So Mutants and Masterminds has something a bit weird in terms of what "Projected" means in the game. Extra Limbs specifically has the following text referencing limbs that confuses me a bit as to what its intent is.

Projection: Your Extra Limbs are merely a projection of your power rather than an extension of your body. There- fore, any harm directed specifically against your Extra Limb(s) has no effect. So, for example, one of your addi- tional limbs could reach into a container of acid or a blast furnace to pull out an object without any harm to you. The GM may require Extra Limbs with this extra to modify their duration to continuous or sustained, but this is not essen- tial. It’s likely Extra Limbs with this extra are not eligible for the Innate modifier. +1 cost per rank. (pg. 160)

Notably Movement also talks on the subjected of projections with Movement: Swinging, which makes me think that the projections are still physical objects.

You can swing through the air at your normal ground speed rank, using a swing-line you provide or available lines and projections (tree limbs, flagpoles, vines, telephone and power-lines, etc.). (pg. 172)

While it costs +1 per rank, it doesn't seem to have any meaningful use unless paired with Elongated Limbs where you can stretch them out beyond your own space. My only thought is that you can use it as Cover to not only be a circumstantial bonus to grabs but also defenses, but if not that what else could this extra do for you?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there anything in the existing answers that can be improved to garner an acceptance? :-D Not rushing you, but we do want to make sure that your question is answered. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 20, 2023 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ The bit in the comments section of Carcer's answer is where I'm at atm. I'm still trying to figure out why Projection Extra Limbs wouldn't give cover, especially in the case of adding Elongation to projected limbs. Given you can already trap yourself in a movable create and have full cover through that it makes sense that there'd be other ways of doing it, but then you have the question of durability for those limbs, and if they should be unbreakable if they can continuously apply total cover. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 3:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Assuming you had a way to perceive what you're attacking, it does seem reasonable. Although that starts to lead into the Bathroom Psychic kind of build that a lot of GMs forbid, where your character had might as well sit in their bathroom and attack from there as actually get into the fray. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tbf I think bathroom psychics are kinda just...something you have to plan for in M&M, there are ways to counter it. As for this I would usually suggest putting increased action, Unreliable, and/or Fade to make it so you can't just have infinite health even if you do make them breakable. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 6:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Eyeh, but it quickly starts to fall under the heading of the GM employing hard counters, and how much fun is that? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


It gives you arms that aren't a physical part of your body.

Simply put, the Projection modifier makes your extra arms be made out of some sort of power effect. They could be hard light holograms, arms made of out of terrakinetically-controlled rock, arm-shaped constructs of psychic force, a magic cloak that can animate its fabric to grab things like hands, or some similar effect.

The benefit is that you have additional arms to grab ahold of things without needing actual, biological additional arms that are a part of your physical body.


Overloading "projection"

First of all, there's a bit of linguistic confusion going on here. In your latter quote regarding movement by swinging, "projections" doesn't mean "power projections", it means "something that sticks out", as in definition 5a here:

5 a (1): a jutting out

(2): a part that juts out

As in the examples provided in the text, this means things like tree branches and flagpoles on buildings. These are just things in the environment that you can conceivably swing from; the examples given serve as a reminder that even in urban environments, there would be plenty of environmental features that a swinging character could use to get around. It is not meant to refer to power projections specifically, although it is easy to imagine this synergising with a power that creates objects or forcefields providing features for the character to swing from.

That said, projected extra limbs are clearly capable of interacting with the physical world and aren't meant to be intangible or invisible; it's not telekinesis. So it is reasonable to assume that your projected limbs are physically present when in use. Moving on...

What has projection ever done for us anyway

The basic benefit of the projection extra for extra limbs is that it allows you to do things that are too dangerous to do with your actual limbs without fear of being hurt. In a world where lots of things are dangerous to simply touch, that's pretty useful.

You can pull pizzas straight out of the oven without burning yourself, and you can punch the guy who's always on fire. You can safely carry the magic artifact that turns anything it touches to gold. You can stick your forcefield hand in a blender. There are lots of things you can safely stand next to but wouldn't want to directly touch; projected limbs lets you touch them anyway. You don't need elongation for this to be useful, although it obviously synergises very well with that.

If you want to use your projected extra limbs as barriers you or others can use as cover, it seems like that should be a power stunt or alternative power use as the create power; this explicitly allows you to create objects you can use as cover.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Think the issue for me was mostly that if it is physical, you could use elongation and growth (if a gm feels you need it) to have unbreakable total cover unless you consider Projection to be well, objects that can be broken on their own, and even then they can seemingly be regenerated as a free action \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FriendlyNeighborhoodChicken That's understandable. It is important to remember that M&M is trying to be a very flexible system for representing superpowers, and as a result there are sometimes loopholes and exploits in the rules as written that allow overpowered combinations, so the game depends on the GM to veto any game-breaking power uses even if they're technically within RAW. Doing this cover-creation effect as an alternative power using the mechanics intended for creating cover seems to be the sensible compromise to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ For me it's more a matter of justifying why what I described wouldn't be the case. While it's broken it's a pretty realistic use of a power where you can elongate extra limbs to use as cover from attacks. Maybe you need permeate Concealment Senses and Immunity to Suffocation to really get proper benefits from Complete Cover? Maybe Projected Limbs can't be regenerated when broken like with Summons? I'm mostly just trying to find ways where the cool method that gets you to think about cover and such becomes the point at some kind of cost elsewhere \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 21:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @FriendlyNeighborhoodChicken: There are a number of ways to build a character in the system such that 90% of the time they're not in harm's way. Because the GM tries to run the game so that it's fun for everyone (including themselves), this sort of build often gets vetoed. It's sometimes referred to as the "bathroom psychic" who sits in his bathroom and scans the city, attacking remotely. In comics, such characters routinely get attacked in their home, get no-selled by people not vulnerable or detectable via their powers, etc. But is that fun for a player? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 5:02

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