The Helping Hand is an alien technology created to empower the protectors of life throughout the cosmos, known collectively as Life Force.

I’m running a play-by post game, called Super-Sheriffs of Sagan City. I’ve been thinking about publishing the setting as a standalone thing. I want to talk about some of the challenges of doing so.

This is more discussion about the Super-Sheriffs of Sagan City game, found online here.

Today I want to talk about how I applied the principle of "draw maps, leave blanks" to the superhero genre.

I’ve been running a play-by-post game with an overly long name. It’s a superhero game with the PCs set on another planet, the first off-world Earth colony.

This isn’t a post about the whole game, which you can read online here. Instead, it’s a run-down of my favorite moments from the game.

After writing about the Top Ten Super-Tropes that bother me the most, I thought I would talk about the tropes in superhero gaming that really make it work for me as a genre.

I recently backed the Masks Kickstarter, and I think it will be well worth it. Before that, I backed the Daring Comics RPG. Before that, I’ve played any number of supers settings, at any number of power levels, and in any number of worlds. I’ve read comics from DC, Marvel, and independent publishers.

And right now I want to write about the top ten super-powered gaming tropes that really piss me off.

I’ve occasionally thought about resurrecting Villains Victorious! or otherwise publishing it in a collected format. My reservations there are practical - to put out a high-quality PDF of the material, I’d want appropriately four-color art.

Similarly, I’ve got a decently polished sci-fi concept (Song of Eden) and the start of some unconventional urban fantasy (Fairy Soul). I have enough ideas that I could assemble a fantasy universe, but that would take more time.

We often talk about “effects-based” superhero RPG rules. By “effects-based”, we mean the game-mechanical effects: how much damage you do, how fast you fly, how much weight you lift, and so on. Rather than buying “throw fireball" as a power, your super-powered character buys "deal damage at range”, for example.

My argument is that effects-based games are a poor fit for high-powered campaigns, or campaigns where a variety of powers are possible. I’ll also try to address some objections to my proposed alternative.

This is a roleplaying game I ran in 2009. It centered around a group of friends in New York who played host to a crash-landed alien visitor named Aura, and how they saved the world from an alien invasion.