Initial thoughts on Mutants & Masterminds Third Edition

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10 Responses

  1. I’ve loved every edition og M&M and it remains one of my top favorite games of all time. I actually think I like third edition best of all. It has the simple ease of 1st, the detail and customization of 2nd and a few new nifty, near indie, bells and whistles and lights thrown in for good measure. Just an all around awesome game.

    From a Green Dog to a GreyWulf – Happy New Year!

  2. DarkTouch says:

    I’ve only played one game of 3rd edition but I feel like the change was very similar to the change from 1st to 2nd. A whole lot changed in the character creation side of things but very little actually changed in play.

  3. pdunwin says:

    That’s not what “begs the question” means.

    Never played, but it sounds ok so far. How does it handle putting, say, Batman next to Superman (or anyone next to Superman) without Batman being left behind, or wiped out by a force designed to handle Superman?

    • greywulf says:

      That’s something M&M handles very well, both in Second and now in Third Edition. It uses Power Levels which sets limits on pretty much anything that requires a roll or saving throw. It acts as a balancing agent, but there are trade-offs that characters can use to fine-tune their concept within the limits.

      For example, Power Level 10 is your typical Superhero Power Level, roughly equal to Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Supergirl, etc. More experienced heroes (such at the Justice League) would be PL 12 or more.

      At Power Level 10, a hero could have at most +10 to hit for 10 ranks of damage, or they could trade-off hitting potential for damage potential, or vice versa meaning you could have heroes who are +15 to hit for 5 ranks of damage (a Batman type, for example) alongside someone who is +5 to hit for 15 ranks of Damage (a Superman type), and it’s all still Power Level 10.

      Likewise when it comes to defense and the ability to take the damage. Batman’s ability to dodge the hits would be far higher than Superman’s, but he can soak up far more damage.

      In the DC Adventures Hero’s Handbook it puts Batman at PL 12 and Superman at PL 15, which feels about right to me.

      Hope that helps!

  4. The Bane says:

    Ok, GreyWulf, now that you have gotten me hooked on both M&M 2nd Ed and Minecraft, a question. What do you make out as far as this edition goes with errata? I mean, is it safe now, or do you think there will be an expansive errata (meaning I should wait a few months to get the PDFs)?

    Any input along these lines would be great!


    • greywulf says:

      I guess the best way to answer that is to look at Green Ronin’s track record with Second Edition M&M, which was first published in 2005.

      The errata for that is available on this page. For the First Edition printing, it runs to just 6 pages of typos and clarifications – and it was last updated way back in 2007. For the Third Printing, the errata is barely half a page in length. Again, it’s unchanged since 2007.

      Unlike a certain other company (*cough* Wizards of the Coast *cough*), Green Ronin don’t see fit to dick around with their books once they’re out the door. Beyond catching the odd slip or typo, once a book is printed, the editing process is closed.

      That, imho, is exactly as it should be.

      As a result of this attitude, they set themselves high standards *before* it goes to print. Errata tends to be few in a Green Ronin book, and quickly fixed and updated in PDFs as a matter of course. In comparison WoTC looks (indeed, is) downright slipshod in their treatment of customers.

      Ahem. Sorry about that mini-rant there.

      I’d have no qualms about recommending 3e M&M for purchase right now at First Printing – something I’d hesistate to do ever again with a WoTC publication.

      • The Bane says:

        Thanks. I was really impressed with 2nd Edition and appreciate the fast response. Good to know they retained the same quality in 3rd edition.

        Now I just have to recover from Christmas fundage shortages and figure out which PDF I want. I would like to have the DC background, but if it is like 2nd edition, I will most likely use 3rd for Low (Apocalyptic) Dark Fantasy and Gritty Level Hero games. I am leaning towards the Hero’s Handbook, as I plan on only getting the PDF and have found, though well organized (2nd Edition), crunching characters from a PDF is difficult to say the least. If I decide to print it, the smaller page count will help too.

        In regards to PDF format, which I am assuming you are writing about, how is the navigation?

        Have you heard of a W&W addition coming out for it? I just got the 2nd edition W&W right before I found out about 3rd edition M&M, go figure. As it sounds however, W&W should be easily interchangeable with 3rd edition, with some minor tweaking already…


        • greywulf says:

          My vote would be to go with the DC Adventures PDF. The artworks is (unsurprisingly) much better and the layout is pretty much identical right up to Chapter 10 which talks about the DC Universe itself. As it’s only $2.50 more, it’s worth every cent.

          The core M&M Hero’s Handbook PDF really should be cheaper. At the current price point there’s little real reason not to go straight to DC Adventures, especially if you’ve played superhero RPGs before.

          I would like to see a print-friendly (ie, no art) version of the PDF some time (Green Ronin, you listening?)

          I wouldn’t be surprised if new edition of W&W (excellent supplement, btw) doesn’t make an appearance, but I wouldn’t expect it to be out this side of 2012.

          Using your existing W&W (or any 2e supplement, for that matter) would really just be a matter of recosting and lightly reworking the Feats, Spells, etc as you want to use them. Most will convert over directly, but you will need to watch out for some of the Powers that have changed in price and way of working.

          • greywulf says:

            Oh, I almost forgot. Layout and navigation is pretty identical to that in M&M Second Edition. If you’re used to that, you’ll find using 3e is like slipping into an old pair of slippers :)

            The Chapter headings in order are (using DCA as that’s the one I have open right now):

            The Basics
            Secret Origins
            Skills (skills are, incidentally, renamed and reduced in number)
            Advantages (the new name for Feats)
            Powers (which are arranged alphabetically)
            Gadgets & Gear (covers Devices, Equipment, Weapons, Armour, Vehicles, HQs and Constructs)
            Action & Adventure
            The DC Universe
            Heroes & Villains
            Reference Tables
            Character Sheet

            Checking the M&M 3e Table of Contents, it’s exactly the same but without The DC Universe and Heroes & Villains sections. Instead Supporting Characters and Animals subsections are folded into the Gamemastery chapter.

  5. The Bane says:

    Thanks again. I will go with the DC PDF. Now I just have to overcome the funding shortage….


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