Staged Heroism, an upcoming tabletop roleplaying game inspired by The Venture Bros series, sees heroes and villains being united in ineptitude.
Taking place in a world where superheroes and villains have been so commonplace that they’ve unionised, Staged Heroism is a tabletop RPG about the commonality of the extraordinary. Intended to “capture the feel of Venture Bros and similar cartoons,” Staged Heroism has players deciding whether to become a heroic hero, a villainous villain, a feisty sidekick or a secret agent. As one of these roles, players will be able to join various ludicrous societies within the world of Staged Heroism, such as the Coalition of Super Teams or the Institute of Theoretical Science and Technology.
As their respective positions, the players can recall flashbacks in order to alter the current situation, remembering some aspect of their character’s history or any famous ancestors. Besides this flashback gameplay mechanic, players can equip their characters with technology and powers suited to their general theme. As well as their respective arsenals, people will also have access to a team of henchpeople – or even robots – that they can call open to do their bidding, or possibly any sidekicks that follow their cause.
Every player character will have four ability scores to roll with – charm, luck, physicality and thinkery – that they apply to a 2d10 roll to determine whether their actions succeed or fail. Should a character ever fail in their attempted actions, they’ll acquire currency in their failure bank that they can spend whenever they want to really avoid missing the mark. Each game of Staged Heroism is paced in a similar fashion to a television show, with an episodic structure and big set-pieces taking place around more off-beat sections of comedy or drama.
Staged Heroism was co-created by Mike Myler and John Kennedy, a writer who has previously contributed to titles such as the sci-fi roleplaying games Star Trek Adventures and Stargate 5E. Illustrations for the RPG were created by artist Indi Martin. The RPG is set to be published by Nerdburger Games – founded by Craig Campbell, the designer behind the Capers roleplaying game – which has previously released titles such as the comedy RPG Low Stakes.
The Venture Bros is an animated television show that first aired in 2003. The series followed the antics of the Venture family, a group made up of two teenage brothers, a super-scientist father and a bodyguard who is actually a secret agent. A comedy show that ran until 2018, The Venture Bros provided viewers with a parody of 1960s space age and adventure culture.
The Kickstarter campaign for Staged Heroism is live until April 15th, with a pledge of $15 (£12) getting backers a PDF copy of the RPG in July.