A Strange Little Hack I Made

I made a thing a while back. I called it Resonance Cascade. The basic premise is kids on bikes (Stranger Things, Goonies, Stand by Me, Tales from the Loop, etc) playing out near a Black Mesa (from Half-Life) inspired event.

Mechanics are a mixture of Powered by the Apocalypse, Blades in the Dark, Burning Wheel, and Tales from the Loop. Uses an interesting dice mechanic.

Some folks might fancy a gander. Layout is wonky.


  • Looks fun. I only have a question regarding the list of Qualities. It's alphabetical but cuts off after C. Is there a page of Qualities missing in the pdf or is the list sufficient?
  • Oh yes, you're totally right. Somehow the PDF got cropped. Will upload proper PDF.
  • Hello, dice mechanic apart, some basic and special moves are too vanilla for me : fight, shoot. They describe a task without enabling a great fictional output. The tough kid gets an ounce of this problem too : the moves manage points more than drama. It's the same thing that I've heard happens with Hack & slash in Dungeon World.
    Shouldn't signature item be a move ? I see more kids on bikes without them than with them.
  • Interesting. Great design and visually very appealing.

    The moves do sometimes seem overly generic (and persuade might be overly strong, especially against a PC), but perhaps that’s part of what makes the genre work. I’m a bit skeptics but no entirely unconvinced!

    I love your handling of Qualities. I don’t know if you were inspired by my game The Silver Dragon’s Tear, but it’s similar enough that I approve! On paper, at least, the open ended “negative” activation of Qualities is a very scary but appealing idea. I’d love to see that in play!

    I’m glad to see you made something out of my apocalypse world alternate dice rules. I’ve used them a fair bit, and I really like how they feel.

    You don’t mind failures being much rarer than in AW? I’m not sure if that’s in genre. Combined with Good To Go, you could end up having very few failures for long stretches of the game.

    Minor issues:

    One of the Conditions specifies that you’re no longer Good To Go, which is redundant.

    I don’t think the rules specify the size of bonus dice anywhere.

    Great stuff! How was the game?

  • Thanks for feedback all! Uploaded a correct PDF that doesn't cut off in the middle of character creation.

    You're right. The moves would definitely need work to make them more interesting and create better drama. I sort of just winged some of them to get it as-close-to-ready as possible for playtesting.

    You're suggesting that use your signature item be a move, correct?

    I haven't seen your Silver Dragon game; I'll search that here a minute...

    Can you elaborate on what would be scary about the negative quality use? I think I know what you mean, but not super sure.

    Your AW alternate dice rules - These ended up being super similar huh? Well, that figures, you helped me to plan these out back in 2013 :D
  • Oh! The playtest went pretty well. We didn't really get to test everything, but the few dice rolls we did seemed to produce good results.

    Regarding the Good to Go Condition, and Famished removing it, I don't know that it's redundant. Basically, if you're well rested, you're GTG and get a bonus because of it. The Famished condition effectively just removes your ability to GTG. Is that still redundant?

    I think you're right about not specifying bonus dice size... Must have missed that!

    Failures in AW are like 42% of the time, right? Where-as here, they're more like 30%?
  • Zachary,

    I’m going off memory now, but I think the Good To Go condition specifies that suffering any other condition removes it (any bad condition and you’re no longer Good To Go). Maybe I misread, though!

    Failures in your system will generally be 25% or so, for most rolls. (And if the GM is generous with those circumstance dice, they’ll be less common still.)

  • Yes, I think item use should be a move, typically navigation, electronics for the smart kid and weapon for the tough one.
  • @Paul_T
    Oh yes, you're right. Any other condition removes Good to Go. Famished serves no other purpose than just that; could be considered redundant, I follow you now.

    Yep, totally agreed!
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