History of Superhero RPGs (Part One 1978-1985)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
Recommend
44 
 Thumb up
23.00
 tip
 Hide
SECRET ORIGINS
Over the decades I’ve run serious and extended campaigns in a half-dozen superhero systems. This weekend I pulled together all of the core books I had for different superhero games. I ended up with twenty-eight: from Aberrant to Wild Talents. And that’s just hard copies- I have many more in electronic format. And that’s just core books not the secondary material: citybooks, villain books, modules, alternate settings, WW2 books, power guides, and so on. Honestly if you told me I couldn’t run Fantasy games anymore, I’d turn to superheroes. I’ve done some of my favorite work in that genre- exploring themes and ideas more concretely than in many other games.

Yet superhero games still feel like more work to me. I’m a fairly improvisational GM, sketching perhaps a few pages of notes for a session and spinning off previous work for many sessions. When I run a supers game, on the other hand, I dig in. I feel obligated to generate the news, to come up with colorful secondary characters ahead of time, and to develop fully-fleshed mysteries. I don’t want a supers game to be just about the fights- I want something more. But I want spectacle. At heart I’m still a kid getting up early Saturday morning to watch the Superfriends despite having seen the episode many times.

COMIC BOOK GAMERS
In '84 I walked several blocks to yet another hole-in-the-wall comic book store. It lasted less than a year. At the time I only bought big titles I followed- X-Men, The Defenders, and anything by Frank Miller. I had spare money so I went through the 25-cent bargain bin and found a couple dozen issues each of oddball books- Arion Lord of Atlantis and Swamp Thing. At home read through those haphazardly until I hit the last couple of issues of Swamp Thing…the ones with a new writer named Alan Moore. It sounds clichéd, but those books changed what I got out of comics. I’d enjoyed the solid superhero storytelling of Miller, Claremont, and Wolfman before that, but this offered something new. Gene Ha, who would later go on to work with Moore, agreed. I lent him "The Anatomy Lesson" and he went absolutely nuts. It was all he could talk about in Honors Biology for the next several days. But the rest of my gaming group went meh. They had other books they loved.

How tightly do comic book and rpg fandom connect? How much is that affected by your location? Comics completely passed by my Play on Target co-host Sam Dillon, a solid gamer. My Mutants & Masterminds campaign includes a player who only gets his superheros from the movies, supers novels he devours, and the occasional cartoon caught with his kids. In the 1980’s I think just about everyone in our gaming groups also bought comics. We had few 'collectors' because we never had a steady comic book shop. The half-dozen I recall opened and vanished quickly, usually under cover of darkness. The local gaming store tried out comics, but stuck to indie press materials like The Spirit, Cerberus, and R. Crumb. That lasted only a little while. But within our group everyone bought at least a few books and some- Teen Titans, X-Men, Avengers- served as shared touchstones. But everyone had a few series no one else bought. I loved the Defenders and Miller’s run on Daredevil; another really dug Nexus; another followed the Legion of Super-Heroes fanatically. I luckily had an older sister who bought lots of comics for a time and I’d raid her collection. But almost no one seriously bagged or indexed their stuff. We read comics to complement the rpg stories we told. Normal? Not normal? I’m not certain. I’m sure it would have been different had a solid comic book store been available- or a hybrid game and comic book store.

LINES OF THE TIMES
I’ll Try to provide some context for the superhero material happening in popular culture at the same time. For this first list I had a hard time finding official stats for which comics had dominance. It does include Byrne and Clarmont’s run on X-Men and Miller on Daredevil. This period does include the release of Superman I &II, Swamp Thing, and Condorman. On TV we had Spiderman and His Amazing Friends, the Dr. Strange movie, and The Incredible Hulk.

In 1983’s superhero comics saw some important shifts, including the first appearance of Jason Todd as Robin; the start of Walt Simonson’s run on Thor, and the first issue of Batman and the Outsiders. New Teen Titans and the X-Men remained strong. Alan Moore began to make his mark with Miracleman and V for Vendetta. 1984 saw the launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Secret Wars, West Coast Avengers, and Marvel’s new Epic lines. 1985 heralded the launch of many small, independent comics companies. Most importantly it saw the start of Crisis on Infinite Earths which changed the face of DC- ending and beginning many comic lines. At Marvel they countered with Secret Wars II. In other media, superheroes fared badly with Misfits of Science, Automan, and The Greatest American Hero on prime time TV. It was a little better with cartoons with Spider Man and His Amazing Friends, Super Friends/Super Powers, and the Incredible Hulk. Superman III, Supergirl, and The Toxic Avenger hit theaters. So while comics started to move into more experimental superhero material, other media remained stagnant.

YEAR ONE
Each list will cover a small slice of time, beginning at the dawn of supers gaming. In past lists, I’ve focused solely on core books and covered each game with a single edition. This time for most of the game lines I’m mentioning each of the major revisions and editions. Hopefully I’ll provide some sense of what shifted between them. I’ve also decided to cover some distinct supplements- third party material and campaign books which offer a striking set of new options or ideas. Generally I’m only including published material- print or otherwise. I’ve left off freebie or self-published games unless I think they’re really important.

I'm sure I've left something off without adequate reason; feel free to add a comment about a line I missed (if published from 1978-1985). I've arranged these in by year and then alphabetically within that year.

History of Superhero RPGs (Part One 1978-1985)
History of Superhero RPGs (Part Two: 1986-1996)
History of Superhero RPGs (Part Three 1997-2001)
History of Superhero RPGs (Part Four 2002-2004)
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: superhero [+] FASERIP [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. RPG Item: Superhero 2044 [Average Rating:5.19 Overall Rank:8357]
RPG Item: Superhero 2044
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1978) If you have a chance you should take a look at this game. I know I "played" it, but looking back I'm not sure I can actually see what the system is. Not that I can't figure it out, but I don't think there's actually a game system here. For one thing, though you make up and play superheroes you have no rules for superpowers. You define an archetype and assign points to stats, but that's about it. It has some charts and odd resolution mechanics (like a Stamina Modifiers table).

But at the time it generated a world of ideas for me. I don't think at the time I got the actual setting of the game- a future sci-world with supers (hence the title year). Probably the coolest thing in the game was a whole set of rules for playing a solo game. It included a time planning worksheet, rules for patrolling, random crimes table, and details for dealing with litigation. More than anything though, it showed that you could do supers in an rpg and pushed forward other games.

Point-Based (sort of). No super powers system. Piece-meal combat system. Various dice.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. RPG Item: Villains & Vigilantes (1st Edition) [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
RPG Item: Villains & Vigilantes (1st Edition)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1979) Sitting in the back room of the first incarnation of the Griffon Bookstore my friend and I "played" S2044. At the same time I could hear my sister's group playing a new game- one with an actual resolution system, defined powers, and the real feel of comic books. I remember having my first pangs of edition wars, wanting the game I played to be better, to win. But soon enough I begged my parents for a copy of V&V and rolled up my first character. Five powers: Heightened Constitution, Claws, Darkness Control, Regeneration, and Revivification. The bringing people back from the dead seemed like a loser power to 10 year old me, but that's what I rolled.

As opposed to S2044, V&V went generic, with almost no discussion of a specific world or setting. It assumed you knew what a comic book game would look like. The visuals from Jeff Dee and Pete Matthews echoes the look of hotter properties of the time: Grell's Legion of Superheroes, Cockrum's X-Men, and even Simonson's Manhunter. V&V 1e echoed conventional games- with stats and levels complimented by random power tables. The combat system relied on a full-page matrix table, comparing attack power to defense power. Beyond that I can't remember how the system worked. V&V 2e completely blotted out my memory of this version since it cleaned things up so well.

Random Powers. Level-Based. Various Dice.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. RPG: Supergame (1st & 2nd Editions) [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
RPG: Supergame (1st & 2nd Editions)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1980) A game I never heard of until I began this research. It seems to have been an adaptation/rip-off of Superhero 2044 with more details and numbers. RPG Talk has an interesting overview on it. More fascinating is the comment from a playtester on RPG Net. he talks about the coupe who wrote the game and the investment they had in their rules vision. They apparently put out a couple of supplements for it. Different Worlds #23 has an article from the designers. As a sidebar, Christian Lindke has a great article looking at DW #23. That issue has a strong focus on superhero games of the time, including a survey of the genre at that moment in 1982. You should check out his write-up here.

Point-based. Various dice.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. RPG Item: Champions (First Edition) [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:5809]
RPG Item: Champions (First Edition)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1981) Villains & Vigilantes dominated superhero roleplaying in our neck of the woods. Then came Champions. It quickly spread among the gaming groups, even those who hadn't been playing superhero games. A new generation of players latched on to it. In my post on Champions in general, I mention the split it created: between those who wanted a looser, more story-driven game and those who wanted detailed four-color combat. But more than that Champions empowered players in a way few other games had.

Champions changed roleplaying games. Yes, Melee and Wizard had offered point-build characters first, but Champions completely reworked that approach. You could build anything you wanted, because it worked at an atomic level. In theory, anything could be modeled within the system, not just characters. It set off long sessions of players talking and trying to figure out how you could construct X, Y, or Z character. It gave GMs a concrete benchmark for the opposition, for better or worse. The system worked really well right out of the gate- I think we forget how solid and complete this complex game was right away in the first edition. It also gave us the first Villains book, with Enemies and started to build its own distinct supers universe. Champions II & Champions III: Another Super Supplement expanded the skill rules, increased the number of powers, and added base-building.

Point-based, detailed combat, d6-based
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. RPG: Crimefighters [Average Rating:7.50 Unranked]
RPG: Crimefighters
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1981) It can be argued that superheroes came out a tradition of pulp heroes. Many of these existed as gentlemen adventurers, with roots in Victorian literature. Eventually masked or costumed heroes would emerge, with the Shadow as the best known. This complete game came in an early issue of the Dragon. I remember reading it one summer, along with a stack of Doc Savage novels I'd taken with me on vacation at my grandparents in Kansas. I loved the concept of the game and made up many characters, but never actually played it.

Crimefighters is impressive for an add-in to a magazine. At 22 pages it has all the rules necessary for a masked crimefighter game, including an adventure and a page of notes on the genre. Excellent art by Dee and Willingham make it a complete package. The game system itself is fairly basic. Players roll percentiles for their six stats (seven actually since Accuracy's measure for left and right hands). Then they can spend points based on those stats for Mental and Agility skills. These skills are a mix of traditional skills and special abilities- like climbing, aerial flips, and archaeological. Players have a 5% chance to have a mysterious power as well, of which there are ten. The whole thing feels very old school. It does have a few interesting bits- with certain character types gaining more of less experience based on their actions (Pragmatist, Defender, Avenger). Players also roll for contacts who can offer special kinds of info during a case.

Random powers. Level-based. Various dice.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. RPG Item: Daredevils [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:4808]
RPG Item: Daredevils
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1982) Growing up I developed a wariness about some FGU games. I'd been told they had complicated mechanics, dense rules, and detailed bits. I lumped together Space Opera, Aftermath!, Skull & Crossbones, and Chivalry & Sorcery in that category. But I loved reading Doc Savage novels and so when I had some extra bucks I picked up Daredevils and tried to read it. Much as I would later do with Bushido, I tried to grok this system but never really got it. It had some seriously crunchy bits, but more the order of presentation and layout worked against the game.

Is it a superhero game? Yes, in the broader definition of that I mentioned above. Like many pulp genre rpgs it goes all over the map- from Raiders to Marlowe to Movie Reel Horror to The Shadow. To that end it offers five pages of optional rules to cover mysterious masked heroes with unusual powers. Daredevils has players roll to see how many points they get to spend on powers. Each power has a distinct cost, but the GM may also allow players to acquire them randomly later in play. The game only provides a dozen powers, plus to different forms of enhancement to each of the seven "talent" areas.

Random and point-based. d6, d10, d20 dice.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. RPG Item: Supervillains [Average Rating:9.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Supervillains
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1982) A game I remember seeing on the game store shelf, but never picked up. It straddled the line between board game and rpg so I wasn't sure what it actually was. That's a little strange given that I loved TFG Games like Intruder and Spellbinder. It offers rules for making characters, but primarily exists as a game for running fights between superbeings from preset scenarios using counters and a map. Beyond that, I'm unsure how this game operated.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. RPG Item: Superworld (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:6.62 Overall Rank:5135]
RPG Item: Superworld (2nd Edition)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1982) I remember the big push by Chaosium in the early 1980s, getting a number of different games out on the market, all built on the Basic Roleplaying engine. I loved Stormbringer (1st Edition) and some of the other systems, but I skipped on Worlds of Wonder when it hit shelves in 1982. That contained Future World, Magic World, and Superworld. I'm not sure what made me take a pass on it- perhaps thinking that Champions already offered the best game. I was already a stupid game snob by that point. At least in part I was suspicious of a superhero game being dropped in on top of another game engine.

Strangely later that same year Chaosium released an expanded and independent version of Superworld (but not the others). This boxed set includes a 32-page character creation book, 40-page powers book, and 40-page GM book. It uses the BRP system with powers added on. Players roll their seven characteristics individually; they then can spend that total on powers. Superworld pays homage to Champions in several places here. Effects define powers (Snare, Supermove), limitations and advantages modify costs, and powers require energy to use. There's some interesting material here- particularly in the campaign section. The game got an expansion with the A Companion to Superworld in 1984. It also appears in some of the multi-system modules of the era: Bad Medicine for Dr. Drugs and Trouble For HAVOC.

Random and point-based. Various dice.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. RPG Item: Villains & Vigilantes Rulebook (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:7.95 Overall Rank:2236]
RPG Item: Villains & Vigilantes Rulebook (2nd Edition)
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1982) I have a copy of this in my hands now, a rare treat, but when the second edition (called "Revised") came out I scoffed. V&V was dead, man-- Champions had put it in its grave. Why bring back a dead game- where you rolled your powers? It felt like a cheap money grab. I put off buying the boxed set but eventually I came into a copy that sat on my shelf. Until I met Gene Ha- who loved V&V 2e dearly. For several classes in high school we sat at the back with Gene running a V&V campaign on the fly- one with weird extra-dimensional corporations and highly detailed graphics. I ended up lifting many of his concepts for later campaigns. But more importantly I came to appreciate V&V.

The revised edition cleaned up many problems and its actually a model of economy system-wise. FGU would put out many modules over the following years, but they never released a "companion" or "expansion." This game stood well enough on its own. It also showcases some of Jeff Dee's best work- stuff which sticks with me. Its only 48 pages long and very old school. Roll stats, roll powers, figure hit points and like details. Combat still uses an attack vs. defense matrix, but much reduced. Players roll a d20 under a modified target # to hit. The actual mechanics only take up about 2/3rds of the book. it does use one of my least favorite mechanics: players can have different #s of actions without any kind of balancing mechanic. Still it remains a solid example of old-school gaming. It ended up vying for dominance in our groups for years. If you didn't want the math of Champions and hoped for a pick-up game, you went with V&V. Random powers. Level-based. Various dice.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. RPG Item: Autoduel Champions [Average Rating:8.25 Unranked]
RPG Item: Autoduel Champions
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1983) We 'played' Car Wars in grade and middle school. Note the quotations- in the same way I would end up playing Star Fleet Battles, I don't think I ever fully got the game mechanics. Still I bought everything that came out because SJG offered relatively cheap supplements: Sunday Drivers, Truck Stop, etc. Then in 1983 this book dropped- a bizarre hybrid which combined two of my favorite games Champions & Car Wars. I bought it without flipping through and walked home poring over the pages. You have to remember- in the present days of plenty- that back then you treasured any non-module supplement for your game.

And this...well, I don't think I ever used anything from it. It offered odd rules for bringing superheroes into a Car Wars game. On the flip side it presented more complicated systems for handling vehicles in Champions and running CW style games in several settings. The connection made sense. Both offered point-build core options and atime/speed/actions mechanics. But Autoduel Champions never did anything for me and I never heard other gamers incorporating the concepts. Most people I knew ended up buying it just for the long-awaited Helicopter add-on to Car Wars. SJG would try again later to connect the CW universe to rpgs with GURPS Autoduel which also sort of fizzled.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. RPG Item: Super Squadron - The Complete Superhero Role-Playing Game System [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:6241]
RPG Item: Super Squadron - The Complete Superhero Role-Playing Game System
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1983) I remember seeing Super Squadron on the game store shelf for a couple of years. In the early days our FLGS did a pretty good job of ordering anything new- but many things simply sat there. At the time I didn't even realize this came from Australia. Adventure Simulations published two supplements for the boxed set, but the designer seems to have not done anything after this. I found a quote from him about the game here: "It was published in 1984, being the first Australian RPG and the third Superhero RPG. The first two were, Superhero 2044 & Villains and Vigilante. I was an avid AD&D players but wanted an SH RPG to play. The other two were "not very good" so I wrote one. The following year, The Tome was published, a series of adventure modules in a loose campaign "educational" setting. In 1986 Super Science can out, which was an expansion to the rule system, allowing SF RPG. Although the game was well received both here and in the USA, sales mysteriously slowed in the USA for no reason. In late 1986 at Origin, I discovered that a rival company, trying to survive with a low grade SH RPG spread rumors that we were being sued for breach of copyright and would likewise be sued if they sold our products. By the time we had a chance to dispel these rumours, the loss of sales made continuing publication very risky."

Super Squadron itself seems to have been fairly classic- with randomly generated stats and powers. The character record's really interesting though. It includes sections for calculating your character's salary and weekly expenses. The lower portion of the sheet has a table to pencil in your daily schedule for the week broken down by rest, wrok, training, patrols, romance, and other. The game includes rules for balancing marriage, your love life, and being a crime-fighter. ideas like that- Superhero 2044's patrols and almost solo adventure spreadsheet system- have dropped out of most modern supers rpgs. But I love the concept of running this kind of game as almost a Sim-style life emulator.

Random generation, experience spend, various dice.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. RPG Item: Champions 3rd Edition [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:2301]
RPG Item: Champions 3rd Edition
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1984) Another edition appeared between this and the first, but with mostly minor clean up and changes. Champions 3rd aimed to smooth things out and bring together some of the new ideas presented by Champions II: The Super Supplement!. IIRC Champions III: Another Super Supplement came out the same year, but this edition didn't incorporate those concepts. Champions 3e added new powers, but spent more time cleaning up problems and making the elements more consistent. More importantly it changed up the look of the book- making it feel more polished and up to date. Mark Williams' continues to provide most of the artwork, a house style for early Hero games. The colorful presentation and boxed set brought in many new gamers. I know many players who'd avoided Champions before this but took the jump here. I bought and played it of course, but I'd started to have some hesitations.

More than most rpgs Champions rewarded gamers who figured out the system. They could min/max, identified key picks, and never wasted a point. If that power lay in the GM's hands, great. If it lay in a player's hand, less great. If the player knew if, but the GM wasn't as competent, then it could made for a miserable time. Within the players I knew a split developed between those who absorbed the mechanics and those who just played. I numbered among the latter. I'd get my ass kicked in PvP open combats, even up rarely effective in fights, and had my bad guys chewed up and spit out when I ran. There had to be a better way.

Point-based, d6-based.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. RPG Item: Golden Heroes [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:2524]
RPG Item: Golden Heroes
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1984) Technically Golden Heroes actually appears earlier in 1981, but as a self-published version. In 1984 GW gave it the full treatment, apparently as a response to TSR getting the Marvel license. Even gamers among my group who got into WH40K with Rogue Trader forgot GW's work as an rpg company. They published unique editions of many US games. For years I had a lovely color hardcover of Call of Cthulhu they'd produced. With Golden Heroes they tried to strike out on their own. However they quickly gave up on the line- publishing a few supplements and moving on to other games. I remember the box briefly on the shelf, but I didn't buy it. I did see the supplements floating around used bins for the next decade, especially Legacy of Eagles.

The game used random generation for stats and powers with a twist. Players had to come up with an origin story which tied together those powers if they wanted to keep them. It also had some really interesting ideas about how to track and manage the world itself. The RPG Outsider blog has an extensive and detailed review of the game here- well worth reading. The art work's great- featuring many of the best 2000 AD artists of the time (including Brian Bolland). Co-designer Simon Burley returned many years later with a revision of Golden Heroes called Squadron UK, which we'll return to on a later list.

Random generation, various dice.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. RPG Item: Heroes Unlimited [Average Rating:6.11 Overall Rank:5828]
RPG Item: Heroes Unlimited
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1984) Palladium's hit the shelves first with the massive Palladium Fantasy volume. I'd first seen Siembieda's work in The Mechanoid Invasion. Heroes Unlimited came out a couple of years later, the second big line from the company. Palladium books had tons of ideas- more ideas and random tables than nearly any other game out there. However I found them difficult going. It took a patch work approach with rules jumbled together and few signposts about how to actually play. Sometimes they felt like a series of articles loosely connected. I assume that's changed in later publications, but the early books are a mess, albeit a rich one. Heroes Unlimited uses random generation of stats and powers- with different archetypes randomly chosen. The sub-systems for these archetypes vary wildly, but generally PCs have a single power set and magic's completely ignored in the rules.

In 1987, Palladium released Heroes Unlimited Revised. This added magic, multiple powers, fixed some rules, took animal mutations & vehcile rules (and illustrations) from the TMNT game, and threw in more options. There's an oddly defensive intro to the revision, including a discussion of the Big Two's apparent ownership of the term superhero. The game's stronger, but the organization remains odd. Palladium published a few supplements for both of these first editions of HU over the next decade: the unique The Justice Machine ('85), Ninjas & Superspies ('88), Villains Unlimited ('92), and Aliens Unlimited ('94). Random generation, level-based, various dice.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. RPG Item: Justice, Inc. [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:1769]
RPG Item: Justice, Inc.
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1984) I have a lot of affection for this supplement. In some ways, it is the first genre/setting book for Champions. like Espionage! The Secret Agent Role Playing Game it has stand-alone rules, but it feels closer to the original game. Justice, Inc offers a modified form of powers- with Talents, Psychic Powers, and Gadget mechanics. The boxed set came with two booklets- one with an awesome cover. There's a ton of source material presented here- more than on offer in the earlier Daredevils game. Aaron Allston, Steve Peterson, and Michael Stackpole wrote the game. The incomparable Allston also wrote two modules for the game Lands of Mystery and Trail of the Gold Spike. I love that those offered notes for several different games including Call of Cthulhu; Chill; Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes; and Daredevils. and I also love the detail the game borrows its name from The Avenger with a logo design which riffs on Doc Savage. In my mind this game fits with a weird Pulp Heroes renaissance happening during the late 1970s and early 1980s- with Farmer's Greatheart Silver stories, the Doc Savage novels, The Shadow in comic books, and most importantly Byron Priess' amazing (and forgotten) Weird Heroes anthology series.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. RPG Item: MH-00: Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:834]
RPG Item: MH-00: Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1984) I'd argue TSR kicked superhero gaming into overdrive with the release of Marvel Superheroes in '84. MSH remained strong until the mid-1990s at our local store. The modules often sat on the shelves for years, but anything which looked like a sourcebook or had broader sweep sold again and again. During the time I worked as a manager we had steady reorders on those products. Marvel also offered a switch in game and box design. It moved away from conventional rules layout to a more conversational approach: examples of play, comic book illustrations, an introductory approach. We'd see this again in other striking TSR products of the same era- The Adventures of Indiana Jones and Bullwinkle and Rocky Role Playing Party Game. More importantly it broke through the barrier of emulation and actually offered a real universe from the comics.

I bought it...and I just didn't get it. It seemed so thin, especially coming from a group heavily invested in Champions. We thought ourselves sophisticated and FASERIP* seemed like Baby's First RPG. Nine pages for character generation? Names instead of numbers for things? Zone movement? Inconceivable. Where was the crunch and detail? And thus for us Marvel became a non-contender. I couldn't even see the interesting bits which could be stolen for other games, like the rules for criminal trials. So it is with a twinge of jealousy that I hear about other gamer's great experiences with the system: amazing campaigns, the joy of the big supplements and handbooks, the pleasure of tooling the rules to do many genres, the ability to handle cosmic-level adventures. I was having good times with supers in the same years, but with more time spent calculating out the OCV, ED, and REC of various heroes and baddies. Better? Worse? Who can say?

*It wasn't until a few years ago I heard Marvel called FASERIP, after the names of the attribute levels. It was more months before I actually figured out what those bloggers were talking about.
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. RPG Item: DC Heroes Role Playing Game [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:2116]
RPG Item: DC Heroes Role Playing Game
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1985) DC Heroes showcases some of my own gaming hypocrisy. The year before I'd dismissed Marvel as too light and unworthy of pushing out the rich crunch of Champions. But a year later I'd remember grabbing up this game as an alternative to Champions mechanics-heavy approach. The new edition had fixed some things, but added many new options. The split in skill I mentioned above had gotten worse. I wanted a game which would level the playing field. And frankly, I loved DC more than Marvel. I remained a DC fanboy until the coming of the New 52 which cured me of that.

Mayfair's game also smartly put DC's most appealing property, The New Teen Titans, front and center. It also managed to look like Champions, with point-based stat and power purchasing, while remaining more abstract. Champions might be seen as an atomic-level approach, while DC Heroes offered a molecular one, with bits assembled into pre-made sets. It had several other innovations: the AP rating system with a sliding scale allowing cosmic level abilities; the breakdown of stats into opposition/strength/resistance; spending Hero Points for resolution benefits; and team-based combat maneuvers. We played and enjoyed it for years. It also had been smartly organzed and laid out. I think because we'd come from Champions we could overlook some of the oddness and complexity of the system. We knew it handled low-level characters terribly- making them all pretty much the same bland set of low numbers. But it handled huge scale play quite well. Some people disliked the systems for handling investigations with the gathering of clue points, but we ignored those. Instead we slowly discovered over time cracks and gaps in the rules- balance issues, hyper-effective combat tactics, and fundamental problems with the division of the three effect types. Still we stuck with it for a long, long time through several campaigns.

Point-based, 2d10-based.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. RPG Item: The Golden Age of Champions [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:5310]
RPG Item: The Golden Age of Champions
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1985) An interesting third-party supplement for Champions. The short-lived Firebird Ltd. produced another multi-system supplement every Champions and James Bond group loved, The Armory Volume One. GAoC arrived and set the stage for a common supers supplement, the WW2 hero game, usually set during the war. Where most pulp games took the Raiders tactic and had you fighting Nazi's pre-WW2, these books put you in the heart of the fight- whether on the homefront or battlefront. I've written about these supplements before, A Cape Too Far. That lists a little over a dozen such products. Chris Cloutier a designer on this is also listed as designer on the later 4th Edition version, Golden Age Champions.

These books take as their lead comics like The Invaders, Justice Society, and All-Star Squadron- in both their original Golden Age forms and their later reworkings. The first season of Wonder Woman took the original WW2 setting, but ditched that for later seasons. The recent Captain America film's notable for embracing the period flavor. But the actually comic books sources have been slowly moving away from this. Cap will always remain a WW2 veteran because of the frozen in ice device, but the rest of the continuity slowly inches away. Marvel's always played loose with that timeline, but for years DC pegged things tightly with the legacy heroes of the Justice Society and the existence of characters who fought in the war (aided by various forms of life-extending magics). DC's New 52 completely ditches that concept, even with their reworking of Earth-2. It makes a certain amount of sense, but means they have to discard years of established goodwill. The concept can't really be shifted to a more modern conflict (Korea? Vietnam? Iraq?) without mangling the vibe.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. RPG Item: Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:1082]
RPG Item: Judge Dredd: The Role-Playing Game
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1985) This may be a reach, but Judge Dredd has always skirted around the edges of being a comic book superhero. Depending on the era and the writer he's been more or less a four-color lawman. At times he's more an instrument of gory violence and at others a figure for striking satire. I caught on to Dredd when the comic offered a smarter take on issues of violence, punishment, and consumerism. I've read a little too much that just embraces the ass-kicking. Still he can reasonable placed in the canon of superheroes. Many striking talents cut their teeth working on 2000AD. Plus he's teamed up with both Batman and Lobo.

The Judge Dredd rpgs generally take ideas at face value. This version came out during the 1980's when GW hadn't yet figured out exactly what kind of game company they wanted to be. I picked up a copy and made up characters, but never ran it. Instead I went for the easier Judge Dredd board game. The game itself feels like an old school hodge-podge: random characteristics with weirdly different value ranges, rules oddly organized, and highly detailed character sheets with tracking for each bullet. But if you like Dredd then the game's pretty fun to read with tons of art from the comics, reference details, and cross-section diagrams. It borrows some concepts from other games, including a speed and action chart which looks suspiciously like Champions.

Random generation, point-based development, various dice.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. RPG Item: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:971]
RPG Item: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness
Lowell Francis
United States
South Bend
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
explanation does not equal excuse
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: I climbed the Ladder of Insanity all the way to the top!Microbadge: Age of Ravens fanMicrobadge: Ultimate RPG Uploader - This user has 500+ entries and is in the RPG Geek Hall of Fame!Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...
(1985) I really don't know what to say about this game. Designed by Erick Wujcik, it is disorganized than many other Palladium Games of the same period. It builds on the Palladium engine, and the result is a game which feels incomplete- with much left to the GM to fill in. In short it feels very old school. It also right out of the gate offers ideas about a larger world outside the TMNT universe: a place of strangeness and anthropomorphic animals (which would be built on for the various supplements). Perhaps most strikingly, this game came out before TMNT became a thing...two years before Eastman and Laird agree to license the concepts for toys, which led to the cartoon, which led to the movies and so on. here we have a game built on the original incredibly dark stories- which had begun to movie beyond being parodies of Frank Miller and david Sim.

And it is crazy wonderful, filled with new art and bizarre tables. Everything built on that idea of randomess, with a let's-see-what-you-get approach. The game has multiple sub-systems with tons of crunchy bits and modifiers, from the skill system to Animal Powers to Psionics to equipment. Surprisingly there's few detailed rules for handling martial arts. It includes an original TMNT story as well as a retelling of the origin. If you like the Turtles, you ought to track down a copy of this. It went through multiple printings and at least one significant revision. Copies always sold at the store up to the ending of the license in 2000. Palladium supported the line with many unique books, some offering anthropomorphic new worlds independent of the TMNT setting: Transdimensional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, After the Bomb, Road Hogs, Mutants of the Yucatan, Mutants Down Under, Mutants in Avalon, and many others.
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}