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Welcome…To Jurassic Murderworld

A beginner adventure written by comics writer Jim Zub.


It’s been about 10 months since the Marvel Multiverse Role Playing Game officially released. It seems to be doing well with a ranking on ICV2’s 10 ten sales chart and a hotly anticipated X-Men Sourcebook hitting on the heels of a revamp of the classic animated series. While Marvel Heroic Roleplaying remains my favorite comic book RPG, Marvel Multiverse aims for a broader target of D&D 5e fans and people familiar with the MCU to bring them into the hoppy. One of the big strengths of the game is the massive collection of characters in the core book. It’s very easy to ask a new player their favorite Marvel character, hand them the character sheet and start playing. The main thing missing from the core rulebook is a starting adventure. The Murderworld That Time Forgot positions itself as a beginner adventure, written by comics writer Jim Zub. Does a trip to Murderworld sound like fun? Let’s play to find out.

If there’s a Murderworld, then that probably means Arcade is the villain. For those unfamiliar with Marvel Comics, Arcade is a villain who is often hired by other villains to kidnap heroes and put them in amusement park themed deathtrap dungeons called Murderworld. His ego allows the heroes a small chance to survive, which they inevitably do so the comic can end with a few pales of the insufferable bad guy getting put in his place. The storyline follows that general arc with the heroes getting caught by Arcade and sent to a Murderworld all the way down in the Savage Land. Mostly that makes this an opportunity for the heroes to punch evil robots and dinosaurs which honestly sounds like a good way to pass a few hours. I imagine anyone playing Deadpool wondering aloud why Jeff Goldblum isn’t there to help or someone playing Miles Morales talking about how similar it is to that “really old dinosaur movie” to make veteran heroes feel ancient.

The adventure is built for Rank 1-2 original heroes but also suggests several rank 2-3 heroes to use. That the character levels aren’t tightly locked down reminds me a bit of the classic adventures for TSR Marvel Super Heroes where the adventure was written with specific heroes in mind but can be used with original heroes with a little adjusting, It’s also a clue that the designers view the rank system as guidelines for teams with mixed ranks rather than a strict code. It has the feeling of 5e Challenge Rating to me where it’s mostly just vibes to get players together and left up to GMs to make sure each character gets some spotlight time.

This is a pretty linear story though as a potential first time story for new players that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The individual scenes offer plenty of discussion on different ways to achieve goals beyond combat. Zub’s strength as a writer shines when he’s discussing how to make the villains in the story hateable. Arcade is something of a riff on the “Killer DM” archetype and GMs are encouraged to mock the heroes and offer snarky commentary on their failures. That makes this story something of a dungeon crawl even if I found each individual room to be entertaining. Who hired Arcade and why they targeted the PCs is left open with the promise of a continuing story (assuming the adventure does well), though it can easily be slotted into whatever big bad the Game Master wants to install.

The biggest hurdle to using The Murderworld That Time Forgot is that it’s only currently available on the Demiplane Marvel Nexus. Marvel decided that it’s going to be very protective of its game and not do a PDF release. I like the Nexus suite for this game as it makes looking up powers and abilities a lot easier than paging through the physical book, but I understand people who want to have a physical thing in their hands to hold when they play. I hope that, like many exclusives, it’s merely a timed one and that a good beginner’s adventure eventually makes its way out to a wider audience.

The Murderworld That Time Forgot shows off some of the strengths of Marvel Multiverse Role Playing Game written by the capable hands of someone who knows both the comics world and how to run role playing games.

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland

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I wonder if WotC is going to allow no-d20 games in D&DB then Marvel Multiverse would be one of those titles, at least to sell virtual miniatures for the VTT as if they were skins in Fortnite. Maybe talking with Epic Games if you buy certain Fortnite skin the free gift would be the virtual miniature.

Decades ago when Star Wars wasn't not the cash-cow we know now, the Star Wars rpg by West End Games helped to keep alive the franchise. Maybe the Marvel Multiverse RPG could be the last hope, the last opportunity to save it because here the own fandon can reuse the rich mythology of Marvel Comics and alter it to their own preferences, for example Ben Reily, Scarlet Spider, could be a member of Future Fundation, or Jhonn Blaze's (the first Ghost Rider) family to keep alive, or Punisher gifted with sacred weapons to kill vampires because his family was killed by the bloodsuckers. Or thanks homebred version a crossover with other franchises (for example my hero academy).

Dire Bare

Eh, I don't really get the obsession some gamers have with the PDF format.

Sure, if Marvel made their RPG available in more digital formats, including PDF, that would be super cool. But (mostly) not using PDF is fine.

The title in the OP, "The Murderworld That Time Forgot" is not so much a digital exclusive, but a Demiplane exclusive, which is the only site you'll find it. Demiplane has similar exclusives with the Avatar RPG, and maybe some of their other supported games.

Most of the "freebies" for the Marvel game are available in PDF on DriveThruRPG.com. All of the main titles are also available both on Demiplane and on Roll20 (but not PDF).

Unless you just have to have the PDF format, Demiplane is a pretty awesome site, as you get a digital book in an easy-to-navigate web format and all of the crunch bits are organized into a compendium. Just like D&D Beyond. Oh, and a pretty swifty character generator too.

EDIT: Just noticed that "Revenge of the Super-Skrull" ($15) and "Tony's Workshop" ($0) are available in PDF, but not available on Demiplane. Revenge of the Super-Skrull is also available on Roll20. It's a little irritating to me, not so much which formats Marvel uses or avoids, but not being able to have the entire line available in one place, in the same format. Minus small-time exclusives, like Murderworld.
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Dire Bare

My gripe is I want my tabletop games to be as tech-free-while-playing as possible. Players with their phones are bad enough.

Going to a site I’ve mever heard of, and then never use once I have, just to get a book that’s only available in an inconvenient format drives me bonkers.
Every digital format has its pros and cons, including PDF.

PDF documents are easy to download and store independently of any website or service, and can be read on most devices. But, they rarely are hyperlinked and easily searchable.

Web formats like Demiplane and D&D Beyond use require you to be online to use, and if the service ever goes kaput, so does your library. But, they are considerably more convenient, incredibly searchable, can be opened in multiple browser tabs/windows, and can come with extras like compendiums and character builders. I'd much rather run a game using Demiplane than a pile of PDF documents, but do worry about the longevity of my investment.

What would make me a passionate supporter of a service like D&D Beyond and Demiplane is if they offered their web formats, digital tools, AND downloadable PDF documents.


I don't really get the obsession some gamers have with the PDF format
PDF is an open format, so you will always be able to use the material. Proprietary formats are subject to the whims of the corporate entities who own them, and could be shut down at any time. Consider all the services that Google has created, run for a while, then dropped for how this can play out.

PDF is an open format, so you will always be able to use the material. Proprietary formats are subject to the whims of the corporate entities who own them, and could be shut down at any time. Consider all the services that Google has created, run for a while, then dropped for how this can play out.
That, exactly.


Online exclusive content that isn't even available as pdf? Congrats Marvel, you've taken the crown for Worst Supers RPG Support from Greater Than Games. Their repeatedly-delayed kickstarter fulfillment pales in comparison to this bit of evil genius. :)

Who came up with this idea, the Mad Thinker?
Wizards of the Coast.

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