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First Contact Team
Publisher: Vajra Enterprises
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2022 20:16:59

It's well past time I did a review for this RPG. First Contact Team is a different animal than many RPGs; it really is a series of one-shot adventures, as the PCs are an elite team put together to investigate and possibly make contact with alien life for the first time in human history (or modern history maybe?).

Note; I'm at the point in my gaming life where learning a new game system is a chore, even if it really isn't that crunchy. I have run a couple FCT adventures but used a version of BRP (d100 rules). As long as a game system has a bit of grit to it and less of the pulpish heroics it should fit the FCT setting. Honestly, being kinda heroic could be fun too, but we are talking about normal humans as the PC standard. I'll say that the included game system (ORC-L or Organic Rule Components) seems perfectly functional, but I can run BRP in my sleep and that left my focus on just the adventure (and my players didn't have to worry about using a new game system either). I would say that since the PCs are supposed to be some of the best trained/experts in the world that they be built as more than just starting characters. Obviously, the FCT game system seems geared to allow for this.

There is a wealth of information for the GM to consider as they put together an alien contact scenario (or it MIGHT not even be aliens -there are other options) in this book. The biology of the aliens, the forms they might take, the environment they prefer, and how they think gets discussed at length. With each adventure intended to be a one-shot, you could have things end quite badly both for the FCT members and Earth if the alien's intentions are bad (or just badly misunderstood).

There is a weight to each adventure as the players come to grips with the future of Earth/humankind being in the balance, depending on their actions. Each PC also has a hidden motive which could be whimsical or a roadblock to the success of the overall mission. This helps add even more tension to each adventure.

Now, if you happen to be a Biochemist, you'll find that quite useful if you want to get into the details of how the aliens feed and communicate and so on. It can be a bit intimidating, but if you want to play a bit fast and loose with the science that can work too.

There are THREE adventures included in the book, all in an assumed modern or near future setting. It will be a task to create some new adventures for many GMs I think, as you consider some new circumstances, alien types, and a motivation for the aliens. In theory, a group could continue with further adventures after the first contact scenario plays out (depending on the circumstances of course) so you could run something closer to a mini-campaign. However, I think FCT really shines when played as intended -as a one chance to make a first impression adventure. It would be perfect for a change-of-pace game session, maybe as a way to give the normal GM a chance to play.

I have both the PDF and PoD versions of FCT. The PoD is a bit smaller and a bit thick at about 190 pages. Color cover and B&W interior, with minimal art but a very readable layout.

In summary, while being a series of one-shot adventures might seem limiting in some ways (character development?) it also allows for some unique experiences since anything goes. If you want a modern setting RPG to provide an occasional distraction from a long campaign, or a one-shot for a convention game, First Contact Team might just be what you need. At a current price of $5 for the PDF it's worth a look for most people.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
First Contact Team
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Everywhen
Publisher: Garnett Elliott
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/21/2020 12:55:59

Any RPG that claims to have the flexibility to handle multiple genres/settings is of interest to me. For most of my gaming years I’ve found some version of the BRP (Basic Role Playing) D100 system, paired with whatever setting I wanted to try, worked fairly well. However, prep time for adventures includes sorting through a long list of skills and calculating percentages, so I’ve tried a couple more simplified RPG systems the past few years.

Everywhen appeared to check BOTH of the above boxes when I looked at some reviews –a universal RPG and doing away with Skill Lists. Everywhen uses ‘Career’ instead and you let characters do things that fit with the career they had/have. A blacksmith can do blacksmith things, for example.

Each career list is going to match the setting though, and I expected a longer and more generic list for GMs to choose from. Instead you are given three career lists from supplemental settings you can buy. Blood Sundown for weird western, Neopunk Crysis for cyberpunk in Neo Tokyo, and Red Venus for rocketpunk. There are also two settings included in the core rulebook, a vampire hunting setting in modern times with a suggested career list and a fantasy setting where careers become ‘Specializations’ like Scholar or Warrior.

I also judge an RPG by the character sheet. More and more I prefer when there is space for character art (blame the amount of super hero gaming I’ve done, where every hero and villain needs some art). With a Google image search or using an online tool like Heromachine dot com will allow you to have an image for most characters. If that can be done in one page –great, but a two page character sheet is fine too. Everywhen puts everything on the first page and the second page is just space for the background story, character art, and any notes (like a list of Psionic powers if needed).

One odd thing though? The lack of the game title on the character sheet! If you don’t already know the Everywhen character sheet, you won’t know what game system it’s for. I used a PDF editor to add ‘Everywhen RPG’ to the character sheet, taking a bit of space away from the text box for ‘Name’. Also, the standard character sheet is a fillable PDF, which is great.

The heart of the Everywhen system is rolling 2D6 and getting a target number of ‘9’ to succeed. There are modifiers for your abilities which are: Strength, Agility, Mind, and Appeal for the physical/mental side. Then there are the Combat Abilities, which are Initiative, Melee, Ranged, and Defense. I like having these split up like they are; you could have a character with average Agility (‘0’ Ability Rank) but they are a crack shot with a Ranged Combat Ability of ‘3’ for example.

Damage is handled with ‘Lifeblood’ and ‘Critical Lifeblood’ tracks. Boxes are marked depending on the damage type. There is Fatigue, Normal, and Lasting damage.

I’d consider Everywhen about a medium crunch game system with the various options you are given. It is intended to play fast and loose and probably does once the GM and players get to know the system better (which can be said for most any RPG).

Hero Points are included to help the PCs survive and thrive, which is nice. Investing the time and energy into a character only to see them die the first time a combat happens is never fun.

There are Faith Points, Arcane Points, and Psionic Points for your fantasy and sci-fi settings. Characters get Boons (advantages) Flaws (disadvantages) and Temporary Flaws if they want. You are encouraged to change those to be more appropriate to the setting. For example, I was working on a Ringworld adventure and decided to build a Kzin in Everywhen. I edited the Faith and Arcane points to ‘Credit Rating’ and ‘Reputation’ points instead which would be more useful in the Known Space setting of the Larry Niven books.

Everywhen has the bases covered for a setting with human type characters. Being new to the system I wonder how it would handle someone wanting to run a super hero campaign –and you’d need to add a list of super powers in any event. With the exception of street level type heroes, I don’t think universal games are a good fit for a super hero campaign -things get pushed to extreme levels.

What about support for this game? There are four supplemental settings available, some equipment and rule expansions, and more being worked on. Including, I think, a super hero setting –which should be interesting given my thoughts noted above.

Remember, this review is based on my initial read of the rules and the creation of a couple characters. I do want to run some adventures with Everywhen in the near future and see how my players like the system. At this time, I can say I’m positive about what I see. At $10 for the PDF or the current sale price of $28 for the hard cover/PDF combo, the price is good value. The art is all black & white, but well done and at 143 pages this core book is not a long read for those worried about walls of text.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Everywhen
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Tiny Legacies
Publisher: Kyoudai Games
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/21/2019 03:18:11

Tiny Legacies a nice combination of GM world building advice, Legacy setting material, and a half dozen pages of additional rules and some new super powers for the Tiny Supers RPG. The art has a nice consistent look -even if there isn't quite enough of it. Aside from the stats of the included heroes/villains and the aforementioned six pages of system specific material, there is plenty here to use with any other super RPG.

Now, was I blown away by the Legacy setting? Not really. It's a solid take on a campaign setting for super heroes with all the bases covered. I'd be more inclined to borrow a few pieces here and there, but if you want a ready made setting with just enough history/depth? You'll find it here. I was part of the Kickstarter, so I paid a lot less for the PDF and print versions. At $11.99 the PDF is a couple dollars more than I'd normally like to spend on a smaller setting book (at 111 pages total, Tiny Legacies is not a huge book). It does cover a handful of super powers that you or at least one of your players will probably want to include in a Tiny Supers campaign, so you may not want to wait on a sale to pick up Tiny Legacies. Of course, the more of the setting you end up using the better value you'll get for your money.

The new powers are: Disruption, Electrokinesis, Mimicry, Mind Control, and Siphoning.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tiny Legacies
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Michael T. Desing's Army Ants RPG Legacy Edition
Publisher: Splintered Realms Publishing
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/22/2019 11:03:12

Better late than never? I regret not making time to review this RPG back when I first got it, but on the plus side I've had plenty of time to think about what to write. Maybe?

So, I came across the first edition of the Army Ants RPG back in 1997. Not sure how my local comics/game store even got a copy, but the cover and concept of anthropomorphic ants caught my attention and I bought it. From there I collected the Army Ant comics. Simple, B&W art with an interesting style and enjoyable characters. I bought the second edition of the Army Ants RPG the following year, which was a much higher quality product as far as production value. In 2013, I supported the Kickstarter and got a soft cover of the third edtion of the Army Ants RPG (this Legacy Edition).

The RPG game system changed quite a bit from the second to the third edition, but seems perfectly fine for the setting. Well, I've never liked having a level system in my RPGs since I started playing Chaosium RPGs back in the day, but that's more about me than the rules in this Legacy Edition being unplayable or bad in some way. I've only taken the time to learn three new RPG game systems in the past 20 years and I've forgotten most of how ONE of those worked.

So, all this time Army Ants has been on my list of RPGs I'd like to play in or run a campaign for someday. I'm still not keen on learning the details of the game system though, but I found out in the last several years that I really just need the setting details and an easy and familiar game system to run adventures in. I'm actually in the process of converting a BRP (Basic Role Playing) character sheet to use for an Army Ants BRP campaign. The BRP game system is easy to teach to new players (everyone gets it when you point them to their percentage chance with a Skill) and with no worries about remembering the rules I can focus on bringing out the fantastic setting. And that is the real strength of the Army Ants RPG Legacy Edition -the unique setting. At this discount price, just grab a copy and use whatever game system you want. Pretty much any RPG that can handle modern firearms can be used to play Army Ants. You may even prefer the rules as written, which would make running a campaign even easier.

Now, I gave it a four out of five star but I'd go four and a half stars if I could. I dislike leaving no room for improvement. No RPG game system is perfect.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Michael T. Desing's Army Ants RPG Legacy Edition
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Creator Reply:
Quinn, Thanks for the kind words. I agree about game systems; in the intervening years, I have found how robust the basic OGL engine can be, and I've been modifying and stripping down that system for years now. I am quite confident that I could release an Army Ants hack that uses the same rules I've used for Tales of the Splintered Realm and Sentinels of Echo City easy enough, but I don't necessarily feel up to writing an entirely new rulebook; I may release a hack at some point which is a free plugin that you could use with these rules. Thanks for the idea!
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The Omega Files
Publisher: HAZARD Studio
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/11/2017 22:28:32

First, if you told me all these characters came from some 1990s comic? I'd totally buy into that. The art just has that look, IMHO. Truthfully, the art is better than a number of comics I read back then.

The text layout on every odd numbered page is too crowded on the right side of the page (the text is too close to the art border). It made it harder for me to read things. That said, I liked the blurbs on character personality and combat tactics, plus each character wearing a badge insignia as part of their uniform gives them a solid team look, despite the very different costumes being worn.

I like Paladin as the classic Superman type, Thunderhawk has a cool look. I'd give her a Tradeoff with her Super Strength (less lift, more combat) so she has 3D in combat. She does not have an obvious defense (it could be her Athleticism or Life Support depending on the attack type), but she can hit the ENTIRE enemy group with her Weather control attack Area Effect.

I also liked Alloy, but would like to see full art for him, not just a head bust. He does seems a bit underpowered for looking like a brick-type character.

It would be good to see The Garrison team vehicle, the Osprey, with actual stats for Supers Red. I could puzzle it out from the data that is given, but I'm kinda lazy. :)

There is a half dozen Plot Seeds, based mostly on the character background details to round things out.

I'd give this a 4 out of 5 stars. A good value for the money. Also, the Odyssey Design Group robotic horse logo is just flat out cool.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Omega Files
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Injustice for All! v14 - Super Syndicate
Publisher: Twin Flame Publishing
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2017 18:19:59

If Costco has taught us anything, it is that buying in bulk tends to be cheaper than purchasing in small amounts. With the Super Syndicate, Twin Flame Publishing is giving you 13 villains with two page character descriptions (for the full members) and 11 villains with half page descriptions (for the minor members). All with good artwork too. Having that writer/artist combination in one person is an advantage and it shows in the consistent style and standard of their produts. I'm always a bit jelly of people who can wite AND draw.

There are about four pages devoted to the origin, organization, and strategy used by the Super Syndicate. None of them are world class villains, but as a group they can give just about any team of super heroes trouble. There is quite a mix of Powers too, which makes sense for a group that wants to cover all the bases. This allows them to pull off about any type of crime, but they are geared more for the smaller stuff -not above an old fashioned bank robbery for example. Do you EVER have enough super villains that there is no room in your campaign world for a few more? Probably not.

You also get two adventure ideas for each of the main villains, which is always handy.

I started this review by mentioning value, and Twin Flame Publishing has a line super heroes and super villains you can buy on an individual basis. I've purchased a few of them as they caught my interest (a shout out to 'Cyberhawk' and 'Evolvo') but you get 24 villains with the Super Syndicate for $10. Great value, and no membership fee.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Injustice for All! v14 - Super Syndicate
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Creator Reply:
Thanks, Quinn! We appreciate honest feedback and reviews, especially as we experiment with these team and theme products (we're always happy to see feedback in our mailbox). In the very near future, we'll be updating all our stuff to have better optimization/file sizes, bookmarked PDFs for these larger releases, and slightly revised stat block notation to make the character sheets easier to use based on feedback (we'll also be fixing any errors we catch along the way). Most of all, we hope people enjoy what we offer and help bring fans to Supers!
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M.e.r.c.
Publisher: HAZARD Studio
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/01/2017 14:37:25

Where do those villains get all those henchmen? If there is a demand, there WILL be a supply -for a price.

I think that sums up the idea behind the M.E.R.C. sourcebook (M.E.R.C. by the way stands for Military Enterprises and Research Corporation). It covers the origin and organization of a company formed to profit from supplying heavily armed troopers to those willing to pay handsomely for such services. In fact, you can hire different levesl of troopers and even some super villains, You are given details on the corporation, including the Board of Directors, the expected stats for the three levels of Troopers, and some stats for several super villains. You also get stats on some vehicles the Troopers commonly use.

The art is almost all done by Joe Singleton, and is up to his usual standard -quite good.

There are a number of organizations and other villains named in the book (but no art/stats), which will apparently be detailed in other sourebooks. The name dropping does give the feel of an active, living world. Who knows what the Omega Syndicate is up to lately, or if that villain Hardware is busy plotting his next move? Speaking of which, there are over a half dozen plot seeds thrown in to stir the imagination of the GM (or 'Judge' in Supers terms).

Bottom line? For the price you get some quaility art and writing. Sure, I had a few detail questions about how M.E.R.C. operated, but there is enough here that anyone can pick up the ball and run with it (to use a sports analogy). I will be adding a lot of this material to my ongoing Supers campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
M.e.r.c.
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The Heist - An Introductory Adventure for Use with Supers! Revised Edition
Publisher: Twin Flame Publishing
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/21/2015 23:23:46

First, a disclaimer. I received a free copy of this adventure from the author as a "Thanks" for offering some feedback on it. I don't feel that will impact my evaluation of his efforts, but felt I should mention it anyway.

Now, the 'bank robbery' scenario is to the super hero genre what the 'You all meet in a tavern' is to a fantasy game. Yeah, we've seen it many times before, but it works. As this is an adventure written with the new GM (or 'Judge' in the Supers RPG) in mind, it has a lot of helpful suggestions for how to play out the adventure. Even for an experienced gamer, if you are not familiar with the super hero genre, it can be tricky to balance out the adventure. Villain motivations, combat tactics, backgrounds and so on are covered here.

The art is decent, if not up to professional comic art level (and I wouldn't expect that anyway) but above average. The maps are well done, and you could always repurpose them for another adventure down the road too.

This adventure, especially if combined with character creation on the same day, will easily fill up an evening of adventuring, if not more. As a 'starter' type adventure it starts out with lower powered opponents and ramps up as the adventure moves along. Perhaps there is not all that much concern about role-playing, but for a new group of players I think most will be aching to try out their cool super powers on someone or something. In other words, the players will want to jump right into the action! A Judge could easily have the heroes doing a quick TV interview with an on the scene reporter, or interacting with Law Enforcement, to give the players more time to 'act in character'.

Really, at a mere $1.99 sale price, this would be well within my 'impulse buy' range. Even if you don't yet play the Supers RPG, or even (gasp!) prefer a different super hero RPG, this adventure would be very easy to convert over to your favorite system. I was tempted to give it a five start rating, but I have a thing about leaving room for improvement, so imagine it as 4.5 stars. This was written to be a super hero campaign starting adventure, and it does that very well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Heist - An Introductory Adventure for Use with Supers! Revised Edition
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Evil Genius #2: Crime & Punishment
Publisher: Lame Mage Productions
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2012 16:15:41

I am a fan of a collection of adventures, rather than just one long adventure. I enjoy the variety and often find ways to expand the smaller adventures myself. That, and being right at my $5 "impulse buy" price range made getting Evil Genius #2 an easy decision.

You get four scenarios, and I'll use the blurbs from the PDF (with a minor spoiler alert):

Deep Runs the Dreadnaut–The armored Dreadnaut plants mines in the city’s harbor, holding the seas hostage until his demands are met.

Great Armored Car Robbery–Armor-plated battlewagons stage daring daylight bank robberies. They’re not robberies of armored cars, they’re robberies using armored cars!

Doing Time–After thirty years trapped in a moment of frozen time, an innocent man blames the heroes for his unfair imprisonment. Now it’s their turn.

Fame is Fleeting–In a bid for fame and fortune, Speed Demon sets out to rob more banks in a single day than any criminal before.

As you can tell, these are pretty much designed for a single evening of gaming as stand alone adventures. Nice for a GM who needs a quick adventure to run with little effort.

The author, Ben Robbins, offered numerous suggestions for dealing with complications (or how to create complications for the characters) along with alternative paths for the scenarios to play out. Getting Storn Cook to do the art was an excellent choice.

Any issues? A minor complaint or two. I would have liked a drawing of the armored car(s) and a diagram of the vehicle(s). You do get the vehicle stats however, and a search engine can get you numerous examples of armored vehicles and prison transports. The other issue is all on me, as the "Doing Time" scenario just didn't hook me. I've no doubt other groups will find it a cool idea, and in any collection of scenarios I expect to find some I don't care to run. In this case, three out of four is an excellent ratio.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Evil Genius #2: Crime & Punishment
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Not Even Freedom is Free
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2012 14:14:52

This was FREE, so it is easy to be less critical when it only costs time and perhaps some paper and ink. This is a short 10 pages scenario, with half of those dealing with the bird-themed group known as the "Freedom Fowl".

As borderline silly as this group is (even by comic standards) there is a serious edge to this adventure. The questions of government, liberty, and so forth are brought to the front by a group that is anything but clearly bad or good. The player/characters political views might very well shape how they react to the Freedom Fowl. It makes for anything but the "usual" supers adventure. Which is not bad thing at all.

The artwork is good, but I do have to mention the depection of the "Black Swan". Does she really need to have the Victoria Secret costume? Visible panties? I would be a little embarassed to show the wife or niece this while running the adventure and would fully expect to see some rolled eyes. I don't want to start a "chainmail bikini" debate here, and other groups may not see not issue here, but I know it would be one for mine.

All that said, this is a FREE adventure, thoughtful and challenging in the situation(s) presented to the heroes, and is worth the download.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Not Even Freedom is Free
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Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
Publisher: F. Douglas Wall Publishing
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2012 16:33:43

My view/knowledge of Oz was pretty much shaped by the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, though I was aware there was a series of books about Oz. I mention that since much of the value I found in the Adventures in Oz RPG has been about learning an ACCURATE version of the original writings. Hollywood got it wrong and/or changed details on a whim? I'm shocked, SHOCKED I tell you! :) There is quite a bit more depth to the land of Oz and many more odd characters to learn about. I have been encouraged to make some time in the future to read all the Oz books I have since downloaded to my Nook.

The Adventures in Oz RPG checks in at a brisk 77 pages, uses a simple gaming system (Stats are from 1-5, skill rolls are done rolling 2D6 and comparing the indivdual numbers to see if you got equal to or less than your skill rating, succeeding on both dice is special success), and the writing style fits the subject well. This is an RPG geared to a young (or young at heart) crowd. Talking and making friends is encouraged as the way to play. The art ranges from decent to good, and there is a beginning adventure to get you started.

Characters can be built by choosing from a number of templates, and the process is fairly quick and easy. There is a Character Pack you can buy for $1 more that gets you stats for the main characters and full size characters sheets (not the half page ones included in Adventures in Oz). These characters and the character sheets (human and animal forms) could easily have been included in the standard game, but it was only a dollar more, so only a minor complaint.

Do I see myself running an Oz campaign? Well, never-say-never, as I could see an occasional One-Shot type of RPG evening here and there, as a change of pace. I will also note that price was a BIG factor in my purchasing this RPG. I have a limit of about $15 for the PDF version of an RPG. That is for games I KNOW I will like and want to run. Other games I need to see at $10 or so, and then I can justify buying them even if only to steal some ideas for other games. At $5 or less for a PDF, I am prone to impulse buying with few regrets.

At the sale price of $6.99, I would suggest that anyone with even a passing interest in Oz adventuring, or just wanting to know more about Oz in an easy to absorb read, should pick this RPG up. If you have kids you want to teach about RPGs I would say this becomes a "must buy" game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
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Unkindness (ICONS, HERO)
Publisher: High Rock Press
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/07/2012 14:04:14

A good villain is a key element for a good adventure. The Raven King fits that bill (great artwork inside showing him in all his glory) and the potential for using him again is VERY high. There are 24 plot seeds included to create future adventures. There is a darker plot element involving domestic violence, but it is handled thoughtfully by the author.

On the negative side, I did note that under the sample encounters, 'A Speedy Delivery Gone Wrong' and 'Four and Twenty Ravens Baked In a Pie' that the same paragraphs are REPEATED.

I didn't purchase this with the idea of using either Champions or Icons to run it, so I have no concerns about stats really. A good plot and a good villain should not rely on some part of a particular game system to work. As has often been noted, especially for super hero adventures, the GM should tweak the villians to matchup with his player's characters.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Unkindness (ICONS, HERO)
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Heroes Wear Masks
Publisher: Avalon Game Company
by Quinn M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/18/2012 14:03:42

I have always been a fan of super hero RPGs. I started back in the day with Villians & Vigilantes, then on to the original Marvel Super Heroes RPG and Superworld from Chaosium. I have collected a number of other super hero RPGs over the years and I'm always willing to look at any that come out. I pick up Heroes Wear Masks mostly on a whim, at $8 it was within my "impulse buy" range.

I have given the game a quick read, and started to create a super, but consider this as more of a "first impressions" type of review.

First, I think a disclaimer is needed for Heroes Wear Masks. Is it truly a standalone game? I think you need the Pathfinder Core rules, which I do not own. While it clearly states that it is "Pathfinder Roleplaying game compatible" that is not the same as noting HWM is not a full game and requires other books. That said, I don't think a lot is actually missing to make HWM a complete standalone RPG.

Second, the character sheet. How can you not have the game title on the sheet? I'd like to see a two page version in any event, as having room for the hero background and more notes on allies/enemies/equipment is always nice. I'm sure that at the very least, fan created character sheets will resolve these issues, but offical ones from Avalon Games would be nice.

Other random thoughts: The idea of levels for supers, even having played V&V, strikes me as odd. I am more used to seeing supers starting out fairly powerful, then with some minor advancement as they adventure. Then again, I have always prefered lower power level super games, so the idea of heroes struggling to combat street gangs and well armed bank robbers has some appeal. Adding a new player/character would be an issue if the other heroes had gotten up past 6th level or so, while in other super games they would fit right in and might even be better than some experienced characters. Call it a minor issue in my mind.

My initial idea for a super involved a law enforcement robot from the far future. I don't think that fit with the Origins and Classes offered in HWM. Instead, I went with a stretching hero (like Mr. Fantastic) with a "Enhanced Human" origin and "Super Human" class. HWM seemed to handle this fine.

The default "Power Activation Check" made me laugh a bit at the mental image of a hero leaping from a tall building and failing his fly check. Perhaps I misread this? Certainly it works as a Disadvantage, but as a default?

Solid writing in Chapter 7 "Super Heroes and RPGs" with good advice for GMs and players along with the history of comic books. I will also, if nothing else, steal characters and adventure seeds from Chapter 8 "Heroes Inc." for use in future super games ( not matter the system). Overall the writing shows a fondness for the subject matter and made me think HWM was more of a "labor of love" then just cranking out a supplement.

Summary: I would give this a three star rating, but four stars if you are a Pathfinder fan (with a fondness for levels). I have a feeling a number of Pathfinder parties will find themselves crossing dimensions to rub shoulders with super heroes in the near future.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Heroes Wear Masks
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