Friday, December 11, 2009

Villains & Vigilantes: Back to the Begining!

As you can see by the side panel, I am currently reading the Villains & Vigilantes revised/2nd edition rule book.

Let me tell you a fast story.

When I started roleplaying back in the 80s, the first game I ever played in was Star Trek (FASA) run by a guy I knew in High School. It was fun, but it never really captured me. I played some D&D (of course) and tried a bunch of other games, but nothing ever really captured my attention the way a boxed set I bought at Captain Quebec (the one of Decarie at Queen Mary) called Villains & Vigilantes (hereafter V&V).

Jeff Dee's art jumped out at me! The idea of playing superheroes was something my friends and I back in the Gaspé had done as children. We would trace from the Handbooks to the Marvel Universe and create our own heroes and villains and then run around the back yard pretending to battle crime! Our secret base was the treehouse in Ian's backyard or a tent in the field. Those were the heady days of real roleplaying it would seem.

V&V brought it all to light for me.

Soon my friend Graeme and I were playing all the time. I created my signature hero Gyro (who later became known as Ex Astris as I got older and more sophisticated, though I still think of him as Gyro) and Graeme populated a small world for us to play in.

To this day I have the original notebooks from those days and though Graeme would eventually move on from roleplaying, I never lost the bug. Many of those characters still appear in my home grown universe, including the most sinister villain team of all time. A team that still puts fear into the hearts of my players at the mere mention of them, Ravage V!

I moved on from V&V when I discovered Marvel Superheroes (FASERIP) and really never looked back. I tried other supers games over the years, but none ever grabbed me the way V&V had or offered me the kind of storytelling delivery system that MSH did.

Recently I have been getting the bug for superheroics again and decided that I wanted to referee again, but not with MSH. I have run that game every year for over 20 years now. To say I am burned out on it is an understatement.

So I went back out and started looking at Superhero RPGs again. Trying it seems to capture that feeling of "wow" once again.

•Mutants & Masterminds? An excellent system, but just not my cup of tea.

•Hero/Champions? More of the above.

•D6 Power/DC Universe? Not quite what I am looking for.

•Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game/aka SAGA? A great game, but again not what I want.

• BASH Ultimate Edition? A very very good game and a strong contender to be sure.

Then it hit me... why not look back at V&V?

I have long since lost my boxed set and rule books, so PDF was the only way to go.

Now I can't say that I am going to run V&V, but I certainly want to look at it again. The first thing I will say is this; it captures comic book superheroes perfectly by doing one thing very right;

Heroes don't get new powers as they adventure (unless it is a plot point), but they do get better and better at using the powers they have.

That's a magic formula for me.

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