In Mutants and Masterminds (3rd ed), are high-tech vehicles (pg 221) Devices or Equipment? With a simple vehicles like a truck it seems rather straightforward, by say I wanted a large space ship or a time-traveling DeLorean. It would make sense that things like that be classed as devices, but the rulebook doesn't seem to say that, and the positioning of the section on vehicles (both in the rulebook and on the official character sheet) seem to suggest that all vehicles are classed as equipment. Can someone please give me a definite answer? Thanks in advance

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just pointing out the page with vehicles on it for convenience, and yes it is the hero's handbook. \$\endgroup\$ – SilverGM Jun 29 '17 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't even need to go particularly high-tech, just big: does the Emma Maersk make sense as a piece of equipment? :P \$\endgroup\$ – Shalvenay Jun 29 '17 at 2:20

Vehicles are Equipment, not Devices.

On the first page of Chapter 7 "Gadgets & Gear" in the Hero's Handbook, there is a nice explanation of the difference between Devices and Equipment.

There can sometimes be a fine line between devices (Removable powers) and equipment (relatively mundane technology). The primary differences are: Devices are part of the character’s traits. They grant effects beyond the capabilities of normal equipment, and they’re only ever lost or taken away temporarily. If an item is integral to the character’s concept or abilities, it’s probably a device.

Equipment, on the other hand, is limited to fairly “mundane” things, can be taken away or even destroyed with impunity, and merely supplements the character’s traits. Equipment doesn’t grant “powers” per se (although equipment does provide certain effects).

Some examples of Devices and Equipment are listed. Then it says:

Ultimately, it is up to the GM whether or not a particular item is considered a device or equipment (or neither), depending on the nature of the series and the characters.

Devices are meant to represent removable superpowers. If some piece of technology is mundane (e.g., a police officer's pistol) or can't be represented as a removable power (e.g., a market-grade laptop computer), then it is classified as Equipment.

For example, let's say a character wears a high-tech battlesuit, packaged with Protection, Speed, Flight, Enhanced Strength, and several Sense powers. Because it's armor, it gets the Removable 1 flaw. The battlesuit counts as a Device.

Devices are purchased and upgraded with Power points, whereas vehicles are purchased and upgraded with Equipment points. Chapter 7's section about Vehicles mentions this consistently.

Vehicles are unique from most other equipment. A vehicle possesses individual traits (Size, Strength, Speed, Defense, and Toughness). There are many ways to interact with a vehicle, such as putting passengers in it, or firing lasers at it. These game mechanics don't fit Devices; even if you design a vehicle with its own superpowers, it counts as Equipment and not a Device, and you spend Equipment points to purchase the superpowers.

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