||Adepts of the Arcane is a villain sourcebook for Mutants and Masterminds 2E, from Big Finger Games. The zipped file is a little more than twelve megabytes in size, containing a single PDF that?s just over fifteen. The PDF is eighty-three pages long, including a page for the cover, one for the credits/legal, one for the table of contents, and one for the OGL. It has full bookmarks along with a hyperlinked table of contents.
Adepts of the Arcane has a dozen villains of varying Power Levels. The PLs here range from 5 to 20, with the majority of them being in just above 10 or so. It?s also worth noting that all of the NPCs here have interrelated backgrounds, weaving the strands of what will be Big Finger Games?s own setting, the Infiniverse (mentioned in a sidebar).
Each of the characters here has a full description for their personality, appearance, powers and tactics, vital stats (their character information, such as height, weight, eyes, tagline, etc.) and their game stats. Most of them also have one or more of several innovative new sections, such as origin-in-a-box, which describes how they could be part of how your PC got their powers, or endgame, which describes how they could meet their end (usually in a fitting manner for their backstory), and more. Many also have a sidebar describing a related character, such as an associated sidekick, rival, or friend.
Beyond the full-color cover, the book has a very well-done full-color shot of each of the characters, showing them completely. The book does have minor borders at the edge of the pages, but these thin blue lines are easily ignored. Given the relative generosity of the artwork here, however, the lack of a printer-friendly version is fairly notable.
The book closes out with three in-depth adventure hooks, before going over a glossary that mostly details organizations previously given oblique mentions, as well as one heroic NPC, the Patriarch.
Adepts of the Arcane is a book overflowing with flavor. The characters presented here all weave a rich tapestry that, altogether, sows the seeds for a truly memorable campaign. The information is as plentiful as it is evocative, and there?s no end to the sidebars that offer supplementary information, giving expansive detail to help flesh things out. The villains here range from sinister tempters to thugs to uncaring antiheroes. A GM looking for a new bad guy for his M&M game need look no further than Adepts of the Arcane.
LIKED: The characters given here are rich in background and presentation, with seemlessly interwoven stories and wide supplementary information. Clearly a lot of skill and a lot of work went into this book, and it shows.
DISLIKED: A printer-friendly version would have been useful, as there's a decent amount of full-color artwork here.
VALUE: Very Satisfied
[5 of 5 Stars!]