LoonyLadle
 member, 188 posts
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Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 09:07
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
This is my first post in this section, forgive me if this is a bit rough. Also, this concept is extremely anime and if that sort of thing bothers you then you don't really need to read further!


The Premise

On and off through the years I have vaguely entertained the notion of a game set in a dieselpunk fantasy world that is constantly at war. Smoke-belching armored vehicles sharing the battlefield with angry ogres and dim-witted trolls, that kind of thing. There might be some alchemists and mystics floating about, but (and this is crucial to the premise) there is little in the way of blatant wizardry. The weapons of the day are smoke, steel, and blood rather than old men with large beards and even grander hats bringing the elements to kneel.

Then, one day, a breakthrough. A small nation discovers a way to release the energy bound up in human souls, to make pain and anger and sorrow manifest in dazzling displays of imagination and power. Early tests go terribly, however, as the devices responsible have a corrosive effect on those who use them. To solve this, the devices are stamped with the souls of the most empathic soldiers and citizens available and sequestered in shells of inorganic liquid, shaped and colored into attractive young women by energy fields. These new weapons, the cassimis, are able to draw power from their intimate soulbound connection with the soldiers to which they are assigned, fighting on behalf of their owners.


The Players

Players would take the role of either one of this new class of soldier, or their magical robot waifus. Between battles they would spend time building rapport with each other, drawing out emotional energy which would then fuel the magical abilities of the Cassimis with the cassimi's owner specifically trying to draw out types of energy that would be most useful for the mission ahead; the pure destructive power of Red Rage, the subtlety and stealth of Yellow Fear, the uplifting optimism of Blue Hope, or even the healing light of Indigo Compassion. In battle, the cassimis protect and carry out orders from the soldiers using the power drawn out in the intermission roleplay, and without straying so far as to risk breaking their soulbound connection; while the soldiers have to find ways to balance advancing their military's agenda while not losing their humanity from the horrors of war and hereby losing control of their cassimi.

Presently, I am considering having players make their characters using Fate; soldiers would make use of the mundane Skills of Fate Core, while cassimis would use a homebrew skill set consisting of emotional Affinities (set at chargen) and Charges (earned through roleplay).


The Problems

The ideal situation here would be to have a number of players playing each other's cassimis and owners, possibly with some players controlling one of each (although never their own cassimi's owner). The immediate problem I see is that I do not know how many people would be willing to play normal humans when superpowered bio-memetic robot girls are available, or how many players who want to play superpowered characters would be accepting of having a great deal of their agency dependent upon another character.

A big part of this experience deals with dominant/submissive relationships and playing around with expectations by making the supposedly-submissive role incredibly powerful and capable. The circles I tend to move in has heavily skewed my perspectives on the acceptability of such relationships and I am uncertain how many people would be comfortable with something like this.


What I Need from You

I would like to hear your thoughts on this campaign concept generally. In particular I would like to know (assuming you are interested in the premise at all) whether you would play a soldier, a cassimi, both, or neither; and if not both, is there anything can I do to change that? This is not the place to describe your character; we're talking strictly hypotheticals right now.

P.S.: Note that while I assume all cassimis are female throughout this post, this needn't necessarily be true in practice.
P.P.S.: It is also not absolutely necessary all cassimi owners be soldiers, though we would have to work out how a civilian ended up with an experimental military project.

This message was last edited by the user at 09:10, Thu 24 Mar.

Suedog
 member, 11 posts
Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 16:53
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
1. I'm interested.
2. I'm interested in both, but playing a normal human appeals a little more, since I know nothing of the system mentioned.
3. I'd think that working to a balanced give and take in the relationship would be an interesting psychological experiment in an RP setting.

Did I miss anything?
Dr. Schadenfreude
 member, 14 posts
Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 18:32
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
  1. I'm intrigued. This generally hits on a lot of tropes and themes that appeal to me.
  2. I'd certainly want to play a Cassimi, and while I'm not the most familiar with Fate it's at least a system I have a little experience with.
  3. Honestly something of a recurring theme for me is wanting to play powerful and competent characters while struggling with the agency that comes with that power, so this feels like it could be a natural fit.

LoonyLadle
 member, 189 posts
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Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 20:12
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In reply to Suedog (msg # 2):

Fate is a rules-lite system designed to give the lightest touch of a mechanical basis to stories that are more about the narrative than the complexities of the game. Fate characters famously can fit on a single index card. I wouldn't say it's a very interesting system, but it doesn't try to be and doesn't need to be for what it does. It's the system I go to when nothing else seems to apply, because I have an allergy to freeform stuff.

This message was last edited by the user at 10:29, Tue 29 Mar.

LoonyLadle
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Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 10:26
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
This isn't quite generating the discussion I had hoped. Maybe I should be more explicit in the sort of things I'm looking to hear opinions on.

Does FATE seem like a good choice for this game? Can you think of a better one? The setting-agnostic systems I know are pretty much limited to FATE, Big Eyes Small Mouth, and Mutants & Masterminds. Cassimis' powers are fairly nebulous and I don't think a more structured and defined character building method like BESM or M&M suit them.

Do you think the power and agency imbalance between the two types of players would be a problem, or that I might have a hard time filling the player roster with a suitable number of one or the other? So far I've noticed a clear preference for humans over cassimis, but my sample size is too small to be representitive.

Does it seem like the gimmicky premise could carry a whole campaign with a plot and resolution and stuff, or should I plan to run a shorter game with just a few major scenes?

That sort of thing, and any other immediate gut reactions you might have had while reading.

This message was last edited by the user at 10:28, Tue 29 Mar.

Dgiannantonio
 member, 101 posts
Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 15:35
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I'd be interested. This game seems wild and weird.

I'd be willing to play a soldier, a Cassimi or both.

I do not have access to FATE though so maybe this is a dealbreaker.
LoonyLadle
 member, 191 posts
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Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 22:18
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I'm pretty sure FATE and all its variations are available for free (with an optional pay-what-you-want system) legally from the creators here: https://www.evilhat.com/home/fate-core-downloads/

This message was last edited by the user at 22:18, Tue 29 Mar.

Dgiannantonio
 member, 102 posts
Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 22:52
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
If its free, its for me!
jdtucker
 member, 71 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 00:01
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
The way this game is presented, my first reaction is that it feels "creepy."

First off, WWI technology gynoid isn't close to being human looking.  Visually in my mind we are headed into fetish territory and focusing on a D/s dynamic reinforces the fetish concept.  Most 'Masters' seem to enjoy the power exchange more than the physical act but gynoid implies somethin.g more physical.

Second, if the power dynamic is what you wish to focus on and the strength of will, you have limited your examples and thinking to more traditional heterosexual 1:1 relationships.  Your narrow focus is likely going to attract immature male players and drive away female ones
LoonyLadle
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Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 01:25
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In reply to jdtucker (msg # 9):

I was worried some might interpret it that way, a worry I did myself absolutely no favors in attempting to dispel with the description I gave. The assessment is not accurate; I intend to take a neutral approach and let any given pairing decide the undertones of their relationship, and selecting a variety of relationship types out of the resulting pool. While I am certain that some will take the fetishized approach this is something I think a military organization would attempt to discourage.

The primary focus of the game is to explore the effects and consequences of having to maintain an emotionally open mind and maintain an intimate connection with another in a situation that would normally require doing the exact opposite, and how one can maintain their humanity and sanity in such conditions. In theory, at least. It is also a way to socially comment on such issues.

As for looks, nothing about cassimis is WW1 technology (unless you think bio-memetic gel and energy fields are WW1 technology).
1492
 member, 12 posts
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Fri 8 Apr 2022
at 20:19
WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In JD's defense, the thread is titled "WW1-esque," so I assume that's where he was coming from.

Setting that issue aside, this sounds like an interesting world, and I'd love to read the novel, but I couldn't begin to imagine how to role play a character in it.
LoonyLadle
 member, 193 posts
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Sat 9 Apr 2022
at 20:50
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
1492:
In JD's defense, the thread is titled "WW1-esque," so I assume that's where he was coming from.


Yeah but, first post...
quote:
(...) and sequestered in shells of inorganic liquid, shaped and colored into attractive young women by energy fields.


1492:
Setting that issue aside, this sounds like an interesting world, and I'd love to read the novel, but I couldn't begin to imagine how to role play a character in it.

True, and this is exactly the problem and doubt that I am having. This would make a great book or maybe a movie, but would it still be a fun experience when it has to move and animate in real time in response to the whims of 4-6 different people? Is it a compelling enough experience for me to be able to write a whole campaign with the expectation of seeing it through to the end, or should I write a smaller narrative that can be completed in just a few "sessions?" -- maybe fighting back an occupation in just one city and ending with an "and so it was that the resistance began" or something to that effect.

The mechanical aspects are already settled, I just fear interest drop-off. Not just from my players either; I'm notoriously fickle as a GM. ADHD is the worst.
V_V
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 D&D 3.5 or Exalted 2.5
Sat 9 Apr 2022
at 22:47
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I read this as the Ship who sings, great anology on non-humanoid (which this isn't) this is a hyper-sexualized Gyver, or Witchblade meets Tankgirl or some of the sillier lighter heart Ghost in the Shell. It also summons more FMA: (Not Brotherhood) WWI vibes, than historical WWI.

I'm interested. I say BESM or dX, personally. I'm willing to learn FATE, I've been meaning to anyway. I don't have reliable web access, so I'd like a chance to drop out without much warning (I will give warning, just not much advance) and I will be back, I just won't be able to say when.

I really wanted to see a game like this. I'd want to play the male soldier, with a tactical sense, but behind some massive mass of badass girl power. I'd want to have the Ship who sings type of attitude; not drooling, but fascinated by learning about the girl; flirting and asking them to flash the foe with blinding  flares, two forward missiles. I could go classic anime humor, or play it any more serios, up to Berserk level severity, but hopefully somewhere in between.

I could play the...cassimi (sp?--I can edit and see OP at same time)...but I would really play a more Wenry gear head, or Heavy Metal War goddess frame. Those who hunt elves tank might be fun; just replace cat with someone like Alita.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:15, Sat 09 Apr.

LoonyLadle
 member, 194 posts
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Sat 9 Apr 2022
at 22:59
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In reply to V_V (msg # 13):

I... don't really agree with your assessment of jdtucker. Xe makes a good point and the presentation is something I will need to improve when I start formally looking for players.

The problem with BESM (easily my favorite game system!) is that it favors well-defined powers. Cassimi powers are fairly nebulous and do not require that level of detail, and human characters would not have access to something like 80% of the character options. FATE, despite being a very boring system, is far more easily hacked to my specific needs.

I am glad you're interested though. I think I have enough data now (here and abroad) that I can say with reasonable confidence that I will not have difficulty filling a roster at the least, and sometimes that's the hardest part.
V_V
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Sat 9 Apr 2022
at 23:25
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In reply to LoonyLadle (msg # 14):

Well, you saw my post, and this input is primarily for your benefit, so now that you've seen it, and weighed in on it, and concluded it's irrelevance; I've edited my post to reflect this.

I'm fine for FATE, if you know what you want, that's a good indication it'll work better. I've seen people run identical plots, that follow a predictible beat, but the system they chose was staunchly what made the game work how it did. As long as you know, for me at least, I haven't read workd one on FATE, and will likely think I know something, after reading it twice, and you'll have to correct me "that's what that means" or "It doesn't work that way" that's fine. Have you looked at dX? It's also free. I love dX. By all means if it's FATE, I'll learn enough to make my posts, I may be a bit inept though.

I'll not say more, until discussion has ignited a new topic; and await the game link.

I like playing summoners in games, the long bearded, contorted finger gestures, and magical phrases type summoning; and while that isn't my primary Modus Operandi, I do enjoy it. Playing character whom themself is no threat, but the beast, monster, or in this case Cassimi; it a sheer force to reckoned with; and they oblige most requests gladly. Unlike  asummoner. I really like the idea of getting to know the character. Big O had very little personalty (that I saw) but I liked some of the other characters' struggling with the main character. It'd be nice to see the dynamic. Like I said, it reminds me of the Ship who sang, or Those who Hunt Elves (a little).
LoonyLadle
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Sun 10 Apr 2022
at 02:44
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
Don't hold onto the edge of your seat for a link; I don't know when I'll be running this, but almost certainly not until I've wrapped up my current live tabletop game. That may be a few weeks or a few months; party is currently fighting one of the campaign's three main BBEGs. I don't expect them to survive the third.
V_V
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Tue 12 Apr 2022
at 09:25
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I'm not waiting in with bated breath, don't worry. ;) I was just saying unless a new topic was presented, that I had not considered, I'll not deprive others of their initial thoughts, by advancing. Right now there's a focused line of questioning, and as time passes, I don't want to inadvertently bury that.

On the germane topic of BBEG's. I do have my concerns about a how that pertains to GM style, versus if that was something this game wouldn't be affected by. The other game you mentioned makes me pause, because you estimate group demise prior to the confrontation.

I don't want to segue into that concern, but if a game board develops, and I'm accepted, I would want to discuss that aspect, to feel comfortable with any investment.

I want you to have that information, to help you judge the pool of prospective players. That's all. :)
LoonyLadle
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Tue 12 Apr 2022
at 16:21
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
The party, a group of pokemon trainers, have made a commitment to try and destroy an intergalactic, possibly interdimensional, magical living crystal supercomputer that has been perpetuating a cycle of provoking and studying legendary pokemon attacks for the last seven hundred years. It's roughly the equivalent of a bunch of Call of Cthulhu players gearing up to try and take on a Reaper from Mass Effect. It is not even supposed to be assailable, but the party has managed to instagib bosses that were supposed to last several sessions in the past, have some very impressive resources, and are frankly suicidal. We're all in agreement that, success or failure, an epic orbital wizard duel against crystal dragon Cthulhu is an excellent capstone to what has been one crazy, four-years-long game.

It is a rather unusual situation that I don't anticipate replicating, and FATE is not a system that lends itself well to tactical combat anyways.
serrasin
 member, 16 posts
Wed 13 Apr 2022
at 03:10
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I am tentatively interested depending on how the final version pans out. I've played Fate before and found the slim mechanics to be a bit too bland. I would like to second the suggestions of Mutant's and Masterminds. For the same point level you could have the human/soldiers focus more on skills and merits, while the Cassimi could focus more on attributes and powers. This is just an example of how both character types can find equilibrium with mechanical distinction (tall vs wide).

This message was last edited by the user at 03:14, Wed 13 Apr.

LoonyLadle
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Mon 25 Apr 2022
at 09:54
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
Everything I said earlier about why BESM is a poor fit would also apply to M&M.

I've been looking at Cortex Prime based on a suggestion from a friend. I think it could be used for this game with a few tweaks but I wonder if the marginal improvement would be worth using a system that isn't free. Thoughts?

This message was last edited by the user at 10:16, Tue 26 Apr.

V_V
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Mon 2 May 2022
at 01:25
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
In reply to LoonyLadle (msg # 20):

Probably not, TBH. The free aspect, to me, makes me more than willing, but eager to see the concept. If I had to buy a book or work third hand, I'd drop. It is also due to my RL constraints. If Cortex massively improved your thematic control over conflict resolution and it just fit every place you felt it could, like it just "felt right!" than yeah, maybe...even then I'd personally work 3rd hand, having you or another player fill in the details.

It seems that the traction for this is still a bit slick, but it might have some improvement if you workshopped the concepts for fully on a board. In my experience, IC boards don't reach the same audience 1/1 ration. After about a month, it can be hard to justify new angles; especially if you feel fairly confident in the design philosophy and the posts here (one of mine included) that suggest system don't particularly compel you away from the original idea.

I think having a free system will also mature with the game. In, say ten months after you started the game, players recruited might be far more likely to pitch in on a free to read system. At that point it's just an entry barrier or time and meeting your degree of writing skill.

As was said earlier (IIRC--maybe that was just me), the concept is very niche to begin with. The less barriers to prevent play, I think the better. It doesn't sound like you want to stray from scope, because you feel confident in that scope representing your design best. I'd stick to that, unless, as I started this post with; it just checks a lot of boxes and lights up your enthusiasm.

I'm personally glad you vetoed M&M, can't stand the system. Not saying the same for you, but I know I'd be hard out for M&M. I have no interest in M&M, spool edition or splat edition, makes no difference to me.
serrasin
 member, 18 posts
Mon 2 May 2022
at 20:07
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I offered M&M primarily as an example. The main crux was that I'd prefer enough mechanical difference (while maintaining balance) between the two types of characters. I will echo V_V's sentiment about having to go buy access to a system being a bit of a block for me.
V_V
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Mon 2 May 2022
at 23:23
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I'll be terse. It's generally my preference to have a system that governs the "laws" of how a game's world works. What is realistic in a world is often dictated by those stats. I can cite examples, but I'd prefer to do privately. I'm supportive of trying anything legally free to read. I am, however, going to take the opportunity to ↑vote serrasin's sentiment, for I'm far from opposed to the spirit of the message. I think my only difference with serrasin, is that it's not an "opt out" for me, if characters end up blending. Personalities and intimacy, attitudes, for me are sufficient. Yes, I would prefer some definition in a war game, but only you LoonyLadle know what's coming from the system and what you as a person, with your creativity, put in the game that makes it fun.

This message was last edited by the user at 23:24, Mon 02 May.

serrasin
 member, 19 posts
Mon 2 May 2022
at 23:53
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
I don't know if I would say that light mechanics would be more than a strong preference for me. Obviously, I would take in the overall game concept, setup, and mechanics when evaluating my interest. I've played enough games and systems to understand my tastes, and I enjoy a certain amount of mechanical depth to serve as a framework to lay the game over. I could go further into that, but dont want to drift far from the thread topic. I am more concerned about reliving the experience of investing time and possibly money into a new system that I'll use once - especially with the spotty reputation of pbp gaming.
LoonyLadle
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Tue 3 May 2022
at 02:30
Re: WW1-esque with Magical Gynoids Powered by Love?
Cortex is a very prolific system; if you have ever played Marvel Heroic, the Serenity roleplaying game, and possibly dozens of others, then you know how Cortex works. Any single one of them would be an adequate rules reference without having to specifically buy Cortex Prime which is, to my understanding, little more than what the Cortex Plus Homebrewing Guide should have been. Plus, I think that the basic game concepts are simple enough that I could describe them briefly to interested players with just a few short paragraphs.

The more I think about Cortex Prime the more I think it might be just what I need for this game. A lot of the systems I need to create the intended experience are already there; crisis pools, resources, hitches, and a very hackable way of implementing traits. A lot of these things I would have to create myself if using Fate. Over the next few days I am going to experiment with writing up a Quick-and-Dirty-Cortex-Player's-Guide to see how simple I can make it for a complete stranger to the system to come in and get started with it. If it works out well I think I'm going to commit to Cortex.

It seems like there is still a lot of questions and discussion to be had about the nature of the cassimis themselves as well as what kind of gameplay challenges and advancement opportunities might exist. I'm still working out a lot of details in my head, and my head is not always a fast worker, but I think that if we are going to discuss such things in much more detail then it might be a good idea to take it to a dedicated board.

Fortunately, I have a dedicated board. This is not a promise that the game will be run soon; if you're not interested in discussing the game, better to wait until the actual ad comes up in Players Wanted. Anyways, clicky: link to another game