Posted in: Anime, Character Creation Challenge, Humor, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2024 Character Creation Challenge Day 11: Teenagers from Outer Space

When I received both a physical and PDF copy of Teenagers from Outer Space from my RPG.net “Secret Satan” (a play on words for Secret Santa) I promised that I would use this game in the 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge. And to keep that promise, I’ll be using it for my Day 11 entry. Looking through the book, it had reminded me that I hadn’t seen any comedic anime in a while so for the next several days I had been watching Project A-KO on one of the streaming services.

This core rule book was published by AnimechaniX (a division of R. Talsorian Games Inc.) that also published several other anime RPGs including Bubblegum Crisis. It is 127 pages long (Including the character sheet in the back) with the character creation rules starting on page 22. The PDF contains links to the different chapters. Thank you for having that set up as it helps out a lot.

OK first is the character going to be Human or some sort of Alien? Well duh, this is Teenagers from Outer Space so this character is going I want this character to be an alien. The types of aliens are Near-Human (perhaps just some cat ears and a tail or something minor), Not-Very Near Human (more weird stuff is on your body, but still looks kinda Human) and Real Weirdie (You got big wings or you’re just a blob). Human or not, what is your character about? So this guy is going to be an Icaanian Alien Prince who has been sent to school on Earth while his royal parents take care of business back home on Icann Prime. Are they OK, fighting to save the kingdom or already dead? He doesn’t know because his handlers are keeping him in the dark on purpose. Since he is unaware, he’s just trying to survive math and see if he can get an invite to the party on Saturday. I’m going to go with Near-Human with with green hair covering some small horns and silver eyes.

Alright, our second step is to come up with the statistics for the character. The stats used in this game is Smarts (i.e. Intelligence), Bod (Strength & Dex basically), Relationship with Parents (called RWP on the character sheet), Luck (self-explanatory), Driving (piloting anything from a car to a flying saucer), Looks (i.e. physical Charisma), Cool (i.e. mental Charisma) and Bonk (i.e. a mental or health stat like hit points). You can’t really die (this is a comedy game after all) but you’ll be shaken up and looking foolish for a turn or two if you Bonk stat drops below zero. I’m instructed to take a D6 and roll it for each stat in order. Heh, the book states if you attempt to re-roll a bad stat die that it may void the warranty of the game and may result in the self-destruction of the game book. I did not re-roll any stat generating rolls since I didn’t want to destroy my gift. Luckily the RAW states that I can then move stats around as I desire as long as no stat goes above a six or below a one. I rolled really good (three sixes) of which I kept two of them in place (Bonk and Luck) and move other points around. I wanted RWP to be low to match the concept of the character and I wanted better looks than what was rolled.

Next (it is listed Advanced Teenagers) is to pick a number of Knacks. These are basically special items that are connected to your stats but you are really good at. Roll a D6 and that tells you how many Knack points you have. I rolled a 3, so I could select three at one point each, one at three points or 2 knacks with one and two points respectively. I could come up with one of my own with the GMs approval or look over the list of suggestions. I’m going to go with Sweet Talk Guardian (he has a couple of chaperones from his parents keeping an eye on him) with one point and Dance with two points (he has to make himself look good at he party).

As an alien, he gets a Strange Alien Power (Humans have their own special table to roll against to gain some kewl stuff). There are five charts with six random powers. I can pick from three different charts and roll to see what the character receives (if any, nothing is an option). The roll results are Teleport, Monster Out (the character can transform into a 50-foot silly-looking rubber monster at will with Super Strength) and Talk to Aliens (the character can talk to anyone, animal or inanimate objects or living people). Weird, but that’s where the dice rolled. I’d probably talk with the GM to see if the Monster Out could be an involuntary thing after a certain event had happened just to make it interesting (say Bonk gets down to a score of 1). Teleport could be a defensive mechanism and Talk to Aliens could be part of his future roll as a leader and ambassador for his people.

The next step is titled “Last Minute Wrap-Ups”. They include selecting three basic traits that define the character (habits, preferences or world view). There was a suggested list, but I could come up with some of my own if so desired. For some reason when my eyes fell upon “Talk to Trees” it clicked. Perhaps there is no Trees on Icann Prime so he is fascinated by their wit and wisdom. How the trees will respond to him could vary from tree to tree, but I thought it would be silly. He is also Trusting and Forgetful. Why those two? Why not. The character gets a weekly allowance/stipend/source of income. To determine this I roll 2D6x5 which resulted in $45. Starting money comes out to rolling one more D6 and using that result to times your weekly stipend (in this case $180). On the character sheet you can see actual TFOS currency that could be cut out and used.

Also in this section is the items your character owns. You automatically get a vehicle of some sort (since most teenagers want mobility the moment they can) but it’s a piece of junk. You can use your starting money to pimp it out, but you still have other things to buy as well. I added a good stereo to the junky saucer (I figured the tunes may distract from the neon green paint job) and picked up a few items.

So Prince Zaxxod of Icann Prime has two chaperones/body guards (they have to take shifts) who try to keep him out of trouble, but he keeps trying to ditch them as third-wheels when he wants to go out on a date or go to a party. Little does he know that rebels from his home planet would love nothing more than to get a hold of him to use as ransom/bait/who knows back on the home world. Prince Zaxxod has not been told about the troubles on his home world (his father believes it would interfere with his studies) and has instructed the two body guards to keep him oblivious. Here is the character sheet.

Afterthoughts:

Since this is a game based off of Anime, I like how they used several pages of Anime art to set up a possible story-line. And speaking of references, they used several examples from Star Trek, X-Files, ET, Alien and more through out the book. I thought this helped as well.

There are conversion guidelines to connect this to the other R. Talsorian anime systems. I like how they used the term “Bubblegum 90210” as a possible example.

The system looks pretty simplistic. Roll a D6, add a stat/equipment/trait bonus and try to beat a difficulty number between 1 and 10. (LOL, out-think Mr. Spock is a difficulty 20) I could see this being a silly game to play in a one-shot or at a gaming convention.

Additional Notes:

After the success of finding a message board participating in the challenge in my visitor’s history, I took a second look and found two more participants. Another message board, started by a reader who has posted on several message boards, thank you. An another WordPress blog. I’ve added both to the links section of Character Creation Challenge page.

If you are looking for a new game to use in the challenge, or even play. Troll Lord Games has the Amazing Adventures 5E core rulebook in PDF for 50 cents. I don’t think you can even get a cup of coffee for 50 cents any more. They had put several of their 5E products for sale at this same price. I was able to pick up a few books at a massive discount. I don’t know how long this sale will be going on for so I’d recommend grabbing them as soon as possible. I used this game in the 202x Character Creation Challenge and I’ve been eyeing it for a possible one-shot.

Coming Up Next:

The Spy Game

This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Anime, Role Playing Games

The Power of Gaming 2023 Edition

Teenagers from Outerspace by AnimechaniX/R Talsorian Games

So in 2020 and 2021 I talked about the power of gaming. Several participants on the RPG.net forums would get involved with a Secret Satan (a play on words of Secret Santa) where we would all send gifts to each other. In 2020 I was thrilled to receive Mutant Crawl Classics and in 2021 I received two 5e books for Ravenloft and The Curse of Strahd campaign. In 2022, I messed up and didn’t get in the system in time. I reached out to the coordinator and was able to help out someone who needed a pick-me up, of which I was glad to help out with.

So when it came time for the 2023 Secret Satan, I made sure to sign up the moment it was posted. I know that the gifts I sent off were received (and loved according to the post my victim made). I even let one of the makers of one of the gifts know that it was well received. She blushed.

Today, my gift from Secret Satan arrived. It was a print-on-demand of the anime comedy roleplaying game, Teenagers from Outerspace. I also received an email that there was a PDF copy waiting for me at DrivethruRPG. My RPG playing daughter and I have already flipped through the rulebook. It reminds me a lot of some of the comedic anime series that I had seen in the past such as Louie the Rune Soldier, Ranma 1/2 or Project A-Ko. This game is published by AnimechaniX, which is a sub-division of R. Talsorian Games. This is the same company that released the Bubblegum Crisis RPG that I had used in past Character Creation Challenges.

I am planning to use this game in the 2024 Character Creation Challenge. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to play it. But I wonder if I’ll be inspired to try to run a one-shot for SaltCON.

Have you played Teenagers from Outerspace? Is there a comedy anime that would be perfect for this RPG? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Anime, Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

2022 Character Creation Challenge Day 28: Bubblegum Crisis

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.

Afterthoughts:

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.

Additional Notes:

The last days are upon us for the challenge. Will you be able to cross the finish line?

Coming Up Next:

Technoir

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