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BASH! Basic Action Super Heroes
BASH! is a simple superheroes game published by Basic Action Games, created by Chris Rutkowsky. He said that he originally designed the game to introduce children to role-playing, and though superheroes would be the ideal genre (no killing monsters and taking their stuff). However, this was a problem, because the Superhero games out on the market at the time were far too difficult to teach to children. Thus, the designer decided to create his own system to be simple, with very minor record keeping, and simple math. Rutkowsky play-tested the game with friends and decided that it would make a viable superheroes system for main-stream gamers as well, with its emphasis on fast-paced action in a genre bogged down with rules-heavy systems.
The system has 3 stats-- Brawn, Agility, and Mind. Brawn is used to deal and withstand physical damage; Agility is used to make and avoid attacks, and for physical skills; and Mind is used for ranged or energy damage, mental abilities, and skills.
Stats are rated from 1-5, with 1 being a normal person's ability, 2 being peak-human (in the case of Brawn and Agility) and 3 and above being exponentially increasing tiers of super-ability. For instance, a character with a Brawn of 4 could easily lift 10 tons over his head. Heroes generally begin with 7 points to divide among stats.
Powers are also purchased for 1-5 points, from a pool of 9 points (in most cases). There are over 50 powers in the system encompassing various forms of movement, combat powers, mental powers, and bio-manipulation powers. This is an "effects-based" system, meaning that a power's mechanical effect in the game is not tied to any specific description of how the power works. Players choose how their power works. Thus, a lightning blast, heat-vision, unobtainable claws, or magic sword could all be built using the same power called "special attack". How the power works do not effect the mechanics, although it is possible that a target has a resistance or weakness to a certain effect (like lightning or fire).
Weaknesses can be given to a character in exchange for extra stat or power points. Some weaknesses cause the victim to take extra damage from a certain source (like lightning or fire), while others weaken the character and suppress their powers.
Advantages & Disadvantages round out characters by giving them various perks and drawbacks to deal with. There are no points for buying these-- a character simply receives 1 disadvantage for every advantage they take. Incompatible advantages & disadvantages are not allowed. For instance, a character with the Destitute disadvantage by definition cannot also have the Resources advantage.
The final touch in creating a hero is defining that character's Mental Malfunction. The game operates under the philosophy that there is no such thing as a "normal" superhero or villain. For example, Spiderman has his classic "With great power comes great responsibility" hangup, as well as guilt over his uncle's death to deal with, while Superman is a stereotypical "boyscout" type who feels a constant need to restrain himself lest his actions harm others by accident. There is no "list" of Mental Malfunctions to choose from-- this is left entirely for the player to decide.
BASH! Sci-Fi Edition Wiki