but it only takes a single disarm action to divest you of the entire array.
Multi-Piece ("Arsenal") Array: Your array is multiple pieces of gear which cannot be used at the same time; e.g., you must stow one weapon before wielding another. It requires a move action to switch between modes (unless you have the Quick Draw advantage). If someone disarms you, you don't lose access to the other parts of your array.
This list of vehicles is written with the Summon Vehicle power (from Power Profile: Summoning Powers) in mind, which is why each cost is a multiple of 15. Any character may take these vehicles as normal gear, of course.
Name Size Strength Speed Defense Class Toughness Features Weapons Cost GROUND VEHICLES Coupe, Sports L 5 7 10 8 Alarm, GPS, Remote None 15 Motorcycle, Light M 2 6 10 8 Alarm, GPS, Oil Slick, Remote None 15 Motorcycle, Heavy M 3 6 10 9 Alarm, Remote None 15 Sedan, Armored L 6 5 8 12 Alarm, Remote None 15 Sedan, Smuggler's L 6 6 8 9 Alarm, Caltrops, Compartments, Remote None 15 AIR VEHICLES Helicopter, Sport H 8 6 6 9 Alarm or Remote (choose) None 15 Helicopter, Advanced H 9 9 8 12 Alarm (DC 25), GPS, Remote, Sound Baffling* None 30 * Adds Subtle 1 to movement.
Many of these vehicles are unarmed. Add any of the following weapons that make sense. Decide whether each is an obvious weapon or a hidden, "pop-up" one; this does not affect the cost. They may be fired using an appropriate Ranged Combat or Vehicles skill, limited by PL as usual.
Weapon Effect Cost Flamethrower Damage 5 (Area, Cone 60'; Secondary Effect) 15 Flash-Bang Grenades Affliction 5 (Area, Burst 30'; Ranged)
Resisted and overcome by Fortitude; Impaired/Disabled/Unaware
15 Laser Damage 5 (Penetrating 5; Ranged) 15 Machine Gun Damage 5 (Multiattack; Ranged) 15 Mini-Rockets Damage 5 (Area, Burst 30'; Ranged) 15 Net Launcher Snare 5 (see p. 131) 15 Subsonic Disruptor Affliction 5 (Area, Hearing Perception; Cumulative)
Resisted and overcome by Will; Impaired/Disabled/Incapacitated
15 Taser Affliction 5 (Cumulative; Ranged)
Resisted by Dodge; Overcome by Fortitude; Dazed/Stunned/Incapacitated
15 Weapons Array Choose any four weapons above, reducing all effect ranks to 4. 15 Heavy (Weapon Type) Choose any weapon above, raising its effect rank to 10. 30 Heavy Weapons Array Choose any four weapons above, raising all effect ranks to 8. 30
Some of the content above came from the members of the Atomic Think Tank forums; I may have tweaked it, but only slightly. Breakthrough is by ZeroGrim. Counter Mastery is by Shock. Growth and Shrinking are by Taliesin. Investigation Montages are from the excellent First Edition Superlink adventure Church and State (by Bradley Robins).
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