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Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors $4.99 $2.99
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
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Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Jared R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/04/2012 20:26:41
If you are interested in this product because of previous offerings from Vigilance Press, such as the Oktobermen, and you want some interesting villains to throw in your campaign, this isn't what you are looking for. But you still want this.

Why? Okay, if you never, ever have any kind of romantic interactions in your campaign, maybe you don't want this. But if you do, there is a lot of really nice information in the product. There is some pretty sound general advice about romance in supers campaigns, new advantages and features for Mutants and Masterminds that have to do with romantic interaction, and there is even a subsystem for determining romantic progress, as well as details on what happens when heroes get a broken heart.

Now, I've heard people say, across various game systems, that you don't need rules to roleplay. I agree, but having good rules that aren't overly intrusive and reinforce roleplaying certainly doesn't hurt when it comes to nudging someone that might not take time to woo an NPC to do so.

The actual NPCs are fun as well, but not really villains, and barely heroes. They are a nice addition to the campaign if you have a game where you explore superhuman celebrities that are not strictly the crusading type, and they have a few nice, subtle applications of the rules detailed in the supplement applied to them.

The unsung hero of the piece is the poor guy that gets the least details on him. Just the bit about Serval's rogues gallery makes me want to see him get his own write up, and I have a feeling that his rogues gallery, further fleshed out, would make Flash's rouges look like the League of Assassins by comparison.

The art is very nice, definitely on par with the upper tiers of RPG publishing, and the layout and look of the stat blocks is very sharp. I can't recommend this if you really don't have any romantic notions of any sort in your campaigns, but if you do, or you want to explore adding it, or you just want to see how mechanics that reinforce roleplaying interpersonal relationships could look like in Mutants and Masterminds, I don't think you could do better than this.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Joseph C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2012 13:22:52
Lovely art, thoughtful genre and rules coverage, and an offering of interesting characters make this a should-buy for anyone who enjoys adding the element of romance to their M&M role-playing experience. The writing is both clear and eloquent throughout, and the art made me wish that wallpapers had been included. The new rules and advantages flow naturally from both the letter and the spirit of M&M's mechanics. Indeed, this product was easily worth the introductory discounted price of $2.99 by page 7 and worth paying full price by page 11 - and you're just then getting to the character section. The characters themselves aren't so much villains as walking complications. Plot hooks are included, but the characters are complex enough that they easily suggest all kinds of story ideas beyond those already provided. It's an excellent supplement all the way around.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Devilish Duos: Strange Attractors
Publisher: Vigilance Press
by Marc P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2012 07:27:00
The second product in the Devilish Duos product line comes out taking a swing at Valentine's Day with 18 pages of romance-themed content. The product greets the reader with a stellar cover by Denise Jones and colored by James Dawsey. If you saw this on a bookshelf at your FLGS you'd know what it was about even without reading the title. As customary the artwork is reprinted on the second page without the titles and branding.

The credits page has an "Obligatory Introduction About Romance, Sex, and Squid-Men…" which had me laughing, and readies the reader for what's to come; all with tongue planted in cheek. Going into the meat of the book things start out with a discussion about romance and comics; a history lesson, and a reminder that though it may get overlooked romance is a part of even superhero comics. Segueing from history into a lite discussion of the way that super powers dovetail into romance introduces the reader to the four "C"s of superpowers and romance.

The rules section takes up a massive seven pages. Starting with a discussion on Advantages, both those in the core rule set, as well as some new ones, it moves on to talk about Features and Skills, before getting into a rules system. The system is fairly low impact, calling for rolls only at major milestones (first impressions, dates, and eventually break ups) while also encouraging role-play not only to help set the stage and tone of the romance but also as a means for the GM to provide bonuses or penalties based on that same role-playing. Extensive examples are provided and are both entertainingly engaging, and very well written to showcase the rules, as well as the various ways that powers, Advantages, and skills interact within the system they have created.

Lastly, but not least, are the Devilish Duo themselves; Amp and Rail are a pair of super powered characters who used to be an item, but have recently taken a trip to Splitsville. While not villains as such they are both deep in the throes of post-breakup recovery. Three adventure/plot hooks are provided, and show how each character can be used, either as a foil for PC-NPC romance, or as a potential thorn in the side of the other NPC. A third character is given a brief write-up as well, as part of one of the hooks. The characters are interesting, with believable backgrounds, and Amp in particular has a very interesting and original power-set.

Closing Thoughts:
With two complete characters (plus a 3rd with stats but limited background), 7 pages of optional rules, and a page of discussion, Strange Attractors is jam packed with content. Everything within is written to a high standard, and the rules and discussion present a well put together way to add some mechanical crunch to the soft and squishy side of love. I've never once wanted rulesy crunch in my RPed romances, but the rules presented here all service the story while still giving "roll-players" something to chew on.

There's nothing to be found in these 18 pages that doesn't work on one level or another. I can't even find a nit to pick.

Rating: 100% - Vigilance Press really knocked it out the park with this one. At the current sale price of $3 this product is a steal when compared to Green Ronin's own Threat Report and Power Profiles lines.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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