Designer Notes

This next section goes over how to customize and adapt the mechanics found in this document to help you design your own game Powered by Charge.

Your Game

This is your project, so you can create, update, remove all the text and mechanics found in this document in any way you want. You just need to give us attribution for our work (see the Attribution Text section).

Content Warning

Take the time to include a content warning section that includes the themes present in your game. Being transparent will go a long way to ensure a safe playing experience for everyone at the table.

Your Setting

Explain the setting of your game, and what the story is mainly going to focus on. Touch on the sort of challenges the PCs will encounter, the factions that inhabit the world, and the places the player character might visit.

Your Momentum

Dash is a game that revolves around initiative, and momentum is the reason for this. It is what drives the players forward. Momentum is awarded when the player characters take risks, and is consumed to give bonuses in return. For your game, think about the triggers that will generate it, and the different ways it can be spent.

Your Consequences

More often than not, action rolls will succeed, but with a consequence. The types of consequences available for the GM to use in your game will help shape the kinds of adventures that the players will experience. Dash games are about moving forward. Considering this, think about the types of things that can go wrong for the player characters, and define them as consequences. The default list of this document works as a good starting point, but you should change it to better match your game’s aesthetic.

Your Stress

Stress is the default health pacing mechanism of the game. If you want characters to feel stronger or weaker, adjust how big is the stress track, what kind of triggers can fill it, what happens when it is filled, and how it can be cleared, etc. Be as generous or harsh as you see fit. You can also rename it to something else, or use multiple tracks to handle different types of consequences.

Your Determination

Characters in Dash are proactive, and take matters into their own hands. But, when things don’t go according to plan, they burn their momentum as a way to get the narrative control back. You can change the cost of using a determination roll, or reevaluate the result distribution as a way to reinforce the themes present in your game. Don’t forget that when a player character thinks about using their determination, they are considering using their precious momentum now, even though it might complicate things later.

Your Details

A character is usually defined using details. Details are aspects that are true about a character. Those aspects give them narrative liberties in the fiction. Think about the important aspects of your game, and include them as character details. Things like backgrounds, relationships, equipments, etc. Once defined as details, player characters can just use or call to them without having to roll for anything for they are true.

Your Actions

To interact with the world, characters use their actions. To make this game your own, you should customize the action list to something that better fit the aesthetic of your setting. Look at the kind of things you think player characters will do the most. If you aim to have a smaller action list, each action should cover more ground, and the opposite is true if you want to have a broader list of actions. To decide of the amount of initial action dots players can assign at character creation, divide the number of actions you have by half, and add 1 to it.

Your Talents

In Dash, characters talents are meant to be filled by the players when they reach an important milestone in the story. To help with analysis paralysis, consider designing a list of situational talents for the players to pick from when they gain a new talent dot. To design situational talents, try to frame them in a format that looks like “Get X bonus when Y situation happens”.

Your Playbooks

Instead of having each player decide of their details, skilled actions and talents, you can provide playbooks for the players to choose from. Doing this helps the players get a clear idea of the kind of characters they can play, and also enables them to get to play your game as quickly as possible. To design a playbook, give them a name, pre-fill their details, assign action dots, and design a unique talent tree for them. Each playbook then acts as a fun and unique archetype.

Your Progression

By default, progression happens when the GM considers that the story has reached an important milestone. Depending on the kind of pace you want your game to add, consider tying additional mechanics to the progression system. Maybe progression happens every time a mission is successful, or perhaps a clock is tied to the way progression works. Your choice.

Your Push

Players can burn their momentum to push their characters to their limits, and gain mechanical bonuses in return. For your game, think about the cost of pushing yourself, and the various types of bonuses you can gain from it.

Your Extra Mechanics

Dash comes with a set of mechanics that handles numerous aspects of gameplay. Dont hesitate to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t apply to your game, then add mechanics that you think will reinforce your world. Add only what is necessary, and try to tie it with the core dice mechanic to keep things homogeneous.

Your Rolling Tables

Consider adding rolling tables for the things you consider important in your world. Rolling tables help in two-way. First, they help put a focus on what is significant in the game. Second, they help facilitate sessions for when the players are in doubt about where the story should go next. You could include tables for things like items, locations, allies, enemies, complications, missions, etc.

Other Guidelines

Start with the setting. Try to find inspiration from things you love. Something like a movie, a TV series or a book. Once you’ve found a piece a media that gets the inspiration flowing, mix it with a second one to create a unique combo. From there, work on adding things from your imagination to create something nobody has ever seen before. Think about the core gameplay loop that the players will experience when playing the game. Every mechanical aspect of your game should reinforce this loop, and the setting. If it doesn’t, take a moment to see if the mechanic is required at all, or find a way to tie it back to the game in a rewarding way. Remember, less is more. This SRD is written very briefly to give you a lot of design room. Rephrase or expand as you see fit to make this game your own.

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