May 10, 2013
A Look At The Fluff Of The Marvel Universe Role-Playing Game
What can I say in regards to the fluff of the MURPG that isn’t already said in its name? This is a role-playing game based in the universe of Marvel Comics. As with my look at the fluff of Star Wars Saga Edition, this is a game that uses a preexisting canon for its core setting, allowing fans of the material to play out their own adventures with their own heroes.
The game actively helps players to create their own characters by linking each ability and modifier to a well-known character. Intangibility, the ability to pass through solid surfaces, is defined as “phasing,” as possessed by characters such as Shadowcat of the X-Men and Vision of the Avengers. This allows players to create their own unique characters or to create ones based their favorite superheroes. Suppose you want to create a character much like Wolverine, but with two claws instead of three. Maybe with a third that comes out of the foot; lighter and faster, though, and not as strong. Oh, and it’s a girl, too. This game makes that possible. Wait… sorry, that character has already been done (X-23), but you get the idea.
Something else that this game does really well is its optional method of play; Royal Rumble. In this style of game, there is no Gamemaster. Players simply either choose characters from the books or their own heroes and pit them against each other in single combat. This sort of gladiatorial fight can be really fun and is a great way of getting to know the system. It also answers age old questions, such as who would win in a fight between the Ever Lovin’ Blue-eyed Thing or the Incredible Hulk. Oh, and if curious, the answer is the Hulk for that example. The only issue I’ve ever had with this style of play is when dealing with powers that are somewhat open in their interpretations, such as mastery of various elements, as that is when it pays to have a Gamemaster to serve as the mediator of such clashes.
Although the game works well for kick down the door styles of play (which it calls “Clobberin’ Time”), its strength lies in story focused, and thus character focused, games (which it calls “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”). Because of its simple rule-system and the lack of the randomness created by dice-rolls, the MURPG‘s biggest aid is its massive cannon of 60+ years of comics, cartoons, novels, and movies, and that is a benefit that loses some of its purpose if you are just tearing through some random catacomb, knocking down doors and beating up bad guys; though I won’t lie that it can be a lot of fun to do that.
Though the game isn’t that detailed, it is a fun and intuitive game that encourages creative thinking on the part of the Gamemaster and players alike. If ever given the chance, I would suggest giving the game a try. Its fluff and its crunch are so wonderfully unique yet so easy to learn that I recommend this game to players of all ages and preferences for existing systems.
Image Credit: Marvel