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Smirnov2

Trying to play Anima...

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I've been a fan of Anima Universe for some time now and when the game wasa finally translated onto English I was keen to buy a copy.

But what I saw under the cover puzzled a lot... Apart from beautiful illustration, colourful seting and the like, the game mechanic itself gives me creeps. The only question that spring to my mind is: "is the game playable at all?" Do all these rules like "checking to get the result, checking for the severity of the result, checking for the result itself" are nesessary? To my mind a cinematic game (which Anima states to be) should have simple, dynamic rules, so that you don't have to flip a hundred of pages each time your character got hit. And Anima is one of the most mechanic-heavy games I've ever seen.

To make it clear - I don't want just ti criticise the game pr drag about this and that being bad. I want to run an Anima campaign, but the sheer amount of rules disturbs me to the point of abandonning the game. Does anyone has similar problems? Maybe there are some house rules to lighten the mechanic? (A few modifications did come to my mind during reading)

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It's quite frightening at first look but the mechanic works well. The only thing I've changed is about fumbles. The check about Failure Level is useless IMO, so, I've decided to use 01=-75, 02=-50, 03=-25 (average checks) to the competence.

Then there are a lot of optionnal rules (for breaking weapons during block, for ex). I just don't use it except for very big hits, and only if it is relevant for a scenaristic purpose.

It's not harder than some other games... what's cool about Anima is the huge possibilities to do everything you want. Don't like the psy system ? Don't use it. Don't want to be disturbed by summoners and all the creatures you need to create for them ? Forbid it.

Ki technics can seem to be a large set of rules but in fact it's easy to manage, as most of it is about creating technics. Same as chargen, it's something you only do once at beginning (you can need some time to create another technic as your character gets more experience), but in game, it's not a big deal. Same for summoners... they need some time to work on creatures outside the game time.

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It's always frightening when the rulebook says that you'll need a calculator to play the game :)

What bothers me is the amount of tables and charts. So, I calculate Final Attack, roll it, compare to the result chart, then go to the other chart, then roll again, the go to damage chart...

How do you cope with that?

PS: yeah, fixing fumbles was my first idea. The second was to correct Saves roll, stating that "you don't have to roll a save if your save value is higher than the difficulty" and not "higher by 50 points" - well, for obvious reasons :)

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No, it's not that bad gui%C3%B1o.gif

You only need one chart : the combat table. You can download it on my website (it's in french, but french numbers are the same ^^) and give it to your players if you want.

And, on the character sheet you can download here or on my website, there is a scale to pre-calculate % of damages for 2 weapons. It's enough, most of the time.

So : roll attack-roll defense=difference -> look on the combat table. If attack>defense=%(on the character sheet), if defense>attack=counter-attack (same as beginning).

Is it really worst than roll attack -> look at the AC -> roll damages ? (DD3)

You only need to be able to substract one number to another. Some people would rather use a calculator (especially for long time games at the middle of the night ^^) but I never used one and it's not long.

The critical table is not longer useful when you've understood how it works : 1-50=malus equal to failure, 51-75=same localised (beware of critical points of anatomy), 75+=same with destruction of the member. And this rule is easy to change if you want to.

Psychic characters can have some character sheets with pre-made tables to copy their powers. It's the same as copying your spells on your sheet or looking always at the books for spells in every RPG.

Ki characters won't use the table anymore since their technics are made during chargen.

Summoners characters won't summon anything during combat most of the time (unless they are able to handle a -100 to summon in 1 round preocupado.gif) and should't know difficulties.

Most of the tables are only useful during chargen. I understand chargen could be a little difficult at first time, that's why on my website there is a good translation of the chargen tutorial (thanks to the translator ^^).

Did I say that the adress of my website was on my signature ? gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Thanks for the answers! The game looks much easier this way :)

One more question - how necessary are hundreds? Almost all values deal in tens - 50, 60, 70 - or fives - 45, 55, 65. So, what the point of rollind d100 instead of d10? (I know thats more of a question to the game designers, but still :) )

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Smirnov said:

Thanks for the answers! The game looks much easier this way :)

One more question - how necessary are hundreds? Almost all values deal in tens - 50, 60, 70 - or fives - 45, 55, 65. So, what the point of rollind d100 instead of d10? (I know thats more of a question to the game designers, but still :) )

I remember someone did a pretty good job of porting it to a d10 system.  The high numbers were probably influenced by Anime.  If you look at ccgs coming out of Japan such as Pokomon and Yu-Gi-Oh, you'll see that they all deal in high numbers.

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If you want to divide everything by 10 you can. Your players only need to raise their competences 10 points by 10 points. It's not a big deal to convert. Maybe for fumbles, as they work on 01, 02, 03 ?

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I remember someone did a pretty good job of porting it to a d10 system. The high numbers were probably influenced by Anime. If you look at ccgs coming out of Japan such as Pokomon and Yu-Gi-Oh, you'll see that they all deal in high numbers.
 

It makes sense - we all love to rank the character up to 99 level and make 9999-point-damage attack :)

Ysalaine said:

 If you want to divide everything by 10 you can. Your players only need to raise their competences 10 points by 10 points. It's not a big deal to convert. Maybe for fumbles, as they work on 01, 02, 03 ?

 Fumbles will be one thing, the other - numbers like 45, which are abundant, if I get everything right, when we roll for damage.

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Yes, dividing will cause some problems with such numbers (that ends with 5). IMO I won't advice it. It's not a real problem to have a 100 based system... substracting 143-32 is not a lot more difficult than 14-3... and it prevents you to change a lot of things (turn bonus/malus of weapons, etc.)

And, remember, there are no rolls for damages... the result of attack-defense gives you a % of your weapon base damages, and in the best case, it's already calculated on your character sheet.

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Ysalaine said:

And, remember, there are no rolls for damages... the result of attack-defense gives you a % of your weapon base damages, and in the best case, it's already calculated on your character sheet.

Yeah, keep forgetting about that... And it's quite new to me also :)

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thordred said:

I remember someone did a pretty good job of porting it to a d10 system. 

 

That may have been me. My intitial ideas were here: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=414743.  I did a bunch more work to create a streamlined version of the system called Aminima :) I found that there were multiple redundancies in the setting and unnecessary book referencing that could easily be removed without much effect on the overall system. However, I ended up going back to a D100 as increments of 5 are important.

Unfortunately, after a while I gave up on the project altogether though. There is a good game deep down in Anima but it proved more work to save it from itself than I was prepared to spend.

FWIW if you are not too tied to the specifics of Anima, but instead have a love for Anime Fantasy, there looks to be a more streamlined contender for the genre very soon called Eoris. The artwork is more consistent and of higher quality than Anima's IMO and the system seems more flexible and streamlined (again IMO). Plus its character sheets are gorgeous adn 1 page which is a nice contrast to Anima's utilitarian 4 pager :) You can download about 90 pages of pre-release information including a demo adventure here: http://eorisessence.com

 

 

 

 

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I sometimes honestly wish I understood what people find so complex about Anima. It has no more tables and charts necessary for play reference  than say, Shadowrun. Nor is the math particularly mind blowing.  If you are a Forge-ite though, your gaming philosophy probably will prevent you from enjoying it.

Also, the assertation that a cinematic game should have a rules light system is erroneous. Cinematics are just another aspect of Roleplaying, and Roleplaying is system independent and totally in the hands of the GM and the players.

As a side note, Eoris is just a SR  meet Star Wars D6 mechanically. I admit though, I am surprised that it actually has a decent mechanic. I expected it to be all style and no substance. First adventure's totally on rails, down to character's emotional reactions to each other, but it is effectively just a demo. The consistency of its art, by the way, is due to the fact that it is almost all one person, who is an in-house artist also involved in the creation of the system.

 

 

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Swordwraith said:

I sometimes honestly wish I understood what people find so complex about Anima. It has no more tables and charts necessary for play reference  than say, Shadowrun. Nor is the math particularly mind blowing.  If you are a Forge-ite though, your gaming philosophy probably will prevent you from enjoying it.

 

I would be happy to discuss but I beleive we have discussed the matter in some detail before and I didn't want to derail this thread.

FWIW I am not a Forge-ite.

Swordwraith said:

Also, the assertation that a cinematic game should have a rules light system is erroneous. Cinematics are just another aspect of Roleplaying, and Roleplaying is system independent and totally in the hands of the GM and the players.

 

I agree. However, Anima's problems are not its crunchiness, which IMO is about the right level. Its problem IMO is poor design leading to redundancies, inconsistencies and confusion. To give one example, there are three different mechanics for taking multiple actions, depending on whether the action is an attack, a normal action or a spell. Its just unnecessairly sloppy.

Swordwraith said:

As a side note, Eoris is just a SR  meet Star Wars D6 mechanically. I admit though, I am surprised that it actually has a decent mechanic. I expected it to be all style and no substance. First adventure's totally on rails, down to character's emotional reactions to each other, but it is effectively just a demo. The consistency of its art, by the way, is due to the fact that it is almost all one person, who is an in-house artist also involved in the creation of the system.

 

The demo actually reminded me of the fan-made one for Anima. I think the genre tends to linear scenarios to try and create anime style stories. Exalted's scenarios are also the same. :)

Though I agree that the demo overused the psychological impulse mechanic, I think that the mechanic has a lot of potential in an anime fantasy RPG. Add in the appearance mechanic and I think it has the genre nailed. IMO the mechanics are more White Wolf than either SR or Star Wars d6, though neither of those are bad parents to have :)

As to the art consistency, I agree and this is a very good thing.

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I agree. However' date=' Anima's problems are not its crunchiness, which IMO is about the right level. Its problem IMO is poor design leading to redundancies, inconsistencies and confusion. To give one example, there are three different mechanics for taking multiple actions, depending on whether the action is an attack, a normal action or a spell. Its just unnecessairly sloppy.[/quote']

Those items all function differently though, and that's the point. Part of the advantage of Magic is its autofire nature, for example. Normally, I might agree, but it may very well over-homogenize here. Could you list some of your other pet peeves?

Personally, my least favorite things about the system are probably Characteristic checks, and the Fumble mechanic, the latter of which I've streamlined and the former of which I haven't tinkered with. I really don't see the point of the +3/-3 mechanic for rolling a 1 or a 10.

Though I agree that the demo overused the psychological impulse mechanic' date=' I think that the mechanic has a lot of potential in an anime fantasy RPG. Add in the appearance mechanic and I think it has the genre nailed. IMO the mechanics are more White Wolf than either SR or Star Wars d6, though neither of those are bad parents to have :)[/quote']

I don't like the idea of telling people how their characters emotionally react to a situation, but that's a personal bias. I think the point of Eoris is to surrender some of that control with the expectation that it won't be abused and will effectively lead to more interesting scenarios.

I don't see the White Wolf in it. Storyteller is a pretty poor system mechanically. I do see a little of the d10 L5R system's degrees of success.

All I know is I went from thinking 'this game is skirting dangerously close to all flash and flair and no substance' to 'Hmm, I kinda want to check this out now even though the setting is so off the wall no one I know will want to play in it.' :/

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I would have loved to fix my quotes in the above post, but there's no edit function, nor do they conform to seemingly standard code.

How did FFG manage to 'upgrade' their forums (and by upgrade I mean, steal the exact same code and layout from Edge Entertainment's site) and make them worse?

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Swordwraith said:

Those items all function differently though, and that's the point. Part of the advantage of Magic is its autofire nature, for example. Normally, I might agree, but it may very well over-homogenize here. Could you list some of your other pet peeves?

I don't think there is a point. As it stands, there is no functional benefit I can see for having three different multiple action systems depending on what actions are taken. All it does is create confusion by having to announce the number of attacks you intend at the start but not the number of actions. With a little design, this could have been streamlined.

As to other pet peeves, the list is extensive. I started to rewrite the system and it came to many pages before I decided to put it on hold until I had chance to check out Eoris. If you really want to discuss it in detail, PM me. I am busy at the moment but when I get time I will go through some of the issues.

Swordwraith said:

I don't like the idea of telling people how their characters emotionally react to a situation, but that's a personal bias. I think the point of Eoris is to surrender some of that control with the expectation that it won't be abused and will effectively lead to more interesting scenarios.

Though I agree, that's not what the Eoris system does. You can ignore the Impulses you have, though the consequences of acting inconsistent to the beliefs you hold is a loss of self control. It encourages players to pick those moments to act against what their PC's hold dear and adds wait to decisions like killing the Id even though it is just a chold.

As such, it is functionally similar to Exalted's Limit Break System and Pendragon's Virtues, both of which are excellent mechanics that get across the emotional charged nature of the genre that those RPGs are covering.

Swordwraith said:

I don't see the White Wolf in it. Storyteller is a pretty poor system mechanically. I do see a little of the d10 L5R system's degrees of success.

Leaving aside the cosmetic similarities, Attribute + Skill dice pools vs Difficulties is the same system as WW's. FWIW IMO this is perhaps the best choice for an anime fantasy RPG. WW's system is the most well known in the world for narrative style of RPGing. As such, it is a sensible choice for a successful anime fantasy RPG, where IMO the narrative and drama are more important that tactics and combat. I also find that the WW system is incredible good for many RPGers due to its simplicity, transparency and visual nature.

Swordwraith said:

All I know is I went from thinking 'this game is skirting dangerously close to all flash and flair and no substance' to 'Hmm, I kinda want to check this out now even though the setting is so off the wall no one I know will want to play in it.' :/

I would have agreed up until the point that they published 90 pages of preview material. This exceeds the prerelease information for most RPGs I know of, including Anima which had no such information. As such, it is perhaps one of the most informed decisions I have made about an RPG before :)

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Personally, I find it entertaining that ranked among your biggest pet peeves are issues of of "rules redundancy" and "needless complexity", such as bundling all attacks in a round into a single action for the purposes of multiple actions, which is redundant and needlessly complex, or that's what you're saying.  The reason I find this so entertaining is that in your top five you not only list Anima, but Dark Heresy and Warhammer FRP.  How do you get from point A to point B?

Also, in a "sell me on a game" thread in which the reputation of a new game on the market hangs, saying "I have a number of problems with it, but I'm too busy to talk about them" is the single most dangerously disingenuous thing you could say, since you're making a claim that people will tend to believe, since you did buy the game, without offering any evidence that might be impeached or explained by people who are fans of the game and who may wish to see a supplement get published for it.  Even better is mentioning one thing, something that may or may not be the most damning thing about it but certainly will seem that way taken out of context, and challening people to say it isn't so.  In this way, you can say, "There, see, I did say something!"

How is bundling all attacks into a single action for rules purposes needlessly complex, anyway?  It streamlines much of the combat round.

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Skywalker said:

 

 

I would have agreed up until the point that they published 90 pages of preview material. This exceeds the prerelease information for most RPGs I know of, including Anima which had no such information. As such, it is perhaps one of the most informed decisions I have made about an RPG before :)

 

 

Yeah, they published 90 pages of prerelease material....two weeks ago.

Everything up until then, and this goes back before GenCon Indy, was pure hype. Hell, they wouldn't even let you HOLD THE PREVIEW COPY OF THE BOOK at their booth in Indy. They showed you a page. If you were lucky. Not to mention, the creators created a half dozen sockpuppet accounts to post on RPG.net singing the praises of THEIR SYSTEM.

They're a bunch of odd ducks with questionable business sense and morals, but they could worship effigies of Amelia Earheart for all I care if the system holds promise. Saeia powers right now loos a little underwhelming, and nothing on the vaunted Race creation system The base mechanic is sound, though,.

 

Leaving aside the cosmetic similarities, Attribute + Skill dice pools vs Difficulties is the same system as WW's. FWIW IMO this is perhaps the best choice for an anime fantasy RPG. WW's system is the most well known in the world for narrative style of RPGing. As such, it is a sensible choice for a successful anime fantasy RPG, where IMO the narrative and drama are more important that tactics and combat. I also find that the WW system is incredible good for many RPGers due to its simplicity, transparency and visual nature.[/QUOTe}

Attribute + skill dice pools vs. Difficulties is SEVERAL systems, at least one of which (Shadowrun) is OLDER than Storyteller. L5R d10 shares the same mechanic. It is no more 'White Wolf's than the concept of a guitar solo is Jimmy Page's simply because his are notable.

Also, 'narrative and drama' are system independent concepts. They do not hinge at all on the game I am playing, whether it be D&D, Anima, Storyteller, or Cops & Robbers. G/S/N is a fallacy, and bringing it in to play in a discussion, unfortunately, does make you look a little like a Forge-ite.

Storyteller also has wacky probability curves, especially at high Difficulty tests.

 

 

 

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Pneumonica said:

Also, in a "sell me on a game" thread in which the reputation of a new game on the market hangs, saying "I have a number of problems with it, but I'm too busy to talk about them" is the single most dangerously disingenuous thing you could say, since you're making a claim that people will tend to believe, since you did buy the game, without offering any evidence that might be impeached or explained by people who are fans of the game and who may wish to see a supplement get published for it.  Even better is mentioning one thing, something that may or may not be the most damning thing about it but certainly will seem that way taken out of context, and challening people to say it isn't so.  In this way, you can say, "There, see, I did say something!"

FWIW I have already done at least one extensive post on these forums to explain my problems. I also offered to take this discussion into a different thread or PM/email. If you want to continue to discussing them, I am happy to do so.

Pneumonica said:

How is bundling all attacks into a single action for rules purposes needlessly complex, anyway?  It streamlines much of the combat round.

If you take multiple actions in a round, the first is at -0, the second is at -25 and the third is at -50. There is no need to declare how many actions you intend to take at the start of the round. The number of actions you can take is limited by Agility.

If you take multiple attacks in a round, you must first work out how many and then each takes the same penalty. For example, two attacks are at -25 each, three attacks would be at -50 each etc. This does require you to declare how many attacks you intend before taking them. I note that this is often negated in one on one combat by almost similar penalties (but for some reason not quite the some reason) for multiple defences

With magical spells it is different yet again, with no penalty for multiple spells, except in certain circumstances, and the limit to the number of spells being based of zeon.

This is essentially three different mechanics for the same thing. What makes it worse IMO is that the three systems do have similarities. It would have been hard to reduce this down to one base rule.

This kind of problem reoccurs throughout the Anima ruleset creating unnecessary multiple similar versions of the same rule to handle slightly different situations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Swordwraith said:

Yeah, they published 90 pages of prerelease material....two weeks ago.

Second Contact, being 30 pages, was released before Xmas. Third Contact, being 60 pages, was released two weeks ago. The release date is not until April.

Swordwraith said:

Not to mention, the creators created a half dozen sockpuppet accounts to post on RPG.net singing the praises of THEIR SYSTEM.

This was proved, and report in that thread, by RPGnet moderators to be a false accusation of sock puppetry. The posters came from the US, not Colombian even. To date, no evidence that the creators were even aware of the RPGnet thread has been produced.

I am sorry you had a bad experience with them at Gencon. I wasn't there so I can't comment on that. I do agree that they are new on the RPG scene and non-USers. As such, they do have quite different ways of doing things than your standard RPG designer that can seem strange and odd. However, I don't understand where the vitriol comes from. They have been polite and responsive in any communication that has been reported and they have been forthcoming about their system and RPG.

 

 

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