Ronin Roundtable: Deal Your M&M Game a Wild Card

Steve Kenson

The new Wild Cards SCARE Sheets series for Mutants & Masterminds got underway this month with the release of the free "Issue #0" conversion guide for the third edition of the game and overview of the Committee (the focus of the "Committee Triad" of Wild Cards novels), followed by Issue #1 with everyone’s favorite blogger, would-be journalist, and peeping wasp, Jonathan "Bugsy" Hive.

The SCARE Sheets are similar in many ways to our first regular electronic series for M&M, the Threat Report, but this time focused on a specific licensed setting and group of characters. That’s not to say, however, that M&M players and Gamemasters who are not using the Wild Cards setting can’t get any benefit out of these character profiles. Indeed, they can be a useful resource for any M&M game in a number of ways, including:

  • Character examples: Want to know how to create a character who turns into a swarm of wasps, or a can absorb any kinetic impact, or raise an army of zombies, or even explode like a tactical nuclear weapon? The SCARE Sheets cover all those characters and more, bringing some of the more unusual superpowers of Wild Cards to M&M and showing how the system handles them.
  • Different power levels: Wild Cards characters are all over the map in terms of power level. SCARE Sheets can provide you with good examples of PL6-8 characters and how they can be interesting in their own right, as well as just how powerful PL12+ characters can get, given the right powers.
  • Offbeat character types: Wild Cards isn’t a typical "four-color" superhero setting, so you get unusual characters, powers, and situations, which can inspire some of the same for your own games.
  • Ready-made characters: Lastly, you can use the SCARE Sheet characters as ready-to-run characters for your own game, whether it is set in the Wild Cards world or not. They can be allies or adversaries and, if you’re willing to modify the characters slightly, the basis for entirely new and different original characters for your setting. Turn ace heroes into new villains or mix-and-match your own teams without the work of putting together the characters yourself. The SCARE Sheets come with Hero Lab files included, so all you need to do is import them and edit however you want!

Take our friend Bugsy for example: Jonathan Hive is an ace able to transform into a swarm of green wasps, although his real ambition is to become a journalist. He turns to blogging as a way to break-in, and to auditioning for the American Hero reality series to raise his profile and draw attention to his blog. Along the way, he and some friends find some real opportunities for heroism, and end up starting an international group of aces trying to solve problems in the world.

You can easily see how Bugsy—or a character like him—could show up in your own superhero setting. After all, not everybody with super powers necessarily puts on a costume to fight criminals (or to become one). Hive could be a blogger and amateur "citizen journalist" who uses his power of transformation to help him get stories. Some of those stories may involve threats he doesn’t feel ready to handle, which is where he might come to the heroes for help. Of course, there are also those occasions when Hive also "bugs" the heroes themselves, turning their lives into tabloid gossip for the masses, or tries to get the "inside scoop" on something a hero team might prefer stayed out of the public eye.

For less than a dollar a download, it’s hard to go wrong with a few SCARE Sheets as resources for your M&M game. Check out the series in the Green Ronin online store and consider dealing your heroes a few wild cards of your own!

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