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Tabletop Game / SenZar

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Break through the dream barrier if you dare.

A very high-powered and heavy metal influenced tabletop RPG — the goal of the game is to have your character reach immortality and kick as much ass as possible on the way. Even a first-level character can start with magic items that wouldn't be permitted as major artifacts in a more sane setting.

Sen Zar first appeared in the mid-1990s during the 2nd Edition D&D era, and immediately became met with controversy due to a botched Usenet advertising effort by the creators. The system uses d20 rolls over a target number (with the roll increasing to d100 for stats of 20+, which are typically reserved for gods). Races are typical fantasy but 'metalled up' including Starin and Khazak, plus Demonians, Golgothans (the aliens from Predator), Saurans (regenerating massive lizard men), G'rru (werewolves) and others. All characters can cast spells (though warriors do it badly), and get 'Fate Points' allowing them to 'edit' poor die rolls. The artwork is high in cheesecake.

The game itself is a typical fantasy world, though the campaign history notes the planet was settled as a slave world by the technologically advanced 'Death Horde'.

This tabletop RPG provides examples of:

  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: This is how Deific Gods ascend, as they get a plane of their own. This is both a blessing and a curse - on one hand, the only way to permanently kill a Deific God is to beat them on their own plane, where they will have their full power, the home ground advantage, and any help their pantheon wants to lend them. On the other hand, they can only affect the mortal world with 1 primal point avatars which are much more fragile than a Material God or an Eternal.
  • Attack Reflector: One of the many, many properties that you can give to a magic item.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Many of the highest-level attack spells can fall into this category. Being able to blast everything in a 1,000 foot radius is indeed awesome... and potentially suicidal when your enemy is right there in your face.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The game encourages this approach for when a PC ascends as a Material God, dying or exploding in a godlike conflagration that no one could conceivably survive - only for the omnipotent Dragon to remake the PC as a new Material God.
  • Combat Medic: The Priest class functions as this. Interestingly, this is true whether the character in question is good or evil.
  • Elemental Crafting: Taken to an extreme, as with most other things in this game.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Often a precursor to getting one-shotted by an Assassin, Mystic Assassin, Harlequin, or Witch Hunter.
  • Fantastic Nuke: High-level magic in general, and the Black Hole spell from Astromancy in particular.
  • Jerkass Gods: SenZar offers too many examples of this trope to count, potentially including jerkass PCs who ascend to godhood), but the prize for most jerkassness goes to the Eternals, the only type of gods who actually gain (even more) power for being jerkasses - pranking, manipulating, tasteless, holy war-starting jackasses.
  • Karma Meter: Your score in whatever codes you've burdened your character with.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: SenZar arguably features this trope twice over: Linear Warriors against Quadratic Martial Artists, and then either of the former are linear against Quadratic Spellcasters. Plain warriors are outclassed by the bonuses that martial artist classes get (particularly involving the Focus discipline), and the gap only increases as they go up in level. Most spellcasters, on the other hand, will ultimately learn spells that can annihilate an entire city in one combat round... and that's before they ascend as a god.
  • The Loonie: The flaw "Total Stupidity" not only turns your character into The Loonie, it gives you bonus Fate Points for it.
  • Magikarp Power: Astromancy all the way!
  • Munchkin: Unlike nearly all other tabletop RPGs, SenZar openly encourages players to make their characters as ludicrously powerful as the rules will allow.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted, as players have the option to start with the evil Dark Earth and/or Anti-Life codes - and without the usual "only for advanced players" disclaimers that high fantasy games often have for playing evil alignments.
  • No Points for Neutrality: Brutally played straight. Committing to "good" codes (Good Earth/The Cause) or "evil" codes (Dark Earth/Anti-Life) can award players up to 40 more Fate Points to build their characters - but there are no neutral codes.
  • Power Nullifier: Known as "pulsing" effects.
  • Quirky Bard: The Spellsinger class, who in this game are actually full spellcasters with their own school of magic.
  • Science Fantasy: With more emphasis on the "fantasy" side of the scale.
  • Stripperific: If the main rulebook's illustrations are anything to judge by, female adventurers on SenZar are almost uniformly buxom and scantily-clad. (Though, in fairness, there's plenty of beefcake on display, too.)
  • Talking Is a Free Action: The game both averts and lampshades this. You can yell at your enemies for free (albeit possibly causing them to make a Karma roll to resist going aggro on you), but you can also spend an action to do a Presence attack and intimidate them.
  • The Fair Folk: The Sidhe have a touch of this trope.