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Tabletop Game / Freedom City

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Freedom City is the default setting for the Mutants & Masterminds game system. Freedom City, the actual town, is the default setting for the 1st and 2nd editions of the game and is where most setting information is provided for. Also known as the Freedom Universe. In the World of Freedom, superheroes appeared roughly at the same time that comic book heroes did in the real world.

The setting's primary hero, The Centurion, inspired many imitators in the 1930s and carried on until he was killed in a battle with a supervillain known as Omega. Unlike Superman, the Centurion remained dead. It is up to the player characters and others to carry on for him.

In 2010, Emerald City was revealed to be the default setting for 3rd Edition. Located in the same universe, Emerald City serves as an analogue to Seattle in the way that Freedom City does to New York City.


The tone of Freedom City is light and airy, roughly meant to simulate The Modern Age of Comic Books. While there are darker characters such as the villainous Jack-A-Knives, it is primarily a place of fun and whimsy.

Supplements for the setting in 2E include: Agents of Freedom, Book of Magic, Freedom's Most Wanted, Golden Age, Hero High, Iron Age, Silver Age, and Worlds of Freedom, as well as the adventures Time of Crisis and Time of Vengeance.

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This setting contains the following tropes:

  • Abusive Precursors: The Preservers are explicitly noted as being amoral and unempathetic.
  • Adaptive Armor:
    • Filled by the Star Knight Corps, combined Expys of the Green Lantern Corps and ROM: Space Knight
    • Megastar is another case, being an alien exo-skeleton that's adapted to its wearer's desired form.
  • Affably Evil: Mr. Infamy.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy:
    • The second Johnny Rocket, the setting' premiere NPC speedster, is openly gay.
    • The second Raven is female. (The third one is male again.)
    • As of third edition, the fourth Lady Liberty is a Hispanic transwoman.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Talos, who wants to replace humanity with robots the same way humanity replaced the gods (and the gods replaced the titans). The Erinyes/The Furies Three, who were originally known as the Chorale.
    • Both were made/mentored by Daedalus, an Iron Man/Hank Pym expy.
  • Albinos Are Freaks: Atlas of Earth Prime has Whitestone, a Tanzanian albino superhero who fights the prejudices and superstition his home country has regarding albinism.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Argo the Ultimate Android (i.e. Amazo) has all the powers of the Freedom League. The Meta-Grue (i.e. Super-Skrull) has all the powers of the Atom Family.
  • Alternate Universe: After-Earth, Ani-Earth, Anti-Earth, Earth-Ape, Erde, Terra-Roma, Verecia.
  • Amoral Attorney: The law firm of Cabot, Cunningham & Crowley.
  • Ancient Egypt: The Scarab's origin story began here, as did Overshadow's.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Labyrinth, Taurus' organization.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Dr. Metropolis, living embodiment/spirit of Freedom City. Hiroshima Shadow, living embodiment of... yeah. Jack-A-Knives is the Spirit of Murder.
  • Anti-Hero: While mostly an idealistic setting, there are a few of these listed under villains.
  • Badass Normal: Orion the Hunter. The Raven (both of 'em).
  • Cape Busters: Several — Freedom City has the local STAR Squad (Superhuman Tactics and Regulations), their federal sister agency (and professional rival) is AEGIS (American Elite Government Intervention Service), and the international counterpart to both of those is UNISON (United Nations International Superhuman Oversight Network).
  • Captain Geographic: Britannia. Lady Liberty and Patriot for America. Mad Maple thinks he's one for Canada.
  • Captain Ersatz: Just about all the pre-made characters are derived from either better-known Marvel and DC Comics heroes, or heroes from Kurt Busiek's Astro City.
    • Some of the organizations too: AEGIS is essentially S.H.I.E.L.D, right down to their names being synonyms.
  • Cloning Blues: The vast bulwark of SHADOW is comprised of legions of cloned troopers. The general public is aware SHADOW uses clones, taken from the body of the 1930s Nazi star athlete, Holtz Hellman. They're all really clones of Wilhelm Kantor, Overshadow himself.
  • Crapsack World: Averted, on Earth-Prime. The main universe of the Freedom City setting is an optimistic place where most people are basically good and most people love superheroes. Other dimensions like Erde and the Terminus, on the other hand. Not to mention the obligatory Anti-Earth where the heroes are villains, the villains have been wiped out, and everyone's corrupt. The Iron Age supplement also creates a world full of violence, corruption, and few signs of hope, although it of course ended eventually.
  • Crisis Crossover: The adventure Time of Crisis.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The Thieves' Guild, mentioned in Freedom's Most Wanted and the 2E Time of Crisis, are six brilliant scientists who've managed to develop technology from extremely detailed holograms to Batman-level bolo-themed gadgets, to cryokinesis to weather controlling. They use these inventions to rob banks. It's even noted in their descriptions that they could have made millions were they all not more than a bit crazy. (They're specifically a group Captain Ersatz of The Flash's Rogues, who were pretty much the same.)
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Scarab and Overshadow have been locked into one for the past 5,000 years.
  • Darker and Edgier: The 1980s and early 1990s, as detailed in the Iron Age supplement.
  • Deal with the Devil: Mr. Infamy's shtick.
  • Descriptiveville
  • Dimension Lord: Besides Omega, there's actually a specific term for these beings: Dark Lords are mages who have essentially learned the trick of claiming authority over their worlds' physical laws, and have become the total ruler of them in the process.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Scarab's Lair is basically an underground pyramid located beneath Pyramid Plaza.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Unspeakable One, the entity worshiped by the Serpent People. Omega, Lord of the Terminus, could also count as one.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Both Hades and Baron Samedi are treated as pure villains, rather than the more complicated figures they are in their source mythology.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Tyranny Syndicate, the evil counterpart of the Freedom League. They're from Anti-Earth, an evil counterpart of the main Earth-Prime setting.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Malador the Mystic hails from Atlantis who went to dark places for power and now exists as an undead evil creature.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Subverted by a rare heroic example, Pyramid Plaza. The Scarab's Silver Age incarnation built what amounts to "the World Trade Center, only with three buildings, and they're triangles" over his secret base. They're still the tallest buildings (and the hottest real estate) in Freedom City.
  • The Faceless: In his incarnation as the superhero "The Scarab," Prince Heru-Ra wore a Cool Mask that covered his entire head.
  • The Federation: The Lor Republic. Unlike most Federations, the humans are not prominent members of this group which tries to protect the universe against the predations of the Grue.
  • Flying Brick: Captain Thunder, Centurion, and Superior all possess abnormal levels of toughness and can fly.
  • Fragile Speedster: Bolt, Downtime, and Johnny Rocket are all speedsters with high defense and low toughness, meaning they're hard to hit, but when hit, they fall relatively easily.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The Mastermind was just a prehistoric hunter-gatherer, when the Preservers dissected him to serve as cloning material to create the various Human Aliens. His mind survived as a Digitized Hacker, and he has now become a Well-Intentioned Extremist Übermensch dedicated to bringing humanity to its true potential... under his guidance.
  • Functional Magic: Baron Samedi, Eldrich, Hades, Malador the Mystic, Medea, Seven, Una, and the Queen of the Netherworld tap into a common source of magic in the universe.
  • Genius Bruiser:
    • Taurus, the Minotaur of Crete himself, possesses an perfect memory and a knack for puzzles. As one can imagine for someone who has lived since the heyday of Greece, this means he is very damn smart.
    • Bruiser, of the Iron Age team FORCE Ops, is the resident team scientist. His mutation into a hulking brute leaves him with minimal physical dexterity, but his mind remains brilliant.
  • Good Running Evil: Seven defeated Una, Queen of the Netherworld, and by ancient rules of conquest, now rules the Netherworld. This is a bad thing for her because she is barred from Earth, and giving up the office would lead to the Netherworld dissolving, killing all of its inhabitants.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: AEGIS (American Elite Government Intervention Service), The Ministry of Powers, UNCOT (United Nations Command on Terrorism), UNICORN (United Nations International Coalition Ordering the Reality Nexus), UNIQUE (United Nations International Quorum of Unaligned Exceptionals), UNISON (United Nations International Superhuman Oversight Network), UNPEC (United Nations Paranormal Enclave Committee), and UNSAC (United Nations Science Advisory Council).
  • Gratuitous German: Nacht-Krieger (Night-Warrior). Roter Adler (Red Eagle). Schlasbringer (Sleep-Bringer). Schwarzpanzer (Black Tank). Totenkopf (Death's Head). Die Walküre (The Valkyrie). And, inevitably, Ubermensch (Overman).
    • And in the Time of Crisis adventure, Der Übermenschen (The Supermen): Der Eule (The Owl), Die Geist (The Ghost), Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), Der Hand Des Todes (The Hands of Death), Übermensch II (Overman II), and Weißer Ritter (White Knight).
  • Hollywood Voodoo: The designer wanted the Voodoo loa to be as important to the Freedom City setting as the Norse gods are in Marvel and the Greek gods are to DC.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Farsiders and the Lor. Justified, since they're both descendants of humans taken from Earth millions of years ago.
  • Killed Off for Real: As a general rule, Freedom City doesn't have a Revolving Door Afterlife.
  • Kill It with Fire: White Knight.
  • Legacy Character: Blackbird. Bowman & Arrow. Crimson Katana. Fear-Master. Johnny Rocket. King Cole. Lady Liberty. The Raven. Red Death. Siren. Sky Lord. Star Knight. Trawler.
    • Several legacies are also explicitly left open for players to pick up and run with, some of which come complete with power templates to start from.
    • Invoked as a cover for Daedalus who lets the public believe he's the legacy of the 1960's superhero but in fact actually is that hero (he also doesn't mention that he's THE Daedalus)
  • My Grandson, Myself: Daniel Daedalus, one of the world's most brilliant scientists and engineers, is not merely named for the figure from Greek mythology, he is the original Daedalus. Many believe the Daedalus who fights alongside the Freedom League today is the son of the Daedalus from the 1960s; he does nothing to discount the rumor, since his immortality isn't widely known.
  • Nominal Hero: ... or possibly this. As another example, Larceny Inc. are straight up criminals, but do as much to oppose the Labyrinth as most heroes.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Exaggerated with White Knight. He is literally a member of the Ku Klux Klan who was given fire powers by Mr. Infamy when he wanted to "purify the Earth".
  • The Power of Rock: The second Fear-Master. The Maestro (but he uses Classical music).
  • Power Crystal: Daka crystals, which can channel various forms of energy. The Moonstone, a psionic amplifier held by the Farsiders. The Starstone, the energy source for the Star Knights.
  • Powered Armor: AEGIS Agents have access to the MAX and Super-MAX armors. The Power Corps are an octet of power armor-wearing mercenaries. The Star Knights are the Green Lantern Corp, but with suits of armor instead of rings. Daedalus, Devil Ray, Doc Otaku, Overshadow, and Star Khan are the most prominent individual users of power armor.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Almost every member of the Thieves' Guild: the Bola, the Firebug, the Huckster, the Weather Mistress, the Mad Maple, and... Looking Glass. Well, almost.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: The Bowman's real name is Fletcher Beaumont.
  • Superhero Capital of the World: The eponymous Freedom City was originally the centre of super activity. This is lampshaded in Atlas of Earth-Prime, which notes that America has more supers than the rest of the world, and Freedom has more supers than comparable cities in America, and offers Watsonian and Doylist explanations. The former is that superheroes began as an American phenomenon, and the Freedom setting was originally just the city, so of course that's where all the characters were based. The latter is that when the Centurion arrived from an alternate reality, the accompanying wave of quantum weirdness essentially turned the whole city into a Weirdness Magnet. Origin events are more common, and superhumans are more likely to settle there. In third edition, the Mass Empowering Event in Emerald City has resulted in superhumans being as common there as in Freedom, but Emerald supers are more likely to move away than in Freedom.
  • Superhero Tropes: Being a superhero comic book inspired RPG, this is also a given.
  • Super Family Team: The main example is the Atom Family on the side of the heroes. They have an evil counterpart in the form of a family of evil psychics.
  • Thememobile: The original Midnight got around in the Night Cruiser.
  • Unobtainium: Daka crystals. Impervium. Orichalcum.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: The current wielder of the Crimson Katana is explicitly described as an anti-hero who fights people much worse than she is, though her situation is complicated by the fact that her father, one of those people, routinely hijacks her body. The Silencer, as the setting's Punisher analogue, could be this...
  • Villainous Harlequin: Wildcard.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Victoria Atom. The Grue. Changeling (a Grue from a parallel world). Pseudo (a rogue Grue).
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Partially averted for the Claremont Academy Next Gen members. While they are expected to keep up their grades and participate in regular chldhood activities, the school also provides accommodations for the students on the team.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: The Power House can do it. Also, this happened to Patriot.

The Emerald City material contains the following tropes:

  • Captain Ersatz: As usual with the setting, however now lampshaded with an actual character named Ersatz, who has the power to assume the form of an imperfect copy of any hero (In his first appearance via an illustration he takes the form of a fat version of Princess.)
  • Cute Bruiser: Princess pretty much defines this trope.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Subverted with Xeno, who is a female of her species (actually the hybrid of a female alien and a female human), but looks like a bug like humanoid rather than a beautiful human woman.
  • Hero Antagonist: The Cybertribe, a group of cyborgs and Digitized Hackers who work as thieves... against some very evil people, and only to get the money to repair their mechanical parts-which doubles as a life-support system. Explicitly called out in the overview of Heavy Metal, since if you rupture his Power Armor, it's likely because he's trying to buy time for the others to escape.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Silver Storm has recently hit the city, with survivors gaining powers. There's an on-going adventure series where you try to discover why it happened.
  • Playful Hacker: Digital Demon, one of the Cybertribe. Leads to a Funny Moment when the report on him is handwritten, with some choice personal comments from the investigator.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Two different examples: Both Ultramarine and Xeno are difficult to identify as female unless you read their backgrounds.