First Impressions: DC Adventures

DC Adventures cover As soon as it was available, I decided to preorder the DC Adventures Hero’s Handbook from Green Ronin Publishing. Although I never actually had the chance to run a superhero game I really like the genre. I very much enjoyed reading Mutants & Masterminds, and since DC Adventures is our first chance to have a look at the new M&M 3rd edition rules, I decided to give it a look.

I have to admit I am not a DC fan. I think most of the comics I’ve read so far have been either by Marvel or one of the independent publishers. But perhaps I will do some more research into DC stuff, now that I own the DC Adventures game.

What pretty much surprised me was that the M&M 3E rules feel very different from 2E. While it’s basically still using a d20 System variant, they’ve made a lot of changes starting with the attributes. Attributes are now ranked from –5 to 20 (Superman has strength 19 for example) and are directly added to the rolls. So the attribute rank is effectively the attribute bonus in itself. That was a good move in my opinion.

The layout is pretty good and the artwork is top-notch. But since we are talking about a licensed product here, this is not really surprising. That’s how a superhero roleplaying game is supposed to look like. I hope the hardcover book looks as good.

What I really like about the book is that it still supports a huge variety of settings. All of the M&M archetypes are still there (when I am not mistaken) and the game seems to have the same toolbox character as M&M 1st and 2nd edition had.

The preorder for the hardcover book sets you back $39.95. Preorder customers are offered the PDF version of DC Adventures for just $5, the normal price is $20. Why they don’t provide the PDF for free when you preorder the game is a mystery to me, because that’s what they’ve done with Dragon Age. But the $5 deal isn’t that bad. For me it is definitely worth it. You can order DC Adventures in the Green Ronin Online Store.

I haven’t had the chance to give the book a proper read, so it might take some more time before I can write a review. But from what I’ve seen so far, they made some interesting changes to the M&M ruleset and while it’s a DC licensed product, you can probably still run every kind of superhero game with it.

Michael Wolf is a German games designer and enthusiast best known for his English language role-playing games blog, Stargazer's World, and for creating the free rules-light medieval fantasy adventure game Warrior, Rogue & Mage. He has also worked as an English translator on the German-language Dungeonslayers role-playing game and was part of its editorial team. In addition to his work on Warrior, Rogue & Mage and Dungeonslayers, he has created several self-published games and also performed layout services and published other independent role-playing games such as A Wanderer's Romance, Badass, and the Wyrm System derivative Resolute, Adventurer & Genius, all released through his imprint Stargazer Games. Professionally, he works as a video technician and information technologies specialist. Stargazer's World was started by Michael in August 2008.

6 thoughts on “First Impressions: DC Adventures”

  1. I am SO tempted by this. I have a lot of games in my plate right now, and I know for sure I’m getting the new edition of Mutants & Masterminds, so I was going to pass on getting this book. But I think I may fail my Will saving throw!

  2. It is worth mentioning that M&M3E will, rules-wise, be identical to this, minus the DC information, in softcover at a lower price point.

    So if one is interested in M&M3E and has no interest in DC…there you go.

    Now, myself, I don't care for M&M and 3e doesn't seem like it's going to do anything to change that…but when the character and setting books come out…I may not be able to resist getting those for source material.

  3. I curse the thought process that led to me preordering this game on Amazon. But at least I can still read all of the edition change panic threads on the AtomicThinkTank.

  4. Why is that? You can still cancel your Amazon preorder and get it from Green Ronin directly if you want to profit from their preorder deal.

  5. Well, because that means I don't have the game with me right now. That said, I had a gift certificate that had been languishing for almost a year AND I have other projects (like an ICONS mini-adventure I'm writing) that need to get done. But still I curse it.

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