M&M: The Novel

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M&M: The Novel

Postby Dr. Arcane » Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:22 am

I've read that Guardians of Order has published one novel anthology based on their world of supers (and another is in the works). Wouldn't it be a good idea if Green Ronin did the same? I mean the Freedom City supplement alone could be the backdrop for a dozen or more great stories. For one, I'd like to read about the end of Duncan Summers career in his epic fight against Dr. Sin, or perhaps the death of Centurion (in the Terminus War), or return of Blackstar, the rogue Star Knight.

Does this sound cool to anybody? I say..."calling all writers! Submit your stories to the Mutants & Masterminds anthology, vol. 1: Freedom City."
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Postby The Human Pest » Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:59 am

I don't know anything about the publishing costs or profit margins of stuff like that, but I'd buy up M&M novels or short story digests if they were reasonably well written.
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Postby Inazuma » Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:24 am

I never saw the attraction of superhero novels. I prefer my supers in comics where they belong.
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Postby Kylo » Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:45 am

I agree completely with Inazuma. Super Unicorn will only release M4 material in a comic format, or in source book fluff.

As one of the architects of the M4 universe, I can say that it takes a great deal of restraint to remember that this is a game product for now. There's danger in assuming players give a damn about our background characters, when they exist only to interract with your player chracters.

But who knows, if y'all really want to hear more about these guys. . . But its highly unlikely we'd take fan submissions when we're chomping at the bit ourselves to do a comic with our characters. The M4 continuity is pretty tightly packed through the 20th century.
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Postby Inazuma » Sat Aug 02, 2003 11:43 am

I rather glad to hear that, Kylo. For the time being, I'm just waiting for Crooks! to come out. :)
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Postby Novac » Sat Aug 02, 2003 11:45 am

What about the 21st century? :)
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Postby Neo » Sat Aug 02, 2003 3:06 pm

I'd be all for novels.

I think for such a novel or series of novels to work earlier is definitely better than sooner for them occur, before people make too many assumptions about what the heroes are like in thier heads.

The trouble with other supers novels has alwasy been that they've ended up just one guys interpretation of how a Super Hero is, after that character has bene established for years in a comic... and when they dirft from what folks know about the character it upsets people.

Strike while the irons hot I say, before the preconceptions and assumptions become imbedded...and lead the way for our imaginations to follow some more ;)
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Postby palehorse » Sat Aug 02, 2003 3:38 pm

I liked a lot of the Wild Cards stories, but there are others that I didn't.

It really just depends on if they're well written or not; I wouldn't buy them just because they're M&M branded.
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Postby Inazuma » Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:10 pm

Neo wrote:I'd be all for novels.

I think for such a novel or series of novels to work earlier is definitely better than sooner for them occur, before people make too many assumptions about what the heroes are like in thier heads.

The trouble with other supers novels has alwasy been that they've ended up just one guys interpretation of how a Super Hero is, after that character has bene established for years in a comic... and when they dirft from what folks know about the character it upsets people.

Strike while the irons hot I say, before the preconceptions and assumptions become imbedded...and lead the way for our imaginations to follow some more ;)


You see, that doesn't hold up here. The NPCs of the Freedom City and M4 universes are supposed to be open to interpretations on the GM's part. This is a role-playing game, not a comic book. The GMs need the freedom to use the NPCs as they need for their campaigns, not to be bogged down by the "official" versions as conceived by some novel author.

Player: "What do you mean? Captain Thunder would never say that! You got the character all wrong! Go read the Mutants & Masterminds novel!"

GM: "I don't care what R.A. Salvatore or Terry Brooks or Dean Koontz wrote about him! This is my campaign and this how Captain Thunder is in my game. Deal with it!"
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Postby DocObvious » Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:24 pm

Inazuma wrote:I never saw the attraction of superhero novels. I prefer my supers in comics where they belong.


Agreed, although I certainly do enjoy some of the movie adaptations as well. :)
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Postby Crackerjack » Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:39 pm

See... I dont care much that Super Unicorn isnt doing Meta-4 books. I dont like the general prospect of the Meta-4 universe anyway, but thats just personal opinion. Mainly, I guess I just see Mutants and Masterminds as more of Steve Kenson/Freedom City than belonging mainly to Super Unicorn as they seem to think. Id be all for a oneshot Freedom City novel by Kenson. That'd be cool.
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Postby Strict31 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 6:37 pm

I like the comics format and all, for super heroes. It's second to none. But I personally don't have a problem with novels telling super hero tales. I really don't. I tend to think an anthology would be great for FC. Get an overview of a bunch of different characters, like Wild Cards. Wishful thinking, obviously, but a guy can dream, right?

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Postby Steve Kenson » Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:32 pm

I tend to agree with Inazuma that we tread a fine line between providing enough useful detail on NPCs for settings like Freedom City without imposing too many restrictions on Gamemasters and players to use those characters as they see fit.

I will say that the request for more information about Blackstar is something I plan to take care of soon. 8)
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Postby Strict31 » Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:59 pm

Steve Kenson wrote:I tend to agree with Inazuma that we tread a fine line between providing enough useful detail on NPCs for settings like Freedom City without imposing too many restrictions on Gamemasters and players to use those characters as they see fit.

I will say that the request for more information about Blackstar is something I plan to take care of soon. 8)


Here's the thing, though, Steve: the Golden Rule always applies as a default. If a person doesn't like what happened to his favorite character in canon, he can change it, or ignore it...or even work around it. When I was running Marvel FASERIP, I wanted to have the PCs meet Illyana Rasputin. Not "child-Illyana". Rather a grown-up Illyana. That wasn't possible in-canon, so I just changed things a bit. And in comics, drastic changes can occur easily enough that what was official a year ago can be totally different in another year. In short, I don't think writing stories on these characters will be as restrictive as you may feel.

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Postby Inazuma » Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:38 pm

Wow, Steve agrees with me. I feel special. :green:

I believe there's only so far a GM can drift from canon material before the players start to balk in disbelief. This is why many GMs prefer their homegrown campaign worlds.

I mean, look at how many people ripped on the new Teen Titans show for not being overly faithful to the comic books.
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Postby palehorse » Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:48 pm

There's also the "In the book Captain Thunder did this, and I have the same power as him, so I want to do that too" factor...

I used to run into that one all the time back when I was running FASERIP Marvel and old DC Heroes (then it was the comics, not books, but you get the idea).
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Postby Gamskee » Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:00 pm

Well, the Silver Age Sentinels anthology is not being considered as 'canon' although someone could use them in such a way if they wished.

The writing instructions seem to point towards trying to show the different paths of the hero and to illuminate it in several ways. So, if anything, one could use it as a guide to perspective on different kinds of heroes.
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Postby Neo » Sat Aug 02, 2003 10:13 pm

Well there does strike me as being one way you could release some novels concerning the characters... and not provide any misconceptions about how they can and can't be used after a certain point.

Simply release a series of "Origins" types novels for the iconics... how they got to be heroes, gain thier powers. All that information is provided in thier write ups anyway and would just be expanded upon.

That way those who do and those who don;t both get what they want :D :idea:
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Postby mrobviousjosh » Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:39 am

They could always just release a comic for us, so you get the storyline and stay true to the genre. :wink:
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Postby Erik Mona » Sun Aug 03, 2003 1:33 pm

>>>
Mainly, I guess I just see Mutants and Masterminds as more of Steve Kenson/Freedom City than belonging mainly to Super Unicorn as they seem to think.
>>>

Huh?

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Postby Kylo » Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:45 pm

crackerjack says:
>>>
I dont like the general prospect of the Meta-4 universe anyway
>>>

Wow. Have we tipped our hand that much? I'm curious what we did to illicit such a strong reaction.
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Postby Strict31 » Sun Aug 03, 2003 5:00 pm

I don't wanna seem like I'm ripping on any of you guys who disagree with me, since I believe you have the right to your opinions (although, that will change once I rule the world >:) ), and I can see your point, mainly due to my growing distaste with Aberrant's canon storyline and it's impact on the game. Also, I may be biased in the sense that, while I find the FC characters and storylines interesting, and would love to read further about them, I've got my own setting that I would run/play in first. So, the stories of these characters would have zero impact on any campaign I'd run.

But I wanna be as honest as I can: if I've ever seen something I didn't like in a canon setting, I didn't use it. I'm not unique in this, I assume, and guess that there are many people who would do just the same thing. In short, if I were Steve or Erik or whomever, and had the opportunity to write stories or comics based on FC or Meta-4 folks, I wouldn't worry about what people might dislike or might complain about. We like what you guys have been putting out. We really do. But there will always be someone with a complaint or a question or what-have-you. That's just natural. But we always have the freedom to turn it into a salad bar and take what we want and leave the rest. I really don't think that should be an issue in your determination to do or to not do this thing, because the solution on the consumer's end is really a simple one.

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Postby Kylo » Sun Aug 03, 2003 7:07 pm

S'funny, when I ran a D&D campaign I never used Dungeon magazine. However, after working on it, I came to realise what a valuable gaming resource it actually was. Even if I had my own unique campaign setting, making minor alterations to Dungeon content was a lot less work than generating all the stuff from scratch myself. The sat blocks and maps alone are worth the cover price, even if you completely rip them from their context. High level NPCs are a serious hassle, and you can count on the stats in Dungeon being correct.

I have a similar opinion when it comes to M4 continuity. Even if you despise the backgrounds and make up your own, you've still got a solid arsenal of villains to throw at the heroes. Mix and match M4 and FC content all you want. Our continuity ends as soon as your campaign starts. However, unlike hack and slash games, it pays to keep villains alive and in jail, because you never know when they'll pop up in a future release. A feat in Crooks facilitates this; comics are like that.

Additionally, I hope the backstory makes the book an entertaining read. I think there are gamers out there who enjoy the hobby, but don't get to play much.
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Postby Doctor Otaku » Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:31 pm

I've never had a problem with backstory for characters. I've been thinking about how Iron Cross would have fit into my universe and work with the Axis villains I have created. I like backstory because it helps to show you more of the character and allows you to 'what if?' him into what ever setting you are working on.

On the subject of novels, the one reason I think that the Wild Cards novels were well-received was due to the fact that they were novels first then comics and GNs. I've read up to Anthology 9 and that series really helped to mold the setting that I use today.

And frankly, if you really want to have novels for M4 or FC. I'd go with GNs because it covers both sides of the issue. You get comic book art and the complete story.
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Postby Nightlynx » Sun Aug 03, 2003 8:31 pm

Well I for one would like to chime in that i look forward to the Meta4 universe and Crooks - As a tool I will more than likey use them in concert with The Freedom City stuff - But i do like the idea that your folks are offering more than one setting for folks who use them for whatever reason! Its much better than say World X is it and there is no way your going to cross that line and be "offical" - The Freedon Universe and the Meta4 Universe both say look you can do whatever you like and have fun while your at it!

Thats my 2 cents!
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