You have many whirring eyes and strong, beautiful coiled-steel legs and were made long ago when the cities still stood. You spread one: plants, light, music, warmth, power, knowledge, rust, something else. The longer you stay in one place, the more intense it gets. You have three installed modules; tell us what they do. You walk the green places where soft brown people tend to fruit-trees and sing songs they don’t understand. They pray: DISPEL THE CURSE ON OUR VILLAGE; DESTROY THE PHANTOMS THAT PLAGUE US; TEACH US THE SONG THAT MAKES THE FRUIT GROW. When you act and the outcome is in doubt, roll 2D6 and spend fuel; if you get seven or more, you achieve your aims. If you roll a double, your solution causes an unexpected problem and something is lost forever. When you act with love, roll 1D4+1D6. When you act with hate, roll 3D6. You have 10 fuel. When you have none, you stop. When you use a module, replace one D6 with a D8; if it shows 8, the module breaks. Happy people build shrines for you containing fuel and modules. Without the shrines, you will become a dangerous, scavenging thief: a phantom.
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You play as a mysterious mechanical beast with magical powers spreading your domain among the peoples who populate the world. I was so impressed with the visceral world that this game was able to create with so few words. Not only a description or collection of rules, this game is a call to action! Reading through “Mechanical Oryx”, I feel as though these soft brown people are my responsibility and by not playing I am allowing harm to come to them! The rules are written with enough detail that I don’t feel that any mechanics are missing or unexplained, but they are also vague enough that I could fill in the gaps with my own creations to tailor the experience to me and my groups preferences. - Daniel Adams