Kids in Capes is the adolescent-led RPG’s most ambitious genre superleap, yet, by its most ambitious team

In this first of a two-part interview, Austin Taylor discusses combat systems, remote team work, and why Recess is a secret superhero cartoon.

Kids in Capes is the adolescent-led RPG’s most ambitious genre superleap, yet, by its most ambitious team
Credits: Sean Peacock/Hunters Entertainment

After riding bikes and brooms, and then traveling to space, Hunters Entertainment’s Kids on X series is crowdfunding another tabletop RPG with exploding dice and precocious children. But Kids in Capes is more than just a genre reskin of the rules-light system that has seen play on Dimension 20’s actual play stage—it’s a comprehensive and thoughtful take on a favorite subject material for tabletop play.

Original creators Jon Gilmour and Doug Levandowski were joined by an expanded roster of design talent from across the industry—Morgan "Mo" Nuncio, Nick Sauer, and Austin Taylor—who are producing Kids in Capes, the largest RPG rulebook ever produced for the series. Taylor is the youngest among them, an award winning game narrative writer who also designs and performs in actual play series. After a Clark Kent-esque day job as a therapist, they immediately set to work putting their own fingerprints all over the manuscript.

Rascal sat down with Taylor to discuss what players can expect to see changed in this newest RPG rehash, including a satisfying combat system and plenty of tools to onboard superhero fans—or D20 watchers—interested in trading out Dungeons & Dragons for something a little more agile and heroic. But with so many established and beloved titles already filling the hearts of supes lovers and dice rollers, how will Kids in Capes find its own moment to shine?

Chase Carter: How long have you been working with the team on Kids in Capes?

Austin Taylor: Doug Levandowski and John Gilmour had the initial idea. I've been attached since the Hunters Entertainment design streams in… god, yeah, 2021? I was still sitting on my couch watching cartoons all day. So definitely lockdown [laughs].

Carter: By the time you got brought on, Kids in Capes had a name and a concept. How did the team sell that concept to you? 

Taylor: They wanted to make a superhero game, and they wanted a team of people who had different influences to create it. Specifically, they want a game about playing your origin story. I'm not very familiar with the Marvel TTRPG, but I know that you start at level one. In Masks: A New Generation you're meant to be a young hero, but it's decidedly not an origin story. You're already a team, and you've already solved crime together. Mutants and Masterminds I've never touched, and I've been told it's a lot to digest. They specifically wanted something where you get your powers while playing. If Masks is about playing Season Two of a story, this is meant to be Season One. This is like issue one of Runaways. When you start, you don't even have your powers—you're just a bunch of kids.