Mutants and Masterminds


The ASH Universe

Updated 1/23/05
    Okay, my own Modern Knights system is the "official" RPG of ASH, but that doesn't mean I don't think about how to do ASH in other game systems. And since I've been playing a lot of Mutants and Masterminds online at Crucible City MUX, I thought up some guidelines in the event anyone wanted to use M&M to run something in the ASH setting. I'll be covering things in the order they appear in the M&M core rulebook.


   New "Important Terms":
  • Anchor: Someone who can shut down operations of the Magene.
  • Magene: The source of most superhuman powers in the ASH setting. Anyone using the Sources of Mystic or Super-Science needs to have the Magene.
  • Paranormal: Someone with a weak expression of the Magene.
  • Supernormal or Supernatural: Someone with a strong expression of the Magene.

Power Level

   Paranormals are typically PL 5-8, Supernaturals are typically PL10 or higher.


   Paranormals rarely have physical abilities (STR, DEX, CON) under 12. Supernaturals rarely have physical abilities under 14.


    ASH uses a house rule on certain untrained-use skills. Super Abilities (like Super-INT or Super-WIS) do not apply to untrained use of the following skills: Craft, Forgery, Knowledge, Perform, Profession, Science, Survival.

    Skills cost 0.5 points per rank.


   There are two more Super-Feats available in the ASH setting, reflecting how those with the Magene tend to be more durable and stronger than they look.

  • Paranormal - You have the Magene at a low level, and may possess minor superhuman powers or use supertech.
    • Prerequisite - None.
    • Benefit - You gain the effects of the Rapid Healing Feat. You may take Powers with a Source of Mystical up to Rank 5, and Powers with a Source of Super-Science to any Rank.
    • Normal - Those without the Magene cannot use Source Mystical or Source Super-Science.
  • Supernatural - You have the Magene at a high level, and may have significant superhuman powers as well as using supertech.
    • Prerequisite - Paranormal
    • Benefit - Your lifting capacity is doubled, as per the Lifter Stunt under Super-STR. You may take Powers of any Rank up to your PL with source Mystical or Source Super-Science.
    • Normal - See Paranormal

Super Powers

   Power Source requires significant explanation, since it's something that's always tied to the setting in some way.

   Alien: There are very few powers that are distinctly alien in origin, most of the alien races will explicitly use other Sources. The following races have racial powers that might be considered Source Alien:

  • Deltan: Flight or Gliding (Delta Rose's energy powers are a Mutation). Unmodified Deltans have a rank or two in Elasticity.
  • Pranir: Natural Weapon (beak), a rank in Elasticity (serpentine bodies).
  • Santari: No racial powers.
  • Scytharians: No racial powers. Super-Science is their usual Source, with Mutation once in a while.
  • T!rir: Natural Weapon, Protection (chitin).
   Alien Source powers are rarely more than three or four ranks.

   Mystical: This is the main source for powers in the ASH setting. All Magene-dervived powers, including actual mysticism and psi powers, are actually Mystical in nature. It is very rare to find a Power without the Device flaw at high ranks if it is not Source Mystical.

   Mutation: This Source only applies to non-Magene mutations, and it tends to be limited in nature. Most Mutations are the result of Khadamite genetic manipulation or mystical creations such as mythic monsters. If it's something a real animal can do, just turned up a few notches, Mutation can accomodate. So you could have a shocking grasp based on the Electric Eel, poison sprays, spines, claws, scalding emissions like the Bombadier Beetle, etc. But no gravity control, psi powers, laser bolts or the like. (One exception: Deltans have an uncommon Mutation that lets them fire laser bolts.) Vivarium denizens are likely to have the Mutation Source.

   Psionic: All psi powers are manifestations of the Magene, there is no separate Psionic Source available.

   Super-Science: Devices made with the aid of the Magene, and only usable by those who have at least a little Magene themselvs. Aliens do not use this Source, instead generally using the new Advanced Science Source. Some Super-Science devices will function briefly for a normal person, but none will work for an Anchor.

   Training: Unchanged from the main rules.

   Advanced Science: This is a new Source, generally representing science that is beyond what humanity can achieve without the Magene. Anchors do not affect Advanced Science. Some Paranormals are capable of creating Advanced Science. Terran Advanced Science rarely provides more than 5 ranks of Power, while alien Advanced Science can provide any rank allowed by the character's PL.

   Some individual Powers require a few notes and suggestions, as listed below.
  • Dimensional Travel: From 1998 until 2023, this power can only be used to access a very limited number of pocket dimensions. From 2023 until at least 2050, all DCs for this power are at +10. However, from 1975-1998, the DCs are at -5.
  • Growth: A new Stunt is available.
    • Stunt: Big'un - You are one size class larger, without gaining any of the other benefits of Growth. You may only take this Stunt once for every 3 ranks in Growth you have bought.
  • Neutralize: Anchors can take the Flaw, "Limited: Mystic and Super-Science" instead of just a single source, but must take this Flaw. Anchors may also take a custom Extra that lets them choose which save the target must make (Will or Power Rank).
  • Postcognition: This power is at +10 DC when used to look into or out of the era 1998-2023, unless it is defined as forensic analysis or something not actually using time-twisting.
  • Precognition: See Postcognition. The ability to read an opponent's combat style would not be affected by the era limitation.
  • Regeneration: Supernaturals need no real excuse to take a few ranks of this power.
  • Super-Attributes: Those with the Magene can take a few ranks of any Super-Atribute (STR, DEX, CON, INT, WIS, CHA) with no particular explanation other than just having the Magene.
  • Super-Skill: This grants +1 in two related skills for one rank.
  • Time Control: See entries on relevant extras.
  • Time Travel: Time travel into or out of the era 1998-2023 is impossible. Traveling into or out of the era of 2024-2050 requires a DC 20 power check against your Time Travel rank.


   Movement: Movement powers grant 10' per rank for a half action move, rather than 5'. (This is a Crucible City MUX house rule I like.)

   Weaknesses: The Vulnerable Weakness cannot be taken unless the save being lost would be equal to at least half your PL (max +5). Losing a +2 Save is not worth 10 points. A character may be Vulnerable to Anchors, gaining no save bonus against their Neutralize (always use the rank of your largest relevant power for determining if thie Weakness can be taken).


   As a house rule, when taking the Vehicle Feat, you get your PL in points to build the vehicle for every time you take the Feat. As an extra Feat that does not increase your build points, the vehicle can be designated Nimble, and will move like a character rather than like a vehicle (i.e. you don't need to mess with the vehicle movement rules).


   The Grappling rules suck, there's no two ways around it. They simulate non-powered high school wrestling. The following modifications are used in case anyone wants to Grapple.
  • If you are in control of a Grapple, you may perform one of the following actions in addition to those listed in the rules:
    • Throw: If your carrying capacity is such that the opponent is a Light load, you may throw them like any other unaerodynamic object. This ends the Grapple, and does damage equal to your Strength bonus (plus Super-STR, but not plus Strike or other damage powers) or the hardness of what you throw them at, whichever is less. If thrown at another character, use your Strength bonus. If there are more than two people involved in the Grapple, you need to justify being able to hold onto everyone well enough to throw them (Growth, Elasticity, etc).
    • Brawling Weapon: If your carrying capacity is such that the opponent is a Medium Load or less, you may use them as a brawling weapon as per the normal rules. Both the character used as the weapon and the target will take damage equal to your STR plus Super-STR bonus. See Throw above for larger Grapple piles.
    • Other Powers: You may use any power that could conceivably be used without letting go of the target. If trying to use the power on someone other than the Grapple victim(s), however, only your Base Attack Bonus applies to any attack rolls. Powers that do not use attack rolls require a Concentration Check (DC10) to use.
  • If you are not in control of a Grapple, you may use other powers as described above, except that you can only use your Base Attack Bonus even if attacking the person who is Grappling you. A Concentration Check (DC10) is needed to activate powers that don't require an attack roll. If the power could help in getting out of the Grapple (such as rocket booster Flight), you may use its Rank instead of your Strength Modifier in your next Grapple Check, but only to try to escape.
   Additionally, characters with Elasticity may gain a Size Bonus based on their combat stretch. Consult their combat stretch to the size chart as if it were their height, and use the relevant size for grapple checks. More elastic characters are better at binding others and at slipping out of grapples, after all.

   I may expand on this file if I think of other things to add.