FATAL & Friends: Giant Allege 3
Giant Allege, Chapter 3: Wheel of Morality, Turn Turn Turn
This is something I've seen a couple Japanese RPGs do that I'm fond of - lay out the typical flow of a session from start to finish in a sort of cheat sheet. Approximately:
Prologue / Creation Phase
Random Aspect Generation: Before each person makes their characters, everyone determines random settings.
Make Allege: Each player creates their Giant Allege.
Make Lawyers: Each player creates their Lawyer.
NPC Role Determination: NPC A (The plaintiff) and NPC B (the accused) roles determined (determine timing!)
Act 1 / Introduction Phase
Case Presentation Scene: NPC A presents their case to those gathered.
Lawyer Arrival Scene: Scene where all the lawyers arrive at the battlefield. (determine timing!)
B's Request Scene: NPC B makes their request to the lawyers.
A's Request Scene: NPC A makes their request to the lawyers.
Act 2 / Pre-Judgment Phase
Debate Scene: Attorneys discuss the points of each side. (determine timing!)
Culling Scene: Before the Judgment, resolve surprise attacks. (determine timing!)
Act 3 / Judgment Phase
Trial Scene: Each attorney determines which side they will fight for.
First Hearing Scene: Each side deploys in their Giant Allege and do battle.
Second Scene: Each side deploys in their Giant Allege and do battle.
Third Scene: Each side deploys in their Giant Allege and do battle.
Act 4 / Resolution Phase
Closing Scene: Judgment ends, and the lawyers go their separate ways.
The Judgment Never Ends: When the time comes, there will be another battle.
That's the general structure of a session of Giant Allege. For now, let's focus on the Prologue!
Like nearly every Japanese RPG ever made, Giant Allege is both entirely d6-based and involves huge random generation tables. We kick things off with a random chart to determine who our NPCs our, and what they want. This takes the form "By A's request, the trial of A vs B, on the subject of the D of C." A, B, and C are each rolled on a huge 6x6 table, whereas D only has six options. Let's break it down:
Roll A/B C 11 Villager The mines 12 Son Water 13 Parent Town 14 Brother Forest 15 Child Railroad 16 Old person Money 21 Young person Land 22 Mayor Medicine 23 Scientist Children 24 Bakery Roads 25 Farmer Estate 26 Factory Worker Home 31 Bank Castle 32 Mechanic Workplace 33 Politician Store 34 Village leader Heirloom 35 Nouveau Riche Weapons 36 Mafia Ship 41 Noble Inheritance 42 Outsider Time 43 Laborer Life 44 Betrothed Heart 45 Fiancee Food 46 Secret lover Work 51 Physician Alcohol 52 Doctor Right Arm 53 Merchant Family 54 Courier Ruins 55 Chef Lake 56 Wife Plaza 61 Husband Education 62 Deceased Harbor 63 Actor Political power 64 Artisan Grave 65 Father Power Plant 66 Swindler Water Plant Roll D 1-3 Rights/Possession 4 Duties 5 Incident Culprit 6 Law, Contract
Rolling up a sample incident, I get:
C: Incident Culprit
The book explicitly advises changing the results if your group can't come up with a good story, but that won't be necessary here. Since there's no way a scientist in this setting isn't Mad, this is clearly a case of the scientist accusing his wife of stealing his doomsday device and firing it into the harbor, killing thousands of fish and disrupting local fishing on a massive scale.
Following this, we determine the 'Budget' for each side. For side A (The mad scientist) and side B (his harbor-obliterating wife), we roll one die per player, and multiply the result by four to determine the Budget. Whichever side has less budget is now designated the Good side, and the higher is designated the Evil side. In our case, I'm doing a 2-player scenario, so I roll 2d6x4 for each side - I rolled a 7 and a 6, so Team Scientist has a budget of 28 and Team Wife has a budget of 24. Since the Wife has been designated as the Good side, presumably she fired the doomsday device into the harbor in order to keep her husband from firing it into an orphanage.
The strange thing about this section is, in flipping through the rest of the book, I have yet to find any other point where Budget is mentioned. This is my first time doing a full translation runthrough, so hopefully it will become clear what the point of this is later. Budget is used to pay for giant robots, so that you don't have to fight on foot.
Next step is Making Allege! In true JTTRPG fashion, this is done almost entirely by rolling on random tables. There's one for Chassis and one for Equipment - by default, each Allege gets two pieces of equipment, but some chassis might change the number. Starting at this point, and ending at the Lawyer Introduction scene, each player should keep their chargen details secret from the other players.
Once the random parts have been taken care of, you determine your Allege's attributes:
Quick - determines the Allege's speed and maneuverability.
Break - determines the Allege's power and attack damage.
Armor - determines the Allege's durability and size.
Followed by your Lawyer's name, weapons, and attributes:
Timing - includes luck, and determines turn order within a scene.
Power - the Lawyer's physical strength and toughness. Because of the Marionette Control System, this affects the physical strength of your Allege.
Keen - speed and physical skill. Determines handling in your Allege.
Distribute 10 points between these three, with a minimum of 1. Details of chargen come later in the book, so this is all kept pretty high-level for now.
Finally, each player must choose whether to support party A, support party B, or support neither party. This is done in initiative order (initiative rolls still haven't been explained yet, this book is surprisingly meandering for being so short), and whoever you choose, you must defend them in the court no matter what. Totally read this wrong! At this point, the roles of the NPCs are distributed to the players! Roll initiative, and whoever goes first can choose to play NPC A, NPC B, or neither. Then, out of whichever NPCs are remaining, the next player gets to pick, until A and B are both assigned to someone. Just because you're playing an NPC doesn't mean you have to actually be on their side with your Lawyer.
That brings us to the end of the high-level explanation of the Prologue. To tide us over until we reach the actual game mechanics, here's Prosecutor J's completed character sheet:
Next time: High-level overview of the remaining four acts.