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Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition Review 

 

The Book

 

I love the new cover, it still features a super hero but one that looks a little bit more up to date!

 

Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition

So what’s it all about? Heroes Unlimited doesn’t come with the usual background and world info, I believe that this is because it best fits into the modern age; the likes of RIFTS or Palladium Fantasy came with world data because they are set in a world unlike our own.  

 

The lack of setting is one of the greatest strengths of Heroes Unlimited. You can also easily pick up the characters presented within and play them in RIFTS, Phase World or any other Palladium book line with very little effort. 

 

However for now I will focus on the book as a standalone piece of work set in the modern age much like Marvels Avengers, Transformers, G.I. Joe and Man of Steel.  

 

This book also brings some added power in the form of the Megahero an even more powerful Superhero that is closer to Superman than Spiderman!  

 

Don your cape and get ready for adventure! 

 

 

Character Creation 

 

Wow this game really does spoil you for choice! Think of a superhero, any superhero, OK? You can make him! Spiderman? Sure, Wolverine? Of course, Batman? Hell yeah. But that’s not all, not by a long way.

 

Mutants and Experiments -  these guys are your standard kind of superhero, whether you were born that way or thrown into the heart of a nuclear reactor it’s all here (including some pretty cool side-effects which can greatly add to the role-play opportunities). Did I say standard superhero? Well ok none of them are “standard” as such; with this book you can make just about any kind of superhero imaginable!

 

Bionics – Create anything from RoboCop to the Terminator and anything in-between with a vast selection of bionic powers and abilities!

 

I don't wanna be your Superhero!

Heroes Unlimited isn't all about Superheroes, In fact Heroes Unlimited would be a very easy game to play in a James Bond setting, a Terminator setting, Knight Rider, Alien, the A-Team or even just a bunch of guys fallen on hard time looking for one last job like in the film Heat.

Hardware – This character can make super vehicles and awesome weapons, s/he can also hack computer main frames and hotwire cars. This person has no superpowers but has a thousand and one gimmicks to back him up. If Batman played Heroes Unlimited he would roll a Hardware character!

 

Magic Characters – The Mighty Thor, Dr Strange and Scarlet Witch, if you are a fan of any of those characters then this section would be for you! These sections come with many options, are you a gifted mage or illusionist or are your powers drawn from a mystically bestowed object such as a Hammer or Rune Sword, perhaps a ring of power?

 

Mega Hero – Is your standard Spiderman type hero not enough for you? Why not go for the Mega-Hero? These fellas would be more like Superman, Darkseid, Doomsday and The Hulk but beware the Mega hero suffers an Achilles heel! The Mega hero is a great addition to Heroes Unlimited 2nd Edition for those people who want to power game (and let’s face it who wouldn’t, this is a super hero game after all!).

 

Mutants – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles anyone? This is the section where you can design a mutant animal to be your character. Want to roll a Crocodile with twin Katanas and hand to hand assassin? Hell yeah!

 

Physical Training – These guys are the martial artists, the hunters and the brawlers, the athletes who have honed their skills to perfection. These guys would be like the characters from The Watch Men comics/film men and women at the peak of human ability.

 

Robotics – This is a really interesting and diverse section. You could make K.I.T from Knight-Rider, you could make an Exo-skeleton similar to Ripley’s or a SAMAS, you could make Gort, and you could have a robot that you can transfer your own intelligence into and control as if it was your own body! You are limited only by your imagination.

 

Special Training – Roll up Ancient Master Mr Miyagi, Hunter/Vigilante The Punisher, Secret Agent James Bond, Super Sleuth Sherlock Holmes or ….. a stage magician!

 

If you aren’t happy with the variety above then you can also roll up an Alien! Yes that’s right you can make your very own Alien and choose from most of the above power categories!  

 

 

The System 

 

Everything is laid out in a sensible and easy to follow way! Yes, you did read that right a Palladium Books game where the instruction for creating a character, finding skills and combat mechanics are all here and where they should be. Unlike RIFTS you won’t be looking all over the book to find the simplest rules. Everything from character creation to shooting down missiles with your Robot is all at the beginning of the book!

 

Also there is an awesome section explaining which superpowers mix well with other super powers. We also get canon rules for dealing with the speedster characters which were much needed to prevent lame house ruling and the old GM vs PC arguments about how fast someone running at 320mph can turn around! This is a very informative section and a worthy addition to the book.

 

 

Combat 

 

Combat is handled with the usual dice and in the same way most other Palladium systems games are played. The D20 will be used for parrying, attacking and dodging as well as saving versus magic, psionics and horror.

 Zen Jeru Recommends:-

New Avengers: Breakout
David Finch, Danny Miki and Brian Michael Bendis, 2005.
This is a fantastic run of comics and an excellent place to start if you are a fan of the recent Avengers films but new to comics. Brilliantly written, glorious art AND you get to see Iron-Man, Spiderman and Wolverine fighting back to back, something we will sadly never see in on the big screen. It is also superb inspiration for a superpowered RPG. The storyline starts off with a prison break with large number super villains escaping; this brings together several superheroes that all turn up to help independently of one another (Captain America, Spiderman, Luke Cage amongst others). They decide to form a team, a New Avengers if you will, to round up the escaped criminals and find out which of these super villains organised the breakout. In an RPG this story would be perfect for bringing the players together as a group in a way that matters and gave the characters a connection with one another. Each session could focus on rounding up another villain, while the over arcing storyline of who was responsible would play out over the whole campaign.



 

The parry mechanic in particular is worth noting. In other games you simply have to beat an AC or Def rating to hit, in Palladiums system PC's and NPC's can parry blows, this makes combat reactive and more visceral and dare I say adds a touch of realism as you respond to your opponents attacks!
 

There is also an extensive section on vehicle to vehicle combat and even a section on air and space combat and dog fighting! Everything is covered from bootleg turns to jinking, I can tell you I have played games and fought as the pilot and driver of many vehicles from tanks to helicopters, cars to planes, all of the mechanics work fantastically and don’t get in the way. Whilst some of this info was in Heroes Unlimited the 2nd edition expands on this significantly and offers vehicle combatants many more options than previously available.

 

How is balance managed? It’s not! The beauty of Palladium games is that balance is not addressed and let’s be fair Mr Miyagi was pretty bad-ass but he was never going to go toe to toe with Darkseid and The Hulk!

 

 

The Setting 

 

I repeat there isn’t one! This game is truly fantastic once you let your imagination get to grips with all of the possibilities. I have used this game countless times to play a traditional Superhero game. I have also used this system to play characters which are fairly ordinary, such as petty thieves and cops. We have even played a games based on The Terminator, The Road, Mad Max, Fire Starter, Chronicle, Beverly Hills Cop, Platoon, Karate Kid, Independence day, Top Gun,  Hackers, WWII and of course Mid-Twenties Mutant Boxing Alligators!

 

However the book is not bereft of ideas. There is a whole section dedicated to what a Superhero is all about, their origins, history, tradition and legacy. This section gives a fantastic insight into the mindset of a Superhero and will help any players get more into the role-play aspect of the character.

 

Have you rolled a character that is a hero but lives in the shadow of a Supervillain father? Was your mother one of the greatest hero’s of yesteryear? If so your character may have big boots to fill as comparisons will be inevitable. I strongly recommend you check the legacy section out because there are tons of fantastic ideas presented here to help round out a character.

 

  

Conclusion

1st edition, 2nd edition Whats the difference?

The 2nd edition basically takes the 1st edition and gives it a good polish! Superheroes are more... erm, Super, the rest of the characters have been improved too. The absolute best thing though is that the characters are now so much easier to convert to the rest of the Megaversal system such as RIFTS!

 

This book improves over the 1st edition of Heroes Unlimited in every possible way, that’s not to say the original was bad because it wasn’t, it was awesome, this book is just that bit better, that bit more polished, that bit more…..SUPER!

 

If you need guns, planes, car chases, missiles, robots, aliens, magicians, giant monsters, tanks, armour, gadgets, swords and psionics then everything and more is here and at your disposal.

 

If ever you only needed one book that could cover a million different settings then this is the one. The game also converts perfectly to any other Palladium game, want a Megahero in Phase World? Done!

 

Even if you already own the 1st edition do yourself a favour and get a copy of Heroes Unlimited 2nd edition today!

 

Highly Recommended!

 

5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended    

 

You may also like to read:

 

RIFTS: Main Rule Book RIFTS: Ultimate Edition Phase World Dead Reign

 

Want to try another system?

 

World of Darkness Core Book Dark Heresy Savage Worlds Deluxe Radiance