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[Let's Read] Marvel Superheroes Advanced (Players' Book)

DenadaDenada Registered User regular
edited June 2012 in Critical Failures
Let's Read:
Marvel Superheroes
Advanced System
Players' Book


coverimage.jpg

Prologue
The Mission

I had a fun time exploring (and mocking) the old D&D module known as The Keep on the Borderlands. I had such a good time, in fact, that I wanted to do another Let's Read pretty much right away. After some thought, I decided that I would go back to the era of my childhood and explore something that I have very fond memories of, since I had spent the previous thread making fun of something other people had very fond memories of.

For a number of reasons I've been wrapped up in all things Marvel Comics right now, and my mind immediately went to the old Marvel Superheroes RPG by TSR. I have very fond memories of playing this game. Those memories are vague though, and there's only a few of them, so the game probably sucks.

Let's find out.

Denada on
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Posts

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    Gonna read the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying afterward for contrast? :D

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    MHR seems like not my thing, to say the least

    But the old Marvel Superheroes was pretty good, last I remember

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Nullzone wrote: »
    Gonna read the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying afterward for contrast? :D

    I'm reading it right now, actually. It's one of the things that brought this old game back to my mind. I don't know if I'd do a thread for it because it's so new, but I'll probably be talking about it a lot in the general RPG discussion thread that someone will be posting soon.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Issue 01
    Attributes Assemble!

    battleface.jpg
    Forming a team based on everyone having the same facial expression is probably a bad idea.

    True to most forms of Players' Books, Guides, Handbooks, and Manuals, this Players' Book only spends a few pages on a basic introduction before launching right into character creation. Aside from the short primer on what a hero is (It's not what you think! Wait, actually it is.), the rest of the introduction is spent explaining the attributes that serve as the core of the game system.

    You might think that because this game is developed by TSR, they would use something similar to the six stats of D&D. You're right, mostly, but they have taken the super-steps of changing the names and adding a seventh super-attribute to the super-mix. Marvel Superheroes uses the awesomely named FASERIP attribute system, which stands for Fighting, Agility, Strength, Endurance, Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. As we dive into the attributes and what they mean, start thinking about your character concept. What kind of superhero are you? Are you strong but fragile? Intelligent but unobservant? Hard as a rock but slow as … a rock?

    pancakehands.jpg
    Do you have a freaky pancake-hand, but only one leg?

    -THE PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES-

    Fighting: This is your super-attribute. I call it super because it is the new, seventh attribute added to MSH, and also because it's going to be used a lot and is thus very important. Sure, it only covers the comically-named Slugfest type of combat, but stop for a minute and think about how many superheroes and villains in comics basically just punch each other. Yeah. It's important.

    Agility: The heroic cousin of Dexterity, this attribute covers things like ranged combat, holding onto ledges, and driving for some reason.

    Strength: Probably best recognized by its other name, Strength. If you want to have a lot of "physical muscle power", do lots of damage with your punches, and lift heavy things, you want a high Strength.

    Endurance: If you put a mask and a cape on Constitution, you would get Endurance. It measures things like "personal toughness", resistance to damage and other kinds of effects, and oddly enough your movement speed.

    Reason: This attribute is Intelligence by another name. If you see phrases like "capacity for logical thought", "success in building things", and "unknown technology", there's a chance you're reading the description of the Reason attribute, because those are the sorts of things it covers.

    Intuition: Also known as Wisdom, Intuition is a measure of wits, common sense, "battle reflexes", and how perceptive you are. It is also used to resist emotion control powers, which are different from other kinds of mind control powers.

    Psyche: A better name for Charisma, this attribute is all about willpower, mental strength, and force of personality. It's also for controlling and resisting magic, which makes a lot more sense when you're not stuck calling the attribute "Charisma."

    -THE SECONDARY ATTRIBUTES-

    Seven attributes is not enough for a superhero. You also need to use those attributes to determine other attributes. Thankfully, this isn't nearly as convoluted as determining things like, well, almost anything in D&D. Let's take a look.

    Health: Add up your Fighting, Agility, Strength, and Endurance, and you've got your Hit Points. I mean Health.

    Karma: Determining your starting Karma is as easy as adding up your Reason, Intuition, and Psyche. What you use Karma for is a bit more interesting. It acts sort of like your XP, sort of like a morality bar, and is also used to do things like modify die rolls, activate magic powers, and build stuff. For obvious reasons, Karma is very important. For less obvious reasons, smart and/or charismatic people have more of it by default.

    Resources: How rich you are, basically. It is "generated when the character is created," which we'll get to in a later installment.

    Popularity: Like Resources, Popularity is determined during character creation. It's exactly what it says on the tin: a measure of how much or how little people like you. You can have a negative number for this attribute, and you can also have two numbers for this attribute that are not the same. Fame can get complicated.

    -SPECIAL ABILITIES-

    Did you think eleven attributes was enough? YOU'RE WRONG. But that's not important. The important thing is that you're right. The only things left are your special abilities, which are:

    Powers: The stuff that puts the "super" in superhero. They're the difference between Pyro and a pyromaniac, or Cyclops and a kid that played with sharp sticks against the warnings of his mother. Each power is individual and can do wildly different things from other powers. But wait, in a game where everyone has powers, how can anyone feel special? Don't worry. Some of them suck.

    Talents: Non-super powers, basically. These are the special things that a person can do, like whats-his-name being a trained acrobat, or that-other-hero being able to do that thing that's pretty great.

    Contacts: Pretty much just a list of people or organizations that your character is able to call upon for information or other assistance.

    bulletholes.jpg
    The ability to be only mildly annoyed by giant bullet holes is of debatable usefulness.


    Whew, that was a lot of information. But now that we're through it, we can get on to the fun stuff and start making some characters. You have the option of using pregenerated characters - heroes that already exist and have stats, like Storm or Mr. Fantastic - but that's boring and wouldn't make for a good character creation section. So if you'd like to play along, roll a d100 and wait for the next installment.

    Denada on
  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    Hell yeah sign me up

    I rolled a 57

    my character will be Captain Average

  • StiltsStilts Registered User regular
    I rolled...

    66.

    IKknkhU.gif
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    22!

  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    : 1d100 93. Dr. Awesome, of course.

    tzeentchling on
  • ElldrenElldren Is a woman dammit I'm a good person yes it's trueRegistered User regular
    I rolled a 90

    that's good, right?

    fuck gendered marketing
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    I prefer Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game, but am looking forward to this readthrough nonetheless!

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    Char Gen: 1d100 49!!!

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  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    first roll: 1d100 69

    Best roll.

    SrUxdlb.jpg
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Oh man! I've always wanted to be involved in a good Superhero RPG!


    ...waitaminute...

    35!

    Athenor on
    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • Dex DynamoDex Dynamo Registered User regular
    Oh man, I didn't even see the group participation segment!

    53!

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    character generation: 1d100 100

    Do....do I win?

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    :P

    alt-post: OMG U H4X0RD MY G1850N!

    Tox on
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  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Well it's a win for me since now I have one of everything. I'm thinking the next installment will be tonight or sometime tomorrow.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    am i too late?

    character generation: 1d100 37

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Issue 02
    Supersized Interactive Issue! Part One!

    After covering attributes, the Players' Book goes on for a bit about Pregenerated Characters, which are just the existing Marvel characters that have been given stats. We're not going to be talking about them, because they're not actually in the book.

    Generated Characters are also exactly what they sound like, namely characters created by the players. The book helpfully points out that generated characters "have an advantage in that they are individuals created by the player and in that form they are unique." It also points out that they have a disadvantage in every other way. But they don't conform, man, and there's nothing more advantageous than freedom.

    There are five steps to generating a character in MSH, and the first step is rolling for your origin. Technically you have the option of just choosing your origin, but where's the fun in that? Let's get started.

    -ALTERED HUMAN-
    beetleramtanks.jpg
    Beetle-shaped ram-tanks are the bane of many heroes.

    Congratulations @Antimatter! You have the great distinction of being the only altered human of the bunch. Heroes like Spider-Man, Hulk, and Doctor Strange are all altered humans. That means you started your life as a regular person, but then through some kind of accident, experiment, or funky mystical study, you gained powers. If you're really lucky, your powers might even be useful.

    You roll your primary attribute scores on Column 1 of the Random Ranks Table, and you get to raise any single ability by one rank. Only Aliens and Robots get better columns, but they have some negatives to go along with that slim chance of being better at stuff.


    -MUTANT-
    gangcrawler.jpg
    It's important to have your mutant gang-signs ready when stepping out of a miniature nuclear explosion.

    @Athenor, @Horseshoe, @dresdenphile, @Dex Dynamo, and @Solar all rolled mutant as their origin. The most popular examples of mutants are any of the X-Men or their spinoffs. Unlike altered humans, you were born with your powers, though you don't generally manifest them until sometime around puberty. For being special snowflakes, you've earned yourselves not only the classification of Homo Superior, but also the hatred of mankind in general. That's what you get for being born different. Next time try just making yourself different by taking experimental drugs or accidentally getting hit by waves of gamma radiation, like the good lord intended.

    As a mutant, you roll your primary ability scores on Column 1. You also get to raise your Endurance by one rank, and you gain one additional power. You pay for that privilege by reducing your starting Resources by one rank, setting your starting Popularity to 0, and being affected by mutant-specific devices.


    -HIGH TECHNOLOGY-
    hisownwingman.jpg
    Sup ladies.

    @Stilts, @Lord Palington, and @Elldren are our resident High Tech Wonders. You're just regular people, not altered or mutated, like Iron Man or … I don't know, someone else who gets their powers just from their equipment. You don't really get a lot of benefits for being a high technology hero over some other origin, other than being smart and wealthy.

    As a high tech wonder, you're forced to roll your attributes on Column 3. This is the worst column, lest you forget that without your special crap you're barely more than a regular human. BUT! You're smart, meaning you get to raise your Reason by two ranks. You also get a default Resources rank of Good, though you can roll it if you want to.

    Hawkeye! There we go. I knew I could think of another one.


    -ROBOT-
    misterroboto.jpg
    I hope he doesn't pop his tire-feet. That would really deflate his combat ability.

    @jdarksun and @tzeentchling are our robots. This doesn't mean they're actually robots, because that would be too easy. In MSH, robot is just a blanket term for "artificially-created sentient beings" of any kind. You could be organic constructs, magic statues, cyborgs, clones, whatever. The important thing is that someone made you, did so artificially, and that you are sentient. The Vision is probably the best example of this origin, though Ultron is also a robot, if you're into that whole villain thing.

    Robots get Column 4 for all their attribute-rolling needs. They also get Popularity 0 and some weird statements regarding Karma. Apparently it's cool if you kill them, even though they're sentient beings.


    -ALIEN-
    formandfunction.jpg
    Swimming Really Good is one of the less-appreciated powers.

    @Tox was kind enough to provide the roll for the alien origin. For his efforts he gets to be from another planet, dimension, or otherwise. It doesn't actually matter where you're from, as long as you're not a regular human, altered human, mutant, or a robot. So, I guess Alien is just the "Other" category. Thor and Namor both qualify as aliens.

    Being an inhuman monster gets you Column 5 for your attribute rolls and the ability to choose whether your powers are natural, from equipment, or both. You pay for that flexibility by having one less power, Poor Resources, and a maximum of one Contact. That contact needs to be from your home turf, or else you'll be branded an outcast and hunted by your people. It's well known that daring to befriend other races is considered heresy in alien societies.




    So those are your origins. Congratulations! You've completed the first step on your journey to becoming a super-special guy, gal, or other. Next we need to determine your attribute scores and ranks:
    • Roll 7d100 and record them in order.
    • Roll 1d100. Aliens don't get to make this roll. High Technology heroes may choose to skip this roll, but if they make it they have to take it.
    • Roll 3d100 and record them in order.
    • In all cases, hope for high numbers.

    Denada on
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    aw dang awesome!
    altered humans are just as rad as robots, can deal with it
    16, 32, 21, 93, 83, 16, 68
    100
    62, 78, 93

  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    this might be because of a more recent retcon than the game itself, but i'm surprised that Namor is under the equivalent of an Other section when he's considered a mutant nowadays.

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    Stats: 7#1d100 24 99 48 56 17 90 2

    Stats 2: 1d100 66

    Stats 3: 3#1d100 27 4 98

    steam_sig.png
  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    Ability: 7#1d100 53 91 6 23 82 58 9

    Resources: 1d100 77

    Last set: 3#1d100 24 76 34

    Looks... well, we'll see, I guess! At least I've got some cash to make up for any shortcomings evolution may have dealt me.

    SrUxdlb.jpg
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Is he? I thought he was an atlantean or merman or something. Well, whichever hero is a member of the Homo Mermanus race (this is one of the things called out in the Alien description) is an Alien.

  • Caulk Bite 6Caulk Bite 6 One of the multitude of Dans infesting this place Registered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    this might be because of a more recent retcon than the game itself, but i'm surprised that Namor is under the equivalent of an Other section when he's considered a mutant nowadays.

    well, keep in mind that this book is from about 15-20+ years ago.

    jnij103vqi2i.png
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Alien (What's Column 5?)

    stats: 7#1d100 9 83 37 87 27 84 70

    secondaries: 3#1d100 100 34 72

    I'm probably going to suck at fighting.

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  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    Denada wrote: »
    Is he? I thought he was an atlantean or merman or something. Well, whichever hero is a member of the Homo Mermanus race (this is one of the things called out in the Alien description) is an Alien.

    He's half human, half merman, I think, and he somehow has an x-gene

    Wasn't sure how recent the retcon was, now I know it was younger than I thought.

  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    Yay! I get to be an OUTCAST! The world will rue the day they met.. Uh...

    Hm.

    (My dice on a glass surface sound weird.)

    7d100 = 95 / 53 / 47 / 76 / 40 / 24 / 49 // (Damn, I think I'm screwed.)

    1d100 = 97 // (woohoo! )

    3d100 = 06 / 49 / 53

    ... And this is why I avoid random roll games. =P

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • StiltsStilts Registered User regular
    Set One: 28, 49, 3, 99, 43, 66, 59
    Set Two: 84
    Set Three: 32, 98, 29

    The WotC dice roller was both cruel and kind to me.

    IKknkhU.gif
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    Stilts wrote: »
    Set One: 28, 49, 3, 99, 43, 66, 59
    Set Two: 84
    Set Three: 32, 98, 29

    The WotC dice roller was both cruel and kind to me.

    same here, saaaaaaaaame here.

  • SolarSolar Registered User regular
    52, 94, 29, 78, 57, 89, 20

    99

    43, 63, 21

  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    1d100=11 - Roll for the first section, cause I'm playing the scrub who shows up an hour late to the session and has to have everything explained to him.

    7d100=66, 99, 44, 96, 71, 53, 64
    1d100=82
    3d100=4, 66, 32

    Lochiel on
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    I'm suddenly curious....what happens if the High-Tech person chooses to roll for Resources, and doesn't roll well enough to do better than "Good" ?

    This is some old-school shit, so I'm guessing they're screwed

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  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    Roll 7d100 and record them in order.
    Marvel 1: 7d100 36, 93, 12, 33, 20, 37, 77
    Roll 1d100. Aliens don't get to make this roll. High Technology heroes may choose to skip this roll, but if they make it they have to take it.
    Marvel 2: 1d100 96
    Roll 3d100 and record them in order.
    Marvel 3: 3d100 20, 83, 40

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    alrighty time to be a mutant


    saferip: 7#1d100 8 32 94 82 61 76 81

    ...and this one: 1d100 65

    ...and these: 3#1d100 17 19 18

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    I'm suddenly curious....what happens if the High-Tech person chooses to roll for Resources, and doesn't roll well enough to do better than "Good" ?

    This is some old-school shit, so I'm guessing they're screwed
    In that case you build your stuff out of scrap in your garage. Like the dude with the anti-bear suit.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    I'm suddenly curious....what happens if the High-Tech person chooses to roll for Resources, and doesn't roll well enough to do better than "Good" ?

    This is some old-school shit, so I'm guessing they're screwed

    Yup! You can either play it safe and take your default, or risk it with a roll. There's a 20% chance you'll end up back at Good, a 30% chance you'll do better than Good, and a 50% chance you'll do worse.

    50/50 isn't actually that bad, as far as random BS goes, but it would make more sense to me to just have high-techs start at Good instead of Typical, then roll like everyone else.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    see317 wrote: »
    Tox wrote: »
    I'm suddenly curious....what happens if the High-Tech person chooses to roll for Resources, and doesn't roll well enough to do better than "Good" ?

    This is some old-school shit, so I'm guessing they're screwed
    In that case you build your stuff in a cave. WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS

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  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    I'm going to be the only mutant unaffiliated with the X-Groups or their villainous counterparts.

    I will be constantly on the talk show circuit solely because of this.

    steam_sig.png
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