Sunday 18 September 2022

Playing Usagi Yojimbo in Ukraine

D&D is fun and all. But a) there are other games that were written and drawn and published by people of various coolness over the years, and b) system doesn't matter. 

So for the last couple sessions, we tried something new. 

Namely, the Fuzion-based Usagi Yojimbo Roleplaying Game (published by Gold Rush Games back in 1997). 

It's pretty fun. 

On the minus side - more math than I prefer. To check if an action succeeds, you need to take your stat, add your skill, roll 3d6, and add it all together. And then, if you hit, you roll more dice for damage, how many dice? It depends on your weapon, and your stat, whichever is higher. 

I'm not a fan of math. 

On the plus side - you get to play as humanoid animals. It's fun. The party consists of a fox ronin, a pig monk, and a cat messenger. 

Also on the plus side -  the weapon system is actually fun to use. 

And, of course, we hacked it here and there, adding some rules that we picked from other games and places.

The party's first adventure was raiding the Library of Zorlak, as described in Vornheim. (The librarian almost killed them - they were the equivalent of 1st level party and I didn't fix things)

Since their client was Eshrigel, it made sense for the trio to keep working for her. So their next adventure ("The Butterfly", included in the Usagi Yojimbo game book) began with Eshrigel asking the party to find the daughter of a local lord who had disappeared. The girl was supposed to be married to another lord for political reasons, and now the alliance can be easily undone.

The party asked some reasonable questions: like did the girl disappear, or run away? (Eshrigel didn't know) 

Who was opposed to that political marriage? (A lot of people, pretty much all the other lords because it meant the girl's father would get more influence) 

Among those opposed, who was the closest geographically? 

"That would be me", Eshrigel smiled behind her mask. "But I didn't kidnap the girl". 

So they went to look for the girl. The monk used his piggy powers of hypersensitive nose to sniff her out, the cat used her diplomatic abilities to gather information among the servants, and the fox minded his own business (he's secretly trying to learn magic, and if you played Usagi Yojimbo, you know that there's no magic system. The comic book takes place in 17th century Japan, and while there are ghosts and demons, the characters are just normal samurai, bounty hunters, woodcutters, brigands and so on. Not spellslinging wizards. And also most of them are humanoid animals). 

Pretty soon they found the girl, who turned to be incredibly beautiful, and also fell in love with the cat messenger. Now having a gorgeous girlfriend, the cat was understandably against bringing her to Eshrigel. And there also was the little problem with the slightly crazy blacksmith, the ninja dogs hired by the girl's father, and the local brigands... 

In the end, there were two dozens of dead bodies, and two player characters almost ended up dead. The ronin managed to roll his kung fu lucky numbers twice in one fight, catching arrows in mid-air, which caused panic among the brigands. 

Now the party decided to visit a buddhist temple, because the fox wants to get the rare book that is kept there (there is also a copy in Zorlak's library but, you know... they're probably not welcome there), the runaway bride wants to get married to the cat messenger, and the pig monk is chilling. Also the monk started working on a scroll titled "How To Win Friends By Hitting Them In The Face With Fish". 

Next time we'll probably play something completely different. And after that... the lord had already paid the dog ninja to kill the party and bring back his daughter. Things are going to get messier.

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