Ann Arbor Game Day
Chuubo's Marvelous Wish Granting Engine
Elevator Pitch: Play through iconic-style stories in a world where the “hidden world of magic” is the only thing not covered by an unknowable tide.
Core Resolution Mechanic: Take XP actions to fill up quests to advance your personal story. Also occasionally Skill rating + modifiers compared to a chart.
Dice Used None!
The region known only as Town is an eclectic place; it used to be a youkai place, but humans moved in and took over a lot of it, so now it’s kind of a Russian/Japanese mix. It’s got a sleepy little town of Fortitude down by the docks of Big Lake, an imposing gothic London-esque city section called Horizon where the School is (also home to most of its vampire population, not coincidentally), the glittering shopping and technology district of Arcadia, a run-down half-abandoned industrial wasteland slowly succumbing to the encroaching green in Old Molder, and several other places besides. It’s also the only part of the world we know of that’s not covered up by the Outside.
It’s not clear what the Outside is, other than places that people don’t know too much about. If you stay there long enough, if you learn to live in it, and if you come to know it, it stops being the outside and just becomes a new place. But it’s pretty scary out there; even you don’t really exist anymore if you go out far enough. And if you go out far enough, you’ll come to the Bleak Academy, where the students of the first Headmaster Entropy, who killed the sun who’s name was Jade Irinka, still plot to undo and remake the world. It’s not a very nice place.
For those who haven’t succumbed to that sort of thing, though, even those who are part Rider and thus have a cultural heritage which holds that all existence is a cruel lie to which we are all subjected, life goes on, subject to a few inconveniences like having to dispose of Outside dust and the occasional kaiju (which is really less of a problem than it sounds; the ones that aren’t poisonous can feed the whole town for weeks!). But Town is a place very different than less magical worlds. It’s the kind of place where a girl might get hit in the head with a dodgeball and realize that the world is a prison and we all need to be freed from it, so she goes out in search of the four gates that protect it. Or where the younger kid who kind of follows you around is actually in the process of becoming the sort of legendary trickster god you find in stories. Or where you discover that your own existence is owed to a shockingly ordinary boy who, one day, got out some hammer and nails and built a Marvelous Wish Granting Engine, and then wished he had a best friend!
Characters can be either Mortal or Miraculous scale, with the difference largely being how complicated and varied their special abilities are. Each character chooses an Arc: the overall type of story that they’re going to be playing through. An Arc is made up of a series of 3-5 quests played out in sequence that tell that story. A quest has a certain XP value to complete it; these XP are gathered either through the actions the quest itself provides, or by assigning any bonus XP gained from things like Emotion XP, or gained from their shares of the per-chapter XP generated by all players via the general XP actions. When a quest is completed, it provides some small benefit and access to the next quest in the Arc; when the whole Arc is finished, the character’s Arc trait goes up by 1 and they can either start a new version of the same arc or an entirely new Arc (she could also choose to change Arcs earlier, at the cost of some of her accumulated XP).
A character also has a set of Skills, and 8 points of Willpower she can use to enhance them in play when forming Intentions. An Intention is a formal declaration of an action, with its value being compared to a chart that tells less how successful you’ll be and more what your action will mean to you. The exception is when facing an Obstacle, which reduces the value of your Intention by its rating. Obstacles are generally the sorts of things you might expect making something less possible. There are certain skills, Magic skills specifically, which always face an obstacle, because they’re fundamentally violations of the natural order. The other time Intention level determines success is during a Contest, where two intentions clash; in this case, the highest intention dominates to the extent it’s inconsistent. There are another special type of skill, Superior skills, which give Edge in conflicts, reducing the opposition’s intention by their value as well.
Miraculous actions, however, work differently: miracles just happen, as described almost always. And Wishes change the world itself, adding new properties which can be invoked accordingly.
The Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine Halloween Special
A little school in Soma Village and its troubled residents are caught up in nothing less than the end of the world. Halloween Is Coming.
Getting the Game
You can get the PDF & PoD versions of all the books from DriveThruRPG