Mutants & Masterminds

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Postby Steve Kenson » Fri Mar 01, 2002 5:47 pm

On 2002-03-01 16:51, Cagliostro wrote:

My desire is merely to see the game be super-cool, and strong enough to stand on its own. But a supers game is tough going (just look at Abberent and Brave New World)--I want this one to sing, for everyone, not just the singleminded (and, arguably simple-minded) focus of the aforementioned games.

We're definitely on the same page then. That exactly describes my goals for Mutants & Masterminds and I certainly think it will be able to tap into and use a LOT of the d20 resources that are already out there (to say nothing of the new stuff that's coming). Some of it may require a little "tweaking" here and there, but it'll still be 90% compatible.

Two of the game's major advantages are that it'll be easy for d20 players to pick up and use and that it's to superheroes what D&D is to fantasy: a generic system for creating your own games. RPGs like Aberrant and Brave New World, while cool in their own right, were also tied to particular settings with a lot of assumptions that didn't work with comic book superheroes.

And, yeah, I actually have TWO copies of the Ultimate Powers Book (one that's getting a little worn out and another I have put aside for safekeeping). While M&M probably won't have quite as many powers, I'm going to do my best to see that it covers all the bases. If things go well, who knows? A Super-Powers Handbook would be a fun project... : )
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Postby rayoman » Sat Mar 09, 2002 6:10 am

On 2002-02-20 12:07, Squirrel Nutkin wrote:
I'm with Cagliostro -- if M&M isn't compatible with D&D, then what's the point of using the d20 System in the first place?


No! Run for the damn hills. It seems Crunchy Frog fans have invaded. I don't want to play an elf with super powers. I don't want anything to do with Fantasy in my SuperHero setting. I don't care would win in a fight between Eliminster and Batman (Eliminster btw) or Elektra and Drizzt. Just as I didn't care who would win in a battle between Lord Soth (Death Knight) and Darth Vader.
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Postby rayoman » Sat Mar 09, 2002 6:15 am

When will we get to see some samples? Just curious.
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Postby The Human Pest » Tue Mar 12, 2002 2:30 pm

1. Any idea who's doing the artwork?

2. Mearls has been worked up a d20 treatment of superheroes for GODLIKE. While I haven't seen it yet, it sounds like he has also "deconstructed" the system in order to rebuild the system from ground up for that particular genre. Have you had a chance to look at it yet?

3. In addition to GODLIKE, GURPS Supers, Blood of Heroes and DC Universe keep plugging along and we will soon be seeing Silver Age Sentinels (an extension of the tri-stat BESM system), and Hero 5th. What is it that you think M&M can bring to the table?



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: The Human Pest on 2002-03-12 15:03 ]</font>
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Postby Squirrel Nutkin » Sun Mar 17, 2002 8:24 am

No! Run for the damn hills. It seems Crunchy Frog fans have invaded. I don't want to play an elf with super powers.

Haw! Stop it Ray, you're killin' me! Why, I'll bet you're just a barrel of laughs at the local hobby shop.

My point was that if you're going to build an airplane, you don't normally go out to the garage and try to bolt wings onto your car unless of course you've got visions of making a flying car that you can drive down the highway. Otherwise you'd just build a new airplane, right?

Likewise, if you're going to make a super-hero game, you wouldn't normally try to modify D&D's latest rules system unless you've got visions of making a super-hero game that's compatible with D&D. Otherwise you'd just design a new system, right?

Crunchy Frog indeed. Sheesh!

I don't want anything to do with Fantasy in my SuperHero setting.


Hmm. Something tells me there aren't a lot of classic Dr. Strange, Thor or Uncanny X-Men issues tucked away in your comic collection...

I don't care would win in a fight between Eliminster and Batman (Eliminster btw) or Elektra and Drizzt. Just as I didn't care who would win in a battle between Lord Soth (Death Knight) and Darth Vader.

I didn't know these were burning issues in fandom today, but I suspect more people are curious to know who would win in a battle between Superman and Mighty Mouse. :wink:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Squirrel Nutkin on 2002-03-17 08:34 ]</font>
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Postby Quixote » Thu Mar 21, 2002 11:10 am

Their have been a lot of message board threads all over the place talking about D20 Super Hero Games and their are two things that keep coming back:

1.How do you handle levels?

2. How do you do classes?

If you look at many of the super heroes, like Thor, Dare Devil etc.. They don't seem to get any more powerful as time goes buy so how do you translate that in an rpg? I wouldn't want to play a character that did not improve over time.

The problem I have seen mentioned again and again with classes in a Super Hero game is they can often be way to limiting. How would you make a class out of Spider Man, Cable, or Rogue?

From the little I have seen I have some hope your system can address these problems, still maintain basic compatibility with D20 systems, and remain fairly simple to play. Are my hopes unfounded?
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Postby Cagliostro » Fri Mar 22, 2002 4:21 pm

Actually, a level-based game makes sense--to an extent. Although we rarely see a vast, sweeping change in superhero's powers over time, the character does change. Remember, Clark Kent was once merely a beat reporter--now, if memory serves, he's on the nightly news. He's undoubtedly a better reporter now than he was when he started. Sure, he's better at being Superman, also, but that's beside the point.

I just hope M&M's done right. You can put Rogue into class-based terms. It's easy. She is a Mutant Adventurer 8/Kree Warrior 3 with the Flyer, Incredible Strength, Massive Power, and Uncontrollable Power templates.

She keeps gaining levels in the Adventurer class (Ftr BAB, good Fort and Ref saves, bonus Ftr feat every at 1st and every other level, and 4 skill points/level) and this provides a gradual increase to her template abilities (much like adding celestial gives you a spell every other level).

Anyway, that's my hope and dream. It can be done.

Again, I reiterate my desire to not have classes based on perceived comic book archetypes (brick, blaster, etc.) and instead on comic book occupations (experts like scientist, doctor, lawyer, etc. and then true super occupations like wizard, spy, agent, adventurer, etc.). Balance the powered and nonpowered with the nonpowered being able to take higher levels to start. Please please please!
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Postby Sketchpad » Thu Mar 28, 2002 9:03 am

Again, I reiterate my desire to not have classes based on perceived comic book archetypes (brick, blaster, etc.) and instead on comic book occupations (experts like scientist, doctor, lawyer, etc. and then true super occupations like wizard, spy, agent, adventurer, etc.).


I have to disagree with this. The d20 skill Profession handles most of the occupations well. I think having core classes that work on the stereotypes of heroes works better. For example, have a physical class to cover not only bricks, but speedsters, wolvies and anyone else with physical powers. Then have a class for energy and so forth. I think this would balance the game better IMO. As long as there are no "END" costs, all is good :wink:

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Postby Quixote » Thu Mar 28, 2002 9:56 am

I would actually preffer to not use classes at all. I think they are too confining for a Super Hero RPG, but I could be proven wrong.
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Postby Psychotic Dreamer » Thu Mar 28, 2002 8:31 pm

Well personally I love the idea of being able to use Superpowers in my fantasy gaming. There have been a couple wonderful issues of the Avengers with them being in a fantasy style setting.
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Postby Quixote » Fri Mar 29, 2002 6:37 am

On 2002-03-28 20:31, Psychotic Dreamer wrote:
Well personally I love the idea of being able to use Superpowers in my fantasy gaming. There have been a couple wonderful issues of the Avengers with them being in a fantasy style setting.



Your talking about those two right after Heroes Return where Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor and a fiew others had to face off against all the other Avengers correct? That was pretty cool.

I just want:
1. something that is easy to play.

2. compatible with D20 so I don't have to learn yet another rpg or teach one to my wife who is just starting rpg's.

3. Something that would allow me to make a lot of different super powers.
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Postby Steve Kenson » Fri Mar 29, 2002 8:19 am

On 2002-03-29 06:37, Quixote wrote:

I just want:
1. something that is easy to play.

2. compatible with D20 so I don't have to learn yet another rpg or teach one to my wife who is just starting rpg's.

3. Something that would allow me to make a lot of different super powers.


I think I can pretty safely say that Mutants & Masterminds will be all of those things, since they're some of my goals in working on the game.
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Postby Quixote » Fri Mar 29, 2002 9:13 am

You don't want to teach my wife a new RPG either? :smile:
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Postby Steve Kenson » Fri Mar 29, 2002 2:00 pm

On 2002-03-29 09:13, Quixote wrote:
You don't want to teach my wife a new RPG either? :smile:


:smile: More accurate to say that I don't want you to have to teach your wife a new RPG, or have to learn one yourself. That's one of the major points of the d20 Open License: you only have to learn the basic rules once, everything else is just variations of that theme.
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Postby Quixote » Mon Apr 01, 2002 11:15 am

Chtulhu (I must of misspelled that) has professions instead of classes to divide up the basic skills offered. Are you considering doing something like that or is it a class based game?
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Postby Steve Kenson » Fri Apr 05, 2002 8:40 am

On 2002-04-01 11:15, Quixote wrote:
Chtulhu (I must of misspelled that) has professions instead of classes to divide up the basic skills offered. Are you considering doing something like that or is it a class based game?


No classes at the moment, character creation is pretty mix-and-match with a lot of flexibility.

The first draft of M&M is starting playtesting, so a lot of things should get shaken out over the next couple months. I imagine that by the summer cons we'll have a much more complete picture of how things are going to look when it's all said and done. That's a good thing, since I'll be running M&M demos at Origins and GenCon.

I'm sure that as we get closer to a final draft Green Ronin will be offering more previews and such. It's still kind of early in the development process at this point, which is why it's difficult to be as forthcoming with answers as I'd like to be.
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Postby Quixote » Sat Apr 06, 2002 9:13 am

On 2002-04-05 08:40, Steve Kenson wrote:
No classes at the moment, character creation is pretty mix-and-match with a lot of flexibility.

The first draft of M&M is starting playtesting, so a lot of things should get shaken out over the next couple months. I imagine that by the summer cons we'll have a much more complete picture of how things are going to look when it's all said and done. That's a good thing, since I'll be running M&M demos at Origins and GenCon.

I'm sure that as we get closer to a final draft Green Ronin will be offering more previews and such. It's still kind of early in the development process at this point, which is why it's difficult to be as forthcoming with answers as I'd like to be.


I'm glad to here their are no classes. I think they would unduly restrict a Super Hero game. Who would I contact about getting on "the list" for gamers in case any of the play testers drop out?

oh, and thanks for giving what info you can. I understand its a little early to get into a lot of detail, but every crunch little bit helps :smile:
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Postby Sketchpad » Thu Apr 18, 2002 11:03 am

Seems kinda dead on the board, so I figured I'd try and liven it up :smile: What setting is everyone thinking of using for their Superhero game?
I plan on using a 4-color campaign that is similar to the mainstream comic universes, buut without using their characteers (15+ years of superhero ganing in the same world makes for several nifty characters :wink: ).

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Postby Steve Kenson » Thu Apr 18, 2002 3:26 pm

On 2002-04-18 12:03, Sketchpad wrote:
Seems kinda dead on the board, so I figured I'd try and liven it up :smile: What setting is everyone thinking of using for their Superhero game


For that matter, what sort of superhero campaign setting(s) and styles do you prefer?

For what it's worth, there will be the Freedom City campaign setting a couple months after the Mutants & Masterminds core book. It's a detailed four-color fictional city, similar in some ways to the Freeport: City of Adventure book. Although aimed at "classic" four-color superhero gaming, there will be some suggestions for using Freedom City for other sorts of campaigns (superhero and otherwise).

And now back to work on Mutants & Masterminds...
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Postby MacBin » Tue Apr 23, 2002 11:33 am

On 2002-04-18 12:03, Sketchpad wrote:
Seems kinda dead on the board, so I figured I'd try and liven it up :smile: What setting is everyone thinking of using for their Superhero game?


Well we're already playtesting the game, which I'm liking so far, and the setting is my own which I've been using for aeons. It's called Power Enterprise and it's set in the year 2025 - Earth has had a couple invasion attempts made by an alien conglomerate. I won't get into too many details but I will point you to some of my art and history for the setting at http://mypage.uniserve.ca/~thickets/spamrpgs.htm
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Postby Nikchick » Wed Apr 24, 2002 12:04 pm

So, what do you guys think of the cover?

I've really come to love it. I'm going to beg Chris to make me a t-shirt. :smile:

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Postby Steve Kenson » Thu Apr 25, 2002 9:46 am

On 2002-04-24 13:04, Nikchick wrote:
So, what do you guys think of the cover?

I've really come to love it. I'm going to beg Chris to make me a t-shirt. :smile:


Oooh, me too, me too! :smile:
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Postby Falanor » Thu Apr 25, 2002 9:04 pm

Very nice cover! Glad you could get a comic artist to do it as well. ;>

If you get them made as shirts I might wanna see about purchasing one! :razz:
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Postby Doctor Otaku » Sun May 05, 2002 9:21 pm

Well, since I am new to this board but not new to what M&M is about. I have read the posts and I do like some of the thoughts and suggestions. I do like the idea of having a Char Gen system of class by aspect and skills by profession. As someone who has a *ton* of characters that I created from the old Marvel Superheroes days, I'd loved to find a good supers rpg to give them 'justice'. And if Steve is as good as I've heard he is? I definately can't wait for M&M.
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Postby MancerBear » Tue May 07, 2002 4:43 pm

Steve,

What can I say? I'm not surprised that you're working on Mutants and Masterminds. Your work on Marvel SAGA was brilliant, and I enjoy your other D20 material too.

I'd love to be involved in the second lot of playtesting, if there is one. Having played superheroe games for far longer than I care to remember (as you well know), I feel that I may be able to bring some input into this new game.

Lets hope that M&M gets off to a great start, and lives on far longer than some of the other attempts out there.

Keep it up Steve.
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