New Marvel RPG?

Flobby

Explorer
Anyone heard any details about that new CORTEX Marvel RPG? I see that its due to be released next month but have heard nothing about it. Anyone seen any previews or anything?
 

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Greg K

Legend
If you go to rpg.net Cam has revealed some info. It looks like it is going to be very much an "indie" game.


The products will be event based (e.g., Breakout, Civil War) rather than traditional team books or Marvel Handbook collections and will come in two formats: Premium with the basic rule book ($40) and one without $30. Event Books for 2012: Civil War, Annihilation, Age of Apocalypse

There will be a basic rule book ($20) that you can buy separately which is why there will be a cheaper version without the basic rule book.

The event books will have write-ups for characters based on their appearance in the event (I am not certain, but I think there are supposed to be books for tie-ins as well)

The default assumption is that you will be playing the Marvel characters in the events although you will be able to make up your own characters using the basic rules (think of the original yellow Marvel FASERIP boxed set)

No traditional attributes (strength, agility, etc.) unless super and the ratings will be d8 to d12.

Characters are rated by the following:
1. Affiliation: how they perform in Solo, Buddy and Team
a. You have a d6, d8, d10 and assign one to one of the three

2. Distinctions:
a. Every character has 3 distinctions
b. Distinctions are kind of like Fate Aspects in that they can be a benefit or a hindrance depending upon circumstances
c. If you a hindrance, you roll a d4 you get +1PP , because it causes trouble
d. When beneficial, you you roll a d8 (not sure if you can have higher or lower)

3. Power Sets
rating goes up to d12

4. Specialties:
a. The list of specialties are: Acrobatic, Business, Combat, Cosmic, Covert, Crime, Medical, Menace, Mystic, Psych, Science, Tech, Vehicles
b. Specialties are rated d6, d8=Expert, d10=Master.
c. You can split dice into multiple smaller dice.

5. Milestones
a. Characters write-ups have milestones based upon the character's appearance in the event or tie-in book
b. You get XP for each milestone you meet

6. Players get Plot Points.

7. The GM is called the Watcher and has a doom pool

8. There are no hit points, but two sets of three tracks which increase in dice that can be used against you.
a. There are Physical, Mental, and Emotional Stress; and
b. Physical, Mental, and Emotional Trauma.

"Think of Stress as being bashed up, bruised, and battered, while Trauma is what happens when you take lasting injury and hurt. Your opponent gets to use your Stress or Trauma for free as a bonus die in opposition to you, just like Smallville. Physical, Mental, Emotional"

9. Heroes in the Main book (write-ups based upon Breakout):
Armor, Beast, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Daredevil, Emma Frost, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Mister Fantastic, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Shadowcat, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Storm, Thing, and Wolverine. (Note: No Hulk or Thor due to Ragnarok and Planet Hulk.)
You can find a Captain America write-up and a sneak peak of the Savage Lands at the Margaret Weiss Productions website
 
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Greg K

Legend
update: Heroes in main book

Heroes in the main book:
Armor, Beast, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Daredevil, Emma Frost, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Fist, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Mister Fantastic, Ms. Marvel, Sentry, Shadowcat, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Storm, Thing, and Wolverine. (Note: No Hulk or Thor due to Ragnarok and Planet Hulk.)

The write-ups are based upon Breakout
 

Greg K

Legend
Character Generation update

No point based system or random system in the main book.

A random character generator will be a web update.
 




I already preordered, this is the Superhero game i've been waiting for, no levels (never made sense for a supers game) and no hit points. I like it's concept, where you can have Wasp running into the Juggernaut and handle herself like in a comic scene. No offense to M&M but that was Super D&D where Marvel Heroic RPG looks to bring the comic feel to heroes.

Brock
 

Greg K

Legend
I already preordered, this is the Superhero game i've been waiting for, no levels (never made sense for a supers game) and no hit points. I like it's concept, where you can have Wasp running into the Juggernaut and handle herself like in a comic scene. No offense to M&M but that was Super D&D where Marvel Heroic RPG looks to bring the comic feel to heroes.

Brock

To each their own. My rankings are

1st (best): Icons, M&M 2e, Marvel Superhero Adventure Game (the one using cards if I Steve Kenson's free web supplements including his collection of both his and the online group fixes)
2nd: M&M 3e, DC Heroes 2e and 3e (Mayfair)
3rd: Champions, Silver Age Sentinels, V&V revised (using Jeff Dee's Simple point buy and skill system)
4th: Marvel Superhero Adventure Game (cards)
5th: Marvel RPG (classic TSR version)
6th: Marvel Universe (QED/Marvel w/stones), DC Universe (West End Games), Superworld, V&V revised
7th: Truth and Justice
8th: Brave New World, Capes, Heroes Unlimited, V&V 1e, With Great Power
9th: (worst): Enforcers, Foundation, Superhero 2044

Right now, the new Marvel Game sounds like 4th-5th category for my tastes ( then, move down an additional step due to the event based format). Most of the base elements listed above sound pretty good, but there are too few specialties for my tastes, I don't like that there is not some kind of Edge mechanic similar to the Marvel SAGA game to reflect the difference between novice heroes (e.g., early New Mutants), the X-men, and someone like Captain America or Thor. I also have some concerns that combat will run into some of the issues of the original game.

And, again, I dislike the event based format. Other than the Mutant Massascre, I have never liked the major cross over events. Furthermore, with the exception of Busiek/Perez Avengers and Spiderman (pre-resetting the issue numbers), I have had no interest in the Marvel Universe from the point circa the Inferno and forward (Winter Soldier being the one exception).

However, I am waiting to see the actual product as Cam has surprised me before.
 
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Greg K

Legend
I already preordered, this is the Superhero game i've been waiting for, no levels (never made sense for a supers game) and no hit points. I like it's concept, where you can have Wasp running into the Juggernaut and handle herself like in a comic scene. No offense to M&M but that was Super D&D where Marvel Heroic RPG looks to bring the comic feel to heroes.

Brock

Let's see. M&M strips the d20 system down to the chasis and build it back up. It has no classes, no levels (power levels are not D&D levels), no hit points. Armor reduces damage not make you harder to hit. It has no Vancian system. You don't gain automatic bonuses to hit or saves. It only uses a d20. And each version moves farther away from the d20 roots. Calling it Super D&D seems like an ignorant statement.
 
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Let's see. M&M strips the d20 system down to the chasis and build it back up. It has no classes, no levels (power levels are not D&D levels), no hit points. Armor reduces damage not make you harder to hit. It has no Vancian system. It only uses a d20. And each version moves farther away from the d20 roots. Calling it Super D&D seems like an ignorant statement.

Whatever man, your high post count must mean I'm ignorant. Oh it's a Supers D&D.. nothing wrong with that but not my bag baby.

Brock
 

Greg K

Legend
Whatever man, your high post count must mean I'm ignorant. Oh it's a Supers D&D.. nothing wrong with that but not my bag baby.

Brock

It has nothing to do with my post count. It is, perfectly, fine that it is not your bag. However, all you did was state an opinion with nothing to back it up. In contrast, it has been demonstrated by many others here and rpg.net to the two or three people claiming it is supers D&D that such claims are based on ignorance and no understanding of the system. And like myself, they have shown the significant differences between the two systems to demonstrate it.

If you are going to make such a claim, back it up with evidence to support it.
 


teitan

Legend
Whatever man, your high post count must mean I'm ignorant. Oh it's a Supers D&D.. nothing wrong with that but not my bag baby.

Brock

And the issue is though that you are DEMONSTRABLY wrong. To say M&M is anything like D&D demonstrates your ignorance in the worst possible way. M&M is point buy, it is just as versatile as the Hero System. The only similar element to D&D is the D20 mechanic which isn't levels etc. it is roll a D20, add modifiers and beat a target number. Period. It even has different attributes etc in the most recent iteration because they wanted to get away from ignorant opinions like this one.
 

Cam Banks

Adventurer
Thanks to Greg K for assembling that info.

One of my favorite things about the RPG.net thread (we're onto our third one now, actually) is that for the most part folks are not down on other games, but interested in hearing what Marvel Heroic Roleplaying does that's different or similar.

I wouldn't call it an indie game at all. Sure, I borrow from indie/small press games all the time, but I think most people are going to find it plays pretty action/adventure well. If your definition of indie is "has no hit points, traditional stats, or levels" then I think that rules out a lot of indie games, also. :)

I'm happy to answer any and all questions about the game, my design philosophy, what's in it, etc etc. There have been a few podcast interviews with me about it already; the latest is on the Jennisodes. Go take a listen. I have a funny accent.

Cheers,
Cam
 

fireinthedust

Explorer
Cam: first, respect for coming and talking directly to fans.

second: the game looks neat, and congrats on the license!

Third: Will the dice be rolled individually, or do they add together somehow?



M&M=D&D: While I don't agree with this, I do see where he's coming from in that it's a d20 game. It looks similar in many respects to D&D. Also, one can play a fantasy game with it (remember W&W? No? Well, they made it anyway and it was a great read). As well, if it weren't for how M&M took apart the d20 system, I wouldn't have understood 3e as well as I do.

However, no Supers game can play like a D&D game if the characters don't collect treasure from opponents they can regularly use. The structure of gameplay (xp, treasure, levels, equipment) is fundamentally different: Spider-man lives for the thrill of being him and doing the right thing. He doesn't change as he goes on, he simply gets to go back to start and keep going. Maybe he gets to join the Avengers and use Tony's place, but that's not upping his "level". He doesn't get to be "more" spider-man, he's as much him as he's going to get.

Which is weird, I guess. But that's okay.

Maybe since M&M allows characters to improve with pp... but still, that only lasts so long before the characters go outside their own concepts.
 

Greg K

Legend
Thanks to Greg K for assembling that info.
no problem Cam. Even if, at the moment, it does not appear to be my tastes, you guys put out good games.

I wouldn't call it an indie game at all. Sure, I borrow from indie/small press games all the time, but I think most people are going to find it plays pretty action/adventure well. If your definition of indie is "has no hit points, traditional stats, or levels" then I think that rules out a lot of indie games, also. :)

I am familiar with with many different indie/small press games and know that they come in many forms. Some look appealing upon first look and I want to give a run (e.g., Dread (non-Jenga), Little Fears: Nightmares Edition, Lady Blackbird, Better Game's various Freestyle Roleplaying (if I can ever replace my stolen copies) ). Some sound interesting based upon what I have heard, but my opinion may change once I see the mechanics (Part-time Gods, Cartoon Action Hour Season 2, Crime Network, Terror Network), Some just are not to my taste, but I can see why people like them (e.g., Barbarians of Lemuria, FATE, FUDGE). Many, I just don't like (e.g., Capes. Cat, Primetime Adventures, Dogs in the Vineyard, With Great Power) and may even find pretentious as well.

From what I have seen discussed about the new Marvel Game, I feel fine describing it as "indie" style (based on what we know today)

Some things that I feel lend credence when taken as whole: no traditional ability scores, FATE like Distinctions, individual milestones for XP tied to the event, Negotiating character design rather than including a random or point based generation system. Narrative Focus. There are several indie games that have won indie industry awards that are closer to more traditional mechanics.

Hell, there is a whole thread at RPG.NET by Cortex+ fans about how Cortex+ is stealth indie design.

And, it is not, necessarily, a bad thing.
 
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Greg K

Legend
It looks similar in many respects to D&D. Also, one can play a fantasy game with it (remember W&W? No? Well, they made it anyway and it was a great read). As well, if it weren't for how M&M took apart the d20 system, I wouldn't have understood 3e as well as I do.
Of course, W&W mentions it is designed to cover fantasy as covered in comic books (e.g., Conan, Kull, Claw, Warlord, etc.) and not D&D.

Maybe since M&M allows characters to improve with pp... but still, that only lasts so long before the characters go outside their own concepts.

Increases in Power level in M&M are optional. The GM is not required to increase the Power Level. It is state as a suggestion. If the GM wants, they can allow the character to broaden or increase until they hit the power level caps. It is not as if there are not examples of characters in the comics acquiring new skills, tricks, or gadgets or improving existing ones. And there are examples of characters improving in power level. Some examples:

The original New Mutants
Cage (i.e, Power-man)
Invisible Woman
Iceman
Nova (Richard Rider)
Psylocke
Rogue
 

fireinthedust

Explorer
true, but if you increase too much you get over-powered heroes. Some hero concepts don't necessarily need to expand. Once you get all the combat feats, for example, a vigilante will need to start getting equipment, maybe wealth, all that stuff, simply to buy up more pp. They can't get higher than the human max without breaking concept for ability scores.

It will take some time, of course. I played in a pbp game for years and we barely added anything (pbp or not) to our characters. RL games, though, i can see growing fairly quickly.
 

Relique du Madde

Adventurer
true, but if you increase too much you get over-powered heroes. Some hero concepts don't necessarily need to expand. Once you get all the combat feats, for example, a vigilante will need to start getting equipment, maybe wealth, all that stuff, simply to buy up more pp. They can't get higher than the human max without breaking concept for ability scores.

It will take some time, of course. I played in a pbp game for years and we barely added anything (pbp or not) to our characters. RL games, though, i can see growing fairly quickly.

Yet, the CORTEX Marvel game has an XP system, so I'm pretty sure they will have similar issues to PPs and the accruement of power since I'm certain that the XP will be used to boost powers/abilities and gain new specialties or something.
 

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