RPGNow has regularly showcased independant ideas that improve on current favorite or famliar formats. Desing's newest RPG, RESOLUTE, promises easy character generation with many interesting powers. For the price, it prompted me to check-out this new superheroes game.
WHAT I LIKED:
Page one sets the setting into the near future. The gaming environment risked a lot by adding sci-fi elements with fantasy, supernatural, and large scale wars. However, the setting atmosphere belnds very well, and clearly sets the stage for SOME superhero to step forth from history or the ashes.
Building characters is a simple process, with a lot of options. I like how I was able to use a point-buy system to make my hero, and wrote a quick speadsheet tool to help me caluclate my costs of powers, advantages, and limitations. I made a speedy, water blasting hero in about 30 minutes. My first playtest using this hero against a small gang went well. Desing seperated opponents into the typical villains and the lesser-powered gang members, thugs, etc. Combat goes by quickly, although some powers are definate show-stoppers.
The author also includes some insights into his writing, giving better understanding of what he wanted to accomplish and how he did it.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER:
I would have liked more art, perhaps of the sample characters referenced.
I didn't like the format on a single page (9), but that is a small complaint.
A smaple adventure would have been fun, but the author did include 36 plot hooks.
For a small price, I found an all-around good superhero game I could bring out to my kids, play on a Friday night with my buddies, and invest time in it. Slight tweaking makes the game a futuristic alien/battle-robot game, or a pulp game, or a comic-book romp come-to-life on your table top. Future on-line support is promised for the future, and the website is currently up-and-running (www.splinteredrealm.com). Mike Desing seems to be pretty open-minded about suggestions and improvements to his game, so I think some player ideas could make their way into a new magazine, online article, or the like.