Nechronica ~The Long Long Sequel~

Probably the most memorable game that I came across at JGC was Nechronica.  (Warning: graphic imagery awaits any who follow that link to the true Nechronica site, by clicking the top of the two options).  It is put out by the same group that brought us Yuuyake Koyake, Tsugihagi Honpo.  This game, however, is a completely different world with a completely different feel.

Abject and graphic horror.  And, when the body parts are put away, real emotion.

Setting

There are no humans left on Earth.  They wiped themselves out long ago when they developed the means to turn the dead into supersoldiers, to fight in their wars.  They were successful in that, at least–there are no longer any wars.  But violence still rages as mutants, mindless undead, and twisted Dolls roam the ruined world.  Necromancers are those with the ability to twist the dead into any image they choose; they choose, for whatever reason, to create Dolls out of the carcasses of young girls, often twisting them and augmenting them with weapons, extra limbs, or grotesque bodies.  These little girls contain a fragment of memory of their life, and have strong emotional bonds with those that they travel with.  Which is good, because they’ll need each other to survive.  They can’t die (again), but they can be torn to shreds.

Character Creation

The players take the part of these Dolls, and in addition to premade characters, are able to create a character from scratch.  This involves choosing a combination of ‘types’, which determine how others see the Doll as well as what sort of fighting skills it will have.  Players must also then determine what ‘parts’ to assemble their Doll with.  You are literally creating this Doll from scratch.  You can add a tail to your Doll’s torso to make it move faster, or shove spikes into its legs to have it do more damage.  Chainsaws do tons of damage, and you can opt to equip a metal brainpan for more defense.  During battle, everytime you take damage, you’ll lose these parts as they are torn off or blasted apart.  After battle you can take the parts of fallen enemies to regenerate your lost parts.

System

The dice system is very simple: roll a d10, if it’s 6 or higher, you succeed.  During the “adventure part,” if you have a memory shard or a part that applies to the current situation, you can roll 2 dice and take the higher, but if you fail on both dice and roll a 1 on either, you fumble, destroying the part that was used in the roll.  Combat uses an abstract map detailing range and is built on a move-point system somewhat similar to games like the original Fallout games.  For example, a character might start off with 10 Move Points, which goes before anyone with 9 or less Move Points.  Attacking might cost 3 Move Points, lowering the character to 7.  Once initiative goes down the list to 7, the character will act again.

What I think

I had a chance to play the game with the writer, Ryou Kamiya, as GM/Necromancer.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised when all the players immediately began falling into our roles.  Before play begins, character relationships are randomly rolled.  These are basically the same warm-hearted relationships that you’d find in Yuuyake Koyake.  For each memory shard you have, you can try for a relationship bonus that will allow you to reroll and/or avoid bad statuses later.  In order to do so, you must role-play your relationship, with bonuses given for heart-felt playing.

The zombie children we started with very quickly became tragic characters with real emotions as we tried to push our emotions and feel out the relationships.  By the end of the first combat, every character became very real, and the over-the-top backdrop became a stage for serious and dramatic storytelling.  At the end of the scenario, when I ripped off my jaw to attach it to the head of the Doll we had to destroy so that it can talk (nothing else was left of its body), everyone got real quiet.  Before the situation became violent, we had promised never to abandon it.  It was moving in a way that even Yuuyake Koyake didn’t do for me.

I can’t wait to play this game again.

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~ by mattgsanchez on August 22, 2011.

8 Responses to “Nechronica ~The Long Long Sequel~”

  1. This game looks pretty awesome. When was it released?

    • It was just released this past weekend at JGC. If you’re in Tokyo, you’ll probably be able to find it at Yellow Submarine, Role and Roll Station, or Table Talk Cafe by the end of the week.

  2. I’m green with envy. Damned language barrier.

  3. Seconded, would buy this in a heart beat if there was a translation of it.

    TAZ

  4. I second that TAZ. Wow. If the game is half as good as in this review and notes I’ve read on it the game is likely amazing.

    Damn you America! We invented RPGs. Why are we making stuff like this?

  5. I heard of this earlier because of the artist who did the book and I am very, VERY interested in this.
    I have already bought the Maid RPG (from the same guy, if I remember correctly) and would buy this immediately if it came out for the UK, as would a bunch of my friends.

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