By Steve Kenson
You’ve heard a lot about the forthcoming Atlas of Earth-Prime series in previous Ronin Round Tables. As we approach our launch date, let’s take a look at the premier issue of the series, which starts close to home in the nation of Freedom City and Emerald City: the United States of America.
We had two goals for the U.S.A. Atlas: First, talk about some of the places and geography beyond our two main "super" cities, shifting some of the "Beyond Freedom City" material out of the Freedom City book into its own space and, second, open up some opportunities for different types of Mutants & Masterminds adventures and series set in the United States other than "four-color urban superheroes." So, what kinds of new settings can you expect from the first Atlas?
- Occult America: Two flavors of "occult mystery" settings, the Southern Gothic of Embouchere, Louisiana, with a simmering gumbo of bayous, Voodoo, criminal syndicates, and mysterious cults, and the Colonial Shadows of Mystery, New Hampshire, situated in the shadow of Mystery Mountain and its tall tales and legendary creatures, both good for use with the Supernatural Handbook.
- Hard Justice: For two places where justice is far less black-and-white, we revisit Buckner Ridge, the home of the private super-prison Lockdown (and the secrets it contains) and Ferroburg, Pennsylvania, a rusting steel-town beset by crime and urban decay, but protected by a new breed of vigilante willing to do what it takes to save the city, whatever the cost. Great for Iron Age style games of low-powered heroes in the style of a superhero TV series.
- Hidden Heartland: Midvale, Kansas, is much like any middle-American farming community, faced with the shift from family farms to "big agribusiness," but there’s also the nearby Crater Mound and Serpent’s Run. What secrets do those ancient earthworks conceal and how much super-powered weirdness lies just beneath the surface of an otherwise "normal" town?
- Strange & Familiar: Short write-ups of real-world cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and a look at their super-defenders, including Gatekeeper (a new Master Mage?) and the new Raven.
That’s the U.S.A.—waiting in the wings we have La Liga de Metaluchadores in Mexico, ancient astronauts amongst the Mayan ruins, the ghost pirates of the Bermuda Triangle, a shapeshifting Jamaican drug-lord…and that’s just in North America! Stay tuned for a whole new world coming soon!