Freedom City

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For the honour or ceremony, see Freedom of the City. For the Copenhagen suburb, see Freedom City, Denmark.
Freedom City
MnM Cover FC.jpg
2nd edition cover
Designer(s) Stephen Kenson
Publisher(s) Green Ronin Publishing
Publication date 2005
Genre(s) Superhero fiction
System(s) d20 System

Freedom City is a fictional, city-based campaign setting for the roleplaying game Mutants & Masterminds. It was designed by Steve Kenson, whose design philosophy for the setting seems based-on and in honor of several classic comic book icons and concepts.

Publication history[edit]

While working on Silver Age Sentinels, Steve Kenson had pitched Freedom City as a setting for the game, but Guardians of Order turned it down.[1]:337 When Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing asked Kenson if he would like to design a new d20-based superhero RPG, Kenson developed Mutants & Masterminds in 2002 and his Freedom City setting was published in 2003.[1]:371-372 Green Ronin published a trio of books – Golden Age (2006), Iron Age (2007) and Silver Age (2010) – which developed Freedom City by examining it through three different comic book eras.[1]:375 A new series of Freedom City Atlases beginning in 2008 expanded the original Freedom City setting itself.[1]:375 A new third edition of Mutants & Masterminds Hero's Handbook (2011) brought a new setting to the game universe - Emerald City, which first appeared in a series of PDF Threat Reports (2011), with a complete setting book planned for GenCon 44.[1]:376

Campaign history[edit]

Set somewhere on the east coast of the United States (overlapping Atlantic City, according to the sourcebook's maps), Freedom City's history dates back to colonial times when super heroes first appeared there during the Revolutionary War. People with super-powers have existed throughout Earth’s history, but have become more prominent and numerous since the late 1930s. Freedom City is a particular "epicenter" for superhumans, but they are found in other cities and places around the world. Nearly every sort of super-power or gimmick found in the comic books can and does exist in the Freedom Universe (sometimes referred to as the A-Terra Universe). There is magic, super-science, extraterrestrials, lost worlds, gods, megalomaniacal super villains, and more. Despite this, the world on the surface is still very much like the Real World and most of the history and society from the Real World also exists there. Superheroes and villains have aged normally since their first appearances, with the exception of some who are particularly long-lived or even immortal. There have been several distinct "eras" of superhuman activity in the world, which coincidentally resemble different periods in comic book publishing history. Although everyone has heard about superheroes and villains, and probably seen them (on TV, if nothing else), most people on Earth live fairly ordinary lives, despite the occasional invasion from outer space or other threat.

A key event in Freedom City's history occurred during what became known as the Terminus Invasion. The extra-dimensional tyrant known as Omega launched an invasion of the city, resulting in vast destruction and the deaths of several superheroes; including one of Earth's greatest heroes: Centurion. This event was also responsible for the formation of the current Freedom League.

Freedom City is the setting for two stand-alone published adventure scenarios. The first, Time of Crisis, takes place in Freedom proper as well as its counterparts on parallel Earths. A follow-up called Time of Vengeance was released in November 2006.

In at least one possible future, Freedom City is still around in the year 2525 when it is the capital of the Confederation of Planets and home to the Freedom Legion (a version of the Legion of Super-Heroes).

Several locations in the setting are named after comic creators, such as the Kirby Museum of Art named after Jack Kirby and Claremont Academy (a school for young superhumans similar to the Xavier Academy) named after Chris Claremont.

Inhabitants[edit]

Current superhuman residents of Freedom City[edit]

Former superhuman residents of Freedom City[edit]

  • Centurion (analogous to DC's Superman)
  • The Liberty League (World War II team, analogous to Marvel's Invaders or DC's JSA)
  • The first Raven (analogous to DC's Batman)
  • The Black Avenger, a former member of the 70s Freedom League and former solo hero, now working as social worker (inspired by the slate of '70s African-American characters whose names all had to start with "Black". The choice of his work is probably a reference to Marvel's Falcon, he is also the role model for Sonic of the Next Gen)
  • F.O.R.C.E. Ops (an Iron Age team, that operated in Freedom city during the 80s and the beginning of the 90s, a period in which the superhumans were banned from Freedom City due to the corrupted mayor Franklin Moore, consequently they were considered outlaws. Their look and style were similar to Marvel's X Force. They were basically wiped out during the Terminus invasion)

Other prominent superbeings in the Freedom City campaign setting[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.