Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fan Suggestions for Black Tokyo

In the comments of a previous post, Alzrius posted this, in response to a question I posed about what he would like to see in future Black Tokyo releases: 

alzrius said...
Wow, has it taken me too long to get back to you on this! Sorry for the delay, Chris.

In regards to what's missing from Black Tokyo, I think you've already got a fairly good handle on what's missing - namely, setting material that's more focused on the campaign as a PLACE, than on the mechanics. I remember being fairly confused by the location material in the first Black Tokyo, so something that tries to flesh that out more (pun intended) would be welcome.

As it is, I don't quite understand things like the setting's planar structure (this doesn't mean it needs to use mechanical planar traits, though that would be a nice extra) - the language seems to be alluding to it, rather than saying in the plainest possible way just what the Tatakama actually IS and how it interacts with the Material Plane.

Do the people living in (Black) Tokyo know about this? Or is it generally hidden from the public eye? Does it only affect Tokyo and the surrounding parts of Asia, and if so why only there?

I also think that the setting needs more iconic characters. I don't follow the Otherverse America setting too closely, but I still know about characters like Choice Meredith or the Ghost of Babies Past. I can't name one individual from Black Tokyo - to put it another way, I wish the setting got the campaign development that Otherverse America is receiving.

In regards to what I think Black Tokyo needs from a mechanical standpoint...what I really want, I mean what I REALLY want to see, are ways to make sex relevant in a mechanical context. I've blogged about this before, but ultimately role-playing games are reward focused, and the rewards are found in the mechanics, whether in-game (e.g. treasure) or meta-game (e.g. experience points). What's necessary to make sex truly tempting to the player-characters, rather than just the players (which would be awkward anyway) is a way for it to have some sort of reward mechanic. That's damn hard to do, however, and just handing out XP for having sex with a creature ("seXP"?), a la the Well Educated Slut spell (from TotT) isn't enough (and has its own problems).

Ultimately, the game needs not only a way to make sex have a reward mechanic, but also make sex (and, perhaps, a wider array of non-combat interactions) have as many options and variables as combat does now. However, I've only seen one attempt to make any such thing in the d20 System, and it remains unfinished and forgotten by the fans who were making it (due to the Book of Erotic Fantasy taking the wind out of their collective sails).

There are other, easier-to-attain things I'd like the setting to have, of course. I think you were wrong to immediately renounce "loli"-type material (the nikusui notwithstanding), though to be fair I also can't think of much in the way of mechanics for such a theme (beyond just saying "bust this race down one size category" or perhaps an erotic version of your Innocent base class).

I hesitate to say, where are the combat rules for sexually assaulting a character? In Black Tokyo, that's going to come up, either by a PC or an NPC.

I'd also like to see some sort of "sex magic" supplement, but I'm not sure how well that'd work with the Vancian casting that the d20 system uses. That is, this is how sex can be incorporated into the actual method of casting spells, rather than just new spells based around eroticism.

Those are just some off-the-cuff ideas, but I think they'd be cool to see.
May 9, 2012 5:24 PM

Anyway, I thought I'd post it up here, because Alzrius made some great points, and had some really solid criticism of the setting. I highlighted what I thought were the best points of the post. The one that really jumps out at me is that Black Tokyo lacks the sense of place, and personality that Otherverse America has. It's a pretty valid criticism after all, because OA is my baby. I've been living with that setting in my head since 6th grade, but that doesn't mean I should give Psi-Watch, Galaxy Command and Black Tokyo the short end of the stick. 

I still gotta disagree with including more loli-con content, not just from a personal standpoint, but because honestly, that shit is more trouble than its worth. The sex magic and a better social interaction system- hell yes. I've sorta danced around a deep social interaction system for years now, so building something like that, where seduction, manipulation, diplomacy, are just as effective at solving problems in game as combat..... it's something I'll build sooner or later. 

I've been thinking of revising Black Tokyo like I did with Psi-Watch and O.A., consolidating good information from later splats, cutting some of the dead wood and giving a better since of place. Plus, I'd been toying with the idea of building a POD version of Black Tokyo, so it might be the right time to do an "unlimited edition" that answers some of Alzrius' questions (and those of other readers).

I think Black Tokyo Legends: Races of the Tatakama would serve the same purpose that Species of Otherverse America did- take the bulky, character-generation sections out of the core campaign guide, put them into a kick-ass stand alone release, and free up core book page count for expanded world building and cultural info.

Anyway, thanks for the absolutely kickass 'want-list', it is definately influencing my future release plans. 
Blessed Be,


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