While working on all of the characters for April I ended up reading the Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition rule books back to back. This was an eye opening experience, as I've been a hold out for the last 2 years trying to keep on going with 2nd Edition. After working with both of them I have decided to move on to 3rd for all of my M&M games.
Now there's nothing wrong with 2nd - It's a complete, solid game and I like it a lot. The main reason I wanted to use it is that I have a ton of supporting material for it and I like having ready-made stuff at hand when I'm running. Freedom City is the big one here but Silver Age and the Book of Magic and Instant Superheroes are all huge too. There are also some good adventures written for it, from Time of Crisis to the downloadable stuff to the Dr. Null adventures. The biggest win for me here was that having all of those things in 2E and playing 2E means I don't have to convert anything! I do a lot of conversion in my D&D campaigns so I'm not looking to take on more for my occasional supers game sessions. This is the single biggest factor keeping me with 2nd: I have a bunch of good stuff for that I want to use!
Then I re-read 3rd edition for the first time in a long time, cover to cover. It quickly reminded me of why I liked this game so much when DC Adventures came out in 2010 - From the way the pages are laid out to the art to the substantial improvements and streamlining in the rules themselves it's just better. I'm not just comparing it to M&M 2nd, I'm comparing it to any other RPG core book out there. It's just a level up from almost all of them. I really liked it then and somewhere along the way I let that be trumped by 2nd's greater pile of available material. I'm not going to do that any more. As much as I like the 2nd edition, I like the 3rd more.
The other consideration is that even though it came out in 2005 I never got to that effortless level of familiarity with the rules for M&M 2E. I just didn't play it or run it enough. That means in the last few months as I have tried to get a sustained run of it off the ground I am still having to look up rules fairly often - 8 years after the book came out! If I'm going to have to burn time in-game to page flip, and if I'm going to spend time between sessions reviewing the rules and making up my own cheatsheets, then why not do it with the current version? Additionally there is more material out now for 3rd than when I started: The GMG is amazing, Power Profiles is handy, Threat Report has given us a nice stack of drop-in villains, and the internet has had a chance to crank up the pipeline and turn out an amazing amount of stuff - as usual one of the best resources for the game is The Atomic Think Tank itself.
Anyway, I thought I would share this "personal journey" of mine. I didn't really see it until I had both versions side by side, in a way, and that sealed the deal for me. So from here on out any M&M stats I post up on the blog will be for M&M 3. I'm using Hero Lab for everything now too so I'll post up the files for that for any conversions I do too.