How do the Checks and Balances work in Mutants and Masterminds 3 and DC Adventures?

Using the specific example of Attack Bonus v Effect Ranks, the rules state that when added together your attack bonus and the effect ranks of your attack cannot exceed twice the series power level. And for the sake of this question lets assume the power level is 10 for easier math, so the attack bonus+effect ranks = 20.

Now, let’s consider a character who has an 11 Strength AND 11 Fighting, who goes to punch an enemy. The attack bonus’s base would be 11 (close combat skill is based on fighting) and the damage from a punch is also 11 as it’s strength based damage. However, the effect+attack bonus is 22, and this isn’t even considering everything else that could raise either number.

How then do you calculate the numbers for the actual attack as you cannot have a +11 to the attack roll and have a rank 11 damage effect? Do you choose which stat isn’t used to its full potential and would it be a choice for the player to make, or the DM? Or is there a sentence I am forgetting in the rules that state what to do in this case? Nothing prevents you from having 11 STR and 11 FGT in a PL10 game, yet you cannot make a Damage 11 attack with an attack bonus of +11. So which stat isn’t utilized fully?

As a related question: would an attack with 10 ranks of damage and 10 ranks of affliction be considered a 10 or 20 effect rank power? I’m assuming it’s 20, and therefore in a PL10 game would not be able to have an attack bonus (or effectively a +0 to the d20 roll).

I would prefer an answer based on RAW, with citations. Failing RAW, I’d like the community’s take on Rules As Intended – as an educated guess as to what the creators of the game intend you to infer from any vaguely worded passages. An explanation of why/how you came to your conclusions would be appreciated as well.

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition Spreadsheet

Build Point systems tend to be math heavy, and that makes it especially difficult when playing with kids. Even with advanced degrees, I prefer to let computers to my math for me. Over the years I’ve used several spreadsheets for several systems, such as the Shadowrun Character Generator Spreadsheet at the bottom of Aaron’s Shadowrun Resources Site. It not only keeps me honest, but it means I don’t make silly arithmetic mistakes.

Does anyone know of such a beast for M&M 3.0?

Note: I’ve found Hero Lab, and I would shell out the money it but I run Linux and the demo I downloaded from their site has a tendency to crash under wine. I don’t know if it does the same under Windows, or if the licensed version similarly crashes, but I hate spending money on software that crashes.

Was Steve Kenson involved in the design of Mutants & Masterminds 3e?

I was talking to a group of gaming friends and the topic of Green Ronin and Steve Kenson came up. Someone commented that Steve Kenson was working on Aberrant and didn’t seem to do anything for Green Ronin anymore. I commented that it seemed he’d branched off into Icons years before that, and that I wasn’t certain whether he’d even worked on the third edition of Mutants and Masterminds. He of course wrote the first and second editions, and he’s credited for “writing and design” in the 3e Heroes Handbook, but I remember he more or less dropped off the Atomic Think Tank at the time, and we had a new line designer shortly after the edition’s release. Since a lot of the 3e text was slightly changed text from 2e, it struck me that they might be crediting his previous work on the system and/or making use of his name to add legitimacy to the new edition.

So, was Steve Kenson substantially involved in the development of Third Edition?

How do you make a Bicycle in Mutants and Masterminds?

Hopefully the last time I have to ask someone a question about M&M 3e, but here it goes. I’ve been experimenting with a character that has a Blast Affliction that has the quirk of activating, centered on himself, whenever he’s conscious inside of a motorized vehicle. So, figuring that this would be a guy that’d be in a default Hero campaign, I want to give him a camping trailer (so he can ask someone to tow his stuff/home wherever he wants, rather than going through the trouble of walking hundreds of miles at a time on multiple trips to relocate) and a bicycle (so he’s still limited in how far he can move in a day, but still be able to hold down a job). The Trailer is something that’d fit neatly as a Headquarters, but I can’t seem to fen-angle a Bicycle as a vehicle. The closest example I’ve seen is a Motorcycle, but that has a motor included in that, as well as lacking some key features of a Bicycle (most importantly, the portability of a pedal bike when compared to a motor bike). Moreover, the different options that you can give a vehicle seem to be very limited based on what is presented in the rule book and absolutely don’t include options for non-motorized vehicles.

That being said, am I just being stupid, or is owning a bicycle a Power?

How do you make a Gravity effect in Mutants and Masterminds 3e?

I’ve been doing character building exercises in M&M3e so I can have a better grasp on the Dos and Donts of the system. That being said, I was thinking of that one scene from Batman Beyond where the one Villain is becoming more and more intangible as the week progresses until the point where he just falls straight to the epicenter of the earth. Between that and Space Gear that lets you stand normally on surfaces in the void, I feel like its a valid power to be familiar with so I know how to treat it if I run into it in the future.

My initial thought is that it’d be a Continuous Flight power with the Limit of “Feet-First, in the direction of the center of mass of the Largest and/or Closest Object. The Larger the Object is, the higher priority it has over closer Objects”. If it were an attack, my impression would be that it’d also have Affects Others only, Check Required and/or Resistible.

Do you agree with this? If not, how should I construct these two powers?

Did I miscalculate this Variable Power? (Mutants and Masterminds)

I’ve been messing around with Character Creation in Mutants and Masterminds 3e and I want to double check to see if I have this right. I wanted to have the Variable (p132) power manifest through reciting prayers to inspire the masses, thus it’d be a bit weaker in the end, but be able to buff an absurd amount of people with it. The buffs that I came up with so far are ‘up to 5 ranks of modifiers to attacks for up to 10 rounds (4 ranks if the power comes from a device, is a piece of equipment or is removeable)’, ‘up to 5 ranks of a defensive power for up to 10 rounds’, ‘may attempt to unreliably “grant a free heroic action for the next minute” once a session’, and ‘grant low levels of extra speed, leaping, partial concealment and/or quickness’

The way I Judged this was that it was An Affects others version of Variable, as well as a split and enhanced ranged version, ergo being 10 points per rank (7+1+1+1)

Did I do this correctly?

How do I assemble this Perception-based Defensive power into Mutants and Masterminds?

My Tabletop group has been discussing running a game of Mutants and Masterminds in the future, so I thought I should get a head start and attempt to build a character. The character i have in mind is a fairly Strong, Fast and Tough guy with a selective High-Cognition vision. The way that I had imagined this working is that whenever someone makes an attack at my character that they’re aware of, they can take a reaction to increase their visual perception range to -1/1000ft, increase their processing time by x1000, gain analytical levels of sight and be able to accurately judge distances for however long they wish. Using the information they gather from this, my character would gain advantage on avoiding attacks from the attacker(s) depending on how well I rolled and/or how many ranks they have. The drawbacks for this are fairly steep; firstly, they would loose all other senses until their next turn (where the power would wear off). Secondly, and this is the most important one, the character would get tunnel vision regarding the attackers, something as small as the guy immediately in front of them in melee range and a maximum of 5 guys relatively close together at long range. As a result, his Parry and Dodge potentially skyrocket verses a select few opponents, but absolutely diminish verses opponents outside their limited field of vision.

I’ve been referencing the Powers section in the Mutants and Masterminds 3e Book (starting on page 91), and the things I found in there sort of fit the ideas that I’ve been working with. While there are the Analytical, Danger Sense, Increased Range and Fast Reaction additions to senses AND I could squeeze my tunnel vision idea under Limited and Unreliable, all of these modifiers are permanent and not reactionary. Moreover, the Deflect power is the closest thing I could find to the defensive buff I was looking for, but it only counts as a subsitute for Parry and Dodge, not an additive.

So here is what I am SPECIFICALLY asking people familiar with this system:

Can I make my concept happen through Powers exclusively?

Can I make my concept happen through mixing Powers and Advantages?


Is my concept impossible in this ruleset?

Stealing in Mutants and Masterminds

In a question on reddit, someone asked about how to create a Power that replicated the common cartoon trope of a villain holding an item only to not notice (until they try to use it) that it has been stolen by the hero.

The top-rated comment on that proposes the following power:

What Gun? You Mean This Gun? (15pp total)

  • Ranged Teleport Attack 1 Resisted by Dodge, Limited to Disarm Only (2pp)

  • Enhanced Strength 10, Limited to Disarm Only (10pp)

  • Enhanced Advantage – Improved Disarm (1pp)

  • Subtle 2 – Unnoticable (2pp)

There seems to be some disagreement as to whether that’s a valid build for it.

Is this an appropriate power for the desired effect? If not, what would be a good way to replicate it?