From the pages of our comic books and the screens of our televisions super heroes leap out into our collective consciousness. These men and women possess remarkable capabilities and dwell in amazing worlds where you never know if a radioactive meteor shall fall from the sky, mole men erupt from the ground, demons invade from other dimensions, or giant crabs stalk in from the sea. Over the decades these characters have met, fought, befriended and fought again, to form vast webs of frequently retconned stories spun over a fantastical but ever familiar world. Like many readers of these tales I have a passion to fashion my own tales of superheroes and villains, across such vistas of imagination. So Superlatives was born to facilitate such sagas. Among its superhero roleplaying peers Superlatives has several features that are, if not totally unique, distinctive and unusual. The first is that characters are created through their adventures, with even a substantial portion of initial character creation being dedicated to creating your "prior publication history." The second is that Superlatives uses a highly abstracted system geared towards descriptions of what and how your character is going to achieve the outcome they seek, rather than attempting to calculate the precise numbers involved. (When was the last time you saw a comic where the writer understood basic arithmetic anyway?) The third feature (and unlike the prior features this is strictly optional) is that the game is designed for troupe roleplaying so that a single player shall not only play a hero, but also a supporting character and even a villain! As well as these easy to learn (and pretty easy to master) rules Superlatives offers a vast stable of characters (over three hundred and seventy characters with full stat blocks), adventures (five full adventures are included in the main book) and amazing settings... As you are likely aware there is a standard superhero setting. On the eastern/western seaboard of the United States stands a city divided between shining spires of glass and steel and seedy alleyways, bearing a distinct resemblance to New York. Crime is held back only by the efforts of gaudily clothed men and women who trace their profession back to depression era mystery men and refuse to reveal their identities. Innumerable fine supplements, comics, cartoons, movies and video games already describe such a setting and I anticipate a plurality of Superlatives adventures shall continue this tradition. However heroes need not frequent cityscapes. The battlefields of the World Wars and Vietnam, dinosaur infested jungles, the depths of outer space, the English countryside, the New Mexican desert, the “wild west,” and perilous futures occupied by intelligent animals who have supplanted humanity have all hosted comic book heroes. As such the settings of Superlatives extend somewhat beyond a cityscape into secret military bases, volcanic islands, aristocratic estates, a school for super heroes, a dystopian dictatorship and magical worlds of myth.
Superlatives is now completely written and playtested, although as it weighs in at 733 pages (subject to minor changes during editing) we are expecting to limit ourselves to a PDF release initially. All that is now needed is final proofreading and art, which is where you come in dear readers. If we can raise this sum we shall be able to afford a cover (£70) and a few maps (£50 for each of the three we cannot produce in house), an ambition I hope you shall find quite modest enough. Given the scale of this book the content shall be released in a series of “issues.” The first issue shall come out three weeks after funding, and subsequent issues shall be released every three weeks after.
The first issue (c58 pages) shall include the entire rules of the game: including character creation, action resolution and optional rules. The second (c114 pages) shall provide a roster of heroes, villains and supporting cast members for your games. The third describes a military base and its neighboring towns at the height of cold war intrigue. The fourth finds us in an eastern European kingdom that has been dominated by noble houses of mutants and mages. The fifth issue depicts a new generation of heroes learning to use their powers upon the mystical island of Avalon surrounded by the devastation of an alien invasion. The sixth issue brings us to a dystopian city ruled over by a being known only as “Supreme” who reigns with an iron fist. Finally the seventh issue depicts a world of gods: Norse, Egyptian and the "modern gods" of superheroes alike. This mythic world has recently been thrown into chaos by the disappearance of the Sun, a catastrophe that demands true heroism to handle. Once every issue is released the complete book collating all the issues shall be released. For those remaining unconvinced, more about the game and its inspiration can be found here: https://superlatives30882206.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/why-superlatives/
FIRST STRETCH GOAL!
If we reach £540 I shall be able to restore two settings cut from the main book for reasons of space. These two discarded settings are both examples of a standard superhero setting (major coastal city, etc…) but retain sharply distinct flavours. The first is Epoch City. Until the PCs emerge this city, and indeed world, has no superheroes and extremely few costumed crimefighters. As a consequence the city suffers under the yoke of corruption and organised crime. A series of adventures published for this setting (currently scheduled to be four) depicts the transformation of Epoch City with these fabulous new beings. The second is Opportunity. This city is the polar opposite of Epoch City with hundreds of super heroes and villains fighting from the leafy suburbs of Aurum Hills, through Argentum University where the bizarre is mundane, to the crime ridden Birinji and Ferrus Estates and Newtown’s melting pot. Here a bus trip can easily take you though eighty years of comic book history.
Both settings should be delivered within a few months of the delivery of the main book, so the estimated date of delivery shall be September.
SECOND STRETCH GOAL
For the most ambitious, and probably final, stretch goal we shall add more maps. If we can raise £1080 we can add sixteen maps of super villain lairs, aristocratic mansions and pubs that had existed in my original plans for the game but cut for reasons of cost. These maps should be embedded in the issues, and I do not anticipate they will affect the release schedule because I have approached a second artist to provide redundancy here.
Risks and challenges
Since the writing and playtesting is complete I am confident that we shall be able to deliver this game. However working, studying, and seeking more work can become time consuming so our timetables must be considered somewhat provisional.
That said, the staggered delivery should minimise this difficulty.
- (42 days)