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Mutants and Masterminds and Maybe

Last night I joined the roleplaying game that Pete and his friends are playing – Mutants and Masterminds. It took me a long time to settle on a character, but eventually I came up with what’s essentially a werewolf, except his change is triggered by heightened emotion instead of night/the full moon. Technically, he’s also able to change into a plain wolf, but a) it didn’t come up and b) we didn’t agree on a mechanism for him become one thing instead of the other.

The system is pretty good – it provides for a lot of flexibility and in some respects is quite straightfoward. On the other hand, you could easily find it too flexible. In most RPGs you’re provided with a number of character archetypes, from which you choose one (sometimes more) and then alter/improve to suit your needs/whims. In M&M (ha!) your character can be almost anything you want. Usually, an RPG will give you a number of areas that you can change individually, as well as some characteristics that are just set. M&M gives you 150 that you can spend on any characteristics at all – you could put them all in combat-type abilities and have no skills, or vice versa.

The meat of the game mechanics is the powers. My character’s power, as a man, is Morph – he can become something else. The werewolf, however, has Regeneration (so he automatically heals himself, a la Wolverine), Damage, Leaping, Speed and Supersenses. His backstory is that he was a lumberjack and one day he was attacked by a great wolf with glowing eyes. Before the wolf could kill him it appeared to be called off. John (for that is his name) was taken to hospital and recovered. One night after he went back to work he got into a fight and changed into a wolf-man-beast-type thing – and killed all his colleagues. He’s been on the run since then, afraid of justice and afraid of himself. He can control himself when he’s in the werewolf form nowadays, though.

So what happened in the game was that there was a huge battle going on between a load of demons that had decided to attack this plane, and the superheroes of New York. I joined in a fight between the other player characters and a large, red, plate-armoured demon called War. Once he was dispatched (back to Hell, via an exorcism) we then had to rescue a time-travelling baby from another demon, Pain. Pain had the ability to make people fall in love with her and attack her attackers – and this happened to me a fair bit. There was an episode (in fact, two episodes) where John leapt through a portal into the air and on to a demon spiriting away the baby (one of two kidnapped infants).

The baby was eventually recovered and the demon killed and some bizarre temporal dynamics were attempted to be explained. If I could make the character over again, I’d lower his defence rating – he almost never got hit – which rendered his Regeneration power redundant – and put it into attack or Damage. This morning I realised that I really should have made a character who can control luck and chance – Captain Maybe.

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Categories: Gaming
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