Third entry on favorites week for #RPGaDay2015! This time around it’s supers…
Day 19 – Favorite supers RPG
For the longest time my answer would be Champions. I loved the idea of being able to make whatever character you wanted! I read the books and made hundreds of characters, and could never get anyone to play. Such was my burden! But the story has a happy ending, read on…
Just like sci-fi yesterday, superhero games are a category of RPGs to which people bring varied expectations. Despite the long history of superheroes and the icons and tropes that come with them, ask two people what makes a good supers story and you’ll rarely get them to agree. Some love classic golden age heroes, where good guys are good and the bad guys worse, everybody has over the top powers and the existence of superheroes has little real effect on the real world. Others like gritty street level heroes, low powered, very realistic, and everything in between, angst ridden mutants, comedic sidekicks, alternate history, you name it!
I grew up on classic DC and Marvel, collected them for the longest time, and worked at a comic book store after High School and through College, so I’ve been close to comics all my life. Before the big two publishers in the USA I also read a lot of comics in Spanish, there were a lot of different heroes and character, such as Kaliman or Aguila Solitaria, so my tastes and sensibilities were an odd mix.
For a long time I tried to run a successful super campaign, and while there were some good runs with the Marvel FASERIP system (mostly a Daredevil solo campaign I ran for a friend) a couple of Heroes Unlimited campaigns, It wasn’t unlit recently that I ran my definitive (so far!) superhero campaign.
When I began posting on this blog I had just discovered Icons and wrote a lot about the system, including some character write ups. I wanted to use that system, but not all my players were keen on the idea. I had participated as a player in a Mutants & Masterminds 2nd edition campaign son when DC Adventures, using the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition rules, I set on that system and what was meant to be a seven month campaign, became an almost two year-long game. I posted about the experience here in the blog in case you want to check it out.
Mutants & Masterminds had the flexibility of character creating just like Champions did, but the system, while far from simple, was definitely easier to grasp and run than the Hero System, So Mutants & Masterminds is my current favorite supers game, with Icons a close second for shorter or lighter games. And like a pointed out in a previous post, bit games by Steve Kenson, the supers game guru!
So what’s your favorite supers game? Let us know in the comments. See you all tomorrow for my horror pick…
I’ve been enjoying this series of posts. While my current favorites are Mutants & Masterminds 3e/DC Adventures and Icons, my longest superhero campaigns used GURPS 3e Supers (1991-2000) and M&M2e (2005 to 2009).
I have some nostalgia for past Marvel and DC games, particularly FASERIP and DC Heroes, as well as Champions and Silver Age Sentinels. Given the popularity of recent movies and TV shows based on comic books, you’d think that tabletop RPGs would be more successful and more numerous.
gened5 I am glad you are enjoying the posts, it’s good to be back blogging! Thanks for the encouragement.
I never played GURPS Supers, although it had some of the qualities I found so appealing in Champions. The original DC Heroes was very interesting but my teenage mind had a little trouble wrapping itself around the rules. I have a good friend who still plays that game.
Agreed that with so many superheroes in TV and film it is uncanny that supers games are not more popular. Have a great day!
Champions/Hero was a favorite among both of my college gamer communities (I went to two different universities). I got to the point where I could make characters efficiently, and could follow along when playing a game … but over the course of 20ish years, I never really felt like I fully grasped the system enough to _run_ a game. And I hated that it always felt like I have to build every little thing from components (maybe because I never invested in a huge library of supplements or something).
I tried a few of the early d20 attempts at supers games, but they were all sort of half-assed in my opinion. I never tried M&M though.
I do, definitely, wish I had gotten into FASERIP back in its heyday. In retrospect, I think it was a great system that was ahead of its time. I don’t know that it’d still be useful at this point, unfortunately. I did see someone sort of port it to FUDGE, but I don’t know if anyone really extensively played it.
But my favorite Supers system? Dreampark. 🙂
But this point, I want to start looking into FATE Core based supers systems. :-}