Monday, August 29, 2011

Campaign Concepts: The Crew

Game System: Initially, I had thought this would be a perfect fit for Steve Kenson's wonderful Icons, but the more I think about it... It can only be Mutants and Masterminds for this one.

Nutshell: A Power Level 8 or 9 Iron Age Style Superhero Campaign set in a 4-color world (Freedom City, DC, Marvel, heck even Superhuman's setting would be ideal). It is initially meant to be a street level campaign but grow from there.

Concept: The Crew revolves around the PC's, a group of super-criminals brought together by a mysterious benefactor. Each one has super powers, but not of the Superman/ Green Lantern level of power. But most importantly, each PC is a criminal. They don't have to be inherently evil, in fact the game works better if they are not. They are simply criminals, worried more about their next heist than killing or taking over the world. Also, since they are a team, the PC's powers should not overlap too much as each member would be something of a specialist in The Crew.

To avoid the whole "getting to know you" period, it is assumed that the initial starting adventure would not be The Crew's first heist together. It is also assumed that they have all done jobs for this "mysterious benefactor" before to keep questions to a minimum... at least initially.

The Introductory adventure sets the scene with a bank heist. Unlike most games of this genre, the PC's are the criminal's perpetuating the heist. They would be allowed to embellish and plot and plan and be as cruel or as mercenary as necessary. Of course, it wouldn't be long before the police are called in and a simple bank heist becomes a hostage situation. But that's when things change.

An hour or so into the first adventure, the cop cars will pull away from the bank, called to a larger menace. Anyone looking out the high windows of the bank would see why. Someting terrible has come. Depending on the world, it could be an invasion from Omega, Braniac, the Skrulls, the Monkey Menace, zombies, or some other alien race bent on the world's destruction; it could be a giant robot or creature; it could be a war of the gods. It doesn't matter, it's bad. In fact, it's so bad, every superhero the PC's have ever heard of are involved in the battle that erupts. And they're losing. For all that it begins to shake a bit at the seams and thnkgs like falling statues and stuff might happen, it should seem to the PC's that inside the bank is the only safe place.

So now what do they do? The PC's aren't terribly evil. So do they protect the people in the bank? Do they hunker down and wait for the danger to pass? Or do they help the heroes? If they don't, the heroes surely all die or are seriously injured in the battle. This potentially makes these criminals some of the Earth's only defenders. What then?

Those are the questions I like to ask and that's what I think would be fun to explore.



  1. Why not do it in Leverage and just kind of mash the Smallville powers on it? Just a thought.

  2. I thought about that, but as much as I love Leverage and (obviously) Smallville... well okay, I'm a Cortex+ whore.... in my head, i wanted something a little more rockem sockem robots for this and MnM has that in spades. That being said, in a recent DC Adventures game, my fellow players and I used a version of Smallville's relationship map. For the crew, that could create an interesting synergy and adapts easily into Mutants and Masterminds allowing an alternate way to also award hero points (the game's currency).

  3. It does, actually. Though the relationship map for hero points is probably the best thing to do. Kinda like how the Blowback part of Blowback is where you get your points.

    You might want to check that out too.

  4. Well Jonathan, looks like you just gave me my next post: Relationship Mapping and You... lol.

    But yeah, Blowback is awesome.. I have the pdf, I just wish they could get it back in print.

    Just in case any other designers besides me, Jonathan, and Steve read this: I like the pdf format. I have an iPad and it is really nice to have a pdf to use for that device to not have to lug books around all the time. But in my humble opinion print>pdf. Print beats it any day of the week and twice on sunday. but that is another post.. maybe even a rant.