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Lonely TTRPG EP 56 - TENSION by Lampiao Game Studio
Episode 567th November 2023 • Lonely TTRPG • Black Dragon Dungeon Company
00:00:00 00:17:50

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You can find TENSION at https://cronistadante.itch.io/tension

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Transcripts

SteelStash:

Greetings, weary wanderer, and welcome back to Lonely TTRPG, the

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solo actual play and review podcast.

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This week, we are playing Tension by Lampiao Game Studio, and I

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apologize to my Brazilian listeners for how horribly I pronounced that.

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So, Tension.

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In the not so distant future, humanity has developed perfect and servile artificial

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intelligence through complex algorithms.

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However, one rebel scientist has decided to create a free automation

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program with only two instructions.

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Explore and interact with the world to the fullest of its capacities.

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And return to its creator by the end of one week to relay its

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experiences, and recharge its batteries made of tachyon energized

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neutrines and subionic oscillation

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nucleus or tension,

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all of its worldly interactions will drain a bit of its tension.

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It starts at 100 percent and in order to preserve it when it reaches 50 percent the

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automation is worn by an internal sensor.

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Will it have enough tension to arrive home by the end of the week?

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Upon returning, remember what it has experienced, learned, and retell all

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that was relevant on its journeys.

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And keep moving so long as there is something to be learned.

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So, basically, this is a exploration game where you play

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as a robot, a sentient robot.

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And you have to manage your tension.

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When you come up against a obstacle, you're gonna roll

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1d6 in order to resolve it.

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Now your success threshold is going to be based on how much tension you have.

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At 100%, you only need to roll a 2 or better.

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Between 99 and 80%, you need a 3 to succeed.

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79 to 50, you need a 4.

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49 to 25.

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And if your tension is below 20%, you need a 6.

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However, you can also spend an extra 15 tension to immediately solve the conflict

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Without having to roll on your dice.

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In order to return home, you need at least 5 percent tension left.

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And if you dropped a zero, you have to be rescued and start the next

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week at only 50 percent tension.

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Now, as for the rest of the game, what you're going to do

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is you're going to roll a D8.

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And check the serendipity table.

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And each task is going to have some level of tension associated with it.

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So in order to do the task, you're going to have to do the base level of tension.

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And then in order to resolve the task, then there will be some

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more expenditure of your tension.

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And of course, they also recommend creating your own.

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serendipitous events in order to help make the game last longer.

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So they list out eight.

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You can absolutely add more, just think of your own life experiences

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or something that might be interesting to come up against,

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then decide how much tension it should take , to get to the thing.

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And what type of tension would be expended in solving it.

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But that's really the basics on the rules.

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This is a pamphlet sized game.

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So, with that, we're just gonna go ahead and dive on in.

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So first things first, we need to roll our d8 to find out what

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our serendipitous event is.

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And we got an 8.

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You find another AI in shambles, almost entirely drained.

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It too is powered by tension, although very little remains.

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So with this, we can either recover 30 tension by feeding from the AI and

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permanently shutting it down, or we can donate tension so that it can return home.

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So right off the rip, this is already costing us 15 tension.

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So we are down to 85.

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And because it's early in the week We are going to go ahead and donate

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tension in order to try and save.

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Our lost brethren, hopefully they might be able to return home and share their story,

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but let's see how well this transfer goes.

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So at 85, we need to roll a three or better, and we rolled a two.

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So we

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rolled a two.

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So there is an issue with the power transfer.

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So that's going to bring us down to 80 tension.

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And there is a failure in.

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The transfer.

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So the question is, do we think this failure is because of

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Because the AI can't the AI can't support it or because of Some other reason maybe

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something wasn't hooked up correctly.

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Maybe we didn't try and give enough

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So there's no oracle associated with this.

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So we're just gonna do a simple we're gonna use a simple oracle one

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will be One will be an absolute no, six will be an absolute yes, and

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pretty much anything above a four will be a yes, anything three and below will be

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a no, with a varying degree as we go on.

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So,

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is this AI too damaged to return home?

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Four.

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That is a yes, but we're gonna say that's a yes, but

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Is it possible to?

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fix What this issue is?

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Two that's a no.

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So unfortunately, we are going to have to leave this broken

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machine Where we have found it.

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We're gonna go ahead and mark the location maybe Maybe a repair

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crew can get out here, but there is nothing that we can do for it.

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So let's go ahead and roll and see what else we find.

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That's day one.

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Let's look at day two.

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Day two, we got a six.

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So on six, if this is your first time playing, roll again.

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Otherwise, you bump into an old friend

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who wants to know what has happened.

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So seeing as how this is our first week, we're gonna, we're gonna go ahead and re

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roll as we have not really met anybody

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So we've got a four, a colleague of your maker is throwing a birthday

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party and you're invited, engage in conversation with everyone that

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approaches you or keep to yourself.

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So upfront, it is 10 tension to get to the party and engaging with people

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is going to cost another 10 tension or keeping to ourself will cost five.

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So we are going to attempt to keep to ourself.

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And in order to do that, we need to roll a four or better.

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And we got a three.

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So not only can we not keep to ourself, but

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what might be the reason.

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All right, so this is a colleague of our maker.

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So is it the colleague?

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Is it the colleague who is pressuring us two?

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No, it's not the colleague.

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So it is somebody else at the party.

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Is this going to be a rival of.

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Our creator.

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One.

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That's an absolute no.

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So it's not the colleague and it's not a rival.

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So we are going to say that...

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We're gonna say that one of the members of the party

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had a little too much to drink and they are just absolutely fascinated with us.

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They cannot get it out of their head what we are and what we represent.

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And they're just pressuring us and pressuring us and pressuring us in

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order to find out more about us.

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Find out what we are and how we tick.

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And we are trying to, we are trying to disengage.

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We, we're not used to this situation.

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After all, we're only, we're only two days old.

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And yeah, we don't really want to be in this conversation.

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So Are we able to get out of it?

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This will be another challenge roll.

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And we will say that if we cannot get out of this, then we will take the full

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ten that we would have lost for engaging.

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So that'll be an additional loss of five tension.

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And at our current level, we need a four or more to succeed.

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We got a two.

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I'm not rolling well tonight.

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So at the conclusion of day two, we are currently at sixty percent of our tension.

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Day three.

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Got a six again, so we're going to re roll.

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Three.

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You enroll in a robotic philosophy course.

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The professor, used only to students who have plenty of free time,

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demands that you read an impossibly long syllabus in just one week.

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So do we put in maximum effort or do we take it easy?

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So first of all, this cost us ten tension, so we are currently at fifty percent.

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And

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I'm going to say that we have not Because of how new we are, and because of our

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directives of experiencing everything,

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we don't know how to take it easy.

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Like, we haven't been put in a situation where...

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We haven't been put in a situation where

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our...

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our resolve, our...

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motivation, our ability to accomplish a task has been challenged yet.

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This is the first real one.

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So we are, we are of course going to put in maximum effort

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because we don't know any better.

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We don't know how to, how to skim, how to do any of that stuff that experience

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will do to just help you survive.

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So that is a loss of 15 tension, which brings us down to 35.

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And as we are trying to As we are trying to get through this syllabus,

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our internal alarm starts beeping at us.

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It started beeping when we got to the philosophy course.

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But as we attempt to understand the syllabus, it's just getting

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louder and louder and louder.

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As our attention drops down.

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And, I wonder...

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Would we be concerned and attempt to return home at this point?

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1.

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No, absolutely not.

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Alright, well, like I said, we, we don't know any better.

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So, we continue to, we continue to drive on as we put in maximum

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effort into this college course.

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But, the course is a week long.

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But, it is a week to read the syllabus.

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So,

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would, would we forego any other...

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Exploration to focus solely on the syllabus

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six.

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That is an absolute.

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Yes.

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So, I mean, the bright side is we would not continue to explore as we focus on

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the syllabus, which is going to round out our week and we return home for recharge.

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Of course, this happened on day three.

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So on day three of week two, we would return to the college course

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in order to start and show that we've read the syllabus because

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that's what we were told to do.

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But for the remainder of the week, we will not engage in anything else,

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but that is tension.

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Like I said, really short game, a very easy, a very easy experience,

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single pamphlet, very easy rules.

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The wording.

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The wording might be a little wonky.

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After all, this is a Brazilian company.

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This is the first game that they've translated to English.

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So there are a couple things that just kind of stick out as odd phrasing, but

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it's not, it's not distracting at all.

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So don't, don't worry about that.

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Their, their ability to write and translate this into English is

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better than my ability to even pronounce their game studio.

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So this is a...

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This is not a criticism of that.

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This is just more a warning that, you know, if you're, if you're reading

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through it and something seems off, that's why it's, it's the language barrier.

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Outside of that, no, this is, this is a good game.

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I like this.

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This is definitely a fun little look at the AI.

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trope, the robot trope.

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I think that the, I think that the mechanics of tasks getting

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more difficult as your tension goes down, as your power depletes.

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I think that's an interesting mechanic.

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I really enjoyed that.

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The serendipity table is nice.

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This is definitely something that you're going to want to build out though, because

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as is the, as is the gameplay gets.

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Really small, really fast, because it's only a D8 table.

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One of those choices you can't even really engage with.

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And

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you know, some of the choices definitely feel very one off, you know, for example,

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the robot philosophy course, yeah, I'm only going to, I'm only going to read the

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syllabus once, and I, I mean, I'm probably not even, if I rolled that again, I would

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definitely not be doing the syllabus.

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I would change it to some type of coursework or something like that.

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And then I would have to adjust the, I would have to adjust the tension

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requirements on the resolution mechanics.

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There are some options I can make for an interesting world when you stop when

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you stop and start to think about them.

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For example, running into more broken down AI would definitely be interesting

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just as you start to think, Oh, wait, how many, how many came before me?

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Or,

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or, you know, there's another one where a concert is interrupted by

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cops showing up to oppress the locals.

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You know, you, you run into that a couple of times and it's okay.

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What type of, what type of dystopian world are we, are we actually in right now?

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So, you know, there, there are a couple options that leave in, if

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you roll it multiple times, it could create an interesting world, but.

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Like, again, for the most part, most of these prompts feel

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very one and done type things.

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So, very quickly, you're going to want to start adding more stuff to it.

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And, you know, you're definitely going to want to play with some type of

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oracle, because once you, once you get past the initial prompt, you know, what

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are you going to do for the rest of it?

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You know, you don't want to end up in a situation where it's, hey...

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I showed up, I did the thing, and now I'm done, because that would make for,

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that would make for very boring gameplay.

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Now, I got it, again, this is a one page RPG, so there's only so much that

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you can put on there, and there's only so much flavor that you can create.

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I know I've done it.

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I've written a one page RPG.

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It is a challenge,

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but it's also one of those

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You definitely need a little bit more to go on but all in all like all in all this

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is a great game Like this is a great game.

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This is a fun game again.

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The strongest part of this game is definitely the the success mechanics

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of Getting more difficult as your tension goes down So if you decide to

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play this, definitely lean into that.

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And I do recommend checking it out.

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If you want to check it out and pick it up for yourself, you can find

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it on itch at the link down below.

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It is available for 5.

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And if you do get it, make sure you tell them that Steel Stash sent ya.

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And remember, I must ask y'all to stay awesome.