Product– Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Games Playtest Rulebook
TL; DR-A solid evolution of GURPS 93%
Basics– AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! The Multiverse Role-Playing Game is the newest version of Marvel role-playing game. Let’s look at the game play, theme, and execution in our break down of the Marvel Multiverse role-playing game.
Basic mechanics/d616 system- Like most other RPGs, this system is roll dice, add number, see if successful. What sets this system apart is the basic mechanic of 2d6 and a separate d6. The separate d6 is your Marvel die where the six is a six, but a one is used as a six. Thus you have two normal dice and a die with two sixes increasing the likelihood of higher rolls.
Edge, trouble and Karma– Like most other modern RPGs, this system has reroll abilities. If your character has advantages like equipment or special powers, you can reroll dice, taking the higher roll. Trouble is the opposite of edge where the game master, called the narrator, can make you reroll dice and take the lower value. Karma is a resource you can spend when you choose to reroll a single die on any check.
Character Generation- Character generation is relatively easy. Your group chooses a rank between 0, basic human, to 25, god-like power, a concept, archetype, basically a class, spend ability points, pick backstory elements that function as traits, choose powers,and calculate final scores. This is a very class-based system, so you choose a class and that’s what you do. Right now you can’t blend classes, but this is a playtest. The archetype you choose determines how your different character attributes change as you level up and spend points to advance. Interestingly, each attribute also has a corresponding defense value similar to DnD 5e for saving throws.
Powers- Powers are the equivalent of feats in DnD. Your backstory, rank and concept affect what powers you have access too. Also interestingly, there are the equivalent of feat trees as you can become more powerful in a particular area.
Combat-Combat is similar to most other RPGs. You start with initiative and on your turn you can take different actions like easy actions, actions like talking quickly, standard actions, attacking or doing something complicated, movement, and off turn actions like reactions. Attacks are against specific defenses, and success means you do damage according to your archetype. Damage is reduced by specific damage resistances which give a specific value.
Ok, let’s see our thoughts on it.
Mechanics or Crunch– This system feels like an interesting evolution of the GURPS system mixed with modern ideas. The system works decently well, but the system makes a few strange steps to make the d616 system happen. The idea of a die having two sixes is interesting but it’s done because the basic universe for the Marvel comics is the 616 universe ( for reference we live in the universe 1218). That said, the basic ideas are things most RPG players will know and love and pick up quickly. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff– There isn’t much to say except this is done well. You have the Marvel comics people doing the Marvel Comics RPG. They know their characters so what you see here feels like the Marvel comics. 5/5
Execution– I love everything I see here with one exception. The book has a great layout, solid writing, and good pictures. It has several premade characters and a whole adventure all for under 10 bucks! What I don’t like is I can’t just buy a PDF. I can buy digital via roll20, but I can’t just go to drive thru RPG and buy a PDF. This is good for the comic shops, but I want to read this via my tablet or phone via PDF. This is strange as I can buy via Kindle, so why not the usual places? 4.5/5
Summary– Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Games is a good evolution of game design and production. The system is good despite the quaint use of the die that breaks down to two sixes on it. The story is solid as solid stories and theme is what Marvel does. The execution is great, but I am annoyed that I can’t buy this where I get most of my RPGs. Overall, this is a solid game that, if you or your fellow true believers want a comic book adventure oneshot, is well worth picking up. 93%