Sunday, June 29, 2008

Setting starters

Here is where I am starting from:
You play a character that wants to make a difference. For whatever reason, your character has super-human powers (Probably has to do with cosmic rays). And they have decided to step up and make a difference.
There has always been heroes like you. People know about it and accept it as true.
This is a alternate earth, much like our own. But some people have super powers. Most people still live their lives the way they do here, today. Even though someone might swoop in to save them, people still look both ways before crossing the street. Because, your chance of being personally rescued by a super-powered human is the same as the chance you would have a conversation with an American Idol.
But for every shining star, there is a shadow cast that cannot be denied. Super Villains keep the world in balance and all of them pursue their own twisted agenda.
So, your character battle evil to save the world, marshaling their powers and allies to overcome the efforts of super-powered villains.

Design goals:
- Encourages Stepping up to make a difference
- Encourages public persona (no alter-egos)
- Encourages public knowledge of super-powered humans
- Encourage life as usual in a modern earth-like world
- No conspiracy of shadows
- No government super soldier programs
- No aliens
- No hereditary powers

So, what do you think?
Dave M

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

[DNAwesome] Power 19

Luke Crane, John Wick, and Jared Sorensen came up with the Big Three questions of Game Design. Then, Troy Costisick came up with the Power 19, a way to elaborate further on the intent of the original three:
1.) What is your game about?
Super powered humans standing up and making a difference. This is a world where there have always been supers (Hercules was real for instance). Not in the shadows, but in the open. Like rock stars, there are thousands of them, but the chance of encountering one of them is about the same.

2.) What do the characters do?
Face Challenges that threaten the heroes or the people that they care about.

3.) What do the players (including the GM if there is one) do?
The GM Plays the Villains and initiates Challenges for the Players and reacts to the Challenges that the Players make.

The Players play super powered humans and try and make a difference in the game world.

This is done through Challenges, which involves picking an Arena, Scope, selecting and narrating Traits of all characters involved, rolling dice according to Scope and then the players and GM buy game world effects with the points generated by the dice and traits.

4.) How do the various parts of your system reinforce what your game is about?
There is no result of "nothing happens" and the results are defined by the players as the results of their actions.

5.) How does your setting (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
The setting should enable the characters to stand up and make a difference, and not force them to hide in the shadows.

6.) How does the Chargen of your game reinforce what your game is about?
Character generation involves coming up with the a concept for your character, then enables you to make that EXACT character. The only character concept that is not supported is making a character that doesn't have any problems.

7.) What types of behaviors/styles of play does your game reward (and punish if necessary)?
Unlimited creativity is supported by chargen, and this extends into the story told at the table. The game should support traditional play, with a GM, character build strategies, solid resolution mechanics and predictable/manageable mechanics.

8.) How are behaviors and styles of play rewarded or punished in your game?
Challenge resolution is defined by how the players change the setting/game world then backed up mechanically by allowing the players to substantively change the setting through their character's actions.

9.) How are the responsibilities of narration and credibility divided in your game?
Credibility is defined by the Tags of the character Traits and the Effects purchased through the resolution mechaanics.

10.) What does your game do to command the players' attention, engagement, and participation? (i.e. What does the game do to make them care?)
Even though the GM has a central role, player participation and narration is mandatory. And this is reinforced through the rules.

11.) What are the resolution mechanics of your game like?
You narrate to explain what Traits are in play and then buy changes in the world with the points generated.

12.) How do the resolution mechanics reinforce what your game is about?
You don't have to roll for the little things, like "Does Batman make his Driving Roll?" You roll when you think you can change the world!

13.) Do characters in your game advance? If so, how?
Advancement is not a focus of this game. You could use the Effect rules to produce advancement-like Effects in your own character though.

14.) How does the character advancement (or lack thereof) reinforce what your game is about?
If the effect of a challenge is to make yur character stronger, buy it with the appropriate Effect points. Otherwise, spend them to make the world a better place.

15.) What sort of product or effect do you want your game to produce in or for the players?
I hope that the mechanics (and not some settimgs prose) will make the players really care about this setting.

16.) What areas of your game receive extra attention and color? Why?
Creativity. A poster asked me how to make a character with Eyeball Control and we hashed it out in 3 posts that would have been less than a 5-minute convo face to face. And that is what I want for this game. Not to force the players to jigger their ideas into a rigid system, but to make the heroes they see in their mind's eye.

17.) Which part of your game are you most excited about or interested in? Why?
No laundry list of poers, templates, effects, advantages, disadvantages or any such thing.

18.) Where does your game take the players that other games can’t, don’t, or won’t?
Their imagination. With my game, you never have to say, "OK, my character has X, but it has no mechanical affect"

19.) What are your publishing goals for your game? Who is your target audience?
I'd like to do small press if I can line up a decent cover.

I hope this will be enlightening. Please feel free to leave a comment.

This can also be found at:
Dave M

Where to find more information

I am trying to get feedback and maybe get the word out there that there is a new supers game. I am active on a couple of different gaming forums, so I sort of cross-posted in order to get different perspectives on my progress. You can find those posts/threads here:
The Forge:

The RPG Site:

Gaia Online:


I really am trying to get feedback from as many diverse points of view as possible. So, if you want to post to one of these threads, feel free. Or if you know of a forum for Pen and Pencil RPGs that would be a good place for threads like these, feel free to suggest them to me.
Dave M

Monday, June 23, 2008

New name, new game!

DNAwesome will be a game about Super powered heroes. The world will be similar to today, but with maybe 6-7 thousand super powered humans (no aliens, but maybe cyborgs and what not).

But this will not be a game played in the shadows, your character will be a rock star (loved by some, hated by others)! And you will be kicking butt and taking names of anyone who would mess with the good people in this world!
Dave M