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Spider-Verse Expansion Coming For Marvel Roleplaying

Create your own version of Spider-Man!

spidey1.jpeg

The Marvel Multiverse Roleplaying Game announced an X-Men expansion earlier this year, and now designer Matt Forbeck has revealed that a Spider-Man supplement is joining the lineup in summer 2024. This book, called the Spider-Verse Expansion, allows you to create your own Spiderman, along with supporting characters like Uncle Ben and Aunt May, plus classic Spider-Man villains.
 

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Jer

Legend
Supporter
Except that this isn't their first outing into the world of RPGs. They also published the Marvel Universe RPG in 2003, which was a complete mess. Hopefully they learned from that experience.
You're right! I completely forgot about it even though it's sitting on my shelf next to the other Marvel RPGs.

Dan Gelber worked on that one. There was a core of a good idea in there, but I'm not sure something that experimental was a good fit for a licensed property. They seem to be taking the opposite approach with this one and giving something that is maybe a little too "safely similar" to what D&D is. I guess we'll see how it goes for them.

IIRC the devs on the game said it actually sold quite well for a non-D&D RPG. But Marvel considered it a failure because they thought it should get at least D&D numbers, and preferably more. Hopefully they've reset their expectations downward on this one or it'll just be history repeating itself.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Because the projects were not both ready to talk about at the same time?

Because the timeline for release of the third animated Spiderverse movie in 2024 solidified enough for them to plan to coincide with it?

And goodness knows what other good business reasons there may be. Don't sweat it.
I wasn't "sweating it". Just thought it was odd. Commenting on something doesn't mean I feel any anxiety over it.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
... the company making this game is actually Marvel comics. This is their first outing into the world of rpgs

No, it isn't. There have been several Marvel comics RPGs over time:
Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) - published by TSR, 1984
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA) - published by TSR, 1998
Marvel Universe Role Playing Game - Published by Marvel Comics, 2003
Marvel Heroic Role Playing (Cortex) - Published by Margaret Weis Productions, 2012
And now...
Marvel Multiverse Role Playing Game - Published by Marvel Comics, 2023
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
No, it isn't. There have been several Marvel comics RPGs over time:
Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) - published by TSR, 1984
Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA) - published by TSR, 1998
Marvel Universe Role Playing Game - Published by Marvel Comics, 2003
Marvel Heroic Role Playing (Cortex) - Published by Margaret Weis Productions, 2012
And now...
Marvel Multiverse Role Playing Game - Published by Marvel Comics, 2023
Yeah that was pointed out to me earlier - completely forgot about that one.
 

Anyone know if they actually improved the game and made their mechanics playable across different scopes?
Yes. They reduced a load of pointless math and removed the ‘Class’ stipulations from the game. There was an update file produced at the end of 2022, along with example characters. It looked a lot easier to grasp and was, as I say, a lot more promising.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yes. They reduced a load of pointless math and removed the ‘Class’ stipulations from the game. There was an update file produced at the end of 2022, along with example characters. It looked a lot easier to grasp and was, as I say, a lot more promising.
Yeah - I downloaded the errata last night and looked at it all. I hadn't been paying attention after the initial playtest document other than hearing that they changed quite a bit in the first update.

The folks who said that there was a lot of changes were not kidding. They scrapped the entire "Archetypes" idea and changed Rank to be a clear indication of power level for a character and not a level progression system (the core playtest seemed to use Rank both ways, which makes no sense for a supers game). They cleaned up the math a lot which simplified both the ability tests and the damage calculations.

Almost as importantly for me as the change to Rank, while they're keeping the idea of "power sets" (which feels somewhat restrictive and artificial to me), they're at least giving characters more of them to play with at all of the different ranks. When I first looked at the system it seemed like the lack of being able to have enough power sets to draw powers from was going to mean a lot of Marvel characters just couldn't be modeled without some real twists. Looks like the devs found the same thing as they did the playtest.

I'm impressed. When they released the playtest document last year I figured the final game would look a lot like it. And it does keep the skeleton of the original system they put out in the playtest but they changed a lot of things.

If the final system looks close to what was in the final playtest update I've moved from a "skip" to "probably pick it up". Still not a must buy for me, but definitely closer to something I'd actually run than it looked like it was going to be.
 

One of the things I like about it is, unlike many other superhero games, I can actually generate a character in about 5-10 minutes or so.

The mechanic is really straightforward - roll ‘D616’ (3D6 with a Marvel Die included, which replaces the ‘1’ with a crit result instead) and beat a target number which is essentially a Characteristic score +10. The Characteristic scores are a bit abstracted, but can be read in the same manner as the bonus-score scale from D&D (where 1 is the same as a +1 bonus, 2 is a +2 bonus etc). It doesn’t work quite the same as the D20 system as the D616 is a bell curve result rather than linear, but it is familiar still. The Powers section may take a bit of a learning curve, but no more than D&D-style feats or the like and, thankfully, they haven’t overburdened the system with a massive skill list. Reading a Marvel die as a multiplier for the damage bonus also makes combat really easy to calculate too.

If this is coupled with some good, full colour production standards and taps into the full range of source material (which is a lot of comics/movies) then I can see it as being very worth it for me. I’ve found most supers games to have problems of one sort or another and, unlike D&D, Traveller and Call of Cthulhu which each fulfil my basic wants for fantasy, sci-fi and horror gaming respectively, I’ve never really found a game that satisfies for the Supers genre. Till now, maybe.
 
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R_J_K75

Legend
I just read the End of the Spiderverse story line in Marvels Spider-Man title. I didnt particularly care for it. I think it ran from issue 1 thru 8. There was just too many Spider-People to keep track of and I never heard of any more than 3 or 4 to begin with. I've been reading Spider-Man on and off since I can remember. I took a long break and missed most of the 90s but been reading more regularly since 2000 with a break for a year or two here and there. The only two regular titles currently are the Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man, which dont necessarily seem to be in the same continuity, the same thing with one-shots and special events. Its hard to keep track of things unlike the 80s when ASM, Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man and the Web of Spider-Man ran concurrently in the same continuity and the plot lines sometimes crossed over between the 3 titles. Nowadays the story lines seem longer and have taken on more of a supernatural tone, where in years past the stories revolved more around fighting crime and stopping supervillains. I saw the first animated Spider-verse movie and it was pretty good but not the latest one. I'd guess that this supplement will probably include excerpts of both the comic book and movie story lines as well as the NPCs.

I'm on the fence whether I'm going to invest in this product line, its kind of pricey, but regardless of price over the years Ive owned 2 or 3 of the Marvel RPGs and never got around to playing any of them so I dont see this one being any different. The Super Hero RPG genre has always been a hard sell to the people I've played with based solely on lack of interest. But with the movies and TV shows I think youd be hard pressed to find someone who hasnt seen at least a few of them so that might help spark interest.
 

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