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Superhero Systems Needed

beepeearr

First Post
Mutants and Masterminds is a very good system. Power Creation can be daunting at first but once you get the hang of it the system really starts to shine. Game play has been as simple or as complicated as the players choose, but always quick, like a 6 round combat with 6 players and in less then 30 minutes quick.

The system also allows some flexibility for house rules or modding the system. I'm using a modified version to run my fantasy games, and its been a lot of fun, with fast paced combat that allows the players more time outside of combat or more combats per session then what we were getting out of 4E. It also doesn't have a lot of the book keeping problems that 3/3.5 has. NPC can be as simple or complicated as you want.

For instance I only stat out important NPC's or Monsters everything else is just a few notes scribbled down as the PC's explore and a really simple easy/medium/hard formula I use for the attack and defenses.
The combats have been quick, but still challenging and dynamic.

For a more gritty feel I have the cumulative -1 apply to all defenses and passive rolls and cap it at -10, anything greater dazes. I then added dying to the threshold chart, and a rule for determining when an attacker can decide to kill a target. What this leads to is, as the fight wears on wounded targets get easier and easier to hit and damage, and more likely to miss things (ie due to passive senses), instead of just easier to damage as per the RAW.

I really like the threshold system (every five points over the Target number is a new threshold) and quite a few of my house rules are tied to it.

The system really is worth checking out.
 

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Gronin

Explorer
I am going to echo a lot of the support for Mutants and Masterminds. Turned out to play a lot better than I expected. (cann't speak to 3rd edition as I haven't tried it yet but earlier editions were good).

Champions is a lot of fun but you better be a crunchy bits kinda player.

Also it may be worth waiting as Margaret Weis Productions ( Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. :: Author and Game Publisher News & Information ) is bringing out the Marvel RPG in February of 2012. It will be using the Cortex Plus system. Anyone who has played Leverage, Smallville or Supernatural will be familiar with it.

I have not personally played the Cortex Plus but I have played the basic Cortex system a bit (home brew SciFi setting) and I think it has a lot of potential.
 

Walking Dad

First Post
I think if you've been running Abberant then M&M 3e won't have more book keeping for you. It's just different book keeping.
The OP mentioned the clunkiness of the system and the round counting of Aberrant. Neither is in M&M.

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Wild Talents, by Arc Dream Publishing, is the generic superhero rules, but they have a couple of settings too if that's your bag. It has some crunch to it, and goes *quick* for figuring out how turns resolve.
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Wild Talents is very easy to break, utility powers require much GM decision, and characters can (and will) be very unbalanced. Don't try superhero fights with it. It is also gritty.

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I have to confess that we didn't play it for a huge length of time, so I might not be giving it fair crack of the whip. Also, I really love DC Heroes and may just be plain biased...
The best thing in DC Heroes was the speed, distance, time, ... table. Which is also in M&M 3rd. The character creation assumed you to be less competent than Robin at the beginning.

TSR's "FASERIP" Marvel Super Heroes is very light (less so with Advanced), and captures the feel of its subject, well, marvelously. There's a "retro clone" called Four Colors (4C) that naturally lacks all the trademarked Marvel references.

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Fun system, which combines with nostalgia to be the best supers RPG. Not very balanced, some rules issues, pdfs are free. (Don't go for the clone if the original is free.)

I have heard quite a few people over at RPGNet say that while they didn't care for the d20 System at all, they actually liked the implementation in 2e M&M and 3e M&M too.
This. M&M (3rd) removed many things form 3.5, like AoOs and other 'Clunky' stuff. It only uses one die, has a damage save instead of a HP mechanic and renamed many things to get past the d20 hate.

That said, if you are looking for a much more rules-lite system for supers, I would highly recommend ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying from Adamant Entertainment. I've been playing it regularly for over a year now and I've really enjoyed it. I love the system - it plays very well but doesn't get in the way.
I played it. It will work if you like the FATE aspects and are not particulary concerned with PC balance. The point-buy is an add-on and breaks easily.

I am going to echo a lot of the support for Mutants and Masterminds. Turned out to play a lot better than I expected. (cann't speak to 3rd edition as I haven't tried it yet but earlier editions were good).

Champions is a lot of fun but you better be a crunchy bits kinda player.

Also it may be worth waiting as Margaret Weis Productions ( Margaret Weis Productions, Ltd. :: Author and Game Publisher News & Information ) is bringing out the Marvel RPG in February of 2012. It will be using the Cortex Plus system. Anyone who has played Leverage, Smallville or Supernatural will be familiar with it.

I have not personally played the Cortex Plus but I have played the basic Cortex system a bit (home brew SciFi setting) and I think it has a lot of potential.

Cortex Plus is an easy 'base system', that invents itself again for any of the various games. You cannot use a character form Leverage for Smallville or Supernatuaral or any other way around, so it is difficult to judge how the Marvel RPG will be.

Smallville is also heroes, but concentrates much more on social Drama as seen in Smallville, Buffy and many other TV serials that are most concerned with relationships between the protagonists.
 


Mallus

Legend
Mutants & Masterminds is, of course, a dedicated superhero game. However, just at a glance, it looks like it has a lot of D&D 3E in its genetic code. If I'm the type of GM who detests 3E and never wants to run it again (way too much bookkeeping and number-crunching), how am I likely to feel about M&M?
M&M 2e plays a lot differently. You don't have anywhere near the level of "modifier math" --recalculating bonuses on the fly and applying cascading effects each round-- found in mid-to-high level D&D 3e. Most combat rolls are simple and straightforward.

M&M is by no means a light-crunch system, but I neatly sidesteps one of D&D 3e's most cumbersome aspects.
 

delericho

Legend
Could someone clue me in on the key differences between M&M 2nd and 3rd editions?

I have the 2nd, but have never actually gotten around t playing (or even reading!) it. I'm now gearing up for a potential game in the system, and am wondering if it would be worth skipping straight to the 3rd edition.

Is the 3rd edition any less complex than the 2nd? More complex? About the same?

Does the third edition provide a lot more options in the core rules, fewer options, or about the same?

(The two above are my big concerns - increasingly complexity in the core and option bloat are not good things IMO. I'm happy for them to be added in supplements, but the less I have to wrap my head around at the start, the better!)

How quick is whipping up NPCs in the two systems? Is it noticably faster to whip up mooks than BBEGs?
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
I'd cast my vote for Champions (caveat: my experience was all with Champions 1.0). I found this was an excellent system to generate any kind of hero, and as long as there is a broad gentlemans agreement about the max dice for any basic attack when designing the characters. GM supervision and help when creating the characters was really useful for us.

Great fun though. I still remember with some affection Rakshasa, Green Flame, The Warden, P.H.O.E.N.I.X., Starchild and others.
 

Walking Dad

First Post
Could someone clue me in on the key differences between M&M 2nd and 3rd editions?

Mutants & Masterminds 2e to 3e Conversion notes [9-page, 217KB PDF]

DC ADVENTURES Quick Start PDF
(same rules system)


I have the 2nd, but have never actually gotten around t playing (or even reading!) it. I'm now gearing up for a potential game in the system, and am wondering if it would be worth skipping straight to the 3rd edition.
IMHO, it is worth. I started a 2e game because I'm more familiar with it's rules, but house ruled it more and more in the 3e direction...

Is the 3rd edition any less complex than the 2nd? More complex? About the same?
I would say about the same. The renaming and changes at the abilities may make it a bit harder for people coming from D&D at first, but many powers have been clarified and simplified (as were some other things, grapple, for example).
They provided less sample powers, but their roll-call forum has many builds you can sweep for their power constructions.

Does the third edition provide a lot more options in the core rules, fewer options, or about the same?

(The two above are my big concerns - increasingly complexity in the core and option bloat are not good things IMO. I'm happy for them to be added in supplements, but the less I have to wrap my head around at the start, the better!)

Building options or options for characters during play?

How quick is whipping up NPCs in the two systems? Is it noticably faster to whip up mooks than BBEGs?

It is very quick:
Just decide on the power level (max bonus for att & damage, defense & toughness...), decide on the trad-offs (harder to hit or tougher, hitting better or harder) and you have you basic combat stats. Just add details (and 'utility' powers, as you like).

The trick is to neither build mooks or BBEGs like PCs. For BBEGs just use a higher PL and add more details.

A point buy system allows you to have everything 'right' without cross-referencing level tables, like in D&D.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya.

I'm gonna throw may hat into the MSHA ring (Marvel Super Heroes Advanced). I have yet to "break" that system in any meaningful way. I've ran short campaigns were the PC power level was quite different...and the game itself never even hiccuped (yes, I mean a 'street level detective' teaming up with Spiderman, and getting a helpful hand from Dr.Strange, for example).

I think the key to running ANY super hero game is to try and think of the game session as an "issue" of the characters comic book. If it would be cool in a comic book...do it. If it would suck...don't. Rules that may get in the way of deciding yea/nae for something to happen should be quietly put to the side and ignored for that situation/issue. In short, a super hero game session should, IMHO, rely HEAVILY and the GM and Player's ability to use a rule this way for this session, but next session it may not work that way. How else do you expect to get really good debates going, like weather or not Thor could take out the Hulk?

PS: The answer to the Thor vs. Hulk is easy; whomevers comic it is, wins. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

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