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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

I think that'll do.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

Okay. We have our union organizer and secret wizard, a resurrectionist miner and a mercenary Freikorpsmann - probably someone in a company associated with them, as the full Freikorps themselves are top fuckin' tier and an advanced thing. We start with the Station, drawing the central card of the Cross Roads. This will determine the character's parentage and the final line of their Fate.



For our Union man, that's the Two of Rams. Station: Indentured Servant. So his parents are basically slaves, and we grew up in a servant's household.

quote:

It is an unfortunate parent who must decide between debtor's prison and indentured servitude. Working off a deep debt, however, keeps them close to their family and out of irons.

The Station skill for this is Pneumatic. We note this for later and see our current Fate:

quote:

...and you will forget yourself.



Our Resurrectionist-to-be has the Three of Crows - Dabbler. Her parents dabbled in magical arts somehow and got into some shady poo poo as a result.

quote:

Your family secretly dablled in the magical arts, trading dusty tomes with dangerous people. The search for esoteric power, however, was often its own reward.

The Station skill is Prestidigitation, noted for later. Our current Fate:

quote:

...and you will be maimed.



Our mercenary gets the Ten of Tomes - Madame. Her parents ran a bordello.

quote:

Every urban center is home to a brothel or ten. Your guardian was in charge of one of these houses, and you spent your youth surrounded by the wealthy and their concubines.

The Station skill is Intimidate. Our current Fate:

quote:

...and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.



Our drunk gets the 7 of Masks - Hawker. Some kind of street salespeople.

quote:

While general stores carry merchandise tailored to everyday life, a hawker provides immediate convenience and inexpensive (if shady) goods. These traveling peddlers might be perfectly fair merchants, but many work with street urchins to turn an even greater profit.

The Station skill is Appraise. Our current Fate:

quote:

...and you will unshackle the prisoner.

So, we're starting to see some shape here. Next, we deal a card to the left of the Station, the Western or Body card. This determines the character's physical aspects. It gives us four values we can assign as we like.



For the Union man, our card is the 9 of Tomes - -1/-1/0/+2. So he's not so great at two things, average at one and pretty good at another. We know his parents were servants, and that he ended up a gregarious Union guy. I think that he spent a lot of time indoors, watching people, so he's not so tough or strong, but he's picked up some real physical grace. Might -1, Grace 2, Speed 0, Resilience -1. Our Fate is now:

quote:

The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.



Our Resurrectionist draws the 13 of Tomes - that's a King. -1/-1/-1/+3. So really good at one thing, but not so hot at anything else. She was raised by mystical dilettantes or dabblers, so I think that she ended up fairly tough, having to be around all that incense and smoke, but she never really exercised anything much. Might -1, Grace -1, Speed -1, Resilience 3. Our Fate is now:

quote:

Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.



Our mercenary draws the 2 of Tomes. -3/0/+1/+2. So she's decent at two things, but terrible at a third. She grew up around the wealthy and prostitutes. I think she ended up strong and graceful, but not very fast - she was never allowed to run around, for fear of disturbing someone. Might 2, Grace 1, Speed -3, Resilience 0. Our Fate is now:

quote:

The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.



Our drunk draws the 12 of Tomes. Lots of Tomes today! This is -2/-1/0/3. Really good at one thing, but pretty bad at two others. Growing up around traveling merchants, I think he got fast and quick, but he got sick pretty often and was never a graceful kid. Might 0, Grace -2, Speed 3, Resilience -1. Our Fate:

quote:

Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.

From here, we move to the Northern position, for the Root Skills. This represents the skills learned early in life.



The Union guy gets the Eight of Masks. This gives 3, 2, 2, 2. We can't assign any of them to the same skill. We turn to our skill list. The skill types are Academics, Close Combat, Crafting, Expertise, Magical, Ranged Combat, Social and Training. Academic Skills are: Art (Cunning), Bureaucracy (Cunning), Engineering (Intellect), Mathematics (Intellect), History (Intellect) and Literacy (Cunning). Close Combat skills are Flexible (Grace), Heavy Melee (Might), Martial Arts (Speed), Melee (Might), Pneumatic (Might) and Pugilism (Might). Crafting is Alchemistry (Intellect), Artefacting (Cunning), Blacksmithing (Intellect), Farming (Tenacity), Homestedaing (Tenacity), Printing (Intellect) and Stitching (Cunning). Expertise is Appraise (Cunning), Doctor (Intellect), Explosives (Intellect), Forgery (cunning), Gambling (Cunning), Husbandry (Charm), Lockpicking (Grace), Music (Charm), Navigation (Tenacity), Pick Pocket (Speed), Scrutiny (Cunning), Track (Cunning) and Wilderness (Cunning). Magical is Counter-Spelling (Tenacity), Enchanting (Charm or Cunning), Harness Soulstone (Charm), Necromancy (Charm or Tenacity), Sorcery (Intellect or Tenacity) and Prestidigitation (Cunning or Intellect). Ranged Combat is Archery (Grace), Heavy Guns (Might), Long Arms (Intellect), Pistol (Grace), Shotgun (Grace) and Thrown Weapons (Grace). Social is Barter (Tenacity), Bewitch (Charm), Convince (Intellect), Deceive (Intellect), Intimidate (Tenacity), Leadership (Charm) and Teach (Intellect). Training is Acrobatics (Grace), Athletics (Might), Carouse (Resilience), Centering (Tenacity), Evade (Speed), Labor (Resilience), Notice (Cunning), Stealth (Cunning) and Toughness (Resilience).

So, we have a 3, and three 2s to assign to four skills. Any skills we like. We grew up among servants, and we know this guy is pretty sneaky. I'd say he gets Deceive 3, thanks to lying to the people his parents served, Labor 2, for doing manual labor, Notice 2, for picking up on small details, and Evade 2, for getting the hell out of the way when the son of the family that his parents worked for was around and felt like bullying him. Our Fate is now:

quote:

...for the silence brings inspiration at the door.
The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.



The 6 of Tomes offers 3,2,2,1,1. Now, we know that magic was an obsessional hobby for our resurrectionist's parents. So, we'll say that she picked up Necromancy 3 - it's a family trade. She dabbled in a lot, though, getting Counter-Spelling 2 and Scrutiny 2, to better deal with magic and watch for tricky people. She learned some History 1 from how she grew up, and picked up on some Music 1, too. Well-rounded education, you know. Fate:

quote:

...as the jester dances where he will.
Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.



Our mercenary draws the 2 of Rams. 3,2,1,1,1,1. I'll say she picked up Gambling 3 from playing around with clients and Bewitch 2 from watching the girls. She then got a hodgepodge of other skills from her upbringing - Scrutiny 1, Athletics 1, Carouse 1 and Pugilism 1. She grew up among nobles, but also criminals, and she learned to watch people and make friends, leg it when it got too rough and fight when she couldn't run. Fate:

quote:

...for the gloom will deny that it knows you.
The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.



Our drunk draws the 3 of Masks. 3,2,1,1,1,1. We take Pick Pocket 3 - he was set by his parents to steal for a living. He also gets Carouse 2, for the fun he had around town, Barter 1 for watching his parents, Intimidate 1 for scaring the local kids, Evade 1 for dodging trouble and Pugilism 1 for starting it. Fate:

quote:

...as the living wither from your grasp.
Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.

Next time: More chargen.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012
Through the Breach has my favorite kind of chargen: It pretends to be random, but it's really not random in any important way. All of the possible spreads you can draw are balanced (they all add up to +0), and you're guaranteed to be able to get a 3 in the characteristic that matters most to you.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

We left off on the Eastern card, the Mind. Mental stats are developed as the character matures, learning critical life skills. This is all about experience as an adolescent, really.



For our Union man, that's the One of Rams. -3/0/0/+3. He's really good ato ne thing and really bad at another. We know he's a wizard, but his cover seems more important here, too. We'll give him Charm 0, Cunning 0, Intellect 3, Tenacity -3. He's very smart and articulate, if not super charming, but he's lacking in willpower. Fate:

quote:

...you will make dust of the ram's horns
for the silence brings inspiration at the door.
The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.



The 9 of Tomes for our Resurrectionist. She gets -1/-1/0/+2. We'll go with Charm 2, Cunning -1, Intellect -1, Tenacity 0. She gets by on charm and wit rather than book learning or manipulation, but she's only a little below average at those. Fate:

quote:

...the gloom will know you as a brother
as the jester dances where he will.
Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.



The mercenary draws the 3 of Crows. -2/-1/+1/+2. She seems more cunning than charming or smart. We'll go with Charm -1, Cunning 2, Intellect -2, Tenacity 1.

quote:

...you will be reborn of flesh and redemption
for the gloom will deny that it knows you.
The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.



Our drunk draws the 11 of Masks. -2/-1/0/3. Again, cunning seems to fit best. Charm -2, Cunning 3, Intellect -1, Tenacity 0.

[quite]...your ruination will hound your desperate exodus
as the living wither from your grasp.
Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.[/quote]

This brings us to the final card, the Southern or Endeavor skill card. This gives you the skills that the character chose in maturity. Again, the points can be assigned to any skills you want, but not added to any skill already having points. After that we go back and check our Station skills. If the character didn't end up with it, they get it at 1, otherwise they get 1 XP.



Our Union man's final card is the 7 of Masks. 3,2,2,2. We assign the 3 to Sorcery and a 2 to Enchantment, then another 2 to Leadership, and a final 2 in Convince. His Fate is now complete. Station skill was Pneumatic.

quote:

pre:
Might -1	Charm 0
Grace 2		Cunning 0
Speed 0		Intellect 3
Resilience -1	Tenacity -3
Deceive (Intellect) 3, Sorcery (Intellect or Tenacity) 3, Enchantment (Charm or Cunning) 2, Leadership (Charm) 2, Convince (Intellect) 2, Labor (Resilience) 2, Notice (Cunning) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Pneumatic (Might) 1

After the reaper has come for innocence
you will make dust of the ram's horns
for the silence brings inspiration at the door.
The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.



The REsurrectionist draws the 9 of Crows. 3,2,2,2. We'll go for Engineering 3, Enchantment 2, Stitching 2 and Bewitch 2. Station skill was Prestidigitation.

quote:

pre:
Might -1		Charm 2
Grace -1		Cunning -1
Speed -1		Intellect -1
Resilience 3		Tenacity 0
Necromancy (Charm or Tenacity) 3, Engineering (Intellect) 3, Enchantment (Charm or Cunning) 2, Stitching (Cunning) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Counter-Spelling (Tenacity) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 2, History (Intellect) 1, Music (Charm) 1, Prestidigitation (Cunning or Intellect) 1

As the hunter watches you swallow the maggots
the gloom will know you as a brother
as the jester dances where he will.
Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.



Our merc draws the 6 of Crows. 3,2,2,1,1. We'll go with Pistol 3, Melee 2, Evade 2, Toughness 1, Track 1. Station skill was Intimidate.

quote:

pre:
Might 2		Charm -1
Grace 1		Cunning 2
Speed -3	Intellect -2
Resilience 0	Tenacity 1
Gambling (Cunning) 3, Pistol (Grace) 3, Melee (Might) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 1, Athletics (Might) 1, Carouse (Resilience) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Toughness (Resilience) 1, Track (Cunning) 1, Intimidate (Tenacity) 1

Once your stains have been bound within
you will be reborn of flesh and redemption
for the gloom will deny that it knows you.
The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.



Our drunk draws the 13 of Tomes. 3,3,2. We'll want Toughness 3, Artefacting 3 and Pneumatic 2, I think. Station skill was Appraise.

quote:

pre:
Might 0		Charm -2
Grace -2	Cunning 3
Speed 3		Intellect -1
Resilience -1	Tenacity 0
Pick Pocket (Speed) 3, Toughness (Resilience) 3, Artefacting (Cunning) 3, Pneumatic (Might) 2, Carouse (Resilience) 2, Barter (Tenacity) 1, Evade (Speed) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Appraise (Cunning) 1

As you walk the lonely road
your ruination will hound your desperate exodus
as the living wither from your grasp.
Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.

After this, you get 2 points to spend to boost aspects. These can be spent as you like on any aspects, and can be spent on the same one. However, they can't raise a stat over 3. We'll boost our Union man to Charm 1 and Might 0. Our Resurrectionist will take Charm 3 and Intellect 0. Our merc will take Might 3, Grace 2. Our drunk will take Tenacity 1, Resilience 0.

Next time: Pursuits and Fate.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Jun 21, 2015

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011

Doresh posted:

I will never understand why they overuse "demon" so much. They have like at least [insert number of WoD lines] different terms for everything else.

It's a really, really generic term.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib
I think part of it too is that it's meant to be confusing. Hunters don't know the ins and outs of demons the way capital-D Demons themselves do, they don't get the difference between fallen God-Machine angels and weird infernal spirits and body-riding whatevers, it's all just demons to them.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008

THUNDERDOME LOSER

Mors Rattus posted:

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac
:words:

:stare: Holy crap, I need this game yesterday.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


Unknown Armies, part 14: Avatars, pt 3



quote:

When you’re drunk, reality opens up for you and allows you to fly away. Just remember to take your parachute with you.

The Messenger



The Messenger is the Archetype concerned with spreading knowledge and carrying news to those who need to know it. It's worth noting that the Archetype might be more accurately be referred to as the "Journalist" as its powers and themes share more in common with investigative reporters than the old-fashioned runners or pony-express letter carriers its name implies. This is actually quite important as the Messenger Archetype is currently the focus of a philosophical battle, the focus of which is Dermott Arkane (the unseen antagonist from the opening fiction), the most powerful Avatar of the messenger.

Taboo: The Messenger may never deny the truth. They can fail to mention information or provide false information in ignorance but can never outright deny something they know to be true without breaking Taboo. This alone gives Messenger Avatars a special place in the Occult Underground, as someone you can be fairly sure is not lying to you is a rare thing indeed. Interestingly you aren't actually penalized for telling lies, just for denying true statements made by others. It's a bit of an odd distinction.

Suspected Avatars It's believed Paul Revere channeled the Messenger, as did the ancient greek soldier Pheidippides, making the Messenger one of the oldest "modern" Archetypes (meaning ones that haven't existed since the dawn of mankind).

Messenger Channels

1-50 When the Messenger speaks it is difficult to deny the truth of his words. To use this you must make an Avatar roll and be making a declaration that you firmly believe to be true and which is actually true. If you think you're telling a lie which just so happens to be the case it does nothing and likewise if you make a false statement you believe to be true. Anyone in your presence who knows the truth of the statement must acknowledge the truth of the Messenger's words. Resisting requires a Self or Helplessness Check (rank 6).

Again, this only affects those who already know the truth, it does not help you convince those who are ignorant...making it a powerful "interview" or interrogation tool but not actually that useful for simply delivery news (hence my earlier Journalist comparison).

51-70% If the Messenger is delivering information that would be important to the recipient (whether good or ill) they can make an Avatar roll to remove any physical impediments which may prevent them from reaching the target: gags fall out, doors unlock, knots untie, etc. Messengers make incredible process servers. This is limited to useful coincidences and minor physical alterations. You can unlock a door or unstick a window...you can't step through walls or walk on water.

71-90% With an Avatar roll you can perform divination rituals (your choice, tea leaves, tarot cards, etc) to learn about a person, place or thing. There are some limits: the [Noun] must be in your presence and the reply is limited to either vague prophecies or extremely specific 3 word statements. One of those "depends on the GM" abilities.

91+%: This channel is maddeningly vague:

quote:

91%+: At this level, the Messenger can get to any important event, as long as he knows it’s occurring. He does not have to know where, or even what it is, but he can simply appear in the area, much like an Avatar of the Pilgrim. The limitation on this channel is that the Messenger can only go where an event is occurring—not where it’s going to happen or has happened. There is also a gray area about what constitutes an “important” event. A presidential assassination, an act of war, or the generation of a major charge all qualify, but for other events it’s up to the GM to decide. (GMs should be lenient, of course: if it’s important to a hundred people or more, this should work.)

Part of the issue is that it's referring to the Pilgrim's abilities for the exact effect (which is bad form when the pilgrim comes later in the book), and the Pilgrim has several abilities that allow them to get somewhere...their first channel lets them flip flop rolls to reach their destination, their second lets them travel cross-continent in a single day and their final channel lets them travel through any door or down any road and step out of any other door or road. So...which does the Messenger do? The text seems to imply the second or final channel but its not clear which. It's also unclear how exactly a messenger would travel to an event when he does not know "...where, or even what, it is...". Is it like Synchronicity? Just walk and you show up at whatever important event might be occurring somewhere in the world?

quote:

Cats are secretly the bodily manifestation of angels.

The Mother



A lot of Archetypes start with the letter "M". Anyway, the Mother seems like another one of those Archetypes that need no introduction...but UA actually has a few twists that are worth noting. Obviously the Mother represents a nurturing, protective force of compassion and love. However, nothing in UA can be completely and utterly positive so there is also a dark side, the "devouring mother" who keeps her "children" dependent and under her thumb. It is also worth noting that this Archetype is not restricted by sex, men and women may channel the Mother.

Taboo: To harm or allow others to harm a child breaks taboo. Here "child" is defined as an actual adolescent (15 years or younger), although this is not the case for the Mother's channels. It notes that a "devouring" Mother might kill a child before allowing them to leave her...but wouldn't simply hurt them. It seems like it should really be the other way around, but whatever.

Suspected Avatars: Eva Peron is apparently hotly debated as a possible Avatar of the Mother, who I had to look up on Wikipedia. No mention of Mother Teresa? Really? Probably the most famous person with "Mother" in their darn name.

Mother Channel:

1-50%: Your comfort can heal both physical and mental wounds. All it takes is acts of physical and emotional comfort and a successful Avatar roll. This can either heal 5 points of damage or act as an application of psychological first aid. This only works on your "children". Children here is metaphorical (although it obviously works on your literal children), it can affect anybody who is at least 10 years younger than you and sees you as a maternal figure.

51-70%: You can go mama bear whenever your "children" (as defined in the previous channel) are threatened. It means you can use your Avatar skill in place of Initiative and Struggle skills and you get a +5 to hand-to-hand damage (in addition to weapon bonuses) against anyone who is threatening one of your children.

71-90% It's difficult for anyone to harm you, because its like hurting their own mother, inflicting a Rank-10 Self check. Even if they succeed they lose their first action making the roll. You can also use your Avatar skill in place of Charm. There's just one downside: you have to be pregnant for either of these to work...kind of sucks compared to the third channel for most other Avatars.

91+ You cannot be killed while in the presence of an endangered child, you can keep going after reaching 0 until the threat is gone or until the child is dead/gone, at which point you die. It does not actually specify whether it means actual children or simply those who you see as your children (a distinction which was made for the first two channels).

quote:

The fate of the world rests upon the shoulders of seven honest and devout ordinary men. If there are ever less than seven, God will destroy this earth.

The MVP



This one honestly always seemed a little shaky to me as an Archetype...but then again I'm not a sports guy so perhaps it's just my prejudice showing. But then again almost all other Avatars the book managed to "sum up" in just two to three short paragraphs (the merchant took only one) and the MVP takes up half a page to describe. In fact the description is a lot more like a sports-based Adept (bearing a lot of resemblance to the Videomancer in concept).

That could be an adept: Fanomancer. Paradox centered around devotion to an athletic ideal and way of life they'll never attain themselves.

Anyway, the MVP is about being an amazing athlete and a pillar of the community...making it completely unsuited to the standard gameplay of Unknown Armies. Can you imagine getting up to the sort of poo poo a UA PC gets up to while still having the time (and health) to practice and play and make sure you stay squeaky clean in public? This becomes increasingly obvious with the channels and it seems like the MVP is really just intended for NPCs to be used as catspaws by PCs or their rivals.

Taboo: The MVP must display good sportsmanship (dignity when losing and humility when winning) and must never be publicly proven to have cheated or broken the law. It's unclear if the second would basically void your status as an Avatar or if it just counts as a 1-3 point "ding" any time some scandal comes to light.

Suspected Avatars Michael Jordan, Mark MacGuire, Jesse Owens. Basically any big name in sports who wasn't also publicly known as a son-of-a-bitch was probably an Avatar to some degree or other.

MVP Channels

1-50% For every thousand people watching and rooting for you, you get +1% to your [Sports] skill, up to a maximum of your Avatar Skill or your Body Stat. Even considering how weak the effect of a boosted sports ability is this channel kind of sucks...I mean your sports skill is almost certainly going to be higher than your Avatar skill at low levels (or you wouldn't be considered a very valuable player at all) and even once your Avatar skill is high enough that it might make a difference you run into the issue that your skill is probably already close to your Body already. Most MVP Avatars will spend the first 50 points in their skill on effectively nothing.

51-70%: When outnumbered in any kind of contest (this includes combat) your relevant skill goes up by 5% for each extra opponent and if you're behind in a competition you get +2% for each point you're behind. This can go over your relevant stat unlike the first channel, making it significantly more helpful.

71-90% Every time your team wins the GM makes some small improvement to the quality of life in the town or city the MVP lives in.

[i]91+%[/] By giving advice or encouragement to fans (or in the case of children, giving an autograph or other token) the MVP can erase failed or hardened notches from Madness Meters, so long as it hasn't been completely Hardened. This can be done a maximum of once per week.

quote:

There are eight insect legs in every bar of chocolate. And it’s some guy’s job to put them in.

Next we'll go with the Mystic Hermaphrodite, The Pilgrim and the Savage

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

oriongates posted:

51-70% If the Messenger is delivering information that would be important to the recipient (whether good or ill) they can make an Avatar roll to remove any physical impediments which may prevent them from reaching the target: gags fall out, doors unlock, knots untie, etc. Messengers make incredible process servers. This is limited to useful coincidences and minor physical alterations. You can unlock a door or unstick a window...you can't step through walls or walk on water.

Always keep some important news available. Should you get locked up by someone you can decide that you urgently need to deliver it right now.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012



Gotta say, the UA avatars don't seem particularly well balanced.

On the one hand, you get the merchant, who can call up the devil and sell him hobo souls for immortality without any particular risk. On the other, you have the MVP who is... so good at sports that it can make him a tiny bit less crazy?

And the abilities are even worse. The second merchant ability lets you trade your way to borderline godhood. Meanwhile, the last merchant ability forces attacks against you to use two rounds instead of one. When you're an archetype basically built so that people won't be getting into face to face fights with you, and if you're halfway clever you probably picked up some hefty defenses on that front anyway.

I mean, there's a lot of nifty thematic stuff, but there's also a lot that just doesn't work.

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.

oriongates posted:

The Mother

Suspected Avatars: Eva Peron is apparently hotly debated as a possible Avatar of the Mother, who I had to look up on Wikipedia. No mention of Mother Teresa? Really? Probably the most famous person with "Mother" in their darn name.

Leaving aside that Mother was an ecclesiastical title for her, she was a really terrible person with good PR and you have to actually do things to get the universe to reward you with Avatar status, not just have the media tell people you do good things.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

Pope Guilty posted:

Leaving aside that Mother was an ecclesiastical title for her, she was a really terrible person with good PR and you have to actually do things to get the universe to reward you with Avatar status, not just have the media tell people you do good things.

And eva Peron isn't?

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


chiasaur11 posted:

Gotta say, the UA avatars don't seem particularly well balanced.

On the one hand, you get the merchant, who can call up the devil and sell him hobo souls for immortality without any particular risk. On the other, you have the MVP who is... so good at sports that it can make him a tiny bit less crazy?

And the abilities are even worse. The second merchant ability lets you trade your way to borderline godhood. Meanwhile, the last merchant ability forces attacks against you to use two rounds instead of one. When you're an archetype basically built so that people won't be getting into face to face fights with you, and if you're halfway clever you probably picked up some hefty defenses on that front anyway.

I mean, there's a lot of nifty thematic stuff, but there's also a lot that just doesn't work.

I have to agree. The Avatars are kind of all over the place. Which is too bad, because I quite like Avatars conceptually but when it comes down to it a lot of the Avatars are kind of a mess...their power level is all over the place and there's a lot of powers with kind of shaky conceptual ground. It really stands out when compared to the Adepts who're mostly done extremely well. Perhaps it's because adepts are naturally more complicated so more thought was put into them.

quote:

Leaving aside that Mother was an ecclesiastical title for her, she was a really terrible person with good PR and you have to actually do things to get the universe to reward you with Avatar status, not just have the media tell people you do good things.

Fair enough.

Amusingly though, that's not actually a bar...all you have to do to channel the Mother is not break taboo. That means so long as she doesn't hit kids, she's golden as far as the rules are concerned...and good PR would actually suffice as far as the channels go (it's about how the subject sees you, not vice versa).

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

NutritiousSnack posted:

It's a really, really generic term.

Which is a total no-go in any 90s-style supernatural RPG.

Terrible Opinions posted:

Why didn't they include hippos and tapirs? They're fit the theme a whole lot better than subdividing elephants. Unless they put those guys somewhere else. I'm guessing the answer is that the author is an idiot.

Who needs to have a splat based on one of the African species with the highest human body count in a game about Mother Nature's revenge against iPods?

Tasoth posted:

Pretty sure the spaceships are triremes as interstellar travel happens in a storm tossed void the color of wine. Which you can survive in indefinitely if you fall overboard and land on an island in it. There's other neat things and characters are slated to die or disappear because heroes bring it on themselves by being heroic.

So it's ancient Greek Spelljammer? Neato.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012

Pope Guilty posted:

Leaving aside that Mother was an ecclesiastical title for her, she was a really terrible person with good PR and you have to actually do things to get the universe to reward you with Avatar status, not just have the media tell people you do good things.

I'm not actually sure that's true- the whole point of being an Avatar is that you don't necessarily have to buy into it, as long as you don't break taboo.

Also the MVP is great and one of the first things that sold me on UA when I read the book. I distinctly remember the book explains the logic behind including them as "for every person in the world who knows anything at all about John Dee and hermetic magic, there are a thousand who can tell you who won silver in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics." It gives you a sense of what other things are Avatars in the 21st century, is especially good for NPCs, and it gives options for a less street-level game in the vein of a show like Empire about a pro athlete and his entourage making a play for Ascension.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

When we left off, we had to look at our Fates and Pursuits. The Fate, that poem we've assembled, comes into play later - during the game. Basically, the GM is going to make sure that circumstances arise to fulfill the Fate somehow, though I imagine in practice that generally means interpreting events such that they seem to fit because of how maddeningly opaque this poo poo can be. As Fate is fulfilled, you get special bonuses which we'll discuss later. So, instead, Pursuit. Pursuit is kind of like character class - it's your rough archetype and it gives you access to one or more Talents, one of which you will lose access to if you change your Pursuit - see, you can change your Pursuit before any session. The one you start out with, however, also determines your starting equipment. At character generation you can only take a Novice Pursuit - one that has no prerequisites. The book doesn't have any of the other kind - the Advanced Pursuits, which you need to meet the requirements of before you can take them. There's a few in the Fatemaster's Almanac.

The available Novice Pursuits are: The Academic, a loremaster. The Criminal, a thief and procurer. The Dabbler, a beginning mystic. The Drudge, a laborer who often has a steam-powered limb. The Graverobber, someone seeking necromantic power. The Guard, a defensive specialist. The Gunfighter, a master of pistols and shotguns. The Mercenary, a master of rifles and long arms. The Overseer, a support specialist and foreman. The Performer, a musician and master of misdirection. The Pioneer, a survivor and wilderness specialist. The Scrapper, an unarmed and melee fighter. The Tinkerer, a master of machinery. And the Wastrel, a gambler and disguise artist.

For our Union man, this is a tough choice. We could go with Dabbler or Tinkerer - both are magic-using Pursuits. I think, ultimately, we want the Tinkerer - the guy is part of the Union, after all, and the Tinkerer also specializes in Enchanting and Sorcery. The Tinkerer also begins the game with 1 Enchanting Magia, 1 Sorcery Magia and 3 Immuto. What are those? Well, I'll explain in a bit, they're kind of the back of the book, but for our purposes: Magia is a spell, Immuto is a spell modifier. The Tinkerer must also choose a Magical Theory talent. Lastly, they get the Gear Head Talent as their Pursuit Talent: Whenever they fail a Magic duel (read: an action that requires flipping a card to see how well you do), they can draw a card from their Twist Deck. We'll get into what that is in just a moment. Also, at the end of a session they may choose to advance a Magical skill rather than any options presented by the GM. For our Magical Theory, we could go with the Darlin Theories and rely on having a special pneumatic device to do magic, but this guy's not really an artificer. Instead, I think we'll go with Tradition Magic - he was brought into a family tradition, and gets a bonus to using Sorcery, but can never learn Necromancy well. We grab Elemental Projectile and Heal as his Magia, so he can shoot people and heal people, and Electric, Darkness and Increased Damage as his Immuto - basically, he can shoot lightning or darkness blasts, and he can make the spell harder to increase his damage.

quote:

Pursuit: Tinkerer

pre:
Might 0		Charm 1
Grace 2		Cunning 0
Speed 0		Intellect 3
Resilience -1	Tenacity -3
Deceive (Intellect) 3, Sorcery (Intellect or Tenacity) 3, Enchantment (Charm or Cunning) 2, Leadership (Charm) 2, Convince (Intellect) 2, Labor (Resilience) 2, Notice (Cunning) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Pneumatic (Might) 1

Talents: Gear Head, Tradition Magic (Sorcery)

Magia: Elemental Projectile (Sorcery, Intellect), Heal (Enchanting, Cunning)

Immuto: Electric, Darkness, Increased Damage

Gear: Grimoire

After the reaper has come for innocence
you will make dust of the ram's horns
for the silence brings inspiration at the door.
The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.

Our necromancer lady obviously selects Graverobber as her Pursuit. She gets Black Soul, which has the same effects as Gear Head, and she starts with a Grimoire containing a Necromancy MAgi, an Enchanting Magia and 3 Immuto, plus a Magical Theory talent herself. For her Magic Theory, we could take the Whisper, which gives a bonus to necromancy and magic on undead, but gives a penalty to Intellect duels, so that might not be our best choice, since we have a bunch of Intellect-based skills. Instead, we go for The Court Procedure, which makes it harder for us to cast spells resisted by Defense, but easier to cast spells resisted by Willpower. We grab Physical Enhancement and Raise Undead as our magia, and Focus Object, Increase AP and Increased Duration as our Immuto. We'll get to what that all means...eventually. Organization!

quote:

Pursuit: Graverobber

pre:
Might -1		Charm 3
Grace -1		Cunning -1
Speed -1		Intellect 0
Resilience 3		Tenacity 0
Necromancy (Charm or Tenacity) 3, Engineering (Intellect) 3, Labor (Resilience) 2, Stitching (Cunning) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Counter-Spelling (Tenacity) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 2, History (Intellect) 1, Music (Charm) 1, Prestidigitation (Cunning or Intellect) 1

Talents: Black Soul, Court Procedure

Magia: Physical Enhancement (Charm, Enchanting), Raise Undead (Charm, Necromancy)

Immuto: Focus Object, Increase AP, Increased Duration

As the hunter watches you swallow the maggots
the gloom will know you as a brother
as the jester dances where he will.
Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.

For our mercenary, Mercenary is actually a poor choice - it's for rifles, not pistols. So we take Gunfighter instead. She gets Finger on the Trigger - when she fails a Ranged Combat duel, she can draw a card, and she can advance a Ranged Combat skill instead of anything the GM offers at the end of session. She starts the game with one pistol or shotgun worth up to 20 scrip, with one free customization. We'll take the Collier Single Action Army revolver, which gives a bonus to intimidation as well as being a hefty gun, and we'll apply a free Custom Grip so that it gets a bonus on attack.

quote:

Pursuit: Gunfighter

pre:
Might 3			Charm -1
Grace 2			Cunning 2
Speed -3		Intellect -2
Resilience 0		Tenacity 1
Gambling (Cunning) 3, Pistol (Grace) 3, Melee (Might) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 1, Athletics (Might) 1, Carouse (Resilience) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Toughness (Resilience) 1, Track (Cunning) 1, Intimidate (Tenacity) 1

Talents: Finger on the Trigger

Gear: Collier Single Action Army (Custom Grip)

Once your stains have been bound within
you will be reborn of flesh and redemption
for the gloom will deny that it knows you.
The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.

Our drunk seems to be a perfect Wastrel. That gives him the Educated talent, which lets him draw on failed Expertise duels and advane an Expertise skill after sessions instead of the GM's granted options. He also begins the game with a free non-magical skill toolkit. This gives tools suitable to perform any tool-required skills of a certain type, plus a bonus to one skill of that type. Ultimately, I think we want Crafting (Artefacting).

quote:

Pursuit: Wastrel

pre:
Might 0			Charm -2
Grace -2		Cunning 3
Speed 3			Intellect -1
Resilience 0		Tenacity 1
Pick Pocket (Speed) 3, Toughness (Resilience) 3, Artefacting (Cunning) 3, Pneumatic (Might) 2, Carouse (Resilience) 2, Barter (Tenacity) 1, Evade (Speed) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Appraise (Cunning) 1

Talents: Educated

Gear: Crafting (Artefacting) toolkit

As you walk the lonely road
your ruination will hound your desperate exodus
as the living wither from your grasp.
Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.

After this, we calculate derived aspects. Defense (Df) is 2 plus the higher of Evade and Speed. Willpower (Wp) is 2 plus the higher of Centering and Tenacity. Wounds is 4 + Toughness, plus half Resilience (rounding up) if Resilience is positive. It's HP. Walk is how far you can go in yards in a Walk action - 4 plus half your Speed, rounding in whatever way is better for the character. Charge is how far you can move in a charge. 4 plus your Speed, or your Walk if Charge would be slower. Height is how big you are - humans are Height 2. And you get the Living and Fated aspects - primarily, this is about keywords and unlocking Talents. Some Talents are Fated-only, so only PCs get them. You then get to choose one General Talent. I'll go over the whole list later, but for our purposes I'll pick some out and explain what they do. Characters also get 10 Guild Scrip to spend on equipment, plus 5 free reloads for any gun they happen town and an assumed wardrobe of whatever suits the character. If you own more than one gun, you get 5 free reloads, total, to split between your guns.

quote:

Pursuit: Tinkerer

[ore]Might 0 Charm 1
Grace 2 Cunning 0
Speed 0 Intellect 3
Resilience -1 Tenacity -3[/pre]

Deceive (Intellect) 3, Sorcery (Intellect or Tenacity) 3, Enchantment (Charm or Cunning) 2, Leadership (Charm) 2, Convince (Intellect) 2, Labor (Resilience) 2, Notice (Cunning) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Pneumatic (Might) 1

Talents: Gear Head, Tradition Magic (Sorcery), Specialized Skill (Sorcery, Tomes)

Magia: Elemental Projectile (Sorcery, Intellect), Heal (Enchanting, Cunning)

Immuto: Electric, Darkness, Increased Damage

Gear: Grimoire, 10 Scrip

After the reaper has come for innocence
you will make dust of the ram's horns
for the silence brings inspiration at the door.
The reflection in the water shows the truth
and you will forget yourself.

Specialized Skill means that any Sorcery action that our union guy takes automatically has the Tomes suit in addition to whatever is drawn - important, because our Sorcery spell requires Tomes to function properly. This means he can pretty reliably shoot people with magic and not worry about the fact that he owns no weapons.

quote:

Pursuit: Graverobber

pre:
Might -1		Charm 3
Grace -1		Cunning -1
Speed -1		Intellect 0
Resilience 3		Tenacity 0
Necromancy (Charm or Tenacity) 3, Engineering (Intellect) 3, Labor (Resilience) 2, Stitching (Cunning) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Counter-Spelling (Tenacity) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 2, History (Intellect) 1, Music (Charm) 1, Prestidigitation (Cunning or Intellect) 1

Talents: Black Soul, Court Procedure, Unassuming

Gear: Grimoire, Staff

Magia: Physical Enhancement (Charm, Enchanting), Raise Undead (Charm, Necromancy)

Immuto: Focus Object, Increase AP, Increased Duration

As the hunter watches you swallow the maggots
the gloom will know you as a brother
as the jester dances where he will.
Worlds of marble turn flesh again
and you will be maimed.

We pick up a custom staff - a nice stunning weapon, but more importantly a good focus object for our spellcasting. We also grab Unassuming, which requires us to have Might -1 or lower and gives us a bonus to any Duel to avoid notice in a group or avoid angering someone.

quote:

Pursuit: Gunfighter

pre:
Might 3			Charm -1
Grace 2			Cunning 2
Speed -3		Intellect -2
Resilience 0		Tenacity 1
Gambling (Cunning) 3, Pistol (Grace) 3, Melee (Might) 2, Bewitch (Charm) 2, Evade (Speed) 2, Scrutiny (Cunning) 1, Athletics (Might) 1, Carouse (Resilience) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Toughness (Resilience) 1, Track (Cunning) 1, Intimidate (Tenacity) 1

Talents: Finger on the Trigger, Just A Graze

Gear: Collier Single Action Army (Custom Grip), cavalry saber, 50 revolver bullets

Once your stains have been bound within
you will be reborn of flesh and redemption
for the gloom will deny that it knows you.
The end will find him in the garden
and he is to you as the hermit is to the forest.

For our mercenary, I grab Just A Graze - this lets her cheat damage she takes lower, as long as the damage doesn't have a bonus. (Cheating will be explained later.) We also pick up a sword for her and 20 extra bullets.

quote:

Pursuit: Wastrel

pre:
Might 0			Charm -2
Grace -2		Cunning 3
Speed 3			Intellect -1
Resilience 0		Tenacity 1
Pick Pocket (Speed) 3, Toughness (Resilience) 3, Artefacting (Cunning) 3, Pneumatic (Might) 2, Carouse (Resilience) 2, Barter (Tenacity) 1, Evade (Speed) 1, Pugilism (Might) 1, Appraise (Cunning) 1

Talents: Educated, Scoundrel

Gear: Crafting (Artefacting) toolkit, knuckleduster, Yamisaka Type 30, 25 rifle bullets, 1 scrip

As you walk the lonely road
your ruination will hound your desperate exodus
as the living wither from your grasp.
Lunatics fear where you will stalk
and you will unshackle the prisoner.

Our drunk picks up Scoundrel - whenever he makes a Social Action and draws a Masks card, he can make a free Pick Pocket action with a bonus. He also buys a Yamisaka Type 30 rifle for self defense if his fists and the knuckledust he buys aren't enough.

After this, each has only one thing to do: build a Twist Deck. Your Twist deck is 13 cards, normally numbered 1 to 13, barring any Talents that alter it. Rams are the suit of physical power, damage and willpower. Crows are the suit of entropy, armor, wounds and undeath. Masks are the suit of madness, deception, speed and Defense. Tomes are the suit of magic, constructs and elemental power. You choose one of these Suits to be your Defining Suit, adding the 1, 5, 9 and 13 of that suit to your Twist deck. You choose another suit as your Ascendant Suit, adding the 4, 8 and 12. You pick a third for your Center suit, adding 3, 7 and 11. And the last suit is Descendent and you add 2, 6 and 10. The Twist deck is used for cheating flips in play, which we'll get into, uh...soon.

Next time: An overview of the Pursuits first, though.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 14:07 on Jun 21, 2015

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.

Kellsterik posted:

I'm not actually sure that's true- the whole point of being an Avatar is that you don't necessarily have to buy into it, as long as you don't break taboo.

You don't have to buy into it, no, but you absolutely have to act out the precepts of the Archetype. Someone can think kids are all a bunch of snot-nosed brats who are only good for unpaid labor and still channel the Mother, they still have to help children, nurture them, ease their suffering, etc. Having a PR team convince the world that you're doing that when you're actually not won't get you jack.

Pope Guilty
Nov 6, 2006

The human animal is a beautiful and terrible creature, capable of limitless compassion and unfathomable cruelty.

Josef bugman posted:

And eva Peron isn't?

I don't actually know anything about the Perons other than that they were jerks, so I don't really feel comfortable having an opinion on the subject.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac

Every Pursuit has its Pursuit Talent. When you change Pursuits between sessions, you lose that talent and gain the one from your new Pursuit. They all function the same way - when you fail a certain type of skill check, you can draw a card from your Twist Deck, and at the end of the session you can advance that type of skill instead of whatever the GM offers you. Every adventure you use a Pursuit for, you gain one of its advancement Talents as well. Each has ten, and they're always gained in order. No matter what Pursuit you are in, you have access to all advancement talents you've unlocked. You only get the starting gear of the Pursuit you exited chargen as, however - when you take on a new Pursuit, you don't magically acquire it. (With one exception: the GM is instructed that anyone who wants to get a magical Pursuit in play should be able to find a Grimoire somewhere, if not one stocked with as much as the starting gear ones.) So, what are the Pursuits?



The Academic is a scholar and scientist, pursuing knowledge. They may often lack in martial skill, but they excel at seeking information and exploring the sciences. Besides, they don't all suck at fighting - the dashing professor in the long duster with the pistol is jsut as much an Academic as the stuffy scientist in the lab coat. Academics tend to be well-acquainted with Malifaux culture and history, helping to navigate ruins and understand items of power. Their Pursuit Talent is Avid Student, which does its thing on Academic skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    [1. Student of Knowledge: When you draw a Tomes card on Academics duels, after the result is resolved, draw a card.
    2. A General Talent, like the one gotten during chargen.
    3. Eureka Moment: When you draw a Tomes card on Academics duels, gain 2 additional Margins of Success. OR Rational Mind: When you would make a flip to resist an act of manipulation, such as terror, mind control or intimidation, you may use Cunning or Intellect instead of the normal resistance Aspect.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Eureka Moment OR Great Thinker: Choose one Academics skill. Your maximum skill rating for it is 6, not 5. You can take this multiple times, but for a different skill each time.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Eureka Moment OR Applied Learning: Choose an Academics skill and a secondary skill. When you make a skill challenge with the secondary skill, you may use the Academics skill you chose as your Aspect rating instead of the normal Aspect. You can take this multiple times, but for a different combination each time.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Applied Learning or Great Thinker
    10. Sum of all Knowledge: When you make a Cunning or Intellect-based challenge flip, you may add a bonus equal to half of any one Academics skill, rounding down. The skill used must share the same Aspect being used for the flip.



The Criminal is...a criminal. They act outside the law, generally for monetary gain but not always. They have a wide variety of skills and often like to team up with others to make sure that they can cover their weaknesses. They are often skilled at breakins, either subtly or loudly, and acquiring items as long sa you don't care how. Their Pursuit Talent is Opportunist, which works on Expertise skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Competitive Edge: When you draw a Masks card on Expertise duels, after the result is resolved, draw a card.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Improvise: Choose a skill. You are always considered to have a toolkit for that skill. You may take this multiple times for different skills each time. OR Quick Work: Reduce the action point cost of your first Use Skill action each turn, to a minimum of 0.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Improvise OR Nimble: You get an extra Action Point each turn that can only be used for a movement action.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Quick Work OR Surprise Assault: When you attack before any other character acts this scene, any and all attacks you make while that's true get a bonus to the Challenge Flip and the Damage Flip. You may take this multiple times, getting an additional bonus each time.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Surprise Assault OR Nimble
    10. Master of Misdirection: When you succeed on a (1) Trick Challenge, anyone attacking your target gets a bonus instead of just you. Further, you get a bonus to defend against attacks made by people suffering the effects of any Trick - even someone else's.



The Dabbler is someone fascinated by magic, who has started to learn how to use it. They specialize in Sorcery and Prestidigitation. They are all criminals under Guild law, and learn to hide their power until they become too hard to arrest or gain some acceptance. Dabblers seek out secrets and forbidden knowledge. Their Pursuit Talent is Epiphany, which works on Magical skills and tests. Their starter gear is a Grimoire containing 1 Sorcery Magia, 1 Prestidigitation Magia and 3 Immuto. Also, they get a Magical Theory talent if they don't already have one.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Arcane Musings: Remove a single Tomes requirement from the TN of any spell you cast.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Mastered Immuto: Choose an Immuto you have access to via at least one Grimoire. You may use that Immuto with any Grimoire, even if it doesn't contain that Immuto. OR Spell Affinity: Choose a specific Immuto or Magia. All challenge flips to cast or resist spells containing that Immuto or Magia get a bonus. You may take this multiple times, but must choose a different Immuto or Magia each time, and can only benefit from one Spell Affinity for any given flip.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Spell Affinity OR Mastered Magia: Choose a Magia in at least one Grimoire you have access to. You may use this Magia with any Grimoire, even if it does not contain the Magia, and may use it even if you do not have access to any Grimoires for some reason.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Mastered Immuto OR Mastered Magia
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Mastered Magia OR Spell Affinity
    10. Empowered Channeling: When casting a spell, increase the value of your Focus condition by 1, as long as you have the Focus condition on you already.

Next time: Drudges, Graverobbers and Guards.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Having the merchant avatar be disgustingly OP could be a subtle meta-commentary on the nature of modern day society, perhaps. Maybe in a previous era the merchant was merely 'quite good' but in this day and age he is swollen like a tick o' souls.

But what happens when an MVP performs the Chaos Dunk and creates the post-cyberpocalypse? What then indeed...

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY

Doresh posted:


Stars Without Number

There's definitely a mecha missing in this picture


This stuff is good. drat, I wish it could be acquired without getting a full new copy of the corebook.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

Traveller posted:

This stuff is good. drat, I wish it could be acquired without getting a full new copy of the corebook.

You can get the core PDF for free.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY


This is the paid stuff that isn't included in the free PDF.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac



The Drudge does hard labor. Most of them have pneumatic limbs, and as a result most are in debt to the Guild or the Union, and most are Union members. They are folk heros to the lower classes, but mere tools to the rich and powerful. They work in the harshest conditions without tiring, and they are powerful. They are often skilled craftsmen and extremely tough. Their Pursuit Talent is Hard Days Night, which works on Training skills and tests. Their starter gear is a pneumatic limb that, with augments, costs no more than 25 scrip.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Long Days: You can discard a Twist card to automatically pass an Unconsciousness Challenge. Also, when you draw a Rams card on any Resilience or Tenacity duel (but not Defense of Willpower), you heal one damage after resolving the duel.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Steady Pace: During an Ongoing Challenge, if you succeed on a challenge flip, you get a bonus to the next one. You may take this up to three times, and the effects stack. OR Team Work: When assisting another character or being assisted, you add an additional bonus to the Challenge flip. You may take this up to twice, and its effects stack.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Team Work OR Slow To Die: Critical Effect Flips against you get a penalty. You may take this up to three times, and the effects stack.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Steady Pace OR Long Suffering: You may use Resilience instead of Tenacity or vice versa to calculate the value for any challenge flip that uses one of the two aspects.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Long Suffering OR Slow To Die
    10. Can't Keep Me Down: You may discard a card from your hand to ignore the negative effects of all Critical Effects until the end of your turn. This doesn't heal the effects - you just power through it for a while.



The Graverobber feels the call of necromancy, whispering in their mind. They have been touched by darkness, and their soul has been addicted to creating life. Some embrace it, while others join the Death Marshals, and others still fight the dark urges and keep themselves sane on their own, using their power but not giving into it. Their Pursuit Talent is Black Soul, which works on Magical skills and tests. Their starter equipment is a Grimoire containing 1 Necromantic Magia, 1 Enchanting Magia and 3 Immuto. Also, they get a free Magical Theory talent if they don't already have one.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Morbid Thoughts: You may remove a single Crows suit from the TN of any spell you cast.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Mastered Immuto OR Deathly Pallor: You get a bonus to any challenge to intimidate or strike fear, including spells.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Deathly Pallor OR Mastered Magia
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Mastered Immuto OR Macabre Infusions: You count as Undead as well as Living if you want to. Generally, free undead will ignore you instead of attacking you.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Macabre Infusions OR Mastered Magia
    10. Unholy Beacon: You may discard a card to take control of any undead, including natural undead or those controlled by another. Sentient undead may resist, and you must make a Charm+Necromancy challenge flip against their Tenacity+Resilience to dominate them.



The Guard protects people. Often, they are drawn to protecting the weak from a young age. They never back down, though some are driven by profit as much as justice. The Guild loves to hire these people (and deny them to others), but it also very obviously sees them as expendable. Still, most are happy to be hurt if it saves another. Guards are alert for danger at all times, trained to protect people and property both. Their Pursuit Talent is Now You Are Pissing Me Off, whoch works on Close Combat skills and tests. Their starter equipment is any melee weapon and armor whose combined value is no more than 25 scrip.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Stoic Defender: When you draw a Masks card on any Defense duel, reduce any damage you suffer by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Inevitable Defense: You don't have to discard a card to enter Defensive Stance. Further, when you are in Defensive Stance, all friendly characters within 2 yards of you get a bonus to Defense challenges. OR Take the Hit: You may discard a card after an attack hits another character within two yards of you, before damage is dealt. You move in front of the target and are hit instead, and the damage flip is at a penalty.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Inevitable Defense OR Hard to Wound: All damage flips against you are at a penalty. You may take this up to twice, and the effects stack.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Hard to Wound OR Flurry: Choose a Close Combat skill. With that skill, you can take a (2) Flurry action: Discard a card to take three 1-AP strikes with a melee weapon using the chosen skill against a single target. You may take this talent multiple times, for a different skill each time.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Flurry OR Take the Hit
    10. Unyielding: You reduce the Action Point cost of Defensive Stance actions by 1, to a minimum of 0.

Next time: Gunfighters, Mercenaries, Overseers and Performers.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely
Grimey Drawer
Rifts Dimension Book 2: Phase World Part 18: Cybernetics and Tanks but not cyber-tanks




This next section doesn’t have a lot of pictures in it, it’s almost as bad as the intro section. Oh well, we’ll soldier on. This is space, stuff is advanced, and any of the kit mentioned in Rifts core or other books can be had for 1/3rd to 1/10th of the normal price. The benefits of a stable economy I guess. Weapons and armor remain the same price because PCs gotta get gouged. Oh, here, under a heading marked “Other Equipment”, it explains that Earth e-clips and Phase World e-clips are not compatible. The modification to the weapon to use Phase World costs 1-2K, to modify the clip is 150 per--and the clips themselves are only 250 credits instead of 2,000. That changes the cost ratio of some of the weapons mentioned further back a lot, it would really have been good to include this information much earlier, and not tucked under a random heading.

Cybernetics described in Rifts main are all available and cheaper than they are back home as well. The Universal Headjack is very commonly used and costs 2,000 credits and takes half an hour to install in a decent medical facility. There are no new implants described here, but they are running out of space.

Other equipment includes a Blood and Tissue Builder (BTB) injector or spray, which is sci-fi healing potion that costs 1,000 credits and heals...2d6 SDC or hit points. Watch me twirl a finger in the air. They also decrease in effectiveness when used successively, they are species specific, and will heal toxins that do direct damage to organs but not muscle relaxing/paralytic toxins so your GM has to know how the poison works to decide if you can treat it with these. They’re a waste of money. There’s a Universal Anti-Toxin for one’s poison problems that gives a +10 save and has no listed price.

Let’s see...there’s a ‘holographic personal computer’ with a storage capacity of 5,000 gigabytes. Taking shots at outdated tech specs is low-hanging fruit but their example of how much storage it has is ‘fifty Encyclopedia Britannica databases’. Oh, paper encyclopedias, that is adorable. You have to buy a separate proprietary headjack cord if you use the cybernetic thing above, good to know the power cord mafia made it into space.

Metal Spray (:black101:) sadly does not allow you to thrash--it’s the opposite really. It will repair 1d4x10 MDC to big things (more than 140 MDC) or 4d6 to smaller things and you can only restore up to the maximum die roll even with multiple applications, only that far and no farther. 4,000 credits.

VR goggles/helmet that runs on micro CDs and just displays passive entertainments. You need a VR Game Dude™ to fully interact with VR environments. Addiction is a problem on civilized worlds, backwaters don’t have time to waste on stupid games.

There’s a multitool that can serve as a weapon and so costs 25K, and a restraint dispenser which drops long sticky wire and costs 5K. Honestly, are MDC zip-snaps that pricey?

Okay, now tanks. ”Bombard” Infantry Robot is a CAF support vehicle that is a robot but has no noticeable ‘head’ and is less humanoid than most robots made on Earth or by Naruni. There’s no picture of this though. It has 600 MDC, is 30 feet high and seems to have limbs but they’re less important than having a 4d4x10 twin plasma cannon array, a rail gun array referred to as the “accordion” which can shoot a 30 foot cone in front of the robot, doing 1d4x10 to targets smaller than 12ft and double that to larger. They have eight missiles in each arm and 16 in each leg for a pretty good missile payload. In place of the head, there’s a choice of optional weapon pods: 22 more missiles, or a mortar pod that fires 20 foot bursts of 1d4x10.

The Phalanx Main Battle Tank is an old Wolfen design that has continued in service to the present day. It sounds like one of those GI Joe vehicles where you’d stick a different action figure in five different spots on its top, aiming a different weapon. And while they call it a tank, it actually flies with a limited contragravity system. It can only go 120 mph to 1000ft high; it can’t aim its weapons downwards however so it’s a good idea to keep the belly close to Earth. The main body has 950 MDC, the ‘turret’ has 600 and controls all the weapons, and the forcefield that protects the front has 700. If the turret doesn’t require a called shot the tank basically has 600 useful MDC, plus possible forcefield. Rifts has rules for movement speed and such but a lot of vehicles and such are going to be fast enough to make a directional barrier kind of crap.

Maniple IFV APC: This is another Wolfen hover design, intended to carry a power-armor platoon into combat. The main body of the vehicle has 380 MDC, which is about as much as the average power armor suit you’d put inside it, and it flies at 200mph, again about as fast as a lot of power armor. Rifts. :argh: It’d also be fairly tight quarters for a full platoon--they’re 30 ft long and 12 ft wide with “five 3’ by 3’ compartments” for cargo. They have a laser cannon as good as the Phalanx’s secondary plus missiles and mini-missiles and superfluous gravity cannon as well.

The Imperial forces get vehicles too, so you have things to stick your villain figures in. The Dark Slayer Main Battle Tank is a tank that sounds like it needs an airbrushed viking on the side to function properly. It has less MDC than the Phalanx, a lot less--650 main body/320 turret and no force field. This tank uses a “standard” air-cushion hover system which is better than treads because space. :awesomelon: Its main gun does boom gun damage, which is 1d6x10 less than the good guys’ tank. This is unusual for Rifts. I also has missiles and additional guns, the missiles being the alpha strike you really need to fear from any enemy.

Oh, but see, that was just the dinky run-of-the-mill tank. The real collector’s item is here. The Kartuhm-Terek, the “Doomsday Machine” is the real king of the tanks. It’s 80 feet high and 120 feet long, and it flies. Well, hovers a few inches off the ground. The main guns have a 60,000 ft range, which is good because the enemy can also see and fire back at them at similar ranges. The main body has 3,000 MDC which is dragon-tough but not god-tough. This is reasonable (sort of) from a balance perspective, but it has a long list of how its weapons are more vulnerable, so you could cripple all its things and then get out the jackhammers.

The main gun does 1d6x100 per single blast or double that per double blast. Since a double blast is still one attack, there’s no reason to ever use single, especially since they can only fire once per round. In space (in case you were using your tanks in space) it can fire 2,000 miles. It also has a crapload of missiles--96 main battery plus a backup 64 heavy missiles, 152 + 120 medium missiles, some boom gun equivalent gravity cannons, lasers, mortars, and it can also ram for 3d6x10 +10 MDC per 20mph of speed. So this is pretty fearsome, mostly for its ability to blanket a target in missile fire but the guns are pretty nasty too. It only goes about 80 mph but explicitly can just bust through anything less than a ton and it can fly at 300ft for up to an hour before its contragrav system runs out, so you basically can’t outrun it short of the pilots needing to stop and pee. On the other hand, with all those weapon systems, this thing has to look ridiculous. It’s no wonder it has no art.

Next: Starships! And space skills.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac



the Gunfighter is more than just a user of guns. Anyone can use a gun. Gunfighters understand the gun, master the craft of gunfighting. Their skill is supreme, and many seek only to test themselves against ever-greater challenges. Most favor the revolver, but they tend to be good with a shotgun, too. Most gunfighters keep a small collection of guns that they feel a real personal attachment to. No matter what, a gunfighter's a violent person, one who knows how to kill. Their Pursuit Talent is Finger On the Trigger, which works with Ranged Combat skills and tests. Their starter equipment is one pistol or shotgun worth up to 20 scrip, and one free customization for it.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Quick Draw: On any challenge flip, including initiative flips, if you draw a Rams card you may immediately take a Ready Weapon action after the flip resolves. Further, you treat (1) Ready Weapon actions as if they were (0) Ready Weapon actions.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Call Out: You may discard a card to give someone a -3 penalty to any one attack that doesn't target you. OR Gunfighter: Choose a Ranged Combat skill. You may use any weapon that uses that skill as if it were a melee weapon with range of two yards. (Damage remains the same.) You may take this multiple times, choosing a different skill each time.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Call Out OR No Time For This: When you are involved in an Ongoing Challenge, you may at any point choose to make a single flip with your Pistols or Shotguns skill instead of the appropriate skill. You and the GM figure out how that works from a story perspective.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. No Time For This OR Rapid Fire: Choose a Ranged Combat skill. You may make the (2) Rapid Fire action with that skill: discard a card to make three 1-AP attacks with a weapon of the chosen skill against a single target. You may take this multiple times, applied to a different skill each time.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Gunfighter OR Rapid Fire
    10. Ranged Expert: You get an additional Action Point each turn, usable only to make an attack with a Ranged weapon.



The Mercenary makes money by doing or threatening violence. Most are ex-military, often deserters. The most famous mercenary groups include the Freikorps, the Catalan Corps and Jom's Vikings. The Freikorps, of course, work for Von Schill, a tactical master who is famous for taking on the worst missions and winning. The Catalan Corps are originally Sicilian, but they run on a democratic system, rather like privateers, with votes based on rank. Jom's Vikings are, uh, thugs and bounty hunters under the command of Melvina Broken-Arrow. Bounty hunting isn't all that rare for mercenaries, actually. Their Pursuit Talent is Deadset, which works on Ranged combat skills and tests, and their starter equipment is one carbine or rifle worth up to 20 scrip, with one free customization on it.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Speed Loading: Choose a firearms-based Ranged Combat skill. When you make an attack with that skill and draw a Rams card, you may reload it immediately for free if its Reload Action Point cost is 2 or less.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Gruesome Attack: Choose a Melee or Ranged skill. All Critical Effect flips you do with that skill get a bonus. You may take this multiple times, for the same or different skills, and the effects stack. OR Tricky Shot: Choose a Ranged skill. When you make an attack Challenge Flip with that skill, you may choose to ignore one penalty.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Coin for Kills: You get a bonus to Damage Flips against any target you were paid to fight or kill. GM's discretion what counts - bounties probably do, and anyone you're explicitly hired to harm definitely does.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Tricky Shot OR Relentless: You are immune to Horror effects.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Relntless OR Gruesome Attack
    10. Endless Pursuit: You get a bonus to Defense Flips against anyone you were paid to fight - which includes anyone with a bounty on their head explicitly this time.



The Overseer is someone who can survive the economic hell that is the Guild’s taxes. They’re entrepreneurs, bosses, the guys who stand in the path of the Guild’s economic machine and protect their employees and their resources. They keep morale up and make sure the work keeps flowing, for good or ill. They can be kind or cruel, but they are definitely masters of logistics and skilled leaders. Their Pursuit Talent is Oversight, which works on Social skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Concerted Effort: When friendly characters make Initiative Flips, they can choose not to and instead use yours.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Time is Money: Choose a skill. When you succeed on a Challenge Flip on that skill during an Ongoing Challenge, you generate an additional margin of success. OR Work Smarter: You may discard a card to add the suit of that card to the action value of yourself or another friendly character that can see or hear you.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Work Smarter OR Delegate: On any Defense duel, if you draw a Tomes card and you would take damage, another friendly character within 3 yards of you becomes the attack’s target instead.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Time is Money OR You Lazy So & So: You may discard a card to allow a friendly character who can see or hear you to ignore the effects of all Critical Effects until the end of their turn. They still make any required challenges - they just ignore the effects until the end of their turn. You may take this multiple times, and for each time after the first, the duration is one additional turn.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Delegate OR You Lazy So & So
    10. Now Men!: You may discard three cards. If you do, all friendly characters that can see or hear you may immediately take a 1-AP action in any order you like.



The Performer is an entertainer and an artist - a thriving job in Malifaux, since people need any distraction from the threats and despair around them. Might be an actor, a showgirl or an acrobat. They are charming and friendly, and make friends easily...as well as enemies. They understand the social fabric of Malifaux better than anyone, and are master manipulators. Their Pursuit Talent is Flare for the Dramatic, which works on Social skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Powerful Impression: On any Social duel, if you draw a Masks card, draw a card after the duel resolves.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Grace Under Fire: You may use Grace instead of Speed to derive Defense and for Initiative. OR Helluva Entrance: You get a bonus to the first Challenge Flip you make in any scene.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Grace Under Fire OR Classically Trained: Choose a Social skill. Your maximum for that skill is 6 now instead of 5. You may take this multiple times, for a different skill each time.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Helluva Entrance OR Graceful Exit: You may discard a card to impose two penalties on any non-Area attack that targets you directly until the end of your next turn.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Classically Trained OR Graceful Exit
    10. That’s Showbiz: You may exchange Charm for any other Aspect when making a Social Challenge.

Next time: Pioneers, Scrappers, Tinkerers and Wastrels.

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

Kellsterik posted:

I'm not actually sure that's true- the whole point of being an Avatar is that you don't necessarily have to buy into it, as long as you don't break taboo.

Also the MVP is great and one of the first things that sold me on UA when I read the book. I distinctly remember the book explains the logic behind including them as "for every person in the world who knows anything at all about John Dee and hermetic magic, there are a thousand who can tell you who won silver in figure skating at the 1998 Winter Olympics." It gives you a sense of what other things are Avatars in the 21st century, is especially good for NPCs, and it gives options for a less street-level game in the vein of a show like Empire about a pro athlete and his entourage making a play for Ascension.

The other thing is that, if you remove all Adepts, you can use UA's freeform skill system to run 'normal' horror games where people's real-life skills come into play. Like I've been watching crappy Stephen King and Nightmare on Elm Street movies lately, and characters with diverse skills use them to defeat the supernatural. Maybe one person's good at sports, another is a writer, another one plays in a band or skateboards or does business stuff. You can roll that to see how you deal with the supernatural. To be fair, most of these movies have one person with one supernatural skill.

Besides the MVP lets you play Babe Ruth as he helps Arthur Miller investigate the occult currents around Marilyn Monroe's death.

And the Avatars don't need to be 'balanced' - they need to be good at what they do:

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Through the Breach: The Fated Almanac



the Pioneer sought a better life in Malifaux, a more exciting one. They headed out to found a homestead, to tame the wilderness. They ended up finding clues to the mysteries of this strange world. Sometimes they sell those discoveries, sometimes bury them. They face monsters and beasts often, and typically those are fast and small. They prefer weapons with a spread to keep things from dodging. The pioneers set out across the Badlands the Bayou, and they'll do anything to stay safe. They're hardy survivors, self-motivated and strong. Their Pursuit Talent is Rugged Individual, which works on Training skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Born Under A Wandering Star: You can never suffer any penalty to Navigation or Wilderness tests.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Circle the Wagons: You may discard a card to make all friendly characters that can hear you treat all cover as Hard cover. OR Tough As Nails: Attackers cannot declare Triggers against you via Melee or Ranged strikes.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Circle the Wagons OR Ornery: When you suffer a Critical Effect, the Critical Effect flip gets a -3. You may take this more than once, and the effects stack.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Tough As Nails OR Soldier On: At the beginning of Dramatic Time, you may heal 2/3/5 damage, if you have 1 or more Wounds remaining. In addition, you may have any friendly character that can hear you also heal 2/3/5 damage, if they have 1 or more Wounds remaining.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Soldier On OR Ornery
    10. Relentless



The Scrapperis a master of the brawl. Martial arts, boxing, melee weapons - it doesn't matter. These are people who do more than just hit - they perfect the skill of hitting. The martial arts of the Three Kingdoms are actually rather rare among them - there just aren't that many studying Asian martial arts in Malifaux. Savate is more common, as are Greek and Roman martial arts. The most common training is purely practical, though - street combat. The skills of the scrapper are more useful in these times of magic - their skills often seem quasi-mystical or magical in nature. They're also very hard to spot in a crowd. Their Pursuit Talent is Bloody Minded, which works on Close Combat skills and tests. Their starter gear is any melee weapon and armor with a combined value no more than 25 scrip.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Close the Gap: When you declare a Charge action, you may draw a card.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Flurry OR Recovery: You get a bonus to all Healing flips. You may take this multiple times, and the effects stack.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Flurry OR Watch Them All: You get a bonus to any attempt to resist intimidation or deception, and a bonus to all Initiative flips.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Recovery OR Wicked: When you make a disengaging strike, you deal damage with your weapon in addition to stopping your target's movement.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Wicked OR Watch Them All
    10. Melee Expert: You get an additional Action Point each turn, usable only to make a strike with a melee weapon.



The Tinkerer is an innovator, a master of technological creation and magic alike. They were the ones to invent the pneumatic limb, to create the first Constructs. They've even created some that are truly intelligent. They often start quite optimistic, though it rarely lasts. They are mad scientists and geniuses - occasionally mixing science with necromancy, but more often remembered as the great minds of the Union. Most see magic as an esoteric science, but not all. They are all curious and clever folk. Their Pursuit Talent is Gear Head, which works on Magical skills and tests. Their starter gear is a Grimoire containing one Enchanting Magia, one Sorcery Magia and 3 Immuto. They also get a Magical Theory talent if they don't already have one.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Push the Limits: You may cause a construct under your control to suffer 1 unreducable damage to give it a bonus to its next action. You may use this on yourself if you have at least one pneumatic limb and are using it for your next action.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Combat Construct: When you use Artefacting to create or repair a construct, you may give it a Pneumatic skill equal to your Artefacting skill. OR Percussive Maintenance: On any Artefacting challenge to repair contraptions or constructs, if you draw a Tomes card you gain an additional Margin of Success.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Combat Construct OR Unrealistic Expectations: Your pneumatic limbs, as a group, improve one Physical Aspect by 1. You may change which Aspect by spending an hour tinkering. The TN of repairs to any pneumatic limbs you create is reduced by 5, to a minimum of 1.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Percussive Maintenance OR Multi-Tasker: When you take a (1) Order action, you may give orders to two construct subordinates instead of one, and these orders can differ from each other. You may take this multiple times, increasing the number of constructs you can order by 1 each time.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. Multi-Tasker OR Unrealistic Expectations
    10. Over Pressure: On any Pneumatic attack, if you draw a Tomes card, then at the end of the turn you may make a single extra attack with a pneumatic weapon, which may not activate any Triggers. This can only be activated once per turn.



The Wastrel is a gambler, a dandy or a drunk. They'll do anything to gain an upper hand, but they're too proud to cheat. Cheaters go on the list, after all - the list of names to avoid or take down. To survive on your gambling skills and your wits isn't easy, and often they stick together socially. Several get involved with organized crime. Others just prefer to play for high stakes and fame. Many believe their skills are supernatural. They are able to manipulate practically any situation to their advantage - and their powers are pretty much all meta card tricks, which is pretty great. Their Pursuit Talent is Educated, which works on Expertise skills and tests. Their starter gear is a non-magical skill toolkit.

As they advance, they gain:
    1. Luck of the Draw: When the GM reshuffles the main deck, you draw 2 Twist cards instead of one.
    2. A General Talent.
    3. Cards Up A Sleeve: You may place one Twist card from your hand on the table, face up. Any player may discard a card to Cheat Fate with the face up card, after which it goes into your discard pile. OR Trump Card: During Dramatic Time, you may discard a card after taking your turn. If you do, you may look at the top 3 cards of the main deck and replace them in any order. You may not tell anyone what cards are there, but you may hint if they are good or bad.
    4. A General Talent.
    5. Cards Up A Sleeve OR All In: When you have no Twist Cards in your hand, you get a bonus to all Duels.
    6. A General Talent.
    7. Trump Card OR Play For Blood: While you are suffering one or more Critical Effects, on any challenge where you draw a Crows card you gain one additional margin of success. You may take this multiple times, increasing the margins of success by 1 each time you do.
    8. A General Talent.
    9. All In OR Play For Blood
    10. Fifty-Fifty Chance: Once per Dramatic Time, you may 'stack the deck.' To do this, remove the Jokers from the deck and discard pile and place them facedown. The GM randomly shuffles one of them into the other 52 cards, and then you place the other one on top of the deck. No one may look to see which Joker is actually on top.

Next time: Advancement and general Talents.

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

The Lone Badger posted:

Always keep some important news available. Should you get locked up by someone you can decide that you urgently need to deliver it right now.

Doesn't Julian Assange or Edward Snowden actually do this with some kind of encrypted Dead Man's Switch file?

ITT Goons find it easier to play as porn addicts, drunks or cutters than Mothers, sports stars, or people who other people listen to.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS

Count Chocula posted:

Doesn't Julian Assange or Edward Snowden actually do this with some kind of encrypted Dead Man's Switch file?
Yeah, Wikileaks has about 400GB of "insurance" against Assange being arrested and tried by the US for leaking their documents. Which is actually a bit of a problem, since it also protects him from being tried in Sweden for rape, since they'd extradite him to the US for trial and imprisonment there.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Count Chocula posted:

Doesn't Julian Assange or Edward Snowden actually do this with some kind of encrypted Dead Man's Switch file?

I'm thinking pretty much the exact opposite of that. Instead of something that will get automatically released if you're snatched, have something that you need to deliver personally. Walk right out of your prison cell because nothing can get in the way of you delivering that information.
(Which may be "I slept with your wife." Nothing says they have to be happy to receive the information.)

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


Count Chocula posted:

Doesn't Julian Assange or Edward Snowden actually do this with some kind of encrypted Dead Man's Switch file?

ITT Goons find it easier to play as porn addicts, drunks or cutters than Mothers, sports stars, or people who other people listen to.

Hardly, I actually quite like the Avatars as a concept, especially once things move into Cosmic level play. Adepts are basically balls-to-the-wall constantly...hyper-focused on their obsession to the degree that almost everything they do revolves around not breaking taboo, getting charges or trying to deal with the messes created from the first two. Avatars can be much more complex as characters primarily because they can have motivations and concerns outside of their role following an Archetype and generally I think they make better characters. Adepts are kind of UA's version of "monsters" from more standard roleplaying games like D&D, they're terrifying and powerful but often fairly shallow and two dimensional as characters. Avatars on the other hand can have almost as much freedom as an ordinary guy combined with magickal powers and in UA that's a pretty drat powerful combo.

But that doesn't excuse the fact that the Avatars are consistently not done as well as the Adepts in terms of actual game material. Balance is important to UA, that's why they spend pages in the Adept chapter talking about different ways you can think about adjusting taboo or charging methods to produce different, but still functional, schools of magick and balancing freeform vs formulaic spells. Looking at the Adepts you can see a whole lot of thought went into making them interesting, powerful and complex with just a few minor issues here and there...and looking through the Avatars I just can't see that same amount of effort. This is not to say that there aren't well-made Avatars, the problems are just more glaring and there are a few (like the MVP) that don't belong in the core book. I'd have no problem with the MVP in a "list of archetypes" book like the Statosphere supplement or being introduced as the focus of an adventure...but here's its a waste of pages that could be used on a more universally useful Archetype for both GMs and PCs.

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
But a sports star is pretty universal. To put it in a UA setting, I watched the 4th Nightmare on Elm Street movie, which had the stock jock character caught up in supernatural poo poo. Or what about The Last Boy Scout, that Bruce Willis movie where a sports star goes on the run? If your campaign is really mobile, a famous skateboarder or surfer could work, or you could tweak it so the lead singer of a band could work. I'm not a sports fan, but even I've seen The Natural and know about things like The Curse of the Bambino. It's inclusion in the core book also tells you that the occult in UA isn't just about the Underground. When Michael Jordan defies gravity in front of millions of people or Warren Buffett makes Berkshire Hathaway another billion dollars, there's power there too.

http://www.theonion.com/article/patriots-horrified-after-new-super-bowl-rings-caus-50698
And if you want to run an MVP-centric game, The Onion provides:

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Jun 22, 2015

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007

darthbob88 posted:

Which is actually a bit of a problem, since it also protects him from being tried in Sweden for rape, since they'd extradite him to the US for trial and imprisonment there.

Actually we wouldn't, and Assange probably knows this. It's more likely he doesn't want to be tried for sexual assault in a country he literally thinks is "Feminist Saudi Arabia". :rolleyes:

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib
Man, I went to DTRPG to see if they had Through the Breach for sale and they do...for $30 a .pdf. It's cool 'cause you can buy both in a bundle for $45 though. Insert your own argument about .pdf RPG pricing here, but $30-45 for a .pdf is honestly a bit much for me. Guess I'll wait and see if it goes on sale.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Count Chocula posted:

But a sports star is pretty universal. To put it in a UA setting, I watched the 4th Nightmare on Elm Street movie, which had the stock jock character caught up in supernatural poo poo. Or what about The Last Boy Scout, that Bruce Willis movie where a sports star goes on the run? If your campaign is really mobile, a famous skateboarder or surfer could work, or you could tweak it so the lead singer of a band could work. I'm not a sports fan, but even I've seen The Natural and know about things like The Curse of the Bambino. It's inclusion in the core book also tells you that the occult in UA isn't just about the Underground. When Michael Jordan defies gravity in front of millions of people or Warren Buffett makes Berkshire Hathaway another billion dollars, there's power there too.

http://www.theonion.com/article/patriots-horrified-after-new-super-bowl-rings-caus-50698
And if you want to run an MVP-centric game, The Onion provides:

I agree with this, but my problem with the MVP is that from the very first power channel, it's automatically geared towards a world-famous sports star as its channeler. If the powers were adjusted a little bit so that the MVP of say, bowling, or lacrosse, got at least as much benefit as Derek Jeter, it'd be a much more playable Archetype.

Ironically enough, the Avatars in the Statosphere supplement are overall better balanced than the ones in the corebook, while the inverse holds true for Adepts.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


Count Chocula posted:

But a sports star is pretty universal. To put it in a UA setting, I watched the 4th Nightmare on Elm Street movie, which had the stock jock character caught up in supernatural poo poo. Or what about The Last Boy Scout, that Bruce Willis movie where a sports star goes on the run? If your campaign is really mobile, a famous skateboarder or surfer could work, or you could tweak it so the lead singer of a band could work. I'm not a sports fan, but even I've seen The Natural and know about things like The Curse of the Bambino. It's inclusion in the core book also tells you that the occult in UA isn't just about the Underground. When Michael Jordan defies gravity in front of millions of people or Warren Buffett makes Berkshire Hathaway another billion dollars, there's power there too.

http://www.theonion.com/article/patriots-horrified-after-new-super-bowl-rings-caus-50698
And if you want to run an MVP-centric game, The Onion provides:

Again, not saying the MVP as a concept is entirely innappropriate, although I think I'd prefer to see such a recent Archetype as the focus of an Ascension adventure to make a new archetype rather than an existing one. But the focus of the MVP as not just a sports star but also an icon of their community, which means A) you must have a fair amount of fame and B) you have to have a strong connection to your hometown. Both of those are very difficult to maintain while also living life within the Occult Underground, giving it a very powerful "unwritten" taboo. And in exchange you get truly terrible channels.

The first channel not only requires thousands of fans, but its so limited that it will likely never actually grant any real bonus...even if it does it's a rare game that'll actually be important enough to involve actually rolling dice.

The second channel is circumstantially useful. It'd made a decent first channel for most other Avatars.

The third channel is basically nothing. Like I said, it could make an NPC MVP the focus of an interesting adventure...but that's all. It has no real long term significance.

The fourth channel is also so specific as to be useless. Sure, fast-ish sanity healing is fine, but since it only works for fans it's of limited use and is no-where near the utility of other 4th channel powers.


Now, you definitely could make a "Jock" of "MVP" Avatar who would be worthwhile for PCs or significant NPCs, but it would need much better Channels. For instance, maybe something that lets them use their sports skill in place of other skills like Struggle, Dodge or General Athletics allowing them to focus lots of points into their sports-based skills and still be useful off the field.

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

Simian_Prime posted:

I agree with this, but my problem with the MVP is that from the very first power channel, it's automatically geared towards a world-famous sports star as its channeler. If the powers were adjusted a little bit so that the MVP of say, bowling, or lacrosse, got at least as much benefit as Derek Jeter, it'd be a much more playable Archetype.

Ironically enough, the Avatars in the Statosphere supplement are overall better balanced than the ones in the corebook, while the inverse holds true for Adepts.

quote:

1-50% For every thousand people watching and rooting for you, you get +1% to your [Sports] skill, up to a maximum of your Avatar Skill or your Body Stat. Even considering how weak the effect of a boosted sports ability is this channel kind of sucks...I mean your sports skill is almost certainly going to be higher than your Avatar skill at low levels (or you wouldn't be considered a very valuable player at all) and even once your Avatar skill is high enough that it might make a difference you run into the issue that your skill is probably already close to your Body already. Most MVP Avatars will spend the first 50 points in their skill on effectively nothing.

1,000 people? You could probably get that for a local bowling or golf tournament, especially if you count TV or radio. I'm trying to resist pointing out that 'rooting' is Australian for 'loving', which would make the channel a bit more fun. And the Sports skill isn't weak TO THE AVATAR, since that's all they care about. Plus, I tend toward a broad interpretation of skills. So the Sports skill is what let Flash Gordon use his football skills to take Ming's bomb. It's how the Cole Train ran through all those aliens in one of the Gears of War games and how Casey Jones fights.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


Count Chocula posted:

1,000 people? You could probably get that for a local bowling or golf tournament, especially if you count TV or radio.

Yes and that 1000 people will give you a 1%...only if your Sports skill isn't already higher than your Avatar skill. And it doesn't matter if you let them use their sporting skills for other things, the skill bonus only applies when the audience is root...ahem...cheering for you at a sporting event.


And yes, of course it's important to someone playing the MVP avatar. Someone in that role would probably consider all of the channels immensely valuable. But the point is that its unsuitable as game material within the context of the Occult Underground. The world of the MVP and the world of the rest of the Occult Underground do not really intersect (which is even pointed out in the description of the Avatar), which means its space in the core book could be better used for a more flexible and useful Avatar Archetype.

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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
But that one character tells you so much about the world of Unknown Armies. It tells you that while your cabal is screwing each other over for a bit of power, inspirational sports stories like Rudy and The Natural are happening at the same time. It tells you that the world of Unknown Armies is a world where a sports player who's beloved enough actually CAN win that final game by calling on the strength of the crowd!

It's also a world where maybe a famous boxer gets mixed up with the wrong people, a staple of pulp. Or a world where a luchadore really can fight for the people!

I like the idea of an 'Entourage' style game, where one player is a sports star or celebrity Avatar and the others are normal hangers-on and occult gently caress-ups. His Merchant Avatar agent, his Narco-Alchemist dealer/steroid chemist, his buddy who uses Epideromancy to give him the edge in games, or Entropomancy if he's an extreme sports star. Surrounded by all these temptations, will the MVP give into the easy way or stay on the path of the Avatar and win the big game for his town, his friends, and that one little kid with cancer who needs him most?

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