Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RPGaDay 2015 #19 Favorite Supers RPG

I've got a number of superhero RPGs on my shelf. Marvel-licensed games. DC-licensed games. Games set in their own universes of superheroic action.

I'll say that I like a lot about the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game. I'll also admit that it's one of many games that I have only read and not played.

But the main things that interest me in the supers genre are not the superheroics, but the "people with powers" stories. One of the reasons that Spider-Man is my favorite superhero is how relate-able he is. He has a very complex life as Peter Parker and his role as Spider-Man often winds up complicating things further.

Some of my favorite TV shows feature characters who have superpowers, but never put on a costume. I loved the first season of Heroes, though I think it went downhill after that. For vintage TV fans, who remembers Misfits of Science? A short-lived show in the 80's featuring one of the girls from Friends and the guy who wore the Predator suit in the first movie. More recently, the British show Misfits traveled this same sort of territory, with darkly comic results (mature viewers only, please!).

The Wild Cards setting (based on mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin, and part of the story of how I met my wife) explores this idea as well. And since I own the GURPS adaptation of this setting (Though there's been a more recent version for the Mutants & Masterminds rules), it's been my go-to system for this concept.

The current Fourth Edition of GURPS handles super abilities much better than previous editions. The last time I ran a game in the Wild Cards setting, I was able to do so with only the Basic Set for rules. While they have put more support out for higher powered heroics, I don't know if I'd use them for this style of play.

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