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"Old School" Superhero RPG Experiences...Guardians....Villains & Vigilantes/Mighty Protectors?


fdw3773
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Based on what I've seen and read on various forums, "old school" gaming seems to be enjoying a bit of a resurgence in recent years across the different genres. Personally, I recently bought digital versions of Guardians and Mighty Protectors, which is Villains  & Vigilantes 3rd Edition following decades of legal battle between creators Jeff Dee and Jack Herman and the owners of Fantasy Games Unlimited 😉.

 

I never played Guardians but remember seeing it on display at my local comic and game store in the early 1990s and Villains & Vigilantes was my first experience in superhero RPGs in the early to mid 1980s before getting into Champions (Third Edition). There are definitely some fun memories playing V&V over the summer as a kid back then. After reading Mighty Protectors recently, it's nice to see the rule updates and revisions that appear to draw a bit from Champions in terms of game mechanics and character generation. I had heard of Super World, Marvel Superheroes (FASERIP), and later learned about Supergame that was first published in the early 1980s, but never had the opportunity to play any of them.

 

Any old or recent memories of old school superhero RPGs? A part of me feels nostalgic enough to invest in either a pre-owned copy of Guardians or a new copy of Mighty Protectors for that old-school feel and nostalgia.

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Aside from Champions the only superhero rpg I played was the Batman rpg, which was derived from DC Heroes. I ran it a few times.

 

There was an mini rpg called Crimefighters, which IIRC originally appeared in an issue of Dragon magazine. One of my friends made a lot of modifications, so we played that a lot. Despite me playing a Batman-type character, the OCs were closer to powerful heroes than low-powered superheroes in the power scale. Still, the game played like a Dark Champions campaign.

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20 hours ago, Stormraven said:

I've played V&V, and also Superhero 2044 - also the original Marvel RPG. But once I ran across Champions, I never really looked back.

 

It's funny you mentioned how once you started playing Champions, the other superhero RPGs sort of faded to the background. I've had similar experiences where after reading or even playing other superhero RPGs to try something new or because I'm a fan of the genre over the years, I find myself going back to Champions as well. 😉

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4 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

I’ve picked up a copy of FASERIP. It’s a retro clone of the original Marvel RPG. Interesting but fun.

Does it specify that you are supposed to pronounce the acronym 'Face-Rip', and make a gesture like Nicholas Cage does in Face Off when he's describing the surgery?

 

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Played V&V in the day as well as DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes.  They just didn't seem to stack up against Champs.

 

Tried M&M, and though chargen was fun and the game is nearly as flexible as Hero (much of it reminds me of 3rd ed) their resolution system just didn't work.  They rely on 30+ "conditions" instead of damage or effects.   There is a hierarchy of conditions but that hierarchy seems to be firmly anchored in jello and of course there is no such thing as a flowchart to firmly establish exactly what does what.

 

I gave up.

 

 

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My only experience with FASERIP was character creation, and it left me unimpressed. Everything was decided by a die roll, which ended up with a character I didn't much like. I wanted to play a mystical swordsman; I got no superpowers except for an alter ego with the strength of Aunt May! One of my friends rolled up a sword with a special power (I was so jealous!). He decided the sword's special power was that it could stick to the wall.

 

I also created a character with Palladium's system. It was also somewhat randomized, but I didn't have a specific concept, so I wasn't too disappointed with what I got: powers of electricity. I decided the character was a gray-skinned alien who came to Earth, but other than that, I didn't find much flexibility in the system.

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The Marvel Superheroes RPG was originally designed/intended to be played using the vast stable of Marvel characters. Players weren't expected to create their own superheroes. The custom character creation rules were basically tacked on almost as an after-thought. It is no wonder they are among the weakest aspects of the system.

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10 hours ago, Spence said:

Played V&V in the day as well as DC Heroes/Blood of Heroes.  They just didn't seem to stack up against Champs.

 

Tried M&M, and though chargen was fun and the game is nearly as flexible as Hero (much of it reminds me of 3rd ed) their resolution system just didn't work.  They rely on 30+ "conditions" instead of damage or effects.   There is a hierarchy of conditions but that hierarchy seems to be firmly anchored in jello and of course there is no such thing as a flowchart to firmly establish exactly what does what.

 

I gave up.

 

 

 

Yeah, M&M does pretty good for character creation, but trying to keep track of all the conditions, when they clear, and the like is a pain and a half.

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I've played a little bit of everything as far as Superhero RPGs go. By Guardians, do you mean the old game from Star Childe, or the OSR one that's relatively new? 

I've been running M&M for a while now, but recently have been considering returning to Hero. Loved both of the TSR Marvel Games (FASERIP and Saga), and really wished that WotC could release a new edition as an open license game. 

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23 hours ago, Sketchpad said:

I've played a little bit of everything as far as Superhero RPGs go. By Guardians, do you mean the old game from Star Childe, or the OSR one that's relatively new? 

I've been running M&M for a while now, but recently have been considering returning to Hero. Loved both of the TSR Marvel Games (FASERIP and Saga), and really wished that WotC could release a new edition as an open license game. 

I'm referring to the original Guardians by Star Childe released in the early 1990s, not the more recent one that uses the D20 system based on the OSR.

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7 minutes ago, fdw3773 said:

I'm referring to the original Guardians by Star Childe released in the early 1990s, not the more recent one that uses the D20 system based on the OSR.

 

I read "released in the early 1990s" and thought to myself "oh, something new" and then remembered it is 2021 and I felt old again :weep:

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9 hours ago, fdw3773 said:

I'm referring to the original Guardians by Star Childe released in the early 1990s, not the more recent one that uses the D20 system based on the OSR.

 

I actually liked the background for this. Art as well. Rules..well....

100991.jpg

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On 4/26/2021 at 10:38 PM, fdw3773 said:

I'm referring to the original Guardians by Star Childe released in the early 1990s, not the more recent one that uses the D20 system based on the OSR.

 

On 4/27/2021 at 8:00 AM, HeroGM said:

 

I actually liked the background for this. Art as well. Rules..well....

100991.jpg

 

I didn't mind Guardians, to be honest. I think it had some fun ideas, and the art was fairly decent for the time. I also really enjoyed Justifiers, which I ran pretty regularly for about a year. 

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I have bought, read or played many superhero rpgs. If I want to get nostalgic about one in particular, it would be Champions 4e. If I want to play a superhero game nowadays, it's going to be Champions any edition. 

 

I really want to prefer something over Champions. In the end, nothing compares.

 

A game like Superworld has a lot of potential but they have to get the scaling right and they have to calibrate how living beings survives damage compare to how inanimate objects resist damage. A few ideas could be stolen from Call of Cthulhu 7e.

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5 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

A game like Superworld has a lot of potential but they have to get the scaling right and they have to calibrate how living beings survives damage compare to how inanimate objects resist damage. A few ideas could be stolen from Call of Cthulhu 7e.

 

 

I actually got into Hero by mistaking Champions for Superworld. One of the guys I met in Italy had Worlds of Wonder and since I was leaving soon couldn't get in on all the character building. I caught "powers with points" and she. I saw Hero thought "Oh this must be it"

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8 hours ago, HeroGM said:

 

I actually got into Hero by mistaking Champions for Superworld. One of the guys I met in Italy had Worlds of Wonder and since I was leaving soon couldn't get in on all the character building. I caught "powers with points" and she. I saw Hero thought "Oh this must be it"

From Chaosium's board we have read that Steve Perrin might be working on an updated SuperWorld and that Chris Spivey has turner a full manuscript for a Modern Super game based on Pulp Cthulhu. At this stage, no further announcement.

 

The Design Mechanism is currently soft advertising their Mythras based super game, Destined (or so was it named as a working title). Apparently it will come out this fall.

 

There is definitely movement on the Super BRP front!

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5 hours ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

I think they are counting on Champions being dead creating a market place gap and I am doing my part to counter that

I don't want to sound too harsh but I don't think Champions factors in anyone's strategy nowadays.

 

Edit: Yes, I agree and empathize with the sad faces :(

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