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Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
I'll just leave this here, Hostile V, you might need it later. No idea why.

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Evil Mastermind posted:

Jesus loving tap-dancing Christ...
I have no words.

Wait, yes I do. Hey, Abandon All Hope writers! You should "abandon all hope" of ever loving any of those girls with nose piercings you keep fantasizing about! It's not loving happening! Because you're gross loving douchebags! gently caress you and die.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:
Also: Yes, the torture rules are loving ridiculous.

"No, you have to torture here to proceed, no there is no other avenue of advancement. Torture, Torture now."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Kurieg posted:

Also: Yes, the torture rules are loving ridiculous.

"No, you have to torture here to proceed, no there is no other avenue of advancement. Torture, Torture now."

I mean we just got done with 4 separate helpings of Magical Realm, it should be obvious there's going to be more forced edginess and awfulness ahead.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Kurieg posted:

Also: Yes, the torture rules are loving ridiculous.

"No, you have to torture here to proceed, no there is no other avenue of advancement. Torture, Torture now."
Like there's not even guidelines for what happens if you accidentally kill her, like she drops and you find the code book on her person and then the Furies show up and then you just get, like, Katherine trying to put the pieces together without the info. You have to torture. And this torture is just so gross and pointless and weird and bad.

Fortunately this is one of exactly three times having a psychic character pays off. A very specifically built psychic character. We will call upon our buddy Pincushion one last time to perform a great service in the name of the plot. You will know when the time is right.

Also the irony of the situation is that, uh. By using Leadership as God and 3.0 Design Mindset intended, I made the party too huge and pretty much everyone has a gun now. As long as the majority of all ten of them can get a shot off, this is generally enough to kill a lot of the threats that remain. 7 people and a killer robot have a very good chance of putting down that Engorged Horror, stat issues be damned. Shining Finger's main purpose is "I don't want to waste a bullet, the robot has unlimited energy, just have Tama explode it and we can mosey on".

All things considered, good investment.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Hey, if they're going to design the lovely monsters as lovely 3.0 minmaxers, you designing G-Unit to minmax the action economy and the game's systems is only fair play.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

And then there's the fact a huge body of research proves torture just flat out does Not Work.

The fact they made it pretty unavoidable, and Dream Cages screams 'I have deep set issues with women'.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Robindaybird posted:

And then there's the fact a huge body of research proves torture just flat out does Not Work.

The fact they made it pretty unavoidable, and Dream Cages screams 'I have deep set issues with women'.

Don't forget the fact that two of the gangs are Women Only, one for the good guys and one for the bad guys.

OutOfPrint
Apr 9, 2009

Fun Shoe
If I ever played in a game and the GM brought out a torture chart like that, I'd walk.

I mean, I would've walked after the first TPK from an AAH adventure, because gently caress that, but...drat. The horrible sex crimes in the last one were awful and clearly based on the authors' fetishes, but at least it didn't force the player characters to perform them.

The picture of Shel used with the torture chart makes it even worse, because that's clearly wank bait. "Look at this bad, bad girl. You get to break her. You're justified in breaking her."

That's really, really hosed up.

DicktheCat
Feb 15, 2011

Why is literally everything about that prison game just the ugliest? All of the art and design is just hideous. Everything about it is hideous.

DicktheCat fucked around with this message at 20:50 on Aug 11, 2017

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

DicktheCat posted:

Why is literally everything about that prison game just the ugliest? All of the art and design is just hideous. Everything about it is hideous.

Because they're too cheap to get an actual artist, so they use poser and stock photos and trace it over. Art's not everything, but after WGA, Bellum Maga, and this - I would avoid all 'traced over poser' art like the plague, it just screams 'I am utterly devoid of any good ideas'.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Robindaybird posted:

Because they're too cheap to get an actual artist, so they use poser and stock photos and trace it over. Art's not everything, but after WGA, Bellum Maga, and this - I would avoid all 'traced over poser' art like the plague, it just screams 'I am utterly devoid of any good ideas'.
One of the writers is the artist and I found his DeviantArt page a while back and I guess now is as good a time as any to post it so you can see his other works: https://domcovey.deviantart.com/gallery/

Warning: one of the pictures is mildly risque. But as a whole it's just...meh? It's meh.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

Hostile V posted:

If the Horror dies, its Death Slithers in its guts will land in the water and lurk with invisibility to pop out and bite at the party. One of them will accidentally get sucked down a drain and disappear. Of course, even if G-Unit was foolish enough to ignore the warnings of the addict, the fight would go smoothly enough in their favor what with the Engorged Horror immediately keeling over and dying.
Could we have an indication of how the fights vs. demons would actually go if the stat blocks weren't broken?

OutOfPrint
Apr 9, 2009

Fun Shoe

Angrymog posted:

Could we have an indication of how the fights vs. demons would actually go if the stat blocks weren't broken?

Looking at the stats and powers, kind of like the old joke of Cthulhu eating 1D6 investigators around.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Angrymog posted:

Could we have an indication of how the fights vs. demons would actually go if the stat blocks weren't broken?
Yeah, of course. For the purposes of this thought experiment, let's assume that this is a squad of 5 reasonably competent prisoners (7s in all stats, combat stuff, 20 health). They are armed with shotguns with rubber slugs and batons. Batons deal 1d6 damage, rubber slugs deal 2d6.



For starters, the Horror takes 2 less damage from attacks. Second: zero explanation if nonlethal attacks such as rubber slugs do nonlethal damage to Demons and how that functions. In combat, the Horror stampedes forward and grabs two people in each hand. The next round is spent automatically biting both captured prisoners and stomping to deliver more damage as the prisoners unload their guns. The Horror has dealt 2d6 damage to both prisoners, 1d4 to the others and the remaining three have doled out 12d6-12 to the Horror should they hit (they will, the Horror has abysmal defense). Every round the Horror bites and stomps, every round they shoot. You cannot damage race it because after, say, turn 4, the Horror has managed to eat one of the prisoners and regains 10 health. The next round it gains 10 more. Then it attempts to grab two of the remaining 3 prisoners to repeat the process. Even if the last prisoner runs away, the Horror moves literally as fast as they do and even if they double move, the Horror can still keep pace and automatically gnaw on the prisoners clenched in its fists.


Without ludicrously overwhelming firepower and sufficient numbers, you cannot defeat this thing in combat. Even if G-Unit had to fight it properly, they would have to use their Barricade Busters and just unload unrelentingly. Someone would still die.

E: whoops I forgot the Death Slithers!



Okay so assuming one does kill the Horror it then poops out 1d3 of these guys. The surviving prisoners are likely to be pretty battered. The fact that they deal 1d6 alone with their bites will likely kill the party. If not, the fact that the hypothetical party will probably be down 2 people means that this'll be a 3 vs. 1d3 fight. Ignoring the very likely chance of death by neck bite, it's still super possible for the Slithers to be on their necks long enough to engage the choking and then definitely kill the entire party.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 23:11 on Aug 11, 2017

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


Ah the horror=TPK school of role playing.

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Can I come out and play?

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Ah the horror=TPK school of role playing.

Too bad they didn't go with the variation of "you die... then come back" to get around these issues. Combat being ludicrously lethal could be well balanced by "lethal" not meaning what it traditionally does. God knows while it has issues Eclipse Phase actually makes some rather neat horror outright exploiting the fact most everyone is effectively immortal; finding your own corpse/mutated freak prior self has some remarkably hosed up possibilities to put it mildly. And that one game Oubliette that's been reviewed here also explores that idea of death not being the worst fate possible in-game. Would have worked just fine in AAH too considering they are, y'know, supposedly in Hell; coming back to life after horrific suffering seems about par for the course for that sort of thing.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


Or even "pray for death", demons who brutalise and torture and then let people recover as some sort of a misery farm could work.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Or just a simple 'PCs who drop during combat go Down, you don't die unless everyone in the party dies' kind of stuff if you want strategy combat where characters getting knocked out quickly is a real concern but without constantly needing new PCs.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

MadDogMike posted:

Too bad they didn't go with the variation of "you die... then come back" to get around these issues. Combat being ludicrously lethal could be well balanced by "lethal" not meaning what it traditionally does. God knows while it has issues Eclipse Phase actually makes some rather neat horror outright exploiting the fact most everyone is effectively immortal; finding your own corpse/mutated freak prior self has some remarkably hosed up possibilities to put it mildly. And that one game Oubliette that's been reviewed here also explores that idea of death not being the worst fate possible in-game. Would have worked just fine in AAH too considering they are, y'know, supposedly in Hell; coming back to life after horrific suffering seems about par for the course for that sort of thing.

The other thing would be disrupting some of the gangs. Like, for instance, what good is being a psycho murderer if no one dies?

Also, one of the disappointing things is that the Goals don't do anything, which non-permadeath could help solve. Die under Damnation and you could come back slowly mutating into a demon with each iteration, while death under Redemption gives you more and more divine power to help save lost souls from eternal torment.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

There actually is an ability you can buy where if you die and are Damnation-aligned you automatically come back as a Demon.

As a Devourer but. They did actually think of that.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

But why?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

I think it's pretty clear that if you're playing Damnation aligned you hate yourself and anyone you're playing with already.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

One last get hosed to the party. You keel over and die and then immediately get back up and gnaw on Greg, hopefully in the middle of combat against something else. Also what Night said.

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

I mean if it wraps up the game sooner so you can do literally anything else... Like punch your warden.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Hostile V posted:

There actually is an ability you can buy where if you die and are Damnation-aligned you automatically come back as a Demon.

As a Devourer but. They did actually think of that.

Yeah, gently caress that poo poo. Really, I was thinking back to Con-Ex Connections and the final chapter, where one of the prisoners the story follows finally turns into an evil rear end ghost, where not only does he have full control of his demonic abilities but seems to have fun heartbiting through rip cages, doing Freddy Kruger dream poo poo, and hanging out with other inmates who've also turned into demons.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?

Night10194 posted:

Sorrow Swarms are swarms of butterfly-like monsters that feed on human tears. They do this by landing on victims and cutting them slightly to induce serious pain and make them cry. They love to attack children, especially. These things are there specifically to remind you that Chaos is awful and you should stab it whenever you get the chance. Fighting a swarm of them won't be too hard on PCs, and they usually don't kill their victims, but they're a nice touch of how petty and weird Chaos can get.
So... just a slightly more proactive version of a thing actual butterflies already do?

(iirc, butterflies and/or moths have also been observed drinking blood from open wounds, as well)

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

U.T. Raptor posted:

So... just a slightly more proactive version of a thing actual butterflies already do?

(iirc, butterflies and/or moths have also been observed drinking blood from open wounds, as well)

Huh. I didn't know that.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
No one ever suspects the butterfly.

Now picturing The Monarch as the leader of a Chaos Cult.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


That obsession with one incompetent man who isn't even working against you definitely works.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

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

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:

Grimey Drawer
How does AAH keep going.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Maxwell Lord posted:

How does AAH keep going.

It doesn't, this is mercifully the only line of adventures for it. The game seems to have fizzled out and been swiftly forgotten.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009


How many are left?

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

I just realised that that Engorged horror is basically The Covetous Demon from Dark Souls 2. When was this written?

How feasible would it be for grabbed people to get out of the grab? Your sacrificial squad has three less prowess than it, but doesn't seem impossible that they could get away before being chomped on?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Kavak posted:

How many are left?
We're on module 5/6. They never made any more modules after it, the line was just allowed to die. This causes some...unresolved cliffhangers.

Angrymog posted:

I just realised that that Engorged horror is basically The Covetous Demon from Dark Souls 2. When was this written?

How feasible would it be for grabbed people to get out of the grab? Your sacrificial squad has three less prowess than it, but doesn't seem impossible that they could get away before being chomped on?
Escaping the grapple requires an opposed Prowess check, meaning that both the Horror and the Prisoner roll 1d12 and then add their Prowess, whoever rolls higher succeeds at either keeping the prisoner in place or escaping. Problem is they willingly gave the Horror the highest possible grapple so the absolute best a player will roll is a 19 and the Horror can roll a 22. I can't really math this exact probability out too well but there's roughly a 75% chance it won't roll higher than a 7 and I can't exactly wrap my head around the probability on the side of the prisoner.

Also this whole line came out in 2011 and was designed in 2010.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003

Number 1 Nerd Tear Farmer 2022.

Keep it up, champ.

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

Kurieg posted:

Don't forget the fact that two of the gangs are Women Only, one for the good guys and one for the bad guys.

And how the Good Guy Women just don't care if they find your group sitting next to a sobbing woman with a broken leg and a pile of severed fingers and toes.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Ah, so you've found yourself a Hunter

Hunters obviously make good PCs or PC patrons. They wander around the land looking for trouble and getting involved in sinister plots. PCs could be Hunters in training (the actual Witch Hunter career is 3rd tier) dealing with lesser cases and reporting to the Witch Hunter Generals and Captains after their missions. The PCs could be some of the muscle and assistants a Hunter hires with their stipend so as not to be totally reliant on local forces (who may well be corrupted). I should note that while Hunters employ torture and means to force confessions, this is at least portrayed as a negative thing that is not getting them good results; this is the kind of behavior that they think is helping, but leads to dead innocents and people being unwilling to trust them, combined with the spotty history of their Order. You're completely in line to play a more noble Hunter who is tirelessly trying to ensure they get at the guilty without accidentally harming the innocent; ideally they're supposed to be doing that as it is. As a Hunter or Hunter-adjacent PC and party, you're probably going to be doing what Adventurers usually do as it is, just with a little more official backing and a nicer hat. There's plenty of variety in a Hunter's purview; they're supposed to focus on renegade wizards and Chaos worshipers and root out hidden threats to the state. Vampires are all wizards, right? And by definition they're renegades. And Skaven are certainly a threat to the state (and have more renegade wizards it's totally legit). As a decent and uncorrupted Hunter, you're also probably going to have to deal with renegades and fanatics from your own order who risk starting religious wars or who are using their position for personal gain. Not to mention the politicking and trials necessary to secure forces for clearing out the biggest problems. The general arc of the Order of the Silver Hammer has been towards increasing professionalism and increasing oversight on their powers, which makes an interesting hook for PCs who might want to make sure those reforms stick.

Hunters are also excellent enemies for Chaos PCs; a bunch of badasses in wide brimmed hats kicking down your door with a unit of state troops behind them is a great 'Oh poo poo!' moment for cultists, and a good challenge for actual Champions. Hunters are strong enough to be the sort of enemy that justifies Fate Points, and thus an individual zealot can make a good recurring nemesis for a Chaos party. They've got the official backing and authority to be real trouble, they don't shake easily, and they're pretty nasty in a fight. A resourceful opponent that keeps throwing normal PC parties and mooks at you is fun.

We also get some new sorts of enemies for Chaos characters/PC options for normal parties. The Cloaked Brothers are a secret society of spies who report to the Order. Most of them are 'retired' from other important Imperial offices, like military officers, professional scouts, etc. They use their contacts from their old job at court or in the army to keep an eye out by 'keeping their hand in', watching for mutants and running sting operations on cults. They're a variant on the basic Spy career, with more emphasis on Intelligence and Fellowship than the Spy's inexplicably massive Willpower. You can only get into this Career from a 2nd tier career (lots of those, though, from Veteran to Politician) but it makes a solid 'I'm playing a Fighter but want to pick up a bunch of intrigue abilities' diversion on your way to 3rd tier.

The Knight Panther is an odd class. You *can* go into it directly from a 1st tier career via Squire, but all its other entries are 2nd tier. It's a great choice if you go right from Squire, giving you some great stat boost talents and Sturdy (no armor penalties), plus more flexibility with weapon choices (it learns Cavalry but also one Choose Your own slot), and higher WS than any other 2nd tier career. I'd go so far as to say it's very slightly overpowered in much the same way as Knight of the Realm was over in Brets if you go directly into it from Squire, while instead being a minor set of upgrades before moving on if you enter it from 'normal' Knight or another 2nd tier. It can also exit into actual Witch Hunter. Knights Panther are one of the many knightly orders of the Empire, based in Middenland. One of their Grandmasters was outed as a Chaos cultist awhile back, and to repent and recover their name they've offered their order's services whole-heartedly to the Hunters and any who fight against Chaos. Getting caught with a traitor in their midst has actually ended up improving their reputation and relationships with the Sigmarites, in the end.

Exorcists exist as a class, but only in Sigmar's Heirs. They're Shallyans and Sigmarites who challenge demons to battles of wits and wills to drive them out of possessed individuals. There's a very long in-game procedure for doing this, and it's basically 'Play out The Exorcist.' The sort of thing that might be fun to do once or twice, but it hurts real bad if you fail and if possession is common in your game your GM is kind of a dick who really likes save or die mechanics.

Finally, there's the Roadwardens. Roadwardens put in way more work than anyone gives them credit. These are the normal cops and patrols of Imperial troops that ride the roads and see to the safety of the coaching network. They're a 1st tier career covered in the main rulebook, and they operate a bit like Hunters (indeed, they make a good first step on the path to becoming one). They ride about with their trusty horse and pistol, alone or in small patrols, looking for trouble. When they find it, they recruit other Wardens or petition local lords or militias for help, then go to root it out. They're supposed to focus on bandits and crime, but given they're patrolling the woods of the Empire, they run into beastmen and other, more military threats all the time. The Roadwardens have suffered serious casualties while the armies are away finishing off Archaon, and they're running thin on numbers. As they run out of patrols, the Empire loses contact with more and more of its isolated places, which leads to crime and monsters breeding in the absence of official patrols. The growing crisis from this lack of law enforcement is the sort of thing PCs get hired to help with.

Note that there's all of 6 pages in this book on playing Hunters and fighting against Chaos. This is partly because Hunters get covered in Tome of Salvation and Realms of Sorcery, but it's also sort of telling that Hunters were a really significant part of the Vampire book but the Chaos book only gives them a single cursory chapter. Similarly, while NDM had all kinds of ways to exploit the enemy's weaknesses to overcome their power in open combat, Tome of Corruption just...doesn't. You'd think this would be a good book to add wards, rituals, and ways to use risky, forbidden knowledge against Chaos so that it'd have more information for 'normal' PCs, the way most of the other 'enemy' books do. As it is, while Hunters are interesting and the arc of 'We're slowly becoming a more directed, saner police force but people are still suspicious since we used to be extremely crazy and still make plenty of mistakes or enforce unnecessarily harsh policies' for them is good, but there just isn't that much for a normal PC party to use in this book. I suppose with how important Chaos is supposed to be, focusing more on making it (and the things adjacent to it) playable is fine, just...well, we'll get to the problems with playable Chaos when we get to the Chaos Champion tracks, rewards, gifts, etc.

Next: The Chaos Wastes, or, Your PC Is Dead.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Kurieg posted:

Also: Yes, the torture rules are loving ridiculous.

"No, you have to torture here to proceed, no there is no other avenue of advancement. Torture, Torture now."
I know this is a bizarre thing to focus on compared to the awfulness of it all, but even the NKVD didn't just go straight to cutting people's fingers off; they were more likely to slap you with a rubber hose. It's extra-weird that AAH just assumes you'll go straight to anime guro porn.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Halloween Jack posted:

I know this is a bizarre thing to focus on compared to the awfulness of it all, but even the NKVD didn't just go straight to cutting people's fingers off; they were more likely to slap you with a rubber hose. It's extra-weird that AAH just assumes you'll go straight to anime guro porn.

I totally misread that as "Rubber Horse" and thought the NKVD was WAY weirder

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Zandar
Aug 22, 2008

Hostile V posted:

Escaping the grapple requires an opposed Prowess check, meaning that both the Horror and the Prisoner roll 1d12 and then add their Prowess, whoever rolls higher succeeds at either keeping the prisoner in place or escaping. Problem is they willingly gave the Horror the highest possible grapple so the absolute best a player will roll is a 19 and the Horror can roll a 22. I can't really math this exact probability out too well but there's roughly a 75% chance it won't roll higher than a 7 and I can't exactly wrap my head around the probability on the side of the prisoner.

Assuming the prisoner needs to beat the horror's check, the probability of escaping is P(1d12 > 1d12 + 3), which is equivalent to P(13 - 1d12 > 1d12 + 3), or P(2d12 < 10), which turns out to be 25%. The horror will do 3.5 damage per round on average, so it'll take about 6 rounds to kill them (including the initial punch). Since they'll get 5 attempts to escape, that gives them each slightly over 75% odds of escaping before dying. Pretty good odds, although they'd likely prefer better.

Of course, the rest of the prisoners are busy doing an average total of 15 damage a round, which if I'm not missing something means they'll actually kill it in 4 rounds, before it's likely to have had the chance to eat anyone. Demons aren't so tough after all!

...they say, as the Death Slithers emerge.

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