Super Hero Roleplay or How to be a Hero in one quick trip



There has been a plethora of Super Hero movies lately, again. Days of Future Past, Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy are all big hits (or projected to be), and it made me think about playing Super Hero games. I love comics and Super Heroes (even those who are not per se heroes) so naturally I love to play them. The problem that I run into is what system to run it in. I have always been partial to Champions and Marvel Super Heroes from TSR. But I also know that many other good systems exist. I have heard good things about Mutants and Masterminds along with the old DC Heroes.

Champions give me the most options, and therefore I would prefer to run the game in that setting. It allows my players the most flexibility with the creation of their heroes. That being said, is a plethora of options always a good thing? Do I always want a system where my players can crunch the character to death?

I am split on those questions. I love story-driven games and can’t really stand to play crunch games too often. I would rather play a game such as Numenera over Dungeons and Dragons 3.x. So is a crunchy super hero game a bad thing? Does the crunch add to the flavor? These are good questions and ones that I would love to hear from you about.

Personally, this post is less information and more of a questioning post. I want to know what you do when you run a Supers game. What system do you use? Do you prefer crunch or story in your game? Which system gives you that balance?


2 thoughts on “Super Hero Roleplay or How to be a Hero in one quick trip

  1. Mutants and Masterminds version 3 and I run a story game – this gives me the balance I like. Well built PCs and characters whilst having workable mechanics. Personally I think superhero games need a touch of soap opera and lots of background building as well as taking it seriously at least as far as the characters are concerned – when its played as a ongoing joke it gets old quickly – gives some useful hints. Good luck!

  2. I currently use Villains&Vigilantes and have been using the game since the late 70’s. Currently, my group has played 2 campaigns over the last 3 yrs and I am currently co-GM’ing a shared world with another player (gives me a chance to play). We are using the 2.1 version with some elements of the 3.0 system as found on fhe Monkey House forums. It is working well so far with some tweaking.
    We generally run story arcs of about 6 sessions each. We mix problem solving, character development, problem solving and combat. I usually do “crunch” (if you mean just blind combat) as a story hook or when only a small number of players show up.

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