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The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?

Doresh posted:

GSS shall henceforth be in continuity with the Chronicles of Darkness. The mascots for Mahou: The Shoujoing gotta come from somewhere.

I'm not going to lie: if you plunked GSS in the middle of CoD, and kept the tone and everything the same except now the adventures are guest starring vampires and werewolves having their problems solved, I would play the poo poo out of it. Sure, the peace between the Sabbat and Camarilla lasted approximately five seconds after they left the town and its immediate surroundings, but it was really nice while it lasted!

I mean, I'd play the poo poo out of GSS anyways, but still.

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

IF YOU SEE ME SHITTING UP A THREAD ABOUT CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED MMORPG FINAL FANTASY XIV PLEASE REMIND ME THAT I QUIT THE GAME BECAUSE IT COULD NOT HANDLE MY LOFTY CRITICISMS OF VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

AND ALSO TO SHUT THE HELL UP

Mors Rattus posted:

does it count if all I'm taking is the name

Reminds me of an old computer RPG I played as a kid called Inherit the Earth. Premise is, it's far distant future Earth and humanity has disappeared, leaving behind various sentient animal races that humanity uplifted. No one has any idea what happened to humanity or if there was some purpose to their uplift program.

Sounds like a kiddie-friendly premise, but as best I recall it's a dead serious RPG/adventure game that mainly plays with the idea of humanity as a precursor race and a far distant future Earth.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
It was supposed to be an even more serious adventure game but their publisher saw "Animal people" and thought "Kid game" So made them remove all the death scenes and most of the introduction.

Dave Brookshaw
Jun 27, 2012

No Regrets

Mors Rattus posted:

Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I love the idea of Beasts as just some kind of jumped-up, superpowered Goetia-Claimed. It works.

I also like the flat delivery of the line 'I'm a cat.' I actually think the Changing Breeds as a concept have a place in the game. This place would involve throwing out literally their entire book. What I would go with is, essentially: you don't just have an animal soul, you were an animal. Human is not your natural form. You are a shapeshifter because sometimes, animals become people. Why? :shrug: We can figure that out later.

But it'd essentially be a focus on looking at humanity from something nearby but not quite there. It could never support an entire gameline, but maybe a sort of side-group, like ghouls or wolf-bloods. But the basic idea of 'we aren't human, we're animals in human suits' and running with it to explore instinct, 'nature' and so on. Their Integrity-alike would probably be built around going against your animal instincts versus your adopted human worldview and would probably vary pretty wildly, kind of like Harmony in that sense.

Basically: Thanks DaveB, you wrote a good story that breaks down Beasts to something hilariously unimportant in the greater scheme of things and gave me a good idea for how to do Changing Breeds.

Thanks!

So, I don't mind Mage Supremacy. Obviously. But I'm enough of a raging egomaniac to cringe at most attempts to do it, when beginning freelancers flush with enthusiasm write about mages making really critically stupid leaps of logic or idiot-ball holding in order to puncture their egos (they're fictional characters, they don't have egos - what it's really doing is going after Mage's fans, which is just... Save it for the forums.)

Like the Arcadia thing. No Mage advanced enough to have her entire template would mistake Supernal Arcadia and Changeling Faerieland for one another.

But a Mastigos who knew about Sin-Eaters might look at a Beast's claims of kinship and be singularly unimpressed.

I hope The Crossover Chronicle gets a fiction anthology in its eventual kickstarter. Halcyon has so many more splats to insult.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case



The Great Modron March Part 4: Modrons for Bones

My references are getting more and more obscure.

Anyways, last time the PCs saved the town of Heart’s Faith from complete Modron Massacre. Though there was a lot of stompy damage at least they didn’t have to watch orphans get ground into paste in front of them. This adventure picks up shortly after that one—the modrons have left Excelsior and are crossing the Outlands towards Tradegate, the gate-town to Bytopia. This part should be suitable for 4-6 PCs levels 3-5.

A note: this adventure mostly involves helping the modrons, and its placement right after the last is no accident. PCs should be a little leery about helping them after seeing the devastation they can wreak, especially if it’s fresh in their minds. It’s important to remember that modrons are not evil, but dedicated to a task. When they are attacked by truly evil and despicable villains, the PCs should be on their side.

Anyways, some background (for the GM). The Tacharim are a nomadic order of evil “knights” based in the Outlands. They’re cruel and sadistic, with ties to the Doomguard and Xaositects, and their goals seem to revolve around expanding their power and influence in the planes. They are opposed by the knights of Excelsior, especially the paladin Sir Vaimish Crasad.
Recently, the Tacharim kidnapped some modrons from Automata and experimented on them. They discovered that they could remove some of the metallic, clockwork parts from modrons and attach them to people. These limbs granted enhanced abilities, so the Tacharim are taking advantage of the March to stock up on modron parts to build a part-modron army. The general problem is that killed modrons dissolve and their essence returns to Mechanus, thus leaving no parts to scrounge. A Tacharim sage has figured out how to remove and transplant limbs while keeping the modron alive. That’s really what you need to know for now, I’ll fill in the rest when we get there.

So we start with Vaimish Crasad. Recently, his sister has infiltrated the Tacharim, and hasn’t returned. She sent him a cryptic message using magic, saying “The knights of Tacharim have mastered a new, dark lore. You mustn’t let them get at the modrons. They’re using the modrons to…” and there, conveniently, it cuts off. Sir Vaimish is worried about his sister, but duty comes first, so he’s scouring Excelsior to find mercenaries to supplement his forces. His plan is to guard the March to prevent the Tacharim from stealing modrons. This is probably how the PCs get involved. Their factions could also push them to it, since they all want more information about the March and especially about why Sir Vaimish is so interested in seeing the modrons protected.
Assuming they hire on, Crasad briefs them on who the Tacharim are and warns them to be ready. The PCs can catch up to the March easily and are assigned a shift on the spireward side of the modron column. Sir Vaimish has figured out how to cope with the constant pace of the March: each guard unit stays on shift for 8 hours, then takes a 4 hour break. If they move twice as fast as the March, they remain in basically the same relative position. The different areas assigned overlap and each guard unit has a horn to summon help. Other guard units will share rumors that there have been some attacks by dark-armored adversaries, but they don’t know much.

The March is proceeding through an area of scrubby wilderness, which the modrons trample through, occasionally following an existing path and occasionally not. Things are quiet through the PCs’ first shift, but near the end, as night begins to fall, they see movement: three riders on black horses, plus a number of indistinct smaller shapes. They barge into the March and the smaller shapes let out terrifying howls, which seem to strike fear even in the normally immune modrons. This disorganizes the March momentarily, and each rider takes advantage to grab a modron and toss it on their mount.

These are the Tacharim and their pet yeth hounds. The unusual nature of this March is working to their advantage—the modrons are more agitated than normal, and are briefly vulnerable to the yeth hounds’ fear-causing howl. The Tacharim have practiced this tactic and plan to grab as many modrons as they can carry. The knights will fight to the death if the PCs intervene (they’re 4th-level fighters, and there are stats for the yeth hounds provided. It all happens so fast, though, that they might get away. PCs will notice that their foes’ armor bears a strange bulbous flower sigil, and that they’re trying to abduct modrons, not kill them. If they know anything about yeth hounds they’ll also know that they are only corporeal at night, and if they are a key part of the Tacharim’s plan then the knights can only strike at night.

The next attack comes the next night, and the PCs are warned by a trumpeting horn behind them. When they arrive they find eight guardians dead and see a large force of Tacharim and hounds escaping into the darkness. There are at least 20 knights, too many to fight, but PCs who stay hidden can watch them pile the modrons onto a wagon and take up a guard formation around it. Even if PCs don’t want to follow it, the wagon leaves an obvious trail any ranger can track. If they do nothing, attacks continue every night for the next ten days, at which point the March arrives at Tradegate. Sir Vaimish will want them to follow the trail and retrieve the stolen modrons.

These Tacharim are headed for the Rendering Works, a compound about a day’s travel spireward from the March. Black smoke is visible from an hour away. This is not a nice place. The building was originally a school, but has been modified, with windows bricked up. There are guard towers and outbuildings around as well. Smokestacks have been added, which belch a thick oily smoke into the air. The Knights and hounds enter the building through the main door. The PCs can get within about 150 feet without being seen, due to the rocky terrain providing numerous hiding spots.

Here, have a map.


Not pictured: Area A, a watchtower. (It is pictured in the book, but I didn’t feel like taking a picture). It’s 75 feet tall and made of stone on iron supports, iron-reinforced doors, the works. There are three 2nd-level fighter guards within.

B is the main entrance, with two guards inside peering out of peepholes. Nothing too special.

Area C is the Works. It’s very gruesome. When PCs enter, they hear modrons screaming in terror, smell modron vitals exposed to air, and see helpeless modron captives dangling from the ceiling. The room is part forge, part torture chamber. It’s full of vats and forges full of molten metal and numerous bizarre, acrid chemicals. This is the majority of the interior, which has been converted into a facility to dismember modrons, reforge or melt down the parts, and prepare them for the bonding process. The modrons themselves hang from the ceiling—12 monodrones, 5 duodrones, 2 tridrones and 1 quadrone. There are ten workers in here, unarmed and unarmored but evil and ready to fight with knives and tools if necessary.
D is a series of 15-foot-deep pits covered by grates where modron prisoners await rendering. Six monodrones, one tridrone, and one pentradrone are in here, plus Vaimish’s sister Greir, a 9th level ranger; if freed, she will help destroy the whole facility. There are four guards here as well, same as the door/tower guards.

Area E is just a storeroom for tools, supplies, chemicals etc. Nothing valuable in here.

Area F is the guard barracks. They’re pretty spartan, though the part reserved for the knights themselves is nicer, and has some of the black armor that PCs can loot (enough for two full sets). There’s three rooms that can hold 20 people each. There are about 10 each off-duty guards and workers, and maybe a few knights, but not many.

Area G is the common room/mess hall. There’s a crude kitchen here, and some stores; water comes from a nearby spring, food from Tradegate. Little details like that, I like—they make this seem like a real facility that could exist, not a dungeon that exists to be plumbed.

Area H is an observation gallery. Unless the PCs come at a time when a modron is actually being rendered, there’s nobody here. The tables have papers that explain the whole process of removing parts while keeping modrons alive, revealing a lot about modron anatomy.

Area I is the laboratories. This is where bonding modron parts to recipients takes place, using terrible alchemy. There are some operating tables and surgical implements here, along with detailed documents about the bonding process and books of human and nonhuman anatomy. The first lab has an unconscious man with modron legs—if disturbed, he has a seizure and dies. He’s watched over by a single worker. The second lab is empty. The third lab contains Denrac, a bariaur who has received a quadrone’s arm and a monodrone’s retractable monocle. He’s conscious and very hostile because the process is driving him insane. There are three alchemists here trying to calm him down—if the PCs try to help one side, that side will treat them as allies temporarily (Denrac long enough to get out of the lab, whereupon he attacks them, the alchemists until they figure out you’re not Tacharim). All of them are 0th level, though Denrac has some nasty modron abilities, like enhanced strength. The alchemists will be VERY unhappy if he’s killed, since he represents a lot of work, and his lover is the sage Yissa who developed the bonding process (of which more in a bit).

Area J is where the leaders live. This includes the alchemists, Yissa the sage, and a priest of Set named Sethetis. He’s a Tacharim member and the caster most involved in the whole process, mostly to ensure successful bonding. Given his importance to this operation, the Tacharim have assigned him a bodyguard: a fire grue mercenary named Kr’klckl. Anyways, these rooms have some nice stuff to steal, like art and treasure. At night, the various leaders are here, while during the day the DM should decide where they are.
Yissa was expelled from her herd on Ysgard for being kind of a sociopath, so she traveled to Outlands to study modrons. She met and fell in love with Denrac, then joined the Tacharim to advance her modron studies and gross experiments, and Denrac came with her. She will try to avoid combat, since she wants to continue her research (which requires her to be alive) and she has no real loyalty to the Tacharim. If Denrac is dead she’ll be upset, but not so much so that she loses her cool and does something stupid.
Sethetis is a priest of Set and member in good standing of the Tacharim. He’s also a Dustman. That’s a lot of allegiance for one person, but those organizations have fairly well-overlapping goals and methods. Sethetis wants to see if there’s a way to keeping dead modrons from disappearing so he can create undead modrons. So far, no luck, but he’ll keep trying. He won’t fight—he’ll let his grue do it, while he drinks a potion to polymorph into a snake and slither away.

The grue (I am not typing out his name again) is a mercenary and a bit of a sadist. He likes seeing modrons suffer. He won’t let Sethetis out of his sight, but if the priest gets away he considers his job done and peaces out.

The grue’s a bit tough, but there’s no party-wrecking threats here unless they aggro the whole building at once.

Area K is the yeth hound kennels. There’s no guards, because the hounds are intelligent and willfully aligned with the Tacharim. There’s only 2d4 here at a time, since the rest roam, but they’ll attack anyone who doesn’t identify themselves as Tacharim on sight. Remember, daylight banishes them to the Ethereal.

Area L is the stable. Two guards here, but nothing else really. The horses are well cared for at least, and might be used for escape.

The adventure now suggests how the climax might proceed. There are a few ways to sneak in as long as you can bypass the tower guards. The PCs should learn a bit about the Tacharim and their goals. The knights won’t talk, but the right encouragement can make the workers, guards and alchemists dish the dirt on the whole operation: Yissa, the bonding process, etc. They might also reveal the extremely flammability of many of the chemicals involved. Yup, might be we end up burning it all down. Rescuing the modrons is best, but killing them at least denies the Tacharim new parts and makes existing parts vanish (probably fatally). You shouldn’t burn it down with Greir Crasad still inside, though. A surprise attack might work, but it’ll have to be quick.
Anyways, however they do it, ideally they put the Works out of business for good. Any freed modrons still intact enough won’t be thankful—they’ll just rejoin the March as quick as they can. The disabled modrons are basically doomed; they need high-level healing magic to have a prayer, magic the PCs don’t have, and they can’t survive on their own. You can take them all the way back to Mechanus for repairs, which should be worth extra xp, but that’s a difficult trip to make.

There are a few recommendations for follow-up adventures, but we’ll get to some of that in due time… we haven’t seen the last of the Tacharim.

Next time: A favor for a nymph!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Dave Brookshaw posted:

Thanks!

So, I don't mind Mage Supremacy. Obviously. But I'm enough of a raging egomaniac to cringe at most attempts to do it, when beginning freelancers flush with enthusiasm write about mages making really critically stupid leaps of logic or idiot-ball holding in order to puncture their egos (they're fictional characters, they don't have egos - what it's really doing is going after Mage's fans, which is just... Save it for the forums.)

Like the Arcadia thing. No Mage advanced enough to have her entire template would mistake Supernal Arcadia and Changeling Faerieland for one another.

But a Mastigos who knew about Sin-Eaters might look at a Beast's claims of kinship and be singularly unimpressed.

I hope The Crossover Chronicle gets a fiction anthology in its eventual kickstarter. Halcyon has so many more splats to insult.

Yeah, it's a logical and cromulent explanation for Beasts, which fits all available evidence. (And, in fact, does so better than the Dark Mother, an entity that is singularly absent from basically anything.)

Might hit you up later for some advice about Changing Breeds 2.0: Change Harder

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Mors Rattus posted:

Might hit you up later for some advice about Changing Breeds 2.0: Change Harder

I wonder if there's hope for a Beast 2.0: Horror Boogaloo.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!
A captured Pentadrone? Aren't they reasonably tough customers? I have to admit that I can't really remember Modron stats by heart, but about the toughest Tacharim we've heard mentioned so far seem to be 4th-level fighters, which is pretty tough, but chump change compared to a lot of planar creatures. Pretty impressive they managed to capture a 9th-level ranger, too, she could probably make mincemeat out of most of the encounters by herself once the players free her and give her something sharp to wield.

For that matter, what do the Modrons do if freed? Instantly make a beeline for rejoining the March? Or do they hang around and help clear out the Tacharim since they're a danger to the March?

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal
Modrons are pretty drat stupid, there was probably a piece of paper somewhere that said the torture rack had to have x number of victims and the pentadrone was an appropriate choice.

E: The leaders probably nabbed them, this is just a lab for people doing the operations.

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 22:08 on Nov 1, 2016

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos

PurpleXVI posted:

A captured Pentadrone? Aren't they reasonably tough customers? I have to admit that I can't really remember Modron stats by heart, but about the toughest Tacharim we've heard mentioned so far seem to be 4th-level fighters, which is pretty tough, but chump change compared to a lot of planar creatures. Pretty impressive they managed to capture a 9th-level ranger, too, she could probably make mincemeat out of most of the encounters by herself once the players free her and give her something sharp to wield.

For that matter, what do the Modrons do if freed? Instantly make a beeline for rejoining the March? Or do they hang around and help clear out the Tacharim since they're a danger to the March?

I dug up some old stats out of curiosity; a pentadrone has 5 HD, 3 AC, attacks for 1d4+4 five times a round (they're extremely strong but unarmed) and can emit a stream of paralysis gas in a 2' wide, 5' long line once every five turns (AD&D reminder: that's 50 rounds, or a bit more often than once an hour; they're not doing it twice in a battle). They also require magic weapons to hurt and resist extreme temperatures, including fire and cold damage.

They're pretty tough, but if the group of fourth-level fighters had plate mail and a couple magic weapons between them they could probably take a single one down, especially with the yeth hounds. (I don't remember how being a magical creature interacts with 'requires a +1 weapon to hurt with weapons' other than that it does, so I'm assuming yeth hounds can in fact hurt a pentadrone.) Alternately, if any of the spellcasters knew lightning bolt, they don't resist electricity like they do fire and cold and do not have magic resistance.

They are the most intelligent of the captured modrons... with 11-12 INT. Tridrones have 8-10, duodrones have 5-7 and monodrones aren't much more intelligent than an animal with 2-4. I assume that in a big enough group this won't matter much since they'll just be taking orders down the line.

Prism fucked around with this message at 22:20 on Nov 1, 2016

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case


My guess is that they captured it by disorienting it and binding it quickly. There are different types of Tacharim, so if they targeted a pentadrone for a raid they'd have sent tougher guys.
And yes, in 2e different amounts of HD count as different levels of magical plus for hitting stuff that can only be hit by magic weapons. There's a chart somewhere.

If you set any of them free they beeline for the March and rejoin it.

EDIT:

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
I got to write up the sects for Planewalker.com, and I dug and found every sect I could to include, but the Tacharim are possibly the least interesting sect that Planescape ever had. About the best I could do is hint that the Tacharim may have actually been founded by figures from the upper planes to run around doing eeevil in order to ensure the forces of good don't become too complacent, but that's my own take.

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

The grue (I am not typing out his name again)

Could have just abbreviated his name to KKK.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
From what Mors has been describing, I'm now imaging a rhino shapeshifter banker in the middle of a heated phone call. As it carries on, they revert more and more back towards their rhino self until the entire office is watching a rhino in a three piece suit scream at the speaker phone, some how hold a fountain pen to scribble down notes in those paws and ponder how the hell their chair hasn't given out yet.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Dead Reign posted:

The decisions I made were as the Publisher and Chief Game Designer for Palladium Books. I'm sorry the expectations of Josh and Joshua may have been dashed by my decisions, but I had to do what I believed was best for the product, the company and the fans. That's what I did. It is my job and responsibility. I have no regrets.



Dead Reign Part 7: "It's not Superman or the X-Men fighting zombies, it's you."

Game Rules

144 pages into the game, we get a "what roleplaying is!" primer.

Dead Reign posted:

Role-playing games are really just an advanced form of regular board games. In fact, they are so advanced they no longer use a board and the playing pieces are the characters in each player's imagination. Pretty cool already, and you haven't even started playing.

:psyduck:

If you're seen most Palladium games before, it goes into the usual "Imagine the scene! Imagine your character! What do you do?" bit, but instead of a thug / mutant animal / Zentraedi robbing somebody, there's a spooky laughter in the basement you're in. Actually, I realize the text of investigating a monster in the basement is mostly just copy-pasted from Beyond the Supernatural. We get descriptions of the various hobbyist dice (it uses all of the usual except d12s), and it refers us to get books from Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks (whups, out of business), or Borders (whups, out of business), or a comic book shop. You'll need paper, pencils, and a place to play! It's a clunky section but at least it bothers, I guess? That may not seem like an accomplishment, but I've seen enough modern games that presume this isn't your first RPG rodeo and offer no introduction or advice. At least it tries.


"I'm a gas mask astronaut! Nobody's getting at my brains."

Character Creation

Most people familiar with Palladium will be familiar with this - even though Rifts Ultimate Edition had introduced new mechanics like bonus attribute points for low rolls and low attribute penalties three years before this, we're back to usual 1990s-era Palladium character creation for whatever reason. So let's do this, and do it quick:

Step 1: The Eight Attributes: Roll 3d6 eight times down the line for each attribute, add an extra 1d6 if you roll 16+, get a bonus to something if you get 16+. No rearranging or adjusting or anything like that. Intelligence Quotient gives a bonus to skills. Mental Endurance gives a bonus on saves against psionics (not in this game), insanity, or horror. Mental Affinity gives a % chance to make people trust or fear you. Physical Strength grants a bonus to melee damage. Physical Prowess gives bonuses to attack or defend. Physical Endurance gives a bonus to survive coma or death, on saves against poison, and against magic (not in this game). Physical Beauty gives a % chance to charm or impress. Speed determines your maximum movement rate (we get a speed chart that tells us that 22 Speed = 15 MPH). We get encumbrance rules and rules on throwing things and then move on to step two.

Step Two: Understanding Damage Ratings: First we talk about armor ratings, which are a rating you have to beat (not tie, how intuitive!) on your d20 attack roll to hit an armored target. We haven't covered strike (attack) rolls yet, but once again, the organization here probably involves a dart board. We get a recap of how this works in regards to zombies, in case you missed it the first two times. And here I bet you thought because it said 'character creation' we'd be dealing with that! Nope! It's time to discuss S.D.C., or "Structural Damage Capacity", which we all have, being structures and all. I'm pretty structural myself. Damage to S.D.C. is just supposed to be flesh wounds, or-

Dead Reign posted:

This is actually realistic when you think about professional athletics, especially boxers, hockey, and football players. Football players, for example, are "gridiron warriors" who get hit, knocked down, tackled, crunched and battered without (for the most part) life threatening injury. They hurt and ache, but they are far from seriously injured and can, with some pain, continue to "play" with negligible impairment or apparent discomfort. That's S.D.C in a nutshell.

Uh, Siembieda, you do know all of those sports use protective padding, right...?

Anyway, remembering this is a character creation section for a moment, PCs get a very modest amount of S.D.C. compared to other Palladium games - less than 20, which means one or two 1d6+10 zombie punches will put you into emergency territory if you haven't been buffing up. Hit points are your bloody injury zone, and are equal to your Physical Endurance + 1d6 per level. Below 0 hit points, you're getting into the coma zone. We then go on to describe the S.D.C. of objects. Can I play a wooden door? No, but this section meanders between rules for the game and character creation like a zombie who's eaten the contents of a Friday night drunk tank, continuing to editorialize:

Dead Reign posted:

From time to time we hear a complaint that goes something like "How can somebody be bashing or shooting into a door and the door is in perfect condition until its S.D.C. is depleted?"

The answer is, it is not in perfect condition...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FYTc55nGEI

We get the full injury recovery rules: 2-4 HP and 4-6 S.D.C. per day, it doesn't say if both recover at the same time or separately. There's rules for recovering from comas (using a liberal definition of the word "coma" to mean "any unconsciousness", blood loss at low HP, etc.

Step Three: Choosing an Occupation and Skills: Now you can choose an Occupational Character Class (O.C.C.)., i.e. just class with some words bolted on. Each has minimum attribute requirements, but Siembieda throws a bone to players this time by saying if you miss the requirements by a class "by a point or two" the GM "should" let players bump up the necessary attribute to match. O.C.C.s often provide:
  • Attribute or combat bonuses.
  • A base Potential Psychic Energy rating (only really useful here to determine what I would call your "Z.Y.F.", or Zombie Yum Factor, since this game... doesn't have psychics, potential or otherwise)
  • O.C.C. Skills (which are fixed skills your class gets, usually with a bonus), Elective Skills (skills you choose that get a bonus if your class favors them), and Secondary Skills (skills you choose that get no bonuses).
  • What equipment and money you start with.
  • How much XP it takes to level up.
Even though multiple O.C.C. characters exist in other Palladium games, they're explicitly banned here, though the Survivor O.C.C. effectively uses the dual-class mechanics (where one "class" is your former occupation and the other is the Survivor class).

Step Four: Alignment: Though it says "All character must select an alignment.", but I'm not sure why. They have literally no mechanical impact and only serve as a vague roleplaying guideline at best - and aren't that useful as a guideline to begin with, because they're ancient, arbitrary guidelines originally designed for a D&D knockoff. There's two "good" alignments (Principled and Scrupulous), two "selfish" alignments (Unprincipled and Anarchist), and three evil alignments (Aberrant, Miscreant, and Diabolic), but I can't emphasize how little they matter. Other Palladium games at least have some corner cases in which alignments matter (though they rarely do, even there), but Dead Reign has nothing. But it does have...

Dead Reign posted:

No Neutral Alignments

Yes, the two paragraph screed railing against that terrible neutrality that Siembieda has been plastering in his core books for two or three decades still in here, as if anybody ever cared nearly as much.


"I know, I know. I should quit."

Step Five: Character Advancement: We get two full pages going on and on about why a experience system is important, which is odd, given it's hardly a controversial notion. It's extremely rare to find a game without some sort of experience system, after all. And it's a doozy of a ramble.

Dead Reign posted:

I also like it because I believe an Experience Level System simulates real life I don't care how much schooling and education a person gets, or how much time a person logs on a computer or playing through controlled simulations, none of it is a substitute for real life experience. (Or in this case, real fictional advertising and game play.) Furthermore, a person just gets better in many things with age and experience. Look at sports and almost any skilled profession. Those dedicated to learning and improving do get better. I know art and writing best. so I'll use my personal experiences as an example. As of the year 2008, I'm 52 years old and I've been writing and designing games professionally for 27 years. I started Palladium at the age of 24 armed with dream, determination, a gazillion ideas, unbridled enthusiasm and raw talent. If you had asked me then, I would have told you I was a good writer and concept man, and a Jack of Many Trades who was writing at his best. All true. However, looking back at much of my early work makes me cringe. It was the best I could do - at the time. I was proud of it then, and created one good selling role-playing game world after another, even a few mega-hits. However, looking back at my work with a critical eye, I can tell you that a lot of it was weak, rough, unpolished, and sometimes limited by my experience. My writing ability and business acumen are superior today to what they were 20 years ago, or even five years.

In a game context, you might ask, how can that be? After all, I was dedicated, driven and gave my work everything I had to give. I strove to be the best and hungered to create the best. So why wasn't that work the best I would ever create? The simple answer is experience. I was a first level writer and game designer back then. Today, because I never stopped dreaming up new ideas, new approaches and ways to improve, I'm a much higher level character. My years of experience and practice at my craft have made me a superior writer, designer and businessman to what I was 27 years ago, or even five years ago. All the desire and raw talent in the world means squat without determined persistence and growth through experience. More than anything, just doing it - the practice and experience - helps a creator grow and improve at his craft. Today, I believe my writing and design work is better than ever, heck, the best it has ever been, but with a little more work I'll continue to grow and improve.

I can also report there have been quantum leaps in my development. Sudden and noticeable breakthroughs and improvements as if I had reached a new plateau of Level of Experience. That may sound corny, but it's true. Every artist, writer, and creative person out there is nodding their head in agreement as they read this, because they have experienced it themselves. For whatever reason, one day something just clicks. Yesterday, you struggled drawing hands and feet, or couldn't get shadowing and shading the way you wanted it. Heck, you've been working on them for freakin' years, and then, one day, you wake up, sit down at the drawing table, and it flows out of you like magic. It's a wonderful (and mildly strange) experience. Likewise, as much as we a loath to admit when we are young, age plays a factor. I've seen it a hundred times in artists, where something happens around age 30-34 and the artist goes from good to great as if he has achieved a new level of expertise and his stats just went up. I don't know why. I've just seen it enough times to be true.

That's a lot to quote, but I wanted to get you the full, galling, ironic effect of having a man describe at excruciating length about how much he's improved while serving up the same decades-old experience system he adapted from AD&D. This is just a part of it - his meandering about the importance and realism of XP does not begin or end there. In any case, in the system itself, gaining levels improves all skills and hit points by default, and usually gives some class-dependent benefit like new skills or extra bonuses. XP is granted arbitrarily by the GM based on vague guidelines the game provides based on accomplishments, with rewards between 25 and 700 XP. Levels take a few thousand XP at the low levels and tens of thousands of XP at the high levels. More powerful classes gain levels more slowly at early levels but actually speed up towards higher levels, bizarrely, and what counts as a powerful class is extremely arbitrary. The Shepherd of the Damned, for example, is the 2nd slowest leveling class in the game for no reason I can discern. (The 1st is the Half-Living.)

Optional: Quick Character Creation: So next we get an optional system where you either roll or pick off a following table of attribute spreads (like 9+1d6 or 20+1d4) that are supposed to speed things up by directing you to relevant classes for those attributes. However, this table displays a hilarious lack of awareness of the 3d6 curve, easily offering over 30+ points of attributes on average over somebody who rolls 3d6 "down the line" Palladium-style. Once again, the "low" attributes are 9+1d6 instead of 3d6. In addition, they do nothing to fix the primary cause of slowness in the Palladium system - recording your skills and their level, which remains as awful as it's ever been.

Ways to Round Out Your Character: And now we get the usual random list of tables to roll on, like:
  • Alignment: Good and Selfish only, 25% chance of each.
  • Sex: Literally biased towards guys with a 60% chance of being male. Nothing LGBT, for the record.
  • Age, Build, Height: Nothing weird here.
  • Birth Order for Humans: There's no other species in the game, but sure.
  • Environment Growing Up: 40% chance of being rural, when in fact about 15% of Americans classify as rural. Fact-check!
  • Survivor Family Loss: You can't roll your way out of having lost family, sorry! This is Zombietown.
  • Relationship to Teammates: Actually a useful table to create hooks between characters! A Palladium first?
  • Special Aptitude Bonus: A special bonus your character gets only if you roll on the other random determination tables save for the ones that follow. I guess Kevin really, really wants you to random roll your poo poo. All of the bonuses are pretty strong, or at the very least none are entirely crap, from bonus attacks to extra skills to attribute boosts.
  • Outlook on Earth's Future and Disposition are extra optional and it says players should never be forced to random roll their personality. But if you want to, they're here for you.


Nick Bradshaw!

Lastly, we have Insanity... but this is long enough. Insanity gets its own update.

Next: "Go crazy?" "Don't mind if I do!"

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

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

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:

Grimey Drawer
Role playing games are just like board games only there's no board.

LongDarkNight
Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.
Oven Wrangler
I've read erotica that was less masturbatory than that.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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

Prism posted:

I dug up some old stats out of curiosity; a pentadrone has 5 HD, 3 AC, attacks for 1d4+4 five times a round (they're extremely strong but unarmed) and can emit a stream of paralysis gas in a 2' wide, 5' long line once every five turns (AD&D reminder: that's 50 rounds, or a bit more often than once an hour; they're not doing it twice in a battle). They also require magic weapons to hurt and resist extreme temperatures, including fire and cold damage.

5HD, assuming Fighter Thac0 progression is already pretty good, and considering the high strength their Thac0 might've been boosted even further, and 3AC isn't anything to sneeze at either.

5 x 1d4+4 damage means between 5 and 40 points of damage in a round if they hit someone. 40 points of damage is enough to vaporize most characters, especially if you're not assuming maxed hit dice, and the paralysis gas is basically a save-or-die. For it to seem believable to me, yeah, the Yeth Hounds would have to basically paralyze the Modrons with their fear effect.

But I'm just being a nitpicky nerd because I expected the Tacharim to be preying on the smaller and weaker modrons rather than actually being a threat to someone somewhat up the hierarchy.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos

PurpleXVI posted:

5HD, assuming Fighter Thac0 progression is already pretty good, and considering the high strength their Thac0 might've been boosted even further, and 3AC isn't anything to sneeze at either.

5 x 1d4+4 damage means between 5 and 40 points of damage in a round if they hit someone. 40 points of damage is enough to vaporize most characters, especially if you're not assuming maxed hit dice, and the paralysis gas is basically a save-or-die. For it to seem believable to me, yeah, the Yeth Hounds would have to basically paralyze the Modrons with their fear effect.

But I'm just being a nitpicky nerd because I expected the Tacharim to be preying on the smaller and weaker modrons rather than actually being a threat to someone somewhat up the hierarchy.

Their THACO is 15. I forgot to note that. (This is why I listed 'plate mail' as one of the items you should probably have.) Also, it's five attacks at 1d4+4, not one attack that is (1d4+4)x5, so some of them are likely to miss, reducing the damage.

They only get one blast of the paralysis gas and it can only reasonably hit one target because it's a line that only goes five feet, so I was mostly ignoring that, though it is pretty much guaranteed to take the single target that it affects out of the fight. It's not an easy target by any means but it's not impossible, especially if the spellcasters are involved. Also though they're immune to illusions and fear, they're not immune to blinding, being caught in a net, being pushed into a pit (well technically they resist that once since they can hover on their paralysis gas blast, but then they can't paralyze anybody), or even being physically dogpiled and grappled. They're human-sized despite their strength and despite the art making them look like they should be ten feet tall.

Honestly, the quadrone is probably actually harder to catch because they're almost as tough (4 HD), makes attacks as if it was 8 HD, tends to use bows (which it can dual-wield since it has four arms) but can do more damage than the pentadrone in melee, are never surprised, and some of them fly. But yeah, it's just nitpicky on both our parts, ha ha. It doesn't really matter: there's one there, you can rescue it. I actually like that it's not all the weakest modrons in there; these guys are actually a threat, not just scavenging lovely monodrones.

Prism fucked around with this message at 02:37 on Nov 2, 2016

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

The project begins.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



CHAPTER THREE: Shambling 101

AFMBE uses the tried-and-true Attribute+Skill+Dice vs. TN system. Using Skills and Attributes are called Tests, using raw Attributes is called a Task (double the Attribute for a simple test). However before we get into that, the book gets a little confusing by saying "this is the system we use but here are all of the alternate ways to play the game first". This threw me a lot when I first read this book and despite how much I love it, it really did take me a while to figure out just how to play AFMBE due to this weird little quirk of presentation. Admittedly, AFMBE is the first game that really sucked me into being interested in tabletop RPGs; my only real experience before that was D&D 3.5 and I had no idea that a lot of systems just use the same sort of mechanics.

Alternate Game Systems

Playing Cards:
You draw a card from a deck and face cards count as a 5 followed by an additional draw where another face makes it a +10 and any other card is just a 5. Jokers are only used in an optional rule where you draw another card a red card is an automatic success while black is an automatic failure. There's an optional rule where players have a hand of six cards from a shuffled deck that they can use to add to Tasks or Tests in order to let the players control the narrative and reduce randomness. Weapon damage is fixed to the average amount indicated on the equipment charts. It's a pretty workable system but if you're new to the genre, this really shouldn't be the first thing you see in the mechanics section.

Story-Driven Diceless: This works like how Fallout New Vegas did some skill checks. There are fixed TNs based on difficulty of a situation and your combined Attribute+Skill can basically carry you up to a certain threshold of difficulty. You can also forgo needing the numbers if you roleplay hard enough. Weapons still do fixed damage and there are no Life Points, just descriptions of how severe your wounds are (less than 10 points is a light wound, 10-20 is a serious wound, more than that is dangerous and probably life-threatening). Not bad for freeform or play-by-post RPGs.



UNISYSTEM PROPER

The two things that the book emphasizes are good standbys of RPG design: Roll When It's Important, don't just make them roll for everything, and Rolls Don't Rule. Rolls Don't Rule pretty much means that the GM should pull punches if the outcome is A: bad for the story, B: not fun or C: both.



The main TN you're shooting for is TN 9 and anything above that just adds more to the success and with the use of penalties and bonuses depending on circumstances. There are penalties for unskilled Skill checks. There's also a somewhat interesting critical system where rolling a 10 or a 1 means you roll again and then get a bonus/penalty depending on the result or another reroll. It's a little complicated; if it's a 10, you roll again, subtract 5 from the result and if it's positive get that added to 10. If you roll another 10, you roll a third dice and have +15 from the previous rolls. It's a little too fiddly and hard to explain because it also applies to rolls on 1s where negative results subtract from the pool.



I don't really feel like getting too deep into mechanics; these are generally things people have seen before and understand if they have a passing familiarity with these types of systems. Like so:



FEAR TESTS

I don't really like Fear Tests! This isn't a shocking stance to take but I do feel like it needs to be said. I like it to be natural for my character to feel fear in a scenario outside of some rear end in a top hat wizard casting a Fear spell. Plus I'm the kind of person who doesn't really like to be told how my character feels or reacts to stuff. So as a general whole, it's your duty to take Nerves of Steel and then not deal with this.



But if you don't, well. Fear Tests have a TN of 9 and are calculated differently. Roll 1d10, subtract your Willpower Attribute and then add penalties onto the result based on violence/terror of the situation. Inspired get to double their Willpower to resist Fear, so Praymaster the Granter of Miracles with a Willpower of 4 gets to subtract 8 from the result on a d10 and will only really get scared in the face of the worst poo poo. If the result is 9, you flinch or jump for a second but that's it. Having a higher result than 9 from all of that inflicts penalties.

So yeah, take Nerves of Steel because you're playing a survival horror RPG and any time you don't have to deal with stuff like a Fear Test is a good time.

COMBAT



Turns last 1-5 seconds and are basically one action apiece.

Intentions: Say what you want the character to do and the GM will decide whether or not it flies. GMs are cautioned to not just rubber-stamp everything a player wants to do but they also shouldn't just shoot down every idea. You should mention things the players might have missed or forgotten.

Initiative: Whoever starts the fight gets to go first on the first Turn. After that, it can be either selected by the GM or you roll 1d10 and add Dexterity. Some things also just happen first; guns are faster than melee but a sucker punch takes precedent and Miracles or thought-activated things just fire off the fastest. Ultimately that falls under GM discretion outside of rolling for initiative.

Performance: You can take multiple actions with a cumulative -2 to each action (except in melee in which you get one attack and one defense for free before you start getting penalties). The only defense against ranged weapons is to dodge or make a Dexterity roll. You can also aim and fire bursts: -1 instead of the -2 for semi-auto, the standard -2 if it's a heavy semi-auto, bursts have -3 for multiple bursts but success levels mean that more than one bullet hits, automatic fire means you start taking -4 to hit after every 10 bullets but successes mean more bullets hit and automatic can also be used suppressively without aiming but anyone not in cover is hit by d4 shots. There's an optional rule where being shot at is stressful and if you want to do something while being shot at you have to make a Willpower test first.

DAMAGE

Damage is calculated by rolling the relevant dice and then multiplying it. Damage multipliers for ranged weapons are loosely defined by distance the bullet travels (more damage for point-blank) but have a basic fixed multiplier while melee weapons have a multiplier based on the user's Strength. Time for special weapon rules that don't necessarily apply to fighting the undead! Two-handed weapons add +1 to the Strength of the wielder for damage. Slashing/stabbing weapons do double damage (to humans, this doesn't apply to zombies). Bullets that pierce armor do double damage from getting trapped inside, hollow point bullets deal triple damage but double armor between the target in bullet and AP bullets don't do extra damage but halve the armor. Shotguns really just hit targets easier with shot and their other bonuses depend on the other types of shot. Explosives deal both shockwave and fragment/shrapnel damage and depending on the balance between of the two damage varies. There is also poison, disease, fire, falls and more but that's pretty specific.



Guns are incredibly lethal in AFMBE, especially if it's between two humans. Let's take our buddy the Soldier/SWAT (and for easier convenience let's just call her Iris). Iris is in a shootout with the Biker and Iris has an assault rifle. 5.56 mm bullets deal 1d8x4 and has a fixed damage of 16, which means that the Biker's LP of 58 can't take much more than three and a half bullets on average because when NPC enemies hit 0 LP they tend to die. The humble assault rifle fires in burst and automatic, meaning that the moment Iris points her gun at the Biker, he is hosed for a variety of reasons. First his leather jacket counts as armor meaning that a bullet in his belly does double damage from bouncing around. Second, Iris has a Dexterity of 4 and a 4 in Guns (and maybe a +2 bonus from having a specialization in automatic rifles?). This means that versus a flat TN of 9, she has nowhere to go but up if she rolls higher than a 2. One squeeze and the Biker is absolutely annihilated from the first two bullets in a burst. Anything more than that is overkill. And this all happens on turn one because Iris has Fast Reaction time and he doesn't.

AFMBE doesn't do the Exalted-style rocket tag; AFMBE's combat style is shooting someone the moment you see them. Combat against the zombies themselves tends to be a bit more complex for whichever reason, but against a normal person it's quick and bloody and final. The advice of "pull your punches" is an absolute necessity if you ever put human enemies up against the players and they don't get to go first.

Armor does help protect you by having a result you can roll relevant to the type of armor and then subtracting it from the damage, but this only goes so far. Items also have armor and Life Points.



INJURY

The rough estimate of damaged is that 2 points is something superficial, 3-5 is a deep but light wound, 6-10 is severe and 11-15 sustained is the kind of wound that pops an organ or inflicts massive trauma. This estimate scale is accurate but still laughable when the average 5.56 mm bullet deals 16 damage on average. You're not inhibited until you're down to 5 Life Points where you have penalties to doing anything. At 0 you have to make Willpower and Constitution tests to stay on your feet and stay awake. -10 LP and below and you're in critical territory, needing to make Willpower/Constitution Survival tests to not die. If you took any level of Hard to Kill, you have bonus points against not dying while you take -1 to such tests for every 10 points below -10 you have sustained. You either die from a failed roll or get saved with some medical attention.

Endurance Point damage just causes you to pass out unless the GM uses an optional rule where you sustain 1 Life Point for every 4 Endurance Points of damage because nonlethal doesn't mean harmless.

Failing a Survival roll means you'll die in Conx2 minutes without immediate medical attention from a trained professional. If you're in the basement of the abandoned church on Blood Mountain, this rule doesn't really apply. But if you can get medical attention and you're not ripped in half or decapitated or something worse, it's possible for a trauma doctor and nurses to attempt to resuscitate the technically dead player.

So how do you get better? Well it's not easy. First Aid can be used to treat the player once for each wound sustained, restoring 2 points per success level. In the case of the shot Biker, there would be three wounds sustained that can be treated. In a hospital, you recover your Constitution in Life Points per day when below 0. Without a hospital, you need to make a Survival test daily and getting 1 LP per level of success. When you're back to 0, you recover 2 LP a day flat, nothing else. So not only is it incredibly easy to die, it's hard to heal without downtime.

Endurance loss can only be regained by getting sleep. When you're down to 5, you take -2 to everything. Hit 0 and you nap. You also have to get at least 7 hours of sleep a day to not lose points from being tired, costing 1 point per hour of missed sleep and for every hour past 24 hours awake. You gain Endurance at a rate of your Constitution score per half hour of sleep.



Essence damage is more situational. Being in prolonged periods of stress and danger takes away 1d4 Essence per hour while combat eats 2 Essence points per turn and 3 in close combat. 1 or 0 Essence means that the character is depressed, having negative Essence forces Willpower checks vs. temporary mental Attribute loss and having -30 Essences forces save or die Willpower checks. Inspired regain Essence at a rate of Willpower per five minutes (translation: they are fine in a hour) while Norms and Survivors regain it at a rate of Willpower a hour.

I'm not including the vehicle rules 'cuz I need to draw the line somewhere.

IMPROVING CHARACTERS



Having spent more time since I first read AFMBE, I can't say it's got a perfect character progression system but it's pretty drat decent. The slight crimp in it is that you have to basically explain why your character gained such an advancement and it has to make sense with what you've been doing, but that's something the GM has to address.



What's not covered in this table is the fact that Attributes are supposed to be more fixed anchors to measure your character by. Raising a <5 Attribute costs 5 points while getting that sixth costs 10 points. It's generally not hard to walk away with at least 5 points which means it's not going to be hard to start getting those Don't Suck qualities for the Norm characters or something else that helps boost your character. Normally I would be a little leery at how these things are priced, but considering the lethality of combat it's pretty fair.

CHAPTER FOUR: Implements of Destruction

Chapter four is all about weapons, armor and equipment. It's got quite a bit to offer in materials and special rules so I'll mostly just share the tables and such. Equipment has Encumbrance Value, Cost in 1999 dollars (which the game admits is irrelevant in certain campaigns where there's either barter or murdering the owner to take it) and Availability (Common, Uncommon and Rare).

General Stuff





Weapons




Explosives





There are also vehicles. I won't really be including them. Here's a typical vehicle statblock for a sedan.



Thoughts: Honestly the lethality of the system lends itself to the survival horror feel without demanding REALISM and COMPREHENSIVE MECHANICS and MDC and BEING COMPATIBLE WITH EVERY OTHER PRODUCT EVER. I hate you Kevin Siembeida. I appreciate the other posters of this thread for sharing with me the edits they make to the mechanics which would make a good job of stabilizing the system and letting the Attributes do more. Honestly if I had to make a change of my own, it would be adding survival horror healing tools, stuff like injection guns of glowing chemicals or some kind of biogel to help cope with the lethality. But, admittedly, that would probably only fit for certain campaigns.

NEXT TIME: my favorite mechanical part of the book, the rules for building zombies to put up against the players. It's fun and neat and I have an idea for a zombie to build but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
When I was running Victorian Fantasy Versus Zombies ages ago in college, the nastiest surprise I gave the players was the zombies were, you know, slow and dumb headshot zombies who only infect after death (though anyone bitten was doomed to rise when they died, from any cause).

But they could dig. You have no idea how much that one detail can gently caress your players' plans to hole up. Zombie creation is great.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Night10194 posted:

When I was running Victorian Fantasy Versus Zombies ages ago in college, the nastiest surprise I gave the players was the zombies were, you know, slow and dumb headshot zombies who only infect after death (though anyone bitten was doomed to rise when they died, from any cause).

But they could dig. You have no idea how much that one detail can gently caress your players' plans to hole up. Zombie creation is great.
Hahaha, oh god, that's pretty great and it warranted a real life laugh. It really is one of the main selling points of the system and every expansion does add something new to zombie creation. Even with the core book alone you can make some pretty interesting undead or just give a regular shambler one little quirk that quickly becomes a major problem for the players. Burrowing is a great choice for that.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
That campaign was legit one of the most fun games I've ever run and the frantic scramble to re position their supplies to the top floor and destroy the staircases as the zombies tunneled under the barricaded doors and windows of a fancy hilltop manor house was just great.

AFMBE is a fairly simple RPG but I feel like it does simple right.

(MVP was Governess With A Fireplace Poker.)

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah


quote:

The decisions I made were as the Publisher and Chief Game Designer for Palladium Books. I'm sorry the expectations of Josh and Joshua may have been dashed by my decisions, but I had to do what I believed was best for the product, the company and the fans. That's what I did. It is my job and responsibility. I have no regrets.

Reminder: In the middle of the slow trainwreck that has been Robotech Tactics fulfillment, KS spat out a 10k+ word "update" (it hit the character limit and had to be broken into two posts) that wanked about Palladium's long gone licenses, threw their partnering company under the bus for nearly everything, and also admitted that no one had figured out where or to whom product needed to be shipped until the factory in China had their first shipment ready and asked what the gently caress was up.

quote:

Role-playing games are really just an advanced form of regular board games. In fact, they are so advanced they no longer use a board and the playing pieces are the characters in each player's imagination. Pretty cool already, and you haven't even started playing.

:coolspot:

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


One thing to be noted about AFMBE is that chart about targeting different body parts only fully applies to living humans. Zombies ignore everything except the to-hit modifier, as they have their own rules for how damage works on them later in the book.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

senrath posted:

One thing to be noted about AFMBE is that chart about targeting different body parts only fully applies to living humans. Zombies ignore everything except the to-hit modifier, as they have their own rules for how damage works on them later in the book.
Oh, yes. This is important and now I kinda see what you mean when you say stuff gets buried.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


Siembieda strikes me as the tabletop industry equivalent of Rob Liefeld- an abrasive manchild whose success is best explained by being the result of a wish from a genie to be a successful game designer/comic book artist.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

Kavak posted:

Siembieda strikes me as the tabletop industry equivalent of Rob Liefeld- an abrasive manchild whose success is best explained by being the result of a wish from a genie to be a successful game designer/comic book artist.

I could be completely wrong on this, but didn't Liefeld turn out to be a pretty cool dude socially, bad art notwithstanding?

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


gradenko_2000 posted:

I could be completely wrong on this, but didn't Liefeld turn out to be a pretty cool dude socially, bad art notwithstanding?

Yeah, apparently he's really personable with fans.

Just like Siembieda...

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Though Liefield made some pretty stupid decisions when he ran Image, including spending more time trying to get licensing deals than making sure the comics came out on time and are up to standard.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
Liefeld pretty much cops to loving up at Image last I checked. The real Siembieda in that train wreck was probably Todd McFarlane, or rather Siembieda is a lesser version of McFarlane's complete rear end in a top hat schtick.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012



Hostile V posted:

NEXT TIME: my favorite mechanical part of the book, the rules for building zombies to put up against the players. It's fun and neat and I have an idea for a zombie to build but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Can you build Blaine DeBeers? I vote for Blaine in the absence of anything better.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

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

Hostile V posted:

DAMAGE

Damage is calculated by rolling the relevant dice and then multiplying it. Damage multipliers for ranged weapons are loosely defined by distance the bullet travels (more damage for point-blank) but have a basic fixed multiplier while melee weapons have a multiplier based on the user's Strength. Time for special weapon rules that don't necessarily apply to fighting the undead! Two-handed weapons add +1 to the Strength of the wielder for damage. Slashing/stabbing weapons do double damage (to humans, this doesn't apply to zombies). Bullets that pierce armor do double damage from getting trapped inside, hollow point bullets deal triple damage but double armor between the target in bullet and AP bullets don't do extra damage but halve the armor. Shotguns really just hit targets easier with shot and their other bonuses depend on the other types of shot. Explosives deal both shockwave and fragment/shrapnel damage and depending on the balance between of the two damage varies. There is also poison, disease, fire, falls and more but that's pretty specific.

You mix up the bullet effects a bit here, but only a little bit.

The damage multipliers for bullets are 1x for Armor Piercing, 2x for Normal and 3x for Hollow Point, after armor is subtracted. Half of armor value is subtracted from the damage you roll with AP, the normal value for normal bullets and twice the armor value for hollowpoint. A target doesn't need to be wearing armor for Normal bullets to get their 2x damage multiplier. Similarly, the damage multiplier for slashing weapons is applied only after armor. All of the post-armor multipliers don't work against zombies unless it specifically says it does for that specific zombie, which is a bit of an odd rule, you'd figure that a hollowpoint bullet would be extra good at removing someone's brain whether they were dead or alive. But maybe it's a game balance thing.

These multipliers are also what the game refers to as "levels," in damage terms. It's a bit confusing terminology at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's relatively simple. Though, yeah, it does slightly hide just how squishy humans are in AFMBE. Assuming bog standard stats(2 in everything), the average human has 26 HP. A .22 handgun loaded with normal bullets does 1d4x2 damage(with a further x2 multiplier for the normal bullets), for damage ranging between 4 and 16 points of damage. On a torso hit. If someone aims for the head, that's 32 damage. So expect people to die or get crippled the instant guns come into play, if no one's wearing body armor.

This does also produce a GM'ing challenge, though, in that you have to be very careful about ambushing your PC's. Because if someone wins initiative against them, they could be dead or crippled before they even have a chance to respond. And, conversely, encounters can feel a bit anticlimactic if the enemy gets cut down to a quarter of their number in the first round without a chance to respond. This is further exacerbated because there's a sidebar which encourages making Will rolls to not lose their next round of actions whenever you're hit(really hard-to-make Will rolls because you're penalized by the damage you take, good luck passing that roll if you took 10 points of damage and don't have sky-high Will).

The rules for damaging the undead also have a few oddities. For humans, the damage needed to cripple or remove a specific body part is a percentage of the total HP of the target. For zombies, it's just a flat number. So by RAW, even if you have Mega Zombie, the Zombie That Is Mega, with 1000 HP, it's still just a flat 15 HP to blow his leg off and leave him squirming in the dirt. Obviously this is an easy thing to fix, but, still, it feels like something that shouldn't have been there by RAW.

As for zombies: I vote for the pile of living intestines in Dead Alive/Braindead.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

Hostile V posted:



NEXT TIME: my favorite mechanical part of the book, the rules for building zombies to put up against the players. It's fun and neat and I have an idea for a zombie to build but if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Roger Mortis from Dead Heat.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007



Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Roger Mortis from Dead Heat.

Seconded.

Drakli
Jan 28, 2004
Goblin-Friend
I'm nowhere near my copy of All Flesh Must Be Eaten (and haven't paged through it in a while,) and I can't remember if there are any options for zombies that fly... but I'd love to see stats for flying zombies. Who breathe fire. Flying, fire-breathing zombies. Like dragons, but zombies instead.

I'll admit, I'd watch a made-for-tv, SyFy, schlock flick about a zombie plague that turns people who die of it into flying, fire-breathing, zombie dragons, because you know that'd be totally batshit crazy.

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
Please stat out The Zombies as Lord Raptor-style rock and roll zombies.

Drakli
Jan 28, 2004
Goblin-Friend

Count Chocula posted:

Please stat out The Zombies as Lord Raptor-style rock and roll zombies.

This, I would also deem as more than acceptable... though I don't remember The Power of Rock :rock: as a zombie ability. It really should be, though, especially with how popular they are on album covers.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Zombies tailored to present as many Alignment Challenges as possible.

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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.

Drakli posted:

This, I would also deem as more than acceptable... though I don't remember The Power of Rock :rock: as a zombie ability. It really should be, though, especially with how popular they are on album covers.
I'll put the Lord Raptor idea on the back-burner for the martial arts/Heroic Bloodshed John Woo sourcebook, mostly because that lets you make Street Fighter zombies with body horror finishing moves.

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