Archive for the ‘Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game’ Category

Hey everyone, since it’s the new year, the latest trend is not to come up with a list of resolutions, but to approach the year with a list of goals. So in the spirit of the new year, I figure I might as well put up a list of my own goals as well as far as running games is concerned:

Legend of the Five Rings – Inflated with the triumph of “Never a Dull Blade”, I’m hoping that my upcoming campaign, “Hearts and Souls” will be met with similar success.

Mummy: the Curse – It’s shiny and new and I’ve pledged for it in Kickstarter. Mummy promises to shake up how things are done for nWoD and I’m hoping that the book inspires me to run an interesting campaign that my players will like.

Exalted, 3rd Edition – Time to put my money where my mouth is… again. I’ve tried running 2e Exalted, only to quickly switch to the Qwixalted Hack because my brain died from the complexity. I’m still remarkably optimistic about this and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make it work.

Something from Cubicle 7 – Qin: the Warring States, Kuro or Yggdrasill are all fine games and I’m curious about how they run. It’s a great time to actually break out of the usual stable of games I run and try stuff from other companies.

A Supers Game – Surprise, surprise! (Okay, not really.) Every year I keep hoping that I’ll be able to run a Supers game, but somehow it never really materializes. Whether it’ll be HERO, M&M, MHR or some other supers ruleset, I’ll make something happen this year.


Last weekend was another playtest week for our gaming group, and this time it was for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game! For the playtest, our GM was Sheimaruen, one our long time Exalted GMs who was up to experimenting with a new system for once, and wanted to try running a game based on the “A Certain Scientific Railgun” anime. To that end, Hikkikomori and I volunteered to be the players for this game, with Hikkikomori playing a biokinetic high school student named Kageyama (if I recall correctly) and myself playing Johnny Gato, the character I posted here on the blog a few days back.

I won’t go into the details of the plot, as I believe Sheimaruen is working on a recap of his own, but I’ll give my impressions of the game so far according to our first attempt to play it:

  • It’s Dicey and Fiddly – It took us a bit of time to get used to the dice pool assembly, even if we had most of it on hand in our character sheets. There’s a lot to remember so I was happy that we printed out the Player and Watcher sheets for reference. It was slow going at first, but I think it’s a matter of adapting to a new system. Over time, I expect the time to resolve actions to decrease as the participants get past the learning curve.
  • A New Paradigm – One of the more overlooked rules in the Operations Manual is that most of the time rolls occur whenever there are stakes to be considered. Shifting from the purely Pass/Fail paradigm of more traditional systems to the Asset/Complication/Stress condition setting of Marvel is a subtle, but significant shift that needs time to get used to.
  • Narrative! – Many of the older readers here know that my taste in games is more traditional, with L5R, Fantasy Craft, HERO and World of Darkness featuring prominently, so getting used to a looser system where players have a hand in the narrative is something that Hikkikomori and I had to get used to. I think old hands in Fate or other similar systems will find this game to be a lot easier to transition to.

That said I enjoyed my first foray into Marvel, and I can see trying to use the system for other Supers games. I’m still not sure if this will be a perfect fit for the Street Level campaign, but it might be worth a shot once we’ve figured out a way to better handle running it with regards to Transition Scenes.

Johnny Gato, Hot-blooded Bancho
Solo D10, Buddy D8, Team D6

– Ex-Delinquent
– That all you got?!
– Hot-Blooded Hero

Power Set:

Newton’s Third
Enhanced Durability D8
Powered Strike D8
Leaping D8

SFX: Absorption – On a successful reaction against a Physical attack action, convert your opponent’s effect die into a Power Set stunt or step up a Power Set power by +1 for your next action. Spend 1 PP to use this stunt if your opponent’s action succeeds.

SFX: Multipower – Use two or more Newton’s Third powers in a single dice pool at a -1 step for each additional power.

Limits: Conscious Activation – If stressed out, asleep or unconsious, shut down Newton’s Third. Recover Newton’s Third when stress is recovered or you awake. If Emotional Trauma is taken, shutdown Newton’s Third until trauma is recovered

Limit: Must Follow Absorption – Newton’s Third cannot be activated without a successful Absorption test.

Combat Expert
Menace Expert

Settle the Score
1 xP when you declare a villain as an old foe
3 xp when you inflict trauma on your chosen foe
10 xp when you forgive your chosen foe, or they beg your forgiveness and you let them go

1 XP the first time an ally takes stress from a Watcher character in a Scene that you are in
3 XP when your recovery of your emotional stress involves your admittsion of your own guilt.
10 XP when you either quit a team in order to save them or your team is defeated by a foe you have brought to them.

Here’s an interesting twist to Marvel Heroic Roleplaying. One of my group’s other GMs, Sheimaruen, volunteered to run a game of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, with the caveat that he’ll be using it to run a one shot set in the world of A Certain Scientific Railgun, where high-school kids with psychic powers all live in a city built specifically for the purpose of the study of their powers. Among these kids are “Judgement” otherwise known as the public morals committee, who are responsible for hauling in all sorts of powered delinquents as to stop them from causing all sorts of mayhem.

Johnny Gato is a former delinquent who joined up with Judgement after his misadventures as a thug got his best friend killed. Rather than continue with his activities he submitted himself to justice and eventually ended up being recruited to join the other side. This hasn’t endeared him in the least to his former colleagues who view him with disdain. Coupled with the mistrust of most of the legitimate students, Johnny Gato is pretty much an outcast no matter where he goes.

Johnny powers are that of Kinetic Absorption and Expulsion. He can take the force of an impact and take it into himself, ejecting it via a punch, kick, headbutt or any other physical strike. The problem with this is that he can’t expel energy that he doesn’t have, making it necessary for him to take the first hit, as it were. He’s no stranger to getting hurt, and often uses his Absorption power upon daring someone to take their best shot at him with no effect in order to intimidate them into quitting without a fight. If that fails then at least he punch back with greater force channeling the absorbed energy back to the offending individual.

Johnny has many hangups and regrets, given his former life of delinquency, but he does feel a very strong sense of loyalty to his friends. It’s this sense of loyalty that puts him in over his head when facing something that he can’t reasonably handle alone.

I told you guys this would be addictive. Alright, I’ve been fiddling with the MHRPG a little more today and I decided I wanted to try making another character. I’ll readily confess that I’m actually more of a DC guy than a Marvel guy, so the first character that came to my head was Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, and the first Robin to Bruce Wayne’s Batman.



Solo D6
Buddy D8
Team D10


The Flying Graysons
Trained by the Dark Knight
Everyone knows Nightwing

Power Sets

Enhanced Reflexes D8
Speed D6
Leaping D6

SFX: Second Chance – Spend 1 PP to reroll when using any AGILE COMBATANT power
SFX: Focus – If a pool includes an AGILE COMBATANT power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.

Limit: Exhaustion – Shutdown any AGILE COMBATANT power to gain 1PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

Escrima Sticks D6
Swingline D8

Limit: Gear – Shutdown SIGNATURE WEAPONS and gain 1PP. Take an action vs. doom pool to recover


Acrobatic Master
Combat Master
Covert Expert
Crime Expert
Menace Expert
Psych Master
Vehicle Master


Dangerous love
1 XP when you choose to flirt with a non-heroic Watcher character.
3 XP when your heroic activities put your chosen character in danger, or your commitment to your chosen character puts your team in danger
10 XP when your involvement with your chosen character changes them irreversibly, or you break off your relationship in order to protect your chosen character.

Coming into his own
1 XP when you stand up to another hero
3 XP when you prove one of your decisions was best for your team
10 XP when you either accept leadership in a group or abandon your existing team

After putting together two characters now, I’m thinking that the hardest part of the character generation system is actually generating Milestones. These are key moments in a character’s story, and a player has to really think about what he wants to happen to his character and translate it the Milestone structure. I’m still trying to get the hang of it honestly, but I am happy that it does reinforce the need to think about concept and what you want to happen to your character in play.

Having had a chance to check out the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game yesterday, I figured that I might as well give the character creation system a spin. For this attempt, I’m translating an experienced character from my old HERO game, Vogue. Vogue started off as a simple enough concept, a teen supermodel who also had nanite-powered Prehensile Hair. This power gave her the ability to extend her hair to great lengths and use them as if they were extra limbs. She was patterned after characters like Milia Rage from Guility Gear and Marvel Comics’ own Medusa.

Personality-wise, she was also closer to Selena Kyle, aka Catwoman, with a gray sense of morality, that made it unclear if she was the type to actually be a hero or a villain at times. She’s shown a preference for dangerous people and has had a few romances with villains in the past.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at her Datafile:



Solo d6
Buddy d8
Team d10


  • Drop dead gorgeous
  • Hero or Villain?
  • All’s fair in love and war

Power Sets:

Prehensile Hair

Enhanced Strength d8
Superhuman Durability d10
Stretching d8
Hair Blades d8
Swingline d8
Tremor Sense d6

SFX: Hair Net – Add a D6 and step up your effect die by +1 when inflicting Entangled complication on a target.
SFX: Hair Spray – Add a D6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Multi-tasking – Use two or more Prehensile Hair powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.

Limit: Conscious Activation – If stressed out, asleep or unconscious, shutdown Prehensile Hair. Recover when stress is recovered or if you awake. If Emotional Trauma is taken, shutdown Prehensile Hair until trauma is recovered.

Limit: Exhausted – Shutdown any Prehensile Hair power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.


Acrobatic Master
Combat Expert
Covert Expert
Psych Expert


Bad Romance
1 XP when you flirt with a Villain for the purpose of actually finding love
3 XP when you pursue said villain beyond your initial advances
10 XP when you convert Villain to becoming a hero or if the Villain uses your affections to betray you.

Overall, certainly not bad. The system isn’t as detail oriented as Mutants & Masterminds or the HERO system, but it managed to hit all the necessary bases to form a character. Vogue here is at the power level that she was towards the end of the campiagn. I’m certain that if I was starting off with her original stats in HERO, I’d have a much smaller power set, and Milestones dedicated to making her debut in the superhero scene.

That was definitely an amusing exercise, and it didn’t take very long to build. I could get addicted to doing this.