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Mutants And Masterminds

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JMeganSnow
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For all you role-players and comic book fans out there:

Green Ronin Publishing is just about ready to release the second edition of their phenomenal superhero RPG Mutants and Masterminds. Being the fortunate sort that lives in close proximity to GenCon, I have obtained an advanced copy and I am currently planning on running a game using the new system. (If you are interested in playing, advice on running your own game, or just enthusiast chat, feel free to PM, email, or AIM me, all the info is in my profile.)

All I can say is: WOW. Already the best superhero RPG system I have ever encountered, the second edition addressed numerous concerns/complaints from fans. Although some of the interior art is lacking, the book itself is a great buy for comic-book fans even if they are not gamers, just for the systematic exploration of comic book themes and power mechanics. Green Ronin did not commit the ugly mistake that Wizards of the Coast did in releasing their 3.5 edition rules for Dungeons and Dragons; they did not simply introduce numerous greater imbalances and mistakes.

d20 (the mechanics on which M&M is based) is known in RPG parlance as a "crunchy bits" system: complex, highly rules-oriented, lots of numbers and minor customization. This has the unfortunate effect of (especially in D&D) making gameplay slow, cumbersome, mechanical, and argumentative . . . not to mention about as math-intensive as senior calculus. M&M keeps the good features of d20 while relegating the mathematics to character creation. After some intial number crunching the game runs like the wind!

Objectivism, originating as it does in works of heroic fiction, has enjoyed a long, happy love affair with superhero comics in particular. What better way to combine artistic creativity and recreation than to join in the heroics!

Have fun!

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  • 2 months later...

Doesn't sound like my sort of thing.

I would like to point out that 3.5 actually remvoes things that destroyed balance or made them more balanced. Example: damage reduction was usually too high (60/+15 for great wrym prismatic dragons is to high for even epic creatures, the new 20/epic is a lot more balanced).

Also it is rule-orientated and being bogged down by maths only if you let it be. Me and Prometheus98876 manage games that are neither.

PLEASE don't quote the ENTIRE POST directly above yours--JMeganSnow

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Why should I care whether it's your sort of thing? I'm not trying to sell it to you, I'm saying that I enjoy it and explaining the reasons why. Is it really necessary for you to get your ego all wrapped up in "your" system to the point that you have to actively insult and disparage other systems? Lots of people don't like superhero RPG's. Lots of people don't like fantasy RPG's, either. I say, hey, whatever floats your boat. I happen to enjoy both, or I should say "most", because I like a lot of different gaming venues.

You can play D&D however you like, but the fact remains that it belongs in the technical category of a "crunchy bits" system, and one that is highly numbers-oriented. Mutants and Masterminds is also, but it is a bit more fluid and flexible, while keeping the structural elements of d20.

If you want to try a game that isn't that way so you can see what real differences exist out there, get "All out of Bubblegum". In this system, you have ONE number that represents your entire character, your "Bubble Gum Score". To perform non-combat actions, you have to roll under it (on a d10, I think), to perform combat actions, you have to roll over it. That's the whole game mechanic. The score changes during the game based on various events. Things get ugly if you ever hit zero, because then you are "All Out of Bubblegum", at which point you can't fail at combat actions, but you also can't perform any non-combat actions.

3.5 improved some matters of balance: for instance, it made the Bard class reasonably playable, and gave you a reason to take more than that first level of Ranger when you got all the free feats. However, it also upped the power level of those two classes, meaning that now Paladins, Fighters, and Barbarians are the "poor man's" classes.

The situation gets reversed at very high levels, however, because casters can't keep their spells in line with people's saving throws, so right when you need to become ever more effective, only your spells that don't allow a save are really worthwhile in combat, while the fighters are getting up to 8 attacks (for two weapons), and if they're smart they're doing more damage per hit than you do with a half-strength fireball.

How do I know? Easy. I've played every (base) class, at every level, with a group that contained several power-gamers. If there was a way to break the game that they had not discovered, it was only because they had a limited time to do it in.

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  • 1 month later...

Just as long as you're not like the gamers at my college, who truly believed they were the character even after the game. I can still remember them sitting at lunch tables calling each other by their game names and discussing strategies. I like playing Pokemon, but I don't think I actually am a Pikachu! :D

I'd always wanted to play some of those games but people like that scared me off. I always felt like it was some evasion of reality for them instead of a game. Now, I just don't have time for it (Plus my wife would just think I'm weird.)

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I think you're unfairly maligning some gamers, there, Styles. For all intents and purposes you are your character, or, more precisely, your character is you so most groups develop a shorthand of, say, using "I" interchangeably to refer to both you and your character. Some people will use an in-game name, some will use your real name, it really depends on the group. My old f2f group had problems with remembering names so we just used people's real ones.

Although I have met gamers that suffer from (severe) psychological problems they tend to be rare and even regular gamers are disgusted with them. For those who are merely a bit creepy but not actually insane I have only pity: most of them live in a terrifying realm of irrationality and arbitrary rules. Gaming is an escape . . . to a rational reality where they can actually accomplish something.

They are prisoners inside their own heads. It is sad.

(The normal gamers I know are simply intelligent, reasonable gentlemen who are generally shy, gentle, and unambitious. They hold good jobs and do quite well in them, but they have a lot of mental capacity that they don't use in their work, so they use it for gaming. It's not like there's any rule that says you have to use every iota of brainpower you possibly can to make yourself rich, and I don't think they'd be happy in jobs with too much more responsibility.)

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I think you're unfairly maligning some gamers, there, Styles.

I apologize if my statement was made to sound like I was condemning all gamers. I was just saying that even once outside the game, that there were certain gamers at my school who couldn't let it go. It just seemed very weird to me.

(The normal gamers I know are simply intelligent, reasonable gentlemen who are generally shy, gentle, and unambitious. They hold good jobs and do quite well in them, but they have a lot of mental capacity that they don't use in their work, so they use it for gaming. It's not like there's any rule that says you have to use every iota of brainpower you possibly can to make yourself rich, and I don't think they'd be happy in jobs with too much more responsibility.)

Indeed, and I think it's a great way to spend time. I want to get, from my parents, a "live" rpg called,"How to host a Murder." Basically, there's these set of games where you have couples come over (preferably dressed in period styles) and you act out this murder mystery with given cards and such. My parents did it once and it was really cool. I think I'd like to try it with my friends. As I also said previously, I'd wanted to get into the D&D stuff and the like for the reasons you specified above, but I just never did. Now, I just don't have time (Wife and incoming kid + Music + animals + video games takes away from most of my free time). I think it's cool that you enjoy doing it, though.

Edited by JMeganSnow
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Heh, it is weird, but on the scale of weirdness it's like a 2/10. Um . . . did you mean condemning instead of condoning? Those are antonyms . . .

:o Indeed I did. Have I mentioned that I'm slightly dyslexic? Please feel free to adjust that as necessary. :)

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I don't know if it's actually "Dyslexia," but I will often say the opposite word of what I'm thinking (i.e. If I'm trying to say dishwasher, I'll say washing machine and vice versa). I also switch the first letters of certain words I'm using ( in the washing machine example, I'll say mashing washine). I'm not really sure why it happens, it just does on occasions (more often when I'm stressed.) it's funny that it comes out in typing, too.

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