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Over the weekend I caught the Japanese CG feature, Gantz:0 on Netflix. It got me thinking about what a Hero System game might be like in the Gantz universe, or one like it. Has anyone else here seen some form of Gantz and had any thoughts on how one might run a campaign?


Aside from issues of the over-arching plot of the campaign (i.e., the alien invasion "Katastrophe"), I think there are two primary things that a GM would need in order to proceed: 1. write-ups of the player gear, and 2. write-ups of the monsters the players will be hunting in each mission.


Player Gear


For #1 we are lucky because it doesn't seem like there is a very wide array of gear to deal with. Apparently there is a "Gantz Manual" out there that describes some of this stuff, but unfortunately it is in Japanese and I hear it is rather sparse on the kinds of details you'd want for building an RPG campaign. There is a Gantz-oriented wiki which is offers some information, but I think a lot would have to be extrapolated from what is seen in the anime (or read in the manga).


We'd need to at least start with write-ups for:


* Soft suit

* Controller

* X-gun (pistol)

* X-shotgun

* X-rifle

* Y-gun

* Gyro bike (and its weapons/gear)


We don't have to worry about the more advanced gear until someone is getting close to a weapons upgrade, unless we want to add NPCs to a mission who themselves have some of these things:


* Z-gun

* Sword

* Hard suit

* Gyro flier

* Mecha




For #2 it would help to have some sort of Bestiary to draw from, and for that I guess the Hero System Bestiary could be a useful resource. But is there a collection of bizarre alien monsters written up somewhere that could be cribbed as well? Obviously the GM can make his or her own, and probably should for the bosses, but in the interests of saving time having a ready source of minions and lieutenants would be incredibly handy.


Potential Campaign Issues


So here are some campaign-oriented questions I began thinking about:


How many points should PCs be built on? In the manga/anime, characters ranged from dogs to teenagers to hardened criminals. In order to make the game feel more like an RPG and less like a pure video game, the PCs need to be given a chance to buy some useful skills, but if we allow too much starting combat proficiency the game risks losing too much of its survival horror aspects.


If PCs are the characters sent to hunt the monsters, where are the non-combat roleplaying opportunities? I've not read the manga, so I'm not sure what there is for the PCs to do when they're not on a mission.


How do we introduce the players to the situation? I'd like to keep it a mystery initially for those players who have not seen any of the anime and are joining solely on the basis of my description of the campaign as "sci-fi, monster-hunting, survival horror". Just like it is for the characters in the manga/anime. I'd like for it to unfold as they experience their first missions; that will add to the harrowing experience. Do we use the same conceit as the manga/anime? If not, what do we replace it with? How do you get the PCs to go into a deadly situation they're deliberately being kept uninformed about?


How might we handle the scoring of mission points? I think this would need to be independent of usual Hero System XP since highly successful players should expect to be able to reach the 100-point Menu several times during the campaign. Is there a good metric for maybe converting the points a monster is built on to the number of mission points a player receives for killing it? Maybe 1 mission point per 100 CPs a monster is built on?

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I saw the anime several years ago.  As I recall, the characters all die, and then they wake up in a room with the others.  They have no knowledge of how they got there, or what the mission is exactly.  Then they get told to go kill aliens, and they're sent out into the city.  I might do it exactly that way for an RPG.


Have the players build low point characters.  Maybe competent normals.  They're going about their day, and something happens and they are clearly about to die.  They're in a bank that gets robbed, and one of the robbers loses his cool and turns and shoots the character.  Or they're in a car and they look over and see a bus has run a red light and it plows into them.  Do a little scene like that with each character.  Then they wake up in the room with the ball.  They are given equipment but not told how to use it.  Then they are teleported out into the city to find an alien and kill it.


As I recall, between missions they go back to their old lives.  They wake up in bed, having somehow survived whatever killed them.  They're free to do whatever they want.  Do you look up your friends from the Gantz room?  Do you try to run away?  This is basically an opportunity for players to try and figure a way out of the alien hunting game.

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Yep, that's it exactly!


I guess the players may try to research what Gantz is all about, where the aliens are coming from, and what it all "means," but what if they don't bother? I'll have to come up with something interesting for them to do that was never part of the source material, I guess.


Here's what I have so far for the starting gear:


Soft Suit
    30 rPD
    +10 CON
    +20 STR
    15" Superleap
    +9" Running
    +12 END
    Breakable (20 DEF), powers are lost from the bottom up
    6D6 RKA, NND (SFX: explosion from within)
    Delayed Effect 1 Phase
    6 Charges - 1 Turn to recharge
    Select Fire
    4" Maximum Range
    6D6 RKA, NND (SFX: explosion from within)
    Delayed Effect 1 Phase
    6 Charges - 1 Turn to recharge
    Select Fire
    +4 vs. Range Penalties (Sniper Scope)
    6D6 Entangle, Target takes damage (SFX: energy ropes)
    4D6 Major Transform, Cumulative, Delayed Effect 1 Turn (Linked) (SFX: upload)
    0 END (Charges?), takes 1 Phase to recharge for next shot
    4" Maximum Range
    30D6 Energy Blast (Physical), Area of Effect 2" radius
    Knockback straight down (SFX: gravity attack)
    Delayed Effect 1 Phase
    6 Charges - 1 Turn to recharge
    Select Fire
    4" Maximum Range
Note that I'm neither concerned with real point costs nor active point totals. And I'm likely to let SFX govern the finer points of weapon behavior rather than strict adherence to RAW, as necessary. For instance, the RAW for Breakable says that the DEF of the Focus is based on the power with the highest active point cost, but I set it equal to the active point cost of all the powers combined. This was because the soft suits are incredibly durable, but their benefits can be lost a little at a time if they take incredible amounts of stress (i.e., damage). Basing the DEF on only one of the powers would have made the suits way too fragile.
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