Space Opera – Table mish-mash

Take Traveller, bloat it up a lot, make sure you have tables for as much as you can think of, including double level fatigue and dropping the ball. This comment also nails it :- “the barely sketched out campaign milieu is a mish-mash of animal-men, vulcans, jedi, lightsabres, space nazis, space commies, martians-from-War-of-the-Worlds and implacable hiveminded insectoids.”… Some very dodgy writing and concepts, but it has a certain charm, and some of the stuff you could have enhanced Traveller with..more detailed character enlistments, some effects of the planet that your character has come from, etc. How to bias stat rolling to make players likely to have higher level stats than the ordinary by using d100 to roll d20, that sort of thing. Much weapons and gear, too. The middle game I guess you could call it of Traveller and Spacemaster from the time. Worth a browse for entertainment and occasional useful part.

ICONS – An Interesting Game

An interesting game. Which you would expect from an experienced designer and more so an experienced superhero designer. See the Mutants and Masterminds Wild Cards books for an example.

This is what you get if you take TSR MSH Advanced game, trim it back a litle (or at least the 4CS public domain version) and add some parts of FATE.

The game mechanic is 1d6-1d6 (or 2d6-7) rather than 4dF or (4d3-8) to get a wider range of outcomes. Changing the dice result range would be a interesting genre tweak for superhero games I think.

The artwork is rather more cartoony than I like but would seem to be certainly fitting for a younger crowd, and the mechanics and writing is simple enough that it would work very nicely there, too.

Random power creation is included with the various character archetypes, so that is fun.

The FATE point and Karma pool for teams ideas are combined to be bit easier on the adding up front. The Leadership skill has a game function here.

Power levels are capped at 10 for the super mega cosmic type – or lift mountain ranges.

The strength of using a FUDGE type mechanic to replay the Universal Table is in ability opposition….a valid criticism of which is that the defense of both Daredevil and a thug as far as being punched by someone is the same. Which is great if you are a PC trying to hit someone and bad if the reverse.

Give I like FASERIP and FUDGE and FATE a lot.

So if any of those appeal, you will like this game, and could certainly hack a few bits into your preferred flavour. Suggests ‘reskinning’ the ability levels with your own favourite adjectives. Fantastic being a good and obvious one instead of Monstrous – especially given that is actually the Thing’s strength level.

Aspects for characters and teams completely fit superheroes with catchphrases, battle cries, mottos and more. So a natural. Compels also help to keep subplots and complications and disadvantages involved rather than forgotten about.

It is certainly good enough that I’ll have a look at some supplements.

Also, Cactus Man. Who actually gets used in a podcast game online!

There are print and digital versions.

4.5 out of 5

Superhero 2044

Superhero 2044

A short game for sure.


Traces the development of the game growing out of cross-genre science fantasy campaigns.


Covers the first couple of pages and gives some brief gaming advice.
The 2044 World Almanac Excerpt is on page 2…Shanter Island, Inguria, Population 243,000 in 2040, 523 square km and runs on the NWC Pseudodollar. Has a volcano. It gives the history where a spaceport was opened in 2001 after the Indian-Australian war zone until the six-day war in 2003. Escaped destruction and renamed itself in 2029, joining the New Whole Commonwealth of Nations.

Ingurian supers [Uniques] spearheaded relocation of Fomaulhaut aliens in 2023 when signals were received. Teleporters! So the setting has advanced alien hybrid technology but a ban on atomic power. More background follows, including ‘to compete with other media, newspaper became computerised.’

Fomalhautians need energy pills and can’t eat Terran food. Bipedal humanoids from a 1.4g world and have grey body hair.

Then a background of Inguria and Bloomberg with maps through 5-6. Details of some organisations through 8 including the Science Police.

Page 9 has The Superhero Shop, run by the severely injured member of an old Unique group. Where it is suggested to the GM that anything can be had needed for a plot. Underdog would be set if he can out.

Character Design

Starts on page 10 with the note about the local team and the destruction of the prior Freedom League in 2042 by Doctor Ruby who suffered the good old perished in a volcano problem. You have to patrol 25 hours a week and maintain a locate and prevent score of 8 to be in the IPSP. Patrol rules. Free healthcare and a stipend if you do.


Vigor – health and physical susceptibility
Stamina – includes HTH fighting and running ability
Endurance – ability to withstand punishment

Three Classes

Uniques – Have actual superpowers far beyond etc. [Superman is the example]
Toolmaster – High Tech [Iron Man is the example]
Ubermensch – Utmost Training [Tarzan is the exaple]

Prime Requisite Points

140 to divide among the 7, with a minimum of 1 in each.

Ubermensch -20 Men, +20 End, Vig, Sta, Dex
Toolmasters +20 Men, -10 Vig, Sta, End
Uniques +20 Cha

The book suggests less than 10 is a bad idea.

At GM discretion, up to 50 points may be added to represent an ability or skill. Like 50 points of bullet soaking. Unique powers are done like this with 50 points of transformation or a mental attack. Some powers are problems to adapt it says, so make up other ways to do it. Weaknesses get extra power. Players should _not_ know what is needed to gain extra points by experience! Gives examples of three characters, Apollyon a Ubermensch, Avenging Knight a toolmaster and Charmer a Unique.

Page 12 has the tables for the abilities and starts with the Weekly Planning Sheet you have to fill out. In the future, they still have timesheets unfortunately. There’s a form to copy, Patrol, Rest, School, Practice, Research and other. Location, Prevention. Space for money and prime requisites. Patrol results by the referee.

Combat starts on page 16.

Move twice, attack twice or move and attack. Highest Dex first.

Four attack types: Physical, Transformation, Mental, Projectile (all distance).

Universal Combat Matrix

Compares attack ability to Ego or Stamina and gives a 3d6 die roll (high).

Treatment for injuries, a basic weapon damage table, with class of weapon and also a four modification tables based on manoeuvres, circumstance and ability and class for each of the four attack types.

Four hit locations, which each have half of the total Vigor points. Out of Vigor in your head = dead, Jim.

A projectile weapons table, a movement table and we are on page 18.


Crime prevention type ratings given by the GM. 1-10 in Prevent, Locate, Stop, Capture, Convict, Leads and Damage. Timesheets and KPIs rule in Inguria.

Page 19 is an example Handicapping scenario for Captain Gravity, a Unique.

Page 20 has Patrol rules, crime density, areas and calculations.

Then a character sheet and Page 21 and 22 crime frequency and data tables printout sheets. Patrol finishes on 23.

Salaries, litigation, insurance, costs, gear and vehicles etc. go to page 26.

Solo rules on 27 and 28.

Optional training rules on 29. Hiring people up to 31 with more combat rules to specify things a bit more than the really simple generic ones. Transformation saving through for a Human is 12, but other Sentient Being is 6. Note, d20 saving throws. Percentage dice stuff in here too. Character bits, thug morale, supervillain crime data sheet through 35. A supervillain character and planning sheet on 36.

Two Uniques given on page 37, Sunburst and Multiplex. A Zocchi dice ad and the back cover is a fun superheroes playing a game homage/parody.

So as I think Christian Lindke also said, this groundbreaker had some good ideas and an interesting setting in an unplayable game system without a lot of work.

Which was pretty much my opinion as a kid, from memory.

Something like this to go with the others

* out of 10 Price (lower is cheaper per page)
2 out of 10 Length (lower is shorter)
2 out of 10 Complexity (lower is easier)
1 out of 10 Playability
4 out of 10 Artwork

3.5 out of 10 Overall

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