Ronin Round Table: Back Issues

The Freedom City sourcebook for the second edition of Mutants & Masterminds was published in 2006. In the eight years since, Green Ronin has published numerous books and files expanding upon the world we’ve come to call Earth-Prime, and that process is ongoing, with the creation of Freedom’s "sister city," Emerald City, on the West Coast, and the publication of the Atlas of Earth-Prime, detailing the regions and nations outside the borders of the two great super-cities. Joining these two products (since the Atlas will eventually be collected into a single book) is the forthcoming new edition of Freedom City. Together, the three will form the main source material for the Earth-Prime setting, with some additional information on space, aliens, and places beyond Earth in the Cosmic Handbook.

With all of the Freedom City "back issues," however, the question becomes, what goes where? What material previously in the Freedom City sourcebook gets included and what ends up in another sourcebook? Conversely, what material from other sourcebooks gets folded into the new Freedom City book as part of its "core"? What characters and concepts make the cut, and which have to find new homes elsewhere?

Technically, that process has already started. As readers and players of the third edition of M&M know, the Threat Report series, which focused on Emerald City, also detailed some previously published villains, shifting their focus from Freedom City to the new opportunities in Emerald City after the Silver Storm. So, rather than reproduce their third edition information again, ne’er-do-wells like Dr. Sin, Mastermind, and the Power Corps will not appear in the new edition of the Freedom City book.

Similarly, whereas the previous Freedom City book only devoted fifteen pages to the world beyond its namesake city, the Atlas of Earth-Prime series is devoting nearly twenty times that space, allowing us to shift a number of characters to those products. So, for example, the Mayombe cult shows up in the United States Atlas while Baron Samedi will appear in the Caribbean Atlas, and so forth.

Finally, the Cosmic Handbook will include a chapter detailing the universe beyond Earth-Prime, including the Solar System and the greater interstellar powers and civilizations like the Grue Unity and the Stellar Imperium, factions like the Blackguard, the Argents, and the Star Knights, and various alien species. Cosmic characters like Star-Khan and Blackstar feature prominently in the Event Horizon adventure series in the book, and so find a new home there.

What does that mean for Freedom City? More space to add in some characters from other source material, while expanding upon some existing characters, and even adding a few new ones here and there. The rosters of some teams have changed, as have some characters, and we have all of the source material of books like Freedom’s Most Wanted, Worlds of Freedom, Agents of Freedom, Hero High, Book of Magic, and more to draw upon. Plan on seeing elements of the Earth-Prime setting from those and other source material in the new and updated Freedom City as well as in the ongoing Atlas that will round out Earth-Prime as a complete world for superheroic adventure. Going through the "back issues" of the setting has been both a fun trip down memory lane and an inspiration to update Freedom City as a lynchpin for the Earth-Prime setting for years to come!

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