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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Payndz posted:

I've probably missed something out of the 3000 Rifts splats featured in F&F, but is there a reason why Glitter Boys are called Glitter Boys? It's such a ridiculous name! Considering that the anime/manga the artwork plunders has things called Gundams, landmates, mecha, mobile suits, Valkyries, hardsuits, Metal Gears, battlemovers, labors and buster machines, why the hell did they go for a name that sounds like a camp 1970s glam-rock act?

According to the commentary in the Ultimate Edition corebook, Siembedia had originally wanted to call them Boomers, because of the Boom Gun, but he had felt that it was name that should stay relegated to the bad robots from Bubblegum Crisis. Siembedia had originally wanted to call the entire game Boomers after them, but relented when someone acknowledged that he kept mentioning rifts in a conversation during its development.

At least when Rifts: Chaos Earth came out, they gave a new name for the Glitter Boy, the Chromium Guardsman.

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Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


darthbob88 posted:

You said Wisdom twice. I assume the face is Charisma, because you're affecting how the victim looks? Wisdom being attached to the stomach is appropriate as well, because Wisdom is gut instinct and such.
Yeah, you're correct. Fixed.


Count Chocula posted:

The new season of American Horror Story, Coven, looks like its going to be a mix of Hellcats and Hockeysticks, WGA, and Chris Fields.
That sure sounds like...something.

END ME SCOOB
Mar 27, 2007

Like, I shoulda known the dog would smell it, man. I was way too high to bury him deep enough! I guess we gotta do this, huh? Alright, Scoob, get ready for my full power! DON'T HOLD BACK, PAL!

ZOINKS!

Fossilized Rappy posted:

That sure sounds like...something.

If you haven't watched any of the AHS miniseries, get ye to Netflix. They're some of the best TV running.

biosterous
Feb 23, 2013






Fossilized Rappy posted:


[*]Save to Disk (5th level arcane Transmutation): [...] theoretically you could put something like a troll on it as a horrible trap.

This seems like it could the setup for a pretty great D20mod mystery adventure. Some mage in the recording industry wants to kill a bunch of musicians and competitors, and uses this to sneak lethal creatures into their homes and places of work. Who'd notice an errant CD among all the other ones?

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



biosterous posted:

This seems like it could the setup for a pretty great D20mod mystery adventure. Some mage in the recording industry wants to kill a bunch of musicians and competitors, and uses this to sneak lethal creatures into their homes and places of work. Who'd notice an errant CD among all the other ones?

Or some broke college kids from Texas A&M&M decide to use their magic powers to break into the local used CD & DVD store so they can sell the loot to another used media store.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


Adnachiel posted:

written by one Andrew Peregrine

To be fair to the guy, Peregrine's are cool birds.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Young Freud posted:

Or some broke college kids from Texas A&M&M decide to use their magic powers to break into the local used CD & DVD store so they can sell the loot to another used media store.

An Aggie couldn't do that because Arcane magic is Intelligence based! I'm kidding. It's alright for me to tell jokes like that because I have a friend who's an Aggie and he's cool about it.

FourmyleCircus
Sep 15, 2013


AccidentalHipster posted:

You probably shouldn't have mentioned that because now you've got a certain Dan Brereton fan hoping you'll take a bullet for him. Speaking of dapper goons with great taste in comic book artists, I have a few things I need to get off my chest about

As I have no idea who that is, I'm going to take the route of least pain and pretend he's respawnresponsible for ShatterZone.

Because dammit, I wanted to like it. A focused version of the MasterBook system? A Sci-Fi game that wasn't trying to combine the worst bits of Star Trek and forensic accounting? Or Star Wars and Conan? Sign me up.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



AccidentalHipster posted:

An Aggie couldn't do that because Arcane magic is Intelligence based! I'm kidding. It's alright for me to tell jokes like that because I have a friend who's an Aggie and he's cool about it.

I thought the joke would actually be that it's Aggies doing some overly complicated plot for something that's literally peanuts.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Young Freud posted:

I thought the joke would actually be that it's Aggies doing some overly complicated plot for something that's literally peanuts.

I know, I was just playing off of that as best I could. Er, sorry if it wasn't that funny.

FourmyleCircus posted:

As I have no idea who that is, I'm going to take the route of least pain and pretend he's respawnresponsible for ShatterZone.

Because dammit, I wanted to like it. A focused version of the MasterBook system? A Sci-Fi game that wasn't trying to combine the worst bits of Star Trek and forensic accounting? Or Star Wars and Conan? Sign me up.

If you mean Dan Brereton, he's the guy who drew my avatar, the Spider. He also did the Nocturnals series which I love to pieces. ShatterZone sounds awesome though.

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Oct 21, 2013

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I'll just add the Nocturnals supplement for Mutants & Masterminds worth getting and is pretty cheap these days since it was for M&M 1e, which is ironic because it's about 95% background material. You can usually find it at most cons for 50% off or more. It's one of the prettiest game books ever released in my mind, but that's because Dan was able to pull on a lot of comic pros for the art. It's probably the only time you'll see Bruce Timm, Ronnie del Carmen, and Phil Noto contributing to a game book together.

NihilVerumNisiMors
Aug 16, 2012


biosterous posted:

This seems like it could the setup for a pretty great D20mod mystery adventure. Some mage in the recording industry wants to kill a bunch of musicians and competitors, and uses this to sneak lethal creatures into their homes and places of work. Who'd notice an errant CD among all the other ones?

Someone uploads an actual troll to the Internet that develops the ability to kill people via heart attack from massive trolling.

I would totally run that.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Alien Rope Burn posted:

I'll just add the Nocturnals supplement for Mutants & Masterminds worth getting and is pretty cheap these days since it was for M&M 1e, which is ironic because it's about 95% background material. You can usually find it at most cons for 50% off or more. It's one of the prettiest game books ever released in my mind, but that's because Dan was able to pull on a lot of comic pros for the art. It's probably the only time you'll see Bruce Timm, Ronnie del Carmen, and Phil Noto contributing to a game book together.

I kinda wish I could get it in pdf format but I don't think it was released around the time when pdf rpgs were a thing.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




So, I've been lurking for a while, and this thread is a major reason why I finally got around to paying my . There was some talk about Wraith on the previous page, especially Charnels Houses of Europe and Wraith: the great War. I've got both those books (in fact, I have a lot of Wraith books), and they're pretty great. The thing about Charnel Houses is that they actually took the time to make a great setting, full of plot hooks and interesting NPCs, that no one is ever going to use.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


AccidentalHipster posted:

I kinda wish I could get it in pdf format but I don't think it was released around the time when pdf rpgs were a thing.

Yeah. There could be licensing issues with that anyway, even if Green Ronin were inclined to re-release its Mutants & Masterminds first edition catalog.

deadly_pudding
May 13, 2009

who the fuck is scraeming
"LOG OFF" at my house.
show yourself, coward.
i will never log off


Syrg Sapphire posted:

If you haven't watched any of the AHS miniseries, get ye to Netflix. They're some of the best TV running.

Have they gotten the second one yet? Either way, the first one was super good. My girlfriend and I fuckin marathonned that thing and we were both super sad when we ran out. Also it's good brainfuel if you want to run a Wraith-type game that is "Beetlejuice Without Beetlejuice".

END ME SCOOB
Mar 27, 2007

Like, I shoulda known the dog would smell it, man. I was way too high to bury him deep enough! I guess we gotta do this, huh? Alright, Scoob, get ready for my full power! DON'T HOLD BACK, PAL!

ZOINKS!

deadly_pudding posted:

Have they gotten the second one yet?

According to a pal of mine, last week it went up (the same day as S3 premiered, maybe).

Majuju
Dec 30, 2006

I had a beer with Stephen Miller once and now I like him.

d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook - Part 2



Chapter 1 - CHARACTERS

The Characters chapter opens with a paragraph explicitly tying your character’s performance to their statistics. This sets the tone for how d20 Modern was designed - it’s very much a stats-primary, story-secondary system that rewards system mastery and munchkinning based on your particular Game Master’s proclivities. That said, it also absolutely allows you to develop cinematic heroes that you genuinely enjoy playing, partly for the aforementioned reason.

Character creation follows a decently complex process of choosing ability scores, class, class features, your starting occupation, skills, feats and gear. There are plenty of options (some good, some terrible, naturally), so let’s dig in!

The Abilities

To begin character creation, d20 Modern offers you a choice of methods for generating your character’s ability scores. The first one presented is roll 4d6, keep 3, and assign freely. This is important as your class is tied directly to whatever ability score you choose to make your primary, so you kind of have to know what your character’s going to be good at from the outset. The game gives you an out if you roll truly terribly - if you get nothing higher than a 13, or you have less than a net 0 of your modifiers. Both of these are hard to get, but it’s entirely possible to have a character that doesn’t satisfy the reroll conditions and is still a useless junk-pile.

The other options for ability scores are “planned generation”, or point-buy (using 25 points), and a ‘standard’ score package - 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. Note that since your character doesn’t receive any racial ability score bonuses, their ability-score-related plus bonuses are slightly lower compared to, say, a level one D&D character (which will probably have an 18 at least).

The six attributes:
Strength governs your melee attacks, damage rolls for melee & thrown weapons, Climb, Jump, and Swim skill checks, and miscellaneous physical checks (like breaking down doors).
Dexterity covers your ranged attack rolls, your Defense and Reflex saving throws, and various skills including Hide, Move Silently, and Drive.
Constitution affects how many hit points you gain when you level up, your Fortitude saving throw, and the Concentration skill.
Intelligence gives you more skill points per level, and is responsible for Search and Knowledge skill checks.
Wisdom is used for the Will saving throw, and the Listen, Spot, and Treat Injury skills.
Charisma applies to your various Bluff, Diplomacy, and Disguise checks, as well as general Charisma checks used to ‘influence others’.

There is a sidebar in the Abilities section that provides some guidelines (just guidelines!) towards using your character’s ability scores to determine how they are roleplayed. These include things like “characters with low Intelligence may mispronounce words” and “a character with high Charisma and low Wisdom may be popular, but he doesn’t know who his real friends are.” Again this promotes the numbers-heavy nature of the game generation, which is sort of quaint to look at nowadays.

The last important thing about ability scores: you gain points in them as you level up (as normal), and they change as you age - your mental stats (Int/Wis/Cha) will increase, while Str/Dex/Con will degrade with character age.

Character Classes

And now we get to the meat of character creation - d20 Modern’s class system. Instead of assigning you an occupation-based class like other d20 system games, d20 Modern has you choose from one of six Basic Classes. These are, not coincidentally, tied into your ability scores fairly heavily, and the six basic classes are:

Strong: Characters with training in “athletic endeavours”, who are probably good at melee combat.
Fast: Levels in Fast represent “training in agility, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes”, and Fast heroes tend to be good at ranged combat.
Tough: Tough heroes see their levels contribute to “physical fitness, health, and stamina.”
Smart: Smart levels “improve a character’s reasoning and skills.”
Dedicated: Should have perhaps been called Wise, but revolves around “investigative, empathic, healing, and spiritual devotions.”
Charismatic: Levels of Charismatic represent training in being “a leader, a celebrity, a con artist, or a flirt,” and all the social niceties that go along with those.

You are capable of multiclassing, to an extent, freely taking levels of other Basic Classes when you level up, to shore up or extend your character development. There are also Advanced Classes (basically Prestige Classes) that come into play in longer-running/advanced-start games, but are discussed much later in Chapter 6.

Your character’s class(es) contributes to your character in the form of Base Attack Bonus, Base Save Bonus, your available class skills, hit dice, and a number of class talent choices. Base Attack Bonus scales differently for each basic class, and I’ll discuss that in detail when I go over the classes one by one. Save bonus varies similarly, and there’s also a generic Defense bonus that factors into your Defense (or Armour Class). Your class also gives you a Reputation bonus that allows you to call in favours or purchase gear more easily. Characters also receive Action Points, which are a generic resource you can spend for various things, and are tied to your character’s level both in the number you get, and how many you get when you level up.

The other two things you get from your class are choices out of a tiered Talent pool, and bonus feats. d20 Modern treats everyone as human, meaning you get two feats at first level, and also accelerates your feat progression, giving a feat every two levels (2, 4, etc.) you take in a basic class (though these are all off a prescribed per-class list). Meanwhile, you get a talent choice on every odd level, so there's lot of choices to make as you advance.

NEXT: Fast heroes, Moondogs, farmers and MONEY.

Majuju fucked around with this message at 22:31 on Oct 21, 2013

Pinball
Sep 15, 2006






As a World War One nerd, it'd be awesome if someone wrote up Wraith: the Great War.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


MonsieurChoc posted:

So, I've been lurking for a while, and this thread is a major reason why I finally got around to paying my . There was some talk about Wraith on the previous page, especially Charnels Houses of Europe and Wraith: the great War. I've got both those books (in fact, I have a lot of Wraith books), and they're pretty great. The thing about Charnel Houses is that they actually took the time to make a great setting, full of plot hooks and interesting NPCs, that no one is ever going to use.

Are you implying that you want to do a write up of Charnel Houses? I have a morbid interest in the Holocaust and I have been interested in that book ever since I heard it was actually good, even though I've never been interested in Wraith. I'd read it.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


That book has always been hard for me to get a handle on. Everything i've heard is that it's nothing but respectful and the kind of mature take on the subject that White Wolf always claims to have, but...it's still an RPG about ghosts fighting each other. I would read a writeup of it.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!







So, it’s been a few months since my last post but I’m going to try and finish up my section-by-section review of the WLD. Region F certainly deserves mention because it is truly one of the worst ideas in the whole dungeon. Like I mentioned in past reviews I’ve been attempting to rewrite the WLD to make it more usable. Region F I decided was not worth saving and had to be scrapped. You’ll see why.

Monster-wise Region “F” seems to have a Greek theme going. The primary inhabitants are minotaurs, lots and lots of minotaurs. If you remember my reviews for Region A way back when you’ll remember that one of the biggest problems was that the encounters were extremely repetitive and just an endless parade of fiendish rats and/or darkmantles. Well, Region F makes it look downright creative in comparison. Like I mentioned they seem to be trying for a “Greek monsters” theme but didn’t realize until they finished that there aren’t really that many greek-themed monsters of an appropriate power level (not that this stops them from throwing in a CR 12 Rakshasha who doesn’t fit either the power level or the greek trappings).

So what you end up with are about 40 encounters with minotaurs about 3 encounters with a small group of harpies, a single shadow, an 8-headed cryohydra, a minotaur bodyswapped with an elf, a Gynosphinx, an assassin vine, a rakshasha sorcerer, a medusa fighter, a dragonne, and about four manticore encounters. That’s right, about 55 or so encounters, 80% of which are minotaurs.

If that seems like a small number of encounters for a dungeon of this size then you’d be right. In fact, this section has SIXTY! empty rooms. Not rooms that are detailed, but empty. I mean rooms that don’t have numbers, descriptions or anything. This section is so obviously unfinished that it’s really just sad. Hell, even if they wanted to stick with the greek theme there are plenty of level appropriate options that could have been used: chimeras, satyrs, centaurs, nymphs, etc. Not to mention the many, many interesting mythological monsters of greek myth that could have easily been statted with just a modicum of effort. Greek mythology is one of the best out there and D&D owes so much to it thematically, it deserves more than this half-assed effort.

There’s also nothing resembling a “plot” or purpose to this Region. There are two minotaur tribes that have recently undergone a schism (so basically just like the goblins of Region B), but they’re not actively at war, and frankly the distinction is pretty minimal. One tribe might trade with PCs (probably not), the other will basically attack on sight. That’s about it. And of course there are a ton of editing errors and bad encounter conditions. For example, most of the minotaurs appear to be randomly immune to fear.

But all of that pales in comparison to the primary feature of this region: The Warp Gates. You see, the celestials apparently weren’t satisfied with the all-door when it comes to needlessly inconvenient means of transportation. You see there are 10 doorways in the dungeon marked with extremely tiny magical glyphs (which seem impossible to interpret or identify, even if they’re found). Opening the door requires you to roll randomly to see which of 10 rooms the door opens into somewhere in the dungeon. Now there are two main problems with that:

1) First, according to the description the door will close automatically after someone steps through (there are no rules for what, if anything, can stop this). This means that the moment anyone has stepped through the party is likely scattered across the dungeon. If more than one person goes through then the situation is made even worse.

2) If anyone other than a Lawful Good characters steps through one of these doors then they get hit with a random "side effect"



As you can see, these effects range from minor annoyances to status effects that last for hours, to save-or-die effects. In fact, death is probably not even the worst option. You can fix that with a Raise Dead spell which your cleric might have access to at some point during this region's level range. No one will have the Heal spell you need to cure Insanity or Feeblemind for at least another 3 or 4 levels.

That's right. If you decided to make the horrible mistake of playing any character alignment other than Lawful Good you will be punished for walking through a door. Even if you are LG the party is going to be scattered all over the dungeon and many gates pop you out right next to dangerous encounters like that 8-headed hydra (imagine trying to fight that solo while still recovering from whatever the warp gate decided to do to you).

Even further proof of an incredible lack of thought put into this section: every single monster (like all those minotaurs scattered across the dungeon) is not LG and many of them are in places that would inevitably require them to use the warp gates. Why are there not petrified or insane minotaurs all over the dungeon? Some of them have the "warp keys" that allow you to set the gates to non-random locations but that doesn't protect them from the gate's side-effects.

All in all, I've got to say this is winning so far as the worst Region in the entire WLD...possibly the worst module (certainly the worst commercially available module) I've ever seen.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Majuju posted:

Fast: Levels in Fast represent “training in agility, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes”, and Fast heroes tend to be good at ranged combat.

I assume you'll be covering why everyone takes at least 1 level of this class.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




Adnachiel posted:

Are you implying that you want to do a write up of Charnel Houses? I have a morbid interest in the Holocaust and I have been interested in that book ever since I heard it was actually good, even though I've never been interested in Wraith. I'd read it.

I guess I could do that, or Great War or any other Wraith book, really. I really love Wraith and I'd love to talk about/ramble on about it. Unless someone else wants to do it first?

Redeye Flight
Mar 26, 2010
I liked it--it was witty enough and a lot more impressive than I was expecting for a girl's toy cartoon. So I thought, "Hmm. I'm on Something Awful. I don't see a thread for this anywhere, but other people might like it--it's not like it would be the first cartoon for kids that SA's taken a shine to." So I made a real earnest thread and put it up in TV/IV. And I was both right and wrong, because the forum blew up and fell over, and the thread got raided to shit by FYAD, and in like I think two weeks the show was banned outright because people kept causing fucking drama.


So, everyone remember Feng Shui, from the first iteration of this thread?

Turns out, Atlas Games hasn't been spending the last five years working on new expansions--they've been laying groundwork for a whole new edition! My mis-post earlier was for a session from the very first round of feedback games, to help lay groundwork for the new edition.

It could easily--and probably will--be years before it comes out, but it's not a dead game, at least!

Majuju
Dec 30, 2006

I had a beer with Stephen Miller once and now I like him.

d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook - Part 3



Chapter 1 - CHARACTERS Continued

Like D&D 3 before it, d20 Modern ties its character classes to specific, iconic heroes that are ubiquitous throughout the game’s art. This is actually a really cool thing - you get to see a number of permutations of these iconic heroes, and how they interact with the setting. Wizards has tons of art available to view and I’ll be trying to insert as much as I can into these posts.

So! On to the basic classes.

The Strong Hero


Russell Whitfield, Strong Hero

Strong heroes use their Strength score and training in physical strength and power to contribute to the party. They are boxers, martial artists “some types of soldiers”, athletes (but only some types of athletes), blue-collar workers, and others who “rely on pure brawn”. They tend to favour Constitution and Dexterity as secondary abilities. Strong levels give you a 1d8 hit die, and their class skill list is pretty narrow: Climb, Craft (Structural), Handle Animal, Jump, Repair, and Swim, plus various language skills. The Strong hero is the guy who clubs Batman on the back of the head with a giant pipe wrench.

Strong heroes have the best Base Attack Bonus progression: +1 per level, starting at level 1. Their Fort save and Defense bonuses start at +1 and scale every even level (maxing out at +5 at level 10), and their Reflex and Will save bonuses cap at +3. They have the worst Reputation bonus scaling of any class, starting at +0, and only ending at +2 at level 10. They get 3+Int skill points per level, which is the worst you can get. They get Simple Weapon Proficiency for free, but so does practically every other class.

The talent trees for Strong heroes are Extreme Effort, Ignore Hardness, and Melee Smash, each with three levels. Extreme Effort gives you a +2/+4/+6 bonus to any Strength or Strength-based skill check, but requires a full-round action (meaning you can’t get the bonus on, say, a quick Jump). Ignore Hardness lets you do just that - ignore 1/2/3 points of an object’s hardness when making a melee attack. Melee Smash gives +1/+2/+3 damage on all melee attacks. This is the first obvious better/worse dichotomy - unless you really want to cut through armour plating with your Hanzo steel, you’re better off just taking Melee Smash.

The Strong hero’s bonus feats are things like Archaic Weapons Proficiency, Cleave, Combat Martial Arts, and Weapon Focus...and Animal Affinity.

The Fast Hero


Yoriko Obato, Fast Hero

Fast heroes prioritize their Dexterity score and are known for their agility, hand-eye coordination, and quick reflexes. They are athletes who favour speed and grace, stunt people, pilots, and gun-wielding agents skilled at sleight of hand. The book suggests also placing good scores in Charisma, Intelligence, and Wisdom to boost your character’s effectiveness. Like the Strong hero, they use 1d8 for hit dice, and have a skill list that cover things like Balance, Pilot, Drive, Ride, Move Silently and Tumble. They luckily get 5+Int for skill points, which is average. The Fast hero is the one who shoots Batman with a poison dart from her hiding place in the shadows.

The Fast class BAB progression is middle of the road, capping out at +7/+2 at level 10, and their save progression mirrors Strong heroes, though Reflex gets the best bonus. They get a huge defense bonus, however, starting at +3 and ending at +8. This is somewhat important later! They also have a really crummy reputation bonus - nobody likes the stunt driver, apparently. And, like Strong heroes, they start with Simple Weapons Proficiency.

Fast heroes have only two talent trees: Evasion, and Increased Speed. Evasion mirrors the various rogue-type class features from D&D - you can make saves to avoid area attacks, retain your Dex bonus when ambushed, become immune to flanking, or spend an action point to make an attack of opportunity against an enemy that has just been hit by an ally. The Evasion tree also contains Defensive Roll, a talent that allows the Fast hero, when they would otherwise be reduced to 0 HP, to spend an action point, make a Reflex save (where the DC is the damage dealt), and potentially avoid death. Compare and contrast to Strong talents! Increased Speed is a simple 5/10/15 foot move speed increase - which is pretty powerful as well, considering.

Bonus feats for Fast heroes are things like Combat Throw, Double Tap, Personal Firearm Proficiency, Stealthy, and Weapon Finesse. Nothing too weird here, unfortunately.

The Tough Hero


MOONDOG GREENBERG, TOUGH HERO

The Tough hero uses Constitution as its foundation, deliberately positioning itself as a class to be able to take hits and perform feats of endurance. They are bodyguards, wrestlers, enforcers, and stunt people. Tough heroes value Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom as secondary abilities, since they have a weird mix of class skills - Climb, Concentration, Drive, Ride, Spot, and Survival, amongst others, and their class skills span four ability bonuses. With a 1d10 hit die they stand to gain the most HP on level ups (boosted again by their high Constitution), but they get 3+Int skill points, so you have to be pretty picky as to what you declare your character to be good at. Tough heroes are the super-bulky henchmen that Batman tries to punch out but ends up breaking his hand in the process.

Their BAB progression mirrors Fast heroes, and their save bonuses and Defense bonus progression are the same as Strong heroes, so there’s some synergy there for multi-classing. Tough heroes have three talent trees - Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, and Unbreakable. You can’t pick from Damage Reduction at level 1, but it’s listed first (due to alphabetization), which is sort of obnoxious.

Energy Resistance has five talents that do the same thing: grant your character resistance to a specific energy type (acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic damage) equal to your Constitution modifier. Unbreakable’s talents are Remain Conscious (gives you a single action per round when dying), be Robust (gain additional HP equal to your Tough level), perform a Second Wind - which is the design precursor to 4E’s non-cleric healing - or have Stamina that allows you to heal twice as fast as normal when resting. Once you’ve grabbed one of the talents from Energy Resistance or Unbreakable, you can cross over into Damage Resistance, which gives 1/2/3 DR as you spend more talents there.

The Tough hero’s bonus feats include Alertness, Confident, Improved Brawl, Knockout Punch, Streetfighting, and Vehicle Expert.

A Note on the Art

With this post I’ve been able to include some of the superb art that d20 Modern featured, and I’d like to call out how progressive and generally-inclusive the art direction and writing is overall for the game. The writers take pains to use things like “stunt person” instead of stuntman, and there are lots of “a character” instead of he/she/thems. The art, as well, tends to do a better job of depicting persons of colour, and women, than most RPGs (especially at the time). While there are lots of examples of this not being the case (Yoriko’s picture above, for instance, and there’s one of a gnoll pimp later), the positive examples are probably as frequent, so re-reading it now, it’s kind of nice to see that an effort was being made.

Next: Smart people, dedicated people, and bards charismatic people. Also, jobs!

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




Charnel Houses of Europe The Shoah
Part 1: Introductions


This isn’t an easy book to read or talk about, but I’m going to try. Published in 1997, Charnel Houses was developed by Richard Dansky and written by Jonathan Blake and Robert Hatch for the Black Dog Factory imprint. Most Black Dog books are closer to Cthulhutech than Shindler’s List, being mostly juvenile stuff with lots of sex and violence, but this book is actually a mature take on a difficult subject. The authors really did a good job, or as best as possible when writing a RPG book about the Holocaust.

Foreword
Mi Yagid Labanim: Who will tell the children?

By Janet Berliner

The book starts by an essay written by an author who, at the time, was about to publish the last book in a trilogy of novels dealing with the Holocaust. Here, she tells the story of all the memories she thought of when Rich Dansky called her about the project, and of what went through her mind before she answered him. She remembered a photograph of her grandmother and her siblings, three of which were deported to the camps. She remembered her uncle, who would speak while constantly switching between 6 languages, an old habit that was used to make sure the guards wouldn’t understand what you were saying. She remembered the Children’s Memorial at Yad Vashem, a memorial to the 1,5 million children who died during the Holocaust. Ultimately, her message is this: we must remember the horros of the past, to hopefully prevent them from happening again. This is a theme that is very present throughout the book, the back cover writes in big letters “Because the Story Must Be Told” and it’s repeated again in the introduction.

Ghost Story: Rusalka
By Robert Hatch

This is the classic White Wolf short story at the start of the book. It’s only two pages long, and starts with a quote from “The Song of the Murdered Jewish People”, a poem by Yitzhak Kacenelson, who died at Auschwitz in 1944. The story itself is the charming tale of a woman who died in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and now takes her revenge on the granddaughter of one of the German doctors who was there. It’s short, brutal, and effective at setting the tone.

Introduction
We now come to the introduction proper. It starts with the usual description of what is in the book, before dealing with the controversial nature of the book. It is stressed that everything dealing with real world history was researched, and only the stuff dealing with the World of Darkness was added. The Holocaust wasn’t some weird plan of some occult faction, it was a human work, just like in the real world. The book is more interested in looking at the consequences of the Holocaust on Wraiths than in shifting blame, a position that I find myself agreeing with.

Charnel Houses of Europe posted:

Wraith is about unfinished business and passion, and surely the 12 million souls who died in the events of the Shoah had much that they left unfinished.
A note is also made about moral ambiguity: both the victims and the persecutors were human being, and to simply reduce them to good and evil would do a disservice to what happened. So not all Jews will be perfect, as they have human flaws and weaknesses. The chapter ends with another repetition of the reason the book exists (because the story must be told) and a list of movies and books about the Holocaust, including the documentation used in the writing of the book.

I think I’m going to stop here for now. Not much for a first post, but the next chapter is pretty big.

Next time: The Telling of Agonies.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Majuju posted:

d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook - Part 3



Man, this really brings me back to all of those nights spent playing the fan-made Naruto expansion for this with my pals. Good times.

A quick note on Ignore Hardness. It was almost immediately errata'ed to give double the listed bonuses because otherwise it's strictly worse than Melee Smash. I'd also like to note that the art seems to go out of its way to make the Fast Iconics look good (perhaps an effort to make the strongest base class appealing instead of laughably 80's like in D&D 3.0's art) and can be inconsistent (i.e. the male Charismatic keeps flip flopping ethnicity between Beach Tanned Italian and Ghostly Pale Korean) but is otherwise like you described. I like it.

...

I wonder if I should do a write up on that Naruto expansion.

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 23:34 on Oct 22, 2013

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


AccidentalHipster posted:

I wonder if I should do a write up on that Naruto expansion.
You know the answer to that. Either it's good, in which case we need to hear about it - or it's terrible, in which case it belongs here.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


I'm looking forward to your review, MonsieurChoc; it's a book I've been interested in a while, and I want to see what good White Wolf looks like.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


AmiYumi posted:

You know the answer to that. Either it's good, in which case we need to hear about it - or it's terrible, in which case it belongs here.

Honestly? I don't know. I haven't touched it in a long time and didn't start getting in to non-d20 RPGs until after I stopped playing it. I think I'll wait for the d20 Modern write-up to progress a little further before I start the Naruto d20 write-up. That way, you guys have a better understanding of the Naruto game's foundation and I can let Majuju's write up do the heavy lifting when discussing core mechanics. It's win-win!

For the impatient, I will say that Naruto has a surprisingly good set up for small groups because it has a built in reason to party together (genin squads), a built in reason to adventure (ninja missions), a cheap way to establish interlocking backgrounds (everyone grew up in the same village) an excuse for troupe style play (the Kage has a whole village to draw on), and even a Hand of God (jounin squad leader early on, hunter-nin later on).

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 00:29 on Oct 23, 2013

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



MonsieurChoc posted:

It is stressed that everything dealing with real world history was researched, and only the stuff dealing with the World of Darkness was added. The Holocaust wasn’t some weird plan of some occult faction, it was a human work, just like in the real world. The book is more interested in looking at the consequences of the Holocaust on Wraiths than in shifting blame, a position that I find myself agreeing with.

While I fully agree with and respect this position, this approach also bugs me some. Supernaturals are responsible for virtually every bad thing (and virtually every thing, period) that happens in the World of Darkness, but the Holocaust? All human, nothing supernatural involved. It's downright egregious when looked at in the context of the rest of the setting for all that I agree with the reasons why they did it.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I Forgot To Hail King Torg


Cythereal posted:

While I fully agree with and respect this position, this approach also bugs me some. Supernaturals are responsible for virtually every bad thing (and virtually every thing, period) that happens in the World of Darkness, but the Holocaust? All human, nothing supernatural involved. It's downright egregious when looked at in the context of the rest of the setting for all that I agree with the reasons why they did it.
I don't remember too much about the book, but I do recall it heavily leaning on the position the good WW writers took: Supernaturals don't "cause" major events in history, they just claim they did after-the-fact; the ones with the power to cause real change are too terrified of change or playing N-dimensional chess with their rivals or just generally have their heads up their rear end too much to see the potential in doing anything other than being parasites.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.




AmiYumi posted:

I don't remember too much about the book, but I do recall it heavily leaning on the position the good WW writers took: Supernaturals don't "cause" major events in history, they just claim they did after-the-fact; the ones with the power to cause real change are too terrified of change or playing N-dimensional chess with their rivals or just generally have their heads up their rear end too much to see the potential in doing anything other than being parasites.

Yeah, this started around the end of the second edition and became the norm into Revised: Supernaturals aren't nearly the Secret Masters they think they are, and they get surprised by humanity all the time. And in the case of Wraith in particular, it would be hard for dead people to cause much of anything. They're dead. Sure, a smart ghost could set himself up some followers, maybe an ancestor cult, but if he's too blatant others are going to come down on him like a bag of soulforged bricks.

Someone once described Wraith as the game where "you start off dead, and it goes downhill from there." It's not always true, but it's pretty appropriate anyway.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


Isn't it relatively common for games to go "yeah, the Holocaust was all us. No one else is that awful."?

I mean, I remember that from In Nomine as well.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


AmiYumi posted:

I don't remember too much about the book, but I do recall it heavily leaning on the position the good WW writers took: Supernaturals don't "cause" major events in history, they just claim they did after-the-fact; the ones with the power to cause real change are too terrified of change or playing N-dimensional chess with their rivals or just generally have their heads up their rear end too much to see the potential in doing anything other than being parasites.

Which is a good way to handle things I think. Inhuman supernatural beings actively trying to ruin mankind aren't scary, they're Justice League villains.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
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That and it's intensely disrespectful to go 'oh yeah we totally did the Holocaust, it was us, woooo'.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Conspiracy theories multiply; if a supernatural conspiracy determines the outcome of wars, the question becomes... what don't or can't they influence? Ultimately, though, there's nothing duller than a conspiracy that influences such grand events but changes nothing as we know it.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






MonsieurChoc posted:

Yeah, this started around the end of the second edition and became the norm into Revised: Supernaturals aren't nearly the Secret Masters they think they are, and they get surprised by humanity all the time.

Yeah, one of several problems that revised CoG had was the party line of 'every single advancement in human history was our doing, except for the bad stuff.' Thankfully it's an outlier in revised. Even Demon danced somewhat gingerly around the nature of religion if I remember correctly.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 03:28 on Oct 23, 2013

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NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








A few years ago I picked up Anger of Angels, a ten-year-old d20 sourcebook based around injecting Judeo-Christian setting elements into D&D. And today I remembered that I actually owned the drat thing. (I paid $4 for it, thankfully.)

It's, well...wonderfully naive at times, written in 2003 () by Sean K. Reynolds (). At least it's short, so I shouldn't be getting bogged down by tirades about D&D breaking down at high levels.

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