|Designer(s)||Simon Burley, Peter Haines|
|Publication date||1982 (amateur)|
1984 (Games Workshop)
Golden Heroes is a superhero role-playing game that was originally written and published on an amateur basis in 1982. Games Workshop then published a more complete version in 1984. It was written by Simon Burley and Peter Haines and was illustrated by a group of artists who were working for 2000 AD at the time.
The character generation system is a combination of random rolling and design. Players roll some random superpowers which they can the customise and develop in various ways to create a character they want to play. A character can only keep their full set of powers if they can justify them all in a plausible origins story.
The system really strives to recreate comics, with the actions occurring in "frames" and a lot of classic comics assumptions being written into the rules. Characters are "rated" after each game and are more likely to succeed in future games if they behave in ways consistent with ComicBook tropes.
Simon Burley, one of the original authors of Golden Heroes, has since revisited the genre and issued a new game - informed by the same aesthetic - called Squadron UK. http://squadronuk.co.uk/
Golden Heroes was first published in an amateur - photocopied - format by the original authors in 1982. The more professional and complete version was published by Games Workshop in 1984.
Golden Heroes was ranked 41st in the 1996 reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time. The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: "The gameplay reflects a refined approach to the superhero genre, and roleplaying tends to take priority over combat."
- Pettengale, Paul (Christmas 1996). "Arcane Presents the Top 50 Roleplaying Games 1996". Arcane. Future Publishing (14): 25–35.