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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Hostile V posted:

Werewolves, Wicker Men, Whatever

Christ. It's not even It's A Good Life either.

Wait. Croquet? Mushrooms that turn you into mushrooms if you eat them? This is just a big compost pile of lazy pastiches, isn't it?

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Aug 1, 2017

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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

It's a mix of incredibly lazy and being completely tone-deaf, even just sticking to A Good Life and scraping the Wicker Man/Religious Horror parts would improve this drek of a module immensely.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


DEGENESIS: REBIRTH
PRIMAL PUNK

Chapter 1 Continues: The Final Battle And The Final Battlers

Onwards with our wonderful show!

FIVE RAPTURES

It’s the heading for the entire page, but just to be sure, they have a paragraph explaining that there a five kinds of Psychonauts (each of them for a different Chakra point) and that they have different freaky powers. Let’s get to the meat of it!

POLLEN: BIOKINESIS


I think this might be one of them. On the other hand, a real one wouldn't have bandages...

Pollen is… Poland. It took me longer that I am comfortable to admit to get that. Can Pollen into space? No, but it can into biokinetic horrors that are in total control of their own body. They can change it at will, usually transforming into something beefy and hard to take down – they can even regrow organs – and they guard the spore fields. They carry spiders, scorpions and centipedes in their skin folds.

:gonk:

FRANKA: PHEROMANCY

France has troubles with these fuckers that demonstrate their swollen glands and control people with pheromones. Unlike the Horned Ones, they don’t use that for sex – instead they establish sham peaceful communities – and they are loved by ants, wasps and termites.

Oh, and there’s this:

quote:

Their skin is stretched tight across the pheromone glands. At the neck, sores bulge, big as nuts or children’s fists, oozing puss in which insects feed and fester.

Suddenly, I feel the need to pop a zit.

BALKHAN: DUSHAN

Can you guess what region we are talking about? Yep, it’s the European mystery and tragedy, the Balkhans. And since they’re mysterious Slavs, they are beset by Psychonauts that are all reckless taxi driv- wait, no, that would be dushmans. The dushani are basically mountain sirens and they can control people with their songs, but as far as I got into the book, it never seemed that problematic.

Dushani like to stroll mountain streams and collect kraken (?), crawfish and jellyfish (of the mountain kind) as buddies.

HYBRISPANIA: PREGNOCTICISM


Definitely one of these, I'm 100% sure. Check out her jewelry

In normal Euro lands, we’re back to sciency names for mushroom X-men powers. The Hibrispaniards have to deal with Psychonauts that can predict pregnancies!

quote:

The Pregnoctics exist in the past and future simultaneously. They are one soul in a thousand bodies.

All this flowery speech means that they can see the future. This is super handy for the Hibris fighting the Africans (more on that a lot later). So they have to engage with the Pregnoctics to have actionable intel.

Meanwhile, the weirdo mutants like to be “close to their plagues: shells, starfish, urchins, ammonites and trilobites.” I guess they mean “plagues” in the Biblical “plague of locusts” way, but I don’t think starfish are that scary for someone living in the interior of Spain.

PURGARE: PSYCHOKINESIS

Purgare is the hardcore name for Italy. Maybe people of the future really like Dante?

quote:

Psychokinetics are parasites. They cling to villages, feeding on the inhabitants through plagues of leeches, mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and tapeworms.
As the Psychokinetics feed, energies build up in their solar plexus, making their chests glow with heat. When they finally release this anima, it consumes his environment and burns him from the inside out. The light bends around this type of Abberant and gets entangled in force fields. Stones rise into the air, accelerate in ever tightening circles and finally race towards the enemy in a glittering cloud.

Are Psychokinetics one-use-only? Do they regenerate from the explosion? Eh, who knows! But they’re some spicy meatballs, amirite?

But enough about these X-mehs, let’s read about some motherfuckin’ craters.

THE EARTH CHAKRAS

Another title for another page! Basically, all the freaky developments come from five great craters that spread the corruption via MSFs. They are somehow linked and working towards one goal, so it seems, and if you want to end it all, you’ll have to climb the crater walls. I don’t know why rediscovering nukes and making Davy Crockett II isn’t an option.

POLLEN: PANDORA



Poland’s crater is the biggest – and full of mutation, kinda befitting for the place that birthed biokinectics.

quote:

Primordial monsters swim in the crater lake, fighting each other, sinking to the ground dead or mating and mutating. Ammonites several feet in diameter have been seen. Some of these creatures get washed to shore through countless drains and streams.
Many die in the hostile atmosphere, but others burrow into the ground and flourish.

See, that’s why artillery exists :stare:

Poland’s crater is fertile with spores that all drift east. That’s why the east is suuuuperfucked. Nobody has been through the Spore Wall… kinda.

FRANKA: SOUFFRANCE



Underfrance? France’s crater might not be such a hotbed of mutation as Pandora, but it has it’s own fair share of creepiness.

quote:

Here, Homo Degenesis and Homo Sapiens live close together. Unlike anywhere else, man is on the same level as a swarms of insects.
In Souffrance, he has devolved to a drone.

Pheromancers are really into control for control’s sake. In Black Tokyo or Cthulhu tech, they’d be using their natural roofies to gently caress teen girls left and right.

BALKHAN: USUD



I think it’s here that they start explicitly referring to craters as [region’s] Earth Chakras, which leads me to be even more confused about the whole chakra-Psychonaut connection.

Usud is creates song and vibration, and it basically rewrites those who come near.

HYBRISPANIA: MIRAR



quote:

Surrounded by and hidden within a time lapse lies Mirar, the Pregnoctics’ Earth Chakra.

I see we’re ramping up STALKER around these parts. The description makes Mirar sound like a hivemind of souls that sees all, including through time. Getting through the time lapse is probably gonna be difficult, and then you’ll have to deal with the whole omniscience poo poo.

Maybe it’s easier in Purgare.

PURGARE: NOX



quote:

Force fields demolish space like a broken mirror and capture the fragments within the finest of gravitational mesh. The fields above Nox are sealed, capturing the light and never letting go. Eternal night grows in crystalline thorns from the Psychokinetics’ Earth Chakra, infecting the area, creeping onwards.
Lol nope :stare:
Actually, one man, Nuntius the Baptist had gone into Nox. He was crazy stuff like intersecting light pillars and beasts hung in gravitational lifts, and survived to tell the tale. Afterward, he was called Nuntius the Mad because he started demanding the breaking of the Rift (no idea what is) around Nox to release the divine Pneuma (again, no idea).

I can see why people might think Degenesis would have something to do with Divine Cybermancy, as the writing is as impenetrable in some places. Might just be European nerds employing translators that are less than top-of-the-line. If you think my stuff is hard to read now...

Those of you who are reading carefully – or reading this at all – will notice that there are only five kinds of Psychonauts and five chakras mentioned when there are seven regions. Of the European ones, only Borca (Germany) is missing, which implies [insert racial purity/Turkish immigration joke here].

As for Africa, they have other poo poo to deal with.

PSYCHOVORES



One stray asteroid aaalmost hit Africa. However, even a near miss wasn’t fun.

quote:

But Africa wasn’t spared. The projectile cooked the surrounding air to more than 54,032° Fahrenheit, painting a long, flaming tail across the sky. With several thousand atmospheric tons of pressure, a tsunami struck the African continent. At an unstoppable 4 miles per second, the wave ate through the earth and devoured humans, animals, vegetation, even entire cities and mountains along with it. It gouged a scar more than 1,245 miles long and easily 185 miles wide: the Dhoruba.

It rained trees, rocks, moss, and spores all along the Dhoruba. Black fragments of the asteroid melted into the ground. The area saw rapid regrowth and all was covered by giant vegetation, all of it infected. Leaves were all strictly hexagons or octagons. There were thorns on every branch. Trees grew glassy fruits that burst when they fell. This is the danger that Africa faces: Psychovores (and no, they didn’t explain the name).

DISCORDANCE

Sepsis and Psychovores do not play with each other, despite being variations of Primer. Spore fields end, plants rot. However, some strange thing happen, too.

quote:

Those who step on the plants’ neural points fall into feeding sacs, get entangled in thorny gills and drown in the influx of digestive fluids. Within days, the dissolved victims pumped into a womb sac.
There, bizarre figures grow in gelatinous bubbles. Finally, membrane riddled creatures rise up into the air, but rot within hours and fall to the ground, a stinking mass. Evolution breathes old and rejected things back to life. It is out of control.

It’s implied that this is what happens in Discordance, and it’s not just regular Psychovore behavior. As to what Psychovores do aside from breeding strange fruit – eh, who knows?
Next time: Degenesis – Seven Cultures, Thirteen Cults!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
The Wicker Man is the greatest horror film, but not because of the plot or a handful of trappings that can be repurposed into any medium.

Re:Degenesis, I'm trying to figure out if you're supposed to play as these humanoids, or just some of them, or none at all.

MightyMatilda
Sep 2, 2015

Alien Rope Burn posted:


Nope, can't play one, because evil.


Okay, so it's perfectly fine for people to play as Coalition officers, but playing as a race that was nearly wiped out is over the line.

Huh.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Halloween Jack posted:

The Wicker Man is the greatest horror film, but not because of the plot or a handful of trappings that can be repurposed into any medium.

Re:Degenesis, I'm trying to figure out if you're supposed to play as these humanoids, or just some of them, or none at all.

I think we could have an argument about 'greatest' while The Shining exists.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


Then there are subgenres to consider- I mean, The Shining is the greatest supernatural/suspense horror film, The Thing is the greatest body horror film...

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Defining genre in that way just serves curation and categorization without recognizing what a given work of art is actually about. For example, The Godfather and Goodfellas are both mafia movies, but The Godfather isn't really about the Mafia in the way that Goodfellas is. That's why The Godfather, Part II makes an abrupt shift to being caught up in international politics, and audiences and critics alike accept this and laud it as equal to the first film.

The Thing is a body horror film, I suppose, but no film is ever "about" body horror, or tentacles or wahtever. The Thing has a lot in common with Cronenberg's The Brood but is thematically very different from, say, Videodrome.

gently caress, now that I think about it, The Godfather probably has more in common with Society, thematically, than it does with a lot of other mob movies.

This is pretty closely related to an effortpost I was working on and saving up for awhile so I may as well finish it and dump it here.

Hostile V posted:

As someone who has generally had enough exposure to really, really awful right-wing thriller fiction that generally has a hypercompetent yet woefully foolish and stupidly doodooheaded Liberal Menace as the main enemy, you are absolutely correct. The main issue I have with backing that line of thinking up is that this is such a small company and a general search of authors says their RPG careers are generally over; their small indie company based on the back of d20 is now on life support and they never made it big, they never really made it out past 2012 to share their terrible opinions openly and in a more public forum or on social media.
I don’t mean to jump to the conclusion that the authors of Abandon All Hope are terrible human beings. I’ve read and reviewed books like Carcosa that are frankly disgusting, and I prefer to just criticize the work. So I have no interest in tracking down the authors of AAH so I can gripe at them or publicly shame them. Especially not for subtly expressing some right-wing attitudes that they probably aren’t aware of themselves.

There’s vanishingly little critique of thematic or ideological issues in RPGs. Even when games do talk about theme, mood, and atmosphere, they tend to focus on genre tropes and tangible elements of the setting that are literal and not really thematic.

When it comes to critique, roleplaying as a medium has sort of the opposite problem that it does with design. It’s hard to overstate how influential D&D was on video game design, but because video games are a bigger and more profitable market and roleplaying remains a cottage industry, we lose a lot of good designers who want to make a living. But as far as literary criticism is concerned, I think even video games and pro wrestling have gotten more attention from serious scholars than roleplaying. Even the scholarship that exists tends to focus on the experience of play. (For example, Salen and Zimmerman’s Rules of Play, which applies to all kinds of games.) Rather than experiencing a brain drain into bigger markets, scholars haven’t deigned to do much work on roleplaying specifically.

Anyway. Roleplaying game settings are usually guilty of the same unquestioned assumptions as a lot of genre fiction. The easiest example is how many stories, especially children’s stories, are resolved by replacing an evil king with a good king--without questioning the institution of monarchy. I’m not some sort of tankie communist who thinks that this is intolerable brainwashing, but it does concern me when you see the same simplicity in stories written for adults.

One extremely common setting element in RPGs is that the world is secretly ruled by an evil conspiracy, and the only thing that can defeat it is a secret conspiracy of good guys. Often, what qualifies you to be a member of either conspiracy is that you were born special. That is of course an inherently right-wing concept, even if everything built on top of that basic setup aligns the bad guys with the conservative establishment and the good guys with marginalized groups. In my own campaigns I’ve struggled to create create settings that don’t fall into that trap, even if the players won’t notice or care.

Night10194 posted:

Really though, and normally I'd save this until I get to the Chaos book, what kills Chaos so often is that the gods are micromanaging dicks. Chaos characters explicitly slowly lose their original personality around the time they get their Chaos Armor and it continues to get progressively worse as they climb up the ladder. By the time you're a Chaos Lord you don't remember your family or your friends. You don't remember why you started on this road. All you know is what your God wants you to know and you build a new personality from there. That's horrifying and all, but it means that most of Chaos' leadership are absolute puppets. Worse, lower level Chaos types who stray get smacked down really hard. The Gods don't let go once they have the claws in, and Chaos is, if anything, way more enthusiastic about enforcing its norms than the Empire, Vampires, Bretonnia, or any other group in the setting. The norms might be skullpits and crazy excess, but if you step out of line they are going to do very bad things to you very fast. When your leaders are rebuilt specifically to serve their Gods' personalities and wishes in all ways and your soldiers are kept in order by divine and immediate punishment if they stop adhering to their god, there isn't a lot of room for personalities and individuals.

Night10194 posted:

Chaos feeds on injustice, which is one of the more interesting bits about it in Tome of Corruption.
Which brings us to how these issues come into play in WFRP!

The tragedy of Old World society is that Chaos ends up becoming a melting pot for dissidents and dissident movements. AFAIK the Old World doesn't have a Peasants' Revolt, a Yellow Turban Rebellion, or a Jacobin Club, because those groups will be persecuted as Chaos cultists. (For that matter, so would the Black Legion and the Nazi Party.) In fact, many of the people who would join those movements probably would become Chaos cultists, because Chaos has done such a good job of identifying itself with rebellion that for many unthinkable to openly rebel against society without making that association. (Tome of Corruption makes this clear through a number of examples.)

The easy criticism to make is that WFRP, intentionally or not, advocates for a tolerant middle course where all "radical" beliefs are dangerous. But I think that's lazy. A poster in the Chapo thread said that WFRP is very much part of the same cynical, 80s British left that created all those 2000AD features which inspired Warhammer 40K. I'm not sure, but Fantasy Flight have consistently shown that they're capable of good writing that remembers the themes of Warhammer even when Games Workshop itself loses the plot. And WFRP has always gone out of its way to engage with the lives of ordinary people in its dark fantasy milieu.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
I'll just nod at "gently caress Chaos." It's about power at any cost, a supernatural FYGM.

I think you can have peasant uprisings in Fantasy, it's just that while your lord is a poo poo, there are worse things that might happen to you while you're resisting/you finished all rebellion and offed all the nobles that have been brought up explicitly to do war.

It's also hard to hide in a forest with beastmen and such.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I mean, The Herrimaults in Bretonnia specifically exist to be genuine revolutionaries who also protect people from Chaos. Similarly, Ranald is a god of leveling the playing field and exalting the lowest without Chaos involvement, and Verena is as much about standing up to tyranny as doing law. Not to mention the universities and agitators. I'd actually say the whole 'all rebellions are Chaos' thing is portrayed intentionally as as much a crutch for non Chaos tyrants as a means for Chaos to try to coopt social movements. I'll get into this more when I'm not phone posting.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Witch: Fated Souls
Part One: Introduction

This is a game I picked up at Origins, from the same booth that MorsRattus grabbed Epyllion from.

I got the better book here by far.

Witch is a game published by Angry Hamster Publishing, and was written by Elizabeth Chaipraditkul. Judging from the fact that Angry Hamster is based largely in the Netherlands, I would say it’s a safe bet that English is not her first language. I mention this entirely because the fluff fiction (and only the fluff fiction, for the most part) is riddled with grammar errors, to the point where any time there’s a bit of fluff I will be skipping it entirely for this review.

The rules text of the game itself is thankfully not affected by this.

The game came out in late 2015, after a successful Kickstarter campaign in March that year. The book itself is a hardcover, full color, with actually quite nice production values—it’s not the best RPG book I’ve ever opened, or even the best I got out of Origins, but it’s definitely got nice artwork throughout.

The premise of the game is that the players take on the role of a Fated character, someone who has traded their soul (or had their soul traded) to a demon of some sort in exchange for power. There are several varieties of Fated, each with their own distinct form of Demon and their own strengths and weaknesses.

One important thing to note: while the demons in Witch are powerful, they’re neither omnipotent nor omniscient, and they can be outsmarted or defeated. The book evidently expects the endpoint of a campaign to involve either freeing yourself from your demon…or taking their place. At least, there’s a chapter on how to do that kind of thing.

Witch is set in modern Earth, largely as we know it - the main difference is the supernatural being real. This kind of setting is fairly familiar to fans of the World of Darkness or other games with the same conceit.

In the frontmatter, near the copyright information and the dedication, the book notes that it will be using gender neutral pronouns through most of the work, specifically they/their. On page 14, there’s a sidebar:



This was one of the first things that caught my eye as I flipped through the book in the hotel at Origins, and frankly, right there I knew I was happy with my purchase. It's not perfect, but it's there, when in so many other games it really isn't...

ANYWAY.

Next time: Fates + Character Creation!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

JcDent posted:

It's also hard to hide in a forest with beastmen and such.
Beastmen are the lumpenproletariat. :mrapig: :anarchists:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Halloween Jack posted:

I don’t mean to jump to the conclusion that the authors of Abandon All Hope are terrible human beings. I’ve read and reviewed books like Carcosa that are frankly disgusting, and I prefer to just criticize the work. So I have no interest in tracking down the authors of AAH so I can gripe at them or publicly shame them. Especially not for subtly expressing some right-wing attitudes that they probably aren’t aware of themselves.
Oh, yeah, fair enough.

Bieeardo posted:

Christ. It's not even It's A Good Life either.
Nope, this comes later.

Spark That Bled
Jan 29, 2010

Hungry for responsibility. Horny for teamwork.

And ready to
BUST A NUT
up in this job!

Skills include:
EIGHT-FOOT VERTICAL LEAP
That whole post on tabletop roleplaying and morality makes me think about the oWoD people who are pro-Technocracy or don't like the old Changelings. I never really put much truck with that kind of thinking, mostly because I'm not sure if it's really responding to whatever flaws the "heroic" world view has, or just "rooting for the Empire" contrarianism.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Wait, when did not liking oChangeling become equated with pro-fascist contrarianism?

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

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

Spark That Bled posted:

That whole post on tabletop roleplaying and morality makes me think about the oWoD people who are pro-Technocracy or don't like the old Changelings. I never really put much truck with that kind of thinking, mostly because I'm not sure if it's really responding to whatever flaws the "heroic" world view has, or just "rooting for the Empire" contrarianism.

I don't really know a ton about oChangeling, but one of the tidbits I do remember is "There is an underwater research base, and it is bad because its MUNDANITY is POISONING MERPEOPLE" when it'd be this incredible wondrous accomplishment if it was real, and anyone working there would be super excited about it. It's kind of saying that you're only allowed to be excited about certain things and if you aren't being aggressively whimsical you're wrong.

Spark That Bled
Jan 29, 2010

Hungry for responsibility. Horny for teamwork.

And ready to
BUST A NUT
up in this job!

Skills include:
EIGHT-FOOT VERTICAL LEAP

Mors Rattus posted:

Wait, when did not liking oChangeling become equated with pro-fascist contrarianism?

Really, I was thinking more of rooting for the Autumn People. I probably could also mention Heroes from Beast, but they would have more cause for justification than the others.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I don't think anyone roots for the Autumn People, they just find the entire concept stupid and insulting, because it generally takes the position that all forms of learning, science and so on are innately Banal and kill wonder.

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

Spark That Bled posted:

That whole post on tabletop roleplaying and morality makes me think about the oWoD people who are pro-Technocracy or don't like the old Changelings. I never really put much truck with that kind of thinking, mostly because I'm not sure if it's really responding to whatever flaws the "heroic" world view has, or just "rooting for the Empire" contrarianism.

I generally like part of the idea of the Technocracy because I'm firmly in the "Science and technology are awesome, gently caress magic" camp. I do not like oMage in general because both sides seem like a bunch of howling assholes in different ways.

Hell, that's why I'm not too keen on the World of Darkness in general, old or new, aside from Hunter and Promethean.

But also, I'm the kind of person who wonders why being The Man is a bad thing. I'd be much more interested in reforming The Man than overthrowing him because chaos and anarchy seem like they'd do a hell of a lot more damage.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

The Lord of Hats posted:

I don't really know a ton about oChangeling, but one of the tidbits I do remember is "There is an underwater research base, and it is bad because its MUNDANITY is POISONING MERPEOPLE" when it'd be this incredible wondrous accomplishment if it was real, and anyone working there would be super excited about it. It's kind of saying that you're only allowed to be excited about certain things and if you aren't being aggressively whimsical you're wrong.

You could argue that a research base underwater is anything BUT mundane.

Changeling should be about fighting office cubicle makers, demolishing suburbs and trying to get livable minimum wage pushed through via magical means.

As a side quest, you should glamour yourself invisible and go pour sugar into gastanks of SUVs, the most banal/pointless of motor vehicle. With muscle cars, people are at least left wondering about your penis size.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

Cythereal posted:

But also, I'm the kind of person who wonders why being The Man is a bad thing. I'd be much more interested in reforming The Man than overthrowing him because chaos and anarchy seem like they'd do a hell of a lot more damage.

Cythereal is post cyberpunk!

To me, Technocracy is inspiration for merging science and technology. You build some crazy poo poo if you can wand-wave some pesky physics aside (and unlike in Genius: The Transgression, regular people touching your poo poo won't make it break)

And they're compelling villains, too. Meanwhile, I started reading the nMage book and just dropped it because I couldn't get through the Age of Aquarius banality of the background. gently caress, I didn't understand half of the fluff in the oMage book, but that's magic, who cares.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I've generally come down on believing that the 'we're fascist for your own good' factions are pretty awful people still, myself.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
I mean, there are quicker ways to admitting that you're a white cis dude but okay sure the Man is cool.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


The Technocracy is genuinely bad but Mage is so badly written that it's hard to tell.

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

JcDent posted:

Cythereal is post cyberpunk!

Eh. Not even so much that as my usual response to cyberpunk games is "Why am I not working for one of the megacorps trying to rehabilitate the organization and take the fight to the really evil guys?"

I suppose I just prefer order to chaos, reform to rebellion, and making a bad situation better instead of trying to overthrow the whole order.

Mr. Maltose posted:

I mean, there are quicker ways to admitting that you're a white cis dude but okay sure the Man is cool.

You're wrong on at least one count about me. I just think it's more interesting to reform the Man than overthrow him, and probably do more good in the long run. You won't catch me taking the Dark Age ending to Deus Ex, either.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
The Technocracy is honestly bad enough that reforming it is kind of like trying to reform the Third Reich.

Like, that's not even an exaggeration.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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I am sure that things will be better when you convince the stormtroopers to wear slightly softer face-stomping boots

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

Rand Brittain posted:

The Technocracy is honestly bad enough that reforming it is kind of like trying to reform the Third Reich.

Like, that's not even an exaggeration.

I feel oMage across the board was badly written, sorry. It's one pack of howling assholes versus another.

Mors Rattus posted:

I am sure that things will be better when you convince the stormtroopers to wear slightly softer face-stomping boots

Fine, I get it, I like different things than the prevailing sentiments in this thread.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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#1 Builder
2014-2018

friend, you literally were just defending working for dystopian megacorporations for whom human life is but a number on a ledger, on the theory that becoming complicit with lord knows how many crimes against humanity will, somehow, allow you to fix things from within

the "really evil guys" in a cyberpunk megacorp are anyone above 'faceless drone' level

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:

friend, you literally were just defending working for dystopian megacorporations for whom human life is but a number on a ledger, on the theory that becoming complicit with lord knows how many crimes against humanity will, somehow, allow you to fix things from within

the "really evil guys" in a cyberpunk megacorp are anyone above 'faceless drone' level

Like the Shadowrunners or whatever are going to do a drat thing, either.

Real life is turning into a cyberpunk setting, okay? Let me pretend it can be fixed.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
The idea that there is only Anarchy or The Man is another lie of The Man.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Cythereal posted:

Like the Shadowrunners or whatever are going to do a drat thing, either.

Real life is turning into a cyberpunk setting, okay? Let me pretend it can be fixed.

For reals now: the solution is not to embrace the fascist hypercapitalist as your liberator. As he says, there are more options than 'be a mercenary anarchist' and 'be a fascist'.

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:

For reals now: the solution is not to embrace the fascist hypercapitalist as your liberator. As he says, there are more options than 'be a mercenary anarchist' and 'be a fascist'.

And that's precisely my point. I'm not saying the megacorps or what have you are good guys. I'm saying I find the idea of being good guys working for such an organization and making the campaign being about making them not fascists anymore to be a very interesting and compelling premise.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


I can see fixing the Technocracy (The Void Engineers are already pretty cool) a lot more than fixing a megacorp.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."
And then when your new assignment is "go out and murder some political dissenters," what do you do?

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

Rand Brittain posted:

And then when your new assignment is "go out and murder some political dissenters," what do you do?

Lots of options. Fake their deaths, investigate and get your boss to think there are things to do other than murder them, and just plain learning that the stated mission is a lie all come to mind. Since I'd either be the DM in such a situation or I'd be playing a game where everyone's on board with the goal, so the DM would be expecting us to do something other than "murder some political dissenters."

Man Dancer
Apr 22, 2008
Apologies if this has been posted already (I hunted through this thread and could have missed it), but I've been deriving tremendous enjoyment from the MegaDumbCast:
"A daily podcast identifying the single dumbest thing on every goddamn page of Palladium’s Ninjas & Superspies."

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
Oh gently caress, now you've gone and done it. I'm not going to get any reading done on my lunch break. Jesus forgive me I'm back on my bullshit.

Mors Rattus posted:

Wait, when did not liking oChangeling become equated with pro-fascist contrarianism?
The common objections to Changeling are, if anything, anti-fascist ones. Changeling explicitly rejects modernity and pines for a primal, feudal, timeless idyll that never existed. It extols heroism and nobility in opposition to a conspiracy that aims to make everyone a see of mindless troglodytes. "The Autumn People" are just Jewish Bolshevists.

This sort of New Age synthesis is a common feature of fascist movements, and yet another reason you should hate hippies.

Spark That Bled posted:

I never really put much truck with that kind of thinking, mostly because I'm not sure if it's really responding to whatever flaws the "heroic" world view has, or just "rooting for the Empire" contrarianism.
small brain: the Empire is bad
edgelord brain: the Empire is good
Woke Galactic Brain: the Empire is the Republic is the Empire.

Cythereal posted:

I feel oMage across the board was badly written, sorry. It's one pack of howling assholes versus another.
The thing is, it becomes clear that the Council of Nine Traditions only formed in response to the Technocracy. Before that, there was no pretense of defending magic itself, nor of guiding humankind toward some mass Ascension. The Traditions were just that, loose traditions comprised of cabals pursuing their own interests. The Order of Reason formed out of certain schools of thought banding together for mutual protection. It's basically a big mob war, and the conflict of Technocracy vs. Traditions, Science vs. Magick was born out of both sides needing a consistent propaganda line to justify their existence on ideological grounds.

Here's where oMage fails to read contemporary politics or predict future trends: In reality, Mark Zuckerberg and Lloyd Blankfein do not openly identify themselves as Neoliberal Technocrats, and declare war on all forms of Mysticism. They quite happily let you go on reading, believing, and buying whatever you want, so long as you do so via platforms that they control.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


Witch: Fated Souls
Part Two: Fates

Fates!

These are your splats. They define to a large degree what kind of magics your character is going to have access to, as well as what type of demon owns your soul and what kind of person you typically are. There are seven Fates to choose from in Witch: Heks, Druid, Djinn, Yokai, Sósyé, Lich, and Seer.

You don’t have to play to your Fate’s stereotypes, of course, but there’s typically a general type of personality or history that’s associated with each Fate. Playing against type is fine, there’s no restrictions on who can become Fated - you can even have had your soul traded away by your parents before you were born, if you want to go that route. Heck, the book even offers that you might come from a line of Witches where every first-born in your line is Fated. (This lends itself to certain Fates, as we’ll see.)

(If you’re Fated from birth, there’s a sidebar saying that you don’t get your powers till you come of age. No creepy kidwitches.)

All of the Fates have a full color art piece to illustrate them. I’ll share some of these, but not all.

Let’s look at the Fates now!

Djinn:

The Djinn don’t have a specific entity that they trade their souls to - instead they work for the Quiet between dimensions. They are largely individuals who were at their wits’ end looking for something better in life, some way out, and wake up feeling…different. From then on they have the power to grant wishes—or more accurately, to negotiate the granting of wishes by the Quiet.

Because of their nature as beings surrounded by contracts and law and negotiation, the Djinn absolutely hate being lied to. Little white lies might get ignored, but they’re going to cause a ruckus if someone lies to them on a major subject, especially when it gets people hurt.



The Djinn also, in addition to being able to grant wishes to others, gain three (and only three) wishes of their own. The Quiet does not gently caress with these—merely muttering “I wish I had a sandwich” won’t waste your wish, and it’s not out to screw you over with the wording any more than it does for anyone else making a wish.

The spells of the Djinn are Emneya and Tayir. (I know it’s not very informative in the naming scheme. We’ll come back to the spells in a later chapter.)

Druid:

Druids negotiate for power with a type of demon known to other Fated as a Horned Beast, though most Druids just call them spirits. Druids have two branches to choose from for their power: Fuil (Blood) or Nádúr (Nature). Often, a Horned Beast will bargain for the souls of everyone in a family line—this is the kind of Fate you might have if you’re Fated from birth.

The Blood Druids are a little like berserkers. They get mad, they get powerful, they hulk out and crush their enemies. Nature Druids, on the other hand, get to heal others and armor themselves, and can commune with the natural world.

This is not to say that they’re all outdoorsy. Instead, most Druids value freedom.
They have an ability to see glimpses of the past, spewing lore relevant to the Fated and important places or even ancestry.

The spells of a Druid are Cosain and Fréamh for Nature Druids, and Fhearg and Dúile for Blood Druids.

No, the spells are not going to get more clearly named as we go.

This is about as long as I want to take on an update, so I’ll cut off with these two for now and come back next time with two more Fates, the Heks and the Lich!

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WINNERSH TRIANGLE
Aug 17, 2011

join the banishers, imo.

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