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Marvel Heroic Roleplay Basic Game Paperback – April 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret Weis Productions (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936685167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936685165
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in the mythical antipodean utopia of New Zealand, wisely regarded by scholars as the fountainhead of cultural excellence and the only place on Earth capable of filling in for Middle Earth, Narnia, and Ancient Greece, Cam Banks was lured away by the siren call of a life with meaning and purpose. Cam now lives a quiet, pastoral existence in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area with his beautiful wife, their two boys, and more books, comics, and music than he can comfortably store. He works for Atlas Games as a brand manager and in-house coffee drinker. In his free time, Cam likes to read and write fantasy fiction, watch movies and television with his wife, play video games with his oldest son, and allow his youngest son to chip away at his sanity.

Cam's work has appeared in almost every one of over a dozen DRAGONLANCE game sourcebooks published by Sovereign Press and Margaret Weis Productions, and three times in Dragon Magazine. As lead designer for Margaret Weis Productions he wrote, designed, and oversaw production on roleplaying games based on Leverage, Smallville, and Marvel Comics, as well as the core system design on the upcoming Firefly RPG. His work on the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game picked up three ENnie Awards in 2012 including Best Rules, as well as an Origins Award in 2013. Cam's first short story, "Chain of Fools," appears in the anthology Dragons of Time; The Sellsword, published in April 2008, is his first published novel.

Customer Reviews

This game is what a comic book RPG should be!
amy bowyer
I just think people will need to be prepared to make some good house rules for character generation to smooth over the game's few rough edges.
Ryan Adams
Our group has played a few sessions using existing Marvel characters, as well as making our own characters, and everyone has enjoyed the game.
Uziel2000

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Octavian on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
As with most RPGs, MHR needs to be played to be fully appreciated. The rules may seem arcane from a mere reading of the rules, but in practice they are very straight forward and free the players and GM to focus on the story and the action rather than wrestling with mechanics.

Most actions involve constructing a dice-pool based on a menu of character traits and skills that you can justify as being applicable in a given situation. Once the dice are rolled you almost always use your two highest rolls for the total and the best remaining die as an "effect" die. The whole process including the counter roll for the defense rarely took longer than a minute total, and usually took much less.

You also can make decisions to nerf your character to gain a "plot point" which can be used to trigger some awesome abilities later on. For example, I was playing the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and at one point had heavily wrapped up a foe in webbing. I decided it would be a good time to use a Limit on my character to gain a plot point by declaring myself out of webbing. I needed the plot-point (I'd spent my last one during the attack) and figured the amount of webbing used in wrapping the guy up justified doing it. The combat ended up going on a bit longer than I expected and I had fun having to work around the fact that I'd lost an entire section of my character powers.

After my first game playing with an experienced GM I felt confident enough with my understanding of the system to teach it and run a session myself. This was an automatic buy. High recommendation for any superhero RPG fans.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By amy bowyer on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
This game is what a comic book RPG should be!
It's not a rule system trying to enforce real world physics on a fictional comic universe.
But it is actually the comic universe without the real world physics, which don't exist in comics AT ALL!!!

I loved this game, the dice takes away the need to sit with pen and paper and keep a tally of everyone's hit die.

In the comics where you see Spider-man taking on the Hulk, he actually can in this ruleset and be a bother to the big green goliath. Just like he has done in the comics over and over.

With M&M, TSR Marvel and even attempting to use DC Superhero RPG Rulesets, you are left trying to get the character to a level that would translate into the real world. Which is a big NO NO NO!!!
I cannot count how many times a play session is brought to it's knees with continual rule book searches and stat crunching.
This lets the player enjoy their hero and stay in the game. And my players actually have stated they feel like it is actually reading a comic as they play.

My family and my friends loved this system. They felt more heroic in this ruleset. And they also felt they were a part of the story with their ability to control the narrative and how their powers interacted with their subjects.

I love this RPG, and would recommend it highly to anyone who wants a REAL comic RPG system!
And not one that is trying it's best, yet failing, to bring comics into the real world.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful By R. Jenkins on April 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will go on record saying that I originally did not like this system. It seemed like I could imagine the design team sitting around a table talking about all the cool things they could include in the game and then the lead designer just saying "Yeah! Let's do ALL of that!"

Then I actually sat down and gave the book a good read.

Another reviewer here talked about the -old- TSR Marvel RPG from the mid-eighties. DC did one, too. Neither were good. There was less randomization and requiring a chart for basic maneuvers stifles both creativity around the table and time efficiency.

I began my Marvel roleplaying much later. With the Marvel Super Hero Roleplaying Adventure Game (MSHRAG). It used the Saga system TSR introduced for the Dragon Lance 5th Age game. The card system was amazingly easy, simple, customizable (easy to make up rules calls on the fly or determine stats to use). It was flexible. It was unique. It was easy to play. With roleplayers more interested in story than beefing up a character with cool gear (ala D&D Dungeon Crawling), it was amazing. Then... they came out with the stone-based system. That was a travesty. Recently, DC came out with a game using the M&M rules. Not a bad game--if you don't mind using a calculator to make and advance a character.

In light of their films getting great press, I guess Marvel decided to re-do their RPG line. They chose Margaret Weis. They could have done much worse. I have MW's Serenity game. It was interesting, but I didn't like all the rules. They changed them in many ways for the Marvel game.

While the game's layout could have been more effective in many ways, once giving it a go and actually reading and playing--this game is very fun.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amy Gregoire on May 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a really good anti-crunch system. After a series of play sessions my group gladly endorses this product for people looking to spend more time playing their characters rather than looking up rules for combat, feats(or advantages), etc and so on. It certainly won't be for everyone but it's a really nice alternative to the more complex systems out there like M&M(which plays well but has a complex character generation process) or Hero.

PROS: Simple, easy to use system that gets you into play as quickly as possible. Play moves swiftly and the method by which you assemble your dice pool helps make players think about what their characters are doing and why they are doing it instead of just saying 'my to hit number is X and my die roll is Y'. This is a system that actually encourages team work both in terms of dice(using their solo, buddy and team mechanics) as well as their rules for creating assets. The best thing I can say about this game is that my players felt as if they were playing their characters instead of rolling for numbers.

CONS: Very little structure for creating original characters. The extremely rules lite and narrative approach will turn off players who feel the need to have exacting rules for every situation. The game is mostly combat oriented with very little on a character sheet for things like social or mental encounters. It can still be done there are just fewer options on a character sheet for them.

Overall I really enjoy this game. I would rate the system 4 stars and this particular incarnation of the rules 2 stars, however. The book has some organizational issues and I didn't really care for the heroes they offered in their roster section(they offer a ton of villains however, which is nice).
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