Prowlers & Paragons is a great new addition to roleplaying games. It shifts focus from an effect based, "fat loot" game with complex rules, to a very simple and streamlined game which focuses on the narration of the game, and it works so well!
The Freebies Bundle contains twelve Quick Start Heroes and a Quick Start Issue, detailing the most important rules and gives you a small adventure to try out.
And you should try it out, the game is brilliant! I have written a review in the Prowlers & Paragons Core Rules, if you want to know more about what the game is all about.
Many of the Quick Start Heroes can be traced back to iconic Superheroes from Marvel or DC Comics. This is not a downside, in my opinion. Rather it shows the players that it’s ok to copy and reimagine famous and favorite characters, it’s the roleplaying that makes them unique in the end.
The only thing I want to question is the gender stereotypes. I think it’s sad that out of twelve unique heroes, only two are female. And one of the two is a single mom… Really? Why?! I felt that this was a weird decision in an otherwise very well thought-out game. And my female players also felt that it left them feeling a little bit underwhelmed. They looked forward to a hero who, for once, wasn’t wearing a chainmail bikini. And they got a single mom… Oh, and a supermodel (that’s the second female character right there).
I realize how hard it can be to make use of stereotypes in a way that creates a sense of instant recognition and at the same time doesn’t make too heavy use of it and end up alienating different groups of people. Sadly, in this, I think the creators failed.
Norms are hard to change, since they are such an integral part of ourselves that we don’t really think about or question. That’s why I have started to work with this in a standardized way on my own: now, whenever I have finished creating an adventure, I flip all the genders of my characters. It’s an interesting experience and really opens up for some great discussions.
Gender issues aside, try the game out! Prowlers & Paragons deserves way more publicity and credit than it gets! The core mechanics are well made, easy to handle and lets you really get into that childhood dream of playing a Superhero!