Twofer Month

This week, two of the recent M&M books came out that I worked on ... they should be hitting your LFGS/CS should have them on their shelf and if not, ask them to order them.

Book of Magic

Written by D.T. Butchino, Joseph Carriker, Steve Kenson, Steven Marsh, and Aaron Sullivan
Format: 128 pages, softback
ISBN: 1-932442-99-5

A Manual of Mysterious Magics!

By the Shining Sigil of Sirrion! The Book of Magic is the complete Mutants & Masterminds sourcebook on the Arts Arcane, all that is magical and mysterious. It is a guide to comic book magic, providing everything players and Gamemasters need to run games based on magical comics ranging from light-hearted to dark post-modern and everything in-between.

The focus is on magical characters and settings, but with an eye towards integrating these characters and elements into a more general superhero series. In the pages of the Book of Magic you'll find:

  • Six new hero archetypes and seven new villain archetypes, along with numerous supporting cast, minion, and creature archetypes, all ready for use; a complete cast of characters!
  • Eleven styles of magic and dozens of spells and magical items for mystic heroes and villains, from the All-Revealing Light of Abbridon to Yig's Inexorable Transformation, from the Abyssal Trident to the Wishing Ring.
  • The mystic secrets of the Freedom City setting, including cosmology, history, heroes, villains, creatures, magical items, and more! Plus eight mystic series frameworks to give you starting points for your own magical M&M game!

Plus a history of magic in comics, mystical dimensions, character creation, adventure creation, series advice, and more! Learn the secrets of superheroic sorcery from the Book of Magic and...

Make your M&M magical!

Worlds of Freedom

Authors: Scott Bennie, Dwayne Butchino, Shawn Carman, Christopher McGlothlin, and Aaron Sullivan
Format: 128 pages, softback
ISBN-10: 1-934547-07-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-934547-07-6

Infinite worlds, infinite possibilities: Freedom City is an eminently adaptable setting and this book proves it! Worlds of Freedom presents many visions of Mutants & Masterminds' most famous metropolis, from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras to the distant future, from parallel Earths where the Axis won World War II to a world of funny cartoon animals, and more! Worlds of Freedom expands the usefulness of the Freedom City campaign setting and takes your heroes to infinite worlds of adventure!

In Books of Magic, I wrote the Dimensions chapter and in Worlds of Freedom, I worked on the Freedom Beyond section. Both were great projects and look incredible. Many props to my fellow authors and a special thanks to Steve and the gang at Green Ronin for letting me work on some great books.

Okay 3, 2, 1 ... Let's Jam!

Okay ... so I'm on a SW kick ... what can I say? This entry is all about the main character of the show Cowboy Bebop. That's right, below are the stats for Spike Spiegel in all his bounty hunting glory. Next maybe I'll do classic Starbuck or maybe some other members of either Serenity's or Bebop's crew. Again, many thanks to Wikipedia for the bio.
Spike Spiegel
Some years prior to Session 1, Spike had been a rising member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate where he was partnered as a sweeper and enforcer along with his then best friend, Vicious. Badly injured after a shoot-out in the slums on Mars, Spike stumbled to the home of Julia, who was at that time Vicious' girlfriend. The pair fell in love while she nursed him back to health. Spike decided to leave the syndicate and elope with Julia. Realizing that his best friend had essentially gone soft and fallen for his girlfriend, Vicious gave Julia a painful ultimatum: either murder Spike or Spike and Julia would both face death for her betrayal. Although the specifics of the incident are unclear, Spike apparently managed to fake his own death by engaging in a gunfight alone in a church against a rival syndicate; this allowed him to drop off of the Red Dragons' radar. He waited for Julia so they could escape and be free, but she never showed.
One of the recurring themes surrounding Spike's character is how he views himself and his life. He claims that one eye - his right one, the prosthetic - can only see the present, and the other - the left, his real eye - can only see the past. This is revisited by a close-up on Spike's left eye every time he has a flashback of his life before coming aboard the Bebop. He seems to regard his false death as real in some way, saying that after that day, he had "merely been living a dream". (During Session 25 when Spike has a flashback of the last time he saw Julia, the close-up shows both Spike's eyes, perhaps implying that his future and past are now the same.)
Spike's attitude of living in a "dream-like" existence is displayed by his careless behavior and his nonchalant attitude towards dangerous or outright fatal situations. One quote that exemplifies this is in Session 1, when Catalina tells Spike that she is not sure if he is joking or not, to which he responds that he "gets that a lot".
Some time after his "death", Spike met the former ISSP cop turned bounty hunter Jet Black, and the two men became partners. Spike moved onto Jet's ship, the eponymous Bebop and the two men worked together for about three years before being joined by the other crew members.
In the final episode Spike and Julia pick up where they left off in their plans to escape Red Dragon, enlisting Annie's help — only to find that Vicious' goons have gotten there already. After laying Annie to rest, they fight their way out, but Julia is shot and killed. Spike returns to the Bebop for one last meal with his family and is confronted by Faye for his final decision he realizes he cannot continue to run from his past and must confront it before he then storms Red Dragon's headquarters. Killing several gangsters he gradually shoots his way to the Vicious chamber with a bit of assistance from Shin, he makes it to the top floor, severely wounded but alive ,where he and Vicious confront each other for a final time.
Spike and Vicious duel. In the heat of their brawl, both weapons are simultaneously knocked out of each others hands. Spike with Vicious's katana in hand and Vicious clutching Spike's Jericho 941, Spike saying, "Julia is dead… Let's end it all." and Vicious retorts "As you wish." Both slide their respected weapons back to one another, and as Spike shoots, Vicious runs his blade across his abdomen. Vicious falls dead. Spike stumbles out of Vicious' chamber, clutching his side and bleeding profusely, and begins to descend a long staircase as several gangsters stare in awe and a bright light fills the room. Spike then raises his right hand, positioning his fingers to resemble a gun, says "Bang" and collapses dying from the blood loss. Then the credits begin to roll with the stars as a background. Nearing the end of the credits a bright red star on the horizon fades out, symbolizing that a life has ended.

Spike Spiegel CL 11
Medium Human scoundrel 6 / scout 3 / bounty hunter 2
Force 11; Dark Side 0
Init +13; Senses Perception +12
Languages Basic
Defenses Ref 31 (flat-footed 25), Fort 26, Will 24
hp 100; Threshold 31
Speed 6 squares
Ranged slugthrower pistol +11 (2d6+5)
Base Atk +8; Grp +11
Atk Options Acrobatic Strike, Combat Reflexes, Point Blank Shot
Special Actions Disruptive, Familiar Foe +1, Fortune's Favor, Keen Shot, Walk the Line
Abilities Str 15, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 15
Talents Fortune's Favor, Disruptive, Walk the Line, Disruptive, Walk the Line, Acute Senses, Keen Shot, Nowhere to Hide
Feats Acrobatic Strike, Combat Reflexes, Improved Damage Threshold (x1), Martial Arts I, II & III, Point Blank Shot, Skill Training (x2), Vehicular Combat, WP (pistols, rifles, simple)
Skills Acrobatics +13, Deception +12, Gather Information +12, Initiative +13, Perception +12, Pilot +13, Stealth +13, Survival +12
Possessions slugthrower pistol, pistol clip (x3)

Captain Malcolm Reynolds - Firefly SAGA

So I decided to continue with some SAGA conversions ... today, we see Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly/Serenity as seen through a SWSE lens. Many thanks to IMDB and Wikipedia for some of the information below. If I get the hankering, I might stat up the rest of the crew, as well as some of the more colorful characters of the 'Verse.

Captain Malcolm Reynolds

Mal comes from the world of Shadow where his family owned a ranch. His father died when he was young and he was raised by his mother and many ranch hands. It is unknown if he has any borthers or sisters. During the war for independence from the Alliance, Mal was a Sargent in the 57th Brigade of Browncoats for the Independents, and led his platoon into many battles. Ultimately, he was forced to surrender after the Battle of Serenity Valley on Hera, and soon after the war ended with the Browncoats losing. During the war Zoe Washburne was under his command and proved to be a fierce fighter and loyal subordinate. After the war Mal purchased the old Firefly and called it Serenity after the battlefield. Zoe joined him as first mate. Both Mal and Zoe have a deep hatred of the Alliance and any and all forms of authority. Mal lost all sense of hope and faith during the horrific war and is now an almost empty shell of a man, and keeping his ship and crew safe is his main purpose in life. He also has a sense of nobility about him, helping the weak and those in need when he can. We get the sense that he is a good man which circumstances have made into a criminal (one can also view him as a soldier who makes a distinction between friend and foe). His sheltering of Simon and River Tam from the Alliance is but one sign of this noble and caring attitude. Mal has a keen ability to make plans, which usually go wrong, but he also has the ability to think on his feet and improvise. He'd rather settle arguments with a gun or his fists than any other way, but will back down if the odds are not in his favor. Mal has very different relationships with the others on board Serenity. During the course of the show there was a great deal of unresolved romantic tension between himself and Inara Serra, a registered Companion who lives on the ship. Mal trusts Zoe to watch his back and depends on her a great deal. Jayne Cobb the mercenary is one person Mal doesn't trust and many timess the two men have almost come to blows. Kaylee the mechanic is like a younger sister to Mal, while Simon Tam and Mal have a great deal of tension between them because of the actions of Simon's mentally troubled sister River which causes problems at times. Mal see's River in a different light from Simon. He see's her as a tool with her ability to "see into things" and as an equal on the ship as crew member. He also dislikes how the Alliance tampered with her, trying to make her "better" which is something he doesn't hold with. Shepherd Book is like an adviser to Mal. Wash the pilot and Mal have a cordial relationship that has occassional problems since Zoe is Wash's wife and he doesn't really understand the bond that Mal and Zoe have from the war. Mal is a hero but a flawed one, a criminal, but an honorable thief and ultimately someone who is a natural born leader.

Malcolm Reynolds CL 12
Medium Human scoundrel 4 / soldier 5 / gunslinger 3
12; Dark Side 0

+13; Senses Perception +14

Basic, Trade Language
Ref 19 (flat-footed 16), Fort 27, Will 27

hp 120; Threshold 32
6 squares

Ranged slugthrower pistol +13 (2d6+7)
Base Atk
+11; Grp +13

Atk Options
Combat Reflexes, Mighty Swing, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot

Special Actions
Coordinated Attack, Disruptive, Fortune's Favor, Indomitable, Knack, Lucky Shot, Quick Draw, Shake it Off, Trusty Sidearm +1

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 17

Talents Fortune's Favor, Knack (x1), Lucky Shot, Disruptive, Lucky Shot, Disruptive, Indomitable (x1), Tough as Nails
Feats Armor Proficiency (Light, Medium), Combat Reflexes, Coordinated Attack, Extra Second Wind (x1), Improved Damage Threshold (x1), Martial Arts I, Mighty Swing, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Shake it Off, Skill Training (x1), WP (pistols, rifles, simple)
Deception +14, Endurance +14, Gather Information +14, Initiative +13, Perception +14, Persuasion +14, Pilot +13

Possessions slugthrower pistol, blast helmet and vest, hip holster, pistol clip (x2)

Star Wars Saga: AvP

I've always been a big fan of comics. When Dark Horse Comics got the Star Wars license, they'd already been playing with the Aliens and Predator licenses for a bit. At some point within the last decade or so, both Aliens and Predator have crossed over with some fantastic other properties ... but never with Star Wars. So I propose this idea ... what if the heroes of the Rebellion era battled either (or both) species? I've typed up some basics on both Xenomorphs and Yautja below to be used in the new Star Wars Saga system so that others may find out. Enjoy.

Yautja Species

The Yautjaa fictional extraterrestrial species featured in the Predator science-fiction franchise, characterised by their trophy hunting of other dangerous species for sport, including humans. For more information, please see Predators.
Ability Modifiers:
+4 Strength, +2 Constitution, -1 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -3 Charisma. Yautja have tremendous strength and hardiness, but aren't known for their personalities.
Medium Size: As medium-sized creatures, Yautja have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Speed: Yautja base speed is 6 squares.
Expert Hunters: Yautja are exceptional hunters and may take 10 with Survival rolls to track opponents down even when distracted or threatened.
Resilient: A Yautja regains hit points at double the normal rate (see Natural Healing, page SWSE148).
Skills: Yautja are expert brachiators, granting a +5 to Climb and Acrobatics rolls when using trees as a form of movement.
Automatic Language: Yautja

Yautja Weaponry & Armor
Below are a sample of the weapons and equipment the Yautja use.

Optics Helmet
Cost 5,000 Armor Bonus to Ref Def - Armor Bonus to Fort Def +2 Max Dex Bonus +5
Weight 3kg Availability Restricted
This light helmet offers little protection for the Yautja, but rather offers him a bevy of sensor suites to hunt his prey. The main sensors allow the wearer to use regular vision, thermal, electric, and a friend/foe setting that allows for the identification of weaponry. The helmet also offers a computerized targeting array that grants its user a +2 attack with ranged weaponry.

Cloaking Device
Cost 10,000 Weight 2 kg
Typically reserved for hunts against quarry which shoot back, the cloaking device provides the Predator with active camouflage, bending light around the wearer and projecting a semi-transparent image in front of the Predator, rendering it partially invisible. In game terms, while active, the cloaking device allows the Yautja to Take 10 with Stealth rolls even if distracted or threatened.

Melee Weapons
Combi Stick Size L Cost 5,000 Damage 2d8* Stun Damage - Weight 6kg Type B/S Availability R
Wrist Blades Size M Cost 3,000 Damage 2d6 Stun Damage - Weight 2kg Type S/P Availability R
*Combi Stick damage ignores DR

Ranged Weapons
Plasma Caster Size S Cost 3,000 Damage 3d10 Stun Damage - Weight 5kg Type E Availability R
Shuriken Size S Cost 2,000 Damage 3d6
Stun Damage - Weight 3kg Type S/P Availability R
Smart Disk Size S Cost 2,000 Damage 3d6 Stun Damage - Weight 2kg Type S/P Availability R

All weapons are treated against the Xenomorphs' acidic blood.

Yautja Scout
Medium Adult Male Yautja Scout 4
Init +2; Senses Perception +4, various visions (see Optics Helmet above)
Languages Yautja


Defenses Ref 18 (flat-footed 13), Fort 17, Will 16
hp 48; Threshold 17

Speed 6 squares
Melee Unarmed +7 (1d6+6) or
Melee Wrist Blades +7 (2d6+6) or
Ranged Plasma Caster +5 (3d10+2)
Base Atk +3; Grp +7

Abilities Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 11
Talents: Acute Senses, Expert Tracker
Feats Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Plasma Caster, Wrist Blades), Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Shake It Off, Weapon Proficiency (Pistols), Weapon Proficiency (Rifle), Weapon Proficiency (Simple)
Skills Climb +6, Endurance +4, Perception +4, Stealth +4, Survival +4
Possessions Comm Device, Cloaking Device, Optics Helmet, Plasma Caster, Wrist Blades

The alien, also called the xenomorph, is a fictional parasitoid extraterrestrial species that is the antagonist of the Alien film series. For more information, please see Alien. Because of their adaptive nature, the stats below represent a standard warrior.

Large Beast 8
Init +6; Senses Perception +6
Defenses Ref 14 Fort 15 Will 12
hp 75; Threshold 20
Immune mild, moderate and severe radiation, vacuum
Speed 8 squares
Melee 2 Claws +6 (1d6+8) and
tail +6 (1d8+8) and
bite +6 (1d8+8)
Fighting Space 1 square; Reach 1 square
Base Atk+6 ; Grp +10
Abilities Str 18 Dex 18 Con 20 Int 2 Wis 14 Cha 12
Feats Power Attack, Skill Training (Initiative, Stealth)
Skills Initiative +8, Perception +6, Stealth +3
Acidic Blood - If exposed to the blood of a Xenomorph, a target receives 1d6 damage every round until treated. This damage is considered Persistent on the Condition Track. A successful Treat Injury check (DC 20) is required to halt the damage. In some cases, Xenomorphs have used this to their advantage, splashing targets with their own blood. In such cases, it should be treated as an attack with +6 to hit and having a range of 1 square. In many cases, large quantities of the blood has been used to melt metal in floors and doors.
Ambush - A Xenomorph deals +2d6 points of damage with its natural weapons against a flat-footed opponent.
Blind - The spittle from a Xenomorph is also mildly acidic, often causing blindness in those struck in the eyes by it. To perform this, the Xenomorph must be within 1 square of their target and make an attack where the target receives a +10 bonus to their Reflex Defense. If successful, the target moves 3 steps down the Condition Track.