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.