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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Benagain posted:

Viktor Frankenstein should win prizes for being the Dumbest Protagonist Ever.

Monster: "I WILL BE WITH YOU ON YOUR WEDDING NIGHT!"

Frankenstein: "WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY MEAN?" *proceeds with wedding plans*

Edit: poo poo, what was that Ghost Train hack of AW? That'd be a great place to jump off/steal ideas from for an Apocalypse London.

Ghost Lines, you can find it here: http://www.onesevendesign.com/ghostlines/

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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Lemon Curdistan posted:

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

It's somewhat mollified here by two factors:
  • Whether you spend them to boost a roll or to boost a skill, they add up to your lifetime limit of 108 Karma.
  • The game is intended to be played in one-shots of about 4-6 hours or so of length, in three acts. In that context, +1 dice to every roll for a skill may not be the best use of your karma compared to adding 10 dice to a roll or getting 10 actions. Long-term play isn't meant to be a concern, and so the normal long-term advancement you'd miss out on with Seven Sea's system doesn't really exist.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

NGDBSS posted:

Anyone have opinions on Tribe 8? One of my roommates acquired the first edition sourcebook at a secondhand shop and the system sounds interesting (if gritty and 90's). That said, I've not delved into the setting (which takes up the first half of the book) so I'm not certain if anything weird came up there.

The setting's incredibly flavourful in that quintessentially 90s sort of way - big themes, interesting factions, a metaphysic that informs everything in the setting and interesting conflicts out of the gate. Unfortunately, the system is also highly 90s, and includes spending XP to get one-off bonuses to rolls, agility as a god-stat, poorly thought out XP math, and many other issues besides. I'd say it's well worth reading the setting, and even the metaplot books have some good ideas, but I'd run the game in some other system.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Kai Tave posted:

The question then becomes how does this fit into the supernatural romance framework that Monsterhearts is, at its core, all about? Being a monster is really secondary to being an actor in a high school soap opera, and while I'm sure there's plenty of skeezy Slenderman fanfiction out there it isn't quite the same thing.

Maybe the focus is on someone who obsesses over saving people from things when they're the true danger? Sometimes you're hacking someone's Facebook to "prove" their boyfriend is cheating on them because you're paranoid the boyfriend's abusive, sometimes you're putting on mask and terrorising people so they go nowhere near the "haunted" ruins and you save them from the monster.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Robindaybird posted:

So the Nice Guy(tm) who thinks all the guys the object of his affections go for are assholes and never realize the reason they don't get laid is because they're a creepy obsessive freak?

Could certainly go that way, sure. Thinking about it though it might also be interesting to take the angle of the person who's been traumatised by the entity/infidelity/abuse/whatever and now sees it everywhere, and tries to protect others from suffering the same without realising that they're using the same methods they fear. It makes the playbook a bit more sympathetic, I think.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

I remember when I took over managing the local university rpg society's book archive there was a copy of The Autumn People there, in perfect condition. The weirdest thing was how high quality the production values on the book are - glossy pages, full colour throughout, quite a bit of art. Was that common for oWoD books? It was eye catching enough that I gave it a read, but oh man is it stupid. Just wait until you see the self-aware banal antagonists!

I ended up selling the book online for far more than anyone should want to pay for it, and used the money to buy Fate instead.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Kurieg posted:

Did they bring back the merits that lowered target numbers as well? Because they removed those things from revised for a *reason*. Any one of those with a relevant specialization and 4 in the attribute and skill made it almost impossible to fail at the given task.

Nah, nothing like that. To be honest, mummy has a lot of good ideas but it's incredibly poorly organised, badly edited, and the overall management of the line is sorely lacking. Plus, they're embracing oWoD meta plot with gusto - the core book goes out of its way to avoid talking about ancient Irem where the mummies were created, but it's obvious there's an actual truth they're planning on revealing gradually as the line goes on. This means that if you're playing in an ongoing game each subsequent book is going to get more and more useless to you as it creates a canon that diverges from your own.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Plague of Hats posted:

Oh poo poo, I just assumed it was some bizarre dig at SJWs being pearl-clutching grandmas (i.e., blue hairs). This is sadder.

More likely it's because Zoe Quinn has (or had at the start of GG) blue hair. Either way, glad it's gone.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

The Agent does a surprisingly good job of getting across Lacuna's flavour, especially considering the radically different genres. One correction though - Lacuna was published by Memento Mori Theatricks, not Paizo.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Pretty sure Gypsies has already been done, though it might have fallen off the archives.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Bendigeidfran posted:

Quick unrelated question: are there any good systems that have rules for grabbing a sword's blade and smacking people with the pommel? Or like combines grappling rules with dagger fighting? Asking because there's a lot of cool medieval combat stuff that gets overlooked these days.

Burning Wheel has rules for half-swording, pommel striking and grappling someone's helmet off then shanking their unprotected flesh. It's a pretty in-depth and complex combat system but it can be surprisingly satisfying.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Ratpick posted:

Wasn't there an Eclipse Phase PbP on these very forums where the players had to go into an MMO and the GM ran that part of the game using 4e? Might have not been a PbP, but I do recall someone posting their kicking rad 4e pre-gens into the hot modrons thread.

Yup, I'm pretty sure that was one of Ettin's games.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Kurieg posted:

There's also like, seven different kinds of werewolves. But the Uratha world probably be trying to kill most of them right along side the hunters.

Second ed Uratha might even ally themselves with hunters, at least temporarily. The new death rage mechanics are very bloody and indiscriminate.

It's generally a pretty big thing in nWoD that while you might have a game line about playing Vampires, Demons or Werewolves they're not the only thing in the world that can fit into that category - the setting is set up to reject the idea that the world is completely comprehensible and understandable, that being antithetical to horror. No matter who you are in the nWoD or what level of supernatural understanding you've achieved, it's always possible for something completely outside your frames of reference to sail through your life and wreck everything without any adherence to the natural rules you've built up.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Pope Guilty posted:

Bear in mind that only the first Cliomancer to a site gets the charge. This leads to a number of turf wars, many of which probably end with a body turning up somewhere.

Yup, it was fine when we played a game in London - it just meant that the turf lines were drawn a lot more tightly and the cliomancer pecking order was a lot more established than I guess might be normal.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Sure, with the same caveats as the serial killer cliomancer - it'll take a lot of time, may not even work, and will require a lot of resources to pay off. If you can get away with it though it'd be a real asset.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

Do Adepts have to know they're adepts? Or could Nick Cave think he's getting power from all his pretentious occult poo poo but it really comes from being a gently caress-up? I feel like this could be a fun basis for a character.

Adepts do - their paradox must be the lens through which they see the world. It's almost literally impossible for an adept to conceive of another path to magickal power working - their specific paradox is the one and only way the world works for them.

Avatars on the other hand don't have to be aware they're channeling a path, and I could easily see an Avatar path for the Privileged gently caress-Up.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

I just think with common paradoxes like the ones powering Dipso, Entropo and Epideromancy you can gain and use Minor charges without knowing its magick. Things just work out if you're drunk, and you're always drunk. The adrenaline rush you get from surfing trains makes you invincible. Eventually someone else will notice and let you know what's going on and initiate you.

So what I'm saying is, UA encourages self-destruction. :devil:

So long as you already had the mindset that the world *only makes sense when drunk* - likely from hitting 5 failed notches in a guage - then sure, you can be a self-taught adept without realising what it is you're doing. Once you were aware you were doing Magick though I don't think you'd be able to think that anything other than your particular paradox is responsible.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

One thing I love about the Union is that they make it clear that the Masquerades and Veils supernaturals put up don't hide the existence of monsters from people - they just make them too much effort to think about, so that most people push the weird things they saw out of mind. When someone's in your neighbourhood pushing back word gets out and people start fighting. It's a much more plausible than oWoD's 'everything is covered up from the norms' idea.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.


On the other hand the Demon House exploit can let you possess a building indefinitely, so some version of that (plus other abilities to move from location to location) could get you something Danny-ish.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Would be interested in seeing hordes - what little I've heard of its races sounded really cool.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

pkfan2004 posted:

I'm going to assume he's responsible for Sex Hitler.

Pretty certain sex hitler was Dali's creation - one of his many efforts to shock the other surrealists though transgression. Like a lot of the weirder stuff in this book, it's a direct reference to an event that actually happened!

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Threeforged Game Design Contest - RPG review lightning round



Over the past few months a few hundred game designed have been writing micro-RPGs, handing each game off to another author in three different phases. The games are now complete, all 102 of them, and I've been reading through the results and writing micro-reviews. There's a lot of great games here - I'd recommend checking out the ones that sound interesting to you, as they're only 4000 words at most! The voting phase of the contest is still ongoing, so if you want to help decide a winner check it out.

Untitled 1: A road trip into the heart of magically-devastated Russia to save napoleonic-era Europe. I think it did reasonably cool things with the travel mechanic - preparation is encouraged, and so is making use of the things you find on the way. With a bit more editing and proper layout, it could be a nice, directed experience, not sure what the point was of name checking such a simple system though?

Untitled 2: experimental physicists and the elementals they've accidentally created. The setting didn't grab me, and the system seemed too generic - the only point at which differences between characters even exist are if the players bring them into their narration. When your character types (randomly determined!) are so different I really feel that should feed into your system somehow.

Untitled 3: Magical agents trying to preserve the wizarding world's separation from the mundane. Character creation and system uses Lady Blackbird-like talent groups, with plenty of examples provided - thumbs up! I liked how the agents had to strike a balance between fitting in with the Mundane and the Magical, while their job's stresses make them less able to fit into either. Good potential for drama, as well as for urban fantasy adventure.

20.6 Miles: Napoleonic-era spy agencies feuding with each other over the English channel. The system is very simple but has a great potential for double-crosses, alliances and drama - pretty much every rules bit looks like it drives play towards the intended fiction. Plus it has great examples of play and fiction bits to get the setting across.

Ad Libitum Absurdity: a nice theme I hadn't seen elsewhere - actors trying to break out of typecasting while fulfilling their life goals. The core system is pretty light and fun, although I don't know how well the random film generation would work; the examples in the book seemed pretty ropey already.

Alien Passion Disaster: A game about different aliens (and humanity) fighting, exploring and getting emotionally involved. I liked the trait auction a lot, especially how a positive trait becomes pointed at the lowest bidder. I found the rest of the rules writing very difficult to follow, though, although the Heart deck (and how it got marked over the game) seemed pretty fun. Generally though, I'm not sure why I wouldn't just play Lasers and Feelings.

American Heroes: Superhero team fighting supervillains. It seems like a pretty barebones system that could do with another editing and focusing pass - the intro seems like it's going for an Adult Swim Sentai sort of feel but that doesn't come through at all in the mechanics. Plus there's some eyebrow-raising gender-related stuff that could easily be trimmed.

Among Humans: A Doomed Pilgrim-a-like (is there a better world?) where the player is a monster trying to blend in with humanity, asking set questions to the internet commentariat to determine what course the story takes. Adds in factions to the responding commentators, giving them different agendas and specifying when you ask questions of each. Straightforward presentation and rules, and seems like it'd be pretty interesting to play (although you'll need at least 3 commentators for it to work). There's a few things that could do with changing - for example as written there's no point where you explain your monster's abilities or tells to the audience, which seems like it should be part of the setup - but overall it was a pretty fun read! 

I liked Anonym a lot - some of that is certainly that I'm a fan of Lacuna, but this does enough interesting things of its own (bureaucratic and competitive character creation! true-name based implied setting! really simple and direct instructions for GMs on how to run the game and what the different factions want!) that I reckon it stands apart.

Anthill: This one impressed me with its setting - recently sentient and mutated ants trying to protect and grow their anthill after an apocalypse. The collaborative setting-building reminded me of an insect-scale A Quiet Year, and while I don't generally like percentile systems this does interesting things with them to make resolution less binary. Plus there's random mutations to roll for, which are always fun, and the presentation and formatting of the PDF and character sheets are top-notch.

Next up: robot detectives, wayward apprentices, and Campbellian Monomyth.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Threeforged Game Design Contest - RPG review lightning round pt. 2



Time for a second dive into the results of the Threeforged challenge - as a reminder you can get the games here.

Apprentice, Wizard, Familiar: This is the sort of game I'd love to have to play with a group of kids. It's collaborative with no competition between players; it's creative but with plenty of prompts to stop people getting stuck; it's charming with enough hints of danger to keep people invested. Some people might not count it as a true roleplaying game - the group tells a story about the titular Apprentice, and doesn't have distinct characters of their own unless they claim one of the Familiars - but I think it's pretty dang successful at what it wants to do.

Aquila: a game about characters, families and factions exploring and building a new life on a new land over scales that range from days to centuries. It's a theme I enjoy, but the game feels like it could do with more focus. With little setting detail or constraints your enjoyment is mainly going to depend on how good your table is at creating scenes, and I'm not sure the dice mechanic brings the drama. Plus, expanding and improving the island is based on spending 'insights', but it never seems to go into how you get them. Still, the collaborative island building is pretty cool.

Arcane Engines: the engines of the title are people given sudden reality-warping power that will eventually send them mad or isolated from the world, but gives them great power for the duration. I'd say character creation is a little heavy, but the round structure looks like it'd give a good feeling of time advancing as organisations respond to this crisis and the conflict resolution does interesting things with limiting your options and interfering with others.

At Any Cost: one player is a hero going on a monomythic journey, the other is their antagonist. It's not about if the hero succeeds - the bidding and raising system always lets the player fold and sacrifice something important to them to win a stage - but how the journey changes them. It's a neat concept, and I really liked the card design, but it feels like the card mechanic dominates gameplay to such an extent that roleplaying is limited to what you would see in Once Upon a Time or similar - creating a post-hoc story that strings together the cards you play into some kind of story.

Automaton: PCs are AI investigators called in to help human detectives solve a crime in a highly segregated world - AIs have very few rights and there's a lot of anti-robot prejudice. This is reflected nicely in the system - there's also a human team investigating the crime, and corruption and prejudice among them can hinder the players. It has a nice system for helping the GM build a crime ad-hoc, though I'd want a but more support for red herrings and dead ends. Also, in a really nice touch, a player's choice of actions is constrained by their position on a flowchart, as the AIs are still somewhat controlled by their programming. Unfortunately the dice notation and rolling mechanic are somewhat obtuse, as otherwise I'd really like this one.

Bag Pulling Game: More of an isolated conflict system than a full game, and as such it's completely generic and not terribly attention-grabbing. The way your bag's contents changes over the course of a conflict could be pretty cool, though it's hard to be sure of the implications without giving it a play.

Bakehouse Brawl: The pro wrestling/cookery TV show fusion is inspired! Nice, simple and quirky system. Could've done with more quirks, but I like how you have to balance making progress on your bake, defending yourself from other's attacks, and disrupting their cooking. Plus I'm super into the Great British Bake-Off at the moment so the judge descriptions were great :D

Blue Shift: Kinda reminded me of HoL done right - the characters are the products of a primordial soup made from a universe's landfill, galactic society's discards mixed together and given life by DNA, magic and random chance. Plus the character's goals and secrets are tied together very nicely to make a cool setup for a story. The dice mechanic is a bit weird but I'd be interested in testing it - basically you pick the traits you're using and assign them a dice size on the fly, then add fate dice into the mix that'll say whether the dice are added, neutralised or subtracted. Pretty chaotic, but that fits with the whole HoL/Low Life/Futurama aesthetic.

Bootleggers: Looks like it's going for a Firefly style, but I really wish it had dropped the tone after the intro. Just grated on me. I liked that you just jump into the job at the point where it goes wrong - bypass that kinda-tedious 'let's make a perfect plan' bog a lot of games can get stuck in. I really could have done with a lot more detail on the dice mechanic though - I've read through it a couple of times and still have no idea how you actually roll for things.

Children's Radio: I really like what it does with playbooks, and how they subvert the inoffensive children's story you're building together. Putting all the rules you need on a sheet in front of you gets a thumbs up from me. It seems like a game that'd work best when players don't know what other's playbooks even say, to keep the mystery of why tokens are being passed around. Speaking of the tokens, it never really said what you do with them - I guess the person who ends up with the most tokens is the winner? Still, it's a really neat game with simple, tight mechanics.

Conspiracy and Cowards: Plotting and sedition in a setting full of intrigue. I thought the setup had a little bit too much random generation for my liking, and conflict resolution had a ton of subsystems - card draws, favour trading, haiku writing (!), trump suits, etc. Still, it forms a solid core for the system and has enough moving parts to keep interest. The card-based playbooks are nice and flavourful as well, and interact well with the power dynamics established in the setting while giving people a lot of choice.

That's 0-C done - 24 down and 78 to go.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Threeforged Game Design Contest - RPG review lightning round pt. 3



A third round of games - again, games and voting instructions here.

Damned: Souls in hell scheming to rise up the demon hierarchy. From the off I'm happy it asks you to discuss the tone of the game and set limits on torture and gore. The power struggles of hell are baked in the rules, with most rolls opposed and handing out Strength and Weakness tokens. It does a lot to establish a clear and consistent view of the dark politics and economics of hell, and gives the GM plenty of support in running the game. Finally, it's really nicely and simply present, with choice demon illustrations and clean layout. Not a nice game but a great game - thumbs up!

Dark Secret: A game about the buildup to and fallout from someone's secret identity (alien, spy, cultist etc) being revealed. It has one of the nicer card-based resolution systems I've seen, with face cards and suits being situationally useful but not overpowering and wounds having a clear effect by limiting the power of a particular colour of cards. I liked the clear three-act structure, backed up by simple mechanics, and the opportunities presented to twist the story by giving others secret identities and motivations. Nice layout too, with plenty of Secret Identities and Associates detailed, although I'd have liked a bit more detail on the Antagonist - who are they, and what's their motivation?

Double Potions: The most Potter-like game so far! It seems like a fun parlour game almost - playing through the farce of getting to class, having mishaps when putting potions together, and putting enough detail into your junior wizard to have fun things to riff off in potion creation. I didn't like how it was entirely random what Professor Not-Snape thought of your potion, and having to come up with 6 arguments to get a reroll goes against the free-wheeling feel of the game, but I did like how much freedom the players had to make up elements of Not-Hogwarts to make their case to the teacher. Really a simple modifier to the Professor's judgement roll would solve most of my issues with this game, although it's so focused that I'm not sure I'd be interested in playing it.

Eat At Joes: Exiles from an intergalactic cold war slumming it at a 1950s Indiana diner. Another game involving aliens means another alien race creation mechanism, and this one does some nice things balancing your alien's special abilities with their ability to keep their 'normal human' cover. Character creation then gives your character a recurring plot (the game is played through the lens of a recurring TV show) and a job at the diner. Unfortunately although the intro says the game is meant to be pretty light and comedic the system seems to focus more on throwing up obstacles rather than creating comedic situations. There's also some formatting errors - duplicated sentences that trail off, spelling errors, etc - so I think I'll conclude that this is a fun concept that could be implemented better.

Faery Wedding Reception Party Game: LARP about attending a faery wedding reception. I feel like it should go all-in on either being tabletop-like or larp-like - at the moment it seems like it'd flow best if LARPed but there are elements like dice rolls and scene framing that could be adapted better for LARPing. I'd suggest maybe a moderator-like role who could declare characters and new scenes semi-IC as the function's announcer. I also feel like it really needs a method of giving people a Key - just printing them and shuffling them would do it for me!

Fallen Sky: Building a transcontinental railroad in an alt-history America devastated by Yosemite's eruption - an eruption that has turned the locals into listless, zombie-like 'husks'. I like that you build your character's capabilities simply by dealing a deck into three piles and choosing the two you like, and giving the rest to the GM - it guarantees that the GM will be better at some things that you, and vice versa. Your deck is your capabilities, your resistance to the polluted evil air, and your emotional resilience. Between scenes, you receive a letter from home written by one of the other players, and can get cards refreshed by showing your character's response to it (I don't like that there's an element of GMs penalising players for not roleplaying a response - might just be an issue of wording though). The game also comes with a setting timeline showing when and how things have diverged, and monsters, threats and pioneers for the railroad to encounter. Overall the game seems like it would create pretty tragic frontier stories, with little cruft - I think it's one of the better deck-based games I've seen so far.

Fear of the Dark: A pretty dark game about kids trying to scare each other so that they generate the fear the Shadows want to eat and the Shadows leave them alone. It has a nice amount of ambiguity about whether the darkness is a product of the kid's imaginations or a real malevolent force - and what it means when a kid thinks the darkness doesn't exist, puts away their imagination, and becomes a teenager. The design is competent, but I'm not sure it'd be particularly scary in play, and the tone it was written in kinda put me off.

Fetch This! The secret war waged by animals to undermine humanity! It's a great setup for comedy - the group builds a human household, and each character is an animal with a relationship to the humans, a beef with them, and something they've learned about humanity. Also, the dice mechanic gives animals an incentive to risk raising human's suspicions, though I think the dice probabilities could do with a bit of tinkering. There's an XP and level system I don't think is particularly required, but otherwise I think this is a pretty great barebones one-shot comedy game - it reminded me of Everyone is John, which is no faint praise.

Field Work: IT support techs with a side order of monster-hunting. It seems like a pretty fun absurdist corporate setup, and the game setup reinforces that. The dice mechanic is simple but effective, reminding me of a trimmed-down Don't Rest Your Head - in a given roll either the Mundane or the Supernatural will dominate, meaning that one kind of situation will cause problems in the other sphere and PCs will have to bounce around putting out fires as things escalate entertainingly. There's also a rotating GM thing, with a different Mundane GM, Supernatural GM and Corporate GM each new scene. Plus there's a constantly ticking time pressure, adding extra tension and things to justify to your corporate masters. I'd like a bit more character differentiation - some sort of special knack to your particular technician would be appreciated.

Flashback and Fate: Like the Bag-Pulling Game, this is a bit too generic for my liking. The wrapper is that players are spirits of fate taking control of characters in whatever setting you like and trying to guide them to a goal, and its neat thing is that you build a timeline of scenes that you can jump around on, split off parallel timelands, and backfill with flashbacks. The mechanics are pretty flavourless, though - maybe a list of dark fates your spirits prefer would go some way to giving it a stronger feel?

Forgeborn: Master smiths recruit heroines to slay monsters so the smiths can use monster bits to make stronger weapons to kill stronger monsters, repeat until the baddest monster is dead. I loved the way the map was created by dropping a bunch of different dice on a piece of paper and following a simple procedure for what each die means. Character building is a bit clunky - deciding on what combination of dice you want to add up to 72 faces is pretty mathsy, and feels like an optimisation problem more than an interesting choice. Still, the 'difference dize sizes are useful for different things' carries on through the game, with a lot of little subsystems hinging on this dice costing, so at least the mechanics feel consistent. Overall this feels like a board game with optional roleplaying elements - one I'd probably be interested in playing, but I'd put it in a different category than other games here.

Friends of the Venom Spider: The intro is great: "A short role playing game where you try to figure out who your friends really are, or how to best end them." Pow! The game itself has one player as the Spider, a (possibly metaphorical) predator controlling other's lives because they need their attention and devotion. The Insects, on the other hand, start by putting together reasons why they falsely believe they need the Spider to prosper and are encouraged to have reasons why they distrust each other. In game, Spider dominates the Insects and undermines their relationships while the Insects find strength in the friendships with each other and eventually kill the Spider. I kinda wish there was more support for moving past the spider rather than confrontation, and the character creation quiz seems a bit different tone-wise going for kids bullying each other rather than allegorical insect predation, but otherwise it seems pretty solid.

Galactic Arena: I love the pitch for this game - first contact as a sports film, humanity's diplomatics and athletes thrust into an interstellar olympic games with humanity's reputation in this newfound galactic civilisation on the line. The alien race creation is pretty cool - it emphasises humanity's strengths through contrast with the other races, and creates nicely distinct races to compete against. It sorta conflates culture and species which is a bit of a shame, but eh. In general that's the issue I have with this game - it sets up the broad strokes of the alien cultures and the Galatic Games pretty well, but doesn't provide enough impetus to drill down to the people and events we'll actually have onscreen. Maybe some way of generating alien athletes and diplomats to build rivalries/friendships with, and some element of your athlete's background and goals?

Game of the Gods: heroes in a classical world trying to accomplish quests while playing a pantheon of gods against each other. It uses both dice and cards, but I like how it's implemented - you normally roll 1d6 + stat to do something, but when using a gift from the gods you draw a card instead, drawing a distinction between mundane and mystical efforts. Each face card represents a god, and so if you take the risk of drawing cards you risk them getting involved. Nice and thematic. It's nice that it has a full example of play too, to make it clear how the system works.

Gashlycrumb: I feel somewhat at a disadvantage with this, having never seen the Gashlycrumb Tinies this is based on. You're... steampunk ghost hunters trapped in the body of orphans by some ghostly umbrellaman, trying to get their unhappy host to help them extricate themselves from their predicament. I liked that you have limited mental effort to control your orphan by persuading or forcing them, and must try to make use of the orphan's skills and guide them away from the fears in order to succeed. Some nice tables for orphan traits and skills, Gashlycrumb manor locations, strange happenings etc finish up the game. It seems like a nice package (and much more successful than Fear of the Dark), but it didn't really resonate with me.

GHO5T: I read this game and I feel like I'm drowning in jargon - far too many in-setting Proper Noun-filled pages when I could have done with a straightforward 'what is this game'. It just seems like a game that's more in love with the appearances of meaning - tons of CGI art, traits with names like Dream and Philosophy, actions with names like Syntax Error and Go To - than a system that actually creates meaning. It's like... it's easy to get players thinking about a character's dreams by writing DREAMS: on a character sheet, but your system actually needs to address those in play and cause unexpected implications to arise emergently if you want it to have an impact on the people playing your game.

We've finished D-G - 40 down and 78 to go.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Bieeardo posted:

There's not much there to the Gashlycrumb Tinies, really. It's just a morbidly funny alphabet book that the author of that game seems to have extrapolated from.

The illustrations are here: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2011/01/19/edward-gorey-the-gashlycrumb-tinies/

Hrm, fair enough. Having read those then I feel like the game's author kinda missed a trick by not having a mechanic where your kid dies horribly and you have to jump to another one. Also having 'The Umbrellaman' as your principal antagonist feels a little... on the nose? Like they're clutching for any kind of implied setting in the original rather than trying to evoke its feel.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

gradenko_2000 posted:

Cypher System Corebook, part 3

Experience Points

It's a much more useful general guideline when he says that during a typical session, a player might earn 2 to 4 XP, and then earn another 2 XP between sessions.

which will bring us to the next bugaboo of this game: Spending XP

(I'm breaking up these posts into smaller chunks so that there's a central thesis to every mechanic I'm discussing)

How do you earn XP between sessions? Things like writing up the session etc?

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Communist Zombie posted:

Wait what? Do you know who said that or where they are, because Im a fan of both Exalted and Homestuck and never noticed any.

Edit: Unless it was about third edition, since it technically hasnt been released yet.

I *think* it was mostly just the green sun theme Malfeas/Ligier and Homestuck's big bads have in common. Might have fed into Ligier's characterisation in Exalted Modern?

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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Yup, I got that too. For both System Mastery and Movie Mastery.

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