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 Post subject: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:03 pm 
Savior of Turtles
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Hope today has been going well fellow shelled warriors.

I have always wanted to do an rpg similar to the manga series- "Get Backers". If you aren't aware, it stars heroes that go on missions in order to get back precious items for their clients. I had a dream the other day that was very much in line with this and I really wanted to expand on it. My game will have some cyber punk elements to it- cybernetics and chrome. Players do not have to have cybernetics as there will still be mysticism in the game as well. I plan on it not being super serious as in my dream I had my players facing off against robotic dinosaurs and augmented ninja. I am posting because I wanted to ask if anyone had any suggestions on how I can tighten up the game. I intend on running this when I get my physical copies in so I may have a little time to get ready.

My inspirations for this game: The Get Backers, Those who hunt Elves, Azure Striker Gunvolt, Ghost in the Shell

The setting: It’s the year 20xx. A powerful company named the Siren group rose from a small pharmaceutical company to the global leader of medicine, robotics and consumer goods through a series of acquisition sand mergers. In this world, many people have almost become dependent on this company for everything. It is in this world where despite the innovations of science and medicine, that the criminal element is still allowed to take root in the hearts of men. Our heroes have created an organization called the retrievers that; while not providing a free civil service such as the police; can still help provide comfort in their client's lives by retrieving things that they hold dear.

The City: Tokyo Japan

My first question is: I plan on doing the ground zero chargin for players. Does anyone have any good suggestions to keep the numbers down? I have great players but I don’t want to see someone having a giant laundry list. Simplicity is key to OVA as well as this game.

Key NPCS: I intend on making a few key NPCs to start with- the first client, maybe a few workers that keep the job official while the players are doing the actual work. Any ideas on NPCs I should consider stating this early?

Groups- I don’t intend on the players fighting the Siren group too often. Siren has many branches and while they have a hold on civilization, not all branches are bad. Anyone have any ideas on any groups I can have the players face?

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 7:16 pm 
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Nice premise for a campaign there, I like it.

To keep the numbers down, I would suggest the Power Ceiling rule rather than Base Zero. Give your players a few points for their characters' Abilities, then state how many additional points they can get from taking Weaknesses.

For instance, in a Power Ceiling 15 game, you can give them 5 points and characters can have additional abilities up to a maximum of 10 points of Weaknesses (15 points total). You can also use scaling costs, so that it costs proportionately more points to buy high ranks in abilities.


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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:27 pm 
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Thanks! You know... Maybe I will go with power ceiling for character creation rules! I always use base but in this case it ceiling will work for me better.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:16 pm 
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I was thinking of NPCs for the game. I ended up creating a small group that handles the business side for the group as well as vehicles in case there are no PCs to fulfill the role. They are kind of rough, but I think they will be fun to hang out with. Its kind of funny to note that both Momo and Masao both have the same level of intimidation skills. Momo can be scary...

Anyway let me know what you think. Any suggestions on them? Characters created with the power ceiling- 5 points base 10 max.

Momo Tachibana
Momo Tachibana is the member of the team that handles doing background checks, finding new clients and etc. She has burning orange hair and blue eyes. She is of slight build and tends to dress ‘like a delinquent’. She often wears mirrored shades when she is out for fun. She really enjoys eating new foods and is constantly on the look for new restaurants.
She is not much of a natural fighter, so in combat she relies on a hand gun and taser for protection.

Abilities
Attack 2
Charismatic 2
Connected 4
Intimidating 2
Knowledge: Bars dives and restaurants 2
Knowledge: Vehicles 2

Weaknesses
Arrogant 2 it can be argued that without her, clients would be quite hard to find. She knows this.
Greedy2 she will sometimes work out extra money from a client and not tell the party about it.
Rude 1- she can be rude to those that she calls friends. Never to clients as she will get less money that way.
Short temper 2- Momo has a short fuze. Especially if she calls you her friend.

Kenta Fujimoto
Kenta is a small, shy guy that handles the paperwork. He typically works with Sasami on legalities and other matters. Kenta is short, wears thick glasses and wears his dark hair short. His hobbies include net surfing, and gardening.

Abilities
Knowledge bureaucracy 3
Passion: Computers 3
Smart 3

Weaknesses
Shy 2
Weak willed 2

Sasami Tachibana
Sasami is Momo’s younger sister. Sasami often works closely with Kenta and Momo in order to plan out the particulars in the business. Sasami is a talented in business and legal matters. Often times she is left out of the loop since the missions the heroes can take may often bend the law. Momo has long dark hair. She is taller than Momo and has a more developed body. Her nicer temperament combined with these facts makes people often mistake her for the older sister. For hobbies, she enjoys gardening and movies.

Abilities
Beautiful 2
Connected 2
Knowledge: Business 3
Knowledge: legal 3
Passion: Gardening 1
Smart: 2

Weaknesses
Fussy 2
Kind hearted 2
Weak willed 1

Masao
Masao is the resident repair man. He handles the repair of various technical devices and machines. He has a multitude of vehicles at his disposal and most of the items in the garage are his. Masao is a tall muscular man. He is bald, and in public wears long sleeve shirts that cover his tattoos. He used to have ties to the gang the fangs.

Abilities
Attack: 2
Combat Expert: 2
Intimidation: 2
Passion Machines: 2
Pilot: 2
Tough: 2
Vehicle: 3

Weakness
Bizarre Appearance- his looks just scream Yakuza. 1
Hatred: Sharks Gang: 2
Infamous: 2
Secret: 2
Wanted: By both the Sharks and the Fangs gangs. 3

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:08 am 
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Next i will post some world elements i have been toying with...

Idols- In this world, Idols have gotten quite popular. Several Idols for each genre of music have appeared and each of them compete in various reality shows for the public’s amusement. Behind the scenes, many of these people are owned by the Siren group or one of their competitors and may be forced to live however the companies say they will live until they fall from status. The fall from grace has an idol attempt to move back to their normal lives, however this can often be very difficult as former friends may have turned their backs on them, family tries to exploit money and so on.

Cybernetics are nicknamed spiceware in this world. Spiceware comes in many different forms, from cybernetic arms to artificially created eyes. Though cybernetics are very common, one thing to note is that the field is still relatively new. The term comes from a K-pop band known as the Spice kids, whom became famous for being the first people to receive the augmentations 10 years ago.

Psionics
Supernatural powers in this world all stem from psychokinetic energy. Those whom awaken with the gift of psionics are nicknamed psychos. Psycho abilities work because their will is powerful enough to bend reality around themselves enough to produce the effects. A psycho sword for example is a mental blade that is created by sheer force of will and can takes an appearance unconsciously determined by its user.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:51 am 
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Here are more world elements i am toying with. Again, let me know if you have any good ideas on this.
Our bleak existence
During a major renovation campaign held by the Japanese diet, many new styles of apartments were created to house the booming generation of single men. These joku houses as they were named, were quite popular for their modern design yet inexpensive cost of living. This was made better by their location, which were within walking distance to many firms that hired the fresh out of college young men.

During the last 5 years, major earthquakes have ravaged the metropolitan areas of Tokyo. This has caused destruction on a major scale. Many businesses were utterly destroyed, rendering many people without jobs. Those that were especially affected were those that lived in the Joku. Many of these peoples were rendered homeless and took to the streets with many hoping that the old firms would soon restructure and rehire those that lost their offices. Often, this did not happen and many were forced to look for odd jobs and even crime to sustain their lives. As a result, the crime rate went up as gang memberships increased.

Even with increased gang activity, there appear to be regular quakes that often destroy structures that are in the process of being rebuilt. The police are short staffed and many times ill-equipped to deal with the rise of criminals with special powers. When the police and these criminals fight, its often the normal people that tend to get caught in the crossfire.

People whom are just trying to get along and reclaim their lives in this city are often the ones that suffer the most. Many of these people are just trying to get along and eke out an existence among all the trouble. Many times, these people get robbed, hurt and worse by those that feel they are not entitled happiness because they themselves are not getting it.

If its anything though the true killer of this once beautiful city is apathy. Youth is the shining symbol of Japan. Many youth are seeing how hard it is to do right in this city. They dream of leaving the main city and honestly, many don’t blame them.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:36 am 
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As the streets burn

The police do what they can, but unfortunately it is not enough. Gang activity is multiplying, as is the escalating conflict between them. Two large gangs have emerged in the past few years, the sharks and the fangs. And while these two clash, the streets burn.

On the streets, several gangs emerged. It's said that several of them were created due to a byproduct of Yakuza in-fighting. The fangs as they became known are a gang that specialized in illegal street racing and theft. Their races were not only illegal but often dangerous as they modified their vehicles with gear even illegal to the street racing circuit. Often, many people would feel the affects of their races as the illegal gear often damaged not only the other racers cars but any vehicle on the road. Insurance companies would find loop holes causing the innocents to have to pay out of pocket, increasing the amount of debt innocent people have more and more. The fangs often warred with other gangs, often taking out their leaders and anyone that did not convert over to the gang. The fangs are known to carry a special blade as their calling card. These are known as the member's fangs and are made of a type of durable material that is not detectable by a metal detector yet still sharp enough to even leave a mark in titanium spice wear.

In gang lingo, its typically blood in blood out, and to the sharks, this was their creed. For the sharks, the initiation involved the new member being 'initiated' by blood. The ritual varies but can include anything from being beaten and left bloody to having shark blood dropped on them from a bucket. Leaving the sharks is not an option and leaving usually means through death.
On the streets, the gang is known for dealing in firearms , as well as the theft of spice wear. Many times the sharks would case a person for weeks, finding the time to strike and often steal the spice wear they have on them. Many times this act would leave a person in critical condition. The sharks have gotten a reputation for being the largest provider of stolen spice wear to the black market. The sharks often will amp themselves up on spice wear and as such are quite dangerous to face in battle.

Not long ago, both of these gangs went to all out war against each other. The initial point of conflict was around a member of the fangs was killed during a race. It is said that the sharks were caught removing the spice wear from the fang member when the other fangs showed up. They killed the sharks that were caught in the act and it snow balled from there. Sometimes the violence between them causes massive destruction of city property and catches many innocents in the crossfire.

The police have been out gunned. And desperate times come to desperate measures. The city is close to being called into a state of emergency and the military police have been dispatched. Yet things haven't gotten much better. In fact, the only thing that has happened is that happiness of the average person has been trespassed on and more and more, they ask for help yet have nowhere to turn.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:44 am 
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I like the atmosphere in a way but my question is, the latest part to me seems like it could be dropped into shadowrun with no issues. How do I edit that to make it more unique to my setting? Do you think it works?

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:18 pm 
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Shadowrun has elves, goblins, etc. You could make everyone human, or only allow Japanese themed monsters to be other races like oni, kitsune, and so on. Maybe play up the psychic/psycho powers more since there is no magic.


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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:58 pm 
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Good point. The psychic abilities that people manifest in this game is a good differentiator and should be something I touch more on. I could see normal people reacting with a lot of fear on this as well. I think I will think on this some more...

For Races, i only cosidered humans for the setting though i will think on this too...

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:16 am 
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Another piece I have been working on...
Submission to a higher power
As if there were not enough to worry about, something changed at the core of reality. A massive metaphysical event that caused many people to awaken psionic powers. Powers that originate only from the user with no external force other than the very power of the individual's will. These powers are always manifestations of the person's personality as the very source of their powers are not driven by instinct, but rather their very ideals and thus are very personal.

Because these talents were distributed randomly (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... werLottery), each person that received them also received power in varying amounts. Some people such as the leader of the Yakuza received omega level powers. Others may have 'the spark' or have talent but cannot control their gifts. Regardless of whether you were lucky or luckier, there were many many more that were not lucky at all. Many people were simply unable to manifested anything at all and thus were left with nothing but the cold truth that they could be forced to submit to a 'higher' power or someone that has more power than them. Because these powers did not awaken in all at once, cases were small at first. Many people tried to deny that these abilities were a real phenomenon, after all 'Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.'...however when k-pop group Nova Dare appeared, with each member able to manifest a talent, this became something that was hard to ignore.

As far as the general public, fear is the first and only response to something different. Many people were deathly afraid of these with gifts. After all, when you consider that the woman down the road may have something like telepathy, the freedom of thinking whatever you want is called into question.* Those that are robbed of what little privacy they feel they have will want to take action. Fortunately false witch hunts dried up quickly when people realized that it is practically impossible to detect this form of power currently. The only tell that exists only manifests when powers are in use. Humans will be humans though and witch hunts did occur, but only briefly. Now the common man just has to worry about earthquakes, gangs, cybernetics, overwhelming debt, telepaths on the streets… it is this reason why the retriever organization exists. We exist to give others one less thing to worry about. We aren't the navy, we arent a super power. Just people that want to give normal people a little bit of light.

*telepathy isnt actually common at all. Because of how this force works in the game you have to have a very specific personality type to be able to read the minds of others. The fear is real, but the odds of running into someone like this isnt realistic.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 3:14 pm 
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So who are the token evil jerks players should go beat up?


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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:15 pm 
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sniffycrab wrote:
So who are the token evil jerks players should go beat up?

The short answer- anyone that is in the way of the players retrieving what item they were hired for is an antagonist. That said, they may not always oppose the group using fisticuffs.

Now that could lead them from fighting gangers like the fangs, to high ranking Siren personnel. Rouge Psychos could pose a threat. Some missions could also put the heroes at odds with law enforcement, requiring them to find a way to right themselves or their organization could be labeled as a gang and lose all credibility.

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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 10:01 am 
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Lots of interesting stuff! I love the small touches (like cybernetic augmentation having history with a K-Pop group)...makes a setting feel like...well...a setting instead of a series of excuses to blow stuff up. :)

To answer an earlier question:

Quote:
My first question is: I plan on doing the ground zero chargin for players. Does anyone have any good suggestions to keep the numbers down? I have great players but I don’t want to see someone having a giant laundry list. Simplicity is key to OVA as well as this game.


You can use Power Ceiling instead, which allows you to make an explicit cap on a total number of Abilities. You can also rigorously enforce Combined Effectiveness, so that players won’t get the idea they can do too much stacking.

As for worries of similarities to Shadowrun, I think if you lean heavily on anime tropes and mythologies (Japanese creatures, Pop groups, psychic powers, mecha suits and power armors), I think you’ll automatically have a different flavor to it. That said, it’s not like Shadowrun didn’t take a few notes from Japanese culture already (with stuff like the otaku and the nuyen currency.)

Keep up the good work! It looks like your players will have a great time.


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 Post subject: Re: OVA - The retrievers
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Thanks Clay!

I intend on going with Power ceiling. If I recall, I am going to go with 5 points with power ceiling of 15. When making my NPC's with the same rules, it felt right to me. It felt like I had enough points to do what I wanted but my urge to branch out beyond their focus was diminished knowing I had such a hard limit. Reviewing combined effectiveness, I think it’s could be a good idea but I want to play around with it first.

I think my main issue with seeming like shadowrun is the structure of meet client perform task for client. When I was pitching the game to my fiancé, she said 'so its like shadowrun'. That's part of the reason why I was like well crap…

Anyway, I am currently working on the game. Right now I have an idea for the first session but I still do not know how many players I will have. I figure I can get the baseline done and have a chargin session so I can get a feel of how the heroes work together so that session 1 I can include things that will play to their strengths.

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