Krypto #179: DC Heroes Krypto

From: The Superman Sourcebook (Mayfair Games, 1987)

Krypto doesn't feature in the better 2nd edition of Mayfair's DC Heroes role-playing game, because post-Crisis, there isn't a super-dog for the longest time. So pre-Crisis, 1st edition DCH it is. This is the game where Superman's biggest stats top out at a monstrous 50 APs, but you sort of need those kinds of stats to juggle planets (2nd edition generally tops things out at 25, which is still game-breaking in many situations). Krytpo is no slouch with with Strength of 44. In fact, his physical stats are better than almost all 2nd edition characters. Even his mind stats are pretty good, an Intelligence of 1 only half as good as the human average, which made me sprint for the core book to see what a regular dog gets. Well, the same. Most animals get a 1 because it represents anything between 1 and 2, just short of 2, the way the scale works. Normal stats for a 2nd edition (at lower levels, the editions are pretty close) dog are:
Dexterity 3, Strength 1, Body 2 | Intelligence 1, Will 1, Mind 2 | Influence 0, Aura 0, Spirit 1 | Which gives them an Initiative of 4; they don't have Hero Points.

Powers? Sure, all dogs have Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent rated at 7 rather than Krypto 15, and Extended Hearing 3 to his 10. Further, Krypto's hearing is also Directional (which signals how he's smarter than the average dog), he has Flight 43, and Empathy 10. The last one is probably some kind of emotional intelligence that allows him to understand what his master wants him to do without a word, which often happens in Silver Age stories. No need to get into it, but then come a bunch of powers he has in common with Superman, and the usual Kryptonian limitations and vulnerabilities. Amusingly, he has the Physical and Mental limitations of a normal dog, which the GM can take to mean anything from the fact that he can't speak or use kitchen utensils, to an impulsive need to chase after cats or bury bones.

Krypto is in it for the Thrill of Adventure, which might be why he spends so much time in space having adventures of his own, but after all the stories I read, I rather think he's Upholding the Good, though maybe he sometimes forgets himself. I dunno. What do you think? Is he a good boy?


Brendoon said...

Hi Siskoid!
Do you have a discussion about the differences betwixt Mayfair's two versions of DC Heroes?

I never had a peek at the second version.

The first version was my intro to RPG and the amount of detail meant I never really got off the ground... but by the weight of the box I KNEW I was getting value for money compared to everything else on the shelf!

The other game I bought was Judge Dredd, even more detail heavy, never managed to get an actual game together on that one.

The teeny-tiny tome "Maelstrom" RPG worked for my level of intelligence though. Not many rules at all. Still got two copies of the book handy for the kids if they ever tire of wargaming...

Siskoid said...

I feel like I probably talked about the differences between editions in the inaugural episode of the Hero Points Podcast (somewhere on this blog), but I feel like it was a big forward leap for the game between 1st (clunky) and 2nd (streamlined).

The biggest difference is the Gadget rules, which were really very awkward and required ugly stat blocks. In 2nd, they were very simple and all the bad ideas had been replaced by good ones.

The one thing the first box had over the 2nd is (aside from the box art, cuz it's hard to bear Perez) the character cards, which were pretty big in the original, but down to small playing cards with meh art in 2nd. But it's not like I ever used these either way.

3rd edition is practically the same as 2nd, in an all-inclusive book instead of a box, so you don't get any do-dads. It has a few more powers and rules that were introduced in 2nd edition supplementary products. I still consider 2nd the ultimate version.

Robert Maloney said...

Charisma/Intimidation of 13... does that mean when the duo goes out on adventures, Krypto gets to play the Bad Cop?

Brendoon said...

Thanks for that.
At school in the library we played "super trumps" with those 1st ed character cards!
I'm sure the stats weren't set up for that kind of game, but it was still fun.

Siskoid said...


Robert Maloney said...

(rolls dice)

(consults chart)

"Imperiex has been stunned for one phase"

Siskoid said...

I remember that!


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