Saturday, March 10, 2012

Toypocalypse Review/Actual Play report

Last night I played a game of _Toypocalypse_ over G+ Hangouts. This is a review and a bit of an actual play report. Toypocalypse was written by Trevor Christenssen for the 24 hour rpg contest.

Here are the basics:

Toypocalypse is set in a world that's been abandoned by humans. Nuclear bomb, global warming, fireballs from hell, it doesn't really matter. There are no humans around at all and haven't been for decades at least (maybe hundreds of years). All over the world oppressive regimes have sprung up, run by sentient toys. Toy warlords have sprung up to hoard necessary supplies such as batteries and thread. You play a sentient toy in this society who is trying to find something better.

Toypocalypse uses a step system for conflict resolution, that I think is kind of innovative. The basic die roll is a d12. Incredibly difficult is a target number of 11, hard is 7, easy is 4. Your weakest attribute is a d12 with no modifiers. This allows for a chance of fumbles, as well as a greater swing in results. Each step that your attribute increases by you decrease your die type but you get extra modifiers. For example if you had a trait at a level of "Good" it would be a d10+2. Great would be d8+4, while Superior would be d6+6. This increases the chances of a successful roll, while decreasing the amount of variation in the results.

Character Creation
Character creation involves a handful of choices about your character. What's your characters condition? (Tattered, Pieces Missing, Batteries Not Included, etc.). How does your character move? (Hop, Roll, Tracks, etc.). What's your role on the team? (Leader, Schemer, Protector, etc.?). What power does your character have?

It's a simple process, and it only took us as long as it did because it was the first time for all of us. The conflict resolution was really quick to learn--our group had someone who had never done a game via Hangout before and who was only playing her 3rd rpg and she managed it pretty easily. I liked the character creation process, and the setting is pretty damn cool.

I really liked the layout. It was clean and uncluttered. The font type used was easy to read. Best of all the fiction that was used was kept short and was pertinent to each section.

Overall I was very impressed with the game, especially for being created in 24 hours. The one real criticism I have is of the way initiative works. I suspect that might be more a result of my unfamiliarity with the concept of declaring actions, then rolling for initiative, and a few more sessions might improve my understanding and familiarity with the system.

Rating would be an easy 4 out of 5 stars.

Actual Play

There were three players at this session. Myself, Jenna Parnell, and Adam Minnie. My character was a disease-ridden stress ball. Character's name is Bubo, short for Bubonic (as in the plague). Special power is an energy blast which takes the form of an acid spray.

Jenn's character was a harmless bunny that had been transformed by her owner's older sister into a killer bunny from hell, with real teeth. Character name is Bunneh. Special power is super speed.

Adam's character was a Popple by the name of Putter. Special power is elasticity, which allows him to use his pocket like a sling shot or a whip or any number of things (at one point he used it like a bolo to trip some opponents).

The Job:
Find a missing dinosaur named Bic, a triceratops with a broken horn. Biceratops eventually got shortened to plain Bic. Employed at the Cotton Depository, a bank where stuffed toys can store extra cotton. His friend hired the party to find him, because he'd been missing for some time now.

After searching Bic's house the party found a note. Following the clues they talked to a pirate captain named Scarbelly, who wasn't able to tell them much, other than that Bic was a passenger for a bit and spouted "crazy talk" the whole time.

Frustrated the party headed back to the Depository to interview Bic's co-workers. Most of them were too busy to talk, and those that did were not able to say anything useful. Eventually the manager came down. He didn't have much more to say either, though he did say that Bic was re-hired after the first absence, against his desires. That was definitely odd.

The party decided to head back to Bic's house to see if there was anything they had missed. Along the way they were ambushed. After fighting them off, they managed to capture HeMan. Bubo proposed a plan "You go to the person who hired you, acting like you succeeded in your mission. We'll follow you so we can know who did it. You can keep 25% of the pay and we'l let you live". HeMan had some guts and came back with a 50/50 split, they settled on a 60/40 split (40 to HeMan).

At the house the party saw HeMan go in, then come flying out as the owner tackled him. A fight ensued in the street, with Bubo joining in. Putter and Bunneh entered the house while the owner was destracted. Eventually the owner was subdued and HeMan ripped out the batteries as his payment.

In the house the party found a door, that led to a tunnel. Climbing into the tunnel (Bubo was in Putter's elastic pocket), they traveled down the passage until they heard some chanting (never a good sign). There they saw the bank manager and his two minions. Poor Bic was tied down to an altar and it appeared as if he was about to be sacrificed. The party didn't hesitate but charged the cultists and a ferocious fight broke out.

Cool stuff happened. Putter shot Bubo out of his pouch like a slingshot. Sadly Bubo's dice failed him on damage. Bunneh used her super speed to launch two attacks, hitting one minion with her feet and bouncing off him to hit the other. By the end of the fight Bubo was almost dead (down to 1 Pneuma--0 Pneuma means dead), but on his final attack he managed to connect with the manager and use his acid blast to melt him into a puddle of plastic.

The Characters

Captain Scarbelly's Guards

Captain Scarbelly's First Mate

Captain Scarbelly

The Depository Manager

The Ambushers

The minions (two of them)

The bank manager reveals his true self

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