RPG Review: Corporia

It’s no secret I like Knights. And I’m a rather huge sci-fi nerd. So when the kickstarter for Corporia popped up on one of my interwebular forays, I was intrigued. Scanning the kickstarter, I then read the synopsis, and I was moved past intrigued into the realm of purchasing.  This is essentially Camelot meets Shadowrun. Here is how the author describes it:


Corporia is an urban fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in the near future, featuring the return of magic and the Knights of the Round Table. It’s what happens when you mix Camelot with a spoonful of Torchwood, add a pinch of cyberpunk, a dash of Joss Whedon’s Angel, and a sprinkling of Shadowrun


 

Well. I can play a cybernetically enhanced, reincarnated knight of the round table? What is stopping me!

Nothing actually. So I forked out my money (gladly) and now my copy is here! So let’s break the book down!

1.) Production Quality: The book is a little smaller then I anticipated, and a bit thinner. Not poorly made, I just wasn’t anticipating the size. It also came a little warped from transit, but that’s nothing some use won’t straighten out. The pages are nicely made, the lay out is read and refreshing. Overall, 8/10 here.

2.) Art: Um. So ALL the art in the book is still photographs. While it is different and very eye catching, (I understand the intent is to make the corebook look like an employee manual), it get old, and frankly starts to look cheap. I could easily pick out the water and NERF guns they’d obtained from Wal-mart and spraypainted to look like weapons. It was a clever attempt, but I can’t help but feel that it could have been better delivered.

On the upside, the cover is probably one of my favorite RPG covers since Michael Whelan’s Stormbringer cover so kudos there. 4/10 (The cover was three of those 4 points).

3.) Fluff. This game has fluff, and what they have is good, but it’s intentionally kept light to be played in so the GM can change whatever he wants. I always consider that a win. 10/10

4.) Mechanics. The mechanics are solid. Interesting, different and effective. Character creation was a little clunky the first time through, but by the third try it was flowing nice and smoothly, and was easy to teach to new players. The actual play mechanics took a bit of working to get into the groove of using, but once we did, they were nice and fun. A better play by play example might have alleviated the problem. I’m not sure. 8/10


 

So. Does Corporia deliver on all my knights and cyberpunk goodness I’ve wanted? Pretty much yes.

Personally, I think the game would benefit from several “1-Page” adventures or a campaign book.  Maybe I’ll just set out to make one. That’ll be easier.

Overall rating? Frankly, I’ll get it a 7/10. The art is my only real complaint, and I can’t wait to migrate my regular group to Corporia for our gaming needs.

If you wanna pick up a PDF copy, here it is:

Drive Thru RPG

RPG NOW

And you can visit the companies website at: http://www.brabblemark.com/

 

 

Mercenary Mondays: The Joys of Vegas

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an ongoing series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development!

Phew.  What a weekend.

So I went to Las Vegas over the weekend. I went for two reasons. First, I’ve never been to Vegas and I wanted to see. Secondly, It was the weekend of the Las Vegas Kotei for Legend of the Five Rings.

What? That makes no sense? Indeed! Basically, Kotei is a L5R tournament for the card game, but the winners get to impact the storyline of the game overall. Great times. Great times. Did well, 7th place, top of Clan out of 8 Crane players. Was fun.

But it sparked some interesting thoughts about RPGs and RPG designs in general. One of the big aspects of any CCG is the prevalence of “meta”. Meta is a term used to designate a card you slot into your deck simply to handle a problem that exposes itself. Things that cancel your opponents actions or cards, things that shore us weaknesses your deck has, meta is where you dedicate a slot or resource to handling a potential problem that might not even come up.

In roleplaying, one of the biggest things I remember as meta is the idea of “bane” weapons in D&D. Bane weapons deal extra damage against specific foes, but against any foes of a different species/race, they’re effectively non-magical. And there is a serious damper when a player gets an item at seems useful, but never really comes into play.

Same with skills, abilities, weapons, what have you. Players want to use their tools and toys in the game. So do you par that sort of thing outta the game? Do you add it in? What is the appropriate handling of such a situation? There is a lot of complication that goes into fitting a jig-sawed ruleset together.

It’s the GM’s responsibility to ensure that players have fun, and a GM should make sure that a player gets a full chance to use all their abilities, gadgets, toys, and more. So should the GM stop the player from taking “meta” they want? Or should it be encouraged? How should the game’s ruleset handle it?