Showing posts with label Marvel SAGA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marvel SAGA. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Marvel SAGA RPG is the Easiest Game in the World to Run and Play! #RPGaDay 22

Image Source Wayne's Books

I love super hero role playing games. There was a time, before the digital explosion, that I could claim that I owned every super hero rpg that had been published. They run the gamut from highly complex games like Champions to abstract and indie games like With Great Power. You might think that my love of these games stems from the fact that I'm a HUGE comic book geek, and that's true, but I also love them for another reason. It's a reason that also answers today's #RPGaDay question.

Day 22 -- Which RPGs are the Easiest for You to Run?

Super hero role playing games are the easiest of any role playing game for me to run for a wide variety of reasons. First and foremost among these reasons is that they are the most accessible games for people to play. "Accessible," you say, "but aren't Champions and Mutants and Masterminds tremendously complex when it comes to character creation?" Yes, they can be mechanically complex, but all superhero games are more accessible than fantasy role playing games because they have more shared qualities.

When I run a fantasy role playing game set in a fantasy world, there is always a learning curve regarding the nature of the setting. If I play in an Eberron campaign I need to know certain things about the setting that are completely different than if I'm in Dark Sun, Oerth, Mystara, Westeros, or a million other worlds. But it most superhero campaigns, all I need to say is "you will be playing a superhero team based in Los Angeles" and everyone is in a similar imaginary landscape. While I need to worry that the "magic system" of a fantasy setting fits the setting, comic books don't care about such things. Doctor Fate's cosmic scale mysticism stands side by side with John Constantine's arcane rituals, Amethyst's crystal magic, and Arion's Atlantean magic.

The stories also fall into place. How do the characters get together as a team? I'll just borrow the classic get the team together through misunderstanding and melee that made me fall in love with Marvel's The Champions or the first issue of The Avengers. This misunderstanding melee meetup provides a perfect opportunity to teach the players the rules of the game, build personalities, and introduce villains who will be used throughout the campaign.

One of the absolute best super hero games is TSR's Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game. It's simple card-driven system and game balance allow for every player in a combat to matter. Captain America is always an important contributor, and unlike in the new Defenders TV series, so is Iron Fist. The character sheets are easy to read. And my favorite part? The cards have enough information on them that by drawing about 5 from the deck, you can come up with an adventure on the fly with location, motivation, and villain determined at a quick glance.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy in D&D Gamma World: Rocket Raccoon

Like most geeks, I am extremely excited about Guardians of the Galaxy. The latest Marvel Studios film is a brave leap into the lesser known characters of the Marvel-verse. Until Dan Abnett, Keith Giffen, and Andy Lanning's run on Annihilation the Guardians -like Alpha Flight - had been an acquired taste of a small niche of comic book fans. Abnett and Lanning populated the new Guardians with a strange group of characters - otherwise comical characters - and put them in extreme circumstances. Following after Tolkien's model, the Guardians' narrative within Annihilation is that of the "common man." Sure Rocket and Groot are a competent pair, and Drax has been a Marvel heavy hitter in the past, but none of them match the cosmic might of Firelord, Silver Surfer, or Nova.

It made for compelling stuff and now that same band of misfits - and not those who bear the power cosmic - are going to be featured in the upcoming film.

I asked my friends in the Social Network-verse what game system they would use to run a Guardians of the Galaxy campaign and received some very good answers. Some would run it in Hero System, others in Savage Worlds, and still others in Bulldogs!. I am intimately familiar with two of those systems, and almost chose to create statistics in Savage Worlds, but in the end I chose Wizards of the Coasts' excellent D&D Gamma World as my game of choice. As I was thinking how to stat the characters in as simple a fashion as possible, the ideas just leaped out at me. Groot was a "Giant Plant" and that's all I needed to know to stat him. I'll likely attempt a Savage Worlds conversion in the future...and a Marvel Saga and Marvel Heroic as well as purchase a copy of Bulldogs!...but for now, I'm using D&D Gamma World. It should be noted that all characters will be 10th level as most Gamma Supers should be.

My first entry is none other than my twin daughters' - History and Mystery - favorite Guardian...