marvel heroic – musing hesitantly

Me, Tavis, and Tavis’s son played in the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying launch party at the Compleat Strategist, organized by the incomparable gaming mutant Jenskot.  We had fun!  Then Tavis and his kid had to leave and many new players came.  We had even more fun!  Then I went uptown and played it with some friends, and had fun too!  So: 3 for 3, but with some reservations.

the good social stuff you don’t care about

Here is how awesome my friend Jenskot is: he organized a launch party for free, developing elaborate cheat-sheets requiring hours of work, to promote the work of strangers, who couldn’t get their act together to ship their silly game on time.  It was a launch party to promote a book that doesn’t exist yet!  (You can buy the PDF on-line, though.)  But people still had fun!

"--?!?" is right

The really nice thing about playing these licensed games is that it gives you a chance to geek out with fellow nerds about your love of the source material.  “Wait, we’re fighting Razor-Fist?  Razor-I have prosthetic steak knives instead of hands-Fist?!?  The guy’s not a villain, he can’t even go to the bathroom!  But boy, Paul Gulacy man, what happened to him?  Nobody ripped off Jim Starlin’s style better.”  So that was fun too.

Also if a superheroic adventure begins with Iron Man pretending to get drunk, while Colossus gets wasted on vodka, and they fly around NYC together demolishing buildings in order to finally build the long-awaited Second Avenue Subway line, the game has already failed (in the eyes of a 10 year old comic fan) –

Pretend-Drunk Iron Man + Drunk Colossus + Unauthorized Urban Renewal = GAMING FAIL (for some people)

the good game stuff

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is a cleverly designed game that, in play, feels like a modern-day super hero comic book.  Lots of snazzy action, a dose of fan-favorite characterization, and (at least at this early stage of learning the game) very drawn out and “decompressed.”  The rules ship with a mini-module called “Breakout” based on the Bendis/Finch New Avengers arc of the same name, and a player commented, “You know, this felt exactly like those comics.”

The closest point of reference I can see is Dungeons & Dragons 4e, but only insofar as they’re both complex games designed to produce cool combat set-pieces by way of a cleverly designed economy.

The game operates by building a dice pool from various personality traits, super powers, and skills.  Your roll measures both your overall performance and the effect it has on the fictional circumstances; your opponent makes a similar roll to resist you.  As a player, you can heap inconvenience on your character–“Captain America is a man from the 1940’s, so I’ll say he has problems understanding how to deactivate the super-computer…”–to earn resources called plot points.  Plot points can be spent to activate special super power combos or to jazz up your dice pool in other ways.

(Indie Filth Alert!  This game expects you, as a player, to occasionally make things worse for your character in the hope of reaping a mechanical advantage.  A sizable segment of gamers don’t like that in any way, shape, or form.  If you’re one of them, you won’t like this game.)

Meanwhile the GM–called “the Watcher” in this game after Kirby’s version of the Man in the Moon–is on the look-out for any 1’s that you roll.  The Watcher buys them off you with plot points, and for every plot point he pays you, he adds +1d6 to the “doom pool,” which represents the general FUBAR nature of superhuman conflict.  When you’re trying to do something that has no NPC to resist you, you’ll roll against the doom pool.  The Watcher can also spend dice out of the doom pool to activate special super villainous powers or create plot twists.

So the game works by steadily growing the doom pool, with you earning plot points along the way.  In theory, the game is balanced if you’re rolling a bunch of d6’s for the Wasp and I’m rolling a bunch of d12’s for Thor, because the Wasp is going to be earning plot points about twice as fast, though the doom pool will also be growing a lot faster as she gets in over her head.

Several people on RPGNet have complained that the game doesn’t have a character creation system, but that’s not true.  It doesn’t have a randomized or point-buy character creation system, but damn if I didn’t create Sonny Sumo last Kirbsday in less than 10 minutes.  Almost all of that time was conceptual.  The game doesn’t really sweat exactly how strong you are: Thor, the Hulk, the Thing, and Colossus are all equally strong, which as a neckbeard offends me greatly.  But figuring out your character’s personality, and fine-tuning some super power tricks, takes a little bit of insight, because that makes a much bigger difference in play.

(Indie Filth Alert: if you like discovering your tabula rasa character through play, this is not the game for you.  If you require randomized character creation, this is not the game for you.  If you require transparently point-bought balanced characters, this is not the game for you.)

The game is also pretty great at handling bizarre power stunts.  You know how, in Kirby’s Fourth World titles, the little super-iPad called Mother Box can do practically anything?  It’s a huge pain in the butt in Marvel Super Heroes, because you’d have to spend hundreds of points of Karma and get many spectacular rolls to pull off so many one-time-only stunts.  But with Marvel Heroic those weird never-see-it-again powers carry a low, low price of one plot point.  Which makes it handy for guys like Iron Man, Hawkeye, and Courageous Cat, who never seem to run out of nifty tricks.

the bad game stuff

Man alive, this game has stats for no-name bozo’s like Armor, Iron Fist, the Constrictor, and Tombstone–but no stats for the Hulk, Thor, Doctor Doom, or Magneto.  Inexplicable!

This book gives the 1e Dungeon Master’s Guide a run for its money for disorganization–or maybe, in this case, over-organization.  The rules for healing and recovery are spread over three chapters, written largely the same way but in each instance there’s a little rule added that appears nowhere else.  This book’s credits list six editors; you could not prove it by the way the book is organized.

There are a lot of things in this game that resemble one another, but have subtly different mechanical effects.  “Stress” is exactly like a “complication,” except that stress doesn’t go away at the end of a scene; instead it converts to “trauma” which is also exactly like stress (which is like a complication).  A “stunt” is like a “push” is like a “resource,” and all of them are like “assets,” except that an asset is created by rolling dice, and all four resemble “traits” except a trait is a permanent part of your character.  Basically, they came up with a really nice economy, and then are trying to tell you there’s a mechanical difference between Coke and Pepsi–and there is, but it’s hard to discern at first.  So far, it seems that no two people who have read rules agree on how a fictional circumstance should translate into the mechanics.

Although the game describes superhuman speed, subsonic flight, and teleportation, there aren’t any rules for movement in general, or spatial relationships of any kind.  A single villain trying to run away from a group of super-heroes with differing rates of speed requires a surprising amount of mental gymnastics.

(Indie Filth Alert: if you really like battle-grids, miniatures, and being able to unambiguously declare where your character is in space, this is not the game for you.  If you like saying, “My guy’s kind of over here, and your guy is kind of over there” and having the mechanics reflect that, this game might not be for you–it appears to be an open question.)

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to say, “Well, what you just declared is mechanically permitted even though it doesn’t make fictional sense.  Oh no, we broke the fiction!”  Example!  Spider-Man hurls an industrial air-conditioning unit at the Vulture.  He rolls to get an “effect die,” which can be traded in for any one of the following; he can spend a plot point to do another thing too…

  1. Spidey could inflict physical injury on the Vulture (effect die becomes physical stress)
  2. Spidey could break the Vulture’s flying suit (effect die cancels out flying super power)
  3. Spidey could inflict a painful memory of past defeats on the Vulture (effect die becomes emotional stress)
  4. Spidey could remove the distance between him and the Vulture (effect die cancels out the “I’m far away from you” asset)

The first three are at least arguable given the fictional circumstances.  But there’s almost no conceivable way that chucking an A/C unit at the Vulture will physically move Spider-Man and the Vulture closer together.  Yet the game’s economy isn’t going to stop you from saying stupid stuff like that.  It’s the table’s responsibility to police the interaction between the fiction and the mechanics.

(Old Gaming Fart Alert!  If you doubt the good sense of the people you play with, this game is not for you.  If you believe that RPG’s should be hardwired to prevent you from creating logical paradoxes accidentally in play, this game is not for you.)

what do you think, middle-aged comics nerd?

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying is an extremely nifty game that shows a lot of promise.  It is, however, extremely confusing even beyond the learning curve of a new game.  Aside from the crazy disorganization of the text itself and the almost-but-not-quite-the-same quality of many of the rules, the text veers toward a worrying (but manageable) one-night stand between cause and effect.  I played it three times in one day with three different groups, and we all had a great time!  You might too, but it’s not for everybody.

55 Responses to “marvel heroic – musing hesitantly”

  1. March 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I should be clear that the FAIL! was in character. As a gaming experience, seeing how quickly the motivations produced by XP-whoring caused my son and I to totally FUBAR our characters was pure delight.

  2. 2 Jon Hastings
    March 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Iron Fist – a no-name bozo? The Brubaker/Faction run is one of the highlights of 21st Century Super-Hero comics!!! (He’s also going to be a major player in my “Gang Wars” event that I have already started statting up).

    Anyway – as someone fairly well read in the last 12 years of Marvel comics (with the caveat that I haven’t read any core X-Men stuff since Grant Morrison wrote it, but have followed Wolvervine, Deadpool, X-Factor, and other satellite X-titles) having played in the uptown game James ran, here are a few comments:

    -the game really does get the Brian Michael Bendis/Ed Brubaker/Mark Millar style down. I felt we got about one issue’s worth of game in, and each roll of the dice felt like it covered about one page of this kind of comic book. I can see how that might feel way too slow, though, to someone more used to the pace of, say, 1960s Marvel.

    -it is very much in the FATE school. (I wasn’t surprised when James told me that one of the FATE guys worked on it’s design). I like a lot about FATE, but it also has that problem James is talking about where the table is required to make sure the fiction and the mechanics match up.

    -I haven’t actually read the rules, but, after playing it just this once, I (a) really want to play again but (b) kind of want to hack it. I should probably read the rules, first, though, before I go around changing them, but it does seem that some of the issues brought up in the Spidey/Vulture example could be dealt with — or at least one could try to streamline some of the redundancies.

  3. March 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Spidey chucks the chunk of machinery at the Vulture, then webs on to it, using its momentum to get within striking distance of his foe.

    Do I get a No-Prize?

  4. March 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    The storygamey mechanics seem like they’d be an order of magnitude more fun if you play the canonical Marvel PCs. Without them, it’s less about irony and metatext and more just acting and Being My Guy.

  5. March 5, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Yeah, I can see that. The ironic distance required by Marvel Heroic isn’t especially large, and to me almost unnoticeable, but I’ve seen other gamers get really flustered by any hint of this. And you’re right, a comics fan is probably gonna say, “You mean I get rewarded for role-playing the Thing’s crushing self-doubt at a critical moment? Sign me up!”

  6. March 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I too reject the Iron Fist As No-Name Bozo School

    However I will also note that the original Marvel Super Heroes FASERIP game did the same thing–it was missing all kinds of A-Listers that I am far too lazy to go look up now. But yeah. Makes no sense from a game perspective but may make some sense from an assfuck-customers-to-get-them-on-a-supplement-treadmill-and-make-money perspective. With which perspective I lack sympathy.

  7. March 5, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I agree Zak, I came wanting to play a made-up dude I had half baked in my mind but the mechanics would not have baked him the rest of the way. The canon is so potent that it makes up for a lot of wimpy framework.

    Playing Tony Stark it wasn’t that the way I got XP for lying to my teammates pretending to be drunk was so remarkable, it was that even a noob like me has Robert Downey Jr. doing voice-over in my head and the other guys being able to cite some comic in which I was a teammate with anybody and their dog. I didn’t need any support to feel that a world was real since so many people were devoted it to it using no game at all.

    Note that lots of successful storygames use this pre-set backdrop where the heroes borrow force from the strong established fiction – Mountain Witch right or Lady Blackbird. Comics are great though because the stories are super archetypical but support any outcome – I felt like I could have been like “I marry the dog” and the pros would have been “ooh now you’ll get in trouble with the other dog Tony is married to” – whereas I dig the powerful Hammer Horror feel of My Life with Master but resent knowing the outcome.

    Note also that OD&D is kind of strong mechanics, weak (or at least all mixed up) archetypes, but as the D&D IP gets mindspace you also start ignoring wandering monster rolls and you get the 2e era where the game is weaksauce and no fun if you don’t care about the Elminsters whose reality comes only from all the other texts you could consume about him. If early TSR’s tragedy is that they couldn’t afford long distance calls, OD&D’s glory is that Darlene had to drive 100 miles to a university to find one book that contained one page about unicorns.

  8. March 5, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    All of the Mule Abides readers get No-Prizes, every day! But we couldn’t afford envelopes. Check your mailbox carefully!

    But yes, that’s one theoretical possibility, and there are probably a few others, but it’s an example of the mechanical effect dragging the fiction into some weird places. I don’t know if you ever played Capes, but it’s got a much more pronounced version of the same issue: the mechanics are completely indifferent to fictional cause & effect. Some people might want to embrace that for a somewhat surreal game; others might find it frustrating.

    I’ve got an example of play, with homemade illustrations, but I want to make sure I’m getting the rules correct first.

  9. March 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm


    Again we’re getting into the WTFTavis realm (long distance calls?) but I feel like citing Lady Blackbird as a “successful” storygame points up the issue.

    That game could be turned into a “How to write Fanfic about these characters I made up” manual in about 3 seconds.

    For me, this kind of thing is only fun when it’s explicitly not just “you get to be the Hulk” but “You get to see Ralphie playing The Hulk”—the fun is largely the ironic distance. Otherwise it’s just Like A Supers Game With A Good GM –Only With Less Options.

    Which is always a problem for narrative-heavy designs, I think. They are so busy giving you tools to write the fiction they don’t give you enough reasons to want to write it. Unless, y’know, you;re one of those the-story-we-made-up-is-its-own-reward people.

  10. March 6, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Iron Fist is a weird character! I grant that he is not exactly no-name to comics fans particularly since being taken down off the shelf over the last couple years. But if you had to make a list of Marvel’s top 20 heroes (figure all of the A-list and B-list guys) I’m not sure he’d be on there ahead of, say, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, the Sub-Mariner, Silver Surfer, Professor X, the Wasp, or whatever Hank Pym is calling himself today.

    The new-ish Iron Fist stuff is on my list of stuff to check out, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I mostly disengaged from Marvel continuity around 1990 or so, so to me Iron Fist is largely “white guy is better than you at your own culture: Asian edition,” and had been dead and unmissed for several years, and whose stats in the old FASERIP game were a joke.

    This isn’t to say that Power Man & Iron Fist didn’t have its “you got your blaxploitation chocolate in my kung-fu peanut butter” moments of greatness, particularly under Duffy and Owlsley. After Tavis and his son left, I ran the game for five black guys who absolutely loved Marvel’s African and African-American heroes. At one point when Luke Cage’s player said, “Don’t worry, I’ll secure the Raft,” someone else piped up: “Don’t worry?! You’re the one who let ROM into the Baxter Building!!!” I almost died, because anything with ROM is automatically great, but also, that particular storyline has never been reprinted due to rights issues, so you really have to have read that stuff BITD.

    PS. You know who is cooler than Iron Fist? ROM.

  11. March 6, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Evoking Rom is the superhero conversation equivalent of going Godwin.

  12. March 6, 2012 at 12:39 am

    If loving ROM is wrong then I don’t wanna be right, Adolph!

  13. March 6, 2012 at 12:40 am

    James did an amazing job of running the Compleat Strategist session. He had the curs…er…I mean privelage, of running 4 out of the 5 members of my regular gaming group in addition to Tavis, his son and a couple of others (including a work friend of one of my players).

    I was extremely skeptical about this game and, while I am now really interested in it, I remain pretty skeptical. It does indeed remind me of modern comics, especially those of the Bendis/Brubacker/Millar/etc. era of Marvel but what would happen if you tried to use it to run the Clairemont/Byrne X-Men? Kree-Skrull War Avengers? Would the game feel just as right and work just as well? I don’t know.

    Also, the game is extremely jargon heavy. A character sheet has Affiliations, Distinctions, Power Sets, Milestones and more. When you roll 1’s, which are bad as they go to the Watcher for his or her use against you via the games villains, it’s called an Opportunity. When the Watcher rolls a 1, a hero can buy it with hero points to inflict a problem on a villain or reactive a downed power. That is also called an Opportunity. Did I mention traits, effect die, special fx, assets, resources, unlockables… If it were just poorly organized that would be annoying but its poorly organized gibberish until you read it over a few times and get used to it. (I think it had six editiors because each edited a different chapter without bothering to look at the over five).

    Lastly, I share the concern that original characters may be hard pressed to shine in this game. With no attempt at balance for new characters other than the aforementioned ‘how often you might get Plot Points’ it maybe difficult for the average comic reader (who is not a comic writer) to come up with a PC. It’s fairly easy to generate an established character, as James showed us when he created the quintessential 90’s Marvel cheese-hero ‘Night Thrasher’ on the spot in under a minute. Getting a handle on your own character that you make from scratch that quickly might be really tricky for a lot of people.

    In the end, I don’t see it replacing M&M 3E as my mainstay Supers game…yet. I noticed that this is ‘The Basic Game’. If the advanced game adds some detail where needed…who knows?

  14. March 6, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Oh and I second the awesomeness of ROM. As does Bendis. Spaceknights were mentioned not long ago leading into the new Ultron mini-series.

  15. March 6, 2012 at 12:52 am

    More substantively about the interpretation issue:

    In the old Marvel Super Heroes game (FASERIP), you get rewarded for fighting crime and saving the world. Everyone gets rewarded pretty much the same way (with +10 points for good role-playing).

    In Marvel Heroic, there’s none of that, at least by default. 2000’s era Iron Man gets rewarded for wrestling with alcohol, and for pushing himself past the limits of his technology in battle. Nothing to be said about what Iron Man is battling for. You’ll get equally rewarded for playing him as a hero with feet of clay, as a dry-drunk super villain, or a thrill-seeking dipsomaniac. It’s a really interesting omission, and potentially very fruitful for sandbox play.

    (There are some “good guy” keys linked to particular adventure scenarios, like catching all the crooks in a jailbreak, or persuading a recluse super hero to put aside his self-loathing for the good of the world. But these are optional.)

    I am of two minds about this. When I played a one-shot supers games with licensed characters, and a player’s interpretation was way off, like “I hate this character so I’m going to play carelessly,” it was really a drag. On the other hand, a thorough re-appraisal of the character that shows insight into the basic concept and gives it an unfamiliar but compelling spin is really delightful. (The recent re-working of Iron Fist may be an example of that.)

  16. March 6, 2012 at 1:00 am

    @James Nostack
    Unless the game somehow builds on it and creates emergent ideas, that Fascinating Reinterpretation business just seems like The Thrill of Fanfic.

  17. March 6, 2012 at 1:03 am

    It was indeed a privilege. Those guys were a blast. I can’t believe they forgot to mention the Prowler in their litany of black super heroes, though. (Of course, I forgot him too.)

    I don’t think the game is any more jargon-heavy than any other RPG if you’re coming into it cold. But a lot of these jargon terms are largely, but not quite, functionally identical. Which means it’s easy to mistake one for the other during the chaos of play, and nobody will notice the error until it suddenly matters. (Easily fixed, of course, but nobody in Mutants & Masterminds will mistake a Fortitude save for a Damage Save, even though they’re conceptually similar, because the mechanics really are significantly different.)

    I’m not kidding that no two people interpret these jargon terms the same way! In the OSR community, the fact that each Dungeon Master will solve certain problems in different ways is seen as a feature, not a bug. With Marvel Heroic I suspect it’s more of a bug.

    I’m going to construct some Silver Age and Bronze Age events and play them out, I’ll let you know how it clashes with my genre expectations.

    The one thing that’s a drag with this game is that it’s slow. Part of that is unfamiliarity, but I’d be surprised if you could do more than one fight scene per session, which makes it about 2-3 times slower than FASERIP.

  18. March 6, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Gulacy is awesome. The lazy eyes always creeped me out, but the guy is amazing at shadow.

  19. March 6, 2012 at 1:12 am

    “Unless the game somehow builds on it and creates emergent ideas, that Fascinating Reinterpretation business just seems like The Thrill of Fanfic.”

    Quite possibly, but I’m cool with that. Since the late Sixties, a large amount of Marvel’s output has been pretty much fan-fic. Roy Thomas’s whole career was built on it. I agree it’s a good thing to aim higher, but I think part of that comes from scenario design–pushing beloved characters into really hard spots and seeing what choices the players make.

  20. March 6, 2012 at 1:24 am

    @james Nostack

    But then, essentially, you’re just using a game to write a story because Marvel won’t pay you money to be a comic book writer.

    I don’t play superhero games in order to do that and I doubt someone like Barking Alien would say he does either.

    There is a thing that a game can do that a pitch meeting cannot. And without that thing I don’t see what;s fun.

    I want a superhero game that Brian Bendis or Chris Claremont would actually want to play–not one where they go “Hey, this is just like my job”.

  21. March 6, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Also @Zak:

    “Lady Blackbird is successful” in making people who like that talk about it enough that not-filthy types like me can name-drop it and think they know what it’s about.

    “TSR’s tragedy is expensive long-distance” because if they had the internet either Gary and Dave would have been like “your extensive record of public behavior when you didn’t know I was watching means I want nothing to do with you” or “gee what seems like differences between us can be worked out with Google Calendar and some G+ hangouts”. Which one I dunno.

    “OD&D’s salvation is one book about unicorns” because if they had the internet Darlene would not have to reach all the way down to the primal-fantastic layer of the culture and be like “I will go to great lengths to copy this Raphaelite painting to make it look like a medusa by a lake”; instead she’d be like “I will click the remote control and copy anything I see on most of the channels.” AKA the difference between the slow-letter-and-published-short-story fanfic Lovecraft’s circle wrote and the kind you get on a Twilight forum.

    I think this proves that comics count as the primal layer because Jeff Bell didn’t have to go further than the corner store to turn Nick Fury into bad-ass FIGHT ON!

  22. March 6, 2012 at 2:10 am

    I’m afraid I’m not catching the distinction you’re making. Within the established characters, I think your options are something like:

    * Playing the characters with high fidelity. A couple years ago, we did a motherfucking pitch-perfect Silver Age game starring Spider-Man, the Thing, and a whole mess of Asgard, and it was a joy to behold, in part because we all loved the source material and it was fun to celebrate it, but also because we were proud that we did that sucker about as well as anyone could possibly do it, including Jack, Stan, and Steve in the old days.

    * Playing the characters with loose fidelity (viz., Japanese Spider-Man), and that is awesome too! But then the question is, “What role is the source material playing here if I’m riffing on it so hard you can barely recognize it? Is it still a Spider-Man story?”

    * Playing the characters with anti-fidelity, like my game in which a player running Bruce Wayne blithely sent his butler to his death against General Zod’s heat-vision because “eh, hell, whatever – I don’t like super hero comics.” This was no fun for me precisely because it was an unthinking dis to a character we’d invested in.

    Those concerns go away if you’re making a home-brewed world, but modern super hero comics are so heavily influenced by Marvel and DC that it might as well be fan-fic once-removed.

  23. March 6, 2012 at 2:19 am


    I’m not talking about fidelity to character. At all.

    What I’m saying is: once the game becomes mostly about reproducing (or toying with) the character’s personality and “signature” internal conflicts at the expense of “what’s a cunning plan we can put together seeing as how there are 3 doombots here and an 80′ wall here and a flamethrower trap here” the part of the game that is more like:

    A-pretending to be a marvel comic book writer
    rather than
    B-taking on an interesting “gamey” intellectual challenge

    …then it suddenly becomes waaaay more like fanfic.

    And this can be ameliorated by having your own characters or by emphasizing the distance between the player and the character (so it becomes about that).

  24. March 6, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I think it’s possible to read past my mangled grammar there but if not lemme know.

  25. March 6, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Ah, okay. I tend to see that more as a Creative Agenda type of thing, but I trust you’ll correct me if I’ve misinterpreted.

    Have you ever played Pendragon? (If not, you should, it’s a great game. And if you like King Arthur stories, especially Le Morte d’Arthur, you definitely should.) Pendragon is a game about C-list knights struggling to make it in Arthurian Britain. While your knight could very easily get seriously wounded or a fail a quest – my knight does little but fail – success or failure isn’t really the point of the game. It matters to your knight, and it matters to you because you love your poor, stupid, unlucky knight, but at the end of the session your knight failing is just as much fun as success, maybe more so.

    (Possibly flawed analogy to D&D: you know how, when you’re playing your guy, it’s mostly a downer when you get killed? Yet it is hilariously awesome if you get killed in a screwball crazy way. And it is even awesomer when everybody gets killed with you. With a TPK, it becomes obvious in hindsight that here is a tale told by an idiot, and you can savor every moment leading up to it, rather than wishing you’d remembered to drink your potion of heroism that morning. Pendragon’s operating somewhere on the TPK side of things.)

    When I read super hero comics, I never doubt for a minute that Wolverine is going to mop up a bunch of Hellfire Club guards, to take an example out of the Death of Phoenix story. What’s cool is that Wolverine is letting out his cagey psycho-killer side in order to rescue his friends, who would normally disapprove of his bloodlust. The scene works precisely because the Hellfire Club guards had about the same chance as teenagers in a monster movie–except it turns out the super hero is the monster.

    To me, as a reader, that’s cool. (At least until it becomes a cliche.) I care that Spider-Man can beat Firelord in a fight, but I also care about the build-up to that fight, specifically the dread about it and the decision to face what might be certain death.

  26. March 6, 2012 at 2:59 am

    @james nostack

    you’re talking past me and perhaps vice versa.

    in Pendragon you don’t play a pre-invented knight–you play one you make up.

    In comics, I enjoy lots of things about the comics. I have no idea what that has to do with what I like in a game–that’s a whole other thing.

    My point was simply: there are wonderful differences between an RPG and fanfiction. This design sounds like it is removing those differences.

  27. 27 Adam
    March 6, 2012 at 3:15 am

    @Zak: What’s wrong with a game that’s about making fanfic? I can see why that doesn’t scratch your RPG itch. It mostly doesn’t scratch mine either. But lots of people have lots of fun writing fanfic. If a game provides mechanics that facilitate writing good and interesting and authentic feeling fanfic, so that people playing it have fun and enjoy the story they’re creating–that seems like a perfectly good game, at least for people who are into that. And sure, a fanfic RPG is different from a D&D-style RPG, but they share enough in common that I don’t mind putting them both in the overall category of RPG. And sure, if you’re looking for a D&D-style RPG, a fanfic RPG may make you unhappy, whereas FASERIP may work fine for you, and vice versa. But isn’t that a general pattern with RPGs?

  28. March 6, 2012 at 3:17 am


    Nothing’s wrong with writing fanfic (or a game that facilitates it) but if James sees important differences between this game and writing fanfic I’d like to hear them.

  29. March 6, 2012 at 3:43 am

    “if James sees important differences between this game and writing fanfic I’d like to hear them.”

    This game is doing fan-fic, at least in a strictly denotative sense: fiction about established characters composed by fans.

    I’m quibbling partially because fan-fic carries connotations that aren’t captured by the denotation. Alan Moore’s Watchmen is a hair’s-breadth away from fan-fic by this definition, as is Killing Joke, Saga of the Swamp Thing, and the League. Doing fan-fic, working off someone else’s writing prompt, doesn’t mean you can’t do it with an impressive degree of artistry.

    But also, I may have given a slight emphasis on psychological mumbo-jumbo above: it is a satisfying challenge to beat up super-villains in this game, but likely not the main attraction.

    anyway, hopefully that makes things clear.

  30. March 6, 2012 at 3:49 am

    On the subject of fanfic gaming…

    Now, generally speaking, I am not one to encourage in that particular element of geekdom but do I not create stories set in the DC and Marvel universes and showcase, at certain moments, my particular take on a known character in a way that the comics haven’t really entertained. Yes I do. Is that fanfic? I have no idea.

    More often than not I am focusing on the PCs, who are largely running original characters or, in rare instances, alternate Earth variants on known characters. As such it’s not really a fanfic but it is a lot like, as Zak said, “using a game to write a story because Marvel won’t pay you money to be a comic book writer”. I do have ideas for stories/adventures set in the Marvel universe, Marvel What If? universes, the DC (Pre-52) universe, it’s innumerable Infinite Earths, the old Archie Comics Red Circle universe or a parallel, Charlton Comics, etc., etc. And of course my own.

    I can’t speak for James or anyone else but if this game were viewed as rules for a fanfic or fan-comic simulator I would be hard to pressed to argue that. I would also not see it as a bad thing. In a way it is. It is a Marvel Comics Doujinshi creator game. OK. Cool. It’s a fun one too.

  31. March 6, 2012 at 3:52 am


    I guess my interest isn’t so much Game v. Fanfic as simply Game v. Ficperiod (Fan- or Pro-).

    That is: it seems not to be a game about facing challenges analogous to a superhero (only on a purely tactical & intellectual rather than a physical plane) as about being given the opportunity to pretend you write for Marvel.

  32. March 6, 2012 at 6:09 am

    @Zak yes it was a story-game in that my challenges as a player were analogous to being a script writer. “I want to scam my way past the Watcher’s calling bullshit as I try to use Tony Stark’s Superhuman Endurance because it’s my d10 trait” is much like saying “I need to slip this characterization where Tony is blatantly doing the Robert Downey Jr. schtick that my fans want past the story editor who has a different creative agenda.”

    That said:
    1- given that so much of the pleasures of the game were meta-textual – guys having a great time chewing over continuity and what artist’s version of the fictional events we were playing out – it felt quite right to imagine myself at a bullpen session at Marvel rather than really there in the scene.
    2- the mechanics did the storygame thing of foregrounding the moving parts that games and stories have in common, so that even for new players there wasn’t an attraction to focus at the unfun level and say “this is a game about counting the number of bullets Tony can afford” without support for Tony running out of ammo becoming interesting.

    #2 plus the strength of the fiction meant that the movie playing in my head was fantastically vivid and compelling. #1 meant that yeah having to roll the dice was a little bit of a come-down – not like “now I swing my sword – NATURAL 20!!!” but “geez I was just getting rolling on this script, I’ll phone a… 6… into the editorial meeting and get back to the pictures in my head.”

    I was willing to pay that price because normally my mental cinema never screens such awesome superhero movies, nor do non-gaming activities let me be accepted into the company of such deep-dyed comics fans as a peer.

  33. March 6, 2012 at 6:16 am

    Now I hear Comic Book Guy in my head saying, very crisply: “I reFYooose to aksept yoo as A Peer. Tavvis. Allison!”

  34. March 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    It says nothing good about my need for acceptance that a mental movie of me running crying out of The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop takes the projectionists no time at all to load up, although I am pleased to see that I have a vision of what I look like animated as a Simpsons character similarly near to hand.

  35. March 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    James, can you help orient me here?

    I am a huge fan of Marvel circa about 1986-1992, less so through 1998, and mostly out of touch thereafter. Onslaught and all the other reboots killed the sense of continuity that made me care about the characters, leaving me free to reboot my own comics investment from scratch (hi, Grendel spin-offs). So if you were talking about how well the game does Claremont/DeFalco/David/Michelinie Marvel, I’d know what was up. But I’m lost on Bendis/Millar, and I only know Brubaker from the horrifically depressing Criminal series.

    Can you characterize the Marvel stories that MHRP emulates/creates?

  36. 36 James Nostack
    March 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Not easily with only 7 hours of convention-style play. We did more or less one set-piece combat in about 3.5 hours. It takes a long time to get things done, which is an unfortunate similarity to modern comics. (I am not a fan of decompression for its own sake.)

    It looks very “fighty” and there’s a lot of building-your-dice-pool by lovingly detailing how your awesome powers charge you up. It’s kind of a summer blockbuster action movie type of thing–what Warren Ellis was calling “widescreen comics” for a while in the early part of the last decade.

    As noted, it’s surprisingly tricky to figure out where somebody is, related to this other guy (or, worse, related to several other guys). This makes me think of some of the bad visual storytelling going on these days, where you can’t quite figure out a fight scene because of the “cinematography.” (I have this same problem with many modern action films.)

    How well this system handles the slow burn of Claremont-era Uncanny X-Men, the overly hip futurism of Morrision’s Marvel work, or the cornball sentimentality of Stan Lee’s Spider-Man, remains to be seen, but I’ll be testing it out and will report back eventually.

    For my money, With Great Power… was a terrific game, ruined only by very frustrating rules on drawing cards into your hand. Marvel SAGA looks like it would work well too, though you need that damn specialty deck to play…

  37. 37 Jon Hastings
    March 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I suspect you could change a lot of the feel just by changing the way the characters are written and statted up (adjusting their XP cues to fit the feel of whatever comics to be emulated), but the decompressed storytelling aspect seems more hardwired. FATE and Spirit of the Century have a pretty decent (though abstract) system for determining spatial relationships during a fight, although that stuff doesn’t seem to be in the Marvel rules. I’m going to try to stat up an “Event” based on the mid-1980s “Gang War” storyline from Spider-Man (which was the basis for the MLA series of modules). I think the new game would handle that pretty well, because it’s a very Bendis-y storyline, but I’m more suspicious about using it to play something out of Steve Gerber’s Defenders.

  38. March 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    My personal experience has been that superhero role-playing is always closer to straight-up fan fiction than any other kind. I really enjoyed the Strat demo, and over the couple of games I played (there and at Dreamation) also found the interplay between my strong sense of what those characters were supposed to be like canonically and what the players of varying age and fandom-immersion levels brought to the table were a different sort of interesting than most of the story games I get to play, but still plenty interesting. I had fund going “Oh, got it, I’m Brubaker Matt Murdock interacting with Claremont Spider-Man and awful mid-90s Tony Stark” and seeing where that went.

    Part of me thinks that they should just call it ‘Marvel WHAT IF?” role-playing and be done with it.

    Looking forward to your Kree/Skrull War write-up here. Get to it!

  39. 39 David Berg
    March 6, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    What do y’all mean by “decompressed”? Do you mean that there’s a lot of the hero and villain thinking and talking about each other, and looking for each other, before they actually start hitting each other? Or do you mean that there’s a lot of Peter Parker being Peter Parker in between the Spider-Man adventures? Or something else?

  40. March 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm


    Case in point. In 1962 Steve Ditko and Stan Lee tell Spider-Man’s origin story in 11 pages.

    In 2000, Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley tell the origin story in something like 120 pages across six issues. (Basically, they are pacing the story with an eye on trade paperback collection. The amount of stuff that gets accomplished in 22 pages has been seriously reduced.

    To put this in terms accessible to your vintage! Do you remember Claremont’s pacing on the X-titles around 86-88? In any given issue there would be an A-plot in which the X-Men would fight, I don’t know, the Brood Mutants or somebody. And there would be a B-plot in which Madeline Pryor would be gradually going crazy as the title begins to accelerate toward the Inferno event. Now imagine that, without the A-plot.

  41. 41 David Berg
    March 6, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Jon Hastings,

    I know Gang War pretty much by heart! Got those issues when they came out, and they’re now in an often-used box in my bedroom. In 1988, as a Spider-Man fan who hadn’t yet read Daredevil, the cynical political manipulation moral greyness hit me pretty hard. In a good way.

    “My death would serve no purpose, other than to bloody the hands of such God-fearing men as yourself. You face an indefeatable foe. Accept it, as others have.” Ah, ’80s Kingpin — now THAT was a villain.

    Daredevil conning Spider-Man into helping Kingpin regain his throne and protect his wife, in exchange for giving up his top lieutenants to the feds… that’s some heavy addressing premise right there.

    I think making it an Event is a fantastic idea, with room for heroes to be drawn in on either side of pragmatism or principle, ending bloodshed or exacting vengeance. The Punisher’s niche could be expanded, and I’d say the Rose could be a player character. Trying to maintain the shaky alliance with Hobgoblin could be a game in itself! If you’re interested in discussion and/or collaboration, my email is Bobsurface at ye Gmail.

  42. 42 David Berg
    March 7, 2012 at 12:07 am

    James, gotcha. Thanks!

    That sounds like it COULD be good, but is totally not what I think of when I think of superhero comics.

    Dunno whether that’s good or bad for roleplaying. It certainly sounds more appealing to me than just cycling through who gets to hit the Brood with their superpower next. But I think the best of ’80s Marvel managed to turn the fights into story. Half of Spider-Man’s fights from then are about the witty banter, the being distracted by Parker’s life, the puzzling out what the villain’s up to, and the worrying about Black Cat or civilians getting hurt in the background. And the X-Men fights include a lot of arguing over who’s allowed to do what and who gets to call the shots and how cohesive the group is, based on their individual character issues.

    I’d say that the Smallville RPG, while not actively supporting that sort of thing, could probably be used to do it. Would you say the same about MHRP (which I believe shares many of Smallville’s rules)?

  43. 43 Rick B
    March 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    “In 2000, Brian Bendis and Mark Bagley tell the origin story in something like 120 pages across six issues. (Basically, they are pacing the story with an eye on trade paperback collection.”

    As a huge fan of this book you’re doing the series a disservice in this description and are pretty much propagating a fan based lie. Bendis has stated on more than one occasion that he’s not “writing for the trade”. He likes to pace his stories sometimes they move fast but most of the time they are slow builds. And while not to everyone’s taste he’s a dialogue driven writer. HIS favorite writers are Mamet and Sorkin and it shows. For him character interaction is key. Those old Lee and Ditko Spider Man issues? Not so much.

    You’ll also notice that those older issues had a huge cheat in the form of thought balloons and captions. Two story telling devices that Bendis DOESNT USE. So everything relies on the art and the dialogue. It’s a cheat because it allow s the WRITER not the CHARACTER to impart information to the reader when the story should be told through the character. Even if the story is being told in flashback and the captions are the narration of a character that’s still better than the WRITER telling you what’s going on.

    I dont think a fair amount of modern writers use captions any more. Some might use a variation on the thought balloon but not as they used to.

  44. March 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    “Bendis has stated on more than one occasion that he’s not “writing for the trade”. He likes to pace his stories sometimes they move fast but most of the time they are slow builds.”

    Rick, whether one likes Bendis’s writing is a matter of taste. I like parts of it, and don’t like other parts. It is clearly a very different set of storytelling priorities (and hence, different techniques) than the ones I grew up with, which are in turn very different than the ones I like best. I think claiming that one style is objectively superior to another is a difficult to claim to support. Lee & Ditko weren’t trying to produce a Bendis comic, and vice-versa. You’re entitled to your preferences, but so am I.

  45. 45 Jon Hastings
    March 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    David – re: discussion and/or collaboration – I will take you up on that!

    re: decompression, etc. – It seems to me that Bendis approaches comic book scripting like he would TV scripting. Nothing wrong with that, and he certainly isn’t alone (Warren Ellis works the same way). In his DAREDEVIL comic, a dialogue scene that would be 4-5 minutes in an episode of THE SOPRANOS ends up getting spread out over 6-7 pages. I.e., what’s taking up 10% of the TV episode is taking up 25% of the comic book issue. It’s true that you get a kind of characterization that you don’t in Ditko/Lee, but I think he’s also leaving a lot of the tools of cartooning on the table. (It didn’t always help that Alex Maleev would often simply repeat the same panels with very minor variation.) Also, it isn’t an either/or thing at all. There are few cartoonists better than Jaime Hernandez when it comes to deep, insightful characterization, but there is nothing “decompressed” about his storytelling.

  46. 46 Rick B
    March 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    James – At no point did I say that Bendis was better. I didn’t even say that “I” thought that Bendis was better. I’m a fan of his but I’m also a fan of those old Lee / Ditko Spidey stories as well.

    I just needed to point out that whole “writing for the trade” accusation was something that Bendis has been accused of online and in person at cons and he’s flat out said (on-line and in person as well as in podcasts and various other interviews) that’s not the case.

    You’re really a die hard fan of the older books and from your posts on NerdNYC it seems that you dont like or cant respect anything past that period that you like. That may be an incorrect impression of you but that’s the impression that I get. On the other hand I really NEVER stopped reading comics (especially Supers stuff). Not saying that I have a better grasp on modern and post modern supers than you but your seemingly casual dismissal of most modern books doesn’t sit well with me as I think that there are plenty of good enjoyable modern works out there to be enjoyed.

    But in the end youre right to each his own. I’ll bow out now.

    P.S. I just want to say that was a pretty solid review of the ne Marvel game. I was going to give it a shot but after reading your review it definitely unsold me on the thing. Which is a GOOD thing. I’m not a huge fan of story based indie RPG’s and this seems to have more in common with those than the games that I prefer. So thanks for saving me the $20!!

  47. March 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The point about cartooning is well done. There are a lot of cartoon-like or comic-strip-like techniques, such as the cut-away or the physics diagram, that have vanished almost completely. They’ve been replaced by other stuff–computerized blurring of things moving at high speed rather than “speed lines,” for example–which are pretty cool, but changing your tool box means changing the kinds of things that can be built.

    This doesn’t just apply to illustration, but writing as well. For example, post-Watchmen, post-Dark Knight Returns, you’re not going to see thought balloons or narrative captions. It’s an attempt to mimic film, which is an ambitious and cool thing to do: Eisner learned a lot from Orson Wells. But it means ditching some of the techniques that can only work in the medium of comic books. As a result, you’ve got to do “show don’t tell” for all your exposition, which skews the ratio of panels devoted to exposition versus panels devoted to action. As a result, there’s less plot in any given 22-page magazine, and any kind of story at all is going to spread across multiple issues. As a result, the balance of monthly comic books shifts more toward serialized trades rather than adventure periodicals.

    This in turn has an effect on the market: I’m extremely reluctant to buy floppies now, and tend to regard the pacing in a lot of recent trades with some frustration. (Of course, with some stories, a slower pace is terrific!) This selection effect likely gives further positive feedback to the trend.

  48. March 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    I’m not claiming Bendis is deliberately deforming his stories for trade publication. Just that, if your artistic preference is for long-form, novelistic stories, that means it’s gonna get spread across multiple issues, and (if you’re a top writer, on an extremely popular title, in today’s marketplace) it’s going to get collected. That’s a commercial reality he’s certainly aware of. And on some projects, like the early Ultimate Spider-Man stuff which was pitched at bringing in new readers–that is, people who don’t go to comic shops or have subscriptions–writing for the trade was practically part of the job description, since practically the only way the target audience would ever see it would be on the shelf at Barnes & Noble.

    With that said, it’s hard to imagine Bendis bringing the Ultimate Spider-Man origin story in at less than 6 issues, given his intentions and the techniques available to him. He wanted to introduce practically every member of Spider-Man’s supporting cast, and give each of them a scene or two with Peter–most especially Uncle Ben, who doesn’t get much screen time in the Lee/Ditko version. He also wanted to throw in the origin of the Green Goblin. That’s a lot to do! And if the marketplace can’t stand thought balloons or narrative captions, it’s going to take a lot of space to tell that story. He does a good job! It’s not how I would do it, but then, there’s a reason he’s Marvel’s top writer.

    I don’t think he’s compromising his artistic principles to do this; fortunately for him I think it’s the kind of story he likes to tell. But I think Marvel’s grand publishing strategy must figure into his thinking to some degree.

  49. March 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Re: captions and thought balloons, the other day at the Strat, I joked to the guy playing Iron Fost that he ought to narrate all his actions in second person: “You are Iron Fist. You stare at the the villains and focus your chi!” etc, and he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. It was sad, and I felt old.

  50. 50 Rick B
    March 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    @James – Understood. My own preferences are for long form story telling as I find most single issues kinda pointless unless they’re phenomenal which in most cases they aren’t.

    I too have pretty much stopped buying floppies. Mostly because of price but because of space concerns. It’s easier for me to display my FF John Byrne Omnibus and all of my Invincible HC’s on a bookshelf than it is for me to pull them out of a long box from my closet. Now that I’m reading most of my books on my ipad I really dont need to go into a comic book store.

    Although last week I did something really shitty. I went into Jim Hanley’s just to look around and saw the latest Invincible HC was out and grabbed it off the shelf. But I stopped looked at the price and automatically went to check the price on Amazon on my iphone. It was something like almost $20 cheaper so I just ordered it from Amazon right there in the store right off of my phone.

    I felt bad afterwards but I used that $20 that I saved to buy another trade that I wanted (also off Amazon).

  51. March 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Rick, I was thinking about it, and here are some “recent” (recent to me, that is – I disengaged from continuity around 1990 or so) supers comics I really liked:

    New X-Men
    All-Star Superman
    Marvel Boy
    Seaguy (arguably not supers)
    Seven Soldiers of Victory
    I have a few scattered issues of his Batman run and liked those too

    Other People
    Ultimates vol 1
    Ultimates vol 2
    John Rogers’ Blue Beetle
    Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman
    Incredible Hercules
    Agents of Atlas
    Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men
    Moore’s Tom Strong
    Marvel Noir: Luke Cage
    Priest’s Black Panther (this is by no means recent)
    I read one of Bendis’s Daredevil trades and liked it but didn’t follow up

    I’ve been meaning to get around to the whole mid-00’s Hulk stuff but Marvel’s digital interface isn’t very satisfying to read on my laptop screen. Same for the Fraction/Brubaker Iron Fist stuff.

    So I’m not down on everything from the last ten years! I tend to like stuff that isn’t saturated with continuity and crossover-events, and that’s not always easy to find.

  52. 52 Adam
    March 7, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Just a note to say that you can like modern comics and still feel like the Ultimate Spider-Man first trade paperback was deadly slow. I’ll put Runaways against any comic book ever. But the Ultimate Spider-Man origin story took a compelling story that is fundamentally a one, maybe two issue story (with series-long repercussions), and made it boring and slow. I bought it for my 5-year old son, because he wanted a comic and I thought that it would be a good intro to a classic hero. I wish I’d found a copy of the original version instead. :(

  53. 53 Rick B.
    March 8, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Huh. Slow? I just pulled my copy of the USM Collection off my bookshelf. I know i’m not going to change anyone’s mind here but I needed to do this more for my own edification than anything else.

    First issue alone:
    Introduces Norman Osborne and the genetically mutated spiders at Oscorp. 1 page, 1 2 page spread, 1 page.
    Introduces Peter Parker (and Mary Jane briefly) and how he’s treated by his classmates – 4 pages
    Introduces Uncle Ben 1 page
    Introduces Harry Osborne and his relationship with Peter – 2 pages
    Peter’s failure as an Athlete of any kind – 2 pages
    Intro Aunt May and his close relationship with Ben and May Parker- 2 pages
    Were introduced to Peter’s workspace in the basement and that he’s smarter than average – 2 pages
    Harry Osborn’s rocky relationship with his dad – 2 pages
    The trip to Oscorp that results in Peter getting bit by a radioactive spider and the aftermath – 5 Pages
    Osborn realizing that he should keep tabs on Peter -2 pages
    Ben and May discussing what happened to Peter at Oscorp – 1 page
    Peter getting dishing out retaliation at school the next day vs bullying and then passing out – 4 pages
    Peter waking up in the hospital and having blood taken. Blood being stolen by Osborne Operative – 3 pages
    Osborn and scientists analyzing Peters blood sample and deciding to eliminate Peter – 1 page
    Peter at home with May and Ben Parker – 1 page
    Failed attempt on Peter’s life / Osborn realizing Peter is special and calling off the killing – 4 pages
    Peter realizing that something is wrong / analyzes his own blood and gets confirmation – 3 pages
    Peter Argues with May and Ben Parker and is sent to his room – 2 pages
    Peter wall crawls for the first time – 3 pages

    End of issue

    That’s 47pages of story. That sets up this version of Peter Parker for the ultimate universe. No he’s not fighting super villians right off the bat but we’re learning about him and his world and more importantly it’s setting up the relationships that are going to be really important later on in the book. Not trying to change anyone’s mind but this whole thing reminds me of when I showed a friend of mine ALIEN for the first time a few years back. She hated it and was bored and wanted to stop it because literally nothing really happens for the first 30 min except TALKING.

  54. March 8, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Yeah, like I said: if you’re trying to do all of that, with those particular tools, it’s going to take you a long time. I don’t think Bendis does a bad job with that task–in fact I suspect he does very close to the best job possible, given those constraints. Whether this is quick enough for the attention span of Adam’s 5 year old son, though, is a different question!

    (I don’t know what it says about me that I tend to like stuff aimed at little kids more than at stuff for adults!)

  55. October 9, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    At this moment I amm ready to do myy breakfast,
    afyer having mmy breakrast coming yet atain to read more news.

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Past Adventures of the Mule

March 2012

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