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MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


I remember playing a semi-long (and pretty fun) campaign of In Nomine. I played an Ofanim of Yves, and the other players characters were a Mercurian of Marc, a Bright Lilim of Blandine, an Elohim of Eli and a Kiryotates of Jean. The gamemaster implemented a long list of houserules and the game was still hilariously broken and unbalanced.

I remember being the only party member who did not have some scanning power and so every time we met a new npc the game stopped for an hour as every other PCs scanned him/her and the gm had to invent a five-page history for the npc.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



mcclay posted:

gently caress all this Angel or Demon nonsense. I wanna play a Pagan character and kick rear end in the name of the Old Gods. Are there rules for that?

Yes. Corporeal Player's Guide has Pagan Soldiers, Ethereal Player's Guide lets you play one of the old gods straight up.

mcclay
Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn


Soiled Meat

Mors Rattus posted:

Yes. Corporeal Player's Guide has Pagan Soldiers, Ethereal Player's Guide lets you play one of the old gods straight up.

loving sick. Is it real world gods or does it have rules to make your own?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I wonder how/if In Nomine touches on LGBT issues. Most angels seem to be sexless and one Archangel appears alternately male and female without preference. Blandine and Beleth both identify as female and were lovers before the Fall, but more than one Archangel has been noted to follow very Catholic codes of conduct regarding sex and whatnot.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



mcclay posted:

loving sick. Is it real world gods or does it have rules to make your own?

Rules to make your own Ethereal - gods just tend to be more powerful. Well...not always, these days, Pikachu can probably beat up Zeus pretty handily, since Ethereals take power from dreams and belief.

Re: LGBT stuff, basically: this was written in the 90s and the issue is largely avoided. I believe most angels do not give even the slightest of shits, even Laurence.

PantsOptional
Dec 27, 2012

All I wanna do is make you bounce

mcclay posted:

loving sick. Is it real world gods or does it have rules to make your own?

In short, both. You're generally assumed to be a ethereal spirit of your own devising, not a god, and though there are rules for creating lesser outright gods , the real big names like Odin are too powerful for play. As your own ethereal spirit, you can impersonate one of the old gods, or be one of their cast-off fragments of themselves, but those have consequences all on their own. Also, in general, ethereals who manifest on the corporeal plane have to keep it very quiet as the forces of Heaven will come after them.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Mors Rattus posted:

Rules to make your own Ethereal - gods just tend to be more powerful. Well...not always, these days, Pikachu can probably beat up Zeus pretty handily, since Ethereals take power from dreams and belief.

The thing is, if Zeus is still around (if I recall correctly Uriel got him), there's only one Zeus (because he killed all the others), but there's going to be a lot of Pikachu all sharing the power of the Pikachu-dreams. In order to ascend to godhood a given Pikachu ethereal would have to dispose of all his rivals before evolving into God-Raichu.

Jenna did the Ethereal Player's Guide and it's kind of like Nobilis before there was Nobilis. A very hungry Nobilis.

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


I'm guessing they use American Gods rules? Please review that book next. My Borgstromancy skill is getting rusty.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Rand Brittain posted:

The thing is, if Zeus is still around (if I recall correctly Uriel got him), there's only one Zeus (because he killed all the others), but there's going to be a lot of Pikachu all sharing the power of the Pikachu-dreams. In order to ascend to godhood a given Pikachu ethereal would have to dispose of all his rivals before evolving into God-Raichu.

Jenna did the Ethereal Player's Guide and it's kind of like Nobilis before there was Nobilis. A very hungry Nobilis.
There may be thousands of Pikachu... but how many Mudkip?

So how does In Nomine deal with righteous paganism and stuff anyway? I mean I gather they're doing this dreamscape chaos magick stuff for the Old Gods, but what about current religions that are polytheistic or could be read as such? Are Buddhism and Hindu traditions just not touched on? It seems that you could argue that most theologies could be accomodated on the theory that angels and demons were misunderstood as gods and... demons.

Nessus fucked around with this message at 04:11 on Jan 21, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



Oh, thanks, I had forgotten about that!

I'm probably not too big into running a GUMSHOE game but I'd love to find a way to borrow its lessons for use in other systems.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Alien Rope Burn posted:

I know one of the big changes is that the original was a much more pointed parody of Catholicism. Even though it's treated as the one true religion in the original (all other denominations / faiths are wrong), you have things like Jesus being the boss' son who's only where he is via nepotism. Supposedly a lot of the stereotypes and jokes don't translate well but it's surprisingly hard to find information on it.

Someone split a thread off to review just In Nomine a couple of F&F ago (I think it was Mors Rattus) and in that thread there was a link to a bunch of PDFs of the French books.

Actually found it, here you go:

http://www.xxiemeciel.com/ins_ebook01.php

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


Nessus posted:

There may be thousands of Pikachu... but how many Mudkip?

So how does In Nomine deal with righteous paganism and stuff anyway? I mean I gather they're doing this dreamscape chaos magick stuff for the Old Gods, but what about current religions that are polytheistic or could be read as such? Are Buddhism and Hindu traditions just not touched on? It seems that you could argue that most theologies could be accomodated on the theory that angels and demons were misunderstood as gods and... demons.

Supernatural just claims that all 'pagan' gods are demons, which lets them kill them easily. It's pretty lame.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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The Buddhist and Hindu pantheons exist and were mostly ignored by Purity, as they were staunch foes of Hell, but they still dislike Heaven for the whole Purity Crusade stuff. Blandine liked them. Their believers fuel both the pantheon and Heaven.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Count Chocula posted:

Supernatural just claims that all 'pagan' gods are demons, which lets them kill them easily. It's pretty lame.
Point of order, that episode actually followed a very In Nomine (and Part-Time Gods, and a couple other games) "powered by belief, so no worship = we're super weak now" so I have no idea where you're coming from with that, and at no point claimed they were demons, at all, ever?

Chernobyl Peace Prize fucked around with this message at 13:17 on Jan 21, 2016

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Yeah, the only ecumenical nod it made there was the whole "Trickster gods are just the angel Gabriel being a dick" thing.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




VAMPIRES, PART 2

Vampire Powers
Vampires can do weird poo poo. The scope of strange powers has spread wide across overlapping folklore and horror writers, and you can take as little or as much as you want for your own vampire rules. So, the book just lists all of them, and lets you pick and choose - specific vampire types are listed for some, but that's just suggestions.

Unless otherwise stated, using a vampire power costs 2 Aberrance points. If it's a really impressive display of power, it costs 3. If it's a minor display of power, it costs 1. On to the list!

Awareness
During stealth scenes, enemy guards have an Alertness Modifier, which is added to all tests you make while infiltrating enemy territory. Your vampires have an Alertness Modifier ranging from +0 for a simple revived corpse to +3 for an apex predator. Using this modifier costs no points, but the vampire can spend Aberrance to raise the difficulty of an Infiltration or Surveillance test. Trying to hide or escape from vampires while bleeding raises difficulty by 2.

Animal Senses
Recommended for supernatural or alien vampires. The vampires has senses that humans don't, like vibration sense, detecting electrical fields, or using sonar to hunt in total darkness.

Clairvoyance
Supernatural vampires can see through the eyes of rats, owls, or other beats under their control. Damned vampires can see thruogh the eyes of those whose blood they have drunk. Psionic vampires can use ESP or remote viewing abilities.

Darkvision
At no cost, vampires can see perfectly in darkness, no matter how deep.

Infravision
Recommended for supernatural or mutant vampires. The monster can see into the infrared sepctrum, letting them spot living things in total darkness or through walls.

Drain
When a vampire drinks blood, they can drain Health from the victim's pool and add it to their own. Some vampires may have a hard Health cap, or maybe they can't more than double their current Health on a single drain.

This requires a willing victim or successful Hand-to-Hand bite attack. Once they bite once, the vampire can automatically succeed if they keep draining on the second turn. Alien vampires, or otherwise spectral creatures, may have to spend Aberration to materialize before feeding.

Addictive Bite
Recommended for damned and mutant vampires. The vampire's bite creates a physiological addiction - treat a bite like a dose of heroin. May be automatic or may be an active aberration.

Heat Drain
With a grasp like the chill of the grave, the vampire drains all body heat out of anyone they touch. A prolonged flesh-to-flesh touch does 1d6 damage to the victim's Athletics pool - once they run out of Athletics, it starts draining Health instead. This costs 2 Aberration per victim, not per attack.

Psychic Vampirism
Some vampires, often alien vampires, drain emotion, drive, or some other vital force. Instead of Health, they may drain Stability or Athletics, restoring their own Health with the points regardless of the pool drained. If you lose Stability to a vampire, it can't be regained until you use your Drive or finish the operation.

Remote Drain
Not all drains are literal biting and draining. The Aswang feeds on children sleeping under the roof it perches on. A fashion model vampire might feed on the lust of people looking at her. Mechanically, this could either be a Hand-to-Hand attack at range or a mental attack.

Field Effects
Just being near a powerful vampire can cause things to get weird. The strange, ominous changes in the environment surrounding a vampire can require a 2- or 3-point Stability test. Most of these are free powers, requiring no Aberrance to activate.

Blood Will Tell
If a wound draws blood in the vicinity of a monster, it never stops bleeding. Lose 1 Health every two rounds, Health test at difficulty 4 to stop it. May also manifest as fever, nosebleeds, or profuse sweating.

Memory Haze
Ideal for alien vampires. The vampire's image vanishes from human memory, a minute or an hour after the encounter ends, replaced with a hazy screen memory of owls and bushy-haired strangers. Causes a Stability test upon recalling, costs Aberration to use.

No Reflection
Vampires have no reflection in mirrors and maybe no shadow in sunlight. Such creatures may spend 2 Aberrance to project a reflection or shadow consciously.

Stifling Air
Being in the same room as a vampire causes you to slowly suffocate as the air turns sour.

Temporal Distortion
Good for damned or alien vampires. Time gets a little glitchy around the vampire, creating senses of deja vu or glitches in reality. The vampire's Hit Threshold increases by 1, and laser sights provide no bonus against it.

Infection
One of the signature powers of vampires is creating more vampires. There are a lot of details to sort out here. Maybe victims rise as vampires if a vampire drank their blood. Maybe they need to feed three days in a row to seal the deal. Maybe they need to die from the drinking. Maybe any fluid transmission is enough.

It's important to be careful as a Director if you go with "one bite, certain vampire transmission". If you don't give the party some way to quickly counteract the bite and aren't just very sparing with vampire enounters, you're going to go through a hell of a lot of dead agents.

Dominance
When the vampire bites someone, it turns them into a servant. NPCs are turned automatically, PCs get a Difficulty 8 Stability test to avoid gaining an Obsession with obeying the vampire. Any act to resist the vampire's orders requires a Difficulty 6 Stability test. If Stability drops to -12, you become an NPC servant of the vampire for all eternity.

Plague
The vampire infection spreads as a disease. Model it as something similar to anthrax, infected on a successful Hand-to-Hand attack.



Invisibility
Detecting an invisible vampire is hard. It gains a bonus to difficulty of tests to pinpoint its location, ranging by circumstance from +1 to +5, and also gains a bonus to its Hit Threshold. Some vampires might have selective invisibility - maybe they can only be seen by one agent at a time, or only by children.

Cloak of Dakrness
Recommended for damned vampires. As an Abberation Spend, the vampire can increase darkness levels locally by two tiers - light becomes Dark, night becomes Pitch Black. Artificial lights cannot pierce these shadows, but sunlight can.

Cloud Men's Minds
Recommended for alien vampires. Psychic power lets the vampire convince witnesses that they don't see anything - however, cameras and mechanical detection systems can still spot them. For the most powerful vampires, this is an automatic power that affects anyone who has less Stability than they have Aberrance. If you have reason to suspect such a vampire is in the vicinity, Stability Difficulty 6 to see them.

Indescribably
A true form that cannot be comprehended by human eye. Functions similarly to Memory Haze.

Turn Invisible
The vampire van cause itself to fade from reality, either into some other dimension or into a spirit form, only visible to wild beasts.

Magic
Dracula could command waves, change in size, teleport from place to place, and conjure fog and storms. Maybe your vampires have such powers. Maybe they can do almost anything. Non-traditional vampire magic like this costs 3 Aberrance to use.

Supernatural vampires of folklore have many famous abilities, such as curses and blights, or the Evil Eye. Demonic vampires can fly, scry foes from afar, build unholy structures, and even perform dark rituals to mask their own weaknesses. Alien vampires may not have magic, but they certainly have sufficiently advanced technology at their disposal.

Mental Attacks
Rather than fighting with tooth and claw, some vampires may attack the mind directly, attacking an agent's Stability pool. To make such an attack, the vampire spends 2 or more Aberrance, then rolls 1d6+Spent points. If the total is greater than 4, the victim feels their mind come under attack, feeling their sanity slip away in any of a hundred ways. The stability test they must make has a difficulty equal to the attack roll.

Supernatural vampires may have the ability to enter a victim's dreams and influence their minds. To facilitate this, they may also be able to put people to sleep with hypnotic powers. Damned vampires may haunt a victim with illusions of temptation, instilling lust or gluttony or despair. Psionic vampires could read minds, disguise themselves psychically as humans, or alter memories. Mutant psionic vampires may be able to sense emotion, paralyze targets with pain or ecstasy, or more.

Send to Sleep
The vampire performs a special mental attack that causes the victim to fall into a deep trance-like slumber. If they also have Cloud Men's Minds, they may be able to knock out an entire room full of lesser minds at once.

Telekinesis
To attack with pure psychokinetic force, make a Weapons (to throw an item) or Shooting (to hit with pure force) attack against the target. It does 1d6 damage, +1 per 2 additional points of Aberrance spent on boosting the attack's damage.

Movement
Vampires have lots of ways of getting around that humans don't. Some have supernatural speed, some (such as those of Balkan and Chinese legend) move more slowly than humans.

Apportation
Teleportation, but extra Gothic. The vampire can materialize out of dust or blood in the room, or just uncoil into space as we understand it. Usually this is a short-range power, up to 40 meters, but some may be able to go much further, especially alien vampires.

Vampires may also only be able to apport if the target space has some special properties - holds their native earth, they've been invited into the room before, within the scope of a corpse's eyes, through mirrors.

Levitation
The vampire can float through the air at whatever speed the Director feels is appropriate.

Spider Climb
Dracula did this! Climb on any wall as if it were level floor. Vampires with this power like to cling to ceilings and drop on unsuspecting targets - Sense Trouble Difficulty 7 the first time, Difficulty 5 all other times.

Tunneling
Balkan vampires can dig out of or into graves with unnatural speed and silence. Other vampires may burrow through the ground like a worm. Same ambush rules as Spider Climb.

Vampiric Speed
Vampires that move too fast for humans to keep up have +1 or +2 to their Hit Threshold, either all the time or for an Aberrance spend (once per round or once per scene). Speedy vampires can do a lot of things by spending more Aberrance:
  • Move multiple range categories and attack in one turn.
  • Close a foot chase by 2 Lead without a test.
  • Make multiple attacks in one round.
  • Make a Called Shot with no increase in Hit Threshold.
  • Jump In or use a Mook Shield.
  • Attack every NPC in a scene at once.
  • Flawlessly parry away a Hand-to-Hand or Weapons attack before damage is rolled.
  • Catch a bullet in mid-air.

Wings
Sprouting wings capable of flight costs Aberrance. Generally, they're treated as a vehicle with Speed +0 and Maneuverability +2.

NEXT: Even more vampire powers.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

THEE Ukraine

Lipstick Apathy

Spheres of Power

By request, our next Sphere is:



Weather

The basic ability is Control Weather, which is a standard action to control all weather within Medium range of you, or to the limits of an enclosed space, whichever is smaller.

Weather in this case means the wind, temperature or precipitation level.

As always, this effect requires concentration to maintain, but a spell point can be spent to let it persist without concentration for 1 minute per caster level. If you're maintaining the effect via concentration, the area affected moves with you like an aura, but remains in place if you make it persist via spell point.

There are 7 grades of Wind:

pre:
1 - Light
2 - Moderate
3 - Strong
4 - Severe
5 - Windstorm
6 - Hurricane
7 - Tornado
And then 7 grades of Precipitation:

pre:
1 - None
2 - Mist
3 - Light/Fog
4 - Moderate
5 - Heavy
6 - Flash Flood
7 - Great Flood
And then 13 grades of Temperature:

pre:
7 - Killing (cold)
6 - Arctic
5 - Extreme (cold)
4 - Severe (cold)
3 - Cold
2 - Chilled
1 - Cool
2 - Warm
3 - Hot
4 - Severe (heat)
5 - Extreme (heat)
6 - Burning (heat)
7 - Boiling (heat)
Your normal day of no wind, no rain and temperate climate is assumed to be Light Wind, No Precipitation and Cool Temperature.

At caster level 1, you can adjust the weather conditions by 2 grades away from normal conditions, so you can turn a normal day into Strong Winds, Light/Fog Precipitation and either Cold or Hot Temperature. The exception is if the current conditions are beyond your reach. That is, a level 1 caster cannot change the Temperature if it's Severe.

Any changes you make will occur at the rate of 1 grade per round. If you stop maintaining the effect, the weather normalizes at the rate of 1 grade round as well.

At caster level 7, you can adjust conditions up to 3 grades away.
At caster level 14, you can adjust conditions up to 4 grades away.

If two casters are both trying to manipulate the weather at the same time, they have to make skill checks against each other on each of their rounds to try and wrest control away from the weather - success means you turn it one grade towards your final preferred grade.

quote:

See the Pathfinder Core rulebook for more details on weather and environmental effects. Depending on the terrain, a GM could rule additional effects happen; rain can cause rivers or enclosed spaces to flood, cold can create ice sheets on flat terrain, etc. Generally, weather conditions from different categories stack. (Thus, if Wind, Cold, and Precipitation were all increased to Severity level 5, the area would be under the effects of the appropriate Wind, Cold, and Snow effects, all at the same time.)

Wind

The game notes that you cannot change the direction of the wind, only overpower it. If the wind is blowing north, you need to create a stronger wind that's blowing south to have a southerly wind.

Light Wind, 0-10 mph winds - does effectively nothing mechanically

Moderate Wind, 11-20 mph winds - 50% chance of extinguishing small, unprotected flames like candles

Strong Wind, 21-30 mph winds - unprotected flames are automatically extinguished, and ranged attack rolls and Perception checks take a -2 penalty. Tiny-sized creatures need to make a DC 10 Strength check or a DC 20 Fly check to move against the direction of the wind.

Severe Wind, 31-50 mph winds - even protected flames flutter erratically and have a 50% chance of being extinguished. The ranged attack and Perception penalty increases to -4. Small-sized creatures need to make the movement check, and Tiny-sized creatures on the ground need to make a DC 15 Strength check or else be knocked prone, get pushed back 1d4 x 10 feet and take 1d4 non-lethal damage per 10 feet pushed back. Tiny-sized flying creatures need to make a DC 25 Fly check or be blown back 2d6 x 10 feet and take 2d6 non-lethal damage.

Windstorm, 51-74 mph winds - 75% chance of extinguishing protected flames, can start blowing off branches and bringing down smaller trees. Ranged attacks are impossible, and siege engines have a -4 penalty to attack rolls. Perception checks have a -8 penalty. Medium-sized creatures need to take the movement check. Small and smaller creatures need to make the knockdown check.

Hurricane, 75-174 mph winds - all flames are extinguished. Siege engines have a -8 penalty to attack rolls. Perception checks are impossible. Large creatures need to take the movement check. Medium and smaller creatures need to make the knockdown check.

Tornado, 175-300 mph winds - Even siege engine attacks are impossible. The game notes though that this is a wind-state that's impossible to create magically. Huge creatures need to take the movement check. Large and smaller creatures need to make the knockdown check. Any creature that comes into contact with the actual tornado funnel is whirled around for 1d10 rounds, taking 6d6 damage per round before being expelled and possibly taking falling damage as well. The funnel itself can move at the rate 250 feet per round.

Duststorm - if Severe Winds are blowing in a desert, it can create a duststorm, which obscures vision and deals 1d3 points of non-lethal damage to anyone exposed to it, in addition to all the normal effects of the wind effect. The game also says that a duststorm is a choking/drowning hazard, per the core rules' definition of it.

We're only a third into the section and haven't even started on the talents yet. This smacks of being a powerful Sphere even from just these wind effects, but it's also a very dry write-up because it's basically rewriting and defining physics.

Cold Temperatures

Cool and Chilled don't have any mechanical effects, but anything colder than that is going to require Fort saves lest they take non-lethal damage. Taking any non-lethal damage from the cold means becoming Fatigued from frostbite, and one cannot recover from the Fatigue nor the damage until they've warmed up. If a character takes as much non-lethal damage as their total HP, any further damage is lethal damage.

Having cold-weather gear will let you treat the cold as one grade less severe, and the Survival skill can be used gain bonuses to the Fort saves (no exact elaboration provided).

quote:

A large fire can be used to create an area of warmth in a cold environment.
No kidding

Cold, below 40 F - Fort saves every hour, DC 15+1 per previous check made. Take 1d6 points of non-lethal damage on failure.

Severe (cold), below 0 F - as with Cold, but Fort saves every 10 minutes

Extreme (cold), below -20 F - as with Severe, but also take 1d6 (lethal) cold damage every minute, no save.

Arctic, below -60 F - as with Extreme, but Fort save and cold damage every round

Killing (cold), below 120 F - as with Arctic, but cold damage is increased to 3d6 per round. Being encased in ice further increases this to 10d6 damage per round.

Hot Temperatures

Cool and Warm don't have any mechanical effects, but anything warmer is going to require Fort saves lest they take non-lethal damage. Same as cold, except this time it's heatstroke that caused Fatigue instead of frostbite, and again the damage and Fatigue won't go away unless the character gets into shade, or gets doused in water, etc. If a character takes as much non-lethal damage as their total HP, any further damage is lethal damage.

Wearing heavy clothes and/or armor will cause a -4 penalty to the saves against heat. The Survival skill can be used gain bonuses to the Fort saves.

quote:

A large fire can be used to create an area of warmth in a cold environment.
No kidding

Hot, above 90 F - Fort saves every hour, DC 15+1 per previous check made. Take 1d4 points of non-lethal damage on failure. This is actually less damaging than the cold equivalent, since that one was 1d6 on failure, unless one or either was a typo.

Severe (heat), above 110 F - as with Hot, but Fort saves every 10 minutes

Extreme (heat), above 140 F - as with Severe, but Fort saves every 5 minutes, and also take 1d6 (lethal) fire damage every minute, no save. Again a change from the cold equivalent, which didn't make the Fort save oftener at this stage.

Burning, above 180 F - as with Extreme, but Fort save and fire damage every round. There's actually a typo here, as the temperature was listed as "above minus 180 F"

Boiling, above 212 F - as with Burning, but fire damage is increased to 3d6 per round. Being immersed in boiling liquids increases this to 10d6 damage per round.

Because the first grade away from Cool does nothing, it's harder to escalate the effect than with wind, but at the same time you can hit the extreme ends of the scale magically, and hoo-boy it looks like the effects are pretty bad.

The ugly part is how the small differences between hot and cold are easy to trip over.


Precipitation

This combines with the Temperature and Wind effects, and is convoluted enough that I'm just going to show you the table:



Mist grants concealment between creatures that are 100 feet away or farther from each other.

Fog obscures all sight beyond 5 feet, including Darkvision

Moderate rain and stronger imposes the same effects to fires, ranged attacks and Perception checks as Severe Wind or its equivalent strength. In addition, visibility is cut in half and Perception checks take a further -4 penalty.

Snow causes ground to count as difficult terrain. It requires 24 hours of Light Frost for this to happen, or 8 hours of Snow, or 1 hour of Heavy Snow, or immediately under Blizzard.

If there's twice as much snowfall as in the previous durations, the ground becomes heavy snow and requires 4 squares of movement to enter, basically double-difficult terrain.

Great Blizzard conditions will obscure sight like Fog does

For Storm conditions, you'll start to get lightning strikes every minute in random squares, causing 4d8 electricity damage (Reflex save for half). Every further severity level, the damage increases by another 2d8.

Blah. I didn't really like this part. A table cross-referencing another table is going to be an rear end to look-up in game.

Weather Talents

Boiling Lord - when creating weather that's Precipitation 4 and Hot 4, or more, you can choose to make the rain boiling, dealing 1d6 damage per severity level (so minimum 4d6) per round to all creatures within the area. Holy drat this sounds friggin' cool.

Cold Lord - increase the maximum Cold severity you can create by 1. Also, you can create an area, of up to 80 feet in diameter, in the center of your weather system where the temperature is normal.

Focused Weather - when controlling weather, you can reduce the area to a minimum radius of 25 feet and can locate it anywhere within Medium range of you. I'd say this is a critical talent, since friendly fire is the biggest problem of all the stuff we've been discussing so far.

Greater Size - your range for controlling weather is increased to Long, including for Focused Weather if you also have it.

Greater Weather - when controlling weather, you can spend a spell point to manipulate two categories at the same time, or two spell points to manipulate three at the same time.

Heat Lord - same as Cold Lord, except for heat.

Lengthened Weather - when you spend a spell point to make your weather effect persist without concentration, it lasts for 1 hour per caster level instead of 1 minute per.

Rain Lord - same as Cold/Heat Lord, except for Precipitation.

Severe Weather - when you control weather, you can spend an extra spell point to increase the maximum severity you can achieve, up to a maximum of 7.

Snow Lord - when controlling weather that would result in snow, you can choose to turn the snow in hail, which causes 1 bludgeoning damage per severity level per round to all creatures in the area.

Storm Lord - when controlling weather that would result in storms, you can control where the lightning bolts strike. If you take this talent twice, you can increase the frequency of the lightning strikes to once per round. Holy poo poo, this officially makes this Sphere the metal-est :black101:

Wind Lord - same as Cold/Heat Lord, except for Wind. You can also make the wind turn direction up to 90 degrees away. The game implies that you can use this to exert some control over a tornado, but you cannot precisely control its movements. The area of normal weather that you can create inside your area of effect can be made into an "eye of the storm", as in it's a windwall that requires the movement/knockdown check to pass through. You can also make the winds swirl in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction around you.



This is the longest Sphere so far that I've had to write-up, but it's also thematically strong and potentially mechanically strong as well. There's also just a lot of rules involved, and it sort of puts the GM on the spot as far as having to come up with weather conditions for wherever the party is adventuring through since some of the things that a Weather-mancer can pull off at low levels involves manipulating weather conditions that aren't starting from severity 1.

That said, this reads well - it's evocative of a powerful mage, but without being universalist.




Alteration
Creation
Conjuration
Dark
Death
Destruction
Divination
Enhancement
Fate
Illusion
Life
Light
Mind
Nature
Protection
Telekinesis
Time
War
Warp
Weather

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Superiors 1: Really Good Dumb Sword Jokes Are Hard

The Eternal City lies at Heaven's heart, a mix of the new and the ancient. Laurence rules over it, but angels of all Superiors can be found within. It is, after all, a city, home to millions of souls, human and otherwise. It resembles both ancient Rome and modern Tokyo, and Christians within it often call it New Jerusalem, but in truth it's more like the template on which the Earthly Jerusalem was built. Like Jerusalem, it has seven gates, which Laurence has named for the Cardinal Virtues: Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Justice, Temperance and Prudence. It is surrounded by a wall of semi-precious stone, though no one expects it to be useful if the City is attacked, least of all Laurence. Rather, the walls are symbolic, representing Hewaven's defense against evil, and when Lucifer's armies are finally defeated, they will dissolve into mist.

Roughly analogous to the location of the Temple of Solomon are the Halls of Worship, which dwarf Laurence's halls of state both in importance and size - deliberate on his part, to emphasize the importance of human belief. The Halls are a huge network off cells and corridors made of all kinds of materials. Its exact nature is subjective, relying a lot on the observer and their beliefs, but within the Halls, representatives of every religion and belief gather. Laurence openly expresses his desire that the Church of Rome should one day occupy all of it, of course.

Laurence's own Cathedral, the Church of the Sword, stands near the Halls of Worship, roughly corresponding to the site of the Church of the Holy Sepluchre. It is not subjective at all - it's a Catholic church in design and usage, with an immense cruciform sword behind the altar. It is a sanctuary, which anyone may enter and, once inside, from which they cannot be removed by force without their consent. Only Laurence can expel someone from it, and he will always give them a fair hearing...but he has no mercy for those abusing the blessing of sanctuary for unworthy reasons. Laurence's angels keep their Hearts in a crypt beneath the Church, and below that is a vault containing Laurence's mightiest weapons, in preparation for the final battle. Only Laurence knows what is kept there, and the tw Cherubim guarding the door do not allow sightseers, but rumor holds it's a big, big thing.



Variations on Laurence are presented, too. Laurence the Boy Scout is a child in the company of adults. He runs the War as if it were a game, with rules everyone must follow, and Hell cheats. He can't cope, and it terrifies the other Archangels. Laurence was appointed by God, and he won't step down, no matter how obviously incompetent he is. Laurence the Paladin embodies the highest ideals of chivalry and is the perfect Arthurian knight. His servitors are modern Lancelots, though no less effective for their strict codes of honor, and even non-Malakim take oaths of chastity, poverty and temperance. They might all carry swords. (Honestly, this is only slightly goofier than normal.) Laurence the Martinet is worse than Dominic about humorlessness, and he can't abide any idea not his own. His angels must obey without question or thought, and there is no room in his ranks for doubt, sympathy for ethereals or non-Catholics. Even one point of dissonance is a mark of shame, and more than that means Outcasting.



Angels of the Sword strive to live up to Laurence's high standards. They see themselves as role models for other angels and for humans, believing that it isn't enough to just be an angel - they have to be angelic. They have a reputation as goodie-two shoes, but only the youngest and most idealistic could be mistaken for boy scouts. Sure, they love good deeds and moralistic sayings, but the veterans of the Sword wear armor that shines on;y when they've had time to wash away the blood. They're used to taking orders, and they trust their superiors, because they assume no one would be given rank and authority without earning it. It works quite efficiently, but it does discourage individual initiative. Angels of the Sword with no orders and no superior to turn to can function fine, but not as well as they would with clear instructions. In the absence of actual superiors, they tend to stratify themselves in whatever company they keep. They need hierarchies, and the first order of precedence is rank - unranked angels will obey angels with Disticntions from almost any Archangel, if they have no conflicting duties or orders. If there aren't any Distinctions, they'll tend to go by Choir, with Seraphim on top, then Cherubim, and so on.

Because disobedience of his orders is dissonant, Laurence is very careful these days about his orders. When he was new, he was stricter than Dominic and more micromanaging than Jean. It resulted in a lot of dissonance due to narrow instructions, and he's learned that he needs to not give any more direction than necessary and to delegate more specific orders. He makes his intentions clear but leaves the methods to his angels. He would never say, for example, 'take Highway 41 to Tifton, Georgie, find the Tether of DEath south of there and bring me the Seneschal's head.' So much could go wrong there and cause dissonance - the highway might be washed out, there might be better methods of travel, the Tether's location could be wrong or the Word it's to might be wrong, the Seneschal might already be dead or want to Redeem, the Seneschal might only be killable in a way that doesn't involve the head being intact. There's too many chances for dissonance. Instead, Laurence would say, 'there's an infernal Tether near Tifton, Georgie. Shut it down.' He'd also almost certainly give the order to an officer, who'd filter it on down to the angels doing the actual mission, giving them broader latitude.



It is still possible for Laurence to accidentally set his servants up for dissonance due to bad information or the unexpected. When this happens, angels can invoke Laurence or use the Celestial Song of Tongues to contact him. If this isn't practical, you're expected to do your best, eat the dissonance if you have to and talk to Laurence later. If it was truly no fault of yours, he will absolve you.

For the first 11 centuries of his leadership, Laurence's army was highly idiosyncratic. Unique Distinctions got handed out and leadership was given to those angels that earned them as needed. By the 10th century, however, Laurence had organized the Holy Orders for use in major campaigns. By the 19th century, they had many rivalries, making coordination hard, and Laurence became concerned that Malphas might be influencing them. Besides, the old feudal model was becoming obsolete. Michael encouraged him to modernize, but Laurence had already been planning a reorg anyway. The result was the New Order. The old Orders were not abolished, but all Distinctions awarded for them were retired. Angels of the Sword would now follow a chain of command independent of Order, with military ranks. They could serve in an Order, still, but promotions would be based on doncut regardless of whether it was in service to an Order or not, and they must still obey higher ranks regardless of affiliation. In practice, things haven't changed too much. Angels of the Sword still do individual quests unless gathered for a specific mission by an officer. There's no standing units in the army, after all. Despite this, all of them report to at least one ranking superior, who is responsible for knowing where they are and what they're doing. Because angels of the Sword are disciplined and obedient, it works quite well, giving them suprising flexibility and autonomy. At any time, Laurence need only say the word and a thousand independent questors will be summoned to gather as a unit. Honestly, Laurence's organization of the entire War is similar. He has no direct authority over the other Archangels - it's just his job to determine grand strategy and make plans. It's up to each Archangel to interpret their part in Laurence's plan and act on it. Of course, it's to the benefit of all to act in organized fashion, so there isn't much dissent - just a lot of creative additions to protect various Words.

Warrior angels have been forming groups dedicated to specific causes since long before Laurence's ascension, but it was never so formal under Uriel. Laurence encouraged it, hoping that raditions of honor, dedication and chivalry would spread in the Host and humanity. Every Order must be approved by Laurence,a nd gathering a dedicated group and earning his approval is a quest in itself. The leader of an Order must be Master-ranked at least, and most are Majors or Colonels. These Orders are not always restricted to angels of the Sword and a few even have human members, but membership in some requires Sword attunements, and each implictly gives fealty to Laurence, so most Archangels do not permit their angels to join. At one time, each Order had its own Distinctions between Master and Grand Master, but with the New Order that's no longer used, though angels with these titles may still use them formally. Even in Laurence's ranks, not everyone belongs to an Order. No special privileges come with it, and no one with dissonance or Discord can join one. Dissonant members are given the same chance as any to fix the problem, but those who dishonor their oaths are expelled and amde infamous and shamed among the Sword, some so much they seek service elsewhere. These Holy Orders are most popular among Cherubim and Malakim (for whom the membership oaths count as Oaths).



The Order of the Holy Cross is explicitly devoted to defending the Catholic Church. It was formed before the split in 1054, and the entire split was heartwrenching for them. When it appeared that the Order would become divided as well, Laurence stepped in and dictated that where the two Churches differ, the Church of Rome would be supported. However, many members still work among the Orthodox, defending them and hoping for reunification even now. In addition to the Nicene Creed, members of the Holy Cross must swear: I will defend and uphold the Holy Catholic Church, and place the well-being of the Church and its memebrs above my own, second only to my dedication to the Sword. Anyone, even humans, may join. The Grand Master is a Malakite General named Paul, who spends much of his time in Rome, directing the angels and Soldiers that work in the Church.

The Guardians of the Marches are an elite cadre, mostly Malakim, who serve as border guards between the Marches and Earth. They keep the surviving pagan spirits mostly out of human dreams, though some of them have come to deeply sympathize with the pagan spirits over the centuries. They'd never shirk their duty or their oaths, but have concluded that the pagans might have some place in the Divine Plan. Many of them see these spirits can be very different from demons, and doubt that their oath not to suffer an evil to live applies to them. The oath they take is this: I will not permit any ethereal spirit to invade a mortal dreamscape or the corporeal realm, nor fail to eject those I discover, if it is my choice. Most of the Guardians were former servants of Uriel from the Purification Crusade, and rumor has it that their Grand Master, the Malakite Tahariel (who prefers his older title of High Commander and March Warden) hopes to gain the Word of Purity himself and begin the Crusade anew. This will not happen if Laurence has any say. Tahariel is a hardliner on the guard duty and does not appreciate those who show leniency with ethereals. Blandine offers her Dream Walking attunement to all of the Guardians, but she has warned both Laurence and Tahariel that she will revoke it if the Guardians become overzealous and threaten her Word. The Guardians work mostly in the Marches, but can and will go to Earth to pursue spirits. In the Marches, they are firm but not ruthless, ejecting ethereals but not killing unless they prove dangerous fighters or show emonic sympathies.

The Order of the Sacred Heart serve as ceelstial medics, and most are Christian. They minister to their fellow angels and to Soldiers and others involved in the War. They must know the Songs of Healing, and many know other protective Songs as well. quite a few have the Purity of Purpose, Holy Fortitude and Divine Absolution attunements. While there are several Mercurians in their ranks, the Order are not pacifists and will happily face demons in battle. Besides healing, they also offer counseling and advice on removal of dissonance, sometimes even assisting Outcasts. Laurence and Dominic permit them to offer sanctuary due to the oath they take: I will offer such aid, healing and sanctuary as does not conflict with my duties to the Sword to all servants of Heaven in need, and to the truly repentant, and turn over anyone in need of more assistance than I can give to a higher authority. The Order accepts Saints, and its current Grand Master is a bodhisattva who runs it from Heaven, but it doesn't like to permit living mortals to join, as the work is dangerous and a mortal healer is likely to be put in grave danger.

The Order of the Eternal Sword is Laurence's most feared Holy Order, and all members must have the Hunt attunement. All are fierce fighters, mostly Cherubim, Ofanim and Malakim. The Grand Master is Colonel Peliel, Malakite of Righteous Vengeance. The Order singles out demons (and, rarely, humans or ethereals) to be killed with extreme prejudice. They will hunt the same demon, over and over, killing as many vessels as it takes until they get a chance to soul-kill. Their oath is: I will not rest until my chosen target is permenantly destroyed, nor will I devote myself to any other activity but its destruction, except for those dictated by my duties to the Sword. SOP is for two members to perform the initial pursuit, contact the tarrget and attune themselves to the prey. One then retreats to Heaven. The one that stayed behind will hunt the target to the death. Should they arrive back at their Heart in Trauma or should their Heart shatter, the second immediately takes over the pursuit, along with a partner to act as their second at least until the first hunter exits Trauma. In this way, a demon marked for death will always have an angel in pursuit. Being targeted by the Eternal Sword is a terrifying prospect for a demon, and it's said that even Hell is not far enough to run. Other demons will avoid the target for fear of becoming targets themselves. Angels of the Eternal Sword know their reputation and value it, so they don't choose targets casually. They study their potential targets, choosingly only those of exceptional evil or those who have done great harm to Laurence's Word or the Catholic Church. It is claimed that they have never failed to eliminated a target, eventually, and rumor has it that Laurence himself has taken up the hunt before to maintain that record.

Next time: Choirs of the Sword

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



The storm has a name... - Let's Read TORG


Part 13b: Bullet Lists of the Nile Empire

The first real chapter of the book is a high-level description of the Empire, so let's dig into it.

As was pointed out last time, Mobius has been expanding his realm very rapidly. In fact, he controls a pretty sizeable chunk of Africa right out of the gate.


The Nile Empire, about three months after the initial invasion.

This is the map of the Empire at the default setting "start", about a month or so after the initial invasion. As you can see, Mobius has been pretty busy. He controls a pretty sizable chunk of Africa, and has gotten deep enough into Saudi Arabia to start being a threat to Iraq. We'll talk about how well that works out for all involved later.

Like all the High Lords, Dr. Mobius has come to Core Earth to oversee his forces personally. Of course, Mobius is a busy man and can't do everything by himself; that's why he has his five "Personal Advisors". These five people are second in power only to Mobius himself.
  • Ahkemeses is the High Priest of the Empire, and it's his job to read the omens and act on them. Even though he worships all the Egyptian gods, his first loyalty is to Mobius and he's more than willing to break his religion's precepts.
  • Rama-Tet is the head of the College of Mathematicians and Mobius' grand vizier. Like all grand viziers, he has his own agenda and is more interested in his own goals than in what Mobius wants. He's also a powerful magician, again, like any grand vizier worth his salt. He's basically the Starscream to Mobius' Megatron.
  • Muab is the Royal Builder, and as such doesn't actually advise the pharaoh. Instead, his focus is almost entirely on his work: building monuments to Mobius and running the Society of Engineers.
  • Teth-Net is the Royal Marshall and head of Mobius's military. Despite being totally loyal to Mobius, the High Lord has secretly implanted a poison bomb in Teth-Net's brain just to be on the safe side. Although this is Mobius; he might have done it because he thought it was funny.
  • Felix Bannerman is the Imperial Accountant, and started out as a small-time hustler on Terra who happened to be very skilled at finance. He's not Egyptian, which makes him feel nervous around Mobius and the rest of the Advisers. Well, that, and the fact that he's skimming off the top.

Below the Advisers are the Overgovernors. There are ten Overgovernors, some of whom have been with Mobius throughout his reality-hopping career. Mobius shares the slowed aging with his Advisers and Overgovernors, so some of these folks have experience running things in other realities. Others are recruited from the invaded cosm.

Each Overgovernor has control of a different area of the Empire, and are allowed more-or-less total autonomy to run things as they see fit. They are picked by and report directly to Mobius himself, and every ten weeks they meet to discuss the state of the Empire as a whole.
  • Tanya Paterksi was a skilled spy back on Terra, and is a consummate planner. She's faced off against Nippon Tech forces on multiple occasions and won every time.
  • Wu Han is Terra's equivalent of Fu Manchu; an oriental criminal mastermind who is fond of riddles and leaving hints for his enemies. He's also an accomplished weird scientist.
  • Lord Millon Avery is a Terran jewel thief and was an ally of Mobius back in Mobius's supervillain days. Avery got his position not by earning it, but by blackmailing Mobius shortly after his discover of the Darkness Device. I'm not sure how you could really blackmail someone bonded to a Darkness Device, but there you go.
  • The Red Hand, born Michael Mayhew, was another of Mobius's old allies. Armed with an electro-gun and outfitted in a crimson zoot suit, Mayhew became a supervillian for the kicks and teamed up with Mobius back in the old pre-High Lord days. He's loyal to Mobius, but would leave if he found something more interesting to keep him entertained.
  • Natatiri was originally the servant girl of a former Overgovernor. She was having an affair with the Overgovernor, but when he insulted her honor she assassinated him. Dr. Mobius liked the cut of her jib and promoted her to her master's former position.
  • Ramses is a fanatic warrior who is probably the only one of the Overgovernors who isn't plotting againt Mobius. He's slowly becoming aware that the other Overgovernors might not have Mobius's best interest at heart.
  • Seselek is the oldest of the Overgovernors. He is loyal to Mobius, but his age is catching up with him and lacks the energy to really carry out his duties. Even though Mobius has instructed the Darkness Device to slow Seselek's aging, the Kheferti Idol doesn't seem to like Seselek enough to keep him young. Smart money is on him being the next Overgovernor to die.
  • Herunut has been an Overgovernor since the first Empire, but is not seeing the glory of following Mobius anymore. Instead, he's seeing the suffering; in fact, his Inclination is starting to shift to Good and wouldn't need much to push him to the other side.
  • Lastly, there's Madib Al-Hebpsa. Madib is actually Mobius himself, divested of his usual costume. He uses this identity to keep an eye on the other Overgovernors and learn about plans against him. Mobius doesn't realize that Rama knows who Madib really is; Janya and Sesetek know one of the Overgovernors is Mobius in disguise but they don't know which one.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, every single one of those named NPCs listed above is fully statted out. Even the ones who are non-combatants.

Below the Overgovernors is a structure of governors, advisors, governor's advisors, and bureaucrats. But there's a problem here, which I'll get to in a second.


Everyone in Torg talks like this. Everyone.

Outside the structure of Mobius's followers is the military, which is mostly filled by shocktroopers, backed up by traditional armor units and weird science destructive devices.

And this is the problem I mentioned a moment ago: this is another point where we get into Torg's "I don't care about this level of detail" problems. This is what it says about Infantry Organization:

quote:

The smallest unit in the Imperial Army is a squad consisting of 10 men.

In addition to the normal equipment issued to each soldier, every squad is equipped with a Kocha machine gun. Squads are under the command of enlisted veterans.

Four squads make up a platoon. Platoons are commanded by lieutenants, the lowest ranking Imperial officers.

Three platoons make up a company. In addition to the equipment belonging to its platoons, each company has an attached mortar group consisting of five 81mm mortars . Companies are commanded by officers known as veteran lieutenants.

Four companies make up a battalion. Each battalion has an attached artillery group consisting of five 81mm mortars and five 105mm howitzers. Battalions are commanded by field majors.

Three battalions comprise a wing. The wing is the largest pure infantry formation in the Imperial Army. Wings are commanded by officers known as overmajors.
Why do I need that level of detail? Torg isn't a military simulation, and the Nile Empire is pulpy goodness, not military drama. At the end of the day, does it really matter how many platoons are in a company? What's more, you get this info for Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and Airborn divisions. It also tells you how these groups are organized into Battlegroups, which are just three-letter designations for a chunk of the army. I mean, it's only a page and a half or so, but it does the same thing for the structure of over-governors and governors and so on. It has nothing to do with the focus of the setting or game. It's just cruft.

For instance, they talk about Mobius' personal Battlegroup: Super Battlegroup Mobius. That sounds pretty important, right? Like the kind of thing we should know details about, right? Nope! All we learn is how many platoons and infantry and tank units it has. Do they have the best gear? Do they get to play with Mobius' high-tech toys? Who's in charge? Who knows?

And then we run into Torg's other recurring problem: bouncing wildly from topic to topic. Because now we get a brief forray into how Mobius uses his gospog. Or how he doesn't use them, I guess...there are only 50 gospog throughout the Empire, and they're only second-planting ones. He mainly uses them for "special missions". Oh, and unsurprisingly they look like mummies.

At which point we hammer back into talking about military organization with garrisons. Which is just two paragraphs and a small stat block that boil down to "a garrison is manned by generic infantry, here's their stat block".

Now that we're through all that, we get to something important: how Mobius expands his territory. The heading for this section is called Moving the Stelae because gently caress decent headers.

Mobius has managed to expand so quickly because he takes a very straightforward approach to it. One thing Mobius has in spades is strength of numbers. When he wants to sieze a new area, he sends in wave upon wave of shocktroops, artillery, and weird science weapons at the problem. Once he wipes out any resistance, his agents rush in and plant the stelae. The troops already there act as the "believers" needed to empower it, and boom. Another chunk of land for the High Lord.

Nile Empire stelae, by the way, take the shape of jackal-headed idols. They can't be buried underground, so Mobius hides them in plain sight by putting non-stelae jackal-headed idols everywhere throughout the Empire.

Now, I know some of you are thinking "superior numbers are one thing, but 1930's military technology probably wouldn't stand up to modern military hardware". And you're pretty much right. For that exact reason, Mobius has pushed the boundaries of weird science and reality-based technology to develop the reality bomb. These bombs don't do any physical damage; what they do is temporarily alter the reality for two miles around the explosion point to a Nile Empire pure zone. And since it's a pure zone, contradictions are impossible. Anything not allowed by Nile Empire axioms simply won't work, which will generally include most Core Earth military hardware. And while everyone's trying to figure out why everything is busted, Mobius' troops can mop up easily.

Rality bombs are incredibly difficult to make because they require a substance called "eternium", which is generated by drawing power from Eternity Shards. Even at peak efficiency, Mobius can only make about five reality bombs a week.

quote:

Etemium is an element of pure possibility energy distilled down from eternity shards (atomic number 772, atomic weight 1611.022). Its synthesis is one of Mobius' proudest accomplishments.In its pure form, etemium resembles a glowing blue rock with swirls of red.

Eternium has two main functions. First, it is the crucial ingredient of the "reality bombs" which Mobius uses to temporarily alter the reality axioms of an area in preparation for an invasion. And second. a chip of eternium is capable of functioning as an infinite power source when properly connected to a gadget or gizmo. All charge-using power components connected to an appropriate chip of eternium can draw energy from that chip forever, with no recharging necessary. The greater the power requirements of the gizmo, the larger the chunk of eternium needed to power it (a component with an adventure cost of 1 or 2 might require a piece of eternium the size of a bottlecap, while one with an adventure cost of 6 or 8 might need a piece the size of a golf ball). Eternium has thousands of other potential uses which Mobius is only beginning to discover.

Since the amount of eternium that Mobius can synthesize directly corresponds to the number of eternity shards he can recover, and since such objects are quire rare, there is presently not very much eternium to go around. Most of the element that is synthesized is used to create the vital reality bombs.
And in keeping with the poor book organization, this definition is a sidebar in the section about the overgoverners.

Really, this whole chapter is just...unnecessary. You get all these named NPC who are supposed to be important, and are running whole regions of the Empire, but there's nothing about what makes each leader unique. They don't put their own personal stamp on their territory, they don't favor a certain type of henchman or scheme or whatever, and except for Wu Han I don't think any of them get mentioned again in the game line.

Same with the military stuff. Yes, it's useful to get a general outline of how Mobius' war machine works, since a large part of his plans involve his army pushing further south through Africa and expanding his realm, but do I really need to know how many infantry in a platoon in a battalion or whatever it is?

I hate sounding like a broken record, but these guys had zero idea on how to write tone.


This exact scene is happening somewhere in the Nile Empire at any given moment.

Anyway. The next chapter is Cities of Adventure, and deals with the major cities of the Empire.

Approximately 60% of the Empire's population live in the cities, with the remainder living and working in the farming communities that feed the cities. The reality shift has changed the major urban centers of northern Africa to a technological and social level that best equates to "1939".

quote:

The vast majority of the urban citizens ultimately work for the Imperial government, but, again, Mobius has sold a few scattered businesses back to wealthy, favored Earth people. Approximately 10 percent of the Empire's manufacturing industry, 15 percent of its packing industry, and 30 percent of its merchants are independent. Nearly 100 percent of the Empire's entertainment industry is in the hands of independent businessmen. Saloons (which sell only overpriced "legal" liquor), movie theaters,and dance halls are all fairly common in large cities.
Cities are policed by the military, especially when the Nile floods and all the farmers have to move into the city. During these periods, inflation and crime rates go through the roof.

The largest city in the Empire is Cairo, which has been hit particularly hard by the axiom wash. For some unknown reason, Cairo has changed into a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The place is a magnet for every gangster, crooked official, and petty criminal in northern Europe. Vice is the main business, ranging from drugs to bootleg alcohol to prostitution. Really, take the Chicago from any period gangster movie, redress the sets to be more Arabic, and that's what Cairo is like now.

In fact, Cairo has gotten so bad that Mobius has pretty much washed his hands of it. He's got more important things to worry about, and it's a convenient dumping ground for military leaders or bureaucrats that have been annoying him. The military still has a presence in the city, they just don't do anything except run what amounts to a citywide protection racket.

Cairo also has a very large black market. It's said you can buy anything in Cairo, and if you know who to ask that can extend to mystic artifacts or weird science doodads.

The only real "bastions" of Good in Cairo are the underground newspaper The Cairo Connection, and The Living Truth Agency.

The Cairo Connection is basically an anti-Mobius newspaper, but it can serve as a source of information for Storm Knights. Amazingly, we get maps, descriptions, and stats for all four of the paper's staff, which is more information than we got about Cairo.

The Living Truth Agency is a private investigation firm owned and run by hard-boiled private dick Rex McMasters. The only other employee is his partner/secretary Sadi Bel-Adda.

quote:

The agency is located on the second floor of the Nabib Building, which also houses a cut-rate apothecary shop and a health clinic. Making a left at the top of the stairs, the Living Truth Agency is the first door on the right (the words "Living Truth Agency, Rex McMasters, Prop." are written in gold on the door). Entering, you find yourself in an outer office, with a desk and chair, a telephone, and a typewriter. Behind the desk sits Sadi Bel-Adda, McMaster's partner and an adept magician.

Behind her desk is the door to McMaster's office. The office features a set of filing cabinets, with McMaster's desk and chair up against the windows that look out onto the street. A ratty old couch rests against the left wall, and on the right is a closet.

The closet actually has a secret panel that hides McMasters' secret: the costume he wears in his nighttime identity as The Silver Scarab, the electro-gun wielding mystery man.


Either someone is being taken off the case, or someone is demanding pictures of Spider-Man.

Moving out of Cairo, we travel to the imperial capital of Thebes and Luxor. Technically they're two separate cities, but thanks to the axiom wash they've sort of joined up into one large city.

The main "attraction" in Thebes is Mobius' royal palace, from which he rules the realm when he's not out loving with Storm Knights. Thebes also has the Grand Temple of Osiris, the College of Mathematics, the Society of Engineers, and the main headquarters for Super Battlegroup Mobius. Unlike the newspaper office, none of this gets any detail.

Luxor's main point of importance is the 72,000 square foot Grand Temple of Ra. The Temple is topped with a giant artificial sun of Mobius' design, and is capable of illuminating all of Luxor, Thebes, and the nearby city of Karnak. In fact, on "auspicious days", the sun it lit an hour before sunrise and darkened an hour after sunset.

But that's just a side benefit. The real power of the artificial sun is that it's a good, old-fashioned death ray. It has a maximum range of 150 miles, and hits with an explosive radius of 4000 meters. It's damage rating 55, which is a base 24Wound KO 28 shock, aka "you're just loving dead". Fortunately the power drain is so immense it can only be fired once a month. That said, there are six back-up batteries in case of emergency. The death ray can only be fired by Mobius himself, as it's keyed to his thought engrams.


"Modern" city life

The city of Karnak wasn't a city until the reality shift, which is when it changed from a small village to a respectably sized city overnight. The main (and only) point of interest here is the Temple of Ptah, which has a strange curse: it actively attempts to drive out the living. Entering the Temple causes it to make intimidation checks against you every time you enter a room or corridor. The first time it succeeds you take shock damage, the second time you have to flee.

Khartoum is the second-largest city in the Empire (after Cairo). It was taken over shortly after the initial invasion, and Mobius has made it the center of the Empire's railway system. The main temple here is dedicated to Horus.

quote:

The other tidbit that makes Khartoum interesting is the ancient Earth legend of a magical fire opal hidden somewhere beneath its streets. The opal is said to give its bearer fantastic mind control powers. Mobius uncovered the legend shortly after his invasion and has had a team of mathematicians stationed in Khartoum looking for the opal for months.

Memphis is the home of Wu Han, and he's built a sort of mini-Chinatown here to serve as a power base. Mephis houses the Temple of Wadjet, which is the center of a cult known as "The Sisters of the Serpent". The cult seeks to make Wadjet a more powerful god than Sebek, and given that Sebek is Mobius' patron god, this causes a bit of tension around the city. Right now the cult has a very tenuous alliance with Mobius, but one side would betray the other in a heartbeat if it suited them.

Alexandria is the third largest city in the Empire, and home of the famous lighthouse that's one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There's also a large Colosseum here, which Wu Han has been employing for gladiatorial matches where heroes are forced to fight each other to the death because why the hell else would you have it?

The rest of the chapter are "generic" city locations with incredibly basic maps: a gin joint, a mummifcation parlor, a tomb, things like that.


It never pays to be the last goon in line.

The next chapter is Lands of Danger, which covers locations and areas in the larger Empire.

The biggest change in Africa is the Nile Basin. When the axiom wash happened, all the modern machinery used to control and take advantage of the Nile were destroyed, leaving the Nile in its more "ancient" state. This means that the annual flooding that happens around July is no longer managed and mitigated by technology, and people have to deal with the flooding by moving into the cities. That said, the Nile Basin is still the main source of farmland in northern Africa, except that now it's pretty much completely controlled by Mobius's forces. A side-effect of the reality shift is that the Nile now has a larger-than-normal amount of crocodiles and asps now.

The change in realities also affected the Sahara Desert in general, populating it with nomad tribes and peppering it with lost tombs, ancient forgotten cities, and hidden oases. This is all part of Mobius' larger plans: with all these sites appearing, he can raid them for magic artifacts or eternity shards before anyone else stumbles onto them.

For example, the Oasis of Firrah lies deep in the Sahara desert, hidden behind burning sands and howling winds. According to ancient legends that are really only a few months old, Bela Firrah was an Arab trader who stumbled upon the oasis when seeking a source of water for his shady trade caravans. He sent out troop after troop of his men to claim it, but none of them returned.
[quote]
The stories of what happened next are unclear in many respects. But it is said that along the way Firrah found the bodies of the earlier parties, all with their water flasks full, their trails a great circle, as if the sun had driven them mad. After many days of traveling, Firrah's party came in sight of the oasis. They whipped their camels into a gallop, but as they drew near, a fierce sandstorm arose. Blinded, their mounts in a panic, Firrah's men fled into the desert, never to be seen again. Firrah himself struggled to the water's edge, reached out and touched the sparkling blue liquid...

Firrah's body was found the next day by a nomadic tribe. His skeleton gleamed in the sun, the bones blasted clean by the force of the sandstorm. One finger was stretched toward the pool, a pool the nomads would not drink from out of fear.[quote]
This legend may or may not be true, but it sticks around because of the possible fortune in gold at the bottom of the oasis. Or it may just be a fable made up to scare people away from one of Mobius's projects.

The isle of Hespera in Lybia is another example of the types of changes an invading reality can bring, because neither the island or the lake it's in existed before Mobius's arrival and were created whole cloth by the axiom wash. The reality shift caused the legends about the "home of the Amazon warriors" to become fact, and transformed archaeologist Hippolyta Kosmos (oy) into Queen Hippolyta. The transformation was Hippolyta's "moment of crisis" and made her possibility-rated as well as transforming her to Nile Empire axioms. Hippolyta has assembled women from the Empire and Core Earth to her side, and so far Mobius and the world at large are unaware of what's happening on the island. Despite her Good Inclination, she's not 100% convinced yet that she should bring the fight to Mobius, prefering instead to live peacefully on Hespera. That's not to say that some of her Amazon warriors haven't left the island to fight for the side of good, of course, but so far she's not angling to become a major player.

Scattered throughout the Empire are Weird Science Research Centers. These are where Mobius's forces develop their unique weapons and devices. Protected by minefields and artillery, these sites can be a treasure trove of new experimental gear for heroes brave enough to penetrate the defenses and defeat the squads of shocktroopers there. There's not much else to say about these facilities, even though the Nile Empire book spends five pages on WSECs, describing them in the usual ammount of unnecessary detail. I mean, I get that these are the types of places PCs will be hitting up a lot, but still. The cities don't get that much detail!


Do we really need a map for this?

The mixing of Core Earth and Nile Empire axioms has had more subtle effects on the landscape, such as the transformation of Egypt's network of gold mines into The Land of the Dead, a sprawling network of catacombs and caves that wind under most of eastern Egypt. These are the mines where Empire officials sentence criminals and opponents to, to spend the rest of their lives digging for gold for their pharaoh. Rumor has it that some of the caverns actually stretch halfway around the world to North America, and the extended cave network is a favorite hiding place for the Empire's many pulp villains.

Lastly, we learn how Mobius gets along with his Middle Eastern neighbors. Spoiler: not very well.

Things have gotten very strange in Ethiopia. The spread of the Empire transformed the Ethiopian forests into a full-blown rain forest, complete with lost temples and hostile "native tribes". Between this new source of artifacts and the country's established gold and diamond mines, Ethipoia has become a high priority target for the military. Although Ethiopia's army has pretty much fallen apart under the assault, the only reason Mobius hasn't just taken over yet is because the terrain makes it difficult to move troops in. Ethiopia is surrounded by mountains and is at a very high elevation, which Mobius' war machine isn't built to deal with. As it stands right now, both forces are in a rough stalemate, although Mobius keeps a few battalions on the Ethiopian border to keep them boxed in and to keep control of the mines on the country's border.

Dr. Mobuis was smart enough to realize early on that Israel was going to be a major threat, so he made it a point to move into their territory as soon as he could before they had time to assemble an effective defense. The western half of Israel is now under the Empire's control, but he's been unable to get in any further due to the Israeli forces not only putting up a better defense than Mobius expected, but also raiding into Empire territory. Isreli and American forces have set up a resistance outpost in Massada and are beginning to harry enemy forces.

Things are a little tenser with Libya. It's important to remember that this game was written in the early 90’s, so Muammar Qaddafi was still in charge at the time. The oil fields of Libya were an early target for Mobius, so Qaddafi made a bargain: if Mobius stopped trying to invade, accepted 45% of Libya's crude oil production, and give Qaddafi access to weird science weaponry to use against the West, Qaddafi would not detonate the nuke he buried in the oil fields and irradiate the world's main source of oil. Mobius agreed to these terms, partially so he can concentrate on other battefronts, but also because he doesn’t know what a nuclear bomb is because they don’t exist in Terra or the Empire. Yet.

Lastly, there’s the Sudan. Sudanese forces have fallen back into a defensive position. Fortunately, they’re being supported by the Soviet Union’s “Soviet Psychic Group”, whose psychics have been able to predict attacks by Nile forces. It's not known if Mobius knows that 3327 is behind the SPG, but for now Mobius isn't pushing too hard in that direction due to having bigger fish to fry.

--
Man, that's a lot of fluff of varying degrees of usefulness. And while some of these are clearly more useful than others, there's just a bizarre mix of what the writers thought would be useful. Yes, I'm more likely to need info on an adventuring site than a whole city, but even so there should be more info on the city rather than one building. Cairo, largest city in the Empire, gets less detail than the Temple of Wadjet! Did they not realize that people would spend more time in a city than one building?

I mean, there's full walkthroughs of the Cairo Clarion newspaper office and the Living Truth Agency that are longer than the information on Karnak. Why do I need the detailed layout of a private eye's office? All you need to say is "it's a 30's private eye's office" and bam, everyone knows what you're talking about.

But don't worry, things only get dumber from here.


NEXT TIME: Skills and powers! No, not the AD&D book.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

The Cold and Warm stuff is just straight up ripped from the 3.x DMG stuff (And maybe the Desert/Arctic survival books from later in the line.)

As a side note, non-lethal damage from the weather will turn lethal after it knocks you out, so an average commoner can die from being outside for 2 hours in 39 degree or 91 degree F weather.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

Now, I know some of you are thinking "superior numbers are one thing, but 1930's military technology probably wouldn't stand up to modern military hardware". And you're pretty much right. For that exact reason, Mobius has pushed the boundaries of weird science and reality-based technology to develop the reality bomb. These bombs don't do any physical damage; what they do is temporarily alter the reality for two miles around the explosion point to a Nile Empire pure zone. And since it's a pure zone, contradictions are impossible. Anything not allowed by Nile Empire axioms simply won't work, which will generally include most Core Earth military hardware. And while everyone's trying to figure out why everything is busted, Mobius' troops can mop up easily.

Which, when you start thinking about it and you start looking into stuff released later, reality bombing Africa is a bad move, since most of the militaries and militias are using WW2-level equipment anyway.

Your warlord's Toyota technical might change into a Studebaker but the DShK in the bed was made in 1930s and those AK-47s everyone's armed with are cutting-edge Tech Axiom 21 infantry weapons, because whoever wrote the Torg books knew of the similarities between the Sturmgewehr and the Kalashnikov.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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That sounds less like 'terrible idea' and more like 'pointless waste of a reality bomb' but yeah.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Young Freud posted:

Which, when you start thinking about it and you start looking into stuff released later, reality bombing Africa is a bad move, since most of the militaries and militias are using WW2-level equipment anyway.

Your warlord's Toyota technical might change into a Studebaker but the DShK in the bed was made in 1930s and those AK-47s everyone's armed with are cutting-edge Tech Axiom 21 infantry weapons, because whoever wrote the Torg books knew of the similarities between the Sturmgewehr and the Kalashnikov.
Torg struggled with the screwed-up edge cases around axioms, especially the Tech axiom. Situations like "this gun would work with X axiom value but was manufactured under X+3 axiom value so it's still a contradiction" crop up all the time.

Like, a 9mm pistol is allowable under Nile Empire 1930's tech level. But if that pistol was made in the Cyberpapacy, even if it's a bog-standard 9mm pistol with no cybertech, it'd still be a one-case contradiction because it was made using materials not available in 1930-whatever.

It's why Kanawa's weapon factories all operate at different tech levels. Swords intended to be sold and used by people in Aysle aren't mass-produced, they actually have to be forged from scratch because even a modern alloy would cause a contradiction.

The Player's Guide has an "optional rule" regarding this:

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Superiors 1: It's Okay, Though, Laurentines Don't Get Sword Jokes Anyway

Seraphim of the Sword are regal creatures, conducting themselves as knights. Most carry swords, if only ceremonially, and they see it as their job to ensure no other angels of the Sword slack in the virtue. They aren't shy about lectures, and many like to grab the Purity of Purpose attunement. Unsurprisingly, they can annoy other angels, but do try exceptionally hard to live up to their own standards, and mostly they succeed. They are often officers, and while some are active in the field and all at least get rotated to the front lines to keep them from seeing the War in the abstract only, they often operate on a strategic level.

Cherubim are common in the Sword, and they're usually NCOs. They get experience leading small groups and are often squires to the Seraphim knights. They have a reputation for being big, tough and dumb. They aren't usually too dumb, but with their ability to attune on sight and their faith in their superiors, they don't often feel a need for high Ethereal Forces, focusing instead on strength and endurance.

Ofanim of the Sword are wandering knights, questing on Earth and seeking missions of vengeance and redemption. While Laurence's Malakim have a fiercer reputation, the Ofanim are often the most skilled fighters. They like the Hunt attunemnt and can be just as relentless and violent as any when facing demons. They often serve as scouts, snipers, spies and solo operatives, as they're at their best with relative independence. Sometimes this can frustrate Laurence and his angels, but none question the loyalty or skill of the Ofanim.

Elohim of the Sword are fairly rare, as Laurence encourages a subjective worldview in the form of Catholicism, which can be hard on them. Those that join him are most comfortable with firm orders, because obeying can never cause them dissonance. They often serve as lieutenants, advisors and spies for the Seraphim. In the field, they are excellent interrogators, with no compunction against torturing the evil. A few of them become solo questers, most often against pagan or demonic cults, which they're good at tracking down.

Malakim of the Sword are common, more common than any other Choir. They are surprisingly versatile - some are crusading knights or vigilantes, but others are foot soldiers or officers. Their methods range from the traditional to teaching humanity morals. All of them, though, are fanatics in purging evil. They also serve as Laurence's internal police and guardians against Church corruption. With their resonance and attunement, they're very good at sniffing out corruption, and demons fear them for good reason.

Kyriotates of the Sword have the most human contact of any of the Sword angels, as they all live a human life in addition to their celestial one. They manage much of the Sword support network, and frequently they have access to armories, churches or records departments. They are tireless hunters with strong roots in their communities, and they look to team up with other angels to hunt down demons. With GM permission, if their host-vessel dies in combat and another suitable human dies in the same fight, they may be permitted to replace their old host with the new onw free, rather than for the 5 point replacement cost.



Mercurians of the Sword are not noncombatants, most of the time. Sure, they can't hurt humans, even Hellsworn...but htey're often skilled snipers or carry summonable relics just in case they run into a demon. When not fighting demons, they work as teachers and morale officers, to prepare humanity for its role in the War. There aren't many of them at high rank in Laurence's armies, though.

Laurence spends a lot of time working with Saints and Soldiers, too. He likes to talk to the Saints in the Groves who are between incarnations, to learn more about their human perspective. Theoretically, all Soldiers of God and Saints are under his jurisdiction, and he's meant to be informed of all human resources and have the right commandeer them. He won't usually call on someone else's human servants without need, but more out of respect for the human's loyalties than propriety. Some Soldiers exist without his knowledge, which annoys him, but he accepts that some Archangels just don't cooperate. Soldiers who are known to him can, if they can somehow contact him, ask for Servitor Attunements of the Sword as well as those of their patron, as can any Saint. Laurence is also one of the few Archangels to give Distinctions to humans. A few Soldiers have reached Master rank, though Laurence will not give them higher Distinctions while they still live. At least one Saint has made Colonel, however.



Laurence doesn't have many Redemption candidates, but he's had his fair share. They tend to believe that if they're going to change sides, they might as well go straight to the top, and often the most zealous converts become the best demon-hunters. Laurence likes Redemption, and the truly repentant will find him as loyal to them as they are to him. For those who have the slightest doubt, however, he is the wrong choice. He's exceptionally thorough, and a former demon will emerge either perfectly pure or not at all.

Angels of the Sword trained thoroughly well before they're ever let out of Heaven. Most start as relievers, often known as pages, fledged with great ceremony. Likeswise, the first Earth mission usually gets a dedication ceremony. The Sword likes ceremony. Most training takes place in the Groves with Michael's troops, and any angel of the Sword with no fencing skills will be roundly mocked. Those that work among humans also train with Saints to learn human ways and traditions. Catholic theology, while optional, is encouraged. Laurence also encourages his angels to spend time among the Redeemed in his service, to learn about the demonic mind. When an angel of the Sword leaves Heaven, they may be idealistic, but will not be ignorant or unready.



Angels of the Sword don't spend a ton of time in Heaven, for the most part. They only have three real jobs there. They plan the War, they train and they do ceremonies. Only the highest ranks help in planning. Training is everyone's job, though, and they can find trainers in the Eternal City or the Groves. Those willing and able to teach are sometimes assigned to train others. And, make no mistake, the Sword has a lot of ceremonies. Ceremonies for basically everything. They do love their tradition, though other angels tend to find it a bit of a waste of time. Being asked to serve in a ceremony is great honor, though, and no sensible angel is going to refuse it.

Most of Laurence's work in the Ethereal is handled by the Guardians. Besides them, though, there are some pagan-hunter angels who are trained to detect ethereal influence on Earth and track it back to the source. Some even quest to hunt down and kill spirits or find the Domain they're coming from. If an angel of the Sword finds an infernal threat in the ethereal, they are to report it up the chain so either one of Laurence's ethereal trackers can be sent or Blandine can be notified.

On Earth is where most of the Sword's work is done. First and foremost, the Sword hunts demons. When other angels find a demonic plan that needs to get shut down, they often call Laurence's hunters. The Sword is the Host's backbone, responsible for maintaining a visible presence against evil. There are four main jobs they do on Earth. First is garrison duty, which isn't too boring, really - it could be Tether defense or it could mean being the only angel in a town, responsible for stopping any demonic influence there. Laurence expects proactive defense to keep Heaven's territory secure, and most of his angels will feel obligated to cease their hunt or quest to help when asked. Refusing to lend aid to any angel, even Creationers or Flowers, will be punished severely if it means losing ground. Second, hunting. When not defending Heaven's assets, Sword angels should be hunting - literally or metaphorically against demonic operations, or seeking information. Demons outnumber angels, so it shouldn't be hard to find a demonic threat.

Third on the list is recruitment. Angels of the Sword are instructed to always be on the lookout for worthy humans and potential Soldiers - but anyone that can serve Heaven is good. Not all do so knowingly, as angels of Laurence run charity groups, recruitment drives for public service and work for the Catholics, all to lead humans to Heaven and undermine Hell. Finally, angels of Laurence are responsible for training Soldiers and developing human assets. They run training camps, and Soldiers make up much of their support network. Laurence likes to see every Soldier get to know at least one angel personally, and many of their operations receive Catholic support.

Next time: Questing

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Count Chocula posted:

I'm guessing they use American Gods rules? Please review that book next. My Borgstromancy skill is getting rusty.

She actually wrote for several IN books, including Superiors 1.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I can't believe Mobius was killed by a psychic Japanese teenager, his grandpa, his grandpa's friend, a dog and the two other guys they picked up along the way. They were actually looking for someone else but figured "eh, can't hurt to do some more good".

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Hostile V posted:

I can't believe Mobius was killed by a psychic Japanese teenager, his grandpa, his grandpa's friend, a dog and the two other guys they picked up along the way. They were actually looking for someone else but figured "eh, can't hurt to do some more good".

Wait, what?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Stardust Crusader's joke. I look at all of the pulp-style art of Egypt and I can't not think of JoJo.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Catching up a little here...

LatwPIAT posted:

A 30 Minutes or Less RPG would interfere with my plans to release 30 Minutes or Less, the Snow Crash sourcebook for Car Wars. :argh:

It's time for a fragging contest to see whose book will be in the Yet!

theironjef posted:

That's a great idea. Along with like pizza delivery magic cars that change into era-appropriate vehicles when they shift through time.

And "era-appropriate" of course includes dinosaurs, because even T-Rexes want pizza.

Mors Rattus posted:

Published the Tournament of Rapists via DTRPG, leading them to remove it and institute new policies about being able to remove reported content.

Wat (O_____o) ?!

mcclay posted:

The first hit on Google search is Britbert yelling about "SJWs" attacking Table Top Gaming, so Field's isn't alone.

Sure, why not drop in some generic insults like "autist" and "bronie", and we have every internet argument ever. Glad to see roleplaying is firmly in the mainstream <_<

Meanwhile, I have a sudden interest in pulpy angel/demon adventures...

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Hostile V posted:

I can't believe Mobius was killed by a psychic Japanese teenager, his grandpa, his grandpa's friend, a dog and the two other guys they picked up along the way. They were actually looking for someone else but figured "eh, can't hurt to do some more good".

"Mobius, you bastard, how many souls have you sacrificed to your Darkness Device?"
"How many breads you have eaten in your life?"

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

Torg struggled with the screwed-up edge cases around axioms, especially the Tech axiom. Situations like "this gun would work with X axiom value but was manufactured under X+3 axiom value so it's still a contradiction" crop up all the time.

This is the common problem with anything with a Tech level or axiom. Nothing is built in a vacuum and there's hundreds of examples of someone doing it first 20-50 years from it's mainstream introduction. For instance, electrically-powered rotary guns like Vulcans and Miniguns might have entered into military service around in the '60s, but even Dr. Gatling put a motor to crank his gun when electric motors became available in the 1890s. I found out the other day that Calico-style helical feed magazines have been around since 1870s with the introduction of cased cartridges.

Evil Mastermind posted:

Like, a 9mm pistol is allowable under Nile Empire 1930's tech level. But if that pistol was made in the Cyberpapacy, even if it's a bog-standard 9mm pistol with no cybertech, it'd still be a one-case contradiction because it was made using materials not available in 1930-whatever.

Which they then contradict later when Tharkold comes out, saying that their Cornucopia Machines can produces equipment at any axiom level.

Evil Mastermind posted:

It's why Kanawa's weapon factories all operate at different tech levels. Swords intended to be sold and used by people in Aysle aren't mass-produced, they actually have to be forged from scratch because even a modern alloy would cause a contradiction.

This is what I usually handed it down to, a case of how it's machined and materials science. Transformed objects made from alloys would decompose and their machining would grow more crude and less refined. With complex objects like guns, which tend to be made of dozens of finely-engineered moving parts, a pin suddenly growing enlarged and turning square is going to jam up the entire thing.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Laurence's writeup is more even-handed and optimistic than I was expecting for the Archangel of the Sword.

I think my spin on him wouldn't be much different from him as presented: Laurence is young for an Archangel, relatively inexperienced and naive, but he's very, very talented at his job. He can be fooled, yes, tricked and deceived - but never the same way twice, and he's much better than most in Heaven at getting the most out of all the different Archangels and Choirs towards a unified purpose.

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

Where kitties raise dragons in the world's largest mall.

mcclay posted:

gently caress all this Angel or Demon nonsense. I wanna play a Pagan character and kick rear end in the name of the Old Gods. Are there rules for that?

ha,

a buddy of mine wrote a side project in inomine where he made dawrin, dawkins, hitchens, etc the equivelent of athiest saints whom empowered people to kick both heaven and hell out of normal people's lives.

that game was a blast. :D

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Young Freud posted:

This is the common problem with anything with a Tech level or axiom. Nothing is built in a vacuum and there's hundreds of examples of someone doing it first 20-50 years from it's mainstream introduction. For instance, electrically-powered rotary guns like Vulcans and Miniguns might have entered into military service around in the '60s, but even Dr. Gatling put a motor to crank his gun when electric motors became available in the 1890s. I found out the other day that Calico-style helical feed magazines have been around since 1870s with the introduction of cased cartridges.
Well, this really is the whole problem with how Torg handles the whole realities-can't-mix thing. They have all these axiom that are supposed to represent what is and isn't possible in a reality, and even set it up as both a mechanic and in-setting metaphysics (the Everlaws).

But then as things progressed, you ran into all sorts of situations where they either work against the players or just flat-out don't make sense. Going by the equipment list, a baseball bat wouldn't "work" under Living Land axioms, even though it's basically a club. A longsword has a higher Tech axiom than a shortsword.

It doesn't help that the game does a piss-poor describing what happens when you try to do things outside your axioms. Sometimes it's a case of things just not working, sometimes you forget the knowledge of how stuff works.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Superiors 1: Testing Your Sword



It is traditional among Laurentines to believe that you are not truly an angel of the Sword until you have gone on a quest. Laurence sees quests as a means to refine yourself in God's service or realign yourself with His will if you have fallen prey to corrupting influences. A quest is anything that serves cause of Heaven which is difficult yet attainable and has a concrete indication of success. Most commonly, angels quest to bring back the head of a named demon. Others include ending a cult, recovering a relic, building a new church and congregation or learning a secret Song previously unknown to the Sword. Most formal quests are consecreted with ceremony, but all that is truly required is the permission of an immediate superior. Quests are always acceptable activities for the Sword and petitions are usually approved unless you're already doing something critical. It is expected that you will not return from your quest until you succeed, and failure is a mark of shame that can only be removed with a new, more difficult quest. Particularly difficult quests, such as soul-killing a Baron of Hell, recovering one of Laurence's Swords from a Prince or destryoing an infernal tether will earn reputation and even Distinctions, but quests should be undertaken for the glory of Heaven, not the glory of you. Laurence sometimes permits quests as a means of shedding dissonance or Discord, and angels with the Divine Absolution attunement may assign a quest as a condition of absolution. Angels may be charged with quest based on their abilities and the seriousness of their sin, and the quest must be consecrated by the Song of Witness. If the quest is done, the dishonor is removed. If not, they usually don't return.



Laurence rewards angels after missions based on what was lost or gained by Heaven. Any mission in which Hell made a net gain is unsuccessful, and any mission in which there was no significant gain on either side is only a mild success. A very successful mission is one in which Hell suffers a defeat, even a mild one, and it's clear tha the Sword made it happen. Extremely succesful missions must change at least the local landscape of the War, such as destroying a Tether, soul-killing a potent demon, or otherwise improving the standing of the SWord in an important area. A spectuacularly successful mission is one that significantly impacts the War - weakening a Prince, establishing a new Tether to the Sword, securing a city for Heaven and so on.

Laurence's angels are so conscious of their honor that any punishment is so shameful that the humiliation alone will keep them from repeating the sin. Most of them consider the worst punishment possible to be a public lecture by Laurence. Thus, while Laurence is known as rigid and strict, his punishments are rarely very severe unless he believes you're in danger of Falling or not learning from your mistakes. In that case, he is merciless. Besides scolding, minor sins usually result in uinpleasant or boring jobs for weeks or years, depending on serverity. Alternatively, you may be assigned a quest to redeem yourself. Sometimes, Laurence will assign dissonance before sending you on a short quest to remove that dissonance. Longer quests may be accompanied by Discord, such as blindness, Stigmata or even Vulnerability. He sometimes imposes Aura or Bound, but never Celestial Discords. Serious crimes get more serious punishments, beginning with remove of privilages such as artifacts, servants or vessels, or even attunes or rank. Laurence never removes Forces, which he considers to be senseless maiming of an angel. Actual betrayal is punished by Outcasting or death, depending on if Laurence thinks you can be redeemed and how much damage he thinks you could do if you Fell.

Angels of the Sword are highly conscientous about maintaining 'proper' relations with each other, other angels and humans. Impropriety is strictly frowned on. This doesn't mean they can't be friends, but most of their friends will be other Laurentines. They tend to segregate by rank and Choir, not out of regulation, but because that just tends to be who they feel closest to. Exceptions tend to be the result of shared Earthly service.Too much fraternization outside your rank can raise eyebrows - camaraderie's encouraged, but it's dangerous to get too close to someone you order around or someone who orders you around. Friendships can be casual or intimate, and Laurentines do fall in love, but duty must always come first, and Laurence tries to separate those who seem to be getting too close. Many Laurentines prefer to stay casual, though that can still involve sex, or even avoid romance altogether. There is no official position on angelic chastity, and there are rumors that Laurence has taken lovers, but many of his angels prefer to be chaste. Relations with humans are more striclty monitored. Angels of the Sword try not to disillusion humans about the divinity of angels, after all. That means a certain aloofness. They can be friendly ,even fond, but becoming too partial is discouraged, and Laurence forbids sex with mortals. He disapproves of sex with Saints but realizes he can't control that. Don't expect to get promoted if you do it, though.



Laurence doesn't discourage friendships with other Words, except Flowers. (It's not forbidden, but he doesn't approve.) Other angels, however, tend to find the Sword hard to approach. Stone and War get along best, and there's often a strong element of competition with War angels. Judgment and the Sword often work closely and respect each other, but true affection is rare. (Laurentines are instructed to cooperate with Judgment as much as possible, even in investigations of their own, and in return Judgment tends to turn over wayward Sword angels to Laurence.) Few other angels make much of an effort to befriend Laurentines - even if they're the first to be called in for help. The angels of the Sword accept this with grace - it's just one of their burdens.

Next time: the Firstborn

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


shades of eternity posted:

ha,

a buddy of mine wrote a side project in inomine where he made dawrin, dawkins, hitchens, etc the equivelent of athiest saints whom empowered people to kick both heaven and hell out of normal people's lives.

that game was a blast. :D

"Why are not burned by my hellfire?!"

"Because neither you nor Hell exist."

Evil Mastermind posted:

But then as things progressed, you ran into all sorts of situations where they either work against the players or just flat-out don't make sense. Going by the equipment list, a baseball bat wouldn't "work" under Living Land axioms, even though it's basically a club. A longsword has a higher Tech axiom than a shortsword.

*Looks confused* "What do I do with this smooth wood... thing? Someone please hand me a club!"

Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:07 on Jan 21, 2016

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Song of Euphoria.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Superiors 1: War - What Is It Good For



Michael is the axe-wielding Firstborn, the eldest of angels, created by God before any being but Yves. He is the most potent of angels, and he defeated Lucifer in combat and personally hurled him into Hell.


Michael's symbol.

Bright Lilim of War can, with eye contact, make a Perception roll and detect someone's greatest weakness in combat. (CD) is either a bonus to the Lilim's attack or a penalty to the subject's Dodge, at the player's choice. This can be used equally for combat training and actual combat.
One to One is a Servitor attunement that works when in single combat. When attacking a single foe continuously in hand-to-hand combat, you get +1 Power each round, cumulatively, with a cap of (Corporeal Forces). This lasts only while you face the same foe, hand to hand, without stopping for even one round.
Blood Oath is a Servitor attunement allowing you to swear up to (Ethereal Forces) blood oaths. Each must be agained a named enemy you've faced in battle. Should you fight them again afterward, you get +2 to the CD of all attacks against them, but -2 to the CD of attacks against anyone else while they're present, due to distraction. The Oath is taken while shedding blood and can only be dissolved by the vessel-death or soul-death of the enemy. If two Oathed foes are present at once, you take no penalty for ignoring one to attack the other.
Sure-Footed is a Servitor attunement ensuring you never lose your footing or balance. If you are somehow physically thrown, you land on your feet. If the fall is too great for that, you subtract (Corporeal Forces) from the fall damage.
Michael can teach a number of secret Songs, including the Songs of War, Battle and Blades, and possibly the Songs of Creation and Life.
All of Michael's higher distinctions are granted individually to those who have either done great deeds in Heaven's name or been constant in skill and service. There is no strict hierarchy, however. These distinctions have general titles like Hero or Champion, individualized for the event that got them given out - the Champion of the Thera Crater, for example, or the Hero and Slayer of the Worm of Saminga.

Expanded Rites:
1. Conquer in a struggle of some sort, like an argument, sports or a battle, that lasts at least 6 hours.
2. Succesfully defend an outpost.
3. Tutor a pupil or pupils in combat for 3 hours.

Common War Malakim Oaths:
1. Never leave a comrade behind in danger.
2. Always offer an honorable foe a fighting chance.
3. Never leave resources in the hands of the enemy.
4. Protect other soldiers.
5. Protect all civilians.
6. Set an example of courage to others.
7. Share my experiences with others so that they may learn from them.
8. Inspire others with a story of heroism every day.
9. Always keep my weapons in good condition.
10. Tutor someone in fighting or strategy every day.
11. Never refuse an appeal for help from an innocent.
12. Never refuse a call to battle from another angel.
13. Never refuse an honorable challenge to a fight.
14. Never refuse a challenge to a fight.

Michael was the first made of the angels, eldest of all but Yves. From the start, he competed with the others, for while all served God, his was the essence of challenge. From the Fall to this day, he has been War. When the universe was made, Michael was there, helping Lucifer, Baal, Eli, David, Gabriel and Uriel make it to God's liking. He and Baal stirred the matter of creation, and Michael has always been pride that he was the first of the angels, strong and brave, though he's rarely realized others might be bothered by it. Lucifer and Baal were his trusted brothers, though inferior in strength or skill, and Michael was so secure in his knowledge of God that Lucifer never even tried to tempt him. He never saw the Fall coming, and it shocked him to his core. He has never once considered that his side might have been wrong - he knows Truth, after all. He rose to the challenge with all his strength, defeating Lucifer in the moment of the Fall and hurling him into darkness. It was a hand-to-hand fight, and the deed that earned him the title of Archangel of War, the Champion of Heaven.

The demons encamped themselves in Hell, and Michael and his angels went to face them. Sympathetic to humanity, he strengthened them by action and inspiration. In popular culture, he founded the epic of the heroic figure - Gilgamesh, Horatius, Odysseus, Roland. The heroes fought darkness and won - and the winning was important. Winning matters more to Michael than honor. When you fight for God, the ends justify the means. By arms or by wits, War must win or die.



Millenia ago, Michael found himself placed on trial on charges of vainglory and pride, of encouraging heathenish cults and traditions and fighting for his own glory before Heaven's. Michael claimed that first, he had reason for pride, as he fought for his victories, and second, that pride and glory inspired fighters, both mortal and angelic, and thirdly, it was none of Dominic's concern and Dominic had no right to presecute him. Dominic found Michael guilty, though God pardoned him for his ceaseless efforts in Heaven's cause. Michael was disgusted by what he saw as a power play, and he stepped down as Commander of the Ghost, letting Uriel take the position. However, he saw the Purity Crusade as wasteful, energy better spent facing actual foes rather than creatures that were no threat. Perhaps it was honorable, or perhaps just a gambit to unite Heaven, but it was a fool's errand. Michael believes that it is better tha Uriel was removed, as Laurence at least realizes that demons are the true foe.





Michael has returned to bsuiness of War, continuing to foster the cult of Hero and Champion and favoring young warriors who face the darkness. After the foundation of Islam, Michael saw the persecution of Gabriel as unjust, and while his views were based largely on his dislike of Dominic, he also saw danger in driving away one of the most potent and violent Archangels, who was also one of his oldest comrades. He and Yves for once found common cause in defending Gabriel, but it was too late to prevent her self-exile. In recent years, Michael is very concerned with Gabriel's instability, and he worries that she may Fall before the coming of the Apocalypse. If that happened, much as it would pain him, he would face her in battle, as he beleives a sane Gabriel would have wanted.

Michael has pioneered the use of practical techniques - military intelligence, planted agents, division of the enemy, gathering neutral allies and hostage negotiation. After all, he does what wins. His manner of combat has often differed from Laurence, but he hasn't let it cramp his style. With the rise of the media in the 20th century, Michael has even overcome his natural Seraphic distrust of fiction to promote his Word and the ideal of the Champion, which he pioneered in pulp magazines and superhero media. Humans could, he saw, be inspired to fight for goodness.



Michael divides the universe into three categories: those who are inferior to him and should pay attention to him if they know what's good for them, those who are his equals, such as Baal, and those who are his superior: God, and that's it. Accepting Laurence's direction is not the same as considering him a superior. Subordinates face Michael as gruff but honest, assuming they've been brave and fought with good intention. Those who have not will be interrogated and whipped back into shape. He may protect his own from Judgment, but he expects them be responsible to him. Michael is one of the Archangels who truly is free of fear. He has beaten Lucifer before, after all. If Heaven loses, it won't be his fault. He'd be happy to help any other Archangels get rid of their qualms, too. For a while now, he's been suspicious of Yves, the oldest of beings, who knows much but says and does little. It may be that Yves is closer to God than any other, but he still refrains from advocating direct action, claiming to protect the Symphony's Destiny and allying with Dominic, forcing Gabriel into the path that led her to exile. Michael does not understand or trust Yves.

Michael's Word encompasses struggle, strife and battle. All of life is a struggle with others, as competition is the only way to establish your truth. Truth matters to Michael, as a Seraph. He proves his Truth on the bodies of his foes, fighting as proof of it. He encourages humans to grow and excel by strife. He never backs down from an argument with other Archangels for this reason - if their position is True, they'll win. If he wins, clearly his position is correct and True. If they should win, then their position evidently held merit he had not previously realized. The only being against whom he will never fight is God. This doesn't really make him comfortable to deal with, though. He's prickly, takes insult easily and is exceptionally proud. He's protective of his angels, but he expects them to give him their best. His Word also covers the peace that comes after war and the negotiation of treaties after fighting, to ensure that matters are arranged by honor and justice after one side wins. He shares this with Marc, and the two often work closely in that arena. Michael's Word also includes war to depose tyranny - war as a force of natural justice. In the past he once worked with Dominic in this aspect, but in the last few millenia they have grown apart, and Baal has taken advantage of this to strengthen war is a thing of pure violence, without justice.

Next time: Michael and other people.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Point of order, that episode actually followed a very In Nomine (and Part-Time Gods, and a couple other games) "powered by belief, so no worship = we're super weak now" so I have no idea where you're coming from with that, and at no point claimed they were demons, at all, ever?
I recall one god-slaying episode (maybe the first Christmas one?) where Dean intentionally taunts a god by saying that the pagan gods are "basically monsters with an ego" or something to that effect. That might be what Count Chocula's thinking of, or I might be misremembering too.

I do remember that Ganesha being an anthropophage with the other gods in Hammer of the Gods made me feel really uncomfortable, though, and I'm not even Hindu. That I remember pretty well.

Mors Rattus posted:

Michael divides the universe into three categories: those who are inferior to him and should pay attention to him if they know what's good for them, those who are his equals, such as Baal, and those who are his superior: God, and that's it.
And speaking of Supernatural, that is a very Supernatural style Michael. I'm curious as to just where the idea of Michael being arrogant came from, or if it repeatedly evolved independently.

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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



How shall I kill thee? Let me count the ways. Also, unfortunately, I don't have access to the stats of all of these robots. I am a very naughty boy who has still not bought GURPS: ROBOTS NOW AVAILABLE FROM WAREHOUSE 23, GET YOU ONE!



ROBOTS AND CYBORGS: Exterminators

XNU-01 Rover:
Imagine R2D2, a robot the size and shape of a trash can. Imagine that these knockoff R2s are used as security robots in government installations. Now imagine one day R2D2 decides to kill everyone. I don't have full access to this one, but judging by how it has Brawling as a skill, I assume it has arms and legs with a stocky can build. They come equipped with a modular socket that holds either a machine or laser pistol and they have nozzles that can also spray riot gas or nerve gas. They are surprisingly dangerous enemies for an enemy described as "trash can shaped".
Zones: All Zones.

XAU-02 Vanguard: Stolen directly from a pre-war US military robot, the Vanguard is a four-legged all-terrain smartbot that comes with a mounted gun. Judging by the description, I would suppose it looks like the MIT-designed Big Dog. Vanguards talk, but they tend to be terse and careful with their words, even when talking to humans. There are still some pre-War Vanguards running around, and beneath their reprogramming their old military directives might still be accessible to a daring hacker. They are another robot I don't have access for regarding stats.
Zones: London, Denver, Overmind, Tel Aviv, Vancouver, Washington (still calls them by their original name, the M19 Vanguard RCV).

XAU-03 Juggernaut: So we had a trashbot and a dogbot. Next in line? A TANK. Juggernauts have four treads and come equipped with a particle beam cannon, backup gatling gun and four auxiliary auto-lasers, two on each side. Juggernauts were built to command heavy offensive plans against mankind but lately they just sit in storage in case the Zones ever go to war with each other. Occasionally they're still used to put the fear of the Zone in a guerilla group. They have a nuclear battery that also feeds their weapons when their calls are depleted, but they've got energy for days.
Zones: All Zones except Luna and Orbital but oh man do I want to see one of these guys ramping off a moon crater or slowly flying around through space with thrusters.

taaaaaaaaaaaaaaank

XAU-04 Vulture:
Imagine that cigar-shape people claim they see UFOs come in. Now strap a jet pod to two sides of it. Congrats, you have made a Vulture. I'm not joking, this one has a picture.

Vultures provide aerial death in the form of rockets that deliver explosives or chemical weapons. There's nothing too fancy about them or much that warrants commenting. And, of course, I don't have the full stats.
Zones: All except Luna and Orbital which strikes me as odd. You could retrofit them with thrusters but I guess the weapons it comes with aren't too conducive to space combot. Oh well.

XNU-05 Myrmidon: It's a Terminator! It's a man-sized skeletal machine with a big metal skull for a head with a mounted speaker and two eyes. Myrmidons are powered by an internal nuclear battery. Off the bat, it comes with two weapons: a concealed electrolaser and its ability to bite people. Both of those...suck pretty bad. That's why most Myrmidons are equipped with a gun of some kind, be it an energy weapon or a machine gun or a rifle. Myrmidons are not intelligent and are mostly found in units being controlled by a smartbot; I have a feeling they're likely the grunt troops that accompany a Juggernaut into kicking over a Resistance hideout.
Zones: All but there's not a lot of them in Luna or Orbital.

XAU-06 Hoplite: Greek naming conventions aside, why's this guy called the Hoplite? It's got a jump-jet jetpack! :rimshot: These suckers are like Revenants from Doom: they come with claws on their hands and feet, a portable railgun and an autolaser. They drop from Wraith ships and use their jets to reposition and fly tactically. They do not mess around. They are also nuclear-powered but their back-mounted rocket pods require water and fuel to fly. They can only fly/jump around for a maximum of 12 minutes; the water is contained in their chests and the fuel is contained in tanks in their legs. Their legs are also not as well defended as the rest of them (third worst to their rocket pods and their heads). Hint hint.
Zones: All but Luna or Orbital which is really weird to me because you could get real good mileage out of them in lower gravity/zero-g.

XAU-07 Bishonen: The Bishonen was a pre-War experimental Japanese model built for the JSDF. After the Superbot rebellion, Tokyo rediscovered and repurposed the Bishonen as an elite model. I don't have the stats for this one either, but the Bishonen is a humanoid robot that looks surprisingly like Atomic Robo (pictured below). They work alone or in pairs and can be mistaken for human if they try to cover themselves up or stick to shadows. Bishonen have a good skillset, knowing how to track, do karate, use computers, use camo and set traps and explosives. They're dangerous exterminators.
Zones: Predominantly Tokyo but a few other Zones (like Zaire) will use the design.


XAU-08 Tarantula: Look out, here comes the spider-man! Tarantulas are eight-legged robots that were built post-War to root out humans in the ruins and track them to their hidey-holes. They have good, adaptive brains built for investigation and reasoning and able to learn from experience. As a result, some Tarantulas naturally develop personalities or behavioral patterns, sometimes even going so far to talk to their prey (in a weird, soft and sweet voice). Their main weapons are sharp claws on the ends of their legs and two arms, a mounted razer-gun (which I assume fires cutting flechettes) and a mounted sprayer that delivers a chemical payload. Making them even more dangerous is the ability to chameleon, pick locks and cloak themselves from infrared. They're very dangerous, cunning enemies. However, they do not have nuclear batteries and can only run for a little over 166 hours before needing to be recharged. Which is juuuuuust shy of a week.
Zones: All except London, Luna and Orbital.


XNU-09 Stalker: You know the turrets from Portal? Well, give their legs more mobility and you've got a Stalker. Stalkers are mass-produced because they're cheaper to make then Tarantulas. They are also dumb and are mostly told to do stuff like "shock any prisoners that stop working" or "go patrol that corridor". Stalkers can yell things in a weird, creepy voice and they come equipped with a flashlight, an electrolaser rifle that can stun or kill and a blaster pistol. Their big weaknesses? They're small, they're not smart, they can't float in water (but are waterproof) and their guns can draw power from their batteries to fire when the gun's cells are empty. This doesn't sound like a weakness, but their battery capacity is 37.5 hours so they have to recharge every day and a half and using their guns drains that battery.
Zones: All except Orbital and Luna.

XNU-10 Scorpion: Scorpions were designed to deal with pests like rats and other wild animals that ended up causing trouble in facilities. They're small and based on real scorpions with eight legs, a turret head and a stinger. A Scorpion's programming is simple: it sits in one place, cloaks with camouflage and waits for anything to trip its infrared sensors. When the time is right, it pursues its prey and attacks with its bite, drug injector, monowire talons and mouth-mounted holdout laser. They're not dangerous to an aware human, but to one that's asleep or distracted they can be. Scorpions run for a little over a day before they need a recharge.
Zones: Numerous in the facilities of Tokyo and Vancouver, but can be found in light numbers at any other zone besides Luna.

NEXT TIME: Recon Units, from rats to people.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 21:55 on Jan 21, 2016

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