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Glitch, 0th Edition

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Glitch, 0th Edition
Publisher: Jenna Katerin Moran
by Juniper R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/29/2020 19:05:03

Jenna Moran has been in the space of game design working orthogonally to what a lot of creators were doing for a long time. I feel like we're finally at a point now that she's not entirely in a field of her own; however, her work still stands up as an extremely good example and a personal favourite strand of mine.

Glitch is a companion game to Nobilis, which takes some of the refined narrative mechanics from Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-granting Engine, and gives a preview of how some things might work in a future 4th edition of Nobilis. You play as Strategists, people or other beings who glitched out of the world and found a way to take control of the wrongness that was killing them.

You're a Prince of the void: of Ninuan, the place-beyond-place, the land at war with Creation and everything in it. And, supposedly, you always were - it's up to you how much you buy into that. You exist in an uneasy, tenuous balance between the world and the void; always in danger of slipping further out of life, but with access to amazing powers and a deep reserve of strength that you can draw on for conflicts or personal projects - if you don't mind it killing you slowly.

Imported from CMWGE are Quests and Arcs, structures that allow you to run a story-driven game from the perspective of a player. It's an idea that will be familiar to players of Burning Wheel or more modern narrative-based games, giving the players goals to focus on achieving during gameplay in order to advance their own story.

Updated from Nobilis are the stats: Strategists have five, with base ranks from 0 to 7 and an effect ladder that can be pushed as high as 12, or further for an edge in a conflict. These effects range from your Ability to clean your house, to summoning creatures of the Not and banishing pieces of existence; and you'll have to make some hard decisions about how to spend your precious character points at creation.

Strategists don't have access to Will or Miracle Points, pools of energy from previous games which refilled at narratively appropriate moments. Their natural abilities are the only thing carrying them through day to day. Instead, pushing your abilities beyond your normal limits is represented by taking points of the appropriate Cost. Cost can be reduced in a few specific ways, notably resting in an environment that's specifically less hostile to you; but short of that, it accumulates, building until you can't handle any more and either you or your GM decide you have to take a wound to balance it out.

You might think that's terrible. You'd be right. It is. Being a Strategist is a hard life. Many exist like candles lit at both ends. But the stories you can tell in that lifespan are amazing.

Glitch is a game for telling stories about having weird and impossible experiences. Glitch is a game in which cleaning your house or preparing for a dinner party can be an equivalent challenge to fighting a world-ending threat. Glitch is a game in which the world sucks and is out to get you and your friends in particular, and if you try to tell anyone they probably won't believe you, and if they do they might start seeing spirits everywhere. (The spirits were always there, but not seeing them allows us mortals to go about our daily lives as though they weren't.)

Glitch is a game in which your past informs your present, and you can forge a new path at any time. Glitch is a game about being capable of anything, but in which trying to do everything will burn you out fast.

What will you spend your effort on? What's important to you? Everyday things? Connecting to others? Travelling to mysterious places and experiencing incredible, impossible events?

You can always push harder, up until you can't push at all - but should you? Is it worth it?

It is. (Worth it.)

(The game.)

(Your money.)

Probably.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glitch, 0th Edition
Publisher: Jenna Katerin Moran
by Samantha M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/20/2020 18:09:41

Glitch had me hooked from the moment I heard the premise. In brief, you play hyperpowerful void-gods of destruction who can blow up the moon, but can't kick their insomnia; avatars of the void who can concoct grand strategies to reshape the face of the world, but struggle to pry themselves away from the laptop and take a damn shower. It's an absolutely astounding mixture of "empowerment fantasy" and "relatable content for people with depression, chronic illness, trauma or other things like that."

In spite of the heavy subject matter, and often because of it, Glitch is capable of supporting incredible emotional range. Do you want low-key tragicomic slice-of-life shenanigans in a gonzo urban fantasy setting? Easily done. Want a brooding and cathartic meditation on the nature of suffering and the unfairness of the world? You got it. Do you just wonder how ordinary tabletop hijinx and having fun with your friends escalate when the player characters are capable of acting at a cosmic scale? The answer is "like you would not believe."

If you're new to this author's games, or you've heard things but don't know quite where to start, I'd encourage you to check this out and read the other reviews. With pages of rules and an established setting, Glitch can be intimidating at first blush, but like most games, at the end of the day you're trying to tell a story. The difference is mostly in how you go about that. You earn XP for telling the story you want, using Quests (little cue cards full of scene prompts) and Arcs (a set of five quests that form a narrative structure) to guide your efforts. When you finish them, you pick up rewards, ranging from simple mechanical enhancements to the ability to rewrite your character sheet in full. Between Arcs and Ending Books, you have a number of ways to ensure that your story ends when and how you want it to. The GM is there to play the world and declare the results of your actions, which can range from simple kibitzing and "recovering some Cost for letting somebody down because you were holed up in your sanctuary hiding from the world" to "concocting a grand plan to use your infant daughter or your Instagram account to conquer a whole country" or "destroying the color red."

(But don't destroy the color red! You may be world-killing void gods, but you're supposed to be teetotal world-killing void gods in search of better coping mechanisms!)

If you've enjoyed Dr Jenna Moran's other titles, on the other hand, then Glitch is a must-have. I've played two games so far, both in playtest, and like the author's other titles, Nobilis and Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, playing this game with my friends led to some of the best memories I've ever made at the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Glitch, 0th Edition
Publisher: Jenna Katerin Moran
by Xavid P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2020 22:25:48

An excellent and groundbreaking game that builds on the narrative mechanics of Chuubo's very effectively to create a specific, more serious, philosopically interesting feel. Definitely a unique design, and leads to really fun and interesting play that's less about whether or not you can do something and more about how willing you are to use your power and face the consequences.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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