Hi, I’m the Answer-Man, Thaddeus Howze. You may have seen me in such films as “Teslas from Space!” or “Earth: Fast Food Paradise,” which were hits on Omicron Persei 8.
When I was asked to work with Robin Flanagan, I had no idea what they wanted me to work on but I was eager to find out. After I saw the template PDFs, I knew I had to be a part of Absolute Power, the Superhero tabletop RPG.
I was a fan of the 2002’s Silver Age Sentinels RPG. Robin revealed it was getting a substantial rewrite. Silver Age Sentinels was one of those games which happened ahead of its time and in competition with a host of other super RPGs. When Robin revealed that Absolute Power was based in the original world rewritten for the modern era, I was ready.
Absolute Power wasn’t your standard reboot, however. The game world has changed in the two decades between editions, from the mechanics evolution of the Tri-Stat System to the superhero media landscape. It had been retooled using a new and dynamic game system, with brand new designs, and new interior art, making Empire City‘s superhero environment feel more inclusive, representative and modern in a way many Superhero RPGs can’t match.
The World of Absolute Power, despite its name, isn’t an endorsement for heroes or villains to run amok. It is a admonishment for restraint in a world which is slowly being transformed by metahuman development, fears of superhuman capacity and the very Human resistance of rapid changes to the social order.
Absolute Power taps into the current zeitgeist of modern superheroic fiction which has taken our world by storm becoming a staple of entertainment everywhere. From Marvel’s Avengers to Amazon’s The Boys, superheroes are being represented in a variety of all too Human interpretations of what power means and the responsibility which goes with it.
The Absolute Power rewrite is nimble, easy to understand and yet capable of representing a dynamic range of superhuman capacity. I was taken by its strong visual dynamics and as a long-time player of superheroic RPGs such as Villains and Vigilantes, the Marvel Super Heroes RPG, DC Heroes and the venerable Hero System, one of the bars by which other Super RPGs are judged, Absolute Power holds its own.
Robin Flanagan brings Empire City and the history of its world to life, with clever, often fiendish villains facing stalwart heroes who feel real, who struggle with their lot and are not always as heroic as they would like us to believe. This is a labor of love and every page shows it.
The Tri-Stat System game mechanics presented in Absolute Power Book One were designed and updated by BESM RPG creator Mark MacKinnon. The updates, explorations, and expansions to the Empire City setting, characters, and cosmology in Absolute Power Book Two were written by Dyskami’s Creative Director Robin Flanagan.
Illustrations throughout Books One and Two are by Kingsley Calungcagin, Jeffrey Viloria, and The CMD Studios. Silver Age Sentinels and Tri-Stat System are trademarks of Paradox Interactive Group and produced under license.
FOR THE RECORD: I worked with Robin Flanagan and wrote one of the included scenarios, “Empire City Loves You.” It’s 32 pages of introductory adventure for new heroes just finding their way in Empire City, and we had a blast collaborating on it.
It’s simply Sublime.
Dyskami Publishing Company is a tabletop game designer and publisher headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Dyskami’s founder and award-winning game creator, Mark MacKinnon, serves as the lead designer and line developer for the Anime 5E and BESM Fourth Edition lines, and has overseen the publication of numerous anime RPG products since 1997.
In addition to successfully launching its role-playing game division, Dyskami Publishing also designs a licensed line of tabletop games featuring the popular Japanese anime series, Sailor Moon Crystal. For more information about Dyskami Publishing, visit their website at dyskami.ca.
“The Silver Age has come and gone. Superpowers now bring fear as often as comfort and shades of grey cast the world in shadow, muting the shining colours of yesteryear. Villains have become stronger, and their influence is felt in every nation. The need for heroes is greater than ever. Can you balance superhuman gifts with humility, compassion, and hope? Do you have what it takes to resist the ever-present lure of Absolute Power?”
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Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.