Ronin Round Table: Steve Kenson

Steve KensonWelcome back to the Ronin Round Table! My name’s Steve
Kenson and my official title at Green Ronin (in as much as we have them) is “Designer.” What does that mean? Well, I initially started out working for
Green Ronin as a freelance author, writing d20 System books like The
Handbook. After I designed the first edition of the Mutants
& Masterminds
superhero RPG, I came on-board as developer to manage the
line. (You’ll probably be hearing more about the development process from guys
like Jon, Will, and Joe in future Round Tables.)

Although I enjoyed development and shepherding numerous game
books from conception to completion, a couple of years ago I wanted to step
back from development and focus on what I really got into the game industry to
do: namely write and design games! Since then, my work for Green Ronin has
focused on just that: writing and designing products from the DC Adventures
game (using the third edition of the Mutants & Masterminds game
rules) to parts of the Dragon Age RPG or the Threat Report series
of villains for M&M. I either pitch ideas to our developers, or work
with concepts they have originated to craft the text for different products. I
also do a touch of editing and development here and there, as we tend to wear
many hats at Green Ronin.

My latest project is a new series coming up for Mutants
& Masterminds,
called Power Profiles. Like our Threat Report series
(wrapping up at the end of 2011) Power Profiles is a series of weekly
electronic products, published in PDF format. Each Profile takes a look
at a type of super-power and the various game effects that fall under that
power. They offer numerous worked examples of how to build powers to suit
concepts and, as with Threat Report, M&M players and
Gamemasters can pick-and-choose the ones that look the most interesting to

For example, the premier Power Profile looks at Fire
Powers, one of the more common comic book super-abilities. It talks about fire
descriptors in general, how to handle things like igniting fires and getting
burned, and offers sample fire powers organized into Offensive, Defensive,
Movement, and Utility powers, from Fireball and Flame Aura through Fire Form,
Rocket Flight, Fire Shaping, and Pyrokinesis, to new a few. Each Profile
also looks at ideas for Feature effects for the power such as creating tiny
match-like flames, spot-welding, or fireworks displays, as well as suitable
Complications like pyromania, fire-related accidents, power loss due to
smothering or dousing, or a truly “fiery” temper!

Power Profiles take the basic “toolbox” from Mutants & Masterminds and use things
from it to build all kinds of toys you can use in your own games, or just use
as examples when it comes to creating your own powers and characters.

We have dozens of Power Profiles planned over 2012,
and we’re looking for your thoughts and feedback as to what you’d like to see. I hope you get as much fun out of the new Power
as we do bringing them to you!

Of course, I have design projects other than just Power
planned for this coming year (and even beyond!). Check back in
here at the Round Table–chances are I’ll be talking about them as well
as time goes on.