Wednesday, July 14, 2010

There Sure Are A Lot Of Superhero RPGs

Superhero Gaming is definitely considered a level behind your standard fantasy in terms of gaming done and titles available. I personally think they continually jostle with sci-fi, pulp, and horror for the 2-3-4-5 spots in the hobby. But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been an explosion of superhero games in recent years.

Of course, Green Ronin has Mutants & Masterminds and the DC Comics license waiting in the wings. Besides these, you have the hot new ICONS RPG by Adamant Entertainment. Add to this the ENnie-nominated BASH! Ultimate Edition, Margaret Weis Productions and Smallville, and Superhero RPGs seem to be getting a lot of attention just now!

Aside from all this, there’s still Heroes Unlimited floating around, adherents of Marvel Superheroes, its derivative 4C System, and small-press efforts like Capes, Resolute, Hearts & Souls, and one of my favorites, Truth & Justice. Plus, let’s not forget Hero Games and Champions!

Oh, but we’re not done. Superworld, Mayfair’s old DC Heroes game, Squadron U.K., Brave New World, Silver Age Sentinels, Aberrant, Godlike, and Wild Talents are out there, too, in one capacity or another.

Add in the recent re-release of the classic Villains & Vigilantes (tearing up the charts at RPGNow, don't you know?), and superhero games just might be enjoying a—dare I say it?— small renaissance of sorts.

(Now, a harder question--which ones stand above the fray? I like the old Marvel FASERIP system, Truth & Justice, and I'm really liking ICONS. All are lighter on rules, I suppose. But there's no shortage of games to try in this category).

13 comments:

Scott said...

Ouch. Hideouts & Hoodlums left off another list. Though I'll freely admit that Grubb's classic MSH is still the game I'd go to first for a one-shot evening's entertainment.

diceciper said...

What no mention of Super-Hero 2044?

Brett said...

And while not a game itself, Bold & Brave is a supers add-on for genreDiversion 3E.

http://www.pigames.net/store/default.php?cPath=104

Matt said...

I played MSH back in the day and liked it very much. I had the old DC Heroes, and though it was an interesting system, I didn't find it as enjoyable.

I've even been working on some quick houserules to turn old D&D/AD&D rules and their many clones into quick & dirty super-hero rules.

Zachary The First said...

Thanks for the additional shoutouts, guys! There's also games like HinterWelt's Supers, Inc.

@Scott: D'oh!

I fear a comprehensive list would be much longer!

Scott said...

Matt, you really want to check out H&H.

WalkerP said...

Don't forget Simon Washbourne's Supers!

http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/14/14774.phtml

Tommy Brownell said...

Of the recent releases, BASH is the one that impresses me the most.

Bold & Brave seems pretty sweet, too...and I definitely have to mention Resolute, which is 17 pages jampacked with info for $2.

Rob Lang said...

Not to mention all the free ones!
http://delicious.com/thefreerpgblog/supers

Zachary The First said...

Nice work, guys!

I knew I was leaving some out, and that I could count on you to bring 'em up! :)

Risus Monkey said...

Agree with your current take on Icons and Truth & Justice (not sure which I like more), but you can't leave out Gurps Supers. It's not my go-to system for detailed supers anymore (M&M has stolen its thunder), but I enjoyed many years of Gurps Supers goodness in the early 90's.

I'll have to give BASH another look. I keep hearing good things.

Granger44 said...

It looks like noone has mentioned the Savage Worlds contingent: Necessary Evil, Dawn of Legends, and the recent Super Powers Companion being the bigger names.

Matt Celis said...

Golden Heroes is better than or equal to all of the above mentioned.