Grade the Megaversal/Palladium System

How do you feel about the Megaversal/Palladium System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 7 8.0%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 13 14.9%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 41 47.1%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 6 6.9%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 17 19.5%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 2 2.3%

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
It's pretty bad. There's a lot of copy and paste (minus editing) going on between the various books. Further, some very basic elements of the system are never explicitly explained . Finally, in many Palladium products, sensible organization borders on non-existent. Things are so bad that Kevin has admitted in the past that he doesn't actually use the Palladium house system when running games in Palladium settings.

[Edit: I'd like to see what system Kevin does use. In fact, I'd be willing to pay money for that.]
 
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I have never played it. I bought a bundle of the Palladium Roleplaying Game and two add-on volumes when it was cheap in a game store some time in the 1980s, hoping to loot ideas from it. The system was enough of a mess that I abandoned that idea swiftly, and didn't see much in the way of setting ideas before giving up. Not being a fan of TMNT or giant robots, and having been put off the company by their behaviour over The Primal Order, I've never felt any motivation to look again.
 

General_Tangent

Adventurer
I had fun with some of the games in the past. Thanks to the copy and paste layouts of the books it was fairly easy to get to grips with the different versions of the systems.

These days I'd probably use a different system if I was to replay them but wanted to keep the background.
 

I have some fond and not-so-fond memoires of playing the various Palladium Games. But looking at the mechanics from a modern perspective, it doesn't hold up for me. And as far as I know, it hasn't had any significant updates since back in the day.

I'm also increasingly less fond of universal systems. No game system can do every genre well.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Several wonderful ideas like Rifts, TMNT, Nightbane, etc but one of the worst systems out there.
The system is garbage. The layout is awful. The presentation of rules and processes stinks.
It's pretty bad. There's a lot of copy and paste (minus editing) going on between the various books.
....
Things are so bad that Kevin has admitted in the past that he doesn't actually use the Palladium house system when running games in Palladium settings.

This might be the first system that doesn't earn a "passing" grade. Right out of the gate it has a D, and a GPA of 1.3.
 

dbm

Savage!
I initially voted ‘never played it’ but then realised we did try a session or two of TMNT and Ninjas and Super Spies back in the day. I think I also had Heroes Unlimited at one point, too.

The system had a very similar feel and complexity to its peers of the day (mechanically speaking), and the specific games didn’t pull us in so we never played them much beyond those couple of try-out sessions. Since the system is notoriously ’quirky’ to be polite it’s now a system I would never consider playing and so I reluctantly changed my vote to ‘pretty bad’.
 

Undrave

Legend
I had their superhero book and I managed to run maybe 1 session. I couldn’t properly wrap my head around their system and don’t have any memory of how it worked. Didn’t like it. Too convoluted.
 

Nutation

Explorer
I have played a little Rifts, and "gonzo" is the word I use as well. The setting feels very artificial.
I also tried some Heroes Unlimited. The character archetypes (randomly rolled) are grossly unbalanced in power. Some are skill monkeys, and a few skills are problematic. (Boxing was mentioned.) Some roll random mutant powers (or do you choose? - I forget). Some buy cybernetic parts or other technology on a budget. Three very different build systems, and how could you balance them?
What I continue to do is roll random HU superheroes as seed ideas for HERO. It is great for generating ideas.
 

giant.robot

Adventurer
I voted mostly bad. The Palladium system itself does not have many redeeming qualities. Once you know it, it's workable with some house rules. It's very much a rule set modeled on 1E D&D with a bunch of fantasy heartbreaker rules on top. It's unfortunate these have not changed in the intervening decades.

While I don't much care for the rules I have a soft spot for Palladium's settings. Over the years I've used the settings with alternate systems and did a best-effort port of stats. Palladium's settings appeal to my inner teenage boy that wants giant mecha fighting demons and dragons.
 

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