Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Gaming in the Universe of: Superman

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace so far the only review of Superman movie done by the family.

supermanlogo1Why re-invent the wheel?  There are many good RPGs centering around Superheroes.  TSR’s Marvel Super Hero game is available online as PDF, of course that’s not the Superman Universe, but heck they’re available for free.  Hero Games’ Champions, the grandaddy of all super hero RPGs is still available.  DC Heroes as published by Pulsar Games is a defunct game though the mechanics are used in their Blood of Heroes RPG.  Pinnacle Entertainment’s Necessary Evil, although not a super HERO setting does provide the rules for adding Super Heroes to your Savage Worlds campaign.  The current Super Hero RPG of choice appears to be Mutants and Masterminds, an in depth review of the game can be found at Greywulf’s Lair

The first thing we need to ask are you gaming in a generic super hero universe or one of the copyrighted ones?  I have many fond memories of playing in a Champions campaign from my high school days (no I won’t say when just know that Reagan was President when I graduated).  My GM for those days usually had Marvel and DC heroes pre-genned for folks just wanting to sit in on a game.  Though they were super heroes by the names of Supreme, Arachno-Lad, Night Stalker (a Batman clone) and Amazon (this was long before the Amalgam Universe).   In a generic universe, your Superman would be the supreme hero in that universe.  All other heroes would look to him as the ideal.  That is if you’re following the archetype right down the line.  Currently in the Marvel mainstream universe the character of the Sentry is a Superman of sorts, but his arch nemesis did a real number on him.  The character is unstable even on his best days.  The Sentry is all-powerful but is very hesitant of using his abilities.

Some ideas of how I would use a Superman character; He is the supreme hero in your universe all other heroes look up to him and follow his example, Take the Sentry route and play him as someone that doesn’t even know the extant of his powers the GM would stat out the character but not give the PC anything but the barest idea of what the character is capable of (ie let the discovery of the power base be part of the game), or I’d turn the whole Superman idea on its head, he rules your world with an iron fist and it’s up to the PCs to take him down. 

The main problem with a Superman character is coming up with credible threats against him.  Superman as an archetype doesn’t provide much of a challenge for PC.  Unless the PC had a VERY good reason for wanting to play a super man, I probably wouldn’t allow him as stated out.  As an NPC/GM-controlled character who’s lending a hand against a larger threat (ie hordes of villians) then yes.


Savage World stats for Superman

Race: Kryptonian
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strength d12+12, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d6, Intimidate d8, Notice d4, Stealth d6, Throwing d8
Charisma:+40; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 11
Hindrances: Dependant (Minor or Major) Lois Lane is the one human above all others that Supes flies half-way around the world to rescue.  Depending on which iteration of the universe, she is even Mrs. Kent;  Power Negation (Major) – Kryptonite; Weakness (Major) – Magic
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Brawny, Power Points, Take the Hit!
Gear: Supes being who he ie doesn’t usually have gear but he does have access to a wide array of Kryptonian technology in his Fortress
Super Powers: • Attack, Melee (4): +2d6 • Attack, Ranged (4): +2d6 • Fearless (2) • Flight (15) •  Heightened Senses (1) • Immunity (4) • Lair (1) • Super Attributes (5): (Super strength.) • Toughness (7): +2, Hardy


March 11, 2009 - Posted by | DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , ,


  1. You could do like the bad guys did in the Question mini-series from a couple years ago…cause major disasters someplace else in the world, and then go rob the bank (etc.) while Superman was out of town. They had it down to a science and knew how long he would be occupied with whatever they set up and would be gone before he got back. Of course, they weren’t counting on the Question (or whatever hero you might have to intervene).

    So basically, Superman might be the paragon, but he’s usually pretty busy with world shaking events, so the other heroes need to take care of the “little” stuff.

    Comment by Ruminator | March 11, 2009

  2. Cool write-up. I’m intrigued by the idea of using Savage Worlds for superhero gaming. Have to look into that, thanks.

    A while back in our campaign, an evil superman-like villain (Overmann)… how can I say this…. um…… exploded in a battle against the PCs. Yes, it was messy, and yes, they did it on purpose.

    Sometime later when a player wanted to create a new character he used the idea that Overmann’s powers had dispersed when he died and (inspired by Dynamo 5) created Aevian, a hero who had gained Overmann’s power of Flight during the dispersal. There’s also guys who gained his strength, eye blasts, etc – one power each but get them together and they gain each others’ powers too. Nice.

    Me, I’ve a certain fondness for the Paragon archetype. Give me flight and superstrength and I can find unlimited different ways to spin it. Here’s a quick example: Paragirl One.

    Comment by greywulf | March 11, 2009

  3. There’s now another SW option. NE is a great set of rules, but unless some serious changes were made to the SWEX release, it’s plot point is really weak. Anyhoo, there is now Dawn of Legends from Daring Entertainment. I know nothing about it, but I’m the guy who was collecting supers systems for a while.

    Personally, I think NE stumbles at the Supes/cosmic power level, but that’s still a cool write up of the character.

    Comment by drcheckmate | March 12, 2009

  4. I’ve been doing my write-ups of Superhero stats using the .pdf of the player’s handbook for NE. The UPS man brought me my copy of the complete rulebook yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, PIT#1 spied it and absconded with it. She’s already got her hero built. When I went looking for my brand new book and got her to confess, I set the book down next to my chair. 2 minutes later I went to reference the book and PIT#3 had already snagged it.

    Looks like I’ve got a winner here.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | March 12, 2009

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