Featured Project: GigaCity Guardians
*As a note, the intro for this was written by Steph from TTRPGkids, and the below description was written by the game’s creator
Gigacity Guardians is the second story arc of Stories RPG, a podcast series that uses role-playing games to help families learn to tell creative, collaborative, compelling tales together. The unique part? Along with listening to epic tales of superheroic shenanigans, the podcast comes with regular chapters of a play-at-home game with coloring book illustrations, choose-your-own-adventure style read-alouds, and rules to help kids make their own characters and play through a story that intersects with the one being played out on the pod!
The tale follows the exploits of Firefly, a teenage girl who’s inherited the hyper-tech super-suit designed and piloted by her grandfather and dad, along with her team: Ape Canaveral, an invulnerable chimp with an irrepressible attitude, Animus, whose ability to affect emotions makes her powerful but dangerous, Werebear, whose massive power is offset by a kind heart, and more. There’s a new team in town – Gigacity Gold – and they’re up to something, backed by a powerful billionaire and stoking fears of a mutant invasion. Between rumors of strange, brick-red mutants in the sewers, an invasion of enormous megapedes, and ghosts from Firefly’s confrontation with the supervillain Scarlet King, the heroes have their hands full!
The game is full of coloring-book illustrations by Rob Hebert, the genius illustrator and Ennie-nominated game designer behind Nerdy Paper Games. Designed and written by Michael Low, writing teacher and curriculum designer, the game includes plenty of read-alouds and writing assignments designed to spark creativity and develop an understanding of story. Like Starsworn, the previous story arc of Stories RPG, the game is play-to-learn – just grab a few 6-sided dice, paper, and something to write with and you’re ready!
In Chapter 1 of the Gigacity Guardians game (which is 50 pages of beautifully illustrated book!), players take on the role of young super-powered kids at Signora Sun’s Sanctuary – a magical place where metahumans can find safety and learn to use their powers without hurting anyone. As the game progresses, they’ll have the chance to explore Gigacity, and slowly get involved with the story of the podcast – and eventually, even face serious challenges to rescue innocents and face a kaiju: a mutant monster on a rampage!
The game itself emphasizes character development, teaching players to define their character by Drive – what motivates them, Downfall – what they struggle with, Traits – skills or abilities they possess, Quirks – memorable or unique qualities that stand out, and more. Everyone gets to pick a power, but part of that process is writing the story of what happened when their power emerged – literacy-building activities are part of every step of the game.
Unlike many games that focus on fighting or conflict, the podcast and game instead center on story: what would make the story interesting, funny, dramatic, cool, or exciting here? For each “line” in a Character’s story that would help them succeed, they get one six-sided die to roll, up to a max of three dice – the highest die determines the result: 1-3 is Trouble, 4-5 is a Triumph with Trouble, 6 is Triumph, and two 6s is two Triumphs! Players collaborate with the “Teller” to decide when it would inject an element of drama to make a roll, and discuss what Triumphs and Troubles make sense or would make the story fun after.
Our first story arc for the pod and the game to go with it was Starsworn (find the TTRPGkids Starsworn review here), and our last Kickstarter put beautiful bound copies of three chapters – 120 pages of game! – into the hands and homes of our backers (if you’d like a copy, you can grab one here!). With our new Patreon, families can get ad-free access to the podcast AND receive the digital PDF of every new game chapter as they’re released – and there are far more story arcs planned! What’s more, 3~4 times a year, patrons will also receive physical copies of the game sent straight to their homes, ready to read, color, and explore!
Listen now to Gigacity Guardians, subscribe and rate us 5 stars to help us get story-telling pods to more people, and sign up for the Patreon to grab the game and the upcoming releases!
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