Tuesday, September 28, 2010

[Mutants & Masterminds] Let's create a character step-by-step

Foreword
Why did I suddenly want to create a super hero? I watched Iron Man 2 last night, and it was an awesome movie. We roleplayers are lucky. Usually when you watch a movie, and it ends, that's it. But we roleplayers can obtain NPC's, plots, ideas, settings... anything for further use.
So anyways, Iron Man 2 was a cool super hero movie, and I started to think how would it be to play Iron Man. Luckily I just got my copy of Mutants & Masterminds RPG so heck, I could try it out.
So I thought, I will create ironman-ish character for it.
There is one problem though. I am not familiar with the game. I know that it uses modified D20 system (similar to True20 who knows) and I have heard that the game is really awesome and... well, that's it. Anyways, I decided to create a character for it.
One problem might be all those super powers. How to make character good enough when you don't know how the rules work. This is also an experiment. I basically test how easy it is to create a character without previous knowledge of game mechanics.
But enough blabber, let's start.

First Step - What Does The Character Look Like?
I first thought I'd create ironman-ish character, but decided not to. It's quite boring actually. It can fly, take lots of damage and shoot energy. And that's it. So I decided to create character concept from the scratch.
For illustration and inspiration I used HeroMachine 2,5 to picture the character. I did not have any idea what I would like to create, so I just checked all the options and came up with this:

There are few things I should concider when statting the character.
  1. His right hand produces electricity
  2. He uses x-bow
  3. He has some mental powers
  4. He can fly
So, now we know how he does look like, and what he can do. Let's start exploring the Mutants & Masterminds RPG rulebook.











Creating The Character For M&M When Never Read The Book
 Finding character creation steps was easy enough. Almost at the beginning. Let's see.

0. Choose Concept And Origin
So first I should think about what kind of super hero I want to do. What are his powers etc. Well I already did that checklist based on the picture, so yeah, I have something in my mind. Let's move on. I skip step 1. as it is to check my concept with Gamemaster.

2. Determine Power Level
So, power level range is usually from 5th to 15th, but generally it is 10th. So, 10th it will be then.

3. Allocate Power Points 
Now I have to refer to later chapters to do that. Okay, let's flip pages forward. There is chapter called "Power Level - Superhero basics" what can be translated to "character creation". So let's see. There is table 1-1 about Power levels, and 10th power level is written in bold (as it is the default). So, I get 150 power points. Cool! Now, what do I do with them... Let's read on.

Table 1-2 shows what different things cost. Ability cores cost 1 per point, Attack bonus 3 per +1, Defence 2 per +1 and so on. I also have to remember, that those Power points are used also to buy Power ranks (super powers I quess) and Feats. But you can get points from weaknesses, 10 per one.

Luckily abilities are familiar from D&D, so I don't have to give time to figure out what they mean. So I just start pointing them. Starting Power value for abilities is 10. And extra costs 1 per point. So let's start putting it this way (if I make mistakes, I will correct it during this character creation):
I wonder if different special abilities use different attributes? Well, that is easily fixed later.

STR: 12
DEX: 18
CON: 14
INT: 14
WIS: 14
CHA: 14

Points spent to abilities: 34. So I have 116 to go. Next I will take attack and defence bonuses. (Not sure are melee and ranged attack bonuses different but I buy them separate).

Melee attack bonus: +1 (3 points)
Ranged attack bonus +2 (6 points).

107 to spend now. Let's take a look at skills. My maximum rank for skills is 13. That's well enough for me. So, I first pick up skills I suppose I'd need, and after it point them.

Acrobatics: 4
Diplomacy: 3
Disable Device: 3 +1
Handle Animal: 4
Hide: 6 +1
Jump: 4
Listen: 5
Read Lips: 3
Repair: 3 +1
Spot: 4 +1

I think all skills are good for super heroes. There aren't any useless ones. I spent total of 40 skill points, so now I have 67 points left. Maximum to skills was 13, and my best is 6. I am now concerned, that aren't I good enough?

Next in the list are feats. Each feat costs 2 points, so luckily they aren't that expensive and I suppose I can get good package of them. So, let's select. This part needs a bit of reading so I know how these feats work. Luckily descriptions are short so it doesn't take lots of time to figure out how they work.

Accurate Attack
Aerial Combat
Dodge
Far Shot
Headquarters
Move-By Attack
Precise Shot
All-Around Sight

That's 16 points to feats, so 51 left for super powers. Let's take a look. Luckily there is an over-view table for powers, so I don't necessarily need to go them all through inividually. Table includes power's name, cost per rank and short description how it works.

Armor 5 points rank: 5
Datalink 4 points rank: 2
Energy Blast 4 points rank: 2

Regeneration 2 points rank: 1

Now I got 36 points to buy devices.

Crossbow 6 points

After my crossbow I still have 30 points to spend. I did not find wings, so I decided they are just a prop, and buy new Super power, flight. I take 10 ranks to it so now I have 10 points to spend. With those 10 points left I buy 1 to both melee and ranged attack bonus costing total of 6 points. Last 4 points I use to skill ranks (I add them to skills as +x).

Done
I suppose I am done now. Not sure did I do the character correctly, but I created it as I flipped through the book. I also don't have any idea how good my character is. I did not buy weaknesses at this point.
So, I made a Mutants & Masterminds character without ever reading the book. It took me around 30 minutes.
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