Fanatical Minions

Ask M&M 2e rules questions that your fellow gamers can't answer. Only Mutants & Masterminds Line Developer (and creator) Steve Kenson can post replies. He visits the boards in between projects and convention appearances so please be patient!
Supporting Cast
Supporting Cast
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:43 pm

Fanatical Minions

Post by Xicotencatl » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:58 am

What exactly is the purpose of the +1/R "Fanatical" extra as it applies to minions created with the Summon power?

The original thread is here if you wish to peruse it, but the bulk of my argument against is as follows:
Xicotencatl wrote: 1.) First, a construct can be given both Intelligence and Charisma, and only need a minimal score in both (1 in each stat) to function without direct action-by-action supervision. That does not mean that they will act intelligently, per se, but "stupid" in the case of a construct means that they are incapable of improvising; they must act according to their programming first, their nature second, and outside interference (barring reprogramming) not at all.

The "nature" of a construct can be assumed from its purpose. A combat automata can be assumed logically to be programmed to fulfill it's purpose - to kill things - but cannot think outside of these perameters; a combat automata cannot concieve of how to do routine surgery or even trivial actions such as finger-painting. It can, however, "think" within whatever parameters have been set by it's programming and, by the nature of being a construct, knows no fear.

It is thus erronious to assume that the "instinct" of a construct is that of a flesh-and-bone sentient creature; constructs do not follow the same rules as their fleshy counterparts, and cannot be measured by the same standard. Likewise, minions (even living ones) cannot die and thus cannot be assumed to logically fear death anymore so that you would logically fear sleeping.

Given that this is true, as is evidenced by the rules in the corebook that support this - and as evidenced by the absence of given rules to the contrary - it can be assumed that there is little functional relevence to the "Fanatical" extra.

2.) The only justification for this extra's existence is the anecdotal clause under the Diplomacy skill which indicates that a Fanatical minion is almost impossible to sway by means of interaction skills. Constructs are immune to this tactic by their nature and there is no surcharge given in the RAW for possessing a "construct" minion via the Summon power.

Likewise, a Fanatical minion can be assumed to readily throw themselves into the path of impossible odds and suicidal situations; they will kill themselves at your command without hesitation and attempt to seige the whole of Nihilhor without needing justification. Any command amounting to less than "impossible" is, however, a perfectly valid option when it comes to minions; they exist at the behest of their creator and follow a very strict set of rules that determine their behavior.

Thus the primary stated purpose of a Fanatical minion - their willingness to do anything - is circumvented or made functionally irrelivent by both the rules that apply to minions in general and the rules that apply to constructs in particular. At best, and for the sake of completeness, the "Fanatical" extra might be more functional as a power feat, as - barring the actions of an unjust GM - the likelyhood of repeated meaningful use of the "Fanatical" extra is minimal at best.
Does this argument hold any water or am I reading too much into what is written in the RAW? What is your perspective on the matter?

Thanks again!

Steve Kenson
Posts: 4118
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:20 am
Location: Freedom City, USA

Post by Steve Kenson » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:01 pm

Fanatical minions are presumed both intelligent and utterly dedicated to the summoner, of their "own free will." Unintelligent minions (essentially mindless slaves) are effectively "fanatical" in that they can't be swayed or interacted with, but they're also essentially incapable of independent thought or action, they can only do what they're specifically ordered to do.
Steve Kenson -
Green Ronin Publishing