View Full Version : Mutants and Mastermind Advice

2008-07-10, 09:43 AM
I recently received a copy of the Second Edition book. Now, to my knowledge, I actually have everything I need for my group to play. I won't be actually suggesting a switch for a while, but I'd like some advice on GMing a campaign.
I have skimmed the book, but have not read it. So, what I ask: What do I need to look out for? What have you enjoyed playing as, and what didn't work out the way you hoped? What are things I should look out for, in case my players try to break their characters?

2008-07-10, 12:57 PM
I've never GMed, and I've barely played M&M, but I'll note some of the things that can be abused in a M&M campaign, from what I've seen.

-Be very careful with the Summon power, it can be easily abused by players.
-Same with Mind Control.
-Corrision and Disintegration are easily abused as well.
-Duplication is similiar to Summon, so keep an eye on that.
-Regeneration makes a character almost invincible if a player puts many ranks in it.
-And the Minion feat.
-Benefit is a good feat to keep an eye on as well.
-If you allow tradeoffs to attack/damage and defense/toughness bonuses, a good rule of thumb is to limit it, so that you don't have +20 toughness characters in a Power Level 10 campaign.
-If your players have never played M&M before, a good way to help them make easy characters is to use the Archetypes in the beginning of the book.

Also, I'll direct you to the official Mutants and Masterminds forums, so you can direct your questions there, where more experienced players can answer your questions fully.

The Atomic Think Tank, M&M official forum. (www.atomicthinktank.com)

PnP Fan
2008-07-10, 01:55 PM
The things I've seen break the game:
Read the grey boxes in the powers section (throughout the book, really). These are the obvious game breaking powers/combos that you just need to dissallow from the beginning. They can be handled by a group that plays with a lot of trust, but you're better off just not allowing them. Not to say that the baseline powers are bad, but the uses described in the grey box will let you know the game breaking aspects. I've seen one campaign fall completely apart in the first session because one of the players had some form of transmutation that basically allowed him to re-write others' entire character sheet. This is a rare circumstance and the game is mostly well balanced.

Okay, that said, there are a number of things that make the system a little more abstract that you'll want to read up on.
1. Taking / dealing damage is all saving throw based. Read up on this, because there's some quick math you have to do everytime an offensive power connects.
2. Do the math. Review the PC's characters, make sure there's no math errors of significance. It's a point based system, so it's easy to make honest mistakes.
3. As in D&D, attacks that do something other than hp damage can really change the battlefield. Check your villains and the PC's Fort/Will/Ref saves and powers to see who is prepared for that possibility and who isn't. Having the villains smack the heroes around once isn't terrible, but if every fight is easy because no on has decent Will saves, it gets tedious and not fun.
4. An easy conceptual mistake that experienced super hero gamers will make is that they sometimes miss the fact that the powers are all effects based. By that, I mean, if you buy the Force Field power, (IIRC) you basically get an energy field that protects you from damage. If you buy the Force Field power with the Area extra on it, then you get a larger force field. What you don't get is the ability to use your force field as gigantic shovel to move stuff around in, a common exploit that comic book characters get if they can use force fields. You only get the effect you BUY, not the things you THINK you should get.
5. Alternate Power Feat: One of the best things they invented between v. 1.0 and 2.0. But make sure you and your players don't do something silly like putting offensive alternate powers attached to your defensive powers. Unless that's a limitation you want to play with. Same thing with your movement powers. It's going to really suck if you can't fly/jump/whatever AND attack at the same time. Don't laugh, I've seen it happen. Okay, I guess you can laugh. We did. :-)

Other than a few conceptual pitfalls, the game is really fantastic. You should hug whoever gave you a copy of the book. :-)

2008-07-10, 02:07 PM
-Regeneration makes a character almost invincible if a player puts many ranks in it.

Luckily this one is fairly manageable. The heavy buy-off of regeneration ranks makes the regenerator fairly weak at everything else. So be creative; bury him alive, snare his feet or simply drown him in a pool of acid filled with sharks with frikkin lazer-beams on their head.

Best part is that it's completely justified, as Masterminds are pricks who do that sort of things. And I think you'll both have fun if you remember to challenge the regenerator. He should always have some chance to get away:smallamused: