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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Just be glad you haven't seen IC 1e's art. The cover is dumb furry Slayers ripoff, for a game about a low fantasy setting in the middle of the renaissance where politics are lethal and society is changing. Worse, they got the artist from goddamn LACKADAISY to draw it; it's in her portfolio with 'I have no idea why they asked for this but I needed the money.' You don't waste an artist of that caliber drawing a dumb anime ripoff, goddamnit!

The art is one of the big ways you can tell IC 1e is Sanguine's freshman effort. Still, the fluff is actually really neat, even in the first edition. It manages to be gritty without being shitfarmers or the blood and rape hour; you're people of lower nobility or common birth who are too talented for the traditional feudal order to ignore and who have the skills for real upwards mobility and wealth as the social order begins to change around you from the printing press (and the fact that literacy makes magic much wider spread) and the gun. It's a sweet idea for a low fantasy setting.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:41 on Jan 25, 2015

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gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Doresh posted:

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.

Feats with odd-number stat requirements was the backwards/post-hoc rationalization for retaining the traditional stat spread despite standardizing modifiers to +1 every even number, though I don't remember if that was d20 or PF.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


PurpleXVI posted:

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.

I think getting rid of prestige classes is one of those things thats difficult for developers to do. First you have to figure out how to do archetypes well and how to do feats well. You don't really see that kind of thinking until Pathfinder where the Prestige Classes are more or less just perfunctory because "d20 needs prestige classes, but don't take them". Though the 2nd edition Warcraft rpg does start to make steps in that direction *while* making some of the splatbook prestige classes interesting.


gradenko_2000 posted:

Feats with odd-number stat requirements was the backwards/post-hoc rationalization for retaining the traditional stat spread despite standardizing modifiers to +1 every even number, though I don't remember if that was d20 or PF.

3.5 has odd stat requirements for any feet with a stat requirement.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


gradenko_2000 posted:

Feats with odd-number stat requirements was the backwards/post-hoc rationalization for retaining the traditional stat spread despite standardizing modifiers to +1 every even number, though I don't remember if that was d20 or PF.

Right, this is in both d20 permutations.

Still, it's a weird class ability, seeing how similar classes usually hand out +2s or bonus feats, not just something that has around a 50% chance of giving you a bonus or may or may not allow you to take a feat. That's what those stat increases every 4 levels are for.

And apart from Two-Weapon Fighting, most feats generally settle for a score of 13 or 15, something you can easily qualify for from day 1.

ThisIsNoZaku
Apr 22, 2013

Pew Pew Pew!


I might be the only person in the world who liked feats. (In general; whole heaps of particular feats were stupid garbage).

It's one of the reasons pretty much the only version of D&D I'd want to play would be E6.

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!


Feats were a fine idea, as a concept it meant that you'd have a base class, say, Fighter or Cleric, and then you'd customize and specialize by adding feats to, say, have access to skills you normally would not, special maneuvers, to focus on certain spell schools/spheres, to grab a bunch of abilities normally reserved for another class(to make a stealthy fighter, or a wizard who could wear platemail or whatever). In practice it just turned out to be a bunch of meaningless +1's and +2's that never scaled with level/stats and were largely meaningless except for one or two utterly broken ones and the ones that gave you access to broken prestige classes.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Feats were also clearly designed "by feel", because the strength or usefulness of feats was all over the place, even with prereq's. They also didn't level up with you (which was a common 3.x problem) so that thing that was awesome at level 2 was pretty much useless at level 10 but you were stuck with it.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




"Feats" as they existed in D20 aren't a design concept unto themselves; having special Advantages and Disadvantages was a staple of games throughout the 90s and beyond. The primary questions are how well they're balanced, and if they spring from a "Everything not explicitly permitted (by having the right feat) is forbidden" philosophy. The latter is why old-schoolers despise feats, and rightly so.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Yeah, feats were a nice idea. I always thought they were a way to make character classes less cookie-cutter, so every level 7 fighter wasn't exactly the same as every other level 7 fighter, or so every wizard didn't just read off the same spell list as every other wizard, without having to invent a whole new character class for each kind of fighter or wizard. If you wanted to be a thief-acrobat, you didn't have to create a whole new thief-acrobat class, you just picked acrobatic feats when it was time to level up your thief, that sort of thing. Hell, I even liked the basic idea about prestige classes - a way to add some regional/setting differentiation or specialization to a game without scratch-building an entire character class (like the Knights of Solomania from Dragonlance). Plus, giving humans a bonus feat was a nice balancing mechanism for settings where elves and dwarves got a boatload of racial special abilities. But they weren't balanced, didn't level up with you, had inconsistent mechanics, could be min-maxed to hell and back, soon ran into the hundreds and then thousands of "official" options, and so on and so forth. My personal (least) favorite feat trait - the way some classes would let you choose from a sub-list of feats every so often, which meant that your reward for leveling up was the opportunity to pick from a shrinking list of options, all of which you'd passed over multiple times before. Whee!

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


That's the problem with the fighter in a nutshell, more or less. I actually like feats, it's just that there are a limited amount for any one build that are actually good. It also relegated Fighter to a kind of "Feat fast-track" class rather than something that was good on it's own. If you needed some extra combat feats you dipped into fighter and then moved on with your life.

I mean I know it's completely impractical but I love the idea of a four-armed multi-attack specced fighter with monkey grip wielding four fullblades (and never actually hitting anything) and I'm grateful for feats for allowing that.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



FMguru posted:

My personal (least) favorite feat trait - the way some classes would let you choose from a sub-list of feats every so often, which meant that your reward for leveling up was the opportunity to pick from a shrinking list of options, all of which you'd passed over multiple times before. Whee!

Mine was when a prestige class awarded you a feat you should goddamn have already, and said if you already had it you got nothing instead. Wow level 7 of this archer prestige class grants Point-Blank Shot!

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Contents:
Introduction
Character Creation: Species


Experience the furry Renaissance in IRONCLAW: SQUARING THE CIRCLE



A fantasy game by Sanguine Productions, Ironclaw's first edition came out in 1999. A while later in 2010, it came out with its second edition, called Ironclaw: Squaring the Circle. Later on, it came out with an expansion to its magic system called Ironclaw: Book of Mysteries. After a further Kickstarter, a China-themed supplement called the Book of Jade was released, itself a counterpart to a similar 1e supplement. This first part will be a bit short, as it covers the first part of character creation (the crunchy stats), and leaves out the second Specis bit because that section is huge and deserves a writeup of its own.

Anyway, the game itself is like Sanguine's other game Albedo- while it does have anthropomorphic animals, these are less for fetishistic purposes, and more for both thematics and mechanics. Different races get different bonuses to their stats and skills (more on that later). From what Night10194 presented, Albedo seems to be mechanically sound, and so is Ironclaw. That said, while Albedo places more emphasis on combat and its realistic consequences, Ironclaw is a little more heroic. That being said, combat is quick and brutal in Ironclaw, and you will need to be properly tough and armoured to save your tail.

Of course, you would never notice it from the initial art:





Sorry about the watermarked pictures, by the way. For some reason, my pdf to jpg converter is moving like molasses, and c/p'ing from the pdf itself looked messy. Me am ungood Photoshopper.

This is not to say the book's art is terrible, not by any means, but the book certainly does not give a good first impression. Don't get me wrong, it's good cartoon art- but as I said above, Ironclaw's less Disney toon and more period drama. The species pictures get the book's atmosphere across a lot better, so in the meantime you'll have to bear with the art a little longer.

Anyway, past the usual "What's a Role-Playing Game?" section, the game goes straight into the basics of character creation, which I appreciate. While I'd definitely place Ironclaw's fluff as the highlight of the game, it's nice to see what you're getting into right off the bat.

First, you have your stats:
Body: Your general health, strength and stamina.
Speed: How fast you move and general agility.
Mind: Your general intelligence and mental ability.
Will: Your determination and resistance to mental effects.
Species: How close you are to your animal nature.
Career: How good you are at your career.

You have a single d4, three d6s and two d8s to distribute among these stats. Honestly, I like the RP potential in making your Career a separate choice, though since your Career is something you'd probably spend a lot of time doing, you'll want a d8 in it as the book suggests, unless you have some specific build in mind.

But even so, there is plenty of versatility in how you can build a single concept. If I may use the book's own example, take a Cat mercenary:



This crazy dude obviously has his d8s in Body and Species! This guy's an obvious powerhouse, and with his Cat species score so high, he's going to be amazing at climbing, jumping and stealth. His Career skills might suffer, depending on where the d4 is, but if you want a stealthy, durable assassin, he's your man.



This hard-looking bastard's pumped up his Career and Mind, obviously. His player's obviously got some 'grizzled tactician' in mind. Careers often come with their own set of associated skills, so he's not missing any advantage the feral guy above has, but he will have a different playstyle, focused more on conventional merc stuff, though he will always have his Species die if needed.

Anyway, after assigning your stats, you pick a Career (detailed later) as well as a one or two-word Personality. IIRC, you can get bonuses for playing to your personality type, which can include positive virtues and negative traits.

Next, you get 13 Skill Marks to be spent among 26 Skills (max 3 at character creation). Improving a skill does not add more dice, but improves the die. 1 Mark gives you a 1d4, 2 Marks gives you 1d6 etc, all the way to 1d12 at 5 Marks. Only after that do you get more dice (Rank 6 gets you 1d12+1d4, Rank 7 1d12+1d6 etc).

After that, you pick 3 Gifts that will help shape your character, but some have requirements (e.g. To take the White Magic Gift, you need the 'Literacy' Gift and 'Cleric's Trappings' Equipment). Some Gifts also have advantages and disadvantages- Overconfident, for example, lets you take an extra d12 on a roll if you also let your opponent roll an extra d12. That said, the game does provide some genuinely handy tips for Gifts, if you feel overwhelmed, such as Increased Trait (boosts up one of your Trait Dice one step) and Literacy (Reading's important, kids!). Gifts giving a Skill Mark are the only way to go past 3 in a Skill at character creation.

Finally, you pick a name. For verisimilitude, I'd suggest reading the fluff section at the back first, then come back with a name and character concept. This is followed by a personal motto, which also provides RP chances. Since Ironclaw doesn't give you XP based on the critters you kill, following your motto and personality (basically, playing your character as something other than a murderhobo) is very important.

Next time, my second most-favourite part of the game, Species! This might take a while, though- there are a lot of species and and don't think I'll have a lot of time this week. But have some of my favourite pics to whet your appetite. The Wolf might be a little :nws: thanks to a glimpse of sideboob, but that's what you get when the picture is of Celtic-themed WOAD-WEARING BERSERKERS :black101:


Look at them, they're so happy! :3:


Now THIS is Chivalry :v: The word 'chivalry' comes from the French word for horse, 'cheval'.


Awww yeah, some unsuspecting continent is going to have the poo poo explored out of it by this dapper Don.


Woad. Wearing. Barbarians. Fuuuck yesss.

P/S: I will not apologise for any animal-themed puns I may or may not have intentionally made/will make.

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 09:24 on Feb 1, 2015

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Bonuses that get worse as you level up (because you obviously pick the best ones from the list first) are such a blatantly poor idea that it's kind of surprising no one noticed before adding them to everything. If you're going to do that, you should like... offer three meaningfully different ones and let you pick one, once. You want something that actually makes you feel different so you're actually customizing your dude.

I haven't gotten my hands on D&D Next, but I heard feats are a bit more impactful in that one?

Edit: ^^^^^ Why is that cover art just basically furry Slayers?

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 16:50 on Jan 26, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


As I said, the biggest Ironclaw game I ran (back in 1st edition, which was similar, but a lot clunkier) was about a mercenary company who were occasionally involved in higher fantasy bullshit but who mostly wanted to get through alive, get paid, and keep their buddies safe. I was reading Schlock Mercenary at the time and basically ran Renaissance Furry Schlock Mercenary, with an unacknowledged bastard noble son musketeer, a grizzled infantry grunt, a fat, cheerful whiskey priest they had around as chaplain and medic, a card shark, and a crazy blacksmith's apprentice who thought swords talked to him but who was so good with one that people suspected he was telling the truth. Together, they and the cast of NPC troopers defended villages, fought other mercenary companies, tried not to get killed in skirmishes between noble houses, and generally palled around while trying to find a way to get hammered at the end of the day or get at fresh food. It was a fun time.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Kurieg posted:

That's the problem with the fighter in a nutshell, more or less. I actually like feats, it's just that there are a limited amount for any one build that are actually good. It also relegated Fighter to a kind of "Feat fast-track" class rather than something that was good on it's own. If you needed some extra combat feats you dipped into fighter and then moved on with your life.

I mean I know it's completely impractical but I love the idea of a four-armed multi-attack specced fighter with monkey grip wielding four fullblades (and never actually hitting anything) and I'm grateful for feats for allowing that.
The other problem with Fighter being the feat class was that for most of 3e's lifecycle, there were no feats designed for level 13+ characters. At level 17, the Wizard gets Time Stop, and the Fighter gets a feat he qualified for at level 8.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Kurieg posted:

That's the problem with the fighter in a nutshell, more or less. I actually like feats, it's just that there are a limited amount for any one build that are actually good. It also relegated Fighter to a kind of "Feat fast-track" class rather than something that was good on it's own. If you needed some extra combat feats you dipped into fighter and then moved on with your life.

There's a Monte Cook book (harhar) out there of his 3.5 rules where he proposes giving everyone one feat per level. And then he gets to Fighters and "uhhhh maybe you should give them TWO feats per level!"

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

I haven't gotten my hands on D&D Next, but I heard feats are a bit more impactful in that one?

1. They turned goddamn CHARGE into a Feat.

2. Every so many levels, a character earns an Ability Score Improvement, which they can use to either add +2 to an ability score, or take a feat. Even if you weren't using rolled stats, it's basically an admission that a feat should be worth a +1 ability modifier, which means the balance is utterly hosed when you get to choose between "Mage Slayer" and "your Unarmed Strikes now deal 1d4 damage instead of 1"

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


gradenko_2000 posted:

1. They turned goddamn CHARGE into a Feat.

2. Every so many levels, a character earns an Ability Score Improvement, which they can use to either add +2 to an ability score, or take a feat. Even if you weren't using rolled stats, it's basically an admission that a feat should be worth a +1 ability modifier, which means the balance is utterly hosed when you get to choose between "Mage Slayer" and "your Unarmed Strikes now deal 1d4 damage instead of 1"

That sounds... weird, and disappointing. I'd heard that feats now were basically more like feat packages? Like, one feat might give you the equivalent of cleave and power attack and stuff so that you can take that and become a bigass motherfucker who warhammers people he doesn't like, which to me sounds more interesting than just picking up mandatory features or minor stat adjustments.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

That sounds... weird, and disappointing. I'd heard that feats now were basically more like feat packages? Like, one feat might give you the equivalent of cleave and power attack and stuff so that you can take that and become a bigass motherfucker who warhammers people he doesn't like, which to me sounds more interesting than just picking up mandatory features or minor stat adjustments.

Feats in Next are (1) not just small numeric passive bonuses anymore, and (2) they usually provide more than one effect at a time, but at the same time (3) they're supposed to be optional, and (4) when they are enabled, they're mutually exclusive with increasing your stat bonus by +1, so they're in this really weird place where #1 and #2 gives them the potential to be much more meaningful and powerful than 3E feats, and some of them actually are, but #3 and #4 means that most of them are very plain and uninspiring for the sake of "balance"

It was so close, even. Disappointing is right because a small set of feats and each feat gives 2-4 additional interesting effects for your character is a good direction to take feats in, but the actual feats they decided to write still work on exclusionary principles (you can't multi-attack with a crossbow without Crossbow Expert) and at cross-purposes because some feats are only there for RP flavor.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Hyper Crab Tank posted:

That sounds... weird, and disappointing. I'd heard that feats now were basically more like feat packages? Like, one feat might give you the equivalent of cleave and power attack and stuff so that you can take that and become a bigass motherfucker who warhammers people he doesn't like, which to me sounds more interesting than just picking up mandatory features or minor stat adjustments.

that's what it was like in a previous version. The way it works now is every fourth level in a class (not every four levels, if you multiclass you have to wait until one advances to a multiple of four) you gain 2 points you can put into your stats, even 2 points into the same stat. Alternately, if your DM allows it, you can instead get a feat. The problem with feats though is more that the way some of the classes are designed they are mandatory if you want to survive the lower levels, but then become wasted stat points at higher levels. DR 3/- is great at level 1 when it will keep you from being one-shot by the monster who can attack 3 times a round. It's less great at level 15.

And War Caster is more or less mandatory for archery Rangers and 2h paladins because RAW you can't cast a spell unless you have a free hand, and you can't hold a 2h weapon in one hand. Also the fact that all of the paladin's buff spells are duration of concentration now, and they don't get save proficiency in Constitution that would actually allow them to make those saves without war caster. And yeah, lots of things that used to be just assumed by the rules to exist are feats now and it throws new players for a loop.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Kurieg posted:

The way it works now is every fourth level in a class (not every four levels, if you multiclass you have to wait until one advances to a multiple of four) you gain 2 points you can put into your stats, even 2 points into the same stat.

One every 4 levels is the slowest progression, but other classes get them oftener: The Fighter gets 7 ability score increases instead of 4 because of course.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Yeah I forgot about that, I think they're the only ones that get them more often because, again, they seem to be designed around the fact that feats exist and they're taking them, even though they're technically an optional feature.

homerlaw
Sep 21, 2008

Plants are the best ergo Sylvari=Best


Ironclaw's good interior art is done by Chris Goodwin, you can see his portfolio here
http://goodwinillustration.prosite.com/

Sanguine put out an Ironclaw Bestiary, which has either racial descriptions or a short piece of fluff about each of the various species as well, featuring his art. You can read it here
http://www.blurb.com/books/1604690-ironclaw-a-bestiary

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


On a not-feat related point. Ironclaw seems interesting, I like the idea that 'how in tune you are with what animal you are' is a stat, particularly in a medieval setting where you have things like woad wearing wolf warriors and poo poo.

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

Edit: ^^^^^ Why is that cover art just basically furry Slayers?

John Liver
May 4, 2009




Hmm, I wonder what that was inspired by.

...though, thinking about it, it's kind of hosed up for a furry to wear fur, isn't it...

homerlaw
Sep 21, 2008

Plants are the best ergo Sylvari=Best


John Liver posted:

Hmm, I wonder what that was inspired by.

...though, thinking about it, it's kind of hosed up for a furry to wear fur, isn't it...

Well that's why she's the villainess :v:

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


homerlaw posted:

Ironclaw's good interior art is done by Chris Goodwin, you can see his portfolio here
http://goodwinillustration.prosite.com/

Sanguine put out an Ironclaw Bestiary, which has either racial descriptions or a short piece of fluff about each of the various species as well, featuring his art. You can read it here
http://www.blurb.com/books/1604690-ironclaw-a-bestiary

That Goodwin art is pretty great. I especially like Tricorn Hat Coachman Cheetah (He looks so jazzed to GO FAST) and Whaler Otter, but the description of Raccoons as helpless before the lure of shiney objects amuses me.

Does 2E still have Atavists? Because the Race die was a huge deal for them in 1e. They were crazy berserkers who could draw on their old ancestry to perform superhuman feats like tearing through platemail with their bare claws or triggering instinctive terror in others with their howl.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I love that one of the Ironclaw characters there is straight -up John Talbain from Darkstalkers.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


homerlaw posted:

Ironclaw's good interior art is done by Chris Goodwin, you can see his portfolio here
http://goodwinillustration.prosite.com/

Sanguine put out an Ironclaw Bestiary, which has either racial descriptions or a short piece of fluff about each of the various species as well, featuring his art. You can read it here
http://www.blurb.com/books/1604690-ironclaw-a-bestiary

I think everyone would be more tolerant of furry RPGs if they had art like that

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare



:stare: That'll do it, yeah. Jesus.

Xelkelvos posted:

I think everyone would be more tolerant of furry RPGs if they had art like that

See, that's the thing about that art. Furry art has become so entrenched as being, y'know, that worrying Disney-esque style that even "edgy" ones like Furry Martian Libertarians can't get away from. That art there, it's just animal dudes, and it's better for it.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at 17:54 on Jan 26, 2015

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Hyper Crab Tank posted:

:stare: That'll do it, yeah. Jesus.

Again: That was drawn by the woman who draws Lackadaisy. They got Tracy Butler, who is a fantastic artist, and specifically told her to draw that abomination. Her note on it in her portfolio is 'I have no idea what they were going for but I needed the money so eh.'

IC1e's art was TERRIBLE

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten



So furries stole Lina and that other lady whose name I forgot's clothing, and now they have to defeat them to get it back? I could totally see that as an episode.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


wdarkk posted:

So furries stole Lina and that other lady whose name I forgot's clothing, and now they have to defeat them to get it back? I could totally see that as an episode.

Naga is her name and her title is "the White Serpent" iirc

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


wdarkk posted:

So furries stole Lina and that other lady whose name I forgot's clothing, and now they have to defeat them to get it back? I could totally see that as an episode.

If the information from the sample file is any indication. The new people are fully aware of her origins and just do not care.

Urch
Jan 17, 2015


gradenko_2000 posted:

There's a Monte Cook book (harhar) out there of his 3.5 rules where he proposes giving everyone one feat per level. And then he gets to Fighters and "uhhhh maybe you should give them TWO feats per level!"

That's what PF sort of did. A feat every odd level, and fighters unchanged. BUT LOOK GUYS THEY GOT THEIR SPECIAL PLUS ONES TO ADD ON TOP. And then archetypes depended on either taking them away, forcing them to choose certain weapons, or making them work in certain situations. Which of a good number, could be much better, or much worse, than the core class. For fighters, it did nothing better, as their feats still didn't go past level 13. And Paizo straightforwardly said they had no plans on seeing what to do about games that go past level 12. To them, that was the End Point, and their Pathfinder Society "Adventure Paths" were also point blank statements of it. You could also see it in their "Mythic" system, which is now their redheaded step child to be forgotten. (Can't wait to see how quick they shove Psychic Magic in the basement to join them!)

In 4e, Feats were designed to work with the players well into their 20s, because it was EXPECTED That eventually the players get to their mid 20s in a campaign.

Archetypes themselves WERE done in 3.5 as well, and some of them were done pretty okay. But they had three different names. Variant Class, for the full 20 levels, Substitution Levels, where you took a 2-3 level spread among the 20 variant class, and Alternate Class Feature, for singular Special Abilities to swap out. The problem is, WotC did not make this the standard for every book in 3.5. It was in some splatbooks, and not every class would get one. What would have helped if it was easier to ACCESS these three types of Archetypes. PF sort of does this, with QIggong Monk, and that's it. There's a few tools that give you the listings, but you'd have to go Splatbook diving to really find them all.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011



Kurieg posted:

On a not-feat related point. Ironclaw seems interesting, I like the idea that 'how in tune you are with what animal you are' is a stat, particularly in a medieval setting where you have things like woad wearing wolf warriors and poo poo.




Probably still better than Slayers d20.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I do really like how feats are done in 13th Age; they all modify your existing abilities (so each spell/power/whatever has its own specific feats), and instead of just giving a flat +X they actually modify how the power works granting extra uses or side-effects and such.

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!


Waffleman_ posted:

Probably still better than Slayers d20.

I actually player Slayers D20 once. I remember my main experience being that everything suddenly seemed needlessly complicated, at least compared to 3rd ed D&D, and that making a character that could actually do something seemed like a challenge. Mind, that's some years ago now, not sure what I'd think about it these days.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


PurpleXVI posted:

I actually player Slayers D20 once. I remember my main experience being that everything suddenly seemed needlessly complicated, at least compared to 3rd ed D&D, and that making a character that could actually do something seemed like a challenge. Mind, that's some years ago now, not sure what I'd think about it these days.

Something that managed to be needlessly complicated in COMPARISON to 3rd ed? Holy poo poo, what did they do, make you do differential equations to determine the size of your anime sweatdrop after someone else blows up a town or something?

Yessod
Mar 21, 2007


Night10194 posted:

Something that managed to be needlessly complicated in COMPARISON to 3rd ed? Holy poo poo, what did they do, make you do differential equations to determine the size of your anime sweatdrop after someone else blows up a town or something?

Basically casting is done by making a fort save when you cast, you can do lots of metamagic by varying the DC, you can stack and do team work, you can do ablative magic shields, what kinds of components you include change the DC (i.e. do you just cast it, do you shout the spell name, do you do a paragraph long invocation while the camera spins around you?), spells are different and have to be learned and you can learn different class's magic but that makes it a little different for you and you can't learn some (so Lina can cast Cure but not Rah Tilt), etc. Lots of feats are more powerful but give a disadvantage (There's one with +4 fortitude which means you have to eat your body weight in food at the inn or get really hangry). There's tons of rules for taunting people and giving them negative conditions like embarrassed or angry or scared.

And so on.

It seemed very cool, but incredibly fiddly for spellcasting, even compared to normal 3.5.

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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The storm has a name... - Let's Read TORG


Part 11g: Sk1llz and m1r4cl3z

And now we return to the Cyberpapacy book to cover two chapters: Skills and Miracles of Faith.

There aren't that many new skills available to Cyberpapal characters, but in keeping with 90's design some of them aren't really nessecary.

We've already talked about cyberdeck operation, but there's also a cybertech skill that allows you build, improve, and repair cybernetics. And with cybernetics there of course come rules for cyberpsychosis, so the game provides us with a psychology skill to help deal with that; it's basically a healing skill for mental wounds.

The other two completely new skills are forgery, which is self-explanitory, and streetwise. In this game, streetwise doesn't just help you know which gang is which or who's territory you're in; it also helps you scrounge for food and shelter in an urban environment. Which is actually useful, given the current situations in the major cities.

The last skill to be mentioned is a rather unusual case. The disguise skill does what it says on the label, but the skill is actually from the Nippon Tech realm. That means that, as far as the core set was concerned, only characters from Nippon Tech could get the skill. Which makes no sense, but why look for sense at this point?

And it's time to talk about Miracles, which are a pretty important part of Cyberpapal life. The ability to perform miracles is proof of the existence and power of God, and a large part of how the Church controls the populace. Of course, people of other faiths are capable of performing miracles as well, but obviously that's just the work of the Antichrist trying to lead the faithful astray. The Church said so, and they would know, right?

In fact, Avignon doctrine is so powerful there's a few modifications to the miracle rules.

First off, because the Chruch is at war with the forces of darkness, harmful miracles aren't considered "adverse" to the Cyberpapal faith, and therefore don't suffer the +15 difficulty for performing a miracle that doesn't match your belief system.

This is further expanded by this bit of mechanical wonkery:

quote:

Similarly, adverse miracles defend the faithful against another faith by striving to destroy that faith, so the -5 modifier is gained. But the need for adverse miracles is often not immediate, so they suffer from the +5 modifier. In most circumstances these modifiers cancel each other out. So members of the Cyberpapacy when using adverse miracles ignore modifiers for circumstances. They never gain the -3 modifier for being needed urgently, or in a life threatening situation.
Ah the joys of tons of situational modifiers. :allears:

What's interesting is that a side effect of this spritiual conflict is that members of other religions can also use harmful miracles against Cyberpapal forces without suffering penalties or a crisis of faith. It's a battle for the souls of humanity, after all.

And people of other faiths need all the help they can get. Every member of the Church capable of performing miracles is gifted a specially prepared crucifix that gives them a bonus to their faith rolls. For the rank-and-file it's only a +1, but the higher-ranking folks can get as high as +4. There are only two crucifixes that grant a +5 bonus: one is Malraux's, the other is on loan to the Inquisition. Agents of the Church also recieve the blessing vow miracle, which increases one of their stats by up to 4 points.

Let's take a look at some of what the cyberfaithful can do.

Alter disease lets someone increase or decrease the effects of a mundane disease in one person. The better the roll, the more control you have; minimal successes make the disease incommunicable, higher successes can change the speed the disease operates or change its transmission method. There's also a cure disease miracle that does just what it says. This combo is one of the bigger weapons in the Church's battle for the souls of the people; Cyberpapal agents go to areas ravaged by diseases and help people in ways that traditional medicine cannot. Of course, the Church likes to turn the diseases into epidemics beforehand, but how else can you show how helpful you are?

The afforementioned Blessing Vow can increase one of the target's stats by 1 to 4 points, and the flip-side miracle curse reduces one of the target's stats.

The drat miracle is a modified version of curse: in addition to reducing a stat, it brands an inverted cross on the target's forehead. This is a common punishment for "minor" crimes among the populace, and can only be removed via a blessing vow miracle.

Oh, there's an Eradicate Radiation mircale. Just in case, I suppose.

Excommunication is a ritual that only affects people of the Cyberpapal, Catholic, or Greek Orthodox religions. It brands the target as an enemy of the Church and reduces their faith and focus skills. It can only be reversed through the use of a blessing vow. It can be cast on any member of the Cybercatholic church, but the higher-ranked the target the higher the difficulty. So yes, you could cast this on Malraux and have it work if you hit a difficulty of 32; hard, but not impossible.

The Mana miracle maintains your body in meatspace while your brain is jaunting around the GodNet. It basically removes your need to eat or sleep while jacked in. Unfortuntely, it only works while you're actually jacked in, so it doesn't help you at all the rest of the time.

The punnily named Rood Awakening freezes the target into a crucifiction pose (hense "rood"); until the victim can break free, they take shock damage and can't do anything except trying to throw off the effect (which requires a pretty hard faith roll.

Unbeliever's Doom is a damaging miracle that hits harder the further away the target's belief system is from Cybercatholisism. It can't target people who have adds in the faith skill for the Cyberapacy, and oddly doesn't do any bonus damage to people without any faith skill.

There are more miracles, but they're either dull or duplicates of the miracles provided in the core book.

And that's about it. On the plus side, all the Cyberpapacy stuff from here on out will be new material!


NEXT TIME: Every time a monster has "cyber" in the name, drink!

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