Villains. What would a superhero game be without them? A lot less interesting, that’s for sure. Super-villains are the primary challenge for super-heroes, apart from stopping disasters and nabbing the occasional mugger or bank-robber. Villains and their schemes drive stories and the rivalries they build up with heroes become the stuff of legend. A hero is often defined by his or her "rogues gallery"—dark and twisted reflections of the hero’s own goals.
That’s why the "Foes of Freedom" forms a substantial third of the upcoming new edition of Freedom City. While the setting book still looks at some of Freedom’s heroes (past and present), the focus is on fiendish foes you can use in your own Mutants & Masterminds games, some 118 pages of them altogether!
All of the villains in Freedom City will be at least somewhat familiar, having appeared in previous M&M products, but not always in precisely the form they take on in the new book. For example…
- Omega’s lieutenants The Annihilists move from the Worlds of Freedom sourcebook to the main setting sourcebook.
- The Conqueror Worm has been dead for decades, since his last fateful fight with the original Raven. New a new criminal mastermind using that name has arisen. Who is he, and what is his secret?
- Can the original Freedom League foe Doc Holiday be responsible for the strange rash of holiday-themed crimes in the city?
- The tragic life of Desmond Lettam, the Toy Boy, ended some time ago, so who has adopted his modus operandi to create lethal "toys" in the criminal underworld?
- What is the mysterious "Dungeon Dimension" and how has Warden gained its mystical key to enhance his powers and obsession with prisons?
A number of "bread and butter" villains from source material like Freedom’s Most Wanted also get top spots in the setting sourcebook: characters like Goanna, Madame Zero, Sandstone, and Syzygy, useful for challenging a group of heroes in various ways. That’s just a sample of the 60+ villains you’ll find in the book.
But wait! There’s more, as they say: In addition to the rogues gallery of Freedom City, the international foes of Atlas of Earth-Prime, and the new threats introduced in the Emerald City setting sourcebook, we’ve got even more villainy planned for the coming year, but that’s not my story to tell, so I’ll leave it for another time (and another upcoming preview).
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.