I think most indie game designers are trying to make the type of game they would like to play. I am. I’ve played a number of super hero rpgs since I was a kid; some I’ve loved and some I didn’t. TCH was an attempt to create solid rpg rules sans the counter-intuitive boardgame inspired mechanics that I think are pretty pervasive in tabletop gaming. Some have good features, and others fall short at delivering the experience of good ‘ol comic book action. Don’t get me wrong, TCH has rules, and I wouldn’t really call it rules light (its more medium/medium-well), but each mechanic is designed with maintaining the feel of the game and quickness in mind.
You’ll probably see me refer to my attempt to distill the raw verve of early super comics and lace it in the TCH rules a lot in this blog, but honestly, this was the intent here. The funny thing is that throwing coins gets most people curious, and brings them up to the table during my game shop demos. During the play tests, the only downside may be handling thin slippery coins as opposed to big chunky dice, but that hasn’t really hasn’t been mentioned too much. The other inexorable truth is that pennies are cheaper than dice (your mom’s copy of yahtzee wasn’t free, after all).
The system is pretty easy to grasp; the number of coins that are thrown are modified positively by character traits (characteristics, skills, powers, etc.), and negatively by the complexity of the task at hand. Each coin generates one of two results, called checks (good) and strikes (bad), or heads & tails. You need so many checks to succeed; pretty simple. The check/strike dynamic extends to power rules as well, and most abilities have a number of coins listed to determine their effectiveness during a use.
During game development there have been plenty of cool mechanics that have come up, that work real well with the coin driven system. So far, its been a very rewarding project, and I’m genuinely excited to be able to share some of these features before release. Keep checking back; I’ll be revealing more about the thoughts that went into TCH, and hope to have it out on the market soon.