Arguably the best thing Scott ever created, Gestalt: The Hero Within is a super-powered universe with a very powerful and defining premise you’ve likely not seen expressed quite so well in any other setting. I had the pleasure of playing in this setting with Scott and a bunch of other great folks back when I lived in L.A. in the 90s (you’ll see a reference to Special Agent Arthur Cromwell AKA Paladin in the book; that was me), and while I admit to being a bit thrown by the premise at first, it didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with it and realize just how brilliant a creator and storyteller Scott is. In the Gestalt universe, you’re not just playing people with mythic and legendary abilities – you are literally playing myths and legends, either as a human that connects to the concept or as the concept made manifest spontaneously. Either way, your powers derive from the collective consciousness of the planet’s sapient species.
The heart and soul of Scott’s creativity lives in this world, making it a perfect capstone to Scott Bennie Week. The Mutants & Masterminds version is featured, but there is also the original Champions/Hero System version.
Where Men Become Myth – and Myths Become Men
“Gestalt” is Scott Bennie’s unique world of superhuman archetypes. Superhero comic books contain worlds of Archetypes, individuals who represent important symbols. They are populated by characters who represent concepts such as Heroism, Strength, Speed, Cleverness, The Elements, Kindness, Cruelty, and Ambition. All fiction deals in archetypes or symbols, but comic books apply them more consciously than most fictional forms.
The Gestalt campaign takes the idea of “character as Archetype” one step further. In this campaign world, Gestalt-Earth, the characters are the symbols. A physically powerful superhero might not just be a strong guy – he could be an embodiment of Strength. A Gestalt martial arts master isn’t just a superb fighter – he’s also a human representation of his chosen art. The master lives its philosophy at all times, getting into situations where he demonstrates his art and its virtues, championing those who follow the art, and using the art to advance his or her personal fortunes.
While characters in the Gestalt-Earth setting look and act like superheroes, in many ways they fulfill the role of mythological gods, becoming the champion of concepts and portfolios.
“Gestalt: The Hero Within” uses M&M Second Edition.
Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
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