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 Post subject: A bit luke-warm
PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:49 pm 
Savior of Turtles
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Anime is a genre. It is a style of animation that is prevalent in japan. While most people should know this, it amazes me to find out how many do not. While reading an rpg like OVA, its awesome ability to run anime rpgs is overshadowed by BESM by the mainstream. Why? Is it because BESM is cheaper and better to run? In my humble opinion, NO! Then why do gamers at rpg.net almost resent OVA? From what I can gather, the dumbest reason is because 'it dosent teach you how to run an anime rpg. '

That statement alone makes me vomit with rage. It just goes to show you that a lot of gamers totally missed the GENRE part of what anime is and expect all anime to be the same. You cant run an anime game the same way you can run TOON. You have to know (and in my opinion respect not B@st@rdize anime (looking at you anime d20)) about anime to run it. Its not that hard to get to that level either, just rent some anime, watch it and have fun. But for some reason, because there isnt a section on running an anime rpg in an anime rpg book that some potential players wont catch on.

and BESM. Who died and made it the anime rpg standard. I was reflecting on when I bought the first edition of the book. It was IMO much funner to run than 2nd. 2nd felt like it tried too hard when it came to skills and some advantages. I have had many 'huh' moments with some of its advantages and some of its disadvantages. Also I felt that anime d20 has actually damaged the reputation of anime gaming as a whole by making 'student' a CORE CHARACTER CLASS... By chopping up anime as a whole, they were able to sell us a d20 version of anime based on stereotypes. GOO has definately let me down. They effectively lost a customer.

Ova IMO works the best for making anime characters. The game is not so much about balance as it is about creating a character YOU WANT to play without worrying about things like Charisma (which is the most likely to be a dump stat in d20). It allows a stunt system which anime is based around. It keeps numbers short and sweet. The Die mechanic is simple. I guess my eternal question is 'what's not to like'? It has everything you need in such a small package. I truely wonder what goes through the mind of a gamer who passes up such a product.

There's my rant for now. Feel free to add some comments!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2006 8:45 pm 
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Your enthusiasm for OVA is always appreciated, Cloud. :)

Though there are quite a few folks over at RPG.net who like to beat the "anime as a genre" dead horse, and there are too, a few people who don't like OVA, there are plenty of furvent supporters. Stormfalcon regularly posts introducing newbies to the game, and I remember Antidonas making quite a few spirited posts in support of the game. I'm not sure what posts you're referring to, currently, but I have suspicions that they'll persist as long as BESM and OVA continue to be published.

In the end, people are going to like what they like and not like what they don't. I have to admit most of the arguments against OVA tend to either attack it for not being gritty enough or that's it's not an anime game. To the former, I usually say gritty is often a descriptive quality, not so much a hardcoded rule. If you reduce Health totals and limit Abilities, you can play a gritty game. Just describe being hit as being bloody instead of bruisy. After all, when was the last time you saw someone get shot in the arm and have any problem afterwards even in darker anime?

As for anime as a genre, it's not a genre in the same way that, say, science fiction is. However, as long as people can call such mainstays as "Pulp" and "Film Noir" genres, so too can anime be. ^_^

In any case, I could drive myself crazy worrying about people not liking my game. In fact, I have in the past. But in the end, your time is better spent introducing it to people who could enjoy the game, instead of debating with the people who won't.

Thanks again, Cloud.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 1:28 pm 
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No prolbem. I just think that having someone tell you how to run an anime rpg is kinda lame. It just leads to stereotypes. the only true advice I think you can give is to watch some and get a feel for it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:23 am 
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Maybe it's my 'Devil's Advocate' gene acting up, but i'm gonna go a slightly different way here. While it's true that calling 'anime' a genre is rather clumsy, the fact remains that a kind of visual vocabulary evolved within manga & anime that is unique to these art forms, yet exists across genres within these art forms. In the US, our cartoons have lightbulbs over the heads, and people turning into wolfmen, howling at voluptious women. In Japan, they've got sweatdrops and people getting cat-faces (even sprouting ears, at times) when they've feeling mischievous.

I always appreciated that BESM took a moment to describe some of these tropes - not just the visual vocabulary but also the cliches and traditions that inform the art. It's true that renting an anime can expose you to 'em, but it doesn't necessarily explain anything. Granted, a decent otaku or a campus club can explain it (i remember when someone finally explained why it was supposed to be funny when Vash the Stampede sneezed at certain moments - now it's a gag i can pull in my games). But since the Introduction to OVA addresses itself (in part) to gamers who aren't necessarily familiar with these conventions, it can be helpful to lend a hand.

Granted, i wouldn't want to sacrifice any of the game's current content or inflate the price tag to match page count, but maybe the site could host an introduction to this sort of thing. I note that the anime links on the site point to some huge archives and major centers - which is handy, but can be intimidating to wade into. Does anybody know of some beginners' guides to anime out there that the Turtle might link to? Any campus clubs want to contribute their know-how, maybe? Seems to me like that could be a valuable addition to the site, and to the game; and it can help gamers who haven't really given anime a chance have a sense of bearing while they're testing the waters, so that they can .. well, have pretty much the experience that led Clay to write OVA in the first place.

It's all about sharing the love, isn't it?

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:39 pm 
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Well i am not saying there are not any good points to BESM. I do stand by my opinion that telling someone how to run an anime styled game is dumb.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:42 pm 
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To me it just depends on the kind of advice and the kind of expectations to set. One could easily argue that telling someone how to run a D&D campaign is 'dumb,' if you are limiting their horizons - describing cliches as necessities, f'rinstance, claiming that a campaign -must- be one treasure-seeking dungeon-crawl after another - or whatever.

I know that's a very indirect comparison, but i hope it makes my point. Supportive suggestion is one thing, and I tend to feel that was what BESM offered - limiting, confining, defining, and obstructing is another, and it sounds like you're getting that kind of flak from other gamers; that really is sad.

As I say, I think it would be nice for OVA to devote a little more attention to immersing players in the conventions of anime, specifically because the introduction tells us it's meant to serve gamers getting into anime style for the first time (as well as fans getting into gaming for the first time). "Telling how to run an anime style game" isn't quite the thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:24 pm 
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I've been running and playing BESM for a while, and I've decided that I want to give OVA a shot. Personally, I don't think that there's any clear-cut way to 'explain' or 'teach' how to run an anime game... The medium is just too darned broad. Quite frankly, I think the best way to get a feel for doing an anime campaign is to watch some anime. Or read some manga. Or play some bishoujo. Anything that will actually give you a feel for what these things tend to do. Any section of the 'rules' that purports to tell you how to run an anime game can't do much more than tell you these things. I guess the short of it is that it seems silly to dis OVA because it lacks that. But that's just my own opinion...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:10 am 
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I agree. Another reason people are a bit against OVA is because 'you cant run a long lasting campaign' or somethin. I have heard that argument and frankly I just dont understand why they say that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 7:56 am 
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Huh? Why the heck couldn't you run a long-term campaign in OVA?

The only thing that I could think of is that, at first glance anyway, it seems like 'experience points' can come rather quickly, and that characters could get pretty powerful with a little bit of time. I haven't actually run the game enough to know that for a fact yet. But even then, a GM just has to adjust experience hand outs to fix that.

The only other thing that I can figure is that people are actually put off by OVA's simplicity. For some reason, a number of people that I've dealt with in the past have seemed to think that 'simple' equals 'unuseable'. I don't know why...

Even with BESM, I've had people think I was an idiot for tackling a 'complex' and/or long-term game with the system. Until I did it and they played. I think that people who assume that OVA won't work for a long campaign just need to be sat down with a good GM and exposed to one.

Personally, I've found that simple systems actually work the best for long-term play (at least for me), since I don't have to spend a bunch of time memorizing rules and then looking things up in the middle of a game in order to verify how a mechanic works.

If there's some other reason that OVA wouldn't work for a long-term game, I'd sure like to know what in the heck it could be...


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 8:59 pm 
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Several People wrote:
About Guides to Anime

I considered having some sort of guide to anime mainstays as I had heard BESM 2e had included, but for space reasons I never bothered. The rationale, at the time was that anime fans would be the people buying OVA, and as such, I'd be preaching to the choir. As it turns out, it seems like OVA has been picked up by more "True-blue RPG fans and occasional anime watchers" than vise-versa. Oh well. The only suggestion I can make is the Anime Essentials by Gilles Poitras. Great book that specifically caters to anime n00bs. ^_^

Several People wrote:
About OVA and Campaign Longevity

My only inkling to this is that OVA doesn't leave much room for growth. You basically start off with your ideal character...what can you work towards over a campaign? I personally think fiction proves that many stories are more about emotional growth than skill growth, but that's my guess on the matter, anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Actually, I think I agree with that - especially in anime.

Very seldom do you see a series about a character developing new talents and abilities... it's usually about character growth as a person. Time and time again, in reading synopses on various animes, the summation has to do with (especially) the main character coming to grips with something and rising to the challenge by overcoming personal demons.

Still... It's often hard to get some players to deal with character growth from that perspective.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 10:04 am 
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Yes, most anime have the "personal" growth, except ALL anime computer game RPGs, which have not only character growth, but MASSIVE ability growth. I truly believe its down to the GM to help enhance this.

Maybe (s)he could make the PCs start inexperienced and ask the players what their personal goal is? "I want to become a Vandel Buster too!", or "I want to be accepted into this Mega-Corp", each poses their set of challenges and stages of development that the GM could plan out and (in-game) provide this info to the PCs.

How about the PC who wants to be in a certain group of "Liberation Fighters" has to master the 4 (or 5 if you use Chinese myth) elements? That'll make the character use earned XP on different elemental mastery. But that's what they wanted to begin with anyway, isn't it?

Maybe he wants to be a master hacker, but needs a certain level of "hack" ability to be able to use a VR interface he needs to use to hack into a Mega-Corps database to extract the data on his brother/mother/<insert someone special here>?

These are off the top of my head, but I hope you see what I'm getting at: emotional development mixed with ability development.

Cheers! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:19 pm 
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That's a pretty good suggestion...

I usually try to encourage my players to have goals, or to make goals as the game progresses. Of course, some players are better at it than others... :P

I suppose there will always be the guy who just has 'his character', whom he figures is really cool, but he has no idea what he wants to do with him.

I just try to make do...


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:52 am 
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Wolfson wrote:
I suppose there will always be the guy who just has 'his character', whom he figures is really cool, but he has no idea what he wants to do with him.


In that case, kill his character's parents or someone REALLY close to them in game- never fails! ;)

Cheers! :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 8:01 pm 
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Heh... I've done that before :twisted:

I bought a packaged adventure once upon a time... The death of some random NPC was supposed to act as a catalyst for it, and it occured to me that no one was likely to get too motivated over the death of some stranger they didn't know.

So I introduced her about two adventures beforehand, and allowed her to become the romantic interest of a player. Then I killed her. He got pretty motivated to catch the bad guys at that point... 8)


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