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DC RPG: The Hero Points Podcast, Episode 01

The Fire and Water Podcast proudly presents a new addition to our family of podcasts …

DC RPG: The Hero Points Podcast

The inaugural episode of our HERO POINTS podcast is now available — the show that tackles role-playing games set in the DC Universe! This episode Shag and co-host Siskoid (of Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery) chat about DC HEROES ROLE-PLAYING GAME, the first edition box set from Mayfair Games released in 1985. Future episodes will be released occasionally and will examine various products from DC’s long history of role-playing games.

Find the first episode of DC RPG: THE HERO POINTS PODCAST on iTunes. Each episode will be released as part of THE FIRE AND WATER PODCAST feed. While you’re on iTunes, please drop us a review. Alternatively, you may download the podcast by right-clicking here, choosing “Save Target/Link As”, and selecting a location on your computer to save the file (54 MB).

Have a question or comment? Send us an e-mail at:

Share your memories of this game (or superhero role-playing in general) here in the comments, at SISKOID’S BLOG OF GEEKERY, or THE AQUAMAN SHRINE!

Be sure to visit for an impressive collection of character stats developed by the DC-Heroes Yahoo Group. Also, be sure to check out Siskoid’s own DC Heroes write-ups (circa 2001)!

Just to whet your appetite, here is what’s inside the DC Heroes Role-Playing Game first edition box set! For lots more images from this set and the game, be sure to check out our Tumblr site:!

Mayfair Games DC Heroes Role-Playing Game 1st Edition box set

Support DC Comics Role-playing Games! Let’s Roll!

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  1. liquidcross says:

    Aha! That explains the random Mayfairstivus shoutout on Twitter the other day. :)

  2. Siskoid says:

    That was a very savvy marketing move on Shag’s part.

  3. Kyle Benning says:


    I have no idea what you’re talking about in this episode, but it was enjoyable and informative none the less. Looks like there was some great art for this game, it would have been cool if they had done the game to go hand in hand with Who’s Who. It’s too bad they dropped the Monitor idea, that would have been a cool concept and tie-in to Crisis to leave into the game.

    I hope next week is either Who’s Who or a geek talk episode, either way the stupidity DC cranked out this past week (see checklist below) really needs to be addressed in a little 5 minute segment of an episode.


  4. rob! says:

    I thought this turned out great, and it was nice to have the week “off” and see the show was in good hands while I was doing my pub crawl in Baltimore.

  5. Frank says:

    1. Another dang foreigner taking jobs away from ‘merica! Worse, his Canadian socialistic “role-playing” has made this the least profitable recent episode by refusing InStockTrades commercial airtime and causing true patriots to question their very identities!

    2. I find Siskoid’s accents amusing. It sounds like a benevolent xenomorph trying to imitate an earthling, but it’s not quite Yankee, nor DeGrassi, nor Inspector Clouseau. It’s like how U.S.A.ians’ “English” accents usually sound like a Cockney Mick Scot Aussie Kiwi. He should have just claimed to be from Wisconsin and used his obsessions with Green Acres and “Horse With No Name” to cover his spy operation.

    3. My primary memory of early RPGs was spending hours on tedious character building, then never having time to ever play the character. I think I bought the 1984 TSR Marvel Superheroes Basic Set in ’89, and still have pieces of it today. The only time I ever tried to play a game using it was one time with my half-brother and cousin. In my own personal variation on Michael Bailey’s “Silver Surfer kicks ass” anecdote, I as a Punisher fan played as the Punisher, and my cousin as a power hungry douchebag chose to have the Hulk steamroll me while my bro laughed and quasi-GM’d. I also bought a pack of prepared character sheet templates that I used for my own non-gaming creations, and still have them in a box somewhere.

    4. When I jumped ship from the crappy dying collectible shop I was at (thanks to idiot new owners I was sold to as indentured property) to a more successful one, most of my comic customers ended up in the same place. One I palled around with wanted to try out the DC Overpower CCG, and I said I would if he did. We played together a few times at his place, and then I taught some of the neighborhood kids how to play, and it grew from there. For a couple of years, the shop was basically the area Overpower hangout.

    I wasn’t a competitive player and I had anger issues, so I gave up on Overpower and started fiddling with the Mayfair books I’d bought dirt cheap from our gaming distributor Chessex purely as reference material on DC heroes. The same core Overpower group took part in a lengthy campaign I GM’d. Like with early Shag, it was much more a fantasy side-scrolling fighting gaming with story elements than role-playing, but the guys really got into their characters, and we had some fun. When that campaign wrapped, I tried to do smaller, more individualistic adventures with new characters, but it didn’t hold together, and the group started to fracture besides. One guy disappeared into the military, and another disappeared up his wife’s skirt. One gravitated toward a more raucous group closer to his age, and eventually left town. His brother’s been one of my two best friends for 17-18 years now.

    5. If I had it to do over again, or if there was even the faintest glimmer of hope that I might ever GM again, I’d strive to be more fluid, collaborative, and avoid pushing my own agenda. That said, some of the most exciting episodes involved myself and/or players fighting with all their might against the course of the game. For instance, the time an exceedingly high roll followed by an arctic cold streak caused a player to kill Rainbow Raider despite my providing (epic fail) cushioning and possibly an attempt to jump out a window and catch the mother. Did he bleed red like the rest of us?

    6. I always wanted to do more with the intellectual and mystical stats. My guys all hyped up their physiques, and I never properly gave them what for by throwing riddles and artifacts at them. We were all too green for those types of compensatory/punitive measures. Which is how Rainbow Raiders get deadened. I never got to use subplots, and yes, my group was Titansy.

    7. Even for a guy with dated familiarity, there was a lot of technical talk that I confess to tuning out this episode. I perked up for some stuff I’d missed in the past, but I did a lot of passive, uncommitted listening. Hopefully, enough of the logistics were established in this episode to avoid them in those that follow.

    8. While I’m bitching, Shag– enough with the lists! I was enjoying the first ever Michael Bailey/Shag Views from the Longbox I’d ever heard, and then it degenerated into an hour of your reading out a grocery list. Same thing happened with the token census here. No, I don’t want to hear about your character.

    9. But if you want to send a scan of the back of the Martian Manhunter card to go with the front you sent me during Mayfairstivus, I can do a post that links back here. How hard do I need to bite your hand for you to feed me? #rabid-logic

    10. Why would you invent a Task Force X logo when you could just call the module protagonists Suicide Squad. Was it a Tipper Gore/Rona Jaffe thing?

    11. In Overpower, I didn’t often play Martian Manhunter, though he helped with a decent multi-spectrum deck if I took on undesirable teammate from a fan standpoint. My best deck was built with Sabretooth, who I abhor, as part of a raw fighting power deck (though the inclusion of Wonder Woman and Captain America helped loads.) Point being, in games, the game tends to come first. You love certain heroes as the subjects of stories, but you want to interact with them rather than be them in role-playing. If I ever got into cosplay, I’d prefer to be the best original character for me than clumsily attempt to replicate a favorite. It reminds me of the time I bought a Captain America t-shirt, a friend pointed at me and said “Steve Rogers,” he was totally right, and I resold the shirt.

    12. Never used a module for anything but stat reference.

    13. Marvel never pushed their game like DC, did they? I remember ads featuring the box art for the original and advanced editions, but that’s it. DC’s house ads were so appealing!

    14. Arithmetical.

    15. The “trinity” is definitely a recent invention, unless you mean Superman, Batman and Robin in World’s Finest. I hate Wonder Woman interacting with those guys, especially romantically, and emphatically when she’s subjugated as a backer for one or the other. Wonder Woman was very isolated throughout her publishing history, even with regard to her interaction with the JSA and JLA. Remember, “Wonder Girl” was invented as Diana’s younger self who only became a separate entity in the Teen Titans. The Wonder Woman “family” was Diana at three stages of her life existing in one time-space joined by her mother, and those stories stopped rather than incorporate Donna Troy. Wonder Woman is an island on an island.

    16. You can’t say DC didn’t support Omega Men, all for naught.

    17. I think I’m going to get some use out of HeroMachine. I made a Commander Blanx last night. Thanks for the heads-up.

    18. Never heard of, and anyway, screw those guys. Hitman was the only New Blood I saw. No Zook, no Malefic, no interest from me.

    19. If Blood of Heroes had been around and I knew anything about it, a variation on San Futuro would have been a perfect setting for my gang. Oh well.

    20. Nice job on your first outing, guys! Interested in seeing where you go from here…

  6. Siskoid says:

    Yay! My first Diabolu Rant (Frant?)!

    1. I wasn’t paid, if that’s any comfort.

    2. Brother, I wish I didn’t have one at all, but what are you gonna do? Must be 40+ years of speaking the wrong language. At least it dispels the idea that I talk like one of the McKenzie Brothers on SCTV.

    7. I think we proved why we didn’t want to do a podcast about mechanics with that one. Future episodes will focus a lot more on DCU lore as described in the games and such.

    10. One of my favorite adventure modules. I think that yes, they didn’t want to put “SUICIDE” on the cover because of RPGs being a leading cause of teen suicide, if you believe the after-school specials. Which you shouldn’t. Because the claim is ridiculous. Still, I think that was the reason.

    14. Correct. Geometric involves multiplication. I left math behind when I went into lit.

    18. Only a matter of time.

  7. Tim Wallace says:

    AH! Last weeks tweets are so much clearer now!

    I think I first played D&D with my cousin when I was 12-13. It was a short adventure, he was just learning and it was the first I’d ever heard of RPGs, but it occupied our afternoon at my Gram’s house. I don’t remember many details, couldn’t even tell you what kind of character I played, but it acted as my gateway into roleplaying!

    My mom used to worry about me. I was the only boy in a house with her and 2 sisters (my dad was an absentee a-hole who left when I was about 2yrs old) and I don’t think she always knew what to expect or how to deal with me. Anyway, a large part of the reason I got into the DC Heroes game was because she worried that D&D had something to do with the devil, or made kids go crazy…that Tom Hanks movie “Mazes & Monsters” probably had a little something to do with that, lol. Superheroes were good, D&D was bad…it didn’t last long, but that’s how it started.

    I guess it was 86-87 that I bought the 1st edition game with some birthday money. I actually met one of my best gaming friends, starting a conversation while we were both looking at the games on a shelf in the back corner of Waldenbooks. We ended up pulling in a core group of 5 friends and played DC, Marvel, TMNT and D&D about twice a month. I only ran one DC campaign as GM during that time…the Suicide Squad based “Operation Atlantis”. My friends liked it…but I didn’t think I was as good as they were as GMs, and settled back into my role as a player. Through the rest of high school we pretty much focused on D&D, but that didn’t stop me from grabbing some modules, sourcebooks and the 2nd edition box set. In college, with a new group of gamers that now played weekly, I dusted of my DC Heroes boxes and books again and gave GM’ing another shot. It was short lived, D&D always managed to shove its way back to the front of the line, but I was more confident in my skills, and had everyone create their own characters, and I created my own story…it paid off and one of my friends has said it was one of his favorite adventures we did!

    As we all graduated from college the group splintered and the games came with less frequency. I dabbled in some online roleplay (can’t remember the name of the site though) where I ran a zombie themed game…and I used some GURPs sourcebooks for reference on that one.

    Earlier this year my mom passed away. Over the last few months I’ve been going through some boxes of stuff I’d left behind at the old house, and recently rediscovered my gaming books. I’d even prepped and scheduled (then pushed up when I saw all the Mayfair tweets) a short post of my own with scans of the Blue Beetle and Nite Owl character cards after this discovery…its almost like synchronicity, all these things happening at the same time.

    Damnit! Now I want to call some friends, order a pizza and roll 2d10 till the wee hours of the morning! Thanks for bringing back some great memories guys!

  8. rob! says:

    If I had any idea how to play any RPG games, I’d suggest a Skype-centered F&W gaming session involving the Nuclear Subs!

  9. Siskoid says:

    Rob: And I’ve been talking about doing an entire game on Skype/G+ for my readers who can’t find a group in their area (I’ve already been including one Skype player for the past month and a half of gaming already) and/or playing a game on air (back when I had a regular geek-centric radio show here in Moncton), so it could definitely happen.

    And you really don’t need to “know” how to “play”, just as it says in the Hero Points theme. Only the GameMaster really has to understand the rules.

  10. Frank says:


  11. Anj says:

    I’ve been role playing for most of my life, predominantly D&D with some Champions sprinkled in there.

    But in college, my friends and I played the DC Role Playing Game and had a blast. Four of us played together as a team called Paradox 4. There was a player created psionic, a player created energy blaster, Guy Gardner, and my character – Wildfire from the Legion.

    With a couple of energy people already on the team, I used my hero points and sub-plots to slowly mold Wildfire to more of the muscle of the team. He could still shoot beams but his raw strength was his greatest attribute.

    After a couple of adventures on Earth, the GM realized the team was a bit too powerful and so made us head into space to fight more galactic threats.

    The game was a complete blast and for us, as for you guys, the fun wasn’t in the dice rolling and more in the role playing. Our characters’ personalities didn’t always jibe and that led to some great interactions. Even after finishing playing (college ended and we separated), we continued to write stories about the team, snail mailing chapters to each other.

    At one point, we even set up a second ‘no powers’ team with John Constantine (me), Ted Kord Blue Beetle, and a Zorro-like character.

    We so enjoyed the character interaction that when we went back to D&D, we each had to write an ‘origin’ story, the equivalent of a Whos Who page. It helped move the game along.

    Thanks for a great show and letting me wax nostalgic.

  12. Siskoid says:

    Hahaha… I’m already building a scenario in my head where everyone plays their fetish character. Shag as Firestorm, Rob as Aquaman, Frank as J’Onn J’Onnz, Tim as Blue Beetle, and so on.

    And Tim, my sympathies to you and your family for your loss. It seems not so long ago we went through the same thing. Our silly little hobbies are more important to the healing process than we realize. Keep the faith.

  13. Luke says:

    I found a download of the DC RPG sourcebook, so I can at least follow along with you guys. I’m a lapsed gamer like Shag, but I never really played superheroes besides a little bit of Mutants & Masterminds. (I did run Dave Van Domelen’s refined homebrewed Transformers game once, which is close I think.) I am inspired to do some more online research on both this game and the Marvel Super Heroes game, maybe I’ll run one some day!

  14. Luke says:

    Also, Shag, the cinematic effect where you “smash zoom” on the subject is called a dolly zoom, or informally, the Hitchcock Zoom. It is done by dollying the camera away from the subject while you zoom the camera in at the same time. It changes the perspective relative to the lens of the camera, leading to the unusual distortion.

    You can also go the other way — zoom out from the subject while dollying the camera forward at the same time; this produces an effect like the finale of the film Vertigo.

  15. rob! says:

    The most famous “smash zoom” is probably that scene in Jaws, where Brody realizes there’s a shark eating the Kintner boy.

  16. […] doing research for the new DC RPG: THE HERO POINTS PODCAST (you do know about the new podcast, right?), Siskoid informed me that for many years Dragon […]

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