Here we go with a new review of a new super-hero RPG...
Man-Made Mythology: A Comic Book RPG is the first offering from Critical Strike Publishing. Designed off the venerable 3.x engine this game was made to allow the group to combine the flexibility of the OGL with the over-the-top action of the super-hero genre. Although this idea is not entirely new it is something that this company approaches in a different manner than their colleagues.
The book begins off simply enough with the almost mandatory description of the hobby, a lexicon, and the methods for determining the characters starting Attributes. It is in Chapter 2 that the company begins to illustrate their take on the comic-book world. Chapter 2 begins with the racial descriptions and modifiers inherent to each of the four core races of Man-Made Mythology.
The first race presented is, of course, Humans. After that we come to Reptiods, an alien lizard species that came to Earth millennia ago. After that come the Synthetics which are mankind’s success at creating artificial life and finally there is the matriarchal race of warrior-women the Valkyries. There isn’t anything especially noteworthy about the starting racial choices but they fill their roles well and give the Players several options to choose from without over-doing it.
Chapter 3 begins with detailing the procedure to generate the characters Alter-Ego. Each Alter-Ego lists any sort of requirements that must be fulfilled as well as the Skills, Bonus Feats, and any Resource modifiers that come with that choice. The options here range from the bookish Academic, to Emergency Services characters, to Soldiers. The nice thing is that the choices also include things such as a Rural upbringing to flesh out the section.
In Chapter 4 the games Classes are presented. There are 10 Classes available in the core-rules and these include enough options to make a variety of iconic characters. This chapter also begins with the Advancement guidelines and the rules for multi-classing. The individual Classes are presented in the familiar format found in most 3.x games so one who is familiar with them will have no problem understanding them.
The same holds true for the next two chapters which go into detail about the games Skills and Feats. Although there are some new ideas presented here there is nothing truly unique to those familiar with the genre or overall 3.x games. There are some new feats presented, but these are mostly variations of existing ones that amplify the characters power usage and help further define their abilities.
It isn’t until Chapter 12 after the mandatory rules on equipment, combat, magic usage and the like that the games super-powers, known as Mythic Abilities, are explained. There are 50 powers fleshed out in Man-Made Mythology and each comes with 10-levels of modifiers to that power. The first mythic ability is Body Armor and while it provides basic protection it can also increase other attributes, mitigate critical hits, and provide damage reduction to the Character as they advance it. In my opinion there could have been many more powers given here and although the ones that do exist are detailed nicely I just like my supers games to have a-lot of options when it comes to powers.
All in all I give Man-Made Mythology a 3 out of 5 rating. Is it anything entirely new and spectacular? No, but I feel it does a better job of emulating the genre than most of its predecessors using the 3.x engine. I am interested in seeing what other offerings the company provides as time passes as I feel there is are a lot of options available for expansion. Man-Made Mythology could become a very well rounded game but only time will tell.