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Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010

HCFJ posted:

I'm loving these encounter cards. I used three in a dungeon yesterday to good effect. It's like I'm actually creative!

I'm dying to know which ones you chose, and how they played out. :allears:

EDIT: The marching band, right? It's gotta have been the marching band?

Dallbun fucked around with this message at 02:36 on Dec 8, 2017

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HCFJ
Nov 29, 2009

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.

Dallbun posted:

I'm dying to know which ones you chose, and how they played out. :allears:

EDIT: The marching band, right? It's gotta have been the marching band?

They're clearing a cave network and planting dynamite to make a tunnel for an eventual train track. But the cave merges with an underground dungeon (obviously) full of magic-abusing goblin/grimlock critters.

I put the lame "roper bridge room" in a room with an underground river instead of a lake (their desire to follow the current got the best of them, as planned), but they just knocked all the ropers into the water and electrocuted them.

I blocked a 3-way intersection with "invisible demon in a circle" (do you hop the edge to tunnel one or go straight across the circle to tunnel two?) I put a backpack of scrolls on the dangerous path to tempt them and it worked. One guy got shredded but he got the scrolls (then jumped in the aforementioned river with them like a twit). There was enough scuffle that the ring of powder almost got smudged enough to release the demon, which would have been interesting.

And I put the "rocket punching skeleton chained to a wall" in a guard position outside the goblin base. I swapped the magic missile fingers for a wand of frost and made the room moist and drippy but that just made them skate-murder him. Next time I might go with the original idea but make the hands removable for loot.

They're all really good jumping off points especially because they're so short. I'd usually mine settings/modules for stuff like this but that involves reading a lot of stuff I don't necessarily need to. I plan to rip a few more magical encounters as they get deeper into the dungeon and closer to the yet-undetermined wizard villain (maybe the fake dragon guy). It's a pirate themed game so I'm super hype to use the "you have to marry a triton" card.

HCFJ fucked around with this message at 03:55 on Dec 8, 2017

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013



JcDent posted:

I'm curious if those sexy trap scenarios come from old grogs and old sword and spell books where male protagonists are lured with sexy women - because what old grog playing Nanoc the Barbarian wouldn't feel the lure
You know while those old books could be plenty sexist quite often the sexy monster ladies in them weren't trying to get anyone killed. Like going through the first four Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories the only time I can think of that a woman was a lure to try and get them killed was when the woman in question was actually being possessed by her evil brother.

edit: Now the duo did frequently run into danger in their pursuit of women, the danger was almost never the women's fault.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Robindaybird posted:

yep, from the Rusalka who drown men who swim with her, Sirens who depending on the version you hear lure men to eat, because they want to see men drown trying to get to them, or because they're so enchanting, the men stay and starve to death on their hostile island.

What I'm hearing is, there's a bunch of nereids out there that are just totally hornt cause the sailors keep sailing on by.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

I mean you know what they say about the Navy...

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

Robindaybird posted:

I mean you know what they say about the Navy...

They don't want to get drowned by some soggy girl with fish bits?

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.

Robindaybird posted:

I mean you know what they say about the Navy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVQ0JFzXMgY

Thesaurasaurus
Feb 15, 2010

"Send in Boxbot!"

Robindaybird posted:

yep, from the Rusalka who drown men who swim with her, Sirens who depending on the version you hear lure men to eat, because they want to see men drown trying to get to them, or because they're so enchanting, the men stay and starve to death on their hostile island. Very old trope from very old times where women are considered devious and dangerous to men.

I liked how the Rusalka in Quest for Glory 4 was written. She doesn’t really WANT to drown people, and if you’re nice to her she’ll tell you what she is and warn you away, but if you get in the water with her she WILL drag you under. She can’t help it, what with being an accursed spirit of vengeance. It’s really limited her range of conversational partners, and she’d hate to lose you as well.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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

Didn't even need to click the link to know what you're posting.

Is there an autofeed/drink item in DnD that would make survival on siren sex island possible? Provided they're not of the man-eating kind.

Imagine a sailor hoarding magical backup items because he hopes to run into sirens.

senrath
Nov 3, 2009

Look Professor, a destruct switch!


Oh yeah there are tons of them. The simplest is a Ring of Sustenance, but there are at least a half-dozen other items that would work.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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

Thesaurasaurus posted:

I liked how the Rusalka in Quest for Glory 4 was written. She doesn’t really WANT to drown people, and if you’re nice to her she’ll tell you what she is and warn you away, but if you get in the water with her she WILL drag you under. She can’t help it, what with being an accursed spirit of vengeance. It’s really limited her range of conversational partners, and she’d hate to lose you as well.

Ain't nothing a ring of waterbreathing can't fix.

I imagine it would confuse her. I doubt her plan/curse is more detailed than
1. Lure adventurer in
2. Drag him underwater
3. Drown him
4. ???
5. Profit?

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
She doesn't even have that much of a plan. It's just what she is. She'll happily sit and chat with you all day, but don't go in the water.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten

JcDent posted:

Is there an autofeed/drink item in DnD that would make survival on siren sex island possible? Provided they're not of the man-eating kind.

Ring of Sustenance, actually pretty cheap for a magic item. Also reduces your sleep requirement to 2 hours a day, by complete coincidence.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Dark Matter: Xenoforms




G’day Mate, Let’s Put A Bunyip on the Barbie in Australia:

We get a couple of things connected with Australia here, they give us some really extroverted things to compete with the actual real life horrors that dwell in Aussie.

Bunyip:



They note that while the bunyip has tons of features ascribed to it, its actual form is similar to a diprotodont (a sort of prehistoric kangaroo). One comparable in size to a rhinoceros. It’s an herbivore but doesn’t really enjoy tiny creatures like humans getting in its grill, so it’ll pretty much attack anything that gets near it.

Should it charge, you should probably just flee (as it will do the same, not really caring about murdering you should you display that you don’t want any). It doesn’t do massive damage but it’s quite good at landing hits and has a pretty decent pool of health.

The adventure hook starts with a team training for some kind of Iron Man competition being horribly mutilated out in the outback. Bounty hunters head out to track down the “athlete killer”, rumored to be the legendary bunyip. The heroes are asked to investigate themselves, and head out with one of the hunters on the condition that they not interfere with his payday. As you’d expect with this setup the hunter disappears once they’re in the middle of the wilderness. What happened to him and what happens next is left as an exercise.

Verdict: A giant monster kangaroo is kind of a fun ‘well what would be a large undiscovered Australian mammal’, even if it is really goofy.

Outback Dragon:



The Outback Dragon is pretty much a six meter long komodo dragon. I ‘think’ this is based on a real extinct giant lizard, which is suggested to simply not be extinct. They’ve moved from a diet of bunyips, which are pretty scarce now, to a much more common large land mammal: humans. There’s actually an explanation for how they’re still alive given. The kinori had been breeding them, but were forced to abandon their bases in Australia. When they did they just let the things out hoping they’d still be alive when they returned, and sure enough they have survived to the modern day.

If you know much about their smaller relative, you might be able to guess some of how these things work in combat. First of all, they have an unholy reek that makes it really easy to tell when they’re coming. Said unholy reek comes from the horrible septic soup that is their saliva. Taking a bite from them can infect you with a pretty nasty disease on top of the fact that it does loving loads of damage. Its general tactic is to fixate on a target, attack until they stop moving, then escape with the body. They’re notable as too stubborn and stupid to give up on prey once they have committed to the attack, so no running away at half health here. They’re pretty durable, but do have a very poo poo action check so at least you’ll probably be getting several actions before they even move.

The adventure hook is another one that effectively suggests a prior adventure. The PCs fight the kinori in Australia, and then as a follow-up there are suddenly reports of giant lizards in the area and people being killed. They then need to determine what the hell is going on, which is as always an exercise for the GM.

Verdict: These things are kinda brutal honestly, and I wouldn’t use them in a context where I wasn’t going to supply the PCs with the proper tools to deal with a giant loving monitor lizard trying to eat them. Like one is a good ‘boss fight’ but the PCs need more advantage than ‘well we’ve got guns’ or you’re really likely to see a character just get killed out for no real fault of their own.

Next Time: Eurocentrism Strikes Again

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

MollyMetroid posted:

She doesn't even have that much of a plan. It's just what she is. She'll happily sit and chat with you all day, but don't go in the water.

Then you help her deal with her jackass ex who drowned her so she can go on to the afterlife.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
Janos was a dick.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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

Thesaurasaurus posted:

I liked how the Rusalka in Quest for Glory 4 was written. She doesn’t really WANT to drown people, and if you’re nice to her she’ll tell you what she is and warn you away, but if you get in the water with her she WILL drag you under. She can’t help it, what with being an accursed spirit of vengeance. It’s really limited her range of conversational partners, and she’d hate to lose you as well.

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012

Feinne posted:

They note that while the bunyip has tons of features ascribed to it, its actual form is similar to a diprotodont (a sort of prehistoric kangaroo). One comparable in size to a rhinoceros. It’s an herbivore but doesn’t really enjoy tiny creatures like humans getting in its grill, so it’ll pretty much attack anything that gets near it.
This is something Xenoforms got wrong, intentionally or not, as diprotodonts were giant wombats. There was, however, a giant kangaroo of that size called Procoptodon goliah.

Feinne posted:

The Outback Dragon is pretty much a six meter long komodo dragon. I ‘think’ this is based on a real extinct giant lizard, which is suggested to simply not be extinct. They’ve moved from a diet of bunyips, which are pretty scarce now, to a much more common large land mammal: humans.
You'd think correctly. It's based on Varanus priscus (formerly Megalania prisca, and maybe some time again if the lumping vs. splitting dichotomy swings that way once more), a 15" monitor lizard that became extinct within the same time frame that humans began to arrive in Australia. Australian Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy popularized the idea that V. priscus is still hanging around somewhere in the Outback, attempting to tie it into indigenous Australian stories about giant reptiles of the Dreamtime and outback ranchers' campfire tales of really big goannas.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness Revised Edition Part Eight: "They'll simply kill everything that gets into their way, because they know they will need food soon."

This is where things start getting weird. It's time for some adventures.



Caesar's Weasels

So, we start with a mutant wolverine named Caesar, who apparently was created as a "secret laboratory experiment", and escaped along with several other mutant animals. What laboratory created him is undetailed, despite that fact likely being of keen interest to a group of vigilante mutant animals. Instead, the focus is on the fact that Caesar and his fellow mutants have turned to thievery, and it's presumed the player characters will want to stop him because they do. Caesar & Co. are mainly looking to steal two things: food and weapons. After six weeks, they plan to take a train north and take over an isolated community. Caesar apparently has very modest dreams of conquest, despite his name. "Cisely, Alaska... will be mine!"

There's no strong structure to the "adventure" - it's more like just a series of events for the PCs to investigate and stop. It starts with stories involving raids on meat packing plants that apparently have been going on for six weeks. After a few days of (fruitless?) investigation by PCs, there'll be another story of a military break-in. The police don't have any clues, but on the rare chance the PCs have access to military contacts, they may be able to find out what was stolen. However, Caesar's titular weasels require an extraordinary amount of food due to their heightened metabolisms, so the PCs can recognize that they raid for food every week and stake out a meat packing plant or the like to ambush them.

Caesar and his crew are hiding out in a refrigerated train car due to be shipped north in six weeks. It notes that smart PCs should be able to figure out that Caesar needs a place to store all the meat, but there's no easy wait to track down the train car - it even specifically notes that Caesar has hacked the database and falsified the railroad company's information on the train car. In addition, it's electronically bugged, locked and, "wired with explosives". In addition, they have a backup hideout at an abandoned warehouse. If they encounter the PCs more than three times, they will flee into the wilderness to regroup before coming up with a new plan. It's up to the PCs to navigate the myriad possibilities for failure and stop them.



Caesar is a 6th level military trained wolverine with ridiculously unrollable attributes, a variety of guns and body armor, an a villainous lust for generic power. He hates humans due to the brutal training he underwent (the missing eye being the pointed part). The 4th level weasels are named Tork, Hambone, and Lyssis, and are childlike, amoral killers that use bows (including some explosive warheads), and rely in Caesar's guidance. Without his guidance they would probably just run wild. T'Cleass the Bat-Thing is the weak link, being a "kill-crazy" idiot mutant bat that is constantly flying off the handle. Somehow he's 6th level despite having little or no apparent education or experience at much of anything.

This is a rough adventure, and a real bad one for starting NPCs. For one, weasels are probably one of the premier killamajigs of the game, heightened metabolism giving them bonus attacks and great combat bonuses across the board. Secondly, Caesar and his group likely have 2-5 levels on any group of starting PCs. If it comes down to a pitched battle, the PCs could easily probably lose to this well-armed group that has no reason not to just kill them... unless the PCs have psionic attacks, since that'll reliably be able to shut down any member of the group. Lastly, there's no cue to the PCs that they're dealing with ruthless killers until they actually encounter them, at which point they may have to find out the hard way.

There's also kind of a pattern of the PCs having to face up against the victims of abuse rather than the perpetrators of abuse, which we'll see in...



The Terror Bears

So, the terror bears are four bears mutated by military attempts to test viruses and toxins. However, they didn't actually kill the bears despite "massive doses of poisons", as the scientists wanted to "measure their suffering". Ooookay. They then discovered the bears had achieved unusual intelligence, and then went to "even more brutal experimentation". Finally, the bear cubs (still cubs after 4+ years, presumably on account of their mutation?) escaped and took refuge in a suburban home. They've been robbing for money and food since then, using formidable psionic powers to terrify and traumatize their victims. Bizarrely, they go around using hats and coats to "disguise" themselves despite each of them being about three and a half feet tall.

Once again, the adventure presumes PCs are ready to deal out some vigilante justice. It notes that it should be easy enough to catch them in the act as all of their robberies have occurred in about an eight mile radius, or to track them back home. Locals have been psionically manipulated to fear and stay away from the house (whatever happened to the original inhabitants, if any, is not detailed), and the bears themselves have turned the house into an undetailed "bizarre den", operating nocturnally and sleeping during the day. The bears are terrified of being captured and will flee if threatened. They're not killers, but enjoy torturing humans psychically. It's emphasized, however, they are children and are reacting in an immature and amoral manner and not out of calculated menace.

There are four bears. First is Pain Bear, who can psychically inflict pain and trap victims in illusions of torture sequences. He loathes everybody, particularly himself, and lashes out for a feeling of power. Fear Bear can (somehow) use See Aura to intuit somebody's fear before trapping them in a psychic illusion of the same. He really hates humanity, but mostly just follows Doom Bear. Speaking of which, Doom Bear is convinced a nuclear war is coming, and his illusions trap victims in simulations of nuclear war. Lastly, Nightmare Bear is the leader and the only one with real forethought, acting as the caretaker of the others. He can use Mind Trap (somehow) to create illusions relating to one's past traumas and nightmares. A little overlap between Fear Bear and Nightmare Bear, really.

Did I mention this section was going to be weird? I mean, what are the PCs supposed to do? The bears will lose their poo poo at the thought of capture, aren't easily redeemed, and otherwise they're gunning down a number of psychically sadistic teddy bear children. The whole thing is a little problematic in retrospect, and it feels weird that the idea of going after the villains that created and tortured the Terror Bears doesn't even come up. (And, yes, they're rather pointed parodies of the Care Bears... if you haven't noticed already.)



Even more strangely, the Terror Bears are one of the few RPG elements with a life after the RPG. A 2014 episode of the cartoon features the "Dream Beavers", otherdimensional psychic creatures that try and invade the Turtles' dreams to cause enough fear to manifest in our reality. One of them, Dire Beaver, even has a bomb on his chest and was originally named "Doom Beaver" until presumably some Nickelodeon employee worked out that might be a little too close to Doom Bear. There are even two toys of them, giving me one of the few times I can say a multimillion dollar toy line ripped off a Palladium product... and Nightmare on Elm Street... but also a Palladium product.

Next: Other strangeness.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 06:40 on Dec 8, 2017

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Brutally deadly Australian cryptids warm my booze-fuelled Australian heart.

Funny thing about the Dream Beavers is that at the end of the episode they actually succeed in breaking the spell and escaping into reality... only to find out in the real world, they're just multicoloured life-size talking beavers and their life-draining dream powers don't work, and have to run for their lives because they don't stand a chance against the turtles.

Back on the Eberron Changeling talk, I'm not sure if it's deliberate, but there's even a touch of fantasy transphobia when it's mentioned that Changeling sex workers (a not uncommon occupation, given their racial abilities and social outcast status) often face suspicion and hostility from clients uncertain of their 'real' gender. A lot of that got written into the 4e version of Changelings, including mention that the vast majority of them tend to just find a society and role that they fit into and stay in it, happy to adopt another culture as their own, but still face fear and suspicion over their nature of being spies and traitors. There's definitely a lot of fertile ground with Changelings to play up their identity issues and social acceptance, whether or not it maps specifically to real-world issues.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Inescapable Duck posted:

Funny thing about the Dream Beavers is that at the end of the episode they actually succeed in breaking the spell and escaping into reality... only to find out in the real world, they're just multicoloured life-size talking beavers and their life-draining dream powers don't work, and have to run for their lives because they don't stand a chance against the turtles.

Yeah. There was a similar gag in an episode of Buffy where a demon torments them throughout an episode, is accidentally summoned, and turns out to be tiny and hardly any threat at all.

Mostly that episode of Turtles just left me going "Did they - did they really - did they really copy-" with a hard squint throughout.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
That entire season where the turtles are living in an old farmhouse in the woods basically has as many crazy references as they can possibly fit in, especially to horror movies and occasionally grotesque 90s pop art. The possessed mutated car especially is just suuuper hosed up. Also it's clear that one of the mutants at least kills a ton of people.

Battle Mad Ronin
Aug 26, 2017

JcDent posted:

I'm curious if those sexy trap scenarios come from old grogs and old sword and spell books where male protagonists are lured with sexy women - because what old grog playing Nanoc the Barbarian wouldn't feel the lure - or because of nerd trauma where heartthrob classmate played a prank on them?

I cannot rightly remember having ever seen this in the old Moorcock books, which heavily influenced D&D. Ditto for the Conan stories, which are even older and less 'enlightened'.

My hypothesis is that there exists a segment in fantasy and elfgame society of people whose many takeaway from reading old myths was "Dude, sex demons!" These people eventually grew up and became game designers and writers, and tried to present said fascination as an attempt at realism. This led to an over-representation of sex themed she-demons in fantasy, which again has led to the assumption form people whom I would not normally associate with a twisted view on sex (Monte Cook for example) that succubi are a natural part of any fantasy setting.

Sexual themes were common in folklore (Little Red Riding Hood = a parable on entering puberty and the dangers of sexual predators). thing is such stories are most often bound up on societal norms that are quite different from ours today though, and do not easily translate into "Dude, sex demons!"

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?

Feinne posted:

If you know much about their smaller relative, you might be able to guess some of how these things work in combat. First of all, they have an unholy reek that makes it really easy to tell when they’re coming. Said unholy reek comes from the horrible septic soup that is their saliva. Taking a bite from them can infect you with a pretty nasty disease on top of the fact that it does loving loads of damage. Its general tactic is to fixate on a target, attack until they stop moving, then escape with the body. They’re notable as too stubborn and stupid to give up on prey once they have committed to the attack, so no running away at half health here. They’re pretty durable, but do have a very poo poo action check so at least you’ll probably be getting several actions before they even move.
:science: komodo dragons turned out to actually be regular old venomous in the end.

MuscaDomestica
Apr 27, 2017

U.T. Raptor posted:

:science: komodo dragons turned out to actually be regular old venomous in the end.

This prompted to test the saliva of other lizards and find out the it was not rare at all, causing herptologists to look sheepish and change the subject when they asked about why no one ever checked.

Also like the theory that Komodo Dragons are a dwarf island species of the larger mainland ancestors.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Night10194 posted:

Then you help her deal with her jackass ex who drowned her so she can go on to the afterlife.

You had to be a paladin to do that, didn't you? My favourite QFG though, so I didn't mind playing through a few times.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Bieeardo posted:

You had to be a paladin to do that, didn't you? My favourite QFG though, so I didn't mind playing through a few times.

If I remember right, anyone can do it, the Paladin just gets extra rewards for it because it's one of the optional heroic things to do.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Terrible Opinions posted:

I imagine D&D courtship consists of tests to find out what sort of shapeshifting monster your potential partner might be. Changelings, Shifters, Tieflings etc presumably come from people going "eh close enough" and shacking up with a doppelganger or whatever.

Oglaf has a strip for this. Lonely wives waiting for their husbands to come home from whatever war their lord conscripted them to fight don't always make the best choices. :)

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010
Every full moon, the classic module The Keep on the Borderlands transforms into

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 51: The Deck of Wererats, Werewolves, and Werebears

300: Thieves in the Night

Coming out of a tavern, the PCs see a scruffy ban with a bundle duck into an alley. Eight wererats are kidnapping children in this city. If they pursue, they see this particular one disappear into the sewers. Why are they kidnapping children? That’s unspecified, but I would assume to infect them with lycanthropy (arouraíothropy?) and raise them in the pack.

They have some interesting tactics if pursued into the the sewers. They’ll imitate the cries of children from different directions, trying to split the party. They’ll place a decoy bundle and get ready to jump anyone who investigates it. And of course they’ll flee and scatter if a few are killed.

I like the way these wererats are portrayed as enemies. I don’t expect them to be fantastically deadly, but I completely expect the players to be complaining “freaking wererats! :argh:” by the end of the session. Keep.


301: The Moonlit Village

It’s a village! Full of 100 werewolves, mostly cursed (full moon-shifters) but a few true (any-old-time shifters). The moon is getting full as the PCs roll in, of course. The villagers they pass on the way won’t really talk about it in detail, but warn the PCs to stay away. Except that I, the DM, just explicitly mentioned that the moon was nearing full, so that’s a big giveaway. And also, I think these reluctant local peasants will be a little more forthcoming after the charm person spell that the PCs are casting right… now.

So I’m not expecting to take the PCs by surprise. But here’s the thing: this 100% werewolf village has an explicit agreement to “try not to kill the beasts of the neighboring villages” during the full moon. That’s kind of boss, and I want it on my campaign map. Keep.


302: Unexpected Guests, Part 1 of 2

In a deep forest near dusk, the party runs across the cabin of Rufus, an elderly but still buff werebear. He will hail the party, though he’ll be extra friendly if they have elves, druids, or rangers (and presumably less friendly if they try to foist 13 dwarves and a hobbit off on him).

He feeds them a meal, mentioning that he doesn’t get many visitors around here and it’s surely a sign that “it’s time.” That night he’ll turn into a bear in the house, and, uh, if the PCs don’t attack him immediately when they open a door and see his ursine self, he’ll turn back into a human, praise their wisdom, and ask for their help fighting off an assault by werewolves that he knows they’re planning for the next night.

“Will you immediately kill a bear who replaced a man in his bedroom?” is perhaps the oddest test of character I’ve ever seen. Let’s see the second half of this encounter, though.


303: Unexpected Guests, Part 2 of 2

Rufus proposes that the PCs stay quiet in the cabin, and that he goes and lures out the werewolves and leads them back. However, they know the PCs are there and will attack Rufus in the woods and attack the cabin. Five will bust in through the windows. If the PCs kill three, the others will flee. Rufus will survive, come back, and give them a scroll of cure disease x2, and a ring of animal friendship. The second half of that is very flavorful! Also, they gain the most valuable treasure of all… friendship.

I’ll drop the scroll and keep the encounter.


304: Boarish Behavior

I can’t… find it in the deck. :( Probably there would have been a wereboar? Does anyone else have the deck and the copious amounts of free time needed to comb through it? Failing that, just give me your best wereboar encounter.

Edit: Bieeardo tried to find it in their copy of the deck and couldn't either, so maybe it accidentally wasn't printed?

Dallbun fucked around with this message at 06:45 on Dec 10, 2017

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
I'm about to duck out to get some blood drawn, but I know where my copy is and I'll dig through it when I get home in an hour, if no-one else has.

(Though good homebrewed encounters would be far better, of course!)

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 15:03 on Dec 8, 2017

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

Dallbun posted:

Failing that, just give me your best wereboar encounter.

The party is traveling through a farming region, and learn that the farmer known for producing the most and best truffles in the region is a mysterious old woman who lives by herself. Her rivals would dearly like to know her secret and will pay handsomely for the PC to learn her secret and share it with them.

The trick is, she's secretly a wereboar and sniffs them out in boar or hybrid form.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

U.T. Raptor posted:

:science: komodo dragons turned out to actually be regular old venomous in the end.

That does feel more reliable than hoping your super gross mouth kills something (their mouths are still super gross in general).

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
That's why they're going extinct. Cusses.

Skellybones
May 31, 2011




Fun Shoe

Dallbun posted:


304: Boarish Behavior

I can’t… find it in the deck. :( Probably there would have been a wereboar? Does anyone else have the deck and the copious amounts of free time needed to comb through it? Failing that, just give me your best wereboar encounter.

The party is travelling along a road and is attacked by a wereboar. The wereboar has been driven mad by magical effluent from some rear end in a top hat wizard's secret lab, but there's no way for the players to learn this. There is a +1 Longsword in its lair.

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

Dallbun posted:

304: Boarish Behavior

I can’t… find it in the deck. :( Probably there would have been a wereboar? Does anyone else have the deck and the copious amounts of free time needed to comb through it? Failing that, just give me your best wereboar encounter.

The party are having a dinner of red sauce and cheese on toasted bread when they are attacked by a wereboar with a purple mohawk, who has confused them for long time rivals "in disguise." He will not fight to the death, but if beaten back will admit he is lost and confused, having accidentally been separated from his party by a teleport spell gone awry, and he just wants to get back home. He will beg and plead to join the party until such time as he reunited with his boss and best friend, a ninja and wererhino.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*

Dallbun posted:

304: Boarish Behavior

I can’t… find it in the deck. :( Probably there would have been a wereboar? Does anyone else have the deck and the copious amounts of free time needed to comb through it? Failing that, just give me your best wereboar encounter.

The mayor of a local town was cursed as a child to become a rampaging boar-creature every full moon. He's now pushing 40, he copes by locking himself in a sealed room for a few days every month, and everyone in town knows about it, and he entertains children with his sword-swallowing act.

Now a band of murderous adventurers have turned up, driven by visions or some poo poo, to hunt and kill this abomination. The town wants the PCs to stage some sort of elaborate hoax to make the adventurers think they were misled and leave without hurting anyone -- because no-one wants to be 'the town where a bunch of adventurers went to investigate lycanthropy, and then they all died'.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Huh. It looks like I don't have a Boarish Behavior either. T$R! :mad:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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

Thespian in traveling acting troupe asks for constructive criticism in regards to whether or not his swinecanthropy has made him a better actor. The PCs are treated to a free rehearsal show that is interrupted by misguided zealous peasants brandishing knives and bits of silver swung around in socks.

Later it turns out that the shifting has made him less hammy actually.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Ashes of Middenheim: Paths of the Damned Part 1

Glaring Diplomatically

The Freiburg is part of the inner city, and it's the most bohemian district in Middenheim (the book's own words). Rife with cafes, nice homes, and institutes of higher learning, it's like a college town within the city. It's also the home of the Temple of Sigmar, the largest outside of Altdorf. The Temple in Middenheim is considered to be critical to the cult, because without it the Ulricans might forget they're part of the Empire. It takes a firm hand and a keen mind to be High Capitular of the Temple, and the position is often used to groom someone for the cat-herding job of Grand Theoganist. The current High Capitular is going to be important in the adventure to come. Werner Stolz is known for his experience, his prior service as a warrior-priest, and his good balance of firmness and diplomacy. He understands that his purpose here is to make sure the Temple is respected, but to do so without being bullish or aggressive and provoking more conflict. A sturdy old Nordlander (neighboring province), he's been doing this job for years, and there's rumors he will be the next Grand Theoganist.

Speaking of Grand Theoganists, there's a lot of confusion in this time period over who is Grand Theoganist and I feel I ought to mention it as background since we won't be getting to Sigmar's Heirs/Tome of Salvation for quite awhile. You see, as came up in Tome of Corruption, Volkmar the Grim was an excellent and well-regarded Theoganist who helped set the Hunters on a more professional and reforming path. The problem is, he got beheaded during the Storm of Chaos. Then somehow brought back to life by a Demon Prince, then fought his way off the altar he was chained to as a trophy and power-metaled his way home. While people thought Volkmar was dead for good, a lovely political climber named Johan Esmer became Theoganist and began undoing Volkmar's reforms in the interest of making the Hunters his private secret police for his personal power. With Volkmar back, Esmer is (not entirely unreasonably) saying to people 'So, uh, you know he was raised by a demon, right? Probably some traps in there. I should remain Theoganist' and no-one quite knows who's in charge of the church right now. What this all amounts to is the real possibility Stolz *might* become Theoganist in a couple years, and this adventure could see him owing your PCs quite a bit; that could be good times in the future!

The Red Moon Cabaret is probably a Lahmian front. It's a racy dinner and drinking club owned by a beautiful woman who never seems to age despite having been here as long as anyone can remember, and it's implied both she and her bodyguards joined in the fight during the siege. Aside from that, it's a lovely little place with an exclusive casino on the upper floor and another little example of how much night-life Middenheim's got.

The Guild of Wizards and Alchemists is new. It exists to issue licenses to wizards, to check wizard licenses, and to ensure wizards are respected and not set on fire within Middenheim. It also helps train apprentices and journeymen who have been sent outside of Altdorf by their masters, meaning it's a good excuse for PCs to promote to Journeyman during a stay in Middenheim. While it lacks the incredible magical conductivity of the great college in Altdorf, the wizards have a fair number of Master Wizard instructors and they've proven themselves to the populace, especially during the last siege. The locals are also encouraged to leave the wizards alone by telling them 'Hey, you want those damned Altdorfers to have the only wizard college? We'll have a wizard college too, and it'll have wolves in or something and that'll make it Ulrican and better!' Oh, Middenlanders.

The Collegium Theologica was founded 800 years ago to train Ulrican theologians (I genuinely want to know what that's like; do they discuss the proper ratio of wolf furs to exposure to the cleansing cold of winter and the merits of various axes?) but has since expanded into a general college and university. It has never been officially licensed as an Imperial University, something the locals blame on the rivalry with Altdorf (they're probably right, this time). It's a fine school where your PCs can go to research strange lore or look for experts to translate something for them, and it's a good source of Students, Physicians, and Engineers for joining an adventuring party. The locals love the College, and the local businesses love the students' spending.

The Wynd is an artisan's district in the southwest of the city, home to many of the city's dwarfs. While it suffered terrible damage in the siege, they consider it a point of pride to get it fixed up faster and better than any human craftsman, and so the walls have already been patched and the buildings are going back up as we speak.

The Wynd houses the city's big chapel of Grungi, the Ancestor God of mining and metallurgy who first taught the dwarfs how to work. As a very important God, this is a major spiritual center for the city's dwarfs, and unless one is a trusted dwarf-friend, non-dwarfs won't be allowed into any of the inner parts of the temple. Part of the reason for this is the great bronze statue of Grungi is covered in precious stones, and the local underworld has been trying to steal them for years. Which seems like a good path to a grudgin'.

The Guild of Architects and Stonemasons represents the non-dorf craftmen of the city. There's a friendly rivalry with the dwarven Engineer's Guild, but nothing violent. The two also differ a lot in style; dwarfs think that function speaks to a beauty all on its own, while the Guild prefers to embellish a little more when designing the form of a building. The two are currently racing to see who can rebuild what faster and better than the other. The dwarfs have very, very high standards for membership in the Engineer's Guild, and most of the city's dwarfs would not try to join the other, even if they failed the tests for the Engineer's; the Guild of Architects admits elves, so their standards must be incredibly low in dwarven eyes.

Next Time: I finish the city so we can get on to the party being waylaid by jackassery.

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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.
whooo has summoned meee

JcDent posted:

On the more WoD side of things, it's still weird to me that vampires don't seem to be kings of WoD. Mages and werewolves sound more powerful individually. Is it the same in nWoD?

Bieeardo posted:

I always felt that Vampire got the short end of the powerz stick due to being the first game in the franchise.

Kurieg posted:

Because it's not about balancing things? And Vampires have all the social and mental powers that would let them absolutely gently caress up a werewolf's life even if an individual Uratha is basically a nuke in a can in a straight up fight.
Power creep is an oft-ignored reason why vampires are so weak compared to other splats in either version of the WoD. The power creep comes in two forms. First, despite all the distinctions White Wolf very edgily drew between itself and TSR, it was still a relatively big company that cranked out a lot of books full of player options without playtesting and balancing anything. Second, vampires have chains of specific powers that the authors decided were suitably, uh, vampiric. As time went on, White Wolf started to experiment with more broad, effects-based powers, which is why mages rule the roost.*

But here's the thing: in order to talk about how vampires vs. werewolves vs. mages vs. wraiths etc., we kinda have to do the "simulationist" thing and imagine the WoD as a persistent, procedurally generated universe like a MMO or Dwarf Fortress, and imagine that there are various monsters running around having hostile encounters with each other. That makes sense if you're just thinking about combat encounters, but how do you measure combat power vs. social power? This is an age-old problem in RPGs; combat power is easily quantifie, it probably has a whole subsystem to handle it, and that's probably the most complex and well-defined section of the rules. Meanwhile, social abilities are extremely dependent on GM rulings.

Even if you can envision PvP style scenarios playing out, they don't correspond to the reality of actual play. Because vampires' other major weakness is "you're trapped in your home during daylight hours." That's extremely bad when your enemy, like you, has various mundane and supernatural means of tracking people down, but doesn't share your weakness. Vampires are basically gangsters, but they are bad at mob war with monsters that aren't vampires. It's all about preventing your enemies from pinning you down and assaulting your haven. The point is: if you're GMing Vampire, you'd never say "you screwed up, so you all get your houses burnt down. The end!" If you're GMing a vampire antagonist in a different WoD game, that tactic is probably going to be the first thing the PCs think of, and you're going to give the vampire the means to avoid that.

But that being said, it seems to me that when people say "a Garou can do this, but a Kindred can do this," the Garou they're talking about may be a starting-level character, and the Kindred they're talking about sounds like a very experienced character. In my experience, most Vampire PCs do not have a network of contacts, political influence, ghoul minions to guard them while they sleep, etc. They definitely can't have all those things out of the gate. Meanwhile, a starting-level Garou is a decent antagonist, or at least a combat encounter, for a starting coterie by virtue of their innate fighting ability.** A starting-level mage, eh, it depends, but I'd bet on their allotment of Sphere points to more than make up for their lack of a vampire's ingrained advantages.

*A vampire with lots of Celerity and Potence is still one of the most dangerous things in the oWoD in a straight-up combat encounter. Garou are mid-level Brujah with Gangrel claws by default. Bear in mind that high-level oWoD combat is all rocket tag anyway.
**Changelings also have a broad, flexible powers system, but it's designed in an "everything not permitted is forbidden" way that makes it almost impossible to ever do anything.
***Adding insult to injury, vampires' other main weakness is fire, which is fairly easy to weaponize.

Hostile V posted:

Well werewolves and mages have to basically deal with two forces of nature that are integral to the functioning of the universe, which is to say the divide between the flesh world and the spirit world and the relationship between earth, the abyss and the supernal. All a vampire has to focus on is daily existence as a predator in a persistently hostile environment. The stakes are much lower for vampires.

Night10194 posted:

Vampires are basically a sleazy bunch of assholes who have just enough power to have an edge on the targets they actually care about (humans) while having such petty goals that they don't really step on the toes of the 'more powerful' types in the setting.

MJ12 posted:

The trick to understanding oWoD is that the three gamelines are not really set in the same universe. They are basically set in three similar universes with different metaphysical assumptions, which share a handful of defining metaplot events. Think of the difference between Vampire and Mage or Werewolf like... the difference between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the normal comic books. There's a lot of shared names and events and congruence, but once you look past the surface level you can see a lot of differences.

Liquid Communism posted:

Yeah, the End of oWoD books made that very explict. Each of the game lines had their own apocalypses, which were all mutually impossible with all the other lines'.
Something that bothered me about the oWoD, as time went on, was that the later games seemed to subsume the previous ones into their cosmology. It's really weird that Vampire is the game that started it all and the flagship title, but if you assume that the WoD is a coherent whole, vampires are basically an afterthought, running around pursuing selfish goals that mean little in the grand scheme of things.

But that's not really how it works. There's much less continuity between the different oWoD games than there is between, for example, the DC and Vertigo comics that are all set in the same universe. Vampire posits an Abrahamic creationist cosmology (and even seems to imply a Young Earth creationist timeline) that cannot be incorporated into Werewolf's Wyld/Weaver/Wyrm mythology. It can't be reconciled with Mage's shuffling all of the monsters into neat "paradigms," either. (Sorry, Mage lore nerds have been a pet peeve of mine since high school.) And no one even cares where Changelings think vampires and werewolves came from, not even Changeling players.

To the extent that Vampire has an "epic level campaign" that goes beyond squabbling over the right to prey on tourists in West Hollywood, it's all secret archaeology metaplotty stuff that's very much its own thing and not really compatible with the other game lines, the Week of Nightmares be damned.

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