Ronin Round Table: We Could Be Heroes…

If just for one game.

2523On January 10th, 2016 David Robert Jones, known to the world as David Bowie, passed away after a private and protracted battle with cancer. He was a singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and many many more things and his influence was felt far and wide.

He was not, to my knowledge, a gamer.

But he was totally a role player.

From his personas of Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke and various acting roles and constant innovation and re-invention, Bowie was great at making and playing characters. He communicated concepts and ideas not just with evocative music and lyrics, but with performance. Even his battle with cancer is depicted metaphorically through his last album, putting him it a category of unique works that range from Warren Zevon’s The Wind to John Wayne’s The Shootist.

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Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: Middle East (PDF)

Today the Atlas of Earth-Prime visits the Middle East. From Armenia and Azerbaijan to the nations of the western Mediterranean and the Arab Peninsula, the Atlas looks at a region torn by conflict, where heroes are needed. The mysterious Ash’Abah (the Ghost) tries to keep the factions of the Gaza Strip from killing each other, while Aziz, the armored hero of Iran, denies rumors that his technology will be used for any nation’s weapons-program. Dr. Tzaddik in Israel studies ancient legends saying the blood of the Djinn and the Nephilim flow amongst the people of this region, while the Unseen Imam guards mystic secrets in his desert tower.

Add the Middle East to your Mutants & Masterminds campaign, today!

Ronin Round Table: Where Soars the Cosmic Handbook?

Pre-Order Cosmic Handbook

Pre-Order Cosmic Handbook

The cosmic gods have answered our prayers! Years of requests via email, the Atomic Think Tank, instant messages, and in-person are just a couple of weeks away from being fulfilled! The newest Mutants & Masterminds title, the long-awaited Cosmic Handbook, is about to make its way to your favorite game store!

Right up front, I want to make sure you’re aware that if you pre-order the physical book at the link above, you’ll be able to add the PDF to the order for only $5. And, big bonus, you get the PDF delivered to you immediately.

As for the book itself, it covers a lot of ground. Chapter 1 starts off with a few pages of history of cosmic heroes in comics, beginning with Superman and continuing up to the last few years. Then it dives into conventions of the genre. This section is really interesting because it shows players and GMs the sorts of things they should expect to see in a cosmic game and the sorts of things they may want their character to embody. It’s not a how-to manual, but it should give everyone a good grounding in what makes a cosmic game cosmic.

Chapter 2 is all about player characters. This is the section players will be most interested in. It defines three different levels of cosmic series: Challengers of the Cosmos, at PL8 to 10, Cosmic Crusaders, at PL10 to 12, and Cosmic Avatars, at PL12 and up. The level of a normal cosmic series is the Cosmic Crusader level, with characters beginning at PL12 and advancing from there. This is a couple of steps up from the normal super-heroic M&M series and should be a real treat for players who are interested in pushing boundaries and want to be able to throw around some serious power!

Chapter 2 also includes nine different sample heroes of different power levels, including the Cosmic Buccaneer, Cosmic Critter, Galactic Peace Officer, Ray-Gun Hero, Space Demigod, Space Knight, Space Soldier, Star Hero, and Strange Visitor. Far from an exhaustive list of cosmic hero archetypes, these characters should provide players with a good starting points, examples, and inspiration.

Chapter 3 is for the GM and concentrates on running a cosmic series. It provides GMs with tips on creating ongoing cosmic games, gives examples of the sorts of stories work well, and caps it off with ten villain archetypes to challenge your players! These villains include the Alien Supermind, Avatar of Destruction, Imperial Champion, Space Dragon, The Devourer, Galactic Tough Guy, Renegade Space Cop, Star Hunter, and Time Master. There’s even a bunch of minion archetypes and sample minions that can show up in your games. Can you say “Cuddly alien pet,” or “Xenomorph”?

Chapter 4 covers the Earth-Prime, or Freedom City Cosmos. It gives a brief history of the cosmos as it is in the setting all the Mutants & Masterminds characters exist in, from the Preservers and their role in seeding the universe with races, all the way up to the modern day and the chaos caused by the arrival of Collapsar.

Our goal with this chapter was to clear out all the established empires and make it possible for the player characters to play an important role in the cosmos. Instead of everything being clearly regimented and broken into empires, it’s more like the Wild West. The old powers are destroyed or in survival mode, while new powers, like the Stellar Khanate, are making their move to gain in significance. Along with these changes, more cosmic-powered groups, such as the nanotech-fueled Argents and Blackstar’s Blackguard, have appeared to pursue their own agendas. Agendas which will certainly cause the heroes some problems.

Finally, in chapter 5, we revisit Freedom City 2525. This homage to the Legion of Super-Heroes is converted to the new edition of M&M and includes a bevy of heroes and villains. Whether you use them in a series set in the future or as inspiration for allies and adversaries for your players’ characters, these 17 characters will definitely come in useful!

So far, people who’ve already downloaded the PDF have had great things to say about the book. We’re pleased to be able to get this out to everyone at a time when cosmic movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are so popular. Hopefully they’ll inspire you and your friends to head out into the stars!

Rogues Gallery: Eminence (PDF)

Rogues Gallery: Eminence

Rogues Gallery: Eminence

It’s time for a new Rogues Gallery issue, providing a new villain for your Mutants & Masterminds campaign. Eminence is the result of a breeding program to create super-powered children of Bogatyr, the great hero of the Soviet Union. Zvezda had potential, but it wasn’t until she went into space and was exposed to an alien artifact that she lived up to the dreams of the program that birthed her—unfortunately, she has her own goals now!

Get Eminence today for just $1.95!

Green Ronin in 2016

By Chris Pramas

Happy New Year, gaming comrades! I hope you all had a good holiday, and got some quality gaming in with friends and family. As has become a tradition here at GR, I’m here to spill the beans on our plans for the coming year. Last year was a bit awkward because in January I could not yet announce Titansgrave or the fact that we were designing D&D books for Wizards of the Coast. This year will be much less cryptic! So what’s have we got in store for you? Rather a lot, actually!

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Atlas of Earth-Prime: South Asia (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: South Asia (PDF)

Atlas of Earth-Prime: South Asia (PDF)

We’re starting off 2016 with a new Atlas of Earth-Prime issue.

The Atlas of Earth-Prime visits South Asia where we visit the strange Temporal Tunnels and the Monks of the Fourth Age who serve as its guardians. Next we’re introduced to the monkey-trickster Hanuman who enjoys sowing chaos. Duiyu Lieren is a patriotic Communist hero and sorcerer who hunts down superbeings on the run from China’s government. Bandhana City, India introduces us to Instant Karma, a team of superheroes who stand against the Indian underworld. In Nepal, the time-controlling Oathkeeper searches for a mysterious being known as the Oathbreaker, and we get more information about the Rakshasa as well as the mysterious Third Eye and his Lighthouse base.

Visit South Asia (on your gaming table) today!