I was the first backer of the kickstarter and have loved every inch of this game. What follows is my experience with the ruleset.
It is difficult to imagine a more canonical superhero game than Prowlers and Paragons Ultimate Edition and it is almost certain that this edition will remain the most well-known of this game, not the least for being released in a period where Lakeside Games had teamed up with Evil Beagle Games for production and distribution. Affectionately known as “the successor to Champions”, this edition came out in both hardback and softback editions.
The book itself is quite a tome. The writing style varies between the formal and informal but is also clear and makes the me, the reader, feel like the author at first; is talking to me and second; explaining how the rules work.
The artwork is the ABSOLUTE BEST IN CLASS FOR A SUPERHERO GAME!
While characters in many realistic-heroic campaigns can do without powers, any fantasy or superhero setting will need them – and there's quite a collection. A particular feature of powers in the PnPUE is that they describe an effect in game terms, with the world-based logic for the effect being a supplementary question – the “special effect”. Thus an energy blast is a power, and the actual form it takes (lightning bolt, flame bolt, stream of savage caterpillars etc...) is the “special effect”. There are massive amount of powers. Each power has anywhere from a few paragraphs to half a page in description, with plenty of examples. As I said before, the writing drifts to help the reader understand in game terms and what the rules actually mean.
The GMs section is a is guideline of structured flexibility. That is, it goes through the universal aspects of being a GM and in particular the campaign setting ground rules for diverse superhero campaigns. It encourages player input, establishes the importance of the Heroes, scales the aspects of “campaign tone”, and so forth, before moving into the system-specific aspects such as character building guidelines, optional rule choices, and recommended or disallowed skills, powers etc...
Another chapter covers desiging adventures, which again is a collection of very sensible advice of bringing the Heroes together, bringing loose ends together, checking for complications, incorporating the game system mechanics, organising subplots, and supervillian motivations and activities.
At first I though that building a superhero base was too inexpensive. Then I remembered that I want my superheroes to have a connecting point to further their adventures.
Prowlers and Paragons Ultimate will become perhaps the most well known superhero game for a good reason. The scope and scale is well suited and there is a serious attempt to cover a great deal of ground.
Stylistically, there is a lot of positive remarks to be said about the book. Physically superb and well-written the book also has the best artwork, textual expression and organisation and so forth.
I've given this game 5 stars because I want to play it with you