>Mutants and Masterminds: Let me Tell you About it

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The new edition of Mutants and Masterminds somehow took something perfect and made it even better. A lot of streamlining and a few fine-tuned tweaks make it still the greatest Superhero RPG on the market.

Okay, so that’s just my opinion. But it IS really good. Let me tell you why.

Mutants and Masterminds IS:

  • d20 based. 
  • Story driven. Even combat places a big emphasis on narrative description and making cool stuff happen.
  • A cross between the best elements of d20 and the best elements of rules-lite game systems like Fate.
  • Simple, in that it uses one die for every roll, so that the core mechanic really IS core, and that the most complex things a player will ever need to reference in game-play boil down to a single, elegant chart.
  • Fast, fun, and flexible.
  • A game of imagination, mystery, wonder, and everything else that has ever fit between the pages of a comic-book, which basically means everything from Superheroes to Conan the Barbarian to every Anime ever. 
  • A game of heroes.
  • Easy to jump into and start playing, even if you don’t want to go to the trouble of building a character yourself; thanks to the offered archetypes.
  • A game in which not only can Superman and Batman stand next to each other and be equally useful and good (in very different ways); or for that matter, Indiana Jones and Han Solo. Or Captain America and Thor.
  • A game that really lends itself to crazy comic-book style crossovers just so you can try and answer the question of, “who would win if Harry Potter fought Darth Vader?”
  • A game that can be as serious or as absurdly over-the-top as you want it to be, just like the comics it’s based on. That means everything from Watchmen to Nextwave to X-men to Justice League to Batman and everything in between.
  • Too awesome for words. 
Mutants and Masterminds is NOT: 
  • D&D; though it could be used to tell the same (or similar) stories. 
  • Overly complicated to play; it’s easily simpler than D&D once the game starts.
  • Designed to simulate real physics. Mutants and Masterminds is not the game for that; as one signature put it on a forum, Mutants and Masterminds is the kind of game that ties physics to a chair, taunts it mercilessly, and then flies around the room blasting things with its laser vision (Not unlike the comics it’s based on…). Though it IS well equipped to handle the vast differences between, say, Lois Lane and Superman. 
  • This is not a tactical miniatures game. Who needs miniatures? And what good would they do if you’re playing someone who moves at 2000 mph or more? You play this game in your head and your words.
  • A game that will imagine itself for you. You need an imagination to play this game. If you don’t have one, borrow one from a passing imaginary invisible person. 
  • A game that lends itself to kicking down the door, killing monsters and taking their stuff. Instead, Mutants and Masterminds is the game where you stop the monsters from kicking in the door, tie them up, and turn them over to the local authorities, praying that they (the local authorities) don’t hit you with the bill for all the cars and lampposts that you broke in the process of subduing space-army-Tuesday. 
  • A game in which the image below is viewed as anything other than perfectly plausible:
Robo-pirate versus Zombie-ninja riding a dinosaur?
Okay, so it might warrant a raised eyebrow. 
For me, this system is as close to perfect as it gets. It’s my default-go-to for just about anything. And yet I have almost no-one to play it with! Curse my lack of connection with the greater gamer community. . . my only hope is to convert the other gamers I know by becoming a kick-ass game master and bring in new gamers to the hobby at the same time. Please cue the worlds smallest violin for my sad yet strangely dramatic solo! 
So, yes, this is my true mission. 
I’ll be writing about M&M for awhile, but also about Icons and Risus as I finally, FINALLY give them the chance they deserve to shine in upcoming play tests. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading. 
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2 responses to “>Mutants and Masterminds: Let me Tell you About it

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