Wearing the Cape: The RPG, Astra

Astra Character SheetHello, all faithful and impatient readers! Nothing new to say about Small Town Heroes, other than it is coming along and I’m feeling very good about it (anything more would be spoilers). Still looking at a late-summer release date. Right now, I thought I’d take a quick break from writing to show everyone some of the fruits of the beta playtests of Wearing the Cape: The RPG.

So that’s Astra’s Hero File. Pretty, isn’t it? For anyone familiar with the Cortex Plus game system, it should tell you a lot. During the first playtest round we have experimented with multi-dice (no longer with us), using three character Attributes (Physical Ability, Mental Ability, Social Ability), seven Attributes (Strength, Stamina, Reflexes, Senses, Intelligence, Willpower, Presence), and finally five Attributes (Strength, Reflexes, Intelligence, Willpower, and Presence). We have also played with Distinctions, Skills, Specialty Assets (gear), and Resources.

None of the playtesting was done by me–I’ve been too busy writing–but a handful of enthusiastic groups have hugely changed the original concepts I threw together earlier in the year and the beta-test rounds are not yet over. Thank you everyone who has participated so far!

So the above pic is just a thank you to everyone who has helped out so far; in a few weeks we should have generic character sheets based on this design. The Big Rewrite that will launch Round 2 must still wait on the completion of Small Town Heroes, but things are moving along nicely.





19 thoughts on “Wearing the Cape: The RPG, Astra

    1. There is no hat yet. What will happen is that when I am ready to launch Round 2 I will post it here. Anyone interested will let me know. What will I be looking for? Anyone interested in putting together a group (usually a RPG group needs at least 3 or 4 players). Previous experience not required–in fact it would be interesting to see how a group of players who have never played an RPG would handle the game.

  1. One thing ive been wondering about Hope in the series is the whole progressive power thing. I believe that it is said that she basically gets stronger. But what does that mean? How much stronger? Is that category rare? It seems to make her different than other supers but we don’t really know how.

    1. There are two conceptual ways to describe breakthrough powers: Progressive and Static. A progressive power can be compared to physical strength; anybody can increase their physical strength through exercise, but biology still imposes limits on a person’s absolute strength. A static power can be compared to your senses; vision and hearing cannot be significantly improved by exercise–any real enhancement requires artificial aid.

      Because breakthrough abilities are strongly shaped by expectations, they behave much like our physical abilities even though there is no real reason for them to do so; the example from Wearing the Cape is Hope/Astra’s superhuman strength–it has nothing to do with her muscle mass, and yet working out allows her to increase her strength above the measured levels she displayed the day of her breakthrough. This ability to make herself stronger through training is not unique to Hope–most breakthroughs with strength-based powers have it–but neither can she increase her strength without limit, any more than a bodybuilder can.

      1. But seeing as how not everyone has the same strength and even those with the same rank differ in overall strength what would be the deciding factor in determining both their initial strength and what they can grow to be? I get in the books its said that scientists have no clue. But I would think it could be perception.

        For instance Atlas saw planes falling from the sky and was strong enough to stop that. Ultra classes were said to be somewhat crazy at least so far so it would make sense that their perceptions on possible strength would be skewed. So what would the existence of Ultra classes themselves do to future breakthroughs? Or progressive breakthroughs?

  2. Well, Ultra classes are kinda crazy, right? Their powers would probably work the same way that humans without any behavioral/mental inhibitors would work. Technically, any one of us could lift a thousand-pound weight, make a forty-foot long jump or run a hundred meters in seven seconds at least once. If we’re sufficiently drugged, terrified or insane for all those inhibitors that prevent our muscles from exerting enough force to snap our own bones to fail. The same people while sane and controlled would not be exerting a third of that force – closer to 1/5 more like.
    So there you have it. Multiply someone’s power by a factor of 3 to 5 to the point that their bodies or minds (usually both) are damaged with every power use and you’d have an Ultra class. Sort of that Terrakinetic guy – he caused the Big One but killed himself in the process.

  3. This may not be the right place, but I just came across this post. I am interested in the RPG, but I don’t have much experience with them and I’m not sure where to start. It’s odd that it never really caught on with me, as a 39 year old superhero fan. I think I just missed it in my different comic-book collecting iterations.

    Where is a good place to start? Is there a community to follow?

    1. I would suggest finding your local game store; most of them have tables for hosting games and can put you in touch with local gaming groups. Also, sites like RPG.net exist to serve the online RPG community.

  4. How would one buy this game? Is is electronic, say on a tablet? Or a board game, because this being my favorite series, I’m buying this game one way or another.

      1. Okay, now I get it! When I think of an rpg, I think of electronics, or video games. Tabletops I always think of as Dungeons and Dragons and such!

      1. Fate works too. The way you write your fight scenes Venture City Stories collateral damage rules would seem to fit.

        Man I’m on book 4!!! Is your type writer ink laced with crack or potato chips?! #hooked #betyoucantreadjustone

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