SatAM

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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

What is SatAM? It was a term coined as near as I can tell for the Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon show featuring the blue blue on Mobius along with Tails, Sally and the other resistance fighters. It is essentially a portmanteau of Saturday AM, indicating Saturday mornings when the show aired.

I am writing a ttrpg with the name SatAM. The game is tribute to the cartoon shows of the 80s and especially 90s. It is meant to be flexible so it can encapsulate all kinds of tones that cartoons from those eras contained, providing an easy to understand ruleset that tries to avoid math wherever possible while delivering fast-paced action that many of these episodic shows contained, having a mere 20-something minutes with which to tell their stories.

I have two versions in mind; one for fast paced, shorter series where long-term growth won't really play in, and one for the long game, series where characters will want to grow more over time. (A single season show versus one that airs multiple seasons)

The core mechanic of the system involves rolling few dice, not adding results, but looking at each die rolled for successes, which are scored for every full 4. One success at 4-7, two at 8-11 and three at 12. There is no d20 used. (ie; if you rolled a 6 and a 2 on separate dice, although the total is 8, since the results are not summed, you would only gain one success. Successes are first used on your declared action, but additional successes can be used for other things expanding from that action.

I have more developed, but I'm posting this here to see what, if any, kind of interest base might exist here for such a game.
FuzzyBoots
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Re: SatAM

Post by FuzzyBoots »

Cartoon Action Hour went over pretty well.
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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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Re: SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

It did. It is also around 13 years old as of its most recent edition (Season 2)

And besides, who ever said there can be only one game dedicated to a particular genre? I have something like seven superhero ttrpgs on my bookshelf and several other core systems that have rules for superheroes.
Shock
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Re: SatAM

Post by Shock »

Saturday morning cartoons was a thing all the way back in the 60s. It was a way for the networks to meet their quota of "children's programming."
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Davies
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Re: SatAM

Post by Davies »

1966 was when the big three networks added them to their schedule, but local programming had probably included them before that, and Captain Kangaroo had had cartoon segments even in the 50s*. The 70s and 80s were probably the era where they flourished the most, though.

* Or so I'm told, I'm not nearly old enough to have personal knowledge, here.
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FuzzyBoots
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Re: SatAM

Post by FuzzyBoots »

Gunmetal_Rainbow wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 11:18 pm It did. It is also around 13 years old as of its most recent edition (Season 2)

And besides, who ever said there can be only one game dedicated to a particular genre? I have something like seven superhero ttrpgs on my bookshelf and several other core systems that have rules for superheroes.
^_^ No worries. I guess I was just trying to say that there must be a market for it.
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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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Re: SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

Sadly, I'm not old enough to really know much of the pre-80s era of cartoons. My personal exposure was primarily the 90s and reruns of 80s shows.

I have looked at some older stuff and while it didn't resonate with me, I understand it would have likely been mindblowing for kids of that era.

And while I am focused on my era of exposure, my hope is that the game will be flexible enough that anyone of a mind could set their game in an older era cartoon setting and have it function just fine.
Last edited by Gunmetal_Rainbow on Fri May 21, 2021 1:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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Re: SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

FuzzyBoots wrote: Fri May 21, 2021 1:28 am
^_^ No worries. I guess I was just trying to say that there must be a market for it.
Sorry, I didn't mean to come off as defensive. The last person who brought up Cartoon Action Hour was taking a position of "this exists and it's good, so why bother making something like it?"

Needlessly demoralizing. As if they don't realize there can be numerous games in the same genre that all play differently and can all be good. :roll:
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Woodclaw
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Re: SatAM

Post by Woodclaw »

Gunmetal_Rainbow wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 7:30 pm I have two versions in mind; one for fast paced, shorter series where long-term growth won't really play in, and one for the long game, series where characters will want to grow more over time. (A single season show versus one that airs multiple seasons)
There was a pretty good fanmade game called "Benders, Before the Fire Nation Attacked" that had a a progression system built around episodes and seasons, maybe it might come in handy.
Gunmetal_Rainbow wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 7:30 pm The core mechanic of the system involves rolling few dice, not adding results, but looking at each die rolled for successes, which are scored for every full 4. One success at 4-7, two at 8-11 and three at 12. There is no d20 used. (ie; if you rolled a 6 and a 2 on separate dice, although the total is 8, since the results are not summed, you would only gain one success. Successes are first used on your declared action, but additional successes can be used for other things expanding from that action.

I have more developed, but I'm posting this here to see what, if any, kind of interest base might exist here for such a game.
Allowing multiple actions might become tricky to balance, since every action might potentially induce a change in the scene.
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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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Re: SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

It's not additional actions as such, since you can't do anything with a success that would spark another dice roll. The extra successes only allow expand from your original action, doing something "extra" within the context of what you are already doing.

You couldn't punch a minion, then use the extra success to run over and hack a computer terminal for example, but you could punch a second minion. There is also a Momentum resource the party has access to, extra success can be placed in there there the party can use the Momentum for other things.

Momentum is important for actually attacking higher tier enemies like Generals or Leaders if they are present. It is also used for formation actions and team attack type mechanics that I am still working on.
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Gunmetal_Rainbow
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Re: SatAM

Post by Gunmetal_Rainbow »

Just to explain that a little better;

Enemies come in 4 ranks; Minion, Lieutenant, General and Leader.

Each functions a bit like a program, with each higher rank getting more powerful and complex.

Minions are super basic. If they outnumber the protagonists, they function one way, if they don't, they function another. Because of this, you can throw ten Minions, you can throw 100 minions, and this doesn't change. All it does it change how long the minions outnumber the protagonists for, but it gives the protagonists many minions to spend successes on to punch. (They only require 1 success to defeat, so one could mow through enemies with a little bit of luck)

Higher ranks follow similar damage rules to players, making them a little more difficult to take out, plus you can't event direction attack them if minions outnumber you and your Momentum is too low. So you may also want to spend some of those extra successes to increase the team's Momentum if a higher rank enemy is being particularly troublesome, since they have unique abilities that they can use to challenge the players.

Ultimately, I'm not super concerned about player balance anyways. I've been playing several games lately that have shown me that "balance" isn't all its cracked up to be and tends to get in the way of having fun and feeling like a really awesome protagonist. I'm more concerned about "is it fun?" than "is it balanced?"
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