The Cosmic Handbook has been a popular product even before it was on the list of books we were working on. Fans have been asking for it since the second edition of Mutants & Masterminds, so at some point in the last few years, we added it to the schedule, wrote it, and are in the midst of preparing it for release!
This is the book you want if you’re planning to expand the scope of your game into the wider galaxy, leaving Earth-Prime behind to explore the wild frontier created after Star-Khan’s forces flooded in to fill the vacuum created by the destruction of Magna-Lor at the hands of Collapsar. It’s also the book you want if you’re running a series in your own setting, because it features an overview of cosmic stories and heroes, tips on creating super-powerful cosmic characters, along with sample archetypes, new equipment and vehicles, rules options to help you adapt to things like the vast ranges characters have to contend with in space, and information for the GM on how to run a game that’s exciting, challenging, and fun.
The Cosmic Handbook will help you run games in which your heroes have to deal with interstellar wars, face down cosmic elders, explore unknown space in their very own spaceship, act as galactic guardians (in case you’re into that sort of thing), and even play games set on alien worlds or in the far-flung, space-faring future.
We wanted to make sure the book covered as many different cosmic comic book character types, adventures, and settings as we could. We roped James Dawsey, Steve Kenson, Christopher McGlothlin, and Jack Norris into writing it and they really delivered.
Cosmic heroes run the range from power level 8 at the low end, for sword-and-planet style characters and progress all the way to power level 14 (or higher). We recommend starting at power level 12, a step up from standard PL10 M&M games, so characters are able to bring some serious power to bear when they need it.
The hero archetypes included in the book are: the Ray-Gun Hero, the Star Hero, the Cosmic Corsair, the Space Knight, the Cosmic Critter, the Galactic Peace Officer, the Space Demigod, the Space Soldier, and the Strange Visitor. There’s also a number of alien templates you can use to create your own coldly logical aliens, group-minds, insectoids, plant-like aliens, and many more.
As for the forces the heroes fight against, there’s a section that discusses popular cosmic-level plotlines and how to put them together, from alien invasions to ancient mysteries. Then there are the bad guys themselves, who get their own list of archetypes, including the Alien Supermind, the Avatar of Destruction, the Imperial Champion, the Space Dragon, the Devourer, the Galactic Tough Guy, the Renegade Space Cop, the Star Hunter, the Time Master, and multiple variations on each. Plus a selection of minions for your alien invaders.
And that’s just the first half of the book! After that we cover the cosmos as it exists in the Earth-Prime universe, including information on how things have changed since the appearance of Tellax the Redeemer (in Emerald City Knights) and the coming of Collapsar. These events have had a significant impact on the galactic civilization and have turned the galaxy into a wild frontier, ripe for your players’ heroes to make names for themselves.
As you can see, the art for the book is looking great and we can’t wait to show you the final table of contents and some other bits as previews in the coming weeks. Start thinking up some cosmic plotlines and get your friends ready for a high-powered, cosmic, super series!
Jon Leitheusser spent several years as the developer for the Mutants & Masterminds game. He started gaming at the age of 12, has worked in the industry at a game and comic store, two distribution companies, as a publisher (where he originally published the Dork Tower comic book), as a game designer for HeroClix, as a freelancer, and then for Green Ronin. He’s originally from Burlington, Wisconsin and now lives in Washington State.