Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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#RPGaDay 19: Favorite Supers RPG

200px-MnM_CoverMy favorite Supers RPG to read is Stuperpowers, because it’s hilariously comedic. But I talked about that last year. This year, let’s talk about Mutants and Masterminds, or "the superhero campaign I never played."

I never really get to play superhero RPGs, and I’m not sure why that is. Maybe because they’re really hard to run? Anyway, a while back a friend of mine wanted to run an M&M campaign. He sat down with the players individually and created characters, but like so many campaigns, this one never launched.

From what I remember, what I liked about M&M was that your powers were basically "I have a small thing, or a big thing, or a wide-area thing, and what type of thing it is is up to me." I like that. I really hate, in RPGs, when there are tables and tables of fine-tuned powers or equipment (inventory and especially weapons tables annoy the shit out of me, but that’s a discussion for another time). I’d rather have "small, big, wide-area, single-target, close, far, very far" as the power-scaling and then let the players and GM decide what the effect is. (Side note: 4th edition D&D did a huge disservice in putting fire spells at a lower level than ice spells, and for not allowing the exact same range/area for an ice spell as for fire.)

I created a valley girl who presented herself as a kind of Paris Hilton gadgeteer. She had a purse with literally anything you might need for the job at hand. She was also physically capable, so she could keep up with any non-super in a physical contest.

She also had a purse dog, a chihuahua who was the real superpowered entity. A genius-level mad scientist living inside a Tardis-esque purse, he made all the cool stuff the human "face" had available.

It’s a cool concept, one I’ll probably use again sometime.

Meanwhile, the GM’s brother (who played Ordune in my Moving Forward campaign… and GMed the silly Space Race campaign) also made his character. A press-friendly superhero with some very standard "save the day" kinds of powers.

Except… not. He was just a good looking guy in spandex. His business manager was the real superhero behind the cape, doing the real work of saving the day while letting the "face" take the press.

We made our characters independently of each other and only told each other about them after it was clear the campaign wouldn’t happen. We then had a really good chuckle, because we had basically used the same concept for our characters, completely independently, and long before we knew each other all that well.

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