March 5, 2012

[First Look] Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game

This is not a review. This is just a first look at the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game based on the free preview the Margaret Weis Productions put online in the last weeks that you can find HERE. This preview can be based on prejudice and/or wrong information.

If you ask me, there was no need for another superhero game. Superhero games are hard to play, hard to master and really mostly fail in capturing the comic books excitement. If you want to play superheroes, I can name a lot of possible alternatives like: Wild Talents (ORE), Champions/DC Universe, Champions (FUZION), Marvel Super Heroes, BASH!, Mutant City Blues (GUMSHOE), Necessary Evil (Savage World), Godlike (ORE), The Marvel Universe Rolplaying Game and so on...
This is the third RPG based on the Marvel Universe and the first RPG I know of set in a specific saga (New Avengers #1-6  by Brian Michael Bendis, David Finch, and Danny Miki).
The game is powered by the Cortex Engine (Margaret Weis main engine).

Nonetheless, I've looked at this game with curiosity and an open mind. I've looked and felt disappointed.
The rule set feels old and uncomfortable to play with, based on rolling a lot of dice and grouping them depending on what do you want to achieve. I understand that rolling a lot of dice can be fun, but I hate when a clumsy player can stumble over his dice pile and forget what he just rolled.
I obviously cannot judge before holding the final book in my hands, but it looks to me like a bad clone of the One Roll Engine.

The milestones systems look promising, rewarding players with xp every time the story drives them into topics familiar to the comic book fans; for example, Captain America gets 10 XP every time makes an avenger team form or disband. Sure, this can lead to players just mimicking heroes they read about, but I'm getting the feeling this is what this game wants to do.

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