Posted on July 10, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Now, we see the terrible price that members of The Anonymous pay in their ongoing battle against the Othersiders. Abstract Nova have sent us a sneak peek at some of the new mechanics introduced in Exquisite Replicas.
Psychological States: Paranoia
The Anonymous understand that the world is being replaced piece by piece. They have seen and confronted the Othersiders, and the odd and sometimes-grotesque appearances of these creatures no longer frightens. However, while the forms of the Othersiders inspire no madness in the Anonymous, there are other ways a character may lose his or her grasp on reality.
Exquisite Replicas tracks three psychological states for all characters: Paranoia, Violence, and Immorality. Each psychological state has a rank ranging from 1 to 5. Unlike other traits in the game, players do not spend points on these ranks; players determine the starting rank for each psychological state as they see fit. There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing high and low ranks. However, the greatest disadvantage to high ranks of Paranoia, Violence, and Immorality is that the character is close to losing touch with what makes him or her human. Should that happen, the character is no longer playable.
Players must assign a rank of at least 1 to each of the three psychological states and characters cannot have a rank of 5 in all three states. However, characters controlled by the Gamemaster can have ranks of 0.
Paranoia, Violence, and Immorality ranks can increase or decrease during play.
Although the physical appearances of the Othersiders inspire no fear in the Anonymous, the same cannot be said of their handiwork. The fact that anyone or anything might be a replica, or could be a target for replication, naturally makes the Anonymous very paranoid. After all, the Anonymous must be ever vigilant or they themselves could be replaced by the Othersiders. To say that the Anonymous have trust issues is an understatement.
Players must assign their characters a Paranoia rank from 1 to 5.
• Rank 1: The character knows that reality is being replaced piece by piece by the Othersiders, and the character is suspicious of strangers.
• Rank 2: The character is emotionally distant from friends and family.
• Rank 3: The character severs ties with his or her old life, choosing to permanently reside at the warehouse used by the Anonymous. The character forsakes his or her job and any material possessions that cannot be moved to the warehouse. The character is suspicious of friends and family.
• Rank 4: The character is on guard at all times outside the warehouse. He or she always wears a mask in public (any place beyond the confines of the warehouse).
• Rank 5: The character is on guard and suspicious of everyone, even the other Anonymous. The character will not remove her mask unless he or she is completely alone, not even around the other Anonymous.
A character’s Paranoia rank determines how willing he or she is to trust others and interact with them.
• Rank 1: Characters must make a successful Paranoia roll to interact with strangers.
• Rank 3: Characters must make a successful Paranoia roll to interact with family, friends, and contacts.
• Rank 5: Characters must make a successful Paranoia roll to trust fellow Anonymous.
There is an advantage to higher levels of Paranoia. The more paranoid a character is, the easier it is to detect Othersiders, simulacra, and those targeted for replication (the Scanned). Therefore, the higher a character’s Paranoia, the more he or she is attuned to the work of the Othersiders, and the more likely the character will be to uncover it.
Exquisite Replicas – Available August 2008
Visit the Exquisite Replicas webpage at Abstract Nova for more information and free downloads. More previews are on the way at Flames Rising each week as well.
Look for Abstract Nova products at Indie Press Revolution and at GenCon Indy this August (booth #2115).