LOST by Getsuya
The LOST WorldOriginal SA post LOST Part 1 - The LOST World
Well now that it's translated and playable, I suppose it's time to sit down and talk about LOST. Hopefully I can expand on and clarify some stuff so you all can have a different experience than just straight reading the text. However, if you want to follow along/read ahead/play the game yourself you can find the full rules in English for free at:
Let's start our journey with the setting for the game.
The Destruction of Japan
5 years ago, a meteorite fell into Mt. Fuji, causing it to erupt. 3 days later, an unknown epidemic spread through all of Japan. Onset of symptoms would begin immediately after infection. First the infected would present a high fever, after which they would lose consciousness. The mortality rate climbed exponentially depending on the age of the person infected, with 100% mortality rates in those 20 or older. Of those who lost consciousness, it was only the children who opened their eyes later. With all working adults dead, the infrastructure immediately collapsed. Massive fires broke out in places across the country.
This set-up is interesting in that it is cribbed almost whole-sale from a Japanese teen drama called 'Miman (Minor) City'. The drama had the same thing with an unknown virus wiping out everyone over 20, leaving groups of angsty, brooding teenagers behind to try to rebuild society. It was apparently really popular, and Hibo (the creator of LOST) wasn't the only one to reference it. Three of the main characters in Miman City were named Takeru, Taichi and Yamato. Two years after Miman City aired, the anime Digimon Adventure ran and it, too, had three main characters named Takeru, Taichi and Yamato, with a survival theme.
(The creator also cites Digimon Adventure as one of the inspirations for this game. It's all connected.)
Anyway, thanks to the disaster a bunch of changes have happened in Japan. Rapidly-growing forests have completely consumed the cities and strange, mutated animals now roam freely. Humans have begun to change as well, with some of the younger population undergoing strange transformations such as rapid-aging, mutant powers and anime hair colors.
The survivors gather together in Camps. The RPG is based around Camp-building, with one of the main focuses being gathering materials as rewards for missions and using them to build improvements to your Camp. The stronger your Camp, the stronger your characters. We'll get more into Camps in the next chapter.
In the forest there are dangerous areas known as Fields, each ruled over by a powerful Boss. During the 5 years since the fall of society, most of the resources available in the relatively safe areas have been used up. In order to gather resources, the remaining humans need to conquer the Fields. Also, sometimes Fields may form between two Camps, cutting off their ability to communicate and trade. In order to re-establish a connection with the other Camp, the Boss must be defeated and the Field cleared.
Those that challenge the Bosses to clear the Fields, fully aware of the danger involved, are known as Adventurers.
The Boss/Field mechanic provides the basic structure of gameplay: each session your characters are given an excuse to go out into a Field and hunt the Boss. This sort of set-up is great for single-session games and convention play which is what a lot of Japanese TRPGs are based around. It's rare to have a good group for doing a long campaign in Japan, so most of their RPGs focus on keeping things bite-sized. Of course, there are always rules for how to keep things going in the long run if you want to as well.
Of course this rigid, railroad-y structure may not appeal as much to Western gamers so I can imagine for English-speaking GMs it might be necessary to mix things up somehow and house rule in some freedom. Still, the simple structure makes the game a breeze to run, so it does have its perks.
Well that's all for part 1. Next time we'll discuss Camp creation and go more in-depth on the base-building mechanics.
If this game tickles your fancy, please feel free to join in on the first English playtest, which is currently recruiting!