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RPG» Forums » General Discussion » RPG Design

Subject: WIP Project Powerpunk RPG- Feedback Welcome rss

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Kariem Ibrahim
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This is a demo adventure for Project Powerpunk, a RPG I have been working on with my friends. I'd like you to play it and provide feedback. http://bit.ly/Powerpunk

It's titled "Gang Related Violence." In it you'll explore a small part of our stylized version of NYC. You'll fight crime, meet strange characters, and uncover a mystery hidden under the streets of Brooklyn.

Our adventure is designed for up to 6 people (one of which must play the Narrator or GM). There is a player packet which has sheets and bio's for 5 characters.
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Hans Messersmith
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With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
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Kariem, I skimmed through this just now, and here are some quick first impressions:

1) I really like the art!

2) I like the general themes here, street level super-heroes fighting in a anarchic NYC. I would want to know more about this setting. I think you could add more color to that section; tell me more about your setting and get me excited about it.

3) The general format of the adventure (highly programmed step by step encounters and decision points) is not really my style, so I can't really comment on it much. But I suggest a few things to make it more useful to a prospective GM:
a) Summarize the entire plot of the adventure up front, including the major antagonists, locations, etc. Give the GM the "lay of the land".
b) Provide a flow chart or other diagram to describe the flow of the adventure, showing the different decision points.

4) For me, personally, the adventure would be better if it were less programmed. As a GM, I would rather have the adventure be a situation. Here are the locations, here are the antagonists, here is what the antagonists want, here are the bad things that will happen if the antagonists are not interfered with, here are some pointers on how to navigate the situation with the players. Its the exact same information you have already, but presented as a toolbox to the GM instead of a step-by-step procedure. Again, this is my personal taste; I'm sure there are GM's that would prefer the style you have.

5) as to your system, I honestly think you need to answer this question for yourselves and for a potential user; what is it that your system does that is radically different from any of the other many well tested super-hero systems out there (e.g. Wild Talents/Godlike, Mutants and Masterminds, ICONS, Cortex Plus, Champions, etc.)? For me, personally, unless I see the answer to that question up front and clear as day, I simply won't bother. I already have plenty of super-hero games I could be playing. This answer has to be something more than "we use a dice ladder instead of some other dice mechanics". If you don't have a solid answer for yourselves, I think you are actually making a lot of extra work for yourselves (e.g. playtesting a brand new system) and missing out on an extra marketing avenue (e.g. selling to people who already love a particular system). There may be a good answer to the question, but I didn't see it. Make the answer really obvious to the reader.

A specific example here that may be relevant is Masks: A New Generation. This game has as its selling point the fact that it is custom designed for playing TEEN super-heroes. There are all kinds of mechanics in it that really enhance that experience.

So in your case, your system should have something unique and applicable to your setting; street-level super-heroes fighting crime in an anarchic NYC. Maybe it is a layer of neighborhood based mechanics, literally fighting for territory block by block. Maybe it is some kind of nemesis mechanics, where you earn the enmity of certain gangs. Maybe it is something specific to the street-level nature of the super-powers; limiting them to something awesome, but not Thor God of Thunder awesome.

But RPGGeek is littered with super-hero RPG systems that I'm sure the designers thought were awesome, but the RPG playing public either never heard of it, or did hear of it and shrugged their shoulders with a "meh". If you don't want to be one of those designers, you need some special sauce on your system, I think.

EDIT: a minor point, but I still think an important one. I think your pre-gen characters are good and interesting, and I think you have done an admirable job of trying to maximize diversity in terms of ethnicity among them. But with some minor tweaks I think you could make them gender non-specific, so that the player chooses the gender. This might seem like a small thing, but in my experience running convention scenarios players REALLY appreciate this, especially non-man players. By making the characters non-gender specific you open up all five options to a player who really cares about the gender of the character they are playing.
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Kariem Ibrahim
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In general, all your points are valid and we (I'm working as part of a team) are going to consider all of it.

The two that particularly stuck out to me and I would like to try and implement:

Flowchart summary of the adventure: That's an awesome idea I had not thought up of.

What do we do radically different than anyone else? This must mean it's not clear. We already know what that is, but now we need to make sure how to explain it and sell it.

Thanks for taking a look through it.
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Hans Messersmith
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With your head held high and your scarlet lies You came down to me from the open skies It's either real or it's a dream There's nothing that is in between
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kibrarhim wrote:
What do we do radically different than anyone else? This must mean it's not clear. We already know what that is, but now we need to make sure how to explain it and sell it.
I plan on giving it a more thorough read in the next few days, so I may have missed something important.

To follow up, I suggest that the very first page of your PDF should answer the following questions...

* What is the coolness of PowerPunk as a game?
* What is the coolness of PowerPunk as a setting?
* What is the coolness you can get with PowerPunk that you can't get with any other game/setting?
* What is the adventure contained in the quickstart/demo all about?

A demo/quickstart is an important marketing tool for your game, so you want to hammer home those things right off the bat.
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Evil Doppelgänger
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So stop your cheap comment, 'Cause we know what we feel...
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Project Powerpunk Demo Adventure
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Kariem Ibrahim
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Thanks!
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