Thursday, July 06, 2017

Superhero RPG DNA Revisited

So, three years or so into my superhero campaign, I thought it would be fun to revisit the Superhero RPG Appendix N Blog Challenge and talk about what really typified my style. I should say our style, though, because it's not just me. Throughout the process, I've adapted to what the players were doing. Even when I wasn't asking them what sort of things they wanted to do next, I was looking at what they had enjoyed before and trying to think of things that would challenge or amuse them.

So yeah, the old list is behind that link up yonder. Here's what it looks like now:
  1. Fantastic Four: No change there. I cribbed a whole story arc and a couple of shorter outlines (including the most recent one) directly from FF stories, and it'll always be my first love where super-heroes are concerned. I was tempted to put this one in a larger font size or something, just to be sure I'm being clear.
  2. Uncanny X-Men: As before, mostly the period from the death of Phoenix to the resolution of the Brood storyline. The overlapping plots and character arcs bouncing around in this period feel a lot like our game to me. Also, it had space adventures and time travel and Doctor Doom and Magneto and even an issue where they went to Hell.
  3. Archer: The conflicting characters thing from before still applies. Another Archer-like element was the way the game veers from standard super-hero fare to hilarious weirdness and back without warning.
  4. Excalibur: This one is new to the list. Take a group of characters who all kinda got shuffled out of other titles, cram them into a quirky transdimensional lighthouse, and go nuts. The tone feels right. They bicker all the time, but still mostly like each other. The run I'm thinking of doesn't go much beyond #50. I lost interest when Alan Davis left... again.
  5. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: Anybody remember this show? It was corny and weird at times, but mostly it was just unabashedly comic-booky. This is another newcomer to the list, although it might have made the other one if I'd thought of it in time.
A bunch of stuff dropped off the list just because I felt like the influence didn't materialize. I suppose it still might. I used Baron Karza and Dire Wraiths and Deathwing in the campaign, but it still never felt like a Micronauts or Rom story to me. And, I dunno, they've just never seemed to be desperate enough for it to be Farscape, despite the other stuff I said about it still being true.  

Maybe in another three years it'll all be Vertigo titles and gory anime flicks. 


  1. Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends was one of my childhood favorites. Lots of fun stuff on there, and great "guest stars." There was also a really fun Spider-Woman cartoon, which I mostly remember for the episode where (alien?) Frankenstein, Dracula and Mummy show up an shoot eye-lasers that turn people into Frankesteins, Draculas and Mummies.

    1. Whoa. I missed that one completely. Looks like I've got some YouTubing to do.

  2. I am happy my idea lives on. Hurrah!

    I should update mine as well, although I doubt there would be much change.

  3. Agreed: Excalibur was best when Alan Davis was working on it.

    And when you mention characters getting shuffled out of other series, what typifies that more than the early cross-time story arc, where the characters are literally shuffled out of the Marvel universe for a prolonged period of time.