Sunday, December 24, 2017

Twelfth Game Of Christmas 2017

Previous Games of Christmas: Traveller, Heavy Gear, Exalted, Mutants & Masterminds, Rifts, Hunters of Alexandria, Stars Without Number, Monster of the Week, Rules Cyclopedia, Lady Blackbird, The Black Hack

Today's game is one of my all time favorite games...of all time. I bought the boxed set when it first came out and I have never regretted that choice. It was a game changer for me, a game that focused on the kinds of stories I was reading all the time. I was a really big comic fan in the nineties, mostly the X-men and their associated books. I was very much a Marvel fan and I rarely read much DC. Look back at the cartoons of the day, you had the X-men, which was awesome, Spiderman, which was also awesome, and a whole bunch of others...that were less awesome. Sure none of them were Batman the Animated Series, but nothing else is. Often I think I went for quantity f quality, so long as the quality of quantity wasn't too bad. So let's dig into the...

Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game

There have been a lot of different Marvel RPGs over the years. First was the game that became known as FASERIP, Marvel Super Heroes. That game was a game changer that had a lot of really spiffy mechanics. I won't be going through that game this year, but don't be surprised if it shows up in future 12 Games Of Christmas I bet I do it in the future. Then came the game I will be reviewing in this post, Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game. Then in the 2000s, Marvel decided to build their own game system in-house and they came up with the truly unique Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game, Which I have always wanted t play, but have yet to get a chance to do so. Finally(At least the furthest so far), we have Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, which will probably also be a review in the future. I like the game but it has some issues...I think. Anyway, for this game of Christmas, we will be looking at the second Marvel game and my personal favorite of the manifold games of the Marvel Universe. 

Peritextual Elements
The game is the first boxed set we have ever done in this series. The box was high-quality cardboard and it uses marvel's comic art throughout. The two books are smaller than the traditional RPG size. It uses a comic book font throughout, which would normally be a little annoying, but due to the nature of the game, I find it less of a problem than in other game. Rather than dice, this game uses a deck of 96 cards separated out into five suits(Strength, Agility, Intellect, Willpower, and Doom). Each card has an image of a character from the Marvel universe the corresponds in some way t the suit of the card. It works pretty well visually, it is adequate. 

Mechanics
You have four abilities(based on four of the suits of cards, Strength, Agility, Intellect, and Willpower) for each character. Those abilities are rated from 1 to 30(10 is human maximum, 20 is the superhuman max, and beyond that is for things like Galactus). You also have a hand size and an edge rating. Your hand size represents your health and your ability to affect the outcome of a given task. You may play a card and add its value to your ability rating to get the total effect of the attempt. If you play a card of the same suit as the ability you are using you get to flip the top card of the deck and add it to the total if that flipped card is of the same suit you flip another and so on. You also may choose to not take the trump, this is called pulling punches. You may also play any number of cards f your edge score or lower, this is how guys like Captain America can take out villains with much higher ability scores. He's gt Edge for days. If you play a Doom suit card it doesn't go back into the deck like normal, instead, the GM gets to take that card and use it against you in the future. When you take a hit in the game it reduces your hand size, when you are out of cards you are unconscious.  This is a simple system, that manages a fair degree of mechanical depth. There are also over a hundred powers you can choose from that will alter how the mechanics are applied. Regeneration can kind of break the game as it lets you get back any card you lose in conflict. It can be an issue, so bear that in mind.  The game does have character creation rules, but most of the game is focused on playing existing characters of the Marvel Universe. The whole second book in the boxed set is just a big listing of characters you may play. This is pretty common in all Marvel Games, the focus on playing members of the existing Cannon rather than making your own additions to it. For some folks that is a turn-off, bear that in mind. 

Setting
The setting is the Marvel Universe. You know it, you love it. The basics are the universe as it stood in the mid-nineties. It was a pretty wild time in the universe at the time. I guess I don't quite know what to say about the universe that hasn't been done far better elsewhere. Grab your favorite Marvel movies or comics and have a fun time. 

And there you go, The Twelve Games f Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. I hope you have a very merry Christmas. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful day.