Designer: Alan Bahr, et al.
Artist: Nicolas Giacondino and Michael Leavenworth
Publisher: Gallant Knight Games
Year Published: 2019
No. of Players: 2+ (RPG)
Playing Time: --
Main mechanic / Theme: 6-sided dice (Tiny d6 system) / Superheroes
Every hero should create their personal catchphrase, not one I put in here.
Find more info on RPGGameGeek.com
Tiny Supers has more in it than what I’ve seen in the past in the “Tiny” series of games from Gallant Knight Games. Along with character creation and Micro-Settings, this book includes the Gallantverse. The Gallantverse is a setting created by a number of authors to create a larger setting with more details already worked up for getting your superheroes flying sooner. We were playing in this setting in our multi-table game at SaltCon where I then picked up the rulebook.
Gameplay and mechanics
Tiny D6 is a system designed to utilize three six-sided dice for determining success or failures when characters are attempting to overcome an obstacle. The objective of the system is to open the game to minimal mechanics and allow the creativity of the players to control the development of the story. The style of stories usually told with superheroes and super villains is well suited for a minimalist system. Alan Bahr has created other games in other genres for the Tiny D6 system and in Tiny Super he brings it on again with super success.
After giving information of how the mechanics of Tiny D6 works, Tiny Supers guides you through creating your superheroes. The information covers what you need for developing all the types of character abilities and how they came to be the superheroes of your story.
Start by choosing one of the seven archetypes: paragon, defenders, striker, gadgeteer, expert, controller, or mastermind. Each one has its one archetype trait and Stress Capacity (how much damage you can take). There is also information of what the archetype is known for doing. Archetypes still leave a lot of room for individuality based on the three power traits you choose.
Power Traits are your superpowers. There are 37 main ones and additional sub traits. They are also at different strength levels. You can have a character that has one power trait or a broader scope of abilities at lesser strength. If you desire, you can replace a Power Trait with a more traditional Trait that is not power based. Our group discussed the possibility of having new superheroes one instead of three Power Traits to begin and have them grow into their powers as they advance.
All superheroes then select a Power Origin and a Weakness. The origin of your character’s power could be from a radioactive spider, alien technology, magic, anything that you can come up with that fits the game world you are going to be playing in. The Weakness gives your game master, and you, the opportunity to work in more story during the game session.
Next, you choose a Weapon Group you are proficient in. This is part of the Tiny D6 way of play. You don’t keep track of a list of weapons and individual hit and damage ability. Weapons are divided into groups and how proficient you are in a grouping determines the number of dice you roll to achieve success. Damage is the same with each hit. This is to allow the players to keep the story moving without being slowed down as much in combat situations.
The final element of your superhero is the Belief that drives them. This general principle of personality can be used during play to help you keep the character making the same types of decisions. This is not meant to be a restriction but a guiding belief.
With your character you are ready to start exploring the world you live in and fighting the evil forces. As they continue their battles, there are also optional rules for advancing characters to new levels and abilities.
There are eight micro settings described in Tiny Supers. These are designed to give you a place to start a campaign. Their framework allows the players to build out further to create the gaming experience desired.
Avalon by Joan Albright
--The mysterious city some have called El Dorado, Atlantis, Shangri-la, and even Avalon.
Battle League by Robert Denton III
--There are many with powers and most use them to compete as super-athletes.
Major City by Doug Levandowski
--Play up the humor with the craziest, stupidest, weirdest ideas.
Imperial Harbor by Fred Love
--A 1940s film noir setting.
Angelina &The Guardians of Avalon by Andrew J Lucas and Natalie A Lucas
--Super teens saving the world while attending high school.
Celestial Gallant Knights Go! By Greg Nagler
--Transform into superheroes to battle dark forces.
Lightning Pines by Jennifer R. Povey
--The Wild West town with super powered individuals.
Children of the World by Wendelyn A. Reischl
--Children have powers. But they don't last, none have kept their powers after age 22.
The middle section of Tiny Supers is devoted to the Gallantverse. This section is the main game world designed for Tiny Supers. Here is a game setting with a lot more detail ready for use. I know Gallant Knight Games is already putting together more information for this setting.
Gallantverse is co-authored by Alan Bahr, Jack Norris, Jaym Gates, Steffie de Vaan, John Kennedy, Elizabeth Chaipraditkul, Darren Pearce, Tobia Abad, Marie Brennan. Here is some brief information about what they have created for this gaming universe.
You get a lot in a tiny space.
Gallantverse is a setting most players will be familiar with because of the us of major comic book tropes. You have a major city (Sentry City) and a protective group (Sentry Force Prime) who live in a floating fortress (Skyhold). Other major organizations are described along with heroes and villains.
I did say universe, and the world is more than just the Western New World culture. There is information for international organizations along with information for the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Hollow Earth, and off world.
All of these can be played together. You can also focus your campaign into a particular area and dive into a different culture. You can add ancient mysteries, magic, and/or future technologies. You can start small and local and then build your campaign to greater challenges and levels as the heroes first protect their community, then their country, their region, their world, their galaxy, and maybe even their dimension.
Theme, Artwork and Illustration, Graphic Design and Layout (optional)
The artwork is wonderful as you can see in the attached pictures. There is now a comic book out for Gallant and the heroes working with her.
Tiny Supers uses the Tiny D6 mechanics. This is a great minimalistic system for players wanting a faster paced with fewer mechanics.
Tiny Supers is another wonderful addition from Gallant Knight Games to the collection of Tiny D6 installments. There is enough in this approximately 250-page book that can keep your gaming group running for many sessions. You can also play in the different micro settings and give a new feel to the same genre.
I recommend Tiny Supers to fans of comic book superheroes and those that want to fight off the greatest villains the world has ever seen.
About the Author
Daniel Yocom does geeky things at night because his day job won't let him. This dates back to the 1960s through games, books, movies, and stranger things better shared in small groups. He's written hundreds of articles about these topics for his own blog, other websites, and magazines after extensive research along with short stories. His research includes attending conventions, sharing on panels and presentations, and road-tripping with his wife. Join him at guildmastergaming.com.