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The Long Long Sequel.

A search for hope in a land of only the dead.
Get the game here: https://nechronica.miraheze.org/wiki/Main_Page

Previous Thread:

Thread Question: How would you deal with Savants?
Is it straight combat or are they talkative?

The non hostile savant can be pretty fun
Careful with too many threads, don't want to burn people out.

As a PC, depends on the savant. Dismember and stagger locking with ball and chain is painfully effective.

As a DM, I don't use them too much in my games, preferring to homebrew giant and nasty horrors. They make good end of an arc style fights, good antagonists that show up to constantly make the players suffer until finally getting a big set piece. My favorite I ran was a toxic fan who was utterly obsessed with one of the PCs in their prior life. Shared a similar name that they picked to be closer to the PCs, even after death. They showed up just to gush about how cool it was to finally meet the PC. They even found the savant's suicide note that they killed themself to follow the PC into the next life. It made everyone extremely uncomfortable (in a good way). In combat I made them a hinder and support bot, so they continued to just be an absolute nuisance to deal with. In their final confrontation, the PC they were obsessed with scored a hit that would have left the savant with a handful of parts unbroken, so they blew like 2 or 3 supports to make the PCs hit a critical and do enough damage to kill them, so they could die by the hand of their obsession. Extremely fun all around.
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rare, but a mix of outright hostile, selfish and indifferent, full of pitty for the dolls, and VERY rarely, friendly.
>They make good end of an arc style fights, good antagonists that show up to constantly make the players suffer until finally getting a big set piece.
As a player, it sucks when the GMs do this because there's a bunch of mechanics and skills and parts that are either useless or a lot less interesting when the GM treats savants as boss enemies only.
>Dismember and explosive basically lose any distinction between them 90% of the time
>Since enemies don't have hit locations there's next to no playing with trying to adjust where they're getting hit, it's just a sack of HP
>Since savants are so rare and such, GMs are incentivized to stuff them with things that make it difficult or nearly impossible to hit them with the stuff that only affects savants, thus making the savant-centric stuff even less relevant.

As a GM, there tends to be Savants and then savants (mechanical) so the intelligent enemies can be rare, but the fun mechanics aren't.
I like to throw savants as roleplay encounters at my dolls. It can somewhat spoil the mood of being alone in a scary world, but getting to run deranged NPCs is something I don't often get to do. I agree with >>92319620 though, and think savants should show up as enemies more often than final bosses. You don't need to use the same location names, either. You can refluff arms to wings and legs to tail, now you have a pterodactyl!

>In their final confrontation, the PC they were obsessed with scored a hit that would have left the savant with a handful of parts unbroken, so they blew like 2 or 3 supports to make the PCs hit a critical and do enough damage to kill them, so they could die by the hand of their obsession. Extremely fun all around.
That's fantastic. Sounds like a great moment from a great game!
>You don't need to use the same location names, either. You can refluff arms to wings and legs to tail, now you have a pterodactyl!
As long as it's something that makes a bit of sense, that's fine too, as long as the gothic who took Vile Repast and Giant Scissors gets to destroy something every now and then, we're good. Also a funny thing about using savants vs horrors is a horror can always be completely blasted out by one really nasty crit where as a savant will take at least two hits to annihilate (if the doll is using Explosive, dismember will require a minimum of 4), so weaker savants can still get some use even against a PC built to tear them apart as long as you are a bit smart about part placement.
Maybe next time I should do a "JTRPG" general later on then once that dreamchronica story has been told...
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How dangerous are the intellectual tendencies of your parties court?
It’s a trope old as time and a staple of the horror genre but why are naive but intellectual characters slowly driven towards self destruction
I'm still going to blame the faggy autosage for this. People fuck off since the thread's autosaging and they don't look back for a new one and since the game is niche that might be half the people on the board who know what it is not even looking.
personally I don't really notice it until the thread is almost dead and on the last few pages of the catalaga.
Because nature of the reality we exist in is profoundly alienating to the human condition
I use savants in about 50% of the fights, but most of them won't or can't actually talk. I also like to shuffle and refluff parts between sections to represent nonhumanoid characters.

Good example was last session when our hero (2 p game) encountered a giant crab savant, made of Claws, Upper shell (with eyes, jaws, armor, brains), lower shell (armor, guts, no spine) and legs.

The crab could neither talk nor understand language, but the doll managed to avoid combat with it by bribing it with food and being nice to it. Might make it a pet later.
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These threads are coming at a bit of a bad time, but trying to story time an old campaign is tempting. Maybe in like 2 weeks in order to get art and at least the writing for the first few sessions sorted.
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but how common are places like towns with NPC's in the default setting? Is it mostly just outposts owned by necromancers where everything unknown is hostile territory to a group of PC's? Are there enough "people" out there to form neutral/non-necromancer controlled factions? (It sounds like baseline humans are basically gone).

I'm coming from a different post-apocalyptic setting like Engine Hearts and I'm trying to figure out how hard it will be to make NPC's, like a group non-necromancer controlled scavengers. In Engine Hearts, you sort of have to build NPC's knowing that the players could (try to) cannibalize them for parts, and I'm kind of getting that idea that could be a thing in Nechronica (from what I know so far).
I guess it's like in Dark Souls. Everyone undead and mostly insane undead (hollow), but occasionally you can meet some NPC or group of NPC's who still haven't lost to madness.
>Maybe this is a dumb question, BUT how common are places like towns with NPC's in the default setting?
As a general rule of thumb, the answer to anything for the default setting is "Whatever you want to do." Everything is left vague so that the players (and the dolls) can't know what they're getting into. The two solid facts are "The world is controlled by the dead" and "Humans no longer walk the earth" and even those are flexible in that there might be life that is even flourishing but it's strange and mutated. Humanity might not be extinct but they may be cowering in failing underground bunkers, just as two examples of how the general thread for things are.

>how hard it will be to make NPC's, like a group non-necromancer controlled scavengers
If you know your PCs well enough, dead simple. You don't even have to stat out NPCs they won't fight as there's no skill or stat system for NPCs out of combat. As the GM you shouldn't even be making rolls during the adventure/end phase, that's all on the PCs.

>you sort of have to build NPC's knowing that the players could (try to) cannibalize them for parts, and I'm kind of getting that idea that could be a thing in Nechronica
It can be if you wanna run that kinda game, not terribly familiar with Engine hearts, but in Nechronica, what you get from encounters is abstracted to "repair parts" split between basics and reinforced parts that could be used to repair those categories. Technically killing some non-hostile scavengers won't even give you favor unless they fulfill a karma or you take it to the battlemap. You can get away with building everything to purpose in this game and not bothering with anything you don't need. If you know the scavs, for example, won't fight back, just figure that they need action checks to overpower them (and/or catch them as they try to run away) and give them x amount of parts.
Apologies for some unclear wording
>and give them x amount of parts.
That should be >and give the PCs x amount of repair parts per success.
Generally nechronica games are not about the PCs tearing apart those who are no threat to them and being hopeful/optimistic in a dark setting, but if you DO want the PCs to behave in that manner or have a darker game you can give them fewer repair parts from encounters or Karma for attacking non-hostile characters. They don't have to follow karmas but it can be used to encourage certain dramatic options.
>How would you deal with Savants?

Very carefully. Striking accords and bargains with mentally unstable and physically capable undead beings is risky.
You can always stat an NPC as a savant or horror that you only use if the PCs attack it.

Main issue would be that there isn't much the dolls can gain from interacting with a town out of the box, but it's not a stretch to set up a barter system or a quest giver offering parts.
Your main hurdle would be Karma, since it's the de-facto currency and represents favor of the necromancer.
>Main issue would be that there isn't much the dolls can gain from interacting with a town out of the box
You'd basically be having character and plot motivation as the main impetus for interacting with a town.
>Your main hurdle would be Karma
Karma and favor are two different things. Favor is essentially XP, where as Karma are, essentially stage directions that the PCs fulfill to gain favor. Whether this is actually represented as something the PCs are aware of (as they get directions straight from the mouth of God) or as an out of character thing is up to taste.
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To whom it might concern, Murder Drones ep7 is out.
More of the usual - unholy amalgams of machinery and eldritch energy (with mentality of teenagers) tearing each other apart.
Now I wonder the likelyhood of another liveplay of this game happening again.

but who knows.
does anything actually happen in this one? Im getting tired of this show even though I really liked it at first.
Some exposition flashbacks, N has a brief moment of badassery, the primary fan theory about Tessa is proven right, Uzi keeps losing it, but still manages to find her mom or what's left of her anyway.
So no. Cool. Maybe the next one.
Just starting playing Nechronica last week. I'm the NC- players enjoyed the practice session but it was practice as much as me as it was for them.

These questions probably get asked every thread, and for that I apologise, but there were some things I wanted to ask about the rules and the game balance and would be grateful if anyone could clarify/offer thoughts.

1. If a part which grants AP (for example, the brain) is destroyed in combat, I assume the AP it confers is not immediately taken from the current AP but instead only from the maximum AP (meaning the effects wouldn't be seen until the next round), right?

2. Players can restore sanity points through conversation up to the maximum number of fragments of memory they have during each phase. So, assuming three fragments of memory, they can restore three during the adventure phase, if they have relevant skills potentially some during the battle phase and then once more in the end phase for a total of nine points under ideal circumstances? Do you put any restrictions on conversation checks or only grant them if something particularly pertinent was said or just let them have at it, because madness doesn't really seem like a threat unless you're laying it on heavy in each phase if they can reduce it by that much.

3. Favour. How much should they be getting? The pre-made beginner scenario, if I was interpreting it correctly, suggests four for a short adventure phase and quite a tough fight. Any advice on that front?

4. I'm sure this is explained somewhere in the rules, but what are Spirit Attacks such as the one possessed by the Banshee enemy as opposed to Blast/Shooting/etc. Do they damage parts as other attack types or do they do damage to sanity points instead?

Sorry, there's probably going to be a part two to this.
Part two:

5. Is expending favour points the only way to acquire new reinforcement parts or do you let players find them while exploring?
My players were wondering about attempting to take unusual reinforcement parts intact from enemies and using them themselves but rules as written that's not possible, correct?

6. We found that the amount of repair parts received after the battle in the sample scenario was quite low relative to the amount of damage the players had taken. I suppose that's an intended feature of the game, so that the dolls are usually on the backfoot and have to play cautiously or else start cutting down NPCs for parts rather than having enough resources to heal to full after every fight?

7. The NC chooses were damage is dealt to horrors. That makes boss-type horror enemies with expendable parts like a bunch of those ever-useless guts quite strong, doesn't it?
How do you choose what parts to have them lose? Do you advocate any sort of leniency towards the players in this regard, like having the horrors lose parts were they are stated to have been attacked by the players or some such?

8. Any other advice for a beginner NC looking to do his first Nechronica campaign and whose players are eager to do more? Something you wish you'd known when you started?
1. No. AP is lost immediately. You really don't want to lose AP parts.

2. Up to intepretation. Personally I treat end phase as almost guaranteed recovery as long as players put down some RP.

In adventure phase I allow conversation checks based on situation, usually as reaction of something happening in the world.

In combat rules as written.

But yeah technically you can reduce 9 madness per session.

3. Extremely difficult to answer. Enemy balance is really out there so best you can hope is give whatever feels right. I tend to hand out 6-10 favor + karma rewards per session so dolls can always buy something. More favor means faster scaling and is a matter of preference.

4. Only sanity damage

5. Not RAW but the concept is cool and I also allow it in my games (usually requiring a trick kill like breaking the part by diembering or breaking parts in a specific order)

6. Yep. The sisters are perpetually breaking apart, players making the choice of what to leave broken is intended.

7. It's intended. Horrors are generally your big bulky monsters that can take a beating before losing effectiveness. Enemies typically have only one or two parts that make attacks. If you could take out those parts first even the toughest horrors would be pushovers.
Managing where you do damage is left for fighting savants.

8. If you take the total favor dolls have earned to roll a doll of your own you get an approximately balanced savant boss.

Recommended fanworks:
Blast from the Past
Prosperous Electronica

OP fanworks:
Scarlet March
Armed Set
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Correct. Parts that increase AP increase Max AP, which is the value you get assigned at the start of the turn. Losing them after the turn starts doesn't affect your current AP (unless you're sitting at max when you lose it).

As a general rule, conversation checks at my group's table tend to be reserved for moments that bring the characters closer together.
>two PCs notice the third is feeling down, so they throw a surprise tea party for her
>one party member reveals a secret from their past to another in a show of deep trust
>the party accidentally distracts themselves from the gloom of the world with a dumb little game
>the Sorority gives a rousing speech
The idea is that it's specific to interactions that help the dolls maintain their sanity rather than just idle chit-chat.

I haven't run enough games to give much solid advice here but there's a formula in the book that goes off of threat level. Though it starts to break down if you play longer campaigns and no one manages to die.

Spirit attacks inflict Madness points equal to their damage value to a Fetter of the target's choice. They're also a really easy way to TPK a party session 1 if you aren't paying attention.

RAW it's not possible, but I've been in a game which tried to involve salvaging mechanics before. It is doable. Although in that case they wound up getting left by the wayside for what's probably the same reason they aren't included in the base game: builds in Nechronica are reliant on synergies and you usually build these up via the Reinforcement trees. Relying on salvage puts a lot of extra work on the NC to figure out what to include for salvage purposes.

Low threat level encounters are stingy, yes. Higher power encounters will quickly down you in parts though. It depends a lot on how you run the game and how your players handle things.
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Do remember that Horrors take extra damage from Dismemeber and Explosive (and quadruple damage if the attack has both). But yes, Horrors that are giant lumps of Entrails are a giant pain in the ass for most builds, which is part of why the book discourages you from adding too many to any one Horror. If you want a slab of something for the party to chew on, just put a Legion there.

But there has been one case where I, as an NC, allowed the party to break a specific part on a Horror. I forget what it was called, but it's that enemy part that let's a pawn negate area damage. As long as the Horror had that part it one of my dolls was hard-countered. It worked great on turn one as a nasty surprise, but on turn two I went ahead and let them lop off the problem part so the Thanatos could do her thing. I did this partially because I'd accidentally over-tuned the fight and was definitely going to just kill them if I played smart (and the enemies were actually supposed to be pretty dumb), but it also made for a cool moment for the party.

In a lot of ways, Nechronica is less swingy than most of the popular systems but the lower favor total you're working with the greater chance that the dice can just screw your party over. Just be aware of that in your encounter design if you intend for the player dolls to go the distance in a long campaign and do some legwork figuring out what sort of damage you can expect from either side of the fight per round and be cognizant of more niche defensive parts that could just stuff one of your players. Threat Level is a very 'rule of thumb' estimate.

Spirit attacks against fresh parties run a real risk of just killing everyone, depending on how aggressive you are with Madness checks in the Adventure Phase and how unlucky your players are. Keep in mind that at game start, Fetters are usually 1 from full.
If a part that grants AP is destroyed it only reduces the maximum AP until that start of the following round.

Players can restore sanity points up to the number fragments of memory they currently posses, per phase. So this can potentially be up to nine (9) madness points removed.
In regards to what constitutes a conversation check, the rule-book states that the Necromancer decides whether a check occurs. My interpretation of the rules is that conversation checks should be given for sincere moments, this is ultimately down to you as a necromancer (an example; Doll was fascinated with seeing the blue sky for the first time and wouldn't stop to look where she was walking, so her sister held her hand as they walked, to make sure she didn't trip. For that moment I granted a mutual convo. check with a plus one). For a new group's first session I would suggest being generous with granting conversation checks since staring Dolls are one away from going mad. Remember, each new round of combat add one madness point for all Dolls, so a long fight for a new group could easily turn into a TPK.

Favour gained is the total threat level of the enemies in the session, plus two for each completed Karma, and then divided by the number of players. Each player gains that much favour.
In regards to combat, it will depend on the parts of your group (any Doll equipped with dismember with a few damage boosters will make quick work of most legions/horrors) if you feel combat is becoming too much of a grind, have victory conditions be something other than kill all enemies. Combat is the deeper part of Nechronica so it will of course take up the most time during a session.

Spirit attacks occur in the same manner as normal attack checks. However, they do not damage the target's parts, they inflict Madness points instead, and thus, can't be blocked with defends or trigger any other abilities with a 'Damage' timing.
Impossible via RAW. It's up to you how you flavour gaining reinforcement parts.

This can happen, be it down to players not being properly equipped to fight a specific enemy, or just bad luck. Remember you can spend favour points to heal damaged parts if you need to.

Yes it is true, but that only means that the horrors are an actual threat rather than something that can be hit once and then ignored since all it's Move and Attack parts have been sniped off. Also, as I mentioned before dismember is pretty OP and when paired with other effects, the Dolls will be easily cleaving apart most enemies.
I played a Thanatos with monofilament, calamity, god of death, trusted companion, and carnage, and could pretty much annihilate entire areas on the map. I really became that guy during that game, I couldn't complain when the Necromancer had three Scarecrows constantly blow me from one end of the map to the other.

I feel that Nechronica works better with shorter campaigns, approximately 5-6 sessions in length, this will mean that players don't become super OP but also means that the character development won't flat line.
Spirit attacks, when used en-mass can quickly lead to a TPK, reminder, that there are only five parts/skills that can remove madness points during combat and most of those can only be used once per turn.
Just because Nechronica has light rules for roleplay don't shy away from it since the Dolls forming bonds with one another is one of the core pillars of the system.
As others have said, you don't lose it immediately. You can give enemies parts that make them immediately lose AP upon destruction though.
You are correct though the majority of dolls will only be getting the madness reduction from their treasure from the combat phase, so most will be only removing 7 madness instead. Madness is a very tricky thing that's not that possible to "balance." A single roll that MUST be made can easily cause a doll to max a fetter, dolls can fail conversation checks, and other things that can cause someone to be near broken hearted while another doll in the party is sitting pretty at 0 on all fetters. You are correct that madness totals trend towards the low side as the game goes on, but that's nothing a few spirit attacks every now and then can't fix. Conversation checks and how often they're done and such are generally up to the GM.
No less than 3 for a simple fight but generally 5-8 for what you want an "average fight" to be. Resolution of major conflicts and the like can give more and no player will complain about getting a glob of 20+ favor for something earthshattering, but those events should be out of the ordinary.
Correct, that is not possible as per the rules, everything is generally "Damaged" as a result of annihilation (even dismembering a location "damages" the parts). It can be a fun reward to encourage risky plays and such but you're making it up on your own if you do that.
Repairs tend to be feast or famine as the threat rating is little better than making shit up and the sample scenario can be easily cleared with little to no damage by competent players or a bit of luck. That said, the game generally doesn't intend for you to be mauling random NPCs for parts (there's actually no rules for determining what you get from such an action). The Factory of the Dead scenario has the dolls gain madness if they attack the undead working the assembly lines for parts, and those are basically just machines.
With horrors you don't really have to acknowledge how many parts they really have to the players, so if you find you gave an enemy too much bullshit, you can just break important parts sooner. It is bad form to lean on this too heavily by giving everything too much, though. A good approach can be to look at the damage PCs can do and figure out roughly how many attacks you want something to take before going down.

Don't sweat it too much if dolls demolish your encounters too hard or if the fight goes worse than anticipated. It happens and PCs will probably get stronger faster than you learn how to balance combats which is part of where the consistent belief that the game "falls apart" at higher favor totals comes from. Use savants as more than just bosses, even if you have to refluff them to not be intelligent undead, they add a lot keep combats interesting. Start practicing with creating your own parts early, it's a vital part of being able to keep the combat interesting.
>Out of combat
For longer games, try to at least average a memory fragment every 2 sessions. That is at least one person is getting one every two sessions at minimum. Out of combat rules are exceptionally light by design, which means you can pretty much do whatever you want. There's nothing wrong with never having the PCs roll an action check during an adventure phase if they choose to play things smart. The GM should never be rolling during anything that isn't combat. Even if something that other systems would treat as an "opposed check," just do it as a modifier to the doll's roll instead.
Thank you all for your answers, they were very helpful.

I've heard more than once that it's a good idea to make your own parts (as >>92371362 says), has anyone got any interesting/successful part ideas they wouldn't mind sharing?

One last question-
Any resources for good tokens for this game? (going to be playing online)
The official site's download section is pretty sparse.
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Making tokens is pretty easy if you want to keep to the black and white style.
>find a pic
>set color saturation to 0
>crank contrast until the image has mostly flattened out
>clean up all the jpeg jaggies
>make the background black
>make the canvas a circle and then export
Works easiest on illustrations that already come with fairly flat colors but you can make it work on other stuff if you have the patience.
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I like to use token tool via RPTools. In terms of artwork I like black and white as a theme, as it feels like me and my players are playing through an ultra violent manga.

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