Friday, April 2, 2010

Hero's Mag: My Super Hero RPG Concept!

This is my nearly freeform Super Hero RPG.

You don't roll up a character you write up one.

I have tried this "system" with many different genres and it really works with good role players but not at all with min-maxers and rules lawyers.

It's basically a freeform system with an Outside the game and story mechanic to decide what happens. Try it out and see. Soon buildings and cars will be flying!

Hero's Mag

Hero's Mag is a superhero game that takes minutes to make a character and provide hours of fun. The only dice you need for this game is a 20 sided dice. Roll the dice and see what result you come up with from the chart below.


20 Perfection
18-19 Extremely Good
16-17 Very Good
13-15 Good
9-12 Average
6-8 Bad
4-5 Very Bad
2-3 Extremely Bad
1 Disastrous

When you want to make a character you need to forget all that you know about attributes, hit points, and anything else you have learned from other RPGs. Remember what you have learned on Free Form RPG boards on the internet. If they work there they will work here. There is a dice roll mechanic but it exist “outside” the game itself. The players write up Characters and give the Characters reasonable powers and equipment based on the power level being played. The game master will have the final say on “how powerful” your character is.

First chose a power level of your character.

Four Color – This is you standard superhero comic book. In this level cars get throw around the place and building are leveled.
Teen Supers – Here the players are young super powered beings with the problems of youth and the problems of superpowers.
Street Level – In this play level the players are against street thugs and mafia. There are a few superheroes and supervillains lurking around but most are low powered.
Epic – Here are the planet sized adventures where the planet, solar system, galaxy, or the very fabric of time and space is in danger. Seven points (or more) Perfection Maximum.

Second Choose a Concept. There is a large list of Super Hero Concepts farther back in the book.
There may be a concept that I missed that's fine write it up and submit it for a future Hero's Mag's Ultimate Concept Book.

Third elaborate on the character's concept.

Here are a few guidelines called the 7 Ms. Discuss the 7 Ms of the character concept if they are above or below average. Might or how resistant to damage and harm. Muscle or how strong you are compared to an average human. Moves or your agility and speed. Mind as is how strong mind is and will power. Manipulation as in your personality and manipulative ability. Martial as in your raw brawling ability and Missile as in your accuracy at ranged combat. What is his physical description? What is his personality?

Forth discuss your Powers, Abilities, Devices, and Skills.

How powerful they are and what they do. It's fine to add an array of powers, devices, and abilities just don't go overboard.

Fifth is background.

Does your character have a life other than super heroics? What does he do for a living? What hobbies does he have? What is his social status and wealth? Many of these backgrounds will provide skills and abilities that may provide useful in some game events.

Sixth is Mental and Physical Condition

Does your character have a bad back? Is he afraid of the dark? Has he an addiction to drugs? Is he completely healthy? All these are noted on the sheet. This is also the area where you note damage from combat.

Seventh is Equipment

What do you have equipment wise? You and the game master get together and discuss your hero's equipment and then your person equipment such as home and cars.

Eighth guideline is all these “rules” are just guidelines! The point is to have fun!

Example One: The LIZARD LAD
I am making a character with the powers of a lizard. I decide I want him to have chameleon skin , wall crawling, great leaping ability, prehensile tongue, and regeneration. I want him to be able to be able to dodge bullets so his great leaping ability should do the trick, be fairly strong as to be able to throw at least a mail box at someone. He could opt to just have better than normal strength but the power of super strength is way cooler. He has to be mostly naked for his chameleon power to work until he finds a super laboratory. I will make the story up that he was studying different lizards when he was caught in a strange dimensional warp that molded the lizard's DNA in his laboratory to him. What he does not know is this was done by a supervillain in order to mold him into a lackey. I also decide that the player is a recently graduated shy kid that had very little going for him. No college or future just a dead end job at a laboratory. The lab was at the local college so he was made fun of by the college kids. He now lurks the city streets looking for trouble as The Lizard Lad. He is unknown in the Confederation.

Example Two: STONE
Stone is a Brute. He is Super Strong able to lift weights as large as a train. His skin is super tough able to withstand any bullets and even some missiles and explosions. He was transformed into to Stone as a child when he was exposed to an alien radiation from a UFO crash. He is currently a very popular super in the Republicia Nation.

Example Three: SAMSON
Samson was an Epic super from the great world war and still survives today. He was though killed as he was seen being destroyed by the galaxy eater back in the early 90s. Samson has Super Strength able to lift a train, able to fly, is invulnerable to most physical damage, has x-ray vision, and laser eyes. Samson had always been a devout Christian and since he returned in the early 90's has been seen wearing upside down crosses and marking himself up with satanic symbols. There are stories of him victimizing women and children. Some say Samson was destroyed and something evil came and took his place.

Game Master Section

If a character tries to do something and is able to do with ease the charter succeeds. If there is a pivotal time in the adventure the Character rolls on the chart. The roll is not modified in any way. The result is read from the vantage of the skill of the character. For example if a skilled person and an unskilled person both get a Very Bad result it will mean different things for each Character. A skilled person may have his result shifted upwards to Bad while an unskilled would leave the roll as it is. A bad roll is not always a failed attempt to do something. It also can be a change of plot against the positive flow of the Story. This is actually a good thing as it makes very exciting stories. Damage is judged from the weapon used, the protection offered from cover, armor, and stamina and the result of the Plot Roll. Make it dramatic!


Each player declares what they are doing based on their descriptions and power levels. Each player rolls and attack and defense plus any other rolls they are doing. The higher result usually wins unless the other player pulls a cool stunt or is just far more superior.

The effects of combat can be very detailed from a detailed description of each body area to a simple Uninjured, Scratch/Beat Up, Injured, Severely Injured, Incapacitated, and Dying. It all depends on how you want to run the game. It is up to the players and the game master as well as the dice to figure out where your character stands. Mental states can be done this way as well. You have to decide how much damage or effect was done according to the power and skill level described in the characters text minus any relevant defenses.

Minions and Goons

Minions – Minions are weak bad guys that are wiped out in usually one hit. Most won't have powers but will have weapons and possibly armor and devices.

Goons – Goons are more powerful bad guys that work for large organizations and more powerful bad guys. Some goons will even have powers or super equipment but are still quite weak compared to a four color hero.


Example 1:
Lizard Lad is at the museum crawling on the ceiling looking at the different displays of tribal mask. An accidental electrical surge blast the largest tribal mask and it opens up a dimensional portal. Out leaps Utor. “Where am I? Some strange world full of weak humans! I shall rule them all!” Utor decides to pick up giant stone statues and throw them at security guards that have came in response. He rolls a 13 which is a Good result. The Game Master decides that is good enough to wipe out the guards as it shift up to an Extremely Good result unless... Lizard Lad decides to leap in midair and knock the stone statue aside and gets Injured.Lizard Lad rolls a 15 which is a Good result as well modified to a Very Good result. The game master decides he does it but how does he land? He ask for another roll. Another 15 is Good which becomes a Very Good for the Agility but back down to a Good for the injury which in this case the Lizard Lad lands flawlessly.
“ Hey ugly we were all enjoying a great day at the museum until you showed up. Why don't you go back to where you cam from” Lizard Lad leaps forward to knock the crap out of Utor and rolls a 12 Average modified up to a Good Result minus his Armor which goes down to an Average result. The both trade blows and nothing happens except for much of the museum getting damaged.

Example 2:
Scope come up on the warehouse where the Mafia Kings gang was rumored to be. He climbs up the fire escape and gets his throwing sticks ready. Scope had the uncanny ability to throw and almost never miss. The warehouse went up five stories but Scope saw all he needed from the second floor. Blade the Sword Master, Machine Gun Eddie, Sledge Hammer Pete, and Sally the Purse plus ten thugs (minions) from the Mafia Kings Gang.
Scope is Stealthy and rolls a 17 which is a Very Good result which is pushed up one level to an Extremely Good result. In other words the player and game master decide that Scope gets to sneak in without a problem. He sees two of the thugs talking to each other and decides to throw a few throwing sticks to knock them out. He has the Bullseye skill/power and rolls a 5 which is a Very Bad result! His Bullseye skill/power brings the result up to an Average which means that only one bad guy got knocked out and the other one is alerted. He begins to scream and alert the others and fires his pistol at Scope rolling an 18 Very Good result with his average skill. Scope attempts to jump out of the way AND throw a stick rolling an 13 which is a Good result. The game master decides that Scope can jump out of the way but his stick misses. The four goons call for backup and begin to head upstairs. The thug fires again getting a 15 which is a Good result. Scope decides to collapse a crate shelf with a stick throw on top of the thug and jump to the side and rolls a 6 which with his agility and his Bullseye Skill combined, the game master decides that the shelf is collapses but Scope gets Injured from the bullet. Damn! He got shot in the shoulder the Game Master Decides! This will make everything a bit more difficult. Sally the purse makes it upstairs and begins throwing ink pens and coins at Scope with deadly accuracy rolling a 10 Average roll. Scope rolls a 6 which is a Bad result and the game master decides that Scope is injured and is flung into a bunch of boxes. He returns fire at Sally the Purse rolling a 5 or Very Bad result. Sally easily dodges the stick and returns a volley of old dirty change rolling a 14 which is a good result. Scope rolls a 5 which is a Very Bad result and Scope is knocked back out the window he cam and falls two stories into the trash heaps below. Scope is now Severely Injured. Scope decides to get a super team together and gets away through the back alleyways.

A Few Adventure Concepts

The Game Master writes up adventure. The Game Master would make up a few villains and a few normal people to interact with.

1.Villain of the Week
2.Crime Spree
3.Terrorist Take over
4.Ancient Evil Awakens
5.Enemy Country Invades
6.Alien Attack
7.A Team of Villains Form
8.A Super Power Villain Attacks
9.Another Superhero or Superhero Team have a disagreement with the Players.
10.Player is Framed
11.Giant Monster Attack
12.Natural Disaster
13.Burning Building
14.Government Agency Begins to Attack or Harass the Players.
15.Lost or Hidden Country in Trouble.
16.Strange Dimensional Portal Opens.
17.Family or Friends Kidnapped
18.Villains Approach Players to Fight a Greater Evil.
19.Demons, Devils, Ghost, or Other Supernatural Enemies Attack
20.Make Up Another or Choose One


The Game Master rolls a 16 which is “Strange Dimensional Portal Opens”. A primitive Wildman appears and begins a rampage that the players must stop. The game master decides to name the Wildman Utor the Barbarian.

Utor has superhuman agility and superhuman strength able to leap at least three stories into the air and throw a car. His skin is super tough able to withstand small gunfire though larger calibers will harm him. He has primal sense of a predator able to see hear and smell like a devilish hunting beast. Utor sees this world as a place full of weak victims. He goes on a wild rampage taking what he wants. It will be very bad for everyone if he is not stopped and he becomes acquainted with this world.

Super Hero Concepts

Here is a Concepts List and a few suggested skills.

Absorber – You have the ability to absorb physical or energy damage and make yourself more powerful.
Acrobatic – You are a highly trained acrobat capable of doing incredible feats of crime fighting daring.
Agent – You are a super agent of some government agency. You have many weapons and devices each issue.
Alien – You are an alien from another planet with strange and terrible powers.
Amphibian – You are a hero with the ability to breath underwater and withstand the great pressures of the deep.
Android – You are a highly advanced living machine of great power. You can have many powers and abilities.
Angel – You are a divine being of great power. Most angels have wings.
Arachnoid – You are a hero with the powers of wall crawling and web spinning as well as incredible feats of agility and perception.

Battlesuit – You have a powerful Battlesuit with sensor array, flight system, weapons systems, and super strength.
Beastman – You are a hero with beast like powers such as claws, tracking, and quick healing.
Birdman – You are a winged hero. Many are mistaken for angels.
Blaster – You have the power to project powerful blast of energy of your choice.
Bowman-You are a skilled archer with many arrows of different powers.
Brute – You are a super strong and super tough able to withstand huge amounts of damage.
Bullseye – You have the ability to throw or shoot any item and not miss.

Controller – You can control some kind of energy or force of your choice.
Contaminator – You touch either poisons, weakens, or diseases others.
Crazy – You are a hero or villain with a gimmick such as clown makeup, riddles, or something from arty to silly.
Cyborg -You are half man and machine of great power.

Detective – You are a costumed detective fighting against the underworld with your stealthy ability, fighting skill, and devices.
Density Control – You can control your density where you can become incorporeal or immovable.
Demon – These are fallen angels. Most seek to cause trouble on this world.
Devil – You are a powerful evil god of fearsome appearance of some ancient time.
Drainer – You have the ability to drain other heroes powers for a short time and use them
Driver – You drive a very special vehicle full of weaponry and devices.

Elemental Body – You have the ability to change into something else such as fire, stone, metal, liquid, or whatever you think of.
Elemental Control – You have the ability to control a form of energy or matter.
Emotion Controller – You control the emotions of others.
Explosive- You have the ability to release large amounts of energy damaging all people in the area.

Gadgetry Master – You are a heroes full of devices each issue.
Genius – You have super high intelligence able to create new science, devices, and come up with plans.
God – You are an ancient god of great power.

Hex – You have the ability to make other have really bad luck and hurt themselves.

Immortal – You are a hero that cannot die
Immovable – You can plant yourself into one place and cannot be moved. This makes you kind of a brute.
Insectoid – You are a hero with the powers of an insect such as flight, stinger, wallcrawling and any others you think of.
Invulnerably – You cannot be harmed by most physical damage. Most Invulnerable people are quite strong as well.

Knight -You are a highly trained hero trained in martial weapons and with powerful armor.

Lucky – You can make yourself lucky to win against opponents.
Lycan -You are a were creature. Most Lycans are werewolves but you can be of any other kind of were creature.

Mage -You are a master of magic. The mage is the most common name but there are many others such as Wizard, Warlock, Witch, Druid, and whatever you think of.
Martial Artist – You are a master of the martial arts. There are many titles such as monk, kung-fu or karate master, ninja, and whatever you can think of.
Master of Disguise- You have the skill to change your appearance to completely fool others.
Mecha – You have giant robot that you drive around.
Merc – You are a highly trained solider of fortune with many weapons. You are trained enough to take on supers.
MIXED – This is a character that is mixed with many of the other clinches.
Morph – You can shape shift into anything you desire.
Multiplier – You can make copies of yourself that function independently. You are a one man army.
Mutant – You are an evolved human of great power. Most mutants are hated due to their fearsome power and unusual looks.

Ninja- Many Ninja are simple shadow assassins but there are many super powered beings that are also ninja.
Nullify – You have the power to nullify others powers.
Omnivore – You have the ability to bite through anything and digest it.
OTHER SKILLS and ABILITIES – Any other skills and abilities not listed here.

Perfect – You are a super strong, invulnerable, flying super person with possibly x-ray vision and laser eyes.
Psion – You are a master of mental powers such as mental blast, force fields, telekinesis, and any other cool neat psionic powers.
Phase – You can become incorporeal and phase through solid objects. You are able to damage things from the inside out.
Plantman – You have the abilities of plant and human. You must decide what these powers are as there are thousands of plants.

Reptileman – You are a person with the powers of a lizard, frog, turtle, or some other kind of reptile.
Robot – You are a free willed machine.

Shooter – You are a hero with a special type of super gun that does different types of damage.
Size Changer – The kind of hero who can get bigger and/or smaller.
Speedster – The super fast speeding hero.
Spinner – A rotating and spinning character.
Streetwise – The skill of knowing the street.
Stretchy – You are a hero with the ability to stretch.
Super Soldier – You are a highly trained and genetically altered soldier.
Summoner – You can summon minions of some kind to fight for you.
Swashbuckler – The fancy talking sword/bow/whip/throwing dagger using throwback from another era who is dashing and heroic.

Teleporter – You have the ability to jump from one place to another without crossing space.
Time Traveler – You can travel through time.
Tunneler -You have the ability to tunnel thought the earth.

Undead – You are one of the living dead that exist to fight evil or get vengeance with many powers.
Unstoppable – You are the type of hero that can ram into things like a bull or rino and cannot be stopped by normal means.

Vampire – You are one of the undead of great power that must feed on blood to survive. Vampires have many different powers but common ones are gaseous form, bat and wolf form, claws and teeth, regeneration, and super strength and speed.
Wealthy – You are super rich and can afford almost anything.
Weapons Master – You can use ancient weapons of all sorts with superior martial skill.
Wildman – You are a primitive hero in a modern world. You have superior hunting, fighting, and survival skills.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of Instant Game's rules, but I say that as a compliment. Nice!