System Mastery 35 – Vanishing Point
If you’ve read any Neil Gaiman or just been stuck in line at a convention behind steampunk people, you’re all set for Vanishing Point. It’s a neat little RPG about visiting a planet shaped like a brain, populated by weirdos classified by insanities, and choked full of more British flavor than a steak and kidney pie.
Let us know what you thought of Vanishing Point in the comments! Have a book you’d us to cover? Let us know about that too.
Editor’s note: Jon was basically dying of plague through this whole thing, you’ll just have to excuse the chair creaks and coughing.
Quick note on the difference between insanity and mental illness:
Insanity is strictly a legal term relating to someone’s mental capacity to understand a crime they committed. It is colloquially used as as another word for “crazy,” but the term insanity has no technical meaning within the mental health field outside of the legal system. At least, this is the case in the USA.
Mental illness is the generic term for for the wide swath of disorders that can afflict someone, from mental retardation (an out of date term; it’s now called intellectual disability) to schizophrenia.
There is some separation of mental disorders in the current diagnostic manual based on whether a disorder is first seen in childhood (such as autism or intellectual disability), but this distinction is blurred quite a bit due to many mental disorders that were at first thought to only occur in adults (such as schizophrenia) being seen in children. Some disorders will have criteria such as “symptoms must have been diagnosed or documented by this age,” but thats really the extent of things. Given that lots of mental illnesses seem to have genetic bases, distinguishing them by “are you born with it or not” is actually trickier than it seems. Some people won’t get depressed unless something really stressful happens, even if they’re born with a tendency toward depression.
So that’s just a little info on mental illness for you…
City of Violence.
Thanks! I knew there was a difference, but we’re deeply committed to never researching anything here if we can avoid it. I figure “insanity” has no use in professional mental health, but still has a lot of colloquial baggage, since I hear people using it all the time. Good to know it’s not just a synonym.
The initiative thing sounds pretty interesting, but I’m worried how it would work in practice. If the GM is controlling six thugs, and they all have multiple dice on different phases throughout the round, then it might get hard to keep track of things.
We didn’t get into it during the show for time reasons but the enemies in this game come in a couple of tiers, most of which are designed to simplify the whole initiative system for the DM. It’d look similar to the minion system from 4e, with the added system smoothing of minor bad guys generally only having one spot on the initiative tick for simplicity’s sake. I think they’re called grunts or mooks or something, the book is with the other guy. Of course, villains that matter get action dice that matter, same as players.
Can you give me the ISBN for this book, by any chance? I’m doing my dissertation on rhetoric of mental illness, and I’d basically kill to get my hands on this, but I can’t find anywhere selling it online.
From what the author told us, there are less than 500 copies of it floating around, and most were sold off in bulk lots after the production house shut down, so they never actually saw the non-used shelves of a game store. I can see if our copy has one listed tonight, but otherwise your best bet is to encourage Ashok Desai, the author, to put this actually awesome game on the pdf market.
I’ll see if I can find him. It looks like it was posted on a site called YourGamesNow, but that domain’s been taken over by some casino crap. :/
He has a patreon that I believe you could probably contact him through: https://www.patreon.com/Destriarch?ty=h
Oh, rock on! Thank you so much.
Woo, he already got back to me. Thanks again!
What did he say? I’m interested in this game as well. Is it on Drive thru or similar?
been listening to the old eps while doing some knitting, and like ik these are from a few years ago, and i hope youve learned some and moved on from making fun of people with “complicated genders”? like hey you dont have to get it or why someone wants to super-define theirs, but id hope you can be excellent to people and let them be
I’ve realized I cannot find any kind of copy of this game at all, neither listings for physical copies or PDFs. Nothing from Drive Thru RPG or even just posted somewhere on a google drive. I have no fucking clue of where to find this game.
It is, almost assuredly, the rarest game we have. They didn’t make a bunch of copies, it never got PDF, and we just lucked into one of probably 500 copies that exists