This is a continuation of this question for Mutants and Masterminds 3e.

So, the character I proposed could spawn a minimum of 6 constructs with 30pp worth of powers/skills by using Invention at Quickness 20, but this is from a PL20 character, so making a flood of these critters wouldn't be that effective unless we were being attacked by a huge, person-man army. That being said, it doesn't prevent me from making other inventions using the same method.

My initial solution is to create beacons to buff my constructs, a power worth at least 2pp per rank (Permanent Enhanced Trait, Affects Others Only, Perception, Limited(my constructs)). Now, I could use this to buff a core stat or a ranged attack by 10 ranks (thus bringing that up to PL12 by proxy), but that involves planting several beacons in series to cover all my bases and still leaves them much weaker than most things that'd be thrown our way. My other option is to drop the Perception range modifier, which would give me the leeway to either buff a core stat/ranged attack to the PL cap and have 12 points to spare or buff 2 things to a more agreeable 15 ranks.

The latter would be the preferred solution, but I’m unclear on how the device itself would function. To that end, I have 3 questions.

  • Would this device have to be a worn piece of gear or a stationary object that my constructs need to interface with?
  • If these need to be worn/carried, is there a limit to how many my constructs can carry?
  • If these need to be interfaced with, what sort of action do the constructs need to take?

+Edit+ : Thanks Sean for the advice; running Summon Inventions in comparison to Construct Inventions makes this infinitely easier to work through


1 Answer 1


TL;DR (in order)

  • Yes, it would have to be an object of some sort.
  • Only what the GM decides to impose on people carrying things, and of course PL limits.
  • None unless you add one.

Longer Answer

If you are using an Affects Others effect on a Device, then you could use a Standard action to give that set of powers to a given target and it would be present as long as you maintain it, with no action needed from your minions. You might be able to apply Area to be able to get them all at once. Either way, by the book, it's not the beacon maintaining the effect, but rather you. If it is a Device, it must indeed be something worn or carried that can be removed. Generally, it's assumed that a Device that you are no longer in control of (your wand has been disarmed, your power armor has been stripped, etc) can no longer be maintained, so you would probably need to be carrying it with you. Or, alternately, you buy them as Devices that your minions carry/wear that just have the Enhanced Trait power by itself, maybe with an Action Quirk so that they do have to activate them. Note that if this is an Invention, it's a one-shot that only works for the duration of the encounter.

Side note, I don't think there was any rules clarification on how many people can be affected by an Affects Others power. The text of the modifier makes it sound like it's a single subject at a time. I think 2E required the equivalent of a "flat extra" for "Extra Subjects", and Steve Kenson indicated that using the Area modifier to affect multiple people was right in his ORQ answer here (again, 2E).

Honestly, from a strict rules perspective, if you want "beacons", your best bet might be to build your summons as immobile unintelligent Constructs (Summons or Minions) that you have some sort of Communication with such that you can order them to start up, and then they can spend their Standard actions buffing people within their area.

Personal opinions

From a GM standpoint, I'd probably cast a bit of a gimlet eye on a Limited which basic boils down to "only on my minions", especially since there are few other places where you would be applying it, since your teammates are generally operating on PL. Really, it's more the Extra of Selective for being able to only target your minions. Alternately, if they only buff Constructs, that might be interesting, complete with the bad guys realizing that their own Construct minions might benefit from the same effect.

Also, unless there's a good narrative reason for them to carry trinkets, I'd ask why they aren't just built at the expected power level instead of trying to point-shave.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your advice has been extremely enlightening. Stupid mistake on my part with perception range rather than Area, guess the beacon idea would take MUCH more preparation than I thought. Also had a misunderstanding with what counted as an Invention, a summon Invention is probably more balanced than a Construct Invention. Still, great suggestion for the beacons being summons! In any case, thanks for the advice and have a good night \$\endgroup\$
    – Areadbhair
    May 6, 2020 at 22:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ P.S.: Yes, I know that Inventions are only good for one encounter and yes, I do have a good reason each summon has such meager base abilities. See, since my hypothetical guy was built to be an instant inventor, my thought was that his Hail Mary would be whipping together a bunch of constructs. The big issue with doing this is that Invention has a hard cap on the effective power points you can build into it. The absolute most you could risk dumping into an Invention would be 35, requiring 2 DC 45 checks to successfully make (statistically a 1/16 chance). \$\endgroup\$
    – Areadbhair
    May 6, 2020 at 23:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ P.S.S.: It’s a bit more lenient now that I understand you can invent Construct Summons and not straight constructs, but there are explicit reasons why they have the limits they do. Also love the Affects Constructs revision you suggested \$\endgroup\$
    – Areadbhair
    May 6, 2020 at 23:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .