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Author Topic: Tenra Bansho Zero Fates Question  (Read 783 times)

Ghost Whistler

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Tenra Bansho Zero Fates Question
« on: February 14, 2013, 03:52:07 pm »
After reading this I must say I am very impressed with the way the karma system works. This is exactly the sort of melodrama I want in my game design, I may have to steal this idea somehow, but I would like to know more about how the Fates system works and what the scores each Fate has do.

In fact that thread is very interesting and Mr Kitkowski, whom i've never met or spoken to, makes some very interesting points in explaining - perhaps even defending - the game. The point about giving chits to people, which he observes as 'silly' is also interesting in that he notes it works. That's what's important; silly or not.
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zend0g

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Tenra Bansho Zero Fates Question
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 09:21:55 pm »
Quote from: Ghost Whistler;628198
After reading this I must say I am very impressed with the way the karma system works. This is exactly the sort of melodrama I want in my game design, I may have to steal this idea somehow, but I would like to know more about how the Fates system works and what the scores each Fate has do.

In fact that thread is very interesting and Mr Kitkowski, whom i've never met or spoken to, makes some very interesting points in explaining - perhaps even defending - the game. The point about giving chits to people, which he observes as 'silly' is also interesting in that he notes it works. That's what's important; silly or not.


Since the other interesting TBZ thread where we were talking about karma has kind of degraded. We can see if we have better luck here.

(For the writers if Eclipse Phase and CthulhuTech who managed to mangle the presentation of religion in their games, it should come as some small consolation to watch someone from Japan mangle Buddhism. You're not alone. I am not going to hold it against him too much as trying to make a religion fit a game system can't be fun. For example, karma is not a bad thing, it is not a good thing, it just is. And Buddhists shouldn't believe in fate, but we are talking about a setting that should be a mixture of Shintoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, etc. and its is bound to get messy as laypeople will believe what they want to believe.)  

I guess when I hear the word Fate, I think we are really talking about fates. TBZ interpretation is a little weird. I think he came real close with the karma-fate system, but kind of dropped the ball on the 10 yard line. I don't agree with his interpretation of Zatoichi 100%. I think a better framework based off that movie would be.

Declare one or more fates about your character. These are intrinsic elements of you character that make him what he is and usually only rarely change. Less is better than more. For Zatoichi, they are:
  • He is doomed to be lone wanderer.
  • He is a infamous swordsman.

You could watch a Zatoichi movie 50 years from now and these two things would still be true about Zatoichi.

These Fates don't have a ranking. They just are. At the beginning of the game after the introduction (as you need some information to go off of), pick two Attachments that tie you to the setting and story and they should be in conflict with your one or more of your Fates to be really interesting. These Attachments take the place of Fates in the normal rules. For Zatoichi, they are:
  • Want to protect and become friends with the villagers.
  • He wants to live in peace and settle down.

(Yes, if you want to be guaranteed to be constantly fighting, declare that you want live in peace.)

These Attachments have rankings like the original Fates. Since it is the GM's role to be a shit-stirrer, Zatoichi's peace is soon shattered as a band of ronin under the tutelage of a corrupt daimyo try to take over the village. Zatoichi  rises to the challenge and increases his Attachments from act to act as he spends an increasing amount of kiai protecting the villagers. However in the end as his karma costs mounts and his most dangerous foe lies dead in the dust at his feet, he cannot defy his Fate and must rid himself of his Attachments and travel on into the distance.

This lets you play the game of discarding Attachments as you need to shed karma without it causing your character personality to flip around as much.
 
One of the problems with either system is that karma isn't good or bad. So if bad karma can turn you into an asura, then good karma should turn you into the respective opposite. It's just that annihilation is a hard sell to players as non-Buddhists (and isn't an easy sell to some of them either :P ) as I expect most of them would be pretty keen to become devas. Buddhism is about escaping this endless cycle of death and rebirth whether your a god or a worm.
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Ghost Whistler

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Tenra Bansho Zero Fates Question
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 07:39:54 am »
Although i like the sound of these ideas - and might pick up TBZ when it comes out in print - they sound like they are best suited to the environment created by the game. TBZ plays in a specific way.
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Future Villain Band

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Tenra Bansho Zero Fates Question
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 09:44:46 am »
Quote from: Ghost Whistler;634760
Although i like the sound of these ideas - and might pick up TBZ when it comes out in print - they sound like they are best suited to the environment created by the game. TBZ plays in a specific way.

For me, the Fate and adventure/campaign framework in TBZ mimics movie series better than any game I've ever seen.  Each adventure, with its acts ad scenes and intermissions, is a one-and-done situation, so the next time you run an adventure, you could run it with the same characters, but thanks to their changing Fates and the nature of the game's character system, you could be playing them in a completely different way.

The best examples I can give are the first Star Wars trilogy and the Matrix movies -- Luke Skywalker in Star Wars is different than the Luke Skywalker in ESB who's different than the Luke Skywalker in RotJ.  TBZ allows you to mirror that perfectly, and makes each climax satisfying and complete into itself.