System Mastery 11 – Haven: City of Violence

Haven - City of Violence

Delivered straight to your grim, gritty earholes, System Mastery brings you a review of Haven:  City of Violence.  This “hyperkinetic action simulator” boasts a three-line deep Wikipedia page that tells of it’s glorious record as “the first game to be optioned for a movie before the game was complete!”  They probably should have just stopped writing at that point.  We talk racism, sexism, Sepultura, wicked sweet wrestling moves, and more in this ultra-realistic 11th episode.  Enjoy!

7 responses to “System Mastery 11 – Haven: City of Violence

  1. Not to defend the game, but “recognizing” art is probably an analysis thing – recognizing whether a Tiffany diamond is real would be easier than a Hope Diamond replica. Just throwing that out there.

    • You know, I remember considering that when reading the book. I ultimately rejected it because it still doesn’t make sense. Think about it this way: as an art piece gets more famous, the mass of public knowledge about it grows. Take the Mona Lisa for example. Thousands of pictures of it exist, we know what it’s made of, it’s exact dimensions, location, frame, etc. It would be laughably more difficult to claim a fake Mona Lisa against that preponderance of comparison material than a relatively unknown art piece. The same is true of the Hope diamond. The size, weight, clarity, cut, and color are all well documented and known, and there’s more media about it available than nearly any other diamond. It would be way easier to fake an unknown diamond than a known one.

      Now admittedly that means the flipside is also occasionally true. A forger working to copy the Mona Lisa has a lot of tools to work with. A forger working to copy the Hope Diamond still has to deal with the fact that it’s mostly famous because it’s way bigger than nearly any other diamond, so they’re in a bind.

      What the book could have done is instead of just listing art pieces the author had heard of, just listing qualities of forgers. At -10 it’s a decent forger working with a tight time budget and regularly available tools. At -25 it’s the work of a master forger with unlimited resources and assistance as required.

      Or he could have just assumed that his readers would understand the concept that bigger penalties are harder difficulties and let them abstract this out for themselves instead of taking 10 pages of his book out to list thing like “It’s easier to recognize Bigfoot than the Loch Ness Monster.”

  2. I’m going to guess that that the Alias comic he references is the one that is now being adapted as the Netflix Jessica Jones series, not tlhe comic book adaptation of the J. J. Abrams TV show.

  3. I guess this is the point where I further shatter your faith in humanity by pointing out that Louis Porter Jr. is still out there putting out stuff, though he seems to have given up on system design. Most of his stuff is for some iteration of d20 these days, including a version of Haven (pregnant pause … giving birth to) City of Violence for D20 Modern.
    http://www.rpgnow.com/browse/pub/85/LPJ-Design

    Your mentions of all the racist ethnic stereotypes are all the more amusing to me because I know that Louis Porter Jr. is black. Though, in fairness (and I can’t really believe I’m coming to this guy’s defense), you could say that the ethnic stereotyping is a form of “genre emulation” of the sort of crappy 80’s action flicks he seems to be drawing inspiration from.

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