RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse









Back
Other comments left by this customer:
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions
by P. K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2012 11:48:22
When I first encountered Dungeons and Dragons, I was a big fan of Marvel Comics. With each new attempt, I have hoped for a system that would allow me to run a game in the world that coloured my youth. On one level, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying from Margaret Weis Productions supplies that.

The rules are fairly clear and cover the aspects needed to play here. This is not a rules-heavy game, by any means, so folks can be up and playing as soon as the Watcher has read them through. In most games, the Watcher would be the GM, but MWP continues their cute idea from Smallville of tying that job to an aspect of the background. Conflicts are settled with a system of roll vs. counter-roll, with ties going to the defender, as in Risk. If there is no obvious opponent, as in the hero trying to break down a door or leap from rooftop to rooftop, the Watcher can either let the attempt succeed or roll with the Doom Pool.

While it is possible to use other characters, either adapted from the comics or created from whole cloth, the main attraction in this game is the opportunity to play fan favourrites like Spidey, Cap and Wolverine, and the sourcebook supplies more than enough choices: Avengers, X-men, Fantastic Four and more. The Breakout adventure included in this book includes game writeups on a variety of villains as well as giving the players a chance to rework a published story.

Physically, the book is well-presented and lavishly illustrated. It manages to put all the players need into a mere 264 pages including covers.

That being said, the simplicity of the game and the tendency to recycle published stories as adventures ( Breakout, Civil War) present weaknesses for the experienced, serious roleplayer. The Marvel readers who provide the core demographic for this game have probably already read these "Events," which provide copious spoilers.

For new or casual gamers, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is a great buy. For those who seek a real challenging game, keep looking.

PK

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. I
Publisher: Green Ronin
by P. K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2011 13:29:57
NPC sourcebooks like DC Adventures Heroes & Villains, Volume I, have a worthwhile function: they are the Games Master's toybox, providing friends, opponents, patrons and the rest of the cast of the game world when the GM is either unable or unwilling to create them from whole cloth. If we need a quick fight, we pull out a few orcs or low-level villains as the situation requires. If we want to create a master plot or a master plotter, we look to the examples in the sourcebooks for inspiration.
When creating such a volume for a licensed product, the writers and editors have a daunting task indeed. With seventy-plus years of DC Comics continuity, who should be included and who should be left out? How can they, and by extension we consumers, properly simulate characters from Superman to Hector Hammond to Lois Lane? Add to this the fact that top-ranked characters like Darkseid are rated at Power Level (PL) 16 while beginning Player-Characters usually start at PL 10 and you can be sure it was a tough job.
While DC Adventures Heroes and Villains, Volume I offers over three hundred entries in its 312 pages, at least half of those are heroic characters like Aquaman, Batman and various Green Lanterns. While it's nice to know how our home-grown heroes stack up against characters who have been around for decades, to have NPC heroes who can show the newbies the ropes and to have a bunch of available guest-heroes for the odd time when one or more is needed, the route of pre-generated heroes was used and discarded by previous licensed superhero RPGs. For the players, who may or may not be fans of the DC Multiverse, the main reason to buy this book is the villains. This book certainly delivers those, from annoyances to frenemies to earth-shakers and neck-breakers. The cast list seems tailored to contemporary audiences with a traditionalist bent. Bruce Wayne is the one-and-only Batman, and the line-up given for the Doom Patrol is the one I came to know from their appearances in the 60s. There are, however, such 21st-century characters as Owen Mercer the new Captain Boomerang and the text acknowledges such events as the death of Arsenal's daughter Lian.
Physically, it is a handsome volume, with cover art by Alex Ross and lots of colour illustrations clipped from various DC comics. Suggested heroes and villains are colour-coded and the table of contents indicates which characters conform exactly to the character generation rules. An appendix lists the characters by PL.
How do I plan to use this book? Obviously, the villains can be used as-is, throwing a team of Flash Rogues or Batman villains against the heroes. The rather thorough notes on powers and personalities will be invaluable. The heroes, as noted earlier, can do guest appearances either as NPCs or temporary teammates. However, the presence of such characters as the Crime Syndicate of Amerika shows how a hero can be adapted as a villain. Just twist the origin or the personality and Clark Kent becomes Ultraman instead of Superman. Characters like Catwoman and Black Adam have walked both sides of the fence. A hero under an Affliction effect becomes a super-menace. We are limited only by our own imaginations.
Obviously, the volume has some flaws, or I'd have given it five stars instead of four. The layout often carries entries from one page to another, which sometimes seems cramped. The lush illustrations may be a bit overwhelming. Nobody is going to agree with all the abilities and levels assigned to all the characters. Finally, not every character you might expect will be here. Those that are missing may show up in volume 2 under a group, as Fatal Five members Tharok, Mano, the Persuader and Validus do in this book. Personally, I was hoping for the whimsy of the Inferior Five, Angel and the Ape or Captain Carrot.
Frankly, I think the PDF format is perfect for DC Adventures Heroes & Villains Vol I and similar tomes. Rather than bringing a 312-page book to my game, I can print the pages I need for personal use and not worry about spilled beverages and grease marks. I recommend both this book and Drive-Thru RPG.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
DC ADVENTURES Heroes & Villains, Vol. I
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Displaying 1 to 2 (of 2 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG