Creating supergroups (I)

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Rubén Astudillo
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This post starts series dedicated to the creation and planning superbeings groups, whether these superheroes or supervillains.

The posts are not targeted to any particular set of rules so you can use these tips in Icons, Triumphant, Mutants&Masterminds or any other game you wish.

Some believe that creating a supergroup is just take a handful of independent characters and put them all together, dress with a cool name and serve. If problems arise let them stand for the dough to settle and are ready to eat … and this is a recipe for disaster.

This approach is simple but leaves us many gaps, especially if the characters have been created independently by each player at home or in different sessions as it will be quite difficult to fit. And if we have one or more lonely, angry and dark characters we inherited of the 90s all fucked up.

So is there any way to create a supergroup that works? Sure, there are many but what I will do is give you some tips that I consider worthy to be considered.


Example of unstructured supergroup to be avoided.Unless you play a comic series!

Something very important is to build characters simultaneously, meet all the players and the game director and dedicate one or more sessions to the creation of the characters. This will, among other things, that they consider the compatibility of the characters and the synergies that can be created between them.

Is there any way that your powers work together? How about a burly throwing the runt of the skewers on hand for a special attack? And a character able to protect his companions as they attack? How about becoming a mystic or psychic to reinforce this very physical group? Do they have powers in common?

Moreover it is a good moment for linking the characters together. Are they familiar? Friends? ¿Employees of a government or a corporation? Subjects of an experiment?

Needless to say this can be done even if the players are not together to make the character but always be more dynamic and interesting if you come together to do it. X minds are better than one, so they say.


One thing that often we forget is that the characters come together for a reason and would be nice to define it when creating the group. They have united to seek justice? Revenge? To protect each of them from a world that hates and fears them? Are they trying to dominate the slums of the city? What makes about as diverse and as powerful beings come together?


Anyone who has read comics may notice a pattern in the composition of the groups. There are aspects that have changed over time, not all roles are always present and there are even teams that do not meet these roles but they are the exception. It would be interesting that the characters were adapted to the typical roles both for practical reasons (most of these roles are there for a reason and not by caprice although there too) to become more like the characters in the comics.

The roles are not fixed, there may be characters that fulfill more than one role (or many as in the case of Superman) it is feasible and not conforming to none.

Roles can be defined in terms of their powers / skills and role in the group.

Regarding his powers / abilities

  • Tough: Can be a mass of muscles, or perhaps smaller but incredibly tough but either is better not to approach him too in combat. He receives more physical punishment for being on the front line and thus protects its fewer physical companions. Examples: the Thing, Hulk, Wolverine …
  • Fast: He is a fighterthat stands out especially on issues of agility and speed, it can be an acrobat or a speedster. Not particularly strong or tough but it’s hard to hurt or withhold. Examples: Gambit, Spiderman, Mercury, Flash
  • Energy Projector: A classic, from which it becomes fire fo the one who throws rays from his eyes. Its role is to provide support for distance attacks or energy shields to help his fellow front row. They are not very adept at physical combat but there are notable exceptions. Examples: Kaos, Dazzler, Human Torch
  • Psychic / Mystic: The vast majority of supergroups are very physical and Tough, Fast or Energy projectors are abundant leaving the team defenseless against threats such mental or magical. What happens when a mental controller is done with the mind of your partner and throws hard on you? You better have a psychic on your side. Its role is to protect his fellow attacks of these types and use them against their enemies. They are not very abundant and there are teams that do without them. Examples: Xavier, Dr. Fate, Zatanna
  • Genius: Their powers or abilities make it the person who should be called to analyze tracks, build artifacts or discover how the the villain’s  Day of Judgment device can be disassembled. Examples: Reed Richars, The Toymaker, Dr. Death

Regarding his position on the team

  • Leader: It may not be the most powerful but has a charisma and / or a tactical knowledge that make him best suited for leadership. One who prepares training, who makes rotations in the case of the team has many members, serving public relations with other supergroups or organizations … Examples: Cyclops, Captain America
  • The clown: On many teams there is the figure of the character that is funny comic relief to the gravity of the events. Always they have a phrase about and are irritating and annoying for his enemies. Examples: Spiderman, Speedball
  • The girl / Minority Originally had an unwritten law (or yes depending on who you ask) that we had to get yes or yes a female character who often lacked an important role and was more a work of support. It was quite sexist, characters were contributing very little. Currently this trend seems missing and there is not necessarily this role because, although these are female characters do not fall into this stereotype (or at least are not supposed to). Then, often simultaneously, he ran to the need to put minority characters. Both roles are really unnecessary and not see really interesting, I include by completism.


With this guarantee to have a balanced and interesting group? No, have to work on but can be a good starting point to consider these issues.

Later we will continue with more posts in this regard.

But in the meantime: Do you think that I miss any role? Any tips to keep in mind that I may have overlooked?


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