Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Are there actually rules to support joining and leading a pack of of wolves? This is too cool to not become an adventure or two.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


By popular demand posted:

Are there actually rules to support joining and leading a pack of of wolves? This is too cool to not become an adventure or two.

One of the Divine Marks for Ulricans has them getting an increasing number of faithful wolf companions.

E: It also notes these are Ulric's wolves, though, and they won't put up with your bullshit if you treat them badly or use them as cannon fodder. So you have to treat your wolves with respect so they'll do the same for you.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Obviously to take down beastmen patrols you'll need lots of wolves.
so assuming only one person who takes every animal husbandry/friendship skill they can in addition to the favour of ulric, what size wolf militia are we looking at?

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013



You get one wolf per mark, you can roll the mark multiple times.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


By popular demand posted:

Obviously to take down beastmen patrols you'll need lots of wolves.
so assuming only one person who takes every animal husbandry/friendship skill they can in addition to the favour of ulric, what size wolf militia are we looking at?

You also have to consider buffs, assuming you're a priest of Ulric with his spell lore stuff. What sort of buffs can be cast on your wolf pack?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


wdarkk posted:

You also have to consider buffs, assuming you're a priest of Ulric with his spell lore stuff. What sort of buffs can be cast on your wolf pack?

Howl of the Wolf lets all allies (any ally) attack twice on the charge, regardless of Attacks stat. Wild Pack gives all allies Unsettling, making people suffer -10 against them until they win a Fear test. If you're really nuts and have a lot of time to prepare, Ulric's Gift gives them frenzy, and Unbridled Rage makes Swift Attacks a half action and adds +1 to Attacks when Frenzying. Add in Heart of the Wolf to make everyone fearless and unbreakable.

Ulricans are buff-bots. They also have a bunch of even stronger self-buffs and one of the best outright attack spells of any priest.

I remember all this from A: Solveig and B: My Sigmarite PC has an Ulrican buddy and someday, when they're both Warrior Priests, those two Lores working together to buff one another become loving nonsense powerful. Which is kind of a funny meta-commentary. We're talking two Fearless characters boosted up to 4 or even 5 attacks depending on a few things, both hitting like a truck and glowing. A lot.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Chaos warriors come down from the wastes wreathed in unholy fire and crackling with sorcerous power, but people from the civilized world can do that too.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




It's all about the colour of the power in this case, if it's gold it's one of ours. When it's shades of Red/Green/Blue/Pink it's time to worry.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Tendales posted:

World Tree: A Roleplaying Game of Species and Civilization
by Bard Bloom and Victoria Borah Bloom


I'd just like to point out that my local library has a copy of this for some reason.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Stephenls posted:

My impression of Monte Cook game design is he's all about giving a traditional game experience that gives enough of the impression of being novel that people who believe they want a novel experience but actually just want what they already like will be pleased with it.

My understanding of Invisible Sun in specific is that it's all about applying that principle to a game that discourages piracy by requiring "feelies" to the play experience -- physical props you need to play. Or "need," because it's a Monte Cook game, so the point is giving the impression of novelty while delivering something traditional.

He's consistently made money at what he does while other designers struggle, so apparently this is what people want.

He has the benefit of being able to cater to people who have never experienced a novel game experience.

Precambrian
Apr 30, 2008




This has been one heck of an F&F, and it got me to buy the pdfs for 2e when it was the Bundle of Holding. What I really appreciate of WHF is that it shows how the "unappreciated shitfarmer" genre of RPG doesn't have to be a joyless slog, but can actually still be fun, and even heroic. A peasant, charcoal burner, and fishwife can make up a team that, through guile, grit, and skill, actually make a difference in a hostile world, and even become Big drat Heroes through a fairly logical progression through the career system.

That the game can also be a wacky mishmash of goofballs out for Adventure! speaks even more to it, but I really admire that the game works really nicely for "Skeletons have been sighted ten miles from the village, anyone who can hold a spear and isn't afraid, go check it out."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The best description of the Career system is that in 3 careers you can go from Peasant to Politician to Noble Lord, the class often used to represent Elector Counts and other really high Imperial offices. There is definitely a story in that.

I also think that's something 4e's Careers are missing. That, and a lot of the 'peasant' careers seem like they kind of suck a lot more since they tried to extrapolate every single career into a 4 tier track instead of having some just be jumping off places. Though at least those classes can still jump off into something more useful, I can't imagine someone staying in Townsman or Villager for 4 tiers while someone starting in Peasant is generally fine in 2e.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Fangs at the Gate: The Strength to Carry On

Strength: Heartís Blood! Terrifying Predator Consumption can be used when you perform a sacred hunt against an animal or human with a Tie of fear towards you or your current shape, allowing you to take their shape when you nonlethally take them out or accept their surrender. Towering Beast Form lets you shapeshift into forms of Legendary Size, with all the benefits of Legendary Size, but any turn you donít make a Decisive attack or spend at least 8 motes on offensive magic, you need to pay motes. (Outside combat, you pay motes each hour.) If your spirit shape has Legendary Size, you can learn this with Stamina. Stalking Nightmare Hunter lets you sacred hunt via dreams. You pick someone youíve either damaged with a Decisive attack or successfully threatened within the past week and who has a Major or Defining Tie of fear towards you or one of your shapes. The next time they sleep, you appear in their dreams in whichever form they fear they most, making a Strength roll against their Resolve. If you win, you take their shape, and they gain no Willpower from that nightís sleep. You can only use this once per story against any specific target. Mountainous Spirit Expression lets you give any shape you are in Legendary Size temporarily, with all its benefits. Clothes and moonsilver armor rescale to fit, and any equipment not compatible with your new size goes Elsewhere until you shrink back down. If your spirit shape is Legendary Size, you can learn this with Stamina.

Strength: Offense! Deadly Claw Blow lets you make attack rolls with Strength instead of Dexterity when using heavy weapons, unarmed attacks or natural weapons due to your insane strength, but this only uses your natural Strength Ė anything that gives bonus Strength dots or replaces your Strength score doesnít help attack rolls. Tiger Claw Swat forces foes back with the insane strength of your blows. On a successful block or clash against a foe attacking from Close range, you knock them back one range brand and send them prone. Last Warriorís Unity embeds your weapon into your hand, making it impossible to disarm but also meaning you canít use the hand for anything but swinging that weapon around. If you go into an animal shape unable to normally wield the weapon while using this charm, the weapon goes Elsewhere until you turn back unless it is moonsilver, which assumes a compatible form and can merge even with limbs normally unable to wield weapons, such as a scorpion tail or an eagle beak. While they can be used in animal forms, these moonsilver adaptations are not natural weapons.

Kraken-Arm Lash causes your limbs to grow into muscular tendrils that coil around someone, allowing you to grapple out to Medium range and, if you hit, drag the foe in Close. You can then immediately choose to end the clinch with a throw two horizontal range bands in any direction if you want, Dhalsim. In an animal form with the Infinite Grasp ability, this Charm has its cost reduced against slower foes. Deadly Beastman Transformation upgrades your Hybrid Body Transformation, giving it a bonus to all Withering damage, feats of strength and movement actions based on Strength, a bonus to Soak, and a bonus to what feats of strength you can attempt. However, while it is active, you get a minor Defense penalty that canít be negated and you become dissonant with any artifact you are not normally resonant with, and neutral with any artifact you would normally be resonant with.

Claws of the Silver Moon forms a silver nimbus of claws around your limbs, making your unarmed or natural attacks get Artifact stats in human forms and enhancing natural attacks in animal forms, as well as letting you boost feats of destruction with whatever attack you enhanced. Unarmed attacks that use this Charm are not normally compatible with Martial Arts except at the GMís discretion. You can repurchase this Charm to gain Evocations for your claws, which are based on your personality, spirit shape and Caste. Nightmare Scar Memento causes anyone who suffers a crippling effect you caused to count as having a Minor Tie of fear towards you until it fully heals, and you get a bonus to threaten rolls against them. Getting a magical prosthesis counts as full healing for this. If your spirit shape has a threaten or intimidate dicepool, you can learn this with Charisma instead of Strength.

All-Devouring Tyrant Maw can be used when you establish a clinch with at least 5 rounds of control, and it lets you distend your jaws and eat your victim. In Legendary Size forms, you can eat anything less than Legendary Size. In animal shapes larger than a human, you can eat any foe smaller than a human. In human-size or smaller shapes, you can eat only Tiny or Minuscule foes. In Tiny or Minuscule forms, you can only eat Minuscule foes smaller than your current form. Eating someone means you suffer none of the normal penalties for clinching, but your foe still does Ė they canít attack anyone but you and may suffer other restrictions the GM feels appropriate. You cannot perform normal grapple actions on them except to release them by spitting them up, but on each turn, they suffer a dangerous environmental hazard from your digestive fluids. If this takes them out, you may spare them by spitting them up or kill and digest them, spitting out any indigestible equipment. You lose no rounds of control against them when attacked, but do when damaged. If damage reduces your rounds of control to zero, a hole opens in your body for them to escape through and you take a level of Lethal damage which you canít avoid. If you shapeshift into a form too small for the foe to be in, you reflexively spit them out before you do so.

Strength: Mobility! Impala Leaping Approach powers up your legs, allowing you to jump two range bands up as a move action and land on any horizontal surface nearby or grab onto a vertical surface; this may require an Athletics roll. If you donít, you suffer fall damage as normal. When you use the Charm Spider Catches Sparrow to attack an airborne foe, you can reflexively activate this to attack a foe at Medium rather than Short range above you. If your form is able to fly, you can use this Charm to ascend two range bands as a move action once per scene. Mighty Behemoth Leap goes even further. You canít be within Close range of any foe when you use it unless they are trivial or Crashed. You jump several range bands in any direction, even up, and take no fall damage, with a minimum of 2. Enemies in Close range of where you land fall prone if they fail a Dodge check against your Athletics check, and any Crashed or trivial foes in Close range of you when you leap automatically fall prone. On landing, you can reflexively make a Decisive attack on a foe in Close range, with a damage bonus if you knocked them over. In an animal shape with the Leaping Pounce ability, your attack is unblockable.

Strength: Feats of Strength! Fortress-Smashing Charge lets you Kool-Aid Man through walls, allowing you a reflexive feat of demolition to destroy an obstacle in your path when you cross range bands, with a bonus. You canít use this more than once per range band of movement. In an animal form with the Deadly Charge ability, the bonus doesnít count as from Charms. Terrible Steel-Rending Talons gives a bonus when making a disarm gambit once per day, and if you hit, you destroy mundane weapons. If itís an artifact, you instead make a reflexive feat of demolition that strips attunement if it succeeds, and enough successes also break the artifact and require repairs. If you use Shell-Crushing Atemi to unattune the foeís armor, you can reflexively use this at reduced cost to try to damage it as well. Unyielding Brute Will lets you automatically succeed at a feat of strength to maintain a structureís integrity or hold something still, such as holding up a roof or catching a charging bull. You ignore the Strength requirements for it, and can even prevent uncountable damage by, eg, catching a falling mountaintop thrown by a behemoth. You canít do this if you took a move action this round, but you can maintain the Charm at reduced cost for successive turns, up to the entire scene, so long as you donít move. This can only be used once per day, but you can keep maintaining it as above and it only counts as that one use. If in an animal form with Legendary Size or the Beast of Burden merit, you can maintain the Charm free as long as you donít move. If your spirit shape has Beast of Burden, you can learn this with Stamina.

Next time: Wits

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





Heart (Da)



Ugh. This is a lot of nonsense to say that Heart is your starting statline. Literally, thatís it. Heart determines your starting stat pools for Certes and Qualia, and your starting skills. It doesÖ some other stuff too. But weíll get to that. All Heart works the same: You get a base stat value for Certes and Qualia that you then distribute among your Stat pools, you can then put 6 additional points to distribute as you want. Pick two skills from a list to start with a level.



The issue is that there is only one choice that makes sense. Stoic has Certes 7 and Qualia 10, the highest Qualia of the four. Why does this matter? Remember the stats. Qualia includes Sorcery and Sortilege. Thatís the stat that Controls All Your Magic and the stat that lets you add Bonus Die to anything you or other people do. They are literally the god stats. Bene are just a +1, while Sortilege is an extra die. There is no reason to use a bene when you could use Sortilege to enhance a roll. You pick Stoic, make your Qualia 16, then pump up Sorcery and Sortilege as much as you can, putting some in Intellect as well for Mental HP. All your Certes? That goes straight into Physicality so you have lots of Meat HP. Remember, you can only spend 1 bene at a time for a +1, why would you trade HP for a measly +1? You wouldnít. Max out your HP pools and your Magic and Make Everything I Do Better pools and dump the poo poo out of Accuracy and movement and such. Because all points in those do is give you a +1. Only ever a +1, you just get more opportunities to add a +1 to your poo poo. There are 4 stats that matter out of the 8. Only 4. Goddamn how do you gently caress up your game so bad that there is literally only one stat-array that ever will matter.

Oh, and that other stuff. As mentioned before, the Sooth Deck is basically a ripoff tarot deck that makes the entire game needlessly complicated and I loving hate it so much. Iíll go into it way later, but a sooth deck card is normally always ďin playĒ if it is, characters Hearts that match the suite get a +1 bonus to all actions, unless itís an Apprentice card which is a -1. Once again, Iíll explain that later but just know itís totally random and busywork so who cares.

Also in-setting Heart is basically your Meyers-Briggs Personality Index and people literally will talk about them like how people in real life talk about being INFJ or whatever. Also some magic bullshit is tied to it, like rituals and magic items. Not specifically what, justÖ sometimes magic bullshit gets affected by it.

Next Time: Forte, Holy poo poo Thereís more than 30 of these, oh god this chapter is 66 pages long help me

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




It's to late for an intervention, I'm afraid ol' Monte should be locked away for his own good.

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Evil Mastermind posted:

I'd just like to point out that my local library has a copy of this for some reason.

Great, you can read along, then! :D

World Tree: A Roleplaying Game of Species and Civilization


Part 1:The World Tree
The meat of the book starts off with an explanation of the setting. This is an understandable starting point; the World Tree is not an Earth analogue! Trying to summarize this might get confusing, thereís a lot of worldbuilding going on here, so if thereís anything that it seems like Iím glossing over, Iíll probably come back to it later.

The titular World Tree is huge, so large that in the thousands of years that people have lived on it, theyíve barely explored a tiny fraction of the surface level and almost none of its depths. It is literally a tree, the kind that branches out into multiple trunks. The main trunks are about 200 miles across, and no one has any idea how tall they are. No one has ever seen the ground. In fact, whether or not there even is such a thing as the ground, or if the roots are just sort of free floating, or if the tree just goes down infinitely is an open academic and religious debate.

People, and basically all ďnormalĒ living things, live on the tops of the treeís branches. The tops of the branches are flat bark, covered in rich humus and teeming with smaller plant life. You probably could follow the branches out and walk around on the World Treeís leaves, but thereís not much interesting out there.



Seven creator gods made everything in the World Tree universe. The entire project was Viridís idea; she made the Tree itself and all the plant life. Mircannis and Reluu made the domestic animals and the normal varieties of wildlife. Hren Tzen and Paranenzu made a bunch of weird creatures that had to get shoved off to the obscure corners of the world. Gnarn made a bunch of cool monsters, and Accanax got bored and slacked off until the last moment, at which point he slapped together a bunch of lovely monstrosities and just tossed them around wherever. Then the gods made the people, eight species of people that are collectively called the prime species. Everything about the World Tree is created with the primes in mind. This much everyone agrees on, because the gods literally showed up and said so. On the other hand, the gods never actually said what the actual purpose of all this is, and thereís as many different theories about the subject as there are theologians.

Arbology
Because geology isnít a thing when you donít have a ground. The Tree itself gets described in a little more detail: hundreds of trunks, each tens of thousands of miles apart, have been identified, although most havenít been visited yet. No oneís ever found any sign when or if the trunks stop. One trunk is designated the ďmainĒ trunk. Itís the tallest, presumably at the center, and itís where the primes were placed after creation. The ring of nine uppermost branches of the main trunk are collectively known as Ketheria, and they form the center of prime civilization.

Branches generally extend from the trunks in rings of five to twelve main branches, and each of those branches could have sub-branches extending off of it. A main branch is about 50 miles wide, and tens of thousands of miles long. For comparison, the continental United States are somewhat less than 3000 miles across. Walking down a main branch is a LONG trip.

Most branches are fairly level, possibly angled slightly up as they move away from the trunk, with a few gentle turns back and forth along the way. Some branches are all messed up and poke out at weird angles, but people live there anyway. Usually the tops are flat in the middle, with streams and rivers that flow toward the trunk. The terrain gets bumpier toward the edges, until you got some rough hills dividing the flats from the Verticals.

The Verticals are the sides of the trunks and branches, and they make up the untamed and untamable wilderness. Sometimes the edges are bumpy enough that thereís enough flat land to live on; this makes for bandit territory. Sometimes the Verticals are just cliff faces. Either way, itís not a safe place to be ever, and people only live there out of necessity, not choice.

Underneath the branches is uncharted territory. Thereís no particular name for these places, because people almost never go here. On the other hand, life, uh, finds a way, and this where many of the really weird plants and creatures ended up. Especially ones that can fly.


Prime Territories
In the thousands of years since primes were first placed on the World Tree, theyíve spread out fully colonize about two dozen branches, and another 30 or 40 are partially colonized. For the most part, primes stick to the highest branches if possible; theyíve expanded down maybe four or five layers. Most of civilization is around the main trunk, but a few colonies have hopped over to the branches of two other trunks.

The region called Ketheria is the most completely civilized area, at least by primes. Theyíve lived there long enough that the branches have been connected by platforms ringing the entire trunk, basically making a big artificial ďlandĒ mass. Ketheria is a geographical (arbographical?) region, not a political one. Itís made up of a bunch of city-states and principalities in a web of political alliances.

Further down the trunk, the tree gets darker and cooler as more and more branches block out the light from the sun. After 5 layers or so, it gets cool enough that primes arenít eager to live there. 20 or 30 layers down, it gets dark enough that normal plants have trouble growing. As you go further down, the sky gets darker, the air gets colder, the terrain gets rougher, and the monsters get scarier. Past 30 layers, things start getting really weird and all the rules get thrown out.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I'm actually quite interested in how World Tree shakes out because a friend and I have been working on an 'RPG ruleset is just how this world works' comedy game for awhile now. Much more explicitly a comedy, though, and more 'low stakes' cartoony antics.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Has anyone ever gone the "Trapped in a fantasy ruleset SEND HELP" meta narrative route?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I gotta say, I like the structure of the World Tree. It's intriguing.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013




Chapter 3 - All the Rest

While the junior officers of the legions most commonly arise from the rank and file peasantry, the senior officers are almost always Dynasts or patricians who have purchased commission, once from a branch of the Imperial Treasury and now directly from the Great Houses. Some are given control of a fang or scale to start with, while others start as cadet members of a senior officer's staff and are then placed as talonlords. There has never been a mortal general of any legion, and only the most accomplished and talented ever get a post as a dragonlord. As such, a legion will generally have 40-60 Dragon-blooded, including its general and the overwhelming majority of the senior officers and their second-in-commands. The majority used to be outcastes sponsored to the legions by the Empress and promotion was based largely on seniority (seeing as most Dragon-blooded tend to die before they hit 100 and especially if they're in the legions, it's more meritocratic then you'd think), but now appointments are increasingly more based in nepotism; outcaste veterans with a century of combat experience must now serve underneath Dynastic youths, which infuriates them to no end. Retirement enables an officer to claim a sizable pension based on their rank, and additional awards may be granted by the Deliberative as they deem fit for valor; a peasant officer might be granted the status of a patrician, and anyone may be granted an estate, manse, Imperial heirloom, or an office in an appropriate ministry.

A senior officer is largely separate from the hard labor and cramped quarters of the rank and file. They will generally have a valet (peasant or slave) to tend to their needs such as food, fitting armor, and so on, have their own private tents, and other various support staff. While junior officers maintain the discipline of the infantry and skirmishers, senior officers are expected to engage with the local nobility or authority, mingling at parties, theaters, salons, and so on while keeping a politically neutral stance (or, well, as much as an invading or occupying force can do) and maintaining the legion through bartering for supplies, billets, and recruits. An officer that rises quickly through the ranks is highly sought after in marriage negotiations, and will constantly be swarmed with invites and offers from other Houses or patrician families. While the foot soldiers can only go on leave two days per month in a satrapy or one month out of the year on the Blessed Isle, senior officers go on leave for far longer in order to meet their family obligations (mainly, getting busy with a spouse to produce more potential Dragon-blooded). Second-in-commands take advantage of the authority they gain while their commanders are on leave to distinguish themselves.

Support staff serve in addition to the soldiers and officers. These range from personal valets to aides-de-camp, bodyguards to surgeons, and experts on local culture to spies. Talons and other larger scale units have flag messengers and musicians to help coordinate combat over large distances, as well as couriers and even people who bear handheld versions of the Blessed Isle's heliographs. Legions also have hundreds (starting at six talons and going all the way to thirty) of engineers, who don't participate in combat but instead help raise fortifications, bridges, roads, siege engines, and so on. In peace time, legions are put to use as construction crews. A legion will have at least one sorcerer, who is usually an outcaste who trained in combat sorcery at Pasiap's Stair; they're valued both as portable siege engines (as I've learned from personal experience, being able to spam Death of Obsidian Butterflies will slaughter most mortal battle groups) and for their support applications such as being able to send messages that can't be intercepted, weather manipulation, and spying. A sorcerer will get a scale of bodyguards to protect them, as well as whatever demons or elementals they can summon. Finally, there were be a few Immaculate monks that accompany the legion to keep up morale with their religious rites, advise on and deal with matters relating to spirits, supervise funeral rites, and also root out heresy in the legions; one wants to make sure that, during a campaign in the South, a soldier is not praying to Ahlat and thus loving up the Perfected Hierarchy.

Each legion will, of course, have a baggage train to keep its troops fed, supplied, and paid during long marches. Smiths, fletchers, and other craftsmen accompany the train, which is driven by slaves (who are treated about as well as they can be, for fear of a potential revolt or mass desertion sabotaging a legion's efforts) and is guarded by a wing of soldiers who are lead by the legion's quartermaster. The quartermaster is second-in-command to the legion's general, since being able to manage logistics is hugely important to a legion. A baggage train's crew can be as big as a quarter of the legion, and it's considered a desperate measure to arm its support staff and slaves. Camp followers are discouraged, but a merchant with enough coin to bribe a quartermaster can make it all back and then some by visiting the train and selling much needed or desired wares.

Auxiliaries are recruited in the Threshold to supplement the legions. They are "lent" to the legions by the local government or conscripted by a general from local population centers. Generally, an auxiliary unit exists to fill a legion's need for cavalry units, since the legions don't bother bringing horses with them on journeys outside the Realm in any great number. Medoan heavy cavalry, Marukani horse-archers, and Delzahn lancers are famous cavalry auxiliaries, but infantry units such as Jiaran sword-dancers can also gain great renown, and some auxiliaries are useful depending on geography; Tu'uri desert warriors, Linowan foresters, and more can help tremendously with a legion's capabilities in their home turf. Of course, for every well-known auxiliary, there's an equally mediocre or poor one, such as An-Teng's local soldiers or the warriors of Thorns (who are probably all much more effective as the zombies and animated skeletons they are now). Auxiliaries have the lowest seniority and are sent into the thick of the fighting, softening enemies up before the more valued infantry can step in. As such, they're also more likely to rout or be baited by chances for plunder.

Janissaries are special auxiliaries; while most auxiliaries are left behind once a campaign is over or when they are needed for their homeland's agricultural purposes, these ones are taken from promising satrapies (such as the aforementioned Medoan heavy cavalry) as tribute and are attached to legions who range far from their homelands, so as to keep them neutral in regards to local politics. They serve up to 10 or 20 years, much like a normal soldier, and then are allowed to return home. As such, satrapies who have janissaries tend to grow more alike to the Realm as returning soldiers bring back foreign customs.

Martial orders are raised by the Immaculate Order when local forces are insufficient to the defense of the people. While sometimes these martial orders only last for a short while until the threat has passed, some remain for longer times, the raised soldiers becoming martial oblates in the Immaculate Order. These martial orders were sometimes viewed as useful to the Empress, and some would operate with official sanction, especially those formed to reclaim the Caul from its Lunar invaders. Others become little more than bandits or local despots, who may be opposed by a new martial order in time. A few examples of such orders are given. The first are the Colcothar Wardens, who guard the Colcothar Road that leads to the Immaculate shrine in the Eastern city of Firstfall. They use guerilla tactics in the Eastern jungles to great effect, and are useful in helping other Realm forces navigate through their territory. The second is the Dragonguard of the Sacred Waters of Sextes Jylis, who used to guard pilgrims in the North until Jochim, a Solar Anathema, crushed their forces two centuries ago. Afterwards, they swore themselves to a band of Dragon-blooded who were dedicated to rather violent missionary work, and after those Dragon-bloods departed from the world, continue their work. The Sword Saints of the Divine Tempest are drawn from noble blood, which irritates their fellow martial orders of lesser stature on the Caul. They are currently wasting their time dueling each other for leadership after a failed military expedition lead to the death of their former leader.

Mercenaries are considered a last ditch effort. None of them measure up to the standards of the legions, but sometimes, some people have more coin than swords. House Ragara is well-known for hiring many to supplement their forces, and some mercenaries are quite good at what they do, albeit never as good as a legion filled with Dragon-bloods. The Empress forbade foreign mercenaries from ever stepping foot on the Blessed Isle, but since she's not around anymore, many are ignoring that law in order to shore up their defenses.

The Realm's tactics and strategy are quite conservative; all you need to know is in the Thousand Correct Actions of the Upright Soldier, a military manual given to every officer that compiles Shogunate era advice with modern annotations from Realm generals and military historians. It covers everything from how to ambush enemy forces in a desert to how to discipline one's subordinates. To be fair to the Realm, this book contains quite a lot and since it is a living document, successful unorthodox tactics get added to it when a commander is willing to risk using them. Military academies such as the House of Bells and Pasiap's Stair use it almost religiously in their studies, but nowadays, there's quite a few Dynastic officers who have never even taken a glance at the Thousand Correct Actions, and the legions aren't going to be better off for it. Generals from the Great Houses tend to have their House's particular character rub off on their tactics and strategies. Sesus generals fight dirty, assassinating officers, destroying supply trains, and poisoning troops before engaging in combat, while Mnemon generals favor fortifications and cunning applications of combat sorcery.

The 40th "Vermilion" Legion is where the chaff of Imperial society are sent; the rogues, petty criminals, and drunkards that fill its ranks have given it the nickname "The Red-Piss Legion". Officers don't wind up here willingly; they're often disgraced officers from other legions, political refugees fleeing retribution, or young Dynasts whose parents eagerly await the day they can bury them. As such, commission is cheap, although the Vermilion does have standards on who gets to be senior officers; the inexperienced and the inept alike never get to lead anything larger than a fang, and only merit gets them out of those ranks. Due to its unique status, the Vermilion has largely avoided the nepotism that pervades the other legions these days and resembles them as they were before the Empress vanished. Since many of the officers are there because of disgrace for trying and failing unorthodox tactics, the Vermilion is extremely innovative and acts much like House Sesus, favoring underhanded and dishonorable approaches to warfare.

While one is enrolled in the Red-Piss Legion as an officer, their social prospects are in the dumpster. They are almost certainly never getting married during their service and no one wants to socialize with them at all. After they graduate? They're lauded in Realm society for being able to get through the Vermilion alive. The Vermilion was the sole legion given to House Tepet, mainly to salt the wound of them losing their four personal legions to the Bull of the North. Their new general is Tepet Ejava, also known as the Roseblack, and she plans to make the Houses regret giving her House that legion.

The Legion of Silence still resides in the Imperial City, where it guards the most critical structures, its 5000 troops not divided among any of the Great Houses. Each soldier in the Legion of Silence is purchased as a baby from the Cynis slave markets or peasant families, has their tongues cut out to make sure they preserve the Empress' many secrets, and is then modified by a program of sorcery and alchemy created by Immaculate monks and certain ministers to be some of the strongest humans alive; on average, each is over seven feet tall and built like a brick wall, able to wield a halberd with one hand and a tower shield with the off-hand. They are loyal only to the Empress and served as her personal guard, as well as bodyguards to dignitaries she favored, and their lack of a voice doesn't impede their ability to communicate on the battlefield with their own private sign language. No one knows what will happen if a new Empress tries to seat the throne. Their stat block is pretty nasty, as they have high stats in just about everything, as well as extra health from the Giant merit, plate armor, and are highly resistant to fear-based influence rolls and hard to rout due to having eight Willpower and a merit that gives them double 9s on rolls to check for rout.

The Imperial Navy is House Peleps' by Imperial decree. It is the greatest modern naval power and is lead by the Rightly Guided Admiralty Board, which is headquarted on the Isle of Wrack. Each Direction has its own fleet and each Admiral of a Direction (who is always a woman due to sexist attitudes among the navy) sits the board. The Earth Fleet is the smallest of all and largely serves as the Blessed Isle's version of a coast guard, fending off piracy and smuggling. The Wood and Fire Fleets, much like the Earth Fleet, stick to triremes and biremes, since they don't have to travel very long distances. Only the Air and Water Fleets bother with long distance vessels, sailing the Great Western Ocean and the far-off and ice-coated White Sea with ships that have huge cargo bays for the rations needed to sail that distance.

Lesser admirals assemble for specific purposes under the Directional Admirals. Most are from House Peleps, although some are from other Houses and are chosen for either their loyalty or through a Peleps wife's influence. Most of the thousand ships in the navy are captained by patricians or un-Exalted Dynasts, with a few Dragon-blooded captains here and there. Peasant captains rarely occur, mostly through every other candidate on the boat dying, and will be raised to the patriciate when they are given command of a vessel. Most other officers likewise come from the patriciate, although a few come from the peasantry; they are never treated as social equals by their peers. Marines follow this same structure. A sorcerer will occasionally be attached to a vessel, usually so that they can cast Flight of the Brilliant Raptor at another boat to set it ablaze or Beckoning That Which Stirs the Sky to make weather more favorable, but they're never well-regarded. Immaculate monks tag along for the same purposes as they do for the legions, although if they are absent, the crews tend towards heresy since the sea is rather dangerous and it helps to have any help one can get from its many spirits.

Legionnaries and the navy don't get along well. Legions resent traveling by boat since if anything goes wrong, whole wings can be lost. Sailors view the legions as big seasick whiners who don't understand how important the navy is, since it is had made sure no enemy has ever invaded the Realm for seven centuries. Nowadays, the navy readies itself to fulfill House Peleps' unchecked ambition. Vessels are being prepared to sail West, perhaps to start a new empire there among its many untouched isles.

The Merchant Fleet used to be the Navy's sixth fleet, but was given to House V'neef. The merchant fleet protects ships carrying foreign tribute to the Realm, and gets a hefty portion of that tribute as payment. Losing this has drained House Peleps coffers and filled House V'neefs. While the many Peleps scions who used to captain the Merchant Fleet's thousand vessels were dismissed, many older officers wish that Peleps was still in charge. Since the Mercahnt Fleet is fairly small, only being bigger than the Earth Fleet, it tends towards tactics of misdirection, disguising its boats as mere civilian vessels in order to bait pirates into traps. Like House Peleps, House V'neef wants to build its own empire in the West, which is yet another likely cause of civil war as the two get closer and closer to outright warfare.

Houses own their own fleets, but none come close to the Navy's fleets. These largely serve as mercantile ships and their escorts, allowing the Houses to trade abroad. As such, Cynis, Ragara, Sesus, and Nellens have the largest fleets outside of Houses Peleps and V'neef.

The Anathema are the most dangerous foes the Realm has, the Lunars being the most infamous of this broad category. Lunars rarely fight honorably, instead using their ability to shapeshift to infiltrate and sabotage the efforts of the legions and navy. The Realm has done well to counter their tactics; soldiers are given elaborate and frequently changed passwords, and fortifications can ward off the less disciplined soldiers Lunars employ. Sorcerers and Immaculate monks can counter the magic and spirits allied to the Anathema. Finally, Sworn Kinships of Dragon-blooded can outnumber Lunar warleaders and take them out, cutting off the head of their armies. Of course, Lunars are fine with losing a battle so long as it bloodies their foes more than it does them, and they rarely gather in such strength for the legions to be truly effective. These days, House Ledaal is screaming at the other Houses, "Holy poo poo you guys, there are so many loving Solar Anathema these days, we should do something!", but these reports often go on deaf ears since House Ledaal is full of assholes.

Since the legions and garrisons have been pulled back, chaos reigns in the Threshold as Lunar, Solar, and mortal warlords take advantage of the now vulnerable satrapies. Jiara, a House Mnemon satrapy in the East valuable for its First Age artifact stores, is under attack by five Solar Anathema leading a revolt. Mnemon herself leads four of her five legions to suppress this rebellion and while they aren't being hosed over by the Empress like House Tepet was in its ill-fated campaign against its own Solar Circle, House Mnemon's legions are not as experienced as the Tepet legions were. poo poo goes down elsewhere; a Lunar priestess by the name of Ketzepah Narrow-Ways and her Dragon King (sentient magical dinosaur people, for the uninitiated) lieutenants have siezed the Zephyrite city-state of Hyacinth, replacing its Immaculate shrines with altars to the Sun, on which she cuts out the hearts of her foes and offers them to the Unconquered Sun. Needless to say, the other Zephyrite city-states are huddling together and their satraps are begging their Houses for support. The Northern city of Mantle is undergoing civil war, its Queen Elet under siege by someone who claims to be her bastard half-sister. A mass of peasants march on her city, and the Queen only has a small garrison and her own inexperienced militia for aid. Medo, that long-time satrapy of Tepet, wishes to help out its Tepet buddies the only way it knows how; its heavy cavalry will sweep across the North and East, conquering land like they did in the age of the Touman Prince, and if the Tepets participate, they can have some of the spoils.

Next up: Chapter 4 - The Immaculate Order

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Bieeanshee posted:

I gotta say, I like the structure of the World Tree. It's intriguing.

The author loves making this kind of 'a single feature expanded out into an entire world' kind of settings. Way back when WotC was doing its 'Invent the next D&D setting!' contest, the one that Eberron ended up winning, his entry was a world that's a single infinitely tall waterfall. I can see why it didn't get picked for a D&D setting but I still really like the imagery.

World Tree: A Roleplaying Game of Species and Civilization


Part 1:The World Tree contíd

Astronomy
The sky is a clear dome over the World Tree. Blue during the day, dark blue-green at night. The sun is a crystal globe that follows a horizontal circle around the horizon, about 18į up from the horizontal plane. Since the sun doesnít actually orbit the World Tree, the day/night cycle isnít determined by the sun dropping below the horizon. Instead, the sun actually turns on and off over the course of the day. At dawn, the sun ignites, filling with flame from bottom to top over the course of the morning. At noon, exactly one third of the day after dawn, the sun is completely full of fire. Sometimes it overflows and flames drip down. Then from noon to dusk, the fire slowly fades, drains, or dies out, until the exact moment of sunout, two thirds of the way through the day. The last third of the day is night. The sun is still in the sky, a barely visible empty globe occasionally lit by the many other celestial objects.


Yeah, you can just look up and wave at the divine entities that created you. They might even wave back.

Thereís two moons. The bigger one is the Hollow Moon, a donut shaped rock that tumbles around the far edge of the sky and tries to dodge all the other stuff out there. Sometimes bad things happen when its rotations end up pointing the hole at the world. The closer one is the Silver Moon. Itís close enough that people have flown there, and the god of time has a house there.

The stars are all the way at the back of the sky, behind all the other celestial objects. Some twinkle, some donít, some move around, some donít, and thatís about all anyone knows about them.

Thereís also some less familiar celestial objects:


I kind of like the idea that there's three swordfighting trees just loving around in the sky all the time, and there's no reason for it, they're purely decorative.

Directions
North and south wouldnít make a lot of sense on a giant tree. Directions are generally given radially in terms of the tree trunk: Trunkward and Outward for toward and away from the trunk, rollward and rollígainst for moving around the trunk in the same direction as the sun or the opposite.

If youíre not on a main branch, you probably use walkward or walkígainst to describe walking toward or away from the main branch, because thatís more locally useful. If youíre a scientist or a navigator, you might give directions in terms of celestial objects. Reluu never moves around, so heís often pointed to as the equivalent of ďnorthĒ.

Up and down are universal. Trying to explain gravity on a globe to a World Tree native would probably earn you very dubious looks.

Common Materials
The short version is that almost everything is some form of plant or animal material. Even stuff that would obviously be a mineral on earth, like clay or jewels, often has a plant-based equivalent on the World Tree. Cookware is usually leather treated with fireproofing magic. Cheap blades are made out of the tough flesh of meng nuts. Thereís even plant material thatís the equivalent of modern plastics.

Actual minerals exist, but are extremely rare and precious. Glass, ceramics, metal, and stone either have to be found by exploration, or created by magic. Iron is the most precious of minerals, since it has a particular useful magical property.

Magic


Magic is everywhere. It comes in many varieties. Spontaneous magic is the most common. Every prime and most living things can spontaneously cast simple spells as naturally as walking or talking. Pattern magic is considered ďgrown upĒ magic because itís much more consistent and reliable. A normal prime will learn a dozen or more pattern spells related to their profession and daily life. Bound magic is a new invention, which lets people purchase pre-packaged spells set to go off under specific conditions. This lets powerful specialized mages provide spells to anyone who can pay, and the social ramifications are still rippling through prime civilization.

Time and Seasons

This just breaks down how clocks and calendars work. Not terribly important, except that one World Tree year is 2/3 of an Earth year.

Thereís nine months in a year. The seasons more or less break down into Spring-Summer-Autumn-Winter. Climate is basically determined by divine fiat, since thereís nothing like Earthís orbit and planetary tilt and weather fronts and stuff. Also, crammed into the middle of autumn is an extra month-long season called Surprise where the weather is completely monkey-cheese random. It might be frozen one year, scorching hot the next year, and it might rain apples the third year.

Languages
The World Tree has a lot of different languages, none of which would compare neatly to any Earth language in terms of grammar or sound. Animal people just don't have the same shaped mouths as humans, after all. Thereís a very rudimentary universal language; maybe about 2,000 words and no complex grammar. Even non sentient animals will often understand the basic gist if you yell at them in common.

Beyond common, thereís dozens of families of language, and dozens of languages in each family, related to each other (or not) in more or less the same way Earth languages are. That is, region has much more to do with language than species. Sleeth have a silent hunting language of gestures. Khtsoyis also have a silent gesture language, but itís mostly obscenities. The gods have their own completely unrelated language; a few primes have learned the basics of it.

Pronouns
Actual World Tree pronouns are usually species based, not gender based. Because not every species has a male/female binary, the text also uses ďZie/ZirĒ as an extra pronoun, but this doesnít have any diegetic significance.


Tl;dr: This game secretly has chocobos.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I have to admit, the eighties-ish furry cover art made me hesitate, but I'm really, really liking the World Tree despite that apprehension.

Can totally see why WOTC would pass up a vertical Riverworld, but it's still a neat idea.

BinaryDoubts
Jun 6, 2013

Looking at it now, it really is disgusting. The flesh is transparent. From the start, I had no idea if it would even make a clapping sound. So I diligently reproduced everything about human hands, the bones, joints, and muscles, and then made them slap each other pretty hard.


World Tree is grabbing my interest - it scratches the same "fascination with megastructures" itch as Ringworld or Halo.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Coalition Wars 5: Shadows of Evil, Part 3- "While one might think women to be more refined and gentle, this place has its share of brawls and duels."


"It has come time for a rap battle, mortal!"

Still detailing Mizereen, next up is a discussion of Elemental Alley. A warzone centering around where the Mississippi River goes up into Mizereen, Tolkeen's Warlord Thadeus Grimm (first mentioned here) has overseen the widespread use of Warlocks and their summoned elementals in this area, eventually rendering it a wasteland. Though the Coalition tried to find a way around through Markeen, Tolkeen overextended in order to fool the Coalition into thinking Markeen was better defended that it is. For some reason there's a claim that "Tolkeen created magical defenses that effectively negated any air war..." No, not really? I mean, yes, they have a force field over Tolkeen itself that prevents bombardment, but there's still a lot to do in the air, particularly for a group like the Coalition with their large air transports. But Siembieda wants a ground-pounding WWI of a war rather than anything that would make sense with the technology they have.


"You don't have to be crazy to live here, and it really doesn't help."

Madtown in the Mizereen Barony

A large town of Humans and D-Bees - mostly Larmac, Vanguard Brawlers, and D'norr Devilmen (gotta feature some of the new D-Bees here) - this is a town that mainly caters to PCs adventurers and mercenaries. While originally just a trading post, it attracted adventurers because REASON NOT FOUND. In any case, this is where people go to recruit rough and tumbly sorts, and some private armies do their hiring here. Similarly, some nearby towns go here when local law needs extra muscle... or they have any other adventurer-appropriate work to do. For the most part, it's respectable for what it is, and outright criminals are in the minority.

Not unexpectedly, Tolkeen has done a lot of hiring here, though a fair number of local soldiers try to keep a distance from the war effort. The conflict has drawn a lot of opportunists, bandits, and refugees, and generally the local law tends to try and just control rather than confront, leading criminals to sometimes get away with more than they should. Similarly, the Coalition almost certainly has spies stationed here.

And so we get another convenient space-filler: Notable Places at Mad Town. This follows, as many Palladium Books do, the old Judges' Guild citybuilding method of throwing numbers on a map of square buildings and then defining them one by one. A lot of this is skippable- they have a lot of their important buildings as mega-damage and they try and keep defenses subtle and understated so the warring forces don't see them as a military camp.


"I don't see any cops." "The apocalypse happened." "Sounds like a cop trick to me."

The Grove Lake Neighborhood is the residential area, but they have a tendency to take in refugees and protect them because REASON NOT FOUND. Some of the local safehouses are backed by criminal organizations like the Black Market, Pecos Empire, or Cyber-Knights- whups, that last one doesn't fit. Well, leave it in.
  • 3. Renford Manor: This is a manor run by Renford the Rebel, a High Magus from the "True Federation of Magic" who fled after a failed attempt to oppose Lord Dunscon. Modestly evil if not eeevil, and likely to be plotting a way to throw out Dunscon and reclaim his position. Seems to be a common notion for Federation exiles in these books, not that any of them ever end up being of consequence.
  • 8. Boone Manor: Originally belonged to the Boones, the town founders, but they left for the West long ago. The Bartaine family owns it now, and is associated with local entertainment and hotels, though there's a rumor they're the local branch of the Black Market. Given the skills on the NPC writeups working for them, that seems pretty likely.
  • 9. Light of the Redeemer Church: The most popular church in town. What do they worship? Nevermind that, enjoy this detailed map of the secret underground bunker underneath!

Center Court is the business district. Yep. It is.
  • 16. The Clock Tower: ... is actually a mega-damage watchtower with sensors, missiles, and positions for snipers.
  • 17. The Park Fountain: "Can also be used as a fortified position; has a total of 560 M.D.C." Uh, sure? Nice cover if you don't mind soaking your rear end, I guess.
  • 18. Sheriff's Office - The Law at Mad Town: Run by Sheriff Bullet, a Grackle Tooth gunfighter with a number of spellcasting deputies. They generally prefer to lock people up short-term to "cool them down" or order them to leave the town entirely. However, they're not hesitant to use force when necessary. "Sometimes ya jist have ta put a mad dog down. Thas a simple fact. Nothin' ta be sad 'bout or slow ta do. A mad dog is a danger to hisself an' ta others.

South Corner caters towards drinking adventurers and adventurous drunks.
  • 26. The Bunker House: This is a mega-damage bunker converted into a tavern / arena. This generally learns towards enhanced clientele since it can handle the occasional good-natured brawl, with hard liquor being their specialty.
  • 27. The Barracks: A saloon that caters to people who think they're too good for the Bunker House.
  • 28. Mighty Oak: A place for wilderness folk because it's made from wood and has furs and a Xiticix corpse, because rangers have a lifestyle fashion to maintain.
  • 29. Magic Cloud: ... and this is for wizards.
  • 30. Watering Hole: ... for criminals.
  • 31. Femme Fatale: ... women.
  • 32. Wise Owl: ... nerds.
  • 33. The Techno-Cave: ... cyberpunks.
  • 34. The Gun-Nest: ... gunfighters.
  • 35. The Dancing Skirt: ... chauvinist scumbags.
  • 36. The Bordello: "No disguising this place of ill repute. At least it's out of the way."
  • 39. The Lion's Den Arena: A "homespun arena" run by the Bartaines. Seats 17,000 - so much for "homespun" - despite the fact the town is usually 5200 people and has "exploded" to around 13,200 people. It also has an attached saloon run by an ex-Juicer named Cougar, who's rumored to be a Tolkeen agent and is an activist in trying to make sure Juicers detox before it's too late.


You'll have to look elsewhere for Cheers.

Lastly and with no further explanation, we get Other Places of Note at Mad Town.
  • 44. Mom's Shop: They do Mind-Over-Matter, aka "Crazy" conversions here - get it? Do you get it? They have sponsors who are willing to front conversions in exchange for a half-decade period of indentured service.
  • 45. Big Sam's Salvage: A salvage and pawn shop run by Big Sam, an N'mbyr Gorilla man "assassin" (is he retired, then...?) who gambles most of his money away, tries to cheat people, and also sells information and forged documents. He has a rogue Kill Hound dog boy who watches his junkyard.
  • 48. Maybell's Boarding House: A boarding house run by old spinsters. "Even characters of evil alignment take a liking to these generous and kind women and watch out for their well being. If anything untoward should happen to one or both, or to the establishment, the perpetrator(s) will be hunted down and brought to justice ó depending on who gets the perp, that justice might come at the end of a rope."
  • 49. The Blue Flame: A magic and techno-wizardry shop run by Old Gabe, who "everybody in town is convinced is a 20th level Ley Line Walker" even though he's just a "15th Level Scholar". I don't know if that means people in town think that levels are an in-world reality or that they think he's somehow more experienced than is literally possible. He's pro-Tolkeen but considers himself too old to get involved.
  • 50. The Bionic Resale Shop: No, please, please stop milking this, there is no way there are 50 relevant locations- 60? We have 60 locations. Guh.
  • 59. The Black Hole: ... for criminals. Wait, didn't we already do this one? Wait, no, that was "The Watering Hole". There's just too many holes here.

Rifts World Book 5: Shadows of Evil posted:

Note: Remember, these are just some of the most notable places in town, the G.M. should feel free to add his own. After all, businesses come and go at places like this, and there are a lot of little dives that have not been covered.

So, how's that war going? Nothing still going on with that? Nearly halfway through the book here? Still nothing? Okay, just wanted to be clear. :rolleyes:

Next: Small-town life.

SunAndSpring
Dec 4, 2013


god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Comments are pretty rare here aside from the things that already have a discourse to repeat, so itís only really worth writing if you find the act of writing itself worthwhile.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Alien Rope Burn posted:

CORRECTION: You cut and pasted to read this far. Admit it.

I still have some eyesight left in me!

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

If you don't mind the critique, I feel like the writing could do with a bit more commentary and a bit less summation. When I've skimmed the posts they mostly just feel like a paraphrasing of what's in the book, rather than any amount of analysis of it, or focus on any particularly excellent/dumb bits. I know that's some people's style of writing, personally it just doesn't do much for me.

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013




Goddamn Monte Cook is so loving proud of himself for using the four humours as a stat array without directly naming it as such that he has to sneak in references just to make sure you know he did it. "You might even say you are *melancholic", "short-tempered or even *choleric* in temperament"....

:circlefap:

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016


World Tree has been very interesting to me. But I am curious to see what they actually do with this concept. Original world building by itself only goes so far, after all. I'm curious what kinds of adventure seeds are supplied and what kind of PCs they envision for this imaginative setting. And how much they play around with this concept of 'the rules mechanics are the physical laws'.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Alien Rope Burn posted:

South Corner caters towards drinking adventurers and adventurous drunks.
  • 26. The Bunker House: This is a mega-damage bunker converted into a tavern / arena. This generally learns towards enhanced clientele since it can handle the occasional good-natured brawl, with hard liquor being their specialty.
  • 27. The Barracks: A saloon that caters to people who think they're too good for the Bunker House.
  • 28. Mighty Oak: A place for wilderness folk because it's made from wood and has furs and a Xiticix corpse, because rangers have a lifestyle fashion to maintain.
  • 29. Magic Cloud: ... and this is for wizards.
  • 30. Watering Hole: ... for criminals.
  • 31. Femme Fatale: ... women.
  • 32. Wise Owl: ... nerds.
  • 33. The Techno-Cave: ... cyberpunks.
  • 34. The Gun-Nest: ... gunfighters.
  • 35. The Dancing Skirt: ... chauvinist scumbags.
  • 36. The Bordello: "No disguising this place of ill repute. At least it's out of the way."
  • 39. The Lion's Den Arena: A "homespun arena" run by the Bartaines. Seats 17,000 - so much for "homespun" - despite the fact the town is usually 5200 people and has "exploded" to around 13,200 people. It also has an attached saloon run by an ex-Juicer named Cougar, who's rumored to be a Tolkeen agent and is an activist in trying to make sure Juicers detox before it's too late.

I wonder what a bar who caters to women Kevin thinks looks like, I really do.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Dawgstar posted:

I wonder what a bar who caters to women Kevin thinks looks like, I really do.

The micromissiles are arranged like hearts and flower bouquets.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Considering some of the horny slimelords we cover ITT Kevin is rather benign in comparison.
truly the lowest of bars to clear.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I've been enjoying the Realm writeup but since I've been reading the PDF myself, I haven't had much to say. The summation is useful but not really something that drives one to post unless something stands out enough that it compels comment.

Basically I think, if you do want to continue writing up the Realm, focusing on your commentary and review over extended summation might be more generative of discussion? I have the PDF; getting another Exalted player's thoughts about how to use the book, or what might be problems, or even 'hey this would make a great plot hook, especially combined with this other thing in the setting' would all be useful to me in ways summation isn't. But, really, if writing this isn't bringing you joy, please don't stick with it on our account!

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee


To offer a slight counterpoint, I actually enjoy the summation of a game's contents and mechanics. They often spark thoughts or ideas - SunAndSpring's write-up of the Realm book and Mors Rattus' write-up of the Lunar book have been very helpful for an idea of a Exalted Mortals game in D&D 5e that I'll probably never sell anyone on playing so it'll just be another idea in my notebook. Similarly, the Invisible Sun write-up has been sparking thoughts about how I'd do those classes instead.

But there's not really much to comment in regards to that.

Tibalt fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Jun 5, 2019

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

FYI I find your posts really interesting. I just don't have anything to say because I never played it, and it seems that the current writing has left the "ITS NOT DIFFERENT AT ALL!" phase.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Fangs at the Gate: Witticism

Wits: Heartís Blood! Moonlit Path Guide lets you perform a sacred hunt on a human by taking them on a journey of self-discovery, traveling with them for at least a week. The journey must have some element of danger to it, and the prey must undergo a moment of major change or character development by the end of it, such as raising an Intimacy to Defining and then acting to uphold it, forsaking a person, group or ideal they had a Defining Intimacy to, accomplishing a legendary social goal or similar. At the end of the journey, you gain their form. If you abandon them before the journey ends or it ends without danger or character development, the hunt fails and you canít gain their shape via this Charm for the rest of the story, though other hunts may still work.

Wits: Resolve! Moon Follows Sun Assurance causes your positive Ties to your Solar mate to be impossible to weaken or alter by social influence except by your Solar mate, though you may voluntarily weaken them as normal. Once per story, when you form or strengthen a positive Tie to your mate, you gain Willpower, which can take you over your cap, and if your Solar mate forms or strengthens a positive Tie to you while in your presence, they also gain 1 WP once per story. Chain-Breaking Fury can only be used when obeying a successful influence roll or a Psyche effect, which you must not have resisted with Willpower, and it brings you into conflict with a Major or Definining Intimacy or any Tie to your Solar mate. This lets you enter a second Decision Point, giving another chance to resist, with the same requirements and costs as the first time. If you resist, you instantly form a Major Tie of rage towards whoever influenced you. You may use this only once per story.

Laughing Into the Teeth of Madness masters your own nature, allowing you to use the Charm Resisting the Lure of Madness not only to boost Resolve against Derangements or Psyche effects and to resist derangements, but also against any shaping effect that would alter your body, mind, soul or destiny. This even works against unresistable shaping effects, allowing you a Willpower roll to weaken the shaping, preventing you from being altered in any way that would prevent your shapeshifting or use of your Charms and, if a transformation would be permanent or fatal, you get a condition that will break it, though you may need a Lore, Medicine or Occult roll to learn what that condition is. Alternatively, this can be used against any effect that would force you out of a form youíre in, such as Eye of the Unconquered Sun, causing an opposed roll which you get a bonus on. If you succeed, you negate the effect and are immune to it for the scene.

Nightmare Beast Soul turns your spirit shape into a nightmare guardian of your dreams. You get a bonus to Resolve and Guile against anything that targets you while you are sleeping. Further, if anyone enters your dreams by magic, you can pay Willpower to manifest your spirit shape as a divine nightmare creature, forcing an opposing Willpower roll you get a bonus to. If you succeed, your spirit shape destroys the intruder, forcing them out and negating their magicís effects entirely as well as making them lose some Willpower. They take damage if they donít have enough Willpower to lose. Shadow-Mind Meditation lets you create an independent consciousness within yourself formed from your skepticism, anger and bitterness. It shares all of your Defining Intimacies when formed as well as any Tie you have towards your Solar mate, but it has its own unique Major and Minor Intimacies, which must be either negative Ties or Principles based on pessimism or skepticism. This requires four hours of meditation to invoke, either awakening or suppressing the shadow-mind. It has the same overall identity as you and shares your memories, but while it is active, its Intimacies replace yours. They may be changed normally, but it gets a bonus to Resolve against any instill rolls to create or strengthen positive Ties or optimism-based Principles, and you may not voluntarily form or strengthen such Intimacies while it is active.

Dark Premise Duality gives your shadow-mind a different set of Mental and Social Attributes from you, reallocating dots between Social Attributes and Mental Attributes (but not from a Mental to a Social). If this lowers it below the prerequisites for any of your Charms, you canít use those Charms while it is active. You can learn Charms it qualifies for but your normal stats donít, but can only use those Charms while the shadow-mind is active. Excellencies are gained or lost as appropriate as well. Beast-Mind Metanoia can be used when your Resolve is beaten by an influence roll to momentarily reduce yourself to the animal intellect of a shape you possess for a moment. You retain the ability to understand language, but your vocabulary and ability to parse complex ideas may be drastically reduced depending on the animal used. If the GM rules the influence is too complex for your beast-mind to understand, you may reject it as unacceptable. If your beast-mind lets you understand some but not all of the influence, instead it may have divergent or unintended effects. You may use this only once per story. In an animal shape, the cost is reduced if you use it to invoke the mind of your current shape.

Wits: Animal Ken! Pack Instinct Affirmation causes all animals to feel kinship with you, equivalent to a Minor Tie of loyalty. Your social influence never gets penalties for multiple animal targets and they never get Resolve bonuses for lacking shared language. This has no effect on familiars or magically enhanced animals. With Wits 3+, you can spend Willpower while in an animal shape to increase the virtual Tie animals of that species have to you to Major unless they are both nontrivial and have reason to defy you, such as hunger, rabies or magical influence. Blessed Moon-Beast Empowerment enhances one of your familiars when activated. The first time you use it, its XP cost for usage is waived, and you regain any spent XP from it if an affected familiar dies. If you have moonsilver tattoos, they spread across your familiar as well with all the normal benefits they grant, and if you conceal yours, you also conceal the familiarís. The familiar may take your place in a sacred hunt, giving you the shape of its prey when the hunt ends. All non-familiar animals are treated as if they have a Minor Tie of reverence towards it, or a Major tie if they are the same species as it. It gains a Defining Tie of loyalty to you, and no influence can make it act against this Intimacy except yours.

Erudite Beast-Mind Expansion lets you grant a familiar intellect far beyond its nature, allowing you to use Nature-Reinforcing Allocation (which usually just boosts animal training rolls) at an added XP cost to raise your familiar to human-level intellect, allowing it the capability of abstract and complex thought and knowledge of all languages you know, though it canít speak them unless its anatomy allows it. It gets five-die pools for Diagnosing Ailments, Investigation, Read Intentions and Strategy, and its Willpower, Resolve and Guile are permanently boosted. Already intelligent familiars instead get a permanent boost to any dicepools for Intelligence-based actions or actions beyond the mental capability of normal animals, to a max of 14 dice, and get boosted Willpower, Resolve and Guile. The XP cost is waived the first time you use this, and if your familiar dies, you get back any XP spent enhancing it.

Locust-and-Titan Menagerie lets you change the size of your familiars. When within Medium range of a familiar blessed by Blessed Moon-Beast Empowerment, you can use Mountainous Spirit Expression to give it Legendary Size or Tyrant Mouse Dominion to give it Minuscule Size. Witch-Beast Ascendancy lets you teach a familiar youíve uplifted with Erudite Beast-Mind Expansion how to use sorcery, making a Terrestrial Circle sorcerer with an 8-die Sorcery pool and one spell, which you must also know, as its control spell. You may now improve its Sorcery pool with Erudite Beast-Mind Expansion and teach it new spells with Nature-Reinforcing Allocation as if they were magical abilities, though you must pay the XP cost of any sorcerous workings it performs. If your familiar dies, you get the XP you spent on this Charm back, and you can buy this multiple times for different familiars.

Wits: Navigation! Lodestone Reckoning Manner lets you spend a scene planning a course to make a Survival roll with a bonus, banking all successes. You can spend these to boost Survival rolls on the journey to forage or find shelter or Sail rolls to navigate hazards. You may use this only once per journey, and unused successes are wasted. A repurchase at Wits 5 improves the roll bonus and lets you use this instantly without need to plot a course. The successes (and any Charms that improve this one) are available whenever you travel, but you can only use the Charm this way once per day. If your spirit shape is migratory, you can learn this with Perception. Moon-Cloaked Wanderer allows you to spend Lodestone successes to cover tracks, boost Stealth rolls to evade guards or foes, or to boost Larceny rolls to circumvent manned obstacles, and with a Wits 4, E2 repurchase, you can even boost those rolls for allies. Again, migratory spirit shape lets you learn this via Perception. Wyld Migration Formation lets you and your friends ignore the effects of Wyld exposure and similar environmental shaping effects when traveling a course plotted by Lodestone Reckoning Manner, and your limit on how many people you can protect automatically includes all mounts as well. Again, migratory spirit shapes can learn via Perception.

Wits: Cache! Desert Basilisc Diadem lets you partially absorb hearthstones, socketing them into your skin itself to gain their benefits as if they were in an attuned artifact. Those that enhance weapons boost your unarmed attacks and natural weapons, if appropriate, and those that enhance armor boost your natural soak. This is compatible with anything that transforms parts of your body into weapons or armor. Absorbing or removing a hearthstone is a miscellaneous action, and you can have an amount at a time based on your Essence. If you conceal them with clothes or similar, they can only be noticed by people who have spotted your Tell this scene. Radiant Basilisc Jewel causes a greater hearthstone to manifest from your soul. You pick one that expresses some aspect of your nature. It counts as socketed via Desert Basilisc Diadem, but doesnít count towards your limit and cannot be removed. You always get increased mote recovery equivalent to an attuned greater demesne. The GM may veto stones thatíd be overpowered if made this way, such as the Gem of Incomparable Wellness.

Magpieís Nest Resourcefulness lets you make a Wits check to reveal you had any mundane item you need at the moment as long as it could theoratically be concealed on your person this entire time, with the skill used based on how you retroactively acquired it, and the difficulty based on its Resources rating. If you succeed, you have the thing and it counts as exceptional equipment. On a failure, you still have it, but it is deficient in some GM-determined way, such as giving a minor penalty or falling apart at the end of the scene. If you have a relevant Craft, you gain crafting XP as if youíd completed a basic project. This can be used only once per scene. Moon-and-Sun Panoply lets you attune to artifacts your Solar mate is attuned to without disrupting their attunement and reduce the attunement cost to zero. You and your mate cannot have your attunement broken. If your mate is resonant with the artifact, so are you for any Evocations you and they share. The first time you use this on an artifact, you make a Wits roll against its rating, and successes automatically awaken Evocations your Solar mate already knows, giving them to you for free. If you made the artifact for your mate, you can also gain Evocations your mate does not have yet, giving them to both you and your mate for free if you both qualify. This can be used only once per story, though once used on an artifact, you can use it on that artifact again freely without counting against that limit.

Wits: Territory! Secure Den Prana lets you make a Wits check to secure an enclosed space for a number of people based on your Wits and Essence. This den cannot be found by casual observers at all, only those actively seeking it out, and they must beat your roll with a Perception check. Attempts to track people to the den or otherwise indirectly infer its location get a penalty. You and those you reveal the lair to can find it unhindered, of course. If you have a relevant Craft, you gain crafting XP as per a basic project. If you know Magpieís Nest Resourcefulness, you may use it to retroactively have made a den, though this has a penalty to the roll, and the cost to use this Charm is reduced if in a territory youíve marked via Boundary-Marking Meditation. Hungry Mouse Mandate sets the vermin of your territory against foes. You make a Survival check in an area youíve claimed with Boundary-Marking Meditation. Whenever unwelcome characters travel in it, one of their group must make a Survival roll against your roll each week. Failure means that a member of their group will get an automatic botch on a Medicine, Investigation, Sail, Survival, Stealth or War roll due to interference from local wildlife, as long as the roll is made in your territory. Further, they get a week-long penalty to any influence rolls targeting animals in the territory and Survival rolls to tame them, though any character using magic similar to Friendship With Animals Approach is immune to this penalty. After a number of botches based on your Essence, the group becomes immune to further botches for the rest of the story, but not the penalty.

Next time: New Martial Arts

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"



Mors Rattus posted:

Wits: Territory! Secure Den Prana lets you make a Wits check to secure an enclosed space for a number of people based on your Wits and Essence. This den cannot be found by casual observers at all, only those actively seeking it out, and they must beat your roll with a Perception check. Attempts to track people to the den or otherwise indirectly infer its location get a penalty. You and those you reveal the lair to can find it unhindered, of course. If you have a relevant Craft, you gain crafting XP as per a basic project. If you know Magpieís Nest Resourcefulness, you may use it to retroactively have made a den, though this has a penalty to the roll, and the cost to use this Charm is reduced if in a territory youíve marked via Boundary-Marking Meditation. Hungry Mouse Mandate sets the vermin of your territory against foes. You make a Survival check in an area youíve claimed with Boundary-Marking Meditation. Whenever unwelcome characters travel in it, one of their group must make a Survival roll against your roll each week. Failure means that a member of their group will get an automatic botch on a Medicine, Investigation, Sail, Survival, Stealth or War roll due to interference from local wildlife, as long as the roll is made in your territory. Further, they get a week-long penalty to any influence rolls targeting animals in the territory and Survival rolls to tame them, though any character using magic similar to Friendship With Animals Approach is immune to this penalty. After a number of botches based on your Essence, the group becomes immune to further botches for the rest of the story, but not the penalty.

What, no love for Harmony-with-Reality Technique? Turn a Wyld Zone into a surreal-but-safe haven for your friends? Or Forbidding Wilderness Perils, which makes your territory into a hellscape so murderous that invading armies might flee before you even meet them in battle?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Thesaurasaurus posted:

What, no love for Harmony-with-Reality Technique? Turn a Wyld Zone into a surreal-but-safe haven for your friends? Or Forbidding Wilderness Perils, which makes your territory into a hellscape so murderous that invading armies might flee before you even meet them in battle?

They are also cool, I just ran out of time when writing the post and had to get back to work.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

megane
Jun 20, 2008





SunAndSpring posted:

god why am I even bothering writing this stupid poo poo out. I don't bring any insight to it, only three people here loving give a poo poo about Exalted, and the only time people have talked about it is the one time it mentioned sexism.

I'm enjoying reading it, for one, I just don't have anything particularly insightful to say about it. :shrug: Keep in mind that there are like seven different reviews going on all in the same thread, of which two are fairly reasonable Exalted sourcebooks... and one is 600 pages of Nazi apologia wearing a terrible dice system as a hat, and another is Furry Anarchocapitalism: Revengeance. It's no surprise which ones get the most reaction.

If you want, you could cut out a bit of the detailed summarizing in favor of a shorter overview, and then include more critique: tell us the problems/good points you see with the setting in terms of writing and playability, how it's different from previous editions, etc.

megane fucked around with this message at 15:29 on Jun 5, 2019

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply