I have a particular love of superhero role-playing games. Back in my past I used to play 'Villains and Vigilantes' and 'Champions', although with hindsight I think that the role-playing always tended to be a bit secondary and really they were big fight sequences - they were just miniatures games with some background character. But I've moved on. We played the original 'Villans and Vigilantes', and had to house-rule it to death to get it to work. 'Champions' was fun up to a point, but very detailed - certainly too detailed for the kind of game experience I want now.
Supercrew'. It was presented in the form of a comic, which alone was enough to sell it to me, but in fact the rules were rather clever and elegant, and very simple. It gave a great, fun, game. It has two failings to my mind. Firstly it doesn't have a system for resolving tasks outside of the characters' abilities - it just assumes that you free role-play them which is not really my kind of thing. Secondly the combat system is probably weighted a little too far towards attacks being much better than defences, especially in fights between unequal number so characters. Unless designed carefully, for example, a single allegedly powerful master-villain can be quite easily taken down by a group of three or four heroes. Every so often I ponder ways of fixing these issues, and whilst doing it I look for other games to see how they have covered them.
HiLo Heroes'. It's been around for a couple of years, it seems, but hasn't attracted a huge amount of attention; a search doesn't turn up a lot of material for it by player, or anything in the way of game reports. It instantly scored with me because it was a free download. I like free. The mechanisms are simple too; most rolls are opposed - you roll 2D6 and your opponent or the GM does the same. You compare the scores of one of each pair of D6. This is the HiLo feature; some of your abilities will use the lower of the two dice, some the higher. Rolls may be modified for skills, powers and a few game circumstances. And that's pretty much it. The mechanisms are simple, with most power effects being abstracted into the rolls and brought out in the narrative - a feature I like in 'Supercrew'. Unlike 'Supercrew' the system does include a character's background in the stats, and the design of a character allows the players and GM to assess how they can perform tasks outside of combat.
It's not the best written set of rules - I've been through them a couple of times and some of it's still not quite clear, and I think some bits have been glossed over - the use of the square grid to regulate movement for example. These are not show-stoppers, though. I think this is a superhero game I can work with, even if it just leads me back to 'Supercrew' with a few ideas or inspirations.
So let's create a character for 'HiLo Heroes'. And what better one to start with than - Kaptain Kobold! Anyone who has followed my Flickr stream will have seen the intermittent adventures of my Lego alter-ego - you can see them HERE if you haven't. As superheroes go The Kaptain is pretty standard; he can fly, and is strong enough to knock out a dragon with a single blow. Here he is for 'HiLo Heroes':
Professional Career: IT Geek (Logical - Block Mundane - HIGH)
Hobby Career: Photographer (Intuitive - Block Fantastic - LOW)
Charge: The lovely Mrs Kobold
Training: Witty Quips (Attack +1)
Move Die: HIGH, Flight +1
Attack Die: LOW
Evade Die: HIGH
Damage Die: LOW, Superstrength +1 (Mundane), Hero +1
Block Mundane Die: HIGH, Weak -1
Block Fantastic Die: LOW