Super Hero'S Noir?

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Super Hero'S Noir?

Postby SaiBaku » Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:19 pm

Evening Savager's!

I've got a 2 part Question for everyone and I really do hope you all respond.

First off let me fill you in on the background so you'll get where I'm coming from.

I happen to be flipping thru the channels the other day and came across the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon. Just as I was about to move on they flashed a character in a wide brim hat, wearing a mask with googles, and long trench coat packing a set of pistols. Suddenly!.. they flashed his name on the screen. He was Spider-Man Noir! I went ahead and watched more. He was Spider-Man, but a 1930's version. I'm sure he was most likely toned down a bit since it was a kids show, but enough of the character was left to make a light go off in my head. I got to run this in Savage worlds some how. :D

So here's question one..
Has anyone tried to run this before. Now, I'm not talking running a super hero game using the pulp level hero's described in the supers compendium Like The Shadow, The Spirit, Or The Phantom. I'm talking about using Hero's like Batman, Green Arrow, Dare Devil, Or Iron Man. Re imagined for the 1930's of Thrilling Tales, but made as if they were made for the Noir style world of Frank Millers, Sin City.

If some one did.. How did it turn out?

If someone played in it, what was your best memory from it?

Any thoughts on how to go about drafting this specialized settings?

Question 2,

What the perspective of the players and Gm's what make a good Noir Style game? What advice can you give someone to not only create the setting but help maintain it.

What have the Gm's or players gotten right?
What did they get wrong?

I really hope everyone who has a thought on the matter will want to post it in here.
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Re: Super Hero'S Noir?

Postby Brian McCabe » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:33 pm


I plan on running a Supers Noir game this year at Tacticon. After a lot of thought, I decided to go with lower powered original characters, instead of the higher-power established Marvel or DC characters.

I felt like using original character gave players a chance to make the character their own, as opposed to having to play an already established character. Also, Noir is really more about low-level pulp, not four-color powerful characters.

I will be using noir super archetypes, like the mysterious martial arts, the two-gun slinging mystery man, the magic-weilding sorcerer, and the femme fatal. This, of course, will be a one-shot instead of a campaign game, so the set-up will be slightly different.

As far as research, I've relied on a Mutants & Masterminds book that came out a few years ago, "Noir" all about running Noir Supers. I'm using the Super Heroes Companion to build the characters.

For background, I'd suggest reading authors like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and Elmore Leonard. You don't have to read all of their stuff, but getting a feel for it will help you understand the atmosphere when describing settings.

Of course, there are always the Noir movies, like "The Big Sleep," "Chinatown," "The Matese Falcon" and "The Third Man." They also give you an idea of the setting.

I know Marvel did a line of Noir comic books a while ago, alternatives of Spiderman, Daredevil, Wolverine, Punisher and others.

Hope some of these suggestions help.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~~ George Bernard Shaw
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Re: Super Hero'S Noir?

Postby RivetDRivet » Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:34 pm

I also have seen that episode of Ultimate Spiderman, and it's pretty great.

I haven't tried to add Noir to a superhero game, but I have done it with a horror game. I used Wellstone City to give the game its Noir flavor, and just the monster player characters out of the horror companion. The nice thing about Wellstone is it kind of gives the weapons and bad guys the power level needed to still be a reasonable challenge to your monstrous and/or super powered characters.

I suppose the best memory from the game was that the players immediately invested in the premise, and adapted it appropriately, so there was an Italian classic mafioso vampire, a IRA flavored Irish Werewolf, a Yakuza themed Oni, etc. Hopefully you can get this same kind of buy-in from your players.

Hope this helps some, and your game sounds awesome.
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