Chi-Chian Roleplaying Game by JamieTheD
An Introduction to InsanityOriginal SA post
Welp, having been directed to this thread, I thought I'd immediately start bringing something new to it. Who's up for
style roleplaying? Are you? I'm not, but let's do it anyway!
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game, an Introduction to Insanity
Chi-Chian is one of those RPGs based on obscure franchises that makes your brain ache simply by looking at the introduction and plot summary. The comic, the series, and indeed the game were created (at least in part) by Aurelio " Voltaire " Hernandez, and the entire thing is distinctly mindbending to read. Let's take a look at some choice quotes from the book, shall we?
Voltaire's Foreword posted:
Strange as it sounds, I have come to feel that Chi-Chian is a very real person and that my purpose is to be a conduit for her and her world; to see that it is allowed to exist and to thrive.
Character Creation Concepts posted:
+ A reclusive albino from Titan in a bunny shaped exxo.
+ An experimental worm train prototype.
+ A sex toy robot with its head grafted onto a tentacle unit.
+ A 6-foot tall cockroach that likes to waltz.
+ The daughter of a great scientist with an experimental exxo
Note: All of these concepts are characters from the series and/or comic
So, already, you're getting the gist, but you know nothing of the setting. Believe you me, it's better that way.
...Not satisfied? Didn't think you would be, so here's the basic summary.
In 3049, Manhattan seceded from the rest of the USA. The USA didn't like this, and invaded. Then some weird pulse thing happened to stop the USAs deathbots in their tracks, and Manhattan was sold to the japanese for 27 dollars.
From there it just got weirder. A scientist started uplifiting cockroaches and other bugs, because he felt that humans were about to transcend and ascend to some different state of being. Ironically, very quickly after this, he died (and apparently transcended all on his lonesome). At some point, Chi-Chian, his daughter, becomes one with an experimental exxo (sic) suit, the Bio-Logic suit. It has various gubbins attached, but suffice to say, one breast has a psychic lens over it that looks like a reptile eye, the other is covered by a madonna bra, and she has super powers, including being able to become a dragon thing.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the villains are a bunch of humans possessed by uplifted insects who decided they wanted to be bad, and that her aunt is a psycho out for her death? or that her pet is an experimental train worm who's hopelessly in love with her, and...
...Oh, you want me to stop now. Yeah, suffice to say, coherency of writing is not one of the strong points of this setting. Nor is it the strongpoint of the RPG. Although, to be fair, its white on black/gray text is fairly organised, even if it segues into another section of the rules without any warning whatsoever (Character creation segues almost immediately into gear, which almost immediately segues into combat rules, and so on...)
Over the next month or so, you're going to read about my suffering as I try to create a character and explain some rules/setting features of this system, and give you my thoughts on it. There's no fixed update schedule, but I'm not going to suffer alone.
Because I'm going to link you to the original Sci-Fi webisodes, preserved by the author, for you to "enjoy". Keep in mind that Voltaire is now a Professor of the New York school of Visual Arts, partly as a result of this. Note also that he isn't, and never was, a Professor of Acting .
With that in mind, go watch the Prologue , which is meant to explain everything.
Things it doesn't explain: The worm thing that says "I love you" (X, the aforementioned "X-Perimental Train Worm"... Ho, fucking ho)... and quite a bit more.
NEXT TIME: We try and discuss the setting. Emphasis on "try".
Setting, or Where's My LSD?Original SA post
*tries to make sense of setting enough to explain*
D'ahh, soddit, let's get our post on!
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game - Setting, or Where's My LSD?
I'd originally planned to show you the artwork in this game, but it comes in precisely two categories: Stills from the webisodes (which are awful), and stills from the comic (which are similarly awful, but pencil sketches).
Y'know what, let's just show you ye liveliest awfulness anyway. From the comic.
Now imagine that, with the occasional webisode screencap, on a black page with black and white skulls as the page markers, and white text. That is your average page of the RPG book. But enough of that, let's talk about the setting.
I've already mentioned the basic plot, and I'm linking you to the webisodes each time I post to give you some idea, but the book helpfully (or not so helpfully) spends the first 13 or 14 pages out of 145 or so giving you the following:
+ A summary of the comic's plot. It is not very sane.
+ A summary of the webisodes' plot. It, also, is not very sane.
+ One of those narrative type intros with inserts, because such things are apparently quite popular with roleplayers. If you guessed that it is not very sane, well done, you win an imaginary cookie.
So, why don't I give you an encapsulated summary, beyond what we already know?
In the "modern" day of the setting, japan owns Manhattan. Every human in Manhattan has transcended reality, then got forced back to the mortal world by one douchebag who happens to be Chi-Chian's cousin. The way to the afterlife is supposedly forever closed, because the big samurai robot made by Chi-Chian's father that made it happen so the insect races could live happily ever after was destroyed. With Chi.
Robots of all kinds are fairly common. Sexbots, although quite common, aren't really used anymore, and have become sort of an underclass. Chi-Chian is friends with one, natch. All the bad guys from the series are pretty much dead, so good luck making them adversaries.
As you can tell, even from these little pieces of setting information, the writers (Voltaire, Chris Adams, and David Fooden... no really, that's his name) didn't think this one through a lot. But even this doesn't encapsulate how sodding hard it would be to run this game (I tried. Once. Nobody understood a damn thing). For that, we're going to have to go to the encyclopedia portion later in the book.
That's right. This doubles as a guide for fans of Chi-Chian. Considering I found this in the "free" bin of the very last UK GenCon, along with Cyberpunk v3.0 and a couple of shitty DnD supplements, I think you can take an educated guess as to the size of said fanbase.
So, let's recap: We have a summary of the series and some terrible fiction in the first 13 or so pages of actual content (pages 5-18). Then, we have the actual game rules, which go from pages 19-45 (36 pages, including gear, abilities, combat, and skills).
Then we get the encyclopedia of all things Chi-Chian. It starts at p. 47, and goes on for 59 pages. It's not like the WoD thing of "Let's hurl our setting in your face before you make a character", it's, literally, an alphabetic encyclopedia of anything you might not understand about the world. Let's take a look at one of these, shall we? [My interjections will be in square brackets]
Wormtrains (Gamma, Delta) (fig 3:69 [a shitty pencil drawing])
Massive, organic worms that serve as New York's form of public mass transit.
Created by Soma Mitsui [Chi-Chian's Dad] and implemented on June 17, 3020 to serve as a form of clean public transportation, the wormtrains are sentient subway trains that shuttle the occupants of Manhattan (mostly Gamma and Beta citizens) from one place to another, much like their non-living ancestors, the New York subway system
Now, already, we're running into some problems understanding. I mean, the whole using giant sentient worms as public transport? That's perfectly understandable, although the whole sentient thing is probably a bad idea (Hint One: It was deliberately designed that way, for reasons of Transcendence, Bug Supremacy, and Plot. Hint two: It was a bad idea). No, the problem is we're already hitting references we don't understand. What's so important about this greek letter alphabet soup, huh?
Well, for that, we have to turn to the amazing entry that is... K-Seg (Kind Segregation).
K-Seg (Kind Segregation) (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) [presumably this means everyone is affected by it]
Kind Segregation, a unique form of mind reading and social control developed by the late Soma Mitsui [Fuck me, he got around! Anyone getting a Megaman Battle Network vibe yet?], which separates Manhattan into four Planes. Each Plane is reserved for a different kind of person based on their degree of spiritual developement. A central computer scans commuters minds for access thoughts to determine what Plane they belong to.
I'm going to spare you the rest of either the Wormtrain or K-Seg entries, they give you a damn good idea of what's already quite wrong with the setting already. Effectively, this is a highly arty and pretentious setting with thematic elements that are quite obviously more thematic than elements (IE - Something sane human beings would actually do with their social structure, city, etc). It doesn't help that, to properly understand the setting, you will be flipping back and forth this 59 page section quite liberally, and that nearly all entries have a "see this" section. In fact, many entries are just a "see this" section. Two examples from facing pages.
SEE THIS, BITCH posted:
See Siam, Serene Theocracy of.
World War III
See Great War, The.
To save you some trouble, World War III was the usual bullshit, and the Supreme Theocracy of Siam is a treacherous nation that abused Soma Mitsui's Biologic suits at some point, making them automatically "evil" in the setting, and is ruled over by some crazy dude who a) Genemodded himself to look like Hanuman, y'know, the Monkey King of
While we're wrapping the subject up, let's briefly talk about the artwork of the setting. Voltaire, for some reason, is inordinately fond of skinny chicks, and their breasts. Leafing through, I couldn't go twenty or so pages without some almost nekkid "goodness", or some armless cyborg with nipples perkily thrusting from their bare chest. It's sort of NSW, but only in the sense that you'd be extremely embarassed to be caught looking at this when there's much higher quality softcore out there.
Now, to conclude about both the setting and art style: Let us not forget that Voltaire was, at the time at least, Gother Than Thou. His "Gothic art book", " Paint it Black ", is a big pile of horse puckey showing you how to do shitty pencil drawings in his "inimitable" (read: shitty) style, among other things. The writing of Chi-Chian is filled with pseudo-philosophy, pointless mention of sexbots (in fact, one "main character" is a sexbot whose head has been put on a warbot), and it's all a very immature mix, with very little coherence, editorial browbeating, or rational thought involved.
So, while we're on the subject, why don't I subject you to the first three actual episodes of the Webisodes, while I remind myself how to create a character, showing you some more of "why you should run for the hills if anyone suggests running this game".
Episode 1: We Are Obviously Evil (Warning: Shit evil trap for no good reason)
Episode 2: Meet the Cockroaches (Warning: Cockroach dancing for no good reason)
Episode 3: Teddy Bear Doctor! (Warning: Bad writing - This goes for the whole thing)
The Hooker With A Heart of Gold (?)Original SA post
Heh, no problem, TombsGrave, it is, despite its many Tragic Flaws (tm), an amusing little game, although I find myself groaning at some of the things in this. Funnily enough, let's generate our first character!
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game - The Hooker With A Heart of Gold (?)
So, as we've already noted, the setting is incredibly bizarre, filled with elements that make little to no rational sense. And we didn't even look at Siamese robots. Oh well, we can still look at bits of the world while making a character!
There is, quite frankly, a lot of stuff going on in the 36 pages we have, although it's interesting to note that the actual "rules" section of this chapter (the only rules section, in fact) is 8 pages, the whole shebang. This is, in fact, one of the good points of this game, but we'll get to that later. For now, making a person!
The Sensei (that's me, your friendly GM/DM/Packet of Wotsits) points out to the player (also me, but players don't have a unique term, sadly), that he has 120 "Chi Points" (that's Character points to anyone who has two brain cells to bang together) to make their whole character. At first, the player is overjoyed! Then he actually looks a bit closer.
Want to be a woman? Woman control X-Y Relax Machines with their thoughts, so it actually costs points. Want to be the Master Race (IE - The Japanese, who don't actually have any abilities, but hey, institutionalised racism!)? That's more points. Also remember that we have to buy our starting gear with this, via the roundabout route of buying money, then buying gear with it. A lot of points can be sunk, and any GM wanting to enforce in-world character rules is going to have some problems.
With all this in mind, let's just get right into it. We're actually going to spend our status and money needs before our character's stats, because that way, we actually know what we'll have to spend.
So, our concept is "Hooker with a Heart of Gold". I'll explain why when I come to it, but there's more than one reason. We will, for reasons of tradition (and extra rules abuse) make her a woman. 2 out of 120 points. We won't be going into the quagmire that is racial status yet, so she's a Taino (a term created for this game which basically means "What humanity homogenised into: They look vaguely caribbean"). She's going to be filthy rich, but also spiritually pure (Heh), so she's going to live on the Alpha Plane (2 points).
Let's take a quick breather here and look up K-Seg, to see what you need to get to the Alpha Plane as a character:
K-Seg, Alpha Plane posted:
Selflessness; putting others' interests before your own; great acts of charity, bravery, or humility; self-sacrifice; innocence; tremendous empathy, compassion, and/or ability to organise for the common good
Well, justifying that one to our Sensei (providing they're a hardass about the setting) is going to be amusing! It must also be noted that, while you have to be rich to be in Alpha Plane, you have to also not give a monkeys about money to stay there, for "spending too much time worried about material concerns, what to spend their money on, or on how popular they are" would be warned not to go down a level because... they can't get back up perhaps?
Unsurprisingly, Chi-Chian's dad was the one who thought up this system, and he genuinely thought that this was a good idea. Why is it not a good idea? Well, to not be concerned about money, you'd have to be clinically insane in Alpha Plane. Houses are owned (5 Million M-Yen, the game's currency), not rented. And that's a start. But it'll all be okay, our Hooker is the most enlightened on the planet! And rich too, once we get there!
Career-wise, she will have an "Important Job" (1 Chi). I justify this and the Alpha Plane residence in one fell swoop to my fuming GM by citing Mass Effect, specifically the Courtesan from Citadel. He promptly bans me from taking any family type above "Mildly Influential", which I was aiming for anyways. Another Chi point for Mildly Influential family line. Our Reputation is obviously Impressive (Legendary would be gilding the lily) for another 2 points, and our appearance is Beautiful (2 points).
So, we've just made our status, and that's... 10 points. A whole twelfth of our allotted points, just for our background. Let's quickly move on to money, before you all get bored.
Now, as TombsGrave noted in his review of Chi-Chian, gear is ridiculously easy to get. 20 points gets us 1,000,000 M-Yen for every further point we spend. Another five gets us a low-level condo in the Alpha Plane, and another five after that will allow us to buy anything in the game we so desire. 40 out of 120 points spent.
We now come to capabilities. As I said, we're leaving stats for last. Capabilities come in several flavours: Natural, Mutations, Implants, Prototypes, Freak (psychic powers and other unique things), and Training. A good 80% of the capabilities are combat related, but we don't want those , we're roleplaying !
Now, as far as our job (Courtesan) goes, we come to the first Capability related confusion. Does it require a lot of education (presumably!)? Then it's not a Tradeswoman, that apparently covers "non-professional" jobs like... er... beautician or construction worker. Don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure at least one of those requires training. It's also not a Scientist or a Technician, those are special snowflakes we're going to get into with our next character. That leaves us with Professional. This is a Brains related "skill capability" that costs 3 Chi/Level.
Yeah, that's right, skills are not segregated from mutations. Organisation at its finest. We take 3 levels in Professional(Courtesan), and move on. What sounds good?
Ah, yes, Pheromones. This costs 5 Chi per level of Charm or Guile boost, and must be bought separately for each species and gender. So I go for human males, and take this at two. In case you're keeping track, 59 points out of 120. We're spoiled for choice as to how we have this, but we'll take it as an Implant.
We'll also take two Extra Arms (10 points total), because of the obvious utility. Beyond this, we also get a level of Enhanced Strength for free. Taking two extra legs would have somehow given us Enhanced Movement, and both of these enhancements would go up for each pair we purchased. Ummmm.... Okay.
Because she's a woman, and all women get to control X-Y Relax things, we'll buy one level of this. It's hideously expensive (20 points/level), but what the hell, why not. 89 points for the win!
Finally, we'll get Sexpert. I'd been saving this for last. We'll take it at 2 levels (making it 99 points out of 120), but I'm going to quote this somewhat odd (some would say needless) skill's description. Interjections in square brackets, as always.
The character is a master of seduction and an expert in all things sexual [GO US!]. They know how to take a person to the heights of sexual ecstasy and make them beg for more. This is more than mere physical technique, she can interpret someone's desires from their physical and verbale cues, getting into their head to know what really gets them off. This isn't always pretty [no para breaks within skills. Never any para breaks] and characters with this ability (unless it's part of their nature to accept depravity with aplomb, like Sex Toy Robots) tend to become jaded ( But not you, you hooker with a heart of gold ). NPCs you've used your astounding sexual prowess on will tend to view you favourably, and will often bend over backwards to help you, sometimes even to the detriment of their own well-being. This is a double-edged benefit however, for if you aren't willing to bend over forwards for them (or bend them over forwards, as the case may be) in the future, they may become frustrated and cross with you, not to mention jealous if they see you favouring another.
I'd love to give even the tiniest amount of credit to Voltaire and co for, say, introducing third-way feminism into a game, but in a world where people ride giant worms to work, the Dark Brotherhood of the setting find a giant mousetrap to be the epitome of mechanical traps, and the main character has a Psychic Bra... It comes off as being just as immature and incoherent as the rest of this batshit crazy setting. Oh, well, let's just move onto stats and call it day. I hear people baying for my blood for the long post...
Now, we have 21 points left, and there are 8 stats. That gives us a little less than... oops, the three we'd need to give her human norm (It goes from 1 to 6+), because each 3 costs (1+2+3) 6 points. And 1 is the absolute minimum. Well, let's look at what we can dump, shall we?
Mettle is the fighting skill. 1 point dumpstat for this person then.
Brains is what rules our education. We go for slightly below average, for 3 points.
Health is our strength. We can get away with 3 points for this, because our enhanced strength makes that human average.
Guile is kind of important, so I guess we'll put that at 2. 3 points.
Virtue actually only has limited applications, so 1, for 1 points.
Charm is where we want our character to have an average stat. 6 points, for an average stat.
Tech is what it says on the tin. 1, for 1 points. We don't need no stinking toasters!
Willpower is also what it says on the tin. 3 points, for a 2 stat.
So we've kinda minmaxed our points away. Whoopsie! Oh, well, our character is still useful at seducing people, I guess... We'll call her Jenny, just because. Let's look at her almost completed sheet.
Mettle 1 Brains 2 Health 2 (3 because extra arms) Guile 2 Virtue 1 Charm 3 (plus the bonuses from pheromones and sexings) Tech 1 Willpower 2
Female, Taino, lives on Alpha Plane, Important Career, Mildly Influential, Impressive Reputation, Beautiful (10 Status, overall)
Money: 5 Million M-Yen to spend on random shit.
Profession (Courtesan) 3 [Brains make this 5 for rolling purposes]
Pheromones (Male humans) 2 [Charm or Guile for 4 and 5]
Sexpert 2 [Charm or Guile, 4 and 5 again]
Control (X-Y Relax Tech) 1 [Willpower for a whopping 3]
You may notice I said almost finished. You see, being a Gothy sort of game, you literally cannot get by without two Tragic Flaws(TM). Except our stats already give us several, because a statistic lower than 3 counts.
Tragic Flaws: Tech-Ignorant, Can't Fight For Toffee. There, that'll do. But wait... what does any of this actually mean , game wise? For that, join me next time, where we explain how min-maxed this character actually is. No episode this time, I'm saving them to highlight further stupidity.
Rules, or Why Some Stats Are Useless.Original SA post
Okay, sod it, I can't keep this under my hat anymore... This is gonna take a lot quicker than a month, because I am literally finding stuff by just perusing the damn main rules. And the index.
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game - Rules, or Why Some Stats Are Useless.
Have another pic from the comic, because I want to give you "incentive"
So, last time, I babbled my way through the oh-so interesting means of making a character. You've seen it before, but there's something you haven't seen before: Exactly why I made such a "useless" character build for the first example.
Why? It's not as useless as it first appears, because of the system. So, let's begin by talking about what the main stats actually do , and how you roll for things in this game.
How To Roll Shit In Chi-Chian
First off, the Sensei assigns a difficulty. There is no guidance for what is difficult and what is not, by the way, and two of the four references in the index refer to... the difficulty chart at the end of the book, and the character sheet. For no reason . Expect this to become a theme.
The player then rolls 2d10. No, this isn't based on stats as such (although it will become apparent why it really is later), but, regardless of the stats or whatnot, they roll just 2d10.
Now here's where it gets slightly complicated:-
1) If there's no doubles, just add them up and compare to the difficulty. If it's over the difficulty, that's 1 success.
For every 2 over the difficulty, that's another one
Divide the roll by the difficulty, that's how many successes you get. There are degress of success, but only two degrees of failure as far as I can tell. 0 = you fail. -X = you fail
2) However, if you roll a double, you note down the total, and roll again, adding this to the first number. This carries on until you stop rolling doubles, adding each time. So, with just one crit, you can change a roll from 2-20, to 2-40, 4-60. Considering that most tests seem to be against a 6 or 7 difficulty, you can see the problem here. The maximum listed difficulty on the table is 12, but there are examples that break that over its knee later on.
3) Now here's where it gets interesting. For every point of whatever the hell stat/skill/bang bang gun you're rolling (see, it does matter!) is above the difficulty, you get a reroll. Every point . You can accept whichever damn reroll you like. For every point below the difficulty, you get a success automatically knocked off. So the difficulty number is always higher per point below. Except they say it in a slightly obtuse way.
EDIT: So obtuse, in fact, I misunderstood. See 1.
4) Finally, you can spend a point of Chi (that's your experience) to force a reroll.
So, as you may have noticed, the distribution of results is a little cackhanded, to say the least. Any degree of failure more than one is described as "remarkable, embarassing, and possibly injurious".
EDIT: I misread, and thus hadn't realised HOW cackhanded. 1 against 3 difficulty means that you will need a MINIMUM of 9 to succeed. Versus 4, this leaps to 16, versus 5, 25, versus 6, 36. Whereas, 3 vs 1, you get two rerolls, keep the best result (including doubles, which you then keep for a "reroll and add"), 4 vs 1, 3, and so on, and so forth.
Doubles then fuck this shit up, because odds are if you get a double (1/10 chance on 2d10), you're going to get a 4, a 5, or a 6 as your most likely candidates. Even hilariously bad jackholes can succeed with doubles, definitely up to 1v4, and potentially up to 1v6 or above if you're stupidly lucky.
As you might have guessed, opposed rolls use the opposed stat. So in melee, it's Mettle v Mettle, whereas in a seduction contest, it's Charm vs Willpower. Again, no guidance here, just a short paragraph, and an example of two women fighting with their minds over who gets to be served drinks first by the female-controlled robot. No, really, that's their dramatic example of an opposed contest.
So, having explained how to roll shit, let's see what we'd actually roll for what, shall we?
It lets you hit stuff. No, really, that's all that stat is, how to hit things in melee. Doesn't actually cover how much damage you do, only how well you throw punches. Melee weapons don't have an actual damage value, they add to your
Health, and then, for each degree of success rolled, you do a point of damage.
However, it does serve other purposes. It's also your "passive" dodge stat, for one (Dodging itself is a completely different thing). For another, it's one of the two stats used for your OOMF (OOH, OOH, ME FIRST! known to us plebian types as "Initiative". Don't get me wrong though, I appreciate both the bad acronym pun and the enthusiasm behind it). We'll get to OOMF and other fun mechanics in a bit though.
Finally, it's used in ranged weaponry as a to-hit. The damage, however, is generally a straight number, unless it's strength based like a bow, in which case it's Mettle + Attack Strength modifier. This will sound slightly odd in a moment.
Some skills use this, but, beyond a certain level, it's always cheaper to get the skill itself than another level in Brains. Keep remembering those opposed contests though, because, since they're the main conflict resolution mechanic, you're probably going to be asked to do something with Brains at some point. Woo.
Brains is also the other half of your OOMF base. OOMF comes from adding your Mettle and Brains for the base, and then, every time you need an initiative number, you roll 1d10 and add this.
Health is actually a measure of your general physical fitness, both in strength and constitution. You could be crap at fighting, yet still be a muscular powerhouse with this stat. I kind of like that. However, this does make for some slight awkwardness. Because Health is the Damage Resistance stat and the carrying stat.
So, let's imagine Jenny is hit by a dude with a katana (the book's example uses a knife, but I want to emphasise damage here). The dude has strength 3, the katana adds 4. To reduce the damage she takes, Jenny now has to roll against 7 difficulty. Not with her 3 Health from having multiple arms, but her 2 base Health. She needs a minimum of 5 successes to stop taking one of the minimum of 6 damage points she's going to have gotten by being hit with a katana. Just for emphasis, that's 6 damage points... out of 10.
I'll come back to that little point later. For now, let's also mention that, since Health is a measure of our physical strength, why not use it for things like clubs and bows? Because "talent in combat" is a bigger factor than how hard the damn thing hits, apparently.
EDIT: For Hand to hand/melee combat, Health is the Attack Strength (wot does the damage).
Your standard "I lie to your face!" skill. There are maybe 5 Capabilities (read: skills/feats/mutations/gewgaws) that I can find that use it. Out of 50 or 60 (Bang on 60, not counting mods). And two of them involve seduction or sex in some way.
Wondered how I can live on the ever-so-enlightened Alpha Plane as a hooker with 1 Virtue ("Spiritual energy, balance, and compassion")? Because of two things. Firstly, there's no crunch to stop you. No, really, there isn't.
"But what of the GM", I hear you say! "Surely he will put a stop to your shenanigans!"
The GM will have looked at the same rulebook I have. The rulebook where the index mentions Virtue a total of four times in the book. The index where one of these references is a page talking about why Chi-Chian might be the heir to the Mitsuru family, despite not fulfilling the strict requirements. And he will say "Fuck yeah, dumpstat that bitch".
Because Virtue has one function. It's to mark when it's time for your players to retire. When you reach Virtue 10, with all stats at 8, you start to Transcend. This effectively kills your PC when it happens. When all stats are 10, it just happens, right there and then. This is apparently one goal characters can aspire to, although not the only goal. Nice to know, thanks! Except if you actually look at the Chi entry of the encyclopedia, it also mentions having 120 chi on hand, which is mentioned nowhere else .
No, wait, I lied. It's also used for Precognition...
...Yeah, I don't think I need to say how pointless this stat is. And anyone who uses Virtue as an opposed roll in this setting is a big hairy douche, let nobody tell you otherwise.
Like Guile, only it also covers savoir-faire and style. Since "beauty" is a status thing, I genuinely don't understand why this is a stat. But there it is. Like Guile, it's used in very few Capabilities.
Can you use a toaster? Jenny can't! This is your general proficiency with technology. On the one hand, I can understand why this is here, especially with Technicians and Scientists being workable characters, and cockroaches who don't generally need all this "technology" bullshit. But considering the main villains of the Webisodes think a mousetrap is the epitome of clever and deadly death machines, with 4 story tall "Taximechs" and 250 foot Sandworms from Dune as regular modes of transport, I seriously wouldn't blame you for being a luddite in this game.
More on the 4 storey taxis in a later chapter of this review.
Ah, the vaguely useful one! This one powers most of your Control abilities (IE- the X-Y Relax Magic Feminism [Honest!] devices that apparently populate this godforsaken place), is used to resist Guile and Charm (I would hope so!), and resisting psychic attacks. Namely Telepathy, which is a Willpower skill. Telekinesis rounds it out, being one of the few ranged mutant abilities requiring it.
In any case, it's a generic "I resist social/mental stuff", and doesn't deserve in depth coverage.
Now we come to secondary stats. There are thankfully not many of these.
This, obviously, affects your social rolls. But there's one quirk of this which I will actually compliment Voltaire on. Very very mildly. Essentially, if you're using your Status in a social opposed roll (probably the only kind you can ), positive status isn't necessarily a good thing. With people of positive status, if yours is bigger, you get those magic umpteen rerolls. With people of negative status, only a... lower status gives you rerolls.
So somebody with -2 Status will be decidedly unimpressed with someone of 10 status who flaunts it, whereas he will be [i[distinctly[/i] impressed with the guy who somehow managed to accrue -17 status.
Just to make this clear (and also why it's only a mild compliment), the -2 status dude (who might just be a Good Rep Albino), will be more impressed by the New Jersey Cockroach who is utterly hideous even by cockroach standards, and is well known worldwide for blowing up Old Albino's Homes, than Jenny, the gold-hearted hooker of your dreams.
Oh, did I forget to mention that, because of a war between New Jersey and New York, people from New Jersey are automatically considered douches as far as Place of Residence Status goes?
Strength, Damage Resistance Roll, Damage
Strength is your Health, as modded by things like extra arms. Damage resistance is your Health without those gubbins. Damage is the amount of damage you can take (default 10, can be added to with Capabilities). They are boring, yet necessary things.
Have no purpose other than "Oh, My Tortured Soul!" school roleplaying. They don't even affect difficulty unless the DM says so. And since the entire difficulty thing is "What the DM assigns", with no guidelines... hope you have a nice GM!
The "Obvious" Focus
So, so far, we have a few problems cropping up already. We have a stat that's virtually useless outside of roleplaying purposes. We have three others that only affect small parts of the rules (but, as we'll see, one of them is an important part of the rules), two resistance stats, one generic stat that will turn out to be incredibly useful, and Mettle.
Combined with the 10 damage levels you can sustain before dying, and some interesting mechanics we're going to cover later, it's pretty damn obvious from a cursory examination: Mettle is really important. What makes it even more important is that most of the mutations are to do with combat in some form.
But there's one small problem. Wasn't Transfiguration mentioned as one of those "goal" thingumajiggers? Yeah, the fluff is again a bit indecisive, as it stresses how utterly dangerous the world is with the sheer amount of mutations, doesn't actually give us that many social/fluff skills, and gives us a nice big table of big stompy mechs.
That's right, the obvious focus is spectacle.
You really thought i was going to say "combat", didn't you? Find out why not... very soon.
In the meantime, have another episode:
Episode 4 - How The Hell Did I Get To Siam?
Combat, And How To Break ItOriginal SA post
Welp, since the thread has a lot of posts with chaotic-stupid going on, I think it's a good time for...
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game - Combat, And How To Break It
Some more "art" from the comic to fit the subject
Welcome back to the trainwreck that is Chi-Chian, and today, we're going to look at the combat system! Apart from a few quirks, the combat system is completely unremarkable. One standard action, one move per turn, roll initiative, go through initiative, do shit, resolve damage, rinse, repeat.
But there's always a 'But' in systems within this thread. And this is no exception. You see, combat can be broken in a number of hilarious ways.
The Power of Doubles
Thanks to the magic of doubles on two dice (1/6 on 2d6, 1/10 on 2d10, etc, etc), many rolls are easier than they appear. Yes, the enemy's always going to hit *you*, but you have a better chance than you'd think of hitting *them*. With ranged, this isn't so big a thing, because ranged weapons do fixed damage.
But melee weapons don't quite fit that rule . See, the damage they do is modded by Health, and Enhanced Strength counts toward it.
Jenny Minmaxer to the Rescue!
Jenny is helpfully going to half murder a goon for us, just to demonstrate. The goon has Mettle 3, compared to her pitiful 1. But, she gets the first go in this round, and immediately attacks with a Sword (Which has an Attack Strength of 7, thanks to Jenny having four arms and 2 Health). She needs a 9 to hit, and rolls a double 4. Then she rolls a total of 5, for 13. 2 successes. Now, this is where the rules get a bit incoherent, because there are two different interpretations of combat.
In the first, every success she has with the to-hit adds a damage level. In the second, damage levels are only caused by Attack strength, and saved against by the opponents' Health and/or Armour. The Attack Strength thing is more often referenced, so we'll use that.
This gives the poor bastard goon a chance to demonstrate doubles too. Except 3 vs 7 means he has to get 35 to succeed (28 for four levels negative discrepancy, then another 7 to succeed). He fails, with a 13, and gets negative successes.
Oh. There's no rule for negative successes on damage saves. Except, y'know, the rule at the beginning of the resolution chapter, which says something horrible happens. Let's ignore that for now. For now.
So he takes 7 damage. Y'know, out of the 10 everybody has. And then something else comes into play that's fun, and I didn't mention before. DAMAGE BONUSES. Damage bonuses are a little extra "fuck you" flavour icing on the cake, that basically adds damage on top If any damage at all gets through . In the case of a sword, that's 2. So he's taken nine damage out of the ten everyone has without Capabilities. And he's a goon, so he's a bit fucked there.
Even without that whole Negative Successes thing, he's already largely fucked, and not in the good way, by a hooker who can't fight for toffee. It even says so on her sheet.
So, what would have happened if the GM had assigned us an extra level of difficulty due to that? Well, that would have popped our necessary difficulty up to 16, and, providing she was just as jammy with her doubles the first time, would need a fairly low roll on her reroll to fuck it up.
The sword costs 250 M-Yen. That's a bit low class for us, let's fuck this one over with style!
21 CHARACTER POINT GANK (A fun game for all the family)
Use 20 Chi to get a million M-Yen per further chi. Spend just one. Use a little less than half of that million to buy a Dragon Mech (top of the line personal exxo suit). This one will fly to you from anywhere, providing you are a woman and have X-Y Relay Control. Exxos don't require Piloting to use, by the way.
This particular exo has Armour 5 (good luck hurting Jenny, meatbag), Retractable Large Claws (3 damage bonus), and Enhanced Strength 4 (replacing Jenny's four arms, or, with houserule custom mods, ADDING to it). She still can't fight for toffee, but Mettle 3 Health 3 thug is ever so slightly fucked, because this means she can do 9 damage without really trying. If Jenny decided she wanted the Mech to have a huge sword (600 M-Yen, pocket change), he would die in the first blow. The Dragon Exxo also has Armour 5. Armour 5, by the way, says "no, fuck you, I take 5 less damage regardless of what you or I roll".
Unless the goon has armour piercing, which, being a goon, he doesn't.
SEXPERT IS REALLY A BAD SKILL
Now we get to Sexpert. And Pheromones. The latter on its own would be a useful tool for calming people down or manipulating them, to be used by either gender. The former, used by either gender in anything but a mature group, is going to be CthulhuTech wrong no matter how you spin it. Using it this way is going to make you all rather ill. But god-damn, I'm going to justify this eldritch abomination, and I'm going to do it in a suitably eldritch and terrible way!
Jenny meets Goon. Goon understandably wants her dead as an affront to all feminists everywhere. Goon is a liberal male. Jenny uses her first action to convince Goon that giving her one before she goes would be a good idea. Goon, being a goon, has Brains 2. Jenny, being a horrible character that I really should have thought through before using her as a demonstration, has an effective Charm of 4, or Guile of 5 for this. Even with modifiers, poor Goon has, at best, 2 rerolls on his save, unless the GM is as horrified as I would be. In which case Jenny wouldn't exist in the hands of our example player.
Predictably, he loses. This gives her one of two options. I COULD mention how she uses Sexpert to, in a very literal sense, fuck him silly enough to let her go. Or, I could use the fact that Goon is now close to Jenny to kick off another example of broken combat.
I take a stiff shot and go for the latter option.
The Joy of Grapple, The Smoosh of DEATH.
Remember I mentioned earlier that everyone gets one standard and one move? Have some hilarity.
Goon was unlucky enough to get close to Jenny, either by her third-way feminist wiles (at least, I keep telling myself that), or through the fact that he tried to hit her (probably succeeding).
Jenny decides to grab him. Grabs are resolved like any other attack, but once grabbed, the grabbed has to beat the grabee in an opposed Health (Physical Strength) test.
Now, to be fair, they are equal. But I hadn't talked about opposed tests before. Opposed tests are exactly what they say on the tin. Goon takes a test with Jenny's 3 health as difficulty, and Jenny takes a test with GOON'S 3 health as Difficulty. Whoever scores the most successes wins. Obviously, the most common result is going to be a tie, and will take up Goon's standard action regardless. Even if he wins, and moves away, Jenny can move after him and try to grab him again.
Assuming Goon doesn't break free on his turn, Jenny has two choices. Either she can make an opposed test of her own, where any successes she makes over Goon do 1 damage, or she can just start choking him. Choking is the same as Suffocation, which means, for every turn Goon can't breathe, he has to make a Health check. The difficulty starts at 1, and goes up by 1 for every turn he cannot breathe. Once he
fails, he loses consciousness. Once unconscious, they'll take 1 damage every turn until they can breathe again, in which case they recover in 1d10 minutes. Unless they've taken 8 damage levels out of 10, which leads to the next subject.
Damage, Healing, and Falling
Now, as I've mentioned quite a few times now, every PC and NPC has 10 damage levels, unless they take a Capability that extends that (Robust, 10 Chi/Level). Once all these are gone, they have their Health in minutes before they die. Other players could use their Scientist or Technician skills to heal them (Technician has to have biotech specialisation).
But here's where it gets fun. You see, if they get to 2 or less damage levels left, and they don't have Regeneration, they're going to get... a permanent injury. If they don't succeed in a Health Roll versus the damage levels they've taken (generally between 8 and 10 difficulty as a result), they will permanently lose a damage level, and get a scar/disability/other permanent disfigurement.
Isn't it lucky that you don't take damage penalties on that roll? Oh, forgot to mention damage penalties, didn't I? For every 2 damage levels they've taken, characters get 1 less success on all rolls. Once they hit 8, they lose consciousness, and can only make (penalised) damage reduction rolls, should the enemy decide to kick them when they're down.
So, for a system that appears to emphasise combat, there really isn't much endurance to it all. As I've said before, and will say again, not a lot of thought was put into this product.
Let's move onto healing and falling, then... Healing is generally bloody slow, being 1 damage level per success on a Health roll v damage still there (2 max a week) without first aid, the same but without limitations when First Aid is used (read: Another PC or the character using Scientist... still a Health roll though), and a set level for hospitals of various qualities, being quick, but costing money.
Hospital Type Rate of Healing Cost/Day Alpha Plane 1 Level/2 days 5000 M-Yen Beta Plane 1 Level/4 days 1500 M-Yen Gamma Plane 1 Level/6 days 500 M-Yen
Now, most of the hazardous environment stuff is perfectly normal, but, as TombsGrave pointed out before, the "Falling Damage" section involves a very amusing example.
Falling Example posted:
Trell, smitten with the lovely Chi-Chian, follows her as she jumps off the 301st floor of the Mimitsu Lines Building, which is approximately 1806 metres tall. Chi-Chian uses her BioLogic armour to slow her descent, and lands safely on a nearby rooftop. Trell, not having any such luck, falls screaming all the way to the bottom, and minutes later hits the pavement below.
Aside from the interestingly specific number there, I don't think we need to comment on the stupidity involved. What we can comment on, is that the example then goes on to calculate the exact falling damage from a 1806m fall.
I won't bore you with all the text, but basically, all rerolls on falling damage add to the damage, instead of being a "best of" deal. Your Health provides the difficulty of the damage roll, and the attack is basically (distance fallen in meters/3). Now, what's amusing is that either Trell didn't fall all the way down, or the example is actually wrong . It uses 1140 meters as the distance fallen, which ends with 376 2d10s of damage roll, whereas she supposedly fell a decidedly larger distance. Either way, it was a bit moronic to actually roll for damage in an example like this.
Next time, we're going to talk a little bit more about the... odd setting, and a fair bit about the pre-written adventure, which is mercifully short. In the meantime, let's see how she did in the Webisode.
Episode 5 - Nahm the Magic Albino (Contains the only voice of sense in the setting... briefly)
Realms of the WHAT?Original SA post
Oh hey, were people talking about railroady adventures in RPGs where balance is a laughable concept?
SOUND LIKE MY CUE!
Chi-Chian: The Roleplaying Game - Realms of the WHAT?
Chi-Chian is a very strange setting. On the one hand, Voltaire was quite clearly trying for a sense of transhumanism in the world: Robots, Cockroaches, humans gene-modding themselves or mutated. But he was also going for grimdark, and the plain silly: The Patahn Pahrr are tyrannical evil monks who are mind controlled by caterpillars, wear skulls and bone-style jumpsuits, and are generally , in the Saturday AM style, while the setting's main characters include a somehow eternally naive chinese girl in the most powerful exo-suit ever made, a robot teddy bear who is an MD, and a sentient wormtrain that most likely has decidedly inappropriated thoughts about his owner.
So, we're going to wrap this up with an examination of the pre-written adventure, which showcases most of this. And then we're going to wrap it up, and move on. Thank Dog.
Welcome to "The Malodorous Seven"
Some pointless badassery to counterpoint the adventure. Not from the adventure, just the comic.
You'd think this would be a riff on something, but no, it refers to the fact that it's somehow written for seven players. You know, one more than a good 2/3 of roleplaying groups are comfortable with, if not more. There are some pre-written characters for this, but, as you'll see in my summary of them, the silliness that pervades the setting decidedly gets into the adventure...
Yuriko Nakayama - The niece of the NPC who sends us on this godawful fetch quest, she's included because "She ought to go along, her uncle sent us after all". She has a Dragon exxo, and is otherwise inconsequential.
Pavel the Cockroach - Pavel has an SMG. But weren't the cockroaches pacifist? Well, as you'll see from the remaining webisodes, that didn't last very long. This also lets us know that K-Seg doesn't affect bugs (natch, Soma the bug lover made it!)
Prahong/Pranee (Siamese Twins) - Okay, credit for at least trying to be interesting, but seriously, this "character" is a bit silly. She trained to be a paramedic, "but caused more heart attacks than they saved". They also mention that the two are arguing over a possible plot point (Mimitsu Research Initiative using untested medical drugs), which is immediately undermined by "They're so cute when they argue!". Seems not to have any links to anybody else. Great work for what is obviously the medic of the group.
Bob Dobolina, Psychic Friend - Your standard "con artist" character with a twist. He runs a psychic show that doesn't get any viewers except Bob, but he is psychic. Just not precognitive, like he claims.
Cassie O'Peagh, Pest Control - The second "unlikely buddy" pairing for Bob, Cassie is the stereotypical "I don't take shit from anybody because I'm insecure" type. Thoroughly unremarkable except for how she's tailored to the adventure (Hrm, Sewer Layout , I wonder if that's important?)
Chiri-9, Sexbot - Can best be summed up as "Hey, let's throw a lesbian relationship with a sex-toy in to highlight Cassie's 'insecurity'." She, obviously, has The Skill That Must Not Be Named.
Abdul Naseem Qafar Jamal Al-Hajeef, Taximech Pilot - No, you didn't read that wrong, he's a parody saudi. He's on speed dial as Yuriko's taximech driver, and a good excuse to mention taximechs. They're four story tall robots that you drive, with a Transport Pod for a head that can detach. They are the biggest, meanest... and most ridiculous thing in the setting. He's also notable for some obvious parody racism. Have a quote.
Abdul's fluff posted:
Abdul was raised by a strict United Arab Republican family, never to trust good fortune, and so he keeps his day job. He takes to heart the old UAR saying, "You can have liquid trees under your feet, but all it takes is one nasty army, and it all go bye-bye."
Ho Ho motherfucking Ho, guys. Guess how many "Tough mecha fight[s]" we are involved him that he is recommended for, and how much use his taximech is? I'll give you a clue, the number looks like an oval, and was allegedly invented by Abdul's nation. How appropriate.
I'm not going to talk about the NPCs until they come up, but let's sort out the adventure. The whole adventure portion is... 3 pages, so we're all good.
Taro Mimitsu, an elderly antiquarian who recently came out of cryostasis (yes, that's a thing, and many people do it, apparently) to check up on his "collection of increasingly rare antiquities", has been saddled with the welfare of Yuriko Mihama by her cryosleeping parents (way to go, responsible parenting!), who is currently going through a phase of partying with freaks and weirdos (Oh, hey, wonder who that could be?)
Despite the fact that Yuriko is a wastrel and a nonentity, Unca Taro calls on the Com to say "Oh, hey, one of my robots discovered the ancient Wo-Hop shrine, but almost immediately after it found something ancient and cool, I lost communications. Would you be a deary and go check on the robot/rare antique thing?"
That's not the exact words of the request, as the entire adventure is written in the dry adventure speak we all know and loathe ("He mentions [mcguffin], and asks [fetch quest]", you've heard it all before). Suffice to say, unless it's notable, I'm not bothering. In any case, he gives his niece the homing beacon frequency of the droid.
To set up some artificial suspense, the Mimitsu Corporation have listened in, and also have the frequency. Their task force appears twice. Guess how useful they are as antagonists?
The Wo-Hop "Shrine"
Okay, so it outright states Yuriko's personal pod will fit 2, and Abdul's taximech 5. There's a section about the K-Seg saying "Oh, hey, you're all from Alpha Plane, maybe you shouldn't come down to these unenlightened and violent places" (as if), and a general "describe how seedy the area starts getting the further down you go."
Yeah, thanks for the obvious... oh, wait, it's not obvious at all, because you have to flip through the encyclopedia, watch the webisodes, and get the comic to have any chance at all of understanding this balls-trip of a setting.
Anyways, they get there, and there's a thin plume of black smoke, which turns out to be from a robot that went boom from the waist up. Surrounding it are a bunch of Patahn Pahrr, who probably caught a bad case of "Mook Disease". The Wo-Hop "shrine" is ruined, and a plastic sign with that name on is barely noticeable among the rubble. Enter the "hot-cold" game. You see, the homing signal is nearby, but it's tough to work out where because of the rubble and stuff. It seems to be somewhere in the back of this building.
Cue a paragraph basically saying what you may have already guessed by now: Wo-Hop was a chinese restaurant. If you're really lucky (Brains roll, difficulty 10), you'll find an actual, surviving (How?) Fortune cookie... with the paper still inside! The mood of this discovery is apparently meant to be "OMGZORS, PAPER, HOW WEIRD!"
Anyways, the signal will get tracked (providing nobody is distracted by the OMG FORTUNE, which has no relevance to the plot) to a sewer grate, which has been bent open, and the signal's going into the sewers. Despite the bars being bent open, we will be told a paragraph later that nobody can fit inside, although we're immediately told "Pavel or Cassie will know of an entrance to the sewers 2 blocks from here, an old manhole cover." No roll needed, apparently.
Enter the Obvious Padding
Cue immediate hassle by our first proper NPC: Captain Maru Kobayashi. Considering japanese naming conventions (which are mostly ignored in this book), this name is pretty obviously one of two things: The writer (presumably Voltaire) thinking "Oh, hey, a Star Trek reference would fit here!", or the writer (presumably Voltaire) thinking "What sounds vaguely japanese?". I'm not sure which one gives him less credit, but we'll go with the least credit possible.
She is well armed, well armoured, exo'd up... and none of this will ever come into play with a half decent group. Cue two long paragraphs basically saying the following things:
- She is after the case (the one with the antique in, not any other kind of case).
- She will bully and harass people as a corrupt policewoman to try and stop them wondering how she got here so quickly in a generally lawless zone.
- She will try to arrest any PC who brings this up (Guile versus 6 to put the dots together, Player Vs Stupidity to actually say something like that out loud to a corrupt police squad)
- She will stop bullying people and let them off with a warning either when the GM gets tired, or Yuriko goes "Hey, I'm a spoilt rich girl" (Status). Remember, she wants them to find the thing, so she can steal it. This is not mentioned again, except in the most idiotic way.
Fun Among The Shit... Oh, And Sewers
Obviously, the GM will have been hinting pretty strongly that the sewers are the place to go, and, after some more "hot-cold" fun, we come to the one and only real combat encounter of the adventure. Some conversation is overheard, and it ends in the following.
Adventure of Retardation, Pt 2 posted:
"SHUT UP! Can't you see I'm trying to think?"
"But master, I think I saw..."
"I said SHUT UP!"
The PCs see a dark figure fly into their view from around the corridor and land in the muck a few yards away. This is the hapless intern that just received the brunt of Jack's temper. A boxing glove on a spring falls to the ground on the ledge just past the turn, and then gets pulled back.
Cue a combat with Manuel, Morton, Jack, and 6 Patahn Pahrr Interns (Basically, thugs of little brain, and probably small threat). Oh, did I forget to mention Manuel, Morton, and Jack? They're a trio of up and coming Patahn Pahrr thugs, who somehow lost the antiquities case, and are rather pissed about it. I'm not going to quote the rulebook on their characters, some retardation is just not worth reprinting, but I'll summarise each.
Manuel - Big bully with a bigger robotic arm. That's pretty much all the fluff in the NPC section says about him too. They repeat big a few more times, and add very once, because, y'know, emphasis.
Morton - He has a plasma rifle for an arm (all Patahn Pahrr have their left arms replaced with some sort of weapon or robot claw, you may have noticed), and it's not wired up very well. Occasionally, a red light will come on, blink, cause Morton to swear, and supposedly scare the bejeezus out of players. It is, obviously, a low battery light. He is supposedly such a scheming guy that, "If you turn your back on him long enough to shoot you in the back... he'll shoot you in the back". My, I can feel his guile and cunning already!
Jack - Tough and ruthless, rough and toothless. He doesn't have a left arm, only a boxing glove on a spring for a left shoulder. It takes a while (2 turns) to wind up again, but apparently it hurts like bejeezus. He is pretty useless.
So, cue one fight against decidedly uninspiring foes. The main danger here is the fact that everyone has 10 damage levels, except Manuel, who has 11. So, one way or another, combat is going to be over very, very quickly. Oh, and do remember that Abdul can't use his taximech in here. Those suckers are four storeys tall, remember!
A Useless Encounter, And a Resolution of Sorts
Hey, remember Maru, Kobayashi? By following the signal after the fight, you're chase by absolute hordes of Patahn Pahrr, and run into Maru again! She tries to arrest you with her squad and robots (thinking you have the case), then, after a few minutes, the Patahn Pahrr show up, she completely forgets about you, and you can run away, still following the signal that is actually behind Captain Maru. Who is not following it, as far as is noted.
Captain Unwinnable Situation lives up to her name in all the wrong ways, as she is never mentioned again.
So, following the signal, it will take some searching, but eventually, you find an airtight case being pulled along by... d'awww, the robot hand of the courier robot, still trying to claw its way home!
This makes no sense, but is handwaved. Now, the PCs get to struggle with a 3 digit combination lock if they want to open the case without taking it to old Unca Taro. Can you guess the combination? Think about all the references we've been given, and the character of the authors. It'll come to you naturally.
If it somehow didn't, considering how little the authors have thought anything through here... it's 1-2-3. Inside, is a pair of wooden chopsticks, still surrounded by their fading paper wrapper (It's pictured on the previous two pages, and it really is a generic pair of restaurant chopsticks). It is, due to the fact that OMGZORS, PAPER AND WOOD, worth 50 million M-Yen. If anyone works this out, instead of going "durr, chopsticks ?" like a sane person, Unca Taro will call up and offhandedly mention you're right on top of the tracking signal, that he's been following all this time. Way to go, you railroading bastard.
Unca Taro will, obviously (?) be ecstatic, and, if the PCs haven't figured out how to open the case, he will open it, show them, crow with delight while spinning in his hoverchair, and give them moneys. If the case and contents are in perfect condition (and there's no mention of anything that would stop this from happening), he'll pay them 100,000 M-Yen. Yep, that's right. Half that if it's damaged. He'll pay for any hospital or decontam costs (most likely fairly high from the one fight), Yuriko gets to borrow a jacket that was never mentioned before, unless they mean the chopstick jacket, in which case... what?
Either way, they may or may not get some Status (up to the GM), Kobayashi Maru is never mentioned again, presumably all the Patahn Pahrr involved are dead, and 1 Chi each is awarded for:
- Giving the chopsticks to Unca Taro
- The chopsticks are still in the box, and they didn't somehow wreck the box between getting it and getting to Unca Taro (unlikely)
- Exceptionally brave, virtuous, or heroic deeds (Not much opportunity unless the GM pads it out further)
So, just in case that somewhat incoherent jaunt didn't get you... Nah, I'm not going to submit you to more Chi-Chian webisodes, you can go watch the rest of that series yourself at the risk of your brain melting from between your ears. I'm just gonna wrap this up with my final thoughts, and move onto a decidedly better game next week.
Chi-Chian: Final Thoughts
The Settings: Could have been workable, I can sort of see where it was going, but immaturity, grab-bag "this is cool" design, and things like sexbots and the incoherency of how it all fits together makes it incredibly hard to like.
The Rules: Doubles for crits on 2d10 is a bad idea due to basic probability, and the rest of the rules fall to similar bad design decisions that could have been conquered with... actual thought. That this game was apparently playtested astounds me. Easily broken, combat oriented despite the fact that one good blow can and will kill/permanently damage characters, stats not as important as you'd think despite surprisingly large advantages for bigger stats.
The Encyclopedia/Index: Both of these deserve a special mention, although I didn't deal with it much in the writeup. This is because, if you asked me to go through either in detail, I would ask you to try it first, and laugh as you hurled the book at the wall. The Encyclopedia suffers from the same lack of thought that the rules and setting do, rarely (but importantly) mentioning things either directly contradicted or adding to rules that are mentioned nowhere else, and many index entries don't actually lead to references of the subject being indexed.
Overall: It astounds me that Voltaire is a Professor of Visual Arts, because it doesn't show in the artwork, and he definitely isn't a writer. The two guys who wrote the game with him presumably weren't that hot either, or indeed well versed in roleplaying mechanics.
A little research shows that the company that published this (Aetherco/Dreamcatcher) published one other RPG (and apparently still do). That game is... C O ntinuum. What a fucking surprise.
Peace out, people. Next time, I kick off Forgotten Futures... I'll actually take a break this time, to allow this little piece of madness to sink in for ya.
Minor Edit: No really, that's the whole of the Chi-Chian review. No supplements, no detailed look at the encyclopedia, it's genuinely not worth futzing through the encyclopedia.