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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Palladium's ability to put out worthwhile product was really entirely dependent on Kevin's ability to retain at least one talented staff writer.

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Eldad Assarach posted:

System Mastery was right, the art in that book is an embarassment of riches.

Every day that I'm not roleplaying as Senator Roscoe Vinegar "Ol' Pappy" Rooser from the mutant chicken section is a day wasted. Especially if he gets to hang out with the I Love New York Elephant.

nomadotto
Oct 25, 2010

Body of a Penguin
Soul of a Hero
Mind of a Lazy, Easily Distracted, Waste of Space



Soiled Meat


My idea of Bradamante.


More Character Generation
With our long national nightmare of no torchbearer updates ending, we'll jump back into character creation, focusing on the more qualitative parts of the characters. Specifically, we'll going to generate starting Nature scores, our relationships, give everyone their starting equipment, and then move on to beliefs, instincts and goals.

Nature is determined by answering a set of thematic questions which are different for different character stocks. The first thing you do to establish nature descriptors, which are the things that come “naturally” to your stock.

Halflings, like Mr. Tumnus, have a halfling nature. Their descriptors are Sneaking, Riddling, and Merrymaking. These are things that are easy to use your nature for, and will be discussed more later.

After that, you answer a set of questions about your character, giving your your starting nature score. Your nature will be at least 3, which is probably about as good as one of your better skills.


There are three questions for halflings:
Do you eat second breakfast every day?
When confronted, do you stand and fight or run and hide?
Would you rather be safe at home than on this dreadful adventure.

For Mr. Tumnus, the answers are:
Yes (+1 Nature)
Run and Hide (+1 Nature, -1 Fighter)
I rather like adventures (May replace or increase your home trait with Adventurous or Calm, which we will not do)

This gives Mr. Tumnus 5 Nature and -1 Fighter, giving him Fighter 2

Brad, as a human, has a human nature, with the descriptors of Boasting, Demanding, and Running.

The three questions for Humans are:
Do you sit by the hearth at night boasting and drinking, or quietly preparing
Do you demand to be heard as an equal with the dwarves and elves, or do you listen to the wisdom of your elders?
Would you flee and hide from the hordes of monsters that prey upon civilization or do you plunge into their midst for treasure

Brad says:
All drink, all the time (+1 nature)
I demand to be heard (+1 nature, -1 to Loremaster or will)
Run and Hide (+1 nature)

This gives her 6 nature and -1 Will (since she doesn't have loremaster), leaving her with 2 Will

Next we determine their circles and relationships, which gives us a sense of how well they relate to other people, and produces a set of NPCs. These work like nature, in that they ask a series of questions, which we provide answer for, producing mechanical changes to the characters. Specifically, each relationship gives you +1 to circles (unless you're a big jerk, like Mr. Tumnus is), which means you're more “plugged in” to society, and are more likely to be able to find people etc.

We'll start with Mr. Tumnus again.
Do you have friends who enjoy your visits, or are you a loner, tough and cool?
Mr. Tumnus, being a manipulator, tends to piss people off, so we'll say no. This locks his circles at 1, and gives him an enemy, who we will decide is Bargle the Magician, which is the reason why he's not at the Wizard's tower any more. This gives him the Loner trait at 1 and requires his player to get snacks for everyone else while they finish character creation.

Next is Bradamante:
Do you have friends
Sure! Brad is friends with Mr. Tumnus's brother, George, which is why she hangs out with him. This gives her +1 Circles. George also needs a job from the list we chose from for Brad, so let's make him a Healer, that seems useful.

Do you have parents you still talk to?
Yes, her folks will be Jan and Svan. I'm going to assert that at least one culture of humans have a patro/matro-nymic system, so she's now Bradamante Svansdotter. That's another +1 to circles


Do you have a mentor?
Sure! Since Brad is Haggler, so is her mentor is one as well. He (or she) needs a name. We'll say that since Brad is from the crossroads, her mentor is from a different culture, so she'll be Bolormaa, the horse trader. This is one more +1 to circles, giving her 4, which is non-trivial.

There's a rule that's hidden in the description of circles and relationships that you're not allowed to have all of the relationships, so Brad will not have an enemy, but that's ok, Mr. T has that handled!


This bit took a little longer than expected, which goes to show how slow character generation is for a game in which characters are supposed to be “disposable.” Doing this in real time, with everyone having to come up with relationships, can take quite a while, especially for players who aren't used to doing "creative" character generation. Next time, we'll handle equipment!

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 before the mess of hospital trips and HEART RENDING ANXIETY that was last month, I had unexpected ~encounters~ with people who still unironically like old Changeling in the year of our lord twenty fourteen (spoiler: theeeeey are p. weird and that's probably all i should say about that), and I am choosing to take this as a ~~sign~~ that the universe wants me to finish writing about this horrid garbage fire of a sourcebook.



Wyld dreamers, burning bright
Losing ground, failing light
Stormclouds gather, spirit's blight
No more Glamour; endless night
-Childling rhyme



nothing like a small elven child in a BRIGHT GREEN JUMPSUIT to remind us that this was written in the 90s holy poo poo

So! Chapter Two: The Chill of Winter. Lots of bad art, an exotic wanderlusty eshu named Carolan Walks-Far narrating (seriously HIS SURNAME IS LITERALLY "WALKS FAR" THAT'S HOW YOU CAN TELL HE'S GOT THE WANDERLUST ok), and a lot of words about Banality.

You see, Banality is lots of things!

Banality is people wanting realism in stories, because wanting too much realism "restricts creativity to an incredible extent" and SACRIFICES A GOOD STORY TO THE DICTATES OF BANALITY OKAY

Banality is "filling the universe with sterile truths" and "stripping the meaning from myth and magic." (Magic, you see, is ~creativity~.)

Banality is...not actually 'science, full stop!' (Waaaaaaait. Nuance, in Changeling?)

Don't worry, it actually ends up being a pretty dumb kind of nuance.

See, according to Bardy McWanderlust, science in itself was just a *fountain* of Glamour, back when technology was first invented (YEP), because it was "the first truly new concept in millenia." But the fae, already wounded 'cos most people were "no longer satisfied to accept a supernatural explanation for all they saw" (and if they were, we're told, most of the time they'd only accept "oh God/Satan/Yeezus did it"), couldn't gorge themselves because the scientists of the time didn't believe in faeries and didn't want to. In fact, their lack of belief poisoned the well, causing the Glamour drawn from Science Stuff to actively harm changelings! However, not all scientists are bad! See...

Scientists willing and able to accept, even welcome, concepts and theories outside of those they are taught tend to be less banal than those who try to explain all they see with a limited set of rules. Indeed, any rules are ultimately constraining and may lead to a general increase of Banality among those who adhere to them.

Yep. So...doctors bad, "This mom discovered one weird trick, doctors HATE HER" good.

Science provided humanity with explanations for all the little things once ascribed to the supernatural. Diseases were not curses, they were simply microbes. Bad weather was not caused by wrathful gods, but by the way the wind blew, the climate, the season, and numerous other factors. Suddenly, everyone came to view the workings of the world in the same way. Very few were willing to contradict "known facts," and this too gave way to more Banality.

So basically the fae withered away because people DIDN'T NEED FAE ANYMORE OKAY I SEE HOW IT IS and were no longer willing to accept A WIZARD DID IT as a reasonable explanation for natural phenomena. This only got worse from the Renaissance - which was apparently a big Banality fiesta because "building upon scientific foundations" and "expanding old views" - onward, and culminated in the sidhe going back to Arcadia.

Fast forward to the moon landing, which inspired so many wacky Martian fever dreams that the resulting flood of Glamour reopened the road to Arcadia...until the space program lost momentum, which meant lots of Banality again. (THANKS NASA)

The arrival of Winter is a time feared, hated, and often ignored in hopes it will go away. Many Kithain are aware that when Winter arrives, their lives, their fears, everything they know and hold dear will be stripped from them, leaving only a barren, gray landscape for the humans to celebrate their dry science.

Many Kithain hold the belief that Winter will herald the end of all meaning in the world; an Armageddon of the soul which will annihilate all creativity and magic remaining in the universe, leaving nothing to inspire or change. This loss will not be a bang, but a whimper. We will gradually wake in our beds, with no memory of who and what we are. Finally, the last of us will be gone and there will be no memory of our passing, as Banality steals even that.


Is...is that a thing? Is that a thing that happens when you turn thirty?

The narrator goes on to talk about alternate theories about Winter - some changelings think they'll all just go back to Arcadia, and some think it'll mean humans ~maturing~ and ~discovering their true potential~ and eventually inviting the fae back and having alllll sorts of things to teach the fae - before moving onto Dauntain not-magic and banal chimera.

See....Dauntain have magic, just like regular changelings! Sort of. Whereas ordinarily Banal people just make it hard to do Magic Stuff around them, Dauntain have the magic power of LITERALLY KILLING CREATIVITY OK and straight up suppressing magic with subversions of the bog-standard changeling powers. In fact, we're told, they're so no-fun that half the time they don't even realise they're using these powers!

More on that later, because Walksalot McMandolin shifts gears to talk about chimera. Banal chimera exist! They exist, even if an imaginary creature powered by the skepticism of no-fun grownups who don't believe in imaginary creatures and etc. doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and they have a short shelf life, which is good, but they're sneaky and terrible and have an insatiable appetite for Glamour, which is bad. There are two kinds of banal chimera - forgotten imaginary friends and monsters under the bed and the like, and literal walking embodiments of nerve-wracking anxiety over the impending Whimsypocalypse.

Now, are you saying to yourself, "Golly, I sure would love to see some examples?" Wellllll you're in luck because there's a picture of Frylock after he let himself go for a few years and a frankly kinda batshit story.


god damnit meatwad what are you even doing, evil frylock rasped

Once upon a time, there was a little Seelie princess with an imaginary friend she absolutely adored. She loved her imaginary friend so *much* that she cut her finger and swore a blood oath of undying friendship and love to him! They were just inseparable and had all sorts of wacky childhood adventures, and then she grew into a teenager and made friends her age and sort of ignored him, and BREAKING HER BLOOD OATH in this fashion absolutely ruined him, turning him into Dark Frylock. Dark Frylock wanted to TEACH CHILDREN A LESSON ABOUT PROMISES, so he drove all of her friends to hate each other, appearing to her and being all YEP THAT WAS ME OK BYE afterwards. :stare: Now, Olds invoke the spectre of Dark Frylock to teach childlings to take promises seriously, but Dark Frylock still exists and occasionally pops up to punish anyone who looks to him like they might break a promise. (read: literally anyone)

After that, we get a blurb about a dragon made of ice and also cold iron (sort of) and born from the ill will of HATERS who wanted to destroy the faerie kingdom of ""Miami!"" It literally has no purpose other than killing fae, destroying their homes, and destroying every bit of Glamour it touches, because it is a hater. Now, abandoned imaginary friends can be rehabilitated if someone's willing to take them in and give them enough attention, but haters like the dragon? They can't be reasoned with, only destroyed by a sufficiently strong-willed and whimsytastic changeling, perhaps Crystal Warrior Ke$ha?.

Finally, we get a bit on the Undoing, along with some more really unfortunate art.


The worst fate of all, being turned into bad ska album liner art.

So! First, the mechanics of Undoing. When you have more Banality than Glamour, you have to roll Glamour every day you aren't ~touched by glamour~, and failure means gradual memory loss until somebody jars you out of it with Whimsy Stuff. When you have more permanent Banality than permanent Glamour+Willpower, you risk permanently becoming a ~mundane~ unless you spend (B - G) days per week in a freehold (though, if you spend too much time in a freehold you risk going Full Whimsy and losing your grip on reality :v:) and rack up temporary Banality each week you don't do this (unless you're on a ~quest~ to reduce your Banality). When you hit 10 permanent Banality...you get a day for each point of permanent Glamour and Willpower, and if you don't reduce your Banality in that time, your ~faerie soul~ dies forever.

You can also willingly retreat into being a boring normal person with vague feelings of everything being off for ????however long to avoid Banality or chimerical harm, but you only get one chance to return from this unless other fae show up and whimsy you into reviving.

So, Banality is terrifying to fae because number one, it's quietly growing up losing your faeness instead of having a big heroic demise where you go out bravely fighting a dragon or w/e, and number two...

When I come upon a changeling who has been Undone, it is far more painful for me than seeing a dead companion.

Imagine, if you will, meeting an old, dear friend; a friend with whom you have shared many a story, joke, or drink. Your friend not only fails to recognise you, but remembers nothing of your common past. It would be a terrible loss, and not only for those who see the result. What would it be like to simply cease to exist? It isn't exactly a comforting thought, yet this is what we risk merely by living.


you don't understand ok mom growing up is worse than literally dying

Now, the narrator tells us, this fading-away is a slow, gradual process! Signs of the whole thing are pretty obvious if you're paying attention, and it can be averted! Buuuuuut most changelings don't notice or don't care and talk about the undone like they either don't exist or went on vacation forever for fear that thinking or talking about their dead make-believe homies will "infect them with banality" because of course they do, and so in many cases...well, y'know.

Mind you, some changelings actively go looking for ~lost~ fae, and when someone does come back from the brink there's a big party because ~rebirth~, but Carlos McNotascientist tells us that forgetting and coming back too many times can undermine others' confidence in them, especially if they have any kind of responsibilities.

There's one last bit about how your faerie bffs are your best allies if you start slipping away and oathcircles save make-believe lives okay, and i'm just going to leave things here because oh my god this has been straight up draining to write (banality at work?????).

Next time: A lOlRaNdOm!! mOnKeYcHeEsE Field Guide to the Autumn People. (ahaha you might think i'm being sarcastic but guess who it's narrated by)

Ningyou fucked around with this message at 01:35 on Nov 11, 2014

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I was just thinking about that awful book the other day. Fun point: in some forgotten corner of canon, the Technocratic Union was so annoyed with its Void Engineer convention for opening the moon-gates to ~Arcadia~ and ushering hope and dreams in by spilling the Pandoric cookie jar, that they went out of their way to piss in the VE's cheerios for decades.

Yeah. The Challenger was caused by yet another shadowy cabal of superhumans.

Anyway! I'm looking forward to more. There was some really amusingly snide commentary about their fanbase in the Crashing Bore write-up, as I recall.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It's always really funny to read these games that are all 'Shadowy Cabal of Superhumans Caused Everything! ...Except Hitler! NEVER HITLER!'

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

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


Stupid shadowy cabals. Just a bunch of old men playing at running the world. Are Shadowy Cabals of Superhumans/Unemphatic Humans literally everywhere in 90s metaplot, or are we just seeing the worst ones?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The funniest part is, because they have to keep them out of Well Known Major Historical Tragedies like WWII, they always come off as not actually controlling much of human affairs, really.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Night10194 posted:

The funniest part is, because they have to keep them out of Well Known Major Historical Tragedies like WWII, they always come off as not actually controlling much of human affairs, really.

They controlled and comprised basically every other major party of the Nazi party. But Hitler was 100% human because the real monster is man.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Wow. That's the most gutless half measure I've ever seen in handling WWII in one of these ridiculous settings.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Night10194 posted:

The funniest part is, because they have to keep them out of Well Known Major Historical Tragedies like WWII, they always come off as not actually controlling much of human affairs, really.

I prefer the supernatural like that- monstrous and strange things should be lurking in the dark corners of the cities or wilderness, not running the world like a bored grand strategy player *cough*Godmachine*cough*.

Kurieg posted:

They controlled and comprised basically every other major party of the Nazi party. But Hitler was 100% human because the real monster is man.

I've never understood using that trope in the World of Darkness, to be honest. Every single creature you can play as was either born as a human, spent most of their life thinking they were human, or merged with a human. Of course the real monster is man- you're all men!


I'm glad to hear everything's good with you and that this review is back on because I love your writing style :).

EDIT:

Night10194 posted:

Wow. That's the most gutless half measure I've ever seen in handling WWII in one of these ridiculous settings.

"Ancient conspiracies orchestrate human history except when it's too politically or socially sensitive for them to do so." Of course, White Wolf had moments of tone deafness there, like making Himmler a vampire in an early book and the entirety of the Revised Children of Gaia sourcebook. Did they ever talk about the Yugoslav Wars?

Kavak fucked around with this message at 02:51 on Nov 11, 2014

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


I'm pretty sure Mengele is still a Sabbat vampire of some stripe.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


Kurieg posted:

They controlled and comprised basically every other major party of the Nazi party. But Hitler was 100% human because the real monster is man.



Kurieg posted:

I'm pretty sure Mengele is still a Sabbat vampire of some stripe.

There was a Berlin sourcebook that made the really questionable decision to prominently include several of Hitler's inner circle as vampires.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Yeah, there's a reason that: A. nWoD backed off hard on supernatural cabals controlling history, and B. decided not to talk about modern politics basically ever.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

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


Kavak posted:

"Ancient conspiracies orchestrate human history except when it's too politically or socially sensitive for them to do so." Of course, White Wolf had moments of tone deafness there, like making Himmler a vampire in an early book and the entirety of the Revised Children of Gaia sourcebook. Did they ever talk about the Yugoslav Wars?

Funny you should mention that, because at least one other vampire game being reviewed here calls out the Yugoslav Wars by name. Where's GimpinBlack with regards to Nights' Black Agents?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Always wanted to play a Dauntain. And if you don't think that's a good idea? Then you're stifling my creativity, who is the real banal monster now?

:smugbert:

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kellsterik posted:



There was a Berlin sourcebook that made the really questionable decision to prominently include several of Hitler's inner circle as vampires.

It's super 90's edgy and in a lazier way than White Wolf usually was. The leader of the "Final Reich" was a 13 year old Nazi and the real Heinrich Himmler, Tremere Antitribu, helps out the 13 year old's neo-Nazi agenda. Most likely fake Hermann Goring, Malkavian, was also a member of the "Final Reich" organization. White Wolf never really touched it after Berlin by Night for obvious reasons except stating that Himmler is missing around the time the Tremere Antitribu get wiped out.

It's a pretty good example of how old White Wolf could get a great concept at its base and ruin it. Two cities separated by an impenetrable wall for almost 30 years under two completely different ideologies are reunited and are faced with multiple threats like the Sabbat and Setites. Sounds like a great concept but this is the 90's and concept doesn't sell books unless it looks like something scribbled on the back of a Smashing Pumpkins album insert. James A. Moore and Andrew Greenberg just jerk themselves off to being XTREME and go full force into Nazis and poo poo that isn't even relevant in Germany at that time, let alone today.

Also, look at this cover

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Germany's main concern back then was integrating and supporting the half of the nation that had spent 45 years under economic neglect and political repression, right? What the hell else could they have talked about once they ran out of VAMPIRE NAZIS!!1! to detail?

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kavak posted:

Germany's main concern back then was integrating and supporting the half of the nation that had spent 45 years under economic neglect and political repression, right? What the hell else could they have talked about once they ran out of VAMPIRE NAZIS!!1! to detail?

Well, this is a summary of part of what is in the book.

White Wolf Wiki posted:

Although many Cainites blamed Breidenstein for being the cause of the Great War, Wilhelm stayed by his sire's side, following his orders to the letter. In the following years of the Weimar Republic, Breidensteins credibility as a prince was nearly destroyed and Wilhelm Waldburg was regarded by many as the true power behind Berlin. Breidenstein was still Prince, but inhibited by his childe and the newly formed Primogen Council. This led to Breidensteins involvement in the rise of the NS-Regime, as the old Ventrue hoped to use them to crush his enemies within french Toreador, as well as the adherents of his wayward childe. The plan horribly backfired and resulted with much of the city destroyed. Wilhelm survived the war in the warrens of allied Nosferatu, who believed him to be a better candidate for princedom than his sire.

Following the separation of Berlin into districts controlled by the victorious powers, Wilhelm claimed West Berlin as his domain. Using rumors that his sire had dominated Hitler into beginning the war, Wilhelm managed to consolidate many discontent Kindred within his domain, while opening the domain to visits from foreign Kindred. His enthusiastic support of the ideals of the Camarilla also granted him the favor of many powerful Elders on Europe. His sire in the East reacted with contracted assassins and further isolation, mirroring political currents among the kine. Thaumaturgical rituals inscribed upon the Berlin Wall isolated both domains, until the Wall fell in 1989, leaving the city with two princes who had no intention of stepping down.

That's plenty without going into neo-Nazis and actual Nazis. Talking about Nazis in the 30's and someone getting burned for using them, good. 13 year old vampire neo-Nazi leader, not cool.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 07:08 on Nov 11, 2014

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




How the gently caress did vampires build up half a century of imperial tension in Europe and abroad, destabilize the Ottoman and Austrian Empires, start the Balkan Wars, set up the Black Hand's assassination plot, then after WWI collapse the global economy and pave the way for the rise of Nazism?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Night10194 posted:

The funniest part is, because they have to keep them out of Well Known Major Historical Tragedies like WWII, they always come off as not actually controlling much of human affairs, really.
Late-era V:tM came to a pretty good explanation for all this - powerful vampires have a lot of control over human organizations, and use that control almost entirely to protect their own vampiric interests and ignore the world of man for the most part. The vampires who run a city only "run" it insofar as they use its power structure to protect their havens and provide them with hunting grounds and officially ignore the occasional homeless dude who gets fished out of the river with all his blood drained, and also to pursue conflicts against other vampiric factions (i.e. you get the city planning council to authorize the emergency daytime demolition of an abandoned tenement that just so happens to have three Sabbat sleeping in the basement). Playing power games with mortals just to play games is an amateur mistake, often made by newly-created vampires, that usually results in the player coming to a quick, unhappy end (because while they loving around in the mortal world becoming the vampire drug lord of all Miami or whatever, his enemies were working against him in vampiric circles, and guess what counts for more?). Smart vampires who manage to survive long enough to become elders keep their interactions with the mortal world low-key and defensive.

Vampires really have no control over the sort of Great Big Tides Of History that result in World War II or the French Revolution and the like; they get carried along with it like everybody else and have to scramble to stay afloat like everybody else.

Luminous Obscurity
Jan 10, 2007

"The instrument you know as a piano was once called a pianoforte, because it can play both loud and quiet notes."


The more I read about Changeling the Dreaming, the more I want to see a Changeling the Lost game where the players take a wrong turn in the Hedge and pop out in the CWOD and have to fight their way through hordes of Dreaming changelings (and everything else in the CWOD).

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Kavak posted:

How the gently caress did vampires build up half a century of imperial tension in Europe and abroad, destabilize the Ottoman and Austrian Empires, start the Balkan Wars, set up the Black Hand's assassination plot, then after WWI collapse the global economy and pave the way for the rise of Nazism?

Second Edition was all about how vampires did it in but then goes on to say that some secret people really do everything in the Ventrue clanbook. Second is where also get all of the "famous person was a vampire" stuff. Most the stuff in Revised about it is using material from Second.

EDIT: It's even more nonsensical when you have all the game lines doing it and there's the Technocracy.

RocknRollaAyatollah fucked around with this message at 14:37 on Nov 11, 2014

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Second Edition was all about how vampires did it in but then goes on to say that some secret people really do everything in the Ventrue clanbook.

Ah yes, the secret conspiracy the Ventrue struggle against that never emerge in any other book and are never mentioned again, ever.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

EDIT: It's even more nonsensical when you have all the game lines doing it and there's the Technocracy.

Reminds me of how multiple splats liked to claim that Rasputin was one of theirs all along.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Luminous Obscurity posted:

The more I read about Changeling the Dreaming, the more I want to see a Changeling the Lost game where the players take a wrong turn in the Hedge and pop out in the CWOD and have to fight their way through hordes of Dreaming changelings (and everything else in the CWOD).

Oh god, could you imagine Lost-Changelings running into a Childling Satyr trying to sex them up?

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Second Edition was all about how vampires did it in but then goes on to say that some secret people really do everything in the Ventrue clanbook. Second is where also get all of the "famous person was a vampire" stuff. Most the stuff in Revised about it is using material from Second.

EDIT: It's even more nonsensical when you have all the game lines doing it and there's the Technocracy.

The Werewolf books do their best to avoid saying X-Person was a Werewolf/cat/raven/bear, though early edition books do say that "X-person who was almost universally disliked was actually tainted by the Wyrm" and a lot of Pentex CEOs are thinly veiled pastiches of real people. Later edition books do occasionally say that X-Mythological figure was probably a Were-thing. Like King Arthur is apparently a Werebear who's hibernating in Avalon till someone needs him.

Children of Gaia: Revised was really the only one that went overboard with it. Any human being who created even the slightest positive social change in the world was either a Coggie or Cogfolk.

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 14:52 on Nov 11, 2014

Esser-Z
Jun 3, 2012



I mentally inserted an "r" into both of those, which made it immensely more acceptable.


I might actually do SECRET CABAL OF CORGIS ACTUALLY RULE THE WORLD as a plot in some game sometime.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Esser-Z posted:

I mentally inserted an "r" into both of those, which made it immensely more acceptable.


I might actually do SECRET CABAL OF CORGIS ACTUALLY RULE THE WORLD as a plot in some game sometime.



:tinfoil:

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Esser-Z posted:

I mentally inserted an "r" into both of those, which made it immensely more acceptable.


I might actually do SECRET CABAL OF CORGIS ACTUALLY RULE THE WORLD as a plot in some game sometime.

Well yes if Jesus was a Corgi that would definitely change the way the passion of the christ played out.

Oh yeah I neglected to mention that CoG:R casually drops that Jesus was probably a werewolf.

neonchameleon
Nov 14, 2012





So the Queen is the corgi's pet not the other way round?

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



You say that like corgis don't already COMMAND FEALTY FROM ALL WHO LAY EYES UPON THEM

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy



The truth was in front of us the whole time. :tinfoil:

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

And lo, the LORD spake unto him and asked, "WHO IS A GOOD BOY?"

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


Bieeardo posted:

And lo, the LORD spake unto him and asked, "WHO IS A GOOD BOY?"

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



Bieeardo posted:

And lo, the LORD spake unto him and asked, "WHO IS A GOOD BOY?"

ummmmmmmmmmmmm excuse me it's adam and eve not adam and golden retriever

Eldad Assarach
May 1, 2014




Part 2: Setting Background
We finally get to the setting itself, and it's interesting to see a divergence between 1st and 2nd edition right off the bat. It's the late 21st Century, and "a brutal catastrophe of war, plague and nuclear winter" known as "The Big Death" has hosed America's poo poo up. This is where we see the biggest divergence between editions; in 2nd Edition the reason for the end of modern civilisation was basically an escalating prank war gone wrong.

Okay, that requires a little more explanation. In the near future science will be so advanced that all disease will either be completely eradicated, so easily cured that kids infecting their entire classroom in order to get out of finals will become just another way for kids to use technology to be complete douchebags. This will eventually lead to kids using the internet to come up with better and better designer viruses, until one day a virus is made that rewrites human cells into a disease.

This leads to about three quarters of humanity dying, and that wasn't the end of it. See, another result of science becoming so advanced was the rise of genetic engineering in animals, resulting in the Embryonic Genome Generator, or EGG®, which made the average person capable of making animals that little bit better... and smarter. Turns out meddling in God's domain made animals so smart, they could be classified as not just sentient, but sapient too. As a result, when "The Crash" left its mark, it made some animals mutate, instead of simply dying.

Why no, I don't believe anybody at Palladium has any qualifications in any of the sciences. Why do you ask?

As if this wasn't bad enough, the fact that so many people died from what looked like a deliberate biological attack made the people who could push The Button kinda jumpy, so they decided to push it just in case, resulting in – you guessed it - "The Big Death".


Some creepy (possibly recycled) art to break up the wall of text.

Regardless of how it happened, the end result is the same; humanity is no longer the dominant species. From the wake of disaster have arisen thousands of mutant animals, most of whom have set up their own societies; divisions between societies are based far more on territory than by species – most PCs will probably be from Cardania, even though we have no idea what it's like.

Humans inhabit some of the mutant-centric societies, helping to build infrastructures. However, there is also The Empire of Humanity, an autocracy hell-bent on destroying every mutant. So, it's not so much Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth, more Battle For The Planet of The Apes.

We then go on to money, and it's actually pretty interesting. Barter is the most accepted form of payment, and pre-Big Death currency is worthless; the only physical money that anyone south of New Kennel takes is the Cardanian Buck and Bit, with 4 Bits making up a Buck (A Buck is the same as a US Dollar). It then gives a list of various amenities, and how much they're worth now (One night in an inn is worth 2 Bucks, a flashlight is worth 50 Bucks, etc.). Manufactured items cost three times as much as they do, but only if they're new – old stuff costs the same as it did before, but only if it works.

This method of pricing doesn't apply to New Kennel or The Empire – their currency, the Empire Credit, is electronic-only and everyone pays with credit cards. The Empire still has the same prices that were around pre-Big Death, and again a Credit converts exactly to a Dollar, but New Kennel has a huge problem with inflation (prices keep being "adjusted", much to the dismay of New Kennel's financial district), which keeps them subservient to The Empire. Both regions have a black market, and they only take Bucks. 2nd Edition bumped up the equipment list to about 6 pages, which is pretty restrained for Palladium (Yes, at least half of the pages are about weapons).


I needed something else to break up the text, so have a badass Laird rodent.

Offspring! Don't worry, it's just a short paragraph about how inter-species relationships and marriages are common, but will never produce children; two dogs could be fertile, but a dog and a wolf couldn't. Preeeeetty sure this is bullshit, Wujcik. A mutant and a human can't produce a child either, which sounds comparatively less stupid.

In all fairness, when 2nd Edition came out (and understanding of interbreeding was more widely-known), this was commuted to "most species can't interbreed, and some mutations make you infertile". Doesn't say which, but it sure makes a big deal about it! Certain Psionic powers can detect whether somebody is fertile or not (shtupping the wrong mutant can make you infertile – again, doesn't say what criteria there is), and the GM Guide suggests that The Empire of Humanity has little to no children... no pure human children, that is.

See, quite a few people in The Empire had adopted a lot of mutant children that looked exactly like a human. Remember when in TMNT&OS where a mutant's looks ranged from None to Partial to Full? Well, now you have Perfect; it makes you look exactly like a human and it only costs 15 BIO-E, so the "purity" of what remains of humanity has been inadvertently diluted. While I don't see the point of adding even more to character creation, I actually do like the idea of showing how certain ideologies don't really work when you put actual people into the equation.

Next time: We actually get to learn what The Empire of Humanity is, and who's running it!

Esser-Z
Jun 3, 2012



Ningyou posted:

ummmmmmmmmmmmm excuse me it's adam and eve not adam and golden retriever

We clearly established it's Adam and Corgive just a few posts ago!

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

There was a similarly absurd and long sidebar about half-breeds in... I think it was the RIFTS Conversion Book. It was the same kind of spergy 'who really gives a gently caress' that Siembieda's occasionally reprinted 'lasers that can blow holes in buildings are still silent!!!' rant drips whenever it comes up for air.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








So about a week ago someone wrote an article on Beyond the Supernatural for the Escapist in rather a good light. I'm forgetting the issues specific to it as noted in the prior F&F review, but didn't it at the very least have the flaws endemic to all Palladium games (being stuck in the 80's, basically)?

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



NGDBSS posted:

So about a week ago someone wrote an article on Beyond the Supernatural for the Escapist in rather a good light. I'm forgetting the issues specific to it as noted in the prior F&F review, but didn't it at the very least have the flaws endemic to all Palladium games (being stuck in the 80's, basically)?

Some of the classes matter, some do virtually nothing. The Horror Factor system felt very bolt-on and didn't really help to give the game a horror setting feel. Palladium skill system is mind-numbingly boring. BtS was vastly improved by adding it to Ninjas and Superspies so your classes weren't a bunch of ineffectual dorks. Like, I get that you're supposed to be playing the whole Call of Cthulhu style "almost just regular folks" game, but if my character is fated to die to a nightbeast in a few minutes, I don't want to spend two hours writing down obscure skill percentages.

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