Golden Heroes

Tagged: Game

Role Playing Game (1984). Games Workshop (GW). Designed by Simon Burley, Peter Haines.

Golden Heroes, like Villains and Vigilantes (1979) and Champions (1981), is an early Role Playing Game with a Superhero theme. Its mechanics are generally well designed and closely match the narrative conventions of the written genre, their most novel aspect being perhaps the approach taken to character creation. Each player starts with a list of randomly chosen superhuman abilities (such as Psi Powers or superscientific devices) which they must then rationalize by constructing an "origin story" for their character justifying their various enablements. The most notable feature of the game, however, is its focus on the contemporary United Kingdom as a milieu rather than the default superheroic venue of the United States. This gives its scenarios an unusual flavour, combining the flamboyance of 1960s US Comic book plotting with a certain Britannic quirkiness. Thus in Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail (1985 GW), designed by Marcus Rowland, the Cryogenically preserved monarch requests superhuman assistance with the recovery of the eponymous artefact, stolen from the vaults beneath the Palace in the nineteenth century.

Related works: A second edition was self-published by Burley in 2006 as Squadron UK. [NT]

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