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SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It basically refers to a character that looks young, small, or cute. Which absolutely has some problems when put alongside adjectives like sexy, but the player can interpret it in less skeevy ways.

If you think that's weird, then... y'know, I'm not even going to mention it. Yeah, it's weird.

During my brief consideration of making a MAID/Rogue Trader pbp, I decided I would replace all instances of "Lolita" with "scrunt"

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MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.
Neal Stephenson wrote the Baroque Cycle, which are both his best books and the most 7th Sea thing ever written.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

SirPhoebos posted:

During my brief consideration of making a MAID/Rogue Trader pbp, I decided I would replace all instances of "Lolita" with "scrunt"
Maid seems like the perfect system to play Paranoia

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Halloween Jack posted:

Maid seems like the perfect system to play Paranoia

"I only shot you because I'm a traitor, it's not that I like you or anything! :blush:"

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
I want to be more than just friends, Computer-sempai.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015
Just relax about Maid. After all, there's at least one actual hentai RPG out there. Untranslated, but still.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 14: "'Personally, I don't care if you come from the East, West, or from Hades itself.'"

Time for metaplot central.


I know stuff is supposed to be anachronistic but...

The City of Newtown

Just so you don't think it's a town, it's a city. So, this was once the site of Fort Smith, Arkansas, where survivors made it to the Fort Chaffee military base which became the new center of the community. Using military equipment, they were able to rebuild into a small city. However, about two decades ago a thousand mysterious refugees showed up, who claimed to come from the East, but were strangely wealthy and well-off. Though many locals were wary, they accepted the "Newcomers", who are not a central plot point at all, so just forget about them!

George Hornesby, a wealthy local, worked with the leader of the Newcomers, Andrew Anderson, to form a new manufacturing center under the name of Ultra-Tech Incorporated. The Newcomers had a wide degree of technical know-how, and by a decade ago the city was producing electronics, Juicer conversions, and of course weapons and power armor. (Side note: so much of this requires wider infrastructure to make, something that Rifts constantly ignores, you just commit metal and energy and boom, new self-perpetuating factory!) In any case, Newtown has had a big boom as a result, with immigrants, a rise in living standards, and new educational institutions to support the technical industry.

About a half-decade ago, the Coalition arrived and offered membership. Newtown's leadership agreed, expelling their D-Bee minority and ceasing Juicer usage. Also they built a Border Wall to keep D-Bees and monsters out, as is only logical and clearly a thing that will keep the city tremendously safe. Or, rather, they outsourced their Juicer creation to the nearby city of Fort El Dorado, and just continued to use them. (There are still a few illegal Juicer labs in the city, including one run by Ultra-Tech Industries.) However, the Coalition contracts have meant even more wealth, even if most of what they manufacture are just spare parts and other non-vital supplies. The presence of the Coalition has also ramped down their weapon manufacturing, as they no longer can sell them as much. We're pointed to the not-published-yet World Book 11: Coalition War Campaign for more details on increased Coalition readiness. And it's been working out so well, until Operation Phoenix Rising. What's that? You want to know what that is? Well, you'll have to wait.

At heart, Newtown has been run by a loose oligarchy, but their introduction to the Coalition has resulted in them forming a city council run by George Hornesby (the District Governor) to put on a show of "civilization". However, the city is effectively run by the Coalition now, as General Winston Orly has an veto on anything they do. They're loosely under the Coalition State of Missouri, the Coalition State that almost never gets mentioned and gets like 1% of the coverage Chi-Town does. It grows grain and the writers don't care. Books aren't banned here like in most Coalition communities (how does that even work for Chi-Town, they manufacture tons of- well- nevermind), but there are proscribed books that are to be burned and owners are fined. Very few D-Bees remain, and those who are allowed to remain are under tremendous repression.

The main two groups are the human natives and the... human... Newcomers. Who are certainly human. :stonklol: The Newcomers are rarely seen in places of leisure, and are seen as puritanical weirdos. To back up this oddness, no Newcomer has ever married a local, though they do intermarry. However, the Newcomers' wealthy has softened tensions. However, rumors remain that the Newcomers are D-Bees, which is clearly ridiculous and nobody has apparently looked into this, and there will be no consequences of that!

The city has issues with gang problems out of a community known as Riverside, where the poor and D-Bees end up. We get several gangs, including:
  • The Rejects: A gang that romanticizes their poverty and hobo fashion, and claim to steal form the rich and give to the poor, but mostly just steal from anyone and give to themselves. They often steal from Ultra-Tech Industries or the Coalition States and make money selling that to the Black Market.
  • The Fighting Dead: A Juicer wannabe gang rebelling against the Coalition for banning the Juicer process, but recently had a severe loss when a Coalition Special Ops team blew their main hideout to hell. Their Juicer leader was captured by the Coalition and there's rumors that he and other gang members are being experimented on by Ultra-Tech Industries.
  • The Inhumanes: No Terrigen Mist, this is a D-Bee gang of ogres, orcs, and similar fantasy baddies operating out of one of the few remaining D-Bee communities, Ogretown, which they more or less run. They exploit their fellow D-Bees, since they really have nowhere to turn to, but also harass Coalition forces.
The new Coalition military force here is named the First Arkansas Brigade, and many local recruits are shipped to other locations, while the Coalition ships troops in from elsewhere to try and prevent it from being wholly loyal to the local community. There are also local volunteer troops supplied by Ultra-Tech industries that the Coalition snubs, but they have a secret agenda. What's that agenda?

:iiam:

We get a bunch of useless *numbers* on the Coalition forces (16 SAMAS! 400 Infantry Soliders, 8 IAR-2 Abolishers!... etc. x 20). We also get some information on how the Border Wall has a bunch of firing points and laser turrets for defense. We're told that it's undermanned when the Juicer Uprising occurs, not expecting a major attack.


Hey, it's the Coalition Mark IX EPC I forgot to share a picture of from Index & Adventures Volume 1! (Update: it still stinks.)

Places of Interest

Most of these are actually of interest, for a change.
  • The Governor's Palace has a replica of Big Ben because Hornesby thought that would be really amazing and tremendous. Just, you know, the best. It has a bunch of Coalition regalia these days because they know their branding.
  • UTI's Corporate Headquarters has most of its facilities underground and only the Newcomers are allowed in these mysterious facilities that are not up to anything, not in the slightest, it's all very innocent. Puppy innocent.
  • UTI's Electronics Division has had heavy security updates to deal with gang attacks, which apparently some are 'borgs - after one of the gang raids failed, a member reported shooting one in the face only for it to turn out to be a terminator 'borg.
  • UTI's Biotech Division is where they used to make Juicers, and now has the Prometheus Treatment, a supposed cure for Juicers. What is that? Well, wait, it's not explained here. There are also rumors of them breeding some kind of giant bug, but some say these are rumors based on a Xiticix that once managed to slip into the city.
  • The Royal Casino is an establishment the Coalition has tried to shut down, but it hasn't happened since Hornesby gets big kickbacks from the Casino. It's run by a Changeling (shapeshifter, not faerie) who apparently really didn't expect the city to go Coalition and is becoming increasingly paranoid.
  • The Powder Keg is the remaining arms dealer that's not thrilled with the Coalition occupation and its owners wouldn't mind seeing something done about it. Also, they have a lot of guns. Just bringing that up. Also, the name. Not saying anything, just...
  • Ogretown is run by the aforementioned Inhumanes and does indeed have a lot of Ogres.

Kevin Long returns, or at least his art does...

George Hornesby gets a writeup and tiny glasses, and has built his name on a generations-old family fortune and also by the fact he once adventured around as a Glitter Boy pilot (he discovered a military cache with two suits), and made a lot of money that way before settling down in town. He was also a shameless extorter and exploiter, making money on predatory loans and land deals. He knows the Newcomers' backstory is bullshit, but is inclined to ignore that fact as long as they can help make him rich. He was worried about the Coalition finding out about whatever the Newcomers really are, but Andrew Anderson actually encouraged him to take the offer because he has no ulterior motives at all. He's a 5th level Glitter Boy and 12th level "Merchant", breaking the character generation rules nicely, and he has the usual unrollable NPC attributes, including an exceptional intelligence, affinity, prowess, and physical endurance.


Yeah, I'm sure that little barricade will stop monster trucks and power armor.

Fort El Dorado

I guess this is the fourth El Dorado after the three in South America. Well, I guess Carella likes the myth, but this has nothing to do with it. It once again underlines this is different from the writeup in the corebook mainly due to influence from Ultra-Tech Industries and the Coalition States. This is a community founded by generic survivors that somehow gained control of local oil and gas... somewhere in Arkansas, and though they've refused to join the Coalition, they are a strong ally and trade heavily with the Coalition. They've also had a recent boom thanks to Newtown outsourcing their Juicer facilities to them, and rely heavily on Juicers for local defense. This and their large D-Bee population is why they didn't join up with the Coalition States. The city's relative isolation makes a frequent stop for travelers and locals in the region.

They're run by a monarchy headed up by King Randall Stuart the Third, and the Stuart family claims to be time traveled from Olde Englande ("not likely", the book says). There is an elected Congress, however, that maintains a balance of power by having control of the city finances. Because Randall is something of a layabout and gadabout, the city is mainly ran by Martin Clements, a "Prime Director" appointed by the Congress. Clements is generically competent and has really helped the city grow. Juicing is legal except for Mega-Juicers and Dragon Juicers, and heavy weapons are banned. Juicer Sports are popular here and they have a Juicer Football team named the Stuart Rhinos, and Stuart continues to throw money at them though they largely suck. They have a decent standing army with mechanized forces, and the city is protected by a fortified wall. There are also some local Coalition bases, largely to protect the oil supply and facilities. (Wait, doesn't the Coalition mostly rely on nuclear power?... oh well.)

People here are largely well-educated, and D-Bee prejudice is slim... but there is a hatred of magic and psionics borne of old incidents with supernatural monsters. There is no "D-Bee quarter" and D-Bees mix in with the normal population.

Places of Interest

Well, two worth mentioning.
  • The Killing Ground is a weapon and vehicle store run by a large, reptilian D-Bee called "Pecos Hill" who claims to be be the former leader of the Pecos Empire even though that seems farcical. Nobody picks on him because he's nearly missileproof, though, and just showed up one day with truckloads of weapons.
  • The Stuart Arena is the second largest arena in the area (after Los Alamo) patterned after bullfighting arenas, and we get short descriptions of local Juicer stars. It lists their age in Juicer years (that is, how long they've been Juicers), but it doesn't actually say that, you just have to infer it. And so when you read something like:

    Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising posted:

    ... Groth "Psuedo-Titan" Crycher, a Troll Juicer (7th level, three years old)...
    I can only imagine it's time for the Baby Juicer Olympics, an idea that may be morally questionable, but hell, this is Rifts. (Also they forgot trolls don't have a working Juicer process, but hell, this is Rifts.)

This is almost certainly not what the Stuart Arena is like but I guess if you have leftover Truman art you have to use it somewhere.

Next: Vengeance shall be mine.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 21:34 on Apr 27, 2017

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Baby Juicer vs. Dog Boy. Fund it, Kevin!

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide

MonsieurChoc posted:

Neal Stephenson wrote the Baroque Cycle, which are both his best books and the most 7th Sea thing ever written.
When I learned about 7th Sea my first thought was "Cool, I can play the Baroque Cycle with this!"

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

Hey thread. Been a while.

Sooooooo...yeah, I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind on my reviews again. I found out the Torg Eternity KS is scheduled for the end of next month, so I doubt I'm going to hit my sort-of goal of doing all the cosm books and War's End before that drops. Fragged Empire is even further behind since I haven't touched it since September.

I can probably keep powering through the Tharkold book, then move on to the last two after that. But for Fragged Empire, would there be enough interest for me to do the "it's been forever, soft reset on the review" thing?

e: The four-year anniversary of me starting to review Torg was like two weeks ago. :suicide:

Evil Mastermind fucked around with this message at 19:51 on Apr 27, 2017

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
I mean you can arrange things however you like but don't stop the Fragged Empire train

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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


Godlike, Chapter VIII: The Campaign

Godlike is different from most roleplaying games because the campaign is literally a campaign. The PCs are combatants in a war--at the lowest level of war, a commando squad of troops on the front line. A grunt with heat vision is still a grunt. And while the PCs can improve their characters’ stats, earn rank promotions, and obtain special equipment, the EXP and treasure treadmill of D&D is not the focus of Godlike. The PCs are fighting to make a difference in a World War. The fight continues until they’re relieved of duty...by their commanders or by enemy fire.

Although you can play Godlike as a one-shot, or as a game about strategists and undercover spies, it’s designed for campaign play, with a focus on front-line fighting. The advice in this chapter is chiefly devoted to crafting the campaign, keeping the GM and the players on the same page, and some notes on basic tactics and facts of daily life on the front line of World War II. To its credit, Godlike is well aware that the two big objections most people will have with it are “It seems like a lot of work for the GM” and “High PC body count,” and it addresses them head on.


Designing the Campaign

Godlike says that the campaign starts with a theme, style, premise, and theater of operations, although these facets blend together.

The two “styles” of play are One for One and Troop Play. In One for One, each player controls one character, with the assumption that PC death is rare. This is meant for more high-powered, cinematic, heroic campaigns. One for One often includes two optional rules, Squishy Dice and Die Hard. These are detailed in the Appendix, but in brief, they let PCs play with their dice results after rolling, and make it harder for PCs to die.

In Troop Play, meant for more realistic and lethal campaigns, each player controls a primary PC and a few backups. It’s recommended that your primary PC be the leader of a TOG squad. You can even use your secondary PCs as cannon fodder for dangerous missions--but commanders lose Will points when their subordinates are killed, and more when their death is the result of a direct order.


Well, this is far less jolly than The Devil’s Brigade

Theme, as Godlike defines it, is essentially a measure of lethality and PC power level. The default theme of Godlike is High Realism. PCs are built with 15-25 Will points, using the Troop Play style, making them expendable grunts with an edge. Think Saving Private Ryan or A Bridge Too Far. Savagery and atrocity are likely features of such a game.

Cinematic Adventure games model WWII movies like Where Eagles Dare, where the stars are heroic but very mortal. PCs are built with 30-45 Will points using the One for One style. This is an easier mode of play for GMs and players who don’t want an unforgivingly brutal game.

Four-Color Adventure is, well, exactly that. You’re playing Golden Age WWII superhero comics, just without spandex. PCs have 50-100 Will points, played in One for One style, with both optional rules. The only drawback is that the PCs can easily change the setting, forcing the GM to improvise constantly for the rest of the campaign.

There are a couple problems with measuring “realism” and grimdark deadliness this way. First, Godlike is not based around level-balanced encounters. Its combat is more rock-paper-scissors, or one of those crazy rock-paper-scissors-alien-devil-nuke-dragon variations. You can have 100 Will points worth of powers and still get killed by a danger that’s a bad matchup for your power set. It’s right there in the setting. Der Flieger couldn’t dodge a proximity fuze; Zindel stepped on a land mine. Second, if the PCs are Captain America, the Destroyer, and the Blazing Skull, well then the Nazis have the Red Skull, Baron Zemo, and Armless Tiger Man to oppose them. It’s a no-brainer!

The campaign premise and theater of operations are just, of course, the premise of the campaign and when and where it’s taking place. As I mentioned, the default campaign premise involves the PCs as members of Talent Operations Group commando squads, striking behind enemy lines. The setting provides ample opportunities for this: Operation Rascal in the African campaign, the TOG squads that advanced ahead of the Normandy landing, and Patton’s “Good Time Boys” at the head of the 3rd Army. But there are other suggested options, such as playing undercover spies, spy-hunters in liberated territories, or resistance fighters repelling German or Japanese occupation.

In case you’re wondering, this is the campaign I would run: The PCs would be Talents in Patton’s “Good Time Boys,” advancing through Paris after the Normandy invasion. I’d give the PCs extra Will points, but still run it in Troop Play style, with an aesthetic closer to Inglorious Basterds than anything else. The campaign would culminate with clearing out the Ubermenschen terrorists who held Paris hostage after its liberation by the Allies.


Building the Campaign

Godlike recognizes that creating a military-based campaign, especially one set in a historical milieu, can be a ton of work for the GM. Sometimes its advice on imbuing life into the campaign shades into the kind of stuff that nobody does, like setting up mood lighting and writing up too much detail for every location and NPC. But on the whole, you can tell that Stolze and Detwiller ate their own dog food, so to speak, and playtested their game to the point that they know how to advise you against common pitfalls. Since players can be fickle, they say, don’t detail everything. Prepare to improvise.

Some space is devoted to getting the GM and the players on the same page, creatively, and explain what should be expected of each party. The GM’s job is to set the stage for the players to get into their characters heads, and a big part of that job is consistency. They have to detail important NPCs and locations, and have a big-picture grasp of the territory and troop dispositions, and track all these things as they change over time. They have to make rulings in cases where the rules fall short, and then stick to the ruling they’ve made.

The players’ job is to inhabit their characters and play them as fully as possible, and to not make the GM’s life hell. Don’t be a rules lawyer, and don’t be a milwank nerd. Nobody cares if there was a 752nd AAA battalion, or if they were actually deployed to Pontecorvo in March 1944.


Running the Campaign

Creating Non-Player Characters is a big part of any good game, and in Godlike they’re divided into several categories. Stars and Villains are people who are very important or will appear frequently--the PCs’ commanding officer, close friends, or perhaps a civilian who acts as a stand-in for how their efforts are impacting the theater of the war. Co-Stars are NPCs who will appear more than once and have some unique, memorable traits--a grizzled sergeant, displaced priest, or captured German soldier are given as examples. Finally, Grunts and The Enemy are the mooks on both sides of the fight.

Godlike recommends that Stars and Villains always get full stat blocks, but really, I think it’s only important to stat out Talents. The rules covering everything else are so simple that it’s extremely easy to just say that the German officer has Xd in whatever Stat+Skill pool he needs. Godlike doesn’t have any of the special abilities that appear in other ORE games.

Location is the GM’s other big responsibility in planning and running games, in keeping with their responsibility to be consistent and maintain continuity. Having a map of the territory is a good idea. Maps make great handouts for PCs--especially when they’re inaccurate! The GM also needs a general idea of the disposition of enemy forces. It doesn’t have to be exact, but an enemy-held town could be noted something like “500 men, 4 light tanks, some artillery guns.”

Enemy leaders and special forces in particular should be noted, and enemy Talents need to be fully statted out. Since the major powers in Godlike used Talents as scouts and shock troops, missions to launch or defend against attacks against strongpoints and command posts are likely to be a big part of the game.

There is an overarching reason that Godlike encourages you to detail NPCs and keep track of locations. In a game with few tangible rewards, set in a bleak period of history, the opportunity to create lasting change in the world of the game is the reason for the players to keep on playing. Rescuing civilians, liberating a town from occupation, or even seeing a cowardly officer grow into a reliable ally are more meaningful rewards than boosting your Talent powers or getting ahold of a Tommy gun--which, after all, are just tools to be used on another dangerous mission where the PCs are expendable assets.

Missions are the lifeblood of the campaign. This is the easiest and best part of GMing Godlike; since the PCs are enlisted soldiers, they have commanders to literally give them their marching orders. As with everything else, Missions are divided into several categories, but in my opinion, only one is really important. Combat missions are any where the PCs are on duty where they might see combat. Leave “missions” are ones where the PCs have been granted leave and are simply out to have a good time. Public relations missions involve looking good for newsreels, photographers, and interviewers to aid the war effort. Rotation missions are ones where the PCs are sent to be studied by the Talent pecker-checkers at Section 2 or the SSO. Finally, AWOL missions are ones where the PCs are absent without leave for any reason. Even if it’s a good reason, they likely face court-martial upon return.

I wouldn’t ever devote a whole hours-long game session to the PCs getting drunk in a bar or starring in a newsreel, but it’s certainly a worthwhile interlude. Imagine shell-shocked PCs being interviewed by journalists whose view of Talent warfare seems to come from comic books. And going out on leave in recently-liberated Paris is a good example of the story-based rewards I discussed. Anyway, there’s advice for how to set up a mission, but it’s reiterations of the concepts that have already been covered: mission objectives, a map of the territory, and enemy resistance.

Life on the Line

Though by no means exhaustive, the book contains some helpful generalities of daily life on the front line of WWII. The info here informs the process of building campaigns and missions, especially mission objectives. Living on the front line consisted of a series of hardships that combined to wear down even the strongest individuals. Manual labor and long stretches of sheer boredom, sleeping outdoors and eating cold canned food, ration and supply shortages, and the constant threat of enemy fire. Often, not being able to do anything without worrying about enemy fire was more stressful than the brief periods of actual combat.

Much of an infantryman’s life was consumed with finding and digging cover. Battle lines in WWII were more mobile than in the past, and the huge fortified trench warrens of the last war mostly gave way to hastily-dug foxholes, spiderholes, and slit trenches. Since battle lines were far more mobile and soldiers were constantly on the move, they were constantly digging and then abandoning small trenches. Digging a simple one man trench could take minutes or hours depending on weather and soil conditions, and soldiers sometimes resorted to dangerously “clever” shortcuts like using rifle fire and hand grenades to loosen the soil.



Shhh! I’m an atheist!


Command posts are more static locations which serve as a unit’s intelligence center, some distance back from the actual frontline. Strongpoints are places where heavy guns, vehicles, or masses of infantry are set up to repel an enemy push, often at strategic locations such as bridges. The Rear is a location away from the frontline where food, supplies, and wound soldiers are delivered and organized, and is often full of fresh troops and heavy equipment. These locations are frequent targets for Talent commando squads.

Missions will usually revolve around the PCs being assigned one of several types of duty. Guard duty on the front line is very boring or very dangerous, often both. Guards are assigned to keep watch over an area from cover, and struggle to stay out of the weather, out of sight, and awake. Guard posts are the first positions to be lost when the enemy advances, and guard duty is often meted out as punishment.

Patrol duty involves a squad going into “no man’s land” between allied and enemy territory, hoping to map positions, spot enemy activity, and possibly kill or capture enemy patrols. Patrol duty can also be assigned as punishment, and often by lot--somebody’s got to do it. Scouting, which is essentially a patrol behind enemy lines, is so dangerous that it’s only undertaken by people who are properly trained and equipped. Scouting is pointless if the scouts never return with information. Finally, a push is a coordinated advance on the enemy line, ranging from a quiet march to a desperate attack under fire.

Supplies are the chief concern of any army. The U.S. Army broke it down into five categories: food, clothing and personal equipment, fuel and oil, miscellaneous, and ammunition. Food ranged from the coveted A-ration, a hot cooked meal of mostly fresh foods, down to canned and packaged foods (C-ration) and the famous D-ration chocolate bar. Special equipment, like submachine guns or anti-tank weapons, were given on an as-needed basis. You were responsible for your equipment, and replacing even simple items like boots could take months, which is why bribing quartermasters and petty looting were common.



Run that by me again...you say you bought these online and they came in a bucket?


Military protocol was taken seriously in the rear, but not so much on the front line. Officers were rarely saluted for fear of being identified by snipers. Respect for rank was based on goodwill rather than fear of punishment. Officers had little with which to threaten enlisted men that was more frightening than life on the front.

There’s some brief discussion of common tactics. The orthodox tactic for infantry movement was covering fire, where one portion of a unit keeps the enemy under fire while another portion moves up. Often machineguns were used to pin down enemies while riflemen flanked them. While pinning-and-flanking remained a vital tactic for small squadrons, at the unit level it was surpassed by new methods of coordinating infantry, artillery, and vehicles together.

Covering fire at the unit level tended to leave units disorganized, and only used a portion of a units guns at one time. Patton adopted the marching fire offensive, where riflemen and machine gunners advanced together, constantly firing. It relied on the fast-firing Allied rifles and a ready supply of ammo, and was a high-risk high-reward tactic. It could fail miserably when assaulting a well-defended position, or when not supported with light machineguns and artillery.

Tank advances were used to take strongpoints, attack other enemy vehicles, and destroy fortifications. Tanks could also use radios and smoke rounds to call in artillery and air strikes.Often tanks would provide covering fire for infantry to move up, and in turn, the infantry killed enemy infantry armed with anti-tank weapons.


Next time on Godlike: TOG Commando Squads.

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!

Doresh posted:

Just relax about Maid. After all, there's at least one actual hentai RPG out there. Untranslated, but still.

What? Chris Fields body of work is available in english, you know...

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

Doresh posted:

Just relax about Maid. After all, there's at least one actual hentai RPG out there. Untranslated, but still.

What about Panty Explosion the RPG?

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Mr.Misfit posted:

What? Chris Fields body of work is available in english, you know...

But I bet he never used covers that I'd have to censor if I wanted to put them up here. Full frontal futanari nudity and everything.

Though not that I could do that atm if I wanted to, because I can't for the life of my find this game again. Dammit <_<

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

What about Panty Explosion the RPG?

As System Mastery found it contains no hentai whatsoever. It's literally playing a Japanese schoolgirl who is worried about her grades and exams. And a monster in the school.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me

Halloween Jack posted:

I mean you can arrange things however you like but don't stop the Fragged Empire train

not an emptyquote.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
I would suggest just picking up where you left off unless you have a significantly new take on the material.

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013

Doresh posted:

But I bet he never used covers that I'd have to censor if I wanted to put them up here. Full frontal futanari nudity and everything.

Though not that I could do that atm if I wanted to, because I can't for the life of my find this game again. Dammit <_<

Useless knowledge activate!

The one you're thinking of is Zettai Reido, or Absolute Slavery. There's a page about it on 1d4chan, but I'm not linking it because NSFW in the slightest.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

hyphz posted:

As System Mastery found it contains no hentai whatsoever. It's literally playing a Japanese schoolgirl who is worried about her grades and exams. And a monster in the school.

Yep, the title is an empty cash-grab. The book is deeply boring unless you really wanted a primer on the life of modern Japanese schoolgirls that for some reason starts in the Edo period. You cannot find the word "Panty" in the book except for if it is followed by "Explosion." The word "panties" simply isn't even in there. The monster and psychic powers couldn't feel more tacked on. It is basically the RPG equivalent of writing down everything the guy in the first row of your college Japanese class keeps babbling on about.

Tsilkani
Jul 28, 2013

hyphz posted:

As System Mastery found it contains no hentai whatsoever. It's literally playing a Japanese schoolgirl who is worried about her grades and exams. And a monster in the school.

The author ended up changing the name to Tokyo Brain Pop a few years back, after legions of customers begged him to.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case



The Great Modron March Part 5: Trade Sequence


Hello again! I’ve got some free time so I’ll keep updating this.

Last time the PCs saved the modrons from some horrible torturers, the Tacharim, and hopefully rescued some non-modron prisoners as well as destroying the awful Rendering Works. As this was happening, the March entered Bytopia, where the gnomish powers completely moved their realms to avoid the modrons. The modrons, ignoring this, moved on through Elysium-- probably the nicest spot on their whole route-- and passed through to Outland again, where they headed for Faunel, gate-town to the Beastlands. They’ve passed through and are now marching below the perpetual noon of Krigala.

The Beastlands is the neutral good/chaotic good plane, so while it’s still not terrible, it’s a bit more wild than anywhere the modrons have been before. This is their first taste of chaos on the March, and they really don’t like it. The Beastlands is filled, as you might imagine, with all manner of animals and animal-form petitioners, which means it’s a pretty feral place and not as civilized as its alignment might have you believe. It’s not overtly hostile, but PCs are encouraged to be respectful and recognize that they’re guests here. The Beastlands are watched over by the mysterious Mortai, phenomenally powerful and aloof cloud-creatures. More than anything else, the Beastlands is the beauty of the natural world, which modrons rather spoil.

The adventure begins when a fighter friend of the PCs turns up hurt. He was bitten by an aeserpent while traveling through the Beastlands, and while he managed to escape, its venom is wreaking havoc on him. He’s lapsed into a coma from which he cannot be awakened. The PCs can easily get information in Sigil that the person to talk to about healing this guy is a nymph named Alisiphone in the Beastlands. He warns them not to look directly at her when they do meet her (seeing a nymph can blind you, or kill you if she’s naked), but that she’s friendly and very capable. He also tells them about a portal in the Market Ward that leads to the Beastlands a few miles from Alisiphone’s lake.

The portal lets them out in Krigala, which is perpetually lit by a noonday sun. It’s an unrelenting and oppressive presence. They are let out on the edge of a savannah, with a little stream running through it. It’d be pleasant except that the stream is full of oily debris and pollution. That’s DEFINITELY not normal on the Beastlands, and warrants investigation, though the PCs might not decide to go looking for it right away. The events of this adventure can play out in any order, but for now let’s assume they beeline for the nymph. Their friend’s life is at stake after all.
The lake is downstream, in a clearing about a mile across. It was clearly once a beautiful place, full of flowers and clear water and fresh, sweet air, but now it smells rank and fetid and the lake’s totally filthy with the runoff from the river. Alisiphone rises from the lake as the PCs approach, and I mean that literally. She draws together the substance of the lake to form her body. She looks awful: her eyes are red-rimmed, her skin is saggy, her hair is like the girl from The Ring. In fact, you can look at her without penalty, which is, uh, hosed up if you know anything about nymphs. She lolls and sways as she talks and her tongue hangs out of her mouth. She’s obviously very hosed up.

Alisiphone doesn’t know why her lake is polluted, though she obviously suspects the modrons-- even though she had a deal in place to route them around the river that feeds her lake to avoid exactly this problem. She can barely answer their questions, and no healing magic works-- only fixing her lake will, and she at least knows that much. She certainly can’t help them with the venom cure. She’s barely alive herself and will only last another week or so.

At this point, if they didn’t before, the PCs certainly head upriver to find the source of the corruption. To nobody’s great surprise, it is in fact the modrons, who are marching straight upriver, leaving behind a trail of oily residue. The stragglers are all monodrones and duodrones who can’t answer any of the PCs’ questions, but perseverance will get them to the hierarchs who might have some answers. Along the way, though, the PCs can figure it out easily enough. One side of the river bed is covered in a huge pack of wild dogs who snap and bark at any modron who strays onto their land. On the other is a constantly growing hedge of thorns that completely blocks the modrons in. PCs can see brown robes through the thorns and hear chanting-- it’s a circle of druids growing the wall to fence the modrons out of their land.

If the PCs stick it out to find a hierarch, they can talk to a decaton, who explains that the modrons pass through the Beastlands by an ancient treaty (“Agreement 512-n-71-75(a)iv”) known as the Defense of the Animals. They were forced off their route by a mortai, and then denied passage along the new path by “lion-centaurs.” Since the treaty forbids them to harm any of the denizens of the Beastlands, they’re stuck marching upriver.

The Decaton states that agreement by any of the parties keeping the modrons off course will allow them to leave the river. However, they won’t try to negotiate such an agreement; they’ll just march upriver as long as they have to.

If the PCs try to negotiate with the dogs, a pack breaks off to snarl at and harry them. They’re extremely territorial. If the PCs persist in trespassing, the dogs will attack, and fighting back is a bad idea. This is a pack of 200 wild dogs led by the Dog Lord himself (each animal on the Beastlands has an Animal Lord, a demipower in themselves). Eventually a speaking dog petitioner named Jhaxon will introduce himself and quiet the pack enough for a conversation. He’s not helpful, though; he’ll just tell them that this is the dogs’ land and they do not allow anyone else on their land. No way, no how. This is their land, and nobody else can have it. They’re real dogs in the manger. They suggest maybe the druids or wemics (aha!) will allow it; they won’t.

The druids are led by the Hierophant of Trees, a female 17th-level human druid. She explains that they’re cleansing the area, which was the site of a recent Blood War battle, and they can’t have any interference-- which the modrons certainly would be. She absolutely will not allow them to cross and is prepared to die first. She suggests they persuade the modrons to turn around (yeah, right) or follow the chain of events to its source. Hm…


a handy map

Clearly neither of these is an option. So the PCs have to backtrack and figure out where things went wrong in the first place. This isn’t that hard, rangers and druids can do it automatically and others can roll wilderness survival. They can pick up the wemic trail there and follow it for a few hours into the savannah. This brings them to a wemic “ambush,” although the lion-centaurs don’t attack, they just want to know what the PCs want.

The wemics will take the PCs to their leader, who’s kind of an arrogant so-and-so named Thrallspur. She’s not openly hostile at least. She explains that the wemics moved the modrons at the request of Prince Allarien of the winged elves to keep the March away from their treetop city. The PCs will have to get the permission of the avariel (winged elves, natch) to get the wemics to permit the modrons back on their march. So, now we’ve got the Odd Potion and we need the Poacher’s Saw.



A few hours away the PCs can find a gigantic tree. You can vaguely see sculpted wood buildings in the high branches, and it’s surrounded by giant birds wheeling and diving… wait, no, those are winged elves. Twenty of them land in front of the PCs to greet them and invite them to the city of Ilifar-in-the-Wind. Their lieutenant has an amulet of detect lies so they had best be truthful. The prince will meet them if they give up their weapons and any means of making fire. They don’t HAVE to come, it’s not an arrest, but if they don’t they’re kind of out of luck. If they agree two avariel each will pick them up under the arms and fly them up to the city.

The city is breathtakingly beautiful and the PCs are free to wander until that evening, when the prince will meet them at the evening revel. Of course there’s no true evening because this is Krigala, but forget it. They can have fun wandering around shopping or, you know, whatever, until they meet the Prince. He’s friendly, and explains that he diverted the modrons after they were blown onto his path by a Mortai. He’s sympathetic to the plight of the nymph and would let them back on course, but he wants to make sure he’s not going against the will of the Mortai, named Breath of Life. If the cloud-creature gives its permission, the winged elves will gladly give theirs. The Prince points out where Breath of Life was last seen and how to get its attention-- say its name and promise a future favor. He’s very friendly and eager to hear news from Arborea, if any elven or half-elven PCs have any. He also knows a lot about the area if you want to pick his brain.

About a half-day away is the mountain range where Breath of Life is often found. There’s a massive storm there when the PCs arrive, but the clouds aren’t moving-- a dead giveaway that there’s a Mortai around. When the PCs call out the name, the lightning stops and a face forms in the clouds. It looks furious, but fortunately, that’s not at the PCs, and it speaks one thunderous word: “Bide.” With that it vanishes and the lightning resumes. This takes about ten more minutes of incredibly violent concussion and shattering noise, and then the storm turns off abruptly and the Mortai returns. If they ask, it turns out it was just driving off a pocket of slaadi. Now it’s free to see what they want.

The Mortai explains, in the voice of the wind, that yes, it blew the modrons off course. It did so at the behest of a nymph named Alisiphone who was afraid that they would pollute her lake.

Whoops.

Breath of Life will gladly allow the modrons to return, but only with proof that Alisiphone allows it-- some token of her esteem. It won’t take the PCs’ word for it.

So the PCs have to backtrack now! This should feel like a real race against time. The route they took to get here is circuitous; it might be faster to go directly, but they might get lost, and of course the Beastlands is full of random encounters. When they reach the lake Alisiphone is in a bad way; her skin is peeling off, she’s sprawled like a dead frog, and the pond itself is blackened and foul, with all of the life in it dead. Alisiphone just about has the energy to peel off some of her nasty-rear end hair as a token, and it’s back to the Mortai.

At this point, they have to retrace their steps. The Mortai accepts the token and goes off to blow the modrons back on the path. Next we visit the elves, who are relieved to hear that the Mortai is ok with moving the modrons, since they don’t really want the nymph to die. The Prince gives them an arrow and a feather as tokens, and they go see the wemics, who promise to allow the modrons passage. When the PCs finally return to the river the modrons are already gone, back on their regular path, and Breath of Life is raining furiously on the river to cleanse it.

Alisiphone has recovered by the time the PCs make it back to her pond (so don’t eyeball her!) and gives them a vial of pond water that will heal their friend. The modrons happily march onward… towards the Chaotic side of the Great Ring. Their troubles are just beginning.

Next time: M-M-M-MODRON M-M-M-MADNESS!

ZeroCount
Aug 12, 2013


The modrons are back!

I don't actually like the Beastlands segment as much as I like the previous ones, it's a very neat idea but it feels pretty linear. The PC's seem to have only one possible course of action if they want to save the nymph.

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!
Yeah, it feels like it leans a bit too heavily on "you can't actually murder anything to resolve this!" Which, I mean, yeah, it fits with Planescape, but it also kind of means the PC's are stuck with only one way to deal with things. Maybe if there was just some option to cut an "evil" deal, selling one of the aforementioned parties out to a bunch of Tanar'ri or something to get them out of the way quickly, that'd be a nice option.

I do love the final twist, though, that's great.

AweStriker
Oct 6, 2014

Considering "lion centaur" is an accurate description of a Lynel this whole section is very Zelda.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

Also you're a skeleton warrior now. Kree.
Unlockable Ben

Halloween Jack posted:

Maid seems like the perfect system to play Paranoia

Now I am left thinking of running Paranoia in Costume Fairy Adventures. Costumes become temporary brevets with clone implant components, Shenanigans are incidental directives from the Computer that give points that cancel out Treason points, or secret ones from societies.. um, that sounds scarily like it works.

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

Halloween Jack posted:

In case you’re wondering, this is the campaign I would run: The PCs would be Talents in Patton’s “Good Time Boys,” advancing through Paris after the Normandy invasion. I’d give the PCs extra Will points, but still run it in Troop Play style, with an aesthetic closer to Inglorious Basterds than anything else. The campaign would culminate with clearing out the Ubermenschen terrorists who held Paris hostage after its liberation by the Allies.

For what it's worth, I'd go for Cinematic Adventure in the Pacific, with One for One rules. I'd open with the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians, here revealed to be the site of a secret Talent training/observation facility, then join the island hopping campaigns. Each new island presents its own unique environment, challenges, and Japanese Talents to contend with, and the option depending on the PCs' powers to get inserted by submarine somewhere to sabotage Japanese warships or otherwise be somewhere they're not supposed to be. Conclude the campaign with a high-risk scouting mission to the Home Islands themselves in preparation for Operation Olympic, only to find out when they make it back home that the atomic bombings have made Japan capitulate.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

ZorajitZorajit posted:

So, FATAL & Friends, I have some ...developments... that I'm going to share here. I'm running MAID tomorrow. The table is myself, two guys, and two girls. Our D&D campaign wrapped in early February and this is our gag session / get back together for the first time. We've agreed to go 'weapons free', for lack of a better term. All the weird poo poo is on the table, everyone has been made aware of what they're in for and that they can back out at any time. There may be safe words.

The setting will be a demonic library from the D&D campaign, I'll be reprising my role as the sex-positive, succubus librarian. I'm open to any suggestions as to what I should have on hand to include. Gin is already on hand.



Just have your Maid players encounter a completely normal list of chores and housekeeping tasks to perform in the haunted sex library or whatever.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

What happens if the players, say, divert the river to stop it feeding more crap into the lake then deploy magic to either purify the water or create a lot of rain to flush it?
Or are they not high enough level to do big stuff yet?

echopapa
Jun 2, 2005

El Presidente smiles upon this thread.

Cythereal posted:

For what it's worth, I'd go for Cinematic Adventure in the Pacific, with One for One rules. I'd open with the Japanese invasion of the Aleutians, here revealed to be the site of a secret Talent training/observation facility, then join the island hopping campaigns. Each new island presents its own unique environment, challenges, and Japanese Talents to contend with, and the option depending on the PCs' powers to get inserted by submarine somewhere to sabotage Japanese warships or otherwise be somewhere they're not supposed to be. Conclude the campaign with a high-risk scouting mission to the Home Islands themselves in preparation for Operation Olympic, only to find out when they make it back home that the atomic bombings have made Japan capitulate.

There's already an adventure module for the invasion of Saipan. I considered buying it when I lived there, but I didn't know anyone who wanted to play Godlike.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case


This segment feels more like the GM narrating a story to the PCs than previous ones and I don't much like it either. If they came up with something creative and nonlinear I would allow it. The one good thing is that between meeting six unique "groups" (counting the nymph and the mortai) you can ram it chock full of adventure seeds.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book 10: Juicer Uprising, Part 15: "Lyboc frowned when the stranger spoke about 'our' control, he did not seem to be including Lyboc — or the Coalition States for that matter."

Well, finally.


"Don't worry, Juicers, we're your friends. This guy died on his own! And then my gun went off! Whupsie!"

The Juicer Uprising

So, this isn't a normally structured adventure. Instead, it's presented as a series of events, and it's suggested GMs tailor them to the PC's actions and influence. That being said, we'll get to it. I'll be including the story hooks in italics to separate them from the main plot here. It's also metaplot leading up to Coalition War Campaign, and will be referenced in the future now and then.

We get a fiction chunk about Coalition schemer Colonel Lyboc meeting with a mysterious stranger, who promises that the "Prometheus Treatment" will allow them to control "the Juicers". Lyboc suspects the stranger isn't including the Coalition in the term "them", but ignores his concerns in light of the possible gains. And it turns out the mysterious stranger is Andrew Anderson, the head of the Newcomers from Newtown, who plans to kill them all! Dun dun dun dunnn. So, "somehow" (it doesn't say) Andrew Anderson found out Lyboc was using Juicers for the Coalition, and got a meeting with him to show that he had a means of extending the Juicer lifespan by two years through what was called the "Prometheus Treatment". And though that's not that long, it could be used to scam Juicers into thinking they were "cured" and get them to agree to anything for it. And so Anderson proposed the Coalition could use Juicers as cannon fodder against Tolkeen (the wizard kingdom the Coalition is hot to flatten), getting their service in exchange for the treatment. And then, they would have a "death chip" unknowingly planted as part of the treatment, and the Coalition could throw the switch and kill all the surviving Juicers.

Operation Phoenix Rising

So Lyboc took the plan directly the Emperor. The idea would be to use the scammed Juicer force as a spearhead on Tolkeen, with Coalition troops ready to march in immediately and use the advantage, taking Tolkeen. The idea would be to reduce Coalition casualties tremendously, and then wipe out all the cooperating Juicers, reducing the power of city-states that rely on them. Then, they could try and either absorb or conquer them, with their Juicer forces depleted by the scam. Emperor Karl Prosek was hesitant, but his son, Joseph, was more receptive. Eventually, the Coalition leadership decided to go forward with it - on a smaller scale than originally suggested until it could be determined that Ultra-Tech Industries' proposal was legit.

Here it suggests that the PCs could get involved either through rumors coming through the Coalition ranks or stories about the Prometheus Treatment.

The Prometheus Treatment

The treatment itself involves using a "Phoenix Chip" to take over a Juicer's bio-comp and the nanomachines it regulates. It improves their performance and gives the Juicer about another two years of life. However, it also had a radio receiver for a kill signal, using a Juicer's own bio-comp system to kill him through drug overdoses and messing with the Juicer's "bio-rhythm". Coalition scientists observed the test and confirmed the effects were as promised, but that the Phoenix Chip somehow "mutate(d) the nano-machines in a Juicer's bloodstream". However, they figured that was a little detail that didn't really mattered, since it all worked. :downs:

It recommends the PCs could notice Juicers being taken away for tests, and the PCs could try and save them from a research outpost on the outskirts of Chi-Town where this is being done. Maybe they could fight some Coalition Juicers, because we gotta include those guys somewhere.

Lies Within Lies

So, Joseph Prosek II drops a hint in a speech that they might have cure for the Juicer "condition", in order to start rumors going. Then, the Coalition makes an official announcement a few months later that Juicers can sign up with the Coalition in Newtown, and in exchange for two years of service (*snort*) they can get the Prometheus Treatment, which they say will improve the Juicer's lifespan "tenfold". However, the story gets distorted and some spread the rumor that Juicers might even live longer than normal humans or become immortal this way. While some say this is obviously a trap for the Coalition to wipe out Juicers, the Coalition dampens those rumors by revealing their own Juicer program, and having Juicer testimonials from Juicers that have already got the treatment.

I'm really tired of typing "Juicer". :geno:

This is supposed to be the primary place where PCs can get involved. It suggests two main ways - either the PCs choose to investigate what the Coalition is up to, or they are hired to try and chase down a famous Deadball player who broke his contract to go seek out the treament instead. Alternately, they could meet and befriend the Deadball player and have to cope with bounty hunters out to get him.


"Edgelords incoming."

The Chaos Months

A number of cities that rely on Juicers have a sudden dilemma where Juicers still under their military contracts either ask to leave or desert their posts to seek out the treatment. In other places, Juicer celebrations cause damage and riots. Either way, Newtown gets Juicer arrivals faster than they expected, and so they create a Juicer encampment outside of the city itself.

It notes that the PCs could be involved in a small town that relies on a dozen Juicers and a few other enhanced humans for defense, and when the Juicers decide to desert, a fight breaks out. The PCs are recruited to help, but there also might be other monsters or villains taking advance of the town's weakness. Alternately, if there's a Juicer PC, they might decide to make the trip to Newtown.

The Beginning of the End

Juicers arriving in Newtown then are given ID cards to try and track them, but though there's a lot of tension, most Juicers cooperate with the local authorities. The Juicers are given a promise that the chip will extend their lives by 20-40 years (once again, a lie) after a short procedure, and then they have to take special pills on a weekly basis. The pills are a pure placebo, but are intended to try and encourage them to stay with the Coalition military instead of running off. Hundreds of Juicers are given the treatment, and many on Last Call see their symptoms fade.

It notes that PCs arriving will not be allowed in the city, but and trying to sneak in will be difficulty if they want to due to the Coalition force and their "shoot PCs on sight" principle. It notes that if a PC Juicer is looking to get the treatment, you should probably have the Uprising interrupt their place in line before they can recieve it "Unless the G.M. wants to condemn the character to death (or he wants the player character to become a renegade Phoenix Juicer." You know, just in case you, as the GM, want to condemn a PC to an early grave. It's an option!


We see these guys illustrated several times thoughout this section, the secret main characters of the Uprising.

The Devon Incident

So, this is where things go screwy. This is named after Max Devon, the Coalition officer who essentially instigates the Uprising accidentally. The Coalition is parading a Juicer that's undergone the treatment around the camp - Sam "The Dagger" Greenwood - since he's on his eighth year of life and probably should be dead now. However, there's another Juicer there named John Slaughter, who knew a different Juicer named Sam "The Dagger", and is convinced that the one they're parading is an impostor. It's just a misunderstanding because of edgelord Juicers being anything but original, but before another Juicer who knew both Sams could explain anything, Lt. Max Devon saw what was going on. And Devon panicked. See, Devon previously worked for Lyboc, and was one of the few Coalition officers present that knew the whole thing was a lie. Thinking the Coalition deception might be revealed, he ordered his troops to gun down Slaughter. But Slaughter flippity-flipped out of the way and the laser blasts instead cut down both Sam "The Dagger" and the Juicer what was trying to explain the truth. Ooops. A fight then broke out between the Juicers and Coalition soldiers, but General Orly (the head of Newtown's Coalition forces) decided it would be best to retreat behind Newtown's walls and let the whole thing calm down. Orly tries to play this down to his superiors, preventing more Coalition forces from being sent. Meanwhile, the Juicers collared Max Devon, and tortured him until he revealed all he knew, which was essentially everything involving Operation Phoenix Rising.

For story hooks, it says the PCs might get involved in the situation as part of the general battle or as peacemakers. Alternately, they might spot one of the Ultra-Tech Industries technicians getting shot down, and is revealed to be a terminator robot, but then the body explodes! What do they do about that, huh? Huh?


I guess this is Julian the First? Maybe?

The JAL Rises Again

Julian the First, head of the anti-Coalition Juicer Army of Liberation, seizes upon the opportunity to rally Juicers at the camp and gets about a third of them to join him a proposal to attack Newtown and raid Ultra-Tech Industries for answers. Other Juicers decide to leave, while others remain hoping the whole thing blows over.

We get stats here for Julian the First, who is an 8th level Mega-Juicer with - dare I say it - unrollable stats, even ignoring his physical attributes. He has exceptional intelligence and a very high affinity, naturally. He was a merc with a band of mercenaries who were gunned down by the Coalition just because they had D-Bee members, and his wife died in the attack, and Julian was... you may have guessed... the only survivor. I have to wonder if this is official Coalition policy. "Let that one go." "But why?" "Because we need more angry people to shoot in the future. Otherwise, we'd just run out of people to shoot!" And that's why he's big on using the JAL to strike back at the Coalition. That being said, he's thoughtful and doesn't plan to go out in a blaze of glory and respects the lives of those working under him, but will never compromise where the Coalition is concerned.

It's noted a PC Juicer there could definitely get involved, either trying to defuse it or by supporting Julian, or even becoming a leader of the Uprising themselves.

The Uprising is about to begin and the metaplot is in full swing. It's kind of nice that Carella at least notes that PCs should be allowed to influence events, because, uh... that's not a policy we'll see held going forward in this gameline.

:stonklol:

Next: A tactical error.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 15:35 on Apr 28, 2017

Cease to Hope
Dec 12, 2011
bringing this one on home



13th Age part 16: 13th Age's One Unique Thing

13th Age is Dungeons and Dragons. The default assumption is that the PCs are largely rootless adventurers who mainly go to dangerous places such as dungeons and kill the dangerous occupants, for example dragons. Where it differs is that it has a little bit of "storygame" in it. Players load their characters with hooks beyond their race and class, and are explicitly encouraged to take an active role in developing the world, detailing their surroundings, and deciding what happens. 13th Age actively pushes back against strict GM control.

This starts with a PC's One Unique Thing. The OUT, introduced in chapter 2, is chosen by the player in collaboration with the GM. Players are explicitly encouraged to create chunks of the setting for themselves with the OUT: several examples are "I am from [place/organization] that I just made up specifically for this character." There's no requirement that players engage in this interaction: "a pyromaniac elf wizard" is given as an example of One Unique Thing that signals to the GM that the player isn't interested in taking center stage in designing the premise of the game. If players do, GMs are encouraged to not only accommodate fantastical OUTs - and similar requests, such as choosing one of the oddball races in chapter 3 - but elaborate upon them and incorporate them into play.

"Telegraph your intent", a part of a brief section in chapter 2 wedged between the charts for buying crap and the rules for being a dwarf, makes this design philosophy explicit.

quote:

In some campaigns, the players are even careful not to let the GM know their intent so that the GM can’t foresee the player’s plan and block it. If the PC can talk to animals, for example, the player might ask a number of leading questions about the surroundings hoping to corner the GM into saying that there are animals around so that the player can spring a means of talking to animals on the unsuspecting GM. We encourage you to take just the opposite approach. Explain to the GM what you hope the answer will be and why so that they can take that into account when inventing an answer.

For example, you ask, “Just how far away is this enchanted glade where the magical boars were killed?” The GM might invent an answer based on what seems to fit the fictional world. Maybe the GM says, “A couple days’ travel inland.” If, however, you first say, “I wish I could see the place where the boars were killed and try to glean some clues from the arcane signatures left behind by the killer,” then the GM might invent an answer that helps your character do something interesting. Maybe the GM says, “The glade is actually just outside the city, but it’s magically hidden so most people hardly know it’s there. If you can persuade the local druids, you might be able to gain access.”

Players can also take a number of codified class abilities which fill in a bit of the surroundings in a way favorable to their PC. For example, a ranger with Tracker always has a branch to knock down on enemies, or a root to trip them, or a startled badger to distract them. This ability gives the ranger's player the ability to dictate the environment, based on the idea that the ranger is good at choosing to fight in places that they can take advantage of. Even when this isn't an explicit class ability, players are constantly encouraged to not only take a hand in dictating the narrative, but also offer feedback on what they want to happen. "Player Picks", a section crammed into the rules for leveling up in chapter 6, instructs the GM to ask the players what they'd like to see again after every session, and make an effort to incorporate their favorites into future sessions. This debrief is a great idea, although I don't have any idea what it has to do with gaining levels.

Rather than the GM's role being to stymie and challenge the players, the GM's role is to facilitate and elaborate. This is clearly illustrated in how Backgrounds are used for skill checks (still chapter 2). Not only are players given a mechanical incentive to bullshit their way into explaining how Magical Undergrad +3 should be allowed to let his fighter somehow impress this guard, the GM is instructed to Fail Forward. If Rudy the Wizard (who is a fighter) does not impress the guard, his failure should still somehow allow the PCs to move towards their goals, just with more complications or setbacks along the way. Perhaps the shouting match gets the attention of the (now quite annoyed) noble they wanted to talk to anyway, or Rudy's boring rambling is enough of a distraction for the party to sneak by - as long as Rudy doesn't come with.

Rituals (jumping to chapter 6) expand the bullshit-and-run-with-it system to cover out of combat magic. I have talked about how the decision to make some classes magical and some not creeps into the ritual rules, and how wizards get their own special explicitly codified non-combat spells. Even with those throwback qualities, putting magic mostly into the same ruleset that everyone uses to solve problems, spellcasters don't leave mundanes feeling quite as badly as they do in 3e, Pathfinder, or 5e. There's no reason Backgrounds can't be used to do fantastic things, and every class except the fighter is at least hinted at being a little bit magical.

Icon relationships are another way players can directly affect the story in a way other than their PCs' direct reaction to events narrated to the players by the GM. (These rules are split between chapter 2 and 6.) Every session, someone is likely to have some 5s or 6s on relationship rolls, and those are guaranteed positive developments from the PCs' connections to the ruling powers. Of course, 5s come with strings attached, but those strings are attached to story hooks, so it's not so bad. If the GM doesn't invoke successful icon rolls, the PCs are encouraged to, involving the icons' supporters or enemies to somehow intervene on the PCs' behalf or otherwise support the PCs, even in a retroactive way. 5s and 6s can be thought of as chips the players turn in for goodies, support, magic items, or the ability to change their circumstances for the better.

Icon relationship rolls can also be used on the fly in "icon events" to do... something. It's not clear what an icon event is or or how you resolve one. On top of this, a number of class abilities - particularly for the hard, rogue, and sorcerer - interact with this icon event non-system of using icon relationship rolls midsession. Icon relationship rules are already frustratingly unclear before you take on this muddled, utterly useless icon event non-ruleset. It's perfectly possible to play 13th Age without ever rolling for icon relationships except at the beginning of a session - you'll just need to adapt any class abilities that interact with icon relationship rolls to either retcon this session's rolls or affect the next session's.

13th Age can be a slog. Its layout is not great at all, and one of the hallmark systems, icon interaction, is confusing and half-baked. Push through, however, and you'll find the everpresent idea that players deserve as much narrative control as the GM. It never goes as far as Apocalypse World or Burning Wheel in giving players ways to dictate the narrative, but it positions players as co-creators of the circumstances their PCs react to. To my mind, this design principle stands in direct opposition to the Gygaxian principle that the GM plays the antagonist in the form of both enemies and environment, and is 13th Age's most unique feature as a variation on D&D.

The next chapter is about a monster that can rip off your arm and eat it.

Next: That was my second favorite arm!

Cease to Hope fucked around with this message at 06:38 on Apr 29, 2017

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015

Tsilkani posted:

Useless knowledge activate!

The one you're thinking of is Zettai Reido, or Absolute Slavery. There's a page about it on 1d4chan, but I'm not linking it because NSFW in the slightest.

Thanks. I was starting to question my SAN score.

Tsilkani posted:

The author ended up changing the name to Tokyo Brain Pop a few years back, after legions of customers begged him to.

The new name still sounds way too exciting.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy


Chapter Two and Chapter Five: The Clans of Caine and the Gifts of the Blood

Setites
Nicknames: Serpents, Followers of Set



The Followers of Set are an independent clan in Masquerade and are firmly in the frenemy category when it comes to non-Setites. They’re essentially clan Thoth-Amon/Thulsa Doom, degenerate snake worshipping vampires who keep mortal cults but can do cool things like remove your heart and put it in a jar so you can’t be staked. The Setites, like the Assamites, are divided into variations based on doing certain jobs.

In the Dark Ages, the Setites are mostly a North African based tribe but are reaching out into other parts of the world. All that stuff about them being degenerate and evil is all Christian propaganda. You see, Set was the first vampire and all vampires descend from him. It’s due to the curse of Horus, the vile sun god, that vampires are harmed by sunlight the way they are. All the stuff about Caine is Christian lies and all the bad stuff about Set is due to the Hellenization of the Egyptian pantheon by the Ptolemais and was followed up by more garbage from the Romans.

The Setites want to spread the worship of Set to the rest of the world and undermine Christianity and Islam. They believe that Christianity and Islam will die out like other religions and they are only helping along the inevitable. Set is eternal and it’s only a matter of time before he comes back into style.

Most the Setites encountered in Europe are members of the priest caste. There are also warriors and witches. The write-ups for these factions are in the apocrypha like it was for the Assamites. These divisions aren’t really acknowledged officially and they’re not really talked about outside of Setite circles to give the illusion that the Setites are not divided. The Warriors of Glycon are the warrior caste/branch of the Setites. They have a big focus on might making right and enforcing the will of Set through force. The Warriors vie for dominance of the clan but it doesn’t look like they do such to the point of open conflict. They’re nicknamed Crooks because they’re pretty thuggish in their outlook and the way they handle things. The Witches of Echidna are the sorcerers of the clan and are nicknamed Gorgons. They’re based on a Cretan witch tradition that venerated the serpent at Knossos, which they believe is the progenitor of most snake myths. For as much as the Setites bitch about Hellenism, they’re based on a lot of Greek based traditions. The Witches, unlike the Warriors, serve the needs of the cult and don’t vie for leadership.

Appearance: The Setites are mostly made up of North Africans and Egyptians during this time period but will often embrace Europeans with red hair, it’s apparently seen as a sign of a blessing from Set. When they travel, they usually dress like North African merchants and when among their own in their temples, they dress like Ancient Egyptian priests.

Haven and Prey: Setites usually make havens underground in order to escape the sun and to maintain their secrecy. They will set up cults in abandoned temples that were buried underground due to time or in cave networks. If these aren’t feasible options, they make their havens where they can and will sometimes keep mobile havens in trade caravans. The Setites most often feed on the dregs of society because they don’t draw attention if they go missing.

The Embrace: The Setites usually embrace mortals from their Set cults and embrace the best among those cults. The most cunning and charismatic members usually get the promotion to vampire while the weaker members of the cult stay where they are in order to serve their betters. The majority of Setites are of North African or Middle Eastern descent but as the Setites expand into Europe, they are embracing more red haired Europeans. The Setites tend to be prejudiced against embracing Europeans because they view the Europeans as colonial, not my phrasing, their ahistorical use, aggressors for the whole Hellenistic period and Roman Empire thing.

Priest Clan Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis
Warriors Clan Disciplines: Obfuscate, Potence, Serpentis
Witches Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Presence, Setite Sorcery (Thaumaturgy)

Priest Weakness: Setites take twice as much damage from sunlight. drat you Horus!
Warrior Weakness: Warriors are power obsessed and they focus on one source of power above all others. They chose the source at character creation, such as military prowess, and whenever an opportunity presents itself to gain more power through that favored power source, they have to make a willpower check not to. Warriors must always accept an opponent’s surrender but the opponent must submit in some fashion, such as a blood oath. They’re super villains to the max.
Priest Weakness: When witches frenzy, they take on the visage of Echidna, one of the mothers of monsters in Greek mythology, and their appearance drops to 0. They take on the form of a snake demon from Greek mythology for the duration of the frenzy. When the witches consume or spend blood on something other than Thaumaturgy, Echidna takes a blood point at the end of the scene so they’re always spending or losing an extra blood point on those actions. Thaumaturgy doesn’t invoke this tithe because Echidna is apparently pleased by uses of Thaumaturgy.

Organization: Setites organize themselves along an ancient Egyptian temple model, with a high priest or prophet at the top. There will be subordinate priests underneath them relative to the size of the temple. Larger enclaves will have lots of mortal cultists and ghouled servants and retainers but smaller temples will only have a couple mortals as members. It’s all relative to the size.



Toreador
Nicknames: Aesthetes, Artisans, Vanitas



The Toreadors are a clan of hedonists and indulge in everything in excess. As the Renaissance is right around the corner in relative terms, the Toreador are on the rise. They revel in the drama of everyday life and feel that they are the directors while the mortals are the actors. Some engage in art while others engage in religion, always taking it to an extreme frowned upon by most in search of something they felt in life that they can no longer feel. Even if they were an artist in life for instance, they find themselves unable to achieve that certain something that made their art better than what it is now. This is traumatizing to the Toreadors but they still never stop trying to reach that height that they once reached in life.

Appearance: Toreador pursue and propagate beauty, trying to present themselves in a way that reflects the ideal beauty of their homeland or era. This can take different forms and a group of Toreadors is often a beautiful sight.

Haven: Toreadors surround themselves by not only art and beautiful things, they also seek out artists to sponsor or a patron for themselves. They curate everything they have, including retainers, making them obsessive, consummate collectors of everything.

Backgrounds: Toreadors embrace based on passion and conviction, often embracing a favorite artist, lover, or muse in order to keep them around forever. The Toreador flaws tend to cause them to abandon these childer when they grow tired of them. This often foster resentment and revenge plots.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Presence

Weakness: Toreadors have a short attention span but once they view an object that triggers their sense of beauty, they become obsessed with it. They have to roll their Self-Control or Instinct or they are lost in their thoughts about their object of obsession. This obsession is addictive, a rush of pleasure that can leave an inexperienced Toreador reeling when the emotions leave them. This can need can be exploited by enemies as the Toreadors scrambles for their next fix. Toreador can interact with the objects of their obsession as well, which can be dangerous for a living being the Toreador is obsessed with.

Organization: Toreadors often meet informally engage in passionate debate of art, music, and theater. Sometimes performances and impromptu art galleries break out during these meetings. The art or works displayed can come from Toreadors or their protégés. Hot-tempered Toreadors will sometimes hold duels for the standard reasons or for amusement.



Ventrue
Nicknames: Power Mongers, Ambitiones, Patricians (derogatory)



The Ventrue during this time are on the rise, having stepped aside and allowing the Lasombra to take a dominant, commanding position among Cainites during the Long Night. They are using the War of the Princes to take back what they feel is their rightful place as the leaders of the Cainites.

The Ventrue place a great importance on lineage and trace their lineage back to Caine himself, Ventrue being a childe of Enoch, King of the First City and first childe of Caine. The Ventrue are a clan of warrior kings and merchant princes who pulled the strings behind the scenes in Rome centuries before. They value fortitude and charisma and often actually care more about their mortal subjects than other clans. They often work as arbiters and mediators for other kindred due to their discipline set making it very easy for them to keep the peace without using force. The Ventrue believe that leadership is their gift and their burden. They disdain the rule of the Lasombra and are biding their time before they rise at the right moment.

Appearance: The Ventrue always dress impeccably, always in bespoke, high quality clothing. They always dress appropriate to their station. The clothes, even if not having intricate designs, will be appropriate to their station and always make sure not to outshine the people they’re manipulating.

Haven: Ventrue prefer to make their havens in population centers or strongholds with plenty of resources for them to draw upon. The Ventrue seek out populaces due to their desire to lead and their feeding restrictions.

Backgrounds: Ventrue are very specific about who they embrace. They put a great deal of importance on education, background, and talents, leaving them to embrace people from the aristocracy and upper echelon of society. They never embrace by mistake, I imagine if they did the childe would be destroyed, and train and educate their childer. Purity of bloodlines is preferred, as was the fashion in aristocratic circles, but Ventrue from commoner backgrounds do happen but have to work much harder to rise through the ranks.

Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Fortitude, Presence

Weakness: Ventrue can only gain sustenance from feeding from a specific group chosen at character creation, such as merchants, French, Catholics, and small children. They can consume mortal blood from outside their specific group to forestall frenzy but they gain no sustenance from it. This means they don’t replenish their blood pool.

Organization: The Ventrue organize themselves feudally, in a top down, hierarchical structure based on family lines and generation. Blood oaths are the common and most popular way of maintaining loyalty to this hierarchy.



Disciplines

Serpentis
Serpentis is a family secret among the Setites and it’s not commonly used around outsiders in order to give it an air of mystery. The name is a bit misleading because it’s not so much about snakes but about taking on traits of Typhon and Echidna. The clan is at a bit of a loss why it’s all based on Greek monsters but they reconcile it with being part of some type of ur-myth that goes back to Set.



Level One – Enchanting Gaze: This reflexive power lowers Social roll difficulties for the Setite as they change their eyes to be more serpent like or their skin to be pearlescent to entrance a target and draw them to them. The user can lock eyes with a target and entrance them, only breaking the hold through a roll or knowing that they’re clearly endangered.
Level Two – Typhonic Maw: The user distends their jaw, enlarges their fangs, and elongates their tongue by spending a blood. The vampire can attack targets with their tongue, which can draw blood from a target like a bite due to a proboscis on it. The tongue also takes away all darkness penalties from the user. The vampire can bite without a grapple check, doing an additional die of damage, and can draw five blood points a round instead of three with their mouth.
Level Three – Serpent’s Flesh: The Setite spends a blood and makes their flesh leathery, slimy, scaly, or monstrous in some other way. The Setite reduces soak difficulties to 5, can soak aggravated damage not from fire or sunlight with Stamina, can slip through any opening as large as their head, and can reflexively escape any grapple. The user can spend a willpower while activating it to make it subtle but if they don’t, Intimidation is easier due to being monstrous.
Level Four – Typhonic Avatar: The vampire transforms into a Typhonic beast or half-serpent person by spending a blood, though can be sped up by spending blood, and four blood points makes it reflexive. The user has to decide on the form and it becomes permanent for them, although they can purchase the other form later on by half the cost of the power. The vampire gains two dots to Strength, Dexterity, and Stamina. The vampire moves twice as fast, does two additional damage when biting, and increases the user’s balance. The tail gained as a serpent person can be used to attack and gains five dots to strength instead of two. The form causes awe in mortals and they have to flee or subjugate themselves to the Setite if they have a lower willpower than the Setite’s Serpentis dots. Mortals can act by spending a willpower.
Level Five – Mother of Monsters: The Setite can create monsters from their flesh with this power. The Setite spends a blood and additional blood points to give the beast a blood pool if they want to and marks off a health level. The beast takes on the visage of a mythological monster, has childlike intelligence, and will carry out their creator’s commands without question. The creature cannot be commanded by others or frightened. The beast can heal damage with blood given to them or activate level 1-4 Serpentis powers. It takes a turn to birth the monster and the beast can be reflexively subsumed back into the vampire, with any unspent blood, and the lost health level is regained.

Setite Sorcery Rituals
There are no paths for Setite Sorcery in the book, there are are two rituals. Setite Sorcery is present in V20 Tome of Secrets though so we'll get to it one.

Level Three: Displacement of the Pneuma: This ritual takes 20 minutes to cast and requires a mortal target and an animal, like a goat or pig. The caster binds the mortal target upright, cuts their wrists, and ritualistically pretends to slit the throat of the target with a dull knife. The Setite bleeds on the chest of the target, making them believe momentarily that they’ve had their throat slit, and yells a word of power as loudly as they can into the victim’s ear. This causes the target’s soul to leave their body and enter the animal’s body, where they will be trapped for the animal’s lifespan. The target’s human body is inhabited by a shadow of the mortal, having a semblance of the mortal’s intellect but with no memory, desire, or willpower. This makes the target very suggestible but incapable of interpreting complex commands. They will also not drink or eat unless ordered to because they are effectively a zombie and have no survival instincts.
Level Five: Cheat the Scale of Hades: This ritual is done during the dark of night when no moon is present, due to not rising yet, setting, or due to the new moon and takes 3 hours. The target ritualistically removes their heart, liver, and brain and falls into torpor. This process invokes Rotschreck in onlooking vampires. The user makes extended checks, each check representing an hour and requires 12 successes, so at least 4 an hour to be successful. If the moon or sun rises, the ritual fails. After the organs are removed, the vampire is locked in a scaly cocoon. The vampire is impervious to damage at this time but is in indefinite stasis. The organs are vulnerable during this time and destroying the organs causes an unsoakable level of aggravated damage. If the heart is exposed to fire or sunlight, the vampire is instantly immolated. The user has to be fed their removed organs to be awakened. After ingesting them, it takes one minute for the cocoon to crumble and the vampire to emerge. The ritual can be performed on another vampire and the heart can be left out. If the heart is left out, the vampire is immune to staking and diablerie. The vampire is also two lower on frenzy checks due to not having a heart to dictate their emotions. The separated heart is a powerful sympathetic ritual component and the vampire in question can be instantly destroyed by exposing their heart to fire or sunlight. A stake through the heart puts the vampire into torpor and drinking from the heart allows a vampire to diablerize the owner and to do such at a lower difficulty.

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

echopapa posted:

There's already an adventure module for the invasion of Saipan. I considered buying it when I lived there, but I didn't know anyone who wanted to play Godlike.

My theoretical Godlike campaign would probably run something like:

Act 1: Philippines -> Guadalcanal -> Bougainville

Act 2: Eniwetok -> Peleliu -> Saipan

Act 3: Philippines -> Iwo Jima -> Okinawa

Grand Finale: The Home Islands

Cythereal fucked around with this message at 22:55 on Apr 28, 2017

echopapa
Jun 2, 2005

El Presidente smiles upon this thread.
You’d have to go Eniwetok->Saipan->Pelelieu, because Saipan was in June 1944 and Pelelieu was in September.

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
True, but I'd probably fudge things a little. Peleliu as the end of an arc would be a downer considering it was historically a very questionable campaign that may not have been at all necessary. Barring Talents changing the war, of course.

Pitting Nimitz and MacArthur against each other for the PCs' favor and assignments could also be a good twist on things to add something to do in the downtime, especially if the campaign opens with the PCs as very early Talents or pre-Talent grunts in the Philippines during the Japanese invasion rather than opening on Attu.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015
I like to think the Coalition lets single survivors go under the logic of, "What's the point of committing massacres if no one knows you did it?"

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

So, for my next book, I'm heading back to Dragonmech. Are you folks interested in the Mech Manual (new mechs and monsters), the Second Age of Walkers (setting/backstory), or Steam Warriors (character option stuff)?

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