Review of Super City, a quick and easy to learn TTRPG for kids

Super City by Amalara Game Studios is an easy to follow and quick to learn superhero themed TTRPG for kids!  It’s great for making young hero characters and going on some awesome adventures together!!

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Super City is a TTRPG for ages 6+

Super City is a themed tabletop RPG system that’s set with player characters in a superhero elementary school!  The whole game (except the character sheet) fits on one page and takes a few minutes to read through, understand, and explain to players.

Mechanics involve rolling and adding d6’s (typically 1-3, but you could get up to 4d6 if you max out a skill) and tracking energy with a fill-in-the-bubble style counter, so it’s good practice for younger kids who are learning to add and easy to pick up for kids who are already pretty good at adding multiple numbers. 

The story is largely up to the players to create, so themes can easily be adjusted to fit the players’ style and needs. There are story prompts that have some typical mild superhero action or peril (like you see someone hiding from a monster or may need to fix a falling building), but you can adjust and choose which ones to use or make up your own very easily so it will always match your players’ tolerance level for action. 

Super City is set in a world of superheroes!  And at an elementary school!

Super City starts out with a prompt that, in this world, one in every hundred people has super powers.  Your characters are kids who fall into that category, and they’re all attending Super City Elementary together!  This city is full of trouble that our young heroes will need to solve in time to make it to the ice cream party after school!

This gave me some vibes from My Hero Academia and Sky High but adjusted to fit a younger crowd who isn’t into as much tween/teen drama (unless they really want it) or over the top action (again… unless they want that).

Your character in Super City

In Super City, you play as a kid with superpowers who is trying to both learn how to use their skills (which is a really great explanation for how they can level quickly through overcoming challenges) and also keep the city safe from all manner of troubles.

Character creation is super quick – you pick a name, pronouns, three verbs that become your powers/abilities, and your favorite ice cream flavor (because there will be an ice cream party at some point in this adventure).  Then… you’re all set to go!

Mechanics in Super City

Group energy and scene tracking

Before I get into the dice mechanics, I think I need to explain a bit about the energy tracking and scenes first.

This game uses a group energy pool that is determined by how many different powers the whole team has.  The energy in the pool fluctuates depending on the team’s actions and rolls, so it gets the group really working together to strategize and discuss their plans… and it discourages one player from going off on their own and using all the team’s energy to show off.  

In addition to the energy, the group follows five story scenes together to catalog their quest and keep at least a general focus on the task at hand.  The group can’t progress to the next scene until everyone has rolled at least once (to make sure everyone is included) and the goals for the scene have been met.

I really like how the character sheets for each player includes the group energy pool and the story scene notes so everyone tracks and writes on their own and can check each other’s work or help out so everyone is, quite literally, on the same page.  It’s a really good meta way to promote teamwork as well, and it was a nice built in mechanic for me to support kiddo when we were playing our game together – we would compare at the end of a turn where we were at, and he was more open to checking his work or asking for help because we needed to match.

Dice rolls and failing forward

To face challenges in Super City, you need to roll 1d6 + xd6 where the x is the number of check marks (kind of like skill points) you have for any special skills that you’re using.  Your total number determines if you fail, succeed, or succeed with a bonus to the group energy pool. 

When you fail a check, you take a penalty to the group energy, but you also get to add a check mark to the skill you used, symbolizing that your character has learned from their adventures and will be able to do better next time.  It very much takes the sting out of a low roll (my kid actually WANTED to low roll so he could level up one of his powers) and is a great way of demonstrating to kids how we can learn from mistakes or “failures”. 

Roll tables

To help with generating story ideas, there’s some fun roll tables included with the game as well!  These fill in scenes and can help when you get stuck on options for what to do next.

One of the stories that we rolled up was that our big mission was to save a hot dog vendor who was being chased through Super Square by a haywire robot!  To get there, we had to face several challenges, including fending off giant insects in the Green Gardens and cleaning up super goop at the Wild Waterfront.  Because we were playing… wait for it… a Spider-Man adventure (if you have been reading TTRPGkids, you know kiddo’s favorite hero is Spidey and he plays him quite often), we framed it as Green Gobby made a mischief robot to help him pull pranks but it got splashed with water and started going wild (this is pretty on par for the Spidey Amazing Friends show).

The prompt tables were a great fit for a kid’s superhero adventure, and, using just those tables, we came up with a tale that my kid really enjoyed.

Overall thoughts on Super City

This was an easy to learn game that was also quick to teach the kiddo, and the theme was an absolute win in lining up with his interests.  I can see this being used for games at home, drop in games at a library or school club, or even a TTRPG with grown ups tweaking the story to have a short game night adventure while playing their favorite superheroes. Super City is a great game for running with young kids, and I hope you have as much fun with it as we did!

Find a copy of Super City (and a few others)

You can find a copy of Super City through the creator’s website AND you get a 10% discount if you use the TTRPGkids link to the Amalara Games Studios and use code TTRPGKIDS at check out!

And if superheroes aren’t your vibe, there’s a couple other variations available too, including Spooky Town, the Halloween-themed version, and Dweomerdale, which takes place at a magic school.

And check out some of Amalara Game Studio’s other work, including the ENnie nominated Princess Guard!

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