Is It a Plane!?- Let the Hype Begin


It’s time to talk more about the next product in development from Psychic Cactus Games, destined for the realm of Kickstarter in May, 2018…

IIAP main logo

IS IT A PLANE!?: the diceless comic-book role-playing game.



What are the first impressions of players?

  • The comic-book issue framing of the narrative is innovative and a great way to invite players to consider the overall story. The frantic nature of the drawing phase was great fun: especially once I’d gotten the hang of understanding the way you were likely to interpret the images! Is it a Plane!? features a truly innovative resolution mechanic that enables an immense range of character abilities. That you create a comic book issue in play is fantastic.” Sean Smith- designer of EXUVIAE and QUARREL & FABLE.

  • Whilst initially “Is It A Plane!?” may appear frivolous, it offers some truly surprising opportunities for very serious and compelling role play with real character and story investment. It is of course, a lot of comic super hero fun”- Brendan Foster.

  • Is It a Plane” is an absolute delight to play, the comic-styling naturally lending itself to player imagination and camaraderie, celebrating both in-game success and toasting the occasional oddities that occur when your beautifully formed artwork is misunderstood by the GM… Fortunately, there are ways to come back from that which are also splendidly in-tune with the… vibe which the system’s laced with..
    Coming to the game for the first time, playing with complete strangers and possessing limited artistic skills, I was still able to pick up and play the game with relative ease – the limit’s more creativity then artistic talent. If you have the former, then you’re probably going to have fun here!”- Matthew J. Tozer.

  • I like the free flowing nature of it, with everyone all playing at once. The use of different lengths of drawing time is good, adds a real sense of urgency when dealing with a situation. Personally I also like how there’s less need for stats” – Ruth Berry

  • I think that it’s a great way of being involved in a game if you don’t always feel like talking and explaining stuff in front of people. A fun way to play as a group as you don’t feel like you’re not as good as other players as with the time limit everyone draws in.”- Nadine Haskey.

  • The pace was good and was filled with action, I could see influences from the IltC (I Love the Corps) system.”- Tom Woodhall


Playtester GM feedback

When you boil the game down, it’s very straight forward to play and to GM. I believe if someone buying this game off a shelf were to sit down and learn the game, they could do so competently and be ready to play in a reasonable time”- Damien Jones.

“As a novice GM, and relatively inexperienced role-player, I can attest to the ease and simplicity of running and playing Is It A Plane!? If you can draw stick men and count to Ten, you’re already half way there!”- Joe Down.


Initial reactions from proofreaders

The game is staggering… I am caught up in the magnitude of it.

As a game designer myself… and a player of several others, I can see how once you get… in gear, as an Editor, it would flow nicely!!!”- Philip Apostolakopoulos.

“Its like Pictionary, but you can be Batman, so about 100x better.”- Nial Prince.

So what’s different to existing superhero RPGs out there?

  • There are no dice rolls. To create your dramatic actions, you need to DRAW them!

  • This isn’t a *just* a superhero game; you create a comic book as you play. Any kind of comic book genre you can imagine is up for grabs.

  • Draw your Protagonist’s actions with highly limited time and dive into the fast-paced, frenetic comic book feel.

  • The Editor (or Games Master) must then decide what happens based on how they interpret the player’s drawings.

  • All the players decide and perform their character’s actions simultaneously.

  • An RPG with absolutely zero maths in play for players.

  • Everything in the game, from a ticking Bomb to a Raging Fire or a devastating supervillain is a Situation heroes must defeat, represented by a number between 1 and 9. Editors don’t need to deal with exhaustive statistics.

  • Characters can be in different geographical locations, or even time periods, and players can still get to act simultaneously.

  • Players always have something to do: if your character is Out of Action, you get to interpret the drawings the other players have created, along with the Editor.

  • Game-play is faster with five players than it is with two!

(2) Make An Exit

How Does It Work?

  • Based on how frantic a moment is, the Games Master gives the players between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to create their comic book Panels and to tussle with Situations they have decided upon.

  • Once Panels are drawn, players lay out their panels, WITHOUT discussing them, and the Games Master has to work out what THEY think is going on.

  • Is your character Out of Action? Don’t worry; instead of drawing, you get to interpret the Panels instead…

  • The Situations Protagonists will face (from Supervillains and Mooks, to an Earthquake, a Burning Building or a Murder Mystery) are represented from numbers 1 (low threat) to 9 (high threat). Reduce a Situation to 0, and it is dealt with. Let it rise to 10… and the scene ends badly for our heroes!

  • Use your Panels to reduce and defeat Situations… as long as the GM works out what you are doing, and decides your actions are effective.

  • Defeat a Situation and you earn a Story Point to spend on Stunts and Twists. Stunts aid the drawing and interpretation stages of the game. Not enough time to draw? Use the KAPOW! stunt for more time! Twists add in story elements to help save the day. Is your Protagonist down… then bring in some help via BACK UP’S HERE!

  • Games split up into Scenes and Issues. An Issue only has 22 Pages… if you haven’t defeated the Situations in a Scene by the end of the Issue, things only get more complicated for our Protagonists next time, as they create a Cliffhanger!

  • The more Panels players use, the faster the issue goes, so be careful!

  • This game isn’t just for playing superheroes, you can use it to create any kind of comic book setting.


About the Kickstarter Project

  • The initial goal will be to raise money for colour covers and black and white interior art for a single book. The book will contain rules, character creation, character archetypes, information about building comic book worlds and stories, information about being the Editor and a ready to run adventure with 6 pregenerated characters to play it with.

  • The book is currently around 140 pages. This may increase as proofreading and editing is currently underway and additional content may be added through stretch goals, but shouldn’t be any greater than 160 pages.

  • DriveThruRPG will be used to provide backers with their books (codes will be provided so backer only need to pay for their own printing and shipping, so pledges will be discounted accordingly).

  • Due to the comic book panel drawing element of the game, I am currently thinking of using DriveThru’s card facility in order to create these.

  • The first stretch goal will be to get colour interior art for the book. This goal is lower than the total achieved for my first Kickstarter, I Love the Corps, so I feel fairly confident about achieving this.

  • Following stretch goals will be to add additional art elements to the book that create more of a comic book feel.

  • Expansions are planned as further possible stretch goals, containing a variety of different adventures and mini-settings in completely different comic book styles, genres and eras, to show the range of the game. There are already materials ready to be turned into two adventure books (each with three adventures) and a campaign setting book.

Strength of Ten

Coming to Kickstarter in May 2018.

If you wish to know more, you can reach me on-

Thank you for reading, citizens!

Christopher Dean

Psychic Cactus Games

(The ‘Is It a Plane!?’ logo was created by Jessie Watts.

The promotional image was created by Daniel Wood.)