A system with great, innovative and exciting rules but no adventures is like owning a car but having nowhere to go. Adventures give the GM and players places to explore, but more than that, they also put across the game designer’s ideas of how the game is supposed to be played. If, for example, most of the published adventures for D&D were set underwater, then you’d find more gamer groups kitting their players out with scuba gear and running their own undersea quests. But no, it’s dungeon adventures we’re given, and it’s dungeon (or dungeon-style) adventures that make up the vast majority of homebrewed games.
This, to some extent, is where the Marvel RPG fell down. The modules for the Advanced Game provided adventures that were, quite literally, all over the place both in terms of setting and overall quality. When they were good – Cosmos Cubed, Ragnarok and Roll and Left Hand of Eternity, among others – the adventures delivered the goods in spades with scenes, villains and challenges that deserve to be right up there in the Museum of RPG Greats. You have to rescue Galactus from Death Himself – c’mon, how freaking cool is that??! Then there’s Warlords of Baluur, the less of which we speak about the better.
This is one area where it’s worth taking a longer look at the modules for the Basic Set instead. These were more grounded in good, solid Urban Adventuring with New York New York and Concrete Jungle providing everything you need to know about street-level adventuring in Marvel’s Golden Age. If you’re a long-time comicbook fan, the Secret Wars modules will either have you weeping with joy or sorrow, depending on what you thought of the series at the time.
If you want to try the Marvel RPG yourself head over to Classic Marvel where the entire system and supplements can be downloaded for free. Go to Other Stuff->Downloads->Advanced Game and Modules for the Marvel RPG Advanced Set. Spend some time surfing the site – it’s a terrific resource full of more role-playing goodness than you can possibly imagine.
Make Mine Marvel!