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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

You'd also have to deal with the fact that most people who play Genius just want to play Girl Genius: Modern.

And they all want to be Agatha, I imagine. Who is the most boring character I've seen in a long time.

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Mors Rattus posted:

Ah, of course. Because we can't just import one boring uncreative idea.

Another group of antagonists are Luddites. One of the powers they can have is an anti-technology field. At five dots, you literally can't start fires or plant seeds around them. Another power makes them resistant or immune to technological forms of attack. At five dots, clubs don't work on them.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!


Wasn't the early/mid 1990s about the time that the Japanese economy's boom started to turn around and go bust? Or is that something only seen with the benefit of hindsight?

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Halloween Jack posted:

I'm very, very, very curious about anything and everything you have to say about actually trying to play Immortal.
I don't remember much because it was like 20 years ago. (:corsair:) I do remember my friend and I realizing that the only skills that mattered were combat skills so we tanked those up as high as we could, and also remembering one person failing a WoD style don't-go-crazy roll and almost killing everyone.

The campaign didn't last very long because we didn't really have anything to do. We did have to deal with one of the PCs getting poisoned, and with the way damage worked he couldn't work it out of his system but it wouldn't kill him either. That was supposed to be the driving plot of the campaign but we were so baffled and turned off by the mechanics we kinda just...stopped.

Davin Valkri posted:

Wasn't the early/mid 1990s about the time that the Japanese economy's boom started to turn around and go bust? Or is that something only seen with the benefit of hindsight?
It was, but it was seen with more of a hindsight thing. At the time Japanese corporations were buying up American factories left and right and nobody knew how we were supposed to deal with it.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Evil Mastermind posted:

It was, but it was seen with more of a hindsight thing. At the time Japanese corporations were buying up American factories left and right and nobody knew how we were supposed to deal with it.

Oh we knew exactly how to deal with it.



Make racist movies about it.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Evil Mastermind posted:

Nippon Tech
(Now, before we go any further, spend some time looking at this web site, particularly "overworked to suicide" and "internet cafe refugees", and watch this video. That's depressingly similar to what Nippon Tech is like.)

Aaand this review just went from hilariously racist and stupid to depressing.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



GimpInBlack posted:

Oh we knew exactly how to deal with it.



Make racist movies about it.

I'll see you and raise you

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Davin Valkri posted:

Wasn't the early/mid 1990s about the time that the Japanese economy's boom started to turn around and go bust? Or is that something only seen with the benefit of hindsight?
The peak came at the very end of 1989 and the Nikkei lost a third of its value in the following year. The bubble burst, and I think the impact was felt quickly in Japan, but I think the idea of the Japanese economic juggernaut continued in the Western imagination for a few years.

I used to read a blog by a guy who followed his dream to live in Japan and study karate there, and he went because he had been sold on the idea that any half-fluent Westerner could get a job as an English teacher in the booming Japanese economy. He went there in 1993, and had a difficult year.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Kavak posted:

Aaand this review just went from hilariously racist and stupid to depressing.

Honestly? That's the reaction I was hoping for.

There's stuff in the Nippon Tech and Tokyo Sourcebook (which I won't be reviewing) that's depressingly prescient.

At first look the realm gives the impression that it's just going to be "oh technosamuari and ninja and lol Japanese company culture", but at its heart it's incredibly dark because it's the only realm presented where there's nobody capable or willing to fight back.

There's also an example in the Tokyo book of a typical middle class workman's life.

quote:

Every morning he goes to work by train, travelling with several other executives to Tokyo, almost two hours away. He must catch the train at 6:OO a.m. and he works from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. After work, he usually remains in Tokyo, going to client receptions held in Ginza. He usually does not arrive back in Chofu until midnight or 1:00 a.m. Mr. Taira works between 300 and 350 hours a month.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


I've been going through a lot of late 80's education trade journals and similar for a Methods of Teaching class and reading the observations linking Japanese education to a 'more harmonious and productive society' is just cringe inducing to go through. At least Nippontech shows the situation as undesirable at best.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Halloween Jack posted:

The peak came at the very end of 1989 and the Nikkei lost a third of its value in the following year. The bubble burst, and I think the impact was felt quickly in Japan, but I think the idea of the Japanese economic juggernaut continued in the Western imagination for a few years.

I used to read a blog by a guy who followed his dream to live in Japan and study karate there, and he went because he had been sold on the idea that any half-fluent Westerner could get a job as an English teacher in the booming Japanese economy. He went there in 1993, and had a difficult year.

A good deal of the initial impact of the bubble bursting was in the real estate and lending market so unless you were buying a house in Japan, you didn't see it unless you closely followed Japan and ignored the "experts". This is also the early 1990's so people don't have the Internet and finding out what's going on in another country, especially in Asia, that isn't a big event can be difficult. I also think Japanese corporations and banks were actively hiding things from lenders and investors because it was on the level of the Great Depression in some cases. The bubble bursting was initially more of a lead into economic stagnation which was offset by massive public works projects pumping money into constituencies, most of them rural*. There was a belief well into the late 90's that economic crisis just didn't happen in Asia because the rules were different, everyone helps everyone, or some other Orientalist garbage. People just looked at the numbers too, like they do with China today, and didn't look at the micro issues effecting Japan. Now Japan is feeling the impact of the 90's because building highways to nowhere and paving rivers doesn't build a competitive economy.

*Japan is afflicted by the same "rotten boroughs" problem Britain was in the 19th century but they won't fix it. LDP legislators from rural, dying, constituencies wield inordinate power due to the voting districts not being restructured and then win votes through pork barrel spending. The supreme court has told the Diet that the makeup of the Diet is unconstitutional and the Diet just laughs.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Because I have nothing to do tonight...

Genius: The Transgression, Part 4: Grimm, the Catalyst of Fury

Genius posted:

Grimm
The Catalyst of Fury
Nickname: Asuras
Traditional Planet: Mars

"You will pay for what you've done!"


The pious recall stories of God's wrathful messengers, wreathed in darkness and fire, sent to punish the
wicked. From the heartlands of civilization spring stories of banishing angels with flaming swords, of furious
Asuras whose anger and passion shake the Heavenly Mountain. Wherever their names are mentioned, these
creatures are seen as more than human but less than gods, and lit from within by a fire that cannot be
quenched. Some are righteous, and seek their own brutal sort of justice; others are merely brutal, and visit
devastation upon the mortal world. All are defined by the fury felt during their catalyst.

A genius who breaks through in rage and fury is a Grimm, and is stamped forever by that initial, primal anger.
This might be a vicious hatred for mundane humanity, or a noble fury at the injustice of this cruel world, or a
more personal hate, but it is always terrifying, and Grimms are rightly feared for their uncontrolled rages.

Bruce Wayne on a good day, Ivan Vaanko on a bad day. Grimms are your angry mad scientists, typically as brilliant and creative as any Inspired but driven by a deep-seated fury that can mask their intellect. If all this sounds like a serial killer, you're not wrong.

Genius posted:

Many Grimms are furious and temperamental throughout their youth and adolescence. Moody, dangerous,
often irrational, they become soldiers, police officers, and brutal overseers. A life of discipline and service
tempers some future Grimms, though their rage always burns beneath the surface. Grimms are the most
likely geniuses to come from a military or combat tradition, though many come with extensive technical
training, as pilots, cyber-crime specialists, or military engineers. Others seem never to learn, and find
themselves trapped in low-prestige, high-stress technical jobs in their chosen field, working as EMTs, code
monkeys, and construction workers. The least stable fall out of the technical world entirely, or never focus on
those pursuits, and drift through life as unstable low-level criminals and violent thugs, though often ones so
smart they never get caught.

Most Grimms have suffered heavily themselves, usually but not always the result of personal tragedy or living in an area fraught with physical conflict or violent, forceful cultural change. Others are removed somewhat, driven to fury against some greater injustice or ideal. Either way, Grimms as a rule are not out to change something for the better, mend wounds or stop them from happening to others, be recognized for how right they are, or find a better world. These mad scientists intend to fight, whether that means becoming super-powered vigilantes, becoming revolutionary firebrands, or the like. Grimms are universally aggressive, smart, and determined to do something about or more likely to whatever problems attract their attention.

Genius posted:

Few Grimms catalyze simply by beating a man to death in a back alley, though that's sometimes how a
Breakthrough begins: a sudden, horrible act of violence, followed by the realization on the part of the pregenius
that she is too smart to get caught. This violence need not be physical: ambitious scientists or scholars
might realize that they can crush their opponents in debate with tactics so brutal no one questions them,
while lawyers and preachers discover they can sway people as if by the sound of their voice alone. They're
cheating, these new Grimms realize. They're breaking the rules, and there's no one there to stop them. From
that it's a short, fast plunge, either into catalysis or oblivion.

Not all Grimms catalyze through an active desire to fight back. Some are survivors of brutality and insanity,
sometimes at the hands of other Inspired. These Breakthroughs can take a long time to develop, as an Asura
cultivates rage, hatred, and intricate plots for revenge. A girl whose family burns to death in a house fire
caused by an insane arsonist might work carefully through most of her twenties before unleashing bloody
retribution against the arsonist and against the corrupt and incompetent police and firefighters who did
nothing to stop the killer. Another pre-Grimm might swallow years of torment and bullying at school, only for
his tormentors to watch their chances at an Ivy League college slip away amidst digitally-planted accusations
of malfeasance.

A Grimm's Breakthrough is not simply about revenge, however. A Grimm's catalyst shows her that her act of
vengeance was not merely about her and her enemies were not just the ones in front of her. She sees a larger
world, one dictated by strength and weakness, power and helplessness, honor and injustice, and chooses to
embrace that vision. Many Grimms describe religious-like transformations, as if an Angel of the Lord
descended from On High and set itself up within (or instead of) the frail and fallible human soul. Those
Grimms who come from scientific fields describe a falling away of the world's vagaries, a severed Gordian
Knot that frees the genius to act with clarity, certainty, and purpose.

Grimms are typecast as the most direct and pragmatic of all Inspired, and often the purest in their motivations. They might be patient, they might fashion elaborate plots, but a Grimm is usually either looking for a target or has one and is working towards bringing it down. Shut-ins and ivory tower intellectuals, Grimms are not, though they can be as brilliant at research and planning as any of their fellows.

All Catalysts bestow a favored Axiom on the Genius, a principle of Wonder construction that the Genius in question has a natural affinity for, needing less experience to get more dots in it and enjoying bonuses towards building wonders of the type. For Grimms, their catalyst makes them naturals at Katastrofi, the axiom of destruction. Katastrofi as an axiom has one purpose: to break things, violently. Appropriately enough, the Inspired who break through in fury and rage have a natural inclination to build weapons.

All Catalysts also have a favored Derangement that is always the first an Inspired develops. For Grimms, it's Irrationality.

The rest is fluff and suggestions on building a typical Grimm:

Genius posted:

Training:

Grimms gravitate toward aggressive Skills, and many focus on Resistance Attributes to survive their harsh
lives. They are hard, tough, and no longer willing to suffer. Those that focus on vigilante justice often train in
Investigation (to track down their quarries) and Intimidation (in case physical deterrence is inappropriate).
Since many begin life in a rough place, they can lack the Social Merits that other geniuses take for granted,
making up for that absence with an impressive array of Skills designed to keep a person going when
outnumbered and outgunned: Athletics, Drive, Medicine, and Streetwise.

Their irascible personalities can make Grimms difficult to get along with: many have poor Social attributes,
and may prefer the company of wild places to that of man; non-urban Grimms pay particular attention to
Animal Ken and Survival, allowing them to get by when not supported by their fellow man. "Firebrand"
Grimms, by contrast, can come from careers in religion or lobbying that require impressive Social Skills; these
simple personalities sacrifice Mental Attributes for Presence and Composure. They might not be stupid, but
they are direct and uninterested in subtlety.

Most Grimms, whatever their origin, develop an interesting selection of combat skills to survive the scraps
they get into, and may focus on Brawl, Firearms, or Weaponry, usually depending on what sort of wonders
they built with their knowledge of Katastrofi.

Those Asuras who let their anger get the better of them before their Breakthrough have few Social Merits.
Most are poor, with few Allies or Contacts. Even those who began life acclaimed and influential may lose it
after their Breakthrough, becoming insular and strange, abandoning their old connections and forging new
ones―which takes time. Physical Merits, by contrast, are common, and may be geared toward a Grimm's
Breakthrough. A Grimm who was poisoned by a political rival but survived through determination and mad
botany might have developed Toxin Resistance, while one who spent his Breakthrough chasing criminals
across the city's rooftops may have Fleet of Foot.

Concepts: Sadistic vigilante, quiet security specialist, terror of the school board, guardian of the innocent,
high-pressure company manager, passionate antiquarian orator, ex-military tech specialist, plague lord,
politician with a dark secret

"I am nanometers from perfection and no longer answer to any mortal authority. They weren't there for me and I
won't waste time helping them as I rise asymptotically toward the ultimate virtue. Every corpse I leave should be
one less investigation to make, instead of one more open case. But I'm not here for human justice any more. When
you see the Paolenti penthouse burn with white fire and the dreams of serpents, you'll know that, and so will every
other man-mask-wearing machine-demon in this city. They'll never love me for the things I've done, but I never
asked for love. Only for perfection."


Stereotypes:

Hoffnung: Things only get better in one way, and "wishing it were so" is not that way.
Klagen: Your cowardice is a veil, not a shield. You cannot even protect yourself, let alone fight back.
Neid: "Injustice" is a bit broader than "things that make me sad." Everyone's in pain, not just you.
Staunen: I think I would have understood you, once. There is something amazing out there, but I cannot
remember what it was.

Next: Hoffnung, the Catalyst of Vision

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Oh right, and there's another reason why Genius is bad: derangements! Derangements are awful and nWoD has moved away from using them in 2nd edition because they suck.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Why can't these people just play M:tA and be Sons of Ether? Is there some law passed preventing that?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Because at least some of these people want white wolf to admit that not including the sons of ether in MtAw was a mistake.

That's not true at all, mind, and it will never happen. But that's what they want, so they're trying to back-door it with their own nWoD Compatable not-mage.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Because Noun: The Verb is an inherently fun and easy to copy format. Pick a silly name, divide your subject up into five categories, add a curse.

I mean there's gotta be a Gargoyle: The Flappening out there with categories like Goliaths and Brooklyns.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





I remember reading a fan-splat for Scanners once. It was quite sensible and mercifully brief, and probably at least as well play-tested as Changelings. Hell, it probably worked better than whatever hedge-mage/psychic-numena system they had in oWoD did... but I never quite could tell what was up with that, just that almost everything published after about '95 kept making irritating reference to how you could totally play a hedge-witch or psychic who was affiliated with (whatever was actually on the front of the book).

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



theironjef posted:

I mean there's gotta be a Gargoyle: The Flappening out there with categories like Goliaths and Brooklyns.

Of course there is. Although amazingly it doesn't have splats.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Kurieg posted:

Because at least some of these people want white wolf to admit that not including the sons of ether in MtAw was a mistake.

That's not true at all, mind, and it will never happen. But that's what they want, so they're trying to back-door it with their own nWoD Compatable not-mage.

Which is a shame, because I think some of the ideas in Genius are genuinely good. I'm really partial to the setup of "We beat the Illuminati, who had been guiding human civilization since the Stone Age, and destroyed all their plans and influence. So... what now?"

I think that on the whole, Genius works better as a pulpy sort of game than a wannabe horror game, though as has been noted there is a kernel of a good idea in there for horror as well. I am not making stuff up when I note that the main antagonists of Genius include Martians (combo platter of John Carter and War of the Worlds flavors), Super Nazis (from the Moon, from the Hollow Earth, or both), and snake people from a lost continent that never existed. In the section on time travel, it's noted that the time police have a cloning facility in 1920s Germany dedicated to churning out Hitlers because time travelers kill him so often. Geniuses with enough dots in the appropriate axioms can travel through time, raise the dead, build interstellar spaceships, level city blocks in one shot, reprogram human brains, and more.

Man Dancer
Apr 22, 2008


Evil Mastermind posted:

Of course there is. Although amazingly it doesn't have splats.

Ah yes, I remember building a sickly, mute (gotta love Flaws!) Gargomancer in high school and trying to convince someone to let me play it in their Werewolf game.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



It's interesting to note that a lot of the Genius stuff hits the same notes as mad scientists in Deadlands; the inspiration coming from outside otherworldly forces, the fact that machines are held together by "magic"...

Down With People
Oct 31, 2012

The child delights in violence.


When I was 16 and really into WoD, I thought Genius was the coolest poo poo ever. I'm gonna echo what other people have said and say that even though it's full of cool and interesting ideas, pretty much all of them conflict with each other. Especially the mechanics.

I mean, we're going to see that pretty much as soon as we get into Axioms and the way building Wonders actually works, but just wait until we get to the really far-out pulp poo poo that comes up later in the book.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Cythereal posted:

Which is a shame, because I think some of the ideas in Genius are genuinely good. I'm really partial to the setup of "We beat the Illuminati, who had been guiding human civilization since the Stone Age, and destroyed all their plans and influence. So... what now?"

I think that on the whole, Genius works better as a pulpy sort of game than a wannabe horror game, though as has been noted there is a kernel of a good idea in there for horror as well. I am not making stuff up when I note that the main antagonists of Genius include Martians (combo platter of John Carter and War of the Worlds flavors), Super Nazis (from the Moon, from the Hollow Earth, or both), and snake people from a lost continent that never existed. In the section on time travel, it's noted that the time police have a cloning facility in 1920s Germany dedicated to churning out Hitlers because time travelers kill him so often. Geniuses with enough dots in the appropriate axioms can travel through time, raise the dead, build interstellar spaceships, level city blocks in one shot, reprogram human brains, and more.

That former sounds cool, and would be in another setting. It just doesn't fit at all in nWoD because the Illuminati aren't a thing. Even the Seers of the Throne aren't really comparable - they have control now, but over the centuries have not really had the influence they claim to. No one has. Monsters have been around, have done things, have even controlled some small parts of the world - but generally no more than a single city, and often far less. The closest nWoD has to an Illuminati is the God-Machine, which is basically just an infinitely old weird poo poo generator that does strange and terrible things for no reason anyone can fathom.

Basically, the summary statement of the nWoD history is 'Weird poo poo happens, no moral.'

So, you know, not very pulpy.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Mors Rattus posted:

That former sounds cool, and would be in another setting. It just doesn't fit at all in nWoD because the Illuminati aren't a thing. Even the Seers of the Throne aren't really comparable - they have control now, but over the centuries have not really had the influence they claim to. No one has. Monsters have been around, have done things, have even controlled some small parts of the world - but generally no more than a single city, and often far less. The closest nWoD has to an Illuminati is the God-Machine, which is basically just an infinitely old weird poo poo generator that does strange and terrible things for no reason anyone can fathom.

Basically, the summary statement of the nWoD history is 'Weird poo poo happens, no moral.'

So, you know, not very pulpy.

Personally, I'm fine with different gamelines presenting a different take on the world and history of the nWoD to suit different flavors and moods of whatever kind of game you want to play - my gaming group plays nHunter as a light-hearted beer and pizza game where TFV takes most of its cues from X-COM.

Genius' internal history is also very muddled because of frequent and widespread time travel, the natural distortion of history, deliberate historical revisionism, and the sheer nature of bardos where they spring into existence the moment they're conclusively proved to be impossible.

Again, this is a game line where the time police have a cloning plant for the sole purpose of churning out replacement Hitlers after time travelers kill him.

But yeah, the game starts to fall apart pretty quickly once you get into the crunch and the story stuff in the back part of the book, which I'll get into in due time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Yeah, I'm not saying it's bad. Just that, like - what you do at your home game is cool, but it would not be published in an nWoD book, and neither would anything about Genius.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Basically, Genius feels like its own setting. And would probably do better doing so.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Night10194 posted:

Basically, Genius feels like its own setting. And would probably do better doing so.

Pretty much. It's either "This is stupid", "This doesn't belong in the World of Darkness", or "This should be a Mage fan supplement, not its own game". But this is the crowd that compared Awakening to the Holocaust, so good luck getting them to play it.

Kavak fucked around with this message at 00:51 on Apr 8, 2015

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Mors Rattus posted:

Yeah, I'm not saying it's bad. Just that, like - what you do at your home game is cool, but it would not be published in an nWoD book, and neither would anything about Genius.

Fair enough. Which, I suppose, brings us to...

Genius: The Transgression, Part 6: Hoffnung

Genius posted:

Hoffnung
The Catalyst of Vision
Nickname: Principalities
Traditional Planet: Jupiter

"We won't have these problems when I...RULE THE WORLD!"

If rage and fury against some problem or injustice are what propel Grims into madness, for Hoffnungs it's a vision of a better world. Of all Geniuses, Hoffnungs are the most prone to interacting with and most able to really change the mundane world. They're insane to be sure, but they have vision and a drive to bring it about - that's how they became Inspired. Of course, a Hoffnung's idea of a better world is just as likely to be horrifying to others as it is to be inspiring.

Genius posted:

Origins:

Geniuses of Vision often think big before their Breakthroughs. They are politicians, reformers, dreamers, and
futurists, obsessed with what's coming. All hold a picture of what they want the world to be. Hoffnungs may
or may not be wealthy, but most are influential in one way or another: those that aren't powerful lobbyists
are passionate orators, dedicated civil servants, or just very good at arguing for their ideas on the Internet.
Few come from desperate straits, as people in those environments are more interested in day-to-day survival
than the transformation of the world.

A Principality is the most likely of all geniuses to receive direct, deliberate training from an existing genius.
These Hoffnungs are often gifted mundane scientists in whom a genius sees the spark of future brilliance.
Others might start as beholden who are trained (often brutally) to escape their master's worldview and to
find their own. Many Hoffnungs, regardless of their precise origin, are heirs to some other genius' legacy. One
might work to fulfill the dreams of her dead mentor, to wipe out the Ubermensch infestation of Antarctica,
while another surpassed and supplanted his teacher longer ago and now works to transform the world's
economy from the CEO chair of one of Europe's most powerful technology companies.

Personally, I greatly disagree with the claim that Hoffnungs are unlikely to come from desperate circumstance - I think that such environments would be highly conducive to those who dream of change and will bring it about if given the opportunity, if perhaps they're focused on a smaller scale than the entire world to begin with.

Vision is the salient characteristic of Hoffnungs, and they have the will and ability to have a good shot at bringing it about. Whatever idea, beautiful or nightmarish, of a better world a Hoffnung has, they're likely to spend the most effort towards making it happen. This also tends to make them experts at Havoc, given that most Hoffnungs want to change the world of mortals, not just the world of Inspired, and seek to understand the limitations of their Wonders towards that end. Or they become Unmada. Both equally likely, really.

Genius posted:

Collaboration:

Many geniuses think Hoffnungs join collaboratives so they can get other people to work on their projects. This
isn't entirely fair, but there is some truth in it. Hoffnungs rarely cooperate with their fellows, with the
exception of "multigenerational" Hoffnung clans created by a long line of genius-cultivators, and even those
groups are prone to self-destruction―not to mention being weird and intellectually incestuous. Instead,
Hoffnungs seek out other geniuses whose values and dreams don't differ too much from their own, or who
lack the sort of ambition that defines a Hoffnung. In these groups, a Principality can feel at home, working on
her grand projects while not stepping on anyone else's vision.

A collaborative with a Hoffnung always has an excellent source of new plans. Geniuses can benefit materially
and scientifically by following in a Hoffnung's wake. A Hoffnung's ambitions can get her (and the rest of the
collaborative) into trouble, but it can also offer a group direction, energy, and ambition.

The favored axiom of Hoffnungs is Metaptropi, the Axiom of Transformation. This axiom is pretty much your Transmutation school of magic from Dungeons and Dragons, and Hoffnungs are naturals for a more direct approach to making the world change.

Narcissism is the derangement of choice for Hoffnungs, and it's a song and a dance from there to becoming Unmada. Which, to be fair, is true of many Inspired of all catalysts.

Genius posted:

Training:

Hoffnungs want to change the world, but they can take almost any approach to doing so. Their polemics make
Expression a common and useful skill. Those that want to change human behavior are adept at interpersonal
interaction, with high Social Attributes along with good scores in Socialize, Persuasion, and Politics.

Hoffnungs who want their wonders (or something close) in every home focus on high Crafts or Computer
scores and Social Merits like Allies, Fame, and Status. Those Hoffnungs who trace their lineage back to older
members of their catalyst often benefit from inheriting a Laboratory, and may still have a Mentor.

Not all Hoffnungs are benevolent dreamers: those that want to twist the world into conformity with their
deranged imaginings emphasize Manipulation, Intimidation, and clandestine skills like Larceny and
Subterfuge. Many monstrous visionaries―and a few extropic idealists―are experts in Medicine. The more
aggressive masterminds often keep groups of beholden on retainer to intimidate and silence enemies.

Not many Hoffnungs are physically oriented, though some prefer to change the world one rear end-kicking at a
time. These crusaders rarely possess the sadism of Grimms―though their clinical precision may offer little
comfort to their victims―but they learn many of the same Skills: Investigation and Intimidation to learn what
they need, Drive to cover ground, Larceny and Stealth to get in unnoticed, Brawl to teach someone a lesson,
and Firearms and Weaponry, to make someone into a lesson.

Concepts: Cold fusion researcher, deranged medical eugenicist, acolyte of the Singularity, guerrilla
revolutionary, post-Y-chromosome feminist, ruler of a hidden Utopia, (virtual) town planner, cyberneticreplacement
addict, guy who's really excited about fluoride in the drinking water.

You've seen it on the billboards and the trash-strewn alleys, amidst the halls of the powerful and in the tenements
of the desperate: the Change. It's coming, and soon everything will be different. Our world will transform itself―in
fire, if necessary, in blood, certainly―and be reborn, fresh and new, to gaze out on the universe with innocent and
wondering eyes. And I am the herald of that Change. So forgive me if I cannot hear your words or your screams.
They are too small. Do you hear the mayflies screaming tonight? Neither do I.

Stereotypes:

Grimm: Punching the broken computer does not fix the broken computer. Repairing the broken computer
fixes the broken computer.
Klagen: It doesn't do to feel sorry over this death or that atrocity; you must feel sorrow over the entire
structure that allows such horrors to unfold.
Neid: There's a reason that everyone thinks you're crazy. It's because you haven't yet shown them how right
you are.
Staunen: Stop staring slack-jawed and get to work; Utopia isn't going to achieve itself.

All in all, I feel this Catalyst has the potential for more than just wanting to rule and reshape the world. I think there's a lot of room for Hoffnungs who simply have a really neat vision they want to show everyone - the John Hammond approach, and just as likely to end horrifically.

Next: Klagen, the Catalyst of Loss.

Luminous Obscurity
Jan 10, 2007

"The instrument you know as a piano was once called a pianoforte, because it can play both loud and quiet notes."


Kavak posted:

Pretty much. It's either "This is stupid", "This doesn't belong in the World of Darkness", or "This should be a Mage fan supplement, not its own game". But this is the crowd that compared Awakening to the Holocaust, so good luck getting them to play it.

I remember that guy! That was Skeloric, right? I think the WW forums finally banned him (before they closed).

But yeah, Genius just feels really out of place as a line.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Luminous Obscurity posted:

I remember that guy! That was Skeloric, right? I think the WW forums finally banned him (before they closed).

But yeah, Genius just feels really out of place as a line.

Yup, Skeloric. He got even worse after they banned him from the WW Forums and completely self destructed around the time W20 was announced.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Kurieg posted:

Yup, Skeloric. He got even worse after they banned him from the WW Forums and completely self destructed around the time W20 was announced.

How could he have possibly gotten worse and remained on people's radars into the early 2010's?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


He posted on Shadownessence a bunch, and was basically an okay poster until late 2010~ish when he suddenly decided that the death of bookstores was specifically caused by White Wolf moving to a POD model and was motivated out of a desire to spite him specifically. And he posted aggressively in any thread comparing N to O WoDs or any thread about either version of mage.

When Black Wednesday 2011 rolled around he was basically singing "Ding dong the witch is dead" and crowing about how it served them right for not capitulating to his demands and hoping that their children starved because their parents didn't know how to run a game company properly. That's around when the Moderators finally figured out that they should ban him, and he started threatening to kill himself if they did so.

They banned him anyway.

He didn't kill himself as far as I'm aware.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 01:52 on Apr 8, 2015

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



What's Black Friday 2011?

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




What happened on that Black Friday specifically? Or do you mean something other than the shopping day?

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


theironjef posted:

Because Noun: The Verb is an inherently fun and easy to copy format. Pick a silly name, divide your subject up into five categories, add a curse.

I mean there's gotta be a Gargoyle: The Flappening out there with categories like Goliaths and Brooklyns.

Well there's Princess: the Hopeful or something that's probably the only other fansplat that I know of that's had more than a week's worth of development. It's also gone through at least one tone shift during its existence and development since an entirely new bucket of source material came out while it was being worked on.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Err, I meant Black Wednesday.

Skeloric was basically a walking grognards.txt, it's a pity most of his posts got lost during the 3 or so server transfers that forum underwent.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Xelkelvos posted:

Well there's Princess: the Hopeful or something that's probably the only other fansplat that I know of that's had more than a week's worth of development. It's also gone through at least one tone shift during its existence and development since an entirely new bucket of source material came out while it was being worked on.

Leviathan is another, and honestly better than Genius by a large margin. It's not great, but certainly more solid.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


So if interaction with mortals causes super-science to degrade, how the hell does super-psychology work?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



wdarkk posted:

So if interaction with mortals causes super-science to degrade, how the hell does super-psychology work?

Beyond fluff and RP with no mechanical impact, it's mostly mind control devices. :v: I'll do the Foundations after the Catalysts since the game expects the PCs to belong to one, but here's the salient aspects of the Directors:

Genius posted:

The Directors are masters of mad psychology. They specialize in mind control machines, splinter
personalities, implanted behaviors, and drone servitors that do their bidding. Some are diabolical
masterminds, pulling strings from the shadows, while others are out there mixing it up on the lab floor,
beacons of Inspiration.

Psychology is an interesting and subtle science with many branches, some barely explored. Some Directors
focus on traditional psychology, including hypnosis and psychological manipulation; these may only break
out the wonders for real emergencies, instead relying on good Social Skills and an ability to read a situation.
Wonders are obvious, but few people distrust a winning smile. Others focus on mind control machines,
pheromone manipulation and biological impulses, or the implanting of hidden personalities. Many younger
Directors (and not a few older ones, as the Fellowship for Manifest Direction does not reward the crotchety
and out-of-touch) have begun studying the psychology of the artificial, creating machine intelligences.

Crunch-wise, they offer your choice of Automata (axiom of making robots, zombies, life in general) or Epikrato (axiom of mind influence and control, mostly) as a favored discipline, and can spend Mania to simultaneously boost their social attributes and negate the social penalties Geniuses have.

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The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



"Mad science doesn't pay the bills"? Even if it can't be reproduced you could make tons of money selling it as a service. "Your satellite in orbit for $100/kg, no questions answered." Or use your Super-Prospect-O-Mat to find a huge deposit of rare earths, buy up the mining rights, then have the site surveyed conventionally.

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