Bif! Bam! Pow! The Superheroes RPG from Entropy Games



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Copyright 1999
Stephen Fuelleman

FAQ

Q) Why did you start with a Super Hero Game?

A) Because the comic book world includes elements of so many other worlds. People in capes fight aliens from other worlds, while hard boiled detectives face knights in armor. Swords and sorcery meet flying saucers and death rays, all in the same time and place. If the rules can handle this, they can handle anything.

Q) The rules remind me of old style AD & D;. Why did you do this? Is this intentional?

A) The similarities are superficial, but were done for a reason. The 3 to 18 point range for normal human ability scores has become something of a standard in both computer and table top action/adventure games, and there was no reason to abandon it. It works, and everyone is familiar with it. We used a level-oriented advancement system, rather than the more generic experience/creation point system because this is not a point based system. We wanted to avoid the number crunching and point shaving abuses so common is such games. I used character classes to lend structure to the game. They don't restrict what a character can be or do (i.e, anyone can use any kind of powers or weapons), but do give a behavior guideline that keeps things running smoothly. We abandoned the D & D hit-point system, and rely much more heavily on skills. The newer systems do a much better job of accounting for exhaustion, and you need a way to bring people in alive in a superhero setting. So yes, I guess it was intentional. D & D was a good beginners' system, and we wanted to make this game easy to play.

Q) Can I use character from other game systems?

A) Yes. Characters from one of the most popular systems translate quite easily. Others may take some work. One thought and caution, though: In this game system, "normal" equipment, such as flashlights and guns, are bought with money instead of power points. Skills, ability scores, and powers are not "bought" with the same points, so characters which are heavily specialized in one of these areas may be harder to move. The game more or less enforces balanced characters. Overall, I recommend that you build the character again, using the same concept, rather than trying to convert.

Q) Are there any other games that use these rules, and can I use characters from one setting in one of the others?

A) We have used these rules to play detective games, to play in the science fiction worlds of George Lucas, and to play in feudal Japan. There is a gothic game in progress called The Book of the Undead, as well as a more expansive Magic system. Can you play a superhero in feudal Japan? That is up to your game Referee, but it would probably be easier to play a Ninja or Samurai in the superhero world.

Q) Rules and game mechanics are all well and good. Is there a game world source book available?

A) Yes. Well, sort of. The superhero game is set in River City, in the American midwest. The source book (in progress) includes two dozen NPCs (Non-Player Characters), from the mayor to the crime bosses to the college professors. It includes maps of common encounter areas, such as banks, parks, gas stations, warehouses, etc. It also includes an introductory scenario, and several plot line suggestions. I hope to make this available soon.