For the tragic comedy wrought by the foes sent against them is a delightful spectacle.
Since Dolls are already dead, they will find no rest when they are broken.
The peace of death came to an end long ago, just as did the world itself.
As we have a cup of tea, beneath these skies as gray as lead-
let us tell the tale of this long, long epilogue."
Nechronica -The Long Long Sequel- is a tabletop RPG published by Tsugihagi Honbo/Patch Works and designed by Ryo Kamiya, best known outside Japan as the designer of Maid RPG, Golden Sky Stories and Zettai Reido.
Nechronica is a game about being physically strong but emotionally vulnerable in a world where everything is dead or undead, including you and your "sisters". The players take on the role of Dolls - undead girls capable of thought and feeling - and fight against the Necromancer and his minions, even though it is the Necromancer who created the Dolls in the first place, as simple amusement or decoration for this rotting, undead world.
While the bulk of the game mechanics are concerned with patchwork zombie construction and body horror and the combat between these undead girls, it also contains a detailed and extensive madness system, which relies on and produces complex emotional attachment between the player characters, and even with their occasional sentient foes. A central mechanic to the game is that the only way for a Doll to stay stable and sane is to rely on and manage these intense and often contradictory and irreconcilable emotional attachments to her sister undead girls.
Nechronica is a game about clutching at fragile flowers of hope in a dead world and trying not to crush the petals in your twitching, undead fingers.
Tropes in Nechronica include:
- An Adventurer Is You: The player chooses from six Positions and six Classes (with dual emphasis possible). So there are 252 unique combinations:
- Alice: Akin to people, akin to girls, their warmth inspires their sisters. Help preserve the physiological balance. Closest to Healer.
- Holic: Irregulars whose egotistical desires have driven them to madness.
- Automaton: Combat Dolls who have suppressed their selves in order to avoid suffering.
- Junk: Veteran Dolls who have given up countless things, yet refuse to let go of it all.
- Court: Tactical Dolls who analyze the situation calmly and make sound decisions. Enabler
- Sorority: Natural leaders who bring together their sisters' hearts and strength. Leader
- Stacy: Dedicated and immortal, these girls are stout defenders. Stone Wall/Regenerator
- Thanatos: Goddesses of the battlefield who excel at close combat. Close range DPS
- Gothic: Predators who engage in the heresy of cannibalism. Melee Ranger with a touch of mezzer
- Requiem: Gun-using Dolls who are dedicated to ranged combat. Long range DPS
- Baroque: Bizarre girls whose bodies are twisted by mutations.
- Romanesque: Rotting princesses who dance with unparalleled grace.
- Action Girl: The Dolls are this by default
- And I Must Scream: Having a Doll go Broken is exactly like that.
- Apocalypse How: Planetary, Total Extinction / Class 4. The translated parts of the sourcebook imply that there is nothing alive left on the planet, the only things moving are various kinds of undead and the mysterious Necromancer(s), and that all this was the result of a last great world war.
- After the End: the default setting. Near Future humanity had managed to wipe itself out.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: Finding and retaining items (including clothes, but also rag dolls, photos and toys) that connect the Doll to her pre-mortem identity is one of the constant goals.
- Chainsaw Good: One of the possible weapons.
- Child Soldiers: One possible background.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: One of the possible madness: You want to stay by her side. To always be wherever she is. You'll never, never be apart
- Clothing Damage: Damage to memento clothes give you Madness points
- Cute Monster Girl: Baroque class by default.
- Dungeon Master: The Necromancer.
- Girls' Love: While there are boys, in the default males are a minority.
- Girl with Psycho Weapon: Knives, axes, chainsaws, and more than several other weapons.
- GMPC: Required, in the form of the Necromancer.
- Humanoid Abomination: Besides what they are by default, Dolls can easily become or even start out as one.
- Improbably Female Cast: While the rulebook states there is no reason not to make male characters too, the setting is concerned solely with the Dolls as female, with an in-setting excuse: the Necromancer's whims.
- Intimate Healing: Conversation is one of the two main ways to remove Madness. note
- Level-Up at Intimacy 5: The more relationships you established the more resistant you are to going Broken.
- Love Dodecahedron: As every Doll must roll a random strong emotional attachment towards each of her sisters and towards any rival Savants working for the Necromancer, this is almost inevitable, and that's even before they start to max out madness points.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Mostly emphasis on the Zombie-Robot. Among the possible enhancements are Drill and Tachikoma legs.
- Older Than They Look/Younger Than They Look: It is possible to have a spirit that acts as if twenty years old within a body that appears only six. The reverse is equally possible. Keep in mind that "age" refers only to the appearance of a Doll.
- Only a Flesh Wound: It's almost impossible to die in the game. Kind of a given since you are playing as one of the living dead. As long as at least one of your doll's body parts survives the battle, they can be put back together again good as new (soft of).
- Organ Drops: After the end of a battle, the dolls can rummage through the remains of their opponents in order to heal, regenerate or replace any body part, enhancement or equipment they may have lost during combat. Basic body parts are cheaper to recover than reinforcement parts. More dangerous enemies will naturally drop more to work with. Though in some situations they may find the haul insufficient and will have to contend with a missing arm or leg or two until the next fight.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Intelligent, emotional and do not eat brains. The setting also contains mindless zombies, closer to the voodoo variety - controlled directly or indirectly by the Necromancer - as well as general rules for creating all sorts of undead horrors.
- Pilebunker: It's one of the higher tier weapons in the game. It punches through armor and shoves the target towards another position.
- Shout-Out: Several reinforcement parts available for equipping on your doll in the rulebook are references to or inspired by various horror films (especially of the zombie genre), science fiction, slasher films and even video games alongside more anime inspired ones.
- The Stacy class is a reference to the movie Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies
- Flying Guillotine of wuxia movies.
- The "Undead Gun" is a reference to a modded weapon that appeared in the 2003 zombie flick Undead. Basically it's a bunch of shotguns welded together to fire simultaneously with a pull of a trigger.
- "Tachikoma Legs" or "Crab Legs" which replaces your doll's lower half with that of mechanical multi-legged armored platform.
- There's also the "Lawnmower"; A reference to one of the goriest scenes in the movie BrainDead.
- You can also have your doll have scissor for hands just like good old Edward.
- Video game refence include a BFS called the "Great Knife"; A clear reference to Pyramid Head's signature weapon of choice.
- On the sci-fi side there's a Laser Blade literally called the "lightsaber".
- Sanity Meter: One of the key features of the game. Several situations and events in the game (such as witnessing something horrifying, using a skill or rerolling a dice roll) incurs Madness Points. These points are allocated to Fetters; the doll's connections or relationship towards other characters or personal possessions. Once a fetter is completely filled this will inevitably lead to:
- Sanity Slippage: A fetter fully filled with madness points will make the doll act erratically and incur negative status effects or penalty towards themselves, the fetter's target or the party as a whole. (such as the doll becoming obsessively clingy towards another doll) Once all of the doll's fetters are filled, they enter a state of broken-heartedness, preventing the party from conversing with said doll (which is one of the primary means of losing madness points) and the player loses control of the doll (essentially acting as a game over for them).
- Theory of Narrative Causality
- This Is a Drill: Drills can be attached to your dolls as weapons. Their in-game properties makes them good armor piercing weapons.
- Undead Child: The Dolls by default.
- You Lose at Zero Trust: Accumulating too many Madness Points leads to the state of Broken and the Doll becomes non-playable.