MisterBook
 member, 218 posts
 Just some guy
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Tue 5 Jun 2018
at 02:33
Nechronica
I've been looking at odd little games, and you don't get much odder than Nechronica.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmw...letopGame/Nechronica

Long story short, it's a desolate and dead future. Like the game says, the only thing still moving in the world is dead flesh. And you, the player, are 'Dolls' - something between Frankenstein's monster, magical girls, and Eclipse Phase.

Warning: This is not a game for the faint of heart, between body horror and the grim reality of life as a disposable toy. It's the small flowers of hope in a world of death and despair. But despite that, it looks pretty darn fun.

The core book itself isn't in english, but there's a pretty robust English translation that's already out there. Link's in the TVTropes link above -- https://nechronica.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page

It's got a unique flavor (earning 'favor' from the very thing you're trying to destroy/escape from - the necromancer), a fairly straight forward combat system  (No HP - just chunks. Fight until you are torn to pieces, because you're already dead) with that odd JPRG feel. Action points and placements on map ranging from Eden to Tartarus rather than worrying about hexes, meters to target, cover, etc, but your biggest threat of all is Madness. You can sew new bones and guts in, or even replace them with other dead creature's left over pieces, but there isn't a stitch in the world that'll sew up shattered hearts.

Take some time to look over the wiki and TVTropes. Read the 'replay' if you can stomach it, though it does go to a really strange place at the end. Then let me know if there's any interest in weird tabletop games like this.
evileeyore
 member, 95 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Tue 5 Jun 2018
at 19:50
Nechronica
It sounds vaguely interesting... but...

1 - Is it more than just an 'arena' combat thing?  It feels like the characters are just meant to shuffle from combat to combat with no other recourse for problem solving than "kill it".

2 - Are you up for the Dolls not being girls or even humanoid?

3 - I couldn't find any "replay", so that might be messing up my take on how the game is meant to played.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 20:40, Tue 05 June.

MisterBook
 member, 219 posts
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Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 03:54
Nechronica
Re:

1) A lot of the mechanics are built for combat, yes. But the majority of the game actually takes place - from what I've seen in replays and from reading exert logs from other games - in exploration, hunting fragments of memory (of what/who you used to be) or hunting some nebulous goal you can half remember. Depending on the game, your goals are even spelled out by the Necromancer itself. I'll be the first to admit the mechanics outside of combat are a bit loose, with a relatively simple and flat die system modified by the 'parts' you have that still work - such as eyes - but I suspect that's on purpose to help the narrative tone. This RPG is made by the same fellows who created 'Maid RPG', to give you an idea. Wonky japanese fast-pace built around one or two sessions rather than an extended campaign. Which is roughly where I'd like to keep it - even at play-by-post speeds, I don't expect a game to take more than three or four months to wrap up. Short and sweet sessions.

Combat - even physical damage - is, in and of itself, not that dangerous to the Dolls. You can't die. You can be torn to absolute pieces, but so long as one of you survives, there's a chance to tape/sew/stitch/glue the others back together using spare parts taken from the environment or from enemies. The real danger is madness. The body may live forever, but the mind can break, leaving just another dead thing in a world of walking dead things. There's only two ways to handle that, outside of a few special abilities. One is by spending 'favor', the game's equivalent of XP for putting on an amusing display for the Necromancer in your struggles. The other is leaning on your fellow Dolls for support and stabilization.

This is a team-based game. A lone Doll is Hard Mode.


2) There actually is a mutation called 'Boy' that makes it easier to converse with you. I've seen HRs that make that mutation 'Cute' instead, thus letting players play either gender. You'll have to expand upon the humanoid bit, since one of the primary classes - mutant - is, in fact, about being a monstrosity sewn of other monstrosities upon the frame of a child. Or, at least, young person. I believe - despite the pictations and expectations - that the average roll of age winds up in the mid-teens. If you choose to roll for age rather than select. Really, all of the classes are rather dehumanizing in their own right.

Either way, in the game's lore, each Doll is created for a specific purpose by the Necromancers, who basically rule the dead world for their own amusement. Either pitting their amnesiac Dolls against their own forces, retelling old and forgotten stories, or whatever crosses the twisted mind of someone with the power to make reality what they want.

It's a game about grim-cuteness, in essence. Hope in tragedy, fading flowers on the grave, and so forth. Taking one of your legs and giving it to your fellow Doll so that you both can keep hobbling along together. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and I was very hesitant at first, but the more I read the replays and the exerts, the more interested I became. Thus, this thread.

3)
It should be in the wiki search. I'll try to find a few more of the replay threads I stumbled across as well.

The semi-official replay - where in what I think is one of the early developers explains a few things - is there. And - like I said - the ending goes to a very, very strange place I have no intentions of visiting. Ever.
It also suffers from translation garble:

https://tlwiki.org/?title=Nechronica:Replay

One of the threads that initially perked my interest, however, was here:

https://yuki.la/tg/37950122

This review, meanwhile, should give you a rather clearer impression of what the game is about, since it's written by an actual professional rather than myself.

https://d66roc.wordpress.com/2...he-long-long-sequel/





TL;DR
Like many contemporary games (such as Apocalypse World), Nechronica gives you a setting and some light inspiration with a backbone of simple rolls to move the narrative forward. It's more about the story than the mechanics, so you'd have to shave some crunchy roll mindset off.

This message was last edited by the user at 04:07, Wed 06 June.

evileeyore
 member, 96 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 06:08
Re: Nechronica
MisterBook:
I'll be the first to admit the mechanics outside of combat are a bit loose, with a relatively simple and flat die system modified by the 'parts' you have that still work - such as eyes - but I suspect that's on purpose to help the narrative tone. This RPG is made by the same fellows who created 'Maid RPG', to give you an idea.

I get all that, I'm just a tad leery of any system where combat is given nice, crunchy rules and everything is 'a bit loose'.  It tends to funnel Players into choosing combat solutions over non-combat solutions.

But... that could work much better in a pbp game.  Also one where all the Platers come in with expectations aligned in the proper direction.

quote:
This is a team-based game. A lone Doll is Hard Mode.

I gathered that.

quote:
It's a game about grim-cuteness, in essence.

It feels (after reading the 'official' replay) like someone watched Gunslinger Girls, Elfen Lied, and then read and enjoyed* Nana's Everyday Life way too much...

But I really enjoyed White Wolf's Wraith: The Oblivion which has some very similar themes.


* No shade thrown, I enjoyed Nana's Everyday Life, but I like very grim comedy.
MisterBook
 member, 220 posts
 Just some guy
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Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 07:02
Re: Nechronica
In reply to evileeyore (msg # 4):

No shade taken; Like I said, I was rather hesitant at the subject matter until I read through a few replays and got hooked in the bleak, over-the-top theme.

I suppose I'll simply dive off the deep end and setup a game, then see how many people I can recruit.

One question, though. Considering the body horror aspect, would this be better run as an Adult or Mature rating? As a GM yourself.

This message was last edited by the user at 07:18, Wed 06 June.

evileeyore
 member, 97 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Wed 6 Jun 2018
at 08:38
Re: Nechronica
MisterBook:
One question, though. Considering the body horror aspect, would this be better run as an Adult or Mature rating? As a GM yourself.

I'd slap Adult on this in a heartbeat.  Even though sexuality is likely a no-go, it's way dark and grim.