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Violence Future: disgusting! And only myself to blame

Started by Ron Edwards, March 14, 2002, 05:29:40 PM

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Ron Edwards

Hi there,

We're playtesting the alpha-alpha version of Dav's new RPG, Violence Future (check out this thread for previous discussions). It's totally over-the-top techno-future cyberpunk with lots of demons. Dav freely admits that some of his design goals for Obsidian are being lifted and given a more Narrativist-design context. One thing that was discussed in the thread, and is still central to the game, is the somewhat tongue-in-cheek commitment to the kewlness of Japanese stuff as perceived by 1980s U.S. pop culture.

Anyway, it's no exaggeration to say that character creation necessarily results in an outstandingly horrid pig-bastard of a character. The whole point of play is to generate any shred of personal redemption out of this revolting wad of demon-drenched, perverted, psycho-killer,

I submit to you my character: Puji Blowfish. He's a big, big guy, hugely fat.
Ronin (please note that this game does horrendous violence to the traditional meanings of 'samurai' and 'ronin,' we?re talking corporate neon-lit urban Blade Runner slime)

Avarice d6, Depravity d8, Hate d4, Humanity d6, Sloth d10
(Hence, his Flaw and source of demonic powers is Sloth)

Skills with +1: Manipulation, Melee Strike, and Willpower (note that he has the other 12 listed skills, just not at +1)
His training includes Deadly Strikes

Powers: Armor without Substance, A Small Favor, Disarming Grin

Action Points 2, Body 14, Fate 2 (after first session), Soul 5, Taint 4

He has a typical Demon Blade, no special features, Connection trait: Insatiable, Hunger trait: Coup de Grace

His four starting relationships are all people (they can be things, places, etc): Koku his valet (Sloth), Jade his sex slave (Depravity), Kitsuhiji the rival ronin (Hate), Alicia, Kitsuhiji?s sister (Humanity)

Note that in Violence Future, one is continually filling out a developing webwork of relationships on a special sheet; the primary improvement mechanic is based on this webwork and the traits that define the relationships.[/i]

For those of you who've followed my Actual Play over the last few years, you know that I GM a bit more than I play characters, but I like doing both a lot. Furthermore, that my typical character until recently was highly alienated from his or her family, and that I've tried to break that mold deliberately in the last year and a half.

Hence, Ysidra Xo in Obsidian (twin sister, strong alliance with her), Donald Kinley in Little Fears (not a great family, but all about making it better), and Kakita Gan in Legend of the Five Rings (married to his True Love, good kid, solid family unit). All of these characters were a tad off in one way or another, but all of them basically liked his or her family and utilized family ties as a source of strength and identity.

Now, I'm playing Puji, whose closest human relationships include his sex slave, his valet, and a woman he's never actually seen. I'm responsible for this gross, vile pig of a human, and I chose not to have family members play a role in his character-relationship matrix. His first action in the game was to receive a blowjob from Jade.

This is disgusting! I'm not even going to describe the scene in which the Depraved samurai played by Mario was disgusted enough by the tactics of the other Depraved samurai, played by Kyber, to do something more wholesome, like paint pretty pictures on the wall using the blood of the fellows he'd just killed.

What's the point of playing such creatures? There is an answer.

The game includes very little positive reinforcement for 'good actions.' in terms of mechanics. However, the primary metagame mechanic is called 'Inviting the Taint' and it increases your 'Fate' score. When Fate exceeds your Soul, many interesting things happen, called Endgame. In this, Violence Future is a lot like Schism, as your character is now slated for death. In VF, the character becomes hugely more effective in a variety of ways. The whole point of play is, once you enter Endgame, what do you do? It's your swan song. All events up until now have clarified to everyone, perhaps even to your own horror, just what makes this person tick. Now it's time for a final decision, regarding any and all of the conflicts and relationships established across everyone in play. What does it really say about this person?

In other words, you provide the answer to the 'What's the point?' question yourself.

Not fuckin' bad, Dav. I'm looking forward to this.


Blake Hutchins

Sounds (gotta say it) fuckin' cool.  Can't wait to see more on it.

In hell,


Jürgen Mayer

Demonic cyberpunk samurais?

Shit, that's fucking brilliant!

BTW who is Dav? Is Dav = Micah or someone else of the Apophis crew?
Jürgen Mayer
Disaster Machine Productions

Ron Edwards


Dav = Dav Harnish. You'll find him listed with Micah in the Obsidian/Apophis credits. He is co-author of Obsidian and co-owner of Apophis Consortium.

You might want to run a search on his name here at the Forge. He's contributed quite a bit to the Publishing forum and to Indie Design. Check out my link in the first post of this thread to see his discussion of Violent Future.


Jürgen Mayer

Quote from: Ron EdwardsDav = Dav Harnish.

Oops, I'm sorry Dav.
Jürgen Mayer
Disaster Machine Productions



No problem, I am pretty silent over at Apophis these days, as most of my efforts are being placed into other things.  Not that Apophis is not still fun and going strong, just that my role there is finding different outlets.

All-in-all, Violence Future is building upon my first game design foray (Obsidian), and putting some of the more interesting and dynamic elements of system design (that I was exposed to via Ron Edwards and the gang at Hephaestus') to work on a setting that I can find a bit of enjoyment for.




Just wanted to respond and let you know that so far Violence Future looks great.  I haven't delved into it as deeply as I would like - had to read Hellbound first (excellent stuff there!) - but I think it's going to hang together for you.  I'm a fan of Obsidian, as a product, but I've never felt compelled to run it.  This I would run.

Although I think my appreciation would be deepened if I knew more of the soundtrack references.  I am completely and totally inept when it comes to music of any sort.

More to come...

Take care,