Slowing Down Development of Marvelous Superheroes

Icons This might seem like it’s related to my recent post about ending Whitechapel prematurely, but it’s largely unrelated – it’s something I’ve actually been thinking about for a few weeks. Let me give some context.

I tossed out Marvelous Superheroes about six months ago. I expected maybe one or two people might find it interesting, but it’s gotten a strange little bit of notoriety in the Fudge scene. Some have even emailed me with suggestions, praise, and ideas for the project. People have gravitated to my quirky little mash-up, and I’ve been poking and tweaking it for a while since then. I never expected to do much with it (and I certainly didn’t imply any kind of regular work on it), but people are enjoying it more than I anticipated, even running games with it!

Then I got a copy of Steve Kenson’s game Icons. Now, I knew we were coming at this from a similar perspective – they’re both Fudge/Marvel Super Heroes blends, and some of my groundwork came from Steve’s original notes on what he then called the “Superlative System.” But I was blown away at how similar they are in many ways. Not only were there similar systems in place in both games, but things that I had notes to update in future versions of Marvelous were in Icons. It’s like Steve and I shared a brain, and he just spent more time developing his project than I did. There are some differences, but most of them are pretty minor.

Now, Icons is under an Open Game License, just like Marvelous Superheroes. I could, theoretically, pull the interesting bits of Icons and cram it into Marvelous. However, at the moment I don’t see much point in that – I’d rather point people who are interested in Marvelous Superheroes at Icons, and see what happens. I’m running a game in Icons, in fact.

Over time, I might find things I want to change in Icons, and use Marvelous as that bed. Or I might recompile bits of Marvelous into an Icons book. Or something. But I don’t want to take cash out of the pocket of Adamant unless I can make sure that Marvelous offers something different than Icons.

So, this isn’t a case of my dropping a project because I don’t have the time. This isn’t even a case of my dropping a project because Adamant asked me to – Gareth was very gracious about the whole thing when I brought it to his attention. This is me being respectful of a game that I think is really cool, because honestly it’s really close to the game I made anyway.

Go buy Icons.

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