A New Year, A New Game

Murders & Acquisitions is still ongoing. Playtesting. Editing. Some designing. I plan to take the game to Kickstarter in May of 2016 to fund the remaining artwork, professional editing, and a few other things. Everything is on track.

That said, we're on the cusp of a new year and NerdBurger Games is starting its slow ramp up into a new game, the follow-up to M&A.

The game is called Capers! With the exclamation point.

Overview

It's the roaring '20s in the United States and the country is deep in the throes of Prohibition. The sale, production, importation, and transportation of alcohol has been outlawed with a Constitutional amendment. It's the era of gangsters, bootleggers, and flapper style. Unseemly opportunists have built a criminal underworld around alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and all sorts of other vices. Law enforcement agencies are scrambling to bring the illegal activities under control.

Just recently, a handful of people have developed superhuman capabilities. Where do these "powers" come from? No one is sure. But they're here to stay, it seems. A columnist for the New York Post noted that the first few of these "super people" adorned themselves with masks (seemingly to hide their identities) and capes (perhaps to show off a bit). He coined the term "Capers" to describe them. While most of these "super people" don't wear capes, the moniker stuck.

The Rules

The basic rule system of Capers! is laid out (in its most rudimentary form) and I've developed a handful of characters to use in some early alpha playtesting. The first public playtest opportunities will likely be held at AndoCon 2016 in mid-March. But you'll have to play a one-hour demo of Murders & Acquisitions before you can play a one-hour demo of Capers!

The game uses playing cards instead of dice for the rule mechanics. Instead of rolling dice, players flip cards from their deck to determine success on skill checks. The "pip score" of the card flipped determines if you are successful (2 is low, Ace is high). The suit determines the level of success (from worst to best, Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades). Sometimes the color determines the level of success instead (red is worst, black is best).

The higher your skill, the more cards you get to flip. You can stop flipping cards at any time, but you have to take the last flip as your skill check result. This means you can succeed with a high pip value but get a low level of success (suit) and gamble on whether or not you want to flip additional cards to try to get a better level of success. But if your final card flipped fails, the skill check fails, even if you previously had a successful card flip.

Each character has six attributes, each with a variety of associated skills. Skills can have specialties, which makes you even better with a specific form of that skill. If you have a specialty, you use that score to make skill checks. If you don't, you use the associated skill. If you don't have a rank in the skill, you default to the associated attribute.

"Hits" denotes the amount of physical punishment you can take. "Wits" denotes the amount of mental punishment you can take. "Moxie" is a pool of points that increases and decreases during game play and can be used to augment your skill checks.

"Self" denotes who you are at your core. "Persona" denotes how you present yourself to others.

Each "Caper" character has at least one superpower called a "Feat." Each "Feat" has a basic effect and a series of "Boosts," which can make your "Feat" even better. You sacrifice one card from your normal total to gain the effect of a "Boost." Doing so reduces your chances of success, though, since you have less cards to flip when using the "Feat."

For your further viewing/reading pleasure, here's one of the playtest characters.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Here's hoping that Capers! turns out to be the bee's knees!