Tag Archives: Mutants and Masterminds

League of Extraordinary Felines

These are the characters for my upcoming “League of Extraordinary Felines” game at Big Bad Con.  Once I have the character sheets done (hopefully in a day or two) I’ll append them, but for now here are the thumbnails of the characters.


Name:  Lady White Heather (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  White Angora

Inspired by:  real cat!

Lady White Heather is Queen Victoria’s cat, and the leader of the League of Extraordinary Felines.  She is the cat who saw the need for cats to defend the realm, and she personally traveled the world to recruit each and every member.



Name:  Hisoka (“Secret”) (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  Bakeneko

Inspired by:  Japanese folklore

Hisoka is one of the mysterious cat spirits from Japan.  She is the team’s stealth and infiltration expert, able to vanish, move quickly and silently, and strike from shadows.  They can also transform temporarily into a demon form, though this is not without risk.


Name:  Dinah (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  Cat Sith

Inspired by:  Alice’s pet kitten, and fairy lore

A perpetual kitten in appearance, Dinah is actually a fairy cat, able to use her glamour to change her appearance, read minds, hypnotize, and other amazing feats


Name:  Growltiger (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  Dock cat

Inspired by:  “Old Possum’s Guide to Practical Cats”

Growltiger is a brawler, pure and simple.  He has knowledge of the London underworld, and is always willing to take on all comers.  Generally doesn’t like anyone, but has a soft spot for Lady White Heather.



pluto-sepiaName:  Pluto (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  Domestic shorthair

Inspired by:  Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat”

Pluto is a master of the dark mystical arts, able to project his consciousness into astral space, fly, sense magic, and cast a variety of useful spells.  Such actions tire him however.



tabithaName:  Tabitha Twitchit (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  House cat

Inspired by:  Beatrix Potter

Tabitha doesn’t have amazing powers or mystical abilities like most of the members of the League, but she is very clever, highly skilled, and level-headed, which helps her deal with a variety of situations that others may find confusing or difficult.  She is also the only one who can deal with Victorian era technology.

ta-miu Name:  Ta Miu (p. 1, p. 2)

Breed:  Egyptian

Inspired by:  real cat (mummified with Crown Prince Thutmos)

Ta Miu is a mummy, given eternal life via a secret ceremony.  He is amazingly tough and resilient to harm, as well as being extraordinarily fast.

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Convolution 2012

It looks like Sophie and I will be running games at Convolution 2012.  I have three games on the schedule, and one more that isn’t on the schedule but got more excitement and interest than any of the three games that I DID put on the schedule.  (How wrong is that anyway?  If I had time I would swap the games out, but I don’t).  Sophie also has three games on the schedule – I have less to say about them because I am not the one writing or running them, but I am really excited about all of them, and sorry I am going to miss one of them due to a scheduling conflict on Sunday.

Anyway, here are the games we have going  –

“ALLONS-Y!” (Sophie)

Friday, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Sophie is running a Doctor Who hack of Apocalypse World written by Jeremy Tidwell.  The Doctor is dead, but his companions survive, and the Tardis has plans of its own.  We played this at Big Bad Con and had a blast!


Friday, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

This is a reprise of the game I ran at Big Bad Con.  Having run it once, I learned a few things and can make it a better scenario this time around.  In the initial run, I was in a situation I hadn’t expected – I had a bunch of players who had 1) never played Mutants and Masterminds before, and b) never heard of “Underground”  I rather envisioned them as the folks who had come late to online signup and couldn’t get anything for the time slot I was running, but no matter really – they were good players and they threw some real curves at me.  I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way that the scenario went, but part of that was that the players did some things that I hadn’t expected.  So this time around I will be making some changes.

1)  I need to add a bit more Underground weirdness to the mix.  In the original game I had planned to have a recruiter from “A Pop in the Night” shadowing the group to assess their potential for appearing on the show and generally crank up the level of tension a bit.  I decided to cut that for time purposes because my explanation of the world of Underground and the Mutants and Masterminds system took longer than I had planned and I was worried about running out of time.  This time I will definitely include the guy.  I suspect he won’t last long anyway – players seem to be a paranoid lot.

2)  I need to move the shuttle hijacking to the beginning of the trip to Luna rather than the end.  I really want the characters to have what amounts to a super-powered fight scene inside a large, pressurized aluminum soda can in space, where they have to worry about bullets going astray, damage to the shuttle’s navigation, etc.  I had originally planned this to be the climactic fight scene of the scenario, but my clever players in the first game figured a way to smuggle the cargo to earth by alternate means before ever setting foot on board, so when I popped the hijacking they just didn’t give a rip (also, by then there were only two of the four players on the shuttle, and I didn’t want to run a big fight scene with two players on the sidelines).

3)  I really ought to hit the players a lot harder.  Underground is just no fun unless your character goes fruit loops every once in awhile.  But nobody ever seemed to need the Hero Points enough to really go off the deep end, so clearly I have to ratchet things up a bit so they NEED those Hero Points.


Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

I ran “Dust Devils” at Pacificon this year, and liked the system, but I have never been a big fan of Westerns, so I thought that for Convolution I would try the “Concrete Angels” rules.  This takes “Dust Devils” into the gritty urban genre of “Sin City.”  I knew from the beginning that I wanted to set things in a real hellhole – a place where any sort of infrastructure had broken down.  I also knew that I didn’t want to set it in an American inner city or the like.  I feel that too often roleplaying is a WASPy activity with WASPy protagonists, and I really wanted a setting that would take players out of their comfort zone, both in terms of where they were and who they were.  Eventually I settled on the Dharavi slum of New Delhi.  Running somewhere I am not familiar with does run some risk of my making the setting into the very sort of stereotype that I am trying to avoid, but I have been trying to do my homework on it and use it as an effective backdrop for the game.

The overall plot is a pretty simple one – PCs are bad people living in a bad place.  They are players, not victims, making a rough living in a hard world.  But, through a series of unforeseen circumstances, something genuinely good and pure falls into their hands, in the form of an 8-year-old girl.  And someone from outside wants that little girl back.  Badly.  Really badly.  Badly enough to start shooting up the slum and turning everyone that the PCs know into a trail of bodies coming ever closer.

I hope to ratchet up the pressure by putting the PCs in between two grinding stones – on the one hand, there’s a veritable army of heavily armed people shooting up the place and killing everyone they know, but on the other hand there is the world that they have to live in, and the code of that world says that you don’t give in to outsiders.  The girl’s value will be unknown (though obviously high for someone to go to so much trouble) – how long are the PCs willing to go and what will they do with her in the end?


Saturday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm in open gaming if there is enough interest

This is not a game that I put on the schedule, but when I mentioned that I was bringing it to run in open gaming if I had a chance, I generated some buzz.

Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is an awesome, awesome game to run at a convention.  Because of the format, you can make your decision about what sort of game you want to run (long or short, easy or hard, cartoony or serious) right at the table as your steely GM gaze assesses the players you have.  I have run the game for adults and for children, both successfully (though I wouldn’t really recommend it for children younger than a very mature 8 or 9, ask my wife about that).  You can do a game in less than two hours if you pick a short scenario with few keywords, and the shorter the letter, the easier the game is to win!

This time I am hoping to tackle a more serious letter, and one with more keywords, but a lot depends on the gamers I get.  But you really can’t go wrong with this game at a convention.  It needs almost no prep whatsoever, character creation at the table is very fast, and the pace and structure of the game mean that everyone has a chance to shine.

The game also has incredible artwork – the sort of stuff that is evocative, lush, and gives strong enhancement and illustration of the “feel” of the game.  If you never play a game of Do, the book is still worth getting just for the ideas you can generate from the illustrations.


Saturday, 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Sophie will be running a Shadowrun hack for Elizabeth Sampat’s game Blowback.  As a long-time lover of the Shadowrun setting, and someone who has liked what I have experienced of Blowback (and someone who likes Burn Notice) I am very, very, VERY excited about this game!  Sophie has been busily working on it all weekend and I keep having to force myself not to peek at the art she is selecting or the characters she is designing.   (I admit that I have this snippet running through my head of Sharon Glass saying “Someone needs your help Dunkelzahn!”)


Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
As a third game I decided that I wanted to do something entirely lighthearted, so I opted for another scenario I have run before – the Playful Watch using the Zorcerer of Zo system.  This is a game that I always love to run, mainly because the set-up makes for endless replay value.

Zorcerer of Zo is one of the PDQ games, which makes it very easy to do characters up at the table.  Prior to the game, I head out to the Dollar Store and buy up a half-dozen or so little toys, then wrap them up in Christmas wrapping.  At the beginning of the game I tell the players that they are all members of an organization known as the Playful Watch, part of the elite guards of the Zorcerer of Zo made up of toys from the Island of Misfit Toys.  Everyone gets to pick one gift-wrapped package, and when they open it they find out what their toy is.  Then they get to design a character based on that toy!  I have had endless fun with this phase, watching player creativity go in all sorts of awesome directions when the player opens up their package and finds, say, a little plastic tea set or a puzzle ball or a toy vacuum cleaner.

The scenario is, once again, pretty simple – there is trouble on the Island of Misfit Toys, and the Zorcerer is dispatching the characters to aid King Moonracer in dealing with it.  Along the way they meet a colorful cast of characters some helpful and some troublesome, before finally confronting the final threat and defeating it.  What is that final threat?  I’ll let you know once I’ve visited the Dollar Store!


(Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm)

Convolution has its own setting – San Cipriano – and Sophie will be running a game of InSpectres set there on Sunday afternoon!  InSpectres is always good for wacky fun, and the games I have played with Sophie GMing have been a blast!  This one should be no exception!


SHAMELESS PLUG:  COME TO CONVOLUTION!  IT WILL BE FUN!  C’mon, you know you want to!


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So I am running a game of Mutants and Masterminds at next week’s Big Bad Con.  It’s entitled “Absolute Zero” and it is set in Ray Winninger’s “Underground” setting of a dystopian near future in which genetics coupled with alien technology allow people to be given super powers by large corporations known as “Conflict Firms” which produce super soldiers, send them off to fight other corporations or local insurgencies, and then more or less dump them in the street when they are done with them.

In this bleak future, the PCs all work for a repo agency (yes, I know I use that a lot – but its better than “you all meet up in a bar”) and are being sent off to Luna by their boss on a repo job.  Luna, incidentally, is a former maximum security prison that has been taken over by the inmates and is now a major tourist destination.  Don’t ask.

Anyway, I just finished creating my pregens and thought I would post a thumbnail of each of them because a) I am happy with them and b) it took a lot of work to make the little bastards.  All the characters are neutral genderwise, though I have envisioned some of them male and some female and will refer to them as such in the descriptions.

In Underground, all boosts suffer some sort of mental trauma from their genetic alterations and their years spent in violent combat zones.  To simulate this in Mutants and Masterminds, I gave each character a complication that dealt with their mental instability.  I also tried to give them motivations that were tilted in some weird way.

I have set up a couple of polls on the characters in a separate post.  After you look them over, please take a moment to respond.  Click here to go to poll.

Aught Nothing

Aught remembers nothing, not her past, not, her training, not her time in the Zone. Nothing until the day some months back when she woke up in a dirty apartment with a note from the VA telling her that she was supposed to start work at the “Helping Hands Assurance Corporation” – a repo company.  She has been doing her job there for several months now while she tries to figure out what is going on and who she is.  Clearly she was given powers to be an infiltrator and scout, because when she uses her powers she cannot be seen or heard.  She is also very good at reading people and noticing things.
But no matter how often she looks in the mirror, she can’t remember her own face.

MOTIVATION:  Recognition.  Aught Nothing wants more than anything to be recognized for herself, even if she doesn’t remember what she looks like.  She prefers to handle things without becoming invisible.

COMPLICATION:  Schizophrenia.  Aught at times will hear voices in her head, insects crawling on her skin, worms in her bones.  At such times she tends to loose touch with reality and wander around muttering to herself in a secret language only she can understand.


Brainpop was boosted in order to be a corporate and military espionage agent.  Rather than spending his time in one hellish warzone after another, Brainpop attended corporate banquets, snuck into restricted facilities, and had “chance” encounters with respected researchers, diplomats, and government officials.  Usually he would read their minds to steal secrets.  Sometimes he would melt their brains afterwards so those secrets would never be shared.  Brainpop was mustered out after killing his entire support team because they were “planning something” (which turned out to be a birthday party).

MOTIVATION:  Professionalism.  Brainpop wants to handle jobs smoothly and professionally, with none of this messy bang-bang and running around while on fire and bleeding heavily that most boosts seem to favor as an operational plan.

COMPLICATION:  Sociopathy.  In his heart, Brainpop really doesn’t actually give a shit about anyone except Brainpop.  He understands that sometimes he has to pretend to, but when he has the luxury to not act like he gives a damn about others, he doesn’t.

COLONEL COURAGEOUS!!! – (yes, it’s always said like that)

The Colonel volunteered to be boosted in order to get powers and be part of a big corporate promotion.  Unfortunately, something went wrong with the whole process – the Colonel remembers having powers in Slumberland, but when she woke up, she had none at all!  But that didn’t stop her sponsor corporation from shipping her out to a hot zone.  For six years she fought alongside boosts who could tear her head off with one finger, and because she was a corporate face, she actually had to lead them!  Somehow she managed to survive and adapt, but eventually her popularity faded and her sponsors left to find a new spokeswoman.  Now, with some scavenged equipment and a lot of combat training to fall back on when she is in trouble, she works for a repo agency.

MOTIVATION:  Comics Code.  Colonel Courageous had the 1952 Comics Code programmed into her in Slumberland as part of her mental conditioning, and lives by it now as if it were the Bible.  She tries to live her life as though the Comics Code were law.

COMPLICATION:  Homicidal Mania.  Sometimes, when the pressure gets to be too much, or the Comics Code is too blatantly violated, Colonel Courageous just snaps.  She longs only to feel blood on her hands and face, to bathe in it, to swim in it, to drown every child in a never ending ocean of it.

King Clown

The King is a puppet-master  able to dominate others to his will, and skilled at manipulating them with words as well.  He also has enhanced strength and agility so he is decent in a scrap, but mostly he uses his words (and sometimes mental commands) to get people to do what he wants.
King Clown fervently believes that Boosts are the future of humanity, and those who are not boosted stand in the way of this future.  He believes that it is his holy mission to eliminate norms whenever possible.

MOTIVATION:  Kill norms.  When possible (without getting caught or killed) King Clown believes that it is his sacred duty to eliminate the non-boosted from the gene pool.

COMPLICATION:  Multiple personality syndrome.  Under pressure, King Clown may revert to any one of a number of personalities.

Mister Manifest Destiny

A smart guy who fell for a stupid recruiting trick, Mr. MD was promised that he would be trained in Slumberland to be a doctor.  Instead he woke up to find himself a 15′ tall, heavily muscled, four-armed freak.  He was assigned as a Corpsman and spent part of his military service scooping up wounded on the battlefield, carrying them to safety, and then treating them on the spot.  Giant fingers proved unsuitable for treating wounds, however, and he was reassigned to the infantry, where he was taught to strangle opponents with his bare hands.  After his discharge, he found that no medical facility would hire a 15′ tall medic, and was only able to find work at a repo agency.

MOTIVATION:  defend the innocent.  Mr. Manifest Destiny really believes in helping others, despite his many problems.

COMPLICATION:  Melancholia.  Mr. Manifest Destiny frequently falls into depression due to the circumstances of his life.  Sometimes he can even fall into depression in the middle of a job.

Patty Melt

Patty doesn’t have any clear memories of what life was like before the nice doctors came and removed her brain, but she thinks that maybe she lived in a house with other people and that was nice.  The doctors said that her new brain would be better than the old one, and that she could get direct tv reception and crystal clear video games that she could play in her head.  Then they gave her some neat powers – she could control fire!  She had lots of fun adventures, but then something went wrong and there was lots of running around and screaming and being scared and hungry and maybe, just maybe, someone got hurt.  Maybe more than someone.  After that nobody wanted to be her friend and she had to eat out of garbage cans and roadkill and rats (although she still got good tv reception) until one day someone found her and took her to a place where there were nice people and now she helps them.

MOTIVATION:  Doing good.  Patty just likes to be nice to people and help them, though she often isn’t sure how to do it.

COMPLICATION:  Panic disorder.  Sometimes when things get scary, Patty just wants to run away and hide.

COMPLICATION:  Artificial brain.  Patty’s regular old meat brain has been replaced with an artificial brain, and it sometimes gives her problems (though the tv reception IS really, really good!)

Don’t forget to vote in the polls!  Click here to go to polls.

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