Now we’re taking Intruder into the role-playing games of the Eighties proper, that is, culturally. There’s a certain fun for me in making this character with these games, considering that his whole existence is a modern critique of the future interpretation of this era.
Now for my next trick, which is to express or interpret Intruder via the concepts and mechanics across many role-playing games. It’s not a trivial comparison, as he’s based on very situational and preparatory concepts: “did it thirty minutes ago,” “crazy prepared,” “knew all about that,” “investigated and surveilled it all better than you did,” “stole your power,” and that potential mud-stomper of all dramatic conflict-of-interest, mind control. So it’s not just about whether he wields gravity or lightning powers, or how many guys he can take out with one zap. How does role-playing logic deal with this kind of content across games, or rather, what different forms of logic are employed across them?
My pick for the most banal possible phrase to lead with in any writing about comics: “I have always loved the interplay between words and pictures.” However, right now I’m struggling to lead with anything else, because this post is simply about pictures that have emerged from playing (words).
Designers of superhero role-playing games have suffered far more agonies over whether, why, who will and who won’t, how-to, do-or-don’t, and what-have-I-done, regarding killing, than any fictional superhero ever did.
These two covers depict publications from the same year, 1989. However, the past couple of months’ posting hasn’t been about them, but about a non-simultaneous comparison between GURPS: Supers and the prior Champions (1981-1985, up through third edition). Here at the end of what’s been, for me anyway, a gut-wrenching dozen posts, I’ll review and reflect upon why.
Not too surprising that I’m taking a whole post to discuss mid-80s role-playing super-villainy, is it?
I nipped back to the States for GenCon, to learn it’s culturally way too soon for me to set foot back there, but also to have some good times. I did see the full solar eclipse, but alas, gained no super-powers.
I jumped back into role-playing with gusto in late 1985, armed with Champions 3rd edition and a handful of enthusiastic friends. Before too long I was meeting lots of others playing the game, in person and through The Clobberin’ Times, and I got a good look at how plenty of people expected to play their heroes. How was it? Easy. In a word, they were killing all over the place.
Tags: Batman, berserk, Bill Willingham, Cadence Industries, Champions RPG, Code vs. Killing, Comics Code Authority, DC Heroes RPG, Dennis O'Neil, Elementals, God Loves Man Kills, GURPS: Supers, Marvel Super Heroes RPG, Punisher, The Clobberin' Times, Villains & Vigilantes, Wolverine
I have no trouble citing the single most profound detail of 1974-1977 Dungeons & Dragons: Read the rest of this entry →
Posted in Supers role-playing
Tags: Avengers, Champions III, Champions RPG, Daredevil, DC Heroes RPG, endurance, GURPS: Supers, Legion of Super Heroes, Longshot, Marvel Super Heroes RPG, Michael Stackpole, Secret Wars, Spider-Man, Superman, system, System Does Matter, The Evil That Lurks in the Hearts, Villains & Vigilantes, With Great Power RPG, X-Men