Sure. I will try to be brief in the explanation so it may appear “combat” heavy, but combat is the most mechanical aspect of the game.
Building or playing adventures makes use of 4 component types in a system I’ve labeled CAPE.
Combat, Alternative, Puzzle, and Exploration
Explaining the components backwards:
Exploration encompasses all role play, noncombative problem solving, investigation and at time literal exploration of areas.
Puzzle are typically optional components that can add to an adventure or create paths in an adventures storyline but not absolutely required. As part of the system they can include the typical puzzles you’re familiar with, but also include games and non-typical rpg items for kids (word searches, crosswords, mazes, logical tables) and other things that can either be straight fun puzzles or potentials to utilize the system as an educational aide.
Alternative is a companion to Combat. For every combat situation an Alternative is created. If you’re creating a game for your own table and don’t want to include combat then you can create an Alternative component. If you want to create or use an adventure that others play, Alternative will always be a substitute for Combat that offers a non-violent resolution to potentially villainous situations. This can be done through incapacitating villains through using the environment, solving problems while avoiding danger, rescuing citizens, or even talking villains down. Powers can be used but in noncombative ways.
So Alternative, Puzzle, and Exploration don’t have hard set mechanics but there is a lot of guidance in the book, guidance in the adventures I will be releasing, and seperate supplemental guidance on ways you can craft examples of specific alternative and puzzle components.
Combat is mechanical.
Each hero has 5 attributes.
IMPACT – Affects general hits, but also is an attribute for any kind of physical exertion that isn’t super powered. It’s your basic non-powered human abilities. It also is your Social IMPACT so your ability to lead people, encourage people to move, scare villains to back off, etc..
POWER – Affects your ability to use a Power (more on that in a bit). POWER also impacts your heroic abilities such as your keen perception, and your heroic knowledge and training. So POWER can be used for rolls that involve either perceiving things, or in general when the GM wants to assist the heroes in spotting something they’ve put in an adventure for them.
OHMER – Is your AC or armor. I called it Ohmer because an Ohm is a resistance of energy (I know that’s overly simplified) and I’ve loaded this entire book with puns. I’ll explain how it helps in a bit.
YIELD POINTS – Replaces your typical Hit Points. When you drop to zero YP, you yield from the battle. There is no death in Power Outage. You regroup and try again or move on. There are some consequences, but I didn’t want the specter of death motivating kids away from being creative.
TRAVEL – Are just the units of movement a person has. Being knocked down requires your travel to get back up. Other than that it’s just described in map spaces. If you’re playing with the theatre of the mind then you just use the measurement as a guide for distance. People that have powers that increase speed move greater distances on their turns.
How the attributes work in the game.
Combat is a group turn based. Whoever goes first is determined either by the gm or players. Whoever attacks first goes first. During the heroic turn, players get to decide how they want to do turn order, or they can actually do joint attacks which have their own set of possible pros and cons described in the game.
On a turn, each player can do a standard action, movement, or whatever free action.
Free actions are anything that isn’t standard or movement and doesn’t take much time. Some Powers are Free actions.
Movement is just that. Movement. Some Powers occur using movement, like speed or flight.
So when performing an attack
IMPACT – is a basic hit, punch, or whatever that is non powered. There is no limit to what is described as an IMPACT so long as it is understood that the effect will be the same. Whether, you’re punching, kicking, using a baton, throwing a stapler, whatever…
Impact attacks at level 1 either do a straight 2 points, or 1d4 points to Yield against an enemy.
To perform an impact attack you roll 1d20 add your IMPACT and that has to be equal or greater than a villains d20 roll + their OHMER
1d20 + IMP >= 1d20 + OHM
You can also use IMPACT to de-escalate a combat. If you’re not attacking, you can try to communicate with the person. Make an actual argument or declaration that you speak like “You’ll regret this if you keep doing this.” or “There are too many innocent people here.” but really it is situational and the GM has some say in if it’s appropriate. It’s roleplay. You perform the same roll but 3 successes automatically drops the enemies YP to zero, as they’re yielding. Over powered? You betcha.
1d20 + IMP >= 1d20 + OHM
POWER – is a use of a Power. In the book there is a grouping of Powers (Combat, Utility, Support) and they’re generically named A, B, C, D…. The reason for this, is that they are just pure effects. During character creation players assign the effects of a power to the flavor they desire.
1d6 to 2 adjacent enemies as a power. The player names the power whatever they want. Flame Lash, Wide Swing, Electro Stun, Mind Warp, etc… They describe what happens but it attaches to the effect. In that way there are no races or classes, just preferred groupings of powers the kids select. If they select more supportive powers they will naturally fall into a more supportive roll.
A power that is used as a standard action in combat will often function in the same way
1d20 + POWER >= 1d20 + Ohmer of the target
If the POWER successfully lands, then the effect of the power goes off.
There are several other Standard Actions
Encourage – Basically functions as a YP heal. Every hero can encourage themselves and their allies. They just have to adjacent and roll a 1d20 vs 10. If successful they gain 1d6 (+2 to roll if encouraging someone else)
Energize & Super Energize – Players are limited to 6 uses of powers. After that in any combat situation if they want to regain powers they basically have to take a defensive stance for a certain amount of time and then roll a 1d6 to see how many powers they get back. Super Energize runs for 1 more round of nonattack and inhibits travel, but you get a full recharge.
And that’s a big part of the actual play mechanics per Component.
Again there is a lot of guidance built into the book on things like how to describe encounters, how to differentiate game play for kids with varying capabilities, how to make your gaming table more accessible to kids with disabilities, and how to craft your own adventures rather than restricting yourself to pre written adventures.
I’m releasing some pregenerated heroes stats and cards for easy pick up and play, and I’m currently working on a new adventure that takes place in the Atomnyy Zavod vs. the villain BreakFast.