View Full Version : My Abdurdly Extensive List of House Rules for M&M 3E

2018-02-27, 09:28 AM
People still play Mutants and Masterminds, right? Maybe? A little bit? Anywho, I’ve always been a big fan of the system, and the versatility that it holds, and while I’m also a big fan of how 3E streamlined things, I’ve always been a little annoyed at several little issues here and there within the rules. Effectively, as many have already noted, there was some depth and balance lost with then streamlining process.

So, I’ve just been coming up with change after change to try and bring things back towards the middle; below is the giant list those changes accumulated into. Enjoy, I guess.

Power Level

Power levels can be traded for 15pp, and vice-versa; no more than 2 power levels lower or 1 power level higher.
Max Save DC can be traded off for extra attacks per round, instead of max Attack Bonus. (see Iterative Attack in Combat)


Each rank of Intellect grants 2 free skill ranks.
Each rank of Presence grants one free Advantage, from the following list:

Animal Empathy
Challenge (for a Presence-based skill check)
Fearsome Presence
Niche Protection (for a Presence-based skill)
Second Chance (for a Presence-based skill check)
Skill Mastery (for a Presence-based skill)
Ultimate Effort (for a Presence-based skill)


Enhanced Strength can be Limited to Lifting and Grabs (as opposed to just lifting).
Growth costs 3pp/rank, but also gives a +1 bonus to grab checks for each rank.
Healing defaults as a full-round action.
When using Move Object to Grab another character, you use a - Grab modifier of [Move Object attack bonus + Move Object rank], while your target uses their normal Grab modifier. For a Perception-ranged Move Object effect, your Grab modifier is just the effect rank, while your target’s is [Str bonus + Growth rank/- Shrinking rank].
Shrinking costs 1pp/rank, but also gives a +1 bonus to Escape Artist checks per rank, as well as a -1 penalty to grab checks per rank.
Regeneration now gives multiple options, as follows:

Recovery Bonus (1pp/rank): Each rank adds +1 to your Stamina checks to recover from damage (see Recovery). At a +10 bonus you automatically succeed, without the need for a check.
Recovery Rate (2pp/rank): Each rank moves the time required to recover from one damage condition (Bruised, Staggered, or Incapacitated) one step down the Measurements Table. You must apply separate ranks to each condition. If you reduce the time to less than 3 seconds (one standard action) at time rank -2 (1 second), you can recover from that condition each round with no need for rest. So it takes 21 ranks of Regeneration to recover from every damage condition once per round without rest. You must still recover from more severe conditions before recovering from less severe ones.


My modifier terminology:

Extra- Increases the cost per rank of an effect.
Power Feat- Costs 1 flat point, or 1 flat point per rank.
Flaw- Decreases the cost per rank of an effect.
Drawback- Gives back 1 flat point, or 1 flat point per rank.

Extras can be applied to only partial ranks of an effect, and when this is done, they affect the lowest ranks first.
Flaws can also be applied to only partial ranks of an effect, and when this is done, they affect the highest ranks first.
An effect's duration or action can be changed with Extras/Flaws; +1/-1 pp per rank to go up/down one step for either.
Dynamic alternate effects that are made up of multiple effects must have equal ranks assigned to each effect when in use, up to their total rank.

Ex: A character has Enhanced Strength 10, with a dynamic alternate effect consisting of Speed 10 and Leaping 10. If he wants to use 5 ranks of Speed, he would also need to use 5 ranks of Leaping, and thus only be able to use up to 5 ranks of Enhanced Strength.

Check Required is a -1pp/rank flaw, and requires you to succeed on a check with a DC of 10 + the effect’s rank. For each point you beat this DC by, you can use 1 rank of the effect, up to the effect’s rank. This check can never be made routinely, even with the Skill Mastery advantage, and rolling a natural 1 results in automatic failure. For Linked effects with this flaw, choose whether the different effects require the same kind of check; if they do, you make one check, and use the result for all Linked effects. If they require different checks, make one for each effect with a different check.

Ex: A character has Ranged Damage 10, with Check Required: Knowledge (magic), costing a total of 1pp/rank. Every time he uses the effect, he must make a DC 20 Knowledge (magic) check. A check result of 30 (the DC + the effect’s rank) or higher is required to use all 10 ranks of the effect.

Impervious negates the need for a resistance check for any effect below the Impervious rank. i.e. Rank 10 Impervious Toughness would negate any Damage effect up to rank 9. Limited to no more ranks than the character’s Power Level, even if the associated Defense exceeds it due to trade-offs.
Innate is not in use. Powers should simply be given appropriate descriptors (i.e. “natural” or “training”), and can be nullified accordingly.
Using either the “multiple targets” or “covering attack” options of Multiattack requires a full-round action.
Resistible gives a resistance check with a DC of 10 + the effect’s rank, regardless of the effect’s initial save DC (if it had one). So for example, a Damage 5 effect normally allows for a DC 20 Toughness check; if it had Resistible, the target would first make the normal Toughness check, and then also get to make a second check at DC 15 (even if the second check is also Toughness).

When applied to a Personal effect, the Resistible portion effectively has “Perception range”, meaning that the flaw’s rank must be no higher than the character’s Power Level (since no attack check is required, and the effect calls for a resistance check). You can lower the effect’s Resistible “range” with additional applications of the flaw; -2pp/rank for Ranged, and -3pp/rank for Close, with each requiring an appropriate attack check before the resistance check is needed. If this is done, then the flaw’s rank can exceed Power Level, in order to be traded-off with attack bonus, just like other attacks.
For effects where the Resistible DC would be lower than the character’s Power Level limit (such as Concealment or Luck Control, potentially), a flat 1pp may be spent to bring this up to the maximum for their Power Level.

New Modifiers

Dual Weapons (Power Feat)- Added to an Easily Removable Device or Equipment, this power feat makes it so one successful disarm check reduces all effects of the Device to half their normal rank (rounded down), while two successful disarms remove the effects entirely. Note that this is added to the power after calculating the total cost of all effects included.
Thrown (Power Feat)- You can “throw” a close-ranged attack effect to hit a target at a distance, with a short range of [Thrown rank x 10 ft.], a medium range of [Thrown rank x 25 ft.], and a long range of [Thrown rank x 50 ft.]. If applied to a Strength-based Damage effect, you can add your Strength bonus to the effect modifier, but no more than the effect's rank, when using Thrown. So for example, with a Strength-based Damage 2 effect, and rank 6 Strength, you could only add +2 Strength bonus to the effect modifier, with any ranks of Thrown. Once you have thrown your attack effect, you cannot use it again until you go and recover it.


Any Equipment built with an effect that has a duration other than permanent requires a move action to "draw" or "make ready", effectively functioning like 1 rank of Activation.
Switching between alternate pieces of Equipment in an array requires a move action.
Equipment effects can only have 1 rank of any Power Feat with multiple ranks (i.e. Subtle, Penetrating). The only exception to this is Reach, which can be taken at up to 3 ranks.


Having either Accurate Attack, All-out Attack, Defensive Attack, or Power Attack allows you to combine those maneuvers (that you have the advantage for) into one attack. So having both All-out Attack and Power Attack means that you could effectively trade-off active defenses for effect rank.
Chokehold causes the target to immediately run out of air, meaning they have to start making Fortitude checks to avoid becoming incapacitated on their next turn.
Ranks in Defensive Roll can be added as a circumstance bonus to Dodge checks made to avoid area effects, but if so, won't apply to Toughness checks for actually resisting the effect. Also, you can avoid losing the benefits of this advantage while vulnerable by succeeding on a Concentration skill check (DC 10 + damage bonus).
Evasion at rank 1 reduces damage from area attacks on a successful Dodge check to ⅓ the normal damage rank, Evasion at rank 2 reduces damage to ¼ normal rank, and Evasion at rank 3 negates all damage.
Improved Defense removes the cumulative -2 penalty from the Defend action, without requiring a full-round action. (see Combat)
Jack-of-all-trades does not apply to Knowledge skills. For that, use Eidetic Memory.
Languages is replaced by skill use (see Skills).
Luck gives straight hero points, like in 2e. It’s also limited to a number of ranks no greater than ⅓ the character’s Power Level, rounded down.
Quick Draw is not in use.
When applying Second Chance to a skill, it must be specified to a specific use of that skill, such as balancing for Acrobatics, or running for Athletics. The only exceptions to this are Climb, Craft, Disguise, Knowledge, Perform, Profession, Stealth, and Swim.
Tracking requires Survival checks, instead of Notice.
Trance functions like it's 2e version as well, requiring a DC 15 Concentration check to activate and adding your Concentration bonus to your Stamina rank to determine how long you can hold your breath, as well as making Concentration (instead of Stamina) checks to resist suffocation.


2e skills are in use in their entirety, including the return to costing 4 ranks/1pp. Max skill bonus is still PL + 10.
Acrobatics, Escape Artist, and Stealth are tied to Agility; Drive, Pilot, Ride, and Sleight of Hand are tied to Dexterity.
I generally disregard Investigate, anything it might be used for can be chalked up to either Search, or an appropriate Knowledge skill.
Athletics from 3e is in use, but only for the jumping, running, and tripping aspects; climbing and swimming are governed by their individual skills.
Treatment also functions as it normally does in 3e, except that the Revive and Stabilize functions both require a full-round action.


Characters can purchase extra attacks per round. Each extra attack costs 2pp, and counts as +2 towards all of your attack bonuses for the purpose of PL caps. Using these extra attacks requires a full-round action. A character may only have extra attacks if their their highest attack effect rank is below their power level, and may only purchase a number of extra attacks equal to ¼ their power level, rounded down. Only attacks that require an attack check may be used in this manner.

At the cost of 5pp each, characters can instead purchase rapid extra attacks, which can all be used with one standard action. Rapid extra attacks each count as +3 towards all of your attack bonuses for the purpose of PL caps.

Full-round actions are back, and effects can be increased to full-round actions through the use of flaws.
Charging is a full-round action, and functions just like it did in 2e.
When using the Defend action, you take a cumulative -2 penalty on each opposed check after the first. If you use a full-round action instead of a standard action, you suffer no penalty.
All Grab checks are now opposed checks (including the initial check to establish a Grab), using a Grab modifier of . You can also take Attack Specialization: Grab (see Advantages) or a Limited version of Enhanced Strength (see Powers and Modifiers) to increase your Grab modifier. Your Grab modifier is limited to PL + 15.
Escaping from a Grab requires either an opposed Grab or Escape Artist check, instead of Acrobatics or Athletics.
The Recover action takes a full-round.
Any maneuver that takes a standard action and has an opposed roll against the target (i.e. Feinting, Tricking, Demoralizing) can be performed as a move action with a -5 penalty.
Multiple modifier-changing maneuvers can be used at once (i.e. All-out Power Attack), if you have all of the appropriate advantages for the maneuvers in use. (See Advantages)


Recovering from injury requires rest and a DC 10 Stamina check. Rolling a natural 1 on this check automatically results in a failure. However, a recovery bonus of +10 or higher allows for a character to succeed automatically, without the need for a check. If failed, characters can make this check again with a +1 bonus for each failed check. The rate of recovery depends on the condition:

Characters recover from -1 penalties to Toughness (Bruises) once per minute of rest.
Characters recover from being Staggered once per hour of rest.
Characters recover from being Incapacitated once per minute of rest.