Ronin Round Table: Aces & Gadgets

In 2013, Green Ronin is launching our two new alternating weekly series for Mutants & Masterminds, what I’ve been working on since Power Profiles wrapped up at the end of last year: Gadget Guides and SCARE Sheets for the Wild Cards setting.

Gadget Guides premiered with Robots, a guide to creating and using mechanical marvels (and menaces) of all kinds in your M&M games, and continues with Utility gadgets, looking at all of the belts, bags, and other containers that seem to hold everything but the kitchen sink for intrepid heroes. After that will be some Guides focusing on different types of weapons and, well… we’ve got a whole lot planned to take us through most of the rest of this year. Got a specific request or something you’d like to see? Let us know over on the Atomic Think Tank!

SCARE Sheets, written by John Jos. Miller, with game material and notes by yours truly, is an expansion to our Wild Cards sourcebook, looking at the epic shared world setting changed forever when an alien virus mutates some of humanity into super-powered aces and twisted and deformed jokers. Of course, Wild Cards was published for the second edition of Mutants & Masterminds, so our first release for SCARE Sheets will be a free quick conversion guide to using the sourcebook with the third edition of the game.

Beyond that, the SCARE Sheets look at the characters of the new generation of Wild Cards books, starting with Insight Straight and continuing through Busted Flush, and Suicide Kings. SCARE is the Special Committee for Ace Resources and Endeavors, a U.S. government agency dealing with wild carders, and the products are formatted as SCARE reports on important ace and joker characters and factions, similar to the AEGIS Threat Reports of our first weekly electronic series. Like Threat Reports, each entry gets you a full write-up of a single character or short write-ups of a small group or faction.

Of course, Wild Cards characters vary considerably in terms of power level compared to the classic four-color Mutants & Masterminds types. Many of the characters in SCARE Sheets are in the PL 6-8 range, although the highest level are PL 10-11 and one PL20! (I’ll let you guess who). I wondered if some of the more unusual characters of the series, like the Amazing Bubbles, Genetrix, Hoodoo Mama, or the Righteous Djinn, would pose serious design challenges in terms of writing them up as M&M characters, but it turned out that the system handled them all quite well. Readers interested in power creation may find some interesting things in the series.

Even if you’re not running M&M set in the world of Wild Cards, the SCARE Sheets offer value in the form of ready-made characters (just like Threat Report) you can "re-skin" for your own series, or just drop into it as-is. While the punk musical sensation Joker Plague probably isn’t playing any venues in Freedom or Emerald City, aces like Jonathan Hive and Curveball wouldn’t be all that unusual there, especially in Silver Storm altered E.C. Even the child soldiers of the People’s Paradise of Africa could be the unfortunate victims of alien or genetic experimentation in a superhero setting, and the Righteous Djinn… well, his power is largely based on what abilities he can steal, so the more powerful your heroes are, the worse of a threat he becomes.

Hope you enjoy both the Gadget Guides and SCARE Sheets. At $1.29 per Guide and just 99 cents per SCARE Sheet, it’s pretty hard to go wrong and easy to pick up something new for your Mutants & Masterminds game. Follow along with us this year and see what aces and gadgets we have up our sleeves—I’ll be looking forward to showing you each Wednesday!

Steve Kenson

Steve Kenson

Steve Kenson has been an RPG author and designer since 1995 and has worked on numerous book and games, including Mutants & Masterminds, Freedom City, and Blue Rose for Green Ronin Publishing. He has written nine RPG tie-in novels and also runs his own imprint, Ad Infinitum Adventures, which publishes material for Icons Superpowered Roleplaying. Steve maintains a website and blog at www.stevekenson.com.
Steve Kenson