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[Sentinel Comics RPG] Starter Kit Released!

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
I'm not a particular fan of the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game, though I'm told it's quite good. On the other hand, I am an unrepentant fan of both superhero RPGs and Cam Banks as a designer, so when I heard that Cam was working on a Sentinels Comics RPG a couple of years ago, I was really hype about it. I've been following the development of the game since mid-2016 when it was first announced, and I got to playtest it at GenCon this year, where I got to play Legacy (basically a Superman expy, but also a Legacy Character). It was a lot of fun, so I've been waiting with bated breath for the release of the Starter Kit and the Kickstarter for the upcoming full version of the RPG.

Well, the Starter Kit just got released this week, and I went ahead and ordered it. The order comes with the pdf for free, so I've been browsing through. So far, the characters look pretty much like the ones from the GenCon demo, and the first part of the six-issue introductory adventure is the one we played there. The Gameplay Guide (the actual rules) is 24 pages long and is a pretty solid RPG already, even without supporting material for character creation and the like. It very much comes off the way Cam talked about it before--basically, that it was his effort at creating something like Marvel Heroic (but even simpler) after MHR collapsed but before he licensed back the rights for Cortex.

It looks pretty great so far, and I'm really excited for the Kickstarter! Should be Q1 2018, according to Greater Than Games. In the meantime, if anyone has questions about the Starter Kit, I'll do my best to answer them.
 

Godfatherbrak

Registered User
Validated User
I wish I'd known you'd get the pdf for free--I ordered it through a local hobby shop and would have gone through GtG to check it out while waiting.

I'm also a big fan of Cam's design work and am interested to see what they do with it, even if I've found Superhero games outside of Smallville (and Masks) don't really grab me for anything but one shots anymore, with a few exception.
 

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
I wish I'd known you'd get the pdf for free--I ordered it through a local hobby shop and would have gone through GtG to check it out while waiting.
Email them and let them know your situation. They might be able to work something out with you. The GTG crew seem like reasonable folks.
 

jacobkosh

Registered User
Validated User
I've only been vaguely aware of this game and thought it was still some ways out from now so hadn't looked more closely. Can anyone give me a rundown of the system?
 

Blackwingedheaven

Crystal Human
Validated User
I've only been vaguely aware of this game and thought it was still some ways out from now so hadn't looked more closely. Can anyone give me a rundown of the system?
Okay, so it's a dice pool system similar to Cortex, but a player's dice pool is always three dice. One comes from your Powers (your super-powers, naturally), one from your Qualities (skills, motivations, stuff like that), and one from your Status, which is based on your Condition. Your Condition is based on how many Health Points you have remaining. The Condition track runs Green, Yellow, Red, and Out (GYRO to help remember it). Generally, your Condition die changes as your Condition progresses from Green to Red--sometimes improving if you're the sort of hero who fights harder as things get tougher or worsening if you're the sort of hero who winds up looking like shit at the end of a tough fight.

When you roll your three dice, the one that rolls the highest number is your Max die, the one that rolls the lowest is your Min die, and the remaining one is your Mid die. Usually, your effect is based off your Mid die. Every character has Abilities that are unique or special ways they can use their Powers. You only unlock some of your Abilities as your Condition changes. So when you're in Yellow Condition, you can use any of your Yellow or Green Abilities, and so on. The scene also has a narrative time tracker that can unlock Condition-based Abilities as things worsen in the scene. Some of your Abilities allow you to do things like produce an effect based on your Max die, or your Max+Min dice, or an extra effect based on a leftover die, stuff like that.

As an example, one of the heroes that comes with the Starter Kit is Absolute Zero, basically a heroic version of Mr. Freeze from Batman. He has the Powers Absorption d10, Cold d12, Intuition d6, and Vitality d10; the Qualities Banter d10, Cool Under Pressure d8, Creativity d8, and Ranged Combat d10; and the Status Dice Green d8 (29-23 Health), Yellow d8 (22-11 Health), and Red d10 (10-1 Health). Say he's in Green Condition and trying to do something simple: shoot a villain with a cold blast. He rolls Cold d12, Ranged Combat d10, and Status d8; his rolls are (respectively) 6, 9, and 8. Absolute Zero's Max is 9, his Mid is 8, and his Min is 6, so his effect is dealing 8 Health.

There are three categories of enemies: minions, lieutenants, and villains. Villains have their own Health and Status track, like heroes. Minions and lieutenants are just represented by a single die they use for everything, though they sometimes have special abilities that modify it. When a minion suffers damage, they roll their die. If they roll higher than the damage, their die degrades by a step but they stay in the scene; if they roll lower (or it's impossible for them to roll higher), they're taken out of the scene. They're also taken out of the scene when they suffer damage while at d4. When a lieutenant rolls lower, their die is degraded; when they roll higher, they suffer no effects. A lieutenant degraded below d4 is taken out of the scene.

The basic actions you can take are like the ones in Fate: Attack (deal damage to a foe), Hinder/Help (just like it sounds), Overcome (beat a static challenge), and Defend (actively avoid harm). You can generally turn failure into a success at cost (what's called a "major twist" or "minor twist"), unless you roll 0 or less, which is always a spectacular failure.

That's the basics! I'm happy to answer any detailed questions about the system as well.
 
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