It’s late October, when thoughts turn to the Things That Go Bump in the Night and the variety of Halloween horrors we can bring … not just to parties and film-fests, but to the gaming table.
While Mutants & Masterminds might not be the sort of game that immediately springs to mind when you’re thinking about Halloween horror, not only does the superheroic genre have more than its share of ghosts, ghouls, and Things Man Was Not Meant to Know, but M&M has all of the tools you need to bring them into your game, with the Supernatural Handbook by Lucien Soulban. Here’s just a quick look at what the book offers by way of scaring your heroes:
The Affliction effect (Hero’s Handbook, page 97) can represent the impact of fear and horror on characters. Different creatures may inflict fear by their very presence and different situations may do so as well, just as other hazards inflict Damage. The general assumption in a Supernaturals series is that fear is a hazard just like any other, so most creatures do not pay power points for the “power” to terrify their victims, unless it is in some way special compared to other fear-causing hazards in the series. The typical fear Affliction looks like this:
Fear: Affliction (Resisted and Overcome by Will; Dazed, Stunned, Incapacitated)
So, when encountering a source of fear, the victims make Will resistance checks, with the DC determined by the source of fear, from DC 10–11 for a mild fright all the way to DC 30 for mind-shattering terror. The average should be around 10 + series PL. Falling victim to fear means the character is less able to act and victims get a new Will check each round to shake off the fear; incapacitated characters get a chance to recover each minute.
The Supernatural Handbook also offers an optional system for handling corruption, everything from slow moral decay to the body-horror of unrelenting transformations. When the heroes grapple with monsters, do they risk becoming just as monstrous?
But the book isn’t just limited to game-system tools: It offers extensive advice for Gamemasters on how to create and manage fear and horror in their stories, from a light touch to “blunt force trauma” and from playing with expectations and speculation to keeping players invested in the story and playing along.
It also offers a cunning “Build-A-Critter” series of trait packages, giving you the building blocks to put together endless monsters to challenge your heroes. This works great in conjunction with the prefabricated powers from the Power Profiles book (particularly things like Animal, Darkness, and Death Powers, to name a few). It includes a variety of monster archetypes, including my personal favorite: WTF! (free download)
The book offers the complete organization ARCADE (The American Research Center for the Arcane Defense of Earth) suitable as the center of an entire supernatural series or for inclusion in your regular M&M game as the secret supernatural defenders of the world.
Best of all, the Supernatural Handbook is on sale this week in both print and electronic editions for all of your Halloween gaming needs! Just visit the Green Ronin Store (for the print or electronic editions) or DriveThruRPG or RPGNow (for the electronic edition only) and best wishes for a super and spooky Halloween!
Threat Report for Third Edition M&M is also on sale, as are the Second Edition M&M PDFs Book of Magic and Time of Vengeance.
We have two new PDFs for you this week, one Rogues Gallery entry and one for Atlas of Earth-Prime, for Mutants & Masterminds.
Rogues Gallery: Kathryn the Red
Mystery, New Hampshire has a legend about a headless horsewoman known as Kathryn the Red. She’s a spirit of vengeance from the time of the American Revolution that can be summoned to carry out revenge by anyone willing to pay her price. But she also returns on her own from time to time in order to hunt down seemingly random people. Can she ever be stopped?
Atlas of Earth-Prime: Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is what most people think of when they picture Africa in their minds, and this region is the subject of this week’s Atlas of Earth-Prime. Inside is information about Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the high-tech nation of Dakana, the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Malawi, the Republic of South Africa and many more nations. Learn about Project Hive, meet the Hellscreamer, Prime Detective, the living goddess Ayesha, the members of the Gathering of Heroes, and the villains they face off against.
On the latest episode of the BAMF podcast, Mike Lafferty chats with an all-star panel about superhero teams — and they’re giving away a copy of M&M’s Emerald City setting book! Listen for details on how to enter (they tell you in the first minutes, honest).
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!
The Atlas of Earth-Prime heads to the 15 nations that make up West Africa. Inside, you’ll meet the Champions of West Africa, a team made up of heroes from across the region, with members including Exemplar, Jali, Genome, Maitre Aimant, the Futurist, and Fantasma. Together, they protect the region from threats such as King Claw and his followers in Righteous Fire. Another hero, Mr. Twist, concerns himself with refugees in the region and has set up the Refuge to offer a safe place to stay, at least for a while. There’s more going on in Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone, where the son-of-a-villain known as Brodha Renbo tries to prove himself a true hero.
This $3.95 product includes a 6-page, full-color PDF and three Hero Lab files.
This week’s Rogues Gallery issue for Mutants & Masterminds is Mistress Hyde, priced at just $1.95 for a supervillain PDF with a Hero Lab file.
A world-renowned pharmacologist looking to create a treatment for neuromuscular disease, Maryann Beswick accidentally inhaled fumes that built up in her system and eventually transformed her from being a kind humanitarian into an evil, bestial criminal intent on accumulating power and experiencing pleasures at any cost!
We have two new PDFs for your consideration this week, one Rogues Gallery entry and one for Atlas of Earth-Prime, for Mutants & Masterminds.
Rogues Gallery: Mercurial
Once a driven college student, Glenna Frost was transformed into the highly unstable (in body and mind) Mercurial in an accident at KessKorp. Now Mercurial sows chaos and danger for whatever reason she thinks makes the most sense today. Can the heroes defeat her? Can they help her? Do they want to after all she’s done?
Atlas of Earth-Prime: North Africa
Today the Atlas of Earth-Prime takes us to North Africa! It explores the countries of Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Tazamamart, Mauritania, and even covers the Western Sahara and Morroco. This region is rich in history, mythology, and culture. Inside you’ll learn about SHADOW’s role in the region, find out about the Hand of Horus, discover what Black Anubis is up to now, and much more, including Tunisia’s plan to build a “Super City” and Morocco’s role as a place of neutrality in the super-powered world!
Today we present two new PDFs for just $1.29 each, Mountain Terrors: Tripper Root for the Chronicle System, and Rogues Gallery: IGT-92 for Mutants & Masterminds.
Not all the predatory dangers of the mountains are beasts and animals. The tripper root grows along narrow paths and beside sheer cliffs, waiting for prey to come stumbling through its ground-covering vines. The tripper root then reacts with whip-like precision, snagging men and beast alike and hurling them over the side, slamming them into mountain faces to kill and consume them.
Mountain Terrors: Tripper Root is a bestiary PDF for the Chronicle System, the rules engine that powers our popular A Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying game.
Smuggled to Earth in a bid to make some money for alien criminals, things would have been fine if they hadn’t turned IGT-92 on to make sure it worked. Now escaped and on the run, IGT-92 is executing its programming to “soften up” the planet to prepare the way for its alien masters–even if they never come.
A gang filled with evil bikers blessed with Satanic powers! They spend their time terrorizing decent folk and picking up jobs from more powerful criminal organizations that need a bit of extra muscle. The four leaders of the Devil’s Advocates have serious power with supernatural origins!
Get the Devil’s Advocates today—just $1.29!
The Atlas of Earth-Prime travels to Eastern Europe, where it introduces you to the Barony of Volkavia, which is ruled by the benevolent Baroness Natasha Von Volkavia. Then on to Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and the former Soviet Union. Along the way, we meet Poland’s famous Knight, the dogmatic European, a summary of the different vampires in and from the region, and much more.
Visit Eastern Europe today! (Just $1.99!)