• Justin Handlin

Capes & Crooks DevSpeak: Evolving Powers




Hello Deviants! We are back with another DevSpeak. Short blogs where I share my thoughts and design decisions around our upcoming 5e Superhero RPG Capes & Crooks. You can support our kickstarter here!


One of the largest differences between the fantasy mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons and the Superhero Genre is the growth of the heroes. In D&D the heroes learn a multitude of new features, skills, feats, and spells. This makes growth extremely apparent to the players as more options begin to open up as they gain levels. In the superhero genre, the heroes usually have a set number of powers. These take many forms, some more simple than others. This could be the same powers of a particular wall-crawling insect. Or maybe super strength, speed, and flight. Others are granted unique powers from an accident that changes their shape and form. Whatever the case, superheroes usually have a limited set of powers they can use. This was one of the challenges we had to overcome to keep within the realm of superheroes.


Our decision took on two forms. One is the time period and the setting, that I'll get into in another DevSpeak. The other was having our At-will powers evolve as the characters become stronger. Now, as you can imagine, this is quite a balancing task. But, if we could do it right, then the choice of power would be based on more than just its base feature. This meant the player had to consider the additional features it offered. Let's take a look at one example Nature's Wrath.