A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue 7, Mechanoid Origin

Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue 7, Mechanoid Origin by A. J. Kenning and published by the Avalon Game Company is one in a regular series of supplements for Avalon’s superhero role playing game, Heroes Wear Masks, which is based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. It is also compatible with Avalon’s solo role playing game based on Heroes Wear Masks, Comic Book Adventures. With the supplement being based on Pathfinder, it is covered by the Open Game License, and some of it is Open Game Content.

The supplement is available from RPGNow as a watermarked PDF at the regular price of $3.99, but it was purchased at the discounted price of $1. The supplement comes in two different PDFs; the first is a full colour version and the second a black and white printer friendly. The printer friendly version is also three pages shorter, as it lacks the Open Game License, the figure flats and battle tiles (which should only be printed in colour anyway) and the adverts, and also the various page borders and spacer graphics.

Heroes Weekly, Vol 5, Issue 7, Mechanoid OriginThe colour PDF is 9 pages long (the printer friendly version only 6). One page is the front cover, one page the front matter, one page of figure flats and battle tiles, one page the Open Game License and one page of adverts for other Avalon products, and the remaining four pages are the actual main content. It is advertised as a five page PDF – the four pages of content and the additional page of figures – so the page count isn’t misleading when purchased.

This supplement is about an origin story for a superhero, or a supervillain; the first couple of paragraphs are an overview of origin stories, and this introductory material is identical to that in other supplements in the Heroes Weekly series that also cover origin stories.

The content describes mechanoids and how they are manufactured, and differentiates them from androids. The various different aspects of mechanoids as a “race” are covered, with standard options such as size and society, and the main “packages” that are used to differentiate the types. The packages are battle, courier, labour and service, and battle is not generally recommended for players. Mechanoids are constructs, but as they are both sentient and electro-mechanical, there are some differences from a standard construct which are covered. There is a final small section on Adventurers, which gives suggestions as to possible mechanoid origins for player mechanoids.

There are four figure flats and four battle tiles. The figure flats are, presumably, 28mm scale, and are based on the mechanoid displayed on the front cover, but with both front and back views.

Mechanoid Origin in Review

The PDF lacks contents or bookmarks, but it is short enough that these aren’t really needed. The graphics are fairly standard for Avalon supplements; they are decent enough, but not outstanding, although that may be partly down to taste. Having the figure flats included may be useful, especially as Pathfinder is a very miniature-oriented game. Having a printer-friendly version is a useful addition. The first two pages of the content follow a two column format, but the second two, for no apparent reason, switch to a single column format. The spelling and grammar is superior to that of many Avalon products.

The content itself provides a useful addition of what is essentially a type of race which, given the Pathfinder origins of Heroes Wear Masks, should be adaptable to other systems too. At the full price of $3.99, Mechanoid Origin may be a bit pricey given the amount of content, but it’s definitely worth the $1 paid.

 

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