The same friend who gifted me The Men-in-Black RPG also gifted me Bubblegum Crisis MegaTokyo 2033-The Roleplaying Game (thank you Robert). This is based off of the Bubblegum Crisis anime. I was hoping to watch some episodes before I created a character, but unfortunately my January schedule has been quite busy. I’ve heard of this series, but I have not had a chance to enjoy it yet. I think it may be right up my alley as I’ve enjoyed other Anime like Akira, Cowboy Bebop and The Dirty Pair. Bubblegum Crisis is a cyberpunk game set in Tokyo years after it had been destroyed in a massive earthquake. A new city has been built over the old one. This lead to a tale of two cities with different standards of living between the two. Megacorporations (who else) built robots called Boomers to help mankind that over time, went crazy and started killing people. The AD Police and a group of vigilantes, called the Knight Sabers, are trying to fight off this threat to humanity.
Since I was using this system for the 2022 Character Creation Challenge, I opened up the book and looked at the first section. There is a brief introduction to the series and your basic description for first time players. Apparently this game is based on the Fusion System combining parts of Champions and Cyberpunk rules. Luckily on page 22 there is a lifepath generation with different steps listed. So let’s get started.
First step in the lifepath is to roll a d10 to select your personality. A roll of 8 resulted in “sneaky and deceptive”. Oh I like this character already. Next d10 roll for who he values the most came up with 9, a “personal hero”. Hmm? Who? I’m not familiar enough with the characters of the show to select one of them. Now there is a second roll on a different table for what you value the most and I rolled a 2. This gave me the result of “honor”. A sneaky and deceptive person who values honor? Well we’ve seen some pretty honorable bad guys in different anime series. The worldview is the last roll in step one and a roll of 10 gives me “people are scum and should be wiped out”, um… OK.
Second step is for childhood and early development. The family status is first and a roll of 8 says that this character came from a “well to do” family. He went to good schools and wore good clothes. Now we come to the first fork in the road. Was there any childhood traumas? Rolled a 4 which came up as negative. So we skip the childhood events and proceed to step three.
The previously mentioned step three deals with the life events after childhood. Sticking with the d10 you discover your age. Rolled a 2 and added it to 16 to make the character the age of 18. For each year above the age of 16 you roll against a life event, so two rolls for this character. This roll is a d6 which came up as 3 for the first year, roll on the friends and enemies chart. Back to the d10 we rolled a 9 which came up as An old enemy is now a friend (choose which one). OK who? Perhaps this could be the personal hero I rolled above? For the second year the d6 gave us a 6, nothing happened that year. Moving on to step four.
The character’s current situation is step four and requires a d10 roll. The 8 gave us “your involved in craft-work or construction.” Well at the age of 18 he would be just starting some sort of career. Artist or builder? With his “people are scum” worldview I don’t think he’d be a builder. So perhaps he is the angsty artist. Yea, emo boy angry with the world wants to be a singer. A young anime Morrissey who hated another singer and now they work together. Were the hell is this character going? The last item in step four is to determine the current outlook on life. Oh this should be good. A roll of 6 states “I crave more romance and passion”????? Actually I probably would have begged the GM to let me select one of the other options like “my life is crazy and out of control”. Yea let’s go with that. And that finalizes the lifepath.
The next page brought us to the stat generation. The book described the range for the stats (zero or less all the way to ten and above) with titles for each level (Challenged, Competent, Exceptional, etc.) with the average joes falling in the 1-4 range and heroic type characters averaging a score of 7. You have primary stats and figured stats. The primary stats are purchased with a number of points. Afterwards the figured stats are generated using mathematical formulas. The number of starting stat points are determined by the GM by what type of game they want to run. They range from 3 points per stat for a competent (realistic) style game to godlike cosmic with 8 points per stat. Lacking a GM I asked one of the voices in my head and he said to go with Heroic style (5 points per stat). With ten primary stats this character has 50 stat points to spend. Our primary stats are Intelligence, Willpower (determination stuff), Personality (think charisma), Technique, Reflexes (response stuff), Dexterity (balance stuff), Constitution (health stuff), Strength, Body (toughness stuff) and Movement. I tried to differentiate between similar sounding stats. I spent my 50 points, generated my figured stats and moved on.
Now we have the Campaign Options. This is a number of “campaign points” that you get to apply to your character to give them skills, money and other items. This is based upon the scale listed above (realistic to godlike cosmic). Since we went with Heroic we get 50 campaign points.
With the skills the first thing the game gives you is a free set that everybody knows. Thank you. This is something that I thought should be a lot more common in games. If I live in a city, I’m going to know things to survive/function in that city. So the everyman skills start with a level of 2. I can add to the level if I desire. The general skills have to be purchased with campaign points at a 1 to 1 cost. I selected the skills I thought my character would have, but did not spend all of my campaign points as I had other items to purchase such as talents. The talents cost 3 campaign points per item. These seem to be like feats in other roleplaying games. I selected a series of talents that I thought would fit the character. There are also perks and privileges (such as membership, renown, wealth) and complications (issues with your character that earn you campaign points if I wanted to try to min/max anything.
Now it says the character is done, but I don’t have any equipment yet. So I finally tracked down the interesting equipment section. Lot’s of info about some of the equipment in the show but I don’t know if my character is a person in a suit. I know they are not driving a mech. An entertainer is listed in one of the profiles but nothing about the equipment they would have. The money thing was based on the Yen, but I’m not certain how much I started with or how my wealth score came into effect. This is probably something I would talk over with a real GM (not just one of the voices in my head) and see if we could clarify stuff. So I’m going to stop the character creation now and scan the sheet for the website.
Oh, before I do that, the character’s name is Taxun. If I could find a photo of a young Morrissey I’d use that. If this was an actual Cyberpunk game, he’d be a rockerboy.
The use of the lifepath in this game was weird, but I liked it. It didn’t feel forced like I had experienced in other character creation systems. I could see how the creative juices had to flow to make it work all together with only one minor adjustment.
Thank you for putting each section of the character creation process with clearly numbered steps. Also a thank you to the writers for breaking down the character sheet in the character creation process. I really like it when core rules present this for new players.
Breaking down what each stat score represented helped with the character creation process. I could also see this being used when trying to homebrew something for this game.
Continuously dipping into the optional rules when they were not on the character sheet was a little distracting. The die rolls for actual play could be 1d10 or 3d6 as per the GM. I think the game should have decided on one and stuck with it.
The different styles of campaigns was also interesting. It would take a lot of thought by GM and players at/before session zero so that they are all on the same page.
This game suffers from a lack of “now equip” your character which kinda dissapointed me considering how well developed the first part of the character creation process was. I only had to use one bookmark for the game instead of multiple bookmarks and lots of page flipping.
The system seemed pretty straight forward (to complete a task, roll a die, add your stat and skill level and any modifiers and beat a target number). I wonder how the game plays at the table. While I’d like to try this game once, I don’t know anyone who is playing this or any anime style games right now. So I think my involvement will end with this character.
I am really interested in watching the series now to see if my character ideas would have changed.
The last days are upon us for the challenge. Will you be able to cross the finish line?
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