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Because I wasn't already running too many of these

   
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Old Oct 1 '18, 11:28pm
Catherine Cook Catherine Cook is offline
Great Wyrm
 
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Because I wasn't already running too many of these

The Girl Who Sings for the End of the World - Forum
Pathfinder


What? She's talking about crafting magic. Perverts.

Hallo and welcome to another installment in the "Catherine Cook runs a PF/FFD20 game based on a JRPG" series!
This time around, I'm looking at Ar Tonelico, a hidden gem for PS2 which is, no joke, my absolute favorite JRPG of all times. Truth be told, this is not the first time I've ran a game based on the little masterpiece, but leaving aside the fact that my first attempt ended up colliding with what was perhaps the worst period of my entire life, which led me to abandon this forum for a while, there is also the fact that, quite honestly, that attempt was doomed to failure from the start: the peculiar format of Ar Tonelico's narrative does not lend itself to a game for a party.

However, compared to back then, I now have two aces up my sleeve: firstly, I have discovered this mod for Pathfinder, which is REALLY good for porting JRPGs into tabletop format; secondly and most importantly, I have had a great deal of success with the "run it as a solo game, have it stick as close as possible to the source material, and run it for multiple people in parallel" formula, which is allowing me to let a large number of people enjoy my weird JRPG-esque ideas, with minimum effort on my part: once all the materials for a solo game have been gathered and planned out, running the game for one person or for one million makes absolutely no difference for me, so yeah, we're once again going with that formula.

I should probably tell you about what makes Ar Tonelico so peculiar: to make a long story short, it's the fact that it combines JRPG elements with dating sim elements. What this means is that your relationship with the heroine(s) of the game is an actual game mechanic, and how you evolve your relationship with them during the dating sim portion will directly affect their combat performances in the JRPG portion: how I have ported this into tabletop format will be explained once the game actually starts.
For now, you can read about the premise of the setting, as well as the things your character would know about the world, in the topics I posted in this section. You will play as Lyner Barsett, the protagonist of the game: in this other section you can read the prompt for character creation, as well as the mechanical rules.

Again, I'm planning to run this as a solo game, but that doesn't mean that I will accept only one person: application process will last for a couple of weeks, and then I will run multiple parallel versions of this game, one for each app that managed to truly impress me. If the unique premise of this game and this setting has managed to catch your attention, by all means do give it a try!

Game Description:

A game based on PS2's hidden gem, Ar Tonelico.

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I was diagnosed with a condition to my lungs. I was told it is in no way serious, but I'm a pessimist by nature: people in my games, if at any point I go 72 hours or more without showing up on this forum, assume the worst has happened.

Last edited by Catherine Cook; Oct 1 '18 at 11:31pm..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyconure View Post
Jrpg plus dating sim...so, similar to most bioware games, then?
Not really, no. See, Persona 3 and 4 came well after this game, and codified the successful "roleplay game, but with a robust social interaction element" formula which was then borrowed by, well, most RPGs that came out afterwards, with or without the J... And that includes the likes of Mass Effect, which I'm assuming is what you were thinking. Although, Bioware games are not JRPGs, in fact some of them aren't even, structly speaking, RPGs. But they do employ the Persona formula; which nowadays is virtually ubiquitous in games that have a plot, regardless of genre.

However, this game came out well before that formula was codified, and attempted to do things in a largely different way: here, rather than having a moment when you interact with others, you have a LITERAL dating sim, it's essentially two games packaged into one. And the respective gameplays directly affect each other: during the JRPG portion you unlock more talking topics, which you then use in the dating sim portion to become more intimate with this or that heroine... Which in turn directly affects the JRPG portion, because the heroines are tge casters of the game, and the level of intimacy with each of them dictates what spells they can cast, and how powerful those spells are. Porting such a system in tabletop format wasn't easy, I tell you.

In short: you could remove the interaction portion from Mass Effect, and you'd still have a game. In fact, any game that follows the Persona formula can be beaten by focusing only on level grinding and improving equipment, ignoring the social aspect... But in Ar Tonelico, that is not the case: the dating sim portion is an integral part of the game mechanics, without which it is impossible to progress in the game, much less beat it.

Okay, I understand what you’re saying.

And while Mass Effect brought a focus on the social interaction aspect from an outside perspective, that was mainly due to the inclusion of a plot-irrelevant romance which got itself some publicity thanks to the inclusion of a pg sex scene. The social aspect was more gameplay relevant in the KOTOR games, or even Dragon Age. But like you said, even those were not crucial to the game.

What you’re attempting here is a very interesting concept, and I can see why you need to go with a solo campaign. The parallel aspect is noble of you, giving more people an opportunity.

*clutches chest* WHY MUST YOU DO THESE THINGS TO ME, CATHY?!?!? WHY?!?

Dating sim + JRPG? *Sighs* I'll see if my work load will permit me to put in an app...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyconure View Post
The parallel aspect is noble of you, giving more people an opportunity.
Believe me, I'm not doing it out of generosity. It's just that, when I get multiple good apps, it pains me to turn some down... And I mean, I am the kind of DM who meticulously prepares all the necessary materials in advance, a process that is made easier here, by the fact that I'm following the flow of the plot of a pre-existing game. This exponentially reduces the amount of time I need to prepare the required materials... And once those are ready, using them for one person or for 372892846563 makes absolutely no difference for me: most of the time, advancing the plot of one version of the game involves copy-pasting a post I had made for another

I just wanted to let everyone know that @parhaius was already in this game regardless of how the application process goes, because the idea of running this at all came from an agreement for a solo exchange I made with him. So yeah, since he finished creating his character, I have started the game for him. For everybody else, the application process will remain open until sunday, october the 14th. If you want your own version of this game to be started just for you, you still have quite some time to apply!

Reminder that this is the lat week for applying for this game!








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