March 7, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

There's a new Marvel superhero RPG, but the original Marvel Superheroes from 1984 still has a loyal following. Classic Marvel Forever has everything about the original game; its designer reveals its secret origins.

Technohol 13 has MSH stats for GI Joe, Transformers, the New Universe and a lot more. Heroplay is a defunct but archived fansite. The FASERIP system lives on in the retroclones 4C System and G-Core; Icons mixes FASERIP with FATE-like elements.

The new game is built on the Cortex+ system, other variants of which are in the Smallville and Leverage games. The plan is to regularly produce campaign books based on events in the Marvel universe, with the basic rules being available cheap.
posted by Zed (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have an e-pal who has played the new Marvel game and has nothing but nice things to say so far. I've been seriously considering a purchase and hoping my local gamers might get a group together for it.
posted by immlass at 1:27 PM on March 7, 2012

I played in a launch party demo game at my FLGS, and the system is nice. Very cinematic, open and fluid. The PDF was available on DriveThruRPG.com for $9 I think, so it was an instant buy.

My understanding is that if you buy the book from a 'Premier' reseller, the PDF download will be free as well.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:31 PM on March 7, 2012

Wow, the first RPG I ever purchased! And then read obsessively but never found anyone to play with.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:32 PM on March 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

...and then my friend said "All right. Let's just have an arena battle!" We all agreed. We took turns picking out our favorite characters. "Yes!" he says, "You didn't pick the one I wanted." "Uh, you wanted the Human Torch? we all looked at each other. "Okay, whatever." So we start the game and he then proceeds maneuver him to a corner where not many of his characters are. Of course it being his game and all he knew what none of us knew, that character had some kind of one time atomic fire blast attack...
posted by P.o.B. at 1:43 PM on March 7, 2012

It's also pretty messed up (part 2)
posted by lumpenprole at 1:45 PM on March 7, 2012 [6 favorites]

The original MSH helped me to survive boarding school, in no small part. Some of my fondest memories of awkward adolescence revolve around the multi-year soap opera that my DM friend wove for us. We used to build characters pretty much ad-hoc, with no rolling but just picking cool powers from the guide. For good ones we would then draw a portrait for each one by tracing from a pile of Official Handbook Of The Marvel Universe comics that I had, or from album covers. One of our most notorious villains was traced from the cover of The Clash's "Cut The Crap". Naturally, his name was "Punk".
posted by the painkiller at 1:46 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Back in the late 80s my babysitter was really into comics. He had this game, and we used to create characters. I didn't understand role playing games, like at all. Once we both made characters, and after we rolled for stats and their gimmicks he decided his would have a grappling hook. i was all "What? No fair, I didn't know you could have grappling hooks!" and he was all snarky high school nerd "it's called your imagination! Use it!" and then I never wanted to play again. I still liked inventing characters though.
posted by Hoopo at 1:53 PM on March 7, 2012

For me, the best part was always watching people new to the game try to keep track of what their stats actually meant - often including the person running the game. "Okay, you try to wrestle the plasma beam away from him. And you've got Incredible strength, and his is Amazing. So...uh...hmm. Hang on."
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:57 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have all of the handbooks to the original and never played it. I just liked reading about the characters. My parents had a bookstore and I guess no one bought them or I took them or something.
posted by nutate at 2:04 PM on March 7, 2012

And you've got Incredible strength, and his is Amazing. So...uh...hmm. Hang on.

The Chart. The Wheel. The (approximate) algorithm. Cached lookup. G-Core's chief divergence from the original is to eliminate the chart.
posted by Zed at 2:27 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I wonder if TSR could make any money reprinting this old stuff.
posted by Critical_Beatdown at 2:52 PM on March 7, 2012

When my public school friends and I were bouncing around from RPG to RPG we gave Marvel Superheroes a whirl, but it never really took. My only real memory of the game is of simulating to-the-death fights between Power Pack and guys like the Hulk.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:16 PM on March 7, 2012

It was a fun rulebook to read, but the game was pretty much unplayable.
posted by Vindaloo at 3:53 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Buddy of mine played it for review, and deemed it unplayable.
posted by cerulgalactus at 5:14 PM on March 7, 2012

In high school I had a few friends who were sort of into gaming, but I could never find anyone to play Marvel with me. So once I convinced my mom to play with me. My MOM. And I was, like, in 9th grade.

It was a lonely time.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:48 PM on March 7, 2012 [5 favorites]

This game convinced me that you can have fun with any game as long as you have a good GM. The best campaign I've ever played was Marvel Superheros. Yes, it's broken. All you have to do is use your Karma points to max out your endurance. Then you can do power boosts and a high endurance will keep you from passing out.

Our group was all experienced gamers. Between the ages of 30 and 45. We were all in it for kicks. There was no power-gaming and a everyone was there to have fun. We played every Friday at lunch for about two hours. One thing that's cool is you have total control of your customization. You could have a hybrid of Iron Man and Spider Man.

Now I never read the rules so some of it may have been house rules. The GM had such a passion for for the game he made it easy to learn and he was a just GM. And his games were pure awesome fun madness. At one point we were changed into some kind of space apes and we had to recover our powers.

I moved away from that group a few years ago. I still miss it. I've tried to repeat the magic of this game, but have yet to do so.
posted by hot_monster at 7:20 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Saxon Kane, that is the saddest thing I have ever read.
posted by R. Schlock at 7:25 PM on March 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

I loved the old Marvel game, played it in high school and college, and want a set and the Ultimate Powers book, pronto.
posted by vrakatar at 7:31 PM on March 7, 2012

And now G-Core has a new deluxe edition for a whopping $3.50.
posted by Zed at 10:34 PM on March 12, 2012

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