Ronin Round Table: Back Issues, by Steve Kenson

As I write this, the Mutants & Masterminds Tenth Anniversary Kickstarter has passed $25,000 in funding and a stretch goal I’ve been looking forward to: an opportunity to revisit some beloved characters from previous editions of the game and update them to the current (third) edition game stats! Now the big question is: which characters?

After all, M&M has featured literally hundreds of different characters over the past ten years, from the Meta-4 heroes and villains of the first edition rulebook and the Crooks! sourcebook to the numerous Freedom City characters from the first edition of the Freedom City book onward (and in sourcebooks from Hero High to Worlds of Freedom). Even the diverse range of characters in the Paragons setting sourcebook add to the ranks of M&M icons in the game’s history.

While I’d like to include a range of characters, and ensure the most popular fan requests are honored, there’s also limited space to include updated write-ups, and limited time in which to do them (alongside our other stretch goals like adding essays to the book about the game’s history, and perhaps even some new adventures). I tend to be inclined towards updating villains, since I think they’re some of the most useful characters for Gamemasters, but I’m not opposed to including some heroes, too. Of course, when you start talking about hero or villain teams, it gets problematic, since covering one team can easily takes up most of the pages for characters!

Since I’ve got the soapbox of the Round Table to work with, let me tell you about some of the past M&M characters I’d like to see included in the anniversary edition:

  • The Atomic Brain: I’ve loved the Atomic Brain as a character since I first saw the concept art for him for the first edition of M&M. He’s such an iconic Silver Age style bad guy…I mean, who doesn’t love a glowing, radioactive brain with a battlesuit? He would be an interesting character to update to M&M 3e.
  • Unifier: Another master villain (this time from Crooks!) I like Unifier for his political theme (still quite topical) but he’s a big-bad and would be a second choice to the ol’ Atomic Brain.
  • Gimmick the Gadget Girl: Our iconic gadgeteer from M&M 1e, and namesake of our downloads area on for some time. Gimmick is a character who would do well in M&M 3e, I think. The Variable effect is basically made for her. So is the Inventor advantage and the Technology skill.
  • Cosmo the Moon Monkey: Another longtime M&M mascot—we still get requests for plush Cosmo dolls at conventions! Plus, again, who doesn’t love a blue teleporting monkey from space?
  • Omega: The biggest big-bad of the Freedom City setting, updated for M&M 3e? C’mon don’t you want to compare his stats with Darkseid from DC Adventures? I know I do!
  • Whoop-Ant: Who? C’mon, you know…the awesome shrinking teen hero from Lucien Soulban’s Hero High. Whoop-Ant is such a fun character, I’d love to revisit him in an updated form, although I’d want to capture him as he was in Hero High with the AlternaTeens rather than in present day Freedom City, some five years later (yes, it really has been that long…).

Those are some of my picks, but who would you like to see? Click on over to the Atomic Think Tank forum or to the Kickstarter page and let us know. Speaking of which, if you haven’t kicked in for the Anniversary Edition yet, why not take a look and help us to make it the best M&M rulebook yet? Here’s to another ten years!