Monday, April 21, 2014

Myriad Song

Myriad Song has a great premise with a sci-fi setting inspired by 70s pop culture and a rulebook lavishly illustrated with comic book art.

The mysterious Syndics of the Myriad Syndicate have disappeared without warning leaving countless other species that they used to rule over to find their own way. The players take on the role of space adventurers involved in cosmic exploration (in both the sense of mental and real space).

The game fiction promises slightly surreal and alien adventure, one comic strip follows the misadventures of musicians who accidentally discover a lost chord in the Xen-Harmonic scale that allows warring alien races access to lost planets.

However rather like things like Starblazer Adventures and the Fantasy Flight Star Wars games what follows a bold statement of genre fiction is not a rules system for supporting that genre fiction but instead a ridiculously detailed simulation system that realistically can never return on the investment you put into it. Each Gift or merit is detailed individually and the weapons system includes the ability to fit your semi-automatic shotgun with baton rounds. This kind of thing works in something like Traveller but here its depressing mundanity is all more apparent for being juxtaposed with the implication of thrilling action.

There's a lot to like about the imagination at play in Myriad Song but it feels like what should have been a booklet detailing a Fate hack has turned into some crazy coupling of a 90s verbose hard sci-fi roleplaying with a comic book universe with a furry twist. I suspect I am not going to get round to actually playing this.
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