The crux of the question is how to build an effect that would allow you to target a point, be it with an arrow head, claw, magnetic tip, magical leash, or otherwise, and subsequently use that point as a fulcrum regarding angular movement with respect to it, moving the point and its attached structure angularly with respect to yourself, or otherwise moving yourself directly towards the point or moving the point and its structure directly toward yourself. This would be my understanding of a grapple-like extension, with which you can swing things around you or pull to move yourself or the target as fits the scenario.

The Crime Fighter archetype has a Grapple Gun which is nothing more than the Movement 1 (Swinging) effect. Perhaps it can be explained why I'm wrong, but this seems so bizarre to me. There's no indication within that as to how long the grapple gun could reach, which to me seems like a key factor. It could theoretically be across the world, if you have a high enough movement speed. While a descriptor could surely be made to make that make sense somehow, it might seem more reasonable to have a shorter reach but a stronger pull, to then sling you moreso than actively be swinging. I suppose it could be left as a complication, but it just seems far too open to interpretation given how pivotal length is regarding a rotating object.

My best attempts thus far have been utilizing an Elongation effect, Limited to the Grapple device/power, and linking it to movement: swinging. That then defines the length from which you can grapple things. If you then want to grapple quickly, you can have Speed ranks limited to grappling. Furthermore, moving a target with your grapple could potentially be easily handled with a Move Object, limited direction (tangentially to the user or directly toward or past them), and potentially make it instant if the target immediately escapes the grab of the move object effect at the end of your turn as opposed to remaining grabbed.

Perhaps I'm thinking too far into this, and the distance and such can be left up to descriptors and complications. I tend to be more specific and technical in my games, so this may be a fault of me rather than the system. Even so, I'm curious as to any insight regarding building/handling an effect like a Grapple Gun. Thank you!

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    \$\begingroup\$ To be clear, the issue is that the published grapple gun seems too versatile and ill-defined for the effect it's creating and you want advice on making it more limited and specific? (As an aside, I've never seen the Bat-man fire his grapple gun at anything and the line not be long enough. Fired too late to do any good? Sure. But not just, like, "If only Wayne Enterprises could've crammed 16cm more line into my line gun, I wouldn't have a broken Bat-leg right now.") \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan yes. Regarding batman, my mind went moreso to the Arkham games, such that his grapple gun does an an effective limit within in the game. Certainly, in the comics/shows lengths is never a problem, simply timing. But then, in the games, you can't even fire it unless you're in range. While a range limit exists, you never fire it to find you don't have enough length. Even so, there is a range limit. Perhaps this is strictly optional in M&M, and you could, rather than attach Elongation, simply limit swinging to the range of related array effect ranges. But your question is correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iter
    Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 19:41

1 Answer 1


The Grapple Gun is, as you discovered, Movement (Swinging) with a technology descriptor, to move around like the Batman: the Animated Series version of Batman.

The line has an 'appropriate' length to allow the character to swing about the terrain. The GM can impose a complication, rendering the gun useless in the current terrain, for a Hero Point. Just like Spider-Man inspired web lines, the length of the grapple gun's line is both arbitrary and irrelevant - it simply works.

Could a character with enough speed swing around the globe? Yes, if allowed by the GM. That same character can, by definition, run around the world in the same amount of time.

In a game where a pair of housefly wings can allow a Godzilla-sized character to fly at Mach 3 speeds, the grapple gun equipment is not something to focus on. If a given player cannot stop focusing on it then Mutants & Masterminds is probably not the game for that player.

Good gaming!


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