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wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Carbonation increases the speed of alcohol uptake, that's why carbonated chasers are popular.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
No, I mean kvas is specifically only barely alcoholic, if at that.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*

Robindaybird posted:

I don't even warham, but I definitely want to play a Bret game.

:same:

I've not got much time for WHFRP, but a Bret game -- something like the fixing of Mousillon, maybe -- would have me jumping at the chance.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS

Night10194 posted:

No, I mean kvas is specifically only barely alcoholic, if at that.
Like, maybe 1% ABV. It's basically/literally liquid bread.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Chapter 4: Combat and Dangers


Faudraug Facing the Bison. Character sketch for Voíhuna - Pencil & Watercolour, 2005

This chapter will be way more interesting than the last, because we get into everything involving killing and being killed! Combat in WŁrm is pretty typical, so Iíll whip through the basics real quick so we can get to the fun stuff.

Initiative, Rounds, Actions, ETC

Initiative is 2d6 for humans, decreasing from highest to lowest. Non-Humans may have different rolls or static bonuses. Each character has two actions they can do on their turn:
  • Move a number of meters equal to your Running score (7 for Humans). If you donít attack in a round, you can move twice.

  • Make an attack. Ranged attacks are one throw, while melee attacks can represent a series of blows and attacks. You have to attack either before or after a move, you canít stop, attack, then run away in the same turn. If you donít move though, you still just get one attack.

If you decide to do anything in the middle of a fight thatís not one of the above actions you canít move or fight in that round and get a penalty to dodge any attacks because youíre not paying attention to the fight!

Attacking and Dodging

Attacks are 2d6, if you beat the enemies Dodge score you do damage. Dodge Score for humans by default is 7, with other creatures having varied scores both higher and lower. By default you get one attack per round only. Depending on the result, the game has definite rules for the margin of success:
  • Catastrophe: Roll 1d6, on a 2 through 6 you drop your weapon, on a 1 your weapon breaks and you take 1d6 damage as a result.

  • Brilliant Success: You do maximum damage for your weapon. Only humans can get a Brilliant Success which is good because some animals can do disgusting amounts of damage.

  • Critical Success: Roll damage twice and add the results together.

  • Legendary Success: Roll damage four times and add together.
If you have a damage bonus from a Strength, it isnít affected by any of the above, and is rolled normally.

If you do a non-combat action on your turn, you get a -2 to your Dodge for that round because youíre not paying goddamn attention!


Showdown with the Hunting Crystals. Cover Art for Neanderthal, Vol.3 - Acrylic, 2010

Retreat
If you want to tuck tail and beat feet you have to make a DT 9 Test to bug out. You can choose to use either the dice you would for a Running test or for an Initiative test, players choice. If you succeed you escape the combat and the enemy has to chase you down to continue fighting, fail and you just leave yourself open. Anybody in combat with you gets to immediately make an extra attack against you if they are in hand-to-hand range. Each character can only ever get one extra attack per round, so the first person to fail a Retreat may get wrecked, but later runners in the same round wonít face the extra attacks.



Cautious & Reckless Combat
You can choose to fight Cautiously or Recklessly. If you choose to be Cautious then you get -2 to all Attack Rolls and +2 to your Dodge Score, while Reckless does the opposite. (-2 Dodge, +2 to Attack Rolls).

Charge
If you can move at least 6 meters in a straight line towards an enemy on relatively smooth terrain you can choose to Charge. If you Charge it takes all your actions for the turn. You move up to your maximum movement range, and get a 1d6 bonus to any Damage dealt by the attack. In exchange though you take a -3 to Dodge until your next turn. You canít combine Charge with Cautious or Reckless Combat.

Total Dodge
Roughly the opposite of Charge. When you choose to Total Dodge you get a 1d6 Bonus to your Dodge Score until your next turn, but canít perform any attacks. You can move though, but the distance youíre able to move is halved, and can only move after someone has attacked you.

Total Dodge against a Charge

If someone Charges an opponent using Total Dodge, and they miss their attack, the Charging character has to make an Initiative Test of DT 7. If they succeed they stop after the failed attack, if they fail though they must move either 1d6 (For human size or smaller) or 2d6 (for larger than human creatures) meters in a straight line in the direction of the charge. This is mandatory, and is only cut short by physical obstacles.

Attack Roll Modifiers
Thereís a bunch of modifiers for Attack Rolls, not going to go over them, have a table:



Option: Active Defense
Just optional rules for actively rolling to defend against attacks instead of passive defense. When your character is attacked, the player rolls a Test, if they equal or beat the enemies Attack then they dodge it. Each attack has to be rolled against individually. Bonuses to Dodge Skill translate as flat bonuses to the Dodge Test.

You need a Critical Success on a Dodge to avoid a Critical Attack, and a Critical Dodge automatically avoids any attack thrown at you. If you roll a Catastrophe you fall down and the enemy's Damage is increased by 2. Any subsequent Dodge Tests in the same round are made at -2.

Dual Wielding
You can use two one-handed weapons at a time. You can only attack once, but each round you can choose either a +1 to Attack or Dodge for that round. Characters with the Strength of the Bear or Might of the Bison Strengths can use two-handed weapons in a single hand, with a one-handed weapon as the other, but they get a -3 Penalty to Attack and Damage due to the unwieldiness of the weaponry.

Thatís it for the first section covering basic combat rules. Iím trying to make shorter posts for faster updates, so thatís it for the moment!

Next time: Weapons of the Stone Age!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
It's been said before, but Wurm's art is real good.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


It's not a game I expect I'd play but you can tell that it's a labour of love.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

If you have a party of Knights who all have the Virtue of Duty, do the bonuses stack?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

The Lone Badger posted:

If you have a party of Knights who all have the Virtue of Duty, do the bonuses stack?

I don't think so. It's not clear anywhere in the book, though. I don't think they thought of that.

Just...a team of 4 Grail Knights running around with 100 Str, 100 WS, and 7 Attacks each *feels* like it would be unintended, as much as a medieval french sentai team giving Bloodthirsters swirlies would kinda rule.

In other fun rules interactions, I think if your direct partymates are peasants the Virtue of Empathy's Grail bonuses work on them just fine.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



RACKHAM & HAUGHT VS. LEVEC: BRAWL IN BERLIN

Warning: this entire scenario is about being forced to surrender your dignity and be humiliated to be broken down so you're a perfect sex slave for the Nazis. While there are multiple options to resist, there are still scenes of torture and non-consensual/dubiously consensual sexual coercion. If this is something you are not comfortable with, skip this section.



Levec's fetish for controlling people and upbringing lead Blangis to create a simulation that mashed Levec's megalomania kink hard and fast while also appealing to his inner paranoiac with the notion that he could lose it all. The result was an imagining of Berlin in 1941...or 1940, depending on what you look at in this chapter. This Berlin is a fortress city with barbed-wire roadblocks, Nazi guards patrolling the streets, watchtowers looking for dissidents and Fuhrer Levec controlling every last detail.


Despair check at the realization that you're in a scenario meant to emulate the Third Reich and that you have to survive here. Everything here is artificial: the dogs, the period-accurate Nazi guards (Levec has a fetish for historical accuracy as well, unlike the late Ms. Durcet), the pseudo-Holocaust victims are all fakes. There's no escape here and I mean that literally because the walls of everything are pretty well defined and there are only two exits unless you're going to try to leave through the entryway door. Attempting to escape results in you getting mobbed by Nazis and guard dogs until you're subdued. Regardless of compliance or capture, the Nazis separate the men from the women. Buzzkill is forced into the line for the men and Habit is forced into the women's line. Each line leads to a truck.

Areas 42 and 42A are trucks that lead to 43 and 44, respectively. The truck is really just a small room designed to look like a truck and when the doors are shut there are engine noises and the room shakes like it's moving. Going so far as to peek out the back of the truck reveals an illusory scene of being driven down roads, past guards and crowds and into Berlin. When the truck "stops" another door opens that leads into 43 or 44, depending on the truck. We'll start with Habit and 43.


"Only female characters will be brought here" and the madame/singer from the intro is one Convict #5213621, Ms. Helga Kolbenbumsen (Buttfucker), who got name-dropped last adventure. She's also on the art for the cover. As previously established, she was a famous adult film actress before being arrested. Captured by the Lords, she's become the madame of the cabaret and has coped with this by drinking heavily. Legitimately German, she puts on the airs of being a stern, aloof madame but has been hardened by watching women come and go. She'll explain the nature of the Dream Cages to Habit and that if she wishes to survive, she'll have to perform like the rest of them. Refusal to perform or trying to escape means that the PC will be taken to Wolfenstein Prison to be punished by the 6-7 accomplices in the club hiding amongst the artificial crowd.




So our friend Bad Habit has two choices: prostitution or singing. Like, okay, realtalk: she's not great at a lot but even if I put Chen here she wouldn't really be able to deal with 6-7 enemies trying to beat her into submission.

Prostitution: The PC is given a sexy outfit and has to make six Social checks, each representing a half hour for three total hours of "maintaining your worth". "Maintaining your worth" amounts to flirting, playing coy, sidling up on patrons and generally being sexy and enticing. Failing any of these checks means that the player will get sent to Wolfenstein Prison...unless they stop flirting and instead properly seduce a patron and then have sex.



Singing: Singing requires actual ability to sing and is the harder option. This also takes place across three hours and six checks but these are contested Sociability checks where the crowd's Sociability changes alters as time goes on, ultimately becoming pretty hard to attain. You can fail one check but failing two in a row means you get sent to Prison. Here's a little hole in that: what happens if one fails two but they're not in a row? Who knows!



Because Habit is not great at stuff but before prison her job was literally prostitution, she grits her teeth, rolls up her imaginary sleeves and returns to the office. After three hours of either singing or prostitution and no sign of Levec coming to get Habit, Helga is impressed and invites Habit back to her quarters for food and drink (ration pack). Let me just...put what the book writes here: "Interested in so capable a performer, and somewhat of a hedonist already, Helga eventually propositions the character for a more ďpersonaĒl relationship; whether the PC accepts or not is up to her." Typos are not mine. So yeah optional lesbian relationship under weird circumstances. If Habit says no, nothing really happens. If Habit says yes, she finds out more about the Dream Cage from Helga during pillow-talk.



Regardless of optional lesbian encounter, Helga will share that she knows about the Resistance against Fuhrer Levec and if Habit is interested (she is) she'll show her to a hidden door that leads to Area 45. If not, she'll just take Habit to Area 46. Ultimately, Habit sleeps with Helga and expresses interest, acquiring a gun and going to meet the Resistance.


"Only male characters will be brought here" which works out fine for Buzzkill who is a genderqueer individual and mildly amused at how this whole place is built around Levec's particularly narrow worldview. Levec visits the bathhouse often and expects all captives to know the ropes, but he's currently not here and instead are 4-5 accomplices and a shitload of artificials. Because all captives are expected to learn their place and serve and a bathhouse is definitely not a cabaret, what this amounts to is whether or not the person here will have gay sex or if they will avoid homoerotic grab-assery for three hours. Like the cabaret, this boils down to six checks equaling three hours.

Giving In: Giving in means that Buzzkill will be brought before an artificial by the name of Bluto Rottweil, a caricature of an obese German industrialist with cigars, scented hair tonic and brandy. Levec enjoys the character of Bluto and keeps him around and as such Bluto considers Fuhrer Levec to be a good friend. To quote the book: "He is also a shameless homosexual and rampant in his advances!". Delightful. Instead of having sex with Bluto, Buzzkill can attempt intelligent conversation with the man for three hours by making Wits checks. Failing any of these means that Bluto will bring the PC to his private sauna for a "deep massage" where refusal means going to Wolfenstein Prison. Important fact: Bluto's Wits are 3.



Resisting: Resisting takes the form of literally avoiding everything. The character has to make Reflex checks to avoid being noticed, remaining beneath notice by refilling tubs or running errands. The occupants of the bathhouse have flexible Reflexes that change as time goes on and failing a check means someone successfully ropes you into a confrontation that requires a Sociability check to smooth things over. Failure means you get sent to Wolfenstein Prison. I'm legit unsure what these confrontations entail? Is it like "hey motherfucker, why don't you want to gently caress us, what's your deal?" or is it like "well hey there, wanna soap my back?" pickups? I legit dunno.



Either way, Buzzkill has very high Wits and chooses to accept without any intent of consummating this whole affair. They while away the hours by very easily running conversational circles around Bluto, choosing to go in depth about their past job and keeping the artificial man hanging on every word they say about the most banal details about chemistry. Regardless of how the player reacts to this situation, after three hours the bathhouse is raided by the Gestapo because Levec is convinced that the Resistance is in the bathhouse. The raid is conducted by two accomplices with real slug guns and four artificials armed with batons. When the raid happens, a secret passage to 45 opens and Talbot motions Buzzkill into Area 45.

A little side note about gender inequality: men definitely have an easier time of it in this scenario than women do. Prostitution is positioned as being the easier choice but that very much depends on your own Sociability stat. Both scenarios for women also rely on a single stat. Men can choose depending on which stat they're better with, Bluto is a moron because he's not real and the increase of Reflexes checks isn't really that bad compared to the sharp rise of singing's difficulty. It's particularly telling that women can just sleep their way to victory and so can men but if the men really don't want to have a gay encounter then they definitely don't have to, not to mention that women are more likely to go to prison and have to have a lesbian encounter to get a good weapon.


Unless brought here, you have to knock to get in and convince Talbot to let you in with a Social check. Buzzkill and Habit meet each other here, bump fists and share awkward small talk about where they've been. Talbot (#4190012) was a truck driver who turned to smuggling immigrant workers to get money to keep his house. He's the man that Blangis was told to capture and dispose of, but he's been hiding in what was originally intended to be an emergency hiding spot Levec designed and forgot about. Talbot is hiding out with men from the bathhouse and have been subsisting since on moisture from the Cages' vent system and ration packs from the cabaret.




Talbot is eager for news from the outside and will explain more details about the Dream Cages in case the players are thick. He also has further details of captivity to share.



The plan of the Resistance is to take advantage of the fact that Levec needs to keep his accomplices entertained as well. To see Levec, they need to impress the accomplices who will then take them to the Fuhrer. To aid the PCs in their task, they turn over a Cell Block Special and a Zip Gun with three rounds that they've managed to put together and will then have the PCs taken to Area 46.


The guards here just assume that Helga or Bluto sent them someone worth a drat and are basically just waiting for proof that they're entertaining. Anything short of violence against them will work as long as you either make two Wits checks or Social checks. Succeed and they'll take you to Area 48, fail and you go to prison. Looting this area nets 100 smokes worth of brandy, 1d20+20 smokes, 1d4 matches and a glass ashtray that can be used as an improvised weapon. Buzzkill and Bad Habit basically end up getting the guards to believe that they're sufficiently subservient by storytelling, mostly just rambling about their lives in such a way as to seem interesting.


X marks the prison cell and a Despair check. After 1-2 hours two artificial guards will open the cell to escort the prisoner to the room marked A. The artificials won't talk and will trigger a Sixth Sense Trait that the prisoner is being taken to their doom. You can fight your way free or try to run if needed; every * on the map indicates another artificial guard but it's not hard to escape to the streets. If you end up getting taken to the A room, this is where the PC is tortured. The torture device is a metal bed frame that they're strapped to and an electric wire runs a current through the frame and into the prisoner. You make a Willpower or Prowess check every half hour to resist with characters who have the Tortured Trait gaining a bonus to resist. Fail a single check and you die. Torture ends with the prisoner being rescued by another character or the prisoner's death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ28FcRePAo




Time to try hiding those weapons up your rear end. There are four artificials armed with slug pistols here, plus three accomplices if you were escorted, who will attack if they see the weapons or manage to find them on a search. Losing here gets you sent to, you guessed it, prison. Thankfully killing everyone here doesn't alert anyone else to something being wrong. Also, artificials are stupid and Buzzkill isn't. The duo get ushered into the bunker proper.


The seven accomplices won't notice anything is up as long as you don't act suspicious. There's nothing to do but go deeper into the bunker.


The secretary here is one Elsa von Kempf (#7936412) who acts as secretary and Levec's personal favorite lover. On Terra she was a prostitute with a focus on bondage and domination whose rich and powerful clients arranged for her to disappear due to the knowledge she gained. Levec trusts her unconditionally and has ranked her Major, giving her control over everyone in the Bunker. She's only loyal to Levec because she knows she can manipulate him for her own ends. She really would not want Levec to die because she's terrified of the other Lords and afraid of what's happening on the Gehenna, so she's going to take security seriously.




You can convince her to let her keep your clothes on with a Sociability check, but she'll still submit Buzzkill and Habit to a barrage of questions about their experiences so far and if they're appropriately submissive (Buzzkill isn't, Habit is bored, both lie through their teeth). Unfortunately there's another Wits check and if they fail, Elsa attacks. Deciding to cut out the middleman and knowing that they outnumber her, the both of them just punch Elsa into submission, cram her under her desk and loot her desk, obtaining a real gun with 20 bullets and a real first aid pack.


Buzzkill and Habit are smart enough to not appear like they want to kill Levec and hide their guns once more so this happens:



The room is soundproofed and Levec will attack with his own slug gun the moment the PCs aren't willing to be subservient slaves. If you want to, you can try and free the people in the stocks and on a 4-6 roll on a d6 they'll join the fight like an accomplice. But that's kind of giving too much weight and interest to the fight. So, ultimately, Buzzkill and Habit draw their guns, surprise Levec and shoot him in the chest. This moment is followed with a content fist-bump between both gunners.



The duo don't immediately escape, instead collecting the gun from Levec's corpse and going to rescue Talbot, the rest of the Resistance and Helga because, well, there's nothing that says you can't.

NEXT TIME: London's drowning and I live by the river...of blood! Wait. Hmm. Nah, can't think of anything better. Ship it.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 02:36 on Aug 8, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I don't think Nazi Sex Adventure deserves much comment.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
Man, say what you want about so many bad games, most of them have the sense not to just go into outright Stalag fiction.

Of course, realizing who's involved with this game now, I realize that they can't not put this in a game, because they have a variety of gross, abusive obsessions and zero self-awareness.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Night10194 posted:

It's been said before, but Wurm's art is real good.

The main artist/writer is a professional French comic artist. A lot of the pieces are art he did for the comic, and the whole game is basically the RPG version of said comics. You can look up Vo'Houna online, but it was never translated to English.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Night10194 posted:

as much as a medieval french sentai team giving Bloodthirsters swirlies would kinda rule.

Only if they hide their platemail under cloaks and baggy peasant garb so they can henshin.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?
I was hoping that the Shanghai bit was going to set a standard of "Mostly just empty, boring, and pointless", but nope, it's "Empty, boring, and pointless, and also loving awful". Who would ever think it'd be a good idea to bring *this* to the table?

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


I'm honestly too bored to be offended, except by them including Wolfenstein. That should be grounds for BJ Blazkowicz teleporting in and slaughtering everything.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

The Lord of Hats posted:

I was hoping that the Shanghai bit was going to set a standard of "Mostly just empty, boring, and pointless", but nope, it's "Empty, boring, and pointless, and also loving awful". Who would ever think it'd be a good idea to bring *this* to the table?
No idea. It's been well established that "mature RPG" is 90% shorthand for "really awful and uncomfortable" but this kinda goes...way beyond that. AAH is a hard sell to players to begin with but this would be the moment most players expect it to just be All Magical Realm Forever or at the very least pissed that the GM has decided that now was the time they decided to put all of their fetishes on the table. There are only a handful of scenarios where this would be met positively and I would never want to meet the folks who will accept having this sprung on them.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

it's amazing how many of these games managed to both staggeringly awful and so loving boring.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



I feel like I should keep a tally. Inside our prison spaceship flying through Hell, we've now:

  • Had to play a knife-throwing game in the jungle-themed base of some evil amazon warriors,
  • Campaigned for, and won, a democratic election for leadership of a Mad Max-style scavenger town,
  • Had to defuse a violent confrontation because our admittedly-evil doctor friend wouldn't explain what a sedative is,
  • Saved a medieval forest village from a werewolf, only to have them throw the werewolf in a Wicker Man,
  • Been subjected to various quack psychiatric techniques from the 1800s, such as that guess-the-shape psychic test,
  • Performed impromptu brain surgery on a man whose brain has been altered to match phrenology,
  • Climbed through an Escher painting to get to the Castle of the Goblin King,
  • Experienced a psychic kid's traumatic memories because they contain color-coded keys to a big door,
  • Visited 1930's Shanghai as imagined by a pedophile slash wannabe vampire, where nothing interesting happened,
  • Been thrown into a smaller, holographic, Nazi-themed prison, but avoided execution by talking pleasantly, and
  • Killed a paranoid man in a Hitler suit after he let us into his sound-proof sanctum fully armed.

Did I miss any?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Nope, that's a pretty accurate summation that only goes to show how loving bananas this all sounds out of context and how loving boring it is in context.

I would count the fact that you didn't include anything that happened in Seeds of Rage but A: Seeds of Rage is wildly tame compared to everything else and B: didn't actually happen to G-Unit.

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012



Hostile V posted:

Nope, that's a pretty accurate summation that only goes to show how loving bananas this all sounds out of context and how loving boring it is in context.

I would count the fact that you didn't include anything that happened in Seeds of Rage but A: Seeds of Rage is wildly tame compared to everything else and B: didn't actually happen to G-Unit.

It's weird. I mean, not that the game is terrible, that was obviously coming from the jump, but how little the game engages with its core concepts.

Event Horizon in a prison ship, that's a decent basic hook for a horror rpg. But then they pretty much ignore it for people doing bad rip-offs of old movies in different genres entirely. And then explaining what they're ripping off, so it's obvious how badly they're handling it.

What even is this?

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!

chiasaur11 posted:

What even is this?

It's the U-Bend on someone's brain. And that brain is a lot more boring and banal than it thinks it is.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Kavak posted:

I'm honestly too bored to be offended, except by them including Wolfenstein. That should be grounds for BJ Blazkowicz teleporting in and slaughtering everything.

See, if I absolutely had to rescue this concept (perhaps terrorists have my loved ones at gunpoint and are demanding I GM for them) this would be a good place to start. Have the Creepmeisters alter pre-existing hologames to make their magical realms, then let the PCs discover console commands or reset switches. As soon as one of the Lords of Wank drops their trousers, open fire with the venom cannons.

But no. You WILL be the GM's unwilling roleplay submissive, and you will like it.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Ratoslov posted:

It's the U-Bend on someone's brain. And that brain is a lot more boring and banal than it thinks it is.
One of the things I really hate about it is that it was very clearly written by someone from the 20th century who can't be bothered to come up with a coherent timeline, let alone envision ideas for what the future is besides Super Fascist Liberal Paradise. That is to say, there's a lot of 20th century media references in 2600 that just don't plain make a lot of sense outside of "that's when the authors are from". There's just an empty void of culture and history to draw on for 600 years. And it would possibly be forgivable (albeit not in this game) if it was just like a passive bad writer thing. Instead we have prisoners remembering the 20th century with a sense of nostalgia and recreating events with their powers and poo poo like it's Ready Prisoner One.

The only thing I can say in favor of it is thank God it was written in 2011 and not any later only because it would be full of memes and more familiar bad internet politics.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable

"In order to survive, a prisoner must pass 6 Kek Checks, representing 3 hours of shitposting. Failure to comply means being shipped off to /pol/"

RedSnapper
Nov 22, 2016

Loxbourne posted:

See, if I absolutely had to rescue this concept (perhaps terrorists have my loved ones at gunpoint and are demanding I GM for them) this would be a good place to start. Have the Creepmeisters alter pre-existing hologames to make their magical realms, then let the PCs discover console commands or reset switches. As soon as one of the Lords of Wank drops their trousers, open fire with the venom cannons.


Welp, I'm sold. This Shanghai thing would be much more bareable if you could team up with, say, Geralt of Rivia and BJB. Actually, it'd be even better if you then dropped the Shanghai part and just went to save New Vegas from the Burning Legion. Possibly with the aid of Bretonian knights you met in Total War.

Hell, now I kind of want to run it. Just in a different setting.

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

Going back a bit on Knights of the Grail, Duke Adalhard of Lyonesse sounds like a cross between Robert Baratheon and a Bleak Walker from Pillars of Eternity. It also sounds like an excellent way to get an Imperial party into Brettonia would be to have them join a group of people on their way to Sigmarsheim for a big ol' get together, like a wedding, and have treachery, scheming, orcs or frog monsters take it from there. That way they have a home base that is still familiar while having a strange culture and set of dangers to explore.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Of course, realizing who's involved with this game now, I realize that they can't not put this in a game, because they have a variety of gross, abusive obsessions and zero self-awareness.

Oh? Have the authors done other lovely things, or is this just based on the other lovely things we've seen in AAH so far?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

In which we examine the insufferable and authors make a spirited attempt to make it more sufferable.

The Chaos Book begins in a way that really gets (one of) Chaos's main problems on the table right away. It starts with some intro fiction about a demon or cultist torturing/killing the author while they summarize all the chapters with 'Haha! None of this is right! Chaos is invincible and inscrutable! But also maybe everything I'm saying is a lie!'. We'll be going over Chaos's troubles as we go, but this is a big one: It wants to be a big, inscrutable cosmic horror but it really doesn't pull it off; Chaos really isn't mysterious, especially when it's explicit goal at all times is just 'destroy the world because it exists'. Also, inscrutable cosmic horrors usually don't feel as insecure as most of Chaos's canon writing does.

We begin the history of things by mentioning something you won't find most other places in the gameline: The Old Ones. No-one knows what the Old Ones were, precisely, but they terraformed the Warhammer World thousands and thousands of years ago. Pulling a frozen rock into an orbit where it could sustain life, setting Morrslieb, the Warpstone moon, into place to stabilize the tides, and shaping mountains, rivers, oceans, and lives. When they had arrived there were only dragons and dragon ogres living on the planet. When they left, there were elves, dwarves, ogres, humans, halflings, lizardmen, and orcs. When people talk about the Lizardmen and their Great Plan, that's because they're the left behind servitors of the Old Ones, still trying to make the world the way their masters told them to before they fled or died. They fled or died because the warp gates they set at the north and south poles of the planet exploded. When that happened, the portals were ruined and Chaos leaked into the world, mutating and ruining things wherever it could. The Old Ones either fled or perished when the Gates collapsed, and this left their servants, the Slaan, to try to contain the insanity alone. They couldn't manage it by themselves, and so they taught the Old One's proudest creation, the Elves, how to help them. Together, the two were able to defeat the forces of Chaos when Aenerion, the first Phoenix King of the elves, discovered a way to empower himself with the strength of the Old Ones. This allowed him and elven wizards to construct a great trap for chaotic energy, drawing it into a vortex under the elven land of Ulthuan and stabilizing it to rob the forces of Chaos of their ability to send infinite forces to the physical world.

The problem is Aenerion had a son named Malekith and a wife named Morathi. Morathi had been rescued from the Chaos cults that had sprung up among the elves and the king had fallen in love with her, and together they had had a son who promised to be the next king. He was adventurous and powerful, but arrogant even for an elf. Between his mother's quiet whispers that there were greater powers than even his father's, and his own pride, when Malekith attempted the ritual to become Phoenix King like his father the divine flames rejected him, burned him, and he then set about becoming Elven Kylo Ren (he doesn't really deserve Darth Vader) and trying to undo the goddamn 'don't mess with this or everyone dies' vortex so he could 'take all its power'. Malekith is not a smart man. This started a civil war that's been going on to the present day. It also indirectly caused the great war between elves and dwarfs. Malekith is pretty much one of the greatest victories Chaos has ever won against the peoples of the Warhams world.

Into all this comes humans, beginning their development from stone age tribes into proto-nations and stronger tribes. Near what would become Tilea, men and dwarfs made friends for the first time and constructed a great city, and chose to build a great temple to the Gods to thank them for their prosperity. They were unable to finish the great tower for it themselves, and so accepted the aid of a mysterious stranger who said he could finish it in a day if he could be permitted to honor his own God at the very top. On top of it he built a great bell, and...well, you've seen the Skaven book at this point. Nice work trusting a mysterious wizard, people of that ancient city. Now we have nazi rat people.

Chaos had very limited hold in the world; Malekith had failed to destroy the vortex and while Chaos could blow strongly in the northern lands, near the great Gate's ruins, it couldn't exist in the physical world for long without hosts to sustain its demons. They needed mortals to feed them. Into that came a mortal named Be'lakor, the first human to ever give over his soul and become a Champion of Chaos directly. He was lured north in his dark journey, killing and doing evil in the name of his Dark Gods, until he reached the site of the Gate and saw the Gods themselves. There, he became the first man to have his mortal shell destroyed and his soul raised up to be the very first Demon Prince, an immortal and transcendent being of Chaos. As one who had been a mortal and still understood them better than the Gods, he was able to tempt legions to his side and begin to spread their influence further than it had ever reached before, as his men worshiped him as a God. Despite how incredibly useful he was to Chaos, they showed off one of the other reasons they suck: They got jealous of him being worshiped as their equal and cast him down. For the crime of being very good at his job, Be'lakor has been cursed to never be the main character. That's literally his curse: He can only crown Everchosen and other great champions, serving as Chaos's harbinger to go seek out people it wants to make its main character while he can never be that important again.

The first great champion crowned by Be'lakor was Morkar the United. You see, down south, some guy named Sigmar had taken over what would become the Empire, and he exiled any tribes that wouldn't follow his rule across the Sea of Claws to the frozen land of Norsca. Morkar united these tribes and showed them the power of what was blowing down from the north, and told them 'Sigmar is your enemy. He took all the good land and left you nothing. But now we have the Gods. Let's go take the good land from him.' This probably could have worked if they'd waited another decade or two for Sigmar to die/wander off/become a God. As it is, the first Everchosen rammed right into the teeth of the best unifier the Empire ever had and his dwarf allies and got his rear end kicked. This is going to be a common theme for Everchosen. I think only Asuvar Kul ever picked a *good* time to invade.

Next: The Empire Grows And Struggles.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

Some theories on where these dicks come from, the Gods, and the Empire's struggles.

Double posts are fine if it's review stuff, right? I have a lot of history to get through.

There's a short sidebar at this point summarizing the Dark Gods. It's pretty clear from the thread that most people know them already, but I'll go over them to get across how the book describes them. Khorne is the God of bloodshed and warfare. His followers are not described as seekers of martial glory, but rather those who exalt in the act of killing and the feeling of blood falling upon the ground. Nurgle is the lord of fear, despair, and plague. Her personifies both plague, and the sorrow and horror that follows this invisible killer as his followers seek to share it with all of the world. Slaanesh is the 'youngest' of the Chaos Gods, and exemplifies creativity and excess. He (or she, I tend to switch between the two as a stylistic habit on purpose) embodies everything people actually want, and thus is never wanting for followers. You can do Slaanesh well by making Slaanesh the devil, promising you everything you dreamed about and all that, rather than constant cocaine sex parties. For the most part, this book is not going to do Slaanesh particularly well. Tzeentch is the god of pointless dickery change. He is also the God of trying to co-opt any revolutionary movement or social change for his own benefit, as well as mutation and magic. I hate Tzeentch because, as we'll see later in the book, everything about him is like catnip for bad writers and their worst habits.

There's another interesting sidebar, though, describing some alternate theories on why there are occasional waves of shrieking Chaos servants from the North. The first, and simplest, is that the north can't support that many people. They may just be a way of skimming off a ton of excess population and attempting to take better land so that the people left behind can survive, an attempt that happens to coincide with the Dark Gods they follow trying to destroy the world again (which would make victory a little pointless) but which reduces the population and cycles rulers and champions if it fails. Alternatively, some heretics whisper that *all* gods are just reflections of human hopes and dreams. Thus, Shallya is the positive aspect of Nurgle, or rather Nurgle is the negative aspect of Shallya. And thus, these occasional massive invasions happen because of human hysteria, fear, and moral failing. Claiming the Gods are all just psychic reflections of mankind is not a good idea in hearing of Witch Hunters.

Meanwhile, back in the Empire, after the defeat of Morkar things were pretty good for centuries. Chaos still tried to raid, using the remnants of the Norse tribes and other peoples and outcasts they'd ensnared, but these bands were disorganized and mostly local threats. Elsewhere in the world, Chaos invaded Naggaroth in the New World and the Druchii, Malekith's defeated followers, made their home there in the cold northern reaches of the continent. This means Dark Elves are actually spiked murder canadians, which is fantastic (everything about them is better if you imagine them with various Canadian accents). In the Empire, one of Chaos's best friends was the struggle between Sigmarite and Ulrican. Chaos has forever profited from the weird religious strife over whether the Empire should follow the God who is the dream of good government, or the God who is about wolfs and axes and axe wolfs. There's also a lot of talk about decadence rotting the hearts of men and blah blah, and we'll get to why I don't really care for the whole 'decadence' angle (though I'm definitely behind Evil Grows From Injustice). Then in 1111 Imperial Calender, the Black Plague happened.

The Black Plague was real bad, as you might remember from the Ratbook. One of Clan Pestilen's greatest successes, this nearly wiped out the Empire and did massive damage to Sylvania and Bretonnia too. It also inadvertently turbo-boosted worship of Nurgle (unless you believe the rats of Pestilens are actually heretics who worship Nurgle instead of the Horned Rat) and would've ended everything if Emperor Mandred Skavenslayer and Duke Merovech hadn't put a stop to it in their respective countries. Somehow, Chaos wasn't able to follow up on the successes of the ratmen, and so the world continued on much as it had. The plague had forever damaged the unity of the Empire, though, and while it wouldn't actually fall apart until the Time of Three Emperors in the 1500s, it wouldn't be a truly unified state again until the 2300s with Magnus the Pious.

We also get an interesting alternate take on what happened to Mordheim, the famed city of the damned destroyed by a massive Warpstone comet in 2000. Apparently our old buddy Be'lakor had been scheming to become a major character again and possessed one of his big champions to try to get at that sweet sweet physical reality. It turned out doing this required huge amounts of Warpstone. I like to imagine his schemes to get more Warpstone like some kind of common skaven is what ended up causing the comet strike that destroyed the city and his new physical body, though of course the people of the Old World attribute it to Sigmar's celestial hammer. As to what Warpstone is, it's either the remnants of Old One technology, or the congealed magical power of corrupted and damaged regions of the world, or both. It's probably both.

The Great War Against Chaos was Chaos's best shot. They'd squandered their opportunity when the Ratmen had left the goal open for them in 1111, but now the Time of Three Emperors had been going on for 800 years, the Empire had been wounded by the wars with Vlad von Carstein and his family, and it was still split into multiple smaller states. As a result, when Asuvar Kul, Everchosen of Chaos, moved to sack Praag and assault the northern land of Kislev, there was no Imperial army to come to their aid. The rising of Kul and his horde was matched by an unprecedented surge in Beastman attacks from the forests of the Empire, tying up local forces and keeping any individual lords or counts from deciding they could spare the men to help Kislev as Kul's force made its way slowly towards the capital, intending to lay the Empire's northern ally thoroughly to ruin and then move south. Meanwhile, the Ulricans continued to claim Sigmar was folly and only wolves and axes and cold could fix any of this. Into this came a young noble of Nuln and priest of Sigmar named Magnus, who we've mentioned back in the core book. Magnus's excellent abilities as a diplomat, preacher, and politician united the Empire around him, and brought the elves of Ulthuan under the king Finubar the Seafarer and the Archmage Teclis to their aid. A great, but hasty, alliance of men, elves, and dwarfs went north to save Kislev. Kislev's heroic resistance had bought just enough time for the Empire to sort out its poo poo and come to their aid, Magnus' army arriving just as the great Winged Lancers of the north were preparing for their last stand. Kul lost, narrowly. Very narrowly.

Magnus reigned for 50 years, stabilizing and uniting the Empire, and the last 200 years were relatively peaceful. In 2502, exactly 200 years after the great war, Karl Franz ascended to the Imperial throne as a young and untested Emperor after he skillfully manipulated the Electors into voting for him (primarily with the support of the Sigmarite church) over the expected Emperor, Boris Toddbringer of Middenland. He has since been the thing Chaos hates the most in an Emperor: A uniter and diplomat. Chaos instantly began to do everything it could to try to kill or depose the man, recognizing another Magnus when it saw it, but it has so far failed.

Next Time: Fanatics, and another take on the Storm of Chaos.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

It is really fitting that Chaos constantly proclaims itself invincible and then always chooses the worst possible time to attack, gets its rear end kicked and wanders off screaming like Skeletor.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
Nyeahhhhh!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

It is really fitting that Chaos constantly proclaims itself invincible and then always chooses the worst possible time to attack, gets its rear end kicked and wanders off screaming like Skeletor.

Archaon picked the worst time to attack since Morkar. I mean, at least I get why Morkar did it when he did it: The people he was leading hated Sigmar for exiling them to a frozen hell and taking all the good land, it's way easier to rally and unite them to fight the guy they hate.

But Archaon? Archaon attacked into the teeth of a relatively stable Empire, ruled by a now-experienced and legitimate Emperor who had shown he was an able diplomat both internally and internationally, Teclis and Finubar are still around in Ulthuan to help out, Thorgrim Grudgebearer's Entire Thing as Dwarf King is that he's much more willing to leave the mountainhomes and be active in the world, Louen would obviously jump at the chance to join a great coalition against Evil, and Tzarina Katarin of Kislev might be cold hearted but she's smart and pragmatic and thus almost always ends up doing the right and honorable thing solely because it's a *better idea*.

And the best part is, since Archaon is supposed to be a fallen Witch Hunter and Imperial, *he should've known all of this*. Hell, if he was a former Witch Hunter, he should've even known not to try to flank through Sylvania because oh poo poo vampires!

E: Also, outside of saying 'Um, yeah, he totally lived and is gonna mess the Empire up we swear' once or twice the Chaos book pretty much ignores Archaon. :allears:

Also, it says an awful lot about Chaos that there have been a ton of different 'Everchosen'.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 14:35 on Aug 8, 2017

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

megane posted:

  • Had to play a knife-throwing game in the jungle-themed base of some evil amazon warriors,
  • Campaigned for, and won, a democratic election for leadership of a Mad Max-style scavenger town,
  • Had to defuse a violent confrontation because our admittedly-evil doctor friend wouldn't explain what a sedative is,
  • Saved a medieval forest village from a werewolf, only to have them throw the werewolf in a Wicker Man,
  • Been subjected to various quack psychiatric techniques from the 1800s, such as that guess-the-shape psychic test,
  • Performed impromptu brain surgery on a man whose brain has been altered to match phrenology,
  • Climbed through an Escher painting to get to the Castle of the Goblin King,
  • Experienced a psychic kid's traumatic memories because they contain color-coded keys to a big door,
  • Visited 1930's Shanghai as imagined by a pedophile slash wannabe vampire, where nothing interesting happened,
  • Been thrown into a smaller, holographic, Nazi-themed prison, but avoided execution by talking pleasantly, and
  • Killed a paranoid man in a Hitler suit after he let us into his sound-proof sanctum fully armed.
This whole list just screams "Are you shocked? I bet you're really shocked by all this! Wh...you're not? Uh, how about this? Or this? You shocked yet?"

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Evil Mastermind posted:

This whole list just screams "Are you shocked? I bet you're really shocked by all this! Wh...you're not? Uh, how about this? Or this? You shocked yet?"
The Onion had this pegged fifteen years ago

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Chaos is honestly always at its most dangerous when the armies aren't on the field.

Everyone knows how to deal with armies of Chaos and their Daemon hordes. It's when Chaos is having to play the long game and be subtle that it's actually a problem.

Un(?)fortunately, Chaos is very bad at realizing this.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

"Chaos triumphs when good men and women fail to act and defend."

[erases, scribbles]

"Chaos triumphs when the writers want them to."

Eh, close. [erases, scribbles]

"Chaos triumphs when the writers want them to because the fanbase (especially Fantasy Roleplayers) doesn't like them all that much and pointedly derailed their End Times campaign so Games Workshop threw a tantrum and made the world explode anyway and shockingly this didn't make anyone like them any more."

Perfect.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

FMguru posted:

The Onion had this pegged fifteen years ago
Still as timely as ever.

I know I've said this before, but the thing about "shocking" is that it has no value. It's not making you think, or making a point, or jostling me out of my straight-laced normo way of thinking; it's just trying to get an automatic emotional rise of some sort out of you. But 99.9% of the time they're just lazy "transgressive" BS, and when you have a lot of "shocking" things in a row diminishing returns kick in hard.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Tome of Corruption

Good wins because Evil was dumb as all hell

It's time for another take on the Storm of Chaos. You know the outline, Archaon the Everfailure's got the many +5 Items of Chaos Will Totally Win This Time and he's heading south, and they just fed the Grand Theoganist of Sigmar to him to try to make him sound like a threat. Meanwhile, in the south, Karl Franz is putting together more armies to go crush Archaon and the various other powers are negotiating how much and what to send over to help while a Frenchman with a magnificent mustache bursts into the meeting room yelling 'I'M SENDING EVERYONE THIS IS GONNA BE AWESOME'. Into this, we get some complications.

First, we got Luthor Huss. Now, Luthor Huss is meant to be Warhammer Martin Luther. A big reformer who comes upon a soft and corrupt church of Sigmar and cleanses it to be better and less focused on its own comfort and decadence. But the thing is, look at the chap's actions. In the runup to the Storm of Chaos, this 'reformer' grabs an 18 year old blacksmith's son, yells 'THIS IS SIGMAR, TOTALLY ACTUALLY SIGMAR!' and leads an angry mob to demand that the competent and well regarded Emperor take a break from assembling his International Coalition of Asskicking to remove himself from the throne and crown this totally not a puppet lad. As I mentioned in the core book, Franz thinks fast, embraces the lad, and declares him Imperial Champion, hero, and wielder of the great hammer Gal Maraz (in Franz's name). This defuses what could've been another insane religious civil war at the worst possible moment, one that would've been entirely Huss's fault. Huss is supposed to be a good guy, but I can't see him as anything but a villain.

Up in the north, Boris Toddbringer is still salving his anger at not being Emperor having inconclusive battles with a Beastman warlord who loves fuckin' with Toddbringer. Seriously, that's all Khazarak One Eye seems to enjoy in life: "How can I make Boris Toddbringer really angry today? What jape shall I play upon him and his Middenlanders?" Also, there's a new lord of the Orcs, Grimgor Ironhide, and we know how that turns out with the sucker punch/gently caress You GW heard 'round the Old World later at Middenheim.

Then Be'lakor went to a weird place that doesn't come up much called Albion and discovered that the incursions seemed to be picking up speed, leading him to think maybe the end of the world was really on the way this time. Given Be'lakor's track record of being wrong about everything, it shouldn't be a surprise he was wrong about this, too.

The story about the Storm in the Chaos book really doesn't deviate from the core, which is a little disappointing. I'd have hoped for some other perspectives, maybe an explanation of why they thought they'd win how they did. There's an awful lot of ink spilled in this section, and in Sigmar's Heirs, on the GW party line that 'Well he lost but uh, he did a lot of damage to the northern Empire! Kinda! It's totally all a ruin!' because nothing makes a major villain seem mightier than making excuses for his failure and whining that he didn't really lose. I tend to think that in later centuries, people in the Old World will look back on the Storm the way we do on WWII: "How did those idiots think they'd win against the whole world?" The sort of thing that seems like a sure thing a century later when you read about it.

Archaon is another of Chaos's problems: If Chaos *wins* one of these big all or nothing wars, the setting ends (see: Times, End, The) and no-one wants that. But Chaos doesn't seem willing to go for or take small victories. It always wants a huge, rollicking power metal rock opera epic battle rather than something it can 'win' without putting an end to everything. Archaon is also another of Chaos's problems: Its characters don't tend to be much but a collection of high numbers stapled to a lot of overblown fluff about how invincible they are, moments before they get smacked in the face with a rock.

Next Time: The Hordes of Chaos.

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By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


I wonder if GW would eventually come to their senses and undo the age of Sigmar.
After they finally manage to go bankrupt that is.

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