Marvel Super-Heroes (role-playing game)

From Academic Kids

The Marvel Super Heroes (MSH) RPG is a role playing game set in the Marvel Universe, that was first published by TSR under license from Marvel Comics in 1985 and early 1990s. Later, as second edition was published as the Advanced Marvel Super Heroes (AMSH) RPG.

It is a game with very descriptive attributes that allowed the Amazing Spider-Man to have Amazing Agility and The Thing to have Monstrous Strength. The gaming system lent itself to games that flowed well because the core mechanics were represented on a single color-coded table. Effort was obviously put into making the game simulate the comics.

As in many role-playing games, players roll dice to determine the certain attributes of their characters, and can ultimately create characters with strengths only seen in comic-books.

For example, a character might have "class 100 superhuman strength" - a level of strength applicable to characters within the fictional Marvel Comics universe, which denotes individuals capable of lifting (pressing) 100 tons under optimal conditions, including such individuals as the Hulk, Thor, and the Silver Surfer. There are multiple other classes of superhuman strength, from Class 1 to Class 100+, denoting individuals capable of lifting (pressing) the amount of tonnage denoted by the numeral following the class number.

The Advanced Marvel Super Heroes RPG used a four-color color-coded resolution table, which was based on the original table, but much more complexity and with greater versitility in its application.

For the MSH edition, gamers could generate their own characters with a fairly simple random generation system. Character generation was more complex for the AMSH RPG edition, and later supplements gave a greater diversity of powers and more options for character generation.

The original MSH system was dropped rather quickly and the AMSH took priority. The AMSH RPG was then supported with a considerable number of articles, from the 1980s to the 1990s, published in Dragon Magazine as well as in AMSH gaming supplements.

Before losing the MSH license back to Marvel Comics, TSR published a third version of the game using their SAGA game system. This version was published in the 1990s as a Card Collector Game version of the AMSH game.

Later, after the gaming license reverted back to Marvel Comics, another edition of the game was published by Marvel Comics. This edition uses totally different game mechanics than the previous editions. Still, this version was more in-line with many traditional pencil & paper role-playing game systems and leaned towards "Story Teller"-type mechanics. It was no longer a CCG. Since the initial publication, a few additional supplements have been published by Marvel Comics. However the promotion of this RPG was poorly delivered to a substantially younger public, and the initial public interest has dropped off for this latest RPG offering of the Marvel Super Heroes universe. An underground revival of the older Advanced Marvel Super Heroes RPG from TSR seems to come and go, but tends to be faithful. If you are persistent, you can find it on the Internet.


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