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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Bieeardo posted:

I mostly read the horrifying fluff for the Scion line, but didn't Legend have some annoyingly ill-defined drawback that made people increasingly likely to become pawns of your developing personal myth?

Yeah, I think it was called Fatebinding. The more you used your abilities, the more people would start worshiping you whether you wanted it or not.

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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.


Bieeardo posted:

I mostly read the horrifying fluff for the Scion line, but didn't Legend have some annoyingly ill-defined drawback that made people increasingly likely to become pawns of your developing personal myth?

Yeah, basically it was, like most of Legend's side effects, an in-universe justification for plot contrivances like "the town you stopped off in for the night just happens to be crawling with jotnar" or "oh look, it's that plucky cub reporter we saved from the Hydra in Vegas last month." I don't recall the specific mechanics enough to say if they were a pain in the rear end, though. But my guess is probably.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Bieeardo posted:

I mostly read the horrifying fluff for the Scion line, but didn't Legend have some annoyingly ill-defined drawback that made people increasingly likely to become pawns of your developing personal myth?

Yup. The higher the power stat the more likely you would get "entangled" with mortals in some way that they really didn't bother explaining very well. This was supposedly the reason the gods didn't do poo poo themselves, instead of the much easier excuse of 'those dudes are lazy, petty, and busy with vanity projects because they barely care for the world on the best days'.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Bieeardo posted:

I mostly read the horrifying fluff for the Scion line, but didn't Legend have some annoyingly ill-defined drawback that made people increasingly likely to become pawns of your developing personal myth?

Yeah, it was called Fatebinding, and was supposed to be the reason why the gods tried to avoid messing around with mortals. In a rule that almost no one actually read about if you didn't act out your own part in the Myth according to their role in it, you started taking penalties. If they're your friend and you fail to help them when necessary you lose access to your godly powers. If your fated foe escapes you lose willpower. If you live up to your own monomyth you start getting bonuses. Depending on how strong the connection is it can last a day and only in your presence, or it can last beyond death. So yeah, that random person you saved last week three states over? They're your fated lover.

Also the higher your legend is the more likely "Fate"(read: the DM) is to make horrible contrivances happen to gently caress over you specifically.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

That's it, thanks guys. I'm getting a headache even thinking about thinking about it.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Kurieg posted:

Yeah, it was called Fatebinding, and was supposed to be the reason why the gods tried to avoid messing around with mortals. In a rule that almost no one actually read about if you didn't act out your own part in the Myth according to their role in it, you started taking penalties. If they're your friend and you fail to help them when necessary you lose access to your godly powers. If your fated foe escapes you lose willpower. If you live up to your own monomyth you start getting bonuses. Depending on how strong the connection is it can last a day and only in your presence, or it can last beyond death. So yeah, that random person you saved last week three states over? They're your fated lover.

Also the higher your legend is the more likely "Fate"(read: the DM) is to make horrible contrivances happen to gently caress over you specifically.

That's old WW in a nutshell, too. Can't have the PCs get too powerful in our game about uber-powerful PCs!

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Kurieg posted:

Yeah, it was called Fatebinding, and was supposed to be the reason why the gods tried to avoid messing around with mortals. In a rule that almost no one actually read about if you didn't act out your own part in the Myth according to their role in it, you started taking penalties. If they're your friend and you fail to help them when necessary you lose access to your godly powers. If your fated foe escapes you lose willpower. If you live up to your own monomyth you start getting bonuses. Depending on how strong the connection is it can last a day and only in your presence, or it can last beyond death. So yeah, that random person you saved last week three states over? They're your fated lover.

Also the higher your legend is the more likely "Fate"(read: the DM) is to make horrible contrivances happen to gently caress over you specifically.

Something something Heroquesting

Having the myth build up and kind of overtake and cause problems for the character could totally be fun assuming the GM wasn't using Eric Wujick-style adversarial tactics to just randomly screw with the player. I mean the actual rules for that sound kind of dumb, but as something looser like a Fate aspect it could generate interesting possibilities and encounter the struggle of a relatively ordinary person dealing with magical celebrity and the whole struggle with free will vs destiny thing.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



occamsnailfile posted:

Having the myth build up and kind of overtake and cause problems for the character could totally be fun assuming the GM wasn't using Eric Wujick-style adversarial tactics to just randomly screw with the player. I mean the actual rules for that sound kind of dumb, but as something looser like a Fate aspect it could generate interesting possibilities and encounter the struggle of a relatively ordinary person dealing with magical celebrity and the whole struggle with free will vs destiny thing.

Doesn't Changeling have something similar? I like the idea of characters heavily tied up in myth or fairy tale or the like having to deal with their story taking on a life of its own, like becoming a hero guarantees villains will seek you out simply because you're a hero, but it does sound difficult to represent mechanically.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


occamsnailfile posted:

Something something Heroquesting

Having the myth build up and kind of overtake and cause problems for the character could totally be fun assuming the GM wasn't using Eric Wujick-style adversarial tactics to just randomly screw with the player. I mean the actual rules for that sound kind of dumb, but as something looser like a Fate aspect it could generate interesting possibilities and encounter the struggle of a relatively ordinary person dealing with magical celebrity and the whole struggle with free will vs destiny thing.

The problem is that it's not presented as guidelines, it's depicted as hard rules. If your player does X, roll Y with a threshold of Z, if they succeed then W happens, and the value of Z decreases. If there's a pitched battle between two or more Scions then eventually everyone and every thing in a 10 block radius will be fatebound to one or several of them. It gets even worse if you have someone with the Chaos purview because they can start mechanically interacting with Fatebonds themselves. I've never seen a storyteller actually use fatebinding as described in the rules because it's the game itself dictating which NPCs are important rather than anything the ST intends.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

occamsnailfile posted:

Something something Heroquesting

Having the myth build up and kind of overtake and cause problems for the character could totally be fun assuming the GM wasn't using Eric Wujick-style adversarial tactics to just randomly screw with the player. I mean the actual rules for that sound kind of dumb, but as something looser like a Fate aspect it could generate interesting possibilities and encounter the struggle of a relatively ordinary person dealing with magical celebrity and the whole struggle with free will vs destiny thing.

Hero Plane and Hero Quests were the absolute best parts of Glorantha.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


BryanChavez posted:

First: almost everyone they pissed off? Also worshiped those gods. These are the gods of Mexico (or at least, a decent chunk of Mexico), not just the Aztecs. The worst excesses of the latter-day Aztec Empire, obsessed with conquest and expansion, were horrifying, even though our knowledge of them is heavily filtered through the eyes of pagan-hating murderers who were eager to justify their brutalities. But they weren't the only people who worshiped these gods, and White Wolf has been cheeky enough with revisionism that they should have acted with utter glee when they looked at texts that suggest that the Aztecs engaged in active attempts to alter the religion of pre-Columbian Mexico for their own purposes.

Third: The Norse murdered captured women and entombed them with male warriors, in the belief that the spirits of those women would become the warrior's concubines in the afterlife. But haha, that Thor, he's a wacky, lovable lunk, right? Yeah!

Second: The Ancient Greeks left out so many children to die of exposure that the Ancient Egyptians launched rescue attempts and had an entire class of children named Copro-[blank], because they had adopted those children by rescuing them from poo poo piles the Greeks and Romans left them in. Somehow the Greek Gods in Scion are not depicted as child-murdering psychopaths.

Well, alright then. Those are all very good points.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Rifts doesn't do much to grow beyond those early design notions, unfortunately, so if something turns out to be much better than a boom gun or a missile barrage than combat, it's probably an unintentional rules break.
The problem I have with this is that pretty much anything else in the game is better than a boom gun or a missile barrage and it always consistently hedges towards save vs. suck abilities. And there is a reason why I removed the save vs. part of that.

MadScientistWorking fucked around with this message at 15:09 on May 9, 2015

Doodmons
Jan 17, 2009


Fatebinding existing was pretty much the only evidence Scion ever gave for what the world featuring demigods looked like. You had to remain in the shadows because Fatebinding was so punishing. Like, if you used Epic Appearance to gently caress somebody's wife and then laughed in his face and beat him half to death with superpowers - or hell, even beat him to death - Fatebinding goes "right, well obviously you're the bad guy in this story and that guy's the avenging hero" and if your Legend is high enough, he juices up and becomes impossible for you to kill in that Fate will just keep ensuring that he lives. He shows up when it's most inconvenient for you, fucks you over with Fate-contrived weaknesses and never, ever stops even if you kill him or trap him in hell or something.

Don't show off to mortals in Scion, yo.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


TBH Fatebinding is the only really interesting mechanic in Scion, and I wish they had more central to the game (no matter what you do as a god, a legend unfolds), rather than using it as a GM stick to hit misbehaving players with.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011



Fatebinding, as a concept, was really really cool and in my group we loved using it.

Of course we had to take a knife to it, like with most Scion things, because as said before, great concept, terrible use.

Using 'fate' as a way to say 'the GM is allowed to just gently caress you' is terrible, but the core idea of 'no myths and poo poo not only are real but there's a vast cosmic force that runs through all of them that binds these powerful gods of death and life and poo poo to the world they're a part of no matter how strong they are'. It avoids Dr Manhattan syndrome by straight up shacking Zeus to his world and holding him accountable. The whole 'play your role' thing was also interesting, it gave 'divine' actions weight when you had to actually put some thought into stuff like your grudges and all. Spend three sessions obsessively trying to kill this rival demigod? Clearly he's your divine rival then, guess what now he equally hates your rear end and is trying to take you down too. If you summon a blast of lightning in your hand in the middle of a major city then yea probably you're going to get some guys going 'oh well that's clearly a god, cool hello new religion' regardless of if you're trying to or not.

The issue is, as said, making it hard and fast rules rather than a nebulous thing for story purposes. Hilariously, tying fate to random dice roles is probably the worst thing possible in stories like this.

Fsmhunk
Jul 19, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 17 hours!


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Hero Plane and Hero Quests were the absolute best parts of Glorantha.

Along with all the other parts of Glorantha, which were also extremely good.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Fsmhunk posted:

Along with all the other parts of Glorantha, which were also extremely good.
Glorantha is the best, just the absolute fuckin' best.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 9): "For example, a tree will notice if a man-sized creature is climbing on it, or will feel heat if someone fires an energy weapon near its trunk or branches, but it will not be able to see the individuals involved, and neither will the elf who is communicating with it."

Maga Island

So, this is a island dominated by "Amazon Indians" and "Jungle Elves". The big folk on top here are magic folk known as Biomancers, who create a symbosis between people and the forest though magic and more than a touch of florophilia.

History

So the Jungle Elves from from the "Green World", where they lived with pixies and everything was happy and la la la la-

- the Splurgorth and their forces rift in like rraaaaaa and blew up the elves and the trees and so the elves learned to fight back but the tentacled slavers blew the hell out of them so they used rifts to evac their world, and some of their escape seeds landed in the Amazon basin, which apparently was very close to their world. There elves and pixies settled and made a country where they built everything with magic and ever think of harming a tree and-

It's... very... Ferngully.

Government

So the Jungle Elves are ruled by the Tree Council. This is not just a name; it is literally an arbocracy, government by trees. More specifically, the Trees of Wisdom, which are telepathic, and may come from biomancers transmuting themselves into trees. Like you do.

Maga really only has only one law: "do not harm any living thing within the island territory", even indirectly. What, even carrots and bees? It then says it's okay to hunt for food. Well. I guess it isn't harm if you eat somebody. I guess the law of the jungle applies too. More complex dilemmas are apparently ruled on by the Tree Council, which is "usually fair in its decisions".

Society

Most property is owned tribally and distributed to those in need, and in general there's a hippie commune theme here (except for all the petty power struggles that come with a real commune). Faeries do "harmless pranks" on humans and people generally learn to put up with their crap. The big difference are the coastal towns of dwarves and humans that are built from stone (using stone magic) and actually do outside trade. They're generally more like your standard Rifts settlements, only that they can't use wood for anything and rely on magic to make up the difference.

Foreign Relations

Naturally, Atlantis wants to uncover the secrets of biomancy, while the biomancers consider the slavers shoot-on-sight. Columbia only does light trade with Maga, though a few "radical" Columbians dream of taking over the island. Bahia has an unofficial mutual assistance pact with Maga. Lagarto is considering taking over Maga, and Maga suspects as much.

Jungle Elf R.C.C.

\
Nature abhors pants.

What's more elfy than an elf and hippier than a hippie? A Jungle Elf! They worship a vague "Tree of Life", but for some reason Millennium Trees don't grow where they settle. Why? :iiam: A lot of them wander the Earth can can be found in places like Canada and Africa.

They're charming, agile, and attractive, chiefly, and don't have any serious drawbacks other than being very slightly weaker than humans. They can recieve impressions from plants-

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

The jungle elf receives "flashes" of past events involving the animal or plant, but these are limited to the creature's own senses and awareness. For example, a tree will notice if a man-sized creature is climbing on it, or will feel heat if someone fires an energy weapon near its trunk or branches, but it will not be able to see the individuals involved, and neither will the elf who is communicating with it.

- yes, in Rifts, a tree can feel. Your chance of them actually succeeding at communicating is less than half to start, though, so they aren't very talkative. They can ask plants for food, but if they try it on a Millennium Tree, it explodes at them. Why? :iiam: They also get a handful of biomancy spells as they level up, which aren't particularly potent. They get middling ISP and PPE, and some minor psionics. It's be pretty underwhelming, but they can choose some O.C.C.s, mainly spellcasters or rangers wilderness scouts. Oh, and if they use machines and technology they lose their powers unless they live tech-free for 1d4 years. Man, I thought orthodox jews had it tough. "Oh, you flipped that light switch, lose your powers for *rolls* three years." Oh, and for some reason developing psionics too much, becoming a shifter or warlock also counts as forsaking those ways. Why? :iiam:

And yes, you can become a Jungle Elf Biomancer, for hippie on hippie action!

Biomancy Trees & Items


If these trees could talk, they would have 84% trust/intimidate.

Trees of Wisdom

These are magic psychic trees that survive off of magic flow. They have ridiculous M.D.C. for a tree (around 1350) and can launch a magic acorn as they die that can land and regrow the whole tree if you don't find it. Once again, they may be the apotheosis of practicing biomancers, but nobody knows for sure, even most biomancers. You'd think people would notice when Hanna the Jungle Elf goes away and Hanna the Tree of Wisdom shows up, but apparently not. Maybe the new Tree of Wisdom is like "man, I don't know any Hanna, I think she went thataway... see, I'm pointing with my branch... no, my other branch. No, the other one. No, no, the other..."

True to the name, they generally have superhuman mental attributes, have a sort of vague disaster awareness, regenerate, use telepathy without ISP, they have a lot of ESP and telepathic psionic powers, and a random assortment of magic spells. 97% of them are good, but 3% are selfish or evil, but I can only imagine most evil trees just get picked on by all the telepathic good ones that can read their thoughts and complain about social justice sequoias or whatever.

Memory Trees

These are telepathic trees (again) that absorb memories - you can call forth memories by contributing your own. They can refuse to share, though, and are perfectly loyal to the Trees of Wisdom. The Splugorth have a unknown means to steal the memories that kills the tree, and only works 20% of the time, but most trees will self-destruct their brains first. Their tree brains.

They have solid mental defense but no other unusual attributes. Their M.D.C. is only modest at several hundred, and they have natural telepathy, regen, and a lot of ESP powers and a few mental powers. They know a lot about magic but can't use it or teach it, because :iiam:


Drawback: fewer handshakes.

The Biomancer O.C.C.

"Biomancy is one of the most powerful systems of magic ever devised..."

This probably isn't the case, but it's nice to think so. It's really handy for farmers and arborists, and is really good for supporting a village, but you're not going to go to war on biomancy alone. A lot of the spells are locked away at higher levels, whereas your average ley line walker can just learn whatever spells they want, whenever they want. For all the descriptions we have of biomancers tearing up power armor, their damage and durability generally doesn't measure up against technology. Particularly since the only competitive combat power for them is at 10th level, and any technological schmoe can get power armor at 1st level.

Apparently they shun cities and civilized areas and consider technology "an unholy alliance with dead things". Oookay. I would have liked to see the treaty signing. In any case, most human d-bees can study it, but "demonic" races and most supernatural beings can't learn it. Only the Green World and Earth have ever really developed it on any major scale, because you need that saintly reverence for life and an untoward relationship with nature. It's supposedly the counterpoint to necromancy, and is also opposed to bio-wizardry because uh abominations something something, take their word for it. Oh, and if you're using Rifts Dimension Book One: Wormwood, they get a lesser version of the wormspeaker's powers when in that dimension.

They have three political camps, which are:
  • The Acceptors, who tolerate other beings unless they're particularly ravenous when it comes down to deforestation or "inhumanity" (funny, for a group that obeys trees).
  • The Patient Ones, who just seek to avoid those who use technology and those who violate nature, and look down on anybody that uses technology or mucks with the land.
  • The Defenders, who seek violent action against progress and development and will murder lumberjacks without a second thought.

Rifts World Book Six: South America posted:

The defenders try to avoid associating with meat-eaters, supernatural beings, scientists, operators, robot pilots or other techie characters who insist on using "dead things" and/or defile nature. The defender biomancer finds city rats, headhunters, cyborgs, bots, crazies, juicers, and other characters who use cybernetic, bionic, robotic or artificial augmentation to be repugnant. Most even frown upon the acceptor biomancers and techno-wizards.

Thaaaat sounds super-playable. :rolleyes:

Siembieda busts in with a special note that the biomancers are cool with hunting for survival or people that use plants for practical purposes as long as some level of conservation is maintained. They generally try not to become "destroyers" but are willing to kill against those who cause major amounts of destruction. Life is sacred to them, unless it's a jerk, then it's sacredness is negotiable.

Fiiinally we see the actual class. Their attribute requirements make your chance of getting to play one about 25%. They can sense evil, talk with plants and animals, heal with a touch, produce food from plants, animals won't attack them, can craft "bio-weapons", and get access to biomancy and a handful of wizard spells. Their PPE is rather low for a caster-type, however. Their skill selection is light and only really good for wildernessy things, of course.


"Call me Satyros."

Their magic tends towards the practical rather than adventurous - with spells for shaping plants, weaving baskets (no, really), making plants grow, or make M.D.C. grass (whee). Granted, there are some practical ESP-type powers or growing M.D.C. armor or weapons, but generally they rely on being around woods. They also get a really poor spell selection in general - they only have one to three spells each level, meaning by the time they get to high levels there's no choices at all if they want their highest-level spells.

Then we get bio-weapons, which lets them enchant wooden weapons to do M.D.C.- wait, where do they get the wood? From dead trees only? Then we have wooden armor, which actually grown off of trees, and chitin armor which comes from magic bugs. Group rituals of 10-20 biomancers can make things like a bow that fires arrows of "bio-energy", bone swords, and pincers. The bio power armor is the only stuff really of note, and even it pales before actual power armor. All this stuff really does is lets their tribes compete on the M.D.C. battlefield, but they're no better than human troopers (probably worse due to generally lacking ranged weapons, communications, environmental protections, etc.).

And that's all for biomancy! It gets built up a lot but isn't particularly exciting for PCs. About the best that can be said for it is that it's a more useful spellcasting class than, say, the Rain Maker, and certainly way better at the druid archetype than the actual druids from World Book Three. But that's a low bar to hurdle.

Next: The Lizard King.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 03:30 on May 26, 2015

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Sure, let's add some hippie magic elves to that post-apocalyptic setting full of cyborgs, power armor and mutants.

Galaga Galaxian posted:

LETS GET READY TO ROLEPLAAAAAY


Is it just me, or is Solid Snake moonlighting as the Ref?

Released early this year, World Wide Wrestling The Roleplaying Game (WWWRPG) is one of the latest in an increasingly large amount of kickstarter launched indie RPGs based off the popular Apocalypse World rules engine. Many would agree that *World games are best when tightly focused on the emulation of a single genre (EG: Apoc World, Monster Hearts, Night Witches) and WWWRPG is definitely that, emulating the testosterone filled, over the top action of modern wrestling entertainment. While I am not some huge wrestling fan/nerd, in my opinion it hits the bullseye harder than a slam from the top rope.

This will certainly not get confusing with Wild World Wrestling, which is the spiritual successor to the Know Your Role WWE d20 game.

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Hero Plane and Hero Quests were the absolute best parts of Glorantha.

That, and the ducks.

Tatum Girlparts posted:

Fatebinding, as a concept, was really really cool and in my group we loved using it.

Of course we had to take a knife to it, like with most Scion things, because as said before, great concept, terrible use.

Using 'fate' as a way to say 'the GM is allowed to just gently caress you' is terrible, but the core idea of 'no myths and poo poo not only are real but there's a vast cosmic force that runs through all of them that binds these powerful gods of death and life and poo poo to the world they're a part of no matter how strong they are'. It avoids Dr Manhattan syndrome by straight up shacking Zeus to his world and holding him accountable. The whole 'play your role' thing was also interesting, it gave 'divine' actions weight when you had to actually put some thought into stuff like your grudges and all. Spend three sessions obsessively trying to kill this rival demigod? Clearly he's your divine rival then, guess what now he equally hates your rear end and is trying to take you down too. If you summon a blast of lightning in your hand in the middle of a major city then yea probably you're going to get some guys going 'oh well that's clearly a god, cool hello new religion' regardless of if you're trying to or not.

The issue is, as said, making it hard and fast rules rather than a nebulous thing for story purposes. Hilariously, tying fate to random dice roles is probably the worst thing possible in stories like this.

I wonder if genre savy Scions can somehow abuse this fate system to their favor, or generally mess with rivals.

Mazes & Minotaurs - Players Manual


III: Magic

So while combat in M&M is pretty similar to OD&D with a few tweaks and stuff borrowed from 3.5, magic is an entirely different beast. Instead of Vancian magic with its slots and laundry list of spells that will make you more versatile and powerful with each level and splat, you only get the 6 spells you start with and have to spend Power Points to use them.

Your pool of Power Points is equal to your level times 4, plus the modifier of one of your primary attributes (as noted in the class description). The Power Point cost of a spell is its Magnitude (which is roughly equal to spell level, except it only goes to 6; everyone but Elementalists have one spell per magnitude).
Recovering Power Points is different for each class: Priests have to do a ceremony, Lyrists just have to chill out with music and poetry and stuff, Sorcerers and Elementalists sleep like your typical D&D spellcaster, and Nymphs have to meld with their natural element (more on that later).

Instead of a caster level, a spell's power and saving roll is determined by your Magical Talent, which is the sum of your two primary attributes and has a different name for each class. I'll just call it Magical Talent to keep it less confusing.

Unless otherwise noted, every spell takes the caster's entire turn and goes off at the end of the round and has a range of 10 times his Magical Talent in feet.

Divine Prodigies (Priest spell list)

A lot of these have a slightly different effect depending on which of the 12 main Greek gods you serve (Apollo, Artemis, Zeus, Athena, Ares, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Poseidon, Demeter, Hephaestus, Aphrodite; no Hades because he does not live on Olympus and generally doesn't want to deal in mortal affairs; M&Ms default setting also has him as a lesser deity).

  • Magnitude 1: Divine Blessing: A general +2 bonus to one of the target's derived attributes, chosen among the 3-4 attributes listed under your deity. It lasts your Magical Talent in hours and sorta stacks with itself (you have to pick a different derived attribute to buff, though). Doesn't work on monsters and animals as they don't really have a concept of faith. Pretty nifty nontheless, as a high-level Priest can keep the whole party buffed up the whazoo for quite a while (if he is willing to spend that much Power).
  • Magnitude 2: Divine Vision: Allows a priest to play oracle and ask his deity for a vision. Said vision is always correct, but often confusing hard to interpret because Greek goods love messing with people.
  • Magnitude 3: Divine Vitality: Your bread-and-butter healing spell, healing 1d6 + Magical Talent. Very handy if the party can't afford weeks of recovery between adventures.
  • Magnitude 4: Divine Gift: A much more powerful buff depending on the deity, lasting only the Priest's Magical Talent in rounds. These include handy stuff like Apollo's and Artemis' Accuracy (+4 to Missile attack rolls, +2 to missile damage rolls) or Demeter's and Hestia's Endurance (auto-success on Physical Vigor rolls, regenerates 2 Hits per round). You can't have more than one of these gifts on you at once.
  • Magnitude 5: Divine Wrath: An energy bolt that deals 1d6 + Magical Talent in damage. It hits automaticaly, but the target can negate the damage with a Mystic Fortitude roll.
  • Magnitude 6: Divine Intervention: Has the priest call his god for help. Pretty helpful to get out of any kind of situations as gods are kinda omnipotent, but also quite risky. The spell only has a success chance of [Priest's level x2]% (aka between 2-12%), and trying to summon your immortal boss for petty reasons can get you zapped instead. Though while it is overall far less useful for high-level Priests than say a Wish or Miracle spell, it's still worth a try if things look dire.

Elemental Magic (Elementalist spell list)

Elemental Magic is a bit different from the rest: All the four classic elements have their own spell list with three spells (Magnitude 1-3), and an Elementalist picks his spell list by choosing to specialize in two elements. Opposite elements can't be chosen, and one of the elements is considered to be the Elementalist's primary element, whose spell effects will by more powerful (usually doubling the duration or number of targets).
The M&M Companion also offers the elements light and darkness.

Because Elemental Magic is quite flashy and blast-heavy, it is also quite taxing. Every spell costs double its Magnitude (I thought the primary element is cheaper, but that's me and my hazy memory).
Since these spells are all very physical in nature, they are resisted with Danger Evasion instead of Mystical Fortitude.

Air
  • Magnitude 1: Swirling Winds: Protects several targets (up to your Magical Talent, double that if Air is your primary element) from ranged attacks, granting them a +4 EDC bonus against missile attacks. The target can't do Missile attacks himself, making it both annoying for friendly archers (though you don't have to target them in the first place) and very handy against any enemy with ranged attacks, though those get a saving roll to avoid this.
  • Magnitude 2: Talons of the Wind: Same as the above, only this time the targets are kept busy with small whirlwinds for several rounds, making them lose their action if they fail at a Danger Evasion roll. Said roll is modified depending on the target's size, with Tiny creatures (the smallest) auto-failing and Gigantic creatures (the biggest) being immune to it.
  • Magnitude 3: Gale Fury: Creates a nice, big whirlwind for several rounds that throws everyone within distance around, pushing them into a random direction and dealing 1d6 damage if they fail at a Danger Evasion roll. Has the same size modifiers are Talons of the Wind, so Gigantic creatures won't really feel this one.

Earth
  • Magnitude 1: Hands of Stone: Immobilizes multiple targets for several rounds, reducing their EDC and attack rolls, as well as making the fail any Danger Evasion roll (making it very useful to follow with other Elementalist debuffs).
  • Magnitude 2: Skin of Bronze: A warrior's favorite, as it grants +4 EDC and +2 to melee damage rolls. Like a lot of other spells, it lasts the caster's Magical Talent in rounds (double that if Earth is his primary element).
  • Magnitude 3: Animate Statue: Turns a Large stone statue into a Stone Titan (a pretty tanky mid-level creature that has a mean charge attack) for several minutes, which is pretty handy for heated battles and covering your retreat.

Fire
  • Magnitude 1: Dart of Fire: Deals 1d6 damage (hits automatically, a Danger Evasion negates the damage). Primary fire Elementalists have double the normal range.
  • Magnitude 2: Blazing Sphere: A non-exploding fireball that can be moved mentally (requiring the Elementalists full concentration) and deals juicy 2d6 damage to anything within 5 feet that fails at a Danger Evasion roll.
  • Magnitude 3: Volcanic Destruction: Creates a volcano that can damages anything in range for several turns that fails at a Danger Evasion roll. The damage is 2d6 (1d6 with successful Danger Evasion) on the first round and 1d6 every following round. As the caster creates this pretty close to himself, he will always suffer the full 2d6 damage on the first round.

Water
  • Magnitude 1: Torrent of Water: Pushes several targets 2d6 feet (1d6 for Large creatures, Gigantic creatures are as always immune) away and knocks them down. Very fun to use on bridges and cliffs.
  • Swirling Flood: Covers an area in water that forces a Danger Evasion roll whose failure causes a -4 penalty to Initiative, Attack and Danger Evasion.
  • Magnitude 3: Fist of the Sea: Summons a giant, watery fist from a sufficiently large body of water to smash people (the smaller they are, the more the fist can hit at once), dealing 1d6 damage and stunning them for that amount of rounds on a failed Danger Evasion roll. Hits ships and fortifications automatically.

Nature's Gift (Nymph spell list)

The exact effect of these can vary depending on what kind of Nymph is casting. There are Dryads (wood nymphs), Naiads (river nymphs), Nereids (sea nymphs), Oreads (mountain nymphs), Helead (swamp nymphs) and Napaea (valley nymphs)

  • Magnitude 1: Nature's Seduction: Charms several mortals, animals or monsters, making them unable to harm the Nymph on a failed Mystic Fortitude roll. Being attacked by anything breaks the spell's effect.
  • Magnitude 2: Nature's Guises: Allows the Nymph to change her appearance and voice, allowing her to imitate another humanoid female. Lasts as long as the Nymph wants.
  • Magnitude 3: Nature's Comfort: A healing spell identical to the Priest's Divine Vitality.
  • Magnitude 4: Nature's Favor: Kisses the target to attune him to the Nymph's element for several hours. Naiads and Nereids grant Aquatic Breath (allowing the target to breathe and speak underwater), while the other Nymphs grant Camouflage (improved concealment in the Nymph's natural environment).
  • Magnitude 5: Nature's Curse: Curses the target with a kiss. Can be avoided with a Mystic Fortitude roll. If said roll fails however, the curse can only be broken by Divine Intervention or the Nymph herself. Dryads and Oreads cause Transmutation (turns you into a tree or rock, respectively), Nereids and Naiads cause Curse of the Drowned (makes you fail all swimming rolls and Physical Vigor rolls to avoid drowning), and Heleads and Napaeas cause Affliction (1d6 loss of Grace, Might, Will or Wits).
  • Magnitude 6: Nature's Command: This one does something different for almost every Nymph. Dyrads and Oreads have Animtae Servant (animates a tree or huge rock into a Wood or Stone Titan, respectively), Nereids have Weather Control (Controls the weather at sea), Naiads can use Create Water to do just that, Napaeas have Kiss of Life (brings back to life a recently deceased, unless he died of natural causes), and Heleads have Fatal Kiss (a save-or-die kiss).

Poetic Magic (Lyrist spell list)

As the bard class of the game, Lyrists have to sing and play a musical instrument to use these spells. All of them have a range of Magical Talent times 10 in feet, and can affect as many targets as the Lyrist's Magical Talent. Lyrists are immune against Poetic Magic, which has the drawback of them not being able to buff themselves. Naturally, mindless creatures are not impressed by their performance.
If a Lyrists finds himself without an instrument, he can go a capella, causing the spell to double its cost and half its range.

  • Magnitude 1: Song of Inspiration: A multi-hour +2 buff to either Melee, Missile or a Saving Roll. Requires a minute of playing, so it's best used outside of combat.
  • Magnitude 2: Song of Freedom: Another 1 minute song, this one helps victims enslaved by sorcery or psychic powers, granting them a saving roll with a bonus to break free.
  • Magnitude 3: Song of Soothing: This song takes effect immediately and calms down mortals, animals or monsters similar to Nature's Seduction. Lasts 1 minute, after which it has to be renewed.
  • Magnitude 4: Song of Comfort: Another 1 minute song that heals all targets for 1d6 hits, making it handy to chill out after a tough fight.
  • Magnitude 5: Song of Wrath: This one starts immediately and lasts for up to Magical Talent in rounds, after which it has to be renewed. Targets who fail at a Mystic Fortitude roll will take 1 Hit of damage while being unable to do any kind of hostile action against the Lyrist. The Lyrist hurts them with pure rage and anger, and there's nothing they can do about it. All in all a nifty damage spell. Doesn't deal much damage, but keeps the Lyrist safe and sound.
  • Magnitude 6: Song of Prophecy: Puts the Lyrist in a trance to gain a hazy vision. In game terms, this allows the player to ask the GM three yes/no questions throughout the adventure. The GM has to answer truthfully, but he can refuse to answer a question that would spoil the fun, explaining it with the shrouded nature of fate and stuff. This however does not cost the player a question, so everything's fine.

Sorcery (Sorcerer spell list)

These are all psychic powers that by their nature do nothing against mindless creatures.

  • Magnitude 1: Confusion: Stuns and causes a -4 penalty to Danger Evasion and Mystic Fortitude to a group of targets.
  • Magnitude 2: Illusions: Exactly what is says. The only limitation is that the illusions can't look or feel solid. Animals or creatures with sharp sense or a sixth sense are immune against illusions.
  • Magnitude 3: Cloak: A sort of mental invisiblity that makes others unable to perceive the caster, unless he attacks (in which case the spell ends immediately) or they are already suspecting something (in which case they get a Saving Roll). The Sorcerer can cloak multiple targets, though like Illusions, animals and creatures with good senses are not affected.
  • Magnitude 4: Compelling: Jedi Mind Tricks that only work on a single target. Has the usually stuff about not being able to compell the victim to do anything suicidal. Ordered to hurt friends grants the victim another saving roll.
  • Magnitude 5: Psychic Attack: A mind bullet. Deals 1d6 + Magic Talent in damage if the target fails on Mystic Fortitude roll. And like the other spells, this does nothing on mindless creatures.
  • Magnitude 6: Enslavement: A Jedi Mind Trick that lasts until the Sorcerer dies or breaks the spell by his own will (or a Lyrist helps out). This one does allow for suicidal actions. A Sorcerer can have as many slaves as his Magical Talent. Characters with class levels, giant monsters or monsters with multiple heads count as several people for this limit. A bit questionable for PCs to use this on other people, but why would you ever bother with people if you can have a 100% loyal pet hydra?

The notes and comments of this chapter mention the most important change between editions (OM&M casters could only cast spells with a Magnitude equal to or lower than their level, instead of having everything available from the start), a bit of drama involving Nymph jokes, the rise of the Lyrist and Elementalist to core classes, and the usualy heated debate about how balanced casters actually are.

Overall, it's a good change of pace from your typical "godlike swiss army knife" d20 caster. These guys just become better at what they're already doing, like the other classes.

Next Time: Adventuring - including ships, out-of-combat tests and followers.

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

So the Jungle Elves are ruled by the Tree Council. This is not just a name; it is literally an arbocracy, government by trees. More specifically, the Trees of Wisdom, which are telepathic, and may come from biomancers transmuting themselves into trees. Like you do.

I know everything in this chapter is dumb as written, but I'm just seeing the Parliament of Trees from Swamp Thing and they were awesome. I'd modify all of that to be like Swamp Thing, where when nature elementals and bio hippies get pissed they can choke off a city or use plants to gently caress with the oxygen levels in the atmosphere.

Galaga Galaxian
Apr 23, 2009

What a childish tactic!
Don't you think you should put more thought into your battleplan?!


Doresh posted:

This will certainly not get confusing with Wild World Wrestling, which is the spiritual successor to the Know Your Role WWE d20 game.

Yeah, IIRC, World Wide Wrestling's author, Nathan Paoletta wasn't even aware that game existed when he named his own game. Wrestling Promotions tend to have samey names anyways, so let's just jokingly say its keeping with the genre. :v:





World Wide Wrestling RPG Chapter 3: The First Episode

As the title suggests, Chapter 3 is all about how to get started with your first session. The first episode is the time for Creative to introduce the wrestlers to the audience (both the imaginary one and the audience that is the players themselves) and show off what makes them and their stories so compelling.

Things begin with building the roster, each player picks a gimmick. The book recommends The Hardcore, The High Flyer, The Monster, The Technician, and the Veteran as straightforward, simpler choices while The Anti-Hero, The Golden Boy, The Jobber, The Manager, and The Wasted are mentioned as more complicated or less action-focused. Like other Apocalypse World games, it also stresses the uniqueness of each gimmick, while there may be many veteran wrestlers in the promotion there is only one THE Veteran who will shine. After selecting gimmicks, each player then fleshes them out with some additional information. Their name, their look, their "Hailing From" and style of entrance theme, stat modifications, picking moves, and more. Next up is figuring out initial heat between wrestlers.


Heating it Up

Heat is WWWRPG's version of ApocWorld's History/Hx and represents how invested the imaginary audience is in interactions between wrestlers who have history and/or beef with each other. It ranges from +0 (no heat) to +4 (The crowd goes nuts every time these wrestlers face off). Each gimmick's sheet has some starting heat questions, stuff like "Who was holding me back as my tag team partner?", "Who has no respect for all the work I've put into this company?", or "Who is always trying to get management on my side?". Each player takes a turn asking one of their heat questions and someone responds "me" and the person asking the questions marks +1 Heat with their character. Once all the questions have been asked, each player decides whether their character is a Face (A good guy) or a Heel (A bad guy) and then marks +1 heat with wrestlers of the opposite role. Heat relationships can be one sided and don't have to be adversarial, but it does give a launching point for stories. It is creative's job to bring characters with heat together in the ring because this is wrestling entertainment, where every kayfabe conflict is naturally resolved by taking the other guy to the mat.




Booking It

Once the players have selected their gimmicks, fleshed them out a bit, and resolved initial heat, there is one last bit of character preparation to do. "Last time on Wide World of Wrestling..." (or whatever your promotion's name is) where Creative goes around the table and asks each player what the highlight moment was for their character on the last installment of the show. The only restriction here is a player can't award themselves a title belt (any and all titles start in the hands on NPWs, Non-Player Wrestlers) but other than that drat near anything goes. Did the High Flyer win a hard fought match with their rival? Did the anti-hero deliver a stinging tirade against management? Did the Monster ambush another wrestler with a steel chair in the backstage? Did the Veteran make his return debut after months out due to injury? Did the Jobber almost win a match?!

Once this is determined, its time for Creative to tell his players to take a 10 or so minute break while he books the episode. He considers the initial heat questions/levels and the "Last time" answers of his players, takes notes of any NPWs (Who can be more than just other wrestlers, they can be managers, valets, referees, etc) created or implied by these answers, thinks up a few extra NPWs (a later chapter has a whole bunch that can be used if desired) and lays out the card, deciding the following things.

  • What matches will the episode feature? Who will each player wrestle, another player or an NPW? (Any NPW vs NPW matches will be handled via a brief summarized narration)
  • Who will win each match?
  • What Order the matches will occur in.
  • What segments will take place between matches. These are things like vignettes, backstage or in-ring promos, and kayfabe "candid" segments

The book gives some advice, like making sure to give each player a chance to make a promo before or after their match and staying flexible as players often have moves that give them the opportunity to force changes in the booking, modifying matches ("this match is now no Disqualification!"), changing outcomes, forcing new segments, and more. It also states that creative has three primary duties in his role as creative, and these will sound familiar to Apocalypse World fans.

Celebrate and challenge the players
Make it look like you planned it that way all along
Entertain the imaginary viewing audience





The Basics

The rest of the chapter is spent on going over the game's rules in brief and providing numerous examples of play. Covered first are Moves (stuff like the bread and butter "Wrestle" move to more specific stuff like "Cut-a-Promo" and "Break Kayfabe"), Momentum (WWWRPG's version of hold), and Audience scores. It also goes over the basics of being creative, listing the Creatives' Soft and Hard moves and brief summaries of each. Soft moves are actions Creative uses "whenever the players look at you expectantly, waiting for you to move the action along." They include moves like Put a Microphone in their face, Announce Kayfabe Badness, Book Them in a Match, and Create Backstage Intrigue. Hard moves are something that occurs when players roll a botch or position themselves narratively in a way that is just asking for it, these moves include Give them a no-Win situation, Steal their Victory, Turn the Audience on them, and Announce Legit Badness.

Moving on, the Basics next cover how a wrestling match is supposed to flow. During a match one wrestler is in control at any given time, with their player narrating the action through a spot (a sequence of wrestling action capped off by an impressive feat) and, if a player, rolling an appropriate move based on this narrative. If an NPW has control, Creative simple narrates a spot or two in brief and then passes control back to an actual player (the real stars of the show). This continues until Creative calls for the match to be finished up, at which point he announces the scheduled winner of the match. If this is an NPW Creative simply narrates the end of the match, if the planned winner is a player, it is up to the player to bring the match to a satisfying conclusion and then rolling their Finisher Move to see if they hit it spot on and makes themself (and/or the other guy) look awesome. As part of match advice it also goes over the basics of the announcer, reminding Creative it is a way to help engage player(s) who are not current competing and its power to increase the effectiveness of each performing wrestler's actions once per match.


Problematic Content and "Making the X"

Finally the Chapter closes on further advice about setting up and pacing the first episode as well as the important topic of Problematic Contact and "Making the X". Wrestling, as the book informs, relies heavily on archetypes which reside across a very thin line from stereotypes. Many, if not most heel characters will often say or do terrible, offensive, and inappropriate things in order to showcase their inherent heelness and get the audience booing them. Unfortunately, its all too easy to combine villainous behavior with ethnic, racial, sexual, gendered, or other stereotype and produce a genuinely offensive result.

Wrestling is dramatic, over the top entertainment and sometimes grotesque. While people shouldn't shy away from using negative character traits to drive the action, at the same time, everyone should be aware that the other players at the table may or may not be as comfortable about the introduction of certain content into the game, and often you won't know it until it hits the table. In WWWRPG, if something happens or is said that a player just isn't cool with, they can "Make the X"."The X" sign in real wrestling is traditionally given by the Referee to inform backstage personnel a serious legitimate injury has occurred and medical attention is required. In WWWRPG it can be used this way narratively (including the modern practice of fraudulently making the X to add a line-blurring sense of realness to a fake kayfabe injury), but a player physically making the X (crossing wrists, either above the head or over the chest) at the table means STOP. To quote the book: "When a player makes the X, its a sign for everyone else to elide the content that just happened and restart the scene from the last logical point." It also says that a player is under NO obligation to explain why they made the X, though they may want to say something so creative knows what is up.



Next Time on World Wide Wrestling RPG, Chapter 4: Making the Roster where each of the gimmicks is gone over in more detail, heat, audience, & momentum mechanics are explained, and coverage of advancements and what happens when someone suffers legitimate injuries.

Fsmhunk
Jul 19, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 17 hours!


If this game was based on REAL wrestling the guy that made the X would have to make the thing that offended him his gimmick, while the commentators mocked him.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Does this game have rules for the magic parts of wrestling? You know, like when Undertaker was still young enough to wrestle, or when Bray Wyatt teleports, or that time Captain Lou Albano had to fight wizards like the Sheik. (The Sheik was a racist stereotype of particularly bizarre nature - a white guy pretending to be a mute Syrian wizard heel. He did several illegal moves, most notably throwing loving fireballs.)

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

"I was going through a time period where I was looking up weird stories involving necrophilia..."


Alien Rope Burn posted:



They have three political camps, which are:
I wonder how often Kevin copies stuff between books because this is the same exact description that is in the Lemuria book. Don't know if the Biomancer in that book is better but the armor is comparatively useful and actually has ranged abilities.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I transcribed statblocks for mecha, vehicles and gear for pretty much every Robotech and RIFTS book up to and including Coalition War Campaign, and I'm pretty sure the answer is 'constantly'. Same seemed to go for racial stat blocks, because anything vaguely demonic got the same cruel, cannibalistic, inappropriate for PC use, ad nauseam disclaimer.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



Count Chocula posted:

I know everything in this chapter is dumb as written, but I'm just seeing the Parliament of Trees from Swamp Thing and they were awesome. I'd modify all of that to be like Swamp Thing, where when nature elementals and bio hippies get pissed they can choke off a city or use plants to gently caress with the oxygen levels in the atmosphere.
I thought of that one episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MadScientistWorking posted:

I wonder how often Kevin copies stuff between books because this is the same exact description that is in the Lemuria book. Don't know if the Biomancer in that book is better but the armor is comparatively useful and actually has ranged abilities.

The topmost Biomancer armor in this book is the Superior Chitin Armor, which is woven around you by bugs (non-biomancers, hilariously enough, have to make a mild horror save or break the ritual by freaking out once bugs start crawling all over, blowing the friggin' 900 P.P.E. it takes to create this armor). It has 110 M.D.C., gives a supernatural strength of 25, increases speed by 20%, lets you breathe without air for 20 minutes, and gives a +2 to most combat rolls. Though none of that is particularly bad (though it certainly is overpriced to craft), a SAMAS armor will outfly and outshoot the hell out of it. It can have biomancer weapons built in, the best of which in this book is a bio-energy bow (another 200 P.P.E.) that does 4d6 damage, double against supernatural intelligences. Mind, taking on a supernatural intelligence clothed in a juiced-up cobweb is up there with trying to stop a hurricane with a box fan, but I guess any bonus is better than no bonus.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book Six: South America (Part 10): "Melastirth is the "Hitler" of dragonkind, complete with a master race, a master plan, and a campaign of selected genocide."

The Kingdom of Lagarto

This is the biggest nation in South America, but it's divided into innumerable islands. The race list is like a breakdown of nearly every rifts book so far, it namechecks:
  • Rifts World Book One: Vampire Kingdoms
  • Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis
  • Rifts World Book Three: England
  • Rifts World Book Four: Africa
  • Rifts Conversion Book
... but lizard men are far and beyond the dominant race. They get reprinted later on.

History

So, the lizard men here are immigrants who decided to come there because the Amazon is apparently lizard man paradise. They were fruitful and multiplied, and a bunch of other lizard races joined up with them because you know, crocodiles and iguanas and dragons, all pretty much the same. :v:


"I mean, the gator-men are here to steal our jobs!"

Originally, the lizard men were mostly just allied villages loosely united under the "First City", where lizard leaders gathered in times of "national" emergency. However, about two decades ago, a priest named Melastirth showed up from Atlantis representing the Cult of Dragonwright, and declared the dragons were about to show up and that the lizard men better bow down. (He's really a shapeshifted dragon, of course.) By earning the alliance of a major lizard lord, he was able to supress dissent and get the tribes to unanimously follow their new false deities.

Government

Dragons arrived from Atlantis, setting up their new fiefdoms, and set up a figurehead lizard man High King. Nowadays their "yoke of oppression" is a 5-10% tax rate (not actually all that oppressive) and pressing 7.5% of the population into military service (genuinely pretty oppressive). Oh, and disobedience is likely to result in enslavement or death (which I guess is pretty darn oppressive). While technically they're a Splugorth holding, Splynncryth (the Splugorth of Atlantis) sees this more as Syphathal's project (the head of the Cult of Dragonwright on Earth) and leaves him too it, only lending him some token troops for future fighting. Most of the dragons there are just inclined to recline in luxury, but a handful are pushing the country towards war.


There's a certain subtext to armor with a loincloth over it.

Society

Before the coming of the dragons, the lizard men were just largely isolated, peaceful tribes without much industrialization. (One has to wonder how they survived without easy access to M.D.C. weapons or armor, but presumably they found a way?)

Though many villages remain the same, most large communities now have a City Hall founded by the dragons to collect taxes and push war propaganda. The Cult of Dragonwright has gotten many converts, particularly with its message of racial superiority. Mind, in other locations, Dragonwright pushes humanity as the "superior race", and ultimately functions as their means of propaganda.

However, nearly half of lizard men warriors have become rebels, and there are a lot of doubters in even the loyal military, but the dragon cult ultimately has much more support from Atlantis as well as far better arms and armor.

Foreign Relations

Though the leaders of Lagarto claim to be officially allied with Atlantis, in truth the alliance is purely unofficial and Atlantis will abandon at the first sign of failure (or overt success, to cut a rival short). Columbia is one of their chief targets for conquest. Bahia is likely to see incursions soon as well. They eventually want to conquer Maga, but are woefully misinformed to their actual strength.

This is the first time we hear about the following cities, but here goes: Omagua is a city of cat-people that backs the rebels, and is likely to come into conflict with Lagarto. Cibola is a city of slavers that competes with Lagarto's newfound slaving activities, but isn't a formal target of Lagarto. Manoa is too far away to have any part in the troubles.

One of the things that strikes me is that Lagarto is presented as a major threat, but they're potentially making war on two fronts already (Omagua and Columbia) and dealing with a civil war, to boot. Realistically they should be entirely hobbled... but this is Rifts. Of course they can carry on a three-sided war! The theory is that they'll just squash the rebels and then move on to Omagua or Columbia, of course, but when nearly half your country is comprised of rebels, how on Earth are they going to put down a guerilla insurrection in any reasonable amount of time?

Armed Forces

We're told the Lagarto army is one of the biggest on the continent, with 100K regular troops and a 200K militia. They also have a lot of supernatural support, like gargoyles, cernun, tautons, and of course dragons. (Wait, aren't gargoyles fecund as gently caress? Wouldn't have them in the mix be an issue? Not when the plot doesn't demand it, apparently...) We get the usual Rifts breakdown of units, and then we move on to city descriptions.

New Dragcona

This is basically the colonial city of Atlantis, and is the fastest growing spot in the country. It serves as a trading port and general home base for Splugorth operations. It is your standard scum of villany and den like most Atlantean cities, and the dragons throw around their weight and abuse the lizard men here, and it's a big glowing sign of Atlantean oppression.

First City

As a counterpoint, the First City is a river city built on poles set into the river bed. It's also the likely home of the rebellion. Great house of cards, guys. There's an occupation force here, but the rebels can take 'em.

Melastirth
Dragon Overlord of Lagarto



"One day, I will have a tiny human moustache."

Just what this setting needed: more Hilteri. (That's the plural of Hilter.)

This "great horned" dragon is a radical follower of Dragonwright even for the decidedly evil branch we see in Rifts (as opposed to the very different religion in the Palladium RPG). He wants to wipe out or enslave all races under a draconic banner, and sees the lizard men as an ideal tool to do so. Why them and not a powerful race like gargoyles isn't clear to me, but you pick a theme and go with it, I suppose. Styphathal has only fuelled these notions, figuring either Melastirth will either bolster his own power base or get killed, but either way he figures he'll be amused. He doesn't realize just how crazy Melastirth is, though.

Anyway, he's an adult dragon of "20th level" - there's an experience chart for elder dragons in another book that's practically impossible for PCs to reach, for the record, but no rules for characters beyond 15th level - though mostly he's unexceptional save for the face that he uh, knows every normal spell and has every basic psionic power. Generally it seems like he'd be relying on magic in a fight and soaking everything with his dragon-sized M.D.C. values. And that's all!

Stleet
High King of Lagarto



Rejected Masters of the Universe toy design #045.

A former pirate slave, he befriended and then murdered the captain who owned him and stole his poo poo before returning to lizard land. His escape made him a famous hero, but ultimately he's a self-serving dick who later became a dick in service to Dragonwright. He became Melastirth's main thug and had already prepared out to murder dissenters after the dragon's speech. Bio-wizardry has modified him to become more badass, including breathing fire, which he uses as a selling point of Dragonwright devotion. Most lizard men don't buy that and figure he sold his soul, though. He's a compulsive liar and if he gets overthrown, he has a story all cooked up about how he was tortured and brainwashed into his position.

There have been 30+ attempts on his life, including one from Cibola (for shits and giggles), and he has survived them... because? I mean, I get the guy's M.D.C. now, but with that many attempts you'd think they'd have come up with a way. It's not like he has a ton of hit points to chew through.

He's an "8th level warrior", which isn't a class we have, and can breath fire for crappy damage. He's a decent combatant and sometimes uses a raptor power armor (we'll see that in a moment), but nothing a troop of green Coalition soldiers couldn't murder in a heartbeat, even with his lame rune sword.

Lizard Men R.C.C.
Optional Player Characters


We get a reprint of the lizard men statblock that says that Dragonwright lizard men can take up the headhunter, wilderness scout, or special forces O.C.C.s to represent their more advanced skills and weaponry.

They're almost balanced with humans for a change, they can swim faster, breathe underwater, and get a mild horror factor, and are slightly tougher, but are weak-willed comparatively. Which may not seem like a fair tradeoff, but compared to most races which get invisibility or laser eyes or the ability to shrug off photon torpedoes, lizard men are relatively balanced. Which is to say they're weak as gently caress.

Weapons and Armor of Lagarto

Most Lagarto soldiers get Kittani weapons and armor as per Atlantis, but may have purloined Columbian weapons. Rebels generally rely on techno-wizardry and magic, but don't have reliable access to M.D.C. weapons.

And with that note, it's on to the new stuff!

The "Carnosaurus" Kittani Series

It turns out the Kittani, having gotten to see dinosaurs for the first time (they're in the American south, as mentioned in the corebook), think dinosaurs are awesome. And so they've made experimental weapons inspired by dinos! Which feels like a stretch, but gently caress it, dinosaur robots. Oh, and the rebels have stolen a few, because nobody can resist the allure of dinosaur robots.

Kittani Raptor Power Armor / Robot


Just put joints all over and call it a day.

Because the writer couldn't decide: is this a power armor or a robot vehicle! gently caress it, just call it both! It's supposed to be really manueverable and stuff and as a result it gets the coveted automatic dodge, a potentially combat-breaking ability where it doesn't have to spend attacks making defenses. It can also run around at 150 MPH and has jump thrusters.

It's pretty tough, though not exceptionally so, and has mini-missiles and head lasers. It actually has pretty high melee damage, which is still crappy damage overall, but it's high for a power armor suit. It doesn't get any special pounce or anything and has really no notable mechanics related to its odd shape. Lame.

Kittani Allosaurus "Firedrake" Power Armor


Just slap some rifles on it and it'll be alright.

Name indecision '98 continues! Is it a drake or a dino? gently caress it, just call it both! It doesn't have the manuverability of the raptor but it supposedly pretty agile, which is backed up by its combat bonuses. It gets medium-range missiles, mini-missiles, can barf plasma, and its "tri-barrel super rail guns" do actually really solid damage. It's no glitter boy, but it would be an decent pick to pilot.

Kittani Tyrannosaurus Robot Vehicle


"Sir! The robot dinosaur is pissing on us!"

This is the big heavy hitter of Lagarto, and honestly lives up to it - it's actually competition for the glitter boy, though of course it's ridiculously big in comparison. It's really tough, has medium-range and mini missiles, twin "twin-barrel pulse cannons" that combined almost match a boom gun, a bellybutton rail gun, laser eyes, and it can ram things over, which would be really embarrasing for Columbian tanks. It's kind of a slug compared to the other dino-armors, but stands out pretty well nonetheless.

And that's it for lizards. It's kind of dissapointing between this and the pirates that most of the villains in this book are either Splugorth pawns or Splugorth allies or Splugorth-equivalents, as we'll see, with the only exception being at the end of the book.

Next: El Dorado, more confusing than advertised.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 03:30 on May 26, 2015

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

It’s been a long time since I updated this review, so the links to the previous chapters are here.





poo poo! They’re sinking our battleship!


Chapter 6: A Voice from the Outer World

From my point of view, many games contemporary to Dune devote their GMing chapters to attempting to appear profound without really saying anything. It's not that they're all pretentious, although some certainly are. (Cough cough, Everlasting.) I mean they waste a lot of words repeating advice that boils down to "Keep track of everything and do everything more," and offer little real insight or detail on the creative process. Describe every scene in exhaustive detail, characterize every NPC to the nth degree, keep extensive notes on your intricate plotlines, et cetera. There will also be advice on using props, music, and mood lighting, which nobody I ever knew ever used. Preparation? Hours of it. Roleplaying? Make sure to do that, a lot, all the time. Where this all seemed to lead, from the early 90s to the turn of the century, was a GMing style where the emphasis on "story" encouraged the GM to write a novel and railroad the players through it.

Dune, I'm glad to say, has very solid GMing advice to offer. It has specific advice on running the Dune setting for players who aren't hardcore fans, but most of the space is dedicated to good advice in general--how far to go in setting the scene and characterizing the NPCs, how to respect player agency, and knowing when to lead the PCs in the right direction and when to get the hell out of their way. My only real criticism of it is not of the advice in this chapter, but of the rules' failure to really back it up. Although the GMing chapter is short, it's devoted entirely to the actual process of GMing--presenting the campaign, preparing for sessions, and running scenes.


In the grim darkness of the Imperium, this is what stinkbugs look like.

The Narrator’s Role

Dune begins by saying that the Narrator’s primary goal is to entertain the PCs, who are their audience, and that the Narrator and PCs work together to tell a story. Gauging the difficulty of challenges and encouraging the PCs to act as a team are identified as some of the most crucial and difficult tasks. Also important is encouraging teamwork and a sense of family among the PCs, since the game is based around playing a noble entourage.

Although it doesn’t state it directly, Dune implies that it expects you to plan out your campaign as a rough outline, planning ahead for major turning points and how they will be different depending on how the PCs react, how NPCs react to them, and whether or not they achieve key goals. It expects you to do the same thing on a smaller scale for individual sessions.

It offers some advice on preparing for sessions and using premade adventures. (Of course, the planned campaigns and modules were never written.) When using modules, read them thoroughly and plan to replace stock NPCs with ones from your campaign that serve the same function, and establish contact between them and the PCs where it makes sense. Using props is suggested, but the reader is admonished to have them ready and not fumble around with them; they don’t gush about how magical it is to have mood music on CD.

To educate the reader in how to describe a scene, Dune uses the example of a rustic artists’ retreat where a venerable Moritani assassin is rumored to be hiding. (I can’t help myself from pointing out that such a scene is appropriate to Herbert, but sounds right out of a Jack Vance novel.) The book provides two examples of describing the setting, one being the sort of poetic, lyrical description that nobody ever actually says out loud, the second being more focused on the mood the Narrator should be trying to set. It encourages granting scenes a touch of life by adding description to buildings, objects, the weather, etc., but not just for its own sake; for example, you can drone on about the lush vegetation, but it’s more to the point (and relevant to the example scene) to describe a copse of trees as “thick enough to hide a lone sniper.”

There are some things I can quibble about. Some examples of scene-setting description are too flowery, and it does imply the use of Star Trek style banter--you know how no one on Star Trek ever goes into a bar and orders a beer, but instead they go into a refreshment conclave and order a Centaurian spice-beer? That.

Dune also poses a method of scene pacing that I’ve not seen before, and one that I think is really great. Every scene exists to pose a question. Decide what the question is, and when it will have been answered. When that happens, it’s time to wrap up and move on. The question can be as simple as a momentary dilemma, but it should pertain to the plot rather than being filler for its own sake. For example, a scene might test whether or not the PCs can sneak past the Harkonnen scouts without a fight, but either way they’re meant to learn when the Harkonnen are launching an attack.


I’m sorry, I was looking for the North African campaign.

Dune doesn’t seem to assume that everyone in the group is a Dune fanatic. It's up to the GM to remind players that Harkonnen are known for treachery, or that people in the Imperium transfer information by recording it on wire reels. (This is also related to the principle of “assumed competence,” explained later.) When the PCs are headed in the wrong direction, Dune actually recommends throwing a fight their way--not to scare them onto the right track, but to let them have some fun and give the Narrator the opportunity to throw them some obvious clues,

Another task that Dune keeps coming back to is the importance of characterizing the supporting cast. Not every NPC needs a lengthy description, but like scenes, NPCs should be described as they are introduced with a trait or two that’s relevant to what’s going on. If a particular NPC is going to become more important in future scenes, you can characterize them further each time you come back to them.

Using the Rules

My reading of the section on how to use the rules is coloured by my knowledge that the writers really didn’t like the ruleset they’d been given. It’s adapted from LUG’s Star Trek game, and as I’ve discussed in previous chapters, its chief sins are its probability spread and the fact that there are far too many skills and sub-traits. (It could easily be made better by making a blanket fix to the core die mechanic, chopping down the skill list, and ignoring specializations and sub-Attributes entirely.) With that in mind, it’s not surprising that this section is about when to bend the rules or ignore them entirely.

The first principle of using the rules is not to penalize players for proposing solutions you didn’t expect. Stonewalling PCs until they choose the one correct strategy is one of the worst traits in a referee, and it leads to players passively expecting you to lead them by the nose. Also, if the PCs figure something out sooner than you expected (like identifying a traitor) they’re entitled to the fruits of their cleverness. If you really need to stretch things out, you can always throw an action scene at them.


Korba’s Discount Torches! We kill the out-freyn for his water and pass the savings on to you!

This advice comes with the caveat that you shouldn’t let the players walk all over you; don’t reward really silly ideas. Strangely, Dune phrases this in terms of the PCs “blatantly defy[ing] the laws of the Great Convention.” I agree that it really muddies the Dune setting if the PCs can break the most important laws in the universe and smooth it over with lucky rolls.

Another principle is assuming the PCs are good at what they do—-drama between hyper-competent elites is the basis of the franchise, after all. If a PC has a skill at level 1, they can use a gadget or pilot a ship or otherwise do routine tasks without screwing up. Skills are for dramatic situations; otherwise there’s no point in rolling and you’re wasting your time. By the same token, if a PC is barking up the wrong tree—-for example, interrogating a NPC who doesn’t know anything—-just cut them off and move on.

All of this ties into the principles of maintaining pacing and drama. A common refrain in games is “only roll when the PCs have a reasonable chance of failure,” but that doesn’t go far enough. In practice, you should liberally ignore rolls or require them inosofar as it maintains the tension of the scene. If the PCs are fleeing a full-scale bombing raid, you can ignore Athletics and Dodge Tests as they’re running, then require them when they need to do something like cross a bridge.

The last sections boil down to “listen to your players and treat them fairly.” If you’re paying attention, the players will indicate what kind of stories and situations they enjoy. If your party is an Adept, a Suk doctor, a Strategist, and a Noble, they probably aren’t in it for the space-knife-fights. Of course, not everyone likes the same things, but you can spread scenes (and Experience points) around. Besides, listening to the players doesn’t mean always giving them the kinds of problems they like to solve—-any group will get bored with a campaign that’s just a string of duels or battles, for example, so give them challenges they don’t readily know how to handle.

Next time, on Dune: Something I don’t think I’ve seen before, a whole chapter devoted to the subject of theme.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Alien Rope Burn posted:


The "Carnosaurus" Kittani Series

It turns out the Kittani, having gotten to see dinosaurs for the first time (they're in the American south, as mentioned in the corebook), think dinosaurs are awesome. And so they've made experimental weapons inspired by dinos! Which feels like a stretch, but gently caress it, dinosaur robots. Oh, and the rebels have stolen a few, because nobody can resist the allure of dinosaur robots.


I am basically completely okay with all of that for the reason given--dinosaur robots are cool and should be included. Lizardmen having developed them or developed a market for them first seems perfectly reasonable.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



occamsnailfile posted:

I am basically completely okay with all of that for the reason given--dinosaur robots are cool and should be included. Lizardmen having developed them or developed a market for them first seems perfectly reasonable.

I am all for dinosaur robots or robot dinosaurs all over a game, I just wish they had been locally constructed instead, because they don't look like Kittani work. Those ape dudes are way better at fancying up a robot than this.

Esser-Z
Jun 3, 2012



Approps of nothing, I started listening to System Mastery last week. I am really, really enjoying it!

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Esser-Z posted:

Approps of nothing, I started listening to System Mastery last week. I am really, really enjoying it!

Thanks! We're in a down state at the moment because I am a huge idiot and accidentally deleted our recording from last night, so this week's episode will be a day late.

Also, was this any of you guys? I think finally being misrepresented as an expert opinion is my newest sign that the show has made it:



I mean, maybe we said something about like "Brownie Point" type mechanics, which in some systems are called Fate points sometimes? But I haven't read FATE much (I started fitfully a week or so ago because I want to make a Sliders/TORG mashup somewhere), and I don't think Jon's read it at all.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 17:07 on May 11, 2015

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

No, I don't recall you guys ever having said anything bad about FATE, either.

Also, what's the background behind that quote? Who's trying to make a FATE CRPG?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:

No, I don't recall you guys ever having said anything bad about FATE, either.

Also, what's the background behind that quote? Who's trying to make a FATE CRPG?

I think they're drawing a parallel between it and Pillars of Eternity? I dunno anything about either, but here's the link:
http://www.reddit.com/r/projecteternity/comments/3591d5/anyone_elses_brain_broken_by_the_new_stat/

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Strength being equally good for wizards and fighters goes back forever, i don't know what that thread OP's talking about.

(Specifically it goes back to Tunnels and Trolls, where the wizard's mana pool is their strength stat, which was supposed to represent "Magic tires you out" but mostly just resulted in "Wizards spend their level up stat points to get super-swole in order to cast stronger spells.")

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

unseenlibrarian posted:

Strength being equally good for wizards and fighters goes back forever, i don't know what that thread OP's talking about.

(Specifically it goes back to Tunnels and Trolls, where the wizard's mana pool is their strength stat, which was supposed to represent "Magic tires you out" but mostly just resulted in "Wizards spend their level up stat points to get super-swole in order to cast stronger spells.")
The Fantasy Trip was the same way. Each character had three stats: DX, ST, IQ. Spellcasters used IQ to learn spells, DX to succesfully cast them, and ST to power them, while non-casters used IQ to learn skills and feats, DX to score hits in combat and dodge blows, and ST to do damage and absorb damage. The result was that wizards capable of casting high-power spells looked like circus strongmen and could also splat orcs with their fists and walk across lava with no problem.

That's why when Steve Jackson designed the follow-up game to TFT, he split ST into two stats - Strength and Health. Which led to GURPS horrifically gimping physical/melee characters and the rise of IQ and DX as god-stats.

Esser-Z
Jun 3, 2012



FMguru posted:

The Fantasy Trip was the same way. Each character had three stats: DX, ST, IQ. Spellcasters used IQ to learn spells, DX to succesfully cast them, and ST to power them, while non-casters used IQ to learn skills and feats, DX to score hits in combat and dodge blows, and ST to do damage and absorb damage. The result was that wizards capable of casting high-power spells looked like circus strongmen and could also splat orcs with their fists and walk across lava with no problem.

That's why when Steve Jackson designed the follow-up game to TFT, he split ST into two stats - Strength and Health. Which led to GURPS horrifically gimping physical/melee characters and the rise of IQ and DX as god-stats.

Damnit, Jackson. Strongmen wizards are a feature, not a bug!

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



FMguru posted:

...
That's why when Steve Jackson designed the follow-up game to TFT, he split ST into two stats - Strength and Health. Which led to GURPS horrifically gimping physical/melee characters and the rise of IQ and DX as god-stats.

Isn't that the reason DX/IQ cost twice as much as ST/HT? I've only played 4e so I'm not sure how it worked in earlier GURPS editions.

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unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

8one6 posted:

Isn't that the reason DX/IQ cost twice as much as ST/HT? I've only played 4e so I'm not sure how it worked in earlier GURPS editions.

That was a 4E Change- 3E and earlier they all cost the same.

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