Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


One of the nice things about the Witchcraft/Armageddon setting was that supernaturals typically aren't all that numerous, except for times leading up to horrible events. And even then, such times just increase the number at large in the world, not what they're doing.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Kurieg posted:

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.

For everything around Genesis, Demon basically goes "Yeah, Adam and Eve technically existed, and so did Cain and Abel. But there were like, multiple layers to the universe back then man! They were both a man and a woman AND the unevolved ancestors of modern day man at the same time! And they were possibly songs on another layer!" to get around having to claim that either evolution or creationism was the correct explanation. Everything after the flood is pretty much ignored, from what I recall. The only "offensive" thing I can think of is an NPC getting pissy about Jesus. And his reasoning was basically "I doubt this one guy got special treatment. Everyone in Creation is the son or daughter of God."

And now, for this...



Hellcats and Hockeysticks: Character Creation: Japanese exchange students get their own clique because anime.

Chapter 2…

Mark Twain posted:

I've never let my school interfere with my education.

Gabriella Cilmi posted:

Sweet about me, nothing sweet about me, yeah.

Andrew Peregrine posted:

In this game, you play the part of one of the most terrifying creatures ever devised, a schoolgirl...

Characters in H&H are students of St. Erisian’s between 16 and 18 years old. There are no rules for playing younger characters, as they would be weak and trampled on by their older peers… or roaming the school grounds and living a tribal lifestyle. There are optional tweaks for playing guys, but they don’t affect a whole lot and come later in the book.

The first part of character creation is picking a clique. Cliques give a character a special ability and determine their 4 class “curriculum”, which influences how skill points are distributed. The cliques are…



Fixers – The daughters of gangsters, mafia bosses, and other assorted criminal types. They specialize in getting items and making contacts. Their special ability lets them spend a Willpower point to call on a contact that owes them a favor. How that’s used is up to the player and HM.



Goth/Emo – Dark, creepy, and possibly into black magic. Goths, however, are not always depressed and morbid, and that’s the difference between the two groups, which are statistically the same. So if you want to play a perky goth, that’s cool. Their special ability lets them scare people by making eye contact and spending a Willpower point. The target gets scared if they fail a resistance roll.



Hockey Girl – The jocks. Want to play a combat oriented character? Pick this clique. Their special ability used to let them add a die to any Games (read: combat) skill roll, but this was errata’d to just adding “1 die when they are doing violence to people and things which makes more sense.”


Sweetheart – That girl who makes everyone think she is a sugary sweet girl-next-door type, even when she’s not. Sweethearts are the manipulators of the cliques. Their special ability (which is called “Butter wouldn’t melt”) lets them have a bonus die on rolls where they’re trying to prove their innocence and, optionally, when they’re trying to pin the blame for something they did on someone else.


Nerd/Geek - Smart girls who can hack into computers, are good at math, and “play the stock market for a hobby”. “[You] know how to strip down a computer and have probably read an awful lot of science fiction. You may well play a lot of those weird role-playing games as well.” Their special ability lets them add a die to any single action that requires them to use their smarts, such as “playing the stock market or hacking a computer network”. I would think that hacking into a network would be an extended action of some sort, but there you go.


Prefect – Natural leaders who specialize in herding the army of cats that is the St. Erisian’s student body. (Yes, the book makes that analogy.) Their special ability lets each party member pick a skill that they will be using to carry out a plan of the prefect’s devising. While they’re trying to fulfill that plan, they get a bonus die for rolls for that skill. If anyone deviates from the plan, everyone loses the bonus. In addition, prefects can summon a gang of 1st years to do their bidding, provided they’re on school grounds or a school trip. 1st years are the students aged 8 to 12 who haven’t joined the formal classes yet. As a result, they live on the school grounds in feral tribes, hunt wild animals and in grocery stores for food, and dress like American Indians… until they turn 13 and suddenly stop acting like that, I guess. Have you ever seen Recess? They’re the kindergarteners. I’m not sure if I should complain about how dumb that is, or let it go since it kind of follows the game’s themes of chaos and anarchy…

Anyway, 1st years will only follow a single one word command (Attack, Capture, Repair, Cook, etc.). How they interpret it is up to the HM.


Scientist – Nerds who work in labs instead of with computers. There’s some stuff about them gaining true knowledge from experimentation versus raw knowledge from books like the Nerds, but that’s what it pretty much boils down to. Their special ability lets them subtract 3 from the difficulty rating of any Fear test, since they’ve naturally seen some weird poo poo from messing with the laws of nature.


Coquette – “I’m a hot girl. Look at my boobs. You should do things for me because I’m a hot girl. Other girls are bitches to me, but that’s because they’re jealous of my good looks and fashion sense.” “Men are queuing up to take you to the best events and buy you the most expensive things. But really, your heart belongs to daddy, as soon as you decide who he is…” Their special ability is that they can make a single male character automatically fail a task once per scene. This can be extended to multiple men “if [the HM] is in a good mood”. (There’s no mention of lesbians or bisexual girls.)


Exchange Student – A student who has come to St. Erisian’s from another country… and by “another country”, I mean Japan. Want to play an exchange student from a country other than Japan? That’s fine. But you can’t take this clique. This clique is here because students from Glorious Nippon are extra special because anime. Exchange students are broken into two “sub-cliques”: Samurai, which are from rich families who didn’t do their research about what kind of school St. Erisian’s really is, and Ninja/Shinobi, which are from families that know drat well what kind of school St. Erisian’s is and sent their daughter there to finish her ninja training. There are seperate special abilities for both: Samurai get +2 dice to combat rolls using katanas and +1 to social rolls when defending her honor, even if the person has a reason to shame her, and Ninja get +2 to rolls involving stealth or escaping bonds. (It was originally 1, but errata’d to 2.)

In H&H, there’s only two crunch stats that you spend most of your time worrying about : Skill ranks and Willpower. Skills are represented as the different classes offered at St. Erisian’s, presuming that the character has taken those classes which she has points in at one point and learned something from them. Each character gets 20 points to spend on skills (one for one), 5 of which have to be spent on the character’s four curriculum skills before anything else. Skill ranks can go from 1 to 5, (1 is "Beginner", 3 is "Professional", 5 is "Master") but skills that are not part of the character’s curriculum are capped at 4. The book goes more in depth into what exactly the different skills represent in a later chapter. Willpower functions exactly like willpower does in real life and also serves as HP. All characters start with 10. Again, this chapter doesn’t go into how it works in depth.

Next is an optional rule for adding a Personality Trait to a character. These don’t do anything except help you come up with a character concept. So if you’ve got a character in mind already, this section is useless. Some highlights are Chav, Stoner, and “Foreign Affectation”:

quote:

You come from another country, usually a European one or from some uncivilised American colony, and you make it pretty obvious. Usually, this takes the form of very stereotypical national affectations and styles and very likely an outrageous accent.

So the Exchange Student clique without the stat bonuses and a smidge more racist and/or obnoxious, basically.

Up next is the Best Friends/Rivals system from Panty Explosion, which functions under the idea that, even when they like each other, girls will always find some way to hate the other girls that they hang out with.

quote:

But naturally, being girls, you all also hate each other.

Well, that’s a bit strong; you don’t actually loathe and despise each other, but you do loathe and despise something about each of the other characters. Jealousy is a bitch.

Every player picks a Best Friend and a Rival from the other PCs. Whether or not you or they keep these choices a secret is up to the players. If there’s only two PCs, each one decides if the other person is their Best Friend or Rival. These choices do not have to be mutual among the players.

Next, you pick something that you hate about every other PC, except the Best Friend character. The reason doesn’t have to make sense or even be true, your character’s warped teenage girl brain will find some way of justifying it. For the Best Friend, you pick something you particularly like. Optionally, you can also pick something you like from all of the other PCs. This is meant to just add some crazy drama among the PCs and doesn’t affect anything stat wise.

Next comes the Secret Fear. Each PC picks one, and only the HM is required to know what it is as it is used for Fear tests, which are explained in a later chapter and can be used to gain or lose Willpower. “You might have a fear of failure, drunks might remind you of daddy in one of his rages, you might be terrified that you'll be left alone…”

Finishing off the chapter is the reminder that you should flesh out your character’s backstory and personality and two list of names, one for regular students and one for exchange students, that you can use if you can’t think of a decent girl’s name for your character.

Up next: Gameplay rules, and lots of them.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 09:16 on Oct 24, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



jadarx posted:

I'm going to have to stop with my review of Houses of the Blooded. I don't have the time to make reasonable updates and frankly don't have the writing skills to make them interesting.

And if you don't mind, I'll pick up where you left! I could restart the Dragon Warriors review I was doing oh, around the time the last thread ended, but I think no one was reading it anyway.

But this? Oh boy. And now that we're fresh out of the Eldritch High review...

Houses Of The Blooded - Part 6

You don't get it, it's art

Sorcery is blood magic. Remember, the ven are essentially sentient spell components created by the sorcerer kings. (Aside: I really like the idea of "yeah, your entire race was created just to make this ritual work better" but the only settings I've seen that roll with it are HOTB... and Carcosa. ) The ancient and unholy art of senvu should have gone forgotten but alas.

quote:

Scholars do not agree on when the ven began using sorcery.

You know, it must be a weird world where Ven Scholar!Wick is writing from. Sorcery is "sure, they used it, no biggie" and Atlantean and Hyperborean civilizations are taken as fact. I think I'd rather read about than than the ven but it's what we have so.

The Serpents are, as we know, the most sorcerous of the Houses. They pushed to make sorcery illegal through the Senate so as to strengthen their position - after all, everyone was knee deep into sorcery by then. It's still used all over the place though, and it's still considered a crime anywhere, but because the Blooded are what Wick wanted L5R samurai to becareful not to point around their own hypocrisies, all the Houses keep a minor noble that's never used sorcery or been the target of it to level accusations when it's politically convenient.

Ven are also fond of ritual: there's a proper form to do everything, from saying goodbye to smoking a joint. You want chaos, go live with the orks, that's bad form, yadda yadda. Wick also invite us to make sense of the "sh'vla controversy" over ven weighs and measures, but he's magnanimous so he won't bore us with that poo poo! Ven measure things the same way humans (and that is to say, specifically Americans) do: pounds, gallons, etc. He also swears he can write an entire book on the complicated way ven had of keeping time but nah, let's use our own measures. Which is weird seeing as Seasons take a specific amount of our months to pass.

The Blooded sent their children off for education at a young age, six or seven. The kids have a ritual last supper with their parents, some last minute gifts, and they're gone by morning. Noble schools teach their students manners, etiquette, politics, self defense, and so on, and are technically independent. Not so much their faculty, however. Other ven prefer private instructors, and considering we're dealing with doomed murderous highborn manchildren here I wonder why any ven would send off their kids away unless they were trying to get them murdered.

Which, honestly, they might be.

Let's talk about capital-A Art! Ven loving love it. It's what transforms us, strikes us with awe, it's

quote:

Try explaining the Grand Canyon with just words. “Big” isn’t big enough. “Enormous” isn’t big enough. In fact, there is no word big enough to convey the BIG of the Grand Canyon.
You just have to stand in awe.

Sure okay.

The greatest ven art is the Opera. It's "Jim Steinman meets John Woo" and where all hell breaks loose. It encompasses all other arts, and it is called "The High Alchemical Art". Ven are so particular about Opera they only recognize seven basic plots as fit for it: Wick tells us it's like how King Arthur automagically evokes images of the Knights of the Round, Guinevere, Mordred and so on. If the plot strays too far from what we know, "we feel betrayed." But the plots can be used to tell many different stories, so they're not repeating the same seven plays all the time.

They all end the same though. Tragedy and Blood. Also they all need that the hero dies or is undone, and always by their own hand. Even in in-setting fiction, PCs can't catch a break in Wickverse. The seven plots are represented by the Seven Fools, the archetypical protagonists of each:

The Actress: she (or he, the Fools can be any gender) is a ven that rises through society by means of an Art, lose sight of her beginnings by the praise of others. Usually commits suicide at the end.
The Dowager Duchess: an old ven that refuses the call of Solace. She acts like a young woman until the hard truth of the world comes around, and is ultimately robbed of Solace.
The Husband: the archetypical neglectful spouse, undone by underestimating his wife's desire for independence and happiness.
The Rake: an unmarried ven, rising in society through romantic conquests, undone by his own shallow heart.
The Swordsman: a high Prowess, high pride type, he refuses apology for any slight and answers all threats with Sword. Of course he's hosed in Wickland.
The Wife: the Wife is demanding, selfish and proud. That's how she got as high as she did, that's what will cast her down.
The Wise Man: the rarest and hardest to write for, the Wise Man isn't really described other than he's the most difficult to make compelling for a ven audience. Hint! Manchildren. The sample Wise Man is actually a common soldier that ends up in a hosed Chance The Gardener situation.

You know, I think Wick is trying to make a point on what the PC's fate will be. Maybe?

There are also two Servants, always named the same, that work as the Greek chorus of the play. The boldest writers use them to comment on the moral of the play, which is dangerous because of Reasons.

And then there's Theater, which is basically improv theater for the masses. No self-respecting noble would be caught dead at the theater, but they usually show up in hooded robes anyway, because it's a loving riot. Theater actors are essentially extreme LARPers, and audiences can tell when they're faking it. But no one can blame an actor for what a character demands them to do, right? Love, revenge, murder...

Something something ven instruments. Meh. Ven music tends to be repetitive, and uses silence a lot as punctuation. At the time the game is set, ballads did not exist. Ven painting was akin to German Expressionism, and always focused on people. Ven did not paint still lifes. No Truth in apples, you know.

The Senate! It's the voice of the ven - the ones that matter, the ones with land. They sit on the Senate because they fought for it, bled for it, killed for it. Senators are ranked according to, well, their noble rank, and have as many votes as land they control. The dukes lead the Senate, recognizing speakers and so forth. Once a Senator is recognized (by three others that outrank him) he gets to talk as long as he can, and must answer questions directly. Else, he is removed from the floor. There are no duels and no bloodshed on the Senate. The Senate gathers on the first new moon of each Season: emergency meetings can and have been called, but they're rare and difficult to pull off. Senators also engage in dachanau, the dance of words, which is basically one-on-one debate. They're mostly used to illustrate the finer points of complicated issues, and multiple debates can be held over a single vote. Dachanau is popular in the Senate, and has spread as a pastime to parties and taverns alike.

If the Senate needs independent eyes, they can call in vashna, Senate investigators. They dress in black and silver to signify their lack of identity and subservience to the Senate, and no ven is above their authority. Of course, that black cloak does poo poo when you're deep in Count Assh'le's lands and you get offered a cup of poison wine or have a chance encounter with 'orks.' The vashna are usually disgraced or indebted nobles, or those who want the power of the Senate and its vengeance. But wait! The Senate does not declare Revenge, no. Just vengeance.

Ven fashion is exaggerated and opulent. Wick plays the "it's so complex and scholars don't agree" card again then tells us to play it up however we see fit. Some details that are clear are that men wore common stuff like hats, gloves, boots and coats, and that women crossdressing was not seen in any form of positive light. And colors, colors mattered a lot.


  • Black: the color of shame, think ASoIaF's "taking the black." It's what you have to wear when you're someone else's personal guard, the color that makes everyone else ignore you. (You can wear black boots and gloves normally, though)
  • Red: the color of Romance and Revenge. You wear it when you declare one of those two and it means that nothing can stand in you way. No law, no ven.
  • Grey: the color of mourning. No Solace in death, remember.
  • Yellow: No ven wear yellow. There are worse things than orks. It's forbidden.
  • Green: the color of springtime and youth. Characters wearing it in literature are naive and generous. Also worn when seeking forgiveness.
  • Blue: the color of curiosity and wisdom. The deeper the shade, the wiser the ven (think they) are.
  • Lavender: the color of idle leisure. Playing, but not for keeps.
  • White: the color to wear when you, or someone you care for, is moving into Solace.
  • Brown: the color of honest labor. Even ven realize they have to put their manchild poo poo aside for society to work sometimes. Also signifies appreciation for the unblooded.
  • Gold and silver: the colors of nobility. Only Blooded wear them.

Let's talk about the economy! No money, no coins. Ven economy is based on barter, trade and promise, and Contracts. Contracts are formal and ritual, and it all makes the economy bureaucratic as gently caress. And don't you dare break one, it's against the law.

We go back to sorcery (because gently caress editing, right), and specifically the two main rituals for nobility: Blood Oaths are magical agreements to ensure noble loyalty, which is kind of a big deal when everyone is a doomed murderous highborn manchild. If a noble bound by Blood Oath breaks it, the old tongue word for oathbreaker is magically tattooed on their forehead, which is kind of lovely for your social life. And then there's the Senvu Swordsman ritual that binds swordsman and sword as if they were one. It's very secret, and the senvu Swordsmen see themselves as an elite brotherhood that will murder anyone that so much hints at revealing the ritual. There are other rituals, of course, and ven are always getting themselves killed in sorcerer-king ruins and palaces looking for them.

Next: Romance and Revenge, or the 'murderous' and 'manchildren' sides of the foursome.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The word "Ven" just makes me think of a bad German accent. "Ven are ve going to haff sausages?"

Yeah, my mental age is about five.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Houses of the Blooded

Just like high school. Except... no, just like it.

A small aside for ven hospitality. It's really important for reasons. A ven invites you into their house? They protect you from all harm. No poison, no treachery. In exchange, the guest agrees not to sneak around the house or be a douche in general. This is one of those that are taken seriously. No one said anything about being a douche to other guests though.

And now, Revenge!

quote:

Vrentae. The Hate. The Old Tongue. A red spirit possesses the Heart. Hungry. It can only dine on retribution. To satisfy the Hate, one must undertake High Revenge.

It's a big deal, because see, for ven there's no such thing as justice. Wick says it's the only time we'll see this word in the book, in fact! (He lies. It shows up about five times.) But Revenge, that's in every Opera, in the mind of every ven. They're obsessed with revenge because first, since Shanri really can't support armies or large-scale warfare and war is forbidden by law anyway, ven turned to small scale action. The smallest scale action is, of course, the ritual duel. It's all Artsy and stuff because nobles have to uphold civilization, you know. Second, there's no word for "crime" in Venspeak. There are only the Three Great Offenses, and only Blooded may commit violence (no unblooded, not for any reason, so I guess there are no legal peasant hunters or anything in the entire world). So the idea is, if a ven breaks the Law, they have committed Insult or Injury. The wronged party goes before a Jury, makes a case, and if found to have merit, then they're allowed to seek Revenge. Again, this is not about justice: this is about making the other rear end in a top hat suffer as much as you did. It always ends in tears.

And now, Romance!

quote:

Vrentae. The Lust. The Old Tongue. A red spirit possesses the Heart. Hungry. It can only dine on the rage of Passion. To satisfy it, one must undertake Romance.

SPOILERS ROMANCE AND REVENGE ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN WOOOOOOO. In fact, it all depends on how you pronounce the drat word - VREN-tae means Romance, vren-TAE means Revenge. Anyway, the thing about Romance is that basically, love in ven society did not exist as a concept, at all. Because this is a Wick game, all marriages were politically convenient alliances. No, no love, but there was lust because ven are horny assholes. And then someone, somewhere, came up with the idea that maybe this whole funny butterflies in the stomach business wasn't wrong. Maybe it was right, maybe it was worthy, even sacred.

Ultimately, both Romance and Revenge are obsessions (the word literally means "holding my heart"), which is why ven under them wear red. If they're wearing it for Revenge, they're marking themselves because legal Revenge means they simply cannot be bound by anything. No law, no ven. But this vrentae is ritual, of course, and must be carried out in a given period of time, or the ven's reputation will be severely harmed. Ven under Romance wear red for similar reasons: they're considered not to be thinking with a clear head so they're expected to have some more lenience from their peers. But just a bit. And neither Romance nor Revenge last forever - just enough to ruin a ven's life. Romance isn't silly, by the way! Did you know those fantasy novels you care about so much would have been called Romances in old times? Yes, even "The Professor's War of the Ring."

quote:

(Technically, he called it a “history,” but we’re willing to allow the Professor a mistake or two now and then.)

gently caress off, Wick. gently caress off.

But yeah, people would do crazy poo poo for Romance! More than those murderhobos and their quest for gold coins. That's boring.

Anyway, I need audience participation for the next one! I want doomed highborn manchildren concepts to run through character creation. However, I can't promise exact faithfulness to the concept because...

Next: random generation? Really?

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


Because I am a smartarse:

R'shana Al'gri (you can call him Al): This eccentric young ven of the House of the Serpent, due to a chance encounter with an ork known only as "The Qlue-Stik", has apparently decided that the end of the ven is inevitable due to having their heads up their ritualized asses with no solution in sightreasons known only to his bizarre mind. Is currently attempting to preserve as much of ven culture as possible, so that later cultures with less ritual about every drat thing will pick up on their teachings, culture, and magic-which will inevitably end with his own death, and in fact he's counting on it to seal a bit of sorcery he's working on that will preserve it, presumably forever.

His bit of manchildness is being really, really hipster about it ("I realized how pointless and farcical life is before it was cool"), and being the perfect picture of a college know-it-all who hasn't quite realized he isn't particularly smarter than everyone else.

Erebro fucked around with this message at 21:28 on Oct 24, 2013

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


I'd like to compare Ven to its successor Blood & Honor and say that Wick is getting better, but I've reviewed Eldritch High so I know drat well that that's a lie.

EDIT:
gently caress it, I might as well make the kind of Ven "protagonist" that Wick would love to play.


D'io Bu'land'o: From birth this guy has done everything in his power to ruin the life of anyone and everyone around him on the off chance that it'll make it easier to kill and rob them later and has zero scruples about anything, just like a good (read Evil) Ven should. He prefers to lie, cheat, and torment his opponents into submission behind their backs to keep himself unassailable, but isn't afraid to simply beat his opponents into a bloody pulp if necessary. Shamefully, he isn't actually a born nobleman and has actually bribed and blackmailed his way in through Ven high society. That won't be a major problem though because in the end he is willing to go so far as to reject his humanity venanity if it means becoming all powerful.

His flavor of manchildness is being such a self absorbed prat that he loves to do self congratulatory things like referring to himself in the third person and giving out villainous monologues.

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 22:16 on Oct 24, 2013

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


John Wick is one of those designers that needs to get out of the mechanics business, really. It's pretty much a coin-flip whether any mechanic of his is functional. It's important to remember Legend of the Five Rings was almost completely rewritten rules-wise from Wick's original draft, and I don't know how much of 7th Sea's rules can be credited / blamed to him or Kevin Wilson.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I don't know how much of 7th Sea's rules can be credited / blamed to him or Kevin Wilson.
7TH SEA's most egregious rules failure was how it became the classic example of "special points can be used for cool game effects OR experience points" so that they encourage players to be as dull as possible to maximize their power climb and I'm pretty sure that one is alllll on Wick (made worse with such typically Wickian flourishes as "you start out weak as a kitten" and "heroes are fools and the universe will smack you down").

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



FMguru posted:

7TH SEA's most egregious rules failure was how it became the classic example of "special points can be used for cool game effects OR experience points" so that they encourage players to be as dull as possible to maximize their power climb and I'm pretty sure that one is alllll on Wick (made worse with such typically Wickian flourishes as "you start out weak as a kitten" and "heroes are fools and the universe will smack you down").

Especially since no one else in 7th Sea's team was on board with that last bit.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Mors Rattus posted:

Especially since no one else in 7th Sea's team was on board with that last bit.
Wick's "it's about becoming hard as gently caress in world of poo poo - a world that out to ruin you at every opportunity" approach to GMing and design made him pretty much the exact wrong person to design a free-wheeling game of swashbuckling derring-do.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


I was so disappointed with 7th Sea. I got it because I was told that players could ride cannonballs in to battle Munchhausen (which is technically true with the way death rules work) and assumed that it was the gonzo "Pirate of the Caribbean on crack" game I had always wanted. After a dozen attempts to make an interesting character who wasn't either ridiculously specialized or hopelessly mediocre (or both in most cases) and several at some of the rules glitches I decided to just use the setting as inspiration for d20 Modern games with the d20 Past expansion.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

AccidentalHipster posted:

I was so disappointed with 7th Sea. I got it because I was told that players could ride cannonballs in to battle Munchhausen (which is technically true with the way death rules work) and assumed that it was the gonzo "Pirate of the Caribbean on crack" game I had always wanted. After a dozen attempts to make an interesting character who wasn't either ridiculously specialized or hopelessly mediocre (or both in most cases) and several at some of the rules glitches I decided to just use the setting as inspiration for d20 Modern games with the d20 Past expansion.
You could have used the official D20 7TH SEA supplements, which make the Wick-designed system look like Go in terms of its elegance and harmonic balance.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


FMguru posted:

You could have used the official D20 7TH SEA supplements, which make the Wick-designed system look like Go in terms of its elegance and harmonic balance.

There was a d20 7th Sea? How did I not know that? Someone should do a write-up of it.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


To be fair, looking at 7th Sea and deciding d20 Modern is a better choice points to a healthy disregard for things like balance.


EDIT: pretty sure Mors did mention it on the last thread. poo poo was dire even for the era of square hole 20 sided peg design.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

AccidentalHipster posted:

There was a d20 7th Sea? How did I not know that? Someone should do a write-up of it.
SWASHBUCKLING ADVENTURES, which was covered in the last F&F thread.

It was from the first wave of D20 adaptations, so absolutely nobody involved had any idea how the D20 system worked. It's a glorious trainwreck (but chock-full of good setting information)

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.


FMguru posted:

Wick's "it's about becoming hard as gently caress in world of poo poo - a world that out to ruin you at every opportunity" approach to GMing and design made him pretty much the exact wrong person to design a free-wheeling game of swashbuckling derring-do.

I can't help but think that Feng Shui would be an excellent system to operate this kind of thing in. The whole game is about madcap stunts and abilities that border on superpowers. There's swordfighting, gunfighting, AND magic rules, none of which is necessarily more powerful than the other, there's flash, there's substance, and the system is explicitly designed to keep things moving constantly. There is also, of course, the expectation that all the heroes are going to die horribly coated in glory eventually, but they'll all take a lot of killing first and they'll look damned cool while doing it.

Why the hell not? Either that or a FATE system a la Spirit of the Century.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Mr. Maltose posted:

To be fair, looking at 7th Sea and deciding d20 Modern is a better choice points to a healthy disregard for things like balance.


EDIT: pretty sure Mors did mention it on the last thread. poo poo was dire even for the era of square hole 20 sided peg design.

I'll need to look it up then because that sounds like a goldmine. And yeah, I usually prioritize character creation over in play balance and I knew d20 Modern well enough to work around its flaws. 7th Sea had no such luxury. I also think I had an early copy of 7th Sea with zero errata so there were some really rules.

Redeye Flight posted:

I can't help but think that Feng Shui would be an excellent system to operate this kind of thing in. The whole game is about madcap stunts and abilities that border on superpowers. There's swordfighting, gunfighting, AND magic rules, none of which is necessarily more powerful than the other, there's flash, there's substance, and the system is explicitly designed to keep things moving constantly. There is also, of course, the expectation that all the heroes are going to die horribly coated in glory eventually, but they'll all take a lot of killing first and they'll look damned cool while doing it.

Why the hell not? Either that or a FATE system a la Spirit of the Century.

Has anyone ever told you that you're a genius?

AccidentalHipster fucked around with this message at 02:31 on Oct 25, 2013

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



In Wick's head, I'm sure that's the game he was designing. The examples of rolls are actually pretty drat swashbuckly.

Houses of the Blooded

Colonization was a pretty cool game


What passes for art in this game goes between chapters, like this. As jadarx mentioned, there's a lot of "I, John Wick, discovered this" in here. This one is fairly unsmug.

So it's on to character creation! It's long and scary but don't worry, we have John Wick creating a character along as we read through this chapter. Said character is Blooded of the Fox Shara Yvarai, and many of the fake book quotes are from the pillow book named after her. She's also the star of the sample scenario such as it is, but fortunately she's no Kachiko. Still, Wick fawns over her a little too much for a Spring character. What's a Spring character, you ask? You'll see.

So let's use our two character sample concepts as we go through this. R'shana Al'gri (Al) and D'io Bu'land'o (Dio) will be our merry companions through this post. As hinted earlier, there's an element of randomness in chargen, and it's the background phase. See, Wick thinks we can't pick our family, so we might as well roll for it, and he gives us a number of tables to roll on. We get three pips to modify our rolls up and down, but that's it. Now, we can just pick our options if the GM agrees; Wick says he's just a control freak. Hey, words from the man himself.

First, we roll for the Houses our mother and father belonged to. This matters because the House our character will be part of is going to be one of these two. For Al, I rolled Falcon and Serpent; and for Dio, I got Serpent and (using up all the pips) Wolf. Then we roll to see which parent was yvestra (dominant) and which was ytola (submissive). See, instead of the man always wearing the pants in the house, ven marriages arrange for one partner to rule the roost - and thus be exposed to greater social risk - and the other to stay quiet and have no authority - but no responsibility, either. It's all in the contract. Let's say Dio's dad and Al's mom were the dominant partners. Finally, we pick a House: both our characters take after their parents, being Serpent and Wolf respectively. The Wolf idea of "being a tool or a weapon" suits an rear end in a top hat like Dio.

Then, we roll up our siblings: first our personal birth order, then the number of surviving siblings. Dio was born sixth but he's the only survivor (I wonder why ), and Al was born second but he's also the lone surviving child. Had they had living siblings, we would roll for their genders as well.

Our names! Names have meaning, and that thing matters in this game. A name is composed of the family name (we get that from our house), the secret name (the one mothers whisper to ven children at birth, it's sekrit) and the public name (your real, regular name). So Al is Al, and Dio is Dio. Then we decide on our age: our characters can be Spring (10-19 years old) Summer (20-49) Autumn (50-79) or Winter (80-100). And Shara is Spring, and Wick is a little too appreciative of her. We'll say our guys are both in the Summer of their days and leave it at that, holy poo poo.

We also roll for marriage. This one is optional, because hey, we do get a bit of a say in whether we get hitched or not. Most likely, our characters are married and have kids.

quote:

While such trivial matters would not matter if you were a wandering mercenary, looting and pillaging your way through the countryside, without care or ethics or morals, but you’re a noble now, and your priorities have to change. Besides, there are mechanical advantages to having a spouse and child.

WHAT COULD HE MEEEEAN

Anyway, I used the charts: both of our characters are married with a single kid.

As starter characters, our characters are Barons, the lowest land-owning noble rank, but we still get to roll for our parents' rank. Remember, ven don't really do the inheriting thing. As it turns out, Dio's parents were just Barons, while Al's folks were Marquises.

Now on to actual stats! Like in Blood & Honor, our characters are defined by Virtues. There are six Virtues, conveniently mapping to the six Houses in the corebook:

  • Strength: Bear virtue. Physical strength.
  • Cunning: Elk virtue. See patterns where others can't, make up cunning plans.
  • Courage: Falcon virtue. Will and determination.
  • Beauty: Fox virtue. Creativity, expression, charm.
  • Wisdom: Serpent virtue. Memory, learning ability.
  • Prowess: Wolf virtue. Martial skill.

We get one Virtue at 4, two at 3, two at 2, and one as our weakness. Our weakness gets nothing. 0. We add one more point to the Virtue our house represents, but nothing if it happens to also be our weakness.

Now here is the thing: your weakness is not something you're mediocre at. It's not something you're bad at. It's something you're absolute poo poo at. Right from the start, all characters have a glaring weak point to stab at. Just how Wick likes it.

So for Dio, I decide to go with a Str 2, Cun 3, Cou 3, Bea 2, Wis 0, Pro 4+1 spread. Yes, I know, he should have Beauty at 9 or something, but I work with what I have. Al, in a stereotypical nerd way, gets Str 0, Cun 3, Cou 2, Bea 2, Wis 4+1, Pro 3.

Next, we go to Phases. We take the age we got for our characters, then look up which Phase they're in. The older they are, the more Aspects and Contacts they get, but also the more Solace Aspects (age-related infirmities) they get as well. Aspects are, as we know, words or phrases that describe our character. We'll go into deeper detail with them later, but I'm sure most of you are already familiar with FATE already. Contacts are the connections the ven made through their life. Each Phase, you pick one of the other player characters as a contact. There are a number of advantages from having contacts, but they'll come up when we talk about the domain management rules. As Summer characters, Dio and Al get four Aspects and two Contacts each. Let's say their contacts are each other and Shara, because nothing wrong ever came of trusting Wick characters. As for aspects, I go over the sample list and give Dio Treacherous (of course), Ikhalu's Kiss (good at stabbing people in the face with knives ), Swordsman and Thief; Al gets Academy Educated, Meticulous, Strange Intuition, and Warlock ().

Our characters also have Devotions to the Suaven. Some of the ven that go into Solace are essentially worshipped the way saints are in our world. There are Suaven for everything, except for "winning rolls" because that's totally a thing a Bad Form player would ask for. We get three points to divide between Suaven devotions, with a maximum of three per Suaven. Nothing says you have to worship a Suaven of your house either. I say that scheming rear end in a top hat Dio puts all his faith in Tyane Bran, Suaven of Intrigue, while Al worships both Bran and Ashalim Avendi, Suaven of the Road - handy for a warlock explorer.

The other major half of chargen is Domain. Our dudes are just Barons, but they're still land-owning nobles, and they have a whole Province to begin with. Each province is divided in ten Regions. Of them, two are already claimed: the character's Castle and one Village. We get five points to buy regions with, or improve a region up to Rank 3. Yes, this does mean parts of the province will be unknown: they're still lesser nobles after all. Protip: you need Food at first, just like in Sid Meier's Colonization.

The regions may be:
  • Castle: urban, center of your power.
  • Farm: rural, produces Food or Industry.
  • Forest: rural, produces Food or Lumber.
  • Hills: rural, produces Metals or Lumber.
  • Mountain: rural, produces Metals or Stone.
  • Plains: rural, produces Wine or Spices.
  • Ruins: special, we need to loot those sorcerer-king goodies from somewhere.
  • Shoreline: rural, produces Trade.
  • Swamp: rural, produces Herbs or Poisons.
  • Village: urban, produces Goods.

You can buy more than one type of region if you want. We also get five points to spend on Vassals, ven under our command that help us run our Domain. Not full NPCs, though, not yet. They need at least one Food per Year to stay on our side, and they can be bribed or turned by our enemies unless we spend more. But that comes later. For now, we can buy or improve:

  • Apothecary: creates medicines and treats poisons.
  • Caravan: move resources around.
  • Artist: creates Art.
  • Court Scholar: more like court sorcerer.
  • Herald: propaganda service, useful on our people and the enemy populace.
  • Maid/Valet: helps you with mundane personal poo poo.
  • Personal Guard: increases your security, prevents assassinations.
  • Roadmen: knights wander the countryside and deal with trouble.
  • Spy Network: help secure our Domain and spy on others.
  • Staff: the assorted grogs that help the Castle run smoothly.
  • Spouse: yeah, they count as Vassals. Rank 1 Spouse for free if you're married.

We get three Style Points to begin with, but we're not told what they do just yet. Only that we can accumulate a maximum of five from session to session. Finally, we get five Bonus Points to buy up more Aspects, Contacts, old Artifacts, Suaven Relics, sorcerous Rituals, and buy/improve Regions or Vassals. We'll buy up a new aspect or two, some extra regions, improve staff a bit... Rounding up, our character sheets look like this:

code:
==
D'io Bu'land'o, Blooded of the Wolf, Baron of Zwarudo
==
Virtues
--
Strength 2 Cunning 3 Courage 3 Beauty 2 Wisdom 0 Prowess 5
==
Devotions
--
Tyane Bran 3
==
Aspects:
--
Treacherous
Ikhalu's Kiss
Swordsman
Thief
WRYYYYY (of course!)
==
Regions:
--
Castle Dio (Rank 1)
Diosville (Rank 1)
Dio's Farm (Rank 1)
Dio's Forest (Rank 1)
Dio's Plains (Rank 1)
Dio's Shore (Rank 1)
Dio's Swamp (Rank 1)
==
Vassals:
--
Dio's House Staff (Rank 1)
Dio's Herald (Rank 2)
Dio's Personal Guard (Rank 1)
Dio's Spy Network (Rank 1)
Dio's Valet (Rank 1)
Dio's Spouse (Rank 1)
==
Contacts:
--
R'shana Al'gri, Baron of Salamanca
Shara Yvarai, Baroness of Q'nn
==
Artifacts:
--
Blood Sword (Rank 3!)
==
Kind of an egocentric jerk, isn't he?

code:
==
R'shana Al'gri, Blooded of the Serpent, Baron of Salamanca
==
Virtues
--
Strength 0 Cunning 3 Courage 2 Beauty 2 Wisdom 5 Prowess 3
==
Devotions
--
Tyane Bran 2
Ashalim Avendi 1
==
Aspects:
--
Academy Educated
Meticulous
Strange Intuition
Warlock
==
Regions:
--
Salamanca Castle (Rank 1)
Danvers (Village, Rank 1)
Sleepy Hollow Farm (Rank 1)
Mirkwood (Rank 1)
Tomb of Spooky (Ruins, Rank 1)
Tomb of Real Spooky (Ruins, Rank 2)
Southern Plains (Rank 1)
Dagobah (Swamp, Rank 2)
==
Vassals:
--
Ashla Saberin, Court Scholar (Rank 2)
Salamanca Guard (Personal Guard, Rank 1)
Salamanca Irregulars (Roadmen, Rank 1)
Mirkwood Ghosts (Spy Network, Rank 1)
Lyra (Spouse, Rank 1)
==
Contacts:
--
D'io Bu'land'o, Baron of Zwarudo
Shara Yvarai, Baroness of Q'nn
==
Rituals:
--
The Eye
The Circle
==
Fun fact: these two might as well be dead. Guess who is the most hosed?

Next: wait, run Aspects by me again?

Traveller fucked around with this message at 03:26 on Nov 1, 2013

FourmyleCircus
Sep 15, 2013


AccidentalHipster posted:

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.

Oh dear lord, it took me two days and several re-readings for me to realize you meant that you, the fan of Dan, wanted me to read it. And not that you wanted me to read it because you were a fan of him. I'm going to blame this on my bleaching my hair for Halloween. That said, I had no idea that that was supposed to be The Spider in your Av. Actually a fan, but I'm more used to him looking like this:


And sorry for the blank stare on the name. I know I'd get the same treatment from most people if I mentioned Warren Murphy or Lester Dent. Just... yeah. I've apparently only seen one of his works in my life, aside from your Av, and that was the cover of Hellbilly Deluxe.

I didn't want to come back without content.


Shatterzone is an odd duck. Originally produced by West End Games back in '93, it was sort of a dumping ground for all the ideas that were Veto'd by the boys at Lucas Arts in regards to things to add to the Star Wars system. Theoretically, it was supposed to be a new world for Torg, too, but it ended up being it's own thing. Some of you might have gotten the wrong idea when I called it a focused version of Masterbook. It might be more accurate to call Masterbook a generalized version of it and TORG. As you can see from the above link, you can get it, and many fine related products from Precis Intermedia Games.

A little more background on the name itself. Shatterzone comes from a 18th century geological term referring to a network of fissured rock forming veins of mineral deposits. After World War 2, it gained it's own socio-political meaning. A Shatter Zone is a borderland, where the traditional ideas of Government and Economy are broken and people are filling in the cracks in a personal way. Shatter Zones are places of isolation and resistance, where people solve their own problems. Places where refugees and rebels congregate, where war is just outside, but here, for now, you're safe. Where no one trusts the government, nor finds they need one.

This is a good peek into what the book promises. Does it deliver it? Well, that's in the Universe Book.

I'm going to be using the Reprint version, as that's what I have. All three books, The Rule Book the Player's Guide, and The Universe Guide, in one PDF. I'm going to start with the Player's Guide for the sake of those following alone at home. The Rule Book is first in the PDF, but it's probably best to ease you into this gently...



Ah, who am I kidding, The Player's Guide has the most interesting and infuriating bits, and it really doesn't matter which direction you come at this from. I mean, you open up the players guide, and first page of actual content, you see this.



It's 1993. Wicked Evil GrinWest End Games has just come off of Torg and Ghostbusters International, some of their most inventive and Different roleplaying games of the era. They're still publishing new Star Wars D6 books. And they decide to put the Roleplaying VS Roll-playing argument in their Players Handbook for their new system. They know fun, right? They're the masters of fun. Bow before them. I can't be too hard on them, it's the 90's. This stuff happens. I mean, The World Of Darkness got pretentious right off the bat too. But look at the above art. Guy getting blasted in half. This is how they introduce you to the system and setting. And you're being told to think about the whys and hows of your character's life. But it's not like they're encouraging you to use pregens rather than actually make a character.

Once again, I'm kidding. The next thing it talks about are the "Character Profiles". "Character profiles is the term we use to describe the written and calculated information about a character created using the Shatterzone character generation system. There are two type of Character Profiles: those we make for use in the game, and those you construct for use in the game."

They've put in sixteen completed, ready-to-run Profiles. They're a "smattering of different type of fictional characters you might want to play in the Shatterzone game universe". That's right, you've got sixteen pregens. And you're encouraged to photocopy them off and just toss names on them. This should be no surprise for the people who played D6 Star Wars. If you want to change the gender of the character, invest in white out because they've got character portraits. The first half of character Generation is about how to use and read the pregen characters. So, have a pregen.



I don't want to harsh on this game for this, actually. I mean, other games have rocked it. It was Okay in Shadowrun, and certain versions of Talislanta. Hell one edition of Talislanta didn't really have any other character generation system.

Step One, Choose your profile. The sixteen in the book are Old Scout(above), Corp Marine, Kestarian Temptress(Four Armed Blue Skinned Alien Babes), Megacorp Freelancer, Hard Warrior(Mutant with natural armor), Glahnite Trader, Vizzben Con Artist, Cyberchopper(Cyborg Criminal), Bolter Refugee(Ratman who can't speak English), Shatrat Blacklunger(Mutant Space Scavenger that speaks in Thieve's Cant), Alien Adventurer(Lizardman that regenerates), Hot Shot Pilot, Man from Intel(Spy), Mercenary Veteran, Streetrunner(Skill monkey that NPCs will hate. So... Bard), and Student Ganger(Martial Artist with no social graces).

Step two, fill in your name, character name and so on. The sex and species, are of course, set by default, so you'll have to white out some stuff if you want to play a female scout or a male Merc. But age, weight, and height are yours to mess with. They they recommend certain combinations, like you're not going to find very man fat fast people. Or short strong people. Oh, the freedom! The story! Step three, gaze over the Attributes and skills without really understanding anything as they'll cover it later.

They do go into a little detail on it. The way things are set up on these sheets is that You've got the Ability, then the Skill(With and focus it might have), and then a specialization. They'll cover all this stuff in the next chapter. Points in skills are called Adds, because the skill just adds onto the attribute. If you want to tinker with the skills... Tough. The book recommends the GM make you just make one from scratch. It gives some basic information on how to do it though, by telling you that each profile is built on 65 attribute points and twenty skill points. Attributes are assigned on a one to one basis, except for toughness which is derived stat following this formula ((Endurance*2)+Strength)/3. Because, hey, it's 93. Skill points turn into Skill Adds at a one to one for general skills and one point will get you two points in specializations.

Step four is to look at the Backgrounds list. Backgrounds are split up into advantages and compensations. Or Disadvantages, if you're used to any other system out there. Different backgrounds cost different amounts, and give different effects. You know how this works. Compensations are complications that make up for or explain the above. These will be explained in chapter three, Background generation. And no, it's not something fun like a Life Path system like Star Trek, Cyberpunk 2020, or Traveler. It's just "numbers on a sheet". If you want to tamper with the background stuff of a character, don't. Just make a new one. That's their advice.

Step Five is the Description. The Basic Description isn't the physical description, that's what the Illustration box is for. It's more of a summary of your characters history and general attitude on life. Yep. Play your character the way the piece of paper tells you. Take a good wiff of freedom boy! You won't smell anything like this in yer Dungeons and Dragons. The Quote is simply something that the character would say.

Equipment is pretty much whatever things they've got laying around, excluding "really mundane items like clothing". You're also assumed to have a hundred credits in pocket change at the very least, though most characters will have more. If you want to know what any of this does, you'll have to check chapter eight of the Universe Guide.

Step five is glancing at the Combat box with an uncomprehending eye because they don't tell you exactly how you take damage, just that you're supposed to circle wound levels when you take them, and that they'll explain Life Points(which start at 5) in chapter five, and Skill points(Which start at zero) in chapter two. And with that that, you're done! Just go play. They'll wait. What, how the dice work? You don't need to know that. Just play.

I'm going to break sequence a bit and actually explain some stuff quick. Life points are kinda like Fate Points and the like. Life points You spend them for various effects, including preventing your character from dying, and also rerolls. That bar on the bottom of the character sheet is the bonus chart. The way things work is you roll 2d10, and then check the chart. This tells you what you can add/subtract to/from your skill. As you can see, the most common rolls get you jack, so you're going to be going off your skill most of the time. A lot like FATE. Unlike FATE, tens explode. And there are all sorts of things, including spending a Life Point to roll again and add your new total to the old one.

Confused? Good. They don't explain any of this stuff for four more chapters.

Let's go to making your own character. Step one: Copy a blank character sheet. Step two... Create a character concept. "Every character in Shatterzone should be summarized by a central concept." In other words, come up with and play a stereotype in a fictional world you barely know. Hey, maybe I am reviewing a John Wick game! You want to be pretty general here, because you may play this same character half a dozen times in different ways. There's a helpful little example sidebar here... showing what sort of twisted thought process they've got going on, and giving you a peak at the setting.



So, this is where I'm going to break. Who wants to help me, knowing as much about the setting as your average player who hasn't been handed the Universe Book, come up with a concept for this? Over the next few chapters, I'll make whatever abomination I'm given and try to fit it in. And before you say this seems strange, everyone I know would say "If you're using pregens, what's the point?" If I don't get anything, I'm going to write up my Mass Effect character because... well... The actual setting makes me thing of a hosed up Mass Effect AU. Humans will be easiest, as they're going to be the most common, but Aliens can be weirder because you can literally take "They're an alien!" as a flaw.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



I want you to make Space Mary Poppins, which is most certainly an appropriate concept for this game I know nothing about.

AccidentalHipster
Jul 5, 2013

Whadda ya MEAN ya never heard of Dan Brereton?


Traveller posted:

Houses of the Blooded

...

Fun fact: these two might as well be dead. Guess who is the most hosed?

I love how Dio turned out. I'm guessing that he's the most hosed though for daring to try to upstage Wick's jailbait in ness.

FourmyleCircus posted:

Oh dear lord, it took me two days and several re-readings for me to realize you meant that you, the fan of Dan, wanted me to read it. And not that you wanted me to read it because you were a fan of him. I'm going to blame this on my bleaching my hair for Halloween. That said, I had no idea that that was supposed to be The Spider in your Av. Actually a fan, but I'm more used to him looking like this:


And sorry for the blank stare on the name. I know I'd get the same treatment from most people if I mentioned Warren Murphy or Lester Dent. Just... yeah. I've apparently only seen one of his works in my life, aside from your Av, and that was the cover of Hellbilly Deluxe.

Don't sweat it man, I'm used to being a total hipster. As for character, I vote for Joseph Joestar, kung fu monster hunter and lighthearted trickster with the psychic ability to predict his opponent's one-liners because I wanna know how psychic powers work and we need something to balance out Dio and the other Jojos that fought him aren't as funny.

The next thing you're going to say is, "You really like Jojo, don't you?"

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!



Traveller posted:

Fun fact: these two might as well be dead. Guess who is the most hosed?

Wait a minute, how the hell can 'complete backstabbing murderous rear end in a top hat' not be the mechanically optimal build for this system? The entire setting is built entirely to be a goddamn playground for Dio Brando! Why isn't he tearing poo poo up with wild abandon?

I know, the answer is Wick.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Traveller posted:

Fun fact: these two might as well be dead. Guess who is the most hosed?

I'm gonna guess Dio, because all of his poo poo seems to hang on his name, and the game is probably a prick about that. Also, anything called Blood Sword can't be good news.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


FMguru posted:

7TH SEA's most egregious rules failure was how it became the classic example of "special points can be used for cool game effects OR experience points" so that they encourage players to be as dull as possible to maximize their power climb and I'm pretty sure that one is alllll on Wick (made worse with such typically Wickian flourishes as "you start out weak as a kitten" and "heroes are fools and the universe will smack you down").

I think that someone mentioned in the Murphy's Rules thread that this actually was unintentional on Wick's part, since he used to hand the points out like candy but other GM's didn't. Because the books aren't that clear on how it's supposed to be run.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Kemper Boyd posted:

I think that someone mentioned in the Murphy's Rules thread that this actually was unintentional on Wick's part, since he used to hand the points out like candy but other GM's didn't. Because the books aren't that clear on how it's supposed to be run.

Would that necessarily make much of a difference up until it becomes moot because you don't have anything left to spend xp on? I don't recall a capping or depreciation mechanism for these hero-xp points.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Plague of Hats posted:

Would that necessarily make much of a difference up until it becomes moot because you don't have anything left to spend xp on? I don't recall a capping or depreciation mechanism for these hero-xp points.

I think it's one of those mechanics that only make sense if there's a sort of agreement between the GM and the players on how the points are handed out and how you're expected to spend them. 7th Sea is such a mess.

deadly_pudding
May 13, 2009

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


Majuju posted:

d20 Modern Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook - Part 2



NEXT: Fast heroes, Moondogs, farmers and MONEY.

I can't tell you how pumped I am about the MONEY update. This game flew so close to the sun with approximating modern finances, but close examination of the system instantly melts its "makes any drat sense" wings.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Kemper Boyd posted:

I think it's one of those mechanics that only make sense if there's a sort of agreement between the GM and the players on how the points are handed out and how you're expected to spend them. 7th Sea is such a mess.

Yeah. It's easily one of my favorite settings but the system is so incredibly bad. It's not even just the Drama Dice thing - it's also that Panache is just the god of all stats, because more Panache means more actions. After that, Finesse, and after that, the other three take a distant mutual third place.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Kemper Boyd posted:

I think it's one of those mechanics that only make sense if there's a sort of agreement between the GM and the players on how the points are handed out and how you're expected to spend them. 7th Sea is such a mess.
It's the most important core mechanic in the game. And its so badly designed that each group has to sit down ahead of time and figure out exactly how they are going to use it. The most common house rule I've seen - giving XP for drama dice used in the course of the game - the the precise inverse of the rules as written. It's cool that Wick handed them out like candy in his playtest sessions, but that didn't make it into the book, and is also the exact opposite of his usual stance on such matters (where you have to sweat and suffer and pass through the fire in order to earn any sort of advantage in Drill Sergeant Wick's Tough Mudder GM Hell Camp).

Such a shitshow.

"Mors Rattus' posted:

it's also that Panache is just the god of all stats, because more Panache means more actions.
Action economy? What's that?

A broken action economy was pretty typical for 90s RPGs (Celerity, anyone?), but that's still no excuse.

FMguru fucked around with this message at 13:02 on Oct 25, 2013

Majuju
Dec 30, 2006

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

deadly_pudding posted:

I can't tell you how pumped I am about the MONEY update. This game flew so close to the sun with approximating modern finances, but close examination of the system instantly melts its "makes any drat sense" wings.

Hah, yes. SOON. I am just working my way through the other three classes!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


FMguru posted:

Such a shitshow.

I was so close to really liking 7th Sea but it just diverged too much from the swashbuckling game I wanted. Smart people who wanted to fight put on plate armor and swung around giant weapons, or carried a bandolier of pistols, and if you wanted to actually do fancy cool stuff like swinging from a chandelier, you paid horrendous skill taxes. Or, more cheaply, you can just turn into a goddamn bear. It's an age of sail game that takes place on a single continent, and a good deal of treasure hunting just gets you gently caress-you cursed alien artifacts that ruin you forever.

It's ultimately just not a game that could focus on what it was actually trying to be. It has a lot of cool ideas, but its one of those games where the whole is weaker than the sum of its parts.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's an age of sail game that takes place on a single continent
Yeah, setting the swashbuckling age of sail game in a world where everyone lived on a single giant continent and there was no reason for anyone to develop anything more advanced than bronze age coasthugging triremes was the first warning sign. There were a couple of foreign lands on the far side of the continent that it made sense to visit by ship, but the setting made sure that you could never reach them by surrounding them with a giant impenetrable wall of fire that there was no way to cross unless you were one of the demigod setting NPCs whose power the PCs could never hope to approach even if they got and spent all the XPs in the world.

Ah, 90s RPG design

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


I'm remembering this secondhand, but wasn't there an NPC who was depicted as the always prepared, contingency plan for everything type, to the point that his statblock said that if the PCs do manage to outsmart him you should pause for a few minutes to think of a way out?

BryanChavez
Sep 13, 2007

Custom: Heroic
Having A Life: Fair


Kellsterik posted:

I'm remembering this secondhand, but wasn't there an NPC who was depicted as the always prepared, contingency plan for everything type, to the point that his statblock said that if the PCs do manage to outsmart him you should pause for a few minutes to think of a way out?

Yes. I don't even have to check. It's a Wick game, so the answer is yes. I think he was a NotItalian in 7th Sea, Giovanni Villainova or something. They were the Scorpion Clan of Theah.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Kellsterik posted:

I'm remembering this secondhand, but wasn't there an NPC who was depicted as the always prepared, contingency plan for everything type, to the point that his statblock said that if the PCs do manage to outsmart him you should pause for a few minutes to think of a way out?
There were multiple NPCs in 7S which were explicitly tagged as "Nope, your players can't kill them or defeat them or get the better of them, no matter how clever they are or how high they roll". There's the not-Rasputin in not-Russia, the not-Merlin and not-Cuchulein in not-Britain, etc.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Giovanni Villanova I don't think had a 'cheat' instruction; that was the Spanish science genius that was also in the evil conspiracy.

The Merlin figure certainly did. The O'Bannon didn't; he was just loving impossible to defeat in combat and could oneshot anyone. The Rasputin figure...I don't think he did? He was just literally unkillable.

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.


Mors Rattus posted:

Giovanni Villanova I don't think had a 'cheat' instruction; that was the Spanish science genius that was also in the evil conspiracy.

The Merlin figure certainly did. The O'Bannon didn't; he was just loving impossible to defeat in combat and could oneshot anyone. The Rasputin figure...I don't think he did? He was just literally unkillable.

Let's be fair, here. If there is a Rasputin character in a game, him being unkillable is not only par for the course but should be actively expected. Wanted, even.

BryanChavez
Sep 13, 2007

Custom: Heroic
Having A Life: Fair


Mors Rattus posted:

Giovanni Villanova I don't think had a 'cheat' instruction; that was the Spanish science genius that was also in the evil conspiracy.

You're right, I was conflating two characters. Villanova was the 'character who openly revels in their villainy' Wick archetype, not the Impossible To Overcome or Defeat one.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Payndz
Sep 22, 2006

They smelled of pubs, and Wormwood Scrubs, and too many right-wing meetings.

So I twatted them with a magic yo-yo. Because, hell, why not?


FMguru posted:

There were multiple NPCs in 7S which were explicitly tagged as "Nope, your players can't kill them or defeat them or get the better of them, no matter how clever they are or how high they roll". There's the not-Rasputin in not-Russia, the not-Merlin and not-Cuchulein in not-Britain, etc.
I've honestly never understood the appeal of this kind of "If you want to play in our world, you can't ever mess with our precious Mary Sues vital-to-the-setting characters no matter how hard you try" metaplotting. It's in 7S, it's in Five Rings, Rifts, the White Wolf titles... funnily enough, a lot of games that have featured prominently in F&F. It's just a slightly less overtly obnoxious form of railroading.

  • Locked thread