What heroes games are there?
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  1. #1

    What heroes games are there?

    Hey all. Down the road I am thinking of running a Watchmen style low power style heroes game. I am wondering what options would work?

    I have M&M but find it a little convoluted/complex for what I want.
    I have Heroes Unlimited but I just don't know about it.
    I also have the original FASERIP Marvel but I also just don't know about it.

    Any ideas? Any great systems I should look at?

    Thanks for the input

  2. #2
    Personally, I find M&M 2nd Edition to be perfect for the sort of game you want to run. Building characters is involved (as it will be for any point-based super-system) but the system perfectly supports the "normal people with abnormal skill, plus one god-like freak" vibe that Watchmen had. The combination of flexibility, infinite scaling, and ability to absolutely make some people better than others (without making it impossible for those people to compete) makes it a perenial favorite. However, I can understand not being willing/able to make the investment to learn the system.


    Alternatively, check out Truth and Justice. It uses the Prose Descriptive Qualities system (PDQ) and is danged slick, and pretty simple. Bonus, when almost no one has actual super powers, the character generation is even simpler than it already is.

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    Although I haven't tried them, there is Supers20 and Blood and Vigilance which are both d20 based systems.

    I would also suggest Champions (uses the Hero system)... HOWEVER if you think M&M 2e is complex then I wouldn't bother with even picking up anything from that line.

  4. #4
    I'm a huge fan of "Above the Earth", a 24 hour game done by Bryant Durell. If you can nail down the social contract so that it doesn't get silly, I think it can do just what you want.

    It's built in, unified mechanic for everything, works like a champ. If you use a "roll first, then describe" type narrative it can work for any mix of power levels since the "power level" isn't really a factor when using that kind of a mechanic in that manner.

    WildWalker

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    A small taste of what's out there:

    Category:Superhero role-playing games - RPG Talk

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    I've been meaning to run a low-powered Supers campaign that utilizes M&M with another system as its main. Such as d20 Modern or even Eberron D&D.

    The idea being that PCs choose up to X points in flaws... and buy thier powers (subject to level = PL?) with those few points.

    My prefered campaign concept would be Marvel 1600s meets Eberron's "Last War". Alas, I'm lazy and haven't yet tried it out.

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    Silver Age Sentinels (Tri-Stat) and The Authority Roleplaying Game (also Tri-Stat) are both solid systems with plenty of options ala HERO and M&M, with a lesser degree of 'fiddly' (IMHO). They're also easy to find in Mint or NM condition for less than $6 a pop due to overstock in the wake of GoO's implosion.

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    SAS is one of my favorites.

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    I'd go with HERO or M&M and just set a low power level- say 75+ disads for HERO, or PL 5-6 for M&M. Don't allow any of the Řber fiddly powers like FTL or Time Travel and you're probably set.

    While I don't care for the system, GURPS would probably fit the bill quite well- I'm sure Jurgen Hubert could point you in the right direction.

    Heroes Unlimited is a game I'd put in the same class as RIFTS- imaginative but with shoddy mechanics. HOWEVER, if you like the way the game distributes powers (which I do kind of like for low- or variable-power games), use that system as is and just use your game system of choice to model the powers afterwards (like HERO, M&M, of if you must, GURPS). However, realize that Heroes Unlimited, like RIFTS, does not balance its PCs. One PC could have the power of flight- only- while another one might more closely resemble Superman. This is awesome if you're emulating comic books, but could have detrimental effects on some players' enjoyment if they're not down with the game's design choices.

    I also understand there is at least one new D20 supers game on the horizon.

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    I once rolled up a Heroes Unlimited character whose power was that he had an armored police cruiser and he could drive pretty well. That's right, he was a chaffeur.

    Another roll produced a reptilian alien policeman from a hot, high gravity world with a Physical Strength so high it went off the provided chart, armed to the teeth with energy blasters.

    The other thing about Heroes Unlimited is how blastedly difficult it is to defeat someone without killing them.

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