Monday, August 18, 2014

The Irony of the Superhero RPG

is that they're almost all classless (at least all the ones I've met).  The superhero genre is precisely where a classes+feats+multiclassing model should shine.  Something like True20 or d20 Modern, both of which had very generic classes and special-abilities-from-a-menu every level, would work perfectly with a somewhat doctored (ie, upgraded) selection of feats.  At the end of the day, it mostly boils down to fighting-types (Wolverine, Hulk, Thor, ...) and wizard-types (Doctor Strange, Xavier, Scarlet Witch, ...).  The gear-users (Batman, Iron Man) are mostly actually fighters, while the blasters, speedsters, and one-spell wizards like Nightcrawler are more like a 50/50 split with all of their 'magic' focused into one thing.  I think it could work.

By comparison, yes, Mutants and Masterminds (which is based off of True20) lets you play as basically a normal human with one super-thing they can do really well.  Buuut...  point-buy adds a lot of complexity to character generation and balancing it is practically impossible.  I don't think it's worth it, especially when most superheroes do fall into an archetype or combination of just a few archetypes.


  1. There are a number of Class+Level Superhero RPGS, mostly D20 (Vigilance, a few others) but at least one based on D&D 4E (titled APEX). I personally think D&D 4E would work perfectly for a supers game.

  2. I desagree - M&M does wonderfull for super hero games !!
    Point-buy build is a lot easier than looking at numerous tables and figure out what bonuses the char will get with multiclassing.
    Also, it's allows you do go for each set of stuff (power, skills, feats, etc.) you want, without having to pick stuff that aren't related to the concept you're going to - like get one in one class just to get one power or feat and then get a second or even a third level in the class just to get that power in such a level it doesn't became useless, but you never wanted the other bonus and stuff of the class to begin with.

    For balance purposes, M&M already does awesome with limited power levels. Futhermore, it's possible to take some limits changes - like creating a char with low dodge, but his attack bonus suprass the Power Level of the game.