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M&M: The Atomic Think Tank

Originally conceived as a post solely concerning the extensive home brew work the website 'Atomic Think Tank' has done over the years, I soon realized the significance of this group's efforts would be largely dulled without having first given some background on the game they so persistently modify: Mutants and Masterminds.

Mutants and Masterminds (M&M) is a modern-era 'superhero simulator' based on the d20 System; a game style most commonly associated with D&D 3.0/3.5. By utilizing a free-form, point-buy character generation system, Players are given relatively free reign to create any sort of superhero (or villain, depending on the campaign) they desire. The information concerning this RPG is already out there in plentiful and detailed supply, so I'm not going to go any further into this background.

Edit: In spite of my previous statement, I'd like to take an additional moment and point out a common pitfall many first-time Hosts of this game encounter: Due to the openly creative nature of the character creation process, it's somewhat commonplace for experienced gamers to slip a 'broken' superhero past you. Though it's admittedly impossible to 'screen' every single concept presented for any unreasonably potent strengths, I've personally found the following hero themes to be most problematic:

1. Duplication/Excessive Minion Control: A character who can duplicate themselves or command a horde of allies to do their bidding will bog down and/or effectively control combat with their abundance of actions per turn.

2. Gravity: It was broken on 'Zatch Bell', and it's pretty cheap in M&M. Crafted well, there's little you can do to stop this hero without making a threat built to specifically counter their abilities.

3. Time: Oh lord, does this guy love to take the spotlight. Done in moderation (see: Dio Brando), this isn't too bad, but when you start seeing potential for rewinding/pausing entire encounters, it's time to suggest another character concept.


With the background of this fine game established, I'd like to draw focus on the initial focus of this post; the works of the group known as the 'Atomic Think Tank'. Now, these guys aren't just amateur aficionados, this prominent online community has been designated as the official board for all things M&M-related. However, what I feel makes them particularly interesting is their extensive work with in-game statistics. Between all their collective years of experience, this group has compiled an impressive database of famous characters (fictional or otherwise) configured for immediate M&M play. Feel like playing as Spider-Man, He-Man, or Optimus Prime in your next session? Wondering who would win in a fight between the Power Rangers and the Akatsuki? Chances are, the information needed for such a match-up is already available.

atomicthinktank.com/viewforum.php?f=14

Enjoy

49 comments:

ClassicPhil said...

Seems like it would take alt of work to screen everyone

Genj0 said...

Im a M&M fan!!! not those machines though hehe :)

Intraman said...

sounds pretty good

Gheko said...

Gonna browse that database now!

Jessica Thompson said...

Oh wow, this sounds neeat!

FunkyDuckman said...

That sounds really cool. I wasn't aware of many variations that weren't so fantasy-driven.

tommyth3cat said...

So are there limiting factors on the character creation? Like you must include a weakness or something? Seems like it would be hard to be a superhero of your own making.

Pony said...

Huh, this sounds pretty damn cool!

DocStout said...

Duplication is problematic in most supers games, requiring more errata than almost any other power in the Savage Worlds Necessary Evil setting. I like the idea of M&M, the wife got to play it a few times, I've only ever made a character and drooled over the books.

cheshire said...

Great read man, was super interesting ;D

psychologypost said...

gonna try out some of these templates. hopefully there's some good ones

Xenototh said...

Did I just read a Zatch Bell reference? Wow, nostalgia hard there. I hate the time concept too, it's so broken its obnoxious. Personally, I hate any player in any game whose goal is to be overpowered or broken. What happened to wanting to be creative and make your char have weaknesses (and not just bullshit ones).

Dola said...

an atomic tank that can think? ZOMG!!! RUN!!!

Chloroform said...

This seems like a really cool concept.

Fortune said...

DandD... with superheros. You have my attention.

Mike said...

M&M is awesome! Gotta get back in to it

James said...

looks like a cool game!

//Love said...

Looks cool

J.R. said...

Can totally see how time travel powers would be a pain in the butt to balance

Sety said...

im interested, this sounds cool

PackScoot said...

interesting, never looked into D&D much but i will look this up.

Venus said...

good concept, hahaha
I want M&M!!!

Jake said...

This seems fun

TeamDave said...

been browsing the forums for a few, theres some really cool stuff theyre doing

Tommy said...

These sounds really cool...

Trick2Double said...

gonna look there now!

Von Brownian said...

Having been part of a free-form text RPG, I can definitely attest to how easy it is to "god-mode" right under a mod's nose in this form. Time-based abilities are the worst.

How To's of Life said...

Didnt get in to M&M much, great article per usual though!

Darick Pascua said...

M&M: Mutant and Mastermind right?

ClassicPhil said...

Superheros win

TheLanderson27 said...

nice post

Lhosreiff said...

Oh man I wish I could see a Time Character go at it, sounds ridiculous.

Innov8 Graphics said...

Some good stuff there :), might look later !

mindlessfrk said...

Sounds awesome, a shame that I never played that.

theWhale said...

sounds pretty cool :P

Trick2Double said...

haha. sounds awesome. and atomic tank?

ChazWellington said...

never heard of this.. might to try it out if i have time. thanks

Marquall said...

looks interesting!

Blogger said...

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

daniel said...

Sounds good.

RageCompeX said...

thanks for this post!

Wolle said...

thanks

Jake said...

I'll give it a browse

Algorithmic said...

Is this something you see played in a lot of gaming shops? Most of the time I just see the standard D&D, Warhammer etc played.

Adam Rockefeller said...

Definitely an interesting article and an awesome link.

Dejch said...

thanks for sharing!

+following

James said...

Thanks, this looks pretty cool.

Dola said...

m&m think tank? do they think about candy the entire time? =x

Blogger said...

interesting

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