A lot of roleplayers are also comic book collectors, so collecting the DC Heroes RPG lets you satisfy two hobbies at once. Given the popularity of comic book superhero roleplaying games, one might think DC and Marvel RPGs would dominate that genre of roleplaying games. That’s never quite been the case, though DC Heroes was a top seller in its genre during its run in the Eighties. The rules live on in the Blood of Heroes RPG, which one small publishing company or another has been working on throughout the early 21st century.
The DC Heroes Roleplaying Game
The DC Heroes RPG was published in 1985, while supplements continued to come out until 1989. In time, most of the major DC superteams (of the time) had their own sourcebooks, including the Justice League, The Teen Titans, and the Legion of Superheroes. Some of these books are now collectors items, while the entire DC Heroes line is remembered as a good rule system that may have never quite gotten its due.
DC Heroes roleplaying still has a devoted following of players who’ll argue that this is the best system ever devised for comic book battle resolution. While it has the cross-referenced charts that were so popular in the 80s, the use of these charts doesn’t take long and the ability of characters to allot hero points in battle is a good way to mimic the kind of fights you have in comics.
These discussions always have an inherent bias, because enjoyment in a campaign often comes down not just to a rule system, but also to the mix of players, the skill of the gamemaster, and which system we have fun with the first.
DC Heroes Roleplaying Boxed Set
The DC Heroes boxed set contains the rules, an introductory adventure, and write-ups on DC biggest superheroes.
DC Heroes Magic
It seems like every roleplaying system has its own magic sourcebook to detail its mystical heroes, arcane madmen, and supernatural entities, and this is the DC Heroes version. Released by Mayfair Games in 1992, DC Heroes Magic contains the Specter on the front cover. Get the stats on Dr. Fate, Zatanna, the Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu, John Constantine, and their ilk in this module.
DC Heroes Who’s Who 1, 2, 3
You probably remember the “Who’s Who in the DC Universe” comics that were published back in the mid-to-late 1980s. These were the DC Universe equivalent to the Marvel Handbook. Three Who’s Who books were published for the DC Heroes game as well. These books contain dozens of character stat blocks and background histories that didn’t make it into the core rulebook. Each of them also sells these days for around $100 online.
These supplements contains new powers, new rules, updates of old characters, and optional rules. You’ll also find factoids about DC superhumans, such as the fact Aquaman can swim at 110 mph or the fact that Big Barda can bench press 60,000 pounds. The most astounding fact is that Lex Luther had an income of $24 billion a year in 1993. In today’s dollars, Luther would make in one year what it’s taken Bill Gates a lifetime to collect. No wonder he can afford all those gadgets, or to buy his way out of prison.
DC Heroes Watchmen Metal Miniatures
One advantage to having a DC roleplaying game come out in 1985 was that it assured there would be a Watchmen scenario eventually published. These metal miniatures are for the Watchmen module of DC Heroes. This is an expensive set these days–probably upwards of $200 or more.
Watchmen: Who Watches the Watchmen?
The Watchmen: Who Watches the Watchmen module first sold in 1987. Anyone who read comics in the Eighties would like to play one of the Watchmen at some time or another. This is your chance.
Legion of Superheroes Module
The Legion of Superheroes was my favorite superteam growing up. For those who weren’t quite so enthusiastic, this supplement lets you figure out who is who among the DC Universe’s most sprawling team of superheroes (with the possible exception of the early Global Guardians). Learn about the 30th century’s worst villains, including the Fatal Five, the Legion of Super-Villains, and Mordru.
DC Heroes Green Lantern Corps
The GL Corps is another of those DC organizations that’s hard for newcomers to figure out. The sheer number of Green Lanterns and some of the oddball aliens who’ve joined make it a little hard to get up-to-speed on the universe’s #1 police force. This resource should give you all you need to know about the Green Lantern Corps–at least in the early 1990s before all that red, yellow, blue corps nonsense got started.
DC Heroes Superman Sourcebook
Anyone playing in a DC Universe has to contend with Superman. Any character with a 70+ year history is going to have a lot of background. So this gives you the essentials of what you need to know about Superman’s rogues gallery, Superman’s pals, and Metropolis itself.