The TOP 13 Greatest Classic DC COMICS ROLE-PLAYING GAME Supplements — RANKED

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Earlier in May, we ran a great piece by columnist Jim Beard: 13 GREAT CLASSIC ROLE-PLAYING GAMES THAT AREN’T DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. Click here to check it out — those of you who haven’t. (It was amazingly popular.)

Anyway, we’re back with two more pieces by Jim — this one and THE TOP 13 GREATEST CLASSIC MARVEL ROLE-PLAYING GAME SUPPLEMENTS — RANKED. Because we like to give the people what they want!

And why are we even doing this right now? Because Jim has a new book out featuring a whole bunch of essays about the salad days of RPGs by a collection of fans and experts. So make sure you grab yourself a copy of D20 or Die!

Click here to order — you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s Jim:


I said it in a previous column here, but it bears repeating for this one: The original DC Heroes looked awful pretty, but its rules and gameplay kind of hurt my head.

I picked up the classic Marvel Super Heroes RPG in 1984, and while that was a mindblower of a game, one of the best of its kind, I still shelled out for the DC one the very next year because, well, I was, am, and always will be a DC guy first and foremost. So, it was a done deal that I’d pick up the DC Heroes game, and while I only played it a few times (not like the hundreds of times I played the Marvel game), I state here again: Boy, did that game look good. And it had an amazing spread of supplements and sourcebooks. That’s what I’m going to celebrate here in this article.

By the way, I bought the first, second, and third editions of the DC RPG, but my favorite will always be that first one from 1985, the one with the beautiful Perez cover. That’s the one I’m going to jaw about here.

13. Knight to Planet 3 (1987). This was a Legion of Super-Heroes adventure module, and the second part of a trilogy called the Chessman series. In it, you could play as Chameleon Boy, Dawnstar, Phantom Girl, Quislet, Sun Boy and Ultra Boy, which was pretty dang cool.

12. Four Horsemen of Apokolips (1986). Darkseid dominated this module, trying to change Earth into Apokolips while hunting for the Anti-Life Equation. Whoever would have thought you could one day role-play in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World?

11. H.I.V.E. (1987). Old school Teen Titans fans will remember the team’s opponents known as the Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination. I love that the DC RPG left virtually no corner of the DC Universe unexplored—you’ll see what I mean as we move along.

10. The Green Lantern Corps Sourcebook (1988). I knew a lot of DC fans who were itching to get this one and thought it took Mayfair Games a while to get around to it, but it was very, very cool. Looks like a Joe Staton cover on this one.

9. Lights, Camera, Kobra! (1987). I just love that title and love the fact that there was an Outsiders adventure module featuring Kobra. Too bad they couldn’t have gotten Jim Aparo to do the cover.

8. Hardware Handbook (1987). Sporting the worst DC Heroes RPG cover of all, this sourcebook made up for it with complete rules for gadgetry and covered just about the entire DCU in terms of machines, hardware, and technology.

7. The Belle Reve Sourcebook (1988). I loved the ’80s Suicide Squad comic, so this sourcebook was a must-have for its character stats, maps, vehicles, equipment, etc. They even got Suicide Squad artist Luke McDonnell to do the cover.

6. Wheel of Destruction (1985). One of the earliest adventure modules for the game, it was a no-brainer that they’d produce a Batman one featuring the Joker. What’s even cooler is that this is what they referred to as a “Solitaire Module,” meaning it could be played solo.

5. Don’t Ask! (1986). Yes, it really is a DC Heroes Ambush Bug module featuring Lex Luthor as the villain. Why? Don’t ask!

4. Watchmen: Taking Out the Trash (1987). Let this sink in for a moment. How much official Watchmen merchandise has there been over the years? Uh-huh, right. Very little. And how much of it has Alan Moore himself contributed something original to? Right, that’s what I thought. Cover art by Dave Gibbons.

3. Blitzkrieg (1988). The Blackhawks vs. Nazis on a mission for Winston Churchill, all in an adventure module for the DC RPG. What more do I have to say?

2. Who Watches the Watchmen? (1988). Wait, what? Another official Watchmen supplement for the game? This one’s set in 1968. Cover art by Dave Gibbons.

1. Batman (1986). The sourcebook as far as I’m concerned. Almost a whole separate game in itself. Chock full of everything you’d need to explore the Bat-Universe of the 1980s. A lovely, lovely 80-page book.


— The TOP 13 Greatest Classic MARVEL ROLE-PLAYING GAME Supplements — RANKED. Click here.

— 13 Great Classic ROLE-PLAYING GAMES That AREN’T Dungeons & Dragons. Click here.

When JIM BEARD’s not editing and publishing through his two houses, Flinch Books and Becky Books, he’s pounding out adventure fiction with both original and licensed characters. In fact, he’s put words in the mouths of Luke Skywalker, Superman, Fox Mulder, Carl Kolchak, Peter Venkman and the Green Hornet… and lived to tell about it. His latest pop culture non-fiction tome is D20 or Die!, available here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. What? No mention of the Atlas of the DC Universe? The guidebook to the DC Comics’ geography? Tho’ non-canon, it’s geographic conclusions were the stuff of much fannish discussion back in the day. Gotham City placed in New Jersey, and so on…

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  2. Wow! I had a lot of DC’s supplements back in the day (still do), but NONE of these! You should do a piece on the full range of what both DC and Marvel produced. “Atlas of the DC Universe” was my favorite as well.

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