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I've been scouring the sourcebooks and I can't really find anything pertaining to mutants. Sure there are some pieces about mutants districts, mutant supremacists, and government programs/research but I want to get into the nitty-gritty of it. So I was wondering:

1) Where and When do Mutants make their first appearances in M&M 3e?

2) In 3e what is, or the mostly likely, cause of Mutants?

3) In 3e what percentage of humanity is Mutant?

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The official setting for Freedom City from 2E on, depicted in the illustrations, is Steve Kenson's "Freedom City" setting. While there are various forms of mutation listed in the section on origins, most of them are engineered. The closest parallel to something like Marvel mutants are the mutations caused by the Terminus energies from the failed invasion, suggested as one of the ways to introduce a common origin for powers in this world.

The unleashed energies of the Terminus might have led to numerous origins and new superhumans in the world. Mutations could be on the rise, with people understandably worried about these “Terminus mutants” and their potential links with the invaders.

This is a standard origin for a few of the play-by-post settings, Terminus Babies.

Officially recorded as Terminus Energy Mutation Syndrome (TEMS) by AEGIS, ASTRO Labs and the Freedom League, the empowerment of humanity by the energies of the Terminus is more commonly known as Terminus Babies, or T-Babies. It is most common in those exposed to low levels of Terminus Energies while in utero, though higher levels of exposure have been known to have effect upon children and even adults. The precise mechanism of the mutation and subsequent development of supernatural abilities is not well understood though extensive testing has revealed that there is no lingering connection to the Terminus only the mark of its entropic energies upon the cells of the afflicted. Most affected develop powers almost immediatly [sic] within a weeks time for most older individuals and at birth for those exposed in utero.

However, this is all relatively speculative material. For what it's worth, the section on "Mutations" as an origin focuses on Designer Drugs (canonical versions of which give superpowers for a short amount of time, but occasionally result in a permanent effect with certain body chemistries), the DNAscent Process engineered by Labyrinth, and Manaka Root (basically, the "heart-shaped herb" from Black Panther).

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    \$\begingroup\$ There was also the Silver Storm whose nanotechnology mutated the people exposed to it and gave them superpowers as a result. \$\endgroup\$ – nick012000 Jun 7 '18 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000: Although I see that one as different as it is dependent on the nanotech. Emerald City Knights includes several cases where the powers are removed that way, sometimes permanently. Admittedly, people do that with the X-gene, but it's more removing part of what someone is than removing something that was added to them. \$\endgroup\$ – Sean Duggan Jun 7 '18 at 14:02
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Mutants & Masterminds 3e does not take place in any specific world with any specific lore. It's a toolbox for making adventures that are similar in theme and feel to classic superhero stories. Whenever the rulebooks make reference to any part of the world (government research programs, mutation rates, doomsday plots, etc.), it's borrowing from similar elements in established superhero stories (DC, Marvel, etc.), and suggesting possible ways of integrating them into the GM's actual campaign.

The first chapter of Game Master's Guide is about constructing their world and lore. The system heavily encourages the GM to take inspiration from existing comic book settings, where questions like "where do superpowers come from?" and "what percentage of humanity are supers?" will vary from universe to universe. There is no "correct" timeline or backstory in which Mutants & Masterminds 3e adventures are expected to occur. The game mechanics and creature templates, which appear later in the book, are designed to fit a variety of possible worlds.

So the answer to all three of your questions is: It depends on the world that the GM is using. Maybe it's a world they wrote from scratch, or maybe they're using a prewritten adventure. The historical details of this world are not dependent on the system.

The game's publishers have released some pregenerated campaign material, but these games do not necessarily take place in the same setting.

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