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Modiphius > Mutant Chronicles RPG

Let’s discuss the case of Imperial sourcebook

posted Apr 05, 2016 15:03:10 by NicolasLefèbvre
First, excuse me if I make too much English errors, as my native language is not English, but this good old goddamn French.
Excuse me also if I make some approximations or stupid mistakes, as I only have the Imperial sourcebook with me these days.

So far I have bought the Core book, then Capitol and Imperial to my usual RPG dealer (“extra good stuff” he said, “this will get you high, straight to Nero”).

I have recently (a little quickly, I admit) read the Capitol and Imperial sourcebooks, and I have to say that, unfortunately, I am somehow disappointed by the Imperial. Here is some sort of quick reviews, about the pros and cons of this book:

- Detailed rules for creating an Imperial character, including numerous special forces from the clans or the minister of war.

- Good description of the different major clans, with also some minor and families. Very, very useful if you want to play “the big game” of politic, plots, treasons, …

- Lot of stuff and guns, and I will always love stuff and guns. And Imperial have these big crazy gatling guns that makes you wanna scream DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA!

- Unfortunately, I have a feeling that these rules and descriptions of clans have used a big part of the maximum allowed pages for the book. I regret a lack of more “casual” background, like how is it to live in the Imperial Corporation if you are not a noble or a military? How do people feel about the Corporation, how do they interact with people from others clans?
What about the massive imperial bureaucracy?
I have a strong feeling that Capitol sourcebook gave me a better view of the lives of people from this Corporation.

- The timeline. This is the big, big con: there are contradictions on important points, sometimes from one page to the next.
I don’t know the previous editions of the game, but these contradictions seems to be mainly related to the Sad Struggle. It looks like the Struggle has been moved from the reign of Durand X or XI to the beginning of the first corporates war. It is like some of the text has been taken directly from the previous editions and put into this book, with a lack of rewriting to make things fit together.

It becomes very difficult to makes things work when it concerns clan Fieldhausen, which is supposed to have not been swallowed yet by Imperial during the Dark Symmetry era and being the target of “Romeo agents” from MAD, but which is also supposed to have become an independent clan out of the Kingsfield during/just after the Sad Struggle. If the Dark Symmetry era happens some decades after the Sad Struggle, this is an obvious contradiction.

- Scenario: the book announce the Liberty Gambit redux scenario after the ideas of Imperial scenarios, but it is however absent from the book. Is that a problem of pages number? Do we have a chance to have this scenario on another book (or free to download)?

Do not be mistaken: I instantly liked this game, the universe and background (I remember reading about the Warzone game on a french magazine when I was 16…), and I intent firmly to buy every books, except maybe for the player handbook, as I don’t know if there is something new inside or if this is just a digest of rules useful for my future victims players. But I have the strong feeling that the Imperial sourcebook could have been better, and that the timeline problems really needs some kind of an errata.
[Last edited Apr 05, 2016 15:03:32]
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7 replies
JakeBernstein said Apr 05, 2016 21:20:20
I think the Sad Struggle should take place around the time of 900 YC.
Marcin.Skupnik said Apr 06, 2016 00:13:14
I have a strong feeling that Capitol sourcebook gave me a better view of the lives of people from this Corporation.

It also made character creation for Capitolians uniquely bland and boring. It's a give and take, having Imperial with only a perfunctory clan system would not work.

- The timeline.

I agree with you, it was fubar'ed beyond recognition.

- Scenario

Along with other stuff it has been cut out, and its future is unknown to us mere customers. In fact I would have loved to see the first or the second version of the book, just for the cut content. I managed to save some stuff from the backer preview of the Bauhaus book which has been removed later on.
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ShadowWalker said Apr 06, 2016 08:44:49
I agree with Nicolas. Having read so far 4 sourcebooks (Capitol, Mishima , Bhood and Imperial) and must say that Imperial one is the weakest of them. I would personally cut special forces creation and rune magic thus saving space for more iportant and interesting stuff. Also the timeline errors are something that should be better checked during proofing.
[Last edited Apr 06, 2016 08:45:29]
Nathan.Dowdell said Apr 06, 2016 12:08:28
With every book, there's a natural divide between rules and background content, because they're written by different people. The background for each book is written by whomever wrote the background chapter for that faction in the rulebook, for consistency of tone. The rules for each book were written by me (up until Bauhaus and Dark Soul), for mechanical consistency.

With the Brotherhood book, this means that the entire thing is mine - I wrote all the background, and all the rules, and that shows in how much more thoroughly the rules and the background integrate in that book (because I wrote the background knowing that I'd be going back and doing the rules later).

When it comes to "cut content", a lot of stuff ends up being preemptively cut during development, when it becomes apparent that the book will go over count in some way. There were numerous drafts of the Clans rules for Imperial as we figured out more ways to present the same content more succinctly, and I set aside plans to write rules for the minor clans when it became apparent just how space-intensive the major clans were. In almost every case, adventures get cut as a first choice, because it's a large block of content that can be removed with little stress. We're looking at publishing the adventures separately (as well as updates of the various 2nd edition adventures, which has been something I've been talking about for a couple of years now), but precisely how (individual PDFs, collected into a single book, or whatever) is yet to be decided.
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NicolasLefèbvre said Apr 11, 2016 13:20:19
Thanks for your answer Nathan!

I totally understand the problem of choosing what to put into the limited place of the book, and to be honest I have found the first and second editions books just by googleing it, so I can use it to enlarge the background without a problem.

Regarding the internal contradictions of the background of the book, I will try read it more carefully now that I am back home, as I'm getting more and more confused now that I have red the combined timeline:

2551AD/-29YC: The Sad Struggle tears Imperial apart. It lasts 15 years.

733YC: Succession dispute between Otto and Vicor Fieldhausen. It leads to a mass defection to Imperial by nearly half of House Fieldhausen’s members. They form Fieldhausen Autowerks (BAU).

We now have more than 750 years between the Sad Struggle and the absorbtion of a part of Fieldhausen by Imperial. I suppose we will have to ignore the reference of Filderhausen becoming an Imperial after the Sad Struggle, but then, how did it happen.

I'm a little afraid about this kind of contradictions, which should have been found and corrected before the release of the books.

Or I'm just dumb and I have misread the Imperial Sourcebook, and then I will make you my apologies!

JakeBernstein said Apr 11, 2016 13:42:01
If this issue is the largest inconsistency in MC3, Modiphius deserves a huge gold star. This setting was full of irreconcilable inconsistencies in 1/2ed, so MC3 is a huge huge step forward. That's not to suggest we shouldn't hunt down the remaining issues, but don't let it concern you too much!
NicolasLefèbvre said Apr 12, 2016 12:00:55
Jake, you are very right and I thanks you for pointing that!
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