Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Squadron UK may be the best Free RPG on the web ...

Squadron UK was originally published as a game called: Golden Heroes. Interestingly, I owned the boxed edition of Golden Heroes but never played it. I traded the game for a copy of the revised edition (2nd Ed) of Villains and Vigilantes. I owned the original first edition of V&V but wanted the superior updated version. Besides, friends had played V&V ... no one had played Golden Heroes, so, V&V was an easier “sell” to my gaming group.

My traded copy of V&V came with a lot of supplemental materials, a slew of villain books that had wonderful illustrations by Jeff Dee and paper counters on the back cover. I don’t regret the trade, but thinking back now, Golden Heroes was a beautiful package and one I should have found a way to keep a hold of.

This feeling that I had really given up something great is compounded as I look at the free version of Golden Heroes called, Squadron UK: Basic.

There are a handful of free “quick-start” game products out there. Most of these are stripped down versions of a game meant to give players just a “taste” of what they can expect from a game. These are cool, but I don’t categorize them as free RPG’s. I categorize them as advertisements. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a distinction I think I should make before pointing out that, Squadron UK: Basic is no advertisement. It is a free RPG.
The free download available from RPG Now is 31 pages and very complete. It looks to me to be tighter and better presented than 4C and it might be (at least on paper) the best free supers RPG available if it plays as well as my “gut” tells me it will. As I mentioned, I never played Golden Heroes. So, I don’t know how it plays, but being a fan of old school RPGs, I see a lot to like here. I am newly excited about this game in a way that I never was back in the late 80’s.

Squadron UK is pretty old school in a lot of ways but it looks like it can handle comic book style super heroes with flair, and given that 4C just somehow failed to excite me, this gem was a joy to find. For most of you, this won’t be news ... but I hadn’t given it a look before now, so maybe there are others out there who missed it too.

Squadron UK: Basic is free and very complete, but there’s more good news ... It’s just the beginning. The game has a pay version that includes helpful examples, a few more powers, and attractive artwork. All wonderful things for those who try and enjoy the basic game and decide that they want more. Plus supplements ... additional materials to add to your game should you find Squadron UK as wonderful as I believe you will.

Give it a look. The price is definitely right. Supers RPG’s ... I love them.


Jeff Moore


  1. I think I will stick with HiLo Heroes. I downloaded this (Squadron UK) and on two separate occasions tried to read it. I just can't get past the layout... ick. The layout is pushing horrendous IMHO. Glad you found something you like though. Wish it had your game's simple straightforward 'lines'...


  2. Thanks for the positive feedback on Hi/Lo ... you know it's funny the RPG.net review of Hi/Lo is pretty positive stuff but I was really surprised by the comment, "While it would benefit from better organization and a stronger grasp of written English ..." I really thought the layout was pretty clean and linear. I consider most of my efforts to be very concise, and I also consider my mastery of the English language to be a personal strength. Oh, well ... no worries. The review was a positive one. And as for the criticism of my grasp of English, the reviewers full comment was, "Someone mentioned Hi/Lo Heroes in this thread, and I've been checking it out. While it would benefit from better organization and a stronger grasp of written English, it is also quietly brilliant." ... "quietly brilliant?" ... huh.


    Jeff Moore

    Well almost, the Scenarios have been turned into a surcebook. which includes the unpublished "LANCELOT CAPER"


    A Superhero sourcebook for the United Kingdom. Based on the scenarios of THE British Superhero game of the mid 80’s.

    Back in the day, there was a superhero RPG published in the UK. It was originally an A5 printed booklet, then a box set with two supplements, a couple of boxes of lead figures, some articles and scenarios in a certain gaming magazines. Its name is own by a third party so cannot be mentioned, let’s just say some of the Heroes were Golden

    Well that was 30 years ago, and we still have a soft spot for the original game. Which is where Legacy comes in. [Redacted]* was a superhero game set in the UK, what Legacy does is, to take those original scenarios and articles, update and expand on them and create a coherent universe, where the UK is the predominated place for superheroes.

    These are the old scenarios used to create a universe for British Heroes.

    Crossfire (an Alien Exchange) Legacy of Eagles
    Queen Victoria and the Holy Grail
    The Lancelot Caper (unpublished)
    American Dream
    Peking Duck
    Pilcomayo Project
    Contagion, Coincidence & Confusion

    The goal for this project is get enough money to pay for proofreading and editing. Nothing too ambitious. Nice and simple.

    This is Legacy, a sourcebook for roleplaying superheroes on the streets on the streets of the UK. The book which currently stands at 140 pages will have background material on why some people are superpowered and other aren’t, it will have details of various Villains old and new, there is an origin scenario which is an update of the Pilcomayo Project.

    The book will also contain: stuff on Time Travel, parallel dimensions, the source of both magic and superpowers, there is a chapter America, the EAGLES (from Legacy of EAGLES), a vast array of background information , The book also includes a century of Heroes, a year by year almanac of heroes since 1900. And details of the Official British superhero teams since 1899. Including the Queens own Shadow V.
    All in all, it is everything you might need to run a superhero adventure in the United Kingdom.

    This Sceptered Isle has called. Its time to talc up the spandex and get pledging: