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Flying fingers

I just completed my 24 Hour RPG. Phew. Started: 1 PM, 7/24/04; finished: 1 PM, 7/25/04.

Above The Earth is a superhero game designed around resource management mechanics. It’s flexible enough to handle street-level superheroes and cosmic powers, all in the same fight. “You have a hundred six sided dice; when you run out, you run out.”

I started this one with the example of play, which made writing the rest of the game almost painless. I wish I’d had another hour to review it and in particular double-check the math in the example of play; I looked at it a few times but I’m convinced I missed something. C’est la vie.

I also forgot to add the section on using HeroClix figures and maps, which was intended for people who really like tactical maps. I wanted to point out that rules-light systems could still support that kind of thing. Perhaps there’ll be a Extended Remix Edition at some point.

If there is, I will definitely have better art and formatting. I really wanted to make it easy to print this out and fold it into a booklet, which meant 5×8 pages printed two-up, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the PDF right using just Microsoft Word, so I punted to a columnar layout. Which works, but I couldn’t do page numbers properly, which is why there aren’t any of those.

Not that a twenty-four page book needs those, but still… hey! I hit 24 (small) pages exactly. Keen. The final word count is 6,300 words.

I also wanted art. I spent an hour looking for public domain superhero art on the Web. No luck. So the look is pretty boring. But functional.

I didn’t lose any sleep writing this; in fact, I even took time out to go see The Bourne Supremacy which actually revitalized my energies nicely. And I thought about the game design during the previews, so it wasn’t totally lost time.

As a whole, I’m pretty happy with the project and the result.


  1. Funnily enough, I spent about an hour looking for superhero art for my 24-hour game ‘have-a-go-heroes’ – all I got was a couple of little clipart cartoons! Still, I’ll work on mine and tryu to double the pagecount and look for more art. If I’m happy enough with the result, I may even sell it.

    Simon W

  2. Mark Mark

    Have you playtested this, apart from the “minimalist Champions” session? If you haven’t yet but want to, please do it on a weekend when I’m free to travel! I like these rules. They’re clean, elegant, loose enough for good flexible judgment-calling but clear enough to avoid confusion and rules-lawyering. Well done.

  3. I really like getting 1s back, but I’m more dubious about having to allocate dice over an entire session of 30-50(?) rolls. Even slight unwisdom in the earlier part of the adventure can lead to running short of dice in the boss fight, and I’m not sure “roll way up or die” is dramatic. I’ll be interested to see the playtest report.

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