I am in love with Marvel Heroic Role Playing, and I feel like it’s the next step in tabletop roleplaying games.

I love me some Pathfinder/D&D, don’t get me wrong; however, I feel that progression based systems are starting to become a little bit stale for me. Sometimes I like the toolbox that is 3.x, and building my characters from piles of feats and skills and spells (when applicable), but after playing more MHR, I was reminded of my love for character generation systems like it (such as World of Darkness). These systems offer a lot of freedom during character creation, with the only real limits placed upon you by your Story Teller / Watcher.

There are numerous characters you can make in these systems that can also be made in Pathfinder/4e, but the difference comes in when you factor in that you’re not too terribly gimped if you make some weird choices for your character. If your vampire is a computer science major, he’s still able to do vampire stuff, where as if you make a fighter who is an expert on magic theory, but can’t cast a spell…you can do it, but you risk being weaker in other important areas in skills, such as perception, other knowledges, or stealth. Sure, you’re still doing fighter stuff, but you’re making sacrifices for character concept, which is fine, but that’s where WoD and MHR shine: You’re not exactly losing anything for having points in other areas; skills in WoD, for example, only go up to a max rating of 5 dots, so only having 3 dots in brawl so that you can have 4 dots in computers isn’t so much an issue, where as a fighter doesn’t exactly have the luxury of lots of skill points to spend on flavor (2 + INT mod is just brutal).

Maybe MHR isn’t the “Next Step” for tabletop roleplaying, I could just be sensationalizing the system because of how hyped I am for it, but I would certainly not be sad if game systems started moving that way, towards looser rules over strict, rigid rules, like enforcing movement restrictions; I can’t tell you how much more fun a game is when you are simply allowed to say “I move up to the thing and swing my fist into it’s face” without worrying if your armor, equipment/load size, or your race has reduced your movement capability. Magic rules are also much funner in these systems, allowing you to get creative in your spells (though admittedly, this is something that can get a bit crazy).

In the end, I’ll still be playing Pathfinder (and enjoy it, as well), as there are still plenty of classes I haven’t really played yet (I’m reading The Hobbit right now, and I’m getting that itch to play a Halfling Rogue). Also, my entire campaign is pathfinder based, so PF still has a good amount of life left in it for me. I’m just not going to make the mistake of not playing other systems like I did when I was first starting out as a roleplayer.

Share Button