Please tell me of FASERIP and MSH

drkrash

Fighter
Validated User
I know there are older threads about this, but I'm looking for some more specific info.

I was reading my ICONS stuff. I love the game, but it wasn't a great fit for my group. But anytime ICONS is mentioned, I hear about MSH games that have been going on for decades and how it remains many people's go-to supers system.

My memory of it in the early 80s was that it was OK, but couldn't touch Champions or many systems that have come out since then.

What am I missing?

I DLed a bunch of stuff to investigate, but I was wondering how do the clones FASERIP and G-Core change and/or improve the old system? Or is the old system simply better (since it is legally available)?

Thanks for all your insights.
 

philippe tromeur

Rogue Nacaal
Validated User
The original game is not legally available ("openly" does not mean "legally").

Both FASERIP (rather "advanced" clone) and 4C System (very "basic" clone) are very close to the original, including the resolution system with its mandatory coloured table.

PH4SE is another clone, based on the 4C System, with even more simplified rules, and based on d20 rolls instead of d100 rolls.

G-Core changes the resolution system into something not requiring a table : Stat + d10x10 against thresholds (IIRC). Better or not, it's a matter of taste, but the game has lots of available supplements.
 

drkrash

Fighter
Validated User
Thanks.

The problem my group had with ICONS was not the system, but the granularity: characters only having a few powers and the entire scale from Aunt May to Thor covered in a 1-10 (with some version of "human normal" covering 1-6 of that scale).

It *seems* MSH would cover the scale issue easily, and published characters seem to have enough detail in their powers. Does chargen allow custom characters to have semi-detailed effects by default (i.e., more than ICONS or Supers, less than Champions or M&M)?

As for the legality, I just presumed. They've been publicly available for a decade.
 

SetentaeBolg

Registered User
Validated User
There are other MSH systems - my favourite superhero system of all time is the Marvel Saga card based roleplaying game. The character creation rules are cruddy (this is also true of the TSR FASERIP game) but the game plays like an absolute dream with a minimally decent GM.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
MSH can be deceptive. It looks like a simulationist game, but in a lot of ways it plays more like a storygame. Stats matter very little (+1 rank ~= +5%, and there are only 7 or so ranks that really matter), so it's all about health and the ebb and flow of karma. Karma is how heroes get to act like heroes, so make sure there are plenty of opportunities to get some. This is part of the reason why out-of-combat events like award ceremonies and dates are central to the game (it's also great for genre reasons). Body armor can be a problem; it's very hard to get around if you're not strong/powerful enough. Be careful about intensities, they have a tendency to make things virtually impossible. You want heroes, especially those who don't have powers that are immediately applicable, to think out of the box and come up with creative solutions and stunts. So be generous with the stunt rules, and use maps with lots of props like lamposts, generators, and dumpsters -- the more visual ideas you can give them the better. Look over a few modules, they developed a good, flexible, scene-based structure. Murderworld is a good example -- it's cheesy and very limited, but it's actually not a railroad, and is well designed. Then compare it with the Nightmares of Future Past trilogy, which takes that structure and blows it up into something incredibly open-ended.
 

philippe tromeur

Rogue Nacaal
Validated User
Body armor can be a problem; it's very hard to get around if you're not strong/powerful enough. Be careful about intensities, they have a tendency to make things virtually impossible.
I tend to be very generous with levels of success...
  • Basic success = Can't ignore armor
  • Good Success = Ignore armor if declared by the attacker and "realistic" (aim weak spot, anti-phasic proto-waves, etc.).
  • Super Success = Ignore armor, force fields, etc. even if undeclared / impossible / absurd (take that punch, Galactus !)
 

Laminator_X

Registered User
Validated User
There's a bit of a harsh whiff factor at the low end of the table. If you have Typical Strength and try to lift 50lbs (a Feeble intensity Strength Feat) you'll only manage to lift that do so half the time (51+ to score the needed Green result for Ability-2CS).

The Strength scores for all the presented characters, it must also be noted, are one bracket too-high across the board. The authors looked at the strength values in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, and compared that to the benchmark table to find the appropriate Strength rating for the character. However, in doing so they overlooked that the OHotMU ratings were maximums, while characters in MSH could lift one-column-higher than their Strength bracket on a Red result.

Thus, instead of Captain America's Remarkable Strength meaning he can roll a car up on its side on a lucky roll (or with a little Karma), it actually means he can pick up a bus under those circumstances.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
Thus, instead of Captain America's Remarkable Strength meaning he can roll a car up on its side on a lucky roll (or with a little Karma), it actually means he can pick up a bus under those circumstances.
Captain America in MSH has Excellent strength. Human max, not low-level superhuman (except when enhanced by Malus). On a red feat he can shift a car, a bus is out of the question. Which is fine.
 

Sleeper

Red-eyed dust bunny
Validated User
??? It wasn't that low in the books, and Classic Marvel Forever lists it as Re.
It certainly was that low in the books. Want me to scan pages from the Basic and Advanced box sets, or pick a random module? Except for the period when he was wrestling and got a boost from Karl Malus' treatment (the same thing that enhanced D-Man; I think that version of Cap got statted up in Dragon), Captain America had an Excellent strength. He was the definition of Excellent strength, actually. And that's supported in the OHOTMUs, which all pegged him at 800 lb, the peak of human ability.

The idea that Cap's strength was low superhuman and not just peak human didn't really kick in until later -- I'm weaker on that era of comics, but the Ultimates is probably what cemented it in people's minds, given how that series influenced the cinematic universe.
 
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