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I’ve been doing a thought experiment involving Inventing in Mutants and Masterminds 3e. The way Inventing works is a DC 10+pp Technology check to design something at the rate of 1hrs/pp followed by a DC 10+pp Technology check to build it at the rate of 4hrs/pp. However, by pairing it with Quicken, you decrease the time rank tasks take you by the ranks in Quicken. This becomes a significant boon once you hit PL 20. If you invest the minimum 51pp required, you can design and create a 30pp invention in less than a second (practically a free action), OR spend 6 seconds to design and construct anywhere between 12 to 25 unique 30pp inventions (depending on if your DM considers 30hrs as Rank 14 or 15 time).

Now that many temporary devices being constructed in such a short amount of time can be devastating under the right circumstances, but I am more interested in the Construct spawning side of the equation.Being able to spawn 12-25 independent constructs a turn (or 6-12 if your GM limits you to a standard action with Inventing) while having access to usable materials sounds like a serious threat. However, both the PL limits of something with 30pp and the arsenal a PL 20 character has at their disposal make this a very ill-advised option. I know that just making regular devices with Inventing is most likely the most efficient thing I could do with the synergy I proposed, but are there any options a PL2 Construct can take that function decently in a PL20 setting?

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Not Really

The best options are ones that don't automatically allow resistance checks, like Illusion or Luck Control, or that have functions and ranks separate from PL, like Insubstantial or most Movement powers. These mean the PL 2 characters can assist a high PL character, but they can not grant the PL 2 the ability to overwhelm a high PL character.

One of the implied goals of the Power Level design is that higher PL things can mostly ignore lower PL things; characters can "punch upwards" using Advantages and tactics (notably Team Attack) to defeat higher PL foes, but the math of resistance checks and Power Level Limits means that a difference of 5 or more power levels is virtually insurmountable. A goal that the system mostly achieves.

You've Got a Bad Assumption
Your question has the assumption that a 30 point thing is automatically power level 2. Power level is not dictated by power points. A player character's starting power points is dictated by power level (see the chart on page 24 of the Hero's Handbook), but a PL 20 character is a PL 20 character, and his minions are also PL 20 unless the GM says otherwise.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wait, so how exactly does the minion advantage function then? \$\endgroup\$
    – Areadbhair
    May 5 '20 at 13:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Half right. If the minion is Summoned, it is limited to rank, "A summoned minion is limited to a Power Level equal to the rank of the Summon effect used to create it, is subject to the normal power level limits, and cannot have minions of its own, either from this effect or the Minions advantage." That's a bit of a throwback to core 2E rules before they changed their mind and removed that limit in errata. \$\endgroup\$ May 5 '20 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Areadbhair The PL of Minions from the advantage is the same as the PL of the character with the advantage. The Advantage gives you 15 points per rank to build the minions, but they have "the normal power level limits", i.e. the character's power level limit. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    May 5 '20 at 16:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanDuggan The Summon power is a different bag. It has all kinds of rules, exceptions, and add-ons that don't apply generally to minions. Since the OP didn't mention Summon, I saw no reason to complicate my answer. But you are correct, Summon has its own rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    May 5 '20 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was thinking of Summon in part because the core rules technically don't provide an option for more than one Minion or Sidekick. There was some discussion on the boards if it should be built individually (you buy Minions 2 five times to get five 30 PP Sidekicks) or if it ought to follow 2E rules where "quantity" was a separate axis that went up the Progression table. No one from Green Ronin provided any input, so it does remain undefined. \$\endgroup\$ May 5 '20 at 16:45

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