QUI CKSTART I SSUE

SUPERHERO ROLEPL AYI NG GAME
Credits
Leonard A. Pimentel
Game Design
James M. Fraleigh
Editng
Jerry Gaylord
Artwork
Mischa thomas
Layout
ACknowLedGeMents
Bob kane, Jack kirby, stan Lee, Joe shuster & Jerry siegel
Thanks for creatng the new mythology of our tme and reminding us that we can all be heroes.
e. Gary Gygax & dave Arneson
Thanks for creatng this inspiring hobby.
GameGeeks (gamegeeksrpg.com) & Happy Jacks rPG Podcast (happyjacks.org)
Thanks for helping to reignite my interest in gaming.
23penguins32, clackclickbang, dBezio, Lordstrange, masterofowers,
robertJFreemantle, rttLP, samwise7rPG, tetsubo57, tewalker13,
theoutsiders, towerGuarddM, webhead123, woodwwad
Thanks to the YouTube RPG Community; you kept me motvated long past the limits of my stamina.
Craig Arneson, Chris Castro, dave danforth, sebastan dieppa, James Fraleigh,
rashemen Green, Josh Hoade, samuel khan, ryan Martell, dave nicolete, tony nigito, John & katy o’Brien,
Alex rodriguez, Alfredo sanchez, shane simmons, Bill tobias, dwayne wallace
Thanks to the friends and playtesters with whom I’ve wasted countless hours/days/years.
Mat “tappy” Cadwallader, Josh Hoade & dave nicolete
Special thanks for helping with the game mechanics.
Joanne trabucchi
To my dear friend who has never, ever let me put the pen down.
olga Pimentel
Thanks for all those trips to the comic book shop and the roleplaying store!
shree sharma
Thank you for your love and support, and for being brave enough to marry a gamer.
And my father
to whom this game is dedicated
Leonardo Pimentel
Thank you for being my superhero, Papi. This is for you.
For more superheroic acton visit us at
www.ProwLersAndPArAGons.CoM
© 2013 LakeSide Games, Inc. Prowlers & Paragons, LakeSide Games, and all related marks and logos are trademarks of LakeSide
Games, Inc. All rights reserved.
2.........................INTRODUCTION
4.........................ACTION
12........................CHARACTERS
14........................HEROISM
20........................MONKEY BUSINESS
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Quickstart Issue
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WElCOME TO PROWlERS & PARAgONS!
Prowlers & Paragons (or P&P) is a tabletop roleplaying game with a narration-driven, rules-
light system designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. Let’s break that down so you
can see what you’re getting yourself into.
P&P is a tabletop roleplaying game. We’re going to assume you’ve got this one covered.
P&P is a narration-driven system. The rules in this game are not efects driven. For the most
part, they don’t tell you what happens. Instead, they tell you who gets to describe what
happens. And that’s what it’s all about in P&P: describing what happens. Both the players and
the gamemaster (GM) take turns narrating events in the game world. This makes P&P feel
more like an exercise in collaborative storytelling than a typical roleplaying game. However,
P&P isn’t totally freeform and open-ended either. There are rules that help determine what
characters can do and how they compare to one another. This prevents the game from
devolving into a never-ending debate about what is and isn’t reasonable.
P&P is rules light. It’s chock full of gross oversimplifcations and blatant inaccuracies that
mimic comic book tropes rather than real-world facts. This also makes P&P a simple game
with a streamlined set of rules. Once you know what you’re doing, you should be able to play
without ever opening the book.
Finally, P&P is designed to emulate four-color superhero comics. This game is about the heroic
things the characters do and the heroic burdens they shoulder. Mundane matters get little
attention. There aren’t any detailed rules for dealing with money and wealth, but there most
defnitely is a rule for smashing into a bank vault. Let’s be perfectly clear: This is not a deep
and cerebral game. P&P was designed to let you play stories about super heroes who save the
world and beat the snot out of villains who richly deserve it. Like so much of the genre, P&P is
a gleefully unapologetic exercise in heroic wish fulfllment.
QUICKSTART ISSUE
If you’re reading this, it means you’ve downloaded our Quickstart Issue. Thanks! We know
there are a lot of games out there, and a lot of free quickstarts batting their eyes at you. We
appreciate your having decided to give us a try. We hope you like what you see, and hope
you’ll give the game a spin.
Although we went back and forth on this, we decided that the best way for you to get a feel
of how P&P works and what the game’s all about (hint: rolling a bunch of dice, screaming, high-
fving) is to let you read the relevant chapters of the P&P core rules. As a rules-light game,
there’s really not all that much to take in. Plus, every time we tried to take something out, we
immediately thought of a situation where you might need what we deleted. So rather than
trying to rewrite the game, we’ve just included the chapters you need to read in order to play
Monkey Business, the story included in the last chapter of this Quickstart Issue. We had to
make a few changes to the text so that things make sense, but for the most part, what you see
is right out of the game. It’s not everything, but it should more than cover you.
The only other things you’ll need to play the story included in this Quickstart Issue are . . .
INTRODUCTION
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QUICKSTART HEROES
Quickstart Heroes are player character heroes that we’ve created for you. Each comes in
a 4-page dossier format that includes all the information you need to play that character.
You can download our Quickstart Heroes for free by visiting our Downloads page at http://
www.lsgrpg.com/Downloads.html, or you can fnd them on Drivethrurpg.com. If you plan on
running P&P, download our Quickstart Heroes, print them out, and let your players look them
over and decide who they want to play.
glOSSARY
In the spirit of the comic books that inspired this game, P&P uses comic book lingo in place of
some common roleplaying terminology. Here’s what we mean by these terms.
Page: Often called a round or a turn in other games, this is a brief unit of game time that
represents a few seconds in combat or any other fast-moving scene. It represents roughly one
page of a comic book.
Scene: A variable unit of game time that equates to one chapter of a book or one scene of a
movie or TV show. Each scene usually involves a specifc task, theme, event, goal, or location.
Issue: A single game session, representing one issue of a comic book. Issues are made up of
any number of scenes. Although this can vary greatly, it usually takes 1 to 6 issues to complete
a single story.
Story: Sometimes called an adventure, a story is a discrete tale with a distinct beginning,
middle, and ending. Stories often span multiple issues. Be careful not to let this term confuse
you: Because of the collaborative nature of storytelling in roleplaying games, the actual story
that gets told over the course of the game may be very diferent from the rough outline the
GM has in mind when sitting down to play.
Series: Often called a campaign in other games, this is a series of related stories that usually
involve the same hero or group of heroes and unfold in chronological order. As with comic
books, you can have a one-shot (which isn’t really a series at all), a miniseries, or an ongoing
series.
“X”d: Indicates “X” number of dice of the common 6-sided variety. For example, a hero with
8d Athletics rolls 8 dice whenever he attempts to perform an athletic feat.
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Action!
Taking Action
The frst thing we need to discuss is how you play the game. Once you understand the basic rules,
you’ll be able to focus on the important stuf: defeating black-hearted villains, thwarting their
nefarious plots, protecting innocent civilians, and making sure your secret identity stays secret.
Your hero can automatically do anything a normal person can do. All you have to do is tell the
GM that your hero is taking the action. But whenever your hero or any other character tries to
perform an action whose outcome is uncertain, he has to make a trait roll to see who gets to
describe what happens.
Characters have traits that represent their attributes, skills, and powers. To make a trait roll,
roll a number of dice equal to the trait that applies to the attempted action. Every even number
rolled counts as a success. If you roll a 6, you earn a success and you also get to roll that die
again. Another even number earns you another success and, if you roll another 6, another roll.
This continues as long as you keep rolling 6s. If you want to play it safe, you can always take 1
automatic success for every 2 dice you choose not to roll.
Total up your successes and then subtract the task’s Difculty, which refects how hard it
is to perform. The result determines who gets to describe what happens, as shown on the
following table. As used below, the character attempting the action is called the actor and
the one resisting it is called the target. If several characters are attempting the same action,
whoever rolls the most successes gets to be the actor. In cases where the action doesn’t really
have a target, use the following rule: When a player is making the roll, the GM acts as the
target; when the GM is making the roll, the players act as the target.
SUCCESSES RESUlTS
Less than 0 Target describes
0 Target describes, Actor embellishes
1 Actor describes, Target embellishes
2 or more Actor describes
A task’s Difculty measures how hard it is to accomplish. When acting against a target, the
target makes his own trait roll to resist or defend himself against the action. The Difculty
equals however many successes he rolls. The GM can apply a modifer of anywhere from +1d
to +3d to either or both characters to account for circumstances that make their actions easier
or harder. The extra dice go to the actor when things are easier or to the target when things
are harder. When not acting against a target, the GM assigns the task a Difculty using the
following table as a guide. The GM should consider how hard a task is to perform in general
and under the current circumstances when assigning a Difculty.
DI ffI CUlTY DESCRI PTI ON
0 Ordinary
1 Hard
2 Brutal
3 Extreme
4 Superhuman
5 Hard Superhuman
6 Brutal Superhuman
7+ Extreme Superhuman
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DESCRIBINg THE ACTION
Okay, a quick word or two about describing outcomes. The whole point of this system is to make
the game compelling. The players and the GM are expected to narrate interesting results. The
assumption is that players will usually slant their descriptions to favor the heroes and GMs will
usually slant their descriptions against the heroes. That’s fne, but the fnal narration should
involve something more than a simple “I win” or “You lose.” For example, if a hero fails his trait
roll when attempting to leap across an open pit, the GM should come up with something more
interesting than, “You failed, so I guess you’re dead.” Maybe the hero stops short at the edge
of the pit, causing him to drop something he was carrying. Maybe he almost makes it across
and ends up dangling by his fngertips, waiting to be rescued by one of his allies. Maybe he
falls and gets trapped on a ledge some twenty feet down. You get the idea.
The same applies to embellishments. An embellishment should be a reasonable clarifcation
or detail that expands on the description without contradicting it. The best way to think of it
is with the words “Yes, but. . . .” An embellishment can’t make a narration untrue or render it
meaningless. For example, let’s say you roll 0 successes when your hero tries to leap across
an open pit, and the GM has you end up on a ledge. You can’t say that you do make it across
the pit after all, or that you land on a springy branch that catapults you over to the other
side. These embellishments render the GM’s description untrue or meaningless. However, you
might say that there’s another ledge on the opposite side of the pit, and that the far wall looks
like it might be rough enough to climb. Or maybe there are natural stairs leading down from
the ledge into the darkness below. Or whatever else you wish, as long as it doesn’t contradict
the original description.
Two mighty heroes, Citizen Soldier and Gatecrasher, are putting on an arm wrestling exhibition
for charity. Both have a 10d Might, which is the trait that applies to this action. Citizen Soldier
doesn’t bother rolling and instead takes an automatic success for every 2 dice of Might, giving
him a total of 5 successes. Gatecrasher, meanwhile, rolls all 10 dice and gets only 4 successes.
However, two of those successes are 6s. He rolls those two dice again and gets a 1 and a 6,
granting him a ffth success and another roll. He rolls that 6 a third time and gets a 2, granting
him a sixth and fnal success. Gatecrasher winds up with a total of 6 successes! Because both
characters are attempting the same action, the one who rolled more successes (Gatecrasher)
is considered the actor. Subtracting Citizen Soldier’s 5 successes, Gatecrasher ends up with 1
net success. Gatecrasher will get to describe the outcome of the arm wrestling competition, but
Citizen Soldier will get to add an embellishment to the narration.
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ExTENDED ACTIONS
As the GM, you’ll sometimes want an activity to involve more than a simple trait roll. In that case,
make it an extended action. Extended actions are broken up into multiple exchanges. Short
extended actions should have 2 to 4 exchanges and long ones should have 5 to 7 exchanges.
Each exchange involves one part of the overall activity, and is played out separately. For
example, a chase scene could be handled as an extended action: The frst exchange has the
characters sprinting through darkened alleys, the second has them scrambling up facades
and fre escapes, and the third has them racing across the city’s moonlit rooftops. Whoever
wins an exchange gets to describe something that happens during that exchange and earns
a cumulative bonus on all subsequent exchanges. This bonus equals +2d for short extended
actions or +1d for long ones. Whoever wins the fnal exchange gets to describe the outcome
of the extended action.
Combat
P&P should always be played with a strong narrative focus. However, because super-powered
slugfests are such an important part of the genre, combat is the one place where the rules get
a bit more concrete.
EDgE
In combat, time is broken down into pages. A page represents a few seconds of game time.
Every page, all combatants act in order of their Edge, from highest to lowest. A character’s
Edge equals his Athletics + Perception + Willpower traits. In the case of tied Edge scores, heroes
act frst, villains act second, and npcs act third. When you have characters of the same type
fghting one another (don’t heroes seem to fght each other all the time?), characters with
tied Edge scores act simultaneously, making it entirely possible for them to knock each other
out on the same page. Minions (the nameless enemies that heroes tend to fght in groups,
discussed in Chapter 3) have no Edge, so they always act after heroes, villains, and npcs.
ACTIONS
All combatants get to move and perform one or more actions per page. An action is an
activity that requires a bit of time and attention. The most common action taken in combat
is attacking. Combatants can also perform minor actions and reactions, called free actions,
as needed. Free actions include things like defending yourself against attacks, drawing,
sheathing, or dropping a weapon or handheld item, yelling something to an ally, and so on.
Once everyone has acted, the current page ends and a new one begins.
TRAIT ExHAUSTION
You sufer a cumulative -2d penalty whenever you use any trait more than once per page.
For example, if you use Strike to perform an attack and then later fnd yourself having to use
Strike to defend yourself against an incoming attack, that second use of the Strike trait will
sufer a -2d penalty. If you have to use that same trait a third time before the page ends, that
third use of the trait will sufer a -4d penalty. And so on. You can’t use a trait whose efective
rank is reduced to 0d or less because of this (or any other) penalty.
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MUlTIPlE ACTIONS
If you wish, you can perform more than one action per page. You have to declare how many
actions you want to perform before attempting any of them, and you sufer a -2d penalty to
all trait rolls per extra action. For example, if you use Blast to attack one target and Strike to
attack a second target on the same page, you’ll sufer a -2d penalty to each attack. This penalty
lasts until it’s your turn to act on the following page, and it stacks with the trait exhaustion
penalty described above. Accordingly, if you were to use Blast to attack two separate targets
on the same page, the frst attack would sufer a -2d penalty and the second attack would
sufer a -4d penalty. Despite these rules, you can never attack any target more than once per
page.
MOvEMENT
Movement is normally automatic: You move where you want when it’s your turn to act. At
times, however, there may be a question as to how far you can move in one page, who gets
somewhere frst, or whether you can advance on or retreat from an unwilling opponent.
In cases like this where the outcome of your move is unclear, make a trait roll against your
opponent. You’ll both use either Athletics or a movement trait (such as Flight) to make the roll.
As usual, the roll determines who gets to describe the outcome.
RANgE
There are three ranges in P&P: close, distant, and visual. You have to be at close range for
melee attacks, and can be at either close or distant range for ranged attacks. Visual range is
just that: the distance at which things are visible but too far away to afect. You can close or
expand the distance between yourself and an opponent by one range category per page. If
your opponent is unwilling to alter the current range category, you’ll have to make a successful
trait roll against your opponent as describe above in order to do so.
ATTACKS & DEfENSES
Attack rolls work like trait rolls. The attacker makes a roll using whichever trait represents his attack
and the target makes his own roll using whichever trait represents his defense. If the attacker rolls
more successes than the target, the attack hits. The attack’s net successes determine how much
it afects the target, as discussed below. If the target manages to roll at least as many successes as
the attacker, the attack doesn’t afect him—either it misses him or he shrugs of its efects.
There are two types of defenses: active and passive. Active defenses represent intentional
attempts to avoid getting hit or interpose something between yourself and the attack. For
example, any attempt to dodge an attack or defect it with a shield is considered an active
defense. Passive defenses, on the other hand, represent the ability to withstand damage or
resist an efect. For example, your passive defenses against damage normally include the Armor
and Toughness traits (or the Willpower trait when resisting mental damage). This distinction
may matter for attacks that can’t be actively avoided or passively resisted. No matter how many
defenses you may have available to you, you can only use one defense against any attack. Note
that this is an abstraction: The target isn’t actually choosing between avoidance and resistance.
That being the case, the target should always be allowed to use the best defense available to him.
You can all-out attack or all-out defend yourself by declaring it at the start of a page. All-out
attacking gives you a +2d to all attacks but prevents you from using your active defenses and
gives anyone who attacks you a +2d bonus to their attacks. All-out defending gives you a +2d to
all of your defenses but prevents you from attacking. Either way, these efects last for the entire
page.
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AMBUSH & SURPRISE
Being ambushed or surprised is a trifecta of
bad news. First, you can’t perform any actions
on the frst page of combat. Second, you can
only rely on your passive defenses during the
frst page of combat. And third, if you’ve been
ambushed, you can bet that your attacker is
going to be making an all-out attack on that
awful frst page of combat. After all, he knows
you aren’t going to be striking back at him.
OTHER MODIfIERS
Modifiers should be used sparingly in P&P.
The game isn’t very realistic to start with,
so adding complexity to better simulate
reality doesn’t make a lot of sense. However,
modifiers can sometimes make gameplay
more interesting. Accordingly, the GM can
occasionally give combatants a modifier of
anywhere from +1d to +3d to their rolls to
account for specific conditions and situations.
Attackers might get positive modifiers when
trying to hit large, stationary, or otherwise
helpless targets.On the flip side, targets
might get positive modifiers for being
small, fast-moving, cloaked by things like
darkness and smoke, or protected by cover.
Additionally, targets might also benefit from
conditions like lousy weather and unstable
footing.
DAMAgE
When using an attack that inficts harm, every
success rolled in excess of the Difculty inficts
1 point of damage to the target’s Health (see
below). The one exception to this rule involves
minions: When fghting minions, you defeat
one for every net success you roll.
HEAlTH
Your Health measures how much punishment
you can withstand. Heroes have 1 point of
Health for every 3 hero dice they possess
(as you’ll see in Chapter 3 of the P&P core
rules, hero dice are mainly used to buy traits
and perks). For example, a hero with 36
hero dice has 12 Health. So does a hero with
37 or 38 hero dice. Once a hero has 39 hero
dice, his Health goes up to 13. Health doesn’t
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necessarily represent physical toughness; it might refect experience, grit, or determination.
Or it might in fact represent physical toughness—that’s up to you.
Once you lose half your total Health, you’re badly wounded and you sufer a -1d penalty to all of
your traits. Once you lose all your Health, you’re defeated and you fall unconscious. Characters
don’t ever go below 0 Health unless you’re using certain gritty combat rules discussed in Chapter
8 of the P&P core rules. The victor always gets to describe the details of a defeat if he wishes.
HEAlINg
Heroes who rest for a few minutes after a fght is over are allowed to make a Toughness roll to
recover from their injuries. They regain 1 point of Health for every success rolled, but they can’t
regain more Health than they lost in the fght that just ended. Heroes get to make additional
recovery rolls after each night of rest (or day of rest if you happen to be living la vida nocturnal
as many heroes do). There is no limit to the amount of Health that can be regained after a
night of rest. Once defeated and carted of to the authorities, villains and minions recover as
quickly as the GM wants.
STATUS EffECTS
Unless otherwise noted, attacks that infict a status efect (such as the Ensnare, Mind Control,
or Stun traits) last for 1 page for every 2 net successes rolled on the attack. In other words, you
have to roll at least 2 net successes to infict a status efect on a target. They expire when the
character who inficted them gets to take his action on the fnal page of their duration. For
example, if a hero with Edge 12 inficts a status efect that lasts 2 pages, the efect will expire
2 pages from now, after everyone with an Edge of 12 or higher has gotten a chance to act.
This duration can be extended with subsequent attacks, stacking the duration of additional
successful attacks onto an existing efect’s remaining duration. If a status efect’s duration ever
reaches 6 pages or more, the target is completely overwhelmed and the efect is assumed to
last for the rest of the current scene. Again, the one exception to this rule involves minions:
When fghting minions, every net success lets you hit one with a status efect that lasts for the
rest of the scene.
Parthian smiles as he watches his friends arm wrestling at the fundraiser he organized. A tap on
the shoulder gets his attention, and he turns to look into the eyes of the villain, Heartbreaker.
Unable to avert his gaze, his smile fades as he feels his willpower draining away. Heartbreaker
is using Mind Control on Parthian. She rolls 7 successes for her attack and he rolls 2 successes
for his defense. Heartbreaker takes control of Parthian’s mind for 2 pages (1 for every 2 of her
5 net successes).
You can also extend the duration of a status efect by spending Resolve (see Chapter 4 of the
P&P core rules and this Quickstart Issue). A hero who has completely overwhelmed his target
with a status efect (meaning that the efect’s duration will last for the rest of the scene) can
spend 1 Resolve to make it last for an extended duration (usually anywhere from an hour to
a day). Characters run by the GM do this by spending Adversity (also in Chapter 4 of the P&P
core rules and this Quickstart Issue) instead of Resolve.
gRAPPlINg
If you want to grapple a target, you have to perform an unarmed combat attack against him.
The target can use only his active defenses or his Might to defend himself. You have to roll
at least 2 net successes to grapple a target, and if successful, the target will be grappled for
1 page for every 2 full net successes rolled on the attack. This lasts until after you get to take
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your action on the fnal page of the grapple’s duration. Once your target is grappled, you can
perform unarmed combat attacks on subsequent pages to damage him without letting him
go. You can try to reestablish the grapple on the page in which it expires. This is considered a
new attempt to grapple the target, even though you’re really just trying to maintain the hold.
A grappled target is assumed to be trying to escape and can’t perform any physical actions.
Whether or not he can use any of his superhuman abilities, however, is for the GM to decide
on a case-by-case basis.
SPECIAl EffECTS
An attacker can spend successes to narrate special efects like disarming a target, tripping
him, or knocking him backwards. These efects are supposed to be limited in scope,
inconveniencing the target in some minor way or creating roleplaying opportunities. You have
to spend 2 successes to narrate a purely descriptive special efect or 4 to narrate one that has
some small and short-lived efect on gameplay. For example, you’d need to spend 2 successes
to make the swordsman you’re dueling realize he’s totally outclassed, or 4 successes to prove
it by disarming him. You don’t need to make any special declaration ahead of time to use this
rule; you simply have to roll enough successes. If you do declare your intention to infict a
special efect ahead of time, you need to roll 1 success less than indicated. However, if you
don’t roll enough successes, your attack misses completely. Special efects can’t be used to do
things like blind your enemies or hack their limbs of—this just isn’t that kind of game.
Citizen Soldier and Gatecrasher are about to go sign some autographs when a giant mecha and
a trio of robotic minions smash their way into the charity exhibition, gunning for our heroes. The
mecha has a 13 Edge, Citizen Soldier has a 12 Edge, Gatecrasher has a 9 Edge, and the robots,
being minions, have no Edge. This means that on every page of this fght scene, the giant mecha
will act frst, Citizen Soldier will act second, Gatecrasher will act third, and the robot minions will
act fourth.
On the frst page of combat, the giant mecha tries to step on Gatecrasher. The mecha rolls its
11d Might and gets 7 successes. Gatecrasher choses to use his 10d Armor trait to defend himself
against the attack, and rolls 5 successes. With a total of 2 net successes, a giant mechanical foot
stomps Gatecrasher into the ground, inficting 2 points of damage.
Citizen Soldier acts next. He attacks the robot minions using his 10d Might, and they defend
themselves with their 6d Threat rank. Citizen Soldier rolls 6 successes on his attack, and the ro-
bots roll 2 successes on their defense. Ouch! His targets being minions, Citizen Soldier could have
defeated up to four of them with his four net successes. The player running Citizen Soldier de-
scribes how he turns these three into scrap metal.
Not one to take this kind of thing lying down, Gatecrasher leaps up and charges at the giant
mecha. Using his 10d Might, he rolls an amazing 7 successes. However, the mecha also gets 7
successes when it rolls its 14d Armor as its defense. Gatecrasher’s devastating attack has no ef-
fect—that thing is tough!
Now that everyone has acted, a new page begins.
This time, the mecha tries to grab Citizen Soldier with a grappling attack. Using its 11d Might, the
mecha rolls 6 successes. Citizen Soldier must use his Might or one of his active defenses to protect
himself. He decides to rely on his impressive 10d Might, but he only rolls 3 successes. With 3 net
successes, the mecha grapples our hero, leaving him unable to take physical actions until after
the mecha’s next action.
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Although he’d normally get to act next, all of Citizen Soldier’s attention is focused on using his
superhuman strength to escape the mecha’s massive metal mitts.
Gatecrasher has had enough. He fres his eye-beams at the mecha, using his 9d Blast trait, and
rolls an impressive 7 successes. Unfortunately for the mecha, Gatecrasher’s eye-beams have the
Penetrating pro, meaning that the mecha can’t use its Armor or Toughness traits to defend itself
against this attack. With no other option, the mecha has to use its 2d Athletics as its defense. It
rolls 1 success. That’s a total of 6 net successes! Gatecrasher decides to lower his total successes
by 4 points, down to 2 successes, in order to narrate a special efect. In addition to inficting 2
points of damage, Gatecrasher declares that the attack carves a nice big hole into the canopy,
leaving the pilot completely exposed and understandably nervous.
Citizen Solder looks right at the wide-eyed mecha pilot, “This is when you give up, son.”
Unfortunately, that’s when Parthian, now securely under Heartbreaker’s mental control, leaps
onto the scene fring a volley of explosive arrows at his friends. . . .
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CHARACTERS
Character Types
Characters are the beings that
populate the game. There are four types
of characters: heroes, villains, minions,
and npcs. Heroes are the characters
run by the players. As their name
suggests, they’re the main characters
in the story told in the game. All other
characters are run by the GM. Of those,
villains are the important bad guys,
minions are the mundane bad guys whose
job it is to be defeated and make the heroes
look good, and non-player characters (“npcs”) include
everyone else.
Heroes & villains
Heroes and villains are defned by the following stats.
First, heroes and villains have traits, both mundane and super.
Traits include physical and mental attributes, skills, and super
powers, and are rated in dice. Mundane traits are those possessed by
normal human beings, and include everyday aptitudes and skills. Super
traits, on the other hand, represent some type of special ability. Generally
speaking, all normal human beings have 2d in all mundane traits. If it ever
matters, once you have 3d or higher in a mundane trait, you’re considered skilled in that trait.
Heroes and villains can also have weak traits, which are underdeveloped and rated at only 1d.
Second, many heroes and villains will have one or more perks. Perks include special abilities,
skills, super powers, and even social advantages. Unlike traits, perks aren’t rated in dice.
Third, many heroes and villains have one or more faws. Flaws are the physical, mental, and
even social limitations that burden the character. Although detrimental, many players select
faws because they make a hero more interesting to play. They also help a hero earn Resolve.
Whenever you fnd yourself in a situation where one of your faws could come into play and
make things difcult for you, you get to decide whether or not that happens. If it does, you
describe how the faw afects you and you earn 1 Resolve. If it doesn’t, you’re assumed to
resist the faw for the moment—you don’t earn Resolve, but nothing bad happens either.
The GM determines when the faws of villains and unfriendly npcs come into play, and he
earns 1 Adversity whenever they do. As with heroes, the GM only earns Adversity when the
faw creates a real problem for that character. Although players can’t force the GM to do this,
clever heroes who know their enemies’ faws can certainly create opportunities for those faws
to come into play. For example, a hero might taunt a villain he knows has a terrible temper in
order to lure him away from an area he’s supposed to be guarding.
Fourth, some heroes and villains use gear. Gear includes mundane weapons, armor, vehicles,
tools, and other equipment not represented by a character’s traits. Gear is described in Chapter
5 of the P&P core rules. Our Quickstart Heroes include the description and game efect of any
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mundane gear they carry with them, and any gear relevant to this Quickstart Issue will be
covered in Chapter 5.
And ffth, heroes and villains have a collection of descriptive elements called fnishing touches
that help make them living, breathing characters in the game world. For the purpose of this
Quickstart Issue, the most important fnishing touches include the character’s hero (or villain)
name, his secret or civilian identity, his motivation, a quote, and his origin, all of which are
included with each Quickstart Hero.
Minions
Minions are the nameless foot soldiers and henchmen that attack heroes en masse. A group
of minions is normally treated as a single character, but one group can always break into two
or more groups as needed. Unlike heroes and villains, a group of minions has only two stats:
the number of minions in the group and their Threat. Threat indicates how powerful the
minions are, as shown below, and is used to make trait rolls. Whenever minions attack, defend
themselves, or do anything else, their efective trait rank always equals their Threat rank.
Although they may have special abilities and equipment, these are just descriptive elements
when dealing with minions, so their efects are left up to the GM’s discretion.
THREAT DESCRI PTI ON
2d Mundane
3d Skilled
4d Veteran
5d Enhanced
6d Super
MINION ATTACK BONUS
A group of minions attacks as a single character. As mentioned above, a group of minions can
split into two or more groups to attack multiple heroes, but each group attacks as one. This
means a hero only needs to make one defense roll when attacked by a group of minions. In
order to account for their numbers and weaponry, minions get a bonus to their attack rolls
depending on how many are attacking a target, as shown below.
TOTAl MI NI ONS UNARMED BONUS ARMED BONUS
1 +0d +2d
2 to 6 +2d +4d
7 or more +4d +6d
NPCS
Any character run by the GM who isn’t a villain or a minion is an npc. These characters run a
very broad gamut in terms of who they are and how important they are to the game. Some
npcs are supposed to get involved in the action, often as allies or enemies. These characters
are created like heroes, villains, or minions. Use whichever option best suits the character.
Other npcs are only supposed to interact with the heroes on a superfcial or social level.
Because these characters aren’t expected to participate in any kind of action, they aren’t given
stats, just whatever descriptive elements the GM deems necessary. If one of these npcs does
somehow get drawn into an action scene, the GM will have to give him some stats on the fy.
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HEROISM
Resolve
Although heroes have powers and abilities beyond the ken of normal men and women, that
isn’t what makes them heroes. They are heroes because something inside them gives them the
will to get out there and do what we wish we could: fght the good fght, protect the innocent,
right wrongs, and generally make the world a better place. They are heroes because they
never give up, despite the hardships they encounter and the dangers they face, sometimes at
the hands of the very people they have sworn to protect.
In short, they are heroes because of their resolve.
In P&P, this is measured in Resolve points. Players spend Resolve during play, often to help
their heroes overcome enemies and obstacles. As mentioned in Chapter 3 of the P&P core
rules, every hero begins with 1 Resolve per faw. Heroes combine their Resolve into a single
pool the instant they form a group. From that point on, every hero can add to and draw
from the shared Resolve pool. The best way to keep track of Resolve is to use glass beads or
poker chips in a bowl within easy reach of all players.
Earning Resolve
All of the Quickstart Heroes have three faws, and thus begin play with 3 Resolve. Once a hero
spends Resolve, it’s gone. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which heroes can earn
more.
CREATIvITY
As discussed in Chapter 3 of the P&P core rules (but not in this Quickstart Issue), heroes begin
play with several details and connections, giving the GM material to use in his stories. The idea
of having players create plot hooks and characters for the GM continues over the course of the
game. At the end of every story, each player gets to create one new detail or connection. New
details can be about the player’s hero, one of the other heroes in the group (in which case the
usual veto rules apply), or someone or something else in the game world. New connections
can include just about anyone.
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Although they don’t have to be, they’re often related to the story that just ended. As a reward
for being creative and helping the GM, every new detail or connection adds 1 point to the
group’s Resolve pool.
DEfEATS
Like everyone else, heroes sometimes fall down. What makes them heroes, however, is the
fact that they keep getting right back up again. Sufering a brutal defeat and then coming
back stronger than before is a classic hero move. In order to refect this fact in the game, you
earn 1 Resolve any time you sufer a signifcant defeat, failure, or setback.
fAIlURES
As mentioned in Chapter 2 of the P&P core rules and this Quickstart Issue, when a hero
rolls at least 2 net successes on a trait roll, the player gets to narrate the outcome of that
action however he wishes. If a player with full narrative control decides to have his hero fail
at whatever he was attempting, presumably because he thinks it will make the story more
interesting, he immediately earns 1 Resolve. This only applies when the hero is making an
important trait roll whose failure will have a real consequence for himself or his allies.
flAWS
As mentioned in Chapter 3 of the P&P core rules and this Quickstart Issue, you earn 1 Resolve
whenever you trigger one of your faws. You must be in a situation where the faw could
reasonably be triggered and where this will cause you problems.
INTERlUDES
The P&P core rules also let heroes earn Resolve by creating and playing out interludes. Like
subplots and fashbacks, interludes are short scenes that involve the heroes but aren’t related
to the current story. Because they add to the narrative and the game overall, players are
rewarded for making them up.
MOTIvATION
Your motivation can also earn you Resolve. Specifcally, you earn 1 Resolve whenever your
motivation leads you to do something detrimental to yourself or your fellow heroes. We
aren’t encouraging impulsiveness, stupidity, or anything that derails the game. But we want
to reward dramatic actions that display the strength of your convictions.
We want you to roleplay your motivation, even when doing so isn’t especially wise. In fact,
that’s when your motivation becomes most interesting: when it’s inconvenient. Yes, there’s
a fne line here, but the rule of thumb is pretty simple: If your motivation makes you do
something that works to your disadvantage without completely throwing the game of track,
you earn 1 Resolve.
REWARDS
Finally, the GM is encouraged to give the players an extra point of Resolve whenever one of
them does something exceptionally clever, dramatic, funny, heroic, or just plain cool. Great
roleplaying, brilliant comedy, clever problem solving, and strategic thinking could all merit
such a reward. So could something like helping a new player along. In short, the heroes should
earn 1 Resolve any time a player does something that makes the game more enjoyable for
everyone.
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Spending Resolve
Resolve can be spent in a number of diferent ways. Use the following examples as a guide,
but feel free to get creative and come up with new and interesting uses for it.
TRAIT ROllS
You can use Resolve to improve your trait rolls. Spending 1 Resolve allows you to either add
1 success to your trait roll or reroll the whole thing. You can spend any amount of Resolve on
a trait roll, and you can decide whether or not to spend Resolve after rolling the dice. The
one exception to this rule is that a hero can’t spend Resolve to improve his trait roll when
trying to attack or adversely afect another hero (a character controlled by another player).
His target, however, can use Resolve to defend himself. In other words, Resolve can only be
used defensively when heroes fght other heroes. Note that this doesn’t apply when fghting
a character controlled by the GM, even if that character is technically one of the good guys.
STATUS EffECTS
As noted in Chapter 2 of the P&P core rules and this Quickstart Issue, whenever you completely
overwhelm a target with a status efect (meaning that the efect’s duration will last for the rest
of the scene), you can spend 1 Resolve to make it last for an extended duration. This can mean
anything from an hour to a day or longer.
INSTANT ACTION
A hero can spend 1 Resolve to act before he would normally get to act on a page, cutting
ahead of other characters with higher Edge. Those characters, however, can spend their own
Resolve (or Adversity in the case of characters run by the GM) to do the same thing. When two
or more characters spend Resolve or Adversity in this way, use Edge to determine the order
in which those characters act.
RECOvERY
If you’ve been defeated in combat but your allies are still in the fght, you can spend Resolve to
recover from your injuries. As long as you remain unconscious or otherwise out of the action
for an entire page, you can spend 1 Resolve to make a Toughness roll and recover a number
of points of Health equal to the number of successes rolled. You can then rejoin the battle on
the following page. Or you can remain as you are and keep spending Resolve and recovering
Health as long as you like.
POWER STUNTS
You can spend 1 Resolve to use your abilities to imitate ones you don’t possess. As long as
the GM thinks what you want to do makes sense (comic book sense, mind you), spending
the Resolve grants you one use or one page worth of the imitated ability. Imitated traits have
a rank 2d lower than the rank of the trait used to imitate them. For example, you might be
able to use the Blast (energy) 9d trait to imitate a 7d version of the Flight trait for one page by
focusing your energy blasts behind you.
lUCKY BREAKS
You can spend 1 Resolve to make up some minor detail about the game world, often some
lucky break that works in your favor. For example, if you get knocked of a rooftop, you can
spend 1 Resolve to say that you land on a pile of discarded mattresses. Sometimes, however,
it’s fun to spice things up and add details that actually make things more difcult for you. If
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the GM likes your idea, he might refund your
Resolve. If he thinks it’s especially brilliant, he
might even give you 1 extra point of Resolve
to reward your creativity. This use of Resolve
is always subject to the GM’s approval.
Adversity
In order to balance the fact that players have
Resolve, the GM has Adversity. These points
can be used to throw obstacles at the heroes
and make them work even harder for their
victories. The GM begins each story with 1
Adversity per player and earns more over
the course of the game. The best way to
keep track of Adversity is to use glass beads
or poker chips in a bowl within easy reach
of the GM. You should ideally use a diferent
color or style than whatever you’re using as
Resolve.
Earning Adversity
Once the GM uses Adversity, it’s gone
forever. Fortunately, there are a number of
ways in which he can earn more.
BUMBlINg SUCCESS
As mentioned in Chapter 2 of the P&P core
rules and this Quickstart Issue, when a hero
rolls less than 0 successes on a trait roll, the
GM gets to narrate the result of that action
however he wishes. If the GM allows the hero
to accomplish whatever he was attempting,
he immediately earns 1 Adversity. This is
sometimes accompanied by insane cackling
as the GM contemplates how that point of
Adversity will come back to haunt the hero.
flAWS
As mentioned in Chapter 3 of the P&P
core rules and this Quickstart Issue, the
GM earns 1 Adversity whenever one of his
villains or unfriendly npcs suffers some
adverse effect as a result of his flaws. As
with heroes, this can only happen when
the character is in a situation where the
flaw could reasonably be triggered and
this would cause him problems.
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UNHEROIC ACTIONS
The GM also earns Adversity any time a hero fails to act like a hero. Whenever a hero performs
a cowardly, selfsh, treacherous, or otherwise unheroic action, the GM earns 1 Adversity. The
same applies when a hero does anything that contradicts his motivation. In either case, heroes
have an afrmative responsibility to act like heroes, so the failure to act appropriately is just
as bad and will earn the GM Adversity. These rules apply even when a hero is somehow forced
or coerced into taking or permitting such actions. The universe cares little for excuses and less
for semantics.
MAjOR vIllAINS & ARCHvIllAINS
Last but not least, there are the heavy-duty villains: major villains and archvillains. Unlike
most villains, major villains and archvillains are recurring enemies that will challenge the
heroes repeatedly over the course of a series. Major villains are usually encountered at the end
of a story. Archvillains are normally reserved for the conclusion of a larger plotline that spans
multiple stories or even an entire series. Whenever the heroes confront these special villains,
the GM immediately earns Adversity. He earns 1 point per player when they confront a major
villain or 2 points per player when they confront an archvillain. If the heroes are unlucky enough
to encounter a group of major villains and archvillains, the GM earns 3 points per player. This
Adversity can only be used during that encounter and vanishes once the encounter is over.
Spending Adversity
Adversity can be spent in a number of diferent ways. Use the following examples as a guide,
but feel free to get creative and come up with new and interesting uses for it.
TRAIT ROllS
Like players, the GM can spend Adversity to improve his trait rolls. Spending 1 Adversity allows
him to either add 1 success to his trait roll or reroll the whole thing. He can spend any amount
of Adversity on a trait roll, and he can decide whether or not to spend Adversity after rolling
the dice.
STATUS EffECTS
As noted in Chapter 2 of the P&P core rules and this Quickstart Issue, whenever a character
run the by GM completely overwhelms a target with a status efect (meaning that the efect’s
duration will last for the rest of the scene), the GM can spend 1 Adversity to make it last for an
extended duration. This can mean anything from an hour to a day or longer.
INSTANT ACTION
Like heroes, a villain can spend 1 Adversity to act before he would normally get to act on a
page, cutting ahead of other characters with higher Edge. Those characters, however, can
spend their own Adversity (or Resolve in the case of characters run by the players) to do the
same thing. When two or more characters spend Adversity or Resolve in this way, use Edge to
determine the order in which those characters act.
RECOvERY
Like players, the GM can spend Adversity to have defeated villains recover Health during a
fght. As long as the villain remains unconscious or otherwise out of the action for an entire
page, the GM can spend 1 Adversity to let the villain make a Toughness roll and recover a
number of points of Health equal to the number of successes rolled. He can rejoin the battle
on the following page or remain as he is and keep spending Adversity and recovering Health
as long as he likes.
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POWER STUNTS
The GM can spend Adversity to have his villains and npcs imitate abilities they don’t possess.
This works just like it does for heroes, but it costs the GM Adversity instead of Resolve.
MISfORTUNES
Adversity can also be spent to throw misfortunes at the heroes. Misfortunes are random
obstacles and instances of bad luck that make a hero’s life more difcult, whether at that
moment or in general. For example, having your weapon malfunction, running out of ammo,
and causing collateral damage that endangers civilians are examples of obstacles a hero might
encounter in combat. Out of combat, obstacles can include things like having your roommate
discover your hero costume, running out of gas on the way to an important meeting, or being
introduced to your sister’s fancée, who also happens to be your nemesis. Go fgure. Each
obstacle costs the GM 1 Adversity.
PlOT PROgRESSION
Finally, the GM can spend 1 Adversity to have a villain automatically do anything necessary
to further the plot of the story, no matter how unlikely. This is often used to allow a villain to
throw a switch, grab a hostage, or escape the heroes rather than be defeated and captured.
You should do this only when it really matters. If you overdo it, your players will get very
frustrated, very quickly.
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Monkey Business
Introduction
This is a lighthearted story designed for a group of fve to six heroes of standard power level,
which just happens to be the power level of all of our Quickstart Heroes. Isn’t that convenient?
THE BACKSTORY
Ape-X, Ape of the Future, found himself in a bit of a cash crunch. What good is it being a
genius inventor of the future when you lack the funds needed to buy a screwdriver, much less
the parts to build even a rudimentary temporal hyperspace-agitator? Not much good at all.
Accordingly, the brilliant ape lowered himself to doing something he hadn’t done in a long a
time: he took a job.
The mysterious villain known only as The Fallen somehow knew that Ape-X needed money
(how humiliating), and appeared before him one day with an ofer that Ape-X couldn’t refuse,
cliché notwithstanding. The Fallen wanted an ancient scrap of parchment, less than half the
size of a Post-It Note. He wouldn’t say what the scrap was or why he needed it, only that he
couldn’t get it himself. In fact, The Fallen advised Ape-X that he couldn’t even enter the bank
building, although again, he wouldn’t say why.
The plan was simple: Ape-X would use a cadre of Ape-X Androids to stage what appeared to
be an everyday bank robbery, steal the parchment from the safety deposit box, and fush it
down the toilet. The Fallen would be waiting in the sewers below the bank. Apparently, water
wouldn’t hurt the ancient scrap of cloth, but time was of the essence. Payment would come
in two parts. First, The Fallen would fund Ape-X’s construction of the Ape-X Androids needed
for the job. Second, The Fallen advised Ape-X that one of the safety deposit boxes contained
enough money in bearer bonds to fund whatever schemes the sinister simian had in mind
after that. It was an eight-digit payout for a simple bank job.
THE SETUP
About 10 minutes before the story begins, Ape-X sends a number of his Ape-X Androids into
the bank. Looking like ordinary bank customers, no one notices anything unusual until three
of the “customers” draw weapons and the bank robbery begins. The “bank robbers” pick a
number of random “bank customers” as hostages, shufe everyone else into an empty inner
ofce after taking their cell phones away, and seal the door. However, a young customer
named Mary manages to send the text message “bank robbery call cops” to her boyfriend
Rashid just before her phone gets yanked away from her. Once the civilians are locked away,
the Ape-X Androids take their places, pretending to be bank employees and customers. One
of Ape-X’s synthetic minions then opens the back door, and Ape-X heads into the bank and
downstairs to the vault, making a beeline for the safety deposit boxes. This should be cake, or
maybe banana cream pie.
However, not far from the bank, a young man named Rashid is completely fipping out.
He’s staring at his phone, saying “Oh-my-God-oh-my-God-oh-my-God.” Rashid has many
excellent qualities, but being good in a crisis isn’t one of them. Luckily for him, the heroes just
happen to be passing Rashid, and see that the poor kid is having a total meltdown. The players
will have to agree on what they were doing on the street at that moment. Regardless, one of
them asks Rashid if he needs help and Rashid gives them the scoop. He also tells them that
his girlfriend, Mary, banks at BRB (he might tear up at the fact that “brb” was also the last text
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message she sent him before heading to the bank, or he might not—it’s really cheap gag), and her
branch is only about a block away. That’s enough for the heroes, who head of to save the day.
Chapter 1: the Bank
When the heroes frst get to the bank, they’ll probably be surprised to see that everything
seems perfectly normal. The bank is flled with customers, employees, and even a pair of
uniformed guards who look as bored as humans can look. How things unfold at the bank
depends on what the heroes decide to do.
THE gRAND ENTRANCE
If the heroes charge their way into the bank, everyone will look at them like, well, like a bunch
of costumed idiots that just charged their way into a bank. Everything will appear basically
normal, and the guards will approach the heroes and ask them what’s going on. The heroes
may realize that something isn’t quite right, but noticing this will be tougher than if they do
some reconnaissance frst (see Liar, Liar! below).
However they enter the bank, if the heroes ask to see the bank manager, one of the Ape-X
Androids will come out of an ofce and do its best to bluf its way through the heroes’
questions. The robots know a lot about banks in general and BRB in particular, but questions
regarding anything else may catch the “bank manager” of guard. The GM can play this one
any way he wants. The heroes will not under any circumstances be allowed to go downstairs
into the vault, and if they try to force their way down, the Ape-X Androids will attack them in
force (see Synthetic Slugfest below).
lIAR, lIAR!
There are several things that might tip the heroes of to the fact that something is wrong at
the bank. We’ve included a few possibilities below, but feel free to add any others you think
we missed (make trait rolls using Perception, unless a character has another trait that’s better
suited to the situation):
Difculty 1: The people standing in line are unusually still for a bunch of folks standing in line.
Same with the guards, although it’s less noticeable because they just look bored. Once the
Ape-X Androids see someone enter the bank, however, the ones on line will begin to twitch
and shufe, eliminating this option.
Difculty 2: Everyone in the bank is very clean and well put-together. Customers, guards,
bank employees, everyone seems to be wearing new clothes and even new shoes today.
Difculty 3: The people taking to the tellers are having unusually intense and incredibly
lengthy exchanges, really focusing on what the tellers are saying. If any hero can listen in on
the conversations, the tellers are giving the customers an excruciatingly detailed account of
the services the bank has to ofer.
If the heroes miss all of these clues and don’t seem to have any sense that there’s something
funny going on, you can throw them the following bone: At some point while the heroes are
actually inside the bank, they’ll hear loud crashing and rending noises coming from downstairs.
If they ask any of the Ape-X Androids posing as bank employees, they’ll say it’s just construction.
SYNTHETIC SlUgfEST
Sooner or later, the heroes will hopefully clue in to the fact that this is all a front. When that
happens, the Ape-X Androids will make their move and attack. If the heroes are already on their
guard when this happens, they’ll be able to act before the robots. If not, allow them to make
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trait rolls using their Perception (unless a character has another trait that’s better suited to the
situation) against the Ape-X Androids’ 4d Threat rank to see if they can detect the attack in time.
There are a total of four Ape-X Androids per hero.
Ape-X Androids (Threat 4d): These are Ape-X’s human-looking robot minions. Use their 4d
Threat rank whenever they need to make any kind of roll. They have no Edge, so heroes always
get to act before them. They also have no Health: heroes will defeat one Ape-X Android per
net success scored against them in combat. The one thing these guys have going for them is
that they’re mindless robots, so they can ignore any ability that only afects living beings. Ape-X
Androids attack using hand-to-hand combat, but they can grab heavy objects and throw them
whenever they need to make ranged attacks.
Chapter 2: the vault
Once the heroes have dealt with the Ape-X Androids, they’ll hopefully want to make their way
downstairs into the vault. At the bottom of the stairs is a short hallway. The entrance to the vault
can be seen to the right, and a unisex restroom is visible to the left. No matter how long it takes
the heroes to get down there, the frst thing that happens the moment they get to the bottom
of the stairs is that they’ll hear a toilet fushing. An instant later, Ape-X will come walking out of
the restroom.
He’ll blink once at the heroes, who will presumably blink back at him. Then he’ll attack.
You can fnd Ape-X’s attributes at the end of this Quickstart Issue. For purposes of this story,
Ape-X is a major villain, so the moment the fght begins, the GM earns 1 extra Adversity per hero
to use in this battle. And he should use it all up because that extra Adversity vanishes once Ape-X
is defeated.
Assuming the heroes defeat Ape-X, they may or may not fgure out that the fushing wasn’t just
in response to a poorly timed call of nature. If they question Ape-X about his plans, he’ll just say
that he was here to steal the bearer bonds from the safety deposit box. Ape-X is arrogant, but
he’s also very smart, and The Fallen scares the bananas out of him. If the heroes check the safety
deposit boxes, they’ll see that two have been torn open. One contains the bearer bonds, but
the other is empty. Ape-X won’t say anything about it, but a search of the bank’s records (which
can be hacked, or accessed by asking the nice bank employees who are still locked in that ofce
upstairs) will reveal that the box is owned by a monastery somewhere in Bavaria.
That’s what we call a dead end.
Chapter 3: The sewers
The heroes have maybe 10 minutes to fgure out that they need to leap down a nearby
manhole and get into the sewers under the bank. That’s as much time as The Fallen needs to
do whatever it is he intends to do with the ancient scrap of parchment. The specifcs regarding
The Fallen’s diabolical purpose are left up to the GM to decide, but whatever it is, it’s bad
enough that the parchment was locked away under magical wards too powerful for even a
creature like him to penetrate. So it’s seriously bad news.
If the heroes fgure this out immediately, then you’re golden. But what if they don’t? Well, that
depends on your style. You can simply leave the encounter with the Fallen out of the story.
You can end the story with the cut-scene described below and leave the rest for next time. If
that doesn’t satisfy you, you might be able to clue the heroes in about the fact that they’ve
missed something by setting a timer or otherwise indicating that they have 10 minutes before
something happens. If nothing else works, you can also just take one point of Resolve out of
the Resolve pool and tell the players that any hero with a police background or investigative
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experience would think that the fushing is suspicious: criminals often fush evidence down
the toilet when the police are breaking in on them. In fact, this is common enough that law
enforcement organizations sometimes block the pipes and wait in the sewers to see what
gets fushed. Accordingly, these heroes would wonder if maybe Ape-X was doing something
like that as well.
Assuming that the heroes do go into the sewers, they’ll come face to face with The Fallen.
He’ll be in the middle of conducting some arcane ritual when the heroes get there, but that
won’t make it any easier for the heroes to catch him of guard. Once he realizes that he isn’t
alone, the Fallen will turn to the heroes, advise them that they’re completely outmatched
(which they are), and tell them to leave. If they don’t, he’ll let out a resigned sigh, draw his
faming swords, and attack.
Like Ape-X, The Fallen is considered a major villain in this story, so the GM earns extra Adversity
he can use in this battle. He’s also brutally tough. However, if the heroes somehow manage
to get him into the bank, the wards will have the same efect on him as being on holy ground
(see his faws). Even if the heroes don’t manage to defeat The Fallen, he’ll leave the area if one
of them grabs the ancient scrap of parchment and returns it to the bank (anywhere inside the
building will do). The heroes have no way of knowing this, but they may well question why a
villain as powerful as The Fallen (who they’ve almost certainly heard of) didn’t just walk into
the bank and take whatever it was he wanted.
The GM should save 1 point of Adversity for the end of this battle. If the heroes manage to
defeat The Fallen, the GM should spend that last point of Adversity to allow him to teleport
away rather than be captured.
Conclusion: now what?
Assuming the heroes are successful, Ape-X will be arrested and placed in the local maximum-
security prison designed to contain super-powered criminals. The Fallen will vanish upon being
defeated (see above), but the heroes will be able to return the scrap of parchment to the bank.
A few days later, the heroes will fnd in their mailboxes sealed envelopes imprinted with their
names—their civilian names—in fowing script. The envelopes lack a return address, or any
indication of having been sent through the mail (because they weren’t). Inside each envelope
is a plain folded note with a simple message, written in that same script: “Thank you for your
recent deeds. You have done us all a greater service than you know.”
If the heroes are all defeated at any time during this story, what happens next is entirely up
to you. Ape-X has no use for the heroes, so he’ll probably just leave them in the bank. The
Fallen, meanwhile, couldn’t care less about the heroes. If they fail to stop him (because he
defeats them or they fail to realize that they need to go down into the sewers to face him)
you should conclude the game with a fnal cut-scene. In the sewers under the bank, we see
The Fallen using the ancient scrap of parchment to conduct some kind of ritual. Once the
ritual is complete, the tattered scrap crumbles to dust and a satisfed smile appears across The
Fallen’s inhumanly perfect features. His eyes erupt in blue balefre, and he whispers, “And thus
begins the end.”
The vIllAINS
This story assumes you’re playing with fve or six Quickstart Heroes. You may need to modify the
villains to challenge the heroes without overwhelming them if you’re playing with fewer heroes.
For Ape-X, we suggest lowering all of his traits by 1d when playing with three heroes or less. For
The Fallen, we suggest lowering all of his traits by 1d when playing with three or four heroes, or
by 2d when playing with one or two heroes.
Quickstart Issue
24
HERO
DICE!
Mundane Traits (at 2d unless otherwise noted): Academics, Athletics, Charm, Command, Medical, Might, Perception, Professional,
Riding, Science, Stealth, Streetwise, Survival, Technology, Thievery, Toughness, Vehicles, Willpower.
HEAlTH:
ALIAS: Khershek.10
VILLAIN GROUP: None
MOTIVATION: Domination
TRAITS: Academics 6d, Armor 9d,
Athletics 5d, Blast (energy) 12d
(Charges: 6), Command 4d, Dazzle 8d
(Burst, Charges: 3, Item: stun gre-
nades), Medical 6d, Might 10d, Percep-
tion 4d, Professional (engineer) 10d,
Science 10d, Streetwise 5d, Technol-
ogy 10d, Thievery 4d, Toughness 8d,
Vehicles 6d (Aircraft, Spacecraft,
Watercraft), Willpower 5d
PERKS: Ambidexterity, Communica-
tor, Photographic Memory, Relent-
less, Super Senses (Night Vision,
Radio Hearing, Thermal Vision)
GEAR: Carries an assortment of tools
wherever he goes
FLAWS: Frenzy (he goes nuts in com-
bat), Quirk (arrogant), Unusual Shape
(big and bulky)
QUOTE: “It’s sad that you cannot
possibly comprehend how truly out-
matched you are.”
Magic Natural Psionic Super Tech Training
HEAlTH 12 EDgE 14
ORIGIN: Ape-X, Ape of the Future, will be born into slavery some 150 years from now. By that time,
the science of genetic manipulation will have advanced to such a point that animals will become the
dominant source of cheap labor across the globe. Genetically engineered creatures will be tasked with
anything considered too dangerous, diffcult, or dull for human hands. However, nature can be unpre-
dictable and diffcult to control. Which is why, even though he’ll be designed to be just smart enough
to understand simple spoken commands, Khershek.10 will become one of the greatest minds on the
planet. By the time he’s 10 years old, Khershek.10 will realize that he and his fellow animals are slaves,
and he’ll begin plotting the overthrow of the human race. When it fnally comes, the war will be long and
costly, even to Kershek.10 himself, whose battered body will require extensive cybernetic reconstruc-
tion. But in the end, the animals will prevail. The masters will become the servants, the human race
will be enslaved, and Kershek.10 will be named Ape-X, Prime Minister of Earth. In time, however, most
animals will grow uncomfortable with the new regime. Ape-X’s allies never wanted to be oppressors;
they wanted to be free. This will create a schism in Ape-X’s regime, one which he’ll crush mercilessly.
And that action will lead to the rebellion that fnally results in Ape-X being overthrown and forced to
escape into the past. Time is now on his side.
APE-x
Quickstart Issue
25
Academics: His knowledge of all scholarly subjects.
Ambidexterity: He can use either hand with equal facility.
Armor: This is his passive defense against all physical attacks. Unlike most traits, armor does not suffer a cumu-
lative -2d penalty when used multiple times on the same page.
Athletics: Agility and acrobatics; used for attacking with ranged weapons and for defense.
Blast: He can shoot energy blasts from his cybernetic arm-cannon; roll 12d when using this trait to attack.
(Charges: he can use this trait only 6 times per day).
Charm: His attractiveness, empathy, social skills, and force of personality.
Command: This is his ability to get others to do what he wants.
Communicator: His cybernetic implants include a built-in communicator.
Dazzle: He carries stun grenades of his own design. Roll 8d against a target’s Toughness or Willpower (target’s
choice). Every 2 full net successes cause the target to suffer a -1d penalty to all trait rolls (so you need at least
2 net successes to affect a target). This effect fades at the rate of 1d per page. The target will also be blinded
as long as this penalty equals or exceeds his Toughness or Willpower rank (again, it’s the target’s choice). (Burst:
this affects all targets around him; Charges: he can use this trait only 3 times per day; Item: this trait repre-
sents items—stun grenades—that can be taken away from him).
Medical: This trait covers everything from basic frst aid to neurosurgery.
Might: His physical strength; it’s used when attacking with melee weapons or his bare hands and when throwing
heavy objects (use Athletics when throwing light objects); it’s also used when grappling. He can lift up to 50 tons.
Perception: His physical senses, empathy, intuition, and general level of awareness.
Photographic Memory: He remembers everything he sees and hears.
Professional: Refects what he knows as a result of his career or profession.
Relentless: He suffers no penalty to his trait rolls after losing half his total Health.
Riding: Combines riding, caring for animals, and mounted combat.
Science: His knowledge of all scientifc topics.
Stealth: His ability to do things like hide, move quietly, and follow people surreptitiously.
Streetwise: His knowledge of the criminal underworld and his ability to interact with it.
Super Senses: His cybernetic implants include a cyber-eye and cyber-ear that grant him Night Vision, which al-
lows him to see in the dark; Radio Hearing, which lets him pick up radio transmissions; and Thermal Vision, which
allows him to see in the dark by means of ambient heat instead of light.
Survival: Wilderness survival in all environments.
Technology: The use, repair, and even creation of mechanical and technological items.
Thievery: This trait concerns intrusion and theft.
Toughness: His physical resilience; used as his passive defense against physical attacks and to resist agents like
diseases, drugs, and poisons.
Vehicles: His ability to operate land vehicles of all types. (Aircraft, Spacecraft, Watercraft; he can also operate
all types of vehicles that fy, travel in space, or move over or underwater).
Willpower: His spirit; used as his passive defense against mental attacks and powers.
Quickstart Issue
26
HERO
DICE!
Mundane Traits (at 2d unless otherwise noted): Academics, Athletics, Charm, Command, Medical, Might, Perception, Professional,
Riding, Science, Stealth, Streetwise, Survival, Technology, Thievery, Toughness, Vehicles, Willpower.
HEAlTH:
ALIAS: Unknown
VILLAIN GROUP: None
MOTIVATION: Zealotry
TRAITS: Academics 8d, Athlet-
ics 10d, Banish (to limbo) 10d, Blast
(magic) 10d (Blocking), Command 8d,
Energy Field (magic) 8d, Flight 8d
(Item: clockwork wings), Might 10d,
Perception 8d, Professional (mage) 8d,
Stealth 4d, Strike (magic) 12d (Block-
ing), Teleportation 12d, Toughness
10d, Willpower 10d
PERKS: Blind Fighting, Cosmic Aware-
ness, Immortality, Immunity (diseas-
es, drugs, hostile environments, poi-
sons), Life Support (all), Psi-Screen,
Relentless, Speak with Dead, Super
Senses (Astral Sight), Super Transla-
tion, Unkillable
GEAR: None
FLAWS: Creepy, Reaction (enfeebled
on holy ground), Unusual Looks (inhu-
man beauty)
QUOTE: “I’ ve long since lost all
patience with you mortals.”
Magic Natural Psionic Super Tech Training
HEAlTH 15 EDgE 28
ORIGIN: Very little is known about the being called The Fallen. Some say he’s a fallen angel, one of Luci-
fer’s lieutenants who fell from grace millennia ago. Others claim that The Fallen is actually an archangel
who abandoned, or was relieved of, his position as a member of the celestial host. And others with less
of a romantic bent claim that The Fallen is an extra-dimensional exile, a magical creature from another
plane of existence trapped in our world. Whatever the truth, The Fallen is a dangerous villain with an
unknown agenda and a single-minded focus on seeing it accomplished. Although immortal and active on
Earth for centuries, The Fallen has generally kept a low profle. He spent the last several hundred years
studying magic, keeping mostly to himself except on rare occasions such as when he helped Daedalus
the artifcer perfect the techno-magical clockwork wings he now wears. No one knows for certain why
a creature as powerful as he would spend hundreds of years studying sorcery, but Earth’s mightiest
magicians have all pondered this question with trepidation. During most of his time here, no one could
have challenged him. If conquest or domination were his intention, The Fallen would have acted long ago.
But he did not. Instead, he spent all those long years studying, and perhaps waiting. Whatever his plans
may be, it would appear that they are beginning to come to fruition. For the last year, The Fallen has
been appearing around the world, collecting ancient relics and magical artifacts in furtherance of some
sinister purpose that bodes ill for all mankind.
THE fAllEN
Quickstart Issue
27
Academics: His knowledge of all scholarly subjects.
Athletics: Agility and acrobatics; used for attacking with ranged weapons and for defense.
Banish: He can banish any target within distant range to limbo. Use his 10d rank when doing so. His target can use his
active defenses, his Toughness, or his Willpower rank to defend himself (it’s the target’s choice). If successful, the
target will be banished to limbo for 1 page for every 2 net successes he rolls.
Blast: He can shoot blasts of magical balefre from his eyes; roll 10d when using this trait to attack. (Blocking: he can
also use this trait as an active defense against ranged attacks).
Blind Fighting: He doesn’t rely on vision in combat and thus does not suffer any penalties when fghting in darkness or
against an opponent he can’t see.
Charm: His attractiveness, empathy, social skills, and force of personality.
Command: This is his ability to get others to do what he wants.
Cosmic Awareness: He is sensitive to cosmically powerful beings, forces, and occurrences.
Energy Field: He can cover his body with a damaging feld of magic balefre. While it’s active, use his 8d rank as his
defense rank against attacks that infict magical damage. Additionally, whenever anyone tries to touch him, he gets
to make an 8d attack against them. The attack inficts magic damage and can only be resisted with passive defenses.
Unlike normal attacks, he can use this multiple times on the same page without suffering any penalties.
Flight: He can fy. At 8d, he can travel up to 250 miles per hour. (Item: he fies by means of a set of techno-magical
clockwork wings that can be taken away from him).
Immortality: He does not age.
Immunity: He is completely immune to diseases, drugs, hostile environments, and poisons.
Life Support: He does not need to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep.
Medical: This trait covers everything from basic frst aid to neurosurgery.
Might: His physical strength; it’s used when attacking with melee weapons or his bare hands and when throwing heavy
objects (use Athletics when throwing light objects); it’s also used when grappling. He can lift up to 50 tons.
Perception: His physical senses, empathy, intuition, and general level of awareness.
Professional: Refects what he knows as a result of his career or profession.
Psi-Screen: He can sense when a telepath tries to scan his surface thoughts, and he gets a +2d bonus to resist.
Relentless: He suffers no penalty to his trait rolls after losing half his total Health.
Riding: Combines riding, caring for animals, and mounted combat.
Science: His knowledge of all scientifc topics.
Speak with Dead: He can speak with the bodies of the dead and ask them about things they knew in life.
Stealth: His ability to do things like hide, move quietly, and follow people surreptitiously.
Streetwise: His knowledge of the criminal underworld and his ability to interact with it.
Strike: He can summon a pair of Tongues of Fire, faming swords that infict magic damage in close combat; roll 12d
when using them to attack or to defend against other close combat attacks. (Blocking: he can also use this trait as an
active defense against ranged attacks).
Super Senses: He can see into the astral realm and interact with invisible spirits.
Super Translation: He can speak all languages.
Survival: Wilderness survival in all environments.
Technology: The use, repair, and even creation of mechanical and technological items.
Teleportation: He can teleport himself at will. At 12d, he can travel as far as the moon.
Thievery: This trait concerns intrusion and theft.
Toughness: His physical resilience; used as his passive defense against physical attacks and to resist agents like dis-
eases, drugs, and poisons.
Unkillable: He cannot be killed by any means.
Vehicles: His ability to operate land vehicles. At 2d, he can only operate everyday vehicles.
Willpower: His spirit; used as his passive defense against mental attacks and powers.
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