Sunday, February 3, 2013

D6 Supers

So in my quest to find a D6 superhero game I like, I have had little straight up success.  It actually has been quite frustrating and disheartening.

First up, if you want to do superheroics in D6 you must look at the D6 Core System book.  This document, as I had stated previously, a revolution is how I saw gaming back in the late 90's and continues to be a massive influence on me.  That said the approach to superheroic gaming in this book leaves a bit to be desired.  It does what I feel is an unforgivable thing for a D6 system, it breaks out of D6 to cover the cost of superpowers.  This is jarring as it breaks the nice and smooth flow of D6 and forces me to adapt a whole other system, and then come back to D6.  It doesn't appeal at all to me sense of style.  Hence when the next game I speak about came out, I had reservations, which wouldn't be proven out, but a whole other set of issues would come up.

West End Games next foray into the superheroic gaming as the much lamented DC Universe roleplaying game.  At first I was most excited, they even purchased powers using d6s just like the rest of the system!  Slowly but surely though my enthusiasm waned.  The game was over complicated, broken on so many levels that it would take 4 supplements to fix all the issues and ultimately failed to find an audience.  The sad part is that it could have worked, had they not done what it seems EVERYONE does when making a superhero game.  More on that later.

So giving up my dreams of a D6 superheroic roleplaying system, I moved on and started playing other games and using old FASERIP for my super hero gaming.  Eventually I would try BASH (and love it!) and ICONS (not so much), as well as terrible multiple attempts at Mutants & Masterminds (do not want), but still longed quietly for a D6 superhero game.  Then I found D6 Powers, which was not to be my salvation either.

West End Games did a release run of D6 Fantasy, D6 Adventure and D6 Space.  These were given away for free as PDFs and then I saw D6 Powers!  At first I thought it was a legit WEG product, but it turned out to be 3rd party.  So what?  Let's dive in... wait what is this?  Oh this was based off another game and has its setting specific rules in it?  AND it uses a secondary point system to get my powers?  Le sigh...  While I respect what they did and they have had a great deal of success with it, it just isn't what I want in my superheroics from D6.

So it seemed that my quest had come to an end.  A D6 supers system had been made that seemingly made the fans happy and gave them what they wanted.  I didn't, but I accepted that I often go against the grain, that's just the way I roll.

While surfing the web one day I stumbled across the strangest thing I thought I would ever see.  Someone calling themselves Talon had made a fan version of my beloved FASERIP as a D6 port!  I digested it with great aplomb  and while there were some great ideas (Bad Karma as a sort of Darkside port was just exceptional!), it used the powers system from D6 Adventure, about which the less said the better.  I certainly did love that he used the Marvel SAGA rpg cover for his efforts, as I feel it is one of the best superhero game covers ever.

When Mini-Six came out, I was very excited to see that someone had picked up the floundering D6 and created something special, but alas there was just no rules for supers in it.  When I posted around and asked, I hear a lot of people saying "I'm working on it!" or "It's on the way!" but now 3 years later, nothing has manifested.  I did see this one post on that gave me hope, but for the life of me I can't find it now.  Someone had stated up a bunch of published superheroes and it seemed rather simple, which is something I want to talk more about later in this post.  More on this, Mini Six supers thing when I get more details.

So pretty much having given up on D6 as a superhero game, I wandered around and eventually friends online told me to check out SUPERS! by Simon Washbourne.  First off let me say this, when I found out Simon was open to selling the rights to this game, I was so impressed I talked my partner in crime Walt Robillard into joining me in purchasing said rights.  As I type this, we are hard at work on a Revised Edition of the rules for release later this year.  It is that good a game.  Why do I mention it here?  Well it uses D6s and more so I remember when I was reading it the first time it would work perfectly as a D6 super power add on, with some tweaks of course.  It is just simple and focuses on the more comic book emulation, without being too gimmicky about it.  I highly recommend you check it out, not just cause I co-own it, but because it is just that good a game!

So why doesn't D6 have a supers system I like?  Well I think it has to do with what I call the Champions influence.  Champions was omnipresent and it influenced more than a generation of game designers and players, it defined what was a based for superhero roleplaying design.  Sadly I never got into it as I found it clunky, fiddly and just ripe for abuse and manipulation by clever character engineering.  That holds no interest for me, and to be honest of than FASERIPs more open powers and descriptive nature, SUPERS! is the first game that really gets how it works.  You have Fire Control.  Okay, how do YOU use it in this scene?  By having a more free-form style of using powers, players think more creatively and if they are comic book fans, they will hopefully think in those ways.

So why not just play SUPERS! and be done with it?  Well to be honest there are 2 reasons.  The first is that the system around the powers in SUPERS! is a bit too narrative for me, I want just a little bit more rules.  D6 gives me more structure  but doesn't got too far like Savage Worlds, GURPS or Unisystem.  While those are all great games, proven by their loyal fanbases, they aren't for me.

The second reason is that I simply LOVE D6.

So what now?  Well I have a side project for me and my players that may or may-not see the light of day here eventually, but I plan to take the D6 system and fuse it with SUPERS! (for the powers mostly) and get down to kicking some supervillain asses!

If there is interest, I might post bits and pieces of it here, but ultimately it is just for me and is not a publishing venture.

Either way, wish me luck!


  1. Seems to me you are on the hunt for the perfect game.


  2. Always man, always. I know it is a quixotic quest, but I like to tilt my windmills ;)

  3. Its difficult isn't it? I have written a few systems that work fine for some settings but not others. Of all of them the super-hero game seems to be the hardest to do. The problem will always be balance. I think SUPERS! does a grand job of much of it, but I like some more 'crunch' to the game.

    I have played or read pretty much every supers game out there and understand why your still searching. The other defining factor for me at least is whatever is done has to be easy enough to play over Skype as that is the only way I get to play anymore...

    That all being said, post away. I have heavily considered using D6 for a super'ish setting of mine but have yet to get up the guts to work on it. That and I dont really get how the OGL works in regards to mini 6 and Open d6.

  4. Balance isn't an issue for me, freedom to be like in a comics book is. That's the hardest thing I have ever seen to achieve in these games, and so far on SUPERS! has really captured it for me. :)