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Superhero / science-fiction role-playing. Allegedly. Assuming we live in a world where you can call something by any name without it actually having to be what you're calling it.
When you go around digging up the worst RPGs you can find, you will, of course, find the occasional wretched specimen that is so utterly whacked, so devoid of sanity or reason, that would so obviously be a massive pain in the ass to actually play, that you think it has – just has – to be a joke. Because the alternative – that it's a serious attempt at a RPG, that some fanboy actually woke up one day and thought "Wow! I should make a game where you have to break out a graphing calculator and decode 20 pages of formulas before you can finish creating your character!" – is too depressing to contemplate.
Hybrid, sadly, is the latter.
Oh, at first, I would have thought differently. You see, I apparently live in a world of total bullshit make-believe, where even the most fucked up RPG designers couldn't make something as mind-numbingly stupid as FATAL (which itself is long overdue for a review here) or as complicated, incoherent, and poorly written as today's little exhibit and mean them seriously.
But as quick search on rec.games.frp.super-heroes would reveal, I was very wrong.
How was this game created? Was there never a moment when the author gazed upon his work, and realized "You know, this would be really annoying. I mean, people playing it would beg someone to stab them in the crotch with a downed power line until they have to go to the hospital, if that's what it'd take to make the game stop. What am I doing?"
But I am being silly again. Of course there wasn't such a moment. The designer was a legendarily idiotic troll, even by the terrifying low standards of usenet. Annoying people to the "get that power line warmed up, my crotch won't wait all day" level was the whole purpose.
So what is Hybrid actually like?
It's not like other games, much like how people who have multiple personality disorder and don't know how to speak any languages aren't like other people. Think of Hybrid as a Time Cube RPG (I mean, another one), but this time give the Wisest Human an overwhelming fetish with mathematics and comic books, and remove any references to educated stupid evil-ness.
You'll end up with something that's still mindnumbingly long and incoherent, and makes absolutely no attempt to explain what the hell it's talking about, but now it's all buried under poorly-written mathematical formulas and pop culture references! Fun! Hybrid looks impossibly complicated, but even if you have no math background, you'll soon realize that the ever-present formulas are bullshit, and each rule (rather than contributing to a unified whole like sane rules are supposed to) only covers whatever random topic popped into the designer's whacked mind at the moment he wrote it. Add to that the sheer number of rules that deal with women, beauty, and/or dating, and guessing the designer's specific derangements becomes an even better game than Hybrid itself.
Given that Hybrid doesn't add up to a coherent system (even to the half-assed extent that traditionally incoherent systems like Palladium or World of Synnibarr do), any systematic analysis of its rules is probably futile. I mean, the first sentence of the fucking introduction (you know, those things authors put in to help introduce people to their ideas) is:
INTRODUCTION TO MY ROLE PLAYING GAME BY THE NAME OF HYBRID RPG : For example, IF you want to improve you grade point average, including writing a better term paper, but your # of points of life-force in unit C3 is low [ this applies mostly to guys, but can be converted for ladies with the COM equation for ladies : RULE # 32 ].
And before that is the preface, which kicks off with:
The '80s Secret Wars storyline of Marvel Universe comics is used to create a set of equations that can explain the '86 MU TSR rpg & other popular rpgs into a concise set of equations or formulas which I refer to as the M-Theory for the '86 MU TSR role playing game, and this M-Theory is, also, used for & by other role playing games. This M-Theory that I just mentioned & will be talking about is the HYBRID role playing game, which is a sub-set or super-sub-set of all popular rpgs, and HYBRID rpg is compatible with the '86 MU TSR rpg, including and as well as being compatible with other rpgs such as HERO, GURPS, Primal Order RPG, Envoy System, Synnibarr, Mage-the Ascension, Dungeons & Dragons, TWERPS, Dr. Who rpg, Aberrant, MU Saga, BESM, etc. : HYBRID rpg is compatible with many popular past & current rpgs, but these similarities are by pure coincidence, sort of like ancient astronomers or engineers figuring out value of pi (3.14) indepdently of each other.
This, despite the disclaimer before that, which tells us "And, any similarity/ies between my rpg & that of any other role playing game is purely coincidental or / and a coincidence". Confused or annoyed yet? I hope not, because we're not even to an actual rule yet!
Naturally, Hybrid's rules are something I don't want to get into, either, but if you insist (and are too lazy to just click the official link below), here's a typical example:
RULE # 96 : To figure out how long it will take to write a novel or work of non-fiction @ C3 or C2 DP, you can use the soul equation for serious depth, else cloning equation. But, a much easier alternative would be or might be RULE # 3. But, for this stunt, a still more oversimplification of this might be [[(his C3 DP) / (your C3 DP)]*(time it took him to write his book)]. So, if he’s @ 50 C3 DP & it took him 5 years to write his book, and if you’re @ 10 C3 DP, then it should take you 5x this amount, meaning it should take you 25 years to write a similar book @ similar depth to that written by someone @ 50 C3 DP; but, this latter method or equation contradicts the soul equation, but doesn’t contradict the cloning equation, as predicted by RULE # 28. Look @ RULE # 1, # 18, #28, & # 34 for soul equation vs. cloning equation, else RULE # 3.
Yeah, I know. I'm sure you're dying to know what C3, C2, DP, and everything else is supposed to mean, as none of this even begins to make sense without that. Hey, why don't we turn to Rule #0? I bet that's the one that lays down all the basics!
RULE # 0 : The rules grow @ a rate of 1 rule per month, where an average of 3 rules = 1 page, allowing this HYBRID rpg to grow @ a rate of 4 page / year, allowing it to grow @ a rate of 40 pages / decade, where # of pages = ( # of rules / 3 ), and # of years to write it or this = ( # of pages / 4 ). So, @ 95 rules, its current length if properly worded should = ( 95 / 3 ) = 31.67 pages, giving a time frame of ( 31.67 / 4 ) = 7.92 years it took to come up with the following rules. But, if # of pages = 56, then # of years it would take to write it or this by ( # of pages / 4 ) = ( 56 / 4 ) = 14 years. So, there is some discrepancy between how long it really took to write it or this rpg according to RULE # 28. So, take a look @ RULE # 28.
Damn, that's no use. And I've already mentioned everything worth knowing from the introduction, preface, and disclaimer. Let's try Rule #1.
RULE # 1 : Binary logic [soul equation] is far superior than fuzzy logic [cloning equation], as much as electromagnetism is greater than gravity. But, binary logic or / & the soul equation seem to display properties of gravity for damage scale ; while, fuzzy logic or / & the cloning equation seem to display properties of electromagnetism for its damage scale : both seem to show a SEMBIOTIC relationship to & upon one another. If recall correctly, there was some research done some time ago by professional scientists & engineers to unify gravity & electromagnetism : I wonder if connection between binary & fuzzy logic can be applied to gravity & electromagnetism to show or display a SEMBIOTIC relationship between the two. Both are necessary for a balanced co-existence, like the male & female gender, where the female gender would be analogous to binary logic & the male gender would be analogous to fuzzy logic. Look @ RULE # 34, # 78, # 80, & # 83.
Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick dildo. Well, no explanation of any terms in THERE, either. The amazing truth is, none of the 138 rules (at this writing) explain what any of these variables mean, unless you count:
RULE # 45 : C1 = CA^LOG10(CA) ; C2 = C1^LOG10(C1) ; and, C3 = C2^LOG10(C2). There are other units, but these are the most important & most often used in Hybrid (rpg) role playing game. For latter for types of units, look @ RULE # 46.
So close, yet so far. And let's not overlook this charming passage from Rule #89:
Let's say a perfectly good looking tall adult Caucasian male has 72 C3 DP [ WHAT the rest of us might consider an elite or elitist would have an IQ of 147 by my IQ equation according to RULE # 7 : 14.7^LOG10(14.7) = 23.05 C2, where 23.05^LOG10(23.05) = 71.92 C3 DP ] or 2x that of an average adult African American male, he can more easily take it easy & still get good grades in his college class according the above equation & RULE # 2 EXPLAINS BELOW.
You'll forgive me for not going any further with this, as doing so would put me at an overwhelming risk of once again putting more thought into a game than its designer did.
Things I Learned From This Game
Things To Watch For
2007 HYBRID RPG Update:
Yes, our demented friend now has his own blog, but don't expect scintillating opinions about how sucky George Bush is or weird blueberry cake recipes. Unfortunately, this blog continues his dementia, as it is merely a place for Hybrid guy to post his latest rule addditions. In this you will find such gems as:
Huzzah! And it goes on like this, folks.
Sanity Rating :
-499 points (raving lunacy, one tiny step away from going batshit)
This article was not made by Insolitology, but is held in archive.
This article is © Copyright 2003 Jason Sartin, used with permission.
See his site Middle Finger Evolution at http://atrocities.primaryerror.net/
Please do not reproduce without permission.
Update by Franc on 02/2007.