Prowlers & Paragons – Sean’s Pick, 060515

From the “In Case You Missed It” file comes the game that may finally bring my thus far never-ending search for a supers game I can just dive into, tinker to taste, and run (and, perhaps, release?) my supers settings. With my current massive, eat-all-my-brain project, it would be good to have a game that gets it done, and I am more and more convinced my friend, Len Pimentel, went at least most of the places I was headed with my own system ideas.

Prowlers & Paragons (or P&P) is a tabletop roleplaying game with a narration-driven, rules-light system designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. Let’s break that down so you can see what you’re getting yourself into.

P&P is a narration-driven system. The rules in this game are not effects driven. For the most part, they don’t tell you what happens. Instead, they tell you who gets to describe what happens. And that’s what it’s all about in P&P: describing what happens. Both the players and the gamemaster (GM) take turns narrating events in the game world. This makes P&P feel more like an exercise in collaborative storytelling than a typical roleplaying game. However, P&P isn’t totally freeform and open-ended either.*

P&P is rules light. It’s chock full of gross oversimplifications and blatant inaccuracies that mimic comic book tropes rather than real-world facts. This also makes P&P a simple game with a streamlined set of rules. Once you know what you’re doing, you should be able to play without ever opening the book.

Finally, P&P is designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. This game is about the heroic things the characters do and the heroic burdens they shoulder. Mundane matters get little attention. There aren’t any detailed rules for dealing with money and wealth, but there most definitely is a rule for smashing into a bank vault. Let’s be perfectly clear: This is not a deep and cerebral game. P&P was designed to let you play stories about super heroes who save the world and beat the snot out of villains who richly deserve it. Like so much of the genre, P&P is a gleefully unapologetic exercise in heroic wish fulfillment.

 

* – Emphasis is mine there, because I think it’s important to point out that P&P has a good combination of narrative, interactive fiction style for out of combat play, while using solid crunch for in-combat action.

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