SDHSR design: What should the system look like?

We’ve been working on the principles of what Super Destiny High School Rumble should do and be. We’re not sure yet if we want to base the system on an existing one with an Open Game License or something similar, or design our own system from the ground up. There are pluses and minuses to both approaches, of course. One way to help us choose is to focus in on what the system needs.

Here’s our list so far:

  • Fairly fast-moving, rules light, character driven.
  • Easy to make a character and start playing.
  • Has a relationship mechanic that is an integral part of the main mechanics, not something tacked on.
  • Supports a diverse ensemble where everyone gets to play their favorite type of character.
  • Players need to be able to have the sorts of anime adventures that we like reading and viewing, where people blend the ordinary concerns of life with over-the-top epicness.
  • Fun and not unrelentingly dark.
  • Supports both high drama and humor.

We have experience with a whole bunch of RPG systems, and the two that seemed closest to what we were looking for were Fate and the various Powered by the Apocalypse games, of which we were most familiar with Monsterhearts and Monster of the Week. We even played a Monsterhearts game once in which one of our friends re-skinned the warlock to be a magical girl. So if we use an existing system it will probably be one of those.

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