- Truth & Justice
title= Truth & Justice
caption= "Truth & Justice" Cover
designer= Chad Underkoffler
Atomic Sock Monkey Press
"Truth & Justice" is a superhero-based independently published
role-playing game(RPG) created by Chad Underkoffler and published by Atomic Sock Monkey Press. The game allows players to take the role of superheroes and super-villains.
The game uses the "Prose Descriptive Qualities" ("PDQ") system — also used in Atomic Sock Monkey Press's "
Dead Inside", " Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot", and " The Zorcerer of Zo", as well as the second edition of " Ninja Burger" — expanded to increase the flexibility, simplicity, and speed required for the superheroic play of Truth & Justice. "PDQ" offers three different levels of task resolution for any situation, in order to let players resolve encounters in as much or as little detail as possible.
"PDQ" also has three system elements of general interest: an abstracted system for damage or failure in conflicts, a method for generating future game events (or "Story Hooks") by taking damage, and a player-driven Hero Point system.
The core mechanic is to add 2d6 plus a freeform statistic or set of statistics, and compare to a difficulty number either a fixed difficulty number or the opponent's roll. In conflicts, the amount which you beat another character's roll by is the amount of damage or failure ranks (see below). Stats are rated in five named ranks: Poor [-2] , Average [+0] , Good [+2] , Expert [+4] , and Master [+6] .
Conflicts result in the accumulation of either "failure ranks" (which recover at the end of the contest) or "damage ranks" (which may take longer to heal). Each point of either type means that the loser must choose a stat to downgrade by one rank. So if you lose a conflict roll by 3, you must lower three stats each by one rank, or one stat by three ranks (with a minimum of Poor: -2). You can choose any stat to take your damage in -- i.e. you can downgrade your "Accounting" quality based on a hit in a fight. When you can't lower your stats any lower (i.e. a hit when all stats are at Poor [-2] ), then you have lost the contest.
Compared to the standard "PDQ" system, "T&J" divides stats into normal scale and super scale. This is similar to the "mega-damage" mechanic in "Rifts", or the "mega-dice" mechanic in "
Aberrant". So one character may have Good [+2] Strength (i.e. normal scale) and another has Good [+2] Super-strength (i.e. super scale). Normal scale must roll 2d6+2 for typical tasks. In contrast, super-strength will automatically succeed at normal scale tasks, but must make a 2d6+2 roll for tasks as rated on the super scale. Super-scale damage on a normal-scale target adds the power's Target Number (i.e. 5 to 13) to the damage ranks done. Normal-scale attacks can still affect super-scale targets as failure ranks, though they cannot do damage per se.
The first chapter of Truth & Justice consists of a discussion and analysis of the superhero genre and how aspects of it can be implemented in an RPG. Topics addressed include the "T&J" Philosophy" (Lies vs. Truth; Injustice vs. Justice; Heroism; Mad, Beautiful Ideas), the differences between human-scale and superhuman-scale abilities or events, the differences in superheroic styles (Grim 'n Gritty; Cinematic; Four Color; Animated), and a list of common comic book tropes.
There are three superheroic settings included within the book, each with their own chapter:
"Second-String Supers" places the player characters (PCs) in a world where the world-class heroes have left to deal with a situation of grave importance. The PCs take the roles of the less experienced supers, teenage sidekicks, aging pulp heroes, or reformed villains who must protect humanity in the first-stringers' absence.
"SuperCorps" is a near-future setting where powered individuals work as security, troubleshooters, or researchers. . . and bring down substantial salaries for doing so. Whether as employees of one of the globe-spanning mulinational corporations or as self-employed "super-consultants," PCs must balance their ethics, morals, and paychecks in a dangerous world.
"Fanfare for the Amplified Man" is a "ripped from the headlines" setting, where a certain few individuals (including the PCs) have received a mysterious piece of jewelry that grants them superpowers. Ideas for running secret superheroic campaigns and freeform adaptation of current events for gaming are included in this chapter; the overall theme is an exploration not just of the "great power vs. great responsibility" issue, but also the ability of one person to change the world.
The game was originally published in
Print on Demandformat in July 2005, and a print version became available through distributed retail in 2006.
As of March 2007, there are two "Truth & Justice" supplements: "Dial S for Superhumans", a free, downloadable PDF created by several contributors; and "The Turtlezilla Dossier" focusing on a giant
kaijuknown as Turtlezilla, a downloadable PDF for purchase.
"Truth & Justice" won the 2005 Indie RPG Award for Best Support, the 2006 Silver
ENnie Awardfor Best Electronic Book, and the 2006 Silver Award for Innovation (an ENnie Judges' Award).
* ASMP's [http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/products/tj.asp "Truth & Justice" product page]
* Pampero's [http://supers.250m.com/tnjindex.html "Truth & Justice" fanpage]
* John Kim's [http://www.darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/truthandjustice/ "Truth & Justice" notes]
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