1. For a while, I’ve been kicking around an idea for a mechanic based on shonen anime–the sort where this idea of a comeback is turned up to eleven. I’m working it into a variation of the Year Zero engine from Free League. Some YZ games use a series of Conditions to stand in for hit point loss (though they’re usually emotional conditions rather than physical ones). Each Condition checked reduces the number of dice the player can roll by one. And when all Conditions are checked, the character is so beaten down that they can’t make skill rolls at all.

    The Limit Break mechanic kicks in when the character is in this broken state. They can call on their reserves of determination to take just one more action. They get to roll the action as though no Conditions were checked, and they get to add +1 to whichever Attribute they’re rolling with. If they succeed, the +1 becomes permanent, even if it puts the Attribute above its normal cap, but afterward they immediately return to their broken state and probably urgently need medical attention.

    If they fail, the GM can impose dire consequences. Usually not the character’s death because that’s not what the game is about. But perhaps an innocent is killed, or the villain’s plan moves forward significantly.

    Over time, the PCs are likely to perform several Limit Breaks and become super-powered, emulating the progression of characters from My Hero Academia, Inuyasha, or Dragon Ball. And, of course, significant bad guys can do the same.

    • M. J. Young, Chaplain

      Sounds good. And here I was trying to solve a problem you’d already solved….

      Thanks for the thoughts.

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