This is a long explanation that begins with the premises to two separate characters that are actually one. The background story is included to explain the circumstances of the characters more clearly.

In a campaign in the past, I had two characters. One was a manga-obsessed girl with the ability to manifest light to heal and even turn into holy fire. She was cheerful and didn't have a clue. The other was set up like a Shinigami knockoff for reasons you will later understand; she was the opposite — her power was the power of death. Those who approached her felt the cold and despair of Death itself.

Here comes the fun part: they were "sisters." Lina the kind-hearted clueless manga freak and Selene the stoic, silent type. Selene has a secret, though… she isn't supposed to exist...

It all started about the start of the first session. Lina Grey was 11 years old and had gotten lost in a forest in somewhere, some country, Earth. She had fallen down a well and found an old ruin with a pedestal containing a pool. This pool was known as the Pool of Awakening.

Long-story-short, the Pool of Awakening caused her powers to manifest. (It didn't give her them; she had them dormant.) The strain of her dual-natured powers of Life and Death was too much, causing her to split into two different people, each taking an aspect of her power with them. One was, of course, Lina; the other Selene. The stress wiped Lina's memory, but Selene knew everything.

Long-story-short-again, they became heroes after a few years of Lina relearning everything about her life that she forgot (except for the incident) and Selene posing as her sister.

Since I'm starting a new campaign involving the heroes from the last one, is there a way to combine them into one character with two personalities, one manifesting if a certain condition is met and turning back when another is met? The power level of each character is 10. The conditions for changing to Selene are either taking sufficient damage or being close to a Pool of Awakening. Changing back to Lina is a little harder; Selene must defeat (or at the very least remove) all enemies, then she Concentrate (DC 20, with the DC going up if she is wounded) to change back.

I'm also wondering if it is possible to manifest Selene's Devices (Sword and Coat) to appear with the change and disappear when not in use, along with any power effects Selene has active — namely her aura, which is innate to her, continuous and permanent.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Happy to help. Can you say which edition of Mutants & Masterminds you're playing with — 1st, 2nd or 3rd? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Sep 9, 2012 at 16:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2nd I think. its not third i know that much. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 9, 2012 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Concentrate" being mentioned seems to imply it's definitely not 3rd indeed. \$\endgroup\$
    – leokhorn
    Mar 1, 2014 at 10:13

4 Answers 4


What you are looking for is Involuntary Transformation. It's a Drawback from page 126 of the Core rulebook.

Involuntary Transformation

You have two or more forms or identities you sometimes change between against your will. The value of the drawback is based on how often you change (frequency) and how difficult it is for you to resist the change (intensity). If you cannot resist the change, no matter what, the intensity value is 3 points. If you involuntarily switch between super-powered and normal human forms, you also have the Normal Identity drawback.

Remember that Drawbacks vary in their point values depending on frequency and intensity and the details should be worked out with your GM.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What would Cover the change back to the other? Although I like your answer. the question of switching to the other once changed is still unsanswered along with the devices appearing in one form but not the other(although i could rig summonable to combat reaction I think). and would each form be counted as a different character? or would I have to use a single reservoir of Power Points to make both identities. For now though your answer seems most close to what I think I could Do. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 10, 2012 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Quick unrealated question Does HTML work in comments or just Questions and Answers? If it works in comments I cant seem to get it to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 10, 2012 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Read the Drawback rules. They have DC and value related to them. And yes HTML ""works"" in comments. Mainly using * twice or once..never tried it yet \$\endgroup\$
    – user4000
    Sep 10, 2012 at 21:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ it was refering to HTML i couldent get any tags to work. I wanted a <br /> tag to separate my block of text into easy to read statements. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 11, 2012 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mutants and Mastermind is a lot about thinking complicated but translating simple. I remember a player wanted a bionic arm transforming into weapon and AI controlled turrent crawling on the ceiling. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4000
    Sep 11, 2012 at 0:06

I'm a bit late to the party, to steal another answer's first sentence, but this question intrigued me. I know the specific question (answered a year or more ago) is related strictly to 2nd Edition, but the StackExchange sites are supposed to be resources for people with similar questions. Therefore, I'd like to show how this could be handled in M&M 3rd Edition aka DC Adventures.

The way I would go about doing this is by building the power of Lina. Give her Blast, Alternate Form (Light), and whatever other super powers she needs. Bundle all the effects into a single power, call it Lina: Avatar of Life.

Lina: Avatar of Life - 66 point power

Alternate Form (Energy - Light): Ranged Damage 10 (20 points @ 2points/rank, Holy Light), Flight 10 (20 points @ 2points/rank), Insubstantial 3 (15 points), Immunity 10 (life support) - 65 points Alternate Effect: Healing 10, Energizing (30 points @ 3points/rank), Aura of Life Enhanced Trait: Will 5, Fortitude 5, Affects Only Others, Area (burst), Selective (30 points @ 3points/rank) (1 point Alternate Effect)

This power costs 66 points. Lina can either be in a combat form (living light that can project energy blasts) or in her normal form with healing powers and an aura that boosts the will and fortitude of allies within 30 feet. (Obviously these powers are just a rough guess at what she would have, you should build your own powers yourself). Note that Lina doesn't have much going for her, defense-wise. A single good hit could hurt her badly, though Insubstantial 3 gives her an immunity to physical attacks. So when Lina is in her Holy Light form she can't heal, but the bad guy can't punch her.

Now add 1 point on to that 66 point power to buy an Alternate Effect. You have 66 points to build another power: Selene, Mistress of Death.

Selene, Mistress of Death - 60 point power (Note that this power 'wastes' 6 points, it could hold up to 66 points worth of Effects)

Death Aura Affliction 8 (Fatigued&impaired/Exhausted&Disabled/Incapacitated&Paralyzed) resisted by Fortitude Increased Duration 4 (Permanent), Area (burst), Extra Condition (48 points @ 6 points/rank), Sword of Death Strength-based Damage 5 (5 points @ 1 point/rank), Bad-Ass Coat Protection 5 (5 points @ 1 point/rank), Enhanced Advantages (Fearless, Diehard, Improved Critical (Sword of Death) 3) (5 points @ 5 points/rank)

So now you have 2 different powers the character can switch between. In her normal form, she is Lina. She can heal and she boosts the morale of her allies, or she can give that up to go glowy and blow stuff up. As built above, she can switch at will to Selene. When she switches, her aura changes to an aura that weakens and slows everyone (including allies), gains a sword and a coat, and picks up some nice combat advantages.

The two powers cost you 67 points (66 points for the more expensive power, Lina, +1 point for an Alternate Effect), and give you a single 'Container' power: Split Personalities.

The next thing you would do is talk to your GM about how to apply the conditions. First, since changing your Alternate Effect is dependent upon outside events, I would apply the Uncontrolled or Limited Flaw to the entire Split Personalities power. Your GM should give you a few points back, guided by the Check Required flaw. As a GM, I'd give the player back 2-5 points, meaning the whole power would cost about 62-65 points.

Essentially, you would invest most of your character creation points into a single power. You'd then use the points in that power (-1 for the Alternate effect) to build the powers and differences between the two characters. For instance, if both characters have STR 2, that's fine - you would build your base character with STR 2. If, however, Selene has Agility 4 while Lina has Agility 0, you would build the base character as Agility 0 and give the 'Selene' power Enhanced Agility 4 (8 points).

The more expensive of the two powersets (in the example above, Lina's) becomes your 'base' power. The less expensive becomes your alternate effect. You pay the more expensive power's cost + 1 power point, and you have your two different characters. The remaining power points, after buying the more expensive power, are then spent on whatever attributes, advantages, defenses, skills, or powers both characters have in common. If they're very different, you may very well spend 120 points on the 'Lina' or 'Selene' power. Just remember that none of your Effects in either power in your Split Personalities array can be Permanent, so you might need to apply the free (+0 points/rank) Extra 'Sustained' to any Permanent Effect you have.


I'm a little late to the party, but a common solution to this is Metamorph, a "power feat" for Morph. Essentially, imagine that all of your character's traits, positive and negative, are one big Alternate Form bought at cost. It should only require 1 pp to create a new Alternate Form with the same number of points, right? It's an AP of Morph, because, if you're changing that drastically, you probably look different as well (technically speaking, any time you "change form" and don't look the same, you should be buying Morph, if only for a single form. Otherwise, Man O' Wolf is recognizable as the same guy in each form, same with Johnny Storm. This is often handwaved, much like ammo, power supplies, and costumes that aren't destroyed by your powers). Just don't forget to buy the same level of Morph and Metamorph for the other form.


Wouldn't you just model this with Alternate Form? Perhaps with a larger discount due to the specific activation.

(Disclaimer: I've never actually played M&M, so maybe there's some problem I'm totally overlooking.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ its the fact that it isnt an alternate form they are biologically the same exept in expression and personality and that alternate form wouldent facilitate enough PP to create an entirely different character with similar physical stats and different mental stats. as alternate form facilitates for powers not stats or skills or abilities. and as they were once two now become one again they are still individuals however they are now bound into a single physical form. and shall remain so till the plot allows for them to become the original entity again presumably at a much higher power level. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can model the change of personalities most likely with Combat Reaction set to specific perameters as a change in for may not nessecarily be a flaw but i am unsure how to model them as part of the same body with different minds and in Selenes case a Jacket and Sword devices that are hers and hers alone. they were created at her creation during the split from Lina's Imagination(Manga Obsessed even at such a young age.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Novian
    Sep 9, 2012 at 2:04

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