As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working intermittently on writing up a rules document for a second (or ninth, depending on how you’re counting) version of the Mecha Monogatari RPG. One of the concepts I’ve borrowed from the Bliss Stage RPG is that of character ownership, an understated concept that resonates with what I want the Mecha Monogatari RPG to be (a cooperative storytelling game with randomized task resolution).
Posted by Doug on June 24, 2009
Posted by Doug on June 10, 2009
And so, as if I did not have nearly enough projects on my plate, I trade a small, short-term project for a large, long-term one…my cup overfloweth, and yet I continue to pour…
Posted by Doug on June 1, 2009
Two significant issues presented themselves in the first playtest of the Mecha Monogatari RPG.
Posted by Doug on May 28, 2009
Almost three years after the end of the original season’s run, they’ve finally gotten around to making and releasing a second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I’m not complaining. As much as I like the series, I think that getting oversaturated with it would kill the charm. That being said…
Time travel. It’s a staple of science fiction, and can be done rather well (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) or really…not so well (examples of this aren’t worth mentioning, so I won’t). Since it has been established that one of the characters in Haruhi is a time-traveler (Mikuru) and another considered such acts trivial (Yuki), it was only a matter of…uh…it was inevitable that the long-suffering Kyon would be sent back three years to help the cute junior-high version of Haruhi commit one of the misdemeanors Taniguchi, Kunikida, and Kyon had mentioned back in the very first episode.
Only one thing was missing in this first episode: Tsuruya. Then again, she’s really just a secondary character, so it would have been surprising to see her. From what I hear, in later story arcs, she plays a much larger role…
More and more, I’m of the opinion that the individual who really controls the universe and can destroy and re-create it subconsciously is not Haruhi, but Kyon. This hypothesis isn’t original to me, but it makes sense, especially when events in the later light novels are taken into account. Haruhi didn’t just choose Kyon, Kyon wanted Haruhi to exist—and through a convoluted sequence of events, caused her to exist—so she could choose him.
Posted by Doug on May 25, 2009
Part three of my series of short vignettes of the history of the Seven Gray Knights:
Posted by Doug on May 22, 2009
Part two of my series of short vignettes of the history of the Seven Gray Knights:
Posted by Doug on May 19, 2009
I’ve been working on a thorough write-up for my revamped Mecha Monogatari RPG system, which will draw heavily from the ruleset, language, and design of the Fourth Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG. It’s not a straight conversion, as I am doing away with the core concepts of class and level and even of experience points in favor of a more fluid system.
Part of the style of the write-up is a series of short stories that will appear at the beginning and end of each chapter, bookending the description of the game mechanics and helping to set the mood of the game world. The short stories will focus around a legendary group of titan pilots from the “past” generation (as compared to the generation of Seki & Company): the Shichinin no Nezumikishi, or in English the “Seven Gray Knights.”
Posted by Doug on May 16, 2009
What follows is a series of thoughts and design ideas for the new version of the Mecha Monogatari RPG that I am currently working on. The gameplay mechanics are still nebulous, so don’t be surprised if very little of this makes much sense.
Posted by Doug on May 13, 2009
Off and on over the last week, I’ve been playing—for lack of a better word—the Dungeons & Dragons Tiny Adventures Facebook app. The “gameplay” is simple (almost to the point of being nonexistent): you pick your character, name it, and then send it out on adventures. In each adventure, there are between six and fifteen encounters, during which one of your character’s skills will be tested by generating a more-or-less random number between 1 and 20, adding whatever relevent modifiers your character has, and then comparing that to a target number. If the target number is met or exceeded, you succeed in the encounter, and gain a good chunk of experience, gold, and sometimes an item; if not, you fail in the encounter, you take a significant amount of damage, gain a little experience and a little gold, and rarely an item. Once you start an adventure, the only control you have is over when your character uses the potions they have (if they have potions). There is no strategy, no tactics; if you have friends who are also playing, they can “buff” your character (giving a bonus on the tests). It’s like a slightly more sophisticated version of Progress Quest.