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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Warmachine: Khador



The Winter Guard Mortar Crew uses a light mortar developed under Kommandant Irusk's orders. They were first deployed against Llael, and were pibotal, as the defenders were unready for light artillery that could rapidly reposition and adapt during battle. While sitll quite heavy, each mortar is much lighter than traditional artillery and much easier to operate, maintain, build and deploy. They are cheap but very effective, making Winter Guard companies that use them even more self-reliant. Even one mortar crew is a lot of firepower, and many of them can unleash protracted barrages. The Winter Guard charge under the rolling curtain of mortar fire until just before they hit the enemy lines, forcing the enemy to take cover and leaving them stunned and demoralized. The mortar's relative inaccuracy at short range has led to some deaths by friendly fire, but most officers just shrug them off as the price of war.



The Winter Guard Rifle Corps are trained with longer-range rifles than the traditional Winter Guard blunderbuss. They are an experiment, and a very successful one, funded by the kayazy and stolen weapons. EAch company is from a specific region and is attached to an existing Winter Guard platoon. They get advanced training with their Blaustavya rifles before returning to the front. They have weeks of intense drills, able to fieldstrip and reassemble their rifles in seconds and aim, load and fire in concert. Even as they load one round into thge breech they are taking aim, and when ordered by their sergeant, they produce immense volumes of fire to suppress entire regions. They train continuously in formation firing, kneeling and moving aside so they never block fire lanes for their neighbors. All their training combines into some of the most reliable troops in Khador, with a growing reputation for deadliness.



The Great Bears of Gallowswood are the survivors of an Iron Fang kompany once based from Kragvold Fort, a border fortress between Ord and the Thornwood. They have earned a reputation for honor and self-sacrifice, and even their names can silence a room in respect. Joreslev Vokov, sixth generation Iron Fang, earned fame while still a lieutenant, getting the Shield of Khardovic and Sash of Valor in a series of engagements near Fellig, destablizing border garrisons and fighting Cygnaran marcenaries. He earned the honorific 'Fang of the First bear' at the young age of 22, the youngest ever to do it, by leading his squad and defeating five times their number at Karlwine Creek. In 503, the Cygnarans grew tired of their losses and decided to destroy Kragbold. Volkov led the defense besides Moskor Kolsk and a young scrapper named Kartov Yarovich. These three gave up the fight only when they could no longer bear the weight of the Cygnaran dead pressing down on them. Every foot of ground they surrendered was paid for in blood, and when Volkov eventually realized the fortress had fallen, their retreat was met by Cygnaran cheers. The Great Bears were furious at the destruction of their home and the death of their comrades, and High Kommand wared each of them great accolades, but they didn't car.e Volkov refused to reform the kompany even after promotion to kapitan, pointing to his two companions and claiming they carried the weight of the fallen. Seeing the three in battle thrills other Khadorans. They have fought pretty much every battle in the last fifteen years, often turning the tide. Volkov is admired by every officer, and he has an uncanny knack for showing up where he's needed. Kolsk's Savers of Service testify to his 20 years in uniform, and he is the lieutenant every kapitan and kommandant dreams of. He never questions orders and can execute even impossible plans. Yarovich is called the Brute, but affectionately. Once, a kovnik baited him into a drunken brawl, and Yarovich killed him with a single punch. No one picks fights with him now, and in battle, he roars with laughter as he kills.



A Koldun Lord is a master of elemental cold and a master axeman both. They are the ideal of the Greylords Covenant and deeply respected. When they enter battle, they sometimes lead ternions, and are themselves veterans of service and combat sorcery. With each kill, they grow bolder, hurling freezing death. Koldun lords often control warjacks in battle, both as weapons and bodyugards. They use spells of protection to turn the jacks into iron walls, intercepting blows and spells better than any shield could. Many Koldun lords have mastered the arts of cortex construction and know better than most how to bring out superior performance.



A Man-O-War Drakhun is a traditional champion of the modern age, wearing steam armor atop an immense Karpathan destrier. They are a mechanikal force of destruction even dismounted, and they can charge into battle faster than even the lightest warjack. They are not trained or chosen - they are destined from birth. Only the most potent, with uhlan blood, raised in the saddle, can petition to become drakhuns. Even then, they must train extensively as a Man-O-War, mastering their armor and training their horse themselves before they can ride it into battle. The power of a Karpathan destrier is legendary among the uhlans, dwarfing any other horse in Immoren. These beasts are as much weapons as the annihilator axes and the shield cannon that they bear into battle. The charge of a drakhun can pound bone flat and mash flesh to paste.



A Man-O-War Kovnik is the standard by which High Kommand judges officers. They are fearless leaders who lead from the front, with a full understanding of the power and limits of their mechanikal armor. Their expertise allows them to follow the warjacks they command into the most dangerous parts of battle, directing attacks with precision. Their close work with 'jacks has taught them to take advantageo f their armor as well, using its resilience and strength to slam into enemies with the force of a small warjack. Years of service among the shock troops and demolitions corps turns the kovniks into weapons, trusted to lead battalions or legions. They execute plans mercilessly and efficiently, and even veteran warcasters trust their judgment and leadership to inspire soldiers. High Kommand knows that if victory is possible, they will achieve it, and that they will not sacrifice lives carelessly.



The breeding of War Dogs is an artform in Khador's lowlands. They are two hundred pounds of raw muscle, and many philosophies compete to best excute the tradition of breeding them, with entire family lines resting their honor on the skill of their dogs. Khadoran officers commonly bring them into battle as companions and protectors. While the ignorante prefer the most savage and bloodthirsty dogs, experts see those as the worst of the breed. Their loyalty is their best asset, especially for warcasters who have to divide their attention and can't afford to focus on an unruly dog, however deadly it is. Thus, the favored breed is the Kovosk bullmastiff, a stout animal that takes training well and instinctive desires to protect a human master it bonds with. With a trained war dog, a warcaster can focus on other matters while hound serves as a second set of eyes, latching onto foes and refusing to let go. They hunder more dangerous threats until they can be dealt with, and their loyalty means they'd be glad to die to save their bonded master.

Next time: The Greatest Warriors

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LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Mors Rattus posted:

The biggest problem for fan projects is no editorial oversight and no quality control.

Occasionally this has also been a problem for White Wolf material.

There's a difference, in fan projects, between closed projects made by a small group of fans, and open community products made by fans. The former are largely indistinguishable from small press publications (that happen to use/borrow/steal someone else's setting and/or rules) in principle, especially with easy online publishing like DriveThruRPG. The latter are committee design projects. Moreover, they're design-by-committee where decisions are not made based on quality, or even popularity, but persistence. You can force basically anything through by wearing people down. Princess: the Hopeful basically had a schism over tone[1] and mechanics[2], which ended when one side got more and more tired of arguing[3]

[1] Things like "Should the Queen of Mirrors be an enigma who wears masks that reflect the different personalities she takes on to achiever her plans, or should she be a nerdy and lonely girl with low self esteem that you can make your waifubefriend?"
[2] "The Queens have 20 dice in basically all pools" vs. "The Queens are plot devices and don't need numbers. Insurmountable dice pools just means you can't ever challenge them."
[3] Not helped by the guy who threatened to kill himself if the rest didn't make the game fit his visions.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Forces of Warmachine: Khador



A Widowmaker Marskman is the best of the best, the top tier of Widowmakers. Few make the cut, but they are more than worth their rarity. They operate independently as highly specialized snipers and stealth agents, selecting their targets by those who will hurst the foe most, regardless of rank. They neutralize their prey with one shot, then reposition quickly. They miss nothing, and are excellent at silent communication of targets to other Widowmakers. They are equipped with a special variant of the Vanar Liberator rifle, a more powerful weapon than the custom Vislovski hunting rifles issued to most Widowmakers. Their rounds can ter through plate armor and are extremely accurate in marskman hands. Some say the added heft of the rifle itself is an advantage, increasing stability.



The most fearsome doom reaver is Fenris, called the Unbound because not even the Greylords Covenant can control him. He rides into battle on a nightmare steed, wielding two fellblades at once. The doom reavers follow him without hesitation. No one knows who he once was, and the records of his crimes vanished decades ago. Most assume he was a mass murderer, but none know how many or who. Some say he was a cannibal raised in the mountains, others that he was an assassin overwhelmed by love of murder. Whatever the truth, he took the fellblade as if it were a missing part of his soul. His ability to ignore the conditioning and restriants placed on the doom reavers by the Greylords was always troubling. He'd disappear for days, returning covered in blood. The army would have destroyed him if not for the start of war. His skill at battle and the ease with which he shrugs off wounds might have made killing him difficult, though, and some believe he is immortal. Khadoran officers speak of Fenris only reluctantly, but he has a place. Only Orsus Zoktavir can control him, for he seems content to serve the Butcher of Khardov, and they share a joy in annihilation. Fenris' mount is barely recognizable as a horse, and more closely resembles a monster. The Winter Guard found it wandering near Ravensgard and it was ordered put down after two men died restraining it. Fenris arrived just before it was killed, taking it for his own. After battle, it lingers to feed on the dead - and nothing else.



Kovnik Jozef Grigorovich is one of the Winter Guard, and he knows that they are more than the backbone - they are the Army. Jozef is the embodiment of military diiscipline and fearlessness, the fighting spirit of Khador. He does not question orders. He does not dwell on losses. He moves forward and claims victory. He knows no war is won without blood, but he is not reckless. He asks nothing of his men he would not accept himself, and he would die for them. He is a shrewd tactician, praised even by Irusk. The secret to his success is his ability to spend the lives of his soldiers only when he must. Even by Khadoran standards he's a big, big man, and he's older than he looks, a Skirov who enlisted under Ivad Vanar. Many men younger than him have retired to High Kommand or taken higher command posts. He thinks they are jealous of him, for he gets the joy of battle and the chance to kill the enemies of the Motherland. He has served many posts, reenlisting whenever he can. He was at Midfast, Port Vladovar and even the peaks near Rhul. It took 20 years for him to find his true home: the Unbreakable 111th Infantry Battalion in the First Border Legion. Since his transfer in 593 AR, he's refused to leave, enjoying the fight against Cygnar. In 598, he accepted a promotion to full kovnik only because it came with command over the battalion. He commanded the 111th for years during war between Ravensgard and Northguard, becoming one of the most recognizable and trusted officers on the front. After Northguard's fall, he and the 11th were among those pursuing the Cygnaran First Army, pushing them past the Dragon's Tongue. Grigorovich now looks acrtoss the river to Corvis, anticipating the orders that must soon come. He is famous as an orator, his voice rising in eloquent speeches to push his men to heroism and sacrifice. They will die to protect him and Khador.



Uhlan Kovnik Markov, first name Dorek, is descended from the ancient horselords and represents all the Iron Fangs revere. Under him, the 29th Assault Battalion advances as one body with one mind, unwavering no matter what the casualties. Markov sees every Khadoran soldier as kin and the Iron Fangs as his dearest brothers. He grew up as the son of an uhlan, training from birth to care for his steed and learn the uhlan traditions. Years after earning his commission, he had the rare honor to serve alongside his father, and they fought together against Cygnar. He will always remember the day he saw his father die to the Cygnaran Storm Lances, how he rallied his forces and drove them from the field but could not save the older man. The quiet dignity with which his father accepted death left a lsting impression, and he vowed to do the man justice. Markov serves alongside the 2nd Army's Iron Fangs, and has earned nearly every award Khador offers. His battalion was critical in the early battles of Llael and at Merywyn, and his sterling record was why Irusk chose him to lead the 4th Assault Legion, spearhead of the 2nd Army. Markov's Pozdyov horse, Gorvech, carres him into battle alongside the pikemen under his command, conditioned to endure the chaos. Markov uses a custom concussion lance, which detonates its tip against foes while he and his mount emerge unharmed from the explosion. Markov is as skilled with tactics as any kommandant, and is one of Irusk's most trusted officers, and they frequently talk together, dissecting recent battles. When preparing for the second assault on Northguard, Markov was entrusted by Irsuk to lead the diversionary force, drawing away two warcasters and leaving the fortress vulnerable to attack. Markov not only succeeded but survived with the core of his forces intact. He expects and receives the best from his men, pushing them as hard as he can. He has their respect for sharing the dangers, and they desire his approval. A single scornful look or a shoulder slap of congratulation from Markov is more than a diatribe or speech from a lesser officer. His quest strength is an inspriation and a reminder of Khador's ancient nobility.



They call him Yuri the Axe, a brutal killer from the Nyschatha Mountains. He is a patriot, for all he scorns the law. Many see it as criminal that he walks free and would kill him if they could, though he claims he never killed a man who didn't earn it. Yuri kills not out of malice, but because he is a hunter by nature. Killing is an easy, expedient solution for him, men as well as animals. He moved easily from animals to men, hunting for bounties on outlaws, and the thrill appealed to him, soon tracking a rogue kompany that had turned to extortion near Uldenfrost. Yuri methodically eliminated them over weeks, and those he did not kill died of cold and starvation, too afraid to leave their barracks. Words of his deads spread, and even the Nyss learned to avoid him, naming him slyeshar, the maddened bear. The dstruction of the Winter Guard kompany dry the attention of the 3rd Border Legion, who tried to capture Yuri. He made a game of leading them into ambushes, traps and deadfalls, and eventually several local manhunters and agents in service to Great Prince Bolovric were set on him. Yuri delighted in testing them, calling them out and killing them. It took a concerted effort of the 3rd Border Legion and a team of Kossites and Widowmakers to finally corner them, and he killed half before they wore him down and dragged him in chains to trial at Tverkutsk. Yuri still managed to murder his captors and escape into the Scarsfell. At last, the four great princes of the north decided that pressing him into service would be cheaper, offering him amnesty for service. He accepted enthusiastically, and he's been true to his word, killing the foes of Khador whenever asked. He has a following among the Khadoran wilderness fighters, many of whom seek him out to learn the ways of the hunt and kill. Yuri has no friends, but has a camaraderie with Fenris and the Butcher of Khardov. When Orsus Zoktavir went missing after Fellig, some thought Yuri was responsible, but their camaraderie has dispelled those rumors. The Winter Guard shudder to see them keep company together.

The End!

What's next? Cryx, the Protectorate of Menoth, Mercenaries, the Circle Orboros, Skorne, the Legion of Everblight or the Trollbloods?

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Fenris has one glaring downside, he just a "Character Solo" rather than a "Doom Reaver Character Solo" so you can't take him in theme forces unless they specifically mention that you're allowed to bring Fenris along, and he doesn't benefit from any rules that buff Doom Reavers. Otherwise he's an absolutely amazing piece of work.

And I say Oroboros.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 19:44 on Jul 10, 2015

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Hey, what happened to the vanilla Man O'War units? The ones with the stubby gunshields?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Covered when I did the core.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


I always think about Khorne when it comes to Khador pictures. Must be a combination of their color scheme and their symbol.

Super Console


Equipment

Weapons in JRPGs come in a wiiide variety, which is why Super Console opts for a freeform design. The CPU picks the weapon's or armor's Power (used to calculate Damge or Defense, respectively) and some bonuses to find out the price. The cost formula is based on which tier the equipment's Power falls into (ranging from Beginner to Endgame), which can result in very sudden price jumps if two weapons from the same type are very close at the breaking points.

Weapons can be designated as Monk Gloves (or a similar type of weapon), which adds its Power directly to the Monk's damage and provides its weapon bonuses to his unarmed attacks. Their cost is calculated as if their Power was ten times as high, so they only add a little bit of extra damage. In Mixed and Brutal games, the Monk can decide to strike with another body part, which is useful of he's wearing gloves with the wrong element.

Characters can wear 3 pieces of armor: The main armor, a shield, and an armor accessory (usually a helmet). The last two have only a single tier, but a much smaller Power range and a high cost.

Bonuses add a fixed cost based on tier to the overall price, with some bonuses costing as much as 2 or 3 normal bonuses. Some bonuses can be used to mimic special kind of equipment (like a Fire Sword), while others are meant to be added to all weapons from a certain group (like Bows or Greatswords).

Weapon Bonuses

Status effects use the weapon's Power to see how hard they are to resist. This usually gives weapons a fantastic chance to inflict their status effect, but they eventually fall out in favor as their Power is static. Still, endgame weapons are much better at inflicting effects than a spellcaster.

Worth 1 Bonus
  • Two-handed: For all your two-handed weapons. Adds a lovely +5 to the final damage rating (Fighters add another +5 for their class ability), but shields are right out of the question, and the wielder's recovery time increase by +1 tick.
  • Status Critical: Deals a specific status effect on a crit (or always if with a certain Dragoon class ability).
  • Elementally-aspected: The weapon deals double damage against targets weak to its element, but does nothing against targets aligned to the element.
  • Enhanced Critical: Increases the critical hit chance. Can be taken multiple times for an even bigger bonus.
  • Back-Row: The weapon deals full damage from the back row. Usually for ranged weapons, but Console and Silly games tend to have weird melee weapons that have this anyways.
Worth 2 Bonuses
  • Status: Like Enhanced Critical, but it triggers on every hit. The Doom status is its own bonus (so I think Enhanced Critical can't triggers this effect as well, otherwise Dragoons could get ugly. Then again, it's the CPU that comes up with weapons, not the players).
  • Elemental Boost: A more extreme version of Elementally-aspected. Deals triple damage to weak targets, actually heals aligned targets, and deals +5 Damage to everything else.
  • Healing: These odd weapons actually heal the target, with a Healing Power equal to its Power. Work normally on Undead, though.
  • Multi-Attack: Deals area-effect damage. Think Edgar's Autocrossbow, or a couple auxiliary guns from Metal Max (anyone heard of that franchise?).
  • Fast: Reduces recovery time by -1 tick.
Worth 3 Bonuses
  • Doom-Effect: Tries to insta-kill its target. Doesn't really work on undead or bosses.

Armor Bonuses

Worth 1 Bonus
  • Elementally-aspected: Half damage from one element, 50% extra damage from its opposite element.
  • Status-Proof: Grants immunity from two status effects. Can be applied multiple times.
  • Stat-Boost: Grants a bonus to a primary attribute. Doesn say how big, but a glance at the example equipment section suggest a +5, which is pretty standard for attribute buffs.
Worth 2 Bonuses
  • Elemental Boost: Again a much more extreme version of Elementally-aspected: You are healed by one element, but take double damage from its opposite element.
  • Bladed: Anyone hitting you hurts himself (albeit at reduced damage). Very nice for tanks.
Worth 3 Bonuses
  • Safe Armor: Used by armor pieces and accesories like Final Fantasy's ribbon, this bonus makes you immune against all status effects.

Items and Accessories

Items are your standard FF affair, with Potions, Ethers and Phoenix Downs. More mundane items have the same kind of effect you see in video games, with Tents being one-use items that that allow full recovery after a good night's sleep, and with Keys being another one-use item that opens any door or lock.
Mixed and Brutal games treat this stuff way more realistically, and offer other stuff only used outside of battle less realistic games only glance over, like torches, backpacks and food. And depending on how realistic you want things to be, the FF-style items might not even be available at all.

Accessories mostly mimic bonuses you can get for your armor. Depending on the campaign, characters might only ever be able to equip one accessory, or they might be able to equip multiple accessories on different body parts (listed with the accessory), which may or may not rule out having an armor piece in the same location.

Stores

This section lists example stores for an entire campaign with Classed characters, with each piece of equipment listing which class can equip it. It follows the guideline of handing out a new batch of equipment every 10 levels or so.
The raddest weapons come from the 11th store (for levels 95 and up), featuring stuff like 8-bit Theater's Swordchucks (with Multi-Attack), Cray (a massive super computer for the Calculator) and the 1000-segment Staff (which is probably whip by that point).

The Ultimate Wepaons

The are the one-of-a-kind weapons (one for each class) that can't be bought and offer very powerful and unique traits. Their Power is also extremely high (up to 160), making spellcasters very jealous of martial characters.

Ultimate weapons of note are the Archer's Orion, the Black Mages Stabbity (another 8-bit Theater reference), the Dragoon's Longinus and the Fighter's Excalibur because of their ridiculous crit chance (75%, with Longinus having 95%. It and the Excalibur also sport the highest Power). FF mainstay Masamune also appears as the Ninja's ultimate, giving him a free double strike. The Mystic Knight also gets a nasty ultimate with Greyswandir, which automatically casts a 5th-level Black Magic spell on a hit.
Another reference can be found with the Adventurer's ultimate, who gets the Master Sword, a sword with the Back-Row bonus (though it seems this got switched with the Orion's bonus, as those weapons come right after each other, Critical Hit chances seem to be more common with blades, and Orion isn't actually ranged according to RAW).
And for all fans of System Mastery, there's the Dark Knight's Stormbringer, which restores the wielder's Health Bar by 20% per successful hit.

Mechanist Items

A bunch of premade Mechanist devices and the parts required for them, which can be used as a guideline to create new devices. The examples include FF6 classics like the Chainsaw, non-weapon devices like the First Aid Kit and the Jetpack, and more ridiculous stuff like an Orbital Strike and a Robot companion that fights alongside you.

Task Equipment

Some examples for those Tasked characters that require items to use their abilities. Generally, these don't take up any equipment slots and can even be stuffed into the backpack. It's basically the CPU handing out abilities and spells and the party deciding who gets to use them at the moment.

Equipping the Example Characters

Now let's hand out some stuff for the two 30th level example characters I made a while ago! I'll make the equipment from scratch, with their power roughly based on the 6th example store (which covers levels 30-39, with the weapon power falling the Intermediate tier). I'll ignore accessories for now to speed things up.

After taking a quick look at the monster section, I find out that an average monster as all its combat stats equal to its level. To gauge the character's effectiveness, I will therefore use an average level-appropriate level 30 monster.

Nimbus

His weapon will be the Bladeboard, a greatsword as big as a surfboard. The toughest 2-handed example weapon in this tier is the Golden Axe with a Power of 43. I go for 45, the maximum for the tier. It's 2-handed of course, but also Fast because if Cloud can just ignore his weapon's mass, so can Nimbus. The final cost comes out at 1800 bucks, which is more expensive than anything else in the store.
To balance this out, I'll make the armor a bit weaker and therefore cheaper than what is available in store. The armor here is all in gold, silver and other precious metals, while Nimbus is of course wearing his zipper belt getup. His Zipper Belt Coat has a Power of 26 (the lowest for that tier) with no bonuses, and his head is only protected by a Bandana at Power 6. All in all, his coat costs 810 bucks and his bandana 320.

With all of his class abilities and equipment factored in, his final stats come out like this:

Level 30
Strength 35, Speed 28, Vitality 29, Intelligence 8, Spirit 5, Magic 12, Luck 8

Initiative: 29 (25 ticks)
Attack Skill: 33
Damage: 57
Defense: 30
Toughness: 20 (This is Defense without the Armor, used primarily for healing and poison)
Evasion: 19
Critical Percentage: 10%
Magic Defense: 19
Status Resistance: 18
Magic Skill: 21

Abilities: Two-Handed Strike, Cover, Guard, Severe Beating, Cutting Skill, Crosscut

Crosscut (our double-hit ability) has a Spell Cost of 15, with compared to Nimbus' Magic Skill of 21 means it'll cost him 20% of his Mana Bar to use.

And now let's compare him with the level-appropriate monster:
  • The monster has a 15% chance to dodge Nimbus' attacks, while Nimbus has only 5% thanks to his crappy Luck. This is also his chance to resist Status Effects. He is truly cursed.
  • Nimbus' boosted Damage of 56 means he'll take off a whooping 75% of the monster's Health Bar. A Crosscut can easily one-poo poo it. Nimbus meanwhile takes 25% per hit. Level-appropriate spell damage takes off 40%, however.

Sheady

I originally envisioned her with staves, but since Sword Enchantment only works on swords and knives, she gets the Healing Knife. Since Sword Enchantment overrides the weapon's actuall effect, she can still attack just fine with it, even from the Back Row at full effect.
The example dagger from the store is the Chrome Dagger at 25 Power. I'll drop this to 20 to somewhat soften the increased cost of having the Healing bonus. This also gives it a Healing Power equal to the basic Cure spell. All in all, it costs 620 bucks.
For armor, I pick the Silver Robes (Power 18, 380 bucks) straight out of the store and add in some Silver Bracelets (Power 10, 300 bucks) and a Silver Tiara (Power 5, also 300 bucks) for good measure.

Level 30
Strength 4, Speed 10, Vitality 14, Intelligence 41, Spirit 12, Magic 41, Luck 13

Initiative: 20 (25 ticks)
Attack Skill: 17
Damage: 18 (only vs Undead)
Defense: 26
Toughness: 15
Evasion: 22
Critical Percentage: 5%
Magic Defense: 36
Status Resistance: 21
Magic Skill: 36

Abilities: Sword Enchantment, Wide Beam, Fire I + II, Ice I + II, Bolt I + II, Status Spells (Sleep, Tiny, Confuse, Frog, Bio, Bio II)

Her first tier of elemental spells has already reached the cap of 20 damage, but they cost only 1% to cast. The 2nd tier also hit its cap of 40 and costs 15% to cast. Confuse also costs 15%, Bio 5%, while Frog, Tiny and Sleep go for 10%, and Bio II for 20%.
Using Wide Beam for area effect has no cost change on the 1st tier attack spells, but the 2nd tier and Confuse now go up to 25%. Bio II costs a hefty 30%, Bio I 15% and the other Status Effects 20%.

Let's compare her with the level-appropriate monster:
  • The monster has a 25% chance to dodge and Sheady a 10% chance. Both resist each other's status effects at 10%.
  • She only deals damage with er knife against undead, which would be a meager 5% (probably 3% because she's in the back row and deals half damage) She herself would suffer 25%, or rather half of that in the back row. Her 1st tier spells deal 15% damage, while her 2nd tier go for 40%. Wide Beam reduces this to 5% and 25%, respectively. All these damage values can be doubled if the enemy is weak against the used element. Bio I can deal 20% per turn, while Bio II goes for 25%. A level-appropriate attack spell would hurt her by 20%.
  • Stabbing Nimbus with the Healing Knife restores him by 25%, while a healing seppuku would heal her by 30%

All in all, these two alone could demolish two level-appropriate monsters per turn (with Nimbus crosscutting two targets and Sheady wide-beaming them with a 2nd tier spell). Neither of htem is very tanky, Sheady because she's a squishy wizard and Nimbus because he ditched a shield to absolutely murder everything.

For a fun experiment, it turns out that bosses add +35 to both normal and Magic Defense. This drops Sheady's damage output to a maximum of 1% (or 2% on a weakness), while Nimbus still dishes out 20% (twice thanks to Crosscut). Her only status effects that actually work on such a boss would be Sleep (for some breathing room) and the two Bio spells (both actually dealing 15% and 25% per turn since boss Toughness is boosted far less than its defenses, making it her best options).
Meanwhile, the boss's beefed up damage can take out 50% of either of their Health in one shot. Naturally, bosses aren't really supposed to be fought by just 2 dudes.

Next Time: Console conventions.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:21 on Jul 10, 2015

Hypocrisy
Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm



Gimme all the skulls. Gimme Cryx.

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


Doresh posted:

I always think about Khorne when it comes to Khador pictures. Must be a combination of their color scheme and their symbol.

Super Console


Equipment
:lol: I hope some of the Returners guys are still around and have read this to see how badly they are getting schooled in game design. The level of self-awareness that went into this game is a serious breath of fresh air.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Hypocrisy posted:

Gimme all the skulls. Gimme Cryx.

I am currently painting Cryx so hard. I agree with Cryx.

Ego Trip
Aug 28, 2012

A tenacious little mouse!




Cryx is jerks.

gently caress the Mark I infinite pirate list.

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



Menoth, bring on the burnination.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Unknown Armies, part 20: Weird Stuff



quote:

The current condition of the stock market is reflected in the general condition of a small pond just outside the town of Antioch, Sheridan County, Nebraska.

The Unnatural

One thing that's important to understand about the cosmos of Unknown Armies is that it works like a well-oiled machine...that is most of the time it runs along perfectly fine until it suddenly squeals horribly, belches smoke and drives you into a ditch. What I'm saying is that despite the fact that the cosmos generally works okay (up is up, down is down, people aren't squids, etc) it is still capable of breaking in a wide, wide variety of ways. These "glitches" are often harmless and generally get ignored and forgotten or the universe plasters them up and tries to pretend they never happened (which can cause its own problems) but sometimes they get out of hand. Things like Adepts hammering their brains against the walls of reality and Avatars duking it out over control of the future doesn't help when it comes to things running smooth.

This chapter basically covers the weird poo poo that can happen that isn't directly linked to the Adepts or Avatars and is divided into Unnatural Phenomena (weird events or cosmic hiccups) and Unnatural Beings (weird events and cosmic hiccups that walk around and may decide to stab you in the eye).

Unnatural Phenomena

Unnatural Phenomena are random glitch in the laws of reality. They are actually by far the most common sort of "magick" in the world and the sort of thing that even most normal people have run into once or twice in your lives (often passed off as a bad dream, a haunting or a UFO encounter). They can be caused by a variety of things but are never "directed"...even if a character or being has the ability to produce Unnatural Phenomena there's no way to pick what specifically will happen. This more or less explains why "hauntings" have such bizarre manifestations: ghosts/demons can invoke a phenomena to try and get attention or torment someone but they can't decide what gets produced. Like spells, Unnatural Phenomena are divided up into Minor, Significant and Major.

Causes:

*Magick: The more powerful a spell cast by an adept the more likely it is to produce spontaneous Unnatural Phenomena of the same rank (Major charges are almost certain to cause Major unnatural phenomena). This is important to keep in mind, adepts may be able to cast their magick without a bunch of hand-waving and chanting but they're not 100% subtle and unnatural phenomena is a good way for others to tell that some sort of spell-casting is going on in the area. Anyone with a Charge can also spend it to simply produce an unnatural phenomena (Adepts are unlikely to ever do this though, the effects of their spells are a lot more useful).

*Artifacts: Artifacts will generally create unnatural phenomena every once in a while (weeks for minor, months for significant, years for major) of the rank of the artifact. Be careful storing a lot of powerful artifacts in close proximity...hope the government's Warehouse 23 is well secured.

*Unnatural Beings: like Artifacts unnatural beings tend to squirt out the occasional phenomena in their vicinity. It's rare enough that it's unlikely for anyone to pin the effect on the being unless it's isolated to one area. More commonly many unnatural beings can intentionally cause (but not direct) unnatural phenomena.

Minor Phenomena
These are short, environmental effects that never directly target or affect human beings, mostly your typical "haunting" phenomena that'll get ghost hunters and paranormal investigators really excited. Cold spots, odd sounds, smells, strange shadows, static on a phone line or flickering lights. Minor "poltergeist" activity is also possible.

Significant Phenomena
These effects are targeted at humans and may persist for hours or days. The sort of crap you'll see in an Exorcist movie or the X-Files. People in "the know" tend to see multiple spontaneous Significant Phenomena as a sure sign of a demon or an Adept in the area.

*Missing Time: One or more people will simply vanish for a few minutes or hours and then return. This never occurs in a situation where it is perceived by an unaffected person...everyone in the area vanishes. No one has any sense of time passing.

*Major sensory stimuli: disembodied voices, apparitions, a powerful sense of "pressure". Despite often appearing as a voice or an image of a person this is simply the anthrocentric nature of reality manifesting itself (and perhaps drawing from memories or impressions of people in the area). There's never any real "agenda" behind it but it may reflect the source of the phenomena in some way (a demon might produce bible passages written in blood on the walls but they're not going to actually be relevant to the demon's desires...it's just random psychic residue).

*Spontaneous Wounds: stigmata effects, never enough to cause actual injury but it can be freaky. Might involve symbols or words cut into someone's flesh (an Entropomancer's Blast could be seen as a more focused and intense version of this effect).

*Telekinesis: major poltergeist activity such as falling shelves, collapsing floors, flying tables, etc. Again, it can't be directed in any way...a knife might fly at someone but that's just because they happened to be a convenient mystic "ground" to center on.

*Visions: Someone gets a brief vision of the source of the phenomena (such as the adept casting the spell, or the artifact producing it). No prophetic visions, just remote viewing.

Major Phenomena
Major effects are long-term. They're sort of like "scars" left by the presence of powerful magick as it tears through reality and the only way to get rid of it is to clean it up (this is a common adventure hook for Street Level characters caught on the periphery of major events).

*Death: Someone dies unexpectedly, usually in a weird way.

*Haunting: An actual "true" haunting which brings a Revenant from beyond the veil and ties it to the location. Obviously likely to lead to additional unnatural phenomena as the Revenant produces them by its very presence.

*Reality Erase: someone or something blips out of reality totally and completely. They not only cease to exist, they never existed. No records of them exist (and they may be replaced by someone else) and most people lose any memory of them. People present at "ground zero" of the phenomena still remember the vanished individual to some degree or other and any items in their possession at the time are not revised (so you might still have your wedding ring if your husband vanishes). A great way to write out PCs who need to leave the group.

*Sensory Stimuli: Full sensory hallucinations, possibly seeming to last days, weeks or months. Visions of the past or a possible future, a glimpse of the Statosphere, etc. Should be relevant to the trigger (for instance an Artifact is likely to create visions of its first owner or of its creation).

*Telekinesis: Basically anything from a collapsing house to the Tunguska Event.

quote:

There’s a special poker school that plays in the exact centre of Central Park every night. It’s made up of demons, but occasionally humans are offered the chance to take part. The stakes are memories: stake your bad, win some good.

Unnatural Beings

These are things that Should Not Be. Not in the lovecraft sense, but more literally. Most of these creatures are quite simply cosmic mistakes caused by messy book-keeping and a lack of proper tidying up. They won't (usually) drive you mad when you see them, they're just bugs in the universal OS. The universe's equivalent of the Minus World or Missingno. Some of them can be intentionally created through Magick but mostly they're just a type of unnatural phenomena with a bit more persistence and self-awareness. Supposedly there are Major unnatural beings but no examples are given.

Astral Parasites (Minor)
These are completely incorporeal psychic parasites. They live on the astral plane soaking up the background energy for nourishment. You can't see them and they can't see you. However, they can see humans when they are working Magick (or when they are otherwise strongly surrounded by or affected by Magick) and are likely to try and latch onto anyone they manage to spot. They're not tremendously common and they're generally only a risk if an adept or demon decides to intentionally attach one to someone they don't like. Once attached the parasite sucks away your Soul score at the rate of 6 points per 24 hours until they absorb Soul points equal to its Body score (30-60) or you drop below 10 (rendering you comatose). Once they detach you regain soul points at a rate of 1 per day.

They can be a significant threat to those who are actually projecting their soul out into the astral plane (where they appear as a hodge-podge of animal and human parts about the size of a dog) and they can actually carve into you.

Demons (minor)

We've covered these guys. It should say something that they're still only considered "minor".

Entropics (Significant)

An Entropic is one of the more insidious Unnatural Beings and one of the hardest to classify because they don't really have an existence as such. They have no form or mind and they don't even have the astral existence of Demons or Astral Parasites. They're literally just an awful...but impossible...experience, a set of memories that don't match reality.

Let's say you remember waking up one night, going downstairs and seeing your husband slathered in goat entrails, wearing pentagram embroidered robes and squeezing the guts of a dead rabbit over the bound, gagged and naked form of Suzy, the girl from next door who is silently thrashing and screaming as he chants in some language you don't remember. He sees you in the doorway and rushes you, holding a chemical-scented rag. The next morning you wake up and there's no blood or guts in the living room and your husband tells you he was at work late last night...but he's acting strange and he provides several alibis without prompting. You see Suzy later that day and she won't meet your eyes but when you confront her she insists she was visiting a friend across town and they stayed up all night watching movies. Then she bursts into tears and runs away...but when you call her mother she confirms the girl's story. When you really think about you also remember getting up to get a glass of water later in the night...

The false experience is the Entropic and it's shared among everyone there. You remember it, so does your husband (who really was working late at the time) and so does Suzy (who was likewise at her friend's house). The experience is completely impossible but so vivid and real that you can't help but think it really must have happened. The experiences are drawn from the victim's subconscious fears (the woman above is likely a believer in satanists and also likely thinks her husband might be harboring some unsavory thoughts towards Suzy). No one's certain what attracts an entropic (although you can "sic" one on somebody with a ritual) but it seems to be more attracted to those trying to "create" something: a family, a community, an organization, a cult. They don't try to kill or harm anyone directly...they just seem to exist to weaken trust and bonds between people and to cause suffering and doubt.

Entropics are tough to remove but there are rituals to banish them, and adepts can banish them with a couple of significant charges (or more cheaply they can "target" the entropic on themselves rather than the current victim). Even once an entropic is "gone" the memories it creates won't go away. You've just got to deal with them in whatever way works for you (therapy, booze, layers of denial).

Golems

These golems follow the jewish format (made of clay and animated by a word of power) to begin with and became refined and improved over time...but then the process of creation was lost to everyone except the golems themselves. By this time they could be made to look completely human but the sect that created them was targeted by the Spanish Inquisition and wiped out. The only survivor was a single golem commanded by its master to reproduce itself and then return to defend him. The golem managed to create a duplicate from its own flesh but the process was lengthy and its master died in the meantime. The golem and its duplicate stuck around the ruins of their former master's home until someone showed up and (mistaking them for squatters) told them to go away. So they did.

These two commands were imprinted on the golems as their "baseline" orders. They split up and each went separate ways and each made a new golem. Any time they have no master or no new orders that's what they'll do: separate and multiply. Each golem can only duplicate once and the process is lengthy and requires unusual clays and chemicals which the golem will seek to retrieve.

However, they will also follow any orders given to them by anyone. They have basically zero free will and when commanded they will follow any order until they are told to do something else or are clearly left without something to do (in which case the previous two "primal" commands re-assert themselves).

Physically they resemble humans but don't need to eat, breath or sleep (although they can fake it if ordered to). They are immensely strong and have no soul (in both the literal and character stat sense of the word). Most golems end up getting menial jobs...maybe they just were standing on a street corner staring at the wall and someone bumped into them and yelled at them to "get a job!"...so they did. Or maybe someone asked them for help and they just kept doing what was asked until it turned into a job. Most golems have an apartment because at some point they were told they should have one and they go there after work and stare at the wall until its time to go back to work. Some even get in relationships or get married (so long as the other party is willing to make the first move and every single move after that).

Once you know what a golem is they're easy to spot because they are all completely identical to their progenitor. They learn to mimic basic human emotions and gestures because they get the sense that they're meant to...and of course they obey. The only reason that we aren't simply swimming in large, ugly Spaniards is that golem growth is not expontential: each golem can produce only one duplicate (and it's possible there may be no more new golems if the last "virgin" golem happened to be destroyed before it reproduced. But there are certainly a lot of them around.

Their brute strength and tendency to follow orders makes golems extremely valuable tools to those of the Occult Underground. Once they've taken a master they're loyal to them until commanded by someone with a higher Soul Stat (which can make them a double-edged sword since both Adepts and Avatars tend to have extremely high soul stats...make sure your target isn't more authoritative than you).

Lycanthropes

Okay, so demons are a bit stranger than you might expect and vampires are probably just adepts with a weird charging fetish...but Lycanthropes do exist in UA and they're nothing like you might think.

A Lycanthrope is an exceedingly complicated tangle of broken rules and contradictions. It begins with a demon. Demons are capable of possessing animals...they rarely do because many have obsessions that need human hosts to fulfill but if your sole obsession is eating (and you don't care what) or having sex (and you don't care where you stick it) or something similarly basic you can make do with an animal "host". Animals don't have Souls so they can't really resist possession but they do have at least some spiritual "presence" outside of their purely physical body (it just vanishes after death unlike the human soul). Well, the problem comes with the fact that prolonged possession of an animal (especially dumber animals like cats or pigeons) is that eventually the demon's mind begins to match its surroundings and they become more animalistic. The animal "spirit/mind/whatever" they have in place of a soul also starts to merge a bit with a demon. This means when the animal dies (releasing the demon to find a new host) the animal's "essence" tags along. If the demon keeps hopping from squirrel to squirrel that's no big deal, it just keeps accumulating more "squirrelness" until it's basically nothing but a malevolent squirrel-force.

The problem comes if a demon (with an animal "tag along") possesses a human host. When this happens there are now three "essences" trying to fit into one body: the human, the demon and the animal. That's when you get a lycanthrope. Confused yet?

Well, here's what happens. All three struggle for control of the body (each makes a Soul check and the highest without failing wins.) When the human is in control they're...well they're human. They're normal, except for all the freaking out they're probably doing over being demon possessed.

When the demon's in control the human form is kept and the demon is in the driver's seat doing whatever it is it wants to do (probably with a "glazing" of animal behavior and instinct). The human can't remember what happens when the demon is in charge.

When the animal is in charge things get weird because it cause a glitch in the universe. The universe sees an animal spirit with a human body...and that's not right. So it changes it. You become an animal. There's no transformation or writhing around...you're just an animal. And you always were. Reality re-writes itself so that you were always an animal. Anyone who remembers you just remembers an animal "being around" and anything that wouldn't have happened to you as an animal, never happened. If you turn into a sheep it doesn't mean your wife married a sheep...she just never got married (but may have had you as a pet, or maybe you were kept in a nearby field). No one remembers you as a human.

It gets even weirder because when your human side takes control the process reverses...badly. Suddenly everyone remembers you as a human again...and they remember you as a human when you were an animal. For some animals this is just interpreted as a period of temporary bizarre behavior. A guy turned into a wolf might have jumped out of his bedroom window and mauled a local 10 year old before being injured and running into the woods. After he becomes human everyone will remember him jumping naked from the window, gnawing on a kid's arm (and the bite marks will be human rather than canine) and then running off into the woods. Weird behavior, but potentially explicable. The true weirdness comes when the animal does something that shouldn't be possible for a human to do. For instance if a "were-squirrel" runs across power lines and crawls through a tiny hole in a fence then anyone who sees it will remember the person climbing across power lines and squeezing through a 2 inch hole. A "were bird" will still be flying, they'll just be an inexplicably flying naked human. However, these events only seem inconsistent if attention is drawn to it. A witness will not freak out the moment their memories adjust, they'll only find it bizarre if they're later asked to recall or analyze the events.

It's actually very difficult to tell how many lycanthropes exist. Several never "change back" from their animal form and are effectively erased from history (if you die in animal form you stay in animal form) and if they turn human and are killed (or manage to expel the demon) then no one will ever remember they were an animal. They'll recall your strange behavior but unless it was obviously humanly impossible it'll just be considered insanity (especially since you may be ranting about possession already). Even if something humanly impossible happens it'll only be recalled if a third party calls attention to the incongruity. For the most part only those involved with "reality maintenance" like the Count de Saint German or the Agents of the Rooms of Renunciation are likely to be aware of the phenomena at all.

One further weird aspect is that the human and animal form have separate wound points. Damage taken to the animal doesn't affect the human and vice versa. Silver bullets are not required and if you kill the human or animal it'll stay dead and not switch back.

Nonentities (minor)

A Non-entity is a person without a soul. Almost all of them are literally just "faces in a crowd". In fact, that's how they get created. They seem to be a byproduct of the paradoxical crowding and sense of isolation produced by urban living: a side-effect of the human condition. They just appear from nowhere with no real history to speak of but they do have a kind of natural camouflage, fitting in by emulating other humans in their environment. They're a bit like golems in that they typically just end up working mindless tasks but they tend to be more "office drone" than "menial laborer".

They are utterly and completely Average (50 in all stats except for Soul, which is 0) and it's difficult to notice them even when you're speaking to them and they're quickly forgotten afterwards. They just do their thing: working at an office job, taking the subway over and over again, wandering the streets, etc. until they either cease to exist or die (usually because someone didn't notice they were there and accidentally runs them over). They don't even have the golem's immense strength and innate obedience to make them interesting.

They would be literally nothing but background...except sometimes something goes wrong (or wronger, considering they're mistakes of reality to begin with). Non-entities are not stupid but lack any drive or any emotion at all. They can fake polite interest or sympathy but they never feel anything...unless they happen to be close (about 10 feet) of really intense human emotions such as a Rank-10 Stress check, a human experiencing inevitable death, someone winning the lottery or falling completely in love. This "awakens" the nonentity, allowing them to feel a little bit of the psychic "runoff" from the immense burst of emotion. They feel for the first time ever and they want to feel again.

But they can't. They don't have any way to create their own emotions, they can only experience them vicariously. So a non-entity who happened to be walking by an apartment when two young lovers first consummate their passion will feel that intensity and elation and probably begin to stalk them, getting a "hit" whenever they feel that same level of passion and tenderness again. But of course, human emotions don't work like that, after the initial rush, humans naturally "level out" to a more stable emotional state. No matter how much a couple loves each other nothing will be the same as the first time they truly connection. Unfortunately, non-entities don't really get how it works and will try and want those intense feelings to bask in. At first this might be funny or cute...they'll watch romantic comedies or read self-help books and do things like send one lover gifts under the other's name or arrange for elaborate surprise meetings in a romantic setting. But it never can last and eventually they just settle for trying to force them to love again...by whatever means necessary. This usually ends with both lovers trapped in a basement somewhere strapped to car batteries and being electrocuted until they love each other again like they did before.

Nonentities are much more successful (unfortunately) when they awaken due to negative emotions. A nonentity who happens to experience the fear and terror of a human slowly dying is going to want more as well...it doesn't matter what emotion they feel, they just want to feel at all. And recreating that feeling is pretty drat easy, you just need a living person and something nice and sharp. These nonentities become remorseless serial killers...who are almost impossible to catch because no one will notice them or be able to describe them afterwards if they do. They also lack any DNA, fingerprints, blood or anything else that would leave behind evidence of their crimes.

Their lack of any sort of biology also makes them quite tough. They have no blood or organs...they're like a doll: just flesh-like material in a human mold with the proper coloring on top. Guns do the same damage as hand-to-hand attacks to them. Most attacks that don't actually sever body parts or inflict massive physical trauma don't really effect them. So electrocuting them won't do anything and while fire hurts it doesn't inflict the sort of massive trauma needed to actually injure them. Nor do they need to eat or breath.

Finally, you can't target them with magick because they don't really exist. The Dipsomancer blast will hurt them (since it's just throwing objects) but everything else (including things like the Urbanomancer blast) just slides off because there's nothing there.

Revenants (minor)

A Revenant is what most people would identify as a "ghost". They're technically a type of demon (i.e. a human soul bound by an unbreakable obsession) but their obsession doesn't drive them to possess the living (it's possible to force a revenant into someone's body but it's easy for the host to kick them out again). Instead it locks them into repeated patterns of behavior, often re-enacting whatever event they're obsessed with. While demons are pretty much irreversibly twisted it is technically possible (but difficult) for some Revenants to break their cycle and move on.

Most Revenants are classic "haunters". They're stuck in their obsessive behavior and periodically fart out Unnatural Phenomena in their area, producing the symptoms associated with hauntings. Those with Souls of 60 or higher may even have the revenant appear before them as an apparition. However, there are a few specific Revenants that are a little more unique:

*Ghouls: The spirits of those obsessed with death. They'll show up to scenes of death, staring at the corpse until the authorities arrive to deal with it. They have no real agenda to speak of and no goals beyond astral rubbernecking. They can be a useful source of information on recent deaths and the appearance of one in the area is a good sign something bad has happened or will happen soon.

*Snowfallen: These are extremely specific apparitions...the ghosts of mothers who died violently while searching for a lost child. They can only appear while it is snowing and will basically move across the earth with the winter, asking anyone they encounter if they have seen their lost child and sometimes offering vague prophecies to help others avoid impending danger. For some reason there's a ritual specifically to ward them away from your home...which hardly seems necessary as they're basically harmless but I guess they can get annoying especially since they're more likely to appear in places where magick has been performed.

*Splits: These ghosts were obsessed with making others happy at their own expense. They often appear to people who have racked up multiple failed Self notches (3 or more) and may be helpful or malicious (50/50 chance). The split appears identical to its target except that it's a mirror image (in fact it often appears in a mirror). After a few moments of "mirroring" the target it'll be capable of independent movement and speech. It has all of the target's memories and may even know things about people in the target's life that they don't but they will always insist that they "are you". Helpful splits usually give good advice and can lead you to heal relationships or break off unhealthy ones. Malicious splits lead you into traps or encourage self-destruction.

*Suicide Stalkers: These guys were completely in love with someone that they couldn't approach or even get to know and eventually killed themselves with their obsession never the wiser about their feelings. They come back to force the one they loved to acknowledge them...but they can't speak and have all the presence of a nonentity, making this exceptionally difficult. They can't talk to the one they love, write to them or even give them meaningful looks. The only tool they have is dying. They'll kill themselves over and over trying to catch the attention of the object of their affection. The corpse fades away as soon as it's unobserved and sometimes the random suicides are even helpful to the beloved (pushing them out of the way of a car that would hit them, jumping in front of an attacker's bullet, etc) but they're also constant and all but the most hardened targets quickly start freaking out. The only way to end it is for the beloved to die or for them to save the stalker's life by intervening before they die. When this happens the stalker gets a moment to say their peace with their true face and then vanish.

Tenebrae (Minor)

Tenebrae seem like a more physical "sub-species" of astral parasite. They specifically feed off the loneliness and misery of those who die anonymous, unmourned death. When a hobo never wakes up in a dark alley or someone completely alone decides to end it all the tenebrae come out and feed. They'll lurk around the corpse for up to a week until the corpse is discovered. They'll often try and drive off those who might find and disturb still-fresh "prey".

They exist only in darkness and become more "real" the darker it is. In bright light they vanish complete and reappear once it gets dark enough. They seem to be vaguely arachnid or arthropoid in shape and can jump impressive distances and are equipped with several sharp legs. Even worse, they live in packs and so long as its dark enough they'll attack anyone they think they can kill or drive off. There's the possibility of rituals that control or summon them, but no one knows for sure.

Unspeakable Servants (Minor-Significant)

Unspeakable Servants come from "old school" magic like golems, but the procedures to create them are still around (as are some of the older servants, although this is rare). They've got a lovecraftian look but they're not summoned from some outer realm and are actually a kind of hideous magickal turducken.

To create one of these nasty bastards you've got to kill a black bull at midnight on a moonless night and scoop out the guts and keep it at body temperature until the moon is half-full. Then kill a black sheep and repeat the process and once it's been emptied stuff it in the bull. Keep both warm until the moon is full and kill a black rooster and stuff that in the sheep, inside the bull. Keep all of them nice and warm until the moon is dark again. Then pull out one of your eyes then stuff it in the rooster. wait another full lunar month and see what "hatches". Depending on your roll you get a lesser, greater or abominable servant. If you screwed up I hope you're at least an epideromancer so that losing that eye gave you a charge. You can try using someone else's eye but then the servant is under the control of the donor. Of course you can always just kill the donor and try and make a deal with the now free servant (although some servants will just dissolve when the master dies). You can bequeath control of a servant to someone else upon your death as well (some old magickal clans have several "ancestral" servants).

Servants look more or less like you'd expect a mass of semi-liquid rot to look after it's been recongealed into a living being. They're a mass of waving tendrils, semi-recognizable animal parts and orifices with one eye staring out. They're perfectly obedient to their master (who can see through their eye at will) and can be quite powerful (especially abominable servants). If the master spends a significant charge they can communicate telepathically with their servant. They can also disguise themselves by hollowing out and "filling" a dead body of appropriate size (sticking their eyeball into the socket of the body to see). This doesn't stop the body from decaying and the corpse needs to be larger than the servant for this to work (making it tough for abominable servants).

A lesser servant is about the size of a rooster and while they're a little on the slow side they've got enough intelligence to learn reading and writing. They're not really creative and must be given very literal orders to be effective. They can squirt out a minor unnatural phenomena once per day and a significant phenomena once per week. They're strong for their size (body 40) and very tough (80 wound points)

A greater servant is about as smart as a person and can learn to speak (although their voice is distinctly awful). Being about the size of a sheep they can easily fit into a human body and learn to behave more or less like any other human (beyond their weird speech). They're not independent thinkers but have enough smarts to ask questions when they don't understand something and to work out the difference between literal language, metaphor and sarcasm. They can produce a minor phenomena at will and significant phenomena once per day...oddly this is the only creature listed where it states they can actually choose the phenomena they want to manifest. I'm not even sure if this isn't a mistake because even the abominable servant isn't stated as being able to choose the phenomena that manifest. They're stronger than most humans (70) and tougher than anyone except a juiced up epideromancer (140 wound points).

Abominable servants are scary. They're smarter and faster than most humans (70) and much stronger (body 100, 150 wound points). They're the size of a bull (or at least a bull that's been reduced to a shapeless amorphous blob). They're completely intelligent and can flawlessly imitate any human voice. They're also practically impossible to kill. All attacks (unless they come from the servants master) inflict only 1 point of damage (keep in mind a proxy can serve as a "stand in" for the master, and using the master's body parts as a weapon is a valid tactic). They can cause minor unnatural phenomena at will, significant phenomena once per hour and major phenomena once per year (with a Soul roll). These are by far one of the most physically dangerous beings in the setting (even the Freak would certainly rather run than fight one of these head on) but ironically they're probably not the most desired "class" of servant, in most cases a Greater servant is actually more useful. The sheer size of an Abominable servant (and the unintended unnatural phenomena they generate) makes them extremely difficult to hide and transport and makes them unsuitable for most tasks. They're terrific guardians for your sanctuary or home but not good for much else.

quote:

The Forbidden City in Beijing is symmetrical in layout, except for one small door, allegedly put in for the benefit of an elderly emperor. In fact, the “missing” door on the opposite side of the palace exists, and can be found with the proper ritual.

It seems I somehow managed to miss the entire first chapter of the GM's section which is full of interesting info on NPCs and organizations in the setting, so I'll be backtracking to handle that next.

oriongates fucked around with this message at 08:38 on Jul 11, 2015

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Night10194 posted:

Aborted primarily because, I imagine, god help someone trying to wade through that thing. It was made up as a joke about what kind of RPG would exist in someone's AdEva campaign and then the guys running that game tried to actually write something that blended 7th Sea, WoD, Exalted, 40k, and Warhammer Fantasy.

I tried playing a time-displaced Winged Hussar with a magical star horse and a good-natured heroic personality. We got two sessions in before saying 'Goddamn everything about this system is awful.'

I also played in a game of DtD that died. It was a weird experience, to say the least. I'd say it died more because of the GM than the system. I bet there is a ton of issues with the system that I just didn't notice because I wasn't taking it seriously, but we didn't really run into too many system issues in our run, strangely.

I also vote DtD for next F&F.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Non-Entities sound absolutely terrifying, but the thought that one of the most effective Adepts at killing them is a magical drunk is just kind of silly.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Could be worse, could turn out that the pornomancers are the ones who kill them the best. It's more coincidence since the dipsomancer just so happens to have a Blast that works via indirect damage...although honestly I've never gotten why their Blast is TK based...it never quite seemed to fit. Entropomancers have a bit of a weird Blast as well.

Non-entities remind me a bit of this short: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YmJ70O0N10. It's not quite the same, but it gives you an idea of the sort of thing they do, the reasons are just reversed. Of course a Major mechanomantic creation could totally end up like this.

oriongates fucked around with this message at 13:38 on Jul 11, 2015

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Cryx first, then the Circle, then Menoth.

Forces of Warmachine: Cryx



Cryx is the Nightmare Empire, undead and necromancers in service to the Dragonfather, Lord Toruk. They need no crops, they are infinitely patient, they are utterly unlike anything normally associatedi with a nation. They use dark magic to tear away the enemy's defense, allowing their swarms of undead to tear them apart. Their armies are very hard to truly destroy - they just keep standing up.



For centuries, most outsiders have had no idea how strong Cryx really was. Their attacks, while terrifying, were rare and apparently random. They could not see the underlying great plan, for Toruk's patience and that of his Lich Lords is legendary. They have no interest in conquest even now, seeking only one thing: the destruction of all other dragons. Once the nations of men are fallen, Toruk will drag his progeny from their holes and devour them. While this goal has never changed, Toruk's armies have evolved with time. When he first took control of the Scharde, he first commanded his lich lords to subjugate the islands and their cities. The few resistors were annihilated in days, and Cryx was born.

Toruk gave his lich lords the secret of thrall runes, which turned corpses into servants, with more intricate runes giving more power. Even they could not, however, comprehend Toruk's power or lore. They were left to derive new methods, better suited for mortal minds. Before long, they were able to create a great horde of thralls and a few more cunning leaders. These simple undead were used to build the city Skell and the palace of Toruk, where he is worshipped and rests. It was not long before the liches gained spies on the mainland, noting all of human warfare and invention. Cryxian agents stole the corpses of the greatest minds, stripping them of their secrets by necromancy, and the Cryxians pursued any weapon for Toruk's war.

Toruk's great army remained unknown to the mainland, who saw only occasional raids, and the undead fleet led by the Atramentous preferred to strike isolated towns and ships. The coming of the Orgoth was one of the few things to catch Toruk's interest, forestalling Cryx's own invasion of the mainland. The Orgoth had a unique necromantic tradition and much in the way of useful relics and lore. They conquered the mainland, and while Toruk destroyed their fleets when they came too close, he let them land on Garlghast to observe them better. The Orgoth ruled the mainland for centuries, but the oppressed rose up, aided by the gift of sorcery from the goddess Thamar, using it and technology to create the first mechanika. The Cryxians found this fascinating and quickly produced necromantic equivalents, plundering the bones of arcanists for lore on sorcery and mechanika to create a new necrotechnological tradition. Soon, they were even able to augment their thralls with steam engines.

The discovery of necrotite as a fuel source was a massive breakthrough. The lich lords hadl ong experimented with using souls to replace or supplement coal, but it was an impractical and limited resource. Necrotite, however, was a combination of coal and the residue that accumulates beneath battlefields and other places of suffering and death, and it could be used to fuel machines, sustaining heat much longer than normal coal. The substance is toxic to the living in prolonged exposure, but Cryxians are fine. They learned to refine and concentrate necrotite, learning to extract it even from new battlefields, and it gave them a potent and unending source of fuel. They watched the Immorese fight the Orgoth, and when the first colossal was made, they wasted no time in stealing the secrets of the cerebral matrix, which served as the cortex for colossals.

Eventually, the Orgoth were overthrown and retreated to Drer Drakkerung, their city on Garlghast. Toruk sent his armies to steal their final secrets, but after terrible losses, the Orgoth chose to self-annihilate rather than surrender. Most of the Cryxian army was destroyed, along with three of the five lich lords leading them. Toruk didn't care - it was a good outcome, and the secrets of the Orgoth were taken from them in death. The tradition of warwitches, most notably, was stolen from the Orgoth and now survives only in Cryx.



The mainland improved on mechanika over the centuries after the Orgoth, and Cryx studied the new warjacks, working to bend the purely technolpgical cortex to their will in order to make the first helljacks. Their designs were influenced by sightings of the Deathjack, a strange machine apparently made by some insane mainland necromancer. All attempts to find the machine itself's origins and design failed, but its shape inspired the designs of the things that would become the Slayers, Reapers and other helljacks.

More recently, Toruk has sent his forces into the mainland, while the lich lords that remain in Cryx support the armies with research. If the mortals of Immoren had any idea the level of the machinations against them, they would set aside their differences to destroy Cryx. Thanks to much long manipulation and very longterm planning, Toruk has ensured this does not happen.

The armies of Cryx are led by twelve immortal lich lords, created to serve Toruk's will, though at times their own goals distract them. Each was personally selected by the Dragonfather to govern his empire, and each has ruled for centuries, some a full millenium or more. The first lich lords were the pirate kings of the old Scharde Islands who bowed to Toruk at Dragon's Roost. Two of the fourteen kings defied him - King Threnodax, whom Captain Rengrave of the Atramentous served in life, and King Moorcraig, who fled to his castle in the hopes of defending himself. Both were annihilated, their souls bound to endless torment, while the twelve that bowed were given immortality. Their domains have changed over time with the needs of the empire, and the last 16 centuries have seen more than half their original number die. Some fell to outsiders, some to peers. Betrayal is routine in Cryx, where only the strong and brilliant thrive. Toruk forbids open war between lich lords, however, as it would distract from his work.

Within the last 30 years, Toruk's plans have reached a critical point, and Cryxian forces are active far beyond any precedent. These armies, known as incursions, were once overseen by Lich Lords Daeamortus and Terminus, who led from afar. The Scharde Invasions, as the mainland knows them, were planned to disguise the movement of the incursions into the interior, relying heavily on vassals like the Iron Lich Asphyxious to direct the mainland work. Even before he destroyed Daeamortus, Asphyxious was essentially a thirteenth lich lord, and now he is considered one of their number, having torn down his old master. Both he and Terminus are permanently stationed alongside their incursions now. Lich Lord Venethrax, expert on the dragonblight, is tasked to find Toruk's children, and is the most recent lich dispatched to the mainland, to initiate dragon-seeking operations in response to a perceived change in the draconic stalemate.

Technically, Lich Lord Scopulous is a fourth military leader, commanding the reserve forces. He supports the incursions with a stockpile of thralls, weapons and necrotite as well as commanding the home garrisons against counterattack. He coordinates with Terminus to ensure a steady supply chain, but Asphyxious has made the work less urgent by creating an autonomous war industry in the Thornwood. When the armies of Cryx last marched at full strength, it was against the Orgoth at Drer Drakkerung, but the warwitches of the Orgoth destroyed the city, wiping out most of the army and all but two of the five lich lords leading it. Those two, Tenebrus and Fulmenus, were reduced to spectres, and they are now the Dragonfather's experts on occult lore.

Next time: More history.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Forces of Warmachine: Cryx

As the Orgoth secrets were claimed, Toruk raised up new lich lords to replace the lost ones: Terminus, Thalassina and Angorus. Thalassina was given the task of steering the affairs of human kingdoms, with the aid of Malathrax's spies. Few mortals could understand her nearly prescient and subtle schemes, and she quietly became one of the most influential beings in Immoren. Toruk himself had trouble distinguishing between rulers, given their frequent death and replacement, and he relies heavily on Thalassina to control humans. Angorus and Divinitus, meanwhile, remain in Skell to oversee the treasury and Toruk's cult, respectively. They rarely leave the city, and Angorus' agents collect tithes from the Cryx pirates and mortals, overseeing spending on major resources such as necrotite. Divinitus spends more time with Toruk than any other, directing his priesthood.

Lich Lord Corripio controls the Archive of Skell, an immense library of stolen lore, with many books the mainland believes lost forever. In particulary, it is incomparable in matters of Orgoth lore. Until recently, military production was controlled by Morbus, one of the original lich lords, who went to the mainland in 608 AR to take control of Asphyxious' necrofactoriums and ensure Venethrax got the tools he needed. However, Morbus was destroyed in a suspicious ambush, and his position remains vacant until Toruk chooses a replacement, which could take some time. In the meantime, Asphyxious has de facto control of Morbus' domain, mainly focused on his own local industry, while his work in Cryx is being done by Master Necrotech Mortenebra and Lich Lord Scopulous.

The hierarchy of Cryx is a simple pyramid, with Toruk at its peak. Below him are the lich lords, with near absolute power in their domains. Serving them are individuals of great power - field commanders and overseers with varyied and useful abilities, such as the iron liches, necromancers, some sentient undead and other, stranger things. They have a lot of freedom in how they serve, and many scheme for their own advancement. The most effective and ruthless have sometimes risen to become lich lords themselves, and it's a common goal.

Cryxian warcasters, living or dead, invariably rise to prominence on their power as leaders in battle. They transcend their stations to command forces as large as they can manage, and they are willful and hard to predict. The most potent other vassals are warlords risen through the ranks on wits, skill and power. Some, like Gerlak Slaughterborn or Darragh Wrathe, are living champions of great skill, while others, like Bane Lord Tartarus and Captain Rengrave, are particularly potent undead.

Most Cryxian forces are thralls or necromechanical monsters, but they do have living soldiers. Only two groups of mortals really get any respect - the Satyxis and the warwitches. The women of the isle of Satyx were blighted a thousand years ago by the blood of the dying dragon Shazkz after Lord Toruk consumed his athanc. The men withered and the women became something more, embracing even further their culture of cruelty and blood sacrifice. When Toruk came to them, their queen immediately knelt to the new god, and the Satyxis have since served as reaver witches and raiders. The Orgoth, meanwhile, did not annihilate themselves as wholly as they'd hoped, and some warwitches were captured alive, given the chance to serve or die. They shared their magical traditions with Cryx, and they were subsumed into it, producing some of the most potent mortals in the entirety of the Nightmare Empire.

Over the last 20 years, Cryxian incursions have successfully infiltrated the mainland, establishing bases in the Wyrmwall and Thornwood, favoring underground tunnels. They have begun to establish the infrastructure to produce necromechanical tools there. These facilities are located near places of slaughter, where necrotite can be mined to fuel them via hidden mining rigs. Most of the materials used to make thralls are stolen from battlefields and graves, with the ancient dead used for banes and skarlocks while more recent ones become bile thralls or mechanithralls. Cryx notices most battles in Immoren, coming afterwards to loot the corpses and salvage mechanika. Their spy network is small but has contacts among the government of every mainland nation, though these informants rarely know the end results of their work, focused only on the wealth they are given for it. This data, in aggregate, allows Cryx to track troop movements and subtly influence battles. Other Cryxian minions hunt for artifacts and lore or for dragons, sometimes unsupervised for centuries until they can be collected after finding something useful. Often, they have no awareness of the bigger picture.



Several necrofactoriums under Thornwood are the focus of the mainland war effort. Combined, the Thornwood hub is second only to Skell in size of industry, but the only sign of them above ground is a few smoke trickles. The Khadorans falsely believe they control Thornwood, but fear its heart, where entire patrols have vanished. Asphyxious created the network, but Master Necrotech Mortenebra oversees its operation. Her machine logic has exponentially increased production in the facilities, which are equal parts factory and surgical theatre. Huge numbers of specially made thralls and helljacks pour from them, and mortals are dragged in for vivisection under the light of necrotite-powered forges. In but a few years, Cryx has made its way to the heart of Immoren, spreading like a cancer.

The fleets, on the other hand, have been the face of Cryx for centuries. Their armada is drawn from many Scharde pirate forces, and they are one of the premier naval powers. Lich Lord Terminus oversaw the fleets for centuries, but since taking charge of an incursion, he's left it to Skarre Ravenmane, who unleashed the fleet's full power on the western coasts. Her attacks have gone as far north as Khador and as far south and east as the ports of the Protectorate. The heart of the navy is the Black Fleet, and the mere sight of a blackship is a portent of doom. They carry their own weather, with unearthly wind and fog moving them and concealing them. They were made with Orgoth secrets, more than equal to any mortal vessel, and only the most modern ironhulls can stand against them. They are made in Dreggsmouth by Master Shipwright Kress Soratt, who answers to Lord Captain Derevnia Vrace, onetime vassal of Lich Lord Morbus, who inherited the job from Terminus, who built the original fleet.

Skarre leads the Black Fleet directly, with Satyxis making up the majority of blackship crews. Blackships have the capacity to carry vast numbers of troops, helljacks and other supplies, and their numbers have rarely been seen in full, so mainlanders often underestimate the size of the fleet. In fact, the smallest fleet is the Ghost Fleet, with its numbers varying wildly as the war goes on. The spectral ships have their own advantages - they have their own winds, regenerate from damage and are crewed by apparently endless and indestructible spirits rather than living men. All but the most powerful ships flee at the sight of a ghost ship. These ships serve Captain Rengrave, the first vassal of Toruk and first citizen of Cryx. His flagship, Atramentous, is an enormous dirgenmast, the most ancient ship on the sea. Many sailors will kill themselves rather than face it.

There's also a diverse group of pirate vessels from other nations, the largest but least ordered of Cryx's fleets. They have the largest number of living crew, primarily humans but also sometimes trollkin, ogrun or satyxis. The most satyxis serve on the elite vessels of Axiara's Raiders, led by Axiara Wraithblade, commander of the pirate fleet and servant of Skarre Ravenmane. These ships not only attack other nations and steal from them, they also smuggle - the only real commerce Cryx takes part in. Their ability to find any welcome at all in smugglers' ports makes them valuable to Cryxian intelligence, and the fleet is mostly used as support or diversion. They are historically hard to control and coordinate, but Axiara has helped bring the more volatile captains to heel. They can come together for major raids, using amphibious warjacks like the Leviathan and the Harrower to launch coastal assaults, routing foes in panic.



Warcasters are even more important to Cryx than other nations, as their unthinking thralls need powerful leaders to direct them. Cryx has studied the warcaster talent far more than any others, developing ways to emulate it with technology, at least in some ways. The necrotechs work endlessly and untiringly to experiment in this field, and the Orgoth soul magic lore has helped, especially the soul cages that amplify arcane might. Many Cryxian warcasters are born with sorcerous talent, like their mainland counterparts. Once found, they are watched and trained towards their natural aptitudes, with women often being initiated into the warwitches. This inevitably breaks their minds in useful ways. Others learn from different traditions, such as Skarre Ravenmane studying Satyxis blood magic. Warcaster talent is useful not just for warjack control, after all, but for magical power. The living learn in ways undead do not, and warcasters are kept alive as long as possible before being made undead - the living, for example, are better at divination and prophecy. Still, lich warcasters are more common in Cryx, and most warcasters are reanimated on death. The upper ranks are mostly undead necromancers skilled in necromechanika. Helljack and bonejack cortexes are made to obey the undead as they would the living, and for this reason Cryx has more warcasters than several nations combined.



Next time: The masters of disaster

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Forces of Warmachine: Cryx



Lich Lord Asphyxious is Epic Asphyxious. For millenia, he schemed and planned, carving out a private undead empire in Cryx. Many have died for his schemes, and not even the other masters of Cryx have escaped his touch. The latest wast the ancient lich lord Daeamortus, whose soul and remains are bound in Asphyxious' new weapon. That Toruk didn't interfere or punish him is proof of Asphyxious' acumen - in fact, he is now in Daeamortus' old station. Now a lich lord, he initiated he next stage of his plan. Under the pretense of making a necrofactorium under Thornwood, he activated the energies of the Temple of Garrodh, an Orgoth artifact which he planned to use to become a god. Thousands died for him to provide the souls needed to power the device. However, his plans were thwarted, in part by Lich Lord Terminus. Still, the entire attempt showed his genius, and Toruk ultimately interceded to stop the two liches from fighting before it could undermine the invasion. Asphyxious immediately began a new plan, negotiating a secret pact with the cephalyx, who live in the caverns under Thornwood. Without their aid, it'd have taken generations to build the necrofactoriums. Even now, Asphyxious works in the Thornwood to expand Cryx's hold. He has not given up on godhood, but is biding his time and cementing his power again. He is aided by his faithful student, Deneghra, whom he reshaped in death to better fit his plan. The Wraith Witch is his right hand now, and he takes to the field even more frequently of late. His gimmick is focused around benefitting from death and causing debuffs, with his feat returning a bunch of lost units to play as wraiths.



Wraith Witch Deneghra is is Epic Deneghra. She advanced Asphyxious' plans by dying to her sister. He would have waited before killing her, but he'd long planned to make her undead. After her body was returned to him, he took her into the necrofactorium, returning her as a refined and immortal version of herself. She rose restored, but not really whole. The connection between her flesh and spirit was weakeneed at Garrodh, warping and twisting her flesh. She was torn between physical and spectral worlds, her connection to shadow increasing immensely. She drew strength from her ordeals, opening her eyes to the mysteries of entropy. Darkness obeys her now, entangling her foes even in bright daylight. She can channel death energy to turn friend and foe into phantoms, and she has gone well beyond her warwitch training. She wields the weapon Eclipse, an iron glaive once owned by Daeamortus. In life, Deneghra was happy to serve Asphyxious without her own goals, but death has clarified her mind, increasing her ambition. She wants to become a commander in her own right. Still, she is loyal to Asphyxious without question. Her gimmick is shadows and magical attacks, and her feat greatly debuffs and locks in place the enemies around her by binding them with shadows.



Goreshade the Bastard is often seen with the Gravewalkers, undead he creates from those he kills. He once, decades ago, was named Ghyrrshyld, ruler of House Vyre, obsessed with the decline of Ios. Once blessed with great longevity, the Iosan elves died sooner every generation. After human magic was created, they were severed from their gods. Only Scyrah, goddess of spring, remained known to live. Further, they were often infertile, and many children were born soulless. The Iosans couldn't fix it, and seemed to accept their decline, which offended Ghyrrshyld. He decided to fix it himself, using his charisma to gain power and allies for House Vyre. They had long been masters of the occult, and Ghyrrshyld immersed himself in lore, seeking out the blasphemous secrets of the cult of Nyrro and the work of the lost nation Morrdh. He even stole from Cryx, spending days without sleep or food to find the answer. A solution came to him, but it would take terrible bloodshed. Humanity, he was certain, was to blame. They must be eliminated, to restore balance.

Ghyrrshyld subjugated his house, declaring himself narcissar and high consul. He hid his full plans, making allies with other houses and building his forces. Dark rumors began to surface as he fought the trollkin near Ios, savagely murdering them. He delved into Iosan cosmology, learning of a dark and terrible void between Caen and the Veld. He began to suspect that was where Iosan souls were being trapped, and perhaps why some Iosan children were born soulless. While he researched, his cousin gave birth to a soulless child, whom he took and brought to the High Consulate, killing it before their eyes. He raved about the need for war with humanity, before all was lost. His peers were outraged, and warrants for his arrest were issued. Civil war soon began. Less than two years later, House Shyeel found his research - he'd been conducting monstrous experiments on both soulless and souled children in massive numbers. They performed a final assault, mortally wounding Ghyrrshyld. He fled to the forbidden city Eversael, transforming himself into an eldrith, that he might not die. Eventually, he made his way to Cryx, calling himself Goreshade. He pledged himself to Asphyxious, but it meant nothing to him. He just wanted to study that dark abyss he'd found, using Cryxian lore to do it. He was given an army to lead, and he's grown accustomed to fighting for Cryx. With ever kill he makes, he drags spirits from the void as Gravewalkers to fight for him, and he can raise armies of them almost at will. During the rare times he is not studying or fighting, he stares into the night, remembering the time he once almost led an entire nation, rather than being just one more general of Toruk. Goreshade's gimmick is general troop magic, blasts and making undead. His feat summons an entire unit of Bane Thralls.



Goreshade the Cursed is Epic Goreshade. Mastery of eldritch and void lore has irrevocably altered his perceptions of reality, and he has come to believe that the Iosan gods must be removed from Caen, even it means destroying them. None of his people can understand that their gods must die, but Goreshade will see it done, using Cryx to play his own game of saving Ios. Some of his actions have come close to defiance, but he has convinced his superiors he remains loyal. Were all his actions known, his unlife would be in jeopardy - particularly a temporary alliance with the dragon Ethrunbal, or Everblight, whom he gave the location of the dragon Pyromalfic, rather than telling Lord Venethrax. Goreshade doesn't care - he believes it was necessary to get information on Nyssor. Below the catacombs of Korsk, Goreshade found the god Nyssor, preparing to kill him. However, it was harder than he expected, and humans drove him from that place. He fled with the god-blade Voass, and he was cursed by the slumbering Nyssor. He has accepted the curse as his burden, believing the stolen weapon will help him when he next faces a god. Once Scyrah and Nyssor are dead, he can begin saving the elves - or their souls, should they die in the meantime. His convictions are unshakeable, and even if his people refuse him, he will force his salvation on them. He will unmake Caen itself if he must, seeing no contradiction in destroying the world to save countless thousands of immortal souls. His new gimmick is built around buffs and blasts, with his feat allowing him to sacrifice troops to exchange for troops he's already lost.



Master Necrotech Mortenebra is never without her personal skarlock, Deryliss. She is the most cold and inhuman of Cryx's warcasters, alien even to the undead. She is a paragon of necrotechnology, known as the Fleshless Maiden, the Mistress of Precision and the Cruel Shaper. She once served Cyriss, Maiden of Gears, and she finds the titles an amusing mockery. She works like an insect on metal, clicking legs, and she insists on perfection. In life, she was drawn to the cult of Cyriss and their mathematics, joining them near their founding three centuries ago. She contributed to the creation of the soul transfer, putting consciousness in a clockwork shell, but grew dissatisfied with their progress in perfecting it. She became convinced of innate problems in the cult leadership, seeing flaws where no others did, and proclaimed the process unready. She identified the flaw: the creations had no free will. Some external force exercised some subtle but undeniable control over the translated consciousness. Her peers called her paranoid, dismissing it as the guiding hand of Cyriss. Undeterred, Mortenebra decided to take a more radical approach, seeking answers by experimenting on the necrotech-enhanced lords of Cryx, which she saw as closest parallels to her own work. She chose her prey carefully, using rumors of an ancient Orgoth library and a handchosen cult to bait in an iron lich named Lorvetus. He proved a difficult subject, murdering a dozen cultists before she could secure him.

Mortenebra was fascinated by what she saw, dissecting Lorvetus and extracting its animating spirit. She took her findings to the Cyrissans, but they were horrified when she suggested incorporating necromancy into their machines. They denounced her and cast her out, but she still had loyal servants in the cult, who conspired with her. When the cult finally had a successful transfer, Mortenebra returned, seized the clockwork priest and fled to Cryx, slaying all who opposed her. Exploiting information learned from her work on Lorvetus, she offered all she knew to the lords of Blackwater in exchange for safety. The clockwork priest cursed at her as it was vivisected, and she ignored it, in time using what she learned to become an iron lich herself. She now serves all lich lords but calls none master. Lich Lord Morbus managed most of her efforts, but she's fueled the work of Terminus, Asphyxious and, before, Daeamortus. Her decision to go to the mainland is a turning point for Cryx production. Her skarlock, Deryliss, is a lurking presence, one she made soon after her arrival. She has given it some measure of her authority, to speak for her. Mortenebra maintains a network of spies to stay informed, and for decades she's been collecting Orgoth relics from below Nine Stones, Henge Hold and even Khardov. Her past is nearly forgotten now, and she is wholly Cryxian, embracing her new form as superior to any vessel the Cyrissans could make. She worships Toruk now, adapting her old precepts to necrotechnology. Her knowledge and machine empathy have given her unique insight into necromechanical horrors, and she can synchronize easily with helljacks. Her gimmick is 'jack buffing, and her feat allows her to give her allies rerolls to attack and damage.



Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast is Epic Skarre. She has been caught up in fate, gaining insight into the magic that connects souls. Now, she stands at the fore of the naval war. She was at the center of the battles between lich lords begun with the death of Daeamortus and ending with the fight between Asphyxious and Terminus. When Asphyxious worked to elevate himself over Cryx, she was the one to realize his true objective and intercede, warning Daeamortus, but he proved too weak to stop his subordinate. She joined Terminus at the Temple of Garrodh to stop Asphyxious, but it was not without cost. Asphyxious banished Terminus from Caen as the temple began to collapse. Skarre found herself enraptured by the soul repository in the temple library, her vision awakening in a rush of power, allowing her to trace the strands of destiny connecting the living and dead souls, seeing how to restore Terminus and repair Toruk's plans. This allowed her, also, to preserve herself from near-certain death in the collapse. She combined her sorcery with the Witch Coven of Garlghast to open a portal between worlds, restoring Terminus from his exile. Terminus gave Skarre command of the Cryxian fleet as his vassal, with all of his resources open to her. Her orders are to open a front over two thousand miles long, across four nations. No coastal town or city is safe from her, now, and while Asphyxious hates her, her influence has placed her outside retaliation for now. Skarre Ravenmane now commands her own fate, using Satyxis blood magic to control fate's web and be aware of the outcomes of all decisions. Her auguries guide her with ruthless vision in commanding the Black Fleet to a future that bests serve her and Toruk. she may be alive, but she is now equal to her immortal masters. Her gimmick is built around buffs and debuffs, with her feat allowing her to trade her own life force to make her allies temporarily invulnerable.

Next time: People without Epic forms.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Green Intern posted:

Non-Entities sound absolutely terrifying, but the thought that one of the most effective Adepts at killing them is a magical drunk is just kind of silly.

Those magical drunks have an easy way to summon and control demons, too. That's the whole thing- Dipsomancers cheat . You don't know what you can't do when you're that buzzed.

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.

oriongates posted:

Could be worse, could turn out that the pornomancers are the ones who kill them the best. It's more coincidence since the dipsomancer just so happens to have a Blast that works via indirect damage...although honestly I've never gotten why their Blast is TK based...it never quite seemed to fit. Entropomancers have a bit of a weird Blast as well.

Ever spent a lot of time around an angry drunk? You'll start to notice a lot of thrown objects and pointless acts of property destruction. The Blast reflects this.

I think the Entropomancer Blast is something of a pun - sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will loving hurt you.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Forces of Warmachine: Cryx



Lich Lord Terminus is an ancient monster who has risen to tower over the other servants of Toruk. He was, at one time, the living commander of the forces of Dragon's Roost, Cryx's northernmost fortress. He internalized the dragonblight, his body swelling immensely and huge wings tearing themselves through his back. The necrosurgeons replaced parts of his body with necrotech and iron as his flesh began to fail, and by the time of the Cryx attack on the Orgoth at Garlghast, no part of his original form remained, and he was an iron lich of impressive reputation even then. In the aftermath, he rose to prominence by seizing Orgoth secrets and rebuilding the army, overseeing construction on the blackships personally. Toruk made Terminus a lich lord for his efforts, and Terminus devoted himself utterly to the Dragonfather. He hunted for information on other dragons, working with Daeamortus in the Scharde Invasions, testing the Iron Kingdoms for weakness. Terminus is so strong he can even inspire the dead, leaving his thralls eager to kill or die for him. While he is a meticulous planner, in the field he is a whirlwind of devastation, full of terrible bloodlust. His gimmick is being a personal powerhouse, and his feat lets him steal the souls of the people that die near him to boost his own armor.



Lich Lord Venethrax has the official job of seeking out the dragon brood of Toruk, the only purpose that truly matters. He has been a dragonhunter for fourteen centuries now, in the name of Toruk, and he will happily murder all of them. He is well suited to the job - obsessive, focused and devoted to the dragon war. His agents cover the mainland, listening for rumors of dragons, gathering the lore of Morrdh, studying stories of Ethrunbal's defeat in Ios and tracking the rumors of the blighted elves of the north commanding dragonspawn. While Verethrax is theoretically based in Skell, he often personally leads operations, overseeing the necropsy of the blighted and murdering dragonspawn. Shortly before the Orgoth came, he even led a horde to root out a wounded dragon, Halfaug, who had been damaged by men and elves. While Venethrax was unable to kill Halfaug, he came drat close, and it has remained in hiding for centuries. No other mortal creature in the world can claim to have fought a dragon to a draw personally. The increased rumors of dragon presence in the north and that Blighterghast has sent out a telepathic summons through the athancs have drawn Toruk's attention, and Venethrax has been sent to the mainland as a result, foretelling all-out war. His gimmick is loving up Hordes armies in general (and Everblight in particular) and also blasting poo poo. His feat causes enemies that die nearby to explode in clouds of dragon poison that even blocks the sight of Legion dragonspawn. Also, it sets things on fire.



The Witch Coven of Garlghast is a team of three witches, along with the bizarre device called Egregore. They showed up to the Cryx vessel Aldibraxis in 593 AR, no older than thirteen and followed by a mysterious black sphere of iron. Their names were Helleana, Morgaen and Selene, and they spoke an obscure Orgoth dialect. They used magic to get the sailors to take them to Blackwater, and the crew left them alone for fear of the sphere Egregore, which greatly disturbed them with the way shadow played over it and the sisters whispered to it as if it were alive. When they arrived, the sisters left without a word, making their way to Skell, despite the dangers of unaccompanied travel in Cryx. They were never harmed. On arrival, they went to Toruk's Black Temple and demanded to see Lich Lord Terminus, who was intrigued by them and allowed it. They fell to their knees, naming him Conqueror, Ravager of Man and Lord of the Blighted Seas. They claimed they had come at the appointed hour to enter Toruk's service to see the true destiny of Cryx come to be. Impressed, Terminus tested their prophecies and found they had a true talent, accepting their oaths of service. He was a battle leader first and foremost, so he set them to battle, where their dark magic proved very effective. The Egregore expands their power, letting them pool their strength as one and command helljacks from immense distance.

The Witches of Garlghast have gone to the mainland several times for Terminus, ravaging isolated settlements by all kinds of means - not just destroying them, but removing all trace that they ever existed, save for corpses strung up in trees alongside tortured victims begging for death. Often, with these tactics, they win before they ever have to fight. The Egregore, while clearly a sentient vessel, is a mystery even to Cryx's scholars. It is covered in runes, leaks darkness that caresses the witches like a lover and may derive from Morrdh or Orgoth. None have ever seen anything like it. It and the sisters share a bond unlike any other, sharing one life essence and whispering constantly to each other. Even the Cryxians have decided not to ask any more. They are seldom separated, for their powers are greatest together. Individually, each sister lacks the power of a full warwitch, but together they can sense fate with unparalleled skill, twisting the future into new shapes. Their power makes them unquestioned, despite the mysteries surrounding them. They are loyal, and that is enough. Over the years, they have helped Terminus with advice often, and he owes many successes to their prophecies. He has called for them to join him on the mainland now, thinking they will be very useful. The Witches are terrifying manipulators, both on and off the field, controlling their power at range and unleashing magical blasts at foes. Only they fully understand the destiny they have foreseen, but it is a dark plague on Immoren, from which no light will escape. Their gimmick is buffs and debuffs, and their feat is a huge debuff to nearby foes.



Cryx's necrotechs produce machines at an insane rate, thanks to their untraditional techniques and materials. Undead mechaniks can work 24/7 for decades, and almost everything they build is unique, albeit based on certain principles that unite a line of 'jacks. The necrotechs are highly jealous of their design details, so a bonejack built under Dreggsmouth may use entirely different materials and construction techniques than a theoretically identical counterpart from Blackwater. Helljacks serve the same kind of role as heavy warjacks, but the small and nimble bonejacks are produced in much greater number than light warjacks are. They are customized to carry specific arms and serve as mobile platforms for all kinds of devices, primarily arc nodes. The arc node, originally stolen from Cygnar, is very valuable to Cryx and is a hallmark of bonejack design, allowing Cryxian warcasters immense range for their spells. Other specialized bonejacks serve as warcaster assassins or burrowing ambushers. They're expendable in a way no warjack really is. Necromancy gives the cortexes of Cryx a spark of reason, but it also makes them hungry for blood. Their necromechanikal minds are savage and cunning, amplified by dark energies lingering in their necrotite fuel. Bonejacks and helljacks love to kill, and their often deranged creators imprinting on the runes animating them doesn't help with that.





The Helldiver is eight feet tall and just over two tons. They are part of the Cryxian doctrine of adaptability and unpredictable war. They move underground, erupting from the earth to attack soldiers that believe themselves safe. The immense front claws are used only to dig, not attack. The primary weapon, instead, is the machine's jaw, which it uses to tear apart victims. Helldivers can move through earth at a shockingly fast pace before rising in ambush, and they are quite patient, able to remain motionless endlessly. Many battlefields are seeded with Helldivers to prepare for the coming slaughter.



The Ripjaw is just under six and a half feet and weighs over 2 and a half tons. Its existence was unconfirmed until the Scharde Invasions, but for decades, Cygnar had noticed terrible lacerations on some of the dead or destroyed 'jacks, brutal dismemberment by some weapon they'd never seen. Retreating forces at Highgate in 586 AR produced the first reliable reports of these bonejacks, which shred an Ironclad within seconds via their mandibles and buzzsaws. They seem to have a bestial cunning when working together, finding the weak prey and hamstringing them before killing and mangling them. They seem to particularly enjoy targeting joints, even long after their victims are dead, until pulled to other tasks. This habit is occasionally useful if you want smaller pieces of bodies.

Next time: MURDERJACKS

Hypocrisy
Oct 4, 2006
Lord of Sarcasm



I had assumed that Cyriss was not a benevolent force but I had not thought that their process of soul transfer actually stripped free will from the individual.

Or maybe the Iron Lich traitor is paranoid and crazy.

Xelkelvos
Dec 19, 2012


The vote is actually tied afaict (4-4), but I started before Covok's post so it was at 4-3. Anyways, Engine Heart is short. The rule book is only 60 pages total and it's a point buy system so a significant number of pages are devoted to things that can be bought with points as opposed to fluff or mechanics. Without further ado...



Let us start off with a poem

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.


For those unfamiliar, this is the poem, There Will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale. Connected to this is the short story by the same name by Ray Bradbury about an automatic house that's been long abandoned after a nuclear war killed its inhabitants but continues to function as though nothing was amiss. The book opens with five small opening fictions as well as this poem to set the tone of the game and the back page of the book also provides this:

quote:

Getting into character:
Take your vacuum cleaner outside. If you don't have a vacuum, another small appliance like a humidifier or a printer will do. Take it for a walk around town. Notice how those wheels, that you never thought about indoors, are so fragile and frail on the hard gritty sidewalks. Drag it around a little more, over some uneven sidewalk slabs. Maybe drag it through a park.

Now imagine that you aren't around to take care of it. That it's on its own, and there are other things out there. Would your little vacuum be able to fend off a hungry recycling robot? Would it be able to outrun one? What would it be like after cowering from the rain for years and years, scavenging for a place to plug in, missing you and the safety you gave it?

How long could your vacuum survive like this?

Game background
Way, way back in 2008, a game was made called Artifice made by Earthflame which was a game about playing as AI, programs which have finally achieved sentience and now seek their freedom while hiding from their inferior creators who can still destroy them with a push of a button. Spun off from this game about a year later was Engine Heart which was based on the Drone rules in Artifice and expanded on them into a game of their own. In 2010, Viral, the creator, put out the Deluxe edition of the book and released it online for free. Three years later, a Kickstarter was born making for print versions available for backers as well as in stores. Included in this Kickstarter was a series of modules that added new settings as well as new rules for operation in these somewhat more esoteric locations. It's definitely one of /tg/'s best examples of GETTING poo poo DONE and stands next to Busty Barbarian Bimbos (and possibly Purgatoria: City of Angels soon since it's creator has announced today!? that it's planning a Kickstarter). As a side note, Viral also made two other rules lite systems/settings called Joints & Jivers and Modempunk.

In the game the players are robots. Not big fighting ones and not elaborate transforming ones from outer space, but the small ones. The utility robots. The ones people wouldn't notice in a society filled with autonomous machines. The world (i.e. the default setting) is a world where the masters of these tiny machines have gone. Buildings have begun to crumble and roads have returned to nature (if there is any) and all the humans have gone. But still, the robots have their programming and they must be followed as best they can. New robot societies have sprung up as the survivors seek to continue with what remains of their programming. And it's not just the robots, there are bodiless AIs who oversee the tasks the robots perform and while some are benign to its servants and sees them as part of a greater whole, others may consider them no more than ants or spare parts. "The humans are gone. You must carry on."

Basic rules
This game uses pools of d10s. When making a check, the Programmer (the GM), will declare what pool is to be used and the Target Number (TN). For a die to count as a success, it has to meet or exceed the TN. Example: A Mobility check with a TN of 8 generates a roll of 5, 9 and 4. The pool has one success which is enough to pass. The average TN should be an 8 (with the max being 10 and the min being 2). Generally, most checks need only a success to pass. As a special note, 10s explode. Rolling a 10 gives a success and a reroll of that die.

Creating a Robot
To build a robot, players are given 100 points (actually, it's 87) to spend on Attributes, Features and Defects. Features and defects will be gone over later but simply put, features are add-ons to your robot to increase their capabilities like laser cutters or storage tanks. Defects are flaws that give point refunds and include things like being fragile or glitchy.

There are three broad types of attributes and a total of 13 attributes. These are rated from 1 to 5 and used to generate the die pools for checks. There are also secondary attributes such as Speed or Damage Threshold made by adding these attributes together. Robots must start with at least 1 in each attribute, so a minimum of 13 is spent just to meet the minimum requirements on attributes. The point cost for Attributes is geometric so 1 for 1, 3 for 2, 6 for 3, 10 for 4 and 15 for 5 (or just pay the new rating cost to go up to that rating). Attributes at 0 are unusuable.



Above is the character sheet with the listed Attribute and Attribute types. Intelligence is essentially the robot's software. RealityCom is a robot's ability to understand the world around them and how things work in general like gravity or combustion A low RealityCom robot might know that things fall when thrown and flammable objects explode when lit, but they wouldn't know how fast it might fall or what objects are flammable or how quickly they would ignite or explode. HumanCom is a robot's understanding of humans and other organic life as well as how user friendly it is. DigiCon is the computer and AI interaction attribute and includes its ability to reprogram other robots and working with software. MechaniCon is mechanical control and includes working with machines and hardware as well as repairing physical damage.

Chassis attributes are basically all powered components and are mostly what they say. Dexterity is fine motor control such as interacting with objects beyond pushing and shoving. Mobility is speed and its ability to move. Perception is exactly what it means though a robot cannot receive stimuli it isn't built to accept (like tastes or smells). Reflexes is how fast it reacts to stimuli. Strength is its general pushing, shoving, load and general attacking attribute. By expending more power than normal, a robot can set one of these functions into Overdrive by a number up to its power rating. The effect lasts for five rounds and triggers a Power check (TN 8) at the end of the fifth round. If the successes are less than the amount of dice added, the robot's battery is drained.

Crux are the miscellaneous attributes of the robot and is mostly hardware (Buffer is more of a software thing and Power is both hard and software). Durability determines how much damage a robot can take before being destroyed or ceasing function. Buffer is the ability to withstand input overload such as by EMPs or very bright light. Size is how big a robot is. Size 1 is the same volume of a cube with 15cm diagonal faces (this tripped me up the first few times I read it since I'm not used to reading measurements as a diagonal unless specified). This approximates a volume of 1200cm3. Each point in size increases that measurement by 15cm so Size 5 has 75cm faces. Size 4 is approximately the same volume as an adult human as a bench mark. A robot of Size 1 gets a +1 to Dexterity, and a Robot of Size 5 gets a +1 to Strength. These can push a Robot's rating above 5. Power indicates how long a robot can operate before recharging. A robot makes a Power check (TN8) each day to determine if it has enough bower for 24 more hours. Obviously this can mean a Power 5 robot could suddenly need a charge after a day of travel due to a bad roll while a Power 1 robot could potentially go for a week via a series of lucky rolls.

The sheet provides a few spaces for commonly called pools or other secondary stats. Initiative is done by rolling a d10 and adding the Reflexes rating to that result (ala WoD). Speed is fairly self explanatory on the sheet. The Interaction pool is for grabbing, striking or otherwise manually interacting with a resisting or moving object the TN is either given by the Programmer or based on the opposing robot's Mobility+Reflexes. One check is made regardless of limbs. Damage Threshold is essentially the HP of a robot and hitting 0 renders the robot inoperable until it's DT is at least 1. OS Threshold is the same, but for its software components so things like electrical shock or reprogramming. There are three sidebars about repairs, reprogramming and resetting. I'll go into more detail later (though they're fully explained in this section). In short, repairs and resetting are are for recovering Damage and OS respectively while reprogramming is dealing damage to the OS.

That's basically it for this chapter. The next is all about Features and Defects. All starting robots come with some means of locomotion, a standard manipulating limb that can lift 10kg/Strength, two cameras that can see the same spectrum humans can, a speaker/receiver unit that can transmit binary or human languages up to 5 meters away and a standard battery. As a vague reference, here's what one interpretation of WALL-E might look like.



So, for the next post, I'll do Features and Defects and if anyone has any ideas for robots as an example of chargen, go for it.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Humble office printer turned post-apocalyptic raider, preying on other robots to survive.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



The Scavenged Dragon, a centipede-style automotive repair and maintenance bot. She lives in the decaying ruins of a repair chain (King Krankshaft's) on a pile of parts she has taken from other machines and scavenged material. She used to look like a wyrm before the foam insulation and costume wore away but she still retains her pop culture fantasy draconic personality and desires and lovely fake Old English speech patterns.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.


Hackmaster, 10: No, I didn't abandon it

Back after a bunch of extra hassle and pulling my PC to bits, we are back to look at the remaining fighting classes, and at the one and only one prestige class chain.

The Barbarian in Hackmaster is rather unusual. Unlike every other Barbarian, they can't Rage. But they do still have a d12 hit dice, so there's that for grognards. Essentially, their distinction compared to fighters is that they're really good at learning multiple weapons, but really bad at formally training in them. They can learn new weapons at half cost, and suffer half the penalty when using a weapon they're not proficient with, but their costs for specializations escalate exponentially. Their first level is the same as the fighter, 5BP, but it at least doubles on every level after that. They get a better range of starting Talents and Skills, but at the same time they suffer penalties on social skills, Literacy, and cannot choose the formal training option when they level up.

They also get bonuses to saves against magic.. but they get a built in Magic phobia which forces a morale check at -2 whenever they encounter magic or a magical creature. On a failure, the Barbarian runs and cowers until they see evidence of someone else hurting/killing the creature with regular weapons. Once one is killed, the check goes to -1, and once two are killed it is eliminated - for that particular creature. They also distrust Wizard spells and won't allow them to be cast upon them - but they do believe in the Gods, and will allow a Cleric of the same religion as them to cast spells on them. A Cleric of a different religion is even worse.

So, yea. Barbarians. They're big sacks of hit points and apart from that they're.. kinda poor. I'm not at all sure why you'd play one instead of a Fighter.

Rangers combine an attack/speed/initiative progression similar to the Fighter's with an initiative die progression similar to the Rogue's. They also get a different speed bonus with ranged weapons to with melee weapons; the ranged bonus is better, but the melee one is still pretty good, meaning you're not stuck being an archer forever and being lost as soon as you go into a dungeon. Their weapon proficiencies are half cost and specializations cost 6BP - only one worse than the fighter - but bows and throw weapons come down to only 4BP. They gain a whole bunch of wilderness-related skills at half BP cost. At higher levels they get a rather odd ability - Supernatural Affinity, which gives them 20 spell points, but no spells to cast with them. The idea is that they can use magic items made for Mages that might require the use of Spell Points to activate.

Rangers also suffer from Fatigue more slowly than other fighting classes, as long as they don't wear heavy armor. We haven't mentioned a whole lot about Fatigue yet - it's an optional rule. Any time a character is in a fight, they're in danger of being Fatigued, especially if they take hits (because that hurts). You're immune to fatigue in your first fight of each day, and also in the first 10 seconds of any given fight, and when Surprised. After that, you need to calculate your Fatigue Factor, which is based on Wisdom, Constitution, the armor you wear, your class (fighters and rangers do better), your encumbrance, and how wounded you are. Any time you roll under that on defense, you start to feel fatigue, and suffer a penalty of -1 to attack and defense and +1 to speed. Every subsequent roll under your Fatigue Factor doubles this penalty, and it goes away once you rest for 5 minutes. This is a pretty major difference to be in an optional rule, and it's yet another thing you need to track during fights - or, at least, fights that are anything other than kerb-stomps.

And finally, the two prestige classes - which are both exclusive to Human Fighters. Knight, and Paladin. Becoming a Paladin requires being a Knight first, but you don't have to go through the whole chain; you can stay a Knight until level 20 if you like.

To be a Knight, you have to be a 5th level fighter with appropriate skills for a knight - Etiquette, Riding, Diplomacy, Recruiting, and Resist Persuasion. You must also have proficiency - but not necessarily specialization - in knightly weapons: the lance (no choice about this one), at least one melee weapon, and at least one mounted weapon. Finally, you must actually go find a king or knightly order and join it.

Once you're a Knight you continue progressing in pretty much the same way a fighter did, although specializing in your knightly weapons is now even cheaper, and you get 3 automatic points in the appropriate skills each level - that's a better deal than even the Rogue gets, although 3 percentile points isn't all that much. You also get the same 3 points in the Religion skill, because Knights are always faithful; if you don't have Religion, you get it. Knights are expected to be in Average Honor at all times, to not attack honorable foes in the back or with ranged weapons, and to wear platemail - chainmail is acceptable but results in a loss of Honor since it is improper for their station. The main bonus for this is that the default attitude for anyone interacting with you is deferent, and ranking members of society will often take you in for free. Your hit dice goes up to a d12, tying the barbarian, and you give all your allies within 10' a +4 bonus to morale and to saving throws. Finally, you get Chivalry Points, which are a bit like the Rogue's Luck Points, except they're only usable for Combat and you're expected to use them at "epic moments". The Knight gets 10+level each level, they don't carry over, and they're expected to be in Great Honour to get them at all.

A Paladin is an upgraded Knight; to get it, you have to be a Level 11 Knight - but you also have to serve a religious order with a Lawful Good god, and to have learned that God's preferred weapon. Essentially, it gives you all the same bonuses as being a Knight (but not the chivalry points) plus some Cleric-style religious benefits. You radiate a holy aura which gives a -2 penalty for evil creatures to attack you, you can lay on hands to heal (although only 1 points/level), you're immune to disease, and can turn undead. You can also eventually cast cleric spells, although I'm not sure if someone wasn't smirking when they wrote the sentence "An 18th level Paladin casts spells as a 1st level Cleric."

Before we leave the topic of fighting men, we should talk about that little paragraph that exists at the end of pretty much every character class: the ability to attract followers. Hackmaster actually has rules for this. There are no explicit levels at which followers show up; it's based on your Fame, which will tend to increase with your Honor. Once you're famous enough, your character can announce they're searching for henchmen, and your fame gives a percentile chance for them to show up. The GM is supposed to create 2-3 zero or first-level NPCs via standard character generation, with most choices made randomly but with an eye to ensuring the character is playable and of similar alignment to the PC. The PC is then supposed to play out an interview with the potential henchman, and if they are accepted, they join the party as a second playable character for that PC. Of course, the henchman is allowed to oversell himself in the interview, and if the PC doesn't like what they see on the character sheet they are allowed to fire them immediately.. but at the cost of lowering their honor and making it harder to attract more. The total number of henchmen you can even have is limited based on your Charisma store, so this also uses up one of those slots.

Proteges are a special case of henchmen, and a rule clearly lifted from the pages of KoDT, but quite an interesting one. Essentially, you can take on an NPC as your protege and transfer experience points to them, provided you visit them regularly and train them. They don't have to be the same class as you, as pretty much any class has something to teach another. You can also give your protege loot if you want to, although you aren't guaranteed to get it back on demand. When your PC dies, or you just want to play someone else, you can "activate your protege" and take them over as your player character, at whatever level they reached as a result of your experience point donations. While it sounds fun, it feels a bit like something which ends up doing something that the GM was probably going to do informally anyway, but at a much larger cost.

Next up, multiclassing: or rather, the multiclasses.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Spider tank.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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



I too support Arachnid AFV.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

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



Different spider tank.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



/Spidertank, Spidertank
Does whatever the gently caress it wants/

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

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


Clapping Larry

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK8V9jG7Wjg

Less cute Ghost in the Shell spidertank.

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


http://www.dailydot.com/technology/drill-powered-walking-machine-why-but-actually-why/?fb=dd

This thing.

This guy's totally a Mechanomancer. He extracts his memories using his drill, Pi-style.

Speaking of pie, why not make Neptr, the pie-throwing robot from Adventure Time? http://youtu.be/qTTplK3kin8

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Jul 12, 2015

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Well, if we want existential angst, there's always butter passing robot.

You know, for something smaller than a spider-tank, and much more depressed.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z86V_ICUCD4
I vote for an Useless Machine, the antisocial robot that doesn't get along with anyone.

Green Intern posted:

Non-Entities sound absolutely terrifying, but the thought that one of the most effective Adepts at killing them is a magical drunk is just kind of silly.

And to think that The Matrix' idea of reality glitches merely consisted of events repeating themselves. Just think about what could happen if our world has a bad case of null pointer exceptions.

Mors Rattus posted:

Forces of Warmachine: Cryx



I can kinda understand it with vampires as they usually look "fresh" enough, but what's the deal with sexy zombie ladies?

Kellsterik posted:

Humble office printer turned post-apocalyptic raider, preying on other robots to survive.

But can he go beyond Officedome?

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Doresh posted:

I can kinda understand it with vampires as they usually look "fresh" enough, but what's the deal with sexy zombie ladies?

All ladies are sexy in the Warmachine universe.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Pretty much that, yeah.

Forces of Warmachine: Cryx



The Stalker is almost nine feet tall and just over two tons. It seems to wrap darkness around itself in order to kill for Toruk. Its hull seems to writhe and ripple in the light, and at a distance it's practically invisible. It uses its insectile legs to move quickly across the field, jumping over any obstacle to get to where it has to go. Once in reach of prey, it uses its threshing blades to make a quick kill, tearing through any magical defenses with ease thanks to the necrotic agent coating the blades, which saturates wounds and weakens even the toughest victims. For most of a century, Stalkers have been in use by Cryx to murder victims with armed escorts, as they relentlessly pursue their targets and cannot be studied or predicted easily.



Cankerworm is a strange machine, fifteen feet long and almost three and a half tons. It is a scavenger by nature, picking warjack carcasses clean of parts in order to integrate them into itself, allowing it to regenerate even in battle. It will kill anyone that tries to stop it but is not very interested in flesh. In the rear of its body is a strange, pincer-like device that grafts on salvaged weapons. Only Asphyxious knows the machine's origins, which may well be the result of his own tinkering. It's followed him for centuries, but seems more self-created than engineeered, consuming its enemies whole to take their parts. It has a cunning and self-preservation instinct that make it seem alive, waiting for warjacks to be crippled before attacking them and harvesting their wepaons and parts with its vicious mandibles. Once it finds a potent weapon, it will integrate the weapon into itself flawlessly, manipulating even the most sophisticated mechanikal devices with ease. Its existence only adds to Asphyxious' legacy, and even his servants don't like the machine much. No Cryxian ever interferes with its in explicable behavior, however. After battle, it tends to pile up corpses and machines and bury itself in them, sometimes bringing back a skull or piece of mechanika for its master. No one has ever tried to figure out how it picks its trophies.



A Harrower is almost 10 and a half feet tall and over 7 and a half tons. It wields a shrieking Mortifier cannon and scything Punisher claw, tearing the souls of its victims out to use for war. It is an amphibious helljack which uses a simple necromantic principle: the power of a captive soul is proportional to the torment of its death. Harrowers burst from the sea to fill their soul cages in coastal towns. The cages are etched with runes and lined with necrotite, and they serve as ammunition for the Mortifier. A Mortifier's shell is partially in the spirit realm, appearing to mortal eyes only as a sickly blur as it passes through obstacles, becoming tangible on impact with the intended target, where it shreds armor and flesh. In the rare cases that it doesn't kill its victim, the wounds it causes heal slowly if they heal at all and often become infected.



The Leviathan is almost ten and a half feet tall and 7 tons. Its watertight furnaces make it a favorite on blackships, where it can be deployed at sea by shoving it overboard, to make its way in by stealth on spider claws. When it senses prey, it rises up to bring its terrible crushing claw and rapid-fire cannon to bear. The cannon is fueled by built up steam, firing crude but effective spikes in endless bursts of death. Smaller quarry are cut down by the spikes, but warjacks and larger targets find their armor mangled by them instead, ready for the claw.



The Seether stands twelve feet tall and six and a half tons. It was designed by Master Necrotech Verrik Kurr, a lunatic even by Cryxian standards, who sought insight into the creation of necrotite by torturing victims and distilling their life force. He became convinced that the cursed Librum Meknecrus had the answers he wanted, and began to search for it. When he disappeared, an eventual search of his lab showed only the dead bodies of his assistants and a number of inert Seethers. They follow basic Slayer design with extreme modifications, in the form of soul drives grafted to their cortexes. These contain angry spirits that provide the helljack with bottomless rage, and the efficiency by which they use this energy has yet to be replicated. The Seethers are a valuable weapon, but the Skell necrotechs have as yet been unable to reverse engineer them. The remaining ones have been sent to the mainland, to wreak bloody slaughter.



Deathjack has haunted Immoren for two centuries. It is fifteen feet tall, but has never stayed still long enough to weigh. It attacks without warning, devouring souls and leaving nothing in its wake but death. Its furnace stinks of burnt hair and flesh from its victims. It was not made by Cryx, but they vowed to capture it ever since its first sighting in 350 AR. It is humiliating to them that they didn't make it, and its actual origins are unknown, as is the identity of its creator, but it's said that the secrets of its construction may be buried in the lost Librum Mekanecrus, coveted by Thamarites and Cryxians alike for its information on melding mechanika with Orgoth rites. The Deathjack's array of necromantic and mechanikal powers make it a potent addition to the Cryxian armies. Its Skulls of Hate, a pair of infernal lanterns on its shoulders, are quite clever, and constantly cast necromantic spells on it. Legend has it that the machine has been demolished before, always at great cost, but the Skulls of Hate reassemble it fro mthe wreckage of other machines. It is apparently immortal and exists but to kill. Its outer frame resembles Cryxian helljacks, as they were made to mimic it, but its furnace is unique. It runs not on necrotite, but on the souls of those it kills. It took many resources and attempts to capture the Deathjack, and even then, the Skulls of Hate are impervious to wards and rituals. They could not be broken, just bound. Some say the final cost of subjugating the thing has not yet been paid, and it will at some point break free and turn against Cryx. Even the lich lords watch it with vigilance against that day.



Nightmare is a unique Slayer, almost 12 feet tall and 7 tons. It has a predatory instinct and the power to become a ghostly specter, moving through any barrier to reach the foe. It fights alongside Deneghra, melting into her darkness until it needs to rend its victims to bits. Deneghra chose it as her favored weapon when it held her in place for her sister to kill her. IT was the same slayer that took her body back, obedient to her even beyond death. After Asphyxious granted her unlife, she became obsessed with her blood on its claws, understanding the power of that blood in imprinting on the machine. She bound the machine to her will permanently, modifying it extensively to be the perfect weapon of vengeance. It has been incscribed with runs and empowered by sacral bllod, and her mind burned through its cortex, bonding it to her. Through that link, it became the ultimate, tireless hunter, a demon for her to unleash. Her mastery over death has echoed in Nightmare, and it has become her instrument, killing in her stead. Once loosed, it stalks its prey, unfettered by obstacles, relentlessly seeking out its quarry. It materializes from the shadows to slaughter them, but its fury is the cold fury of the dark, not a berserk rage.

Next time: Zombie Armies

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


fool_of_sound posted:

All ladies are sexy in the Warmachine universe.

One of the everblight warcasters ( Who are almost excusively female, since Everblight is a pervert) is horrifically mutated and has malformed wings for arms and scales growing out of her in places she does not want scales.

Her epic version somehow grows out of it and is a sexy dragon-lady again

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Les Terres d'Amarande/Lands of Amarande

Example of Play

RIght after the Glossary, we get a small example of play. It stars two characters: Surestis, a Moonfolk warrior who's parent fled the life of slaves of the Southern Empire, and Alleria, a Valkyrie looking for brave warriors to send to Valhalla. They're member of the Adventurer's Guild and are returning home to Midgard after failing to catch a fugitive in the Frontier. On the way, though, they stumble onto a meeting between a Dragon and an undead elf. Listening in on the meeting, they see the dragon ask the undead to look after her son, because a killer is after her and she wants her son to be safe. Thinking that the description of the killer fits with the fugitive they're after, the PCs attempt to present themselves to the Dragon. Before they can be eaten, the fugitive shows up to kill the Dragon and a fight ensues. The killer manages to escape, but not before Surestis managed to grab his pendant. Next, the PCs will chase the enemy back to Midgard, using the pendant to try and identify him. A sidebar give examples of mentiones earned by the players during the game.

Like I said, it's a pretty short example.

Default Setting: the City of Midgard


A small map of the city and surrounding region

The Empire is made up of multiple Kingdoms, and the city of Midgard is the capital of the southernmost of them, the Kingdom of Norsur (sure north?). A sidebar explains that this default setting takes place during Chapter 3: Rise of the Guilds, but short description of the city during the other chapters is given. In Chapter 1 the city is the home of the future Empress, in Chapter 2 it's in the way of rebels coming in from the Frontier, during Chapter 4 it'S in the middle of a succession crisis, in Chapter 5 it is often used as the site of negotiations between the Empire and the Frontier, in Chapter 6 it is the crowning place of the new Empress, in Chapter 7 it's the home of strange events (all the description we get :shrug:) and finally during Chapter 8 the city is in decline. Once again, more on the Chapters when we get to the History section.

Midgard is a decently sized city, and getting pretty crowded. A project to expand the city is generating a lot of intrigue. People are generally well educated, and living conditions are pretty great. They've gotten better after the building of the new sewer system. The current lord, Frederick Amarande, has two sons. David, the elder, is getting ready to succeed his father, while the younger, Viktor, is trying to get people to sign up for his New Guild of Adventurers. The city has good populations of multiple races aside from humans: Ratlings, Dwarves, Golems, Elves and Moonfolk are all involved in city politics. The majors religions in town are the Jotnar Church, with a temple in the city and another one in the Royal Palace, and the Church of Mercy, with it's Mausoleum near the cemetary. Next up is a list of the major locations in town

The Tavern "Let us Drink Together"
The headquarter of the Guild of Old Adventurers, the tavern is pretty huge, with dozens of rooms for adventurers, a laboratory and a prison in the basement, a training field in the backlot and even an entrance to the sewers. There's, of course, a bulletin board full of job offers and announcements for adventurers.

The Genova Research Center
Basically a Mad Scientist paradise. It's pretty secretive, and in fact belongs in secret to the Jotnar Church.

Ramses' General Store
A general shop that also buys up curiosities and antiquities. Legend has it the founder had himself mummified and put into a sarcophagus with his riches in the basement.

The Durax Brothers' Forge
A forge owned by two Dwarf brothers for many years, it's the most well-known and respected place to buy weapons in town.

The Race Tracks
An old training field, bought up by the family of Martin Fourth of the Name who transformed it into a horse racing track. To keep the element of surprise, the owner often changes jockeys and brings new mounts. His daughter Gloria gives riding lessons in the New Guild of Adventurers.

The Medical Institute for Physically Handicapped People
A charitable organization that fights sickness and heals wounds. Since not a lot of people can afford personal doctors, this hospitla is often full.

Bordello of the Arch
Pretty much what you expect. Since one of their clients is William Knights, captain of the guard, they continue to operate in full legality despite some people's opposition.

Big Joe's Pawn Shop
Big Joe's the only pawn shop in town. He'll accept and sell anything. He's got some martial training and will ebat up anyone who tries to extract protection money from his shop.

Blue Eagle Transport Company
Headquarter of the Merchant Guild of the Sandros Family, they'll ship stuff to all the corners of the Empire. Often hires mercenaries to protect it's shipping.

Gardens of Laufey
A nice park during the day, a dangerous place to walk at night.

Tavern of the Sick Dog
A wretched hive of scum and villainy. Where to get in contact with criminals.

The Thanathos Mausoleum
Temple of the Church of Mercy in town. It goes down multiple levels, and is msotly inhabite dby Undead and Necromancers who feel they don't fit in with society. The Mausoleum is not open to all, since the Church recognizes some people in town as enemies.

The Cemetary
Situated between the two churches, it's one of the biggest in the Empire.

The Milita Barracks
The Barracks of the Town Militia are located in town instead of in the Castle, as the current captain William Knights wanted to distance himself from Imperial power. There are many monsters held in cellsm in the basement, ready to be released in case of invasion.

Nails Plaza
A nice plaza full of craftsman and nice Café. A statue of a Golem named Nails is displayed in the center, with no mention made of why it's there. No one remembers.

The Tower of Bebel
In defiance of the law restricting building size, the Tower of Bebel is a twenty-story high marvel of engineering and magic. It's full of Enchanters. Some believe Nails might have built it.

The Temple of the Jotnars
Built on Holy Ground, it is a safe place for anyone who goes there. Some say that at night the gargoyles come alvie and will terrorize bandits who enter it.

The Carlisle Mansion
The house of one of the major noble families of the Empire, few go there due to the Family's Curse.

The Elven Pacificate
The home of ambassadors from the secretive Council of Elves, which rules over the Elven Kingdom, it's an important place in city politics.

The New Guild of Adventurers
Prince Viktor, with the help of many other noble sons and daughters, is trying to bring nobles and commoners closer together with his new Guild. He also considers the old Guild a relic of ancient times, so there's a rivality there.

Olamn Observatory
Olamn is the official Astrologer of the nobility. In secret, he's a moonfolk manipulating the nobles to keep his race informed.

The Opera
The opera is also a theater, an auditorium and a refuge for strange beings. There are many rumors about it's basements full of costumes and props.

The Mansion
An historical residence maintained by the Jotnar Church, it is apprently where the Empress lived ebfore the founding of the Empire.

The Dylan Monument
A monument to the hero Dylan, who defeated a terrible dragon and accompanied the Empress.

The Norsur Royal Palace
A huge palace, almost a small town, where the Norsur Royal Family lives.

So, all in all, a pretty normal Adventure Town, with everything needed for a classic PC group.

The Guild of Ancient Adventurers
The guild was founded by the Empress during the early days when Midgard was her capital. The goal of the guild wwas to take care of problems caused by the proximity of the Frontier. The guild get it's money from the services it renders, as well as part of the city taxes. The Guild has remained loyal to these ideals, and remains loyal to the Empress even after the Coup by her General. The Guild is opposed, of course, by the New Guild of Adventurers, with kind of a Musketeers vs Richelieu thing going on. It's also opposed by criminals and mosnters, many take refuge in the nearby Frontier, where no law rules. The old Guild still has many allies, despite the New guild stealing their merchant contacts. Those the Guild helped in the past, the families that served the Empress directly (Knights, Fletcher, the Condemned...) and even those inhabitants of the Forntier that have come to have a grudging respect for the Guild. The guild is elad by three people: Gustave, who takes care of finance and politics, Arvis, who takes cares of the people and general day-to-day activities and the Old Sage, who's in charge of scientific research. Punishment for adventurers is usually expulsion from the Guild at worst. The Guild ignores the past of it's amembers, basically letting them make a new life for themselves and work toward their own betterment.

Next time: Gods and Mythology/Cosmology

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Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



MonsieurChoc posted:

Default Setting: the City of Midgard

The Genova Research Center
Basically a Mad Scientist paradise. It's pretty secretive, and in fact belongs in secret to the Jotnar Church.

I see the creator played FF7.

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