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After Kids on Bikes and Kids on Brooms, the beginner-friendly RPG series puts Kids in Capes

The youth will inherit the world, but first they must save it.

Nearly three years after it was first announced, Kids in Capes will launch a crowdfunding campaign aiming to publish a superhero-themed version of their popular investigative tabletop RPG. Coming later this year, it will trade bikes, flashlights, wands and pointy hats for a whole new genre of storytelling from the perspective of unassuming kids.

Kids in Capes is the third such tabletop game from publishers Hunters Entertainment, following up on the small-town gumshoe adventures in Kids on Bikes and the magical school antics of Kids on Brooms. We’ve known this game has been in the works since July 2021, when the publisher announced the project on its socials as a new game using the Kids on Bikes system, just with more capes and extraordinary powers.

At this point, not much more is known beyond what Hunters Entertainment posted on their socials. An official Kickstarter campaign will launch on May 29th and will ostensibly reveal quite a lot more about what it looks like in action. For the unfamiliar, Kids on Bikes was originally designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Doug Levandowski and tells stories that are very similar to the early plotlines of Stranger Things or the Paper Girls graphic novel series - a weird mystery affects the towns, and the grownups are too preoccupied or useless to pay attention, leaving the mantle of saviour to a group of prepubescent (or sometimes distressingly teenaged) friends with mure gumption than know-how.

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Each character has six main attributes - Brains, Brawn, Fight, Flight, Charm and Grit - with a corresponding die from the traditional polyhedral array assigned to each. The higher the die, the better you are at tasks that call upon that attribute. The dice can “explode” if you roll the highest number, meaning lower skills paradoxically have a higher chance of going on a lucky streak - even on our worst days the universe does us a solid. It’s an interesting system that trades the honed martial abilities of D&D characters for the precociousness of youth. There are also adversity tokens that can be traded for rerolls, adding a bit of bad luck protection.

Kids in Capes can obviously make great use of this system, portraying young superheroes with obvious capabilities and just as obvious flaws. Masks: A New Generation sings by embracing the inherent melodrama of sticking a bunch of suped-up hormone cauldrons into a story together, and while the Kids On series is centred more on mystery and group dynamics, there’s still fertile ground for learning hard lessons about life and being an adult while still biffing bad guys directly in the face.

More information about Kids in Capes will be available once its Kickstarter campaign goes live later this month. You’ll have some time to catch up if you’ve never tried these lightweight story-focused games, starting with the second edition of Kids on Bikes. If you want some inspiration on how to run it, Dimension 20 used it for an interstitial season of actual play titled Mentopolis, which took place inside someone’s body, Osmosis Jones-style.

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