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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by David F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2012 12:24:42
I love the idea of this game. The action is very story driven and there are a lot of great fan sites that just add to the basic game.

THe only problem (and it is small) is that it is harder than most RPGs to create original characters. You almost have to pipck a Marvel character to base your original character on (now it is not so original). MWP has released a random character creator but it still gives you hints from other characters to use when bilding a character.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Christopher L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2012 23:03:32
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game
by Margaret Weis Productions
The Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game is a new roleplaying game that departs significantly from the more typical style of games that have been released over the years. It uses a modification of the Cortex system designed by Margaret Weis Productions, but with some significant differences. The Cortex system is used with a number of other games, including Supernatural, Smallville, and Leverage. To play you need dice from d4 to d12, – preferably three to four of each. It would also help to have tokens or counters to keep track of plot points, and a notepad or post-its to keep track of advantages (assets) and disadvantages (complications) over the course of a session.

Disclosure: I was given a review copy of the game by Margaret Weis Productions.

MHRG is a flexible, open game system. Crafting a character is more about making the character you want to play, rather than being limited by a random creation system or a point-generated system. The game also does away with attributes and detailed skill lists, and removes a lot of the complication which would normally go into creating a hero. Instead of fixating on the more mundane aspects of a character sheet – things you would add to a character “just in case” or that would make sense but never be used – the game emphasizes only what stands out about your character.

The first step in creating a character involves knowing how well the hero interacts with others. Is she a team player, does she work best with a partner or sidekick, or does she prefer to act by herself? These three traits are assigned a die value, which indicates where her strengths lie. Even if you choose solo as her greatest strength, she can still work with a team – it just means that from time to time you’ll want her to do her own things, separate from the group, but still helping the group overall. Teams do split up from time to time, and it is during these times your character will shine.

The second step is to decide her distinctions. You must choose three traits which define who your character is. Distinctions are used to separate your character from other heroes, and act as a reminder about who she is. When you play to your character’s distinctions, you gain a die bonus when you roll. If you ignore your distinction, you don’t get the die – and you are also missing out on generating Plot Points which can be spent to help your character later. These distinctions may be a theme (with great power comes great responsibility), or an occupation (news reporter), or it may be a characteristic (stunning good looks, billionaire philanthropist playboy). It can even be a catch phrase that the character uses (It’s clobberin’ time!).

The third step involves filling out one or two power sets. Each power set helps define a theme for your hero’s powers, and you can choose whether or not to use one or two sets. Each set is then filled with the powers that you think helps define that aspect of your hero’s abilities. For example, you may have a hero that has gone through a secret government program that has injected something into your system. The training provided, the powers provided by the serum, and any equipment which came with being an agent are all one “set”. If the hero also happened to be a mutant, this can provide a second “set”, defining her mutant abilities.

The major difference between this game and other roleplaying games is that you can choose as many powers as it takes to make your “set”, and you can choose what level to have these powers at. There is no costs associated with your powers, and the only limit is what the game master sets. If the game master thinks your character is viable, then you’re good to go. This means that MHRG allows you to make characters from any level, from the street-tough hero who has no true powers and a handful of gadgets, to cosmic level heroes who surf between the stars. The power list is not too extensive, and you can theoretically adapt anything that is there into making the character you want to play.

Once your powers are set, you should select some SFX for your hero. SFX are “mini powers” or adjustments to your existing powers. SFX can represent smaller powers or sub-abilities which are not significant enough to warrant being a full power, or can provide advantages or represent aspects of your powers which are not normally used. For example, your shield-bearing hero can normally deflect attacks with the shield, but might also throw it to take out people. Normally, only one person might be hit at a time, but as an SFX you can take down a group of opponents, and the SFX will provide the tools needed to make this possible. “Group Attack” is not enough to warrant being a power, but as an SFX it fits perfectly. Alternatively, going into a “Berserker Rage” is not really a power, but as an SFX it can provide bonuses to the hero’s attacks, making it a good SFX as well.

With the SFX out of the way, the character should have two limits. Limits are flaws, but they work somewhat differently than in other games. Limits provide the character with Plot Points which allow her bonuses to use later on, or which can add something to the game, helping to set up for the big finish at a later point. For example, a character who’s powers “shut down” from exposure to a specific substance will get a Plot Point when this happens – and it is most likely that you will do this voluntarily, rather than waiting for the game master to do it – because being hampered makes the game interesting, and provides you with the edge later on. Limits can be triggered by the game master as well, and if he does it, you still get the benefits that the Limit supplies.

The fourth step in character creation is choosing one or more specialties. These are similar to a skill list, but much more restricted. Instead of a huge list of skills, this provides a smaller list of things your hero may excel in. You are not expected to put a value to every specialty in the game – instead you’re expected to pick a handful that represents your hero’s greatest talents – the things she’s awesome at. When your specialty applies to your actions, you get to use the value of your specialty as a die.

Finally, you need to create one or two milestones. A milestone represents a mini story arc that you feel is an important part of the hero’s identity. This is something she’s invested in as part of the game, and that you want to introduce to the story as a whole. Each milestone is divided into three steps – and milestones are what is used to get XP in the game. The game master does not hand out XP for the adventure – the milestones in the game are what is used to get you XP – the adventure is used to give you opportunities to spend it. This means, if you want XP, you need to try to get your milestones into the game. In addition, each adventure has one or two milestones as well, and you can adopt these adventure-specific milestones for XP as well.

The lowest tier of a milestone is something pretty simple and straightforward. It almost acts as an introduction to who the character is, and the theme that you wish to pursue. If your hero is an android, and this is not immediately apparent, having someone find out you’re an android for the first time could be the trigger for this milestone. This trigger grants 1 XP each time it comes up, and can come up multiple times in a single scene.

The second tier can be a point of contention with the character, something which adds a touch of drama or that can complicate either the hero’s life, or the life of those around her. For example, if there comes a huge debate about the rights of androids, and whether they should count as “people” or “property”, this can trigger the milestone. This trigger grants 3 XP, and can only come up once per scene.

The third tier is the finisher of the milestone, and represents the outcome of the story arc. This is where the life of the hero changes, whether for better or worse, or changes the lives of those around her. The android may embrace her android nature, forsaking all that is human, or she may utterly deny what she is, and embrace humanity instead. This is worth 10 XP, and ends the milestone.

Once a milestone has been concluded (whether in one adventure or over multiple adventures), it is removed from the character sheet, and another can take its place. If this was an adventure-specific milestone, it doesn’t carry over to other adventures normally – so if you want the 10 XP, you need to really push to get the conclusion of the milestone before the adventure is finished. A character can find herself in a whirlwind of drama and chaos, but walk out of the adventure with more than 40 XP under her belt from excellent roleplaying, while someone who isn’t invested in his hero or the adventure may walk out with a small handful of XP.

An interesting thing about MHRG is that experience points are used in a different way than other games. Yes, you can use XP to improve your character, but that isn’t the point to XP. After all, as you just saw, you can build the character you want to play – if you wanted your character stronger, you’d probably have built them stronger in the first place. Of course, you may have wished your character to start weaker – or the game master may have asked for the players to make the characters at the start of their careers, in which case your XP can be used to advance over time.

The more important aspect of XP is how it is used during a session. XP can be spent for Plot Points, which are then used to modify dice rolls and power SFX, but it is also used to invest in an adventure. XP is spent to create Events, which are dramatic outcomes which can be built into a scene by the heroes. Did the hero just defeat a villain during a scene? For 5 XP, that villain can be convinced by the hero to change his ways, allowing you to use the villain as a hero in a later adventure. The villain is “unlocked” as an additional character, usable by the players as a PC. For 10 XP, in a later scene in the same adventure, the villain can be called to aid the heroes in a time of need. The villain comes in, saves the heroes or provides assistance (played by the game master), and then leaves shortly afterwards. A hero may have a hidden base, and for 5 XP, just happens to have a gadget from the base which can be used right now. This provides a quick advantage (asset) that the hero can use – a die bonus for the next little while, so nothing that will break the game. XP can also be used to remove powers and replace them, buy new power sets, or make adjustments to your character as she evolves over time.

So, how does MHR play?
Admittedly, I’ve only ran two sessions. I’ve made a cheat sheet for the players, to help them get used to the game engine, but as a whole I’ll have to say, “very well”. It will take a little getting used to, but overall, I’m satisfied with how the game runs. Your heroes are just that ... heroes... and the game allows for any level of play. You have the means to evolve over time, refine your abilities, and grow as much as you feel is proper, but you also have the means to do other things, to add personal touches to the game. The system overall is very flexible, though it requires a little more work on the game master’s part than I am used to. I don’t tend to plan things ahead very far, but a good game master will need to set the milestones and distinctions for each adventure ahead of time, so that the players can make use of these. The other thing I am not used to is how open the game is. The game master is expected to roll openly, and the plot of each adventure is also expected to be open. The game master tells the players what the milestones are (which will provide some spoilers, most likely), and also is expected to describe openly what the outcome of any action done by the NPCs will be, so the players can decide whether to oppose it or not.

“Health” is also a foreign concept in this game. You have stress and trauma, which is divided into physical, mental, and emotional levels. The stress meter builds up, and when it hits maximum, the character is incapacitated, and anything overflowing moves into trauma – which is long term damage. A hero can shift stress from one trait to another, thus allowing for a “buffer” to be in place before the character is knocked out. Stress can heal relatively quickly, while trauma is a long-term thing. The general goal of a hero is to “stress out” an opponent, to quickly rack up stress of one sort or another, specifically to incapacitate the enemy. The system is well designed to allow for heroes and villains to battle each other in a dramatic fashion, choosing different avenues to attack. And both you and your opponent can use your own stress and each other’s stress as modifiers to help improve your odds. Are you stressed? You can use your stress die as a bonus for your roll – but the stress die escalates when you do. Is your opponent stressed? Well, this gives you a bonus die to use against them! Health is not an “all or nothing” thing in this game, and is just another tool that can be used to help make the adventure exciting.

Negatives
While I do recommend this game, there are some flaws. First and foremost, the chapter divisions are awkward. The beginning chapter discussing how the game works was using terminology from later in the book – so it would address things I have not heard of. I had no idea what these terms are, or how the mechanics of them worked, and this proved to be a lesson in frustration. I had to jump back and forth between chapters as I worked through the opening section, so I could follow what was being said. This is a very strong negative for such a good game, because it will very likely frustrate new players and prevent them from ever playing. For someone new to roleplaying games, this is a fatal flaw, because they will have no idea what to do, and will not understand what is being presented to them.

I do recommend making a cheat sheet and going over the rules a few times. There are some concepts which take a bit of getting used to, and making a flowchart for how the dice system, plot point system, and XP system work will help everyone immensely. The cheat sheet I made took only one page, but covered everything I thought the players should know for any roll of the dice. Broken down this way, the system is fairly elegant, and its strengths are much more obvious. The system is good, you just need to be patient until you get the hang of it – and that was something I did with only two sessions.

My second complaint is the lack of villains for the game master to use. There is a single adventure, with only a small handful of villains. Most of the villains are second-stringers, but there are a few specific first-line villains to be used. The number of heroes to draw upon is also limited, and it is somewhat expected that the players will use these pre-generated characters for the adventure in the back. My group is more inclined to making our own characters, however, and the small selection of heroes made it a little more difficult to draw examples from for making our milestones, SFX, and distinctions. A larger sample pool would have been great, for villains and for heroes.

All in all, MHRG is a good game. The concepts behind it are strong, and the engine itself is also something I am particularly pleased with. The layout and lack of heroes and villains are a significant detraction from the game, but I think the game itself makes up for it.

Base: 10
Layout: 7/10 Good use of space, good text size.
Art: 7/10 Recycled from comics, but good choice of artwork.
Coolness: 9/10 Cool concept, excellent ideas.
Readability: 3/10 Problematic. Had to read two or three chapters at the same time to understand concepts.

Base: 10
Content: 4/10 Everything needed for the players, not as much for the game master.
Text: 6/10 Good font size, difficult to follow early in. Use of charts and examples were very helpful.
Fun: 8/10 The game itself is very fun to play, but takes a little bit to get used to.
Workmanship: 8/10 It is quite obvious that thought was put into this game, with an eye on the players.
System: 9/10 A very solid system, able to handle quite a lot.

Total: 81%

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2012 21:00:20
I am a big fan of superhero systems, and I was really looking forward to this game. My first impression was that it would be a quick and unique narrative experience, but after some playtesting I came away a bit disappointed. The rules are a bit clunky to read through but the actual gameplay is easy to understand and pick up. Just keep in mind this is a narrative style game meant for short term events, not long term campaigns with strong character growth and progression. Powers are just descriptive benchmarks and die codes, so don't expect extensive rules on how they work. At best it seems a short term beer and pretzel game. If you are looking for depth and crunch, look elsewhere.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Allen S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2012 22:08:37
I love this game, pure and simple. The mechanics took a bit of getting used to but I saw people I ran this for just come alive. Once you get used to making dice pools the rounds don't take too long. I LIKE the character creation rules. In this game it's ok to have Thor and Black Widow on the same team, because they will both be useful. Yes, Thor is not in the book. He was dead when Breakout was going on. he gets better though and he will show up...and it's not like it's tough to make your own :) I have enjoyed all 8 sessions of this I have run so far and I will enjoy more I am sure :)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/19/2012 16:57:23
I have now had Marvel Heroic Roleplaying now for about a month. I have read it. Re-read it. Watched games, read reviews and even detailed some characters. Here are my thoughts.

I have to be honest, I am still and probably always be a DC fan foremost. I "dabbled" in Marvel back in the 80's like others. I enjoyed the X-Men, loved Spider-Man, enjoyed Doctor Strange and Ghost Rider...and that was about it. I didn't have any dislike for Marvel, I just like DC better. I enjoyed the old TSR Marvel game, but I also liked DC Heroes from Mayfair and Villains and Vigilantes.

Ok. So there are a lot of reviews out for this now, and there is really nothing new I can add to all of that. Here is though less of a review and more of a bunch of my opinions and insights on the game.

The most notable feature of this game is there is nothing in the way of comparing ability to ability really. Yes there are things like "combat expert" and there levels of that, but nothing along the lines of Strength vs. Strength So there is no way to tell really who would win in an arm wrestling Thor or Thing. But the deal is that this not something that is likely to happen UNLESS it was part of the plot, then the winner is decided by other things.

MHR is more of a game where the players are providing the framework. You need to create your character with the other characters and players in mind. Maybe not as much as Smallville or Leverage, but still. It is also a game where the main drama is about heroes, not really supers. It really is a "comic book" RPG, not a cartoon, supers or even super hero movie RPG. This game is about building characters, the relationships between them and the drama. Which, if you think about it, is kinda what Marvel Comics is about.

The game moves well from what I have seen in play and after working with your character you get the hang of the game quickly.

The book itself is great to look at, but I was expecting more to be honest. Compare to Green Ronin's DC book. The DCA is overflowing with art. Everywhere. MHR has art, but it seems to use it more sparingly. Plus I swear it was the same characters over and over. I could easily name dozens of character I didn't see, but that is not the point, I would have liked some others.
I would have liked to Dr. Strange or some other magical/mystical types since that is my favorite part of any game and Marvel in particular. Strange at least is important enough that he should be included in the Basic rules.

Will I play this game?
That is really the only question right? Yes, I love to try it out with the right group. To me the right group would be people who are willing to invest in their characters and be able to "play the drama". So yes, with the right group of people.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/18/2012 03:51:01
There seems to be a tradition, from previous iterations of Marvel superhero RPGs, towards using funky, modern systems. The original TSR version had it's FEATS system and Universal Table; the mid-90s saw a card based SAGA system being used, and now we have a Indie style Cortex Plus system to digest.

All these systems have the dubious distinction of confusing the hell out of me, but I can't deny they are innovative. What we get here is a pretty complete, full color package with A+ production standards that you'd expect from a major license. Lots of familiar Heroes and Villains are outlined in the rules, and I've no doubt more will be added. There are rules towards designing your own heroes (thankfully) but it doesn't seem to be a major drive in the game unlike other RPGs (like Champions, primarily). It'll no doubt be successful - with The Avengers movie just round the corner - and should compete well against DC Heroes for the forceable future. But then, looking at the sales already, you probably knew that already!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2012 20:40:36
I discovered the 'Leverage' television show through the roleplaying game and as a matter of due diligence thought I should watch a few episode to understand the context, mood and feel of the game. Now, after digesting four seasons, it's time to come back to the RPG. In many cases, it is impossible to fully appreciate an RPG based on an intellectual property with only one of the two creative outputs - and 'Leverage' is no exception. I think that without an appreciation for the television show, you'll find it very difficult to grapple with some of the storytelling tools presented.

From the outset, I had high hopes for the game. I own 'Serenity' and 'Smallville' and have taken enthusiastically to not only the Cortex system, but the underlying philosophy of MWP's game design. Their games are designed to be played as a team, co-operatively, with fun being explicitly the responsibility of everyone at the table. Players are encouraged to identify when scenes allow others to shine, and to help everyone at the table achieve their full potential. 'Leverage' mentions in the character creation section that should players chose to create characters in isolation, the game will feel more like a group of 'prison inmates' than a team game; and I couldn't agree more.

Anyone familiar with Cortex will have few surprises along the way - although it leans more to the simplicity of 'Serenity' than the more complex 'Smallville'. Players select one character archetype - Mastermind, Grifter, Hitter, Thief or Hacker (each archetype embodied on the screen each week) and then assigning dice types to each to determine priority. There are the usual Assets, Distinctions, Talents and the like which round out the character and it does appear to be quite simple to design and make a character. However, as there isn't a static list of traits (with the exception of Distinctions) players are encouraged to design descriptive traits for their character.

The balance comes in with the sidebar explaining that all traits should have a negative and positive side - and the other players and the Fixer (the name given to the GM) should determine if they are unbalanced or too broad. For example, in the TV show Nate (the resident Mastermind) has the trait 'Drunk'. Whilst this does have very negative connotations, it does mean that Nate could use the trait to assist in the roll to impersonate a drunk, or even name exotic alcoholic beverages. On the flipside, the Fixer could use it as a temptation to derail Nate whilst on a job.

Plot Points are included here too, and make for an interesting interplay between Fixer and players - essentially giving characters a kick-back when something bad is invoked against them, and then being able to be spent on certain perks during the game. Character advancement is relatively simple, with characters spending 'Jobs' (ie, one story) to purchase advances. Conversely, a character can simple leave the log of Jobs on their character sheet. By doing so, they can call into play experiences from previous jobs to give them either a boosted roll, or an attempted one, if they have an relevant experience. For example, if a character needed to ski down a mountain slope during one Job, they could recall the experience in a later Job to either give them an extra dice in the roll, or (if they don;t have a relevant skill) invoke it to get a roll.

Running this game will require a good working knowledge of the structure of an episode of the television show, as I mentioned before. The players and the Fixer are expected, during the game, to look for Flashback Scenes that can be used to wrap up the Job, or progress it. An example might be a scene where a character rifles through the Marks' desk drawer, and finds a gun and some paperwork. They might photocopy the paperwork whilst playing the scene, but during a Flashback Scene state that they also emptied the gun of bullets. When the Mark is waving his pistol at the team, the player announces the Flashback Scene to frame the action of pulling the six rounds out of the jacket pocket as a frustrated Mark tries to fire an empty gun. I would imagine that this aspect of the game will take a little time before it is run smoothly by all at the table. The main piece of advice that I'd give here is that the mechanic is present to advance the story and make for some really cool scenes - it is not designed as a carte blanche 'auto-win' and should be never used as such.

Overall, I loved the game and look forward to putting together my first Job. As my group have the knack of turning any game into one about teams, this will suit them perfectly. There is plenty of advice for the aspiring Fixer (being a Shadowrun fan, I'm looking forward to actually being called a Fixer), including a wide range of random tables for generating Marks' attributes, motivations and the reason for the Job. I have since noticed that MWP have produced an introductory module ('The Quickstart Job' at $1.99) and I'll definitely be investing in it to give me an example Job before I start to design my own. Given the pricing of 'The Quickstart Job' I'd consider it a no-brainer.

This leads me to my only gripe and that is the lack of the near-ubiquitous 'module in the back of the book' that we see with most core rulebooks. MWP did an excellent job of including one in the recent 'Marvel Superheroes RPG' which set the tone well, and helped to introduce players and GMs alike to the game. 'Leverage' would have benefited from this too.

The writing style is very light, is conversational in tone and does a great job in explaining all of the concepts on the first pass. All of the art is taken from the television show, and is used quite sensibly - it is always apparent why a particular still was used on a given page. I've printed out my PDF copy, and on greyscale it was not a great drain on my ink cartridge.

Despite the lack of intro module, I'll still give this five stars. From the group approach to making characters, the high-end narrative style of the game, and the fact that it forces all characters into the limelight at least once per Job makes this a winner. I can imagine in the near future that my group will be enjoying a 'Leverage' marathon on our DVDs, followed by a really fun game. I can't wait to see what more this product line has in store, and this type of product constantly reaffirms MWP as a high-quality publisher of gaming titles.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage Roleplaying Game
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Castlemourn Campaign Setting
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/14/2012 07:01:08
You know that anything written by Ed Greenwood is going be a lavishly detailed immersion into high fantasy, and Castlemourn showcases his abilities (through the excellent MWP) admirably.

Castlemourn marries fantasy with one of my other favourite genres - the post-apocalyptic setting. Three hundred years ago, there was a cataclysm which destroyed the previous shining age, causing the gods to cordon off the realm. As such, none are permitted to leave, although some brave (or foolish) souls still try; and are never seen again. Don't let the idea of a contained setting fool you though; there is more than enough to keep players interested and enough political intrigue, open warfare, exploration and adventure to engage even the most experienced group.

There are all the mainstays of D&D in terms of character races, including two new ones - the Godaunt and the Thaele who do add a certain 'flavour' to the game by their presence and all the classes are present and accounted for. The only new class is the Buccaneer, and this is interesting enough (and balanced enough) to make it an attractive option (and who doesn't want to play a pirate).

There is also a host of new mechanically-flavoured items (including the ubiquitous Prestige Classes), but it is all very well written and presented.

With Ed Greenwood at the helm, you know the book will include the practicalities of daily life, and he doesn't disappoint. Calendars and crops, foods and festivals are all covered in varying degrees of detail and give GM and player alike a real insight into daily life - something I've always admired from his Forgotten Realms work.

Given that this has been reduced to $4.99, I cannot think of a single reason why this shouldn't be on every fantasy gamers' shopping list. Even if you are a 4e player, the narrative content alone will be useful. If you are looking for a new setting for your next campaign, give this a chance. You'll not regret doing so.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Castlemourn Campaign Setting
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Supernatural: The Hunt Begins
by Bruce F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2012 21:33:03
Like many Quick Start Rules, it maintains what I have grown to expect as the standard layout of explanation for any RPG system. It starts with detailing what an RPG is specifically with respect to Supernatural itself.

It details the difference between players and the person who runs the game is, often called the game master. Think of the Game Master as a referee of sorts. It gives a pretty decent description of the basic rules and how they work together to determine the results of a character's actions and what one needs to actually play the quick-start system and the adventure therein.

Unlike a number of Quick Start Rules, they keep the overall amount of rules explained cut down. All of the above is covered in about six pages and then is followed by an example of play to give new players to RPGs or this specific set of game mechanics an idea of how it all interacts.

The adventure gives you a nice taste of what Supernatural is about while also avoiding rehashing plots from the show so even avid fans of the show won't necessarily be able to grab any spoilers from having watched every episode to date though there are a few episodes that might send them off on a red herring.

While the adventure can be used with characters you have created from the core book, four pre-generated characters are provided including character sheets for Sam and Dean Winchester, the main characters from the television series.

I enjoyed this product. As a fan of the show, of any show that has been turned into a RPG I am often wary of the end result as there have been some collosal let downs but this pdf was far from a disappointment and because of it I will be investing in this line and plan to purchase the other books soon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supernatural: The Hunt Begins
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Leverage: Hitters, Hackers, & Thieves
by Alexander O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/08/2012 06:45:54
I kind of gave the Leverage RPG a pass when it came out because -- I didn't watch the show.

But after I finally encountered first the Smallville RPG, then the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying RPG, I decided to pick up Leverage to give it another try. Then I decided to take a look at the sourcebooks for it.

This book, Leverage: Hitters, Hackers, and Thieves, is an indispensable tool for both players and GMs (Fixers in this RPG) interested in rounding out and deepening the capabilities, backgrounds, rivals, and approaches for these types of roles in the game. While it does not (and cannot) give an encyclopedic account of all things Hitter/Hacker/Thief, it does bolster the treatment given in the rulebook with key points in the history and rationale of the role, very flavorful talents to broaden the cinematic treatment in the game, and some Master Class options to make the PCs and NPCs even more awesome than they already are.

There are also additional rules for Locations in this sourcebook to make things more interesting for the Thief (and everyone else) in your Crew. As a bonus, you get several technology-centric Jobs to take your Crew through.

In addition, the book is written clearly, while successfully providing both information and flavor to further reinforce the genre of the game.

If you're into Leverage, pick it up!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Leverage: Hitters, Hackers, & Thieves
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Supernatural Adventures
by Joshua S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/01/2012 19:01:19
A great product, tons of fun and the cortex system keeps it simple so you can focus on the story yet still have a reliable rolling system:) can't wait for more of this product!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Supernatural Adventures
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Supernatural Role Playing Game
by Aaron H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2012 16:57:58
The following review was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=19817.

Using the Cortex System at its foundation, the Supernatural RPG allows a group of die-hard fans the opportunity to play the Winchester brothers, or other hunters, and one other to be the screenwriter/producer/director they’ve always dreamt of within the surreal world of darkness created by the popular TV show. For me, it’s my first full experience with these mechanics and Margaret Weis Productions’ continuing line of licensed games. I’ve seen the show a few times, but never caught it on a regular basis, because I’m a slave to watching everything in order and have yet to find a channel airing it in syndication or a local store selling the first season on DVD.

All that adds up to an eager anticipation on my part to see what all the fuss is about: game mechanics and the setting material alike. The latter is very effective and highly evocative, written as if it were spoken by Dean himself, and sets a clear tone for both those familiar and inexperienced with the show. The former was an acceptable system capable of embracing player participation and character interaction, but seemed rather ho-hum on resolution and combat.

OVERALL

After reading through the book, I felt as if the Supernatural RPG‘s mechanics were heavily influenced by White Wolf’s World of Darkness games and while I’ve never read Hunter: The Gathering, I’m sure it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to adapt that game into a homebrew of this show. While the book is well-written and mechanically solid, I have to admit disappointment at what I was expecting. It feels typical to nearly every other RPG out there and while Plot Points are a nice touch, it’s only a fresh coat of paint on a street where all the houses are built the same. If you’ve been waiting for a RPG to come out supporting your favorite show after spending weeks working on a hack from another system, I’d be hard pressed to insist on ditching that work.

This doesn’t mean the game itself is poor, just standard. If you’re new to role-playing, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to enter or continue into the genre. But if you’re experienced and looking for something new and exciting, you might not find it here. I’m in the second category, which is why this game doesn’t quite do it for me in light of what I came to expect.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 8 out of 10
Every page looks as if it came from one of Winchester’s journals and helps propel the mood of the game and its relation to the show. Very effective in print, a bit of a bother in PDF (my copy came in at 42Mb and was a bit slow to load on the tablet).

Mechanics: 7 out of 10
Functional, yes. Effective, yes. Evocative? No. While Plot Points and Traits were a nice touch, they didn’t make a massive difference to differentiate this game from any other out there.

Desire to Play: 5 out of 10
I’m more psyched about watching the show more than ever and would pull this out if my players squealed when they found out I had a copy. Otherwise, it’s another book to add to the shelf.

Overall: 7 out of 10
Don’t get me wrong, this is a good RPG and demonstrates Margaret Weis Productions as a worthy publisher. Jamie Chambers and the team’s handling of the material is excellent and perhaps if I was already a nut for the show, I’d be more enthusiastic. Yet my personal feeling on the been-there, done-that mechanics is not my cup of tea. Some of my discontent also stems from my expectations of the Cortex System – I don’t think this game lives up to the potential I’ve come to expect from this system. If you’re a fan of the TV show, the rating may be more like 8 out of 10.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Supernatural Role Playing Game
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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Chuck C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2012 16:54:27
This book delivers. Following in the footsteps of the classic Marvel game from TSR back in the day, written by much of the same team that produced the monumental Dresden Files game, and using lots of dice in fun and tactical ways, this game promises to deliver a wallop. Worth the price in interesting ideas alone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
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Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Tony G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2012 09:24:15
I was counting down the minutes until this game came out! I had played The DC game, as well as many other "Hero" type games. I have to say this was a complete disapointment. Some of the heroes power levels make no sense. The "starter" mission is just a playthrough of a comic run? I don't know, they really dropped the ball. I just hope that another company buys the rights and makes a different game. I would love it if they had the DC/Mutants and mastermind system used- instaead of the modified- hahaha "Leverage" system... really people?

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Marvel Heroic Roleplaying: Basic Game
by Ian F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2012 17:37:03
The game is solid. The rules help you mirror superheroic role-playing, and as basic rules without the Marvel content, they are fantastic. The book is easy to follow, looks great as an ebook and flows well. There are a few places where the information could be presented clearer (a basic chart showing the different outcomes of actions would work great), and the selection of Heroes in the book should have included more iconic Marvel Heroes (no Hulk? no Thor? really?).

But I'm going to be playing this Marvel game for a long, long time. It has knocked every other super hero RPG off of my shelf, and it will be joined by the upcoming supplements that detail the major Marvel events. I have been reccomending it to all of my friends, and have found teaching it easy and straigtforward.

Most importantly, it's tons of fun to play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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