Mutants and Racial Templates

Here’s 4e D&D’s Races converted to M&M Templates. I’m sure you can see where this is going, can’t you……….

Templates in M&M are just what you’d expect; pay the points cost and you get the goodies. To offset these costs (and encourage players to take them!), I recommend giving each non-Human Race a Drawback (Very Common, Minor) of some kind. This gives the player 3 Power Points back to spend on other fun things. Adapt to suit your campaign concept – maybe Tielflings are feared and distrusted, or Eladrins hunted down because of their wicked Fey Stepping ways.

All of the costs work out pretty neatly with Tieflings and Elves coming out the most expensive at 14 points. In the Tiefling’s case that’s mainly thanks to it’s Immunity to Fire which is worth every penny; for Elves it’s their hinky bonus to Notice for everyone on a 25′ radius. That makes so little sense (how does it work again?) that I’d be tempted to ditch in favour of something else. A bonus to Climb and Animal Affinity, maybe.


Dragonborn 12PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 STR, +2 CHA
Enhanced Traits (1): +2 Intimidate, +2 KS:History
Dragonborn Fury (1): +1 Attack Bonus (Limited 1: after a Staggered result)
Dragon Breath (6): Blast 3 (30′, DC 18, Area:Burst 15′, Limited 1: per Encounter)

Dwarf 10PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 CON, +2 WIS
Enhanced Traits (2): +2 KS:Dungeoneering, +2 Survival, Ultimate Effort: Resist Knockback
Dwarven Weapon Proficiency (2): +2 Attack Bonus (Limited 1: Throwing Hammer & Warhammer)
Super Strength 1 (2)

Eladrin 13PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 DEX, +2 INT
Enhanced Traits (5): +2 KS:Arcane Lore, +2 KS:History, +1 Will, +5 Will (Limited 2:vs Charms), +4 (Any one skill)
Eldarin Weapon Proficiency (2): +3 Attack Bonus (Limited 2: Longswords)
Fey Step (1): Teleport 1 (25′,Limited 1:per Encounter)
Super Senses 1 (1): Low Light Vision

Elf 14PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 DEX, +2 WIS
Enhanced Traits (4): +2 Survival, +2 Notice, Second Chance 1 (Reroll attack once per Encounter), +2 Attack Bonus (Limited 1: Longbows and Shortbows)
Enhanced Trait (3): +1 Notice (Affects Others only, Area:Burst, increased to 25′, Limited 1:non-Elves)
Super Movement 1 (2): Sure Footed 1
Super Senses 1 (1): Low Light Vision

Half Elf 12PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 CON, +2 CHA
Enhanced Traits (1): +2 Diplomacy, +2 Sense Motive
Enhanced Trait (4): +1 Diplomacy (Affects Others only, Area:Burst, increased to 50′)
Dilettante (2): Benefit 2 (Able to select a Power from another Class)
Super Senses 1 (1): Low Light Vision

Halfling 13PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 DEX, +2 CHA
Enhanced Traits (5): +2 Acrobatics, +2 Sleight of Hand, Fearless, Second Chance 1 (Enemy rerolls attack once per Encounter), Defensive Roll 2
Small size (4): Shrinking 4 (Normal strength, Permanent)

Human 0PP
You’re on your own with this one :D !

Tiefling 14PP
Enhanced Abilities (4): +2 INT, +2 CHA
Enhanced Traits (1): +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth
Enhanced Traits (1): +1 Attack Bonus (against opponents who have had a Staggered result)
Enhanced Traits (2):  +1 Attack Bonus, add CHA bonus to DC (Limited 1: per Encounter)
Immunity, Fire (5)
Super Senses 1 (1): Low Light Vision

9 Comments on “Mutants and Racial Templates”

  1. Hey mate,

    Your DnD crossover series has started me thinking about a crossover for Star Wars Saga Edition. I started looking into races last night, and ran into a few issues.

    1) How would you handle a negative modifier to ability scores? It’s not covered by a power, since it’s effectively a weakness. A brief look through the drawbacks section does not help. In practice, the character would just start with a score of 8 in that ability, and the template would cost 2 less PP. How would you write this?

    2) Conditional bonus feats: as in, if you take X as a trained skill, you get Skill Focus (X) as a bonus feat. This is effectively Enhanced Trait (+5 to Skill X) with the condition that you have at least 5 ranks in the skill? (training makes you trained [obviously] and gives you a +5 in that skill) How would you write this?


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  2. @Maestro Good questions!

    Page 28, under “Reducing Abilities” explains it all. Just reduce the ability score and get the points back to spend elsewhere. For example, if your character is

    STR 14, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 10

    then the total cost of your abilities is 2 points (4 for STR, and -2 for INT).

    2. The “Conditional” bit doesn’t matter – either you take the Feat, or not. So you spend the points, or not :D

    Mutants & Masterminds gives you 4 skill points for every Point you spend, so it’s easier to think in terms of a +4 bonus rather than a +5 so you don’t have to worry about spending 1.25 points :D

    This would just make it

    Enhanced Trait (+4 Move Silently)

    for example, costing 1 point. It’s not worth adding a prerequisite (such are Limited 1 (Must be Trained) because the cost won’t be less than 1 point anyhow.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for the quick reply. Good point about the skills/feats. I guess if you consider the design philosophy in SW, they are just trying to encourage people to take those skills as their trained skills because they have a limit on the number they can take. A sort of enticement, if you will. In M&M, it’s easier just to give them that Enhanced Trait (+4) that you discussed (and good point about the +5).

    I’m still a little confused about the modifiers though. How do you enforce that people take that -2 (as a template)? For that matter, when people buy up their stats, would you give people a smaller pool of PP to spend on stats so they don’t end up with game-breaking stats? It seems to me that M&M is so great because of it’s customisability, and if you start putting limits on it, you’re reducing its inherent awesomeness. However, if you’re not going to put limits on it, then it’s not really worth including modifiers in the racial templates. Just a thought …

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  4. In Mutants & Masterminds, it’s pretty difficult to be game breaking. That’s partly down to the Power Level limits which set maximums for saving throws, damage, etc. Also, as it’s a points-based system a character might try to overload their stats, but find they’ve got few points left for other things.

    Nothing to say they can’t though, and making a character that’s heavy in one area (stats, skills, Feats or Powers) but light in the others is sometimes an interesting design choice. Balance is strictly optional :D

    That said, it’s good for a GM to limit things to enforce the style of the campaign. This could be anything from “no stat above 18” to “no time travel or teleport Powers”, or “all characters must spend 1 points for Super-Senses(Communication Link); they share a telepathic bond”.

    It’s your campaign after all, and M&M does a good job of providing you with the tools to customize it however you want.

    If the player doesn’t want to take the penalty on their stat then I’d say that’s fine; perhaps their character is unusually gifted/strong/more agile than most members of their race. They don’t get the points back for having a stat below 10, so it all balances out in the end.

  5. You are wise beyond your years. Thanks for the well-thought answer. I find myself getting caught up in details and crunch, forgetting as always that the GM has the final say, and that if anything turns out to be game-breaking, then it’s easy just to talk to the player and work it out.

    Also, the power of M&M is impressive as always. There seems to be a way to describe anything.

    Keep an eye out for the SWSE race templates if you’re interested. I’ll put them up in the next few days.

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  6. Wise beyond my ears? LOL!!! Oh, I see what you mean :D .

    I look forward to seeing the templates. Incidentally, making Light Sabers is fun in M&M – but I’ll save that for you to discover for yourself……

  7. haha! I look forward to it. I hadn’t really thought about equipment. I know in the RCR version, they had all sorts of DR-bypassing abilities and stuff, but in Saga, they seem to be just plain weapons (albeit with some cool abilities they unlock in the Jedi talent trees *eeeeexcellent*).

    Actually, I’m looking foward to working out some of the cool talents some of the classes get. All sorts of cool things there.

    Maestros last blog post..Sad news

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