How to Build a Transformer
Ben asked how to make a Transformer using Mutants & Masterminds. Here’s how!
Giant Transforming Robots are fun, not only to watch but also to build and play. They are Giant, they Transform, and they’re Robots. What’s not to love? In Mutants & Masterminds terms that means they’re built as Constructs (pg 148), have Growth (pg 87) and the ability to Morph (pg 94) from one form to another.
Here’s a quick example how to put these together and build Enzo, a robot who can turn into a Ferrari!
As a Robot, Enzo has Immunity (Fortitude Saves), and his Con is bought back all the way to zero, for a net cost of 20 points. Robots don’t make Fort saves – they’re immune to disease, poison and all the other things that are liable to affect we squishy folks.
Next up is Growth. It’s Permanent, so costs 3 points per rank (rather than the usual 4/rank), and every 4 points increases him by a Size category. I envisage a transforming Ferrari to be big, but certainly not the most humongous around. Growth 6 feels about right – Large sized, and about 12 foot tall. That works.
Growth 6 also adds +12 STR for free (and +6 CON, but as a robot it doesn’t count). That bumps him up to STR 22 before we even adjust his stats.
Next, his ability to transform. Not much of a Transformer without it, eh?
There’s a variety of ways to alter your shape in Mutants & Masterminds, but Morph is the one you want in this case. It’s 1 point per rank as he’s just got one other form (da Ferrari!), and we take the Metamorph Feat as his traits change when he shifts form – he’s a lot faster, for a start. Morph 4 should do it. That gives him +20 on his Disguise checks when he’s in his alternate form. It’s a free action to shift from one form to another; we could change that to taking a move action instead which would reduce the points cost from 5 down to 3. I leave it as a free action for Enzo as I like the idea of him being able to take a running leap, morph into a car and speed away. Nice.
For the car form, I’ll just use the Sports Car stats from the Core Book for now and build a Ferrari Enzo another time. The Vehicle building rules are fun too!
So there’s our basic Transformer setup and we’ve just spent 43 points so far. If this is a PL 10 hero with 150 points to use, there’s 107 left to personalize our Transformer and provide Powers, stats and bonuses. For Enzo I’d make him agile and darned fast even in Robot form.
Something like this, perhaps……….
Enzo, PL10 150pp
Str 24, Dex 20, Con -, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 22
Tough +6, Fort Immune, Ref +12, Will +5
Attack +10, Defense +10, Init +9
Growth 6 (12′ tall, Permanent)
Immunity 30 (Fortitude Saves)
Morph 4 (into Ferrari Enzo, +20 Disguise, Metamorph)
Protection 6 (Impervious)
Speed 4 (100mph, 880’/round)
Bluff +10, Disable Device +6
Improved Initiative 1, Move-By Action, Teamwork 1
For larger Transformers increase the Growth with an eye on the Size Table on page 34. A 30′ tall Transformer such as Rocket would be roughly Growth 10. Here’s a quick build for him:
Rocket, PL10 150pp
Str 30, Dex 12, Con -, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16
Tough +10, Fort Immune, Ref +3, Will -1
Attack +8, Defense +8, Init +1
Growth 10 (Huge, 30′ tall, Permanent)
Immunity 30 (Fortitude Saves)
Morph 4 (into Rocket Platform, +20 Disguise, Metamorph, Flaw: Move action)
Protection 10 (Impervious)
Blast 10 (100′, DC25, Area:Explosion 50′ radius)