Favorite superhero RPGs?


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Thomas Shey

Legend
I’ve seen multiple published builds for DC, Marvel & other publishers’ comic book characters for Champions/HERO over the years. Typically, the way most have handled the iconic ultra-skilled human archetype (like Batman) vs innately powerful archetypes (Superman, etc.) at the same power level (same number of build points) is that the majority of the points in the latter are personal attributes, whereas the former have LOADS of external in-setting resources.

So Batman types would have things like a trainload of skills at higher proficiency levels, great wealth, a base with multiple kinds of high-tech equipment (supercomputers, labs, etc.), vehicles, weapons, contacts, swappable gear, yada, yada yada. They might not be able to stand toe-to-toe with beings that are effectively demigods- at least, not without prep time*- but they make everyone else on the team MUCH more effective.

One of the things I noted about the Timmverse JLA show was that when they were going to be up against a whole raft of things that actually required Superman, GL and so on to deal with them, they'd usually have Bats come out in the Batplane. It was funny how much an advanced fighter jet with missiles evened things out.

(That said, that version of Superman was compressed down in power more than a lot of versions are).
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
How comfortable are you with heavy abstraction and narrative mechanics? I expect that would be a factor.

I don't lean into it much (note among the five games I listed, none are purely narrative-focused) but I'm not allergic to it either (three of the five have some degree of it, and you could make an argument the other two have some narrative conceits baked in), but as I've noted I find Cortex more comfortable to GM than I did my short attempt at Fate, so take of that what you will.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I don't lean into it much (note among the five games I listed, none are purely narrative-focused) but I'm not allergic to it either (three of the five have some degree of it, and you could make an argument the other two have some narrative conceits baked in), but as I've noted I find Cortex more comfortable to GM than I did my short attempt at Fate, so take of that what you will.
I don't see Cortex as any less narrative in practice than Fate.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I don't see Cortex as any less narrative in practice than Fate.

I didn't say it was. I said I found one more comfortable to run than the other. Their degree of narrative involvement likely has nothing to do with that; the biggest part was there's much less GM involvement in assessing the application of Cortex traits than Fate Aspects, and in fact, most rolls in Cortex will involve one of a given set of traits. The compression is also less severe. I suspect those two facts had a lot more to do with my comfort in engaging with Cortex than how narrative focused it was.
 

GuardianLurker

Adventurer
Though the compression at the lower end can be pretty unfortunate.
Yeah. They sacrificed the low end to make the high-end more playable. They were also very up front about that (and the durable forks issue). You could get around it by re-baselining the AP benchmarks, but it usually wasn't worth the trouble.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
Yeah. They sacrificed the low end to make the high-end more playable. They were also very up front about that (and the durable forks issue). You could get around it by re-baselining the AP benchmarks, but it usually wasn't worth the trouble.

Yeah, the reason for the problem was obvious, but it could really stand-out if you were looking at, say, the Bat family.
 


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