Friday, April 26, 2013

What Goes Around Comes Around Karma and Marvel Superheroes - J B. Blackrazor

"Marvel, similar to Palladium, is a bit of a hybrid game, at least a step removed from Old School gaming. However, unlike Palladium’s Heroes Unlimited, its game design is both innovative and elegant. Ron Edwards has pointed out that in some ways it is one of the first RPGs to facilitate a Narrativist creative agenda (though he also points out that the game is explicit in its text about also allowing the game to be played “gamist style,” simply duking it out between Marvel characters to prove once and for all who’s the toughest of them all). The reason it facilitates Narrativism is its excellent Karma mechanic (the same one I just mentioned that gave us headaches as kids). For those who haven’t played MSH, Karma is the game’s version of “experience points.” It is a point pool and points are awarded to players based on their actions in the game. ...unlike D&D experience points or Gamma World status points, Karma can also be LOST. Not just SPENT (more on that in a minute) but LOST through less-than-heroic action...FOR EXAMPLE (and this is the big one right off the bat): if a player character kills anyone, for ANY reason, then the character LOSES ALL KARMA.." 4 out of 5