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Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

The concept of broodmothers always felt unnessecary gross and creepy whenever they're thrown in.

Taj'Meyl used to have a level that's just Orc Broodmothers, children, and guards that got taken out in later versions due to well, a fair chunk of the players asking the creator "What the gently caress" over it.

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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
Even Wizardry 8 used them when it finally showed what Rattkin females look like. And of course Dragon Age deciding that every woman who succumbs to the Blight becomes a giant, tentacled broodmother - including all women Grey Wardens if they don't die in battle.

Seems to be a very unfortunate tendency for game designers when an existing race, especially if they're savage barbarian warriors, is all male. Doubly so when they're actively monstrous.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
Replace Broodmothers with Skavenkings/Skavenqueens who are just a just a dozen skaven with their tails knotted together so they can't backstab each other and have weird warp stone induced mind powers.

Because if you've got ratmen why wouldn't you have rat kings?

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?

Young Freud posted:

<System Mastery Jeff Voice>: "...I even got a snake for my DDDIIICK!"

<System Mastery Jon Voice> "Also, my Anaconda don't want none unless you got buns, hun."
I think you will find he'd actually have two snakes for his dick, because that's how snakes and lizards roll :colbert:

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

unseenlibrarian posted:

Replace Broodmothers with Skavenkings/Skavenqueens who are just a just a dozen skaven with their tails knotted together so they can't backstab each other and have weird warp stone induced mind powers.

Because if you've got ratmen why wouldn't you have rat kings?

honestly that's a pretty brilliant idea

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007



Robindaybird posted:

The concept of broodmothers always felt unnessecary gross and creepy whenever they're thrown in.


The idea of anything like them always leads you to where Exalted took it (WTF DND article) and also covered in a predecessor of this thread.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Truly Cursed
Fun fact there is an example of a Female Grey Seer in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Appearntly being born with the grey fur and horn buds supercedes being turned into a brood mother. She is no diffrent then any other Grey Seer even in appearance really.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I mean, the other part of it is there's absolutely no reason or need for Skaven to be all male, anyway. I mean, hell, Chaos Warriors are explicitly male and female both, as are the Kurgan and Hung marauders and the Norse raiders. It's really only Skaven that ever do that whole thing and it's just kind of pointless.

Ultiville
Jan 14, 2005

The law protects no one unless it binds everyone, binds no one unless it protects everyone.

Night10194 posted:

I mean, the other part of it is there's absolutely no reason or need for Skaven to be all male, anyway. I mean, hell, Chaos Warriors are explicitly male and female both, as are the Kurgan and Hung marauders and the Norse raiders. It's really only Skaven that ever do that whole thing and it's just kind of pointless.

It's possible it has roots in Skaven as a mockery of fascism, but given the fantasy genre is full of such nonsense played straight, it's not much of an excuse if so.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Ultiville posted:

It's possible it has roots in Skaven as a mockery of fascism, but given the fantasy genre is full of such nonsense played straight, it's not much of an excuse if so.

Yeah, basically. It's the kind of thing where the high concept might make sense, but in context it's probably a bad idea.

E: It's almost certainly originally intended as 'They have industrialized reproduction such that there is no chance of intimacy or love, and have completed what fascism intends for the genders' but at the same time they're as much COBRA as they are nazis, so it seems a little much.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 05:08 on Nov 25, 2017

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Freaking Crumbum posted:

fwiw this kind of lateral thinking was way more encouraged/expected when the game was younger and fewer of the rules and systems were codified beyond "what my DM at my table will/will not allow".

another classic was petrifying a difficult foe, then also casting stone to mud and basically ensuring that nobody would every be able to find them to raise them again. because if you just left them petrified, the rear end in a top hat GM would have some henchman come along and dispell it and if you busted their petrified statue into chunks then the henchmen would just recover all the chunks, then dispell the petrification. but if you turn your foe all the way to mud and then let that get washed away by rain/water or just combine with regular dirt, there's no realistic way some henchmen is going to be able to separate out each individual grain of silt that used to comprise their master in order to restore them to life.

I know a common "solution" in 3.5 to a problem enemy was to do what you said, but then follow it up with a Purify Food and Drink spell, which would obliterate the dirt part of the mud leaving only water. I say "solution" because I don't know if anyone ever actually did this, or if it was just discussed as theoretical. I believe the general consensus was that nothing short of Wish or Miracle could bring the target back because they technically aren't dead, but the pieces needed to fit back together to Stone to Flesh don't exist anymore.

Ultiville
Jan 14, 2005

The law protects no one unless it binds everyone, binds no one unless it protects everyone.

senrath posted:

I know a common "solution" in 3.5 to a problem enemy was to do what you said, but then follow it up with a Purify Food and Drink spell, which would obliterate the dirt part of the mud leaving only water. I say "solution" because I don't know if anyone ever actually did this, or if it was just discussed as theoretical. I believe the general consensus was that nothing short of Wish or Miracle could bring the target back because they technically aren't dead, but the pieces needed to fit back together to Stone to Flesh don't exist anymore.

Which is really just a lovely encapsulation of what's so weird about how the D&D community has come to think about rules. "If we combine all these things then none of the written spells let the narrator bring back this enemy, except this one, and also the narrator is omnipotent. But still."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Ultiville posted:

Which is really just a lovely encapsulation of what's so weird about how the D&D community has come to think about rules. "If we combine all these things then none of the written spells let the narrator bring back this enemy, except this one, and also the narrator is omnipotent. But still."

The problem of 'adversarial GMing' in one sentence.

Kind of easy to win a game where you play as God.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Yeah there's a lot of levels of "The GM will do his best to stay within written rules" in the 3.X community, even ignoring the crazies who feel that rules are all that protect them from an evil GM.

That said, from what I can remember, this particular thing was discussed more as a Murphy than anything seriously meant to be used. Although if you used it and the guy came back anyway that would be a good way to find out you probably pissed of someone far more powerful than you thought at the time.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
I know they suggest that skaven females are much less common than males and I think they are going for the fascist 'the Council recognizes that the greatest strength the Skaven have is numbers and take affirmative steps to maximize that advantage', which also fits with the idea of a female grey seer since they like to consider themselves above having to give a poo poo what the council says when it pleases them to do otherwise.

It would not at all surprise me if Eshin and Pestilens have some ladies in the mix given both groups are kinda outsiders to normal skaven culture.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



Ultiville posted:

Which is really just a lovely encapsulation of what's so weird about how the D&D community has come to think about rules. "If we combine all these things then none of the written spells let the narrator bring back this enemy, except this one, and also the narrator is omnipotent. But still."
I see this and I think, aha: This is how they got rid of the evil overlord, they jumped him when he was taking a poo poo and had his magic armor off, then did this sequence of spells before dumping the resulting mud into the river and pissing after it.

Of course that wouldn't stop him forever, evil overlords aren't that weak, but you could probably have a long enough interval of time to change scenarios and have the elf in the party reoccur as an elderly NPC in the next cycle.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.

Feinne posted:

Dark Matter: The Killing Jar


Sorry, but all I can think of when I see that title is this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rl2NI5MKRw

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.
The whole 'most Skaven are dudes' thing gets kinda weird when you look at the inspiration pretty obviously being that one Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser story about a secret Rat princess infiltrating the human nobility to try and take over the city for the god of rats. (Except they were mostly normal sized rats and used magic potions to swap sizes.)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

My preferred interpretation is that no one can tell male and female Skaven apart, even other Skaven.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!
Probably the best way to deal with is just to not particularly explain where all the Skaven are coming from. :v: The Skaven don't really need the brood queens to make them seem more evil, we get that they're bad guys.

Though without something like brood queens, the Skaven would probably collapse overnight since no two sentient Skaven would ever have the necessary lack of fear and paranoia to get intimate, because they'd be too terrified it was just a pretext to backstab them while they were unarmed and unarmoured. :v:

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time

All this information on mothman society makes me want to play one more than anything.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



PurpleXVI posted:

Probably the best way to deal with is just to not particularly explain where all the Skaven are coming from. :v: The Skaven don't really need the brood queens to make them seem more evil, we get that they're bad guys.

Though without something like brood queens, the Skaven would probably collapse overnight since no two sentient Skaven would ever have the necessary lack of fear and paranoia to get intimate, because they'd be too terrified it was just a pretext to backstab them while they were unarmed and unarmoured. :v:
The obvious answer would be that lady skaven, if they care to have children, have a shitload of them, thus maintaining an arbitrary number of poorly educated rat-monsters to do horrible things. But I suppose nothing is more terrifying than FEMALE SEXUALITY.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Ironically I'm fairly sure real life rats are usually very social and attentive, caring parents.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


Remember that Skaven are inspired by the ratpark experiments, where the population density was allowed to grow far beyond healthy proportion.
Rats are very sociable under normal circumstances.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

Horrible Lurkbeast posted:

Remember that Skaven are inspired by the ratpark experiments, where the population density was allowed to grow far beyond healthy proportion.
Rats are very sociable under normal circumstances.
Well, that's an interesting thought experiment. The Skaven aren't inherently evil, they've just been manipulated by a demon god and the social rulers to exist in a way that's both unnatural and unsustainable. Remove the forced overpopulation, and they're more chill versions of the beastmen.

kommy5
Dec 6, 2016

Tibalt posted:

Well, that's an interesting thought experiment. The Skaven aren't inherently evil, they've just been manipulated by a demon god and the social rulers to exist in a way that's both unnatural and unsustainable. Remove the forced overpopulation, and they're more chill versions of the beastmen.

It's one reason I, personally, tend to leave the Skaven and their women as is, though always allowing some quirk of fate to allow the occasional Skaven woman slip through the cracks. Playing a Skaven woman that escaped that fate and pushes for better treatment for herself is... an amusing idea. Feminism is the easiest and most logical way for Skaven society to not be such a vile dumpster fire. It forces Skaven to actually care about other Skaven and takes away the insane population pressures.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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


And in addition to the never ending existence of fear from your fellow rats and from the rat god there's that unquenchable need for magical methamphetamine.

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
Or just ignore the existence of Skaven entirely, which is how I prefer Warhammer Fantasy.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Tibalt posted:

Well, that's an interesting thought experiment. The Skaven aren't inherently evil, they've just been manipulated by a demon god and the social rulers to exist in a way that's both unnatural and unsustainable. Remove the forced overpopulation, and they're more chill versions of the beastmen.

This is basically what our group ended up with, with the creator of the Skaven (since they were outright created by whoever that guy in grey was who put the bell up on top of the tower in that ancient city) having done it as a cruel cosmic joke about creating a race with an intense urge to be social and be around others, great intelligence, and then forced overpopulation and food issues that drive them to paranoid insanity and make them try to devour the world. If the rats could be fixed, it would be through no longer being so overcrowded.

E: But then, we tend to play Warhammer quite a bit more optimistically than originally intended. I maintain that in Fantasy this is a totally reasonable reading of the setting, though.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
I am not actually opposed to having evil races in the setting, yet I still read Pratchet's books.

Also, feminism for a non-wokewashed Skaven lady would probably mean just trying to get to the top of the pile.

Incidentally, Skaven fill the "horde of gleeful techno bastards" role that I'd intend for goblins in some other setting.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010
At any given time, in all the planes, there exist exactly 3 copies of

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 38: The Deck of Maladies, Minotaurs, Mummies, and Naga

229: Treat the Sick...

The PCs encounter a "dusty little desert town" (though the card says it can be in any climate?) that's being stricken by a disease. A sick villager staggers out to tell them the story - they dug a well and started letting the cattle drink from the old pond they used to use. Then everyone started getting sick. "The villagers fear that they have angered the gods." Actually the well water is tainted (apparently because the cattle are using the pond, and it and the well are fed from the same spring? I don't quite get it, but I don’t know anything about agricultural water use), and they need to start boiling their water and keeping the cows away from the pond.

The card suggests that to learn what's happening, "the PCs might heal the woman, only to see her sick again a few days after drinking the water." Hahaha no. The PCs are going to be shouting "THEN DON'T USE THE NEW WELL, IDIOTS" before the poor woman is even done talking. 6000 XP for "finding the cause and helping the village."

I just don't see the gameplay here being interesting. Pass.


230: Lost

In a relatively open, clear, jungle, the PCs enter a clearing at the same time as two minotaurs. They’re hungry and charge, but will try to flee back to their maze if they take 30 hp of damage between them (they have 45 each). Apparently they came out of their maze to look for food and got lost. Wouldn’t minotaurs be very good at not getting lost? And how can they flee back to their maze if they’re lost? And what’s up with this maze in the middle of the jungle that they live in, anyway? The situation is a little too confusing for me to run off the cuff, and it’s not worth the effort for a fight against two minotaurs. Pass.


231: Black Labyrinth

Not to be confused with 62: Labyrinth. This is a different, blacker labyrinth.

In a rocky moor, there’s a labyrinth raised from great slabs of stone, “looking like a very complex Stonehenge.” That's a great image, very evocative. Minotaurs enslaved beastmen and forced them to help build it, then killed most of them and scattered the rest.

Then the largest minotaur killed the others and took exclusive control of the maze. Uh. Okay, I’ll accept that minotaurs have a maze fetish that looks like insanity to other sapients. “For some time a local town would send criminals into the dreaded maw, but that rarely happens anymore.” So I guess that point doesn’t particularly matter?

That's about all. The minotaur lurks in the labyrinth with some treasure and tries to kill PCs who enter. Despite having little interest in running a minotaur-in-a-maze encounter, I’ll keep it on the strength of the imagery. Let's say criminals are still sent into it, just to keep another possible plot point.


232: Lost Treasure

There’s an ancient tomb, probably in rocky desert cliffs. Grave robbers disturbed a pharaoh's tomb, then retreated from the vengeful mummy into deeper caves. Those caves had no other exit to the outside, and the robbers died of thirst. The mummy is still wandering around the tomb, pissed off. The PCs could kill it, or return most of its treasure (gems, statues, art objects) to keep it happy. It won't miss a couple of small objects if the PCs pocket them.

But remember, as #177: Grave Robbers told us, “PCs who loot the tombs of the dead are little better than ghouls anyway, so do not award any experience points if that is the course they choose to take.“ Haha, just kidding, that only applies to tombs from Western-based cultures. Looting non-Western cultures is just natural. Bring on the EXP!

Anyway, it’s fine, I guess. Keep.


233: Below Decks

A ship sails into port carrying the contents of a recently looted explored tomb. Among the stuff was a heavy gold sarcophagus that the captain and grave robber explorer assumed must be solid or empty (since they couldn’t find a way to open it), but which actually held a mummy. When the thief explorer went down to check the cargo, there were screams, he didn’t return, and the sailors fled. A crowd has gathered, and the captain is offering a free trip to anywhere for people who will fetch the valuable cargo from the hold. Keep.


234: Ancient Wisdom

A guardian naga sleeps on a rock over a cave, guarding “the Endless Stair” that descends deep into the earth. The naga is chatty and knowledgeable, especially about extremely old items. It’ll let PCs through if convinced of their good intentions (“it’s very good at sensing lies”) and if entertained by stories of their journeys and heroic deeds. (It “enjoys a good story, even if the PCs take a few 'poetic liberties' with the truth.")

Now this is a winner. Keep.

Dallbun fucked around with this message at 14:53 on Nov 25, 2017

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
There's something about friendly monsters that are willing to talk and actually have personalities that's just inherently charming.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
Well, the linked description writes nagas as being all lawful good, but if you don't know that, it does come out as real fun, especially when you have "neutral-ish" monsters like nagas and dragons in mind.

Implementation is important, tho.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Yeah that bit about the pond makes more sense if the cattle are pooping in the water or around it and also if the pond was a spring because ponds tend to be stagnant and static entities and also the whole thing just doesn't make a whole lick of sense. They tried to do Fantasy Cholera but...didn't.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010

JcDent posted:

Well, the linked description writes nagas as being all lawful good, but if you don't know that, it does come out as real fun, especially when you have "neutral-ish" monsters like nagas and dragons in mind.

Implementation is important, tho.

From my perspective, it doesn't matter whether the naga is at all dangerous. There are still like three interesting things happening in this encounter: the stair, the sagacity about items, the desire to hear about the PCs' exploits but also wanting them to punch them up a little (or a lot). Obviously it depends on how the DM runs it, but there's certainly some good stuff for them to latch onto here.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Hostile V posted:

Yeah that bit about the pond makes more sense if the cattle are pooping in the water or around it and also if the pond was a spring because ponds tend to be stagnant and static entities and also the whole thing just doesn't make a whole lick of sense. They tried to do Fantasy Cholera but...didn't.

Yeah, static and tainted water can be deadly, but this is written as the town people being too stupid to understand cause an effect.

I actually ran a 'mystery sickness', where the cause was a snake oil sales man was selling fertilizier that made crops grow faster and bigger (stolen from an alchemist who wasn't quite done experimenting with it), but utterly lack any kind of nutritional value, so people and livestock were starving/suffering from severe nutritional deficiencies while having full bellies.

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

Robindaybird posted:

Yeah, static and tainted water can be deadly, but this is written as the town people being too stupid to understand cause an effect.

I actually ran a 'mystery sickness', where the cause was a snake oil sales man was selling fertilizier that made crops grow faster and bigger (stolen from an alchemist who wasn't quite done experimenting with it), but utterly lack any kind of nutritional value, so people and livestock were starving/suffering from severe nutritional deficiencies while having full bellies.

One of my favorite twists for this kind of story involved a seemingly cursed sword. Said to be forged from a fallen star, disease and pestilence have followed this sword wherever it's gone. Trick is, there's nothing magical about the sword at all. The legend is true: it was forged from a fallen star, and the blade is mostly iridium. A highly radioactive isotope of iridium, and no one in-setting had any idea of it, or how radiation weakens the immune system so wherever this sword went, radiation sickness spread and weakened immune systems invited all sorts of maladies.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

Leraika posted:

All this information on mothman society makes me want to play one more than anything.

It hasn't been gotten to in the main Dark Matter book yet but they totally do give you everything you'd need to do a PC mothman.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Skaven are a product of spontaneous generation, like mice. Got too much wheat? That's how you get skaven.

Wheat causing ergotism? You can thank the Skaven for that. It's the circle of life.

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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Robindaybird posted:

Yeah, static and tainted water can be deadly, but this is written as the town people being too stupid to understand cause an effect.

I actually ran a 'mystery sickness', where the cause was a snake oil sales man was selling fertilizier that made crops grow faster and bigger (stolen from an alchemist who wasn't quite done experimenting with it), but utterly lack any kind of nutritional value, so people and livestock were starving/suffering from severe nutritional deficiencies while having full bellies.

On a similar note, I remember that in Buck Rogers XXVc that one of biological weapons the Russo-American Mercantile developed was a type of wheat genetically modified to produce no nutritional benefit and have zero calories, so people would eat it and starve. RAM then donated this as relief supplies to Earth or even sold for profit to various Earth factions as agricultural product, without telling what it really was.

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