Rules

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Basics

The basic ruleset for Disposable Heroes adapts the core rules from Dungeon World, a game designed by Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel. This site does not reproduce those rules, but you can go to Dungeon World SRD if something comes up that you can't resolve with Disposable Heroes' ruleset

Whenever a rule says to roll+ something, it means take two six sided dice, roll them, and add whatever stat or number the rule says to add, then take that result and use it however the rule tells you to. For example, if a move says to roll+STR, you take the STR value of your current character, add it to the result of two six sided dice, then take that final number and compare it with whatever the rule says.

In Disposable Heroes, intention matters over interpretation. If there is a conflict or confusion over rules, or if a player does something outside of the scope of the system, usually the quickest way to deal with that is to ask the player what they intended to do or what they'd like to happen next and decide if a group if that happens. Disposable Heroes is fast paced and frenetic over everything, so don't let your table get bogged down in rules lawyering.

Setup

Before beginning play, hold 0+The current number of players. Spend hold on the following Package Options. All Packages begin as 3HP, Medium Size, Mundane.

  • Make the package 1 bigger or 1 smaller – Pocket sized, Handheld, Medium, Large, Unwieldy, Absurd.
  • Add one specialty tag to the package. You may spend extra hold for additional tags – Highly Breakable (-1 Package Health), Volatile, Dangerous, Bulletproof, Weaponizable, Sentient, Flight, Hardy (+1 Package Health)
  • Add one specialty condition to the job – Rush Job, Slow Shipping, Second Delivery Attempt, Illegal Cargo, Multiple Packages, Secret Delivery.

The Package Health can be reduced below zero during play, this is important for scoring at the end of a session.

End of Session

When you deliver the package, roll+Current Package Health. On a 10+, your team gets 5 stars, great job, you get to keep working here. You get paid. On a 7-9, 3 or 4 stars. One more delivery like that and you’re off the app. You still get paid. On a 6 or below, that’s a 1 star rating. You’re fired, and the person you’re delivering to is furious, get ready for a boss fight.

Basic Moves

Like all Powered By The Apocalypse games, Disposable Heroes runs on Moves. There are three kinds of Moves, GM, Character, and Basic. The short version is that Moves are kinda like micro-rules that tell you what to do in specific contexts when they "trigger". Moves "trigger" when a player says they do something that kinda-sorta matches the text on the Move. If a player says "I dropkick this capitalist dracula clone through the glass window", and the Goblin is in a position to resist that dropkick, that probably triggers Scrap. When that happens, just read the text on the relevant move and follow it through.

One very important thing to keep in mind - Moves always trigger when the text for them matches the narrative being woven at the table, and they never trigger unless the narrative matches the text for them. Scrap doesn't trigger if you squash a bug, unless that bug can fight back, nor does it trigger if you try to stab a Powerful Being unless you happen to have something on hand to even the odds. In these cases, just follow the narrative to its natural conclusion, and if one isn't obvious, it's always a safe bet to trigger a GM Move.

Differences between Types of Moves

  • Character Moves represent special trainings, skills, or abilities that are unique to a specific character, and can usually only be triggered by that character's actions. These are printed on the character cards.
  • Basic Moves represent a sort of general collection of stuff that happens often enough in the world that they need rules to determine their outcome. Every player besides the GM can trigger these moves.
  • GM Moves represent the world, the enemies, and the barriers between the players and their goal. They're kind of like dramatic tools that the GM can trigger whenever the players roll a 6 or below to make things interesting. They can also trigger at other points, that's just the most common one.

Scrap

When you tussle with someone in close range, roll+STR. On a 10+, Deal damage, gain a better position or make an opening for your allies. On a 7-9 you steal deal damage, but you also take damage, lose your favorable position, lose something valuable or damage the Package. On a 6 or below, take damage.

Gunplay

When you engage in long-range combat, roll+DEX. On a 10+, deal damage, create an opening or do something cool. On a 7-9 still deal damage, but lose your position, your weapon jams or fails, your shot ricochets badly. On a 6 or below, take damage.

Get Out The Way

When you skillfully avoid incoming danger, roll+DEX. On a 10+, you move like a cat, describe how the danger passes you by, and the favorable position you take. Maybe snap a selfie for the app. On a 7-9, you hesitate, flinch or fumble – you take damage, lose control of the package or make a fool of yourself on the app. On a 6 or below, take damage.

Get In The Way

When you take a blow intended for someone else, roll+CON On a 10+, your body holds out. The incoming danger is nullified – weapons shatter, boulders break apart. On a 7-9, take damage but grant the other person one armor. On a 6 or below, take damage.

I Quit

When you’ve had enough of this shit, roll. Don’t add anything. On a 10+, you go out in a blaze of glory. Solve a problem, give someone on your team +1 forward, +1 armor or make something stop hurting your pals. Discard your character. On a 7-9, you think you go out in a blaze of glory. Solve a problem temporarily. It’ll get worse after you’re gone. Discard your character. On a 6 or below, you make everything worse as you leave. Discard your character.

I’ve Seen This…

When you’re pretty sure you know something about this, roll+INT. On a 10+, tell everyone what you know about this creature, place or situation. Tell people something useful, or ask the GM for something useful. On a 7-9, you still tell everyone something interesting, but it takes a while to remember it, placing you in danger, or it’s practically unhelpful. On a 6 or below, you tell everyone something incorrect and probably deadly.

Hit The Books

When you study a situation or do research, come up with at least two things you’re hoping to learn and roll+WIS. On a 10+, the GM will give you clear and overt answers to the two things you wanted to learn. Gain +1 forward when you act on the information. On a 7-9, you still get the answers, but tell the table a critical mistake you’ve made in at least one answer that will put you all in danger. On a 6 or below, you mess up bad. Your investigation goes so badly you get hurt, take damage.

Talk It Out

When you meet aggressors who share some common ground with you, roll+CHA. On a 10+, the fighting stops, you learn something about them, or buy your allies some time. You don’t quite have their trust, yet. On a 7-9, you learn what they want, but you’ll need leverage to get through without violence. On a 6 or below, you insult them, overestimate your familiarity or otherwise put your foot in it. Take damage.

GM Moves

GM Moves trigger whenever the players look to the GM to ask what happens next, or whenever they roll a 5 or below. Whenever that happens, either follow the fiction of the scene to its natural conclusion, or do one of the following:

  • Kill a Character

Take a character, make it dead. Simple enough. This move isn't a big deal in Disposable Heroes, and might even be welcomed, as it lets the player try out a new class/character. Do this often.

  • Damage the Package

This one really hurts, so use it sparingly.

  • Give the Team a Hard Choice

Offer the players something they want, and something they need. A good way to use this is to give them an easy option that is 50% of what they want, or 100% of what they need but at some kind of great cost to themselves.

  • Show an Unexpected Complication

Players are running rampant around a universe where the rules are fungible and the gods of this place are spiteful and quick to react. Make something wild happen.

  • Remind them Rent is Due

They're in this for the money, right? The Heroes, despite their powers, are generally on the bottom rung of a massive societal hierarchy. Remind them of their place.

  • Give them a Bad Review

Think of this less literally, though sometimes it can just be a literal bad review. A bad review just means something terrible, but relatively inconsequential happens. When you get a bad review, your boss is gonna be awful with you all day and you can't really control it. Do that.

  • Present an Expensive Opportunity

Think of something the team would love, then make it cost them everything.

  • Disrupt the Status Quo

Innovate, synergize, cross-promote. Take whatever is currently happening, and flip it on its head. This move is good for natural disasters like earthquakes or firenados, a sudden influx of hypno-demons from the underdark, or a ship full of Shadow People invading the city.

  • Wrap Them in Red Tape

The world is a capitalist nightmare, and bureaucratic red tape blocks every single door. Busy work, filing requirements, forms, fees, special words spoken into listening-bricks, or just the right ass getting kissed.

  • Blow Something Up

Never fails.

  • Spring a Trap

Traps are everywhere. Spring one.

Animal Powers

Every Hero in Disposable Heroes has some kind of animal associated with them. We've decided to leave it up to you, the player, how that works. Maybe they're literally animals, maybe they're anthropomorphic, maybe they have a magical mask they ordered from Bonr that grants them these powers. Whatever you decide, its important to remember that the character can act as though they are their animal without rolling, unless that action itself invokes one of the moves above. The Detective Bat doesn't have to do anything special to Echolocate, for instance, unless they trigger a move with their use of Echolocation.

Enemies

There's a lot of things standing between you and your five stars, and a lot of them have teeth and claws and want to eat you. Or they have magic staffs and want to turn you into some kind of slime. Either way, you're going to be fighting a fair bit in this game.

The enemies in Disposable Heroes are simplified from the enemies in both Dungeon World and most other Powered by the Apocalypse games. Their attacks don't deal damage in the traditional sense, since player characters can only take one hit before dying, so they only really need HP and a special ability. Every enemy in the entire world has at least one special ability, bosses can have multiple. Of an enemy is a mook, foot soldier, mercenary, or random passing monster, they have 3 to 6HP. Of it's a Boss, it has 12HP. Once it hits 0HP, an enemy either dies, or quits, up to the GM.