Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: The Game

By CaulynDarr

A few months back Fantasy Flight announced a new set of apocalypse themed role-playing games. They where introduced as having a novel concept in the genre.  You play as yourself.  And you start the game wherever you are when you start playing.  You then take yourself though the scenario of a zombi plague, alien invasion, or the rise of the machines.  I thought the concept had some promise.

Fantasy Flight just put out the first rules teaser.

In it, they describe how to generate the game version of yourself.  It's a simple point-buy system where you add points in various mental and physical attributes.  Then comes the fun part:
After I create the initial characteristics for my character, the group has the chance to vote on the accuracy of the result. For each category, the group secretly votes whether a characteristic should be raised or lowered. In my case, the group determines that one of my physical characteristics should be raised, and I raise my dexterity by one point, giving me a final dexterity of three.
I'm dreading the poor sap who gives his logic a 4 only to be voted down unanimously by all his buddies.  Dunning-Kruger is a thing

Look at it this way.  I mostly play RPGs with people I work with.  Both the president of my company and a senior engineering manager were in my last Edge of the Empire game.  This kind of character creation could get rather...awkward.  I guess it could double as a really unconventional annual skills assessment.

Now back to my regularly scheduled Destiny.


  1. Well... It doesn't sound the least bit boring!

  2. To be fair the alternative is to go full on power fantasy and, especially when people don't truly appreciate thr grades, make themselves superhuman in their fields of expertise when they are merely "good" or "vaguely competent".

    Back in Uni I played a play-yourself horror game and gave my chums the D20 Cthulhu rulebook to make themselves. The results were.... erratic, with people turning up with uber-computing skills and the ability to fly planes and stuff. One guy amusingly was a bit of a horror buff with odd hobbies so made a serious case for being allowed some cool stuff on his character sheet but most of them just thought that +5 wasn't good enough when they were SO COOL.

    Some sort of "others help you make yourself" system is probably the best way to handle this - but as you say you hit the inevitable problem of arguing over who deserves Logic 4 and whether Jo's skill with German is good enough to be "fluent" for game terms.

    1. They do include a short blurb about just playing as characters other than yourself. I think there would be much fun in going with random famous people.

  3. Some how I do not see gamers as themselves as the best "heroes". Short, Clumsy, Weak, and socially awkward is just the person you need in your group against a pack of zombies. I guess I would just be the person you have to be able to run faster than.

    On a side note what happened with Robotech Tactics.

    1. I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. The models are OK, but a PITA to put together. I spent a few hours on them and only got like 6 put together. The rules seem a bit of a mess.

      I've been a bit consumed by Destiny these past few weeks. When RNGesus decides to give me enough raid gear to get to Lvl 30 I'll have time to write something up about Robotech.

    2. And the quality of the unit stat cards are terrible, and a requirement to play the game. They need to be laminated in order to play. And I'm looking at several devoted days of assembly to get two playable forces to try out the rules in action.

    3. card sleeves are a cheap thing.

    4. They aren't using standard card sizes. There's an oversized and undersized card type. Both are used for tracking damage. Even the small ones don't seem to match the typical euro-game mini-card size. They are so flimsy, that I damaged several of them just removing them from the shrink wrap.


out dang bot!

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