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Against the Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying
 
$14.99
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Against the Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying
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Against the Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying
Publisher: Tab Creations
by Derek K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/13/2015 06:17:35

This is a thoughtful, thoroughly made world unlike most you've seen. The system (Saga Machine) is unique and ties directly into the setting. It is heavily detailed and easily tailored to any play group. Very inspiring!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying
Publisher: Tab Creations
by Mark B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/18/2014 05:17:17

I posted this elsewhere but I thought it might be of interest here too (NOTE: some book scenario spoilers!):

Last session the PCs saved a swami from bandits, failed to win a chariot race around the walls of a city, discovered that the local Kumari (princess) had been abducted by Yakshas (nature spirits, like elves/faeries in western stories) on the eve of her betrothal, set off to recover her at the request of the Maharaja, and passed through a large forest where they were accosted by Tiger Raja (an enlightened, speaking tiger) and his 50 tiger minions, who demanded that they entertain him or be lunch. They have also heard rumours of a state to the south that has a Monkey Legion, and of a city to the East where a guardian has stood unmoving on a hill outside town for as long as anyone can remember, watching for the advent of the forces of the Dark Yogi.

Was a KS, now available from DriveThru. Card based system, using ordinary 52 cards + 2 jokers per player, with an option to use Ganjifa cards (Indian round playing cards, 8 suits, 12 cards/suit), and also an optional system using d10s. You draw cards from a facedown deck to resolve actions, and also have a hand you can play from (Good karma), and facedown cards the GM can use against you (Bad Karma).

Characters are straightforward to create, you get 5 previous incarnations that give you 2 skills each, 2 Paths to follow (like Archer, Raja, Charioteer, Yogi, Chakra Master, etc), that give you special abilities. You have an Enlightenment score (starts at 2), when/if you die, you reincarnate, your Enlightenment goes up by one and you add your previous life onto your past lives. You also have a weakness per starting Bad Karma. All actions are paid for by Prana, from Chakras, which regenerate a number of points per round equal to your enlightenment score (similar to the Chi mechanism from Weapons of the Gods) . It's possible to have been a non-human in a previous life, this may give you special abilities like claws, the ability to manifest extra arms/legs/heads/etc.

The PCs start at quite powerful and go on from there - our starting 5 PCs took out 60 bandits without breaking a sweat, and the Archer, for instance, began with a skill that allows him to construct things in combat like ladders, small buildings, etc by firing arrows. The Charioteer can buy skills like a flying chariot (vimana), or a legendary semi-divine driver. Yogis and Ascetics can perform austerities that allow them to break the normal Prana limits, and can (for example) learn the use of the OM syllable that damages anything within a zone around the user. Given that it is also possible to acquire Astras (god-weapons), there is potential for PCs to become very OTT - for example, calling a flood that washes away anyone who isn't a Legendary character (there are Legends, Elites and Minions) - pesky enemy army of 1000 people attacking? No problem.

At the end of a scenario you gain XP (sadhana), and also your Good Karma/Bad Karma may alter. When you reincarnate, your Good/Bad Karma ratio determines some features of your new PC.

There are a goodly amount of creatures, both normal (humans, monkeys, tigers, elephants, etc) and unnatural, Yakshas (Fey), Gandharvas (messengers of the gods), Bhoots (ghosts), Rakasas (shape-chaging demons), Nagas, Vetalas (vampires), Asuras (evil demi-gods), and also some major NPCs including the Dark Yogi himself, his minions the Eighteen Wicked Kings, an Enlightened Yogi who has the ability to spend prana to cause Earth tremors around her destroying buildings, cover, etc, etc.

The setting is an India-analogue, so things are recognisable without being direct copies. There are two scenarios in the MRB, and a Campaign Options PDF/Book with a couple more in amongst other things like a more detailed character generation method, options for non-humans etc.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying
Publisher: Tab Creations
by Matias C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2014 18:44:46

[Originally posted here: http://daystarchronicles.blogspot.com.ar/2014/02/just-backed-4-against-dark-yogi.html]

I haven’t read much about the setting yet (it’s not India, but a fantastic land based on ancient India called Bhurloka), but I've read most of the rules, so I’d like to talk a little bit about that. For starters, the game uses poker cards rather than dice. I wasn't very convinced about this aspect of the game until I saw the rules, then decided that there is no way the game could feel the same using dice.

On a nutshell, you have 8 attributes (4 physical, 4 mental) and several skills. To resolve an action, the GM tells you the relevant target number. If the total of your Attribute + Skill + Card (you draw the first card of the deck) is equal to or greater than the TN, you succeed, otherwise you fail. Success usually allows you to bring conditions into the scene, which acts as a bonus or penalty on further rolls. For example, if you want to disguise as a Prince and you succeed, you may gain the “Disguised as a Prince” condition, granting you a bonus every time you want to act as a Prince or where being a Prince could be helpful; on the other hand, you may use the same condition as a penalty on anyone trying to pierce your disguise.

On top of that, each player has both Good Karma and Bad Karma. Good Karma is represented by the cards you have in hand, while Bad Karma is represented by cards on the table facing down. Good Karma can be used by the player in several ways, the most common use being using a card from your hand rather than a random draw from the deck for a check. Bad Karma, on the other hand, may be used by the GM to complicate things for your character. You gain Good Karma by doing good deeds and following your dharma, while you gain Bad Karma by breaking the rules (like stealing or touching a dead body).

The combat system is very interesting, with the player spending points from his Chakra pools (5 different pools) to perform several actions each round. For example, you may spend crown chakra to read a book, afterwards spend lower chakra to run, then spend another lower chakra to jump over a cliff and finally spend more lower chakra to land a spear attack upon an enemy. That way, you may take several actions per round based on how much chakra you have on your pools. You recover a little bit of chakra each round (similar to how chi breath works in Weapons of the Gods).

A very interesting feature for combat is that most of the time you are probably going to face hordes of lesser enemies, maybe under the orders of a more powerful enemy. As such, the game has a very interesting way to represent this. A unit is equal to a single individual, with a number of HP equal to the number of individuals in the unit. You may attack the unit just like any other regular character, but what’s interesting (I don’t remember having seen this in any other game) is that each time the unit attacks a character, that character automatically deals a number of points of damage to the unit, representing that even as the unit strikes you, you managed to take some extras out of the fight. That really makes you feel epic (it also helps that most attacks can’t kill your character, only leave him unconscious, only major villains and special attacks have any chance to kill a character).

As for character creation and advancement, that’s where things get interesting. To create a character you have to first think on his previous five incarnations, and each incarnation will grant your current self skills (or other benefits if he was non-human, like the capability to fly if he was a bird on a previous life). Then, you choose two Paths that apply to your current character. Paths are archetypes like Spearman, Archer, Charioteer or Yogi; they give you starting equipment and, more importantly, they tell you which traits you can purchase (a character may only purchase traits from his Paths and from the Universal Path).

Traits represent special equipment, combat maneuvers, tricks, allies or weird powers your character has. Some are very mundane, like the ability to make a counterattack in combat, while others are far more surreal and mythic, like the ability to build constructs by firing arrows (my favorite trait in the whole game) or a God blessing your chariot so it can fly. You start with 2-3 traits based on your Paths, but you may purchase more during the game.

As for character advancement, the most interesting part actually happens when you die. At any point, the GM may choose to move the timeline a generation, so that all characters die and are reincarnated again. When that happens, your Enlightenment score goes up one point (that is, you become more powerful and awesome). With time and reincarnations, you’ll be able to gain more Paths, recover more Chakra per round, have more Health and overall kick more ass. In addition, if you are not into multiple generations campaigns, the book has optional rules that allow characters to increase their Enlightenment without dying.

My only complaint with this game is the title. When I read Against the Dark Yogi, I picture a short one-evening story game like The Mountain Witch, not a 300 pages book planned for long campaigns. The tile is not bad into itself, but I think it follows a format that doesn't quite picture how big and wide this game is, but rather ties it to a single plot. Of course, it’s a minor marketing detail that doesn't have any impact on how awesome this game is, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

As you can see, I liked this game quite a lot. I like how your character feels epic at all times, while at the same time keeping a simple system that is easy to grasp.

I can’t wait to play this game with my group, and I think you should give it a try as well!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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