Help me to like Pan Pacifica

RamblingScribe
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Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby RamblingScribe » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:46 am

I'm really happy with Torg E. I know that there is no way that everyone will like every part of the game. I'm cool with that. Right now the part I want to like more is Pan Pacifica.

The thing I'm having the most trouble with is the zombies. I get that zombies are a big thing, but we have lots of outlets for zombies. I'm also going to say up front that I really liked the old Torg power armour gospogs in Nippon Tech. But I can live without them.

Part of the problem I'm having is the prevalence of the zombies. I feel like the zombies are so widespread that you can't have a good conspiracy adventure. There aren't enough conspirators left and everyone is running and hiding.

What I do like is that everything else about the cosm reminds me of Akira. I think if the zombies felt more like Tetsuo, I would be happier. Or maybe more like the psychic kids. They show up and cause problems, spread fear and rumours, but don't wipe out whole cities.

I guess I'm having trouble seeing how to blend high tech conspiracy and espionage with apocalyptic zombie survival horror.

Help me out!

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ShirtlessOBrien
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby ShirtlessOBrien » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:40 am

If I wanted to run a Pan-Pacifica game that wasn't about zombies I would just remove all the zombie-related cosm cards from the deck for a session, maybe replace them with some homebrew ones to keep roughly the same balance of Possibilities, and spend the session doing stuff about intrigue, ninjas, psychics or whatever else.

I could be wrong but I think the Pan-Pacifica setting has a very fragile status quo, in that PCs who are trying to get to the bottom of the zombie plague really ought to do so in a few sessions and blow the whole thing wide open, because otherwise there just isn't much to do except run away from zombies or shoot zombies. That's why the Resident Evil games that I have played start with running away from zombies but then rapidly move on to the evil conspiracy, the secret base and so on.

My inclination if I ran a PP game would be to rip that band-aid off and see what happens next. It's not like Kanawa won't have a plan for it.

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Kamelion
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Kamelion » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:53 am

ShirtlessOBrien wrote:If I wanted to run a Pan-Pacifica game that wasn't about zombies I would just remove all the zombie-related cosm cards from the deck for a session, maybe replace them with some homebrew ones to keep roughly the same balance of Possibilities, and spend the session doing stuff about intrigue, ninjas, psychics or whatever else.

Yup - this. I'm using cosm cards in my oTorg game and, while I'm also using a bunch of stuff from Pan-Pacifica to add depth to Nippon Tech (including changing the name), I don't want zombies running around all the time. If you want them (or something like them), you can still use industrial mutations and the like (which Nippon Tech had plenty of), but it allows you to lean more into the industrial espionage side of things, instead of the running and screaming side of things ;)

To be specific, I modified the text for four cosm cards - Outbreak!, Mutation!, Is That A Bite?, and You Don't Look So Good. They're now as follows:
I Predict A Riot - Play at any time. A mob of protestors, rioters, burakumin, or worse appears and is headed your way. All Storm Knights gain one to three Possibilities after they deal with the mob, depending on its size.
Mutation!: - Play when encountering mutated creatures, such as jiangshi. One of them mutates into a more powerful monster. All Storm Knights gain one Possibility. (I'm using jiangshi as a type of industrial mutation/experiment for when I need that kind of thing.)
Kanawa Patrol - Play when in a public place and not in combat. A Kanawa patrol arrives and carries out thorough ID and background checks. They attempt to arrest any they deem suspicious. This applies to the heroes, allies, and random bystanders. All Storm Knights gain one Possibility.
You Don't Look So Good - Play immediately when drawn. Your Storm Knight shows symptoms of industrial mutation. You do not roll again on 10s until the end of the Act. If your hero perishes during this time, they rise soon after as a jiangshi. Gain three Possibilities.

So the general mechanics of the cards remain the same, but the causes and flavour are different. If you like the idea and you're not able to mod the cards yourself, pm me and I'll send you my reworked copies.
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Kuildeous
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Kuildeous » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:48 am

I don't view the jiangshi themselves as a major plot device. They provide some tension since the outbreaks are seemingly random (and some probably out of Kanawa's control), but I've no interest in turning the realm into a zombie hunt.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the corporate intrigue and dystopian future. There may be some plot-driven jiangshi attacks but mostly they'll be a backdrop for the real stories being told.

I ran a demo in PP where I had no intention of using the jiangshi. A player played the cosm card that indicated an outbreak. Well, okay, it was player-driven, and it did portray the paranoia of the realm since zombies could break out at any time.

So I say love the cosm but don't treat zombies as a major plot point.
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Kamelion
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Kamelion » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:37 am

I think they're really, really cool and I can't wait to use them in my Torg Eternity game. In my oTorg game, the zombie thing belongs to the comaghaz, so I didn't want any overlap. But I really dig the way they add to Eternity's Pan-Pacifica cosm :)
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Spatula
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Spatula » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:18 am

I think it's pretty clever the way that the jiangshi have been integrated into the setting to create a sort of Resident Evil/near-future anime dystopia feel. I just wish it didn't take up so many cosm cards. Using 4/10 cards for the virus means that it's pretty certain any incursion into the PP reality is going to involve it, or alternatively deprive the PCs of possibilities. I'm not sure what you could replace them with to make PP more intrigue-y or more business-y, though, so I suppose I get why things are they way they are.

fougerec
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby fougerec » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:31 pm

I think of it as the state of things at the start of game. This is how Kanawa is taking over, by using essentially a zombie like false flag operation. As the PCs piece it together start to swap out the cosm cards for something of your own design. I think the Cosm cards are a great way to show changes to any of the realms.

Big Lurker
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Big Lurker » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:54 pm

I can't really add anything that someone hasn't already said. Each of the cosms has enough stuff that you can down play what you don't want to deal with. Yes, a player could drop a card, but that could happen in LL ( i.e; Dino attacks card when exploring a lost fragment of a conquered realm). Just play up a bit on Kanawa's containment of the problem.
Of course, now I've just gotten a plot hook involving Kanawa letting containment zones intentionally fail to deter government factions that want to reel in their influence...

RamblingScribe
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby RamblingScribe » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:01 am

I am thinking about all of these responses, and I think that I can make it work a bit better. I'm realizing that I am missing a cultural component, because I don't actually know much about Resident Evil. I do think that I will have to adjust the cosm cards

I might adjust the nature of the infection that makes the infected mind-controlled by the Jiangshi that infected them, and outbreaks focus around escaped or spontaneously mutated Jiangshi rather than swarms of infected.

I may even have a mechanism for dormant infected. They have the disease, are probably aware pf it, but can function normally unless they mutate, or a Jiangshi takes control pf them. During the initial phase of infection, people are more zombie-like, but fairly docile unless driven by a Jiangshi.

Still thinking about it.

Zackzenobi
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Re: Help me to like Pan Pacifica

Postby Zackzenobi » Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:12 pm

I saw the title of this thread and I thought that I wrote it. I loved nipon tech there was so much you could do with the mission impossible - James Bond conspiracy Thriller cosm. We had so many different villains to fight we had Yakuza, Triad, ninja, samurai gospog and even the cops when the storm nights get framed. There were actual interesting stories to tell. But zombies are so OneNote. As soon as you played the day one Pan Pacific Adventure, you've played every zombie story. I'm hoping we can cure the Zombie Plague quickly so you can get on to more interesting stories.


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