A Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Review

When you grab this game (and you really should) be prepared for an adventure-filled ride! This game lets you play your favorite Marvel heroes and fight against the worst Marvel villains. That has been something that I have wanted to do, every now and then.

This game uses the Cortex Plus system, which continues to mature as presented in this book. This system flows much more quickly than in the previous Cortex Plus games I’ve experienced. The system also has quite a few dice tricks that players can mess around with, during the game, tweaking their chance of success and the degree of said success. It’s very fun and engages the player that much more. It adds a bit of strategy to your attacks that I haven’t seen in the other Cortex Plus games.

When you snag this book, be prepared to read and re-read the rules sections, as the rules presentation hits fast and hard. I couldn’t help but think that the system was being downloaded to me as I read through each section. The rules are separated and presented in a way that I believe will be easy for most people to understand, but it does move from one rule to the next with little time for you to absorb what you’ve just seen. So, yes, you’ll likely want to read the rules section, then go back and skim over it again. However, this isn’t a big chore, since only about half the book touches on the rules.

This book is over 200 pages, yes, but the system is only about 120 of those. The rest is the introductory Event along with quite a few character Datafiles. This makes me happy on two different fronts. One, I love rules systems that don’t drone on and on. And the second part, all the datafiles for the Marvel characters, lets me read up on all those wonderful heroes, without having to go out and buy comics. I finally understand what my comic-book-fan friends are talking about!

I did have a couple of complaints with this book. The first was the section on character generation. This book assumes you’ll be playing one of Marvel’s characters through the Events. While they do present rules to make you own, they’re more of a suggested guideline and there is no discussion, that I saw, of how to incorporate your characters in the Marvel universe.

My second complaint was at how large and complicated the Event creation process is, as presented in the book. Creating an Event, as they suggest you do it, seems like it’s going to take about as long as creating a stereotypical fantasy campaign. I will say that, while you’re reading that section, it’ll be easy for you to distill the essential elements of the Event and dramatically shorten the process, but I think it would have been good to have more of that discussed in the book, as well.

All in all, this is another great Cortex Plus game from the awesome team at MWP. Thanks, guys!

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying

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