Item description for Mutants & Masterminds: Nocturnals - A Midnight Companion (Mutants & Masterminds) by Dan Brereton...
Doc Horror's family is looking for new blood in the nighttime war against Evil. Enter the shadows of Dan Brereton's acclaimed monster-noir masterpiece with this essential Nocturnals sourcebook. A Midnight Companion gives you the full story on all your favorite Nocturnals characters. Explore the backgrounds of heroes like Halloween Girl and the Gunwitch, secret societies like the Nation of the Bloodless and the Hideous League, spooky ne'er-do-wells Keera the Bat Queen and her wicked goblin servants, as well as the dreaded, other-dimensional demons known as the Crim. Delve into the haunted legacy of the secreted coastal town of Pacific City, its cursed surroundings, and the subterranean ruined city of the soul-stealing Skerrll. You'll also be introduced to "The Murder," a new group of spectral villains in a never-before-seen 16-page comic story. Want more? How about all the rules you need to run a Nocturnals campaign with the Mutants & Masterminds RPG? Play the Nocturnals themselves or create your own hybrid pulp tough-guys or spectral creatures of the night. Co-written by an award-winning team-up of Dan Brereton and game designer Chris Pramas, A Midnight Companion is perfect for game and comic fans alike.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11.3" Width: 8.8" Height: 0.7" Weight: 1.85 lbs.
Release Date May 26, 2004
Publisher Green Ronin Publishing
ISBN 1932442022 ISBN13 9781932442021
Reviews - What do customers think about Mutants & Masterminds: Nocturnals - A Midnight Companion (Mutants & Masterminds)?
NICE BOOK ON NOCTURNALS, NOT SO GREAT FOR GAMING Jan 22, 2008
I'm a bit hesitant to write a review of NOCTURNALS: A MIDNIGHT COMPANION. It's an award-winning gaming book and resource to the roleplaying game Mutants & Masterminds. It's also an introduction to Dan Bereton's The Nocturnals. I've thought a lot about how to put this in the best possible light, so here goes.
Most of NOCTURNALS is a review of the graphic novels by Dan Bereton on the Nocturnals, a gang of misfits from a wide array of origins including other dimensions, genetic engineering labs, and ancient races under the sea. The plot so far is revealed and all major characters have bios. The artwork is taken from the graphic novels, and stunning is perhaps the only word to describe it. It's truly impressive and I wish I had a better understanding of art history to describe the style. There is also an original comic titled "Spectres" to give you an idea of one of Dan Bereton's graphic novels.
The gaming aspect of NOCTURNALS describes the location of Pacific City, who the major players are, and what goes on after the sun goes down. the system is d20 for compatibility with MUTANTS AND MASTERMINDS. There are sample characters to use, and feats and weapons more appropriate for the setting. There is also a chapter on setting mood, choosing a theme, and how to play within the setting.
The part that focuses on Dan Bereton's work is very nice. After reading about his Nocturnals, I was tempted to go out and buy his books myself! Unfortunately, the author of NOCTURNALS: A MIDNIGHT COMPANION hasn't done a great job of condensing and summarizing the series; you have to know what to pick, and what to leave out. Well, what you get is entirely too much "they're not afraid of anything", "they don't concern themselves with what other people think", "they don't take crap from anyone".
That translates into the problem with using NOCTURNALS as a game supplement - the characters, as presented, are nigh-invulnerable, endowed with a wide array of supernatural powers, have above-average strength, intelligence, stamina, and attractiveness, have access to a lot of money and a super headquarters, are above the law, and most of their adventures are driven and ended by unexplained magic/supernatural intervention. Either the Nocturnals are not portrayed accurately, or else who would want to roleplay as them? They're better than humans in every way possible except for their extremely tragic backgrounds. Real people have flaws beyond "I'm so superior to other people that they bore me" - what's the point of playing someone more strong, attractive, intelligent, powerful, and rich than everyone else, with magic, artifacts, and control over spirits? It might sound neat on paper, but within a game where can the character go except to "even more awesomer!" ?
The part of NOCTURNALS that describes the creation of Dan Bereton is fantastic and reflects on his skill as an artist. It should inspire people to buy more of his work. Trying to extend his characters to a game supplement seems ill-fated - some great books just can't be made into good movies, and I'm afraid that the world of the Nocturnals is not well-suited for roleplaying.
Great Supplement for a Great Game Jul 10, 2005
I picked up Dan Brereton's Nocturals the other day because it had additional rules for Mutants & Masterminds in it. I knew it detailed out a supernatural-style setting, but I did not know much more about the book.
The book is definitely much more.
It is more than a role-playing supplement. The book is a guide to the world Dan Brereton uses for his comic books, the Nocturnals and Gunwitch. I delved into the book, and I was absorbed by the artwork, the details about the setting as well as the comic included in the book. I found myself wanting to know more about the Brereton's work. I bought Nocturnals: The Dark Forever from a local comic shop.
I know it sounds like the book does not have as much application to Mutants & Masterminds as one might think. Yeah, you have a number of pages on examples of "replacement Nocturnals" and some new feats. The stats of the comic characters and mooks are also supplied. However, there is more to the book than "how to play a Nocturnals game."
Several pages discuss the facets of the Nocturnals' setting and breaks it down to its key elements. It is rather interesting and helps enrich any gamemaster's sense of setting development. Additionally, variant settings are proposed, providing seeds that one may follow to their own ends.
The book does an excellent job in providing a view of the supernatural/occult genre of comic books. You have an in depth view of Brereton's work, but the view does not end there. I would recommend this book as a worthwhile supplement for Mutants & Masterminds as well as good material for an occult-style campaign. Finally, if you are a Nocturnals fan, it is a must have!
Award winning - and rightly so Dec 27, 2004
the 'Midnight Companion' is pretty, it's a valuable gaming resource for gamers, but more importantly, its a lavishly illustrated insiders' view of the world created by author and NOCTURNALS creator Dan Brereton. Its clear Brereton opened up the vault of secrets, without sacrificing the ambiance that captivates fans of the trade paperbacks this companion guide serves. 'A Midnight Companion' won three ENnies last summer- the top gaming industry awards, for best art direction, best licensed gaming product and best interior art.
The Midnight Companion is also a gorgeous art book in its own right. Brereton and a hand-picked group of illustrator peers provided beautiful drawings and paintings to great effect. these never been a gaming sourcebook that looked like this; sketchbook selections, and art on every single page. simply a treat for the eyes.
in addition to all this, Brereton introduces a dozen new characters, a handful of which appear the book's high point, an 18-page comic story called 'Spectres', that finds the Nocturnals facing off with The Murder, a gang of evil spirits who've escaped Hell. Look out for new villian, "Rictus", easily the creepiest Nocturnals villian to date.
I love this book, and have bought several copies for friends desperate to borrow and thumb through my own.
Ugh Nov 18, 2004
This is a very pretty book that reads like the worst gamer geek telling you about how cool his character/campaign is. It opens with blow by blow accounts of several Nocturnals books that show why some stories are better as comics than prose. I'd like to give it the benefit of the doubt and say that Nocturnals fans (I've not ever read them) might enjoy it, but from a straight gaming perspective it was less than useful.
Sink your teeth into Nocturnals May 6, 2004
Ths sourcebook is filled with great art, intriging settings and a plethora of information on everyone's favorite midnight defenders. The book includes an original story that leaves you with a cliff hanger to run with. Characters in the world of Nocturnals are designed to be a little less powerful than your typical Mutants and Masterminds heroes, which is good for the pulp-style that pervades the beloved comic book series. Most of the text is statistic free, with the exception of the last section, which is filled with stats on every character in the book. I think the rational is if you are not a gamer you don't have to sift through the rules to get to the story. IN my opinion, the character generation portion was kind of weak (as I was looking forward to getting the skinny on some creepy powers). Unfortunatly that did not happen. Other than that weakness, the book is great for comic and game fans alike.