This is not a review of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game

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12 Responses

  1. I have to say I’m really not sure what to make of this right now. I’ve seen so many people- people with opinions I respect- gush about this game. But I’ve also seen people really tear into it with solid and serious criticisms. In particular the review at Diehard Game Fan really made it sound like something I wouldn’t care for. I pretty much share your superhero gaming DNA (with added V&V and DC Hero). I suspect I’m going to be sticking to M&M for the time being.

  2. OnlineDM says:

    I see where you’re coming from. I got a copy of the PDF so that I could build a MapTool framework for people who wanted to play the game; I wasn’t actually trying to play myself. This meant that getting right into the mechanics worked well for me. I do share your pain on the terminology, though. It feels like there was something missing right up front, maybe a little example of play where players are using terms like Power Set and Specialty and Doom Pool in context, and then the game goes on to explain that stuff.

    As for the ink density of the PDF, though, that didn’t bother me in the slightest. I thought it was a beautiful layout and I loved the art. I remember another person criticizing the half-page picture of Doctor Doom on the Doom Pool intro page, and I thought that was great. Of course, I’m reading it as a PDF on my computer, not printing it out.

    I think that players should either buy the PDF to use electronically, or buy a hard copy of the book. Buying the PDF and printing it seems like a bad idea. Ink is expensive!

    • greywulf says:

      I have a couple of players who always print their PDFs (either wholely or in part) and consider PDFs that aren’t printable (for whatever reasons) as being “not fit for purpose”. I can sympathize with that point of view. Even when I buy a print edition, I tend to get the PDF version as well so that I can print out my own individual sheets and handouts for use during play. That’s something I’ll hesistate to do with this rulebook due to the use of so much solid colour.

  3. Granger44 says:

    I’d hate for them to get rid of the margins. I find those side bars and the pages numbers for the cross-referenced terms incredibly useful. That said, a printer-friendly version of the PDF would be really nice.

    • greywulf says:

      It’s not so much getting rid of the margins – I agree, the sidebars with cross-references are great – but getting rid of all that blue at the side of every darned page. Lose those and the PDF becomes printable without costing a fortune.

  4. symatt says:

    I’m a very fickle person when it comes to systems and so I hold strong thoughts on what you say about games even though this is not a review. That said, just on pure asthmatics I would buy this book. (only book form, no PDF) but now I have second thoughts as it would just be used as reference. Rules have to be easy to follow and make sense straight away or they leave me frustrated.
    If this is how its going to be and by example this is what is happening. I do think that for me its a shame as MARVEL, in the past has been a system that I can get a grasp on straight away.
    Game designers sometimes forget that gamers start young and some do not have the learning levels the same as everyone else. If a game needs to get complicated let it happen in the add on books, let the players learn with the system as it evolves and so the player grows with it.
    I’ve lost my flow but I hope you understand me.

    • MSH RPG Fans says:

      I agree. I play MSH RPG Advanced with my kids (13 and 7) and they love it. It’s an easy to pick up game that has a simple elegance that expands as you need it to. For me, it’s a perfect game as my kids love the comics and love playing super powered individuals. Not too complicated, fun and intuitive. One thing I did miss in the FASERIP system was level achievement similar to legacy D&D. That accomplishment. It’s much more piece by piece in MSH Advanced, power by power and ability by ability. Anyway, I agree that games need a simplicity.

  5. The Last Rogue says:

    Played it. Loved it. It is replacing my current PF campaign for the forseeable future.

    • greywulf says:

      Excellent! I would love to be able to run it, and strongly suspect that it does indeed play much better than it reads. Here’s hoping I can still convince my players so that I can give it a fair and proper playtest review.

  6. Thanks for the not-a-review. I’ve been fence-posting this. I’ve read a few of the other reviews, but it’s good to see an approach like yours (well, if it were a review, naturally).

  7. MSH RPG Fans says:

    Thanks for the non review. I’ve already purchased the book from Amazon, but I have been cruising around looking at the early word out. I had to chuckle at your “I got your entire blue cartridge, right here” comment. We’ve been trying to put together a community on Facebook, and get some info and tools and links out in a place that lots of people frequent. We’re old school fans of the FASERIP system, but we embrace the other systems too that Marvel RPG fans loved to play too like SAGA, etc. Thanks again for the review, check us out if you like.

  8. Buzz says:

    I’ve run this game twice so far, and I can tell you that it’s much simpler than it reads (though I thought it read pretty well). You would be well to grab the excellent cheat sheets created by John Stavropolous posted in this thread on Story games:

    MHRP is not your typical supers RPG. Anyone weaned on Champions or FASERIP and inexperienced with indie games like, say, FATE, are going to feel a bit at sea when first experiencing this game. That said, giving up on this game after reading 15 pages means missing out on something very, very cool. MHRP is the most comic-book-like RPG I’ve yet played, with the possible exception of Truth & Justice. Once you get the gist of the system, it flows really well. It’s unfortunate that the rulebook is arranged so strangely.

    Lastly, I think faulting the rulebook for being graphics-heavy is a little unreasonable. The layout is beautiful and just drips with Marvel flair; as a supers comic RPG, I consider that a huge plus. If you need a hardcopy, the printed book is full-color and only $19.99. That’s far less than the cost of the ink you’d use in printing it out at home. Also, the hero data files and cheat sheets provided by MWP along with your PDF purchase are printer-friendly, as they are the most likely pages you’d need to print out.

    Anyway, I encourage you to give the game a shot, or try to get in a game of it at a local con or game day. I am along time Champions and V&V player and have owned or played a lot of other supers RPGs; I honestly think Marvel is one of the best yet.

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