The Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game allows you to live the kind of daydream many of us have had since we were old enough to read comicbooks. Have you ever wanted to be a Marvel superhero with powers and a secret identity all your own? If you've dreamt of leaping into action alongside the Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man, and more - or even taking on the role of one of those legendary heroes - the Marvel Multiverse RPG puts all that within reach with a surprisingly deep rules system.
Marvel Multiverse RPG - features
Marvel Multiverse RPG - how it works
One player is the Narrator, who sets the stage for the story and determines the action of the game
The other players take the role of heroes and villains, playing out stories and battles set in the Marvel Universe
Players can create their own heroes and villains or choose from an array of pre-existing Marvel characters
The real depth of the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game comes in the wide variety of powers, skills, and Marvel connections available for original characters, which are the heart and soul of the project. It's very possible to play as your favorite Marvel heroes - and we'll get to that more in a moment. But the system is built around welcoming brand new characters into Marvel continuity and telling their original stories.
There's a wide array of powers and origins available to customize a character; your hero can possess everything from Spider-Man's Spider-powers to Storm's weather control, Vision's intangibility, and more. And you can tie your character's origins directly to mutants, Inhumans, and even the Eternals, as well as many more notable concepts from Marvel Comics.
From there, the Marvel Multiverse RPG takes players to all corners of Marvel continuity with a wide variety of familiar settings and locations, along with pre-made villains and heroes to populate them with, giving players plenty of options for tying their heroes and stories directly to well-known Marvel concepts.
There's also a kind of fun magic in sitting down with comic-knowledgeable friends and hashing out your opinions on how the stats given in the game stack up
Here's where the other side of the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game comes in - with the treasure trove of pre-made versions of popular heroes and villains, including the most popular Avengers, the whole Fantastic Four, and a decent selection of X-Men (who will be the subject of the game's first expansion), as well as Spider-Man, Moon Knight, and numerous other heroes. And of course, there are plenty of villains including Doctor Doom, Magneto, and Doctor Octopus, just to scratch the surface.
This makes it easy to play out in-depth stories starring fan-favorite characters, whether players are reliving classic tales or creating their own brand new stories. And it also allows for entertaining pick-up games where players can pit the Avengers against Ultron, or play out a version of Spider-Man taking on the Sinister Six, with little preparation required.
There's also a kind of fun magic in sitting down with comic-knowledgeable friends and hashing out your opinions on how the stats given in the game stack up to shared perceptions of who the characters are and what they're capable of.
Marvel Multiverse RPG - gameplay
Players roll three six-sided dice, with one of the dice visibly different from the other two, adding the results to determine success or failure.
A special result on the one unique die adds extra effects to the in-game outcome of the dice roll.
Characters gain power and add new abilities by increasing their Rank.
Based around a proprietary '6-1-6' dice system in which players roll three six-sided dice to determine success or failure (with one of the dice potentially providing an extra, boosted outcome), the rules at large feel like a stripped back take on the classic model seen in Dungeons and Dragons books.
One of the three dice should be marked out as a 'Marvel' die, with a roll of 1 considered a 'Fantastic Result' that adds extra effects to the ability being used, for example - much like a critical success. Equally, there are six stats that define different aspects of a character's personality and abilities which help determine the outcome of the character's actions. Also like D&D, the Marvel Multiverse RPG can be played with a grid of 1x1" squares to represent the environment in which the game takes place, or players can take a 'theater of the mind' approach. (There are some abilities and powers that are based around interactions on the grid, though, so those choosing to use their imaginations rather than a physical representation do require a bit of intuition to interpret certain effects.)
Doesn't always play out as fluidly as some of the game's character creation mechanics
If there's any big downside to the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game, it's that it feels a little tried-and-true, hewing close to other the best tabletop RPGs in its rules and presentation. That's not necessarily a bad thing - it makes it easy for both new gamers and experienced players alike to get on board. But it is something of a double-edged sword, as the game's big innovation, its proprietary 6-1-6 dice rolling system, doesn't always play out as fluidly as some of the game's character creation mechanics.
Should you buy the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game?
If the idea of embodying a Marvel hero in the Marvel Universe is exciting to you, there's not a better option on the market. The depth of character creation and connections to Marvel continuity are enough to keep a Marvel fan engaged. It's not exactly the easiest system to adapt to a totally homebrew, non-Marvel game, but it does have plenty of room for players to make their own Marvel stories and their own alt-realities in the Marvel Multiverse.
Overall, the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game is a fun, engaging, dive into the world and continuity of Marvel Comics, with a somewhat crunchy rules system that has enough depth for experienced dice-rollers and enough flavor for newcomers looking for 'rule of cool' style storytelling. And with the addition of some expansions that bring in even more character options, there's plenty of room for the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game to have some staying power in a growing tabletop market.