Check Out This Preview of the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game

On April 20th, the 120-page softcover playtest book for the new Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game by Matt Forbeck will be available to purchase for $9.99; the final game is due to be released next year, in 2023.

Marvel has revealed some of the playtest book, in which you use the new d616 system and profiles for Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Wolverine and more, in an introductory scenario called Enter: Hydra. The scenario involves a hostage situation at the Howard & Maria Stark Center for Galactic History.


The d616 system uses three d6s. Designer Matt Forbeck says "If you get a 1 on the Marvel die, you get a fantastic result and something amazing happens. If you get 6 on both of the other dice—or a 6-1-6 result—that’s an ultimate fantastic roll, which is even better."

marrpgptestrbtpb_int-7.jpg


The words MARVEL contains initials for the game's six ability scores -- Might, Agility, Resilience, Vigilance, Ego, and Logic. Each character has an archetype, such as a striker or blaster, and the archetype combines with the abilities to give bigger attack rolls.

Here's a quick look at Spider-Man! For reference a normal human stat is between -4 and +4.

marrpgptestrbtpb_int-12_0.jpg

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

That's what they've said. In that linked preview no less. 3d6 is the standard resolution mechanic. One die is the Marvel die. If you roll double sixes on the regular dice and a 1 on the Marvel die, something amazing happens. Hence the "d616 System".

I did not see a reference to 3d6 anywhere, but rather using 3 six-sided dice. I am now thinking it is a roll of 2d6 and a separate roll of the Marvel die for something special to happen, which would cover 2 sixes and a Marvel 1 being the best possible outcome of a roll. Otherwise, 2 sixes and a one are only 13, when a max of 18 is possible when adding all three together.
 

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MGibster

Legend
The article linked to has some more information. Normal human stat ranges are between -4 and +4.
I'm an old, old man and I was making a feeble joke referencing the names of attributes from TSR's version of Marvel Superheroes from the 1980s. Attributes from lowest to highest were Feeble, Poor, Typical, Good, Excellent, Remarkable, Incredible, Amazing, Monstrous, Unearthly, Shift X, Shift Y, Shift Z, Class 1000, Class 3000, and Class 5000. At least that's what I think it was. Spider-Man had an Amazing Agility and an Incredible Strength. I think Captain America had a Remarkable Strength which was considered peak human.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Why assume that something like an intro character exists?

Most folks play superhero games to be superheroes. Either to be Spider-man or to make up their own characters who are on the level of spider-man. Superhero games aren't usually level progression games because of that - even Mutants and Masterminds which started as a d20 based system had character power levels as a dial to turn not a level to attain.

The superhero games that tried to ape D&D with some kind of progression from low power to high power have never caught on. Because they're a bad fit for the genre. The genre is that one day you could get bit by a radioactive mongoose and suddenly become a hero who is at the same power level as Spider-man or Iron man right from the start. I'd assume that just about any character you make would be as complex as Spider-man.
The superhero genre, more than almost any other, is defined by its extremely variable tiers of power and complexity. Defenders vs Avengers. Street level supes aren't going to be nearly as complex and broad in power level as one of the biggest faces of the franchise
 

"The d616 system uses three d6s. Designer Matt Forbeck says "If you get a 1 on the Marvel die, you get a fantastic result and something amazing happens. If you get 6 on both of the other dice—or a 6-1-6 result—that’s an ultimate fantastic roll, which is even better."

Unless rerolls etc are handed out pretty generously, personally I'd find it a bit tricky to get excited about an 'ultimate fantastic' mechanic which triggers on average once every 216 rolls. 5e, for instance, is very generous with its critical hit mechanism that triggers once every 20 rolls on average, but in our game at least, you rarely see more than a couple a session unless the dice are being particularly generous. I suppose it depends on the pace your group sets and the number of rolls the GM calls for, but with those sort of odds you could easily go entire sessions without seeing a 616. Hard to build a system where one of the big selling points happens so infrequently.
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
It seems you get a bonus of some type every time you get a 1 on the 'Marvel' die. That's one in six. That seems more than generous enough. The "616" result is a super bonus.
 
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GMMichael

Guide of Modos
On April 20th, the 120-page softcover playtest book for the new Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game by Matt Forbeck will be available to purchase for $9.99; the final game is due to be released next year, in 2023.
. . .



The words MARVEL contains initials for the game's six ability scores -- Might, Agility, Resilience, Vigilance, Ego, and Logic. Each character has an archetype, such as a striker or blaster, and the archetype combines with the abilities to give bigger attack rolls.

Here's a quick look at Spider-Man! For reference a normal human stat is between -4 and +4.

Yay, a playtest! That means they want feedback. On that note...

  • I see six abilities, succeed/fail, and "core mechanics." They just forgot the 5e-compatible logo on the front.
  • Skin color as an attribute? Really? That's ballsy.
  • And maybe selling an unfinished softcover of 120 pages isn't the best idea, two days before Earth Day. I hope there's a pdf.
  • On a minor note: assuming that Hydra agents identify as male. Let's get more inclusivity in this playtest.

Now if someone could direct me toward the suggestion box...
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Skin color as an attribute? Really? That's ballsy.
It’s listed on the sheet in the biography section along with gender, height, weight, hair, and eyes. It’s not listed at the bottom under traits as in it might give a bonus.

Though you could argue some supers main power is being a rich white man. It’s the only reason Batman gets to do what he does.
 


Skywalker

Adventurer
I did not see a reference to 3d6 anywhere, but rather using 3 six-sided dice. I am now thinking it is a roll of 2d6 and a separate roll of the Marvel die for something special to happen, which would cover 2 sixes and a Marvel 1 being the best possible outcome of a roll. Otherwise, 2 sixes and a one are only 13, when a max of 18 is possible when adding all three together.
The defenses are exactly 11 + modifier. 11 is the average result on a 3d6. As such, I expect that the core dice system is that you roll 3d6 and add your modifier. If the Marvel dice rolls a 1, you get a special result.
 

And maybe selling an unfinished softcover of 120 pages isn't the best idea, two days before Earth Day. I hope there's a pdf.

Not that I have seen anywhere yet. So far just Kindle, Nook, and Google Play Books app that I can find for digital.

Now if someone could direct me toward the suggestion box...

I have a feeling, from the way I am reading between the lines, that official playtest reporting on the Marvel website for the game may only be available if you have bought a copy. Not sure how they would make that work, though, if they do that, rather than just registering on their site first before being allowed to submit a report and/or feedback.
 

Staffan

Legend
Looking at the powers, I wonder exactly is the difference between Webcasting, Webgrabbing, Webslinging, and Webtrapping, and why you would need to break down "slings webs" into several different abilities.

I assume Spider-Dodge and Mighty 1 reflect superhuman levels of Agility and Might?
I would assume so, given that (a) Spider-Man is one of the strongest "non-tank" supers, and (b) his Strength of +5 is barely super-human.
 

Lord Shark

Explorer
I would assume so, given that (a) Spider-Man is one of the strongest "non-tank" supers, and (b) his Strength of +5 is barely super-human.

It's not an unusual way to handle super-attributes, but Spidey being Mighty 1 makes me wonder how the game will handle someone like Beast, who's much stronger than any human but well below Spidey's weight class. Is there a Mighty 0?
 



aco175

Legend
Do you think the designers went with the 'Marvel Die' to roll 1 instead of 6 to avoid something super happening on 6-6-6, thus avoiding the satanic backlash?

Nobody mentioned the hidden Easter Egg of Spider-Man being in the new Fantastic 4 movie, since he is listed as being part of that group. ;)
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
The superhero genre, more than almost any other, is defined by its extremely variable tiers of power and complexity. Defenders vs Avengers. Street level supes aren't going to be nearly as complex and broad in power level as one of the biggest faces of the franchise
"Street level character" and "intro character" are not the same thing. A street level character isn't like a 1st level character in a D&D game - it's its own thing and may actually have as much complexity as a cosmic character - or possibly more. I can make a cosmic character in Champions, Mutants and Masterminds, or Icons who has basically a handful of powers that come down to "I can fly through space and punch and laser real good" or I can make a street-level character who is 1970s Batman - probably one of the more complicated characters to try to play between his gadgets, his martial arts abilities, and his various investigative abilities.

You may be right, but I think there will be a segment of the audience that will want to have a way to improve their hero, be it an original creation, or one of the established Marvel heroes. And I think this parallels plot points in the comics and films. Iron Man is a prime example, building improved versions of his armor. Spider-Man comes up with new ways to use his webbing. The Hulk can integrate Bruce Banner's mind with Hulk's strength. I think the game will at least provide an option for character advancement/improvement. Some of this can be more than just slight power ups.
Sure, and you can see that in the power trees that they have laid out for Spider-man. I would argue that every supers game has something like that - usually wrapped up in a stunt system where you can perform some kind of new stunt with your powers and then buy it as a permanent trait later with XP.

But it's not the same as having an "intro character" - the complexity of Spider-man is there from Amazing Fantasy #15 - he accumulates more ways to use his powers over time but he's got all of his powers right from the start. It's not like he goes from a level 1 hero in AF #15 to a cosmic powerhouse over the course of his book. (In fact he did become a cosmic powerhouse for a little while, but that was a plot thing where he got cosmic powers and they went away after a few months, not because of a character progression).
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
  • I see six abilities, succeed/fail, and "core mechanics." They just forgot the 5e-compatible logo on the front.
D&D 5e does not have a monopoly on roll some dice and add a modifier to the result to beat a target number. Arguably D&D 3e stole that mechanic from Ars Magica (though you can't really call it stealing when the lead designer of 3e was the lead designer of Ars Magica) but it wsa the most common mechanic around by the time 3e was developed that wasn't a dice pool mechanic.

D&D doesn't even have a monopoly on having six attributes, though the case for that is a better one since most games with six attributes descend from D&D in some way. Here I think it's more likely that it's just a clever use of the word MARVEL - if the company were named Atlas they would have designed it to have 5 attributes instead.

  • Skin color as an attribute? Really? That's ballsy.
I mean, it's alongside gender, height, weight and hair - doesn't actually feel ballsy so much as very mundane.

  • And maybe selling an unfinished softcover of 120 pages isn't the best idea, two days before Earth Day. I hope there's a pdf.
Since this is being sold in comic shops in the direct market you're not going to get a PDF, but I suspect it will show up on Comixology. It'll also be available for Kindle (because everything on Comixology is available for Kindle).

Also if you're asking Marvel to stop selling comics you're kind of asking them to give up a good chunk of their business model - every week they're putting out softcovers of 32 pages that are probably just as unfinished as this game is tbh (most of them could use a second script pass IMO).

  • On a minor note: assuming that Hydra agents identify as male. Let's get more inclusivity in this playtest.
Why would you assume Hyrda agents are male?
 

My question is if the leveling-up will be as d20 system. If it is not, then the players will not need to buy monster compediums when they can create their homemade version. The lore/mythology by Marvel comics ir very rich, but this can be found free in the fandom wiki, and the players who want to buy books for the crunch, they would rather d20 because it is the most used.

* How would be a D&D-Marvel crossover? It would be the first intercompany crossover in the TTRPG market, wouldn't it be?

Gamma World could be the right setting to test mutants with superpowers in d20 system.
 

Looking at the powers, I wonder exactly is the difference between Webcasting, Webgrabbing, Webslinging, and Webtrapping, and why you would need to break down "slings webs" into several different abilities.

Like most supers game, it's just going to be a fight simulator. The same as one of those Marvel videogames where you materialize in a corny-looking base and proceed to wail on dudes.

Also, movement is broken into spaces? I hope they don't expect us to run superhero combats on a 5-square-foot grid...

If this isn't a battlemap-centric game where people are required to constantly check whether Silver Surfer can reach the AIM officer that's 8 boxes away to board-bash them, and whether Dr. Strange's cape can grapple the guy who ran past as an opportunity attack, I'll be so surprised that it'll trigger my Hates To Eat Crow trait and I'll have to activate my Turn Off Computer power (assuming I'm within 2 spaces of my laptop that round).
 


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