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RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Night10194 posted:

G-Unit will return in the sequel. (G-Unit will never return, they earned being done with this bullshit)

I can't wait to see them take on the World Crime League. :allears:

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Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Young Freud posted:

I'm disappointed we never got "artwork" for G-Unit considering that how traced over photos the book's character art is for AAH.
I'm really bad at drawing. Really bad. The closest you'll get is stock photo assets I stole that one time.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I really appreciate you doing the whole 'campaign' of AAH, though. It was a really great example of how not to design a campaign, and negative examples are also valuable for learning to write better games and have better RPG fun times.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

The write up was interesting and appreciated, but the whole 'and then drop dead' gimmick got a bit tired after the first couple of times.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time

Angrymog posted:

The write up was interesting and appreciated, but the whole 'and then drop dead' gimmick got a bit tired after the first couple of times.

I'd say that's a matter of opinion.

Personally, I found it hilarious that these huge elaborate setpieces repeatedly just went straight to poo poo because, consistently, throughout the entire loving adventure path, the writers just straight up forgot to give most of their enemies health.

Also: most of those encounters look like they wouldn't be particularly fun anyway.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

If it was any thing else, 'big enemy drops dead' would be tiring, but the fact these idiots somehow failed to realize they forgot to print up HP for every single one of their 'gently caress you players' demons, and the fact that most of those enemies are walking TPKs or a massive pile of skeeze like Mr. Skinless' "Sex Slave Eye Beams"

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008

What I want to know is if the ending of AAH was planned like that from the beginning, or if they just stopped caring and did a lovely wrap-up adventure.

Also I'd honestly love to see G-Unit pop up in Planescape or something.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010

Hello, yes! Is being very good day for posting, no?
Katarin is rad as gently caress. I love how Kislev is so tonally different from Bretonnia, but still feels ripe with adventure possibilities. I think it makes for some great tough choices that aren't just two flavors of "something horrible"--Katarin, the Boyars, the Ungols--they all have good arguments in their favor, and when the chips are down they're fundamentally good people united in a common cause, but there's just enough friction in there to be interesting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Realm of the Ice Queen

Bear God Dad

Katarin has good relations with the Cult of Ursun, the traditional Bear God, because her father pretty much single-handedly rescued the cult from being overshadowed by Ulricans. Ursun is a similar sort of God, just sleepier and less tightly wound, and he doesn't forbid hats or guns. The Cult of Ursun is happy that the Tsarina remains a loyal and respectful follower of their God, but they have no desire to support her quite as whole-heartedly as they did her father, since her father was an actual Priest. The Bear God's followers also have no real national organization, and are content to stay out of politics while advising people to keep ready to bat angrily at the followers of Chaos and wrestle with demons. Everyone is pretty okay with this state of affairs; Ursun is the God you can be devoted to without it getting political. The Tsarina is happy enough for them to stay out, and they're happy enough for her to support building more caves and natural gardens for them to use as temples and raise bears in.

The Cult of Dazh is the cult of the God of Nobility, Hospitality, and Fire. These things are very, very important to Kislevites. The current high priest, Watcher Ydeski, is a paranoid and small minded jerk who spends all his time crusading against minor breaks in tradition. He has no interest in using the cult's immense political power for anything besides ensuring people follow the exact protocols he cares about at any given moment, and he is not a popular man. The Tsarina has been encouraging some of the younger priests who have been saying that the great witch is an appointed defender of the Holy Fires and favored by Dazh. Ydeski does not care or notice that this constitutes an attempt to eventually overthrow him and replace him with someone amenable to the Tsarina, but others do. Many in Dazh's cult do not think a woman linked to the power of ice could possibly be Dazh's chosen, though they would obviously still say she is Tsarina. But traditionalists are very wary of a Witch of Ice trying to claim to defend the Lord of Fire.

The actual Ice Witches are ecstatic about the Tsarina and her closest supporters. She is the best of their Order and placing their own in positions of high nobility or generalship has always been their policy. They believe themselves the defenders of the unique magic of Kislev, and to do that, they must defend the land of Kislev. They can best direct the defense of the land by being in charge of it. The Tsarina and her backers also favor the Ice Witches more than previous Tsars and Tsarinas have, and even a commoner witch of ability now has privileges equivalent to minor nobility. Imperials watching this consider the whole thing insane; giving magic users legal authority beyond licenses seems like complete madness to them. The Ice Witches are powerful and hold their own influence, but they do not bring large cities or populations with them, and many in Kislev view them with awe rather than affection. Heroic PC Ice Witches who can win the affection of the people for their Order could advance very, very quickly...

The Wise Women are an odd political and magical faction. These are the shamans and witches of the Ungol tribesmen, and they have no official legal privileges or standing. At the same time, they are some of the only people in Kislev to ignore some of Katarin's commands directly and get away with it, because they are powerful mages in their own right and because pissing them off would lead to riots and rebellions among the Ungol. They know better than to directly challenge the Gospodars, though, and try to avoid overt conflict unless the matter is very, very important. Right now, the southerners and Ice Witches try to avoid putting the Wise Women in a position that would lead to direct conflict, and in return the Wise Women do not counsel rebellion or resistance. The Tsarina would dearly like to find a way to get them on her side and have their magic serve her regime, but any individual wise woman she's given patronage to quickly loses their status among the others. A PC Wise Woman who might become a strong leader for the community could decide which direction the Ungol mystics go.

Tsar Boris did not have time for the guilds and merchants of Erengrad, but his daughter thought them very valuable. They have money, they control the commerce in the city, they build the cannons, and they weren't on anyone's side. By extending their privileges and helping them to become more prosperous, she has gained their loyalty, at the expense of the Boyars of Erengrad. In return for granting the guilds much of what they wanted, she demanded the right to appoint Guildmasters, or at least to approve their appointments. Like with the Atamen she has been careful to choose popular folk, but the guilds dislike this provision and will look for any excuse to change it. Meanwhile, the Boyars want to remove the trade councils and the Guild voice on matters of taxes and tariffs, and the Boyars of Erengrad have grown more disloyal due to the erosion of their control in the city.

Finally, there's the big problem of Nyvena. Nyvena is an Ungol war-leader who, with no authority from the Tsarina, got together and led a very successful army during the Storm of Chaos. His Ungol troops continue to clean up the steppe and destroy remnants of the enemy, and he has been of great help in rebuilding. He isn't disloyal (yet) and hasn't yet risen in rebellion, but he refused a title of Druzhina from the Tsarina because it was a Gospodar title, and he is an Ungol nationalist. His army obeyed orders from the Tsarina and her Boyar generals during the war, and they fought very competently, which presents two problems. Firstly, this has made him very popular; everything in Kislev will eventually come back around to how well you drive off Chaos. Secondly, it means that for now he's as much an asset as a threat to power. He is still out there doing good work and aiding in the rebuilding, and without him actually counseling direct rebellion rather than just trying to be a prominent Ungol presence in the defense of the country, the Tsarina is loathe to move against someone who is genuinely helping clean up. It gets to the fundamental problem with trying to centralize all power in Kislev: To do so you usually need relatively incompetent but extremely loyal forces that cannot pose a threat to the ruler while being sufficient to secure their rule. That can't be done in Kislev because you dearly need people who are good leaders and strategists leading your armies, because you face a sporadic existential threat. So even though a man like Nyvena is a potential future threat, a reasonable ruler can't afford to simply remove him. Meanwhile, Ungol see him as a potential leader who could break Gospodar rulership, even as he remains much more focused on defending the country and doing the job he put together his army to do. Lots of potential for PC involvement in this; spying on the man, fighting in his forces, working as mercenaries, trying to persuade him one way or another on his political loyalties.

Next: Legal Codes and Justice.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Evil Mastermind posted:

What I want to know is if the ending of AAH was planned like that from the beginning, or if they just stopped caring and did a lovely wrap-up adventure.

Also I'd honestly love to see G-Unit pop up in Planescape or something.

My money is on it planned to end with 'No, Meritocracy, you are the demons' and the Gehenna lands on some technical virgin planet where everyone is free to practice biotruths and make racist jokes while the strawman government burns in the distant night.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

The Lord of Hats posted:

Katarin is rad as gently caress. I love how Kislev is so tonally different from Bretonnia, but still feels ripe with adventure possibilities. I think it makes for some great tough choices that aren't just two flavors of "something horrible"--Katarin, the Boyars, the Ungols--they all have good arguments in their favor, and when the chips are down they're fundamentally good people united in a common cause, but there's just enough friction in there to be interesting.

Part of the strength of Fantasy compared to 40k is that every single 'good guy' group has some actual good to them.

The Empire is a cobbled together, corrupt mess that nevertheless builds universities, studies the world, has all sorts of peoples living in a multicultural and cosmopolitan state, and at its best is as reliant on international and internal diplomacy as it is massive armies.

Bretonnia is a crazy backwards land of magic knights and fairy tales and oppressed peasants whose peasants are not just passive victims and whose knights actually mean all the stuff they're saying about honor and justice (they just have no concept of systemic injustices)

Kislev is full of people squabbling over who has the best ability to defend their land from the hell-beasts that attack it constantly, but that's a problem worth squabbling about and they come together to fight the hell beasts and defend the rest of the world whenever it really counts.

The dwarfs are all grumpy and poo poo but you'll notice every single nation of humans actually has pretty good relations with them, because as well as holding grudges they never forget a favor and are always happy to repay allies honorably and justly.

The High Elves are arrogant twats who will always wait too long to actually do anything and who think they're the only ones who can save the world, but when the chips are down they usually manage to swallow their pride in time to show up and help out.

The Tomb Kings are spooky mummies but they still believe in being good rulers and defending the living who live under them. They're just people who had something terrible happen to them and stayed sane through it. Also, Nagash really is a dick and they're right to try to gently caress him up.

And the Lizards may be weird and inscrutable but they have the closest thing to an instruction manual on actually fixing poo poo and are doing everything they can to do so.

Like, they all actually have 'Yeah these are okay guys' built in with all the bad parts and flaws.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

I'm enjoying these reviews because there's just so much I don't really know about the various other major countries. They're a little bit extraneous but they at least put some thought into some of them, unlike the other game where you can just get a gist of a planet by glancing at it and seeing how hosed it is.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

The main problem the Tomb Kings have is that necromancy radiates evil rays, and no one is willing to listen to 'wait, no, actually this wasn't our fault.'

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

The main problem the Tomb Kings have is that necromancy radiates evil rays, and no one is willing to listen to 'wait, no, actually this wasn't our fault.'

Well, also, they don't feel like they need to explain themselves. They're the rightful rulers of Nehekara, and no magical disaster from some upstart rear end in a top hat of a priest is going to change that.

E: Also, as someone said, they always sort of intended to have a Kislev model line, but...They're just very similar to the Empire in army construction when you get down to it. Kossars, Streltsi, Winged Lancers, and Horse Archers just weren't enough to distinguish another fairly normal, sane human army with a similar technology level. I do have an old 'How to add Kislevite units to your Empire army' army book-lite they did for them in PDF somewhere, though.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 18:22 on Aug 23, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Didn't they get added as mercenary units?

Or was that a fever dream I had where GW gave a drat about mercenary units

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

Didn't they get added as mercenary units?

Or was that a fever dream I had where GW gave a drat about mercenary units

The Kislevites are mostly an Allied Contingent, but you can take the Gryphon Legion as a rare unit in an Empire army to represent that they rove about and do their mercenary thing. They're about equivalent to Inner Circle Knights/Questing Knights, being very elite human cavalry. They don't have Imperial plate but they scare the poo poo out of units they charge, which seems like it'd be useful.

E: That's about the difference for Winged Lancers compared to Knights or Knights of the Realm in WHFRP, too. They get a scary back banner, don't have quite as good of armor (if you're going by Trappings, this actually makes the career much easier to get into, I always forget that's a rule as written since we never used it), but are a little more flexible and have better survival skills. They also get a little ranged skill in the RPG and often carry javelins, or if they have the Gunpowder skill from a past class like Streltsi, pistols. Of course their lance and saber are their main deal.

Oh, also, you can go directly from the actual Peasant base class to Winged Lancer, which is great.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Aug 23, 2017

chiasaur11
Oct 22, 2012



megane posted:

"The demon removes his hood, and it's THE MAJOR!"

"...Who?"

"The major! Wait... wait, you haven't seen him before, have you. Uhhh. He's this... I mean, he hasn't... okay, right, you all find yourselves in a flashback!"

"No, no, it makes sense, you guys! He launched a Nazi Vampire attack on London. Of course he's behind the demons! Do the war speech!"

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


Thanks for reminding us of another cool sounding premise that ended up inside it's own rear end.

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

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Thanks for reminding us of another cool sounding premise that ended up inside it's own rear end.

What was that? Not sure I was here for that one.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

marshmallow creep posted:

What was that? Not sure I was here for that one.

Hellsing, it's ending is kind of a clusterfuck.

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 END

Or

What Have We Learned? Not Much.


So. Let's be real, here. I don't think Abandon All Hope could've ever survived longer than it did, to be honest. It's a weird, bad, boring series, an incoherent mashup of horror movies the authors watched when they grew up that either came before their time or existed as they were teens. It's an ugly creation, one that I will admit I thought had a little bit of promise when I first heard about it, even as long as when I got halfway through the book to around the GM section. That's when I, ironically, started to give up hope in the product. Because pretty much the only nice thing I can say about this book is that it's a really enticing idea, isn't it? There's a general dearth of RPGs that involve prison life or an attempt to "accurately" emulate it for the sake of telling a story. On the other hand, absolutely no shortage of everything going horrifically wrong and the PCs have to deal with it. It's a fundamentally uneven balance between wants and needs.

But, well, you knew that already. Y'all stuck with me through this, through the Magical Realm Bullshit, through the misogyny, through the racism and the bad writing and my gimmicks. There's not much of a posthumous statement I can make about this game because I've just said everything at this point and the creators are tightlipped. Was there ever intended to be some grand story? Was the ending rushed? I don't know, I don't honestly know. I personally think that yeah there was because they went out of their way to call this campaign "Incursion" instead of just letting it sit on its own. But the creators haven't said anything, they just let it die. Now, granted, that does say something on its own. Imagine if Forbeck never wanted to explain what his grand vision of Brave New World was, that it was just abandoned in the throes of bad Catholicism and weird metaplot.

RPGObjects continued to release Darwin's World products through the early 2010s. The last product they released was Journey to Newhome, which was the overarching series of modules that To Kill A King is from that was in turned based on a book written by one of the authors. The last Abandon All Hope product that was released was actually not Oblivion. Oblivion came out in October in 2011. The last AAH product is actually a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book called "The Program", a solo adventure to let you build your character. If the limited reviews I've seen are to be believed, The Program is both great and also disappointing. To quote a review from a review website called "Mrs. Giggles":

https://mrsgiggles.com/the-program-by-dominic-covey/ posted:

The setting is pretty interesting. Unfortunately, this campaign turns out to be more of an exercise of random dungeon-wandering and number crunching. While it is easy to locate a map containing the layout of the place, it doesn’t help much. Most of the time, you will be making random guesses as to turn left, right, up, down, whatever, and there is nothing, not even the map, to help you get any idea of where to turn to. The maze-like elements of the campaign are annoyingly artificial too – you will find yourself going through the same handful of entries until you finally locate the correct way out. As a result, this campaign feels overly padded with “go there, go here, oops, back to there again” moments of frustration.

While your character has amnesia of sorts, and therefore it is understandable that things are far from clear early in the campaign, it becomes frustrating to keep wandering around while still knowing nothing about the setting or your past. Things would have been more interesting if, for example, a number of the useless “go here or there?” paragraphs were excised for scenes that allow your character to discover clues about the place and your past. A build up of suspense, with clues dropped in here and there, would have made this campaign an interesting and suspenseful one.

As it is, The Program spends too much time making you wander aimlessly through some bland wallpaper dungeon turns. It’s a pity, as the setting holds many intriguing promises. The pay-off isn’t satisfying either, as you are told that your character is now ready to play the RPG game hardcore. If this is going to be nothing more than a sales pitch for the Abandon All Hope RPG game, Mr Covey could have at least made it a fun one.
Somehow this ended up on an obscure review site for mostly books and movies but honestly it's the most comprehensive review of The Program we've got. I would cover it myself but it costs 6 dollars and, well. Like I said. I don't need to give more money to them, I already gave them more than I should've in lieu of just doing a crime.

Anyway. The line died. Darwin's World died. The site is generally dead. Their online gaming mapping tool is dead. From all I've seen of the authors, they've moved on to other things. And that's the story of most of these companies. They rode high on the wave of the OGL and tried to branch out into something new...and honestly if they tried to make AAH in this day and age, I think we'd know more about the creators and the problems they have. Their product was exactly as forgettable as it needed to be and also laced with a vein of problems like finding uranium in your copper mine. But you don't get closure, y'know? That's just life. Even when the company has a public falling out or the fires get so big nobody can extinguish them, there's the aftermath and everyone moving on, either loudly or quietly.

We can force a little closure, though, and that's mostly because I'm the sort who doesn't know when to let a gimmick die and because as far as I'm concerned, this is as canon as the rest of this whole mess.

SO WHAT HAPPENED TO G-UNIT?

The game wants you to stay. The game wants you to remain behind on the Gehenna and fight this fight, tell a story that will never be told because nobody cares enough to write it. They even go so far as to say "hey, you can use those build points for your next character, someone who didn't run!". My intent was to never write that final story. So this isn't the story of them staying and fighting. This is the story of what happened when they left.

They're alive. There's 21 of them, two robots and a dog, but they're alive. Fresh air for the first time in years for some, decades for others. They have no idea where they are, but that's fine. They still have guns and adrenaline. No time to rest yet.

It takes a week or so of establishing a place to stay and getting their bearings but they're in Brazil. One night, after Jackpot and Tama manage to pinch some more food from the local grocery, they all sit down and talk about what's next. It's good to see Earth again. It's polluted, it's still ravaged from war, it's oppressed, but it's good to see it. Jack of Spades wagers they can't stay here, not under the nose of the PTM. There's no Gehenna to go back to. If they get caught, they die in a back office, brains splattered against a wall. The five most senior members mull it over. If they had their way, they'd stay and they'd fight. But they didn't get this far by not trusting the ones they brought on. So come up with a plan, they say, and we'll talk about it further.

Jack of Spades thinks they should go to Persephone. Yes, the PSM was gutted. But she knows enough about the planet to know safehouses the PTM couldn't have found and she knows enough of the family members of fallen separatists to get support. Getting to Persephone costs money and time, though. Mrs. Peacock scoffs because if there's anything a Warwick has, it's money and time. The two of them huddle up with Scratch and come up with a plan.

Weston Warwick has been dead for decades. So are most of Mrs. Peacock's siblings. Warwick Meat and Dairy is wholesale owned by a company now. Barely anyone would recognize her now. It would be impossible for them to figure out that she's the prodigal daughter gone away to prison for 28 years. She and Fever "pose" as a married couple, claiming that she's some lost cousin who wants a piece of her grand uncle's pie that she never got. All they want is to set up a farm on Persephone and they have a corporate negotiator (Scratch) help them get the funding, the cows, the transportation. Jackpot makes a few calls home to parents that are so happy and frustrated to hear from their daughter again and picks their brains for how best to change their names and records to become simple colonists. Before she can stop them, Mr. and Mrs. Wynne are on their way to Brazil with bug-out bags on their back.

One week after the meeting, the senior five unanimously agree to the idea. Three weeks after they put it all into motion, they're on the way to Persephone.

-----

Project: Lord of the Flies is deemed to be mostly unsuccessful. There is a lot of discussions in the hall of the PTM's main capitol, a lot of heated arguments behind closed doors. The politicians question the scientists about what the whole point was as the shrinks in charge of re-education and psychology pore over the data. The scientists defend themselves with the fact that the politicians were just going to write the prisoners off as dead anyway so why not use them to make contact. They were all complicit in the lies of a new colony. It got rid of the problem and the data is useful.

The shrinks agree with the fact that it's useful but disagree on the results. The main conclusion they draw is that their psychological model is wrong but not for the reasons they expected. The Demons were attracted to the Despair, Guilt and Insanity but they overlooked just how important Willpower was. Willpower was responsible for convicts embracing damnation and sabotaging the field generators, for turning on the scientists and taking their guns and teleporters. Willpower was responsible for the rise of Sanctuary and the gang strongholds that held against the cresting waves. They knew of Willpower, of course. They just didn't know how strong it could be.

It stood to reason, then, that Willpower was the most dangerous part of the criminal element, not Despair or Guilt or Insanity. The three could be resisted by Willpower. Willpower compelled someone to pick up a gun and stand strong. If enough could stand against literal Demons, imagine what could happen if Willpower was turned against the PTM. Their conclusion was simple: eliminate Willpower, eliminate the ability to resist. Priding itself as the peaceful and perfect pacifist society wasn't enough. Torturing people into becoming less violent was inefficient. There would have to be changes made, changes to suppress Willpower before stamping it out completely.

The politicians and scientists stopped arguing long enough to listen before coming to a reluctant agreement. Write everyone on the Gehenna off as dead, the anomaly had already closed. No more nosy whistleblowers, no more filibusters, no more tolerance. Eliminate Willpower, stamp it out until it's weak and then cut its throat. They shook each other's hands and sent a message to the cultural department, the one responsible for homogenizing the PTM and writing the history books.

"Send us all of the books on effective governmental suppression. Send us all of the classics from 1984 to Fahrenheit 451 to the Hunger Games. We have a lot of reading to do if we're going to do this right."

And they smiled in anticipation for the reading and planning to come.

------

One year after the escape, everyone is still a little surprised how much Bad Habit knows about cattle farming and farming in general. She shrugs. It's just something she picked up somewhere along with myriad other little survival tools. Her humility and nonchalance always makes Helga sigh and hug her.

Persephone is beautiful and still rebuilding. In the 12 years since Jack of Spades saw her home, they've managed to repopulate 65% of the planet's lost foliage and botanical gardens. It's not the hick planet they were expecting, but it is a lot of open space of nothing but flowers and farms branching out from populated urban centers where you can walk from work to a farmstead in no time. The local government of Persephone is always looking for new hands willing to help, especially if they're quietly opposed to the PTM. Fever, Scratch and Buzzkill want to branch out into raising crops for food to supplement their income. The money from raising the cows isn't as much as they expected so they'll have to find some more work elsewhere.

Everyone chips in as best as they can. Doc and Buzzkill get posts down in a medical center as a doctor and pharmacologist. Appleday gets a posting at a local school as a substitute and watches children while she tends to Aaron. Tama and Scratch raise economic hell across the land by buying as much abandoned technology and scrap and old farming tools as they can. Shining Finger and Beepy get repurposed to till fields and garden for the time being.

The Wynnes take in Jose and Cameron as their own flesh and blood because the two resist every opportunity to get them relocated to adoptive parents. With the help of her parents, Jackpot, Jack of Spades, Soapbox, Beth, Peacemaker and Ice Queen start a local group. Nothing special, just self defense, resisting the government, all that jazz. They keep things quiet as Scarlet, Marina and Sally set out into plundering the remains of old PSM cells and safehouses, looking for supplies and resources and weapons. Pincushion rests on his laurels for a bit before learning how to take care of calves. He finds a surprising amount of peace in this. Bad Habit, Helga and Mrs. Peacock run the ranch and everyone makes sure to help chip in a little. As for Kira, he's happy like a pig in mud.

When they finally get the farm up and running proper, they call it Sanctuary.

-----

The anomaly closes. Of the original 10 million prisoners, about 2 million or so are left, locked into a life-and-death struggle against the Demons and the forces of Blade and Major Havoc. The machinations of the Warden and the Beth Terminators go generally overlooked, the stories of identical-looking women chalked up as being some rumor. The allied gangs hold steadfast against Blade's men and both sides are slowly withered down by desperation and fatigue. Even though their leaders are on par with the Demons, the main troops of damnation still have to eat and human flesh doesn't have all of the essential nutrients one needs.

The Gehenna decays further and further on a daily basis and there's nothing that can be done to save it. The plants mutate and grow stranger still. Eventually the food of the agro-domes is no longer safe for human consumption. The effects of collapsed decks start to compound and grow, every piece of damage done to the hull causing one more cut out of a thousand. The Gehenna physically twists from the pressure, beginning to crumple in on itself as it strains like a soda can at the bottom of the sea.

The final breaking point is the fact that the Gehenna really wasn't built to withstand prolonged internal abuses and the fact that there are two glaring structural weak points built into the ship: the decks between the front of the ship and the back. The crumpling, twisting strain causes the Warden's facility to sever completely, drifting off into the abyss of Hell, powered by its solar facilities but completely powerless. The nuclear-powered thrusters are snapped free from the ship as well, the energy leaking out into the void and slowly cooling down as the systems are compromised completely and the reactors stop.

The survivors remain in the middle of the ship, stranded and cold and starving. And the worst thing that can happen does: good triumphs over evil. Johnson slays Blade in the end and the human faces of the Demons are destroyed. They are too tired to listen to the Demons and only want to rest before death. There is no way home. There is only the soft creak of metal folding in on itself as everything runs thinner and the cold overtakes what remains of the Gehenna.

-----

The end of the first year on Persephone is met with an official gathering of G-Unit, the first official strategy meeting. Everyone cooks something and they sit together, sharing food and each other's company. The cows can wait another day. The crops are already tended to. Right now it's just their time to talk about the future they've earned.

If there's one thing they managed to learn from Major Havoc's magical time adventure, it's that the resistance wasn't just a bunch of soldiers in a bunker and it wasn't just a handful of public speakers and political figures. You need both to stand a chance. As leader of Sanctuary, Soapbox believes they have all they need here to mount a proper resistance. They have a handful of people who know about war and tactics (Beth, Doc and Peacemaker), they have people who know politics (Ice Queen, herself, Jackpot's family, Appleday), they have people who know how to hit low ( the Wynnes, Fever and Jack of Spades). She plans to start with organizing the people around a more realistic form of government, one where they don't have to cower in fear during a war and then be at the mercy of their colonial master's disinterest. They can teach Persephone how to defend itself and stand up for itself and give it a future to march forward to.

Tama is properly excited about this. She remembers what it was like to be in the Kiowa and has been tinkering with ideas for mecha and power armor. She already knows how to build robots, and if there's one thing she remembers from her extensive history as an anime fiend, some Japanese weapons started out as simple farming tools. She smiles through a mouthful of bread and mentions that she's been building plenty of farming tools with the help of Scratch. Funny how much easier it is to build what you want when you don't have to scrape and scrounge.

Beth is in complete agreement. Sally, Marina and Scarlett have come a long way in learning how to defend themselves and they may not be soldiers but they're not helpless. If she and Peacemaker can teach the three of them how to survive and thrive, there's no doubt they can't organize the people of Persephone further.

Doc agrees but has her own reservations and hesitations. She's worried about what the PTM has learned from the Gehenna, if anything. She worries that the hole between dimensions might still be open. As much as she hates to admit it, Needles did have some good ideas in regards to studying the Demons further. She doesn't know if they could possibly survive in our dimension and if the PTM has any plans to attempt to utilize the Demons in any form. There are too many unknowns, she argues. They can start but they should leverage their assets to learn what the PTM knows and what they're doing before G-Unit start actively striking back. Soapbox considers the proposition and agrees to meet with her over what they should do about it.

Pincushion is optimistic. After all, they have the greatest weapon on their side, an arsenal of Real Ultimate Power that can kill with a thought and was so powerful the Demons were too scared to recruit him. There's a light current of laughter and he admits, with all seriousness, that the Demons were an unlimited force. An overwhelming force. They only escaped because they were given mercy as part of a trick. He believes that they stand a chance against a limited mortal enemy like the PTM, especially with so many people who used to be a part of it and know all about weapons. He also figures that they have those disruption grenades and if Tama could crack them open and look at them, she could figure out a way to keep the Demons away, even if they do come back.

It's a unanimous agreement to fight back. Tomorrow the plans will be drafted, tomorrow the speeches will be written, tomorrow the spying will begin. Today is a day of warm food and cold drinks beneath an open blue sky.

THE END

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 20:45 on Aug 23, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Thanks for reviewing AAH. It was fun to read about, even if it was a terrible mess.

I do sort of wish we'd seen the extent to which G-Unit, a well-designed and specced PC party, would've had to cheat/get incredibly lucky to actually win the expected, mandatory combats if only to drive home how badly designed combat was.

Like, I'm not sure how the hell Ice Queen was ever supposed to take out a demon with a halberd, an expected activity for an Imperial State Troop that is enjoyed by all.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


:golfclap: that was way better than we deserve (and certainly more than the game deserve).

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*

Many thanks for a top-quality review, Hostile V.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
So they're going to liberate Earth with...nunchuk-wielding mecha?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


The liberation of earth is a long time away.
The smart play is being the Viet Cong to earth's US-army, have them commit more soldiers and material then they can while dealing with civil unrest at home.

The Lemondrop Dandy
Jun 7, 2007

If my memory serves me correctly...


Wedge Regret
The AAH review really made a silk purse out of a sow's ear. One of my favorite reads in F&F, and I've read (I think) all of the (3?) threads. Thanks!

Rigged Death Trap
Feb 13, 2012

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

Halloween Jack posted:

So they're going to liberate Earth with...nunchuk-wielding mecha?

Nah
Theyre just going to wade through swathes of PTM armies, declaring theyre fighting them only for the soldiers to keel over and die the instant they enter combat with g unit.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

Rigged Death Trap posted:

Nah
Theyre just going to wade through swathes of PTM armies, declaring theyre fighting them only for the soldiers to keel over and die the instant they enter combat with g unit.

It did put in hit points for human characters iirc. Just the demons that missed them because they were at the bottom of the Mental traits stack.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

So they're going to liberate Earth with...nunchuk-wielding mecha?

The G stood for Gundam the whole time.

Who knew?

(Tama knew)

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Night10194 posted:

Thanks for reviewing AAH. It was fun to read about, even if it was a terrible mess.

I do sort of wish we'd seen the extent to which G-Unit, a well-designed and specced PC party, would've had to cheat/get incredibly lucky to actually win the expected, mandatory combats if only to drive home how badly designed combat was.

Like, I'm not sure how the hell Ice Queen was ever supposed to take out a demon with a halberd, an expected activity for an Imperial State Troop that is enjoyed by all.
Oh, real-talk: they never would've gotten past Chapter 2 of Right to Live if they ever wanted to rescue Katherine/Patch or crack open the armory. Ice Queen vs. Demon Blangis is just something that never would've come to pass because the party would've wiped at the hands of either the Monitor or the Enforcer if they dared to stray off the path.

The Monitor could've pretty easily worn down the five of them due to the fact that it had two attacks per action, injected a sedative on each attack and had a Prowess of 10. It also reduced all armor inflicted by 2, had 50 Health as opposed to the core book's 7 health, and if they did enough damage to it, it still could've called for backup in the form of the Enforcer that was found guarding the armory. The Enforcer that had 75 HP, reduced all damage by 4 and had a riot laser that exploded on 6s.

If they avoided those encounters, they probably would've died during the first combat encounter in Chapter 4 during the siege just because there were that much more enemies and the Psychos definitely would've destroyed the gates.

And, of course, Seeds of Rage is an enormous deathtrap, period with Dream Cages not too far behind because of the fact that you end up with less weapons. Another place they likely would have died was fighting against Loco and the Nightstalkers. One day I'd like to sit down and try to figure out the math behind the Foundry setpiece and just how many of the core PCs would have died to that because of how it's just a matroyshka doll of instant deaths and fall damage.

If I wasn't counting the fact that the broken stat blocks (it still seriously amazes me that they printed these books for a year and every single new non-human stat block was busted, they just pumped these things out like they were giving birth to sextuplets) were being counted as Automatically Won, a lot of this review would have been me just writer FIAT-ing and saying "but they win anyway because A: I say so or B: contrived reason" which is the main reason I kinda leaned a bit heard on the instant-death joke. I'd rather use a tired joke than just look at you, shrug and say "I got nothing, they just win".

Halloween Jack posted:

So they're going to liberate Earth with...nunchuk-wielding mecha?
I mean probably. I mean to say that Tama is probably going to turn a fleet of combine harvesters and farmbots into a robot army. They will also probably get nunchucks, sais and flaming atomic bo staves.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Figured even with an optimized party and severely generous houseruling on mastermind there would be multiple TPKs.

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

Night10194 posted:

The dwarfs are all grumpy and poo poo but you'll notice every single nation of humans actually has pretty good relations with them, because as well as holding grudges they never forget a favor and are always happy to repay allies honorably and justly.

It helps especially with the Empire that it's literally a holy command of Sigmar that the dwarfs are cool, be nice to the dwarfs and treat with them fairly and honorably.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Halloween Jack posted:

So they're going to liberate Earth with...nunchuk-wielding mecha?

Considering that the PTM is going to deliberately cripple themselves by eliminating willpower, presumably by finding the answer in Huxley's Brave New World, they will fall over completely fighting people whose minds are literally weapons.

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine
The apparently intragalactic fascist government will probably bombard the planet from orbit until all the PCs are dead because that's how 12 people fighting a space empire would go.

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD
21 people, two robots, a baby, and a dog

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Mr. Maltose posted:

The apparently intragalactic fascist government will probably bombard the planet from orbit until all the PCs are dead because that's how 12 people fighting a space empire would go.

I dunno, I've read fiction and this usually works out there.

Gilgameshback
May 18, 2010

Night10194 posted:

Newer units, established by Tsar Vladimir, use the same two-handed axe but use it as a brave for their musket; these are the Streltsi.

What does brave mean in this context?

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Gilgameshback posted:

What does brave mean in this context?

I'd assume it means that the word "brace" was typoed, but I could be wrong.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Gilgameshback posted:

What does brave mean in this context?

I meant to type brace, yes.

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