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Pandora: Total Destruction

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"For anyone who's into a narrative superhero game and is looking for something that is challenging and new... this is a game you should get in your hands." - Sean from Tabletop Bellhop

"This is a wonderful synthesis of political statements and gameable material." - Gnome Stew

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What if your superpower could wipe out a city in the blink of an eye? How would you learn to control that power? Pandora: Total Destruction is a tabletop roleplaying game where players take on the role of overpowered supers who must learn how to control their power and stop a great evil. 

On a rainy Monday evening in the middle of January, Rodney Challice momentarily lost control of his power and created a black hole the size of a dozen city blocks in suburban Pittsburgh. And it grew bigger by the minute. When it finally closed, 61,394 people were gone and a massive crater the size of a small town was all that remained. Many empowered died trying to help others while attempting to close the black hole. Only Supreme, Earth’s greatest superhero, could withstand the sheer destructive force long enough to reach the kid inside. When he did, the black hole collapsed and took them both with it.

When the dust settled and the death count became another page in our history books, we called this moment the Void. That was the kid’s super name and it stuck, became a symbol of what could go wrong “if empowered people were left unchecked.” Governments began to call them dangerous. Emphobia – discrimination against empowered people – began to rise in countries around the world.

Now the world doesn’t like having super-powered people around again. They fear us but they can’t stop us. So now they control us. Now there’s the Pandora Initiative, an international agreement signed by 164 nations requiring all empowered to receive mandatory training at secure facilities around the globe, known collectively as Pandora Academies.

Some of them are schools. Some are prisons. Some are run by governments, some by private organizations. Some students never graduate and remain there as permanent residents. What has been touted to those without powers – or nethers – is that the Pandora Initiative is a process to “safely and securely provide essential training and education in the use of empowered abilities without risk to the general public.” The truth is far more toxic.

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Pandora: Total Destruction (or PTD) is a tabletop roleplaying game where players take on the role of untrained empowered individuals (or supers) with very destructive or potent powers capable of amazing feats and damage. The goal of playing this game is to create a story about these characters as they attempt to master their powers at one of the many Pandora Academies around the world. Unfortunately, that lack of training can result in their powers unleashing havoc on their surroundings and any innocent lives caught in the crossfire.

Over the course of numerous scenes played out across three Acts, these supers-in-training must quickly learn how to control their powers enough to stop a great evil that develops throughout a story created by everyone during play.

To play this game you need at least one each of the following dice: a 6-sided (d6), an 8-sided (d8), a 10-sided (d10), and a 12-sided (d12). Multiple dice helps speed up play if everyone has their own or there are enough to go around at the table.

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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
G P T September 11, 2022 9:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So this game is incredibly evocative and amazingly fun to read through. I’m really excited to run it, but I just can’t wrap my head around how to handle whether the heroes succeed or fail in a scene? Is there a finite amount of rolls they can make? Is it established by the narrative (IE, when they can no longer fight any further or have to retreat) and if so, do they keep rolling until they eventually mark all the steps on the scene? I’m just a little unclear on how they might “lose”. Magneto gets away and the X-Men have to lick their wounds and so on.
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Customer avatar
Todd C September 11, 2022 10:21 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
If the supers "fail their scene," it's mostly because they decide to call it and retreat. Things have not been going well, they've been causing a lot of havoc, and it could actually be easier to retreat/let the villain escape. I've also ran a scene that got drastically out of hand and I offered up the idea of retreating. Then we played out the conclusion of that scene accordingly. (And remember to use the rules for retreating because some of those leftover steps are going to carry over to the next time they meet.)

There's no maximum number of allowed rolls per scene - players can try as many times as they like until they reduce the scene's current steps to 0 or retreat (as mentioned above).

The current Act your story is in can also play a factor in whether or not Magneto would escape or not. Even if the player were to capture him in Act Two, there's still another Act to go and that's your villain. He still needs to have an impact on the story. My personal approach is to always...See more
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Customer avatar
G P T September 12, 2022 7:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I can't believe it's taken me posting here to literally realise that the mechanics stem from the fiction. The scene "fails" because the circumstances of the scene change. For example, in the book it uses the example of trying to sneak into a security room. If some of those rolls fail and the group is detected, a goal revolving around being stealthy might become somewhat unattainable, resulting in perhaps a suggestion to retreat, or use a Repercussions scene instead.

Am I on the right lines?
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Customer avatar
Todd C September 12, 2022 10:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Bingo! That's also not to say that the alarms going off in a sneaky scene cannot be salvaged, but that call comes from the players. They could decide to go on the full offensive, but now they are unable to meet that scene goal of remaining undetected and not receive any mechanical rewards or now the main villain is aware of their involvement in the plot. The target could be teleported away, too. And if it's a training scene, the players could "reset" the scene and try again until they get it right.

Either way, the key is to keep that as the players' choice on what to do without having any villains and their goons let themselves get walked all over. Because their characters are facing so many restrictions, you want to try and avoid railroading the players as much as possible.
Customer avatar
Davide D June 26, 2022 1:00 am UTC
Any Foundry vtt suport?
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Customer avatar
Todd C June 26, 2022 10:58 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Not at this time, though I have started receiving some requests for backers to create some options. As someone who doesn't play with VTT, I'll have to look into this and see what's needed to play PTD there. But it is a very narrative focused game that can use the various safety tools already provided with Foundry and others in the meantime.
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Pages
178
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103.49 MB
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File Last Updated:
June 20, 2022
This title was added to our catalog on June 21, 2022.