One of the two groups I play with regularly has several people who have mentioned a desire to play an X-Men RPG and we recently started a once-a-month open gaming day where I think I will start running a series on X-Men one-shots for them. However, this leaves me with several decisions to make. I'm mainly considering a few options regarding the setting and system.
For setting, I'm looking at:
1- Comic Book X-Men- I don't like this one because of the existence of too much existing continuity. While this gives me as a GM a lot of back story to play off of, a majority of the possible players are not very familiar with the comics and get most of their X-Men knowledge from....
2- The Movie X-Men- This would have the advantage that everyone should be fairly familiar with it and so much of the story has been left unwritten. I can introduce movie-style versions of plots, villians and ideas from the comics, which should help me quite a bit when needing an idea to jump-start a game idea. "If I were directing an X-Men movie, how would I introduce Juggernaut?"
3- X-Men Evolution- Same idea as above but basing it on the recent animated series. This has the same advantages as the movie that a lot more of the group should be familiar with it.
4- Ultimate X-Men- Basing it off the Ultimate comics for a universe with a tighter continuiuty and an edgier feel.
5- Making my own X-Men Setting- I'm currently leaning towards this. Basically do a new "Year One" story of X-Men with players either playing their own versions of classic characters (pregens where players get to provide the personalities) or their own original characters. This would be something akin to how the Ultimate comics started with a brand new continuity.
6- Making my own superhero setting that includes the X-Men- The same thing as above but it would be a universe that includes other superheroes and since it wouldn't be connected completely to the existing settings, I could let it include DC elements like having aworld-war II superhero group named the Justice Society that happened to include Captain America be part of the world's history. The game would still focus on the X-Men but could allow for eventual crossovers with Spiderman, Batman or others.
Out of these settings, I am thinking that I will do option 5. It gives me the most freedom as a GM and should make it easiest for the players.
For systems, I am considering these four options:
1- Marvel Universe RPG. It already has stats for the X-Men and its diceless so it seems like a perfect fit for a group used to playing Amber. However, I am afraid that the more detailed and tactical nature may not sit well with the group. I am currently leaning towards using either this or....
2- Mutants and Masterminds. Easily the best Superhero system in my opinion, it would require more work from me as I would need to write up a bunch of characters. It's an OGL D20 game, so that may scare some off, but it should be worth the effort. It seems perfectly tailored for an X-Men level game.
3- C.A.P.E.S.- George Gitari's diceless superhero system should work very well for this group since it is basically Amber, but I want something a little more "crunchy." While CAPES does have some more detail that fits superheroes, I think a setting like superheroes where combat is very important needs a more involved combat system.
4- Angel RPG- I'll make no secret that I love the Cinematic Unisystem. So, since their superhero game, Beyond Human keeps getting delayed, I think I should be able to come up with something for an X-Men game byu using the demon creation rules in Angel. Obviously, using this system would make it so that I would have to create all the characters (as far as their stats are concerned) since a lot of powers would need to be made up from scratch. However, this has the advantage of using one of the coolest systems out and a system that many of the players will already be familiar with.
So here is the question I put to my fellow gamers-
What do you see as advantages or disadvantages to the various ideas?