I've always had a thing for Supers games. Because of that, when I heard that Savage Worlds was coming out with a new Super Powers Companion for the latest edition of Savage Worlds, I had to check it out.
My experience with superhero systems have ranged from the extremely detailed with the HERO system, to more narrative rulesets like the recent Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. Unfortunately with my current state of life as being more busy with work than ever before, getting a rule system that will deliver the kind of granularity I was used to without the time investment necessary for HERO was hard to find.
Thankfully PEG has managed to knock this one right out of the park. The Super Powers companion is a lean volume of less than a hundred pages, but one that manages to stuff nearly everything you need into it.
The Super Powers Companion establishes four different levels of power for a campaign, ranging from Pulp Heroes to Cosmic level, with each of the campaign tiers giving a pool of Power Points which the players can spend to buy their powers. There is a power limit of 1/3rd of the total Power Points per campaign that can be applied to each power.
New Hindrances and Edges are also introduced, covering a wide array of superhero tropes from Alien Form to the ever popular Dependent.
One of the more interesting things introduced is a Defeat Table, where the fate of a fallen hero or villain is randomized in an amusing table that covers a wide range of comic book comebacks (and changes) to the character.
The next section details the various gear available for the super powered sort. Ranging from the ubiquitous grapnel gun to more interesting weapons, there's enough here to keep a game going without it devolving to hours spend shopping for gear.
The Powers Construction System is perhaps the very meat of the book, and details how players can put together their character's powers. The system itself is relatively painless, with picking a base powers and applying various modifiers that will either increase or decrease the power point cost.
The complexity of the powers you can generate are admittedly fairly good, and this powers creation set can easily match Mutants and Masterminds in terms of ease of use.
The last creation section of the book involves the building of HQs, including a few examples that can be used by the GM when he needs something right away.
Nearly a good half of the book is taken up by a large rogues gallery for all of the power levels discussed earlier in the book. The villains all have a full treatment, with a short biography and their statistics and powers listed in an easy to use fashion. Definitely a plus for a busy GM like myself.
PEG is one of the few companies that can do no wrong, and their latest offering of the Super Powers Companion lives up to that reputation. Creative, useful and fun, this supplement is a must have for GMs looking for a rules-medium supers game that's easy to get up and running with a minimum of GM prep time.