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Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Kai Tave posted:

That's a time honored White Wolf/OPP tradition at this point though, and certainly not exclusive to Beast by any stretch. Implying that one's critics must be MRA sympathizers is a new one, I'll spot you that.

You can gauge a person's ability to cope with (mostly well-meaning) criticism on the internet by how willing he is to drag ye olde GG flame war mess into the discussion. Though I am questioning how effective this will be in this case, considering most critics are from the WoD fanbase, and nothing screams "MRA" quite like people playing games about special snowflakes and minority analogues (or sometimes just minorities, cause someone thought Gypsies was a good idea), amirite?!

(And isn't it a bit late to ride the Gamergate bandwagon?)

Kai Tave posted:

Also there's the whole "Beasts are super-special crossover pals with everyone" which is so contrived that when I first saw that part in the original Kickstarter draft I pulled the muscles in my eyes from rolling them so hard.

The only crossover splat you'll ever need is Hunter.

Maxwell Lord posted:

The thing is, I'm sure a game where the monsters are misunderstood and their killers are the real monsters could be done. This is just ineptly done enough that it comes off really creepy.

Like just say "the Beasts never kill anyone or do irreparable harm", yay, they're fixed. But he has to be edgy.

Man, I just realize that if Beasts only target people who actually deserve it for realz, you could basically play a campaign of Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 0. You know, the one were Yugi is pretty much a more personal Jigsaw.

unzealous posted:

So what kind of character concept do you want to see built?

The Warriors. Running into an Eldritch abomination that has glass bottles for fingers.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Apr 30, 2016

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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



unzealous posted:

So what kind of character concept do you want to see built?

Well, after that fiction, a twink male prostitute who has become a part-time detective and vigilante after a few of his friends have turned up dead by mysterious means.

Falconier111
Jul 18, 2012

S T A R M E T A L C A S T E

Kurieg posted:

Hey :( I put a lot of work into it. And I'm not even 1/5th of the way done.

Sorry, man; I have some issues and triggers of my own and I made a habit of avoiding stuff that sets me off. However, I am enjoying the discussion your review sparks and each post adds new depths to the arguments, so in that way its worth it :unsmith:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Character idea: Janet Holloway, married mother who does freelance part-time yoga instructing and has a lot of time on her hands now that her kids have gone to college. She still remembers her college days far more vividly than she should because it was the most exciting time of her life (or so she believes).

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Suburban house wife who's fear of having something horrible happen to her children has turned her into a night-stalking ghoul buster. Holy water grenades made from empty baby food jars and a thrice blessed field hockey stick from her high school days are optional.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





I want to see an eccentric FBI agent with a great deal of intelligence and major dissociative personality disorders.

Calde
Jun 20, 2009


Daeren posted:

The literal instant they decided to make a significant part of the game a naked allegory for Gamergate.

That's going past kicking a hornet's nest into taking a big ol' bite out of it.

Close. The moment Beast went wrong was when it assumed that the only thing wrong with Gamergate philosophy was in who it targeted and who it benefited. I still maintain there's a potential satirical game there, Black Dog as gently caress, where you just remove all the implications Beasts are a stand-in for LGBT/feminists/whatever and suddenly the whole theme snaps back into focus. I wouldn't play it, but at least it'd make sense.

Roland Jones
Aug 18, 2011

by Nyc_Tattoo


Doresh posted:

Man, I just realize that if Beasts only target people who actually deserve it for realz, you could basically play a campaign of Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 0. You know, the one were Yugi is pretty much a more personal Jigsaw.

Ahahahaha, oh man, that'd be amazing. The original Yu-Gi-Oh! was great.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





unzealous posted:

So what kind of character concept do you want to see built?

A brilliant medical examiner who lost his career as a doctor for his radical theories that the dead may walk among us.

A successful high school athlete turned social worker who's the only one who cares when the kids he's trying to mentor start going missing.

A low rent criminal from a wealthy family who just pissed off the Boss by trying to start his own operation.

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


CofD character: a New Age-y cab driver who specializes in the airport route, treating each ride as a mystical experience of communion and confession in which small talk about the fare's last trip leads to profound re-evaluation of the mundane life they're returning to.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012





Or Lottie Grote from Bad Machinery.

Lottie would be good too.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Make Lowtax in Chronicles of Darkness.

Also the skull dotting the i in "Chronicles" is making me irrationally angry.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Chronskullicles. Chroniskullcles.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!



Part 2: Skills and Attributes

Bendigeidfran posted:

How about...a neurotic public defender who can't get over her wrestling glory days in high school. She's convinced her client isn't human, but the prosecutor isn't either so it's a wash.

Doresh posted:

The Warriors. Running into an Eldritch abomination that has glass bottles for fingers.

So we have Jennifer Walters, a lawyer, and Michael Beck, a gang member.

Anchors
Anchor is the blanket term for your character's virtue and vice. These are core ideas your character believes in or acts on. In World of Darkness you chose between the 7 sins as your vice and their counterparts as a virtue. Thankfully Chronicles is significantly more lenient and freeform and you are able to pick what you believe best fits your character. Virtue is the ideal your character follows, it's what motivates them to be a be a better person, to improve themselves, their condition or help those around them. It's not, however, about being some sort of saint. A virtue should also be a compelling part of character, and have the capacity to drive them to do terrible things in desperate times. The book lists examples like generous and just and you could also use traits like pacifist and unwavering. A vice is your easy way out. It's the little habit you have that you have to get out of dealing with emotions or responsibility. But it's also very comforting, and it reminds you of who you are, even if it's the part of you that you aren't very proud of. Arrogant, greedy, cruel, lazy, apathetic and cowardly are all vices a character could have. It should be noted that these don't really exist on a scale of objectively good and bad. People could have ambitious as a virtue or a vice in equal measure. For the person with the ambitious virtue it would mean their character is willing to advance themselves through hard work. They want to network, learn new skills, treat coworkers with respect. When they are acting on their virtue they are a model member, putting forth the extra effort to make themselves useful and act as an example to others. Ambition as a vice, however, might be more about seizing that power through any means necessary. Blackmailing a boss, undermining or sabotaging possible competition, ultimately things that avoid the time and hard work one normally associates with ambition.

Our sample characters are going to need anchors. For Jennifer Walters we have Honesty as a virtue. Ultimately she wants to know the truth, about her clients, about the crime, everything. She won't lie in court, she'll even avoid bending the truth if possible. This drives her to give her clients the best defense she can, though with her current client it's making her intensely curious as to what they might be hiding. For her vice, given her background, I'm thinking violence. She remembers how much fun she had wrestling, before becoming a lawyer. That desire never really left her. She knows how good it would feel to put the smug prosecutor through a table, or Irish whip the clerk who keeps leaving passive aggressive post it notes on her desk. She usually keeps it in check though.

For Michael, even though he may seem of a rather seedy sort, that doesn't mean he doesn't have virtues. He could be Dedicated, to his gang and those he wants to protect. He will never sell them out and will stand with them against impossible odds. He may not care much about himself but it is more important than anything else that his brothers and sisters stay safe. For his vice, we have Distrust. He grew up in a hard environment, and outside of his immediate group he doesn't trust a single person at their word. Even if he has no reason to, even if they've shown nothing but thanks he refuses to let them come too close to him.

Attributes

Attributes are the core traits of your character, your basic stats. As you can see they are arranged in 3 columns of mental, physical and social, and 3 rows loosely fitting force, flexibility and resistance. Intelligence is your character's knowledge and ability to process and comprehend new information. Wits is your ability to think on your feet and improvise. More importantly, while not stated, it is also used very frequently in rolls to notice things so keep that in mind. Resolve is your mental fortitude, your patience and determination.
Strength is heavy lifting. Dexterity is speed, coordination and balance. Stamina is your physical resilience and toughness.
Presence is your ability to assert yourself, make yourself known and display your confidence. Manipulation is how good you are speaking carefully, convincing others without them realizing it, and, most importantly, lying. Composure is how well you can avoid getting stressed out or riled up and your ability to keep cool under pressure.

To pick your attributes you have pools of 5, 4, and 3 dots to place in the mental, physical or social columns. Something of note, and a big change from World of Darkness, is that the fifth dot no longer costs double. In prior editions that last dot was twice as expensive so raising an attribute from 1 to 5 used up the entire 5 dot pool. They've also drastically changed the way experience works, and while I elaborate on that in a later post you were heavily incentivized to min max your character from chargen, which has thankfully been eliminated in chronicles.

With Jennifer Walters I chose to spend 5 points in intelligence, she worked hard and learned a lot during law school and it shows. 4 points went into physical for the physique and strength she's maintained since she stepped out of the ring, and while she's not exactly a master of flexibility or agility she can still tough out matches and is stronger than your average person.. 3 points went into the social column and no specific points went into composure as she's a bit neurotic and easily flustered.

Skills
Skills represent abilities you've learned and practiced rather than something more innate to your character. Here is the skill list. As you can see it is similar to the attributes, there's just more of them.

They are similarly divided up into mental, physical and social sections. While these are largely self explanatory a few could use a bit of elaboration. Academics is arts, humanities and the soft sciences. Science is engineering, physics and all the hard sciences. Computers is more used for hacking and programming than it's used in research. Crafts is how well you can build, synthesize, or construct things. It's a very broad skill. Athletics is how well you can run, jump, swim and all of that. I mention it because as of Chronicles it also adds to your defense which is a pretty major change from World of Darkness. Drive isn't just your ability to drive a car, everyone is assumed to be capable of that unless they choose otherwise, this is for car chases and drifting and the like. Larceny is the various skills used by thieves such as lockpicking and hotwiring. Survival is all your outdoorsy skills like forest navigation and foraging.Weaponry is how well you can hurt people using anything that isn't a gun. Knives, clubs, bricks, all that largely falls under weaponry. Animal Ken...I'll be honest I've never seen animal ken come up in a game. It's used in some of the splats for abilities but it's your dog whisperer skills. Expression is how well you can turn your thoughts into reality, through art, poetry or even speeches. Socialize is fitting in, saying the right thing at the right time, and being the life of the party if you so choose. Subterfuge is how well you can misdirect and deceive (read: lie).

As before we have an array of points to put into each skill section. This time we have 11/7/4 as the array of points at our disposal. After putting points where I felt appropriate we end up with

I put the 11 in her Mental skills, primarily in academics and investigation to represent her legal education and the knowledge picked up from crimes and the commission thereof. 7 went into Physical and most of that into brawl. Some things you just never forget. 4 went into Social, she was never a social butterfly and even now she relies more on her legal knowledge than her ability to wow a jury.

She will also have 3 specialties. These are riders to skills that will give you a +1 bonus when they are applicable. For Jennifer she has a specialty in Academics(Law) so if she need to roll for legal knowledge she'll get that bonus. Similarly she has a specialty in Brawl(Grappling) and Empathy(Detecting lies). Specialties represent a specific focus in a particular area and can be applied to any skill. You might have a specialty in Weaponry(Axes), Medicing(Surgery) or Streetwise(Dealers). I'll post Michael's sheet as well at the end of character creation.

Coming up next...Merits!

unzealous fucked around with this message at 03:39 on May 7, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Kai Tave posted:

I mean, "willingness to be receptive to criticism" is like Creative Writing 101.

Assuming game writers have bothered to take any writing courses (or learn from the ones they did take) is a dangerous assumption.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




No Thank You, Evil! (5)

So, we now arrive at the monster list, which is the last thing in the main book. As with most Cypher games, it's essentially a random list of bizarre creatures identified only by a level and a few modifiers.

Aminal Crackers (level 2) (and yes, that's how it's spelled) are full-size cookies that come in animal shapes. They attack with bites and claws but can also spit crumbs dealing 2 points of damage to everyone In Range, which apparently has no defense roll. Given that that means losing 2 stat points which might wipe out an entire stat for some of the classes, we're starting a bit aggressively.

Argle-Bargles (3) are strange gelatinous creatures with only visible eyeballs. They only have a simple bump attack for 2 damage. Their voices sound like sucking a milkshake up through a straw - and if you actually do suck the end of a milkshake through a straw, you can communicate with them, although you might not understand the answer.

The Barbaric Yawp (4) is a long furry creature with a giant mouth. It has 8 health but only does 2 damage.. unless it decides to eat you, in which case you have to roll Tough 3 to escape. There's no suggestion what the consequence of not escaping is.

Buglars (2) are insects who work in pairs and like to steal things. They can, in fact, steal an item and a coin from a PC as an action with no defense or resistance - hope they weren't hoping to carry anything precious. That said, there is a solution: if you give a buglar something, it gets confused, and stop trying to steal from you. So you're losing your stuff either way.

The Dinomatron (4) is a giant robot T-rex. It has health 8, but only 2 damage, except it can knock characters down by roaring (although as usual there are no rules for being knocked down). However, it won't attack anyone who pretends to be a dinosaur, because it thinks they're a friend. I have no idea how the PCs are supposed to find any of this stuff out, by the way.

The Fearsum (5) is a giant purple creature which smashes things with its tongue. It has 10 health and unusually does 3 damage, and can grab people with its tongue - which is just like the Barbaric Yawp in that you have to make a check to escape (although this time it's described as a "Goal 5 defend roll") and it's not clear what it does. Also, it runs away if you mention mathematics.

Ghosts (3) are.. well, all kinds of ghosts. They use regular weapons like PCs doing 2 damage, and they can also scare creatures to make them run and hide.. but again, with no defense. If it sees itself in a mirror, it gets scared of itself and hides.

Jinxes (3) are.. pink creatures with three eyeballs and horns that chatter randomly, hit people with their horns (2 damage), and start dancing if everyone in the group says the same word at the same time. So. No relationship to anything, no sense, completely ridiculous weakness.. classic Cypher and Monte here.

Killjoys (4) are orange and black robots that hunt down anyone who is having fun. They do 3 damage, but their skill is to suck joy out of people, with the effect that "you can't use your pools or skills in your next round". So essentially this completely shuts down a PC. It doesn't actually drain Fun points, and if you beat one everyone in the group gains 1 Fun, but still.. this doesn't seem like it'd be any fun (ha, ha) to actually fight.

Ninja Zombies (4) are zombies who've trained as ninjas. They do eat brains, but they also like pizza with anchovies. They do 3 damage, take 1 less damage from weapons, but for some strange reason if you manage to take one of their throwing stars from them and use it on them, it does 3 damage. Oh-kay.

Saw-toothed Witches (3) are bids with sawed beaks who like to kidnap people. They do a standard 2 damage and can steal a player's weapon with their retractable tongue if it's Within Reach. So much for your King of Swords, little Johnny! Also, if everyone in the group pretends to be a bee, they'll think it's an actual bee swarm and run away. Um.

The Skulldugger (4) is a giant purple creature made of bubblegum. It pops bubblegum for 2 point area attacks to everyone Within Reach, again with no defense. Why is this level 4 when Aminal Crackers are level 2? It has a bit more health, but that area attack is still pretty mean.

Slugabeds (2) are lazy creatures who make everyone in the area sleepy. Also, for some reason they can inflict 2 damage by singing. G'night, kids!

Vex Knights (6) are knights wearing mirrored armor who want to destroy everything. They have 12 health, do 4 damage, and always go first in a fight - but if you are Awesome around them, the goal to hit them goes from 6 down to 4. 4 damage is still nothing to sniff at in this system, though.

Weather Creatures (4) are.. well, such a broad category that they don't bother to describe them, just listing a few examples (Gloom bunnies, Unistorms, Rain deer) and then giving them all the same stats. As you can guess, they change the weather around them, but they run away if you show them a picture or model of a sun.

So. A relatively weak range; abilities that are way too powerful for the situation; and weaknesses that there's no way to find out, and if you do know them, make the encounter trivial. This is some remarkable design here.

There's only one thing left in these books that's interesting, and it's a doozie: the sample adventures!

The sample adventures come in a separate book together with some tips for being a guide. Like most badly written GM advice, it gives suggestions that are relatively obvious, gives examples that duck the tricky issues, and assumes the GM is a bottomless fount of ideas. It doesn't include even some of the helpful things from other Cypher games (so there is absolutely nothing anywhere in these books about allying with NPCs), and finishes with an advert for the other Cypher books. Yay! It does also suggest that older players who want more risk should have to play with only 1 starting Fun, which in practice makes characters into glass swans.

But we're not interested in that. We're interested in the adventures, of which there are three. As follows:

Adventure One: Lost In DragonSnot Falls

The adventure begins with the PCs being woken up by their companions and handed a message from their friend Woodlynn, the Bee Queen. The guide is encouraged to ask the players to describe what Woodlynn looks like, or what the Hive she lives in looks like - drawing them out of they want. The letter comes on a printable handout, and reads:

Dear friend, please help me! My friend, Niffle, has gotten lost in DragonSnot Falls. I'm worried that something horrible has happened to him. Meet me at the beemobile, and I'll tell you the whole story. You'll have to be smart and strong. I know you can find him.

The players are asked to decide what they take with them, and then venture through the closet, where they are immediately met by the beemobile. Inside, they meet Woodlyn who explains that she knows Niffle is lost because he normally goes to see her in the morning, but he hasn't shown up recently. Niffle sings to himself when he's scared, and looks a bit scary, but he's nice. The beemobile will take them straight to DragonSnot falls and they'll have to go from there. She'll give them any reasonable equipment requests they have if they want to make a plan, and she also gives them each a piece of candy with their name on it. If everyone eats their candy at the same time, the beemobile will come back to pick them up.

So, the first actual adventure moment of the game comes when the PCs arrive at DragonSnot falls. There's a long, rickety wooden bridge leading to it, and a "device" with red, yellow, and green buttons which flash.

If the players decide to mess with the device, they notice that the buttons are flashing a repeating code.. but doing this is a Smart 2 check. So, we get our first introduction to the wonders of the Cypher system. It doesn't matter if a character is Smart 1 or Smart 5; they have the same 1/6 chance of failing to remember a sequence of 6 flashing lights unless they spend their scarce Smart points.

If someone manages to remember the sequence and then types it back, then the device shoots a blast of water at the characters, requiring a Fast 3 roll to get out of the way. The water does only 1 damage, so it's no danger at all to anyone with Armor. However, the adventure explicitly says that everyone has to roll anyway, so that's another possible resource expenditure.

After the blast of water, out of the device springs a bipedal frog creature who introduces himself as Mr. Oddswallow. With a bit of dialog, he'll explain that he can predict the future by listening to someone's stomach rumbling, and people use the device to call him to do this for them. If the PCs want him to tell their future, it's a Smart 4 roll to make their stomach rumble. (Um, what?) Also, the adventure says that this is a great time to have someone use an Awesome point to make the task easier. How exactly you help someone else's stomach rumble is not made clear. Mr. Oddswallow does not have any explanation for why his device potentially injures people who use it. If the players try to fight him, he'll won't fight back and will jump back into the device, creating another splash of water (and therefore potentially injuring everyone again)

If the PCs successfully get a reading from Mr. Oddswallow, he'll say: "I see a crab. No, a slug. No.. some kind of creature in a striped shirt. He has four eyeballs and he's singing. But don't follow the song, that's the wrong way."

Once the players have either met, or not met, Mr. Oddswallow, it's time to cross the bridge. Each PC needs to make a Fast 2 check to get across safely, taking 1 damage if they fail. In case you are counting, that's 6 points potentially spent by this point in the adventure, which will drain at least one of most PC types stats to Zero and they haven't even gotten into the Falls yet. I really hope you're not playing that variant where they have only 1 Fun.

At the falls, the PCs see footprints leading into both nostrils, and they hear singing from the right nostril. As Mr. Oddswallow said, following the singing is the wrong way. If they enter the right nostril, they find.. an empty cave with a level 3 Magic Mushroom, singing to itself. It doesn't attack, but if any PC touches it, it turns them into a creature, randomly selected from: giant bunny, pegasus, blue whale, fast turtle, snail, and orangutan. As soon as the PCs leave the tunnel, they turn back to normal, but again there's no way to know that, so this could result in some interesting panics as someone's badass robot gets turned into a giant rabbit.

If they go to the left nostril, however, they hear rawk-rawk noises and even more quiet singing. It's a Smart 3 check to listen to the sounds and realize there are 2 creatures there. Sure enough, it's 2 Saw-Toothed Witches. The players can fight them, try to interact with them (although they don't speak the same language as the PCs), or sneak them out.. with a Fast 3 check. Yes, sneaking in to the cave, removing a creature and carrying him out of a cave with no other exits than the original one is no harder than dodging a stream of water.

Once that's done.. well, the PCs eat the candies and go home. So this is a nice simple starting adventure for young folks and it'd probably work quite well, but it does seem to suffer a lot from the all-to-common phenomenon of asking the PCs to make checks just so they feel that they're doing something, not to create a branch (and in many cases there's no branch available) and not allowing them for them failing. Also, the setting book says that DragonSnot Falls' nostrils have long tunnels inside with homes for multiple creatures, but this adventure explicitly says that all it contains is two closed caves, one of which has a mushroom in it.

Next and final: the other two sample adventures.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Just found out that the CoD Dark Eras setting for Beast will be based around the Reconstruction.

I'm predicting a *glorious* train wreck...

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Simian_Prime posted:

Just found out that the CoD Dark Eras setting for Beast will be based around the Reconstruction.

I'm predicting a *glorious* train wreck...

:yikes:

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




That's been known for a while. At this rate I'm predicting Klan apologia.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

The Underground Railroad went through the bestial underworld.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Beasts were responsible for slave uprisings by terrifying and tormenting them into that one little bit further than real-life history provoked them.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Something something about that woman on American Horror Story.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Beasts were responsible for undermining Reconstruction, to teach us the lesson that freedom and harmony are hard, but they were too good at their jobs. Now everyone blames the Beasts unfairly. If only the good people had been good-er! :sadtrombone:

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Simian_Prime posted:

Just found out that the CoD Dark Eras setting for Beast will be based around the Reconstruction.

I'm predicting a *glorious* train wreck...

The most heroic depiction of the KKK since Birth of a Nation

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


"Stares wistfully at copy of WoD Gypises and WoD Dark Ages: Reconstruction*

"Chewie...we're home"

Kellsterik
Mar 30, 2012


NutritiousSnack posted:

The most heroic depiction of the KKK since Birth of a Nation

Heroic with a capital H, imo. It seems pretty obvious that the hook they're hanging this on is the Klan as lionized folk Heroes who are actually evil.

unzealous
Mar 24, 2009

Die, Die, DIE!



Part 3: Merits!
Actually, before we dive into Merits there are a few things we can fill out on our sheet first.

Derived Attributes
Several of these result from simply adding a few of your attributes together. Health is just our Stamina plus our Size, the default size for an adult being 5. Defense is the lower of our Wits or Dexterity plus our Athletics score. Initiative is our Dexterity plus our Composure. Speed is how fast we can run and is our strength plus our dexterity plus 5. All of this information can also be found at the bottom of the character sheet.

Willpower deserves its own special section. Itís the primary resource you spend in Chronicles and represents just how hard you can keep pushing yourself, mentally and physically. You can spend one willpower an action to either gain a 3 dice bonus or a +2 bonus to a resistance trait, which equates to your opponent rolling 2 fewer dice to affect you. You must also spend it for certain merits as well and those will clearly state it before hand. You have a maximum of your Resolve plus your Composure.

There are a few ways of getting willpower back. The easiest is just a good nightís sleep, which will replenish a point. Then acting with your vice. If, during a scene, the ST believes you acted according to your vice then you gain a willpower point back. For our example character Jennifer Walters, she might finally get fed up with her neighbor playing nightcore at 2am and punch him when he answers his door. Of course there may or may not be consequences for this but it makes her feel drat good. A virtue is a bit harder to pull off as it requires acting in their virtue while at exposing themselves to danger or significant risk. Michael Beck, the gang member, knows that one of the gang has been captured in enemy territory. The rest write him off as a lost cause, itís too dangerous, but to Michael those bonds of camaraderie are nigh unbreakable. If he decides to go it alone and try to rescue him he can try to fulfil his virtue. The difference is that, while fulfilling a vice replenishes a point of willpower fulfilling a virtue replenishes ALL of your willpower, to itís maximum amount.

Merits

Merits serve as a way of giving your character abilities and resources they can use during the game to great effect. They are generally things that will let them stand out or make tasks much easier. Each character has 7 dots of merits to allocate at character creation and they can really choose anything they wish. A caveat is that you should make sure itís going to fit the game and the character. If your ST is running a game about people in a run down, decrepit, apartment being a multimillionaire seems a bit off. Some merits, such as the Style merits, give additional effects as you put more dots into them with the more dramatic and game changing abilities available only after a considerable investment.

Something important that was added to Chronicles of Darkness that the other editions lacked is whatís referred to as the Sanctity of Merits. Letís say you were playing World of Darkness and you spent merit points to have a retainer, someone who does things for you regularly. In a series of unfortunate events they end up dying. Not only are they dead but those points you invested in them are gone, poof, never coming back. In chronicles you keep those dots and they can be reallocated to other merits. The book lists things like putting them into safe house to show your characters fear that the same will happen to them. These changes arenít immediate however and may take a session or two to kick in. With ST permission you can also refund them for straight XP to be used somewhere else.

There are a few terms that will be mentioned here that could use some explanation. 8 and 9 again means if you roll that number or higher you keep the success and reroll the die. This greatly increases the chances of getting an exceptional success. Meditation can help you deal with stressful situations that occur over the course of the day, especially when you think it's going to be a bad one. A rote action is a roll where you can reroll every dice that doesn't come up as a success once.

Mental Merits

Area of Expertise - You can choose a specialty and increase the bonus from +1 to +2
Common Sense - Once per session you can roll and ask the ST a question from a list that they must answer honestly, like ďWhat is the safest choice.Ē
Direction Sense - Never disoriented
Eidetic Memory - You remember everything, and if you need to remember a minute detail from something that happened in the past itís fairly easy roll.
Encyclopedic Knowledge - You can choose a skill, at any time you can roll Intelligence + Wits to gain a bit of pertinent information concerning it and the situation at hand.
Eye for the Strange - You can roll to know conclusively whether something has a mundane or supernatural explanation.
Fast Reflexes - Increases your initiative score
Good Time Management - On extended actions, those that require multiple rolls to represent a significant time expenditure, reduce the amount of time each roll represents.
Holistic Awareness - You can treat nonlethal damage with things at hand and can utilize herbs with medicinal properties in the wilderness
Indomitable - You are exceptionally resistant to supernatural behavioral control.
Interdisciplinary Specialty - You can apply one of your specialties to any skill roll provided you have at least one dot in the skill and can justify it.
Investigative Aide - You can use a skill to investigate with exceptional proficiency, getting exceptional successes with only 3 instead of 5 successes.
Investigative Prodigy - You are an astounding investigator, with good rolls you will tear through mysteries.
Language - Each time you take this merit you can speak, read and understand another language.
Library - Assigned to a mental skill this aids in research on the subject
Meditative Mind - Meditation is something you can do in Chronicles to help center yourself and calm down, this makes you extremely good at it.
Multilingual - This lets you speak 2 additional languages but unlike the languages merit you canít read or write them.
Patient - On extended actions there tends to be a limit on the amount of times you can roll before you get frustrated and give up or just run out of time, this lets you roll additional times to get the successes you need

Professional Training - This is an important one. It first appeared in World of Darkness in the hunter supplement and was far and away one of the better merits you could pick. When you pick this you pick a profession and 2 skills most associated with it as asset skills. For our lawyer Academics and Investigation would certainly qualify. At rank one you gain free contacts related to the field and the bonuses only increase from there. At the highest level you can spend willpower, your primary resource, to turn an asset skill roll into a rote action. This means you can reroll any failed dice on the roll once.

Tolerance for Biology - You may not be a fan of blood and gore but youíre familiar enough with it that it doesnít bother you.
Trained Observer - This gives you the 8 or 9 again quality on perception rolls, depending on how many points you put in it.
Vice Ridden - Gain an additional vice, this gives you additional opportunities to enact your vice helping you gain willpower.
Virtuous - You have another virtue making letting you choose which one you are pursuing at any given time.

Physical Merits

Ambidextrous - You suffer no penalty to using your offhand in tasks.
Automotive Genius - You can modify cars to a ridiculous extent, to the ĎShip of Theseusí point.
Crack Driver - Behind the wheel you are unshakeable and completely focused on driving.
Demolisher - You can ignore one durability on objects per dot you put into this merit. This is actually much better than the ones you might see in Dungeons and Dragons for instance. In Chronicles durability tends to top off at around 3 and 4 for hard metal object so with 3 dots in this merit you can bust out of handcuffs and tear out padlocks fairly easily.
Double Jointed - You can slip out of restraints without even rolling, and they are very difficult to grab in combat.
Fleet of Foot - Increased Speed
Giant - You are a huge person, well over 6 feet tall. This changes your size from 5, the average, to 6. This also increases your maximum health pool.
Hardy - You are difficult to take down, poison, knock out, suffocate or starve.
Greyhound - You are great at chasing people down
Iron Stamina - This can mitigate the penalties you receive from being fatigued or wounded
Parkour - This style merit gives you a variety of skills which let you traverse urban environments with ease. At the highest level you can spend willpower to gain 3 automatic successes to a foot chase roll.
Quick Draw - As long as you can apply your defense, that is you arenít surprised or tied down, you can draw your weapon without using your action for the turn.
Relentless - You are harder to chase and harder to escape from, you just wonít stop running.
Seizing the Edge - You always have start with the advantage in chases and are ready to run people down before they even realize theyíre going to make a break for it.
Sleight of Hand - You can pick locks and pockets so quickly most donít even realize what happened.
Small Framed - Your character isnít even 5 feet tall, they are now size 4 but are better at hiding and avoiding notice.
Stunt Driving - You can push cars to their absolute limit while staying reasonably safe.

Social Merits

Allies - You have friends or employees who will help you to varying degrees, starting out at small favors and working your way up to them sticking their neck out for you.
Anonymity - You are hard to track down and donít leave a trail. The more you put into this the harder it is for people to find you.
Barfly - With this merit you can show up to social gatherings and fit right in without question
Closed Book - You are particularly hard to socially manipulate, if you have dirt people canít find it, and people only know where you stand on issues if you tell them
Contacts - This gives you an array of people you can call if you need information. Each dot gives you an additional group of people to call on
Fame - You are a celebrity of some sort, whether its from an accomplishment or because you were an internet meme, the number of dots determines how well known you are. You can leverage this in quite a few social situations.
Fast Talker - Another style merit, this gives you an array of abilities to make convincing and misleading people quicker and easier.
Fixer - You can find people to do jobs for you more easily.
Hobbyist Clique - You belong to a group of people with a shared interest, and can count on their support in their area of expertise.
Inspiring - You can make people more confident and courageous with a stirring speech.
Iron Will - You gain bonuses to avoid being manipulated in social situations
Mentor - This gives you someone looking out for your characterís best interests, though this isnít always free.
Mystery Cult Initiation - Youíre part of a strange or esoteric group of people like a secret society.
Resources - This merit represents your ability to buy things. While itís assumed your character has enough to pay for rent and other necessities this is for when you need something unexpected and in a hurry.
Pusher - Youíre great at using peopleís vices against them, tempting them into going along with you.
Retainer - You have an assistant or servant, someone whose job it is to wait at your beck and call.
Safe Place - You have a secure location at your disposal, and even if attacked there you know it better than the back of your hand.
Small Unit Tactics - You can plan and give orders which equate to bonuses during combat.
Spin Doctor - You can talk circles around people, getting what you need to know before they realize how much you donít.
Staff - You have a group of low level people to assist you. While they arenít amazing they can perform simple tasks on their own.
Status - You have clout within an organization and they will afford you certain privileges accordingly.
Striking Looks - You stick out like a sore thumb, because youíre handsome or beautiful or because you are hard to look at.
Sympathetic - You are great at getting people to open up to you by telling them a bit about yourself.
Table Turner - You can spend a willpower to turn someone's attempt to manipulate you against them.
Takes One to Know One - You are better at investigation when the crime coincides with your vice.
Taste - You have a wide breadth of knowledge for art, fashion and architecture and can ask the ST specific questions about any piece you come across.
True Friend - You have a bff who will be there for you through thick and thin. The ST cannot even kill this character without your express permission.
Untouchable - Your methodical planning means any investigation done against you is going to be very difficult for the investigators.

Supernatural Merits
These are new to to a core book. World of Darkness itself had no end to ways your average person might have strange and supernatural abilities but those were printed in one of the many splats that have come out over the years. These do require a sort of consensus about what the game is going to be about as they may not always be appropriate.

Aura Reading - With concentration you can see peopleís auras to read their intentions and emotions regardless of how they appear on the outside.
Automatic Writing - You can meditate with some sort of writing implement and something will write a note giving you a clue or pertinent information.
Biokinesis - After meditating you can shift your physical attribute dots around. This only lasts about an hour.
Clairvoyance - You can project your senses to another location and experience it like you were actually there.
Cursed - Your death has been foretold in some mysterious way, which is good because from here until then you know youíll be fine.
Lay on Hands - Through faith or devotion or some other means you can heal people with a touch.
Medium - You can contact spirits and ghosts.
Mind of a Madman - You can understand the mind of even the most insane and deviant but it comes with a cost.
Omen Sensitivity - You know there are signs and omens everywhere, and can interpret meaning from these.
Numbing Touch - You can drain willpower with your touch
Psychokinesis - You can move different forces with your mind, the force in question is chosen when you take this merit.
Psychometry - By just handling an item you can learn about its use and the people who used it.
Telekinesis - You can move stuff around with your mind
Telepathy - Reading surface thoughts of people
Thief of Fate - When you touch someone you steal their good luck. For a day all their failures are dramatic failures but they think of your name when they happen.
Unseen Sense - You get a warning when you come close to a supernatural creature of your choosing, you just know something isnít right.

Fighting Merits

These have something of a reputation from World of Darkness. In the older edition these tended to be rather broken, vastly changing the action economy and generally turning people into murder machines. Since then theyíve been refined and while they are still definitely worth taking if they fit your character theyíre less likely to break the game in the process.

Armed Defense
- Makes you much harder to hit while you hold a weapon as well as giving you the ability to counterattack.
Cheap Shot - You play dirty in combat and can negate your opponent's defense
Choke Hold - You can choke someone unconscious
Close Quarters Combat - You are skilled at using the environment to your advantage and your opponent's disadvantage.
Defensive Combat - Allows you to use brawl or weaponry instead of athletics to add to your defense.
Fighting Finesse - Letís you use dexterity instead of strength for brawl or weaponry rolls.
Firefight - This provides you with several firearm related abilities
Grappling - Makes you much better at wrestling and pinning people.
Heavy Weapons - This refers to those large weapons that rely more on mass than finesse and make you very proficient in their use.
Improvised Weaponry - You have the same ability to turn anything into an instrument of pain as Jackie Chan.
Iron Skin - This merit acts like armor against unarmed attacks.
Light Weapons - This makes you more proficient in smaller weapons that rely more on technique and finess.
Marksmanship - This merit makes you a much better sniper, capable of making difficult shots and vanishing.
Martial Arts - This merit encompasses any sort of formal training in hand to hand combat and generally makes you deadlier without needing weapons.
Police Tactics - This gives you a smattering of abilities related to handcuffing and avoiding being disarmed.
Shiv - You always have something sharp and dangerous on you. Always.
Street Fighting - The more informal method of making someone deadlier without the organized training.
Unarmed Defense - This makes you harder to hit and to hurt when youíre unarmed.

So now Ms. Walters is starting to fill in more of her character sheet. Honestly there's very little left to do before you start playing. I've chosen professional training (lawyer) with investigation and academics as her asset skills. She also has a bit of grappling, a reasonable amount of spending money and some contacts from her old days in case she needs to find out what's going on that side of town, or just wants someone to talk to for a bit.

unzealous fucked around with this message at 03:40 on May 7, 2016

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Kellsterik posted:

Heroic with a capital H, imo. It seems pretty obvious that the hook they're hanging this on is the Klan as lionized folk Heroes who are actually evil.

The problem is, and this is important, Beasts are by nature murderous assholes and are going to be loving former slaves. Heroes are by their nature, and through the actions of Beasts, attracted and given enticement to hurt them/innately know what evil fucks they are. Put two and two together, and no matter what veneer or window dressing or lovely justifications you put in front of it, they accidentally created a heroic Klan.

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


I hold out hope that they won't make the Klan Heroes.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

I'm predicting worse; the Heroes will be former slaves striking out against a Beast plantation owner who torments former slaves "for their own good."

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Nah, see, the thing is you have to grog the paradigm of someone who're big on the social justice stuff (which is pretty cool, I'm big on it myself) but blind to unfortunate implications. So Heroes will be former slave-owners and Confederates, and Beasts will be escaped slaves. Only the Heroes are now claiming that the Beasts had to be kept in check because they are dangerous, while Beasts are wallowing in the oppression they're experiencing as freed slaves. The unfortunate implication? Well Beasts actually are dangerous, thereby "justifying" slavery...

Traveller
Jan 6, 2012

WHIM AND FOPPERY



There is simply no way in which this won't be a horrible clusterfuck. gently caress this hobby and gently caress OPP.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

What if the beasts were the klan and enforcing lessons about knowing your station and obedience? Just make the worst thing you can.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


LatwPIAT posted:

Nah, see, the thing is you have to grog the paradigm of someone who're big on the social justice stuff (which is pretty cool, I'm big on it myself) but blind to unfortunate implications. So Heroes will be former slave-owners and Confederates, and Beasts will be escaped slaves. Only the Heroes are now claiming that the Beasts had to be kept in check because they are dangerous, while Beasts are wallowing in the oppression they're experiencing as freed slaves. The unfortunate implication? Well Beasts actually are dangerous, thereby "justifying" slavery...

That is exactly what's going to happen and it will be loving terrible.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


LatwPIAT posted:

Nah, see, the thing is you have to grog the paradigm of someone who're big on the social justice stuff (which is pretty cool, I'm big on it myself) but blind to unfortunate implications. So Heroes will be former slave-owners and Confederates, and Beasts will be escaped slaves. Only the Heroes are now claiming that the Beasts had to be kept in check because they are dangerous, while Beasts are wallowing in the oppression they're experiencing as freed slaves. The unfortunate implication? Well Beasts actually are dangerous, thereby "justifying" slavery...

I can't wait for :heritage: the RPG

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



SirPhoebos posted:

I can't wait for :heritage: the RPG

RaHoWa's been done in an earlier thread.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Traveller posted:

There is simply no way in which this won't be a horrible clusterfuck. gently caress this hobby and gently caress OPP.

Depends on who the author is.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


I hate love how Beast is so bad it can spontaneously generate arguments even when I spend my entire day catching up on LPs. :smith:

That Old Tree posted:

Depends on who the author is.


I'm not even sure who I'd trust to do it anymore. Skemp, Jess, or Brookshaw I guess?

Kurieg fucked around with this message at 02:42 on May 2, 2016

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

Jinxes (3) are.. pink creatures with three eyeballs and horns that chatter randomly, hit people with their horns (2 damage), and start dancing if everyone in the group says the same word at the same time. So. No relationship to anything, no sense, completely ridiculous weakness.. classic Cypher and Monte here.

When I was a kid if you said the same thing at the same time as somebody else you both needed to stop and say 'jinx!', so it makes sense.
I like the idea of a whacky kids RPG.

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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Kurieg posted:

I'm not even sure who I'd trust to do it anymore. Skemp, Jess, or Brookshaw I guess?

I think my question is who looked at the pitch for that and immediately went "oh man, this sounds super great, I'd love to write that!"

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