Time for the HERO system, one of the big dogs of generic systems, in what is arguably it’s most popular incarnation, the very, very modular Champions. Build a hero absolutely any way you want. Literally any idea you have for a crazy hero, you get right on it and make that hero. Just, you know, bring some graph paper, and a calculator, and a mechanical pencil, and some .7 lead, and some Jolt Cola (it’s 1989 in this paragraph).
Wow. You just reviewed the first 2 RPGs I ever had in the order I got them (but not consecutively).
Also, Anny’s Fine Burgers looks awesome and I am so jealous of US burger joints.
The authors of the game have a character generator and it’s really pretty cool.
Also, the most amusing rules abuse I ever saw in this game was “Soul Surgeon”. He has the Desolid power, with all the disadvantages, plus the “usable against others” power. At the start of a fight, he turns an enemy desolid, and they are left uselessly flailing outside of their body while your friends beat the crap out of it.
Marvel Heroes is a treasure trove of useful information.
Did you know that most Brazil nuts actually come from Bolivia?
GURPS’ complexity very front loaded, but as long as you don’t tack on all the optional rules, gameplay is pretty simple and quick. The HERO System seems to be very complicated even during play.
Pingback: Two Systems, Both Generic In Dignity… – Refereeing and Reflection·
I am a longtime Champions player–so longtime that I had completely forgotten that most games don’t require lots of on-the-fly calculations of 9 + (stat/5) for die roll targets. Your description of the calculation of the STUN stat was hilarious.
I will say in its defense that, as far as I’m aware, it was the first real point-buy game system, and it was so well balanced out of the box–even as far back as the first edition–that you were able to create not only any power in the comics, but powers the comics hadn’t even thought to create yet, and yet players were generally pretty well balanced against each other. It was also nice, after years of AD&D, to have a system that allowed you to start as kickass-level heroes instead of Level 1 pieces of crap (which I think Marvel Superheroes and DC Heroes both did).
It was also the first game system I’m aware of that made you take disadvantages, which gave your characters an actual back story that affected present game play. That was such a huge difference from AD&D, where the only difference between two 7th level Paladins is what magic items they have, that I was completely hooked.
It was also remarkable in how accurately it was able to actually represent stuff that happened in comics. You jump in on criminals in mid-crime? How impressive are you? Roll your PRESENCE attack. If you did the annoying work of calculating STUN and BODY damage, you also knew exactly how far back someone would fly after being hit, and how much damage they could take from hitting a wall, and whether or not they’d fly THROUGH the wall. It was, in this respect, also the first game I ever played where every object in a combat scene potentially mattered. (Though especially walls and cars, of course.)
But man, that speed chart REALLY slowed combat down. I’d forgotten about that.
So anyway, yeah, after listening to you guys talk, I can see that there are many things about it that suck. But I just want to make sure that there’s some record of why it was popular and how its innovations (“what if we all started out competent and playing exactly the characters we imagined?”) really improved the hobby.
This was actually a very easy system to run and play. Once the characters are created nearly all the rules and rolls are right on the character sheet.