Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Discussion: Your Favorite Supers RPG?

The weekend is upon us, and none can deny that spring is in full bloom! With that bloom comes another round of Friday Discussion: nothing too heavy or serious, just gamers talking about the hobby they love.

Today's quesiton is a total softball: What's Your Favorite Superhero RPG? Mutants & Masterminds? Truth & Justice? Heroes Unlimited? Marvel FASERIP? What do you look for in a supers RPG or campaign?

To me, the supers genre is personally a tough one to GM. I do fine with goofy, Mystery Men-like games, but if I try to do something more traditional, I really have to work at it. Players want to be heroic, but making sure that players of different power levels get equal face time is always something to watch for.

Have a great weekend!

38 comments:

Chad said...

Mutants & Masterminds is my favorite, followed by early Champions (before ICE took over the brand). Right now I'm excited for Steve Kenson's new game Icons - due out any day now.

Mad Brew said...

My favorite supers RPG is Mutants & Masterminds. I think it hits that sweet spot between customization/crunch and rules light.

c├ęsar/kimble said...

Mutants & Masterminds, but I´m with good expectations about DC Adventures.

Chad said...

As far as campaigns, I like a Silver/Bronze age feel. I don't like campaigns where the players all want to be murderous vigilantes. It seems to me that characters like Wolverine and the Punisher are interesting because they are counter to the overall narrative. If every one of the characters is a Punisher, then the setting would be to dark for me to enjoy. When I ran Champions I said that a "code against killing" would be the default for all PCs, and the players would have to make a convincing argument if they did not want that limitation. It was a way of establishing a tone from the beginning. As far as non-traditional settings, I'm not sure they always work. A friend of mine ran a Champions game in a Top 10 sort of world where everyone had superpowers. The players hated it - they were not "special" enough.

Siskoid said...

I'm all about DCHeroes and have run it with multiple groups many times in the past 15 years. For me, it's the best emulation of the comic book superhero genre.

Zenith Comics said...

BASH Ultimate Edition! :)

It is a great great game.

Gleichman said...

HERO System 5th edition in a re-imagined Marvel Setting has been a constant for decades in my gaming groups.

And to repeat something I've often said about HERO System: Power level really doesn't matter, what matters is niche.

Crose87420 said...

BASH!

Love it.

wallysfreethoughts said...

I've played DC Heroes, M&M, Silver Age, the WWII version that escapes me, Marvels FASERIP, Champions 5th ed!

I think it all matters on your group. I great group will overcome rules crunch most of the time :)

I think currently my favorite is Champions and M&M.

A.L. said...

I will always have a soft spot for Heroes Unlimited as it was the first system I was ever able to be in a prolonged campaign in.

That being said, so far from what I have seen Mutants and Masterminds is my favorite, I am looking forward to Icons and DC Adventures, and reading through Truth and Justice but at present I don't see a system that really compares to M&M for the most complete 'capture' of the comic genre. The versatility in what it can do is also much appreciated.

So yeah, throwing my hat in for M&M with a potential "may be changing soon".

As far as stopping PCs from being murderous vigilantes, I find just having real world consequences can work wonders as well.It changes the tone of the game, but generally you only have to establish once that there are consequences for actions to get the message across.

Lumrunner said...

I would have to say that Marvel Superheroes was my favorite Supers RPG system. Simple, fast and easy to play. It provided me with everything I wanted in a Supers game.

Others while great do get mired in complex point systems that take hours to figure out.

Make mine Marvel! Wish I still had those games....

Lisandro Gaertner said...

I`ve played DC Heroes for a long time. It is a well balanced and simple game. In spite of that, I really prefer the randomness of MArvel FASERIP. Creating characters was great fun and the game was so rules light that we were making up things as long as we went.

Darnizhaan said...

Villains and Vigilantes, hands down, very old school imop

BlUsKrEEm said...

I'm going to go with Marvel universe Role Play System. it's a great dice-less system that was the source of one of my favorite characters I've ever played.

greywulf said...

My groups' first love is superhero gaming, and I reckon we've tried them all - from Golden Heroes through V&V and Heroes Unlimited to DC, Marvel RPG and Champions, and many more.

Now we've settled on Mutants & Masterminds to the point where it's almost become our de facto system for all our gaming needs. Not only is it the best superhero system to date, we reckon it's the best generic system too. It's only my stubbornness to run 4e D&D and the occasional RISUS & Savage Worlds games to break things up that's stopping us using M&M and nothing else.

Like many others, I'm also looking forward to ICONS and the news about DC Adventures has completely bowled us over. Can't wait!

Joseph said...

I've got to go with Marvel Superheroes. The universal table was, for the time, very innovative.

philgamer said...

My vote goes to the HERO system. It's not exclusive to Supers games, but it does the job very well. While there's a lot of complexity involved in the time-consuming character creation of the system, it pays off in play. Being able to design pretty much anything with a little system know-how is a rewarding "game" in itself.

Bonemaster said...

Wow, this is a hard one for me. If you asked me this a few years ago, I would have Champions/HERO system. However at GenCon last year, I played a session and while it was fun, I felt it sort was too complex for a fast paced genre of Supers. In some ways, I just felt it tried to model too much. I'm torn because I've always like the fact that things are very defined. You know what "Capt Hero"' powers actually do without having to make some sort of judgment call all the time. On the other hand, It's hard to deny that it is very complex for many people. The speed chart can be a really issues. I've seen games where the GM forced everyone to have the same speed.

The hard thing though for me, is I'm not sure what game I would pick to replace it. Maybe that's what I should at conventions is find sessions of the various games in an attempt to find a Supers replacement.

Matt said...

I'm a FASERIP man, myself.

Tarus said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Aberrant yet. It's a great setting with very simple rules that don't get in the way of the story.

Zenith Comics said...

played FASERIP for 20+ years. Recently though I moved to BASH and my group hasn't looked back. I can't recommend it enough.

http://www.bashtalk.org/index.php

Stop by and learn more.

Jason Richards said...

For my money, give me Silver Age Sentinels. Great customizing, very intuitive and scalable.

Anthony Emmel said...

Chello!

Well, I've played all the ones listed, but I have to go with Heroes Unlimited. I really do enjoy running it as clunky as a class/level system might seem in the Supers genre.

That siad, I'll play in any and have soft softs for FASERIP Marvel, DC 2nd/3rd, V&V, M&M, and even Champions.

Siskoid said...

While we're giving shout-outs, I'd like to give mine to Stupor Powers, for those who like a silly take on their superheroes, say with the feel of the Tick.

clash bowley said...

Hearts and Souls by Tim Kirk is my favorite, followed by Truth & Justice from Chadu. That said, I have just gotten Brave and Bold from PIG, one of my favorite publishers, and my son Klaxon is hard at work on Look, Up in the Sky!, and Klax ahs a great understanding of the supers genre.

Zenith Comics said...

What is this "Brave and Bold"?

Colour me curious. :)

seaofstarsrpg said...

Champions for many years. But these days, M&M, as it does 95% of what Champs does with 20% of the work.

Supercrew is also fun and looking forward to Icons.

Doug Wall said...

Gotta go GURPS on this one. Especially since 4th edition came out. I can run a supers game using just the Basic Set.

Christian Lindke said...

For my money, DC Heroes is the best combination of customizable characters and quick and easy game play. Champions, which is great, does the first well and the second poorly. MSH, another great game, does the first poorly and the second well.

DC Heroes hits the sweet spot for me. After it come Marvel SAGA and Savage Worlds.

Zenfar said...

Champions, Champions, and more Champions. One the best game systems ever. You can play Marvel Champions, DC Champions, Matrix Champions, or straight up Dr. Destroyer Grond Foxbat Champions.

Gotta love it!!!!

Josh said...

The two that I've played both had problems with the system killing the games. Aberrant is one of my favorite settings from any game, but balance is a major issue. Same thing goes for FASERIP, which despite being a horrible system was still very enjoyable.

Going to be trying Necessary Evil soon, hopefully that will become my new favorite.

Narf the Mouse said...

Hero System. Because I can stat anything.

...Including Cthonic creatures. Ironically, it's not that hard...*Twilight zone music*

Mark said...

I've gotta say Savage Worlds' Necessary Evil. It's fantastic, simple, and moves quickly.

clash bowley said...

@ Zanith Comics:

It's a brand new game released just this week by Precis Intermedia using their GD3 system - link: http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=80993&

I haven't had a chance to really look at it yet, but Brett is one of my favorite designers.

-clash

Zenith Comics said...

@clash bowley: Well I will give them this, they scored a sweet sweet name! B&B just sounds right for a roleplaying game.

Hope to see a review of it soon.

sacha3791 said...

It has to be Golden Heroes, for the win.

Zachary The First said...

@clash: I haven't been able to look at it yet either (work, family, and Mother's Day, you see), but ditto on Brett--he's a head above as a designer.

Gary said...

I'm not a big fan of superhero rpgs but I'd pick DCHeroes because I do like their comics.

I prefer more traditional fantasy rpgs ie LOTR type.