stdesjardins: (Steven)
stdesjardins ([personal profile] stdesjardins) wrote2016-06-27 11:37 pm

Origins Session Report: Kuro

I spend most of Origins at Indie Games on Demand, but they don't start running games until Thursday, so I signed up for a few specific events on Wednesday. Kuro was the first game I played at Origins. In fact, I played it even before I picked up my badge, since they decided not to open Registration until 7 a.m., and my game was at 8:00. (I bailed on the line and promised to give the GM my event ticket later.)

Kuro is set in a futuristic supernatural, cyberpunk Japan. The GM had a basic investigative scenario, with the PC's being troubleshooters for a somewhat mysterious employer, summoned to investigate a human skeleton that turned up inside a Buddhist temple. It was pretty simple to pull up video footage showing a monk getting devoured by some supernatural force, and when we noticed that the area around the bones was unnaturally cold I scanned in infra-red and turned up a mid-air silhouette of a robed monk radiating cold. But was that a remnant of the monk who vanished, or the spirit which destroyed him? We called on a contact we had, a supernatural being named Inari who we'd worked with before and who always took a different form. This time, he showed up in the form of a child, and after a couple failed attempts to persuade him to help (a video game bribe, something else) I said, "C'mon, Inari, we're friends, aren't we?" and did a casual backflip. That did the trick: he told us the spirit came from a nearby construction site, and the others went to investigate while I played with Inari.

The players investigating the construction site found a shrine the workers had disturbed. The missing monk had told them yesterday not to touch it. We worked out that the construction site had originally been part of the temple grounds, and the spirit of a condemned criminal had been bound by the shrine. So we browbeat the workers into relocating the shrine onto a secluded part of the temple grounds, and prepared to rebind the spirit.

A brief note about mechanics: the game has a neat variant on the exploding dice mechanic, where sixes explode (you re-roll them and add them to your total), but fours count as 0. (The word for four in Japanese, shi, is apparently a homonym for "death".) Plus, the GM keeps track of how many shi dice the players roll, and when the total hits a certain number something bad happens.

In this case, the twentieth shi die was rolled by an NPC, Inari, and he absolutely blew his roll to avoid possession. I'm pretty sure the GM went easy on us, or possessed Inari would have taken out the party single-handedly. But we managed to restrain him, then carry out the exorcism/rebinding.

Pretty basic plot, but the pre-gen characters all had personality hooks, and the players seemed to have a good time. Not a bad start to the con.

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