Friday, January 14, 2011

Mystery Men! Anyone?

Well, I've finished my draft of the Mystery Men! Beta Document and put it on the free downloads page. Here's what you in the studio audience can do to help me produce a free/cheap superhero game that everyone can enjoy:

* If you read it, please let me know what you like and what you dislike and any errors that you notice.

* If you play it, please let me know what works and what doesn't, and when you email me include your name and the names of other play-testers so I can credit you in the finished product.

I'm going to initiate some play-testing myself, but I really value the opinions of people outside my little circle of friends. In the coming weeks, I'm going to put some stats for the heroes and villains that will appear in the final product up for people to use as they see fit. In the meantime, make some heroes and villains and have a fight or two. Enjoy!


  1. Awesome, I have been waiting to get a look at this! Thanks!

  2. Page 4, under Money:

    Because  the  game  is  intended  to  be  useful  for emulating  comic  book  heroes  from  any  time  period, the  dollar  values  of  equipment  are necessarily intended to represent real world values. 

    Should be "not necessarily" or you could just say "not intended"

  3. Cool... I hope to try it out!

  4. Re the tables on p2:

    Only the Attack Bonus is different. So you could combine the two tables into one, with columns marked 'Attack Bonus (Adv)' and 'Attack Bonus (Sor/Sci)'

  5. Wouldn't it be closer to the genre to have armour as a power (which could represent an actual suit of armour like Iron Man, or tough skin like The Thing), rather than a piece of equipment?

    Actually I'd consider doing the same for weapons: a ranged attack of a certain damage could be considered to be a detective's gun, an archer's arrow, or an energy ray.

  6. "Armor", the power (and maybe I'll rename it Invulnerability) can represent thick skin (think Thor, Hulk) or maybe even scales or bony plates. Armor the equipment can represent flak jackets, platemail - whatever - and is needed because not everyone in the game is a superhero or needs to be statted out like a superhero. Maybe some criminals are wearing bullet-proof vests or the heroes travel back in time to the Middle Ages and you need armored guards. Now, to do Iron Man-style armor, you'd want to buy Heavy Armor and then invest it with super powers, including Armor and, in the case of Iron Man, things like Light, Force Missiles and Fly. It makes sense to have the armor separate from the man because the armor can literally be separate from the man - he doesn't always wear it, and something like the Hulk could conceivably peel it off of him. So, I think it makes sense to have powers and equipment, as well as equipment imbued with powers.

  7. PS re the tables: You probably don't need to have 'hit dice' and 'level', when you could just have a note.

  8. Re armour:

    It seems to me like you'd get a situation like D&D Fighters, where everyone has plate armour. It's arguably appropriate for an ancient/medieval setting, but to me it doesn't seem right for superheroes.

  9. Any game can be exploited if folks have the mind to - every fighter with platemail and a two-handed sword. If that's fun for folks, then I'm okay with that. If folks want to build their favorite kind of non-armored hero, that's cool as well.

  10. Did you intentionally drop the attribute dice from 14 to 10?

  11. I did. In building Catwoman a few days ago, it seemed as though her scores were way too high. So, I knocked some dice off so that most of a hero's scores will be in the normal (1-6) range, with a few higher scores that can be augmented with powers.

  12. Very nice take on a supers game. I'm sorry to say this is the first I have heard of it. Gave it a good read through last night, and had a couple of thoughts:

    - You could consider having players roll the 10 dice first and then assign them to attributes, sort of a compromise between point-buy and random.

    - Did you have a default starting XP level in mind for modern-day comics level super-heroes?

    - I'd like to see a rule that incorporates money into the XP-powers system. Maybe default to starting at "poor" and come up with XP costs to increase to "middle class" or "rich."

    - Have your realized that the permanent, limited and single-use system for powers is similar to 4e D&D's at-will, encounter and daily powers? Just an observation, I don't play 4e myself.


  13. I think the alternate dice method would be a great house rule - certainly something I could include as a sidebar. My hope is that I can write a pretty rules-lite, easily house ruled game.

    I'm still trying to gauge power levels. Even though the game is based on the basic rules of old D&D, the power levels are completely different - hence the need for play testing (I'll post on that later today or tomorrow).

    Money as a power is a pretty good idea, especially if you're doing the millionaire playboy idea.

    And yeah - the resemblance did occur to me. The powers system is based somewhat on the magic item rules in d20, but the notions are very, very similar.


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