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Guardians

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What if the original roleplaying game was inspired by colorful superheroes rather than Tolkienesque fantasy?

GUARDIANS is a super hero retro-clone compatible with the original fantasy roleplaying game and subsequent editions, and other “OSR” games that follow in the mould of the original game like Colonial Troopers, Warriors of the Red Planet, and others. If your tastes run towards super-powered four-color heroes and villains you’ve found the right book. In a tradition inspired by the psionic abilities of Eldritch Wizardry and the mutants of Metamorphosis Alpha or Gamma World, even a first level Guardians character begins with mighty powers!

Digest sized (5.5"x8.5")

What are people saying?

"They did what people have said couldn't be done for years. They designed a superhero game around the classic ... white box rule set. It is an amazing accomplishment! They did it with an old rule set and put it all in a digest sized book!! Try it!!! You might like it! And you might find that this small book does what all of the other over expanded rules have been trying to do for year! This is an amazing and noteworthy accomplishment. I wish that I had had this book to purchase when I bought my first white box set decades ago!" -Scott Shafer


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Reviews (4)
Discussions (38)
Customer avatar
Jon M October 19, 2022 9:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
What happened to the POD version? I was about to order it, only to discover that it seems to have vanished...
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Customer avatar
Thomas D October 20, 2022 3:56 am UTC
PUBLISHER
There is a site-wide upgrade to the paper being used for the POD books, so many of them have been put into revision until the printer approves the files. In my experience this takes weeks, sometimes months to get through the whole process before a book is approved to go on sale.
Customer avatar
Jeremy H May 28, 2022 3:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Any updates on this one ready to roll out? I've been waiting to get a copy printed for a few months now.
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Customer avatar
Thomas D June 08, 2022 6:45 am UTC
PUBLISHER
No plans for an update any time soon. Though I have some really cool supplements I'd like to wrap up and publish.
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Customer avatar
Jeremy H June 08, 2022 6:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Sounds good to me. So is this A5, A4, Letter, etc.?
Customer avatar
Thomas D March 29, 2022 2:19 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
A dedicated forum is now available:
https://nightowlworkshop.freeforums.net/
Customer avatar
Andrew G March 29, 2022 12:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
Not sure if this will work, but here’s a link to my house rules
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nrsqyf7mzfoa53h/AABvrflkFCeUH2xXApfRolq0a?dl=0
Customer avatar
Henry P March 03, 2022 1:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
How do you go about giving PC’s money for their jobs? Or does this not play into the game?
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Customer avatar
Thomas D March 03, 2022 3:25 am UTC
PUBLISHER
This is the kind of detail left up to the Referee.
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Customer avatar
Henry P March 15, 2022 10:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I have a few ideas. How have you done it in the past?
Customer avatar
Timothy L November 15, 2021 3:36 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a character sheet for this game online?
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Customer avatar
Thomas D November 17, 2021 10:33 am UTC
PUBLISHER
The publisher offers a free Character Sheet Bundle https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/234190/Character-Sheet-Bundle
Customer avatar
dave B September 13, 2021 12:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
For those that don't know Thomas D has a fantastic blog on this and other games he's involved with. He posted this excellent Vigilante class for Guardians.
https://dungeoneering.blogspot.com/2021/08/the-vigilante.html?m=1
Customer avatar
dave B July 20, 2021 10:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question on the Ability Score Modifier Chart.
Some of the examples of Str do not match up on the existing chart. Was this due to changing of the chart during playtests?

Example of correct with the chart:
Record the Basic Ability Modifier parenthetically after the score, e.g., 18
(+3). For high strength only list the extra damage dice after a slash, e.g., 40
(+14/+8d)

Examples of incorrect with the chart:
EMBER
Supernatural Bruiser (5th level)
Str 22 (+4)

DAMASCUS STEEL
Mutant Bruiser, 1st level
Str 16/48 (+9/+4d)

VOLKSGEIST
Superhuman Bruiser, 10th level
Str 55 (+10/+5d6)
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Customer avatar
Thomas D July 20, 2021 11:12 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Example characters are a little off. They're being updated and will be put in the FAQ. https://bit.ly/3isflrv
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Customer avatar
dave B July 21, 2021 2:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sweet.
Customer avatar
Thomas D July 20, 2021 6:12 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
There has been a recent surge in interest for Guardians. For those new and old to the game we have an errata sheet including suggestions from players. It is a work in progress and has some duplicate information and needs some cleanup. You are welcome to comment. If you do and would like credit for your contributions let me know. https://bit.ly/3isflrv
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Customer avatar
dave B July 20, 2021 6:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Loving it. Just sent off for paper copy. Good stuff.
Is the erratta on that bit.ly link? Can't get it to work.
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Customer avatar
dave B July 20, 2021 10:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Scratch that got to it on my laptop. Android weirdness. Thanks for the link!
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Customer avatar
Andrew W July 21, 2021 1:16 am UTC
PURCHASER
That's great news! I've been posting a bunch of Guardians conversions up in the World of Supers RPGS group on Facebook, and a thread on rpg.net... This game deserves more attention!!!
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Customer avatar
dave B July 21, 2021 2:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks for the heads up on theconversions!
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Customer avatar
dave B September 13, 2021 12:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think we need to find an old school forum oh, something friendly to this old school type of game and post our favorite Night Owl Workshop material and ideas there.
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Customer avatar
Thomas D September 19, 2021 4:45 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I frequent the ODD74 board a lot because it is a great group, discussions are civil and thoughtful (and they never talk politics!). They have a board for my Warriors of the Red Planet RPG, maybe with enough interest they could open a Guardians board. Tell them I sent you.
https://odd74.proboards.com/
Customer avatar
Andrew W July 18, 2021 1:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Question about the super agent’s martial arts specialty… it says you get +2 AC when not wearing armor. Does this include the armor power? Or just the conventional armors listed in the back? Or both?
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Customer avatar
Andrew G July 18, 2021 2:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
I usually say the prohibition only applies to armour without a power point cost. Lot of my Batman-esqe characters have a 1 power point suit using Combat Atmour, Super Vision, and usually swinging
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Customer avatar
Andrew W July 18, 2021 5:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That’s what I was thinking as well (since that armor power could be flavored as anything)
Customer avatar
Andrew G July 16, 2021 12:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
I’ve played around with a lot of house rules and thought I’d share a few
Super Attribute - the characteristic modifier becomes too powerful. I allow super attrib to work on secondary effects like damage and lift for strength or HP for Con. If you want a better characteristic mod, you can up a stat 2 points for a feature point
Teleport - way expensive in energy, it seems to be for big long range teleports. I added a Blink power (A1 cost) which basically lets you travel normal foot distance for 1 feature point in line with swinging.
Wall Crawling - should be a feature
Utility belts/Magic - for 2 power points you can have a 1 power point variable power that you can change on a successful save roll. A more limited option is you can buy a power and for a feature point be able to change that into another predefined power as a free action
Mind Sheild - should be a feature
Faster than Light - should be a feature

That’s about it, hope it’s useful to someone
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Customer avatar
Andrew W July 17, 2021 3:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Those are some great ideas! I love the simple VPP you came up with... easy and elegant! I've been going back and forth on whether the BAM modifiers are too high... On the one hand, super strong bruisers are downright deadly. But on the other, there are lots of High Armor classes and DR powers running around.
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Customer avatar
Thomas D July 20, 2021 5:35 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks. I'm taking notes.
Customer avatar
Neil S July 15, 2021 12:11 am UTC
How many powers
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Customer avatar
Steve D July 15, 2021 12:43 am UTC
I count 108 different powers. Also, there are 24 features which are like minor powers that count as 1/3 of a normal power. The list is extensive and can they can serve as a guideline for making your own powers.
Customer avatar
Andrew W July 13, 2021 6:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Do the armor types listed on page 59 not provide damage reduction? I don’t see any values listed ( it does note that bruisers & power wielders can only wear ac 9 [11], but none of the armors that follow are listed in that format)
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Customer avatar
Steve D July 13, 2021 9:41 pm UTC
I don't see any mention of damage reduction, so no.

The armor values are listed with only their ascending value. They should have both listed descending[ascending] i.e. light armor vest 5[15], long leather coat 8[12], tactical body armor 3[17]. The author is using base 10 for descending armor class values. 20 - Ascending value = Descending value.

The class writeups state Bruisers and Power Wielders cannot wear armor giving them a base AC of 9[11]. However on page 59, there are three types of armor they could wear that do not exceed their base AC: leather jacket, spandex, and war bikini/jeweled harness. Each of these armors should have been listed with the AC stat 9[11].
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Customer avatar
Thomas D July 15, 2021 1:50 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thank you, I collect this information for future reference. I also like to hear what can be added or improved. Cheers.
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Customer avatar
Andrew W July 15, 2021 4:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I see now... I mistakenly thought the way armor was written , ie: 3 [17] meant AC 4, DR 17. Now I realize it was referring to ascending / descending. Makes perfect sense.
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Customer avatar
Thomas D September 19, 2021 4:32 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I should stop listing Descending armor in my rulebooks. At the time there was still a vocal faction amongst the "OSR" crowd that insisted that it was essential to the flavor of old school games. I think over time the general utility of ascending armor and its ease of use (particularly for new players) has far outweighed the nostalgia of the clunky descending AC system.
Customer avatar
Andrew W July 12, 2021 10:01 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Anyone know where I can download a form-fillable pdf char sheet for Guardians? Thank you!
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Customer avatar
Thomas D September 19, 2021 4:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
On my todo list! It is much trickier with this game than some other RPG's because all the calculations involved. But I could probably make a basic one that doesn't calculate much and has blank text boxes to fill.
Customer avatar
Andrew W March 29, 2021 2:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question for the publisher: Was this game ever updated to take feedback into account? There was some talk below about changing the attribute tables ,to hit bonuses, etc. Just curious if I should download a new copy or not..
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Customer avatar
Thomas D April 01, 2021 8:05 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Yes the book here is the latest updated version.

If you have a PC or Mac I recommend the DriveThru app, it works really well to organize your collection and keep it updated.
Customer avatar
john F May 20, 2020 7:22 pm UTC
If a character has Super Strength or Super Dexterity, is that the value you add to the attack bonus when trying to hit? Or do the "super" abilities only affect the damage?

Thanks so much.
Reply
Customer avatar
Thomas D June 27, 2020 8:18 am UTC
PUBLISHER
The consensus is that adding that bonus to hit is too powerful.
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Customer avatar
Andrew W April 06, 2021 11:41 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So how does that work exactly? Do you just cap to hit bonuses at 18 str?
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Customer avatar
Andrew G April 07, 2021 12:14 am UTC
PURCHASER
I usually use the rolled bonus for to hit BUT there’s a little line that says you can trade a feature point for +2 to a characteristic. I’ll allow attributes bought up that way to count in every respect. Attributes bought up with super characteristic I won’t allow the increased bonus into the hit/armour equation but will allow for stuff like, damage, saves and initiative
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Customer avatar
Steve D April 08, 2021 1:26 am UTC
Currently, I am capping the STR and DEX bonuses for hitting and AC to +3 but adding +1 for each power level in super STR and DEX. I still use the full attribute bonus for saves (though a natural 1 always fails).

I have couple of suggestions for STR damage in the comments below.
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Product Information
Gold seller
Artist(s)
Pages
98
Publisher Stock #
NOW1002
File Size:
2.61 MB
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