March 13, 2004

A case of good timing

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at March 13, 2004 11:18 PM

Since I finished Altered Carbon last week, my desire to run a tabletop RPG based in that setting has been growing. The difficulty is in finding an appropriate set of mechanics to adapt to the task; the ability of characters to move from one body to another requires that mental and physical abilities be easily and cleanly separable. Inspired by my earlier revelation that the optimal onscreen adaptation of the novel would be an anime series under the direction of Shinichiro Watanabe, I looked into the classic anime-based RPG, Big Eyes, Small Mouth.

From what I understand of the BESM mechanics, it will work quite well for this setting. The three character stats are Body, Mind, and Soul, so for an Altered Carbon setting one could associate the first (and related skills) with the sleeve and the other two with the stack. This definitely deserves some further investigation.

Since Games of Berkeley was closed by the time I returned from Santa Cruz today, I went over to the Barnes and Noble on the off-chance that they had a BESM rulebook. On the way over I was working up a plot for a possible one-shot in which the players are hired to investigate an alien relic. As I suspected, though, B&N didn't carry the book. Instead I found...

Broken Angels -- the sequel to Altered Carbon! I wasn't even aware of its existence. Needless to say, I bought it immediately and put it on top of The Pile. The back-cover synopsis explains that Takeshi Kovacs has been hired to investigate an alien relic...

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We have a copy of the BESM book down here, though we haven't actually run any games using the system. Mike was interested in doing a campaign with it, but has been relatively busy and thus it's not gotten very far. Regardless, the book itself is well written and would seem to be pretty usable for whatever story you might want to tell. I'd also suggest that Hero tends to be able to model whatever you might want, the main problem we've had with it is that character creation is extremely involved, with lots of choices. I suspect that the mind transfer you mentioned is easily modeled in the system (Obvious Accessible Focus + mind transfer power of some sort). In any case, i'd take it from what you wrote that the book is good, I need to add it to my list. :)

Oh, and if you need players for a one-shot... ;)

-Zifnab

Posted by: ZIfnab | March 15, 2004 4:43 PM

I found the BESM book at Games of Berkeley, and after reading a bit of it I found myself compelled to make the purchase. Even if I don't use it for this particular setting it should be highly entertaining. I will likely be recruiting for a one-shot in the future...

And yes, I highly recommend Altered Carbon.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | March 15, 2004 5:43 PM

Nifty :) I went looking for Altered Carbon at Borders, but they had a row of the new book and not a single copy of it. :/ Time to get Vromann's to order it. :)

-Z

Posted by: Zifnab | March 17, 2004 3:59 PM
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