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Role playing games have always been a past time for casual and serious gamers. A new type of game is out called Mutants and Masterminds, which takes a spin at allowing users to be superheroes. A little bit of a mash up between D&D, CoH, and other types of RPGs, this article takes a look at what M&M is, game plays, characters, and of course, price.
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What is Mutants and Masterminds?
Mutants and Masterminds is a table top role-playing game that began as an idea by Steve Kenson, who is a writer and designer of fantasy type RPGs. He got the idea for a superhero RPG in the late 1990's, but had trouble selling it. Finally, he spoke to the president of Green Ronin Publishing, who would wanted to purchase the game if Kenson was willing to use the d20 system that was popular with other role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons.
This is done by using an open game license, which is used by game developers to modify, copy, and redistribute game content. M&M was one of the first RPG surperhero games to do this, allowing for the D&D basics to increase the appeal of game play.
The game does this by getting rid of the familiar class systems that most RPGs utilize. Instead, it is purely based on the characters, superheroes, that the player creates. Much like other RPGs in which a player is able to make their own characters, M&M lets players create their own superheroes and give them superpowers. Each character starts off at a power level of ten, allowing for that hero or villain to start off as an established person within the setting of Freedom City (the current game setting).
As with other RPG games, the power level is increased when the player receives experience points, here known as 'power points'. These power points allow a player to purchase upgrades to benefit the character, such as abilities, powers, and devices. However, the game is different in some respects as it doesn't utilize the familiar hit points that are usually associated with action games in general. To get around this, a player has a fourth saving throw known as the Toughness Save, which is based on their level of Constitution points. When a character is attacked, they can roll the toughness save which combines the level of the attack plus fifteen.
If the roll is successful, the player can shake off the attack with minimal effect; if unsuccessful, they are of course punished by the failure results of the attack. This type of play is supposed to simulate the actual effect of superheroes in which the player is emulating, where some superheroes can fend off several mighty blows, but may be felled by that lucky punch or a blast of a super sonic ray gun. For players who are used to using hit points, the handbook has a conversion meter to assist.
The Mutants and Mastermind 2nd edition is available for purchase on Amazon and that of either the main website or that of Green Ronin. A 3rd edition is supposed to come out sometime in 2010.
Image content @ M&M; Wikipedia.org