A Better Tomorrow
Whether it’s luck, talent, or sheer determination, heroes have something setting them apart from everyone else, allowing them to perform amazing deeds under the most difficult circumstances. In Mutants & Masterminds that something is Hero Points.
Spending a hero point can make the difference between success and failure. When you’re entrusted with the safety of the world that means a lot!
Hero points allow players to “edit” the plot of the adventure and the rules of the game to a degree. They give heroes the ability to do the amazing things heroes do in the comics, but with certain limits, and they encourage players to make the sort of choices heroes do in the comics, in order to get more hero points.
Heroes start each game session with 1 hero point. During the adventure they get opportunities to earn more hero points. Players can use various tokens (poker chips, glass beads, etc.) to keep track of their hero points, handing them over to the Gamemaster when they spend them. The Gamemaster can likewise give out tokens when awarding hero points to the players.
Unspent hero points don’t carry over to the next adventure; the heroes start out with 1 point again.
Using Hero Points
Earning Hero Points
Under the hood: hero points
Hero points serve several purposes, all intended to allow heroes to pull off the kinds of stunts they do in the comic books. Hero points essentially provide players with the ability to change their characters’ traits, or influence the outcome of events in the game, but only a certain number of times per game and to a certain preset degree.
One particularly useful aspect of hero points is the ability to perform feats a character doesn’t have. Essentially, any combat, general, or skill feat in Chapter 4 is a potential use of hero points. Consider some like Improvised Tools or Jack-of-All-Trades as examples. They may not be part of a hero’s normal repertoire, but they can be useful to have in a pinch, so long as the player is willing to spend a hero point to use them.
Players may wish to note some appropriate heroic feats and power stunts they can refer to in play for ideas and inspiration. For example, maybe your character doesn’t have the Inventor feat but does have ranks in Knowledge and Craft. You could spend a hero point in play to allow your character to come up with an invention. Likewise, characters may have “special moves” they use only rarely. Rather than paying power points for them, they may spend hero points to acquire them as needed.
The same guidelines hold true for using Extra Effort to acquire power feats (and possibly spending a hero point to cancel the fatigue). You don’t have to pay points for every possible permutation of your hero’s powers: just note some suitable power stunts and spend hero points to use them in play.
You might eventually want to spend the power points necessary to make a sometime feat or power stunt a permanent part of the character’s abilities, especially if it’s something you use all the time, giving you a natural way of improving and developing your character. So remember, Extra Effort and hero points are excellent tools when it comes to making and playing a flexible and interesting hero!