A new superhero RPG called Ascendant recently launched their Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign was launched by Autarch, who publish the Adventurer Conqueror King System through DriveThruRPG.
Autarch details that Ascendant has been in development for over two years. Unlike other superhero RPGs it is neither a “descriptor-based” or “effect-based” game. Instead Autarch describes Ascendant as a “physics-based game.”
“The game mechanics are intended to be the physics engine of the game world. Powers have both descriptors and effects. Some effects are precluded by the logic of the descriptor, and some descriptors inevitably entail certain effects. The mechanics are elaborate and detailed (as in an effect-based game) but they are also broad and universalized (as in a descriptor-based game). Players are expected and encouraged to use their powers in whatever manner makes sense within the physics of a comic-book world, but not in ways that don’t make sense.”
They elaborate, “Our physics-based system aims to let players simulate a comic book world. To do so, we have created logarithmic chart-based universal mechanics, a style of design that has not been widely used in the last two decades, but which will be instantly familiar to fans of the classic FASERIP and MEGS RPGs from the 1980s.”
As for the setting of the game, Autarch indicates Ascendant has an optional campaign setting inspired by Watchmen, The Boys, Squadron Supreme, The Authority, and Invincible.
This campaign setting follows Earth’s history up until the year 2012. It’s then that the world of Ascendant diverges from our world. In fact, superheroes don’t become public figures until 2018 during the Battle of Atlanta. Thus your character will be one of the first superheroes in the world.
As for how the setting is presented, Autarch explains:
“The setting is presented as an epistolary novel made up of leaked documents, transcripts, newspaper clippings, and emails that you can print out and give to your players.”
Here’s an example:
The RPG will also include comic book artwork in order to bring the world to life. That art includes some original heroes such as Aurora.
The campaign has multiple stretch goals. And as of writing it’s already hit its first two.
The first stretch goal at $15,000 is a full-color trifold gameemaster screen. The second stretch goal at $20,000 is a 16″ full-color Ascendant combat gauge for measuring range and speed.
Other stretch goals include a 24″ x 36″ full-color double-sided flip map of Capital City Downtown and Capital City Underground, a 24″ x 36″ full-color double sided flip map of Space Station and Missile Solo, a 24″ x 36″ full-color movie style poster featuring a character chosen by a backer poll, a 6-page introductory story set in the world of Ascendant, an increase of the introductory stories page count to 12, 16, and 20 pages, a 64-page hardcover Ascendant artbook with glossy full-color prints, a choice of three variant covers for your copy of the softcover or hardcover rulebook, a soft and fuzzy Levitee plush doll.
If you are wondering what or who Levitee is, he is “the world’s first (and only) ascended manatee.”
You can check him out below.
Ascendant has currently raised $20,117 from 273 backers on Kickstarter. Its original goal was $10,000.