The Spot Check with Georg Mir and Michtim: Fluffy Adventures


It all started when I got a message on Twitter. It was from Georg Mir, someone I had recently followed. He thanked me for the follow, and posed a challenge: asking me if I was bold enough to become a hero the size of a hamster. And he gave a link: michtim.com.

Now, I am never one to turn down a challenge. I have fought, slain, and commanded beasts large and small on the tabletop and was sure I could handle being a hamster. So having no idea what I was getting into I clicked on the link, and discovered the incredible game that Georg Mir had created. It was called Michtim: Fluffy Adventures and was unlike anything I had ever seen.

The website said the focus of the game was on cooperation, and that your skills were based around your characters emotions. It sounded a little outside of JADE's usual blood filled campaigns, as we are the sort of group that quickly descends very easily to piracy and murder. That being said, we do often work as a team and I thought this would present an interesting challenge for the group. So I quickly ordered a hard cover copy through Drive Thru RPG and waited.

Michtims!
After a couple weeks it finally arrived, and as soon as I opened the package I was impressed by the design! The book was small and sleek; about 9" x 6"  and around 120 pages long. The inside was also simple and elegant, using bright colours and an awesome coded guide along the side to help navigate the book. I loved it!

Love that so much!
Rules in hand, I arranged a game with the group for that Friday and settled down to the learn the rules.

In Michtim you play as a small furry creature the size of a Hamster called... You guessed it... a Michtim! Michtims are magical creatures that live in the woods, and all around. They remain hidden from humans through a ritualistic magic called the veil, which allows their actions for the most part to go unnoticed.

The first step in character creation is to select a size for your Michtim (small, wiry or large), and give them a name. After learning the basics of the world in Fauchshule (Hissing School), it is time to pick your Calling in life.

Three different houses with different views on life.
Your Michtim character will follow many different Callings in life, which function as the game's class system. Each Calling grants the user different abilities that can be combined with the abilities of other Callings to create whole new ones.

Unlike most RPG's character creation in Michtim has a lot of player participation. Many of the abilities and potential skills a character has comes from the player's imagination with the support of the GM. There are even sections on creating your own Callings!

So Cute!
Michtim has one of the most unique stats/skills systems I have encountered in an RPG. Rather then having a discreet character stat and skill list, these abilities are combined into 5 different stats each based around one of your characters emotions: Joy, Love, Grief, Fear, and Anger. The strength of each stat is determined by a number of d6's (between 1-4) that are added to each emotion. In this way not only are your character's strengths determined but their personality. They more dice in an emotion the more likely they are to feel and act that way.

To preform each emotion's skills, players roll all the d6s they assigned to the stat and attempt to roll above 7. To increase their power, players are also able to set aside dice from their skill roll: gaining an additional success for each "banked"  die, if a success was rolled.

Perhaps my favourite mechanic are the mood markers. Every time you preform a skill check in an emotion and roll a six, you get a mood marker in that emotion. This helps sets your personality, and grants a +1 bonus (or a free die if the marker is discarded) to any skill checks for that emotion. But be warned, mood markers also provide negatives in the two opposite emotions, which the rules give you a handy chart to help sort out!

The whole band!
Now I could go on and on about how amazing Michtim and its system is, but I also had a chance to talk with its designer, Georg Mir, and get his perspective on Michtim: Fluffy Adventures, and learn what inspired its design.


1) What's your name and where are you based?

My name is Georg Mir, and I'm from Graz (Austria, Europe).


2) What got you into RPG Design?

I'm into Game Design since age twelve or so. When I was little, my father owned a store that also sold toys, and so I had the pleasure to experiment with all sorts of goodies. I also got a Game Boy back then, and one of my first games was Final Fantasy Legend II (it allowed you to create a custom party of four characters, any combination of human, mutant, robot and monster was possible). It featured additional material (lots of tables!) with small icons and numbers, and I was hooked. Could I make a game out of that? So I sat down, took small stickers, painted icons on them and customized a lot of dice. I created a pen & paper dice RPG, although I wasn't even aware of the RPG hobby at all. I even found people to play this with. It was quite odd though… fairies, mutants, robots and all sorts of craziness going on.

It took a few years until I started playing AD&D, when it finally clicked and I understood what powerful games the roleplaying genre had to offer. It's my absolute favorite genre; because as a child I was alone a lot, and my toys were my only companions. I finally found a tool to stir my imagination, and it involved other people too.

I guess I started to create and modify games as soon as I started the hobby. I bought all kinds of games. One of my first big name RPGs was Vampire the Masquerade. I used it as a foundation for a Gargoyle game, for which I drew lots of illustrations, wrote custom rules and found lots of players. Back then I started playing Ultima Online on a roleplaying free-shard. It didn't take long until I went from being a player to becoming a seer (responsible for roleplaying NPCs and improvised storytelling). My Gargoyles even made it to the server, and soon the new "Angeli" players were my player character's most formidable foes (a Cappadocian vampire necromancer).


3) What inspired Michtim?

There are a ton of inspirations actually. My boyfriend and me created Michtims during my stay in Istanbul back in 2008. We just had the need to create a happy place. Being outcasts during childhood because we were different, we just had the need to belong somewhere. That place was Turnaya, the tree kingdom of Michtims.

Setting-wise there is a bit of Smurfs, Ewoks and other 80s and 90s Cartoon shows in there. Stories about emotions, about being part of a community. Fighting against the big folks and the horrible sightlessness of humanity. From the adventure perspective I guess Shadowrun, Zelda and Final Fantasy are in there as well.


4) What is the biggest challenge you've faced?

Actually getting my game out there. Having people talk about it. Games that feature violence and sex get a lot of hits, and Michtim is diametrically opposed to this. It's a game that's quite suitable for kids, but also has some mature topics in the mix. I have a loving fan-base I'm very proud of, but it's not heavily discussed online. Whenever I hear people complain about sexist games I do realize that those games get actually sold more. So far, my game has never been featured by those groups I tried to cater to. Well, it's okay. It's definitely not "Queer the Roleplaying Game", but I've tried hard to create a welcoming atmosphere. BUT, nevertheless, it's played by folks and their kids, so I achieved my mission. Three years ago, I wouldn't have thought I'd receive that much positive feedback.


5) What do you have in the works now?

I'm in the ideation phase for a campaign setting book right now. I've also created a lot of crunch (new Callings and Utilities for example) that I'd also like to package with the book. Currently I don't have a schedule for this though. The book basically takes the heroes on a quest through several new locales (Bormish Coast, Finsterberg, a haunted mansion in the Moor and the Newbie Dungeon below Turnaya, to name a few). Each area will have of a dungeon or temple (very much in the style of Zelda) and a non-combat overworld zone for exploration. The heroes are sent on a quest to collect several magical gems to reinvigorate the Veil that protects Turnaya from human eyes.


6) Fave game?

The game I've played the most is definitely Vampire in either it's Masquerade and Requiem iteration, so that's a definitive favorite for us. In my most active time I was known for horror scenarios and player vs player intrigue. A lot has changed since then.


7) Most overrated game?

Phew. I'm not the one to point a finger. There are games I don't enjoy, but that doesn't mean they are overrated. That said, I don't particular like games that force me to read tons of material before I can build a character or play the game.


8) Favourite meme?

Haha. I fear I'm not much of an expert on memes. I liked lolcats back in the day, but since then a lot has changed.


9) What game character would you be out of any?

Tym Eisenfuchs, Ninja Toymaker of House Grauling! In other games he's usually a rogue (like in 5E D&D he's an Arcane Trickster with Tinker theme instead of regular magic). I love mixing magic and technology.


10) Best alignment?

I'm a chaotic good fellow, although I have had my best moments in gaming playing the exact opposite too.


11) Magic or melee?

Magic!


12) Old school or new school?

Take old stuff apart, build something new. Rinse and repeat. Try not to over-design and fix unbroken things though.


13) Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

Both have their place in my heart. I dig Fantasy with Tech in it.


14) Most epic win?

Finally holding the first printed copy of Michtim: Fluffy Adventures in hands. I'm really proud of it.


15) In a battle for middle earth where would you be?

I'd be a dwarf called Adalwulf Sturmpranke, who has been exiled because of his crazy engineering experiments.


Thanks Georg! We loves your game and wish you all the best in the future! I personally can't wait until your next Michtim book is released!

And be sure to check out the write up of JADE's first MIchtim adventure on the blog soon!


Written by: Andrew Gregory

The Spot Check with Georg Mir and Michtim: Fluffy Adventures The Spot Check with Georg Mir and Michtim: Fluffy Adventures Reviewed by Jade GamingNews on 5/07/2015 12:14:00 pm Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I've had the Michtim game for a long time but I don't have the time really to invest in creating adventures that match this very anti-hack-n-slash genre. The campaign book described in question 5 would be a perfect gateway into this world and way of playing...please do this! Maybe Kickstart it or something (just don't over do it!)?

    ReplyDelete