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Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Doresh posted:

Of course. They wouldn't be evil if they didn't do thinks purely for the evulz.

(Oh, and is anyone okay if I just continue ProfessorProf's TBZ review, or do you guys want a "reboot"?)

Just pick it up, link to the earlier one or the wiki if you want continuity.

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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



It's nice to know that one of the most dangerous classes is a big buff person with a machine gun wearing swim trunks, floaties, a snorkle and an aluminum foil hat yelling "SUFFER NOT A FISH TO LIVE" whenever they open fire or feel like it.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Hostile V posted:

It's nice to know that one of the most dangerous classes is a big buff person with a machine gun wearing swim trunks, floaties, a snorkle and an aluminum foil hat yelling "SUFFER NOT A FISH TO LIVE" whenever they open fire or feel like it.



I miss The Far Side.

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

Doresh posted:

Of course. They wouldn't be evil if they didn't do thinks purely for the evulz.

(Oh, and is anyone okay if I just continue ProfessorProf's TBZ review, or do you guys want a "reboot"?)

I'd just continue it unless ProfessorProf objects.

Nea
Feb 28, 2014

Funny Little Guy Aficionado.

Doresh posted:

Of course. They wouldn't be evil if they didn't do thinks purely for the evulz.

(Oh, and is anyone okay if I just continue ProfessorProf's TBZ review, or do you guys want a "reboot"?)

Reboot it, I'd say. It's been too long.

Echo Cian
Jun 16, 2011



PurpleXVI posted:

For some reason some of the stuff I love the most from the F&F thread is when someone completely breaks a game in half with some unintended results of RAW.

Same. In fact, it'd be fun to have a series that was just How To Break Games Into Pieces without necessarily needing a full writeup for each one (or just referencing existing writeups).

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


I seriously love the soggy, kelp-covered aquatic ghost pirate cowboy with his antimagic and force-fields of DETERMINATION and dual pistols of absolute smite-y murder.

Toss that on the pile of RIFTS character concepts that I'd actually love to play, except, you know, RIFTS.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I think there's a chinese OCC who can also do the SDC = MDC trick. Without the doubling, but it works on anything.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

and have a 35% (+5% per level) of being able to tell if a supernatural creature is evil.
No need to roll, just hose them down with the machine pistols. If they die they were evil, if it's just an exfoliating massage then they aren't.

The Lone Badger fucked around with this message at 00:14 on Nov 8, 2015

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

And when you murder an adult dragon with some of the dinkiest weapons in the game, tell 'em Alien Rope Burn sent you. :ssh:

Oh man, you didn't even get in the Rifts: Merc Ops with the entire Golden Age Weaponsmiths arsenal. The first part is that they re-statted a bunch of SDC guns to have a MD effect. For instance, .50 caliber guns to do 1D6x10 SDC with a single bullet hit and 1D6x100 in a ten round burst. A 7.62mm machinegun, which is probably what those machineguns attached to the vehicles in the Rifts main book, is something like 4D6x10 SDC or 1D4 MDC. But, that's not getting to the big one: there's a GECAL .50 caliber vulcan gun listed there that does 2D6x100 SDC in a burst.

Fallorn
Apr 14, 2005


If only they had some SDC area of affect gas it could fire to purge evil from different environments like grocery stores or congress. The Suffer not the fish to live cleaned up congress.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


What's the highest you could go without having it turn into MDC, anyways? Something like xd6 x 99 ?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


There's no strict number. Weapons that do over 100 S.D.C. are often given an M.D.C. damage value, but there's no specific rule that says they have to.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Isn't there a paragraph in the core that says they never convert, ever? It mentions how you can rack up several hundred SDC in a round but this is basically meaningless, MDC material is simply so tough that your bullets are useless. It doesn't get into like, nukes or even cruise missiles but it strongly suggested that SDC guns were basically worth less than it cost to make them.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Read the novel Fragment by Warren Fahy. He's got your giant mantis shrimp in spades.

That's a really fun airport novel. It'd make a fantastic modern or SF one-shot scenario for a con or any other time you don't mind a TPK. The setup is, there's an island in the SE Pacific that has been isolated for long enough for horrible deadly life forms to evolve in a genetic pressure cooker.

I'm scribbling note to make it the deadliest Traveller Red Zone ever.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



occamsnailfile posted:

Isn't there a paragraph in the core that says they never convert, ever? It mentions how you can rack up several hundred SDC in a round but this is basically meaningless, MDC material is simply so tough that your bullets are useless. It doesn't get into like, nukes or even cruise missiles but it strongly suggested that SDC guns were basically worth less than it cost to make them.

Somewhat. I used Merc Ops heavily during my campaign, because one of those things I wanted to pull off is how people outside the player characters or outside of the Coalition or the major powers could survive in the post-Rifts wilderness with little access to MDC equipment. One of the ideas is that there were militias practically armed all with light machineguns, first stolen from various military arsenals in the Cataclysm, and then rebuilt and reverse-engineered over generations in remaining CNC mills or garages. Building open-bolt machineguns and automatic rifles is actually pretty easy, since you're not worried about being accurate with semi-auto with the damned thing, you're just interested in firepower. Laser weapons acquired through looted pre-Rifts stashes or Coalition armories, from CS defectors, or through the Black Market and other traders were would be rare, still significantly powerful, and usually a symbol of elites, but a few militiamen with a light machineguns and a few hundred rounds of ammunition a piece would be enough to fend off most attackers as long as they were solitary hunters or stragglers.

If I had heard about the DIY .50 caliber automatic rifles made by Mexican drug cartels before the campaign, I would have probably gone that route instead.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




It's always weird (and usually a pet peeve of mine) when some aspect of how the rules work practically becomes a cornerstone of the setting. The dividing line between SDC and MDC in Rifts seems like it constitutes one of those things.

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

mllaneza posted:

That's a really fun airport novel. It'd make a fantastic modern or SF one-shot scenario for a con or any other time you don't mind a TPK. The setup is, there's an island in the SE Pacific that has been isolated for long enough for horrible deadly life forms to evolve in a genetic pressure cooker.

I'm scribbling note to make it the deadliest Traveller Red Zone ever.

Giant land dwelling predators evolved from Mantis Shrimp is all you really need to say.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





occamsnailfile posted:

Isn't there a paragraph in the core that says they never convert, ever? It mentions how you can rack up several hundred SDC in a round but this is basically meaningless, MDC material is simply so tough that your bullets are useless. It doesn't get into like, nukes or even cruise missiles but it strongly suggested that SDC guns were basically worth less than it cost to make them.

Yeah, there's no hard conversion. There are some words in some Palladium book about how some classes of SDC damage like big explosions can convert, and there are a number of weapons that have damage given as "2D6x100 SDC + 100 ft knockback (or 2D6 MDC)" but there's no rhyme or reason to which ones get MDC damage ratings. Nor is it clear how you decide whether to cause SDC or MDC damage - player choice per weapon or per shot, GM decision, campaign default?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Way back in the mists of time, it was unhelpfully stated that SDC weapons never scaled up to MDC, even if they did over 100 damage, unless they were explosives. I think the rationale was bullets and RPGs versus tank plating. Of course, that didn't explain how tank rounds dealt MD, or where SDC materials magically became impregnable to small arms, but this was already a system where you could beat a steel-core door down with a Louisville slugger and enough dice rolled.

Goddamn Robotech RPG, it's all your fault.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Alien Rope Burn posted:

There's no strict number. Weapons that do over 100 S.D.C. are often given an M.D.C. damage value, but there's no specific rule that says they have to.

Why am I not surprised that there aren't clear, universal damage conversion rules in Rifts?

mllaneza posted:

That's a really fun airport novel. It'd make a fantastic modern or SF one-shot scenario for a con or any other time you don't mind a TPK. The setup is, there's an island in the SE Pacific that has been isolated for long enough for horrible deadly life forms to evolve in a genetic pressure cooker.

So it's basically Monster Island? Neat.

Tenra Bansho Zero


(Diaper ninja girl is happy that the translators didn't remove her from the game. I personally think they overreacted a bit, as this looks less like a diaper and more like some cross between a yukata and a leotard. Then again I may be desensitised after watching manly men like Toshiro Mifune run around in something looks a lot more like a diaper. You can never unsee.)

It's Tenra Bansho Zero again, the hyper-charged Japanese tabletop RPG set in the grim future of planet Tenra, where there is only war and dickish priests.

Before reading this, I'd like to draw your attention to ProfessorProf's previous posts that give a good overview of the setting and basic mechanics to which I can't really add anything new. Don't worry, they're a quick read.

Now that you are (hopefully) prepared, let's follow up the post on war with more information - and rules about combat.

Tools of the Trade

So technological advancements have allowed the lowly Ashigaru to move from bows, spears and swords to WWI-style firearms and machine guns, with some more advanced stuff like sub-machine guns if they're lucky. Elite troops and PCs of course have access to way better stuff, a lot of which predates gunpowder weapons by a long shot.

Soulgems are [insert Madoka Magica spoiler here] a type of scarlet metal (despite being called and looking like gems. Maybe a translation issue?) typically refined into small marbles or cyclinders. They serve as batteries for spritiual energy and are therefore vital for onmyoji sorcerers to store the energy required to summon and sustain a shikigami, and becoming a samurai requires you to have soulgems implanted into your skin for reasons we will get to later.
As soulgems are both rare and of outmost importance to any army, lords will do pretty much anything to get their hands on a newly discovered mine, which can easily result in a war if the mine happens to be in a border region.

New mains are mainly found by geomancers, onmyoji sorcerers dealing in feng shui stuff. Because of the above reasons, geomancers are very careful or downright paranoid when it comes to keeping their mines secret. The prices they demand for their gems are usually quite high, but they generally try to not be too greedy, because making a profit is much more important to them than pissing off their business partner enough for them to try to find less legal ways to get the gems.

Scarlet Steel (also known as Orichalcum) is another reddish metal that is much denser than normal steel and is a great conduit for spiritual energy. It is the primary material for Armours aka giant robots, and it offers nice synergy with soulgems in the form of the gemblades.
Gemblades are basically like gunblades from Final Fantasy 8, except the design is much more sensible because they are just normal weapons that happen to have a gun mechanism build into their crossguard, instead of being oversized pistols with a blade for a barrel. You squeeze down the trigger, and one or more of the soulgems inside the magazine will get pulverized, releasing its energy to temporarily turn the weapon into a vibro-blade with improved density and cutting power.
The firing mechanism itself comes in two varieties: revolver-style or the newer automatic style. The latter offers a bigger magazine, but is more prone to jamming (which there are no rules for, so you just roleplay it if you want to). Many warriors prefer revolver-style gemblades, mainly because this is one of those settings where older stuff is usually of higher quality.
Though any type of bladed weapon can be made into a gemblade, gemblade katanas (as well as their shorter and longer cousins) have such a cultural signifiance on Tenra that they are far more numerous than any other possible gemblade type.

(And despite being red in color, all of the colored pictures in the book show gemblades as being steel-colored).

The same discharge created from a soulgem is also used for soulgem firearms, who have been around a lot longer than their gunpowder counterparts. Though the latter are significantly cheaper, soulgem firearms have many advantages: They are better (because they're older), and soulgems also don't become useless when doused with water. Soulgems also have the advantage that they can't accidentally blow up. Even if you were to smash a soulgem with a rock or hammer, it would just break apart and the energy stored inside would just vanish. They only release their energy in an explosive manner when they come into contact with a special magical sigil (carved into the firing mechanism's hammer) and when the user has a clear killing intent. For these reasons, warriors of higher status generally look down upon gunpowder weapons for being unpredictable and messy.

Since blades and guns powered by magical marbles aren't quite ridiculous enough for such a grimdark setting, we now take a look at the three most feared and powerful weapons on the battlefield:


Man, this is almost like Monster Hunter.

The Gunlance is essentially a sniper railgun used seriously damage Armours or turn human-sized targets into gibs. Though build for long range, the weapon is by no means useless in melee combat. The bayonet attached to the barrel is a so-called explosive spiker which uses its own soulgem discharge to launch forward at incredible speeds, punching through Armours with ease.
Due to its length and weight, the Gunlance requires special training and can only be used by characters with the Gunlancer archetype.

The Zakt-8R Ultimate Edge (aka "Hachiren Zankoutou", aka "Eight-Repeating Ultimate Cutting Blade" ) is the weapon of choice for Armour Hunters, warriors who are bad enough dudes to fight 18+ foot tall metal monstrosities in close combat - with their own weapons, for the Zakt-8R is actually a modified Armour shortsword that can unload its entire magazine of 8 soulgems in one strike, giving Armour Hunters dangerous spike damage capabilities.
Just like with the Gunlance, special training is required to wield to weapon, restricting its usage to characters with the Armour Hunter archetype.

The White Heat Palm (aka Grimdark Shining Finger) is one of the most dangerous close combat weapons in all of Tenra. Serving as a hand prosthesis or just the regular hand of an Armour or kongohki (which we will cover in due time), the White Heat Palm is made out of pure scarlet steel and infused with soulgems. It is powered by the wielder's own spiritual energy, which it uses to become hot enough that it starts to glow and can melt just about everything it touches.
Because of its larger size, Armour-scale White Heat Palms are less energy-efficient than their smaller cousins.

Basic Combat

I love these comics

Combat is pretty straight-forward. Initiative depends on Agility (with Sense and Knowledge acting as tie-breakers), and everyone gets one Action (like attacking or using a special ability) and a Half-Action (like switching weapons or shouting something). The exact length of a turn in seconds is not important and generally up to the GM.

Attacks can be either dodged with the Evasion skill, or parried with a melee combat skill if the attack itself is also a melee attack. Damage is equal to the Margin of Success, the weapon's damage and various other modifiers. The most common of these are soulgem discharges of a gemblade, which increase damage by 1 for each soulgem used, limited by the blade's rate of fire and remaining ammo. Gemblade users can wait until after their attack has hit to use soulgems with no penalty (essentially cutting deeper into their opponent), making it pretty hard to waste gems.
As weapons on Tenra have long since developed past a point where a bit of leather or steel could stop them, the game has no rules for personal armor, so any piece of protective clothing you wear is purely for style.

Parrying a melee attack with a melee skill of your own has an interesting mechanic I really like: You only actually parry if you tie with the attacker. As soon as you have more successes than he has, you actually do a counterattack, dealing damage as if you just made a succesful attack. So melee combat in TBZ is not about "I attack, you defend", but about "I attack, you attack". So if you are clearly outmatched by an opponent, it might just be better to flee or use a ranged attack.
This also keeps action economy simple. Guys like Zatoichi don't beat up a group of bandits in a matter of seconds because they have that many attacks per round. They just counter-attack everything thrown at them.

Ranged weapons are a bit different in that their rate of fire allows them to hit multiple targets at once. The higher their ROF in comparison to the number of targets, the more extra damage each one suffers. This extra damage is however capped at +2, so you pretty much have to attack multiple targets if you want to make full use out of high ROF.

Damage itself is handled quite interestingly, since TBZ has both Health Points in the form of Vitality and Wound Boxes. The interesting part is that the PC chooses how the incoming damage is applied, distributing it between Vitality or Wound Boxes however he wishes. He doesn't even have to fill the Wound Boxes in order of severity, and they are all worth the same amount of damage (aside from the Dead Box, which we'll get to in a minute).
The only time a character can't pick between Vitality or Wounds is because of an esoteric special ability or if the character in question is an Armour pilot who wants to keep is Armour going for longer (in which case the damage has to be received as wounds, though they can be split among Armour and pilot).

Vitality is short-term damage that quickly regenerates after combat in a matter of minutes, and you can even recover a bit during combat by just resting instead of attacking. Losing all of your Vitality just knocks you out and has no lasting effect. A character could literally drop from Tenra's orbit and smash head-first into a mountain and be fine in a few minutes because he put all the damage in Vitality.
Wounds are different. They are serious wounds that generally require outside medical help to heal. On the plus side, TBZ runs under an inverted spiral of death, since getting wounded actually adds bonus dice to everything you do, based on the most severe kind of wound you have. This is because Wound Boxes are generally reserved for important fights where you just have to win. This also makes boss battles more interesting, as the boss actually becomes stronger as the fight goes on.
The more severe wounds do however have a caveat: Critical Wounds (offering a +2 bonus) cause your Vitality to drop by 1 and the end of each turn and prevent natural Vitality recovery until the wound is healed, so these boxes are better left untouched outside of a big showdown.

The Dead Box takes a special role. Each character only has one, and it can only ever be filled if the character is absolutely and 100% sure that the fight is important enough that he is willing to die. In checking off the Dead Box, the entire damage of the attack is negated, and the character now receives +3 bonus dice, but he'll die for good if his Vitality drops to 0 during the fight. The Dead Box is also the only kind of Wound that can't be healed during battle, as you can't just chicken out of a "I'm ready to die" situation. It is healed pretty easily after combat, though.
The Dead Box is even worse for Armour, as this signifies deep structural damage that can never be repaired.

Special Combat Rules

There are various advanced techniques and tricks in TBZ, some of which are restricted by archetype.

Aiuchi and Sneak Attack

These are both ways to add your full number of successes to your damage. The Aichu Attack is a reckless attack that involves dropping your guard completely. You get to deal damage with your full successes, but so does the enemy - and he gets to hit first.
Sneak Attacks of course involve sneaking up to the target for a surprise stab or shot to vital bits.

Samurai Form

Samurai in TBZ can essentially use Devil Trigger from Devil May Cry, hulking out into a more or less demonic/monstrous form for up to their Spirit in rounds. Though there's actually quite a bit of customization to a samurai form, most samurai settle for a no-nonsense package of enhanced Ability scores and Vitality regeneration.

Butterfly Dream

Once per combat, a Kugutsu can engage a Butterfly Dream with a single opponent. This is basically a mind probe, with the option of confusing the opponent with illusions. It's very freeform and a good excuse to go all Satoshi Kon on people.

Overdrive

This fearsome lets the Kongohki act in Bullet Time, greatly speeding up their physical actions. This is done by letting them reroll the successes of a physical roll once. This ability was actually nerfed in the English translation, where you have to expend your available Overdrive actions for the session on a per-action basis, whereas the Japanese original has Overdrive last for several rounds (and usually longer than the average combat lasts).

Arts of War

These are various martial arts styles that let you do stuff like dual-wield or be a cool gunslinger. Also included here are the various types of monk martial arts, one of which lets you be Kenshiro.

Strategy

Before each battle, a character can do some preparations and planning, making a strategy roll and storing the successes as bonus dice to be given out to himself or allies during battle. The Strategy skill is also important for the mass combat rules they have jet to include in the English version.

Kiai/Aiki Tricks

TBZ's various types of brownie points of course play an important role in combat. You can boost rolls, gain extra actions, and cheer people on if you have a Fate connection with them (essentially giving them Aiki chits as if for good roleplaying). You can also intercept an attacker to take the blow for someone else with this.
Spending Kiai is especially important in boss battles, because bosses have purposely high Ability scores that let them throw a bucket full of dice.

Next Time: TBZ session structure.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:12 on Nov 8, 2015

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Doresh posted:


I love these comics


So here's a story about these comics. The guy who drew them is Hayami Rasenjin. He's done illustrations for a lot of Japanese tabletop games.

He's also a bigger nerd than any of us. Back around 99, 2000ish, he did this.



Which was a submission for a fanart competition back in the primordial days of the internet.

It's this.



The Catlord from Planescape. Tony DiTerlizzi, the guy who drew most of Planescape and a huge portion of the 2E monster manual, was the one hosting the contest. Rasenjin was the runner-up,as I recall.

Bonus space beholder:

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Part 7: "Only rogue PB-killer whales continue to feed on their smaller cousins."

The Whale Singers
By C.J. Carella & Kevin Siembieda
Mystical Undersea Society


The Prophecy

Rifts World Book Seven: Underseas posted:

A Band of Warriors, brave and strong.
A Circle of Wizards, wise and clever.
The One Eye of Eylor.
The Eternal Flame Blade.
The Fires of the Cosmic Forge.
The Largest War Machine.
The Strength of an Unbeliever.
And a Hundred Years' War.
All these Must Be, and the Lord Shall Fall.
- The Prophecy of Blind Current-Rider

So we have a prophecy from Blind Current-Rider, who was a human who was mashed up with a blue whale by the Lord of the Deep. He discovered a way for cetaceans to do magic called "spellsongs", and also invented on called the Song of Prophecy, which produced the prophecy above and killed all the other spellsingers in his vicinity. It's not sure whether the Lord of the Deep is to blame or if they saw something that struck them dead, but either way - ooopsie. Still, there are those known as "Seekers" that try and find out what the prophecy's about. The Lord is pretty obviously the Lord of the Deep, the USS Ticonderoga (nope, not described yet) is probably the Largest War Machine, the Eylor relates to the world enslaved by the Splugorth (as rumored in Atlantis), and though the Singers don't know it, the Cosmic Forge relates to the Cosmo-Knights (Phase World). The rest is a mystery for GMs to hack out, given this isn't referenced in later books like the Plato prophecy from Rifts Sourcebook Two: The Mechanoids.

Whale Singers & Pneuma-Biforms

Pneuma-Biforms.

I'm sorry, I can't stop laughing. :laugh: Pneuma-biforms. I- wow, Rifts, raising the bar on goofy names for things.

Pneuma-Biforms.

Origins

So these are humans that have been mashed up with dolphins, orcas, or whales by the Lord fo the Deep, but unlike other creations of the Lord, it turns out because humans are good guys (just ignore the Coalition and New German Republic) and that dolphins are good guys (just ignore dolphins murdering baby porpoises) that they become super good guys. And knowing this, since sirens can be half-human, half seal, that means seals are evil.

The morality of aquatic mammals aside, the pneuma-bi-

- I'm sorry, I seriously am laughing-

- the pneuma-biforms escaped the Lord of the Deep and joined together to oppose UnCthulhu with their magic marine mammal melodies. And so they formed the Whale Singers, which now encompasses a goodly number of mundane dolphins and whales, a small number of humans, d-bees, and Lemurians. (The Lemurians will continually be mentioned in this book without ever being detailed.) They generally do good things because dolphins is good people and have never done anything bad like murder or rape.

Allies and Enemies

So, a lot of dolphins and whales shun the pneuma-biforms because they're weird and magical, and so they protect a world that hates and fears them (sometimes). Of course, jerks like the Splugorth, naut'yll, or horune (to be explained later) murder them because go team evil, amirite? Most seafaring people see them as tenative allies, but don't invite them over for tea & tray bakes or allow them in their seayards, because they're weird. They're also allied with the New Navy (more on them later) and Tritonia (ditto) and Lemurians (sir not appearing in this book). They also ally with the kreel-lok sometimes, but nobody cares.

Also we get a throwaway note on how the Whale Singers hate pollution. Except. Nobody's polluting? We don't have a lot of industrial powers on the coast. Maybe the Splugorth. I imagine they deliberately manufacture garbage to throw away, that strikes me as their flavor of evil.

Dolphin Pneuma-Biform R.C.C.


What, no spikes... or missiles? Are we still in Rifts?

This statblock refers a lot to the dolphin statblock, which is a pain because they don't get stats for another 26 pages. But I'm going to detail a lot of the dolphin stuff here because it's important to the writeup, even though it technically isn't listed for convenience's sake.

So these are cheery magic dolphins that can turn into humans and also into a metallic battle form that can can take the shape of either form, but battlier. They can mate true with other dolphin pneuma-biforms, or can mate true with dolphins or humans 11% of the time, and 90% of those (so 9.9%) are pnuema-biform babies. We get gestation periods and birth rates and okay, I'm bored and skipping to the numbers.

We get a note first that if the Lord of the Deep is defeated, pneuma-biforms will have a choice whether or not to stay as pneuma-biforms, but that the grand majority of them prefer to stay as they are... even though they're hated and feared? Well, I guess they are magical and rad. Of course, there's also the unwritten notion that a pneuma splitting into a dolphin and human in the middle of the sea is probably a pretty harsh situation for the human, or vice versa for the dolphin on land. So, they get superhuman attributes on all axes, with their top abilities being willpower and strength. But yes, they're even prettier and more likeable than humans in either form. Their M.D.C. is average to low, and only slowly grows with experience, though they get decent P.P.E. They get all the natural abilities of a dolphin, which includes:
  • They can dive up to four miles underwater and hold their breath.
  • They can always sense magnetic north, unless you punch them in the head (I guess that knocks their gyroscope off balance).
  • Like all dolphins, they can sense... electromagnetic... energy? What? No, that's not right. That's actually really wrong. But this is Rifts, so they can. Apparently they can even sense brain illnesses, the pain of others (which is part of what makes dolphins nice, it says), brain implants, or even psionic powers. It also apparently lets them track ships, because I guess ships leave... trails... of electromagnetic energy? I... what the fuckity gently caress? Then there's a throwaway line that dolphins can read the trails of flying saucers at three times normal range. What flying saucers? We don't know, and this will not be mentioned again. It also notes that though sharks have the same ability, it doesn't make them any nicer because they're jerks.
  • Sonic echo-location, like real dolphins. You have a 40% chance + 5% per level, which means most dolphins can't see poo poo with this sense, I suppose.
  • Ultrasonic probe, which works like x-ray vision, only with the lovely odds above. It also lets them detect things like cybernetics and some shapeshangers by reading people's organs, whee.
  • Then they get... a sonic blast, because gently caress science. To be fair, there is a study that supports this, but nothing definitive. Given it only does 1d6 S.D.C., and half damage against anything man-sized or bigger, it's useful to punk sardines and eels but not really useful on a fight. They also get a fuckin' stun setting, but given humans can save on it with 3 or better and supernatural creatures are impervious, it's not great in a fight, only really useful against small and medium-sized fish, for GMs that actually make you use the combat rules to catch your dinner.
  • A starting dolphin gets a 50/50 shot of recognizing their relatives. That's right, you can only recognize mom half the time.
  • Geez. Dolphins even get their own maneuvers section, even though jet fighters and other fancy movey things never have. They get bonus attacks as they level up, an automatic dodge just like a Juicer, a speedy dive, leaping, somersaults, a roll to quickly turn or brake, double their speed for brief periods, skip over the surface of the water, swim backwards or backflip, and make tight turns (wait, didn't it already cover this?). Also they can bite and jab and ram and tail slap for (for minor M.D.C., because they're pneumas, but regular dolphins do normal S.D.C.). And they can do a "power strike" to stun a foe or disarm them.
  • Dolphins dehydrate rapidly out of water. In real life, it takes hours for a dolphin to die this way, but in Rifts it takes 33-42 minutes. Maybe the magic makes things dry faster? Of course, Pneumas can just shift to human form.
This poo poo takes up two pages that is just special abilities. It doesn't cover their statblock or anything like that. But this book isn't even close to stopping the dolphin celebration hug 'n fellation train. No sir. Time to bring up how magical dolphins are.
  • They can roll for psionics just like humans do. They can also psychically recognize family members automatically, so just forget that 50/50 stuff from earlier.
  • They can absort ley-line energy and transform into mega-damage beings. For pneumas, who already have mega-damage capacity, this means they just get a boost to swimming speed and their ability to hold their breath. For dolphics, they double their hit points and structural damage capacity and gain that as M.D.C., but it only lasts a minute or three after they leave the ley line. It also reduces their attacks and their sonic abilities slightly.
  • They can shoot energy blasts when on a ley line! It does lovely damage unless they're really high level, though.
  • In addition, they can create small rifts to teleport themselves and a passenger along a ley line for a mile per level. They also move twice as fast on a ley line.
  • They can sense ley lines and magic, read information from a ley line, send messages down a ley line, and heal themselves on a ley line, just like ley line walkers do.
  • They get dolphin magic spells automatically, which are magic spells only certain cetaceans can get, and dolphins pick any two to start. They also get ocean magic or spellsongs as they level op. Dolphin magic allows them to: increase the amount of time they can hold their breath, shoot EMP pulses that can stun or KO aquatic vehicles, send psychic warnings up to thousand miles away, ignore the need to breathe while on a ley line, detect the nearest food and predators (relevant to dolphins only), predict the weather, stun creatures with sonic blasts, and double their speed (again). It notes porpoises don't get these spells, but since this book doesn't contain any statblocks or rules for porpoises, I guess that's just one big gently caress you to porpoises.
Oh, and that's just what Pneuma-Biforms get for being dolphins! They also get their own magic powers, including:
  • Regeneration.
  • Changing from a dolphin to a human twice a day.
  • Turning into a battle form that gives them combat bonuses, extra damage and M.D.C. across the board.
  • Getting a free spellsong a third level and every level after that.
  • An ocean magic spell every level.
  • A spell strength boost at later levels to increase the saving throws to resist their magic.
  • They're impervious to all cold.
drat. You think they get enough poo poo? I think they get enough poo poo. But also, they get a variety of skills, mainly languages, wilderness tuff, and then things like singing or acrobatics. Their secondary skills are only light. However, they get special magic kelp armor that's tougher than the majority of human armors. Kelp!

It's crazy, I don't know who wrote the dolphin section, but it just goes on and on without stopping for about 13 pages, 15 if you count the pneuma-biforms. As such, we aren't stopping with dolphins, this is just the section directly relevant to playing a dolphin pneuma-biform. There'll be more. Much more.

Killer Whale Pneuma-Biform R.C.C.


More like a puckish rogue.

So it notes right off the that even though killer whales even eat other whales, most pneuma-biform orcas have gotten over that and are less murderous than most, though there are "rogue PB-killer whales" who are eeevil and apparently "have kept the worst traits of humans and orcas". Most of them are still good. Once again, we get a note that most of them don't want to return to normal humanity and orcahood. And then it's number time.

So, they're not as smart, willful, or charming as dolphin pneuma-biforms, they are much stronger and tougher, with M.D.C comparable to a dragon hatchling. They get many of the same powers as the dolphin, only instead of dolphin magic, they can choose a few spells from dolphin magic, ocean magic, or spellsongs. They also get spellsongs, and it confusingly notes they don't get dolphin magic when the killer whale writeup clearly says they do. Editing! It's bad! They have more attacks and damage than dolphins, but are slower and get less magical power.

Whale Pneuma-Biform R.C.C.

These are the thoughtful, lazy giants of the pneuma-biform worked. They don't a lot of detail before be go on to numbers, other than once again noting that most of them don't want to stop being pneuma-biforms.

So, they're actually not as strong as killer whales, surprisingly, and are the ugliest pneuma-biforms in that they have average looks, but have strong mental attributes. They also get M.D.C. that's dependent on the type of whale - blue whales are very tough, sperm whales are modestly tougher than killer whales, and beaked whales are only as tough as killer whales. They get the most magic power, generally including a ton of spellsongs and a bit of ocean magic, and sperm whales and blue whales get automatic psionics, though it's mostly just the basic powers. Naturally, they do more damage with their attacks, and with their power strike, they can actually do 1d4 x 100 M.D.C., giving them one of the strongest non-missile attacks in the game!... though it costs two attacks. Still, when they're in the sea, they're ship-sinking badasses, as it turns out.

Whale Singer O.C.C.


Uh, that's now how eyes are drawn.

So, this class, confusingly enough, applies not to whales, but to humanoids that learn to sing like whales! Apparently they get a lot of respect from seagoers, who often give these spellsingers discounted passage. But never for free! That would be crazy. It also notes that simvan and dog boys can become Whale Singers, except for the fact they can't take O.C.C.s keeps them from doing just that. Most are humans, undersea races, dolphins, or whales, though. Porpoises? gently caress those guys. Those guys are assholes.

They can sense other whale singers automatically, tell the purity level of water, navigate underwater (but no better than having a mundane skill), hold their breath and go a whopping 200 feet underwater, sense ley line and magic energy, read information from ley lines, transfer messages on a ley line, heal faster on a ley line, and get a modest amount of spellsongs and ocean magic. They can't learn dolphin magic or regular spells, so they're really niche. But unlike a lot of magic classes from Rifts supplements, they can at least aren't limited by their level when learning new spells. Predictably, they get a bunch of sailing and miscellaneous skills, with limited free skill picks. Ultimately, they're a variant ley line walker that focuses on the sea, and but since they have a smaller spell selection with a more niche focus, they're pretty forgettable.

Whale Singer Spellsongs
By Siembieda, Carella, & Conder


Who's Val Conder? Well, they aren't in the credits, making their inclusion a total mystery. I can't find out too much about them other than having volunteered for Palladium in the past and being a gamer from Detroit. So, it turns out cetacean songs were magical all along, but Current-Rider discovered how to awaken that magic. It sure is convenient when animals turn out to be secret occultists all along, huh? It turns out they can only be used underwater for the most part, though they can be cast as ritual magic on land with 10% of the range. Also, non-cetaceans have reduced range on them all-around, which really sucks if it applies to whale singers. So, let's get some magical highlights from the spell list! A lot of these are things like basic communication or mind or emotion-affecting spells, but let's find some more interesting ones.
  • Song of Life: It requires 750 P.P.E., but gives you a roughly fifty-fifty chance of bringing back the recently dead.
  • Song of Protection: This gives some mild M.D.C. protection and shields against any hazards short of a star's corona, for those who are looking to swim through lava.
  • Song of Reversal: Another 500 P.P.E. or so spell that lets you seperate out two creatures combined by the Lord of the Deep, but it doesn't work on pneuma-biforms because it doesn't say why. It can also seperate people from magic symbiotes in a pinch.
  • Song of Severing: This takes 45-90 seconds to cast, but it does 2d6 x 1000 damage to the Lord of the Deep, which is useful for severing tentacles, but even that ridiculous damage amount is piddly against the Lord of the Deep's 500K M.D.C.
  • Song of Weaving: This lets you create a 90 M.D.C. suit of kelp armor! Kelp!
  • Sonic Boom: Cause there is no circumstance | That you can't handle | When you use your mind
  • Sound Spike: Though this does mild M.D.C. damage, it can slow a target or wreck radio signals.
Pneuuuuma.

Next: Finally, become the fiercest creature of the sea: a shrimp.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Sense flying saucers? Open rifts? This is getting into Ecco territory.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Yeah, I just want to reemphasize their ability to sense flying saucers, for those who miss it in that wall of bullet points. No, Rifts does not have flying saucers in it. It has aliens in an upcoming book, but they don't have the classic saucers. I guess you could draw a connection between the two, but it's... odd.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Do weredolphins get to take an OCC as well or just the RCC? I never can tell when you can and when you can't.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


They can't take an O.C.C. You're right in that what an R.C.C. entails is confusing, and whether or not a given R.C.C. can take an O.C.C. is defined on a case-by-case basis.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Aww, our kelp-covered gunslinger can't also be a killer whale.

Banana Man
Oct 2, 2015

mm time 2 gargle piss and shit

Wow no wonder I could never figure it out

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


grassy gnoll posted:

So here's a story about these comics. The guy who drew them is Hayami Rasenjin. He's done illustrations for a lot of Japanese tabletop games.

He's also a bigger nerd than any of us. Back around 99, 2000ish, he did this.



Which was a submission for a fanart competition back in the primordial days of the internet.

It's this.



The Catlord from Planescape. Tony DiTerlizzi, the guy who drew most of Planescape and a huge portion of the 2E monster manual, was the one hosting the contest. Rasenjin was the runner-up,as I recall.

Bonus space beholder:



I've read about that from the old TBZ posts and discussions. Though the space beholder is new. Nifty. I wonder how a beholder mech must look like? Probably like spheroid mobile suit with lots of those very early funnels that where connected to the main unit via cable (or however you call these weapons on the first Zeong).

Alien Rope Burn posted:

They can't take an O.C.C. You're right in that what an R.C.C. entails is confusing, and whether or not a given R.C.C. can take an O.C.C. is defined on a case-by-case basis.

Which apparently even the writers can't get right. That's some good game design.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

My rule has always been if it has a skill block, it's a dedicated character class. From there, there's either a note in the statblock, telling you to use Table X (there's some absurdly weaksauce poo poo stuck with the dragon hatchling table in the early books), or it'll be in the stack of numbers in the back that KS probably got from the high score table on the pinball machine in his office.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





occamsnailfile posted:

Isn't there a paragraph in the core that says they never convert, ever? It mentions how you can rack up several hundred SDC in a round but this is basically meaningless, MDC material is simply so tough that your bullets are useless. It doesn't get into like, nukes or even cruise missiles but it strongly suggested that SDC guns were basically worth less than it cost to make them.
If it's purely in combat mechanics terms I guess it is logical that bullets cannot stop you in your glitter boy suit, even if the locals could cut you out of it if you have a stroke or the battery dies and you're stuck. But wasn't MDC in general entirely an attempt to reflect Macross's plot armor?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

That's been my pet theory for a while, given that he also canonized some goofy animator's errors here and there.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Yeah, the MDC system was invented for Robotech to reflect how the sci-fi tech basically just outclassed everything around it and was really, really destructive. It made more sense in that setting as a result, but it's still a weird system bolted onto the awkwardness of regular Palladium. Then in Rifts, everything is MDC, not just the super-advanced space weapons and it completely cracks apart as anything logical.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The general purpose of M.D.C. was just to keep small arms or a crowd of flailing fists from destroying a tank or veritech, and to let spacefaring mechs step all over ground-pounders. It's what would be "hardness" or "damage reduction" or "imperviousness" in any other game. It even works reasonably well in Robotech RPG (or at well as anything in that game "works") because the M.D.C. values were comparatively low compared to later games. The core issue is when Rifts made it ubiquitous to represent insane future-tech (that is somehow still mass produced) and super-magic but somehow ignored the part where the game becomes insanely lethal to mundane character types as a result. Or rather, considered it a "roleplaying challenge", the usual Palladium excuse for anything that fucks players over righteously. :rolleyes:

Underseas is going to run a little late on account of some other post-apocalypse game dropping.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

The general purpose of M.D.C. was just to keep small arms or a crowd of flailing fists from destroying a tank or veritech, and to let spacefaring mechs step all over ground-pounders. It's what would be "hardness" or "damage reduction" or "imperviousness" in any other game. It even works reasonably well in Robotech RPG (or at well as anything in that game "works") because the M.D.C. values were comparatively low compared to later games. The core issue is when Rifts made it ubiquitous to represent insane future-tech (that is somehow still mass produced) and super-magic but somehow ignored the part where the game becomes insanely lethal to mundane character types as a result. Or rather, considered it a "roleplaying challenge", the usual Palladium excuse for anything that fucks players over righteously. :rolleyes:

TBH, MDC fell apart in the later Robotech games like the Masters, with the RDF's Arming Doublets suits being introduced to explain why characters could ride exposed in their tanks or fight on foot against Bioroids, and especially in Robotech Next Generation, where there was enough evidence of the Invid being shot down and killed by guerrillas armed with small arms as well as small Invid like the Enforcer suits. In Mospeda, it was difficult to fight Invid/Inbit without having access to the Mospeda suits, but not impossible.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.




Time for System Mastery! Hey everyone, enjoy Panty Explosion! It would be nice if someone did.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.



Clapping Larry

theironjef posted:


Time for System Mastery! Hey everyone, enjoy Panty Explosion! It would be nice if someone did.

Did you change up the site format? I can't find the download link, which is kind of important if I want to actually put this podcast onto a music player.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Glazius posted:

Did you change up the site format? I can't find the download link, which is kind of important if I want to actually put this podcast onto a music player.

Yeah, we can't have the playable button and the download link on the same page if we want access to the new Google Play podcast store. The download links were all shunted onto their own pages, one each for RPG episodes and Movie episodes. They're in the dropdowns on the menu bar, too.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


theironjef posted:


Time for System Mastery! Hey everyone, enjoy Panty Explosion! It would be nice if someone did.

Huh. This game sounds a lot more boring than I always thought. CharGen sounds so otaku-y I'm surprised there isn't a zettai ryouiki stat, or a yandere/genki alignment chart.

And I dunno, German school always appeared a bit bland and generic compared to what you see in American and Japanese schools. We don't have walls upon walls of lockers (at least where I've been to), after-school activities or a big focus on school sports teams. It's mainly just a bit clusterf*ck-y because each federal state does its own lesson plan, which can potentially result in you having to repeat a grade if you move from one state to the next. Though I honestly don't know if that is still a thing. Most states now seem to avoid having students repeat grades, which usually results in dumping down everything for the lowest common denominator. A good example of this that started when I was in school involved fake cursive handwriting that has only become worse since and will seriously bite the students in the arse once they go to a university and realize they write too slowly. Man, this is getting ranty.
Oh, and our schools tend to be in a process of falling apart because German architects and building companies in the 60s were apparently a bunch of scammers.

Tenra Bansho Zero


I'll summarize the next 3 chapters, as they are mainly about general roleplaying and scenario creation guidelines. This will be a quick look at what TBZ does differently.

Session Structure

TBZ divides each Session into around 3-4 Acts, similar to a stage play (like in kabuki theater). And just like in a stage play, Acts can potentially be years apart.
Acts are further divided into Scenes, which usually only last a few minutes and end as soon as the location changes or enough time has passed.
After each Act, you have an Intermission for bookkeeping purposes. This is where Fates are changed and Karma is managed. This is also the time you can say goodbye to your PC if he ends the Intermission with over 108 Karma and turns into an Asura, someone so obsessed with his earthly attachment that he essentially turns into a deranged Batman villain.

And here comes a big quirk of TBZ: You know how you generally want to keep the party together most of the time? Not so in TBZ. It is not uncommon to roleplay through several Scenes where the party is never complete.
How does this work out? Well for starters, the players whose characters are currently "off-screen" essentially play the audience, handing out Aiki chits for good performances. If you'd rather want to enter the Scene yourself, you can spend a point of Kiai to invite yourself in. But the most interesting part involves the GM handing out Aiki chits for players to join the scene - by taking the role of a NPC.



I think that's actually a pretty neat idea. It makes the GM's work a bit easier, results in more interesting roleplaying sessions because the players aren't just talking with the same dude, and it gives the players a chance to take on a wildly different role to earn some more of those Aiki chits.

(Of course, the GM always jank away control from a NPC if the player does something silly, like showering the party with treasure for no reason or something.)

The Emotion Matrix

This is a 6x6 grid used to randomly determine a PCs initial emotionally reaction towards a new NPC, and it can also be used to come up with Fates.
If you are unhappy about the Emotion Matrix result, you can spend Kiai to move around on the grid. The GM and other players can also bribe you with Aiki chits to move where they want you to be.

Naturally, you generally want to change the result if it appears a bit weird, like if the group meets a nice princess and one PC suddenly has his danger sense on overdrive (which is one of the examples presented in the book).

Zero Act

This is the first Act of the game, where each Scene serves to introduce the PCs one by one (usually in the form of a backstory). This is also where each PC gains a Destiny, a Fate set by the GM that serves as that character's overall goal of the scenario. The Emotion Matrix is also used in this Act to find out how the PCs initially feel about each other.

The Moment of Truth

This is an optional rule that allows a PC to essentially call out a last stand once per game. It allows the entire group to pump the PC full of any Aiki chits they're willing to hand out. The PC then converts all of it into Kiai to overcome whatever danger he is facing - and he hopefully can get rid of all the amassed Karma in the next Intermission.

NPCs

NPCs in TBZ can be created as detailled or as simplified as the GM sees fit. They don't have to follow the character creation rules. Simple mooks have very low stats, extremely few Vitality Points and no Wound Boxes to speak of. Major villains and bosses can have ridiculously inflated stats the PCs can never hope of reaching themselves.

Asura

These are the most evil and insane NPCs the group can come across, and they can end up becoming ones themselves. It should be noted that Asuras are relatively rare and that the GM shouldn't overuse them.
The thing that really makes Asuras dangerous is that they have Kiai like PCs - and the only thing worse than a boss with inflated stats is a boss with inflated stats who can just grant himself extra actions. Thankfully, Asuras cannot gain new Kiai and have to make due with their starting pool.

The Campaign Game

In typical Japanese tabletop tradition, TBZ isn't really meant for long-term campaigns. Each Scenario is usually a self-contained story, though old characters can still appear in new stories.
The two recommended ways to play an actual campaign involve playing out an epic war chronicle that can span decades (think Romance of the Three Kingdoms), or do the typical murder hobo routine of "group travels around and performs various murder hobo missions".

Next Time: Armour - become the gemblade that smites evil.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 19:05 on Nov 10, 2015

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Strap in, folks, it's time for the Gods and Religions of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, 2nd Edition!

This chapter is just about entirely fluff, but it's both pretty cool and very important fluff for the setting. Religion is tremendously important to the people of Warhams, and not just in a 'SIGMAR WALKS WITH US, WE CANNOT FAIL!' way. Yes, Sigmar is the most widely recognized and beloved God in the Empire, but as the book points out, other lands consider him a Regional God instead of part of the nominal global pantheon, and even in the Empire you're rarely going to find people who are solely devoted to Sigmar even if everyone pays him respect.

One of the really important points they establish early on is that Warhams takes place in a polytheistic society and that honoring and recognizing the Gods is considered a matter of public good (which was generally the case, look at ancient Greek laws against atheism). An atheist in Warhams isn't considered educated or intelligent, he's considered to have a giant target painted on his head and that target risks the entire community. The Gods (the proper ones, anyway) are relatively distant, but they're almost definitely there and the magic their priests use is held up as proof, as are the occasional blessings and inexplicable occurrences that mark their worship. A priest of a specific God is not so much for her God but against others, as she is a religious professional qualified to perform the rites specific to placating and drawing the blessing of that specific God. So, say a Priestess of Verena (Goddess of justice and knowledge) was passing a shrine to Taal and Rhya (Nature). She'd still be expected to leave an offering or a short prayer, or to observe those Gods' holy days, just in a capacity as a layperson instead of a priest. Similarly, all of the Gods possess strictures that are generally above and beyond lay respect and only required of priests or especially devout laypeople. For instance, Shallya (Mercy) demands her followers never arm themselves beyond a walking staff. One doesn't need to follow that stricture of pacifism to pray to or receive benefits from Shallya and her order, but if one was a priest of Shallya, they'd be expected to follow the full strictures.

This doesn't mean there isn't religious strife in the Empire, mind. The churches of the various Gods are tremendously powerful organizations, full of political influence and piles of tithe money, and they often clash over who gets pride of place. This is especially true in the case of Sigmar and Ulric; northern cities often tend to venerate Ulric as their chief God and cite the fact that Sigmar himself was an Ulrican. Some of them even go so far as to blaspheme and say Sigmar doesn't exist, and Ulric is merely answering all those prayers on his behalf. This has been the cause of some really nasty civil wars in the past. This is also probably a big reason a lot of the Southern provinces are starting to embrace an alternate God of war and strategy, importing Myrmidia to replace worship of Ulric. This is especially true when you learn Ulric hates guns and would rather Imperial soldiers faces nine foot hulking hellvikings with an axe and no helmet. Ulric is kind of an idiot, though it should also be noted that he's tried to give multiple signs and visions saying 'For gently caress's sake guys knock off this fighting with the Sigmarites.'

There are a few suggested rules that PCs might occasionally receive the intervention of the Gods, but that it requires sacrifice and devotion. The Gods judge sacrifice based on what the worshiper can give rather than the overall value of the sacrifice; the example given is that a pauper giving the last shilling he owns would be more likely to be heard than an Elector Count building a golden statue. No real rules are given for this, though, and divine intervention is firmly in the area of GM Fiat (and should generally be quite rare). Sacrifice and tithing is a common practice, temples and shrines are also major social centers for their communities. The Empire has a ton of various festivals and holy days, because everyone loves a chance to get together, take a day off work, fulfill their piety obligations, get drunk as hell, and eat a bunch of sausage. Elven and Dwarven religion are mentioned, but in far less detail; dwarves worship ascended Ancestor Gods, Elves have their own pantheon.

Sometimes you piss off the Gods. You can usually tell you did so because now you have dysentery. Priests insist that 'the flux' is a common sign of divine disappointment and sin. A PC should go to the cults and offer reparation to the God they wronged, by acts of public repentance, paying fines, and various other humiliating and potentially dangerous ways to make amends. It's worth it, though, because pissing off the Gods is really bad. It can get way worse than dysentery, and it's best not to test their patience lest you bring trouble down upon everyone around you.

Next Time: All The Gods, All The Detail, All The Cults. If I tried to put that all in one post it'd be enormous.

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