Sunday, November 18, 2012
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying
Publisher/Year: Margaret Weis Productions, 2012
When I first started this site/blog, I didn't intend to write reviews for RPG's and I especially didn't feel that I was going to write reviews for specific books. And then I started to read the "Basic Game" book for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying from Margaret Weis. Though I don't intend to give a rating (usually X out of 5), but I felt compelled to express my thoughts, feelings and opinions on this as I read it.
As I've noted in the past, I spent most of my life playing role playing games and I feel that I have a good idea of what's a good system and what should be scrapped or may be too horribly complicated to be considered "basic". I've played games from the original basic "Red Box" edition of Dungeons & Dragons to the less basic classic World of Darkness. There have been many good games along the way, and fortunately I have not come across anything I would consider too complicated for a beginning player.
Than I began to read this book.
I usually don't mind a system that is dice intensive (such as the Hero system) or have need for multiple dice (such as Dungeons & Dragons or just about any other RPG). This system, however, is too dice intensive and not very player sensitive as you need to have multiple sets of dice D4 to D12. I think this decision may have been an intentional slight towards the D20 fad. The rules for what dice you use for rolls are easy to understand, but then you have different factors that allow you to add dice and increase dice. Depending on how you roll, the Watcher (the ST/DM/GM for this particular system) adds dice to their pool. If you want to spend Plot Points, you can increase the outcome, dice pool or push one of your dice to the next step (i.e. D4 to D6, D6 to D8, etc).
In this first chapter alone, I found myself getting a headache trying to process all the various rules for dice and dice pools. I can only imagine what a new role player who likes the idea of playing one of the favorite Marvel superheroes would go through coming into this system. This book would have left a bad taste in my mouth if it had been my first game system. It would have possibly kept me away from collecting comic books and playing RPG's. <shudder>
As you can imagine, I would not recommend this game for a new player, and I'm hard pressed to even suggest that veteran roleplayers even throw their money at it. I wish I had kept my old Marvel Super Hero RPG that TSR published back in the 80's. I'm sure there are ways to easily create the newer characters that have spawned from the 90's to today, and even adapt the older characters (such as the X-Men) to their modern versions.