So, by this point I"ve made it no secret at all that I tend to prefer running games that delve a bit into the animu side of things, so I think it"s about time that I covered one of the very few "generic" systems that I actually like.OVA is a "generic" anime-flavored rwcchristchurchappeal.com written by Clay Gardner. The first edition of OVA was released in 2005 to some very strong reviews, but that wasn"t really the end of it, thanks to a Kickstarter campaign that met all its goals in about three hours. The revised version of the game was made, it seemed, mainly to smooth out all of the rough edges of the original product while keeping the system working basically the same as it had right from the start, meaning that there was some consolidation of systems that were deemed to be redundant, adding more examples of certain enemy types, and so on down the line.Seeing as I have both books, I will be doing comparisons when appropriate.IntroductionSo, the game begins by addressing the three sorts who may have been interested in picking up the game. To the anime fan: Yeah, it"s pretty easy to see why this might"ve got your attention, but don"t worry about the rules- they"re easy enough to pick up and build your character right out of the box without too much trouble. To the long-time rwcchristchurchappeal.comamer, you may have heard about how the thing works and maybe the cover blurbs gout you thinking, but you have assurances that this game presents itself clearly and the mechanics resolve quickly, and you might find the rules useful for things not-anime as well. And for those who aren"t familiar with either? Have a look anyways, you might find something that interests you.It then continues with the now ever-present "What is an rwcchristchurchappeal.com" section, and I"m pretty sure most of us here know what one of those is by now, so we can just move on from there.The next segment has to deal with doing your duty, depending on which side of the screen you"re on.For the Player, your job is to build a character in-line with the setting that the table has agreed on, and you"ll be using the book to define their various abilities and weaknesses, and then make decisions on their behalf in the game- remember, once the paper hits the table, you are not you, you are your character.
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For the Game Master, your job is to create everything else that the players interact with, such as defining the setting in general and both creating and playing as the various NPCs that the players are likely to run into (and possibly fight with) every now and again, as well as just generally creating the plot threads that the PCs may become entangled with. The GM is also the final arbiter of any rules arguments that may come up over the course of the game.As for the conduct of play, the GM sets up the adventure and the players play through it, making whatever decisions or taking whatever actions seem best. Some things can be accomplished by say-so, but when an outcome is in doubt, that"s when you roll the dice.It even has a section for how to read the book- it says you can read it from front-to-back like normal, but you don"t necessarily have to, depending on what"s going on in your game- if you"ve just been handed a pre-gen as a player, you may want to head straight to the character section to find out what your abilities and weaknesses mean. Just for example. Of course, as time goes on, you may need the book less and less.Fair enough!Also, this is the revised version, so you may notice a couple of substantial changes.So, then we get an explanation of What Is Anime, and it takes the conventional view of attributing the beginnings of of anime as we know it to Astro Boy, as well as explaining some of its distinctive features, such as its distinctive visual style, and the fact that the line between science fiction and fantasy isn"t really something that exists, or at least not in the same way. And it just generally talks it up, of course. I do have to take a small issue with the assertion that Western animation has largely been afraid to appeal outside of kids, but rather a combination of standards and practices and cultural norms made it largely impractical for such shows outside of animated sitcoms for some time- Batman: The Animated Series was originally aimed at a prime-time slot, where it performed very poorly, and I"m pretty sure ExoSquad would be at least as brutal as any Gundam show you could name if Will Meugniot thought he could get away with it (though some might argue that it already is, just expressed in different ways).
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On the balance, though, I do tend to watch more anime than western animation.Still, there"s nothing wrong with talking up something you"re excited about, on the principle that if the designer isn"t enthusiastic about what they"re selling, how can you expect the same from the players?As for what you"ll need to play the game, the bare minimum is pencil, paper, and six-sided dice (you"ll need quite a few of these). This isn"t really a game that needs things like positional tracking or whatever, so any extras are really just things like the pizza, the props, and maybe costumes if you"re feeling especially daring.And then there"s an example of play, which isn"t really useful where it"s positioned, seeing as the game has explained no rules yet at all, and play examples are really most useful when they"re used to illustrate how particular rules look in actual practice. And this sort of thing is especially useful in games that have actually complicated rules (and this is aside from issues I have with "examples" of play in general.So, next we start on the section of the book that takes up the most space in this 168-page book by far: Character Creation and Character Creation accessories.Next: Building Your Anime Hero, or, Being Miserable Builds Character.