Monday, November 1, 2010

On the Radar: New Superhero RPGs

Well, we've all heard about the new DC Adventures RPG using what seems to be a Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition ruleset, haven't we? For those unfamiliar with M&M, it was one of the better rulesets that came from the D20 / OGL era that boasted a super-powers toolkit reminiscent of the HERO system, but with level-based mechanics that simplified certain areas of power level assessement, threat level limitations, and statblock presentation.

A quick perusal suggests that it has also tapped into two classic superhero rulesets: Marvel Super-heroes' FASERIP-based system, and DC Heroes' AP-based system.

There are two other superhero RPGs also out in the market these days that draw their inspiration from older systems -- TSR's Marvel Super-Heroes RPG in particular.

The first is Steve ("I Wrote Mutants & Masterminds") Kenson's ICONS. FATE-powered, but geared towards pick-up superhero adventuring, ICONS has random character generation tables, the 2d6 FATE resolution mechanic favored by Starblazer Adventures, and adjective-flavored stats in a very easy to grasp 1 to 10 range of abilities.

In an article on Adamant Entertainment's site, Steve mentions that the powers shy away from the toolkit system favored by HERO System and Mutants and Masterminds: "you get a power, it has a level, and you might have some options by way of its associated stunts or descriptions, but that’s pretty much it."

If you're looking for a quick pick up game reminiscent of the Silver Age comics, Superfriends cartoons, or the more modern Batman: The Animated Series, Superman, Justice League Adventures flavor -- look no further than Icons!

The second one is G-core, which prides itself on being a similarly structured but different take on the FASERIP game rules. It does away with the green/yellow/red FEAT resolution chart for a more simple yet genre-friendly 1d10 mechanic, uses the same stats with different names, and boasts that "We took a character from the old FASERIP game and changed it to G-Core in less than 20 seconds!"

This of course means that all the Marvel Super-Heroes RPG material out on the web -- maintained and updated by longtime fans -- is just ripe for the taking. There should be no shortage of super-heroes, super-villains, and adventures for this new super-hero RPG -- currently available from Dilly Green Bean Games in Watermarked PDF form for the low, low price of $2.50.

So if you're looking to snag some new players who are fans of the blockbuster series of Marvel movies or are die-hard super-hero geeks, look no further than these two games for your gaming fix!

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.