I ran a playtest of a teenage superheroes (and villains) in high school game this past weekend.
Buy-in was easy with my players, as they kept their characters from my long-running supers campaign, just reverted to high school age, so they knew all the NPCs already, and things in the regular game had gotten very grimdark, so something different was a welcome change of pace.
Many newer games, of the indie persuasion, discuss how we play a game to find out what will happen.
In the most literal sense, that is what this first playtest was, I wanted to see what would happen, and how the game mechanics would work.
What we discovered, is that a game about high school kids, and their relationships, and all the drama and shenanigans that come with it, is a lot of fun.
Not a single punch was thrown, no one even clenched a fist. There was a Tetris tournament, there was chest-puffing, several young female students sat in the bleachers and watched the boys’ sports practice, and it ended with a Sadie Hawkins dance.
And it was a success.
Because of all these things.
The game, both as played, and as designed, encouraged these activities as much as anything.
Will people be interested in a supers game that isn’t about punching?
We were, and for right now, that is what mattered the most.
Future design additions will include a system for holding hands.