Question explains itself but for clarity I'll give a example. Idea starts with getting a Critical Hit with the following power:

Pinwheel Revolver Ranged Damage 8 (Reaction: When a character within 5 ft of you ends a movement further away from you, Improved Critical 4, Ricochet 2, Homing 2) (Unreliable 5/5, Easily Removable)

Instead of simply increasing the Damage DC by 5, I want to take off Reaction to give it Multiattack (I have already seen that the Degree of Success from Crit is enough to give me a +5 anyways), Secondary Effect (might as well make it apply twice), Burst Area 7 (Rocket Launcher Tech is funny), and then maybe even remove Improved Critical 4 and Homing 2 for effects like Incurable, Insidious, and other random extras to ensure the damage does its job.

Wording for Alternate Effects gained via Critical Hits (pg. 240):

The critical hit results in an alternate effect for the attack, like a use of extra effort for a power stunt (see Extra Effort in The Basics chapter), except the character suffers no fatigue as a result. This option can represent a “lucky” attack that does something completely different, like blinding a target, or imposing a condition such as those found under the Affliction effect.

I have already used the Action and there isn't really anything that requires it to continue being a Reaction as the attack is resolving for when I make a Alternate Effect since its already applying, unlike normal Power Stunts which clearly have to use their own action since you gained it as a free action rather than changing a effect midway through resolution.

What I'm looking for in a answer: A hard coded rule in Mutants and Masterminds that specifies whether or not this sort of thing is not allowed, as well as the page number(s) for sources that back up the answer. Will admit Critical Hit Alternate Effects as a idea initially threw me off guard as soon as I realized what could be done with it, and while I figure most players of this game wouldn't do what I'm doing here, knowing that you can would make a fun boss fight and possibly give players a new way to think about the game as they play.


1 Answer 1


By the book, Alternate Effects are not required to have the same Extras or Flaws, and nothing in the Critical Attack definition for using an Alternate Effect indicates that it works differently. However, I'd argue that it goes against the spirit of things in a few different ways. For one, you're acting post-facto on your roll. By the same logic, there'd be no issue with someone applying ranks of Inaccurate to their AE to get points for the rank of the power while reducing their stack bonus to the bare minimum needed to hit. To me, that smells like cheese, but it's a GM call.

Also, my impulse is that the intent of Alternate Effect on a Critical Hit is that it's on that attack, while Reaction is on the power which would argue against the points from Reaction being used for determining the points you have available.

Lastly, a lot of this will come down to descriptor and how your GM decides your choice of Alternate Effect works. As we have discussed before, Rule Zero is a rule in the book, so it does apply, since you are asking for specific rules.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The difference between an attack and power is noteworthy, but it implies the attack doesn't need to come from a power to be "stunted", begging the question of how much of a Strength Attack with Close Combat/Fighting Ranks can be replaced? Also, what happens to sustained effects caused by Alt effects if only the attack is alternated by not the power itself? Can I use the normal power while sustaining the alt effect of the attack by that ruling? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FriendlyNeighborhoodChicken: While I know you dislike the answer, this really does come down to how your GM adjudicates it. Someone could always bring it up at the M&M Monday, see what Steve Kenson says. :) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1 at 4:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Less dislike and more that either interpretation has weird stuff in regards to how it works. May have to ask a friend of mine to check their stream and ask the question... \$\endgroup\$ Apr 1 at 4:49

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