Entry updated 21 August 2012. Tagged: Game.
Mutants and Masterminds is a generic Superhero RPG, a descendant of Champions (1981). While the system is based on d20 (2000), significant changes have been made to adapt the rules to a Superhero milieu. As a result, the game makes use of the "Open Gaming License" but not of the full d20 trademark, an approach which has become increasingly popular as disputes over the terms of the d20 license have become more common. The combat system has been altered to better reflect the reality depicted in most Comics, and characters do not have d20 classes (which would specify their professions) or levels (which would define how powerful they are). Instead, they are generated by using points to buy powers and skills, as in GURPS (1986). Superpowers are defined by effect rather than cause, similarly to Champions (1981); for example, a laser vision power might be represented as a "Blast" attack with appropriate limitations. An exceptionally complete range of power effects is available. The game does not include a specific setting, but instead suggests approaches for using the system with a wide range of styles of published Superhero fiction, from gritty realism to pulp adventure.
Related works: Second (2005 GRP) and third (2011 GRP) editions have been released, both designed by Steve Kenson. Several settings have been produced for the game by other companies, including Autumn Arbor (2007 Arbor Productions), which describes an Alternate History in which society has gradually changed to reflect the presence of superhumans since their appearance during World War II. [NT]
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