When I was younger, like I imagine most of you, I was into role-playing games. I limited myself to super-hero RPGs, primarily the Marvel Super-Heroes Game, although most of the campaigns we played had very little to do with the Marvel Universe. I tried to get into the Mayfair DC Heroes RPG, but it hit just too late in my development, and without enough of a social circle to get a good campaign together. Why am I sharing this?
Well, there’s a Kickstarter launching soon to update the forty year-old RPG, Superhero 2044. This was well before I discovered the Marvel RPG, but 2044 was the first RPG to deal with super-heroes. It didn’t last too long, but has remained memorable for being the first. We got a press release which I’ll share first and then follow with some thoughts on it.
Super Hero Diversity Alive And Well In New Role Playing Game Superhero 2044
Checker Book Publishing Group has made known that with all of the recent controversy surrounding diverse super hero universe, one group of very diverse heroes has found a home. Contrary to large comic book publishing conglomerates stating ‘diversity is dead’ a new role playing game based on super heroes has seen nothing but positive reviews upon playtesting the various characters with diverse backgrounds and motivations.
CEO Mark Thompson explains, “Our super hero game has hundreds of ready made characters to use in a gaming format. We have included characters of every race, creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and physical handicap. What we are discovering in play tests is that players are actually gravitating towards using these characters as their avatars pretty seamlessly. Many games are chock full of standard blond hunks (or otherwise standardized Ken and Barbie rolemodels) but our game appeals to a much broader variety of characters.
Super Hero 2044 features such classic characters as the African American legend John Henry as well as the Hispanic hero Fantomas who steals for the rich to aid the poor.
Super Hero 2044 is a comic book themed role playing game originally published in 1977 with a substantial upgrade to the game being launched on Kickstarter in August of 2017.
Superhero 2044 will be crowdfunding production for both a role playing game and card game based on the world. The first campaign should launch in August 2017.
More information can be found here.
About Checker BPG:
Checker BPG is a graphic novel publisher that published nearly one hundred graphic novels from 2001 to 2013. Checker BPG launched titles with such high profile licenses as Star Trek, X-Files, Flash Gordon, and Clive Barker to name a few. The publisher put the company on hiatus after the death of his fiancé, father, uncle, and the cancer diagnosis and death of his sister in 2015.
Superhero 2044 will hit fans in 2018 as both an RPG and card game.
How do I feel about this relaunch? I think the time is ripening for a super-hero RPG. With the popularity of table-top board games, many people like myself have expanded into exploring old RPGs. Hopefully the update will improve the game mechanics, which were lacking. In the 1970s, this inspired the development of better games like Villains and Vigilantes, Champions, the aforementioned Marvel Heroes RPG and the DC Heroes RPG. Today, I think we are better served by a good RPG, which would be more inspiring than a terrible one.
As for the promotion of diversity, I welcome it. The audience for RPGs has always been more diverse than other aspects of nerd culture. The ability of players to create their own characters let them see themselves in the adventures. While offering a plethora of diverse characters will allow more players to simply drop in and play, I am hopeful that the game will allow for more experienced players to create their own heroes. Based on the press release and their web site, I feel like the effort for diversity is to better reflect the market rather than pander to it. I am hopeful enough to check out the Kickstarter when it launches, if for no other reason than it summons up my nostalgia.