Review: Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game Civil War Event Book Essentials Edition #MarvelRPG

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game Civil War Essentials Event Book Cover
The Civil War Event book cover is
very well laid out, as is the rest.

It’s only been a couple of months since I told you how much I loved the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game from Margaret Weis Productions (heck, I liked it enough to try my hand at making an Event myself). Well, the Event Book for the game has been released (, and I picked it up, so I figured I would give you a review of that, as well.

In case you are unfamiliar, the supplements for the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game are being released in an ‘Event Book’ format, where each new release for the game will have a supplement concentrating on a particular event from Marvel’s history (Civil War, Age of Apocalypse, Annihilation) followed by smaller books concentrating on expanding on that event (there are three Civil War supplements forthcoming: Fifty State Initiative, Young Avengers/Runaways, and X-Men). Each of the Event Books will come in an Essentials Edition, which contains only the supplement materials, and a Premium Edition, which will contain the rules found in the Basic Game. Civil War is the first Event Book to be released and is pretty thick at over 200 pages. The book is very nice looking, and is expertly laid out. It’s an easy book to read, and provides a ton of images, which is a good thing.

So what do you get? Mostly, you get an Event well beyond the scope of the Breakout Event found in the Basic Game. The Event comes in somewhere around 86 pages and contains a thoroughly written Event that covers a lot of ground, including giving you Datafiles for Titanium Man, Green Goblin, Doctor Doom, Lady Deathstrike, Bullseye, Taskmaster, Venom, Storm, Nitro, and Kingpin, among others. Whatever you thought about the lack of major villains in the main book, that’s a pretty good list of heavy hitters for you right there. My favorite part of the Event is actually the use of a non-fighting Action Scene. It’s a cool change of pace and gives you an idea of how to handle those things elsewhere in the game as well. The story, naturally, follows the Pro-Registration/Anti-Registration fight of the Civil War and makes a lot of suggestions for optional things that you may wish to have happen during the course of the Event.

Of course, while the Event takes up almost one third of the book, there is more in the Civil War Event Book than just that. The book also contains a few extra optional rules regarding troupe play, scene complications, and advice on handling hero versus hero conflicts. There’s nothing ground-breaking here (although I do like the scene complication rules), but they don’t take up a lot of real estate, either. There are also a bunch of Event milestones to choose from (12), so if you were one of the people that had some trouble wrapping your head around milestones, it’s good to see a pretty long list of them all together here. There are also several different countries and organizations (Atlantis, Wakanda, A.I.M., Hydra, the Illumanati, SHIELD) with suggestions as to how to play a character associated with that group, what that group’s interest in the Civil War is, and giving each group some XP Unlockables and/or Milestones. I love XP Unlockables. They feel a little video game-y, and it’s a good way to let players feel like they are earning something in a game that doesn’t do a lot of long-term growth in play. Man-Ape and M.O.D.O.K. (among others) also get write-ups in this section. As I said, there are a lot of Datafiles here.

Honestly, Datafiles may well take up the majority of the book. The list of the Hero Datafiles found in the Civil War Event Book is: Arache, Black Panther, Cable, Captain America, Clint Barton, Cloak, Daredevil, Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Falcon, Goliath, Hercules, Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Mister Fantastic, Moon knight, Ms. Marvel, Nighthawk, Punisher, She-Hulk, Spider-man, Spider-Woman, Sub-Mariner, Thing, Tigra, Wasp, Wolverine, Wonderman, and Yellowjacket. That’s 32 Hero Datafiles if my ability to count doesn’t fail me.

If you enjoyed the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Basic Game and want more heroes, more villains, setting information, or a complete Event, it’s really hard to go wrong with the Civil War Event Book Essentials Edition. If you haven’t previously picked up the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, I would strongly recommend you take a look at the Premium Edition once it is available, since you can get all of this with the rules for just a little more than the cost of the Basic Game. If you want a book with a lot of extra rules or something that changes how the Basic Game works, this isn’t that. Should you be interested, you can get the Premium Edition for $39.99 in dead tree format or $23.99 in PDF. The Essentials Edition is $29.99 for the book and $17.99 for the PDF (which is the version that I reviewed).

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About Michael

Michael is an enthusiast about a lot of things, including indie games, roleplaying games, board games, and comic books that wanted to help create a place where he could bring things to the attention of those with similar interests. Futile Position is a true labor of labor, which he hopes continues to grow through the support of the great readers who have come upon this page.

02. July 2012 by Michael
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