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‘Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game’ puts the superhero adventure in your hands

Seize your chance to experience Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game before its official release in 2023!

True believers, rejoice – Marvel’s very own tabletop role-playing game Marvel Multiverse is set to release in 2023. To give players the opportunity to get an early feel for the game and provide feedback, the Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game Playtest Rulebook hits stores tomorrow. It details the properties of the game and provides players with everything they need to get an adventure rolling.

The dice system:

Marvel takes a unique angle in Multiverse with the dice system and how the dice work in your favor. No d20s or d100s required – just three d6. Instead of landing a 20 with a d20 to secure a critical hit and all its glorious bonus power, Marvel Multiverse instead wants you to…roll a 1?

That’s right! Differentiate one of the d6 you’re using as a special die and hope you roll some 1s.

In the official dice set for the game, the 1 on one of the d6s is replaced with the Marvel logo. Rolling the Marvel logo with this dice (or a one with a designated d6 you’re using) earns you a Fantastic Roll. This makes your Marvel logo/roll of 1 actually count for 6. Add the total of your other two d6 to total your score for an action check, which basically determines if you’re successfully able to complete an action like hopping across a ravine without falling, determining if an NPC is lying, etc. If you roll normally – let’s say a 3, a 2, and a 5 – your game’s narrator will tell you if your roll hit the target number for a successful check.

'Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game' puts the superhero adventure in your hands

A look at Black Panther’s abilities and stats.

If you roll a pair of 6’s with the third dice landing on the Marvel logo – meaning your dice roll 616 – you secure an Ultimate Fantastic Roll and automatically succeed in whatever task you were attempting and avoid any trouble. Powers also have unique effects that activate when rolling a 616, adding a layer of depth to the combat sequences.

Rolling three 1’s, however, is considered a Botched Roll – you automatically fail and, depending on how cruel your game’s narrator/GM wants to be, you may also incur some sort of punishment, whether that’s Black Panther’s claws breaking or Iron Man’s repulsor beams malfunctioning. Someone who’s better at math than me can detail how the 616 dice system compares to a d20 system in terms of landing Ultimate Fantastic Rolls vs. critical successes, but it makes whether the mat works in your favor or not, the 616 system definitely adds fun and intrigue to dice rolling. Who doesn’t want to roll a die and have it show the Marvel logo?

What’s Edges?

The game’s narrator can choose to give out Edges to players if they perform an action check with some sort of advantage, whether that be a magical spell or a special tool. An Edge allows the PC to reroll a single die on an action check, meaning if you roll two 6s, you could potentially reroll your special die to get that coveted 616 results. However, disadvantageous action checks lead to Trouble where your narrator can have you reroll in hopes of worsening your result (sinister, I know). For example, if you land a 616 in Trouble, the narrator could have you reroll the special die, potentially taking away your Ultimate Fantastic Roll.

The Create-a-Character feature:

A fun element of Marvel Multiverse is the create-a-character element. Of course, creating and role-playing a character is one of the main draws to RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, but I didn’t expect this element to appear in a Marvel tabletop game. Much to my surprise, Marvel Multiverse has a detailed section on how to create a new and unique superhero for the game in addition to pre-made character builds for heroes like Spider-Man, Thor, and Captain Marvel. I found it to be pretty simple to create an original character, and an easy way to bring in characters from the vast Marvel universe that the playtest rulebook doesn’t already have builds for.

'Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game' puts the superhero adventure in your hands

The six archetypes of Marvel Multiverse.

There are six different archetypes in Marvel Multiverse: blaster, bruiser, genius, polymath, protector, and striker. These archetypes influence how the characters fight in combat. Do they like to strike from the shadows like Wolverine hunting his prey? Throw punches first and ask questions later like the Hulk? Blast from a distance like Cyclops? There are clear analogues from Multiverse’s archetypes to traditional RPG classes, which adds to the familiar yet different feeling of Marvel Multiverse.

A sample adventure is included at the end of the playtest rulebook, which I won’t get too into so you can get the full experience for yourself in a game. I haven’t yet had the chance to play it, but I get the impression it’s short, effective, and provides enough variety of circumstances for players to get a feel for the game before it fully releases next year. It even has a few maps that you can use if you play on a virtual platform like Roll20. A great yet brief section on how to be a narrator – what Marvel Multiverse calls the dungeon master – pops up just before the adventure, giving first-time DMs (myself included!) a nice introduction on how to conduct a TTRPG.

In conclusion:

Marvel Multiverse Role-Playing Game Playtest Rulebook will feel very familiar to fans of tabletop role-playing games. It’s laid out and written in a similar manner to a Dungeons & Dragons player’s handbook with enough detail to guide those unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs but who always wanted to become their favorite superheroes. I look forward to embracing my inner child, becoming a superhero with my equally nerdy pals, and going on an adventure in Marvel Multiverse.

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