M&M 3E/Champions MU Help For Newbies

  • So M&M 3E and Champions were the big winners of the superhero poll. Both are fairly similar systems in terms of crunch. Personally I find M&M 3E has a bit easier character generation but Champions plays better during actual play. Either way, the crunch of the systems might be enough to turn some players off. What tools and resources might one make available to these players to entice them to tackle a character on such a game? Again, I think both systems are similar enough in difficulty that most of these tools and resources could be used for either game.

    Here are some of the things I did for the Champions game I ran last year for some people...

    1. Both the Champions rulebook(not Champions Complete) and the M&M Basic Hero's Handbook offers an archetype system where you pick an archetype and then choose from among a variety of options for building a standard character(PL 10 in M&M and 400/75 in Champions). While these books aren't free it's not that difficult to find them in PDF format if one does a basic Google search. This is what most players in my game did. It worked really well.

    2. Submit an overall description of your character to staff and have them build the sheet for you. As a general rule, I just took what they wanted and built it using the above archetype system. There was a bit of back and forth extending character creation a bit but it still worked really well.

    3. While sheets are mandatory to use of the system is not. We primarily used the sheets on my game just to set the overall abilities and limits of the characters. The sheets let us know what our characters were capable of but we just used freeform RP with the sheets as a guide for how things should go.

    4. Ample help files. I had a ton of links to youtube videos on the site and a number of help pages on our wiki itself walking people not just through character generation but how the system plays as well.

    I'd love to see an OC hero game out there. I wouldn't even necessarily be opposed to re-opening H&V as an OC game. Regardless, I think it's important to get information out there for anyone who might be looking to open an OC game as for what might work and what might not work for people.

  • Pitcrew

    I'd be down for it. I think Ravenswood (a Heroes game) was option #2 where you said what you wanted and staff built your sheet for you.

  • If people are going to use the Hero/Champions System, I think staff needs to provide a solid idea of OCV/DCV (to hit and avid being hit) and damage vs defensive levels. Due to the really varied dice curves involved (various attacks and defenses may be designed around 2-4, 3-6, or 8-12 d6 curves against defenses that may be 215-35, or 0-20, or whatever).

    This is one place where M&M 3E does well, attacks and defenses are rated at equal numbers, and using a flat distribution (d20) for attack success and damage determination makes the variability equal and clear.

  • Pitcrew

    I really recommend the Deluxe Hero's Handbook; the most recent version of M&M 3e. In addition to the point-buy 'DIY' system, they expanded on the Archetypes to make them more customizable. There are 20 Archetypes, each with their own set of decision tree choices to personalize the Archetype to fit what you want your character to be,

    Example: The Paragon

    First Choice: Man of Action (Captain America), Superhuman (Superman), Vessel (Shazam, Thor). This choice gives you your base stats. A Man of Action would start with STR: 6, STA: 6, AGL: 6, DEX: 4, FGT: 6, INT: 3, AWR: 4, PRE: 2. A Superhuman would start with STR: 8, STA: 8, AGL: 4, DEX: 4, FGT: 8, INT: 1, AWR: 2, PRE: 2

    Second Choice:Advantages. You choose a 'package' of 4 Advantages; like Athlete (Extraordinary Effort, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Uncanny Dodge), Leader (Inspire 2, Leadership, Teamwork), Warrior (All-Out Attack, Improved Initiative, Interpose, Move-By Action), and others.

    Third Choice: Skills; you choose 2 Skill 'packages'; like Athlete (Acrobatics 6, Athletics 6, Perception 4), Charismatic (Expertise 4, Insight 4, Perception 4, Persuasion 4), and so on

    Fourth Choice: Powers. From a list of pre-made powers, you choose 1 Offensive, 1 Defensive, 1 Movement, and 1 Utility Power

    Fifth 'Choice': Defense. Based on your initial choice (Man of Action, Superhuman, Vessel), your Defense points are pre-determined. Man of Action: Dodge: +4, Parry: +4, Fortitude: +4, Toughness: +0, Will: +6. Superhuman/Vessel: Dodge: +4, Parry: +0, Fortitude: +2, Toughness: +0, Will: +6

    Choose your Complications and you're all done with a balanced PL10 character. Also, each decision point, including the initial Archetype, can be randomly rolled for quick NPC's or a random-built PC if the player prefers.

  • @Runescryer And if you think those guided creations are good, but want to use another system, you could assign similar values from Hero, etc.

    I really like that guided creation as an option.

  • The Champions core rule book does the exact same thing actually. Pick an archetype then customize your character from a menu of options.This is in the Champions book not Champions Complete.

  • Pitcrew

    @ZombieGenesis Okay. To be honest, I haven't really looked at Champions since 6e first came out. I was disappointed with it, overall. For the most part, I find M&M to be just as utilitarian as Champions, but easier to run and use. The biggest advantage being that you don't have to keep track of BODY, END, & STUN for every character in every combat. M&M has a much simplified, more action oriented combat system, IMO.

  • The beauty of Champions is you can scale it to fit your needs. My only real problem with M&M is I find the stun mechanic a bit wonky with characters prone to stun lock. It seems simple from the outset but when you start adding in complications and conditions or whatever I find it spirals pretty quickly.

    In the end I think both systems scratch the same itch just in a different way. I own a ton of books for both and when people ask "which would you suggest" I can't really answer because it depends on what you're looking to get out of the system. For me, it's Champions but M&M is certainly not a wrong answer. If you get my meaning.

  • Pitcrew

    @ZombieGenesis I totally get what you're saying, and I agree. My only point is that M&M combat is simpler and quicker, IMO. Having played both Champions and Champions MUSH, relatively simple combats already take a long time in TT, and get even longer when the factors of a MU (waiting for responses, typing, and other communication delays) get added in. You're not wrong about the Stun-lock potential for M&M, but that encouages teamwork and planning, IMO, instead of just trying to Hulk SMASH your way through every encounter; especially if you're not a build like Hulk/Superman

  • The only help I want is an OC supers game, in our laps, right now

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  • Pitcrew

    Agreed! I just want to app a mutant already and be all emo about how my extraordinary powers are ruining my life and how no one understands me.

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  • So, for fun, I whipped up a proof of concept cg guide. The following assumptions were made...

    1. The game uses M&M 3E
    2. It has no in-game cg system and uses sheets attached to the character wiki profile(mostly because I've come to the conclusion that MUSH coding is not worth the effort it takes to do it).

    For those interested in checking it out you can find it here: H&V Guided Character Generation.

    Is this something that would work for people? Is it too much? Not enough?

  • Pitcrew

    @ZombieGenesis It looks pretty interesting. I never dealt with a +sheet on a website before but it does strike me as convenient.

    Will you have a +roll coded into the MUSH? I like the randomness +rolls sometimes give you (failing despite being a top tier makes it for interesting RP scenes were a character gets all embarrassed or have her ego bruised.)

  • Oh yeah, assumption 3) It'd be run on Ares. Ares has built-in dice commands both on the MUSH itself and on the online web portal. :)

  • @ZombieGenesis

    M&M is one of those systems where it is super easy to get lost in the options, so clumping them together into packages is absolutely helpful!

  • @ZombieGenesis

    Is the Paragon archetype going to be the only one allowed in the game, or will others be allowed as well?

  • @TiredEwok Oh yeah. The Paragon was just a proof of concept attempt to see if it worked and if people liked it. There'd be 8 total archetypes I think.

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