What Supers Game Handles Powers The Bestest?

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Silverlion

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MSH, Hearts & Souls, because their powers are flexible to a point. MSH does have some minor things that could be fixed, but I still prefer it to most other games. H&S powers are usually broken down into Attack, Defense, Manipulation, and Movement (or can be they don't have to be it's an option for when power is better at one thing than another.)
 

Rogerdee

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I would say Swade for lower level games, then M&M for higher level stuff.
 

chuckdee

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GURPS is actively bad at superheroes. I think Villains and Vigilantes is the best system for actually emulating what we see in comics because it is so absurdly random.
We played a superhero campaign for a couple of years, and GURPS worked well for it. I think it depends on what kind of comics you're emulating.
 

Paragon

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Yeah there is a reason that I specifically picked Double Cross and Mutant City Blues as examples of the last kind. It really only works when there are actual limits on what superpowers can show up.

In Mutant City Blues, they even have a chart that shows how superpowers are connected. The Quade Diagram. Basically, when people spend points to pick up powers, they start at a place, and then it costs points to pick up adjacent powers, and points to skip over any. Also, crossing through one of the various mental disorders makes the person prone to it. This is all in world science. So you can look at a crime scene go "I think this power and this power were used here... huh, those are far apart, must have been two perps". Or that they are close together and it goes through a disorder that could explain motive. Etc. It's a neat idea.

In Double Cross there are archetypes of powers that everyone falls into. You can have one, two, or three archetypes (people with one have higher potential in the power, people with more are more specialized). So the powers are very defined.

Neither of course, handle supers powers "the bestest" :tongue:, but they work really well in making the powers work in the framework of the setting they've created alongside of them.

Yeah, that's kind of the way things work in AMP Year One and its sequels. There's quite a lot of powers by the time its done, but there's only certain kinds of things that fit together in particular ways.

I was just noting there's a difference between "general" supers systems and ones designed for that sort of more specifically constrained settings.
 

Paragon

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GURPS is actively bad at superheroes. I think Villains and Vigilantes is the best system for actually emulating what we see in comics because it is so absurdly random.

I don't find it particular credible that most supers characters are particularly random (you can certainly make an argument about some, but they're in the minority).
 

Paragon

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I've been trying to finish up a review of it for a while, but the pure concentrated stupid means I could practically rant for a paragraph in respone to every sentence, meaning the review would end up 10 x the size of the actual game.

The Edwards outing is more of an offshoot than anything resembling the main line of Hero, even modern Hero, though. That's probably best represented by Champions Complete.
 

Raleel

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honestly, I'm a marvel heroic fan. it scales from Agent Coulson to Galactus. It handles social and emotional stress. It handles doing crazy superhero stunts and stuff in the environment. It handles the beats of comic books and tv shows.

I've played champions and GURPS. I've done Scion which is pretty close. Cortex has the all beat for me if you want to feel like a comic book. I have not done the newer Mythras ones yet, but see nothing to give me an impression that it will beat MHR on this front.
 

TristramEvans

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Celebrity stunts aside, Champions still works as good now as it did back in the day. I didn't get 6E because it was bad it just redundant compared to 5e. Even then I still got Fantasy Hero Complete.

View attachment 29194

Yeah, outside of Champions Now, I've got nothing bad to say about the Hero system. It is what it is for people who want that from their Supers game. I can understand the appeal of a finely-tuned points-based effects build system. It just doesn't add anything for me personally that would make my gaming experience more enjoyable. I'm perfectly happy with MSH's "just describe what your power does, assign it a Rank, and if you want to try anything off the wall it's a Power Stunt" - that level of granularity suits the way I run games just fine.
 

TristramEvans

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honestly, I'm a marvel heroic fan. it scales from Agent Coulson to Galactus. It handles social and emotional stress. It handles doing crazy superhero stunts and stuff in the environment. It handles the beats of comic books and tv shows.

I've played champions and GURPS. I've done Scion which is pretty close. Cortex has the all beat for me if you want to feel like a comic book. I have not done the newer Mythras ones yet, but see nothing to give me an impression that it will beat MHR on this front.


I am interested to see what the new Mythras supers game coming out later this year does with the system.
 

James Gillen

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Yeah, outside of Champions Now, I've got nothing bad to say about the Hero system. It is what it is for people who want that from their Supers game. I can understand the appeal of a finely-tuned points-based effects build system. It just doesn't add anything for me personally that would make my gaming experience more enjoyable. I'm perfectly happy with MSH's "just describe what your power does, assign it a Rank, and if you want to try anything off the wall it's a Power Stunt" - that level of granularity suits the way I run games just fine.
I think Mutants & Masterminds (which uses Hero Points for any potential power stunts) is a good middle ground in that regard.

JG
 

EmperorNorton

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I think Mutants & Masterminds (which uses Hero Points for any potential power stunts) is a good middle ground in that regard.

JG
M&M, especially 3e is what made me just drop Hero entirely. If I'm not running a specific setting/rules combo (ie Mutant City Blues), my two choices for a Supers RPG are either M&M3e or Cortex Prime.

M&M3e is great for the number crunchy kind of Supers. Cortex Prime is good at the more "just tell me what you are trying to do and pick up the appropriate dice and I'll say what happens based on the roll".
 

Paragon

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honestly, I'm a marvel heroic fan. it scales from Agent Coulson to Galactus. It handles social and emotional stress. It handles doing crazy superhero stunts and stuff in the environment. It handles the beats of comic books and tv shows.

I've played champions and GURPS. I've done Scion which is pretty close. Cortex has the all beat for me if you want to feel like a comic book. I have not done the newer Mythras ones yet, but see nothing to give me an impression that it will beat MHR on this front.

Honestly, Mythras strikes me as as poorly suited as the bases of a general purpose superhero game as I can imagine. Even the old BRP core had to have consider system modification to do a competent job when Steve wrote the full Superworld.
 

Paragon

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I think Mutants & Masterminds (which uses Hero Points for any potential power stunts) is a good middle ground in that regard.

JG
It absolutely is if certain elements of the combat system don't start to annoy and/or bore you as they did me over time.
 

Paragon

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Well, that's why I still prefer HERO.

JG

I'm in a weird place regarding supers games these days. Hero is probably just a little bit--much--for me any more. But all my other choices that more or less fit my requirements in some ways have problem elements I'm not really sure I want to deal with for one or another. Maybe I've just gotten too fussy in my old age.
 

Raleel

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I am interested to see what the new Mythras supers game coming out later this year does with the system.
Agony and Ecstasy has a bunch of bits. It’s definitely it’s own thing. I might view it as a new magic system
Honestly, Mythras strikes me as as poorly suited as the bases of a general purpose superhero game as I can imagine. Even the old BRP core had to have consider system modification to do a competent job when Steve wrote the full Superworld.
I do view it as a magic system. It is a fair amount of modification. I actually think that the tripartite system laid out in after the vampire wars would be a good one. Totally different power levels
 

AsenRG

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If you're not playing 1e Exalted as fantasy supers, the ruleset is not being used to its fullest potential.
It's not different in the other editions, either:smile:.
Though my post was admittedly a joke:wink:.

Also, I've never played supers - that were actual supers - with GURPS. We've never had issues with the power system...but then we haven't used it all that much, either. Our style of play was more low-key back then.
 

Voros

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Honestly, Mythras strikes me as as poorly suited as the bases of a general purpose superhero game as I can imagine. Even the old BRP core had to have consider system modification to do a competent job when Steve wrote the full Superworld.
I was thinking the same thing but that's why I'm wondering how they approach it. I love their Luther Arkwright game which deals with powerful psionics and time travel so you never know.
 
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Trippy

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I was thinking the same thing but that's why I'm wondering how they apprpoach it. I love their Luther Arkwright game which deals with powerful psionics and time travel so you never know.
How long to wait to a standalone Luther Arkwright game......?
 

Rogerdee

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If you're not playing 1e Exalted as fantasy supers, the ruleset is not being used to its fullest potential.
I think you can say the same about any edition of Exalted. Same too for WoD - which is urban superheroes / antiheroes.

honestly, I'm a marvel heroic fan. it scales from Agent Coulson to Galactus. It handles social and emotional stress. It handles doing crazy superhero stunts and stuff in the environment. It handles the beats of comic books and tv shows.

I've played champions and GURPS. I've done Scion which is pretty close. Cortex has the all beat for me if you want to feel like a comic book. I have not done the newer Mythras ones yet, but see nothing to give me an impression that it will beat MHR on this front.
To be honest i don't see how Mythras is going to anything that SWADE cannot do better. Even the Mythras COmpanion for Pulp and Paragon characters falls far short of what I want from my Batman type character.
M&M, especially 3e is what made me just drop Hero entirely. If I'm not running a specific setting/rules combo (ie Mutant City Blues), my two choices for a Supers RPG are either M&M3e or Cortex Prime.

M&M3e is great for the number crunchy kind of Supers. Cortex Prime is good at the more "just tell me what you are trying to do and pick up the appropriate dice and I'll say what happens based on the roll".
I think M&M can do what Cortex does, if you play for narratively to be honest. It all depends how tied you are to the ruleset.

Agony and Ecstasy has a bunch of bits. It’s definitely it’s own thing. I might view it as a new magic system

I do view it as a magic system. It is a fair amount of modification. I actually think that the tripartite system laid out in after the vampire wars would be a good one. Totally different power levels
Use it as the Mythras low power equivalent to SW Supers 2e. So when people get to a particular power level they pick from Mythras Supers - just like in M&M. It would ideally be suited for your Supers set around making Indiana Jones, Phantom that kind of thing - but unlike Revolution which is crunchier than eating a mouthful of bolts, it needs to be farily fast and loose with rules.
 

TristramEvans

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I was thinking the same thing but that's why I'm wondering how they approach it. I love their Luther Arkwright game which deals with powerful psionics and time travel so you never know.

Yeah, the Mythras Luther Arkwright is a hundred times better than the old RPG
 

Silverlion

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I have a lot of love for ICONS these days. Flexible, clearly written, boom.
Sadly not as clearly written as it could be--Fast Attack is not great for example. (I use the MSH style chart for results for example because it keeps all that I need nearly on one page, and Icons is NOT well organized)
 

Mankcam

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As much as I love BRP and Mythras, I don't think it captures four-colour Supers very well, it's too gritty.
I think it's fine for street-level stuff like Batman, Daredevil, maybe at a stretch Spidey, but anything beyond that and I just don't think it's a great fit.

I keep reading how good the original TSR Marvel Super Heroes game was. It's going back a few decades ago, but my teenage self still wishes he had got it at the time.

I have Savage Worlds Explorer Edition, and the Super Powers Companion I got for that edition looked pretty good.
This was a few years ago now. I never got to play it, but it looked like it could do the job well. I also had the Necessary Evil plot-point campaign for that edition as well, and I thought that was a really fun premise for a Supers game. It's been one of my missed opportunities.

I think I could do Supers reasonably well in Fate Core or Fate Accelerated, just have Super-Stunts and Aspects and that's it.

I also think one could do a decent job of Supers with HeroQuest (next edition will be renamed QuestWorlds). It's a very much a narrative game, and quite abstract at times, so this wouldn't appeal to all of my crowd. Every time I ran HQ we just didn't grok it. Not sure if it was me or my group, so I just shelved it and moved back to something a bit more tangible.

I often read that the Cortex Plus game Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is quite good, but that's another missed opportunity for me, considering it's not being published anymore.

A friend of mine has given me Capes, Cowls, & Villains Fowl, which seems like it has the right vibe and broad mechanics to do pulpy four-colours Supers, although I haven't given it a test drive to know how well it plays at the table. There's not too much nuts & bolts for it, it looks like a very flexible system, able to cover alot of impromptu stuff that happens in Super Hero comics.
It's a bit in the narrative end of the rpg pool, but from the outset it does seem like Capes, Cowls, & Villains Fowl may do a good job of portraying Supers quite well.
 
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Tommy Brownell

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Sadly not as clearly written as it could be--Fast Attack is not great for example. (I use the MSH style chart for results for example because it keeps all that I need nearly on one page, and Icons is NOT well organized)

I have less issues with it than I do any other supers game. Like, Mutants & Masterminds may be awesome but in six attempts I was never able to finish character creation before I got bored.

Marvel FASERIP is the other I'd give serious consideration to. I would have been playing it for years if SAGA hadn't come along with mechanics that I love better (even if the writing and editing wasn't nearly as tight).
 

Trippy

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I have less issues with it than I do any other supers game. Like, Mutants & Masterminds may be awesome but in six attempts I was never able to finish character creation before I got bored.
One thing I will say about Mutants & Masterminds is that they leave no stone unturned when it comes to attracting different tastes to their game though. While most people know about the full blown Champions-like points spend system for character generation, the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook also include a random system and archetype templates, while the Basic Hero’s Handbook has a stripped down customizable archetypes-based system.

They also include a DCH-style Ranks & Measurements table in both imperial and metric!
 

CRKrueger

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honestly, I'm a marvel heroic fan. it scales from Agent Coulson to Galactus. It handles social and emotional stress. It handles doing crazy superhero stunts and stuff in the environment. It handles the beats of comic books and tv shows.

I've played champions and GURPS. I've done Scion which is pretty close. Cortex has the all beat for me if you want to feel like a comic book. I have not done the newer Mythras ones yet, but see nothing to give me an impression that it will beat MHR on this front.
Yeah, if you want to Roleplay Stan Lee, or simulate a Comic Book, there’s nothing better than MHR.
 

Caesar Slaad

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One thing I will say about Mutants & Masterminds is that they leave no stone unturned when it comes to attracting different tastes to their game though. While most people know about the full blown Champions-like points spend system for character generation, the Deluxe Hero’s Handbook also include a random system and archetype templates, while the Basic Hero’s Handbook has a stripped down customizable archetypes-based system.

Yep. When I ran my long term M&M game, 2 players took pregens, 2 walked through the quick gen, and 2 did full blown point builds.
 

Paragon

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Regarding SW and the Super Power Companion, I'll just note that you do not do that system any favors, as they did with the latter, when you have damage with more than about three base dice. I could go into why that's a bad idea, but suffice it to say that there's a reason that about 80% or more of bad experiences with SW I see online were using it to play supers.
 

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To be honest i don't see how Mythras is going to anything that SWADE cannot do better. Even the Mythras COmpanion for Pulp and Paragon characters falls far short of what I want from my Batman type character.
we will see. there is a level of abstraction that is not common in BRP games that works well for this character. Batman's entire utility belt in MHR is a single die and maybe a special effect SFX to go along with it. But i'm waiting to see. A&E isn't a complete set
 

Tommy Brownell

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I did like Savage Worlds' Necessary Evil setting though
I loved that campaign. The best I’ve ever ran.

But we pushed against the system in more than a few places.

That said, the 2nd edition Super Powers Companion got better, and I hope the SWADE version knocks it out of the park.
 
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