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Mutants and Masterminds essentials?


First Post
I'm thinking about starting a 'superheroes' campaign both because it sounds fun and because some of my friends (some of whom have no previous role-playing experience) have said they'd play in something like that.

From what I've been told, Mutants and Masterminds is the system of choice for this. I've checked out the beginner's guide pdf and it looks cool. My question now is - which books should I look into picking up? Obviously, there's the core rulebook. What else? Is the Mastermind's Manual interesting? Does the Ultimate Power book open up a lot of new options?

Just looking for opinions since I'm brand new to M&M. Thanks!
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First Post
The Core book is all you really need, unless you have some disposable coinage then you can check out some of that other stuff, but I would get two Core books for a starter campaign, just to have an extra floating about.

Its a sweet game, I have a lot of love hate with it.

Oh, and it is the Comic Book game. Try to keep that in mind while you are playing/gming.

Good luck.


I also believe the core rules are all you need (At least at first). I do suggest picking up a copy or two of the Pocket Player's Guide. Its very cheap (~15$) and is a great resource for players, containing all the rules without the "boring" GM stuff :) .



First Post
As they said, the core rules got all you need.

Other than that, I would recommend the Masterminds Manual and Ultimate Power for additional options.


Keeper of Secrets

First Post
Teflon Billy said:
I think that Ultimate Power "completes" the core rules. everything else is well-one, and pretty inspirational...but it's optional.

Precisely. The core book is all that is needed but Ultimate Power goes a long way to building on powers, clarifying powers and showing you a lot of options with the basic power set. It is not needed but it adds a lot.


Freedom City is a great resource for seeing how characters are built and gives you several ready-made villains as well as heroic allies (or villains if you wish).

Ultimate Power complements the core rulebook very well, offering options and expanding on the hows and whys of the powers. It's not a '101 new powers for your game!' book. It has maybe 2 actually new powers in it; the others are really re-named combinations or aspects of existing powers to help you get your head around effects-based power creation. (Just like some of the existing powers in the core book; Friction Control is really just Snare with an Extra and a Flaw). It's helpful but I wouldn't see anything as a necessity.


First Post
I'd also like to recommend Instant Superheroes, a resource with a bunch of pre-made starting-level characters. Not essential, still very useful for players who want to play a given type of hero but who don't want to take the time to stat one up (or don't feel up to the challenge). And despite the title its' very useful for instant supervillains as well.

M&M is, currently, my favorite system. I freaking love playing it.

If you've got the cash, I'd recommend the core book, Ultimate Power, and Instant Superheroes just to give you a wide base of inspiration to either pull character from or to use as inspiration for the characters you create.

I'd also recommend heading over to The Atomic Think Tank (http://www.atomicthinktank.com/) to browse the threads there. They're good people. :)

Dr Null: Battle on the Bay Bridge is an EXCELLENT adventure. I played it at an NC Gameday and had a blast. It's a great adventure to help you understand the ins and outs of M&M combat because, well, that's pretty much all the adventure is! :D SO fun!

Lastly, I'd recommend spending a weekend watching every comic book movie you can get your hands on to get yourself good and ready for the superfantastic action that is M&M. ;)


First Post
I love this game. I can stat up the villains in like 20 minutes, often doing most of that from memory. :D

I'd say you need the Core Book, and I'd really recommend Instant Super Heros as a good guide on how to put concepts together. I own Ultimate Powers, but I haven't read it yet, so I can't chime in there.

Let me triple underline Queen D's suggestion to visit the Atomic Think Tank Forums. Great help if you have questions, and be sure to read MDSnowman's character conversion thread. He gives a bunch of combat examples that really helped me get my head around the way to flow the combat and award Hero Points (eventually - I was confused at first: keep reading!)

And finally, I love the Lame Mage adventures. I just ran Battle on the Bay Bridge 2 weeks ago. I bought the rest of them, too, and they're great fun (and very GM oriented: lots of stuff to aid in descriptions, adventure flow, etc.). Other than that, the old V&V adventures are really cool.

Good luck!
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First Post
All you really need is the core rulebook. If you can only get one more book past that, get Ultimate Power. It should you all the 'core' abilities that you use to build powers and will help you to make characters closer to what you want. It also helps clarify how alt. powers work which is something that confuses a lot of people.

If you can get one more past that, get Instant Superheroes. It's filled with character templates which make a great learning tool, as well as a handy generator for NPCs.

Beyond that, I'd recommend the various genre books depending on your tastes.


Another vote for "all you need is core".

That's all I needed to create Joseirus, the Egyptian God of Mexican Wrestling. 'Nuff said.


First Post
Add another vote to the "only need the core book" camp. However, Ultimate Power presents powers in a different way and -at least, in my case- helped me greatly to understand how to build powers for characters/NPCs.


First Post
I'd recommend M&M 2nd edition, then Freedom City, then Instant Superheroes, then Ultimate Power, unless you're doing something that's wildly the opposite of four-color.


First Post
I'd vote for the main rulebook and instant superheroes. I just got unlimited power as a gift and I have to say it seems a bit overwelming to someone who has not played alot

MulhorandSage said:
I'd recommend M&M 2nd edition, then Freedom City, then Instant Superheroes, then Ultimate Power, unless you're doing something that's wildly the opposite of four-color.
For a Paragons campaign, would you say everything but FC, or would you suggest something else in addition to the above list?


First Post
Whizbang Dustyboots said:
For a Paragons campaign, would you say everything but FC, or would you suggest something else in addition to the above list?

I'd suggest replacing it with Paragons, but I haven't seen it yet, so I can't really make a recommendation in full confidence. I expect Paragons to be very good, given the talent involved. However I'd still recommend FC to all but the most four-color phobic of comic fans.

For "gritty street level", I'd replace FC with Hero's excellent Hudson City and suggest replacing the characters with appropriate M&M archetypes, or wait for Iron Age; for high-powered superhumans with Nietzschean morals (such as the Authority), I'd wait for Iron Age.
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