Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring-ing Back Into (Superhero) Action!

My new crush
It's been a rough year for this Blarg-edy Blarg'er. Work upheaval & some (minor) poor health throughout the year didn't leave me with a lot of time. Or desire to "blarg" about gaming, or much of anything else. For a long while I didn't do, or even think about, anything gaming related.

BUT, as situations improved, I started thinking, then tinkering, & finally, feeling the urge to share my thoughts again! SO, here we are!

Oddly enough, it was just a little over a year ago that I made my LAST post here at the Blarg, on the same subject I'm tackling again: Superhero RPG'ing

One of the issues I'd been struggling with a bit in the past while working on the Super Hero Open World Sandbox Hexcrawl series of posts was which rule set to use. As I'd covered in a previous post I was a "Champions" man first, and then a "Marvel Superheroes" guy later. While I would be fine with running either, at the same time I still had issues with both. Still, my love for both REALLY made it difficult to entertain the thought of a new system.

But in this latest bout of spring-fueled mania, I decided to take the plunge. But which one? "Icons" , "Supers" , Capes, Cowls, and Villains Foul were among those that had my interest.

The Contenders

"Icons" in particular I'd looked over, and had things that left me cool towards it, despite the fact it seems to be the most popular of the new breed Supers RPG's of the rules lite variety. (Something about the "FATE" system just doesn't seem to click with me I think).

After reading up on all of them, I ended up settling on "BASH!" (as I'm sure you already figured out from the lead-in image at the beginning of this post...)

I'm still in the process of reading it, but so far my thoughts are: "Holy procrastination, Batman! Why did I wait so long?!?"

It's been out long enough that there are plenty of reviews that can do it better justice than I, (especially since, as I said, I'm still reading it), but I'll happily share what I'm digging about it thus far:
  • Seems to nicely straddle the line between "Champions" and "MSH" in terms of rules, mechanics, and character creation, while addressing the issues I have with both.
  • Has a really nice, simple universal task resolution mechanic, that still has enough crunch for me.
  • The simplicity of character building should make modding or porting characters over a breeze, but again, with enough detail to satisfy. 
  • Has a really nice mechanic for handling the power progression from Mook to Cosmic level, on such a small (mechanical) scale no less. It's not unlike the old "DC Heroes" RPG, but not as crunchy.
  • VERY nice mechanics for making sure that all characters don't have to be built on the same point totals, yet characters of varying power levels are still "balanced out", which also eliminates the need to "make sure all the points are spent", and provides for cases when uneven/unspent point totals do occur.
  • Nice and concise. 146 pages total, Rules and Powers covered in just 60 pages, the rest devoted to the GM's section, Settings, Example Characters aplenty, Alternate Rules, & the Index. This is a biggie for me, as I'm a big fan of the brevity of old-school rules like the original "Champions" or "B/X D&D".
  • Speaking of Example Characters, they've got TONS of "comic book characters with the serial numbers filed off" stat'ed up in a sort of "blank template" format, so that you can either use them as those characters (if you chose to do so), as a starting point to mod that hero more to your liking, or especially as the starting point for your OWN character. Want to play a character "like" Spider-Man? Grab the "Swing-Line Skulk" template & then mod to your tastes!
    Why didn't somebody tell me he had one a' those, those...THINGS?!
  • Finally,and this one was another big selling point for me, some REALLY nice Random Tables for Adventure Creation &/or Going on Patrol.  Like the rules themselves, brief, but detailed. You generate by Neighborhood (Slum, Downtown/Midtown, or Uptown/Suburbs) to get a Crime Type, then get a Specific Crime by that Type (Violent Crime, "regular" Crime, or "Routine Business". I'm a sucker for Random Tables, and HAVE a lot, but can always use more, and these weld together a couple of different approaches in a way I haven't exactly seen before, and like quite a bit.
If I had any one "complaint" it might be that I really wanted something that had BOTH Random AND Point-Buy Character Building. HOWEVER, as easy as character building IS in this game, it should be a SNAP to randomly generate characters in, say, Marvel for example, and then port them over!

So, overall I'm REALLY pleased thus far. Maybe now I can put all that prep last year to use!


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