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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


So he's literally the strawman storygamer come to life and made a shitheel? The one that normally never exists outside of the rants of psycho grogs?

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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Yeah that's only what I could find on short notice. Unfortunately there isn't exactly a hate shrine like what Matt Ward's accumulated. Just a general toxic air that comes from being on the Periphery of a few current gen white wolf devs.

Night10194 posted:

So he's literally the strawman storygamer come to life and made a shitheel? The one that normally never exists outside of the rants of psycho grogs?

That's more or less what he's built himself into now. Like someone else said, he's a poseur who's Styled himself as a John Romero style developer. In the time since he's left white wolf he's driven 3 development companies into the ground. It took until Kickstarter for him to really take off and even then it took him over 2 years to reach fulfillment on Democracy. During which time he kickstartered two other games. When people got understandably mad at him he responded with that one thing that gets quoted everywhere.

quote:

"I was going to post a full update today but I decided I needed yet another night to think about my words and rarefy them to a unique level of profound sublimity wildly unfamiliar to my creative Loki. However, you first need to know – my splendiferous, so uncherubic crazies – that the game shipment is nearly there. Things are not only, at long last, underway, but there was an serious reason, health-wise (I haven't been well) for me to be off-line and out-of- touch for such a elongated interlude.

But first hear this – loud and clear – I'd rather send my kids to community college than abrogate a contract. No joke. I'd never leave a gamer and his wad stranded, ever. Never have, never will. Democracy is on its way.

So calm the f**k down.
Subside. Please please plese

Full post when I wake up... "

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 02:41 on Jan 24, 2015

Erebro
Apr 28, 2013


You forgot the fact he seems to have run out of anything resembling originality.

I Am Zombie, the Kickstarter that has proven to be a case study in how to abuse the service?

Yeah, it's Vampire with a zombie skin. I am not even joking, they have their own secret society and everything. Please keep in mind these are zombies, who are not known for their ability to remain a secret.

The idea of what they call themselves, Toxics, isn't even from his brain either; he was inspired by a two-bit joke book from 1962 (he actually says this in the Kickstarter).

If you want, I can post a link to the Kickstarter in question.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Also every single major disease outbreak in human history? That wasn't actually a disease. that was the government coverup of a zombie "purging" himself.

Also you don't make a character from scratch, you draw cards from the deck and that defines what character you can play.. which seems really limiting from a long term investment standpoint, but he plays it off as a feature "quick and simple character creation". When you level up you change your character traits because you can just become a pyromaniac one day and stop the next.

The kickstarter is here

The more I read it the better it seems but his presentation of it is quite antagonistic and it's quite obvious where he's cribbing shamelessly from his earlier work.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 04:00 on Jan 24, 2015

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Kurieg posted:

Also every single major disease outbreak in human history? That wasn't actually a disease. that was the government coverup of a zombie "purging" himself.

Also you don't make a character from scratch, you draw cards from the deck and that defines what character you can play.. which seems really limiting from a long term investment standpoint, but he plays it off as a feature "quick and simple character creation". When you level up you change your character traits because you can just become a pyromaniac one day and stop the next.

The kickstarter is here

The more I read it the better it seems but his presentation of it is quite antagonistic and it's quite obvious where he's cribbing shamelessly from his earlier work.
Mark Rein-Black☆StarFromSoulEater-Hagen is about to make you his undead bitch.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





The zombie tits halfway down the page are a nice touch, it's good to see that Mark Hagen-Daas hasn't forgotten his roots.

Big Hubris
Mar 8, 2011




Kurieg posted:

it's quite obvious where he's cribbing shamelessly from his earlier work.

Or the work of others he's previously talked poo poo about.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.


Fallen Rib

theironjef posted:

Or maybe spiders are just cool.

This is a world building philosophy I could get behind.

There should be an RPG where everyone plays spider people.

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

When I kill you with a motor-car, you should have the common decency to stay dead, you horrid little object




wiegieman posted:

nWoD is what happened when oWoD writers grew up, had kids, got mortgages, and pulled their heads out of their collective asses. 20th is those people looking back on what they did and feeling the need to fix it.

Bear in mind that, apart from at the very start, the majority of White Wolf's (and now Onyx Path's) writers are freelancers, and that has a relatively high rate of churn — the people who wrote & designed early nWoD often hadn't been working on cWoD that long. Likewise, the 20th lines are a mix of people who are returning to the fold after lots of years away (sometimes, since the end of cWoD), those of us who only started with nWoD, and fans from the old days who finally gave us writing samples.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Mors Rattus posted:

Really, you should be able to infer everything from the fact that he changed his name to Rein[large black dot]Hagen.

I've always read it as Rein-splotch-Hagen. :v:

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Did anyone take a look at the character sheet of Mark ReinU+2022Hagen? I think he might be a troll, or at least a half-troll.

bathroomrage posted:

Congratulations, you've made Scottish Yun(minus divekicks)!

Man, this system seems to stray further and further from 'balanced and fair' the longer it goes on.

Scottish Terry works, too.

And you see, the introduction warned us that the rules are easy to abuse, so everything is going according to plan :eng101: !

Simian_Prime posted:

You could make a cases for spiders just representing phobias/irrational fears in general, considering how many people are batshit terrified of them.

Except for jumping spiders. They're just adorable :gerty:

Thrash: Anime and Fighting Game Martial Arts RPG


Chapter 6: Rules

quote:

"All things will die and everything will be broken; that is the law of the samurai."
-- Samurai Shodown II
Valar morghulis

After being more than halfway through the book, we're finally getting into how to actually play the game! Keep in mind how the introduction told us that the rules are supposedly designed to "play relatively quickly" and be "not particularly complex".

The rules start with a short paragraph on the "Rule Zero", or "If a rule annoy you, ignore it", as the writer quotes from the Project A-ko RPG (wow, that's a thing?). Common sense, basically.

Success Tests

The resolution system is Interlock. 1d10 + Attribute + Skill plus whatever. It even has the typical Interlock target numbers increasing in increments of 5, though a TN of 25 is strangely skipped.
Ties are generally considered a stalemate, unless you really need a winner, in which case both sides roll an unmodified 1d10, with the highest one winning.
There's also "Contested Difficulty", meaning that in some cases, one side of the contest might have an advantage, forcing the other side to win the roll by a certain margin to win. It's just a more complicated way of saying "Side A has an advantage, so side B suffers a -2 to their roll".
The example used for this is about a 500 pound wrestler pinning a 120 pound karate dude, with the weight difference making it harder for the karate dude to escape. This is the only time weight has any factor anywhere (unless you're using this weight reduction Focus maneuver).

Combat (cue Guile's Theme!)

Combat starts out as your typical affair, with everything being separated into turns that last "a few seconds". A bit weird how we have such a vague reference if anything in combat cost Action Points, but whatever. Moving on.

Initiative is based on your Base Action Points. At the beginning of every turn, you roll 1d10 and add the result to your Base APs. This tells you how many APs you can spend that turn, as well as your initiative order. Note that the order is always based on your current APs, so initiative can go back and forth several times per turn. You can perform a maneuver that requires more AP than you currently have, but the difference will carry over to the next turn.
This really reminds me of that FASA Star Trek RPG, or other clunky RPGs from the same era. An action-points-based combat system might work for the old Fallout and X-COM games, but those use a computer to deal with all the clunky parts.

The general nature of "initiative by current APs" also makes Combos very attractive, as they count as a single maneuver, allowing you to perform the whole combo even if the individual maneuvers would make you lose initiative around halfway through. Though should the opponent survive this onslaught, he might just have a big AP advantage.
There's also a certain problem arising from the "APs as initiative"-nature of the rules. Certain Disciplines/Advantages/whathaveyou modify "Initiative", almost as if it was its own thing. I would assume this affects your APs, but then you have the Intimidation skill that can give your opponent a -4 on initiative and cut their APs in half. I guess initiative modifiers only apply to that AP roll at the start of the turn, but it's still weird O_o

Actions

Battles are fought on a hexgrid (with 1 grid = around 3 feet or 1 meter), with the grand majority of attacks only being able to hit stuff on the same hex. So if you want to use miniatures, better make sure the grids are big.
As noted in the last chapter, you can't generally cover more hexes per turn than your Agility. Any character with Agility 1 might as well be an immobile statue.

Attacking and defending is handled similar to a skill roll, except the "skill" in question is "your maneuver's Style + Accuracy", and ties actually go to the attacker. Block maneuvers generally always "fail", as their roll is just there to find out by how much you reduce the incoming damage (dammit, I might've misrepresented this last chapter. Foiled again <_<). So unless your Style + Agility is noticably lower than your opponent's it's usually better to try to evade, as that prevents damage entirely.

As defensive actions are also maneuvers that eat up AP, being spammed by 1 AP attacks makes it very likely for you to never gain initiative unless you give up and let yourself get hit a couple times.

Speaking of getting hit, should the attacker succeeds, he rolls the damage for his maneuver, adds his damage bonuses (cue a repeat of that funny Basic Damage chart that amounts to "Attribute - 4"), and then the defender makes a Soak Roll to see how much damage he actually takes.
The Soak Roll amounts to 1d10 + Stamina (plus other factors like Body Hardening or armor). You then divide the total by 4, round down and reduce incoming damage by that amount.
I don't know how you feel, but "random damage reduction involving divisions and rounding" does not strike me particularly suitable for a "realtively quick" anime-ish fighting game combat system. You can probably speed up combat big time by just taking the average roll and write down the final result on your sheet.

There are rules for aborting a maneuver (saving half the APs in the process), but I'm not sure when this would ever come up, unless your opponent defends with something really scary or something.

You also have Berzerker Attacks and Desperate Defense, your typical All-Out Attack / Total Defense. Berzerker Attacks are a bit special in that you need to have reached your Rage Threshold, wish will be explained shortly.

Stunning (or "Dizzying", as it is called here) is a thing in just about every fighting game, so it of course is featured here (though Hit Stun is strangely absent). Whenever you take more damage in a single turn than your Dizzying Threshold, you have to make a Stamina Roll against a Target Number of 20, with a failure making you unable to do anything the following turn (where you may or may not get light punched to death).
Note how this only happens on the following turn. Apparently, if you take lots of damage early on in the turn, you don't notice it until the turn is over.

The Mekton Z influence can be felt when we reach rules for facing, complete with AP costs for turning and accuracy penalties for attacking stuff behind you. I think I will just ignore this one.

You can also try to fake a maneuver, baiting your opponent into wasting APs for defense. Failing this however gives you a heavy defense penalty for the counter attack, so I don't think this is really worth it, especially if ou can just have the opponent spend those APs by actually attacking.

Rage

Whenver you're hit, the total damage (before any reduction like soak) is added to your pool of Rage Points. Once you reach your Rage Threshold, you hulk out, with several effects: You can use super maneuvers, though pulling off even one has your Rage drop back to 0. While raging, your non-supers become stronger (+2 Damage), and you also speed up (+3 AP).
You can keep this state going for as long as you want, but after a number of turns equal to your Focus, you start losing 2 Rage Points per turn, until they reach 0. Not that this is much of a problem unless you avoid getting hit even once after that. You don't even have to get hurt all that much in the process. Just block like once to keep the rage flowing.

There are some roleplaying hints about how Rage can affect your character, also going into how story events can have you gain or lose Rage. Think about how Goku went nuts when Krillin was killed by Freeza, or how calming it is to see a bunch of kittens.
Seeing how performing a super maneuver immediately drops your Rage to 0, you can always calm down immediately by super-punching the air.

As an optional rule, you can continue to gain Rage beyond your threshold, but once you're over 150%, you start to go berserk, giving your offensive bonuses, defensive penalties, and an irresistible urge to make at least one attack per turn, even if this would mean attacking your friends.

We also get a short section on stunts, which basically amounts to "let the GM fudge everything".
We also get a reminder on stun damage, noting how any physical attack can be set to stun with a -2 Accuracy penalty. Not really sure why this is necessary. We get some guidelines later in the chapter on when someone generally dies (Health falls below negative Stamina x 2), but the GM can always have them survive if he wants.

After a random Lifting chart (Strength in Thrash is roughly twice as good as Mekton's Body stat, with our Sherry being able to bench press 525 pounds), we get to weapons!

Weapons come in three categories (melee, missile, firearms), with the former being the most common.

quote:

The basic weapon strikes are designated Light Strike and Heavy Strike, and use the same modifiers as Light and Heavy Punch (see the maneuvers section), but with the modifiers of the weapon added in.
But what about those Light/Medium/Heavy Strikes we saw earlier :psyduck: ?!

Oh well, having it based on your basic punches at least makes somewhat sense. Those basic strike maneuvers we saw earlier didn't even have dice to roll, making that version of the Light Strike much weaker than a Light Punch, which is just weird.

Melee weapons come with 5 stats: The amount of hands needed to carry them, their reach and their Accuracy, AP and Damage modifiers added to any weapon maneuver they're used with.
Ranged weapons are a bit different as they don't use basic maneuvers. Their stat block already includes their maneuver. Most ranged weapons are also not muscle-powered, so they don't have a damage modifier, but rather the total damage already listed.

Weird weapon-related things include:

  • No melee weapon has a positive AP modifier, with almost everyone actually having a negative one. Yes, that mace is faster than your Light Punch.
  • The No-Dachi has a AP mod of "+1d6", which I'm pretty sure belongs into the Damage column, bringing it in line with the two-handed sword (those two are the only melee wepaons with random modifiers).
  • Katanas are underpowered in Thrash. Longswords have the exact same stat, but deal more damage.
  • One-handed weapons are generally better than their two-handed counterparts, which sometimes don't even deal that much more damage.
  • No missile weapon deals more damage than a Heavy Punch. Most don't even surpass the Light Punch
  • Automatic firearms on the other hand hurt a lot, though this is countered by them not getting a Damage Bonus
With weapons around, it only makes sense to also have a couple pieces of armor to wear. The list consists of medieval stuff, samurai armor, a flak vest and "high-tech armor". Anything but the flak vest comes with an encumbrance penalty to your Agility, though that's where the Armor Fighting discipline comes into play.
The actual rules for armor a bit clunky. They add to your soak roll, but different amounts based on the type of atack (Impact, Thrust, firearms). There's also a "Coverage" stat which you have to roll under on a 1d10 to see whether the enemy actually hits an armored part, adding another unnecessary roll to the process.

The highest Soak Bonus for impact damage (aka what you're mostly going to face) comes from the High-Tech Armor with +16 (aka -4 damage). Not sure if this is actually useful, as this will just make it more attractive to just spam low AP attacks.

Suffice to say, Riddle of Steel / Blade of the Iron Throne, this is not.

Epic Battle Rules

This is a little optional modification for the big boss fights, where the fighters may or may not go Super-Saiyan beforehand. The changes are:
  • Health is multiplied by 5
  • You have unlimited Chi (just like in the video games)
  • Dizzying Threshold is doubled
  • Rage Threshold is multiplied by 4, and every attack while enraged deals tripple damage
  • APs are doubled
  • The laws of the universe force everyone to stop fighting and listen to whenever one participant wants to make a dramatic speech

I don't think the Dizzy Threshold can quite keep up with the crazy triple-damage shenanigans going on once someone hulks out.

We then go into the typical stuff about recovery (recovering from a fight can take days unless you use cinematic healing rules and meditate a lot), non-combat damage source, social interactions (aka "fame has its drawbacks") and what to spend your experience on. There's a somewhat neat rule about Training, which nets you Training Points that you can spend like Experience Points, provided that 50% of the points spend are proper Experience Points. So no sitting at home waxing your car till you're able to curbstomp Omega Rugal or that incredibly cheap bloke from Samurai Shodown VI.
The chapter finishes with like the third version of learning stuff spontaneously so far, this one allowing to go into negative Experience Points or just getting a maneuver for free, provided there's an adventure revolving about learning the maneuver or something.

Phew, I think this is getting a bit too long for an example fight. Thankfully, Chapter 7 (the GM section) is rather short, so I can probably do both in one post.
After my last post, I also remembered how the character creation chapter had an example character. Let's see how Sherry fares against a normal starting character!

Doresh fucked around with this message at 15:25 on Jan 24, 2015

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Hc Svnt Dracones
Fursona Construction Simulator v1.0



Character Creation

Alright, let's see how badly we can break this game. The orders were for one combat monster(Lateral), one money monster(Scrooge McDuck) and one Total Fursona Nightmare(as many Morphisms as possible, Taur and Multiple-tails required). I'll start off with a detailed run-through of my Lateral Reptile(Gecko) character, and I'll probably breeze over the others a bit more. We'll start from the order the book presents things, so first Family, Reptilia, which contributes +1 die to Body: Resilience(though it doesn't let us go above 3 at chargen, so it's not really that noteworthy since we're not THAT hurting for points to share around) and a +2(a static +2, not a die, mind) to rolls to resist poison and disease. For Species, we're obviously a Gecko, so we get a (static) +1 to Medicine(but why, anyway? Are Geckos in any way stereotypically related to health or anything?) and two further +1's that we can share around as we please.

Now, I'd like to note that literally every species gets a "+1 to X, +2 other proficiencies of your choice," so why not just give them all a +1 to X and then have the "+2 to proficiencies of your choice" in the generic chargen sections that apply to everyone? Augh.

And then there's Lateralism, which gives us -1(dice, not static) to Community:Presence checks, but only conditionally, so I guess it's up to the GM if anyone finds us unappealing for looking like a normal animal, and a -3(static, in this case) to the generically named "Operate" for anything that's not specifically made for us to use.

We get three of our family-specific "Reclaiming Surgeries" for free, and, having read ahead, the "reclaiming surgeries" are basically a bunch of stuff related to the animal's pre-furrification form that give bonuses. For reptiles, some of them are pretty rad. Nobody gets attacks of opportunity against us, so we can run right up to someone and suplex them, this pleases me, and we get an "automatic +1 cover bonus." Since I haven't read up on combat, I have no idea if this is bonus dice or a static bonus or what the hell it is. But I'm guessing it's good.


El Gecko with his favourite futuristic weapon: a folding chair

With that out of the way, we can start cracking on the raw numbers. Obviously our D12 is going to be assigned to our Body stats, El Gecko is a legend among brawlers, D10's for Mind and Community, and the D8 for Ledger, because El Gecko cares not about money, only justice and sick suplexes. Five of our eight dots for the Body/Mind side of things go to pushing Dexterity, Resilience and Strength up to three dots each(each starts at a free one, we get another one for free in Resilience from being a reptile), a further two go to Presence, because what's the point of a wrestler if he's not flashy, ridiculous and attention-grabbing? And the last goes into Acuity because we want to see enemies.

Our Mind stats are solid 1's because El Gecko has taken a lot of blows to the head from folding chairs over the years. Ledger also gets left entirely at 1, because El Gecko is too stupid to realize his corporate agent has been ripping him off on contracts ever since he was first signed up, and that leaves our six free dots on that side of things to be assigned to Community. We pick Acuity, Strength and Presence to get our dots since El Gecko is all about raw charisma, not about subtle maneuvering or figuring things out.

As is my habit by this point, I'd also love to point out all the potential character builds/concepts the system prevents. Remember that the 8/6 has to be assigned Body+Mind or Community+Ledger. So you can't, for instance, make a rich and popular celebrity, because anything applied to Community stuff(popularity) would make you poorer(Ledger). Likewise, anyone strong is basically draining away his brains. So you couldn't, for instance, make a poor and somewhat socially awkward(due to isolation) ascetic who's been meditating, training and studying for some task for the last five years.

pre:
                 Body(D12)/Mind(D10)/Community(D10)/Ledger(D8)

Dexterity       ***/*  /*  /*
Acuity          ** /*  /***/*
Resilience      ***/*  /*  /*
Strength        ***/*  /***/*
Presence        ***/*  /***/*
At this point we can start calculating a bunch of derived stats... the calculations for which were unhelpfully and pointlessly presented at the very start of the chapter, before we got into any numbers of any sort, but which are, helpfully, reproduced on the character sheet.

Hit Points: 60
Readiness: 2(I think this is our Initiative)
Movement: 6
Nerve: 10
Range: 6

Mind Dodge: 2
Mind Resist: 2
Body Dodge: 5(Edit from Future Purple: Despite what anyone might think, no, this isn't actually used in combat at all, except against grenades. You can't actually DODGE attacks at all.)
Body Resist: 6

Thankfully we have no loving clue what any of these numbers really mean, as all we've been told so far is really the difficulty for beating an unopposed roll(get 8 or above, with modifiers, on one of the dice we roll).

Next up, proficiencies! While our raw dots in something decide how many dice we roll, proficiencies are the static modifiers applied to all of our rolls. First we pick one corporation, and assign eight points to their allowed proficiencies. Then we pick a second, and assign six points to their allowed proficiencies. We also get +1 to a specific proficiency from our species, and a further +2 proficiency points to assign from it, but it appears there's no limitation on where we can assign those. We also can't have more proficiencies at 3, than we have dots in Mind:Strength, and nothing can be at 4 or higher at chargen.

Now, they hosed this part up a bit, because there's basically no proficiency you can't find by just taking two different corporations during chargen(fluff-wise they're the ones you've been raised by and worked for, respectively), yet MarsCo's entire "thing" is that they have access to all proficiencies... but none of them can be raised above two. There's literally no reason to pick MarsCo at all, it's 100% disadvantage. It's also a POINTLESS disadvantage, since at most you can have three proficiencies at 3 at chargen, and you can just raise those proficiencies, most likely only one or two, with the proficiency points you get from another corp and then pick all of your others from MarsCo! It's stupid.

Anyway, we go with Pulse because we're a jock, and raise "CQC"(Close Quarters Combat, apparently the catch-all melee/brawl skill) to three, or "Masterful," rating. None of the other skills seem particularly relevant to being a combat character at all(except for Ranged Combat, but obviously we won't be using that with El Gecko), so I'll save the proficiency points there for later in case it turns out that any of them have any actual combat application. Now, I'd like to point out that Operate is one of the proficiencies here, and that you can casually increase that to a +3 at chargen. Laterals get a -3 to Operate for anything not made for them, and that's applied to all laterals, whether they're snakes, dogs or whatever. With three d12 in whatever stat Operate uses, and the proficiency and penalty cancelling each other out, you've got a ~75% chance of success, meaning that a snake or a ferret can operate heavy industrial machinery about as well as a trained operator on most days.

I'm not sure if it's to their credit that it's possible to circumvent hard-set penalties and do ridiculous poo poo if you want to, or if it's the devs' failure that they made their supposed hard penalties so easily avoided.

We also get nebulous "allegiance points" for the corporations that we choose to have been raised by or been related to, but as most other things in this chargen so far, we really don't know the impact or importance of anything we're doing, but we're informed that it's on a scale of -5(worst enemy of a given corp) to +5(Board of directors!). Considering that +3 is the minimum necessary to be EMPLOYED, that's a very narrow loving hierarchy of power. Not much room for middle management.

quote:

Being an Employee of a megacorp as a player character is a little different than being a general, run of the mill corporate peon. Player characters are always considered valuable assets, and are held on retainer rather than being put behind a desk all day, which leaves them free to pursue their own interests until they’re needed.

Yes, this is what being employed is like.

But anyway, chargen isn't over yet! Now we have to pick a "Focus!" Skills are organized into five more or less arbitrary groups(for instance, CQC, Ranged Combat, Security and Survival are in the "Combat" group, but stuff like Athletics or Sneak, which would most certainly be relevant to a combat situation, definitely more so than Survival, a skill for surviving in rough terrain, are in the "Generic" group. Booksmarts is in the Science group, but not in the Engineering group. Streetsmarts are Generic, rather than Communication, and so on.). For each skill in a group that you have at 3 or higher, you can get a Focus Ability!

Focus Abilities are a bunch of abilities that can be used Once Per X, anything from once per Day to once per Combat to once per Session(a terrible measure, mind, some groups have short sessions, others have very long ones. And Days are lovely measures, too, some adventures have barely one encounter per day, others have dozens in short, compressed spans of time). The large majority of the abilities outside of the Communications group are all combat-related, though, having little roleplay use, and the Communications abilities can be mostly described as "how to make the GM hate you utterly," since they largely amount to "social mind control," that allows you to effectively brainwash NPC's without really having plans or arguments to back it up, and just go wherever and do whatever.

And, once again, this whole chapter is full of numerical bonuses that we still don't know the worth of. Is a potential +3 to damage for an entire fight worth it? Overpowered? Tiny? We don't know, because we have no idea how much damage anything does yet. What is a "Battle Pool," even, and why would I want a bonus to it? Some concepts can be deciphered just by their name, but what the gently caress is a "Battle Pool"? And of course there's also the usual paragraph-to-paragraph inconsistency we've come to know and love. An ability that temporarily boosts your Allegiance with a corporation to (by investing money from your ledger in them, and how, again, do we do that, if ledgers are all automated?) 3 gives you some pull with them and describes you as an "investor," but that doesn't make sense since we've been told that 3 is the bare minimum required to be an entry-level employee, so why would that give you any pull or interest to them at all, especially when the description states that they "know investors are temporary"? So it's effectively the same as them giving a temporary data entry monkey access to corporate benefits.

Actually taking any of these abilities before you've read how combat works or what equipment does wouldn't make any sense, so we'll put that on hold temporarily

Now we hit the "Ledger" part, i.e. how to figure out your starting funds. You add two of your Ledger stats together, roll 1d8 multiplied by that, and add 30. This is your starting money for weapons and armor, roll it again for your starting money for "general items"(what's a general item? Anything not gear and armor? What about implants that have offensive or defensive functions?) and roll it a third time for your starting savings, that you aren't allowed to use at chargen... but can use after the first session or whenever your GM arbitrarily states that you're allowed to. It's supposed to prevent players from making "too big" purchases right at the start of the game, but unless the GM rushes players into somewhere out on the cold fringes of civilization right away, I can't see how this would prevent the players from just saving some money for after the first session. It's stupid.

Also "any money not spent goes to your general funds," so, again, you can ignore their arbitrary start-up purchase categories and just save your money, then spend the first session going shopping(or second, if your GM is going to be retarded and follow the advice about restricting the savings).

How do we get more money? Our Ledger makes us more money at the end of literally every session. We roll a single Economy die(so if we've got our D12 in Economy, one of those), add our ledger score(those two stats added together from earlier, Econ:Strength and Econ:Presence) and then multiply it by the total number of dots we have in Economy. We can also make an Econ:Resilience+Finance and/or Econ:Acuity+Finance check. For every die we get on that which is 8 or higher(I assume that's what it means by "number of successes, since it's not been defined yet"), we get a success, and we multiply by number of successes(and if we get zero successes, multiply by zero, you fail). This is kind of a terrible decision if you've not focused in Economy, but it could basically mean that after a couple of lucky rolls from the first session, you've quadrupled or quintupled your starting funds and are now ridiculously rich.

There's an alternative rule which gives every player 75 credits, flat, at the end of every session instead of rolling for it. This, hilariously enough, basically invalidates all your Ledger stats and completely lopsides the entire chargen system by cutting out a quarter of it. Brilliant game design.

Anyway, on to Equipment! A category that already gives us some incredibly retarded things from basically the first page, like the Cleansweep(tm), made for Search and Rescue teams. It indicates lifeforms... and, on purpose, doesn't indicate where those lifeforms are, since it would make the search-and-rescue teams be lazy and not thoroughly sweep everything, if they could just, you know, head straight to whoever's trapped in the loving burning building or buried under the avalanche or whatever. Jesus Christ. The book even calls this design "annoying, but a good decision," yet never justifies why it was a good decision.

There's also a bunch of stuff I can't see why a PC would ever need, like a "Flowform Generator," that allows you to levitate water, and that's literally it. It's a bulky, complicated device that allows you to fling water into the air and keep it there, which, I guess, might be handy if you're fighting enemies in a boat or something, or if everyone can swim, you could make a hugely obvious set of stairs to let you swim to/from something, though since it caps out at 30 feet of height, I can't really imagine it being easier than just finding a loving ladder, and since it's huge and obvious it won't be useful for stealthily circumventing something. The field is also complicated to reposition, so it doesn't have any use as a portable device for drowning enemies or anything of that sort. And no, sadly, it must be from "pools at least a foot deep," we can't use it to levitate the water inside people and throw them all into the air then run past.

Remember how being a limbless or fingerless/thumbless lateral was supposed to come with disadvantages? Nope, for a tiny price(20 credits) that literally anyone can pay at chargen, you can have a telekinesis hat that allows you to glue guns to your head and push buttons(or pull triggers), albeit at short range, with your mind.

But most of the "general" category of equipment is frankly pretty forgettable, unless you really want to keep track of how many tents you've got or how many months' worth of rent you can pay. I have seriously yet to experience the gaming session that was made more exciting by figuring out whether the PC's could pay for their apartment or not. El Gecko doesn't care until we get to the weapons chapter, browsing through like fifty descriptions of futuristic assault rifles and reaching the "Hard Edge," which does our Body:Strength + 3 in damage(6, or maybe 7 to 14, because for some reason Hard Edges, despite being melee weapons, have an "ammo damage" listed as well, of d8, even though they don't actually use any ammo, being swords. I have no idea if its a misprint or intentional because it makes them pretty unambiguously the best possible weapon without even being the most expensive or hard to acquire), costs 50(the max we can start with among our three rolls is 168, but since we're already min/maxing a combat monster, obviously we rerolled until we got three maxed rolls while the GM was distracted) credits and is available from all corporations. We just choose that we aren't buying anything with our funds, El Gecko doesn't pay rent because he's always looking for new opponents to fight, and start the very first session by hitting up the nearest BuySpot to grab one, fluffed as looking like a folding chair with really sharp corners. We also glue the Vibrox boost to it for 20 credits, allowing it to basically ignore most armors and chip away at the remainder.

(Also, while all the generic gear, like drug injectors and tents, notes whether Micros/Taurs/Laterals can use it, or whether it costs more for them, nothing, at any point, makes such a distinction for weapons and armor, so presumably any dog can carry a Percussion Hammer in its teeth and wear power armor to make the Brotherhood of Steel jealous)

Speaking of armor, said chapter makes some annoying omissions that seem to refer to rules that were edited out at some point. Living Armor, for instance, can sometimes freak out and act on its own, rather than doing what you want it to(either berserking or sprinting for cover), and it says that when it does this, it uses its own stats, not necessarily yours. Yet at no point are its stats, or which specific stats it overrides, listed. It does work interestingly, though, rather than just being a static wall of defense, armor is a raw pool of extra hit points, which can be destroyed or worn down. This is actually something I'm a fan of, since it prevents annoying issues from other games where you need to make sure armor isn't so big that it makes half the party's attacks plink off while also keeping it high enough that the other half of the party can't just one-shot the big bad. Here, everyone can contribute to knocking chunks off of armor, and armor that doesn't give 100% coverage can still let "status effects" seep through.



Feeling relatively positive about these mechanics I then try to read the combat chapter and start feeling dizzy and nauseous due to the lovely organization of it. I'm still not entirely sure I understand how combat works, but... first, we look at our Readiness, one Body die + Readiness is our initiative score, highest always goes first, every round. 6+Readiness is how many things we can do in one round, some things eat up more than one point from this "Battle Pool"(and the number of times we can do a given action in a round is also limited by stats, stupid people, for instance, can only make one attack action per round, even though they can jog all over the battlefield) There's also a "Nerve Pool," a morale rating for each side, and if it drops too low for NPC's, they run, but... actually it's entirely meaningless to calculate or keep track of for players, it turns out, because the rules specifically say that the PC's can just elect that they're fighting on despite their Nerve Pool hitting zero. Why even HAVE this mechanic except for the hardcore grogs who MUST HAVE RULES for everything? There's even a paragraph later on pointing out that you can just go ahead and scrap the Nerve Pool entirely, but...

quote:

This system was designed to grant players a unique RPG combat experience in which caution and discretion is rewarded, rather than encouraging players and enemies to just rush into oncoming bullets with insane courage and kill whatever it is that’s bothering them at the time.

You're clearly murderhobo-loving swine if you want to play without the Nerve Pool.

There are also some surprises, for instance, ranged combat always uses Mind:Acuity as its stat, it doesn't matter how good your eyesight is, or how dexterous you are, or anything of the sort. All it takes is a stat previously described as...

quote:

Mind:Acuity represents your ability to perceive patterns. In everything. Hidden messages in code, connections between events, whether or not someone is related to someone else by virtue of their physical appearance. It also allows you to notice things others may miss. Often used in examining speech or text, this is typically combined with Booksmarts, Investigation or Spot to notice specific things about what you’re looking at. It is not used to physically locate something in a room.

Pattern-recognition. Pattern-recognition is the most important skill for firing a gun and hitting a target.

But, you know, who gives a drat about that. We've got a MELEE COMBATANT, here. After parsing the poorly written rules, I see that because we're stupid, we can only attack once per round, though we can sprint pretty well across the battlefield to bop the poo poo out of someone, also due to our huge Body:Dexterity, we roll 1d12+3 four times, and each result of 8 or greater is a hit. There's no dodging, or dodge skill, for melee. Or for ranged combat, for that matter, it appears that using cover is the only defensive action applicable to anything. I also think whoever designed the mechanic has played too many videogames, because you use cover by expending "defensive actions" to give enemies a penalty to hit you(assuming their shots would have to travel past the cover you're behind), but you get a penalty to your own attacks as well if you expend defensive actions before you make attacks, but since no one can attack you on your turn(barring you provoking attacks of opportunity by rushing past them), why not just assume that characters only actually take cover at the very end of their turn? Rather than adding a stupid GOTCHA rule if some STUPID NEWBIE does his actions in the wrong order?

In general a lot of the rules have weird things going on, two-weapon fighting, for instance, lets you reroll any of your main-hand weapon's attack dice, rather than giving you a boost to damage or letting you roll even more attacks, but warns that you "have to abide by the second roll." Which is weird, because you don't have to reroll the whole pool, by the wording, and there's no separation between a good success and a middling success, it's just a success, so just reroll the failures and leave the rest unrerolled. Also it doesn't care at all what your off-hand weapon is, as long as you have the Body:Dexterity and CQC needed to wield it, so you could pick up a stick and wave it around in your off-hand and still get the bonus.

Anyway, we've got four rolls that each have roughly a 75% chance to succeed, which means that we can easily succeed on 3 of them most of the time, at which point they do 7 to 14 points of damage each, for an average attack of 21 to 42 points of damage, with a further +3 to each attack that hits because we're a Lateral, which gives us a bonus bite as part of every succesful attack, jumping our damage from 30 to 51. This doesn't tell us a lot, but even the game's toughest armor for PC's only has 160 HP, and the average is closer to 40 or 50, meaning that EL GECKO can sprint up to enemies and shatter their expensive powered armor with a swing or two from his folding chair without much effort(or, actually, I remember, just plain IGNORE their armor if it's under 50, due to the Vibrox modification for his weapon, which most armor in the game is, or will be after the first hit or two). If we have an old branch in our off-hand, or a lead pipe or a small flag, anything that counts as a weapon to cheese the two-weapon rules, we can pretty much guarantee four hits per round, increasing us to 40 to 65 damage.

Taking a glance ahead to the "Adversaries" chapter, it's entirely possible for El Gecko to two-shot one of the supposedly near-undefeatable enemies of the setting, the "Whispers," or one-shot the "Palemen" that supposedly killed everyone who tried to investigate what was happening on Earth. The Whispers can do a pretty dangerous level of offense, but the weapons they're wielding are classed as "Medium" and hence can't parry El Gecko's "Hard Edge Folding Chair" which is classed as "Large." So it's pretty much down to whoever win's initiative whether he just wades into combat and smacks them around casually. In a shocking twist of the game devs actually remembering Laterals are around, they note that Laterals can't carry shields and weapons at the same time... unless they buy the aforementioned "magnet helmet" and attach the shield to it, suddenly making El Gecko with a large shield the equivalent to a mobile bunker(between the shield and his cover bonus for being a Lateral, enemies suddenly need a 12, not an 8, to hit him, meaning that a large number of enemies simply won't be ABLE to hit him at all. They'd need at the very least to be rolling D10's, and even then they'd need +2 or +3 on their Ranged Combat to land a hit, in melee the shield just works as an extra pool of HP), dual-wielding a stick in his teeth and a folding chair implausibly held in both front paws.

Also, in case you're about to call this post "ridiculous" for letting a gecko wield weapons... I'd like to point out that the "Lateral" morphism does not deny them the option to wield weapons and even, specifically, mentions them using weapons.

This is also what he can do prior to me taking a look at armor, cybernetics, reclaiming surgeries and magic, which would probably make him completely ridiculous even with the minimal money his Ledger stats would let him earn in a dozen or so sessions before the GM would start throwing the setting's "big bads" at the party.

It also turns out that Laterals, arbitrarily, can't grapple at all, except against other laterals, which seems bizarre to me, because some of the most dangerous animal attacks I've heard about, involve animals(like, say, alligators or crocodiles) latching on a human with their teeth and dragging them around, perhaps underwater, or just trapping them in a murderous, crushing bite.

And yes, in case you're wondering they put the huge rules/combat chapters in between the chargen/equipment chapters and the chapters with more chargen stuff like Reclaiming Surgery, cybernetics and becoming a Furry Space Wizard. Yes, this game has space magic, of course it does, we'll get to it.

I think this makes a pretty good initial case for them not having playtested their system worth poo poo, though. Next time, we'll see if Scrooge McDuck can somehow get the weapon with the "Annihilate" attribute(does 1000 damage worth to any target hit, or anything in between the weapon and the target. The strongest enemy and the strongest armor combined result in 260HP) from chargen or within a few sessions of it.

Edited to a URL instead of an in-post image because I realized it contained some furry rear end that someone's boss might not appreciate seeing if he happened to glance over their shoulder. Not spectacularly NSFW, but still, just in case.
http://i.imgur.com/sjSeUMs.jpg

PurpleXVI fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Jan 24, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Wait, so HSD tries to have a morale stat, but doesn't actually have it effect PCs at all if they don't want it to. Why on God's green earth would you do that!? If you're going to model combat fatigue and poo poo, find a simple way and stick to your guns!

Also, loving space wizards. I mean, I know I shouldn't be surprised, but goddamnit why are there always space wizards.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 16:18 on Jan 24, 2015

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Of course it's gonna have a gratuitous vixen rear end in the art (and implication she's topless too), but this is a game that isn't pandering at all, no siree.

And christ there's so many 'Here's the rules but WAIT WAIT you can just ignore these rules', it not only says 'we hadn't play tested this' but 'we're trying to please everyone and don't care if it means our system will snap in a stiff breeze'.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


So in the capitalistic furry future, you become a better marksman by being a paranoid conspiracy theory nutjob?

As far as I know, just about every predator animal uses some form of grapple. It mostly amounts to "Tackle it, bite it at the neck, start worrying/shaking/rolling till it stops moving. If you have poison, this is a good time to pump it full of that stuff".
Also, friggin' constrictor snakes. They are made to squeeze stuff to death.

The dual wield rules remind me of an early Pathfinder playtest feat that allowed you to swap weapons mid-attack, essentially making all attacks with a single weapon.

And it's good to know that Bio Booster Furry Guyver over here has armored its crotch. Very sensible.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 17:22 on Jan 24, 2015

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Doresh posted:

So in the capitalistic furry future, you become a better marksman by being a paranoid conspiracy theory nutjob?

Just consult your numerology charts to figure out where the zionist reptoid government hollow mars conspiracy is going to position your enemy before he knows it.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Doresh posted:

So in the capitalistic furry future, you become a better marksman by being a paranoid conspiracy theory nutjob?

One leads to the other, if Dale Gribble is any indication.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


PurpleXVI posted:

Just consult your numerology charts to figure out where the zionist reptoid government hollow mars conspiracy is going to position your enemy before he knows it.

I don't think it's this as much as the author thinking gun-kata actually exists and works. Statistically probable angles of attack and all that.

Also what the hell is naked vixen doing? Did she take off her skin tight armor, sit it in a chair, and then took the opportunity to paint it, badly?

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


And you hone your senses by finding satanic pagan NWO symbolism everywhere.

The artwork makes it hard to tell whether that thing is armor or just a freakish furry dude getting himself some weird body paint.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Kurieg posted:

I don't think it's this as much as the author thinking gun-kata actually exists and works. Statistically probable angles of attack and all that.

Remember that one of the constant trademarks of bad science fiction is the character who is so smart they can predict everything, because it's an incredibly easy way to write a 'smart' character: Hand them a copy of the script. So I wouldn't be surprised if this was exactly the case.

God, Gun Kata is so loving dumb. And the most boring to watch action movie two-fisted gunfighting style ever. "I just do these cool poses and everyone misses me and walks into my bullets!"

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Doresh posted:

The rules start with a short paragraph on the "Rule Zero", or "If a rule annoy you, ignore it", as the writer quotes from the Project A-ko RPG (wow, that's a thing?). Common sense, basically.

I actually saw a copy of that at one point borrowed from a random guy in an Anime society.

Basically, it's the first Silhouette game before Dream Pod 9 were a thing, so the system is Heavy Gear's human side with the A-Ko characters. It's rather weak though, since the only powers it supports are the very minimum needed to make the A-Ko characters, and in an attempt to add extra playable PCs they threw in a bunch of minor characters from the cartoon without really giving them anything to do. Like Asa, who I think shows up in maybe one or two shots throughout the cartoon, and whom one of the sample adventures vaguely suggests might be cheerleading at one point - which, if true, would take them completely out of the adventure as they'd be in completely the wrong place for the hook - and then forgets about entirely.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

The A-Ko game also has a weird card game thing crammed into it like many other games of the era. I have a copy and it's sitting on the shelf of poor choices next to Cyberpunk v.3 and the Dragon Ball Z RPG.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


So I think the cleansweeper saying there is something alive but not where it is may be linked to the whole "QWIT INVADIN' MAH PRIVASEE!' aspect of whatever philosophy the game is trying to pump. Which doesn't make sense in a world run by corporations because privacy leads to slacking and a loss of productivity.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Tasoth posted:

So I think the cleansweeper saying there is something alive but not where it is may be linked to the whole "QWIT INVADIN' MAH PRIVASEE!' aspect of whatever philosophy the game is trying to pump. Which doesn't make sense in a world run by corporations because privacy leads to slacking and a loss of productivity.

There's this hilarious blind spot where they think a corporate state would really be any different from a government. To go back to comparison, one of the colonial groups that didn't go batshit crazy like the rabbits in Albedo is the Enchawah Group. They're pretty much the Morganites from Alpha Centauri, except not on a magical space brain planet full of fungus and mysticism. The writeup on them goes into how you get a corporate education, the corporation provides you a job, and you get decent deals on their products, but everything in your life is controlled by management. You don't have a choice of what job to go into, you just do your best on the tests and someone above you (admittedly, with Net assistance) sorts you into where you're best, without much regard to what you want out of life. You can live decently well in the Enchawah Group's space, and they're not psychopathic militarists or anything; their corporate raiding has been somewhat mellowed out by the simple fact that they have to provide for their people or they risk colonies asking to join the EDF for protection or the ILR invading to protect 'Ethnic Lapines', but that check exists entirely because there are other, major, actual governments that they have to do business with and who could stomp a mud hole in them if they tried. Still, living under a culture that maximizes profit at all costs is not private or liberating in Albedo, it just shifts the modern surveillance state to the service of profits and the goals of management rather than state security or THE TRANSCENDENT SUPERIORITY OF THE LAPINE MASTER RACE.

I can't stop finding the Helghast/Hitler Bunnies funny.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Doresh posted:

And you hone your senses by finding satanic pagan NWO symbolism everywhere.

The artwork makes it hard to tell whether that thing is armor or just a freakish furry dude getting himself some weird body paint.

The bottom right corner says "Mars Private Studio Hardskin Artist" so I think she's just pimping someone's ride there.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




hyphz posted:

I actually saw a copy of that at one point borrowed from a random guy in an Anime society.

Basically, it's the first Silhouette game before Dream Pod 9 were a thing, so the system is Heavy Gear's human side with the A-Ko characters. It's rather weak though, since the only powers it supports are the very minimum needed to make the A-Ko characters, and in an attempt to add extra playable PCs they threw in a bunch of minor characters from the cartoon without really giving them anything to do. Like Asa, who I think shows up in maybe one or two shots throughout the cartoon, and whom one of the sample adventures vaguely suggests might be cheerleading at one point - which, if true, would take them completely out of the adventure as they'd be in completely the wrong place for the hook - and then forgets about entirely.

Lynx Winters posted:

The A-Ko game also has a weird card game thing crammed into it like many other games of the era. I have a copy and it's sitting on the shelf of poor choices next to Cyberpunk v.3 and the Dragon Ball Z RPG.

That's funny, because I misremembered A-ko as one of the anime that Guardians of Order licensed to make a setting bible/RPG with their Tri-Stat System, before they released Big Eyes, Small Mouth proper.

I'd like to see more DP9 Silhouette system games in this thread. I remember looking into it back in the day when I was still trying to find the ultimate system, and I remember that, like Dune, it was a system where you roll your Attribute as a dice pool, then add your skill to the total. It seems like there was a trend at the time of using a resolution method that was novel just for its own sake. I don't have a problem with that per se, but I think that when you're designing a system it's astonishingly stupid to forgo actually designing it so that you know how the probabilities work, how things balance out, and what it even means for a character to have X points in a stat.

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

It's been a while but I think the way Silhouette works is that you rolls D6s equal to your skill, take the highest result, and add or subtract your attribute (it's a zero-as-average system). Extra 6s in a roll add +1 to the total result. I think the way Heavy Gear explained it was that someone with low skill and high stats could get great rolls inconsistently, while someone with higher skill but closer to average stats would get more consistent results due to having more chances at a higher roll.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Lynx Winters posted:

It's been a while but I think the way Silhouette works is that you rolls D6s equal to your skill, take the highest result, and add or subtract your attribute (it's a zero-as-average system). Extra 6s in a roll add +1 to the total result. I think the way Heavy Gear explained it was that someone with low skill and high stats could get great rolls inconsistently, while someone with higher skill but closer to average stats would get more consistent results due to having more chances at a higher roll.

You are correct, looking at the SiliCore book 3.1 right now.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Honestly, the biggest thing all these 'corporate state' sci-fi things miss is that there's really no reason for corporations to become governments. Corporations do a lot better with a government to pay for roads, educating their workers, enforcing IP laws, providing an army and police force, and generally doing a lot of the 'unprofitable' basic research for them, while also selling that government their products and generally acting like symbiotes (or parasites).

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Night10194 posted:

Honestly, the biggest thing all these 'corporate state' sci-fi things miss is that there's really no reason for corporations to become governments. Corporations do a lot better with a government to pay for roads, educating their workers, enforcing IP laws, providing an army and police force, and generally doing a lot of the 'unprofitable' basic research for them, while also selling that government their products and generally acting like symbiotes (or parasites).

There's also the government's ability to enforce liability, which is what makes these businesses a corporation. A corporation becoming it's own government makes it difficult to claim liability of their property, product, or employee citizens, especially when dealing with other corporations.

Liability is also one of those things that a lot of writers forget and why physically fighting corporations should be more akin to fighting a Lovecraftian Old One. Just because you ventilated the skull of a project manager who ordered the demolition of your favorite bar doesn't mean that the corporation will stop from flattening it, no, it means you just got their attention. Exposing financial connection of the corporation with terrorist criminal gangers just means that some middle manager is getting fired quietly.

Now, it's fully possible for a government to privatize services to corporations, like law enforcement, military, education, etc. but the government still maintains at least a modicum of oversight in choosing or continuing contracts, even if the officials are likely getting kickbacks from said corporations.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Night10194 posted:

Honestly, the biggest thing all these 'corporate state' sci-fi things miss is that there's really no reason for corporations to become governments. Corporations do a lot better with a government to pay for roads, educating their workers, enforcing IP laws, providing an army and police force, and generally doing a lot of the 'unprofitable' basic research for them, while also selling that government their products and generally acting like symbiotes (or parasites).
Not to derail, but at some point, the problem is that the corporations have so effectively destroyed the government that the government is, y'know, destroyed. If you've made it impossible for the government to exercise enough power to provide basic services, like building roads, then they have to come from somewhere else. So in the territory your corporation controls, that will be you. Like I said before,

Halloween Jack posted:

Libertarianism is Baby's First Ideology. You see, a corporation that owns land and has an army isn't technically a state. A monopoly isn't technically a tyranny. Choosing between starvation and indentured servitude is technically economic freedom. And so on.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:



Prestige Classes
We've got about three and a half good ones this time around, which also means we have four and a half bad ones. But on the whole this is actually a marked improvement over the "not paladin" and "Not ranger" from last time.


Death Knight
Hit Die: D10
Requirements: Alignment: Evil, BAB +6, Endurance, must vow to become a death knight before Ner'zhul or one of his lieutennants and be granted a vampiric runeblade crafted specifically for the character. AKA "Ask your DM very nicely if you can be a necromancer blackguard", Also yet another prestige class that you can't enter until level 7.

The first class feature a Death Knight gets is True Evil which makes them immune to magical alignment changes but also means anything that deals bonus damage to evil creatures deals 1.5 times as much damage because you're from the darkbad. They also get a Runeblade which is actually a magic item from the core book. It's a +1 longsword that deals 2d6 damage extra to living targets which the wielder receives as stacking bonus health that can go up to his current hit point total +10 before disappearing an hour later. So yeah, if Sir Fellevil slaughters an entire town of innocent civilians have fun chewing through his 110 hit point shield. It's also an intelligent magic item but as long as the death knight isn't being not-evil it won't really rail against him. At 4th level it becomes a +2 weapon that can cast darkness at will. At 7th level it's a +3 weapon. And as their level 10 capstone it becomes a +4 weapon that automatically blinds anyone it hits. So if you manage to become a level 10 death knight congratulations you've officially trivialized any combat with a blindable target.
They eventually gain the ability to cast Death Pact once per day (Kill one of your undead minions to heal yourself for as much health as they had) and Death Coil (ranged inflict wounds). At 3rd level they can cast animate dead a number of times per day equal to his level/3 as a sorcerer of his death knight level. At level 5 they get one of the more flavorful class features, Crumbling Vessel, subsumed by the lich king's will, their life force no longer goes towards actually prolonging their life and instead is directed towards keeping their body intact. They no longer gain any bonus hit points from their con score (They keep any they previously had) and instead gain a profane bonus to AC equal to their con score. At 6th level they get Life Stealing which heals them for an amount of hit points equal to the maximum hit die of a creature they slay (so 8 for a humanoid). at 7th level they become immune to death spells. And finally at 8th level they get Unholy Aura, 3 times per day they can project an aura in a 10 foot radius that either heals undead or damages living creatures for 3d8.... divided as the death knight chooses.

So yeah other than the fact that there's probably no way a player character is getting this class it's not terribly bad, the requirements are basically 'be a fighter or barbarian and take endurance', you get your small army of undead and can murder anything that doesn't have tremorsense.


Demon Hunter
Hit Die: d8
Requirements: Any good, Blind-Fight, Blood-elf, Night-elf, or Human. The ability to cast arcane spells, and a base Fortitude Save of +5 ...yes you read that correctly. So you could conceivably enter this class at level 5 as a Fighter2/Barb1/Wiz1. You must also seek out an existing demon hunter (of which at this point in the series there was canonically one, and he was an rear end in a top hat, they've since added several others but only 3 of them aren't evil and only one of them is still alive) and have them teach you a series of rituals in which you bind a demon inside yourself and then burn out your own eyes to bind the demon within you. Binding your face with a bandanna to keep the wounds from healing. Note the perfectly fine not-gouged blood elf showing off her side boob in the above artwork.

So first of all this is a half-caster class, you get +1 spellcasting level every even level. It's also 3/4ths BAB and you're expected to be in melee all the time with arcane spell failure chance preventing you from wearing armor. And depending on what path you took to enter this class this also means that you either A: have little to no spell slots or B: have a poo poo BAB to begin with. It does boost your familiar's abilities though so yay for that(?).
The first class feature is Enlightenment At level 1 you begin to sense the world around you through your demonic energy. You gain blindsight 15 X your Demon Hunter levels. at level 3 you can cast detect evil at will, at level 8 you can detect outsiders at will, and at level 10 you can detect magic at will, this class feature also conveniently forces your melee wizard to stay in melee. You also bind a portion of the demon's essence into your Warblade, which starts out as a +1 flaming not-longsword that you don't explicitly have proficiency in if you didn't get it through your fighter levels. At 4th and 8th level it gets a +1 enhancement bonus and you can give it an ability from a list which includes keen and ghost touch. So full stop right there.
Transformation causes your skin to slowly pale and then tinge blue. You always detect as chaotic regardless of your actual alignment, and at 5th level your skin turns leathery, giving you a +1 NA bonus. At 7th level your skin turns dark purple and you gain resist 10 to one energy type. At 10th level you transform into an outsider as you merge with the demon within you and gain a +3 profane bonus on all ranged touch attacks :psyduck: okay then. at 2nd level you can cast Mana Burn once per day, twice at 6th level and 3 times at 9th level as a sorcerer equal to your demon hunter level. Which will hilariously probably be higher than your actual caster level. At 3rd level you gain Evasion. And at 5th level once per day you can deal 2d6+your wisdom modifier(:psyduck:) fire/fel damage to everything within 10 feet. With a reflex save dc of 10+half your demon hunter level+ your charisma modifier(:psyboom:). So yes, once per day you can use an ability that utilizes two ability scores that you probably dump statted. Hooray.

This class is terrible for several reasons. It's a melee wizard with no bonus to AC and a 3/4ths BAB that actively prevents you from casting spells at range due to your blindsense until you reach a high enough level to actually see poo poo. And one of it's capstone abilities deals a middling amount of damage and isn't party friendly.


Dwarven Avatar
Hit Die:d10
Requirements: Ironforge Dwarf, Alliance only, Iron Will, Toughness, Knowledge(History:Titans)8 or Knowledge(religion:Titans)8 ranks You must also make a pilgrammage to a titan shrine and meditate there for 3 days without food or drink. Knowledge skills don't work that way game. Also the only two classes that have Knowledge History and Religion are the Wizard/Sorc and Healer. I'm reasonably certain they didn't want you to progress into this class as either of those two classes so you're apparently supposed to feat into that skill proficiency?

At first level you gain two class features, the ability to cast Stone Tell level/2 times per day. And a frankly bizarre bonus to your Unarmed Attack that increases both your attack bonus and damage die as you level up in this class. But doesn't actually make it deal lethal damage or allow you to make those attacks without provoking attacks of opportunity. At 2nd level your improved connection to the spirits of the earth increase your Stonecunning bonus to +4. At 3rd level you gain Earthstance which should just be called "Improved Stability" because all it does is give you another +4 to your stability bonuses. At level 4 you finally get a reason to want to take this class. Strength of the Titans gives you a +2 inherent bonus to strength which increases by another +2 at 7th level and 10th level. at 5th level you can cast the Stoneskin spell 1-3 times per day with a duration of 10 minutes per class level. At 6th level you gain the Bash feat from the previous book but you can only use it with your unarmed strikes. At 9th level you can cast Stone Shape once per day and at 10th level you can cast Iron Body once per day.

I honestly have no idea what's going on here. It's like someone just told the class designer "It does earth things" and left it at that. In warcraft 3 the dwarven avatar was all about screaming "FOR KHAZ MODAN" and beating people up with giant maces and axes. Hell look at that artwork up there. Now he's a lovely monk, a doubledwarf, and also sort of an earthbender?


Marksman
Hit Die: d6
Requirements: Point blank shot, Weapon focus(Firearm), Craft(Tech)8 So this is doable for almost anyone, though I should point out that the technological item creation rules make it impossible for anyone who isn't explicitly a tinker to actually use the craft technological device skill. And in fact any level you take that isn't in tinker actively hinders your ability to make any better items.

At every odd level you gain a Bonus Feat from a list of generic ranged combat fighter feats but also including Build Firearms, which would technically increase your tech capacity enough to make TS level 2 guns I suppose. and let you auto-crit on one shot a week. At 2nd/5th/8th level you can make a True Shot one additional time per day which is basically a shot with a true strike spell attached. Sharpshooter gives you a +1 bonus to attack rolls at 3rd/6th/9th level. At 4th level you gain Ranged Disarm at 6th level you gain Ranged Sunder and at 8th level you gain Ranged Cleave which are feats that show up later because this game commits the all too common sin of putting feats after the prestige classes that grant/require them. The capstone ability is Penetrating Shot which allows a Marksman to make one shot per day that ignores damage reduction. That's it. This either translates to "Hooray you deal an extra 5 damage" or "Hooray you are able to deal damage at all now go back to plinking away at him"

Other than the capstone ability this is actually a solid class. It's super accurate and you gain a bunch of trick shots through both your bonus feats and the granted feats.


Necromancer
Hit Die: d6
Requirements: Any Evil, 3rd level arcane spellcasting, Knowledge(Arcana)8, Knowledge(undead)8. Uhh.. Knowledge(undead) doesn't actually exist so I'll assume you mean Knowledge Religion which also conveniently makes this a wizard only club.

The main class feature is "access to the necromancy spell list". In addition to that you can make a Death Touch attack once per day (2 times at 4th level 3 times at 7th level) where you touch a living creature, and roll 1d6 x your necromancer level. if that exceeds their hit point total, they die. If it doesn't, absolutely nothing happens. I hate class features like this just because of the amount of metagamey knowledge it takes to not make it a waste of a turn. You can cast Animate Dead level/2 times per day and Death Pact level/3 times per day. At 5th level you gain Death resistance which is immunity to death spells and death effects. At 6th level you can cast Create Undead once per day, and again at 9th level. at 8th level you gain Undying which means you just become undead, no con score anymore charisma to concentration checks, immune to fortitude saves, all that. And at 10th level you can cast Create Greater Undead once per day.

The only thing this class does is grant you early access to spells, except it doesn't really do that because you gain the Create Undead and Create Greater Undead abilities at the same level they would become available to a wizard of your level. So it's really only granting you extra spell slots that must be used for those spells. The most damning thing of all for the Necromancer is that they actually made a better necromancer(lowercase n) in the next book.


Primal Oh god that artwork why do you do this to me Samwise I thought we were friends
Hit Die: d12
Requirements: Any Chaotic, Cleave, BAB+6, Fortitude save +5. I have no idea what is up with those fortitude saves. Was BAB not enough? Do you need to keep Rogues and Wizards out of your terrible otherkin club until 15th level? Fighter and Barbarian will hit that at level 6 just by being a fighter and/or barbarian.

So uhm, yeah. The first level ability is Pounce which is basically "done congratulations, you've made a 1 level prestige class, good for you." Except they don't really seem to understand how charges work in the first place since it says "you may make a full attack after a charge even if you've already taken a move action" and charging is a full round action. They also can cast speak with animals once per day. Fantastic. At 2nd level they gain Primal Claws which are 1d6+Primal Level/2 +strength damage claws. Because math? They also gain Burning Rage which is exactly identical to rage and just gives you barbarian rages per day if you already have them so why didn't they just call it Rage. Bestial Strength gives the primal +1 strength at 3/6/9th level. Toughend Hide gives you a +1 natural armor bonus at 4/7/10th level. Feral arrives at 5th level, and lets you ignore half of all nonlethal damage dealt, and at 10th level you ignore all nonlethal damage, turn into a magical beast(???) and gain darkvision 60 and low light vision. At 5th level you grow Fangs which inflict 2d6 points of damage and grant the Improved Grab and Rake special abilities.. because that's what fangs do i guess? It doesn't actually give a damage value for the rake so I don't know what it wants to have there. And at 8th level they gain Stand at Death's Door as a bonus feat, which is described later of course.

I really don't want to read into the fact that so far the only two classes that have female artwork and use feminine pronouns are the "crazy beast woman" and the "literal demon woman" but again this book had Metzen's direct involvement in it so :shrug:. The class actually isn't half bad, if anything I'd say it's kind of too powerful, because Pounce is that good. I mean if you can take the multiattack feat you're dishing out a giant pile of damage on a charge with your 3 natural attacks, improved grab, and rake. And turning into a Magical Beast (for whatever reason I guess) makes you immune to tons of poo poo that the rules don't really have a proper way of handling. The only thing this doesn't have over a vanilla barbarian is an improvement of your rage steps.


Warmage
Hit Die: d6
Requirements: BAB+3, Maximize Spell, Spellcraft8, Ability to cast 5 different evocation spells that cause damage at least one of which must be 3rd level. So, 6th level wizard or sorcerer, ironically favoring sorcerer for once since they both gain access at the same level. Also: check out that d6 hit dice.

So, one thing to note is that this is a full progression caster that also has a good reflex and will save for some inexplicable reason. At 1st, 5th, and 9th level you gain Awareness which is a +1 dodge bonus to your AC. At every even level you gain a Battlemagic which is supposed to be an "Awe inspiring tide-turning display of magic in a battle", but they're all only usable once per day and only selectable once. They work like Archmage class features in that you have to have a level+int score total equal or greater to it's required level to get it. Which I guess is the only way in which wizard has a leg up on the sorcerer here. But the highest level battlemagic only requires a level+int total of 10. Which is the level you get the last battlemagic. And the level 10 battlemagic is "control weather", you know, a spell that you can't actively control. And you're probably going to want to take "Quagmire" instead which halves the movement speed of all enemies within 100 feet of you for an hour. or "Electrical Strike" which is a maximized lightning bolt. At 3rd and 7th level you gain a bonus weapon proficiency, which is nice I guess. and at 5th level you gain Improved Maximize Spell which lowers the spell slot requirement of a maximized spell by 1.

There is literally no reason a Sorcerer who isn't trying to be a warlock or necromancer shouldn't do everything in their power to get into this class. Wizards lose out on bonus feats but if you're a blastvocation sorcerer this class is basically tailor made for you and does a decent job of keeping you alive.


Windrider
Hit die:d8
Requirements: BAB+5, Mounted Combat, Handle Animal 8, Ride 8, Must select a flying creature that will be your mount. If this mount dies you must find a new one and your class features return at a rate of 1 level per week as you readjust to the mount. So simple enough requirements to meet, just extremely painful penalties if the thing dies. Also: decent female artwork attached to a class without unfortunate implications, it's a Winter's Veil miracle.

Trained Mount just makes your mount trained for combat so you don't have to make ride checks to force it into battle. Bond with mount gives you a wizards familiar abilities with your mount. Empathic connection at 1st level, shared language at 5th level, and telepathic at 9th level. You also get a Skill bonus on handle animal and ride checks equal to half your level in this class. Defensive Flying gives you a competence bonus to AC equal to half your level in this class. At 2nd, 5th, and 8th level you gain a Bonus Feat from a list including ranged combat and mounted combat feats, but not including Ride By attack which you get at 3rd level. Weather Sense gives you a +5 competence bonus on survival checks to predict the weather, okay. 4th level gives you proficiency with shields, which.... I'm honestly not sure how you could get into this class without shield proficiency. And at 6th level you gain the Spirited Charge feat.

I'm not a fan of classes that give you a special animal, but don't actually increase that animals abilities as you level up. A +5 bonus to AC is fine, but not if you're still dealing with level 5 hit points at level 15. You'll get hit less often but one hit will gently caress you up utterly. Combined with the fact that the combination of aerial combat and mounted combat will give your GM fits. This class just isn't worth it.

Next Time: Those Feats I mentioned

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I note every single one of those classes that isn't pants primarily buffs class concepts that traditionally aren't very powerful, like physical attacker and pure damage wizard.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Yeah, that's a trait that they actually carry forward into the next edition. Rather than go the pathfinder route of stapling more weapon specializations onto the fighter. They just made a bunch of not-caster specific prestige classes. There are some caster specific prestige classes but most of them are more transformative and you're giving up your fairly good main path class features for what may or may not be good class features from the prestige class.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


You know, I always felt like prestige classes were one of the worst features of every D20 thing, because they suffer from a few fundamental issues that make them loving terrible to design right. Firstly, they need requirements to get into that are reachable for a player without resorting to lovely, gimped-to-gently caress class/skill/feat combinations while in his original class, this isn't really one of the worst things, but I guess it must be harder to figure out than I thought, because they so often get it wrong. Secondly, they need to provide something useful... that runs in the same vein as their original class, to avoid all of their levels so far being basically wasted and them effectively starting over at 1st level(see, mage prestige classes that don't get more spells, fighter prestige classes that don't keep running with better fighting, etc.), but without overpowering their current schtick so it makes the rest of the party irrelevant and while still being so different that it's actually, well, different from just continuing in the same vein and they mustn't be too much more powerful, because continuing without a prestige class still needs to be viable.

It always seemed to me like it would've made more sense to just make all of these abilities that the base classes could eventually have gotten, and then let people design their own classes in the later game. Instead of a DEMON HUNTprestige class, let a Fighter pick a Favoured Enemy: Outsiders and some holy-related feats(or unholy, if you want to do some edgy, anti-hero FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE thing), don't make him take a prestige class for it.

The whole "prestige class" thing could have worked well, but it's full of so many incredibly dangerous pitfalls that can make a prestige class useless, unfun or overpowered that it just does not ever, to me, seem worth the trouble of doing it instead of just, say, designing a relatively robust system of feats and options for higher levels of the base classes. That would also have resolved the atrocious loving splat bloat of supplements introducing a new base class for every loving thing.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




I like the way 4e handled it. At level 11, everybody gets one, that runs alongside your existing class.

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





There are also archetypes from Pathfinder. Basically any solution that isn't prestige classes, is better than prestige classes.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


hyphz posted:

I actually saw a copy of that at one point borrowed from a random guy in an Anime society.

Basically, it's the first Silhouette game before Dream Pod 9 were a thing, so the system is Heavy Gear's human side with the A-Ko characters. It's rather weak though, since the only powers it supports are the very minimum needed to make the A-Ko characters, and in an attempt to add extra playable PCs they threw in a bunch of minor characters from the cartoon without really giving them anything to do. Like Asa, who I think shows up in maybe one or two shots throughout the cartoon, and whom one of the sample adventures vaguely suggests might be cheerleading at one point - which, if true, would take them completely out of the adventure as they'd be in completely the wrong place for the hook - and then forgets about entirely.

Silhouette must've been a bit different back then. The Silhouette I now of doesn't really quite do superhuman stuff very well, and it's a bit gritty for a parody anime.

Halloween Jack posted:

I'd like to see more DP9 Silhouette system games in this thread. I remember looking into it back in the day when I was still trying to find the ultimate system, and I remember that, like Dune, it was a system where you roll your Attribute as a dice pool, then add your skill to the total. It seems like there was a trend at the time of using a resolution method that was novel just for its own sake. I don't have a problem with that per se, but I think that when you're designing a system it's astonishingly stupid to forgo actually designing it so that you know how the probabilities work, how things balance out, and what it even means for a character to have X points in a stat.

You might just be able to convince me. I have a lot of 3rd edition stuff - aka "that edition where they wasted precious space with d20 conversions that may or may not be actually balanced or well thought out".

Kurieg posted:


Prestige Classes

Why do they attach tiny axe blades on every pistol? I can sorta see that with a rifle as a sort of clunky bayonet, but those pistols are way too bendy and short for any sort of comfortable or practical use.

That Primal artwork is kinda funny if you consider how WoW made every female non-Tauren look like a cosplaying human super model, no matter how much this clashes with the males' body proportions.
Bestial Strength only comes in increments of +1? That's weird. I thought d20 always does this in +2 steps so you're actually guaranteed to get someting out of it (apart from lifting capacity).
Also, it's funny how the Dwarven Avatar's beefed up punches are absolutely useless against a 5th-level Primal.

PurpleXVI posted:

The whole "prestige class" thing could have worked well, but it's full of so many incredibly dangerous pitfalls that can make a prestige class useless, unfun or overpowered that it just does not ever, to me, seem worth the trouble of doing it instead of just, say, designing a relatively robust system of feats and options for higher levels of the base classes. That would also have resolved the atrocious loving splat bloat of supplements introducing a new base class for every loving thing.

I think they where just following the leader. Since WotC made lots of cash with "5 new classes! 16 new prestige clases! 42 new feats! 87 new spells!"-books, the other companies saw it as a good strategy I guess.

And speaking of prestigle classes I really hate prestige classes bases like the Demon Hunter that are based on less than a handful of characters in the setting and are pretty much impossible to get into as a PC. I think that's the point where you should just make this a template or a feat chain, instead of highlighting a major flaw of class-based systems where the designers get too carried away ("Everyone has classes, so we need a class for everything").

Doresh fucked around with this message at 11:46 on Jan 25, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So I've decided to look more into Sanguine's other products, and it seems the new Ironclaw isn't half bad at all! Hell, as it turns out I actually have a copy of the main manual and completely forgot about it :shobon: After a reread, I have to say it's really good stuff, so maybe I'll do something about it during the week.

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NachtSieger
Apr 10, 2013




Ironclaw 2e has really neat mechanics and fluff, yeah. On the other hand, all the art up until page 13's Armadillo Monk/Gregor Mendel is really awful :v:.

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