Technoir is no punk

I cannot say that I like FATE. I am willing to admit that it may have been the learning process that lead me to that blasé reaction, but I suspect it is a little more. This being the case, I was somewhat surprised at my strong positive reaction to Technoir, the new game in development from Jeremy Keller. While not FATE, it has more in common with it than it does to most other systems.

Keller’s previous game, Chronica Feudalis has garnered a lot of positive attention, so for those who have been exposed to his work before the current raving, the excitement being generated about Technoir is probably not a surprise. Once again coming late to the party, I get to discover two cool games as the result of one simple click of a link over curiosity about the evocative name, and memories of the Terminator.

What is it?
All Cybered up and Everywhere to Go

In the beginning was the word…

In a nutshell (go here to crack the nut), this is a new “20 minutes into the future” game with an emphasis on noir characters and the underbelly of society, flush with cybernetics, crime, grit, and mechs on off-world colonies~  Sign me up.

How does it…uh… work?

To really get under the hood I heartily recommend going to the site and getting the free Beta of the system for yourself. As a quick overview, the system uses D6 of 3 different colors to represent your character’s skill, any extra effort they may be putting into an attempt, and any negatives which might hold them back. Characters are described in degrees of verbs and adjectives rather than pure numbers, and game play seems nicely balanced between points, and scores and aspects and tags. The system is light, is used consistently throughout the game, and comes complete with plentiful examples of use. In addition, there are already some great resources from beta testers:

Why are you writing about it?

The world always looks its best after it goes to Hell

Although this is my ‘Year of Ubiquity’ where all my major new projects will be using Exile’s fantastic roleplaying system, I feel that space must be made to at least try some sessions of both the Beta and final releases of the game. I have two reasons for this. One is simply my enthusiastic reaction to the setting and mechanics. The other is that my current gaming situation is with strangers with lots of RP experience, but limited to that really popular system I stopped playing around the time that these people were thrilling to the adventures of Dick, Jane, Spot, and Sam I Am. While I am coming late to the playtest, I think this sort of group might offer useful results in terms of demonstrating problems with learning the system, and establishing a baseline grasp of the setting. Hopefully, we can get something together soon enough for the effort to have some value.

That’s it?

Another reason to write a post about the game is that it grabbed my attention enough to decide to pledge funds to the Kickstarter project put in place to print a colour run of the game. This was my first experience with Kickstarter and I was impressed with its simplicity and payment options. It looks a bit like an addiction waiting to happen for the wealthy and rabid supporter of RPGs, but it does offer people a great opportunity to pool resources to help independent producers bring their products to life and ensure they get into the hands of those who really want to have them.

If you’re not ‘Cop’, you’re ‘Little People’
Actually, rat, but how poetic is that in this genre... unless said rat is Stainless Steel?

You were no punk…

So, in celebration of my own excitement, and in honour of the hard work of the author/designer who has inspired that excitement I have put up a link to the kickstarter project on my home page, pledged some of my own cash (including the extra 10 for international shipping to the other side of the Earth), and have shared details of the project with my friends. This entry is my attempt to reach some strangers with the news that Technoir is coming, and it’s probably cooler than either of us… but maybe if we are tough and earnest, it will feel some remorse when we die trying to protect the cold-hearted, mercenary-minded broad with more chrome than flesh that we love despite her near-complete disinterest in anything other than our money and our ride.

Stay Tuned~

2 Responses to “Technoir is no punk”
  1. I’m a big fan of the cyberpunk/future noir genre, but I’d probably use Cortex to run it. I’m developing a distinct hatred of FATE…mostly because “Cortex” has been infected with the system. Everywhere I look, FATE — it’s just a bit too freeform for me, but at least it’s not getting into the “let’s all cooperatively GM” thing that seems all the rage.

    I did download it, however.

  2. Runeslinger says:

    I am no friend to FATE either, but this rules set gives me a completely different feeling. What gets me interested mostly is the way connections are used by the GM to generate a story on the fly, but within a pre-established framework of potential.

    We are running a playtest next Sunday, and I will write up a report of how it goes. It strikes me that the game could go in the direction which neither of us seem to like (shared narrative control), but I suspect that it actually plays more like a more traditional game… at least, that is my hope.

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