Appleseed? Help!

edited February 2008 in Story Games
Hi. I'm looking for a game that will allow me to story game Masumane Shirow's Appleseed. Does such a thing exsist? I'm sure there must be a game that does this well, but I can't think of one. Specifically, I'm looking for a game that can handle a few different things, including:

Politics
equipment fetishism
complex police actions
squad based combat
exciting fire fights
world building and shaping
large casts of characters
romance
espionage



I can't quite think of a game that would allow me to do all these things. Or at least do all of them well. I could easily use two or three different systems and call it good, but I want something that really focus' on the strengths and themes of the subject. Does such a game exsist? Does anyone have a suggestion? Do I need to write this game in order to play it?

FYI, I'm talking about the manga, not the anime or the cgi film.


Jake

Comments

  • Posted By: jake richmondPolitics
    equipment fetishism
    complex police actions
    squad based combat
    exciting fire fights
    world building and shaping
    large casts of characters
    ...sounds like Burning Empires. I don't think that's too friendly to hacking, but your list fits if you add evil body horror worm aliens.
  • I love Burning Empires, but I don't think it's right for Appleseed. Also, I really just want to play Burning Empires, so I'd ratehr not hack it to do something else.

    I think I'm probably leaving out some stuff which makes Appleseed kind of unique. Can anyone who is familiar with the series fill in the blanks for me?
  • edited February 2008
    Yeah, it's nothing at all like Burning Empires. It's post-apocalyptic stories about ex-military people trying to fit in to a semi-fascist utopia that is uncomfortable with them, but needs these military-types to defend the utopia against terrorism and rogue states. My first instinct would be to PTA it, but that would lack the requisite crunch you'd need on the combat.

    Oh! Beast Hunters! You could totally hack it so you're playing a lone SWAT officer working alongside people who can't keep up with you. Have different aspects correspond to your colorful cast of extras, mix in enemies, and fill it out with fetishized weapons and you're ready to roll.
  • edited February 2008
    I'll keep thinking on this, because I think it would be neat if you could get the paranoid tendencies of the series down, criss-crossing the doubts of the characters with the sureness of their actions. Of course, parsing the philosophy that actually drives Appleseed is pretty difficult, as I always kind of feel like Masamune Shirow would be perfectly happy if we were all bioroids controlled by a central computer. Just so long as he could, y'know, garden and draw naked ladies.
  • Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0, with the supplements, is in many ways a definitive Appleseed RPG.
  • Posted By: RemiYeah, it's nothing at all like Burning Empires. It's post-apocalyptic stories about ex-military people trying to fit in to a semi-fascist utopia that is uncomfortable with them, but needs these military-types to defend the utopia against terrorism and rogue states.
    Oh, shit. yeah, that's the description. Thanks!
    Posted By: RemiMy first instinct would be to PTA it, but that would lack the requisite crunch you'd need on the combat.
    PTA is something I considered, especially for the large shifting cast aspect of the series. But I want something that emulates the fast tactical action and swat missions of the series, and as you say, PTA doesn't have the crunch.

    Not that I'm a big "crunch" guy. But I feel like i want something more then what PTA brings to the table.
    Posted By: Remi
    Oh! Beast Hunters! You could totally hack it so you're playing a lone SWAT officer working alongside people who can't keep up with you. Have different aspects correspond to your colorful cast of extras, mix in enemies, and fill it out with fetishized weapons and you're ready to roll.
    Oh! That might work. I'll take Beast Hunters to work with me today and read through it again. tahnks!

    Jake
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanCyberpunk 2.0.2.0, with the supplements, is in many ways a definitive Appleseed RPG.
    I know nothing about Cyberpunk. Is that the current version, or an older version? Which supplements would I need? Would it allow me to play something like Appleseed, or something like "D&D flavored Appleseed"? Would I be better off with with that or something like PTA?
  • edited February 2008
    Posted By: RemiOf course, parsing the philosophy that actually drives Appleseed is pretty difficult, as I always kind of feel like Masamune Shirow would be perfectly happy if we were all bioroids controlled by a central computer. Just so long as he could, y'know, garden and draw naked ladies.
    True. That's one of the things I'm interested in too, so it makes finding the right game even more difficult.
  • Cyberpunk 2nd ed (which is 2.0.2.0) is an older version, but pretty widely available. As for supplements: Basically any of them. The two key things which I'm looking at in the supplements are the increased gear fetishism and the introduction of full conversion cyborgs, which aren't limited to one particular book, but the easiest would be the "chromebooks" which are four catalogues of stuff to buy.

    It's not modern hippy Narrativist, as in the themes of the game are not necessarily right there for you to see. But it supports your list pretty damned well.

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • Hi!
    I was going to suggest CP2020 as well. As far as flavor, its closer to white wolf than D&D. There are no "races" and you get a bonus for your profession, but no penalties. That is, a fighter can hack and be reasonably good, but a Hacker can do it better (he gets bonuses) and viced versa. And the bonuses aren't overwhelming, like a Solo (the gunfighter) gets a bonus to spot ambushes and initiative.
    Compared to PTA, it is pretty crunchy. But I don't think it is more crunchy than TSoY...

    Of course given the themes of Appleseed, I think TSoY might be a good fit... thje equipment fetish support is not turned up to 11, but maybe the high tech gear could be secrets?
    Dave M
  • If you can dig up a copy, Underground might be worthy of a look too.
  • If you're not addicted to a single character or characters sharing the spotlight, In A Wicked Age with an Appleseed Oracle might do the right things. Especially the lack of stakes and the straight-up "I DO THIS" nature of the mechanics would fit the action-oriented nature of the stories. Gear could be represented as special skills (Like Deunan's tricked-out Guges), and getting beaten up and tricked is a pretty important part of the stories before the bad guys get their asses handed to them.

    I've been meaning to re-read Appleseed, and this all the excuse I need. Time to hop in a landmate and whup some terrorists.
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanIt's not modern hippy Narrativist, as in the themes of the game are not necessarily right there for you to see. But it supports your list pretty damned well.
    I'll take a look for these next time at Powells then. Or maybe Matt actually owns these. I'll ask him. Thanks.

    Just for point of reference, my favorite Appleseed story is The Promethean Balance. This is volume 4, the volume long investigation that leads to the confrontation with the giant landmate and Deunan's 3 to 1 warehouse fight. The way the story is balanced between Duenan, Braireos, Fang, Bolt and Magus, with Lance, Morton, Pani, Sudo and other characters filling in the background as needed, is just really, really neat to me. This was the chief reason I originally thought PTA might work, and one of the reasons I've been wary of more traditional games like Cyberpunk.
  • Oh man, Promethean Balance has that great exchange, "A little destroyer like you wasn't made for stake-outs," or somesuch. Yeah, that's Appleseed's purest expression.
  • My favorite line from that volume (and there are a lot of good lines) is Sudo to Bri after their little fight: "If we were enemies, I'd never have let you find me.We'd pass in the night, boy."
  • I would recommend Big Eyes, Small Mouth or the derived Tri-Stat game. BESM was pretty much designed to do manga, of all sorts, and it really does a pretty good job of it, especially in the way in which it handles characters-and-their-gear. It is barely in print any more, but is easily findable on the used and PDF market. I have no experience with the ArtHaus revision of BESM (third edition); I have a copy of the 2nd edition rules, and they worked just fine in my experience with them.

    A Tri-Stat "genre book" devoted to Cyberpunk is probably pretty easily found used or nearly-new; I don't think it's as on the mark as BESM is for Appleseed, but it's quite close.
  • Posted By: viktor_haagI would recommend Big Eyes, Small Mouth or the derived Tri-Stat game. BESM was pretty much designed to do manga, of all sorts, and it really does a pretty good job of it, especially in the way in which it handles characters-and-their-gear.
    I could see this for the equipment and gear fetish angle, but I'm not a fan of the system otherwise. I wrote Panty Explosion largely because BESM wasn't giving me the psychic schoolgirl game I wanted. But... was there ever a BESM Appleseed book? If so, I might want to check that out anyway.

    I'll go ahead and look over BESM again anyway though, based on your recommendation.
  • That's 2 votes for TSoY. I guess. I'll give it another read. Thanks.
  • I just came across this D6 Appleseed game. I don't think this is what I'm looking for 9I haven't read it yet though), but I thought I'd post a link anyway.
  • I wish you had posted this three weeks earlier. I was at my parents house and could have sent you all my books.

    What'd I'd do is use Cyberpunk and do some Ars Magica style character juggling, where everyone has primaries but there is also a shared pool of secondaries.

    The other note is that firefights in Cyberpunk will kill you deader than a doornail. So they're very thrilling but they require a lot of forethought, tons of running away, and a good deal of luck.

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • I think you could do TSOY, but you'd have to do a complete overhaul scenario with assigned characters a la Mark Causey's work with the game. This wouldn't be so bad, but would require a lot of tinkering.
  • edited February 2008
    Posted By: viktor_haagA Tri-Stat "genre book" devoted to Cyberpunk is probably pretty easily found used or nearly-new; I don't think it's as on the mark as BESM is for Appleseed, but it's quite close.
    Ex Machina. Would actually be my recommendation before BESM, simply because the system is, IMO, a bit better. Great for the Gear, does ok firefights and would be easy enough to mod for some extra indieness in World-building, Situation- or character generation.

    Alternatively, on could look into the ORE, which ATM is my go-to ystem for anything approaching ... not "realism" but the thin, crunchy crust of versimilitude that you see in things like, well, Appleseed. With Wild Talents, building your own [stuff] would be trivial, there is a free Mecha supplement available for it (Which might turn into a full-featured commercial game some day.) and there are also things like Cyberpunk or horror supplements, generally free, one could steal stuff from. It'd great for firefights, squad-combat and so on. And Reign, arguably the most modern incarnation of the ORE is a game anybody should have at home, IMO.
  • Posted By: Ben LehmanWhat'd I'd do is use Cyberpunk and do some Ars Magica style character juggling, where everyone has primaries but there is also a shared pool of secondaries.
    My group does troupe style pretty okay (not as well as my house group, unfortunately), so I think that will work fine.
    Posted By: Lord MinxAlternatively, on could look into the ORE
    Not finding it. Link?
  • edited February 2008
    ORE is Wild Talents, Godlike, Nemesis. Look for Nemesis, it's available for free and has the core rules. It's a breeding of ORE with Unknown Armies' Sanity system.

    BTW, I would appreciate a link to the ORE Mecha supplement.

    Edit: ORE is One Roll Engine. Edit: And of course, Reign, how could I forget, heh.
  • edited February 2008
    Posted By: Thunder_GodpermalinkwhisperquoteORE is Wild Talents, Godlike, Nemesis. Look for Nemesis, it's available for free and has the core rules. It's a breeding of ORE with Unknown Armies' Sanity system.

    BTW, I would appreciate a link to the ORE Mecha supplement.

    Edit: ORE is One Roll Engine. Edit: And of course, Reign, how could I forget, heh.

    Okay, I'll look for Nemesis. Or should I just get Reign?
  • edited February 2008
    Posted By: jake richmond
    Okay, I'll look for Nemesis. Or should I just get Reign?
    Look at Nemesis and see if you like the basic resolution system, how success is determined and so on. If you do, go and get Reign. If you don't like a specific part, start a thread about it, chances are there's some ORE-Varant out there that changes it. If you don't like the basic system at all, well, there's always another system out there. :D
  • The obsession with details in Appleseed makes me think to Wushu. I wonder if things like politics and world building could be handled with a 'macro' hack of Wushu, in which details are defined on a macro scale, instead of the microscale of personal combat.

    Another choice could be Wilderness of Mirrors, I guess.
  • The City Key is great. Olympus is such a large and vital part of Appleseed, anything that brings it into play is really awesome.
  • I wonder whether Spirit Of The Century would work? You could tinker with the gadgeteering rules to adapt to mecha-mechanick-ing...
  • No one's mentioned Torg yet? Torg 1.5 is available in hardcover. Scrap the background, add your own gear fetishism, you're good to go. Since Appleseed doesn't have magic you don't have to worry about Torg's magic rules. The Nippon Tech sourcebook would probably help at least a bit in the gear department.

    It has a scalable architecture so you can have humans, landmates, and those giant gun platforms all duking it out together, and it also handles one-on-many and many-on-one conflicts with a single roll.

    If you like designing your own guns as much as Shirow does, then for nearly any system you should consider BTRC's Guns, Guns, Guns 3rd edition (3G3) so you can design your own boomsticks. I don't know how well the Vehicle Design System handles landmates, but it alleges it can do anything from canoes to starships, so.
  • Posted By: Carlbut it alleges it can do anything from canoes to starships, so.
    Damn, I always wanted a canoe designing game! thanks Carl, I'll add those to my shopping list.
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