From the introduction:
Welcome to the next step.
The Marvel Super Heroes Advanced Set (also called MSHAS- if you can pronounce that) is the next step in the evolution of one of the most popular heroic RPGs of all time. While the Marvel Super Heroes Original Set (MSHOS -the yellow box) was a down-and dirty, cola-and-pretzels, dirt-simple introduction to role-playing, this product is different. This product assumes you know what you’re doing.
Unlike the Original Set, this set starts with the basic assumption that you have played RPGs before, most likely the Original Set. (For those who have wandered into this book despite the big letters declaring that this is an Advanced set, don’t worry- we summarize the major points from the previous set as we go along, both for your benefit and players of the Original who don’t want to be flipping between two books.) You know what role-playing is. You’ve had characters that could web-spin up a storm, could wall-crawl with the best of them, and those that were the best at what they did (snikkt!). Now you’re ready for more than your standard going toe-to-toe with the Hulk. This set of two books (a 96-page Players’ Book and a 64-page Judge’s Book), along with additional cards, maps, and stand-ups is for you.
Don’t let the size of this product, the amount of text included, put you off. Some is familiar ground, further explanations of FEAT rolls and abilities that have developed in the two years since the creation of MSHOS. Ideas that have worked their way in by a variety of support products, by a number of different hands, are brought together here, clarified, and codified. Most are new expansions on the rules of the game, retaining the basic mechanics of the game but breaking them out into a fuller campaign sense, Resources. Popularity, the new Contacts section, all of these are brand new, designed to add depth to your characters and campaigns. The nature of your own heroes is changed, as we fill in the gaps in the Universal Table, allowing for more rapid advancement, and concentrating on the hero that YOU want to create. New combat strategies are dealt with, along with the use of Powers in combat.
But before I spin off into comic-book hyperbole, let me state: this is an expansion, not a revision. Certain game mechanics have been modified, but the game is designed to retain the flavor and basic rules of the original, and any adventure written previously for the Original Set should be equally at home with the Advanced Set, The only difference is the players have a lot more options available to them, The Original Set is neither reduced nor outdated by this product, and will remain as an introduction to Role-Playing, the starting point from which this only offers new frontiers and options.
This new book provides a lot of options. New combat tactics, including blindsiding, shockwaves, and the ever-loving fastball special. New equipment, new weapons, and new vehicles, New ways for the characters to spend their money, New things to build. A lot of new Powers, and more information on the old ones.
All in all, there is enough in here to give you, the players, a new lease on your super-heroic lives, and enough ideas to keep you, the Judge, hopping. Of course, the Judge’s Book contains a similar amount of information on how to handle the players. Fair is fair.
As noted above, this book comes from the thoughts, comments, and input of a number of sources. Kim Eastland developed the magic system in the form which you see here and beyond, Jerry Epperson provided the basis for the section on building and invention. David E. Martin provided the ideas for Plant Control. The Turning Page and Polaris Comics gave us help with support materials, Chris Mortika supplied us with one of our favorite sections- and least-known super-heroes, Kate Novak, Roger Moore, Joe Karpierz, Dave Collins, Ed Sollers, Steve Winter, and Harold Johnson provided feedback in an incredibly short time. Margie Neville and Peter Sanderson of Marvel Comics Group provided review, comment, and official approval. Most of the Mighty Marvel bullpen fielded questions ranging from the mundane to the bizarre. Karen, Jeff, Dennis, Diesel, Colleen and Betty slaved away through the long hours to convert the original manuscript into a readable, presentable form
And most important of all, thanks to those who have sent comments and questions, wrote long epistles, and button-holed me at conventions, who offered support and ideas and started me thinking on this project in the first place. A special thanks to you. This is the result of your effort and input as much as mine, The MARVEL SUPER HEROES Role-Playing Game is a growing entity, a game that should continue to grow as long as people are interested in telling the tales of their favorite heroes.
This is the next step in that growth.
10 March, 1986