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Powers For Good #0 Pay What You Want
Publisher: Sage Kobold Productions
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/13/2014 10:00:55

The introduction is brief, explaining that this first work in the Powers For Good line keeps it simple: one team of super heroes to play, one bunch of villains to go up against and the rules necessary to make it all work. One person is the GM, everyone else plays a 'hero apiece. Oh, and you need funny-shaped dice (the sort that are familiar to most role-players!).

On to Getting Started. Here we learn how to create characters. It's simple. Start with the team of superheroes, giving the team a name and listing the members, each person present (including the GM) suggesting two names. Then each player chooses which of the team they'd like to play (which doesn't have to be one that they suggested) and rounds that character out some. Those characters not chosen are the supporting cast and have greatly reduced statistics, being reduced to a brief description of their personality and powers. The player-characters are described in much the same way, only in greater detail - but still in narrative form. No numbers or dice as yet.

Next comes Playing the Game. Play is divided into two phases: Preparation and Action. Action occurs when the characters are acting in the face of an external threat provided by the GM, Preparation is everything else they get up to. Both are handled in the main by verbal descriptions of what characters are doing, the dice generally only come out during Action when a character wishes to use a superpower to accomplish something.

And here's the fun part. That's when you choose which dice to roll for what power - and it's not fixed, you choose each time. The thing is, as a 'core' each character has a d12, a d8, a d6 and a d4 - each can be used once during a given sequence of actions. Once you have chosen, roll the lot and compare the total against a GM-set target number - exceed that and you have succeeded in whatever you were trying to do. To reflect the character getting tired, those dice that were used are then reduced in size (a d12 becomes a d10 and so on down the line until the d4, if used that's gone), but are available for the next thing that you want to do. Once the Action is over and things calm down a bit, you increase the dice by one step again; and once the whole scenario is done, you reset back to the core values. Oh, and you can gain determination from various circumstances, which can be added to your die rolls.

The next section explains the GMs role, how to run the game and what sort of things you need to provide: information, threats and so on. There are some wonderful ideas for spurring the characters into action - vital components hit, things that collapse (under the characters, maybe) and the like. There are notes on managing the dice, setting target numbers and creating (and using) villainous plots to effect.

Finally, there's an adventure for you to try all this out on: Doctor Fission vs. The World. It is presented in outline, but is clear to follow and - being quite basic - should not require too much preparation to run effectively. The action should be fast and furious in the best comic book style!

If you want a fast, simple game that captures the essence of superhero action in an elegant and straightforward style, this is worth a look.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Powers For Good #0
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