SDHSR design: Mechanics

Time to put some statistics and numbers to our ideas.

Powered by the Apocalypse games usually have five basic stats. We’re calling ours Hot, Cool, Spirit, Smart, and Charm. Each will have two basic moves that go off that stat, and different student playbooks will have different high stats. For example, the Hero will have high Hot and the Rival will have high Cool. The Adorable will have a good Charm and the Prodigy will be Smart.

We’re still working on the names and details for some of the basic moves, but we’ve got a bunch of ideas we like. And names we like! Lots of the fun of making this game is naming things. The move used for most fighting is called Go All Out. We also have a move called Proclaim Your Feelings, which will give you a boost after you make a moving speech. Not sure entirely on the numbers behind that one yet. Another fun move is Go Shopping, which is used for getting items you need, whether that’s a new outfit or a high-powered laser.

We want all the basic moves to have applications for the students both in their lives at school and while fighting villains. So Study, for example, might be used for schoolwork but also for studying up on an evil corporation, or finding clues at a crime scene.

The moves for individual playbooks are coming together as well. Here’s a fun example, from the Friend playbook:

“Monster Bait–supernatural creatures are drawn to you. This includes your classmates who are Secret Monsters as well as monstrous villains. They may want to attack you, or they may decide to protect you or fall in love with you. You get +1 ongoing when dealing with supernatural creatures in a non-violent way.”

Because every player will have two playbooks, we’re working on the balance of how many moves they should get from each. About two from each seems right to begin with, though for playbooks that have some large disadvantage (like the Secret Monster or the Science Experiment) we may throw in an additional move to balance it out.

There is one additional stat called Bond, which you take separately with each of your teammates. You’ll roll versus your Bond with a person when you want to Use Teamwork or when you want to do the big ultimate move called Powers Combine. We’re debating whether you should get more Bonds at the end of every session (like experience) or whether you should get them through roleplaying. We’ll probably try both ways when we playtest.

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