Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Superheroes

I am planning on doing a series of posts next on Superhero RPGs, focusing on some new ones I have picked up with some retrospective of some older ones.

I have spoken at length about Mutants & Masterminds, my "go to" Supers game, but I have also talked a bit out Silver Age Sentinels and Smallville.   Games I want to cover are the DC Adventures, Icons, BASH and Villains & Vigilantes 2.1.

Obviously one of the things I like to look in any system are the magic rules.  I like to think that Supers and Horror games are reflections of each other.  They share a lot of the same tropes and even plot designs.  Supers are obviously the "light" world and Horror is the darker reflection.  The core philosophies are are also very different.  I think two quotes sum this up perfectly by two of the "kings" of their respective genres.
"We believe in heroes because, ultimately. we believe in ourselves." -Jack "King" Kirby
"We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones." - Stephen King
Horror helps us deal with how the world is.  Superheroes help us by showing us what the world could be.

Of course I see this link since I was re-introduced to horror from comics.  "The Tomb of Dracula" took me from Marvel (which took me from DC) into the world of Horror, Occult and all sorts of things that go bump in the night.  It should also be no surprise that my favorite parts of AD&D were the horror-themed elements; the gothic tradition and the weird horror of Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.  Supers comics even got into the game, alot, and not just Dracula. Read a copy of Dr. Strange, or anything with John Constantine in it; monsters abound.  Twilight is less about vampires than it is about super-powered humans.  So yeah there is a lot crossover.

So as I review these games this is something I want to keep in mind.

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