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Just another Steve
United States
Allen Park
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What is it?
Superbabes is a licensed role-playing game based on AC Comics Femforce. The basic idea is that you'll be playing a female superhero who fights against mostly female villains. I'm not really familiar with Femforce, but issues do seem to show up on Ebay pretty often if you're so inclined.

What's in the Box?
The boxed set comes two 8.5 x 11 maps on cardstock. One shows the Femforce version of Orlando's downtown and other shows the Greater Orlando area. You get three character sheets, one with a stock male and one with a stock female drawing and a third with no beginning drawing. There is a sheet of glossy "Femforce Paper Dolls", meant to be cut out for use as minis during the game - instructions are provided for assembling and using them. There is a pinup poster depicting the 8 members of Femforce to help get you in the mood, a "random" copy of Femforce (I hope it's random, mine is part two of a three part series), a "compact comic" made especially for the game, and finally a 142 page core rulebook.

What's on the Box?
The box is not a standard issue game box. It feels more like a bakery or a shirt box. It is not pre-printed - instead the front of the box has a color copy of the cover image from the rulebook glued on; the back features another paste-up explaining why you should buy the game and there are strips glued to the sides of the box top to remind you that this is "Superbabes Tri-City Games" and "Superbabes: The Femforce RPG". Even for 1993 standards, this is not a particularly promising beginning.
About the game

System Basics
Character creation is point-based but the characters also gain levels which may improve their powers automatically (some effects are level-dependent). With each level, the character also gets 50 character points to improve stats or powers. Similar to AD&D First edition, the levels are given titles. A zero level character is a "New Kid on the Block" who aspires to be a first level "Babe in Skin Tight Costume". From there, she can become a "Mystery Woman" (3rd), "Super Heroine" (11th), "One Tough Babe" (13th), "National Heroine" (17th) and finally "About time to retire and let someone else have a chance" (25th). Levels are based on experience points and the range between levels varies, with lower levels typically requiring about 1000 xp each and gradually moving up until 25th level takes 50,000 experience points.

The experience mechanism itself is very simple - take the level of the opponents defeated multiply by 100 and divide by the number of characters involved. The mechanics make it more difficult to attain higher levels since the reward for an equal opponent don't slide in the same way. For example, a first level character who defeats a first level character will get 100 xps. Defeating ten of them makes her second level. A 24th level character would have to defeat twenty-one 24th level characters to achieve her next level.

Character Creation
The character creation rules are by far the bulk of the book. There are 10 pages for the table of contents, an introduction to role-playing, and some common Superbabes terminology. The next 76 pages are about character creation, 40 pages cover playing the game, gamemastering advice, 2 versions of a sample adventure and the final 16 pages are sample character sheets.

To create a character, one starts with 600 character points (CP) and chooses an origin. The origins range from the stock (and free) Adventuress through extra-dimensional or extra-terrestrial origins(25 CP each) to the Inventor (200 CP) and the Supernatural Student (50 CP). Each origin places limits on character creation in terms of which stats and powers can be purchased and how much they cost. The "Scientific Accident" (5 CP) origin includes a d20 roll to see how long you'll live. A roll of 5 or less means your lifespan is measure in hours. You can also combine two origins paying only the cost for the more expensive one but gaining the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Once an origin is chosen, you can determine your Primary Stats. There are 5 and they cost 2 points per point. Status start at 0, but except for Looks must have at least a 1. The starts are:
Muscles, which impacts your lifting ability, melee damage, and Hits To Kill (HTK).

Health, which is your physical well-being and improves your HTK and your ability to regenerate damage both in combat and out.

Moves is a measure of your dexterity and impacts your HTK, Chance to hit, base movement and chance to be hit (called "Base Hittability" in the rules).

Looks is your physical appearance. Curiously, your HTK is reduced if you are better looking. Apparently beauty is fragile.

Brains is your intelligence and improves your HTK at both extremes. it also affects your chances to hit and be hit in mental combat.

Will is your ability to tough things out and your drive to succeed. It impacts your HTK and healing.

Personality measures how personable your character is. Low scores improve your HTK while high ones reduce them.

There are also some secondary statistics which are derived from your primary stats.

Power Points is the sum of all your stats. It measures your ability to use your powers effectively, functioning similar to Endurance in Champions

HTK is Hits to Kill, the amount of damage your character can take before dying.

Fame is the character's notoriety. It starts at 0 and goes up as the character engages in adventures. Being famous is a double-edged sword. A character is recognized if a d20 roll is less than his current fame.

Bimbo Points are used to do things that the character can't normally do or that would be very difficult. By taking 1 bimbo point any action the character could normally succeed at with a die roll, becomes an automatic success. For 2 points, the character can do things that violate the rules of the game.

The problem is that Bimbo Points come with a cost. At the start of each game, the GM rolls a d20 to determine if a bimbo event will take place. If the roll is less than the character's current Bimbo Points, then there's an event. The events are resolved randomly with a d100 roll and include all manner of things from bad hair days to wardrobe malfunctions to a private phone number being shared by the local radio station. Once the character has a Bimbo Event, her points are reduced to 0.

From there, the character can purchase powers. Most of the powers one would find in a typical supers game are available. The powers have very matter of fact names and are generally easy to understand "Blast", "Blind", "Density", and "Growth". A few are oddly named, like "Suck It Up" which allows a character to absorb energy and repurpose it.
Finally, the character can buy Skills and Superskills. Skill costs vary from 10 to 30; superskills provide access to a group of skills and can cost as much as 200 character points for the Soldier superskill. Once the skills are selected, you need to name and describe your character (including her bust, waist and hip measurements) and you're ready to play.

Playing the Game
The core mechanic of the combat system is a d20 roll with a target based on your level and the opponent's hitability. Higher level characters have a much easier time hitting than lower level ones. There are a number of different maneuvers each of which costs a handful of power points to use. Once the character scores a hit, damage is rolled. Characters reduced to 0 HTK are dying and will die when they are negative their Health score.

The GM section is short and provides advice on some typical campaign ideas, typical monsters, and how to avoid fatalities.

Overall, the game is fairly solid, but there is little to recommend it over other superhero games. The powers and attributes typically improve in a linear manner with many powers improving only as you gain in levels or not at all. The build costs seem odd as well and it's difficult to understand why some powers are very costly for their apparent effect. Changing your costume and living in a vacuum have the same cost. The powers, backgrounds, and skills seem to have almost randomly selected costs and the balance of the game suffers.

The tone of the game is also one that may not sit well with some players. On the other hand, if you buy a game called Superbabes expecting it to be an enlightened discussion of the sexes, you may not be thinking clearly. From the level descriptions to the names associated with some of the characteristic levels, the game lacks any semblance of political correctness. I am certain that some would be deeply offended by playing a "Babe in Skin Tight Costume" who has "Muy Macho" Muscles and "Buxom" Health and is also an "incredible babe" and a "remarkably smart chick".

The tone of the rulebook is conversational and, particularly in the Powers section sometimes becomes downright condescending with descriptions like "Gosh, whatever could this power do?" for the Blind power and several similar examples in the other powers.

With all that said, I kind of like it. It's not the best RPG in my collection and definitely not my favorite supers RPG (that would be Champions). It is a pretty fun read if you can get past the sexism. It reads very much like it was written by some average gamers with very simple language and generally clear and unambiguous rules. I don't think I'd recommend it for everyone, but if you collect Supers titles, there are definitely worse ones to own.
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Charles Donnell
United States
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Re: The Short Version? You only need this if you love Femforce, Superhero games, Sexism, or some combination of those three.
Great review of somewhat off the wall game.
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Michael Taylor
United States
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Re: The Short Version? You only need this if you love Femforce, Superhero games, Sexism, or some combination of those three.
It definitely helps to be a fan of the comics. They're actually really good 'silver' age cheesy good girl fun.

One of my favorites and I've always wished I'd found players woman enough to play it!
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