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Rule Bites

Nippon Tech Adventures

Posted: March. 21, 2002

Back to Rule Bites.

Is Nippon really that hard? Not with these tips and tricks.

Never give a sucker (player) an even break. Lie, lie, lie. Gadgets, a new one every adventure (think “Q” from James Bond). Vast wealth, crushing poverty.

Grim, rainy streets. Backstabs. Like the Cyberpapacy, but worse—they have already betrayed you, but you don’t know it.

Give the players a friend. Kill him. Bring him back (staged death) to save the PCs. He betrays them later. Then concocts a reasonable story why it wasn’t really a betrayal.

Confuse them. Let them feel like they’ve gotten to the bottom of a mystery—then pull the rug out from under them. Have the same gang who attacked them earlier show up to help—with a mysterious benefactor (who’s only setting them up to be the fall guy for him).

Pollution. Emphasize the vast wealth and power of the megacorps—they’re in charge here. Street gangs (steal from Akira). SK’s are the outsiders and stick out like a sore thumb.

Steal their stuff. Have the police hassle them. Ruin their credit rating. Throw them in jail, then have someone wax the cops on their way to trial. They’re left cuffed, in the ruins of a crashed vans with rapidly cooling cop meat surrounding them.

Frame them. Put their faces on TV’s and newspapers. Make them fear for their lives. Keep them running, never let them rest. A proper Nippon Tech adventure can threaten subtle death from unseen sources at any time or for any reason. Orrorsh could take lessons from Nippon Tech on fear.

Emphasize the difference between “rich peoples” places (restaurants, stores) and the hoi polloi. Emphasize Japanese culture (even if you have to exaggerate- it is a movie, after all). Let them feel uncomfortable, as if they are the rude, loud, underdressed louts. Snooty waiters, a quiet sniff from a business contact. They are the aliens, make them feel uncomfortable. Weave these threads in and out of regular, Earth-like life. Let them get comfortable, then do something to remind them that they are in alien territory.

The Living Land is very obvious—trees and mist everywhere. Nippon Tech is subtle… but just when you begin to relax, something happens to upset you all over again.

Updated: Jun. 23, 2011
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