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A Superhero tabletop roleplaying game. Let this simple and flexible framework unleash your creativity!
A Superhero tabletop roleplaying game. Let this simple and flexible framework unleash your creativity!
117 backers pledged CA$ 4,267 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Simple Superheroes: The Roleplaying Game of Infinite Powers and Possibilities was designed to provide a framework that could let people quickly create all manner of Superheroes without having to trudge through a lengthy rulebook. It is designed to inspire the creativity in all parts of play – starting with character creation. The game has been thoroughly tested in campaign play and games at many conventions. It offers a quick and simple d6 mechanical resolution system, while allowing a great amount of creativity in approaches.

The core rulebook, which we call ISSUE 0, currently sits at 82 pages (44,000 words) and contains 16 black-and-white illustrations. Supporting this kickstarter will allow us to expand the existing content, both art and text, and provide a quality PDF and Print copy.

We are also offering perks that include subscriptions to our first 4 scenarios (Issues #1-4). These are all adventures that have been run previously at conventions and have been very well received.

Simple Superheroes is an ideal game for veteran players who are tired of overly-complex RPGs and is also perfect for players who are completely new to Roleplaying Games.

Simple Superheroes runs off rulings, not rules. Rulings are context-dependent. Each confrontation, challenge, story, universe and hero is unique and thus each ruling must be unique. Simple Superheroes gives you the guidance and framework to run exactly the kind of game that you and your players desire.

Status of the Current Issue 0 Rulebook

Ch 1 - Characters and System (7,000 words)

  • character creation and game basics
  •  example of character creation
  • how to play the first time

Ch 2 - Rolling Them Dice (5,000 words)

  • resolutions mechanics and special actions
  • when not to roll

Ch 3 - On Powers, Talents and Common Foes (6,000 words)  

  • approaches to various common powers, technology and magic
  • normal people: thugs, criminals and police

Ch 4 - On Universes, Stories and GMing (6,000 words)

  • creating your Universe
  • planning your scenario’s
  • general Game Masters advice 
  • 3 sample universes in brief 

Ch 5 - Enemies and Allies (16,000)  

  • 14 heroes  
  • 4 mysterious agents  
  • 10 villains  

Art

  • Black and white interior art - 17 pieces
  • Cover page

More about Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0

ISSUE 0 is the core rulebook for Simple Superheroes. It has a double meaning in that ISSUE 0 is the start to all the Simple Superheroes "Issues" you and your friends will tell. It is also the first of many Issues to be released by Compose Dream Games.

So what are the mechanics of this elegant system?

The fundamental building block of a character in Simple Superheroes is the talent. A talent has a rank, which determines its potency, and so the number of dice you get to roll. A talent is put in an ability category – this helps frame how the talent works. Finally a talent has an intent – this determines how the talent may be used. For example: Instinct has a rank 4- Mind Blast talent in the Might ability category with an Offensive intent.

The name of the Talent, what exactly it does and how it works is left entirely up to the players and Game Master. This lets players create characters very quickly after only a brief explanation of the rules.

Superpower Finesse is a measure of related talents and helps guide how broad and flexible your hero's powers are.

Lifepoints are a fairly traditional metric of a character's physical health and capacity to fight.

Strainpoints are an innovative measure of a character's will to fight on and to push their abilities. As such they may be spent – although there are some things that may cause strainpoints to be lost.

Relations and Values are all of the things that tie the character into the game universe. This is the primary means of recovering strainpoints.

Simple Superheroes is a flexible framework that can create all kinds of superhero characters, supporting many kinds of tropes, atmospheres and power levels. ISSUE 0 does focus its prose on supporting lower-powered heroes as this is the perfect place to start your superhero’s career. However, the system easily handles global and galactic heroes just by altering assumptions at character creation.

For more on the mechanics of Simple Superheroes please take a look at the short PDF download The Heart of Simple Superheroes.

You may also be interested in our Character Creation Videos and our Mechanics Video.

More about Simple Superheroes ISSUE #1-4

The first four issues are a set in the city of New Carthage. Set just a few years in the future it is a universe where individuals with powers have existed only for a short time. Most metahumans are connected in some fashion to the now defunct ONEVA project.

Issue #1 Our Genetics

Professor Adrakis, a genetic engineer, is looking for an escaped subject. He may well capture your hero’s loved ones to gain your assistance.

Issue #2 The Experiment

Dr Newton, is being plagued by thefts. He brings the heroes on to keep his latest experiment in chronal acceleration from being disrupted.

Issue #3 Motorcycles & Lasers

Someone is supplying a motorcycle gang know as the Black Bullets with high-tech weaponry. This has led to a full-scale gang war.

Issue #4 Saving Innocence

The Emerald Hawk and Displacer have kidnapped a 13 year old girl. The ransom is way beyond what the father could possibly pay. What is really going on?

Future Issues

Future Issues will introduce Blackthorne Correctional Facility for metahumans, more mystically oriented adventures such as A Whirlwind of Stone & Flame and House of Bolchavar, and ones at greater power levels.

We also plan on releasing "Annuals" that will cover variant rules, play at global and galactic levels and more.

More About Compose Dream Games

Compose Dream Games was created to bring Simple Superheroes and other games to you. Joshua John Kitz is the lead designer and writer. He has been playtesting Simple Superheroes since the summer of 2009 with his own game groups as well as at conventions such as Phantasm, FanExpo, Hammercon, Spellstorm, CanGames and more.

This year he will be running games at Origins and GenCon. Joshua has won the 6d6 Fireball adventure writing competition and written for Polymancer magazine. He’s been playing tabletop RPGs avidly since 1999, and reading comic books for even longer.

For more visit www.ComposeDreamGames.com

We are thrilled to participate in kicking it forward (kickingitforward.org)

Stretch Goals

$2000 Scenario Design and Mini-Scenario “Le Jardin du Ciel”

A full section on scenario design will be include in ISSUE 0, along with an example mini-scenario “Le Jardin du Ciel,” a daring robbery of a charity banquet by the Emerald Hawk.

$2250 Even More Interior Art

Currently there is 17 pieces of interior black and white art in ISSUE 0. Unlocking this perk will guarantee that we add at least a dozen more pieces.

$2500 Cities Section in Core book

A separate section on the importance of a heroes city, and how to create and run compelling cities. Includes 2 sample cities in core book

$2750 Expand Players advice section

A section that discusses what being a good player of Simple Superheroes looks like. Including a discussion on what it means to be a hero.

$3000 Cover for ISSUE #1 by Storn Cook

The front cover of ISSUE 0 is gorgeous. Let's give ISSUE #1 the same treatment!

$3500 Expand Power Levels in ISSUE 0

The current book focuses on street and city level heroes. This stretch goal will expand the prose and framework to better support GMs and players who prefer international/global and interstellar/cosmic power levels. (Power levels in Simple Superheroes is largely about assumptions made at character creation, this will outline the assumption shifts required.)

Risks and challenges

This will be challenging but the crucial work has already been done!
The game is completely playable in its current form, from the current book. We just want to make it better!

All supporters will receive Pre-Release PDF version of the Rules within a week of the Kickstarter ending. So that you can immediately start creating your own Superhero stories.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 14 or more About $12

    Digital Hero
    ISSUE 0 PDF
    A PDF copy of the core rulebook Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 22 or more About $18

    Analog Hero
    ISSUE 0 Print+PDF
    A hardcopy of the core rulebook Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0. Includes a complimentary PDF copy.

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    14 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 28 or more About $23

    Digital Subscriber
    ISSUE 0 and ISSUEs 1-4 PDF
    A PDF copy of the core rulebook Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0, as well as the first 4 Simple Superheroes scenarios.
    Issues 1-4 will be delivered semi-quarterly starting with Issue 1 in November 2015.

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    27 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 36 or more About $30

    Mixed Subscriber
    ISSUE 0 Print+PDF, ISSUES 1-4 PDF only

    A hardcopy of the core rulebook Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0. Includes a complimentary PDF copy.

    Issues 1-4 will be delivered semi-quarterly, starting with Issue 1 in November 2015. (PDF)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 45 or more About $37

    Print Subscriber
    ISSUE 0 and ISSUEs 1-4 Print+PDF
    A hardcopy of the core rulebook Simple Superheroes ISSUE 0, as well as hardcopies of the first 4 Simple Superheroes scenarios.
    Issues 1-4 will be delivered semi-quarterly, starting with Issue 1 in November 2015

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $42

    SUPERVILLAIN!
    Have a great idea for a villain? Get your concept included in ISSUE 0!
    You will receive credit for your creation.

    (note: Includes Digital Hero perk. To receive physical books or subscription please pledge additional funds for that reward. For example: to receive the Digital Subscription perk as well, pledge $64 and select the Supervillain reward (50 + 28 -14).

    You can expect a few messages/emails and perhaps a video call with the Designer Joshua Kitz.

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    Limited 2 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 55 or more About $46

    HEROES and VILLAINS!
    Have a great idea for a superhero or villain? Or even a scenario or plot? Get your concept included in an UPCOMING ISSUE!
    You will receive credit for your creation.

    (note: Includes Digital Hero perk. To receive physical books or subscription please pledge additional funds for that reward. For example: to receive the Analog Hero perk as well, pledge $63 and select the Heroes and Villains reward (55 + 22 -14).

    You can expect a few messages/emails and a video call with the Designer Joshua Kitz.

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    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $50

    Retail Cosmic Hero
    If you are a Friendly Local Gaming Store: First know that we love you, you are the backbone of our industry.
    Second pick this perk.
    You will get 5 copies of ISSUE 0 and 5 copies of ISSUE #1
    (Recommended retail value ~$150)

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 65 or more About $54

    SUPERHERO!
    Have a great idea for a superhero? Get your concept included in ISSUE 0!
    You will receive credit for your creation.

    (note: Includes Digital Hero perk. To receive physical books or subscription please pledge additional funds for that reward. For example: to receive the Print Subscriber perk as well, pledge $96 and select the Heroes and Villains reward (65 + 45 -14).

    You can expect a few messages/emails and a video call with the Designer Joshua Kitz.

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    Pledge CA$ 80 or more About $67

    Hangout and Game
    You and 3 friends can join the Game Designer in a GoogleHangout and play Simple Superheroes.
    Includes one hard-copy of ISSUE 0 and additional PDF copies for all Participants.
    You'll play one of the to be released scenarios (issues) and this will shape the scenario design for all future players.
    You'll also receive playtester credit for that scenario.

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Funding period

- (31 days)