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.
[4 of 5 Stars!]