RPGs that time forgot... New Titans Sourcebook

New Titans Sourcebook
Tag line: They're Not Just Sidekicks Any More... (sic)
Makers: Mayfair Games for DCHeroes


What is it?

A sourcebook stating every Titan up to 1990, their friends and enemies, equipment and headquarters, for the DCHeroes role-playing game.


Neat stuff

-An exclusive George Perez cover.
-Written by a guy called John J. Terra. Now tell me he wasn't born to write this book?
-Includes four versions of the team: the original Teen Titans (as seen frequently on this very blog), the 70s Teen Titans (when Robin goes from Boy to Teen Wonder), Titans West (for people who are very interested , and Marv Wolfman's New Titans, as well as an extensive timeline with comics references.
-Gives extremely detailed floorplans of Titans Tower, but does not neglect the Titans' Lair, nor the new and improved 70s HQ with a practical danse floor for easy frugging!
-It does Who's Who one better by including the Mad Mod (no gadget stats though) and Mr. Twister in the villains' chapter.
-Does NOT include Team Titans or the Atom's Titans, which I do believe is a good thing.
-A "Classic Bits" section explores various Titans cliches and how to integrate them into games and subplots. Stupid nicknames, Titans in love, angst, they're all here.


Bad stuff

-The problem with all sourcebooks for licensed superhero games is that while they can be very interesting to comic book fans, they would only be of real use in games if players actually took the roles of well-established heroes. They rarely do. Since half the fun of superhero games is designing Your Own Hero(TM), sourcebooks full of hero stats are hardly ever more than inspiration. The villains can be used, of course, and it's possible to create a new Titans campaign with Your Own Teen Heroes(TM) using the HQ and tips, obviously (the aforementioned Team Titans and Atom's Titans series pretty might as well have started life as a role-playing campaign - the vampire character is a testament to that).
-Wonder Girl's bracelets don't do anything cool like in the original series. They should have Radio Communications and Attraction/Repulsion. And her lasso should have Artist (Dancing). I guess DCHeroes wasn't ready for a Haney Genre.


Quote

"Imaginative Gamemasters are encouraged to dream up their own "hip" villains - as long as the foes have a youth-oriented theme, you can't miss."


How I've used it
I once ran a Play-by-Email game that included a version of the Titans (Nightwing, Flamebird, the Tangent Flash, and some original creations), and while it didn't use DCHeroes, we definitely used and adapted the Titans Tower blueprints. My current campaign has gone "Unlimited", so there are some characters here who hang aorund our HQ and could conceivably be used by players as a change of pace. Why anyone would want to play Azrael (the winged alien, not "Azbats") is beyond me though. I do use Red Star a bit more frequently, but he's stated elsewhere.


In conclusion

A fun little book in a handy format, the fact that a lot of DCHeroes scenarios are for Titans-level characters makes this better than most as inspiration, and since an inordinate amount of those scenarios are specifically for the Titans, an unambitious GM might prefer that the Titans indeed be used. Note that seeing three versions of Robin, Wondy, et al. gives a good example as to how characters could grow and evolve through a long-running campaign. That, in itself, is interesting.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

DC Heroes was/is a great game, especially 2nd edition.

Siskoid said...

You know it!

Firestorm Fan's Shag and I have even started a podcast that will heavily feature it called Hero Points.

 

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