Saturday, October 7, 2017

Quick Shot with Dave Silva on Metahumans Rising

Hi all! I'm running on short notice with this post, but wanted to still get the word out there. Dave Silva contacted me about his Kickstarter, Metahumans Rising, and I asked him a few quick questions. Check them out!

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What is Metahumans Rising, both as a product and as your vision?

Metahumans Rising is a tabletop role-playing game inspired by iconic superhero stories. It is a self-contained core book with everything you need to get started including character creation, how to generate your powers, build threats, and a GM's chapter including 8 Simple Heroes, a host of villains ranging from streetgangs all the way up to a cybernetically enhanced genetically engineered dragon, and an introductory adventure that pits your characters against a new gang along with a full super villain team.

As for Metahumans Rising' s vision, we wanted to recreate the feel of comic books. Because the medium is so diverse, we approached character creation differently. Before even making characters everyone begins by establishing the Campaign Scope. Here everyone contributes in designing the overall tone and feel of the world the characters will inhabit. Because why a hero was doing something was just as important as being able to lob bolts of energy or fly, the next part of character creation involves establishing motivations, why are you a hero, what pushes you. The last part of of character creation is actually a team origin where the players work together to explain how they joined forces.

This last step acts as a kind of love letter to the GM regarding the types of stories the players want to see. The character creation process is designed to be inclusive and cooperative. In game play character motivations serve as a vehicle for player agency, allowing them to add elements to the story on the fly. Doing this, also increases the hero's ability to go beyond their limits and because of how motivations alter the story it's easy to share the spotlight.


How do the mechanics work for threats in the game, considering the scale goes all the way up to asteroids?

In virtually every medium superheroes face any number of threats from other powerful beings to storms and earthquakes to the aforementioned planet killing meteors. The Open Action System, the engine that Metahumans Rising is based on, uses a basic philosophy of you roll when it's appropriate and roll what's appropriate.

In a disaster, the players describe how their Heroes would mitigate the threat, whatever it might be, raw power or a talent, whatever makes sense in the narrative. They roll based on the actions they've described. Disasters have a Basic Value and dice based on their scale. The GM makes an opposed roll for the disaster and then we figure out how things shake out. It will take multiple actions to overcome most disasters. So the heroes are not doomed for one bad roll and if things do go poorly it means the GM can up the stakes. Disasters can also serve as complications while other things are happening, such as trying to fight a giant sea monster in the middle of a hurricane.


Tell me about some of your favorite powers in the game, and how they work in play. Why are they your favorite? What is the most fun about them?

Metahumans Rising allows players to create their own powers, and there have been some interesting ones. Out of the signature characters, my favorite hero's power is probably Nox's Shadow Control. She is able to generate fields of darkness, and blades of shadows. This also allows her to fly on waves of darkness and fade into shadows making her extremely hard to see. When you add in Willpower, it leaves her with a ton of possibilities. In convention games players have created everything from shadow cages to her own dark mecha to fight along her side.

Of the powers other people have made, one of the coolest was Copycat, when the character touched someone they mimicked their appearance and powers. This let them stand toe to toe with some tough customers. Unfortunately, it happened automatically, this lead to being turned into a giant slug at one point, not to mention a number of identity issues.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the funniest has to be the "Spank ray" used by a Nannybot from the future. It was a tractor beam that could emit painful levels of force when administering discipline. The Nannybot's inhibitor chip had been removed alloeing it could fight crime between babysitting for other team members.

Of course, those powers just scratch the surface of what is possible.


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Thanks Dave! I hope you all will check out the Metahumans Rising Kickstarter today, and tell your friends!


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