MnM house rules

From WestGuard

Mutants & Masterminds house rules


These house rules are primarily intended for use in the WestGuard extended universe. In games which take place in other worlds, or other genres, these rules may not apply.

Power level caps

Characters are power level 10 superheroes, and generally follow the guidelines for such characters as given in the Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition rule book. Power level 10 gives you 150 Power Points. This places limits on a number of things, but note that it does not directly limit the cost or number of ranks in a power. Also, the WestGuard universe relaxes some of the power level caps found in the standard Mutants & Masterminds rules. In the chart below, various abilities, skills, feats, and powers are listed along with their power level caps, if any. Power level caps which deviate from the standard rules are indicated by bold red text; these caps have been increased from power level (10) to power level + 5 (15).

Page numbers refer to Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition, unless otherwise noted. "W&W" refers to the Warriors & Warlocks sourcebook.

PL (10) PL + 5 (15) No Limit
Attack Bonus Ability Bonus Aggressive Stance modifier (p. 159)
Attack Focus feat (p. 59) Accurate Attack feat (p. 56, p. 108) Aid action (p. 10, p. 154)
Attack Specialization feat (p. 59) All-Out Attack feat (p. 56) Aim action (p. 154)
Defense Bonus Attractive feat (p. 59) Charge action (p. 155)
Defensive Roll feat (p. 60) Autofire extra3 (p. 112, p. 160) Combined Attack action (p. 155)
Dirty Fighting feat (W&W, p. 17) Dedicated Dodge feat (W&W, p. 17) Condition modifiers (p. 10, p. 161)
Dodge Focus feat (p. 60) Defensive Attack feat (p. 60) Cover bonuses (p. 160)
First Strike feat (W&W, p. 18) Favored Conditions feat4 (W&W, p. 18) Critical Hits (p. 152)
Improvised Weapons feat (W&W, p. 18) Favored Environment feat4 (p. 61) Dedication feat (W&W, p. 17)
Lionheart feat (W&W, p. 18) Favored Opponent feat4 (p. 61) Defensive Stance modifier (p. 161)
Luck feat1 (p. 62) Fearsome Presence feat (p. 61) Defensive Strike feat (W&W, p. 17)
Save DC Power Attack feat (p. 63) Endurance feat (p. 61)
Sneak Attack feat2 (p. 64) Rage feat (p. 63) Extra Effort (p. 120)
Throwing Mastery feat (p. 165) Save Bonus Grapple action (p. 156)
Tough feat (W&W, p. 19) Skill Rank Hero Points (p. 121)
Toughness Trap Sense feat (W&W, p. 19) Improved Aim feat (p. 61)
Improved Block feat (p. 61)
Improved Critical feat (p. 61)
Improved Defense feat (p. 61)
Improved Disarm feat (p. 62)
Improved Overrun feat (p. 62)
Improved Sunder feat (p. 62)
Improved Trip feat (p. 62)
Inspire feat (p. 62)
Master Plan feat (p. 62)
Move All Out action (p. 157)
Oathbound feat (W&W, p. 19)
Overrun action (p. 158)
Rush action (p. 158)
Slam action (p. 158)
Teamwork feat (p. 64)
Total Defense action (p. 159)
Trip action (p. 159)


  1. The cap for Luck is one-half power level, rounded up (5).
  2. The cap for Sneak Attack is power level + 2 (12).
  3. The cap for the Autofire extra is PL+10 (20) if the extra is purchased twice.
  4. Favored Conditions, Favored Environment, and Favored Opponent only have their power level cap increased to PL+5 (15) if the relevant circumstances are unusual. Otherwise, the PL cap for these feats is standard (10).


In the standard Mutants & Masterminds combat sequence, characters are flat-footed until their first turn in the initiative cycle (M&M2e, p. 150). Instead, we will use the following house rule.

Combat sequence
  1. The GM determines which characters are aware of their opponents at the start of the battle. Each combatant unaware of their opponents at the start of the battle starts the battle flat-footed.
  2. If some but not all combatants are aware of their opponents, a surprise round happens before regular rounds begin. The combatants aware of their opponents can act in the surprise round, so they roll for initiative. In initiative order (highest to lowest), combatants who started the battle aware of their opponents each take a standard or move action —- not both —- during the surprise round. Flat-footed combatants do not get to act in the surprise round. If no one or everyone starts the battle aware, there is no surprise round, and no one is flat-footed.
  3. Any remaining combatants roll initiative. All combatants are now ready to begin their first regular round. All combatants are now aware of their opponents, and no one is flat-footed.
  4. Combatants act in initiative order, taking their normal allotment of actions.
  5. When everyone has had a turn, the combatant with the highest initiative total acts again, and steps 4 and 5 repeat until the combat ends.

One-hit insurance

This optional rule is from the Mastermind's Manual (p. 112).

One-hit insurance
The first failed Toughness save a character makes in any given encounter cannot inflict more than a bruised or injured condition, regardless of the Toughness save result. The character's second failed Toughness save never does more than a stunned result. Thereafter, the character's Toughness saves have their normal results. It requires at least three failed Toughness saves (probably more) for a character to be staggered or disabled.
This "insurance" only applies when the character is aware and able to react to the attack. If the character is flat-footed or the attack is a surprise (coming from an invisible opponent, for example) then it has its normal effect, regardless or whether or not it is the first attack; ambushes and surprise attacks can still have substantial effects.



In the standard Mutants & Masterminds rules, characters gain one additional language for each skill point spent on the Languages skill. Instead, we will use the following house rule.

Characters gain one additional language for the first skill point spent on the Languages skill. For each additional skill point, the number of languages the character knows moves up one level on the Time And Value Progression Table (M&M 2e, p. 70). For example, 3 ranks in Languages would give the character 5 additional languages (in addition to her native language).


Mighty Slam

This is a new feat.

Mighty Slam
You can add your Strength bonus to your slam attack damage. You suffer damage equal to half the total damage bonus inflicted on your target (round down), including your Strength bonus.



In the standard Mutants & Masterminds rules, characters may buy the Magic power, which is essentially a specific example of the Array power structure. Instead, we will use the following house rule.

Ignore the Magic power. Just use a standard Array, using the Alternate Power feat (M&M 2e, p. 108; Ultimate Power, p. 108). The Array costs 2 points per rank in the Array, the first Alternate Power is free, and additional powers may be purchased with the Alternate Power feat.


It is better to avoid the Super-Speed power. Buy the various Powers which comprise it a la carte instead. Instead of Super-Speed 10 (50 pts), you could buy:

  • Improved Initiative Feat - Rank 10 (10 pts)
  • Quickness - Rank 10 (10 pts)
  • Speed - Rank 10 (10 pts)

You may wish to put one or more of these powers into an Array, and add additional Alternate Powers.

Power feats

Uniform Area

This is a new feat. Like Evasion, it should not be purchased simply because it is expedient: it should only be purchased if it truly makes sense for the character.

Uniform Area
Combat, Ranked
When applied to an attack with the Area extra that allows a Reflex save, each application of the Uniform Area feat negates one application of the Evasion feat (once to negate Evasion, twice to negate Improved Evasion). The attack still allows for a Reflex save.