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Abt Master 02b

Abt Master 02b

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Published by Aldo J. Regalado

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Published by: Aldo J. Regalado on Jul 20, 2010
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09/15/2010

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ALTERNATE ABILITY BENCHMARKSFOR MUTANTS AND MASTERMINDS: 3E
I love the game
DC Adventures
. Not only does it featurehalf of my favorite comic book characters (the otherhalf residing in the Marvel Universe), but it alsolaunched the third edition of 
Mutants and Masterminds
, one the best superhero RPGs evercreated. In most respects, the game earns an A+ fromme. The mechanics are streamlined and elegant, and
the layout is beautiful. I’m very pleased.
That being said, no game has ever satisfied me 100%, sothere are a couple of areas that I feel need tweaking tosuit my particular gaming style. Among those areas arethe Ability Benchmarks and the actual write-ups forsome of the DC Heroes characters.
ABILITY BENCHMARKS
: I have two issues with theAbility Benchmarks as presented in the game. First, thevalues changed from
Mutants and Masterminds
2E, but
the designation for “human maximum” wasn’t adjusted
accordingly. In
Mutants and Masterminds
2E, for
example, the “human maximum” for all Abilities was set
at 25, which granted a +7 Modifier. A character with aStrength score at this level could lift up to 1,600 lbs.,which might seem excessive, but which comes close toaccurately expressing the prowess exhibited by Captain
America and other “peak human” characters as
theyappear in the comics.
Mutants and Masterminds
3E slightly changed the wayAbilities work. In this version of the rules, the old
Ability “score” is dropped in favor of a straight modifier.
Gone, then, is the aforementioned 25, but the +7modifier (now expressed as Strength 7) remains as the
“human maximum” for
Abilities. The values, however,
 
have changed, so a character with Strength 7 can now
lift 3 tons! As far as I’m concerned, this no longer
 matches what I consider to be
the “human maximum”
as presented in either real life or in the genre material.One solution to this dilemma is to assume that Abilitiesnow have different maxima. Indeed, the game
designers seem to have assumed as much. A “peakhuman” (or near “peak human”)
character like Batman,for instance, is presented as having a Strength 4, aDexterity 7, and a Fighting 14. There is nothing wrong
with this approach, except that I personally don’t like it.
It messes with my sense of order, and it makes itconfusing for my players during character creation.The rules and tables presented in this document,therefore, take a different approach, tweaking thebenchmarks presented in
DC Adventures
.
CHARACTER WRITE-UPS
: Obviously, tweaking theAbility Benchmarks means tweaking some of the write-ups presented in
DC Adventures
to match my ruleschanges. In addition, I prefer slightly differentinterpretations of some of the DC characters presentedin
DC Adventures
. Specifically, I prefer my Batman a
little more human than “Bat
-
God,” and I prefer my
Superman a bit more powerful, cheery, optimistic,competent, and intelligent than he has been presentedfor the last 15 years or so.
In addition, I’ve assigned values to some of my favorite
Marvel Characters and included these in the tablesbelow. Why? Just because I
like ‘em!
 
NOTES ON ADJUSTMENTS
: I thought some of you mightbe interested in how I arrived at the new valuespresented below. First, I decided that 5 would be the
new “human maximum” for all Abilities. That meant
that I had to adjust all values from 1
 –
7 to fit the newbenchmarks. In general, I approved of the relativevalues that the game designers assigned to the variouscharacters in the core book, so I wanted to keep thoserankings consistent. In order to do so, I used thefollowing table:
ORIGINAL RANK ADJUSTED RANK1 12 23 34 45 46 57 5
The exception to this rule is Fighting, which the gamedesigners seemed to have treated differently from allthe other Abilities. What I did with Fighting was dividethe assigned value by two (rounding down), and thenconvert that value using the above table. Batman, forinstance, has a Fighting 14 in the core book. Fourteen,divided by two is seven. If we then convert that valueusing the table above, Batman ends up with a Fighting5.This is a go
od time to point out that lowering Batman’s
Fighting Ability in no way lowers his combat ability inthe game. Indeed, his final combat values are prettyclose (if not identical) to those presented in the corebook. They are just purchased differently. The use of Advantages like Close Attack or Ranged Attack (which Itreat as overall fighting skills) compensate for thereduced Fighting score, so Batman remains impressiveon the battlefield, even while his rank in Fighting ismade consistent with the other Abilities.Stats above 7 were generally left as-is. I only adjustedthem if I preferred a slightly different interpretation of aparticular character. For the most part, this onlyhappened with Batman, Superman, Wonder Womanand Lex Luthor.
MORE TO COME
: I
’m working on a
similar documentthat provides benchmarks for Skills as well as forCombat and Defense values. I am also refining aconversion matrix that I use as a guide for convertingcharacters between a series of systems, including HERO,SAGA, BASH and Savage Worlds.In the meantime, I hope the following tables areinteresting, if not useful.
 
ALTERNATE ABILITY BENCHMARK TABLE
CATEGORY RANK EXAMPLESWEAK HUMAN-5
Completely inept or disabled
-4
Weak; infant
-3
Younger child
-2
Child, elderly, impaired
-1
Below average; teenager
AVERAGE HUMAN 0
Average adult
HEROIC HUMAN1
Above average
2
Gifted
3
Best in a nation
4
One of the best in the world
5
Best ever, peak human
SUPERHUMAN6789
Spider-
Man’s Agility, Mister Fantastic’s Intellect
 
10WORLD CLASS SUPERHUMAN111213
Sub-
Mariner’s Strength and Stamina
 
1415
Thing’s Strength and Stamina
 
LEGENDARY SUPERHUMAN16
Wonder Woman’s Strength and Stamina
 
17181920
Superman’s Strength and Stamina
 
COSMIC ENTITY2122232425

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