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ALTERNATE BENCHMARKS FOR M&M: 3E accordingly.

In Mutants and Masterminds 2E, for


I love the game DC Adventures. Not only does it feature example, the “Human Maximum” for all Abilities was
half of my favorite comic book characters (the other set at 25, which granted a +7 Modifier. A character with
half residing in the Marvel Universe), but it also a Strength score at this level could lift up to 1,600 lbs.,
launched the third edition of Mutants and which might seem excessive, but which came close to
Masterminds, one the best superhero RPGs ever matching the strength exhibited by Captain America
created. In most respects, the game earns an A+ from and other “peak human” characters as presented in the
me. The mechanics are streamlined and elegant, and comics. Mutants and Masterminds 3E maintains the +7
the layout is beautiful. I’m very pleased. That being said, modifier as “Human Maximum” for Abilities, but the
no game has ever satisfied me 100%, so there are a values have now changed, so a character with a
couple of areas that I feel need tweaking to suit my Strength at that level can now lift 3 tons! As far as I’m
particular gaming style. Those areas are the Ability concerned, this no longer matches what I consider to be
Benchmarks and the actual write-ups for some of the “Human Maximum” scores in my campaigns.
DC Heroes characters.
One solution to this dilemma is to assume that each
ABILITY BENCHMARKS: I have two issues with the Ability has different “Maxima.” Indeed, the game
Ability Benchmarks as presented in the game. First, the designers seem to have assumed as much. A “peak
values changed from Mutants and Masterminds 2E, but human” character like Batman, for instance, is
the designation for “Human Maximum” wasn’t adjusted presented as having a Strength 4, a Dexterity 7, and a
Fighting 14. There is nothing wrong with this approach, other Abilities. What I did with Fighting was divide the
except that I personally don’t like it. It messes with my assigned value by two (rounding down), and then
sense of order, and it makes it confusing for my players converting that value using the above table. Batman, for
during character creation. The rules and tables instance, has a Fighting 14 in the core book. Fourteen,
presented in this document attempt to address these divided by two is seven. If we then convert that value
concerns by tweaking the Benchmarks presented in DC using the table above, Batman ends up with a Fighting
Adventures. 5.

CHARACTER WRITE-UPS: Obviously, tweaking the This is a good time to point out that lowering Batman’s
Ability Benchmarks means tweaking some of the write- Fighting Ability in NO WAY lowers his combat ability in
ups presented in DCA to match my rules changes. In the game. Indeed, his final combat values are pretty
addition, I prefer slightly different interpretations of close (if not identical) to those presented in the core
some of the DC characters presented in DC Adventures. book. They are just purchased differently. The use of
Specifically, I prefer my Batman a little more human Advantages like Close Combat or Ranged Combat
than “Bat-God,” and I prefer my Superman a bit more (which I treat as overall fighting skills) compensate for
powerful, cheery, optimistic, competent, and intelligent the reduced Fighting score, so Batman remains a
than he has been presented for the last 15 years or so. bad@$$ on the battlefield, even while his Fighting
Ability is made consistent with the other Abilities.
In addition, I’ve assigned values to some of my favorite Stats above 7 were generally left as-is. I only adjusted
Marvel Characters and included these in the tables them if preferred a slightly different interpretation of
below. Why? I just like ‘em! the character. For the most part, this only happened
with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
NOTES ON ADJUSTMENTS: I thought some of you might
be interested in how I arrived at the new values MORE TO COME: This is it for Abilities, but at some
presented below. First, I decided that 5 would be the point I’ll work out a similar document to include
new “Human Maximum” for all Abilities. That meant Combat and Defense Values. As already mentioned, the
that I had to adjust all values from 1 – 7 to fit the new DC characters will have values in these areas that pretty
benchmarks. In general, I approved of the relative much match those in the core book (even when their
values that the game designers assigned to the various Ability scores change).
characters in the core book, so I wanted to keep those
rankings consistent. In order to do so, I used the The upcoming document, however, will present those
following table: values for the Marvel characters, and will also explain
the method that I use to assign such values. I also plan
ORIGINAL RANK ADJUSTED RANK to post a conversion matrix that I use to port characters
1 1 between a series of systems, including HERO, SAGA,
2 2 BASH, and Savage Worlds.
3 3
4 4 In the meantime, I hope the following tables are
5 4
interesting, if not useful.
6 5
7 5
CHEERS!
The exception to this rule is Fighting, which the game
designers seemed to have treated different from all the Eletarmion
ALTERNATE BENCHMARK TABLE
CATEGORY RANK EXAMPLES
-5 Completely inept or disabled
-4 Weak; infant
WEAK HUMAN -3 Younger child
-2 Child, elderly, impaired
-1 Below average; teenager
AVERAGE HUMAN 0 Average adult
1 Above average
2 Gifted
HEROIC HUMAN 3 Best in a nation
4 One of the best in the world
5 Best ever, peak human
6
7
SUPERHUMAN 8
9 Spider-Man’s Agility, Mister Fantastic’s Intellect
10
11
12
WORLD CLASS SUPERHUMAN 13 Sub-Mariner’s Strength and Stamina
14
15 Thing’s Strength and Stamina
16 Wonder Woman’s Strength and Stamina
17
LEGENDARY SUPERHUMAN 18
19
20 Superman’s Strength and Stamina
21
22
COSMIC ENTITY 23
24
25
STRENGTH STAMINA
RANK EXAMPLES RANK EXAMPLES
-1 -1
0 Doctor Strange, Zatanna 0
Flash II, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mister 1 Iron Man, Robin
1
Fantastic
2 Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Zatanna
Black Canary, Cyclops, Green Arrow, Green Lantern,
2 3 Black Canary, Cyclops, Daredevil, Doctor Strange,
Nightcrawler, Plastic Man, Robin, Storm
Flash II, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Invisible Woman,
3 Daredevil, Hawkeye, Nightwing Mister Fantastic, Nightcrawler, Nightwing, Storm
4 Batman, Black Panther, Wolverine 4 Batman, Black Panther, Plastic Man
5 Captain America 5 Captain America
6 6 Spider-Man, Wolverine
7 7
8 8 Aquaman
9 Spider-Man 9
10 Aquaman 10 J’onn J’onzz, Wonder Woman
11 11
12 Iron Man 12
13 She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner 13 She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner
14 14
15 Thing 15 Thing
16 J’onn J’onzz, Thor, Wonder Woman 16 Thor
17 17
18 Hulk 18 Hulk
19 19
20 Captain Marvel, Superman 20 Captain Marvel, Superman
AGILITY DEXTERITY
RANK EXAMPLES RANK EXAMPLES
-1 -1 Hulk
0 Hulk 0
1 Doctor Strange, Mister Fantastic 1 Mister Fantastic, Thing
Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Green Lantern, Invisible Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Doctor Strange,
2 Woman, Iron Man, J’onn J’onzz, She-Hulk, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, J’onn J’onzz, She-Hulk,
2
Superman, Thing, Thor, Zatanna, Storm,
Sub-Mariner, Superman, Thor
Green Arrow, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Storm, Sub-
3
Mariner Black Canary, Flash II, Green Lantern, Human Torch,
3
Wolverine
Aquaman, Batman, Black Canary, Flash II, Plastic
4
Man, Robin Batman, Black Panther, Green Arrow, Hawkeye,
4
Nightwing, Plastic Man, Robin, Zatanna
Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil,
5
Nightwing, Wolverine 5 Captain America, Daredevil, Nightcrawler
6 6 Wonder Woman
7 Nightcrawler
7 Spider-Man
8 Wonder Woman
9 Spider-Man
FIGHTING
RANK EXAMPLES
-1
0
1
Cyclops, Doctor Strange, Flash II, Green Arrow,
Green Lantern, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Invisible
2 Woman, Iron Man,
Mister Fantastic, Nightcrawler, Plastic Man,
Zatanna
3 Captain Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Storm
Aquaman, Black Canary, Hulk, J’onn J’onzz,
4
Nightwing, Robin, Sub-Mariner, Superman, Thing
Batman, Black Panther, Captain America, Daredevil,
5
Wolverine, Wonder Woman
6
7 Thor

INTELLECT
RANK EXAMPLES
-3 AWARENESS
-2 Hulk RANK EXAMPLES
-1 -1
0 Plastic Man 0 Hulk
1 Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Thor 1
2 Aquaman, Black Canary, Captain America, Captain Black Canary, Green Arrow, Human Torch, Plastic
Marvel, Cyclops, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Invisible 2 Man, She-Hulk, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Thor,
Woman, Wolverine
Nightcrawler, She-Hulk, Storm, Sub-Mariner, Thing,
Wolverine, Wonder Woman Aquaman, Cyclops, Flash II, Green Lantern,
3 Hawkeye, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Nightcrawler,
3 Daredevil, Doctor Strange, J’onn J’onzz, Nightwing, Storm
Spider-Man, Zatanna
Daredevil, Invisible Woman, J’onn J’onzz,
4 Black Panther, Flash II, Robin, Superman 4
Nightwing, Robin, Spider-Man, Zatanna
Batman, Black Panther, Captain America,
5 Batman, Iron Man 5
Superman, Wonder Woman
6
6
7
7
8
8
9 Doctor Strange
9 Mister Fantastic
10 Captain Marvel
PRESENCE
RANK EXAMPLES
-3
-2 Hulk
-1
0
1 Spider-Man
Black Canary, Daredevil, Flash II, Invisible Woman,
2 Mister Fantastic, Plastic Man, Robin, She-Hulk,
Thing
Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Cyclops, Doctor Strange,
Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkeye, Human
3
Torch, Iron Man,
J’onn J’onzz, Nightcrawler, Sub-Mariner, Wolverine
4 Black Panther, Nightwing, Storm, Thor, Zatanna
Batman, Captain America, Superman, Wonder
5
Woman

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