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Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
Technoir is great, and basically nails the feel of a Kovacs or Audran novel, and it would be cool if it got some exposure. On the other hand, I'd like to hear about the other two, especially Hollowpoint.

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Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

GimpInBlack posted:

By the way, looking at the TechNoir book, it looks like the first post of my review will cover character creation. So if anybody has a concept for a hard-boiled cyberpunk private eye or an avenging street samurai wandering the Sprawl with her deadly Hanzo steel, go ahead and post it now and I'll do up some example characters. Pics would be even better--TechNoir is even lighter on artwork than Aletheia was.

Sophie is a bicycle courier who moonlights as a grifter in Hitown nightclubs. She's good at talking and running/cycling, but not at fighting - what she can't solve by fast-talking she "solves" by getting the hell out of dodge.

Lemon-Lime fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Jan 28, 2014

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

GimpInBlack posted:

the Los Angeles Sprawl (pretty much your standard Blade Runner/Snowcrash cyberpunk archetype)

It's not, actually - it's the setting from Altered Carbon.

Which brings me to the very important thing to know about Technoir: this is not William Gibson's cyberpunk. If you're expecting a game that lets you put together a crew of miscreants and organise a run on a corporate arcology to steal an AI mainframe, that's not what Technoir is written to do.

What Technoir is written to do is hard-boiled fiction that happens to be in a cyberpunk setting - it's LA Confidential 20 minutes into the future, it's the MarÓd Audran or Takeshi Kovacs novels. It's not about hacking corporate servers; it's about going out, asking questions, getting kidnapped, beaten up and nearly killed, and discovering that the serial killer who's been terrorising Lotown is actually a corporate hitman harvesting brains for a new AI project, on the orders of the man who owns half the city, and what are you going to do about it?

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
It's the highly-visible daddy of the genre (even if it isn't the actual daddy of the genre), which CP2020 and others aped when they established their RPG genre conventions.

Also, in both the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies, getting hurt is something the protagonists actively try to avoid, and which is almost always bad for them. That's the polar opposite to the Kovacs or Audran novels which, in the hardboiled tradition, have their protagonists go out and poke their nose in stuff, then get hurt and gain valuable information in the process.

Lemon-Lime fucked around with this message at 17:10 on Jan 29, 2014

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
Jesus Christ, don't quote the entire post for a two-sentence comment.

GimpInBlack posted:

And that's it for plot maps. I've got to say, it's one of my favorite story-generation mechanics in a game like this--sure, if you go purely by the dice you might end up with some weird connections, and sometimes you can end up with plot holes or weird red herrings, but hey, even Raymond Chandler never figured out who killed the chauffeur in The Big Sleep. The connection mechanic is especially brilliant--I love that the more screen time you give to a connection by calling on them for information and favors, the more likely they are to have been the bad guy all along. It's a wonderfully noir conceit, and modelled brilliantly.

There's always a bit of creative interpretation needed to hook up what you roll into the plot of your game - that's the case for basically every random table in history.

The plot map is another example of Technoir's greatest strength, which is that all of its mechanics drive its theme. The plot map creates a kind of all-consuming conspiracy right out of a novel, and characters only advance by taking damage. :allears:

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
So the Aiki chits are both XP and fate points, if I'm reading that right? That's not good.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

theironjef posted:

Force Choke is only a problem because it's specifically Choke. If it was just the ability to telekinetically push a specific body part without specifying windpipes, it'd be "Force Pressure" and you could use to perform the heimlich or CPR (or even just manually pump a heart), maintain even pressure across an uneven laceration, give massages, splint a break, shove a bullet out of a wound, and more.

Which is incredibly dumb, because why is telekinetically choking someone a specifically evil thing? :psyduck:

The obvious thing to do (which none of the Star Wars games ever did) is make using the Force with intent to harm someone be "evil."

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

theironjef posted:

Of course I also hate games where you take months to heal injuries. I like abstracted simple quick healing because I like the whole party being present during adventures and I am fully aware that puts me on one side of some sort of ideological RPG train tracks.

It's sad that even the FFG Star Wars games suffer from this issue - they are very clearly derived from the same base as the 40k RPGs, and so you have stuff like only being able to take two or three blaster "hits" before you pass out for the rest of the scene and have to roll on the d% critical injury table to find out how badly hurt you are, and then you heal 1-2 wounds a day (putting you out of action for 3-14 days).

It's doubly weird because up until the combat chapter (and the following super-detailed, reads-like-it-was-also-ripped-out-of-DH gear chapter) the game is all about telling you that the special dice are there to help you narratively interpret what's happening mechanically, and that the story and Star Wars feel are infinitely more important than any kind of rules-heavy system.

It would have really benefited from a far less detailed and deadly combat system.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
That seems about the right length for a post about the fluff, really. As long as you don't end up needing five posts to cover the setting part, you're fine.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

Dilb posted:

I'm having a hard time imagine how I'd engage with the system. If I were seriously trying to play I'd need to set up meta-goals for myself, like "have sex with everyone" or "trigger everyone's darkest self, aimed at someone else". I'm not sure why I'd want to interact with most of the rules, unless I was just deliberately trying to stir up trouble.

Are you a robot who doesn't understand the concept of playing a game to play through cool story moments, or the idea that people might like RPGs that emulate genres other than "kill nonhumans to steal their stuff?"

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

S.D. posted:

Now, the biggest stumbling block I have is that I've never looked at Apocalypse World or anything PbtA-related - I think I understand how rolls work, but is there anything else ruleset-wise that isn't explained by the Monsterhearts book that I might want to know?

I'd recommend you read Apocalypse World and Dungeon World's DMing sections just for some more context on how the action is run, and maybe Scrape/EM's Dungeon World guide (linked to in the OP of the DW thread) although that only really applies to DW.

Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009
You should post your stuff in the AW thread and not FATAL & Friends.

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Lemon-Lime
Aug 6, 2009

PresidentBeard posted:

There is technically a way to make truenamer work.

There's a much easier way to make Truenamer work: fix the loving maths on the Truenaming check.

Get rid of the Truenaming skill, get rid of everything that boosts it, make it a simple d20+level check, and make the DC 10+HD instead of 15+2xHD. Suddenly, the maths no longer falls apart and the class actually works.

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