While superheroes are often involved in stopping crimes and capturing criminals, how many times have the heroes in your Mutants & Masterminds had to show up in front of a court? The latest release in our Danger Zones series, the Courthouse, raises just that question and provides plenty of resources for the answers.
As the Danger Zone notes, heroes may end up in court for a number of different reasons:
- Heroes who are lawyers in their secret identities may try cases all the time. A hero could end up prosecuting—or even defending!—a villain they captured in their heroic identity.
- Any hero’s secret identity could be called for jury duty. If the hero has a connection with the case, do they look to recuse themselves and how do they do so without entrusting the court with their secret identity?
- Heroes or hero teams might get sued, depending on what the legal protections in the setting are for costumed vigilantes. A lawsuit could be genuine or a set-up of some sort.
- Heroes may be called to testify in criminal or civil cases, with opposing attorneys interested in discrediting them or arranging an incident that does so.
- Some heroes may be involved in precedent-setting legal cases concerning things like the civil rights of aliens or artificial life-forms like androids or robots, the legal ramifications of certain powers, or even the rights of costumed vigilantes in general.
Courthouse has its own mini-system for handling courtroom dramas and legal cases, letting you run trials for the heroes captured foes to see if they are convicted and to determine the severity of their sentence. There’s also information on courthouse security measures and building structure, for those instances when a super-powered slugfest breaks out at the courthouse, often in conjunction with an actual break-out!
Of course, like all Danger Zones, Courthouse offers a detailed map of a typical example of the setting, stock characters found there, sample non-player characters, and a selection of ideas for Capers involving the location.
Danger Zones: Courthouse is also available on DrivethruRPG!
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.