Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Tragic Love Affair with Rifts

Here’s the thing: I love the Rifts RPG. This is not to say that it doesn’t have flaws—it has many—and it is not to say that I love every product in the line (I don’t). But overall, Rifts as an RPG setting is, IMHO, both very original and awesomely inspiring. There are tons of cool ideas in the Rifts universe, tons of interesting characters to meet and places to explore and bad guys to defeat. In many ways, it is a GM’s wonderland. Literally anything from anywhere can show up in Rifts, and that’s just fine. I know for a fact that hundreds of Rifts players have brought in the Robotech universe characters and mecha into Rifts Earth. Ditto for superheroes from Heroes Unlimited. 

Does this ever happen to you?

There’s even books out there just to convert your favorite character from other Palladium games into a Rifts character.

There’s so much awesome in Rifts that sometimes it overshadows the deep and abiding flaws that exist within the line.

The system is a kludgy mess that is 25 years old—a creaky, D&D-inspired class and level-based system that causes most gamers I know to roll their eyes and sigh. It’s what we, as gamers, put up with in order to play Rifts… not something we really enjoy.

Just to be clear, this is not to say that the system is terrible—there are certainly games out there that are worse, and in many ways, Rifts is still a /functional/ game system. You can play the game with it. However, I believe this game is simply begging for an update.

Some of the writing is… not-so-inspiring. For one example, Rifts Australia is basically all-Mad Max, all the time. I could call out some other books here, but I’m trying to abide by my ground rules of “No hate,” so I’m just basically touching on the issue without getting too far into the details.

Rifts fans have had a long ride with this setting—it’s been in print for over 25 years and while there have been some missteps along the way, the line as a whole is quite an achievement for any gaming company to be proud of. Thanks to Palladium’s early entry into the RPG market, they have a lot of fans out there, and it’s likely that you can walk into nearly any RPG store or club and find someone that either currently plays Rifts or has played it in the past.


Once More Into the Breach--Another Top 10 List

The purpose of today’s post is to talk about the books that really made me love the Rifts setting. The cream of the crop from a line of over 80 books (and still growing).

To be consistent with previous posts of this nature, I want to stress that this list is my personal favorites—the books that speak most to me. I’m not saying these are the books that everyone will or should enjoy, but I do hope that the list gives these products a bit more exposure to folks who may not have looked at them before. Also, given the long history of the Rifts line, it’s fair to say that I look at many of these books through “nostalgia goggles.”

(You can find the top ten list after the jump!)

Friday, May 25, 2012

King for a Day: Palladium Books

Continuing in the vein of both my King for a Day concept (wherein I blog about what I would do if I were somehow in charge of stuff) and in the recent posts about Palladium books, today’s post is all about both of those things deliciously smashed together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Suddenly I want to watch this movie.

Two Scoops of Changes in Every Box

If I were King for a Day at Palladium, I would have two major things on my mind—two big changes that, IMHO, that would be absolutely necessary.

A New Way of Doin’ Bizness

The first big change would be to modernize and revolutionize the way the company does business. This is a deceptively simple idea, but to break it down, here’s what I’m thinking:

  • New approach to production. InDesign is the new in-house tool for layout. Everything is done on computers.

  • New approach to development. All projects would have a developer (probably each LINE would have an individual developer). All books would have a modern approach to development that leverages vision documents, book plans, discussion groups, and—above all—a highly professional approach to working with freelancers, all-inclusive: editors, writers, artists, proofreaders & playtesters. Contracts would be clear and required at the beginning of each project. Expectations would be made very clear, and I’d implement a system where there’s at least one review step between assignment and turn-in to avoid any “Dark Reign”-style mishaps. Freelancers would be encouraged to take ownership of their assignments. Line Developers would be encouraged to take ownership of their lines. This means owning both the good and the bad, both the triumphs and the mistakes—but personal investment cannot be overvalued.

  • New approach to content. Each line would have its own webpage. Each product would have a free preview and web enhancement built into its production budget. I’d especially want to reach out to some of the more celebrated and talented freelancers from Palladium Books’ past to work on the new generation: CJ Carella, Bill Coffin, Jason Marker, Josh Hilden—those names would be at the top of my list.
It's amazing how often I need to actually say this out loud.

No doubt I’d want to bring on board plenty of great writers I’ve worked with before personally to add some kick (and since there’d be no guarantees that any of the “old crowd” would actually be willing to come back, even under new management).

A Brand New System for a Brave New World

The second big change would be a complete and thorough overhaul of Palladium’s house system. Ideally, I’d like to keep much of what is iconic and cool from Palladium’s system (as much as possible), but the overriding goal would be a modern, smooth, clear and consistent ruleset.

No doubt there are at least dozen different ways to implement a system upgrade, but I think I would lean towards creating something original rather than using an outside system like Savage Worlds. Systems are part of an IP’s identity and I think there’s room to keep some of that identity while still getting a much better system in place.

Other Changes

I’d have some plans for the main Palladium Books lines as well…



Skull squadron. Accept no substitutes.

I’d continue to update the Robotech line with new and interesting material that expands the universe. Particularly I’d like to get some good adventure books into the pipeline. I have plans for an in-depth review of the Robotech RPG at a future point, so I’ll keep this section short and sweet. I’d like to see more focus on the themes of Robotech, more background information, and mechanics that help immerse players in the Robotech universe… with a lot less “gun and mecha porn.” Not that having new guns and mecha isn’t cool, but the current set has a bit too much of this and not enough of the other stuff.

If possible (and I have no idea how possible this would be, given the situation with the IP and the rights with the license), I’d love to re-release the older books. At the very least, I’d love to offer them for POD or electronically as PDFs, and I’d wager you could make a profit on those sales. (I know I’d buy some of the books I’m missing from the line!)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Seriously, if you ever liked TMNT at all, you should watch this.

Again, I’m ignorant of the license issues with this game, but it would definitely be awesome to build another edition of this game. Updated with information about the different incarnations of the Turtles (has anyone seen the excellent movie Turtles Forever, as an example?) and naturally featuring the new smooth house system, this one would definitely be aimed at the nostalgia factor. Probably not worth continuing as a full line, but as a one-off, I think it has potential.

And now for the big one…



Kevin Long is the man.

In my opinion, Rifts is an IP goldmine. It has a compelling and unique setting with tons of interesting characters, locations, organizations and technology. The first thing I’d want to do with Rifts is feature a huge release for the second edition. Using the new, smoother house system, Rifts 2.0 would be the biggest launch I could afford—I’d put a big marketing budget on this one. I’d have an open playtest of the rules, I’d have plenty of previews, I’d talk about the game on podcasts, I’d have a quick-play preview at Free RPG Day, and anything else I could think of.
(A huge opening at Gen Con with guys in Coalition and Ley Line Walker costumes comes to mind...)

I’d definitely make sure to try and hire back artists like Kevin Long, Clyde Caldwell, Wayne Breaux, and Ramon Perez (and many more) to bring the art of Rifts 2.0 to life.

After the big release of Rifts 2.0, I’d look at some other ways to leverage the IP. A slick boardgame would be a good investment—I’d hire someone like Eric Lang or Kevin Wilson to look at the IP and create something truly awesome. I’d also look into acquiring the rights for the long-lost N-gage game, Promise of Power, and see what it would take to release that on the apple store as a game for tablets and iphones. I’d look into developing a small isometric turn-based strategy game for the Coalition War Campaign, again for tablets and iphones.

For the RPG, I’d task my line developer with working up some additional new dimensions to round out the “Dimension Books” side.

I’d also like to revisit (and revise) some of the more problematic areas of Rifts Earth that could really use some polish—Australia, Canada, England, I’m looking at you! The role of the Coalition would need to be looked at more in-depth (are they the saviors of humanity or the worst thing ever? It would probably be a good idea to figure that out!) and the system would need to take into account the unique archetypes of the setting, such as Glitter Boys and Techno-Wizards.

I’d want to look at areas of Rifts Earth that could use more information—Rifts Hong Kong, anyone?
Personally, I’d love to see some expansions to my favorite parts of Rifts Earth, such as Atlantis, the Mercenary books (how about a revised and expanded Mercenaries?), South America, the New Navy, the New West, Kingsdale, Merctown, Triax, Wormwood, Phase World, and many more.

And the Rest

To be perfectly honest, I don’t really have any concrete thoughts in mind as to what I would do with the other Palladium Books’ lines, aside from update all of them to the new ruleset and make sure they’re all available as PDF for people who want them.

Ross Watson’s “Big Book of Borgs.”


One of the poster boys of Rifts, along with the Ley Line Walker, Juicer, Coalition Soldier, and Glitter Boy.

I’m tacking this on to the end of this King for a Day piece, as is it is still a bit of a dream rather than reality but less about me being in charge of the entire company. :)

Keep in mind that the ideas below are just the basics of an outline for a proposal—I had plans to add a lot more detail and flesh out a lot of the concepts here if the company liked the initial pitch.

Once upon a time I had a fierce desire to write a book for Rifts. I wanted to create a sourcebook for cyborgs, especially partial- and full-conversion cyborgs (some of the more iconic images of Rifts Earth!). Now, Rifts already had a bionics sourcebook (a collection of various bionic parts and bits from the rest of the line) and the main entry in the Rifts RPG.

My “Big Book of Borgs,” however, was going to be less about the toys (although it would definitely include some new bionics, some new ‘borg bodies and limbs, and so forth) and more about the experience of being a borg in Rifts Earth.

I wanted to discuss the various famous cyberneticists, from the back-alley street docs of Kingsdale to the Coalition cyberneticists in Chi-town. I wanted to showcase some specific Borg NPC’s and have a substantial portion of the book set aside for roleplaying as a Borg. How would it change your worldview if you were nothing more than a brain inside a massively armored bionic body? For one thing, I’d make sure that I could do some basic repairs on myself and carry around a spare toolkit just in case! For another, I’d have less trouble jumping in front to protect my friends, knowing that if an arm gets blown off I can just find a mechanic and repair it!

There are game mechanics issues to consider as well—what built-in weapon do you choose? Melee or ranged? What skills can find new and interesting applications when you’re a Borg?

Lastly I’d have the book present a chapter on the role of a Borg in a typical adventuring party in Rifts. What does the Borg do that the Ley Line Walker and Glitter Boy can’t? Where does the Borg best fit in and stand out with his unique abilities? How can you build a Borg character to be more than just “the big guy with the big gun?”

These are the basics of the book I wanted to write for Rifts. However, the business practices of Palladium Books changed my mind—it’s a shame, since I’d still love to write this book someday (see Part 2 of my Publisher Profile on Palladium Books for more).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Interview Time: John Dunn

I’m taking a quick break from my more introspective blog posts to do some interviews with guys I know in the RPG industry. Never fear, gentle reader—I have lots more to say about Palladium’s books, Superhero RPGs, and I have a bunch of reviews I need to get around to writing. Just be patient… they’ll all appear on Rogue Warden in due time. :)


Who is John Dunn? John is a witty, fun-loving, and charismatic guy, plus, he’s a molecular biologist in his “real job” and moonlights as a freelance writer for RPGs.

Now, John’s a stand-up guy and I consider him not only a friend but a valued colleague—we worked together on a number of Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay books. John’s a professional’s professional—if there were a “professionalism in RPGs” panel, John should be sitting at that table.

You can find out more about him and his great Hope Preparatory books at

With no further ado, let’s jump into the interview!

(Note: My questions are in red, John's answers are in black)

Hi, Ross. Thanks for the opportunity to blather on a bit about myself. It was very kind of you to give me the chance to talk about the things I value in gaming and my design philosophy.

RW: Can you tell me a little about yourself as a gamer and as a game industry professional?

I've been a role-playing gamer since around 1980. I started with AD&D, and moved on to a whole lot of other systems with my friends in grade school on through college and up to the current day. Through the years, I've played a number of different war games, including Battletech, HeroClix, and Warhammer 40,000. I played a fair number of CCGs, in the early nineties, but I stopped mostly due to a lack of time. Through the mid 2000s, I was pretty active on the Dark Age of Camelot and World of Warcraft MMOs, but decided to quit playing MMOs so I could devote time to writing.

In terms of actual game play, I've most often been the GM in my play group, at least partly because of my control-freak tendencies, but also because the rest of my game group lets me. I like to focus on games that are about collaboratively telling a story, with the interactions along the way serving to drive that. I've enjoyed other play styles as well, but that seems to be the one that works best for my current group.

As a game industry professional, I've been a developer, a writer, an editor, and occasionally a layout artist or art director. My professional credits include work on Shadowrun, Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay, and Hope Preparatory School (for my imprint, Melior Via). My first professionally published RPG work was released in 2006, but I've been dabbling at various levels of amateur work since the early 1990s.

And the last thing left in the box is...

(more about John after the jump)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Publisher Profile: Palladium Books, Part 2

Last post, I went over many things about Palladium Books—as a publisher—that I really like and admire, which mostly has to do with their portfolio of awesome games and game settings.

This post is going to be different. Very different. In keeping with my ground rules, I’m doing my best to ensure that there’s no hate here—but, gentle reader, you should be prepared to experience my dissatisfaction with a number of things having to do with good ol’ Palladium.

(Editor’s Note: Once I got started, I just found that I had more and more to say. Warning to you up front, gentle reader… this is not a short read!)

Welcome to the Dark Side...


Why Talk about Palladium?

It seems like every online discussion about Palladium at instantly turns into a flame war, with mod warnings thrown around like confetti. I feel that there is a polarized view of Palladium when it comes to online discussion, split into two groups: Pro-Palladium and Con-Palladium. There are, of course, numerous posters who fall into the middle of these two camps. I would put myself there as well.

However, I do feel that there are things about Palladium that should be… nay, must be discussed.
In general, I think gamers need to talk about publishers more often and in more meaningful ways. 
We as gamers should talk about quality and professionalism. How will things ever improve if we don’t talk about it? Communication is a powerful tool in any industry, and I think it’s time to start using that tool more effectively.


The Head Cheese

Kevin Siembieda is the co-founder and president of Palladium Books. He’s the man in charge. You can’t meaningfully discuss the company without discussing Kevin as well—for most intents and purposes, he is Palladium.

(Read more about Palladium after the jump!)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Publisher Profile: Palladium Books (Part 1)

I decided to put up something new on the blog today; a “publisher profile,” where I talk about a particular RPG publisher and describe some of my thoughts on their portfolio, business practices, and anything else that comes to mind. Having a taste for alliteration, I chose Palladium as the first company to discuss in this manner. :)

(Editorial note: While writing this, I found out that I had a lot more to say than I first imagined. Therefore, I am breaking this up into multiple blog posts. Stay tuned for Part 2. I may even need a Part 3)

A Lifelong Friend

I definitely want to begin this discussion on a high note. I’ve been a fan of Palladium’s books since the 80’s—my friends and I would play the /crap/ out of games like Rifts, TMNT, and Robotech through the early 90’s as often as possible. The newest book for any of those lines caused my gaming group in junior high and high school to instantly get together for a discussion of its highs and lows and how best to work it into our campaigns. I was a very lively and memorable Rifts campaign during my years in the military as well.

I’ve lost count of the number of Rifts and Robotech characters I created, the adventures and campaigns we enjoyed. Through the decades, I’ve culled my book collection many, many times… but Palladium’s books have stayed on my shelf.

Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas and Superspies, and even the weapon compendiums published by Palladium have spent time amongst my collection, and there’s quite a few books (which I intend to talk about later at length) that I read and re-read over and over.

Just to give you, gentle reader, an idea of the depth of my appreciation for Palladium’s overall line of work, I intend to write future blog posts that are reviews of individual books (starting with Century Station for Heroes Unlimited), overviews of lines as a whole (definitely for Rifts) and discuss other lines under my already-established series (such as King for a Day).

The bottom line is that Rifts, TMNT, and Robotech are three /pillars/ of my early roleplaying game development as a player, a GM, and a designer. I would be completely remiss in writing this post about the company without acknowledging that up front.

Palladium’s Portfolio

As you can see from the heading to this section, my appreciation for alliteration is showing again. :)
Palladium’s book lines have changed a lot over the years, but there’s always been some standouts. For me, those are three lines in particular: Rifts, Robotech, and TMNT.


A future blog post is going to cover this game system in much more depth. For the purposes of this post, I’ll simply say that Rifts is a beautiful, gonzo sci-fi setting with tons of stuff from any and every other genre you can think of. This amazing setting is unfortunately tied to an outdated, clunky mess of an RPG system. That having been said, I love playing it and will continue to do so at nearly every opportunity.


I will unhesitatingly point to TMNT as a guide to “how to do a licensed RPG right.” The original creators of TMNT, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, pitch in to add a special comic strip just for the core book for this line. Every bit of it feels like it was designed to help you create your own adventures in their world.
Although Palladium no longer makes TMNT (and it is essentially dead as one of their product lines), I consider it to be one of the defining features of their company.


I have a strained love affair with Robotech—on the one hand, I love the show (although it is very dated by modern animation standards), I love the mecha, I love the characters, I love the style. On the other hand, there’s things about it that really bother me, and among them is the RPG. Almost a polar opposite to TMNT, the Robotech RPG is basically just a bunch of stats and pictures of ships and characters with very little tying it all together or any attempt to really make it feel like the show.

And, when it came out, I frickin’ loved it. My original copy of the Robotech RPG is dog-eared from constant reading and reference. We played the hell out of this game, even if it wasn’t much of a game, because it was cool. Kevin Long’s artwork had a lot to do with that, along with the obsessively-detailed stats for each type of mecha and the (albeit scant and underdeveloped) information about the show and the storyline.

Again, this is a topic I intend to revisit in the future.


And the Rest

I don’t have much to say about the other Palladium product lines, other than I generally find them at least somewhat interesting. I hear a lot of good things about Palladium Fantasy, for example.
For the record, I count Chaos Earth and the Mechanoids as part of Rifts. Other lines include:
  • Splicers
  • Ninjas and Superspies
  • Recon
  • Beyond the Supernatural
  • Palladium Fantasy
  • Nightbane
  • Dead Reign

To be Continued

So this post turned out to be quite long, and I decided to split it up into multiple posts. The next installment in this series is going to take a hard look at Palladium’s history, business practices, and ways of dealing with freelancers and fans alike. I should warn you, gentle reader, that much of what I have to say is less than complimentary—this is why I wanted to start things out by telling you all about the things I enjoy and admire about the company before digging into everything else. So stay tuned for more coming up in part 2!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Superhero Studies, Part 4

In the last few instances of Superhero Studies, we’ve looked at the great, the good, and the bad. Now it’s time for the Weird!

That's right folks, let Matter-eater Lad show you the way it's done.

When it comes to RPGs, I have an attraction towards the strange and unusual. I own several books—Eldritch Ass Kicking and Heartquest amongst them—just because they are oddballs. There are some books that are famous… or infamous… for being truly “out there,” books like Lancer’s Rockers and The Slayer’s Guide to Games Masters.

Since I’ve been covering the superhero genre of RPGs in this series so far, I think the time has come to look at the weird ones in the bunch and examine the top 6 Superhero RPG Oddballs.


Ross Watson’s Top 5 Superhero RPG Oddballs

These entries are placed in no particular order (leaving things a bit chaotic just feels right, with these books). Just to be clear, I think these books are all fun in their own way—unlike the previous entries, this list is not at all about general quality. It’s about those books that make you stop and say “Wait, what? They actually made a book about… that?”

Find the oddballs after the jump!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Superhero Studies, Part 3

Lately I’ve been mentally comparing my Superhero Studies series of blog articles to the spaghetti western “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Using that film’s title as a building point, the first two articles in this series were about the “Good”—so, gentle reader, you ought to have an idea of where this is going next!

Poor Flash...

We’ve talked about the Best, now for the Rest.

Ross Watson’s Top 10 Superhero RPG Missteps

I fully expect this blog post to be one of the more controversial ones so far—whenever you discuss “bests and worsts” there’s likely going to be a reaction. In a way, I welcome this—I usually enjoy hearing different viewpoints about a game, and from time to time, I’ve even gone back and changed my mind due to particularly insightful feedback. So, don’t hold back! Go ahead and post your reaction to this list in the comments… I promise to read all of them. :)


I do this not in anger, but in sorrow

I’m calling these books “missteps” because I do believe that to be the best description of how I feel about them… many of the products in the list below could have been great, if it were not for some pernicious setbacks and flaws.

In my very first blog post here on Rogue Warden, I made some ground rules about the content of my blog—amongst them was a rule called “No Hate.” I am firmly sticking to that policy, more so than ever when it comes to discussing products I feel that are seriously flawed. The list of books below are on the list for what I believe to be very good reasons—I don’t feel any are worthy of hate, and I would definitely encourage you, gentle reader, to consider this list more as books that did not live up to their potential rather than abject failures.

As always, this is my personal list, and I am not attempting to claim that these books are not loved by many (I am sure that some of them have lots of devoted fans, in fact). Just imagine I am writing “IMHO” at the end of every entry. :)

A bit surprisingly, I felt compelled to break the pattern from the first two posts in this series and include some base RPG systems on the list rather than skipping over them as is my usual wont. These products are in ascending order going from least disappointing to most disappointing.


Common Themes

You’ll note that a lot of the products on the list have some things in common; amongst them an inability to live up to their title and inarticulate or incomprehensible rules issues. I’ve tried to keep my criticism of “objective quality” to a minimum, but I’ll warn you ahead of time that I plan to pull no punches. It is no accident that #’s 6-10 are the ones that “almost got it,” and are actually fully functional games (with supplements!) and the upper 5 are… not so much—these are the ones with the most serious problems.

Find out the top 10 missteps after the jump!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Superhero Studies, Part 2

Last post, I started out my “superhero studies” with a look at my personal top 10 favorite superhero RPG products. However, there’s much more to the superhero RPG genre that just the ones I mentioned as being my top picks. In fact, it was quite a struggle during the selection process because there were so many good products out there. This time around, I wanted to take a good look at some of the very notable superhero RPG products that, while they may not be in my top 10, are still definitely worth a look. I don’t really plan on going quite as in-depth with these products as the top ten list, but I am going to present a good capsule summary of why they’re worth your precious time and money.

Teen Titans... GO!

Ross Watson's Top 6 Notable Superhero RPG Products

Just as with the last post, these products are my personal picks for good books that would be of value to most superhero GM’s, but I’m not trying to claim they would be great for everyone and every campaign.  Unlike last time, these products are primarily sourcebooks, but I am also including a series of adventures into the mix as well.

Wait, what? Only one Champions product on the list? Heresy!

After looking at my top 10 and seeing that 8 were from the Hero System, I decided it was a good time to try and widen my gaze a bit when it comes to superhero RPG products. Have no fear, HERO-philes… I do plan on going over my favorite Champions supplements at some future point in this blog. :)

Check out the entries after the jump!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Superhero Studies, Part 1

I’ve been a superhero RPG fan for a long, long time. It all started when I chose to branch out from D&D during the 80’s with the original DC Heroes RPG from Mayfair. From there, I graduated to the color-coded charts of the TSR Marvel Super Heroes game and was eventually introduced to GURPS Supers and, what I consider a landmark moment in my growth as a gamer, the “big blue book” of Champions 4th edition. Later on in life I would also try out Mutants and Masterminds and Heroes Unlimited. On top of all that, I have tons of other superhero games that I own but have never played, such as Golden Heroes, Villains and Vigilantes, and many others.

Recently, I’ve been going through my large collection of RPGs doing a bit of cataloguing and remembering all the great fun I’ve had with these games over the years. For the blog, I thought it would be fun if I put together a few posts detailing my thoughts about many of the superhero RPG products on the market, beginning with—what I consider—the best of the best.

My favorite is Hello Kitty girl.


Ross Watson’s Top 10 Superhero RPG products

Let me start out by saying that the list presented in this post is entirely personal—it is /my/ favorite products, and while I believe that these books are all great and deserving, I’m not attempting to say that they are going to be the best for everyone’s varied tastes or home campaigns. Secondly, I’m not going to cover superhero RPG systems or adventures in this list… instead, I am focusing on sourcebooks, which are generally aimed at a specific genre, setting, villains, organizations, or rules to assist with (IMHO) the typical interpretations of superhero gaming.

Also, these are products that I personally have read and used in my superhero gaming. Necessary Evil is a great book, but I haven’t really used it yet, and I hear great things about Kerberos Club, for example, but neither is on the list for the reasons stated above.

At a later date, I do plan to discuss specific superhero RPG systems, and definitely stay tuned for further discussion of superhero RPG products in general in the next installments of this blog post series. Looking at the list below, it is painfully obvious that I have a distinct preference for the HERO system. Out of the top 10, 8 are Champions books. Of those 8, half are from the 4th edition of that game, so that should be fair warning to you, gentle reader, just what to expect. :)

Lastly, this “top ten” is arranged in a very loose order in increasing level of usefulness to a typical superhero GM.

(The entries themselves can be found after the jump)