In the beginning of the God and Comics podcast where Alexi and I were discussing Avengers: Infinity War, Alexi got to make the recommendation for the listeners and shared the superhero RPG we’ve been enjoying: Masks.
The game is tremendous fun—it’s easy to pick up the mechanics, and everything in it is designed to serve storytelling. You don’t take damage by losing hit points, you mark conditions like Angry, Guilty, Insecure, etc. Mark too many conditions and you’ll have to leave the fight, but you can ameliorate them by lashing out, making a sacrifice, etc.
I play the “Bull” archetype, who was given her powers by a shadowy and sinister organization. In a recent adventure, one of her handlers caught up with Sonia, and, by using trigger phrases, made her blow up like a bomb (luckily, she ran for it and no one was hurt when she went off).
So, since Sonia is friends with a nun (we placed a motherhouse for the Dominican Sisters of St. Rose of Lima in our fictional city), she went to her for advice.
Here’s what Sr. Lucia Marie had to say about Sonia’s problems with mind control:
Sonia, it sounds to me like you made the best of a dangerous situation. Many of us—well, all of us—have certain scars on our souls we didn’t put there, thanks to original sin, but many of us have more specific ones, thanks to the sins of our own fathers and mothers. God doesn’t judge us for those, but we do have a responsibility to become the saints He wants us to be, despite all of that. I’m proud of you for protecting people, even from yourself, Sonia.
The game is a blast, and ours has more theological content than average, I’d guess.
That’s Sonia second from left in the art above, drawn by Alexi, our GM and my husband.
How does it compare to other RPG’s?
I find the the RPG’s that focus on story over mechanics really need a certain kind of group to hold it up. Is your group the kind of group that would probably be content with any system, or is there something about Masks that makes it especially enjoyable?
I think there are other story-driven games that would work less well (maybe too violent or too bleak). My husband has played 10 Candles, but I’m not sure if I’d want to. I prefer Dread, where characters might survive.