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Old 02-24-2018, 10:35 PM   #1
vitruvian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

Just found this game while poking around through the retro-clones on Drivethru, the concept is What If? Gary Gygax had been into the superhero genre rather than pulp and Tolkienesque fantasy, so it's built on top of basically the OD&D mechanics (although they provide the option of using ascending AC), with new, superheroic origins (instead of races) and classes, an extended progression for abilities and ability modifiers, and an extensive list of Gifts, Powers, Limits, and Issues. A very nice presentation and rules set, which is not surprising considering one of the authors is David Pulver. Kind of surprised I didn't hear about it when it first came out back in 2016:

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/172576/Guardians

Anyone else seen this gem and maybe have some actual play experiences to share? I got it and read through for the first time last night and am seeing a few things I might look for clarifications/errata on, and a few others I might tweak or house rule (Reduced Str when Shrinking, a pretty steep damage progression from Str that quickly outstrips defenses and other attacks, round durations and movement rates inherited from the OD&D dungeon crawling legacy), but by and large it looks like it could ably handle everything I would want a four color supers RPG to do.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:17 AM   #2
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

I featured Guardians as an Add-on for my Dungeon Grappling Kickstarter, as Thomas and David borrowed my OSR grappling rules. :-)
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:58 AM   #3
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I featured Guardians as an Add-on for my Dungeon Grappling Kickstarter, as Thomas and David borrowed my OSR grappling rules. :-)
I saw that... and it's a good set of rules, if a bit more crunchy than much of the rest of the game.

Any experiences to relate running Guardians, especially with regard to whether the additional Strength damage bonuses are overpowering?
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

I've looked at this, and I'm enough of a fan of older games to have picked it up, as an interesting exercise in alternative gaming history. But one thing confuses me about it: The mundane humans and animals that have saving throws like F1, F2, F5, and so on. How is that supposed to be interpreted? Why don't the names heroes and villains have it? Is Guardians supposed to be used with the d20 system? or is this just a bit of shorthand that I'm not understanding?
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Is Guardians supposed to be used with the d20 system? or is this just a bit of shorthand that I'm not understanding?
That's not a d20 SRD notation of some kind. That's special to Guardians (no idea what it means, never seen it before).
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:52 PM   #6
vitruvian
 
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I've looked at this, and I'm enough of a fan of older games to have picked it up, as an interesting exercise in alternative gaming history. But one thing confuses me about it: The mundane humans and animals that have saving throws like F1, F2, F5, and so on. How is that supposed to be interpreted? Why don't the names heroes and villains have it? Is Guardians supposed to be used with the d20 system? or is this just a bit of shorthand that I'm not understanding?
I'll have to look at the PDF again, but I think they simply save as a Fighter (F) of whatever level. There's an NPC Fighter class that I believe gives the Saving Throw numbers in the table.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

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Originally Posted by vitruvian View Post
I'll have to look at the PDF again, but I think they simply save as a Fighter (F) of whatever level. There's an NPC Fighter class that I believe gives the Saving Throw numbers in the table.
That would make sense, I guess, though it would have been more efficient to just give the Save number directly. Thanks!

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Old 03-14-2018, 12:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
I've looked at this, and I'm enough of a fan of older games to have picked it up, as an interesting exercise in alternative gaming history. But one thing confuses me about it: The mundane humans and animals that have saving throws like F1, F2, F5, and so on. How is that supposed to be interpreted? Why don't the names heroes and villains have it? Is Guardians supposed to be used with the d20 system? or is this just a bit of shorthand that I'm not understanding?
Fn= Saves as Fighter of level n
Mn= Saves as Magic-User of level n.
Wn= Saves as Wizard of level n - same as Mn
Cn= Saves as Cleric of level n
Tn= Saves as Thief of level n
En= Saves as Elf of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D use, En=Fn/Wn
Dn= Saves as Dwarf of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D, Dn=Fn with bonus vs poison
Hn= Saves as Halfling of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D use, it's Fighter.

They can be combined with slashes, eg C5/T5 saves as better of Cleric 5 or Thief 5.

Note that in OD&D, AD&D and BX D&D, these were explicitly class specific sets of values, not singular values, varying by level, and the OD&D, AD&D, and BX were different sets for any given class/level.

Several other games in the early days had saves based upon class with different values as well.

In D20, the save categories climb at different rates by class as well, but it's possible some people reverted to old school methods in referencing them.
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

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Originally Posted by ak_aramis View Post
Fn= Saves as Fighter of level n
Mn= Saves as Magic-User of level n.
Wn= Saves as Wizard of level n - same as Mn
Cn= Saves as Cleric of level n
Tn= Saves as Thief of level n
En= Saves as Elf of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D use, En=Fn/Wn
Dn= Saves as Dwarf of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D, Dn=Fn with bonus vs poison
Hn= Saves as Halfling of level n (BX only); for OD&D or AD&D use, it's Fighter.
Oh, okay. I never saw that notation; perhaps it came in after I stopped playing D&D and stopped acquiring D&D books. (It's not in the little tan books that I started with.) It's clear enough once it's explained.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Belated Find - Guardians OSR Superhero RPG

So, any other thoughts on the game design from those who've seen it?

I'm thinking the bonus damage dice for super levels of Str make it a bit overpowering, and might be best replaced by a simple 4d/6d/8d progression as for levels of other attack powers; there might also be a point at which the effects of the Str bonus could stand to be capped, otherwise you're not going to have the likes of Daredevil and Spider-Man (well, maybe the latter with enough levels in Super Dex) be able to dodge the Hulk's blows. I would also consider rejiggering the duration of combat rounds and movement rates to be more like BECMI than OD&D (so 10 seconds rather than 1 minute per round), both for superspeed movement rates vis a vis modern vehicles and to better correspond to the fairly fast-paced nature of action in comic book panels. Otherwise, though, I think my tweaks would be minor when actually using it.
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