Source material

edited November 2012 in Mutant City Blues
This may have been addressed in other forum discussions but does anyone have any good ideas for source material for MCB cases? I have Hard Helix but am looking at adapting maybe some classic cases, my players are not defective story types so anything that is easily read and adaptable would be good. I was thinking of using classics such as Agarha Cristie but any other suggestions are welcome.


  • I think The Wire would be excellent, as would The Shield. Then you've got the noir genre, too.
  • Yes the wire strongly influences the players, I have not watched it so have some catching up to do.
  • I'll second Simon's suggestions, and add Homicide: Life on the Street. I actually can't think of three better legs for defining your precinct house. It's funny, but the workaday frustrations of police work are your big challenge here. Capture those, and I feel like the super powers kinda take care of themselves. The constraints under which police investigations take place offer you an option in MCB that you don't always enjoy in a detective story: You can have a known, named adversary from the very first day. (The detectives in The Wire know from the outset that Avon Barksdale sits at the top of a large criminal conspiracy, but they can't just walk up and arrest him or shoot him in the face or otherwise "play the end" of the mystery. They need to build a case. "How are we going to prove this?" can be just as satisfying to players/audiences as "Who dunnit?" and it has the added effect of keeping the investigation from stalling as often, as it keeps investigators focused on the solution and not just the problem.)

    A great source of mystery of the week backstories is the TV show Castle. (I was surprised.)

    Adapting non-supers police investigations is easier than I'd imagined at first. People in MCB will still be committing crimes for all the same silly/sad/terrifying reasons. Anti-mutant sentiment and mutant radicalism/separatism can be substituted for any number of real world tensions. No son of mine is gonna grow gills, etc.

    Last thought: Your players will rewrite the police investigation themselves, just by playing their characters with imagination and free will. This will make it difficult to reenact the source material that you enjoy. Your great creative control is in the backstory. Find any real world case that you find compelling, keep the back story, and modify the available evidence to add mystery. Pick a courtroom drama, tease out the back story and do the same. Finally, consider heist movies. Lots of characters, planning, and law breaking - just throw a little bad luck at the perpetrators, and they might leave multiple trails of clues for your MCB squad to follow. (The wrong size batteries turn Oceans Eleven into A Bridge Too Far reaalllly quickly.)
  • For my Toronto based campaign, I've done a combination of the pre-written adventures in the Core Book and Hard Helix and my own stuff. Most of the campaign is influenced by CSI, Taggart and the Law and Order Series', especially Criminal Intent. Although saying that, my last case for my first "series" of my campaign combines elements of both The Bridge and The Following.
  • I realize I'm resurrecting an ancient post but I just recently purchased MCB. While doing some digging on MCB source material for a campaign set in Philadelphia, I discovered a comic series/tv series called "Powers". It's premise is nearly identical to MCB except that the cops don't have super powers. The main character is a former superhero who lost his powers and became a police officer to continue to fight crime. The comic is printed my Marvel under some other imprint. You can find out more about the comic here. The television show, technically isn't on television. It's a tv series made for the Playstation Network and you apparently need a PS4 to watch it. The pilot is on youtube and was decent but not amazing. The writing seemed a little confusing and contained unrealistic dialogue. You can find out more about the show here.
  • So i'm looking for nonfiction sources on Cult Crimes and law enforcement. Does anyone have a good resource list of books to look for?
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