The Green Lantern Test
The Green Lantern Test is a metric by which a number of Superhero Roleplaying games are measured. Some know the metric as The Flash test, but in either case, the general idea is this:
If a player can generate a superhero like Green Lantern with the rules of an RPG and play that character reasonably within the mechanics of the game system, then the RPG has sufficiently passed The Green Lantern Test.
Of course, this test really doesn’t mean anything more than as a means by which the flexibility of the game can be measured. Board games are, by definition more limiting in scope than more Roleplaying games.
Never-the-less, I thought it might be interesting to see if For Truth and Justice! could pass such a test.
I also thought it might be interesting to expand upon the test and see if we can do the same with a variety of superheroes. Let’s see where it leads us…
In order to pass the test, given the superpowers as listed, we should be able to sufficiently describe each comic book superhero.
Not all powers will necessarily be included, but the iconic, best known features of a superhero should be listed.
Recall that superheroes in For Truth and Justice! are limited to three superpowers gained from visiting The Nuclear Reactor, The Museum Antiquities Department, and the University Laboratory. So we should be able to create the superheroes with only three superpowers.
For Truth and Justice! currently offers the following powers that can be acquired by the superheroes (this list is not exhaustive, and may change as the game is developed further):
- Danger Sense
- Super Resilient
- Super Smart
- Super Speed
- Super Strong
The Green Lantern Test:
Green Lantern’s (and all members of the Green Lantern Corps’) Power Ring grants him a variety of powers that would be described by the superpowers Gadget and Flight.
The Flash Test:
Flash would be described by the superpowers Danger Sense (to mimic his super reflexes) and Super Speed.
The Superman/Supergirl Test:
While they have more abilities, the iconic representations of Superman and Supergirl would be described by the superpowers Flight, Super Resilient and Super Strong.
The Batman Test:
The classic Dark Knight is supposed to be the most skilled detective since Sherlock Holmes. However, the Batman augments his logical skills with tools and is the quintessential Dynamic Duo with Robin. As a result, Batman would be described by the superpowers Gadget, Sidekick and Super Smart.
The Wonder Woman Test:
Wonder Woman is a bit of a challenge given that I recall her in her Pre-Crisis identity with the Invisible Jet – while other probably are more familiar with her flight-capable incarnation. Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman would be described by the superpowers Gadget, Super Resilient and Super Strong. Alternately Post-Crisis Wonder Woman would be described by the superpowers Flight, Gadget and Super Strong.
The Captain America Test:
The Super Soldier with a vibranium shield, Captain America would be described by the superpowers Gadget, Super Resilient and Super Strong.
The Iron Man Test:
Though the capabilities of his suit of armor could arguably be described further, Iron Man would be described by the superpowers Armored, Flight and Gadget.
The Hulk/She Hulk Test:
Like Superman and Supergirl, Hulk and She Hulk would be described by the superpowers Flight (to represent Hulk’s ability to jump vast distances), Super Resilient and Super Strong.
The Wolverine Test:
Wolverine’s ability to heal rapidly and his heightened senses makes him best described by the superpowers Danger Sense and Super Resilient.
The Thor Test:
The God of Thunder and his hammer Mjolnor are described quite nicely by the superpowers Gadget, Super Resilient and Super Strong.
The Spiderman Test:
If you subscribe to the Spiderman who naturally can create webs, simple eliminate Gadget from the following. Otherwise Spiderman would be described by the superpowers Danger Sense, Gadget and Super Strong.
Scoring the Tests:
There you have it, around a dozen (depending on how you count them up) superhero tests successfully describing the hero in question a la the Green Lantern Test.
Can you think of a mainstream Superhero (or Heroine) that cannot be described by the collection of superpowers available in the For Truth and Justice! board game? Post it here and I’ll see if the set of powers needs amending.
Found a flaw in my analysis? Speak up. I’d love to hear your thoughts.