23 November 2014

Solo RPG: Marvel SAGA (TSR) Custom Card Update

Just a short update… making progress on my cards, as shown below.

First ten cards done
In a future update, I'll describe how I use the letters on the bottom left-hand corners to generate random words for adventure ideas.  It works better than I could've hoped; I'm done with my old dice method.

17 November 2014

Solo Super Hero Gaming: Custom Cards for Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (SAGA)

One of the stupidest things I've ever done was sell my comics and my games.  Over 10 years ago I purged my collection and left gaming behind.

Since then, as evidenced by this blog, I've discovered solo gaming and rekindled that passion for creating stories as only role-playing games can do.

A reading of the first volume of Jack Kirby's Fourth World Anthology has got me in the mood for creating super-hero tales.  It's also got me pining for my copy of TSR's Marvel Super Heroes Adventure Game (MSHAG), using the SAGA system, which I sold off long ago.

Looking for a copy of the game online has left me speechless, as I had no idea how rare and collectible and hence pricey the game is.  While I might be able to get my hands on the rulebook, the cards necessary for play seem to be extraordinarily hard to find.  That got me thinking…do I need those cards?  Why can't I make my own?

Thanks to great RPGGeek user Almafeta, I know all the important details of the cards (Callings, Auras, Events, Values, Suits).  Using this data, I am working on making my own cards which will allow me to play this game again.  A picture of one of the cards is below.  I left off the character because frankly, that was always useless in our campaigns (Doctor Doom is just going to randomly appear?  Or worse, Sabra?  Come on.)

Borders need trimming

I'm making the cards with a Kirby feel, complete with cosmic crackle.  I've added a large white space in the center.  My thoughts are as the campaign develops, I can write certain key words (as the cards will be covered in plastic) in this space, reflecting additional information gained as the plot develops.  For example, after a pitched battle with strange creatures our heroes learn the monstrous adversaries are Deviants.  I would then write "Deviant(s)" on the card and if the card came up again, it could result in another revelation, or perhaps another battle.  These words could be especially powerful when combined with the Event on another card, or with a random word.

Speaking of random words, the other thing I added was the letter in the left hand corner.  The letters use generally the same distribution as Scrabble since there are going to be 100 cards.  The thought here is that these letters can be combined (randomly however, not like Scrabble) to form words.  These words, once formed, could then be transferred to the big white area (Plot area?) of one of the cards.  The next time this particular card with the random word is drawn, it could be used to send the story spinning off in a totally unexpected direction.

The SAGA system will be used for action resolution, but for "roleplaying" I need some additional mechanics since I'm playing solo.  I plan to use a house "magic eight ball" system I've cobbled together using ideas from the FU RPG as well as inspiration (but no real mechanics) from the Mythic GM Emulator.