Masks

Masks: A New Generation is a narrative RPG about teen superheroes trying to do the right thing -- while also figuring out who they are, where they stand with their peers and adults, and how they fit into the world. It's the only RPG I know that truly captures the feel of playing young superheroes finding their way in a world full of adults and their expectations. Masks is inspired heavily by TV shows like Young Justice, Teen Titans, Runaways, Marvel Rising, Cloak & Dagger, and X-Men Evolution — as well as by the comics of the same name plus Avengers Academy, Young Allies, Ms. Marvel, Young Avengers, etc.

Personality and roleplaying are more important than anything; even your powers (or equivalent) are secondary at best. Ideally, you'll walk the line between being true to yourself and doing what's best for the team, while coming to terms with how "the adults" -- older heroes, family, the general public, and even villains -- see you and what mold they want to cram you into. To represent this, you have labels instead of attributes and skills:

  • Freak, which is all about being strange, unusual, unknown, different, unique, powerful, weird, and special.
  • Danger, which is all about being strong, threatening, violent, destructive, badass, frightening, reckless, and mighty.
  • Savior, which is all about being defensive, protective, overbearing, moralistic, guarding, patronizing, and classically heroic.
  • Superior, which is all about being clever, faster, better, arrogant, dismissive, commanding, egotistical, and smart.
  • Mundane, which is all about being normal, empathetic, understanding, kind, boring, simple, uninteresting, and human.

Throughout the game, your labels will shift as others (including your own teammates) "tell you what you really are," either directly or accidentally. If someone praises your quick thinking without mentioning your powers once, you might shift Superior up and Freak down. If a fight ends, and the crowd is staring at you with a mix of awe and fear, you might shift Danger up and Mundane down. Sometimes you'll want to let this happen, other times you'll want to fight it and assert your own identity; that's all part of figuring out who you are.

The system itself is pretty simple: Roll 2d6 + (appropriate label) and try to hit 7+ (or 10+ for bonus stuff). It's the same "Apocalypse Engine" that powers Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, and Monsterhearts.

Masks Playbooks

Creating a character starts by choosing a playbook. See what your options are and why it matters.

Masks Playsets

Optional campaign approaches, usually unique enough to require a few special rules and adjustments.