Saturday, June 11, 2011

Marvel Super Heroes RPG

While I had wanted to write up a few more posts on my Labyrinth Lord game and potentially a session summary or two I haven't had the time and in the meantime my players and I have switched gears to another game.  After watching X-men First Class and (surprisingly) enjoying it, I felt some inspiration to run a super powered game.  TSR's Marvel Super Heroes RPG had always been a favorite of mine, I recall seeing it on my father's bookshelf for the first time while I was still a wee lad and wondering what that tiny box contained.  Of course my father strictly followed the ages 10 and up (or was it 12?) warning and I wasn't able to look at it until I was older.  When I was finally able to I was charmed by the simplicity of the system.  Abilities that were numerical but most importantly were on a power scale.  Random generation of your number and sort of powers.  I had a heck of a time rolling percentiles all day to see what kind of weird creatures the dice gods would bestow upon me.

My players found the system interesting and were even good sports about random generation.  One wanted to do entirely random and the rest decided "Hey, why not?".  All attributes, powers and talents were determined randomly.  I gave them one free reroll if they got something that they seriously disliked or didn't fit with what they had rolled so far, and each of them got to pick their origin.  With some interesting rolls and some player ingenuity here's what they came up with.

Dolphin Lad
Altered Human
Fighting: Incredible
Agility: Incredible
Strength: Excellent
Endurance: Incredible
Reason: Amazing
Intuition: Excellent
Psyche: Typical

Popularity: Good
Resources: Poor

Powers
Water Manipulation:  Amazing (Limitation: Close proximity (Touch))
Sound Generation: Amazing
Swimming
Resistance: Cold

Talents
Biology (Marine)
Genetics
Martial Arts D

Contacts
None =(

Weakness: Fire

Dolphin Lad is a graduate student who was studying the effects of radioactive contamination on marine fish life.  His professor became obsessed with rapid mutations after reading the papers of renowned geneticists.  His obsession led him down dark roads as Dolphin Lad would soon discover.  Students in the research program began 'dropping out' suddenly and rapidly.  His suspicions were put to the test when his college sweetheart 'dropped out' without a word.  He confronted his professor only to find her in an experiment involving splicing the DNA of a dolphin with a human.  He leapt in the way of the beam knocking her out of the way and having his body spliced with that of a dolphin.

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I'm not too big on Mutant's getting an extra power since when I think Mutants I think of anything relating to the X-men which typically means a single super powerful superpower.  i.e. Optic Blasts, Telepathy, Weather Control, Titanium/Osmiun skin, Teleportation.  While many mutants do have a few auxiliery 'powers' such as prehensile tails, they typically have one power that trumps all others.  To that end I swapped out the +1 power with +1 CS of any power, and it gains free experience each issue.

(I should note that the next two characters rolled absurdly well, consistently)

Chameleoraptor
Mutant (Morlock)
Fighting: Incredible
Agility: Amazing
Strength: Excellent
Endurance: Incredible
Reason: Poor
Intuition: Incredible
Psyche: Poor

Resources: Poor
Popularity: Zero

Powers
Animal Transformation Others (With a bite he turns others into jurassic creatures)
Corrosive Spit: Monstrous
Blending: Amazing
Body Alteration: Prehensile Tail

Talents:
Urban Survival
Contacts:
Other Morlocks

Chamelon was abandoned as a child when it's scales and reptilian tail and eyes first appeared.  Chamelon was rescued by the morlocks and lived in the sewers ever since, embracing a peaceful existance and making do with what was available.  This wouldn't last forever as Chameleon would be pulled to the surface when it's friends started mysteriously disappearing near the abandoned subway station.

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Rocco the Rockem Sockem Robot
Robot
Fighting: Amazing
Agility: Remarkable
Strength: Remarkable
Endurance: Monstrous
Reason: Good
Intuition: Excellent
Psyche: Typical

Resources: Poor
Popularity: Zero

Powers
Extra Arms (And Attacks)
Absorption (Electricity) Excellent
Light Manipulation: Remarkable, (Laser Blast - Remarkable, inorganic only)
Density Manipulation: Incredible

Weakness: Water

Talents:
Martial Arts B (Boxing)
Wrestling

Contacts:
Sparky the Mechanic
Stuart Radcliffe - Scientist/Trainer/Creator

(The player greatly dislikes the upcoming Real Steel movie so we jokingly came up with a backstory that mirrors it as closely as possible)
Rocco was rescued from the garbage pile by Stuart and his son Jack.  Together, they started training for the Robot fighting league.  A popular sport after the super hero arena was shutdown.