The Church of MYZ

Frickin’ Anthropomorphics

This is the next full-length Mutant: Year Zero game they’re doing. It’s about mutated animals. The Kickstarter launches on Thursday.

This might be where they lose me. God I hate furries EDIT: anthropomorphic animals that may or may not be cute. I hates it. But do I really? I like Mouse Guard and The Warren. I like Epyllion an awful lot, and that’s not only playing a critter, it’s basically playing My Little Pony. I have no specific objections to furry-leaning mutations in straight MYZ, like “beast man” and “amphibious” and such.

So I don’t know. I don’t know.

My gut says that yes, of course, I’m totally backing it. It’s a whole new self-enclosed campaign, new rules for running a group of rebels (probably a lot like how you run your Ark, yeah?). Don’t know if there will be another deck of cards or not, but I sure hope so. 

Anyway. Mutant wabbits. So torn.

0 thoughts on “The Church of MYZ”

  1. This seems like a strange brand move for me. I was just starting to get interested in MYZ on the grounds that it seemed like a cool OSR/AW mashup… But uplifted animals ain’t my thing.

  2. Mark Diaz Truman it’s a throwback to OG Mutant, which is a huge geek culture keystone still in Sweden. It’d be like releasing an edition of D&D without magic users.

  3. Christopher Weeks​ no knowledge of mutant plants. Ulf Bengtsson​​ would know!

    I think the last big unaddressed Mutant throwback element is intelligent robots. There’s a signature robot character in the old Mutant that’s basically as big as Drizzt or Elminster or something.

  4. I own the Swedish version, and it was a big letdown to me. This campaign is a railroad, pure and simple. There are NPCs with plot immunity, tips on how to handle if the players are “too clever” and guess something beforehand (basic tip is usually: fuck them over).

    I really can’t recommend it…

  5. Eric Mersmann right? I’m all-in if there’s a group of ICBM-worshipping freaks but talking bears is just going too far.

    Honestly I don’t know where or how my apocalyptica lines are drawn. 1970s Planet of the Apes was awesome! Gamma World sucks!

  6. Anders Nordberg so not really enough new stuff in terms of character options or rules for running your gang?

    When I saw they weren’t doing cards I got skeptical.

    Honestly the core book is so great that I think they’ll have a hard time accessorizing it.

  7. There are character options for the animals… but those don’t really mix with the old rules. Being an animal is more a different race, though they also have slightly different skills and classes.

    I got some new technology cards, tokens and dice out of it at least, but I’m not using anything else.

  8. Mark Diaz Truman My new RPG will be called Zone Crawl Loves Base Raider, it’s a drama-rich story game of relationships, rogues, and sandboxes set against a backdrop of 90s iron age comic book super villains and romance novel covers

  9. Well, it’s nice (?) to see that “but is it OSR?” conversations are just as fruitful as the “but is it a storygame?” and “but is it an RPG?” conversations were last decade.

    Fruitful? Is that the word I’m looking for? No it’s some other word.

    I will say that you spend about half your time dealing with continuous-but-story-driven material, about half your time with randomized-but-story-driven material, and about half your time with procedurally generated awful grindiness. And all three of those halves inform each other if you’re playing right.

    Not any kind of OSR I’ve ever heard of but that third half is probably inspired by generated hexcrawl type play.

  10. I’ll have to check out the Kickstarter. I’ve been interested in the MYZ game from a while back. I’m not sure how mutant animals will feel I’m this one, though I do love me some TMNT and Usagi Yojimbo.

  11. Lots of opinions. Informed and otherwise.

    Let’s just ad some facts and confirm what paul hinted at above: YES this is in line with the old 1980’s game that I grew up with. So not at all surprising to me. I totally understand the “surprise” and mixed emotions you guys are showing here though. Mutant has always been a strange crossbreed between “Mad Max” and “The Wind in the Willows” … with confused Robots as part comic sidekicks, part sad depressing wizards (since they had a knack for ancient technology).

    Were there plants? I don’t recall any PC race that were plant-based. But there were definitely plant based monsters. In fact the first box included an intro adventure featuring a village infected with Liil. A sort of “Invasion of the body snatchers” where some people had been replaced by vegetable copies called Liil. Liil grow in seed-pods attached to a big sentient “mother-tree” that has to be defeated to stop the invasion. Liil have some sort of hive-mind similar to mushrooms and will come running to defend the mother-tree when it is attacked. The tree by the way had tentacles rather than branches… Very “Dark Young”-ish.


  12. So you know me. I thought MYZ was the game of the year last year, except for ACTION MOVIE WORLD (of course haha yeah). But what MYZ felt most to me was complete. So this doesn’t bug me in the least, because their general release plans for MYZ seem to be holding up (DLC priced chunks of new zone conent). So who cares? It looks fine. I liked TMNT even though I’m skeptical about animal person content. Fuck it, I’ll try it.

    BTW, whatever Modiphius has in the water I want some. They’ve got one of the most ambitious release schedules for a newish company I’ve ever seen. My hunch is that it’s the Paradox money behind them, but they’re going apeshit. MYZ, this, Mutant Chronicles, the Cthulhu stuff, the Dust RPG, the upcoming new Conan RPG. Those aren’t small games or properties.

  13. Symbaroum just got to me last week too. Gorgeous production, unambitious design. So far I think I can rely on Modiphius producing beautiful books but their actual designs are all over the place.

    (Not a comment on Cam Banks​’ work! I haven’t seen it!)

  14. I can’t believe you’re throwing shade at Gamma World! I was psyched when I saw the announcement for this appear in my inbox.

    I’m also with Casey G. on not necessarily dismissing this with the “furries” label. I think furries are a very specific type of anthropomorphic animal fandom that does not encompass everything under that umbrella. It’s like saying that every game that involves sex is “kink”, which isn’t true.

    But, sure, your tastes are your own. E.g., almost anything involving mecha is an automatic not-buying-it for me. It’s a testament to Tenra Bansho Zero that I bought it anyway.

  15. Paul, I believe you may need an airtight definition of geek and nerd to go along with that. Fractally nested human subcultures people opt into self identifying as are notoriously not airtight.

  16. That’s not even an attempt!

    Is “furry” one of those “I know it when I see it” things?

    I’m asking for “airtight” because otherwise you’re not really refuting me piling furry into anthropomorphic fandom.

  17. Casey G. I’m not following what you’re saying.

    But I am getting the sense that there’s some level of offense implied by equating anthropomorphic fans with furry fans. Is that accurate? I mean why else are y’all fixating on this?

    I care very much about offense but not at all about definition wars.

  18. Mark Delsing

    The furry fandom is a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.

    JFC how is that not exactly what this book is? This is a word for word definition of what is on the cover and what is in the book.

    So I’m back to thinking there’s some offensive subtext that these fans do not approve of in those fans.

    Is it about the folks who dress up and have sex in their furry costumes? Is that it?

  19. There’s definitely a derogatory vibe when I read “Frickin’ furries” and “God I hate furries.” And, yeah, the word itself conjures up the stereotypical image of the person who dresses up as a Disney-looking fox in order to have sex. That’s absolutely the image that I always had, until I talked to a friend of mine who is unabashedly a furry, and then I realized that it’s a fandom like any other fandom, with good corners and bad.

    And I love Mouse Guard, and Usagi Yojimbo, and Omaha the Cat Dancer, and Pogo, and mutant badgers in Gamma World and The Chronicles of Narnia, so who am I to look down on people who like that stuff, too, but also like to dress up?

    For me, the distinction is that for a furry, anthropomorphic animals are the whole point. As in, just sitting around in a fox costume or roleplaying a fox -person for the sake of roleplaying a fox-person is reason enough. You know, like how a serious Trekker is happy to just walk around wearing a Starlet uniform, even if they are just having coffee.

    I, OTOH, would have lots of fun playing a Trek RPG, but I have no interest in wearing a Starlet uniform to lunch. I also like the idea of ranger-mice who guard the wilderlands, or mutated badgers who scrounge the ruins for survival, and think those would be cool RPG experiences.

    Does that make me a furry? I dunno; maybe! My gut says no, though.

  20. So this whole conversation feels an awful lot like Bronies.

    I’ve now watched nearly every MLP episode, I’ve enjoyed many of them, I can name all the major and secondary characters, I can describe each season’s narrative arc, I’ve looked up who does the various voices, I can sing several of the songs…but don’t you dare call me a Brony.

    (Even if I totally am by any outsider definition.)

  21. Paul Beakley Oh, I wasn’t taking offense; you can title your posts however you want! I really just meant, yeah, “furry” always sounds derogatory to my ears. Like, “frickin’ Trekkies” doesn’t even come close. Heck, I still feel kinda squicky about them.

  22. Well…Casey and Jonathan both sound like this is pretty important to them, and I want to respect that but I also want to understand why.

    If it’s just being tribal, well…

  23. It looks from the Wikipedia article like a substantial piece of what Furry’s do is online roleplay and I get the sense that lots of them don’t dress up in fursuits and whatever. Seems like a lot of overlap between them and some of us to me.

  24. It’s fairly important to me, as something of a participant. And the general bad rap of furs is pretty undeserved. There are statistics!

    So, imagine trying to classify the different kind of engagement you have in the MLP fandom. Show watchers, toy collectors, artists, lots of other subcultures within subcultures, some you can be proud of (charities!) and some not (r34!) The only common thread is a TV show. You even have a TV show to argue whether a fan activity is aligned with the themes explored! And for a lot of people, there’s also the whole OC thing – Many fans make a personal character who can be a buffer and a banner, anonymity and fame at once. But, even that sort of has rules (omfg, another Alicorn OC?)

    So, then you take away even the show to hang the boxes on. You literally just have one idea: Animals, with some human characteristics, or vice versa, are cool.”

    That’s the only common thread. From there? Funny Animal cartoon fans. Adult artists. RPG players. RPG designers (Hc Svnt Dracones and Vanguard and The Warren are all, in effect, ‘Furry RPGs, just catering to different interperetations) 

    So, whatever kind of fandom sharding you might expect to see in MLP, imagine that but worse. And then to everyone outside of that subculture, only the most shocking, vile, Vanity Fair-article or CSI-Episode derogatory versions get pushed out there and applied to everyone. 

    I think my point is, go ahead and be full bore about disliking specific stuff that comes out of a fandom, because people inside the fandom do that too, but it’s also one of those complex fractal subcultures where everyone who self-selects the label defines it differently.

  25. I’m also not 100% sold on the cute animals angle. I would side with the broad “Does this have to do with anthropomorphic animals? Yes, It’s a bit furry somehow”  . The general term for the cute, animated critters genre I’ve heard is “Funny Animal”, but even THAT has it’s Roger Rabbits.

  26. The thread that would not die!

    I woke up this morning realizing I’d made a grievous category error with this post! “Furry” is what the fans call themselves, yeah? Shit, I got no problem at all with folks doing whatever. Dress up, cosplay, sexytimes in cat ears, whatever. Totally no problem with furries as human beings. I was conflating that term with the actual anthropomorphic characters, with whom I cannot connect at all. 

    Unless they’re Planet of the Apes apes. Or any of the Star Wars aliens that are anthropomorphic animals in all but name only. Or they’re Usagi Yojimbo, which I read and enjoyed. Or Samurai Cat, which I’d forgotten about until I started typing. Or that old Albedo series, which I followed really closely and kind of forgot featured animal-people. 

    So, anyway, apologies! I absolutely do not hate furries. I was super lazy with my language and that’s on me.

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