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What if the original roleplaying game was inspired by colorful superheroes rather than Tolkienesque fantasy?

GUARDIANS is a super hero retro-clone compatible with the original fantasy roleplaying game and subsequent editions, and other “OSR” games that follow in the mould of the original game like Colonial Troopers, Warriors of the Red Planet, and others. If your tastes run towards super-powered four-color heroes and villains you’ve found the right book. In a tradition inspired by the psionic abilities of Eldritch Wizardry and the mutants of Metamorphosis Alpha or Gamma World, even a first level Guardians character begins with mighty powers!

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Reviews (4)
Discussions (17)
Customer avatar
John K May 04, 2018 6:37 am UTC
The problem with Superhero games has always been balancing damage and healing. I certainly don't see how the healing rules help this.

"Damage may be “healed” after any combat with 1 turn of rest and first aid.
The amount healed is 1d4 hit points: this amount cannot exceed the amount
of damage incurred in the combat immediately preceding the rest, and will
not heal damage incurred in earlier combats. Double this if the attending
character has a Medical Background gift.
A character able to get eight hours of rest “in the rough” heals 1d3 points
of damage after the rest. Characters able to get 24 hours of rest in a
comfortable location (home, motel, HQ, etc) will recover 1d3 points plus 1 hit
point per character level. A full week of full rest heals all hit point damage."
Customer avatar
Ryan D March 15, 2018 5:34 am UTC
Has the Guardians book been updated for errata or clarifications mentioned in the other discussions here? I would love to buy a print copy, but I don’t want to buy one only to have it updated shortly thereafter.
Customer avatar
Gabriel H January 10, 2018 6:24 pm UTC
Psychic Weapon (p.41) has no damage listed. So is this an omission or is damage dependent on which type of weapon you manifest (sword versus dagger, for example)? I don't understand why it would be latter because it is massless psychic energy and also because Charisma bonus is added to the weapon's damage instead of Strength bonus.
Customer avatar
mark M September 15, 2017 11:04 pm UTC
awesome, i will by it later, good review, i am surprised yo never played mayfair dc system, which is my favorite. If you play it with your grandson, see if you can read Godsend agenda, godsend agenda has the best sperhero backgrond I have ever seen and I think that the background wold go well with this system.
Customer avatar
Glen H April 20, 2017 1:17 pm UTC
No character sheet?
Customer avatar
Thomas D June 25, 2017 11:53 pm UTC
Free character sheets at the Night Owl Workshop website:
Customer avatar
David B November 23, 2016 2:26 pm UTC
Cool game. Worth picking up for OSR retroclone collectors.

Here's a review I did on youtube of the POD version:
Customer avatar
Steve D October 05, 2016 1:24 am UTC
I like the game and will have to pick the pdf at some point.

On page 84, it says, "Fighters may utilize the two following special abilities." The next entry lists Combat Specialty but there is no second ability. What is the second ability?
Customer avatar
Thomas D October 31, 2016 5:36 pm UTC
That could be worded a bit more clearly. The second ability is included in the next entry. The two special abilities are +1 to hit AND +1 to damage (choose either Melee or Ranged at character creation).
Customer avatar
Steve D October 31, 2016 7:50 pm UTC
Okay, that makes more sense. It would probably clearer if the "Fighters may utilize the two following special abilities" line was removed.
Customer avatar
June 03, 2016 2:52 am UTC
I had a question about character creation for a gadgeteer. I have a human gadgeteer with a +3 BAM (19 INT with paragon) to INT and I used four of the five gifts for more gadget points, leaving me with a total of ten to spend. I use the first nine to build a battle suit and then notice the super attribute power. If I use this to make a gadget increasing my intelligence x2 it increases my BAM to 13. Can I use these new BAM points to create more starting gadgets or am I finished, having used up the original 10?
Question aside, I am enjoying guardians quite a bit.
Customer avatar
Steve D November 24, 2016 4:01 pm UTC
In the interests of balance, I'd ignore super INT BAM for this purpose just use the base INT BAM value.

As an aside, the extra gadgets be self limiting. Many powers require energy points, so the more powers the less energy points available. However, a gadget is a power and a power could be three features and a feature can be 1 energy point. Something to consider...
Customer avatar
November 25, 2016 6:35 am UTC
Ok, that makes sense.
Thanks for the response!
Customer avatar
Andrew G April 25, 2016 1:19 pm UTC
I may be going slightly insane but I noticed a lot of the sample characters had the Paragon gift which doesn't appear in the rules?
Customer avatar
Thomas D May 16, 2016 4:48 am UTC
Paragon is on page 18, it is 33-40 on the Gift table: "Paragon (+1 to every ability score)"
Customer avatar
Austin L April 21, 2016 11:19 pm UTC
Am I reading this wrong? Apparently starting with a 17 in Str and then taking Superior Super Strength lets you deal 14dX+19 damage at level 1? That's... really really high, especially since most other damaging powers cap out at 8 dice period.
Customer avatar
Steve D November 24, 2016 3:46 pm UTC
The damage from super strength is not in the same realm as the other powers. I have a couple of suggestions.

Drop the strength damage progression and just add Strength BAM to melee attack damage. This provides a simple consistent damage adder. I'd also add the damage to thrown attacks as well. In addition, you don't have to use your precious energy points to fuel your super strength attacks.

Alternatively, drop the strength damage progression and use the same progression for other attacks: 4d6 super, 6d6 superior, and 8d6 ultimate. It should cost 1 EP to activate this damage just like other similar damaging powers. To this damage, you also add your hand-to-hand/weapon damage die/dice. With this house rule, I wouldn't allow Strength BAM to add to damage.
Customer avatar
Derek H March 12, 2016 2:32 pm UTC
Did the Gadget Creation section get rolled into Starting Gadgets (p.48)? I want to make sure nothing is missing.

And how does the New Gadgets math work with character that have an Intelligence modifier over 10 (same page)?
Customer avatar
Thomas D April 13, 2016 6:07 pm UTC
Yes. What is missing is two-word subhead!
On p. 49 after the paragraph Building Gadgets for your Friends the next paragraph that begins:

"Worn Gadgets are..." should instead begin:
Gadget Creation: Worn gadgets are <etc.>

(These paragraphs contain the additional gadget creation rules that were referenced earlier)

NEW GADGETS math. We adjusted the BAM (base ability modifiers) late in the process so Guardians could accommodate a wider range of superheroes from normal human up to super-duper-man and beyond.
There are two corrections we are considering:
* change it to -5% instead of -10% per point (which captures the original spirit of the rules)
* add a parenthetical "(to a maximum -90%)

Will be posting an erratta sheet once we get more feedback, so far there hasn't been too many.
Customer avatar
Jonathan C March 08, 2016 1:57 pm UTC
Hi! Some publishers have a deal where if you buy the PDF and later buy the print copy, they'll provide a coupon for the amount of the PDF. Do you offer a similar deal?
Customer avatar
Aaron S February 21, 2016 3:37 am UTC
Does anyone know if they made modules for this game system?
Customer avatar
June 28, 2016 11:54 pm UTC
Yes! Look for Guardians: Power of Fear right here!
Customer avatar
James J February 08, 2016 3:20 am UTC
Having purchased both this and Colonial Troopers, I have to say that I love both the concept and the execution and I can't wait to give them a try. Guardians, however, has a few typographical errors that make the weapon tables very confusing. These errors have to do primarily with the water used on the weapon tables. Some of them appear to be quite wrong. For example rof has an asterix, according to the list beneath it, this would denote that rate of fire can be concealed under a jacket. The tables on 55 - 57 seem to be the most affected. Otherwise, this is a 5 star product and worthy of the osr movement. Thanks. J
Customer avatar
Samuel H February 07, 2016 2:59 am UTC
First, I love the game but some things seem to be missing. Traits like Robotic Body, Computer Brain, Undead, and Super Training are mentioned but I can't find a formal description. Also, are there any modifiers to initiative? Help!
Customer avatar
Thomas D February 07, 2016 7:04 pm UTC
These are less an omission than an informal explanation, something of an OSR tradition, but are supported in the rules.

Robotic Body and Computer Mind <not brain> are not powers but rather the racial traits innate to the Cyborg and Robot origins. That is, the qualities of having an electrical body and a machine mind. Their effects were not spelled out in any one place. Rather, there are several references in the rules to how powers affect characters who have these traits: under Electrical Control, Repair HP, Illusion, EMP, Electrical Shock, lightning, magnetic control, neutralize power, transmutation, and sleep.

Undead is simply a descriptive optional trait you may take for a supernatural character that is included for the purpose of integration with other OSR games where certain characters have special powers against the undead (e.g., clerics, magic items that affect undead, etc.). As it's an optional trait , it has no 'cost'.
Customer avatar
James G February 05, 2016 11:12 am UTC
Will there be a print version of this? And for Colonial Troopers as well?
Customer avatar
Thomas D February 07, 2016 7:06 pm UTC
Yes. RPGNow requires the publisher to get a proof and approve it before making the print version available. This usually takes a week or two for them to print and a copy arrive by mail.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on February 01, 2016.