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18:26, 17th April 2024 (GMT+0)

"Street Level Heroes" with modified "Black Star"

Posted by Norwood
member, 339 posts
Tue 9 Jan 2024
at 16:06
  • msg #1

"Street Level Heroes" with modified "Black Star"

I've been in the mood for street level heroes fighting gangs, violent villains, and secret clans of ninjas lurking in back alleys recently. Stories in the vein of Batman, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, etc. I've been a bit stuck looking for a system that I felt would adequately capture the genre while being friendly for the play by post format where too many dice rolls quickly can quickly bog things down. Enter a system called "Black Star." While designed as a "Star Wars with the serial numbers filed off" system, it has several qualities that I think really recommend it for this sort of genre:
  • It's ability based with perks/talents allowing players to develop or have special abilities represented mechanically. Hyper durable skin, fists able to break through concrete, sonar sense, etc. are all pretty easily represented in this rules-lite system.
  • Despite the similarity to PbtA games, the skills are intended to be used proactively by the players instead of the more narrative way that moves are triggered in those games. I think this will improve flow in PbP where waiting for a storyteller to always call for a move roll breaks flow.
  • Player facing rolls: Players are the only ones who roll, and the target number is always 9 on a roll of 2d6 plus skill.
  • 9+ is a success, less than 9 is a failure, but players can spend resolve to turn a failure into a success with complications, creating fun narrative tension. Resolve also doubles as the PCs health, so this is not without cost.
  • Bonuses and penalties are handled with extra dice added to the base 2d6 roll. Bonus and penalty dice cancel out, and any that are left over are added as extra dice. Roll with bonus dice and you take your best 2 for the roll. Roll with penalty dice and you take your worst 2.
  • Tags attached to NPCs and the environment can be leveraged for and against PCs to cleanly add bonus and penalty dice to rolls. This works sort of how aspects can in FATE.
  • The system allows for streamlined combat both against waves of mooks that can be chewed through with single rolls, taken on as a group, or against powerful villains, all with a unified combat mechanic that uses the same, single roll for each, resolving attack and damage in a single roll.

It might not be a system that everyone is familiar with, but it has really caught my eye. So what I'm wondering is who might be interested in a street level heroes game, for one, and what sorts of problems people have encountered with these sorts of games for two.
This message was last edited by the user at 16:06, Tue 09 Jan.
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Wed 24 Jan 2024
at 02:39
  • msg #2

"Street Level Heroes" with modified "Black Star"

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