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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



And what I knew of is from a Battletech fan who basically went out of his way to insult every other mecha series from Supers like TTGL and Getter Robo to Real-Types like 08th MS Team for not being grounded and political enough.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


What a fool. Only we Front Mission fans get to do that! (kidding)

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Robindaybird posted:

And what I knew of is from a Battletech fan who basically went out of his way to insult every other mecha series from Supers like TTGL and Getter Robo to Real-Types like 08th MS Team for not being grounded and political enough.

Insulting a Super Robot show for these reasons is like ranting about how Superman is soooooo unrealistic. I would at least understand him if he focused on Gundam's power creep (but what shounen show doesn't have that?).

Doresh fucked around with this message at 17:28 on Jun 9, 2016

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!




Evil Mastermind posted:

That rabbit has seen some poo poo. In fact, I think it's seeing it right now.

The rabbit is named after a disease that causes rabbits to develop skin tumors, fatigue and fever before finally killing them. Of course she's seen some poo poo.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Didn't Australia wage all out war on its invasive rabbit population?

Did they lose that one like they lost to the emus?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


NGDBSS posted:

From what I recall of prior discussions in the Rifts thread and here, the damage numbers crept up on the player side of things because Kevin Siembieda kept publishing monsters with absurd amounts of health. (Seriously, even the early books print critters with thousands of MDC.) The intention on his end was that large parties of over ten people could take them out in roughly a fair fight, but the problem with that is that no one ever actually did that besides Siembieda himself at conventions and the like. Plus KS would deviate from his ruleset like mad for the sake of fun/keeping the game moving, which is fine to be doing as a GM at the weekly game night but terrible for understanding how the mechanics actually work.

Anyway, from what I recall the other writers like CJ realized that most people played instead in groups of 3 to 6 and actually used the written rules (for the most part), so in order to deal with the Souped-Up Monster of the Week the PCs had to be at a similar power level.

Yeah, this is the explanation I've heard. Unfortunately, it makes Carella the nail that sticks out, especially with Siembieda dialing back damage values afterwards and going out of his way to take potshots at Carella's work. And that's been the status quo since, with modern books like Northern Gun 1 that are full of mecha designs that are actually pretty cool but are often armed with the game's equivalent of BB guns.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS


Night10194 posted:

Didn't Australia wage all out war on its invasive rabbit population?

Did they lose that one like they lost to the emus?

Well, they can't really win a war against a lifeform as prolific as rabbits, but no, they've done pretty well.

"Wikipedia posted:

In 1950, after research was conducted by Frank Fenner, myxoma virus was deliberately released into the rabbit population, causing it to drop from an estimated 600 million[19] to around 100 million.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

The fun thing about Palladium is that their attitudes toward fan material is so hostile that I had to get someone to furtively email me a Unisystem conversion for Nightbane, like it's the 40s and I'm trying to buy a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover.

I have tried and failed to roll up a Nightbane character from the corebook twice now. The fault has nothing to do with Nightbane itself; basic character creation in all Palladium's game is a nigh-insurmountable nightmare. I honestly don't know how you get through it unless a Palladium game is your first one, and you just get used to the process being a jungle of nonsense.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Doresh posted:

Insulting a Super Robot show for these reasons is like ranting about how Superman is soooooo unrealistic. I would at least understand him if he focused on Gundam's power creep (but what shounen show doesn't have that?).

and given he called out 08th MS Team for being so unrealistic when it's probably the most grounded out of all the Gundams (usage of tanks, mechanical issues of the MS designs - including sand gumming up the joints popping up, etc.), he's one of those types who can't be happy.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


He could probably get away with complaining about gundam shows not being realistic if he called out SEED or 00 (particularly Awakening of the Trailblazer.. ugh) but 08th MS Team was written to be a realistic wartime documentary, sort of.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Robindaybird posted:

and given he called out 08th MS Team for being so unrealistic when it's probably the most grounded out of all the Gundams (usage of tanks, mechanical issues of the MS designs - including sand gumming up the joints popping up, etc.), he's one of those types who can't be happy.

Reminds me I still have to watch that show.

Kurieg posted:

He could probably get away with complaining about gundam shows not being realistic if he called out SEED or 00 (particularly Awakening of the Trailblazer.. ugh) but 08th MS Team was written to be a realistic wartime documentary, sort of.

Or really any show where the Newtypes (or Newtype equivalents) have their vaguely-defined powers go out of control to fill plot holes.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


"No seriously we wrote into our constitution that if space wizards existed they should be in charge. That's a thing we did and it's direly important no-one learns of it to hold us to it."

God, I hate Gundam Unicorn.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Night10194 posted:

"No seriously we wrote into our constitution that if space wizards existed they should be in charge. That's a thing we did and it's direly important no-one learns of it to hold us to it."

God, I hate Gundam Unicorn.

Too bad all the space wizards are pretty much exterminated at the end of Victory Gundam.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Young Freud posted:

Too bad all the space wizards are pretty much exterminated at the end of Victory Gundam.

Oh crap. Now their elite pilots need actual talent again.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Doresh posted:

Oh crap. Now their elite pilots need actual talent again.

How will they write a plot that doesn't get resolved by soul lasers and screaming really loudly, though? (My opinion of Gundam is probably too harshly colored by Unicorn being the first full series I saw, as I'm given to believe it is not typical of the setting)

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


Doresh posted:

Oh crap. Now their elite pilots need actual talent again.
It's been years since I saw Victory but if I recall correctly its endgame revolves around the Monopoly Man trying to manipulate Lady Space Jesus into powering some kind of giant psychic space laser, so it's not entirely without its newtype nonsense, though none of the main characters are that.

Oh also suicide bikini rocket launcher squads and battleships built as giant motorcycles.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Personally, I can only accept space wizardry when it's rooted in traditionally masculine emotions or really loud yelling. Anything else undermines my confidence in my own market demographic identity!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Werewolf: the Forsaken, 2nd Edition

The MacDonnel Ranges of Australia are a mountain range at the heart of the Australian desert. The desert is full of life, in fact - just, you know, not full of humans. The entire range has around 40,000 humans, total, most of whom live in the Alice - that is, the town of Alice Springs. It's a mix of old and new in a way that doesn't really work all the time - racism, povery, addiction, privilege and entitlement don't help. The Forsaken, Pure and Ghost Wolves all hunt in Australia, and any of them could belong to the Dreaming Lodge, a group that often is more important than pack or tribe.

The original Uratha of Australia do not really follow the standard mythology of the Uratha in that their creation myth claims that the Diharim they call the Numakulla created the world and everything in it, but in doing so they also made dangerous spirits, and so they made a barrier between flesh and spirit and set Luna and Wolf to guard it. They did, but Wolf needed help - and so the People were created, born from Wolf and Moon's children, the female Ingwarelhe and the male Ingwartwe. These native Uratha were never numerous, and spirits of the Australian wilderness went into flesh with essentially impunity. Sure, the Uratha fought them, but then the season changed, they'd move on with their human groups and the spirits would come back. These Uratha were neither Forsaken nor Pure - they did not feel the need for tribes. They dealt with those spirits that could limit themselves and fought those that could not. Their packs never had more than one werewolf - most human groups had not even one. They would live on the edge of the human tribes, protecting them but always somewhat uneasy in their midst. There were rather more Wolf-Bloods than werewolves. They would share their knowledge of spirits and stories with each other when they met, and this network of songlines became the Dreaming Lodge. Each region and aboriginal nation had their own approaches and purpose, but the Dreaming Lodge united the continent with a shared goal. Even with it, however, they were too thinly spread to control predation - and so they would tolerate spirits that did not grow too arrogant and would destroy Loci that were difficult to protect. Most spirits embraced the freedom offered but hated having to put up with the rules. Wolf-Blooded were especially valued by both sides, especially those that could serve as a gate to the Shadow.

The Forsake and Pure tribes came with the European arrival in Australia. Both came in numbers to recruit the Ghost Wolves of the aborigines - by threat or persuasion. Neither understood the Dreaming Lodge network or the way tribal knowledge would spread. The first recruits inducted other members of the Lodge, as the pragmatic Uratha of the natives recognized the strength tribes offered. After early contact showed no tribes, the European werewolves were often shocked to find tribal Uratha waiting for them as they pushed further into the continent. The Forsaken integrated better than the Pure dead - the Pure hatred of Luna and rejection of auspice were strange to the Australian Uratha, and most of their encounters were hostile, though a few Pure did resolve their differences. The Predator Kings were and are the most likely to join the Lodge - the vast expanses of wilderness and overt influence of spirits are some of the closest things to Pangaea they've found, and they don't need to cause trouble in the Outback. The Dreaming Lodge is weaker now, in modern times. The urban Uratha of Australia tend to follow the way of packs and smaller territories. In the Outback, however, humans and werewolves are still rare enough that the Lodge endures with them, keeping them connected.

Rather unique among Lodges, the Dreaming Lodge has no one totem. Instead, it has a number of powerful Australian animal spirits that serve as its patrons. Uratha choose a totem to follow, and different totems have different importance in various regions. Central Australia's key totems are Arlewatyerre (Goanna), Irretye (Eagle), Apmwe (Snake), Artnwere (Dingo) and Aherre (Kangaroo). Since the recent migration of the Azlu to the area, Inutle (Spider) has fallen from favor, and its followers are relentless in hunting down Azlu nests. The Lodge teaches al lof its members a rite that lets them call out to each other for help or to share information, and each member knows the general focus of all tribes in the lodge and who belongs to which. They may even know the basic information on new prey if anyone in the Lodge has hunted it before. It's not exhaustive or firsthand, but it's handy. Anyone hearing a Lodge summons via the rite knows who's calling, from where and how far away, as well as how urgen it is. Temporary packs are usually formed for specific threats, then dissolve again. When the lodge calls, every Uratha close enough to help is expected to answer.

Of the Forsaken Tribes, the Blood Talons and Iron Masters are most common. Iron Masters were on top for a while due to their adaptability, but when the Fire-Touched came to Alice Springs, they took the brunt of the fight, and now the Blood Talons are most numerous. Hunters in Darkness are the next in line, but a ways smaller - they don't like the large, hard-to-patrol desert territories. The Bone Shadows are rare, and tend to favor their own goals over the Lodge's duty. They're useful, but most of the Dreaming Lodge finds them weird and offputting. Storm Lords are also rare because many dislike asking for help, which is a key thing for the Lodge when you need it. The Predator Kings are also occasional joiners, but mostly just like hunting things. It works out.

The Ivory Claws, generally speaking, have less interest in Australia than most of the Pure, largely because they found the local Ghost Wolves' embrace of Luna to be offputting. The Predator Kings sometimes cause conflict because of their claiming of hunting grounds, but that's about it. The Fire-Touched never got a foothold, really, until Alice Springs' rapid growth in the 70s. They quickly dominated the town and set about fighting the Forsaken. Their leader right now is 'Reverand' Lauren McLeroy, a charismatic and maniacal woman who is very good at swaying listeners. She heads up coordination for the three packs of Fire-Touched in the Alice and the nomadic Pure around it. She allows any Forsaken the chance to repent and become Pure - but she tests them with fire and then indoctrinates them if they accept. The other most powerful Pure in the area is Nick 'Wildfire' May, leader of the Black Earth pack, a group of fanatical Fire-Touched pyromaniacs. They love fire in all its forms, but Nick's managed to focus his pyromania to Forsaken territories. Ultimately, however, he'd be just as happy to see his tribe and the Alice burn.



There's a few other problems. The Kadaitcha, for example, are ancient vengeance spirits. They've been a problem for centuries, and the rite to summon them is widely known among several indigenous tribes' menfolk. They're being called on increasingly often to help deal with the rising violence in town. The ritual involves carving a killing bone which you use to curse a target - but the death of the target doesn't get rid of the Kadaitcha, which tend to fixate on some theme in their cursed victim and use it to choose new ones. They are shapeshifting spirits that can take any form, though they can never cross a line of feathers soaked in the blood of the family of their next victim. Their bane is the bone that summoned them...but the modern ritual involves destroying that bone.

There's only one 'normal' pack in the area - the followers of Angepe Ngalyarre, an old Rahu who really didn't take Spider's loss of status well and has gathered up five of Spider's followers to help him, hunt down and destroy all the Azlu in the area. Beyond that, the only real 'pack' is the Fire Walkers - entirely Wolf-Bloods and their human allies. They operate in Alice Springs, behind enemy lines, to learn about the Fire-Touched movements and their plans. They have people everywhere in town, but so do the Pure, and they know they don't know all the Pure followers. They live in constant fear of exposure and kidnapping. Some want to expose the Fire-Touched and their activities, but the rest are sure that'd get them killed. The last major figure in the area is Simon Weir - better known as Deathtrap. He was a Bone Shadow Ithaeur whose pack came out to the desert and got murdered by local spirits for wandering too close to a hidden Locus. He fled, and the shame of it broke him. He now traps every part of his territory - but his territory moves, as he keeps hunting for that Locus again so he can get his revenge. He leaves the traps behind, and as he's gotten closer to popualted areas, he's started being a danger to local humans.

The Alice isn't a big town, and it is very spiritual. The Fire-Touched like it that way, and like to recruit the desperate there. The weak Loci in town also tend to form around social tragedies, which gives the Fire-Touched an advantage. Out in the mountains, meanwhile, are huge cave networks. EVery year some tragedy leads to a new Locus out in the dark, and the Forsaken watch them closely. At leasto nce a year, some kind of monster will come out to hunt, and usually the Lodge is not fast enough to stop them before someone dies. The real danger, though, is the Gap - an American military base near the Alice. A few years ago, a farmer found a burned out metal container after a fireball crashed into the ground. He gave it to the cops, who gave it to the soldiers, who sent it to the Gap. Now...well, last time some Fire-Touched thrill-killers went to mess with the soldier boys, the humans opened fire as soon as they cleared the outer perimeter, and every fifth bullet was silver. The Pure died horribly, and the humans took their bodies. Today, the Gap is locking out the townsfolk that normally work there, increasing guard patrols and sending scouts out to town. Everyone's uneasy, and the soldiers stare at everyone with cold, cold eyes. Someone opened the container, and now whatever was in it is loose again.

Next time: Tokyo

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Nessus posted:

Personally, I can only accept space wizardry when it's rooted in traditionally masculine emotions or really loud yelling. Anything else undermines my confidence in my own market demographic identity!

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was an amazing show :colbert:

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 9: The Reform School is Run By Awful People



The write-up for Saint Joan’s Reformatory was, at one point, posted on Facebook. I made a post about it way back when. (A lot of the stuff from that post has been scattered around the various supplements.) It’s been reprinted nearly word-for-word in Wicked Ways. So you can just go to that link and read it yourself. But if you can’t or don’t want to do that, here’s another one.

Saint Joan’s was created in Antarctica in 1789 to contain and reform minor witches (12 to 18 years old) who have a history of committing crimes. For some reason, the WWC treated it as a “dirty little secret”, because punishing repeat criminals is bad somehow. If you’re at Saint Joan’s, you are one crime away from having your magic bound for life. The living conditions are cold, cramped, drab, and grey. Students’ magic is not bound, but they have to keep their hands visible at all times, and it will be bound for up to several weeks if they end up in a “gulag”, which is basically solitary confinement.

The write-up stresses that the school is not for typical witches who like to occasionally turn people who annoy them into things or shoplift.

Wicked Ways posted:

Directors should keep in mind Saint Joan’s isn’t for witches who use magic to steal trinkets from a magical store or turn a mundane neighbor into a toad. Those kind of crimes if discovered would most likely end in a fine or at most a few days binding of magic by a magistrate. The girls of Saint Joan's are dangerous or at least believed to be so (There are most likely a few innocent girls railroaded by powerful enemies or who ‘s crime was an accident). Witches who have destroyed entire cities, raised Zombie armies to attack enemies or who have cast curses so heinous that they defy description are the kind of inmates found at the school.



Along with the write-up is profiles for three of the 15 staff members (divided up between 30 to 50 students the school has at any given time).



Paulette “The Stone” Stonebriar

I see Agatha Trunchbull is still getting work.

Paulette is the first and only headmistress Saint Joan’s has ever had. A Norwegian ghulvin, she was originally one of the cruelest magistrates ever employed by the WWC before they sent her to the school as both a form of punishment and as a promotion. No, I don’t know how that works either. She hated it until she realized that she could eat the occasional student, teacher, and wayward explorer and no one would give a poo poo. (She likes to turn them into mice and swallow them whole.) She likes making her students miserable.

Paulette is a Bully with the Cold and Cruel talents and the Ghulvin heritage. She has D6s in Mind and Social; D8s in Body, Will, and Senses; and a D10 in Magic. For skills, she has 33 mundane skill points, 18 magical skill points, and 20 magic ranks (with 4s in everything except Necromancy, which doesn’t have its score listed). There are no signature spells are listed for her, but I imagine the Alteration move to turn people into mice so she can eat them is one. For equipment, she has wards that let her ignore 5 points of damage and minions in the form of reanimated zombies of corpses that died of exposure.



Marceline Swenson

Marceline is the half-witch daughter of Olaf the Blue, a giant chieftain. (Who is apparently a Marvel style Jötunn.) When she was 18, she stole one of his boats, got lost on Earth, and ended up at Saint Joan’s. Stonebriar needed a Crytozoology teacher to replace the one she had secretly eaten, so she gave Marceline the job. She also teaches Elementalism.

Marceline is an Imp with the Friendly and Whimsical talents and the custom Half-Giant heritage. It doesn’t say what the heritage gives her exactly, probably the ranks of the various hyper movements, the 5 free points of armor, and the bonuses (+1 to Casting and MTR) to ice spells that she has. She has a D10 in Body; D8s in Senses, Social, and Magic; and a D6 in Mind. For skills, she has 38 mundane skill points, 16 magical skill points, and 12 magic ranks. (Highest is Elementalism with 4). She doesn’t have any signature spells or equipment listed.



Nora Vanderhoven

Nora is a former Saint Joan’s inmate (one of the first), a classical pianist, and the one bright spot that the school has. She was sent to the school when she enslaved most of her hometown of Boston at the tender age of 15. At the school, she did the unimaginable for a wicked witch in this setting: she realized that what she did was wrong. (Though she probably still casts malicious spells on people who annoy her like all the other designated good characters in this setting. She has ranks in Alteration, after all.) The fact that Paulette ate one of her friends (she has no proof that she did it) probably had something to do with it too. One of her likes is pissing off Paulette, so her decision to give up her “luxurious life” to come teach music to the students was probably to spite her for doing that. Either way, crimes committed by former students have gone down by half thanks to her.

Nora is an Insider with the Friendly and Entertainer talents and the Melodious heritage. She has a D10 in Magic; D8s in Mind, Will, and Social, and a D6 in Body. For skills, she has 35 mundane skill points, 12 magical skill points, and 31 magic ranks (with an unlisted amount for Necromancy). (Highest is Mentalism with 6.) She has no signature spells and uses pianos as her foci.

These characters all seem under powered for their age. Either the WWC doesn’t see the need to put competent witches at Saint Joan’s, or it’s to deliberately make a “breakout” story easier. (Probably the latter.) Considering how the headmistress acts, the book does heavily imply that’s what the setting is for.

The last section is, you guessed it, more character sheets. This time for characters players can use.



Princess Dominique Opal

Dominique (or Opal as the write-up calls her) is the youngest child of Glyndora’s ruling family. She’s secretly plotting to bump off the 8+ people in front of her in the line of succession and take over the island kingdom. How precious. Her character model looks incredibly familiar to me, but I can’t put my finger on who she is.

I’m getting tired of summarizing the character sheets, so this batch is just getting screenshots.



Imagine these sheets as massive columns of words. That’s what I’m trying to transcribe most of the time.



Maggie Root

Yes, you can play the awful sample character! Maggie hails from Noir Aubrey, Louisiana. Her mother and aunts are also equally terrible ghulvins that the rest of the town blames for all of the awful poo poo that happens there. Half of which they’re actually responsible for. Maggie’s just fine with this and wants to live up to their legacy.





Miranda Contessa Malderojo

Nice lips. Miranda is the descendant of an infamous family of wicked witches that terrorized Spain, Mexico, and the Philippines. Her mother, a member of the Godmother’s Guild, wants to get away from that legacy. When she’s not around, Miranda is an awful little poo poo that terrorizes mundanes.





Roxie Kildare

Roxie’s family is boring. She doesn’t want to be boring. So she's decided to be a punk rocker. She also has lesbian parents thanks to what is probably a typo.

Wicked Ways posted:

A Dentist mother and tax accountant mother

Roxie’s model is very obviously Pizzazz from Jem. (Her name is from Roxy, another Jem character.) There’s a picture of The Misfits casting Bellum Maga style Alteration spells on the Holograms on Soto’s Deviantart. So she’s probably got into the show and suggested that Harris put this character in. Considering how The Misfits act like spoiled children in the cartoon (and rarely suffer major, career-destroying consequences for it), they’re kind of a perfect fit for this setting. Links!





Sarah Austin/Kay

Sarah lives in the shadow of her older sister, Kay. (Who will not come up for another book or two.) To separate herself from the bookish Kay, she became a hacker. That seems like a lateral move to me, but okay. Her style makes me think the one Bellum Maga Alteration expert is based on her.



It’s over! But I’m not done with this book yet!

Up next: A bonus post. Just how much punishment is Lucinda dodging by being a writer darling, and why even the in-verse justifications for why it happens don't work.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 21:31 on Jun 9, 2016

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



What's really hilarious about the obvious Misfits rip off is in the show, it's clear they are legitimately talented and have a good fan following, just Pizazz is so petty and jealous that instead of building on that, she rather waste all her efforts in wrecking the Holograms.

So that's the other way it's an unintentional good fit - all that talent and they don't use it meaningfully.


And yeah, I'd just say don't use Unicorn as measure of average, honestly I'd probably put Z as what a typical Gundam Show is

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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


I absolutely adore Unicorn for it's mecha design but the way the plot resolves itself is loving dumb. And not even the "turn your brain off and enjoy the absurdity" dumb that they try and pull off with Awakening of the Trailblazer.

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"




Ahahahaha, those photomanips are goddamn shameless.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Are those adult faces photoripped onto drawn child bodies?

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


Strange Matter posted:

It's been years since I saw Victory but if I recall correctly its endgame revolves around the Monopoly Man trying to manipulate Lady Space Jesus into powering some kind of giant psychic space laser, so it's not entirely without its newtype nonsense, though none of the main characters are that.

Oh also suicide bikini rocket launcher squads and battleships built as giant motorcycles.

Actually, the giant psychic space laser powered by thousands of psychics just renders everyone on earth braindead so that when everyone's dead the bad guy can quietly take over.

The main characters and his friends are also Newtypes, though the show doesn't really focus on that.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Kurieg posted:

I absolutely adore Unicorn for it's mecha design but the way the plot resolves itself is loving dumb. And not even the "turn your brain off and enjoy the absurdity" dumb that they try and pull off with Awakening of the Trailblazer.

The music was also astonishingly good, at least.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Werewolf: the Forsaken, 2nd Edition

So, we've had a spate of real good setting stuff, so it's time for a pretty bad one: Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo's Uratha face challenges based on, uh, the fact that apparently up until very recently almost all of them were Ainu, and while that is no longer the case, most supernaturals will assume any werewolf is Ainu and will probably be racist about it. Because that's where we're going here. Apparently, a Hokkaido myth of the Ainu claims that the White Wolf God Retaruseta Kamuy wanted a wife, but could find none on the island, so he called a goddess from across the sea, and the Ainu were born of the union. It is apparently considered completely and totally true by the Tokyo Forsaken, who hold that the White Wolf, whom they name Ebba-Ur, is a father figure and may in fact have been Father Wolf. The goddess serves as a mother figure, and foreign Uratha tend to assume she's Luna, though the natives apparently don't. The extended Uratha myth holds that all Ainu have the White Wolf's blood, and so any Uratha native to Japan will have Ainu heritage, and apparently some of them believe that non-Japanese werewolves are an entirely different kind of being. Because yeah, we're going there.

Tokyo's had werewolves forever because it's had Ainu forever, though many Ainu prefer not to self-identify for fear of persecution. Tokyo has more packless Uratha than pretty much anywhere else in the world, apparently, and this has left them without much in the way of history - no protectorate ever really forms. Since the 90s, however, they've been studied by a corporation called the Hototogisu who are intersted in bribing and blackmailing werewolves, apparently because they want to know how to make fetishes and travel in Shadow, though I've no idea what use these would actually be to them, as they'd be unable to use them. There is no formal Uratha society in Tokyo - packs are rare, and only one tradition holds: no religious shrine must ever be violated. This applies to Shinto and Buddhist shrines, but also Catholic churches and other religious places. The Uratha name these places 'tur', safe places, and almost every local will fight to protect them. Many of these places are also Loci, and there's more of 'em than there are werewolves, so most Forsaken dedicate themselves to caring for at least one shrine.

Tokyo's packless culture is highly informal. The Forsaken run some dead drop boxes that anyone recognized by Minato Ward can get one of. I have no idea who organizes this, since there is explicitly no organization. Likewise, some Uratha apparently make Uratha-specific zines to keep people aware of ocal threats and help communication. But there's no one organizing them besides these handful of people. The largest pack does help out - they're called The Few Against Many, and they sneak coded messages into tape loops of trucks that blare out political messages. Werewolves also use graffiti a lot to communicate. The Pure and Forsaken kind of get along in Tokyo, if not well, for no adequately explained reason. The Few Against Many are trying to consolidate the place into a collective protectorate, but its not really working.



The biggest problem for Tokyo werewolves is that it's overpopulated with spirits, and this produces a hell of a lot of magath, who are unpredictable, destructive and generally have eyes bigger than their spiritual stomachs, which ends with them going out in a blaze of glory. That's not the only problem, though - there's also a human cult dedicated to tearing down the Gauntlet. They refuse to name themselves, but practice chants they call a Notoba no Kokai, or Word Voyage and...and these guys are Les Voyageurs from hunter, but with more sacrifice of their own blood to feed spirits. Tokyo also has shartha problems like anywhere, but has three unique types of Hosts, which...I'm gonna be honest, they suck. First up are the Karasu or halaku, crow-hosts that enslave humans and force them to make nests out of human bone, then moves on to a new family to gently caress up. For no reason. Also they don't kill their hosts somehow despite pecking out their eyes and living inside them. They're still better than the Semi/Sidalaaghu - the Cicada-Hosts. They make noise. That's it. They appear between August and September, and all they do is make noise. The game's suggestion for defense against them is literally this: "the best defense against the Semi is thick walls, coupled with passionate, nubile neighbors to drown out the noise." last are the Kani/alaghidam, the crab-hosts, which destroy fishing boats. They apparently have a major, known nest in Odaiba that the werewolves believe is impossible to deal with and so only go to if they feel suicidal. This is all that is said about them.

Besides the Few Against Many, there is only one other pack in Tokyo: 36LOVE, a group of 36 werewolves spread across Japan that are attempting to control the Japanese entertainment industry, and apparently have enough power to force their Wolf-Blooded family into bands, news positions and film jobs. Because if there's one thing that werewolves are good at, it's conspiring to control the media.

I hate Tokyo. This feels like it was written by a particularly wordy anime club rather than anyone who knows anything at all about Japan.

Next time: Poland, which is actually really good, unlike Tokyo

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



MonsieurChoc posted:

Actually, the giant psychic space laser powered by thousands of psychics just renders everyone on earth braindead so that when everyone's dead the bad guy can quietly take over.

The main characters and his friends are also Newtypes, though the show doesn't really focus on that.

That's kinda why I said that it pretty much kills off a large portion of the Newtypes in the Universal Century. When Angel Halo goes up, that's like 90%-95% of the Earth Sphere's Newtypes powering the thing.

Night10194 posted:

How will they write a plot that doesn't get resolved by soul lasers and screaming really loudly, though? (My opinion of Gundam is probably too harshly colored by Unicorn being the first full series I saw, as I'm given to believe it is not typical of the setting)

It's kind of important to remember that the Newtypes, as written by Tomino and the original staff at Sunrise, was supposed to be kind of a space hippie idea born out of the new age mysticism and coming from the idealism of the student movements. Later, when we get to Zeta Gundam and later Tomino efforts, there's a touch of cynicism with the Newtypes, with this new generation being seduced or coerced by older men into war machines. By the time we get to Victory, he's wanting to kill them all off. He's mellowed out considerably since then and has less violent and nihilistic resolutions: for instance, in a short animation he did for the Nu Gundam Master Grade, he basically rewrites an entire character's fate from the original movie.

It's also important to remember that the guy who wrote Unicorn is like the Japanese Tom Clancy, he's this big revanchist who believes that Japan should be free of foreign influences and it shows in Unicorn.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I definitely got that part in Unicorn, which was odd to me because I'd always heard Gundam was really critical of the Imperial Japanese and treated the entire war as a huge tragedy on both sides (which is basically true).

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Pathfinder Bestiary 2: Hangman Tree to Krenshar

Hangman Tree (CR 7 Huge Plant)
What evil lurks in the hearts of plants? A lot, apparently, as this sapient willow tree is Neutral Evil and lives to kill. It utilizes its vines as nooses to wrap and strangle its prey. It can also release spores that cause those who fail a Will save to begin hallucinating and believe that the hangman tree is actually just inanimate and totally not moving its vines up to their neck. I'm not sure why it needs to be almost as smart as an orc to do this, or is Neutral Evil for doing a thing that carnivorous plants already do on a small scale, but oh well. :shrug:



Hellcat (CR 7 Large Outsider [Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful])
Looking like an escapee from a metal album cover, hellcats are technically not devils, but it probably doesn't matter much when they have the same creature type, subtypes, and alignment. They are solitary hunters on the volcanic plains of Hell, killing for fun since Outsiders technically don't need to eat. The most important thing to remember about hellcats is the fact that they have human level Intelligence scores. They demand respect from others and will plan long and exacting revenge plots if they don't receive it, and both devils and mortal summoners alike get put on their poo poo list if they treat the hellcat like it is a mere animal. The hellcat's glowing red blood is a two-edged sword, becoming nearly invisible in bright light but making it unable to use darkness to its advantage.


Herd Animals
Real world herbivorous mammals that dwell in herds. Pathfinder Bestiary the first had bison and aurochs, so big bovine favoritism there. Here, instead, we have a caprine and a camelid. The camel (CR 1 Large Animal) reflects the dromedary camel, while the ram (CR 1 Medium Animal) is the American bighorn sheep. The camel gets a projectile spit attack that forces a DC 13 Fortitude save to avoid 1d4 rounds of sickness and teh ram gets a charge attack that boosts their gore damage from 1d4 to 1d8. Neither really has anything else to really note.


Hippocampus (CR 1 Large Magical Beats [Aquatic])
Horses, but underwater. How majestic. Their presence in mythology as the chariot-pullers of sea gods or use in Medieval heraldry isn't really touched here, and instead they're just horses but for merfolk and nothing more.


Hippogriff (CR 2 Large Magical Beast)
While Harry Potter may have made them famous to a wider audience, hippogriffs have been around since the Classical era. The traditional meaning of the hippogriff in its earliest forms is lost to time, buy for Roman philosophers and Medieval thinkers it was either a representation of the nature of impossibility, the conquering power of love, or something in between. For Pathfinder's part, their hippogriff is an absurdist creature literally made by a wizard who thought it would be funny to blend griffon and horse together because they are natural enemies. They are territorial loners that fiercely protect their domains from each other while also being forced to contend with wyverns, griffons, and dragons, which all consider the hippogriff tasty prey. Hippogriff in turn prey on mammals such as coyotes and deer, but also require grass to help aid in digestion of their prey. And where can you find mammals of that size and grass together in abundance? Farms, of course, which is why livestock ranchers are swift to put bounties on hippogriffs when they move into more humanoid-heavy areas.

For those who want to own a hippogriff alive rather than as a stuffed trophy, they are easier to train than griffons and fiercely loyal if taught right, being treated as Animals rather than Magical Beasts for the purposes of Handle Animal checks. An egg can go for 200gp and a trained adult can fetch as much as 5,000.


Hippopotamus (CR 5 Large Animal)
The common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) is well-known by now for being a horrible temperamental murderbeast whose speed and ferocity surpasses its comically rotund appearance – this is reflected in the game by a 2d8 bite attack, access to the Capsize ability, and a base land speed of 40. Did you know that they secrete a natural sunscreen that also has antibacterial properties, though? The Pathfinder devs apparently did their homework on that, a they get a +2 bonus to saves against non-magical disease due to this "blood sweat". If common hippopotami aren't enough for you, though, stats are also provided for the behemoth hippopotamus (CR 10 Huge Animal), an elephant-sized hippopotamus that is also omnivorous. That's right, not only is it an extremely large hippo, it's an extremely large hippo that wants to eat you. That sure is some escalation right there.



Hound of Tindalos CR 7 Medium Outsider [Evil, Extraplanar])
The Hounds of Tindalos come from a Frank Belknap Long horror short story of the same name, eventually becoming associated with the shared Cthulhu mythos. Pathfinder's hounds are cruel, cunning, and merciless terrors that actively hunt those who break the boundaries of time and space, through either time travel, divination, or teleportation "without regard to how this movement impacts subtle magical currents in the multiverse". They are constantly appearing and reappearing, being capable of casting Greater Teleport once every round a a swift action and Plane Shift 3/day as long a the destination is at a fixed angle. Someone dumb enough to attempt to mind-read or telepathically talk to a hound suffers 5d6 nonlethal damage and 2d4 rounds of confusion. For its own offensive powers, a hound has biting and clawing attacks and a gaze attack that deals 5d6 slashing damage if you don't succeed a DC 18 Fortitude save. Rather strangely for a creature that has an active "gently caress the wizard" vibe to its flavor, hounds of Tindalos only have magic resistance 10 and have Dimensional Anchor as their only direct counterspell option.


Howler (CR 3 Large Outsider [Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar])
I had originally thought that the howler was a monster created for the 3E Monster Manual, but rechecking it turns out that it was actually something back from AD&D's Planescape material. Go figure. Regardless of origins, these guys are weird emaciated monkey-cat things with skeletal heads and backs coated in quills that dwell in the Abyss. Like their devilish counterpart that is the hellcat, howlers hunt and kill prey just for the fun of it rather than to sustain themselves, but unlike the hellcats they have no sense of self-importance and status. Howlers are pure cruelty and savagery on four legs, none of that "desiring respect" business here. The howler's howl forces a DC 12 Will save to avoid succumbing to a pseudo-disease curse that deals 1 Wisdom damage per hour, and anyone that gets damaged by a howler's quills either in an offensive or defensive capacity needs to make a DC 14 Reflex save or have one of its quills break off in their flesh, which causes the target to suffer the sickened condition until someone pulls the quill out.


Ifrit (Class Level-Dependent Medium Outsider [Native])
Remember the genasi of Planescape (and later the Forgotten Realms)? Well, they're back, now with convenient new names since the genasi weren't Open Game Content! The ifrit is the planetouched of fire, being born from the union of a humanoid and an efreeti or some other being of elemental flame. On top of being red-skinned, pointy-eared, and horned, ifrits are innately pyromaniacal, impulsive, and passionate about anything they believe in. Mechanically, they've got +2 Dex and Charisma but -2 Widom, darkvision, 1/day casting of Burning Hands, fire resistance 5, treat their Charisma as 2 higher for all Sorcerer spells and clas features if they have the Elemental (Fire) Sorcerer bloodline, and cast all Fire domain spellas with a +1 to their caster level. I'm guessing you can probably already surmise what the other three elemental planetouched are going to be like.



Inevitables
Ah, the inevitables. The original "the universe is knocking, and it says you're gonna die" plane police from back in the first edition of Planescape. I like the inevitables, I really do. They and the modrons are some of the few times I've seen "Law = Robot" and not been inexplicably annoyed, though that could just be nostalgia talking. That's why it's kind of sad that they lose a bit of a their oomph here in PB2. The fact that the aeons, Outsiders who do the same thing but far more inscrutably due to being uncontrollable True Neutral forces of nature, are introduced in the same title sort of dampens the effect of "oh hey the inevitables are back". I'm not necessarily against two creatures holding the same niche at all, of course, it's just that it does make the inevitables feel a bit less impactful in this case. On the plus side, there's no anhydruts here since they weren't OGC.

Arbiter (CR 2 Tiny Outsider [Extraplanar, Inevitable, Lawful])
Oh hey, it's an Outsider that is Challenge Rating 2 and size Tiny. Could this possibly mean the same thing that has meant every other time it's come up so far?

Yes, of course it does. To shoehorn in the reasoning these guys would be improved familiars in the first place, the fluff behind these vaguely modron-looking floating eyebots is that they act like little shoulder consciences that keep you from straying too far into Chaos instead of being the defenders of a universal constant. Arbiters can always sense the direction (but not distance) of its nearest superior inevitable, release a 3d6 damage electrical burst in a 10 foot radius that ha the side-effect of stunning itself for a whole day, and cast Command, Commune, Detect Chaos, Make Whole, and Protection From Chaos as spell-like abilities. They also get a +4 to disbelieve illusions created by creatures of Chaos thanks to their special eye.

Kolyarut (CR 12 Medium Outsider [Extraplanar, Inevitable, Lawful])
Kolyaruts are burly metal men in charge of dealing with those who break oaths and contracts. They prefer to wear concealing cloaks, cast Disguise Self, and pretend to be some weird mute wandering warrior until they have their prey in sight, at which point they reveal their true natures for shock value. Kolyaruts are also built with an expansive knowledge of mortal social customs and savoir-faire specifically so that they can be extremely dramatic elegant in the proclamations of their quarry's sins and in issuing challenges on the battlefield. In combat, they wield a +2 bastard sword and can cast spell-like abilities that include Discern Lies, Enervation, Hold Monster, Fear, Invisibility, Mark of Justice, and Vampiric Touch.

Lhaksharut (CR 20 Huge Outsider [Extraplanar, Inevitable, Lawful])
Six-armed and vaguely angelic inevitables, the lhaksharuts are defenders of planar segregation. While regular planar travel doesn't get their attention, trying to link two planes together for the long term or attempting to invade another plane and conquer it gets them fired up. All lhaksharuts tend to have a very blunt approach to fixing these problems and aim to either break the object or kill the person that is keeping the planar link up. Their beatdowns involve four arms wielding weapons and two utilizing special generators that can shoot a 100 foot range blast of any type of energy damage for 10d6 damage of that type, a well a spell-like abilities such as Dimensional Anchor, Dimensonal Lock, Disintegrate, Shield of Law, and Wall of Force. You can attempt to negotiate with a lhaksharut on why linking two planes for a little while is a good idea, but you'd better have your argument written in triplicate if you want to have a snowball's chance in hell of actually convincing it. When not out on murder sprees, lhaksharuts maintain a system of informants throughout the planes, giving them treasures from those it has slain in exchange for information on any potential transgressors plotting to make a mess of things.

Marut (CR 15 Large Outsider [Extraplanar, Inevitable, Lawful])
The marut is an inevitable that gets its name from a group of Hindu storm gods, and inherited from their mythological namesakes a penchant for wearing golden armor and the ability to wield the power of lightning and thunder, though the resemblance ends there. They are the inevitables that come to remind you that death is certain. Divine your own death to avoid it? That's a marut on your rear end. Become a lich? Marut's coming for you. Using magic to just keep youthening yourself over and over? You guessed it, marut comes a-knockin'. They rarely speak and seldom seek allegiances with others, instead preferring to act as ever-marching forces of nature that creep up on their victims sooner or later.

Unlike other inevitables, maruts don't wield weapons, instead piledriving targets with their big onyx fists. On top of 2d6 slam damage, these punches can choose to either be a "fist of lightning" that deals 3d6 electricity damage and 2d6 rounds of blindness or "fists of thunder" that deal 3d6 sonic damage and 2d6 rounds of deafness. Maruts also have a catalogue of spell-like abilities that include Chain Lightning, Circle of Death, Earthquake, Fear, Greater Dispel Magic, and Mass Inflict Light Wounds.

Zelekhut (CR 9 Large Outsider [Extraplanar, Inevitable, Lawful])
The most coppy of the planar cops, these clockwork winged centaur guys go out to hunt people who escape the justice of their society's laws. They don't actually care about the spirit of the law so much as the letter, which means that a zelekhut won't lift a finger against a tyrannical Lawful Evil society that is technically working within its own laws but will hunt down and execute the Chaotic Good local Robin Hood figure who managed to escape the hangman's noose at the last minute. Their weapon of choice are two chains fused into their arms that deal an extra 1d6 electricity damage on top of the normal injuries and trip attacks chains are used for, and their spell-like abilities include Dimensional Anchor, Dispel Magic, Fear, and Hold Person; in case you didn't notice, there's a trend towards movement lockdown SLAs for inevitables.



Jabberwock (CR 23 Huge Dragon [Air, Fire])
Pathfinder: a game where the nastiest critter in a book can be something from a nonsensical rhyme. Meet the jabberwock, the rabbit-toothed sewer of your demise and strongest monster in the whole of the Pathfinder Bestiary 2. This exceedingly ancient dragon comes from the primordial fairy realm, literally born from the mad dreams of the ancient fey gods, and seeks only to bring death and ruin to the Material Plane. The ancient form of magic item known as vorpal weaponry was forged specifically to cleave the seemingly impervious hide of the ancient jabberwock. Of course, even if a great hero slays the jabberwock, the fey gods will eventually slumber once more and dream of yet another one for future generations. I'm not sure where the jabberwock wins over the tarrasque in this same concept of "thing that appears once every few centuries and is extremely hard to kill", but I will admit that artist Eric Belisle does manage to give some savagery and menace to the beast without deviating too far from the classic Through the Looking Glass illustration.

Mechanically, while not as impervious as the tarrasque, the jabberwock is nonetheless built like a tank. It's got immunity to fire, paralysis, and sleep, 30 resistance to every other type of energy damage except cold (which it has a vulnerability to), 31 spell resistance, and 15 damage reduction that is bypassed by (of course) vorpal weaponry. It has a panoply of natural attacks as befitting a dragon, shoots 15d6 damage fire blasts from its eyes, creates severe wind conditions due to its "whiffling" motion during any full attack action, and has the Burble. Oh man, the Burble. This is a concentrated blast of inhuman utterances and madness-tinged nonsense in dozens of languages spoken all at once, capable of being used once every 1d4 rounds. The Burble can either be used to force a DC 31 Will save to avoid being confused for 1d4 rounds or to create a devastating 20d6 sonic damage breath weapon. As you can see in that chunk of text up by the jabberwock's wing, some jabberwocks are dream-born with different elemental affinities, which changes their immunity, vulnerability, and subtype.


Jellyfish
Jellyfish are pretty interesting. Some are miniscule, others are immense. Some float around photosynthesizing with their symbiotic algae blooms, while others are active predators that can seemingly hunt in spite of their lack of a brain to coordinate themselves. Of course, the reason they're here is because of the stings. The giant jellyfish (CR 7 Large Vermin [Aquatic]) is an active predator like its vastly smaller box jellyfish cousin, prowling the open seas for things it can entangle in its tentacles and deliver a toxin that deals 1d4 Constitution damage per round for 6 rounds. Like other giant vermin, they also get a brief table noting the names and hit dice for variations that are somewhat bigger or smaller: the Small 2 HD death's head jellyfish, Medium 5 HD crimson jellyfish, Huge 12 HD sapphire jellyfish, Gargantuan 16 HD vampire jellyfish, and Colossal 20 HD whaler jellyfish. If you want regular-size jellyfish en masse, there's also stats for the jellyfish swarm (CR 6 Diminutive Vermin [Aquatic, Swarm]), a bloom of generic jellyfish that deal 1d4 Dexterity instead of Constitution with their venom.


Jyoti (CR 9 Medium Outsider [Extraplanar])
If you asked me to imagine what the native race of the Positive Energy Plane wuld be, I probably wouldn't have guessed a bunch of anthropomorphic phoenixes. And yet, here the jyoti are. These avian xenophobes dwell in floating crystal palaces that dot their radiant plane of existence and are antitheist to a fault, spurning all gods and their followers as being distrustful at best. The only thing they hate more than the gods are the sceaduinar, Neutral Evil crystal bat people native to the Negative Energy Plane, and anyone even daring to speak their name in a jyoti's presence is likely to be assaulted. Of course, anyone in general is likely to be attacked in a jyoti's presence, as the species as a whole is very much the "our needs are the only important ones" selfishness-based interpretation of True Neutral. Jyoti have a breath weapon that deals 11d6 fire damage or 11d8 to undead, any weapon that is wielded in their hands gains the Ghost Touch magic weapon quality and deals an extra 1d6 fire damage, and they have Aid, Breath of Life, Cure Serious Wounds, Daylight, Dimension Door, Disrupting Weapon, Lesser Restoration, Mage Armor, and Searing Light as spell-like abilities.


Kelpie (CR 4 Medium Fey [Aquatic, Shapechanger])
The kelpie is a beats of Gaelic folklore, a rather monstrous water spirit that can take the form of a horse or man and isn't shy about tricking humans into being a meal. That's pretty much accurate to the Pathfinder version as well. Its natural form is a slimy horse-headed humanoid with transparent skin that exposes its skeleton and organs...lovely. There's also a few added twists, like that communities near kelpie lairs (falsely) believe that kelpies can transform humanoids into more kelpies, and that kelpies sometimes pretend to be hippocampi and let other fey ride on them safely for no reason other than because they can. The kelpie's powers are the ability to shapeshift into a horse, hippocampus, or Small or Medium Humanoid, as well as a special version of the Captivate ability that allos it to ignore the "subject snaps out of the trance if they are in danger" clause as long as the danger is the threat of drowning.



Korred (CR 4 Small Fey)
The korred, or korrigan, is a fairy from the folklore of the Bretons of northern France. You may have heard of these already if you are a fan of the Old World of Darkness, as some French-only WoD book had them as a kith for Changeling: the Dreaming and they were optioned as part of the 20th anniversary edition of CtD on its Kickstarter. You may have also heard of them from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, wherein they appeared in 1983's Monster Manual II. It was from there that they came to the Tome of Horrors, and from the Tome of Horrors to here. Most of the fluff Pathfinder has on them is based more on the mythological end of the spectrum: they're short, they're hairy, they're strong for their size (Strength 19!), and they like to celebrate around ancient standing stones called dolmens. The only big thing on the D&D legacy side besides the stats is that korreds hang around with satyrs (the 2E Monstrous Manual declared that they were literally dwarf satyrs). As for those stats, the supernatural powers the korred gets access to are Stone Stride (Tree Stride, but with rock), a 3/day special laugh that stuns creatures that hear it for 1d2 rounds on a failed Will save, and animate hair that can be used to entangle adjacent targets.


Krenshar (CR 1 Medium Magical Beast)
Okay, this is the thing I was thinking of when I thought the howler was introduced in the 3E Monster Manual. That wasn't the howler, it was the other skullface cat creature. Krenshar are only skullfaces part of the time, though. In fact, they normally look like a panther without any external ears, and specifically peels back the sin of its face as a way of freaking out prey and potential predator alike. There's an oddly thorough ecology section for these guys as well. Male krenshars will have face-offs wherein they bare their skulls at each other to see how backs down first, females do so to males to show they aren't receptive to mating, and the retraction method also used to scrape away gore and parasites after feeding. It's a shame that a lot of other creatures in here don't get the same pleasure on account of having longer stat blocks than the krenshar does, because there are some that definitely need it.



Next Time in Pathfinder Bestiary 2: Leng spiders weave, and leprechauns brew. And there might even be a mongrelman too.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





Mors Rattus posted:

The Alice isn't a big town, and it is very spiritual. The Fire-Touched like it that way, and like to recruit the desperate there. The weak Loci in town also tend to form around social tragedies, which gives the Fire-Touched an advantage. Out in the mountains, meanwhile, are huge cave networks. EVery year some tragedy leads to a new Locus out in the dark, and the Forsaken watch them closely. At leasto nce a year, some kind of monster will come out to hunt, and usually the Lodge is not fast enough to stop them before someone dies. The real danger, though, is the Gap - an American military base near the Alice. A few years ago, a farmer found a burned out metal container after a fireball crashed into the ground. He gave it to the cops, who gave it to the soldiers, who sent it to the Gap. Now...well, last time some Fire-Touched thrill-killers went to mess with the soldier boys, the humans opened fire as soon as they cleared the outer perimeter, and every fifth bullet was silver. The Pure died horribly, and the humans took their bodies. Today, the Gap is locking out the townsfolk that normally work there, increasing guard patrols and sending scouts out to town. Everyone's uneasy, and the soldiers stare at everyone with cold, cold eyes. Someone opened the container, and now whatever was in it is loose again.

Australians would certainly call Alice Springs 'tragic', yes. I'm surprised they just didn't write up the entire town as a Wound.

Wikipedia posted:

In 2009 there were 1432 recorded assaults in Alice Springs, with 65% of assaults involving alcohol. Reported assaults had almost doubled since 2004. The Territory's Southern Region Police Commander, Anne-Marie Murphy said that itinerancy, domestic violence and alcohol were the main factors driving up crime rates.

In the 2009-10 financial year, the Northern Territory Justice Department's Quarterly Crime & Justice Statistics report recorded that there were 1632 reported cases of theft, and 906 reports of property damage in Alice Springs. 774 homes and businesses were broken into during the 2009-10 financial year.

Crime increase

The NT Justice Department's Quarterly Crime & Justice Statistics report documented increases across multiple categories of crime in Alice Springs in the 6 years between the 2004-05 and the 2009-10 reporting periods. Recorded cases of assault rose by 87%, sexual assault offences rose by 97%, and house break-ins increased by 64%
Break-ins to commercial premises rose by 185%, and 'motor vehicle theft and related offences' increased by 97% on 2004-05 figures.
2015 saw national concern focused on youth crime in Alice Springs, including incidents in which rocks were thrown at police.

Response to crime

In 2008, the Alice Springs town council began to hire private security guards to patrol the town, at a cost of $5000 per week. The Northern Territory government has been accused of underfunding social services for Aboriginal people in Alice Springs, as part of a wider problem of underfunding across central Australia. Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan has indicated that crime has increased as more people migrated into the city from remote communities.
Some long-time residents of Alice Springs have moved away as a direct result of crime concerns. Local businesses have spent increased amounts to upgrade the physical security of their premises from property crime, including the use of high security fences, razor wire and security cameras.

Alice Springs: Literally nicer in the CofD under the Pure than it is in real life.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




bewilderment posted:

Alice Springs: Literally nicer in the CofD under the Pure than it is in real life.

There's some cynical part of me that likes how easy it is to create a World of Darkness less hosed up than ours if you don't do enough research.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Night10194 posted:

I definitely got that part in Unicorn, which was odd to me because I'd always heard Gundam was really critical of the Imperial Japanese and treated the entire war as a huge tragedy on both sides (which is basically true).
I dunno about all the advanced Gundams but I think the general arc of Zeon in the OG UC Gundam is almost exactly the Japanese experience in the war.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Kavak posted:

There's some cynical part of me that likes how easy it is to create a World of Darkness less hosed up than ours if you don't do enough research.

I think it may actually be deliberate, IE, it would actually be less fun as a game to deal with Real Life Alice Springs.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Given the Uratha's focus on territory and being murder machines, I feel like they missed a huge chance to have the Tokyo/Japanese politics reflect the Sengoku period because the Uratha are following a similar mindset to the warlords at the time. Split all the territory up into hierarchies where some brutal packs run the show and shakes up frequent when packs challenge those above or the spirits manage to pit one pack against another.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Mors Rattus posted:

I think it may actually be deliberate, IE, it would actually be less fun as a game to deal with Real Life Alice Springs.

Probably, but it (bleakly) amuses me that we end up being the world "through a mirror darkly" instead of the one with vampires and werewolves.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





We have a Gundam thread that may be a better place for some of the branching conversation.

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:

First up are the Karasu or halaku, crow-hosts that enslave humans and force them to make nests out of human bone, then moves on to a new family to gently caress up. For no reason.

Are they yokai? If I was making spirits for a Japanese werewolf game I'd just grab the nearest yokai list and use them.

I don't know much about Australia outside of Sydney, but we've got a few cartoonishly evil mining magnates and uranium mining and giant mines for werewolves to fight and that whole 'coral reef bleaching' thing. My territory's fights are more around which overpriced cafe has the best baristas and trying to stop music venues from closing down, which isn't quite so dramatic.

Could you argue that Australia's low population density and closeness to nature means that some parts of the Outback have essentially no Gauntlet?

I'd honestly tread really carefully if I was running a campaign there, tho, since the spirit world and Totems are so close to some real-world Indigenous beliefs. I attended a training course on them and there was lots of talk about animal totems. Is there anything in the book about Men's Business and Women's Business - sex-segragated rituals?

Also our government has Shadow Ministers, which are pretty White Wolf.

An Australia that has supernatural werewolves protecting its environment is probably going to be a bit less fuckef up than the real one, for obvious reasons.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 02:47 on Jun 10, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Werewolf: the Forsaken, 2nd Edition

Wroclaw and Lower Silesia, Poland have a lot of history, but almost no tradition, thanks to the scars left by WW2 and the Soviets. Wroclaw is the city at the heart of Lower Silesia, and it has endured by changing itself year after year. The local werewolves are as displaced and broken as the humans, with little tradition to cling to and little history to draw on. Pure and Forsaken alike are doing poorly, struggling to consoldiate after seventy years of blodoy chaos. Neither faction is in control - if anyone is, that'd be Lycaon-Ur and his Ghost Wolf servants.

Lycaon-Ur claims to be the fallen king of Arcadia, cursed to become a werewolf by Zeus. That is the story he tells his followers. And they also say that in 1109, when the Polish crushed the Imperial troops near Wroclaw, the slaughter was such that the bodies piled high and hounds gathered to tear at their flesh. The battlefield became known as the field of dogs. Among them were Ghost Wolves, hunting the wounded in shame and hunger. They were desperate for Essence, enough to eat human flesh. The Pure and Forsaken of the tiem controlled anything worth having. But a proud hunter appeared to them, claiming to be Lycaon of myth, that these Ghost Wolves are blessed, that the true purpose of the Uratha is to devour human flesh and so feed the gods themselves. The lodge forms, but they keep their cult secret. The Pure and Forsaken bicker, but neither would allow such a heretical group. The Lodge of the Field waits. Jump forward. It's 1945 now, and the war is destroying centuries of lore and tradition. Many werewolves lie dead in the fighting Breslau - the name then of Wroclaw - is the last German city to surrender, and its siege leaves it in ruins. The Uratha find the Shadow overrun by fire and death spirits. There is no time to repair, as Poland claims Lower Silesia and the symbolic identity of the land shifts. Commnusim comes, displacing the Germans from the region with forced immigration. The werewolves largely leave with their human kin. A few hide in the wilds, but the Red Army swpeeps through, and while it takes many lives, the Uratha 'partisans' die. All that's left are the Ghost Wolves, hardy and strong. When new werewolves come, they find Lycaon-Ur and the Lodge of the Field waiting, dug in at the best territory. They are few, but have Wolf-Bloods and Claimed supporting them, and prove very good at recruiting newly Changed. Jump forward again. It's 2014. The Pure and Forsaken have both fought into Lower Silesia, paying for every bit of ground in blood. The Lodge of the Field still holds most Loci, and their numbers are growing. Their feasts on human flesh are no longer secret, and they opnely preach Lycaon-Ur's blasphemy. His cult grows, his message spreads.

The Blood Talons lead the Forsaken in the area, with both the Pure and the Lodge of the Field as their main targets. The problem is that they help perpetuate the violence and sabotage any negotiations with other factions - and worse, some find Lycaon-Ur's doctrine of cannibalism appealing. The Bone Shadows, meanwhile, have lost all their lore in the area, and they are trying to record new knowledge. It's not enough, and the spirits of Silesia are wild and untamed. They often travel the area in search of new discoveries. The Hunters in Darkness are busy fighting the Spider-Hosts that have flourished since the 30s, working with the Blood Talons to reclaim sacred sites when they can. The Iron Masters do their best to hunt down the Wolf-Blood and human cultists of the Lodge of the Field...but unfortunately, they wasted much of the 50s hunting Communist officials in the mistaken belief that the Lodge had orchestrated the purges. Now, they have also turned to dealing with the local ghosts, given how busy the Bone Shadows are. The Storm Lords, however, are what keep the Forsaken going. They hunt the Lodge's Claimed, but increasingly they focus on the big picture. They're building a protectorate, coordinating packs and sharing information in the war against Lycaon-Ur.

The water spirits known as rusalka and wodnik are common in the area and very dangerous, though only the Bone Shadows and Ithaeur seem able to tell them apart. They cross the Gauntlet often, appearing as monstrous creatures, equal parts fish, water and human. Attempts to defeat them have failed so far, and it is believed that the flooding of Wroclaw in 1997 may have been their revenge. Poludnica, called Lady Midday, is a powerful spirit that appears in summer, coming to kill by heat stroke. She appears as a feminine shape with terribly scythes and a cloak of dust, and she is merciless in hunting Ithaeur that try to learn her weaknesses. The Azlu are all over, and have made some strange alliance with the spirits called kikimora, spidery creatures of empty dwellings. It's unclear to the Hunters in Darkness why the spirits allow the Azlu to use their homes as lairs. The leshy of the forests are believed to be some kind of consistent form of nature-Claimed, but others think they are some kind of shartha or Claimed that breed true. Either way, they're rough-skinned bark-creatures that can take animal form and try to drive people and werewolves alike out of the forests. Unfortunately, the rites used to approach them in peace were lost in the 40s. There many legends of giants, and the Bone Shadows and Storm Lords hunt a real one - the Hive-Claimed creature called Gur Mussakana, an immense monster made of many spirits in a Claimed, which hungers for human flesh. They fear Lycaon-Ur has learned to make things like it.

The major packs of the area are very diverse. The Bridge Witches are a Wroclaw-based pack of Ghost Wolves that serve Lycaon-Ur by choosing which humans to take and sacrifice to the wolves. They look for those who will not be missed and who can disappear, and so they have high status in the Lodge of the Field for their sacred task. The Weles are a pack of Fire-Touched and Predator Kings that serve a spirit of the same name that claims to have been worshipped by Slavic pagans. The totem hates Lycaon-Ur and sets its pack against him with a terrible fury. They're the strongest Pure pack in the area, and for now, the other Pure are happy to follow them. They don't like the Lodge of the Field any more than the Forsaken do, finding them to be a blasphemy against Father Wolf, the Shadow and the hunt itself. The Amber Howlers are a group of Iron Masters and Bone Shadows who believe that without more lore, the Forsaken can't win. They are reaching out via their tribes to get more help - more information, more werewolves. They believe that news of the Lodge of the Field will get allies to come, but they aren't just waiting. They're also working to conquer and exloit the new spirits in the region as infrastructure contineus to be built, hoping to turn the new highways and roads into a network of spirit allies.

Psie Pole, the Field of Dogs, remains, but now it is a set of shops in Wroclaw, masking the existence of a powerful Wound torn open long ago. The Lodge of the Field has carefully nurtured it with a Resonance of Hunger, and Psie Pole attracts those with sinister hungers. In the 1500s, a meteor struck the ground in the area. The Lodge recovered it, finding within it an egg of lightning and gears, which they gave to Lycaon-Ur. The Lodge's secret heart is the Lost Bunker, an underground site built by the Germans - a warren of damp concrete that was never found after the war. Lycaon-Ur lairs there, guarded by wards and Claimed.

Whether Lycaon-Ur is what he claims to be or not, he is undeniably ancient and powerful. He is a creature of eternal hunger, and his maw leads...somewhere, to something else, some terrible and angelic furnace of Essence. If he is a werewolf, he has long since begun to turn into something more. He himself is the patron of the Lodge of the Field, needing no spirit totem. What will happen next is up in the air. Lycaon has been sending envoys to other regions' Ghost Wolves. He may hope to turn them into a true tribe and become as potent as a Firstborn - Devourer Wolf, a ravenous creature of biomechanical flesh, steel and lightning. Maybe he hopes that if enough devour in his name, he will be freed of his hunger. Whatever the case, the Lodge of the Field does have strange powers. They gain double the normal Essence from devouring human flesh, and each time they do, Lycaon-Ur himself gains 1 Essence. Further, they can hold more Essence than most werewolves, and can spend it to inflict hunger in the humans they touch. Potent ones can even force spirits of hunger to Claim humans. The Lodge is fanatically devoted to the cause of fuelling the divine by consuming human flesh. They reject the myth of Wolf and Luna, instead believing that werewolves exist to devour Essence and feed it to the gods.

Next time: Blood of Wolf and Moon

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



What you got is what there is - both for reasons and space, and because actual Aboriginal religion is a about secrecy. It's proprietary stuff, things you can't learn without permission from the owner of the secrets, and so it would be intensely culturally disrespectful to go into any real detail on native beliefs that way. So, instead, they focused on the gameable stuff involving werewolves and werewolf problems, while still taking some cues from what isn't proprietary about native myth.

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