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open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

I figured this was probably a good enough reason to finally register a new SA account and join the mess.

I wrote that I guess!

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open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

The most telling thing about FATAL is the fact that, for all that it's the worst forever in every way, the characters that its random generator spat out on the SM bonus content episode are... just kind of a boring collection of numbers. They are freakish, but have no way of expressing that freakishness in interesting ways.

Somebody write up a PbtA FATAL where being a funco pop with a suction cup vagina leads to interesting story possibilities please.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Simian_Prime posted:

Monsterhearts already exists. :smug:

(jk I actually like MH)

SEX MOVE: Just Straight-Up Remove The Dingus

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

The weapons were made of zinc, which probably wasn't the best material, but combined with the fact that they didn't need a real barrel it meant that those pistols were kind of unbelievably light. Special forces that used them (and got used to them) were quite fond of them as silent weapons at the 100m range, and because they weighed almost nothing they didn't mind packing it on top of other weapons.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

I regret not giving guidelines for how serial numbers work in other nations and branches of service, but to be fair there was effectively no way to find that information out for a country that collapsed fifteen years before I was born and which spoke a language I can't read, so...

It's really heartening seeing such a positive view of the game here, because I've been really down on it of late. Especially regretting my lack of oxford comma throughout the book, which is just some pleb-tier garbage. I'm also basically certain I could cull the rules volume by at least half if I rewrote it, and fit in stuff I ditched for complexity reasons, like multi-step long-range sniping that fills you in on personal information about your target while you adjust for wind speed. Plus there's a ton of equipment I wanted to add that I didn't. I've been considering writing some kind of The Revised Patrol but I can't justify it so soon after I actually released the dang thing, and I need to move on with my life and write about magical girls and such.

It's cool to see that maybe I didn't bone the whole game up as bad as I thought.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Young Freud posted:

I was going to write this yesterday, but I accidentally signed off at work and couldn't log back in. I am a little disappointed that PATROL just sticks to Vietnam, because, with the simplified MOS system, I could see it being used for something like an updated Twilight 2000 or something. Maybe LatwPIAT's Bush Wars might cover that, I don't know.

Also, I could see something like a Special Forces splatbook being made by just upping rank (like PFC would now be SGT, going to SGT now becoming COL) without changing the effects, and allowing your characters to dual- or multi-class from the existing classes, which would be on point with what special forces like Green Berets and Navy SEALs actually are, since they have dual specializations as backup in case one of the squad falls and another has to take over. IIRC, I think John Rambo canonically has something like Demolitions and Combat Medic, while also having helicopter training.

I had actually been working on something like that, but I scrapped it because I couldn't work in enough content. The US special forces alt rules do indeed let you take multiple MOS.


Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

How would it perform for a modern war, or a near future one?
I have been working, slowly, on a modern warfare expansion, but it's rough. I don't have the luxury of decades of cultural introspection and history to draw on; a lot information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still too bound up in political bullshit. I generally prefer deriving from first-hand sources and memoirs (I read a lot of books for PATROL and most were autobiographical or gonzo in some way), and that'd be easy, except there's a whole cottage industry of Iraq war "memoirs" of dubious validity or overt pro-war posturing which has only accelerated since American Sniper. It'll take a few decades to shake out which have lasting value. Also, the wars are literally still happening, which makes it very raw, and makes me very nervous how I approach it. It's also difficult to nail down a theme because Afghanistan and Iraq are such different wars.

The rules for the book are actually well laid out, because it's mostly just character creation and equipment changes. Probably the biggest meaningful change is that coalition soldiers are effectively a lot tougher than their Vietnam counterparts, especially as the war drags on and body armour gets much, much better. Your advantage over the Taliban and Iraqi insurgency is hilariously one-sided and most of the threats are passive, so the game would have to revolve a lot around dealing with civilians and grappling with how little good you're often doing, especially when your presence draws violence that undoes trust and infrastructure work. That implies some long-term campaign framework stuff that I sort of have sketched out, but then I have to get into researching a lot of local cultural stuff and bleeeh.

As for near future, PATROL is not really designed too well for large stand-up fights between peers; it's about counterinsurgency, and it's about losing. So I'd just end up imagining a future Western intervention somewhere and that's just loving depressing. 2017 sucks enough.

(I am working on a big ol' Star Wars reskin I'll be releasing free... hopefully in the next day or so. It's like a hundred pages long and completely irresponsible.)

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

That's a good reminder for me to update those rules to actually match the finalized PATROL rules.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

MJ12 posted:

Terminator rules for PATROL when?

Play a killer robot fighting the Tech-Com insurgency. Contemplate the fact that no matter how good you are at killing-and you are very good- you are still losing the war.

Well, or rather, you would contemplate this fact but your CPU was set to read-only and you can't.

Just for you, I'll write that right now.

I have a lot of PATROL expansions I want to do. I do want to try my hand at WWII stuff, but it's a huge topic that'd require multiple books. In terms of pop culture stuff, in addition to Star Wars I'd love to do something about being Imperial Guard (i've written up the basics of that one already, leaning towards a harder-science, earlier 40k vibe), and a Wolfenstein: The New Order thing.

open_sketchbook fucked around with this message at 20:18 on Sep 26, 2017

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

GimpInBlack posted:

Yeah, we haven't talked about how the system handles Armor yet--it's there, and it would be easy to just improve the mechanical quality of that armor, but that's probably not the most satisfying solution from a gameplay scenario.

I totally agree with that assessment. Lemme post what I did with the armour, you might find it interesting. Please ignore placeholder text from weapon mods.



One of the things that is definitely a factor in the Modern Warfare expansion is dropping in a lot of gear of variable effect to emphasis the over-the-top advantage Western military forces have over the insurgency, while making the point that it ultimately doesn't make that much of a difference, and that you need to carry it all. The new Universal Load System is a way more effective Webbing Belt, but you need it to carry all the batteries, weapon attachments, extra armour, weirdo ammo loadouts, electronics, night vision gear, and assorted other bullshit. Stuff that's really cool if you get to use it, but PATROL is way more about the time you spend having to walk around with a hundred pounds of bullshit on your back than it is about expending that stuff in cool fights. I want people to be excited to take things like special ammunition types and combat laptops, than consider ditching it 24 hours into their foot patrol when they realize they're moving at a crawl.

Neopie posted:

What's the magical girl thing you're working on

It's called 5 Across the Heart, and I've been writing it for about three years now. It's a medium-crunchy system designed to focus on strong characterization, with a focus on character goals and ideas like self-esteem and self-image. It's powered by a pretty weird d8 system and the core mechanic is wagering little chunks of your self-worth (which is also your magic) on your short and medium-term character goals, both to advance your cause and as forms of self-care. Basically, it's Sailor Moon meets spoons theory, attached to a fast-paced, shot-clock combat system, and you make your magical powers by tailoring a costume.

Oh, and the Dark Kingdom already won the battle, the world's been under their control for thousands of years, and you're a meguca resistance group fighting the magical patriarchy, with shades of The Matrix. In between fighting demons, sinister technomagical conspiracies, and evil magical girls cliques, you might find yourself battling the cops and their Witch Hunter swat teams.

open_sketchbook fucked around with this message at 21:18 on Sep 26, 2017

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

LatwPIAT posted:

We should make a book about the Afghanistan War though. The Soviet-Afghanistan War. :v:

The main thing stopping me is the horrifying nature of Russian copyright law for photography.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

TwoWordName posted:

By any chance was this ran at Metatopia last year?

Yep! And I'm bringing it back this year. It's changed a lot, though.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

@GimpInBlack, I'm just letting you know that I'm using your review as a jumping off point for a bullet-point list of stuff to do for a Revised Patrol. I'm not starting that project, but I want to keep it in mind and build something compatible with all the previous rules, but better organized, better laid out, and more expansive. See if I can't cut down the core rules volume by about half while preferably doubling the background information, and doing a lot more research into the NVA and locals. What I really need to do is find a Vietnamese speaker to help me go through some sources from the other side I could only skim with autotranslate before; its basically impossible to give a nuanced view of a conflict with information from only one tiny chunk of one side...

I have a terrible tendency to keep fiddling with my rules forever; PATROL was definitely a case of a game being released rather than being done, and I still spent a year and sixteen versions changing it after that. That's why the game has so many editors: I kept having to bug new people into reading through it after I changed it, moved stuff around, and rewrote whole pages. It's a total mess.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

It would probably be at least a year away; I have a couple games I want to get done first. I doubt I'd run a Kickstarter though; I don't really need funds for anything because I use public domain resources to make the art, and I'd feel kinda lovely about asking people to pay me money to do stuff like buy research materials I would want to read anyway, and covering print costs is just a preorder which is kinda gross? The only thing I'd really see counting would be paying to hire a professional editor to unfuck my poo poo, but that's only a necessity because of my own personal failings to words like a human so it's crappy to expect people to pay for that.

IDK. I've been trying to get the motivation together to run a kickstarter for one of my RPG projects for literally years now and I keep backing out because it just feels too awful.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Thanks all. I think it's just a symtom of having stared at the darn game for so long; working on something for months and years has a way of obliterating the joy you feel about your achievements and cool ideas, leaving only the mistakes and oversights glaring in your face.

Patrol was super weird because it is not a joke to say that the core of the system (the dice mechanic, turn length, status effects, doubt system, basic equipment, and fatigue penalty) came together in 45 minutes from absolutely nothing (like, I was talking with my playtesters about dice systems and the entire core of the game hit me like a thunderbolt) and was playtested that night, and the excitement over how that went sustained the development process from that point.

But its really exhausted to grind through the... busywork? of a system. The words to define what a Unit is and what a Turn is and stressing over the exact math and reading piles of reports to try and figure out if Medium range should be 100, 150, 200, or 250 meters... bleh. There's like a critical mass of game size where something goes from easy and fast to a neverending nightmare, which I think lies around 30-40 A4 pages. The initial burst of goodfeels from a solid concept can sustain me for about that long, and after that hatred for my own work has set in and I have to finish it despite wanting to just throw it out. I know that's true, and I've still chucked three of four games which reached that 30-40 page range.

The pinned tweet on my twitter for a few months while I finished Patrol was "This Vietnam War game was supposed to be a quick win, but it turned into an endless quagmire."

Bleh... It probably isn't helping that I haven't really slept in three days. I'm... gonna go do that.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Thanks to the wonderful review here, I've started organization work for what Revised Patrol ought to look like.

My goal would be to expand the amount of Stuff and add more customization and advancement, by having multiple levels of some gear, selectable Perks, and so forth, while also completely redoing the basic rules for maximum readability.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

GimpInBlack posted:

Awesome! This sounds like a really promising list. Might I also humbly suggest adding some guidelines for grouping NPC unit actions for time-saving? A way to handle things like "okay, these 4 V.C. are going to suppress the squad while these other four move around here and throw grenades" or "all six of the firebase's howitzers fire on the enemy position" with just a couple of rolls would speed play. (It would also give a baseline for potentially scaling up to larger engagements.)

Yeah, this super needs to happen. I have some ideas for how that might work but it'll need a lot of testing to make sure it doesn't skew the numbers too much.

I've personally just started collecting buckets of different-coloured d6s, which probably isn't a practical solution.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

GimpInBlack posted:

Yup! The 106mm rifles on the Ontos are classed as Large Recoilless Rifles by the game, which fire Small shells (yeah, it's a little weird.) Small beehive shells add +2 to the attack roll and inflict 1d6 damage per Hit. If you assume an average trooper with 7 Proficiency and a relevant Skill, that's an average of 3 successes per shot, which depending on Range is anywhere from 1-3 Hits per shot. Smart play is to also fire the medium MG as a ranging shot for -1 Difficulty--Medium range that's roughly 12 Hits on the enemy unit, each dealing 1d6 Injury.

EDIT: I am a dummy and forgot that the Ontos also has a crew slot for a Loader, who can take the Fire Assist action. That gives the gunner an additional +3 to attack and, for every attack, can spend 1 ammo to make a second attack. The Ontos carries 15 shells, so... yeah. For a full volley, add about one average Hit per attack and double the number of attacks. You're gonna be rolling a lot of dice, is what I'm saying.


Yeah, in Warhammer Fantasy, arguably the most well-known starting Profession is the ratcatcher, whose starting equipment included "a small but vicious dog."

This is correct, rules as written, though it should be noted that if you want to fire a second attack with the cannons, the loader needs to be physically standing behind the tank with the hatches open, because you can't reload it from the inside. Had I done that properly, the Ontos loader should have been effectively classed as a passenger with a note that they should get out and help load when the vehicle parks.

I'll probably change that in Revised so you can only assist fire on a single attack though, because that's ridiculous. The Ontos' guns took a long time to load because they were awkwardly placed and because you had to fish all the shells out from the inside, so typically they would park it somewhere safe, everyone would help load it, and then you'd load up, drive up, fire, and back away again to load. The shells inside the tank were actually treated as something of an emergency reserve; most of the time, they would try to reload off a truck if they could.

As you can imagine, this was devastating in places like Hue, where they could just drive behind a building to load before rolling out and pulling six high-explosive shells through a wall. They were also wonderful on defense, where you could drive it hull-down into a firing position, pop the back hatch, and treat it like a multi-shot field gun.

Cynically, the Ontos was designed with the Cold War expectation that they would probably never get to reload anyway in their intended context, which is to say, fighting an infinite number of Soviet tanks in Germany...

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

:v:but did you include rules for the Davy Crockett recoilless rifle and that Soviet nuclear artillery?
you are completely insane in the best way.
I didn't, but I did consider it, and I had rules written up for it. I left them out ultimately because while I had a really good ruleset for characters suffering radiation poisoning (I found a US army manual from 1961(?) which was all about how long soldiers were expected to function while suffering from acute radiation poisoning, and what could be done to get the most out of them before they died) it was very complicated and would add a radiation status effect bar to the main sheet, which I felt was tonally a problem. So I resolved to keep it for an inevitable Cold War Gone Hot expansion, along with rules about nuclear decontamination and a guide for digging in to survive a tactical nuclear strike (it's actually quite doable, depending on your definition of survival).

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Halloween Jack posted:

Can't wait for When the Wind Blows: The Roleplaying Game

I mean, basically. There's so much interesting (which is to say, loving horrifying) stuff about atomic warfare, especially our attitudes towards it in the early Cold War, it really does deserve its own book.

Though the 60s are hardly the most terrifying time in regards to treatment of atomic weaponry. I mean, we actually transported and stored atomic weapons in South Vietnam, to be cracked out if Red China decided to go for round two with the US army, but... before the invention of the thermonuclear device and the subsequent reorganization of the US nuclear arsenal, the US Army just wanted to treat atomic weapons as bigger conventional explosives. We all laugh at the Davy Crockett now, but it was produced in the same era that the B-36 was being prepared as a nuclear carpet bomber, and it was seriously expected that the future of warfare lay in a primarily-atomic arsenal and armies racing to capture territory before they started pissing blood and their bone marrow died. A serious emotional examination of the human costs associated with strategies which categorized soldiers as time units by exposure could be really powerful.

Though I need to write some uplifting poo poo about magical girls or star trek futures first. gently caress, I done made myself depressed.

open_sketchbook fucked around with this message at 19:19 on Oct 3, 2017

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Mors Rattus posted:

So how much do you think it'd be to get the All Quiet On The Eastern Front license

e: also, what kind of magical girls

(please don't say megucas, I need me some actual earnest magical girl poo poo)

I already did a World War 1 expansion! I focused it on trench raiding because I realized mostly people probably wouldn't be interested in a game where you spent two weeks trying to sleep in the bottom of a muddy hole while rolling for a random chance for your trench section to be exploded.

(poo poo no it's straight up Sailor Moon in this piece. You choose your powers by customizing your costume!!!!!)

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

GimpInBlack posted:

Oh jeez, I'm a double dummy--I totally misread the reload rules on the Ontos as restocking the onboard shells, not reloading after each shot--but of course recoilless rifles don't have a feed mechanism. And Fire Assist is a Regular Action, which I also overlooked, so you can only do it once per Turn already.

So yeah, my original ballpark for firing a full volley from the Ontos was correct, except that one of the gunner's shots can benefit from a +3 for the assistance.

I'm a little more surprised that Beehive shells don't increase the number of Hits produced per success--seems like shredding more people woud be a goal of antipersonnel rounds, but I bow to your vastly superior research on the topic. :)

The specific advantage of a beehive round is the fact you can fire it flat, which is supremely useful against a mobile enemy force at close range. This is just ballistics; when the enemy is close, you have to make more dramatic adjustments to how your gun is laid in for proportionally smaller changing in range, and you can't load a gun and adjust it's trajectory at the same time, so you'll end up spending a lot of time trying desperately to wheel your gun down while the enemy crawls directly up your rear end in a top hat. With a beehive shell, you can just point your gun mostly at incoming enemy troops and shoot, and it'll probably work out. It also allows guns to be used inside their dead zone with regular rounds; you don't even have to worry about accidentally catching your own shrapnel in the teeth if you shoot really short!

That's why I went with a bonus to attack; it represents how much easier it is to use the weapon in that way to lay shots out. Considering how rare attack bonuses are on artillery guns, that's actually pretty huge.

open_sketchbook fucked around with this message at 19:43 on Oct 3, 2017

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

By the by, what was official and unofficial policy about people abandoning their early M16 and picking up an AK?

Officially? loving stupid, don't do it.

Unofficially? Depended heavily on your unit and circumstances. For the most part, if it was really a problem, you still wanted to use some other piece of American kit, because its not like there were huge reserves of AK ammo floating around; most Viet Cong were lucky to have a full clip themselves, considering their ammo was mostly smuggled in loose among satchels of rice. The M14 retained a reputation as the "professional's gun" for quite a while in the first years of the war, and a lot of troops went out of their way to get grease guns or even M1s instead.

Most of time, when American troops carried AKs, it wasn't like they had replaced their service weapons with them. It was usually to supplement their kit; they'd sling a half-loaded AK they took off somebody as a backup weapon in case they had a jam in combat, and likely discard it the moment they rotated. This attitude of supplementing your M16 just in case was far more common than the stories of actually getting rid of them; soldiers would try to carry pistols, SMGs, trophy guns, or continue the American tradition of the backup shotgun.

Really, the M16 wasn't that bad; it was a conflation of some really hosed up circumstances when it was first issued that lead to its incredibly poor reputation, and once the issues were ironed out and soldiers were better trained on it, it proved quite popular. I mean, they're still using it (more or less) for a reason.

The Viet Cong had very mixed opinions of the gun. A lot of them considered it junk because it was impossible to keep operational in the conditions they had to keep their weapons in as a guerrilla force, which is understandable, but considering they were often armed with cast-off Imperial Japanese guns and Chinese knock-offs of outdated Soviet weapons, they still took what they could get, and M16 ammo was generally a lot more available in South Vietnam than Eastern Bloc stuff. It was a lot easier to pay off some corrupt ARVN guys for their M16 ammo than to wait for the NVA to move 7.62 up through Laos and maaaaybe get it to your unit, if they even knew you existed.

GimpInBlack posted:

Ohhhhh, so by changing the Bombard attack to a Blast attack when fired from an artillery piece it removes the minimum range requirement? That makes sense. And yeah, that is hugely useful for artillery, not so much for a direct-fire piece like a recoilless rifle. That's what I get for thinking abstract game design vs. actual historical usage.
Yeah! I should probably make a note to make that more clear in the future.

open_sketchbook fucked around with this message at 20:12 on Oct 3, 2017

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Halloween Jack posted:

I haven't read the supplement, but, uh, the thing about adapting PATROL for Star Wars is that the Rebellion is the Viet Cong.

VVV Edit: I believe Lucas created the Ewoks because he insisted that a primitive people defeat the technologically advanced empire, and the Rebels in the first two films weren't on-the-nose enough about it for his liking.

I mean, you can play as the Imperials for that original flavour feel. That's totally an option. I also wrote in a mission hook for playing as New Republic against Imperial holdouts who've gone guerrilla.

Besides, PATROL has rules for playing the VC/NVA already, so playing the Rebels/Resistance is just that but with pew pew guns.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

GimpInBlack posted:

open_sketchbook and LatwPIAT, I just found Enduring Freedom's equipment chapter.

One of the things I'm doing with Enduring Freedom is adding a non-combat elements to it, in that there's the idea that between some missions you actually rotate home for a bit, and you actually resolve between sessions how you're doing back home, how your relationships cope, and so forth. Money is an element, in abstracted form, which you can use to smooth things over, pay off trauma, and try to build a life for yourself.

Oooor you can blow it on new gear from private companies instead of spending XP. You just have to roll a d6 for each piece, because there's a chance you just bought some tactical-brand bullshit that doesn't work, broke, or never actually shipped to you.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Joshua AC Newman wrote an amazing little game called THE BLOODY HANDED NAME OF BRONZE which you should check out. It's like... you play epic bronze-age myths and the game is exceedingly clever about it. The vibe is like... bronze is new and scary and civilization is barely a thing. It's very cool.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

A major part of my writing PATROL was a frustration with the way the war was portrayed in Recon. In Palladium's Deluxe Recon, the fact the US lost the war is only mentioned once, indirectly, at the very back of the book.

Basically, it comes down to the fact that the United States didn't actually have a single, meaningful objective that it was actually willing to pursue due to a variety of factors. They could have basically guaranteed the existence of South Vietnam... by invading and occupying the North to shut down the supply train. They could have built South Vietnam into a country that could survive on its own... but it would require taking an active hand in shaping the government and rooting out corruption. They could have eliminated the Viet Cong as an organization... but that would require fundamentally undermining their legitimacy through securing the livelihood and political rights of the rural Vietnamese.

Instead, the US wanted all those things, and were unwilling to actually do any of the things that would make that happen. So instead they spent about a decade in a holding pattern in the country, squatting on it and blowing poo poo up and wondering why it didn't get any better.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

This is always something I kinda struggle with when I'm poking at cyberpunk stuff. I'm a sucker for my cyberpunk being retro-y, so Japanese corporations have to rule the world, but it's often difficult to justify in a way that makes sense, seeing as... that didn't actually, like, happen.

I guess the thing is that cyberpunk isn't really about the future. Cyberpunk was about creating an exaggeration of the time it was written. The cyberpunk world is the telecommunication technology, worldview, attitude, of the (American punk intellectual Left) 1980s writ nightmarishly large, where the money is bigger, the technology is shinier, and the struggle is more real than ever, where the boogymen of the sterile perfection of the Japanese lean production lines and the oppressive atmosphere of their offices had melded with the corporate cronyism plaguing the United States to create a society whose vast unfeeling hunger for wealth and prestige creates an underclass whose lives are defined by the perverse mix of high technology and savage scarcity. The Japanese imagery is less about the idea of Japanese dominance so much as a fear of the (American impression of) the mindset which created the Japanese economic boom of the 80s dominating all of culture; the glaring wall of vertical neon signs and the cheap noodles and the packed metropolises and the slick hierarchy of the Yakuza act as shorthand for a more fundamental fear that Western liberty and independence would be subsumed into this imagined culture of efficiency and those who were not useful to that system would be ground underfoot. It's the idea that the future will be foreign, using Japanese culture as a recognizable stand-in for a more general idea of a future where all your cultural works and values have been eroded by a corporate mass media you cannot relate to.

To me, cyberpunk is the generally atmosphere of the movie Black Rain mixed with computer jargon. I'm okay with being really implausible to make that happen and recapture that feeling.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Davin Valkri posted:

Certainly it should be possible to make a "cyberpunk" styled world without the weird "Oh, Japanese/Chinese (delete as appropriate) people and culture are so WEIRD and INSCRUTABLE, and they're going to TAKE OVER AMERICA with BRIEFCASES and COMPUTERS and KANJI THAT I CAN'T READ", though? Maybe it's just because I'm asian, but that style of cyberpunk seems more or less obsolete.

Of course it can! But I think a lot of modern cyberpunk kind of miss the mark when they remove or play down that aspect and don't really replace it, or try to replace it with modern Western corporate shorthand that is familiar to the reader. I think that's kind of a problem generally with the way that cyberpunk works have drifted away from having their protagonists be part of an underclass who are removed from and incapable of integrating with the dominate culture (the protagonists of the Sprawl Trilogy are a drug addict criminal, a poor kid, and a prostitute) and towards having protagonists who are semi-integrated with, or even the best examples of, the corporate culture which they "oppose" now with fantasy direct action.

Like, the two big cyberpunk RPGs right now, The Sprawl and Headspace, both really suffer from this. In both those games are are the best at your thing, you're super-ninjas who were too good for the corps and now you're out here fightin' the good fight against faceless CEOs cynically ruling the world. Whereas in a real cyberpunk setting the problem isn't some boardroom of jerks, its the fact that all the other mechanisms our culture has for doing things, states and democracies and community, are all being (or have been) totally undermined and wrecked by the incomprehensible and unfeeling machinery of profit motive until there's nothing but boardrooms left anywhere you look.

I also understand that the imagery can be really tired, and at its worst really tie into some yellow peril bullshit, but I think there's still a certain validity to using elements of it. I guess, like, the imagery is better than the application, but I really think it needs to be paired with the right atmosphere and other concessions to make it clear you're doing a sort of period piece, and it would help immensely if you had an Asian character among the protagonists who is just as isolated as everyone else (in the narrative), thus showing it's not a cultural imperialism thing so much as a meta-tone thing. And also to just have some more Asian protagonists because, like, that pretty much doesn't happen in Western media.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

I mean, 2008 was a different age and all that, but wowzers I wasn't aware that acting outside of your assigned gender was just homosexuality in action. Have I been doing it wrong?

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Boy that avatar's not just for show huh.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Usually, when I listen to System Mastery, I like to think about how I could make a game with the same conceit as the one being reviewed, but, you know, better.

Dark Continent did not inspire such feelings. Holy poo poo, what an awful idea for an RPG.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

God if I had anything even remotely resembling spare time I would do a Deluxe Recon F&F so hard. It'd be epic.

I have opinions about that game.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Honestly, it's not about accuracy mostly. There's some Deeply Dumb Rule Stuff, but mostly its the game's Extremely Political Apoliticalness which would be the target of most of my ire.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

.... thanks for the nervous reminder that i need to get back on my hunt for Roma sensitivity readers for Flying Circus...

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

I'll admit I sometimes have pangs of like... envious fury at Palladium. I work my rear end off making sure my layouts are clear, drawing or photomanipulating unique art thematic for each page, editing my manuscripts so that no paragraph ever breaks across pages for maximum readability, manually adjusting justification to avoid rivers and clumps in my text...

... and dude just keeps trucking by throwing all the poo poo directly onto the page and reusing decade-old art.

Shine on you crazy diamond etc. But also where can I get some of that crazy.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

thatbastardken posted:

at some point i need to find a copy of the Bubblegum Crisis RPG, which was based on the successor system to CP2020.

I have this and its a terrible game but a beautiful book.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's one of the only game books I have a name credit in. (Nothing in there is my fault, just FYI, you can't pin me down for nothin'.)

Edit: Also I remember looking at AdEva when there was a forum recruit for it and I remember noping out pretty quick. I don't know if I'd say it gave me Absolute Terror but it definitely widened the gulf between me and other people, so it got that part right.
I laid the groundwork and will be doing the layout for an Eva RPG where you play the conspiracy instead of the kid, so we'll finally have a good Eva game I guess.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

inklesspen posted:

I hope it's cross-compatible with the Harry Potter rpg you're also doing. I want to see if expecto patronum can take down an Angel.

It's such a shame I am just one person, I don't have time to make The Only Good RPG for literally every genre and fandom.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Might gently caress around and do a F&F about Deluxe Recon in May.

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open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Note that "Tried to depoliticize the Vietnam War" here means "Pretend until like the last page the the US didn't lose the war" and "mostly present the Viet Cong and NVA as part of an evil bolshevik conspiracy theory rather than ever talk about colonialism."

It's rough.

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