Mutants and Masterminds (MnM) is a hugely popular superhero TTRPG where players create superpowered characters and fight various threats to humanity in a comic book inspired world.
There are other superhero TTRPGs, of course. We’ve spoken about them before, here: Superhero TTRPGs for a Comic Book Campaign !
But Mutants and Masterminds is, in my opinion, one of the best. It really captures the feel of a comic book, and understands that part of the appeal of the genre is seeing characters solve problems using their powers and wits, finding solutions that utilize what they have instead of gaining a new ability whenever things start to get challenging. Characters don’t necessarily ‘level up’ in the traditional sense, and they’re almost never overpowered (oh, sure, they’re powerful in comparison to a normal human, but not to the threats that they’re facing, or to the other powered characters around them). Possibilities are immense, but they’re not limitless, giving you a strong framework to test and stretch your creativity within. To me, the game really evokes the best of the superhero genre.
It uses a fairly simple mechanical system, requiring only a single d20 for each player. But at the same time, it has quite a lot of rules, as a factor of allowing its players to choose and customize exactly what their superpowers and abilities are.
Character Creation in Mutants and Masterminds
The most labor-intensive part of playing MnM comes at the beginning of the game: character creation.
The MnM system gives players a pool of ‘Power Points’ that they spend to give their characters superhuman abilities (like strength, stamina, and presence), skills (like perception, technology, and athletics), equipment (like grappling hooks, ray guns, and aircraft), and powers (like flight, immunity, and laser eyes). More powerful options cost more points, as do higher levels of powers and abilities, and costs can also be brought down by adding complications, which limit applicability of certain powers.
This is a system that allows for a huge amount of customization and creative freedom, but that can be a pain to wrangle your way through. You need to keep track of each power, what rank it is, whether you’ve added any complications, how if affects your other stats, and whether it plays into any equipment that you have. That’s a lot to keep track of!
The game does come with archetypal characters, which you can pick from to use pre-made, or simply alter to suit your tastes. And these characters will be fully functional, fun options to play! But it almost seems a shame to let the customizability of MnM’s system go unappreciated.
If you’re struggling, here are a few character builders that can streamline the process for you.
HeroLabs is an online software meant to be used in conjunction with a number of TTRPGs to create and manage characters. They have programs for over a dozen games, including 2nd and 3rd edition MnM, as well as online and classic versions of the software that you can choose from.
This is a very popular software, though it only has access to the SRD content for each game (the free access bits of the game available under the OGL). Luckily, that’s practically everything in MnM.
The base software for HeroLabs costs around $10, and the 3rd edition Mutants and Masterminds ruleset an additional $25. That’s $35 in total. But the product reviews are glowing, and if you intend to make a lot of characters, the price tag is more than worth it.
Check it out here: HeroLabs
RPGLibrary Character Builder
RPGLibrary has a huge collection of rulesets, game inspiration, and useful software for tabletop games. Among the software included here is a Mutants and Masterminds Character Builder.
This software is meant for LibreOffice, although it also has a patch for Microsoft Excel. You can also download the fonts necessary for the fantasy version of the sheet, or take a look at various example characters created in the software. It even has several tools listed alongside it that you might need to set up the software on your device.
Check it out here: RPGLibrary Mutants and Masterminds Character Builder
Ski’s 3e Character Generator
While RPGLibrary’s software can be adapted for use in Excel, it isn’t meant for that, and even warns the user that it might not work properly. Instead, you might find it better to use Ski’s 3e Character Generator. This Excel file lays everything out for you, and tracks how many Power Points you’ve used out of your total. You do, however, have to type things in manually.
Check it out here: Skis 3e Character Generator Box Download
If you don’t like wrangling Excel or LibreOffice files, and don’t want to spend the money on HeroLabs, there is one last option: Hero-Sheet. This is the one that I like the best!
Hero-Sheet is a bare-bones website still in beta, but it already has everything that you need to make a complete MnM character. You can click through to input your abilities, powers, and equipment, and it keeps track of how many points you’ve used.
You will have to do some typing as to the exact nature of your powers, but the basics of each are already in there to start you off. Plus, it’s free!
Check it out here: Hero-Sheet
Do you have another Mutants and Masterminds character builder that you prefer? What is it? Let us know in the comments below!