Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.


Clapping Larry

Mr.Misfit posted:

Not, if Monte Cook has a say about it.

Warmains, Unfettered, and Ritual Warriors are pretty buff non-spellcasters in Arcana Evolved.

edit:Oathbound are complete garbage though.

Humbug Scoolbus fucked around with this message at 17:19 on Mar 4, 2016

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Count Chocula posted:

http://www.thebadguyswin.com/2016/03/wtf-dd-the-lamest-weapons-in-rifts/

This is hilarious. Why doesn't Zach Parsons post these in the thread? Did we forget to send him an invite? Does SA have two utterly separate sites devoted to mocking RPGs?

I can make an educated guess that they're doing this on their own site so they can have a Patreon funding their post creation. It's something I've actually considered myself given the work that goes into our average Rifts review, but haven't taken the notion too seriously for a number of reasons.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Speaking of reviews, it's time to begin Ironclaw: Squaring the Circle

I'm pretty convinced reviewing this game is cursed. There have been multiple attempts and they've all been abandoned so far. But this game deserves a full review. So join me on a journey of excellent game mechanics, an interesting setting, and some baffling, inexplicably weird poo poo that breaks tone entirely (I.E. the reason I won't be bothering with art. The Species Card art is fantastic, but the weird stylized anime stuff and reused stuff from 1st edition is painful). First, though, I'd like to talk about why I want to review this game.

I reviewed Albedo: Platinum Catalyst because Sanguine Entertainment is one of the best crunchy designers I know of. Ironclaw is no different, but the biggest difference is Ironclaw is Sanguine's own world and setting rather than an adaptation. Ironclaw 1e was their first ever game, and it already showed some inventive and interesting mechanics. In Ironclaw, rather than rolling against a set TN, you rolled a dice pool and compared your highest number against the highest result from an enemy dicepool (either determined by the difficulty of the task or your enemy's skill if you were opposing someone) and it worked quite well as a resolution mechanic. It had some serious flaws, though; a starting PC could have a pretty massive die pool already and it was only going to get bigger, critical successes became vanishingly rare against skilled opposition since they required you to beat an enemy result by 5 (with d12s being the highest die), bonuses and penalties were very clunky and basically required a chart to resolve quickly. I liked Ironclaw 1e, but it was a game too clunky to run with a truly large group. At the same time, the dicepool system and floating modifiers you picked in combat (you could choose to hit first, focus for a later bonus or guaranteed critical, get a bonus to hit, or get a bonus to damage) and the Overwhelm system for criticals, as well as the way it was hard to just outright die and much more likely you'd be 'defeated', made running duels and fights in the original system a lot of fun when it worked. The dicepool system also gave a lot of flexibility in character design and as a concept, worked well out of combat, too. It just needed a few more passes.

Ironclaw 2e is Ironclaw with years of lessons learned (including lessons and refinements tested in Albedo) and it's a much tighter, easier to run game. I want to review this game because 2e is a very real effort to improve the core design and resolution mechanics of 1e, a solid look at what worked and what didn't that resulted in an improved version of an already promising game. I also want to review it because the actual setting is actually really cool; it's a gritty, low-fantasy game about social struggle and the uncomfortable distinctions of class that are being questioned as the influence of the printing press and the gun come into the world. And yet it's one where your PCs absolutely do not start out as shitfarmers or ineffectual. You're still playing relatively grounded people (with a lot of room to advance) but it's both possible and encouraged your hero will begin the game as someone so talented that noble patrons cannot overlook them because of low birth; you are meant to represent the upwardly mobile and the people who don't quite fit into the stratified feudal society of Calabria.

Next Time: Basic Mechanics and how to make a PC!

Sampatrick
Sep 26, 2012


Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Warmains, Unfettered, and Ritual Warriors are pretty buff non-spellcasters in Arcana Evolved.

edit:Oathbound are complete garbage though.

Arcana Evolved has gotta be the best Monte Cook system, it's actually semi-balanced and sweet.

NGDBSS
Dec 30, 2009








Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Warmains, Unfettered, and Ritual Warriors are pretty buff non-spellcasters in Arcana Evolved.

edit:Oathbound are complete garbage though.
Pretty much everyone who's read the book knows that Oathbound are poo poo. The fan nickname for their 15th-level ability (which grants spell resistance) is "Eschew Sucking".

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012




Pathfinder Bestiary: Carnivorous Blob to Crysmal

Carnivorous Blob (CR 13 Colossal Ooze)
An homage to a certain Cold War horror movie you might know of, the carnivorous blob is a giant red blob that rolls around and consumes any fleshy bits that happen to get in its way. Like the monster of the 1958 film, the carnivorous blob is vulnerable to the cold. Also like the monster of the 1958 film, "some sages" (the unnamed sages being a cliché from AD&D that also made its way into Pathfinder) believe that these oozes come to Golarion via meteorite. Being absorbed, constricted, or even just hit by the 8d6 damage pseudopod of a carnivorous blob also deals 1d4 Constitution drain, so good luck with that.



Catoblepas (CR 12 Large Magical Beast)
The catoblepas comes to us courtesy of Pliny the Elder, everyone's favorite weird Greek uncle with a thousand stories to tell. Said to be a native of mysterious Ethiopia, the catoblepas was an ugly bull-like beast with a head so heavy it could barely pick it up. Depending on which Greco-Roman philosopher you asked, the catoblepas could poison you, turn you to stone, or outright kill you with either its gaze or its rancid breath. It is believed that antelopes of the genus Connochaetes, known as wildebeests or gnu, are the origin of the legend of the catoblepas, since they don't have murder-breath but do resemble bovines and keep their large and heavy heads to the ground much of the time as they forage. Fortunately for players, Pathfinder has taken the poison breath route with their catoblepas; less fortunately, it's also given them some new non-mythological traits that make them nastier foes.

Not only are Pathfinder's catoblepas ravenous omnivores rather than herbivores, they are also sapient (5 Intelligence, so just below an ogre in IQ), actively enjoying bullying other creatures and even actively killing off large groups of small animals with their poison breath just so that other predators can't get anything to eat. A catoblepas will even pick a fight with something as big and nasty as a froghemoth or black dragon without any concern for the mismatch in power. The only thing you can do to keep one from picking a fight with you is to either run away or act in a submissive manner so that the catoblepas is assured you respect its authority.


Centipedes
With their numerous legs, slithering chitinous bodies, and large fangs laden with venom, it's understandable that some people have their phobia boxes checked pretty hard by centipedes. The two centipedes here are fleshed out versions of two of the "we only have room for this 1/2 HD man-sized centipede and a swarm, have some names with HD and size categories you can go stat up for yourself if you really want to" sidebar from the first Pathfinder Bestiary. The giant whiptail centipede (CR 3 Huge Vermin) is a giant carrion-eating centipede whose tails (actually modified legs if we're going to be pedantic about centipede biology, but whatever) deal nonlethal damage but also get instant trip attempts because they are long and whip-like, while the titan centipede (CR 9 Colossal Vermin) is a ridiculously massive predatory centipede that lives in the deepest jungles of the far corners of the map. Shame they're only CR 9, I could only imagine good things could come from having a titan centipede and one of the kaiju from Pathfinder Bestiary 4 getting into a fight if they were actually on even ground.


Chaos Beast (CR 7 Medium Outsider [Extraplanar])
Chaos beasts were horrific writhing Things That Should Not Be from the plane of Limbo in AD&D's Planescape setting, appearing in constantly shifting guises anywhere from monstrous oozes to grizzled birds of prey without rhyme or reason, memorable enough that they made their way into the Third Edition Monster Manual. Here, they are sort of a monster without a home, keeping the Extraplanar subtype but not assigned to any plane and given an illustration not unlike any other number of slimy PB1 creeps like the shoggoths or gibbering mouthers. Indeed, the entire entry of fluff concerning them is two sentences long – one noting constantly reforming shapes, and one on the fact that all their attacks count as claw attacks even if they sprout something that looks like a mouth/stinger/whatever.

Their trademark offensive move is still an infectious curse applied to their claw attack that, if the DC 17 Fortitude save against it is failed, deals a point of Wisdom drain per round and transforms the victim into a big goopy blob of shapeless sponge-like material. This removes any spellcasting or item use, reduces speed to 10 feet, and causes the victim to blindly attack anything near them, be it friend or foe. A DC 15 Will save allows the victim to keep their normal shape for a minute's time, but unless they shake off the disease with three consecutive successful Fortitude saves, their fate is ultimately to permanently become a spongeblob once their Wisdom score drains to 1.


Charda (CR 7 Small Monstrous Humanoid [Aquatic])
The chardas are a completely new race for Pathfinder, though not one intended for player consumption for a variety of reasons that will become clear soon enough. They are reptilian humanoids with thick crocodylian scutes, four arms with very large talons, and snake-like heads that live in extremely cold subterranean rivers and lakes. Charda tribes are reclusive, rarely straying from small territories around their huts of rock and mud built either underwater or just on the shore. Charda society is a vicious one, with infanticide and cannibalism being regular fare, Aklo (the Lovecraftian language of things like aboleths and Great Old Ones) as their native language, worship of war and cold-themed deities being a must, social status being determined by how effective at physical violence one is, and assistance in battle being seen as dishonorable to both charda and target, all of which makes it kind of surprising that they are marked as being a Chaotic Neutral race.

While the chardas have human intellects, they don't seem to have found any use for weaponry or tools, fighting with their bite and claw attacks. They also get an 8d6 cold damage breath weapon that can be modified to come out as either a sixty foot line or thirty foot cone.



Charybdis (CR 13 Gargantuan Aberration [Aquatic])
60 feet (which should put it in size Colossal, but oh well) of mean, hungry, and slightly sapient isopod. As a bit of a wink and a nod to its Greek origins, the fluff states that sailors are so terrified of the charybdis that many of them believe that it is a singular beast created by an angry sea god, even though they are actually just simplistic ambush predators. Most charbdyis meals come in the form of sharks and whales, but they have learned that shipping channels happen to mean large groups of humanoids moving through on conveniently sinkable wooden ships, and thus often set up shop in straits and channels that are used for oceanic commerce. Since their bite and claw attacks only deal 2d8 and 2d6 damage respectively, charybdis mainly rely on their ability to create whirlpools to wear down ships.

...Wait, the whirlpool only deals 2d6 a round as well. gently caress.


Chupacabra (CR 3 Small Magical Beast)
The story of El Chupacabras, "the sucker of goats", goes back to the distant past of the 1990s, when Puerto Rico experienced a rash of sightings of a strange humanoid monster that looked vaguely like a Gray alien with digitigrade legs, spines down its back, and an arsenal of claws and teeth it used to supposedly exsanguinate local livestock. In the time since, the creature has been purportedly seen in other Latin and South American countries, and in the United States it has mutated into a hairless dog monster instead of a toothy Graylien for whatever reason. There's been a claim by professional skeptic Benjamin Radford that the entire Chupacabras flap originated with the 1995 horror movie species, which probably did indeed contribute but only as an augment of existing vampire lore and lingering Cold War-era conspiracy fears. But enough about that, on to the actual Pathfinder entry.

The chupacabra (sans the ending S as per popular American parlance) here is neither a monstrous extraterrestrial nor a mangy mutt, but instead a creature that looks like an anthropomorphic iguana with particularly long fangs. They are primarily solitary ambush predators that leap from rocky outcrops or tall grass to grapple prey and pierce their necks, draining them of blood. The chupacabra's blood drain has the secondary effect of granting it the effects of the Haste spell for ten rounds per successful siphoning. Particularly fertile hunting grounds sometimes lead to chupacabras hunting in packs, which are bold enough to actively attack whole farms or groups of traveling humanoids. Some random mutant chupacabras have wings on their backs and like to try to carry off goats and small children.


Cockroaches
Giant cockroaches (CR ½ Small Vermin) are dog-sized cockroaches that typically only attack with their weak mandibles if they are either scared or starving. Also mentioned are the CR 1 Medium giant hissing cockroach, CR 3 Large venomroach, CR 6 Huge spitting cockroach, CR 9 Gargantuan sawback cockroach, and CR 12 Colossal dragonroach, but like with the first Pathfinder Bestiary's giant vermin entries these are only given a name, size, total hit dice, and Challenge Rating with no information or stat block to give any more context for their sometimes strange names. There are also cockroach swarms (CR 2 Diminutive Vermin [Swarm]), which are swarms of vicious flesh-eating cockroaches that swarm over prey – usually rotting meat, but they are said to be willing to attack things as large as elephants – and rip it to shreds.


Crawling Hand (CR ½ Diminutive Undead)
Severed humanoid hands that have been animated by a necromancer to do any number of tasks, most of which involve raking with their claw-like fingernails or choking someone. They are based on the classic D&D monster known as the crawling claw, which Paizo apparently didn't know was Open Game Content via d20 Modern's Menace Manual since they didn't use them straight up. One thing crawling hands have that crawling claws don't, however, is the ability to cast Locate Creature on a specific individual once they are anointed with a drop of their blood. A variant of the crawling hand also presented here is the giant crawling hand (CR 5 medium Undead), which is the human-sized hand of some colossus that has become particularly rank. This advanced rotted status means that using a non-reach piercing or slashing melee weapon on it forces a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid a spewing blast of pus that causes 1d3 rounds of nausea and 2d6 negative energy damage.


Crypt Thing (CR 5 Medium Undead)
Is it possible to have a non-evil undead? Apparently not in Paizoland, as the formerly True Neutral crypt thing of 1E's Fiend Folio, 2E's Monstrous Manual, and 3E's Tome of Horrors has been realigned to be Neutral Evil. Exactly why is baffling, because the crypt thing still has the same role here as it did in earlier editions. It's a skeletal undead created specifically to protect burial sites from interlopers of any stripe. A crypt thing sits motionless and inert most of the time, refusing to interact with others even if they attempt to address it personally. If the area or burial object it is said to guard (or the crypt thing itself) is attacked or otherwise disturbed, though, it springs to life and creates a 50 foot radius burst of energy that teleports anyone that fails a DC 16 Will save 1d10x100 feet away from the guarded area/object. If the interlopers resist the teleport burst but still don't get the hint, the crypt thing begins slashing away with its clawed fingers.



Crysmal (CR 3 Small Outsider [Earth, Elemental])
A psionic scorpion-shaped rock elemental that appeared in 1E'S Monster Manual II, 2E's Al-Qadim setting, and 3E's Psionics Handbook and SRD, the crysmal appears once again in Pathfinder Bestiary 2, albeit now with a bit of a facelift. Since the Pathfinder devs have an aversion to point-based psionics, the crysmal instead has become a casting creature that manifests spell-like abilities such as Detect Magic, Dimension Door, Mage Hand, and Touch of Idiocy. A crysmal can also launch its stinger as a projectile to deal 3d6 piercing damage to its immediate target and 1d4 piercing damage to all creatures in adjacent squares to said target. These are only defensive measures, however, as crysmals feed on gemstones and do very little else with their lives or their 6 Intelligence. If you say "hey, a gem-eating monster sounds like a way to be a poo poo about treasure," you're probably not wrong.



Next time in Pathfinder Bestiary 2: D is for daemons, dragons, and drakes. Many monsters of this letter, bringing death in their wakes.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Fossilized Rappy posted:

While the chardas have human intellects, they don't seem to have found any use for weaponry or tools, fighting with their bite and claw attacks. They also get an 8d6 cold damage breath weapon that can be modified to come out as either a sixty foot line or thirty foot cone.

Going by the official artwork, I'd say making tools is hard to pull off if you don't have thumbs. Or actual fingers, for that matter.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Infernal Player's Guide: Hell To Pay

So, manipulation - demons like control. They like to have human tools, and even more, they like to control unwitting humans, who should know better and yet cannot resist. That's the real fun. It is gratifying to hurt humans aggressively, but doubly so to get them to hurt each other. Turning humans against each other is an obvious step to winning the War - there's more humans than demons, after all, so it just makes sense to get them to do your work for you. Manipulating angels and other demons can be fun, but it's riskier and usually saved for specific and immediate goals. Manipulating humans, that you do for kicks. In terms of self-preservation, manipulation is key to survival. Not all challenges can be handled by naked aggression. Manipulation is more subtle and leaves less room for retaliation. You can file the numbers off a manipulation effort, causing chaos without it being tracked back to you. Lucifer is the master manipulator, and see how he's done! For self-deception, manipulation boosts the ego. The more humans you control, the more power you have. It makes it harder to manipulate you...or so demons tell themselves. They tend to think they are invulnerable if they get good at manipulation.

So, competition. Demons like to win. They're competing with angels in the War, and they have to be the best. They also have to keep up with the humans, who keep finding new ways to hurt each other. Demons have to stay ahead of the curve. They keep score, tallying themselves against their foes to determine how successful they are and how their opponents are doing. Within the ranks, competition is even more fierce than with angels, since the playing field is in theory level. Competition is how you get status and thus power. Lucifer set things up that way, seeing the best way to preserve his own position as setting his underlings against each other. If you compete well enough, you can even become a Prince. For self-preservation, competition is evolutionary. When two demons compete and one wins, the winner is obviously more useful. Constant competition keeps them sharp, defines who has power and ensures none can rest easy. For self-deception, it reinforces the validity of the War. Each small success feels like progress. That can be dangerous, since the possibility exists that constant competition with other demons can distract Hell from the real battles. Still, healthy competition is good, nurturing a belief in triumph. It gives a taste for victory and a desire for more.

Demons are born in evil and live in it their whole lives. They can transcend it and become angels, but it's rare. Evil is hard to escape. The root of demonic evil is selfishness, which meshes with the traits discussed previous. The inner turmoil of self-preservation and self-deception makes demons malevolent. They are inherently tortured and unstable, so they lash out at the world. They wrap themselves in so many lies that they can't help it. The nature of the conflict forces them to hurt others and to lie. They oppose the entire cosmos, and they don't know if they'll win. They have to be stronger and smarter than God, and therefore they must define themselves as God's antithesis. It's not easy and it's not fun, no matter how smooth and confident demons pretend to be. Pain is their life. Creating pain for others makes them feel good. Their hearts are full of pain, making them alienated and miserable. Associating with other demons makes them feel less alone, helps them believe their pain is universal and natural. If everyone felt pain, the work would be done.

The nature of demonic evil and the demonic mind come from Lucifer. It was Lucifer who first committed the sin of selfishness, and it was his example that inspired the rebel angels. Selfishness is a form of comfort, elevating the individual over the surroundings and making them feel less vulnerable. When Lucifer and the rebels Fell, they no longer had God's will or the rules of Heaven to mark their place in the world. In Hell, their selfishness grew unchecked. Their insecurity and shame bolstered it, locking them into the doctrine of evil they had made. This was the birth of the demonic mind. Today, the demons serving Lucifer still suffer it. They cloak themselves in pain as armor, fighting because it makes them feel alive. If they did not fight, they would be ignored, and that is what made Lucifer rise up in the first place. Fighting makes them feel important. Fallen from God's grace, which is all that truly matters in the world, their only reprive comes in opposing God's grace. If they did not oppose the most important thing, they would have no importance at all. Fighting the War is a way for demons to claim significance to the universe. And they must fight, because if they do not, Lucifer was wrong, they were wrong, and they've all made the biggest mistake there has ever been, and are on the wrong side of the only issue there ever was. Being a demon is terrible. In a word, it is Hellish.

Lucifer, of course, does not ask for perfection. Perfection is stagnation and conformity. Demons instead embody chaos, entropy and individuality. Each demon has their own personal symphony, in which they encompass every note, and they are proud of that. Still, they cannot deny that certain groups have similarities in their symphonies: Bands. Bands are all those demons who possess similar abilities and personal symphonies. Hell likes survival of the fittest, and while there are countless possible Bands, only seven are outstandingly successful: the major seven Bands. Despite the demonic urge to be unique, the nature of one's Band influences their personality. It gives them a filter through which to perceive the world, a mindset to establish a place within it. The resonance is part of this - if all you see are nails, you want a hammer. The point of being demonic, of course, is to be true to yourself, above all other things. Sometimes that can be hard, but striving is the point of life. Accepting that another's perspective might solve your problem is just one of the harder lessons.



A Band defines general trends, but individuals can always deviate from it. Demons may not be as complex as humans, but they're not carbon copies. Of course, Shedim are rarely compassionate and Impudites rarely violent. However, every demon has their own individual nature, even if they hew in most ways to stereotype.

Balseraphs are the vilest creatures of all Hell. Angels hate the Fallen Seraphim, and demons see them as arrogant. Everyone assumes anything they say will be a lie. The only ones wo really understand them are other Balseraphs, and they trust each other least of all. Humans lie often and entangle themselves in their own webs. Balseraphs understand th need to defend your lie vehemently so much that you believe it is true. They are accompliushed liars, and they believe their own lies with all their hearts - and make everyone else believe, too. Baal and Lucifer are both Balseraphs, and Kronos is classified as one, though he isn't one. Some say Hell is still operating under the influence of Lucifer's first and greatest lie. Kronos and Baal each believe fervently in the cause, for their own reasons. Their view has remained unshaken since the Fall, testament either to how entrenched they become in their own symphonies or to the fact that even Balseraphs can be right, depending on who you ask. Other famous Balseraphs include Gebbeleth, the first Prince of Secrets, Hatiphas, Demon of Socery, Kakabel, Demon of Astrology, Kasbeel, Demon of Broken Promises, Mammon, Prince of Greed, Mastema, chief prosecutor of the Game, Ophis, servant of Baal that ruined the Eden experiment, Semyaza, Demon of Heresy, and Tchort, Demon of Atheism.

Balseraphs claim they focus on the big picture. Other demons might be distracted by petty desire or spite, but Balseraphs are always looking for the greater evil. They won't use petty vice if they see a chance for something more, and it's why they are often put in charge on Earth. They will, however, always need another demon to act as a check on their tendency to distort. Balseraphs excel at organizational corruption, causing even more permanent harm than most Shedim. They can ruin careers and lives with a few words. They also do excellently in PR and spin control. Humans rarely consciously choose evil, so Balseraphs present it in a way they find palatable. Every Prince wants their Word to be accepted and embraced by humanity, and so they have Balseraphs play with the meanings of words - selfishness as self-reliance, insensitivity as candor, greed as motivation, etiquette as hypocrisy, honesty as naivete, opposing prejudice as political correctness. Balseraphs are also cleaners. Both sides want to avoid open displays of power, but don't always manage it. If the War remains mostly secret, it is largely due to Balseraph damage control. Sometimes they even discredit genuine miracles. And, of course, Balseraphs are excellent spies...if you don't rely on them to tell the truth. They assume everyone else is as deceitful and untrustworthy as themselves, and frequently report on their coworkers and any other celestials they meet. They are highly diligent and their information is often good...if you can filter out the truth.

Balseraphs like to believe they're infernal nobility. The truth is, they don't get nearly the respect Seraphim due and are seen as snobs and liars. The Princes are the only true royalty of Hell. They often serve, instead, as middle management, to assuage their egos but keep them out of trouble. They tend to have grandiose titles, but relatively little actual authority with anyone they can't convince to listen. In Hell as on Earth, Balseraphs serve as informants. Princes listen to them, but always independently verify. Balseraphs, however, keep everyone else honest - since everyone knows a Balseraph will set you up if they get a chance, demons are careful to avoid giving them muich to use. It makes it hard for those truly plotting treachery. Balseraphs who prove capable may even be given planning positions, as they can be brilliantly wicked. It's a stressful but rewarding job if you can handle the competition.

Balseraphs are excellent at managing Roles and may even have more than one. They like Roles with influence and many victims. They especially love law and politics, and often enjoy high-Status Roles. Some have even risen high in governments! Balseraphs love current human society, which is full of false realities. They take credit for all of it, ignoring the fact that they benefit as much from human nature as their own hard work. If they have one weakness, it's that they believe their own press. They believe society is, in fact, entirely dishonest, corrupt and irredeemable. They believe everyhting is a lie. They wouldn't recognize an honest man, because they don't believe they exist. They often underestimate mortals, and a single mortal with the determination and strength to see past their lies has undone many Balseraphic plans. Some are convinced they already own the world, that the fall of man is inevitable, that they're just playing and mopping up. The truth is, humans wouldn't succum so easily if they didn't want to be deceived. The smarter Balseraphs capitalize on this, while the rest just pat themselves on the back for being so charming and manipulative.

Balseraphs do not think of themselves as liars. They see a Symphony that can be changed, and see that truth is no more absolute than your ability to change it. They believe reality is what they say it is. When they lie, they fervently believe it is true. They use two kinsd of deception to make their lies more convincing: self-deception and artifice. Self-deception is what they love most in humans, the willingness to believe what you want to be true. If a Balseraph can find what a human wishes were true, the victim gets a penalty to their Will roll to resist the Balseraph's resonance if the Balseraph says that thing is true. The penalty is up to the GM, based on how badly the target wants it, the plausibility of the lie and any evidence. Any Discord that reinforces the mindset also penalizes Will. Artifice is making a false but lasting reality. A Balseraph's resonance normally lasts only (CD) minutes. However, if a Balseraph can produce tangible evidence of their lie, the CD is multiplied by their Ethereal Forces. Further, lies that are supported by other lies gain an even greater bonus. Each supporting lie mulitplies the CD of the lies that follow. This allows a series of lies to become quite long-lasting. The only limit is that no one can remain under their sway for more than (Celestial Forces) days.

Balseraphs never lie, in the sense that most people understand it, however. They create a false symphony with their reosnance, and in that symphony, everything they say is true. As a result, their lies cannot be detected by the Detect Lies skill, even if their resonance is resisted...unless their resonance roll fails. And even then, the Balseraph will still believe they're telling the truth. However, on a failed resonance roll, the Balseraph cannot tell the same lie to the same victim for (CD) hours. They can, however, tell a different lie, except on a CD 6, which immunizes the target to their resonance for 6 hours. Also, when not using their resonance, Balseraphs never lie. They do not ever engage in what they believe at the time to be falsehood. Because of this, Seraphim usually can't expose their lies...except on a CD 6. However, if a Seraph knows a statement is false and the speaker should know it's false, but doesn't, it's pretty clear evidence that a Balseraph is involved somewhere. Seraphic resonance also works normally if a Balseraph's resonance orll fails. ...of course, this all assumes the Seraph resists the resonance. If they don't, they will believe the Balseraph regardless of what their own resonance says.

A Balseraph's self-image is wrapped around their personal symphony. If their lies are exposed, that symphony is fractured. The only way to fix this is to convince themselves that it never happened, 'fixing' the truth and assuaging their egos. The usual method, when a victim resists a Balseraph's lie, is to apply the resonance again. Once the victim succumbs, the dissonance goes away...but a strong-willed person can resist a second time, and then you're stuck with it. There is a solution: make the lie true! If the Balseraph can actually change the real truth to reflect their lie and convince the victim they weren't ever lying, the dissonance fades. A Balseraph can also generate dissonance by contradicting themselves, but generally another lie will cover it up. Sometimes, however, it won't. In these cases, Balseraphs can lie to themselves. If a Balseraph can convince themself that they never lied in the first place, dissonance from contradiction will fade. This takes three things: a successful resonance roll, a failed Will roll and no concrete evidence to contradict the lie the Balseraph tells themself. This may seem easy, but remember, most Balseraphs have a high Will, so it's easy for them to resist themselves...and they can cause more dissonance by resisting with a CD 6.

A Balseraph's existence is made of lies. Exposure hurts, and Balseraphs do not cope well with being proven liars. The easiest way to avoid it is to be careful with who you resonate. Thus, Balseraphs don't use their resonance constantly, any more than Seraphim do. They especially avoid using it on the strong-willed, like other demons and especially other Balseraphs.

Common Balseraphic Discords include Burning Lies, a Celestial Discord that causes Disturbance whenever the Balseraph uses their resonance, due to Symphonic feedback on their lies. This can easily drive them mad. Forked Tongue is a Corporeal Discord related to the Discord of the same name that strikes Seraphim. A Balseraph must make A will roll minus the Discord's level whenever they use their resonance, or else they physically manifest evidence of a lie in some obvious and unnatural way. Your tongue might fork, your skin might turn red, your nose might grow. This lasts for (CD) minutes...and if you do it again before it fades, the CD is not overwritten, but cumulative. Truthfullness is an Ethereal Discord. Whenever they speak, they must roll Will minus the Discord's level. Failure means they must tell the truth. Further, CD 6 on the failed roll causes dissonance, and the Discord adds to the TN of dissonance rolls.

Stereotypes posted:

For this one, normal text is what Balseraphs say, italics is what they think when not using their resonance.
Seraphim: I'm quite hurt! Would I be foolish enough to lie to you? (Bastards! A Seraph can ruin all your plans in an instant. As if knowing the "truth" makes them special...)
Cherubim: I admire greatly your steadfast loyalty; you are the most caring and attentive creatures in Creation. Of course I wouldn't dream of trying ot get past your guard. (Cretins! We are all alone in this universe. Latching onto something like a baby clutching a bottle just makes you that much more pathetic.)
Ofanim: Your grace astounds me - I'm sure I'm not alone in envying you. (Easily distracted, easily manipulated. It's such fun sending them on wild goose chases.)
Elohim: Objectivity is truly divine. Other angels should listen to you more. (Help them understand that they're lying to themselves, that they really do care...Hell can always use another Habbalite.)
Malakim: I surrender! No, I won't move an inch. You know, I've grown weary of serving hte Dark Side; is there any way you could help me? (We hate, hate, hate them! They can sniff us out, and there's no reasoning with them. Unless you're capable of taking one out yourself, stay away and let others deal with them.)
Kyriotate: Your unique gift proves you have a special place in God's plan. (Be careful with them, they're hard to understand and harder to see coming. But they're as gullible as anyone else.)
Mercurians: You are everyone's best friend, suave, witty, charming, stylish... (...shallow, vain, credulous...they're practically human.)
Djinn: I know just how much you are underappreciated. How can anyone else understand the lonely vigil you maintain? (Good doggy. Here, have a nice human to play with.)
Calabim: You the man! You do that thing you do so well, just let me get out of the way. (Very good to have on your side...make sure it's on your terms.)
Lilim: I've seen many of Lilith's daughters in my time, but you are surely her most perfect creation! (Pretty to look at, fun to play with, but do not accept their "gifts.")
Shedim: You have mastered the art of corruption. I love to watch you work. (Keep them on a tight leash...they've got all the subtlety of a chainsaw murderer.)
Impudites: You are everyone's best friend, and understand humans so well. Maybe you can give me some advice. (Let them play with their humans. These leeches don't really understand manipulation.)

Next time: Banding together

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



It gets touched on later in the book some, but one dynamic I've always enjoyed wringing out of the politics-obsessed Hell is the stark different between Fallen and Hellborn. Fallen at least knew Heaven and made a choice. Hellborn, though, came right up from the mire into a world that gives them 0% chance of a sane acclimation. Especially in games with stronger themes of free will, I like looking at how that can affect the politics and outviews of certain Princes and Servitors; if you subscribe to 'born in Hell' not automatically equaling 'evil as gently caress', you have a society predicated entirely on the First Fallen and those who came after creating a world that ensures everything born in it can never get past the first question before fear and horror grinds them down. And if the Fallen weren't there or able to press their truth on Hell, what kind of conclusions would the Hellborn begin to reach?

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


quote:

Demons are born in evil and live in it their whole lives. They can transcend it and become angels, but it's rare. Evil is hard to escape. The root of demonic evil is selfishness, which meshes with the traits discussed previous. The inner turmoil of self-preservation and self-deception makes demons malevolent. They are inherently tortured and unstable, so they lash out at the world. They wrap themselves in so many lies that they can't help it. The nature of the conflict forces them to hurt others and to lie. They oppose the entire cosmos, and they don't know if they'll win. They have to be stronger and smarter than God, and therefore they must define themselves as God's antithesis. It's not easy and it's not fun, no matter how smooth and confident demons pretend to be. Pain is their life. Creating pain for others makes them feel good. Their hearts are full of pain, making them alienated and miserable. Associating with other demons makes them feel less alone, helps them believe their pain is universal and natural. If everyone felt pain, the work would be done.

I sympathize with this so much I might need to start an E/N thread. I want to play a rebel fighting against God's cosmos, always knowing in my heart that I'm probably doomed - but fighting anyway, for myself and for my own worldview.

quote:

Balseraphs do not think of themselves as liars. They see a Symphony that can be changed, and see that truth is no more absolute than your ability to change it.

This is true, though? Reality is mostly subjective, especially in a world where human belief can create Tethers and determine what Words rise and fall. And human viewpoints and actions are subjective, filtered through their own personal reality. It you're a demon who can magically enforce their own subjective reality, the 'lie' is even more 'true', which is where you stop pretending those words mean anything.

This is pretty IN: http://www.clickhole.com/clickventu...rce=facebook#1,

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 02:23 on Mar 5, 2016

Black August
Sep 28, 2003



Count Chocula posted:

This is true, though? Reality is mostly subjective, especially in a world where human belief can create Tethers and determine what Words rise and fall. And human viewpoints and actions are subjective, filtered through their own personal reality. It you're a demon who can magically enforce their own subjective reality, the 'lie' is even more 'true', which is where you stop pretending those words mean anything.

And this is why their demonic resonance affects reality and the Symphony.

Congrats you learned how to Balseraph :snakedrugs:

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Witch Girls Adventures: Respelled: Part 3: Character Creation

I hope you weren’t waiting for the rules on how to play something other than a witch like the Kickstarter promises. There’s nothing of the sort in this book.

You’re probably also wondering by now if Harris fixed that whole “a D12+7 in an attribute is worse than a D20” thing.

No. No, he didn’t.



Attributes, both primary and secondary, are unchanged. (Save for the mentioned addition of Reflex determining how many Actions per round a character gets. Actions is considered a secondary attribute.) As is how many points can be allocated to skills and magic ranks. (No more than 6 and no more than 3 (unless you have a clique bonus), respectively, for a standard character.) If you’re assuming their descriptions have been copy/pasted from the other book, you are right.

The 5 original Cliques are still available. However, Respelled introduces, by “popular demand”, a brand new Clique: Techies. Techies are exactly what they sound like: Witches who are really into mundane technology and adding magic to it. However, as you’ll see in a bit, the book portrays them as being more fandom/Internet nerds than technology nerds. So now we have witches who have spent most of their lives in the mundane world, ones who spent their lives in the magical world, ones that have spent it in both, country folk, goths, and fandom weirdos.

(Monica, if you care, is now considered a Techie. Her picture is used on the page for it.)

All cliques now have the same starting pool of dice to assign to their attributes: a D4, a D8, three D6s, with a D8 for Magic. Starting skill points have increased all across the board: Gothiques, Rustics, and Sorceresses get 15 Mundane and 15 Magical; Insiders and Techies 20/15; and Outsiders 25/10. Starting magic ranks have been bumped up to 10 for most cliques, with Sorceresses getting 12 and Outsiders getting 8.

Each clique now gets two bonuses instead of one. Sometimes three.

Gothique: A free rank in either Curse or Necromancy and +1 bonus to rolls and damage when dealing with ghosts and the undead.
Insider: A free rank in two mundane skills (up from one), a free rank in Mysticism, and the ability to instantly tell if someone is a supernatural.
Outsider: +1 to all rolls when dealing with mundanes and +1 die type to any of their primary attributes except Magic.
Rustic: A free rank in Elementalism or Divination and 2 free ranks of Survival, which doesn’t exist, and Track.
Sorceress: +1 to all rolls dealing with non-mundanes, 2 ranks in Cryptozoology and Mysticism, and 1 free rank in Casting. (No, no free ranks in Alteration!) I don’t think the skill rank choices (aside for Casting) fits all that well.
Techie: Two ranks in Build/Repair and Computer and the ability to talk to machines. (No, no free rank in Cybermancy.)

Another big change to the character creation rules is the addition of an optional feature called Niches. Niches are basically character ideas with point bonuses tied to them. Each clique has 5 niches. Starting characters can only pick one and can’t gain more.

Gothiques:
Creep Out: The character is creepy and no one likes being around them. Can spend 1 Zap to give people -1 to their rolls for a minute out of combat and for an entire combat scene, at the cost of -2 to all of the character’s rolls.
Eclectic: Learned how to do magic from reading comics, researching UFOs, and other weird poo poo like that. It doesn’t specifically make reference to Harry Potter, but I imagine learning magic through that is one of the things you can do with this Niche. -1 Resist to witches you cast spells on and a free rank in Mythology and Pop Culture.
Princess of Darkness: The character loving loves Necromancy and dealing with dead stuff. +1 to manipulating and controlling the undead, vampires (doesn’t say if half-vampires count) and ghosts. -2 penalty to all undead dealing with the characters.
Rebel: A loose cannon who don’t play by anyone’s rules… except maybe the weird subculture’s they subscribe to because you know how kids are. Can spend a Zap to remove any spells controlling you, and +1 to rolls when standing up to authority.’
Shadow Mistress: The character loving loves Necromancy and dealing with shadows. +1 to attributes and rolls to deal with shadows and darkness and the ability to see in total darkness.

Insider:
Bridge between Worlds: The character has a room that can connect to another place in the magical world. The location of the connecting doors can be changed once a week for 5 Zap.
Diplomat: +2 to rolls when leading mundanes and otherkin and trying to get them to cooperate, and 1 free rank in the Charm and Leader skills.
Personal MAC: AKA “Secret Keeper” due to non-editing. They have a naturally occurring Mundane Avoidance Charm on them that gives a -2 penalty to people trying to figure out if the magical fuckery going on around them is the character’s fault.
Strange Relations: Call for help from family members with a skill roll. Which skill? Use your imagination. They get a +5 to the skill roll.
Spy: The character is a spy for the Witches World Council tasked with keeping an eye on either the Argus Society, Project Stormwall, or witchspiracy.com. (Keep in mind that last one is run by one paranoid guy in Seattle that no one takes seriously.) 1 free rank in Mundane Athletics (or rather, just Athletics), Etiquette (or rather, Mundane Etiquette), and Hide (which has had a name change).

Outsider:
Blind Luck: Spend 2 Zap to add +1 to any roll, but only if that bonus will make the roll a success. Lame.
Elite Born: The character comes from a family of humans whose stats are slightly less lovely when compared to other humans. Not from a family of rich and/or influential people like the name would imply. +1 to their Body and Mine dies.
Heroine: Can give themselves a bonus on any Body die roll; up to +3 max, by spending Zap.
Metamor-force: The character is a magical girl. They don’t say that exactly, but that’s what this niche turns your character into. Character creation makes their magical form. Their human form has D6 Magic and can’t use their magical skills, but others have a -2 to identify them as magical and they have their normal Resist Magic attribute for resisting spells.
Savant: The character is self-taught and didn’t use UFO articles or copies of Harry Potter to learn how to use magic. Can use an attribute other than Magic for Casting rolls and calculating their Resist Magic. This is the basis for System Mastery’s infamous “Punch Witch” build. So remember: if you want to make a little witch Saitama, follow these instructions:
  • Take this niche
  • Put your biggest die in Body
  • Put your free die boost in Body
  • Take the Half-Immortal heritage
  • Take the Jock talent.
There’s probably a couple of other things I’m missing, but that’s the base. Now you can punch things normally and magically with a D12+1 Body as a standard starting character. I guess you can also make someone who can shoot magic mind bullets or cast spells by talking trash to people, but the Punch Witch might be the most amusing option.

Rustic:
Archer: The character can put spells on arrows, making them unblockable, undodgeable, and use Reflex as the stat for resisting the spell. At the cost of an extra Zap point to the spell. This is apparently something few witches are capable of doing.
Feral: Spend 2 Zap to enter Feral Mode. Feral Mode gives the character +1 to Body and Senses rolls and +2 damage to scratching and biting attacks.
Demeter: Immunity to plant-based poisons and the ability to regain a Zap point from plants over 3 feet tall.
Rugged: Can give themselves up to a +6 bonus on Body based rolls at a rate of 2 Zap for every point.
Storm Singer: Strom Singers can call a slight breeze with a Zap point, gain +1 to all of their rolls during natural storms, and know when storms are coming. I was sort of expecting a rip-off of Storm from X-Men.

Sorceress:
Interestingly, none of the niches for this clique involve Alteration. I think at some point while writing this Harris got the hint that mentioning and showing people getting turned into poo poo constantly made people suspicious. But don’t worry, there’s still the supplements…

Combat Witch: +1 to Casting when dueling with another witch and +2 to rolls to block and dispel spells during regular combat.
Floater: The character is always flying. Because their feet are almost always a few inches off the ground, they don’t taking falling damage and only take half if they’re forced to the ground. (If you all can fly, what’s the point of having brooms?)
Forbidden Knowledge: A free rank in Leyology, Naming (which doesn’t exist), Rites, and Mysticism. +1 to rolls for discovering magical traps and new magical knowledge.
Merchant: +1 to rolls to find out information about happenings in the magical world, and all purchases cost 1 Wealth rank less. (Can’t be lowered to 0.)
Royal: Can spend up to 3 Zap to add a +1 (+3 max) bonus to their social rolls.

Techie:
Cosplayer: Can spend a Zap to make their aura appear as another type of being’s and gain the appropriate outfit to match.
Cyber Star: +1 to spells cast on computers and can spend a Zap to use the Computer skill in place of the Casting skill for a roll. Does not make the character an internet celebrity like the name would imply.
Gamer: A free rank in Games, +1 to rolls and damage dealt when “using tactics”, and “can use a Power up from Equipment-Computers for free” once a day. I assume by “Power Up” it means “Add-Ons”, which are a feature detailed in the Equipment section.
Larper: A free rank of Fighting and a magic weapon that costs 5 points or less. The niche explains that they get these because they are “trained” LARPers. Obviously, it’s talking about boffer LARP and not White Wolf style “have real life meltdowns over fake politics and try to get laid” LARP.
Steampunker: Can declare any equipment they have to be “steampunk”, which makes it unusable to everyone but themselves and other steampunkers. So if you want to be cheeky, just slap a bronze-colored gear on everything you buy. Now no one can use it.

The next section details the brand new Class system.

WGAR posted:

Class replaces the wealth concept with Wealth.

Class, along with the associated Wealth stat, expands on the Allowance system from the core and allows it to be used with adult characters. It also gives a better idea of the kind of lifestyle a character has outside of school. Along with determining a character’s starting wealth (and in turn, how much starting equipment they can buy), different classes also give different stat and roll bonuses. So yes, while there is nothing stopping you from doing so, there is some incentive to make your character something other than the magical spawn of the 1%.

There are six classes: Vagabond, From the Block, Country Girl, City Slicker, Well-to-do, and Rich; from lowest wealth (1/10) to highest (5/50). Country Girl and City Slicker have the same wealth. (2/20)

For bonuses, we have…
Vagabond and From the Block: +2 Life, +1 Reflex, a free rank in three (two for FTB) of either Fighting, Hide, Streetwise, or Urchin.
Country Girl: +2 to Life and Zap and a free rank in two of either Fighting, Track, Herbalism, or Cryptozoology.
City Slicker: +1 to Life and Zap and a free rank in two mundane skills.
Well-to-do: A free rank in two Social skills.
Rich: 2 free ranks in either Charm or Mundane Etiquette.

Last for this chapter is the optional character age rules. There are now rules for playing characters anywhere from ages 6 to 22. It also fixes the issue from the core where the cap on Magic ranks didn’t scale with a character’s age. (They increase and decrease by 1 with each age group. So a starting 18 to 22 year old can have up to 5 in a Magic type.) Older characters are also able to take more Talents, Heritages, and Knacks (a new stat) at creation. Skill ranks and die types (one for each step) are increased or decreased depending on the age range.

Next: Skills

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 05:03 on Mar 5, 2016

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Still using that d12+7, I see. Cuz poor probability iz kewl!

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


I love that it goes "d12+7 --> d20."

There is so much loving wrong with that.

Asimo
Sep 23, 2007




I don't see a problem. It just goes from 19 to 20, perfectly logical! :downs:

Dr. Demon
Jan 2, 2007

Everybody out of the god damn way. You got a hat full of bomb, a fist full of penis, and a head full of empty.

Adnachiel posted:

Steampunker: Can declare any equipment they have to be “steampunk”, which makes it unusable to everyone but themselves and other steampunkers. So if you want to be cheeky, just slap a bronze-colored gear on everything you buy. Now no one can use it.

It's not that other people can't use their stuff - they just don't want to use it because that steampunk poo poo is embarrassing.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



I'm trying to figure out how declaring something Steampunk makes it unusable to everyone else. Everything else had a weird logic, but that one.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Robindaybird posted:

I'm trying to figure out how declaring something Steampunk makes it unusable to everyone else. Everything else had a weird logic, but that one.

They hurt their hands on the unnecessary gears.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Robindaybird posted:

I'm trying to figure out how declaring something Steampunk makes it unusable to everyone else. Everything else had a weird logic, but that one.

If I had to guess I'd say it's supposed to be a take on the way various other RPGs handle gadgeteer-types by restricting their ability to simply hand out an endless supply of rayguns and jetpacks by having the gadgeteer's devices break down and/or cease functioning for anyone but him because only he understands all the quirks and weird science behind it.

Magnusth
Sep 25, 2014

Hello, Creature! Do You Despise Goat Hating Fascists? So Do We! Join Us at Paradise Lost!




also, i see that these witches only do boring larp. am disapoint.

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012


Robindaybird posted:

I'm trying to figure out how declaring something Steampunk makes it unusable to everyone else. Everything else had a weird logic, but that one.

WGAR posted:

Such equipment defy modern science and standard magic[sic]

So basically, "they just can't now shut up".

Dr. Demon posted:

It's not that other people can't use their stuff - they just don't want to use it because that steampunk poo poo is embarrassing.

Or this. :newlol:

Fossilized Rappy
Dec 26, 2012


Adnachiel posted:

So basically, "they just can't now shut up".

Yeah, the Steampunker niche seems to be just another way of enforcing the idea of "this is a nebulous pseudoscience gizmo that only works for its handler" that various other RPGs have also used, simply given an unnecessarily vague name to it.

Dr. Demon posted:

It's not that other people can't use their stuff - they just don't want to use it because that steampunk poo poo is embarrassing.

wdarkk posted:

They hurt their hands on the unnecessary gears.
This reminds me, are there any current RPGs out there that have tried to wrest back the idea of steampunk from the whole "just glue some gears on it" fad trend? Like, one with actual social revolution, anti-colonialism, and anarchism that dotted the real Victorian era?

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Fossilized Rappy posted:

This reminds me, are there any current RPGs out there that have tried to wrest back the idea of steampunk from the whole "just glue some gears on it" fad trend? Like, one with actual social revolution, anti-colonialism, and anarchism that dotted the real Victorian era?

Not that I heard of, I wish - because the idea of Shadowrun but Victorian Era is a pretty rad concept to be honest. The Colonial Apologism is pretty much got me out of Steampunk

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Fossilized Rappy posted:

This reminds me, are there any current RPGs out there that have tried to wrest back the idea of steampunk from the whole "just glue some gears on it" fad trend? Like, one with actual social revolution, anti-colonialism, and anarchism that dotted the real Victorian era?

The biggest joke is that if you go with that, it's not really steampunk but Communismpunk, since that's what Marx and Engels were reacting to when they wrote the Communist Manifesto. Actually, a steampunk story with young Karl Marx, Jenny von Westphalen, and Friedrich Engels as the protagonists would be completely hilarious and putting that rebellion back into steampunk.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I've actually heard, weird though it is, that the Abney Park RPG called Airship Pirates is supposed to be a game that deals with the oppressive and unpleasant side of the whole steampunk thing, but as I've never actually encountered a copy for myself I'm only going on hearsay.

Lurks With Wolves
Jan 14, 2013

At least I don't dance with them, right?


Kai Tave posted:

I've actually heard, weird though it is, that the Abney Park RPG called Airship Pirates is supposed to be a game that deals with the oppressive and unpleasant side of the whole steampunk thing, but as I've never actually encountered a copy for myself I'm only going on hearsay.

The backstory of Airship Pirates is that a steampunk band somehow acquired a time machine and decided to go back in time and make things go in a cooler direction.

And suddenly the Neo-Victorians ruled over the blasted remains of what was once North America from their flying cities, crushing the lower classes beneath their heel in their oppressive super-factories and creating mutants and androids with their steampunk superscience while pirates and other undesirables live a harsh life outside their walls but at least they're free.

Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011


Fossilized Rappy posted:

This reminds me, are there any current RPGs out there that have tried to wrest back the idea of steampunk from the whole "just glue some gears on it" fad trend? Like, one with actual social revolution, anti-colonialism, and anarchism that dotted the real Victorian era?

Through the Breach is at the very least steampunk-ish aesthetically iirc, and the main (simmering) conflict in setting is between The Guild, which owns and runs all the important industries and businesses, and The Union, which obviously is the union of various workers who want to have things like fair pay, OSHA, not living in a corporate state, etc. I think there are some anarchist groups in setting but its been a while since i read the books. Also wasnt it reviewed in a F&F thread?

Edit: Through the Breach also takes place on an alien world accessed through a portal, which is being exploited for profit while having to deal with monsters that might be what the original alien inhabitants became. So you can probably work anti colonialism in there too, but in the core book they werent fleshed out beyond being antagonists in the outlands.

Communist Zombie fucked around with this message at 07:25 on Mar 5, 2016

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


More RPG writers need to rip off China Mieville. There's a Victorian London RPG reviewed in this thread that seems like a decent one.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

More RPG writers need to rip off China Mieville.

Gareth-Michael Skarka will get around to it just as soon as he's finished with Far West.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Sparks of Light

Sailor Rainbow is every colorist's nightmare.

So recent reviews here seem to call for a bit of a palette cleanser. Let's provide one with what appears to be a magical girl RPG that is not Meguca: The Suffering.

Prelude

Sparks of Light is a magical girl RPG with a defined setting that seems to be taking a few cues from Princess: The Hopeful (as far I as can bother to remember that game) while using some kind of FATE derivative using a single d8 and hit points (or Hope Points, in this case). Thanks to the latter, it's just about 110 pages long, which is like 1/4 of Princess' Charm section (I think).

This game is kind of new ground for me here as it's the first rules-lite game I'll be covering. This is already obvious from a few "warning signs":

  • The only die used is the d8, and the term itself only appears seven times in the whole book, out of which three are just headers for charts.
  • Speaking of charts, there are maybe four of those, none of them particularly long.
  • The term "die roll" is used exactly four times.
  • There isn't a clearly defined rules section.
  • Character writeups can fit on a beer coaster.

The art is overall pretty nice most of the time, if a bit random. Quite a few are also riffable, especially in the latter half.


For starters, I have the nagging suspicion that this picture right here is actually Touhou fanart.

As the game is very big on friendship (going so far as to make "Nakama" an actually game term). Let's hear some input on example PCs and NPCs. I'll definitely be making Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan, defender of Earth from the nefarious forces of LucyDark. She may or may not team-up with everyone's favorite moon-themed magical girl.

Next Time: Nakama 4 Life.

Doresh fucked around with this message at 08:59 on Mar 5, 2016

Covok
May 27, 2013

Yet where is that woman now? Tell me, in what heave does she reside? None of them. Because no God bothered to listen or care. If that is what you think it means to be a God, then you and all your teachings are welcome to do as that poor women did. And vanish from these realms forever.


Why not try to stat up Ms. Looks-Like-A-Box-Of-Crayons-Threw-Up-On-Me from the cover?

NachtSieger
Apr 10, 2013




Doresh posted:


For starters, I have the nagging suspicion that this picture right here is actually Touhou fanart.

It is definitely Touhou fanart. Specifically, Reimu.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


NachtSieger posted:

It is definitely Touhou fanart. Specifically, Reimu.

Yeah, I'm not sure if that's sarcasm in the post itself, because that's not even slightly subtle.

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Covok posted:

Why not try to stat up Ms. Looks-Like-A-Box-Of-Crayons-Threw-Up-On-Me from the cover?

Why not? The more, the merrier. I think I'll just call her Rainbow Spark or something.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, I'm not sure if that's sarcasm in the post itself, because that's not even slightly subtle.

Me, and sarcasm? What makes you tink that?!

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Doresh posted:


As the game is very big on friendship (going so far as to make "Nakama" an actually game term). Let's hear some input on example PCs and NPCs. I'll definitely be making Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan, defender of Earth from the nefarious forces of LucyDark. She may or may not team-up with everyone's favorite moon-themed magical girl.

Next Time: Nakama 4 Life.

See if the system will bend enough to translate 'magical girl' into 'kamen rider'.

EDIT:
Also, if Punch-Witch-chan is our Pretty Cure 'hit things with magic kung-fu' character, then have one 'Overwhelming amounts of magical lasers' Lyrical Nanoha stand-in and one more broadly-focused Squishy Wizard Cardcaptor Sakura stand-in. Gotta hit the whole spectrum of Magical Girl.

Precure: Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan
Kamen Rider: Mysterious Masked Rider Megumin
Nanoha: Rainbow Spark
Cardcaptor: Sanlossa, Emissary of Cuddlethulu

Crasical fucked around with this message at 11:39 on Mar 5, 2016

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Covok posted:

Why not try to stat up Ms. Looks-Like-A-Box-Of-Crayons-Threw-Up-On-Me from the cover?

I didn't notice anything unusual about her at first, but then I realized I'm at Mardi Gras, where even the ATMs and burgers are covered in rainbows.
Stat up Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool/X-Men. Or a magical girl version of Death of the Endless (I think she got a manga).

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Crasical posted:

See if the system will bend enough to translate 'magical girl' into 'kamen rider'.

Magical girls of the action-variety are more or less animated tokusatsu heroes, so I hope this will work effortlessly.

quote:

Also, if Punch-Witch-chan is our Pretty Cure 'hit things with magic kung-fu' character, then have one 'Overwhelming amounts of magical lasers' Lyrical Nanoha stand-in and one more broadly-focused Squishy Wizard Cardcaptor Sakura stand-in. Gotta hit the whole spectrum of Magical Girl.

Precure: Doki Doki Happy Witch Puncher Punch-Witch-chan
Kamen Rider: Mysterious Masked Rider Megumin
Nanoha: Rainbow Spark
Cardcaptor: Sanlossa, Emissary of Cuddlethulu

Now we just need a singer and a dancer. I'm thinking of either a female Meat Loaf or Freddy Mercury, partnered with either a breakdancer or rhythmic gymnast (because we need more ribbon-wielding magical girls who fight more or less like Walter from Hellsing).

EDIT: And I've just listened to the System Mastery episode of the WGA Director's Cit [sic] again. Seems a lot of the 1.5 edition stuff was already there (techies, extra turns, unified stat array...). No wonder that book is no longer available...

Doresh fucked around with this message at 12:45 on Mar 5, 2016

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Jem and the Holograms? Dazzler? Janelle Monae's cyborg? Lady Gaga?
If you believe Velvet Goldmine, David Bowie and glam rock came from a magic green rock from space. That's pretty magic.

Female Meatloaf could be Ellen Aim from Streets of Fire.

Count Chocula fucked around with this message at 12:53 on Mar 5, 2016

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Count Chocula posted:

I didn't notice anything unusual about her at first, but then I realized I'm at Mardi Gras, where even the ATMs and burgers are covered in rainbows.
Stat up Negasonic Teenage Warhead from Deadpool/X-Men. Or a magical girl version of Death of the Endless (I think she got a manga).

Count Chocula posted:

Jem and the Holograms? Dazzler? Janelle Monae's cyborg? Lady Gaga?
If you believe Velvet Goldmine, David Bowie and glam rock came from a magic green rock from space. That's pretty magic.

Female Meatloaf could be Ellen Aim from Streets of Fire.

We seem to be having a strong OC vibe, so making an "official" character would feel out of place. So how about a glam rock lady with a cute goblin as a mascot and way too tight pants?

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Doresh posted:

Sparks of Light is a magical girl RPG with a defined setting that seems to be taking a few cues from Princess: The Hopeful (as far I as can bother to remember that game) while using some kind of FATE derivative using a single d8 and hit points (or Hope Points, in this case). Thanks to the latter, it's just about 110 pages long, which is like 1/4 of Princess' Charm section (I think).

It's not a FATE derivative, it's a Sacred BBQ/Strike! derivative, from this very forum!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply