So i'm currently working on a superhero game, I've got lots of strong ideas but I feel a bit overwhelmed with the design process and I'm hoping some more experienced people than I can give me some guidance.
I'll give you a brief overview of the game as it stands at my last playtest and then highlight the bits i'm struggling with. Any points you could contribute would be amazing.
First up the board consists of a 3x3 square grid making up the streets of a city. The tiles each have a few locations on them and are connected by roads. The locations are either areas which improve a player (the relatives space allows you to take 2 resolve for example, which gives you the ability to reroll dice) or streets and alleys which are where you would fight baddies, talisman style, where you draw a card and if you can't defeat them you leave it in play.
After the 4 players have their turns a crime card is drawn. Any existing crime cards will also have 1 time added to their track, and any at 3 time will have occured meaning the heroes didn't stop the crime from occuring.
The game turn consists of 2 moves and an action. If you are in superhero guise you can only resolve street spaces or the crimes, if you are in plain clothes you cannot resolve crimes. It costs 1 movement point to change from costume to clothes which might mean you'll struggle to reach an important location. After actions are resolved the crime phase happens as mentioned above.
If people do reach a crime and resolve it the crime is flipped in the crime phase and the team of heroes gathered to fight it. These (currently) require you to each roll the dice of strength and mental power and achieve a certain number of successes, which can additionally be modified with your relevant superpowers.
For example, the prison riot crime is resolved, this requires 2 mental success and 3 physical success. The mentalist and the brute are rolling their dice together, and roll a total of 5 physical dice and 4 mental dice (a 5/6 is regarded a success) The mentalist uses his psychic lance power to guarentee one physical success. If they are successful one takes the crime as a reward (2 crime/vigilante cards allow you to level up). If they are unsuccessful the crime occurs and they take dmg. So the brute who initally had 3 physical dice takes 2 dmg, reducing his physical dice to 1 until he visits the hospital. Additionally the riot occurs, increasing the anarchy of the city by two and making the prison space unavailable for the remainder of the game (this space would be visitable in civilian clothing normally and as an action you could reveal the next crime occuring)
So thats the idea, you go round and you fight easy crime as vigilantes to level up sufficiently to take on the big crime. The end game is something I've not developed fully, currently its as simple as when the deck runs out the heroes must roll successes = anarchy present to defeat the evil villain masterminding all of this, but when the main mechanics are nailed I'll make the battle at the end a lot more interesting.
A few problems have occured on my initial 3 playtests. The drawing of crime cards is really hard to nail down. One per player turn is too hard, as too many crimes come out, one per "round" is sweet for 2 players, ok for 3 and downright boring for 4 players. My current thoughts to resolve that is to have each player turn end with a draw but only some of the events being drawn are crimes. Some will be nothing, some will be slowing effects etc. etc.
The BIG problem I have is that sometimes its impossible to win vs a card and you feel nothing like a superhero. My gf pulled two vigilante cards in an alley requiring 3 physical successes and this was literally impossible as it meant she had to roll 3 5/6 on 2 dice.
My current thoughts are to scrap the physical and mental stat and instead give heroes 5 powers they can pull on but a limited amount of energy they can use. So if that happened she could use her utility belt (she was playing the gadget archetype) which allows you to roll dice = to the number of successes required, and if failed then use the stun grenade to avoid the dmg taken but at a cost of 5 energy, making her useless vs the upcoming crimes until she rested at home or hit the pub. My problem with this is balancing 4 archtypes, and working out initial power caps, power generation and power costs! Aieee! It's all very hard!
Anyway thanks if you read this long, I'd love any thoughts. My current plan is to try and get these basic mechanics down, then maybe add some more archtypes of heros, and villains who both have specific powers when they arrive (think magneto's hood blocking all mental assault) and specific crimes to the villain (so whilst you have the generic prison riot the pro mutant villain might have a card which has an underground mutant cell hitting the police station) long long term I see these villain specific events having an almost Tales of Arabian Nights quality to them but rather than a choose your own paragraph style, each villain would have a mini comic book detailing the battles of the heroes vs them with the relevant outcomes!