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Freedom's Most Wanted $14.95
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Freedom\'s Most Wanted
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Freedom's Most Wanted
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/13/2008 12:27:47

Basically, this book is a 'monster manual' for Mutants & Masterminds. Without good supervillains to battle, those poor old superheros would be sitting about waiting for natural disasters and the odd petty crook. So here is a collection of cracking villains to pit against your heroes, complete with plots to thwart, minions to get in the way and so on. They are presented in two groups: the supervillain teams to pit en masse against your superhero team and individuals who may form temporary alliances or just wander around doing their own thing. While the backgrounds are written for the Freedom City setting, they can adapt fairly readily to one of your own, if you prefer.

Each of the supervillain teams is carefully thought out, with detailed background of how they came to be what they are, how they interact with each other and with the world in general: all the things that go to make well-rounded characters rather than a mere bunch of stats to defeat in combat. While the backgrounds themselves give plenty of scope to develop plots or just weave them into your adventures, each group comes with several 'capers' or specific ideas for things they could be planning that will bring them to the attention of the local superheroes. Much of the background material weaves through the already rich history of Freedom City and of superpower use that has already been developed, giving an air of alternate reality and continuity.

Next comes a similar section of well-detailed individual supervillains. The particularly interesting thing about all of these is the detail of the backgrounds, which lends itself to whatever style of play you and your group want. Naturally, straightforward plot-thwarting combat, epic brawls across the city, is an obvious option; but there is scope for those who prefer more intense role-play to try to understand where these 'bad guys' are coming from, perhaps try to reform them... or be led astray by them. When violence is the means for imposing your will, are there really 'heroes' and 'villains' or is it a case of super-powered individuals who must be judged by their motivations and actions on a case-by-case basis - this is an excellent resource for gamers who like to think as well as enjoy combat.

The book rounds off with a quick-reference guide to all the villains, to aid in picking just the right challenge for your heroes. This is followed by a nice touch: notes on each of the writers and artists involved and an indication of which characters they worked on.

Overall, this is a beautiful supplement, with scope for whatever kind of game you and your players prefer from pure costumed brawl to deep role-playing and involvement in major story arcs worthy of any comic-book.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Freedom's Most Wanted
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/26/2008 21:45:52

Mutants & Masterminds: Freedom’s Most Wanted is a collection of supervillains for use with the Mutants & Mastermind games by a variety of authors (including Steve Kenson) and published by Green Ronin. Like all of Green Ronin’s M&M books this one is well laid out with full color comic style artwork throughout.

The product opens with a brief introduction explaining the organization of the book and suggestions on adapting the villains within to less than four color settings. The fictional frame of the product is files from the Blackrock penitentiary for paranormals which is a nice touch. The multitude of characters range from Power Level 5 to Power Level 18 with three new minion types (all PL4).

The characters are divided into two sections:

Groups, seven of them ranging from the Golden Age Crime League to the invisible men of Invisibility Inc, the super-gladiators of the Contenders to the super-burglars of the Thieves Guild, and the supervillains in training of the Shadow Academy.

Independent villains, ranging in power level from a cult leader (Conqueror Worm) to an intelligent mind-controlling virus (Legion, the Mind Virus). Among my favorites are: Doc Holiday and his holiday-themed crimes (such as stealing Faberge Eggs with a suit of Easter Bunny powered armor) and Scrounge, who uses gadgets from other supers, often stolen. Many characters are riffs on famous characters from the comics, but half the fun are the new angles taken on these ideas.

Each of the characters is given a full background, full color illustration, statistics and what skill or skills can be used to find out more about the villain. Each character has at least two “capers” (adventure ideas) presented. Sadly, each of the villainous group is only given the same number of capers as the independents.

The product ends with a list of the characters divided by power level and campaign era.

A superb resource for any M&M campaign.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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