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[Need one more] Bliss Stage - mecha, child soldiers, surreal dreamscapes, emotional trauma, shipping charts!

MonoRed

Registered User
Validated User
Right now, as you read this,

Humanity is suddenly devastated by an alien attack that will come to be called the Bliss. All around the world, nearly everyone over the age of seventeen slips into a coma from which they do not awaken. Society collapses. Within a month, electricity, plumbing, and telecommunications are gone. Soon after, food begins to run scarce. Children and teenagers form gangs for survival, fighting and killing over scraps.

Two years after the Bliss,

The aliens deploy the first of their Remote Weapons. Straddling the gap between the physical world and the dream world the aliens inhabit, these giant biomechanical horrors begin hunting down the survivors. Armored and invincible, they lay waste to all in their path. What little order has been rebuilt is shattered once again. There are only two choices: run, or die. For the next five years, this is reality.

Seven years after the Bliss,

Humanity's counterattack begins.

A small resistance cell, led by one of the few still-waking adults, manages to disable a Remote Weapon. With salvage from its corpse, they construct the Alien Numina Inversion Machine, ANIMa. With this device, a human can enter the dream world and form a mechanized battlesuit powered by the bonds they share with their loved ones, taking the fight to the aliens on their own turf. Now, the fate of the world hangs on this band of child soldiers, armed with technology they don't understand and can barely operate.

Love is their weapon. Trust is their armor. This is their story.




*****​

So I thought I'd take a look and see if anyone's interested in playing a game of Bliss Stage, a really weird and really cool RPG about teenagers on a post-apocalyptic Earth battling dream aliens in mecha made out of weaponized love. If you haven't heard of the game before, the above is most of what you need to know about the fictional premise; in terms of style, if you like Neon Genesis Evangelion, this will probably be right up your alley.

The rules, for anyone who doesn't have them, can be accessed here. Mechanically, it's pretty light on dice and math, but it has some other conceits that are pretty weird and can take some getting used to. Each player controls two main characters: a pilot who uses the ANIMa to enter the dream world to fight the aliens, and an "anchor", another kid who shares a close relationship with a pilot and uses that to help them interface with the ANIMa by serving as a sort of combined mission control and psychic beacon. Your pilot's anchor will be controlled by another player, and while your pilot is the focus of the scene during a mission, that player, in character as your anchor, does much of what a GM normally would, describing the environment of the dream world and guiding you through it toward your objective. During these moments, the other players control the aliens and other dream world threats, and try to throw obstacles and enemies in the pilot's way to stop them, within limits the game enforces. Between missions, you'll move between playing your pilot, your anchor, and any number of other central characters you also create who make up the rest of the resistance. Meanwhile, throughout all this, I play the "authority figure", the lone surviving adult in charge of the whole operation, who sets mission objectives and gives orders to the rest of the group. This whole setup makes it important that anyone who wants to play this game be willing to take on the responsibility that comes with playing someone's anchor, and the kind of creative control and burden that comes with that function.

The other big gimmick is that rather than stats, your pilot is represented by relationships they have with other characters. Each relationship has an "intimacy" score, analogous to its strength, and a "trust" score, analogous to its durability. Since your ANIMa is literally made of relationships, these values determine the strength of its parts, which contribute directly to your combat effectiveness, so it's in your best interest to build and maintain as many strong bonds as you can. Your character sheet is basically a big shipping chart. Content advisory: it is expected in this game that at least some of the player characters will have sex at some point. This will be glossed over as much as forum rules and player comfort require, but if you'd rather just avoid the subject altogether, this game probably isn't for you.

Again, this is still very much just an interest check at this point, but if it sounds cool, let us know and tell us a little about some of your favorite mecha media and what you find interesting about it.
 

JoanieSappho

Not drunk enough for this
Validated User
Tentative interest here, just not sure how well I'll be feeling and how able to actually do more stuff, but we'll see.
 

Rook S.

scritches make me floof!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Always.

Favorite mecha media: uh, honestly, Bliss Stage :D I'm not ordinarily much for anime but this game is a dear favorite of mine and I've not played it in far too long.

I suppose, if you want media media, Pacific Rim, because there are intense interpersonal relationships that aren't about sex, and because the storytelling is clever without being twee. (My favorite moment in the movie: Stacker Pentecost's "cancelling the Apocalypse" speech. Everyone else in the Shatterdome is already pumped up and raring to go when he starts giving it. Who is it who needs a pep talk? Stacker Pentecost. That speech is him justifying his imminent death to himself. It is his eulogy.)
 

JoanieSappho

Not drunk enough for this
Validated User
I was a bit incredibly tired last night, but now I've had some sleep - which resulted in me coming up with a character concept I like- less tentative in my interest. As for favourite mecha media, I'm not sure htere's one that does it better than the other. I like parts of Eevangelion, but there's other bits of it I really don't, same with TTGL. Perhaps Eva but less relentlessly terrible to the characters in it.
 

MonoRed

Registered User
Validated User
Glad to see there's interest! I'd like to have at least three players on board, so let's see if we can get one more before we really get into things.

Always.

Favorite mecha media: uh, honestly, Bliss Stage :D I'm not ordinarily much for anime but this game is a dear favorite of mine and I've not played it in far too long.

I suppose, if you want media media, Pacific Rim, because there are intense interpersonal relationships that aren't about sex, and because the storytelling is clever without being twee. (My favorite moment in the movie: Stacker Pentecost's "cancelling the Apocalypse" speech. Everyone else in the Shatterdome is already pumped up and raring to go when he starts giving it. Who is it who needs a pep talk? Stacker Pentecost. That speech is him justifying his imminent death to himself. It is his eulogy.)
Pacific Rim is awesome and totally counts. Have you played Bliss Stage before? I briefly had an in-person game going with some friends once, but we didn't make it that far in before scheduling conflicts made it unworkable.

I was a bit incredibly tired last night, but now I've had some sleep - which resulted in me coming up with a character concept I like- less tentative in my interest. As for favourite mecha media, I'm not sure htere's one that does it better than the other. I like parts of Eevangelion, but there's other bits of it I really don't, same with TTGL. Perhaps Eva but less relentlessly terrible to the characters in it.
Haha, well, that depends on how well you guys roll :p What's the character you had in mind?
 

JoanieSappho

Not drunk enough for this
Validated User
Basically a small, perhaps not entirely well girl who is basically a self insert, to be honest. Running as the Devoted Lover, and at most a year off of when the Bliss is going to get her, which she is absolutely terrified of and is quite desperate to find some way to deal with it in some form or another because she's only just found this girl who she not only really loves but who has feelings back for her, but she knows they're on a ticking clock until they'll just go to sleep and not wake back up.
Which has made her both a bit more clingy than she really should be and quite willing to be incredibly reckless with her ANIMa if she thinks it'll help in some way.
 

MonoRed

Registered User
Validated User
That sounds perfect! Are you thinking you'd like to see this crush as her anchor, then?
 
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