Sir Swindle
 member, 104 posts
Mon 3 Oct 2016
at 04:17
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
So generally I see M&M games run in a pretty hands off, use the system to your hearts content, fashion. But really at it's heart M&M is just a generic game that chose to put super hero's as it's primary concept.

I guess the question is 'Has anyone seen or run a game where M&M was used for something more specific than just generic super heroes'

I'm thinking games where (because of reasons) all X-descriptor powers had to have Y-Limit. I've been working on a brief for something and I want to know if it's a fool's errand.
 member, 566 posts
Mon 3 Oct 2016
at 08:43
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
I haven't managed to run any, but I did half-prepare two because a certain player of mine insisted. (Both games fizzled because we couldn't find enough players. This was face-to-face, not here.)

1) Call of Cthulhu. PL 5. Normally people were limited to skills and equipment, no powers. Powers could be gained through mystical sources only and usually came with huge drawbacks, either in the form of negative modifiers or as complications. (Or both.)

2) Star Wars. (Old Republic) PL...10, if I remember correctly. Players mostly took Force powers in "packs" pre-prepared by the GM(me). They could apply some modifiers to differentiate how they used the Force compared to others, but under strict scrutiny. (They were all force users. In fact, they were Jedi fighting in the Mandalorian Wars under Revan.)

In both games arrays were normally banned, only allowed on a case-by-case basis.(With dynamic arrays much less likely to be approved.) I love arrays and they make sense, but they can create a huge difference in power and flexibility between those who have them and those who don't. I simply didn't want that in these two specific games. I tend to be okay with them in superhero games, as long as the character isn't dripping with cheese.
Sir Swindle
 member, 105 posts
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 14:34
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
OK, well I'm not crazy in that way at least. I was looking at doing something Codex Alera/Last Airbender-ish in practice. I saw it as an array or a dynamic array per element.

TBH I would have done some sort of array with the Sense, Alter, Control trio for force powers if I had been in your shoes on the Star Wars game.

Sorry about your games fizzling.
 member, 13 posts
Sat 29 Oct 2016
at 09:10
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
In reply to Sir Swindle (msg # 1):

Because of the way M&M is designed around Arrays, and because of the way the math pans out, it's very difficult to limit the breadth of arrays without making them functionally useless.  If you want to attack with Fire and defend with Air, you need both to function at their peak.  This means that characters tend not to dabble or diversify unless you give them a large number of PP, which focused characters will use to just buff up their primary capabilities.

I played in a Naruto themed M&M 2e game.  Don't judge, it was awesome.

Each Array had to fall into one of the three types of Jutsu (Ninjitsu, Taijutsu, Genjutsu), and each array could only have one "type," (elemental, or some exotic type like Dojutsu or Puppet).

This seemed to work pretty well at keeping players in their given schticks, but learning new techniques and diversifying was pretty harrowing, requiring pretty hefty PP dumps in order to overcome the game's advancement economy.
Sir Swindle
 member, 108 posts
Sun 6 Nov 2016
at 22:03
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
This is a good point but also generally the intention. Take a Last Airbender-esque game. You should start the game with having your attack and defense figured out based on your core element and you should be able to do other core elementy things. Diversifying into the other things isn't going to be for attack and damage it is going to be for speed or strength or environmental immunities, things that have a good bang for their buck. As time progresses you would maybe buy into the attack for the second array but add some limits that you buy off later.

All things considered getting an attack or defense capped out is cheap if you are willing to accept limits and it's not your only attack.
 member, 1 post
Tue 5 Feb 2019
at 05:51
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
I ran a M&M3 game set in space. If you were human you could be genetically enchanced and/or cybernetically enchanced to describe your abilities, they just needed to be grounded in some science. Aliens got to be whatever. Basically descriptors couldn't use magic. It worked pretty well.
 member, 590 posts
Tue 5 Feb 2019
at 07:18
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
Around the F2F table we've used it for a sci-fi/future earth type game as well as a version of Star Wars.

The main thing is, I think, to think about concepts in a very mechanical fashion.  Establish how, mechanically, certain similar things are done in the game.  For instance, if the characters are "normal" characters relying on weapons of some sort, come up with some general guidelines for how those should be built, what minimums and maximums there are, etc.

Don't be afraid to have things slightly unbalanced.  In most M&M games everyone builds to the point total, period.

If you're going for something that's going to be more focused or concept driven, assuming the group can handle it, it's ok if maybe things are not perfectly equal.

In the Star Wars game, for example, the person who chose to play a droid ended up not needing all the points.  It was fine.  Rather than stuffing bells and whistles on that weren't needed, they just were done, and the character did all the stuff the player wanted of them, and it was all good in the end.
 member, 36 posts
Wed 6 Feb 2019
at 02:21
Structured Mutants & Masterminds 3e
Yeah. I used to run a M&M 3e game where I had setup a sci-fi/light cyberpunk game of psi powered government agents vs psi-powered criminals. The agents were not super heroes, but they had two psi-based power sets: the primary one up to rank 8 and the secondary one up to rank 5. The power set were thematic (pyrokinesis, telekinesis, combat senses, precognition, cryo-kinesis, etc, etc, etc). All powers had to be narrow enough to fit into the power set theme. This limited a character to very specific powerset and promoted theme interaction and cooperation between the agents.

It was an interesting game, but to "government-y", and I eventually lost inspiration for it. I had to stop it at that point.

But the idea remains an interesting one in my mind.