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drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Doresh posted:

I should write a Dude: The Bro or Mahou: The Shoujo where all cases of snarky bullshit are replaced with "Man, these guys are awesome".

Except for Beasts. They should be killed with fire.


Do they also have a homosexual Beast who brainwashes children into becoming homosexual themselves? Or a Beast from the Middle East whose lessons involve explosions?


God-Machine? More like Jock-Machine.


That's because there are so many lessons to teach to us humans. Which we already know.

There's already a Magical Girl fan-splat actually, look up Princess: The Hopeful

At one point my hypothetical Tokusatsu themed fan-splat idea was going to be directly tied to them(where they represent Hope, my guys would represent Justice as a concept, which is something that the WoD is sorely in need of, which would have been expressed through them both being physically more powerful than most other supernatural beings, and through them having an inherent ability to destroy permanently any magical method a supernatural creature has for disguising it's true nature), although if I ever do anything with it now I'd make them their own thing fully


Traveller posted:

The only crossover I can think of is a vampire, a werewolf, a mage, a changeling, a Promethean (somehow), a hunter, a sin-eater, a mummy and a demon all coming together in the same room and going "we are the literal scum of the earth but those fucks don't get a pass," and then fixing the World of Darkness - Beast by bloody Beast.

Now I'm remembering an old idea for a campaign I had where a group composed of one of each type of supernatural come together and inadvertently end up becoming a Justice League expy


Daeren posted:

I'm doing a very quick skim right now. It's still kind of ill-thought-out in a lot of the crunch, but it's still got compelling hooks and ideas under it, and I haven't trivially found a way to roll 98 dice to throw a house on somebody right out of chargen like 1e Leviathan's powers let me.

And yeah, honestly? Leviathan does a significant chunk of Beast's more salvageable concepts much better. For instance, Ahabs are basically Heroes that aren't completely awful in every way, and Atolls can be used for all sorts of entertaining/horrifying things.

What's an Atoll? Imagine being the incarnate bloodline of the Old Gods, your psychic pressure intense enough to force your worst enemies to bow before you in fear and reverence. You probably haven't interacted with someone who wasn't bending over backward for you in decades. Then, all of a sudden, you meet someone who makes your constant inner anxiety chill the gently caress out, and you must get to know them...but your mojo doesn't work on them. At all. And now you're a centuries old squid god babbling like a goon trying to impress this random checkout clerk who's getting more and more weirded out, and oh god your fish eyes are starting to pop out :spaghetti:

Ahabs, meanwhile, are basically people who respond to your psychic browbeating with murderous rage and become, well, Captain Ahab. They will not rest until you're dead, and the sheer level of their obsession with killing you empowers them to do so. Again, you're probably so used to scaring trained soldiers into submission with a mean look that some accountant with a baseball bat who will not lay down and die is going to be a big, big problem for you if you've gotten out of shape.

I had almost forgotten how much I liked the fluff ideas for Leviathan

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
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Princess is awful.

And the thing about CofD is that the setting is existentialist. It has no overarching concept of hope or justice that will swoop in to empower people and save the day.

It's got you, the player characters. If you want make poo poo worse, you can. If you want to be a force of justice in an uncaring world, you can. And you can make life better for people. (Probably not yourself, though - that poo poo is hard work and hard on your relationships.) But there's no one else out there that's going to besides people. The closest thing that can reliably be identified as a deity operates near-randomly to produce bizarre effects for no reason. Spirits exist primarily to eat each other rather than for any actual purpose.

I feel it misses the point to set something up where people are empowered by hope or justice. The heroes of CofD are existential heroes - people who do the right thing not because there is some force empowering them to do it, or because they know what it is for sure, but because they've decided to make a stand and do their best. Giving them a Hope or Justice power source is missing the point entirely.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Kurieg posted:

Is Inklesspen's FNF scraper down? I'm not seeing a lot of the more recent updates on there.

So this was from several pages ago, but basically what happened was I went on vacation. (I will note, the software is written to allow multiple users and I'm happy to teach other people how it works.)

I'm currently caught up with around page 95 or so, and have also published the entirety of Evil Mastermind's new TORG writeup finally.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Mors Rattus posted:

Slashers are refreshingly honest. They're not about to tell you that you shouldn't be mad at them for killing people.

Well some of them might, but they won't actually believe it and their 'morality lecture' is probably just a smokescreen to get you to drop your guard so they can get the knife out.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Mors Rattus posted:

Princess is awful.

And the thing about CofD is that the setting is existentialist. It has no overarching concept of hope or justice that will swoop in to empower people and save the day.

It's got you, the player characters. If you want make poo poo worse, you can. If you want to be a force of justice in an uncaring world, you can. And you can make life better for people. (Probably not yourself, though - that poo poo is hard work and hard on your relationships.) But there's no one else out there that's going to besides people. The closest thing that can reliably be identified as a deity operates near-randomly to produce bizarre effects for no reason. Spirits exist primarily to eat each other rather than for any actual purpose.

I feel it misses the point to set something up where people are empowered by hope or justice. The heroes of CofD are existential heroes - people who do the right thing not because there is some force empowering them to do it, or because they know what it is for sure, but because they've decided to make a stand and do their best. Giving them a Hope or Justice power source is missing the point entirely.

I'll admit I'd be intentionally tearing the setting apart both literally and thematically, cause I've been long disillusioned with the actual setting as being way too bleak to find actually enjoyable on it's own merits

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



See, there's the difference between us - I don't find existentialism bleak at all.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


If it's just down to you, but you can still stand up and make a difference, that's always enough for me in a setting.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





drrockso20 posted:

I'll admit I'd be intentionally tearing the setting apart both literally and thematically, cause I've been long disillusioned with the actual setting as being way too bleak to find actually enjoyable on it's own merits
You know when you put it that way, I think it's one of the reasons I never clicked with the Cod; even Vampire had the recurring plot thread of Golconda, which was pretty much Vampire Zen Salvation.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Yeah. You're unlikely to fix everything, but you absolutely can make the world a better place.

drrockso20
May 6, 2013

Has Not Actually Done Cocaine


Mors Rattus posted:

Yeah. You're unlikely to fix everything, but you absolutely can make the world a better place.

Part of my issue is that for heavily detailed settings like this, I can't ignore the big picture situation, and for the WoD that big picture is a setting that is worse than the real world in every regard, and to be frank the real world is already awful enough, I don't need to be depressed by my fiction as well(same reason I don't actively follow DC or Marvel's main universes anymore)

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



inklesspen posted:

I'm currently caught up with around page 95 or so, and have also published the entirety of Evil Mastermind's new TORG writeup finally.
Awesome, thanks!

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest!
The rightest!


Yeah, I think if you play CoD as completely bleak and hopeless, you're doing a disservice. The world is lovely. Thing is, you don't have to be. There is no greater godlike power of justice or hope, so you have to become that. I don't think that's bleak at all - I think it's empowering. The catch is, you need a GM who goes along with this.

Daeren
Aug 17, 2009

YER MUSTACHE IS CROOKED


ProfessorCirno posted:

Yeah, I think if you play CoD as completely bleak and hopeless, you're doing a disservice. The world is lovely. Thing is, you don't have to be. There is no greater godlike power of justice or hope, so you have to become that. I don't think that's bleak at all - I think it's empowering. The catch is, you need a GM who goes along with this.

The quickest way to describe it is that you should play CofD as written by Camus, not Nietzsche.

And yeah, this is a setting with a terrifyingly enormous robot god-entity...but it's one that can have its ground game irrevocably hosed up for centuries by meth-addled, shotgun-toting good ol' boys going out to hunt themselves a robo-gator.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Daeren posted:

The quickest way to describe it is that you should play CofD as written by Camus, not Nietzsche.

And yeah, this is a setting with a terrifyingly enormous robot god-entity...but it's one that can have its ground game irrevocably hosed up for centuries by meth-addled, shotgun-toting good ol' boys going out to hunt themselves a robo-gator.

Hunters are a great lens to examine the various Worlds of Darkness through. In the original World of Darkness capital-H Hunters were scared mortals with strange and unwanted powers thrust upon them which made them doubt their own sanity and the overall theme and tone of the line was less "take back the night" and more "you're hopelessly screwed but, like, maybe you can kill a monster or two on the way out we guess." Saying that oHunters were a punchline is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much...the idea that these sad sacks being yelled at by God or angels or whatever could actually stand up to the omnipresent monsters of the oWoD was treated as a cruel joke, and besides which it hardly mattered because everyone knew the world was ending soon anyway and welp, there it goes.

In the new World of Darkness capital-H Hunters may still be scared mortals at a certain level, but the tone is very strongly that the supernatural underestimates even scared mortals at their peril. Scoffing at a bunch of pissed-off blue collar workers in Baltimore is a great way to find yourself staked out on a rooftop waiting for the sun to rise or your safe haven burned to the ground while the fire department sits back and watches. nWoD monsters may not quake in fear at the thought of Hunters...most of the time, there are certainly exceptions...but the smarter ones definitely have a wary and healthy respect for what a bunch of pissed off average Joes and Janes can do when they decide that This Is Our Home. Maybe you don't save the world, maybe that's out of your reach, but you can absolutely kill every last fangly motherfucker in your neighborhood and keep them out. And that's just at the ground level too, not even taking into consideration things like the elite government monster-hunting taskforce with lightning cannons and ghost-killing bullets or the corporation which treats monsters as potential cancer cures (but as of yet only seems to have luck turning them into freaky biotech implants, better keep trying) or the literal(?) sons and daughters of Lucifer or the psychic FBI agents for whom monsters are just another breed of freaky serial killer in need of being read their rights and then locked away in an ultramax prison to rot.

You can tell a lot about a horror setting by how it treats its monster hunters.

Kai Tave fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Apr 25, 2016

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Kai Tave posted:

You can tell a lot about a horror setting by how it treats its monster hunters.

The "Sleeping Tiger" was one of the best things about Unknown Armies. The game was very, very self-aware that all the magic tricks or self-mutilating mages in the world were not enough to save the Occult Underground from the average population if proof of the supernatural ever became public.

S.J.
May 19, 2008

Just who the hell do you think we are?



New Hunter loving owns and it's pretty much the only WoD setting I get legitimately excited to play a character in.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I've always wanted to toss a Slasher at a PC group from one of the supernatural game lines. The vampires or werewolves or whatever are freaking out over a mysterious new killer on the streets who's sending powerful supernaturals home in body bags, and no one can figure out who she's working for. Because surely she's working for someone, right? And has supernatural powers of her own, right? No one is just that good at killing... aren't they?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



In that same vein I've always sort of enjoyed the one-off stories in shows that involve the supernatural where the culprit is a normal deranged human. Imagine a Mage realizing the person killing his magical allies is basically one of the people from the movie Frailty, or the vampire finding out that no, it's not a rival circle picking off his construction workers and property developers, it's the inbred family from the X-Files' Home.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

To Protect Flavor posted:

Bought into 3e Exalted in part because of the ongoing review here. Gotta say, despite the reputation, it seems like a fun time.

Then again, my group's been slogging through a Hero System campaign of late, so maybe I'm just desperate.

Exalted, like most games, is fun if you know what you're getting into and everyone has a good attitude about it. Until they come out with a 3e Infernals book or something akin to that there are worse games you could be playing and giving money to.

At least they have a cool character like the Diamond Prince, which shows their hearts are at least in the right place. Maybe they'll work out the development problems before 2020 but who knows. :iiam:

Dareon
Apr 6, 2009



Aethera Campaign Setting - You got Firefly in my Eberron!

Part One - Early Access Guide and Cantor Playtest


Do you like Eberron? Of course you do.
Do you like Firefly? Of course you do.

Then boy howdy do I have a thing for you. Aethera is a space opera campaign setting for Pathfinder in which humanity has recently come out of the Century War, a long war with the plant-based Erahthi. During this conflict, the humans began activating the Phalanx, a race of genderless automata that are now beginning to find their own identities in the new time of peace.

Aside from the plants, you can see why I mentioned Eberron. It's going to be nearly impossible to escape comparisons to Those That Came Before, because let's face it: There is nothing new under the sun. All we can hope for is to find something that combines the things we like into a pleasing whole. So far, for me, Aethera does that.

I backed the Kickstarter for Aethera at a substantial level, primarily to support my friends. Robert Brookes, the lead designer, is an old friend and DM, and two of my other friends have written significiantly for the setting. There have so far been two sneak peeks released to KS backers: A playtest of the Cantor; a divine bard-type caster, and the Early Access Guide, a run-down of the unique races in the Aethera setting, as well as a few class archetypes and new skill uses to whet our appetites. I'll begin with the Early Access Guide. Being early releases, I'm not going to mention typos and formatting errors. They're here, but understandable.

The first thing we encounter, after a thank-you note and a small bit of boilerplate, is a notice that the common races of D&D: Elves, halflings, dwarves, etc. simply do not exist in this corner of the universe. Humans do, as do many of the special snowflakes like the elementally-touched races and scattered pockets of things like tengu, dhampir, and ratfolk. As usual, "consult with your GM" is their watchword here. Tensions between erahthi and humans still run deep from the recent war, and of course the phalanx were created as weapons of war and only recently emancipated. A mention is made that if you decide to include races other than those explicitly outlined, you should be ready to consider how they interact with other parts of the setting, including the Century War.


I am Groot and I am fabulous.

The erahthi are combination elementals and plants, and grow and animate plants for every purpose, including reproduction. New erahthi bodies are grown to adulthood, then a spirit is channeled into it. Their culture is caste-based, with a given member's caste decided before "birth" via divinations, and their body grown to aid with the tasks required of them within their caste. They live for about 200 years and do not have natural genders, although travelers sometimes choose to present them for the benefit of other races. They worship three god-kings, who each take it in turn to rule the society for a 250-year stretch at a time. The current god-king is Athrakarus, the explorer and warrior.

Mechanically, they are native outsiders who are also treated as plants, have a number of plant-based abilities, and a Con bonus with another bonus that can be added to one of the other stats. Their most interesting ability is the ability to respire through their skin, so they can for instance breathe underwater by keeping a hand above the surface, but this respiration results in a penalty to saves versus inhaled poisons and irritants. Going by their favored class bonuses, they make good barbarians, druids, and monks.

Incidentally, those H-es in erahthi give me the same problem the double A in aasimar does: I have to be very careful not to mess it up.


This fuckin' guy. I wanna be this guy. I want a robo-fox.

Humans are humans. Most of them in the system have dark skin thanks to stemming from an arid planet. Their ruling body is the Hierarchy, who rule from massive arcologies and attempt to maintain iron-fisted control of the tribal inhabitants of the outer wastelands and the off-world colonies. A hundred years of non-stop war has left humanity a little uncertain of their future course. Their primary religion is Scorism, belief in a series of musical prophecies that the Cantor class taps into as a power source.

Humans are mechanically unchanged from base Pathfinder, except that Common is renamed to Hymnas. This is unsurprising, from my relationship with Robert Brookes. At one point while we were prepping for an Eberron campaign, I wound up talking him down from implementing regional dialects. The man just does not like the concept of the Common tongue. I don't blame him, either. Although the most complicated I'd go is making it a trade patois that doesn't have the words to cover certain topics. Very good with numbers, nouns, and certain verbs, but if you want a love poem, go for Elven.


Phazon Aetherite's a hell of a drug, kids.

Infused are humans who underwent enhancement in the Hierarchy's Paragon Project. And if you know anything about these kinds of space opera stories, you know exactly how things turned out. Voluntary or otherwise, high failure rate, infertility and shortened lifespan, memory loss, cast aside, shunned, dystopian as gently caress. Hello, River Tam, nice to see you again.

Mechanically, Infused are a little more badass than baseline humans, but frailer. They have a few telekinetic abilities, including flight in zero gravity or while levitating, and they can form psychic bonds with other creatures with the aether subtype (Currently, this is just other Infused). Their favored classes are brawler, kineticist, and psychic.

It's worth mentioning aetherite here. Aetherite is the handwavium that powers all the whiz-bang rayguns and things that make this space opera rather than just plain fantasy. It's a power source (you need it to spin up the jumpgates between planets), it can be forged into weapons, it's used as currency, and it's radioactive, which Infused are immune to. I'm not sure all those uses are in line with its drawbacks. We're not told exactly what it is in this preview, but a series of infodumps on the Aethera blog reveals that it consists of flash-frozen magical ley lines. It gives me a similar feeling to ghost rock from Deadlands: That shouldn't be possible and is almost certainly a bad idea, but I'm on board anyway.


If that's a druid, and she turns into a bear, is that a downgrade?

Okanta are your Klingons, your Wookiees. A proud and powerful race. They are huge and hairy, bearing aspects of various animals, but they all bear strong, heavy horns. They have very short lifespans and tend to throw themselves into life seeking to make their mark on history. They practice shamanic animism, their shamans capable of hearing the whispering of the aetherite that laces their frozen planet.

Mechanically, they are strong and have Powerful Build, horns, and light sensitivity. Their most interesting feature is the ability to learn a skill by watching someone use that skill for an hour. After this hour they are as practiced with the skill as if they'd spent their whole adventuring life doing it. They can only know one skill at a time this way, but that's still very powerful. Their favored classes are all martial: Bloodrager, Cavalier, Fighter, and Paladin.


How snazzy can one robot be?!

The phalanx were discovered in an ancient vault on Prima, the moon of the human's home planet. I'm picturing kind of a Terracotta Army situation, because that's exactly what they had: However many bodies, but no souls in them. The humans managed to infuse the bodies with aetherite, reactivating them and unintentionally giving them souls and free will. They're warforged, everything you know about warforged applies equally here. I was, however, amused to see that their age and height/weight table entries are only one number. They reach adulthood at 1, do not change statistics through age, are uniformly six feet tall and 560 pounds. That's not a typo. They use body modification to express individuality, ranging from simple paintjobs to mechanical overhauls. Their internal culture tends to be in a state of flux and needs to be defined community-by-community, as they are constantly experimenting with various social structures and philosophies in an attempt to find where they fit or what fits them. Another side effect of the aetherite infusion that reactivated the phalanx is dreams and visions of what seem to be past lives as non-phalanx, which forms the core of their own belief system.

Mechanically, they have Cha and Con bonuses, but a Wisdom penalty. They are constructs, but with a Con score. They have a number of other abilities tied to their phalanx subtype that sets them apart both from normal constructs and the living construct subtype that Eberron's warforged have. They can also tap into the visions of past lives they have in order to gain the temporary use of a feat they don't have. Their favored classes are Fighter, Monk, and Rogue.

Now we move on to some class teasers. The Warsinger is a Bard Archetype, and... and... Holy poo poo.


HOLY. poo poo.

Warsingers specialize in an elemental damage type, similar to the kineticist. They lose most of their gentler bardic performances in favor of firing off literal hot riffs while performing. The abilities they get further down the line let them enhance these blasts, and at 20th level they can change the element they're specialized in at the start of a day.

The Titan is a Brawler archetype that adds guns to the Fighter/Monk hybrid and makes it into a Space Marine. They add heavy armor, are masters of using guns in close combat, can flurry with guns and fists interchangeably, and at higher levels can charge into battle more effectively than a mounted knight.

The Divine Dancer is a Cantor archetype, which we haven't gotten to yet, but it swaps all the party-buffing songs the Cantor gets for a single self-buffing dance. The friend that wrote it says it was heavily cut down for this guide, although for length or balance he doesn't know. I'm hoping just for length, because compared to the Warsinger and Titan, the Divine Dancer is entirely poo poo.

The Aether Soldier is a Fighter archetype that takes the wizard's arcane bond with an item and sticks his sword in it. He gets a free masterwork melee weapon made of aetherite and learns to use it in various and sundry arcane fashions across his career.

The Correspondent spreads a little bardic jelly on the fluffernutter of the Investigator. They add medium armor, replace their trapfinding and poison abilities with the bardic music abilities that boost groups, and swap their free inspiration on Spellcraft for Bluff.

Thanks to some sort of cataclysm or other cosmological wrinkle, the Astral Plane cannot be accessed from Aethera. Thus, the Medium class either taps into psychic forces in aetherite (This is assuredly a terrible idea), or the Ethereal Plane. They provide the Ethereal Dreamer as the modified base class, and allow you to layer archetypes on top of that. Primarily it just crosses out "astral" and writes in "ethereal".

However, they do provide the Shadow Visionary, who functions exactly as a normal (ethereal) Medium, but gets the ability to use Shadow Walk and to contact the Plane of Shadow and ask things of the dead.

And now, skills. Constructing firearms and ammo is now a purely skill-based endeavour, not requiring the Gunsmithing feat. Assumably this means firearms are more prevalent.

And we have a "skill unlock", a new use of a skill you can use if you meet various prerequisites. In this case, we have Elemental Harmony, which can be used if you have the Elemental Tuning feat (Which we know nothing of except that the Warsinger also gets it). This skill unlock allows the user to pull magical effects through the borders of the planes with their musical performances. These effects include a damaging blast, Endure Elements, and... Prestidigitation involving your chosen element. As written, the prestidigitation uses the same daily use as the blast or endure elements effect.

And that's all we get out of the preview guide. Now, before this came out, we also got the Cantor playtest PDF. I've played it up long enough, so let's dive right in.


I lost my arm! Do you hear me whining about it? No, you hear me singing about it!

The Cantor began as an attempt at a hybrid class, and I can see that it has some DNA in common with both the Oracle and the Bard. It has a d8 HD, 2/3 BAB, simple weapons, light/medium armor and shields, strong Will save, 6 skill points to spend on a solidly social/caster skillset, and Wis-based spontaneous divine casting from their own six-level spell list.

They have a skill tax in the form of Perform (Sing) powering most of her class abilities, Naturally, if they can't sing for whatever reason, things stop or fail or whatnot. They get a couple of bardic music abilities, namely countersong and fascinate (The two I've always found least useful), plus the ability to cause rerolls in the same manner. The core of the Cantor class is Hymns, a selected package of abilities that comes with a class skill, a few spells, and some added uses for their bardic music divine song. They also get a selection of Verses, small magical utility powers. As they level up, their divine song, hymns, and verses all improve, with greater abilities popping up, the ability to pick up a second hymn and some of the benefits that come with it (And change this second hymn daily).

Interestingly, what most people would think of as a capstone ability comes at 14th level with the Superior Verse ability, which includes things like Reincarnate, Control Weather, Prismatic Spray, and Create Demiplane. The actual capstone at 20th is the ability to maintain the divine song from the hymn without using actual expendable rounds of divine song.

I'm not going to cover all the hymns and their spell list, let's leave a little mystery about things. But, each hymn is linked to a specific plane of existence, leaving off the Astral Plane for previously mentioned reasons. And also including a Plane of Wood.

In summary, this early access guide has raised some intriguing questions that I am looking forward to having answered in future, and I feel pleased that I backed the Kickstarter. I definitely haven't gotten my money's worth out of it, and I probably won't from a purely economic standpoint, but I appreciated the opportunity to support my friends while I also had the capacity to do so.

Would you like to know more?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Dareon posted:

Do you like Eberron? Of course you do.

Yep, sure do.

quote:

Do you like Firefly? Of course you do.

I mean yeah, I think people still obsessing over it these days need to move on but it's all ri-

quote:

Aethera is a space opera campaign setting for Pathfinder

Aaaaaaand you lost me.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

I'm not a huge Pathfinder fan either but if there's a class that lets you play a magical Doof Wagon Guitarist I have to give it at least my brief attention here

Keiya
Aug 22, 2009

Come with me if you want to not die.


Dareon posted:


Phazon Aetherite's a hell of a drug, kids.

Sounds more like eezo than Phazon honestly. Not that they're not all similar.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Maxwell Lord posted:

I'm not a huge Pathfinder fan either but if there's a class that lets you play a magical Doof Wagon Guitarist I have to give it at least my brief attention here

This just got released for apocalypse world so they'd be beaten to the punch.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



What just got released?

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


I know you compared it to Eberron, but Aethera is screaming to me "do you remember Spelljammer?!" And I mean screaming in the best of ways.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


The Lone Badger posted:

What just got released?

The Show playbook, I suppose.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





ProfessorCirno posted:

Yeah, I think if you play CoD as completely bleak and hopeless, you're doing a disservice. The world is lovely. Thing is, you don't have to be. There is no greater godlike power of justice or hope, so you have to become that. I don't think that's bleak at all - I think it's empowering. The catch is, you need a GM who goes along with this.
To paraphrase Dr. Karl Lykos, "I don't want to become the hope and justice in a fundamentally uncaring world. I want to rip open evil spirits and suplex corporate security while saving the river's watershed from cosmic polluters."

ProfessorCirno
Feb 17, 2011

The strongest! The smartest!
The rightest!


Nessus posted:

To paraphrase Dr. Karl Lykos, "I don't want to become the hope and justice in a fundamentally uncaring world. I want to rip open evil spirits and suplex corporate security while saving the river's watershed from cosmic polluters."

That's basically becoming hope and justice when you really think about it though.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006




"When you play, your instrument shoots fire (2-harm messy loud)."

Story checks out.

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011




To Protect Flavor posted:

Bought into 3e Exalted in part because of the ongoing review here. Gotta say, despite the reputation, it seems like a fun time.

Then again, my group's been slogging through a Hero System campaign of late, so maybe I'm just desperate.

I honestly do think that despite Exaltedís checkered past and present, 3e is largely a step in the right direction. As Alien Rope Burn said, you can clearly feel how much they care about it by reading it, and I largely think the systems work out well for the most part. Iím not gonna begrudge people for not liking it based on the poo poo thatís come before, but I also think itís important to support ďyes, this is the direction I want from thisĒ. That said, itís nice to hear someone bought the game off my review. Thanks friend. :unsmith:


Anyway, enough of that, letís try and get through some more fluff so that the next update can start on actual mechanics!


Part The Second: Setting

Weíre at least getting into the parts of the book that can be way more easily summarized. Which is good, cause thereís like, 60 whole pages worth of setting to read about! Yeesh. Luckily itís a fun enough read and not -all- of it is important, depending on your character.


Also, they massively increased the real estate from 1/2e to 3e (you should probably open this one in a separate tab)

So! Setting. Exaltedís setting is best imagined, in the words of its own book, as a flat world floating atop a sea of chaos. That chunk of floating thing-that-exists is whatís known, broadly, as Creation. Outside of Creation is The Wyld, which is where Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher decide that this poo poo is way too weird for even them, but weíll get into that later.

Creation, the flat plane that it is, is anchored in place by the five Elemental Poles.

  • To The South: The Pole of Fire, surrounded by deserts, ruins beneath the sand, lost cities, and coastal trade towns. Thereís not a lot to do here without plot, as desert dominates most of the southern landscape.
  • To The East: The Pole of Wood gives you a massive overgrown jungle, massive forests, and plains for days. Ruins are -also- aplenty here, as are jungle temples and all your Indiana Jones fantasies.
  • To The North: The Pole of Air. Itís basically loving Northrend from Warcraft, or the upper half of Skyrimís map. Itís bitterly cold, and while there are some cities that have civilization, the nomads out in the tundras are crazy and the rest of the environment wants you dead.
  • To The West: The Pole of Water and, surprising no one, a giant fuckoff ocean! This is where Sail becomes the most useful, because no one has any loving clue about thee West. The Realm tried to take it over but they got loving WRECKED so they decided gently caress it, not worth it.
  • In The Middle: The Pole of Earth and the Blessed Isle, home of the Realm. This is where Creation is at its most stable but, SURPRISE, itís full of douchebags and petty politics.

Weíll get into some hotspots later, but right now the book wants you to know the whoís who of divinity. See, Heaven is a real place, and thereís all sorts of spirits, elementals, demons, demon princes, miscellaneous divinities, and yes, gods. Most of them are stuck bickering in bitter politics and portfolio expansion while using mortals to advance their agenda - and these are the ones youíre likely to encounter. But there are gods, and there are Capital-G Gods. Those guys are the real untouchables of the setting, and here they are, in no particular order:

  • The Unconquered Sun is the biggest of the big-namers. The protector of Creation and patron of the Solar Exalted. He was the one to first suggest Exalting Mortals to overthrow the Primordials - the Godsí creators. In times long past the Solars indulged and hosed around enough that he turned away from them, but now heís back and supporting the new Solars.
  • Luna is the lover of the Emerald Mother and Primordial Gaia, and patron of the Lunar Exalted. She has a thousand forms, many of them contradictory, but sheís also the most active of the big name gods (or Incarnae, as the book uses).
  • Gaia is the last Primordial standing after the Exalts and Gods kicked the rest out. She betrayed her Ďbrothersí due to their misconduct and urging from Luna. Her body is Creation itself, but itís said that she has a form of a majestic woman robed in green - though it hasnít been seen in nearly an age.
  • The Five Elemental Dragons are neither gods nor demons, nor mere Elementals. Described as Gaiaís children, they are the patrons of the Dragon-Blooded Exalts, breathing the power of their elements into their blood.
  • The Five Maidens are the most inscrutable of the lot. Fond of talking in riddles and rarely speaking otherwise, they are the Ladies of Fate and the patrons of the Sidereal Exalted. They are Mercury, Maiden of Journeys, Venus, Maiden of Serenity, Mars, Maiden of Battle, Jupiter, Maiden of Secrets, and Saturn, Maiden of Endings. Itís said they occasionally leave Heaven, but only when needed and if one of them vanishes all of Heaven just about shits itself in panic.

After that, weíre treated to a brief depiction of The Realm. Itís the biggest superpower, itís the greatest empire in Creation (at current). ItísÖ kind of a lovely place to live! You follow the Immaculate Order or youíre out, and if you arenít a Dragon-Blooded house you basically arenít worth poo poo. Itís been vacuuming up pretty much all the wealth it can for a while now, and while things were all nice and smooth while the Scarlet Empress was here, she vanished five years ago.

We take a break from talking about the Realm to bring upÖ are you loving kidding me, MORE Exalted?


I guess the Sidereals needed their big spooky foils, too.
Okay, so, let me take a breather to summarize how many Exalted we have now. Solars, Lunars, Sidereals, Dragon-Blooded, Liminals, Abyssals, Infernals, Alchemicals, Gotmine Getimian, and Exigents. Okay, sure, OPP. I trust you, but I donít expect to see half of these before my 30th birthday. Ideally Iíd like to not see Infernals at all, but what can you do.

SO, ANYWAY, The Realm puts a figurehead jackoff at the head of affairs while setting up The Deliberative, which is basically just the Great Houses bickering with each other and running roughshod over the whole operation. Iím not gonna summarize them because their blurbs are short enough already, so:


Also featured: House Iselsi in the Ďlol you idiotsí corner.

It goes on to jerk itself off a bit about the Immaculate Order, how Dragons are ďsuited to rule mortals by right of superior spiritual stationĒ, how awful and classist the whole setup is (If you arenít part of one of the Great Houses youíre treated as poo poo by them, but even the most worthless Dragon-Blooded is untouchable to a Mortal), and how the Five Elemental Dragons incarnated into specific individuals each espousing a tenant of Immaculate Faith.


Nice warstriders, though.

Theyíre also apparently kind of dicks to the other, non-Solar/Lunar Exalts:


ĒYou must work over many lifetimes to reach the greatness of a Dragon. Itís okay, itís not your fault. :smug:

After that, weíre given a brief overview on ďThe GuildĒ, which is a for-profit group of mortal mercantiles and enterprisers whoís wealth is the only thing that comes close to the excess of the Dragon-Blooded houses. Itís noted while they help many, thereís also plenty of money that they can and will make in drug and slave trade. Charming, but at least itís a pretty typical plot point that never runs out of steam.

Thereís also a few pages devoted to economy and money in Creation but Iím not gonna go into that poo poo, like, at all. Thatís better suited for working out in individual player groups.

Instead, we get to a description of places that -arenít- the Realm, which is collectively referred to as the Threshold. Thereís a massive amount of places of note, and to summarize them would make this update way longer than it already is and I want to start getting into the crunch here soon, so letís just read off some of my favorites, shall we?

For the North:
  • Fortitude: A massive cursed fortress-prison from the first age that is now home to gangs and other prisoners that survive on an SMT Chaos Hero-esque philosophy. Underneath the sprawling-out-of-control fortress is a primal god that convinced them darkness is to be worshiped and that the only way to cleanse ones sin is to lead a heroic life, then die.
  • Ascension is a city built in the side of Creationís equivalent of Mt. Everest, kept sustainable by ancient Solar artifacts, and is a last stop for those trying to head further up the mountain to the mysterious mines above.

For the East:
  • The Scavenger Lands occupy the Near East and further beyond and are basically a sandbox for campaigns in and of themselves. Itís noted to be one of the major areas that isnít immediately controlled by the Realm. A good chunk of setting is here, from the city-state of Nexus that is the home of the Guild, to Lookshy - a former centerpiece in the defense of the Scavenger Lands that awakened something beneath it, and now what few Dragon-Blooded remain in the city are under the control of something yet darker than petty politics.

For the South:
  • Chiaroscuro is a shattered metropolis of the First Age, a Zanarkand that was ruined, found once more, and became one of the most famous ports in the world. It comes in third in the Ďwealthiest citiesí side. Behind the Realm and (barely) Nexus, but has a massive amount of ruins that not even the city has fully explored.
  • Gem is an underground city, nestled in a dead volcano, full of all sorts of modern oddities. Holding a stranglehold on the gemstone market (naturally), itís yet another trade hub but one that feels much more like an Ďblack marketí hub than any of the others.

For the West:
  • Wu-Jian is the city from the opening story I didnít read! A lawless hive of scum and villainy in all the best and worst ways, itís a port hub that sees overcrowded slums, alleyways that are closed by centuries of construction, and houses stacked so high itíd make the Walled Kowloon City balk.
  • Onyx is a city straight out of a metal album cover - the dead walk alongside the living, where even the poorest shopkeeps have at least a skeleton to command, and the whole island considers death not an end, but a gateway to new life. Death is seen as a promotion, most unsettling is probably the fact that the Deathlord known as Bodhisattva Anointed By Dark Water is the ruler of the city, attending mortal and deathly courts alike, and attending performances of Ďnecrodramasí.

Thereís more than a few other places, such as Dominions of Lunars living on the fringe-edges of creation, ruins of lost cities, and of course, The Wyld and the Fair Folk that reside within. Fair Folk themselves are terrifying, entities of chaos that consume the hopes, dreams, and souls of mortals in order to sustain themselves, and while interact with Creation in some respects, would love nothing more than to see it fall.

And then of course, the underworld is a real place, and you can go there, but it isnít advised. Itís here we get talk of Shadowlands (areas where life and death intersect, the Veil is thin, etc etc) and talk of the Deathlords in detail - sorcerer-kings shrouded in mystery, and of whom no two are the same. The book says that itís rumored there are ďat least five, but no more than a score of themĒ, and Itís here we get introduced to a few big bads that may work against you, or each other.

The Mask of Winters is the one most campaigns will be concerned with, as the Scavenger Lands are a zone easy to build a campaign around, and Mask of Winters made his debut 5 years ago, ransacking the Realmís greatest hold in that area - the city of Thorns, riding atop the corpse-fortress Juggernaut, an undead behemoth with a city atop it. The other Deathlords hate him for his boldness and that his actions have brought about the knowledge of Deathlords as more than a rumor.

The Lover Clad in the Raiment of Tears is the go-to for a Northern campaign, a being of undead beauty and frustrated passions. She binds those with unfulfilled desires who die in the north to her whim, and these ĎLovelessí wander the north in search of comfort and seeking out paramours to drain their passions -and life- dry as vampires of drive and desire. She has a pretty face, but she uses it to bring the desperate and lost to her and strengthen her power.

The Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water is the unending monarch of Onyx and the Skullstone Archipelago in the west, covered by shadowlands. Heís the source of Onyxís beliefs that life merely is meant to prepare you for the ďexaltationĒ of death. Dark Water isnít as bold as Winters or as seemingly charming as Raiment of Tears, but he is cunning and willing to deal with the world of the living, his coin is the law in the West, and heís the most willing to play the long game, trapping others in webs of favors, unpaid debts, and oaths and moving to annex territory once one of those is inevitably tread upon.

Oh, and then we get Behemoths proper. Iíll let the book field that one:



And thatís all she wrote for setting! I skimmed a lot of this, because thereís a lot of it -to- skim, but I honestly enjoy the amount of thought and detail that goes into the setting. It feels larger than life in the book, which helps, even if now weíre up to like ten friggin types of Exalted.

NEXT TIME: PART THE THIRD: CHARACTER CREATION.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kind of surprised you didn't bring up the Southeast, since that's the biggest expansion to the setting. Really, the map expansion is probably the biggest improvement in the new edition, IMO. I wish they had given themselves more room to write setting material, because I think it's where this edition could have really distinguished itself more.

I wish I could make a compliment for Ex3 without it sounding backhanded, but there you have it. It's kinda positive! :downs:

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Kind of surprised you didn't bring up the Southeast, since that's the biggest expansion to the setting. Really, the map expansion is probably the biggest improvement in the new edition, IMO. I wish they had given themselves more room to write setting material, because I think it's where this edition could have really distinguished itself more.

I wish I could make a compliment for Ex3 without it sounding backhanded, but there you have it. It's kinda positive! :downs:

Mhmmm I honestly think that, more than the map expansion, the combat and social systems, along with maybe sorcery, are probably the best new things. They work well, in my experience, and at the very least contain a lot of things that other games could borrow from.


Edit: also while the Realm could be a better place, it's still better than 99% of Creation. It's just that most of that comes from the pockets of Threshold states. The Immaculate Order, in spite of propping up an authoritarian empire, also does a lot of humanitarian things and helps keep the gods in line and doing their jobs. I don't know if it was cut from the leak like a fair bit of setting fluff, but it was mentioned that about a fifth of the Immaculate Order is focused around humanitarian service to the Blessed Isle's peasants.

Also the entire premise of their religion is a lie, the majority of Dynasts fail to adhere to the standards the Order espouses, and they most likely want to kill your characters because you specifically are the manifestation of all their belief system considers evil. So, lots and lots of moral ambiguity for everyone.

Bedlamdan fucked around with this message at 17:19 on Apr 25, 2016

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Kind of surprised you didn't bring up the Southeast, since that's the biggest expansion to the setting. Really, the map expansion is probably the biggest improvement in the new edition, IMO. I wish they had given themselves more room to write setting material, because I think it's where this edition could have really distinguished itself more.

I wish I could make a compliment for Ex3 without it sounding backhanded, but there you have it. It's kinda positive! :downs:

I was debating it because really, the Southeast is huge, but I don't have enough knowledge to make direct comparisons to 2e to explain the expansion. I can maybe churn out a small mini-update on that area if you want before I dig into mechanics.

(The other reasons were that again, I really do want to get through the fluff and talk about the new systems, and this post was getting long enough, but given that this was done as late as it was I am willing to accept that I goofed.)

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


drrockso20 posted:

There's already a Magical Girl fan-splat actually, look up Princess: The Hopeful

I know. And I also know this can be done better. Every reference to Madoka will be replaced with more explosions.

drrockso20 posted:

At one point my hypothetical Tokusatsu themed fan-splat idea was going to be directly tied to them(where they represent Hope, my guys would represent Justice as a concept, which is something that the WoD is sorely in need of, which would have been expressed through them both being physically more powerful than most other supernatural beings, and through them having an inherent ability to destroy permanently any magical method a supernatural creature has for disguising it's true nature), although if I ever do anything with it now I'd make them their own thing fully

Mine will totally be part of the WoD, brining love and sunshine everywhere and teaching the God-Machine what love is.

(All those grimdark and lovely places? Well, magical girls aren't everywhere.)

drrockso20 posted:

Now I'm remembering an old idea for a campaign I had where a group composed of one of each type of supernatural come together and inadvertently end up becoming a Justice League expy

Wait. There's no Hunter-related secret government agency build around elite teams made up of different patriotic monster splats?

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Doresh posted:

Wait. There's no Hunter-related secret government agency build around elite teams made up of different patriotic monster splats?

"The God-Machine interferes in our lives. It is unnknowable, untouchable, and unkillable. Or so we thought, for so long. I believe otherwise. I have studied these monsters that infest our society, the vampires, werewolves, witches, and other stranger creatures. I am assembling a task force, comprised of the worst, most powerful monsters we have ever captured. They will be set to the task of dismantling this God-Machine piece by piece, using every twisted method they can think of. They will have to operate separate from us, so that the God-Machine agents within our organization cannot stop them. They will cause untold damage, murder and mayhem but - and I truly believe this - it will be worth it. We will be free, ladies and gentlemen, free from the yoke of this God even if we must make a deal with the Devil. We will form the Deicide Squad"

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Minus two points for not using the traditional American name, "The Monster Squad."

Keiya
Aug 22, 2009

Come with me if you want to not die.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Kind of surprised you didn't bring up the Southeast, since that's the biggest expansion to the setting. Really, the map expansion is probably the biggest improvement in the new edition, IMO. I wish they had given themselves more room to write setting material, because I think it's where this edition could have really distinguished itself more.

I wish I could make a compliment for Ex3 without it sounding backhanded, but there you have it. It's kinda positive! :downs:

The probable reason they didn't is that the charm writer was paid by the word... and was also the guy in charge of the whole book, so he forced everyone to scrunch down as he wrote more and more useless charms.

Covok
May 27, 2013

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


Keiya posted:

The probable reason they didn't is that the charm writer was paid by the word... and was also the guy in charge of the whole book, so he forced everyone to scrunch down as he wrote more and more useless charms.

I think it comes more down to a design philosphy that doesn't consider the concept, as Vincent Baker would put it, of a "fruitful void." In other words, trying to make a charm for every occassion instead of putting in just enough structure to cover most cases.

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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Anytime I hear the suggestion that anybody in this industry is motivated by greed, I laugh until the tears come.

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