Jump to content

Mutants & Masterminds: A House Divided - A House Divided Game Proposal

The Story Guide

Recommended Posts



The year is 2040 and the second generation of novas are coming into their own, shouldering the legacies of their parents and forging their own futures.


A House Divided

Setting: Aberrant history up to 2012, current game set in 2040.
Rules System: Mutant and Masterminds, 3rd Edition - PL 10, 150 PP
Game Style: Storyteller driven. (Dawn and Malachite)
Game Focus/Themes: This is a look at the Abberant world through they eyes of the second generation of novas. They have inherited the world wrought by their predecessors and parents; they must come to terms with the legacies left by the past while looking towards the future.
Game Factions: Utopia/DeVries (making 1 faction combined and in the Human Sphere of Influence (Earth, Luna, and Mars)), or the Teragen (further out in the Solar System)

Character Generation Specifics:
All characters are made as per the standard M&M 3rd Ed character generation rules, with final approval needed from both STs.

Each character will also have at least one 'special snowflake' quality; this can be a background tie, particular rare power or situation, etc. A character may have more than one snowflake, but such characters will have higher expectations on the players the more snowflakes they have. All snowflakes must be approved by the STs.

All character are second generation novas and at the start of the game no player may have more than one character. Extra character slots and types may open up as the game progresses, but this is at the sole discretion of the STs.

Characters will begin play in one of two factions: the Teragen (based outside of the H-SoI (Human Sphere of Influence), which currently contains Earth, Luna, and Mars) or as a member of Utopia or DeVries (based inside the H-SoI, though any native Martian would have to be less than 16 years old). A character will have been raised either within the Teragen, Utopia, or DeVries; having any upbringing outside of this is a major snowflake and will require substantial background development for the STs to consider. Known world history, new terminology, new tech, etc., will be provided to players depending on the faction they start with.

Initial House Rules: INITIAL!
Clades and Factions will bestow minor bonuses on a character, which I will post as soon as I'm done building them. This will not exceed 6 pp of bonuses and is on top of standard character creation. A character may be of the opposite Clade for the norm of their Faction (a True raised Terat or a Terat raised by Utopia or DeVries), but this will count as at least a minor snowflake.

Terat Clade
Terat Clade - Diehard, Extraordinary Effort, Fearless.
True Clade
True Clade - Beginner's Luck, Inspire, Luck.
H-SoI Faction
Utopia - Backing 1: Security Clearance (UN Utopian Peacekeeping Agent), Connected (Utopia), Teamwork.
DeVries - Backing 1: Wealth (DeVries Salary), Connected (DeVries), Teamwork.
Teragen Faction
Teragen - Backing 1: Status (Teragen), Connected (Teragen), Contacts (Teragen). Native language is Vox Deus, this is not a free language but simply the language all those raised by the Teragen will have learned.

Attributes over 5 must be taken as 'Enhanced Attribute' powers. This represents that they are beyond the capabilities of any baseline.

Attractive may only be taken inside the Enhanced Presence power at one rank at Enhanced Presence 1, and one more possible rank for every 10 levels after that. A character gains a +2 circumstance bonus, allowing the character to go about the PL cap, for every rank in Attractive. Other such advantages may be adjusted to follow a similar pattern, but this is all we have so far.

Power max is now an Extra Effort option that grants (PL) Power Points to spend on the power it is applied to for that turn, replacing the Extra Effort option in the book that confers 1 extra rank. On the roll for the effected action, if the player rolls a 1 they gain a permanent aberration; if they roll a 10 or below they gain a temporary aberration for the next 24 hrs. A Hero Point may be spent to reroll the action, but only the actual roll (not the roll +10) is used to determine if a Complication: Aberration is gained. Even if the power does not require a roll, a character must still roll a d20 to determine if they gain a temporary or permanent aberration from the power max. A permanent aberration may be taken (this requires ST approval) in addition to the roll; doing so will allow the power effected to break PL cap for that action. Note: We understand the concerns that have been voiced about this potentially being too powerful for the game. We are going to give it a try and re-evaluate after the first couple of combats it is used in.

Terat Clade characters must begin play with two Complication: Aberrations.

Quantum Rating, Quantum Pool, Node, Taint, Chrysalis, and Aberrations:
As there is no 'power stat' in M&M, nor an equivalent system for Taint or Chrysalis, we are instituting new ways of representing them.

Quantum Rating - No longer relevant nor needed. PL is somewhat indicative of this, but really, it's just not needed since M&M powers aren't reliant on a power stat.

Quantum Pool - This has been removed after some discussion, as we realized that the last time either of us had ever run out of qp in a game was a TT game Dawn was in in 1999.

Taint - It's been removed as a scaling stat in the game. It's still in the game fluff-wise, but the effects are handled through Complication: Aberration.

Node - Removed from the game as it doesn't matter in M&M. Node 'pinging' can still be done via the Senses power.

Chrysalis - This has also been removed as a scaling stat in the game. For game purposes, Chrysalis is defined by Clade. Any time a Terat Clade enters "apotheosis" or "chrysalis" (represented by their PL going up), they will have the option of changing out their mental aberrations for physical aberrations. For True Clades that learn Chrysalis or any other time for Terat Clades, Chrysalis may be entered to alter aberrations as before, but will take one in-game week per aberration modified. The number of Complication: Aberrations at the end of the Chrysalis must match the number the character began with. Alterations to aberrations will always require ST approval.

Aberrations - All aberrations are now Complication: Aberration and work as per the normal complication rules. There is no cumulative social penalty or such, just the normal M&M rules for complications. Terat Clade characters must begin play with two Complication: Aberrations.

General Setting Information:
Most of the setting information will be contained in the Factional Knowledge write-ups, which will be PMs that character accounts are invited to; please talk to Dawn or I if you need more information before choosing a faction. That said, we are advancing the setting in all major areas (technology, culture, and politics) to account for the advancements of the Nova Age. We are keenly interested in having players contribute thoughts, suggestions, slang, whatever ;), to this development, though we do reserve the right to yea or nay any particular idea. We have already outlined the major political events of the timeline, so we would encourage players to focus primarily on the technological and social advances they are interested in seeing added to the game.

General Game Information:
All characters will require unique character accounts and avatars that closely represent the character's general appearance.

A House Divided Timeline

This is a brief timeline of events that all characters in the game would know. So far this holds only the political actions of time. Scientific and social advancement will be added as we get to them, and as they're suggested/approved! :)

The End of Projects
May of 2012

  • The Aberrants release proof of Slider’s death at the hands of Project Proteus.
  • The Aeon Society reveals themselves and places blame at the feet of a recently deceased Director Thetis and several of her cohorts, disbanding Project Proteus.

June of 2012

  • Project Utopia removes itself from the Aeon Society, Project Pandora soon follows suit and the Society is effectively disbanded.

August of 2012

  • The Deadaelus League permanently leaves the galaxy.
  • The Aberrants disband after apathetic response to their proof.

The New World Order

  • Utopia, facing critical resource shortages, a loss of personnel, and the stigma of Aeon/Project Proteus in the media, approaches the UN for patronage.


  • The UN accepts Utopia's proposal and becomes a true world government.


  • A schism occurs in the Cult of Mal, leading to the death of Clarion and removing the Apostle from favor in the faction.


  • Several novas entrenched in the Australian government complete a legal coup and remove the country from UN membership.
  • Tariq and the Companions follow suit, declaring a Teragen nation inside of Saudi Arabia; this prompts immediate UN retaliation, as oil is a critical world resource. This sets off the “Nova War”.

The Nova War
August 2018

  • Israel is phsyically separated from the mainland, and Jerusalem is likewise moved even further into the Mediterranean by a young Japanese nova hoping that the physical distance will lead to a more peaceful region.
  • The Apostle betrays the Teragen, releasing information on the location of the Harvesters, including Heartland, and the location of the Nursery to the UN.
  • Leviathan dies due to the Apostle’s betrayal; Geryon dies killing the Apostle; many of the Teragen are reported dead or missing by the end of the war.
  • Attempts are made to terraform the moon, but fail. Plans are made to colonize the satellite anyways.

The Aftermath
September 2018

  • National teams are still allowed, though Team2Morrow Peacekeeper Agents are considered to have priority in jurisdiction. Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Japan, and China have formed the ‘Nationalist Bloc’ in the UN that resists Utopia intrusion in their nations.
  • The Directive is disbanded by edict of the UN.
  • DeVries diversifies after new laws regarding Elites as mercenaries in the world are passed by the United Nations, now an effective and powerful world government. Anna DeVries leverages this expanded market control into political power with the UN, giving her practical power equal to that of the world government in return for support in expansion in space and maintaining control over UN territories. DeVries Elites are paired with United Nations Utopian Peacekeeper Agents throughout all UN territories in mixed teams to promote 'peace, prosperity, and stability'. This has become the motto of the new Peacekeeper teams: Pacem, prosperitatem, stabilitatem.
  • Sin Eater leaves the Teragen, partially due to disgust of the events in and leading up to the Nova War, and partially to maintain a legal identity and business in India.
  • The Teragen relocate, officially, to Australia. Orziaz maintains his Spanish citizenship despite the new laws passed by the UN outlawing any affiliation with the Teragen. A female nova by the name of Melinoe takes over Nova Vigilance.

April 2020

  • The moon is colonized, and after Earth-side complaints, laws are eventually passed to restore the traditional look of the Earth-side of the moon.

Feel free to ask questions, however some knowledge will only be made available once a player has chosen a faction for their character. Come talk to either one of us if you need any specific details in order to make that decision. Feel free to suggest social and technological changes or advancements to this timeline; changes that occur after this will be faction-specific and should be sent via PM to Dawn and Malachite.

Please submit characters to Dawn and Malachite with the title [A House Divided] 'Character Name'. Thanks!

Current player and character rosters:

Players that have submitted characters -
Dash "Golden Tiger" Carpenter, H-SoI (DeVries)
Samantha Austin, H-SoI (DeVries)
Sean "Chaos" McCline, H-SoI (DeVries)
Nora "Sunny" Sun, H-SoI (DeVries)
Caleb "Renaissance" Bonner, H-SoI (DeVries)
Iris, H-SoI (Utopia)

Roxanne, Teragen
Julian, Teragen
Helen, Teragen
Argent, Teragen

Players that have discussed character factions -
OTN (Surtr, Teragen)
Cent (Panoptes, Teragen)
Quintessence, Teragen

If I've missed you, please let me know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Power max is now an Extra Effort option. On the roll for the effected action if the player rolls a 1 they gain a permanent Complication: Aberration; if they roll a 10 or below they gain a temporary Complication: Aberration for the next 24 hrs. A Hero Point may be spent to reroll the action, but only the actual roll (not the roll +10) is used to determine if a Complication: Aberration is gained.

So what does Power Max gain you when you use it? And what about powers that don't require a roll, like Perception Range, or powers with a fixed effect like Concealment or Insubstantial?

Quantum pool is now a power-by-power basis represented by the Limited flaw. All powers start at a base of Limited (5 uses) and a player may buy extra uses of the power as a Custom: Expanded Use (1 pp per) extra. The power receives the cost break for the Limited flaw. This does not effect Enhanced Attributes representing Mega Attributes; powers that are permanent do not have the flaw. Questions on other specific powers will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

How many used does Expanded Use get you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually looking at either Fahrenheit (obviously Teragen), Venus (probably Teragen but could also be DeVries) and Jill (very likely Utopia) - Would you have any preferences? Asking Mala and Dawn. I don't know which concept would fit this setting best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually looking at either Fahrenheit (obviously Teragen), Venus (probably Teragen but could also be DeVries) and Jill (very likely Utopia) - Would you have any preferences? Asking Mala and Dawn. I don't know which concept would fit this setting best.

Any of those would work. The question becomes what do you want to play? You're playing all of them right now in other games - what aspects of them do you want to reuse for a story like this one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me see -

I would like to represent my own Faction within the Teragen should I play Fahrenheit. She'd be close to the church of Mal - maybe a more radical/militant wing as she claims to be Mal's Daughter.

Alternatively I could focus more on her Sascha part in which case she'd be struggling to keep the ultra-radical Fahrenheit at bay while she seeks help from Utopia (or even the Aberrants, should they exist somewhere/somehow). I like both aspects and would love to explore that a little more than in the past (which I couldn't do much unfortunately). Concerning the Fahrenheit specific faction - I have loads of material for that way back from my ItB time with her. A lot of brainstorming went into it and I'd like to see it put to use somehow/someday.

Venus - Well that's a more difficult matter. Extremely powerful social PCs are hard to manage and difficult to balance in any setting since most interactions can be easily interpreted as PvP (which was never my intention, just fyi). I'd like to see her in a different setting out of curiousity. DR is very specific and "closed" (not in a bad way) and I am currently quiet alone there (which was also my own choice, I know) - but having more interaction with other PCs would be great - so this would be a chance for me to do that.

Jill - This PC is "fairly" new to me and thus my enthusiasm to explore her story is easily explained. I'd have to make some adjustments to make her work as a second gen Nova, of course so she'd probably end up quiet differently than her "original" version.

My main reason for the pic of these 3 concepts are also their foci. Fahrenheit as an Elemental/Fire Controller, Venus as a social powerhouse and Jill as a classical brick - covers most bases and I'm flexible enough to switch roles should someone else cover one of those bases and we'd run into too much overlapping.

So that's my deal on my part.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mind control and emotion control are also more...controlled...in M&M, which might make Venus more mechanically viable, but also might not give you what you're looking for out of her. You'd have to use Afflictions, which have very specific and defined effects, along with high Presence and social skills...which also have specific and highly defined possible uses.

So there wouldn't be a thing like Aberrant has, where a mega-social can exploit the 'grey area' of autosuccesses and lack of well defined rules to accomplish astonishing mechanical deeds.

But I think the concept is still viable...you'd just have to be prepared to fit it to a new framework that doesn't allow as much wiggle room.

Still pondering my options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been asked several times now and is stated in the proposal above. I'm posting it here for emphasis.

On playing someone that is not a part of a faction:

You can play someone outside of the two factions. That is stated in the proposal. However, the plots we have designed so far are centered around the factions, meaning that if you want your character involved, they're going to be working at least -with- one of the factions pretty quickly. Also not being raised in one of the factions will lose out a faction bonus (which is only 2-3 PP worth of bonuses, not critical) and will count as a major 'snowflake', which means we the STs will want to see a robust backstory and work with you closely on the character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brain has coughed up a gaggle of concepts. I'd like to float them to see if any are instantly less agreeable, so I can winnow the herd down.

1) Evolutionary shapechanger. A character who can access "junk" DNA in their cells to express ancestral traits that have long been absent in human beings. Basically a variable power limited to organic ability like claws and teeth and scales and wings and stuff. Regeneration.

2) Molecular mimic. A character who can, via touch, alter his body to selectively gain traits of the material he's in contact with. This also lets him copy genetic material, so he could touch a person to become an effective clone of that person. No major alterations in size or mass though, or even major shifts in bone structure. So if he pets a cat and picks up traits, then he's a person who has some cat traits...not a cat. Not even a big cat. Selective copying means he could touch glass and become transparent, but not brittle (or, for some reason, the opposite). He canNOT imitate nova powers, as they are not genetic. A pair of twins can have vastly different powers, as they are shaped primarily by experience and individual values/fears/desires/etc. Morph and variable pool or dynamic array with a complication.

3) Illusionist. This would be a reprise, powerwise, of an old concept I called 'Kitsune,' due to her reliance on images of sculpted light to mislead and deceive. Weak TK allows images to appear to manipulate objects, and lends her some physical boosts. The illusionist is physically blind, but uses powers to detect incoming light and thus 'see.'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, just to give people an idea of Dash, and if it affects your choice Max:

Dash basically can be summed up as a super-soldier of sorts. He's got Enhanced Stamina, Agility, Awareness, and Fighting, a healing factor expressed as serious Regeneration and some Immunities, and "chi power" as he describes it - invisible energy augmentation of his attacks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, but Venus seems to be much less active than Jill in the other games. Play who you want, but if having the same character in two different games is any sort of issue (and it sounds like it is), then I'd strongly suggest going with a new character.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Current player and character rosters:

Players that have submitted characters -

Jeremy (Dash Carpenter, H-SoI (DeVries))

Moira (Samantha Austin, H-SoI (DeVries))

Joani (Roxanne, Teragen)

Dawn (Sean McCline, H-SoI (DeVries))

Abyss (Iris, H-SoI (Utopia))

Players that have discussed character factions -

Jordan (H-SoI, DeVries)

Long (H-SoI, DeVries)

OTN (Surtr, Teragen)

Cent (Teragen)

Malachite (Julian, Teragen)

Kylie (Teragen)

WhiteRain (Teragen)

Players still deciding, but that have indicated an interest -


If I've missed you, please let me know!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think I may have to withdraw. I have a mechanical framework for a character, but I don't think the actual -character- is working out. And my working on it means I'm not working on finishing up my own game's startup posts as fast as I'd like to be. I think what I'd like to do is let you guys start, and once I see what's going on and catch the game's 'wave' so to speak, maybe join in after the fact if there's room. Cuz right now I don't think I quite get it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...