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The 6th Seal $7.95
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The 6th Seal
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The 6th Seal
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by The D. F. P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2007 10:59:53

This review first appeared on The Digital Front Podcast #4 and at Purple Duck Creations. http://thedigitalfront.com/2007/09/26/episode-04-eric-wiener-interview/ http://purpleduckcreations.blogspot.com/2007/09/digital-front-podcast-review-corner-1.html

The Sixth Seal – Review Reviewed by Mark Gedak mark AT thedigitalfront DOT com

The Sixth Seal is a supplement that is published under Green Ronin's Mutant's and Masterminds Superlink System. The product is 55 pages long, fully-booked marked and available for $7.95 at both Rpgnow and DTRPG. The author of this supplement is Mike Lafferty and presents a campaign model or arc that is focused the aftermath of a terrible natural disaster that isolates and disables much of the country's cities. The product is divided into four sections and two appendices.

The first section of this product is called "The Earthquake Hits" and provides two adventures focused on what problems arises when a major earthquake strikes the heroes hometown. Often the adventures are broken into multiple scenes and each scene has mini-challenges. A mini-challenge is sort of a complication, an additional task that the heroes must deal with while trying to deal with the primary task. One such mini-challenge is the rescue of children from an apartment that has been set on fire by the arsonist villain. The first two adventures in this section deal with the actions of the arsonist named Brimstone and the breakdown of security at the meta-human prison after an aftershock knockdown its power grid. All major villains are listed at the end of this section, while minor characters who are best emulated by existing statblocks are simply listed with the appropriate location to find them in the core Mutant and Mastermind rules.

The second section of the product called, "Life After The Quake" focuses on the power structures that are function within the city in the weeks and months after the massive quake has destroyed much of the country's infrastructure. In the wake of the disaster, power groups begin to grab territories throughout the city. This breaks the city into eleven factions. Each faction is detailed with it typical membership, key personalities and primary motivation. These groups and locations play major roles in the adventures present in the third section of this product. There are a number of super-powered characters in this section with heroes like the Red Specter, ambiguious characters like the Silver Lynx, deranged cultists like Nektrotic (who sports a sign in yellow on his forehead), and criminals like the Midnight Bombardier.

"Post-Quake Adventures" is the third section of this product deals with life weeks and months after the initial quake and its aftershocks. There are three adventures in this section, the first deals with the heroes attempt to stop the arms race that is building between the various streetgangs, the second deals with preventing hordes of undead from over the cities refugees and final adventure focuses on the gang's stand against the police forces that have slowly taken back the city. Although many of these adventures have elaborate combat scenes there are many roleplaying opportunities as well such as the negotiation with mercenaries, political games and deal-making with the gangs.

The fourth section of the book is just a short paragraph that explains how the city eventual returns to its pre-quake state. The first appendix provides seven short scenes that and be interspersed into the longer campaign arc. The second appendix provides the GM with an alternate plotline that could be used to isolate just the heroes' home town and not the entire eastern seaboard of North America. This plot also includes a mystery and a villain that is ultimately behind the quake – instead of it being a natural disaster as originally plotted.

As it is written "The 6th Seal" is not really an adventure so much as a toolkit for an apocalyptic event. It seems the ideal sort of toolkit you would want to use if you wanted to run a campaign similar to the No Man's Land storyline from Batman or a campaign set in a devastated metropolis such as New York currently is in the World War Hulk event. There are lots of good ideas, adventures and advice for handling adventures in a environment where social and governmental support networks have failed. There are also about a dozen fully stated NPCs to be used in this adventure or ported out to your own campaign.

I had trouble accepting one of the roleplaying situations with the character called Atomiknight, who is a mercerary that is trading advanced weaponry to the gangs for medical supplies, food and other trade goods. Although I can see that it fits thematically with the campaign, I'm not sure why he would demand cash and other valuables and then use his powers to escape this devastation and live off his arms dealing in a nicer country.

Overall, I found this product packed with information and ideas that would be very useful for a disaster campaign in Mutants and Masterminds games or even adapted by other heroic roleplaying games with conversion of the npcs. For publishers looking for reusable open game content, the designation of open game content is very clear and generous.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The 6th Seal
Publisher: Adamant Entertainment
by Chris G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/09/2007 09:45:55

In most adventures it is all about the bad guy. The heroes have to defeat him and his goons. It is a rare adventure that moves away from that. It does not seem to matter the game or the genre. This is a short series of adventures and adventure ideas that all originate with the same event and it is a natural occurring one and not something caused by a master villain.

6th Seal is a PDF adventure by Adamant Entertainment. It is written by Mike Lafferty. The fifty four page PDF is written for the Mutants and Mastermind game. It is well book marked and has a good mix of black and white art. The Lay does include some cover in it and it is easy to read and follow. There are a few one page villains that are fully stated up and also easy to read and use.

The 6th Seal can be set in any good sized city the Heroes live and work in. The scenario really has the Earthquake devastate the whole nation. They did that to explain why outside aid is not coming in all that fast and why the Player Characters have so much to do and no one to really help them. The book though does have information if one just wants to have the Earthquake in the city and not the whole nation. The author describes this as a darker adventure with an Iron Age feel. The book is divided into five sections and each covers a different amount of time after the quake hits.

The first section deals with right after the earthquake hits. The sections are well organized and start out with a list of the action that is going to happen, a list of some mini challenges the DM can add in, and a list of the plot points that are going on. This is a great and simple way to know what is happening. In an adventure like this that can have a lot of different challenges this organization is very helpful. In this first section it is simple to imagine the chaos and the people that will need o be rescued. The adventure even has a montage to show what the PCs are doing without having to play through it all. They do have specific challenges like a tanker truck exploding and a baby in a burning building. But this is Mutants and Masterminds so just because the initial cause of the problem was natural does not me a villain will not be taken advantage of the situation. There is a villain called Brimstone a super powered arsonist that is going to finish burning everything down. He is a PL ten villain and should be a good challenge for player characters.

The second part of the first section comes a few days later and during a big aftershock. There is a sidebar in the first section about aftershocks as well. In this scenario the aftershock has knocked out the power to a meta human prison. There are specific circumstances the adventure uses of what is going on there but it also gives a DM with a solid campaign going to have villains in the past escape again and wreck havoc.

Section two deals with life after the quake. It almost makes the city feel a little like a post apocalyptic setting. There are gangs that have formed up and taken control of parts of the city. There are some good suggestions in the adventure but as DM I would once again want to also include past villains and other NPCs in this to show what they are doing and how they are taking advantage of the situation. Not everyone who is doing this is evil. There is a group of doctors forming a great free clinic and a church offering sanctuary to those in need. This section introduces a lot of new NPCs.

The Third section deals with UN aid finally coming into the city. Of course there are villains and a crowd of people that desperately need that iad. The Police are going to do their best but help from super heroes is going to be needed. One great aspect of this part is not just defeating the bad guys but also being aware that collateral damage is potentially really bad. So the PCs will hopefully be careful here and not destroy the aid or injury the people that need help.

There is a nice little adventure with stopping vampires from attacking a church. What I really like about this is it takes a villain the government is currently hunting and places her in a position to help the heroes. She is going to defend the church and kill the vampires and it will be up to the PCs to handle this difficult situation.

In a similar story to that one is the Police Headquarters under attack by several gangs working together. It is not all as it seems though. Some of these gangs are just really desperate. I like one encounter in which a gang leader tries to negotiate with the Heroes. He just wants some food for his people and for that he is willing to change sides. The adventures have a little depth to the many villains like this and I really like that in here.

After that the city is really getting back on its feet and the adventure has some plotlines and gangs that come out of it all. I think this might be the weakest section. A lot has gone on since the time of the quake and it can be difficult for a module to really predict the aftermath of it all.

The 6th Seal is a good collection of small adventures for Mutants and Masterminds. There is a wide variety of encounters and challenges all around the central theme of a devastating natural disaster. The book is not all that long but a good DM can really flesh out parts and easily have this be a central theme of their campaign for many months.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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