Ronin Roundtable: M&M Style

grr5510e_mutantsandmastermindsthirdeditiondeluxeheroeshandbook_1_1024x1024Our recent yearly Green Ronin summit covers a lot of ground, including plans for all of the company’s current game-lines moving forward into the coming year. The remainder of 2016 and the start of 2017 are a bit of a turning point for Mutants & Masterminds, reflecting the maturity of the third edition line. In particular, by early to mid-2017, we’ll have covered the essential rules and game materials for M&M with the Hero’s Handbook, Power Profiles, Gadget Guides, and the Gamemaster’s Guide, the essential setting material for Earth-Prime with Emerald City, the Cosmic Handbook, the Atlas of Earth-Prime, and the new edition of Freedom City, plus plenty of foes in Threat Report, Rogues Gallery, and the Supernatural Handbook. Add to that a complete and compatible summary of the DC Universe in our four DC Adventures books, and that’s quite a collection!

So, we want to revisit how we present Mutants & Masterminds products in addition to what types of products we’re offering. There’s a lot of material out there for the game (and will be even more in the months to come) so the big question on our agenda is: How do we make M&M easier to use and friendlier to new readers going forward while retaining the great library of material we already have? A lot of the answer to that question is not just what products we do, but how we do them, the style and presentation of the game.

In particular, I’m looking at the stat blocks for M&M and finding ways they can be more user-friendly, informative, and attractive while still conveying everything you need to know about the character in game terms. This goes for our full-size and detailed stat blocks as well as our smaller formats, presented in-line with text. Everything is on the table here: the way things are arranged, the order in which traits are presented, use of color or icons, and so forth. The key limit is that it has to convey essentially the same information and remain compatible with our other third-edition material. Ideally, we also want the presentation to require only the Hero’s Handbook—while we could certainly save space by pulling powers and gadgets wholesale out of supplements, we don’t want you to have to have Power Profiles or Gadget Guides to understand and play the game!

You’ll likely be hearing more about this process as time goes on and ideas percolate but, for now, we’d also like to hear from you. Visit our forums and tell us ways in which M&M products can be more useful, user-friendly, and easy to reference during game-play in your own games, keeping in mind the guidelines that we’re sticking with the current edition and we want the new products we publish in the coming year to be compatible with what we’ve done thus far. You can also drop us an email at custserve@greenronin.com or send us a message via our Facebook page.

I’m looking forward to showing everyone all of the plans we’ve made for Mutants & Masterminds and to giving it the look and style that will last it for years more to come!

Evan Sass

Evan got his start in the hobby game industry in 1995, as a co-founder of Rubicon Games. Among other games, he has worked on Cranium, Cranium Hullabaloo, and the Pokémon trading card game. He has been editing and proofreading books for Green Ronin since our first product, Ork! The Roleplaying Game. He has been managing our web sites since about 2002. He co-designed Walk the Plank, our card game of piratical trick taking, and is our in-house Dragon Age and Fantasy AGE editor.

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