Mutant City Blues

60269Mutant City Blues

Ever since the Sudden Mutation Event, people have been able to fly. Phase through walls. Read minds. Shoot bolts of energy from their fingertips. Walk into dreams.

As members of the elite Heightened Crime Investigation Unit, you and your fellow detectives solve crimes involving the city’s mutant community. When a mutant power is used to kill, you catch the case. When it’s a mutant victim in the chalk outline, you get the call. And when it comes time for a fight, you deploy your own extraordinary abilities to even the odds.

With new human capacity has come new science. Your squad brings forensic science to bear on the solution of mutant crimes. Need to know if a suspect is the victim of mind control or dream observation? Perform an EMAT protocol to detect the telltale signs of external influence. Was your victim killed by a light blast? Use Energy Residue Analysis to match the unique wound pattern to the murderer, as surely as ballistic science links a bullet to a gun.

Does your crime scene yield trace evidence of two separate powers? Use your trusty copy of the Quade Diagram, the infallible map of genetic relationships between mutant powers, to tell if one suspect could have used both – or if you have two perps on your hands.

If chases, interrogations and mutant battles weren’t enough to handle, you also serve as a bridge between the authorities and your mutant brethren. To successfully close cases, you must navigate the difficult new politics of post-mutation society, and deal with your own personal issues and mutation-caused defects.

MUTANT CITY BLUES runs on GUMSHOE, the acclaimed investigative rules set powering the hit new game Trail Of Cthulhu. GUMSHOE offers a simple yet revolutionary method for writing, running and playing mystery scenarios. It ensures fast-flowing play, always giving you the informational puzzle pieces you need to propel your latest case toward its exciting final revelations.

Police work will never be the same.

See the complete reviews to date here

“I loved the way that this linked in with the esoterrorist system. The quade diagram and the ability to create great drama with the system WITHOUT depending on the players getting the clues…..just asking the right questions. When I set it in Detroit with all the google earth maps the setting seemed to really materialize for my players and what they were doing. Great system!”

Steve Kyer, 5/5 Stars.

“This game was my first exposure to the GUMSHOE system and it made me fall in love with it! This game is extremely fun. I really love how all the mutant powers are related to each other on a diagram, giving more plausibility to super-powers and how they would develop. The world is rich and full of color and interesting ideas. I highly recommend this game.”

Devon Kelley, Featured Reviewer 5/5 Stars.

On RPG.NET, Notty Reid gives Mutant City Blues a positive and detailed review.

“For the first time in months I’m excited about running a new game. I can’t wait for the new season at my local games club so I can get stuck in.”


Your city


Although you could set your Mutant City Blues series in a fictional metropolis, as you see in certain comic books, we instead recommend placing it in an actual city you and your players are very familiar with.

Doing so reinforces the game’s sense of social realism, underlining the idea that this is the real world after ten years of adjustment to widespread super powers. With that in mind, the setting chapter is presented not as a conventional gazetteer, but as a series of people, organizations and institutions to slot into the city of your choice. Entries for locations begin with suggestions on which sorts of neighborhoods to place them in.

Your existing knowledge about the laws, geography, police organisation and social background also gives you less to learn and makes it much easier to get into the game.

quade (1)In the world of Mutant City Blues, super powers come from a single source, and are well-documented enough to be understood with forensic science and to have been incorporated into legal proceedings. The Quade Diagram, devised by Dr Lucius Quade, maps them all out, and shows their associated defects. It’s this diagram which makes the forensic investigation possible. It also doubles up as a central source of character generation. In MCB, the names your character uses for their powers are the same name you use a player.

Design Notes

The Quade Diagram, and its role in character generation, exists primarily to evoke the particular setting of Mutant City Blues. It conveys the idea that the setting’s mutant powers conform to unvarying, if not yet fully understood, laws of science. The diagram reinforces the concept that all powers share the same origin. It has some game balance effects, making it difficult for a single player to cherry-pick all of the most dramatic abilities, but these are not its primary point. GMs may wish to warn players ahead of time that Mutant City Blues discards the standard super-powered RPG design goal of allowing you to replicate any hero you find in comic books. You’ll find that you can create knock-offs of certain iconic characters but that others are impossible to reproduce.

The driving convention in a default comic book universe is that every character embodies a unique theme and distinctive set of powers. In the Mutant City Blues world, enhanced characters conform to a number of recognizable types, with slight variations in detail. MCB includes the option to create characters without the Quade diagram if you wish.