Thunder Over Jotunheim

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Thunder Over Jotunheim

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Publisher(s) TSR
System(s) Marvel Super Heroes

Thunder Over Jotunheim is a role-playing game adventure published by TSR in 1985 for the Marvel Super Heroes role-playing game.

Role-playing game game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making of character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

TSR, Inc. was an American game publishing company and the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D).

Marvel Super Heroes (role-playing game) role playing game

Marvel Super Heroes (MSHRPG) is a role playing game set in the Marvel Universe, first published by TSR as Marvel Super Heroes: The Heroic Role-Playing Game under license from Marvel Comics in 1984. In 1986, TSR published an expanded edition, entitled the Marvel Superheroes Advanced Game. Jeff Grubb designed both editions, and Steve Winter wrote both editions. Both use the same game system.

Contents

Plot summary

Thunder Over Jotunheim is a solo scenario featuring the "Magic Viewer" system whereby secret information is revealed to the player who reads it through tinted lenses. Thor goes on a quest to the land of the giants, where he must foil a plot by Loki to conquer Asgard. [1]

Thor (Marvel Comics) comic book character

Thor is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, which is based on the Norse deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder who possesses the enchanted hammer, Mjolnir, which grants him the ability to fly and manipulate weather amongst his other superhuman attributes.

Loki (comics) comic book character

Loki is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber and penciller Jack Kirby, a version of the character first appeared in Venus #6. The modern day incarnation of Loki first appeared in Journey into Mystery #85. He is the adopted brother and often the enemy of the superhero Thor. Loki is based on the Norse deity of the same name and is sometimes depicted as an antihero.

Asgard (comics) fictional realm in the Marvel Comics universe

Asgard is a fictional realm and its capital city appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Based on the realm of the same name from Norse mythology, Asgard is home to the Asgardians and other beings adapted from Norse mythology. Asgard first appeared in Journey into Mystery #83 by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, and features prominently in stories that follow the Marvel Comics superhero Thor.

In Thunder Over Jotunheim, the player is the Mighty Thor, whose evil half-brother Loki plots with the storm giants to bring about Asgard's downfall. Loki has stolen the sword of Frey, a weapon of mighty power. Armed with his hammer Mjolnir and a gift from the sorceress Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, Thor wanders the landscape form the Domain of the Rock Trolls to the Flaming Chasm to the Forest of Nightmare Plants, searching for the sword and Loki. [2]

Mjolnir (comics) hammer of the god Thor in the Marvel Comics universe

Mjolnir is a fictional mythical weapon appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is depicted as the principal weapon of the superheroes Thor and Jane Foster. Mjolnir, which first appears in Journey into Mystery #83, was created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artists Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.

Thunder Over Jotunheim is a solo module starring Thor and villains such as Loki, Geirrodur, Ulik, and the Executioner. [3] It includes a large fold-out map of the Asgardian wilderness with area encounters, depicted as hammers, and linked by lines along with Thor can travel. As Thor lands on an encounter space, the player turns to the descriptive booklet to see what happens. [3] The module features a system involving obscuring the secret paragraphs with red dots; a tinted piece of plastic is enclosed which when placed over the dots makes them vanish, allowing the player to read whatever is underneath. [3] In the plot, Odin has vanished, leaving Thor to handle the crisis in Asgard. Loki has taken a magical sword that belonged to Frey. Thor is told that without the sword, Asgard is extremely vulnerable to sudden attack by hordes of Giants, Trolls and others. Thor is given a gift by Karnilla before setting out to retrieve the sword, and there are six gifts to choose from. [3]

Ulik

Ulik is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He usually appears as an adversary of Thor. Ulik was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and first appears in Thor #137.

Executioner (comics) fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe

The Executioner is the name of different fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Odin (comics) comic book character

Odin is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is first mentioned in Journey into Mystery #85, then first appears in Journey into Mystery #86, and was adapted from the Odin of Norse mythology by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He is the father of Thor and former king of Asgard.

Publication history

MH6 Thunder Over Jotunheim was written by Bruce Nesmith, with a cover by Jeff Butler, and was published by TSR, Inc., in 1985 as a 16-page book, a large map, a viewer film, and an outer folder. [1]

Bruce Nesmith American game designer

Bruce Nesmith is a game designer who has worked primarily on role-playing games. He was Creative Director at TSR, working on a variety of games including Dungeons & Dragons, and is a senior game designer at Bethesda Game Studios, where he has worked on AAA titles such as Fallout 3, Fallout 4 and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and was lead designer on Skyrim.

Jeff Butler is an American illustrator and comic book artist. Butler worked with the art department of TSR, Inc. for 5 years, illustrating products for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game and the Marvel Super Heroes role playing game, as well as Dragonlance novels.

Reception

Steve Crow reviewed Thunder Over Jotunheim in The Space Gamer No. 76. [2] Crow comments that Thunder Over Jotunheim, the first solo module for Marvel Super Heroes, provides a convenient way for a player to use some of the non-group heroes such as Thor [...] heroes that are popular at Marvel but otherwise wouldn't get much module coverage. The module uses the various 'gifts of Karnilla' to generate a different location and differing clues for the sword of Frey each time. With the relatively simple combat rules of Marvel Super Heroes, the simple guidelines for combat with no supervising gamemaster works quite well. the random chart for different magical spells used by spellcasters could be used in other MSH modules to a similar purpose". [2] He continues: "On the other hand, most of the encounters seem a little powerful for Thor to handle, due to his relatively low body armor. Upon leaving Asgard from one of two paths, Thor ends up in a battle where he is either almost certainly defeated, or leaves and forfeits all of his Karma. Several other battles are in a similar vein: no rules for fleeing a combat are provided, so the assumption is that once Thor is in a fight, he's in it to the finish. And finally, the map, which has paths going from one locale to the next, the distance between locales taking exactly one day to traverse, is really useless as an actual map. So if you intend to use this module as the beginning of the further adventures of Thor, the map is practically useless for that purpose." [2] Crow concluded the review by saying, "Overall, Thunder Over Jotunheim is an adequate one-shot solitaire adventure, but its usefulness for a continuing campaign is almost nil. An interesting tidbit for avid Marvel Super Heroes players, of little or no use to players of other superhero RPGs." [2]

The Space Gamer was a magazine dedicated to the subject of science fiction and fantasy board games and role-playing games. It quickly grew in importance and was an important and influential magazine in its subject matter from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. The magazine is no longer published, but the rights holders maintain a web presence using its final title Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer.

Rob Nott reviewed Thunder Over Jotunheim for Imagine magazine. [3] He describes the module as "a cross between an RPG and a board game, similar in style to the old SPI game John Carter of Mars". [3] He calls the magic viewer system an improvement over TSR's prior "system of Magic Marker pens which entailed long periods of whacking away at obscured text to render it readable", making it "Quick, simple, and it allows others to use the module when you've finished." [3] He noted that Karnilla providing Thor with six possible gifts "provides a variable element to the adventure" as "each of which can create a different story, so in theory one player can use the module six times before exhausting the possibilities". [3] He continued: "There are lots of encounters, albeit rather simple ones, and plenty of opportunities for accumulating KARMA. I managed to get quite a nice stack of it before having to hit anything." Nott concluded by saying: "Overall, I found the module an interesting experiment with solo game design, though not really very challenging in a role-playing sense. If you enjoy solo games, though, I think you'll find this one of the better ones around." [3]

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References

  1. 1 2 Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 53. ISBN   0-87975-653-5.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Crow, Steve (September–October 1985). "Capsule Reviews". The Space Gamer . Steve Jackson Games (76): 42.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Nott, Rob (September 1985). "Game Reviews". Imagine (review). TSR Hobbies (UK), Ltd. (30): 45.