Jason (jadasc) wrote in gamesvariant,

Mutants & Masterminds Skills Design

Starting Premises
  • Mutants & Masterminds is a really good superhero RPG. (I've been invited to take place in a "round-robin" shared world campaign, so I've been doing some investigation.)
  • In the rules as written, skills are overpriced at one character point per rank. This is not much of a bug in traditional four-color superhero games, where Super-Attributes make up the difference. (Reed Richards doesn't need to buy lots of ranks in every science skill; he buys Super-Intelligence and gets a similar effect.) In lower-powered games, or ones closer to street level, it becomes noticeable. And it's hard to build the Batman, or other characters with a diverse array of linked skills.
  • The solution of having one point buy two or three skill ranks is inelegant. I like points to be "atomic", and spending half a point here and there annoys me. Plus, it nerfs feats like Skill Focus.

So, here's my solution. The Super-Skill power remains, for what it's worth, but is supplemented by

Super Specialist
Cost: 2
Action: None
Range: Personal
Duration: Permanent
You have an uncanny knack with a suite of skills related to a specific endeavor. Select a number of trained skills equal to your power rank. Add your power rank to all checks involving those skills.

  • Super-Genius: Your expertise is legendary. For one extra, you may apply your power rank to any trained skill.

  • Grace Under Pressure: When making a skill check with a Specialist skill, you may take 10 even if stress or distractions would normally prevent you from doing so.

Example: The Amazing Mumford has Super Specialist (Magician) +5. He chooses Bluff, Concentration, Escape Artist, Perform, and Sleight of Hand, getting +5 on those skill checks. If he buys a sixth level, he would add an additional skill to that list, and gain +6 on relevant checks.

What do you think?
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