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Masks: A New Generation $29.99 $13.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Masks: A New Generation
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Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Paolo S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/13/2018 21:48:33

I wanted something that sctached that itch when it came to a comic book styled superhero RPG. Its not about being an established superhero. Its about the beginning. The relationships. The hidding it from your firends and family. Creating a group thats new and hasn't yet become a threat to the villians in Halcyon. And because its superheros, i have no trouble getting my kids involved. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Rob B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/13/2018 11:28:21

I recently finished running a fantastic game of Masks. It is a great system, especially for short to medium length campaigns. I think longer campaigns might be tougher though, due to the mechanics of character advancement. Some of my observations about the game:

1) The gamebook doesn't include the player classes (playbooks). You can download them for free from Magpie Games or maybe here as well. You can also find some decent handouts with all the moves of the game. Print them out and give them to the players.

2) The hardest thing for me (gaming since the 1982) was the notion of the GM "moves" only after a player fails a roll. I made several that were not readily evident (complications I decided to add from those results)...other times I chose immediate GM moves, if applicable. I should have made it clearer when they discovered something later on that it was a result of a failed roll previously (like failing to do research on a villain in fact triggering a future event (the villain was alerted to the snooping)).

3) The game rewards failure with character advancement. The more unlucky your rolls, the quicker the advancement. This nudges players to do what they are weak at. For example, one hero was a newly sentient robot ("Newborn" playbook from the Halcyon City expansion) who had terrible social skills and was often the one who acted as a "face" for the group. Whereas other games simply punish you for failing, Masks also gives you tangible rewards for failing. I think this is a great way to both push players out of their comfort zones if they've settled into specific character types, as well as in acting as their own obstacles by being suboptimal. I think there is something even deeper here...This is cool. Great idea.

4) Don't work against the game. The game is about teen superheroes. It is designed mechanically around that very idea. In our game there was a moment when half the group was feverishly working to build a device to trap their arch nemesis while the other half of the group were trying to resolve social conflicts surrounding school life (about an upcoming school concert, lol).

5) I read the best advice I have ever seen written for GMs in this book. It instructed GMs to be a FAN of the players and their characters. This is brilliant advice. Sometimes GMs can be trapped into the advisary role.

It is a great game! After I bought the PDF I decided to buy the hardback. Now I hope someone else will run it so I can play in a character!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by JB L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/13/2017 19:03:16

MASKS: A New Generation - Comprehensive Review by DropTheDie

Masks is another Powered by the Apocolypse powerhouse. A simple 2d6 system that uses storycrafting, drama, and continuous "moves" to keep the action and roleplay moving at a brisk pace. This "hack" of the PbtA system is all-inclusive, everything you need to run the game is included in this purchase, excluding the dice.

Masks' general principle, unlike other Superhero TTRPG games I've been part in, is that all teenage supers are dyanmic and capable people struggling to make the world see their merit and learn who they are and what they can do. Each player has access to a wide variety of playbooks that help focus narrative decisions in-game.

A humble Beacon might be more concerened about "living it up" than being a crime busting superhero, or they might be trying to prove exactly how capable an average person can really be in this superhero world. The Bull might be a hulking brute that smashes her way through any and everything, or they might be a teen torn between their intimate relationship with their significant other and their team. No playbook mandates the roleplay; they are designed to help you represent what it is you want your character to be and do - not to dictate it.

The book's layout is very good. Many aspects of the game that are confusing or too vague (as the entire Rules System is meant to be more vague than other traditional RPGs) are delved into to bluntly explain how the moves and abilities were intended to work. Each playbook has themes and examples of where the ideas, the "bones," of these characters came from.

MASKS has one big speedbump, however. No matter how well the system represents the city of Halcyon, or how well the book discusses how the Master of Ceremonies (who runs the game) should engage their players, it is extremely dependant on their skill to tell an interesting story. This game is absolutely not meant to just be fight after fight after fight. The mechanics of the game are such that a player must CHOOSE to "Pass out, flee, ect" only after a certain threshold is reached, which 90% of the time, no one does. This means that if your fights are not intense and dangerous in scope to the world-at-large, they will just be arbitrary roll-till-you-win matches.

*A good example*: "You make your way to the plaza mall and meet up with Becky and Jona. The both of them wave at you from a low seat in the food court - a hot pizza sitting on the table between them. You hear next to you, a very familiar electronic voice that whispers: 'One move, Axle... one move, and I'll bring the building down.' Mirage - the shape changing supervillain looks out at you from under the brim of her wide hat. What do you do?" *A bad example*: "You're eating a cinnamon bun with the rest of your team, hanging out in the caffiteria at school, and the Metal Wombat crashes through the window and screams 'LET'S FIGHT!'"

Luckily there are a ton of resources online to help guide you in your venture to run the perfect game of Masks. Only one person in your group need purchase the book to try it out - as players have very little information in the book that the MC cannot explain to you at the table, making this a perfect introductory buy. We've been playing for months now and each of us has a copy at this point!

This game gets my seal of approval - check it out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Massimiliano B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2017 17:44:57

Masks a New Generation start with very good ideas: to use emotions to describe a fight instead actions (and by the way, actions take their place in the fight). BUT (you were prepared to, right), the mechanical part of the game is his weakness: Masks it's too vague (with regards to villain), so the game it's too open to the personal GM' perceptions and decisions. I would promote the basic idea of Masks, but it would be better if it would be developed with more mechanical details. Of curse, players and game masters who seek very narrative games will love Masks. Even if you don't like it as I don't like it, you could found Masks' ideas interesting using them in other RPG.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Kirk T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2017 14:00:03

Great game and settings. The mechanics are a breeze, and my players really enjoyed our session!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by William Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/09/2017 23:01:05

An excellent game system. Narrative focused with a little crunch, this is the first Powered by the Apocalypse game that I felt a connection to. I wasn't really able to grok PtbA before, but this version really showed me what everyione has been so excited. about. The seeting and genre are also fantastic, along with the ability to truly represent the gamut of super heroics, from galactic powerhouse to nd all on the same team without it feeling like anyone is overpowered or underpowered. Very excellent game design.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2017 11:01:08

Masks, A New Generation is a Powered by Apocolypse game that really stands on its own. Below are certain aspects I really enjoyed.

Fluidity of Playbooks Masks allows players to build their hero based off templates called playbooks. These playbooks are vague within set archetypes, allowing the creation of characters that can vary wildly in powers and backstory, but still fit within an identity that defines them. Whether you'd like to be the average Joe who's keeping up with powerhouses, or the strained teen trying to keep their normal life and heroic life seperate, you've got a great selection to choose from.

Character Failure = Leveling Up There isn't really a way to "Power game" in Masks, or at least not one that doesn't seem fake. The only way to advance in your power, options, abilities is to fail. For each failure, you tally up until you get to five and then you grow as a character. There's no way around it. It's brilliant really. Imagine a teen superhero that always gets the bad guy, never let's down the hostages, always comes through to save the day. Wouldn't that be boring? Why would that character need to change? By tying failure to growth, even the more most powerful of heroes will be humbled.

Relationships and Influence Another major mechanic of the system is its emphasis on how relationships with adults and other people mold a character's identity. People who you care about, whether for good or bad reasons, will have an impact on you with their words. Believing you're a dark loner will change if the defender of the city takes time to tell you, "You're one heck of a hero." By embracing and rejecting changes, it adds an extra layer of fun and complexity as the players try and figure out "Who is this character?"

This is great game for groups looking to experience the entire teen hero life, and perhaps have some really emotional moments as well if they get invested in the lives of their characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Michael O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/09/2016 17:22:32

Masks is the most well-produced rpg text I have ever read. The rules are well laid out, the setting details are rich but not overwhelming, and the examples are clear and concise. I also love the art; it sets a tone for the game and it look great. The conditions system ties harm directly to the narrative without getting too complicated. It borrows from Apocalypse World and Monsterhearts, while innovating a few exciting ways. I can't recommend it enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Masks: A New Generation
Publisher: Magpie Games
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/01/2016 19:31:57

After only two sessions, my group and I have had a blast. Having played virtually every kind of Powered by the Apocalypse, I found the theming to be well done. Though not on the level of Sagas of the Icelanders when it comes to encapsulating a setting and mood, it's worth the sale price I paid. For fans of Teen Titans or Young Justice, this can be a fun 8-10 session campaign ruleset.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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