Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My First New Game of 2011: Mutants and Masterminds 3

Well, it's still 2010, but 2011 is starting off like 2010 did , with a new Supers game.
In this case the new supers game is Mutants and Masterminds, 3rd Edition.

M&M 3rd Edition first off looks a lot like the DC Adventures RPG also from Green Ronin out earlier this year.

What are the big changes from 2nd Edition?  Well GR is moving more and more away from the d20 3.0 standards and more into True20 land.  That is the Abilities (and there are now 8 of them) are the pluses.  So instead of Strength 18 (+4) like you see in other d20 games, M&M3 just uses Strength 4.  Easy enough and a logical extension of their line of thought with True20.

I mentioned there are 8 abilities now; Strength, Agility, Dexterity, Stamina, Intellect, Awareness, Presence and Fighting.  Agility and Fighting are the big new ones.  Agility had been part of Dexterity and does some of the things Dex used to do.  Agility relates more to "bodily dexterity" and dexterity is more like "hand-eye coordination".  Fighting is now the close combat ability. Now while I rather see this more of a skill than an ability, this is a comic book world and it works here.  There are "close combat" and "ranged combat" skills as well.  So Fighting I suppose is more of a natural aptitude towards combat.

Skills are given greater coverage and are streamlined from the d20 3.0 base, but not quite as streamlined as say D&D 4.  They are closer to Cinematic Unisystem in nature really.  Skills are still linked to a specific ability like d20, but are also now detailed on what sort of action they are, move, standard or free.  Much more detail is given for skills and how to use them in a variety of situations.

Feats have become more Unisystem/GURPS like and renamed Advantages. They are ranked and used very much like a Advantage or Quality would be used in another game.  I can see the next evolution of True20 doing something like this too since they are organized in a similar manner to True20's powers.

Powers come next.  Powers are similar to Advantages, but have a much greater effect on various game systems.  An Advantage might boost a skill or change an aspect of combat.  Powers go above an beyond that.  In general the Powers are much more detailed than earlier editions.  There are a lot of Extras and Flaws to add to Powers for a lot of customization.  Gadgets and Gear are separated from Powers in this edition.

Damage is handled differently in this game.  The Damage Track is gone replaced by a very Marvel Superheroes looking chart.   The results are basically No Effect, some penalty all the way up to incapacitated.  It is simple enough to use.  I am of two minds on this.  First, while I never really warmed to the damage track in M&M/True20 it was easy to use and innovative. The damage chart here is also very, very easy to use as well and works on similar principles. The chart has some Old School "feng shui" about it without it being an "endless chart".

Green Ronin has always produced top notch products.  This one is no exception.  I didn't notice much in the way of recycled text from earlier editions or even from DCA, but it very well could be there.  I would be surprised if there wasn't really;  I only really noticed one or two bits of recycled art and that was from their Magic book and Powers book for 2nd Ed.  There were few other bits here and there and there might have been others, but if I didn't notice it that is the same as it not being there right?

All in all this looks like a great game and it might even be superior to M&M 2nd ed aka "The World's Greatest Superhero Game", which I notice M&M 3 does not say on the cover.

The big issues for me of course are conversions.  How easy will it be to convert to/from M&M2 or Unisystem?  Converting actually looks pretty easy.  To/from M&M2 might even be trickier than Unisystem.  I am going to have to give it a try in the next few days.

Well I just put away all my M&M 2 books.  Looks like it was only to make room for my new cache of M&M 3/DCA books.


Theron said...

Yeah, I jumped on that one as soon as I saw Steve's announcement on Twitter. It looks pretty spiffy.

Like you, I don't know how much has changed, text-wise, between it and DC Adventures, but I was able to find out how an Area-Effect Affliction is supposed to be resolved between the actual rules and the combat example, something that wasn't entirely clear in DCA.

Porky said...

Good review, a useful picture even for those of us who know very little about it.

Rhonin84 said...

I'm gonna quote you on this one, "When we gonna do something with it?"


Timothy S. Brannan said...

I am already re-working Justice for this.

Rhonin84 said...

Justice is one I really want to see then!