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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Native Exceptionalism is alive and well in Changeling. The Native Americans have their own 13 kiths, and the Asians don't have changelings, they instead have Hsien that are their own things.

Edit: The Hawaiian Islands have their own breed of changelings with their own unique Kiths.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 20:12 on Jan 16, 2014

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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Oh good god.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Kurieg posted:

Native Exceptionalism is alive and well in Changeling. The Native Americans have their own 13 kiths, and the Asians don't have changelings, they instead have Hsien that are their own things.

Edit: The Hawaiian Islands have their own breed of changelings with their own unique Kiths.

Native American changelings, known as the Nunnehei, are even capable of going into the Umbra, since they're so in touch with nature and spirituality.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

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

Evil Mastermind posted:

As bad as everything in Changeling and Autumn People is, pookah are worse. They're basically kender without the useful "good at thief skills" part.

_That_ kith comes in another book.

You only think I'm joking.

Oh god I wish I were joking.

MadScientistWorking
Jun 23, 2010

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


Halloween Jack posted:

Whenever I read Changeling: the Dreaming I remember my crazy ex's even crazier roommate, who never washed, lived on Hot Pockets and beans-on-toast (because everything British is better), and ran an unsuccessful Etsy shop. Her biggest claim to fame was being featured on Regretsy, and her peak of success was selling some of her doll's to a museum gift shop. My ex claims she found her crying the night before the sale because her dolls told her they were scared to go to the museum.
You see I'm pretty sure I can make her look normal in comparison which is kind of the point I was making. The whole kooky and zany things that these Changeling's do to stave off boredom is boring.

Ningyou
Aug 14, 2005

we aaaaare
not your kind of pearls
you seem kind of pho~ny
everything's a liiiiie

we aaaare
not your kind of pearls
something in your make~up
don't see eye to e~y~e


So I skimmed Land of Eight Million Dreams (:v:), and I didn't see anything about Asian folks dreaming differently, but I did learn that hsien are "enigmatic," largely xenophobic, and turn into animals or trees.

Also there's a tarted-up catgirl kith (excuse me, they're "sultry and sensual," except not really 'cos it's all an act put on for others and THEY FEEL NOTHING. Or next to nothing. Because every single one of them is shallow.) simply called "nyan," because of course.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Do the Tanuki have gigantic shapeshifting scrotums?

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 21:15 on Jan 16, 2014

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

Kurieg posted:

Do the Tanuki have gigantic shapeshifting scrotums?

If not my immersion is broken...:colbert:

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Oh boy oh boy are you Changeling haters going to love my next Everlasting update.

Edit: VVV Yeah, even Everlasting was scrupulous about stating that every vampire family, whether its origins were in Eastern Europe or South America or another dimension, had an "It's a Small World After All" rainbow of members.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 21:41 on Jan 16, 2014

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


So I take it all of the European changelings fall within the, what I assume is anglo-celtic inspired, kiths? Because if so, that's horse poo poo.

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


Tasoth posted:

So I take it all of the European changelings fall within the, what I assume is anglo-celtic inspired, kiths? Because if so, that's horse poo poo.

Satyrs are framed within a Grecian framework, the trolls are presented as being Nordic, Eshu are based off of the European view of a romanticized Middle East, and the sluagh (I think) are Russian. On the Gaellic inspired front, you have the sidhe, the boggans, the redcaps, and the pooka. I'm not entirely sure where the nockers fall in, but it's definitely a Celt-heavy group.

Edit: Oh that's right, the nockers are very, very Yiddish.

Vienna Circlejerk
Jan 28, 2003

The great science sausage party!


Actually the sluagh are Russian by way of Scotland. Shockingly, WW takes a few liberties with mythology.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Kurieg posted:

Edit: The Hawaiian Islands have their own breed of changelings with their own unique Kiths.
Fun fact: In the real world, the folkloric landscape of Hawaii is a syncretic fusion of traditional Polynesian Hawaiian and immigrant Japanese, to the point where there are Hawaiian urban legends about things like kappas and shapeshifting youkai alongside marching undead Hawaiian warriors and lustful pig-man demigods. I'm guessing that would be too culturally diverse for oWoD's "a place for everybody and everybody in their place" method, though.


Meanwhile, I've been ill and busy with other writing projects, so the next Cerulean Seas post isn't up yet. I do know that, unless I change it at the last minute, I'm going to be done with the Cerulean Seas Campaign Guide within two posts. I figured that, as a result, I'd at least give a shout out for opinions on what Cerulean Seas book should be covered next as a bit of noise in my down time.

There are technically four Cerulean Seas sourcebooks after the Campaign Guide, but the most recent one, Beasts of the Boundless Blue, reprints a fair bit of material from the other three. As a result, I'm going to be saving that one for last and just cover the new material it adds. That leaves three sourcebook choices for the next in line after the Campaign Guide:
  • Waves of Thought: Using the popular third party Pathfinder psionics system from Dreamscarred Press, Waves of Thought introduces aquatic psychic stuff to the Cerulean Seas setting. The ins and outs of this book include six new races that range from kender-esque clownfish merfolk to snail-people that act like grumpy old men, a psionic base class that calls upon evolutionary ancestors for various powers, prestige classes for both finesse-loving telekinetics and up-and-close psychic warriors, and monsters with lots of tentacles.
  • Azure Abyss: The deep sea beckons with its various dark and doomful dangers. In those depths are new features such as six new races like terrifying urchin-anemone abominations and the most anime feykith ever, the rough and tumble Angler base class, three new prestige classes that includes one entirely based around emulating hagfish, and monsters that look like they came from the Pacific Rim drawing board.
  • Indigo Ice: A guide to Isinblare, the kingdoms of the frozen north and south. Sights include six new races (seeing a trend?) that include swole as gently caress penguin warriors and elves made out of ice, a base class that mimes traditional Inuit shamanism, prestige classes for ice-wielding martial, spellcasting, and psionic characters, and monsters such as orca-dragons because why not.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Meinberg posted:

Edit: Oh that's right, the nockers are very, very Yiddish.

Which, while it works with the sweary Miracle Max angle, is kind of funny because they're Cornish in origin.

And just wait until you meet the goddamn Clurachan. You can probably guess what their frailty is already.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Fossilized Rappy posted:

Fun fact: In the real world, the folkloric landscape of Hawaii is a syncretic fusion of traditional Polynesian Hawaiian and immigrant Japanese, to the point where there are Hawaiian urban legends about things like kappas and shapeshifting youkai alongside marching undead Hawaiian warriors and lustful pig-man demigods. I'm guessing that would be too culturally diverse for oWoD's "a place for everybody and everybody in their place" method, though.


Meanwhile, I've been ill and busy with other writing projects, so the next Cerulean Seas post isn't up yet. I do know that, unless I change it at the last minute, I'm going to be done with the Cerulean Seas Campaign Guide within two posts. I figured that, as a result, I'd at least give a shout out for opinions on what Cerulean Seas book should be covered next as a bit of noise in my down time.

There are technically four Cerulean Seas sourcebooks after the Campaign Guide, but the most recent one, Beasts of the Boundless Blue, reprints a fair bit of material from the other three. As a result, I'm going to be saving that one for last and just cover the new material it adds. That leaves three sourcebook choices for the next in line after the Campaign Guide:
  • Waves of Thought: Using the popular third party Pathfinder psionics system from Dreamscarred Press, Waves of Thought introduces aquatic psychic stuff to the Cerulean Seas setting. The ins and outs of this book include six new races that range from kender-esque clownfish merfolk to snail-people that act like grumpy old men, a psionic base class that calls upon evolutionary ancestors for various powers, prestige classes for both finesse-loving telekinetics and up-and-close psychic warriors, and monsters with lots of tentacles.
  • Azure Abyss: The deep sea beckons with its various dark and doomful dangers. In those depths are new features such as six new races like terrifying urchin-anemone abominations and the most anime feykith ever, the rough and tumble Angler base class, three new prestige classes that includes one entirely based around emulating hagfish, and monsters that look like they came from the Pacific Rim drawing board.
  • Indigo Ice: A guide to Isinblare, the kingdoms of the frozen north and south. Sights include six new races (seeing a trend?) that include swole as gently caress penguin warriors and elves made out of ice, a base class that mimes traditional Inuit shamanism, prestige classes for ice-wielding martial, spellcasting, and psionic characters, and monsters such as orca-dragons because why not.

I own all three of the books you listed (I have yet to buy Beasts of the Boundless Blue), and I nominate Indigo Ice. It's got lots of neat stuff, for example:

the Squawks, warmongering penguins with scythe-like weapons they can use to skate on ice;

the aglooliks, fey with a knack for super-science, along with some advanced technology of theirs (including primitive firearms);

the Congulair Prestige class of freedom fighters who have a symbiotic organism bestowed on them which allows them to exude ice-like gel to form into weapons and a layer of armor;

and the Winter Hulk, a construct of solid ice which is operated by a tiny sentient fish from the inside.

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man






The inner fire of the faerie is from it having no soul to scar

C:tL takes the player's expectations of a nWoD system and uses what makes it unique as a way to further express its core themes.

Wyrd

There is a strong theme of your super-special inner magic not actually allowing you to become that much more potent. Like all nWoD systems, there is a core 'power stat' that ascends linearly, one to ten, that represents your personal, unalterable 'magic engine' through which all your mutant powers key off of.

However in C:tL, the essential hypocrisy of the gameline is that all changelings escaped from the land of the Wyrd, known commonly as Arcadia, in order to become more human. But the Wyrd, as the power-stat is known, is described as an alien force that separates you from your mortal experience. Which each incremental improvement of your hoodoo force, you become more distant from what anchors you away from the True Fae.

As you 'level up', your emotions become greater, in what I would call borderline personality1, acting wildly inappropriate to what is normal. The Mask that prevents humans from seeing your antlers and lightning-spark eyes begins to slip. And even at night, your dreams of your durance become more vivid, the memories all the more real.

But gently caress yeah, superpowers, amirite?

Mechanically, a Wyrd score acts as a numerical limit to the game mechanics. You can only spend X glamor per turn2, you can only carry X Goblin Fruits in the mortal world (later), live an extra X years longer than a regular mortal, and you can only agree to X 'vow' pledges at a time-

In the book, it describes the changeling being release-able from an existing vow, which is... difficult to explain away. When it comes up, I'll explain the differences.

And in one of the most minor parts of a benefit, you gain X bonus to "remembering or interpreting dreams". This is buried near the end of the non-mechanical bullet point describing how much 'Arcadia memories' you remember per tranche of your Wyrd. Its a very non-mechanical section which leads to it getting glazed over by even the most specific lore-nerds of C:tL. Dreams are a huge part of Changeling- easily a third of the 'playgrounds' within the game, but sadly it doesn't say "+Wyrd to Investigation rolls for crappy ST riddle-solving" soooooooo

An important element to gaining higher Wyrd is the ability to 1- become a being of myth in the realm of strength/smarts/looks than a human 2- Incite Bedlam, a game mechanic that nearly never gets used, and for good reason.

Incite Bedlam is an overly-complex device used as a 'soft mind control'. If anyone has experience with Vampire, you understand how 'soft' is really code for 'unregulated'. You can only drive people towards one of the core Seasonal Court emotions3. Effectively, it is a classic Charm Person that can affect seven or more people at once, and it gets copied equally by other Contracts and abilities later, other than being supposed to only create 'wild and unrestricted emotion' rather than an gentle nudge. It also works on the closest first, including targeting allies, and it is essentially a big red "gently caress you" button that works unpredictably- it even describes it as being a bad idea to give Anger to your enemies.

Strangely, it is solely a Wyrd phenomena, but works strictly according to the Seasonal Courts. :pcgaming:

On the negative side, which for Changelings is always the deeper cut, your Wyrd score also acts as an easily-dilineated "how attractive am I" meter to the True Fae. At six or higher, you're a minor celebrity or up-and-comer to whom Arcadian Intrigues are attracted like a magnet. To quote from the book, "as with all things related to the Others, the Storyteller has control over how this mechanic manifests during play." Because True Fae are not supposed to be fully-stated dragons, dipshit.

Your changeling's body does not respond easily to the alterations of the Wyrd. You gain Frailties, taboos and banes straight from the storybook than can easily cripple a character, or even kill them, should it be sufficiently lethal or prevalent. In a game where prophecy, nightmares, and truth-telling are major components, hiding a Frailty is nearly impossible...

So of course, there are also mechanics for decreasing your Wyrd, which could be summarized as quitting Wyrd magick 'cold turkey' like its an addiction. The parallels are even more obvious when it mentions how greater Wyrds require longer abstinences, and also when considering what is:

Glamour

Its more than just an odd spelling, it is what C:tL calls the nWoD system's "mana". The gas or blood for Wyrd magic, Glamour is described as energy both separate and equivalent to the Wyrd from Arcadia. But the Others are only but artisans of Glamour- they require a harvest of mortals to fuel them; specifically, the harvest of primal emotion.

To a changeling, the harvest of Glamour is explicitly described as emotionally addicting- and even physically to changelings of even greater Wyrd (one lethal a day, unhealable, until a new 'fix' of glamour).

If you've played in a nWoD game, you understand how Glamor 'points' are used. Special mention is deserved for the Mask, however: you can strengthen the Mask to the point that even your fellow Fae cannot see your Mein by sight while in the real world (although they can via your shadow), and if you choose to dump your entire pool to drop the mask, like a fantastic magic trick for any mortal passer-by.

So then, it is in the Harvesting with which C:tL makes its mark.
  • Changelings cannot harvest directly from their own kind. True Fae, Hobgoblins, and fellow Changelings cannot grant another 'free' Glamour- and even including other mortals ensconced by Incite Bedlam4.
  • A Changeling can harvest a mortal's5 emotions using whatever Attribute + Skill roll that would be appropriate to the situation. Composure + Empathy to be a shoulder to cry on would generate Glamour = to successes.
  • That 'harvest' dice-roll is modified up or down by the ST for 'shallow' or 'deep' emotions, or having multiple changelings in on the harvest.
  • Beware the actively deranged, as they may trigger your own madness.
  • Your Court Mantle actively rewards you with a greater prize for your harvest if it is of your court's emotion.
It's important to note that the harvest does not mechanically damage a mortal! This isn't vampire and its just-this-side-of-deniable sexual-abuse allegory. Sure, its up to an ST to create drama of loved ones and 'easy, go-to feeds' becoming ravaged, but its not supported in the RAW.

Another alternative is within a mortal's Dreams. Dreams are harder to get into, requiring magic via Contracts or specific Pledges. However they also give you a greater roll- adding your Wyrd 'dream bonus' to the similar "whatever skill makes it work symbolically".

The third alternative is through the bounty of a mortal's pledge. Fulfilling promises, therefore, gives a changeling glamour. Again, what specifically gets you your glamour is specific to what you first initially decide is your 'method'. Pledges are more described later in the book.

Finally, you can harvest glamour from within the hedge, doing actions that consume strange items that are colloquially known as 'goblin fruit'. The paragraph makes pains to note that not all glamour is within strictly vegetation- rather it is in the act of 'consumption', however poetically achieved, that creates the empowerment within the changeling.

And so I'm going to wrap up this entry of F&F with a summation of why this the unique nature of Glamour makes C:tL The Best Game. In other splats, the mechanics for getting your omfph are all-to-often specific and arbitrary and confined by the pre-written fictions of the story- some of which are fairly dark and twisted and involve some sort of blood sacrifice. For all the comments about how 'dark' a game this era's Changeling is, it does its best to get out of its own way by letting players make their own darkness. Glamour is explicitly dynamic, emotional, allegorical, and most of all personal. It pushes players to self-express rather than duck your head down and follow according to the stereotypes unthinkingly.

C:tL is a game about your characters finding a form of empowerment via self-definition and, strangely enough, requires the players to self-express about what they want their characters to be. The Best Splat.

Next time: I get to the third flavor, the most depressing one.

1 - The entire game can be seen through this lens if you so prefer.
2 - This starts to matter when we get to Contracts later.
3 - Despite there being an additional eight courts, each with their own court emotion, later in the game's life! The gameline (wisely) drops the entire Incite Bedlam mechanic like a bad habit.
4 - There is an interesting debate to be had regarding fetches, as to whether a changeling can harvest their glamour and whether that indicates an essential 'soul' that was given to them by the Keeper from a piece shorn from the human it stole.
5 - Including other splats, with their own suggested quirks from the rule book: vampires only ever give 1 point, mages are oddly aware but otherwise human, Werewolves give double from anger with a price, and Promethans feel... oddly second-hand.

AmiYumi
Oct 10, 2005

I FORGOT TO HAIL KING TORG


I kind of liked Land of Eight Million Dreams, but it had the problems of being terribly edited (count how many times the book presents two conflicting systems for the same thing, I dare you), missing vital information (some of which later showed up in a KotE book I think), and having gently caress-all to do with Changeling (which I think we can agree isn't exactly a bad thing).

Of course, if you want a real "interesting idea, unplayable execution" you should check out Denizens of the Dreaming. Hoo boy.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



I like owning the 2E Changing corebook because of the Tony DiTerlizzi art. Please stop making me consider throwing it away.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Lightning Lord posted:

I like owning the 2E Changing corebook because of the Tony DiTerlizzi art. Please stop making me consider throwing it away.

Just remember, a bad oWoD splatbook is a great Technocracy antagonists book! Because sometimes you just want to stop caring about the corrupt nature of the bureaucracy and shoot up some unlikable magic fairies.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Changeling: the Dreaming - otherkin before otherkin.

Seriously though, I'm kind of surprised that you don't see more about C:tD in regards to things like otherkin/headmate/tulpa "subculture" and all its attendant craziness since everything out of Autumn People reads like it came off someone's Tumblr (the magical world of imagination, jocks and prom queens are agents of banality and conformity, kill your television EXCEPT FOR DOCTOR WHO AND MY LITTLE PONY, working for a living sucks, etc). If White Wolf weren't a shell of its former self these days they'd have a fertile new audience to court.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


White Wolf has moved on to the more fertile fields of not making poo poo games.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

AmiYumi posted:

Of course, if you want a real "interesting idea, unplayable execution" you should check out Denizens of the Dreaming. Hoo boy.

The C:tD Year of the Ally book was barely usable too. Kinain were potentially more powerful than any given Kithain in narrow fields, but if you kept them juiced up with glamour or kicking around in a freehold they had a bad habit of slipping into a catatonic, dream-mazed state.

Kai Tave posted:

Changeling: the Dreaming - otherkin before otherkin.

The weirdest thing for me about Otherkin when I first read about them, besides the wish fulfillment being reinforced to unsettling degrees, was that the vast majority of them claimed to be spiritual weres, and used Werewolf as their shared canon. I don't think I read about any changelings, though there were fursonae, dragons and angels by the bushel.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Bieeardo posted:

The C:tD Year of the Ally book was barely usable too. Kinain were potentially more powerful than any given Kithain in narrow fields, but if you kept them juiced up with glamour or kicking around in a freehold they had a bad habit of slipping into a catatonic, dream-mazed state.

The problem with the Year of the Ally books is that they all had to compete with Kinfolk: Unsung Heroes. The only thing really all that supernatural about them was that they didn't go bugfuck insane when their uncle turned into an 8 foot tall wolf man, so they had a lot more room to talk about the psychology of werewolf families and how they functioned.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 02:06 on Jan 17, 2014

Vienna Circlejerk
Jan 28, 2003

The great science sausage party!


Bieeardo posted:

The weirdest thing for me about Otherkin when I first read about them, besides the wish fulfillment being reinforced to unsettling degrees, was that the vast majority of them claimed to be spiritual weres, and used Werewolf as their shared canon. I don't think I read about any changelings, though there were fursonae, dragons and angels by the bushel.

Name the kith that is totally awesome and if you really were that it would be so cool.

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



Vienna Circlejerk posted:

Name the kith that is totally awesome and if you really were that it would be so cool.

"Pooka. Err, wait, no, we're supposed to lie all the time, so, uhm, Redcaps!"

Which, honestly, you're only a couple steps away from were-whatever anyways...

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

'Sidhe' would be my first guess, but that combination of self-loathing and cognitive dissonance probably borders on physically explosive.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Mr. Maltose posted:

White Wolf has moved on to the more fertile fields of not making poo poo games.

Don't sell them short, there's still plenty of time for Exalted 3E to make up for that.

Kaja Rainbow
Oct 17, 2012

~Adorable horror~

I'll mention that the one game I briefly played of C:tL (it died out within a few sessions) stirred stronger emotions in me than any other WoD game I've ever played (though I never played Wraith which's its own kettle). Point being, C:tL is a pretty good game.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Kaja Rainbow posted:

I'll mention that the one game I briefly played of C:tL (it died out within a few sessions) stirred stronger emotions in me than any other WoD game I've ever played (though I never played Wraith which's its own kettle). Point being, C:tL is a pretty good game.

It would be cool to use what's salvageable from the Dreaming for the Lost.

Still wanna do a Best of Both Worlds version of WoD.

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Lightning Lord posted:

Still wanna do a Best of Both Worlds version of WoD.
I think the best WoD system for "Best of Both Worlds" would probably be Vampire. You get the hierarchy and developed politics and mythology of Masquerade, and the touches of self-awareness and improved mechanics of Requiem. (Especially the reading-between-the-lines implications that a lot of the reasons things are the way they are is because almost every kindred is emotionally frozen at their mental age when they were embraced.)

girl dick energy fucked around with this message at 08:41 on Jan 17, 2014

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Also nMage, because every setting that has loving Atlantis as its primary conceit is retarded by default.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


If there's one thing that nWoD does better than oWoD its combat. I tried running oWoD Combat in a Play by Post, it took weeks.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




The Leper Colon V posted:

I think the best WoD system for "Best of Both Worlds" would probably be Vampire. You get the hierarchy and developed politics and mythology of Masquerade, and the touches of self-awareness and improved mechanics of Requiem. (Especially the reading-between-the-lines implications that a lot of the reasons things are the way they are is because almost every kindred is emotionally frozen at their mental age when they were embraced.)

I don't see how that helps with space combat, though. What kind of Disciplines would you give the Borg, anyway?

girl dick energy
Sep 30, 2009

You think you have the wherewithal to figure out my puzzle vagina?


Kavak posted:

I don't see how that helps with space combat, though. What kind of Disciplines would you give the Borg, anyway?
I can't tell if you're punning or if I misinterpreted a post somewhere.

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Best of Both Worlds was the title of the third season finale/fourth season premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's apparently a good two episodes.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Errata Mattas: Odds and Ends of IntSec



SECRET SOCIETIES

I'm not gonna go into any real depth about ALL of the Secret Societies in Paranoia because you could just go to Wikipedia or check out the core book for information. I'm also gonna skip elaborating on the new/current mutations seeing as how they're pretty self-explanatory by name. The vanilla Societies are classic and pretty well known BUT IntSec adds new groups and a new way to classify the different types of Secret Societies. So I'll be showing off the new groups and giving a blurb about them.

IntSec classifies Secret Societies by A, B or C.

Type A's are societies full of wackos and crazies but are harmless, deep underground or at the very least ineffective. Some of them used to be social groups or initiatives dreamed up by Friend Computer and the High Programmers but they've kinda gone awry, though they don't pose any danger to the security of the Complex. Type A's: Death Leopard, First Church of Christ Computer Programmer, Free Enterprise, Program Group, Romantics, Sierra Club,

Type B's are smaller, weirder and more dangerous. They're possibly useful assets because they're obsessed with one certain thing in Complex life and might or might not be big threats to the security and the stability of the Complex. Type B's: Anti-Mutants, the C.L.A., Clone Arrangers, Corpore Metal, Mystics, Pro Tech, Runners, The Wobblies (International Workers of the World).

Type C's are ultratreasonous and are actively fought against by IntSec because they're big threats to the regime. Unless the decisions makers are on the take for them, then that's a problem. Type C's: Communists, Computer Phreaks, Frankenstein Destroyers, Humanists, The Movement, The Old Guard, PURGE, Servants of Cthulhu, Spies for Another Complex,

Type Unknowns defy classification, being too inscrutable or unknowable. The Illuminati are the sole occupants of this ranking.


THE C.L.A.: Standing for The Complex Laser Association, the C.L.A. hates Commie Mutant Traitors as much as anyone else. They hate them so much their hate bleeds over into a love for energy weapons; namely stockpiling them. They used to be a civilian militia who managed to buy some guns through the Infrared Market, but eventually enough of them began to believe that IntSec and the Armed Forces were corrupt and in league with the Commie Mutant Traitors so they should be brought down and replaced by the C.L.A. Despite the name they don't just like lasers. They're big fans of anti-matter, nuclear warheads and poison gas explosives. They hate the Communists, believe that every Citizen has the right to arm themselves for bear and are friends with the FCCC-P.


CLONE ARRANGERS: Free Enterprise controls the Infrared Market and the Clone Arrangers are the Free Enterprise of the cloning tanks. They essentially are a union that runs the entire cloning department of Alpha Complex and if you want to succeed there, you have to get in real good with them like a real paisan. They offer services most citizens can only get as Blues, namely getting more clones added onto your lifespan AND possibly getting your genome cleaned up to remove any genetic drift. You can also pay them to fuss with other people's clones or affect their MemoMax recordings, but their services never come free (though they are cheap compared to legal Alpha Complex channels). They're friends with Pro Tech, hate Free Enterprise because they keep trying to muscle in on their racket, and depending on the time of day they either love or hate Psion and the Anti-Mutants.


THE MOVEMENT: Once upon a time a bunch of Sierra Clubbers came to believe that Alpha Complex was gonna implode on itself and they were all doomed. These doom-sayers formed The Foundation, who ran around trying to warn people. Eventually most of the agents of The Foundation got tired of waiting for Alpha Complex's doomsday to come, so they formed The Movement. The Movement's goals are twofold: first, build their own Complex out in the Outside from blueprints and stolen plans and second, hasten the inevitable death of Alpha Complex with their own actions. Rumor has it they completed step one, so now they're working to blow up and level Alpha Complex so their new Complex will be necessary and they can be the new masters. They primarily steal construction equipment and supplies when they're not stealing and rigging WMDs and inciting terrorist riots. They're allied with the Humanists, Pro Tech and PURGE and they hate the spies from other Complexes because those other Complexes are just as corrupt and doomed as Alpha Complex.


OLD GUARD: Being an Ultraviolet and a High Programmer is THE most dangerous occupation in Alpha Complex, short of being used as a living reactor shield. And you're not safe on top; the other High Programmers didn't get there by being fat and lazy, they earned their position and got theirs and they want yours too. So sometimes High Programmers are disgraced bad enough they no longer can be Ultraviolets, or maybe they're killed a whole bunch and presumed dead. The Old Guard is a group of ex-High Programmers who live in secrecy in Alpha Complex, plotting to overthrow the current High Programmers and reinstate themselves. They mostly accomplish this by mooching off of citizens who believe in them and support them. They have no allies; revealing their existence would only screw them over. And they hate the other Program Groups created by the still-ruling High Programmers.


PROGRAM GROUPS: They are not, strictly speaking, Secret Societies. They're a bunch of citizens who were recruited by a High Programmer for a purpose and they can hire more citizens in. It's your job to do what your benefactor wants you to do, so you can be a goon squad, you can sabotage another High Programmer's Program Group, or you can just pick up a whole mess of Cold Fun for your leader's Cold Fun Social he's throwing next weekcycle. Program Groups hate the Old Guard and have a friendship with FCCC-P.


RUNNERS: Like the Sierra Club, the Runners want to leave Alpha Complex. Unlike them, the Runners are convinced they must because the entire Complex is out to get them and kill them. They operate a smuggling operation to get citizens to safety and they sabotage IntSec operations to catch them because IntSec is the hand of Friend Computer and they don't feel like getting squished by that hand. They're pretty benign, just paranoid, unless they're engaged in acts of vandalism and sabotage. They're friends with the Sierra Club and The Movement (even if they don't agree that the Complex should be destroyed) and don't like Humanists very much. Why rebuild the Complex in your image when you can just leave?


SERVANTS OF CTHULHU: The Servants of Cthulhu want to bring about the end of times by summoning the Great Old Ones when the stars are right.

No, wait, come back, I'm being serious.

The SoC are a legit cult of Lovecraftian beasts obsessed with ritual sacrifice and summonings and think their mutant powers are magical gifts from the Old Ones. However, most of them realize this is garbage and that the others are being dumb. IntSec agrees, seeing as how magic isn't a real thing, and they're mostly idiots who either read some bad Romantic books or are suffering from hallucinations due to certain drugs in the water. However this doesn't stop the more sane agents from repeatedly breaking into R&D to steal dimensional technology to force the fabric of space-time apart. Just because magic isn't real doesn't mean that reality-collapsing neutron bombs aren't. The Mystics heavily oppose the Servants of Cthulhu, trying to stop them at every turn (though they're both crazy drug fanatics so it's not particularly impressive) and the SoC are enemies with FCCC-P who as good servants of Christ, Computer Programmer will not stand for a heathen cult bringing lies into their midst. The only people who will be friends with them are Psion, because as far as Psion is concerned an interdimensional horror is a good ally to have.


WOBBLIES: Once upon a time the Computer found some buried info about the real International Workers of the World and demanded that they be brought to justice. The first Troubleshooter team sent to investigate came back saying that they weren't real and weren't up to anything, so they were terminated for treason. The second team came to the same conclusion and were also terminated for treason. The third said that the Wobblies were totally a real thing and a big ol' threat boy howdy, and that's how they were formed. Wobblies are really just spies spying on spies and nobody knows that they're not a real thing so they ended up being a mixture of PURGE, the Commies and Frankenstein Destroyers and IntSec likes to put agents into the Wobblies because their friends, coincidentally, are the Communists and the FD so they tend to get some hot tips. Being Commie-supporters and enemies of Friend Computer, they butt heads with Free Enterprise and FCCC-P.

PLAY STYLES

To wrap it all up, let's talk about play styles. The core Troubleshooters book offered up three types of play, depending on the experience you wanted to have. They were:
Classic: Soda explodes, your powers backfire, everyone's a little nuts and the blame game will save your life. Follow the core environment of the book with that slightly silly black comedy vibe and you've got the gist of Classic.
Zap!: everything explodes, everything is treason, you're all gonna die and it's all wonderful. Zap! is zany slapstick, plain and simple. Everything is an excuse for a firefight, there's no real plot, it's really just an excuse to mess around and shoot your buddies.
Straight: Alpha Complex is terrifying. The evil is inherent in the system, it's not funny at all, and you're at the whims of competent, sane sociopaths who run a machine greased with clone blood and lies. And you're a part of the great machine tasked with making sure it runs. Straight is pure dystopia action where eventually you will be brought low as a traitor when they don't need you anymore.

IntSec offers up three different and new styles of play that complement the general tone, gear and goodies offered up by IntSec. They are: Horror, Heist and Overkill.



HORROR: Horror is a lot like Straight BUT not focused on the dystopian aspects of Alpha Complex. If you want to feel guilty over your actions, play Straight. If you want to feel like the last line of defense against an insidious, invisible menace, play Horror. There is something bad in Alpha Complex, subverting the irreverent, silly fascist dictatorship for its own greedy desires. There are things taking the places of loyal citizens and they are out for blood and control. Horror reduces the violence and silliness except for when it's needed, focusing in black comedy and slow-burning dread and suspense instead. It also adds the Infiltration Index, which measures just how much they've taken over the Complex's districts and its citizens. Horror is about trust, character evolution, secret societies banding together to survive while keeping an eye on their enemies and the fear that the teammate that you trust the most is one of them.

HEIST: Everyone in your team knows each other, they know they can trust each other. They're buddies, their Secret Societies are all friendly-like, that's why they're put together into this team. The point of Heist is that you're all working together to pull off a job while pretending to be real good Troopers. Work together to split the cash for the job or snitch on the others to get off good if you get caught by IA and let the others hang, it's all up to you. Heist is a game about actually working together but still keeping a hand on your gun as you watch the others, it's about looking like angels when they see you with your hand in the cookie jar, it's a game about knowing when to shoot and when to schmooze and when to book it.

OVERKILL: Overkill is a lot like Zap! but without the silliness. The point of Overkill is simple: you are the law. You have the big guns. They are the criminals. Put lots of holes in them with your big guns. Overkill is a playstyle that's all about jumping into the fray, outnumbered, while screaming and shooting, thumbing your nose at the book and the law while mowing down every scumbag that gets in your way. It's a game about morally grey men beating insurmountable odds and living to see the Commissioner demand their badges for how they behave.

And thus concludes Paranoia: Internal Security. A neat change of pace for a fan of everyone's favorite happy, functional dystopia, an interesting jumping-off point for those who are interested for the first time. The few times I've fooled around with it I've been moderately satisfied, and a lot of the things I explained are how I see them playing out or being understood. It can get a little bit heavy at times, but it's never afraid to let you step back and just have fast-and-loose fun and for that I respect the hell out of it.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 09:22 on Jan 17, 2014

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



The Leper Colon V posted:

I think the best WoD system for "Best of Both Worlds" would probably be Vampire. You get the hierarchy and developed politics and mythology of Masquerade, and the touches of self-awareness and improved mechanics of Requiem. (Especially the reading-between-the-lines implications that a lot of the reasons things are the way they are is because almost every kindred is emotionally frozen at their mental age when they were embraced.)


Yeah the idea of rolling VtM and VtR into each other is what touched off this line of thinking for me in the first place.

Cardiovorax posted:

Also nMage, because every setting that has loving Atlantis as its primary conceit is retarded by default.

Why? Atlantis is a a classic concept.

Kurieg posted:

If there's one thing that nWoD does better than oWoD its combat. I tried running oWoD Combat in a Play by Post, it took weeks.

Oh I would absolutely use nWoD rules. The Translation Guides seem pretty solid.


Kavak posted:

I don't see how that helps with space combat, though. What kind of Disciplines would you give the Borg, anyway?

The Borg are pretty clearly a bloodline of the Tzimisce.

The Leper Colon V posted:

I can't tell if you're punning or if I misinterpreted a post somewhere.

Cardiovorax
Jun 5, 2011

I mean, if you're a successful actress and you go out of the house in a skirt and without underwear, knowing that paparazzi are just waiting for opportunities like this and that it has happened many times before, then there's really nobody you can blame for it but yourself.

Lightning Lord posted:

Why? Atlantis is a a classic concept.
Because it is a cliché so ancient it's literally pre-Christian and played out in just absolutely every sense imaginable. Anybody who uses it is scraping the bottom of the creative barrel hard enough to make a hole in it.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Cardiovorax posted:

Because it is a cliché so ancient it's literally pre-Christian and played out in just absolutely every sense imaginable. Anybody who uses it is scraping the bottom of the creative barrel hard enough to make a hole in it.

What if I swap out Atlantis and replace it with Lemuria, Mu, Ys or Hy-Brasil?

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Pththya-lyi
Nov 8, 2009

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2020

Cardiovorax posted:

Also nMage, because every setting that has loving Atlantis as its primary conceit is retarded by default.

To be fair, the supplements have backtracked away from Atlantis, stressing that it is a metaphorical legend about a magical ideal, and nobody literally believes it any more than they literally believe in Santa Claus.

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