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My Mutants and Masterminds Games

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.


  Rules  

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 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.

9. Bracing

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.


  Advantages  

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!

Benefit (Wealth)
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:

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.

Breakthrough
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.

Counter Mastery
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.

Defensive Roll
Combat, Ranked

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.

Extreme Knockback
Combat

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.

Inspire

This advantage is gone. It has been replaced by the new Presence skill Inspiration.

Inspired Craft
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.

Intuition
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.

Jack-of-All-Trades
Skill

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.)

Languages
Skill, Ranked

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.

Specialist
Skill

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.

Versatile Luck
Fortune

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.

Withstand Damage
Combat

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).


  Powers  

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.

Affliction

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

Concealment Attacks are weird and warty. Use the Obscure power (from Power Profiles: Sensory Powers) instead.

Create Black Hole

Action: Standard
Range: Ranged
Duration: Sustained
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.

Extra

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).

Damage

"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."

Feature

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.

Force Wall

Action: Standard
Range: Ranged
Duration: Sustained
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.

FORCE
WALL
LEVEL
  Surface
Area
Dome
Radius
Sphere
Radius
  FORCE
WALL
LEVEL
  Surface
Area
Dome
Radius
Sphere
Radius
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.

Extras

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.

Flaw

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

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.

Benchmarking Growth

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:

And every three full ranks gives you:

When converting existing characters, use their Growth rank with the benchmarks above to figure their statistics.

Increased Density

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.

Movement

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.

Regeneration

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."

REGENERATION
LEVEL
  Min.
PL
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

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

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.

Benchmarking Shrinking

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:

And every two full ranks gives you:

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.

Extras

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.

Summon

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.

Teleport

An Extended teleportation treats your power as eight ranks higher or twice normal, whichever is better.

Variable

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.)


  Modifiers  

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.

Removable

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.


  Gear  

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 Arrays

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.

Custom Vehicles

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

Credits

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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